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Monday, October 31, 2005

All Hallows' Eve

Samhain, which is the pagan name for this time of year has evolved into what we now know as Halloween, a unofficial holiday that runs the gamut from emulating monsters and fright nights to people running around in costumes parading up and down streets and drinking themselves silly in bars. It’s the perfect excuse for men to put on dresses or gay priests to wear tutus. It is not in its origins quite all that.

The Apostolic tradition usurped this pagan festival and turned into All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days. (Hallows = Holies or Saints; E’en = Eve)

The late Scott Cunningham wrote quite a few books on Wicca and Paganism in his short time on the earth. And since this is the time of year to remember those who have passed on let’s recall what he had to say about it.

At Samhain … say farewell to the God. This is a temporary farewell. He isn’t wrapped in eternal darkness, but readies to be reborn of the Goddess at Yule.

Samhain also known as November Eve, Feast of the Dead, Feast of Apples, Hallows and All Hallows, once marked the time of sacrifice …

Samhain is a time of reflection, of looking back over the past year, of coming to terms with the one phenomenon of life over which we have no control – death.

…On this night the separation between the physical and spiritual realities is thin.

This is from Scott Cunningham’s Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. Check out his bio with link to the right.

This is the time to remember all of those who have gone before us: our forebears and all of those who have paved the way. It points the way to what all the world’s religions are about – the rhythm of life. God and the Goddess go through a yearly cycle of death and rebirth that reflects what humans experience in the Four Seasons.

But, hey, if wearing a pink tutu and scurrying about on Christopher Street or Castro Street or Spruce Street floats your boat, go for it! You can always remember those who have gone before. It’s a cycle after all.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Our Brothers at Datalounge ...

are very often right on the money:

DL Dish: Cho Nuff
The enemy of my enemy is totally hot. -- go visit: www.datalounge.com

We Like Jake -- From USA Weekend

Now, with back-to-back Oscar-caliber movies, the actor with the difficult name is establishing himself as a marquee player who's willing to tackle bold subjects. (Maybe when they read his nominations, they won't trip over his name.) Next Friday, he stars as a third-generation enlistee who becomes an elite Marine sniper in Sam Mendes' "Jarhead." In December, he will appear opposite Heath Ledger in "Brokeback Mountain," a tragic story about two cowboys who meet and fall in love in 1960s Wyoming.

"People will have problems with it," Gyllenhaal says. "But it's kind of hard to disagree with what the movie is saying. It's a story about people struggling with how to love each other."

A Republican strategist, speaking on the condition of anonymity to offer a bark-off analysis of Bush's problems, was far gloomier, noting that the situation facing Bush is about as bad as it can get. "What's in front of him are very big structural problems," he said.

Ticking off a list that includes a looming winter energy crisis because of high heating oil and natural gas prices, an immigration fight that could further divide his party, negative perceptions of the economy despite strong growth numbers, and overall pessimism about the direction of the country, he added: "It's not like it's a one-shot deal where they hit bottom and then bounce back. I'm not sure they've reached bottom yet."

Bush also must consider the degree to which Cheney has now become a liability in his efforts to recover politically. Two Republicans privately said yesterday the taciturn Cheney has become a major burden to the president, and that his association with an unpopular war and proximity to the Libby embarrassment will eat at the administration's credibility. "This 'I'm a sphinx' gig just doesn't get it any more," one of the GOP strategists said. Washington Post

Cheney's standing has suffered mainly because Libby emerges as such a liability. Fitzgerald threw the book at him not for anything he said to reporters but for what he said to the FBI and the grand jury. The indictments suggest that the aide whose aim was to spin the war might have tried to spin the prosecutor. "Lying was a remarkable act of stupidity on Libby's part," says Richard Nixon's former White House counsel John Dean. "He's old enough to know better. He watched Watergate and Iran-contra. To try to pull the leg of the grand jury was really quite remarkable." – Time Magazine

The indictment also serves as fresh evidence to those Republicans who have known Mr. Cheney for decades and say he has changed, and that he reacted to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, by becoming consumed with threats against the nation and his longtime desire to rid Iraq of Mr. Hussein. Brent Scowcroft, the national security adviser to the first President Bush, said as much in The New Yorker's current issue.

"I consider Cheney a good friend - I've known him for 30 years," Mr. Scowcroft told Jeffrey Goldberg. "But Dick Cheney I don't know anymore."

Some Republicans say that Mr. Cheney's relationship with Mr. Bush has already changed, and that he has become less of a mentor to the president after Mr. Bush's nearly five years in office. Still, Mr. Cheney's allies insist that, with or without Mr. Libby, Mr. Cheney will be at the president's side.

"I don't think it's ever been about Cheney's staff," said Victoria Clarke, a former Pentagon spokeswoman and aide to the first President Bush. "It's about him. Cheney's influence has always been his own." -- New York Times

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 - Senior lawmakers from both major political parties called today for a White House shakeup in the wake of the C.I.A. leak case, and some urged an internal investigation into any involvement by Vice President Dick Cheney.

Democrats called on both President Bush and Mr. Cheney to apologize to the American people for the affair that led to the indictment on Friday of Mr. Cheney's top aide, I. Lewis Libby Jr. Mr. Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, remains under investigation by the special federal prosecutor.

Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney "should come clean with the American public," the Senate minority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, said. "The president, I guess, is still being driven by Karl Rove," he said on ABC's "This Week." Later, on CNN, he added, "He should be let go."

Senator Trent Lott, Republican of Mississippi, a former Senate majority leader, urged Mr. Bush to bring "new blood" into the White House. Asked whether he expected Mr. Bush to forcefully address his problems, Mr. Lott replied: "I think he is a man that knows when there's a time to make moves and take actions. He will do that." -- New York Times

Saturday, October 29, 2005

In the Meantime, Let's Hope Somebody Squeals Like a Pig

for your dart board, at the very least

from Raw Story {rawstory.com}

Rove is 'Official A,' Novak's 'indirect' source, lawyers say

Jason Leopold and John Byrne

Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove was the mysterious 'Official A' named in the indictment of Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff, lawyers close to the case have told RAW STORY. Friday's indictment identified "Official A" as a "senior official in the White House who advised Libby on July 10 or 11 of 2003" about a conversation with conservative columnist Robert Novak about an upcoming column where Plame would be identified as a CIA employee. Novak's column ran Jul. 14, 2003.

Rove is expected to be identified in several newspapers Saturday. The Associated Press is also close to naming Rove as 'Official A.'

'Bush's brain' is not Novak's 'secret source.' He is, however, the senior administration official who said, "Oh, you know about it," when asked by the columnist about Wilson's wife sending him to Niger.

Novak wrote, "When I called another official for confirmation, he said: 'Oh, you know about it.'"

Rove's role in the case remains unclear. Those familiar with the investigation say that Rove remains in legal limbo and that Fitzgerald has not finished his inquiry into Bush's chief advisor's role.

Rove may be called on to testify against Libby in the latter's trial.

“This investigation is not yet over,” one of the lawyers in the case said. “You must keep in mind that people like Mr. Rove are still under investigation.”

A source close to Rove told the Washington Post, "There is still the chance that Mr. Rove could face indictment." Lawyers involved in the case said Fitzgerald is likely to put pressure on Libby to provide evidence against Rove or other potential targets.

"The Special Counsel has advised Mr. Rove that he has made no decision about whether or not to bring charges," Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, said in a statement. "We are confident that when the Special Counsel finishes his work, he will conclude that Mr. Rove has done nothing wrong."

In July, the Washington Post reported that Rove 'indirectly' identified Plame to Novak.

According to the Post, a lawyer familiar with the case "said that Novak showed up on a White House call log as having telephoned Rove in the week before the publication of the July 2003 column, which has touched off a two-year federal investigation and led to the jailing of New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who has refused to testify about her conversation with a source involved in the case."

It can't be said often enough. The intent was to deceive Americans into buying a war that was on the neo-con agenda since the 1990s. Iraq was the most convenient target. The abuse of the National Grief over 9/11/05 not only kept this most ineffective, incompetent President and his goon of a Vice President in power but caused thousands of people to die. The soldiers are valuable human beings -- more valuable than Mid East oil fields. There is no honor in this war at any level.

It is often said that looks can be deceiving, but in Mr. Rove's case he looks exactly like what he is.

Friday, October 28, 2005

High Crimes

There should be no great rejoicing in the troubles surrounding Mr. Bush. A great resounding I told you so from the 50% of the voting population that rejected him for exactly the same things that have brought him down in the virtual sense does no good. There is no positive effect from gazing up at the score board in this game. The indictment or indictments, the torture scandal, Iraq, and Harriet Miers among many other events that erode his power does little to help the nation.

Americans, or at least their news organizations are terrific bean counters and it all tends to be about the process. The process, it seems, distracts from issues. To be sure there are serious matters at hand in these foibles and definitely point to Mr. Bush and Company plotting to deceive the electorate in order to go to war. The real crime is that this administration exploited the tragedy of September 11, 2005 to accomplish right wing politicians' agenda to establish a foothold in the oil rich Middle East. It is somewhat comforting to know that uneasy lies the crown, but it doesn't pay the rent or the fuel bills.

But there are other issues and real issues that a right leaning government has while all this is going on.

For example:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Republicans voted to cut student loan subsidies, child support enforcement and aid to firms hurt by unfair trade practices as various committees scrambled to piece together $50 billion in budget cuts.

More politically difficult votes -- to cut Medicaid, food stamps and farm subsidies -- are on tap Thursday as more panels weigh in on the bill.

It was originally intended to cut $35 billion in spending over five years, but after pressure from conservatives, GOP leaders directed committees to cut another $15 billion to help pay the cost of hurricane recovery.

President Bush met with House and Senate GOP leaders and said he was pleased with the progress.

He also appeared to endorse a plan by House Speaker Dennis Hastert's plan for an across-the-board cut in agency budgets, perhaps including the Pentagon, by the end of the year.

"I encourage Congress to push the envelope when it comes to cutting spending," Bush said.

Budget bill

Dozens of issues are at play as Republicans in both the House and Senate cobble together the sprawling budget bill.

The measure is the first in eight years to take aim at the automatic growth of federal spending programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.

In the Senate, the Budget Committee voted along party lines to bundle together the work of eight legislative committees into a bill that will be debated next week by the full Senate.

The Congressional Budget Office said the Senate measure would save $39 billion over five years -- $4 billion more than the budget passed last spring.

Pressed to produce more savings than the Senate, House committees took more political chances in drafting the $50 billion House plan, which has become a rallying point for the GOP's conservative wing and its anxiety about hurricane relief worsening the deficit.

The House Education and the Workforce panel, for example, was told to generate $18 billion in savings over five years. On Wednesday it approved squeezing lenders in the student loan program and raising premiums to employers for government insurance of their employees' and retirees' pension benefits.

'Raid on student aid'

It also imposes new fees on students who default on loans or consolidate them and higher fees on parents who borrow on behalf of their college-age children. California Rep. George Miller, the senior Democrat on the panel, called the package a "raid on student aid."

The Ways and Means Committee approved on a party-line vote a plan by its chairman, Rep. Bill Thomas, R-California, with so many difficult-to-swallow provisions that lawmakers and aides whispered about whether the intent was to make it hard for GOP leaders to win its passage in the full House.

It includes $3.8 billion in cuts to child support enforcement. Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-North Dakota, charged that Republicans were appealing to the "constituency of deadbeat dads."

The bill also would tighten eligibility standards for foster care assistance in nine states and delay some lump-sum payments to very poor and elderly beneficiaries of Social Security's Supplemental Security Income program.

"It was abundantly clear that Thomas didn't want to do this stuff," said an aide to a Ways and Means Republican who spoke on condition of anonymity but cited meetings that occurred behind the scenes. House GOP leaders this month directed Thomas to produce $8 billion in savings, eight times the original target he was assigned.

The Ways and Means plan also would eliminate payments to industries harmed by unfair foreign trade practices. Those payments come from the proceeds of duties on foreign goods "dumped" into the U.S. market.

ANWR drilling

The House Resources Committee approved a controversial plan to raise $2.4 billion in lease revenues by permitting oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Minority Democrats opposed virtually everything that was done, saying Wednesday's actions are part of a broader GOP budget blueprint that also calls for $106 billion in new tax cuts over the next five years.

"They are targeting programs for poor people to pay for tax cuts for rich people," said Rep. David Obey, D-Wisconsin. Once those tax cuts are passed, Obey added, deficits will be increasing again.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

It is an electorate perhaps in need of a rape counselor.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

One Fell Swoopes

'Way to Go!

"My purpose for doing it has nothing to do with throwing it in anybody's face," Swoopes said in a telephone interview. "I'm not trying not to make a big deal of it.

"I was at a point in my life where I am just tired of having to pretend to be somebody I am not. I was basically living a lie. For the last seven, eight years, I was basically waiting to exhale."

Saying she felt empowered by expressing her sexuality, Swoopes ... also admitted to a vulnerability that is not consistent with her image on the court.

The Chickens Coming Home to Roost and all that ...

As we reach the end of this lunar cycle which peaked with the full moon of the 16th of October (08:13 AM EDT ) was also a partial lunar eclipse, an important celestial configuration. Simplified: it is a cosmic expression of the eternal struggle between order and chaos – Libra, in this case, the sign of order and Aries, chaos. The next polarity of Scorpio/Taurus will be a much more passionate cycle but certainly more honest and straightforward.

Currently the frustration and impatience in the air has to do with has to do with the lack of precise knowledge. Soon we find ourselves on the threshold of revelatory experience.

While on the subject of Astrology, let it be known that it is an ancient form of Psychology. Accepting it as such opens the door to focusing on W’s Saturn Return.

The Saturn Return – The Mythology and the Reality

by Robert Wilkinson

The Saturn return, occurring between 27 and 29 years of age for most of us, is perhaps one of the most feared, and misunderstood points in personal evolution. It usually indicates a time of difficulty, but also important choices where we move out of unconscious patterns into more deliberate expressions of our unfulfilled self.

It is a time of endings, but also major new beginnings. It is often associated with a time of hardship, but any hardship usually occurs because we are resisting our own tide of personal evolution. During this time of clearing our old psychological refuse, whatever must change WILL change, whether we want it to or not. It is important to note here that Saturn is not "causing" these things to occur. We are the engineers of our own lives. Saturn merely indicates the part of our inner nature which must learn certain lessons as a direct result of our own nature, and the cause-and-effect cycles we have set into motion before this time of radical choices and changes.

The Saturn return is a time when the "chickens come home to roost," for good or ill. It is a time of evaluating what we can live with and what we cannot. It is the most important time for examining what our priorities are and what must be dropped from our lives to allow us a more mature expression of our "dharma," a Sanskrit term approximately meaning "true function" in the higher sense of the term.

Saturn returns to its birth place again between 57 and 59, where we again choose how we want to live for the rest of our lives. Again we make choices. This time, though, we are challenged to turn away from old limitations, rules, responsibilities, fears, and unfulfilling behaviors. This is the time to distill wisdom from the realizations we’ve had so far, reflected through the filter of over 30 years of adult experience. It’s usually hardest on those who still operate out of immaturity, irresponsibility, or fear.

Any time Saturn touches any planet in our charts, it indicates a time when all of the above factors are brought to bear on the psychological function of the planet visited by Saturn. Thus when Saturn touches one’s Sun, it is a time of receiving the rewards of "living your light," or feeling oppressed as a result of past self-betrayals. When Saturn touches one’s Moon, it is a time of seeing what habits and feelings you can live with, and which ones have become too calcified to endure any longer. Yes, it may feel limiting and restrictive, but it also brings rewards and a deepening of one’s inner connectedness with our true nature if we show the virtues of patience, responsibility, maturity, and organization.

Saturn shows us the lessons we must learn to grow in our "authority," regardless of what sphere we are moving through. The Saturn return shows us how we are or are not exercising "free will," rather than fear. Saturn is the part of us that is rigid and authoritarian, but also where we take responsibility for our lives and choices, and come to a genuine life renewal by ending whatever has oppressed us while embracing a more mature sense of self.

Though it is not usually a "joyous" time, it can be. Though it is not usually an "easy" time, it can be if you are living your higher purpose. Just learn what people and circumstances and fears you no longer want nor need, let go of lesser things, and you will find a maturity that enables you to enjoy your future, rather than be frustrated at not being able to stay in childish behavioral, feeling, and thinking patterns. Ultimately Saturn can lead us to our primal innocence, where we do what’s right for the greatest good for all, without ulterior motives and controlling behaviors. We just have to learn to be mature, without being old. -- Robert Wilkerson

Last year on the forum Mr. Bush’s Saturn was discussed and some considered it to be part of the 20 year cycle that has to do with Tecumseh’s curse on the American Presidency. Suffice it to say that there have been many a prediction about how what the United States is experiencing now was going to happen.

Mr. Bush is not in a good way, belief in Astrology notwithstanding. It simply serves to let us know in some way what is going on.

Then again: “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Thank You, Datalounge & Miss Maureen

October 26, 2005 Op-Ed Columnist Dick at the Heart of Darkness By MAUREEN DOWD WASHINGTON

After W. was elected, he sometimes gave visitors a tour of the love alcove off the Oval Office where Bill trysted with Monica - the notorious spot where his predecessor had dishonored the White House.

At least it was only a little pantry - and a little panting.

If W. wants to show people now where the White House has been dishonored in far more astounding and deadly ways, he'll have to haul them around every nook and cranny of his vice president's office, then go across the river for a walk of shame through the Rummy empire at the Pentagon.

The shocking thing about the trellis of revelations showing Dick Cheney, the self-styled Mr. Strong America, as the central figure in dark conspiracies to juice up a case for war and demonize those who tried to tell the public the truth is how unshocking it all is.

It's exactly what we thought was going on, but we never thought we'd actually hear the lurid details: Cheney and Rummy, the two old compadres from the Nixon and Ford days, in a cabal running the country and the world into the ground, driven by their poisonous obsession with Iraq, while Junior is out of the loop, playing in the gym or on his mountain bike.

Mr. Cheney has been so well protected by his Praetorian guard all these years that it's been hard for the public to see his dastardly deeds and petty schemes. But now, because of Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation and candid talk from Brent Scowcroft and Lawrence Wilkerson, he's been flushed out as the heart of darkness: all sulfurous strands lead back to the man W. aptly nicknamed Vice.

According to a Times story yesterday, Scooter Libby first learned about Joseph Wilson's C.I.A. wife from his boss, Mr. Cheney, not from reporters, as he'd originally suggested. And Mr. Cheney learned it from George Tenet, according to Mr. Libby's notes.

The Bush hawks presented themselves as protectors and exporters of American values. But they were so feverish about projecting the alternate reality they had constructed to link Saddam and Al Qaeda - and fulfilling their idée fixe about invading Iraq - they perverted American values.

Whether or not it turns out to be illegal, outing a C.I.A. agent - undercover or not - simply to undermine her husband's story is Rove-ishly sleazy. This no-leak administration was perfectly willing to leak to hurt anyone who got in its way.

Vice also pressed for a loophole so the C.I.A. could do torture-light on prisoners in U.S. custody, but John McCain rebuffed His Tortureness. Senator McCain has sponsored a measure to bar the cruel treatment of prisoners because he knows that this is not who we are. (Remember the days when the only torture was listening to politicians reciting their best TV lines at dinner parties?)

Colonel Wilkerson, the former chief of staff for Colin Powell, broke the code and denounced Vice's vortex, calling his own involvement in Mr. Powell's U.N. speech, infected with bogus Cheney and Scooter malarkey, "the lowest point" in his life.

He followed that with a blast of blunt talk in a speech and an op-ed piece in The Los Angeles Times, saying that foreign policy had been hijacked by "a secretive, little-known cabal" that hated dissent. He said the cabal was headed by Mr. Cheney, "a vice president who speaks only to Rush Limbaugh and assembled military forces," and Donald Rumsfeld, "a secretary of defense presiding over the death by a thousand cuts of our overstretched armed forces."

"I believe that the decisions of this cabal were sometimes made with the full and witting support of the president and sometimes with something less," Colonel Wilkerson wrote. "More often than not, then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice was simply steamrolled by this cabal."

Brent Scowcroft, Bush Senior's close friend, let out a shriek this week to Jeffrey Goldberg in The New Yorker, revealing his estrangement from W. and his old protégé Condi. He disdained Paul Wolfowitz as a naïve utopian and said he didn't "know" his old friend Dick Cheney anymore. Vice's alliance with the neocons, who were determined to finish in Iraq what Mr. Scowcroft and Poppy had declared finished, led him to lead the nation into a morass. Troop deaths are now around 2,000, a gruesome milestone.

"The reason I part with the neocons is that I don't think in any reasonable time frame the objective of democratizing the Middle East can be successful," Mr. Scowcroft said. "If you can do it, fine, but I don't think you can, and in the process of trying to do it you can make the Middle East a lot worse."

W. should take the Medal of Freedom away from Mr. Tenet and give medals to Colonel Wilkerson and Mr. Scowcroft.

Please join me for a pre-Halloween witching hour celebration.

Erin Torpey who used to play me daughter on One Life to Live will be the opening act and I will be joined as usual, by my partners in crime, The Lost Tribe: Murray Wienstock, John Miller, Victor Lesser and Gary Fritz.

I am looking forward to seeing you on October 28th!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

1,000 Words

You're Doin' A Heck of a Job ...


Then there's this ...

You know what? We told you so ...

NEW YORK (AP) -- Documents in the CIA leak investigation indicate the chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney first heard of the covert CIA officer from Cheney himself, The New York Times reported in Tuesday editions.

The newspaper said notes of a previously undisclosed June 12, 2003 conversation between I. Lewis Libby and Cheney appear to differ from Libby's grand jury testimony that he first heard of Valerie Plame from journalists. The newspaper identified its sources as lawyers who are involved in the case.

Libby has emerged at the center of Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's criminal investigation in recent weeks because of the Cheney aide's conversations about Plame with Times reporter Judith Miller.

Miller said Libby spoke to her about Plame and her husband, Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson, on three occasions.

Libby's notes show that Cheney knew of Plame's CIA work more than a month before her identity was publicly exposed by columnist Robert Novak.

At the time of the Cheney-Libby conversation, Wilson had been referred to - but not by name - in the Times and on the morning of June 12, 2003 on the front page of The Washington Post.

The Times reported that Libby's notes indicate Cheney got his information about Wilson from then-CIA Director George Tenet.

The notes, the newspaper said, contain no suggestion that Cheney or Libby knew at the time of their conversation of Plame's undercover status or that her identity was classified.

Cheney has said little in public about what he knew. In September 2003, he told NBC he did not know Wilson or who sent him on a trip to Niger in 2002 to check into a intelligence - later deemed unreliable - that Iraq may have been seeking to buy uranium there.

"I don't know who sent Joe Wilson. He never submitted a report that I ever saw when he came back," Cheney said at the time. "... I don't know Mr. Wilson. I probably shouldn't judge him. I have no idea who hired him."

The Cheney-Libby conversation occurred the same day that The Washington Post published a front-page story about the CIA sending a retired diplomat to Africa, where he was unable to corroborate intelligence that Iraq was trying to acquire uranium yellowcake from Niger. The diplomat was Wilson.

I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, first learned about the C.I.A. officer at the heart of the leak investigation in a conversation with Mr. Cheney weeks before her identity became public in 2003, lawyers involved in the case said Monday.

Notes of the previously undisclosed conversation between Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney on June 12, 2003, appear to differ from Mr. Libby’s testimony to a federal grand jury that he initially learned about the C.I.A. officer, Valerie Wilson, from journalists, the lawyers said.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Out, Out Damed Celebs!

By now the template for The Washington Blade to the right should have been noticed. All weekend on both straight and gay sites the following editorial from its pages has been posted and discussed. Also, Tab Hunter has achieved new found notice with coming out at the tender age of 74, therefore, we repost it here for those of you who might not have seen it and to remind you of the great newsworthy services, so to speak, that the “Blade” provides.

Out, out damn celebs!
Anderson Cooper to Jodie Foster, it’s time for the rich and famous to stop playing games and start answering ‘the question.’
Friday, October 21, 2005

NATIONAL COMING OUT Day came and went last week without any public declarations from celebrities or other public figures long rumored to be gay, but who simply refuse to acknowledge their sexual orientation.

It’s a long and varied list, from A-list Hollywood celebrities to popular television anchors to prominent politicians.

These closet cases choose to hide and deceive — and to protect their incomes and images — at the expense of contributing important weight and star power to the gay civil rights movement.

When rich, famous, wildly successful Americans refuse to acknowledge their sexual orientation, they contribute to keeping us at the margins of society and send a message that homosexuality is somehow shameful.

There is nothing more ridiculous than a public figure refusing to reveal whether he or she is straight — no heterosexual person would deny being straight.

ANDERSON COOPER MAY be the most ubiquitous personality on cable television these days. Popping up on a best-dressed or most-beautiful-people list, profiled in magazines or penning a column for Details magazine, Cooper gets a lot of ink. But in all the fawning stories about his good looks, sartorial smarts, family wealth and status as one of TV’s biggest rising stars, one key detail is always missing.

Cooper, the popular CNN anchor, coyly refused to answer “the question” in a recent lengthy profile in New York magazine. Though long rumored to be gay — he once suggested he is gay in comments made at a GLAAD Media Awards event — Cooper chooses the closet over honesty.

“The whole thing about being a reporter is that you’re supposed to be an observer and to be able to adapt with any group you’re in,” Cooper told New York magazine, “and I don’t want to do anything that threatens that.”

Does he believe that female and African-American reporters lack credibility to cover stories since their minority status is showing? Should any heterosexuals who let it slip that they’re married to someone of the opposite sex be kept off the air, or does his rule apply only to gay journalists?

(Note to Cooper: I have been a journalist for as long as you have and being open about my sexual orientation has never cost me a job, a story, a source or a promotion.)

Cooper isn’t the only well-known TV personality hiding his sexual orientation. Shepard Smith, who hosts a popular program on Fox News and received widespread praise for his work covering Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath, also dodges questions about his sexual orientation.

Smith once chatted me up in a New York City gay piano bar, bought me drinks, and invited me back to his place. When I declined, he asked me to dinner the next night, another invitation I politely refused.

We sat at the bar chatting and drinking martinis until 3 a.m., our conversation interrupted only when he paused to belt out the lyrics to whatever showtune was being performed.

THERE ARE, OF course, much bigger stars that remain in the closet. Jodie Foster’s recent film “Flightplan” spent two weeks atop the box office charts. She, too, continues to refuse any discussion of her private life.

Incredibly, even Sean Hayes, who plays the flamboyantly gay character Jack on NBC’s “Will & Grace,” won’t say whether he’s gay. Maybe when his hit show ends its run this year and the acting roles dry up, Hayes will muster the “courage” to appear on the cover of the Advocate.

Ironically, Hollywood and New York are regarded as two of the most liberal places on earth. And yet those who inhabit some of the highest positions of visibility and power in those communities remain in the closet.

It’s the same story in Washington, D.C., where with a few rare exceptions — Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) and Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) — lawmakers and their most senior advisers dodge and weave when asked about their sexual orientation.

Congressman Mark Foley (R-Fla.) became the poster child for closet cases when he refused to answer questions about whether he is gay. In 2003, the Express Gay News, a Fort Lauderdale paper affiliated with the Blade, and an alternative weekly in West Palm Beach published stories saying Foley is gay.

Foley refused to confirm or deny the paper’s report. He later ended his bid for the U.S. Senate, citing family reasons.

When Rep. David Dreier’s (R-Calif.) name was floated as a replacement for indicted House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, then promptly withdrawn, speculation swirled that anti-gay conservatives had quashed his promotion because of rumors Dreier is gay. Dreier has similarly refused to answer “the question.”

THANKFULLY, THERE ARE a handful of out public figures giving us visibility. Rupert Everett, Rosie O’Donnell, Ellen DeGeneres and Melissa Etheridge come to mind, proving that living an honest life doesn’t mean the death knell for a career in the public eye.

The biggest sleeping asset in the fight for full gay equality lies in the shadows of the closet. When we live openly, we force those around us to reconsider their negative views of homosexuality. That’s when the stereotypes give way to understanding and real change occurs.

No Human Rights Campaign ad campaign in the “red states” can produce the impact of gays who live in those states actually coming out.

How can we expect the construction worker making $20,000 a year to come out when the rich and pampered are still hiding in the closet? How will gays living in Peoria find the fortitude to live honest lives, when the gay denizens of New York and Hollywood won’t?

No one is asking Anderson Cooper to wear a pink triangle on the air or Jodie Foster to ride with the “Dykes on Bikes” contingent. Simply acknowledging the truth — whatever it is — would be enough.

We need role models and spokespeople to boost visibility, increase understanding and, most importantly, to inspire those living less privileged lives to come out and stand up to those who would deny us the right to marry, to adopt children and to go to work free from the prospect of legal discrimination.

Shame on the rich and famous closet cases who have let us down.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Say what?

O, Billie Jean, wherefore art thou?

MADRID (AFP) - Male models will be used as ballboys at the 2006 WTA Tour Championships, officials announced. With female models into their second year of similar duties at this week's men's ATP Madrid Masters, the Spanish organisers believe they are on to a good thing.

Like their counterparts, the males will be kitted out by an international clothing sponsor for their on-court duties during the women's end of season finale which will move to Spain from Los Angeles.

Okay, now let's get this straight, so to speak. All male tennis players want female models to do their bidding and, therefore, all female tennistas want male models. What's next? Male cheerleaders for the WNBA?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Two Skins

It begins where it ends. Within the first few paragraphs you know that this is a story of loss and of love. "… yet he was suffused with pleasure because Jack Twist was in his dream. … If he does not force his attention on it, it might stoke the day, rewarm that old, cold time on the mountain when they owned the world and nothing seemed wrong."

In her novella, Brokeback Mountain, Annie Proulx leads us through the twenty-year relationship between Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist that is at times viscerally sexual, but always emotionally harrowing.

It's a love story where no one says I love you. No one needs to because love for these two men just is. It survives their separation, their marriages, the lives they are forced, or perhaps choose, to lead. And it always takes them back to Brokeback Mountain, the one place where they can shrug off their real lives and rekindle what keeps them going.

"What Jack remembered and craved in a way he could neither help nor understand was the time that distant summer on Brokeback when Ennis had come up behind him and pulled him close, the silent embrace satisfying some shared and sexless hunger."

But even in the moments of peace, there is something lurking.

"Later that dozy embrace solidified in his memory as the single moment of artless, charmed happiness in their separate and difficult lives. Nothing marred it, even the knowledge that Ennis would not then embrace him face to face because he did not want to see or feel that it was Jack he held. And maybe, he thought, they'd never got much further than that. Let be, let be."

The underlying truth is always there – they will never be truly together. But even that doesn't diminish the love they share. Ultimately they are doomed to tragedy, but in that tragedy they are not separated. Ennis visits Jack's parents and while rummaging through Jack's closet.

"The shirt seemed heavy until he saw there was another shirt inside it, the sleeves carefully worked down inside Jack's sleeves. It was his own plaid shirt, lost, he'd thought, long ago in some damn laundry, his dirty shirt, the pocket ripped, buttons missing, stolen by Jack and hidden here inside Jack's own shirt, the pair like two skins, one inside the other, two in one."

For Ennis, who takes them, the shirts are what he had, what he might have had and what he can still cling to.

"About that time, Jack began to appear in his dreams, … And he would wake sometimes in grief, sometimes with the old sense of joy and relief; the pillows sometimes wet, sometimes the sheets."

It ends where it begins. A love story.

Friday, October 21, 2005

What the Worlds Need Now ...

Back in the Swingin Sixties, the era that provided a parallel universe to the rebellious politically correct Sixties of war protest and the Summer of Love was that which contained the likes of Burt Bacharach, and his then wife Angie Dickinson. It was equally cool parallel though it may be.

It will take too long to disabuse the world of the association with Austin Powers. It has been mentioned now well move on. Mr. Bacharach is responsible for unique songs that populated the airwaves back then and the box set is a must have for anyone who is a serious listener of pop music.

The good news is that Burt is still here and still creating. Not only is he still creating but he has brought two parallel universes together again. Hes actually done it before with What the World Needs Now and Windows of the World, but this time the words are his.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - It could be just what the world needs now -- Burt Bacharach writing lyrics.

The legendary, 77-year-old composer has found his voice in a politically charged album "At This Time" that features his first lyrics ever in a nearly 50-year career creating some of pop music's best-known love songs.

"You could say, 'How does a guy who has written love songs his entire life suddenly decide to rock the boat?"' Bacharach says about the album that will be released internationally on October 24, with a U.S. release on November 1.

"I had to do it. This is very personal to me," he said of his first solo album in 15 years.

Challenged by his producer to take risks, Bacharach responded with songs set to hip-hop beats with lyrics, co-written with Tonio K., expressing nostalgia over bygone days and frustration with U.S. political leaders.

Bacharach, an icon of swinging 1960s sophistication and winner of three Oscars and six Grammys, poured out catchy music for over 50 Top 40 hits including "What The World Needs Now Is Love," "Walk On By," "Make It Easy On Yourself" and "Alfie."He had left the words to his collaborators, most notably Hal David and his own former wife, Carole Bayer Sager.

With young children, Oliver, 12, and Raleigh, 9, from his fourth marriage, and college-aged son Cristopher from his union with Sager on his mind, Bacharach said he was inspired to speak out.

"I thought that I had to speak lyrically this time as well as musically," he told Reuters, sitting in an easy chair in a Park Avenue hotel suite. "I thought that was very important because I couldn't have somebody else write these lyrics."Bacharach's words may not match the quality of his music, with urbane melodies and orchestrations that mark this work and his past triumphs. Yet the lyrics are heartfelt and direct.

"As I wrote, I wrote musically. Then I started hearing words. These were things I heard, they grew out of the music," he said. Vocalists on the album include Elvis Costello and Rufus Wainwright. Rap impresario Dr. Dre provided some drum loops. "It's very streety, as streety as I can make it," Bacharach said about the hip-hop influence.


Titles include the opening track, "Please Explain," that laments "Where is the love, where did it go;" the second cut, "Where Did It Go?" urges "Stop the clock, make it stop. Where is that world, where did it go?" and the most stridently political number, "Who Are These People?" sung by Costello.

That song, expressing disillusionment with the war in Iraq, forcefully asks, "Who are these people that keep telling us lies and how did these people get control of our lives and who'll stop the violence 'cause it's out of control? Make 'em stop."

"Stuff just kept going more wrong and more wrong here as I was writing," explained Bacharach, still looking youthful in a blue sweat suit accentuating his bright blue eyes.

Bacharach, who projected an image of the Hollywood good life in the 1960s and '70s during his marriage to glamorous actress Angie Dickinson, told of a political turning point that sparked his anger.

"I heard (then U.S. Secretary of State) Colin Powell tell the United Nations there are weapons of mass destruction. I totally believed him. I love this guy. He's like a hero. This was such a bad, bad blemish mark on his life, that he was so wronged.

"Then we go into Iraq. It looked like the heroic, right thing to do. It was the wrong thing to do. There was fabricated information. There are no weapons of mass destruction." During the throes of 1960s antiwar activism, Bacharach was a political bystander. "I never was a political person in my life. I wrote songs during Vietnam, not about Vietnam. I was just writing love songs. Leading my own life in my own insulated world." [Taking exception to this is the superb, "The Windows of the World" and "What the World Needs Now Is Love" is also another notable exception.]

Bacharach branched out musically, writing film scores for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969), which had the hit "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head," and the 1981 movie "Arthur" which also featured a hit song.

In recent years, Bacharach teamed up with other artists. His 1998 collaboration with Costello, "Painted From Memory," earned him a Grammy for "I Still Have That Other Girl." In 2003 he hit Billboard's top R&B/Hip-Hop album chart with an album he made of his songs sung by Ronald Isley.

In the new CD, Bacharach sings about his personal reflections on "Where Did It Go?"

"It's not like your normal, 'I am angry, I protest' song. There's a groove going on. It's kind of cookin' along on a nice groove. And I'm saying like 'Wow' in the middle, a little bit of a surprise for a statement I wanted to make. It became very heartfelt," said Bacharach, who said he cried doing the vocal.

"Who knows how this will be accepted or not accepted," he said. "Is it the best album I've ever done? Maybe.

"I hope it has the impact of making some people think and feel. Because I do believe a lot of music that's out there is like ear candy and you don't necessarily feel too much."

I Am Your Father

Posted 10/18/05
By Paul Bedard

Sparked by today's Washington Post story that suggests Vice President Cheney's office is involved in the Plame-CIA spy link investigation, government officials and advisers passed around rumors that the vice president might step aside and that President Bush would elevate Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

"It's certainly an interesting but I still think highly doubtful scenario," said a Bush insider. "And if that should happen," added the official, "there will undoubtedly be those who believe the whole thing was orchestrated – another brilliant Machiavellian move by the VP."

Said another Bush associate of the rumor, "Yes. This is not good." The rumor spread so fast that some Republicans by late morning were already drawing up reasons why Rice couldn't get the job or run for president in 2008.

"Isn't she pro-choice?" asked a key Senate Republican aide. Many White House insiders, however, said the Post story and reports that the investigation was coming to a close had officials instead more focused on who would be dragged into the affair and if top aides would be indicted and forced to resign.

"Folks on the inside and near inside are holding their breath and wondering what's next," said a Bush adviser. But, he added, they aren't focused on the future of the vice president. "Not that, at least not seriously," he said.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

So, What's Your Point?

If you've ever wanted to call Ryan Seacrest your queen, or simply a queen head to West Hollywood on Halloween. The host of "American Idol" will be the "Queen of the Carnaval" at the 18th annual West Hollywood Halloween Costume Carnaval on Oct 31. More than 450,000 people will be expected along Santa Monica Boulevard.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Might As Well ...

... just call us Pander Bears. Hey! We're on Page Six. It's not so much how important it is to know who donated, but that this is actually news these days. Think about it.

October 18, 2005 -- OUT magazine narrowly avoided a smackdown from Hollywood heavyweight Camryn Manheim's lawyers earlier this month by deleting photos of Manheim's son, Milo Manheim, and dropping mentions that his super-secret father/sperm donor is male model Jeffrey Brezovar.

Brezovar, who's on the cover of the November issue of Out hitting shelves next week, had given an interview naming himself as Milo's father, and there was a planned photo shoot of him and the 4-year-old child.

At first Manheim, who starred in ABC's The Practice seemed fine with everything — even though the magazine planned to name Brezovar as her son's father.

From Out.com

November 2005
What does it feel like to be young and gay and aching to parent when everyone around you is young and gay and aching to party? That’s one way in which our cover guy, Jeffrey Brezovar, upended the stereotypical life cycle for gay men. We’re not supposed to be very interested in settling down until we’re past 30, and then we make up for lost time, becoming experts in the domestic arts: home and food in particular. Tom Steele, for example, who writes a seductive home-entertaining feature in this issue, has coauthored volumes with top chefs Patricia Yeo and Jonathan Waxman and has his own cookbook on the way; Thomas O’Brien, Isaac Mizrahi, and Jonathan Adler, who offer us advice about savvy nest-building, are at the top tier of design experts. This whole issue, in fact, which draws on the expertise of gay men, is devoted to home.

But for a growing number of gay men, children are also part of the home-and-hearth experience. I was reminded of this when I sat across the table from Brezovar during our interview and he began describing how different he used to feel around some of his fast-lane friends in the fashion and design worlds whenever he would talk about his desire to be a dad. The disjunction, I suppose, is one more way in which modern gay life, born of a desire not to have to conform, can enforce its own rather strict regimentation. There are many examples of this. For example, if you’re young and gay and prefer living in the country (and by country I do not mean Long Island or Napa—places where people go to see city people in a sylvan setting, not for a complete change of scene), you may nonetheless move to a city, because even in the Internet era you would feel just too lonely otherwise.

Gay parenthood, meanwhile, has brought its own social pressures. I was at a gathering of gay and lesbian professionals not long ago when the talk turned to the difficulty of comforting children who’ve been cut from an after-school team. “You’re so lucky,” one of the gay dads remarked. “You don’t have to know about all that.” (I used to coach Little League; I just smiled.) Then there are the reverse kinds of exclusion, the feelings of overwhelming strangeness that come from being the only gay guy in the room with a child in tow. Cover man Brezovar told me, self-deprecatingly, “Sometimes people look at me as if I’ve brought a puppy to the party.”

Because parenting still seems to require a greater act of sheer determination for gays than it does for straights, I empathize with Brezovar’s plight even if it’s not my own. For some of us—even those of us who love the children in our extended families ever more deeply as the years pass—the costs of being a parent remain greater than the rewards. We prefer to live alone or with another adult in cities that are inconvenient and expensive. We reside in modest apartments instead of McMansions and have dogs and cats instead of kids. As the writer Adam Gopnik once pointed out, pets may be “mere courtesans of affection, feigning a feeling for food,” and a big-city apartment may never have a bathroom sufficiently spacious to squeeze in a tall towel rack, but still they suffice.

Tight spaces, of course, as Out senior editor Jeffrey Epstein and fashion director Gregory Wein point out in this issue, force home-merging couples to establish priorities, and an Abyssinian or an Airedale can wake you better than any alarm clock. Yes, a 4-year-old child and a 4-year-old animal both can feel equally creaturely curled next to you on the sofa, but the animal has, in my view, at least one untrumpable advantage: It will never insist that you watch two straight hours of SpongeBob.

Brendan Lemon

Then, a few weeks ago, Web site gossip Billy Masters of filth2go.com wrote that Milo's father was Brezovar, adding: "He and Camryn had been friends for years when she asked him to be a sperm donor, and he spends as much time as he can with his son.

"He thought it would be great to be photographed with his son, and La Manheim agreed — and signed a release. After the shoot . . . she demanded that no photos of her son be published," Masters wrote.

Another source e-mailed PAGE SIX: "Camryn initially signed off on the photo shoot, but the closer it came to publication date . . . she suddenly freaked out and had her attorneys contact Out threatening a lawsuit if all references and pictures of Milo were not removed."

Brezovar remains on the cover. But although the interview with him says that he provided the sperm for "a celebrity mom," it doesn't name Manheim or Milo.

"Camryn is a huge supporter of the gay and lesbian community, but she wanted to shield Milo from any unwanted public scrutiny of having a 'Gay Dad,' " said our source.

Manheim was also said to be concerned because of "Jeffrey's relationship with Oprah Winfrey's [openly gay] interior designer Nate Berkus [whose last boyfriend, Fernando Bengoechea, died in the tsunami last year.] Camryn is worried that Jeffrey's higher public profile is going to negatively impact Milo."

Manheim's rep didn't return calls or e-mails. Out declined comment, although its Web site blurbs the next issue: "We photograph model and designer Jeffrey Brezovar at his residence in Los Angeles, and he tells us, among other things, about his life as a gay dad."

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

What A Man!

Michael O’Keeffe in Sunday’s Daily News devoted the first part of his column to a real man, Mr. Paul Tagliabue with the headline, “Tags Tackles Homophobia.”
The NFL certainly has no shortage of homophobic meatheads – yeah, Jeremy Shockey we’re talking about you – so The Score was delighted to learn that the guy who actually runs the league pays more than lip service to high falutin’ concepts like civil rights.
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and his wife Chandler were honored last week by the New York chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays for their support of PFLAG’s Stay Close program.
The Tagliabues have been significant financial supporters of the program,a series of print ads intended to promote tolerance that features celebrities … and their gay relatives. [New Yorkers were treated to them in the subways. Ben Affleck and his gay cousin Jason was among the most endearing.]

Tagliabue’s 36 year old son Drew is openly gay; he’s also a co-founder of the Stay Close program. But Tagliabue wasn’t honored just because of nepotism and deep pockets. According to OutSports.com, the commish spoke from the heart about his love for his son and Drew’s partner, Mark Jones, at PFLAG’s annual dinner at Tribeca Rooftop. Chandler Tagliabue, meanwhile expressed her distaste for the nation’s self-appointed guardians of “family values.”
Outsports.com’s Cyd Zeigler says that in some ways, the NFL is progressive about gay issues. League policy explicitly forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation, and the commissioner has enlisted his son to participate in sensitivity training. New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft also attended the dinner – and even kicked in $5,000 to help with the event’s expenses.
But Zeigler says the NFL and its Players Association aren’t completely gay friendly. They do not offer same sex benefits to employees, and the league has dragged its feet when knuckle-draggers like Shockey, Matt Millen and Terrell Owens made homophobic statements.

“Still,” Zeigler writes, “it’s good to know that someone who is sensitive to gay rights issues is leading the charge of America’s most successful and most hyper-masculinized sports organization.

NFL Commissioner Honored with Gay Son
By Cyd Zeigler jr.Outsports.com
Correction: We earlier reported that the NFL does not offer same-sex domestic partner benefits. According to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, "the NFL office offers same-sex domestic partner benefits," though most individual teams do not. Outsports regrets the error.
Updated October 14, 2005, 6:30pm
NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and his wife, Chandler, were honored Monday night by the New York chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays with the PFLAG 2005 Stay Close Individual Leadership Award. Tagliabue had given a sizable donation to PFLAG for the campaign. Tagliabue's son, Drew, is openly gay.
Paul Tagliabue and his family have been strong supporters of PFLAG's Stay Close campaign since its inception, according to the program's co-founder, Suzanne Ramos. The program consists of print advertisements featuring famous people and their gay relatives. Featured pairs include Cyndi Lauper and her sister, Elen; Ben Affleck and his cousin Jason; and at Monday's event, PFLAG unveiled the latest ad: Rosario Dawson & her gay uncle, Frank. Drew Tagliabue is also a co-founder of the campaign.
Ramos said that PFLAG is now actively pursuing athletes to feature with their gay relatives.
Paul Tagliabue spoke at the dinner about his love for Drew and Drew's partner, Mark Jones. He also discussed the important, positive impact of PFLAG's Stay Close campaign and how he has been struck by the quality and uplifting character of the campaign.
Chandler Tagliabue delivered remarks regarding her love for her children, Drew and Emily, and her distaste for the hijacking of "family values" by a select group in this country.
The group's Annual Dinner, hosted by Queer Eye's Kyan Douglas, was held at the Tribeca Rooftop at 2 Desbrosses Street. Others in attendance at the dinner included Cyndi Lauper (who sang "True Colors"), New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft, former NFL player Esera Tuaolo, and former high school football player Corey Johnson. Kraft is a close friend of the NFL commissioner and he donated $5,000 for the dinner.
Johnson, who came out while the captain of his high school football team in Middleton, Mass., found he had something in common with the Krafts, other than a love of the Patriots; Kraft had been familiar with Johnson's story because of family members who lived in his hometown. In Manhattan on Monday evening, though, it was Johnson giving Kraft directions to a Boston bar to watch the Red Sox play in the NFL offseason.
A graduate of Amherst College in Massachusetts, Drew Tagliabue, 36, is an associate with Russell Reynolds Associates, a global executive search firm. According to the firm's Web site, "With his international business experience, Drew also has expertise in cross-border and cross-cultural recruiting for international clients."
In fact, he's so good at international recruiting that he managed to bring Jones, his partner of over 10 years, to the United States from Australia in 2002.
While it's incredibly positive that the commissioner of the NFL is so supportive of PFLAG, that doesn't necessarily translate to across-the-board gay-positive policies at the NFL.
On the bright side, the NFL does have a non-discrimination policy covering sexual orientation in its employee handbook. The NFL League offices also offer same-sex domestic partner benefits. Paul also has reportedly included Drew in league sensitivity training about gay issues.
However, the NFL Players Association still does not offer same-sex partner benefits, despite the repeated requests by former NFL players Esera Tuaolo and Dave Kopay, who receive NFLPA benefits, that they do. In 2002, when rumors were swirling that New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza was gay, Tagliabue was asked if the NFL was ready for an openly gay player. "That's a baseball question. I'm not comfortable with baseball questions," the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger reported Tagliabue saying. And, unlike baseball's actions against John Rocker for the pitcher's anti-gay and racist comments, the NFL has taken no action against players who have made homophobic remarks.
Still, it's good to know that someone who is sensitive to gay-rights issues is leading the charge of America's most successful, and most hyper-masculinized, sports organization.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Judy, Judy, Judy!

Compared to Judith Miller Monica Lewinski is a Pollyanna. The New York Times published very few words on which you can rely this past Sunday in re: the so called journalist known as Judith Miller.

She has done much wrong – a whole lot of wrong and she was in jail for all the wrong things. The Times is in a quandary because the powers that be would like to support a journalist who has gone to jail for journalistic integrity, but what they have in their employ is a woman who prostituted herself to the current Administration and was instrumental in manipulating the public first by propping up the lie about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and secondly by helping a man who is obviously her paramour put a CIA operative in mortal danger – which, by the way, is treason according to a former head of the CIA, George H. W. Bush, the 41st president and the man who unfortunately sired the current occupant of the White House, a poster child for birth control.

The one paragraph that stands out is this:

Neither The Times nor its cause has emerged un-bruised. Three courts, including the Supreme Court, declined to back Ms. Miller. Critics said The Times was protecting not a whistle-blower but an administration campaign intended to squelch dissent. The Times' coverage of itself was under assault: While the editorial page had crusaded on Ms. Miller's behalf, the news department had more than once been scooped on the paper's own story, even including the news of Ms. Miller's release from jail.

And the one sentence within that paragraph that stands out is this:

Critics said The Times was protecting not a whistle-blower but an administration campaign intended to squelch dissent.

The only words that seem to be missing after dissent are: “and truth.”

Monica was manipulated by an older man to whom she had an immature attachment. Judith Miller threw herself into the journalistic fray, literally screwed her boyfriend Scooter, lied for his bosses, protected his treasonous ass and then proceeded to screw the rest of us.

Let us emulate the French who punished the slutty women who gave comfort to the Axis occupiers -- shave her head and parade her through the streets.

Wait! Jeff Gannon already does that and he was a White House Reporter.

We’ll just shave her head.

Stevie's Wonder

Stevie has been a major contributor to American music for well over forty years -- a fixture if you will. finally this week he releases a much anticipated album. From our colleagues at The Post

"A Time to Love"


On his first album in nearly a decade, Wonder turns a blind eye to war and terrorism and says enough is enough, it's time to love. The CD's title buzzes with a positive vibe that preaches there's no payoff in hate. The lyrics are uplifting and, musically, it sends the message that Stevie is still a wonderful musician.

In the smooth groove department, Wonder is slick and romantic on the sweet "Blue Moon," but he's tops when dusting off his master-blast funk, as on "Please Don't Hurt My Baby" and "So What the Fuss." By the way, when you hear "So What" on radio, remember, Wonder isn't spelling fuss with a "ck" - even though it may sound that way. The Crackerjack prize within "So What" is Prince on guitar and En Vogue singing back-up.

Download this: "So What the Fuss"

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Here, There, Everywhere

We are enamoured of Mr. Hunter and have him all over the place on the BLOG and the site. It's only because -- well, it's just because. You,dear reader, know the reason. Anyway, one more time we will mention him, because he will be here in New York come Tuesday. If you can, go.

Keeping Tabs on Hunter == Ben Widdicombe
Fifties hunk Tab Hunter is making pacemakers race with a visit to town to promote his new memoir, "Tab Hunter Confidential."

The title is a winking reference to a gossip rag that used to harass the blond star for dating the likes of Debbie Reynolds and Natalie Wood in public — and being a big old homo in private. (Not that the magazine had much luck in the courts: In 1957, Liberace sued Confidential for saying he was gay — and won.)

"I heard someone was going to be doing an unauthorized book and I just thought, get [the story] from the horse's mouth, not from some horse's ass," Hunter, 74, told me.

The autobiography includes a frank discussion of his sexual adventures inside ­closeted Golden Age Hollywood (with ­Anthony Perkins and Rudolf Nureyev, yes; Rock Hudson, no).

The Daily News' 1952 "Heartthrob of the Year" will celebrate on Tuesday with a party at East Side media mecca Elaine's.

I also asked who he might like to play him if the memoir is made into a movie. Hayden Christensen, maybe?

"Oh, that's not going to happen," he said, dismissively.

Too modest, Tab! But listen, if we drunk- dial you from my mother's 70th birthday next month, sorry in advance.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Forgive and Forget

Forgive and Forget is not your run-of-the mill made for TV movie. First airing in the UK in 2000, it's now available on DVD. With a good plot and equally good actors, it does raise some questions after you have seen it. But more about that later.

David (Steve John Shepherd who is probably most familiar to North American audiences from the UK series This Life) is a construction worker who, although at times surly and withdrawn, seems to be like all his other workmates. Except he is hiding the secret that he is gay. Theo (John Simm who had a heart-rending role in the Cracker episode "Best Boys") is David's best friend, someone who depends on David to be his "rock", but who is completely unaware that David is gay and, more importantly, that David is in love with him.

When Theo meets Hannah, falls in love and moves in with her, David sees his last chance of telling Theo how he feels slipping away, just as Theo too is slipping away. What transpires when David decides that he cannot let Theo go is the crux of the plot. Deception, betrayal, attempted reconciliation and ultimately freedom. And yet, is it freedom? And yet . . .

I cannot make up my mind if this film is as homophobic as it appears to be. David comes out in an unusual way and he seems more at peace. But his coming out results in his losing so many things that by the end of the film it is hard to decide if it's not just because he came out but as punishment for being gay. At first I felt the scenes of violence, although few, were directed at David because of his gayness. Then I considered that what happened between him and Theo was more about betrayal. Except that Theo's reaction to David's "I love you" is unreasonable and he is only stopped by Hannah's intervention.

The final scene is for me the weakest. It's incongruous and ambiguous (Is David dead? Is he dreaming?) given what it follows and I had to listen to the director's commentary to understand what it was trying to convey.

The film is worth watching again to see if I can sort out whether it depicts the pain that David must go through in order to start his journey or whether it's meant to punish him for even trying. Maybe I'll post after I have watched it once again. If you haven't seen it, rent it and decide for yourself.