C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


The ex-roommate came over last night to collect some things.  We had Kentucky fried and watched a movie, followed by freshly made pumpkin pie - scrumptious.  Which was good enough reason to make a face.

Artwork by the Moon King

A Moment to Remember

As frustrated as we are with the President's footdragging on gay rights issues, it's important to realize the actual progress that is being made now, step by step.  David Mixner:
Traveling to Washington for the reception at the White House for the Shepard/Byrd - Hate Crimes Bill signing, I understood the historic significance of the day. For the first time in my life and I guess anyone's life - the President of the United States was going to sign into a law a piece of positive legislation about LGBT rights. For years, I have grown used to past presidents signing such bills as DOMA and DADT or the oppressive Jessie Helms amendments from the 1980's. So the reality of such a historic first was actually hard to intellectually comprehend. . . .

First Judy and Dennis Shepard with their son Logan entered with two members of James Byrd's family (the African American man who was brutally slain by being dragged behind a truck in Jasper, Texas). They stood behind President Obama as he made his usual eloquent and powerful remarks about hate, the consequences and his zero tolerance for it. For me, while appreciating his remarks, I could not get the Shepards and Byrds out of my mind. Here were two families ripped apart by the worst brutality one can imagine and now they were honored guests in the White House and on stage with the president. The sight was so emotional and overwhelming especially as the two families hugged and co-mingled. In that moment, the hate that resulted in the deaths of their loved ones was vanquished to the dark pages of history where it belongs.
Full text of the President's remarks below the jump.  Despite what I said in an earlier post, they are well worth reading.  (Memo to Russ:  don't make smartass remarks about somebody's speech until you've actually read it.)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Obama Lifts HIV Travel Ban

Okay, here's something we can be proud of our President about:  lifting the ban on HIV+ travelers entering this country.  Andrew Sullivan:
The president just announced that as of Monday, the ban on HIV-positive visitors, tourists and immigrants will formally come to an end. There are 60 days before the new rule comes into effect. But after that, people with HIV will be treated in exactly the same way as any other person with a serious illness - according to science, not politics, and following the logic of reason, not fear.

The ban has been in existence for 22 years, pioneered by Jesse Helms, resisted by the first Bush, signed into law by Bill Clinton, legislatively repealed by George W. Bush and now administratively ended by Barack Obama. In an age when bipartisanship is out of fashion, the repeal was led by Gordon Smith and John Kerry, with backing from many Republicans and Democrats. The work of staffers - Rob Epplin and Alex Nunez, in particular - was invaluable. The support of Immigration Equality was vital. The lobbying of HRC was an important late development. . . .

For me, it is the end of 16 years of profound insecurity. Like many others, my application for permanent residence and citizenship can go forward. And I will be able to see my family again in England and know that my HIV will not force me to choose between my husband and the country I have come to call my home. There is no price to be put on that.

Punk Talk

As surely everyone knows by now, Levi Johnston is going to show it all for Playgirl next month.  Yeah, I'll have a look-see when he does, but he's only mildly cute IMO, so I'm not holding my breath.  Besides, the parts I'd most want to see, he wouldn't show for love or money.

Speaking of love, money, and "fucking rednecks," as he once described himself on his Facebook page, I see country boy is working his 15 minutes for all it's worth - and really, can you blame him?  I mean, hell, that's the American way, right guys?  Somebody offered me six figures to take my clothes off, I'd sure as hell go for it.  (My email address is under my profile if anyone does have an offer like that - serious inquiries only.  But I'm not holding my breath on that either.)

But I'm starting to get a weird deja vu feeling about all this.  I mean, haven't we seen this plot in a hundred B-movies before - smartass punk shoots his mouth off all over town, but doesn't make it to the closing credits.

Bad things can happen to country boys in the big city who go making threats against people with powerful friends.   Levi needs a friend to tell him to hold his cards real close to his vest - and meanwhile STFU.

It's no skin off my back, though.  I'm just saying.

Maine: Real Family Values

This vid has been making the rounds this week, I figure I might as well post it here in the Blue Truck too.  Paul Redicker testifies for marriage equality in Maine "like a papa bear protecting his cubs" - August 22, 2009:

Now that's true family values - not the false, hateful, poisonous kind the Christianists spout.

The vote in Maine on marriage equality comes up on Tuesday, and the polls show a tie, 48-48 percent.  I'd rather see Maine secede and join Canada than to see equal marriage fail another test at the ballot box, which would be a big blow to the progress of equality and civil rights.  Crossing my fingers . . . .

Afternoon Drive: Hairy Halloween

Whups!  Need a last-minute, no-frills, sure-fire Halloween outfit?  Here's one I found over on Ray's Cowboy that requires no sewing and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, big time:

If that doesn't do the trick for ya, here's some more outfits that should stimulate your thinking.  Certainly gives me ideas:

How are you dressing up?  Or undressing up, as the case may be . . .   Whatever, hope y'all all have a big, hairy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Still Life, Kitchen, 10 p.m.

Russ's Notebook: Key West Cops

One-third of them are gay.  And some of them ride trick horses.

Photo:  Justino Esteves, who is not one of Key West's finest.  But don't you wish he was?

The Road Not Taken

Sir Ian McKellen on marriage and other things my generation missed out on:
It's never crossed my mind that it'd ever be possible for me. That's the scar that I and so many others bear—we believed ourselves to be second-rate citizens for so long, the idea of being able to say "This is my husband, these are my children" was not an option. I remember [playwright] Tom Stoppard saying to me when I came out, "I feel so sorry for you, because you'll never have children." These days I would say, "Well, why not, Tom?" But 20 years ago I accepted his judgment.
Honk to Joe.My.God.

Waitin' for the Weekend


Equality: How You Can Help, Today

It's coming down to the wire now in Washington state, Maine, and Kalamazoo, Michigan.  The outcome of these contests will undoubtedly influence voters and legislators in future elections elsewhere.  Here's what you can do right now, today, wherever you live, to help preserve the equal protection of the laws for your fellow Americans - and ultimately, for yourself. 

Please do what you can.  Remember, marriage equality in California was stripped out of the law with a margin of only 52 to 48 percent.  So every vote counts.

False Advertising?

This Ikea ad shows two guys picking out furniture together.  Sweet. 

Trouble is, I don't believe for one minute these guys are gay, not at all.

Admittedly, my gaydar is woefully inefficient, and only fully operational at a range of, oh, say eight inches or so.  But still.  These guys don't raise the needle even a hair.

What do you think, fellas?  Am I missing something here?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Don't Say the G Word!

Obama Speaks At Hate Crimes Prevention Act Enactment

But why the hell not, Mr. Fierce Advocate?

Andrew Sullivan:

"It's worth examining the precise wording he used in front of military leaders this afternoon [when signing the hate crimes act/defense appropriation bill into law]:
After more than a decade of opposition and delay, we've passed inclusive hate crimes legislation to help protect our citizens from violence based on what they look like, who they love, how they pray, or who they are.
"This simply doesn't make sense. Hate crime laws for most categories, including federal measures, have been around for a long time. The only new thing here - the only thing that has fostered "a decade of opposition and delay" - is the addition of sexual orientation. So the president had a chance to defend gays from being excluded from the usual roster of victims, in front of military leaders, and he had to walk backwards into this strange circumlocution.

"Obama's is the support that dare not speak our name."

What I Say:  There's something wrong with this picture, boys.  I admire Obama for a number of reasons, and he is infinitely better as President than the last guy - who, be it remembered, routinely torpedoed any hopes for this bill when it came up in Congress before; but Obama is simply not living up to all his promises made to us.  Very deliberately not, it would seem.  And that's very, very troubling.


So there I was, four hours ago, blogging away on the last post, when all of a sudden - no internet connection.

Three phone calls and a lot of fuming later, it seems that the power cord/adapter to my AT&T modem - not the modem itself - suddenly decided to stop working. 

Nobody else, of course, sells the exact same size power cord to go with an AT&T modem.  Yes, I tried wally world and Radio Shack, no dice.  So it might be 3 to 5 days before I can get a new one shipped out here to the edge of civilization, they told me at AT&T.  If the mule don't throw a shoe.

Therefore, blogging may be impaired on the Blue Truck for a while.  Fortunately, I have held on to my old AOL dial-up connection (ask your grandpa what that is) all these years, so I'm able to get a few squeaks out.  But damn, it is sooooo s-l-o-w after being used to broadband.


"What Is This, 1970?"

GLAAD calls for The Dallas Morning News to issue a retraction of a biased article:
In the October 25th edition of The Dallas Morning News, business reporter Cheryl Hall used problematic language in referring to the LGBT community when writing about two of Stephen Jarchow’s media companies. In the article, “Dallas executive amassing a gay media mini-empire,” Hall refers to The Advocate and Out magazines owned by Jarchow’s Here Media Inc., as “two alternative lifestyle magazines.” She also refers to his Regent Entertainment film company as catering to an “alternative lifestyle audience.” Furthermore, she labels the gay community as a whole as an “affluent, well-educated minority group.” . . .

Out is a “lifestyle” magazine, as are other lifestyle magazines like GQ or Marie Clare that mix news, features, fashion and celebrities. The Advocate on the other hand is a news magazine. This mislabeling goes far beyond the magazines’ descriptions. The term “alternative lifestyle” is one that is typically used to denigrate gay people, who are as diverse in their lives as anyone. There is no single lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender lifestyle. The phrase “alternative lifestyle” is used to disparage the gay community suggesting that their sexual orientation is a choice and therefore can be “cured.” The Dallas Morning News and the Associated Press have marked this term as inappropriate and against their style guidelines. . . .
What I say:  Hell, I'd be glad to think it's 1970 in Texas . . . but most of the Lone Star State is still stuck in 1950, if you want to know the truth.  At least the DMN didn't call us "sexual perverts."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Jack O'Lantern

What was it like, growing fat and lopsided, a homely thing
there in the warm, dark earth, leaved over and hardly noticed?

Only a pumpkin, you said to yourself, and sighed,
earthbound, tethered by a restraining vine,
wistfully admiring the tall apple trees,
the high, bright cherry boughs
dancing in the sky,
the glinting fruits and nimble berries,
all so sought-after, all so prized.

But you knew your fate
was never to be loved like that,
never praised and petted,
tenderly handled, highly graded,
stamped with approval,
waxed and polished to a shine,
wrapped in tissue paper,
carried home in exultation,
exclaimed over and delighted in,
savored in merriment, enjoyed in laughter.

You knew you were too heavy, too big, too dull, too low:
At best, to end up part of a pie, half baked or overdone,
the afterthought of a glorious meal, waiting lonely and
untouched at the end of a groaning board.

A humble end, a small purpose.
Not much to speak of.
And so you grew, silent,
Waiting for the knife
To end the wait.
Quiet. Still.
Expecting not.

And yet one day, against all hope,
when pumpkin time was nearly at an end
and you had grown beyond your ripeness,
The hand of the Artist picked you up,
set you high, and with the tenderest knife
in all creation gave you, finally,
a face,
a lovely one,
oh surpassing lovely.
Made you smile, at last,
as you never believed you could.

For once,
Your lowly pumpkin heart
thumped a bright rhythm of joy:
Touched, healed, redeemed,
perfected there at the last,
so unexpected, against all hope.

And that smile lit up the night,
banished darkness, engendered joy.
Delight beamed from you, filled with light;
and delight and exultation glowed back upon you.

For that one lovely, shining moment you were born
and grew and ripened, all unknown, unknowing,
all unaware.

And now your light is spent, your smile
drooping, sagging, melting in decay.
But you return to earth happy,
oh so very very happy:

"I lived and I was loved,
I had a purpose after all,
I gave delight.
I did not sprout in vain,
I had a face, I had a name—

I was Jack o'Lantern."

poem and photo copyright 2008 by russ manley
artwork by the Moon King


Forgetfulness - Billy Collins Animated Poetry from smjwt on Vimeo.

The Tale of Rojair and Rijard

Fantastic Landscape by Thomas Moran

The preceding post, about King and King, has reminded me of something I had nearly forgotten about.  Nothing important, but I'll share it with my truckbuds.  First, I have to tell you a little story.

Some years back, your Head Trucker was browsing through a flea market on the outskirts of town and came across a nifty old leather suitcase, the kind from the 1930's, with hand stitching and polished cowhide.  I bought it, thinking it would be just right to store old family papers and photographs in.

But when I got it home, I found a bulge in the silk lining that seemed unusual.  So I carefully peeled back one side, and underneath I discovered some old letters written in French and a typescript that seemed to be a translation of something, with penciled marks in the margins.  I thought maybe it might have some historical or literary value, and took it around to the literature departments at a couple of colleges in the area; but the professors said that without an original manuscript, the "translation," if that's what it was, was worthless - might even be a hoax.

So I just brought it all home and have kept it all these years. 

Click on Read More below to see the story . . . .

What a Wonderful Prince

Found at Joe.My.God.:  a funny, homemade dramatization of the children's book King & King, written by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland, which the anti-gay forces in Maine and California have used as part of their attack on equal marriage.

Of course, no gay fairy tale would be complete without a bitchy queen trying to run the show.  Figures.
Though actually I love the story.  Who wants to try on this here glass cowboy boot?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Send Granny to Jail?

According to the Daily Telegraph, 67-year-old Pauline Howe may be facing hate crime charges for writing a single letter to her city council, protesting against the city's first gay pride march:

"I've never been in any kind of trouble before so I was stunned to have two police officers knocking at my door," she said. "Their presence in my home made me feel threatened. It was a very unpleasant experience."

Christian campaigners condemned the police action as "alarming" and warned that freedom of expression was under threat, while the homosexual equality group Stonewall said the officers' visit had been "disproportionate".

The pensioner had written to Norwich [England] council complaining about its decision to allow the march in the city centre in July, at which she claims she was verbally abused. In the letter, she wrote: "It is shameful that this small, but vociferous lobby should be allowed such a display unwarranted by the minimal number of homosexuals." Mrs Howe referred to homosexuals as "sodomites" and blamed "their perverted sexual practice" for sexually transmitting diseases as well as the "downfall of every Empire".

She argues that she is not homophobic, but was expressing her deeply held religious beliefs. However, Bridget Buttinger, deputy chief executive at the council, replied to Mrs Howe in September, warning that she could face being charged with a criminal offence for expressing such views. "As a local authority we have a duty along with other public bodies to eliminate discrimination of all kinds," she wrote.

"A hate incident is any incident that is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by prejudice or hatred. A hate crime is any hate incident that constitutes a criminal offence. The content of your letter has been assessed as potentially being hate related because of the views you expressed towards people of a certain sexual orientation." She added: "Your details and details of the content of your letter have been recorded as such and passed to the Police."
What I say: This is bullshit, it makes me want to throw up. Grandma getting it off her chest in a letter - probably written in a pretty, cursive hand with pen and ink - is not a fucking hate crime.

Remember guys, it's just one short step from being oppressed to being an oppressor. While we fight for our rights and freedoms, we must also tolerate other people's right to speak their minds, even if we totally disagree with what they say: that's the American way.

As long as the other guy is free to say what he thinks, you are too. That's very, very important.  Because nobody is above criticism - man, woman, black, white, straight, or gay. 

I'm with Grandma on this one, guys, bless her little tea-sipping heart - how about you?

Update:  In case anyone is still confused, this is a hate crime
A gay man is fighting for his life today following a vicious gang beating in Liverpool city centre.

The 22-year–old, who the ECHO understands is a trainee constable with Merseyside police and has been named as James Parkes, was attacked by up to 13 people at 10pm last night when out with three friends on Stanley Street.

He is currently in hospital with multiple skull fractures, a fractured eye socket and a fractured cheek bone.

Welcome to the Future: Reprise

Sometimes once just isn't enough.  Here's Brad Paisley performing "Welcome to the Future" in the East Room of the White House, after reminiscing about how it felt to be in Times Square on Election Night, 2008, "when the world turned on a dime, it seemed."

You go, Brad.  God, I love this song . . . for all kinds of reasons.

Bonus:  Watch the President introduce Brad with a paean to country music - which he says he's a fan of, too.

Irish Sports Star Comes Out

In case you haven't heard already, there's amazement and consternation in Ireland these days since hurling star Donal Óg Cusack came out of the closet.  Andrew Sullivan, who is part Irish, says it's a BFD over there.

Hurling, in Ireland anyway, has nothing to do with fraternity parties.  As near as I can make out, it's something like soccer, only played at breakneck speed with a tennis ball and hockey sticks.  The object of the game presumably is to put the ball between the goal posts while bashing your opponent's heads in en route.  That ought to be butch enough for anybody.

Eamonn Sweeney, writing in the Irish paper, the Sunday Independent:
[N]obody should underestimate the bravery it took for the Cork goalkeeper to publicly come out as a gay man in his autobiography or what a huge step forward this represents for Irish sport. We should also understand what a huge challenge it is to the bigotry and prejudice which remain against gay people in this society.

Perhaps there are people reading this column and thinking, 'Why is there such a big deal being made about it? Why do gays have to go on about their sexuality so much?' But it's not gay people who make an issue of homosexuality, it's straight people. Most straight men have, for example, been in a pub with a woman and, suddenly overcome by affection, leaned across and kissed her.

If a gay man did this with his partner, he'd be regarded as looking for trouble in most of the country's pubs. There's even a chance he'd suffer physical violence. Do gay couples walk arm-in-arm down our main streets with the same unselfconsciousness and freedom as straight couples do? They don't because straight people wouldn't stand for it. In most towns every pub is a Straight Bar.

This is the country Donal óg Cusack lives in. . . .

Sometimes we kid ourselves that we're tolerant because we condescend to accept flamboyant gay men in the Julian Clary/Graham Norton mould. But we have more problems with accepting our gay neighbours, our gay relations, the gay mechanic, the gay bricklayer and the gay farmer. That's another reason why it's such a big deal that Donal óg came out. Because one look at how the man plays the game is sufficient to destroy that old myth that gay men are uniformly effeminate, sissyish and, above all, instantly recognisable.
Even though he now faces vile shouts and homophobic abuse at games - his mum has had to quit going to see him play, it's too upsetting for her - Cusack says he hopes his story helps others still in the closet:

Quarterback FAIL?

I ran across a tart little article over at AmericaBlog, about Obama's quarterbacking style, pretty amusing if you speak football. And really, it's a valid question: nearly a year into the game, and has the man scored a single touchdown yet?

I'm not going to rehash the ins and outs of the healthcare debate here, guess you guys have been following the news on that. But does seem like a lot of home team fans are going to demand their money back if the star player doesn't deliver - and soon.  All defense, no offense?  It's not just us gays who are feeling rooked.

Along that same line, the fans in Maine are serving notice they're fed up with the current state of play:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Lovelight: When You Kiss Me

What Shania sings about, I wish for every one of you, pardners . . . .

There's something I want, I need, to say here tonight, for what it's worth.  Something that's on my heart, stuff I believe in the depths of my being.  Maybe somebody out there needs to hear it, I don't know.  But here goes.
Don't ever let anyone - anyone - tell you that loving another man is "not in the service of life."

It's hate that kills.  Not love.  And it's real easy to tell the difference between the two.

Hate draws a line to keep people out. Love draws a circle to bring them in.

Remember this always:  Love is Life.  No matter who or how you love . . . when you do, you give them Life, and Life returns to you.  To love and be loved is what we were put here for.  There is no life apart from love. If you aren't loving, you aren't living.

And beyond that - God is Love.  A great mystery at the heart of all things.  More than we can understand.  But that's all you need to know right now.

When you love, and spend yourself upon another, you are the hands and face of God.  The word made flesh.  Light out of darkness.  Eternity in a heartbeat.  Solitude extinguished.

It's what you were born to do.  So get on with it.
Goodnight, guys.

One Closed Door after Another

Ordinary couples going about their business, living their lives, trying to take care of one another in sickness and in health . . . good luck if you live in the South - where you don't ride at the back of the bus, you can't even get on the damn bus.

Honk to sufferthearrows


He drew a circle that shut me out—

Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.

But love and I had the wit to win:

We drew a circle that took him in!
An old favorite poem of mine, and until this very minute I would have sworn it was by Emily Dickinson.  But I checked to make sure - and come to find out, it's by a Californian named Edwin Markham (1852-1940), who also wrote this:
Poetry writing is as practical as bread-making; and, from a high ground, it is just as necessary to the life of man. Poetry is bread for the spirit: it is the bread that is made of earthly wheat and yet is mixed with some mystic tincture of the skies. It nourishes all the higher hopes and aspirations of man.
In our day, of course, poetry has been replaced by pop songs, some of which do approach poetic heights - and some not.

Startling thought:  Imagine if some of them old boys - like Whitman, say - had been able to make music videos. . . .English class might not a-been so boring, huh?

Sunday Drive: The Good Shepherd

Just sharing a picture and a verse that have a lot to do with my concept of the ultimate goodness at the heart of the universe:  mercy, compassion, self-sacrifice, the most tender love.  Bigger than the Church.  Bigger than the Bible.  Much bigger than anyone can imagine.  And yet so small and so simple in action.

If you go seeking it on the mountaintops or amid the starry depths of the heavens, you will never find it. Yet it is closer than breathing, nearer than hands and feet. Something within you. The ground of all our being.

Love is its name. Seek within your heart, and ye shall find.

I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and I'm known by my own; even as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will hear my voice. They will become one flock with one shepherd. 
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  and I give them eternal life; and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.
The Gospel of St. John, chapter 10

Saturday, October 24, 2009

This Week in Religion

God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform - so the old hymn goes.  Trouble is, with all that mystery jazzing up the works, He doesn't seem to be getting the message across to everybody these days . . . maybe it's just a bad connection?  Hello, this is God, can you hear me now?

A couple of examples to show you what I mean about mixed messages.  The Church of Sweden, which was the state church in that country until 2000, has decided to allow gays and lesbians to marry, beginning November 1.  This follows the Swedish parliament's vote to allow same sex marriages in that country earlier this year. 

The Archbishop of Sweden, Anders Wejryd, says, "For my part, the right decision was taken, but I can empathise with the many who believe this has gone too fast."

But now conservative Lutherans in other parts of the world are upset. And the Church of England is upset with its sister church too - both maintain the Apostolic Succession, an important point to some folks.   And even though Sweden is a very liberal country by U.S. standards, some Swedes are foaming at the mouth:  in the comments section of the Swedish news site The Local, one guy wrote, "Come on guys, buy your tickets, we're moving away and never coming back to this damned atheist-ridden elk pen!"

Sigh.  You can't please everybody, not even in Sweden.

And on the other side of the world, a totally opposite response - still in the name of God.  Here is what the Most Reverend Anthony Sablan Apuron, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Agana, had to say in response to Bill 185, a proposal by the Legislature of Guam - a United States territory - to authorize domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.
Pastoral letter:  Marriage is holy because it puts sexual love at the service of life; homosexual acts are incapable of doing that. . . .  Laws in favor of homosexual unions are contrary to right reason because they confer legal guarantees, analogous to those granted to marriage, to unions between persons of the same sex. . . . There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family. . . . For lawmakers to vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral.
And lest anyone think the Archbishop is just mouthing off, he is careful to note that he is stating the official teaching of his worldwide outfit:
The Pastoral Letter is a faithful reflection of the universal magisterium of the Catholic Church.  It is taken almost verbatim from the declaration of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith regarding proposals to give legal status to homosexual unions.
But wait, it gets worse.  Domestic partnerships will, of course, destroy Western Civilization.  (God knows I am working night and day on that in my neighborhood . . . are you doing your part?)  But the Archbishop actually praises Islamic fundamentalists, not only for killing gays, but also for fighting against the immoral United States!  You don't believe an American prelate would say something like that?  Well here it is in black and white from the official Archdiocesan statement, "On the high stakes of Bill 185" (emphasis mine; click to enlarge):

Mmmm, so.  The Archbishop of Sweden says, Y'all come on in, you're as good as anybody, glad to have you in our church.

While the Archbishop of Agana says, Y'all get the hell away from here, you filthy pigs, how dare you think you're as good as the rest of us . . . I wish you were dead.

Now friends - which one is really upholding the deepest values of Western Civilization?

More importantly from a religious viewpoint - which one is closer to the spirit of the Prince of Peace?

How to Keep a Man

My good buddy Ray, of Ray's Cowboy, sent this along, and it's well worth sharing:

Damn good advice.  Take it from somebody who's been to the rodeo and back a few times.

But now boys, the flip side of the matter is this:  if it won't fit, don't force it.  Sometimes there's just nothing you can do to bridge the gap between his needs and yours.  Which makes both of you bitter and bitchy.  Good intentions alone won't cut it, so then you got to decide whether to pitch a tent or mosey along.

Anything else ya need to know, just ask Uncle Russ.

Nekkid Cowboys Rile Up Town

Last night out in Wilton, California, seems the Capitol Crossroads Gay Rodeo Association decided to have a barn dance fundraiser . . . and raised a lot of hackles too.  Neighbors complained that the guys were dancing naked in clear view of God and everybody.  News story and censored video here.

Sure, I woulda enjoyed watching the dancers, myself.  But hell, guys . . . this was way dumb. 

Party Rule No. 1:  if you're going to show your ass in public, don't scare the horses . . . or let the neighbors see.  It's just real simple.

Stupidity like this doesn't help our cause, ya know, pardners?  It's grist for the scaremongers.

Culture Gap: Dope Party?

Help the old man out here, guys.  All day today, every time I go to check my AOL mail, I get this promo screen:

First of all, to middle-aged me, these young people don't look old enough to be drinking yet.

But what I need help with is the next to last remark:  is a major corporation like AOL really suggesting these kids are going to get together and smoke dope ( = weed, pot, marijuana) after a night of bar hopping?

If not, would somebody please provide a translation into geezer speak?  Thanks buddies. . . .

What I Learned Today

If you don't want just plain dry toast with your supper, but you don't feel like dragging your lazy ass all the way to the very back aisle of Wally World for a tub of Country Crock, which you forgot to buy last week . . . Hellman's makes a very decent substitute.  Tasty too.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Leibovitz Does the Obamas

The White House today released on Flickr the official portrait of the First Family, taken by superstar photographer Annie Liebovitz last month.

Annie, age 60, has photographed everybody who's anybody in the last four decades.  She's also one of us - her lover, the influential writer Susan Sontag, died in 2004, though they had never publicly talked about the relationship.

Well, what do you think about Annie's photo, guys?  This is the Official Portrait, remember.  Would you have done it differently?  Is it too snapshot-ish?  Or is it just right?

Afternoon Drive: Welcome to the Future

Hey, glory, glory, hallelujah
Welcome to the future
Wherever we were going, we're here . . .

Okay guys, this you have to see.  I posted the song above so you can listen, but you gotta go watch the actual video, which I can't embed here. 

Kickstart your weekend with this rocking new song from country stud Brad Paisley.  This ain't your daddy's country music - it's powerful, I think you'll like it.

I'll confess - it made me shed a few tears.  But they're happy ones.  Go watch, you'll understand.

Just goes to show, not all us country boys are as redneck as some people might think.  But you knew that, right?

It's a new day in America for all kinds of folks, thank God.  The future is here - so go on, live your life and enjoy it.

Have a good one, fellas, see you down the road.

Offered in memory of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. -
and all the others

One Down, Three to Go

Yesterday, Congress passed the hate crimes act with a final vote in the Senate, and the President has repeatedly pledged to sign it into law.  According to the Human Rights Campaign,
The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act gives the Justice Department the power to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated violence where the perpetrator has selected the victim because of the person's actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

It provides the Justice Department with the ability to aid state and local jurisdictions either by lending assistance or, where local authorities are unwilling or unable, by taking the lead in investigations and prosecutions of violent crime resulting in death or serious bodily injury that were motivated by bias. It also makes grants available to state and local communities to combat violent crimes committed by juveniles, train law enforcement officers, or to assist in state and local investigations and prosecutions of bias motivated crimes.

This legislation was first introduced in the 105th Congress. Today’s vote was the 14th and final time there has been a floor vote on this historic legislation.
This is a historic moment; the first of the four big hurdles has been crossed.  Now on to ENDA, DADT, and DOMA.

Take a minute to check out these videos from HRC's new site, Love Conquers Hate.  They're pretty moving; share 'em around, might touch a few people's hearts that haven't been reached before.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Waitin' for the Weekend

Honk to Ray's Cowboy

Those Damn Women Voters!

October, 1909 2009:  Straight white male whines on video that the "downside" of equality is that women get to vote . . . and tend to vote liberal.  Same goes for blacks and young people.  He didn't mention teh gayz, but well, you know how they are.

Geez, ain't it just a cryin' shame, boys?

From the Wall Street Journal:
Here is a brief list of the truths Mr. Derbyshire wishes us to face: that human nature is not infinitely malleable or even tameable; that biology increasingly really does seem to be destiny; that Diversity (his capital D) does not strengthen societies but makes them worryingly fissiparous; that foreigners cannot be trusted to share our interests; that Americans with different skin colors demonstrably prefer segregation to integration; that higher education is an expensive racket designed to certify worker bees (because Diversity prohibits other forms of screening); and that the wellsprings of American music, poetry and literature have dried up. "Happy talk and wishful thinking," Mr. Derbyshire says, "are for children, fools, and leftists."
So wipe that stupid grin off your face, pal!  Oh for the good old days, when everybody knew their place . . . at the foot of the Great White Heterosexual God . . . when Father Knew Best . . . . and Mother didn't open her mouth.

Raw Deal in Britain

Imagine finding six naked guys in your neighborhood convenience store . . . I wish.  British cops are looking for the six streakers, who were dumb enough to pull this prank without wearing masks or anything.  Surveillance video here.

Busted for Nudity - In His Own Home

This morning's cuppa Joe may cost a Fairfax County, Virginia, man two thousand bucks:

Should the guy keep his clothes on - what do you think, Truckbuddies?

Gays in the Military: 50 Years of Stonewalling

The Department of Defense has known for more than 50 years that gays make just as good troops as straights - don't let anyone tell you different.  They have known it all this long time, and just refused to budge on the issue.

Shauna Miller reports on a review by Col. Om Prakash of the Pentagon's own assessments of gay servicemembers, undertaken over a half century:
The Navy's 1957 Crittenden Report found "no factual data" to support the idea that they posed a greater security risk than heterosexual personnel. Straight officers boasting secrets due to "feelings of inadequacy" were a realer threat, it found. Despite these findings, the report recommended no changes to dismissal policies, for a reason that would define the department's stance on open service into the 21st century: "The service should not move ahead of civilian society nor attempt to set substantially different standards in attitude or action with respect to homosexual offenders."

In 1988, the Defense Personnel Security Research Center - a DoD agency - conducted its own study on gay soldiers to determine whether their service under current policies created security risks, for instance in terms of blackmail. It also discussed, based on the military and wider social data available, whether the military's policies were sustainable. The study returned again and again to the facts of conduct: "Studies of homosexual veterans make clear that having a same gender or an opposite-gender orientation is unrelated to job performance in the same way as is being left or right-handed."

The study also owned the lessons of racial integration: "The intensity of prejudice against homosexuals may be of the same order as the prejudice against blacks in 1948, when the military was ordered to integrate," it found. "The order to integrate blacks was first met with stout resistance by traditionalists in the military establishment. Dire consequences were predicted for maintaining discipline, building group morale, and achieving military organizational goals. None of these predictions of doom has come true."
Miller quotes Kevin Nix of SLDN on the slow, top-down approach to military change: 
"The military doesn't exist in a vacuum from the rest of American culture," he says. "There is a generational divide. The newest generation and the next generation of military leadership are much more open and tolerant ... and that is helping the top-down process."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

World War II Vet for Equality in Maine

Recorded last April:  "What do you think I fought for on Omaha Beach?"

Honk to Joe.My.God.

'Nuff Said

Il Orso

This has been making the rounds of the gay blogosphere the last week, but in case you haven't seen it yet . . .

I love it for two reasons.  First, it reminds me of the similar, very famous, very funny scene from Longtime Companion.

And second . . . gawd, they're all just so verrry truckable.  Woof.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What the hell, I'm back

Jeez.  It's awful quiet around here.  The roommate has moved out, I need somebody to talk to.  Might as well be you guys.

Besides . . .  I miss ya, buddies.

I've streamlined the Truck a little bit, dropped some things, added some new ones.  (If I dropped your blog, it's because I haven't heard from you in a long time, or your blog ain't working.)  Lemme know how it works on your end, guys, I hate blogs that won't load or drain all your computer memory.

Also, Blogger has added some new functions that make me hard I can't wait to try.  So here goes - revving the engine, ready to take 'er out for a spin.

You comin' ?

Raul Malo is a Grammy-winning country singer/songwriter from Miami, formerly lead singer with The Mavericks.
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