Texas is going backward when it comes to children

In what can only be described as one of the most disgusting displays of bigotry and discrimination stemming from the current anti-gay federal government run by Dubya and his cronies, Texas lawmakers are trying their best to write into law a ban on gay foster parents.

Republican Rep. Robert Talton, the cretin who introduced the amendment, said, "It is our responsibility to make sure that we protect our most vulnerable children, and I don't think we are doing that if we allow a foster parent that is homosexual or bisexual."

You sicken me, Bob, and I assure you that I will do my best to smear your name all over the media so that others can see what kind of bigot, hypocrite and hateful bastard you really are.  Your place in hell will be especially hot and uncomfortable, I'm afraid, since you know how prisoners dislike those who try to hurt children.

Arkansas tried this very same thing but their law was struck down in December when a judge said it was unconstitutional.  Apparently the clueless idiots in the Texas legislature missed that memo.

If the law passes and is signed by Governor Rick Perry — something he has promised he would do — it's estimated that between 2,000 and 2,500 kids could be affected.  These children are currently in homes where the foster parents are gay and, if enacted, the law would require those children to be removed and placed in other homes.

I simply do not understand how, when our state already has resource problems when it comes to caring for disadvantaged children, we could possibly justify taking them out of loving, stable and decent homes simply because the foster parents aren't heterosexual.  It's been proven time and again through scientific methods that growing up with one or more gay parents has no direct or negative impact on the development of children, yet here we are putting radical fundamentalist religion ahead of science and the Constitution.

Oh, yes, you can rest assured that this won't pass the constitutional test.  As I discussed in the most recent installment of my gay marriage series, the Constitution strictly prohibits these kinds of laws at the state level.  Not only is it discriminatory (you'd think they had learned their lesson with the sodomy law issue), but it recklessly endangers the lives of the children involved (can you justify removing them from good homes based on intolerance?) and specifically forbids a portion of the Texas population from taking part in a government program based solely on what is protected information — their sexual orientation.

One must also consider the fact that foster parents are paid by the state, so Texas will also be taking away state-sponsored benefits from a class of citizens specifically because of their sexual orientation.

No, those in the Texas government are not very smart at all.  Rick Perry, Dubya's whore of a protégé, is intentionally alienating a large portion of the Texas population (yes, "Dick" Perry, there are a lot of us here in Texas) and will most certainly pay politically for that.  The rest of the Repugnicans — and those spineless Democrats who voted for the law (shame on you!) — will also have to fork over some political capital soon.  This will go to the courts, it will be overturned, and Texas will remember how our own lawmakers tried to hurt Texas children by dragging their own religious beliefs into the state capitol and trying to beat Texans into submission with bigotry.

Gay (foster) parents cannot protect their children from the charged and often hateful dialogue that maligns them as immoral and deviant, especially when such attacks come from the very government which is charged with protecting its citizens and ensuring the safety of children.  Anti-gay rhetoric undermines these children's sense of security as they live with an ongoing anxiety that they could be removed from their homes without warning.  Texas' government is proving definitively that it's more than mere rhetoric, that it's actually a coordinated effort on the part of religious zealots at every level of society to undermine freedom and engender hate and prejudice within society in the hopes that a cultural war against non-heterosexuals will begin.

I do realize all of this is a political ploy intended to pander to the Christian cults who now run this country by way of the Dubya régime.  The idea is to look like you're trying to squelch the gay population and diminish their rights in full violation of the Constitution since that is the ploy Dubya uses and engenders — and even promotes — in his fellow cultists and Repugnicans.

The non-heterosexual population of this country is quickly tiring of the whipping-boy position we're being put in, constantly being used as pawns to stir up hatred in America and to violate the Constitution.  I can only hope that we as a class of people wake up soon and get our collective acts together before we find ourselves in "internment camps" like the Japanese did during World War II.

I assure you that Dubya and the rest of the right-wing cultists are trying their very best to make this happen.


I shouldn’t have watched this movie.  It’s almost worse than Dreamcatcher, but not quite (it may be impossible to get that bad).  Still, this is one character that should have remained dead after the debacle that was Daredevil.

I’m not saying Jennifer Garner isn’t hot and doesn’t look good in scant clothing (yes, even as a gay man I can say that — she’s hot, there’s no denying it).

I am saying Elektra sucked worse than a Hoover with a new empty bag and a more than adequate power supply.

It was simply that bad.  Predictable, anticlimactic, long on atmosphere and short on story, lacking any definitive action and ultimately a predictable mess, Elektra is a movie that shouldn’t have been made (amongst a great many others).

Don’t waste your time.

American Idiot by Green Day

I've always enjoyed Green Day's music.  I've been a fan for many years and couldn't wait to get my hands on American Idiot when it finally came out — especially considering we've been waiting for an album with new music from Green Day since 2000.

When I heard "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" on the radio for the first time, I realized something had happened to Green Day, some kind of change, some kind of maturation if you will.  Their music had definitely taken a new spin, so I was a bit reluctant to buy American Idiot based on the expectation that they had somehow changed.  I like the song though, so I bought it during a shopping trip with Rick.

I wasn't disappointed.

This is good stuff.  Green Day has definitely matured.

Rest assured there's vintage Green Day here.  "St. Jimmy" and "She's a Rebel" are perfect examples.  But there's something else here.

The band seems to have expanded their horizons by including their normal punk rock music along with elaborate melodies, odd tempo changes, and a collection of songs that freely reference classic rock.  From power ballads to Indian strings to a hushed, almost pop-ish sound, Green Day has taken a step forward with this album, a step in the right direction.

From the political machinations of "American Idiot" to the "Wake Me Up When September Ends" which wouldn't sound entirely out of place on a Jessica Simpson record, this album offers everything that Green Day has to offer and a whole lot more.

Yes, this album is less punk that their previous work.  This still represents a significant step forward for the band, so keep that in mind.  If you like Dookie, listen to it instead.  If you want to hear how Green Day has matured and what new surprises this has wrought in their music, then I strongly suggest American Idiot.

The human body’s a fascinating thing

The longest recorded tapeworm found in the human body was 33 meters (108.27 feet) in length (that’s 36 yards long for all of you mindless idiots who need a football reference to understand length).  The longest recorded life span of a tapeworm was 35 years.

The typical gut has 1.36 kilograms (3 pounds) of over 400 different strains of bacteria which aid in the digestion of food.  This bacteria is very harmful to the inside of the body.  If your body’s natural defenses fail, these germs would consume you from the inside out within about 48 hours.

What is one of the most difficult items for sewage works to handle?  It’s insoluble and is so fine it passes right through most filtration systems.  Every month water treatment companies all over the world remove more than a ton of it from their water treatment plants and take it to landfills to be buried.  You guessed it: pubic hair.

The best recorded distance for projectile vomiting is 8.23 meters (about 27 feet).

The germs present in human feces can pass through up to ten layers of toilet paper.

It is physically possible to cough your guts up.

A woman who safaried on her visit to South America began to experience severe pains in her left ear, accompanied by headaches, dizziness and constant rustling sounds.  She assumed it was tinnitus.  It became so serious that exploratory surgery was required.  Doctors found a spider which had become trapped in her ear and had eventually eaten through her eardrum and was living within the aural cavity.  The rustling sounds were from the spider crawling around inside her skull.  An egg sac was also removed.

Parasites count for 0.01% of your body weight.

Despite what your mother told you, if you swallow chewing gum it doesn’t stay in the intestines for seven years.  It normally passes through the system and is excreted without incident.  Several cases have been reported, however, where the gum has stuck in the rectum, causing the unfortunate sufferer to excrete long sticky trails of gum.

A man in Australia was concerned about a growing lump on his nose, was examining it in the mirror and saw a redback spider crawl out.  Doctors found an entire redback nest inside his nose.

A woman in Queensland who had lost a lot of weight went to the doctor with a big, hard, horn-like object protruding from her abdomen.  Closer examination determined that it was years of compacted belly-button fluff.

Goodbye, Zoe

My friend Brett had some bad news this week.  She had to have one of her dogs put to sleep early Sunday morning.  This is Zoe and here’s what Brett had to say.

Do you remember me mentioning my sick dog last week?  I had to put her down Sun morning at 3 am.  Needless to say, I have been suffering from a SERIOUS broken heart since then.  She was a German Shep and she was 10.  I adopted her from the human [sic] society when she was 8 weeks old.  Her stomach twisted and bloated.  They had to do emergency surgery on her.  When they opened her up, she was diagnosed with liver cancer and she would never have made it out of surgery.  They were having trouble regulating her heartbeat the whole time.

We as humans accept the fact that we will outlive almost all of our pets.  Our lifespan is longer than theirs and we understand from the beginning that we’ll see them grow from babies into adulthood and eventually into death.  It’s a measure of a person’s character when they can go through that and still have enough love and affection for animals to do it again and again.  Rescues like her are even more difficult in that sense as we adopted them to save their lives.

At least Zoe is no longer in pain.

Zoe (zoe1)