Showing posts from December, 2008

Campbell's Soup Takes Stand Against Hate

I don't eat many prepared soups. I usually make homemade. However, sometimes I used canned broth as a basis for my homemade soups and stews, so I will now look more favorably at the Campbell and Swanson brands.

I really do try to shop my beliefs. I do my best to avoid products made in China, but we all know that is mostly impossible these days. I don't knowingly buy products and services from companies that advertise on right-wingnut radio shows, such as Neal Boortz. I try to buy products from companies that are in line with my belief system. That includes support of equal rights for LGBTQ people. I'm adding Campbell's and Swanson brands to those I buy.
Campbell's is rebuffing the American Family Association (AFA) - the vehemently anti-gay organization that has likened homosexuality to pedophilia and incest and thinks LGBT people are destructive - over advertisements that the soup giant has taken out in the LGBT magazine The Advocate. The advertisements are for Swans…

Little Town Beseeches Obama’s Health Chief

This is from one of many town meetings across America about health care. It is the first one that former Senator, Tom Daschle, has attended. We have to keep the pressure on for a universal single-payer system. Nothing else makes practical sense.
Mr. Daschle was joined at the meeting, which was held at the town’s firehouse, by several dozen other people. Among them were doctors and administrators from Reid Hospital in nearby Richmond, who told of patients who were flooding the emergency room there because they did not have primary care doctors or insurance coverage.
“Our population hasn’t grown, yet our emergency department census has more than doubled,” Dr. Michael Baldwin, the department’s director, said of changes over the last 24 years. “Everyone used to have his own doctor. Now little more than half do.”Dr. Joseph Fouts, one of the area’s few general practitioners, said he dealt nearly every day with patients who had found jobs carrying health benefits but who were denied coverage b…

The Day the Earth Stood Still: Save Your Money

I had been warned by critics that this movie was a disappointment, but sometimes there are movies we all just have to see. I made a mistake with this one. I love the original film with Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal. I HATE this movie. There is virtually no character development. The only character you end up caring about is Jacob (Jaden Smith), the little boy.

There were a lot of good actors in this film, but they did not show it or were not given large enough roles. Keanu Reeves was dead. This is one of the worst alien performances I've ever seen by anyone. Jennifer Connelly gave a decent try as the female lead, but the movie was so bad, it did not stand out. Kathy Bates failed to shine as the Secretary of Defense. Granted, it was a supporting part, but it was a terrible job. John Cleese and Jon Hamm were given such small parts, they didn't have a chance.

The special effects were not very good either. There are many films that have done better in this regard. Finally, the sc…

How I Feel Today

This is not one of my photos, although I wish it was. After all of the holiday hustle and bustle, this is how I feel today.

Steve Allen: Quotes on Religion

Steve Allen was a genius of comedy, music, writing, and philosophy. He was the first host of NBC's "The Tonight Show." When he died in 2000, I was profoundly sad...his lost to humanity was that great in my mind.

Since I am going to be posting on religion in the coming year, I thought I would share some of these Steve Allen quotes with you.

“If the Old Testament were a reliable guide in the matter of capital punishment, half the people in the United States would have to be killed tomorrow”

“If there is a God, the phrase that must disgust him is - holy war.”

"There are hundreds of millions who believe the Messiah has come. If he did, then it is unfortunately the case that his heroic sacrifice and death have had no effect whatsoever on the very problem his coming might have been expected to address, for history demonstrates, beyond question, that we Christians have been just as dangerous, singly and en masse, as non-Christians."

"The Bible has been interpreted to …

Melt the Pounds Away

Now that most of us have eaten too much for the holidays, here is a new and innovative way to literally melt the pounds away.

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Rick Roll: How to Rick Roll Someone

When you finish your after Christmas shopping, take a break and learn how to Rick Roll someone for fun. After you watch this video, click here.

The Clean Coal Myth

The people of Tennessee now know what regular dirty coal is all about. Emphasis mine below.
What may be the nation’s largest spill of coal ash lay thick and largely untouched over hundreds of acres of land and waterways Wednesday after a dam broke this week, as officials and environmentalists argued over its potential toxicity.

Federal studies have long shown coal ash to contain significant quantities of heavy metals like arsenic, lead and selenium, which can cause cancer and neurological problems. But with no official word on the dangers of the sludge in Tennessee, displaced residents spent Christmas Eve worried about their health and their property, and wondering what to do.

The spill took place at the Kingston Fossil Plant, a Tennessee Valley Authority generating plant about 40 miles west of Knoxville on the banks of the Emory River, which feeds into the Clinch River, and then the Tennessee River just downstream.
The contents of coal ash can vary widely depending on the source, but …

Merry Christmas - Let There Be Peace On Earth...

...and let it begin with me.

Keeping Homes By Taking In Boarders, CBS Evening News: Struggling To Pay Mortgages, Families Filling Spare Rooms With Renters

Keeping Homes By Taking In Boarders, CBS Evening News: Struggling To Pay Mortgages, Families Filling Spare Rooms With Renters - CBS News

Since I did the very thing of taking in a boarder this year to help me pay my bills and keep my house, I can recommend it as something you might consider if you are strapped for cash. Check out the story.

NBC's Guthrie & Todd Suggested Report Shows Obama Actions at Odds with "Hands-off" Pledge, Ignoring Contrary Evidence

NBC's Guthrie and Todd suggested report shows Obama actions at odds with "hands-off" pledge, ignoring contrary evidence. read more | digg story

Legal Recognition of Friendship

In today's marketplace of ideas, you hear all sorts of things discussed. However, when it comes to relationships, the legitimate legal and civil rights issue of same-sex marriage is the one usually that comes up for discussion, or shouting...depending on which side you may favor. I have been in a few such discussions and shouting matches about it myself, I am twice widowed from same-sex LTRs (17 years and 7 years respectively). But having arrived in my sixth decade, I have absolutely no interest in dating again, or even hookups, as casual sex is called these days. About the only time I get involved now in LGBTQ issues is at the PFLAG chapter meetings that I usually lead.

I find myself like a few million other Americans (gay and straight), nearing or in retirement, having little or no family, and wondering what might happen to us as we grow older. Unlike many Southern gay men of my age, I never married or had children. In the South, when I was a young man, there was tremendous famil…

Sister Myotis on Thongs

Thanks to Peg for sharing this one with me.

Doubt: Another Must See

I hate it when most of the really, really good movies come out in December. Is it really because the people who vote on the Oscars have a short memory or don't keep a list? In any event, I had to see Doubt and I had to do it before Christmas, when it is still playing at only one theater in all of metro Atlanta. Yeah, I fought the traffic, but what a delight of a film.

John Patrick Shanley's well-directed film (from his award-winning stage play) is about doubt versus certainty. Set in the bleak winter of 1964 at St. Nicholas Catholic School in the Bronx, the movie pits the very strict principal, Sister Aloysius (Meryl Streep) against the new priest, Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Aloysius doesn't seem to like the more accessible, loving, and good-hearted priest from the start, and when there is just the least bit of evidence that would incriminate the Father with "you know what," the Sister goes for the jugular.

The Sister is immediately certain that Flynn i…

Going Green: Electric Cars

I've been driving a hybrid car (2005 Honda Civic Hybrid) before most people knew what the hell a hybrid car is. I bought the car new before the rise in gas prices beginning with Katrina. I spent extra to buy it, but in the long run I sure have saved money. My car is an ULEV (Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle), but starting in 2008, I have to queue up just like everyone else in the Atlanta metro area to have my emissions test. Georgians are just that smart!

I know many folks are waiting on the plug-in electric cars before getting rid of their gasoline-powered vehicles. I'm rooting for them and for hydrogen cars too. I'm rooting more for a society that has such good mass transit, that we will seldom need cars. That will take time, so in the meantime, electric cars probably make sense. What you may not have considered, however, are the technical details. Ah, the details! There is the devil. Here is one of the details you may have not considered.
Californians first experimented with a…

Chambliss Wants to Pressure Moderate Republicans to Become More Right Wing

This is an audio clip of Saxby Chambliss on Glenn Beck's radio show. Chambliss says he will pressure moderate Republicans to block Obama at every turn by getting the 40 votes to invoke the filibuster.

Since he spends so much time on the plantation, I guess he has not heard that a Gallup poll found that only 35% of independents want the Republicans to become more conservative. Oh well, I hope this is his loss next time.

More Certified Election Info.

Since the certification of election results in all 50 states is complete, I'm trying to accumulate election data, such as I have shared in a previous post on how bad the Republicans actually did. Here is more voter data from the NY Times:
...the Associated Press reports that more than 131 million Americans voted in this year’s presidential election — exceeding the turnout for all presidential elections since 1968. With all 50 states and the District of Columbia now reporting official or certified ballots, 61.6 percent of Americans eligible to vote cast their ballots this year. Voter turnout had been on the decline since the 1950s and 1960s when Americans were more likely to fulfill their civic responsibility. This year’s turnout is the highest since 1968 when a divided nation saw Richard Nixon edge out Hubert Humphrey in a hard fought campaign. Despite much talk of voter apathy in recent years, turnout has been on the rise. In 2000, just 54.2 percent of those eligible to vote did s…

New Georgia Health Care Website

For those of us who live in Georgia, there is an important new website to surf. I've added a link in my sidebar to If you are in need of health care information or just curious, take a look. Here is a description of the site's purpose, which appears there.
[G] provides access to the cost and quality of health care services in our state, as well as educational tools that provide information about a variety of health topics. The Internet represents a technological revolution that is dramatically transforming our lives. It impacts the way we communicate, learn, work and spend free time.

As consumers you could compare the quality, safety and price of automobiles before ever stepping foot on a car lot. But despite the availability of technology, it has not been simple for Georgians, as health care consumers, to compare the cost of prescription medications between pharmacies or evaluate the quality of health care services – Until Now.

By utili…

Things Get Small

I developed an interest in nanotechnology several years ago, but did not have a good way to explain this science to friends. Well, along comes this video from University of California Television, which makes it easy for both adults and kids, in a fun and entertaining way.

Republicans: The Downward Spiral

Republicans lost 21 House seats in 2008 and 31 seats in 2006. This is a total of 52 seats, which is the number of seats Republicans won in the 1994 "Republican Revolution" landslide. Depending on the Minnesota election, Republicans will have either 41 or 42 seats in the Senate. This is the lowest number since the 1970s.

In an December 11-14 ABC/Washington Post poll, only 23% said they trusted Republicans to cope with the nation's problems. 23% is the lowest number for either party since 1982. Democrats got 56% approval in this poll. In a USA Today/Gallup poll on December 12, 37% approved of the Democrats in Congress, 29% approved of Bush, and 25% approved of the Republicans in Congress.

I know I sure dislike the Plantation Republican caucus. Looks as if most people do, except those white folks on the plantation.

Rick Warren: In Quest of His Toaster Oven

A friend asked me what I thought about Obama's pick of Rick Warren to give the invocation at the inauguration. I told her I was disappointed as I don't agree with the fundamentalist lifestyle, and I believe that marriage between fundamentalists should be outlawed. I have to get on a rant here, since I was asked.

Fundamentalism is clearly a chosen lifestyle that harms children and young people who are recruited into its fold. Healthy children are born with bright inquiring minds. Fundamentalism stunts their growth from ever maturing into healthy, thinking adults. As fundamentalist adults, they often flaunt their lifestyle on television, radio, and other media. They use lies and distortions, such as those present in their so-called "holy" books, to try to brainwash the young and old alike, just to get some sort of prize after they die...I think it is a toaster oven.

They have strange practices and rituals that include getting totally wet and being popped on their head so…

Frost/Nixon: A Must See

I have been waiting for Frost/Nixon since I first saw the theatrical trailer. Having lived through the whole period of Nixon hell, I was eager to be reminded of a President even more corrupt than George W. Bush. I was never a big fan of David Frost, but I did remember how Frost evoked from Nixon an admission of criminal actions as President, something Nixon had never admitted. Before, he had only made "mistakes."

Ron Howard's brilliantly directed film, based on the Peter Morgan's London and Broadway stage play, boils down to the partly fictionalized duel between Frost (Michael Sheen) and Nixon (Frank Langella). Frost was not a journalist, but instead a talk-show host. His aim was to take Nixon down in his series of interviews with the former President, and by doing so, propel himself into stardom. He risked his career and fortune and finally succeeded brilliantly, much to the surprise of most people around him and journalists around the globe.

Langella's performanc…

Big Daddies' War on the American Worker

Rachel Maddow says it better than I can. You go grrrrl!!! Expose the TRUE motives behind the Southern plantation Big Daddy Senators: anti-workers, anti-jobs, anti-unions, anti-America. These Senators hate America and are still fighting the Civil War. You lost the war and American voters reject your ideas. Cling to your damn rebel flag, you fucking idiots. (Is that too strong?)

Fun Friday: Groucho Marx Quotes

"I've got the brain of a four year old. I'll bet he was glad to be rid of it."

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know."

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."

"Please accept my resignation. I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member."

"Well, art is art, isn't it? Still, on the other hand, water is water! And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. Now, uh... now you tell me what you know."

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

"I have had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it."

Bush and Neocons Lose Big One

Bush is discontinuing efforts to ease pollution restrictions by coal-burning power plants, which was a key plank in his original energy agenda. Environmentalists were successful in winning an earlier federal court decision that halted significant components of Bush's policies. As a result, the EPA said it did not have time to complete the rules changes. Oh boo hoo.
The Bush administration said Wednesday that it was abandoning its pursuit of two proposed regulations relaxing air-pollution standards for power plants, surprising both industry and environmentalists by ending its pursuit of one of the last remaining goals set out by Vice President Dick Cheney’s Energy Task Force in 2001. The Environmental Protection Agency’s public affairs office sent out a brief statement by e-mail announcing that it would not pursue the changes in how power-plant emissions are measured, which would have allowed increases of hundreds of thousands of tons of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, the build…

First Senior Obama LGBTQ Appointment

Update: Here is a photo and a link with more information on Ms. Sutley. [NY Times]

I've been waiting on some news of a prominent LGBTQ appointment by Obama. We wait no longer.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Democratic official says Presidential-elect Barack Obama has selected a deputy mayor of Los Angeles to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
The official said that Obama's choice is Nancy Sutley, who supported Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in her primary campaign for the presidency. The Democratic official with close knowledge of Obama transition operations spoke on grounds of anonymity because the selection has not yet officially been made public.
This official said that Obama is preparing in the coming weeks, if not days, to make other key appointments on his environment and natural resources team, including the head of the Environmental Protection Agency and the secretaries of Energy and Interior.
Sutley is the first prominent member of the gay and lesbian community that …

Bush Neocon Days

My parents had their "Hoover Days." We now have our "Bush Neocon Days."

Peter Schiff Was Right 2006 - 2007

Peter Schiff was right on the money two years ago. Pun intended. Ben Stein is an idiot. This is amazing. Watch the whole thing and look at the stocks that the cheerleaders were recommending...Washington Mutual, Merrill Lynch, etc. Unbelievable.

Let's Make Eggnog...Yum!


"You Gotta Give 'em Hope"

Harvey Milk is a major figure in the LGBTQ movement in the United States. However, when I have talked about this film to some people, both straight and gay, I sometimes get blank stares, or someone asks me, “Who’s Harvey Milk?” "Harvey Milk" - (Official title of this movie is "Milk") - "Harvey Milk" (1930-1978) was an activist and politician, and the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in America; in 1977, he was voted to the city supervisors' board of San Francisco. The following year, both he and the city's mayor George Moscone were shot to death by another city supervisor, Dan White. Harvey Milk, the man, was previously the subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary feature "The Times of Harvey Milk" (1984), directed by Rob Epstein and produced by Richard Schmiechen. Oscar nominated director Gus Van Sant's "Milk" is the first non-documentary feature to explore the man's life …

Son of Rambow

I missed this funny and delightful film in the theaters but just caught it Friday night from a Netflix rental. I gave it a rare 5 star rating. If you have children, watch it with them. It's a lovely film.

An Angry Race of Fallen Kings

The Royal Scam by Steely Dan is probably my favorite music album ever. I am a major Steely Dan fan. Although the title song is not my favorite on the album, it does have some of the most obfuscated lyrics of any of their songs, although it is probably about the hardships immigrants face in America.

The visual image of "an angry race of fallen kings" from the song long ago prompted me to think it would be a great title for a book about old straight white dudes who listen to Rush and Hannity and hate the American system of government...and deep down hate America.

This all came together today when I heard about the stupid lawsuit that Obama can't take office because he is not a citizen and later listened to the song on my iPod. The suit has no merit. It is a distraction. It is a way for this angry race of fallen kings to wave their arms in the air and say, "Hey, look at me." This is only the beginning folks. To think any of these folks will support Obama on any issu…