The Tempest Online™

~ Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc. ~

Archive for May, 2006

I have seen the light!

Posted by Daniel on May 31, 2006

Last night, I was on the phone with Ray ironing out some issues my browser was having with java. I must say that he is quite handy in a pinch, however when he and I are ever on the phone, it always seems to veer away from the technical and goes to the bizzare and insane.

One of the things we seem to share in common is the inate ability to spend an hour or two on the phone and utter not one relevant word. It always somehow turns into a "quote-off", or an entire conversation consisting of nothing but one-liners and zingers from our favorite movies. There is also the fair amount of bitchiness (he calls me a cooze muffin, I call him a fat whua).

Steve can handle all of three minutes of listening to us before he shuts a door between us. He thinks we are disgusting and babbling idiots. (love you Sweetie…mua…mua!!)

I must say though, that we do, indeed, get some great thinking done during these phone rants. Why, just last night, he clued me in on a website that, on first look, appears to be the most vile religious website that even makes that of Fred Phelps (<–his link here) blush.

The site he hipped me to is called the Landover Baptist Church (<–link).

The link (above) takes you to what looks like a hate site, but when you read the articles, you quickly learn it's actually a site dedicated to showing just how fucked up sites like the one Phelps has really are.

Note: For a particularly yummy example, click on the "Archives" link, and in the search field, type "Tampons" and then click Go Jesus. This will take you to an article titled "Tampons: Satan's Little Cotton Fingers".

I read four articles before I had to take a brake because I was laughing so damn hard. It really helps to understand that a site like this appeals to folks who, like Ray and Steve and I, have a sick sense of humor. It's all dry wit and not (underline that) meant to be taken seriously.

Again, this site is a satirical look at religion and it's extremism. Do not send them hate mail.

Unless you're Fred Phelps or some other religious extreme nutbag. In that case, by all means, go for it.

Thank you, Ray, for the heads-up on this. Oh, and because you're such a cheap bastard, I'm inserting your link (click here). And no, those pants don't make you look fat. Your fat makes you look fat.

Love in the sunshine,

Daniel

Posted in Just For Fun, Religion | Leave a Comment »

We’re the “Can-Do” guys.

Posted by Daniel on May 29, 2006

Happy Memorial Day

Well, it’s Monday…Memorial Day, to be precise. And we’re going to do what every red-blooded American does on such a solemn occasion…go shopping. Not that we don’t respect the memory of those brave fallen. I can’t emphasize enough how we honor, respect and support our troops – past and present. That doesn’t mean, however, that we have any respect for the asshole sending them into harm’s way.

But enough of that tangent.

For today, Steve and I are going shopping. Not because we just can’t get enough of that delightful smell in our local Super Walmart. No. It’s because on days like this, I’m proud to be an American who has the rights and freedom – for now, at least – to shout out to the world, “We’re here! We’re queer! Honey grab that shopping cart!!”

Seriously, where else can you buy a Spongebob pinata, a set of radial tires and a genuine “Rolox” watch at four in the morning?

After that, we’re going to our local builders’ supply store to buy more material to finish making the patio…or what I call the outdoor lanai. (because I’m such a “Mo”)

Let me tell you, this project has been the bane of my weekends and I just can’t wait until it’s done. As of yesterday, I can honestly say that Steve and I have put our blood, sweat and tears into this damned project.

Oh yes, there were tears!!

Here’s how it works…When you’re laying a brick patio, you’re basically placing a layer of paving sand down on level ground, and then putting the brick down. Then, it’s just a matter of setting it with a mallet so that it’s lays level. Sounds simple enough, right?

Right.

Oh wait a minute. There is that part about using a mallet.

With your hands.

Which have fingers.

Begging to be smashed.

Wish granted.

During this project, Steve has been pouring sand and stacking bricks (and doing a super job of it, Baby!) while I spread and level the sand and place the bricks. After a few bumps and frustrating resets, we were off and running smoothly. After a while of being hunkered down doing this, however, my back was in need of a stretch. So while I took a breather, Steve began to place some bricks in my stead. While I’m inside getting a cool tasty beverage, Steve bursts in shouting in pain holding his finger.

Smash #1. Resulting in a small, but ugly cut and a blood blister. Eww! And on the finger normally used to flip people off tell people they’re #1.

After nursing the obviously painful boo-boo with antibiotic and bandaids, not to mention a 10-minute break for our nerves, we were back to the job at hand. (so to speak)

Now I’m back to my job, pounding sand and hitting the bricks. Wouldn’t you know that 10-minutes after Steve’s accident, I’m placing bricks and yammering away with him, and I take my eyes off the work for a second…SMASH!!! Mallet landing flat and hard on top of the fingernail area. I won’t bother repeating the words I shouted in between sobbing and writhing in pain, but suffice it to say I scored no points in Heaven.

For those who’ve never had the pleasure of stupidly smashing a mallet onto and exposed digit, count yourselves lucky as shit! This is not a kind of pain I’d wish on anyone…well, almost anyone. For a guy, it ranks right up there with pissing out kidney stones, only without all of the fanfare of a nurse trying to convince you it’s the male equivalent to giving birth. Well, I’ve done that twice (I named them Rocky and Pebbles) and I can attest that this is , in fact, an accurate comparison.

A-n-y-w-a-y…

On top of all that, we were working in very hot and humid conditions. That wasn’t adding any comfort to our work, let me tell you.

So there you have it. Blood (from Steve’s boo-boo), Sweat (fucking humidity) and Tears (in between curses).

It’s all been worth it, I suppose. The patio looks great if I do say so myself. All it’s lacking is some “dressing up”. Hence today’s shopping.

Well, for that and some more bandaids. After all, the new greenhouse is arriving this week and we have to put that together.

Posted in Gay Construction, Just For Fun, Our Writings | 1 Comment »

Caution: Gay Construction Ahead – Part 1 – Oh, Yeah Bitch…It’s On!!

Posted by Daniel on May 26, 2006

Click Images To See Us At Work

Daniel Whacks Bush Steve Mourns BushSteve's Strawberry

Clearing the way for our new deck, brick patio and greenhouse.

From the looks of it, it’s going to be a long weekend! 🙂

To those here in the US…Have a great Memorial Day weekend.
Safe Travels,

Daniel & Steve

Posted in Gay Construction, Our Writings | 2 Comments »

God Is In His Holy Temple

Posted by Daniel on May 25, 2006

Rev. Fred Phelps (Kansas) & Rev. Henry Kane (Poltergeist II)

– Twins Seperated At Birth –

Congress has passed the funeral protest ban. Demonstrators would be barred from disrupting military funerals at national cemeteries under legislation approved by Congress and sent to the White House.

The measure, passed by a voice vote in the House Wednesday hours after the Senate passed an amended version, specifically targets a Kansas church group led by Rev. Fred Waldron Phelps, Sr. Phelps and his church, Westboro Baptist Church – based in Topeka, Kansas – has staged protests at military funerals around the country, claiming that the deaths were a sign of God's anger at U.S. tolerance of homosexuals.

For more on that story, see this post.

The act "will protect the sanctity of all 122 of our national cemeteries as shrines to their gallant dead," Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tennessee, said prior to the Senate vote.

"It's a sad but necessary measure to protect what should be recognized by all reasonable people as a solemn, private and deeply sacred occasion," he said.

Under the Senate bill, approved without objection by the House with no recorded vote, the "Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act" would bar protests within 300 feet of the entrance of a cemetery and within 150 feet of a road into the cemetery from 60 minutes before to 60 minutes after a funeral. Those violating the act would face up to a $100,000 fine and up to a year in prison.

The sponsor of the House bill, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, said he took up the issue after attending a military funeral in his home state, where mourners were greeted by "chants and taunting and some of the most vile things I have ever heard."

"Families deserve the time to bury their American heroes with dignity and in peace," Rogers said Wednesday before the House vote.

One of God's children?

The demonstrators are led by the Rev. Fred Phelps of Topeka, Kansas, who has previously organized protests against those who died of AIDS and gay murder victim Matthew Shepard.

In an interview when the House bill passed, Phelps said Congress was "blatantly violating the First Amendment" rights to free speech in passing the bill. He said that if the bill becomes law he will continue to demonstrate but would abide by the restrictions.

My questions to Phelps are these: If your beliefs are so strong, doesn't it seem hypocritical for you to abide by these restrictions? If God is truly on your side of this issue, wouldn't He protect you from whatever martyrdom inflicted upon you? Isn't man's law superseded by those of your God?

Sen. Pat Roberts, a Republican from Kansas, said the loved ones of those who die have already sacrificed for the nation and "we must allow them the right to mourn without being thrust into a political circus."

Very nice sentiments, Senator. We at The Tempest agree. Our fallen troops deserve nothing less than our most sincere respect and appreciation. At the same time, we believe that respect should be extended to everyone. No one burying a loved one should be subjected to such horrid treatment.

We have sent letters to Roberts, as well as all the others who voted in favor of this funeral protest ban, asking where this ban was during the Matthew Shepard funeral. Not to mention all those others – including infants who died of AIDS – whose families were, and still are, subjected to the most disgusting show of "God's Love" by Phelps at their funerals.  When will Congress stop looking through the flag and the bible at every issue?

There has been, as of this posting, no response from any of them.

 

Posted in News, Politics, Religion | Leave a Comment »

Living In A Blind Man’s Zoo

Posted by Daniel on May 23, 2006

[By Steve – a/k/a/ Revel]

A few years ago (ok, 17 to be exact), I bought the 10,000 Maniacs album, “Blind Man’s Zoo”. I believe it was one of my first CDs (and I finally replaced it’s broken jewel case last night. Hey, all things in due course…) I bought it because I was deeply in love with the song, “Trouble Me”. For me, it was the beginning of an on again/off again love affair with alternative music. The album, IMO, is outstanding–a picturesque tour of stories and views.

A standout cut is “The Lion’s Share”. Given the album’s copyright (1989), I am figuring the song was written in the mid to late 1980s, and I always took it to be a scathing endictment of Ronald Reagan. Funny how things can renew their relevance, huh?

Here are the lyrics:
Can I be unhappy? Look at what I see: a beast in furs and crowned in luxury. He’s a wealthy man in the poorest land, a self-appointed king, and there’s no complaining while he’s reigning. The lambs are bare of fleece and cold; the lion has stolen that, I’m told. There must be some creature mighty as you are. The lambs go hungry (not fair), the biggest portion is the lion’s share. There must be some creature mighty as you are.

Can I be unhappy? Listen and agree, no words can shame him or tame him. The lambs are bare of fleece and cold; the lion has stolen that, I’m told. There must be some creature mighty as you are. The lambs go hungry (not fair), the biggest portion is the lion’s share. There must be some creature mighty as you are, as you are.

Razor claws in velvet paws, you dunce in your guarded home, ’til a stronger beast will call on you and pounce upon your throne.

Do we pay? Dearly, for the lion takes so greedily and he knows that what he’s taken, it is ours. That’s how the wealth’s divided among the lambs and king of the beasts, it is so one-sided. Until the lamb is king of the beasts we live so one-sided.

“You dunce in your guarded home….” We really are living in a Blind Man’s Zoo-with a lot of scary monsters.

Posted in Our Writings | Leave a Comment »

Church vs. State

Posted by Daniel on May 23, 2006

An interfaith coalition of clergy members and lay leaders announced a petition drive on Monday aimed at blocking a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, known as the Federal Marriage Amendment.

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill on a vote along party lines last week, and the full Senate is expected to vote on it the week of June 5.

About 35 representatives of the coalition, Clergy for Fairness, said at a news conference that more than 1,600 clergy members had signed an online petition against the amendment. The group’s Web site has postcards that lay people can print out and send to members of Congress.

By the end of this week, the site should have an electronic postcard as well, said Joe Conn, a spokesman for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, an organizer of the lobbying effort but not in the coalition.

Among those represented by the coalition are clergy members and groups affiliated with mainline Protestant churches; the Interfaith Alliance; Jewish groups including the Anti-Defamation League, the Union for Reform Judaism and the National Council of Jewish Women; Sikh groups; and the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.

Four weeks ago, 50 prominent conservative Christian and Jewish leaders, including evangelicals and Roman Catholic cardinals and archbishops, signed a petition backing the amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage.

Those leaders also promised to distribute postcards to their congregants to urge support of the amendment. The Knights of Columbus alone is distributing 10 million postcards to Catholic churches.

Few experts expect the marriage bill to pass this year. But state campaigns to ban same-sex marriage drew large numbers of people to the polls in 2004, and conservatives hope to mobilize voters by raising the issue again.

Moderate and liberal religious groups have recently made an effort to raise their profile on many issues, including those involving personal morality that many Americans had considered the domain of conservative Christians.

The clergy members at the news conference on Monday said that although the groups opposing the amendment were not of one mind on homosexuality or same-sex marriage, passage of the amendment would give deference to a single point of view and would make the Constitution an instrument of discrimination against a class of citizens.

“When one group is singled out for discrimination, it’s not long before other groups will be singled out, too,” said Rabbi Craig Axler of Congregation Beth Or in Maple Glen, Pa. “It’s the first time we see the Constitution in danger of enshrining discrimination against one party, one class, and to remain silent as a Jew is unconscionable.”

Below is the text and effects of both the 2002 & 2004 proposals:

Text

2002 Version

  1. Marriage in the United States of America shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman.
  2. Neither this constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.

2004 Version (H.J. Res. 106 (108th Congress 2004) and S.J. Res. 40 (108th Congress 2004)):

  1. Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman.
  2. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.

Effects

2002 Version
The first sentence of the 2002 version would have provided an official definition of legal marriage in the United States. The second sentence went further by restricting how the courts are allowed to interpret federal and state anti-discrimination laws and constitutional amendments with regard to equal protection of non-married couples, regardless of sexual orientation. State laws would include local city and county ordinances, codes and regulations.

The legal consensus is that 2002 version would have barred state courts from requiring local governments to allow same-sex partners marriage or domestic partnership, or civil union status (“the legal incidents thereof”). This might have prohibited any court from ordering that homosexual couples be granted any of a long list of equal civil rights including joint parenting, adoption, custody, and child visitation rights, joint insurance policies, veteran’s benefits, and domestic violence relief such as restraining and protection orders.

It is unclear what effect the original version of the FMA would have had on the enforceability of state or local domestic partner or civil union laws. Many legal experts concluded that the second sentence of the original amendment would effectively prohibit states and local governments from passing laws granting civil unions, domestic partnerships, or other laws granting legal incidents of marriage by making such laws unenforceable in courts. Some supporters of the original wording disagreed.

2004 Version
The 2004 amendment would prohibit courts from interpreting any state or federal constitution to require same-sex marriage.

The first sentence of the FMA would prevent any state from allowing same-sex marriage, even if the voters of that state amended the state’s constitution to require recognition of same-sex marriages. Ratification of the amendment would cause the dissolution of existing same-sex marriages currently recognized in Massachusetts.

The 2004 version replaces the phrase “unmarried couples or groups” with “any union other than the union of a man and a woman.” As a result, the FMA would not overturn state laws that grant “legal incidents” of marriage to unmarried heterosexual couples, such as those in common law marriages.

Because the second sentence no longer refers to “state or federal law,” the Amendment would likely allow state or federal legislators or voters to enact legislation granting some of the “legal incidents” of marriage to same-sex couples. However, legal scholars question whether civil unions would be permitted under this revised language.

Posted in GLBT, News, Politics, Religion | Leave a Comment »

Beware of the T.A.G.S.

Posted by Daniel on May 22, 2006

By Steve (a/k/a Revel)

I enjoy reading, especially books. I always have. I have soldiered on in the fields of advancing technology and computerdom, from bbs to blogs–you can ask my patient, more tech savvy husband, (you know him as Tempest)–it's much like a soldier trodding through mud. But I have never lost my love for a good book. Something about having it unfold in my mind's eye is a personal experience I truly cherish.

I am not hypercritical and not overly choosy—I like the deep thought and introspection of a Michael Cunningham novel, as well as the guilty pleasure of a juicy Jackie Susann romp. And yes, I love Anne Rice no matter how far out and freaky she gets (actually, the freakier the better). So I am not a “book snob”.

I order a lot of books from Insightout, Book of the Month Club's "gay subdivision". I buy some at stores, but time-wise it just works out better. However, one of the pitfalls of mail ordering is the dreaded "T.A.G.S." (Truly Awful Gay Story). Giving credit where it's due, ISO writes truly glowing reviews and synopses of every book in their catalog, after all, would you buy something that was summed up with "So, unless your nursing your hangover with double shots of Tanqueray with a crack cocaine chaser, you probably should pass on this piece of literary backwash." Not a lot of truly masochistic book buyers out there.

Today, I had to give up on a T.A.G.S.–"Back Where He Started" by Jay Quinn. Why did I buy this book? I took a chance on this:

"The weekend after Thanksgiving, Chris Thayer finds himself packing up the last odds and ends of his quietly extraordinary life. After 22 years of gay marriage to Zack Ronan-and raising three kids as his own-Chris is suddenly a member of the Second Wives Club. An ambitious young woman at Zack's ad agency is pregnant with Zack's child, and Zack had decided that Chris's utility as a sexual companion and surrogate mother to his children has run it's course. What's a gay divorcee to do?" Reestablishing his life, with new surroundings, a new job, tentative steps into new love in middle age, the grown children's problems, and the ex still wanting to meddle, all are promised to unfold.

The problem lies in the unfolding (doesn't it always?). Each step becomes more improbable than the next. Romantic that I am, I readily accepted that Chris, then a twenty-something naive kid from the wrong side of the tracks, would fall for the slightly older, dark and dashing Zack. Hey, things like that can happen in a bar (right honey? :-)). I understood the mystery, why oh why can't Chris see his house? What's he hiding?

I suspended disbelief when the secret was the three small children, that Chris took to like they were his own "young-uns". Yes, that term is actually used, A LOT. The story IS set in North Carolina, but there is so much sweetie baby cookie honey in here to throw you into a diabetic coma…but I digress….

Unfortunately, all pretensions at reality get off at the next bus stop. Flashing forward to the present, Zack's treachery (with Alicia, the ambitious co-worker!) results in Zack expecting a new baby and Chris being shown the door. After an all too brief break up experience, in which Chris actually takes being slapped (I should have known I wasn't going to be able to stand it…immediately this should have turned into a murder novel), Chris takes his "settlement/guilt money" and buys a beach house, furnished to the hilt with the help of the stereotypically flamboyant gay decorator, Wade Lee. Sounds plausibly gay, right? Except Chris is 48, and for 22 years being a homemaker has been his life, so he has no work experience. This dawns on him sometime after running through most of the money on lavish furnishings, including a $7000.00 sofa. Oh puhleeze…..

This is when he truly started to get on my nerves. But never mind, since Chris got such a hard knock, we all know karma instantly repays you by giving you EVERYTHING YOU COULD POSSIBLY WANT. He's a devout Catholic (ok by me) but he immediately finds an accepting church with an understanding and accepting priest (D'OH!)-who is so helpful he lands him a job with the local psychiatrist (who's wife LOVES hearing about Chris' reawakened dating scene!) The family dog dies, and of all the luck, Heath the local vet is a gay man looking for a no-strings affair. The perfect rebound! And Heath in turn encourages Chris to pursue Steve, the hunky dog breeder, who, you will be truly shocked to learn, Heath also had an affair with and deems them "perfect for each other". Throw in enough cloyingly sugar-schmaltz-filled scenes with the adult "kids" to make "Seventh Heaven" blush with shame, (oh, I almost forgot, the hunky youngest son, 22 year old Schooner-I am not making that up-is, yes, a raging mo who brings his boyfriend to the beach house to "christen" the guest room) and you might be able to understand why I had to stop 2/3 of the way in.

The death blow was the scene where Schooner bursts in unannounced after Chris and Steve have had mindblowingly erotic sex (I will give that to the author..the sex was well written) to break down at the thought of "Mom" having a sex life and saying…"It's very disturbing, Chris, you've lost a lot of weight and you're tanned. Now you're parading around like you're trying to be some Abercrombie and Fitch boy-whore. You're freaking me out. You're definitely not the mom I know." Abercrombie and Fitch boy-whore??? EGAD, not that!!! Ok, now we've switched to bitchy comedy! I did skim through to see that Zack makes a play to come back and there's a disastrous storm, but at the very end Chris is talking Steve into going to church, but only if it truly means something to him. Well, at least the church survives the storm!

OMG. OMFG. So, to me, that is a T.A.G.S. The worst one since "The Winter of Our Discotheque". And I made it all the way through that one–well, it was such a complete calamity I had to know if anyone survived. They shouldn't have.

Ironically, ISO sent me a two-fer coupon with free shipping today. I have set it aside. It's just too soon…sniff….I hope to be back soon with a review of a R.A.G.S.-a Really Awesome Gay Story. Now where did I put that Danielle Steele……

Posted in Just For Fun, Our Writings | Leave a Comment »

Sunday Funnies – New Rules

Posted by Daniel on May 21, 2006

New Rule: Stop giving me that pop-up ad for classmates.com! There's a reason I don't talk to people for 25 years. Because I don't particularly like them! Besides, I already know what the captain of the football team is doing these days: mowing my lawn.

New Rule: Don't eat anything that's served to you out a window unless you're a seagull. People are acting all shocked that a human finger was found in a bowl of Wendy's chili. Hey, it cost less than a dollar. What did you expect it to contain? Trout?

New Rule: Stop saying that teenage boys who have sex with their hot, blonde teachers are permanently damaged. I have a better description for these kids: lucky bastards.

New Rule: If you need to shave and you still collect baseball cards, you're a dope. If you're a kid, the cards are keepsakes of your idols. If you're a grown man , they're pictures of men.

New Rule: Ladies, leave your eyebrows alone. Here's how much men care about your eyebrows: do you have two of them? Okay, we're done.

New Rule: There's no such thing as flavored water. There's a whole aisle of this crap at the supermarket, water, but without that watery taste. Sorry, but flavored water is called a soft drink. You want flavored water? Pour some scotch over ice and let it melt. That's your flavored water.

New Rule: Stop fucking with old people. Target is introducing a redesigned pill bottle that's square, with a bigger label. And the top is now the bottom. And by the time grandpa figures out how to open it, his butt will be in the morgue. Congratulations, Target, you just solved the Social Security crisis.

New Rule: The more complicated the Starbucks order, the bigger the ass hole. If you walk into a Starbucks and order a "decaf grande half-soy, half-lowfat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one Sweet-n'-Low and one NutraSweet," ooh, you're a huge hole.

New Rule: I'm not the cashier! By the time I look up from sliding my card, entering my PIN number, pressing "Enter," verifying the amount, deciding, no, I don't want cash back, and pressing "Enter" again, the kid who is supposed to be ringing me up is standing there eating my Almond Joy.

New Rule: Just because your tattoo has Chinese characters in it doesn't make you spiritual. It's right above the crack of your asss. And it translates to "beef with broccoli." The last time you did anything spiritual, you were praying to God you weren't pregnant. You're not spiritual. You're just high.

New Rule: Competitive eating isn't a sport. It's one of the seven deadly sins. ESPN recently televised the US Open of Competitive Eating, because watching those athletes at the poker table was just too damned exciting. What's next, competitive farting? Oh wait. They're already doing that. It's called "The Howard Stern Show."

New Rule: I don't need a bigger mega M&M. If I'm extra hungry for M&Ms, I'll go nuts and eat two.

New Rule: If you're going to insist on making movies based on crappy, old television shows, then you have to give everyone in the Cineplex a remote so we can see what's playing on the other screens. Let's remember the reason something was a television show in the first place is that the idea wasn't good enough to be a movie.

New Rule: No more gift registries. You know, it used to be just for weddings. Now it's for babies and new homes and graduations from rehab. Picking out the stuff you want and having other people buy it for you isn't gift giving, it's the white people version of looting.

[Thank you George Carlin]

Posted in Just For Fun | 1 Comment »

Scraping The Bottom Of The Base

Posted by Daniel on May 18, 2006

A Senate committee approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage Thursday, after a shouting match that ended when one Democrat strode out and the Republican chairman bid him “good riddance.”

“I don’t need to be lectured by you. You are no more a protector of the Constitution than am I,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania, shouted after Sen. Russ Feingold declared his opposition to the amendment, his affinity for the Constitution and his intention to leave the meeting.

“If you want to leave, good riddance,” Specter finished.

“I’ve enjoyed your lecture, too, Mr. Chairman,” replied Feingold, D-Wisconsin, who is considering a run for president in 2008. “See ya.”

Amid increasing partisan tension over President Bush’s judicial nominees and domestic wiretapping, the panel voted along party lines to send the constitutional amendment — which would prohibit states from recognizing same-sex marriages — to the full Senate, where it stands little chance of passing.

Democrats complained that bringing up the amendment is a purely political move designed to appeal to the GOP’s conservative base in this year of midterm elections. Under the domed ceiling of the ornate and historic President’s Room off the Senate floor, senators voted 10-8 to send the measure forward.

Among Feingold’s objections was Specter’s decision to hold the vote in the President’s Room, where access by the general public is restricted, instead of in the panel’s usual home in the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Specter later said he would have been willing to hold the session in the usual room had he thought doing so would change votes.

Not all those who voted “yes” support the amendment, however. Specter said he is “totally opposed” to it, but felt it deserved a debate in the Senate.

“Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman,” reads the measure, which would require approval by two-thirds of Congress and three-fourths of the states.

“Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman,” it says.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has scheduled a vote on the proposed amendment the week of June 5.

The issue has ignited a cultural and political debate over what constitutes marriage and the legal rights of gay partners.

Earlier this week, Georgia announced it will appeal a judge’s ruling that struck down its voter-approved ban on gay marriage. Gov. Sonny Perdue said he will call a special legislative session if the state Supreme Court doesn’t rule on the issue soon.

The Georgia constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage was approved by 76 percent of the state’s voters in November 2004. On Tuesday, however, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Constance C. Russell ruled the measure violated the Georgia constitution’s single-subject rules for ballot questions.

The issue has been on the political radar across the nation for more than two years.

On Election Day in 2004, a presidential year, initiatives on gay marriage and civil unions were on the ballot in 11 states, driven in part by opposition to the Massachusetts state Supreme Judicial Court’s recognition of same-sex marriage and Republican calculations that the issue would send conservative voters to the polls.

Two states — Louisiana and Missouri — had approved bans earlier in the year.

Posted in GLBT, News | Leave a Comment »

It’s SO Us!!

Posted by Daniel on May 18, 2006

Have you ever seen a couple on TV or in a movie and turned to your "spouse" and said, "That is SO you!"? Steve and I do it whenever we catch a rerun of Roseanne, though we fight over who's who.

{Sweetheart…You are SO Jackie!!}

One thing is for sure…when we watch the movie Chicken Run…we ARE the Tweedy's.

Mr. Tweedy – (Daniel): "What is it?"

Mrs. Tweedy – (Steve): "It's a pie machine, you idiot. Chickens go in, pies come out."

Mr. Tweedy: "Ooh, what kind of pies?"

Mrs. Tweedy: "Apple."

Mr. Tweedy: "My favourite."

This is pretty much how it is on any given day in our household. Mrs. Tweedy Steve will tell me something or ask a simple question, and I will, somehow, turn it into a roller coaster ride for him.

Yesterday, Steve asked me to price materials for building the greenhouse. I did, and as a comparison, I decided to print off the page showing a greenhouse "kit" so that he could see the difference between building from the ground up (which is what we've been planning) and just buying a kit.

The cost for the lumber alone to build from the ground up was somewhere around $480.00 US. Then I had to write on that estimate that this did not include the cost of the roofing, framing, insulation, etc.

Total cost for building from scratch: Approximately $750.00 US. Jeeze!! You'd think it wouldn't cost that much. I mean, we were thinking a few boards and some flooring (yup, we're that gay).

THE KIT

You can imagine Mrs. Tweedy's reaction.

Then I showed him the printout of the cost, info and picture (above) of the greenhouse kit.

$649.00 US.

We both really want this project done, but do we really want to spend that much on a little building meant to grow plants??

Okay, when Steve saw both estimates, you could have heard his eyeballs snap as they rolled all-the-way-back.

It wasn't until after I finished touting the pro's and con's of each alternative that I informed him there were cheaper "kits", though in my opinion, not as nice.

Flash Back to Mrs. Tweedy wacking Mr. Tweedy on the head with a clipboard.

[Disclaimer] For the record, Steve is NOT abusive, mean or otherwise obsessive. This was simply an example of how we find so much to laugh about in our daily lives.

Posted in Just For Fun | 1 Comment »