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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Anatomy Of A Change

  A couple of weeks ago, I brought you a story about how California's Board of Behavioral Sciences was permitting students to obtain continuing education credits from working at virulently anti-gay group NARTH. Myself as well as many of you were incensed that the freedom-forward Golden State could accredit an organization that promotes ideas and treatments for a disease that doesn't exist. Indeed, NARTH's gay cures have been discredited by every major medical organization and their proclaimed so-called success rates are dubious at best.

  With these things and more in mind, many of you petitioned the California BBS to take NARTH off of the 'approved' list. Well kids, despite my slight pessimism, it worked. The National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality is no longer listed in the catalogue of approved organizations for the purposes of Continuing Education credits pending a September review of BBS standards.

As it stands now, the BBS can't reject a continuing education provider due to its philosophy or even the validity of its scientific claims, executive officer Kim Madsen says, and "that's been a challenge." Instead, as long as the provider "meets the requirements as set forth in current law, we have to accept them." (Those requirements include providing direct or indirect patient care, having qualified instructors and submitting the appropriate applications and fees.)
At its September meeting, however, the BBS will be reviewing those laws and requirements and having a discusssion about what Madsen describes as "long-identified deficiencies in the continuing education model".

While it may seem like a small deal to have NARTH taken off of the list, even though it was because they had the book tossed at them for not paying fees, it really is not. NARTH is no longer accredited and because of pressure from media and concerned citizens alike, they are not likely to be reinstated. This will mean that NARTH will simply run out of students and younger medical professionals to work for them and, eventually, their institution dedicated to psychologically abusing young people will vanish into the abyss of antiquated thought.

  Never underestimate the power of unified protest, for if nobody spoke up about the California BBS' provider requirements, they wouldn't be reviewing them in the first place. If someone hadn't noticed NARTH's name and notified others, Nicolisi's group of homophobes likely would've received a warning or similar slap on the wrist. With the media aware now, the BBS will need to alter the ways in which they deal with organizations that profit from pseudoscience.

  Thousands of people spoke up about something they believe in, but it started with just one. Never be afraid to affect change- if your cause is true, masses will follow the leader. If everyone remained quiet about every idea, disease, racism, and every form of injustice and ineptitude would be rampant. Civilized society is a pretty amazing thing, and it is so because thoughts are communicated.

  Whether the idea relates to discovery or civil rights, good ones tend to reproduce rapidly. From free minds come wonderful brainchildren. The most tragic thing in the world is an intellect that's been neutered by submission to the status quo.

Media Moment: The Vander Putz Belly Bust

Bob Vander Plaats is the man behind the weird racist, sexist, and homophobic pledge that terminal braincramp Michele Bachmann signed, but even though his pledge was 100% serious, he still enjoys a good laugh, particularly if the joke is about one of the groups he promotes hatred against.

Listen to a line told by an event attendee and see if it's worth Vander Putz busting his guts.

Friday, July 22, 2011

(Even More) Fundies With Existentialism

Randy Thomasson makes no bones about his hatred for gays. His loathing is louder and prouder than RuPaul on a lavender skyscraper.As such, nobody was terribly surprised when Mr. T. let his protest fly last month when California decided to permit openly LGBT role models into their curriculum. Now, teens will get to know about Bayard Rustin and Leonardo DaVinci without their orientations sanitized out of the conversation. And, MAN, was Randy Thomasson peed off.

Thing is, nobody listened to Mr. Thomasson about his imagined threats to children caused by the sheer knowledge that Oscar Wilde or John Gielgud were lovers of men as well as the arts. People just aren't as freaked out as the fundies want us to be. Now, it's WAR.

Randy Thomasson popped on Janet (why are so many of these Stepford Fundies named Janet?) Mefferd's radio show to proclaim that no longer denying the LGBTness of heroes of the past was the most indecent brainwashing in American history and would begin a Christian civil war, because that's what Thomasson wants.

Here's a few choice snippets:

Thomasson: I believe he was responding to a tremendous amount of pressure from homosexual, bisexual and transsexual activists, they were saying, ‘Hey, Jerry [Brown], we’re demanding that you sign our bill on LGBT role models for children,’ and he did it. I think they are just reminding him that they own him, he is their governor, because what the Democrats give the homosexual activists what the homosexual activists want, and the homosexual activists want children. So the Democrat governor gave the homosexual activists the brains of children, six million children in California government schools now are going to be suffering under an eighth school sexual indoctrination law, the most direct, in-your-face brainwashing I’ve ever seen.

Actually, I do dare say that abstinence 'education' and the force-feeding of Gideon bibles to children are far more direct attempts at brainwashing. The LGBT hero bill simply states that teachers will no longer pretend Bayard Rustin is straight. Let's continue.

Thomasson: We can harken back to our American revolution. The Declaration of Independence has a long list of sayings that the colonists were lobbying King George III about, but King George III just kept coming back with more and more taxes, he didn’t listen. So they said, well, you know what, it’s our right to alter or dissolve the government. And that’s what we’re doing, we’re declaring independence. We’re not there yet but I tell you what if we don’t start voting different and telling people how to vote and if pastors don’t repent and teach people how to vote Christianly then we’re heading to toward a real civil war I’m afraid.

Mefferd: Strong words, but I’m with you all the way.

This dude is talking about actual WAR, involving actual death and rape and destruction and orphans and all of those other horrible things that come from it simply because people won't bow to his narrowminded views. In his fragile mind, even Christians who decide to accept people as the decent people they are would be part of the enemy. Read his statement closely- he believes people should be told how to vote Christianly and who to vote for. Thomasson is voicing his view that the church must become the state, even if people die for it.

If Randy Thomasson were Muslim, he'd be arrested for conspiring to commit treason or terrorism, but, alas, he's part of the fundamentalist so-called Christians, so he gets a free pass to incite violence. Fundamentalism is the enemy of democracy regardless of the religion or personality who holds the reigns. When John Adams stated that the U.S. was "not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion", it was a clear statement that all belief systems were given equal consideration. The United States was indeed exceptional in the fact that there was no fear of a deity stitched into the makeup of the nation.

If the recent Balkan wars taught us anything, it is that we can all become monsters if we view ourselves as superior to our neighbours based on race, religion, or other trait. On the other hand, as was documented amongst Jews and Muslims in Sarajevo, those who should be enemies can unite for the common good.

If you take religion and see it for the fact that it is entirely locational, you begin to see others as human beings instead of labels. Everyone wants to be free; free to learn, live and love and not be the victim of the next domestic terrorist.

 And don't give me the line about God saying this or that is wrong- has it ever occurred to you that out of the tens of thousands of gods and goddesses, you may have just picked the wrong one? Who knows- if there really is a god, maybe it really hates Vishnu or Jesus or Moses or Mohammed or Buddha or whomever.

  The point is that nobody can really be sure what a god would think if there ever was one. I'd venture to say that it wouldn't be digging Randy Thomasson and all of the fundies messing with it's rad creations, but then again, I know as little as Thomasson about it; the difference being that I'll actually admit it. You see, I don't care if there is a god or if there is not- I'm too busy living my life and acting positively than to waste it by condemning others and praying for things that won't happen unless I get off my ass to do them.

 The world is an awesome place when we simply live our lives to their fullest and let our neighbours live theirs. Humanity is an incredible kaleidoscope of personalities, colours, and shapes that are far too diverse to stick inside Randy Thomasson's heterosexual white Christian cage. Whether a period of life involves struggle or bliss, it is always amazing. I think if fundamentalists stopped being so damn morally indignant all of the time, they'd see the magnificence of the world and her citizens, most of all that which Linnaeus saw fit to refer to as wise wise man.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Media Moment: The Ex-Gay Edition

Have you ever noticed that those who call themselves ex-gays were always dysfunctional gays in the first place; with hundreds or thousands of partners, drug use, and claims of molestation? They also claim that The Gay is caused by their evil mothers whom are overbearing, single moms. They blame friends, relatives, and society for their gayness and claim that a God who created them will also make them straight.

One of the champions of the "everything is everyone else's fault" school of de-gaying is Stephen Bennett. He launches into a tirade about how his mother and nonexistent dad made him gay and that he had a horrible life as a gay man. By his own admission, he was a drug-abusing, self-loathing twinky ho. All of this changed when he prayed to Jesus and found himself a good (read brainwashed) Christian wife.

The thing is, Stephen Bennett and others like him are not living authentic lives and as they continue to lie and deny, they are harming young people who seem to think that these old ex-gays have the way out of misery. The denial and parental blaming displayed in ex-gay groups tears families apart; with loving mothers seen as overbearing, hard-working dads viewed as absent, and normal doctors and friends painted as molesters. The ex-gay movement creates depression and self-loathing to be sure, but it also damages families instead of helping them.

One glowing example of what the movement does is in Stephen Bennett himself. You can tell that the gent not only hates himself, but is a very unhappy "straight" man. His veneer is more polished than that of Kevin Kline's character in In And Out. I know effeminate heterosexual men, and he's not one of them. It comes down to some unmistakable mannerisms. For example, he leans away from his wife when he looks at her; all contact seeming forced as Mr. Bennett tries to convince the world that he is what he says he is but clearly is not.

I do feel sorry for the Bennett kids. Those 2 have lived their entire lives as trophies- examples of how the so-called ex-gay therapy really "works". Their purpose in life is to affirm their pop's orientation. But I know gay men with kids from marriages to women. Lots of them. Most of the kids are far more well-adjusted now that the gay parent is out than when they were in. Mind you, those children weren't used to further a political or religious image, like those of the boy-men lost in the Exodus movement.

The ex-gay movement itself destroys families, I have no doubt. It causes men to hate their parents, children to be used, and the lives of religious wives to be destroyed. In Mrs. Bennett's mind, her husband's de-gaying is a sign of the glory of a great creator and an affirmation of her God-ordained purpose as a helper to her husband. However, as a result of brainwashing, ego, or both, Mrs. Bennett cannot see that her husband is a tutu away from being a walking Pride parade. One wonders what will happen when she finds out.

Come out, come out, whatever you are.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It Can Really Say A Thousand Words

I'm in a boatload of pain today, but this dandy from Sunje made me smile, as it's exactly what I tell folks.

Cheers to Manhattan Mini Storage for seizing a fine advertising opportunity by being a little brave and a whole lot awesome.

Monday, July 18, 2011

On A Serious Note

  I'm not typing this from home, but from a location that I cannot legally disclose. I can tell you that it's a battered women's shelter.

  Now, why oh why am I doing this? Do I work here? Nope. Am I visiting someone? Wrong. I am here because I have been abused by a family member; someone I live with and cannot escape from.

  A while back, my parents needed a new house for themselves and their pets. There was a joint they wanted, but it was a bit on the expensive side. Me, creeped out by my perverted landlord, said I'd throw in the cash as long as I got my own space. So I did and got some office space and a room in the house that was bigger than some of my apartments in Toronto. I'm paying slightly more than my share but I'm cool so long as my mother gets a decent roof over her head. But with this arrangement came a problem.

  My mum's sort of old man drinks. Every single night is spent getting absolutely blotto. To make matters worse, he's the only person I've ever met who gets extremely violent from smoking grass. So, when he gets drunk every night, he's very verbally abusive. This is an almost-every-night gong show that I really try to stay out of because my mother says she can tune Cunt Drunkula out. But he does go after me. My pop's been on the other end of the line listening helplessly to the mayhem while I'm hiding behind my locked door with a bat or hockey stick in my hand. However, he's not solely verbal with his attacks.

  There have been times in the past when the world's strongest toothpick has gone after me. Well accustomed to my sister terrorizing the crap out of me, I can worm out of almost any skinny person attack without using violence. And that's really important because I abhor violence; the presence of it can make me freeze and I don't know why. With this guy, I think it may have something to do with the fact that , if I defend myself, my mum will never forgive me because I'm "crazy" and he only assaults me on the nights when she's passed out drunk or at least blackout drunk. A few years ago, he even tried to rape me and she insists it either didn't happen or was my fault. It was my private shame and has been so until about 10 seconds ago.

   Cue to last night. My mum had quit drinking, but decided she wanted a beer or ten. I was exceptionally worried and even mentioned it prior to the boozefest. Like 99% of days when I'm actually home and not hiding out, I didn't drink a drop. Mum and Michael, now they got hammered. Cue forward a few hours.

  My mother is falling down drunk and annoying. She decides she needs to use my computer to play online poker (hers died and Michael drinks away all her money because everything she earns is his too) I relent, but I'm not overjoyed with the idea. We get into a tiff over some spilled beer but I apologize for losing my shit and curl up with Mr. Dog. Dog needs to go out and I remember that I have a pan of ziti that needs to be put in the fridge. So, I'm rearranging the shit to try to fit this in, taking care not to put the food in any of the designated beer parts of the fridge. It's time for Michael to seize the day.

   Michael bounds off of the sofa and pins me into the fridge, leaning over me. He's taunting me about my battle for food space. I ask him to back off. He replies with "oh, is that bothering you?" as if to antagonize me. I get away from him and put the container on the counter. He puts up his dukes, the former military boxer's sign he wants a scrap. I want exactly ZERO part of this and tell him to fuck off. In some twisted moment of hell, we have him punching me in the face-me trying to get away-him climbing on me and doing one of those MMA chokeholds from hell-me trying to get away-him biting me and somehow bruising my ribs and giving me a lump on the head- me finally shaking the bastard before he can render me unconscious.

  So I get away and run to my room and recall that he had taken my phone the night before, possibly anticipating this, and refusing to return it. He's chasing me but I slip him and then get out of the house, him screaming dirty words all the way. I walked over 15 blocks barefoot to try to find help before finding a police station.

  I finally spoke to an officer who took some photos of the damage done to me. An officer went to the house and both Michael and my mother lied and said nothing happened. While the police believed the sober and pleasant me, they decided not to arrest them because the men in this valley are so abusive that they have too many cases in the courts and this would be a very hard conviction. 

  As I was waiting for an officer to arrive, the cleaning lady was there. I mentioned to her as I was spitting out blood " he's white, he's never going to be arrested." I was right. The words of an alcoholic man who can tell lies so convincing that he, himself, believes them are more important than those of a sober victim.

   So today we have me hiding out like a criminal, terrified of being found by someone who likes to beat on me. He even told my mum that nothing happed just like every other time. It's not the first time she believed him. I talked to her on the phone today and she basically dismissed it and then I explained things. In my busted-lip lisp, I told her that I am willing to forgive him if he seeks alcohol treatment and apologizes. She replied that it's not about to happen and asked me when I'm coming back. I responded that I'm done being a drunkard's punching bag.

  The admission that you're being hit by a dude and can't stop it is a hard one, especially when people regard you as tough. In fact, I'm probably far more humiliated writing this than Michael ever has been during his multitude of arrests and complaints. For me there is shame, and for him there are rewards for his ego, bolstered by the fact that he managed to - once again - completely lie to an officer and get away with it. And as much as this fact absolutely stinks, I'm safe. I have no shoes, socks, phone or wallet, but I'm safe. If he had succeeded, I wouldn't be writing this; I would be starting to stink and attract wildlife. I would be dumped in the rainforest and never found. Instead of getting away with assault, Michael would be getting away with murder. It crossed my mind that he'd be at least jailed where he couldn't hurt anybody, but the reality is that he'd be able to dispose of me 50 metres from my house and, still, nobody would find me.

  Last night, I lost the battle, but I won the war.

***p.s***If you're one of the few THOUSAND people who saw me walking down the street cold and barefoot, crying, with blood coming out of my melon and didn't stop to even offer so much as a phone call to the police, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Yes, I know, I'm a bald brown chick, but I was in real trouble. If you're one of the various people who saw me up close and gave me the stinkeye- you're a glowing example of the absolute inhumanity that plagues the little city we live in and you probably should seek counseling.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

What's YOUR Take?

  Michele Bachmann is easy to make fun of because of her very public factual errors, religious fundamentalism, and blatant unabashed near-pathological pattern of lying. There has been snarky comedic speculation about the real reason behind her husband's pray away the gay counselling, but I've already said my piece and he's a soft target anyways.

  This snippet is a demonstration of Mrs. Bachmann's complete skewering of a language spoken by another. Yiddish is a combination of German, Hebrew, Ukranian, Russian and a bunch of dialects that have been combined. The primary speakers are Ashkenazik Jews, but there have been many Yiddish or North American Yinglish words adopted by mainstream society.  But, Michele Bachmann is not usually be referred to as mainstream, and her views on Judaism can only be described as exclusionary, since Jews don't adhere to the 'holy' trinity that she believes should rule over the American people. Thusly, I'm not sure whether this absolute skewering of a very easy to say word is an intentional stab or just another example of her complete stupidity and insensitivity.

  Watch this and tell me what you think. I personally believe that Mrs. Bachmann shouldn't use a word spoken by people she dislikes to make herself seem enlightened and her utter butchery is an insult, but I may have a bit of a bias here. I could be wrong. It wouldn't be the first time.

  Let me hear it.


The Song In My Head

This song came out when these men were young, but still absolutely men. The cast of this band is comprised of great players and the message here is clear. It's an oldie but a goodie and you should scoop it up on iTunes or your favourite *legal* media interface.

This song is by Good Charlotte and it has actually saved my life on more than one occasion. The first time I heard this track, I was hooked on painkillers provided by a housemate who had me selling pow for her. I did a lot of bad things when I came home from work, but still considered myself sober since I didn't drink and only sold drugs. Hidden beneath my thick skin was a haunted past that even a gram of Oxy and morphine couldn't fix. And I felt sad; unbelievably sad. My friends and their parents were killing themselves and I was powerless. And then a song to restore the sane.

Now, I'm more of a fan of the minds behind the songs than the genre, but this cannot be overlooked. It's one of the most life altering tunes from a vapid era, produced by a group of gents who never forget the think.

Enjoy this acoustic version and buy the real deal HERE

Saturday, July 16, 2011

This Weekend's Pay The Bills Blog

See those ads beside you? They are not only here to entertain you, but to let you buy things I think are cool. Periodically, most advertisers send me a list of codes I can offer to all of you awesome readers. And this would be the post where I tell you how to save dough on stuff you dig as well as help get my office a new printer cartridge or some stuff I can then give away to you. One more thing- all of my advertisers are solid companies with decades in their businesses and secure checkouts.

(Note: All pics in this post are clickable links)

The big one this month is Captain America, and SuperheroStuff is just as excited as I am about the upcoming movie as I am. As such, all of their Captain America gear is discounted. Plus, you get a button or keyring with your order. Add on one of the following coupon codes and you're saving serious coin at a company that ships worldwide and even accepts Paypal!

These codes good on ALL merchandise

Save 13% on orders until August 13th : capiscoming13

Save 15% on all orders over $35 until August 31 : july35


The next one is kind of related in the vein that they do sell Captain America Stuff. But Things From Another World is so much more. They have everything from statues and toys to hot new release and preorder comics, graphic novels, and even coffee table books. Their Deal Of The Day is always something cool for around 70% off of their already below retail prices. Whether you're seeking the British Doctor Who figure or a subscription to Archie, you'll dig shopping this Oregon-based worldwide shipper. American clients who don't have credit cards need not worry, as the 31-year-old company also accepts debit cards, checks, and money orders.

$5 off International shipping on orders over $50 until July 31: SHIPJULY

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Get a great new deal on comics toys and more every 24 hours!

So what about real-life dudes who seem like superheroes? Well for you we have Century MMA. Century started out over 30 years ago as a boxing glove supplier, but today they're so much more. The company behind UFC and Tapout branded products makes and sells gear for fans of MMA and boxing, fighters, and those who want to train in the fighting arts. These guys also have a ridiculously amazing When It's Gone, It's Gone Daily offer that might be too good too ignore. (right now it's Adidas boxing gloves for $10) They sell gear for the big boys, but also women and kids of all levels. Whether you're looking for a pilates ball, a video of your #1 fighter, or a pair of Hayabusa shinguards, this should be your first stop. Century ships internationally and has customer service lines in a multitude of languages. Oh, and they take Paypal and a bunch of other things too.

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The land of many bacon-related posts is Perpetual Kid. It's a fun joint that sells foot-high gummy bears and pickle-flavoured ice pops. If you're longing for an emergency yodel button or stuff to freak out a coworker, this is your place. Oh, and bacon-scented car fresheners too! Currently, one click is only avail to US, Canada, APO/FPO,and overseas Military bases, but they're adding more countries soon.

$5 OFF online orders over $50 until further notice : PICNIC

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Finally, we have Mountains Plus Outdoor Gear. This is a shop for people who don't spend much time sitting on their butts. MPG's stock runs the gamut from kid's snowshoes and backpacks to built-to-order competition bikes. Whether you camp, race, or just carry a lot of textbooks, you'll probably find something covetous at the home of an acclaimed company with award-winning customer service. You won't see coupon codes from these guys, but they do offer perks like free shipping, everyday low prices, wicked sales, and free footprints with tents, and many more.

Many products are available worldwide from this industry leader in adventure racing.

So here lies the bill-paying segment. Even if you don't intent to buy anything, stop on by to see why I like these companies over the many others out there. I don't get paid for clicks or anything, I'd just feel good if you wandered over.

Have a great weekend folks!

Smallscreen Fail Of The Week: Nancy Grace Edition

I had already seen tonight's episode of Lockup Raw, so I tuned in to Nancy Grace. Having caught the last 5 minutes of last night's show, I noticed a tiny snafu, but decided to let it slide because I may have mistaken what I heard.

And then tonight, the same thing happened.

Tonight was one of a bunch of nights where Nancy, convinced that a murderess got it off easy, released jailhouse footage of Casey Anthony in what in any state not Florida would be private conversations. The entire show was composed of this footage with periodic commercial breaks that were hosted by Nancy herself. Oddly, in one segment, the then 22 year old Casey discussed how the dirty things Nancy said about her hurt her feelings.

So I used the thing for background noise while I wrote until the end, where she puts on a profile of a deceased member of the armed forces or police. And just like yesterday she did her usual thank you; ending with good night, friend. The funny part was when she thanked her 'guests', just as she did last night. Maybe she was subliminally thanking the Anthonys, especially Casey, for lengthening her career by 3 years. Maybe she was thanking George and/or Casey and/or the Swimming Pool for giving her a pretty dead white kid to scream to her imaginary friend about.

Seriously though, what likely occurred was Nancy recycled dead soldiers from previous shows. I mean it's possible. Today's hero was killed over 5 years ago. There's also the possibility that the Anthony acquittal has her so pissed off that she hasn't been able to have live guests for 2 weeks and she prerecorded all of the 'hero' segments. Either way, I'm sure I'm not the only one who noticed this lack of attention to detail, which is an affront to the families of all of the uniformed personnel whose deaths she has made money off of.

Nancy and her team's failure to pay attention to the details of the only segment in her program that ever seems to truly matter is a statement to her character, or lack thereof. Utmost care should be taken when dealing with the memory of the American (and sometimes Canadian or British) heroes lost in conflicts or the streets, particularly before profiling them on the international media stage.  This absolute disregard is one glowing example of the fact that Nancy Grace is the very same type of narcissist she claims others to be.

It may seem like a small error, but no detail is too tiny when it comes to subjects as sensitive as these, and if Nancy doesn't know that, she needs to get off of the air.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Rick Perry: One Nation Under Jesus

  Rick Perry has a record as being one of the most peculiar governors in the United States; his stable of religious leaders bringing a well-publicized affirmation of the fact to laypeople outside of Texas and the U.S. even. While we're not sure whether or not the staunchly far-right governor will run for the Republican Presidential nomination, he does have a prayer conference that many of his sheep are looking forward to.

  The Response is a huge Christian kiss-and-cry slated for next month that will be hosted by a cabal of certified weirdos like Book of Mormon burner C. Peter Wagner and John Benefiel, who like Wagner believes that gays are part of the Illuminati plot to reduce global population. It calls on America to be One Nation Under Christ and everyone to pray that it becomes so and soon.

The text in a promo letter for The Response sounds enticing:  "Right now, America is in crisis: we have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters. As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles." It doesn't sound too bad in those terms. I mean, I think it's silly to rely on a dead dude to solve real-world problems, but if it makes you feel comfy, so be it. But a lot of what this involves accomplishes more sinister things.

In the copy of a speech in front of fundamentalist hopefuls, Perry alters history by stating that the founding fathers were "God-fearing men who understood those biblical values and how powerful they could be and would be in the future." This, naturally is contrary to the Treaty of Tripoli which stated "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion", as well as the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and even the original Pledge of Allegiance, which did not contain the words "under God" until the 1940s. The majority of the men who founded the United States were Deists, Agnostics, or outright atheist, and many made damning statements against Abrahamic religion as a whole. Pastor Rick may not be able to pry open a history book, but I can.

Afterward, he could offer up his opinions on policy or change, but simply thinks that we should hand things over to his God, one that hates taxes:
I tell people, that "personal property" and the ownership of that personal property is crucial to our way of life.  
Our founding fathers understood that it was a very important part of the pursuit of happiness. Being able to own things that are your own is one of the things that makes America unique. But I happen to think that it's in jeopardy.
It's in jeopardy because of taxes; it's in jeopardy because of regulation; it's in jeopardy because of a legal system that’s run amok. And I think it's time for us to just hand it over to God and say, "God, You’re going to have to fix this." ...
I think it's time for us to use our wisdom and our influence and really put it in God's hands. That's what I'm going to do, and I hope you'll join me. I hope you'll join us in Houston on the 6th day of August and really start a revival across this country. And I suggest that for our country, our best days are ahead if we get on our knees and ask God to take over and give us wisdom.  We can change this country, but it requires us giving it over to Him and  letting Him guide us."

 Yes, America, all of your problems can be solved by praying. You know, because it's worked so well for all of the starving children of Africa. Besides, if this God was all-powerful, wouldn't it have control over something it already owns? 

Pastor Rick's done the "God can fix everything" trick before. Earlier this year, the fine people of Texas experienced a very lengthy drought. The governor's response was to assemble 3 days of praying for rain in April. By late June, still-dry Texas was declared a natural disaster area and the state suffered massive agricultural losses. All Perry could do was wonder why his imaginary friend didn't bring rain to the millions of families that believed in God and Rick. 

All of this is not an indictment against belief or quiet reflection in private, but a statement against using religion to remedy financial  and natural disasters. America and other glorious unions have serious issues that require comprehensive real-world decisions instead of stoneage superstitions. Rick Perry has made a career out of stating that he believes in one nation under Jesus, and everyone that this triune God would reject is also to be shunned and even killed by the state. 

Governor Perry is not only the man responsible for the nauseating Texas Republican Party platform, but for the fact that severely mentally handicapped people can be executed. He's also really pissed off that the Federal Supreme Court overruled Texas' right to incarcerate gays, opposes health care for state college employees, denies climate change so much that he installed a dozen coal-fired power plants, and doesn't believe that atheists should be entitled to voice their opinions. Texas is also the state that subjects women to forced ultrasounds and scrutiny before abortions with the plan to eliminate it altogether when they separate from the greater United States. He's a dangerous man who envisions a theocracy with himself or one of the 7 Mountains apostles at the helm.

In emancipated nations there is freedom of religious practice, but when 2000-6000 year old dogma becomes the way of the land, liberty cannot prosper. When the United States became a nation over 300 years back, religion was expressly not included in the equation, and I suspect that it may have had something to do with the fact that many early Americans were fleeing religious persecution and that the new U.S. was distinguishing itself from the devoutly religious England and her Divine Right of Kings.

Thomas Jefferson said that all religions are founded on fables and mythologies and was among the many who didn't want his glorious home destroyed by the kinds of people who burned witches. James Madison not only penned the Bill of Rights, but campaigned against appointment of government chaplains, the military in particular. The attorney, president, and notorious fighter of the Church of England was afraid that the inclusion of religous personnel into military units would interfere with unit cohesion. I wonder if all of the Teajad leaders who recite the founding documents know a lick about any of this.

Neither Rick Perry nor anyone else have the right to insist on a one-religion state or nation, particularly the one in which they reside. Not only is it nonsensical, discriminatory, and oppressive, but it's contrary to constitution and other founding documents that they seem to hold close to their hearts.

"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government.- Thomas Jefferson

The Song In My Head

  I found this CD kicking around today, and it's an old gem that you need in your life. It comes from Pop Will Eat Itself, a British band formed 25 years ago. Dos Dedos Mis Amigos is the last full-length album that the now reunified band has produced and it's arguably the best of their string of fantastic records the prolific project produced.

  This record is undeniably political, with the track you're about to hear being focused on the white English attitude toward immigrants. But this isn't a one-track album- all 11 songs are a wonderful display of just how awesome noise can truly be. 3 songs hit the British charts, but my favourites are the political Cape Connection and the anti-modelling Underbelly. Should you scoop this up -whether on CD or iTunes- you'll probably discover your own aural poetry pick.

  What you are about to hear was recorded 18 years ago, but its message most certainly resonates today. The title describes myself and many of you as do the contents. The video itself takes a few shots at the overproduced commercial acts of the time.

  Open your ears and mind to Ich Bin Ein Auslander. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Song In My Head

  I was going through that pile of homeless CDs everyone has kicking around the house, and to my delight, discovered this gem.

It's from the late 90's and despite efforts by the far-right British factions of today to link it to their cause, it has nothing to do with it. The song is set during the Spanish Civil War from the point of view of a Welsh volunteer fighting with Francisco Franco against the Spanish Republic, you know, before Franco became a fascist fuckwit.

The title comes from a Republican poster of a dead child under a sky of Franco's bombers which featured it as the headline. Incidentally, the 1998 track is the longest-named #1 track (it went #1 in Britain) according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Anyways, enough of the history lesson. I really like this song and it's super-special live.

This is If You Tolerate This, Your Children Will Be Next by Manic Street Preachers

This version (c) 1999 Sony BMG UK. You can buy it on iTunes HERE

Saudi Arabia Restricts The Rights Of Women, Now Everyone Pretend To Look Surprised

Saudi Arabia has a reputation as being one of the most repressive nations in human history as far as women are considered, with the vast majority relegated to lives of existence under black sheets, bought and sold like loaves of bread. The world view of Saudi has not gone unnoticed by their officials, so they've vowed to make some changes in order to encourage Saudi companies to employ women. However, just in case ladies werefeeling all liberated, the governing bodies made sure to let the females know where they are and are not permitted in the 'new' Saudi Arabia.

 Saudi Labour Minister Adel Fakeih unveiled the new regulations, which included a detailed list in which female Saudis were not permitted to work. It should be noted that female foreigners are not subject to the restrictions, but they are also not counted toward the quota, or Nitaqat. The jobs exclude anything involving physical labour, like construction work (this lady roofer would be a no-go), mining, machine repair and/or cleaning, and coal production. Additionally, the 'generating, transporting, or transforming' of energy,  metal refinery, applying silver to mirrors, melting glass, and anything that involves climbing ladders are among the many tasks still out of reach of Saudi women.

  The labour minister explains their position this way: These decisions are not meant to change our customs or traditions," the minister said. "The Saudi woman has every right to work. We are only implementing regulations that will protect her and ensure her rights." In other words, as long as men still have control over women and reserve the right to dictate her liberties, they're all for it. Oddly, lingerie shops have always been staffed by men (!), but women may soon be permitted to take jobs in them.

  An interesting fact is that while women have all of these job restrictions, but will be allowed to own companies in said fields, but outside of inheriting, it would be a tough prospect since women are prohibited from studying the required fields to gain knowledge of things like oil refining, for example. Nadiya Khalife of Human Rights Watch Beirut explains:  "Women are still banned from certain subjects, or there are situations where they would be restricted later on in that field. It’s a really big problem, especially with the Saudi economy looking to grow; you are restricting that potential workforce.

  The new push for women to work is due to the nation's attempts to rely on fewer foreign workers and to reward companies that hire the most Saudis. They have instituted a system indicating red, yellow, and green flags rating employers on adherence to the new Saudisation system. Red flag companies, which are those with less than 3% Saudi women, have until mid-November to obtain the correct ratio or open their chequebooks. 

  Interestingly, only women between 20 and 35 will be counted against the quota, and these women must be registered with General Organisation for Social Insurance. Additionally, they must be full-time employees. 

  One issue is that there are so many banned categories that some may not be able to fill spots. You see, 21% of the workforce in Saudi is industrial and that percentage is growing. Add in their booming construction trades and even retail ones that might involve that prohibited ladder-climbing thing, and you may simply not have enough women to fit the numbers in some divisions and too many in others. Moreover, since women can't be in the company of unrelated men without a chaperone, this could get super-tricky. Do companies have special staff on board to ensure that Abdul in Tech Support doesn't stare too long at Sharbat in Sales' ankle while fixing her computer?

  I guarantee you that the only reason why Saudi Arabia is considering allowing more women to work is to look good on the world stage, which would be fine and dandy if they actually would have women working. It's smoke and mirrors, folks. Saudi Arabia has no intent to join our century, or even the previous three. The religious police do not want women driving, so they can't get to work even if they qualify for one of the few positions. additionally, most women are the property of some caveman by 20, 25 at the most. The list of restrictions just proves how scared these insecure jerks are of a woman showing them up. 

  Sorry Saudi, but claiming to encourage women's progress whilst handing down rulings that further constrain women's right to choice of fields is hypocritical. Expecting the world, or even Saudi women, to believe it is absurd. Manhandling a group's liberties in the name of protection is not only ridiculous, it's wrong. 

  You can call a cat a dog, but don't expect it to bark. Oppression by any other name is still the same.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Scary Fundie Du Jour

Illuminati is a word which means different things to different people. To historians, it refers to a German fraternal society that was active for part of the 1700's, with most members scooped from the Freemasons. According to conspiracy nuts, the Illuminati is a current organisation composed of Jews, Rusellites (Jehovah's Witnesses) ,Freemasons ,Wiccans , Atheists,  and other miscreants bent on controlling the world's operations, beginning with finances, media, and population. Until recently, the NWO/Illuminati theory was considered the stuff of absolute wingnuts but now the subject comes up more often, with political wannabes, clergymen, and even musicians convinced that there is a shadowy plot by non-Christians to rule the world .

And one of the people of the mainstream who is proud to be endorsed by conspiracy nuts is Texas Governor Rick Perry. In addition to John (God sent Hitler) Hagee is this guy, Dr. John Benefiel of the Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network. Mr. Benefiel believes that the Statue of Liberty is a pagan idol, but that's been argued before. This self-proclaimed Apostle of Christ is convinced that the Illuminati is engaging in their population control ploy, which means that all of that abortion and birth control is of the Devil. Even funnier, gays are a product of Illuminati.

The fictitious Illuminati aren't trying to control the government, but  7 Mountains advocates like Benefiel see Christian dominionism as the ultimate goal with Apostles at the helm. These guys already control much of the Republican party and they won't stop until they have a very big government that controls every detail of your life, particularly the contents of your uterus and who you sleep with. This isn't some far-fetched theory, but it's documented fact.

Watch this clip and tell me you aren't afraid.


Great Promotional Stunt Of The Day

  The usually-insane 405 highway in Los Angeles needs to be widened by 2 lanes per side in order to handle the area's increased population. It's something that needs to occur on a fairly regular basis and it's not usually a big deal. However, unlike Toronto, for example, there aren't too many other options when the 405 shuts down. Instead of having 6 other freeways like Hogtown does, anytime shit hits the fan on the 405, you have the worst bottleneck in North America. And this weekend, the nastiest section of said highway will be closed completely for construction.

Angelenos will be forced to stay home or try to drive around the hell, and all of the mayhem will result in Carmageddon, and I'm not talking about the classic video game. However, the wise minds over at JetBlue have seized the opportunity to get a little cheap publicity.

  The discount airliner will be offering seats on flights from Burbank to Long Beach that are cheaper than a gallon of premium unleaded. The promo tickets go for $4 and $5 with taxes and fees and everything included- even a checked bag. The promo flights are set for Saturday and can be booked by phoning in, as the demand was huge on their website for obvious reasons.

  This is how you market when you are offering no-frills air travel to people who wouldn't otherwise consider it. So many people were driven to JetBlue's site by the cartastrophe that they'll notice $32 flights to Las Vegas or check out the nation's capital for $240. Even if JetBlue loses money on the promo flights, they'll be sure to gain new clients. Grocery stores use loss-leaders (idea hatched by Canadian Ed Mirvish) all of the time, and now the concept has come to air travel.

  Others, take notice. JetBlue is coming for your customers.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Media Moment : The Presidential Candidate Edition

  Michele Bachmann is garnering some mucho serious heat over the fact that her husband makes money by trying to cure people of homosexuality despite their denial of the fact. And now, naturally, Mrs. Bachmann is denying that she herself believes in the gay cure, but I've got audio to prove she's lying about that too.

In this clip, you'll hear Michele Bachmann lionizing NARTH-affiliated pray-away-the-gay Love Won Out Ministries for their efforts to cure gays. Additionally, she claims that referring to homosexuals as gay is 'part of Satan', that gays are sexually dysfunctional individuals who should be treated with compassion, that it's wrong to legitimize gay families, and a bunch of other things. Her language parrots that of the gay-cure therapy groups proving that she does indeed endorse efforts to alter the immutable.

That noise you hear is Michele Bachmann's campaign imploding.

Yo California : Stop With The NARTH Thing

  California has certainly been a state that, as a whole, is considered one of the more socially liberal states in the Union. Millions of folks flock to the Golden State from all corners of the Earth to enjoy sun and sand to be sure, but also a climate in which they can be themselves without being arrested or murdered by law enforcement. Knowing numerous people who reside in the state and being a fan of it myself, I was shocked when I opened my browser this morning.

  The folks over at Towleroad received an email from a member of the medical community who is disturbed that the state that allows kids to have gay heroes in class projects has National Association For Research and Therapy of Homosexuality as an accredited organization from which members can gain credits toward license renewal.

 I was wondering if you could help me raise awareness about in issue. I am a Licensed Educational Psychologist here in Los Angeles. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences is responsible for licensing LEPs, MFTs, and LCSWs here in California. I was recently looking at BBS website in order to determine which organizations I could obtain my continuing education credits from in order to renew my license. Much to my shock and sadness, the BBS accepts CEUs from NARTH. I am absolutely appalled. No therapist in California should be able to renew their license by obtaining CEUs from this hateful organization. "Homosexual conversion therapy" is not supported by the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, or the American Counselors Association. I have written the the BBS with my concerns, but I have not heard back. 

  If you're unaware, NARTH is not what in any way could be considered a legitimate therapeutic network. Yes, they do indeed have doctors on their board, but their mission statement leaves no doubt as to their actual motives: "The National Association For Research And Therapy Of Homosexuality is a self-described non-profit, educational organisation dedicated to affirming a complementary, male-female model of gender and sexuality". 

  NARTH itself is not a religious organization, but does partner with numerous religious 'ex-gay' groups like JONAH and Exodus, pretending to conduct studies about how dreadful The Gay is and why it must be cured. It's an interesting fact that one of the founding fathers of NARTH was Dr. Charles Socarides, a man who dedicated 50 years of his life to attempting to cure gays and in his book, stated that we're all secretly Jeffrey Dahmers. It should be noted that Dr. Socarides' obsession was with male homosexuality exclusively and that his son, Richard, is an emotionally balanced,  successful attorney and the president of Equality Matters, a gay rights organisation. Cofounders Benjamin Kaufman and Joseph Nicolisi also seem to be preoccupied with male homosexuality, simply dismissing the female as the result of some molestation or what-have-you that can be fixed with marriage. 

  These folks may be guys you haven't heard of, but there's one NARTH honcho you probably have seen on the news before. Former NARTH board member and scientific advisor George Rekers is a psychologist and Baptist minister (!) who was one of the founding members of the Christian hate group Family Research Council. Dr. Rekers' invented research has been used to defend Boy Scouts of America's ban on gays, and attempts to ban gay adoption in Arkansas as well as trying to ban gays and Native Americans from being foster parents in Florida. He also sells anti-gay and Abstinence-related materials to schools and has become a wealthy man offering up his 'expertise' to bigots all over North America. The fact that Dr. Rekers has had so-called 'cured' patients kill themselves wasn't a deterrent, but something that happened recently is. 

  Okay, so you still don't know who he is, right? I'll give you one word- Rentboy. Dr. Rekers was caught on tape on vacation with a young male masseur he met on Rekers claimed that he'd hired the kid to carry his luggage because of an old injury, but George is on the security video doing it himself. He then got on Christianity Today that his "travel assistant was more than a person raised in a Christian home". In reality, the kid was hired to provide nude massages that involved happy endings. Jovanni Roman, the young fellow, was convinced that the person talking to him about Jesus whilst getting a rubdown was certainly far from heterosexual.

  If the tale of George Rekers proves anything, it's that gay repairative therapy does not work. 18, 000 members of the American Medical Association petitioned for the removal of homosexuality from the DSM-II manual of psychological diseases. Over 65% of AMA members voted to stop curing a nonexistent disease in the early 1970's. Think about that for a second. 

  NARTH and its associated religious groups primarily use shame and guilt in order to convince their patients that being gay is a moral or natural wrong. The treatments which usually include mentoring by someone that claims to have been cured have been known to involve shouting in anger at one's mother for causing the gay, electric shocks, and administering of drugs that are designed to make one feel ill while flashing repeated gay images in front of the person. Individuals subjected to sexual orientation conversion therapy are often presented to hospitals with severe anxiety, depression, drug overdoses,  and suicide attempts. So damaging is conversion therapy that the AMA, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American Association For Marriage and Family Therapy, National Association of Social Workers, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counselling Association, and many others have issued statements critical of the practice.

This all leads me to wonder exactly why the California Board of Behavioral Sciences allows mental health professionals to obtain credit by working for an organisation whose entire basis for existence is something that has been completely discredited. Why is NARTH listed as an accredited group when their members have been referred to as quacks and pseudoscientists many times by judges in cases that they've testified?

If Californians want to fly that freedom flag, they need to address the accreditation of people who earn their living by teaching young people to hate themselves. No longer endorsing a group which openly violates the APA code of ethics is something that will affect change across America because NARTH is headquartered in California and their reports are the primary source of 'science' that all of the anti-gay hate groups rely upon to justify their ridiculous claims. It is an insult to the dedicated people who counsel abused kids to allow their license to also be given to those who are dedicated to abusing kids. 

To tell the California Board of Behavioral Sciences to take NARTH off of their list, you can contact them vial mail, email, or online letter petition. 

For the Petition, click HERE

To send a comment to Continuing Education Cooridinator Patricia Fay, click

To express your concerns via snail mail:
Board of Behavioral Sciences
1625 N. Market Blvd. , Suite S-200
Sacramento, CA 95834

Monday, July 11, 2011

What's That Smell?

  The advance politicking related to the 2012 U.S. presidential election is certainly more rabid than any campaign in my memory, and it's certainly bringing out a brand of insanity that can only be described as Gary Bauer on steroids. 

  One of the scariest hopefuls that the new social conservatism is Michele Bachmann. The peculiar thing about her, other than her scary eyes, is her admission of adherence to evangelical Christianity. So religious is Mrs. Bachmann that she signed a pledge which claimed that black families were better under slavery and took a not-so-subtle potshot at Mormons, which include Mitt Romney. However, there are other scary things about the former employee of the IRS, and that is her string of lies.

  A quick look into the finances of her husband's clinic yields the knowledge that they accept government financial contributions. This wouldn't be such a huge deal if Marcus and Michele Bachmann didn't a) claim not to take government money, b) claim to be morally opposed to Medicaid, and c) claim to not engage in so-called gay reorientation therapy. 

  So we know that Marcuss Bachmann takes the money his wife claims to hate, but what about the ex-gay stuff? Well, as it turns out, Marcus Bachmann is a huge fan of the discredited and sometimes life ending pseudoscience. 

  As The Nation discovered, Marcus Bachmann's clinic has been telling people to pray away the gay for a long time, and even counsels children:

In the summer of 2004, Andrew Ramirez, who was just about to enter his senior year of high school, worked up the nerve to tell his family he was gay. His mother took the news in stride, but his stepfather, a conservative Christian, was outraged. “He said it was wrong, an abomination, that it was something he would not tolerate in his house,” Ramirez recalls. A few weeks later, his parents marched him into the office of Bachmann & Associates, a Christian counseling center in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, which is owned by Michele Bachmann’s husband, Marcus. From the outset, Ramirez says, his therapist—one of roughly twenty employed at the Lake Elmo clinic—made it clear that renouncing his sexual orientation was the only moral choice. “He basically said being gay was not an acceptable lifestyle in God’s eyes,” Ramirez recalls. According to Ramirez, his therapist then set about trying to “cure” him. Among other things, he urged Ramirez to pray and read the Bible, particularly verses that cast homosexuality as an abomination, and referred him to a local church for people who had given up the “gay lifestyle.” He even offered to set Ramirez up with an ex-lesbian mentor.
Ramirez was not impressed. After his second appointment, he resolved not to go back, despite the turmoil it might cause in his family. “I didn’t feel it was something that I wanted to change, and I didn’t think it could be changed,” he says. “I was OK with who I was.”

  So that's old news, right? Not entirely. Truth Wins Out's John Becker, a happily married gay man, recently decided to go undercover as a struggling gay Christian and went for 8 days of treatment sessions at Bachmann & Associated this month. Mr. Becker experienced the typical circus of justification as the therapist looked to find the supposed reasons for his gayness, and treatment for the supposed secret femininity that all gay men secretly have. Not once was Mr. Becker told that anti-gay therapy was linked to depression, suicide, and drug abuse. It was certainly not mentioned that the vast majority of the leaders in the churches he was referred to had disassociated themselves with such things and either gone on to live happy gay lives or succumbed to one of the negative side effects. But then again, everything's fair game as long as we can cure something that this god supposedly created but still hates.

At his clinic, he sells a book by paid bible-thumper and ex-gay contrepreneur Janet Boynes. The book includes this ringing endorsement:  “Janet is a friend. I recommend this book as she speaks to the heart of the matter and gives practical insights of truth to set people free. – Marcus Bachmann, PhD.”. 

 Ms. Boynes has been featured on television and has a moneymaking ministry, where she enjoys the fruit of selling her wares to humble servants who are petrified that their kid may have been exposed to The Gay. Indeed, the ex-lesbian that Andrew Ramirez was set up with may well have been her. She is a woman who claims to cure gays, but clearly hates herself almost as much as male gays, who she has a weird fixation on that echoes that of her Exodus cohorts. 

Janet also buys into the same lies that I was told by a psychiatrist who tried to de-gay me when I was 19. I had self-admitted for depression (that turned out to be really bad PMS) and the shrink locked me up for 6 weeks because I had a supposed gender identity problem. I obviously didn't know that was his reasoning until a well-meaning doctor acquired a copy of his notes and let me read them. It was right there- my butchness and declared sexual orientation were the reason for him sticking me in a building with schizophrenics and paedophiles and trying to make me wear ugly dresses. It also explains why I was released 2 days after requesting a new doctor. (I used the excuse that he was violating privilege, which he was.)

  Ex-gay therapy, whether psychological or aversion, does not work, and I'm living proof. Despite what Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Scientologists all believe, you can't cure something that is not a disease. Forcing people to gender conform will not alter their inner workings and trying to 'fix' as many gays as possible does not a heterosexual make. (I'm looking at you Ms. Boynes) If all it took was wearing a skirt to make a dude gay every Scotsman, priest, Buddhist monk, and kid who has dressed up as a girl for Halloween would have an unquenchable thirst for man-sausage. 

My pop says that such theories are hatched up by those who are hiding what they hate about themselves, and I agree. No amount of praying or punishment can alter orientation, and Marcus Bachmann's clinic is a circus of quackery. Marcus Bachmann's fruitless efforts to change the innate are not only a violation of the Hippocratic Oath, but they make his wife look hypocritical. The federal government should not be giving Bachmann and Associates money to psychologically damage people. B & A is a front for a religious organization and permitting them to obtain monies from taxpayers is not only an an endorsement of discredited pseudoscience, but a fundamental violation of the separation of church and state.  

Caption This

Dude does have a point.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Flashback: The Awesome Prank

  There are a lot of people who spend their entire lives destroyed by the horrible memories of their past, and I do understand why, but I try not to be one of them. It's not because I had a fantastic childhood, because it was horrendous for the most part, but because I like to pick out the one or 2 good things versus the bad.

  In this vein, I'm going to tell you a very real and personal story that involves, me, my dad, and sports. Ladies may wish to secure a supply of Kleenex.  I'll try to be brief, but no promises.

  I was born...okay, we don't have to go back that far. My parents split up in 1979, when I was pretty small. I lived with my mum, assorted weird relatives, and my dad and uncles on various occasions. Sometime around 81 or 82 I moved back in with my mum and saw my dad pretty sporadically for the next 10 years, but occasionally he caused some really cool memories, and this is where I'm going here.

  In October of 1992, the Toronto Blue Jays were battling Atlanta in the World Series. Amazingly, my dad showeed up on his bike to pick me up and we went to Toronto to find a place to watch the game. Every joint was packed, save for an A&W that had a little TV set in it. We went in, stuffed our faces, and celebrated when our team took the crown. The party downtown was absolutely insane- hundreds of thousands of folks going nuts. No flaming cop cars or fights, just random strangers of all ages and colours high-fiving and hugging. Needless to say, this sports geek was in her absolute glory.

 Cue to the following October. The Jays were in the finals again, and this time the potential deciding game was at home. Pop showed up without notice to pick me up and we sped off to the Big Smoke to go find some fun. We departed to go find the same A&W that we previously hung out at. Dad made me stop at one of the street stands. It was a lady who painted faces in exchange for donations. The very serious me did not want to have her mug oiled and I grumbled a bit, but finally relented. I got the lady to put Juan Guzman's number on one side of my face (he'd lost the previous game, so it was kind of a forgiveness dealio) and the Jays logo on the other. I really was not feeling this but the girl was cute and pop was insistent.

  As the lady was finishing the little maple leaf in the logo, my dad pulled a pair of tickets out of his pocket. I stood there completely stupefied and then uttered the first cuss word my dad had heard from me. The paint lady cried .  I gave my dad shit for scaring the hell out of me and he told us we had to go and fast. We bought peanuts and a program and found our seats that were behind home plate. There were 2 troopers sitting next to us, but most of the folks occupying these high-priced seats were corporate, like the person my dad was supposed to take to the game. We shared loads of fun with the troopers. Every time a big moment occurred, they would spill beer on the businessdorks below. Some of them even left, which is too bad because they missed the epic battle between Mitch Williams and his high-voltage mullet and Joe Carter in the bottom of the 9th that culminated in this most glorious of sporting moments:

  Needless to say, I was stoked. I jumped up and down and may have even proposed to Mr. Carter as he approached the plate. It was the greatest moment in modern Toronto sport history in retrospect, but it was an immensely cool moment in my life because I got to do it with my dad. We enjoyed our night and went back to the normal, which included a 12 year gap in which we never even spoke, but this remains one of the greatest single evenings imaginable and the memory is a supersized bandaid for any previous wounds.

  Cheers to you pop for totally punking me large and your newfound sobriety. I'm certain that the latter is far more monumental.

Footage courtesy of Major League Baseball. 

Media Moment: What About The Children?!

On GODTV's It's supernatural!, host Sid Roth helped Messianic apologist Michael Brown pitch his new book. A Queer Thing Happened To America is Mr. Brown's 650-page tome about the terrible effects that The Gay has had on America and the author figures it should sell big. The great thing is, he's asking for a $30 donation to his ministries in exchange for the book, so you can order it and deduct it on your taxes.

Dr. Michael Brown is not a doctor in any commonly-held sense, but don't let that detract you, believers. He has a PhD in Near Eastern Languages from NYU. In addition to his loud homophobia, Michael Brown is most well-known for his efforts to convert Jews to Christianity and peculiar opinions on Israel. (Praise Jesus!)

 However, his most convincing argument yet for why we should keep gays from having custody of their kids is this fantastic trailer for his book.

The 40-year theologian's great reason for taking away the kids of gays- it's weird.

Bad Religious Joke Of The Week

I usually Passover jokes such as these, but this one's funny enough to make you schvitz yourself. 

A Jewish lawyer was troubled by the way his son turned out, and went to see his Rabbi about it.
"I brought him up in the faith, gave him a very expensive bar mitzvah, cost me a fortune to educate him. Then he told me last week that he has decided to be a Christian. Rabbi, where did I go wrong?"
"Funny you should come to me," said the Rabbi. "Like you, I, too, brought up my boy in the faith, put him though university, cost me a fortune, then one day he came to me and told me he has decided to become a Christian."
"What did you do?" Asked the lawyer.
"I turned to God for the answer," replied the Rabbi.
"And what did he say?"
He said, "Funny you should come to me..."