Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Write to Marry Day . . . .

Methinks the queer-police are going to revoke my membership in the community as our straight friend Alison had to advise me of this campaign. Once she clued me in, I shamelessly plagiarized the following post from Gay Persons of Color with a slight revision to accommodate my Florida roots:

Today, 29 October 2008, bloggers around the world are participating in the "Write to Marry Day" in support of marriage equality for same-sex couples and against California's Proposition 8, a measure on the state's November ballot that would take away the right of same-sex couples to marry. Also - on a personal note - my US residence state of Florida has an anti-gay Amendment 2 on the ballot.

The right for equality in marriage is not an issue of a minority group, i.e the LGBT community, pushing its agenda for self-serving purposes. This is a universal principle that seeks to assure that all citizens of a nation are treated in the same way, regardless of race, sex, creed, and whom they love. Without this equality, no one's rights can ever be secure.

I've already cast my Florida ballot - Please do the same in your designated polling place . . . .

Monday, October 27, 2008

If the world could vote ? ? ? ?

A friend sent me this today, and now I'll share it with you.

It tracks how people around the world would vote - if they could - in the US election next week. It is interesting to view the results for the individual nations.

Based on those that actually vote, it appears to be quite accurate as should you try to vote multiple times (Yes, I did!), a cookie disallows it.

If the world could vote?

Looks like McGeezer and Tundra Trash have problems not only in the US, but worldwide . . . .

H/T Lloyd

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Begone, Bungling Bankers . . . .

What is it with these international banking fund guys, anyway? It wasn't that long ago that we had the wolfowitz/World Bank incident and now this by way of Reuters:

Probe clears IMF chief of abuse of power
Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:11pm EDT - By Lesley Wroughton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund's board on Saturday cleared Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn of harassment, favoritism and abuse of power following an inquiry into his affair with a subordinate.

While the board stopped short of any type of disciplinary action, its leader, Shakour Shaalan, acknowledged there was concern among female staff about Strauss-Kahn's behavior.

Shaalan said he had warned Strauss-Kahn, a former French finance minister, against any further improper conduct.

"The executive board noted that the incident was regrettable and reflected a serious error of judgment on the part of the managing director," the IMF's board of member countries said in a statement.


The investigation by an outside lawyer into allegations of improper conduct by Strauss-Kahn found that his affair with Piroska Nagy, who worked in the IMF's Africa department as a senior economist until taking a buyout in August, had been consensual.

"I very much regret the incident and I accept responsibility for it," said Strauss-Kahn who is married to French television personality Anne Sinclair.


The board sought to deal with the investigation quickly so as not to distract the IMF from its role in dealing with the global financial crisis that has sent markets plunging on fears that the world economy is in for a long and deep recession.

Shaalan told a conference call with reporters that Strauss-Kahn still had the confidence of the board.

"Our conclusion was that this will in no way affect the effectiveness of the managing director in the very challenging and difficult period ahead," said Shaalan, who represents Egypt and other Arab countries on the board.

"This was an unfortunate incident where he expressed his regrets and the board has accepted his apologies," he said, adding, "I personally spoke to him after the meeting and informed him this should not happen again."

Well, isn't that just great? A little slap on the wrist, and all is well again.

Now, on to ruling over the nations of the world banking systems like nothing's happened. These are the guys we are supposed to entrust with major international financial decisions? Get real.

This crew is so damn out of touch with reality. Betcha they had their fingers in the sub-prime loan mess, derivatives and credit swaps if truth be told.

What a crock . . . .

Lest We Forget . . . .

MSEH, another same-sex emigrant to Canada from the US has posted an excellent reminder of our history to be chronicled in film next month.



Never forget . . . .

Friday, October 24, 2008

Canadian Health Care - My Experience . . . .

We've been living here in Vancouver full-time since June and it was time to acquire a personal family doctor. After enquiring of friends and neighbours, we were unsuccessful in gaining access to those recommended due to the fact that they were not accepting new patients. This situation is quite common in many parts of Canada we've been told.

At any rate, I took it upon myself to check our BC Health Care's website for finding physicians in different fields that were accepting new patients. To make this story short, my requirements were fairly simple: The doctor needed to be relatively close to home, and I preferred a recent medical school graduate so he or she would be "up to date" on current medical practises. My search was successful, and I had an initial "meet and greet" a couple of weeks ago. The young physician at that meeting ordered a lab test for cholesterol levels as I had a history of elevated readings.

Today's follow-up appointment was to discuss the lab results and a simple mini-physical. I left the strata at 9:45 for a 10:30 appointment. Taking public transportation, 25 minutes and two transfers later I arrived at the office. The doctor called me into his office at exactly 10:30. We reviewed the results, he issued a prescription for a cholesterol drug, did the mini-physical, discussed other minor aches and pains and I was out of the office feeling quite satisfied with the results and the doctor's professionalism. Another sequence of bus rides back to the 'hood, a stop by the local pharmacy, and I was back home at 11:30. Yup, you read that right. The whole experience including receiving the prescribed medication and transportation took less than two hours. All labs, doctor's visits, consultations were included in our basic BC Health Care plan.

Ask me what I think about Canadian health care.

Go ahead.

I'll tell you at this point I am very satisfied.

On another note, our elderly next door neighbour has suffered a stroke since we have been here. The care, extended hospital and rehabilitative therapy facility stays involved have been exemplary. Doctors and health care personnel I met while visiting here were very impressive. No rushing the patient out of the hospital and back home before she was fully recovered - unlike in the US.

The fear-mongering they spew in the US about Canadian health care is total BS . . . .

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Virginia Votes . . . .

This video is a clip from PBS' NOW with David Brancaccio from this past Friday. Although it was produced in the "swing state" of Virginia, it very well could have been in most states south of the Mason Dixon Line. Hell, what am I saying?!? This same scenario is taking place in every state in the US of A.

Now you get a hint of why we left . . . .

Paper Shredder, Nick ? ? ? ?

Man, this financial fiasco is really getting out of hand. Even world leaders are feeling the effects now.

Per Canoe Network:

Thieves hack Sarkozy's account
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS - October 19, 2008

PARIS - The French Cabinet's spokesman says "swindlers" have broken into the personal bank account of President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Spokesman Luc Chatel told France's Radio-J an investigation is under way and insists the incident "proves that this system of checking (bank accounts) via the Internet isn't infallible." He did not elaborate.

Weekly Journal du Dimanche reported Sunday that thieves seized Sarkozy's bank account information and swiped small sums of money.


The press service for Sarkozy's office declined comment.

Maybe an infusion of government funds into the system will rectify the situation.

Sure hope 'Ole Nick isn't making any loan applications soon.

Expensive gifts to Carla Bruni might have to be reconsidered . . . .

Monday, October 20, 2008

bennie's "Spiritual Weapon" Not Aimed at the Mob . . . .

'Ole bennie traveled to the Italian Mafia's 'hood and clammed-up.

Toronto Star's report:

Pope silent on Camorra crime

Prayer `a spiritual weapon in the struggle against evil,' Benedict tells pilgrims

October 20, 2008 - Philip Pullella - REUTERS NEWS AGENCY

POMPEII, Italy–The Vatican yesterday defended Pope Benedict's decision to avoid direct condemnation of organized crime during a trip to a southern area infested by the Camorra, one of its most ruthless manifestations.


In his speeches, Benedict XVI did not use the words organized crime or Camorra, as the local mafia is known. He made only an oblique reference, saying prayer is "a spiritual weapon in the struggle against evil and every form of violence."

Questioned by reporters, a Vatican spokesperson said the Pope intentionally avoided the word Camorra.

"The trip has a strictly spiritual dimension and it was out of respect for the fact that most people from this area are honest and not members of organized crime," the spokesperson said.

"The Pope preferred suggesting the positive energy through which the Camorra can be defeated," he said, noting the pontiff had already spoken out against organized crime during a visit to Naples in 2007.

Here's an alternative theory for your consideration:

Perhaps bennie and the jerks opted to not piss off the Mafiosos in order to keep the ill-gotten gains contributions flowing into the collection plate.

Just a thought . . . .

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Vancouver Centre Results Disappointing for Moi . . . .

Well, you probably were aware that I was doing some campaign volunteering for our local Vancouver Centre NDP candidate, Michael Byers. Unfortunately, my efforts and the efforts of a strong crew of volunteers weren't enough to unseat Hedy Fry from her 15 year grasp on our riding. Hey, at least the con candidate, aka, Lorne "Freak Out at the Queer Debate" didn't make it in! The Tyee has the results here. (This link marks my initial goal of only linking to independent news sources when available. We need to reduce the corporate media's influence whenever we can.)

On a lighter note, Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show" did a short recap of our recent federal election. Pay particular attention to his characterization of the Canadian conservative party.

Enjoy . . . .

Monday, October 13, 2008

Joining Hands for Justice . . . .

We like to think of Vancouver as an all-accepting city, both culturally and politically. Believe me, based on other places we've lived it is leaps and bounds above most locales in both respects.

However, even here there are instances of non-acceptance that occur. One of those was last month when a young gay man and his friend were accosted and beaten, apparently for holding hands.

Yesterday the community came together in a show of support for the victims, and also to protest any instances of hate-crimes in the city. According to the Vancouver Sun report of the rally, approximately 600 people participated, of which I was one. It was very moving to see all the community leaders, politicians, and even the Vancouver Chief of Police in support of the gay community.

Our hope is that this type of rally will never be required again . . . .

Gay conservative Loses Cool . . . .

Ricky at Queer Thoughts posted our local Vancouver Centre's conservative candidate's melt-down at the queer debate last week.

Watch the video.

Attending it as I did, it was an uncomfortable portion of the debate. Speaking to other gay constituents later, the feeling was common. We were embarrassed for his actions and confused as to why any self-respecting homosexual could support a conservative government, much less run as a candidate for that party . . . . .

Friday, October 10, 2008

Positive Poll Portends Possible Party Potential . . . .

On CTV's local noon news show yesterday they had a segment on "Battleground BC" that featured local competitive ridings in the federal election. (Apologies to Dana as this bit of info was gleaned from CTV here in Vancouver before his decision.)

I was able to snatch the following two graphics off the clip as I found them both very interesting.

The first shows the period of time from September 22 through October 8 and the rise and fall of all four parties. Bear in mind, these polls are reflective on polling BC residents only, hence the name "Battleground BC."

The reporter, Jim Beatty in Victoria, then produced the next graphic showing the incredible correlation between the fall of the conservative's poll numbers to the fall in the Toronto Stock Exchange during the same period.

Looks like stevie's timing in calling an election could use some work.

Kind of makes one wonder if the rest of the country might have a similar correlation?

Just askin' . . . .

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Spreading the "Joy" . . . .

It appears that bushco is attempting to SPP-ize the international financial markets.

Courtesy of Reuters:

Paulson to discuss G7 financial coordination
Wed Oct 8, 2008

by David Lawder and Andy Sullivan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration said Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson at a news conference on Wednesday will discuss coordinated actions by wealthy industrialized countries to ease financial system stress.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Paulson may discuss a plan floated by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown for concerted action to guarantee inter-bank lending.


She declined to provide any more details about the Brown plan, which was disclosed by a G7 source who said the British leader sent a letter to G7 counterparts urging them to issue a set of similar national guarantees aimed at restoring trust in the global market for bank funding.


Perino said Paulson also will focus on the Treasury's coordinated actions with other federal regulators to tackle "the four key challenges in our financial markets today: confidence, capital, systemic risk, and liquidity."

The Treasury will host the finance ministers and central bank governors of Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan on Friday ahead of semi-annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Well, I feel better now . . . .

UPDATE: Now the party's getting even bigger! What shall we wear, what shall we wear ? ? ? ?

"It's Canada for Me ! ! ! !"

This video is so reminiscent of "drf" and my feelings after george bush was re-appointed in 2004.

Note the city they choose at the end of the production. We totally concur.

Credit due to Ricky over at Queer Thoughts for finding this one.

UPDDATE: Thanks to cls in comments for giving us this tip for another clever video on the topic.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Faithful Leaders . . . .

The typical Sunday morning consists of sleeping a bit late, some kind of egg dish breakfast, catching up on local newspaper reading and watching "Driving Television" with Zack Spencer . Even though since moving to Vancouver we have been able to shed our vehicle (YAY!!!), I still enjoy keeping up on the current "in" vehicles.

This morning I left the television on after the show and "Listen Up" was broadcast. Not being aware that this was a "christian-oriented" broadcast I didn't immediately turn it off. Their featured segment was an "exclusive" on what the federal Party Leaders feel about their faith and how it has influenced their political careers. View video here.

It was actually quite revealing in many ways. Elizabeth May had I feel the best response, but the very end of the clip is the most interesting in so many ways.

Your thoughts ? ? ? ?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Good Time Harper . . . .

In honour of tonight's English language debate:

WARNING: You won't be able to get the tune out of your head . . . .

H/T Aunty Bertha and Garth Turner's original post.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Taibbi on Palin's America - "Ouch . . . . "

Matt Taibbi's piece in tomorrow's Rolling Stone is one fine example of writing.

If you thought Kathleen Parker and Heather Mallick's articles were tough, you ain't seen nuthin' yet.

A few choice excerpts:

Mad Dog Palin

The scariest thing about John McCain's running mate isn't how unqualified she is - it's what her candidacy says about America

MATT TAIBBI - Posted Oct 02, 2008


Sarah Palin is a symbol of everything that is wrong with the modern United States. As a representative of our political system, she's a new low in reptilian villainy, the ultimate cynical masterwork of puppeteers like Karl Rove. But more than that, she is a horrifying symbol of how little we ask for in return for the total surrender of our political power. Not only is Sarah Palin a fraud, she's the tawdriest, most half-assed fraud imaginable, 20 floors below the lowest common denominator, a character too dumb even for daytime TV — and this country is going to eat her up, cheering her every step of the way. All because most Americans no longer have the energy to do anything but lie back and allow ourselves to be jacked off by the calculating thieves who run this grasping consumer paradise we call a nation.


But watching Palin's speech, I had no doubt that I was witnessing a historic, iconic performance. The candidate sauntered to the lectern with the assurance of a sleepwalker — and immediately launched into a symphony of snorting and sneering remarks, taking time out in between the superior invective to present herself as just a humble gal with a beefcake husband and a brood of healthy, combat-ready spawn who just happened to be the innocent targets of a communist and probably also homosexual media conspiracy. She appeared to be completely without shame and utterly full of shit, awing a room full of hardened reporters with her sickly-sweet line about the high-school-flame-turned-hubby who, "five children later," is "still my guy." It was like watching Gidget address the Reichstag.


Here's what Sarah Palin represents: being a fat fucking pig who pins "Country First" buttons on his man titties and chants "U-S-A! U-S-A!" at the top of his lungs while his kids live off credit cards and Saudis buy up all the mortgages in Kansas.

The truly disgusting thing about Sarah Palin isn't that she's totally unqualified, or a religious zealot, or married to a secessionist, or unable to educate her own daughter about sex, or a fake conservative who raised taxes and horked up earmark millions every chance she got. No, the most disgusting thing about her is what she says about us: that you can ram us in the ass for eight solid years, and we'll not only thank you for your trouble, we'll sign you up for eight more years, if only you promise to stroke us in the right spot for a few hours around election time.

Taibbi's analysis of the US electorate is brutally frank.

It's also frighteningly accurate . . . .

Ahhh, if Dennis Were President . . . .

Things would no doubt be quite different.

Here he is on Rachel Maddow last night:

It's for principled stands like this that we supported him while he was an active candidate.

Too bad other "informed" voters didn't agree . . . .