The Boy Scout Oath
On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; and to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
The Boy Scout Law
A Scout is: trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. (source)
When I joined the Cub Scouts, I was in First Grade. Over the next eight years, I earned every Cub Scout rank and then worked my way up to being a Life Scout, the second highest rank, just below Eagle. Continue reading →
It seems like every time some place gets waxed by a natural disaster, our friends on the right – you know, the ones God phones daily – pipe up to explain that said disaster is The Lord’s Judgment against [insert locale here] because of [insert abomination in the eyes of The Lord here]. Continue reading →
I am waiting to see if—no, make it how—the Tea party and other way-right-leaning Republicans react to this week’s barely-qualifies-as-news that TV journalist/personality Anderson Cooper admitted he is gay. (Details here)
Another story from this week also has me worried about the backlash, but first, Cooper:
I have no idea how much courage it takes for a public figure like Cooper to come out. Nor do I have any idea about the extent and tone of the flak that will be fired at him and how he’ll deal with it. Continue reading →
Caveat emptor: you may find what follows heretical.
As you are likely aware, there is (and has long been) a strident outcry from certain quarters in Christianity against homosexuality as a behavior and, in the worst cases, against homosexual men and women (pick/choose/mix liberally, as you will) themselves. To my chagrin, the religious voices from those quarters make a great many references to the Old Testament of their holy book and generally opt to leave out references to the New Testament. When they do choose to include the New Testament as part of their attack ideology, they keep flipping right past the Gospels, right past Acts, and on to Paul. That’s interesting to me, because as I understand the Bible, Paul wasn’t the one born of Mary. Continue reading →
“Hollywood is so crooked that Mafia gangsters are entirely outclassed and don’t stand a chance. People in Hollywood are smarter. They have more sophisticated knowledge of money and deals and how to steal legally rather than illegally.” Who said it? Continue reading →
The Texas GOP platform for 2010 has been out for a while now. From my casual skimming of reviews and analyses, the general sense and direction of the party line didn’t seem to have changed much; and so, in a shameful victory of sloth over principle, I absolved myself of reading the actual document and went to the pool. Or the river, or the grocery store, or the dentist – anywhere, in fact, rather than a quiet place in which I could closely read for myself the principles of the majority political party of the state in which I was born, raised and once again live.
But if my conscience sleeps soundly, my curiosity has a terminal case of insomnia, and last week I holed up at La Taza, fortified my flagging resolution with a large latte and two palmiers and began to read. And read. And at last I understand, both intellectually and at a gut level, the hopes, fears and way of life of the Texas Republican. The platform is more than a statement of beliefs. It’s a signpost, a guide to the kind of life an honorable, principled Republican aspires to lead and the vices he struggles to avoid – because of course, no decent human being would hypocritically urge his beliefs upon society without striving to live them himself. The following is a small sampling of what I learned about the private lives of my neighbors of the GOP persuasion.
“What they really want to see is, they want you to chop your fucking arm off, hold up your arm, wave it around spewing blood, and believe me, if you did that, the crowd would go fucking ballistic. You only get four good shows like that, though. Four good shows, and then you’re just a torso and a head, trying to get one of your band mates to give you one last hurrah and chop your head off. Which they probably wouldn’t do, which would really be hell.” Who said it? Continue reading →
Wow, 100 issues of Nota Bene! Props to Russ for helping me for a while with this nifty little S&R feature. Never mind all that now, let’s get on with this issue. “What splendid buildings our architects would be able to execute if only they could finally be less obedient to gravity!” Who said it? Continue reading →
I found this picture of African-American man of letters James Baldwin in a bio some years ago and it remains a favorite. He’s standing on a concrete islet in the middle of a busy street, his large, somber eyes hidden behind sunglasses, his dress casual, his posture seemingly relaxed; like Miles Davis, Baldwin could appear cool and calm even while volcanic emotions stirred within. It’s not clear where Baldwin’s been, where’s he headed, what he’s reading, what he’s feeling, or if anyone around him even knows who he is besides the photographer. Is his pocketed right hand at rest or clenched in tension? Is he looking at someone or something, or lost in thought? Are his lips in a sly smile, or a pensive frown? Is he in a hurry, or taking his time? Is he in America, or in Europe, where he spent much of his adult life?
Giuliani has described himself as a backer of civil unions and is frequently described that way in news reports. But he began distancing himself from civil unions in late April, when his campaign told The New York Sun that New Hampshire’s new law goes too far because it is “the equivalent of marriage,” which he has always opposed for gays.
—Boston Globe, August 13, 2007.
Rudy Giuliani is definitely the “Teflon Don” of the current presidential campaign, in that even as more and more evidence surfaces about how deeply right-wing his politics actually are–or worse, that he’s pandering to gain traction with the GOP base–I still run across a baffling number of people who insist that they’d vote for him because of his socially liberal positions, or because he “cut taxes and stopped crime in NYC,” or because he looked authoritative and in command on 9/11. Continue reading →
If you’re fighting a war against an enemy who speaks a language â€” or several â€” you don’t know, you’re at a disadvantage. It would be hard to make sense of captured documents or question “enemy combatants,” glean useful intelligence from civilians or simply to make new friends for your side.
The other reason: The military has been flushing its ranks of many Arabic and other language specialists â€” because they are gay. Yes, that’s not news. But there’s 300 ex-military linguists versed in the languages the enemy speaks who aren’t putting sorely needed expertise to work.
Democratic Congressmen Tom Landos (D-Calif.) and Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) want to change that. Continue reading →
Boy howdy, The Dick’s lesbian daughter and her “partner” done pizzizzled off The Parents Group. I hate to actually excerpt anything from this release because it’s all so good, but let me see if I can find an especially juicy bit. Ah, here’s one:
If the Vice President and his wife Lynne are joining their daughter Mary in playing this homosexual game of “house,” then all have chosen their roles and designated lesbian lover Heather Poe as the “Daddy.”
Everyone knows there can only be one REAL biological Mommy. We are all grown adults. Playing “house” is a game for children, not for The White House or the Vice President and his wife. Continue reading →