December 17, 2003

Busted in Texas for Vibrator

Joanne Webb, a former fifth-grade teacher and mother of three, was in a county court in Cleburne, Texas, on Monday to answer obscenity charges for selling the vibrator to undercover narcotics officers posing as a dysfunctional married couple in search of a sex aid.

Webb, a saleswoman for Passion Parties of Brisbane, faces a year in jail and a $4,000 fine if convicted.

Nobody should be busted anywhere for selling a vibrator. Have these people no decency? Government has no right whatsoever to get involved with outlawing vibrators.

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American Family Association Wants You!!!

To take their poll on civil rights for all American citizens.

You already know how I answered. What about you?

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December 14, 2003

Coming Out

A few developments this year make it look more and more likely that my West Point tour guide will prove correct. Change is in the air. Significant court decisions in Texas, Georgia and Massachusetts may soon lead to the legalization of same-sex marriages. In the race for the White House, all nine candidates for the Democratic nomination support the repeal of "don't- ask-don't-tell"--the 1993 law that bars openly gay people from serving in the military. One candidate with more than a little weight on the subject is Gen. Wesley Clark, the former NATO commander who was himself a top West Point student. During a campaign in which Clark—a recently-declared Democrat—occasionally struggles to connect with voters, he's at his most genuine when describing the position that gay service members find themselves in. Either they deny who they are or they have to leave the job they love, he says. "It's a very sad thing," Clark said during one candidates' debate, "because a lot of these people wanted to serve."
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December 12, 2003

Got Lube?

What is that man doing to that sheep?

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December 02, 2003

David Neiwert on the Bush Family & the Nazis

Averell Harriman, too, was a major and reportedly enthusiastic contributor to various eugenics causes, including sponsorship of the 1932 International Congress of Eugenics, held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Harriman also personally arranged for Hamburg-Amerika to bring Nazi eugenicists, notably the "scientist" most often fingered for inspiring the Holocaust, Dr. Ernst Rudin, who was then a psychiatrist at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Genealogy and Demography in Berlin. (Rudin was elected president of the Congress at the New York gathering.) I have found one report that says Bert Walker was among the lesser contributors, but I have found no substantiation of this.

Beyond this, there has never been any hard evidence introduced that would substantiate any connection between either the Walkers or, particularly, Prescott Bush and eugenics. This has been a particularly persistent myth for the latter; it is common to find anti-Bush rants on the Web which claim that the elder Bush lost his campaign for the Senate in 1950 because his supposed connection to "the eugenics movement" had been uncovered.

This is afactual. What happened was that Bush, who had worked hard to recover his public image through his tireless USO work, had won the Republican nomination. But on the Sunday before the election, nationally syndicated columnist Drew Pearson intimated that Bush was president of the Birth Control Society, the predecessor of Planned Parenthood.

As the aforementioned Boston Globe profile details:
At the time, Connecticut was one of two states to ban the use of birth control, including condoms. (The other state was Massachusetts.)

Connecticut was then 55 percent Catholic, ''and the archbishop was death on this birth control thing,'' Prescott Bush recalled. Many voters phoned the Bush home, asking whether the story were true. Bush denied it all, but it was too late. He lost the Senate race by 1,102 votes, setting the family standard for razor-thin elections until his grandson, George Walker Bush, was elected president a half century later.
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December 01, 2003

Vithoon Chaomchaipl & Student Union Condoms

That's probably premature. Prostitution can certainly be a good thing.

There's an awful lot of confusing of issues here. Condoms on a campus certainly have nothing to do with the child sex slave trade.

Proper personal hygiene is not a problem, ever.

Student Union leader Vithoon Chaomchaipl was quoted as saying the leadership voted 6-1 against the plan just ahead of World AIDS Day on December 1 because installing machines "is not the best solution to fight the AIDS problem."

Prophylactics are involved in a wide range of protections against a wide range of infections. AIDS is only one of many such infections. Vithoon Chaomchaipl needs to understand the issues before he makes such votes.

It may be that there is an existing system for those who require condoms to get them affordably and conveniently from sources other than government supplied vending machines in the bathroom of the local student union. In which case Chaomchaipl may have a point and his vote was truly considered. On the other hand such a vending machine may be the only potential local affordable and convenient way to obtain condoms. If that is the case then Chaomchaipl's vote is truly ill considered.

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World AIDS Day 2003

ribot.jpg

Ribot was the name of one of horse racing's most celebrated thoroughbreds. He ran unbeaten in the 16 races he ran. He carried the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes as well as twice winning France‚Äôs Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Federico Tesio, Ribot's owner, wrote, of his foray into breeding thoroughbreds, that his aim “was to breed and raise a racehorse which, over any distance, could carry the heaviest weight in the shortest time.” In the 45+ years since Ribot's win at the Arc de Triomphe the horse is still considered one of the handful of top horses ever to grace the Sport of Kings.

In 1940 after Tesio's death, his partner, Mario Incisa Della Rochetta published the storied history of Frederico Tesio and their celebrated horses Donatello II, Nearco, and Ribot in his book: The Tesios As I Knew Them.

Ribot was a champion but he was also apparently quite eccentric. Race horses are quite naturally high strung and often are only really in their element when running. Among the top of breed horses will quite often do whatever it takes to get out on the track. But Ribot was a bit different. He was apparently gay and would not run his races unless a certain other horse was present. Whenever his partner was around he would be quite ready to race but became difficult to deal with and sullen when his friend was not around. In his stud years he became quite difficult to deal with:

Ribot was another horse whose disposition changed when he went to stud. The English-bred runner, who gained recognition as the greatest Italian-stabled racehorse of all time, won all 16 of his career starts (1954-1956). "Throughout his racing career, Ribot was an intelligent, quiet, well-behaved horse," William G. Munn wrote in a 1991 issue of Thoroughbred Times. "During his stud career, however, he became difficult, and at times his behavior could only be described as bizarre."

The horse, who started his stud career in Europe, came to Darby Dan Farm in June 1960 and spent the rest of his days at that Lexington, Ky., Thoroughbred hostelry. "People used to suggest that we get a goat or somethin' and put it in Ribot's stall to keep him quiet," the late Darby Dan manager Olin Gentry once recalled. "My answer to that question was, you'd have to order 'em by the carload. Ribot would have killed them. He never tried to hurt anybody but himself, but if you'd put a goat in there, god durn, he'd have climbed the wall and stood up on his hind legs to chew out the top of the damn rafters in the barn."

The literary magazine "Ribot" founded by Paul Vangelisti of OTIS LA was named as it was because of this story about its namesake. The painter Robin Palanker has a wonderful study, used as a cover for "Ribot" on the emotional landscape of Ribot & his partner in her painting called Amo, Amas, Amat from 1994.

Love arises everywhere.

In my youth I watched my friend Beth waste away from AIDS. She didn't actually have the disease. Her father did. As he wasted away so did she. Her translucent skin shone in the dark. Her blond locks thinned as her dad prepared to die. She was confused and frightened. Her mother would not acknowledge her father's imminent demise and when he finally slipped away she was the only one who knew. She was the only one who seemed to care and when he was gone and his body put away she faded away. She took a bus someplace and we never saw her again. Somewhere she may still wander. I hope she has found succor. I hope she still has hope somewhere in her heart.

When Nikki died he had his family at hand. How many are so fortunate?

Today is World AIDS Day. I have a number of things I will be adding to this throughout the day. In the mean time you should visit Link & Think to learn more about AIDS and what the epidemic is doing to the human community.

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