bilerico’s new policy

I read with excitement this piece on

Looking at last year’s news cycle, one option had a high degree of success at influencing voters’ behavior, setting back a large segment of the conservative movement, and generally providing a modicum of entertainment value for the masses. What was it? “Outing” the hypocrite.
Think Ted Haggard or Mark Foley.
I’m sick and tired of these hypocritical Hoosier legislators who think that my sex life or relationship status is any of their business. Do I intrude on who they’re sleeping with? I didn’t, but I’m going to start now. I think we need to shame them into doing the right thing and voting against discrimination. We need to show them that unnecessary intrusion into someone else’s sex life is not only unwelcome but unwarranted unless it involves children or animals. We need to burn their hand so they won’t touch the stove again.
Consider this a call to arms gossip. (We’re gay, we can do this tastefully and without violence! *grins*) I want to know the scoop. Tell me the stories that will embarrass those conservative bigots that are backing a constitutional ban on our formalized relationships. Send me gossip about who’s a philanderer, a kink fiend, a drug addict, a porn addict, or had a divorce, an abortion or even a stay in rehab. Ask your friends and family for the dirt. Look it up on the internet. Sniff out a lead and send it my way.
I specifically want to learn more about the alleged blowjob one of our married legislators got caught receiving in the Statehouse parking lot. I also want to know more about the single legislator (with the biggest “gay face” in the Statehouse!) who supposedly got all of his money after a rich non-related older man died and left it all to him. Rumor has it that there’s a northern Indiana legislator who’s in the closet and a female lawmaker who allegedly had an abortion or two but still ranks as a Super Christian with the Right to Life. I’ve heard that a couple out-of-town legislators have been spotted visiting the Unicorn Club and the gay baths and that several have a fondness for blow. Do you know who they are? Will you tell me?

I wish I had something juicy to share, but unfortunately, I’m too white bread to have good dirt on anyone. But I know that gay rumors have swirled for years about various Republican legislators, and about conservative bigot Eric Miller. I’m thrilled that bilerico is actively soliciting tips, and will gleefully reprint any good dirt they come up with. So if you know something, send it their way.

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On the Subject of the words “Faggot” and “Dyke”

Other that some passing linkage, I haven’t weighed in on the controversy surrounding actor Isaiah Washington and his use of the F-word twice in the last three months on the set of “Grey’s Anatomy” and at the Golden Globes. The New York Times summarizes the events. Given that there has been lots of commentary, I think I should say something.

For me, the use of the words “faggot” and “dyke” are as unacceptable as using the N word. Having been the victim of a violent hate crime in which I was repeatedly called a dyke (an event where I was threatened with death and where I honestly didn’t know if I was going to be killed) I’ve had a particularly strong reaction to the word ever since, no matter who uses it (I’m still pissed as hell at that being called that recently, and still intend for there to be some accountability for it eventually.)

There are souls out there in the universe for which the words “faggot” and “dyke” are the final words ever they heard as they were beaten and killed. For that reason alone, I don’t think the use of them should be taken lightly, and I think trying to “rehabilitate” the words diminishes the suffering of those souls.

People who use these words with malicious intent should be shunned in the same way that we ostracize and revile people who use the N word. I care about free speech too much to suggest that there are words that should never be used (I think the fact that we censor “swear” words is egregious to say the least) but I do think we can institute social consequences for bad behavior where legal ones are not appropriate.

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Gay Figure Skater Mark Lund Publicly Trashes Johnny Weir in Homophobic Outburst

A few days ago, in a preview of the upcoming 2007 US Figure Skating Championships, openly gay figure skater Mark Lund comments with Nancy Kerrigan and Lou Tilley, making some really strong statements about skater Johnny Weir and how he fits into gender roles.

Obviously, Mark Lund is way out of line here — whether or not Johnny is out is irrelevant to me, but his trashing Johnny Weir for Johnny’s femininity is outrageous, homophobic and disgusting. Let Johnny be who he is – we adore him; flames and all – he’s an extraordinary skater of enormous power and beauty and it’s breathtaking to watch him on the ice.

After this statements in the video, public reaction was fierce – people went to Johnny’s defense immediately, and Mark Lund found himself making this statement:

“It has unfortunately become typical that journalists and members of the media who dare to comment about a celebrity or public figure that acts outrageously often come under attack. I see I am now one of those unfortunate targets. This is in reference to remarks I made during the television show Reflections on Ice regarding the reigning U.S. Men’s Figure Skating Champion Johnny Weir.

My credentials in the sport and art of figure skating are well known, as is my orientation as an out gay man. I stand by my statement “overly out without being out” 100%. I say to Mr. Weir, “You enjoy being outspoken and a free spirit. You have said frequently that you have been brought up to speak your mind. However, you refuse to support the very community that paved the way for you.” I say to all those that believe my comments about Mr. Weir were homophobic to take a step back and realize the beliefs you are actually expressing. Mr. Weir is an individual who enjoys all the rights of the gay community without coming out to support the gay community. Now who is the hypocrite here? Most certainly not me.

With Mr. Weir posing for photos wearing heels and elaborate makeup in the pages of BlackBook magazine, I say, ‘Please don’t insult the grand drag queens of yesterday and today, unless you thank them for their tireless efforts of days past and present by acknowledging them publicly.’

My comments regarding his costuming were nothing more than what you see in the newsmagazines and on TV when journalists critique celebrities on the red carpet. I have never liked his costumes and they have become more and more elaborate in recent seasons. They do not represent the sport of figure skating that I love. Why don’t we take a look at the competitive costumes of skaters like Robin Cousins and John Curry. They understood classical elegance. Without a slight to great ballet dancers, my comment that Mr. Weir looks like a prima ballerina on the ice was meant to illustrate what I feel is his outrageous presentation of the sport and art of figure skating. I know I am not alone in my comments.

As a gay man who grew up in a small town in the 1970’s, I was able to look up to those in the sport of figure skating–gay and straight–who earned my admiration through character, dedication and sportsmanship. I am glad to say some of them are great friends of mine today.

Mr. Weir is free to wear what he wants, but he should back it up with actions. No one denies his enormous talent, but my comments were meant to reflect my feeling that he prefers drawing attention for being outrageous to drawing attention for being a great figure skater. The subject of the show on which I made my comments was a preview of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, which is a competitive sporting event.

To Mr. Weir, and his apparent legions of fans, to quote the old scoring system, there has been no 6.0 in your collective performances.”

Mr. Lund has some serious self-reflection to engage in before calling Johnny Weir to task for not being out of the closet, frankly, because Mr. Lund’s comments were nothing short of homophobic and gender-conformity shaming, which is horribly out of bounds for someone claiming to be an an “out gay man.”

In the “real world” of figure skating that Mark Lund claims as his own, same-sex pairs and same-sex dance are not allowed, and changing partners mid-skate was a rebellious performance at a competition that got one set of skaters disqualified. Men wearing dresses are not allowed. Until recently, women wearing pants on the ice in competitions was not allowed and even now it’s heavily frowned upon.

At the Gay Games, skaters did all of these things in ways that provoked thought about the sport itself, what it means to skate and what it means to perform in roles and on the ice as a gay person. Where the fuck was Mark Lund during the Gay Games, if he’s so out of the closet and proud of his sport? I saw every second of the skating performances there; he was nowhere to be found. And the figure skating performances there were nothing short of extraordinary — world-class figure skaters in performances that bent and broke gender roles in every conceivable way, and which were truly inspiring because they couldn’t happen anywhere else.

Johnny breaks gender barriers that need to broken in every single sport – until every person, including gay and transgendered people, can find their inner athlete, be able to compete in the sports they want in the ways they want, every sport will be lacking, though the athletes in it may not know it.

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UK Terror Plot – charges dropped on key suspect

Here’s one I’ll bet you don’t hear in the news — and I’m sure it won’t be noted on certain local blogs at all. One of the key suspects in the “War on Liquids on a Plane” boondoggle of August was released due to lack of evidence.

A Pakistani judge has ruled there is not enough evidence to try a key suspect in an alleged airline bomb plot on terrorism charges.
He has moved the case of Rashid Rauf, a Briton, from an anti-terrorism court to a regular court, where he faces lesser charges such as forgery. Pakistan has presented Mr Rauf as one of the ringleaders behind the alleged plan to blow up flights out of London. The British authorities say they foiled it with Pakistan’s help in August. They say proceedings against suspects arrested in Britain will go ahead.

The arrest of Rashid Rauf in Pakistan triggered arrests in the United Kingdom of a number of suspects allegedly plotting to blow up transatlantic flights. The Pakistani authorities described him as a key figure.

But an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi found no evidence that he had been involved in terrorist activities or that he belonged to a terrorist organisation. As well as forgery charges, Mr Rauf has also been charged with carrying explosives. But his lawyer says police evidence amounts only to bottles of hydrogen peroxide found in his possession. Hydrogen peroxide is a disinfectant that can be used for bomb-making if other chemicals are added. The BBC’s Barbara Plett in Islamabad says the judge’s decision has reinforced the already widespread scepticism there about the airliner plot.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Bio information on the internet

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Several of my favorite websites are noting that when it comes to searching for information on Martin Luther King, Jr., there’s a site run by white supremacists that ranks rather high in search engine results. I won’t link to it to avoid adding to the problem, but the site sits at martinlutherkingdotorg if you feel like checking it out. Please don’t do it via a search engine, however.
In response, they’re linking to more reliable, accurate sources of information on Dr. King to try to bump them up further on search results, and asking others to do the same.

Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King

And while we’re at it:
For good measure.

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Note to the Media: The Democrats haven’t even taken power yet

Apparently the right-wing biased mainstream media is busy chortling and high-fiving because soon to be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi had some tough leadership elections. Here’s what the Washington Post is saying:

The new House speaker, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, had a disastrous post-election week in which her first priority seemed to be settling scores rather than solving these big problems. Shame on her!

While at CNN, they’re putting up graphics in their “Situation Room” (um, that sounds kinda dirty for a news organization, doesn’t it? It means something in the White House, but on TV, not so much) that say “Is Nancy Pelosi Damaged Goods?”

Here’s a newsflash — the new Congress doesn’t get sworn in until January. You dumbasses. What “big problems” could they possibly solve? If big problems aren’t getting solved, it’s still the Republicans failing to solve them for at least two more months.

And there’s the little fact that the leadership elections on the Republican side of Congress were more cut-throat than the Democrats. But that’s an inconvenient fact that the right-biased mainstream media doesn’t want to mention.

At least part of the reason why the American people were duped by Bush for so long before they finally got fed up can be attributed to the media, who’ve been cheerleadering the Republicans since before Bush took power. Don’t think that had changed now that our government has. Er, will.

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Bill Maher Outs Ken Mehlman on CNN, and CNN censors on Pacific Broadcast

Bill Maher “outed” GOP party chairman Ken Mehlman as a gay man on Larry King Live last night — as seen on video here.
But on the rebroadcast for the west coast, they edited that bit out of the program, as seen here.
C’mon, guys. YouTube makes this sort of thing ridiculous. I can’t imagine why they’d bother editing that — it’s not like Larry King said it, Maher said it. If it’s not true, it’s not a reflection on CNN. And editing it out just gives it credence, and suggests that it’s something to be hidden.
UPDATES – The above links no longer show the videos of the Larry King show, as YouTube has asked the blog owner to take them down at the request of CNN. However, you can still see the whole video on the Huffington Post.
I think the cat’s out of the proverbial bag on this one, guys.

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Bush publishes info on how to build a Nuke

From the New York Times:

Last March, the federal government set up a Web site to make public a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war. The Bush administration did so under pressure from Congressional Republicans who had said they hoped to “leverage the Internet” to find new evidence of the prewar dangers posed by Saddam Hussein.
But in recent weeks, the site has posted some documents that weapons experts say are a danger themselves: detailed accounts of Iraq’s secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb.
Last night, the government shut down the Web site after The New York Times asked about complaints from weapons experts and arms-control officials. A spokesman for the director of national intelligence said access to the site had been suspended “pending a review to ensure its content is appropriate for public viewing.”
Officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency, fearing that the information could help states like Iran develop nuclear arms, had privately protested last week to the American ambassador to the agency, according to European diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity. One diplomat said the agency’s technical experts “were shocked” at the public disclosures.
Early this morning, a spokesman for Gregory L. Schulte, the American ambassador, denied that anyone from the agency had approached Mr. Schulte about the Web site.
The documents, roughly a dozen in number, contain charts, diagrams, equations and lengthy narratives about bomb building that nuclear experts who have viewed them say go beyond what is available elsewhere on the Internet and in other public forums. For instance, the papers give detailed information on how to build nuclear firing circuits and triggering explosives, as well as the radioactive cores of atom bombs.
“For the U.S. to toss a match into this flammable area is very irresponsible,” said A. Bryan Siebert, a former director of classification at the federal Department of Energy, which runs the nation’s nuclear arms program. “There’s a lot of things about nuclear weapons that are secret and should remain so.”
The government had received earlier warnings about the contents of the Web site. Last spring, after the site began posting old Iraqi documents about chemical weapons, United Nations arms-control officials in New York won the withdrawal of a report that gave information on how to make tabun and sarin, nerve agents that kill by causing respiratory failure.
The campaign for the online archive was mounted by conservative publications and politicians, who said that the nation’s spy agencies had failed adequately to analyze the 48,000 boxes of documents seized since the March 2003 invasion. With the public increasingly skeptical about the rationale and conduct of the war, the chairmen of the House and Senate intelligence committees argued that wide analysis and translation of the documents — most of them in Arabic — would reinvigorate the search for clues that Mr. Hussein had resumed his unconventional arms programs in the years before the invasion. American search teams never found such evidence.

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