Thursday, March 31, 2011

He's a so cute farm boy and I love him!

Black is Beautiful

Jard Padalecki: the world in my hands

No one loves me,all hope gone. I'll embrace my pillow and dream alone

Well, not really...

Yes, we're lycanthropes. Got something against it?

Better not

"I'm Leopold and he's Loeb. Will you take a ride with us?"

Will the fact I'm a vampire ruin our relationship?

The fact is, I've got thin blood...

Sparkling love

The Four Hotties

So lovely

now, you'll ask why I've gathered you all here...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Masked lover

Beach Buddies

Armed gays don't get bashed


White House and State Department Press Releases on U.N. Resolution on Gay Rights: a response to the vatican's criminal paedophilia and homophobia

From the Blog of Michael in Norfolk

White House and State Department Press Releases on U.N. Resolution on Gay Rights
In sharp juxtaposition to the statement of the Vatican noted in a post yesterday where the Vatican argues that nations be allowed to regulate same sex sexual relations - you know, just like they do with incest and pedophilia - the White House and United States Department of State each released a statement that makes the case of why gay rights are human rights. As noted, the Vatican statement also portrayed homophobes and those who denigrate and advocate criminalization of LGBT citizens as victims of intolerance. Here's the text of the State Department press release:
Office of the Press Secretary
___________________________________________________________________________________________ FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 22, 2011 Statement by the Press Secretary on Ending Violence Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
President Obama believes that advancing the human rights of minorities and the marginalized is a fundamental American value. The President was pleased to announce during his trip to Brazil that he and President Rousseff agreed to promote respect for the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals through the establishment of a special rapporteur on LGBT issues at the Organization of American States. This special rapporteur will be the first of its kind in the international system.
Over the past months our diplomats have been engaged in frank, and at times difficult, conversations about the human rights of LGBT persons with governments from around world. This morning, at the United Nations Human Rights Council, some 85 countries joined the United States in reaffirming our joint commitment to end acts of violence and human rights abuses on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The President is proud of the work we have done to build international consensus on this critical issue and is committed to continuing our determined efforts to advance the human rights of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Office of the Spokesman
__________________________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release March 22, 2011 2011/450 STATEMENT BY SECRETARY CLINTON
Human Rights Council Statement on Ending Violence Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Today, 85 countries from every region of the world joined together in a historic moment to state clearly that human rights apply to everyone, no matter who they are or whom they love.
The United States, along with Colombia and Slovenia, took a leading role on this statement along with over 30 cosponsors. Countries around the world participated including many that had never supported such efforts. And we hope that even more countries will step up, sign on to the statement and signal their support for universal human rights.
This statement is an example of America’s commitment to human rights through dialogue, open discussion and frank conversation with countries we don’t always agree with on every issue. In Geneva, our conversations about the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals with countries where sexual orientation is not only stigmatized, but criminalized, are helping to advance a broader and deeper global dialogue about these issues.
As I said last June, gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights. We will continue to promote human rights around the world for all people who are marginalized and discriminated against because of sexual orientation or gender identity. And we will not rest until every man, woman and child is able to live up to his or her potential free from persecution or discrimination of any kind.
I applaud the State Department position and also note that IF the morally bankrupt Vatican truly supported human rights - and not just special protections for sexual predator priests and those who cover up their crimes - it would be on board with the State Department position. That it refuses to do so speaks volumes.

A Fine response to this:

The Vatican Again Equates Same Sex Relationships with Incest and Pedophilia

The hypocrisy of the bitter old men in dresses at the Vatican truly knows no limits. As the Obama administration in my view has belatedly gotten behind a United Nations resolution that would call on all nations to decriminalize homosexuality, the Vatican has published a statement by Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, Permanent Representative of the Holy See to the United Nations that states that nations DO have a right to regulate sexual behaviors - including those involving intimacy between individuals of the same sex. Indeed, the statement says that regulating gay behavior is no different than enacting laws to forbid sexual behaviors such as pedophilia and incest. This from an institution that has engaged in a world wide conspiracy to abet and cover up the rape and molestations of many tens of thousands of children and youth. Pardon, me but it's well past time that the Vatican was not only booted from the United Nations but also made the subject of Interpol investigations. Adding insult to injury, the statement goes on to play the victim card and whine about the supposed persecution of those who endeavor to insert their religious beliefs into the secular laws and deprive others of civil rights. Once again, we see an example of how these hate merchants want a license to vilify and persecute others, but they can't stand a little bit of their own medicine. As always, these falsely self-righteous folks want special rights. Here's a sampling of the Vatican's disingenuous drivel:
[F]or the purposes of human rights law, there is a critical difference between feelings and thoughts, on the one hand, and behaviour, on the other. A state should never punish a person, or deprive a person of the enjoyment of any human right, based just on the person’s feelings and thoughts, including sexual thoughts and feelings. But states can, and must, regulate behaviours, including various sexual behaviours. Throughout the world, there is a consensus between societies that certain kinds of sexual behaviours must be forbidden by law. Paedophilia and incest are two examples.
Human sexuality, like any voluntary activity, possesses a moral dimension : it is an activity which puts the individual will at the service of a finality; it is not an “identity”. In other words, it comes from the action and not from the being, even though some tendencies or “sexual orientations” may have deep roots in the personality.
People are being attacked for taking positions that do not support sexual behaviour between people of the same sex. When they express their moral beliefs or beliefs about human nature, which may also be expressions of religious convictions, or state opinions about scientific claims, they are stigmatised, and worse -- they are vilified, and prosecuted. . . . these attacks are violations of fundamental human rights, and cannot be justified under any circumstances.
The Vatican statement also whines about the need for a moral dimension in sexual relationships. As if morality was ever a concern as bishops, cardinals and Benedict XVI himself covered up for and protected sexual predators. Or even now as dioceses seek to hide assets and avoid paying well deserved money damage judgments to sexual abuse victims. Nothing is more immoral that the Vatican and the so-called "princes of the Church."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Goodnight with Dan Skinner's Tender Pics!

Strange lifeforms, by me

Freakangels by Ellis and Duffield: Luke cured

I don't even want to know!

Tom Of Finland's Hunk Trio

The Universe is expanding at 73.8 +/- 2.4 km/sec/megaparsec! So there.

In 1998, two teams of astronomers independently reported amazing and bizarre news: the Universal expansion known for decades was not slowing down as expected, but was speeding up. Something was accelerating the Universe.

Since then, the existence of this something was fiercely debated, but time after time it fought with and overcame objections. Almost all professional astronomers now accept it’s real, but we still don’t know what the heck is causing it. So scientists keep going back to the telescopes and try to figure it out.

[Click to galactinate, or grab the cosmic 3500 x 4000 pixel browser bruiser.]

This gorgeous image is of the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 5584, where of course "nearby" to an astronomer means 72 million light years. This galaxy is loaded with a specific type of variable star — called Cepheids — which are very important: the way they change their brightness depends on how luminous they are. Measure the change, and you measure the luminosity, and if you measure how bright they appear in the sky you get their distance. It’s a bit like judging how far away a car is by gauging how bright its headlights are. Except in this case astronomers use Hubble instead of their eyes. It’s a tad more accurate.

It so happens that in 2007, NGC 5584 was the host of a Type Ia supernova, the Golden Standard of distance indicators. These are so bright they can be seen clear across the Universe! By knowing the distance to the one in NGC 5584, we can then use that to get the distances to supernovae much, much farther away.

It’s a bootstrappy way of measuring the cosmic distance scale.

But it appears to work. By measuring the Cepheids in eight galaxies that also hosted Type 1a supernovae, astronomers (led by my old pal Adam Riess; we were grad students together when he cracked the Type 1a code that led to the discovery of the universal acceleration — which will win him the Nobel one day, I’d wager) were able to hone the distance bootstrap even better.

And now, by measuring first the Cepheids and then using them to determine the distance to far-flung supernovae, they have nailed down just how fast the Universe is expanding: 73.8 (plus or minus 2.4) km/sec/megaparsec.

OK, so what does that mean?

We see galaxies rushing away from us. Moreover, the farther away they are, the faster they appear to be moving. The rate of that expansion is what was measured. If you find a galaxy 1 megaparsec away (about 3.26 million light years), the expansion of space would carry it along at 73.8 km/sec (fast enough to cross the United States in about one minute!). A galaxy 2 megaparsecs away would be traveling away at 147.6 km/sec, and so on*.

The last time this was measured accurately, the speed was seen to be 74.2 +/- 3.6 km/sec/mpc. Note the uncertainty; both the old and new measurements overlap to within their uncertainty (which is good!), but the new one has a smaller uncertainty. In other words it’s most likely more accurate.

By knowing this number so well, it allows better understanding of how the Universe is behaving. It also means astronomers can study just how much the Universe deviates from this constant rate at large distances due to the acceleration. And that in turn allows us to throw out some ideas for what dark energy is, and entertain notions of what it might be. For example, one idea was that instead of dark energy accelerating the Universe, it was an illusion due to our region in the local Universe being unusually underdense — that would make it look like distant galaxies are receding faster than expected. However, the precision of the new measurement rules this out; the value needed by the void model would have to be much lower. So right away we know that this explanation doesn’t work, and the idea of dark energy survives another battle.

So that number of 73.8 +/- 2.4 km/sec/mpc may sound arcane and weird to you, but it is in fact the key to understanding the Universe itself. It’s amazing that so much can ride on one number… but that’s the Universe for you.

* In reality it’s a little more complicated than that. Due to gravity of galaxies and clusters, the rate of expansion doesn’t really kick in until you get out to a distance of a handful of megaparsecs. But the concept is the same.

Gay tenderness

Monday, March 21, 2011


While Protecting Child Rapists, the Catholic Church Continues to Denigrate Gays Even in Death

From the blog of Michael in Norfoll

The never ending hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy at times is beyond belief. Take, for instance, Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York. who in a recent pastoral letter on the archdiocese's website recounts a supposed encounter he had with a man at an airport who was disgusted and enraged by the Church's deliberate and pervasive cover up/protection of sexual predator priests. The man in the story line at the outset refused - in my view properly - to shake Dolan's corpulent hand. When challenged on the world wide sex abuse scandal, Dolan disgustingly put forth the "everyone else does it" excuse for the Church's vile conduct and callous utter disregard for the safety and well being of children and youths. Indeed, here's part of what Dolan had to say in his disingenuous propaganda piece:
But, let me ask you, do you automatically presume a sexual abuser when you see a Rabbi or Protestant minister?” “Not at all,” he came back through gritted teeth as we both boarded the train. “How about when you see a coach, or a boy scout leader, or a foster parent, or a counsellor, or physician?” I continued. “Of course not!” he came back. “What’s all that got to do with it?”
“A lot,” I stayed with him, “because each of those professions have as high a percentage of sexual abuse, if not even higher, than that of priests.” “Well, that may be,” he retorted. “But the Church is the only group that knew it was going on, did nothing about it, and kept transferring the perverts around.”
“You obviously never heard the stats on public school teachers,” I observed. “In my home town of New York City alone, experts say the rate of sexual abuse among public school teachers is ten times higher than that of priests, and these abusers just get transferred around.”
I’m afraid there are many out there who have no love for the Church, and are itching to ruin us. This is the issue they love to endlessly scourge us with.” “And, three, I hate to say it,” as I wrapped it up, “there’s a lot of money to be made in suing the Catholic Church, while it’s hardly worth suing any of the other groups I mentioned before.”
Dolan, of course, ignores the fact that the Church sees itself as having a license to preach hate against others and declare who is a sinner and who is not. Indeed, the Church acts as if the hierarchy farts gold dust and is incapable of error. Fine. If that's the game Dolan wants to play, then let's treat the Church like everyone else. For starters, let's (1) strip Catholic priests of all societal deference, (2) arrest and prosecute Church superiors who knew about and protected sexual predators (including Benedict XVI), and (3) revoke all special recognition of the Vatican as a sovereign power. Yep, let's treat the Church just like everyone else. Oh, and we might want to revoke the Church's tax exempt status too given its attempts to interfere with political issues and politicians.
As for the Church's never ending denigration of gays - even in death - the Worcester Telegram & Gazette has a story of the all too typical incredible pettiness and viciousness of the Church hierarchy:
When Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to legalize gay marriage, Dennis Troy wrote an impassioned letter to Margaret Marshall, the Supreme Court justice who penned the landmark ruling.
He wrote about growing up gay in Worcester, about the bullying and the taunts, about the abuse that led to alcohol and the belief that he wasn't “normal.” After struggling for years, he eventually got sober and met the man he would spend his life with. The only thing missing was validation, which came when he opened the newspaper in May 2004.
But despite Troy's status as a legally married adult, there are still some holdovers who seek to remind him that he's not “normal.” The Catholic Church and Bishop Robert J. McManus, for example, still insist on stigmatizing the loving and legal bond that they encourage for everyone except homosexuals.
In January, though, Troy's 75-year-old sister died. She was buried in the family plot at St. John's Cemetery, the one Troy's mother bought more than three decades ago. His sister's death prompted Troy to start thinking about his own mortality, and a week later he returned to St John's to ensure that his resting place was in order.
[T]he bishop “doesn't mind” that gay couples are buried in the cemetery, Troy recalled. But the bishop won't allow gay people who are married to reflect that status in any form on their final resting place. In other words, no marker or tombstone can be inscribed with the word “spouse,” “husband” or “wife.”
Rather, Troy and Darisse would only be allowed to call each other something like “faithful companion” or “loyal friend.” Which prompted a bemused Darisse to wonder if he should change his name to Lassie or Rin Tin Tin.
In other words, tough luck to gay married Catholics. They can live as spouses, but they can't die that way in any of the more than 20 Catholic cemeteries in Worcester County.
Troy said that his parents, grandparents and other relatives are buried at St. John's, so he won't go elsewhere. Besides, his mother paid for the plot. “Richard is my legal spouse,” he noted. “I'm angry and hurt by my church. I've chosen to remain Catholic but I'm almost ready to leave.
My advice on the matter? Dennis needs to leave the Church and endeavor to encourage as many of his relatives as possible to do likewise. By remaining a "practicing Catholics" - to use a term thrown at me earlier in the year - one becomes an accessory to the crimes and moral bankruptcy of the Church hierarchy. Yes, it is initially difficult to sever the years or decades of brainwashing, but it is possible. Moreover, one will feel so much cleaner not being an accessory to the sexual abuse of children. I'm sure there are wonderful Episcopal and ELCA churches in Worcester that would welcome Dennis and his partner. I'd also note that if one truly believes in the life after death/resurrection story, then one believes that the loved one has left their earthly shell and moved on. Where one is buried ultimately means nothing other than bowing to tradition. And for the record, I plan on being cremated with my ashes thereafter scattered in locations of my designation