Friday, April 22, 2011

Just a good old boy...

Seems the good old boys and grand old gals of Brandon, Mississippi figured out how to deal with the Westboro sorts good old-fashioned country way.

So you want to play, eh?

Seems the AFSCME of Michigan are threatening to "weaponize" their members jobs. One would hope they would clarify...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

What're you gonna do?

With a city government (or school board, or...) that not only spends through it's tax revenue, but exhausts its' bonding ability, and then still runs a massive deficit?

Well, in Michigan, they have an answer - an exceptionally powerful "Emergency Financial Manager" appointed by the Governor, under certain fairly specific conditions. The EFM can do a number of fairly exciting things - unilaterally modify or abrogate contracts, push the city into bankruptcy, or push the city into either merging with another entity or simply going out of business. And city elected sorts are barred from exercising their powers without the written consent of the EFM for the duration.

It seems the City of Benton Harbor, MI (a suburb of Detroit apparently noted for corruption) has achieved this status. And gee whiz, the usual suspects are peeved at having their toys taken away.

Well - what can you do with a City Gov't (or other such) gov't gone fiscally rogue? At some point, the ability of the local folks to absorb new taxes is exceeded, and the area economy implodes as employers and citizens move to greener pastures... and you are still, as a city, broke and in debt...but now with even fewer to financially support your foolishness.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Flying Porcine Check

It's rare I'll have anything good to say about the Eric Holder Justice Department, rife with scandal, inflicted upon us by the Obamanation.

This is one of the rare moments. Lyrical tributes aside, so long as happy naked fun is occurring between competent and consenting adults of the homo sapiens variety - it's none of .gov's bloody business!!

We may (or may not) frown on it privately, we may (or may not) consider it evidence of moral depravity, and we may (or may not) view/enjoy it ourselves - but it's all freedom of expression, clearly outside of the bounds of activity that government may regulate.

Now, that does NOT mean that a depiction of an unlawful act (let us say, for instance, a snuff scene) cannot or should not lead to prompt prosecution of those committing or soliciting the homicide in such an instance. It does not mean that relatives of the victim cannot sue on a variety of grounds. And it's darned hard to imagine how such a thing would end up on a recorded medium without the recording party and/or their associates being culpable co-conspirators.

The same holds true for most other forms of sexual naughtiness (the very definition of porn) - break the law (do something that would be criminal if it WEREN'T being recorded) and making a film of it and then distributing it worldwide doesn't exactly count as a *defense*. More like masochistic stupid in action, leading shortly to a jail cell and a new friend named "Bubba".

Given the fragility of the First Amendment, Senator Hatch? The bit where once we let the government decide what we can or cannot read, say, see, or think on one's a dreadfully short nano-second until the door is flung open to allow all kinds of regulation of freedom of expression?

Y'all can take that letter of yours, fold it up all sharp corners, carefully load it into an antique punt gun, bend over, drop trousers, and fire it into your rectal regions.

Our bedrooms (and, barring nonhumans and/or persons not consenting and capable adults, films of what we wish we might stumble across in our bedrooms) are none of your damned business, and I'll thank you to keep your paws to yourself.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

An Exchange with Progressives

Progressive 1:

Let's hurry and elect a republican governor here in Washington state

Emergency financial manager takes power, raises tempers in Benton Harbor
New law is already leading to a showdown in Detroit Public Schools.

Progressive 2:

yeah, cuz *our* republicans would *never* do such things...

Progressive 1:


Progressive 3:

yes, yes, my state is screwed, democracy is apparently overrated, if we didn't feel like unimportant cattle before we sure do now


Well, I suppose it might be kinder to simply force insolvent state/county/muni/etc gov'ts into bankruptcy , and have them dissolved with their assets sold at auction and their employees terminated by a federal bankruptcy judge rather than try to save them...

Progressive 2:

Gay_Cynic, would you feel comfortable if Gregoire was taking this kind of executive authority? be honest.


If you look at the law, it's fairly tightly defined in terms of when and how it can be employed. And it's far from a unilateral exercise of executive authority - the MI legislature *gave* the MI Gov this authority.

Under the strictures of this statute (that I'd like even stricter), I might not be thrilled, but if a county/muni/etc gov't entity is insolvent - I *really* like the idea of some intermediate step before leaping directly to "forced bankruptcy, sale of assets, termination of employees, and dissolution of insolvent body", or some of the other less obviously ugly alternatives.,1607,7-121-1751_51556-198770--,00.html


Tunnel Follies - Earthquakes, Sea-levels, and famously unstable geology!

The Seattle Liberal Elite has, for some time, been hell-bent on getting rid of the Alaskan Way Viaduct ("it's ugly" is the actual reason, but "it's unsafe in a quake" is the official reason).

Faced with a decision of tunnel (in a city with unstable geology made from wash, fill of unusual nature, and a *very active* water table), a surface option (of questionable feasability - closing a highway carrying 110,000 trips per day means those trips need to go someplace..likely generating surface street gridlock, given already crowded conditions and pushing many trips over to 405 on the East side of Lake Washington - another over-burdened highway), or either repairing the existing viaduct (or under the Chopp plan, building a shiny new one to modern code) - state and city leaders carefully chose the most expensive approach with the least amount of carrying capacity and surface street access.

Unfortunately, it seems they broke the law and in the mad rush to try and suppress a citizen referendum to overturn their decision....this is now rising to the surface.


Monday, April 18, 2011


Correia says it better than I'm likely to, and brings far more expertise to the table.

You can tell by the progressive/liberal squeals of dismay that he's likely onto something. Several things.

Oh yes, buy a gun today!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

TSA: Punishing the Critical

Apparently saying mean things, particularly in an arrogant tone, about the TSA leads to heightened probulation and excitement - perhaps even to life on the ban lists!

It wasn't so long ago we called that kind of thing "abuse of authority"...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Journalist in the Closet

Let's not let this drop down the memory hole, eh?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Things that don't make sense

1) There are, in fact, a number of nations practicing Sharia law.

2) Sharia law advocates, nay, demands the extermination of same-sex lovers.

3) Islam is not the friend of LGBT folks with a healthy interest in survival and civil rights.

See the article.

And then read this piece by Bruce Bawrer.

Tell me again how tolerance is *always* a good thing?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

BATFE & Cover-ups: Ineptitude in Action...

Workman's article pretty well covers it, but for those new to the an effort to prove that naughty gun-dealers and gun-0wners were running guns across the Mexican border to sell to the drug cartels and other nasty folks that would then use them to do bad things, like killing US agents and supporting criminal empires - the ATF kids figured the best way to do this was to run guns across the border, and sure enough bad things happened and a couple of federal agents were killed with the guns that the ATF was running.

Poor form. As the great circling of the ATF wagon occurs, some nimrod got the bright idea of stonewalling Congress - failing to observe that things have rarely worked out well in the past for other federal agencies attempting that game. One might even suspect congress-critters get a bit cranky about such efforts.

Nevertheless, as usual, ATF is proceeding at full blunder ahead - failing to produce persons and documents that Senators and House members are demanding.

Who knows? We might get lucky and get to watch Congress abolish the ATF in favor of some worthwhile way to spend money....

See the article for latest developments

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Alternative Energy: BioFuel

Ok. I sell electric vehicles for what we'll laughingly call a living. I actually *like* some of them (the Zero S Motorcycle and the Wheego LiFe come to mind). They aren't the answer for every need and locale, but for quite a few, they are just dandy. When gas is getting up near $4.00/ga or better...electric looks better and better.

Biofuels, however, are an obviously bad choice. There's only so much arable land in a given region, and that land can either be dedicated to growing bio-fuel or growing food...and for every acre growing biofuel, that's an acre not growing food - and thus driving the price of food skyward...not a good thing.

Read the article - it has more data than I have energy to present :)

Not every Hollywood sort is a nimrod...

Take Tom Selleck, for instance...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ponderings on Choices

The possibility of moving to a small town with dramatically lower crazy per square inch, particularly and especially of the so-called progressive neo-luddite variety is slowly getting more real as various obstacles dwindle.

With that dwindling comes contemplation of what I'd be leaving behind - a best buddy that I know I'll stay in contact with (but only see in person a few times a year, at best), and other friends. Two delightful nieces. And, shallow as it may be of me, one of Seattle's few remaining good points is the burgeoning culinary culture - one delightful stopping point after another.

I was out last night with Best Buddy...and actually got out on the dance floor. The notion of 4 hours (+) to the nearest gay bar (and similar dancing opportunities) - but the truth is, I think I'll miss the restaurants more. And getting to hang out with Best Buddy every weekend, more yet.

An occasional night out with friends, or sitting up over beverages and noshes while laughing at the world may be dramatically less likely to produce Mr. Right - but the odds of, with luck and a fair bit of effort, finding a few scraps of joy whilst struggling to become a better man each day seem rather better than spending in a bar full o' hotties - and less likely to erupt in seven different kinds of drama delivered by the Llama Airborne Division.

Change, particularly for us habit-hobbled types, is a bit scary. But - sitting in the same rut, doing the same thing, expecting a different result is simply insanity.

And truth be told - the elder I care for rapidly is ceasing to be able to afford to live in Seattle, and I could likely do better working in a stop'n'rob so long as it offered health insurance.

Fretting. It's what we do.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fuzzy thinking

Tam pointed it out first, but feel free to go here and comment on the irrationality of the might even say unthinking bigotry.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Now, THAT'S marketing

Get a free gun when you get your new Dish Network subscription....

On Korans, Idiots, and Bigger Idiots

I've said it before, and will say it again. Book burning is tacky and offensive, though I'd argue that mass-produced woo-woo (christian, islamic, jewish, new age, or whatever) is notably less offensive when burned than the average work of fiction or, more critically, irreplaceable first editions and unique volumes (and just why haven't you generated digital copies of such, you silly gooses?)...

That said, that book-burning is an act of dumb-assery usually perpetrated by knuckle-dragging morons, hauling off and proceeding to riot and kill folks over somebody elses dumb-assery takes a special kind of moron, a sort that merits the respect and affection given a feral rabid dog.

I can see outrage if someone were to throw a couple of hundred practitioners of Islam into a bonfire (though I'd suggest that directing the outrage towards the tossers rather than "whoever we can get our hands on" would look less like the acts of a herd of sociopaths).

However, getting that stirred up by a loon burning a book *that they lawfully purchased and may lawfully dispose of as they see fit*?

That, my friend, is the act of cretins awash in magical thinking attempting - like a child throwing a tantrum - to extort false respect for a faith so fragile that it cannot withstand a book burning. And such tantrums must never be rewarded, as rewarding such behavior only leads to the bad behavior being reinforced and re-enacted in bigger and more dramatic fashion.

Thus, while ordinarily I would be repulsed, I would support the public burning off a 100 Korans for each person killed in the rioting in Afghanistan - just to get the point across.

Islam is not an excuse for "homicidal crazy", and such idiocy should be punished - not rewarded.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Geraldo in Libya

Dear Geraldo -

I'm not a fan, but neither do I wish you to suicide by ineptness.

Mid-firefight, still filming, running about in a half-crouch, in a white shirt, unarmed, with a mic in your hand....

1) When it's raining lead out, make love to mother earth - journalism is for *LATER*. See if the nice security person you hired is carrying a spare he/she can loan you. Ideally, a spare *RIFLE*. Stick with semi-auto, aimed fire. Conserve your ammunition.

2) Don't wear things that pick you out against the landscape. Unlike the studio, in the combat zone, contrast *is not your friend*. Mid-firefight, especially. Conversely, attire that is projectile resistant and that allows you to blend into the background *IS* your friend. "Center of Attention" when under fire is always bad.

3) If you come under fire, seek COVER (concealment is a poor second best, but may be all you have available). Cover stops bullets and things, concealment doesn't.

4) If, while under fire, you *MUST* move, the butt-down crawl is your friend. Crab-crawl at maximum speed to the next chunk of cover unless instructed by your handler to do otherwise.

5) Familiarize yourself w/ your companions weapons - battlefield drops happen. Works out better when you know how to operate what you pick up. Don't forget to pick up the ammo while you're at it.

6) In general famous faces and front lines are an especially bad combination from both a hostage value and terror value viewpoints. Think about this. Send a junior and relatively unknown reporter - the odds of their survival if captured are higher.

And my point of view? It just plain *hurts* to see an allegedly intelligent and experienced individual making such fundamental mistakes that could get them dead or worse. Please make the pain stop, and start being a bit more sensible.



Answering a question...

The horrible economy and huge spike in violent crime in NYC have me considering other places to live. I thought I would post here to see if any guys would be considerate enough to answer a few questions:

1. I hate having to drive - can you get by in Seattle without a car? Are there subways and busses like NYC?
2. Is there an active gay scene?
3. What part of Seattle is most desirable?
4. What would the rent be for an average studio or one-bedroom apartment?
5. Is the job market as dismal in Seattle as other places?
6. Are there any good Chinese restaurants?

Totally serious and appreciate any feedback. Thanks!

For shits and giggles, I figured I'd give answering a shot...see below...

Well -

There will be culture shock. This is the west coast, after all. Liberal out here does not, outside of a small hard core, mean the same thing that it does back there. Libertarianism (small "l") is a fairly constant undercurrent of the "just leave folks alone to determine their own damnation" variety outside of the aforementioned hard core.

That said, to your questions:

1) Bus-transit is a yes. Light Rail is limited and of questionable utility given the dramatically lower urban density of the region - many feel, based on that, that transit projects are just throwing money down a rat hole when you can drive most places in under 30% of the time you take on transit - and then find parking. We don't have subways - given the combination of being on the water *and* in a quake zone, many of us feel that "underground during quake w/ water nearby = bad".

2) Yes, there is an active gay scene, though it is somewhat in remission. Bring friends. Start two or three new bars. A restaurant or five. Re-invigorate Capitol Hill (our historically gay district).

3) What are you *looking for*? If you want to live in the LGBT district (granted, due to improved conditions, much dispersed in recent years), Capitol Hill. If you're going to go back to school, obviously near the school you want to go to. If you're looking for "snob value"...the gated communities, and then Magnolia and some portions of Capitol Hill (the old lumber baron mansions) and West Seattle (again, old lumber baron mansions) are rather nice. Central District is about mid-point in gentrification, Rainier Valley and Beacon Hill are sort of "ghetto-lite", the International District is a bit edgy (as is Pioneer Square), and Georgetown has an industrial/artsy mix going on.

4) Highly Variable. You should, with some effort, be able to find something in the 800-1000/mo range - PARTICULARLY if you stay out of Capitol Hill and the University Districts....

5) Depends on what kind of job you're looking for, but yes, our job market is mostly crap. If you can figure out a killer business plan and stomp in to implement it, all the sane folks will thank you.

6) Yes. It's the rain. We *are* the foodie city. Chinese, Thai, Ethiopian, Russian, French, Italian and more are all reasonably available, and with good quality more often than not....

Culture shock bits. We do have LGBT conservativish folks.

Open carry (and licensed concealed carry) of firearms is legal in Washington with four exceptions - the right response is to either ignore said individuals unusual equippage so long as it remains holstered or to compliment them on their tasteful choices. Screaming and running in circles is somewhat less desirable. This tends to startle folks from the NE, yet oddly enough, our violent crime per capita is consistently lower than that of those regions.

We don't have, and the voters get really irritated by suggestions of, a state income tax. Night life largely winds down, other than private parties, by 1:30AM. If you are a dirty naughty boy, many of the convenient naked fun parties you have available in NYC will need to be re-invented in Seattle (profit?).

You have Fire Island - we have Triangle Recreational Campground. Both are festive, but there are differences in *scale*. Within an hours drive we have skiing, hiking, ocean, and forest opportunities - and the outdoors gay scene is alive and well. There is a large gay sporting league (i.e., a mother ship spawning off leagues for many different sports).

Many NE stereotypes don't survive well out here. We have a lively civic arts scene in major, medium, and minor cities. Most folks are pretty accepting.

WARNING: NE folks are often a bit boggled when moving here by how simultaneously friendly and stand-offish folks are here - so going in, expect that it'll take a year or two to develop or break into a pre-existing group of close friends.

Conversely, NW folks are often put off by the more aggressive "bull in a china shop" hard-driving social approach of many NE Transplants - think of a more balanced and less amused version of the Cali Surfer stereotype....

It's not *bad*, just different, and to succeed requires a minor mental re-set.

Bar Etiquette, Pt. II

Apparently I'm giving off some kind of drama pheromone, when I'd much rather be luring in other sorts of entertainment...

Best Buddy & I go out again last night (sadly, sabotaging a date planned for later in the evening) and Best Buddy proceeds to get a wee bit tossed whilst I sip my O'Doul's Amber and we wander through three bars (Elite, Pony, and Madison Pub) before hitting our final bar of the night, The Cuff.

There we were, out on the Cuff patio, all huddled under the canvas awnings with the roaring propane patio heaters and scads of guys of highly variable hotness, when Best Buddy discovers that - tragedy of tragedies - his double gin tonic has run dry.

Turning swiftly to remedy this traumatic event, he stumbled across a nelly twenty-something twink of overwhelming attitude and apologized with his usual charm and 5'8" and 130lbs (it is worth noting that I am not a petite and delicate flower, and Best Buddy is most accurately described as the prettier and physically fit version...both of us standing about 6'2") soaking wet, Miss Thing decides to take the point that while Best Buddy was lurching off towards the bar, Thing's boyfriend is holding him back chanting "let it go, let it go"...

I think it's a hint that I need to go spend some range time when I'm mumbling under my breath "no, please, don't" whilst contemplating the most entertaining take-downs to employ AFTER bad-twink has commenced felonious assault upon buddy (which kind of takes off the "losing brownie points with SPD" restraints about such things)...

Not only is it getting odd out there, but I think I may be getting a bit cranky....

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bar Etiquette

Now, I'm a gay man (not really a surprise to long time readers of this space) and from time to time, what with being single and all (and desirous of changing that condition) I go out bars, figuring them a notably more target-rich and lower-risk environment than the local Baptist gather... (though dear lord, when those repressed fundie boys come screaming outta the closet with all that pent-up for MONTHS!)...

Last week, well, my best buddy and I went out...had a really nice dinner at La Fontana Siciliana before heading out to the bars. He's newly single and I've been single for years, so it seemed a sensible plan.

He'd bought dinner, so I was buying drinks...and two or three rounds in, I wandered on up to the bar and was getting a refill for us both...and to my surprise and dismay, a hand came out of nowhere and fondled the happy bits whilst asking how I was doing...

Now, I'm accustomed, even in the rowdier bars in the community, to a certain amount of... politeness... before such adventures begin. And I prefer a bit more privacy for the negotiations than standing in the middle of a bar, no matter how festive.

What with age and maturity, I'll admit I froze for a moment in disbelief and dismay (and to decide if the owner of the hand was sufficiently cute for forgiveness), before reaching down, removing the foreign hand from the jewels, and placing it (still attached to the owner) firmly upon the bar - only to get attitude for not thanking the surprise fondler for his attentions.

At which point the whole age and maturity thing kicked in again, and the phrase "is it really worth it?" came bouncing through my awareness...and I was forced to conclude that, tempting as it was, it really wasn't worth the inevitable chat with SPD that face-planting the offender into the bar-top would likely result in. Still tempting, though.

C'mon, guys - have a *LITTLE* couth. Even if you're drop dead gorgeous (and for the most part you aren't, and neither am I) surprise fondling is about as tacky as surprise buttsex - you'd be amazed at how much farther a little conversation will get you, and the improved reward quality you get.