Monday, November 30, 2009


Originally aired on November 7, 2009 on BBC World - The Catholic Church is a force for good in the world - is an interesting debate.

Uganda has one of the highest rates of AIDS of any country in the world and much of the church teachings are about abstinence. In Max Blumenthal's piece at The Daily Beast, he sheds light on Rick Warren's work in Africa. This piece is originally from January 2009 when Obama picked Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural prayer.

During the early 1990s, when many African leaders denied the AIDS epidemic’s existence, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni spoke openly about the importance of safe sex. With the help of local and international non-governmental organizations, he implemented an ambitious program emphasizing abstinence, monogamous relationships, and using condoms as the best ways to prevent the spread of AIDS. He called the program “ABC.” By 2003, Uganda’s AIDS rate plummeted 10 percent. The government’s free distribution of the “C” in ABC—condoms—proved central to the program’s success, according to Avert, an international AIDS charity.

The real work behind Warren and other church leaders in Uganda - the Kill Gays bill - is detailed out in the work of Timothy Kinkaid at Box Turtle Bulletin. Check out the connections to USA GOP politicians.

There's so much I want to write about the Catholic church after my upbringing and college years. Sometime I will get it all out. I encourage you to watch all five of the video segments and read the complete articles linked above. For now, the most telling statement came from a gentleman in the audience when the church argues that it has been judged by the standards of the times. He retorts:

"The truths in your doctrines are either eternal or not."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Freedom from Want

I first remember seeing Norman Rockwell's Four Freedoms in a little shop in Alexandria VA in the early 1990's and just thought they were remarkable. The prints themselves were just huge, each at least six feet tall and after studying it for a bit, I thought I had never been to a dinner that nice! My holiday dinners were more like the dinner scene from Moonstruck! LOL

Thanks to family and friends and those protecting our freedoms here and abroad. Thanks to Dave for putting up with me all these years and to Winston, Kiana and Jeb for always making me smile. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

So after 18 years of not knowing him, I met my father when I was 23. He called me one day while I was working and in a tone reminiscent of Star Wars, he said, "Hello Jim. This is your Father."

I met him shortly after that call and it turns out he was living six miles from where I grew up - in the same school district and a stones throw from my high school. All types of excuses were thrown at me for why there was never any contact, especially being so geographically close.

Then we spent a year getting to know one another. He would crack open a can of Budweiser when I would be putting on my running shoes early in the morning. He would tell me about all of the women he was sleeping with - at work, at the beach, in the neighborhood and then we would go to dinner with his wife - and then once he was (again) all liquored up, he would tell me the only women he ever really loved was my Mother.

After seeing the typical trend of drinking, grandiose plans, those plans falling thru and then depression leading to more drinking, I decided my life was better off without him in it. As tough as it was growing up without that father figure during those formative years, I had struggled and been somewhat successful on my own - and with the help of some dear friends.

The point that my feelings really solidified was on a nice night in the spring. My sister was in the hospital. They found and removed a cyst on one of her fallopian tubes. After visiting hours were over, I called him and told him that my side of the family was gone so if he wanted to call, he didn't have to worry about speaking to someone he didn't care to speak with. His response..."She's young. She'll get over it." At this point, I told him my sister had been seeing someone for a couple years and it was a serious relationship. This would also cut her chances of child-bearing in half - and besides, even if she's young and will phsyically recover, this could scar her femininity for the rest of her life. His response..."Did you see that Flyers game last night?" Our conversation and our relationship ended very soon after that.

I always said that if I ever had the chance to have kids, that I would be a better Father to them than he had been to me. Which in all reality, would have been extremely easy. For better or for worse, that opportunity has never been pursued nor has it ever been presented to me. My dogs, Winston, Kiana and Jeb have become my kids as so often is the case in households like mine - and I love and spoil each of them, especially my baby Winston.

And so, on this Father's Day, I salute all of the Dads out there. Nurture your kids. Let them grow. Pick them up when they take those first steps and stumble and definitely be there when they finally spread their wings and fly. Trust me - they'll appreciate it.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


So Doug McKelway of DC's channel 8 ABC affiliate is unhappy that closeted gay republicans (and democrats) are being outed as hyocrites. McKelway claims that outing someone really hurts their family. Boo hoo. While interviewing Michael Rogers, he states that he would like to "give you a punch across the face."  Nice.  Me thinks doth protest too much.

Friday, April 3, 2009

and Iowa Makes Four.

The Iowa Supreme Court this morning unanimously upheld gays’ right to marry.

“The Iowa statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution,” the justices said in a summary of their decision.

The court affirmed a Polk County District Court decision that would allow six gay couples to marry.

The ruling is viewed as a victory for the gay rights movement in Iowa and elsewhere, and a setback for social conservatives who wanted to protect traditional families.

The decision makes Iowa the first Midwestern state, and the fourth nationwide, to allow same-sex marriages. Lawyers for Lambda Legal, a gay rights group that financed the court battle and represented the couples, had hoped to use a court victory to demonstrate acceptance of same-sex marriage in heartland America.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

TBRUing is a Verb

I was fortunate enough to go to TBRU this past weekend in Dallas. What a great event - incredibly well run, lots of activities and plenty of eye-candy. I was really looking forward to spending some time with some old friends that were also attending and while there was time together, the large diversity of weekend activities often took a toll on bonding. On the other hand, running into some friends that I didn't know where going was quite a pleasant surprise - and even though tickets to the King Tut exhibit were sold out well in advance (not good foresight on my part), I did get to ride some coasters at Six Flags with Andrew and Tom. Being the good guys they are, I never was the single rider.

Being the consummate hosts, Brad and Robert made sure I was entertained in their hometown; touring me around, taking me to dinner a couple times and keeping me loaded up on beer and jello shooters at the beer bust on Sunday afternoon. I'm looking foward to spending more time with them this summer in Ptown.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

End of the World

What a beautiful song that I think everyone has been through at one time or another with a relationship. Check out his other vids and the whole new incredible album at You can buy the album on iTunes or Amazon. Its worth a listen.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Good friends. Pretty amazing video. A great way to start off the new year. It reminds me of when Jeb, our black lab, first saw a horse at Frying Pan Historical Park in Virginia. He just thought it was another big dog! The huskies also had fun playing with a pair of llamas one time, but when they sneak into the field of a former security agent, you need to be careful when going to get them! But that's another story...