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Saturday, February 28, 2004 
now chicago is apparently thinking about instituting gay marriage but they haven't quite decided yet. go midwest!

Friday, February 27, 2004 
another link in the chain!

the chain reaction spreads as jason west, mayor of new paltz, new york, announces he will perform up to 12 same-sex marriages today

that makes 2 chains (to use tekmo-stackers terminology) so far!

gay new yorkers looking to be added to the gay marriage waiting list should visit

Wednesday, February 25, 2004 
the gay-marriage has even brought the indiana state legislature to a standstill. the republicans are chomping at the bit to pass an indiana constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, but the democrats won't let them, "saying a state law banning gay marriage is sufficient."

stories like this don't make me so proud to be a hoosier.

my sister sent in this nifty op-ed piece about gay penguins. yes, gay penguins. though anyone who's watched two male dogs at play knows that same-sex sexual contact is hardly unnatural... samhain & subiaco hump start a-humpin' every time they see each other. anyway, kuntzman makes a great point here:

(As an aside, isn't S.F. mayor Gavin Newsom a genius? By allowing gays to marry, not only is he sending a powerful civil rights message, but every one of those gay couples had to buy a marriage license. At $83 a pop, Newsom has added almost $400,000 to the strapped civic treasury...)

i hadn't thought of that: there's a lot of money to be made in letting gays marry, money that the states need desperately.

anyway, el presidente has officially come out with a proposal for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage (oops, i mean to codify marriage as a man-woman thing). when this story came out yesterday, i was originally going to post it without comment except to quote nancy pelosi, who basically said that we've never before amended the constitution specifically to discriminate against a group of people.

really, what more needs to be said? nothing, but there's lots more that could be said, & andrew sullivan is saying it all. sullivan is a well-known conservative blogger-pundit & frequent bush apologist, but not this time... he's devoted page after page to his outrage at bush over the gay marriage issue, to the point that he's alienating some of his core audience. he makes lots of good observations, including the fact that bush never even mentions words like "gay", "homosexual", or "civil union".

sullivan is of the liberal-bloggers' favorite pincushions, but he's definitely on the right track on this issue, & he's printing lots of letters he's received, mostly from other conservatives who are also disgusted by bush's blazen display of bigotry and hypocrisy. it's a good read.

Saturday, February 21, 2004 
okay, at first this looks like good news: victoria dunlap, county clerk in sandoval country new mexico, began offering same-sex marriage licenses on friday until the state came in & tried to declare their licenses invalid.

"They can say they're invalid and they're not going to recognize them, but when people go to try to enforce the rights and privileges that go along with being married, it'll just turn into a lawsuit," Albright [one of the gay newlyweds -ed] said. "This is far from over. ...We're still very happy with what happened today."

& then In Chicago, Mayor Richard Daley indicated he would "have no problem" with allowing same-sex partners to marry.

so you read something like that & you think, wow, san francisco has started this chain reaction of gay weddings. maybe, just maybe, this thing will get so big on its own that the federal govt will be forced to legalize.

but then you notice a passage like this:

Dunlap, a Republican, was not available for comment, but advocates suggested that her motivation may have been to gain sympathy for a possible ballot initiative seeking to overturn a 2003 act prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

whoa, what? so the theory is that she allowed some gay marriages in order to piss off the local bigots enough that they could start discriminating against gays again? a cynical attempt to reinstate discrimination by galvanizing the hate crowd? definitely an odd twist. but if true, could this approach really work?

i can see how this could get the ballot initiative passed. but like newlywed albright mentions, this thing is already a guaranteed lawsuit. new mexico courts will already have to address this issue. so even if voters pass the initiative, it could still be struck down by the courts before it ever takes effect.

so this thing could backfire. even better, the blowback could snowball into that chain reaction i mentioned. regardless how cynical the motivation, this is still a symbolic precedent. now two areas in the u.s. have issued same-sex marriage licenses. this could embolden other mayors or court clerks in other regions. the more places try it, the more could be inspired. i don't see my mayor, bart peterson, making that kind of move but it would definitely change my opinion of him. he might be a corporate sellout, but if he were also a strong civil rights activist in the middle of the bible belt... that would be pretty swell.

Thursday, February 19, 2004 
san francisco has filed suit against california, demanding that portions of state law that prevent same-sex marriages should be declared unconstitutional. as a result, i found a cnn article that mentions the rights currently denied to homosexuals.

Supporters of same-sex marriage say denying gay and lesbian couples marriage licenses denies them basic rights.

"We're talking about state inheritance, we're talking about state property issues, we're talking about children's issues, we're talking about power of attorney," Ralph Neas, president of the group People for the American Way, said.

"It's an equal protection issue. It's a fundamental civil rights issue," he added.

Critics of same-sex unions say those rights can be afforded through other means, and homosexual couples don't need a marriage certificate to validate them.

Genevieve Wood, vice president of the Communications Family Research Council, said that redefining marriage might be a slippery slope.

"If we're going to get into redefining marriage, why would we stop at just allowing homosexual marriage?" she asked.

"There are people out there ... who want to engage in polygamy, they think that's a good family structure. There are others who think that group marriages are a family structure," Wood added.

three paragraphs about rights, three paragraphs about definitions. & would the world really end if group marriages were legalized? she could have at least mentioned bestiality.

speaking of ludicrous arguments, the fbi is going to start placing "fbi warnings" on cds, software, cereal boxes, prophylactics, pretty much anything they can slap that seal on.

do they really think anyone pays attention to the warnings on videos? i just fast-forward through them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004 
surely by now you've heard that new san francisco mayor gavin newsom, who once looked like yet another pro-corporate shill in liberal clothing, has done an amazing thing & showed some of the democratic presidential candidates a thing or two by granting actual marriage licenses to gay couples! naturally, reactionaries nationwide started flipping out, but so far the courts have not been willing to grant a stay. it's a wonderful day to be gay in the bay.

prez bush is "troubled". gov schwarzenegger has chimed in, telling sf to stop (despite allegedly being in favor of gay rights & having said during the campaign that he didn't care what gay people did... although google news refuses to give me any news links from back then, so i can't offer any quotes right now). schwarzenegger cites prop 22, the "only straights deserve to get married" law, as the reason san francisco is in the wrong. newsom is standing tall, saying that equal protection means equal protection, therefore prop 22 is unconstitutional.

what's really astonishing is how well conservatives have framed the debate. you can find tons of stories that are just drowning in quotes about how marriage is "between a man & a woman" (which sounds to me like a slightly more PC version of the "adam & steve" speech)... but how many articles have you seen that even briefly mention why gays want to get married in the first place? i can't think of any... if you know of some, i'm looking for some link love baby, so give em to me.

just like the public never got an honest answer to "why do they hate us?" back in '01, they're not being told "why do them queers want to get married?"

i was raised catholic & they taught us all about the sacrament of marriage, so i understand the religious significance. but marriage is more than just a religious thing. it's also a civil institution: the state grants all sorts of special legal priveleges to married persons, & right now if you're not in the bay area, gays do not legally have those rights. they don't want to destroy anyone's religion: they just want the same rights that everyone else has. really important stuff like basic access to health care.

if you're married, you're eligible to sign up your spouse for health benefits under your insurance plan. then if your spouse falls deathly ill, you can help make important health care decisions regarding your spouse. gays can't do anything like that unless they're lucky enough to get a forward-thinking hmo. & if your gay partner falls deathly ill, you'll be locked out of any important health decisions, no matter how long you've been together or how estranged your partner might be from their "blood" relations. hell, gays are even lucky if they get hospital visitation rights. & the same basic rules apply to just about every other area of law... inheritance, social security, you name it. in effect, if you're gay, the state doesn't care about your relationships. but if you're straight, you can get all those nice perks, regardless of whether you actually care about your spouse or not.

check it: There are more than 1,000 benefits on the state and federal level associated with marriage that are currently denied to same-sex partners, including numerous tax, insurance, hospital visitation and bereavement rights. so why is it every time we hear about the gay marriage issue, all we hear is quibbling about defintion of terms?

some people understand this & try to pussyfoot around the issue with things like "civil unions"... wherein gays would be kinda, sorta married (at least legally), but not actually married. i can appreciate that these people don't want a bunch of rabid fundies spitting all over them, but it doesn't change the basic truism that the massachusetts supreme court pointed out: the fact that brown v board of education proved that "separate is seldom, if ever, equal." civil unions might be a step in the right direction, & are obviously better than nothing, but i can't believe it's not butter is not butter, and civil unions are not marriage. to quote again from the court decision, civil unions creat "an unconstitutional, inferior and discriminatory status for same-sex couples."

most importantly, even if the govt legalizes gay marriage, it doesn't mean your church has to do the same! if you belong to the church of "god hates fags", the state is not going to bust down your door & force you to start experimenting with homosexuality. you can keep on being as bigoted as you want. hell, divorce & remarriage are quite legal, but not all churches recognize them. (the catholics sure don't.) legalizing gay marriage won't force anyone into opening their minds, their hearts, or their crotches. so if it doesn't affect you but helps millions of people, how could that possibly be wrong?

anybody who knew anything about mad cow disease before the recent US scandal could tell that the USDA was trying to pull off a whitewash (or is that what they call a greenwash?) by repeatedly telling us how safe things are, but refusing to fix the enormous loopholes in the livestock industry that allow mad cow to spread.

now, congress has started to figure that out too. turns out that the infected cow found in december (allegedly the only infected cow in the continent, if you're gullible enough to believe that) wasn't a downer cow after all!

In their letter to Veneman, Davis and Waxman said they had reviewed affidavits or statements from Ellestad; from Randy Hull, who trucked the cow to slaughter; and from David Louthan, who killed the animal. All three said that the animal was ambulatory and showed no signs of sickness. While the statement from Hull is new, Ellestad told reporters at his slaughterhouse, Vern's Moses Lake Meats, that the animal was not a downer soon after the mad cow infection was found in December.

In their letter to Veneman, the committee leaders also reported that Ellestad provided a contract showing that he did not accept downer cows for slaughter, and Hull provided one saying that he did not haul them. The committee letter also introduced a Jan. 6 letter faxed by Ellestad to USDA officials in Boulder stating that the brainstem sample that tested positive for mad cow disease was not sent because the animal was a downer, but because of a preexisting contract that his business had with the USDA to provide a supply of brain tissue samples.

Davis and Waxman pointedly wrote that the Jan. 6 fax had not been released to Congress or the public, and concluded that "if it is confirmed the BSE-infected cow was not a downer, public confidence in USDA may suffer."

may suffer? i guess they're right because it depends on whether the general public ever actually hears that veneman & the usda are camped out deep inside the cattle industry's pockets...

so the cow wasn't a downer after all, & it was apparently sheer random luck that it ended up getting tested.

Monday, February 16, 2004 
alert bloggers have tracked the doctored kerry photo (via the new republic boards) to a free republic user known for anti-democrat photoshopping.

you can track my 12" through the mastering/plating process at the aardvark recent order progress page... it's BT#24/BRR#01. though i'm not sure why some orders get mastered immediately & others don't. i imagine it has to do with payment (whether the check has cleared), but you never know...

as always there's lots going on in the news & i don't have time to mention most of it... but here are a few bits about a doctored photograph of kerry, where some republican hack has photoshopped jane fonda into the picture... apparently some vietnam freaks really hate jane because she dared to speak out against the war (like millions of other americans)... & they hope to capitalize on that hate by associating kerry (who protested the war after fighting in it) with her. i've seen letters to the editor & such bitching that kerry is trying to win political points off his war hero status, even though he protested against the war after getting home... as though that somehow negates his military service. strange, it seems to me that serving in the vietnam war made him incredibly qualified to criticize that war... i don't see any contradictions there. whatever.

Friday, February 13, 2004 
i sent my actual record order to united yesterday, so the ball is in motion now... it's only a matter of time before true data drops. i'm afraid that the labels might look like shit, but i've been working on this thing so long that i just decided i didn't care that much (which is funny considering how many times i tweaked & redesigned those damn labels). oh well. the audio content is most important; the labels are secondary, & i decided i'd rather just ship the thing & risk ugly labels than delay my order even more by worrying about it. i didn't even order label proofs, so i probably won't know how good or bad they'll look until i have the actual records (do they send proofs with test pressings?)... it was a tough design & i knew all along that they might not come out. as long as they're legible i'll be satisfied (& if they're totally illegible, i might just get some stickers made & slap those bad boys on the jackets... but then a straight photocopy of the labels was perfectly legible & didn't look too awful, & i can't imagine that their printing process would look worse than a simple xerox).

Tuesday, February 10, 2004 
happy birthday virago!

just got back from the mail room... i shipped my order to aardvark for mastering... i should send my united order within a couple days. (just need to fill out the forms & get to the bank for a cashier's check)

the weird part is that the mail room girl, who last week convinced me to use ups ground despite it being more expensive (although she seemed to think it wasn't), immediately went over to the post office machine & rung me up for first-class mail. i'm not complaining, because first-class is much cheaper & the estimated delivery time is about the same (though it's not "guaranteed", as though ups guarantees are worth the digital bits they're written on)... i'm just confused.

wow! i guess the chinese have a very different approach to right of publicity than we have in the states... a chinese businessman tried to trademark bush's name to sell diapers.

China's state Xinhua news agency said there was increasing interest in the use of a well-known person's name as a trademark.

It cited a pharmaceutical factory in south China's Guizhou Province which in 2001 succeeded in using Xie Tingfeng, the Mandarin name of Hong Kong pop star Nicholas Tse, to sell its anti-diarrhoea drug.

It added that officials have yet to rule on a request from a Beijing company called Nan Bei Tong to use the name of Mu Zimei, a 25-year-old sex columnist, on its condoms.

this just screams for a googlewash equating george w bush with dirty diapers.

Monday, February 09, 2004 
at least one person has mentioned that i haven't blogged in a week (though technically i did post 2x to awia news, including one update with several hints about exciting upcoming awia stuff)... this is due primarily to my somewhat heavy workload: at the office, & particularly to me being busy outside the office with other work: namely, putting out true data, & to a lesser degree selling t-shirts.

yep, unless something goes wrong i'll be sending off my first 12" to aardvark for mastering tomorrow, & should place my order with the pressing plant later in the week. i've been working on this thing off & on for damn close to a year & a half now, & i'm ready to be "finished" with it for a few weeks (until the actual records come in & i have to do the hard part, trying to sell the things). unszene's sudden screen pressing biz set me back a few days while i designed the hott new "recycle your record collection" shirt, then the OS crash set me back another 1-2 weeks... i've pretty much recovered from that (though i still can't get third-party cd burning software to work), & finally all the audio production & label design stuff is done.

all my other non-work work is being pushed aside until this baby has shipped... this includes not just the blog but audio work for other projects like the pirates of the internet or the upcoming awia mp3 release on lost frog records. & i'm really excited about working on the awia release, too... maybe tonight once i'm 100% positive the aardvark order is ready to ship in the morning, i'll reward myself by working on that for a bit...

Monday, February 02, 2004 
just in case you're neurotic about that kinda thing,




though if anyone really expected this thing to be work safe (or even read it), maybe i shouldn't have put all those swear words in size 5 font the other day...

but yeah, if god forbid you're stuck somewhere where the human female nipple must never be seen lest the wrath of the holy rain down upon you, you probably don't want to look at janet jackson's nipple right now.

i actually watched the super bowl this year (not entirely by choice; i wasn't home) & was surprised to find something actually worth seeing! that's right, janet jackson's titty:

admittedly, that's sort of a closeup. you have to thank the internet for that one. but even without the closeup, we saw plenty, & millions of "tween"age boys' testicles dropped at the same time. it was beautiful.

but the ferocity of those tweenagers' masturbation that night was surpassed by the ferocity of the professionally outraged, who seem to serve no other purpose than to be upset by what they see on tv. luckily, fcc overlord michael powell just so happens to be among that crowd, & has already promised an investigation into janet's mammaries. (now that's an investigation i could sink my teeth into... the sex jokes just keep on coming, folks)

some people, like powell, are convinced it was intentional. after all, the timing was perfect (right as mr justified lip-synced "gonna have you naked by the end of this song"), & janet is wearing that elaborate, stunning, magnificent sun symbol........... what was i talking about again?

janet, justin, mtv, cbs, & anyone who would actually know say it was a mistake. janet's spokesdude said "He was supposed to pull away the bustier and leave the red-lace bra." which frankly makes a lot of sense if you actually watched the show. when nelly came out earlier & un-sang his hit "hot in herrrrrrrrrrrrrre", i thought they wouldn't use the chorus of "take off all your clothes." but i was wrong. not only did they use it, but the dancers pulled away the top layer of their clothing to reveal another layer. that's right: another layer, not their fabulous nubian breasts. the audience didn't get to see their areola, their fantastic chocolate ......

so taken in context, i can buy it. justin pulls off a bustier to show a hot red brazierre. that sounds like a cbs slash mtv kinda stunt. but honestly, does it really matter? is anyone going to get raped or murdered because janet's delicious nipple was exposed during the super bowl? no. more likely, there's a lot of young boys pleasuring themselves over at the drudge report right now. go ahead, check out the salacious photos there. nice & smutty. it'll get you hot.

Sunday, February 01, 2004 
check out awia news for the new awia t-shirts!

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