Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"And The Truth Shall Set You Free..."


"Fear Eats the Soul"


"The Poet's Corner..."




"Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope."

- Maya Angelou



"Unintentionally Gay...?"


"This isn't talkin' about me is it...?"



"Gay PDA Is Okay!"

"Love And Happiness Comes From Being Yourself... Live Fearlessly"





"This Made Me Smile..."


"Fear Eats the Soul"



"The GIFt Of Love..."


"To kiss and caress is to let the heart speak it's truth..."



"We Were Always There..."



A Plea From An Invert: 1919. Through the early part of the twentieth century, American medical and psychological writers began taking an increasing interest in homosexuality (or “sexual inversion,” “contrary sexual feeling,” “perverted sexual instinct,” or any number of other terms which they had yet to settle on). It was rare, however, to hear from “inverts” themselves. The July 1919 issue of the Journal of Urology and Sexology carried one interesting letter to the editor that gives some indication of the frustration that many felt due to the severe societal disapproval that was prevalent a the time:

A PLEA FROM AN INVERT
To the Editor:
A plea to be heard before it is too late — will you not listen and perhaps advise me? If you only knew how I need help!
I am a misfit. I am a young man who has never cared for any women. Am I to blame because God has given me a feminine nature? Why should I be shunned by all people, loathed by them!
I am clean and refined, am well educated in the fine arts and have high ideals concerning all things. And yet men who are covered with filthy sores from evil living, who have never had a decent thought or ideal in their lives, sneer at me. I am an outcast; I am lower than the lowest!
What few who are kind to me are women who have praised me for my high ideal concerning life.
Because the custom is not that two men shall marry, is it so wrong? If I love and respect a friend and he loves me, is it not as pure a marriage as between a man and woman; and far more equal?
I wish I had a friend to go and live with, to work out our ideals, and to grow in every way. Yet this has made me accursed among men; I am damned to a living hell!
Must I — who have denied myself almost too much, to become worthy of the highest friendship — must I forever walk alone?
Is there aught but beauty in the love of Marius and Cornelius in “Marius the Epicurian” by Walter Pater? Is Marius to be considered vile, because he had that “feminine refinement” that made him idealize life, that led him finally to the Christian faith and martyrdom?
I am alone and tired. Is it not a sad thing that I and many other young men who are worthy of much, should have but one hope – that Death shall come soon!
I need advice. If some young man among your readers might write to me! Do you not think we would save each other?
You must not believe me physically or mentally deficient — though I am near to suicide I
–Homo.

[Source: Anonymous. Letter to the editor: "A plea from an invert." American Journal of Urology and Sexology 15, no. 7 (July 1919): 336. Available online via Google Books here.]


"Fear Eats the Soul"



"The Truth About Love..."



"Fear Eats the Soul"




"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1415"

"This Is The Warmth Of Love..."

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.




"The Artist's Corner..."

"Making Love"
Acrylic on canvas
Michael Breyette



Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"Some Late Night Entertainment..."


"Fear Eats the Soul"


"We Were Always There..."


"No man sits on another man's lap as his friend...
We were lovers and we wanted the world to know"



"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1414"

"Love Is The Universal Truth Of Life..."

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.



"The GIFt Of Love..."


"Love is sometimes gentle and sweet..."



This Made Me Smile.."




"The Truth Of Love Is Hard To Bear..."


"While there may be others, there will always be 'the one' who mattered more..."


"Fear Eats the Soul"


"A Brave New World..."



"If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?"

- Pope Francis

And the best comment in the Washington Post:
Among the many verses in the Bible about not judging my favorite is: Luke 6:37 ESV
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;"
Appears that the new Pope reads and understands the Bible.


"Fear Eats the Soul"


"Sometimes The Truth Is Hard To Hear..."



Openly gay, intelligent and honest, CNN host Don Lemon speaks the truth about what is wrong in the African American community after defending Bill O'Riley's comments following the Trayvon Martin verdict. Lemon's lucid and frank editorial has drawn severe criticism from parts of the black and GLBT communities, but I think he hit the nail right on the head... He's right! And lest we forget, the truth is sometimes hard to hear.

"Fear Eats the Soul"




"Unintentionally Gay...?"


"I finally found it!"


"Gay PDA Is Okay!"

"Love Is Always With Us... Live Fearlessly"




"The Artist's Corner..."

"Sandmen"
Acrylic on canvas
Steve Walker



Monday, July 29, 2013

"Some Late Night Entertainment..."



"Fear Eats the Soul"


"The GIFt of Love..."


 






"We Were Always There..."


"Love made us brave, our hearts made us strong..."



"Gay PDA Is Okay!"

"Life Is About Love And Togetherness... Live Fearlessly"




"This Made Me Smile..."


"Fear Eats the Soul"


"The Truth About Love and Family..."


"Fear Eats the Soul"


"The Imitation Of Life..."


"Fear Eats the Soul"


"In The News Today..."


The Truth About Detroit: Sorting National Coverage of City's Bankruptcy



July 28, 2013
Greg Gardner

Suddenly everyone’s a Detroit expert, whether he or she has ever been here or not.

Greedy unions. Decades of neglect. Too much government. Not enough government services. Over-dependence on the auto industry. There’s probably someone who has blamed the bankruptcy on bad pizza.

Some of this volunteered wisdom is sprinkled with kernels of truth. A good bit of it is just plain wrong, or certainly strange and out of left field — such as the Forbes.com columnist who said Detroit’s finances would soon be on the path to prosperity if only the Federal Reserve restored the gold standard. So it’s all Richard Nixon’s fault?

With the City of Detroit’s financial laundry hanging out, the Free Press plans to truth-squad the nuggets of facts, pseudo-facts, observations, opinions and insights put forth from the national media and commentators of all stripes.

As we move through the bankruptcy process, we’ll show you some of the good, bad and ugly from the global conversation under way in a recurring feature called “The truth about Detroit.”

We’ll give you our best interpretation of the accuracy, and we’ll expose some ideas as downright canards or gems of insightful thought.

Here are two recurring misconceptions often repeated in the last several weeks: The domestic auto industry and Detroit are synonymous, and rich city pension benefits have pushed the Detroit budget into ruin.

■ The truth is that the auto industry — now posting strong domestic profits as demand rises — has not been very connected financially to the city proper and its operations for decades.

■ Meanwhile, Detroit police and fire pension benefits, when compared with those in other major cities such as Kansas City, Mo., and Los Angeles, are modest. Many Detroit public safety retirees — perhaps most — are just getting by.

Many of the sins come from oversimplifications of a complex problem in the making for decades. The national media and other commentators, either as slaves to pith or ideological belief, say simply that “Detroit has failed” or that years of one-party rule are to blame. Like the fall of Rome or the causes of the Civil War, it’s not just one thing but a long, multi-faceted process at play.

“The tone of the coverage seems to be more about whether we will survive this. What resources have to be in place to turn the city around,” said Donyale Padgett, a Wayne State University professor of diversity, culture and communication. “On the other hand, the social media coverage and blog comments are brutal. The national metaphor seems to be similar to a fighter in the last round. ... One more blow could bring the whole thing down.”

Some of the analysis put forward is spot-on and insightful, such as that of a Brookings Institution researcher and author Bruce Katz, who pointed out in Time magazine’s Aug. 5 cover piece that Detroit is an example of how city governments and city economies aren’t necessarily connected, an economic divergence increasingly apparent nationwide.

“City governments don’t equal city economies. It’s possible to have unsustainable city budgets and dysfunctional politics and very exciting regional growth prospects, and all of those trends happening at once,” he is quoted as saying. Katz is co-author of “The Metropolitan Revolution.”

In the Time piece, “Broken City: How Detroit’s epic bankruptcy could help the rest of the country,” writer Rana Foroohar handles the Motor City’s bankruptcy as the unique animal it is, but also as a harbinger of bad financial tidings to come, or that have already arrived, for other big cities.

“If Detroit manages to wiggle out of its pension liabilities, then other cities may start to think bankruptcy isn’t a bad idea,” Time quotes Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, as saying.

“On the other hand, if Detroit’s bankruptcy results in years of court battles without clear winners, other cities may find settlement and compromise a more appealing prospect than default,” Foroohar writes. “Either way, Detroit is making it impossible to ignore the financial issues holding cities back, and that can help everyone.”

“You don’t have a Sputnik moment without some sort of very visible catalyst,” Time reports Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of Pimco, the world’s largest bond-investment company, as saying. “Detroit could be it for America’s cities.”

Here are some of the news media reports and comments we looked at last week:

Claim: Sky-high pension payouts and sweetheart union deals strangled Detroit.

Source: Daniel Amico of FreedomWorks, a Washington, D.C., lobbying group dedicated to “lower taxes, less government and more freedom.” It was posted Wednesday under the headline: “Detroit Bankruptcy — Just what the doctor ordered.”

What was said: “Government employees and their overbearing unions have been on a decades-long crusade to defraud the taxpayer and unjustly enrich themselves. When everyday Americans are struggling to find job security and save for retirement with defined contribution plans, selfish and greedy public-sector unionists have unparalleled job security and retire with golden parachutes (that) would make any middle American look like a pauper in comparison.”

Reality: The average annual pension for retired Detroit police officers and firefighters is about $34,000, roughly half that of such pensions in Los Angeles and Chicago, 25% less than in Kansas City, Mo., and 36% below benefits for those in Dallas. Retirees from Detroit’s general city pension fund receive, on average, less than $20,000 a year.

“Even by Michigan standards, these are not fat pensions,” said Leon LaBrecque, , managing partner with the financial advisory firm LJPR in Troy. “I see a lot of these people, and their pay is lower and their multipliers are lower than retirees in Grand Rapids or Lansing or Warren or the (Michigan) State Police.”

One factor that has made Detroit’s pension underfunding worse: There are only 3,200 active workers paying into a system that pays benefits to 9,300 retirees. In Chicago, 12,026 actives pay into a fund that supports 9,035 retirees.

Not all pension plans are built the same, with varying benefits and formulas for determining check amounts. But the major extra benefits afforded to Detroit police and fire retirees, such as early retirement options and paid health care, are also available in other big cities.

Two years ago, Detroit police and fire unions agreed to changes that reduced future pension benefits and saved about $60 million, said Mark Diaz, president of the Detroit Police Officers Association.

The truth is, Detroit’s pension changes may come to other cities eventually, with or without bankruptcy.

Claim: The health of the Detroit Three auto companies and the city go hand in hand.

What was said: Fox News host Sean Hannity and former White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee got into a shouting match Wednesday night over President Barack Obama’s statement, before the 2012 election, that his administration “refused to let Detroit go bankrupt.”

Goolsbee maintained that the president was referring to the auto industry. “He said, ‘Detroit!’ ” Hannity fired back. “Detroit’s now bankrupt! Why?”

Reality: Indeed, Obama did say it that way, but he was clearly talking about the auto industry.

OK, so the auto industry and the city are culturally and emotionally tied. But no way are they synonymous. The financial ties have grown tenuous over the last 30 years. There are only two assembly plants inside city limits, Chrysler’s Jefferson North plant and General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck center. GM is the only automaker headquartered in the city.

Michigan remains the industry’s manufacturing and engineering core, but the bulk of those jobs are outside the city, in Macomb, Oakland, western Wayne, Washtenaw, Ingham and Genesee counties.

Claim: City economies and budgets are not the same thing.

Source: Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution and co-author with Jennifer Bradley of “The Metropolitan Revolution.”

What was said: “City governments don’t equal city economies. It’s possible to have unsustainable city budgets and dysfunctional politics and very exciting regional growth prospects, and all of those trends happening at once.”

Reality: Detroit’s recent spurt of downtown development, largely fueled by Dan Gilbert and Quicken Loans’ real estate binge, is real. Only time will tell whether it sparks other developers to take similar risks, but the city’s bankruptcy won’t stop those who see opportunity at affordable prices.

Richard Florida, a University of Toronto management professor and urbanologist, offered this in the AtlanticCities.com: “Detroit’s downtown urban core is seeing more investment, economic activity and an influx of talent than it has in decades. This revitalization is concentrated and spotty, and it is far from inclusive, but it is certainly something positive — generating jobs, revenue and much-needed hope and optimism that provide a foundation to build upon.”

******

"Fear Eats the Soul"


"The Truth Of Love In Letters..."



"Fear Eats the Soul"



"Adam and Andy..."


I love James Asal's "Adam and Andy" strip
Married life really is like this.




"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1413"

"Only Love Brings True Joy To Life..."

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.



"The Artist's Corner..."

"Rob and Callas"
Acrylic on canvas
Steve Walker


Sunday, July 28, 2013

"The Truth On A Sunday..."


It's Sunday, so somewhere in America today, some vile homophobe probably preached some of the mind-numbing lies that this free thinking Brit debunks with such skill and finesse... God bless the Queen's English!


"Fear Eats the Soul"


"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1412"

"With Love Comes The Fullness Of Life..."

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.



"This Made Me Smile..."


Out gay UK actor Russell Tovey as 'Ben' in Rob Brydon's "Annually Retentive" explains everything gay to a curious 'dad.'



"The Truth About Hell..."


HELL EXPLAINED BY A CHEMISTRY STUDENT

The following is an actual question given on a University of Arizona chemistry midterm, and an actual answer turned in by a student.

The answer by one student was so 'profound' that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well :

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving, which is unlikely.. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today.

Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, 'It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,' and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct..... ...leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting 'Oh my God.'

THIS STUDENT RECEIVED AN A+.


"Fear Eats the Soul"


"The Truth About Love..."

"Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life... You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore."

- Neil Gaiman


"Gay PDA Is Okay!"

"Love Is The World's Greatest Gift... Live Fearlessly"




"The Truth About Heaven and Hell..."


"Fear Eats the Soul"



"The GIFt Of Love..."


"Kisses reveal the truth of love..."







"The Imitation of Life..."


Scenes from the UK drama series "Emmerdale."  The love affair of Aaron and Jackson.

"Fear Eats the Soul"


"The Artist's Corner..."

"Generations"
Acrylic on canvas
Steve Walker



Saturday, July 27, 2013

"Some Late Night Entertainment..."



"Fear Eats the Soul"


"The GIFt Of Love..."


"A gentle touch speaks words only the heart can hear..."



"Gay PDA Is Okay!"

"Love Is Liberating And Freedom Is Truth... Live Fearlessly"




"The Poet's Corner..."


"Love is the master of our lives,
And, e'en though happy subjects we,
We're governed by his scepter strong
Through time and through eternity."

Ardelia Cotton Barton



"The Imitation Of Life..."


"Gone, But Not Forgotten" - When a closeted gay married man attempts suicide, his injuries result in amnesia and as he rediscovers who he is, he finds love and the courage to accept the truth of his heart.



"Unintentionally Gay..."


"When the Queen's English meets the Caribbean,
the result is sometimes very, very funny..."



"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1411"

"The Passion Of Love Is Unmistakable..."

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.



"The Artist's Corner..."

"Lounge Act"
Acrylic on canvas
Steve Walker



"Sometimes In Advertising..."


"Fear Eats the Soul"



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