Month: May 2010

So BP Knew of Problems with Deepwater Horizon

The New York Times has full coverage.

Let me say that the methods for controlling a well really haven’t changed in over 40 years. Methods that didn’t work then still don’t work now.

On Facebook we’ve been having a discussion on whether BP should face criminal penalties. I say they should. Not just the CEO and the CFO but the board of directors should ALL be under investigation for criminal misdoing.

The blowout of Deepwater Horizon is THE WORST environmental disaster in U.S. history. It’s time to stop screwing around and time to clamp off the well.

More on GPS

So I have a little Tom Tom 125 that I bought a few years ago. It’s a reliable unit and I thought I kept the maps updated.

Found out that wasn’t true because I had to go on I-195 to get to a friends wedding in Assonet, MA recently and the GPS bitched loudly about the fact that I wasn’t in the left lane.

You see, I-195 off of I-95 used to be a left hand exit. But over the last decade they decided to move the interchange. I-195 is now a right hand exit. The highway no longer winds through the city but instead comes out just past the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier these days and links up with I-195 there.

Now of course you have to remember to keep LEFT if you want to continue on I-95. But otherwise it’s a good change.

Coming home the GPS unit didn’t complain. It’s because the right hand entry lanes from I-195W to I-95N didn’t really change by more than a few hundred feet.

Sweat no more

So in prior years the AC unit went into the bedroom in mid may. For some reason I was able to hold out a little later this year. Just put it in the window today.

We did hit 95F earlier. Supposed to be cooler tomorrow and rainy. But it’s still 80F at 8:19PM so the AC is running.

I did take a 4 mile walk today. Had to stop for water a couple of times. I’m doing good, so far this week I’m up to 12 miles.

Finally! A cautionary tale about facebook

So over the years my father and I have had a number of arguments. Mostly over religion or human rights.

Recently he friended me on Facebook but took great offense when I posted links to articles that made the Catholic church look bad.

First he said:


His mob past kicking in again.

We traded barbs back and forth. Thing is I never had a hell of a lot in common with my father.

I should also mention I’m not one to follow the Hallmark holidays like fathers day, and I’m also not too keen on the whole Christmas thing.

He then posts the following comment:

as of today,youe not my son any more .your notkhing but a fucking gay bastarde ansd your off my will.fuck yopu.

I can just see him hammering out the letters in that ‘sentence’ with rage.

So he leaves a couple of apologetic voice mails. Thing is, after what he said above he entered what Italians call the “Dead to Me” territory.

If I’ve been home when he calls I just pick up and hang up. He’s called eight times just today. It finally got to the point where I asked my aunt to pass the message that he was persona non grata to me.
So my father sends this via email:

well tony ,it looks to me that you are not going to talk to me any more ,so here it all the years you have never wished me happy birthday or happy fathers day .,nothing for x mass .now i ask you,who is the ass hole ,because you called me one .takes one to now one .you can tell sara and laura to go take a good shit and that goes for you to .as far as you ,you can kiss my ass.after all i have done for you and the girls ,you can all go of today, you are not my son.have a shity life .

I told him “BTW, have fun when you die a lonely old man.”

It’s done. If I hadn’t added him as a friend on facebook none of this would have happened. But it was something that had to come to a closure at some point and it has done so.

Members from my family have echoed similar sentiments about him. He really has no clue that most of us despise him. Well at least now all the kids that grew up in his household have now turned our backs against him.

The Ugandan Mess

You can watch here because WP won’t allow me to embed Hulu video. Wake up guys, let us embed from Hulu.

Pastor Martin Ssempa is a religious charlatan. Know why? I can see that little dance in his eyes when he’s thanking his god. He’s making a good living by propagating the evangelical message of hate the homosexual.

He’s also very focused on the scatological. A point, it isn’t just the tiniest minority of gay people who do that, but also the same relative percentage in the heterosexual community. He tends to have a fondness for the anus. It’s almost to the point of comedy. In once scene he finds a clip on the net and shows it to all the religious leaders arrayed with him. Most wince in disgust. Hell I’d be a bit disgusted by the eating of feces too, even though my reaction to the old 2 Girls 1 Cup thing was just mild.

I guess Ssempa has never heard of good old fashioned oral sex.

The pastor also likes to bring up the recruitment of children and teenagers. How can I explain this, I wasn’t recruited as a teen nor was anyone I know. But the evangelical Christians in the U.S. realize that message is sounding rather hollow lately so they’ve decided to take it to Uganda.

I hope the LGBT community in Uganda can push past the religious ignorance. But it is an uphill battle. 90% of Uganda is Christian (evenly split among Catholic and Protestant) with the remaining 10% being Muslim.

But here’s the other thing. The throwing out of statistics always strikes me as a little bit stupid. After all the Bishop here in RI still claims that 65% of RI’ers are Catholic when the reality is now less than 50%. That missing 15% is a bit beyond the margin of simple error.

Hopefully this bill will never see passage in Uganda. I know I’m late to party on this but having just watched the video above that exposes the U.S. Christian evangelical involvement made me realize I had to say something about it.

A good day marred by homphobic idiocy

Early this morning I had to return the car I’d rented in order to attend the wedding of our friends Gina and Troy. While there I ran into a former co-worker and chatted with her for awhile. She was renting a car because hers had a bad CV joint that had gone from the clicking phase to the clunking phase. So she figured it was safer just to rent a reliable vehicle.

Later in the afternoon Keyron and I decided it would be a good day for a serious walk. Serious walks are defined as being 4 miles or greater in distance on hills, flat land, etc.

First we walked up to the east side, to a little place named Prospect Park. The park has some spectacular views of Downtown/Downcity Providence.

Financial Skyline
Financial Skyline

We walked into Pawtucket, RI to our friend Chico’s house and while there had dinner, dessert and watched a couple of gay oriented movies. One about the crackdown on LGBT folks in other country, the other about the Miss Gay American pageant.

Other entertainment was provided by Coco the parrot. He’s a beautiful bird and he takes a shining to Keyron and is gradually warming up to me. One thing for sure though, if you’ve never seen a parrot get mad, you definitely have to see it at some point in your life. They’re like petulant children when they don’t get their way.

We left Chico’s place around 11PM and walked home, going first down North Main St. and then merging onto Benefit St.

Got some nice night shots. Key to night shots is a stable platform from which to shoot from, and the camera placed in night mode. Night mode keeps the shutter open for a couple of seconds to let every bit of light hit the CCD.

I really like this one. It’s the lit up spire of the First Baptist Church in America. Yes, the very FIRST one. What I like is how the night mode makes it glow.

First Baptist Church Spire at night
First Baptist Church Spire at night

But it was as we walked from North Main to Benefit that we saw a blue Chevy Camaro of about 1980’s vintage. As it approached one of the passengers leaned out the window and screamed ‘Faggots!” at the top of his lungs.

Car kept on moving. Had they stopped we probably would have beat the silly little boy senseless. But then the thought occurred to me, the most vociferous homophobes are usually the ones with the most to hide, E.g. they’re gay themselves.

But to soothe the rage bubbling inside you, here’s the Bajnotti fountain at night. Very brightly lit.

Bajnotti Fountain at night
Bajnotti Fountain at night

I love this fountain. It is a memorial to the wife of a prominent diplomat. Very touching that he built and dedicated this to her memory.

The Week in Review

Yes I know it’s Monday.

Been kind of a busy time for us since this past Wednesday. It started with the wedding rehearsal and dinner for our friends Gina and Troy.

Then Friday it was our friend Jonathan’s birthday (Well, the celebration of it anyhow!)

Saturday Gina and Troy’s wedding.

Gina and Troy
Just Married

Financial Regulation: Credit card amendment

Disclaimer: I worked for Sheldon Whitehouse when he was Attorney General here in Rhode Island.

He is now one of the U.S. Senators to Rhode Island. He’s turned out to be pretty good as a Senator. I’m loving this latest amendment to the Financial Regulation bill.

What most people don’t know is that many states still have usury laws on the books. So I can see where Senator Whitehouse is going with this. There should be an 18% cap on rates. When they rise as high as 30% that’s just outright robbery let alone usury.

Very encouraging to see them fixing bad law. If you’re not up on the whole Marquette thing it can be summed up as follows.

Banks argued that they had customers in every state and to have to follow the rules of each individual state would be too cumbersome. Now you have to remember that in the 1970’s computing technology wasn’t so widespread. In fact many banks still did a lot of entries on paper, I remember it clearly.

So they petitioned the courts to say that the terms of the contracts could be based in their home states as opposed to the state where the card holder resided.

But it is now the 21st century. Computers are infinitely more advanced than they were even in the early 1980’s when it was still text based interfaces and no point-click or advanced and freely available database products.

Now it is literally a piece of cake so the banks have no excuse other than the obvious greed.

And if I might ask Senator Whitehouse to take up another hot button issue, I’d ask him to take up the student loan debacle. First of all, properly fund the Pell grant program. It’s bizarre. When I made less money I never qualified but when I started making decent money I qualified for Pell grants. Strange.

But on to student loans. If you get in a jam like no being able to find a job etc. you can put your loans into deferment or forbearance. When you do that they capitalize the interest. In other words the interest calculate becomes part of the principal balance of your student loan.

E.g. Suppose you have $50,000 in student loan debt. Right now it runs about 5% per year in interest so to simplify, $2,500 in interest. You file the deferment or forbearance and that interest gets lumped into the loan. Now that loan principle becomes $52,500 and interest on that is now $2,625. Lets say you go one more year. It becomes $55,125 and interest on that becomes $2,756.25.

Now you know how some people can end up half a million in debt from student loans. It is ridiculous.

So the next thing we should tackle is student loans.

Use A Rentboy, get exposed as a hypocrite.

Seems Dr. George Rekers is still in the shit. The latest is when Lucien (Aka Jo-Vanni Roman) talks to him on the phone.

Rekers is trying to deflect this as much as he can. He must be very tired because he could just step out and tell the truth, that he has homosexual inclinations. But this is where cognitive dissonance come to the forefront. Rekers can’t reconcile his homosexual urges with his religious beliefs.

As a result he’ll try to spin this is as well as he can but we all know that the emperor has no clothes.

For all the decades of anti-gay invective from Rekers I say it’s good that the son of a bitch got outed for his activities. It amazes me how many of those truly against GLBT are GLBT themselves. Step the hell out of the closet and throw that religion to the wind.

Tea Party/Tea Baggers are really Republican Fringe

So we all know about the Tea Baggers taking over and modifying the Maine Republican Platform.

But it gets better. Apparently while they were in town some public school classrooms were made available to them.

What 8th grade English teach Paul Clifford found when he returned to his classroom on Monday tells it all when it comes to the Tea Baggers.


– For seven years, Clifford has had “a collage-type poster depicting the history of the U.S. labor movement” on his classroom door. He uses it “to teach his students how to incorporate collages into their annual project on Norman Rockwell’s historic ‘Four Freedoms’ illustrations.” When Clifford returned to his classroom on Monday, after the GOP caucuses, the poster was gone; in its place was a sticker reading, “Working People Vote Republican.”

– Republicans opened a “closed cardboard box they found near Clifford’s desk” and later objected to the fact that it contained copies of the U.S. Constitution donated to the school by the American Civil Liberties Union.

– After the caucuses, “rank-and-file Republicans who were upset by what they said they had seen in Clifford’s classroom” began calling the school, objecting to student art they had seen and a sticker on a filing cabinet reading “People for the American Way — Fight the Right.”

So apparently Tea Baggers don’t like labor movements. I suppose the 1,000 plus nurses that marched on Washington recently wouldn’t fit in with their twisted and demented world view.

Better yet, I’m curious what they find more objectionable, that there were copies of the Constitution in the room, or that they were compliments of the American Civil Liberties Union. I’d bet it’s the latter since the ACLU is a target of Tea Baggers and their ilk.

The only semi-legitimate claim to offense that they have is the PFAW Fight the Right sticker and even that is stretching it quite a bit.

It’s funny, I saw the Tea Party/Bagger official head in a clip from The View the other day. As I’ve gotten older I’ve developed the ability to discern when people are lying. That bitch was lying from the start, claiming there wasn’t a racist element to the Tea Baggers. Yeah right, and I’ve got bridge I want to sell you.

You can read more about the immature behavior of the Tea Baggers at the links.

Maine GOP Forced To Apologize After Convention-Goers Vandalize An Eighth-Grade Classroom

A forced apology isn’t sincere at all. You’re bigoted assholes, the lunatic fringe. I guess that’s what happens when you embrace a movement rooted in racism.

Nemitz: Call it class struggle: How politics went too far