Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Will Belegon at The Erotic Woman

In another example of my staggering ability to accomplish something and then completely forget about it, my story The Doubledare Hotel is now online and available to read for FREE at The Erotic Woman. I sold this story to them back in January and just completely forgot to keep an eye on when it would post.

So if you have time for a little interlude and want to read the story of a woman surprising her significant other in a way he'll never forget, follow the link and check it out!

(It is, of course, erotica and is intended for audiences over the age of 18.)

Reaching New Lows In Media: Rachel Ray Is a Terrorist?

Oh come on now....

Dunkin Donuts has pulled an ad featuring Rachel Ray after pressure because the Food Network TV star was wearing a scarf that looked "too Arab".

What? What is this, an episode of The Simpsons? D'oh!

According to the Boston Globe:

"Some observers, including ultra-conservative Fox News commentator Michelle Malkin, were so incensed by the ad that there was even talk of a Dunkin’ Donuts boycott.

‘‘The keffiyeh, for the clueless, is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad,’’ Malkin yowls in her syndicated column."

So, black and white paisley equals terrorist garb now? The only thing scarier then that is the idea that the Bushinator might use it as an excuse to throw somebody in Guantanamo.

Really Michelle? You want to talk clueless? How about talking plain old dumb? How dumb do you have to be to think that the American public is so freakin' stupid that they can't tell the difference between Arafat and Rachel Ray? Here's a hint; one of them is dead and the other makes her living talking about America's food indulgences while distinctly NOT wearing a burkha. Rachel Ray is even a sex symbol of sorts, in that grand American tradition of mixing two of life's greatest pleasures.

Get a grip. Contribute to the intelligent side of things for once, otherwise you're going to be out of a job when you succeed in dumbing down the atmosphere of the country enough that people don't learn to read.

Of course, even you aren't as bad as the Roswell Beacon. They actually published a cover showing Barack Obama with crosshairs and talking about the security needs to keep him from being assassinated. Something Hillary has been hinting at and something disgracefully referenced by veteran newswoman Liz Trotta at Fox. (YouTube link: That last one is disgusting. Oh, and she apologized the next day at the tail end of other comments. Yeah, we believe that you are really sorry. Do you really expect us to believe that was an innocent mistake? Even if it were, the fact that you foolowed your "slip" by saying, "well, both if we could."

So there is our level of intelligent discourse this week, friends. Rachel Ray is a terrorist according to Michelle Malkin and the shooting of Barack Obama would be a good idea according to Liz Trotta. Thanks, ladies. In the name of equality, thanks for proving that you don't have to be male to sound as idiotic as Rush Limbaugh (News for you though, Ann Coulter got there first.)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

CA Supreme Court Does The Right Thing

I would like to take a moment to stand on my soapbox and give the California Supreme Court a loud and long standing ovation.

The California Supreme Court has overturned the ban on gay marriage!

Today, in a historic decision, the State of California has become only the second to uphold the basic rights of it's gay and lesbian citizens. We are the first to not require that you are a resident.

In a 4-3 decision, the Republican dominated Court declared that a law banning same-sex marriages violated the constitutional right to equal protection under the law for all citizens. Even the dissenting opinion was in agreement that the laws were discriminatory, with those three who voted against framing their argument not as a disagreement in purpose but in jurisdiction, saying that it should be decided by voters.

Opponents immediately declared that they would attempt to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot. Of course. That's expected.

It doesn't change the reason we have to celebrate today.

And just to remind the haters... I am a white heterosexual middle-aged male with a college-degree and two children. I attended an Episcopalian grade school and a Catholic high school and graduated from a Presbyterian university. This is not a religious issue. It's a human rights issue.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Help Other's While Helping Yourself

With the recent cyclone and the horrible devastation and loss of life in Myanmar, the power of mother nature is once again being slammed home to us. In addition to the efforts of Ann Aquirre at her blog, Coming Together and Phaze are offering another way to help people affected by storms world wide with a re-emphasis on Coming Together:Special Hurricane Relief Edition.

The Special Hurricane Relief Edition was originally published in response to Hurricane Katrina, but the American Red Cross is also working to help the affected in Burma. Thus Phaze thought it appropriate to remind everyone of the availability of this volume and to give you a major incentive to buy it and add to the help being sent despite the regrettable ineptitude of the Myanmar government.

Phaze is generously offering a coupon for 50% off a future Phaze purchase when you buy the e-book or 75% off a future purchase when you order the paperback. In order to receive the coupon, you must order directly from the Phaze website. Here is a link to the page (scroll down below For The Cure)for the Special Hurricane Relief Edition to make it easier.

In addition, if you order this from the Phaze website and let me know at, I will happily mail you a pair of bookmarks and an autographed label to place in your copy of Coming Together. (Obviously, I will need a mailing address..)

Thank you for Coming Together to help those less fortunate...

Happy Mother's Day From Phaze!

Phaze would like to wish all you mom's out there a very Happy Mother's Day in recognition of all the things you do for us every day of the year!

So for today only, Sunday May 11, 2008, all Phaze books are 20% off at Simply enter the code HOTMAMA at checkout and you will receive your 20% discount.

After all, every mom deserves a break today and a chance to spend some time lost in a good book...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Come Together With Ann Aquirre to Help Cyclone Victims

You will have heard of Cyclone Nargis, which hit Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) on May 2nd. What you may not have heard about is how staggering the loss of life has been in a very densely populated and not very developed part of the world.

Some estimates now rate the eventual death toll at 100,000. As many as 40% of those are said to be children. Presently reported numbers are 22,890 fatalities with at least 42,119 missing. What's worse, ruptured sewage lines are reported to have ruined much of the rice crop in the most heavily affected areas. This will have even more disastrous consequences in the coming months. Aid workers that have been allowed in by the junta government of Myanmar are reporting that homeless peoples could number as high as 3 million. Yes, million.

In response to a question about what was needed, Red Cross spokesman Matt Cochrane said, "Everything." UK charity Save The Children has also been active and is one of the few organizations being allowed in by the Burmese government.

Author Ann Aquirre has started a contest on her blog to give away a $150.00 gift certificate to the book store of your choice if you will simply make a donation and show her that you have made it. Author and Editor of the Coming Together charity anthologies Alessia Brio then added $50.00 to bring it to $200.00.

Please, use this as incentive to help if you possibly can. At the very least, take a few moments to offer your support by spreading the word or sending a kind word in the direction of Ann and also Alessia.

As hard as things are for many in our present economic situation, it is far worse in Burma. Please help.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

An Even Split on May 6th? No, Look Again.

So here we are, approaching midnight on the West Coast and the votes are pretty much counted in North Carolina and Indiana. Obama won in N.C. and Hillary in Indiana. So it's a split decision, right? They both won one, so they are even.


Barack Obama won 56% to 42% over Hillary in North Carolina. But the picture on the top of Yahoo's political news page? Right, the former first lady, with a story about her winning Indiana. And that is all some people will see it as... that she won. But lets look at the numbers.

According to the Associated Press, with 99% of the vote counted in Indiana, Hillary won 51% to 49%. A margin of slightly more than 22,000 votes out of 1.2 million. So, if you think your vote doesn't count, the clear message here is to move to Indiana. However, what's not clear is why this eked out win should propel Mrs. Clinton to say, "Thanks to you, it's full speed to the White House!"

Really? Because North Carolina is the tenth largest state in the nation. There were 115 delegates at stake. And Obama, not to be too mean about it, kicked your ass. He wiped the floor with you. Meanwhile, you barely achieve a victory in a state that was always being counted on by your own campaign, and you do it by trumpeting a "gas tax holiday" that some observers have analyzed as meaning approximately $28 to the average American family. Hey, at least when W tries to buy me off he has the cojones to offer me $600 bucks. I mean, that will at least buy me a Playstation 3. Your deal won't even buy me a game to play on it.

Also, the gas tax holiday was already tried. In Illinois, and one of its supporters was Barack Obama. The 5% reduction in taxes there resulted in a 3% drop in the price. In other words, the reduction of income to the state and to public good created a 2% increase in the profits of the oil companies. And at the end of the tax holiday, gas prices went up 4%.

Gee... no wonder the guys from Shell praised the plan.

So at the end of the day, the latest projections are that Obama has gained at least 94 delegates and Clinton at least 75. With 18 more to still be decided. Do the math. Even if Hillary gets all 18 she ends up with 93. (And she won't... if the current ratios hold, Obama will get at least 10 or 11.)

That's not an even split... that's Barack Obama pulling away as we enter the homestretch.

Monday, May 05, 2008

The Myth of White Voters and Obama

Let's get something straight, right now.

I am a straight, white middle-aged democrat and I am voting for Barack Obama.

All the campaign rhetoric that keeps coming from Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and company about how white voters won't support Barack Obama? Please. Consider the sources of your information. Outside the actual Clinton campaign, who is out there saying that whites won't vote for Obama?

The Republicans, and their shills. And they are saying it for the purpose of keeping Hillary in the race. Does this not speak to anyone out there who wants a democratic victory in November? Look, if you are a sports fan and your team is already in the Championship game... and you are watching to see who you will match up with... who are you rooting for? The team that you think will beat you? Or the team you think you will beat?

Right. The Republicans and their puppets want the person they think they can beat. Unless there is something out there really horrible that none of us know about, Obama just got hit in the chops with THE knockout blow. Rev. Wright is to Barack Obama as the Monkey Business is to Gary Hart, as Willie Horton is to Michael Dukakis.

And guess what? Obama rolls on. It has hurt him, but it hasn't destroyed him. This scares the Republicans to death. It screams to them of the term "Teflon" as it was applied to their sainted Ronald Reagan.

So now, they and the Clinton's are playing the race card. White voters won't vote for a black man.

They use Ohio and Pennsylvania to try and prove it. Two places Clinton should have won. And she did. But the real interesting thing is not that she won... she was expected to win those states. What's interesting is her margin of victory. Hillary Clinton was up by 25 points in Pennslyvania only a few months before. Obama made up almost two thirds of the lead, almost double what he eventually lost by. And now, there are people and polls that are hinting he actually has a shot to win Indiana tomorrow, which should have been as much of a shoe-in as Pennsylvania was...

The real facts, according to the New York Times, is that Obama is treading water with white democrats. Meanwhile, Hillary is going down for the third time in the African American community. Follow the link, look at the graph. Then find a white democrat and ask the question.

I'm a white democrat and I'm supporting Barack Obama.