Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Secret White House Communication System

This post is kinda scary. It details a secret and dedicated email server that the White House uses instead of the one run by the official email server as mandated by a law in the Presidential Records Act. The idea is that all emails must be ran through the official one in the event an email might be needed for future examination.

Instead, many folks around Bush use a different email server to help keep their actions secret and outside the venue of accountability.

Honestly, who can blame them, right? Sometimes a person may do a thing in secret for a greater good. Still, the post articulates a scary scenario in which accountability left unchecked can cause great mischief.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Are ya’ll from these parts?

A special thanks to Sieg for this post.


Southern women appreciate their natural assets:
Clean skin.
A winning smile.
That unforgettable Southern drawl.

Southern women know their manners:
"Yes, ma'am."
"Yes, sir."
"Why, no, Billy!"

Southern women have a distinct way with fond expressions :
"Y'all come back!"
"Well, bless your heart."
"Drop by when you can."
"How's your Momma?"

Southern women know their summer weather report:

Southern women know their vacation spots:

The beach
The rivuh
The crick

Southern women know the joys of June, July, and August:
Colorful hi-heel sandals
Strapless sun dresses
Iced sweet tea with mint

Southern women know everybody's first name:

Southern women know the movies that speak to their hearts:
Fried Green Tomatoes
Driving Miss Daisy
Steel Magnolias
Gone With The Wind

Southern women know their religions:


Southern women know their country breakfasts:
Red-eye gravy
Country ham
Mouth-watering homemade biscuits with momma's homemade jelly

Southern women know their cities dripping with Southern charm:

Foat Wuth

Southern women know their elegant gentlemen:
Men in uniform.
Men in tuxedos
Rhett Butler

Southern girls know their prime real estate:
The Mall
The Country Club
The Beauty Salon

Southern girls know the 3 deadly sins:
Having bad hair and nails
Having bad manners
Cooking bad food

More Suthen-ism's:
Only a Southerner knows the difference between a hissie fit and a conniption fit , and that you don't "HAVE" them, you "PITCH" them.

Only a Southerner knows how many fish, collard greens, turnip greens, peas, beans, etc., make up
"a mess."

Only a Southerner can show or point out to you the general direction of

Only a Southerner knows exactly how long
"directly" is, . as in: "Going to town, be back directly."

Even Southern babies know that
"Gimme some sugar" is not a request for the white, granular sweet substance that sits in a pretty little bowl in the middle of the table.

All Southerners know exactly when
"by and by" is. They might not use the term, but they know the concept well.

Only a Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who's got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad. If the neighbor's trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin!

Only Southerners grow up knowing the difference between
"right near" and "a right far piece." They also know that "just down the road" can be 1 mile or 20.

Only a Southerner, both knows and understands, the difference between a redneck, a good ol' boy, and po' white trash.

No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.

A Southerner knows that
"fixin" can be used as a noun, a verb, or an adverb.

Only Southerners make friends while standing in lines, ... and when we're "in line," we talk to everybody!

Put 100 Southerners in a room and half of them will discover they're related, even if only by marriage.

In the South,
y'all is singular, all y'all is plural.

Southerners know grits come from corn and how to eat them.

Every Southerner knows tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits, and coffee are perfectly wonderful; that red eye gravy is also a breakfast food; and that fried green tomatoes are not a breakfast food.

When you hear someone say, "Well, I caught myself lookin'," you know you are in the presence of a genuine Southerner!

Only true Southerners say
"sweet tea" and "sweet milk." Sweet tea indicates the need for sugar and lots of it -- we do not like our tea unsweetened. "Sweet milk" means you don't want buttermilk.

And a true Southerner knows you don't scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway. You just say,"Bless her heart" ... and go your own way.

To those of you who are still a little embarrassed by your Southerness: Take two tent revivals and a dose of sausage gravy and call me in the morning. Bless your heart!
And to those of you who are still having a hard time understanding all this Southern stuff, ... bless your hearts, I hear they are fixin' to have classes on Southernness as a second language!

And for those that are not from the South but have lived here for a long time, all y'all need a sign to hang on y'alls front porch that reads "I ain't from the South, but I got here as fast as I could."

Southern girls know men may come and go, but friends are fahevah !

Now...... Shugah, send this to someone who was raised in the South or wish they had been!

If you're a Northern transplant, Bless your little heart, fake it. We know you got here as fast as you could.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Firefox Easter Eggs

Like Windows' Internet Explorer, Firefox has some interesting Easter Eggs (hidden messages) in its innards. To see them, just type in the words in your address bar and click return (or enter). Thanks TechPwn for this post.

About:Mozilla - This one is a bit odd. It displays a quote as if it was out of the some holy book. This is Mozilla getting back at Microsoft because if you put this in IE, it gives you a blue screen, making fun of a Mozilla crash. Here is what it says…

And so at last the beast fell and the unbelievers rejoiced. But all was not lost, for from the ash rose a great bird. The bird gazed down upon the unbelievers and cast fire and thunder upon them. For the beast had been reborn with its strength renewed, and the followers of Mammon cowered in horror.

from The Book of Mozilla, 7:15

About:config - This page shows you all of Firefox’s configuration. You can set settings to your own liking. There are many pages out there that talk about speeding up Firefox by editing some settings in here. Just Google “speed up firefox”.

About:cache - Ever wondered how much space the Firefox cache is taking up? This page will let you know.

about:plugins - This gives you a detailed list of plugins installed on your machine. This could come in handy if certain pages (especially media files) aren’t loading correctly.

About:credit - This one is self explanatory. It will show you all of the people who have spent their time building this great piece of software.

about:blank - This one might not be too hidden, but if you’d like to set your browser homepage to a blank slate, this could come in handy.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Dog Fetches Shark?

I got tired of hearing this video play itself whenever I loaded my blog. So, here is the link to the video. It's pretty amazing and watching it, you might find yourself saying, "That is one dumb ass dog."

Go here to see the video.

The Daily Show

I just love The Daily Show, the spoofs and humor are fun to watch. And, in a very unusual twist, some of the guests who come onto the Daily Show are either thinking it's legit and they are using the show as a platform for their own agendas or, they have no idea what the show is really about.

To illustrate my point, a couple of days ago Richard Cohen was on the Daily Show in a fact-like parody of his treatment to cure homosexuality. The show was obviously meant to spoof it and yet Cohen didn't seem to connect with what was being shown. The show features Richard Cohen and Wayne Besen, a gay man who addresses the dangers of Ex-Gay therapy. After watching this video, I followed this link to a video where Cohen was on Jimmy Kimmel hawking his cures. In that video, he was saying the same thing and offering the same solutions as on The Daily Show. This is what I mean by the fact that the Daily Show was spoofing him and he didn't seem to have a clue about it. (I'd post the video but Youtube just pulled it from their server.) In the video, Cohen hits a pillow and cries out his anger against his mom and then cradles a man (in a very homoerotic way) as a way to get in touch with a "healthier" man on man form of male bonding that gay men seem to lack.

It seems all of this onscreen interviews began with this interview he did on CNN. CNN doesn't parody him but does offer some insight into the methods to not only his own madness, but the madness that fuels the fires of his clientèle. Fortunately CNN interviews non-wacky psychologists who warn others of the dangers of reparative therapy. Here is a link to that video.

Wayne Besen is probably Cohen's worst nightmare. Besen understands the danger that ex-gay therapy poses to many of its gay clientele who really want to be cured of their homosexuality. Besen contends that the methods of the ex-gay therapy are actually more harmful and the clientele realizes. And Cohen, according the Besen, is an fraud and unscrupulous 'life coach' whose had his credentials taken away because of his personal breach of ethics. Go here to see Besen's comments about Cohen.

All in all, those who wish to change their orientation have a right to pursue the changes they wish. However, when those changes are motivated by self-hatred or because of their desire to seek validation from those they seek it from, one needs to be careful regarding the methods and practices of those particular therapies. Some of the solutions can be more harmful than the remedies that a person considers in the first place.

While I don't believe there is anything wrong with a gay orientation whatsoever, there can be challenges and pitfalls when one chooses to live a life of wanton irresponsibility. Whether gay or straight, the lifestyle choices we make can have long lasting ramifications. Not that those ramifications are necessarily bad for you, but sometimes they can be. However it is we choose to live our lives, let us make the best choices that honor our bodies, ourselves, and those we choose to love...whoever it is we choose to love.

A special kudo to for this expose and the subsequent links and videos that tells the larger and complete story. You can go here to read her post.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Honoring ACT-Up

Larry Kramer, a playright and gay rights activist, was a founding member of Gay Men's Health Crisis and ACT-Up (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power). He has been and continues to be a prophetic (and, appropriately so, an angry and pissed off) voice for gay and lesbian folk everywhere.

I've had a speech from him on this blog before and once again, you will notice that he is still as abrasive and in-your-face as always. The man holds no punches. Some folks contend that you either love him or hate him. He is offensive for sure. Without him, our world would be such a very different place. And a whole lot more people would be dead.

ACT-Up is celebrating their 20th anniversary and this week he gave a speech honoring the contributions of ACT-Up. The speech is available on video and, below the video, a written out transcript. The video looks homemade and has some annoying background voices. I watched the video while I read the transcript.

After the video and when I was done reading, I found myself inspired, saddened, and mad as hell. That is how a lot of folks feel after Kramer speaks. You may or may not feel the same way; but let me encourage you to watch and read. If you're gay, it may inspire you. If you're not gay, it'll give you an insight into gay life over the past 20 years--as well as some deep insight as to what some gay and lesbian folk are fighting for.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Advice to Young Men from an Old Man

You know, being sick affords one an opportunity to surf, catch up on a few books lying around, and generally goof off. Sure, I am napping, eating light, and generally nurturing myself back to health. Still, it is fun to find some unexpected jewels while meandering around.

This post, written over on Craigslist, is a beaut. It is advice from an old man written to all young men. Reading the post, I found myself thinking about Robert Duvall's character in Secondhand Lions, where he talks with thuggish boys about being a 'real man'. You may find some offensively stated advice, but all in all, most of it is impressive and wise.

Amazing, right?

Here's a weird thing you can do with a hammer, a ruler, and a piece of string.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Curious Observation

Albert Mohler, the President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY wrote an interesting article on his website March 2nd. As a result, countless blogs and news folks have picked up on the story and have run with it. And, as you might expect, most progressives are furious with him.

Mohler wrote an article that basically asked with the question, 'What would you do if your baby was gay? What would you do if you could change the sexual orientation of the baby before he or she were born? I found the summary about the article here. You can go here to read his own words about it. You'll need to scroll down the embedded window to the March 2 entry to find it.

What I found very curious about this particular article is two-fold. One, that for the first time, he acknowledges that a gay sexual orientation may indeed have genetic influences; even more so, he writes to prepare readers that science may very well prove this to be so. One has to give Mohler credit, I believe, to even suggest this possibility given the hoopla against such an idea that has been in the minds of many gay and straight professionals for a long time. He offers a few caveats in his article, namely that he finds it interesting the gay and lesbian groups feel the necessity to fund such studies to prove the genetic influences. However, if it weren't for the tenacity of such groups, we might not ever realize the biological influences associated with sexual orientation (regardless of sexual preferences). Mohler even goes so far as to imply that transgender folks have biological traits that may contribute to their gender identity. That takes guts, even if he is being a tad condescending in reporting it. Maybe that's his shield from a conservative backlash. Rather than suppressing such information or discrediting it; Mohler is actually naming it--even if he does so in a skittish kind of way.

The second curious thing I find in his article is his justification for gene manipulation, when the time comes that the genes and biological associations are discovered that cause it. It really isn't hard to follow his line of reasoning. If your child harbored a serious illness, say Polio for example, and you could eradicate it from your as yet to be born child, wouldn't you do it? Of course anyone would. To suggest that a person wouldn't is silly. But Mohler goes one step further and suggests that even a bona fide liberal parent who "says they support homosexuality" in other people, wouldn't actually be so carnal as to allow their own children to become that way and would, as any concerned parent do, apply the gene modification to make their children's orientation conform to what is natural and God ordered (e.g., heterosexual). And then, he goes on to criticize those fictional liberal parents in his mind as hypocrites. He sets folks up, then strikes them down. What a tacky and immature way to stress one's point of view.

But what I really take odds with is that he actually approves of such modifications. It wasn't that long ago when Mohler wrote about the discontinuity of faith and reason behind the stem cell debate. Arguing that even the life of a stem cell that doesn't grow to form a baby should still not be used because that stem cell is life and it is sacred. To be more exact, he said, "The argument that the human embryo should be protected as fully human is based upon foundational worldview commitments. So also is the belief that the embryo is not deserving of full respect and protection." In effect, he is saying that the embryo must be protected in its form, regardless of its form. My question, then, should not the genetic makeup of a baby be protected (illness notwithstanding)? Is a person's sexual orientation not held to the same standard of a "foundational worldview commitment"? Of course he doesn't think so but I would suggest that this is where others and myself disagree with him. He is picking and choosing the genetic codes and makeup he chooses--keeping the ones he thinks are God-honoring, and changing or distorting the ones he thinks are not. When his critics charge him of playing God, this is one example they are pointing to.

At the end of his article, he makes a strong case that while homosexuality is a sin, the homosexual is still created in God's image. While that is a great sentiment, he stops short of following through with it. While I applaud the language that we're all created in God's image, it sounds like he doesn't really mean it if he then, in his next breath, seeks to find a way to change that image.

In a way, Mohler is caught in an awkward position: he admits that science is about to betray his and other's long held belief that sexual orientation is a choice. When it may soon be proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that sexual orientation is tied to the almost certain reality of a person's genetic biology. However, given this development, he like the Roman Catholic Church, have come to separate homosexual acts from homosexual orientation. Once separated, not even biology can justify its continuation. It wasn't that long ago when separating the two was unthinkable. But he is doing so, and in my opinion, he is doing so while also taking a risk.

As Dr. Jack Drescher, a New York City psychiatrist critical of those who consider homosexuality a disorder, commended Mohler's openness to the prospect that it is biologically based. "This represents a major shift," Drescher said. "This is a man who actually has an open mind, who is struggling to reconcile his religious beliefs with facts that contradict it."

And so we're left with an article that he says was only meant to start a conversation. When in reality, he gives a response to where that conversation ought to lead. That really isn't what a conversation is, right? Still, what he says his important and he illustrates the dynamic shift that conservative Christians must start considering when science reveals what everyone else has felt for quite some time: That sexual orientation is not all about choices--sometimes, and more often that one might realize, it's as much a part of a gay person as their eye color or eventual height.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I have the flu. Oh .. mah .. gawd. Yesterday I felt horrible; so bad in fact, that I went to the doctor. And it was a good thing that I did. It turns out that the suspicious world of medicine (at least to me anyways) has a anti-viral medication for the flu called Tamiflu. The catch to using this is that you have to go to the doctor within 2 days (although 24 hours is recommended) of becoming symptomatic. I called my mom and said, "Mom, I have a 102 degree fever." She said, "Go to the doctor!" She is also the one who told me about the Tamiflu.

I started taking it yesterday and I can readily admit that I feel better. I am still napping frequently, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating light. However, compared to Monday night and Tuesday morning, the difference with how I feel now is unmistakable.

You may be thinking, "Gee Bo, how come you didn't get your flu shot?" Well, you know, for the last 2 years that shot has been made available to the elderly and young only, at least at first. Then, when that's done, everyone else can get it. I just forgot to go and get the darn thing. Pastors often get sick, seeing how we are in constant contact with folks, shaking their hands, giving hugs, and generally being near them--sick or not. Next year you can be sure, I'll be in line, whenever it is that I can get in line.

In the meantime and while I am getting well, I have been using this time to get caught up with some of my reading. I am almost done with Spencer Burke's A Heretic's Guide to Eternity. And I am about to begin Dallas Willard's The Divine Conspiracy. The latter comes highly recommended by a couple of friends. I loved reading highly recommended books. So I am going to take some needed R&R and try and not watch too much TV.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A Response to Ann Coulter

Recently Ann Coulter used the F-word to describe John Edwards. In a rebuttal that explains Coulter's lack of concern or repentance for using the word, Andrew Sullivan writes a brilliant piece against her main defense. Her defense in using it is that since the word wasn't directed at a gay man, then it wasn't a homophobic slur, per say.

In my opinion, his response is the most eloquent piece I've ever read about the powerful ramifications towards gay men that results when someone directs the F-word at a straight man.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Something to Make you Smile

Not everyone is thrilled with Oprah's recent support of The Secret, a new age-like motivation to achieving your life's dreams. I watched it ages ago and discovered that it's predecessor was 'What the Bleep?' I enjoyed both movies and found elements of truth in both of them. While some of the truths are recycled self-help motivations, there are other truths that regardless who said them, remain important: the way life reacts to how we engage it remains a truth that transcends religion, spirituality/mysticism, and time. The Secret folks call it The Law of Attraction, eastern mystics call it Karma, and Christians know it by the Golden Rule.

Anyways, here is a nice motivational video from The Secret folks. I hope you enjoy it:

Monday, March 05, 2007

I went here, then there, and ended up with this

You know how you go one place and then somewhere else only to discover that you find yourself at a place no where near where you began? I find that I do that a lot. This used to happen frequently when I preached or taught something, so I have discovered myself using notes. Notes keep me on track.

But I don't always use notes. Take this morning for example. I started off watching a video online that took me to an Ellen episode that took me to a new video. On YouTube, I watched this motivational thing only to discover a cross reference to Steven Austin and the 6 Million Dollar Man and his search for the "secret" bigfoot. I watched that video (dang the nostalgia) only to see a video in the side bar featuring a Venture Brothers cartoon with Brock Samson when he met the 6 Million Dollar Man and Bigfoot (a parody of the previous video I just watched). Are you still following me?

Okay, so I watched the video of the crass Brock Samson and just laughed my arse off. It's pretty funny (assuming you like Brock Samson). If you don't, then you may not appreciate the humor.