From Seattle writer and consultant Matt Rosenberg...

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News Of The Skewed, Vol. 7

September 13, 2006

UPDATED: After 35 years, the West Hollywood gay pride parade has lost its luster, the LA Times reports today. Frilly-wigged musclemen dressed as pompom girls, basketball-boobed drag queens in sequined gowns...it's all so....1970s. So a city-sponsored task force of marketing and finance experts, along with gay activists, is recommending a gay Pride Month of arts, film and social and cultural activities. Mayor John Heilman says the local celebration must embody the "latest hippest, coolest." He asks: "How do we make it appealing to to somebody who went to gay pride 20 years ago and doesn't have any compelling reason to come back?' Maybe, Mr, Mayor, you don't because you can't, or - radical thought here - because it is not government's job to scheme bigger and better celebrations of gayness. Quite a few gays, especially those who went to pride parades 20 years ago, have grown up and moved on. Many younger gays see gay "pride" celebrations for what they are - a bunch of tired sad old queens with lives that are just a bit too empty. There's only so much glory you can wring out of celebrating sexual orientation, no matter how you dress it up. I think most gays these days are frankly more interested in living life in all its rich variety - than celebrating what brand of sex they happen to practice. Why don't you go check with your city manager on the pothole backlog and municipal bond yields, Mr. Mayor?

Shades of Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan, only minus the surrogate. The Rocky Mountain News reports today that Mitch Cozad of Wheatland, Wyoming, the University of Northern Colorado's second-string punter, has been charged with second-degree assault after allegedly stabbing the kicking leg of his rival, the team's starting punter Rafael Mendoza. What were you thinking Mitch? I don't really see that pigskin coming your way, in official play, ever again. You shanked it, bub.

Another success story about Canadian socialized medicine, from today's Vancouver Sun. People in Vancouver have to wait several months for Magnetic Resonance Imaging tests, an often crucial diagnostic tool used for brain scans, tumor detection and much more. Unsatisfied with the enforced wait, some are breaking the law barring them from paying for their own medical care. They're forking over about $755 a pop to the private provider Timely Medical Alternatives, Inc. (nice name, huh?) to skip the wait and get MRIs done at a local hospital during off-hours. However, the government has come to rescue, ordering the "qeue-jumping" to cease. All is right again in Canada.

So-called "parents" mired in drugs and often criminally neglecting or mistreating their children were the root cause of the more than 55,000 mostly very alarming reports to Oregon child welfare authorities last year. But statist salves are running thin: money for parenting instruction has been cut, state-funded foster parents are too few, treatment for addictions is not readily available, and legally-mandated government-funded special advocates for neglected children under state care are not provided in about 70 percent of the cases. All this and more is reported by The Oregonian, which declares in the story's headline, "Too Many Cases, Not Enough Workers." Not enough workers? There's not one state child welfare system in the U.S. that really works; some simply stink a bit less than others. For the at-risk-of-idiocy population of meth-snorting moms and felonious far-away fathers, the cycle has to be broken by acts of personal will, and the intervention of other family members, private charities and religious communities. The more state involvement in the affairs of dysfunctional families, the more outsourcing of family responsibility for child welfare. Haven't we learned that yet?

Members of the gay rights group Soulforce tried to enlist in the military in a coordinated 30-city action, but failed. Police were called in Shreveport to haul away would-be gay and lesbian Marines who wouldn't leave after being refused. They were protesting the miltary's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy barring questions about or acknowedgements of any member's gay or lesbian orientation. There are actual gay conservatives, gay foreign policy hawks, gay military (who haven't told), and gay ex-military (who did tell). And then there are the members of Soulforce, who for the most part despise the military and engaged in the stunt only to score publicity points. As if these protestors really want to head for Iraq or Afghanistan. I think this is more their speed.

Eat The State is a Seattle-based print and online publication that bills itself as "a forum for anti-authoritarian political opinion, research and humor." The Web address Eat The State has chosen for its blog is especially humorous. Almost as funny as the new movie about President Bush, and the name of this cafe in Mumbai (a.k.a. Bombay), which has now been changed.

A teacher in Kent, south of Seattle, told a student to cover up a Starbucks commemorative coffee cup featuring the company's iconic mermaid logo in its original topless rendition. No word if the teacher was an evangelical Christian or a devout Muslim. It would kinda have to be one or the other, I think.

Meanwhile in Uttar Pradesh, a young man underwent an almost unimaginable corrective surgical procedure. It is not clear whether his significant other was pleased or displeased.

It IS clear, though that even if you ARE the chief of police in Snyder, Oklahoma, you cannot stop your 6'3, 300-pound, tattooed wife from posing nude on the Internet, and that political repercussions will certainly follow.

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