Archive for November 26th, 2010

She is a Beauty


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LKL – Dolly Parton On Her Gay fans:

The great Dolly Parton: “I think we should be a little more tolerant, a little more accepting and understanding…”

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There isn’t a fan base more proud of its school or more in love with its mascot than the faithful from the University of Texas. Longhorn fans stay true to their school by traveling en masse to road games, decking themselves head to toe in burnt orange and obsessively lashing the “Hook ’em Horns.”

And they show their affection for the live longhorn mascot, Bevo, with endless merchandise that ranges from golf head covers to Halloween costumes, as well as a student group, the Silver Spurs, whose sole purpose is the care and transport of the 2,000-pound steer. These days, he’s treated like royalty while taking in games from the field.

It wasn’t always that way. Texas had been known as the “Longhorns” for years, but before a group of students dragged a gaunt, frightened steer onto the field at halftime of Texas’ Thanksgiving Day game against A&M College of Texas in 1916, the preferred mascot was a dog. UT alum Stephen Pinckney had spotted the orange-tinged longhorn on a cattle raid in Laredo and bought him with $1 contributions from 124 fellow alumni. It arrived just in time for the A&M game on a boxcar with no food or water.

But the Longhorns won, 21-7, thanks to two punt returns for touchdowns after the steer was introduced, and he stuck as a good luck charm. He was shipped to a stockyard in South Austin for a photograph (he reportedly charged the photographer immediately after the picture was snapped), which soon ran with a story in an alumni magazine that dubbed the new mascot as “Bevo.”

Still, the original longhorn was far from the prized, pampered and protected symbol he is today. In fact, he was almost an afterthought. Security at the South Austin stockyard was lax enough that Texas A&M students broke into Bevo’s pen in the winter of 1917 and branded “13-0” on one side – the score of the Aggies’ 1915 win in College Station. Fearing a wholesale kidnapping, the university moved Bevo again. But when the U.S. entered World War I the same year, the mascot was all but forgotten.

Then came a dirty little secret that still makes Texas fans shudder: When Bevo was what’s for dinner.

With food and care for the longhorn costing the University fifty cents a day, and nostalgic pangs of school spirit still taking a backseat to a good meal, the original mascot was slaughtered and served at the team’s banquet in the winter of 1920, where the freshly defeated A&M players were even invited to chow down. The visiting Aggies were served the side they had branded three years earlier and presented with a part of the hide that still read “13-0.”

The final insult came years later, after Bevo I’s head had been stuffed and placed in a UT gymnasium. Another villainous Aggie snuck in and cut the horns off its head because of the lyrics in the Aggie War Hymn that instruct revelers to “Saw varsity’s horns off.” Thus did Bevo I end up branded, ostracized, slaughtered and emasculated.

Fortunately, the live longhorn mascot eventually caught on at Texas and the mascot is now treated like a prized possession. For last January’s BCS Championship Game in Pasadena, Calif., Bevo was driven 1,400 miles by four members of the Silver Spurs, then received his own private paddock to prepare for the big game.

The current mascot, Bevo XIV, has reigned since 2004 and resides just north of Austin in a private ranch owned by John T. Baker and his wife, Betty. They also housed Bevo XIII, as the two were both tabbed as the Chosen One by the powers that be at Texas from a selection of the best longhorn steers in the area.

The Bakers have treated their two prized longhorns like their own and Bevo XIV has a special place in their hearts.

“I am very attached to this one, I mean extremely,” Betty said this week. “He’s like my big pet. I can go out on the ranch, actually go up to him and scratch him and put my arms around him and give him kisses. He is just absolutely fabulous.”

Even though Bevo XIII wasn’t as personable, the Bakers had a soft spot for it as well. After it passed away in 2006, the Bakers had the head stuffed and mounted on their wall. And no, eating the late school mascot never crossed their minds.

“It’d be like eating your dog,” Betty said. “It’s just one of those things you don’t do. And by his age at 22, that’s old and his meat wouldn’t (be good) – you could do hamburgers probably but you couldn’t do steaks.”

Maybe not. But after beating Texas only twice in the last decade, there are probably plenty of Aggie fans that would love to trade their Thanksgiving Day turkey for Bevo burgers on Thursday night.







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America 20xy


By Andrew Steele

There was no greater reflection of the political leadership we live under than seeing Hillary Clinton this week, when asked about the new pat-downs, give some dry mad-lib, fill-in-the-blank style statement attempting to justify herding innocent Americans through radiation baths to see through their clothes, or having their genitals groped. When asked if she would be willing to go through the same ordeal herself Clinton gave a smug smile– like a college student admitting that she never goes to a class in which the professor doesn’t keep attendance– and said not if Icould avoid it, then eerily cackled.

Since the body scanner story caught fire in the mainstream press countless horror stories have been coming out about a man’s urostomy bag being opened, a woman’s prosthetic breast being exposed, and a child being strip-searched…all personal humiliations in which the victims are given only the cynical reassurance by their government that their dignity is collateral damage in the fight against Al CIA-da.

In the 21st Century the people of the world are being told by leaders who can hardly keep a straight face that they need to let glorified mall security guards in uniforms with the honorary title of “agents” dig around in their underpants before they get onto an airplane. This is because some guy who was helped onto a plane last Christmas by intelligence officials unsuccessfully tried to light his shorts on fire. There are no boundaries when it comes to the plebian flyers, we’re told, because out of those masses of business men, soccer moms, grandmas, and toddlers anyone is a potential terrorist…except for that influential minority who have already proven themselves to be mass murderers– they don’t have to be body scanned or groped at all.
I’m talking about the people who have occupied the Presidency.

Mark Hemingway recently wrote a story proposing that President Obama put himself and his family through the same enhanced pat-downs that his own family was forced to go through when they went to the airport.No doubt, if the innocent people Obama murdered were killed by commercial airlines instead of predator drones, and if he wore a turban and spoke to the nation from a cave instead of the Oval Office, he would be considered the world’s number one terrorist. (That is, of course, if you first believe that the original guy in the cave who caused three skyscrapers to fall because of fire was actually the one who managed to “pull it” off). Certainly, in such a scenario Obama’s family still wouldn’t have to endure a pat-down or be body scanned, and would likely be flown to safety, because the United States has been known to help the families of alleged terrorist masterminds escape the country in the aftermath of big attacks before.

Obama joked last year about using instruments of mass murder– predator drones– while speaking at the annual Correspondents Association Dinner. Bush joked during his presidency about made up WMD at the same event.  These are the people causing Americans pain…not underwears bombs or printer cartridges… because even if you still manage to somehow believe the “official story” of 9/11 and the “official stories” of everything else they blame on people with hard to pronounce names, it is the pursuit of corporate American empire that began the war of terror from which such events arose, and the American people have been chess pieces in this war as far back as almost everyone alive now can remember.

Even if you can’t see the obvious– that the body scanners are a way to train the modernized world to submit to big government and for Michael Chertoff to make a profit– then settle on this simpler reality– that the body scanners are a lazy, police state reaction to the hornet nests that the military industrial complex, which all modern presidents have represented, kicked over in their pursuit of profit and personal power. Because of these few peoples’ crimes and not because of their own Americans are being asked to submit. From the actions of people like Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr., and Obama an old man found himself humiliated and covered in urine, people who were molested as children now have to avoid flying for fear of terrifying memories coming back to them from being touched or leered at, and mothers have to explain to their children that while nobody else is allowed to touch their privates, people in uniform are because all the stuff they learned in school about America and the “Home of the Free” is now just a silly myth– like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.

When people say that the body scanners are an indication that the terrorists have won, they have no idea how true that statement is.



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LOS ANGELES (AP) — It was no crime of fashion, but Wendy Gigliotti’s bulky sweater and ankle-length skirt made her a target of airport screeners.

A female Transportation Security Administration officer at Sacramento International Airport told her, “We can’t tell if there’s something under your skirt.” She was then frisked in a way she said felt more intrusive than a physical exam.

“I felt not only like a criminal, I felt absolutely violated,” said Gigliotti.

Gigliotti is among the travelers feeling mortified or even outraged by the more thorough security pat-downs the TSA began using this month as the holiday travel season begins.

Travel experts say the new scrutiny underscores the need for better airport fashion choices that can help people breeze through screenings with their dignity intact.

Clothes loaded with metal studs are suddenly a no-no, as are bras with underwires. Slacks instead of skirts are preferred. Any baggy clothing can require extra inspection.

“It’s difficult enough to fly right now, so let’s be sensible about it,” said Susan Foster, author of “Smart Packing for Today’s Traveler.” “Let’s minimize all the hassle.”

Melissa Wood of Marina Del Rey said she prepared for a possible pat-down at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday by wearing tight jeans, a snug sweater and slip-on sheepskin boots. She said she made sure to take out all belongings from her pockets and stuffed them in her purse before reaching the conveyor belt.

“I don’t want any problem when I reach the checkpoint,” Wood said.

Another passenger evoked the Disneyland rule.

“We should dress to the airport like we dress for Disneyland, and by that I mean dressing comfortably with a good pair of shoes,” said Aliise Becker, who wore a turtleneck, blue slacks and coat for her flight from Sacramento to Los Angeles. “The days of dressing to the nine to travel is a thing of the past.”

The new search technique allows airport security screeners to use their palms and fingers to probe for hidden weapons and devices around sensitive body parts, including clothed genital areas and breasts. In the past, TSA officers brushed along those body parts with the back of their hands.

Opponents argue the more intensive screening violates civil liberties including freedom of religion, the right to privacy and the constitutional protection against unreasonable searches.

Federal officials insist the procedures are necessary to ward off terror attacks like the attempted bombing of a Chicago-bound plane last Christmas by a Nigerian man who stashed explosives in his underwear.

Recently, a San Diego County man who resisted the groin check, telling an officer, “If you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested” became an Internet hit when he posted tape of the confrontation online. On the Alex Jones syndicated radio show, a frequent flier complained that a TSA officer put his hands down his waistband because he was wearing baggy sweat pants.

Gigliotti said she wasn’t aware of the enhanced security measures, so she was shocked when the TSA officer ran her hands up and down her legs last week.

TSA spokesman Nico Melendez said that they have not received any written complaint from her.

Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn noted the public embarrassment that can come with additional security on Wednesday as she and city officials sought to ease the public’s concerns on the issue.

“I go through the lines like everybody else. I have to take off my shoes. Sometimes I forgot to check the condition of my feet. I have to take off my jacket. Sometimes I forgot that the blouse I wore wasn’t meant to be seen in public. But you know what, these are small inconveniences, these are small embarrassments in light of what we’re trying to do,” she said.

David Stempler, president of the Air Travelers Association, said he has been hearing about women complaining of TSA officers searching under their skirts.

“It certainly is a problem, that’s why I recommend going through the scanning machines,” Stempler said. “They’re well vetted and they should be more comfortable than these aggressive pat-downs.”

Some passengers and flight crews are fearful the imaging machines emit an unhealthy dose of radiation. The government insists they’re safe, but agreed on Friday to let uniformed pilots skip the screening.

An Internet campaign is urging airline passengers to boycott the physically revealing scanners on the day before Thanksgiving and insist that any pat-down they receive as a result take place in full view of other passengers.

On Twitter, many joked that they might as well show up to the airport in their birthday suit.

Clothing options that may not be wise are T-shirts selling on the Internet that mock the pat-downs. One provides guidance to TSA officers to “firmly grasp” the buttocks, while others riff off the “don’t touch my junk” line, including one for Fondle Airlines, motto: “Fondling junk since 2010.”



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