Twelfth Night celebration is in the pink

In the liturgical calendar of the Christian church twelfth night is the last day of the Christmas season. (Remember the 12 days of Christmas? They start on December 24 and end December 5) Twelfth night also kicks off the carnival season that culminates in the celebration of Mardi Gras. The Krewe of Olympus, Houston’s own predominately gay Mardi Gras Krewe, welcomes the season in style with “Pretty in Pink:” a twelfth night fundraiser benefiting the Montrose Counseling Center. The festivities are Saturday night, January 7 (’cause who wants to party on a Thursday?) starting at 7 pm at the Counseling Center (401 Branard) and include traditional king cake as well as an open bar, hors d’oevres and a Mardi Gras mask auction. In keeping with the theme guests are invited to wear their best outfits in shades of pink (be it blush or bashful).

The Krewe of Olympus started in New Orleans in 1970 before moving to Houston. According to their website:

We are one of the largest predominately gay Krewes in the United States, although our membership is open to all. Our principal aims are to present theatrical and educational events that perpetuate and continue Mardi Gras traditions and to raise money for community charities. Since moving to Texas, we’ve donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Houston and Dallas Charitable Organizations. We are a 501(c)(3) non profit organization.

Tickets for the event are $35 and are available at the door.

—  admin

We Were Here, AIDS documentary at 14 Pews

We Were HereWe Were Here, the award winning documentary of the early days of the AIDS crisis, premiers at 14 Pews theater (800 Aurora) Saturday, November 20, at 4:30 pm. The film, from director David Weissman, will be proceeded by a panel discussion on the state of the AIDS crisis today.

I came out in 1998, right at the tail end of the worst days of the AIDS crisis. I remember, with vivid clarity, the days of the walking wounded: when every other gay man I met would tell how their doctor said they should have died five years ago, when the community told time by recalling if an event took place before or after a certain person’s funeral.

Fortunately those days are largely behind us, but as new HIV infections continue to rise and we struggle to maintain funding for medications that are keeping people alive (at a cost of thousands of dollars a month), it’s important that we never forget the early days of the pandemic. For people of my generation and younger the mysterious “Gay Plague” that threatened our community in the early eighties can seem more like a fairy tale monster than the horrifying crisis it was, and is.

We Were Here tells the real life stories of five people who survived. Their mundane and profound recollections highlight, not only their personal experiences, but the broad political and social upheavals unleashed by the crisis. From their different vantage points as caregivers, activists, researchers, as friends and lovers of the afflicted, and as people with AIDS themselves, the interviewees share stories which are not only intensely personal, but which also illuminate the much larger themes of that era: the political and sexual complexities, and the terrible emotional toll. The film highlights the role of women – particularly lesbians – in caring for and fighting for their gay brothers.

Tickets for We Were Here are $10 and can be purchased at 14pews.org.

After the jump watch the trailer for We Were Here.

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Your tax dollars at work: contractor hid in Iraq for 7 years to escape rape charge

What a sleazebag. And he was escaping from paying for his heinous crime on your dime. (Mother Jones):

A Norfolk, Virginia, man was arrested on a military base in Iraq and brought back to the States in police custody this weekend for allegedly raping a “juvenile female,” then hiding out in the Middle Eastern nation as a contractor for the US government.

For seven years.

Norfolk police say Daniel Phillips, 46, was wanted in connection for the rape of an underage girl in 2004 and 2005, but when warrants were issued for his arrest, he secured employment as a military contractor in a computer-related position and left for Iraq, where he stayed until authorities started tracking him in December.

…The vetting process to become a contractor in Iraq varies from company to company, but it can be extremely thin. Once hired, these employees are supposed to go through a Contintental United States Replacement Center (CRC), an Army-run military processing facility such as this one in Ft. Benning, Georgia. There, they go through a weeklong medical and background screening, at the end of which they’re issued a microchipped military ID card and put on a military flight to their destination in Iraq, or Afghanistan, or wherever.

But apparently, none of that kept Phillips from staying on as an Iraq contractor for seven years, with military-sanctioned vacation jaunts back to the States, all while authorities sought his arrest.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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Anti-LGBT, bestiality-suggestive Navy videos produced by captain — with your tax dollars

Wow. And to think that the Pentagon was tiptoeing over whether gays and lesbians can openly serve. Jeebus H… I can’t believe this disgusting behavior by a commanding officer in the name of “fun.”

No wonder the military has a problem dealing with changing its culture – it’s not the homos in the ranks that are the issue; it’s Porky’s mentality. (Military.com):

In one scene, two female Navy sailors stand in a shower stall aboard the aircraft carrier, pretending to wash each other. They joke about how they should get six minutes under the water instead of the mandated three.

In other skits, sailors parade in drag, use anti-gay slurs, and simulate masturbation and a rectal exam. Another scene implies that an officer is having sex in his stateroom with a donkey.

They’re all part of a series of short movies produced aboard the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier Enterprise in 2006 and 2007 and broadcast to its nearly 6,000 sailors and Marines. The man who masterminded and starred in them is Capt. Owen Honors — now the commander of the carrier, which is weeks away from deploying.

What an irony – a captain named “Honors” — there sure isn’t any in this news. By the way, do you feel a bit lighter in your pocket? It’s the sensation of Honors and his charges pickpocketing your tax dollars to produce this shite.


The videos, obtained by The Virginian-Pilot this week, were shot and edited with government equipment, many of them while the Enterprise was deployed supporting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

At the time, Honors was the carrier’s executive officer, or XO, the commanding officer’s deputy. He took command of the ship in May.

In the videos, Honors indicates that he’s trying to entertain the crew. They were shown roughly once a week on closed-circuit shipwide television, according to a handful of sailors who were assigned to the Enterprise at the time. The sailors requested anonymity for fear of retribution.

Honors called the showing of these videos “XO Movie Night.” One of those who handled the video shoots said “He was the one coming up with scripts and the jokes. He was the one planning it.”

Please go read the rest. It’s extremely disturbing giving how much time, effort and tax dollars were spent just in 2010 to stall movement on DADT repeal with that long-winded, freepable study about “concerns” of service members re: gay and lesbian troops.

The videos with Capt. Owen Honors were shot and edited with government equipment in 2006 and 2007. Here is one featured on the Pilot’s web site.


Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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A pleasant surprise phone call – Billy Kennedy dialing for dollars to unseat vile Virginia Foxx

This was a really interesting and unexpected event. Kate and I were watching VH1 Classics “Best of I Love the 70s” and the phone rings.

Usually if we don’t recognize the phone number we ignore it because it’s usually tele-spam (how many of you have received the urgent “we need to talk to you about reducing your interest rate NOW” from your credit card company that you have zero balance with). Kate this time decided to ask who was calling and it was Billy Kennedy, running for the U.S. Congressional seat in the 5th District of NC currently held by the repulsive, homophobic embarrassment Virginia Foxx.

Since I’ve blogged about Foxx and Kennedy’s campaign several times I thought that he was calling to ask about whether I could do a live blog or some fundraising pitch on the Blend, but he actually was just dialing for dollars outside of his district with the usual list, and I was on it. I don’t think my name clicked at first, but as we continued our conversation he made the connection.

He started laughing because I was the last person on the call list for the evening and he hadn’t made the connection. Anyway, I told him that it would be great to have him on the Blend for a liveblog to talk about Foxx’s poor record of serving her district and what he plans to bring to the table.

What he has said in the past:

I will not run a wedge campaign. I want to focus on what all of us can do to improve our lives. I plan to listen to my constituents and hear what’s important to them because I respect other people’s points of view. I will not allow my opponent to play “gotcha” politics on these questions of individual liberty.

I want to make it clear. I support freedom and equal rights for all people. I will protect all individual constitutional rights, without allowing politicians to pick and choose which Amendments deserve to be taken seriously.

Even when a candidate or political party wins an election through the use of a wedge issue, once they arrive in Washington they do nothing to further its cause. That is when it becomes painfully clear that the candidate never had any real commitment to the issue itself. The candidate simply used the issue to try to fool the people and win the election at any cost.

So once Billy recalled PHB, he was excited about the prospect of a liveblog, as he’s done them on DKos as well as Crooks & Liars and it would be nice to give him as boost – the 5th deserves better. We will have a date for a liveblog soon.  
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright