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The Kennedy $25 Bill: A Good Idea Whose Time Has Come

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I used to run a business and as a joke my office wall featured a little plaque that read, “If it makes sense, it’s against company policy!” About a month ago I was sorting out my pocket change and stopped to frown at the pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters for a moment. Then I glanced at a pile of currency comprised of ones, fives, tens, and twenties. It was then that I wondered why the United States produces a 25-cent coin but only a 20-dollar bill.

Wouldn’t it make more sense for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to produce a 25-dollar bill? Using this method it would only take four “25s” to make 100 dollars instead of five 20s. For every four 25-dollar notes produced by the B.E.P. the country would save the expenditure of making one 20; effectively saving the nation 20% in the production costs involved.

The “twenty” is one of the most utilized forms of currency today, however the note has a shelf life due to wear and tear of only around two years at best. Most people don’t know that the Federal Reserve destroys 7,000 tons of no longer usable currency a year. With that kind of turnover, finding an excuse not to print one out of every five only makes sense to me.

kennedy-25

On that note, (sorry for the pun) I would like to propose to the powers that be my own idea of what the “25” might look like.

There couldn’t possibly be that much controversy (especially among Native Americans remembering the “Trail of Tears“) regarding retiring Andrew Jackson from U.S. paper currency — could there? Though I’ve done some extensive research on the subject, I’ve yet to determine what exactly motivated someone to propose his portrait to replace Grover Cleveland’s in 1928 in the first place. After all, this is the same Andrew Jackson who, in his farewell speech to the nation, stressed his opinions against paper money and in fact made it one of the goals of his administration to put the National Bank/the Bank of the United States/Federal Bank out of business.

Rather than go through congressional hearings and politicos’ ranting all over the radio waves for the next decade over who to replace him with, in the name of expediency and for the sake of argument, I chose to put someone who is already approved and appears on the 50-cent coin; namely President John F. Kennedy. This would cause a stir in some quarters, but the man did after all have his life taken from him during his service to his country, was a war hero, saved the nation from nuclear annihilation during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and did more than any other to get America into space and onto the moon. In my view that is reason enough.

The note is patterned after the soon to be distributed $100 bill, incorporating some of its new features and adding some of my own. There are the obvious security measures of an ultra-violet strip embedded in the paper (in this case it glows purple), the red, white, and blue fibers within the surface, the large sight-impaired color shifting denomination in the lower right corner of the bill, along with the portrait watermark. In addition to those, I substituted the inkwell with a Statue of Liberty that changes color from copper to green when the bill is tilted, and I moved the 3D hologram strip from the center to the far left border.

The new pale blue 3D hologram stripe contains a white “TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS” that moves side-to-side and up and down to indicate at even a casual glance if the bill is genuine or not. The MDCCLXXVI (1776) to the left of Kennedy’s portrait appears and vanishes, and the S at the end of the “TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS” in the upper right border changes back and forth to a $. Since each denomination has its own color scheme I incorporated a yellow hue in the middle of the bill that is hard for a home scanner to detect and that a printer would read as white.

My own personal touch was to add a “dollar sign” in front of the denomination in the upper right corner, if only because the noble symbol has been absent from our currency for some time now. In the future I’d like to see the “paper” replaced with something more durable like the polymer notes produced in Australia since 1988 that are harder to duplicate and last longer.

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About Jet Gardner

I like collecting books, music, movies, chess sets and friends
  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    interesting idea, but wouldn’t producing one less bill as you suggest be countered by the need for more smaller bills to be produced to make change?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I don’t know about the size of the bill, Jet, old friend. But surely a Kennedy emblem is an idea whose time has definitely come.

    Especially today when we’re about to lose our national identity.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    Believe it or not I had to create the graphic for this almost pixes by pixel on MS Paintbrush and an old version of Corel Draw!!!

    …which means I’m proud of it.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    NOt necessarily EB

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    Thanks Roger-Can you see Limbaugh’s reaction if he sees this?

  • http://hubpages.com/profile/Bob+Etier Miss Bob Etier

    Tyvek! That’s the answer!

    Jet, with all the things happening on the surface of the note, the $25 bill would be more entertaining than nearly anything we could purchase with it.

  • http://www.lynnvoedisch.com Lynn Voedisch

    Since the Kennedy half dollar disappeared weeks after its minting, I’d hope that this bill would not be hoarded in the same way. We truly do need a memento of Kennedy. His legend was larger than life, and some say he was a better president dead than when he was alive (!), but he was uniquely American and a symbol of our country on the upswing.
    I think it’s a great idea.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Since the Kennedy half dollar disappeared weeks after its minting”

    I see them in Vegas all the time

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    Thanks Bob and Lynn-The Kennedy half nearly vanished the moment it was minted because it was snapped up by collectors virtually before it hit the streets.

    For years afterward and to this day people still rarely use them because they’re so scarce.

    The ’64-65 versions were minted in silver the year before the changeover to copper-nickel so they’re quite collectible and off the streets

    It came out months after he was assassinated

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    No no EB. The original Kennedy half was the last “common” silver coin minted before it too went to Copper/nickel sandwich like the dime and the quarter.

    It was minted mere months after he died which is why it vanished as people kept it as a momento. Also his hair was changed slightly for the new version so collectors went berserk.

    JFKs death slammed this country hard and we were in a near dead stand still for months afterward…

  • http://etierphotography.blogspot.com/ FCEtier

    I often use a Kennedy half for the coin toss prior to football games. Surprisingly, the kids often notice.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    The Kennedy half dollar replaced the Franklin half dollar within three months of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (nine years before the half-dollar would have otherwise been eligible for change). In fact, Gilroy Roberts, the former chief engraver of the mint, and Frank Gasparro, the current chief engraver at the time, designed the coin a mere five days after Kennedy’s death—though the profile of Kennedy was the same one Roberts had used for Kennedy’s inaugural medal two years earlier.

    Ironically, the new Kennedy design caused the slow disappearance of the half-dollar as a regular mainstream circulating coin, through a series of unrelated events. First, collectors and even ordinary citizens hoarded the coins of 1964, due to the “new” design and because of sentiment for the late President Kennedy. In 1965 Lyndon Baines Johnson took the United States of America off the silver standard. Also, silver was no longer included in newly-minted dimes and quarters (which became copper-nickel clad), but remained in the half-dollar (but reduced from 90% to 40%). The older Franklin halves of 90% silver were quickly removed from circulation by collectors and hoarders, and since the public now hoarded silver coins, most of the 90% silver 1964s, as well as the 40% silver 1965-1970 halves, saw little circulation as well. By the time the Kennedy half dollar became regular copper-nickel clad in 1971, many banks and merchants were already used to no longer stocking and using the denomination as they were prior to 1964. The half dollar has always circulated to some extent, but has not at the level of circulation it had before 1964. Given the facts that the cash drawers of most merchants do not contain a place for quantities of half dollars, that most vending machines do not accept them, and that the dollar coin is smaller and is the subject of a push for acceptance, the half is likely to retain its limited circulation status.

    When the 1964 proof coins were first minted, the “I” in “LIBERTY” had a truncated lower-left serif, and the hair above Kennedy’s ear was heavily incised. After approximately 120,000 coins were produced, the dies were revised and the hair smoothed slightly. Jacqueline Kennedy was thought to have disliked the earlier, “accented hair” version (as it came to be known), although the lower relief design might have also have been introduced to facilitate production.[1] Coins produced from the first die typically sell for about four times those from the later version. However, since a substantial number of the earlier coins seem to have been poorly struck, top quality specimens can fetch even higher prices.

    After the 1964 coin’s introduction (around the height of the cold war), the Denver Mint received a number of complaints that the base of Kennedy’s neck bore the hammer and sickle symbol. However, closer examination will reveal that the mark is actually a script form of the initials “GR”: Gilroy Roberts’ monogram.[2]

    In 1975 and 1976, the bicentennial half dollar was minted showing Independence Hall on the reverse. All of the bicentennial halves are dated “1776–1976.” While the special half sparked some interest in the public, when the half returned to its regular design in 1977, it continued its decline in use and mintage. In some years the coins have not been released for normal circulation, but only in special mint rolls, mint sets, and proof sets for collectors (1970, 1987, 2001 {P only, D Was issued for circulation}, 2002 – 2004, 2006 – 2009). [3] This is due to the mint & Federal Reserve having a large stockpile inventory of previous years halves, still available for bank & commercial demand, probably in part due to U.S. casinos switching over to “coinless” slot machines & casino half-dollar chips, which were the last big commercial demand for half-dollars. As this stockpile dwindles down, new halves are again released for regular circulation, as is also occasionally done for US Dollar coins and United States two-dollar bills.

    There is still some demand left for half dollars for use at casinos, where they can be used in paying off odd-dollar bets in blackjack and other games. For example, if a player gets “blackjack” at that game with a five-dollar bet, he or she is to be paid $7.50. Some casinos now use a fifty-cent casino chip. Half-dollars also see use in large venue cash-only retail transactions, such as stadium concession purchases where dollar amounts are rounded to dollars and half-dollars.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    Re #1 No more than making change for a $3.95 purchase with a $20 bill.

  • Jeff Forsythe

    My mum just launched me this and I was jolly well flabbergasted to know that she was a BC devotee. I post Kennedy halves to her throughout my travels in the states, as she is an avid collector. I had to make clear to her that the bespoke note was only a proposal and that it might not actually be produced.

    She described your illustration as quite the bees knees.
    Cheers then
    Jeff

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Says in your potted bio up top there, Jet, that you like to collect books, chess sets and music among other things. Seems to me you’re no slouch when it comes to numismatics, either!

    Great job on the Kennedy $25. (Now… hide! The Feds are coming!) I take it that your eye problems are sufficiently in remission for you to be able to use your graphic design skills to the full again. Good news.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    Thanks Jeff, and thank your “mum”

    Did you “Americanize” your name? I thought the english spelled it differently?

  • Jeff Forsythe

    [Bursts out in a lovely giggle] My father’s ancestry is entrenched in America which I suppose makes me a yank in some ways eh? With the adverse possibility of sounding quite posh I remain

    Jeffrey IV ;)

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Jeffrey the Fourthsythe?

  • Jeff Forsythe

    Snap! Good lord; the error nazi is aboard! Have more respect for a Royal you peon!

    :) Jeff

  • Jeff Forsythe

    Doc, I judge your reprimand to be that Jet gets to gaze beneath your kilt to acknowledge that you indeed are “going commando.”

    Mr. IVsythe

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    Um… uh… I’m staying out of this… for now

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    Thanks Glen

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    More about the Australian polymer bank note I referenced on page two…

    Polymer banknotes were developed to increase the security of Australia’s paper currency against counterfeiting. In 1967 forgeries of the Australian $10 note were found in circulation and the RBA was concerned about an increase in counterfeiting with the release of colour photocopiers that year.[1] In 1968 the RBA started collaborations with the CSIRO and funds were made available in 1969 for the experimental production of distinctive papers.

    The insertion of an optically variable device (OVD) created from diffraction gratings in plastic as a security device inserted in banknotes was proposed in 1972. The first patent arising from the development of polymer banknotes was filed in 1973. In 1974 the technique of lamination was used to combine materials; the all-plastic laminate eventually chosen was a clear, BOPP laminate, in which OVDs could be inserted without needing to punch holes. The BOPP substrate is processed through the following steps:

    Opacifying – two layers of ink (usually white) are applied to each side of the note, except for an area(s) deliberately left clear for creating an OVD;
    Sheeting – the substrate is cut into sheets suitable for the printing press;
    Printing – traditional offset, intaglio and letterpress printing processes are used; and
    Overcoating – notes are coated with a protective varnish.
    BOPP is a non-fibrous and non-porous polymer. Compared to paper banknotes, banknotes made using BOPP are more durable, harder to tear, more resistant to folding, more resistant to soil, waterproof (and washing machine proof), easier to machine process, and are shreddable and recyclable at the end of their useful lives.

    [edit] Security features
    The traditional printed security features applied on paper can also be applied on polymer. These features include intaglio, offset and letterpress printing, latent images, micro-printing, and intricate background patterns. Polymer notes can be different colours on the obverse and reverse sides. Like paper currency, polymer banknotes can incorporate a watermark (an optically variable ‘shadow image’) in the polymer substrate. Shadow images can be created by the application of Optically Variable Ink (OVI) enhancing its fidelity and colour shift characteristics. Security threads can also be embedded in the polymer note; they may be magnetic, fluorescent, phosphorescent, microprinted, clear text, as well as windowed. Like paper, the polymer can also be embossed.

    Polymer notes also enabled new security features unavailable at the time on paper, such as transparent windows, and diffraction grating. Since 2006 however the development of the paper transparent window technologies by De La Rue (Optiks) and G&D (Verify) have reduced that advantage.

    The transparent window where the OVD is located is a key security feature of the polymer banknote. It is easily identifiable allowing anyone to be able to authenticate a banknote.

    Because the polymer bank note contains many security features that cannot be successfully reproduced by photocopying or scanning, it is very difficult to counterfeit. The complexities of counterfeiting polymer banknotes are proposed to act as a deterrent to counterfeiters.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Australian money’s great.

    My wife once found a $20 floating in the waves at Surfers’ Paradise. It was good as new and ready to spend. Didn’t need to be dried out or anything.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    I don’t remember where I saw it here but someone was talking about it (possibly Stan)and I got intrigued when I was researching the article and thought it’d be great if my fantasy bill was the first to use the over 20 year old technology because surely the kinks would’ve been worked out by now.

  • http://www.lynnvoedisch.com Lynn Voedisch

    You know, I really can’t stand Vegas and I never dreamed I’d be put down by the fact that Kennedy half dollars are used there. I still stand by my statement, gambling notwithstanding. Kennedy half dollars virtually disappeared within weeks after they appeared. And Jet verified that. I don’t think anyone here can disagree with that. Harumph!

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    That’s the reason I think he deserves to be on our paper currency.

    You know what would really sell? If it were up to me, I’d do away with the fifty cent piece and make the dollar coins the same size shape and color as the current fifty cent pieces are now.

    The vending machines wouldn’t have a problem with it because no machines take fifty-cent pieces anyway.

    That’s why everyone hates the damned dollar coins after they retired the huge Eisenhowers-they used to be larger than both quarters and fifty-cent pieces.

  • http://www.joannehuspek.wordpress.com Joanne Huspek

    You did good with the design, Jet. Love it! If there is money to be done away with, that would be the $1 bill. (I hope my husband isn’t reading. We price our classes on the ’99 and need the ones.) You can barely buy anything for a buck anymore. Plus people in the Beltway are so adept at passing it, it might be better to raise the denomination.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    Thanks Joanne. Other countries have dropped the paper dollar and gone to a coin too.

    Did you know that currently it costs more to make a penny and a nickel than they’re worth too?

    At one point during World War II they actually made them out of steel. Maybe we should go back to that.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    We went to Hawaii with some friends a few weeks ago and one of them (for rather complex reasons involving a credit card and some air miles) was carting around rolls of dollar coins as spending money.

    They’re fairly familiar with them on Oahu, but he’s had trouble getting some places to accept them on the mainland – even banks.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    Doc, here in Ohio they look like self-service car wash tokens… that might have something to do with it.

  • http://moms-movies.blogspot.com Jannette

    I love your idea! I hate it when something costs $19.99, plus tax, and I have to hand them two 20 dollar bills.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    Now all I have to do is somehow get the idea beyond BC and out into the wild.

  • Ruvy

    Very nice design work, Jet. Ditching the penny, the nickel and the dollar bill might not be a bad idea. That would leave you with a dime, a quarter, a dollar coin, possibly a five dollar coin, and notes from $10 to $100 (10,25,50,100). It would be a good idea – except that your money will be inflating soon and the $100 will buying you a roll of toilet paper – or even less….

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    Thanks Ruvy, coming from you that’s high praise… you had to do it though didn’t you? You had to say something really nice and then get in a digg at america.

    sigh

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    Over the years, a number of materials other than paper have been used to print banknotes. This includes various textiles, including silk, and materials such as leather.

    Silk and other fibers have been commonly used in the manufacture of various banknote papers, intended to provide both additional durability and security. Crane and Company patented banknote paper with embedded silk threads in 1844 and has supplied paper to the United States Treasury since 1879. Banknotes printed on pure silk “paper” include “emergency money” (Notgeld) issues from a number of German towns in 1923 during a period of fiscal crisis and hyperinflation. Most notoriously, Bielefeld produced a number of silk, leather, velvet, linen and wood issues, and although these issues were produced primarily for collectors, rather than for circulation, they are in demand by collectors. Banknotes printed on cloth include a number of Communist Revolutionary issues in China from areas such as Xinjiang, or Sinkiang, in the United Islamic Republic of East Turkestan in 1933. Emergency money was also printed in 1902 on khaki shirt fabric during the Boer War.

    Leather banknotes (or coins) were issued in a number of sieges, as well as in other times of emergency. During the Russian administration of Alaska, banknotes were printed on sealskin. A number of 19th century issues are known in Germanic and Baltic states, including the towns of Dorpat, Pernau, Reval, Werro and Woisek. In addition to the Bielefeld issues, other German leather Notgeld from 1923 is known from Borna, Osterwieck, Paderborn and Pößneck.

    Other issues from 1923 were printed on wood, which was also used in Canada in 1763-1764 during Pontiac’s Rebellion, and by the Hudson’s Bay Company. In 1848, in Bohemia, wooden checkerboard pieces were used as money.

    Even playing cards were used for currency in France in the early 19th Century, and in French Canada from 1685 until 1757, in the Isle of Man in the beginning of the 19th Century, and again in Germany after World War I.

  • Cannonshop

    Y’know, Jet, I think maybe our money should be, like…worth something before we talk about putting JFK’s face on it. As a nation, we should NOT devalue the man just because we’re devaluing the currency.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    You know Cannon, using that line of thought I should’ve used Sarah Palin, she’s about the most useless political figure today.

    However I wanted the bill to look absolutely as genuine as I could so it’d be taken seriously.

    By the way JFK is one of my political heroes.

    I almost used Gerald Ford because he sacrificed his political career and reputation to keep the country from sinking into a decades-long political hell by pardoning Nixon so the the country could move on.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    C-shop, Jet –

    Thanks for the smile – I needed it.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    That’s why I’m here Glenn

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “I almost used Gerald Ford because he sacrificed his political career and reputation to keep the country from sinking into a decades-long political hell by pardoning Nixon so the the country could move on.”

    Great point, Jet. Gerald Ford was an honorable man, not a run-of-the-mill politicians.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner
  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Tremendous article, Jet – in my opinion one of your best. I’ve learned a great deal about Mr. Ford from heaving read it. Thank you.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    The only reason he wasn’t picked was there was no way the right-wingers would let it happen and God help us if Rush were to threaten to leave the country again.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You meant by Reagan.

    Screw the right-wingers. Honor and decency are their low cards.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    I LOVE it, Jet. I would even contribute the bill to the campaign of some small minded right-winger just to watch their tiny little brain explode. Also like the idea of leather currency. That could take off with Focus on the Family and other extremists in the GOP. They can spend their leather bucks on the rent boys they use to carry their baggage. Instead of being a sugar daddy, Larry Craig and his friends can be leather daddies.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    No, because they don’t think Ford in the midst of Watergate and being the first unelected vice president-didn’t do enought to oppose Roe vs Wade in 1974

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    The Christian Right again. Pox on them.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    Silas, I have a fan of my personal political page that e-mailed me that she’d sent the URL of the article to the Kennedy Presidential Library and started a “Digg” campaign for both my page’s and this page’s articles.

    Now wouldn’t that be something if the JFK library wrote back?

    What about the anti-gay asshole in Florida that testified against pro-gay legislation all over the country and then was caught “Lavendar handed” with a “Rent boy” on a European vacation who was alegedly hired to massage his sore back.

    I’m beginning to think every major anti-gay jerk in the country is gay, and the louder they are the gayer they are.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    All conservatives, especially of the Christian persuasion, are insecure about their sexual identity – alas, about their identity as persons.

    I would have thought you and Silas would accept this dictum as incontrovertible fact.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    In short, they never outgrew their anal-retentive stage.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    To put it differently, if liberalism is a mental disorder, to use Ann Coulter’s pet expression, conservatism is a form of retarded development.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    They’re the very definition of the word “hypocrite” Roger.

    I’d list them, but I’m beginning to suspect I could save space by listing who arent :)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    But a hypocrite, Jet, who is a hypocrite because they can’t help it, deserves our understanding. They just can’t help themselves.

    They ought to be imprisoned for a stretch and experience a butt fuck – I’m not being vulgar – to bring ‘em around. The best education I can think of.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    You’re trapped in a sealed room with three loud and babbling politicos going full tilt at you.

    Sarah Palin, Dick Chenney and Carl Rove.

    You feel a lump under the couch cushion you’re sitting on and discover a revolver with only two bullets in it…

    What do you do??????

    Follow Chenney’s rarlier example and Shoot Palin twice in the mouth!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    How about shooting a load?

  • Clavos

    All conservatives, especially of the Christian persuasion, are insecure about their sexual identity – alas, about their identity as persons.

    I would have thought you and Silas would accept this dictum as incontrovertible fact.

    Oh please…

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    Clavos hasn’t been reading the news lately

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Either that or fails to see a satire.

    What news, Jet? Have I missed the latest gossip?

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    This took place in Florida, Roger, you’d think he’d have noticed

    New York Times

    May 14, 2010
    A Heaven-Sent Rent Boy
    By FRANK RICH
    …check out the real-life closet case of George Rekers, who has been fodder for late-night television comics all month.

    Rekers is in a class by himself even in the era of Larry Craig and Ted Haggard. A Baptist minister and clinical psychologist with a bent for “curing” homosexuality, the married, 61-year-old Rekers was caught by Miami New Times last month in the company of a 20-year-old male escort at Miami International Airport. The couple was returning from a 10-day trip to London and Madrid.

    New Times, which published its exposé in early May, got an explanation from Rekers: “I had surgery, and I can’t lift luggage. That’s why I hired him.”

    Alas, a photo showed Rekers, rather than his companion, handling the baggage cart. The paper also reported that Rekers had recruited the young man from Rentboy.com, a Web site whose graphic sexual content requires visitors to vouch for their age. Rentboy.com — really, who could make this stuff up?

    Much like the former Senator Craig, Rekers claims it was all an innocent mix-up. His only mistake, he told the magazine Christianity Today, was to hire a “travel assistant” without proper vetting. Their travels were not in vain. The good minister expressed gratitude that his rent boy “did let me share the gospel of Jesus Christ with him with many Scriptures in three extended conversations.”

    This is a family newspaper, so you must supply your own jokes here.

    But once we stop laughing, we must remember that culture wars are called wars for a reason. For all the farcical shenanigans they can generate, they do inflict real casualties — both at the micro level, on the lives of ordinary people, and at the national level, where, as we’re seeing right now, a Supreme Court nominee’s entire record can be reduced to a poisonous and distorted debate over her stand on the single culture-war issue of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

    Rekers is no bit player in these wars. Though he’s not a household name, he should be. He’s the Zelig of homophobia, having played a significant role in many of the ugliest assaults on gay people and their civil rights over the last three decades. His public career dates back to his authorship of a theoretically scholarly 1982 tome titled “Growing Up Straight: What Families Should Know About Homosexuality.” (I say theoretically because many of the footnotes cite his own previous writings.) And what did Rekers think that families should know?

    By Chapter 2, he is citing the cautionary tale of how one teacher’s “secret homosexual lifestyle most likely led to his murder.”

    Rekers soon went on to become a co-founder with James Dobson of the Family Research Council, a major, if not the major, activist organization of the religious right as well as a power broker in the Republican Party. When the Miami scandal broke, the council’s current president, Tony Perkins, quickly tried to distance himself, claiming that he had to review “historical records” to verify who Rekers was and that his organization had “no contact” with him or “knowledge of his activities” for over a decade.

    That historical record is hardly as obscure as Perkins maintained. Rachel Maddow of MSNBC found that only weeks before Rekers’s excellent European adventure, his name appeared on the masthead of an official-looking letter sent to some 14,000 school superintendents nationwide informing them that homosexuality is a choice that can be stamped out by therapy. The letter was from the “American College of Pediatricians” — a misnomer for what is actually a political organization peddling homophobic junk-science. Rekers was also on the board of another notorious peddler of gay “cures” — the National Association for Research and Therapy on Homosexuality, or Narth — until he resigned last week. Such groups have done nothing to stop homosexuality but plenty to help promote punitive “treatment” and suicidal depression among untold numbers of gay youths.

    No less destructive has been Rekers’s role in maintaining the draconian Florida law prohibiting adoptions by gay couples and individuals, a relic of the Anita Bryant era. When the law was challenged in court two years ago, the state Attorney General Bill McCollum personally intervened to enlist Rekers as an expert witness to uphold it. Rekers charged $120,000 for his services — a taxpayers’ expenditure now becoming an issue in the Florida gubernatorial race, where McCollum is a Republican candidate to succeed Charlie Crist. A Miami judge ruled Florida’s law unconstitutional, and even now McCollum is appealing that decision.

    Rekers was also an expert witness in a similar court case in Arkansas in 2004. That anti-gay-adoption law was also ruled unconstitutional. (His bill there was $200,000, but he settled for $60,000.) In 1998 Rekers was hired as an expert witness by the Boy Scouts to uphold its gay ban in a case before the District of Columbia Human Rights Commission. And then there’s Rekers’s cameo in the current Proposition 8 trial in California: one of his homophobic screeds can be found in the bibliography for the “expert report” by David Blankenhorn of the Institute for American Values, the star witness for the anti-same-sex-marriage forces.

    Thanks to Rekers’s clownish public exposure, we now know that his professional judgments are windows into his cracked psyche, not gay people’s. But there is nothing funny about the destruction his writings and public activities have sown. His fringe views have not remained on the fringe. His excursions into public policy have had real and damaging consequences on a large swath of Americans.

    The crusade he represents is, thankfully, on its last legs. American attitudes about homosexuality continue to change very fast. In the past month, as square a cultural venue as Archie comic books has announced the addition of a gay character, the country singer Chely Wright has come out as a lesbian, and Laura Bush has told Larry King that she endorses the “same” rights for all committed couples and believes same-sex marriage “will come.” All of this news has been greeted by most Americans with shrugs, as it should be.

    But the rear-guard remnants of the Rekers crowd are not going down without a fight, and their focus on Elena Kagan has been most revealing. There are many grounds to debate Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court, wherever you are on the political spectrum. There are many questions about her views and record that remain unanswered. But from the get-go the preponderance of the debate on the right has been about her handling of military recruitment as dean at Harvard Law School. Here her history is unambiguous.

    Despite her critics’ cries, Kagan never banned military recruitment of law students and never denigrated the military in word or deed. She followed Harvard’s existing (and unexceptional) antidiscrimination policy while a court battle played out over a Congressional act denying federal funds to universities barring military recruiters. She was so cautious — too cautious, I’d argue — that she did not join the majority of her own faculty in urging Harvard to sue the government over the funding law, limiting her action instead to the signing of an amicus brief.

    She did declare that “don’t ask, don’t tell” was “a moral injustice of the first order.” Given that a Washington Post-ABC News poll in February showed that 75 percent of Americans want that policy rescinded — as do the president, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the secretary of defense — this is hardly a view out of the American mainstream. Yet if you went to the Web site of the organization Rekers co-founded, the Family Research Council, and clicked on “Tony Perkins’ Washington Update” last week, you’d have found a head shot of Kagan with the legend “Deep Ties With the Gay Agenda.” What those “deep ties” are is never stated. Indeed, Kagan said only last year that “there is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage.”

    The Family Research Council’s line has been embraced by the non-fringe right, including some Republicans in the Senate. In mid-April, a full month before Kagan’s nomination was even announced, The Wall Street Journal preemptively hyped this plan of attack with a conspicuously placed news article headlined “Kagan Foes Cite Gay-Rights Stand.” The only foes cited were religious right organizations.

    The real game became clear when that same week a former Bush aide and Republican Senate staffer published unsubstantiated rumors about Kagan’s private life in a blog at CBSNews.com. (It was taken down after White House denials.) Those rumors have chased all unmarried Supreme Court justices or would-be justices loathed by the right, whether Republicans like David Souter and Harriet Miers or the previous Obama choice, Sonia Sotomayor.

    By late last week, double-entendre wisecracks about Kagan’s softball prowess were all the rage on Fox News and MSNBC. These dying gasps of our culture wars, like Rekers’s farcical pratfall, might be funnier if millions of gay Americans and their families were not still denied their full civil rights.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    I would have thought you and Silas would accept this dictum as incontrovertible fact.

    Not incontrovertible, but certainly valid. In my experience I have met many men on the Conservative side who were gayer than a bonnet full of parrots yet maintained a “saintly” married life with all the Christian trappings. That’s their nightmare, not mine.

    It’s a well known fact in Washington circles that many of the behind the scenes “managers” of conservative offices are quiet closeted and self-loathing. There is no greater enemy to the LGBT community than a closeted conservative who hates himself so much that he will walk down that path of self-destruction at every turn. There was a time when I abhorred the concept of outing. Today, I welcome it. Enough is enough. If one is going to peddle The Word, one has best be ready to admit one’s own shortcomings instead of blaming everyone else.

    I don’t know how we can do it, but we really need to get sexuality out of the political forum. We’ve got big problems — comprehensive financial and electoral reform; alternative forms of energy and EDUCATION! The faces may be changing in Washington come November but without the eradication of lobbyists and the K Street ATM machine, things will not change.

    All this chatter about the “intent” of our forefathers rings hollow. If we were to adhere to all of their core beliefs, Blacks would be 60% human and slavery would be the norm. Only property owners would be allowed to vote and women would be delegated to the kitchen – barefoot, pregnant and beaten. That’s truth. That’s fact. And THAT is what we should be throwing back in the face of every moron who keeps bringing up Jefferson, Madison and Franklin. It’s a new era, folks. We are supposed to have evolved.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    @26 I never dreamed someone would think they were being put down by the fact that someone had a different experience.

    Ford sacrificed his political career because he didn’t support justice. Nixon deserved to be impeached and shouldn’t have been pardoned.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Perhaps you’re right, LB, but would it serve the country. At least I’m willing to entertain Jet’s view that he acted honorably.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    And the damned country would’ve been embroiled in congressional hearings that wouldn’t lasted a decade and through two more administrations.

    Yes Nixon deserved to be prosecuted, but at what cost to this country? That’s why this justice system has a scale for a symbol.

    Weighing the consequence of one against the other. With the lawyers running things the country would’ve come to a dead standstill…

    and you know it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    At any rate, if we subscribed to LB’s rather stringent standards, our courts would be like a revolving door for suing corrupt politicians.

    Come to think of it, justice would be better served than in presently is by our “War on Drugs.”

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Frank Rich is right – you can’t make this stuff up.

    And if the Ted Haggard saga is anything to go by, we haven’t heard the last of Rekers’ little peccadilloes.

    In fact Haggard, who seems to have genuine remorse for his own past shenanigans, would be doing a great service by calling Rekers and talking some sense into the idiot.

    But let’s give George the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he was merely testing his curable-gayness theories, using himself as a guinea pig.

    :-)

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    I wonder if he’s a lawyer or married to one?

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    Now Haggard was an even bigger hypocrite and he was a anti-gay Bush advisor too Click here

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Yes, it serves the country much better to remind its citizens that the rich and powerful are less likely to be punished when they commit crimes. Bravo, President Ford.

    Justice also wears a blindfold but that’s to hide her tears.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You do have a point, LB, but can’t you see that if you’re right, the only option left is to fire everyone.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Unbelievable story, Jet. Just read Frank Rich’s article you posted.

    Truth is stranger than fiction.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Don’t we have laws, BTW, which protect former heads of state for past offenses? Politics and politicians appear to be immune from civil and criminal lawsuits, more so than ordinary citizens. I’m not saying it’s right.

    Here is a question: why was Milosevic charged with war crimes in the Hague but not Bush, Cheney and company?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Let me answer: because might makes right.

  • Clavos

    Ok, Ok, you guys are right; I’m wrong, you’ve convinced me, all conservatives are queers.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go buy a dress and heels.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Try JC Penney first. There’s a coupon!

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    In all fairness to Haggard, I think there are several issues at play here, Jet. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt. Haggard’s experiences with sex on both sides of the fence come with a lot of emotional drama. If he genuinely was able to come to terms with his shortcomings and forge a new paradigm in his marriage, I applaud him. Haggard hasn’t been all fire and brimstone with the gay community since his outing. He sought treatment. He dealt with those issues in his own life which caused him to betray his vows.

    See, Jet, I don’t buy the exclusivity of sexuality. I don’t believe that the human condition is such that sexuality is black or white. I honestly believe that it’s more complex. We are conditioned to believe that sexuality is exclusive. We’re led to believe that the Divine dictates that the sex act in and of itself is ordained for only one man and one woman. In his own way, Haggard seems to have come to terms with that notion. One can seem to be 100% heterosexual one day and the next discover that it isn’t so.

    Never say never, Jet. The day may come when a female comes into your life who touches you in such a way that you would want to build a life with her. The same can be said on the other side of the fence. Life is fluid. When two people find each other and connect in such a way that electricity and contentment become one, it’s beautiful. It opens the doors to a myriad of possibilities which are not confined to the bedroom. We don’t recognize the value of relationships like we used to. We neither respect or celebrate the bond between two people. If Haggard and his wife have truly achieved that state where their passion for each other is rock solid, then we should applaud. Just as we should applaud Elton John and his partner or Neil Patrick Harris and his. If, in the end, it turns out to be an illusion and Haggard lied — well, let’s just crucify the bastard.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    Silas writes: All this chatter about the “intent” of our forefathers rings hollow. If we were to adhere to all of their core beliefs, Blacks would be 60% human and slavery would be the norm. Only property owners would be allowed to vote and women would be delegated to the kitchen – barefoot, pregnant and beaten. That’s truth. That’s fact. And THAT is what we should be throwing back in the face of every moron who keeps bringing up Jefferson, Madison and Franklin. It’s a new era, folks. We are supposed to have evolved.

    Amen brother… Amen

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    Why does Bush and Chenney have immunity?
    Because his “rubber stamp” GOP led Congress snuck immunity to them in legislation they passed just before they were voted out of office.

    Click here and read the actual legislation at the bottom of the article

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I like your post, Silas. What do you mean by “exclusive”?

    My understanding is, sexuality is but a heightened form of affection. And true affection ought to be subject-neutral – men, women, cats, dogs, all living things if you know what I mean.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’d love to see Clavos in drag.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    C.S. Lewis is an inspiring writer on the subject. Try his The Four Loves.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    Silas,
    My problem with Haggard and his kind is their hateful and damaging rhetoric that hurts innocent people in order to hide their own problem.

    “See I hate fags-that makes me straight”

    And I agree, there are almost no completely straight people, nor are there completely gay people.

    I’ve met one. I encountered a girl in a male gay bar once. She was so completely “heterosexual” that she couldn’t stand to be in the presence of another female and hung out in gay bars to have fun because there were only guys there.

    Gay men down through history have flocked to the Military because there wasn’t that much of a chance of having to deal with women there. Now that they’ve come up through the ranks they have to hide who they are for fear of being “outed” so they scream “Hell no we don’t want no Fags in the military!!!”

    I have a huge collection of hundreds of men laying naked or near naked on the decks of aircraft carriers sunning themselves and making out, sailors sleeping together and posing cheek to cheek proudly for the camera with their “buddies”

    If all men were completely straight, they wouldn’t have any male friends. Being gay isn’t who you have sex with, it’s also who attracts you on a mental level.

    There are two kinds of gays-the ones in the gray area between straight and gay (Usually the ones who can be cured” and ones like me.

    I’m gay because my hormones react to good-looking men-end of story. I’ve dated many women trying to cure myself when I was young, but my biological attractions and my eyes straying to a nice build or a tight ass always had me cheating on her. A lot of fights used to break out with girls I dated because they’d catch my eyes involuntarily straying before I even realized it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Why would Jet, or any person for that matter, want to exclude any other person from their life, irrespective of gender?

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    #80… I wouldn’t

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Being gay isn’t who you have sex with, it’s also who attracts you on a mental level.”

    Indeed, our mind is the only sex organ.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Why not? It might help unravel the complexity of Clavos.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    Roger in gay slang using a girl to cover your homosexual is called “having a beard”

    No offense to anyone whose grown a beard recently and changed their photo…

    I would never marry a girl, have children and then expose them to the hell they’d have to go through like NJ goveror McGreevy or all the other jerks that have been mentioned.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Perhaps it is a heightened form of affection, Roger. I tend to look at it as an enhancement of affection. I love my cat, but she doesn’t turn me on. The act in and of itself is quite mechanical and fleeting; however, when it is expressed out of love it becomes something which defies logic. That’s the magic of it, I guess.

    For as advanced as we have become, we’ve lost sight of just how unique the condition of love between two people really is. That’s not to say that all “loving relationships” are filled with bliss. Not so. Relationships take hard work. They take efforts on both partners. Sometimes one gives as much as 90% while the other gives only 10. Within the relationship is an ebb and flow. Even pornography may have its place in some relationships. Who am I to judge?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Again, I’m focusing on the mental, but you seem to be vacillating between the mental and the physical. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a dubious distinction.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Turn you on? Cat’s “personality” turns me on; I find it fascinating, as all life forms.

    A sexual act is but an expression – D. H. Lawrence. Minds turn me on. Having sex is secondary in the larger scheme of things (procreation excluded).

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    I just discovered this article has more diggs than anyone!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Roger in gay slang using a girl to cover your homosexual is called “having a beard.”

    Jet, I never condoned any cover-up. You got to be who you are.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Love is magic, Silas, not sex.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Indeed, love is magic. And when you take that love and weave it with the physical expression, it is enhanced. Like I said, sex is mechanical and we’ve devolved it to some obscene extreme. That being said, there is nothing on Earth more satisfying than the expression of sex between two people in love. All the money on Wall Street can’t buy that kind of euphoria. I vacillate no more. I submit to my romantic side.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    And to bring it all home, it’s amazing how much “love” can be purchased with a JFK $25 bill.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    I just discovered this article has more diggs than anyone!

    Gee, Jet, I guess people “dig” you!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Expression is a critical aspect. Love begets love.

    And it’s beyond “romantic,” European that I am. It’s about your relationship to each and every one around you.

  • Cannonshop

    #49 Um…Jet, I’m not Gay and I think much the same thing-the louder the Homophobe, the more likely he is to be, well…gay, and in denial.

    It just…well, it just makes sense. People who’re actually straight don’t feel threatened, and usually don’t need to lash out-because lashing out is a reaction to the feeling of being threatened, right? (ghod I hope I’m making some kind of sense here…) It’s like the worst hard-core anti-smoking people you meet, are the ones that still crave that nicotine buzz, or the obnoxious folk who use Vegetarianism as a club to assert their ‘moral superiority’ sneaking off for a cheesesteak sandwich when they think nobody’s looking.

    It doesn’t surprise me that big-time public homophobes sneak out to get a..tubesteak sandwich when they think nobody’s got an eye on them.

    wouldn’t it be nicer if these guys dealt with their personal issues without trying to drag the rest of us through the muck of their insecurities?

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    Indeed Cannon, and this DOES NOT refer to you – if I follow your train of thought it’s more on the line of “Me thinks thou doth protest too much”

  • http://takeitorleaveit,typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    My first impression was that you were off in #99 until I read the following:

    “wouldn’t it be nicer if these guys dealt with their personal issues without trying to drag the rest of us through the muck of their insecurities?”

    So who is “the rest of us”? I don’t feel I’m being dragged into anything. Do you, Cannon?

  • Cannonshop

    #100 The Entire “Gay Marraige” debate, Roger. When it comes up (and it does, periodically) the noise generated by both sides is inescapable, and the so-called “Family-Values” types are more often than not, the louder of the two. (then, there’s the celebrity-airhead news that boils up a little later when one of them is caught soliciting where he ought not be-witness the hapless Craig, in a men’s room using morse code…)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad,com/ roger nowosielski

    I don’t take part in that debate, Cannon. Whom shall I debate? William Bennet?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad,com/ roger nowosielski

    In fact, I think it rather fortunate that these closet cases come up at the most opportune times. The way I look at it, it only undermines the opposition.

    I seriously don’t think this country’s moral fiber depends on the same sex unions issue. And I don’t think you do either.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Unfortunately, Roger, backwoods, inbred Far Right fear mongers use the gay issue to their advantage at every turn because it’s an easy mark. It diverts attention away from real problems which require swift resolve. As long as the extremes on both sides are afforded the air time to spin their tales the remainder of us (the majority, I might add) are paying the price.

    You know there’s a bit of irony in this exercise. The Progressives claim JFK as their own but truth be told, Kennedy was more conservative than a good part of the GOP today. LBJ knew when he advanced the cause of Civil Rights that Democrats would pay the price in the South for a couple of generations. His prophecy has come to pass. I say let’s make that $25 bill with JFK. And let’s take the 50 cent piece and put MLK on it. It’s time for a person of color on the currency because without that slave labor in our early days we would not have arrived at this juncture.

    We’ve become so obsessed with being politically correct to the point where the “closet racists” are bursting out of the closet like the gays in Stonewall. It’s time for a serious discussion about it all — race, gender, sexuality, EDUCATION. Let’s put our cards on the table, say what needs to be said and move on. If we can’t forge bonds of commonality then let’s do the civil thing and break the country up. Franklin gave us the Republic, and he voiced his doubts that we could keep it. Gee. Another prophecy coming to pass.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m game. Let the rednecks have their own country to fuck it up. I could live with that. I doubt whether they could. They’d be at one another’s throat.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    As I’ve said I’d like to see the same fifty-cent piece turned into a dollar coin for the size. I think the larger dollar coin would be more readily accepted AND USED in place of something that’s the same size as a quarter.

    I also like the idea of MLK on it…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    And while we’re about it, let’s recognize gay Americans and bring out a $3 one with Harvey Milk on it.

    After all, what’s that well-known expression…?

    ;-)

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    (:^p~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Let the rednecks have their own country to fuck it up. I could live with that.

    Hitch a ride out of Christian County, KY before the redneck flag rides up the flagpole. You’ll be spotted for a pointy-head intellectual commie in 10 seconds otherwise. And then you’ll be finished.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Couldn’t resist, Jet. :-)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    @ #109:

    Listen to the man, Rog. At least shave off the pointy silver beard and stop wearing turtlenecks. That way you might survive.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    Newsflash: Texazona Prime Minister Sarah Palin resigned in midterm to persue a career in Hollywood as a reality show host.

    When asked why she was leaving the newly formed nation, President Palin expressed surprise at the press’ shock in her decision considering her past political record. Aides to the prime minister said in confidence that the political life was cutting into her fans being able to pay her enough attention.

    Ms Palin laughed and countered that she’d told her “people” what they wanted to hear and had no idea that they’d actually expect her to keep all of those campaign pledges, and didn’t expect the work to be so hard on her personal time.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    I’m with you, Jet. We need to accept our history and celebrate our diversity. That means Native Americans (Buffalo Nickel), African Americans (MLK half dollar), so on and so forth. It’s ironic that Texas “educators” are so eager to delegate Thomas Jefferson to some nominal status in our history because of his so-called “Godless” viewpoints. Let’s be real here.

    America was built on the backs of slaves be they Black or Asian. The Blacks worked the cotton and tobacco fields in the South, subservient to their masters and the plantations. The Asians were used to build the railroad which connected Washington to San Francisco. That’s truth. It’s not pretty; there’s nothing glamorous about how we got here. So let’s discuss it and move on.

    It’s OK to “worship” the intent of our forefathers but let’s do it with clarity. Thomas Jefferson may have been “in love” with Sally Hemmings but he could never acknowledge it in public. Washington was a slave owner. He had issues with slavery but allowed slave trade to flourish. Our forefathers were not bastions of Christianity as many are led to believe. Benjamin Franklin summed it up best in one of his letters:

    Here is my Creed: I believe in one God, Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by his Providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable Service we can render to him, is doing Good to his other Children. That the Soul of Man is immortal, and will be treated with Justice in another Life respecting its Conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental Principles of all sound Religion, and I regard them as you do, in whatever Sect I meet with them. As to Jesus of Nazareth, my Opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the System of Morals and his Religion as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw, or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting Changes, and I have with most of the present Dissenters in England, some Doubts as to his Divinity: tho’ it is a Question I do not dogmatise upon, having never studied it, and think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an Opportunity of knowing the Truth with less Trouble.

    We need to insure that our youth is taught truth — about our history, about science and, yes, even about dogma. Abraham and Moses had a major role in shaping mankind. Though most of what we know about them is written in prosaic fashion it does not diminish their import. Their leadership spawned the birth of three great religions. Unfortunately the recipients of this knowledge have abused it time and time again for their own benefit and to the detriment of their fellow humans.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    I’m all for a $3 bill but not with Harvey Milk on it. That spot should be reserved for another “great” American. Glenn Beck.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    Silas, I just spit iced tea all over my keyboard because of 114-get over here and clean it up NOW

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Not for anything, Jet, but I’m starting to have my doubts. Glenn Beck is like a rabid drag queen who just discovered a run in his nylons. It’s really pathetic.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com// Jet Gardner

    Sorry, but I don’t think I’ll check in on him to confirm your theory. I have a weak stomach

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Even if I had a beard, Dreadful, it wouldn’t be silver – salt and pepper perhaps.

    But to get to the point, it’s not personal safety I’m concerned about. It’s the numbness of the company. It’s so boring you may as well be dead.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    No need for a weak stomach, Jet. Glenn Beck is that nellie queen who sits in the back of the bar and carries on like a Banshee in heat because deep down she’s just a silly little girl who hates herself. Once you view him in that thought mode, it becomes comic relief on so many levels. If you’ve ever seen Boys in the Band, think of Emory. That is Glenn Beck.

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Silas, I just published a comprehensive list of gay celebrities & will add Beck if you can show me some reliable sources?

    The list also includes athletes and politicians… Would you like to be added?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Jet,

    Your list is way too short – I’ll add on to it tomorrow.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Hey, Jet, where have you been hiding? Write something or comment. I miss you!

    JD :D

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Posting a comment 5th try

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Thanks Jeannie.

    I’ve been in and out of the hospital lately. They’re still repairing the damage from when I was attacked 6 years ago.

    September 21st will see the final operation on my shattered knee. I hope to be back up and running by mid-october.

    I’ve also been busy creating a new e-store on line.

    Thanks for asking :)
    IF you see someone without a smile-give -em yours
    Jet

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Good to hear from you, Jet. :D don’t be a stranger, we need your voice!

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    backatcha

  • http://monexvictims.com michael hunter

    Not necessary, its not needed at this time.

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Thank you for your input. I will certainly take that into consideration

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Are you writing anything right now? I’ll keep looking…:D

  • Butch

    Most ridiculous notion I’ve heard all day: the idea that a truly straight man would not be able to have male friends.

    To the author: you quite obviously have very little grasp on basic human nature.

    Being gay or being straight IS, in fact (not opinion), a matter of what gender you are SEXUALLY ATTRACTED to. Platonic friendship has utterly nothing to do with a person’s sexual orientation.

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Kennedy was Gay???? News to me?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Jet, I take it that the delightfully named Butch (#130) is responding to your comment #82 on this thread, where you wrote: “If all men were completely straight, they wouldn’t have any male friends. Being gay isn’t who you have sex with, it’s also who attracts you on a mental level.”

    Is there any science to back that up? I don’t doubt you, Jet. I’m just curious to read more about it.

    I tend to think that interpersonal relationships are too complex to be explained by such simplistic theories.

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Alan, I’ve read a few articles on the subject, but the comment comes from personal experience.

    I met a girl at a male gay bar once and got into a conversation with her about her condition. It seems she was so mentally and sexually heterosexual that she could not stand to be in the company of anyone of her own sex, to the point of doing all of her socializing in what she thought would be the place no girl would be in… a gay bar.

    I was so intrigued by it that I did some research on it and found that sexuality is as much psychological as physical.
    Use the ten scale where 1 is completely heterosexual and 10 is completely homosexual.
    The typical man on the street is usually a 2-4 on the sexual scale, but a 6-8 on the mental scale.

    While the typical male beds women exclusively, the same man doesn’t prefer to hang out with women while fixing his car, watching football, or fishing. A man doesn’t typically invite his wife to join him and his “buds” for a game of touch football, a turkey shoot, or the local poker game. That doesn’t make him gay, just attracted to men in a nonsexual friendship “buddy” way. Just as women prefer to shop, gossip and hang out with other women… that doesn’t make them lesbians. The girl I met was both a 1 mentally and sexually, which is very rare. Men are attracted to sexy women, but also masculine men who have their same point of views on life for friends.

    We all live in a gray area both mentally and sexually, but American straight men with the typical masculine egos would never admit that they’re mentally attracted to men, for fear that someone would tie that to a sexual attraction as well. In other words their friends are mostly the same sex-while their sex partners are mostly the opposite sex.

    Sexually the typical man, offered enough money, will have sex with his best male friend to “just to try it”… if offered enough money.

    I should know, I used to make my living running a porn company/website paying straight marines and sailors in San Diego $1000 cash under the table to spend half an hour in front of the cameras naked and making out with his barracks buddy when they were “hard up” for money to send back home to their wives and kids on what little salary soldiers are paid nowadays.

    Speaking of the girl in the bar, there are a lot more gays in the military than anyone wants to admit. Think about it, if you wanted to spend all of your time in the company of men, sleeping, showering, training, living with them, wouldn’t you join the military?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Jet Gardner (#133), that’s a rewrite of your earlier comment #82, and says little about friendship. Granted that sexuality is as much psychological as physical. But that doesn’t prove that if all men were completely straight, they wouldn’t have any male friends. Straight men compartmentalize friendship and sexuality. Just as it’s unnecessary for a heterosexual man be friends with a woman in order to have a satisfying sexual relationship with her, friendship between two straight men need not involve homosexual attraction on the part of one or both. I think you’re extrapolating from your experience as a gay man, so your theory doesn’t ring true.

  • Butch

    Alan #134, I commend you for being so level-headed in the face of such of a – for lack of a better term – batshit crazy theory put forth in #133.

    Whatever “research” you conducted, Jet, I have zero doubt you completely misinterpreted every word. I actually can’t make up my mind if you’re serious or just winding the readers up.

    Jet, your deplorable “business” was no different from any porn operation. Pay certain individuals enough money and they will do anything – regardless of whether they enjoy the act. The men who took you up on your offer represent neither the typical serviceman nor the typical male in general. (By the way, nice of you to twist your exploitation of said soldiers into some form of community service.)

    If you’re serious about everything you say, Jet, you have a disturbingly distorted view of basic human nature.

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Whatever point you were aiming at with that missed…

  • Butch

    Jet, sorry I left you at a loss for words. I feel I stated my thoughts quite clearly.

  • Butch

    The point is, you failed to present any evidence at all to back up your theory that “If all men were completely straight, they wouldn’t have any male friends.”

    Platonic friendship between two men or two women is unrelated to sexual attraction. To insist otherwise is to misinterpret what most people instinctively know from the onset of puberty.

    Most straight men would not engage in sexual behavior with their best male friend, regardless of the money offered. If you believe otherwise, obviously your experience interacting with other people is very limited.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Butch, you’re not going to get anywhere arguing with Jet on this subject. He has a very narrow perspective and a closed mind.

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    It’s a thankless job, but I’ve got a lot of Karma to burn off.

  • Butch

    Alan, yes I can see that’s probably true. He apparently has nothing to say when confronted with common sense.

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Common sense is subjective. Fortunately I don’t consider you significant enough to pay attention to.

  • Butch

    Common sense is subjective – that’s arguable, to be honest.

    As for writing me off as insignificant, that’s simply the easiest way for you to avoid actually backing up your views.

    Sidenote: how very judgmental of you to say I’m not worth paying attention to.

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    All right… here is your answer:
    The Kinsey scale attempts to describe a person’s sexual history or episodes of their sexual activity at a given time. It uses a scale from 0, meaning exclusively heterosexual, to 6, meaning exclusively homosexual. In both the Male and Female volumes of the Kinsey Reports, an additional grade, listed as “X”, was used for asexuality.

    It was first published in Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) by Alfred Kinsey, Wardell Pomeroy and others, and was also prominent in the complementary work Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953).

    Kinsey reports

    Main article: Kinsey Reports
    Men: 11.6% of white males aged 20–35 were given a rating of 3 for this period of their lives. The study also reported that 10% of American males surveyed were “more or less exclusively homosexual for at least three years between the ages of 16 and 55″ (in the 5 to 6 range).

    Women: 7% of single females aged 20–35 and 4% of previously married females aged 20–35 were given a rating of 3 for this period of their lives. 2 to 6% of females, aged 20–35, were given a rating of 5 and 1 to 3% of unmarried females aged 20–35 were rated as 6.

    Males do not represent two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual. The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats. It is a fundamental of taxonomy that nature rarely deals with discrete categories… The living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects.

    While emphasizing the continuity of the gradations between exclusively heterosexual and exclusively homosexual histories, it has seemed desirable to develop some sort of classification which could be based on the relative amounts of heterosexual and homosexual experience or response in each history

    An individual may be assigned a position on this scale, for each period in his life. […] A seven-point scale comes nearer to showing the many gradations that actually exist.

    —Kinsey, et al. (1948). pp. 639, 656)

    Today, many sexologists see the Kinsey scale as relevant to sexual orientation but not comprehensive enough to cover all sexual identity issues. They suggest that sexual identity involves at least three different spectrums, sexual orientation being only one of them (two others being biological sex and gender identity).

    Table of the scaleThe scale is as follows:

    Rating Description
    0 Exclusively heterosexual
    1 Predominantly heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual
    2 Predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual
    3 Equally heterosexual and homosexual.
    4 Predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual
    5 Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual
    6 Exclusively homosexual
    X Asexual, Non-Sexual

    Look it up yourself if you’re still having trouble with it.

  • Butch

    Okay, so you are capable of regurgitating someone else’s study.

    You’re still not addressing the issue. None of that Kinsey stuff has the slightest connection to the fact that friendship between two straight men (or women) is not related to sexual attraction.

    I don’t know if you’re some kind of self-hating gay, but the big newsflash here is that not everyone is gay. The vast majority of men and women are heterosexual and a small minority are homosexual. That’s all there is too it.

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    As I said in 133, the attraction is mental not sexual. I guess you just skimmed that part…

    e all live in a gray area both mentally and sexually, but American straight men with the typical masculine egos would never admit that they’re —-mentally—- attracted to men, for fear that someone would tie that to a sexual attraction as well. In other words their friends are mostly the same sex-while their sex partners are mostly the opposite sex.

    • Adam

      What the #%_ does this have to do with the topic? OMG why does every bloody commentary or comments on any subject has to go either about Religion, sex, or sexuality?

      • http://brokebackmountaintribute.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

        Oh you poor thing… Me thinks thou doth protest too much.

        • Adam

          sorry, I realized you were the one that had written the blog. LOL I just was venting that when I come and read the comments on any blog, the topics always has to go from what is on Topic, to some wild Tangent. (Rolls eyes)
          So again sorry if I was a bit on the rant side myself.
          I totally agree with your blog that it is time that Government should think about ways to save cost of printing money. They have for the coins, they have for foodstamps switching to the Snap card. Natural progression would and could be cashless. But lets not go there because that just opens the can of worms for the topic being changed to “The Mark of the Beast.” LOL
          Anyway…
          Great article and please forgive this bitter old man. LOL

          • http://brokebackmountaintribute.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

            No problem, thanks for the feedback

  • heloise

    I would buy one.

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    thanks i designed it myself and i’m kinda proud of it

  • http://gay-headlines.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    By the way I still think this is a good idea that’s save the taxpayers a lot of money

  • http://brokebackmountaintribute.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Jack Twist at the Kennedy Assassination (From Brokeback Mountain the Novel}

    One day in November of ‘63, some of his old rodeo buddies invited Jack to go with them to an arena in Dallas to see a bronco-busting competition slated for Saturday the 23rd. He accepted the invitation thinking on the way back he could look up that cowgirl in Childress.

    They arrived early in the morning on Friday the 22nd and the boys got breakfast at a little luncheonette and explored a while. His friends had a little surprise for Twist. After parking again, and then threading their way through hundreds of people in downtown Dallas, Jack was told that all the excitement, red-white-and-blue street banners and crowds were for President Kennedy’s motorcade swinging through town on the way to a convention.

    After they used up a couple of hours working their way down to a good vantage point on the route, they found themselves at the packed corner of Houston and Main. Jack’s tall burly friend Buford noticed him jumping up and down trying to see over the heads of five or six other people. Buford just laughed at him, crouched down and said, “Come on then, saddle up Buddy!”

    Twist frowned, “What?”

    The muscular tree-trunk chested cowboy grinned, “Hurry up, boy! Git up on my shoulders so ya can see too.”

    A moment later Jack was teetering, swaying and scared that they were both going to topple over, but he was now happily head and shoulders above everyone else.

    Off to his left a bunch of motorcycles approached, followed by the fanciest black convertible stretch limousine Twist had ever seen in his life… and there she was… Jackie Kennedy in the most honest-to-god beautiful pink women’s suit and hat he’d ever laid eyes on. Unfortunately her attention was focused on the cheering people on her side of the car away from him.

    Beneath him, Buford scared the living daylights out of Twist when he started jumping up and down yelling and waving.

    As the car came up in front of them and paused briefly to make a right turn, Twist yelled down to the First Lady, “Hey Jackie! I’m Jack too!”

    In all of that excitement at seeing her, the dumb cowboy didn’t realize until that second that the President of the United States was looking right at him.

    Kennedy nudged, his wife, whispered something and they both looked up at the crazy man waving his black black cowboy hat down at them, laughed, and to all of Twist’s friend’s amazement they called out from the limo, “Hi Jack!”

    As the motorcade rounded the corner and disappeared, Buford lost his balance, the two men fell to the sidewalk, and their friends all started pounding Twist’s shoulder happily congratulating him.

    Somewhere off behind them a motorcycle backfired twice and by the third bang everyone realized they were rifle shots.

    In fearful desperation, Jack and his friends had to plaster themselves against the storefront to keep from being trampled to death as hundreds of people rounded the corner and rushed by screaming, “Someone shot the President! The President’s dead! Someone gunned down Kennedy and Governor Connolly!”

    Twist tried to battle his way to see for himself indignantly protesting in tears, “NO! I just talked to him. He ain’t dead! It cain’t be! NOOOOOOOOO! NOOOOO!”

    …It took all four of his friends to drag Jack kicking screaming and crying back to their car. Hours later it came over the radio that the president was indeed dead.

    No matter how manly or macho or tough you thought you were, every male in America cried that day for a man who was too young and had so much promise… and didn’t deserve to die.

    The next day, with the Saturday rodeo canceled they all drove home to Wyoming still trying to console Jack, who steadfastly refused to believe it. A radio report said that the man who shot Kennedy had himself been shot today.

  • http://brokebackmountaintribute.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    My strongest memory of Kennedy’s assassination was little John-John saluting the casket as it passed in parade.