Thursday, May 31, 2012
FOR A NATURIST/NUDIST, THE ONLY REASON FOR OWNING A PAIR OF BRIEFS IS TO TAKE THEM OFF!
Las Vegas, Nevada: Nakationing Convention
The Nudist Clubhouse Nudist Expo 2012 is being held in Las Vegas, Nevada, this weekend, June1-2. Exhibitors from nudist resorts across the country, travel agents specializing in nakation trips and nude cruises, the American Association for Nude Recreation and numerous other affiliated groups distributing materials and resources.
Admission for the expo is $20 for a one-day pass, which can be purchased at the door, or $25 for a two-day pass, which must be purchased online.
Other events held in conjunction with the nakation convention include a nude barbecue and pool party ($65/person) and KISS (keep it simple, stupid) themed glow-in-the-dark mini-golf ($28/person).
Additional information: http://www.nudistexpo.com
June, 2012: Nudist Activity Celebrations
Summer, 2012, is almost officially here: a time to get outside while nude and experience nature, socialize with friends and most importantly, have fun! Here's a list of upcoming worldwide activities for the month of June. Check them out and maybe host a cookout or party on your own to observe the occasion.
Saturday, June 9, 2012: World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR), Northern Hemisphere (alternate date: July 28). Participants ride nude (where permitted) to bring attention to the problems of global warming relating to emissions from the growing number of vehicles all over the world and the dangers the automobiles pose for both bikers and pedestrians. This event is scheduled for numerous cities throughout the Northern Hemisphere on this date. The Southern Hemisphere WNBR was held in March, 2012. Additional information: http://www.worldnakedbikeride.org
Sunday, June 17, 2012: World Naturist Day The annual international day to celebrate naturism. Clubs, national nudist federations and resorts organize events to encourage people to experience nudism for themselves and for nudists to celebrate being naked. Website: http://www.inffni.org
Wednesday, June 20, 2012: World Naked Hiking Day (alternate date: Sunday, June 17). The date of the summer solstice is the annual day for naturists/nudists to take to the trails and enjoy nature on the day of maximum daylight. Solstice Hikes are held on the actual date of the solstice (June 20). The alternate date is the Sunday prior to the solstice for those individuals who are unable to schedule the day away from their jobs. Additional information: http://www.hikingnaked.com
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Within the past several weeks, there have been several public sermons of hatred, with queers as targets, uttered by Baptist clergymen, both located in North Carolina. No doubt, these juvenile outbursts were directly related to the recent constitutional referendum in that state prohibiting marriage equality. Given the extreme measures proposed by the learned men of the cloth, obviously, there's some serious anger management issues in the background here. Did they make a pass at a man and get turned down? I wonder.
The first preaching of hate and abuse came from Sean Harris, pastor of the Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, NC. He encouraged the parents in his congregation to physically beat their children if they appeared to exhibit behavior that is considered in violation of their gender role. In other words, if they're suspected of being gay, it's open season for physical abuse. According to this so-called "Christian" leader, there is no greater sin in this world than to be GLBT.
Not to be outdone in this holy crusade, Charles Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, NC, decided to up the ante. Harris received national attention for his remarks and Worley felt the need to claim his fifteen seconds of hate fame. Worley preached, on May 13, that the Bible and God opposed homosexuality and that GLBT people should be placed in concentration camps.
"Build a great big fence 50 or 100 miles long. Put all the lesbians in there. Fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals. Have that fence electrified so they can't get out. You know what? In a few years, they'll die out. You know why? They can't reproduce." Worley then continued by urging his followers not to vote for the re-election of President Obama in the upcoming November election.
Both of these sermons of exclusion and hate came from alleged ministers of the Christian faith. Both incitements publicly encouraged believers to physically harm GLBT people. Harris crossed the line by condoning abuse against innocent children. Worley went one step further by not only threatening GLBT people with segregation but by using his church as a tool for political means, in clear violation of the Constitution's mandate separating church and state.
These two instances of unchristian theatrics were posted to social media within hours of their performance. They soon attracted the attention of the national press, equal rights advocates and the GLBT community. These utterances of harm and hate became preserved for posterity and the public record. Expressions of outrage and support soon followed.
Harris reacted with feeble attempts to clarify his words and with claims that he was misunderstood. That lame defense only lasted for a few days and he soon gave up damage control completely. Worley's response was to flee into seclusion. Like Chicken Little, he ran scared and hid. A subliminal indication of guilt? He left it to the 100 or so members of his church to try to defend his blasphemy.
We are all too aware that these aren't the only two clergy who have misused their trust and proposed actions contrary to the tenets of their alleged faith. They are just the most public and the most recent examples of this hypocrisy. Sadly, Harris and Worley won't be the last.
While falsely alluding to Divine guidance, these two continue to represent the element of Christianity that is anything but authentic. Harris, Worley and others twist both The Bible and religion to suit their own personal ambitions and greed. Their narrow version of beliefs is a Christianity of the "pick and choose" variety. They selectively use obscure passages from The Bible as a basis to further an agenda of their own that is in direct conflict with the true teachings of Jesus Christ.
In performing this conscious act of deceit, Harris and Worley become the real enemy of the faith they claim to represent. They don the robes of the modern Antichrist. They alone decide what small parts of Holy Scripture to employ in their campaign of hate and totally ignore the essence of what the Christian religion truly teaches. These two, and others like them, assume the role of false prophets as they mislead their followers into practicing a belief system that disregards and bears little resemblance to core Christian values.
During his thirty-three years on earth, Jesus never publicly addressed same gender love. He often and routinely condemned every other sin known to man at that, but there is no record of any mention of homosexuality. Lacking any concrete evidence of a prohibition against queer relationships, either carnal or platonic, Harris, Worley and their company of fellow deceivers habitually and selectively refer to Old Testament passages of exclusion and consistently omit the frequent messages of Christ found in the New Testament that extol compassion, love and tolerance towards all of humanity.
The foundation of Christianity is the belief that Jesus Christ personified the new covenant between God and humankind. The New Testament supersedes the Old Testament. The new religion, Christianity, is born from the old religion, Judaism. The words of Jesus explain the new covenant between God and humans as the rule of love for all people and spiritual truth instead of the old way, rule by law (Luke 22:20, 1 Corinthians 11:25, Hebrews 8:8-13, 9:11-15). In choosing the Old Testament over the New Testament, Harris, Worley and their ilk are clearly denying the cornerstone doctrine of the faith they falsely claim to profess.
In advocating abuse and harm against GLBT people, these so-called Christian pastors once again arbitrarily select to ignore what Jesus taught as the Greatest Commandment and choose instead to spew hate. In Luke 10:27, Jesus said: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind; love your neighbor as yourself." In John 13:34, Jesus repeats: "Love one another. As I have loved you." In disregarding what Jesus Christ, himself, believed to be his most important message, Harris and Worley put themselves and their self-serving agenda in open defiance of not only the command of Jesus but of Christian tradition as well.
Worley, at least, may have to pay a price for his blasphemy, deceit and transgressions. His hate message was noticed by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a religious liberty watchdog group. This organization has filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service asking that it investigate the tax exempt status of Providence Road Baptist Church. According to a statement released by that group, the Reverend Barry W. Lynn, CEO of Americans United, said: "His (Worley) pulpit command that people not vote for President Obama is a violation of federal tax law. I urge the IRS to act swiftly to investigate this matter."
On Sunday, May 27, 2012, a protest against Worley and his violent message was held at the Catawba County Justice Center in Newton, NC. Over 1,000 persons attended. Not far away, Worley once again stood at the pulpit of Providence Road Baptist Church and received a standing ovation from his followers, numbering fewer than 100 hypocrites.
Look out Worley! The GLBT folks are coming! And they're bringing the IRS with them! Wire that money offshore, quick!
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
I'm posting two Nude Novice Notes this month. The need for sun protection and the need for sunburn protocols seemed timely with the Memorial Day holiday and the unofficial start of the summer season.
For information regarding sunburn prevention, scroll down to the May 24, 2012, post here: Nude Novice Notes: Sunscreen Tips For All Nudists.
Another Memorial Day holiday, a three-day weekend, that marks the beginning of the outdoor aquatic season has come and gone. Unfortunately for some, it is leaving behind more than a few victims of overexposure to the rays of sunshine and good times. No one wants to be reminded that too much of a good thing isn't always what's best for us. Therefore, I'm skipping the words of advice and going directly to what can be done to ease the pain and suffering of those affected by sunburn, a scourge that we all have experienced, at one time or another.
I will add a cautionary note here. The steps listed here are for the treatment of minor to moderate sunburn. In extreme or severe cases, please, do not attempt to treat on your own. Consult with your health practitioner or visit a local emergency room. Failure to do so may make matters worse and result in serious complications in the future.
One fact to bear in mind for future reference: if you think that you are beginning to sunburn, apply sunscreen if you haven't already done so. Or, re-apply if necessary. Every precaution helps reduce damage. It's never too late to take steps to prevent additional or a higher degree of severe sunburn. The old adage: it's better late than never, is appropriate in this situation. Sunburn won't be eliminated; but, the pain won't be as great nor the damage as harsh.
Sunburn is caused by the sun's UV radiation rather than heat. It is important to remember that skin can burn even on cloudy overcast days, cold winter days and while under shade (shelter from direct sunlight). Sunburn destroys the skin, which controls the amount of heat our bodies retain or release, holds in fluids (keeps us hydrated) and protects us from infection.
If a man suspects the he's burning, the best measure is to get out of the sun. If that's not possible, then apply additional sunscreen, generously. Continue to reapply hourly until shelter is available.
Once inside, look for blisters. Blistering means that the skin is completely damaged and complications are likely. Do not attempt to puncture the blisters or peel away blistered skin. If blisters appear, use antibiotic ointments that contain polymixin B or bacitracin. Do not use rubbing alcohol or iodine as these impede healing.
Take a cool bath or shower to soothe the pain. While treating a sunburn, always use tepid water and avoid using any type of soap on the affected area. Soaps may cause extra irritation and dry out the skin (even soap containing moisturizing ingredients).
After baths or showers, pat the skin dry with a towel as opposed to rubbing dry. Rubbing the burn may cause more damage and pain.
Immediately after rinsing, while the skin is still moist, apply aloe gel or lotion or another cooling agent. Do NOT apply butter or oil to any type of burn.
Over the counter pain relievers, containing ibuprofen, can be used for sunburn pain.
If a burn is extremely painful, a spray with lidocane (a topical anaesthetic) will help keep the discomfort bearable until it heals.
Drink plenty of fluids (water, juices, natural beverages or sports drinks). Sunburn causes dehydration. Avoid excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages. Signs of dehydration are dry mouth, reduced urination, headache, dizziness and sleepiness.
Burns cause swelling. Sunburns on the face or neck can sometimes swell to create difficulty in breathing. If that happens, seek medical attention immediately.
Sunburn that circle the feet or hands may cause such severe swelling that blood circulation is restricted. If swollen or tight extremities become numb, tingling, or turn blue or cold, go to the emergency room at once.
If you absolutely must wear clothing, while a burn is healing wear loose natural clothing like silks or light cottons. Rough fabrics will further irritate the skin.
Remember, too much sun can also cause heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke.
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Monday, May 28, 2012
HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!
ON THIS, THE FIRST HOLIDAY OF THE SUMMER SEASON,
TAKE THE TIME TO SHOW
TO A VETERAN!
PREFERABLY TO ONE OF THE SAME
WHO HAPPENS TO BE NUDE!
Please be safe!
If you must indulge, drink or drug
Use a latex or polyurethane condom with a water-based lubricant every time you have sex!
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Friday, May 25, 2012
It's a three-day weekend in honor of the Memorial Day holiday!
Beaches, pool parties and lakes are on the agenda!
Barbecues and cookouts, picnics and parties!
Or perhaps some quiet time, solo!
No matter what your plans are, be careful and be safe!
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Thursday, May 24, 2012
With the imminent arrival of the Memorial Day holiday, the unofficial beginning of the summer season here in the USA, some important information concerning the application and selection of sunscreens is appropriate. None of us want any painful sunburn, or worse, from overexposure to the sun. Especially not this early in the fun-filled time of the year! These suggestions aren't just for the newly nude; veterans should follow the guidelines as well.
Some of the information contained here was previously published over the past two years. I've added some additional facts and tips regarding sunscreen selection and a section addressing popular misinformation/myths about sunscreens. The information here is very general. Keep in mind that each individual is just that, an individual: a unique person. What is applicable to one may not be the same for another. When in doubt, consult your health practitioner. Better safe than sorry!
What is sunscreen?
Sunscreen is a chemical that, to some degree, prevents ultraviolet (UV) radiation from reaching the skin. While there is no sunscreen that totally eliminates UV radiation damage, many products, when used properly, can protect the skin adequately.
What should I look for in a sunscreen?
Regardless of where sun activity is taking place, backyard or beach, the product should contain two elements for effective protection. Always look for a "broad spectrum" sunscreen that contains chemicals that prevent both UV-A and UV-B radiation from penetrating the skin.
While no product is totally waterproof, look for "water resistant" sunscreens for long lasting wear, especially if swimming or sweating. Choose a product that is both easy to apply and feels good on the skin. There are a variety of types on the market: creams, moisturizers, gels, sprays and solid stick.
What is SPF?
SPF stands for sun protection factor. It's a measure of the effectiveness of the product in absorbing UV-B radiation. If someone burns after about 10 minutes of sun exposure, using a sunscreen of SPF15, it extends the amount of time before sunburn to 150 minutes or two and one half hours. During this time, it should be reapplied to continue the protection.
In terms of percentages, a product with SPF15 blocks 93% of the UV-B rays. One of SPF30 blocks 97% of radiation and one of SPF50 blocks 99%. The difference in protection may not justify the added expense of higher SPF sunscreens.
This depends on many different factors, including age, skin type, activity, time of day, location (proximity to the equator) and the UV Index. For most skin types, a sunscreen with a minimum SPF15 is recommended. Men with lighter skin types and low sun tolerance (burn easily) should use a minimum of SPF30. For minimal sun exposure, 90 minutes or less, a moisturizer cream containing sunscreen may suffice. For extended periods of sun exposure and higher activity levels, use a longer lasting product such as a cream, gel or lotion. Spray sunscreens are beneficial for hairy parts of the body, including the arms (and armpits), back, chest, legs and pubic region. If a man is acne prone, choose sunscreens that are oil-free or non-cornodegenic.
Those with sensitive skin, the chemicals in most sunscreens may cause skin irritation. Use a product that contains only physical blockers (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide). A physical blocker does not penetrate the skin layers as do chemicals. Physical blockers remain on top of the skin to protect it from UV radiation.
What's the best way to use sunscreen?
If you've used sunscreen before and sunburned, you applied it incorrectly. For sunscreen to protect, you must use enough, apply it before going outdoors and reapply often. Remember the lips: use a lip balm with a minimum SPF15.
How much? One ounce (a full shot glass) per adult body per application. Apply liberally all over, including behind the ears and on ear lobes.
When to apply? At least 30 minutes before sun exposure. Reapply 15 minutes later. This extra application helps to cover those body areas that may have been missed the first time. Better safe than have regrets (and pain) later. Once in sunlight, reapply every couple of hours, especially if swimming, sweating and towel drying.
Who should use sunscreen? Everyone. All men are susceptible to sunburn, including Black men. All races react to sun exposure, regardless of skin pigmentation or national origin.
What does the expiration date mean? Sunscreen generally remains stable and effective for three years. After the expiration date, the product begins to break down and will not offer the intended protection.
Sunscreen tips for queer naturists/nudists:
Apply sunscreen to the entire body. This includes the anal area, armpits, penis (all over) the testicles (again, all over) and follow the reapplication guideline for every couple of hours. Even though you think the area isn't exposed, it still receives UV-A and UV-B radiation.
If there's the possibility of outdoor intimacy, remember to reapply sunscreen to areas affected by condom and water-based lubricant contact. The contents in the condom and/or lubricant may compromise the effectiveness of the sunscreen chemicals.
Manscaping (shaving armpit, chest or pubic hairs) can create sensitive areas on the skin. First apply a gentle lotion with SPF15 or higher before covering with sunscreen.
Common myths about sunscreen use:
Sunscreen causes vitamin D deficiency. False. No sunscreen blocks 100% of sunlight. Most people get enough vitamin D through incidental sun exposure and a normal healthy diet. For those who don't, supplements are available.
Most people receive 80% of their sun exposure by their 18th year. Those older don't need sunscreen.
False. Recent studies prove that only about a quarter of sun exposure is attained by the age of 18. People are living longer with more leisure time to spend outdoors. Sun damage occurs throughout life.
I don't need sunscreen on a cloudy day or while in the shade. False. On an overcast day, as much as 40% of the sun's UV radiation can penetrate through cloud cover. Although shade eliminates direct sunlight, UV radiation is still a risk, especially over a prolonged period.
I don't need sunscreen during the winter. False. Especially when there is snow on the ground, UV radiation can be intense. Wind causes the skin to dry and increases vulnerability to UV radiation.
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Sources: WebMD, CDC, SunGuard
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Please, don't send me a picture of another plate of sushi that you are about to devour. I don't eat sushi so it means nothing at all to me. The same with that eleven layer triple chocolate cake that you just have to share with the universe. If you aren't giving me a slice, then I don't want to see it. Along those same lines, I don't need to see your new PDA. I already know what's out there and I've made my choice. And as for the clothing that you've just purchased, in case you haven't noticed, man; I'm naked. Need I say more?
I'm not being antisocial or rude. I just don't need to know every mundane detail of every fucking minute in the life of everyone on this planet. I don't care if you're about to brush your teeth with the updated version of XXXsuperbrightlonglasting toothpaste on your triple-action, dual-edged brush. Please, get a life and start living it. That means, l-i-v-e. Enjoy the moment, savor the experience and keep it to yourself or share only with those who absolutely have to know. By the way, I'll let you know right now that I'm DEAFinitely not one of those people. I'll gladly be your friend only as long as you keep 98.4% of your business to yourself.
Initially, I participated in various social networking media as they unfolded. For all of a few quick minutes. I actually thought it was exciting and fun. For several seconds. It didn't take long for me to realize that this social phenomenon was getting out-of-control and fast. Too many people sharing too much junk information with too many folks all too often. I was spending too much time deleting and not enough time living. The novelty rapidly became another full-time job with no compensation for the excessive overtime.
The same is true of the nudecentric sites. At first, it was exhilarating connecting with fellow naturists/nudists from all over. An entire new world was instantly available. That thrill lasted for maybe an hour. Then, it, too, became burdensome and overloaded with too much useless trivia and far too little substance. Soon, the substantive and beneficial aspect disappeared altogether.
Please, don't misunderstand me. I appreciate, recognize, understand and value the importance of communication. The distribution, exchange, sharing of useful concepts, data, ideas, information, opinions and thoughts is crucial in today's world. We have all come to rely on having all these facts available to us instantly and at all times, 24/7. I'm not denying that this is the reality of life in the 21st century. Hell, I'm a part of the world around me and I communicate all the time. I text, email and IM all the time (too much so, at times). Every once in a while, I visit the websites catering to social nudists. Mostly to chat to those who are online on those late, late nights when sleep just doesn't come easily.
I'm not advocating for the elimination of social networking and social nudeworking. Both of these mediums have numerous advantages and benefits. Even I use one social networking method exclusively for my family only. I have a small, very close circle of friends that I communicate with using a social nudeworking service. That's the extent. I have no use (or time) to clutter my life with worthless tidbits from the lives of others. Social media, as it currently functions, just isn't for me.
Besides, we all need to keep some things private. If we tell-it-all to the entire world, what's left to share with that special man in our lives? After all, it's called intimacy for a specific reason.
At the risk of being labeled a dinosaur, I am admitting to a personal secret here. I do prefer my social nudeworking the old school way: eyeball-to-eyeball. Nothing beats the real thing, right?
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Author's Note: The inspiration for this subject was from one of my favorite authors: L. M. Ross. Visit his blog: http://www.lmross-moanerplicities.blogspot.com or scroll My Blog List on the left side of your screen and click: moanerplicities.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
For background information on today's posting, refer to "Commonwealth of Virginia: Disgrace And Shame" entry on May 21, 2012.
The recent action, or, more correctly, inaction by the Virginia House of Delegates over the nomination of City of Richmond, Virginia, Chief Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Tracy Thorne-Begland to the bench of the general district court within that same city brought forth a plethora of arguments from the Christian extremists. Now, this was no surprise to anyone. This is, after all, the South and the Bible Belt. These types of narrow-minded attacks occur frequently from this fanatical fringe element.
What did truly amaze me was the absence of any originality in the debate from those who opposed Thorne-Begland's appointment. It was as though they borrowed statements from similar groups used elsewhere in the country, substituted Tracy's name then offered the comments as their own. Of course, their lack of creativity and imagination isn't shocking. These groups all read from the same script, whether in Virginia, Mississippi or Kansas. It's always the same, everywhere. This time around, I was truly hoping for some variety.
Mr. Thorne-Begland, openly gay, is also, as a private citizen, a member of Equality Virginia, this state's GLBT organization. He is also opposed to the constitutional ban on same gender marriage amendment that was passed by popular referendum here in 2008. These two facts were used by those against him as positive proof that he has a "hidden agenda" and, if approved, he will work to undermine the state constitution. He will betray his oath to uphold the law.
Everyone has personal opinions. The homophobia of those lobbying against his selection is obvious. If they follow their line of thought, then they should immediately resign from elected office. Their fear of gays means they will oppose anything gay related. They are undermining the equality clause of the state constitution.
Mr. Thorne-Begland is openly gay. He will use his position as a general district court judge to rule in favor of gay people and gay issues. He will issue opinions that are in violation of state law and the Christian religion. He'll use his position to advance special rights for homosexuals.
The general district courts handle traffic offenses and misdemeanors. Civil rights cases and constitutional issues are routed to the circuit courts. As a judge, he has no way of knowing the sexual orientation or religious affiliation of anyone appearing before him. If we adhere to the thinking of his opposition, then we shouldn't have male judges as they'll rule against women (or vice versa). We shouldn't have white judges as they'll rule against blacks (or vice versa). We shouldn't have Baptist judges as they'll rule against Catholics (or vice versa). Then there's the "grandaddy" of them all: we shouldn't have heterosexual judges as they'll rule against gays.
Finally, the oft-repeated and time-honored classic: he'll use his influence to recruit others to the sinful, homosexual lifestyle.
Please! When will he have the time? He has a l-i-f-e! He's in a long term relationship (we can't marry in Virginia). He and his partner are raising twin sons. Besides, who's he going to recruit? Reckless drivers and petty thieves?
Everyone is entitled to the right of free speech in this country. I respect that. Just be honest about it. Tell the truth. Remove the convolution and twists from your arguments against Mr. Tracy Thorne-Begland and stop lying. You don't want him as a judge because of your bias and prejudice against gays.
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Monday, May 21, 2012
I need to begin by stating that I've lived in the Commonwealth of Virginia all of my life. I was born here, grew up here and even as a collegiate undergraduate, the state wasn't too far from me: just across a river. I'm accustomed to the conservative and intolerant mentality. However, nothing in my life experience prepared me for the blatant hatred, homophobia and hypocrisy that occurred in the state legislature last week. My birth-state didn't simply take a step backward. It took a flying leap backwards and landed in Satan's backyard, all thanks to bigots who falsely disguise themselves as Christians. In reality, they are anything but true believers.
The reason for my disdain and disgust? At best, legislative discrimination. At worst, legislative indifference and irresponsibility. Even for behind-the-times Virginia, this lack of leadership from elected officials is cowardly and inexcusable. If these timid legislators were living during the revolutionary war period, we'd still be a British colony. In light of their collective exclusionary practices, we'd all be better off as colonial subjects as opposed to the spineless lack of guidance we currently suffer.
In this commonwealth, judicial nominees must be approved by a simple majority vote of the House of Delegates. This legislative body has 100 elected members. In order for a nominee to be approved, he/she must have the minimum support of 51 delegates. Upon approval by the House of Delegates, the nominee's name is then forwarded to the state senate for ratification. At this juncture, I'd like to add that never before, in Virginia, has an openly gay man been nominated for a seat on the judicial bench. Of course, in all probability, we all know that at least a few closeted queers have served in this capacity.
All of this changed during the current legislative session with the nomination of the City of Richmond Chief Deputy Commonwealth Attorney Tracy Thorne-Begland (pictured on the right) to become a general district court judge in the City of Richmond. Twenty years ago, Thorne-Begland, at the time a decorated officer and a naval fighter pilot, challenged the now-defunct Don't Ask. Don't Tell policy of the U.S. military. He publicly "came out" on the television show, "Nightline," with Ted Koppel in 1992. The DADT policy was relatively new and Tracy became one among the first of many to publicly oppose that directive. The measure was eventually repealed by the U.S. Congress in December, 2010.
Mr. Thorne-Begland's nomination passed bipartisan committees of both houses of the state General Assembly, respectively, and submitted to both branches of the legislature. On Tuesday, May 15, his name was brought before the House of Delegates for approval. With impeccable credentials, save for his being openly gay, this should have been a routine legislative action with the usual noise and rumble from the right. Few were prepared for the onslaught of hate and blatant exclusion opposition from the Christian (who act as anything but) extremists/fanatics.
The Family Foundation of Virginia, those above mentioned extremists who selectively decide what Bible passages to embrace and which ones to completely ignore, angered by Thorne-Begland's opposition to Virginia's gay marriage ban (approved by popular referendum in 2008), cited that his "personal political agenda takes precedence over Virginia law and the Constitution." This became the mantra for the attacks that ensued. The theme being that he's gay, therefore, he'll vote in favor of gay people and gay issues. In other words, he's gay. We don't want him.
What followed next on the floor of the House of Delegates was even more despicable, illogical and intolerant. A certain GOP delegate from Prince William County (I refuse to even type his name), who has a history of repeated bigoted and homophobic actions, echoed the above sentiments. Ignorant of the hypocrisy of his stance (I'm a homophobe therefore I'll oppose anyone gay), he continued to blubber gibberish as Gospel truth, like he just received a personal text from the Almighty. He then proceeded to cite Thorne-Begland's opposition to DADT while serving in the Navy as an example of his disloyalty. I think by now you have the picture here.
The nomination was finally taken in the wee hours of the morning. Thirty-three delegates voted in favor of Thorne-Begland's nomination, including eight GOP delegates and the remainder Democrats. Thirty-one delegates were opposed, all GOP members. That's fine; everyone took a stand and voted. They made a decision. That's how democracy works. That also isn't the problem.
Ten delegates abstained. They chose to sit on the fence. Nine of these were GOP delegates and one was an independent. They decided not to make a decision. Now, if these were the days of the colonial revolution, I can understand a little fence-sitting. After all, either the revolutionists or the British are going to win. To avoid taking a stance, regardless of which side is victorious, no one can accuse you of treason. Cowardice, perhaps; but treason? Never. Play it safe and sit this one out. Not qualities I expect from an elected leader but at least they publicly opted for neutrality.
The real shame rests with the twenty-six delegates who cast no vote whatsoever. Seven Democrats and nineteen GOP delegates opted out of making any type of choice. Twenty-six men and women who voluntarily sought an elected position of leadership; who, when the going got tough, were incapable of making any decision for or against. Twenty-six officials who sat back and intentionally neglected to do their jobs. Twenty-six wimps. Not one single ounce of courage among the entire lot.
Twenty-six individuals, lawmakers all, decided to sit back and allow one of the basic principles of the U.S. Constitution, equality, to be violated by their peers. Twenty-six. That's more than one-quarter of the entire Virginia House of Delegates. They witnessed, first-hand, up-close and personal, this act of bigotry, hatred and homophobia. They watched while bias and discrimination unfolded before them. Instead of stepping up and taking a stand against legal injustice, moral injustice and social injustice, they elected to imitate the ostrich and bury their heads in the sand. They threw duty out the window.
Their lack of outrage over this unfairness calls their loyalty to their oath of office and their responsibility to their respective constituents into question. Likewise, their fitness to serve. These twenty-six abdicated leadership obligations when it was most needed. I've often heard that justice is blind, as it should be. However, this adage doesn't apply to legislators. I hold every one of these twenty-six people accountable for this disgusting incident.
My undergraduate degree is in history. I've read numerous volumes of what happened in Germany in the mid-1930s when Hitler and the Nazis enacted laws directed against communists, dissidents and Jews. I've often wondered how could the German people sit back and allow something this despicable to occur. I never, in my wildest dreams, expected anything, equally despicable, taking place in the Commonwealth of Virginia, my home state. I now understand how this took place. The collective indifference of these twenty-six elected officials schooled me. Their collective inaction is a disgrace and an insult to every Virginian.
I understand the thirty-three votes in favor of Tracy Thorne-Begland's nomination to the bench. I understand the thirty-one votes against him: that's what homophobia is all about. I understand the ten abstentions: either they supported his appointment but feared voter retaliation or they opposed him because he's gay but realized that line of reasoning was wrong. What I can't understand is the absence of any action whatsoever when faced with discrimination, intolerance and unfairness. These twenty-six legislators enabled bigotry, hatred and homophobia.
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Friday, May 18, 2012
It's a Friday morning. Another week down and the beginning of a weekend. So why am I dragging through the early morning? It's almost mid-May; the weather outside is nice and warm. I should be jumping for joy and dancing throughout my condo and bouncing out the front door: early! This lack of energy isn't typical for me. I feel fine, no fever. I'm just out of sorts and lethargic. This is just so not me!
I'm thinking and seriously hoping it is residual effects from the drugs prescribed for my oral surgery two days ago. I'm not accustomed to taking any type of medication. This isn't a very fun feeling and I don't like it one bit.
I'm taking a personal leave day and staying home. I trust I'll be better by 5:00 p.m. I don't want to miss the weekend!
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Thursday, May 17, 2012
"Your clothes conceal much of your beauty, yet they hide not the unbeautiful. And though you seek in garments the freedom of privacy, you may find in them a harness and a drain. Would that you could meet the sun and the wind with more of your body and less of your raiment."~Khalil Gibran~ The Prophet
A simple thought for the day from the Lebanese poet, Khalil Gibran.
I'm recuperating from oral surgery done yesterday. I've got to keep it simple for today.
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
"I challenged his saying: 'You say "Love one another." I say, "If a lifelong devotion has arisen in your heart for someone, if your happiness depends on theirs, if your greatest joy is found in doing things together, if you are willing to make sacrifices for your mutual benefit, then what the hell does it matter if they have a different colored skin, or if they have the same genitals, or if they happen to be closely related?" Being pro-love, I had to overcome my own prejudice, fear and negative judgment and I wanted him to overcome his." Author Unknown
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
The final place we stayed was in the Tampa Bay area. The property was adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico. Although the weather was nice and sunny, in the early morning, the winds blowing to the east from the Gulf forced me to don a hoodie in order to retain some body heat. This was a new experience for me, wearing outerwear when nude. Just how unnatural is that? Luckily, the sun would do its business and usually we were comfortable by 10:00 a.m. .Okay, maybe a photograph is more of a memento as opposed to an actual souvenir. Sorry!
I am an sandal fanatic: I own more pairs than I do all other types of shoes combined. My personal favorites are the sandal thongs commonly referred to as flip-flops. They're simple while at the same time affording some protection for the bottom of my feet. They're also convenient to carry in one hand when you need to remove them (such as for walking on the sand). This style of sandal is the closest thing to totally naked feet except, well, completely naked feet! For those who know me, it's no surprise that I bought this particular wall-hanging shown below. I have it prominently hanging in the entrance to my condo. By the way, in case you haven't noticed, I am a big fan of nude beaches!
What trip, regardless of distance, would be complete without at least one tacky, trashy souvenir? I can't help myself, every time I travel to a beach destination, I just have to buy at least one. Nothing frivolous, mind you; it does have some practical usefulness or value. This is the soda bottle cooler that I bought this year. It keeps a soda or water cool. It's a line of four nude men, all displaying their asses on the beach. What queer naturist wouldn't want one?
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Monday, May 14, 2012
Maurice remained closeted most of his life. In a September, 2008, article for the New York Times, he was asked by the interviewer if there was any question that he'd never been asked. He responded: "I'm gay." He explained that he thought that being known as a gay man who wrote and illustrated children's books would damage his career. He never came out to his parents. He was predeceased in 2007, by his partner of 50 years, Dr. Eugene Glynn, a psychoanalyst.
Sendak's books were identified by their drawings. At a time when most children's books represented a sanitized version of life, his featured original art known for bizarre and strange characters. He opened a whole new world to illustrators of books geared towards young readers.
Maurice Sendak received numerous awards and medals throughout his life. In addition to the Caldecott Medal mentioned above, in 1970 he was the recipient of the Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustrated Books. In 1982, he received the National Book Award for Picture Books. The following year, 1983, he was presented the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal. In 1996, he was given the National Medal of Arts and in 2003, he was co-recipient of the Astrid Lingren Memorial Award.
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
|A Sendak page from "Where The Wild Things Are"|
Friday, May 11, 2012
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Yesterday, was one of those days. While pondering what to post here today, I fell into a deep depression. Nothing seemed to lift my spirits. To begin with, it was an overcast morning; no rays of sunshine anywhere to help change my mood.
The news from North Carolina concerning marriage for GLBT people didn't help. To be honest, I was prepared for the amendment to fail. This is, after all, the south. No matter how much folks discuss the "New South," some things just don't change and the typical southern mentality is one of those. What did take me by surprise was the margin of defeat for our cause. Sixty-one percent voted to deny equality. I had honestly expected the final vote to be much closer. I didn't need to be reminded about how many haters there are out there.
The situation in Colorado merely poured salt on an already festering wound. Poised to pass legislation to allow civil unions, with the governor signature assured, the GOP, at the last minute, deferred the vote. This denied some form of official recognition of same gender loving partnerships in yet another state. Two defeats in one day was just a little too much. Damn, I really did need a little sunlight to redirect my focus.
Then, as if by divine intervention, the news came that President Obama has completed his evolution and endorses marriage equality for all people. This was just what the doctor ordered to erase the bleak cloud hanging over me all day. The proverbial light at the end of the long, dark tunnel. And, he credits his daughters, Malia and Sasha, for helping him resolve his dilemma. A perfect example of real family values. Thank you, Mr President!
I've read numerous articles online critical of the President waiting until after the North Carolina vote to announce his support of marriage equality. Many criticize him for even publicly saying that he was evolving in the first place. Some suggest that he took too long to decide on the issue.
Regardless, President Obama was honest from the start. He didn't lie to any of us. He candidly admitted his position. There were no ominous weapons of mass destruction hidden here. He gave this matter serious consideration. He didn't make a convenient decision. He thought it over. We expect our President to think (unlike his predecessor).
True, his timing could have been better. However, he did what was necessary. Honestly, I admire and respect him even more (if that's even possible) for announcing his stand before the November election. President Obama is no coward for making his views public before votes are cast. He could easily have waited until after the election to make his position public.
Another reason why I am voting for his re-election.
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Paul Hodge owns The Fawlty Towers Motel, located in Cocoa Beach, along Florida's popular Space Coast. The property, faced with growing competition from larger chain hotels developing in the area, saw his business plummet, especially during the winter months. The hope for the future was bleak, with only two options left: close down the business completely or convert the establishment to a clothing-optional facility. Hodge chose the latter.
"It's sort of a make-or-break situation. We can't pay ourselves in winter. We had to scrap health insurance. Every year it gets a little worse," Hodge commented. His back was literally up against the wall.
This past week, The Fawlty Towers completed the transition from traditional to nude-friendly. The hotel has 32 guest rooms, a tiki bar and a pool. In this short amount of time, Hodge has already seen a significant increase in the number of reservations. "It's just a niche in the market. There's no competition within 100 miles," Hodge remarked. Hopefully, this change will continue and his hotel can remain in business.
The new, nude Fawlty Towers received a face-lift before the doors opened to naturists. New screening was added and taller balcony railings were installed to block any curious and roving eyes. New doors were mounted throughout, all with coded locks. Signs are posted in every available space advising guests where clothing is required. "We don't want to get the other side of it...We want to stay as we always have been- family oriented," Hodge offered. "I didn't think there would be so many nudists right here...It looks like we'll do well." For a few bright, sunny days, it looked as though The Fawlty Towers just might have gained a new, nude lease on life. However, there were storm clouds gathering on the horizon.
The City of Cocoa Beach Commission voted 5-0 at its meeting on Thursday night, May 3, 2012, to instruct the City Attorney to investigate laws related to the facility operating as a clothing optional destination. The objective of this legal scrutiny is for the municipal attorney office to clarify local codes so that City personnel will know how to enforce the rules and regulations concerning this type of business.
The opposition focuses on two major issues; the obvious one being the clothing optional/nudist angle and the fact that it is located within the city proper. The second concern is the $25 per day charged for locals to have access to the amenities located on the motel property. Cocoa Beach officials want to treat the day pass the same as a cover charge at an adult entertainment club.
The layout of The Fawlty Towers is full enclosure of all common areas. None of the amenities, such as the pool and the tiki bar, are visible from outside the motel.
We all know exactly what the real problem is with The Fawlty Towers: gymnophobia. The fear of social nudity and bias against those who practice it. Outside the motel, there's no way to determine who's naked and who's not. If you don't want to associate with nude people, don't go there. The solution is that plain and simple.
The daily charge is for individuals to have the privilege of using the The Fawlty Towers amenities. It's no different than paying to gain entrance to play putt-putt golf or to swim in a non-public pool. Once again, if nudity offends, then don't go there. Save your money and socialize elsewhere. Your tax dollars aren't subsidizing the establishment. Get over it and move own.
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
It doesn't make any difference the label or title we use, another living human took the time to introduce us to the concept and the means (tools) of seeking answers and exploring options and possibilities. Once this seed was planted, that same person challenged us to do better, to search for more and to apply the learned basics to newer and progressively complex and difficult situations.
Whether we liked it or not, the skills we mastered enabled us to overcome obstacles, make decisions, determine the outcome and progress to the next level. Along the way, we all made mistakes. But even our errors taught us a new lesson as we returned to the fundamentals, weighed our judgments and reviewed our conclusions. Essentially, our ability to think and to act is the fruit of the labors of all those persons devoted to expanding the potential of both our bodies and minds.
Some prefer to be known as teacher. Others use the term educator. Many choose other words to describe their profession: instructor, facilitator, trainer or lector. On advanced levels, we all employ the distinction, professor. The name is of little consequence. The result of their job performance is what matters most. And the vast majority of all of us owe what we are today to their successfully completing all professional duties; in other words: teaching.
At this point, I feel it's necessary to add that like everything else in life, there are both bad and good. As a career, educators/teachers are no exception. All of us have experienced indifferent, substandard professionals. We have also, at some point in time, enjoyed the attentions of the exceptional. We have likewise prospered from the efforts and sacrifices of all those in between. Yet, even from the poor teachers, we have learned a valuable lesson: how not to approach a job.
As a member of academia, I know firsthand the rigors of training and practicums needed before we are even allowed to cross the threshold into a classroom or lecture hall. I know the endless hours of creativity, planning, preparation and research necessary to remain on top of our game. Education isn't about a simple nine-to-five workday. For a true professional, it's a vocation; more than just a job and a paycheck.
So, the next time you find yourself reading a book, laptop or tablet, solving an equation, measuring, calculating, applying a skill, building, creating or solving a problem, think about who taught you. If you're in a position to do so today, express your gratitude either anonymously or personally. If you've ever taught anyone, anything at all: thank you for a job well done! Happy Teachers Appreciation Day, 2012!
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Monday, May 7, 2012
There's no doubt about it, summer is rapidly approaching. We're now only three weeks from the Memorial Day holiday, which is the unofficial beginning of the season here in the USA. Accompanying the arrival of this time of year are all those outdoor functions that we enjoy to celebrate both our friends and our nakedness. Many of us struggled through the gruesome days of winter in anticipation of this exact moment. Now is the time to relish the just rewards of our stoicism. Prepare to go off to hit the nude beaches and pools!
In anticipation of a fun-filled time of sun, surf and sand, my friends and I are busy planning weekend socials. There's only so many weekends of sunshine available; no need to waste them with duplicate activities. We like to plan ahead in order to maximize the limited opportunities so that we all can experience the best of the season. No need to squander precious moments later trying to decide what to do.
Accompanying the discussions about who's hosting what and when, the conversation invariably takes a peculiar self-centered twist. The individual diverting the dialogue bemoans the fact that they failed to stay on their diet after the winter holidays. Or, they stopped going to the gym after only two weeks into the New Year. They decided to sleep in instead of waking up an hour earlier and attending their fitness class. I think by now you get the picture here.
For the most part, the ones bitching and moaning their lack of commitment are the same ones year after year. More likely than not, this lament is uttered while they're munching on a family-size bag of potato chips (solo) or some greasy french fries from a fast-food establishment. I don't think that I need to add here (but, I will, anyway), it's obvious that self-discipline is a not part of this complete picture.
For many years, whenever this happened, I would always offer a sympathetic eyes. After all, we have crazy, hectic work schedules. It's very difficult to get motivated to go out during those cold days of winter. Exercise classes aren't always held at the most convenient times. The list of commiseration comments is endless.
After a couple of years, this was bad enough coming from actual friends. Soon, even casual acquaintances were consuming my time with the identical complaints. The situation was fast becoming unbearable and tiresome. I try to be a compassionate and understanding man, but, this was now approaching the absurd. The "same old" from the "same old" gets really monotonous real fast!
No longer. Two years ago, I made the decision to end the false sympathy and to get real with procrastinators. We all have regrets, that's a part of life. It comes with the growth and learning process. But, to repeatedly fail in that life lesson wasn't going to cut it anymore. At least, not with me.
I now offer a shoulder to cry on without the former sympathetic commiseration. It's replaced by tough love. When acquaintances and friends complain about their failure, I remind them that it's never too late to get back on track. That discarded diet can begin now. The neglected gym workouts can be resumed today. The forgotten fitness classes are there awaiting a return. Behavioral change can start immediately. It's not too late.
That may very well not the answer sought, based on past expectations. However, it is the truth. I'm being a better friend by encouraging a healthier lifestyle. Besides, all winter long we knew that summer would return, eventually.
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Congratulations Shaquille O'Neil, PhD.!
On Saturday, May 5, 2012, Shaquille "Shaq" O'Neil, four-time NBA champion and a giant among men, earned his doctorate in education from Barry University, Miami, Florida.
Dr. O'Neil left Louisiana State University early when drafted into the NBA. After 19 years on the court, he retired. He has completed requirements and earned first his bachelors, then masters and now his doctorate in education. Please note, all of his awards are earned and not honorary. His final GPA for his PhD is 3.8.
Is there anything this man cannot do?
By the way, Shaq was naked under his suit and robes.
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
The 2012 National Basketball Association (NBA) playoffs are now underway.
Games are currently played nightly throughout the USA.
I propose we rename the NBA the Nude Basketball Association and change the rules to reflect the requirement that all players, coaches, staff and spectators must be naked at all times.
This should really spark a renewed interest in the game, especially as the players strike at the beginning of the season has hurt attendance for this season.
What are your thoughts on this suggestion/proposal?
While you ponder this thought, watch the hoops action.
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Friday, May 4, 2012
The mini-documentary tells the story of nine-year-old Alex Reamer (pictured right) and his life as a resident of a nudist community. This isn't the tale of a kid living in a family that visits clothing-optional resorts and takes scheduled nakations. Alex and his family are full-time members of Sunsport Gardens, a naturist/nudist neighborhood located near Palm Beach, Florida. The Reamer family moved into the 40-acre, clothes free environment six years ago. Here, nudity is not only embraced; it is expected of all living there.
"I don't wear clothes much!" Alex explains, without shame, to ABC News' correspondent John Berman. "I just like to be nude." He then adds that sometimes he goes months at a time without putting on any clothing. He engages in activities that appeal to most boys his age: video games, playground, sports and riding his bike, all without the baggage of garments.
The Reamer family consented to participating in the 20/20 Xtreme Parents interview on the condition that the network not blur the images. "It sends the wrong message," Sandra Reamer, Alex's mother stated. "It says that nudity is bad."
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Happy Cinco de Mayo, May 5!
To all of our nude, queer brothers, all the best in honor of the Cinco de Mayo festival! This holiday comes at the right time of year to get outside and celebrate while naked. In Mexico, this is a day set aside to commemorate the victory of the Mexican forces over the invading French army at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. This success led to the ultimate defeat of the French in their quest to occupy Mexico during the reign of the second Napoleon.
Inside the United States, with its huge population of Mexican expatriates, it is a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. Contrary to popular myth, it is not Mexican Independence Day. That event is observed on September 16, annually.
Regardless of our respective ethnicity or heritage, have a great Cinco de Mayo! Let's join our Mexican-American brothers and celebrate the occasion (and the first weekend in May) with our collective nakedness!
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Thursday, May 3, 2012
From the World Naked Gardening Day website, the following justification is offered: " Why garden naked? First of all, it's fun. Second only to swimming , gardening is at the top of the list of family-friendly activities people are most ready to consider doing nude. Moreover, our culture needs to move towards a healthy sense of both body acceptance and our relation to the natural environment. Gardening naked is not only a simple joy, it reminds us - even if only for those few sunkissed minutes - that we can be honest with who we are as humans and as part of this planet."
Absolutely. Probably all of the above is true. I've no access to the statistics on the concerning the acceptability level of nude gardening as a family activity. But I know that I'm not alone when many question the possibility of gardening while naked, especially when many of us live in an urban environment with limited privacy. After all, we don't want to be arrested under a decency charge just to honor World Naked Gardening Day.
I work around this dilemma by using the date as a time to take care of my indoor plants and flowers. Living in a condominium, the condo fees include grounds maintenance so the only gardening opportunity available to me is one with indoor plants. Truthfully, I take care of my plants regularly while nude; I don't wait until this date to do so. However, I do try to make sure that I save a few horticultural chores to perform in honor of this occasion. Practice what we preach, right?
For the past several years, I've turned my World Naked Gardening Day into a social nudity experience. I invite a couple of friends over for a mid-morning breakfast and encourage them to bring along a plant or two that needs some attention. After our meal, we then focus on doing our "garden" duty. Last year, this involved allowing them to assist me in transplanting flowers into window boxes for my condo balcony. Before they arrived, I attached some beach towels to my balcony railing for privacy and we performed this task outside (it helps that I live on the top floor of my building).
No matter where we live, using our creativity and imagination we can all participate in the pleasures of World Naked Gardening Day. Whether indoors or outside, it makes no difference. What does count is that we take advantage of the chance, once again, to relax and savor the fun of "going green" in the buff. We'll feel better about ourselves afterwards and our flowers, plants or whatever will provide us satisfaction in the season ahead.
Visit the World Naked Gardening Day website: http://www.wngd.org .
by Michael Aitkin
In Winter, when the trees are bare,
We mortals don our winter wear.
In Spring, when trees begin to dress,
We mortals then start wearing less.
Until, for some, with Summer's heat,
The role reversal is complete.