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Boston

Posted in FLICKR, history, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, religion, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2013 by cliffmichaels

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BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

BOSTON BEAUTY

BOSTON POLICE

BOSTON MARATHON

BOSTON EMS, FIRE & POLICE

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It Ain’t Necessarily So…

Posted in FLICKR, history, politics, religion, Sexy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2013 by cliffmichaels

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It’s official. Same sex marriage (a/k/a marriage equality) is  surefire winner. Rush says so. No, really, that Rush. El Limbo. Inevitable, he says. Gonna happen. Doesn’t matter what the Supremes do. A done deal. He gives  up.

All us soft hearted (soft headed?) elitist, condescending liberals are, of course, smugly, “feeling on the right side of history” dee-lighted. Now that our cause is nearly won and our foes at the edge of defeat we may turn to the really fun part: playing a gotcha game of Who were the Good guys & the Bad guys. On our side! Oh, all those hideous right-wingers, Baptists, Republican politicians, and assorted hangers-on were vile, venomous villains. That goes without saying (alhough I just said it). But there were quislings on our team as well;  some of those who have alleged  allegiance to to all  things blue were, in truth,  too purple in the past.

Andrew Sullivan, who for a time was an heroic voice in the wilderness, recently excoriated Bill and Hillary Clinton for their abandonment of gay issues and embrace of DOMA during his term as President. I understand his reasoning. I think his attack largely unfair.  He wrote:

I find the opportunism of the Clintons – who did more substantive harm to gay people in eight years than any other administration – more disgusting than the fundamentalist hostility. At least the Christianists were sincere. The Clintons have always been phonies and opportunists and for Bill Clinton to proclaim the sanctity of marriage and sign DOMA while cigar-fucking his intern tells you a lot about him. On no issue were they as shameless as on this one – portraying themselves as civil rights advocates while kicking those of us fighting for equality squarely in the groin.

This  is clearly over the top. Were the Clintons heroes, standing against the then wave of homophobia? No. But it does not seem to count for Sullivan that Bill tried to end the ban on gays in the military. He botched it badly and ran into a hail of right wing fire that resulted in the infamous DADT policy reversed just last year by the Obama administration. Clinton’s appointment of gays likewise doesn’t seem to count.

Worse than the Christianists? Those who would gladly have put gays back in the closet, criminalized gay sex, banned gay teachers, etc. were better than the Clintons because they were sincere? Really??

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Bill Clinton was a politician. Politics is the art of  the possible. The early nineties were a much darker time for gay rights than the bright sunshine existing now – twenty years later.  What Sullivan was advocating then was simply not possible any more than abolition was possible in the 1840’s (remember, even Lincoln did  not advocate abolition  until well into the Civil War).

Was Clinton “insincere”. Of course. Good politicians frequently are. Was Obama sincere when he fully “evolved” to his embrace of same sex marriage last year? I haven’t a clue. It doesn’t matter to me. Sincerity doesn’t count. Results count. No amount of  sincere support for gay marriage rights by any president was going to change results in 1993.

Does any one honestly think Obama would have endorsed marriage equality five years ago? I supported Barrack in both 2008 and last years. There are lots of things I’d like him to do (prosecute those approving torture in the Bush years), Some of what I want simply isn’t possible right now. I’d love to see significant gun control. It won’t happen. There is nothing Obama can do to change that. Five or ten years from now things might be different.

The art of the possible… Of course  reasonable minds may differ on whether the possibilityo f whatever exists in the present. I was aghast when the prop 8 and DOMA opponents sought Supreme Court rulings. My fear was what was essentially a political move would backfire and set gay rights back a decade or more. After oral argument I’m not quite so fearful (particularly on DOMA).

Same sex marriage is clearly possible today. A la Senator Portman’s endorsement of equality, those politicians jumping on the big pink bus risk little to belatedly join the rainbow parade. But we need to remember the future course of history was darkly unsure twenty plus years ago. The homophobic winds behind opponents of gay rights backs was nearly gale force.  I wouldn’t have believed in 1993 that a mere twenty years later marriage would be within spitting distance of the finish line.

It ain’t necessarily so that the Clintons – or anyone else – should have known that back then…
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FLICKR GROUP: Gay Marriage/USA

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Stripper Kitties!

Posted in fetish, FLICKR, history, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, politics, religion, sexual with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2013 by cliffmichaels

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Let’s face this sad fact: Visions is a tawdry sex blog. It’s true. No matter how many high minded posts we upload about culture or politics, the smutty pics and stories are what draw hits. We know it. You know it. Hell, even Bob Doles knows it!

There are, as you surely know, lots – and I mean Big Lots – of sex blogs on the ‘net. Sex is either the most popular topic in the History of the world or in the top three – food & death being the other two (except in England, where sex is replaced by gardening).

Here’s a sex blog I’ve discovered: Tits and Sass. T&S can best be described as a serious journal written by sex workers – strippers and hookers, mostly. More than forty contributors are listed. Here’s what the site says about itself:

Tits and Sass is a group blog run by sex workers who saw a void when it came to witty commentary on the public image of our industry. The ideas promoted about us in the public eye have an impact on the realities of our lives as sex workers every bit as strong as the law, so we’re not letting any more dead hooker or stripper bones jokes pass by without comment.

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Visions spends much of the time wallowing in ignorance and had no clue the was a vibrant community of literate – and politicly active – positive sex workers. Here are links to some of the more serious T&S posts: Sex Work and Storytelling at “Sex and Justice”License to Pimp: A Conversation with Filmmaker Hima B.Stripper Shot At Strip Club Denied Worker’s Comp. If you doubt a sexblog can be deadly earnest, here’s a “quote of the day”:

The TERF [trans-exclusionary radical feminist] is obsessed with dividing feminism at all costs and commenting negatively on women’s sexuality. sex-shaming is a historical patriarchal tool to remind those of us who are women of the position the patriarchy wants us to hold: inferior.  the TERF is loud about sex work being evil, ignoring that for many trans people and for many people of color, sex work is the only work there is. (emphasis in original)

But, hey, Visions doesn’t really care when it comes to serious sex stuff about the intersection of sex work and  politics, law, culture, or feminism. We are just looking for some quick and mindless fun. We found it! There appears to be a continuing feature on T&S, Stacks & Cats: photos of sex workers’ cats with stacks of their (earned) cash. Check them out here, here, and here.

Flickr Groups: Hookers, Whores and Whorehouses , Porn Stars & Strippers

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Photo credits: click top image for cat; cash: both – and remix – subject to this CC license. For bottom two images, click for credit and cc license.

 

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…COLD DEAD HANDS!

Posted in FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, politics, religion with tags , , , , , on January 18, 2013 by cliffmichaels

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I winced when Obama set out his gun agenda – not because I disagree with it (in fact, I’d go way further), but because I knew what would be coming from the ridiculous right. As I knew would happen, we have reached the end of America as we know it, the end of freedom and democracy, the evidence Obama is a dictator worse than Hitler, Stalin, Po Pot, etc.

They’re coming for our guns!!

N0. They aren’t. Nobody is even suggesting that. Besides, who exactly would come? The 2500 ATF agents? Let’s see, suppose 50 million households harbor guns…… each ATF agent would need to confiscate the guns from 20,000 homes. Since they are government workers, lets say each guy can make it to three houses a day (remember, each agent must search each home for concealed weapons and, if necessary, subdue any resisting household member)… Yes, in a mere eighteen  years every gun in America will be gone! Wait, the FBI has just shy of fourteen thousand agents. They could accomplish the goad in only three plus years! 

What about the army? If the army’s in the pocket of the liberal elite then the game is truly over. M1-A1 tanks, black attack helicopters, cluster bombs, and five hundred thousand guys in camouflage suits, kevlar helmets and body armor trump a bunch of Tea Party/Militia patriots armed with shotguns, semi-automatic rifles, molitov cocktails and pitchforks.

So, not only is no one coming for Uncle Bob’s – or anyone else’s –  AR-15, but it would be impossible for any government agency (other than the army) to do so.

 There are approximately 200 million privately owned guns in America. That’s before you add on police firearms. That apparently isn’t enough for the NRA. That’s only about two thirds of a firearm for each and every citizen – man, woman & child – in our great nation. What’s wrong with those wimpy hundred plus million? Don’t they realize the only way to be safe is to pack the best heat you can afford (hmmm; shouldn’t poor folk be given low cost firearm and ammo?)

There are actually grown people not in confinement and walking around who believe the Newtown massacre was really an Obama conspiracy created to allow him to take our guns away. Yes, I can hear Obama now outlining the nefarious plan to Joe Biden…

OK, Joe, here’s how we’ll get rid of all the guns. We’ll send black op guys to a school somewhere – Connecticut might work – and have them bump off a whole bunch of school kids with assault rifles – first graders would be best, I think, just imagine how those little corpses will play in the press. Of course, we’ll need to get the parents of the victims and the surviving school officials, and local police and hospitals to play along but that shouldn’t be hard (we won’t have to bother about the media they’ve been  in our pocket for years…) Then we’ll send in the black helicopters and our blue helmeted thugs to snatch all two hundred guns in this fould land!

Joe: Ahh! my dear Hussein! More of your Muslim Nigerian brilliance! Soon Amerika will be a socialist state governed by Sharia Law.

But for our Righty neighbors common sense doesn’t matter when the Antichrist is in the White House. Stampeded by the NRA’s shrill siren they’ll rush to their nearest gun shop, buy another few guns and a shitload of ammo and jumbo clips, then rush to the post office to mail their four figure donation to their favorite patriotic group fighting to save America from lib’ruls and darkies.

Click image for credit. Original and remix subject to this creative commons license

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Common Sense & Sleaze

Posted in erotic, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, politics, religion, Sexy, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2012 by cliffmichaels

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Thank God the National Rifle Association finally weighed in Friday with its tipically compassionate common sense! You can always count on the good old NRA in a  crises!

The much maligned NRA isn’t about guns at all; its a humane service organization. Its all about people – particularly our precious children – and protecting them from the bloody carnage of our cesspool society.

Friday the NRA brilliantly proposed to make our children safer by posting armed guards in every one of the one hundred thousand schools, from kindergarten to high school, in the country! The sages at the NRA know guns don’t kill people! Guns protect people!! It’s just common sense: the more guns around you the safer you are. The higher the caliber the lower your risk. Pistols are good. Rifles are better. Semi-automatic rifles are better still.  If only the wimps in congress would legalize fifty cal machine guns we’d live in the safest country in the world! Wayne Lapierre is a prophet (as was the saintly Chuck Heston).

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But, you ask, what about the cost of the NRA Safer Schools proposal? While it may not be insignificant, its well worth it to keep our kids safe and sound.

OK, so let’s see…  Suppose we need to put three and a half guards in each school… Hmm… Lets say we have annual payroll for each guard of $20,000… Gotta buy the guns, too – thats another $150 per man (you can get a used Smith & Wesson for a song these days)… Insurance?  $1,000. Benefits? Throw in another $1,000. Training? Another grand.. A annual total per guard cost of $23,150; per school it’s $81,000. Eight billion for all schools…   Is that right?? Think so… Not as bad as I thought…

Total for all schools over ten years: 80 billion bucks. Yep. Math seems right. We could easily pay this cost by shaving a few percentage points off the budgets of Medicare, food stamps, unemployment compensation and Social Security.

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Oh, sure, I guess we ought to figure the cost of guards screwing up. Suppose five or six students, teachers or strangers get shot each year, with half dying. Over ten years that’s 55 total casualties with around thirty dead. Say $1,000,000 per settlement. Oh, that’s peanuts – just fifty plus million over ten years. A mere rounding error. A few guards will shoot themselves every year, too, incurring workers compensation. Toss in another five million over a decade. Again, peanuts.

I concede there might be a tiny bit of freedom lost and maybe an excess of criminal prosecution of students, teachers and school custodians. But its too hard to put a cost on that – so we’ll let it pass. Besides, giving up a few of the Bill of Rights’ protections (except, of course, for the Second amendment’s) to keep our little ones safe in school is a small price to pay.

On the other hand, there’ll be a big increase in gun sales (like having Obama elected every year!) The uniform, badge and boot trades will get a boost as well. Our whole economy will get a huge shot!

Although it wasn’t mentioned in the NRA presser, there’s an obvious – and huge – next step!!

Once our schools are protected by a wall of hot lead, those poor souls tortured and debauched by TV & movies, video games, media sensationalism, and – as always – Godless liberals, will naturally turn their murderous fury in other, more vulnerable directions. Churches, hospitals, museums, parks, sports stadiums, beaches, restaurants, golf courses, NASCAR races, bowling alleys, shopping malls, holiday parades, state Republican conventions, rodeos, “gentlemen’s clubs” and other public gathering places will all face an unacceptable increased risk.

We’ll need a lot more good men (and a few good women) with guns to protect us all from the ever surging tide of bad men with guns, men manufactured like so many defective toasters in the devilish factories spawned by our corrupt society –  men who will threaten to spill our loved ones’ blood in the years to come.

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Suppose ten million vulnerable spots… Five guards per spot…

Gosh!

We’ll need another FIFTY MILLION armed sentinels!! I guess we will need a whole bunch of volunteers. If we buy each of our volunteers a Bushmaster at about $1,400 per we can keep total costs under $77,000,000,000!

Wait!! OMG, the best answer to our problem is so obvious! I’m an idiot…

We can cut most of the cost by simply mandating that every able-bodied American citizen must purchase a semiautomatic firearm – with his own money! – and then must openly carry it whenever he’s in public. If we get rid of that background check nonsense (and relax the mental health restrictions  – most mentally ill folks still function reasonably well and would be helped by having an exciting outdoor job with police authority), we can put together our volunteer security force (hmmm, we could call it the GEneral Sentinel Tactical Organized Protective Order (GeSTOPO)  quicker than you can say JackBootedThug! 

Brilliant, isn’t it!? Just brilliant!

But don’t thank me. Thank Wayne LaPierre  and the National Rifle Association (and send them a check…)

Now if we are wise enough to just follow the NRA’s lead we will be nearer to ending gun violence in our nation. Don’t let lefty politicians and those do-gooder gun nuts who want to neuter our Second Amendment rights fool you. Just get yourself another gun or two (or four or twenty) and help us make America a safer place. Its just such common sense…

…I mean, what could possibly go wrong!??

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For photo credit, click on image. My remixes subject to this creative commons license

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GURLZ WITH GUNS

SECOND AMENDMENT BLOG BASH

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Law & Sausage

Posted in erotic, FLICKR, memoir, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, politics, religion, Sexy, tennessee, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2012 by cliffmichaels

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Thousands Hundreds Dozens Two of my ardent fans have written in concern, fearing my absence from Visions for the past two weeks  may mean I am unwell. I can happily report those concerns are unfounded. While not perhaps fit as a fiddle, I remain as zestful as a Zampogna.

A major media outlet, Mother Jones, has named the Tennessee legislature the worst in the nation. That’s quite an accomplishment, given we were competing with Oklahoma, Mississippi, and South Carolina. I feel so proud…!

I traveled to Nashville this week to attend a two day continuing legal education seminar. There is nothing quite as soul deadening as being stuck in a cavernous conference room for eight hours a day with hundreds of other lawyers and listening to droning lectures on such fascinating subjects as bankruptcy, insurance and estate law. Thank God they have legal liquor in Davidson county. I’ve been attending this same seminar for about thirty-five years and have watched the presenters age from semi-youth to late middle age before my eyes.

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Listening a recitation of the new laws the legislature has churned out over the past year was disheartening. There was a decidedly conservative bent in much of the legislation. Individual rights have been weakened and corporate and business interests strengthened. Since they won legislative majorities in both houses, Republicans have been busy imposing their radical agenda on the state.

We (liberals) are of course pleased Obama and Senate Democrats won. On the state level, however, Republicans maintained their death grip on too many state legislatures and state houses. The result will be more idiot laws (like mandatory vaginal ultrasound for women seeking an abortion). The flood of really sour sausage will continue unabated for at least another four years.

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All photos tagged girl and Tennessee

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Sex, Scandal & Schadenfreude

Posted in erotic, fetish, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, religion, Sexy, Uncategorized, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2012 by cliffmichaels

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There’s nothing better than a good old messy sex scandal that topples the high and mighty – especially in America! So much fun to revel in the agony of  others, especially those hypocritical dicks in high office.

David Petraeus: smart as a whip, four star general, hero of two wars,  CIA chief, rising political star – only to be brought low by being stupidly led around by that small, lecherous head hiding in his pants. How silly. How tragic. How much in line with all the alpha males dethroned in the past by mindless lust.

What was he thinking?? “Hmm, I’m head of the CIA, under constant scrutiny by friends and enemies alike, married, and with ambitions still unfulfilled. Think I’ll get me some tail on the side. What could possibly go wrong?” 

We males are all at jeopardy of making the same mistake. Look at Bill Clinton. My God, what was he thinking? “Hmm, I’m President of the United States of America, married to a powerful wife, and have ruthless enemies who are constantly seeking to destroy me. Think I’ll get me some trim from that chubby, not so bright, twenty something intern. What could possibly go wrong?”

John Edwards? How dumb was that? “Gee, I’m going to run for President again, my wife – who everyone adores – is dying of cancer, the press is all over me 24/7… Think I’ll cavort with the cute woman who did those videos. What could possibly….”

Larry Craig? As a self righteous, married Senator preaching the need for traditional family values, he managed to get himself arrested in a public bathroom soliciting gay sex. It’s impossible to know what he was thinking.

Ah, but the very best sex scandals blow up around those idiot southern mega-church preachers who rail against the gays only to be caught with a dick up their ass.

I could go on, and on, and on, and on. To save me the trouble I’ll just link to this page of political sex scandals from the past. I wonder when the first high mucky muck succumbed to temptation only to have his place at or near the top of the heap shattered? Twenty thousand years ago? “Gosh, I’m the high wizard of the tiger clan, dozens of guys want to topple me, not to mention those bear clan bastards on the other side of the hill, think I’ll screw Gog’s woman – and maybe Glug’s, too. What…?”

But nobody learns from history. Through the ages each guy thought he could have his pussy and eat it too. Insulated by his sycophants and power, each philanderer believed he could get away with it. Each smugly believed he was immune to the perils of  blind lust.  “I’m too smart, too careful to end up like those other guys. She loves me and will  keep my secret, the press – and my wife and the voters – will never find me out. What could possibly go wrong?” 

And  the common man is just as likely to bring himself low by sexual indiscretion as his betters. He’ll hit on that sexy co-worker, pick up a whore in the worst part of town, seduce his wife’s best friend, or collect kiddie porn. When he gets caught he can kiss his house, his 401(K) and his reputation goodbye  when his wife’s divorce lawyer gets through with him. (Amazingly, divorce lawyers are more likely than their fellow chumps to let their dicks overrule their good sense.)

But the thick, bright silver lining of all these sex peccadillos is the delicious enjoyment they afford the rest of us. Its almost as good as watching that fat, pompous asshole slip on a banana peel and fall on his ample ass. Wonderfully,  Petraeus scandal gets messier – and more fun – every single day. Another four star general!  Another Tampa “socialite” bimbo! Ha! And that shirtless right wing FBI guy. How can it get any better!?

But as much fun as we get from these scandals, we’ve got to remember not to become that idiot guy caught with his dick where it doesn’t belong…!

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All photos  by Amadeus Hwllequin,  original photos and my remixes, subject to this creative commons license

TEMPTATION GIRLS

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