Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tony Perkins is REALLY not happy...

Everyone's  favorite oddly effeminate white supremacist   has not been having a good month.   Perkins is  head of the  "Family Research Council".  An organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center  has certified  as an extremist  hate group .

First  there was his recent  disastrous appearance on MSNBC's  Hardball with  Chris Mathews.  Where after numerous past guest spots where he was faced with nothing more than softball questions.   Mathews apparently  noticed  he had been giving  free network airtime to hate mongering  nutjob, and decided  to do an actual interview based on real facts.   Perkins, came on the Mathews' show to vent his standard faux-Christian  outrage over  President Obama's statements  in support of  Marriage Equality.  Instead, he got his anti gay talking points served back to him with a big side order  reality.  The result was not pretty.

Then today, a double whammy.   First  the U.S. Government  released a new  international television ad to  encourage  tourism to the United States.  The Ad shows  a diverse range of people and sights from all over the  USA.

What  could  Perkins possibly find offensive about that ad?   Well if you look carefully at the  0:34 mark,  for less than a fraction of second,  the  ad shows  (gasp!)  a  GAY COUPLE!!!  Aiiiiirrgghhh!   The horror!  The Gays are going to come to America and spend their filthy pink money!   The website  Right Wing Watch  has Perkins'  hyperventilating in all its wing nut glory.

In 236 years, America's never had an international tourism ad. So when Congress passed the Travel Promotion Act, people thought it'd be a great chance to highlight American attractions. What they didn't know is that it would highlight same-sex attractions. That's right. The commercial invites people to America-not to see the Grand Canyon, but to celebrate homosexuality. In one scene, a gay man is sleeping on his partner's shoulder in a trolley. 


Then if that wasn't enough,   the United States First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that declared Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act -- the federal definition of "marriage" and "spouse" -- as unconstitutional. (Hat tip to Metro Weekly)

Writing that "Supreme Court review of DOMA is highly likely," the appeals court has stayed, or put on hold, the implementation of its decision pending any appeal.

Judge Michael Boudin, appointed to the bench by President George H.W. Bush, wrote for the court: "[M]any Americans believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, and most Americans live in states where that is the law today. One virtue of federalism is that it permits this diversity of governance based on local choice, but this applies as well to the states that have chosen to legalize same-sex marriage. Under current Supreme Court authority, Congress' denial of federal benefits to same-sex couples lawfully married in Massachusetts has not been adequately supported by any permissible federal interest."

I have blogged regularly and extensively about Tony Perkins and his hate group the FRC. So there really isn't much more I can add to everything I have already said. I know I should not be surprised by Perkins' hysterical rantings in light of today's events. But I find his whining about a split second image of a gay couple in a thirty second television ad , to be over the top, even for him. Yet it's in that I find a refreshing honesty for a change.

Perkins' whole shtick is to go on television and pretend to be this reasonable guy who doesn't "hate" gay people, he just doesn't want them to have any rights.... at all. Now we see that it's not just rights for Gays and Lesbians that sticks in Tony's craw, it's the idea that Gays and Lesbians are visible in anyway that bothers him. He doesn't just think LGBT Americans don't deserve equal rights, he honestly believes Gays and Lesbians don't deserve existence. The idea that Gays and Lesbians should be visible like any other group of Americans really bothers him.
Whether by chance, or by design, the issues of LGBT Rights has been put center stage in the 2012 Presidential race. With Mitt Romney desperate to show the American Talibangelicals like Perkins, just how much he hates the gays. 

All the while desperately hoping people won't remember things like, then Gubernatorial candidate Mitt Romney promising the people of Massachusetts that he'd be more pro-Gay Rights than the late, great Senator Edward Kennedy.

So once again we will see the idea that all Americans should be treated equally under the law portrayed by Tony Perkins and his assorted ilk, as the greatest threat to the country, and to American Families. Desperate to find something they can get scared, angry racists teabaggers to vote against, the GOP will jump on the "Be afraid! The Gays are gonna get you! Aiiiiighh!" bandwagon and try to ride it to a 50.1 % electoral victory this November. 
The bad news for Tony, Mitt, and all the other bigots is the arc of history is clearly bending in the other direction. The trend in  Gallup polling on the issue is not going to make Tony Perkins feel any better .
Should Homosexual Men/Women Have Equal Rights, in Terms of Job Opportunities?

The ridiculously mis-named  "Defense of Marriage Act", is going to end up in front of the United States Supreme Court.  Maybe not this year,  But certainly  next year.  As the  legal issues  are not different from those in the case of  Lawrence v. Texas,  it would be unusual for the  court to violate its own precedent.   Combine that  with  the likelihood that  President Obama will  more than probably  win  re-election  and  2012 is shaping to be Tony Perkins' own annus horribilis.

Generally, I take no delight from the misfortunes of others, but in Tony Perkins' case, I am more than happy to make an exception.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Do You Hear the People Sing... ?

Ok,  I was worried  when I first  heard  about this.. being  a devotee of the stage version,  but  now all I can say is....

c'est magnifique!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Oh yeah....!

It's going to be a long wait for November...!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Holy Crap!! Perkins Gets KO'd

American Talibangelical Nutjob and  White Supremacist  Tony Perkins  gets  the nonsense kicked out of him on live television.  Grab some popcorn and watch as  this  lying bigoted  hate monger discovers that reality and facts, are not his friends.   (HUGE hat tip to JoeMyGod)

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell gets today's last word on the flying freak circus of hatred and  hypocricy that is Tony Perkins

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hey Right Wing Nutters! We're still waiting for the apocalypse ...what gives???

The American Taliban has officially  gone berserk (or more accurately,  gone more berserk), since  President Obama dared say publicly  that  all Americans should be treated equally under the law. Maggie  Gallagher, the founding troll of the National Organization for (some people's) Marriage  (NOM) has been spewing her outrage nearly non-stop since  President Obama made his recent comments supporting same sex marriage.

Eric and I celebrated our first year wedding anniversary back in January, and as I read Slaggie Gillamonster's hysterical rantings on the "Threat" posed by same sex marriage, I couldn't help but want to ask her about all those dire predictions she has made about what would happen if two people of the same sex were allowed to get married...

Dear Maggie Gallagher:

Well, It's been well over a YEAR now, And after scanning all the major news outlets all over the world , we discovered something really odd. We ran multiple Google, Bing, Yahoo and even a few Alta Vista searches (that takes ya' back huh?), and found that there has been a disturbing lack of apocalyptic disasters that We can claim direct responsibility for.

We were shocked to learn that in the past year, apparently none of the following things have happened.
  • A mad rush of people marrying their pets...
  • Pandemic Polygamy 
  • All across America Kindergarten students taught classes on Gay sex...
  • Scores of Clergy rounded up and put in prison for preaching...
  • Marriage as a civil institution collapsing  and millions of Heterosexual couples getting divorced...
  • America as a Nation overrun by godless hordes bent on enslaving our people and destroying our very way of life.
  • Opposite Sex couples in America completely stopping having Children...
Which is quite odd when you think about it. Because it has now been well over a year since , We got married. (That in and of itself is not the odd part.) But rather it is the lack of anything odd happing as a result of it, that is strange.
After all, We can't even count the number of times we have heard You, and your cadre of self-proclaimed "Family Values" proponents spew dire warnings of doom, gloom, apocalypse and general hubbub and brouhaha should Eric and I ever get married.
Well, guess what? We are married, and have been for a year and four months now.
So.... Where are all the promised apocalyptic consequences? Where are the mass divorces of all the marriages Eric and I supposedly "attacked" last year, by tying the knot ourselves? Where is all the promised damage to millions of children who are now, (according to you), so confused as to what a marriage is?

Where are the plagues of frogs, locusts and boils? Where is the collapse of Western civilization as we know it, due to its very foundation being rent asunder by the HORROR of Eric and I getting married back in January of 2011?

Nothing? .... Anyone? ... Anybody? ... Really?
How terribly disappointing, And after you went to all that trouble to pay those actors to look so scared.
For years now , whenever the subject of marriage equality comes up as part of our national discourse, You claim it is an "attack" on marriage and the family. So we decided to look up the word `attack' in the dictionary. The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines it as:

Pronunciation: &-'tak
Function: verb
1 : to set upon or work against forcefully
2 : to assail with unfriendly or bitter words
3 : to begin to affect or to act on injuriously
4 : to set to work on
5 : to threaten (a piece in chess) with immediate capture

Hmmm… to set upon or work against forcefully huh? Ok, so if we take your argument seriously, for Eric and I to have the same rights as any other couple, not more rights, not any new rights that other couples do not currently have, but only the exact same rights, would injure, damage and potentially even destroy heterosexual marriages and families.

Uh.. ok.. How exactly?

Does the fact of our marriage now mean that you have lost the 1,100 federal benefits and protections that you had a year ago? Does the fact that we are now married mean you and your spouse can no longer file a joint tax return, have, adopt or raise children, pass on social security survivor benefits, or make medical decisions for each other? 
Does our being married now mean that people will no longer want to even get married. and if they are married, will now want to get divorced? Has your marriage or family changed in any way as result of what happened to us last year?

The answer of course, is no. None of your talking points on same sex marriage stand up to even basic common sense. But it's pretty clear that common sense isn't something you deal in very much.

You say that gay marriage cheapens or lessens the value of the institution of marriage in the eyes of society. But since none of the rights or benefits that you enjoy have changed in any way as result of our marriage; What you are really saying is that for YOU, Eric and I getting married has cheapened your own marriage in your own eyes.

Our getting married means we now have something that, (again, according to you,) only heterosexuals are supposed to have, and that makes you mad. It's not just that you wanted to prevent Eric and I from having equal rights, you want make sure that we don't have any rights at all..
You see equal rights for us, as an attack on you.  That's interesting...

Let's be honest Maggie, this isn't about "protecting marriage". It's about people you don't like, having the same rights as you.  Even though your life clearly has not changed in ANY way, you firmly believe that your marriage now has less value, lower status, and the institution itself, could come to an end. All because Eric and I were able to get married last year.

It suddenly occurs to me there is a word for someone who is irrationally fixated on the preservation of inequality, that they feel is in their favor. It turns out, Merriam-Webster's dictionary has the same word for it.

Pronunciation: 'bi-g&t
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle French, hypocrite, bigot
1: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own
opinions and prejudices

Your latest broken record argument is that somehow, you are the real victim of oppression. That your freedom to deny civil rights to people you don't like, is being 'attacked' by pro-equality activists. Keep trying to sell that snake oil Maggie. It may make you feel better when you look in the mirror have to face what the rest of the world sees....

A bigot.

Rachel Maddow Sums it all Up for us...

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Presdident Obama has Evolved....

So now the President of the United States has said that  Gay and Lesbian Americans deserve the freedom to Marry,  not  civil partner,  not  domestic partnership-ing or any other  separate but not quite equal "marriage-esqe" arrangement but  out and out  Marriage. 

JoeMyGod has the reaction from the Pro-Equality camps  here .    We  are already seeing the unholy sh*tstorm that  is spewing  from the  American Taliban at the news  that President Obama has finally "come out"  in support of  Marriage Equality.

You can see the  beginnings  on twitter as the various  spokes-nuts  from assorted right wing hate groups are already spewing venom. Stomping their little teabagger feet and basically shrieking "SEE! WE TOLD YOU SO!"   The good folks over at  FOX News have already labelled  this  the Obama "War on Marriage"   ....Yawn.

Yet  it is interesting to note,  that FOX's main talking point on this issue has quickly changed.   Maybe the brain trust over there at FOX News has seen the latest Gallup Poll on this issue, which shows over fifty percent of Americans actually favor Marriage Equality for Gays and Lesbians....oops.     Have no fear though,  FOX quickly found their new talking point. "Obama is saying this just because it's popular!"

What does this mean?   Honestly, not  much.  Nothing has changed  as a result  of the ABC  interview. The Defence of Marriage Act  (DOMA) is  still  the law of the land in the United States.   Individual states can still enact  laws and constitutional amendments  that  ban any and all recognition of  same sex couples.   Just yesterday the  state of North Carolina  did exactly that.  Despite already having a law on the books in the state that defined marriage as only between a man and a woman.  (So now in North Carolina, same sex marriage is  twice as illegal?)

So  today's  Presidential statement on Marriage Equality does nothing to help bi-national same sex couples like us, who still  are forced to live in DOMA exile, or try to make long distance relationships work.   Still,  today's Presidential  "evolution" while essentially just  symbolic,  never the less is  historic.  The President of the United States has stated clearly and publicly   that  same sex couples should have the exact same freedom to Marry as heterosexual couples.   It is an endorsement of the civil rights of millions of  Americans that  has  been long overdue.

Thank You Mr. President.

The Christian Right AND Left vs. Dan Savage

Some interesting developments this past week in the brouhaha over Dan Savage's recent comments about the Bible and religion.

First we have the Catholic League, that staunch defender of the Catholic Church's right to hide the sexual abuse of children. It's spokes-moron Bill Donahue is spluttering with righteous indignation over yet another speech where Savage dared point out the sheer idiocy of the current Pope's position on Same Sex Marriage, and follow on impact the Pope's words have in how many Catholics view LGBT people.  (The Right Wing hate group  "Americans for Truth"  has the  'shocking video!')

Now  we have the other side of the  Ecumenical  aisle  weighing in on  Dan Savage's recent comments on  religion.    Joeseph Ward, the director of the  Episcopal LGBT group  Believe Out Loud,  penned  a recent Op-Ed in the Advocate Magazine.  Where he  opines  on and on about just how unqualified  Dan Savage is to talk about the Bible, because  he (Savage) is not a  "theologian".    Ward writes;

"Dan Savage is a self-professed atheist and sex columnist. So when he’s asked to talk about these issues, I truly hope organizers and pundits know what they are getting — an intelligent gay rights activist and journalist, not a theologian. He can be a highly offensive person, but in no way, shape, or form is he trained to speak in depth about religious doctrine."

Sigh... I am sure Joeseph Ward means well, but you know what? In this case, he is completely wrong. Dan Savage is not talking about faith, or theology here. He is talking about how the words and actions coming out of a Religious Organization, have a real impact on how members of that organization view, and treat LGBT people.

Joespeh Ward's biggest problem  with Dan Savage seems to be more of a turf issue. Ward feels Dan Savage isn't "trained" to speak about the bible or doctrine. Not to beat up on Believe Out Loud, but compared to Savage's It Get's Better Project I have to ask; "what have you done to combat the near constant attack on LGBT people by conservative religious organizations?" In comparison? Not much.

As well intentioned as Ward's critique may have been,  he  is completely missing the point.    To highlight the  hypocrisy and bigotry of a church is not attacking the faith of that church. To point out how saying from the pulpit, that Gays and Lesbians are a threat the to very existence of the human race,  has a direct effect on how people who hear those words, then go and treat Gays and Lesbians, is not a Theological argument. It is a simple statement of human cause and effect.

Dan Savage is completely correct in his criticisms of right wing organised religions, and their war on Gay people. Be it by former member of the Hitler Youth claiming that one group of people are a threat to humanity, or be it the Mormon Church in America,  hiding behind it's tax exempt status to fund anti-gay public policy.   It is nothing less than a direct  attack on the human dignity and worth of millions of people, and should never be allowed to go unchallenged.

To point out how words and actions of religious groups have led directly to the dehumanization of, discrimination against, and even the bullying to death of, LGBT people is something Dan Savage is very qualified to do, and should continue doing.  To say the 8 verses of scripture that are used to justify hatred of Gays and Lesbians is "bullshit" is NOT an attack on Christianity. It is a valid response to human bigotry.

There comes a point where LGBT people run out of other cheeks to turn. I for one am very glad to see that Dan Savage is not afraid to strike back.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

The Glass Jawed Hypocrisy of Right Wing Bigots

While I have been on the road in the Middle East,  there has been some interesting developments back in the United States.

The  Social Conservatives on America's  political right wing,  are collectively going  berserk over the idea that their blatant hypocrisy has been called out  for exactly  what it is.

I have blogged extensively in the past about the horrific attempts by  right wing nut job  hate groups like the  "Family Research Council"  and  the  "National Organization for Marriage"  to block any programs designed  to address  the bullying to death of  LGBT youth in  Schools.

The reaction on the wing nut right  to  programs like Dan Savage's  It Gets Better Project, has been as predictable as it has been  vile .   To these hate mongers,  they see the bulling to death of  gay kids as their right.  As  protected  freedom of religious  expression. When LGBT people dare to  fight back,  well..  THAT is  the true bullying. That is  oppressing their religious freedom.

The latest round of  faux  outrage  from the American Taliban, stems from a speech by the aforementioned  Seattle based syndicated columnist and Anti-bullying activist,  Dan Savage.   Savage, speaking at a Student Journalism Conference in Seattle,  addressed the core reason many on the Conservative Evangelical right wing use  to justify their near constant attacks on LGBT people.  "The Bible says so..." argument.

When Savage began pointing out the  sheer hypocrisy of that position,  a group of  "Christian Student Journalists", (right on cue),  got up, walked out and ran straight in the arms of the Family Research Council to claim that  big bad Dan Savage had bullied  them.  Waaaaaaahhh!   Within hours, the WingNutosphere went into gleeful overdrive claiming  that meanie Dan Savage was attacking religion!

Shortly after,  Dan Savage  apologized for his choice of words, and for calling the walk out by the students during his speech  "pansy-assed".  But rightfully stuck to his guns on  his core point.
On "Bullshit" and "Pansy-Assed"

posted by  on SUN, APR 29, 2012 at 9:01 AM

I would like to apologize for describing that walk out as a pansy-assed move. I wasn't calling the handful of students who left pansies (2800+ students, most of them Christian, stayed and listened), just the walk-out itself. But that's a distinction without a difference—kinda like when religious conservatives tells their gay friends that they "love the sinner, hate the sin." They're often shocked when their gay friends get upset because, hey, they were making a distinction between the person (lovable!) and the person's actions (not so much!). But gay people feel insulted by "love the sinner, hate the sin" because it is insulting. Likewise, my use of "pansy-assed" was insulting, it was name-calling, and it was wrong. And I apologize for saying it.
As for what I said about the Bible...
A smart Christian friend involved politics writes: "In America today you just can't refer, even tangentially, to someone's religion as 'bullshit.' You should apologize for using that word."
I didn't call anyone's religion bullshit. I did say that there is bullshit—"untrue words or ideas"—in the Bible. That is being spun as an attack on Christianity. Which is bullshhh… which is untrue. I was not attacking the faith in which I was raised. I was attacking the argument that gay people must be discriminated against—and anti-bullying programs that address anti-gay bullying should be blocked (or exceptions should be made for bullying "motivated by faith")—because it says right there in the Bible that being gay is wrong. Yet the same people who make that claim choose to ignore what the Bible has to say about a great deal else. I did not attack Christianity. I attacked hypocrisy. My remarks can only be read as an attack on all Christians if you believe that all Christians are hypocrites. Which I don't believe.
...and maybe I shouldn't have used the word bullshit in this instance. But while it may have been a regrettable word choice, my larger point stands: If believers can ignore what the Bible says about slavery, they can ignore what the Bible says about homosexuality. (The Bible also says some beautiful things that are widely ignored: "Sell what you possess and give to the poor... and come, follow me.” You better get right on that, Joel.)
I'm not guilty of saying anything that hasn't been said before and—yes—said much better. What is "bullshit" in this context but "upwards of a thousand lies" in modern American English? And while those slamming me most loudly for "pansy-assed" may be on the right, they are also in the right. I see their point and, again, I apologize for describing the walk-out as "pansy-assed." But they are wrong when they claim that I "attacked Christianity." There are untrue things in the Bible—and the Koran and the Book of Mormon and every other "sacred" text—and you don't have to take my word for it: just look at all the biblical "shoulds," "shall nots," and "abominations" that religious conservatives already choose to ignore. They know that not everything in the Bible is true.
All Christians read the Bible selectively. Some read it hypocritically—and the hypocrites react very angrily when anyone has the nerve to point that out.
It is worth noting that Dan Savage is not the first to point this out. My favorite (and much missed),  television show The West Wing, tackled this same issue in a scene where a Conservative radio talk show host, clearly based on right wing talk show host "Dr." Laura Schlessinger , gets taken to task by President Bartlett, played by  Martin Sheen.
The anti-gay wing nuts have gone on to demand that President Obama denounce Dan Savage for his "bullying" of Christians.   So  once again we get  the ridiculous fiction from the American Taliban,  that  standing up and saying it is blatant hypocrisy  to selectively use the bible to justify at the very least, bigotry and discrimination,   and in so many cases, the bullying to  death of  LGBT Americans,  that  is  somehow attacking their freedom of religion.     
Dan Savage may have felt that it was a step to far to describe the walk out by those who were upset by his comments "pansy assed", and to call selective biblical interpretation "bull shit", but I disagree. 
Dan Savage has nothing to apologize for.   
Brian Brown, the  gay sex obsessed spokesnut  for the  hate group the "National Organization for Marriage" has decided he is going to ride the victim train  as far as he can on this one, and has challenged Dan Savage to a debate on this topic.   Savage was lightning fast in  his acceptance of  Brown's "challenge".   
Pop the popcorn kids,  this should be good.  Brown is all talk when he goes on Fox News, or  when he is swinging at  Wolf Blitzer's  "I guess we have to leave it there",  softball questions over on CNN.   I look forward to seeing how he deals with  the reality  of  his own words and actions  being held up for what they truly are.  Un-American,  anti-constitutional , theocratic fascism that would make the Taliban proud.

Thoughts on Dubai...

Well I am back from Dubai.   I was there for a week on  a business trip.   First  I have to say  that  Dubai is  frankly,  completely ridiculous.  It's like  Las Vegas and  Disney's  "Aladdin"  had a child.    The over-the top "look how much money we have"  nature of the place  just becomes  funny after a couple days there.

Yet underneath all the  BMW SUV's and  5 Star hotels, each one more  opulent  than the last one, there  lurked  a dark reality.  In the  late 90's and early  2000's expatriates  came to Dubai in droves  with the promise of a tax-free living,  and  a booming  real estate market  fuelled  by the  United Arab Emirates  oil wealth.   But  when the  global economy  took a nosedive  in  2008,  reality hit the Dubai expats, and  hit them hard.   The biggest example of this happened the week I was there, with a massive  auction of  cars and  SUV's  that  had been left abandoned  that the Dubai Airport.   It turns out,  the auction is something of a regular  event there in Dubai.
 (Hat tip to the Sunday Times)

Dubai expats abandon cars at airport car park

The Times, UK, Dubai -- For many expatriate workers in Dubai it was the ultimate symbol of their tax-free wealth: a luxurious car that few could have afforded on the money they earned at home. Now, faced with crippling debts as a result of their high living and Dubai's fading fortunes, many expatriates are abandoning their cars at the airport and fleeing home rather than risk jail for defaulting on loans.

Police have found more than 3,000 cars outside Dubai's international airport in recent months. Most of the cars – four-wheel drives, saloons and "a few" Mercedes – had keys left in the ignition. Some had used-to-the-limit credit cards in the glove box. Others had notes of apology attached to the windscreen. When the real estate market collapsed and the emirate's once-booming economy started to slow down, many expatriates were left owning several homes and unable to pay the mortgages without credit.

Under Sharia Law, which prevails in Dubai, the punishment for defaulting on a debt is severe. Bouncing a check, for example, is punishable with jail. Those who flee the emirate are known as skips. The abandoned cars underscore a worrying trend. Five years ago the Emir, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, embarked on an ambitious plan to transform Dubai into a hub for business and tourism. A building boom fuelled double-digit growth, with thousands of Westerners arriving every day, eager to cash in on the emirate's promise of easy living and wealth.

There are increasing signs that the foreigners who once flocked to Dubai are leaving. "There is no way of tracking actual numbers, but the anecdotal evidence is overwhelming. Dubai is emptying out," said a Western diplomat.

Most of the emirate's banks are not affiliated with British financial institutions, so those who flee do not have to worry about creditors. Their abandoned cars are eventually sold off by the banks at weekly auctions. Those recently advertised include BMWs, Porsches and Mercedes. Police have issued warrants against owners of the deserted cars. Those who return risk arrest at the airport.

Still even in this down economy Dubai puts on one heck of a show. The center piece being the world's tallest building, the burj khalifa. Standing at half a mile high. It simply boggles the mind to look at it. But if that wasn't enough. At the base is a massive water fountain display like the one outside the Belagio casino in Las Vegas, only twice the size (of course).

When I remarked to my cab driver from the Airport to my hotel, that having the world's tallest building in your city must create some unique security concerns, he smiled and took great pride in pointing out that the Burj Khalifa was in no danger of being a target for terrorist attack.  When I asked why that was so,  he replied simply that the very top floor of the tower contained a Mosque.
Looking at the skyline of Dubai, you can'thelp but think of the cityscapes from science fiction films.
 It's almost like someone in Dubai saw an Anime movie set in the distant future , and said "let's build THAT!" And then they did.   Not only that, but  once they started  they just couldn't help them selves and just kept  building.  The buildings have no architectural theme, and there appears to be no urban planning that went into the placement. The focus was to put as many skyscrapers up as they could, wherever they felt like it. The resulting skyline is mind-bogglingly impressive to look at, but feels "fake". It seems more like a CGI background shot from a Star Wars prequel than a place people actually live.

Still it was an amazing experience. The view in the video below  is from the bar atop the WAFI pyramid hotel., Where I, along with my  two co-workers, Gary and Neil,  spent our last evening in Dubai admiring the view. We all agreed, that if you are looking to visit an amazing place that you would never in a million years consider living in. Dubai should definitely be on your list.