Friday, April 10, 2009

It's A Bird, It's A Plane, No It's A Zeppelin!

Call me a romantic, but I love the idea of Zeppelins! My partner and I had tried to get a ride when we were in Germany a few years ago, but the season was already booked up in Frederickshafen, but now there is a Zeppelin in the US.

An enterprising couple in San Francisco have brought one of the huge airships to the bay area. When the weather is good, they offer sightseeing rides over the city and surrounding area. The trips leave from Moffeft Field and last around 2 hours.

I really can't imagine anything quite as spectacular as floating over the Golden Gate at sunset in the modern descendant of the 1930's airship. More here.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Betty Brown And Those Darned Asians

I love Texas. It's a great state to live in except for the idiots we have as our representatives.

Case in point: Rep. Betty Brown. Seems Betty has trouble pronouncing the names of people of Asian descent. So to save her actually having to learn how to say the names correctly, she feels those pesky Asians should Americanize their names instead. This is what she actually told Chinese American representative, Ramey Ko the following:

“Rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese — I understand it’s a rather difficult language — do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here?”

So by that standard, I guess "One Stone" would be better than Einstein and someone named Abercrombie should be called "Swamp Land " a loose translation of the Celtic surname. Maybe folks named Buckingham should Americanize their names by using the root meaning, "Beech Tree Town". Kind of flows off the tongue doesn't it?

Betty is an idiot. Let's not mince words here. She is a bigot disguising her bigotry as some kind of semantic simplification exercise. What she is really saying is, "Wouldn't it just be easier if everyone was just like me?"

Well Betty (by the way you have a Dutch name originally "Beatrice"), how about taking a few moments to use the education you got in school and learn how to pronounce the names correctly. You don't have to know Chinese, since everyone's name in this country is already "Americanized" by the fact that it is phonetically spelled in our alphabet, or actually the "Latin" alphabet. So why not just shut up and go crawl under an Einstein.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

This Night Is Indeed Different From All Other Nights - Passover At The White House

Talk about change! President Obama will attended a Seder Thursday night, making him the first US president to attend a White House Passover. The event will occur on the second night of Passover which begins at sundown on Wednesday to allow those in attendance to spend the first Seder with their families.

The guest list was not immediately available, though it is likely to include top Obama advisors David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel, both of whom are Jewish, as well as some of the key Jewish donors to Obama's presidential campaign.

I just wish I was there to see the Obama children look for the afikomen!

Jack Wrangler Dies

Once the first "name" porn star, Jack Wrangler died peacefully at age 62.

Wrangler was a gay icon in the 1970's and his films, yes then they were film not video, really put gay porn in the spotlight. Masculine and rugged looking Wrangler's look spawned the "Marlboro Man gay clone". His films were wildly successful. Later Jack moved into straight porn and finally into acting on stage and directing.

He was married to singer Margaret Whiting in what was perhaps one of the most happy and to many inexplicable couplings of all time.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Gay Marriage Now Legal In Vermont!

From the Human Rights Campaign:

The state Senate voted 23-5 and the House of Representatives voted 100-49 to override Gov. Jim Douglas’s veto, making Vermont the first state to recognize marriage for committed lesbian and gay couples through the legislative process. The Vermont legislation goes into effect September 1.

“This historic vote in the Vermont legislature reminds us of the incredible progress being made toward equality. Less than five years ago, lesbian and gay couples began marrying in Massachusetts. Now, with the Iowa court decision last Friday and today’s vote in Vermont, there will be four states recognizing the right to marry for loving, committed lesbian and gay couples,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “We congratulate Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin, Speaker of the House Shap Smith, the other legislators who voted for marriage, the Vermont
Freedom to Marry Task Force, and MassEquality for ensuring that all couples will now enjoy the freedom to marry in Vermont. This is a law that will strengthen families and give meaning to the promise of equal rights for all.”...

Vermont becomes the first state to recognize marriage equality for lesbian and gay couples through legislation. California’s legislature has twice passed similar legislation that was vetoed and not enacted into law. Vermont is the fourth state, after Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Iowa, to extend marriage equality to committed lesbian and gay couples. Iowa’s state supreme court unanimously ruled on April 3, 2009 that the state constitution guarantees lesbian and gay couples the equal right to marry.New York recognizes marriages by lesbian and gay couples legally entered into in another jurisdiction. California recognized marriage by lesbian and gay couples between June and November of 2008, before voters approved Proposition 8, which purports to amend the state constitution to prohibit marriage equality. The Proposition 8 vote has been challenged in court; a decision by the state supreme court is expected by June.

Lesbian and gay couples do not receive federal rights and responsibilities in any state. To learn more about state by state legislation, visit here.

Focus On The Family Employee Target Of Underage Sex Sting

It seems the right wing fringe group, Focus on the Family is the focus of an investigation of an underage sex scandal. A Colorado man who works as a Bible narrator for the group was arrested by police after he solicited sex online from an investigator posing as a teenage girl.

This is not the first far right evangellical group to have sex scandals, and considering Colorado is a hotbed (no pun intended) for these groups, it is just one more shocking incodent. Last year the Colorado evangellical community was rocked by Rev. Ted Haggard's sex and drug scandal.

More from Page OneQ.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Activists Push For A Harvey Milk Stamp

Activists are an optomistic group. They can see what the world should be like and believe they can actually make a change in the right direction. That's what the group of kitchen-table activists in San Francisco are doing in their quest for a Harvey Milk US Postage Stamp.

Artist Jim Leff has been creating stamp artworks since the 1980s. His works depict just about any subject you can think of, including a few far too racy for the real USPS. However, his artwork depicting slain gay rights activist Harvey Milk fits right in with a push by another group to have Milk commemorated on a stamp.

According to a story in the Bay Area Reporter:

Daniel Drent, an openly gay man who lives in Cincinnati, is coordinating the effort to convince the U.S. Postal Service’s Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee to issue a Milk stamp. He would like to have approval of the stamp to coincide with what would have been Milk’s 80th birthday on May 22 in 2010. Should the committee select the Milk stamp next year, it would not be released until 2012 at the earliest.

For a chance to buy one of these stamps, I might even take up philately again!