Saturday, March 26, 2011

Geraldine Ferraro Dead at 75

The first woman to be nominated as Vice President by a major party has died at 75 due to complications of multiple myeloma, a cancer she has battled for a dozen years.

Ms. Ferraro was the Democratic VP Nominee in 1984 with Walter Mondale. She also served as a Representative in the US House and as Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council among other positions.

Her groundbreaking work and campaigns cleared the way for many women in p0litics and she will be missed.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Keith Olbermann - A New Worst Persons in the World!

Fukushima - All Fukued Up

The story just keeps getting worse.  The crippled Fukushima Nuclear Power plant in Japan may now have a broken reactor vessel leaking radioactive material.  This was determined after several workers at the plant waded through a pool of water with 10,000 times higher than normal radiation levels.  The workers are now hospitalized and under observation.

Meanwhile the Japanese government has expanded the evacuation zone from 12 to 19 miles.  Even this seems far to close, since the US government is warning its citizens to stay at least 50 miles from the reactor.  Experts have urged Japan to expand the evacuation zone for several days and only now are they taking heed.

Though the reactors and the crisis have faded from the headlines here in the US, the situation is still very critical and bears watching.

Elizabeth Taylor Shrine at Favorite Gay Bar

The Abbey in West Hollywood was a favorite hang out for Elizabeth Taylor.  It is a large gay bar and a place she was always welcome. One a week, she would hold court in a smaller room in the sprawling bar, sitting in her wheel chair and chatting with friends and patrons.

Taylor was generous to the gay community and instrumental in many AIDS charities including her own, the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. Her many friends in the Hollywood gay community have made pilgrimages to The Abbey and set up what could only be described as a shrine to the late actress.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Phelps Cult Threatens Pickets at Taylors Funeral

Well it was only a matter of time intil the hate filled minions of Fred Phelps did this.  According to a report in the Advocate, the Phelps family, (AKA, Westboro Baptist Church) is threatening to picket Elizabeth Taylor's funeral.

The reason is obvious, Taylor was a gracious woman, a humanitarian and a supporter of AIDS charities, therefor a "sinner" in the eyes of WBC.  Again, the reason they are doing this is for publicity and I urge anyone who considers a counter-protest to NOT do so.  You might end up contributing to the coffers of the Phelps clan when you are sued for some frivolous reason. 

Happy Birthday Harry Houdini

Most people know the name Houdini but very few actually know about the man behind the name.  Though not a scholar on the subject, I grew up admiring the plucky little guy who worked his way into national fame and became almost a brand name when it came to magic.  I think learning about him inspired me to start performing magic, which I still do today, though not professionally. It also helped that there were lots of pictures of him naked in chains, but I have no idea how that would have affected me.

It's 137 years since he was born and his performances and his creativity changed entertainment forever.  I would trace today's fascination with "reality-based" programing to Houdini.  His escapes and escapades were followed by the newspapers and media of the day every bit as much as the doings of the Kardashians today.

Every bit as interesting is his lone surviving assistant Dorthy Young died today at 103 years old. One of the many coincidences in the life and times of Harry Houdini (born Erich Weisz).  Another coincidence was Houdini's death, it occurred on Halloween 1926.  Spooky?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor RIP

News of her passing stirs emotions all over the world as this video clip suggests.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Triangle Fire - Sad Reminder of Why Unions Were Needed & Still Are

The fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory back in March 25, 1911 killed 146 garment workers who were essentially locked in a crowded fire trap of a factory. One reason why the Ladies Garment Workers Union was created.

No Freedom In China - Gay Porn Writers Arrested

Now that headline offers both a "no surprise" and a chance to make a wrong assumption.  First "no freedom in China" goes without saying, it's a totalitarian country.  The "gay porn writers" part is what's interesting. They were women.  They wrote gay fiction because it was popular and because it paid.  Thirty-two women were arrested for writing "with illegal porn descriptions" and for spreading pornography.

It seems in China the word is not protected, or at least some words are not protected.  Police in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan Province, detained the website owner and his writers for spreading obscene materials, the local Orient Today reported today. The women were contracted to write the stories and paid less than $16 for each one.

Leave it to China to find a faster and cheaper way to do anything!  Unlike American writers, some of the Chinese actually got paid by the publisher, too.

Monday, March 21, 2011

"Pray Away The Gay" Pastor Had Sex With Teens To Cure Them!

The whole ex-gay thing is crazy, and here is further proof.  Youth Pastor Brent Girouex used his position to coerce teens into sexual contact while he was a youth pastor for Victory Fellowship Church in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  Girouex claims he did it  “to help (the teen) with homosexual urges by praying while he had sexual contact with him.”  

The whole strange story is here.

America The "Igorunt"!

I have officially given up on any illusions of an age of enlightenment.  Our country it would seem is intellectually incurious and perhaps just plain stupid.  In a recent Newsweek poll some basic questions about American history and government brought surprisingly poor results.

Here are some highlights:

  • 33% of American's polled didn't know when the Declaration of Independence was adopted.  I guess that inscription carved in five foot letters on the tablet Lady Liberty holds in New York harbor is not big enough.
  • Only 35% know that during the Constitutional Convention the Constitution was written.
  • Only 20% could name Woodrow Wilson the president during World War I but more surprisingly only 60% could name our enemies during World War II!
  • Short term memory loss?  Only 27% knew that during the Cold War our chief concern was about Communism.
  • On the civics front we do no better, sadly only 39% know a Senator's term is 6 years.
  • Only 1/3 of those polled knew our economic system was Capitalist or Market Economy.
So next time you believe the American public can be swayed by truth and knowledge, remember that they probably don't have a clue.  No wonder Sarah Palin manages to still draw an audience, we see her and realize we are every bit as stupid as she is.