Monday, October 31, 2005
Amusing (and scary) that Bush would pick Halloween to name such a nominee in the wake of Rosa Parks death.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Former California State Supreme Court justice Janice Rogers Brown (and certified whacko) has issued her first ruling from her new perch on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and President Bush has nominated two people to the U.S. Supreme Court in the four and a half months there has been a vacancy on the 7-member California Supreme Court. Reportedly, the President is set to nominate either Alito or Luttig on Monday but the Governator still hasn't picked his State Supreme Court nominee. Arnold did make some state appellate court nominations on Friday and has apparently narrowed his choice down to two candidates: Vance Raye and Carol Corrigan. Raye is basically a clone (and crony) of Janice Rogers Brown whom many legal commenters (including the Attorney General of the State of California) have problems with. On the plus side, he did vote earlier this year to uphold California's Domestic Partner Benefits Law. Carol Corrigan is more moderate but apparently is so tough that she caused a grown man to faint in an oral argument two weeks ago! Gee, whom do you think Arnold will pick?
Saturday, October 29, 2005
"Essentially all opposite-sex adult couples
may marry and thus become eligible for
these benefits. But no same-sex couple
can ever become eligible for these benefits
because same-sex couples may not marry
in Alaska. The spousal limitations in the benefits
programs therefore affect public
employees with same-sex domestic
partners differently than public
employees who are married."
"We conclude that the public employers'
spousal limitations violate the Alaska
Constitution's equal protection clause."
The court re-affirms that same-sex marriage is not legal in the state of Alaska (the only state in the Union that has ended sex discrimination in marriage to date is Massachusetts) but that Government has a responsibility to treat similarly situated couples equally, and it evaluates registered same-sex domestic partners and married opposite sex couples as such.
Friday, October 28, 2005
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Monday, October 24, 2005
On Friday October 21, the Los Angeles Times endorsed Huizar. However, I live in the heart of the district (near El Sereno) and I see very few Huizar signs but a lot of Pacheco, Jimenez and even Heckmann yard signs.
About a week ago I (and I presume other voters in the district) received a very dashing set of turquoise blue rubber gloves in the mail from some group with the phrase "Hard working Jose Huizar for City Council/Trabajando duro Jose Huizar para Conseja" on each.
My questions for the next Los Angeles City Councilperson in the 14th District are not about how hard working they are but rather:
- What are you going to do to insure no reduction in cable service and quality when Time Warner takes over 98% of the City's cable market share next year?
- Do you support California's current Comprehensive Domestic Partnership Law and oppose any proposals (legislative or electoral) to deny previously granted rights and responsibilities to unmarried couples in Los Angeles?
- Do you support commen sense programs (condoms in prisons and jails, needle exchange, comprehensive sex education) to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS?
- Do you support an independent civilian oversight board to review police actions?
- What do you think is the most pressing land use issue facing the City of Los Angeles?
Those are my questions for my prospective City Councilperson. What are yours?
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Saturday, October 22, 2005
In the year since the last October 22, peace officers in Los Angeles have shot and killed a 13-year old African-American boy, a 19-month old Latina baby and a beloved pet.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Early reviews of the first show indicate that sex scenes may have been toned down a little but that the result is still a unique portrayal of Black, gay life in a large urban metropolis, specifically Los Angeles. Similar to "Sex in the City," there are four main characters: Noah and his ARC (circle of friends), Alex, Ricky and Chance. Get it? Each one of the friends is an archetype (hopefully not a sterotype). Alex is the responsible one (Miranda from Sex in the City),Ricky is "the ho" (Samantha from Sex in the City), and Chance is "the stuffy professor" type (thus you may understand my interest in the series :)). The lead character is a struggling screenwriter in Los Angeles (go figure!) who meets a phyne "down low" brutha named Wade who identifies as straight but is interested in getting to know Noah better. Much better. Biblically better.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Monday, October 17, 2005
In a 3-2 decision, the majority claimed that under New York law only a legal spouse can sue for wrongful death and that "[a]ny contrary decision, no matter how circumscribed, [would] be taken as [a] judicial imprimatur of same-sex marriages." However, in a dissenting opinion which ran for 14 of the decision's 19 pages, Justice Steven W. Fisher wrote that "this case is not about marriage" and chided the majority for misconstruing the case as one about same-sex marriage rather than about the state's wrongful death statute and a person's right to equal protection under the law.
Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Langan's attorneys, vowed to appeal to the Court of Appeals, New York State's highest court. As I mentioned this February, this seven member court is being closely watched because it is still an open question how they will treat a case of first impression dealing with the legalization of same sex marriage in the State of New York.
Court watchers are still waiting for a ruling in Andersen v. Sims, a similar case in Washington State which could make that state the second state to end the ban on same-sex couple being issued marriage licences. Of course, the entire country of Canada legalized same sex marriage earlier this year. I wonder which neighbor state, Washington or New York, will be first to join their progressive neighbors to the North?
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Finally! Noah's Arc is coming to TV. It debuts Wednesday October 19 on LOGO. Noah's Arc is the brainchild by Patrik-Ian Polk, the man who brought you the black gay classic film "Punks." The show is a combination of "Sex in the City" and "Soul Food" with a "Queer as Folk" twist. I've been seeing excerpts and previews of Noah's Arc since January 2004 so it's very exciting the show is finally airing on network television. I'll have a review of the first show later in the week...
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Friday, October 14, 2005
Veselin Topalov has proven himself as the true heir to the title of "World's Best Chess Player" held by Garry Kasparov for over a decade by decisively winning the 2005 World Championship Tournament in San Luis, Argentina. In a fourteen round double-round robin tournament he placed clear first with 10 points (6 wins and 8 draws, no losses); an incredible "+6" (6 more wins than losses) result. At the super-grandmaster level tournaments are often won with +2 or +3 scores. World rated #2 Viswanathan Anand tied for 2nd place with Peter Svidler with 8.5/14 at "+3." This is a disappointing result for Anand who has been the second best player in the world for atleast a decade and looks like may have been vaulted by Topalov. Svidler only had one loss (to Topalov) and four wins, a very encouraging result for someone who doesn't turn 30 until next year. Anand played brilliantly and dangerously losing two games with the Black pieces to players he shouldn't have (Morozevich and Kasimjanov) but winning 5 games, drawing both his matches with both Topalov and Svidler. A decisive result in 50% of his games shows that he was definitely intereted in playing fighting chess in Argentina. About twenty years ago, Anand and Michael Adams and I used to play in the same tournaments, so I still maintain an interest in what is going on in the upper echelons of competitive chess. I had previously predicted that Topalov would win the tournament and Anand would place second but I thought the strongest female player of all time would have a breakthrough tournament and place third. Instead, Judit Polgar had an absoluteoly wretched tournament and placed last (which is where I though Svidler would end up).
Thursday, October 13, 2005
AB 228. This bill would prevent insurance companies from discriminating against HIV-positive individuals from receiving medically necessary organ donations. It doesn't go as far as a bill which was signed into law in Illinois and played a prominent role in an episode of NBC's E.R. last year which allows HIV+ organ donors to transplant to other HIV+ organ recipients. Currently HIV+ organs can not be transplanted into anyone, according to the way the United Network of Organ Sharing administrates the organ donation waiting list. HIV and organ transplantation is an intriguing topic of future research.
AB 547. This bill by Assemblymember Patty Berg would allow localities to run syringe exchange programs without declaring public health emergencies every two weeks. Previously counties which wanted to run needle exchange (which has been scientifically proven to be an effective HIV prevention measure) had to declare public health emergencies of limited duration. Last year, the Governor vetoed a bill almost identical to AB 547, this year he vetoed one which would have allowed state monies to be used to fund needle exchange.
AB 1142. This bill by Mel Dymally would establish a statewide African American HIV/AIDS Initiative by coordinating a response to the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on Blacks in five regions of the state: Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, San Diego, the Bay Area and the Sacramento/Central Valley area.
Also, importantly there was no bill (SB 945 died earlier) passed by the Legislature to switch California's HIV surveillance system to a mandatory names-based system as the CDC in Atlanta has been pressuring states to do before the Ryan White CARE Act is re-authorized (the law expired on September 30 but is expected to be re-authorized for another 5 years early in Spring 2006). There's still a very healthy debate going on within AIDS activist circles as to whether a switch to names-based reporting is necessary, what the implications of such a switch would be and what protections should be coupled with such a significant change in public health policy.
In addition, thanks to State Senate Leader Don Perata, AB 1677 (Koretz), which would have allowed non-profit organizations to go into the state prison system and distribute condoms was permanently stalled in a Senate committee in September after passing the Assembly in June.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Serena Williams pulled out of the remaining tournaments she was scheduled to play, ending her season at 21-7. Although she won the 2005 Australian Open, Serena's season was hampered by injuries and lack of commitment to training. She didn't play the French, looked like a "hot ghetto mess" until she lost in the third round at Wimbledon, and easily lost to her sister Venus in the fourth round of the US Open.
Interestingly, in 2005 the four Grand Slams were won by 4 different women: The Williams Sisters (Serena and Venus) and the Belgian "Sisters" (Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin-Hardenne). Prediction for 2006: A Williams Sister will only win one of the Grand Slams.
Monday, October 10, 2005
and ran into Assemblymember Paul Koretz. He gave me a bumper sticker which says "Stop Arnold: Vote No on Propositions 73-78!"
Even better, in his remarks to the couple hundred people in attendance at the Pacific Design Center's Silver Screen Auditorium he used this great slogan to remember which propositions to vote no on: "NIX ON THE FIRST SIX!"
Cute, eh? I's an easy way to remember to vote NO on the first 6 propositions on the November 8 ballot and YES on the last two (Prop 79 and Prop 80).
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Friday, October 07, 2005
The shows I currently am recording every episode of are:
- Desperate Housewives
- The West Wing
- Survivor: Guatemala
- The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
- Commander in Chief
I am also recording individual episodes of
- MTV's Real World: Austin
- The Simpsons
What's in your Tivo? :)
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Ballot Measure (Brief Title) Governor MadProfessah
Proposition 73 (parental notification) : YES NO
Proposition 74 (delay teacher tenure) : YES NO
Proposition 75 (union dues change) : YES NO
Proposition 76 (school spending cap) : YES NO
Proposition 77 (redistricting) : YES NO
Proposition 78 (Pharma's Rx drug plan) : YES NO
Proposition 79 (discount Rx drug plan) : NO YES
Proposition 80 (electricity regulation) : NO NO
So, I don't disagree with the Governor 100% of the time, just 87.5% (7 out of 8).
I find it very disturbing that the Governor is supporting Proposition 78 which is really just a fake initiative sponsored by big pharmaceutical companies to try and confuse voters with Proposition 79, which is a real discount prescription drug plan and includes prohibitions on drug profiteering. Also, Proposition 77 sounds like a good idea (I agree the legislature shouldn't be drawing it's own voting district boundaries) but I disagree with the notion of handing this power to "retired judges." I think best solution is a non-partisan commision of experts jointly selected by the Governor and Legislature. However, there's no way that California should do a non-partisan reidistricting before populous red states like Texas and Florida have. Proposition 77, the so-called "Live Within Our Means" act would modify the Proposition 98 funding formula for schools. It would also impose a cap on the rate of increase of government spending which would end up devastating many many social programs on which the most needy Californians rely. Just Vote No!
This sounds like a man who should be Governor of a great state. He understands a historical moment when one presents itself. What do you think?
By vetoing the Civil Marriage and Religious
Freedom Protection Act, Governor
Schwarzenegger has come down on
the wrong side of history. Governor
Schwarzenegger had the chance to
enter the pages of history with the
likes of Martin Luther King Jr.,
John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B.
Johnson; instead he has chosen to be
listed alongside George Wallace and
Strom Thurmond. Just as Wallace,
Thurmond and many other
segregationists came to regret their
errors, I hope that Governor
Schwarzenegger will come to
change his views.