Monday, April 30, 2007
This is fantastic news that the federal government is actually taking the challenge of global competition seriously.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Gov. John Lynch said last week he will sign the bill as "a matter of conscience, fairness and preventing discrimination." The Senate's 14 to 10 vote on HB 437 went along party lines, with the Democratic majority winning passage. [...]Bizarrely, the article doesn't go on to mention California's comprehensive domestic partnership law (which is basically a civil union bill without that name) or Washington state's limited domestic partnership law that was enacted just last week. Oregon is also likely to enact one in the next few weeks.
The Senate vote came just 22 days after the House passed the bill by a two-to-one margin, 243-129. It had support there from 30 Republicans.
When the law takes effect Jan. 1, 2008, New Hampshire will be the fourth state with a civil unions law, behind Vermont, Connecticut and New Jersey.
Massachusetts has legalized same-sex marriage.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
I'm definitely looking forward to Saturday night's speech by McArthur "genius grant" fellow Bob Moses, the author of Radical Equations and the founder of the Algebra Project.
Legislation to add sexual orientation to Iowa’s civil-rights laws passed the House on a bipartisan vote Wednesday, breaking a long-running stalemate over the issue.
“It is a historic vote,” said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Des Moines Democrat. “I also think it was a mainstream vote. This was not some sort of liberal/social agenda. This is just saying that under housing and employment people should not be discriminated based upon their real or perceived sexual orientation.”
Senate File 427 would make it illegal to discriminate in employment, public accommodation, credit, housing and education based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
The vote passed in a 59 to 37 vote. Nine Republicans voted in favor of the plan. Three Democrats voted against it.
Interestingly, the sticking point in Iowa was aspects of the gender identity provisions. The lower House stripped “appearance, expression, or behavior” from the gender identity section, causing the bill to go back to the Senate for a concurrence vote, which it did on a vote of 34-16.
Democratic Iowa Governor Chet Culver has previously promised to sign the bill into law.
You know the heterosexual supremacists are fighting a losing battle if LGBT rights bills are passing easily in a red state like Iowa!
I don't wanna be partisan, but note the common thread that Iowa, Oregon, Washington and New York all have Democratic governors. I guess that's just a coincidence, Log Cabin, eh?
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Interestingly, although the bill would prohibit discrimination nationwide in employment (or employment decisions) on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity there has not been much complaint by the naysayers who for years said that a "trans-inclusive" bill had no chance of passing Congress. This may have something to do with the fact that there are more gay rights laws in the "several states" that are "gender identity of expression" inclusive than not (The Task Force lists 10 trans-inclusive to 8 non), and all the ones enacted in recent years (except for New York's bizarre 2002 law) have been trans-inclusive. I presume with Democratic Governor Eliot Spitzer making noises about introducing a marriage equality bill that getting a trans-inclusive bill through the legislature to his desk for his willing signature should be a snap--or a compromise position?
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Governor Schwarzenegger has 14 days to set the date for a special election. Not waiting for the body to be cold, The Politico is already speculating about who will run to hold the congressional seat.
The leading candidate mentioned is state Sen. Jenny Oropeza, the only Hispanic elected official district-wide. Oropeza previously served for six years in the state Assembly and is vice chairman of the legislature's Latino Caucus.
Two black women in legislative leadership positions are considered possible contenders. State Assemblywoman Laura Richardson is assistant speaker pro tempore in the Assembly and previously worked as former lieutenant governor Cruz Bustamante's regional director. State Assemblywoman Karen Bass is the first black woman serving as the majority floor leader, but her district does not cover Long Beach.
State Sen. Alan Lowenthal has also been mentioned as a potential candidate. His legislative district covers most of Long Beach, and he could be the only white candidate in a field filled with minority candidates if he chose to run.
Other potential Democratic candidates include Carson Mayor Jim Dear, Los Angeles City Council member Janice Hahn and Compton City Council member Isadore Hall III.
Congresswoman Millender-McDonald was head of the Committee on House Administration, which was considering the controversial election results in Florida's 13th district that was decided for the Republican by 369 votes in November 2006. the chairmanship of the Committee is now up for grabs as the interim Chairman Rep. Robert Brady is running for Mayor of Philadelphia. California Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren is next in line to chair this important committee.
En un giro inesperado, el arzobispo de San Juan, Roberto González Nieves, comparecerá hoy por segunda ocasión ante la comisión revisora del Código Civil para proponer una variante de las uniones de hecho, que definió como “uniones domésticas”.
Una “unión doméstica”, según González Nieves, está constituida por dos o más personas que residan bajo un mismo techo y que exista entre ellas un conjunto de derechos y deberes que nacen de la vida en común o de un pacto expreso.
According to babelfish.altavista.com, this translates as:
In an unexpected turn, the archbishop of San Juan, González Robert Nieves, will appear today for the second time before the revisory commission of the Civil Code to propose a variant of the unions in fact, that he defined as "domestic unions".
A "domestic union", according to González Nieves, is constituted by two or more people tha[t] reside under a same ceiling and that exists among them a set of rights and duties that are born of the life in common or of an express pact.
Monday, April 23, 2007
The Los Angeles City Fire Department is investigating allegations that a young African American firefighter found his locker at a North Hollywood station vandalized in a racist manner in recent days.
Although top officials with the city's fire and police departments would not disclose the nature of the incident at Fire Station 89 because of the internal investigation, others familiar with the probe said the rookie firefighter opened his locker to find a banana and his clothing — including his uniform — covered with a white lotion or foam.
Hmmmmm, what are the racial semiotics of this incident? Let's see, his uniform and a
Burnett went on to direct To Sleep With Anger and have relative success in the entertainment industry but rumors of this rarely seen classic have swirled around for decades.
"An American masterpiece, independent to the bone... This may be Mr. Burnett's most radical truth-telling." MANOHLA DARGIS, NEW YORK TIMESAs one of the blog reviews I read points out "[...] Spike Lee and the people who make The Wire all owe a debt to Mr. Burnett." Since I do think HBO's The Wire is the best show on television this intrigued me.
"A masterpiece. One of the most insightful and authentic dramas about African-American life on film. One of the finest American films, period."
DAVE KEHR, INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE
"Affectingly beautiful...Burnett used many kinds of African-American music on the soundtrack, and the movie itself has the bedraggled eloquence of an old blues record." DAVID DENBY, NEW YORKER
"The film of the season, if not the year, is a Southern California slice-of-life from 1977 that hasn't aged a day... A stirring and sophisticated evocation of working-class Watts." NATHAN LEE, VILLAGE VOICE
Killer of Sheep is hard to review in the same context of other recent films I have seen in 2007 such as The Namesake, The Host, 300 and Boy Culture. I am happy that it has been restored and that many more people will get to see the film out of film classes. However, it is clearly NOT a crowd pleaser.
In several ways it is difficult to watch this film; it is slow, engrossing, graphic and frustrating all at once. The narrative thrust of the story is conveyed at the unhurried pace of a sleepy Sunday morning. The acting is uneven; in fact most of the people who appear on screen are not trained actors. In fact, often the audience watches the depiction of aimless children at play in questionably safe locations like active railroad tracks, abandoned derelict buildings, rickety bicycles and cement rooftops with mouths agape and worried frows. The explicit scenes of the lead character Stan at work at a slaughterhouse are shocking and reveal far more about the motivations and mindset of the character than any of the sparse dialogue.
The high point of the film is the inclusion of Dinah Washington's haunting rendition of "This Bitter Earth" on the soundtrack. The film itself is really the closest to a cinematic embodiment of a tragic blues tune you will ever see.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Restaurant Food $ F P C CalsMad Professah's ranking of the respective Fat, Protein, Carb and Calorie content are in the right most columns. I regularly eat at Yang Chow (see review) and In-N-Out .
In-N-Out double-double w/ fries $4.37 1 3 3 2
Pink's bacon chili cheese hotdog $4.30 3 4 5 3
Burrito King 2 carne asada tacos $4.01 5 2 4 5
Yang Chow slippery shrimp w/ steamed
rice and fortune cookie $15.70 2 1 2 1
Wolfgang Puck mushroom and pepperoni
personal pizza $9.69 4 5 1 4
It should be noted that 1 g of fat has 9 calories, 1 g of protein and 1 g of carbohydrates each has 5 calories.
In-N-Out has the most fat mainly because of the fries. The slippery shrimp with steamed rice has the most calories and protein because of the portion size (I think it's the largest) and the shrimp has to be a lot of protein. The pizza is the most carbs because it's basically bread with tomato sauce and toppings.
Another interesting part of this exercise would be to speculate as to what other iconic Los Angeles area lunches should be added to this list. I would have to include Zankou Chicken's tarna chicken wrap as well as Porto's Bakery and Cafe media noche.
What regular lunch would you add to the list?
Equal had once dominated the market, finding its way into more than 6,000 consumer products like Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, the two biggest buyers of artificial sweeteners in the world.
But since Splenda was introduced in late 1999, Equal has steadily been elbowed aside and Splenda is now No. 1, with 62 percent of the market in the United States.
It is unusual for a dispute over advertising claims to go to a jury trial. The case centers on Splenda’s tagline “Made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar” — a claim that Equal mocks as an “urban myth” on its Web site.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
When the law goes into effect, an estimated 48.5 percent of the U.S. population will be protected from employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and 34 percent — more than one-third — will be protected on the basis of gender identity and expression.
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc., has been a longtime partner of Basic Rights Oregon, the statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights group. For more than a decade, the Task Force has provided ongoing strategic advice and training to Basic Rights Oregon staff and more than 100 leaders from across the state.
Congratulations, friendly neighborhood state to our North!
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Three firefighters (including Lee and Bressler) who worked together at Station 96 (in Chatsworth) in 2001 sued the city in 2005. The three alleged that after two of them came to the defense of their black lesbian colleague after she complained of mistreatment that all three were retaliated against by other members of the department.
The discriminatory nature of the Fire Department has been in the news for the last six months thanks to the drama surrounding the Tennie Pierce case. Pierce, an African American male firefighter sued the city for racial discrimination after he was fed (and unwittingly ate) dog food. That lawsuit was settled for $2.7 million which the Los Angeles City Council initially agreed to pay in November 2006, but was vetoed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa after conservative radio hosts John and Ken became involved and unearthed incriminating photos of Pierce participating in other racially tinged hazing incidents. The City Council failed to override that veto last month.
The Los Angeles Times article by reporter Steve Hymon has further details on the Bressler case and pending cases surrounding Lewis' allegations:
Harrison is also the attorney for Tennie Pierce, whose case is now scheduled for trial in September 2007. Harrison wrote an op-ed in December attempting to explain that the multi-million dollar verdict in the "dog food" case was not just about race.
Another plaintiff in the case, Gary Mellinger, settled his part of the case with the city for $350,000 in November after a jury found in his favor. He, too, had alleged retaliation for helping Lee.
A trial date for Lee's suit has not been set. Among her allegations are that she was retaliated against for complaining about discrimination and was later declared unfit for duty by the department.
"Two juries have heard two cases arising from the same evidence, and both times they have found for the plaintiff," said Genie Harrison, an attorney for Bressler.
The $2.7-million settlement approved by the Los Angeles City Council, then vetoed by the mayor, was not simply about dog food. It was compensation for the Fire Department's failure to stop the retaliation against Pierce, who broke the code of silence by reporting the incident. One thing everyone — the city controller, the head of the city personnel department and even firefighters — agrees on is that retaliation is a serious problem within the department. It certainly was for Pierce.Seems to me that City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo might want to resume settlement talks and $2.7 million might be cheap at this point if Los Angeles juries are awarding million-plus verdicts to straight white guys being retaliated against for protesting employment retaliation against black lesbians.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
"She's OK," Agassi said. "It was an unfortunate accident."
I suppose what everyone is thinking is "How did he miss her nose?"
UPDATE: Craig Hickman has posted the video of the incident.
John W. Kluge, who launched his media empire with an investment in a Washington-area radio station, has pledged $400 million from his estate to Columbia University.
The promised gift, one of the largest ever from an individual to a university, will be used exclusively for student financial aid.
Kluge, 92, an immigrant from Germany who graduated from Columbia 70 years ago, served in the military and went into business in the 1940s.
Philanthropy to higher education has been doubling every decade, [John] Lippincott [President of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education] said. "We're now at about $28 billion a year."
Of course, Columbia only gets the money after Kluge dies, and he gets the glory now while he is alive. But, hey, what's the point of giving away a bunch of money to higher education if no-one knows who you are.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Collaborations contains some of the choice remixes which have been played on KCRW and other progressive radio statons for years but may have been hard to get, specifically two remixes of "Love Rain" from her very first album. The two tracks are: Track 1, Love Rain (Head Nod Remix) featuring Mos Def, and Track 14, Love Rain (Coffee Shop Mix) featuring Mos Def.
The CD also contains some unsual collaborations: "Kingdom Come" featuring Kirk Franklin, "Let Me" featuring Will.I.Am (from Black-eyed Peas) and Sergio Mendes, and "Something I Wonder" featuring Darius Rucker (Hootie!)
However, the best track on the album is track 2, "Daydreaming" (featuring Lupe Fiasco). The video for the track is below:
The album is not bad, but it definitely does not sate the appetite for a full-length studio record.
The Host is a very enjoyable movie,with myriad influences that allow it to defy a single characterization. Although it is a "horror monster" movie (we see the mutant creature a scant 5 minutes after the opening credits, it seems) it also contains a lot of amusingly trenchant social commentary. In another sense it is a film about the intensity of familial bonds. A lot of these elements are juxtaposed together in novel ways that deepen the impact of the movie upon the viewer.
The story follows the emergence of a 20-foot mutant acquatic creature (the script implies this is the result of industrial waste dumping, which is a parody of an apparent actual incident where Americans were caught dumping formaldehyde) in the Han River which runs through downtown Seoul, South Korea. At the center of the film is the Park family, and at the center of the Park family is Hyun-seo, a cute 11-year old schoolgirl. Hyun-seo is the daughter of Gang-du, grand-daughter of Hee-bong, niece of Nam-joo and Nam-il. Hyun-seo's dad Gang-du is something of a shamefwastrel, who runs a snack shack with his dad on the banks of the Han River, while his brother Nam-il is a college graduate who shamefully is unemployed and his sister Nam-joo is a world-class (but shamefully not gold-medallist) archer. Of course, the creature abducts Hyun-seo right in front of Gang-du after devouring and dispatching a good dozen of innocent bystanders, including an American serviceman who courageously helps Gang-du in battling the monster when it begins its murderous rampage.
Thanks to ubiquitous cell phone coverage in Seoul, Hyun-seo is able to call her dad from the sewers in which the monster has dumped her, along with other half-eaten and to-be-eaten victims. Armed with the knowledge that his daughter is alive, Gang-do mobilizes the family to go into the sewers near the river to look for her.
The film borrows liberally from several Steven Spielberg classics such as Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. and even War of the Worlds. Although the film-making (or budget) is not as noteworthy as the movies on this list, The Host is noteworthy in its own right.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Finally some questions are beginning to be answered.
- We got a close up look at the Others' submarine
- We find out that Others' had the ability to obtain video of a random person "in the real world" (Juliette's sister Rachel)
- Ben and Juliette made a plan before Juliette was "abandoned" with Jack, Kate and Sayid
- Sayid is always right!
- Ben (and the Others) will be returning to the Lostaways' beach in SIX DAYS
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Venus won the first set after coming back from down a break at 2-3 and won 5 games in a row to take the first set and the first game of the second set. Then a rash of double faults started to rain from her racquet and the string of games won against the server continued. At 3-2 Venus started serving a bit better, getting to 30-0 but then got broken again. Jankokic finally held serve for the first time in five tries to take the lead 4-3 and thanks to more double faults was able to break Venus again and easily serve out the second set 6-3.
The third set was also very close, until Venus double faulted on break point at 3-3 to go down 4-3. However she broke back at love and the inevitable tie break decided the match. After going up 2-1 in the tiebreak with a mini-break Venus inexplicably lost her next two service points on unforced errors and was down a mini-break 2-3. Players changed ends at Jankovic serving 4-2 and Venus, appearing angry hit a service return winner and hit two good first serves to go eventually be up 4-5. Despite playing a good point, she lost it and the score was tied 5-5. On match point, 5-6 (Venus serving) the players played an incredibly long point with many rallies which ended with a Jankovic down the line which BARELY touched the line, requiring the umpire to come down from her chair and make the call that would decide the match. She called it good (I agree) and the match was over.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Since that landmark Loving v. Virginia ruling [June 12, 1967], the number of interracial marriages has soared; for example, black-white marriages increased from 65,000 in 1970 to 422,000 in 2005, according to Census Bureau figures. Factoring in all racial combinations, Stanford University sociologist Michael Rosenfeld calculates that more than 7% of America's 59 million married couples in 2005 were interracial, compared to less than 2% in 1970.The article discusses the practical problems faced by interracial couples and their biracial kids. In fact, it contains useful information such as the fact there are 6.8 million multiiracial Americans, 2.4% of the U.S. population. It also their chances of a breakup within 10 years are 41%, compared to 31% for a couple of the same race.
Gee, I guess The Jeffersons was pretty accurate, after all, huh?
Thursday, April 12, 2007
On Tuesday, the Washington state senate passed Senate Bill 5336 by a vote of 63-35, sending the legislation to Governor Christine Gregoire who last year signed a non-discrimination bill inclusive of sexual orientation and indicated she would sign SB 5336. The bill would enact a domestic partnership registry and assign numerous rights and responsibilities to registered same-sex couples who share a home, are unmarried or not in another domestic partnership and at least 18 years old. SB 5336 is similar to California's Assembly Bill 205 which in 2003 became the nation's most comprehensive domestic partnership legislation.
Interestingly, the Washington State legislature now contains 5 openly gay or lesbian elected officials: State Senator Ed Murray and State Representatives James Moeller, Jamie Pedersen, Joseph McDermott and David Upthegrove.
Passage of a domestic partnership bill by such significant margins may be a precursor to enacting a marriage equality bill.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Mark Leno's AB 34, California's marriage equalty bill was indeed debated in the Assembly Judiciary Committee yesterday and passed on a 7-3 vote. It moves next to Appropriations (which Leno chairs) and after that the Assembly floor.
Larkin's Joint apparently will not open this Friday April 13th to the public after all, but may open next week or the week after. If you want to attend a weekend tasting event like I did a few months ago, contact me and I will give you the information on how to make reservations for the prix fixe dinner and brunch seatings.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
"I find the recommendations of the WHO and U.N. HIV/AIDS program a little surprising and even frightening," Simao told Agencia Brasil.
...This proposal gives a message of "false protection" because men might think that being circumcized means that they can have sex without condoms without any risk, which "is untrue", she said.
(English translation by Vivir Latino)
The always excellent Andrés has a copy of a Dear Community Member letter (and a link to the scanned-in full text by LifeLube) from often-controversial NYC Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden which was circulated to HIV/AIDS community leaders in New York City yesterday where he disputes statements attributed to him in the New York Times on April 5, 2007.
The plot thickens!
Dear Community Member:
Recent media reports misrepresent the Health Department’s response to recent studies showing that circumcision significantly reduces HIV transmission in some contexts. We do not yet know what impact circumcision could have on HIV transmission in New York City, and we have not suggested or planned any initiative or campaign. Quite to the contrary, I indicated in an interview with the New York Times (the source of the misrepresentation) that I very much doubted that even 1% of men at high risk in NYC would undergo the procedure.
As a result of rigorous studies, we now know that circumcision reduces risk of female-to-male spread of HIV by about 60%. There is some evidence, but no proof, that circumcision may reduce male-to-female transmission. There is also some evidence, but again no proof, that it may protect men who engage in insertive anal sex from male-to-male transmission.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Previously the Governor refused to take a position on the pending "gender neutral marriage" bill prior to vetoing it but this year he has already announced that he intends to veto the Leno marriage bill.
The Californian posted an article on its website titled "Veto likely again for gay marriage bill" which says:
In his veto message in 2005, Schwarzenegger said the Leno bill violated Proposition 22, the anti-gay marriage initiative approved by California voters in 2000, and that any attempt to legalize same-sex weddings also should go on the ballot.
A Field Poll released last month found that 43 percent of those questioned said they supported gay marriage, up from 38 percent in 1997 and 30 percent in 1985. The Public Policy Institute of California found a similar trend in its polling.
Despite those numbers, Leno said civil rights shouldn't be determined at the ballot box.
"The governor's civil rights, as well as my own civil rights, shouldn't be placed before the voters," he said. "That's not how we make decisions regarding equal protection under the law for all citizens."
Mad Professah heartily agrees with that last quote from Assemblymember Leno. Civil rights are not a popularity contest and should not be subject to a vote of the people.
The other half and Mad Professah were able to get into a weekend tasting event at Larkin's a few weeks ago and sampled some of these specialties while the owners waited for permits from the city which delayed the opening by a few months.
Here are some pictures of our visit to Larkin's in Eagle Rock
|The house salad, with braised sweet|
The infamous three cheese mac 'n' cheese
Pan fried chicken with mashed potatoes.
|Fried catfish with tartar sauce and greens.|
The food was excellent, especially the fried chicken and the greens. The salad was particularly tasty. The "famous" mac 'n' cheese has a non-traditionally viscuous texture which I didn't appreciate, although it is impressively cheesy. The desserts were quite delicious, especially the cobbler. The decor is tasteful and the atmosphere is quite pleasant. I intend to become a repeat customer of Larkin's very soon.
Entourage is fun, especially for people who live in Los Angeles because it's full of inside references that only people who live in L.A. get, and it's full of even more inside jokes that only people who work in the L.A.'s entertainment business get.
Jeremy Piven does amazing (Emmy award-winning) work as the agent Ari Gold, and Adrian Grenier (The Devil Wears Prada) stars as Ari's former (and future?) movie star client Vincent Chase who hangs out with his entourage of Turle (Jerry Ferrara), Drama (Kevin Dillon, Matt Dillon's brother, playing the brother of Vincent Chase) and Eric (Kevin Connolly), his childhood buddies who have tagged along as Vince has made it big in Hollywwod.
Amusingly, Entourage is executive produced by Mark Wahlberg who claims the series is (very looesly) based upon his early years in Hollywood himself.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
On Friday, I was on court for nearly 6 hours in 3 different matches. I won my first match in 2 hours, 20 minutes (4-6, 6-1, 6-4) and my second match in 1 hour, 45 minutes (7-5, 6-0). Then Delmar and I played doubles and (as usual) won the hard way, by losing the first set and winning the next two: 1-6, 6-4, 6-2. Last year, we won the D division doubles title and were hoping to repeat this year.
On Saturday, unfortunately it rained and instead of 3 tie break sets, singles matches became one pro-set (first to 8 games with lead by two, tiebreaker at 7-7). I lost my proset 8-5 (1 hour, 15 minutes) while Delmar won his and then demolished my previous opponent in the quarterfinals 8-2 (I think I tired him out in our close match). Afterwards we played our quarterfinals doubles match versus the #1 seeds and again lost the first set, this time 2-6. Happily we were able to come back and win the second set 6-3. Unfortunately, despite being up a service break, we lost that break and were broken again to lose our first match ever as a doubles team: 2-6, 6-3, 6-2. The match took nearly two hours and was closer than the score indicates (I'm starting to learn most tennis matches are!) and we acquitted ourselves well. Mad Professah was very sore after 9 hours of tennis in 36 hours.
Today, Delmar continued to the semifinal match and in a relatively close match beat the #1 seed 6-4, 7-5 (despite being down 3-5 in the second set and eventually saving 4 set points). The finals match was a mismatch, with Delmar winning easily 6-2, 6-2 (27 winners, 31 unforced errors).
We amusingly called ourselves the Williams sisters, and I'm happy that one of us had to make it to the semi-finals and eventually win the tournament without one of those ugly Venus-Serena matches we had to sit through in the early years. Congratulations, "Serena"!
Saturday, April 07, 2007
1. David Geffen
2. Anderson Cooper
3. Ellen DeGeneres
4. Tim Gill
5. Barney Frank
6. Rosie O’Donnell
7. The New York Times Gay Mafia: Richard Berke, Ben Brantley, Frank Bruni, Stuart Elliott, Adam Nagourney, Stefano Tonchi, and Eric Wilson
8. Marc Jacobs
9. Andrew Tobias
10. Brian Graden
11. Jann Wenner
12. Andrew Sullivan
13. Suze Orman
14. Joe Solmonese
15. Fred Hochberg
16. Christine Quinn
17. Perez Hilton
18. Scott Rudin
19. John Aravosis
20. Sheila Kuehl
21. James B. Stewart
22. Nick Denton
23. Tom Ford
24. Nate Berkus
25. Adam Moss
26. Jim Nelson
27. Lorri L. Jean
28. Adam Rose
29. Annie Leibovitz
30. Simon Halls and Stephen Huvane
31. Bryan Lourd
32. Bryan Singer
33. Jonathan Burnham
34. Brian Swardstrom
35. Robert Greenblatt
36. Chi Chi LaRue
37. Dan Mathews
38. Neil Meron and Craig Zadan
39. Ingrid Sischy
40. Marc Cherry
41. Carolyn Strauss
42. Irshad Manji
43. Jodie Foster
44. Christine Vachon
45. André Leon Talley
46. Hilary Rosen
47. Matthew Marks
48. Benny Medina
49. Mitchell Gold
50. David Kuhn
My first thought at seeing the list was to ask "Why is David Geffen at #1?" Just because he's a billionaire, does that make him the most powerful? If so, then aren't there other super-rich people on the list besides Tim Gill and Andrew Tobias who should be there? What is the criteria for appearance on the list?
Mad Professah is going to do some researching on the people on this list for a future post on this topic.
Friday, April 06, 2007
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Mayor Mike Bloomberg and others called for caution in endorsing the measure. The current Mayor (and possible 2008 Presidential candidate?) was quoted saying:
“Whether it’s something that the government should be involved in, or just giving advice and making sure that people get educated, education in the end is the real tool to stop the spread of AIDS in our society. That may or may not be true elsewheres."
Founder of Treatment Action Group, AIDS activist Peter Staley said “Should we proceed when we don’t have hard data yet on the population here?” he asked. “On the other hand, if we wait the three years it would take to answer that question, how many will be infected in the meantime?”
Staley also pointed out the obvious cultural implications of several, predominantly white officials telling black and brown gay men that they should have surgery on their genitals. “I’m white, Frieden’s white,” he said. “It’s going to sound like white guys telling black and Hispanic guys to do something that would affect their manhood.”
Tokes Osubu, executive director of Gay Men of African Descent, agreed and declared that circumcision is "not the answer to our problems" and doubted that it would reduce alarmingly high HIV infection rates among gay men of color in New York City, currently estimated at at least 20%.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
The winners will be decided at the World Science Fiction convention, WorldCon LXV in Yokohama, Japan this summer.
Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: Battlestar Galactica, "Downloaded"; Doctor Who, "Army of Ghosts" and "Doomsday"; Doctor Who, "Girl in the Fireplace"; Doctor Who, "School Reunion"; Stargate SG-1, "200"
Last year, thanks to a heads-up from Political Animal Kevin Drum, I was able to read most of the Best Novel nominees and discovered some new authors that I will try to read more of. I was very happy that the 2006 winner was Robert Charles Wilson's Spin, which the other half is currently reading right now and which I also thought was the best of last year's nominees. I DETESTED Charles Stross' Accelerando so I'm shocked to see him nominated
This year I'll also be paying attention to the Dramatic Presentation nominees, since I saw and reviewed all the nominees in the Long Form category, and have been watching some of the short form (not Doctor Who, I don't know why but I just can't get into it, though I gave up after the first season and I believe the third season is about to start). In the Long Form category my pick for the Hugo Award would be The Prestige.
Anyway, I look forward to spending part of the summer reading His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, Book 1) by Naomi Novik (which has been optioned by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson), Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge (whose Deepness in the Sky I loved and am still writinga review for the blog), Blindsight by Peter Watts (just sounds like the most interesting of this year's nominees) and possibly Eifelheim (great premise, shaky reviews) or Glasshouse (hated his last book!) before the winners are announced in late August.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
As it turns out, gay marriage (43 percent) rates higher in California than legalizing those pointy-nosed polecat descendants (38 percent).
"Only 38 percent favor legalization. That's kind of absurd," said Pat Wright, who founded Ferrets Anonymous in 1993 and directed a fundraising campaign to pay the $6,000 for Field Research to conduct the poll. "I thought California was more of a live-and-let-live state. If we had proposed legalized gay marriage or marijuana, we would've gotten a higher number."
Good work, Pride Agenda (when I lived in New York years ago we used to call it ESPA). The blog looks like it will be a good spot to check out the latest goings on in the LGBT political universe. I wonder how long it will be before Equality California (EQCA) has a blog, too? Can't let those New Yorkers show up us Left Coasters! We invented the internet, after all...
But they, like every other state in the Union (except for California and Hawaii) can have ferrets as pets, so I guess we're even.
Monday, April 02, 2007
First, the majority brushed aside the Bush administration’s assertion that the Clean Air Act does not treat carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases as “pollutants,” and thus does not give the E.P.A. the authority to regulate them.
Secondly, the five justices declared that contrary to the administration, Massachusetts and the other dozen or so states and other plaintiffs that sued the E.P.A. do indeed have legal standing to pursue their suit. In order to establish standing, a federal court plaintiff must show that there is an injury that can be traced to the defendant’s behavior, and that the injury will be relieved by the action the lawsuit seeks.
The majority depended upon the swing vote of Justice Anthony Kennedy, with Chief Justice John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas all agreeing with the losing federal government's position.
Did anyone see last night's Discovery Channel's Planet Earth episode on "Ice Worlds" last night?
Al Gore is right.
This weekend I finally got around to seeing the film at the Arclight Theaters in Hollywood and was very impressed. Mira Nair's The Namesake is one of the rare film adaptations that is at least as compelling as the book it is based upon. (The canonical example is of course, the Lord of the Rings films, or earlier, The Godfather).
Lahiri's The Namesake is an engrossing novel about family, identity, guilt and assimilation. It is a brilliant characterization of the bicultural nature of the immigrant experience. In this case, the immigrants are from India, ethnic Bengalis but the themes resonate with anyone who has felt like an outsider.
There are subtle changes made by screenwriter Sooni Taraporevala (Mississippi Masala, Salaam Bombay!) to Lahiri's novel which I believe actually improve the emotional impact of the story. In the book, Ashoke and Ashima lived unhappily together in Cambridge, Massachusetts and later moved to the Boston suburbs. Keeping them and the family in New York makes the story slightly more streamlined. Also, in the book the fragile mental state of Ashima after the children are born is a more prominent aspect of the family. The role of the sister Sonia is a thankless one in the book and the movie doesn't improve things much, although the actress does a rather good job of impersonating a spoiled American teenager.
As usual, I don't want to give away too much of the plot of the film while reviewing it, but suffice it to say that there are some heart-rending plot developments which enhance the emotional impact of the film. However, as someone who has recently visited India the scenes in the movie which take place in India, particularly at the Taj Mahal are incredibly beautiful and meaningful.
The acting, especially by Kal Penn (Gogol Ganguli), Irrfan Khan (Ashoke Ganguli) and Tabu (Ashima Ganguli) is excellent, and Mira Nair's direction is noticeably effective, except for a peculiar sequence that appears whenever the principals are in the airport flying from the U.S. to India. Another captivating aspect of the movie is the music, supervised by Nitin Sawhney, which features some amazing traditional vocal stylings that both begins and ends the film.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
The match was incredibly exciting. Serena started off not playing well but that may have been because Justine was playing amazingly well in the first set: hitting winners from all court positions, serving hard, returning deep and chasing down everything. Henin won the first set 6-0 in 26 minutes.
Serena didn't start the second set off well, getting broken in the first set but then broke back in the very next set and stayed close through most of the second set until the seventh game until she got broken again, which allowed to serve for the match at 5-4. However, at break point in that game after hitting a cross-court winner Justine lost her footing and fell on the court and then lost the next two points to lose that game and lost the next four points for Serena held her service game at love. Justine's service percentage noticeably declined as she served to take the second set to a tiebreaker but was broken on a backhand floating wide. The match was now even at 0-6, 7-5!
In the third set Serena's serve was much more effective and she also did an excellent job of returning Henin's serve into play. This lead her to taking a 3-0 lead (one break and 2 holds) in the final set. Serena had thus equaled Justine's feat of winning 6 games in a row, but evenly split between two sets. However, this lead Justine to fight back to even the score at 3-3. Serena held in the seventh game of the final set and after some long rallies on Justine's serve in the eighth game, Serena was able to earn the break which allowed her to serve for the match at 5-3. However, the drama was not over! Serena quickly fell behind 0-40 on her own serve as she served for the match but then was able to hit two backhand winners and a service winner to even the game score back to deuce. On match point, Serena missed her first serve but then blasted in a second serve right in the corner of the ad court which skidded off the line which Justine hit out and the match was over!
On clay I still believe that Justine has an advantage over Serena, but with her ranking all the way up to #11 it is very possible for Serena to be #1 before the end of the year and she has to be on the short list to win another Wimbledon or US Open title in 2007.