Friday, February 29, 2008
(And, yes, Karen Bass is supporting Barack Obabam for President.)
Thursday, February 28, 2008
From the Philadelphia Daily News and other reputable news sources comes the story that 25-year-old identical twin brothers Keyontyli and Taleon Goffney (pictured to the left) have been arrested as suspects in a rash of burglaries which occurred in a Philadelphia neighborhood.
According to the report on Philly.com:
The 25-year-old Goffney twins, both of New Jersey, were arrested Feb. 19. They were charged with breaking into Moon's Beauty Shop at 9th and Washington streets in South Philadelphia and the adjoining Wings and More, using only a handsaw and ax to get in through the roofs of the establishments.Frankly, I will not be surprised if the story turns out to be a hoax. Black Gay Twin Porn Star Burglars? Breaking AND Entering? The possibilities for pardoy are endless.
A Rite Aid at Front Street and Snyder Avenue was burglarized in a similar fashion the previous day. On Feb. 8, Taleon Goffney is alleged to have committed similar burglaries at Wawas in Nether Providence and Wallingford, Delaware County, according to police.
Chief Richard Slifer of Nether Providence said cash, cigarettes and condoms had been among the items taken.
The twins are the focus of a tristate Rooftop Burglary Task force, led by New Jersey investigators, the state where many of the 40-some rooftop burglaries have been committed over the last 18 months.
The Goffney twins are also the focus of numerous hardcore Internet gay-porn videos - some of which they star in together under the stage names Keyon and Teyon, according to several Internet sites that write about modeling and gay culture.
In "Marc and the Twins," which was distributed only online, the Goffneys are hanging out on the Las Vegas strip when they offer to audition for "Marc," a chiseled black porn star who happens to pass by.
The three take the "audition" to a seedy hotel room. Although "Marc" is the focus of the encounter, the twins can be seen rubbing each other's chests and getting cozy.
"Marc and the Twins" seems to be the most popular of the online porn films that star Taleon and Keyontyli. Their co-star in the film, Marc Williams, is a fairly big name in gay porn, according to Erik Schut, editorial director of Philadelphia-based TLA Entertainment Group.
I love the cute pride rainbow incorporated into the regular Obama for America campaign logo.
In addition to the LGBT ad buy, Barack Obama has released an open letter re-affirming his commitment to LGBT equality today.
I’m running for President to build an America that lives up to our founding promise of equality for all – a promise that extends to our gay brothers and sisters. It’swrong to have millions of Americans living as second-class citizens in this nation. And I ask for your support in this election so that together we can bring about real change for all LGBT Americans.
Equality is a moral imperative. That’s why throughout my career, I have fought to eliminate discrimination against LGBT Americans. In Illinois, I co-sponsored a fully inclusive bill that prohibited discrimination on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender identity, extending protection to the workplace, housing, and places of public accommodation. In the U.S. Senate, I have co-sponsored bills that would equalize tax treatment for same-sex couples and provide benefits to domestic partners of federal employees. And as president, I will place the weight of my administration behind the enactment of the Matthew Shepard Act to outlaw hate crimes and a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act to outlaw workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
As your President, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws. I personally believe that civil unions represent the best way to secure that equal treatment. But I also believe that the federal government should not stand in the way of states that want to decide on their own how best to pursue equality for gay and lesbian couples — whether that means a domestic partnership, a civil union, or a civil marriage. Unlike Senator Clinton, I support the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – a position I have held since before arriving in the U.S. Senate. While some say we should repeal only part of the law, I believe we should get rid of that statute altogether. Federal law should not discriminate in any way against gay and lesbian couples, which is precisely what DOMA does. I have also called for us to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and I have worked to improve the Uniting American Families Act so we can afford same-sex couples the same rights and obligations as married couples in our immigration system.
The next president must also address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. When it comes to prevention, we do not have to choose between values and science. While abstinence education should be part of any strategy, we also need to use common sense. We should have age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception. We should pass the JUSTICE Act to combat infection within our prison population. And we should lift the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. In addition, local
governments can protect public health by distributing contraceptives.
We also need a president who’s willing to confront the stigma – too often tied to homophobia – that continues to surround HIV/AIDS. I confronted this stigma directly in a speech to evangelicals at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, and will continue to speak out as president.
That is where I stand on the major issues of the day. But having the right positions on the issues is only half the battle. The other half is to win broad support for those positions. And winning broad support will require stepping outside our comfort zone. If we want to repeal DOMA, repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and implement fully inclusive laws outlawing hate crimes and discrimination in the workplace, we need to bring the message of LGBT equality to skeptical audiences as well as friendly ones – and that’s what I’ve done throughout my career. I brought this message of inclusiveness to all of America in my keynote address at the 2004 Democratic convention. I talked about the need to fight homophobia when I announced my candidacy for President, and I have been talking about LGBT equality to a number of groups during this campaign – from local LGBT activists to rural farmers to parishioners at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Dr. Martin Luther King once preached.
Just as important, I have been listening to what all Americans have to say. I will never compromise on my commitment to equal rights for all LGBT Americans. But neither will I close my ears to the voices of those who still need to be convinced. That is the work we must do to move forward together. It is difficult. It is challenging. And it is necessary.
Americans are yearning for leadership that can empower us to reach for what we know is possible. I believe that we can achieve the goal of full equality for the millions of LGBT people in this country. To do that, we need leadership that can appeal to the best parts of the human spirit.
Join with me, and I will provide that leadership. Together, we will achieve real equality for all Americans, gay and straight alike.
Wow. He had me at "Equality is a moral imperative."
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Linares is a tournament where the eight strongest players in the world are invited to compete in a double round-robin tournament (where everyone plays each other twice, once with Light pieces, and another with Dark pieces). The first seven games are played in Linares, Spain and the second half is played in Morelia, Mexico.
This year's tournament has World #3 Veselin Topalov, 17-year-old phenom World #13 Magnus Carlsen of Norway, World #9 Vassily Ivanchuk, World #10 Levon Arounian, World #8 Peter Leko, World #12 Teimour Radjabov and World #7 Alexei Shirov. Curiously, former World Champion and World #2 Vladimir Kramnik has skipped Linares for the second year in a row.
The New York Times chess blog Gambit has excellent coverage of the tournament as well as a very cool plug-in which allows one to view the games with annotations. Years ago Mad Professah used to be a chess player on the international circuit as a teenager and attended a few of the same junior tournaments as Anand "back in the day." We were usually the only two non-white people in the room.
From the official City Hall press release (pdf):
Mad Professah is a strong supprter of this bill, as well as the statewide version, The California Healthy Pets Act (AB 1634) by Assemblyman Lloyd Levine. Both my dogs (Dezmond, left, Leenah, right) are neutered.
"By requiring that all cats and dogs be spayed or neutered, we can help to
humanely decrease the number of pets abandoned and euthanized each year,"
said Mayor Villaraigosa. "This ordinance, which contains clear guidelines and
enforceable penalties, creates a valuable tool to take this city another step closer
toward eliminating the unnecessary euthanasia of animals."
The Spay/Neuter Ordinance will require all pet owners in the City of Los Angeles
to have their cats and dogs (four months of age and older) spayed or neutered,
unless otherwise exempted because the animal competes, serves as a rescue or
service animal, or unless the pet is a registered breeder. Any person violating the
spay/neuter law will be cited, and could be subject to up to a $500 dollar fine or 40
hours of community service.
“As with so many important accomplishments, this Spay/Neuter law is not the end
of the story, but rather just the beginning,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “We will
continue to lead the effort by getting our dogs and cats spayed and neutered,
licensed and permitted, and saving more animals’ lives.”
The new Spay/Neuter law will take effect in April.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
The New York Times/CBS News poll has a margin of error of +/- 5 percentage points and says that Obama is leading Clinton 54 to 38 percent among Democratic primary voters about which candidate they want to be the Democratic presidential nominee. In head-to-head matchups with Clinton versus McCain and Obama versus McCain, Obama does better (Obama lead McCain 50-38 versus a 46-46 between Clinton and McCain).
In the Associated Press/Ipsos poll Obama leads Clinton nationally 46-43 where last month he trailed her by 5 points.
In Ohio and Texas, according to DailyKos the race is also getting tighter,
2/23-25. Likely voters. MoE 3.8% (2/19 results)
Obama 49 (45) Clinton 45 (50)
2/18-23. 741 Likely Voters. MoE 3.6%. (2/14 results)
Clinton: 51 (55) Obama: 40 (34)
Poll (PDF). 2/21-24. 529 Likely Voters. MoE 4.3%. (No trend lines.)
Clinton: 47 Obama: 39
The race may be decided March 4th after all!
Monday, February 25, 2008
During previews for the movie Persepolis I saw an ad where his dazzling smile is features in the trailer for The Visitor, an independent film starring Richard Jenkins (the father in Six Feet Under) as a college professor who travels to New York City and finds an immigrant couple (played by Haaz Sleiman and Hiam Abbass) living in his apartment. The film was written and directed by Thomas McCarthy (who also wrote and drercted the indie hit The Station Agent), and was presented at this year's Sundance Film festival. Thomas McCarthy plays the ethically challenged reporter Scott Templeton on the current (and final) season of The Wire. Mad Professah applauds MCarthy for casting Sleiman in his second feature film and looks forward to seeing more of this talented (and improbably handsome) actor in the future! (hat/tip IMDb.)
Picture: No Country for Old Men
Director: Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Actress: Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose
Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Supporting Actress: Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton
Original Screenplay: Diablo Cody, Juno
Adapted Screenplay: Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Although these were the only categories I publicly made predictions in, I also predicted both Sound categories correctly for The Bourne Ultimatum and Best Score for Atonement and Best Costume design for Elizabeth: The Golden Age as well as "Falling Slowly" from Close winnning Best Song. Overall, MadProfessah was correct in 18 of 24 categories.
The most satisfying win of the night was Freeheld for Best Documentary, Short Subject. The movie is about police officer Laurel Hester's fight to make sure that her domestic partner recieved her survivor's benefits in New Jersey.
Other gay moments at the Oscars were openly gay producer Scott Rudin finally winning the Best Picture Academy Award and thanking his male partner.
Final totals were No Country for Old Men with 4 Oscars, The Bourne Ultimatum won 3 and There Will Be Blood and La Vie en Rose each won 2.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Interestingly, the largest single chunk ($19m) of the money goes to the Pride Foundation, with the rest to be distributed to the following groups over an 8-10 year period:
* The Foundation for AIDS Research (AMFAR)
* Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)
* Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
* In The Life
* International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)
* Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund
* National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF)
* Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
* Project Inform
* Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
Notice the Human Rights Campaign is not on this list!
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Williams Institute Research Director Lee Badgett, USC Law Professor Jody Armour and Georgetown Law Professor (and lead author of the Employment Non-Discrimination Law) Chai Feldblum gave an interesting perspective on the dangers of formal equality in the Beyond Anti-Discrimination Law segment.
UCLA Law Professor Grace Blumberg (left), American University Law Professor Nancy Polikoff and UC Berkeley Law Professor Angela Harris discussed the implications of Polikoff's recently published book Beyond (Straight and Gay) Marriage.
The winners of the 4th Annual Moot Court Competition,
from the University of California at Davis law school, who won $1000 from Wells Fargo.
Jean Dubofsky, former Colorado Supreme Court justice, who argued the seminal 1996 case Romer v. Evans before the United Supreme Court which ended up ruling 6-3 to invalidate an anti-gay constitutional amendment to the Colorado constitution and declare that gays and lesbians are no longer "strangers before the law"; Mad Professah; Brad Sears, Executive Director of the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at UCLA Law School.
- Michael Clayton
- No Country For Old Men
- There Will Be Blood
WILL WIN: No Country For Old Men.
- Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood
- Ethan and Joel Coen, No Country For Old Men
- Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
- Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
- Jason Reitman, Juno
SHOULD WIN: No Country For Old Men.
WILL WIN: No Country For Old Men.
- Julie Christie, Away From Her
- Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose
- Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age
- Laura Linney, The Savages
- Ellen Page, Juno
SHOULD WIN: Ellen Page, Juno
WILL WIN: Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose.
- George Clooney, Michael Clayton
- Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
- Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd
- Tommy Lee Jones, In The Valley of Elah
- Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises
SHOULD WIN: Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd.
WILL WIN: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood.
Best Supporting Actress
- Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There
- Ruby Dee, American Gangster
- Saoirse Ronan, Atonement
- Amy Ryan, Gone, Baby, Gone
- Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton
SHOULD WIN: Ruby Dee, American Gangster.
WILL WIN: Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton.
- Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
- Javier Bardem, No Country For Old Men
- Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson's War
- Hal Holbrook, Into The Wild
- Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton
SHOULD WIN: Javier Bardem, No Country For Old Men.
WILL WIN: Javier Bardem, No Country For Old Men.
Best Original Screenplay
- Nancy Oliver, Lars and the Real Girl
- Brad Bird, Ratatouille
- Diablo Cody, Juno
- Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
- Tamara Jenkins, The Savages
SHOULD WIN: Diablo Cody, Juno.
WILL WIN: Diablo Cody, Juno.
Best Adapted Screenplay
- Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood
- Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country For Old Men
- Christopher Hampton, Atonement
- Ronald Harwood, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
- Sarah Polley, Away From Her
SHOULD WIN: Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country For Old Men.
WILL WIN: Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country For Old Men.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Here are the highlights of the agenda:
10:00 - 10:50 am
Keynote Address: The Constitutional Claim for Equality in LGBT Rights Litigation, A conversation with
Nan Hunter, Professor, Brooklyn Law School
Kenji Yoshino, Guido Calabresi Professor, Yale Law School
10:50 – 11:50 am
Gary J. Gates, Senior Research Fellow, The Williams Institute
Kate Kendell, Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights
Lee Swislow, Executive Director, GLAD
Moderated by Jon Davidson, Legal Director, Lambda Legal
1:20 – 2:35 pm
Grace Blumberg, Professor, UCLA School of Law
Angela Harris, Professor, Boalt Hall School of Law, UC Berkeley
Nancy Polikoff, Professor, American University Washington College of Law
2:50 – 3:50 pm
Toni Broaddus, President & Executive Director, Equality Federation & Equality Federation Institute
Matt Foreman, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task ForceDean Spade, Law Teaching Fellow, The Williams Institute
Moderated by David Cruz, Professor, USC Gould School of Law
3:50 – 5:00 pm
Beyond Anti-Discrimination Legislation
M.V. Lee Badgett, Research Director, The Williams Institute
Chai Feldblum, Director, Federal Legislation Clinic and Professor, Georgetown University Law Center
Jody Armour, Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law, USC Gould School of Law
Moderated by Russell Robinson, Professor, UCLA School of Law
5:15 – 6:30 pm
Final Round of the 4th Annual Moot Court Competition
The Honorable Vice Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch, Arizona Supreme Court, the Honorable Justice James Graves, Mississippi Supreme Court, and the Honorable Jean Dubofsky, former Justice, Colorado Supreme Court, presiding.
cocktail Reception Hugh and Hazel Darling Law Library, UCLA Law
Mad Professah was a judge in the early round of the Moot Court competition last year and this year, so is looking forward to the final round. I'm also sad that I'm missing the conversation between Kenji Yoshino and Nan Hunter, two of the greatest legal thinkers the LGBT movement has. Hopefully I'll have some pictures of the event to show later on today.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Among Democrats (43% of respondents), 1% of registered voters approve of the President's job performance with 99% disapproving. Among Republicans (29% of respondents), 45% approve with 50% disapproving and among Independents (28% of respondents), 17% approve and 75% disapprove of the way Bush is doing his job.Month Approve Disapprove Undecided
Feb 2008 19% 77% 4%
Jan 2008 34% 59% 7%
Dec 2007 32% 66% 2%
Nov 2007 31% 64% 5%
Oct 2007 25% 67% 8%
Sep 2007 34% 60% 6%
Aug 2007 28% 65% 7%
Jul 2007 25% 71% 4%
Jun 2007 27% 67% 6%
May 2007 31% 64% 5%
Apr 2007 33% 62% 5%
Mar 2007 32% 63% 5%
Feb 2007 39% 56% 5%
Happily, there are exactly 11 more months of the Bush administration. (hat/tip to Daily Kos)
Pam's House Blend, Joe.My.God and other blogs covered the story and the National Black Justice Coalition has an exclusive interview with the nation's most prominent Black and openly gay elected official on its website.
Bartlett was elected in 2006 on his third run for public office and has endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. He is 41 years old and has two sons, 19 and 21.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
|Asparagus Salad with Pecans, Tomatoes and Tarragon Dressing|
|Canadian Sea Scallops|
with Shiitake & Shimeji Mushrooms
|Roasted Pork Tenderloins with Green Peppercorn Sauce|
|Chocolate Torte Souffle|
Japanese Flower Arrangement as table centerpiece
Shiro's is Hideo Yamashiro's restaurant in South Pasadena. It has received a rave review from S. Irene Virbila, the Los Angeles Times food critic.
Mad Professah and Mad Other Half had been wanting to try this restaurant for quite awhile and used the occasion of Valentine's day to make the short trek to the wilds of South Pasadena.
We decided to try the Wednesday night prix fixe menu and then selected some other interesting additional items. The meal started with some excellent and exceedingly light french bread and an amuse bouche of a slice of grilled red pepper wrapped around a soft cheese. We then started with an appetizer special (the shrimp tempura) which was both very light and flavorful, well-matched by the creamy but piquant dipping sauce. We then each had a salad, with the most distinctive being the Asparagus Salad (with Pecans, Tomatoes and Tarragon Dressing) which was surprisingly sweet but with an interesting combination of textures.
Our entrees were the Canadian Sea Scallops with Shiitake & Shimeji Mushrooms and the Roasted Pork Tenderloins with Green Peppercorn Sauce. They were both excellent, with the scallops being gently seasoned with nicely seared, partially caramelized edges. The pork tenderloins were astonishingly tender and the green peppercorn sauce was absolutely delicious. The vegetables on the side consisted of scallopped potatoes, carrots and zucchini.
The scalloped potatoes and carrots were particularly tasty.
The dessert we selected was the chocolate torte souffle, which was very chocolate-y and suprisingly not sweet, but not in a bad way.
Overall, the dining experience was a high quality one, particularly at a price much lower than one would pay at an equivalently fancy restaurant located on the West Side of Los Angeles.
OVERALL GRADE: A/A-.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
The email announcement has information about a Candlelight Vigil to be held tomorrow in West Hollywood:
Please join us for a candlelight vigil in memory of Lawrence King, the 15-year-old boy who was the victim of a hate-motivated shooting by a fellow classmate last week. According to his friends, Larry self-identified as gay, sometimes wore make-up and feminine jewelry, and was taunted and harassed by some of his classmates before his murder.
Please come to honor King and to speak out against anti-LGBT violence in schools.
Wednesday, February 20th
7:00 pm: Gather at West Hollywood Park
7:30 pm: Walk to San Vicente Blvd and Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood Park
647 N San Vicente BlvdWest Hollywood, CA
Read or watch Center C.E.O. Lorri L. Jean’s news conference remarks regarding the murder.
To my dearest compatriots, who have recently honored me so much by electing me a member of the Parliament where so many agreements should be adopted of utmost importance to the destiny of our Revolution, I am saying that I will neither aspire to nor accept, I repeat, I will neither aspire to nor accept the positions of President of the State Council and Commander in Chief.
The path will always be difficult and require from everyone's intelligent effort ... The adversary to be defeated is extremely strong; however, we have been able to keep it at bay for half a century.
This is not my farewell to you. My only wish is to fight as a soldier in the battle of ideas. I shall continue to write under the heading of 'Reflections by comrade Fidel.' It will be just another weapon you can count on. Perhaps my voice will be heard. I shall be careful.
Fidel Castro Ruz
The reaction in Miami's Little Havana has been muted. The Cuban Legislature will meet this weekend to select a new President, which is expected to be Fidel's brother, Raul.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Hopefully, the entry of a straight person with strong environmental credentials will not be enough to end the representation of this district by an openly gay or lesbian person.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
The Los Angeles Times continues its coverage of the shooting death of openly gay, 15-year-old Lawrence King with an article in today's paper about a student-organized march held in Oxnard Saturday. In addition, the paper's website has the above pictures by Michael Robinson Chavez added to a photo gallery.
New details are emerging about the issues involved between Lawrence King and the 14-year-old Brandon McInerney who shot him to death on Tuesday morning. Apparently King had told McInerney that he had a crush on him. Joe.My.God continues his excellent Lawrence King coverage here.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
Mad Professah is skeptical that the movie will actually happen, but has a lot of confidence in director and producer Patrik-Ian Polk to pull it off, somehow. The entire original cast from the series featuring Darryl Stephens as Noah and Doug Spearman, Rodney Chester and Christian Vincent as his ARC (friends Alex, Rodney and Chance).
In the meantime, we will be able to see another television-turned-movie adaptation this summer when the Sex in the City movie comes out on May 30.
The latest news is that Lawrence King has been taken off life support and an autopsy is planned for later today. His alleged shooter, Brandon McInerney, was charged with pre-meditated murder with special circumstances (commission of a crime with a gun and a hate crime) and faces bail set at $770, 000. McInerney turned 14 on January 24th, making him eligible to be tried as an adult for the crime due to 2000's Proposition 21 "juvenile justice" initiative, which Mad Professah voted against at the time. He is being held at the Ventura County Juvenile Hall until an arraignment set for March 21.
Lawrence King Memorial Fund and Vigil
Unite, Share, Discuss - be visible!
Join us Friday evening, February 15 at 7pm to celebrate
the life of Lawrence King.
Unite in solidarity - be seen, be heard!
The ART Barn
856 E. Thompson Boulevard
Ventura, CA 93001
7pm - Unite
8pm - Walk to the Beach
Mapquest link HERE
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Does this mean Angelenos are "knocking boots" less frequently than New Yawkers, or Allah forbid, are they just using less condoms?
Above is the newly unveiled condom wrapper for the Official NYC Condom, with the slogan "Get Some." In 2007, New York City gave away 3 million condoms per month, for an annual total of 36 million condoms for 8.2 million residents.
King had been living at Casa Pacifica, a Ventura County foster care home for abused and neglected children.
The Los Angeles Times has some information on the motive:
Police have not determined a motive in the slaying but said it appeared to stem from a personal dispute between King and the suspect.Surprisingly, I haven't seen any quotes from State Senator Sheila Kuehl, who has probably done the most to promote the protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in California of any elected official in the state.
But several students at the south Oxnard campus said King and his alleged assailant had a falling out stemming from King's sexual orientation.
The teenager sometimes wore feminine clothing and makeup, and proclaimed he was gay, students said.
"He would come to school in high-heeled boots, makeup, jewelry and painted nails -- the whole thing," said Michael Sweeney, 13, an eighth-grader. "That was freaking the guys out."
Student Juan Sandoval, 14, said he shared a fourth-period algebra class with the suspect, whom he described as a calm, smart student who played on the basketball team. "I didn't think he was that kind of kid," Sandoval said. "I guess you never know. He made a big mistake."
"Their lives are both destroyed now," said student Hansley Rivera, 12.
Several students said that a day before the shooting, King and several boys had some kind of altercation during the lunch period.
If the suspect targeted King because of his sexual orientation, the case could rise to the level of a hate crime, authorities said.
MadProfessah, like Joe.My.God, will also be following this story closely. Since I don't believe in the death penalty I disagree with others who are calling for retribution for the shooter, but I do believe that a 14-year-old can be tried as an adult, especially when the crime involves loss of life.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
The Lord of the Rings films produced by New Line are among the most financially successful films ever created by Hollywood and were released in 2001, 2002 and 2003 respectively. The cumulative worldwide gross receipts to date total nearly $6 billion. Notwithstanding the overwhelming financial success of the films, and the fact that the plaintiffs have a gross participation in each of the films, New Line has failed to pay the plaintiffs any portion of the gross profit participation at all. [emphasis added]
The trustees’ UK lawyer, Steven Maier, of Manches LLP, said: “The Tolkien trustees do not file lawsuits lightly, and have tried unsuccessfully to resolve their claims out of court. But in this case, New Line has left them no option at all. New Line has not paid the plaintiffs even one penny of its contractual share of gross receipts despite the billions of dollars of gross revenue generated by these wildly successful motion pictures. To make matters worse, to date New Line has even prevented the plaintiffs from auditing the last two films of the series. The trustees are very aggrieved by New Line’s arrogance.”
The complaint seeks, among other things, in excess of $150 million in compensatory damages, as well as punitive damages, and a declaration from the Court that the plaintiffs have a right to terminate any further rights New Line may have to the Tolkien works under the agreements, including The Hobbit, due to the serious and material nature of the breach of the agreements.
Bonnie Eskenazi, the trustees’ US counsel who filed the complaint, said, “New Line has brought new meaning to the phrase ‘creative accounting.’ I cannot imagine how on earth New Line will argue to a jury that these films could gross literally billions of dollars, and yet the creator’s heirs, who are entitled to a share of gross receipts, don’t get a penny.”
It should be noted that the Oscar-winning director-screenwriter-producer Peter Jackson had to sue New Line to receive just compensation, so maybe it's not just the writers the suits try to screw over but all creative talent.
However, by dissing the goose that lays the golden eggs, New Line is jeopardizing its previously announced participation in the movie version of The Hobbit, another book written by Tolkien which is a prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
If New Line (or Time Warner if the rumors are true) doesn't pay the Tolkien Trust some significant fraction of the $150 million that they owe them, this is one Tolkien fanboy who will be boycotting the two new Lord of the Rings films planned for December 2010 and 2011.
There have been two new episodes of Lost so far, and they have been amazing! The latest one aired on Thursday and I finally watched it this weekend. Four new characters were introduced: anthropologist Charlotte Lewis (Rebecca Mader), pilot Frank Lapidus (Jeff Fahey), "genius headcase" Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies) and ghostwhisperer Miles (Ken Leung). In the first episode of Season 4 another new character, named Matthew Abbadon, played by Lance Reddick of the The Wire, was introduced as some corporate hack for Oceanic Airlines, the company responsible for the ill-fated Flight 815.
Monday, February 11, 2008
The latest count of states won by popular vote, plus the margin of victory:
New York +17
New Jersey +10
New Hampshire +3
South Carolina +32
North Dakota +24
Barack Obama won primary electoral contests in Louisiana, Washington, Nebraska, U.S. Virgin Islands and Maine this weekend. Hillary Clinton "replaced" her campaign manager.
The current delegate count has the two basically tied (Hillary ahead by 38 delegates, with each one of them with around 1,100). This Tuesday is the "Potomac Primary" with contests in Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Virginia.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Friday, February 08, 2008
read a lengthy letter from presidential candidate Barack Obama on the occasion of
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and Heroes in the Struggle ceremony
Founder and Executive Director of the Black AIDS Institute, Phill Wilson, gace amoving speech where he talked to a future without AIDS: "And when that day comes, we want you to know, that not all of us were monsters. Some of us were brave and dared to love and care in the face of the epidemic, and it is in the loving and the caring and the fighting that we shall see a future without AIDS."
The divine Vanessa L. Williams (Soul Food) was the emcee of the evening's festivities.
Jurnee Smollett (The Great Debaters) was
named one of 2008's Heroes in the Struggle
Actor and author Hill Harper (Beloved), Harvard Law School classmate of Barack Obama,
was named a Hero in the Struggle and also donated atleast $2,000 of
his own money during the hilarious live auction. He was on his way to a red eye
flight to Louisiana to stump for Obama after the ceremony.
Black AIDS Institute Board President (2002-2007) and person living
with HIV (and never recieving an AIDS diagnosis!) for 26 years
Jesse L. Milan was named a Hero in the Struggle.
Reverend Al Sharpton spoke in place of Los Angeles County
Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, who was not present to
receive her Hero in the Struggle award.
The 2008 edition of Heroes in the Struggle was a very inspiring and pleasant event, held Thursday night in downtown Los Angeles, at the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Other Heroes in the Struggle named were: Julian Bond (Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NAACP), Danny Bakewell of the Bakewell Group (publishers of the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper), Bishop T.D. Jakes, author and radio personality Tavis Smiley and influential African American journalist George E. Curry.