We’ll get back to Sgt. Pepper tomorrow. Here’s a little touch of Ella for this special occasion.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
June 16, 1948 was a Wednesday. It was a pleasant day in St. Louis, Missouri; the high was about 78 with a little haze left over from the morning fog along the river. It was a nice day for a wedding.
The young bride and groom came to the Church of St. Michael and St. George on Wydown Boulevard for the ceremony, with the two families and close friends gathering. The bride’s younger sister was the maid of honor and the groom’s twin brother was his best man. After the brief Episcopalian service, the bridal party went to the bride’s parents home for a small reception, and then the newlyweds left on their wedding trip to Chicago, staying at the Blackstone Hotel. Then they went on to their new home in Princeton where he was finishing up his studies before moving on to Houston, Texas, where he would take up a job in the bag business.
The first child, a daughter, arrived the following year, followed the next year by a son. Then, after moving on to Dallas, a third child, the second son, arrived in 1952. Shortly thereafter they moved again, this time back to St. Louis, where in 1956 the fourth and last child, another son, completed the family.
Then in 1957 the family moved again, this time to Perrysburg, Ohio, and there they stayed, the kids growing up in a big house with a big yard, lots of friends and things to do, and the usual joys and sorrows, triumphs and tragedies, that come along with any family. Dogs, cats, birds, bikes, camp, school, Little League, dancing school, tennis lessons, swim meets, all of the cacophony and organized chaos that fits in the wayback of the Ford Country Squire for trips to the lake and the ski slopes.
All too soon came the departures: college, weddings, new worlds for the kids to explore, new lives to lead, but always knowing they had a place to come home to, a phone number — TRinity 4-7824 — to call. Over the years there have been bright days and dark nights. There have been additions and losses, pain and laughter. After all, it has been life. And through it all Mom and Dad were there for us and for themselves.
Trying to put into words what a child feels when reflecting on the lives of the people who brought him to this world is not easy. And knowing that among many of my friends, the simple fact that both of my parents are still alive and well is a rare blessing. So I will make it very simple: on the sixty-fifth anniversary of the beginning of the journey that has brought me and my sister and brothers to life, I say thank you and I love you.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) signed a bill that made it okay for public school teachers to say “Merry Christmas” and other religious holiday greetings. In doing so he said,
I’m proud we are standing up for religious freedom in our state. Freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom from religion.
Yes, it does, you dipshit.
Sean Hannity on N.S.A. surveillance: first during the Bush years, then now.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), a longtime immigration reform advocate, said Friday that because immigrants are “more fertile” they are a crucial source of labor for the United States.
“Immigrants create far more businesses than native-born Americans,” Bush said at a Faith and Freedom Coalition conference, as quoted by the Washington Post. “Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families, and they have more intact families, and they bring a younger population. Immigrants create an engine of economic prosperity.”
Not only is “the smarter Bush” on the wrong side of immigration debate for the right-wing nutsery, his inartful “fertile” comment makes it sound like he’s encouraging people to come here and have babies. Great from the pro-life point of view, but not exactly tactful. And again, it shows an unhealthy obsession with other peoples’ sexual activities.
Besides, this goes straight to the blooper reel.
Friday, June 14, 2013
Not so “many years from now,” actually.
A couple of weeks ago General Mills ran an ad for Cheerios with a biracial couple and their kid. It was an innocuous spot in and of itself, but it created consternation and monkeyhouse among the Real ‘Muricans who thought that only white couples should be seen hawking breakfast cereal.
There are some very creative people out there with the perfect response to all those haters.
HT to Melissa.
The Tampa Bay Times has a series of reports on America’s worst charities; the ones that say they raise money for a cause but keep most of the receipts for the people who run them or payback to their corporate solicitors.
The worst charity in America operates from a metal warehouse behind a gas station in Holiday, [Florida].
Every year, Kids Wish Network raises millions of dollars in donations in the name of dying children and their families.
Every year, it spends less than 3 cents on the dollar helping kids.
Most of the rest gets diverted to enrich the charity’s operators and the for-profit companies Kids Wish hires to drum up donations.
In the past decade alone, Kids Wish has channeled nearly $110 million donated for sick children to its corporate solicitors. An additional $4.8 million has gone to pay the charity’s founder and his own consulting firms.
No charity in the nation has siphoned more money away from the needy over a longer period of time.
But Kids Wish is not an isolated case, a yearlong investigation by the Tampa Bay Times and The Center for Investigative Reporting has found.
Using state and federal records, the Times and CIR identified nearly 6,000 charities that have chosen to pay for-profit companies to raise their donations.
Then reporters took an unprecedented look back to zero in on the 50 worst — based on the money they diverted to boiler room operators and other solicitors over a decade.
These nonprofits adopt popular causes or mimic well-known charity names that fool donors. Then they rake in cash, year after year.
The nation’s 50 worst charities have paid their solicitors nearly $1 billion over the past 10 years that could have gone to charitable works.
But the I.R.S. looked into the Tea Party and that’s a huge scandal.
Here’s the list of the worst charities.
(PS: If you feel like giving, there’s always your favorite blog….)
From the New York Times:
The Obama administration, concluding that the troops of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria have used chemical weapons against rebel forces in his country’s civil war, has decided to begin supplying the rebels for the first time with small arms and ammunition, according to American officials.
The officials held out the possibility that the assistance, coordinated by the Central Intelligence Agency, could include antitank weapons, but they said that for now supplying the antiaircraft weapons that rebel commanders have said they sorely need is not under consideration.
Supplying weapons to the rebels has been a long-sought goal of advocates of a more aggressive American response to the Syrian civil war. A proposal made last year by David H. Petraeus, then the director of the C.I.A., and backed by the State Department and the Pentagon to supply weapons was rejected by the White House because of President Obama’s deep reluctance to be drawn into another war in the Middle East.
To quote the immortal Han Solo, I have a bad feeling about this.
Once we do this, we are in it with no way out other than to win, and the only way to win is by sending more money and material to yet another war in the Middle East. And when it’s over — assuming that it is — we can then add it to the list of countries we own over there. We all know how that’s gone for us in the last fifty years.
I am sure that the White House and the president will come up with a cogent, well-thought out, and perfectly reasonable explanation of why we must do this. They always do — to keep America safe, to protect our allies, to pursue the ambition of freedom and democracy that we all crave. It sounds so good going in… and so very hollow when the planes start landing at Dover and the insurgents, once fighting the government there, start throwing bombs at the foreign invaders. Somehow they never seem to think of that side of the equation.
I am sure that Mr. Obama will come up with the appropriate talking points, including his emphasis on his “deep reluctance” to go to war. And I’m sure he’ll tell us it has nothing whatsoever to do with being goaded into it by a former president who used schoolyard taunts to get him to go. We always go to war for the most noble reasons, right?
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who was going to ride immigration reform into the White House in 2016 by showing the world the new meaning of compassionate conservative, is now throwing it and himself under the bus and dragging the gay community with it.
Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, a co-author and key proponent of the Senate immigration bill, said he will revoke his support if an amendment is added that allows gay Americans to petition for same-sex spouses living abroad to secure a green card.
“If this bill has in it something that gives gay couples immigration rights and so forth, it kills the bill. I’m done,” Rubio said Thursday during an interview on the Andrea Tantaros Show. “I’m off it, and I’ve said that repeatedly. I don’t think that’s going to happen and it shouldn’t happen. This is already a difficult enough issue as it is.”
Short version: All bets are off if we do anything to give those icky queers equal treatment.
This position lets him come across as a supporter of immigration reform, which is mainstream GOP, but also feeds the right-wing nutsery by gay-bashing. Or, as we say in the community, he’s versatile and will flip for the right guy.
I am really tired of having the LGBT community be the free pass for bigotry in this country in matters like health care, immigration, marriage, and anything else that passes for just letting people live their lives without being beaten up for it, and I am damn tired of people like Marco Rubio using us as his whipping boy for his political ambitions. Unless, of course, he’d like to get a little whipping for himself.
Happy birthday, Stars and Stripes.
The White House says Syrian regime did use chemical weapons.
Supreme Court rules natural genes can’t be patented.
One dead and many injured in Louisiana chemical plant explosion.
The worst-ever wildfires in Colorado have destroyed over 360 homes.
Poll: Americans hate Congress.
Court rules “Happy Birthday” is in the public domain.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Side 2, Band 1, and for many people the first time they heard a sitar.
It’s a good thing that the Southern Baptists are not happy with the Boy Scouts.
The Southern Baptist Convention on Wednesday called for the removal of some of the Boy Scouts’ leadership after the organization voted to allow gay youth to join, but did not ask its affiliated churches to pull their sponsorship of Scouting.
The convention approved the call in a resolution crafted by a committee at the group’s annual meeting in Houston. It comes three weeks after the Boy Scouts of America voted in an historic ballot to allow gay youth to join after the issue of LGBT membership had roiled the youth organization for years.
“Bapists didn’t put this on the agenda. The Boy Scouts of America put this on the agenda. This was something to which we had to respond,” said Russell Moore, president of the convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Committee.
Now that they’re on the record, it leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind that they’re a bunch of sniveling homophobic bigots and having them and their affiliated churches as sponsors of Boy Scout troops poses a danger to those young men and their families.
Being around people who routinely hate other people based on nothing more than superstition and who show an unhealthy obsession with the sexual activities of teenagers is wrong, and the Boy Scouts should be glad to be rid of them.
The GOP-led House of Representatives is set to vote next week on legislation outlawing abortions later than 20 weeks into pregnancy after Republicans passed it out of committee Wednesday by a vote of 20-12.
The Judiciary Committee marked up the bill by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), an ardent foe of abortion rights, and approved it. The current threshold provided by the Supreme Court for a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy is 24 weeks.
There are no exceptions in the bill for victims of rape — after all, according to Mr. Franks, pregnancy from rape is “rare” — or incest or if the fetus shows signs of birth defects and would not survive should it be brought to term. The full force of the United States will be brought to bear to make sure that every pregnancy is complete. And once again men get to decide what women do with their bodies and their lives. (But finding out who bought an AR-15 at the swap meet? Augh! Government intrusion!)
The bill will probably sail through the same House that has voted 37 times to repeal Obama care and then die in the Senate — long before 20 weeks has come to pass.
Meanwhile, any movement on jobs, repairing the infrastructure of the nation, or other serious work rots away like a three-week-old banana on top of the refrigerator.
Teenagers do stupid things, but when you’re the son of a United States senator, people notice.
Sen. Jeff Flake’s (R-AZ) high school aged son, Tanner, repeatedly published racial, homophobic and anti-Semitic slurs on his personal Twitter account, Buzzfeed reported on Wednesday.
On his Twitter account earlier this year, which has since been locked, Tanner threatened the “faggot” who stole his bike, writing I “will find you, and…will beat the crap out of you.” He also called someone a “Jew” for stealing people’s ideas and went by the name “n1ggerkiller” in an online game, which he posted screenshots of on his Twitter account.
In a statement to Buzzfeed, Sen. Flake said he was “disappointed” in his son’s words and apologized for the “insensitivity.”
Perhaps one of the reasons the lad posted things like that is because his dad thinks that’s being “insensitive” as opposed to being taught that crap like that earns you electronic banishment until your student loans are paid off.