Africa | AIDS/HIV | Australia | Barney Frank | Boston | Christina Aguilera | Cyndi Lauper | Florida | Iran | Israel | Margaret Court | Mitt Romney | United Nations

NEWS: A Hugely Important Times Story, Barney Frank Salutes His Hero, And 'At Last' Revisited

Picture 31
Road Journalist Ronen Bergman gets the most incredible access to the Israeli military apparatus and reports a very long, very compelling, and very grim story for the Times, in which he discusses the assassination of Iranian scientists, the secrets of the Mossad, the build-up to war, and a whole lot of unknown history. The story's too big to meaningfully excerpt here. Just pour a drink, take a deep breath, and read.

Road Pictures of poverty; shades of Walker Evans.

Road Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki Moon exhorts African leaders to respect LGBT rights:

“One form of discrimination ignored or even sanctioned by many states for too long has been discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” Ban said.

“It prompted governments to treat people as second class citizens or even criminals,” he added.

Road First he contracted HIV. Then he developed brain cancer. Now Richard Brodsky is running for his life.

Road Bigoted Australian tennis legend still clutching her Bible, still smiling like somebody's benign grandma, still talking:

"We get them (homosexuals) in (at church) and you'll find that many, many of them have been abused". When asked if she felt such abuse led people to homosexuality, Court said: "Yes. You look at a lot of them, that's happened."

... "The word of God is our TV guide to life. It's not the fear book, it's a love book and it tells us how to live our lives."

"I would have won six Wimbledons not three . . . if I'd known what I know now from the scriptures, on the area of the mind."

Road Parents and grandparents of LGBT folk to run a TV ad in Australia:

The advertisement, organised by the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, is designed to increase the pressure on Mr Abbott to grant Coalition MPs a conscience vote on same-sex marriage. The group's spokeswoman, Shelley Argent, said Mr Abbott was out of step with public opinion on the issue, citing a Galaxy poll from November which showed 76 per cent of Coalition voters supported a conscience vote on same-sex marriage.

... ''This is a country where we all have only one vote each," [said Ms Argent.] "Why does Mr Abbott think he has the right to the votes of half the federal MPs, namely the entire Coalition? He knows and we know that many are in favour of marriage equality and this is what he fears.

''As parents we want our same-sex-attracted sons and daughters to have the choice and right to celebrate their relationships exactly the same as their straight siblings and extended family members, and to have these same relationships validated in the eyes of the law.''

Road More fun with Sen. Stacey Campfield, a lawmaker utterly undone by Facebook byzantine privacy settings.

Road Mitt Romney will probably win Florida on Tuesday.

Picture 26 Road Barney Frank's loving tribute to his political mentor, former Boston Mayor Kevin H. White, who died on Friday:

"He was an enormously important figure for the city, for many of the values I cared about and, in my case, really made a great difference in my life," Frank said. "I was still, when I met him, planning on an academic career, figuring I would dab in politics. He was the one who persuaded me to try fulltime government political work."

"He is the reason I've done what I have done for the past 40 years," Frank said.

White also was the first major state-level political figure to open up the political system to new people, including African-Americans and gays, Frank said.

"He was just the first modern mayor," Frank said.

Road If Xtina's version of "At Last" didn't do it for you, maybe this will. A big voice and a lot of class, AFTER THE JUMP ...


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  1. I always knew Cyndi Lauper could really sing - and this proves it. Much better than Christina Aguilera's self-congratulatory version.

    Posted by: Steve | Jan 29, 2012 7:51:06 PM

  2. If Israel attacks Iran they should be left on their own.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jan 29, 2012 8:16:14 PM

  3. Cyndi Lauper has wowed me. Gorgeous song, gorgeously sung.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Jan 29, 2012 8:29:38 PM

  4. Ehrenstein is a self-hating Jew.

    Posted by: Joseph Singer | Jan 29, 2012 8:55:04 PM

  5. Thank you Cyndi. For those of us not lucky enough not to live in a real city it is a treat.

    Posted by: Kyle | Jan 29, 2012 9:34:07 PM

  6. Virtually all LGBT people have been abused. They have been verbally abused by their religious institutions.

    Posted by: Charlie | Jan 29, 2012 10:30:54 PM

  7. 1. Iran vs. Israel. It is inevitable that Iran will become nuclear. So a preemptive strike seems nothing less than a declaration of war (to what end?) And as we've seen with Iraq and Afghanistan, waging a war in the middle east is not something we can "win" in the sense that we can turn them into a functioning and supportive democracy. I for one, am sick of seeing the U.S. spend Trillions on what is nothing less than folly. If there is to be military action to be taken against Iran, let it be led by the countries most impacted by this threat--Israel, and the E.U. As for the threat of a nuclear bomb getting into the U.S. through iranian connections with Mexican drug lords--even though that sounds pretty far-fetched and makes me wonder if it isn't Israeli propaganda to incite us to action, well, I'm not sure how we prevent that in any case. But given that Iran becoming nuclear is inevitable, I don't see how starting ww3 will prevent it either.

    I am supportive of the idea of Israel, but only to a point. If the world wants Israel to exist, let's make sure the world is paying the financial and military price--why should we bear the greatest share of the responsibility? Why not hit up Germany for support. They kinda owe the jews. Big time.

    2. The HIV runner. Something odd about that story. They guy goes on the D.L., has unsafe sex while married to a woman, he gets HIV, she stays with him and now he's straight and faithful? What, did he pray away the gay? And what kind of a woman stays with a man who has been having unsafe sex with men, brings home HIV and then hopes he doesn't do it again and is now straight? I mean, good for him for beating the odds, but he hardly sounds like a hero.

    3. On abuse makes gays. And there are plenty of white straight men who have been abused who are not gay. Any ink on this woman is a waste. Nothing she says makes sense except to those who hate us already. Can we just ignore her? She's not dangerous because she's too much of a nut.

    4. Yes, Cyndi. That's how it's done with soul.

    Posted by: dms | Jan 30, 2012 1:37:51 AM

  8. Germany's responsibility is to pay victims of the Holocaust, not the Israeli government. Futhermore, while I believe Germans born today have a responsibility to keep the memory of the horrors of National Socialism alive and present in our political consciousness, this transmission of guilt (or victimhood) is absurd and is (hopefully) reaching its end. Germany has paid its dues. Has Russia even recognized its atrocities, much less even tried to make amends for them? Why don't you go after them for some cash?

    Posted by: architectinberlin | Jan 30, 2012 4:03:35 AM


    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jan 30, 2012 8:30:05 AM

  10. Ah, Cyndi. There's only one.

    Posted by: Kile Ozier | Jan 30, 2012 8:42:26 AM

  11. Oh Cyndi Dear...You Are Still My # 1.....AMAZING!!

    Posted by: Josh | Jan 30, 2012 9:25:48 AM

  12. most people are familiar with Cindi and her biggies and in large venues; when you have the privilege to see her in a more intimate setting, you instantly realize that she has many, many skills and an incredible voice;

    i agree that Etta would have liked Cindi's cover; it's beautiful...

    Posted by: mike/ | Jan 30, 2012 9:33:12 AM

  13. Israel has got to go. Disappear, wiped out, closed down, whatever. Just go.

    Not Judaism, you understand, just Israel.

    Posted by: ndoc | Jan 30, 2012 10:08:24 AM

  14. Cindi, At Last indeed, you rock.

    Ehrenstein is too gluttonously full of himself to ever be self-hating.

    Iran is too close to implosion to be certain of nuclear explosion. Israel has every right to exist. Taking it from there in any direction is the only inevitable part, with no hope of consensus. Take cover.

    Posted by: uffda | Jan 30, 2012 11:13:22 AM

  15. this is the song Cyndi has always needed to sing to validate her as a truly great artist. When is the album coming out, dear?

    Posted by: mdtopdad | Jan 30, 2012 12:33:31 PM

  16. @MDTOPDAD - it came out in 2003 on the album "At Last". "Walk On By" was the single serviced to clubs.

    Posted by: Sean Mac | Jan 30, 2012 1:24:40 PM

  17. At Last came out in 2003. It's a beautiful album of standards by the greatest singer of all time Ms Cyndi Lauper.

    Posted by: Alex | Jan 31, 2012 2:40:55 AM

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