Images of a Navy Academy tradition which somehow predates the repeal of DADT.
What will Maine's churches be up to on June 17th?
Scores of Maine churches will pass the collection plate a second time at Sunday services on Father's Day to kick off a fundraising campaign for the lead opposition group to November's ballot question asking voters to legalize same-sex marriages.
Between 150 and 200 churches are expected to raise money for the Protect Marriage Maine political action committee, said Carroll Conley Jr., executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine evangelical organization and a member of the PAC. Conley is also trying to drum up support for the Maine campaign from religious leaders from around the country.
It's unusual, but not unheard of, for churches to take up collections for political causes. Maine's Catholic diocese says it raised about $80,000 with a designated collection in 2009 in its effort to overturn Maine's same-sex marriage law, which was passed by the Legislature that year and later rejected by voters ...
Mitt Romney's running for the presidency because he's no good at sports.
UConn lets LGBT hockey player know: If you can play, you can play.
Lots of straight footballers agree:
... when Outsports attended the NFLPA Rookie Premiere events in Los Angeles last week, we were met with a gay-positive attitude from every player we talked to; And some warmly welcomed us with open arms. A dozen different men from various teams, both rookies and recently retired, each expressed support for gay athletes. Many shared personal experiences involving gay friends, family members, and even a gay former teammate. These aren’t third-stringers we talked to. These men are NFL stats leaders, national champions and high draft picks. They are the past, present and future leaders of the NFL.
"... brother of the blind activist Chen Guangcheng has gone missing after fleeing his village in north-eastern China to seek help for his son who is facing an attempted murder charge ...":
Chen Guangfu, the eldest brother of Chen Guangcheng, disappeared two days after he arrived in Beijing to support his son, Chen Kegui, who has been detained in a case that has become a rallying point among rights activists.
The Shandong-based lawyer Liu Weiguo said Chen Guangfu, a 55-year-old farmer and labourer, did not return to his hotel room in Beijing on Friday night.
... As of now, there’s still no news on Brother Guangfu,” Liu said. “We’re not optimistic. Guangcheng is also very worried. He’s contacting friends to look [for him].”
Britney's new job: Show up, walk off in a huff, don't come back 'til you feel like it, and make millions.
35 years ago today, George Willis climbed all 110 stories of WTC 2. Wow!
AFTER THE JUMP, see the best public proposal ever. These guys have awesome friends.
One week ago, Italian journalist and TV star Gianluigi Nuzzi released a book called His Holiness: The Secret Papers of Pope Benedict XVI, which became an instant-best seller in Italy's bookstors and seriously angered the Holy See. It was a tell-all, delivering the goods on Catholic fiscal impropriety, the covering up of Catholic fiscal impropriety, priestly boyfriends, and the headaches of dealing with the endless rolling scandal that is the American Catholic Church. Notably, the Vatican hasn't denied the book's authenticity, though it does claim its publication was illegal.
Nuzzi had been releasing his Catholic dirt and dribs and drabs for a year on his television show, The Untouchables, causing a rising tide of panic in the Vatican. And the information unearthed got weirder and uglier with every episode. By May, his spelunking in the oubliettes of Catholic rumor and secrecy had caused the Italian police to exhume the body of a feared mobster who'd been (for some uncertain reason) buried in the Holy See, right next to the Opus Dei HQ. In the mobster's tomb, police hoped to find the remains of a 15-year-old named Emanuela Orlandi who went missing three decades ago, perhaps because her dad had some dirt on a Cardinal. (Many bodies were found in the tomb; DNA testing ought to reveal whose they are or aen't sometime soon.)
Well -- when His Holiness came out, His Holiness decided he wasn't going to stand for Nuzzi's prying any longer. He bid three of his toughest Opus Dei goons to stop all Vatican leaks immediately. Which they did. The presumed leaker has been identified. He was Pope's butler and personal attendant, Paolo Gabriele.
Paolo Gabriele, 46, was arrested Wednesday for illegal possession of confidential documents, found in his apartment in Vatican territory, the Vatican said in a statement Saturday.
Gabriele, who has worked as the papal butler since 2006, is one of only a handful of people with access to the pontiff's private desk.
His job included handing out rosaries to dignitaries and riding in the front seat of the "Popemobile," a vehicle used for public papal appearances, as seen in many photographs showing Gabriele with the pope.
Elsewhere in the story appears maybe the most frightening line of prose I've read this week:
Gabriele is being held in a special cell within the Vatican City, a walled enclave within Rome ...
Minor Madonna drama: Producer William Orbit, who worked with everybody in the 80's (Cocteau Twins! Sting!) and co-created the Ray of Light album with Madge, posted an audio recording of his original, guitar-centric cut of that album's title track to YouTube last week. A discussion of Madonna broke out on Orbit's Facebook page, with one fan noting that the promotional strategy for Madonna's new record, MDNA, seemed strangely ... nonexistent.
Orbit then posted this long, illuminating, and rather sad statement:
I appreciate your analysis of the album release ‘strategy’ @Madonna Express Yourself. I wasn’t involved in its formulation in any way myself. All I will say is that certain thoughts about it that I see expressed online by committed fans such as yourself, were blindingly obvious to me from the very get go, well before the release. But I’m no Jimmy Iovine, with the ability to advocate my convictions forcefully, and as co-producer, co-writer etc am aware that it is not in my ‘job spec’.
But you won’t see me exactly jumping up and down with delight over the way that things have panned out. We were very pushed for time, due to a rather interesting and shall we just say, ‘traditional’ method of recording that the esteemed engineer Demo was partial to, and various pressing commitments that took up the artists limited time, such as perfume ranges and teen fashion contests and other such endeavours which are beyond my own limited understanding of pop star agendas.
The recording sessions for the six songs I did were hugely enjoyable for all of us. M was on form and better than ever with her singing and writing and musicality, and was having a great time. We had songs lined up that were breathtaking. You’ll hear some of them on Chris Brown’s new album, and they are the best ones, Kreayshawn’s (INCREDIBLE) new album, my own recently completed ‘Strange Cargo’ album. And some other surprising places. SNAPPED up by the artists concerned. Most of them, I believe, destined to become classics (let me know in a couple months wether you concur with that)
The team I assembled in NY for MDNA were, and are as good as it gets now. Writers and musicians and performers I picked because they take my breath away with their talent. And are totally of-the-moment in everything good that is going on in contemporary music at the moment. And usually hard to book because they are so in demand. And all of us fully committed to putting ourselves through extraordinary efforts to make MDNA the greatest album of the year.
But alas, the time wasn’t there. Great swathes of it taken up by the engineer and his assistant bouncing reverb tracks for hour after hour, night after night. Not to real tape or anything, where you could posit that there would be an advantageous sonic dividend (real tape can be magic) but all in the digital domain. A purely procedural thing. Although not a procedure I or any of my own colleagues in this game would want to squander time with.
I was just describing to a friend of mine, and whom I frequently work with Serban Ghenea (just look him up if you want to be awed) how it was done, and he thought I was kidding him!
There. I’ve said it. I did try to say it earlier but I must have not made the point with enough push, my way being to always say it with the music itself.
Over the years it’s become obvious to me that along with Madonna being the greatest pop artist of ALL time, her fan base are also the most ardent, cohesive, discerning and loyal fan base of any artist. Not saying that to blow smoke, is quite obviously true. Big respect. And long life to us all. And as you look at things in a ‘long term’ way (my way also) you always call it like you see it. And I’m with you on that too. Be honest and true, speak your heart and mind, and let the dust fall where it will.
So basically, i’d lie down in the mud if she didn’t want to get her shoes messed up (well, figuratively speaking, neither of us does a lot of Glastonbury mud tramping) it’s hard to be an effective knight when your hands are bound. I will submit to wisdoms that are possibly beyond my comprehension and that will play out to glory in the fullness of time. And get back to my own fervent canvas, and speak no more of the matter.
Oh, and if some bright spark at marketing central suggested a Hilary Clinton approach, ie, press ‘restart’ and get back in the studio for a couple weeks and do what they nowadays call a ‘re-pack’, I’d certainly put my hand up for that, whatever else I had going on. But realistically, there is only one person that could make that happen. And with the best songs in the world, and the best mixing, best ProToolsing, best team, best lyrics, best bananas, after this little screed I don’t suppose I should while away my hours staring at the phone! But i feel better for saying all that. Debt free and not beholden. The thing about having little appetite for riches and fame, and no great tower of expectations, you haven’t got anything to be taken away. And having always been an outsider, outside in the cold, It’s always clear which way the wind is blowing. I was never inside any bubble long enough to forget how the wind blows, and changes, and ebbs and gusts, and dies away completely. As before a storm. And that a beautiful bubble might yield to even a the breeze from a humble fan.
Orbit later recanted, acknowledging:
The upside to it all is that Orbit posted that fantazamazz version of "Ray of Light," in which Orbit's lead guitar just scorches. Especially during the extended coda. Madonna doesn't sound like a solo pop singer on this record; she sounds like the lead singer of a brilliant pop-rock combo. Have a listen AFTER THE JUMP ...
The MDNA comments. I should not have said them publicly. I see that and I regret that I said online. Not fair to M.
Delegate Robert G. Marshall, Virginia legislator, is one of those "straight" men who can't stop thinking about the gays. We drive him nuts. Last February he was trying to keep gays out of the VA National Guard; last June he was trying to keep the VA Fed from flying the rainbow flag. Earlier this month he was stomping all over Tracy Thorne-Begland, the Richmond attorney who was about to become a District Court judge. (Now Thorne-Begland will not be a judge.)
Last Thursday found Marshall addressing a gathering of Tea Partiers in his home-state. It was a campaign stop, more or less: Marshall's running for the United States Senate. There, Marshall elaborated on his gayhating, evincing some confusion over the meaning of the term "civil right." From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
"If sodomy is a civil right, do we have to protect it? Do we have to fund it? Do we have to teach it? Do we have to encourage it? Do we have to facilitate it?" Marshall said in an interview Thursday after an appearance at a Charlottesville meeting of the Jefferson Area Tea Party. "It is not a civil right," he added.
Marshall also said that gay sex "cuts your life by about 20 years."
Later, Marshall appeared on CNN to further explain himself. From the Dispatch:
"Did you ever see water fountains in Virginia that say heterosexuals only? I didn't. Did you ever see statements that all the homosexuals are going to ride on one bus and heterosexuals on the other? No," Marshall said.
"It is an insult to suggest that the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks are in any way parallel to the efforts to do things that have been criminal for most of this nation's history."
[Obama] didn't go on a spending spree. He didn't break up the too-big-to-fail banks. They've only gotten bigger. And fail-ier. That's not what liberals wanted. That's what conservatives wanted.
At the 2008 convention, Sarah Palin chanted "drill baby drill!" Under Obama, there's more drilling than ever. That's not what environmentalists wanted. That's what conservatives wanted.
Obama spent most of last year conceding the Republican premise that government needed cutting. That's not what progressives wanted. That's what the Tea Party wanted.
The Dow was at 7949 when he took office. Now it's 12000 and over, and corporate profits are at their highest ever. If he's a socialist, he's a lousy one. He could not be less threatening if he was walking home with ice tea and Skittles.
So the question remains. How could you guys be so unhappy with Obama while I'm so unhappy with Obama? You think you got coal in your stocking? I wanted single payer health care, a carbon emissions bill, gun control and legalized pot. If you get to carry around all this outrage over me getting that sh*t, shouldn't I have gotten it?
So just admit it. This isn't about what Obama is. it's about what you need him to be. Because hating him is what gets you up in the morning.
Watch AFTER THE JUMP ...
Science is awesome. See legally deaf 10-year-old Sammie Hicks receicve her cochlear implant, and for the first time hear the world in all its crazy polyphony, AFTER THE JUMP ...