Current Affairs Hub




Notes from Our Leader

Bush_perch

Bush to German newspaper Bild after being asked about the high point of his Presidency since taking office in 2001:

"You know, I've experienced many great moments and it's hard to name the best. I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5 pound perch in my lake."

Considering I can't think of any great moments either, it's hard to disagree with the man.

And the worst moment? 9/11.

Pres: "In such a situation it takes a while before one understands what is happening. I would say that this was the hardest moment, once I had the real picture before my eyes."

Bush_pet_goat

Bush's Best Moment in Office? Reeling in Big Perch [washington post]


Dick and Mary Cheney on Homosexuality

Dick_maryAccording to Matt Drudge, Todd Purdum asks Dick Cheney in the new issue of Vanity Fair whether or not he thinks gay people are born that way. Cheney's answer? "Nice try. I’m not going to get into that. Those are deeply personal questions. You can ask." Don't ask questions that might expose hypocrisy, Todd.

Purdum also chatted with the VP's daughter: "In her new memoir, Now It's My Turn...Mary Cheney writes that when she told her parents she was gay, the first words out of her father’s mouth 'were exactly the ones that I wanted to hear: 'You’re my daughter, and I love you, and I just want you to be happy.' Mary Cheney tells her story in a voice very much like her father’s, and that she came out to her parents when she was a junior in high school, on a day when, after breaking up with her first girlfriend, she skipped school, ran a red light, and crashed the family car. Cheney writes that her mother hugged her, but then burst into tears, worried that she would face a life of pain and prejudice."

Why would Lynne Cheney worry her daughter was going to face a life of pain and prejudice? Oh yeah, her father helps legislate it.


Larry Miller Meets with Gay and Lesbian Students

Larry_miller_2Wow. Now this is great to see. Real dialog between a bigot and those affected by his actions.

Larry Miller, the Utah theater owner who pulled Brokeback Mountain from his theaters last January, met with about 30 gay and lesbian students at the University of Utah who enlightened him about what it's like to be gay. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, students told Miller about the difficulties of coming out and the fear of being physically harmed. The discussion appeared to change Miller's previously unwavering stance on his decision to pull the movie.

Said Miller: "Now, I understand how something I said inadvertently made them feel demeaned as individuals. Maybe their well-being trumps my beliefs, my rights to express myself...In 2006, it's wrong that they have to live in that fear."

Students were very positive about the meeting. Charles Milne, coordinator of the university's LGBT Campus Resource Center: "I felt like he cared about what we had to say. I wouldn't say we changed his mind, but I think he did come away with ideas he had to process."

Imagine the strides that could be made if this kind of exchange happened more often.

VIDEO.

Miller at the U.: Second thoughts about 'Brokeback'? [salt lake tribune]

Previously
Utah Theater Nixes Brokeback [tr]
Bigot Larry Miller Still in the Hot Seat [tr]
Larry Miller Proud He Made Money Off Bigotry


Supporters Rally Behind Kentucky Student

Johnson_rally

Jason_johnsonAlthough Jason Johnson has reached a deal with the University of the Cumberlands to finish this semester's work, students and legislators came together for a rally yesterday in Williamsburg, Kentucky to protest the Baptist school's policies regarding homosexual students. Johnson was expelled from the school after officials found gay-oriented material on his MySpace page which they determined warranted his dismissal.

Said Johnson: "I was shown a photocopy of my MySpace page, a paper copy of it. They asked me if it was my page, I told them it was, and then they asked me to go ahead and leave campus."

Among the protestors were Johnson's boyfriend Zac Dreyer (below left) and the only openly gay member of Kentucky's General Assembly, State Senator Ernesto Scorsone, who told the crowd, "In the long run, this will be a turning point and we'll make it so. I'll tell you why: Because of the beliefs of fair-minded Kentuckians."

Protestors at the rally also urged Governor Ernie Fletcher to veto $11 million in coal-severance money which is earmarked for scholarships and a pharmacy school at Cumberlands. The Gov. remains undecided.

Johnson_rally_2 Johnson_rally_3

Students rally to protest Cumberlands' anti-gay policy [courier-journal]
Kentucky students rally in support of gay classmate [wbir]


Gay Families Stymied at White House Easter Egg Roll

Bush_bunny_1

Gay families who lined up over the weekend (some for 24 hours) hoping to create a visual impact at the opening of the White House's annual Easter Egg roll this morning were disappointed to be given tickets that afford them a much later entrance time. In prior years, entrance to the Easter Egg roll has been first come, first served. Now, instead of having the opportunity to greet the President and First Lady Laura Bush, the gay families will find the Cookie Monster and Clifford the Dog on hand to greet them.

Gay_easter_1Inquiries by PageOneQ as to the reasons for the ticketing change were met with this response: "This year, the President and Mrs. Bush invited a special group of children who volunteer from organizations like 4-H, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Campfire USA, Citizen Corps, Learn & Serve, Little Hands Big Hearts, YMCA and Youth Service America. These youth volunteer were invited to attend during the morning hours of the event."

Seems like a Roveian move to me. It's hard to argue against youth volunteers. But was it naive of gay parents to believe that the statement their presence might have made at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll would not somehow be blunted by the Bush strategists?

Perhaps. But at least one gay parent who plans to be there says it doesn't matter: "The fact that the White House couldn’t cancel the event or keep our families out, without getting egg on its face, suggests that things are shifting in America, because it’s assumed there would be some negative reaction from a portion of the American public, a significant portion perhaps. And, if there has been a subtle shift it’s because we’ve been visible as families in our communities, all over the country."

White House Changes Easter Egg Roll Admit Process [page one q]
Easter Egg Roll Delay for Gay Families [the republic of t]
Gay Parents' Protest Comes up Against the Cookie Monster [telegraph]


Massive Cock Hunt to Start in Key West

Cock_4

There are approximately 2,000 chickens that wander freely in Key West, and they're impossible not to notice. I shot the photo above on my trip to KW last November. There's a movement underway to round up all the chickens that roam the streets of this island, a rest stop for thousands of migrating birds. Fears that the avian flu could be spread to the town's poultry population have some residents, including the City Commissioner Bill Verge, pushing for their removal.

Said Verge: "We're not trying to spread panic about it. Just like the oncoming of a hurricane ... it's just called preparedness."

Chickens have wandered the island since the mid-1800s, when cockfighting was a popular sport. Despite the fact that they "crow at all times of the day, tear up lawns and defecate everywhere" the fowl are like the island's unofficial mascot.

So if you're in the mood to round up some birds, head down to the island chain. And if you'd rather hunt for the kind of cock that doesn't crow, there are plenty of great places to do that as well.

Key West Chickens Raise Bird Flu Fears [cbs news]


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