Left-wing candidate François Hollande has defeated incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in Sunday's runoff, exit polls say, becoming the first Socialist to win a presidential election since François Mitterrand in 1988.
François Hollande has won France’s presidential election, giving the country its first Socialist president in almost two decades, exit polls showed Sunday.
According to Ipsos polling institute, the left-wing candidate took 51.7% of the vote to incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy’s 48.3%.
Celebrations are underway at the iconic Place de la Bastille in central Paris, the same spot where the last Socialist to win a presidential election, François Mitterrand, celebrated his first victory back in 1981.
American politics: worse than it looks.
The writer's father came, but seemingly never all the way:
It was around the time that Bart died of AIDS that things began to get really bad. That was when my dad had dyed his bangs platinum, which didn’t go over so well with the congregation he then served and would not serve much longer. This was around the time that in a fifth- or sixth grade art class I made a painting of a male seraph sealed in a black box in the center of an otherwise Edenic scene and wrote, in black block letters across the top, Who are you forcing into the closet? A nasty debate ensued over whether it could go up on the middle-school wall. I can only imagine that my dad had gone to see “Angels in America,” talked about it at home. It is, however, also possible that this episode lends credence to his idea that I knew all along …
Anti-gay Nebraska football coach Ron Brown attracts media attention for not testifying against Omaha's anti-discrimination law. Why isn't he testifying? Because he doesn't want to attract media attention:
Brown, who the university has said is within his rights as a citizen to express his religious and political views publicly, says he doesn't want his appearance to make news.
"A number of fellow Christians who have been working on legislation and working on the nuts and bolts of this issue told me, 'Look, there's going to be so much media attention over you, it's going to take away from the issue,'" Brown told the Lincoln Journal Star on Saturday.
"Everything inside of me said, 'I don't want the media to stop me from going.' Then I realized it was going to be a circus, and everybody already knows how I think. My views stand the same.
"As I prayed about it, I thought it was not in the Lord's will for me to testify."
In One Person: John Irving's new novel about a "sexual suspect."
Here's an astounding excerpt from the upcoming book Queer and Present Danger, in which Kate Borstein recounts how one star-crossed encounter with a Swiss banker led to her excommunication from Scientology's hierarchy:
… they kept asking me those kinds of questions for a total of six hours, carefully watching the e-meter for any signs that might reveal my evil deeds. Six hours, no evil deeds. Finally, the guy across from me played his ace. He said I’ve got a choice: I can do three years of hard physical labor, sleeping a maximum of six hours a night on a cold cement floor, eating only table scraps, and talking only with other bad people like me who were relegated to the months-old Rehabilitation Project Force. I could either do that, he said, or I could leave and be excommunicated from the Church of Scientology for the remainder of all my lifetimes ahead of me. The young officer told me that he’s going to live into the future as a hero.
“Without Scientology, you are gonna degrade into a mindless slug of a spiritual being. You’re gonna be a body thetan, attached to the toe of some street bum.”
Apparently homophobia, like homosexuality, isn't really a choice.
A handy guide to Mittian Mormonism:
If the doctrine itself is a problem, stick around for a while and wait for it to change. If you think it unlikely, for example, that multiple advanced civilizations, descended from Israelite tribes, thrived and warred for hundreds of years in pre-Columbian upstate New York without leaving any archaeological evidence behind, the church now cheerfully entertains the possibility that the hill where Smith “found” his golden plates is one of two named “Cumorah,” with the other one — the one repeatedly referenced in the Book of Mormon — likely standing somewhere in Central America.
The racism underpinning the whole of the original Book of Mormon, which tells the story of a virtuous light- skinned tribe warring with an evil dark- skinned tribe (the “sons of Ham,” cursed with dark skin for eternity by God for their wickedness), was wiped away by decree in 1978. Significant changes to the hallowed “temple endowment” ceremony in 1990 got rid of the bit where women had to promise to be subservient to husbands. Even the “Temple Garments” (yes, the magic underpants) have gradually become easier and easier to conceal under “normal” clothes.
The modern Mormon aesthetic is deeply indebted to Walt Disney, but somehow even more square …
9/11 defendants say trial is "rigged."