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1 week ago
|The Monkees in 1966, Davy in the red swim trunks|
|The Monkees in 2011|
Maggie Smith won her first and much deserved Oscar for the screen adaptation of Muriel Spark's novel, "The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie." Directed by Ronald Neame, the film takes place in Edinborough, Scotland, in the 1930's and deals with the legacy of a charismatic teacher who has a tragic influence on her pupils. It also stars Smith's then-husband Robert Stephens, Celia Johnson, Gordon Jackson, and the extraordinary Pamela Franklin as the one pupil not completely taken in by the Brodie mystique. It's a fascinating coming of age film that will have you laughing, crying and fascinated by the powerhouse performance of the great Maggie Smith.
My friend Barbara, the daughter of the deceased woman, was denied communion at her mother’s funeral. She was the first in line and Fr. Guarnizo covered the bowl containing the host and said to her, “I cannot give you communion because you live with a woman and that is a sin according to the church.” To add insult to injury, Fr. Guarnizo left the altar when she delivered her eulogy to her mother. When the funeral was finished he informed the funeral director that he could not go to the gravesite to deliver the final blessing because he was sick. . . .
I am not about to paint all Christians with a broad brush. There are those out there who understand that the teachings of Jesus boil down to one thing. And that thing is Love. For if you love, you do not deny a person the solace of communion with the Creator, if that is their belief. You judge not, lest ye be judged. Only God knows the true heart of any person and in the end, if there is to be judgment, it will not come from some misguided, prejudiced priest who needs to go back to the seminary and learn the basics. And if he can’t find them there, then he needs to get down on his knees and pray to his Jesus to forgive him the terrible trespass he visited upon a grieving woman on the occasion of the death of her mother.
This is but one small story but it is indicative of the battle raging in America today. It is an ugly battle and one I never thought I would see. But it is here and we must deal with it. We must keep politics out of religion and religion out of politics. Perhaps if we can get back to a place where the separation of church and state are once again accepted as one of the founding principles of this country, stop trying to out-Christian each other, stop vilifying other religions and other people based on purely human and not godly concepts, we will begin to mend the fractures that are tearing us apart today. To do that, the Father Guarnizos and the Rick Santorums of the world will have to undergo a radical change of heart and I don’t think they have it in them. So it is up to the rest of us.
Meanwhile, by the end of this year we will have Google glasses that act like a smartphone and look like Oakleys:
They will also have a unique navigation system. "The navigation system currently used is a head tilting to scroll and click," [blogger Seth Weintraub] wrote this month. "We are told it is very quick to learn and once the user is adept at navigation, it becomes second nature and almost indistinguishable to outside users." ... The glasses will have a low-resolution built-in camera that will be able to monitor the world in real time and overlay information about locations, surrounding buildings and friends who might be nearby, according to the Google employees.
|Karen Golinski and wife Amy Cunninghis|
DOMA, as applied to Ms. Golinski, violates her right to equal protection of the law under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution by, without substantial justification or rational basis, refusing to recognize her lawful marriage to prevent provision of health insurance coverage to her spouse.More on the story here and here. Text of Judge White's ruling below, which applies very nearly the same judicial reasoning found in the ruling by Judge Joseph L. Tauro in the Gill and Massachusetts cases in 2010: it just ain't right to discriminate without good reason, and the other side has no damn good reason. Period.
Accordingly, the Court issues a permanent injunction enjoining defendants, and those acting at their direction or on their behalf, from interfering with the enrollment of Ms. Golinski's wife in her family health benefits plan.
Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn and William Holden get the Billy Wilder romantic treatment in SABRINA. Set in the wealthy background of the Long Island rich, Sabrina is a comic update of the classic story of The Prince and the Beggar Maid, but with a Wilder twist. Audrey has never been more beguiling or looked more chic than in her Givenchy wardrobe, which Edith Head took the Oscar for! Holden is dreamy with his blond hair, sexy smile and white tuxedo. But the big surprise is Bogart, who steals the picture in a role tailored for Cary Grant. It's champagne entertainment all the way and perfect for that Valentine's Day "post romantic stress disorder."
|Four Hands, One Heart|
Legislation legalizing gay marriage is on its way to the governor after passing the state House by a 55-43 vote.However, antigay activists have promised to gather enough signatures to force the issue to be placed on a ballot this November, so the implementation of the law may be delayed pending the outcome of the referendum.
Gov. Chris Gregoire, who supports the measure and watched as lawmakers voted, has five days to sign it after the bill arrives. She hasn't set a date yet.
There was never any doubt the legislation would be approved in the House. More than 50 lawmakers announced support for the bill before it came up for a vote.
The biggest hurdle was the state Senate, which has conservative Democrats opposed to the measure. Even there, it passed last week with a 28-21 vote.
The Constitution of the United States begins with 'We the People'; it does not begin with 'We the Judges'. Federal judges need to take heed of that fact. Federal judges are substituting their own political views for the constitutional right of the people to make judgments about the definition of marriage. Should the Supreme Court fail to heed the disastrous lessons of its own history and attempt to impose its will on the marriage debate in this country by affirming today’s Ninth Circuit decision, it will bear the burden of igniting a constitutional crisis of the first order.Matt Staver, head of the rightwing Liberty Counsel legal group, is on board the same train of thought:
This is a travesty of justice and it undermines the legitimacy of the judiciary. When judges find that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, it's absolutely absurd. . . . . I think this is the unraveling of the actual judiciary. It is the very seeds, as Thomas Jefferson said, of tyranny.Ditto Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and just about everybody else in the GOP, ranting and raving about yesterday's ruling taking away the rights of millions of (straight and homophobic) American citizens to enact discrimination into law. I suppose if the citizens of a state voted to reintroduce slavery, all these God-fearing, patriotic Republicans would likewise demand that the people's vote be the last word on the subject, and no "activist judges" allowed to intervene there, either.
With Gallagher, it is not that the personal is political but that the personal gave birth to the political. They were umbilically linked, and they are related, but they are separate. Two anima live within her; when you are talking with her, sometimes the personal answers back, sometimes the political. The personal is uncauterized emotion; the political is pure thought, almost autistically so. The personal facts do not always impinge on the political conclusion. Gallagher’s family life is a cobbled-together, junk-strewn, happy, loving mess: absent baby-daddy, later husband (of a different religion), separation then reunion, two sons by two fathers, and an annoyed biological grandmother on Facebook. But Gallagher’s political philosophy brooks no uncertainty.
“I have no doubts who will win in the end,” Gallagher says. “One hundred years from now the globe will not be full of societies that endorse same-sex unions as marriages. What happens between now and then is going to be less certain and full of struggle. In the long struggle, I’ll bet on human nature to overwhelm ideology. The thing about same-sex marriage is it’s based on a fundamental untruth: same-sex unions are not the same as opposite sex unions. They are not marriages.” . . .
Same-sex marriage is just a big lie, she believes, like Communism. It is weak at its foundations, like the Iron Curtain. It may get built, she seems to concede — in 10 years, or 20, there may be more states that recognize same-sex marriage, more shiny, happy couples raising rosy-cheeked, well-adjusted children, children who play with dogs and go to school and fall from jungle gyms and break their arms, children often adopted after being abandoned by the heterosexuals who did not want them or could not care for them — but in time (big time, geological time, God time) the curtain will be pulled back, or it will fall. Because it has to. It cannot be otherwise. Because a son, as Maggie Gallagher will tell you, needs a dad.
Although the Constitution permits communities to enact most laws they believe to be desirable, it requires that there be at least a legitimate reason for the passage of a law that treats different people differently. There was no such reason that Proposition 8 could have been enacted.A three-judge panel of the federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today struck down California's gay-marriage ban as violating the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U. S. Consitution. The court's opinion was written by Judge Stephen Reinhardt, joined by Judge Michael Daly Hawkins.
Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples. The Constitution simply does not allow for laws of this sort.
Judge N. Randy Smith dissented, saying there were "legitimate governmental interests" in restricting the definition of marriage to a union between a man and woman.The Los Angeles Times makes this observation:
Proposition 8 backers can now ask the 9th Circuit to rehear the case with an 11-judge panel, or proceed directly to the Supreme Court. Smith's dissent could be a strong indicator there will be some support within the court to take a second look at the case.
The appeals court also rejected the argument that Walker's ruling should be scrapped because he did not disclose he was in a long-term same-sex relationship while he was handling the case. Smith joined in that part of the ruling.
As a result of the continued legal wrangling, same-sex marriages are not expected to resume in California any time soon, with further appeals likely to stretch at least into next year.
In the ruling, Reinhardt, considered one of the nation's most liberal judges, relied heavily on the U.S. Supreme Court's 1996 decision striking down a Colorado law that stripped gays and lesbians of protections against discrimination there.
The ruling, however, was focused on California's circumstances, notably the fact Proposition 8 took away the right of same-sex couples to marry that had been established in a 2008 California Supreme Court decision.
The 9th Circuit did not declare a fundamental right for same-sex couples to marry, a broader definition that could have undercut bans on gay marriage in four other western states.
The 2-1 decision by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will have limited effect outside California because it is based on voter repeal of a right a minority already enjoyed.
"The people may not employ the initiative power to single out a disfavored group for unequal treatment and strip them, without a legitimate justification, of a right as important as the right to marry," the court said.
Santa Clara University constitutional law Professor Margaret M. Russell said the ruling overturned Proposition 8 on “the narrowest grounds possible,” which makes it less likely that the U.S. Supreme Court would review it.
“It is very much anchored in the role of Proposition 8 in California’s history,” the professor said, adding that it would have little effect outside of California.
|The famous Coronation portrait of the Queen|
by photographer Cecil Beaton. (Another kind of queen.)
The encyclopedia I had as a child used a full page for this lovely
portrait, which has been engraved on my memory ever since.
|With somebody I used to know.|
Today would have been our twentieth anniversary.