Mankoff's eleven favorite cartoons are here.
If you're in the mood for more, here's a slideshow of readers' favorites to enjoy.
James Wilby, Hugh Grant and Rupert Graves turn in subtle and brilliant performances in Merchant Ivory's adaptation of E. M. Forester's romantic gay love story, Maurice. Published after Forester's death and hidden for decades, it concerns the romance of a two young men at Cambridge at the turn of the century, what their love affair costs them and how they manage to find peace and happiness in a society which forbids, admonishes, and punishes them for their inclinations. Gloriously photographed, meticulously directed, and exceptionally cast, it is one of the greatest and most honest love stories ever filmed.
|Unknown male couple from the late 1800's|
seem to peer at us through the mists of time;
found at Antique Erotic.
|At 9 p.m. BST, an aerial view from the Telegraph's live coverage shows|
a small crowd gathered in front of Buckingham Palace to cheer the news.
The baby was born at 4.24pm, weighing 8lbs and 6ozs. The Duke of Cambridge was present at the birth, and both mother and baby are said to be doing well.Well done, Kate.
The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry & families have been told and are delighted.
A baby, to be welcomed into the world, does not have to show any qualifications. The nation welcomes this particular prince not just because his parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have exhibited charm, humour and a sense of duty. Nor is an heir to the throne a good thing just because the present Queen is so admirable. It is the case, though, that Britain is readier now to declare itself in favour of the monarchy than a generation ago. This only reflects the arguments of republicans, which are threadbare and theoretical, whereas the benefits of the monarchy have been tried and tested by any Briton alive. Nor is it an objection that an heir comes by accident of birth. Accidents of birth are the way that families continue in being, and a family is a microcosm of the kingdom. . . .
The Prince arrives at an interesting time in the history of the United Kingdom. It is in a period of transition, though not, we are confident, a transition to a dismembered Union. Gone is the weary presumption that we are a small island in decline. We have always been quite a large island, as islands go. The sense of nationhood need not run out like North Sea oil. “No future” sang the Sex Pistols for the Silver Jubilee of 1977, but there was a future, of our own making – and there still is. The monarchy is part of it. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, exhibited a welcome historical perspective in commenting on the birth. When this child is old, he observed, “the 1940s will be as far away as the Crimean War and the charge of the Light Brigade is today”. Many of us will not be there to look back from that standpoint, but it shows vividly that (like any child) a prince is a declaration of confidence in the future. By embodying history, monarchy is implicitly conservative; by investing in generations to come it is implicitly progressive.
So we are left with emotions as warm as the weather. These are not irrational if founded on a fact, and a fact weighing 8lb 6oz is a solid enough fact. We wish mother and son well. When any baby is born we may want to ring bells in celebration. For a prince, we can, and the big guns too will fire 41 times in salute. This is something we are not shy to make a noise about.
The Queen is expected to be asked to give her approval to the Bill – one of the most radical pieces of social legislation of her reign – by the end of this week. It opens the way for the first legally recognised same-sex weddings to take place in England and Wales by next summer and brings the centuries-old understanding of marriage as being solely between a man and a woman to an end. Peers gave their assent to the third reading of the Government’s same-sex marriage bill without a formal vote after a short debate in the Lords, also backing plans for a review of pension arrangements for gay couples. Unless MPs object to the bill at the eleventh hour during a short Commons debate set to take place on Tuesday, it is expected to receive royal assent within days.A transcript of today's debate is here. Of particular note are the remarks of Labour peer Lord Rowlands, recounting the remarkable changes he has seen over nearly a half-century in Parliament:
My Lords, I rise to make a brief contribution — my one and only contribution to the Bill — because listening to the debates and reading the correspondence has brought vivid memories back to me of voting at 4.27 am, 46 years ago this month, by 99 votes to 14 for Mr Leo Abse’s Sexual Offences Act decriminalising homosexuality. I was a 27-year-old Member of Parliament who had only been elected the year before, totally unexpectedly so because I was not expected to win a Conservative stronghold. That brief political experience did not prepare me for the vehemence of the reaction to my stance in that year. I have never since come across anything quite like the level of abuse and vehemence that I received in certain quarters of the constituency because of my support for that Bill. How could I possibly legitimise such horrid, heinous and sinful practices? The church, at that time, took rather a curious position on the Bill. It kind of supported it because it could help in the mission to save the sinful souls of homosexuals. The Bishop of London of the time said that it would allow, “the reformation and recovery . . . of those who have become the victims of homosexual practices”.
I do not know how well that mission has succeeded since.
I have alluded to this past experience for two reasons. First, I have been impressed and pleased by how much more measured, more sensible and more mature a debate we have had this time on such sensitive issues as opposed to way back in 1967. It shows that society itself has matured and, I believe, become more capable of handling such issues in a sensitive and helpful manner. Nevertheless, passions and fears have been aroused by the Bill. Therefore, the second reason why I have referred to this past experience is that, in such situations, I have always found that a bit of historical perspective is helpful. Has anyone ever tried to repeal that heinous, horrible Bill of 1967? No. Did all the dire consequences, which my constituents at that time said would happen to society if we supported the Bill, come to pass? I do not think so. Therefore, I believe that, with the passage of time, we will also find with this Bill that some of the fears that have been expressed will prove unfounded, as they were after 1967.
In my personal relations, I am as old fashioned and strait laced as can be. I had a 35-year marriage to one woman until death did us part, so I have had the experience and joy of a long and happy marriage. I do not believe that I should deprive gay people of that same opportunity. It is about equality before the law. As I said, the vote to which I referred earlier took place at the uncivilised time of 4.27 am. We can support the Third Reading of this Bill at a civilised time because the Bill itself is civilising.And the noble lords for a final time brought the peripatetic George Clooney into view with this observation by Labour leader Baroness Thornton:
To noble Lords who opposed the Bill I say that you have tested the Bill to within an inch of its life, and for that I congratulate you. No one expected that getting the Bill through your Lordships’ House would be a walk in the park, and I think that noble Lords have done their job as they see it with dedication and commitment.
There were moments at midnight when we were again discussing adultery when I thought we were never going to reach this point. Those moments were made all the more memorable by the description by the noble Baroness, Lady Stowell of Beeston, of what is adultery and what is not. I refer noble Lords to column 146, 8 July 2013, if they are in any doubt. I wish her well with George Clooney, and I myself do not think that he is anything like worthy of the noble Baroness.Update, 7/16/13: The House of Commons today passed the amended bill, after two hours of debate - though your Head Trucker can't find anywhere what the vote was, so perhaps it was done by a mere voice vote. The bill now will be sent to the Queen for her Royal Assent, and thereupon will become law.
The Department responded by saying "work is already underway" to address the many legal and practical technicalities of marriage equality, and the transition of civil unions to marriage, including adjustments to registrations, court rules, IT systems, and other paperwork. “Parliament will also need to scrutinize a number of statutory instruments setting out how the new arrangements will apply to other legislation [and work out procedural details] to ensure that marriages of same-sex couples in England and Wales are treated in Scotland and Northern Ireland as civil partnerships.”
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban last year for demanding education for girls, marked her 16th birthday with an emotional speech at the United Nations on Friday in which she said education could change the world.
"Let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution," a confident Yousafzai said to cheers from the podium. Wearing a pink head scarf, Yousafzai told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and nearly 1,000 students from around the world attending a Youth Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York that education was the only way to improve lives.
Yousafzai was shot at close range by gunmen in October as she left school in Pakistan's Swat Valley, northwest of the country's capital Islamabad. She was targeted for her campaign against the Islamist Taliban efforts to deny women education. "They shot my friends too. They thought that the bullets would silence us. But they failed and out of that silence came thousands of voices," she said in Friday's speech. "The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born," Yousafzai said.
She wore a white shawl draped around her shoulders that had belonged to former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated during a 2007 election rally weeks after she returned to Pakistan from years in self-imposed exile. "I am not against anyone, neither am I here to speak in terms of personal revenge against the Taliban or any other terrorist group. I'm here to speak up for the right of education for every child," she said. "I want education for the sons and daughters of the Taliban and all terrorists and extremists," she said. "I do not even hate the talib who shot me. Even if there is a gun in my hand and he stands in front of me, I would not shoot him."
She said: ‘As the law stands, if I was married to George Clooney and he was to have a sexual affair with, say, the noble Baroness, Lady Thornton [Labour leader in the Lords], that would be adultery. If I was married to George Clooney and Mr Clooney had sexual relations with the noble Lord, Lord Alli, that would not be adultery because he would not be able to do the sexual act which is very specifically defined in law. Should I wish to divorce Mr Clooney on those grounds, I would do so on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour.
Stowell added: ‘In future, if the noble Lord, Lord Alli, was to marry Mr Clooney, and Mr Clooney was to have an affair with me — and who would blame him in those circumstances? — that would be adultery and the noble Lord, Lord Alli, should he choose to, would be able to divorce Mr Clooney on those grounds.’
She then pointed out if Alli, an openly gay ally for same-sex marriage in the Lords, was married to Clooney and Clooney had an affair with the openly gay Lord Black of Brentwood (to which he gave a firm ‘Hear, hear!’), then Alli would be able to divorce Clooney on grounds of unreasonable behavior.
Finally, Stowell said: ‘We hope that all marriages, whether they are between a couple of opposite sexes or the same sex will continue, and that they will be faithful and remain happy and contented. If that is not the case, we believe that the existing provisions are perfectly adequate for divorce to take place.’
may it be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all,) the Signal of arousing men to burst the chains, under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings & security of self-government. that form which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion.
all eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. the general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view. the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of god. these are grounds of hope for others. for ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them.
Well, here we are a week into the unthinkable, and the response on the part of everyone left of center, high and low, north and south, yo...