C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.


Saturday, January 31, 2015

The DEW Line Story (1958)


A film about the construction of the Distant Early Warning Line, a phenomenal achievement in the high Arctic that is still amazing to contemplate today.



Friday, January 30, 2015

Thursday, January 29, 2015

92 Percent of LGBT Americans Support Marriage Equality

This week, sensationalistic headlines around the country have been proclaiming the shocking news that there are gays who don't support marriage equality. Ho-hum. Ya know, fellas, there has never, ever been a poll taken that produced results of 100 percent for or against anything: there's always a few oppositional personalities who will take the minority view of things. Sometimes they are right, too.

 But in point of fact, here is how the Pew poll - which actually seems to be a combination of two surveys taken in 2013 and 2014 (I can't find the raw data on their site) - breaks down:

Click to enlarge.

I suppose the 7 percent of LGBT's opposed are those well-hidden "best friends" of the anti-gay crowd who love to proclaim that their gay friends don't support marriage equality.

This 2013 Pew survey of LGBT's provides more data if you're interested - though bear in mind always that these figures do not come from the mouth of God, but are subject to interpretation and variation. One little point, though, intrigues your Head Trucker: the whole transgender thing has become quite a cause celebre in the last few years, but Pew says:
Although there is limited data on the size of the transgender population, it is estimated that 0.3% of all American adults are transgender.
Which is what your Head Trucker thought: the ratio of trans people to gays is about the same as the ratio of gays to the general population (i.e., somewhere around 3 percent).

Pew also found that the division between party boys and sensible people is about what your Head Trucker thought - fifty-fifty:



And since we're talking statistics, there's another Pew report you might like to look at, with some interesting details on the changing generations in the general population:



I can't keep all these new-fangled generations straight, can you?  But here's a handy cheat sheet:



Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Julia Child: The Hollandaise Family

Nothing beats homemade Hollandaise sauce, which is pretty easy to do up, as Julia shows in this episode, first broadcast in 1972:




Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tired Old Queen at the Movies: How to Marry a Millionaire


Steve Hayes reviews the 1953 comedy:
It’s high hilarity as Lauren Bacall, Betty Grable and Marilyn Monroe play three gold diggers on the make in Jean Negulesco’s How To Marry A Millionaire. Shot in glorious Technicolor and Cinemascope, it’s a love letter to Manhattan and three of the funniest and most glamorous gals that ever hit Hollywood. Rounding out the cast are Cameron Mitchell, Rory Calhoun, David Wayne, Alec D’Arcy and William Powell as their intended spouses with able comic support from Fred Clark. The girls are gorgeous, the settings are fabulous, the dialogue witty and sophisticated. It’s the perfect way to ring in the New Year.




Catch more fabulous movie reviews at Steve's YouTube channel.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Marriage News Watch, 1/26/15

Matt Baume of the American Foundation for Equal Rights reports:




Update:  In response to the state's plea, U. S. District Judge Callie Granade yesterday issued a 14-day stay of her ruling striking down Alabama's anti-gay marriage ban; unless the Eleventh Circuit extends the stay on appeal by the state, marriage will be legal in Alabama on February 9th.  Full text of the ruling here.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Drive: World in Remembrance

Pathe News presents a summary of the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill on January 30, 1965 - fifty years ago this week.




I remember quite vividly watching the funeral - via live Telstar transmission from London - with my father on a wet and dreary Saturday in a motel room where we were staying while away from home. The set we watched it on was black-and-white, of course, but it was a very moving experience nonetheless: the only time I ever saw my father weep.

While serving in the Air Force, Daddy had been stationed in England and retained a love for the people and their great wartime leader, a fondness I seem to have inherited.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Friday, January 23, 2015

Alabama Gains Marriage Equality

Updated marriage map of the United States from Wikipedia.
Click here for legend.

Can you believe it?  The Washington Blade reports:
A federal judge in Alabama has become the latest to strike down a state ban on same-sex marriage, ruling against the Yellowhammer State’s prohibition on gay nuptials on the basis that it violates the Fourteenth Amendment. In a 10-page decision on Friday, U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade, an appointee of George W. Bush, issued summary judgement in favor of a plaintiff same-sex couple, finding Alabama marriage laws violate the couple’s right to due process and equal protection under the U.S. Constitution. “There has been no evidence presented that these marriage laws have any effect on the choices of couples to have or raise children, whether they are same-sex couples or opposite-sex couples,” Granade writes. “In sum, the laws in question are an irrational way of promoting biological relationships in Alabama.”
Judge Granade, appointed to the bench by George W. Bush in 2002, did not stay her ruling, which struck down both the anti-gay Alabama statute and constitutional amendment as being violations of the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U. S. Constitution. Full text of the ruling here.

Luther Strange, the Alabama Attorney General, has announced through a spokesman that he will appeal the ruling.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Look to Lockheed for Leadership (1940)

Lockheed airliner in Delta livery at Dallas, Texas, in 1940.

The triumphant progress and exacting production of the famed Lockheed aircraft are highlighted in this company film.




Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What's My Line, 7/27/52

Victor Borge is the Mystery Guest.



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Gardens of Power and Passion

I never heard of this Monty Don fellow before, but I like his friendly, insightful explorations of the gardens of France, great and small; this is part one of three, and I'll post the others here in due course.



Monday, January 19, 2015

Marriage News Watch, 1/19/15

Matt Baume of the American Foundation for Equal Rights reports:



Saturday, January 17, 2015

Jelly Babies and Chocolate Flakes

Siobhan Thompson gives us the skinny on British candies:




Bonus: Americans try to guess the meaning of British words:



Friday, January 16, 2015

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Behind Your Radio Dial (1948)


An overview of the history and operations of the National Broadcasting Company, including a tour of its studios at Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan. Note: do not adjust your set - the sound doesn't begin until about the 00:30 mark.



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Banquet at Windsor Castle

Housemaids and footmen, calligraphers and cooks all play their parts in this fascinating behind-the-scenes look at preparations for a glittering state dinner in November 2004 for the President of France at the Queen's weekend getaway - the world's most famous castle.



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Adventure in Telezonia (1949)

Bobby searches for Bounce in this very trippy little film, with the help of telephones and the marionettes of Bil Baird, who also created the "Lonely Goatherd" sequence for the Sound of Music.



Monday, January 12, 2015

Marriage News Watch, 1/12/15

Matt Baume of the American Foundation for Equal Rights reports:





Also, good news from South Dakota, as Freedom to Marry reports:
Today, January 12, United States District Court Judge Karen E. Schreier ruled in favor of the freedom to marry in South Dakota, declaring the state's ban on marriage between same-sex couples unconstitutional.

The ruling was in the case Rosenbrahn v. Daugaard, which was filed in May of 2014 by private lawyers with National Center for Lesbian Rights as co-counsel on behalf of six South Dakota couples who are either unmarried or who have been legally married in another state. The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of a discriminatory state constitutional amendment in South Dakota that only respects marriages between one man and one woman, stating that it violates the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantees to equal protection.

Judge Schreier wrote today:
In Loving, the Supreme Court addressed a traditionally accepted definition of marriage that prohibited Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving from marrying. Because Virginia’s laws deprived that couple of their fundamental right to marriage, the Court struck down those laws. Little distinguishes this case from Loving. Plaintiffs have a fundamental right to marry. South Dakota law deprives them of that right solely because they are same-sex couples and without sufficient justification. Accordingly, it is ORDERED that plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment (Docket 20) is granted, and defendants’ motion for summary judgment (Docket 43) is denied.
Full text of the ruling here.

Further comment from SCOTUSblog:
Judge Schreier put her decision on hold, to keep things unchanged in South Dakota during an appeal to the Eighth Circuit. That court also has pending before it cases in which judges in Arkansas and Missouri have struck down prohibitions on same-sex marriages. Lawsuits are pending in Nebraska and North Dakota. Iowa and Minnesota already permit same-sex marriages. . . .

The Eighth Circuit is being followed closely by advocates on both sides of the same-sex marriage issue, because that court ruled against same-sex marriage in 2006, in a Nebraska case. Judge Schreier, in a preliminary ruling in mid-November, ruled that the decision in that case does not control new cases because it did not involve a direct test of the constitutionality of a same-sex marriage ban.

Although most of Judge Schreier’s reasons for nullifying the South Dakota ban on Monday were familiar from other decisions, she was among the first to reject what has been a more recent claim by state officials: that is, that marriage is a domestic relations matter, and that federal courts have no jurisdiction over such matters. There is such an exception, the Sioux Falls judge found, but that it does not go so far as to bar new constitutional claims against same-sex marriage bans.

If Judge Schreier’s decision is upheld by the Eighth Circuit, and if that appeals court were also to uphold the similar decisions in the pending Arkansas and Missouri cases, that would bring the number of states where same-sex marriages are legal to thirty-nine. Washington, D.C., also permits such unions.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Drive: Chopin, Nocturne in C-sharp Minor

Jan Lisiecki, an 18-year-old Polish-Canadian, performs during his debut at the Royal Albert Hall, London:



Saturday, January 10, 2015

Inventions of the 1930's

Walkie-talkies, helicopters, beach balls, and the Dynasphere, to name but a few.



First version of the Dynasphere.  I don't know why it didn't catch on.



Friday, January 9, 2015

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Julia Child: The Omelette Show

An omelette is the best thing in the world to eat, and the simplest to cook. It really takes no particular skill - just 20 seconds in the skillet, and you're done. Seriously, people - everyone should know how to make an omelette, and your friends will thank you for it. Julia shows how in this episode first broadcast in 1972:




Just to reinforce the lesson, here's Jacques Pepin showing us the difference between a country omelette and a classic one:




Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Are Manners Important? (1954)

Sixty years ago, a rude little prick learns a lesson about good manners.



Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Monday, January 5, 2015

Marriage News Watch, 1/5/15: Florida!

Matt Baume of the American Foundation for Equal Rights reports:




Actually, a Miami judge already gave the green light to same-sex marriage this morning, and couples are lined up down there waiting to be getting married even as I type:








Updated map of marriage equality (dark blue) in the United States;
click here for the legend.

Florida is now the 36th state with marriage equality, plus the District of Columbia.



Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sunday Drive: The Blue Danube

Performed by the Vienna Philharmonic in their traditional New Year's concert:




Saturday, January 3, 2015

Marriage Updates: Scotland and Florida

Marriage equality came to Scotland at the stroke of midnight on December 30th:




And gay couples will start marrying in Florida on Tuesday:



The catch is, a dozen or so counties, mostly in the ultra-conservative Panhandle, are going to eliminate the problem of marrying all them filthy gays by refusing to perform weddings for anyone from here on out.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year, 2015

Here's wishing peace, prosperity, and much love throughout the new year to all my truckbuddies.


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