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.


Friday, July 31, 2015

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Julia Child: French Fries

Julia shows how to make les frites and other potato delicacies in this episode of The French Chef, first broadcast in 1972:




Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Brief History of Everything

A mind-boggling summary by astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City:




Monday, July 27, 2015

The Latest British Slang

I don't understand a bleedin' word of it, meself. What language is this in?



Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Drive: Just As I Am




And for today's sermon, go listen to Pastor Dewey Smith preaching on homosexuality. Do it right now - I guarantee you'll enjoy it, fellas.


Update, 7/29: The House of Hope Atlanta has put out a statement that says no way was Pastor Smith endorsing same-sex marriage or anything to do with teh gayz.


Friday, July 24, 2015

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Double-Decked "Strato" Clipper


Re-live the luxury of the golden age of air travel in this 1950 film about Pan American Airways' new Boeing 377 Stratocruiser. In particular, take note of the three-course meals and roomy sleeping births from the 19:00 mark on.



Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Friday, July 17, 2015

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

How to Make a Full English

Right, who wants breakfast, chappies?




But hold on, didn't she leave out the kidneys and herrings?



Monday, July 13, 2015

Matt Baume: Defining Marriage

Matt Baume has a book out, and it's free to download this week. Description:
A ground-breaking new book reveals the personal stories of people who fought for the freedom to marry over the last 45 years.

Defining Marriage: Voices from a Forty Year Labor of Love traces the decades-long evolution of marriage through the previously-untold struggles of those who lived through it. Writer Matt Baume provides an intimate glimpse into the private lives of those who dreamed of marriage in the 1970s, the survivors of the 1980s, the audacious pioneers of the 1990s, the tireless soldiers of the 2000s, and the champions who won marriage today.

Featuring exclusive first-person stories from Dan Savage, Dustin Lance Black, Andrew Sullivan, Kate Kendell, Rob Reiner, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Join the Impact's Amy Balliett, Book of Mormon's Gavin Creel, Broadway Impact's Jenny Kanelos, Republican strategist Ken Mehlman, Freed to Marry's Evan Wolfson, and many many more.

Defining Marriage is available now on Amazon, and is free to download from July 13th to 17th.



Saturday, July 11, 2015

Tired Old Queen at the Movies: South Pacific


Steve Hayes reviews the half-naked men 1958 musical:
In glorious Technicolor, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic SOUTH PACIFIC comes to vivid life under the direction of Joshua Logan. Shot on location with a cast headed by Mitzi Gaynor, Rosanno Brazzi, John Kerr, Ray Walston, and Juanita Hall re-creating her legendary Broadway role as Bloody Mary, it is as romantic, erotic, and sumptuous a musical as Hollywood ever brought to the screen.



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

Friday, July 10, 2015

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

I Want a Bear

Via Towleroad, a new single by DaddyB (language NSFW):




In case Aunt Martha is still wondering just what the heck a bear is, send her this quick-reference field guide to the species:





Monday, July 6, 2015

Marriage News Watch, 7/6/15

With the job done and victory won, Matt Baume of the American Foundation for Equal Rights makes his final report on same-sex marriage:




And in Texas, the Hood County couple shown in the clip below (they have been together for 27 years; one has a doctorate in nursing, the other has a master's degree in education) who were denied a marriage license and thrown out of the office by the God-fearing, Bible-believing county clerk last week were issued a license this morning, just hours after they and their attorney filed suit against her in federal district court.  She now says her office will issue marriage licenses to all couples.



Update: I misread.  Apparently County Clerk Katie Lang made a one-time exception to her Bible-based stand in order to evade being sued. The attorney for Jim Cato and Joe Stapleton says that while the couple are delighted that they have been issued a license in their home county, "the lawsuit will not be dismissed until and unless we have an agreement from Clerk Lang that her office will issue marriage licenses to all couples, gay and straight, without delay, and an agreement to pay Jim and Joe’s attorneys’ fees for being forced to file the lawsuit."

Hood County is just a short drive west of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, and the county seat of Granbury is a pleasant place to spend a day browsing through the shops and cafes around the lovely old courthouse square. My late husband Cody and I used to enjoy visiting there; here's a couple of snaps he took of me there in years gone by - sadly, there are no pics of us together in Granbury, as there were no selfie sticks in those days:

March 2003.

July 2004.

I'm not sure if there are any other counties in Texas still not issuing licenses; if I find out, I will post more here later today.


Flashback:  How did I miss this outburst?  Must have overslept that day back in April.  From the New Yorker:
There was a shocking, ugly moment during the argument of Obergefell v. Hodges, the same-sex marriage case, in the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Right after Mary Bonauto, the lawyer challenging marriage bans in several states, completed her argument, a spectator rose from a back row and started screaming, “If you support gay marriage, you will burn in Hell!” As the man yelled, “It’s an abomination!,” guards carried him from the courtroom.

That wasn’t the ugly part, though. In the quiet moment after the man was removed, as his shouts vanished into the hallway, Justice Antonin Scalia filled the silence with a quip. “It was rather refreshing, actually,” he said.

It may have been just a joke from the senior Associate Justice on the Court, but what kind of joke—or was it really a joke at all? Scalia probably did think that the directness of the protester was bracing—“refreshing.” Indeed, there’s every reason to believe that Scalia more or less shared the protester’s view of the immorality of homosexuality, and that he regards the Court’s toleration of gay people as one of the great disasters of his nearly three decades as a Justice.

Scalia’s counter-outburst was a notable contrast to the respectful tone of the rest of the argument, including from his fellow-conservatives. It is one measure of the success of the gay-rights movement that all the other Justices felt compelled to phrase their questions in ways that honored the humanity of gay people.
The humanity of gay people . . . why is this so hard to understand?

Why Opinion Changed So Fast on Gay Marriage

Matt Baume offers his theories on the changes in social attitudes towards the gays over the last three decades:



Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sunday Drive: The Stars and Stripes Forever

Sousa's quintessential American march, as performed in their magnificent style by the world-famous Dallas men's choir, the Vocal Majority, whom your Head Trucker has been lucky enough to see and hear in concert several times:



Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Fourth!




PBS will air the annual concert A Capitol Fourth live from the West Lawn of the U. S. Capitol beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.  Along with the U. S. Army Band "Pershing's Own," headliners include Alabama, Barry Manilow, and KC and the Sunshine Band.  Description:
Celebrating 35 spectacular years on the air, A Capitol Fourth will kick off the country’s 239th birthday with an all-star musical extravaganza that puts viewers front and center for the greatest display of fireworks anywhere in the nation. America’s favorite Independence Day celebration is broadcast live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, millions more at home, and our troops watching around the world on the American Forces Network.

Here's a short interview with Jerry and Michael Colbert, father and son producers of the program:




And here's a clip of KC and the Sunshine Band rehearsing in front of the Capitol yesterday:



Gawd, I can't believe the once-young-and-studly Harry Wayne Casey, whom I saw in concert in 1976 at the height of his fame, looks like a boring old middle-aged man . . . like me!

Where does the time go?


And the White House released this video celebrating a good week for the President, and marking in part the progress of liberty and equality in this our wayward but beloved land of hopes and dreams:




Friday, July 3, 2015

Waitin' for the Weekend







L-O-V-E

It's been a week since the historic ruling that made same-sex marriage the law of the land, and Freedom to Marry offers this celebratory rendition of a classic tune:




And one more time - here's that fabulous moment again:





Thursday, July 2, 2015

Episcopal Church OK's Same-Sex Weddings


By coincidence, the Episcopal Church began its triennial General Convention in Salt Lake City last Thursday, the day before the Obergefell ruling came out, which was celebrated with applause and a conga line (yes, you read that right) by attendees. On Tuesday, the House of Bishops approved resolutions authorizing same-sex weddings, and the House of Deputies followed suit yesterday. Episcopal News Service reports:
The House of Deputies concurred with the House of Bishops’ approval the day before of a canonical change eliminating language defining marriage as between a man and a woman (Resolution A036) and authorizing two new marriage rites with language allowing them to be used by same-sex or opposite-sex couples (Resolution A054).

The resolutions marked the culmination of a conversation launched when the 1976 General Convention said that “homosexual persons are children of God who have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance and pastoral concern and care of the church,” said the Very Rev. Brian Baker, deputy chair of the Special Legislative Committee on Marriage. “That resolution began a 39-year conversation about what that full and equal claim would look like. The conversation has been difficult for many and painful for many.” . . .

The two new liturgies, “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Marriage” and “The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage 2” from “Liturgical Resources 1: I Will Bless You and You Will be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015” from the supplemental Blue Book materials of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, are authorized for use beginning this Advent. Those rites offer the option of using “wife,” “husband,” “person” or “spouse,” thus making them applicable for all couples. The liturgies can be found on pages 2-151 here from the materials provided to convention by the standing commission, including one rejected by bishops in their deliberations. . . .

Both resolutions say that clergy retain the canonical right to refuse to officiate at any wedding.

The changes take effect on the first Sunday of Advent, November 29. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
Many dioceses in the New York-based church of nearly 1.9 million members have allowed their priests to perform civil same-sex weddings, using a trial prayer service to bless the couple. Still, the church hadn’t changed its own laws on marriage until Wednesday.

The Episcopal Church joins two other mainline Protestant groups that allow gay marriage in all their congregations: the United Church of Christ and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The 3.8-million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America lets its congregations decide for themselves, and many of them host gay weddings.

The New York Times reports:
The Episcopal Church is the U.S. wing of the Anglican Communion, an 80 million-member global fellowship of churches. Ties among Anglicans have been strained since Episcopalians in 2003 elected Bishop Gene Robinson, who lived openly with his male partner, to lead the Diocese of New Hampshire. Many more conservative Episcopalians either split off or distanced themselves from the national U.S. church after Robinson's election.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, spiritual leader of the world's Anglicans, earlier this week expressed deep concern about the move to change the definition of marriage.

During debate Wednesday, the Rev. Jose Luis Mendoza-Barahona of Honduras said the new church law goes against the Bible and would create a chasm in the church. "The fight has not ended, it's starting," he said during debate at the convention. "Those of us in the church who are loyal followers of Christ are going to remain firm in not recognizing what happened today."

But in an interview after the vote, Robinson said he was "delighted" and "proud" of the church. "It's a day I wasn't sure I would live to see," said Robinson, who is now retired. "What we're seeing I think in the Episcopal Church, and last week with the Supreme Court decision, is an entire culture evolving into understanding that gay and lesbian, bisexual and transgender people contribute just as much as anyone else to this society and deserve all the same rights."
In London, Lambeth Palace issued this statement from Archbishop Welby, who holds the "primacy of honor" in the Anglican Communion, but no governing authority over any church outside of England:
While recognising the prerogative of The Episcopal Church to address issues appropriate to its own context, Archbishop Justin Welby said that its decision will cause distress for some and have ramifications for the Anglican Communion as a whole, as well as for its ecumenical and interfaith relationships.

At a time of such suffering around the world, he stated that this was a moment for the church to be looking outwards. We continue to mourn with all those who are grieving loved ones and caring for the injured from the terrorist attacks in Sousse, Kuwait and Lyon, and from the racist attacks in Charleston.

He urges prayer for the life of the Anglican Communion; for a space for the strengthening of the interdependent relationships between provinces, so that in the face of diversity and disagreement, Anglicans may be a force for peace and seek to respond to the Lord Jesus’ prayer that “they may be one so that the world may believe” (John 17: 21).
The United Kingdom Parliament passed the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill in 2013, with weddings beginning in March 2014.  However, the legislation specifically exempted the Church of England, the established state church, from conducting any same-sex weddings.

Welby spoke in the House of Lords in opposition to the bill in 2013, saying it would "abolish marriage" and "weaken society," but in 2014 appeared to waffle on the subject in an interview with Pink News:
Asked in the interview what his message for the LGBT community was, he said: “We are struggling with the issues across the Church globally. “It’s complicated with ramifications that are very difficult to deal with in many parts of the world.” "He added: “As you know I have said, and got a fair amount of flak for it within parts of the Church, we have to accept, and quite rightly, that the Same-Sex Marriage Act is law, and that it’s right and proper, it’s the law of the land, and that’s great.”

A spokesman for Lambeth palace said: “The Archbishop has said numerous times that he accepts the right of Parliament to change the law and that the Church should continue to demonstrate the love of Christ for every person."



Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Bonne fĂȘte du Canada - Happy Canada Day!

Good wishes to all my Canadian truckbuddies. Check the live feed of festivities across the country on CBC, starting at 7 p.m. Eastern Time here.

Canoe medallist Mark Oldershaw, named today as Canada's flagbearer for the Pan-American Games, to be held in Toronto beginning July 10.


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