Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Help Me Jesus

At this point I can honestly say I'm totally confused about Obama and his stance on gay marriage. Can someone explain this to me? Jay Carney was asked on Monday about the President's stance on gay marriage:


Q On another topic, last week the President spoke about gay marriage when he was in New York and he said that -- talked about how this has been the province of the state and that’s the -- referring to what was happening in the debate in New York, he said that’s the power of democracy at work. Does that mean that he also respects the outcome of democracy at work in California where voters rejected the idea of gay marriage?

MR. CARNEY: Well, I think as you saw in the decision we announced that we would no longer -- this administration would no longer be participants defending the Defense of Marriage Act because we do not believe it’s constitutional, that it’s precisely because of his belief that this was a matter that needs to be decided by the states. So without commenting on a particular other state, I think he was making that clear with regard to the action in New York.

Q Okay, but --

MR. CARNEY: But I’m not going to put words in his mouth applying to another state. I mean, you can analyze that, but -- because I haven’t heard him say that. But obviously the DOMA decision -- what he said in New York was about his belief, our belief, that this is a matter that states should decide.

Q And the central argument in the challenge to Proposition 8 by supporters of same-sex marriage rights is that this isn’t something that should be decided state by states, in fact, that there are federal rights involved. So would he reject --

MR. CARNEY: Well, the President very strongly supports equal rights and he’s -- we’ve been -- he’s made that clear as well, and he said it again in New York at the event that you’re discussing. So I’m not going to --

Q But I’m referring to the --

MR. CARNEY: I don’t really have a lot I can say about Proposition 8 with regards to what the President said last week. You know, I don’t -- I’m not willing to go to what the President didn’t discuss. I can talk about what he did discuss.

Q So, but the proper reading of what he said -- it sounds like what you’re saying but I want to be clear -- is that, yes, this is up for the states and if New York decides that they want to allow same-sex marriage, great; if California decides that they don’t want to, then that’s their decision as well. (emphasis mine)

MR. CARNEY: Well, again, I can’t improve upon the words that the President delivered publicly whatever night it was -- Thursday night. So I’m not disagreeing with that interpretation, but he has said quite clearly, as he did in the DOMA decision and as he did on Thursday night, that he believes that it’s for the states to decide.

Then later he was asked a follow up. Not sure if it was from the same reporter who asked the original question.


Q My name is Bill. (Laughter.) Jay, I want to come back to the same-sex marriage issue, if I can. If the right to -- if the opportunity to enjoy the same rights, same-sex couples or straight couples or whatever, is a basic civil right, how can you square that with saying we leave it up to the states?

MR. CARNEY: Well, look, I’m not going to -- the President has made his position clear. It’s not very useful for us to have this debate. I think the President spoke about this on Thursday. He spoke about it -- sorry, he’s spoken about this a number of times in the past. So you could take it to other places but I think I’ll leave it to what he said.

Q Let me ask this, then. But with New York being the largest state so far to recognize same-sex marriage, are you concerned that the President may have missed his opportunity to lead on this issue?

MR. CARNEY: Again, the President’s record on issues involving and of concern to the LGBT community is exemplary and we are very proud of it. He continues to fight on behalf of that community for the rights -- for equal rights. And his position on New York, he himself, rather than his press secretary, spoke at length about just a few nights ago. So I’ll leave it at that.


So let me just try to clear this up. Obama believes that civil rights (including the over a thousand (state and federal) rights that come with marriage should be decided in the states?

Dustin Lance Black asks the same question in his article Obama: It's Time To Step Up:" If the civil rights of this country’s minorities are left to the states, then this will become a checkerboard nation where some areas are free and some areas are not free. Children in some states will be told to lift their heads high and others will be told they are second-class citizens, less than, and that their love and their future families are not worthy of this nation’s protection and admiration.

So fast forward to today 06/29 Obama holds a press conference and the headline is: Obama stops short of endorsing gay marriage. He said that the decision in New York was "a good thing" because people debated their views and came to a decision. The president said other states and communities will come to their own conclusions.

So again, I'm confused. Can someone please explain this to me?

On a completely un-related point..but actually could be related check out this video by Byron Katie about self-homophobia.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Gay Shame in Kansas City

I find my tactic lately is just to laugh. Just laugh at the absurdity of everything. I mean really? While some may find it perplexing to laugh at really serious things going on I find it's one of the easiest ways to cope. It may make no one else laugh or be totally inappropriate

Just like anywhere else on the planet, Kansas City has it's pro's and cons. One of those cons is that this city does a dismal job of putting on a gay pride. I mean it's seriously just dismal. Somehow, somewhere the powers that be decided to make Kansas Cities pride in the beginning of the month where every other major city holds their pride events towards the end. Maybe in their infinite wisdom they decided to have it early, get it done, so people could get the hell out of Kansas City and go somewhere else in the country and celebrate it like it should be celebrated. That must be it. Maybe that's the entire reason why Kansas City's gay pride is just shamefully pathetic. Sure we have a 'pride' but it just happens to be extraordinarily lame. Maybe it's the lack of enthusiasm (please note the whopping 383 members) or the dismal 3rd rate performers they hire. Who knows. Personally, I have a rather complex history with pride 'festivals' or events. Not just Kansas City's.

with KC's pride can be encapsulated perfectly by this picture: Camp for the pic) It looks as if there are about 20 people, walking, in the middle of the street, for no particular reason, and the cars are dangerously close to the people like, swerving at the last minute to not hit the people in the speedos and feather boas that just happen to be randomly walking north down main street.

Is there any planning going on here? I knowAren't there arrangements to close the traffic off for any amount of time so that when the MAFB and friends walk down the street there might be a cop or something directing traffic instead of this. I mean seriously, just look at the picture again. Something is amiss. Maybe I'm on to something here? The reason I started typing this entry was actually to make some sort of a bad joke about traffic-related pride festivity mishaps but it seems as though the joke should be about living to tell about it.

This Is It

A friend and I watched "This Is It" the other day and when this came up I almost forgot about it. Has to be one of my favorite recent Michael Jackson songs.
[Update:07/02/11] So crazy just a couple of days ago I posted this entry about this song and then this pops up in my google reader.





"Earth Song"
by: Michael Jackson

What about sunrise
What about rain
What about all the things
That you said we were to gain...
What about killing fields
Is there a time
What about all the things
That you said was yours and mine...
Did you ever stop to notice
All the blood we've shed before
Did you ever stop to notice
The crying Earth the weeping shores?

Aaaaaaaaah Oooooooooh
Aaaaaaaaah Oooooooooh

What have we done to the world
Look what we've done
What about all the peace
That you pledge your only son...
What about flowering fields
Is there a time
What about all the dreams
That you said was yours and mine...
Did you ever stop to notice
All the children dead from war
Did you ever stop to notice
The crying Earth the weeping shores

Aaaaaaaaah Oooooooooh
Aaaaaaaaah Oooooooooh

I used to dream
I used to glance beyond the stars
Now I don't know where we are
Although I know we've drifted far

Aaaaaaaaah Oooooooooh
Aaaaaaaaah Oooooooooh
Aaaaaaaaah Oooooooooh
Aaaaaaaaah Oooooooooh

Hey, what about yesterday
(What about us)
What about the seas
(What about us)
The heavens are falling down
(What about us)
I can't even breathe
(What about us)
What about apathy
(What about us)
I need you
(What about us)
What about nature's worth
(ooo, ooo)
It's our planet's womb
(What about us)
What about animals
(What about it)
We've turned kingdoms to dust
(What about us)
What about elephants
(What about us)
Have we lost their trust
(What about us)
What about crying whales
(What about us)
We're ravaging the seas
(What about us)
What about forest trails
(ooo, ooo)
Burnt despite our pleas
(What about us)
What about the holy land
(What about it)
Torn apart by creed
(What about us)
What about the common man
(What about us)
Can't we set him free
(What about us)
What about children dying
(What about us)
Can't you hear them cry
(What about us)
Where did we go wrong
(ooo, ooo)
Someone tell me why
(What about us)
What about babies
(What about it)
What about the days
(What about us)
What about all their joy
(What about us)
What about the man
(What about us)
What about the crying man
(What about us)
What about Abraham
(What about us)
What about death again
(ooo, ooo)
Do we give a damn

Aaaaaaaaah Oooooooooh

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The storms rolling in





--Sent from my Virgin Mobile!
Location : lat=26.899, lng=82.313


--
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Only people at the pool were us. Love it!





--Sent from my Virgin Mobile!
Location : lat=26.899, lng=82.313


--
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Uncle Bill visiting watching the cubs game





--Sent from my Virgin Mobile!
Location : lat=26.899, lng=82.313


--
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Last day @ cape haze





--Sent from my Virgin Mobile!
Location : lat=26.899, lng=82.313


--
Sent from my Virgin Mobile

I Got Bit By The Nostalgia Bug

So my Mom and I were talking last night and I got bit by the nostalgia bug. My sister had some neighbors over for dinner and drinks and I was talking to the wife of the couple. Since we'd never met my mom mentioned the fact that I was the singer of all of my brothers and sisters. It was interesting because the woman was talking about how lucky I was that I had parents who encouraged me at a young age to pursue music. My mom made a comment to her that was something like "Well, he (talking about me) was never interested in sports in school." That couldn't be more true. We were both talking about this performance of Bach's St. Matthew's Passion. My mom was one of small groups of chaperons. I will never forget this experience with the GECC (now called the Anima Singers). It's one of those things in my early childhood that I can go back and re-evaluate the importance and significance and sheer magnificence of in my adulthood. I'll never forget this time in my life. Attending rehearsals with the CSO and the CSO chorus with Sir George Solti. I'll write more about this later but I wanted to put this review from the Chicago Tribune up to give outside people an idea of what an amazing, once in a lifetime experience this was. Please note the date of the review. 04/06/85. I would turn 10 years old later that year.


Solti, Cso Triumph In A Spiritual `Passion`

April 06, 1985|By John von Rhein, Music critic.

Every rendition of J.S. Bach`s monumental ``St. Matthew Passion`` so transcends what we normally think of as a ``concert performance`` as to become an occasion of great spiritual devotion. Bach`s infinite musical variety gives the story of the crucifixion, death and burial of Christ a resonance that raises this pinnacle of German Protestant church music to the realm of universal art. Entering into this religious drama together, sharing its encompassing wonders, audience and performers become as one.

So it was Thursday night, when a large audience/congregation at Orchestra Hall celebrated the ``St. Matthew`` as given by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, choruses and soloists under the direction of Georg Solti. No musical event of this tercentenary season is likely to impress listeners so deeply with the glorious scope of Bach`s music. One came away from it as one does from all extraordinary performances of this work: humbled, exalted, cleansed and profoundly moved.

This was the third complete account of the score with which Solti has favored Chicago, but what set it apart from all previous CSO performances of the ``St. Matthew`` was its use of the original German text. What may have been lost to the audience in verbal immediacy was more than offset by one`s being able to experience words and music as Bach`s congregation in Leipzig heard them--true to the spirit, shadings and accentuation of the Lutheran gospel. Such was the fervor of Solti`s splendid vocal, choral and instrumental forces that language was no barrier to communication. Although the performance ran 3 3/4 hours, including a half-hour break, it did not seem one minute too long.

As with his readings last fall of Handel`s ``Messiah,`` Solti adhered essentially to a romantic style of performance with an occasional, and not very cogent, bow toward baroque authenticity. The voices of the CSO Chorus numbered nearly 90 and were augmented, quite pleasingly, by some 50 members of the Glen Ellyn Children`s Chorus for the opening and closing choruses of Part I. The two chamber orchestras contained just under 50 players, including organ and harpsichord continuo. The choral aggregation was the right size to preserve the translucent quality of Bach`s polyphony while rich and full enough to convey the expressive power and gravity of the Passion drama. The precision and firm rhythmic underpinning of the orchestra, including several excellent obbligato solos, were always to be admired.

For the chorales that represent the meditations of the congregation, also for the great choruses that are the cathedral-like pillars of the ``St. Matthew,`` Solti had director Margaret Hillis` precise, well-tuned, expressively alert body of choristers. Whether as angry rabble, disciples, high priests or elders, they assumed every role asked of them with distinction, and the seven chorus members acquitted themselves well in their brief solos.

One`s only complaint involved Solti`s ``expressive`` shaping of several of the chorales, which were so slow, hushed and self-consciously pious as to inhibit a sense of forward motion.

Still, the vocal soloists were, without exception, very impressive, starting with Anthony Rolfe Johnson`s superb Evangelist, investing the long stretches of recitative with an open, clear tenor of great musical and expressive capability. Nor could one have imagined a better Jesus than Wolfgang Schoene, whose warm baritone and noble authority were very much in style.

Hardly less striking were bass-baritone Siegmund Nimsgern and mezzo-soprano Brigitte Fassbaender, to whom fell the most famous and beautiful arias, ``Mache dich`` and ``Erbarme mich``; Thomas Moser, the sweet-toned tenor; and Pamela Coburn (replacing Margaret Price), fresh and vibrant in the soprano arias.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wikileaks publishes plans of Death Star

May the farce be with you: “WikiLeaks, the organization that anonymously publishes submissions of secret documents, has posted the full schematics of the Galactic Empire’s most enormous weapons station, the Death Star,” The Spoof spoofs. “Publicly, the Emperor is downplaying the impact of the leaks. ‘Any attack made by the rebels against this station would be a useless gesture, no matter what technical data they’ve obtained,’ his press secretary stated. ‘This station is now the ultimate power in the universe! Also, we regret any civilian casualties that may have been incurred during the granularization of the planet Alderaan.’

But internally, the Empire leadership is desperate to stop the leaks from reaching the rebel headquarters. The crisis is of such high priority that it is being managed by the Emperor’s number-two man, the ruthless, universally feared, part-man part-machine Sith Master of Evil, the Dark Lord Dick Cheney.”

Concern over the leaks was expressed by a high-ranking official. "If the Rebels have obtained a complete technical readout of this station, it is possible, however unlikely, they might find a weakness and exploit it," he said under condition of anonymity because he didn't want to be tele-strangulated by the Dark Lord.

Further encouragement for the Rebels may or may not have been given by retired Jedi and current FoxNews analyst, Yoda. "A chain reaction the main reactor system the small thermal exhaust port two proton missiles shot into connected to will cause," he stated inconclusively.

Wikileaks.org, like all websites, gains its influence from the ubiquity of the modern internet. A veteran stormtrooper reflected on the change. "Twenty years ago, we'd just find the droid with the leaked plans and that was the end of it. But, nowadays, once the plans spread all over the web, well, it's impossible to put the guts back in the tauntaun," he said anonymously, because we couldn't tell one clone from another.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Unbelievable

an email I just got from the chorus.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: FW: Thank You
Date: Sat, 11 Jun 2011 10:22:12 -0500
From: Rick Fisher
To:


Friends,

I wanted to share this message with you that came in overnight as it is
incredibly timely (grab a Kleenex before you read it). You never know who
you will touch with your music and your affirming messages. Best wishes for
a magnificent weekend of performances. Thank you for lifting your voices to
Enlighten, Inspire, Heal and Empower.

Rick Fisher, Executive Director
Heartland Men's Chorus
816-931-3338
www.hmckc.org
Our Voices Enlighten, Inspire, Heal & Empower

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Saturday, June 11, 2011 1:41 AM
To: hmc@hmckc.org
Subject: Thank You

My name is Tom Hale, and I'm the proud parent of Lauren Hale, who came out
as a lesbian a few years back. I took Lauren to see one of your concerts a
while back, and ever since, she's been hooked on you and your message,
spreading tolerance and acceptance in a world that desperately needs it.
We've been following your performances at Pride and other venues ever since,
and you became a staple in our household. I'm even proud to say you changed
my viewpoint on the homosexuality issue, and made me accept my daughter for
who she is. However, I'm saddened to say that Lauren took her life this past
week at the young age of 17, feeling she could no longer handle the
intolerance of this world. A member of your affiliate group, Perform Out KC,
was a friend of hers, and was asked by my wife and I to read a poem he wrote
at her service, but is unable to due to your concert conflicting with her
memorial. Both he and I are devastated at this fact, as it was a favorite
poem of hers, and I wish he could read it for all to hear, but I'm glad he's
able to join you and keep her memory alive. I ask you with every last fiber
of my being to sing your hearts out for my daughter this weekend, because
she'll be watching from the best seats in the house. Please, I beg of you,
keep spreading the message. The world needs it. You have changed the lives
of many, and you have the ability to change the lives of us all. I wish you
many more years, for the world is truly a darker place without your presence
in it. I wish this letter were on better terms, but I truly believe it is
because of you that our family was what it was. Thank you. Thank you. Thank
you.

Tom Hale

Friday, June 10, 2011

Come To The Bukeka Show!

Come to the Bukeka Show and select your ticket price:


You get to choose
Send me something to shout out





If you would like to set a different price click here:




Wednesday, June 1, 2011

President Obama's 37 Accomplishments For LGBT Americans



I have to agree with the NCR (The New Civil Rights Movement)when they proclaim this: This list of 37 accomplishments President Obama has made for LGBT Americans comes directly from the White House.[and most importantly this:] Regardless of any disagreements you may have with the degree and speed of LGBT equality under President Obama, you have to admit that this list is pretty impressive, and certainly far greater than any list of any other U.S. President ever.

We’re making headway. Slowly, but surely.

Gay Rights: President Obama's 37 Accomplishments For LGBT Americans