Pedaling Olives: An Evening with Michael Godard

Rock star meets high art

Dallas Voice, Wisby – Smith Fine Art Gallery and Hudson Ferus Vodka present an extraordinary collection of works by Artist Michael Godard. Michael Godard, is known as the explosive “Rockstar of the Art World”, and global top selling artist!

His world of art invites us into his lighthearted perspective of life surrounding us, with animated olives, grapes and, dancing strawberries. His unique portrayal of fun is an exciting combination of imagination and subtle humor, which evoke the creative side in “Olive” us right down through our souls. He has redefined art as we know it with a new definition and of course a punch line. Come meet Michael Godard at this very special event and enjoy complimentary beverages.

The night is also a fundraiser. Ten percent of proceeds from art sales will benefit Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS!

DEETS: Wisby-Smith Fine Art Gallery, 500 Crescent Court. 6 p.m. For more information, click here.

—  Rich Lopez

Starvoice • 04.29.11

By Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY

Lesley Gore turns 65 on Monday. Much has changed in music since singer Lesley Gore recorded her biggest hit “It’s My Party” back in 1963. But maybe it was Gore who “changed” the most. The iconic singer came out as lesbian in 2005 and stated she knew in her late teens that she was attracted to women. Now we have to go back and listen to all her lyrics again.

……………………………….

THIS WEEK

Uranus, newly in Aries, cranks up spontaneous individualism and assertion. The sun is in Taurus, semi-square to Uranus provoking a lot of stubbornness. Don’t challenge others with an uppity, obstinate attitude; look for creative new ways to show loyalty and resilience.

………………………………

TAURUS  Apr 20-May 20
Life’s tough blows have been piling up, but don’t let it give you piles. Much as people depend on the solid, reliable you, you need to be able to let it out and lean on someone else.

GEMINI  May 21-Jun 20
Your friends are only human. Don’t take disappointments to heart. Cutting off communications is a big mistake, but so is over-talking the problem. A short break may be best.

CANCER  Jun 21-Jul 22
Your friends’ ideas fare too much from the heart, not enough from the brains. Going along with them could hurt your rep and your wallet. Thank them for their ideas and change the subject.

LEO  Jul 23-Aug 22
In your ideal relationship you’re the star married to your agent or manager. That means you can’t always be the boss! Arguments are normal but listening remains more important than speaking.

VIRGO  Aug 23-Sep 22
Novel sex techniques are a blast but require some safety. They also open up a lot of suppressed feelings. How well do you know your partner? Just be sure that he or she can be trusted.

LIBRA  Sep 23-Oct 22
You and your mate have a great time exploring kinky new fun. Anything from silk scarf bondage to cattle prods is open to testing. Slow, careful and easy is the best approach, at first anyway.

SCORPIO  Oct 23-Nov 21
You are part of a team and everyone else is as important as you. As much as your special talents do contribute to the team, cultivate humility as one of those talents.

SAGITTARIUS  Nov 22-Dec 20
Argue about movie, art, sports, anything fun or creative; you’re sure to find amazing new ideas. Keep your mind and ears open and respectful of other notions. Be polite with the idiots.

CAPRICORN  Dec 21-Jan 19
Livening up your home life should be a fun creative challenge, not a painful economic one. Unleash your dark side in planning changes, but not in how you treat housemates.

AQUARIUS  Jan 20-Feb 18
Criticism of family, housemates or your community is surprising in its harshness. If you can’t be kind, give your loved ones a break and look for schmucks who deserve your wrath.

PISCES  Feb 19-Mar 19
Financial surprises work your nerves. You need a break. Try something new and different even if it’s just a quiet stroll in a park or country road you’ve never trod before.

ARIES  Mar 20-Apr 19
The cost of living force some choices in how you unwind. Look ahead 10 years and imagine what friendships, talents and skills you’d like to have developed through your hobbies.

Jack Fertig can be reached at 415-864-8302 or Starjack.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 29, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Standing on the Side of Love

Dan Furmansky with two of HRC’s UUA members: Dr. Sharon Groves, Acting Director of the Religion & Faith Program and Orelia Busch, Clergy Call Coordinator

The Unitarian Universalist Association’s (UUA) Director of the Standing on the Side of Love campaign, Dan Furmansky (former colleague at HRC as well as former Executive Director of Equality Maryland), dropped by our office recently to discuss the UUA’s Valentine’s Day kickoff of their campaign to urge policy makers across America to “Stand on the Side of Love” and support the freedom to marry as well as other policies that bring fairness and equality to all.

Dozens of Standing on the Side of Love events are occurring across the country today and HRC staff who live in Maryland will be joining UUA members – and hundreds of other Maryland residents of all faith traditions – in Annapolis to support the “Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act.”

What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than to work for the freedom to marry the one you love, regardless of gender!


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  David Taffet

A challenge for Senator Collins on DADT: Side with equality or cave to GOP leadership (again)

Yesterday, we saw this via HuffPostHill:

COLLINS STILL MAKING ZERO SENSE ON DADT – Susan Collins, who supports repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, is continuing to concoct reasons to vote against it. The Wall Street Journal, new home of Patrick O’Conner, reported that she would oppose cloture if she didn’t get some debate or amendments or some such. Not so, her office tells Jason Linkins: “Senator Collins has not said she would oppose cloture if time is not allowed for debate. In fact, she has said she supports repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and she intends to support cloture on the Defense Authorization bill if the Majority Leader allows for a full and fair debate.” Um, that’s the same thing.

Here’s the full excerpt from Danny Yadron and Patrick O’Connor at the WSJ:

The House passed a measure to repeal the policy this spring, but Senate Republicans in September blocked a defense spending bill that included a repeal.

It’s unclear if any of that will change after today’s announcement. Sen. Susan Collins, a centrist Republican from Maine who says she wants the ban repealed, still plans to vote against the repeal if there is not more time for debate, her spokesman said Monday.

Yep. Same thing. Makes no sense.

We know why. Collins isn’t making sense because of this:

Senate Republicans intend to block action on virtually all Democratic-backed legislation unrelated to tax cuts and government spending in the current postelection session of Congress, officials said Tuesday, adding that the leadership has quietly collected signatures on a letter pledging to carry out the strategy.

If carried out, it would doom Democratic-backed attempts to end the Pentagon’s practice of discharging openly gay members of the military service and give legal status to young illegal immigrants who join the military or attend college.

Orders have come down from Mitch McConnell. Has Susan Collins signed the letter? We need to know.

On DADT, Collins is key. She voted for the DADT language in the Senate Armed Services Committe last May. She’s considered something of a pro-LGBT champion, on paper anyway. HRC’s PAC has contributed ,000 to Collins. Given that record, if Collins won’t vote to end the filibuster, we can’t expect any other GOPers to do it.

In September, Collins chose the bogus argument of process over equality and voted with her GOP colleagues to filibuster the Defense Authorization bill. She basically said that not getting her way on amendments was the same as getting kicked out of the military for being gay. Ridiculous. But, the GOP leader told her how to vote and she did.

Now, we’re faced with the same question of whether Collins votes for equality or caves to Mitch McConnell. He’s the puppet-master. And, let’s face it, Collins rarely stands on principle. She usually does what McConnell wants. She’ll hide behind the bogus excuse that the process isn’t fair. But, notice, she won’t define for anyone what a “fair debate” is.

Collins knows this is the last shot for legislative repeal to move forward. She knows her newly empowered GOP colleagues won’t move repeal in the next Congress. If Collins votes to block movement on the Defense bill, the failure to pass the DADT language rests on her shoulders, too.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Trying to get Illinois Republicans on the right side of equality

The Illinois legislature could pass a civil unions bill before the end of the year. In today’s Chicago Tribune, the press secretary to a former Illinois Republican, MIke Lawrence, gives advice to his fellow Republicans — and encourages them to get on the right side of the issue.

Earlier this month, Governor Pat Quinn just won a tough race for reelection against anti-equality GOPer Bill Brady. Quinn touted his support for the civil unions bill while Brady opposed it. Lawrence places some of the blame for the GOP candidate’s loss on his opposition to the civil unions legislation:

The legislation at hand does not sanction same-sex marriage. It explicitly protects the practices of religious bodies. They need not ritualize and sanctify the unions. But the proposal would allow gay and lesbian partners to visit critically or gravely ill partners in emergency rooms without negotiating complicated, costly legal mazes. It would give them parity with heterosexuals on estate matters. Moreover, it would permit heterosexual senior citizens who are widowed to form another fulfilling relationship without imperiling survivor benefits. In other words, legalizing civil unions would bolster the ability to provide the care giving, financial security and overall support we extol in dedicated, faithful spouses.

State Sen. Bill Brady’s adamant opposition helped fashion a mosaic of iciness and intolerance that likely cost the Republican gubernatorial candidate and his party a prize they should have snared given the national GOP tide and Illinois’ budgetary chaos under Democratic reign.

Brady lost for being anti-gay. That’s doesn’t fit with the conventional wisdom, but it’s the political reality.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

The Lighter Side Of Hillary Clinton

We don’t often get to see Secretary Clinton in anything other than the most somber circumstances, so this chat she had with a couple of Australian comedians is quite fun. This clip closes with some news anchors wishing out loud that Clinton would emigrate.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

French kisses Iowa vote; we think anti-gay side using too much tongue

The Alliance Defense Fund’s David French is using the Iowa judicial retention vote to question whether same-sex marriage is actually inevitable:

I don’t have my head in the sand. I see the poll data indicating that young people increasingly support same-sex marriage, but I also believe that much of that support is soft — dependent on the unique peer pressures and ideological environment on college campuses. Once students emerge into the “real world” will they be so willing to further experiment with an institution already so damaged by no-fault divorce and cohabitation? We shall see.

But until then, can we please hold off on the “inevitable” talk until same-sex marriage can actually win elections?

If Same-Sex Marriage is Allegedly Inevitable . . . [Speak Up blog]

But here’s the thing: The Iowa judge vote was a battle between one hyper-motivated, highly-funded, out-of-state-supported coalition solely focused on the single issue of same-sex marriage vs. everyone else in the state. That hyper-motivated coalition told supporters that they had to cast a non-retention vote to send a message and/or appease god. They told supporters that this was the most important vote in Iowa, if not the nation. Meanwhile, the ragtag “everyone else” coalition did not have one unifying message, since it included marriage equality supporters who supported the judges, marriage equality supporters who opposed retention for other reasons, indifferent voters, apathetic voters, gay marriage non-supporters who weren’t involved with the “Iowa For Freedom” campaign (and therefore either retained or not for a myriad of other reasons), people who forgot to turn their ballot over, people who didn’t give a damn enough to vote on retention, young voters who always turn out at disproportionately low rates (esp. in midterm elections), etc. etc. So of course the deck was stacked towards non-retention! This site, which covered the IFF campaign with the finest of fine tooth combs, felt that way from the very beginning.

The retention vote was only a same-sex marriage test for the anti-LGBT crowd that turned it into one! In a perfect Iowa, citizens of any political stripe or sexual orientation would have been free to follow their own minds and do their own research into the judges’ full records, then cast whatever vote was on their conscience for whatever reason. The judge vote, by its very design, should not have been politicized in any way. There certainly shouldn’t have been a national takeaway about whether or not gay Americans will ever be free to resume their lives from the pause they’ve had to place on it in order to fight this needless marriage battle. But the anti-gay crowd, ever in search of a vindictive “harumph!” against equality and the supposed “judicial activism” that decides in its favor, turned Streit/Baker/Ternus’ careers into a lopsided us vs. them game. We only had to play along because of their own choice to roll the discriminatory dice.

The truly remarkable thing to this writer’s eyes: That people like David French keep coming out and fully admitting that they wanted this to be a de facto referendum on same-sex marriage. At first these kids were more coy about it, seemingly realizing that the concept was anti-intellectual and anti-judicious. But now they seem to fully embrace it. Perhaps a majority of Americans will go along with this bizarrely revelatory ride, offering up a “right on!” to this undeniably shortsighted misuse of one state’s retention system — stranger things have happened. But I know if I were politically consulting their side, I’d advise toning down the out-of-state gloating that’s been de rigueur in the “protect marriage” movement since Wednesday morning.

Though the beauty part: Since I’m instead working to educate and embolden the team that values judicial fairness, equal protection, due process, intellectual assessment of careers rather than solitary decisions, church/state separation, and state votes that are less like games of Moral Monopoly and more like exercises in moving the jurisdiction along its civil course, I can I come out and say: Keep talking, judge-ousters! After all, an obfuscator’s overplayed hand often has a way of speeding up inevitability’s predestined arrival.




Good As You

—  admin

Afternoon View – Upper East Side

I live a couple of blocks behind the tallest building.

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

In Maj. Witt’s upcoming DADT trial using the ‘Witt Standard,’ ‘facts are not on the government’s side’

Excellent editorial in the Tacoma News Tribune about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell with two key points: 1) the U.S. Department of Justice won’t be able to meet the “Witt standard” in the upcoming DADT trial of Major Margaret Witt — and it couldn’t meet that standard against Victor Fehrenbach and 2) DADT has to end.

On Witt:

A federal judge, in a trial set to begin Sept. 13, will apply a new standard to the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. This time, the burden will be on the military to prove not that Witt is a lesbian – her sexual orientation is not in dispute – but that her homosexuality is harmful to her unit’s cohesiveness.

It will be the first judicial application of the so-called “Witt standard” established by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Obama administration let pass a May 3 deadline to appeal the 9th’s decision to the Supreme Court, setting the stage for the trial in U.S. District Court next month.

The facts are not on the government’s side: More than a dozen of Witt’s colleagues have given sworn declaration objecting to her dismissal; one was so angry that he refused to re-enlist.

Should the Witt standard blunt the don’t ask, don’t tell policy as expected, it could prove a boon to gay service members who have been waiting on Congress – to date, in vain.

Waiting in vain for Congress — and the President.

The conclusion:

But the Witt standard is a stopgap measure and no more. It provides limited relief since it applies only to cases in Western states that make up the Ninth Circuit. And it isn’t preventing people like Jonathan Hopkins of Morton – a West Point graduate who led three combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan – from having to leave careers they love.

Don’t ask, don’t tell needs to go, and it’s up to the Senate to finish the job when it returns next month.

The Senate needs to finish the Defense bill in September and get it to conference ASAP. Delay hurts the chances for passing the compromise bill this year. Opponents of DADT repeal know that and will do everything possible to cause problems. Our allies, starting with the President, have to make sure that nothing interferes with the process of getting the compromise DADT bill signed into law..




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright