With an announcement on the web, and a twitter Q&A session, the man I believe to be the most qualified and best prepared candidate to be the next governor of the state of California, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom today formally launched his bid to do just that. Watch his announcement: Gavin Newsom is a charismatic leader, a true defender of equality for all Californians and a mayor with the track record of getting results. Admittedly, as a gay man, I have always been partial towards Gavin because of his extraordinarily courageous decision in 2004 to allow gay couples to get married in the city and county of San Francisco. Although that decision was voided by the Supreme Court, the fight that he ignited took California to full equality, even though Proposition 8, pending the decision of the California Supreme Court threatens to relegate LGBT Californians to second class citizen status once more. But because of what we started with Gavin, either by a court decision or by another initiative, we will get our right to marry back. But Gavin Newsom is not simply the man who rose to the occasion and stood up for equal rights when it mattered and when few others did, he is also an extraordinary leader focused on results. Under his leadership, San Francisco has become the first city to guarantee health care to all its residents, the second greenest city in America (and the top recycling city in America), to guarantee a college education to every 6th grader in the city who will one day become eligible and willing, greatly reduced the number of homeless in the streets of San Francisco, and has caused me hurtburn on the only issue we likely disagree on: that of exempting the SFPD from enforcing federal immigration laws. Gavin Newsom has my wholehearted support for governor of this great state. I believe that he will make us all proud as Californians. In the coming days, I will run a series of commentary discussing in depth Gavin Newsom's achievements and stands on issues that are most important to Californians: health care, election reform, equal rights, environmental stewardship, homelessness, and law enforcement. I will tackle one issue a day. Please feel free to leave your comments. Note that my a Blogger account will be required for you to comment. Go Gavin!
As a fan of comedy, action, and action-comedy movies, Jackie Chan's movies are some of my favorites. Rush Hour (both the first and both the sequels), Shanghai Noon, Shanghai Knights have all brought me a great deal of enjoyment and laughter. An influential figure in the world of acting on both sides of the pacific, Jackie Chan has now spoken out in favor of the Chinese government's totalitarianism, saying to business leaders in China that he thought that the Chinese people "need to be controlled" and expressing concern about how freedom can lead to chaos. He used Hong Kong and Taiwan as examples. To say that I am disappointed and disgusted at Jackie Chan's statement would be an understatement of epic proportions. Even his own movie, "Shinjuku Incident" has been banned from mainland China for being "too violent." The people of China deserve to live in a free society, governed by a body of their choosing by free and fair elections. And for an international Chinese icon to say that the Chinese people are incapable of self governance is despicable. To imply that they and the Chinese press need to have a dogleash around their neck so they can be controlled is demeaning, debasing and derogatory. The totalitarian control that the Chinese government practices over its citizens and press will, undoubtedly, end one day. One day, the Chinese people will be free, self-governed, and build the institutions of a lasting democracy. When that day comes, I hope they will remember who stood with them and who, for the sake of convenience, stature and business, stood aside.
Uh oh. Right wing freakout time! You know how the right wing "family values" types (not to mention half these "family values" types are wife-beaters/divorcees/child molesters) keep telling you how they are fighting so hard to protect "the definition of marriage.?" It seems they forgot to go after the thing where words are actually defined. Ahem, the dictionary. It seems that in 2003, Merriam-Webster started defining marriage as the following:
Main Entry: mar·riage
Pronunciation: \ˈmer-ij, ˈma-rij\
Etymology: Middle English mariage, from Anglo-French, from marier to marry
Date: 14th century
1 a (1): the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2): the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage
b: the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock c: the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage
2: an act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is effected ; especially : the wedding ceremony and attendant festivities or formalities
3: an intimate or close union
This is outrageous. In the name of adult content, Amazon.com is removing Amazon rankings from LGBT themed novels and non-fiction books. Those books are then also gone from Amazon's best-seller list. The number of LGBT books included in the censored list has exploded in the past couple of days. Matt Writer is keeping track of the censored material. If you know of other books whose rankings have been pulled by Amazon, please contact Matt.
There is obviously no way Amazon can hire staff to go through all material on Amazon.com and figure out for sure which books have adult contents and which do not. What's funny is that obviously adult books like Playboy: The Complete Centerfolds retain their rankings! Here's another funny thing: the hardcover version of Dr. Nathaniel Frank’s Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America and The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students had its rankings pulled, but the Kindle version (Kindle is an Amazon exclusive digital book reader) of the exact same book retains its ranking! Dr. Frank's book is about the US military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, not erotica.
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