Chavez said he had no information on this but he was thinking of a new present to hand to Obama at the next summit – Vladimir Lenin’s political work ‘What Is To Be Done?’
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Taxpayers footed the bill for the big night on the town, which included a total of at least $24,000 for the three aircraft used to ferry the Obamas, aides and reporters to New York and back. Dinner costs and orchestra seat tickets -- at $96.50 apiece -- were paid by the Obamas.Obama's jet, a Gulfstream 500, served as a more modest Air Force One for the day in place of the customary presidential Boeing 747.The White House declined to say how much the trip was costing taxpayers.
Gold Star Mother Betty Pulliam, who lost a son in Viet Nam, now works to take the lives of other women's sons and daughters at George Tiller late-term abortion mill in Wichita, Kansas. Yesterday, she breakfasted with President Obama and was honored in our nation's capital as part of a Memorial Day observance.Pulliam, at 83, volunteers her time at Tiller's clinic on busy abortion days. She told the Wichita Eagle of her role as a Gold Star Mother, "You really don't want to belong to this club because in order to belong to this club, you have to lose a child. So nobody wants to belong to it."
The film, directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, two of the men behind “The Little Mermaid,” unfolds against a raucous backdrop of voodoo and jazz. Tiana, a waitress and budding chef who dreams of owning a restaurant, is persuaded to kiss a frog who is really a prince.The spell backfires and — poof! — she is also an amphibian. Accompanied by a Cajun firefly and a folksy alligator, the couple search for a cure.
After viewing some photographs of merchandise tied to the movie, which is still unfinished, Black Voices, a Web site on AOL dedicated to African-American culture, faulted the prince’s relatively light skin color.“Disney obviously doesn’t think a black man is worthy of the title of prince,” Angela Bronner Helm wrote March 19 on the site. “His hair and features are decidedly non-black. This has left many in the community shaking their head in befuddlement and even rage.”
“Disney should be ashamed,” William Blackburn, a former columnist at The Charlotte Observer, told London’s Daily Telegraph. “This princess story is set in New Orleans, the setting of one of the most devastating tragedies to beset a black community.”
Of course, armchair critics have also been complaining about the princess. Disney originally called her Maddy (short for Madeleine). Too much like Mammy and thus racist. A rumor surfaced on the Internet that an early script called for her to be a chambermaid to a white woman, a historically correct profession. Too much like slavery.“Because of Disney’s history of stereotyping,” said Michael D. Baran, a cognitive psychologist and anthropologist who teaches at Harvard and specializes in how children learn about race, “people are really excited to see how Disney will handle her language, her culture, her physical attributes.”
Cutie has said his decision to switch [from the Catholic church to the Epicopal church] was made over time, not since the photos in a Spanish-language magazine rocked South Florida's Spanish-speaking community, where he was known for his good looks and as the host of a TV show on relationships.
People who know me also know that while I do not support the idea of women priests, I do support the idea of married priests in the Latin rite of the Church. No, I do not see it as a panacea to what ails the Church, and yes, it would require a lot of thought and not be without its own problems, but nonetheless, I would have no problem seeing a Catholic priest marry, just as is seen in our Eastern rites, as well as converted Episcopalian priests in the Latin rite today. But . . . in her wisdom, Mother Church has not allowed that and so I have an expectation that our priests will live by their vows, just as the married laity is expected to do.The local Catholics who thought they had a true pastor in Cutie.The local Episcopalians who thought their denomination had more class than to publicly embrace a liar and a cheat.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
I have a goldfish but due to the air conditioner in my apartment being stuck on a constant two degrees celcius, the water in its bowl is iced over and he has not moved for a while so I do not think he is capable of disturbing the neighbours. The ducks in the bathroom are not mine. The noise which my neighbours possibly mistook for a dog in the apartment is just the looping tape I have of dogs barking which I play at high volume while I am at work to deter potential burglars from breaking in and stealing my tupperware. I need it to keep food fresh. Once I ate leftover chinese that had been kept in an unsealed container and I experienced complete awareness.
I could never be a sports photographer. I was only "just taking shots" at the Angels game last night but if you are shooting sports, it is very intense. Concentration is key because you have to be constantly scanning the playing field, trying to second guess where that "great shot" will be and then reacting very, very quickly.
Mariners beat the Angels, 5-2. But it is still fun to go to the game.
Saudi authorities beheaded and crucified a man convicted of brutally slaying an 11-year-old boy and his father, the Interior Ministry announced. According to Friday's statement from the ministry, Ahmed al-Anzi molested the boy and then strangled him to death. He then fatally stabbed the boy's father when the man came looking for his son.Crucifying the headless body in a public place is a way to set an example, according to the kingdom's strict interpretation of Islam. Normally those convicted of rape, murder and drug trafficking in Saudi Arabia are just beheaded.
A San Jose, California, Superior Court jury recommended the death sentence for Davis on August 5, 1996. After the verdict was read, Davis stood and made an obscene finger gesture at the courtroom with both hands. Later, at his formal sentencing, Davis read a statement claiming that Klaas had said to Davis, "Just don’t do me like my dad," just before Davis killed her, implying that Klaas's father was a child molester. Klaas's father reacted angrily and left the courtroom to avoid causing further commotion. Judge Thomas C. Hastings proceeded with the formality of the death sentence, saying "Mr. Davis, this is always a traumatic and emotional decision for a judge. You made it very easy today by your conduct."
Friday, May 29, 2009
Song: When Your Heart is Weak
Artist: Cock Robin
An animated conversation was taking place at the table across from mine at lunch today, at Hunnee's Cafe in downtown Corona, California.
All of my Project 365 shots (taking a picture each day) can be seen here.
In case anyone is curious what the DigiHusband looks like, here he is, watching his TV and asking me to get the camera out of his face.
Why? I love photographing people and my family especially. The Old Man is such a grouch . . . good thing I love him.
Archie Andrews -- who spent decades in high school, flirting with girl-next-door Betty Cooper and heiress-next-door Veronica Lodge -- is getting married.
"I am so excited, I am getting Married to Archie. There is so much to do, so many plans to make. I wonder if Betty wants to be my Maid of Honor? I bet she is so happy for me!" Veronica writes on her blog.Yup, Archie is marrying Veronica, breaking Betty's heart.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
The county employee notified the couple that the small Bible study, with an average of 15 people attending, was in violation of County regulations, according to Broyles.Broyles said a few days later the couple received a written warning that listed "unlawful use of land" and told them to "stop religious assembly or apply for a major use permit" -- a process that could cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Several months ago, the practice of priests sleeping with Protestant virgins before their marriage to Catholic males surfaced. A Catholic male and his would be bride went to speak to the priest concerning their marriage. The priest stated that he would have to try her out before the marriage. The girl told her mother. The marriage took place some months later.
A writer for a small Georgia newspaper who wanted to give President Barack Obama a letter was forcibly removed from a press area near Air Force One on Thursday shortly before he arrived at the airport.She later identified herself as Brenda Lee, a writer for the Georgia Informer in Macon, and said she is a "Roman Catholic priestess" who lives in Anaheim, Calif. She said she has White House press credentials.Lee said later in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that she wanted to hand Obama a letter urging him "to take a stand for traditional marriage."
Here is my Facebook posting:
Now, some abortion rights advocates are quietly expressing unease that Judge Sotomayor may not be a reliable vote to uphold Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 abortion rights decision. In a letter, Nancy Keenan, president of Naral Pro-Choice America, urged supporters to press senators to demand that Judge Sotomayor reveal her views on privacy rights before any confirmation vote.In a 2002 case, she wrote an opinion upholding the Bush administration policy of withholding aid from international groups that provide or promote abortion services overseas.
“The Supreme Court has made clear that the government is free to favor the anti-abortion position over the pro-choice position,” she wrote, “and can do so with public funds.”
In a 2004 case, she largely sided with some anti-abortion protesters who wanted to sue some police officers for allegedly violating their constitutional rights by using excessive force to break up demonstrations at an abortion clinic. Judge Sotomayor said the protesters deserved a day in court.
Judge Sotomayor has also ruled on several immigration cases involving people fighting deportation orders to China on the grounds that its population-control policy of forcible abortions and birth control constituted persecution.
Peterson, who once proposed a "Win a Date With Drew" contest, offered a jail version called "Win a Conjugal Visit with Drew." He also joked about prison showers, his legal fees and his "bling" handcuffs, saying humor is how he deals with stress."I didn't understand why they had seat belts on the toilet until after I had a couple of meals here," he said while the hosts played a drum-roll effect.
He also said he misses his children and has prayed and read the Bible during his imprisonment.
Just so, yannow, you get that whole "first Latino on the Supreme Court" history question right on Jeopardy . . .
Thank you, Claire!
*snort!* Who wouldn't . . .
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
A group of teachers and community activists plans to start a hunger strike today in protest of the Los Angeles Unified School District's plan to lay off thousands of teachers.
At least nine teachers and two activists will participate in the action, said Sean Leys, a Lincoln High School teacher who will take part in the fast.Leys said the hunger strike will continue "until the layoffs happen or a new budget is released." The teachers will work in their classrooms this week but "past that, we won't be able to continue," Leys said.
About 160 instructors and others get salaries for doing nothing while their job fitness is reviewed. They collect roughly $10 million a year, even as layoffs are considered because of a budget gap.
She was “a child with dreams,” as she once said, the little girl who learned at 8 that she had diabetes, who lost her father when she was 9, who devoured Nancy Drew books and spent Saturday nights playing bingo, marking the cards with chickpeas, in the squat red brick housing projects of the East Bronx.There was something of a pioneer spirit among the Puerto Ricans who settled into the East Bronx after braving tenements farther south or poverty back on the island. To settle into the Bronxdale Houses, as Sonia Sotomayor’s family ultimately did in the 1960s, was to find a haven of sorts, according to people who lived there then.While her husband worked at a tool-and-die factory, Celina Sotomayor — by all accounts the driving force in her daughter’s life — went on to become a telephone operator at Prospect Hospital, a small private hospital in the South Bronx, and later received her practical nurse’s license. The family’s life was upended when Sonia’s father died at 42, in part from heart complications that had kept him out of the Army. Celina Sotomayor, a widow with two young children and no savings, began working six days a week.Roman Catholic schools of that era were embraced by many working-class Puerto Rican parents who saw the public schools as too rowdy and dangerous. The Sotomayor family, which is Catholic, was among them. Judge Sotomayor attended Cardinal Spellman High School in the Northeast Bronx, which opened in 1959 and earned a reputation as a school for high achievers. She graduated as valedictorian in 1972.
I stopped by the old Orange County courthouse this evening, having heard there would be a rally of Prop 8 opponents. There were about 300 demonstrators there and about half a dozen sidewalk preachers telling the sodomites that they were hell-bound. Nobody really paid any attention to them. In the meantime, local Mexicans walked by quickly, glad that the workday was over, and eager to get home for to supper.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
But Associate Justices Joyce Kennard, Marvin Baxter and Ming Chin noted that voters successfully overturned a 1972 Supreme Court ruling that struck down the death penalty as cruel and unusual punishment. When the measure was challenged, the court upheld it as a properly enacted amendment.
"It would appear to me that life is, at least in my view, a fundamental right," Kennard said. "The court said that particularinitiative restoring the death penalty in California was not a revision."
Okay, I have OCPD - obsessive compulsive pixel disorder. Which means I cannot leave well enough alone. The HDR picture I blogged about below had to be more fine tuned to my liking, and I think I got it . . . at least for now.
BTW, this was taken at Heroes, a very cool bar in Fullerton, California. Nice back patio - perfect for Sunday-after-Mass lunches. And with 100+ beers on tap, you can't go wrong.
Monday, May 25, 2009
The next is also a conversion from RAW to JPG, but I fiddled around with the various sliders, such as exposure, contrast, and clarity during the conversion. A little bit better and great for, say, a web site showing pictures of an event where you want to simply record what happened (by the way, if I recall correctly, he's yelling at the waitress, "Yo, hot lips, whaddaya got on tap?" Okay, maybe not).
Different from the custom RAW conversion - more depth to color and contrast (and again, I set the controls, and someone else might want something different). In my opinion, it makes a better picture for display or conversion into black and white.
Detail enhancement - depending on the range of shadows, midtones, and highlights - can get funky. HDR images processed like this take on a drawn picture quality and some surreal effects can be had when you start taking controls to their extremes.
But that's the whole point - you may want to because you like it like that. I personally like this shot done with detail enhancement. After messing with it in Photomatix, I brought it into Photoshop and played around with a Levels adjustment layer.
I like this and I purposely saved the HDR file so I can play around with it more. With the processing, it looks more like a painting and the FDNY t-shirt and the beer barrels in the background make it seem like Mikey O'Donahue just got off his shift with Engine Company 66 in the Bronx and stopped for a boilermaker on his way home, and has spotted a friend on the other side of the bar.
What's your preference? There are basics that must be followed: always work at getting the best you can in composition, framing, lighting, focus, exposure, etc. But that rule sometimes will not apply when a blurred image may be best for invoking a sense of movement, or a heavily "solarized" picture with blown-out highlights and black shadows brings back the "acid rock" mood of the 70's. Photography is art. Not everyone likes Monet, not everyone gets Pollack. Shoot what makes you happy.
I have been throwing up a lot of photos onto this blog, but that has been because this weekend I have been doing a lot of shooting.
It occurred to me today that certain people I know are very photogenic. I don't mean to say that every picture of them looks like a shot from Vogue, but that their faces are very expressive and it is hard NOT to take what I consider to be a good picture of them. They have the type of faces that can show a large range of emotions and their eyes speak. These are people whose faces are animated, regardless of the emotion.
This is a shot of my paralegal, Linda, who loves Carlos Santana. She is photogenic - I have to get a shot of her when she wears what I call her "Joe Torre" face when things are not going well on a case,as it is pure doom and gloom.
I think my son is very photogenic. My friend - who is also my priest - is another person who is photogenic. We were discussing this topic at lunch today and I think another part of it is when you have a face where there is good contrast. He is light-skinned with dark hair and heavier eyebrows, which means lowered he can look quite serious, but when they're raised they accentuate his face, especially whne he is making a "goofy" face.
I have to go in early tomorrow to grab a file before heading to court. Linda is going to find this picture - I call it, "I Heart Carlos" - sitting on her desk when she comes in. Do you think she'll like it?
Gary was standing at the intersection of Main Street and 1st Street in downtown Santa Ana, California. He told me that yesterday a plainclothes cop pulled up and told him, "I think that's funny!" and gave Gary a dollar.
Gary thinks we should legalize marijuana. He said he used to drink but doesn't anymore.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
A Catholic church in Malaysia which prays to Allah has prompted a court case over who can use the word.
Muslim leaders say Islam should be the only faith to use it, saying its use in other faiths could lead to confusion and conversions.
I don't know, on a holiday weekend, I really could think of a better way to spend my time, rather than sitting in the midst of a lonely office complex with a laptop.
A Los Angeles couple filed a lawsuit Friday against a writer for the CBS show "CSI," alleging she named two shady characters in an episode after them to get revenge for a real estate deal gone bad.Real estate agents Melinda and Scott Tamkin are suing writer and producer Sarah Goldfinger for defamation and invasion-of-privacy. They allege the show hurt their real estate business and are seeking $6 million in damages.
The lawsuit references an episode that featured a real estate agent named Melinda, who dies under mysterious circumstances, and her husband Scott, a mortgage broker who watches pornography, drinks and is suspected of killing his wife.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
I spent the day in Los Angeles with my daughter, going to the Annenberg Space for Photography. Afterwards, we drove down Wilshire Boulevard and then I cut over to Olympic Boulevard, because I enjoy driving through Koreatown. We had not had lunch and it was already two o'clock, when I spied Kang Nam - years ago, when I worked in downtown L.A., that was a favorite spot for lunch.
A tasty hot weather choice is bimbim nyangmyen, a cold noodle dish with a hot and spicy sauce, and I had not had it in a long time. Katherine got bulgoki, which is good marinated beef.
Always seize the opportunity to have or do something out of the ordinary.
President Obama said in a cable news interview he is confident General Motors would thrive after restructuring.
"Ultimately, I think that GM is going to be a strong company and we are going to be pulling out as soon as the economy recovers and they've completed their restructuring," Obama told C-SPAN in an interview scheduled to air Saturday.
I think we'll be heading back to horse-n-buggy. Or follow the old Soviet model where private ownership of a vehicle is limited by the State.The Obama administration favors green energy and provides generous tax subsidies to wind and solar. By contrast, this week the oil industry complained that Obama proposed hiking their taxes by $70 billion over 5 years, including a $122 million on leases the administration considers non-producing."If you penalize oil and gas, and add taxes, it is going to make it much more difficult and more expensive. That means U.S. jobs are exported and we won't get the revenues from royalties," said Landry.
And further dependence on foreign oil. Arab oil. Take a bow!
We are at war with Eurasia. We have always been at war with Eurasia. Eastasia is our ally.
Today, St. Joseph School had its May Crowning, and I caught this lass looking pensive - or perhaps a tad tired - at the end of it.
I am going to start making sure my pictures have a copyright on them, just to be safe.
Friday, May 22, 2009
One of the associate attorneys in the office. Just some eye candy, if you like younger men. (Actually, Farhaad is both a gentleman and a good lawyer, and he and his girlfriend are in the midst of convincing a Shiba Inu puppy not to piddle on rugs and chew expensive shoes needed for court . . .)
There will be a meeting from 7-9 p.m. on the evening before Decision Day to talk about civil disobedience, in the event that the Supreme Court upholds Prop 8. It will be at a to-be-disclosed location South of Market.
The murderous wife of a Staten Island fire marshal who repeatedly made barbs about her ballooning weight was convicted yesterday of his "cold and calculated execution."The widow chugged whiskey as she told emergency responders that she was shocked to find her husband's blood-soaked body when she went to fetch clothes from her closet.She said she never heard the shots because she used earplugs when she slept and had spent the night in the room of her kids, Melanie, 7, and Renee, 8.The weeks that followed saw a series of bizarre antics from Mercereau, including tossing a treadmill -- and the bloodied mattress she shared with her husband -- from her house and strutting down her driveway posing for news cameras as if she were a catwalk model.
Mary Kay Letourneau and her former sixth-grade student — the father of her two youngest children — are hosting a "Hot for Teacher" night at a Seattle nightclub. Letourneau, now 47, served 7 1/2 years in prison after she was convicted of raping Vili Fualaau, now 26. They were married four years ago this week.
Song: The Flat Earth
Artist: Thomas Dolby
Why I Like This Song: Because it is gentle and sweet, and for me it is one of those songs that allow me to daydream. Plus, Thomas Dolby is a musical genius and I like the fact that he has been married to the same woman since 1988, actress Kathleen Beller.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
In naming the onetime camera-shop proprietor one of the 100 most important people of the twentieth century, Time conceded, “As a supervisor, Milk sponsored only two laws—predictably, one barring anti-gay discrimination, and, less so, a law forcing dog owners to clean pets’ messes from sidewalks.” Eleven months on the city council hardly seems the stuff of Hollywood legend. So Hollywood invented a legend.Rather than the gentle, soft-spoken idealist portrayed by Sean Penn, the real Harvey Milk was a short-tempered demagogue who cynically invented stories of victimhood to advance his political career. During his successful run for city supervisor, for instance, Milk’s camera store was the object of a glass-shattering attack by low-grade explosives. Milk blamed singer Anita Bryant, the outspoken opponent of gay-friendly legislation. “Years later friends hinted broadly that Harvey had more than a little foreknowledge that the explosions would happen,” biographer Randy Shilts noted. One friend explained to Shilts: “You gotta realize the campaign was sort of going slow, and, well . . .”