The Spectacle Blog
A columnist for the Huffington Post site says it is homophobic to criticize gay men who use Internet sex sites to meet teenage partners and only "bigots" are offended by such "nurturing intergenerational bonds."
Publicity about a relationship between 39-year-old Hollywood screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and 19-year-old British diving champion Tom Daley has inspired criticism even from some gay rights activists.
Joshua Epstein, a blogger who identifies himself as a gay progressive Democrat, reacted to the Black-Daley affair on Twitter: "He could be his father. Yuk." That reaction was condemned by Huffington Post columnist Michelangelo Signorile, who said only "internalized homophobia" could cause gays to criticize such relationships.
Bill Porter, who spent more than five decades as a door to door salesman in Portland, Oregon, passed away on December 4th following a brief illness. He was 81.
Porter, you see, was born with cerebal palsy. He was mistakenly considered mentally retarded and was told he would never work for a living. The best he could hope for was to live off a disability check.
However, neither Porter nor his mother Irene would take no for an answer. His late father had been a salesman and wanted to follow in his footsteps even if the path there would be difficult. In 1955, Porter applied for a job with the J.R. Watkins Company which sells various household products. They initially turned him down, but reconsidered after he offered to take on the company’s worst route.
Robinson Cano has signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners. Cano spent nine seasons with the New York Yankees.
I don’t see how this is going to work.
This move reeks of desperation for both parties. I’m sure Cano would have rather played in New York or Los Angeles, but only Seattle was willing to offer him and Jay-Z north of $200 million. As for the Mariners, they have had four consecutive losing seasons and have finished under .500 six out of the last seven years. Lloyd McClendon becomes their seventh manager since 2007. Their attendance has declined in half since the Mariners won 116 games in 2001. Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik is in the hot seat and needed to make a move, a very big move.
Nelson Mandela, whose death at 95 was announced yesterday by South African President Jacob Zuma, became an international figure during the 1960s when he was sentenced to life in prison for his political anti-Apartheid activism. It is remarkable to me that there is a generation of young people who weren’t alive when Mandela spent all those years in captivity. One must remember that as a consequence of his imprisonment, the Apartheid regime banned publication of his image. Indeed, the only image most people had of Mandela was this 1961 interview aired on British TV the year before he was captured.
Mandela’s imprisonment seemed an immutable fact of life as the Berlin Wall. The fact that Mandela was freed within months of the Wall being torn down demonstrates the impossible is possible. The end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s were a heady time. It must be said that F.W. de Klerk was to South Africa what Mikhail Gorbachev was to the Soviet Union. Mandela and de Klerk richly deserved their joint Nobel Peace Prize 20 years ago.
If you want to see how far notions of neo-Keynesianism and government omnipotence have seeped into Washington's conventional wisdom, have a look at today’s Politico lineup. One of the articles, headlined "Improving economy defies Washington, for now," has one of the funnier ledes I've seen in a while:
Washington has tried very hard this year to crush the economy with debt ceiling fights, clumsy budget cuts, a government shutdown and complete legislative gridlock. It does not appear to be working.
Funny, that. It’s almost as though—and talk me down if I sound crazy here—the private sector hums along just fine if we cut federal spending. In fact it seems like—and hold onto your hats for this one—the economy functions better if the government has its hands tied and can’t pass new legislation.
This is very, very troubling.
Last month, in Lunenburg, Massachusetts (which is about 45 miles northwest of Boston), the high football team had its season cancelled when members of its team were accused of spray painting racist graffiti on the home of a mixed race teammate named Isaac Phillips, who is 13-years old. The FBI was brought in to assist the Lunenburg Police Department in its investigation.
Today's jobs report has some good signals for the economy, and some cautionary notes.
The media's takeaway, of course, is that the unemployment rate dropped to 7 percent and 203,000 jobs were added.
This is the third of four months that have seen at least 200,000 jobs added, though the month prior to that – July 2013 – only saw 89,000 jobs added.
CNBC notes the participation rate, which has been around a 35-year low for some time, ticked up in November – which means more people are looking for work. However, the report cites the positive change in the employment-to-population ratio as an improvement that partly reflected the return to work of furloughed federal government employees.