From AARP:

For gay and lesbian Americans, June 28, 1969, was the day that changed everything.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, law enforcement officials kept track of suspected homosexuals and places that catered to them. Police regularly raided gay bars, seizing alcohol, shutting down establishments and arresting patrons. It wasn’t uncommon for gay men and lesbians to be exposed in newspapers, fired from their jobs, jailed or sent to mental institutions.

Homosexuality was then considered to be such subversive behavior that it was listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders I as a “sociopathic personality disturbance.”

On that June night, police entered the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York’s Greenwich Village, at 1:20 a.m. and launched a raid.

While the police waited for patrol wagons to cart away the arrested suspects and the seized alcohol, the bar’s patrons began to resist. They refused to follow police orders. Men refused to show their IDs, and men dressed as women refused to accompany female officers to the bathroom to have their gender confirmed.

Those who weren’t arrested exited through the front door, but they didn’t go far. Within a short time, the crowd swelled to an estimated 2,000. As police put the arrested into the wagons that were now on the scene, the crowd threw what they had—pennies, beer bottles, trash cans—at the police and shouted, “Gay power!”

Thirteen people were arrested, and four police officers were injured at Stonewall.

The riots continued for six nights.

The resistance wasn’t planned, nor were the riots that followed.

“Every movement arrives at a moment when people say, ‘Enough is enough,’ ” says Michael Adams, executive director of Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders, or SAGE. “That was the Stonewall riots for the gay rights movement.”

Martin Boyce, a participant in the riots, shares this sentiment.

“We were feeling anger and resentment, but the big thing was that we had a chance to do something now,” Boyce says. “People got hurt. I got hit in the back with a club. But you could see and feel the person next to you wasn’t going to run.”

“People will point out there were acts of resistance before Stonewall. But those acts of resistance were on a smaller scale,” says David Carter, author of Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution. “This was an act of resistance that was a mass movement. It was mass crowds. These other events were smaller, they weren’t sustained, and they didn’t get in the media. Plus, the Stonewall riots sparked the gay liberation movement, by the founding of the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activist Alliance.”

Frank Kameny, a leader in the gay rights movement, estimates that there were 1,000 organizations formed within a year after Stonewall. After two years, 2,500. After three years, he stopped counting.

“Progress has been enormous,” Kameny says. “Sodomy laws were repealed, so we’re no longer criminals. Mental health classification changed, so we’re no longer loonies. The government is finally recognizing and respecting us. Just this year, an openly gay man [John Berry] was appointed head of the Office of Personnel Management, the group [then called the Civil Service Commission] that fired me over 50 years ago in 1957, and I was acknowledged at his swearing-in ceremony. That is deeply satisfying. It’s a storybook ending. At age 84, I am not sure that I will see full equality in my lifetime, but I have no doubt that we’re heading toward it.”

The meaning of Stonewall to me is that we now have personal freedom and liberation, and that means a lot,” says Ellen Ratner, bureau chief for the Talk Radio News Service and an openly gay White House correspondent since 1993. “We’re not ‘less thans’ in society anymore. We have the freedom to marry … in several states. We have freedom to work and can’t be fired because we’re gay … in several states. To me, that means we’re equal members of society.”

"It’s been 40 years since Stonewall, and systemic persecution of gay men and lesbians has given way to justifiable concerns of aging and care. Ratner wonders what will happen to gay and lesbian boomers as they age.

“Who’s going to take care of us?” Ratner asks. “Aging and caregiving is a huge issue for us. We are more likely to be caregivers, but what support systems will we have in place? What about our benefits? If I want to transfer my apartment to my partner, it’s OK with a state like Massachusetts, but it’s not OK with the feds. Why should I have to pay a 45 percent gift tax when [heterosexual married couples] don’t? We face housing issues if there are no specific laws to protect us.”

“This is a tipping point,” says Bob Witeck, coauthor of Business Inside and Out and CEO and cofounder of Witeck-Combs, a strategic communications firm that’s been instrumental in giving voice to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. “On the heels of Barack Obama, anything seems possible. The ‘what ifs’ become ‘why nots.’ The next 10 years will be dramatic ones. We will see resolutions to what we’ve started. By the time our community turns 50, we will be able to report that a lot of our biggest struggles are behind us.”

The memory of the Stonewall riots is kept alive through annual gay pride parades that are held in June around the country. During this 40th anniversary year, you can participate in celebrations in major cities such as Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Houston, Phoenix, Las Vegas or Chicago. Or visit the Stonewall Inn and New York-based events.

Dave Singleton is the director of planning and promotion with AARP publications.




By Paul Krugman (my HERO):

"It must have sounded like a good idea (although not to me): establish a bipartisan commission of Serious People to develop plans to bring the federal budget under control.

"But the commission is already dead — and zombies did it.

"OK, the immediate problem is the statements of Alan Simpson, the commission’s co-chairman. And what got reporters’ attention was the combination of incredible insensitivity – the “lesser people”??? — and flat errors of fact.

"But it’s actually much worse than that. On Social Security, Simpson is repeating a zombie lie — that is, one of those misstatements that keeps being debunked, but keeps coming back.

"Specifically, Simpson has resurrected the old nonsense about how Social Security will be bankrupt as soon as payroll tax revenues fall short of benefit payments, never mind the quarter century of surpluses that came first.

"We went through all this at length back in 2005, but let me do this yet again.

"Social Security is a government program funded by a dedicated tax. There are two ways to look at this. First, you can simply view the program as part of the general federal budget, with the the dedicated tax bit just a formality. And there’s a lot to be said for that point of view; if you take it, benefits are a federal cost, payroll taxes a source of revenue, and they don’t really have anything to do with each other.

"Alternatively, you can look at Social Security on its own. And as a practical matter, this has considerable significance too; as long as Social Security still has funds in its trust fund, it doesn’t need new legislation to keep paying promised benefits.

"OK, so two views, both of some use. But here’s what you can’t do: you can’t have it both ways. You can’t say that for the last 25 years, when Social Security ran surpluses, well, that didn’t mean anything, because it’s just part of the federal government — but when payroll taxes fall short of benefits, even though there’s lots of money in the trust fund, Social Security is broke.

"And bear in mind what happens when payroll receipts fall short of benefits: NOTHING. No new action is required; the checks just keep going out.

"So what does it mean that the co-chair of the commission is resurrecting this zombie lie? It means that at even the most basic level of discussion, either (a) he isn’t willing to deal in good faith or (b) the zombies have eaten his brain. And in either case, there’s no point going on with this farce."


From Robert Reich:

"One day after he was blasted on Capitol Hill, BP CEO Tony Hayward has been removed from day-to-day management of the oil spill. BP’s chairman has turned it over to a BP managing director, Bob Dudley.

"That makes sense from a PR standpoint. Before the congressional hearings, Hayward seemed merely overwhelmed. After yesterday, the mere thought of Hapless Hayward in charge of plugging the hole strikes most people as ludicrous. Hayward told Congress he knew nothing, took no responsibility, and wasn’t able to comment on a thing.

"Yet Dudley’s only apparent qualification is he’s an American. Dudley still reports to the same BP board of directors. They are responsible to the same BP shareholders. Those shareholders still, naturally, want BP to maximize share values and not spend a dollar (or pound) more than necessary."

Read the rest here.



"The following comic book ‘Mickey Mouse and the Medicine Man’ was released by Disney in 1951. In the strip, Mickey and Goofy discover a new medicine called ‘Peppo’ that represents amphetamine (speed). Their enthusiasm for the chemical pick-me-up leads them to become salesman for the product in Africa."

Check out the full strip at All That's Interesting.



From NPR News:

Jose Saramago, the first Portuguese writer awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, died at his home in the Canary Islands on Friday. He was honored in his homeland as a major cultural figure, but as a committed Communist, he attracted his share of controversy as well. Saramago moved to the Canary Islands in 1998 after a very public dispute with the Portuguese government.

Saramago was born into poverty in 1922 in a small village outside Lisbon. His parents were landless peasants who later moved to the city, where Saramago had the opportunity to go to school. Money troubles eventually forced him to drop out, but he never stopped educating himself.

"He was an avid reader," says Helder Macedo, emeritus professor of Portuguese literature at Kings College London. Saramago was "indeed a voracious intellectual ... acquiring information as much as he could."

Saramago wrote his first novel when he was in his 20s, but he hated it and abandoned fiction for many years — he said he had nothing to write. Saramago became a journalist and, in 1969, joined the Communist Party.

In 1974, his party membership cost him his job as editor of a small Lisbon newspaper. It was then, says Macedo, that Saramago returned to fiction as a "belated writer."

"It was the best thing that could ever happen to him," Macedo says. "If he hadn't written the books that he wrote well into his 50s, we wouldn't be talking about him today."

Saramago's 1982 novel, Baltasar and Blimunda, was the first to be widely translated, and his work began attracting international attention. In 1998, he became the first Portuguese writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. At a banquet in Oslo celebrating the award, Saramago said he owed a great debt to all those who had written in Portuguese.

"The ones of the past and of today, I am but one of them," he said.

Saramago is known for his imaginative blend of fantasy, fact and folklore. He takes on big subjects and big themes: In The Stone Raft he envisions a world in which Spain and Portugal are literally cut off from the rest of Europe. In Blindness, which was also made into a movie, the entire population of a city loses its sight.

"It's not a 'Once upon a time,' but 'What if?' " Macedo says. "What if suddenly the world became blind? What if the Iberian Peninsula was geographically separated from Europe? He writes fables in a sense."

Not surprisingly, Saramago attracted his share of controversy. In 1991, his novel The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, which depicts a very flawed, human Jesus, was condemned by the Catholic Church. The next year, the Portuguese government withdrew it from competition for a literary prize. Saramago accused the government of censorship and moved to the Canary Islands.

"He is a writer who divides people," says Margaret Jull Costa, who has translated many of Saramago's novels. "I think people either love him or hate him. ... He liked argument and he did antagonize people ... and he liked to be polemical."

Controversies and all, Saramago left a profound mark on his homeland. Speaking today about Saramago's death, Prime Minster of Portugal Jose Socrates said: "His disappearance has left our culture poorer."


GOP DEFENDING BP: Cutting Off Their Heads To Spite Their Necks

By William K. Wolfrum, via Liberaland:

"A couple months ago, it was a political certainty that Republicans would make strong gains in both the House and Senate in the November elections. Today, however, the GOP and entire conservative movement is working on perhaps the most incredible bit of mass political suicide this side of Gary Hart.

"Since the British Petroleum Deep Horizon oil well exploded – taking the lives of 11 BP workers and leveling mass destruction on the Gulf of Mexico – Republicans have been unable to contain themselves. Even as oil destroys wildlife, jobs, lives and the Gulf, Republicans have been doing back flips to come up with anything to pin the blame on President Barack Obama. Facts, logic, or even thought of any kind has flown from the minds of those making attacks.

The end result? The GOP has now become BP’s champion. Simply put, Republicans would rather defend BP and its interests than the interests of the American people. Their efforts to destroy Obama have put them solidly on the wrong side of the argument. Basically, the Republican Party has gone far beyond noses – they are now cutting off their heads to spite their necks.

"It has been one of the most ridiculous, anti-American displays one could imagine. And it keeps getting crazier. Today, as Congress drilled BP CEO Tony Hayward, Rep. Joe Barton took his turn and used it to apologize to Hayward, stating, 'It is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown, in this case a $20 billion shakedown.'

"Add this to Rep. Michele Bachmann stating that the $20-billion escrow account secured by Obama is “redistribution of wealth,” and Sarah Palin falsely claiming that Obama has avoided getting the help of the dike-fixing Dutch. One day a Republican calls Obama a weakling for his handling of the spill. The next day he’s a bully for making BP face it’s financial obligations to the U.S. And every day, Republicans have defended BP’s right to destroy the Gulf of Mexico and ruin the lives of Americans.

"To make matters even worse for Republicans, the Tea Party movement has been completely shut down because of the spill. Shouting slogans at the gulf of Mexico and screaming about how the free market will fix the problem has no place in such a monumental catastrophe. And the Tea Party has nothing more than slogans and copies of “Atlas Shrugged” to handle oil spills or any other issue. The movement – such that it is – has been muted.

"It’s easy enough to say that Republicans are only protecting their corporate sponsors. But that can’t explain their reactions fully. After all, the entirety of the American political system, on both sides of the aisle, is literally awash in oil company money. No, it’s more than that. It is Obama Derangement Syndrome to the nth degree.

"In desperately trying to paint Obama as incompetent in the face of the oil disaster, Republicans have made one thing very clear, whether they intended to or not – they are on the side of British Petroleum. They are more interested in the profit margin and stock price of a foreign corporation than they are in American citizens. And come November, it will be Republican necks on the line, as Democrats around the nation will make sure every last registered voter and “small person” knows that when all hell broke loose in the Gulf of Mexico, Republicans were too busy playing politics and holding BP’s hand to give a whit about the American public."




More than 30 million trees are being cut down every year to produce the books sold in the U.S. alone. Balance out your books now! Learn more...


"For that is our unyielding faith - that in the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can change it."

~~Barack Obama



From Glaad.org:

CALL TO ACTION UPDATE: GLAAD Calls on Advertisers to Explain Support for Fox’s “The O’Reilly Factor”

During June 2 Broadcast Host Bill O’Reilly Compares Gay People To al Qaeda

Today GLAAD released a list of advertisers that supported the June 2 broadcast of Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor.” During that broadcast, host Bill O’Reilly likened gay people to the international terrorist organization, al Qaeda.

After playing a gay-friendly McDonald’s commercial from France, O’Reilly asked commentator Jane Skinner to weigh in on the content. Skinner pointed out that the ad campaign is “part of an overreaching campaign called ‘come as you are,’ which you saw at the end there. So they show people in different walks of life.” O’Reilly then asked, “Do they have an al Qaeda ad, you know, come as you are? You know?”

Following GLAAD’s June 3 Call to Action that urged Fox News and Bill O’Reilly to apologize for the defamatory remarks, nearly three thousand people sent letters to FOX News executives and producers of “The O’Reilly Factor” to voice their concerns.

Today we are contacting the 35 companies that advertised during the broadcast to ask how they justify supporting this type of defamation.

Please see a complete list of advertisers below. GLAAD will keep you updated on any responses we receive.

• Farmers Insurance Group
• Porsche
• Broadview Security
• Atlantis Resort
• EHarmony.com
• Infiniti (NISSAN),
• Amway Global
• Accu-Chek Aviva (ROCHE)
• Activision
• AT&T
• Carbonite (CarboniteTV.com)
• Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
• Smart Balance Milk
• Starbucks
• Pulaski & Middleman LLC
• Foundation for a Better Life
• Merit Financial
• Kelloggs
• Lending Tree
• Terminix
• Mayflower
• Holiday Inn
• Skip Gambert & Associates
• AmazonKindle
• Geico
• Lexus
• Peachtree Settlement
• Vonage
• Citracal
• T. Rowe Price
• Dr. Scholls
• Mercedes
• Jack Victor


Rain, rain, go away; come again another day..., when I don't have so many things I want to do in the yard!



I'm going to try some water plants in a large pot again this year. Of course, I missed the local landscape firm's class about it. But I think that as long as I'm not planning on having any fish in it, it will be OK. Maybe a snail or two - once the water settles down....
Wish me luck!



Myownsister Livi wented to the vet yesterday. He said she gots a berry thick cataract on her right eyeball! He said he doubts that she can see anyfingy wif that eye. He said she is berry lucky to wiv wif a family who doesn't let her run and is so good to her. He said she is also berry lucky to have such a hamsome older brudder (me!). (My Momma says I shouldn't tell stories....)

So, my momma just has to keeps an EYE (Hahahaha!) on Livi's eyes to make sure the Glaucoma doesn't start to develope!



"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

~~Martin Luther King, Jr.



Zztopdog notes: My sister Livi may be blind, or going blind. My momma made an appointment wif da vet for today, to finds out for sure. Livi will just turn 4 years old this summber; but blindness is common in diabetic doggies.

Dats all for now.



“How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”

~~Dr. Suess