Friday, February 29, 2008

Roosting Chickens

Finally politicians are being called for getting the support of religious bigots and extremist wing-nuts. As well they should, No candidate for President, Senate or the House should be allowed to let others spout hatred on their behalf without having to answer for their supporters views or disallow or refute or reject that support. However they want to phrase it. And we're talking about both Presidential candidates. The corporate media is also being taken to task for allowing their bias to show. Obama and Farrakhan? Small potatoes.

In a Salon column, Glenn Greenwald calls on McCain to reject the support of certain neo-conservative, radical evangelicals.


Thus, white evangelical Ministers are free to advocate American wars based on Biblical mandates, rant hatefully against Islam, and argue that natural disasters occur because God hates gay people. They are still fit for good company, an important and cherished part of our mainstream American political system. The entire GOP establishment is permitted actively to lavish them with praise and court their support without the slightest backlash or controversy. Both George Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert sent formal greetings to the 2006 gathering of Hagee's group.

By contrast, black Muslim ministers like Farrakhan, or even black Christian ministers like Rev. Jeremiah Wright, are held with deep suspicion, even contempt. McCain is free to hug and praise the Rev. Hagees of the world, but Obama is required to prove over and over and over and over that he does not share the more extreme views of black Ministers.

How come Tim Russert -- in all the times he sits and chats with Lieberman, McCain and various high Bush officials -- never reads all of the inflammatory, disgusting, crazed "Rapture-is-Coming/ All-Jews-will-Burn/ Kill-All-Muslims/ Hurricanes-are-Punishment-against-Gays" pronouncements from John Hagee and James Dobson and Pat Robertson and demand that John McCain and George Bush and Joe Lieberman "denounce" those views and "reject" their support? What's the difference, exactly?


Good read. Check out the follow-ups. Including the interview with Bill Donohue of the Catholic League (no flamer,he) about the religious intolerance of some of McCains supporters.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Sneak peak at the new Yankee stadium. Sorry about the annoying ads at the start.

LOHud Yankee Report

Some folks are asking what was wrong with the old stadium? Lets put it this way. Imagine you've got a choice of working a show in an older Broadway house. The FOH is gorgeous but backstage is fairly outdated and small. You spend your free time in the plenum and your coat is hanging up in the hallway. The bathrooms are nasty and the walk up to dressing rooms or follow spot positions is heart attack inducing.

Then you've got an opportunity to work at the Met. FOH is beautiful, just like a Broadway house. But backstage is a different story. Big stage, loading doors, elevators onstage and off, shop areas, lounges, a space designed for theatrical production in mind.

Where would you rather work?

Also a blog by Phil Hughes

Monday, February 25, 2008

Just Living Is Not Enough...

One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower. Hans Christian Anderson

One of the advantages of a little down time (hopefully very little) is finding out what’s up on daytime television. A little goes a long way. Jerry, Steve and Maury seem to have some pretty good gigs, all indoor work and no heavy lifting involved. Brow beating the helpless, hopeless and harebrained is always good fun. The shows help grown men to keep in touch with their inner adolescent and make a living at it.

One of the bright spots is Versus , the old Outdoor Life Network. It’s a guy thing. Not owned by a sports team, the channel takes a broader approach to it’s programming. Hockey, cycling and college basketball are the main team sports features. It’s here you can watch the Tour de France and other bike races in the US and abroad. There is also programming about things like hunting, fishing, wildlife management and maintenance of hunting plots and fishing areas. Catch and release is the standard in the fishing shows but be warned about the hunting shows. They don’t hesitate to show large animals being taken by gunfire or arrows and looked at as trophies. If seeing that bothers you then the watch something else.

Two of the best of the hunting shows are Escape To The Wild and Life In The Open . The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is a group that is working to keep wild areas and government properties open to the hunter and fishermen, promotes responsible energy development and wildlife habitat management. They also have a program that is called the Union Sportsman Alliance , a dues-based, hunting and fishing club of the TRCP and its partner unions, designed exclusively for union members and their families that hunt, fish and enjoy the outdoors. Polls revealed that 70% of all union members hunt and fish and do not belong to any formal conservation or outdoor organization. I consider NRA to be an industry trade group for the promotion and sale of firearms and ammunition and not concerned with conservation. Promoting safe marksmanship is important but the mission of TRCP and the NRA are different. You can shoot on a range but you can only hunt in the wild.

While most of the work that TRCP is doing is based on the West and Midwest, there is a show City Limits has a professional fisherman trying to catch the legal limit of fish within major US cities, including NYC, DC and Chicago.

The Nature Conservancy reports that outdoor activities like camping and hiking are declining in a shift away from nature-based recreation. They lay the blame on people spending more time in front of their televisions and computers. I suspect that the decline is based less on indoor recreational activities than the loss of free time and vacations for working families trying to maintain what they have. But that discussion is for another day.

We may be the cultural capital of the world but we also have terrific outdoor things to do. The Appalachian Trail can be gotten to by the Metro-North at Pauling or the Day Line can take you to Bear Mountain. Oceans, rivers and the National Parks surround us. Teach your child to hunt and fish the proper way and they’ll respect nature for the rest of their lives. Spend the night away in a sleeping bag deep in the woods, looking at the stars and you’ll live longer, better. Get out of the theatre, studio or shop and enjoy life. Nobody on their deathbed ever wished they had spent more time at the office.