July 2, 2011 archive

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The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is an Open Thread

LBJ Signs The Civil Rights Act Of 1964

Adapted from On This Day in History at The Stars Hollow Gazette

On this day in 1964, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs into law the historic Civil Rights Act in a nationally televised ceremony at the White House.

In the landmark 1954 case Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in schools was unconstitutional. The 10 years that followed saw great strides for the African-American civil rights movement, as non-violent demonstrations won thousands of supporters to the cause. Memorable landmarks in the struggle included the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955–sparked by the refusal of Alabama resident Rosa Parks to give up her seat on a city bus to a white woman–and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I have a dream” speech at a rally of hundreds of thousands in Washington, D.C., in 1963.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241, enacted July 2, 1964) was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that outlawed major forms of discrimination against blacks and women, including racial segregation. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public (“public accommodations”). Powers given to enforce the act were initially weak, but were supplemented during later years. Congress asserted its authority to legislate under several different parts of the United States Constitution, principally its power to regulate interstate commerce under Article One (section 8), its duty to guarantee all citizens equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment and its duty to protect voting rights under the Fifteenth Amendment.

Many states, where the Tea Party Republicans have taken over state houses and governorships, have passed laws requiring voter ID and other measures that will restrict the voting rights of the poor, elderly and students, many of whom are minorities who vote liberal and Democratic. We, cannot let those laws stand. The Obama Justice Department must fight to get them declared the unconstitutional laws that they are.

Six In The Morning

China’s Communists mull the party’s future

The 90th anniversary celebration has some bemoaning the changes time has wrought. Oh, for the days when a man could hang a portrait of Mao above his couch.

By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times  

Want to know what happens these days within a Chinese Communist Party cell?

Party members at the Jinxin Garden apartments get together once a month to discuss their volunteer projects, like raising money for earthquake victims and preventing neighborhood robberies. Or they plan excursions, such as a trip last week from their southern Beijing suburb to the Olympic stadium for a concert honoring the party’s 90th anniversary.

If it sounds as exotic as the Rotary Club, that’s precisely the problem. The 90-year milestone, celebrated Friday, prompts the question of how an ideology born out of the class struggles of 19th century Europe can remain relevant in the 21st century. By surviving to the age of 90, is the party a testament to endurance or is it merely old and in the way?

Saturday’s Headlines:

Syria defies Assad with largest protests so far

Palestinians trapped in a limbo between an unsustainable present and an uncertain future

End of an era as Germany’s compulsory military conscription finishes

Editor, journalist freed on bail in Zimbabwe

Greece puts halt to Gaza flotilla in a win for Israel


Sylvester and Tweety MysteriesThe Maltese Canary, Episode 9, Part 1

Late Night Karaoke

Random Japan



A Guinness World Record was set in Toyama when 1,566 people got together to play a game of tag.

JAXA’s unmanned probe Hayabusa, which spent five years collecting samples from a space rock named Itokawa, has been certified by Guinness “as the first spacecraft to have brought back materials from an asteroid.”

Meanwhile, a team of researchers from Tohoku University and NEC Corp announced that they have developed the world’s first “large-scale integrated circuit that requires no standby power.”

Last year was the first time since 2001 that the number of suicides in Japan fell below 32,000, according to the National Police Agency.

People in their 70s killed themselves at a lower rate in 2010 compared to a year ago, but folks in their 20s and 30s committed suicide more frequently.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso joined Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing to kick off the inaugural Japanese Film and TV Week, which aims to “promote cultural exchanges between young people from the two countries.”

According to London-based human resources firm ECA, Tokyo is the most expensive city in the world for expats, followed by Oslo, Nagoya, Stavanger (Norway), Yokohama, Zurich, Luanda (Angola), Kobe and Bern.

The Japanese, apparently, have not been drowning their sorrows in booze following the March 11 quake: beer shipments in May were the lowest on record.

The Japan Sumo Association agreed to “provisionally pay a salary” to a wrestler named Sokokurai, who was implicated in the recent bout-fixing scandal. The thing we really like about this story is that the Chinese wrestler’s original name is Enhetubuxin.

Popular Culture (Music) 20110701: The Who. Live at Leeds

Live at Leeds was the first live recorded record album by The Who that was legitimate.  There were plenty of rather crudely recorded, pirated versions of many of their live performances, but back in 1970 those analogue ones, mostly recorded by audience members under cover, rapidly were degraded by the very process of analogue to analogue copying, making even third generation copies almost unintelligible.   That is too bad, because some of those performances were great.

After the huge success of Tommy, and the concomitant success of the associated tour, Kit Lambert and The Who decided to record an actual live record that would capture their sound.  Live at Leeds did it well, but was too short because of the limitations of vinyl records at the time.  Remember, and I have covered this topic before, only 45 minutes, give or take a few, were possible with the vinyl technology at the time.

Let us examine what is really a wonderful record.  Note that there is very little video available, so that just the music is usually given here.  By the way, the album charted at #3 in the UK and at #4 in the US.

Countdown with Keith Olbermann

If you do not get Current TV you can watch Keith here:

Watch live video from CURRENT TV LIVE Countdown Olbermann on www.justin.tv

If you can’t watch here Timbuk3 has supplied a link to DU

Suing for equal health coverage

Alec Esquivel, 42, is an Oregon transman.  He works as a law clerk for the Oregon Court of Appeals.  Alec’s doctors said it was a medically necessary procedure to have a hysterectomy because of his heightened risk of ovarian and uterine cancer due to the hormone therapy he began in 2001.  Providence Health Plans, third-party insurance administrator for the state, and the Public Employees Benefit Board denied coverage for the procedure, stating

services related to a sex-change operation, including evaluation, surgery and follow-up services are not a covered benefit of your plan.

Alec is therefore suing the state of Oregon and the PEBB to cover his medical care related to the hysterectomy as well as $250,000 in damages and attorney fees.

Alec Esquivel was denied coverage for a medically necessary procedure specifically because he is transgender. This type of discrimination is unlawful and risks the health of hardworking, productive citizens of Oregon.

Dru Levasseur, Lambda Legal transgender rights attorney