Fresh off his Senate victory the Mad Doctor Rand Paul may not be satisfied. Having clung onto daddy's coatstrings for fundraising and a rabid following he may be ready to take one step past the Senate to the White House. Ah, but ever respectful to his elders the Mad Doctor would not do so if it meant running against his father. Yes, how could he leech Ron Paul's donors that way??
With so many people rallying in Washington over the weekend led by charlatans and hypocrites Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, who have convinced themselves they are heirs to the civil rights movement the real rally that will bring real civil rights to our country must begin. While it will not be led by false prophets who care only for their own greed and seek to brainwash their audiences that they care about anyone but the greediest and least patriotic among us it will need to take the route of the civil rights movement they have sought to hijack. You see, in the south we see all that has been going wrong in this country. Exploitation of workers, low wages, few worker protections and low union representation and the disasterous effects of bad trade deals and uncaring, greedy "Conservative" representation.
It wasn't but a couple of days ago that we had a conversation about The Fear and the emails that are used to spread it, and I figured with that out of the way we had dealt with the topic, and that we'd move on to new things.
Well, we would be moving on, Gentle Reader, if it wasn't for the fact that an email came in today that was so ugly, so disturbing, and so indicative of what we are about to see as the battle over the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) begins to heat up (ENDA being possibly the next "big contentious thing" that this Administration hopes to accomplish), that I had to interrupt my story schedule to bring it to your attention.
There was a time, in the 1990s, when “boy bands” walked tall in the musical world. New stars with names like “BoyzIIMen” and “Backstreet Boys” and “*NSYNC” were everywhere to be seen, and positioned prominently within this firmament of stars was an Irish band, “Boyzone”.
One of the five members of Boyzone’s most famous lineup, Stephen Gately, died over the weekend in Mallorca, aged 33, much to the dismay of the group’s fans and friends.
Because Gately came out at the height of his career, and at considerable risk to his (and the group’s) “brand” prospects, the LBGT community is experiencing considerable dismay over the loss as well.
Today’s story, however, isn’t about any of that.
Instead, we’ll consider what’s likely to happen to Gately’s estate.
The point of the exercise? With this being one of the most prominent deaths of a gay celebrity to occur since civil commitment came to pass, and with Mr. Gately being legally committed to husband Andrew Cowles at the time of his death, it seems like a good time to examine how the law responds to these situations in the UK—and how it could work in the United States.
The mention of that name, in the right circles, brings back a flood of associations.
Among them: a famous cabaret in Gay Paree, a Nicole Kidman movie rich in costume and set design and...well, a movie, anyway; or, if you really know your films, perhaps the association is with the 1952 John Huston “biography” film of the same name.
The one association that might not quickly come to mind, even though it should: ground zero in a battle that led to the desegregation of Las Vegas.
Today’s story will fill in the blanks that you might have regarding that association—and by the time we’re done, we’ll have covered, just as we promised last time, the 55-year history of a place that began in 1955, lasted for not quite six months, and ended just last week...maybe.
It’s another one of those American history stories you never heard before, and it’s well worth the telling...so let’s get right to it.
There may be no more recognizable icon of “Retro-Cool” than that photograph of the Rat Pack standing in front of the marquee at The Sands Hotel in Las Vegas.
They’re right there, lined up in front of their own giant names on the marquee: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop.
Night after night they would gather with friends such as Shirley MacLaine, Angie Dickinson, and Johnny Carson, to deliver some of the greatest nightclub performances in entertainment history.
Today’s story, however, focuses on what happened after the show: when four of those five could leave the showroom, drink at the bar, gamble at the casino, and go upstairs to their rooms.
In a town sometimes known as the “Mississippi of the West”, however, one of those five performers could not do any of those things.
Our Journey In Two Parts literally crosses over to the “wrong side of the tracks”, tells a story of segregation overcome, and recounts the six-month history of a Las Vegas hotel that has a 55-year history: the Moulin Rouge.