Archive for March, 2012

The Cold War May Be Over, But The Rainbow War Is Just Beginning

UPDATE:  August 7, 2012

The United States government is sending out a warning to American citizens in Moscow and St. Petersburg where Madonna is scheduled to perform two concerts, one tonight and one Thursday.

It’s not known if Madonna has been directly threatened or if U.S. officials have contacted her.

Madonna has been very outspoken against a new law in St. Petersburg that prohibits people from making pro-gay comments.  My original story is below.

Here is the full warning from the U.S. Embassy:

U.S. Embassy Moscow and U.S. Consulate General St. Petersburg


August 7, 2012

“This is to alert U.S. citizens in Russia who are planning to attend the Madonna concerts in Moscow on Tuesday, August 7, or in St. Petersburg on Thursday, August 9, that the U.S. Consulate General in St. Petersburg has received information regarding a threat of physical violence against spectators and performers at the St. Petersburg concert on August 9.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow and the U.S. Consulate General in St. Petersburg have shared the information with appropriate Russian law enforcement authorities.

Russian authorities have indicated to the Embassy that they are taking appropriate measures in light of this information.

While we expect that enhanced security measures will be put in place at both concerts, U.S. citizens are reminded to remain vigilant regarding their personal security, and to be aware of their surroundings at all times, especially in crowded areas.”

Earlier this summer, in June, political threats of violence and censorship forced Lady Gaga to cancel a 52,000-seat concert in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Madonna has six more European shows left, including the two in Russia, before bringing the “MDNA Tour” to the United States three weeks from today.  It kicks off in North American in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Madonna & Madonna fans, be safe.


ORIGINAL POST:  March 22, 2012

“I don’t run away from adversity.  I will speak during my show about this ridiculous atrocity.”

Madonna plans on doing what she does best when she isn’t entertaining us with incredible dance confections — fighting oppression and inhumanity.

The pop icon will be taking on political leaders in the second largest city in Russia, St. Petersburg, when she performs a concert there on August 9th, after the governor signed legislation that compares being gay to pedophilia.

This law, which goes into effect this weekend, makes it illegal to engage in “the propaganda of male homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, and transgenderism among minors,” defined as “intentional and unregulated distribution in a publicly accessible manner of information that can harm the health or the process of moral and spiritual development of minors, including forming among them the false perception that traditional and non-traditional relationships are socially equal.”   This would include Gay Pride parades and events.

Violators could face a stiff fine of 5,000-500,000 rubles ($170-$17,000).

Before 1993 when homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia, those convicted of being gay faced jail time.  Twenty years later, the gay community is still underground because of widespread homophobia in the country.  And, not too long ago, Vitaly Milonov, a deputy in St. Petersburg’s local assembly, called homosexuals “perverts”.

Madonna posted this on her Facebook page Wednesday:

“I’m a freedom fighter.
My show
My songs
My work
My art
Is all about freedom of expression
Freedom to choose to speak to act
Always with humanity and compassion
I will come to St. Petersburg to speak up for the gay community, to support the gay community and to give strength and inspiration to anyone who is or feels oppressed.
I don’t run away from adversity.
I will speak during my show about this ridiculous atrocity.”

However, that’s not good enough for some that are calling for a boycott of St. Petersburg.

Gay activists are planning to protest Madonna’s concerts in Moscow and St. Petersburg.  The leader of the city’s branch of Gay Russia movement, Yury Gavrikov says, “we intend to protest against the hypocrisy of pop stars.”

I wonder what these homophobic politicians will think when they see Madonna’s homoerotic video for her new international release, “Girl Gone Wild”.

It probably comes as no surprise that Madonna stands up to authority and close-minded or prudish attitudes.  In the summer of 1990 while on her “Blonde Ambition” tour in Toronto, Canada, police warned her that she might be arrested or detained if she touched herself provocatively during  “Like A Virgin”.  If you don’t remember how that turned out from her film, “Truth or Dare”, I have it here for you.

Madonna, let Russia know that just because the Cold War is over, that it can’t start a Rainbow War!


This is Big! Way to Go, New Hampshire!

I have something to say about a great group of Republicans.  What?  Did you have to stop and re-read that first line?  🙂

Applause and cheers filled the chambers yesterday as the Republican-dominated New Hampshire House voted 211-116 NOT to repeal the state’s two-year-old marriage equality law.

State Rep. Mike Ball, chairman of the Republican Committee in Manchester, told his colleagues, “These folks are people just like you are.  The bill takes away civil unions and marriage and it needs to be put down.”  Ball also said that banning same-sex couples the right to marry was the same as banning interracial marriage.

In a more humorous moment during the debate and vote, Republican representative Seth Cohn, who supports marriage equality, proposed banning marriage between left-handed people.  This outcome of this one is less surprising — it failed, too. 🙂

Standing Up for New Hampshire Families organized opposition to the repeal measure, stating that polls indicated 62% of New Hampshire voters opposed repealing the law.

The repeal bill included a provision that would have put on November’s ballot a question asking, “Shall New Hampshire law allow civil unions for same-sex couples and define marriage as the union of one man and one woman?” The repeal bill also stipulated that same-sex couples which have already obtained marriage licenses will continue to have their marriages recognized by the state.

Democratic Governor John Lynch had promised to veto any effort to repeal marriage equality in New Hampshire.

This vote did tick off the anti-gay group, National Organization for Marriage (NOM). That comes as no surprise.  NOM President Brian Brown vows that his sad little group is going to hold all 211 lawmakers accountable for not taking away marriage rights from the gays, “We are very disappointed in the failure of the New Hampshire House of Representatives to pass compromise legislation restoring marriage and providing for civil unions for same-sex couples”.

Since January 2010 when same-sex couples could get married, about 1,900 such couples have done so.


My Blog Passed a Milestone. Thank You!

All of you are great and I want to take a moment to say “thank you” for taking time out of your busy day to check out my blog to see what’s on my mind.  I don’t always have earth-shattering things to share, but I love having the blog just to express what I’m thinking about.

Another reason for today’s “thank you” is that since I started my blog on January 7, 2012, just over two months ago, it has been viewed more than 20,000 times!

You know I love statistics and facts, so here are the top fifteen blogs entries that you’ve checked out the most.

Several of the entries that made the countdown are about my late beloved Miss ABBA (highest entry at #3).  Some have to do with my life, my family, and the top two are about celebrities.   I admit that those two must have been picked up somewhere along the way on the internet as many times as those entries have been viewed.

Here’s the countdown and the link if you want to check them out again or if you’ve missed them:

#15  “Incredible Art Tribute Honoring Miss ABBA”

#15  “Miss ABBA Tribute on  WQAD”

#14  “A Waste of Glitter or Effective Activism?

#13  “Birthday Bash 2012”

#12   “Ray & Gretel, 3 Years!  ‘We’re So Good Together'”

#11   “Miss ABBA, It’s Been 24 Hours.  Daddy A Misses You So Much”

#10  “‘Miss ABBA’ Is Home”

#8  “Miss ABBA’s Medical Update””

#8 “There is a Heaven & I’ll Be Going There One Day”

#7  “Significant Snow Friday”

#6  “First Winter Storm”

#5  “Two Golden Moments This Bleak Afternoon”

#4  “Miss ABBA:  Video Tribute”

#3  “ABBA:  My Best Friend”

#2  “Super Bowl Bet:  50 Cent, I’ll Pay You A Dollar To Keep It To Yourself”

#1  “Do We Really Need To Tell Adele She’s “Too Fat”

Again, thank you.


Bullies Suck and Their Actions Kill

“Kids will be kids”, “boys will be boys”, and “girls will be girls” doesn’t cut with me when it gets to the point that that kid, that boy, or that girl finds it easier to put a rope around their neck and hang themselves from a tree or put a gun to their head and pull the trigger. And, grown-ups, whether it’s parents or educators, that believe those statements need to wake up. It’s already too late for many kids and young adults.

Bullying is a major problem in the United States and across the world. And, how can it not be a problem when we see that hate and unjust behavior from school officials and many politicians, some running for the highest office in the United States. Yes, I’m talking about you Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, and womanizer Newt Gingrich.

“Bully” is a new, heartbreaking documentary that focuses on teen life in contemporary America, which was shot mostly in Sioux City, Iowa.

Here lies the problem and you can help just by sitting at the computer in your home or at work. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has given “Bully” an R-rating, which would prevent it from being seen by one of the groups that needs to see it the most — teenagers.

There is a petition on that you can sign to let the MPAA know that this movie should be seen by teenagers and the rating should be “PG-13″. The petition was started by lesbian teen Katy Butler, who was bullied because of her sexuality. Already more than 447,000 people have signed the petition. Two weeks ago when Katy delivered signatures to the MPAA’s Los Angeles headquarters, there were just about 200,000 signatures.

You can sign it here:

Congressional Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), NBA legend Michael Jordan, actors Ellen DeGeneres and Johnny Depp, singers Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato, “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson, and NFL quarterback Drew Brees have already voiced their support for the petition.

Advanced screenings of the movie brought out Oscar winner Meryl Streep, former network news anchors Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric, media mogul Martha Stewart, actress Mariel Hemingway, and tennis legend Billie Jean King.

Famed attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson are also willing to argue on behalf of “Bully” to have the R-rating changed to PG-13.

Both men were instrumental in overturning California’s “Proposition 8″ ban on gay marriage. Olson was also a solicitor general under President George W. Bush and Boies argued for Al Gore during the 2000 election’s landmark case, “Bush v. Gore”.

At a special screening in New York City earlier this week, Boies said, “How ridiculous and unfair and damaging it is to have a film of this power and importance that is being censored by a rating system that has got simply no rational basis. You can kill kids, you can maim them, you can torture them and still get a PG-13 rating, but if they say a couple of bad words (the f-word), you blame them. I hope, for heaven’s sake, that they find some rational basis before we have to sue them to revise the rating system.”

Olson adds these words of warning to the MPAA, “They better shape up, or here we come.”

“Bully” opens in New York City on March 30, 2012, and nationwide in April.


41 Chart Toppers & Counting — This Will Likely #42!

She is definitely a “girl gone wild”, even in her early 50s!  Madonna is reliving her early 1990s days of “Vogue”, “Erotica”, and “Sex” (that steamy coffee table book she released in the fall of 1992).  Tuesday night, Madonna released her latest video, “Girl Gone Wild”, the second single from her upcoming (March 26th) album, “MDNA”.

That song is just now being released to radio, but it’s already a Top 20 smash right out of the gate on Billboard’s Dance/Club Play chart.  That is a chart that Madonna has owned since her first #1 hit in 1983, “Holiday/Lucky Star”, spent five weeks at the top of that chart.

The first release from “MDNA”, “Give Me All Your Luvin'” recently topped the chart becoming her record-extending 41st #1 on Billboard’s Dance/Club Play Songs chart.

That extends her lead on the dance chart over Janet Jackson, who is in second place, with 19 number ones.

While Madonna’s first single, “Everybody”, peaked at #3, here is a list of her #1 hits on the Billboard Dance/Club Play chart.  If a song stayed  at the top more than one week, the number of weeks at No. 1 is noted by parentheses.

1983, “Holiday/Lucky Star” (five weeks; double-sided chart single)
1984, “Like a Virgin” (three weeks)
1985, “Material Girl”
1985, “Angel/Into the Groove” (double-sided chart single)
1987, “Open Your Heart”

1987, “Causing a Commotion (Remix)”
1988, “You Can Dance (LP Cuts)”
1989, “Like a Prayer” (two weeks)
1989, “Express Yourself” (three weeks)
1990, “Keep It Together”

1990, “Vogue” (two weeks)
1991, “Justify My Love” (two weeks)
1992, “Erotica”
1993, “Deeper and Deeper”
1993, “Fever”

1994, “Secret” (two weeks)
1995, “Bedtime Story”
1997, “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”
1998, “Frozen” (two weeks)
1998, “Ray of Light” (four weeks)

1999, “Nothing Really Matters” (two weeks)
1999, “Beautiful Stranger” (two weeks)
2000, “American Pie”
2000, “Music” (five weeks)
2001, “Don’t Tell Me”

2001, “What It Feels Like for a Girl”
2001, “Impressive Instant” (two weeks)
2002, “Die Another Day” (two weeks)
2003, “American Life”
2003, “Hollywood”

2003, “Me Against the Music,” Britney Spears featuring Madonna (two weeks)
2004, “Nothing Fails”
2004, “Love Profusion”
2005, “Hung Up” (four weeks)
2006, “Sorry” (two weeks)

2006, “Get Together”
2006, “Jump” (two weeks)
2008, “4 Minutes,” Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake & Timbaland (two weeks)
2008, “Give It 2 Me”
2009, “Celebration”

2012, “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” Madonna featuring Nicki Minaj & M.I.A.

While Madonna had more mainstream, Hot 100 chart success in the 1980s and the 1990s, on the Dance/Club Play Songs chart, she scored more number ones (18) in the 2000s!

As of now, “Holiday/Lucky Star” and “Music” are Madonna’s longest running #1 dance hits at five weeks each, followed by four weeks for “Ray of Light” and “Hung Up”.  I’m ready for “Girl Gone Wild” to dominate at the top of the Dance/Club Play and Hot 100 charts this spring.

L-U-V M-A-D-O-N-N-A!


This Just In: This Is What the First Lady Really Meant!

How quickly are we reminded that it’s election season!  Right now, GOP candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are pandering to the right and to conservatives to earn that nomination and once Romney succeeds, watch how quickly he moves back to the middle to court the left and moderates.

On the other side of the aisle, President Obama’s White House team is working hard to retain as many of the people who voted for him in 2008 and now there’s some backtracking going on there.  Even, at that, it’s good news.

Yesterday, I blogged about First Lady Michelle Obama’s comments at public events this past weekend in New York for her husband when she said, “And let us not forget what their decisions—the impact those decisions will have on our lives for decades to come—on our privacy and security, on whether we can speak freely, worship openly, and, yes, love whomever we choose.”  (Yesterday’s blog link below)

Now, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says that doesn’t pertain to marriage equality, it’s about the “Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

And, Michelle’s press secretary Kristina Schake is doing a little bit more clarification:  “That line in the First Lady’s remarks has been in her campaign speeches since last summer and refers to the importance of the Supreme Court for deciding many issues. The President and First Lady firmly believe that gay and lesbian Americans and their families deserve legal protections and the ability to thrive just like any other family. The First Lady has said she is proud of the President’s accomplishments for gay and lesbian Americans on a range of issues, including repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, ensuring hospital visitation rights and calling for the repeal of DOMA.”

Without a doubt, it’s great that the Obamas are looking out for gay and lesbian families, but they also have to appear more conservative, too.  That election is just eight months away!

You can’t be honest about how you feel, you just have to be POPULAR!


President Obama, Michelle Is Really Saying Something

Dear President Obama,

I just voted in the Illinois Primary and when asked which ballot I wanted, I chose Democrat.   I wanted to choose Republican just so I could vote against hater Rick Santorum.

However, just so we’re clear, you haven’t earned my vote in November.  I voted for you today only because Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was not on the ballot.

While you say you’re “evolving” on matters that touch close to home for me, it’s 2012.  As a politician that pushes for equal rights, the fact that you still can’t say you support marriage equality bothers me.

As you know, First Lady Michelle Obama was in New York and it sounds like she is “evolving” more than you.

About the Supreme Court judges you’ll be appointing, she said, “And let us not forget what their decisions—the impact those decisions will have on our lives for decades to come—on our privacy and security, on whether we can speak freely, worship openly, and, yes, love whomever we choose.”

Former First Lady Laura Bush supports marriage equality and it sounds like Michelle does, too.  George W. Bush did not support the same equality.  Don’t make a W. mistake!

I’ve supported your decisions on  repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, the economy, the bailouts, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, health care, and the climate at a time in your political career when many of those “Yes, We Can” followers in 2008 have abandoned you.

Take a stand!


Santorum Doesn’t Care If You’re Out of Work — His Words, Not Mine!

It’s Election Day in Illinois and if you’re heading to the polls and you’re out of work, you’re a damned fool if you vote for Rick Santorum.

Here’s what he said yesterday at the Moline Club:  “We need a candidate who’s going to be a fighter for freedom. Who’s going to get up and make that the central theme in this race because it is the central theme in this race. I don’t care what the unemployment rate’s going to be. Doesn’t matter to me. My campaign doesn’t hinge on unemployment rates and growth rates.”

“We have one nominee who says he wants to run the economy. What kind of conservative says that the President runs the economy? What conservative says I’m the guy because of my economic experience that can create jobs? I don’t know. We conservatives generally think that government doesn’t create jobs. That what government does is create an atmosphere for jobs to be created in the private sector.”

Earlier in the day Monday, in Rockford, Illinois, Santorum said, “the issue in this race is not the economy.”  I see a theme here — clueless.

What?  He doesn’t care about unemployment or growth rates?  That’s right, he’s more concerned with being a conservative and what gay people do and keeping them from getting married.


Peeps’ Movie Reviews: “Melancholia”, “Young Adult” & “In Time”

With very warm temperatures keeping some of you indoors and with increasing chances of showers and storms this week, you might want to catch a few movies now out on DVD.  I checked out a few and I offer my reviews in case you’ve been thinking of renting them.


In this science fiction movie, a rogue planet is on a collision course with Earth.  Some scientists predict it will come close and then veer out to space.

At the same time, a depressed woman played by the amazing Kirsten Dunst is getting married to “True Blood” Swedish stud Alexander Skarsgard.  The movie also stars Kiefer Sutherland and the incredible Charlotte Gainsbourg.

Don’t let the first few minutes of the movie throw you off, it’s weird.  This is a great movie as you watch and wait to see if the world will end if the planet crashes into Earth!


“Young Adult”

Academy Award winner Charlize Theron is so much fun to watch in this movie about a writer that has hit the skids in her life after being very successful in high school.  Her days are now spent boozing it up and trying to fight writer’s block.

Since there’s nothing going on in her life, she keeps thinking of her high school beau, Buddy, and she travels back to her small hometown in Minnesota to take back her old boyfriend.  It doesn’t matter that he’s married and has a new baby.

The movie definitely has some funny points, but when Theron’s character faces the fact that she is an alcoholic, it does take a darker turn.


“In Time”

Last tear, the $40 million flick grossed $166.5 and stars Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried (“Mamma Mia”), Cillian Murphy, Olivia Wilde, Alex Pettyfer (“I Am Number Four”) and Vincent Kartheiser “(Mad Men”).

In the future, you don’t live your life by paying in money, you pay “in time”.  And, when your life “bank account” hit zero, you’re not broke, you’re dead.

In the movie, you stop aging at 25 and that’s how you’ll look for the rest of your short life.  You’re given one “free” year to live and work and earn more “time”.  Like money, some are born into time and some don’t have any time.  Like our present day life, most people live paycheck to paycheck and hope they have enough “time” to make it to the next week to earn more “time”.  Some that are wealthy waste “time” and don’t give it another time.

“In Time” is a combination of “Robin Hood” and “Bonnie Clyde”.

I could just see the casting call for the movie:  Hollywood actors and actress that look 25, please apply.



Vacation Motto To Live By

It’s time to leave our cabin retreat and head back to the Quad Cities and back to reality.  I also believe in looking forward to and counting down to the next adventure and the next and the next.  And, with that in mind, here’s an awesome sign that I saw that we all can take to heart the next time we go on vacation.