Archive for November, 2015

Only a few months ago, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of this landmark speech.  In the run-up to that celebration, we heard Hillary Clinton as well as those who accompanied her recount the event and revisit the unstable atmosphere preceding the delivery of the ground-shaking address.

Date: September 5, 1995
Location: Beijing, China

Published on Apr 13, 2012

This is video footage of First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton delivering a speech to the Fourth Women’s Conference in Beijing, China. This footage is provided by the Clinton Presidential Library.

Whatever progress Beijing was hoping to project by hosting the Miss World Pageant has hit this skids with this story.  Or do they think that hosting a beauty contest is a way of asserting that nothing has or will change?

Miss Canada lashes out at Beijing after contest snub


Anastasia Lin, a 25-year-old actress crowned Miss World Canada, speaks during a press conference in Hong Kong, on November 27, 2015, after China blocked her from travelling to the seaside resort city of Sanya for next month's contest
© Provided by AFP Anastasia Lin, a 25-year-old actress crowned Miss World Canada, speaks during a press conference in Hong Kong, on November 27, 2015, after China blocked her from travelling to the seaside…A Canadian beauty queen lashed out at Beijing on Friday, saying she was barred from boarding a flight from Hong Kong to China to compete in a pageant because of her human rights activism.Chinese-born Anastasia Lin, a 25-year-old actress crowned Miss World Canada in May, said that China was blocking her from travelling to the seaside resort city of Sanya for the Miss World contest.

Lin, who told AFP late Thursday that Chinese authorities were suppressing people who “dare to speak their minds”, was speaking from Hong Kong’s international airport where she was blocked from taking a flight bound for mainland China.

Read more >>>>

Read Full Post »

The GirlFriend Factor

Among mass shooters in the U.S. Dylan Roof, James Holmes, Jared Lee Loughner and others have shared a characteristic:  They never had girlfriends.

On CNN this evening, Fareed Zararia outlined the blindside experienced by governments from France to Russia by ISIS. There too, a prime characteristic was that young men recruited by ISIS typically have never had a girlfriend and are attracted by promises of a wife.

One message could be that women are good canaries in the mine about guys who seek deadly power.  We sense the danger and say sorry.  I have to babysit for my sister tonight.

Another potential message is that women should be more compliant and give these guys a chance.  Your Grandma knew that much as you loved someone you could not make them change.  Cute as he might be, you can’t cure crazy by going along for the ride.

Caril Fugate’s story illustrates that.  The film Badlands (1973), with Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek was based on the story.

The GirlFriend Factor is up for grabs.

I taught for awhile in a proprietary intensive ESL program.  It was very expensive although it did not pay teachers very well.  Some students were government-funded.  Those who were not on scholarships came either short-term on their own hard-earned funds because for their own reasons they wanted a few months of intensive native-language contact or they came from wealthy and high-middle-class families.

Among the wealthy were some princes of a variety of middle-eastern families from several countries and emirates.  They were nice kids who would move bookshelves for me, if I needed that done, because their dads told them they should serve the people.  They were charming, handsome, and my Mexican and Japanese “Valley Girls” (there are Valley Girls from every country and culture) followed them around like groupies, but their heart-throbs were spoken for long ago.

Among the middle-class guys were the sons of cabinet ministers, professors, doctors, and lawyers.  A few were from Syria and Lebanon.  They were also handsome, very smart,  and sweet.  When the Venezuelan girls in class pressed them on dating, they said they did not.  Their moms (physicians, professors, and lawyers) were looking for wives for them via classified ads back home.  (This was long before the internet.) In a few cases, interviews (with the moms) were in progress.

That was their tradition, and they were quite satisfied with the method.  The same was true for the princes.

The nephew of one of the princes sold me a flip-phone in BJ’s some years ago after the family had been ousted.  He was adorable and charming.  He was studying communication arts at the local community college, and I am quite certain he had more than one girl friend to take to the family parties he showed me on the video feature of the phone I was buying.  I dated a guy like him from the wealthiest (Syrian) family on our main street when I was in high school.  Romantically, it did not work out, but that was OK. Other girls were on line behind me.

One way or another, it seems the onus falls on women.  Either we date them and go along for the ride, like Caril Fugate did, or, as mothers, we find girls for them.  If they don’t ever have a girl friend, we are doomed as failures and they are doomed to become mass killers.

I know that all seems very simplistic.  Thing is, Charlie Starkweather did have a girl friend. She could not or did not stop him.  She was just a kid.  She was not chosen by his folks for him and he killed her folks.

Whatever the GirlFriend Factor is,  perhaps having one does nothing to forestall violence in young alienated men. It remains, however, a nexus among hopeless young men who somehow find a source of deadly weapons.   They are angry with the world. They want out.  They want to take us with them.

I am not all that certain that finding girl friends for them would help much.  They do not need girl friends as much as they need help and hope.

Not proposing a solution here.  Just proposing the problem. We need to solve this.


Read Full Post »

Actress Hedy Lamarr would have been 101 today.  Aside from being gorgeous and very funny (See Comrade X), Ms. Lamarr was an inventor of some very sophisticated technology!  Happy Birthday, Hedy!  Good name.  You were ahead of your time and clearly also had an especially good head!


Google Doodle celebrates Hedy Lamarr’s scientific legacy

Hedy Lamarr was more than just a 1940s Hollywood movie star. She was also an inventor who helped developed technologies that made Wi-Fi possible today.

by Bonnie Burton

Hollywood legend Hedy Lamarr was inspired to try to help the Allied forces win World War II.
Google Doodle on Monday is celebrating the 101st birthday of Vienna-born actress Hedy Lamarr, who won over hearts on the big screen in the 1940s in such hits as “I Take This Woman” with Spencer Tracy and “Come Live with Me” with Jimmy Stewart.

Her biggest, yet relatively unknown achievement though had more to do with wanting to help the Allied forces win World War II.

Lamarr became knowledgeable about torpedos during her first marriage to a munitions manufacturer in Europe during the 1930s. Later, during the war, she wanted to prevent remote-controlled torpedoes from being hijacked. Lamarr helped develop a version of so-called spread-spectrum communication, which would become the starting point for such technologies as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth that we use today.

Read more >>>>


Read Full Post »

I don’t know what to say.  Forcing someone who identifies female (and whose friends and teammates identify her as female) into a men’s room is a cruel humiliation.  How far behind is Houston?  Go back and see episodes of My So-Called Life when Claire Danes, now a grown-up award winner as Carrie on Homeland, was just a high school kid with a transgender BFF.  This is what sexism looks like.

Tuesday November 3, 2015

Pat Sullivan/Associated Press

Houston voters struck down a non-discrimination ballot measure Tuesday, delivering a blow to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights movement that had campaigned heavily for passage.

Read more >>>>

Read Full Post »

Apparently all the perfect 10s in the world and congrats from Hillary Clinton just pale in comparison to becoming verified!  Digital natives really do live in a different world from us naturalized immigrants.  So cute!  We all add our congratulations to Hillary’s, Simone!  You go girl!

Congrats , the most decorated woman gymnast of all time! Can’t wait to watch your next winning routine.



congratulations with having your account verified by Twitter.



Read Full Post »