But first . . .
Suggested here around $4.50 a few days ago (with the excuse, ‘boy’s gotta have a little fun), DEPO’s first drug trial results came in well and the stock closed last week at $6.36 – but sank to $3.82 yesterday morning after release of results on a trial of the drug for a different use. ‘Technically,’ writes my guru, ‘that trial worked, too.’ But it was complicated, and not as successful as would have been ideal – and the company didn’t do a great job of explaining all this on the conference call he audited yesterday morning. ‘I would buy the stock here and hold,’ he says, so I have.
Gray Chang: ‘You can see the actual International Space Station yourself [not just simulate building it, as per yesterday]. It looks like a very bright star or planet moving rapidly across the sky, like an airplane, but without any flashing or colored lights. To find out when and where to look, go to heavens-above.com and enter your location. Under Satellites, click ISS. You get an exact list of viewing times. Click on the date, and you get a star map showing the exact path across the sky. If you are lucky enough to have a viewing opportunity when the Space Shuttle is nearby, you can see both the space station and the shuttle at the same time.’
☞ Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No – it’s . . . THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION! (Younger readers will have to forgive me. Superman – and the Lone Ranger – pretty much defined my childhood.)
And now . . .
Charles and I got to hear the President speak at the Human Rights Campaign dinner Saturday night – he was terrific, emphasizing the rightness of our cause and his commitment to it – and then got to attend the march Sunday, which emphasized the need to turn commitment into legislation at the soonest possible moment.
Having inherited the happy gene and tending to see the best in any situation – an annoying trait, I know – I thought the march was pretty terrific, too, and certainly much better attended than I had expected. (If God truly hates us, as some of our antagonists insist, how do they explain the magnificent weather He provided?) I heard estimates ranging from 30,000 to 200,000, but whatever the true figure, it was definitely one heck of a lot of people, revved up for equality.
A lot of them were quoting Bill Maher’s latest ‘new rule’ – ‘Everyone deserves equal rights. That’s why they’re called ‘equal.”
. . . Some of the folks at the HRC dinner were unsure of the value of the march – would it really help to pass the legislation we need? (Answer: well, not directly, but if it energized thousands of folks to go back home and lobby their Senators and Congressperson, it could certainly help. And any time national attention is focused on inequality, as it was Sunday, it helps, because fairness is a bedrock American value.)
From a friend on the steering committee: ‘The march was impressive but not historic. The weather was gorgeous and spirits were high. The lawn in front of the Capitol steps was full but not packed. The rally was fine, but only fine. The speeches weren’t interminable, which we had feared. I think Barney Frank got it right when he said that all the march would put pressure on is the lawn. My lingering concern is Maine. If we lose Maine, it will be said, with justification, that the march diverted resources and energy. That would be tragic. We’ll be sending some money to Maine shortly! We did have a great time in DC visiting wonderful friends.’
☞ Most of the steering committee members were far more enthusiastic, I’m sure. And the whole thing was done significantly under budget, for about $185,000, which when it comes to running large events like this is pretty extraordinary.
. . . And a fair proportion of the marchers were more than a little skeptical of the President’s speech – would it really keep another soldier from being discharged or give a gay couple legally married in Massachusetts rights equal to those of a straight couple? (Answer: well, not directly, but week by week LGBT Americans and the rightness of equality are being woven into the national fabric by the President and the actions of his Administration, and not just when he speaks to predominantly LGBT groups – which in this case was a group that extended to the entire CNN and C-SPAN viewerships.)
From a 20-year old friend: ‘He’s got the House and 60 seats in the Senate. If he can’t get anything done for us under these conditions, when is he going to?’
☞ After he passes health care? In the meantime, leaving aside all the other good and historic stuff he’s done on LGBT issues, next week, with any luck, Congress will give him the opportunity to sign the first federal LGBT legislation in our nation’s history, extending the definition of hate crimes to include sexual orientation and gender identity. A small start in some ways, but finally a start.
So I think it will all happen, and that old folks like me (I have to change that photo!) can marvel happily as it does, while others, both young and old, can be outraged that it took too long.
Which of course it has – every American deserves full equal rights under the law from the day he or she was born. But it took women 144 years to get the vote and mixed-race couples 191 years to get the right to wed (or 102, if you start the clock at the end of the Civil War), so if we’re truly just months, not years, away from much of the equality we deserve, as I think we are . . . and possibly not much further than that from the big kahuna (if Bush v. Gore combatants Ted Olson and David Boies are successful in their joint effort to persuade the Supreme Court to rule marriage-bans unConstitutional) . . . then I think there’s reason to see the glass half full, even as we continue to press for full equality.
There were so many amazing people at the march, most of whom did not get to speak. Watch Joe Rocha’s story. You will find it hard to believe. It includes the suicide of a presumably straight woman, even as the officer responsible for all this got . . . promoted.
And speaking of insanity . . . is this a great country or what? Namely:
LEGAL TO BUY AN UZI BUT NOT A VIBRATOR IN ALABAMA
Click here. (Thanks, Jim!)
Quote of the Day
Global population is growing by a quarter million a day. In ten years, we'll be sharing Spaceship Earth with about a billion more passengers. One new U.S.A. every 3 years.~.
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