Saturday, August 29, 2009

President Delivers the Eulogy

President Obama's Eulogy For Ted Kennedy

Eulogy for Edward Kennedy

Mrs. Kennedy, Kara, Edward, Patrick, Curran, Caroline, members of the Kennedy family, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

Today we say goodbye to the youngest child of Rose and Joseph Kennedy. The world will long remember their son Edward as the heir to a weighty legacy; a champion for those who had none; the soul of the Democratic Party; and the lion of the U.S. Senate - a man whose name graces nearly one thousand laws, and who penned more than three hundred himself.

But those of us who loved him, and ache with his passing, know Ted Kennedy by the other titles he held: Father. Brother. Husband. Uncle Teddy, or as he was often known to his younger nieces and nephews, "The Grand Fromage," or "The Big Cheese." I, like so many others in the city where he worked for nearly half a century, knew him as a colleague, a mentor, and above all, a friend.

Ted Kennedy was the baby of the family who became its patriarch; the restless dreamer who became its rock. He was the sunny, joyful child, who bore the brunt of his brothers' teasing, but learned quickly how to brush it off. When they tossed him off a boat because he didn't know what a jib was, six-year-old Teddy got back in and learned to sail. When a photographer asked the newly-elected Bobby to step back at a press conference because he was casting a shadow on his younger brother, Teddy quipped, "It'll be the same in Washington."

This spirit of resilience and good humor would see Ted Kennedy through more pain and tragedy than most of us will ever know. He lost two siblings by the age of sixteen. He saw two more taken violently from the country that loved them. He said goodbye to his beloved sister, Eunice, in the final days of his own life. He narrowly survived a plane crash, watched two children struggle with cancer, buried three nephews, and experienced personal failings and setbacks in the most public way possible.

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It is a string of events that would have broken a lesser man. And it would have been easy for Teddy to let himself become bitter and hardened; to surrender to self-pity and regret; to retreat from public life and live out his years in peaceful quiet. No one would have blamed him for that.

But that was not Ted Kennedy. As he told us, "...[I]ndividual faults and frailties are no excuse to give in - and no exemption from the common obligation to give of ourselves." Indeed, Ted was the "Happy Warrior" that the poet William Wordsworth spoke of when he wrote:

As tempted more; more able to endure,

As more exposed to suffering and distress;

Thence, also, more alive to tenderness.

Through his own suffering, Ted Kennedy became more alive to the plight and suffering of others - the sick child who could not see a doctor; the young soldier sent to battle without armor; the citizen denied her rights because of what she looks like or who she loves or where she comes from. The landmark laws that he championed -- the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, immigration reform, children's health care, the Family and Medical Leave Act -all have a running thread. Ted Kennedy's life's work was not to champion those with wealth or power or special connections. It was to give a voice to those who were not heard; to add a rung to the ladder of opportunity; to make real the dream of our founding. He was given the gift of time that his brothers were not, and he used that gift to touch as many lives and right as many wrongs as the years would allow.

We can still hear his voice bellowing through the Senate chamber, face reddened, fist pounding the podium, a veritable force of nature, in support of health care or workers' rights or civil rights. And yet, while his causes became deeply personal, his disagreements never did. While he was seen by his fiercest critics as a partisan lightning rod, that is not the prism through which Ted Kennedy saw the world, nor was it the prism through which his colleagues saw him. He was a product of an age when the joy and nobility of politics prevented differences of party and philosophy from becoming barriers to cooperation and mutual respect - a time when adversaries still saw each other as patriots.

And that's how Ted Kennedy became the greatest legislator of our time. He did it by hewing to principle, but also by seeking compromise and common cause - not through deal-making and horse-trading alone, but through friendship, and kindness, and humor. There was the time he courted Orrin Hatch's support for the Children's Health Insurance Program by having his Chief of Staff serenade the Senator with a song Orrin had written himself; the time he delivered shamrock cookies on a china plate to sweeten up a crusty Republican colleague; and the famous story of how he won the support of a Texas Committee Chairman on an immigration bill. Teddy walked into a meeting with a plain manila envelope, and showed only the Chairman that it was filled with the Texan's favorite cigars. When the negotiations were going well, he would inch the envelope closer to the Chairman. When they weren't, he would pull it back. Before long, the deal was done.

It was only a few years ago, on St. Patrick's Day, when Teddy buttonholed me on the floor of the Senate for my support on a certain piece of legislation that was coming up for vote. I gave him my pledge, but expressed my skepticism that it would pass. But when the roll call was over, the bill garnered the votes it needed, and then some. I looked at Teddy with astonishment and asked how he had pulled it off. He just patted me on the back, and said "Luck of the Irish!"

Of course, luck had little to do with Ted Kennedy's legislative success, and he knew that. A few years ago, his father-in-law told him that he and Daniel Webster just might be the two greatest senators of all time. Without missing a beat, Teddy replied, "What did Webster do?"

But though it is Ted Kennedy's historic body of achievements we will remember, it is his giving heart that we will miss. It was the friend and colleague who was always the first to pick up the phone and say, "I'm sorry for your loss," or "I hope you feel better," or "What can I do to help?" It was the boss who was so adored by his staff that over five hundred spanning five decades showed up for his 75th birthday party. It was the man who sent birthday wishes and thank you notes and even his own paintings to so many who never imagined that a U.S. Senator would take the time to think about someone like them. I have one of those paintings in my private study - a Cape Cod seascape that was a gift to a freshman legislator who happened to admire it when Ted Kennedy welcomed him into his office the first week he arrived in Washington; by the way, that's my second favorite gift from Teddy and Vicki after our dog Bo. And it seems like everyone has one of those stories - the ones that often start with "You wouldn't believe who called me today."

Ted Kennedy was the father who looked after not only his own three children, but John's and Bobby's as well. He took them camping and taught them to sail. He laughed and danced with them at birthdays and weddings; cried and mourned with them through hardship and tragedy; and passed on that same sense of service and selflessness that his parents had instilled in him. Shortly after Ted walked Caroline down the aisle and gave her away at the altar, he received a note from Jackie that read, "On you the carefree youngest brother fell a burden a hero would have begged to be spared. We are all going to make it because you were always there with your love."

Not only did the Kennedy family make it because of Ted's love - he made it because of theirs; and especially because of the love and the life he found in Vicki. After so much loss and so much sorrow, it could not have been easy for Ted Kennedy to risk his heart again. That he did is a testament to how deeply he loved this remarkable woman from Louisiana. And she didn't just love him back. As Ted would often acknowledge, Vicki saved him. She gave him strength and purpose; joy and friendship; and stood by him always, especially in those last, hardest days.

We cannot know for certain how long we have here. We cannot foresee the trials or misfortunes that will test us along the way. We cannot know God's plan for us.

What we can do is to live out our lives as best we can with purpose, and love, and joy. We can use each day to show those who are closest to us how much we care about them, and treat others with the kindness and respect that we wish for ourselves. We can learn from our mistakes and grow from our failures. And we can strive at all costs to make a better world, so that someday, if we are blessed with the chance to look back on our time here, we can know that we spent it well; that we made a difference; that our fleeting presence had a lasting impact on the lives of other human beings.

This is how Ted Kennedy lived. This is his legacy. He once said of his brother Bobby that he need not be idealized or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, and I imagine he would say the same about himself. The greatest expectations were placed upon Ted Kennedy's shoulders because of who he was, but he surpassed them all because of who he became. We do not weep for him today because of the prestige attached to his name or his office. We weep because we loved this kind and tender hero who persevered through pain and tragedy - not for the sake of ambition or vanity; not for wealth or power; but only for the people and the country he loved.

In the days after September 11th, Teddy made it a point to personally call each one of the 177 families of this state who lost a loved one in the attack. But he didn't stop there. He kept calling and checking up on them. He fought through red tape to get them assistance and grief counseling. He invited them sailing, played with their children, and would write each family a letter whenever the anniversary of that terrible day came along. To one widow, he wrote the following:

"As you know so well, the passage of time never really heals the tragic memory of such a great loss, but we carry on, because we have to, because our loved one would want us to, and because there is still light to guide us in the world from the love they gave us."

We carry on.

Ted Kennedy has gone home now, guided by his faith and by the light of those he has loved and lost. At last he is with them once more, leaving those of us who grieve his passing with the memories he gave, the good he did, the dream he kept alive, and a single, enduring image - the image of a man on a boat; white mane tousled; smiling broadly as he sails into the wind, ready for what storms may come, carrying on toward some new and wondrous place just beyond the horizon. May God Bless Ted Kennedy, and may he rest in eternal peace.

Phil Ochs: 'The Crucifixion' and 'Changes'

Thursday, August 27, 2009

'New York, I Love You'

'New York, I Love You 'is an anthology film of love stories in taking place in the five boroughs of (surprise) NY. It has 12 different director’s pieces. Much like its inspirational predecessor Paris, je t’aime, the stories are reportedly not related excluding sharing theme (Love).

Hell I'll push anything that has Julie Christie back on screen!

A pretty interesting and hard hitting cast includes Andy Garcia, Eli Wallach , Shia LaBeouf, Shu Qi, Rachel Bilson, Julie Christie, Christina Ricci, Kevin Bacon, Maggie Q, Bradley Cooper, Robin Wright Penn, Orlando Bloom, Ethan Hawke, Blake Lively, and Hayden Christensen.

New York, I Love You hits theaters on October 16th, 2009.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

R.I.P. Dominick Dunne

a fine writer and courtroom journalist. his special take on justice will be missed.

Biden's Emotional Kennedy Tribute: "It Was Never About Him"

Biden's Emotional Kennedy Tribute: "It Was Never About Him"


Jim and Jean/Phil Ochs: The Crucifixion

written by phil ochs, after the assassination of john f kennedy this remains remains one of the most scathing indictments of american morality and says me the american

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Pet Project

The Pet Project is about people and their companion animals.

It is the mission of the Pet Project to help people living with HIV/AIDS or other disabling conditions to keep their pets by providing pet care and ongoing support.

The Pet Project for Pets, Inc. (The Pet Project) is a nonprofit organization that serves the needs of low-income pet owners who are living with AIDS or terminal or disabling conditions and illnesses. The Pet Project offers comprehensive services designed to enable our clients to keep their animal companions. Services include an animal food bank, referrals to subsidized or low-cost veterinary care, dog walking, litter box maintenance, grooming, foster care and adoption when necessary.

In addition to direct client services, the Pet Project plays a large role in educating the medical and veterinary communities about the benefits and risks of animal companionship for people with AIDS or terminal or disabling conditions and illnesses By helping them keep their much loved pets, we hope to improve the quality of life of those living with AIDS and other terminal or disabling conditions and illnesses.

Our clients face many losses: health, employment, and sometimes the support of family and friends. By helping our clients to keep their animals, we help them to keep at least one part of the life that they enjoyed before their condition. It is our agency's policy to acknowledge that our human clients are still the rightful guardians of our animal clients; we are here to help them care for their animals in the best possible way. It is in this way that we are improving the quality of life of those living with a terminal or disabling conditions and illnesses while promoting their dignity -- by acknowledging their role in the animals' lives.

For our clients, animal companionship has been an important part of their lives -- so important, in fact, that many of our clients tell us of foregoing their own needs to meet those of their animals. When we hear of an animal that is important enough that a person will give up his/her life-prolonging medication to feed that animal, we know what we do is essential.

The Pet Project is a volunteer nonprofit group that helps improve the quality of life for people with HIV and other life threatening illnesses. We offer emotional and practical support in keeping the love and companionship of support animals. We also provide our clients and the general public with information on the benefits and risks of animal companionship.

At the Pet Project we are dedicated to preserving the human/animal bond between or clients and their companion animals. Those that we serve are people with limited abilities and the animals with which they share their lives. We provide comprehensive care for approximately 300 animals in Broward and Dade county. Our mission is to keep those animals with their guardians for as long as possible.

Click here to go to The Pet Project

Deborah Gibson

with my 16 year old niece carli in tow i was lucky enough and very surprised to be cheering for deborah gibson on the west end a few years back. enjoy her take on sandy in 'grease'

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Celebrating Johnny Deep

vocals by shelley fabares

Friday, August 21, 2009

'Julie and Julia': B

a bit too much summer froth. meryl is wonderful. amy adams possibly better. gets somewhat boring when the 'cookbook' writing drags on and on. go see '500 days of summer' for wit and intelligence. this julia child is half-baked.

Bette Davis Bloppers

Monday, August 17, 2009

Levi Johnston: I'd Pose Naked If the Price Was "Right"

you go levi...i support you 100%. i mean something worthwhile has to come out of the disaster called palinism

the only member of the idiot clan NOT missing a chromosome

Obama Administration: DOMA, Anti-Gay Marriage Law, Unfair

AP -- The Obama administration filed court papers Monday claiming a federal marriage law discriminates against gays, even as government lawyers continued to defend it.

Justice Department lawyers are seeking to dismiss a suit brought by a gay California couple challenging the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. The administration's response to the case has angered gay activists who see it as backtracking on campaign promises made by Barack Obama last year.

In court papers, the administration said it supports repeal of the law.

Yet the same filing says the Justice Department will defend the statute in this case because a reasonable argument can be made that the law is constitutional.

The government's previous filing in the case angered gay rights activists who supported Obama's candidacy in part because of his pledge to move forward on repealing the law and the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that prevents gays from serving openly in the military.

"The administration believes the Defense of Marriage Act is discriminatory and should be repealed," said Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler, because it prevents equal rights and benefits.

The department is obligated "to defend federal statutes when they are challenged in court. The Justice Department cannot pick and choose which federal laws it will defend based on any one administration's policy preferences," Schmaler added.

The law, often called DOMA, denies federal recognition of gay marriage and gives states the right to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

We'll Take a Glass Together

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Celebrating Lauren Bacall

a film i made honoring a living legend

Friday, August 14, 2009

The First WONDERFUL Film of the Year:(500) Days of Summer" A+

something wonderful happened to me in a movie theatre today. i was transported back to a time and place when and where movies were movies. something original, bittersweet, time passing over time, and romantically different. think: 'before sunrise', 'two for the road' and 'the graduate'.. it is all of these and more and this type of more is better.

not that film over the past years have not excited me. but today i saw a revelation, a romantic comedy that was not a romantic comedy. it was just hiting the right note of romantic sensibilities. see it to believe it. romance that is bittersweet. humor borne of the heart. dramatic pauses that jolt but not intrude.

acting and directing (marc webb) and editing (allan edward bell) that is on the mark. a screenplay that hits the mark consistently by scott neustadler and michael h. weber. all worthy of oscar noms.

(500) days of summer' is the best film of the year so far.

it has the best performance by an actor so far this year. joseph gordon-levitt. i am convinced there is no actor on screen right now who is more charming and alarming. his face is a treasure map of emotions. his character tom hansen is everyman who has loved and lost and loved and lost and loved and... he deserves an oscar nomination. as of now he deserves the best leading actor oscar. he's been working since 1988 and all of his past work has lead to this role which winds up becoming one of the best of this decade.

zooey deschanel delights, charms, breaks our hearts and warms the spirit in us as our eyes and ears devour her what she puts forth. a possible oscar nom. so far she is on my list.

a quiet lovely yet brilliant film. go see it. today!!! it certainly has moved into my best films of all time.

just somthing extra

Quentin Tarantino Plans British spy movie?

Quentin Tarantino has revealed he would love to make a British spy movie starring British actors.
'The Inglourious Basterds' director told The Sun he's a huge fan of a series of books by thriller writer Len Deighton and would like to make a movie version.
And he revealed he has a wish list of British actors he'd love to work with.
Tarantino said: "I am a huge fan of Simon Pegg, so I would definitely love to work with him."
He continued: "I also think Kate Winslet is one of the best actresses that ever lived, so I would be honoured to work with her.
"I am also a huge admirer of Anthony Hopkins. I would also love to work with Michael Caine. I can see them appearing in my movies, it just has to be right."
"I love England. It would be a wonderful life experience to have an excuse to work here for six or nine months," he added.
"One of the things I am musing about doing is the trilogy of Len Deighton books, Berlin Game, Mexico Set and London Match.
"The story takes place in the Cold War and follows a spy name Bernard Samson. What is attractive is the really great characters and the wonderful opportunities of British and German casting."

Copyright © 2009 The Press Association

Gilbert O'Sullivan: 'Claire' and 'Alone Again Naturally'

Monday, August 10, 2009

'Oliver' Sperm to Michael Jackson? This Story Gets Weirder and Weirder

British child star Mark Lester says he's the father of Michael Jackson's daughter, Paris.
"I gave Michael my sperm so that he could have kids - and I believe Paris is my daughter," said Lester, who played Oliver Twist in the 1967 flick "Oliver."
The 51-year-old told Britain's News of the World he gave Jackson his semen 13 years ago and is godfather to all three of Jackson's children.
He believes Paris, 11, is his daughter because of an "uncanny likeness" between the girl and his own daughter, Harriet, 15. He wants to take a paternity test.
Lester said he donated his sperm at a London clinic while Jackson was married to Debbie Rowe.
"She's the birth mother of the children so I naturally assumed the sperm donation would obviously have gone into Debbie and Debbie would have borne the children," he said in a video posted on the paper's Web site.
He said he's coming forward now because he has "concerns about the welfare and upbringing of the children."
"I dearly want to remain in contact with those kids and I feel now this is the only way I can ensure that," he said.
Jackson and Lester were friends for more than 25 years and he reportedly spent the day with the Jackson kids after their father's memorial service last month.
"The kids seemed to be coping quite well and they are surrounded by their family right now," he said at the time. "They are very polite and quite quiet kids, and despite all the publicity surrounding them and their family, they are trying to keep things as normal as possible at home."

Read more:

And Another Racist Is Merely a Clown

Josh Groban: 'The Music of the Night'

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Isn't It Obvious This Kid Did NOT Fall far from the Proverbial Tree

Latest Insanity from this MORON: Palin: Obama's "Death Panel" Could Kill My Down Syndrome Baby

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has laid pretty low since resigning. But on her Facebook page, Palin suggested Friday that President Obama's health care plan might kill her child.

Via Talking Points Memo:

As more Americans delve into the disturbing details of the nationalized health care plan that the current administration is rushing through Congress, our collective jaw is dropping, and we're saying not just no, but hell no!

The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

Health care by definition involves life and death decisions. Human rights and human dignity must be at the center of any health care discussion.

Rep. Michele Bachmann highlighted the Orwellian thinking of the president's health care advisor, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of the White House chief of staff, in a floor speech to the House of Representatives. I commend her for being a voice for the most precious members of our society, our children and our seniors.

We must step up and engage in this most crucial debate. Nationalizing our health care system is a point of no return for government interference in the lives of its citizens. If we go down this path, there will be no turning back. Ronald Reagan once wrote, "Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth." Let's stop and think and make our voices heard before it's too late.

Palin included a video of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), another fierce and hyperbolic critic of the president, saying Obama's plan would mean depriving senior citizens and disabled people of proper care. Watch this idiot:

This idiot has described her opposition to reform as "like having a mother bear protecting her little cubs, and she's seeing that she has to move heaven and earth to get her child what her child needs."

Who's Your Favorite Racist?

remember you don't have to be white to be a racist!

it's true not all republicans are racists but also true is all racists are republicans!

Terry Jacks: 'Seasons of the Sun'

Friday, August 7, 2009

Kerry Ellis: 'Bohemian Rhapsody'

on monday i posted 'bohemian rhapsody' as originated by queen. i never thought it could be covered and succeed. i was wrong.

so now i ask: is there nothing kerry ellis cannot sing?
Damn you go girl!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Who's Crazier: Orly Taitz Or Her Supporters?

"Enough of the Mob"

500 Days of Summer - Official Full Length Trailer

Kate the Great

kate seems to be taking her well deserved 'vacation' from film.
we can only hope she is reading scripts. please be reading scripts kate!

but i can't have too long a period between postings on kate. so i made this little video to tide us kate fans over.
the soundtrack is the gone to soon brilliant georgia brown. the song is 'i'm a woman' from the musical 'carmelina.
a bit of triva: 'carmelina' is the original 'mamma mia'. this is true. it was based on the movie 'buena sera mrs. campbell'. same stories revolving around a wedding, three possible dads and the outcomes are the same. you must trust me on this. my mind is full of this kind of stuff. why? wish i knew. no really, i'm a music, musical, film and theater buff. well the word fanatic may be a better fit!

Dolly Parton: 'Here You Come Again'