Bill making violence against gays a hate crime headed to White House

The hate crimes bill is named for Matthew Shepard, pictured here. (AP Photo)

The hate crimes bill is named for Matthew Shepard, pictured here. (AP Photo)

The Senate approves the measure, 68 to 29, and Obama is expected to sign it. The legislation, previously passed by the House, is named for Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr.

House OKs measure to make anti-gay violence a hate crime

By James Oliphant

October 22, 2009 | 7:08 p.m.

A bill to make violence against gays and lesbians a federal hate crime cleared the Senate on Thursday and headed to the White House.

The 68-29 vote was a victory for civil rights groups that have long sought to expand the federal statute beyond attacks motivated by religion, race, color or national origin.

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President Obama has said the country must make significant changes to ensure equal rights.

The bill, which President Obama is expected to sign, includes penalties for assaults based on a victim’s sexual orientation, gender, disability or gender identity.

Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr., whose Justice Department would be charged with enforcing the provisions, praised the bill’s passage.

“There have been nearly 80,000 hate-crime incidents reported to the FBI since I first testified before Congress in support of a hate-crimes bill 11 years ago,” Holder said.

Recent incidents — such as the June shooting death of an African American security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum by a white supremacist — “demonstrate that there are still those for whom prejudice can translate into violence,” he said.

The legislation also would give federal authorities more power to help state and local law enforcement officials investigate hate crimes and would expand the federal government’s ability to intervene. About 45 states have hate-crime statutes.

The bill, which was attached to a $680-billion measure outlining the Pentagon’s budget, was passed by the House on Oct. 8.

Some of the 28 Republicans who opposed it said they didn’t like being forced to vote on the issue as part of a defense bill.

“It’s a shame that this piece of legislation was added to a bill that’s supposed to be about supporting our troops,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)

The defense bill includes $130 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and authorizes a 3.4% pay raise for the military.

The bill would also make it a federal crime to attack members of the military because of their service.

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The bill is named for Matthew Shepard, a gay teenager who was beaten to death in 1998.

The hate-crime measure is named for Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming who was beaten to death in 1998, and for James Byrd Jr., an African American in Texas who was chained to a pickup and dragged to death the same year.

"Mathew Sheppard"

"Mathew Sheppard"

“It has been more than 10 years since the senseless and brutal death of Matthew Shepard,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), “and I look forward to watching President Obama sign this much-needed legislation into law.”

joliphant@latimes.com

Robert Erle Man of Many Talents

Robert Erle and Stella Marie Adams

Robert Erle and Stella Marie Adams

An amateur actor, mailman, sandwich maker in a bar run by his father and a general store owner, my great-grandfather, Robert Erle Adams was a force of nature.  His father owned a pool hall that served sandwiches that were eventually made by the young Robert Erle.  In the twenties, Robert Erle’s pool hall did or did not serve alcohol, as it was the prohibition.

While in the pool hall, whenever Robert was asked to make a sandwich he would cross the street to the grocery store to get the ingredients and in time he developed an idea of going into the grocery store business store himself.  When my grand father Erle Wilbert Adams was two, his father Robert opened the Adams store in Nash County Lemont Oklahoma and thus continued on as a pillar of the community.  Robert

The Adams Family

The Adams Family

Erle delivered mail in a model T Ford in the rural area of Lemont.  His two aunts and an uncle lived on a farm in which Robert Erle delivered to.  In his youth, Robert Erle would work on his relative’s farms and whenever it rained in the area his aunt would say, “Well it is good for the wheat.”  However a cabin fevered Robert Erle would say to his aunt that it might be good for the wheat but is not good for him.

While working behind the counter of the Adams

The Adams Store

The Adams Store

store, Robert Erle would sell candy, bread, pop and do all that is expected of a general store including carve meat in the back room.  Gypsies would travel through the town and would have a tendency to take items without paying.  Wearing aprons these gypsies would simply walk into the Adams store and put items in their aprons as they browsed then buy something small and inexpensive.  Wearing a butcher’s apron, Robert Erle watched these strangers from the back of the store as he chopped meat.  Not wanting to get his long black hair in the way he would tie it back and resemble his Cherokee background.  His apron would be covered in a bit of blood from the meat Robert was cutting and would walk out looking like a head hunting Cherokee worrier and coolly said to the gypsies, “You can either pay for what is in your aprons or leave now.”  They left in a hurry.

In the Adams store there was a couple rows of theatre seats at one side.  This was an aspect of Robert Erle showing itself that later came out as he wanting to be an actor.  The town had a few amateur plays in the theatres and wanted actors and Robert Erle was all too willing to addition.  Getting the parts in various plays and in much subject matter, Robert was actually considered quite good at what he did.  The only evendence of him being a descent actor was that he kept being called back.  Acting aside, Robert had a tendenciy to only dress in shaggy pants, shirt and hold a cane.  No matter what the play was about, Robert would stagger out on stage and act as an old man.

In the end, Robert Erle was a man greater then any words could describe.

Pearl Jam is back with Backspacer

Eddie Vedder

Eddie Vedder

Pearl Jam’s new CD in a hard bound book/Pizzoli style package. 2009 release from Eddie Vedder and the boys, their ninth album overall. For Backspacer, the lasting Grunge rockers decided to do it big. They left label J Records and decided to release to album themselves, since the certainly have enough money to do that. They also hooked up with ’90s Alternative Rock producer du jour Brendan O’Brien (Korn, Bruce Springsteen), the first time that the band has worked with O’Brien since 1998’s Yield. The music on the record features a sound influenced by pop and New Wave.

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2009's Backspacer

On a personal note, Pearl Jam’s Backspacer came at a time of great need in my life and “Just Breath” was a wonderful tune to listen to as I had to deal with two deaths in my family.  Having the same producer as Yield makes all the sense in the world in that Yield has the same musical dynamic as Backspacer.

“Brothers:Robert F. Kennedy and John F. Kennedy”

Robert Francis “Bobby” Kennedy (November 20, 1925 – June 6, 1968), also referred to by his initials RFK, was an American politician. He was a younger brother of President John F. Kennedy and acted as one of his advisers during his presidency. From 1961 to 1964, he was the U.S. Attorney General.
John Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963.
Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt – White House Press Office (WHPO)
After his election into presidency, his father, Joe Kennedy Sr., asked John F. Kennedy only one thing of his second oldest son and that was to have his third oldest son, Robert F. Kennedy be his Attorney General. Part of this request was to keep Joe Kennedy’s family in power as his youngest son, Ted Kennedy was to hold Jack’s Senate as soon as he was old enough and the second part of this thought was to keep F.B.I. director J. Edgar Hoover in check.
Robert F. Kennedy had a reputation to put up a good fight as he had in his experience as the chief counsel of the 1957–59 Senate Labor Rackets Committee under chairman John L. McClellan. In a dramatic scene, Kennedy squared off with Teamsters union President Jimmy Hoffa during the antagonistic argument that marked Hoffa’s testimony.[6] Kennedy left the Rackets Committee in late 1959 in order to run his brother John’s successful presidential campaign. In fact when Robert started helping his brother, many had a sense that Robert would appear to be ready for a brawl.
When acting as Attorney General, Robert Kennedy quickly proved himself by using his past experience handling organized crime.
Robert Kennedy’s tenure as Attorney General was easily the period of greatest power for the office; no previous United States Attorney General had enjoyed such clear influence on all areas of policy during an administration. Yet to a greater extent, it was President Kennedy who sought the advice and counsel of his younger brother, and it is to this extent that Robert Kennedy remained the President’s closest political advisor. Kennedy was relied upon as both the President’s primary source of administrative information and as a general counsel with whom trust was implicit, given the familial ties of the two men.
President Kennedy once remarked about his brother that, “If I want something done and done immediately I rely on the Attorney General. He is very much the doer in this administration, and has an organizational gift I have rarely if ever seen surpassed.”
Brothers: Robert F. Kennedy and John F. Kennedy

Brothers: Robert F. Kennedy and John F. Kennedy

Robert Francis “Bobby” Kennedy (November 20, 1925 – June 6, 1968), also referred to by his initials RFK, was an American politician. He was a younger brother of President John F. Kennedy and acted as one of his advisers during his presidency. From 1961 to 1964, he was the U.S. Attorney General.

John Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963.
Robert F. Kennedy at the White House, 1964

Robert F. Kennedy at the White House, 1964

After his election into presidency, his father, Joe Kennedy Sr., asked John F. Kennedy only one thing of his second oldest son and that was to have his third oldest son, Robert F. Kennedy be his Attorney General. Part of this request was to keep Joe Kennedy’s family in power as his youngest son, Ted Kennedy was to hold Jack’s Senate as soon as he was old enough and the second part of this thought was to keep F.B.I. director J. Edgar Hoover in check.

Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt - White House Press Office (WHPO)

Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt - White House Press Office (WHPO)

Robert F. Kennedy had a reputation to put up a good fight as he had in his experience as the chief counsel of the 1957–59 Senate Labor Rackets Committee under chairman John L. McClellan. In a dramatic scene, Kennedy squared off with Teamsters union President Jimmy Hoffa during the antagonistic argument that marked Hoffa’s testimony.[6] Kennedy left the Rackets Committee in late 1959 in order to run his brother John’s successful presidential campaign. In fact when Robert started helping his brother, many had a sense that Robert would appear to be ready for a brawl.

999p. Senator John F. Kennedy (And Bobby Kennedy)When acting as Attorney General, Robert Kennedy quickly proved himself by using his past experience handling organized crime.
Robert Kennedy’s tenure as Attorney General was easily the period of greatest power for the office; no previous United States Attorney General had enjoyed such clear influence on all areas of policy during an administration. Yet to a greater extent, it was President Kennedy who sought the advice and counsel of his younger brother, and it is to this extent that Robert Kennedy remained the President’s closest political advisor. Kennedy was relied upon as both the President’s primary source of administrative information and as a general counsel with whom trust was implicit, given the familial ties of the two men.
brothers_1President Kennedy once remarked about his brother that, “If I want something done and done immediately I rely on the Attorney General. He is very much the doer in this administration, and has an organizational gift I have rarely if ever seen surpassed.”

An Art Showing at a Place in August 2009

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"Robert Pattinson's Unruly Hair"

A week after missing a day of work I received a phone call from work and almost had a heart attack.  It was a friend, who just wanted to remind me that the next day was the art showing and I should arrive early for the setting up of the art exhibit.  The gallery is a hallway converted for art to be exhibited.  A row of stage lights lines the ceiling all along the passage way as well as a little bit around the corner.  Arriving early with two bags of art, I walked through the entrance area and was asked what I was carrying.  Decapitated heads was the snappy remark that came to mind, however I just said that it was a surprise.

The group that puts up the artwork at these displays are made up of six or eight women that each have a duty assigned to them and they all take part in hanging the artwork.  There is one man that helps out and happily does so.

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The sign design I did for Bob Sephens

The group was glad to see my loot and me as so far only three others had submitted works.  Incredible woodwork was already sitting at the base of the wall, woodwork of portraits of Picasso and the Three Stooges.  Three photographs of great caliber and photo-shop knowledge also were submitted.  A painting of a Chevy Impala was submitted, however I felt urped at the artist when he was asked what year was the classic car and he responded he did not know.

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"The Ladies of Grey Gardens"

My art was placed along the wall for spacing and the pre-made labels were dispersed.  When I signed up for the showing, I had put down a “Self-Portrait,” “Ladies of Grey Gardens” and about seven “Portraits” down in the forethought that I did know at the time which portraits I would submit.  When I did bring out the portrait of “Robert Pattinson’s Unruly Hair” it was labeled, by a resident, as a self-portrait.  I am not that full of self-disillusion.

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"Self Portrait Spring 2008 aka Lost in My Dreams"

The man hanging the pictures asked about the “Self Portrait” after I sorted the labels out and wondered which of the people in the portrait I actually was.  It was not the nude Billie Joe Armstrong and it was not the sleeping River Phoenix, however when I did say that it was the man sitting in the middle as the focal point he observed that I shaved a few pounds off.  Well, damn this is how I see myself.

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"A Snarl"

The actual portraits of Billie Joe Armstrong had to share a pre-made label as I over did my number of entries by one.

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"The White Sweater"

The “White Sweater” was a choice of a quiet portrait.  I left any explanation to none and I have not been asked whom the person was.  No one would know who the person in the white sweater was.

The “Ladies of Grey Gardens” were received well however I did have to correct many, as they are perceived as men.  I said that was going for a Michelangelo look to my women.  This illustration and the Self Portrait did give an impression that I was a fan of the Lord of the Rings.  This caught me off guard, as I did not do any intentional Lord of Ring art as a subject matter as I had five years prior with Frodo that still haunts the memory of many.  However, one morning a guest did ask if I was a Lord of the Rings fan and I said yes.  She stated that her son was as well.  The fact that I had just bought a book on the Lord of the Rings artist Alan Lee who draws like I do and I tried to incorporate his style into my works at the time.

Some-call-me-Tim-preview

“Some call me... Tim”

A last minute substitution was of “Some Call Me Tim” from John Cleese portrayal in Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail.  The original choice for the show was “The Morning Stare” as I wanted a humorous art piece, however I had written explanation to go along with “Tim” and I wanted the exhibit to make people laugh.

A few days prior to the exhibit, I did “It’s not the Years, Honey, It’s the Mileage,” a portrayal of Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones from his last film.  Done specifically for this showing, I did the portrait with the idea that most of the population from the

"It's Not The Years, Honey, It's The Milege"

"It's Not The Years, Honey, It's The Mileage"

area would know who Jones is.  In the end, it was Robert Pattinson’s portrait that caught everyone’s eye.  In fact I had a bid for it on the first day.

Three weeks later since the showing started and all I heard was mostly about Pattinson and not a word about Jones.  To quote the almighty Chuck Berry, “As for the old folks go / it just goes to show you never know.”

Showing in September and the State of my Mind

femme_dormir_IMG_2320-thumbAs of the state of my art and mind, the month of August has been engulfed in the Friday Nights Art Walk at the local Winery in which I shall be doing an art show and sell.  A meet and greet if you will.  This has been an all-consuming act in that I have not done one of these before and have had to start from scratch as I have done with the website.

However, I have learned a great deal in the past month by visiting other art exhibits and shows in places like La Jolla, where the average price of an original or print (Giclée) was from $300 to $6,000.  This was a shock do to the fact that you can now buy a car for the same amount.  As I stood among the works of a well known wild life photographer, I could not help but notice that among the easy listening nature music and the clean cut corners of the well established store, it had occurred to me that I could do roughly the same artwork of some the acrylics that sell for about $500 for about $50.  Time would be the only factor in that I seem to have none these days.  The life sized oil of Yule Brenner made me chuckle, if not for the novelty of the King and I but for the sequined toed shoes.  The giant paintings of Tina Turner, Janis Joplin and Johnny Cash giving the Jersey bird caught my eye but there again, the space to such an artwork made me pause in respect.

robert_pattison_never-thumbGathering the components for show has been tasking in that I have had to come up with smaller parts to connect and create a working show from larger parts that I had come across in a second hand store.  Recycling in a sense the abandoned attempts of a former artist to resurrect my future.  The showing that I went to on the previous first Friday was a surveying mission and I took note of how much money was asked as well what was offered.  I feel confident in that I am singular in my media and subject matter.  The basis of most of the artists there were of landscapes, still life and local post card artwork that might clash with my Robert Pattinson’s, Billie Joe Armstrong’s, I Love Lucy’s, Kurt Cuban’s and all be it peaceful portraits of rebellious youth.

The hope will be of that a younger crowd will come and will like the subject matter of the current pop culture as well as the older crowd will like the artwork for its calm and humorous feel.

devon_sawa_portrait-side-IIMG_2334-thumbIn hope that many will want to spend little for something nice for them selves or a familiar, I shall try to put out Halloween cards, Christmas Cards, limited addition small priced prints of current pop favorites as well as a few larger priced ($100-$200) originals.  The simple concept of placing a print or original in a nice frame and or matt has taken me back, so such that it has created a more respectful additude for the framing industry.  I am a child of hippies and funky is just fine by me however the more affluent sector of humanity has caught me off guard.

More and more I have heard the response from a current showing that I should have this and that and I can not help but say yes, however it is not in my immediate means nor do to the economy of the world,  the rest of the world is willing or able to spend cash on something like art when they need to pay for the roof over their head.

It has been an enjoyable experience venturing down this new road forward and I can only hope to come out even in the end and make a few people smile.

Asperger’s on the big screen

By Marc Settle

BBC News, Radio 4’s Broadcasting House programme

The challenges faced by people who have Asperger’s syndrome have been in the news recently, highlighted by the case of the computer hacker Gary McKinnon.

He is facing extradition to the United States, but campaigners say his condition, a form of autism, means he should not be sent there.

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Adam – the new film portrays a man with Asperger’s syndrome

Now there is a new Hollywood film featuring a leading character with Asperger’s. 

Adam tells the tale of a young man who meets and falls in love with the woman in the flat upstairs.

Radio 4’s Broadcasting House programme asked Robyn Steward to review the film for the show. Robyn has Asperger’s syndrome herself. She has also had personal relationships with other people who have the condition – and with those who do not.

I work as a self-employed trainer, teaching professionals about Asperger’s syndrome and mentoring young people with the condition in the hope that they won’t have to go through some of the same difficulties that I have experienced.

This week I saw a film called Adam.

In particular one incident in the film conveyed really well the emotional complexities of living with the condition.

Thinking it will be less stressful for him, Adam’s girlfriend Beth arranges to meet her parents and pretends to Adam they have accidentally bumped into them on a night out.

When he learns the truth he shouts she’s a liar and he hates her and starts pulling things off a cabinet. At the time Adam probably did hate her and she did lie.

An accurate reflection

People with autism often struggle to understand other people’s thoughts, feelings and motivations and in Adam’s black and white world, Beth has broken the rules. Everyone with Asperger’s is different but the condition often affects the way information moves around your brain, which impacts on sensory processing, social skills, and our ability to communicate with others. It can also cause you to be not so emotionally aware.

It is great that the film has avoided the stereotypical Hollywood ending

Robyn Steward

Throughout society whether it be teachers, police, employers or families there is a lack of knowledge of autism.

People react in all sorts of ways and I think Adam accurately reflects this through a series of incidents which demonstrate the daily challenges, misunderstandings and confusion that can arise from living with this complex condition.

Most notable of these is when Adam is waiting outside a school for Beth, who is a teacher, to come out of work. A policeman asks him what he’s doing and Adam responds in a literal Asperger’s way that he’s “watching the children”.

I was also struck by Adam’s panic attack and inability to move when he is told he has to leave the house he has lived in all his life due to his father’s death.

Many adults with autism rely on their family, due to a lack of support and when their parents die they can get a bit lost.

Clay Marzo Changing Views On Aspergers

Clay Marzo Changing Views On Aspergers
By The Editors August 30th, 2008.
MarzoAs the star of Quiksilver’s new film Just Add Water, Clay Marzo is bringing more attention to a form of autism called Aspergers. It’s also opening eyes to just what is possible for others with the condition.
More than a movie about a rising young star, however, it details Clay’s aptitude and unique personality, and his life with Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder that can make school and social situations challenging but also allows him to hyperfocus and exhibit exceptional talent in a specific arena.
Clay’s mother Jill Marzo wasn’t sure the movie at first:
“I was really nervous,” she admits. “I didn’t want to expose it. I worried that people would treat him differently or that he would be embarrassed by it.” Instead, the film and an extensive article in Surfer Magazine yielded e-mails from others inspired by Clay’s unique pursuit of his passion. That, she says, made the journey worthwhile.
[Link: Honolulu Star-Bulletin]
Read more: http://www.boardistan.com/?p=1540#ixzz0MLTL8lGl

By The Editors August 30th, 2008.

08098_clay_france_premierClay Marzo As the star of Quiksilver’s new film Just Add Water, Clay Marzo is bringing more attention to a form of autism called Aspergers. It’s also opening eyes to just what is possible for others with the condition.

More than a movie about a rising young star, however, it details Clay’s aptitude and unique personality, and his life with Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder that can make school and social situations challenging but also allows him to hyperfocus and exhibit exceptional talent in a specific arena.

Clay’s mother Jill Marzo wasn’t sure the movie at first:

“I was really nervous,” she admits. “I didn’t want to expose it. I worried that people would treat him differently or that he would be embarrassed by it.” Instead, the film and an extensive article in Surfer Magazine yielded e-mails from others inspired by Clay’s unique pursuit of his passion. That, she says, made the journey worthwhile.

[Link: Honolulu Star-Bulletin]

Read more: http://www.boardistan.com/?p=1540#ixzz0MLTL8lGl