The Breakfast Club (I Can Climb The Highest Mountain)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover  we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and
weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our
boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late,
it's PhilJD's fault.

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This Day in History

 

 

 

  

 

 

   

Bomb attack on Madrid's commuter trains; Former
Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic found dead; Mikhail Gorbachev
becomes leader of Soviet Union; General Douglas MacArthur leaves
Philippines in WWII.

Breakfast Tunes

 

 

 

  

 

 

   

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

 

Noted: Being a Christian is a choice, being gay is not. God made the gays. Christians, not so much.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III

TMC :: The Breakfast Club (I Can Climb The Highest Mountain)

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Army discharge policy: Changing while remaining the same

This past Friday the US Army suspended the direct discharge of soldiers on account of being transgender. Any such cases must henceforth be reviewed by the Assistant Secretary of the Army.

Today’s action by the Army helps over 6,000 transgender soldiers serving in silence.
While transgender service members welcome this step, they recognize it is only a stopgap measure aimed at making a failing policy fail less. What they and their commanders need is a comprehensive, Department-level policy review.

--Allyson Robinson, a former Army captain and SPARTA Director of Policy

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Brandon

To tell this whole story has taken me nearly 20 years. I am bit a minor actor in it, but I proudly accepted the role of one of the storytellers. In 1995, Vigil was published at the website ftmInternational and it was there for many years. It is not anymore. 20 years was published on New Year's eve of 2013, twenty years after the the bodies were found.

The whole story is lengthy, but I hope you have time. The movie version was somewhat lacking in actual facts. The tabloid version didn't even come close.

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Sunday Train: On Amtrak, I've got some good news, and some bad news.

This last week, there was the surprising start to a headline in the Washington Post that began, "GOP House and White House agree on something" ... and that something was: Amtrak funding (and pets on a train).

From NPR:

The Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act passed on a vote of 316-101 (132 Republicans joined 184 Democrats in voting for the bill; 101 Republicans voted against). It keeps spending for Amtrak at nearly current levels — about $1.4 billion a year — for the next four years, and includes other reforms aimed at improving the railroad's fiscal performance.

... so that is a majority of the Republican majority voting for a bill that both Heritage Action and Club for Growth were scoring, looking for a "No" vote to gain their approval, and which the White House gave qualified approval to (though perhaps it helped some of those Republicans that they can point to parts of the bill that the White House did not approve of). And so the Northeast Corridor trains and long haul trains, alongside most of the state approved corridor services under 750 miles in length, can continue running.

But this was not an entirely "good news" week, since we also heard that Indiana DOT scuttles Amtrak Hoosier State. The Hoosier State is the "companion" train to the three-times-a-week Cardinal, and together the two provide for a daily connection from Indianapolis in the early hours of the morning, scheduled to arrive in Chicago in mid-morning. The Indiana DOT has declared its refusal to continue the service unless it gets to put the service together on its own terms, only using Amtrak for the elements of the service where Amtrak gets a better price than a private operator. And so customers of the Hoosier State service will be getting a special "April Fool's" gift in the form of a drop down from daily to three times a week rail access to Chicago.

More about the qualified good news and unqualified bad news, below the fold.

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Stories at the Inn

Hate 4 photo hate4b1.jpgToday's offering was written shortly before the Christmas of 2008. Let me stir yor memory jut a bit by reminding you that President-elect Obama had chosen to have Rick Warren deliver they invocation at his Inauguration, which the LGBT community considered to be a huge slap in the face.

I had been looking for a hook or two on which to hang my weekly Friday column.

The snow was blowing and the wind was howling. It was going to be a dark and stormy night.

I graphic is called Hate 4, from my Colors of Hate series.

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The Breakfast Club (Reels)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover  we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it's PhilJD's fault.

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To thine own self...

Strings photo strings.jpgI've trundled out my joining tools again. This particular chapter consists of one portion of a diary from early March of 2011...and excerpts from my performance piece, Crossing the Gender Line, which I presented several times at academic venues in Arkansas and also was invited to perform at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL in February, 1995. I can date the various performances by examining the poems included...it was my habit to write a new one for each performance. The excerpts are from the piece as it stood in 1998.

The graphic is entitled Strings. I hope this hits the right notes.

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The Breakfast Club (My Hat It Has Three Corners)

 
breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgThree corners has my hat
And had it not three corners
It would not be my hat! 

I dunno, maybe it makes more sense in Italian.

This is the famous (I mean, as far as any Renaissance Italian Folk Tune appropriated for 'Art Music' can be) Carnival of Venice.

Or infamous in my case as it was the audition piece for All-State
Band and since my sight reading skilz are for crap I really didn't have
even a clue what it was supposed to sound like and
between the triple and quadruple tounging and the rampant octave jumps
(not to mention the rapid fire fingering) I could only make up in energy
and enthusiasm what I lacked in technique.

You know, like your first sexual experience.

I have dissipated a youth of extreme privilege on these ephemeral
photons.  I went to Summer Camp every year, sometimes twice at
different places.  This year my family in Michigan pulled some strings
and got me in a Youth Music program that featured lessons with the great
Leonard Falcone who just happened to have arranged (that's a technical musical term for
someone who re-does an original piece for different instruments or
ensembles, or changes the key or tempo to make it sound different even
though it's really the same) my audition piece.

What could go wrong?

Well, I am a horrible musician, even for a brass player, and I
have a tin ear and no discipline or muscle memory whatsoever.  It took
Falcone mere seconds to recognize how hopeless I was.

But he was a trooper and there were only so many Euphonium players so he was stuck with me for 2 weeks.

Towards the end I dragged out my audition piece and said-

"Do you think you can help me with this?"

"Let me hear it."

So I embarrassed myself and he said-

"It should sound like this."

 

 

My Hat It Has Three Corners

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