The Breakfast Club (April Showers)

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





Today in History for April 8th






Funeral of Pope John Paul II; Pablo Picasso dies at
91; Teen aids patient Ryan White dies at 18; Hank Aaron hits 715th home
run; Kurt Cobain found dead in home from self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Breakfast Tunes





Singing In The Rain - Singing In The Rain (Gene Kelly) [HD Widescreen]






Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac


It takes a long time to become young.

Pablo Picasso




An Enlightened Mayor

 photo betsy-hodgesweb-817x404_c_zps4xiso5n8.jpgLast Thursday Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges gave the 2015 State of the City Address at the American Swedish Institute.

She demonstrated what a progressive mayor can be.

Video of the speech will be across the fold, but it is nearly an hour long. I suggest listening to the whole of it when you have time. Climate change, equal opportunity regardless of race, parental leave, mass transit, living wage, paid sick leave, strengthening'a all there.

Personally I want to zero in n the last approximately six minutes.

At 42:30 in Mayor Hodges' speech, she says:

Recently, a person very dear to me let me know she was a transgender woman. My first response? Congratulations, and how great! The ability to know who she is and live as herself is a wonderful thing and worthy of celebration.

Now all of us must work together to make that truth real everywhere she goes.

Last year saw history made in our state and in the city of Minneapolis. I was so proud of the Minnesota state high school league when they voted overwhelmingly in December to make sure transgender athletes could play and participate as their lived gender. We at the city convened the first Transgender Issues Work Group, tasked with examining and recommending policy for the City enterprise and the city as a whole. They also hosted the city’s first-ever Trans Summit, bringing together community members, community organizations, City departments, and overall community resources to take the next steps toward community-generated policy change. I was proud to be part of it. Much love and credit to Andrea Jenkins, whose dedication and activism made it possible; I wish her well in her new role as the new and first ever oral historian for the Transgender Project at the University of Minnesota Libraries.

The 2015 horizon is bright as the next generation of city policy begins to take shape. This work is needed. Transgender people experience some of the worst levels of violent crime, hate crime, discrimination in the workplace and in public, stereotypes, and ignorance of any group in this country or in the world. Here in Minnesota, 77% of transgender people report experiencing harassment on the job. 27% of transgender kids in school report being assaulted. Most damning, 43% of the trans people surveyed reported attempting suicide compared to 1.6% of the general population.

What can any one of us do in the face of this data? In our interactions with transgender people — frankly, as in our interactions with anyone — we must start with love and with celebration. We must start with the knowledge that being who you are in this world is to be celebrated. We must follow that with the commitment to making each one of us safe as we walk through the world as ourselves. And we must follow that with policies that support it.

Everyone in our city can learn from the courage that our transgender friends display every day. To my transgender friends, I want to thank you for your investment in Minneapolis, our community, and our people. The best way I can thank you is by persisting in my commitment to making sure that all of us know that all of us need to be in the picture of this city for us to succeed, including and especially you.

Because we can’t do this without you, Minneapolis. Everyone must be in this picture or we will not be One Minneapolis.




DOJ intervenes in case of Ashley Diamond

 photo Ashley_Diamond_zpsva39xxxv.jpgThe Department of Justice has filed a 19-page brief in the case of Ashley Diamond v Owens, et al. in a District Court in Georgia.

Ms. Diamond, 36, lived openly as a transgender woman since she was a teen, but was arrested for theft, probation violation, escape, and obstruction of justice. She was convicted and sentenced to a maximum of 11 years. She was, of course, sent to a male prison.

You’d have thought she murdered a small village. But it was their final chance to get her out of Rome, and they did.

--Charles Neal Sumlin, victim of the theft



The Breakfast Club (Easter Parade)

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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If it becomes a numbers game, we lose

The Williams Institute at UCLA has announced a couple of new studies it will be initiating lter this year, having received grants for the projects from the NIH.

The Institute received a $3.4 million grant for a five year "Generations" project focusing on lesbian gay and bisexual populations in the US. That grant and an additional $285,000 grant will fund TransPop: US Transgender Population Health Survey.

The yearlong study, which was announced earlier this week, will be the first of its kind to use random sampling methods to obtain data about the transgender community. Researchers expect to find out about the racial distribution of transgender individuals, their socioeconomic backgrounds, their access to health care and their experiences. Ilan Meyer, senior scholar of public policy and researcher at the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, will lead the study.



The Breakfast Club (Peter Cottontail)





Reply from an elder

On this, my 67th birthday, I found a tear wrenching letter to transgender old people at the Advocate.

Now the letter was not so much aimed at me personally. I did not transition in my 60s. I transitioned 2/3 of my life ago, at the age of 44. That was enough of a problem in itself.

How did you do it? How did you keep yourself going all those decades in the wrong gender? You must be the toughest person alive.

--Marlo Mack

Marlo, there just a wasn't a lot of choice. Survival is a strong motivation.




Subscribe to Voices on the Square RSS
breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgThere's only one time of year when a performance of Handel's Messiah is chronologically correct and that is Easter. 

Oh sure, the First Act deals with the birth of Jesus as fulfillment
of Old Testament prophesy and the annunciation of the shepherds, but
it's only one of three.  The bulk of them are about his passion and
death, his resurrection, and his ascension (Act II); and redemption, the
Day of Judgement, general resurrection, and the ultimate triumph over
sin and death and the universal acclamation of Christ (Act III).

As a matter of fact that famous Hallelujah Chorus, the only part anyone bothers with generally?  Act II Finale.

Sorry to ruin your holiday season folks.

While I'm sure Handel would be gratified by the events that mostly consist of gathering the
largest group possible to unmusically caterwaul a tricky piece to do
well and one that almost nobody knows the right words to as a testament
to his enduring popularity, I suspect that he would agree with me that
they are best listened to buried among the mass of performers under the
influence of an appropriate amount of ek'smas cheer.

The original work is rather modestly scored for a small orchestra
and choir with soloists, to be performed in a hall of medium size.  The
fashion for large scale performances didn't start until 1784, 42 years
after the debut.  It has always commonly been performed for charitable

Another interesting feature of this piece is that it's an archetype of Oratorio structure.  Handel made his mark on the English musical scene as a composer of Italian Operas which were very popular from 1711 until about 1730.  He wrote over 40 of them.  He
amassed a small fortune but was increasingly dependent on wealthy
patrons to stage his oratorios, anthems and organ concertos.  One
particular sponsor was Charles Jennens who is generally credited with
the libretto, which is in English.  Handel wrote the music in 24 days.

Now this is not unusual for an Opera and that's basically what an
Oratorio is.  The 3 Act structure is exactly the same as the Italian
Operas Handel was used to composing and the only distinguishing features
are that there are no costumes, there is no acting, and the sacred
nature of the subject.  Handel had composed similar Oratorios when Opera
was temporarily banned in Italy (counter-Reformation Fundamentalism).

Anyway, without further adieu the Messiah, all 2 hours and 38 minutes of it.



Messiah - A Sacred Oratorio, Handel - conducted by Sir Colin Davis




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