SBC teams with Scientific-Atlanta for cable TV rollout in 13 US states

Saturday, April 2, 2005

Regional U.S. telephone giant SBC Communications is one step closer to offering cable television to the 18 million households in its 13 state coverage area. The company announced a $195 million contract with Scientific-Atlanta Thursday to provide a video operations center and regional hubs for the new service. Under the brand name, U-verse, the SBC’s television rollout is set to launch in 2006 after field trials begin later this year.

The company is seeking the so-called “triple play,” where a telecommunications company offers voice, data and video in one bundled package. Local telephone companies like SBC have been losing business to cable TV companies, which have added telephone and Internet services in recent years.

In a slew of recent deals, SBC is looking to stop that trend. Within the past six months it has signed alliances with various technology firms to build out a fiber network to the home strategy. For instance, SBC has a $1.7 billion deal with Alcatel to build out its fiber optic network and a 10-year, $400 million, pact with Microsoft to license its IPTV technology to allow multi-channel television to stream over its Internet backbone.

In most of the U.S. only cable TV companies like Comcast have been able to offer the “triple play” of voice, video and data services. But traditional phone companies like SBC and Verizon have been upgrading their copper wire telephone networks to fiber optic. SBC says it plans to spend billions of dollars to overhaul its telecommunications network, saying the aging and brittle copper wires which were originally laid in the early 1900s do not have enough bandwidth to allow television capability.

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International conference agrees on plan for Yemen’s terror problem

Thursday, January 28, 2010

An international conference in London on Tuesday came up with a plan to fight al-Qaeda’s presence in Yemen. Delegates present at the conference were from twenty countries, including Yemen, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The conference was called by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown due to the failed Christmas Day plot to blow up a US plane, for which al-Qaeda in Yemen claimed responsibility. However, the attendees stress that the al-Qaeda presence is not Yemen’s only problem, and that it cannot be solved without first dealing with the others.

we—the international community—can and must do more.

Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, said that bringing peace to Yemen and making it more stable is a major priority for the United States. She said that the United States had signed a three-year agreement on security development in Yemen. “To help the people of Yemen, we—the international community—can and must do more. And so must the Yemeni government,” she said.

Clinton said that she does not believe that military action would be enough to solve Yemen’s problems, and that corruption must be combated as well as building up democratic institutions and promoting human rights. She asked that the government of Yemen begin its proposed ten-point program for the development of these areas and to reduce the influence of extremist organisations.

Yemen is the poorest nation in the Arab world, and its economy was also on the meeting’s agenda. The United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary David Miliband chaired the talks, and said that the Yemeni government had pledged to begin an attempt to combat this by entering into discussions with the International Monetary Fund, representatives of which were present at the conference, in order to put together a plan for its economy.

In tackling terrorism it is vital to tackle its root causes. In Yemen’s case these are manifold—economic, social and political

Miliband also announced that a “Friends of Yemen” organisation was to be launched, to discuss the economy, government, and judicial process of Yemen. Also present were delegates from the United Nations, European Union, and World Bank. Miliband acknowledged that the solution was not simply a military one by saying at a press conference, “It’s been a common feature of every contribution that we have heard today that the assault on Yemen’s problems cannot begin and end with its security challenges and its counter-terrorism strategy. In tackling terrorism it is vital to tackle its root causes. In Yemen’s case these are manifold—economic, social and political”.

Ali Mujawar, the Prime Minister of Yemen, received this support warmly, but said that any attack on the nation’s sovereignty would be considered “unacceptable”, and that it should not be portrayed as a failing nation, despite a multitude of problems, including its damaged economy, rapidly growing population, and shrinking oil reserves, as well as the beginning of a drought and its problems with insurgents, such as al-Qaeda terrorists. British Foreign Office Minister Ivan Lewis echoed Mujawar’s statements by saying that Yemen is “not a failed state”, but “an incredibly fragile state”. Lewis also said that “[s]upporting the government of Yemen is crucial to the stability of that country but it is also crucial to the stability of the world”.

Yemen’s Foreign Minister, Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, asked the delegates at the conference for “international support to build infrastructure, combat poverty and create jobs, as well as support in combating terrorism”. However, he said that the idea of having US military bases in Yemen was “inconceivable”.

Arab League secretary general Amr Moussa is unsure how useful the meeting will be. He expressed these concerns by telling the BBC, “I don’t know how a conference like that can decide something useful, something reasonable for Yemen… in a couple of hours”, and saying that it was a “strange” and “very unusual sign” that the Arab League had not been given the chance to send delegates to the conference, despite wanting to discuss all of Yemen’s problems without specific focus on al-Qaeda. Despite these concerns, donors from a number of Western and Gulf nations have agreed to meed again, this time in the Saudi Arabian capital city of Riyadh, in February.

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Think Charcoal’s Just For Grilling? Check Out These Innovative Uses For Charcoal

You’re on the brink of moving, and as you clear out your basement, you come across a half filled bag of charcoal. The chemical-free charcoal leftover from last summer’s grill-a-thons doesn’t have to end up in the dump just because you’re trying to cut back on clutter. Put your find to good use after you relocate by using charcoal around your new home.

Before you begin going charcoal crazy, it’s important to make sure your charcoal is as natural as possible. Charcoals treated with flammable chemicals to jump start flames can be detrimental to your health. That being said, here is a closer look at innovative uses for charcoal:

Charcoal Works Wonders in the Garden

Gardeners have been putting charcoal to good use for years. If this is your first time moving to a home with a backyard and garden potential, consider using charcoal in your compost. When you add a little bit of charcoal at a time to your pile of leftover food scraps, dried twigs, and dead leaves, it boosts the amount of carbon in your humus.

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Aside from composting, charcoal is a great ally for orchids and bromeliads. Add a few bits of charcoal to the soil or rocks containing your plants and they will soon start to flourish. That’s because charcoal brings alkalinity levels up for these types of plants.

Charcoal Soaks Up Moisture

Moving to Florida? The humidity down there can rust metal wares like nobody’s business. Even if you are relocating to a moderately humid area, make good use of charcoal by letting it soak up the extra moisture.

Put a few lumps of the stuff in metal toolboxes to keep your tools from oxidizing. For those moving to colder climates, add some charcoal to the rock salt you use to de-ice your walkway and driveway. It will keep the salt from sticking together.

Charcoal Eliminates Odors

Who needs Febreeze? You’ve got charcoal to help combat unpleasant odors. Since charcoal absorbs moisture in the air, using it often as an air freshener will get rid of the air that causes mildew growth and mold development. Stick some in your refrigerator to keep it smelling fresh. Throw some in a nylon stocking and hang it in your closet. Put charcoal in your foulest smelling shoes to ward off stinky foot syndrome.

There are plenty of other ways to use up your charcoal leftovers, like replacing chalk with it or to help freshly cut flowers last longer. What other uses can you think of for your charcoal?

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About Author: is your ticket to finding trustworthy, professional movers for all of your relocation needs. Each of the moving services that our team of moving companies provides is customized and individually planned to be stress-free. Our team of experts also provides you with tips and guidelines for your everyday tasks, from eco-friendly blogs to do-it-yourself guidance, relationships tips and family oriented topics. We are your all-in-one-shop.Author: Paulina Aguilera

A battle between AMD and Intel takes place at 2007 Taipei IT Month

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

On the third day of the 2007 Taipei IT Month in Taiwan yesterday, notebook computers and desktop computers built with AMD’s Phenom processor and Intel Penryn processor openly battled for the consumer-market after each company launched their quad core processors.

Intel with partners like Acer, Genuine, ASUS, and Lenovo promoted their desktops with Core 2 Quad and notebooks with Centrino Duo, even though Intel didn’t plan to exhibit in IT Month. Intel’s Taiwan division is holding two road shows for DIY experts. One was on December 1 while the second will be on December 8.

AMD, on the other hand, put on a showcase for IT Month with a Bee Movie booth-style exhibit at halls 1 and 3 of the Taipei World Trade Center. AMD’s subsidiary company ATI showcased HDMI and Full HD with a demonstration of a new graphic card named “Radeon HD2000”.

As the two rivals postured over factors like performance and high-definition, Wikinews reporter Rico Shen interviewed some of their partners. BenQ and Micro-Star International both said: “No matter whether the consumer chooses a computer with AMD or Intel, the consumer should consider it based on functionality and practically before purchasing. For example, some low-price notebook computers (EeePC, OLPC) were launched before the show because notebook computer manufacturers had considered and evaluated what a consumer really want. Sincerely, I recommend a consumer not be fooled by a its price but to consider its functionality first!”

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French workers use threats in compensation demand

Friday, July 17, 2009Following similar threats by workers at New Fabris and Nortel, workers at JLG in Tonneins, France, threatened to blow up several platform cranes. The JLG factory announced in April 2009 that it will fire 53 of its 163 workers by the end of 2009, while the remaining 110 jobs will not be secure over the next 2 years.

JLG Tonneins was acquired in 2006 with its parent JLG Industries, a maker of aerial work platforms, by the U.S.-based Oshkosh Corporation. Despite being hugely profitable in the past, production has been much reduced since 2008 with the contraction of the construction industry and lower demand for its products. Despite excellent past results the new American management demanded sweeping cuts at the company.

In the view of locals, “the company’s actions are a disgrace given the expensive perks, such as official cars, for its corporate fat cats, compared to the sacrifice, silence, and dignity demanded by the company of those it has made redundant.”

The management offered severance pay of 3,000 (US $4,200), however the workers demanded a severance package commensurate with “the wealth that their labor has generated.” Worker’s delegates requested a “supra-legal” payment of € 30,000, on Thursday 16 of July the management responded with a counter offer of € 16,000. On Thursday night the worker’s actions secured the € 30,000 settlement initially demanded.

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Inflatable Boat Repair: Fixing It Or Replacing It

By Buzz B Berkeley

For those that need inflatable boat repair, there are several key things to take into consideration. In many cases, you can easily repair an inflatable boat so that you don’t have to replace it. Yet, there are other situations which will require a bit more detail and work and further there are some situations that simply must be forgotten about. Finding the right type of repair for your boat is an important project. Depending on the value and the type of boat that it is, you may have to get professional service to help you to make the repairs. Yet, some inflatable boat repair can be done within your home by you.

Things To Consider

When you need inflatable boat repair, take into consideration the type of situation that boat is in. If the boat has a significant rip or hole in it, it may not be able to be repaired to the point of having the same quality that it once had. No type of repair, short of relining the entire boat’s gear, will improve this situation so much so that the boat will give you the same quality of a repair. Yet, you definitely can see some improvement in those boats that have a smaller leak or problem associated with them.

If the inflatable boat repair is the type that requires a patch, this is one of the simplest and most straightforward types of repair that you can do. You can purchase a patch from a variety of locations including water equipment stores and boating locations. You must follow the directions provided with the patch carefully, so as to provide it with the actual protection that it needs. If you do not provide this, you will face a range of problems that could lead to further damage of the boat. Inflatable boat repair in this case can be simple if you follow the directions provided to you.

The Right Inflatable Boat Repair Parts Matter

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Inflatable boat repair parts are designed to work as patches, in most cases, to cover up small holes, small tears and small worries that you may have about your boat’s quality. For those that only have a small tear, it can be simply to get the help that you need to make it a better situation. Before you invest the time in hiring someone to do this type of boat repair for you or before you toss out your boat thinking that it just can’t be made to work, realize just how easy it can be to get the results that you need from the various inflatable boat repair parts that are available to you today.

Knowing What To Buy

There are many different inflatable boat repair parts on the market today. While there may be various different choices available to you, it is also likely that you will find a number of different methods to fixing your problem as well. Before you begin the repair work, then, do the following things first.

— Check the owner’s manual to determine what exactly is available to you as a method of improving your boat’s function. For example, does it tell you how to make this type of repair? Does it tell you the products that it will take including the types of glues, materials and other supplies? When it tells you all of these things it is important for you to select the right repair kit to gain from that benefit.

— Determine what is available to you. Realize that you can shop for the inflatable boat repair parts that you need on the web as well as in the local boat shops in your area. If you don’t have a boat shop available to you, you may find what you need in a swimming pool store or in another water-craft location. These may provide you with all that you need to make the necessary repairs.

— Always follow the directions provided to you on the inflatable boat repair parts before you actually use them. This will give you the best result. If it tells you that the surface must be clean, dry and easily accessible, make sure this is the case otherwise the end result could be an unfixed boat.

A good amount of the inflatable boat repair parts that you need, can be found right on the web. There’s no reason for you not to be able to make the repairs that are necessary on your boat! With all of these resources available to you, you can enjoy a great repair.

Of course there are a number of other situations that can happen as well. You could have other needs in inflatable boat repair including problems with the mechanisms on the boat, the seals and more. In these cases, it is almost always necessary to seek out the help of a professional service in your area. They can provide you with the information and service that you need to get your boat up and running the way that it did when you first got it.

Inflatable boat repair is something that you can do yourself in some situations. In others, seeking out the help of a professional makes for a much higher quality result. Take the time to find the right help to solve your repair need.

About the Author: Buzz is a boat aficionado – OK – Fanatic! – He has been collecting boating resources, and now has put them all together in one website. If you have the same passion for boating, you’ll want to see:

. And, if Fishing is your passion, see:



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Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission to review Pan Am Flight 103 conviction

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC), an organisation that investigates alleged miscarriages of justice, is to complete a review on June 28, 2007 of the conviction on January 31, 2001 of Libyan Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi for the December 21, 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. All 259 passengers and crew of the Boeing 747, and eleven people on the ground, were killed when a bomb destroyed the aircraft over the town of Lockerbie in Scotland. Megrahi was convicted on 270 counts of murder, and was sentenced to life imprisonment. It is expected that the SCCRC will refer Megrahi’s case back to the court of appeal. A summary of the Commission’s findings will be published, but the main report will not.

Today’s Scotsman reported that documents leaked from Megrahi‘s legal team include allegations that evidence used to convict him ‘was subject to deliberate destruction and manipulation for political reasons’. Officials in both the United States and the United Kingdom are accused of “a co-ordinated effort to mislead the court” in order to divert attention from other suspects with links to Iran or Syria, whose support was needed at the time of the first Gulf War.

During its three-year review, the SCCRC has been shown hundreds of documents and photographs which are alleged to show that evidence was invented, manipulated or ignored by the British police on the one hand and the CIA and FBI on the other. Veteran politician Tam Dalyell, who has campaigned against the conviction for years, has now said that the full report by the SCCRC should be made public, adding “The Crown Office has a moral obligation to hold a public inquiry. If it embarrasses the Scottish judiciary, so be it. We’re in danger of becoming the laughing stock of Europe.” He also said “I have no doubt that evidence was planted, and I have said so repeatedly in the Commons. Only a full, public and nonadversarial inquiry can finally settle this matter.” Meanwhile, defence lawyers said that if Megrahi is granted an appeal or retrial they will attempt to convince authorities to release him until the case comes to court.

The credibility of several key parts of the prosecution’s case is seriously questioned in the evidence submitted to the SCCRC, with rescue workers describing items as intact when they were discovered, but which were presented in fragmentary form at the Lockerbie bombing trial. The evidence of Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gauci is also challenged. Although Gauci testified that Megrahi bought clothes from him that were later found to have been in the suitcase containing the bomb, in reality he apparently gave a number of inconsistent and substantially different accounts of who bought the clothes, failed to pick out Megrahi at an identity parade, and even linked the clothes’ purchase to convicted Egyptian terrorist Mohammed Abu Talb, from the Iran-backed Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Defence lawyers also alleged that two early statements by Gauci are missing altogether.

One investigator also claims that evidence was fabricated, while there was insufficient investigation into claims by a baggage handler at Heathrow International Airport that the suitcase containing the bomb was only added to the flight at the last minute.

The SCCRC refused to comment, saying: “It is not for Scottish ministers to comment or preempt the outcome of this review.” Further it said: “It is the strong view of the Scottish Government that due process of law will be followed and seen to be followed in all matters pertaining to this case.”

The SCCRC will issue it’s report on Thursday June 28, 2007.

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Reasons To Contact The Tourism Department Of The City You Want To Visit

Reasons to Contact the Tourism Department of the City You Want to Visit



If you plan to visit another city or state, you should consider getting in touch with the tourism department first. You will find that you can get information you might not be able to get anywhere else. There are also other benefits of this action that you should think about before you start planning your trip.

The main reason to contact the tourism department of the place you plan to visit is to get official information. This is opposed to the common practice of relying on information from friends and family members that might not be correct. Even if you listen to people who live in the area you plan to visit, you might find that what they tell you is incorrect or out of date. Rather than showing up expecting one thing and getting another, you should find out the facts ahead of time.

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In fact, some departments in certain cities are happy to provide visitors with resources that cannot be found elsewhere. For example, you can ask for the tourism office to send you pamphlets about things to do in the city or upcoming events you do not want to miss. In most cases, all you have to do is ask for information you might want to know before you go. You could end up even getting coupons or tips on saving money on attractions, such as amusement parks, zoos, famous restaurants, and more. Clearly, it makes sense to at least reach out to this type of department in the area you plan to visit. Try to do so months in advance so you can get any helpful paperwork or coupons in the mail well before you leave.

Another reason to get in touch with the tourism office where you want to visit is to get approval for plans that might require it. For example, if you are going to get married in a certain popular spot, such as on the beach or in a park, you might need permission to do so. At the very least, you need to know what you can expect when you arrive, and officials who often communicate with tourists who get married in their city should be able to advise you. Similarly, if you plan to host a workshop, concert, or public speaking event, you can likely get some help planning it when you talk to the right people.

No matter what you plan to do when you travel a particular city, you should contact the tourism department well before you go. Whether you want to travel with your family or on business, the officials at this type of office can provide you with plenty of guidance. You can usually get fast answers to your questions by emailing or calling the office.

Before you plan your trip, it is important to contact the

mackinac island tourism

department. Visit

to find out more.

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Reasons to Contact the Tourism Department of the City You Want to Visit

RuPaul speaks about society and the state of drag as performance art

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Few artists ever penetrate the subconscious level of American culture the way RuPaul Andre Charles did with the 1993 album Supermodel of the World. It was groundbreaking not only because in the midst of the Grunge phenomenon did Charles have a dance hit on MTV, but because he did it as RuPaul, formerly known as Starbooty, a supermodel drag queen with a message: love everyone. A duet with Elton John, an endorsement deal with MAC cosmetics, an eponymous talk show on VH-1 and roles in film propelled RuPaul into the new millennium.

In July, RuPaul’s movie Starrbooty began playing at film festivals and it is set to be released on DVD October 31st. Wikinews reporter David Shankbone recently spoke with RuPaul by telephone in Los Angeles, where she is to appear on stage for DIVAS Simply Singing!, a benefit for HIV-AIDS.

DS: How are you doing?

RP: Everything is great. I just settled into my new hotel room in downtown Los Angeles. I have never stayed downtown, so I wanted to try it out. L.A. is one of those traditional big cities where nobody goes downtown, but they are trying to change that.

DS: How do you like Los Angeles?

RP: I love L.A. I’m from San Diego, and I lived here for six years. It took me four years to fall in love with it and then those last two years I had fallen head over heels in love with it. Where are you from?

DS: Me? I’m from all over. I have lived in 17 cities, six states and three countries.

RP: Where were you when you were 15?

DS: Georgia, in a small town at the bottom of Fulton County called Palmetto.

RP: When I was in Georgia I went to South Fulton Technical School. The last high school I ever went to was…actually, I don’t remember the name of it.

DS: Do you miss Atlanta?

RP: I miss the Atlanta that I lived in. That Atlanta is long gone. It’s like a childhood friend who underwent head to toe plastic surgery and who I don’t recognize anymore. It’s not that I don’t like it; I do like it. It’s just not the Atlanta that I grew up with. It looks different because it went through that boomtown phase and so it has been transient. What made Georgia Georgia to me is gone. The last time I stayed in a hotel there my room was overlooking a construction site, and I realized the building that was torn down was a building that I had seen get built. And it had been torn down to build a new building. It was something you don’t expect to see in your lifetime.

DS: What did that signify to you?

RP: What it showed me is that the mentality in Atlanta is that much of their history means nothing. For so many years they did a good job preserving. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a preservationist. It’s just an interesting observation.

DS: In 2004 when you released your third album, Red Hot, it received a good deal of play in the clubs and on dance radio, but very little press coverage. On your blog you discussed how you felt betrayed by the entertainment industry and, in particular, the gay press. What happened?

RP: Well, betrayed might be the wrong word. ‘Betrayed’ alludes to an idea that there was some kind of a promise made to me, and there never was. More so, I was disappointed. I don’t feel like it was a betrayal. Nobody promises anything in show business and you understand that from day one.
But, I don’t know what happened. It seemed I couldn’t get press on my album unless I was willing to play into the role that the mainstream press has assigned to gay people, which is as servants of straight ideals.

DS: Do you mean as court jesters?

RP: Not court jesters, because that also plays into that mentality. We as humans find it easy to categorize people so that we know how to feel comfortable with them; so that we don’t feel threatened. If someone falls outside of that categorization, we feel threatened and we search our psyche to put them into a category that we feel comfortable with. The mainstream media and the gay press find it hard to accept me as…just…

DS: Everything you are?

RP: Everything that I am.

DS: It seems like years ago, and my recollection might be fuzzy, but it seems like I read a mainstream media piece that talked about how you wanted to break out of the RuPaul ‘character’ and be seen as more than just RuPaul.

RP: Well, RuPaul is my real name and that’s who I am and who I have always been. There’s the product RuPaul that I have sold in business. Does the product feel like it’s been put into a box? Could you be more clear? It’s a hard question to answer.

DS: That you wanted to be seen as more than just RuPaul the drag queen, but also for the man and versatile artist that you are.

RP: That’s not on target. What other people think of me is not my business. What I do is what I do. How people see me doesn’t change what I decide to do. I don’t choose projects so people don’t see me as one thing or another. I choose projects that excite me. I think the problem is that people refuse to understand what drag is outside of their own belief system. A friend of mine recently did the Oprah show about transgendered youth. It was obvious that we, as a culture, have a hard time trying to understand the difference between a drag queen, transsexual, and a transgender, yet we find it very easy to know the difference between the American baseball league and the National baseball league, when they are both so similar. We’ll learn the difference to that. One of my hobbies is to research and go underneath ideas to discover why certain ones stay in place while others do not. Like Adam and Eve, which is a flimsy fairytale story, yet it is something that people believe; what, exactly, keeps it in place?

DS: What keeps people from knowing the difference between what is real and important, and what is not?

RP: Our belief systems. If you are a Christian then your belief system doesn’t allow for transgender or any of those things, and you then are going to have a vested interest in not understanding that. Why? Because if one peg in your belief system doesn’t work or doesn’t fit, the whole thing will crumble. So some people won’t understand the difference between a transvestite and transsexual. They will not understand that no matter how hard you force them to because it will mean deconstructing their whole belief system. If they understand Adam and Eve is a parable or fairytale, they then have to rethink their entire belief system.
As to me being seen as whatever, I was more likely commenting on the phenomenon of our culture. I am creative, and I am all of those things you mention, and doing one thing out there and people seeing it, it doesn’t matter if people know all that about me or not.

DS: Recently I interviewed Natasha Khan of the band Bat for Lashes, and she is considered by many to be one of the real up-and-coming artists in music today. Her band was up for the Mercury Prize in England. When I asked her where she drew inspiration from, she mentioned what really got her recently was the 1960’s and 70’s psychedelic drag queen performance art, such as seen in Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis, The Cockettes and Paris Is Burning. What do you think when you hear an artist in her twenties looking to that era of drag performance art for inspiration?

RP: The first thing I think of when I hear that is that young kids are always looking for the ‘rock and roll’ answer to give. It’s very clever to give that answer. She’s asked that a lot: “Where do you get your inspiration?” And what she gave you is the best sound bite she could; it’s a really a good sound bite. I don’t know about Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis, but I know about The Cockettes and Paris Is Burning. What I think about when I hear that is there are all these art school kids and when they get an understanding of how the press works, and how your sound bite will affect the interview, they go for the best.

DS: You think her answer was contrived?

RP: I think all answers are really contrived. Everything is contrived; the whole world is an illusion. Coming up and seeing kids dressed in Goth or hip hop clothes, when you go beneath all that, you have to ask: what is that really? You understand they are affected, pretentious. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s how we see things. I love Paris Is Burning.

DS: Has the Iraq War affected you at all?

RP: Absolutely. It’s not good, I don’t like it, and it makes me want to enjoy this moment a lot more and be very appreciative. Like when I’m on a hike in a canyon and it smells good and there aren’t bombs dropping.

DS: Do you think there is a lot of apathy in the culture?

RP: There’s apathy, and there’s a lot of anti-depressants and that probably lends a big contribution to the apathy. We have iPods and GPS systems and all these things to distract us.

DS: Do you ever work the current political culture into your art?

RP: No, I don’t. Every time I bat my eyelashes it’s a political statement. The drag I come from has always been a critique of our society, so the act is defiant in and of itself in a patriarchal society such as ours. It’s an act of treason.

DS: What do you think of young performance artists working in drag today?

RP: I don’t know of any. I don’t know of any. Because the gay culture is obsessed with everything straight and femininity has been under attack for so many years, there aren’t any up and coming drag artists. Gay culture isn’t paying attention to it, and straight people don’t either. There aren’t any drag clubs to go to in New York. I see more drag clubs in Los Angeles than in New York, which is so odd because L.A. has never been about club culture.

DS: Michael Musto told me something that was opposite of what you said. He said he felt that the younger gays, the ones who are up-and-coming, are over the body fascism and more willing to embrace their feminine sides.

RP: I think they are redefining what femininity is, but I still think there is a lot of negativity associated with true femininity. Do boys wear eyeliner and dress in skinny jeans now? Yes, they do. But it’s still a heavily patriarchal culture and you never see two men in Star magazine, or the Queer Eye guys at a premiere, the way you see Ellen and her girlfriend—where they are all, ‘Oh, look how cute’—without a negative connotation to it. There is a definite prejudice towards men who use femininity as part of their palette; their emotional palette, their physical palette. Is that changing? It’s changing in ways that don’t advance the cause of femininity. I’m not talking frilly-laced pink things or Hello Kitty stuff. I’m talking about goddess energy, intuition and feelings. That is still under attack, and it has gotten worse. That’s why you wouldn’t get someone covering the RuPaul album, or why they say people aren’t tuning into the Katie Couric show. Sure, they can say ‘Oh, RuPaul’s album sucks’ and ‘Katie Couric is awful’; but that’s not really true. It’s about what our culture finds important, and what’s important are things that support patriarchal power. The only feminine thing supported in this struggle is Pamela Anderson and Jessica Simpson, things that support our patriarchal culture.
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Philadelphia breaks 80 year old building lease; moves to evict Scouts

Friday, June 1, 2007

In an unannounced vote yesterday, the Philadelphia City Council in the United States voted 16-1 to endorse the eviction of, and end their lease held in perpetuity with, the local council of the Boy Scouts in Philadelphia. The Scouts must pay market rent or leave the building. The Cradle of Liberty Council has more than 60,000 members in Philadelphia and Delaware and Montgomery Counties.

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