- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 20, 2010

D.C. life

“I live in Washington DC, so I’m used to this sort of thing. I’m used to seeing the edgy ‘Legalize Gay’ T-shirts sold by American Apparel. I’m used to seeing the Human Rights Campaign volunteers. There were gay pride celebrations last weekend all over the city. Despite all this, I’m still surprised sometimes. Walking to a meeting yesterday, I came across these street-front advertisements at the Macy’s.

“You don’t have to look very closely to figure out that in Macy’s ‘wedding’ sales space, there are lesbian and homosexual couples represented. Apparently Macy’s has been very active when it comes to capitalizing on the marketing opportunities afforded by the legalization of gay marriage. They ran ads in California after gay marriage was (briefly) legalized in that state, promoting their gay marriage registry services. And now that Washington DC has legalized gay marriage they are opening up shop here, too.

“I’ve remarked to friends that I think DC would be a hard place to raise kids. I’m beginning to think that’s more and more the case, especially if you live near the Macy’s.”

Thomas Peters, writing on “Photos: Macy’s Gay Wedding Street Ads” on June 17 at Catholic Vote Action

Bol’s death

“It is with heavy heart that I write this obituary. Manute Bol is dead. Bol, a man of extraordinary character and heart, passed away today. … Both Bol and Simon Deng worked tirelessly to fight the jihad, the mass slaughter and starvation in their homeland. Manute Bol was a Sudanese-born basketball player and activist … against the jihad in Sudan that took the lives of millions. …

“Bol’s most lasting legacy may be his efforts to use his celebrity to improve conditions in war-torn Sudan. ‘God guided me to America and gave me a good job,’ he told Sports Illustrated in 2004. ‘But he also gave me a heart so I would look back.’ …

“Manute Bol called the UN a failure, said the African Union forces were weak, afraid, ineffective. He fought to have NATO stop the killing, the slavery, the unspeakable crimes against humanity.

“[He] went to over 39 Congressmen personally and met with the Pentagon in the 90’s telling them that their people were being decimated by the Arab Muslims from the North and would disappear if the US did not help. He said they got nothing. So Manute reached into his own pockets in the millions to help support the starving refugees who had witnessed their homes and families destroyed. And so Bol was broke. So much so that former NBA friends held a benefit to raise $$ for his huge health bills after a drunk cab driver flipped a car Bol was in.”

Pamela Geller, writing on “Extraordinary Human Rights Activist, Manute Bol, dies at 47” on June 20 at her blog Atlas Shrugs

War persists

“‘War is hell.’ General Sherman’s three-word definition has never been surpassed. He meant to dispel prevalent notions about glory, which he called moonshine. Factual knowledge, he apparently thought, would diminish war. The still camera had already started to support him; now there are also film and video. Today, however, Sherman might be bemused to see that, though factual knowledge has vastly increased, war has not exactly diminished.

“The latest addition to factuality about war is an exceptional documentary called ‘Restrepo.’ A few years ago Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger arranged to have themselves embedded with a platoon of American soldiers being deployed to an outpost in Afghanistan — embedded at least to the extent that sometimes singly, sometimes together, the two men made ten trips of a month each during the platoon’s fifteen-month assignment there. …

“Their intent was to document soldiers’ lives — daily doings in which fierce firefights were part of the form as factory hours are to a mechanic. Obviously the emotional atmosphere, heightened and dulled by turns, was not the same as a factory’s, but the film is meant to distill the essence of dailiness through those fifteen months, twenty-four hours a day. Despite its terse ninety minutes, it succeeds.”

Stanley Kauffmann, writing on “Fact and Familiarity” on June 16 at the New Republic

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