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Michael Moore prepares new doc attacking US war policy: ‘Where to Invade Next’


 

RT News | July 29, 2015

Michael Moore, the polemic filmmaker behind “Bowling for Columbine,” “Fahrenheit 911” and “Sicko” is preparing his newest film, this time tackling America’s policy of “endless wars.” Simone Del Rosario has more details.

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Edge of Europe, End of Europe


Dean Conger/Corbis

 The Lenin monument in Kharkiv, Ukraine, 1967

 

Timothy Snyder | NY Books | July 27, 2015

The crisis of the European Union has two sides. One is political, about the lack of democracy within European institutions; the other is philosophical, about the erosion of Europe as a source of and home for universal values. The political crisis is on view in Germany and Greece. As we observe today, it never made sense to create a currency union (the Euro zone) without a fiscal union (a substantial common budget). A fiscal union would require more European democracy to legitimate the taxing and spending. When the Euro was established, the hope was that the common currency would create political solidarity that could foster European democracy; this simply has not happened. The Greek crisis has become a clash of multiple European democracies, in which the weak must bend to the strong. Greeks are not getting the policies they voted for; but then again Germans and other Europeans would not have voted, given the chance, to bail out Greece. Without a European budget, crises of this nature are inevitable; without European democracy all solutions will lack political legitimacy.

The philosophical crisis is on display in Russia and the eastern borderlands of Ukraine. Ukrainians in 2013 demonstrated, in their revolution, a strong commitment to the idea of European integration. From the perspective of those who risked their lives on the Maidan, the central square in Kiev that was the center of the uprising, cooperation with Europe was essential for Ukrainian civil society to be able to mend the corrupt Ukrainian state. The essence and explicit purpose of Russia’s war in Ukraine, on the other hand, is the destruction of the European Union as a universalist project that Ukraine could join. In its place, Moscow wants to establish a rival to the EU, known as the Eurasian Union. Rather than universal recognition of the legality of states and rights of citizens, the Eurasian project proposes a Russian hegemony of territories that Russian leaders regard as historically theirs, such as Ukraine. Its moral premise is that members of the European Union have abandoned traditional European culture (by which is meant religious, sexual, and political exclusivism) for “decadence” and that only Russia represents civilization.

Yet the Russian effort to break the Ukrainian state by military occupation and Eurasian propaganda has not, at least thus far, succeeded. Very few people in Europe would actually prefer the Russian model on display in Crimea and the Donbas—millions of refugees, a defunct economy, everyday violence, thousands of deaths, general lawlessness. On the other hand, since a large number of Ukrainians have been willing to take risks, suffer, and die in the name of Europe—even as the EU itself suffers a grave identity crisis—it makes sense to ask what they think they are working toward.

Trisha Yearwood Looks Back on Her Experience Performing at a Nashville Gay Bar


Image courtesy of Russ Harrington/Sunshine Sachs (via ABC News Radio)

Image courtesy of Russ Harrington/Sunshine Sachs (via ABC News Radio)

 

WIN 98.5 | July 26, 2015

Kacey Musgraves recently hosted the album launch party for her project, Pageant Material, at the Nashville gay club Play, but she’s not the first country star to appear at a venue catering to Music City’s LGBT community. It turns out Trisha Yearwood made an appearance at a benefit concert at the now-closed Nashville gay bar, The Connection, back in the ’90s.

That concert was staged to raise money for a gay hairdresser friend of Trisha’s who was fighting cancer at the time. Trisha admits she got some “backlash” on the performance from people she knew. That resistance didn’t stop her, though.  She tells the Nashville Scene , “I was like, “This is for my friend. This is what you do. I don’t give a crap what his personal life is about. This is somebody that I care about.'”

Trisha goes on to say she tends to focus on her relationships with individual people, rather than looking at any bigger political picture.

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How Transgender Teen Star Jazz Jennings Really Feels About Fame


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Huffington Post | July 20, 2015

If you haven’t heard of Jazz Jennings yet, you will soon. The 14-year-old has already been described as a pioneer, a trailblazer, a role model and a remarkable young woman. It all started when Jazz did something truly courageous at the age of 5: She came out to the world as transgender.

As one of the youngest transgender people in the spotlight, Jazz has inspired so many by living her truth and advocating for LGBTQ rights. Her story was documented on OWN in the 2011 documentary “I Am Jazz: A Family in Transition,” and Time Magazine later named her one of the 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014. Now, Jazz is starring in a new reality show called “I Am Jazz,” which premiered on TLC last week.

Jazz has welcomed the public interest and has been incredibly candid about her personal journey, but in the midst of the acclaim, she’s like any girl navigating the complicated teen years. She tells Oprah in the above video from “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” that the attention she receives for her bravery and advocacy is just something that comes with the territory. But it’s not without its pressures.

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Thomas Roberts Becomes First Openly Gay Evening News Anchor On Network TV


 | Huffington Post | July 19, 2015

Thomas Roberts anchored NBC’s “Nightly News” on Saturday, a huge milestone for both the 42-year-old journalist’s career and gay rights history.

Until the broadcast, an openly gay person had never anchored the nightly news on network TV. Roberts told The Advocate that it was a “huge honor” to fill the role.

During the week, Roberts hosts “MSNBC Live With Thomas Roberts.”

There are a few openly gay evening news anchors on cable TV — MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon — but Roberts is the first for one of the big three networks.

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Laverne Cox Opens Up About Meeting Caitlyn Jenner For The First Time


 | Huffington Post | July 21, 2015

What’s it like to meet Caitlyn Jenner? Well, according to Laverne Cox, it’s as amazing as you’d expect.

“The Late Late Show” host James Corden asked Cox for her feelings on Jenner’s very public transition on Monday, and the actress had nothing but praise. “What I think is so beautiful about this, my visibility and Caitlyn’s visibility, is that diverse representation of the trans people in the media, I think is so important,” said Cox.

The “Orange Is the New Black” star said she actually met Jenner for the first time over the weekend, which she described as “pretty awesome.” “She’s such a sweet woman, loves her family,” says Cox, who also applauded the “I Am Cait” star for the grace with which she’s handling everything going on in her life.

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Poptimist: Melissa Etheridge on sexuality, motherhood and returning to Strathmore


Melissa Ethridge

Melissa Ethridge

 

 | Metro Weekly | July 15, 2015

You can pretty much count on one hand the number of pop stars to come out since Melissa Etheridge publicly acknowledged her sexuality in 1993.

Still, the reigning lesbian rocker is confident there will be more gay pop stars in the near future. “It takes a special kind of strange person to want to be a pop star anyway,” says Etheridge. Often part of the appeal, for both the artist and the public, is a mystery about exactly who the person is, especially when it comes to sexuality. And today there’s far more room for mystery than ever before.

“My generation, we were more gay or straight — there was a big divide between the two,” the 54-year-old says. But progress in LGBT rights in the past two decades “allows more fluidity to sexuality in general…. I’m sure there are some major pop stars right now in their twenties that are kind of going, ‘I don’t know. I might be this or that. But I don’t have to label myself right now.’”

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