President Joe Biden’s inauguration speech in full:

Biden’s inauguration speech in full:

“We will write an American story of hope”

“Chief Justice Roberts, Vice-President Harris, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, Vice-President Pence. My distinguished guests, my fellow Americans.

This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day. A day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve. Through a crucible for the ages, America has been tested a new and America has risen to the challenge. Today we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate but of a cause, a cause of democracy. The people – the will of the people – has been heard, and the will of the people has been heeded.

We’ve learned again that democracy is precious, democracy is fragile and, at this hour my friends, democracy has prevailed. So now on this hallowed ground where just a few days ago violence sought to shake the Capitol’s very foundations, we come together as one nation under God – indivisible – to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries.

As we look ahead in our uniquely American way, restless, bold, optimistic, and set our sights on a nation we know we can be and must be, I thank my predecessors of both parties. I thank them from the bottom of my heart. And I know the resilience of our Constitution and the strength, the strength of our nation, as does President Carter, who I spoke with last night who cannot be with us today, but who we salute for his lifetime of service.

I’ve just taken a sacred oath each of those patriots have taken. The oath first sworn by George Washington. But the American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us. On we the people who seek a more perfect union. This is a great nation, we are good people. And over the centuries through storm and strife in peace and in war we’ve come so far. But we still have far to go.

We’ll press forward with speed and urgency for we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibility. Much to do, much to heal, much to restore, much to build and much to gain. Few people in our nation’s history have been more challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we’re in now. A once in a century virus that silently stalks the country has taken as many lives in one year as in all of World War Two.

Millions of jobs have been lost. Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed. A cry for racial justice, some 400 years in the making, moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer. A cry for survival comes from the planet itself, a cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear now. The rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism, that we must confront and we will defeat.

To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America, requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy – unity. Unity. In another January on New Year’s Day in 1863 Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. When he put pen to paper the president said, and I quote, ‘if my name ever goes down in history, it’ll be for this act, and my whole soul is in it’.

My whole soul is in it today, on this January day. My whole soul is in this. Bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation. And I ask every American to join me in this cause. Uniting to fight the foes we face – anger, resentment and hatred. Extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness, and hopelessness.

With unity we can do great things, important things. We can right wrongs, we can put people to work in good jobs, we can teach our children in safe schools. We can overcome the deadly virus, we can rebuild work, we can rebuild the middle class and make work secure, we can secure racial justice and we can make America once again the leading force for good in the world.

I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days. I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real. But I also know they are not new. Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal, that we are all created equal, and the harsh ugly reality that racism, nativism and fear have torn us apart. The battle is perennial and victory is never secure.

Through civil war, the Great Depression, World War, 9/11, through struggle, sacrifice, and setback, our better angels have always prevailed. In each of our moments enough of us have come together to carry all of us forward and we can do that now. History, faith and reason show the way. The way of unity.

We can see each other not as adversaries but as neighbours. We can treat each other with dignity and respect. We can join forces, stop the shouting and lower the temperature. For without unity there is no peace, only bitterness and fury, no progress, only exhausting outrage. No nation, only a state of chaos. This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge. And unity is the path forward. And we must meet this moment as the United States of America.

If we do that, I guarantee we will not fail. We have never, ever, ever, ever failed in America when we’ve acted together. And so today at this time in this place, let’s start afresh, all of us. Let’s begin to listen to one another again, hear one another, see one another. Show respect to one another. Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war and we must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.

My fellow Americans, we have to be different than this. We have to be better than this and I believe America is so much better than this. Just look around. Here we stand in the shadow of the Capitol dome. As mentioned earlier, completed in the shadow of the Civil War. When the union itself was literally hanging in the balance. We endure, we prevail. Here we stand, looking out on the great Mall, where Dr King spoke of his dream.

Here we stand, where 108 years ago at another inaugural, thousands of protesters tried to block brave women marching for the right to vote. And today we mark the swearing in of the first woman elected to national office, Vice President Kamala Harris. Don’t tell me things can change. Here we stand where heroes who gave the last full measure of devotion rest in eternal peace.

And here we stand just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, to drive us from this sacred ground. It did not happen, it will never happen, not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Not ever. To all those who supported our campaign, I’m humbled by the faith you placed in us. To all those who did not support us, let me say this. Hear us out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart. If you still disagree, so be it. That’s democracy. That’s America. The right to dissent peacefully. And the guardrail of our democracy is perhaps our nation’s greatest strength. If you hear me clearly, disagreement must not lead to disunion. And I pledge this to you. I will be a President for all Americans, all Americans. And I promise you I will fight for those who did not support me as for those who did.

Many centuries ago, St Augustine – the saint of my church – wrote that a people was a multitude defined by the common objects of their love. Defined by the common objects of their love. What are the common objects we as Americans love, that define us as Americans? I think we know. Opportunity, security, liberty, dignity, respect, honour, and yes, the truth.

Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson. There is truth and there are lies. Lies told for power and for profit. And each of us has a duty and a responsibility as citizens as Americans and especially as leaders. Leaders who are pledged to honour our Constitution to protect our nation. To defend the truth and defeat the lies.

Look, I understand that many of my fellow Americans view the future with fear and trepidation. I understand they worry about their jobs. I understand like my dad, they lay in bed at night staring at the ceiling thinking: ‘Can I keep my healthcare? Can I pay my mortgage?’ Thinking about their families, about what comes next. I promise you, I get it. But the answer’s not to turn inward. To retreat into competing factions. Distrusting those who don’t look like you, or worship the way you do, who don’t get their news from the same source as you do.

We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts, if we show a little tolerance and humility, and if we’re willing to stand in the other person’s shoes, as my mom would say. Just for a moment, stand in their shoes.

Because here’s the thing about life. There’s no accounting for what fate will deal you. Some days you need a hand. There are other days when we’re called to lend a hand. That’s how it has to be, that’s what we do for one another. And if we are that way our country will be stronger, more prosperous, more ready for the future. And we can still disagree.

My fellow Americans, in the work ahead of us we’re going to need each other. We need all our strength to persevere through this dark winter. We’re entering what may be the darkest and deadliest period of the virus. We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation, one nation. And I promise this, as the Bible says, ‘Weeping may endure for a night, joy cometh in the morning’. We will get through this together. Together.

Look folks, all my colleagues I serve with in the House and the Senate up here, we all understand the world is watching. Watching all of us today. So here’s my message to those beyond our borders. America has been tested and we’ve come out stronger for it. We will repair our alliances, and engage with the world once again. Not to meet yesterday’s challenges but today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. And we’ll lead not merely by the example of our power but the power of our example.

Fellow Americans, moms, dads, sons, daughters, friends, neighbours and co-workers. We will honour them by becoming the people and the nation we can and should be. So I ask you let’s say a silent prayer for those who lost their lives, those left behind and for our country. Amen.

Folks, it’s a time of testing. We face an attack on our democracy, and on truth, a raging virus, a stinging inequity, systemic racism, a climate in crisis, America’s role in the world. Any one of these would be enough to challenge us in profound ways. But the fact is we face them all at once, presenting this nation with one of the greatest responsibilities we’ve had. Now we’re going to be tested. Are we going to step up?

It’s time for boldness for there is so much to do. And this is certain, I promise you. We will be judged, you and I, by how we resolve these cascading crises of our era. We will rise to the occasion. Will we master this rare and difficult hour? Will we meet our obligations and pass along a new and better world to our children? I believe we must and I’m sure you do as well. I believe we will, and when we do, we’ll write the next great chapter in the history of the United States of America. The American story.

A story that might sound like a song that means a lot to me, it’s called American Anthem. And there’s one verse that stands out at least for me and it goes like this:

‘The work and prayers of centuries have brought us to this day, which shall be our legacy, what will our children say?

Let me know in my heart when my days are through, America, America, I gave my best to you.’

Let us add our own work and prayers to the unfolding story of our great nation. If we do this, then when our days are through, our children and our children’s children will say of us: ‘They gave their best, they did their duty, they healed a broken land.’

My fellow Americans I close the day where I began, with a sacred oath. Before God and all of you, I give you my word. I will always level with you. I will defend the Constitution, I’ll defend our democracy.

I’ll defend America and I will give all – all of you – keep everything I do in your service. Thinking not of power but of possibilities. Not of personal interest but of public good.

And together we will write an American story of hope, not fear. Of unity not division, of light not darkness. A story of decency and dignity, love and healing, greatness and goodness. May this be the story that guides us. The story that inspires us. And the story that tells ages yet to come that we answered the call of history, we met the moment. Democracy and hope, truth and justice, did not die on our watch but thrive.

That America secured liberty at home and stood once again as a beacon to the world. That is what we owe our forbearers, one another, and generations to follow.

So with purpose and resolve, we turn to those tasks of our time. Sustained by faith, driven by conviction and devoted to one another and the country we love with all our hearts. May God bless America and God protect our troops.

Thank you, America.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/01/20/joe-biden-inauguration-speech-full-transcript-2021-president/

Trump rejects UN arms trade treaty — kaykayjabari’s Blog

U.S. President Donald Trump has rejected a UN arms trade treaty that was approved by his predecessor Barack Obama and is currently waiting in the Senate for ratification. “The UN will soon receive a formal notice that America is rejecting this treaty,” Trump said on Friday, addressing the National Rifle Association (NRA), a pro-gun group, […]

via Trump rejects UN arms trade treaty — kaykayjabari’s Blog

CNN’S QUEST Comes Out

CNN Reporter Richard Quest is for the first time opening up about his sexuality.

The Journalist says that he is gay and will continue to advocate for legalization of same-sex unions in countries like Kenya.

“I am obviously going to be advancing an agenda that says there should be at least the decriminalization of same sexual activity. It is straight forward, I am not gonna mess around with that one. That is obviously my belief,” he says.

Quest says he lives in London and New York because the two cities recognize the rights of gay people.

“They are both cities that people in this country can admire, would aspire to be in and would look forward to visiting. There is a reason why I live in those cities.”

He adds: “There is a reason why those cities attract the talent and wherever because we can live our lives as we wish. We can love who we wish.”

“In New York and London, there is nobody telling us that is wrong… that is not correct; that is against the law.”

He however states that those opposed to his sexual orientation have a right to do so and he respects that.

“I do not for a moment, doubt the sincerity of those people who are against me on this issue. And I can respect their point of view, I merely say that in this day and age, if you want to succeed, if you want Kenya to be a thriving, vibrant modern economy, you are going to look at this in a different way and ask yourself what is it about these very successful places that we need to at least try to attract,” he says.

“That is the way you do it. You let people live their lives, love who they want, and the way they want”

Source: ftvlive.com

ARE THOSE SENATORS GOING TO ACTUALLY KEEP PRETENDING?By Michael Tomlinson

ARE THOSE SENATORS GOING TO ACTUALLY KEEP PRETENDING that they do not know what “Boofed” (have you Boofed yet?) or “The Devil’s Triangle” or FFFFFFFFourth of July” or “The Renate Alumnus” stood for to a bunch of arrogant, privileged, alcohol and sex obsessed, misogynistic, high school boys from the 80s? Those very terms, drawn from their year books and calendars, scream out a narrative of the lives of those kids during that time. We may be many things these days, we bickering, partisan, drama-addicted, petty citizens of the US, but have we completely lost the ability to deduce the slang of teenage idiots and call it what it is?

It took me about two minutes to recognize the sexual terminology and what some boy’s club named after a young woman really was; (“the Renata Alumnus”). My friends and I were nothing like those lost boys, but we had our foolish brand of ignorant slang and sexual miscomprehension as well. We were idiots too. But we would never have hesitated to dive into action and physically confront any boy who tried to force a girl to do anything at all she did not want to do.

I do not often expend my energy on arguments on these pages. But when I see United States Senators standing around laughing, all giddy and cruel because they think they’re “winning,” I have something to say about it. If those pompous asses went home tonight without realizing that the most profoundly important and powerful event they have ever witnessed in their entire life was a shakily courageous woman with a quiet, trembling voice, speaking her bravest, most accurate recall of the very worst, most painful experience of her entire life, then those Senators need to fall to their knees and beg the God they say they believe in for forgiveness. And then resign. Because they are not serving the human beings of this nation. They don’t even serve the poor constituents who believe in them. They serve only themselves.

I am not speaking up with an opinion. Opinions are next to nothing. We are nauseous with clever opinions here on fb. I am speaking from something real, something holy, something innate to us as human beings — the sacred ability to listen and witness and discern truth and sincerity when we hear them. However quiet and trembling the words may be spoken, we receive them and we know. We Know. Who cares what political party you align with? That has nothing to do with any of this. Are we going to wake up and be actual human beings again? Or will we continue as arguing imbeciles watching everything going to hell around us and blaming each other as the ship goes down?

What if that had been your daughter or your mother so bravely voicing her nightmarish memories? Something she had never told you about because she was too devastated and soul-shattered to do so? Would you listen with your heart and soul? Wouldn’t you be shaken to your core and want every other human being to not only listen, but to humbly SIT with the experience and live with it until there was some acceptance of the truth?

During this disjointed, pretend-hearing today, this disrespectful, unholy circus of interruptions and posturing and false purpose, did you notice that only one person, just one, never took part in any of that bullshit? That singular person was Christine Blasey Ford, who six years ago broke her silence about her childhood assault while going through therapy with her husband. Her therapist has the notes of those sessions. By telling us about that, Christine gave something to the entire world today. To you and me and everyone who believes her and even those who do not. She gave us a vision of what real love is. What real honor is. What courage and civic responsibility are. She gave us an opportunity to find our own soul and to listen to and honor it. Do we have enough soul left in us to do that? ~ ©Michael Tomlinson.All Rights Reserved

BILL COSBY:Justice For One Is Justice For All -WWarigon

Bill Cosby FB_IMG_1537973860827.jpg

There was once a man. He was a role model and black hero. He epitomized the typical American Dad in his various TV,stage and movie roles. Today, he is just a shell of his former self. How are the mighty fallen!

Dr. William H. Cosby was a black Hollywood powerhouse some decades ago. He featured in beautiful, uplifting TV series and movies. He garnered many laurels that he epitomized the Quintisential American father worth emulating. His The Cosby Show was an all-time favourite cross the globe. He was an icon, an alter ego and a force to reckon with. He brought positive vibe to the black American community. Everything he touched turned to gold. His books were bestsellers and every magazine he featured on the covers sold out

So, what went wrong? Apparently behind the veneer of goodness lay a demonic spirit in a beautiful human form! When the first allegation surfaced, many people felt that an opportunistic, greedy, wasted talent was on a prowl to extort and tarnish the name of a great man. But it took a voice for others to come out and speak out. More than sixty women came out and told their stories.

Obviously, Bill Cosby was a sexual predator preying especially on the vulnerable that looked up to him to wield his influence in assisting them achieve their dreams in the turbulent world of showbiz. Instead of helping them achieve a bright future, he waylaid them with drugs and effectively ended their future before it even began.

Despite the rhetorics of his lawyers, Bill Cosby’s day of reckoning arrived yesterday when he was sentenced to jail. The judge was miffed for Cosby’s show of indifference without showing remorse. Perhaps his delusional mind told him he was untouchable

Justice was proven  to be blind as no one is above the law irrespective of fame, power and influence . You do the crime, you do the time. Bill Cosby is a disgraced comedian and has since been stripped of his various doctoral degrees and various accolades accorded him in his hey days.

It is hoped that as his feeble and pathetic self walked in handcuffs to spend his first night in the gulag, all those women abused by him would finally find closure. Many have suffered Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD),failed in their professions, and others failed in relationships or even live in fear and other related neuro-stressful situation. Justice, after all is better served delayed than not served at all.

With this victory for the MeToo Movement and what is going on with the Kavannaugh Hearing, it is hoped that men and women who have been sexually abused should never be cowed or ashamed to find their voices and speak out. By speaking out the narrative is changed. By not speaking out, the predator feels invincible and will keep on preying on other hapless and voiceless victims. Wielding one’s power to take undue advantage over others is the worst kind of inhumanity from a human to another human.

Thankfully, lady justice never slumbers. Albeit blind, she is fair and just. And her wheels, no matter how slow are never to rusty to move in the right direction.

©William Warigon 2018

Emmy Awards 2018 nominations in full – Game Of Thrones to Westworld — Metro

Colin Jost and Michael Che are preparing to host the Primetime Emmys (Picture: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)The Primetime Emmy Awards are taking place this week – but who’s nominated in what category? Nominations for the 70th annual Emmy Awards were revealed in July. While Game Of Thrones received its standard flurry, one of the main shocks…

via Emmy Awards 2018 nominations in full – Game Of Thrones to Westworld — Metro

Trump vows to write ‘the real book’ on White House as he slams Bob Woodward ahead of ‘Fear’ release — National Post

President Donald Trump promised to write a book on his administration that sets the record straight, as he continued lashing out at the planned release of Bob Woodward’s new book on Tuesday. “The Woodward book is a Joke – just another assault against me, in a barrage of assaults, using now disproven unnamed and anonymous…

via Trump vows to write ‘the real book’ on White House as he slams Bob Woodward ahead of ‘Fear’ release — National Post

Sally Field Pays Heartfelt Tribute to Burt Reynolds

Hollywood has lost a legend.

And Sally Field has lost a true love.

Burt Reynolds died on Thursday of a heart attack, passing away at his home in Jupiter, Florida.

The legendary actor was 82 years old.

Sally Field and Burt Reynolds

Upon learning of his death, a number of entertainment industry heavyweights have expressed their sympathy and their sorrow (scroll down), but one name stands out from all the rest right now.

Sally Field met Reynolds on the set of the 1977 smash hit comedy, Smokey and the Bandit.

The actress and the actor would date for five years… while also co-starring in several more films, including Smokey and the Bandit II, The End and Hooper.

Although they split for good in 1982, Reynolds recounted the romance over 30 years later in an interview with Vanity Fair, referring to Field as “the love of my life.”

And it’s clear now that Reyonds was never far from the two-time Oscar winner’s heart, either.

Burt Reynolds Snapshot

“There are times in your life that are so indelible, they never fade away,” Field said in a statement this afternoon, adding of Reynolds:

“They stay alive, even forty years later. My years with Burt never leave my mind. He will be in my history and my heart, for as long as I live. Rest, Buddy.”

Reynolds’ manager, Erik Kritzer, confirmed the passing of this big screen icon, while his niece, Nancy Lee Hess, said the following on Thursday:

“My uncle was not just a movie icon; he was a generous, passionate and sensitive man who was dedicated to his family, friends, fans and acting students.

“He has had health issues, however, this was totally unexpected. He was tough. Anyone who breaks their tailbone on a river and finishes the movie is tough. And that’s who he was.

“My uncle was looking forward to working with Quentin Tarantino (in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) and the amazing cast that was assembled.”

Burt Reynolds Image

In recent years, Reynolds used a cane while out in public. His last appearance in front of a big crowd took place at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.

In the wake of his passing, nearly everyone across Hollywood chimed in with a story about Reynolds or with a few thoughts about the highly-respected actor. To wit:

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Burt Reynolds was one of my heroes. He was a trailblazer. He showed the way to transition from being an athlete to being the highest paid actor, and he always inspired me. He also had a great sense of humor – check out his Tonight Show clips. My thoughts are with his family.

Reba McEntire: My good friend has started a new journey. Rest in my peace my friend. I’ll never forget the wonderful times we spent together.

Sylvester Stallone: A sad day, my friend BURT REYNOLDS Has passed away. I remember him back in 1979, he always reminded me that I should’ve cast him as Colonel Trautman in FIRST BLOOD , I said that’s impossible, because you’re too expensive and too famous, and probably tougher than Rambo ! He laughed , He had a great sense of humor and I enjoyed his company so much… RIP Buddy

burt tributes

Goldie Hawn: There is only One Burt Reynolds. One! I loved our time our laughs and fun. Now your angels will giggle at your silly jokes as they hold you lightly as you rest dear one.

Kevin Bacon: Im 19.  I get a few lines in a movie. The megastar on set was really nice and cool to this punk actor(me) for no reason. The director called me before the movie came out to tell me I had hit the cutting room floor. But I never forgot that Star. Thanks Burt. RIP.

Paul Wesley: Burt Reynolds was one of the kindest and most generous people I have ever worked with. He took me under his wing when I was first starting out as an actor and offered friendship, advice and guidance. I’ll never forget how much that meant to me.

Michael Chiklis: I owe my career, at least in part, to the great Burt Reynolds. Heartbroken to learn of his passing. He was one of a kind. A fun loving, charismatic talent who did many good deeds quietly, without personal expectation but rather out of the kindness of his extraordinary heart. RIP.

May Burt Reynolds rest in peace.

 

 

THG

Woman crashed Mormon Church service and accused former leader of raping her in 1984. He has denied it.

McKenna Denson stood at the pulpit at an LDS chapel in Arizona and said she was allegedly sexually assaulted in 1984. Joseph Bishop has denied the allegations. 

Denson first went public with her allegations in April, weeks after a leaked audiotape revealed Bishop confessing to being a “sexual predator” in a conversation with Denson. The taped conversation set off a cascade of criticism against the Mormon Church over concerns that a self-described predator was allowed access to young vulnerable women in need of counseling, which Bishop provided in his leadership role.

Though Bishop has denied raping Denson, he admitted in an interview with police last November to asking her to expose her breasts, according to a police report obtained by the Salt Lake Tribune. Denson filed the police report just after she confronted Bishop in Arizona under the guise of a writer seeking to interview him, before ultimately asking for his apology, according to the taped recording leaked by MormonLeaks, a nonprofit seeking to increase transparency within the church.

Denson accused him of tearing her blouse and pulling her skirt up and “trying to rape me” in the small basement room, according to the recording. Bishop said he did not remember doing that. But he still apologized for his conduct, describing himself as “hypocrite” who struggled with a “sexual addiction” throughout his life, he said in the recording.

Her lawsuit was dismissed against Bishop in August because the statute of limitations on the sexual assault claims had expired. A criminal investigation was closed for the same reason, said Deputy Utah County Attorney David Sturgill, the Salt Lake Tribune reported in March. At the time of the alleged rape in 1984, the legal deadline for filing such a charge was four years, he said. But the lawsuit continues against the church on allegations that it “fraudulently” represented Bishop as a safe and trustworthy priest despite knowledge of misconduct.

The video footage of Denson’s public accusations against Bishop emerged Monday on YouTube, published by a group called NewNameNoah, whose intent is to take hidden cameras into Mormon services to “expose the TRUTH about what goes on inside,” according to its YouTube biography.

In the video, the first man who tried to get Denson to stop talking about accusations came up behind her, asking her to sit down. “Can I talk to you afterward?” he asked.

Denson told him she would “absolutely love to” talk to him afterward — and then returned to her testimony.

“For the atonement to take place,” she continued, “we have to be accountable for what we do. We don’t get to —”

The man interrupted again, wrapping his arm around her and saying “I’d like to talk to you, okay?”

“Thank you, but you know what, you’re in my personal space,” Denson said. A second man approached her. “No,” she told him. “I have more to say.”

“However,” she continued, resisting as the first man attempted to tug her away from the microphone, “it is really important for you to understand, in order to keep our ward safe,” referring to the congregation, “in order to keep our church safe —”

Both men tried grabbing her wrists. Denson told them to “call the police.” “Don’t touch me,” she said. “You’re assaulting me.”

“In order to keep the church safe, we need to hold sexual predators accountable, whether they are pedophiles or whether they are rapists like Joseph Bishop,” she said.

By then, the men succeeded at ushering her off the stage, while Denson reminded them they were being recorded.

Bishop could not be reached for comment. His attorney did not immediately return requests for comment, but told the New York Times previously that Bishop “did not sexually assault” Denson, “did not have a history of sexual assault or impropriety” and “did not attempt in any way to cover up any alleged sexual misconduct.”

In a statement to The Washington Post on Tuesday, Eric Hawkins, national spokesman for the Mormon Church, called Denson’s actions at the Sunday service “disappointing,” saying a worship service was not the appropriate venue to air her complaints.

“It is disappointing that anyone would interrupt such a worship service to bring attention to their own personal cause,” he said in an email.  “Recording and posting of these disruptions on social media to seek public attention and media coverage, sadly, shows an unfortunate lack of respect for others. We respectfully request those with personal grievances find other means to communicate their messages than disrupting the sanctity of a worship service.”

The church has previously said it would conduct a full investigation into Denson’s allegations, which it called “deeply disturbing.” In a March statement, the church said it first became aware of the allegations in 2010 after the accuser first told church leaders, who also contacted police. But church leaders could not verify the allegations at that time.

The church also said it was aware of a second woman who accused Bishop of sexual abuse but that Bishop denied those allegations as well. Citing the police report in which Bishop confessed to sexual misconduct, the church said it was “committed to bringing accountability for what has occurred.”

By Meagan Flynn

Demi Lovato puts Hollywood Hills home where Oxycodone overdose took place on market

Demi Lovato is relocating.

The star is reportedly selling the Hollywood Hills home where she overdosed on Oxycodone in July, according to TMZ.

The Sorry Not Sorry singer, who listed the property for $9.495 million, has not returned to the spot since the overdose incident.

Moving on: Demi Lovato (above in May) is reportedly selling the Hollywood Hills home where she overdosed on Oxycodone in July, according to TMZ

Moving on: Demi Lovato

In the past: ‘Her house is up for sale. She’s getting healthy and putting the past behind her,’ another insider told People

Demi Lovato’s drug dealer says singer ‘knew what she was taking’
‘Her house is up for sale. She’s getting healthy and putting the past behind her,’ another insider told People.

On July 24 Demi was found unconscious by friends after using Oxycodone said to be tainted with fentanyl.She was revived with overdose reversal drug Narcan and then rushed to the hospital.

After that she headed to a rehab center August 4, where is is still currently in treatment

Keeping a distance: The Sorry Not Sorry singer has not returned to the spot since the overdose incident

Upscale: Demi has listed the Hollywood Hills property for $9.495million

Leveling up: Demi stands to make a modest profit on the estate, which was purchased in 2016 for $8.3million.

 

Source: TMZ, DAILY MAIL

 

Hours before Kavanaugh nomination hearings, Bush lawyer releases 42,000 pages of documents to Judiciary Committee

September 3 at 11:37 PM

Hours before the start of hearings on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, the lawyer for former president George W. Bush turned over 42,000 pages of documents from the nominee’s service in the Bush White House, angering Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, who issued what is certain to be a futile call to delay the proceedings.

“Not a single senator will be able to review these records before tomorrow,” Schumer (D-N.Y.) tweeted Monday evening.

Taylor Foy, a spokesman for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), responded that “our review team will be able to complete its examination of this latest batch in short order, before tomorrow’s hearing begins.” A few hours later, a tweet from the committee said that the “Majority staff has now completed its review of each and every one of these pages.”

The hearings are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, with opening statements by committee members. No information was released on the subject matter of the documents, and Bush’s lawyer asked that they be kept from the public, made available only to committee members and staff.

Kavanaugh, appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit by Bush, served the president in the White House Counsel’s Office from 2001 to 2003 and as staff secretary from 2003 to 2006. 

William A. Burck, a lawyer representing Bush, said in a letter to Grassley that the 5,148 documents totaling 42,390 pages retrieved from the National Archives were to be treated as “committee confidential,” with access limited to Judiciary Committee members and staff with no public availability, at least for the time being.

In the letter to Grassley, Burck said lawyers working on behalf of the former president would determine at a later date which of the documents are “appropriate for public release.”

The Bush legal team had already turned over about 415,000 pages to the committee, with about 147,000 of them withheld from public view. Trump has claimed executive privilege to prevent release of more than 101,921 pages of records from Kavanaugh’s tenure in the White House. Kavanaugh, as “an associate and senior associate White House counsel, dealt with some of the most sensitive communications of any White House official,” including deliberations on judicial candidates, Burck said in a letter to the committee Friday.

The level of production of documents from Kavanaugh’s White House days, both in the counsel’s office and as Bush’s staff secretary, has been a central point of attack for Democrats jousting with the White House and Republicans over Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee. Demands for documents from Kavanaugh’s staff secretary service have been rejected by Republicans.

Justice Elena Kagan was the last Supreme Court nominee to have served in a White House. Christopher Kang, deputy counsel under President Barack Obama, told The Washington Post that Obama did not invoke privilege on any documents involving her work.

“Republicans know this has been the least transparent SCOTUS process in history,” Schumer tweeted, “and the hearings should be delayed until we can fully review Judge Kavanaugh’s records.”

Foy said that the volume of documents turned over dwarfs “the total Executive Branch material for the last five confirmed nominees combined.”

The hearings are expected to last four days, so staffers and members will have more than a few hours to review the documents before any vote is taken on sending the nomination to the full Senate.

Madonna At 60: Don’t Write Her Off As An 80s Nostalgia Act, She Never Stopped Causing A Commotion Long may she reign.

With the Queen of Pop now celebrating her 60th birthday, it’s inevitable that we’re going to hear a lot about Madonna’s impact both in popular culture and beyond, as fans and voices in the media reflect on her career.

There’ll be memories shared about her early days on the music scene, the initial controversies she stirred up in the 1980s and the way she handled the global fame she was met with as soon as she debuted on MTV.

Similarly, there’ll be discussions about the ways she provocatively mixed themes of sexuality and religion, her boundary-pushing imagery in the early 1990s and how she opened the door for the current crop of female musicians to be more open and candid about their own sexualities.

Then, the more “serious” chat will come, as Madonna’s more critically-acclaimed works like ‘Ray Of Light’ and ‘American Life’ are picked apart, with modern critics keen to highlight how “slept on” and “underrated” the albums are, despite both of them getting a near-unanimous positive response upon their releases

And that’s where the retrospectives will stop. Because to a disappointingly large percentage of people, Madonna’s legacy stops shortly after the turn of the millennium, even though the woman herself has never stopped writing, recording or producing music, making cultural impact and moulding the global conversation in the process.

But don’t let this disappointing ageism – the type of which Madonna has borne the brunt of for around 15 years now – stand in the way of the truth, which is that Madonna’s latter-day offerings are every bit as important in revealing who she is as an artist, and a woman, than anything else she’s done in her career.

Take, for example, 2008’s ‘Hard Candy’, which celebrated its 10th anniversary earlier this year. This is the album that’s often seen as the moment Madonna stopped setting trends and began chasing them, and there’s certainly no denying that the stamp of producers Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams and Timbaland is all over this release. But there’s also a lot there that’s quintessentially Madonna (and we don’t just mean the rhyming of “waiting” and “hesitating” on ‘4 Minutes’).

Before you’ve even heard a note of ‘Hard Candy’, you’re greeted with the image of the album artwork, showing Madonna in a leather-look leotard, legs spread, tongue exposed as she poses in a boxing championship belt in front of a candy-print backdrop.

The woman herself would tell you that this photo is about the “juxtaposition of hardness and sweetness” but, of course, the true message was clear – the Madonna of ‘Erotica’ and ‘Justify My Love’ and ‘Human Nature’ is still very much alive and well, and that won’t be changing just because she’s on the cusp of a new decade.

WARNER BROS
‘Hard Candy’

This is even more obvious when opening track ‘Candy Shop’ starts up, kicking off with the lines, “say which flavour you like and I’ll have it for you, come on into my store I’ve got candy galore”, and trust us, there’s plenty more where that came from.

“Don’t pretend you’re not hungry there’s plenty to eat”, she sings in the second verse, alongside lyrics like “you’ll be begging for more”, “my sugar is raw, sticky and sweet” and “I’ve got Turkish delight, baby, and so much more” (yeah, we’re still a bit confused by that last one a decade later, to be honest).

While she never mentions her age directly, Madonna has always been the master of showing and not telling, and her defiant message remains clear.

This is made more explicit (though, admittedly, with regards to her dancing abilities than her sexuality) on tracks like ‘Give It 2 Me’ and ‘Heartbeat’. Both songs are chock-full of references to her endurance and persistence, and while she’s using the thinly-veiled metaphor of the club to get her point across, it’s not hard to imagine what she really means when she sings: “Don’t stop me now, don’t need to catch my breath, I can go on and on and on. When the lights go down and there’s no one left I can go on and on and on.”

NICOLAS KHAYAT/ENIGMA/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK
Madonna on the second leg of her ‘Sticky & Sweet’ tour in 2009

Four years later, Madonna was in a rather different position when she released follow-up album ‘MDNA’. Having split from ex-husband Guy Ritchie, her relevancy was being called into question thanks to the meteoric rise of Lady Gaga, while fans were growing concerned when reports suggested she’d been focussing more heavily on her critically-panned film, ‘W.E.’ than her new studio album.

Despite this, the ‘MDNA’ album campaign got off to a flying start, thanks in no small part to Madonna’s Super Bowl Halftime show, which at that time was the most-watched in history (pulling in more viewers than the game itself, not bad for a singer people had been saying was “past her best” for around a decade at that point) and serving to many as a reminder of what an incredible performance she is capable of delivering.

As for the album itself, ‘MDNA’ is Madonna’s most candid and confessional album since ‘Like A Prayer’ and ‘Ray Of Light’. She both lampoons her ex-husband on the furious ‘I Don’t Give A’ (which features a line from then-rapper-du-jour Nicki Minaj assuring listeners that “there’s only one queen, and that’s Madonna, bitch”), but also takes her share of the blame for their break-up on the more pensive and reflective ‘I Fucked Up’ and ‘Best Friend’.

‘MDNA’ also features some of the more experimental tracks from Madonna’s recent back catalogue, from the swirling beats of ‘I’m Addicted’ and the deeply intense ‘Gang Bang’ to the melancholic ballads ‘Falling Free’ and ‘Masterpiece’, the latter of which bagged her a Golden Globe.

And even though single ‘Girl Gone Wild’ isn’t exactly her most innovative track musically, its accompanying sexually-charged music video sparked the same type of conversation that Madonna has always been at the centre of.

While her detractors passed judgement on her choice to still use imagery so unapologetically sexual in her music videos (despite this having been the case for almost her entire career), and her supporters pointing out that she was being deliberately subversive and making interesting points about gender and sexuality.

KEVIN MAZUR VIA GETTY IMAGES
Madonna in 2012, on the ‘MDNA’ tour

However, of the material released in the last 10 years, it’s 2015’s ‘Rebel Heart’ that best represents Madonna as an artist. At 19 tracks, it’s undeniably a little on the lengthy side, but this also allows us to see more sides than ever of a woman that has been in the spotlight for more than 30 years, but has always kept herself at arms’ length from her listeners.

It’s business as usual on opening track ‘Living For Love’, in which a hopeful Madonna insists she won’t let a break-up get her down over the top of a joyous dance beat, including a full gospel choir. Of course, the song took on a new meaning altogether at the 2015 Brit Awards, when the singer fell down a staircase during her show-closing performance, a moment the critics had their fun with, but ultimately proved what a professional Madonna is and always has been, “carrying on” as the song’s hook suggests and making it to the end of the performance triumphantly.

There’s more empowering self-assertion on tracks like ‘Iconic’, which opens with a bravado-heavy monologue from Mike Tyson, and the single ‘Bitch I’m Madonna’, featuring yet another guest rap from Nicki Minaj, who bigs up the Queen of Pop by using her name as an adjective to describe anything becoming of a boss.

RUNE HELLESTAD – CORBIS VIA GETTY IMAGES
Madonna’s performance of ‘Living For Love’ at the 2015 Brit Awards made headlines for all the wrong reasons

But while half the strength of ‘Rebel Heart’ is its reliance on the tropes that have made, and kept, Madonna a star all these years (the mix of sexuality and religion on ‘Holy Water’, the double meanings in ‘Body Shop’, the outright shamelessness of ‘S.E.X.’), the album shines most when Madonna is at her most vulnerable.

The star’s most celebrated works, ‘Ray Of Light’, ‘Like A Prayer’ and even ‘American Life’ have all been so popular because they allow us to hear Madonna singing about what really matters to her, the death of her mother, the end of her personal relationships and her fears for the world around her.

In between the aforementioned ‘Bitch I’m Madonna’ and ‘Iconic’, ‘Rebel Heart’ allows us a glimpse of Madonna’s approach to her public persona and celebrity status on ‘Joan Of Arc’, where the singer admits she’s not always as tough as she appears.

“Each time they write a hateful word, dragging my soul into the dirt,” she sings, “I wanna die, I never admit it, but it hurts.”

Similarly, title track ‘Rebel Heart’ sees Madonna taking stock of her career in a way we’ve never heard before, looking back on the decisions that led her to where she is and admitting she “barely made out alive”.

ZAK KACZMAREK VIA GETTY IMAGES
Madonna leads a troupe of scantily-dressed nuns on the ‘Rebel Heart’ tour in 2016

It’s very easy, as Madonna reaches yet another age milestone, to write her off because she’s no longer setting the agenda musically, but to do so is doing one of the most exciting and significant stars of our time a disservice.

If people would be more open-minded, they’d see that in the last 10 years Madonna has continued to do what she’s always done: pushing the boundaries, breaking taboos and generally causing a commotion in the way that only she can.

And with a new album currently slated for later this year, which she recently revealed had been heavily inspired by her life in Lisbon, it doesn’t sound like she has plans to keep her head down as she enters her sixth decade.

Long may she reign.

By Daniel Welsh

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