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Franklin bifocals Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Composer Carl Maria von Weber
[1786 - Carl Maria von Weber, composer,
born in Eutin, Holstein]

Inventor Louis Daguerre
[1787 - Louis (Jacques-Mande) Daguerre, artist, chemist,
inventor, born in Cormeilles-en-Parisis, Val-d'Oise, France]

Librettist Sir William Gilbert
[1836 - Sir William Schwenck Gilbert,
operetta librettist, poet,
born in London]

Coloratura Amelita Galli-Curci
[1882 - Amelita Galli-Curci, opera singer
(coloratura soprano), born in Milan, Italy]

Conductor Eugene Ormandy
[1899 - Eugene Ormandy (Jeno Blau), conductor, born in Budapest, Hungary]

Pollster Dr. George Gallup
[1901 - George (Horace) Gallup, pollster,
born in Jefferson, Iowa]

Comedienne Imogene Coca    Comedienne Imogene Coca
[1908 - Imogene Coca, Emmy Award-winning comedienne, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]

Composer Johnny Mercer
[1909 - Johnny (John Herndon) Mercer, Academy Award-winning
composer, lyricist, born in Savannah, Georgia]

Astronaut Alan Shepard
[1923 - Alan Shepard, Jr., astronaut, born in Derry, New Hampshire]

Proposition Hate

As a transplanted Californian (My folks came west in the early days of WW II) I used to come to the defense of my adopted state. Recent events made me ashamed to call myself a Californian however. It was not just that we elected an action movie hero to run one of the ten largest economies on the planet. It wasn't even the annual spectacle of a dysfunctional legislature that cannot timely pass a state budget that had me so upset. It was this Proposition 8 thing that caused me to look for a break in the housing market so I could try to sell my place and move to a place that still believed in individual freedoms and equal justice under law.

The California Constitution used to be a source of pride for your humble servant, since it included even greater protection for some individual freedoms than did the federal Constitution. Then my fellow citizens of California amended their document to embed a definition of marriage favored by the Religious Right in the supreme law of the State. As a result, a disfavored minority is now denied equality of opportunity under law in California. What could we have been thinking of?

William's Whimsical Words:

The founders understood the danger posed by a tyranny of the majority, and designed a democratic government that would keep church and state in their separate legitimate parishes. The passage of Proposition 8 in California, and similar laws in other states, spits in the face of lady liberty.

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