Thursday, May 31, 2012

President Obama Marks Jewish American Heritage Month

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama celebrated the values of communities petitioning government at a White House reception honoring Jewish American Heritage Month.
"We don’t just celebrate all that American Jews have done for our country; we also look toward the future," he said.  "And as we do, I know that those of you in this room, but folks all across this country will continue to help perfect our union; and for that, I am extraordinarily grateful."
Obama focused a large portion of his remarks on the 150th anniversary of an order that was issued by General Ulysses Grant, which expelled Jews “as a class” from the military department of Tennessee.
“It was wrong.  Even if it was 1862, even if official acts of anti-Semitism were all too common around the world, it was wrong and indicative of an ugly strain of thought,” Obama said.
He went on to note that American Jews protested the order.
"What happened next could have only taken place in America," he said. "Groups of American Jews protested General Grant’s decision."
He described how a Jewish merchant from Kentucky who met with President Abraham Lincoln and following the meeting, the order was revoked.
"Like so many groups, Jews have had to fight for their piece of the American dream," Obama said. "But this country holds a special promise:  that if we stand up for the traditions we believe in and in the values we share, then our wrongs can be made right; our union can be made more perfect and our world can be repaired."
The order by Lincoln to revoke the order was on display during the reception, as were letters from two Jewish groups asking for the revocation.  
Years later as president, Grant stated that he recognized his mistake and apologized for the order. Also on display was a receipt for his contribution to the Adas Israel congregation -- which still exists -- after attending an 1876 service.
The president opened his remarks by thanking Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren for “his work representing our great friend, the state of Israel” before emphasizing the significance of the U.S. commitment to Israel.
 “Beyond our borders, we have to stand alongside our friends who share our commitment to freedom and democracy and universal rights; and that includes, of course, our unwavering commitment to the State of Israel and its security and the pursuit of a just and lasting peace,” Obama said in his remarks.
A number of Jewish members of Congress were present at the reception, including Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Berman (D-Calif.), Shelley Berkley (D-N.V.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Susan Davis (D-Calif.), Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.),  Sander Levin (D-Mich.), Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.).

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Drag star, Willam Belli, showcases Boy Butter H20 in his latest performance

Willam Belli, the real winner of Ru Paul's Drag Race Season 4 (BEST SEASON EVER!), performs the song, "Slow Hand" by The Pointer Sisters on May 14th 2012's SHOWGIRLS, the weekly Monday night Drag-stravaganza at Micky's in West Hollywood. No need for Willam to Ru- Pauligize for looking this good in an assess skirt. She definitely is displaying plenty of Charisma Uniqueness Nerve and Talent waving around the Boy Butter H20 and a rubber fist on stage.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Israel’s gay baby boom

Israel at forefront of the next revolution in same-sex family life.

There is a true revolution in same-sex parenthood underway in Israel. A series of ground-breaking legal achievements, led by New Family and other actors over a decade, have practically equated the parenting rights of same-sex couples to heterosexual couples, triggering a dramatic transformation of the legal and social reality in Israel.

Since the cancellation of the clause forbidding homosexual relations in Israel’s Penal Code in 1988, the courts and the attorney-general have liberally interpreted the law to equate the rights of same-sex spouses to those of heterosexuals.

The courts tend not to discriminate against gay couples in cases they hear, though this is strictly legal interpretation and no legal protections are enshrined in legislation. Legal precedents for the rights of same-sex couples in finance, employment, inheritance and military service have been stepping stones toward family equality in Israel.

Two ground-breaking legal precedents in adoption for same-sex couples paved the way for the revolution in same-sex parenting. In 2000, the High Court of Justice accepted the petition of Ruti and Nicole Berner-Kadish, and ordered the Interior Ministry to register both women as parents of the biological son of one of the partners, who had been legally adopted by the other partner in the US.

Read the original article from Jpost

Friday, May 18, 2012

Encountering Ancient Rome in LA: The Getty Villa

By Eyal Feldman
     Have you thought about what it would be like to travel back in time 2000 years to walk inside an authentic luxurious Roman villa, perched upon a beautiful hillside with a stunning ocean view? Well, look no further than the Getty Villa located in Pacific Palisades of Los Angeles, California. The villa is a one of a kind reproduction of a first century Roman villa, based upon the real Villa dei Papyri in Herculaneum, which was buried under one hundred feet of volcanic ash due to the infamous eruption of Mount Vesuvious in 79 CE. It was perfectly preserved and then discovered 1600 years later in 1750 CE, during a time of Renaissance, when people would discover the works of the classical pagan world. 
     The Villa was originally built by twentieth century oil-magnate & billionaire, J. Paul Getty to house his expansive arts and antiquities collections back in 1976. When it first opened the ground floor housed the antiquities while the upper floor was home to various paintings and French decorative art which are now housed at the main Getty Museum in nearby Brentwood, another great place to visit while soaking up the world class culture that Los Angeles has to offer. Since the museum's remodeling and reopening in 2006, all of the it's contents are of ancient Greek, Roman and Etruscan artifacts spanning from 500 BCE to 400 CE with items such as marble and bronze statuary, jewelry, tombstones, a mummy and funerary masks, pottery, coins, and various glassware.

    These rare exhibits portray a sampling of what life was like for the upper classes of the 1st century, how they lived,  loved, and worshiped. The Villa's architecture, layout and collections are wonderful, but to me the real jewel is the Villa itself, with its many beautiful gardens, pools and fountains. It even has a paved road exactly as was the 50,000 odd miles of paved road that connected ancient Rome. The verdant landscaping on this sprawling 64 acre estate are accurate recreations of what actual ancient Roman gardens contained and they grow well in the mediterranean climate of Southern California. At the herb garden you can enjoy the sights and smells of fruit trees, grapevines, various herbs, and vegetables, which would have been grown in a typical ancient Roman household garden.

    You will love the perfect symmetry of the architecture and of the tromphe l'oeil paintings that adorn the walls. Since the Villa is situated up and away from any roads, the silence is broken only by sweet birdsong and ocean breezes through the trees. This is a very peaceful place with so much to explore, just make sure to take advantage of the guided Garden and Archetecture tours of the Villa and it's grounds. Each of the tours are 45 minutes long and are a great way to explore and learn about the fascinating culture of the ancients. A few helpful tips are reserving your entrance tickets online at the Getty Villa website the day before your visit and print out and bring the tickets to be scanned when entering the museum property. The entrance fee is totally free for everyone, although parking is $15 for the day (totally worth it) and there is a nice cafe to eat and sip coffee and a museum gift shop to buy a little memento.  So get over to Los Angeles because it is always fun and at the Getty Villa you can travel back in time to lose yourself just drinking in the beauty of the ancient world.
My bf looking cute in the inner peristyle 
Enthroned Zeus, King of the Greek gods
Authentic decorated walls, ceilings and columns of the outer peristyle
Hercules with Namean lion and club
A funerary mask for a second century woman

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The End of the Jewish Left

Political theorist Michael Walzer and others argue about the death of the century-long Jewish-Leftist alliance

“Why so many alte kockers? Where is the rising generation?” The grumbler sitting behind me at the conference on “Jews and the Left,” sponsored by YIVO last week at the Center for Jewish History in New York, was not exactly being fair. Any academic conference will attract an older-skewing audience, and for all the gray hair in the seats and on the dais, the YIVO conference did have its share of eager young attendees.
Behind the complaint, however, it was possible to hear a larger, more painful question. For the first two-thirds of the 20th century, from the first immigrant generation through the baby boom, the radical and revolutionary left played a hugely important role in defining how the rest of America saw Jews and how Jews saw themselves. From Mike Gold’s proletarian novel Jews Without Moneyall the way down to Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, the literature and mythology of American Jewish radicalism has often appeared identical—to a certain audience—with Judaism itself. Even now there are people who revel in bygone lore about the Forverts and the Freiheit, Jay Lovestone and Max Shachtman. But living heirs to that tradition can be hard to find. Somewhat plaintively, my neighbor at the conference—like many of the participants—seemed to be asking, Is there still such a thing as a Jewish left? And if not, ought we to regret it?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Opening up the Boy Butter Beach house for summer 2012

The Boy Butter flag waves
A harmless Boy Butter poster on Fire Island Blvd.
What kind of sick pervert put this poster up on the community bulletin board?
Fire Island fauna
Relaxation with a view
A view from above

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Guess who is mentioned in the new SAGE Matters Newsletter?

The SAGE Center for LGBT Older Adults (and Cyber Center) 
Weekday Dinner Service for People 60+
Monday-Friday 5pm to 6:30 pm
305 7th Avenue, 15th Floor (Cross-streets 27th & 28th)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Check out my sister, Donna Feldman, uber-glam red carpet hostess at Britweek 2012 in Beverly Hills

      Donna Feldman of, Hollywood's hottest super-model red carpet hostess is giving us real good red carpet interviews with Kelly Osbourne, Piers Morgan, and best selling author Jackie Collins. Donna is reporting from The Britweek 2012 Gala in Beverly Hills is in honor of Piers Morgan, who seems to be keen on feeding her some mushy pees (gross)!

Britweek 2012 Gala in Beverly Hills in honor of Piers Morgan

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Listen to my radio interview about the 'Sirius Boy Butter Problem' only on The Steve Yuhas Show

Listen to my May 6th, 2012 interview on the Steve Yuhas Show, San Diego's KOGO Radio 600 AM about the current Opie and Anthony vs. Boy Butter on Sirius/XM drama. My interview starts right away on the first segment at minute two.
         Click here to Listen

Friday, May 4, 2012

Do Opie and Anthony have a 'SIRIUS' problem with gays?

    The old adage if it walks like a duck might apply in my case, but I leave it to you to decide if I was the target of anti-gay discrimination? Just a few short weeks ago my product, Boy Butter Lubricants, was singled out in a very public way on Sirius/XM Satellite radio's Opie and Anthony Show. After having been a loyal and longtime sponsor for several shows on several channels for the better part of a year, a public shaming of Boy Butter, a product I created years ago for people's private lives, was broadcast throughout North America from Hawaii to the Big Apple and from Key West to the North Pole.  The one minute long Boy Butter ad has been sponsoring segments on Howard Stern, Derek and Romaine, The Dr. Berman Show, Ben and Dave’s Six Pack and until recently, Opie and Anthony.  

This nefarious incident unfolded after a stranger, an Opie and Anthony listener, recognized me (wearing a Boy Butter shirt) and he informed me that he heard a negative conversation that took place on the air during an Opie and Anthony segment sponsored by my product. This person was a stranger and unknown to me and since I did not hear the remarks they slipped my mind and I thought him confused or taking them out of context, as often happens. That didn’t sound like Opie and Anthony, the same infamous hosts who sent couples to have sex in St. Patrick's Cathedral as a radio contest stunt, so and I easily brushed it off as gossip.  
However the following day I was informed by my adverstising representative for Sirius/XM that Boy Butter was no longer welcome to sponsor Opie and Anthony. After a brief conversation with him I easily pulled up the youtube clip of the offensive segment in question (embedded at the top of this post) that I paid for with my advertising. The hosts not only bashed my product but for close to fifteen minutes began to pick me apart, Boy Butter Lubricants, Hedda Lettuce (drag queen icon associated with Boy Butter), and probably many other gays that I am sure felt weird hearing this juvenile conversation take place on the radio.

The conversation was mostly Opie and Anthony complaining that they wanted my product off of their list of sponsors in exchange for a more apt beer commercial. Not only did they want a beer commercial, but they didn’t care if they, “blew up the Boy Butter sponsorship.”  I am an advertiser of a product that is no different than any other advertised on their program, in fact, Adam & Eve (an adult novelty retailer that sells Boy Butter) is still advertising on their program and the only thing that distinguishes the two of us is that Boy Butter is presumably “too gay” for them. They proceeded to spend an entire segment bashing my product, using an effeminate voice to deride and insult the very product which was helping pay for that very segment.  

Opie and Anthony bill their show as being "edgy and uncensored" except they chose to take a product that was helping pay the bills and not only ridicule it, but the person behind the brand and maybe gay people in general with their senseless seventh grade “humor.” They then censored me by banning my sponsorship from that point forward and refused to return my calls and emails to get a simple explanation. It would be awesome to have the opportunity to go on Opie and Anthony to defend myself and present a rebuttal, since they had attacked my product unfairly in a most unprofessional manner. They owe me a public apology and a proper explanation, devoid of stereotypical gay lisps, for why this issue ever came up in the first place. It would be one thing if this was a show of religious conviction or one that did not have a history of sexualized advertising (i.e., Adam & Eve) – I’m keenly aware that advertising needs to be targeted at an audience that is best suited to receive but my ads were no different than Adam Eve, except my product is apparently for people with lisps. This is the perfect example of this endemic trend of bullying gay people cause it is the last acceptable discriminatory practice. 
       Listen to the segment and tell me what you think.  Am I overreacting or do Opie and Anthony owe me the courtesy of explaining their objection to my product and to gay people for their quarter-hour rant against Boy Butter and me simply because they can't get a beer commercial?

Please listen live this Sunday May 6th at (6:05 pm Pacific - 9:05 pm Eastern) for a discussion with me on San Diego's best talk radio show, KOGO 600 am Radio: The Steve Yuhas Show.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hiking through the Upper Las Virgenes Open Space Preserve

         At the west end of the San Fernando Valley running into Calabasas, there is a huge nature preserve that is covered in awesome, sprawling, hill rolling nature trails. Although the landscape is typical California chapparal, it is fascinating to see the differences through the seasons. In winter it is brown, dry and like a haunted martian landscape. In spring it comes alive with color and new growth.
        There are many Los Angeles hiking trails running through the huge area. Our usual spot to start out is at the end of Victory Blvd (take the 101 to Valley Circle north and then turn left at Victory). This "Victory Trailhead" has a parking lot (please pay the few dollars for parking to help support the protection of the park!) and you can head out in several directions and literally hike for days if you wanted to. Its gigantic! There are other trail heads at the southern end of the preserve, along Mureau Rd, Lost Hills Rd and Chesebro Rd., as well.    
                                               Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, 
my thoughts begin to flow.  ~Henry David Thoreau

Victory Trailhead sights
Picnic delight
The path uphill
Flora and fauna
Turn in the trail 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Donna Feldman's Birthday Bash in LA

       Super fabulous and ultra chic, Donna Feldman had a birthday bash in Studio City, CA this past weekend and it was off the hook. Now a lady never reveals her true age so lets just say Donna can legally buy liquor and car insurance in any state in this great ol' USA. With her family and friends by her side, Donna was able to celebrate yet one more revolution around the sun looking as gorgeous as ever. We snapped some cool shots at the party and as is evident we were all dressed to impress and party hardy till it got tardy, mazel tov!
My parents (Amos and Esther) and myself right before we left for Donna's party.
Me, Donna and Brendan McGovern
Donna and best friend Jackie, lives of the party.
Great shot of the Feldman family, love, love, love.