Obama gained enough delegates to cinch the party nomination. Hillary Clinton, while not quite conceding the race ("I'll make no decisions tonight") has made known her "being open" to the idea of being Obama's running mate. How likely that is remains to be seen, although both front-runners have been friendlier to each other in recent months.
So....despite all the recent baggage regarding Obama's personal beliefs (Rev. Wright, et.al.,) the country's Democrats have made their decision and gone for the charasmatic, but inexperienced candidate.
Amazing. So, the age-old question about whether a black man or a white woman would be the first "minority" to break the political glass ceiling and possibly enter the White House as President has just taken a huge leap forward. But no one will soon forget that it was close. Miiiiiighty close.
R.I.P. Bo Diddley, 79
'50s rock-n-roll pioneer, Bo Diddley has left our plane of existence. Known for his home-made square guitar, dark glasses and black hat, his infectious groove on such hits as his first called, coincidentally enough, "Bo Diddley", introduced the bomp-a, bomp bomp....bomp bomp he referred to as his "shave and a haircut" riff. The B-side, "I'm a Man", parodied macho pride and also became a rock standard.
Born as Ellas Bates, he said in a 1999 interview that he picked up the nickname "Bo Diddley" in grade school. Rock historians believe a possible source for the name is a one-string instrument used in traditional blues music called a diddley bow.
Diddley's other major songs include "Say Man," "You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover," "Shave and a Haircut," "Uncle John," "Who Do You Love?" and "The Mule." Buddy Holly borrowed the bomp ba-bomp bomp, bomp bomp rhythm for his song "Not Fade Away."
Like Chuck Berry, who also recorded for Chess Records, Bo Diddley was among the last of his kind who could say they truly helped shape rock music (and, like Chuck, felt he had to fight for financial compensation). His influence on music was compelling enough to earn induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he had a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, and received a lifetime achievement award in 1999 at the Grammy Awards. In recent years he also played for the elder President Bush and President Clinton.
Ballyhoed Alien Video a Flop, IMHO
Toward the end of May, this promoter, Jeff Peckman, comes forward to say he's got the most astonishing home video of a real-life alien ever seen. It was footage shot by a man named Stan Romanek in 2003 when he lived in Nebraska and thought he was going to catch reported peeping Toms. (He now lives in Colorado where the press conference was held. I guess they have fewer peeping Tom/aliens.)
Nobody was allowed to have a copy of the video, only view it at the press conference (clue number one), and then were told that it's part of a documentary Peckman's making on aliens (clue number two). Peckman's also trying to form an extraterrestrial commission in Denver (clue number three).
I claimed on the message board I saw the video on YouTube, but now I think what I saw was a recreation put together by naysayers to repudiate Peckman's declaration that the video would be too expensive and complicated to fake. However, that video is supposed to bear a close resemblance to the Romanek version and cost $90 and a few hours to stage.
The "official still" taken from the original video and handed to reporters is simply unimpressive. I'm afraid the search for ET is still on, folks.
Tampa Confederate Flag Monument Draws Criticism
As one drives south into Hillborough County, at the crossroads where I-4 meets I-75 North, one will see a 139-foot flagpole atop which sits the Confederate Flag. It is a huge flag at 50 feet by 30 feet and quite hard to miss (which is the point). It is part of a monument to the pre-Civil War Confederacy and is the brainchild of Marion Lambert, himself a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
As one might surmise, it is drawing quite a reaction.
Mr. Lambert spent several years and much of his own money acquiring the land and permits to erect his monument, so it sits on private land. However, for someone new to this area, it might look for all the world like a county project, and as such, could be misconstrued as a public works emblem.
I know Marion Lambert personally and I believe he simply wants to draw attention to falacies in the traditionally-accepted version of Civil War history (which are numerous). Unfortunately, the county seat is afraid the "message" being sent out to tourists is likely one of recalling racial oppression from earlier times and is likely to connote a negative image of the area. Other critics have said there are subtler and less divisive ways that Confederate veterans could be honored. (The NAACP is predictably extremely concerned about the flag and have objected to its continued display.)
Commissioner Rose Ferlita is bringing up the topic of the flag at the next hearing and seeing if there are zoning variances that can impact the flag's presence.