Cool factor? Have you noticed that it has become de rigeur for Hollywood homosexuals to formally announce their sexual habits? Just this week, we saw 19-year-old Lucas Cruikshank, a star on the Nickelodeon network, say he’s gay. He made the announcement on YouTube, and it’s been getting coverage on the entertainment sites. Former Prison Break star Wentworth Miller also announced he’s gay, and that’s why he turned down an invitation to attend a film festival in Russia. These announcements are heartbreaking for a number of reasons. In the case of young Cruikshank, it’s a personal tragedy. What happens if he discovers at some point in the future that at 19 he was not a fully mature adult? This judgment about himself, and this announcement now made to millions, will be tough to undo. It’s also a tragedy for the millions of young fans of Nickelodeon who regard Lucas as someone to be admired and imitated, when in fact he is whitewashing a “happy face” on a tragic and destructive way of life. In Wentworth Miller’s case, he is using his homosexuality to make a political statement. He’s used his homosexuality as an excuse for refusing an invitation to the St. Petersburg International Film Festival because Russia recently passed new laws that prevent the public promotion of homosexuality. These items cause me to ask: Is this part of an intentional strategy on the part of the homosexual rights movement, or have such announcements just become cool in Hollywood?
A good start. One of the positive outcomes of sequestration has been the limit it placed on the country’s failed Head Start program. This program costs taxpayers billions of dollars every year, and the best research suggests it provides no lasting positive outcomes in the lives of children. It does, however, fund a bloated bureaucracy, and those who benefit financially from that bureaucracy—and their mainstream media mouthpieces—are howling. A Bloomberg story, for example, says sequestration “is throwing poor children out” of Head Start. It is true that Head Start’s budget went down by $400 million because of sequestration, and that will mean the elimination of 60,000 spots, but it’s not clear to many observers that this is a bad thing. I might have re-written the Bloomberg article thusly: Sequestration is protecting at least 60,000 poor children from the harmful effects of a failed government program.
Rupee-stitious. Because I cover business, the markets, and the economy for WORLD and our sister radio program The World and Everything In It, I often hear explanations as to why stocks, bonds, and currencies move up or down. But here’s an explanation I’ve never heard before: The slide in the Indian rupee to record lows against the dollar this week has been blamed on an “inauspicious day.” According to reports in the Indian press and CNBC, “experts on vastu shastra, an ancient Indian practice similar to feng shui, [say] the new symbol for the rupee was launched on an inauspicious day for the stars and the horizontal lines across the symbol appear to ‘slit the throat’ of the currency.” Whatever the cause, the rupee hit a record low on Thursday of 65.56 per dollar and is down about 17 percent this year. A more likely explanation is outflow of cash from emerging markets such as India as investors anticipate an unwinding of U.S. monetary stimulus.
Misunderstood? Russian pole vault great Yelena Isinbayeva, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was widely quoted last week as supporting Russia’s new anti-gay law. The law makes it a crime in Russia to publicly encourage homosexual behavior and has become an international sports story because Moscow is scheduled to host the next Olympic Games. Some homosexual activists have encouraged a boycott. Other pro-homosexual pundits oppose a boycott, saying openly homosexual athletes should simply go and compete and speak their minds and dare the Russians to do anything about it. Isinbayeva endured a barrage of criticism for her comments in favor of the Russian law. She later said, “English is not my first language and I think I may have been misunderstood when I spoke. What I wanted to say was that people should respect the laws of other countries particularly when they are guests.” Agreed, and I admire Isinbayeva for not completely retracting her original statement, though there’s no question that this new statement is a bit softer. My question: Was she really misunderstood or intimidated into softening her position? It’s worth noting that while pole vaulting may not be a major sport here in the U.S., Isinbayeva is a sports icon in Russia. She has been a national sports figure for at least a decade there, and has several high-profile endorsement deals in Russia, so it’s possible money played a role in her decision to walk back from her controversial position.