Sunday, November 23, 2008

BARACK OBAMA, TED KENNEDY, RAFAEL NADAL, Neil Willenson, Mark Zuckerberg - 5 of 28 GQ MEN OF THE YEAR

Another list has been made. This one by GQ. I picked 5 to list here of the 28 that GQ put together. It's a diverse list.

Edward - Ted - Kennedy - Legend
is listed 10th of 28 of the GQ Men of the Year

WASHINGTON (AFP) — US liberal icon Edward Kennedy, who is battling brain cancer, was back at work in the Senate on Monday for the first time since July, vowing to fight for healthcare reform.

Kennedy, 76, showed up for work as the chamber opened for a "lame duck" session to discuss a raft of economic rescue measures.

"I am grateful for the prayers and good wishes I've received over the past several months," Kennedy said in a statement.

"They have certainly lifted my spirits, as has the election of Barack Obama as our 44th president."

Kennedy said he would lay the groundwork for one of his signature issues, healthcare reform, for when Obama takes office in January.

The Massachusetts senator, first elected in 1962, made a high profile endorsement of Obama during the primary campaign and gave an emotional address at the Democratic National Convention in August.

Kennedy underwent surgery for a malignant brain tumor in June after suffering a seizure. He made a brief appearance in the chamber in July.

He is the last surviving brother of the famed political dynasty which includes former president John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert F. Kennedy, a presidential candidate. Both were assassinated.


Watch the President-elect's Weekly Address

President-Elect Barack Obama gets a cover and is pictured 16 of 28 GQ's Men of the Year

Read why Ted Kennedy thinks Barack Obama is the man for the job:
Game Changer

As I write this, Barack Obama and John McCain have just completed their final debate, and the country is a few short days away from a historic election. Of course, I’m doing all that I can for my candidate. But whether he wins or loses, Barack Obama has ushered in a new era of American politics with a limitless vision of a better future that will endure for many years to come. Through his candidacy, Obama has provided a glimpse of a stronger, better, fairer America, where change comes from the bottom up, where we all come together to meet the great challenges of our time. He has inspired millions of new voters of all ages, races, and incomes to lend their voices for real change. For in this man, Americans can see not just the audacity but the possibility of hope for the country that is yet to be.

I had not planned to endorse anyone in the primaries. The Democratic candidates were my friends and colleagues—some for many years. I knew them well and could support any one of them enthusiastically as our party’s candidate for the White House. But I had to admit that one stood out. I had already come to know Barack as a Senate colleague who was gifted with a rare combination of talent and principle, vision, and a capacity to transcend divisions of party, ideology, and race. Once he announced his improbable campaign for the presidency, I listened as he spoke to the heart of America, and moved the young in spirit as well as age, by challenging us to think of something bigger than ourselves, something more powerful than the incremental politics of caution. I sensed a deep yearning in our people for the kind of person he is and the kind of president he will be: a fighter who cares passionately without demonizing those who differ, a leader who sees the world clearly without being cynical and shows the world the best of America, a president who will not shred the Constitution but uphold it.

As he moved from victory in those first snowy days in Iowa, to a setback in New Hampshire that revealed both his grit and his grace, to the intensity of South Carolina, I found myself stirred by the power, the poetry, and the authenticity of his call for change. I had not felt this way about a candidate since the 1960s. I talked with my wife, Vicki, my family, and a few close friends. I heard from my niece Caroline that wherever she traveled, people told her that the last leader who had inspired them in this way was President Kennedy. It was time again, I had decided, for “a new generation of leadership” and I could not stand aside.

I rejected the argument that he was too young, too inexperienced. I learned long ago that what counts most in our leadership is not years in Washington but reach of mind, strength of purpose, and that most essential quality of all—the judgment Barack Obama showed in opposing the Iraq war from the start as others pushed ahead or simply went along and then refused to admit they were wrong. I knew as I endorsed him that as president he would never commit young Americans in uniform to a mistake, but only to a mission worthy of their bravery and priceless service.

I also rejected the argument that Senator Obama was too cool, too steady. Those are qualities that can serve us well, even save us—in a Cuban Missile Crisis or an economic crisis. Nor could I accept the notion that the capacity to inspire a nation and a world—whether in John or Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., or Ronald Reagan—is just words. Their words, and Barack Obama’s, can be the great engine of change that transforms history itself.

That is what I saw when I enlisted in his campaign. I saw new hope for a way out of the economic wilderness and for a just and fair prosperity that rewards the many and not the few. New hope that this nation will at last lead the world to turn the tide of global warming and turn aside from an energy future that threatens the future itself. New hope that we will teach all our children well. New hope—and this is the cause of my life—that we will guarantee for every American quality affordable health care as a fundamental right and not as a privilege. New hope—and this is the great cause of America itself—that we shall overcome once and for all the setting of race against race, gender against gender, ethnic group against ethnic group, and straight against gay.

Win or lose, with the Obama candidacy the torch has been passed, and I hope I made a difference.

edward m. kennedy (d-mass) is currently serving his eighth term in the U.S. Senate.


Rafael Nadal made the GQ Men of the Year list also.

Rafael Nadal
Photo credits: L'oreal Paris

Being Rafa
Uploaded by mirsasha


25 of 28 is Neil Willenson...

Local Hero of the Year: Leave No Child Behind

In the early '90s, children with AIDS were shunned by fearful communities. Neil Willenson created a safe haven where they could enjoy a basic rite of childhood: summer camp. Fifteen years later, he's taking his mission global

by sarah goldstein


Photograph by Michael Edwards

In 1991, Neil Willenson was studying film at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and making plans to move to Hollywood. Then he crossed paths with a 5-year-old.

Sounds like a setup for a movie, yes. But this is really a setup for something larger.

That fall, Willenson had gone home for a weekend visit and heard about people in his old neighborhood outside Milwaukee trying to force an HIV-positive boy out of kindergarten. These were the days of Ryan White. Of Magic Johnson. Of communities being scared and ignorant about AIDS. The boy, Nile Sandeen, had contracted the disease at birth from his mother, who had been infected by her ex-husband.

"I didn’t have a plan,” Willenson says. “I called Nile’s mother. I figured I could help with child care. You know, be a friend.”

He soon became something more. When parents at the school tried to make Nile use a separate bathroom or eat with a plastic fork or sit alone on the bus, Willenson fought them. And when Nile wanted to play soccer, it was Willenson who made the call to a scared coach. “I could hear him shaking on the other end of the line.”

By the time graduation came around, Willenson was questioning his life. He ditched his Hollywood ambitions, took a job as a forklift operator at his father’s company in Mequon, and rechecked his priorities. “I couldn’t stop comparing my own youth to Nile’s,” he says. He decided to make a difference and set to work creating Camp Heartland, a summer camp for kids living with HIV/AIDS, a place where kids like Nile could be kids—and not endure the stares of fearful people. Willenson organized a grassroots fund-raising campaign and got Miller Brewing and Harley-Davidson to give grants. Within four months, he’d raised $60,000, enough to cover his costs for the first summer, 1993, and to support seventy-two kids, including Nile—who is now 22 and studying to be a minister in St. Paul.

“Camp Heartland was a feeling of normalcy in what was a very un-normal world,” says Nile, who nominated Willenson for this year’s Local Hero award.

Fifteen years later, the organization—recently renamed One Heartland—has an annual operating budget of $3.5 million and outposts in Minnesota and California. And this year, it began training people in AIDS-ravaged countries such as Uganda and supporting kindred organizations like Walking With Children, in Honduras, and the Living India orphanage, in Hyderabad.

The camp continues to be the center of Willenson’s life, and he says he cannot imagine doing anything else. Seven thousand kids are forever grateful. Most of all, perhaps, Nile: “Neil was a father figure to me. He changed my life.”

sarah goldstein is a gq editorial assistant.



Mark Zuckerberg

By Alex French

Mark Zuckerberg knows where you live, who your friends are, what your favorite album is—he even knows about last weekend’s one-night stand. And sometime soon, the 24-year-old Facebook creator is going to use all that knowledge to make billions. Don’t believe it? Silicon Valley sure does.

you can barely hear the hollers and applause over Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So” as Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, strolls onto the San Francisco Design Center’s stage. It’s July 23, 2008, and Zuckerberg is delivering the keynote for Facebook’s second annual f8 gathering, a conference for the software developers who have helped his site become the most popular social network in the world. The room is lit deep blue, like an aquarium. Pacing the stage in his brown hoodie and slouchy jeans, Zuckerberg looks like an ersatz Steve Jobs—turning at the shoulders as he greets his audience, talking with his hands,projecting a highly rehearsed gravitas. He begins by discussing his recent vacation, a trip that took him to Nepal, India, Turkey, and Tokyo—and to a moment of spiritual awakening. Facebook, he realized while dining at a café in Istanbul, shouldn’t just be a tool bringingpeople together. It should be “a product that allows you to really feel a person and understand what’s going on with them and feel present with them.… What we’re talking about is the most important and interesting information, which isn’t written down anywhere.… It’s only available if the people choose to share it.”
Read more:

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