Tuesday, July 22, 2014

In 2013 OPD told AKSARBENT it recovered 67% of stolen vehicles; the World-Herald says the cops haven't solved more than 20% of car thefts in 10 years

Here are screencaps of AKSARBENT's twitter conversation with OPD last year, in case the Omaha Police Department tweets accidentally get deleted...

     To reiterate: In February of 2013 the Omaha Police told us they "recovered" 67% of  stolen vehicles.
     Last Sunday, however, the Omaha World-Herald printed the following, based on data provided to it by the Omaha Police Department:
...Police solved 20 percent of all car thefts in 2004; last year that number was down to 12 percent. ...Omaha’s 12 percent clearance rate last year was on par with the national average. But it amounts to a major drop from a decade ago, when police handled a higher number of stolen car cases and solved more of them.

Monday, July 21, 2014

People for the American Way issues nine-page report debunking phony right-wing gay victimization narratives

The report is entitled The Persecution Complex: The Religious Right’s Deceptive Rallying Cry:
     The tales of horror keep pouring in: Two middle school girls are forced into a lesbian kiss as part of an anti-bullying program; an Air Force sergeant is fired because he opposes same-sex marriage; a high school track team is disqualified from a meet after an athlete thanks God for the team’s victory; a Veterans Affairs hospital bans Christmas cards with religious messages; a man fixing the lights in a Christmas tree falls victim to a wave of War-on-Christmas violence; an elementary school student is punished for praying over his school lunch; a little boy is forced to take a psychological evaluation after drawing a picture of Jesus.
     None of these stories is true. But each has become a stock tale for Religious Right broadcasters, activists, and in some cases elected officials... (Read more)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Critic Richard Corliss' tribute to one of Hollywood's good guys, James Garner, who died Saturday

Garner played it straight and insisted that others do so too. His departure from the TV show that made him famous, Maverick, happened after he sued Warner Bros. for breach of contract when they stopped paying him during a writers’ strike. He proved in court that the studio had been secretly stockpiling scripts.
     Garner did two stints as Doris Day's husband in Universal rom-coms (one, The Thrill of it All, delightfully eviscerated TV and advertising) and charmed America as Mariotte Hartley's partner in a very successful Polaroid TV ad campaign. (Polaroid initially wanted Paul Newman, but Newman refused to sign on to a morals clause in his contract unless Polaroid did too.)  From Time critic Richard Corliss' valentine:
As faithful in life as in his craft, Garner held true to the Democratic Party, for which he campaigned on behalf of civil rights and a greener Earth, and to his wife of 58 years, Lois Clarke.
   AKSARBENT suggests you toast Garner's life and work by watching him (and Julie Andrews) in The Americanization of Emily.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Maggie Gallagher on how the GOP can win: prices are too damn high!

Now that the residual genius of Gallagher's stint at the National Organization for Marriage is guiding that organization to victory after victory in state after state and court after court over the dark forces of marriage equality, she is free to advise the GOP on the errors of its ways.
     To whit: Voters don't mind the diminution of jobs in the USA due to increasing automation: what they really care about is declining purchasing power! 
     Of course! If only Mitt Romney had had Maggie's wisdom to draw on while he was running, he could have made a compaign ad of himself at a Piggly-Wiggly complaining about the price of coffee (well, milk) and voters would have connected with him, and the GOP would now be occupying the White House, happily running interference for the beleaguered 1% who now pay far too much for groceries because Obama.
     ...the GOP’s single biggest need is a clear narrative for why voters are experiencing broad and deep drops in their own families’ standard of living. Massive wage stagnation and climbing health-insurance costs combine with price increases in the things that consume middle- and working-class family budgets: groceries, gas, utilities. Main Street hurts while Obama’s Wall Street favorites feast on government guarantees.
     Calling Dems on their imagined pink-elephant threats to contraception, demanding respect for diversity (and nuns), and running ads calling the Democrats on their abortion extremism is the way to win the War for Women. That and beginning to name the pain that all families are feeling.
     It’s not “jobs” or “job creation” per se, it is the broad persistent decline in purchasing power that is weighing most heavily on voters’ minds. A good place to start would be describing that concern and explaining it, between now and November, and coming up with something that helps. It is our most urgent need.

Obama's humble tribute to AIDS researchers on flight MH17, killed by Ukranian separatists; how Russian proxies may already have concealed evidence

Obama's remarks were tacked on to the end of his statement about the downing of a Malaysian Airlines 777 yesterday.
     Let me close by making one additional comment. On board Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, there were apparently nearly 100 researchers and advocates traveling to an international conference in Australia dedicated to combating AIDS/HIV. These were men and women who had dedicated their own lives to saving the lives of others and they were taken from us in a senseless act of violence. In this world today, we shouldn’t forget that in the midst of conflict and killing, there are people like these -- people who are focused on what can be built rather than what can be destroyed; people who are focused on how they can help people that they’ve never met; people who define themselves not by what makes them different from other people but by the humanity that we hold in common. It’s important for us to lift them up and to affirm their lives. And it’s time for us to heed their example.
     Although other airlines avoided overflights of the strife-wracked Ukraine, Malaysian Airlines did not, courting the increased risk and danger to passengers in order to save money on fuel.
     The Ukrainian government has released a radio intercept of Russian separatists admitting that they shot down a civilian plane, and LiveLeak has the audio, with a link to a partial translation.
     Here is how Russia's proxies may already have destroyed evidence of complicity and or responsibility on their part:
     An assistant to the insurgency's military commander said Friday that rebels had recovered multiple devices from the wreckage and were considering what to do with them, raising fears they could be headed to Moscow. But Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia had no intention of getting hold of the boxes, and insurgent leader Aleksandr Borodai later contradicted his colleague and said the rebels don't have them anyway...
     Charles Heyman, editor of "Armed Forces of the EU," said missile casings could help establish who had supplied the weapons that brought down the plane. But he said it was likely that the rebels — if they fired the missile — would have removed any missile-casing debris from the scene.
     Heyman said the missile launcher would bear ID numbers that could establish whether it was recently supplied by Russia or came from Ukrainian forces.
     But he said if rebels mistakenly targeted a commercial airliner, thinking it was a Ukrainian military plane, they may have subsequently fled and taken the missile launcher into Russia.
     The Ukrainian Interior Ministry released video purporting to show exactly that: a truck carrying a Buk missile launcher with one of its four missiles apparently missing, rolling toward the Russian border. The ministry said the footage was captured by a police surveillance squad at dawn Friday. There was no way to independently verify that claim.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Buzzfeed's paean to a flatfoot

Several weeks ago, Towleroad discovered San Francisco's very popular Castro beat cop and now Buzzfeed has scoured the internet to come up with a couple dozen photos of Officer Friendly.


Weird Al Yankovic unleashes inner grammar scold in kinetic typography orgy set to Blurred Lines music

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Punter Kris Kluwe says Vikings' investigation of Mike Priefer confirms his accusations of homophobia; will sue because team won't release findings

Kluwe says he's not afraid of what the exhaustive inpdependent investigation might reveal about his own locker room hijinks.

KS revolt against Koch Bros.-backed Gov. Brownback; 100 prominent GOP pols to back Dem opponent; so will 25% of GOP voters

Politico reports:
     In a rare and surprising act of political defiance on Tuesday, more than 100 Republicans, including current and former officeholders, endorsed Brownback’s opponent, statehouse Democratic leader Paul Davis...
     Davis says Brownback’s hard-right agenda has damaged the state economy and undermined the spirit of compromise that had long prevailed in the state capitol.
     ...One of those GOP moderates is Steve Morris. As the president of the Kansas state Senate when Brownback was sworn into office in 2011, Morris battled with Brownback and conservatives in the statehouse, including over highly contentious tax reform legislation that has become a central issue in this year’s campaign. When Morris faced a conservative primary challenge in 2012, the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity, Kansas Right to Life and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce spent big to help his opponent pull off an upset against the GOP leader.
     ...A Survey USA poll last month showed the governor losing to Davis by six points, with one in four registered Republicans defecting to the Democratic ticket, as well as independents turning the Democrat’s way by 19 points.

Democrats go after Koch Bros. puppet, Joni Ernst, in Iowa Senate Race

Ernest and her allies are calling the $400,000 ad buy, by the Senate Majority PAC, a cheap shot because she is currently on National Guard duty.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said: "I believe Joni Ernst's service to our nation is honorable and praiseworthy, but clearly Bruce Braley and his liberal allies disagree. It is shameful that they would launch cheap political attacks against her while she is in uniform and unable to respond or defend herself."
     Both the Koch Bros.-funded astroturf group, Americans for Prosperity, and American Crossroads, the Karl Rove-founded group, are currently attacking Ernst's Democratic opponent, Bruce Braley, whose campaign responded via a statement from former Iowa State Senator Jack Kibbie, a veteran of the Korean War:
     "This political attack is hypocrisy at its worst. Joni Ernst’s campaign and her allies have been running attack ads against Bruce for days, and this week the spending disparity is more than 4 to 1," Kibbie said.
     He added that if McCain and the Ernst campaign are so concerned, they ought to suspend their own efforts and call on their allies to do the same.

Ian Thorpe on his swimsuit zipper malfunction at 2000 Olympics and a trash-talking American swimmer

The Daily Telegraph has published the entire transcript of Australian Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe's coming-out interview with Michael Parkinson.
     While a predictable amount of attention has been heaped on Thorpe's continued lying about his sexual orientation in the face of relentless hounding by the tabloid press, AKSARBENT found Thorpe's recounting of his 400 meter freestyle win and his role in Australia's 4x100 relay win riveting. Thorpe is Australia's most successful Olympian, having won 5 Gold, 3 Silver and 1 Bronze medals.

     Ian Thorpe: This was the Mens’ 4 by 100 relay. It was a race that the American team had never been beaten — ...in the entire history, no never been beaten and this was the cold war, where we have athletes and this was you know, a real battle! But for some reason, people in the streets started to think we could win! And we were 2 seconds behind or something in terms of where we were. But then the swim team started to believe that we could win, and then there’s about 6 of us looking around going ‘how are we going to do this?’. And so we’re all putting on that we believe that we can, but we just didn’t know how it would happen! And I was swimming down after receiving my gold medal for the 400m freestyle, I went to put on a swimsuit, it ripped!
     Michael Parkinson: How big a rip?
     Ian Thorpe: Oh completely, I ripped the zipper off it! Because I was trying to get it on and I didn’t have much time. And so we had 10-20 people trying to help me get it on which was not working and also someone on the radio mike saying, ‘he’s coming’. Because you have to check yourself off before you swim. And I’m not coming! I’m still getting it on and so I got rid of everyone, I had one person. And I’m like ‘Adam’, help me get this thing on, and I’m trying to get my wet swimsuit back on and pulling it up and still hearing it. I ran through, I saw and smiled at a lady who knew me from when I was a kid who ticked me off just in time.
     I ran out just behind the blocks just as Australia was announced and I put my hands up with the rest of the team. Everyone said, ‘where have you been?’, and I’m like, ‘we’ll just get on with this!’. And this race was electrifying. We had Michael Klim who led, he broke the World Record, as the lead-off so then we had distance in front of the Americans. Then it was followed by Chris Fydler who was one of the senior swimmers on our team. And Chris was the best sprintour in the team for a long time, a lot of experience.

     So we knew we’re always going to be faster the second lap of the race, and that we’d fight for each one of them. We knew what the American’s team’s strategy would be, the placement of athletes, whatever else, the same as they’ve always done it! And Chris Fydler had the swim of his life. Then it comes in to Ashley Callus who went into the pool but I can remember Michael Klim hitting me going, ‘what time did I do?’, I said it was the World Record. He said ‘yeah, but what time?’, and I said it’s the World Record that means no one’s gone faster than that before so whatever it was it’s your best time too.
     But we continued on, and I was watching Ashley. I’d just asked the guys, all I want is a lead. And Ashley came in, and I knew that their fingers were touching together, or close to it but I did have a lead. When I said a lead, I should have been more specific, to not an armstroke! I wanted body lengths. I was up again a swimmer called Gary Hold Jr, he’s quite an outspoken swimmer. He said that he’d smash the Australian team like guitars. He’s a nice guy by the way, but he said these stupid things...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

$22-million-a-year Tupelo, MS antigay hate group worried that rainbow wrappers for BK Whoppers may become available in Des Moines

A Burger King in San Francisco, earlier this year, created a special "Pride" Whopper which differed from a regular Whopper only in its rainbow-colored wrapping.
     This was enough of a hook to allow American Family Association's Bryan Fischer to troll BK and exploit the notoriety by claiming, on his Focal Point show, broadcast on hundreds of AFA low power radio stations, that his very prosperous organization might issue an "action alert," because if this sort of thing isn't stopped in San Francisco, “this kind of nonsense, then it's going to be spreading across the entire fruited plain and you're going to be going to your Burger King in Des Moines, Iowa and you're going to have a rainbow color wrapper for your Whopper."
     Fischer went on to predict that the product would be disastrous for Burger King because people do not want to have to think of two men having sex when they sit down to eat a hamburger because evidently that's what Bryan Fischer personally thinks when he sees a rainbow emblem.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Russian comedian crashed pitch during World Cup final, tried to kiss Benedikt Howedes

Via Russia Today:
Vitaly Zdorovet­skiy, who has about  1.5 million fans on Facebook and 200,000 followers on Twitter, could be seen blowing kisses at the crowd and running toward the players.
      The incident happened in the second half of the game at the Maracana Stadium, when the the two teams level at 0-0. Germany eventually won the match 1-0 in extra time.
      In the stunt, Zdorovetskiy removed his red T-shirt to reveal the words “natural born prankster” written in English on his chest. He made a beeline towards defender Benedikt Howedes, whom he tried to kiss. The shocked German looked rather nonplussed.
      However, around 1 billion TV viewers across the world were left in the dark about what had happened, as the host broadcaster immediately cut away to a picture of Christ the Redeemer set against the sunset. This is common when people invade pitches in order not to give them extra publicity and encourage more people to do the same.
      Zdorovetsky’s actions impressed NBA basketball superstar Lebron James, however, who immediately uploaded photos of Zdorovetsky running on to the field of play onto his Instagram account.
     Zdorovetskiy, who now lives in America, wrote "Natural Born Prankster" on his torso before his stunt, which ended when he was tackled and carried off the field by five "stewards" and arrested. Naturally he took a selfie from jail.
     Basketball star Lebron James took video of the incident and posted it on his Instagram account.

Unrelated, but funny: Keith Olbermann on David Letterman, quoting L.A. Times in 1978:
"Soccer is the sport of the future in America and always will be."

Iowa GOP spent $15,944 to fly Mike Huckabee to Des Moines for Bob Vander Plaats event hosted by Repubs

Politico, in a story about Fox News propagandist and man-of-the-people Mike Huckabee's penchant for private plane travel, reports that the Iowa GOP spent $15,944 to fly the former Arkansas governor to a Celebrate Life event at the Point of Grace Church in Waukee in February of 2013.
     Former Iowa GOP Chairman A.J. Spiker said that “may have been the only time” the Iowa Republican Party chartered a plane to bring in a politician.
     Tickets to the event were $10 (individual), $20 (family pass), $75 (Defender of Life Reception, including appetizers!), and $1000 (Huckabee Roundtable Private Briefing, limited to 15 people giving ticketholders the opportunity to sit and talk DIRECTLY to Mike!)
     Said Politico:
     Campaigns and political committees have paid the cost of Huckabee’s travel by cutting checks to one of two private companies linked to the politician-turned-TV-commentator: Blue Diamond Travel, a business registered at Huckabee’s Florida address, or the now-defunct MDH Group, an Arkansas entity named for the former governor’s initials.
     On 14 occasions, Huckabee’s political action committee has also directly paid for private air travel expenses, reporting $30,000 in disbursements to MDH Group for charter travel to “PAC events” and a dozen additional outlays to chartered air travel companies.

PayPal screws sex workers too—it seizes their money

PayPal's suburban Omaha
operations center in LaVista
From Vice.com:
      ...Activist and writer Maggie Mayhem had one such experience with Paypal.
      Back in 2010, she had used a Paypal button on her personal blog, collecting donations to fund a flight to Haiti for post-earthquake relief community service. After a month of successful fundraising, Paypal closed her account and froze the money.
      “It was the worst customer-service call ever,” Mayhem recounted. “They were distinctly rude to me. I was ready to break down in tears. They were a breath away from calling me a slut on the phone. It was very clear: ‘We don’t care about your business or your content.’”
      On her blog, Mayhem had written about her experiences performing in porn, but her volunteer work had nothing to do with her occupation. According to Mayhem, Paypal’s terms of service led them to conclude that the fact that she had done sex work was sufficient cause to deny her the money she had raised. Neither Mayhem nor her donors have been refunded.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Obama laughs, fistbumps Austin cashier after ribald gay comment

Commenters to FreeRepublic were outraged by this at first but quickly became distracted by a cat video some genius planted in the comments.
     Daniel Rugg Webb, a 32-year-old employee of Franklin Barbecue in Austin, told the Austin Chronicle that Thursday was his lucky day to be "register girl" and recounted waiting on Obama:
     As the president approached, Webb threw his hand down and slapped the counter dramatically. "Equal rights for gay people!"
     "Are you gay?" the president asked.
     "Only when I have sex."
     "That's when he laughed and said, 'Bump me,'" Webb says.
     (Just before the fistbump, Obama had realized there was a group of children nearby, and said, "Not in front of the kids.")
    Webb told Buzzfeed Saturday Night that the Secret Service “frisked everybody, which was kind of my favorite part,” adding:
"If Rick Perry would've walked in, I would have lost my job. I would've taken that old queen to town."

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Nebraska's Dick Cavett now mocking Amazon.com on YouTube with author Malcolm Gladwell

One assumes Cavett, shown here fighting a toy Lamborghini with a toy tiger, is on the side of J.K. Rowling and other Hachette authors, whose orders are deliberately being delayed by Amazon because it is currently bullying the publisher in a business dispute.

Man who laid out barkeep of NY gay bar in front of his bodybuilder boyfriend, then hid at mom's house, will stay in NJ to face charges

Apparently the perp, Corey Pohan is a surfer thug who illegally rents bikes in Central Park and has threatened a legitimate competitor, who identified him to cops.
     However, witnesses say it was Paul Martone, and/or his boyfriend, Miguel DeContreras, who confronted and baited Pohan after he stepped over, rather than around, the bartender's chihauhau and that Martone actually dared Pohan to throw the first punch, which he did before taking off, leaving Martone to fall backward and crack his skull on the pavement.
     After being apprehended in New Jersey, Martone bolted from a cop car and tried to hide on the roof of a toll booth.

A look back at Anita Bryant's 70s jihad against gays

You should watch this if you're too young to have lived through Bryant's antigay campaign and subsequent career implosion after the Florida Citrus Commission decided to be done with her (apparently that TV exposure was the only thing getting her gigs).
     AKSARBENT was going to pass on this (it's long) but after hitting the play button, we could NOT stop watching. Dave Evans is a very smart video editor! A sample news report from the reel:
The campaign has also had its bizarre moments. One of the men who was against homosexuals received a package in the mail. He thought it was a letter bomb. After the police exploded the package, they spent two hours picking up its harmless contents: pro-homosexual literature which they had blown all over the neighborhood.
     At the time all this was going on, AKSARBENT can recall wondering why gay activists in Miami did not use the nuclear option on Anita — getting footage of the exploitation of child labor in orange groves in Florida (there was some) and throwing it in Little Miss Save Our Children's face instead of a pie.

(Via JoeMyGod)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Always lock up your guns

Buzzing the logo at the end was sheer genius.

After voting against LGBT civil rights, Omaha's Mayor is now helping to "re-educate" about civil rights

Virtually all politicians are duplicitous, but Mayor Jean Stothert's reservoir of disingenuous­ness is so large it may soon begin to affect the tides.
     Below is the shame­less statement from Omaha's mayor being used to promote a program celebrating the 50th anniversary of the civil rights act.
     Although Stothert (then on the city council) was not successful in completely blocking Omaha's LGBT rights ordinance, she did manage to help ensure that it was completely stripped of housing protections for LGBTs.

How much of Game of Thrones is drawn by computers? A lot

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Creator of Anti-Obama float in Johnny Carson's hometown, a veteran, denies racism; says figure on float was himself, not Obama

The Norfolk Daily News interviewed Dale Remmich (read entire story here).
     The Oddfellows Parade Committee isn't changing any of its rules after the insulting float they approved earned Norfolk, NE nationwide notoriety.

     Also, GOP Governor candidate Pete Ricketts marched in the same parade but he seems to have removed the evidence from his Facebook page.
     Unfortunately, Team Ricketts forgot to disappear the evidence from the Facebook events page.
    Back to the Dale Remmich interview:
     “I am not a hate-monger. I am not a racist. This float was not disrespectful of the office of the presidency. [You could have fooled us — AKSARBENT] ]I am sorry if there was misunderstanding about that,” said Dale Remmich, a longtime Northeast Nebraska and military veteran.
     The float in question depicted a cartoonish figure in overalls with a walker standing outside an outhouse labeled the “Obama Presidential Library.”
Remmich's delayed protestations were entirely unconvincing to some
readers of a Facebook page demanding that the Norfolk Oddfellows
apologize. From that page, which elicited the above responses:
Yes, Dale, your story after three days of silence is perfectly under-
standable. You are a coward who attacks, but does not want
to take responsibility. You have brought a lot of shame on the
Community, and need to man up and stop lying.
      Remmich said some people mistakenly believed the mannequin to be the president. It wasn’t — it was Remmich’s representation of himself.
     “I’ve got my bibs on, my walker, I’m covering my ears and I’m turning a bit green — I intended it to look like a zombie who has had enough,” Remmich said Monday morning in an interview with the Daily News.

     Remmich said he had an uncle who was died [sic] in 1942 after Pearl Harbor, as well as a brother who died in the jungles of Vietnam. His father fought in World War II, and Remmich himself joined the U.S. Air Force in the 1960s.
     Remmich said he is greatly upset with the way veterans are being treated in some VA facilities and frustrated that President Obama hasn’t done enough to solve the problems.
     “The float was political satire and an expression of political disgust — no more, no less,” Remmich said. “There was no racism involved, no hate for anyone.”

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Flying a camera-laden drone through fireworks looks like a Star Wars Battle Royale

And it's almost always illegal to do so and you can go to prison for it.

'Conservatives' in Johnny Carson's Nebraska hometown claim they don't know why people
called their July 4th Obama float racist

See KMTV's report.
The float showed a dummy, a walker, and an outhouse labeled "Obama Presidential Library."
     Dan Marvin, Executive director of the NDP said, in a statement (which is NOT on the NDP website as of this writing):  "We have seen many times when Nebraskans disapprove of the president, but this clearly crosses the line."  Marvin went on to call the stunt one of the “worst shows of racism and disrespect for the office of the presidency that Nebraska has ever seen. It's beyond disappointing the city of Norfolk, it's officials and citizens would allow such a thing."
     The Omaha World-Herald reported the reaction of one Norfolk City Councilman who couldn't distance the city fast enough from the float controversy:
     Norfolk City Councilman Dick Pfeil also voiced his displeasure with the float. “The City of Norfolk doesn’t condone that,” Pfeil said.
     The councilman noted, however, that it was up to the Odd Fellows to approve the floats.
     A representative of the Odd Fellows did not return a phone message from a World-Herald reporter Saturday evening.
     Parade committee member Rick Konopasek told the Lincoln Journal-Star that the float wasn’t meant to be any more offensive than a political cartoon would be and that the only restriction for entering a float is was that it shouldn't be considered morally objectionable, which Konopasek defined as "nudity to sexually explicit messages."
     “We don’t feel its right to tell someone what they can and can’t express,” he said. “This was political satire. If we start saying no to certain floats, we might as well not have a parade at all.”
     Konopasek and parade announcer Wally Sonnenschein said the outhouse float was the most popular one in the parade, and the three judges awarded it an honorable mention.
     “It’s obvious the majority of the community liked it,” Konopasek said. “So should we deny the 95 percent of those that liked it their rights, just for the 5 percent of people who are upset?”
     This year’s parade also included a float of Pete Ricketts supporters. Had a liberal-oriented float been entered, the parade committee would have welcomed it as well, Konopasek said.
     “For the most part, this is a strong conservative community,” Sonnenschein said. “I really don’t see anything wrong with the Obama float and I’m kind of amazed anyone is complaining.”
     Sonnenschein and Konopasek said the man who built the float has been a longstanding member of the community, and people shouldn’t be quick to judge him for expressing his opinions.
     “This was a day to celebrate independence and part of that is speech and expression,” Konopasek said. “He exercised his rights.”
     If Sonnenschein and Konopasek and the Norfolk Oddfellows honestly don't think there was anything wrong with the float, AKSARBENT wonders why neither the pickup truck nor the float identified a sponsor, why the Oddfellows chapter isn't responding to media inquiries, and why Sonnenschein and Konopasek didn't identify the man who built the float to the Lincoln Journal-Star reporter.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Video: 2014 Omaha Independence Day fireworks on Independence Day eve

The Omaha World-Herald, in partnership with the brokerage firm started by the family of the current GOP candidate for governor, Peter Ricketts, shot off three tons of explosives last night for a day-early Fourth of July celebration.
     For the first and last time, we used a GoPro (Hero 3+) to record the pyrotechnics. GoPros have a decent-sized sensor but are nevertheless pretty lousy in low light.