Friday, April 29, 2011

Donald Trump points finger-pistol at Saudi Arabia, drops F-Bomb

"Saudi Arabia said: 'Let's raise the price. Let's cut back production.' Can you believe it? You're going to be paying five and six dollars a gallon for gasoline pretty soon. And they wanna go in and raise the price of oil because we have nobody in Washington that sits back and said [sic]: 'You're not gonna raise that fuckin' price, you understand me?' "

Well, at lease Trump didn't say "Capiche?"...

An entirely different set of  Trump lies chickens are coming home to roost as the press takes a closer look as his bogus revisionism regarding his Vietnam draft dodging.

And finally (for now) there is the implicit racism of Trump's snide insinuation that Obama wasn't bright enough to get into Harvard on his own merit, which even David Letterman mentioned last Thursday during an interview with Trump buddy Dr. Phil:

"If he (Trump) comes back on this show, and I'm not sure we want him back under those circumstances, but he ought to be prepared to apologize just for that kind of [racist] behavior."

London Police evict LGBT activitists from Soho square because royalists would be offended

Cops rationale: Their presence would be a breach of the peace when Monarchists arrived.



(Via Towleroad; see bloglist)

British economy may take multi-billion pound hit from royal wedding

A Blues and Royals horse may not be the only thing to falter
in the wake of Britain's royal wedding
Slate put it this way:
Retail researchers Verdict estimated a £620 million economy-wide windfall.
     But the wedding will also have a big negative economic impact. Friday, normally a work day, is a national holiday, meaning a considerable output drop. How big?
     The Confederation of British Industry estimated in 2007 that each additional holiday costs the economy something like £6 billion. And that estimate might be low. The Kate-and-Wills special holiday happens to fall in between an official Easter holiday and the May bank holiday. The way the calendar works out, Britons can take an 11-day vacation using only three vacation days. And Pricewaterhouse Cooper estimates that as many as 6 million workers might do so. The result is an economy-wide productivity slowdown in the final two weeks of the month, cutting £5 billion or more from GDP this quarter—though the effect should quickly fade as Britons' bosses prod them to work harder once they get back.
     Still, the argument that the wedding will be a net loss for the economy seems convincing: The low estimate of productivity-related costs swamps the high estimate of consumer-spending gains.

Birthers not deterred by Obama's obviously fake birth certificate!

Buzzfeed and The Smoking Gun have more complete explanations about how indefatigable birthers aren't fooled by so transparently bogus a document as the one released by the State of Hawaii. And, of course, Worldnet Daily has LOTS of documented evidence to the contrary!

Video: Gloria Allred goes to bat against gay slurs by Atlanta Braves pitching coach and vividly descriptive homophobe Roger McDowell



Last weekend at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell apparently targeted a group of male fans, allegedly asking them, "Are you a homo couple or a threesome?" Then he asked: "Are you three giving it to each other in the ass?" Then he illustrated his question with the narrow end of a baseball bat and a circle formed by his thumb and forefinger.

Then the father of a nearby family of four chastised McDowell, protesting that there were children witnessing McDowell's vulgarity, to which McDowell, according to the father said "Kids don't f**king belong at the baseball park" ... and then approached him with a baseball bat, saying, "How much are your teeth worth?"

Mega-attorney Gloria Allred announced the allegations moments ago in a news conference -- representing a family of four (including two 9-year-old girls) who claim they watched McDowell make the homophobic remark and then use a baseball bat to simulate gay sex.

McDowell subsequently released a blame-the-victims apology:  “I am deeply sorry that I responded to the heckling fans in San Francisco on Saturday. I apologize to everyone for my actions. “

A rep for the Braves released an additional statement, saying, “We are concerned by these allegations and the behavior described by a witness today. This in no way represents the Braves organization and the conduct we expect of our employees.”

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Jon Stewart mocks press, Trump over Obama's release
of long form birth certificate; Lawrence ODonnell kicks birther Orly Taitz off his show


On MSNBC, Lawrence O'Donnell kicked Orly Taitz off his show after she refused (in the wake of the president's release of his long-form birth certificate) to apologize for her crusade questioning Obama's birthplace. Instead, Taitz attempted to question an Obama selective service document before being shut down by Lawrence.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Can SONY ever be trusted?

In 2005, Sony caused a furor when a U.S. programmer discovered that XCP software on a Sony music CD had installed copy-restriction software on his computer that was hidden using a rootkit. Antivirus companies later discovered Trojan horses that exploited this software to avoid detection and found that another type of Sony DRM, MediaMax, also posed a security risk.

Sony stalled, stonewalled, prevaricated, misled, and even blamed a subcontractor before being dragged kicking and screaming into an admission of guilt. A class action lawsuit followed.

Now, in 2011, Erica Ogg reports in Circuit Breaker that the corporation has admitted in its blog that more than 70 million customers' personal information, including customer names, addresses, e-mail addresses, birthdays, PlayStation Network and Qriocity passwords, and user names, as well as online user handles, was obtained illegally by an "unauthorized person" between April 17 and April 19.

The corporation also "cannot rule out the possibility" that credit card information also was taken.

It took Sony five days to level with its customers about the consequences of what knocked its service offline. Midway through last week users noticed error messages when trying to sign into the service. While the company initially acknowledged the service was inaccessible on Friday, it offered no explanation of why and said PSN would be back up and running in a "day or two."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Text of Tennessee's "Don't Say Gay" bill
(SB 49 and HB 229)

"No public elementary or middle school shall provide any instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality."
A chronology of the bill's advancement is here, and a pdf of the bill is here.

UDATE: The language in this bill was amended before senate passage. Go here to read final language. And check out a new anti-gay Tennessee law passed by the senate and lobbied for by Tennessee's Chamber of Commerce board (consisting of Nissan, AT&T, FedEx and others) before their efforts were publicized.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Gov. Heineman still doing nothing to protect Ogallala aquifer from environmental catastrophe in the making

Joe Jordan at Nebraska Watchdog takes note of Nebraska Republican governor Dave Heineman's continuing lack of action to prevent a new pipeline for extremely corrosive shale oil from being built directly over the porous soil in the biggest part of the Ogallala aquifer, which supplies water to Nebraska's two largest cities.
Dave Heineman with Sarah Palin
     In fact, Heineman has dishonestly been running interference for those who won't reroute the pipeline away from its risky, proposed location.
     Heinemen preposterously claimed, in an exclusive on camera interview to Nebraska Watchdog, that “It’s very difficult for the Governor to issue an executive order that says stop (the pipeline).”
     A six-page memo from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) says otherwise:
“The federal government does not have siting authority for oil pipelines, even interstate pipelines…state law establishes the primary siting authority for oil pipelines, including interstate oil pipelines.”
     If you wish to contact Gov. Heineman regarding his environmental recklessness, you may do so here.

A commenter from Lincoln laid out the stakes starkly in a posting about the story at Nebraska Watchdog:
WHEN, not if, the pipeline leaks 500,000 gallons of toxic Tar Sand Crude directly into the Ogallala Aquifer (the first Keystone has leaked seven times since beginning operation ten months ago) because it will take TransCanada a week to find the leak, and entire towns and counties no longer can use their drinking water wells, nor ranchers and farmers are able to water livestock or irrigate because of contaminated water, THEN it will be obvious to everyone that our lawmakers from the Governor and AG down to State Senators, were bought and paid for very cheaply by TransCanada and the Koch Brothers.
     Follow the money, you idiots! Who benefits to the tune of Billion$ if the pipeline is completed? The Koch Brothers who own tens of thousands of square miles of Alberta boreal forest overlying Tar Sand deposits that are being clear cut by their Georgia Pacific subsidiary, so their mining subsidiary can strip mine the Tar Sands and process it for transport via TransCanada to Koch owned refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast for EXPORT to China and Japan, NOT use in the U.S. (per the State Department)!
     The Governor and AG have already been caught with illegal campaign contributions from TransCanada in their coffers, and only returned it when their “mistake” was publicly disclosed (c’mon, people, where’s your outrage at crooked politicians?). Look at the other money trail and you’ll know why all those State Senators sit on their hands and do nothing, including those who’s constituents WILL be negatively affected by either the construction or subsequent leaking of the Keystone XL Pipeline on their lands and into municipal well fields. Here it is plain and simple:
     Koch Brothers => David Koch => Founder and main contributor of tens of millions of dollars to Americans For Prosperity (Koch Prosperity only, not the average citizen, er, peon’s) => AFP, main financial supporter of the Tea Party => AFP and Tea Party money donations and Tea Party “volunteer” workers support key State Senators in their campaigns, making those Senators beholden to Koch $$ => Langemeier, Fisher, et al sit on their hands and sell out the PEOPLE of Nebraska for their thirty pieces of Silver from the Koch Brothers.
   You think the ground water problems from the old Grand Island Ammunition Plant (contamination from the plant has migrated UNDER Grand Island and has made drinking water wells on the other side of town undrinkable) is bad? Or the contamination plume from the Mead Rocket Motor assembly site that has now migrated half way to the Lincoln Well Field is bad??? WHEN the Keystone XL leaks DIRECTLY into the Ogallala Aquifer and thousands of acres of land can no longer be used for grazing or crops and entire towns MUST have their drinking water bottled and shipped in, it will be TOO LATE to do anything about the situation. You think TransCanada will supply the drinking or agricultural water to remediate the situation? WRONG! Think again! Currently there is NOT one single law on the books in Nebraska that would make TransCanada pay one cent in remediating ANY of the environmental or economic damages caused by a leak in the Keystone XL!     Our state can take the example set by Montana, Montana of all states, whose State Legislature ARE addressing such concerns, including regulating construction materials of the pipeline itself, remediations, siting, etc, to protect the PEOPLE of Montana. Our elected leader are just content to throw us all under the bus for nothing more that personal power, gain and ego. How pathetic.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Nancy Pelosi's second letter to Rep. John Boehner on defense of DOMA

April 20, 2011
The Honorable John A. Boehner
Speaker of the House
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Mr. Speaker:
The release of the contract between the House of Representatives and the law firm of King and Spalding concerning litigation on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) raises many questions. While the Democratic Members of the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) opposed the decision of the Republican Members to authorize involvement in the DOMA lawsuits, that opposition in no way diminished the need for normal oversight of the terms of any contract signed by the Republican Leadership obligating the House of Representatives to pay half a million dollars of taxpayer money for private attorneys. Yet the Democratic representatives on the BLAG, and the Democratic members of the Committee on House Administration, were provided with no information about the contract prior to or, at the time of, its being signed on April 14th. Since Democratic members were excluded from all negotiations, I would appreciate your providing the following information concerning the contract’s transparency, cost, the discount and the restrictions placed upon King and Spalding’s vast lobbying practice:
TRANSPARENCY
Did the BLAG or any House entity issue a call for bids, or was the selection of King and Spalding made as a sole source contract? Who specifically made the decision to hire this firm, and what criteria were used? Why was the Democratic membership of the Committee on House Administration not informed of the ongoing negotiations with King and Spalding and provided an opportunity to participate in order to assure a transparent process to prevent taxpayer dollars from being wasted?
COST
How was the $520 dollar an hour “blended rate” for attorneys negotiated, and how was the $500,000 fee established? Was there a determination that $500,000 would be sufficient to pay for the complete legal representation in the 12 pending cases, and if so, who made that determination and how? Is $520 an hour the regular rate normally charged by King and Spalding attorneys? What are the specific hourly rates that will be charged by each of the King and Spalding attorneys listed in section 5 of the contract? Is it anticipated that King and Spalding will represent the House in all 12 pending DOMA cases from the trial stage through any and all appeals?
DISCOUNT AND ETHICS
The contract states that other fees may be assessed at 75% of the firm’s regular charges. What “other fees” are contemplated, and how was the 75% rate established? Is it the standard practice of King and Spalding to give a 25% discount for non-attorney time to all government agencies or does the discount only pertain to the House Republican leadership? Did the Ethics Committee review the proposed contract discount to ascertain whether it complied with all House ethics rules governing the provision of gratuities to the House by a commercial entity? If so, please provide the written opinion of the Ethics Committee.
LOBBYING
Please provide a copy of all written restrictions imposed on King and Spalding’s extensive lobbying practice to ensure that no conflicts of interest arise on behalf of its extensive list of corporate clients while that firm is employed by the House.
Thank you for your timely response to this letter and my letter of April 18th.
Best regards,
NANCY PELOSI
Democratic Leader

Muscatine, Iowa Journal urges recall of Iowa GOP reps who tried to impeach Supreme Court justices

On Thursday, five Iowa representatives filed resolutions to impeach the remaining Iowa Supreme Court justices who were not dumped following last fall's judicial retention vote, on which NOM, Bob Vanderplaats and the Iowa Family Leader and others spent a small fortune.

According to the Des Moines Register, the resolutions were quashed Friday by Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, who said:
“While I agree with much of the reasoning behind the impeachment resolutions, I disagree with this remedy,” Paulsen, R-Hiawatha,  said in a statement. “I do not expect it to be debated on the floor of the House, and if it is, I will vote no.”
     ...Paulsen, a lawyer,  said the resolutions won’t be debated because they have been sent to the House Judiciary Committee, which is not scheduled to meet the rest of the 2011 legislative session.
 The Muscatine Journal opined:
From top Left: Reps Dwayne Alons of Hull,Tom Shaw of Laurens,
Betty De Boef of What Cheer, Glen Massie of Des Moines
and Kim Pearson of Pleasant Hill.
Someone should start petitions to remove from the Iowa Legislature Republican representatives Kim Pearson of Pleasant Hill, Tom Shaw of Laurens, Betty De Boef of What Cheer, Dwayne Alons of Hull and Glen Massie of Des Moines. They filed resolutions Thursday to impeach the remaining four justices on the state Supreme Court who decided a case in 2009 that legalized same-sex marriage in Iowa. Voters ousted the other three justices last November.

These legislators can't see what the state's biggest challenges are if they really think Chief Justice Mark Cady and justices David Wiggins, Daryl Hecht and Brent Appel pose such a threat that they must be removed from office.

When did Iowa become so intolerant and nearsighted?

- Chris Steinbach of the Muscatine Journal
Addendum: The Iowa Independent reported on the swift negative reaction to this political stunt.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Des Moines, a member of Democratic leadership, immediately challenged House Speaker Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) and Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer (R-Garner) to speak against the actions taken by their caucus members.
     “I issue the following challenge to Speaker Paulsen and Majority Leader Upmeyer on the proposed impeachment of the remaining Supreme Court Justices … either publicly condemn your own Republican members as well as members of the Republican Party for offering this outrageous, extremist proposal … or allow a full and open impeachment proceeding for all Iowans to consider knowing House Democrats will use every available procedural tool to shut down the Iowa House and defeat this right-wing effort,” said McCarthy.
     “I suspect, however that the House Republican Leadership will do neither and instead remain cowardly silent. If that is true, then let it be clear to all Republicans where the House Republican Leadership truly stands on this issue.”
     The articles of impeachment drafted and filed by the five legislators were also immediately attacked by Justice Not Politics, a nonpartisan group that formed in advance of the 2010 retention election in hopes of bolstering support for the three justices on the November ballot and to stress the non-political nature of the Iowa Judicial Branch.
     “The threat by five legislators to impeach the State Supreme Court Justices is only a sad attempt to misuse the impeachment process for political gain, but completely out of touch with Iowans,” read the Justice Not Politics statement. “Thousands of Iowans signed on to Justice Not Politics’ letter against impeachment, and two polls released this year found an overwhelming majority of Iowans oppose impeachment.
     “We are confident legislators and Iowans will reject this ridiculous effort by a small, but loud minority to placate their extreme agenda to inject politics and discrimination into our court system.”

Your tax dollars at work

No this is not one of those Taiwanese satires. It really is an unimplemented training video on the repeal of DADT, unearthed by MSNBC.



(Via Towleroad, see bloglist)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dueling press releases from "Porno Pete" LaBarbera and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

'Hunky Jesus' Contest in San Francisco Mocks Christianity on Easter Sunday, but Don't Look for 'Hunky Muhammad' Contest Anytime Soon

Photo illustration from JoeMyGod
Contact: Peter LaBarbera, Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, 630-717-7631, americansfortruth@gmail.com
     CHICAGO, April 21, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- This Easter Sunday in San Francisco's Delores Park, Christianity-spoofing homosexual drag queen "nuns" calling themselves the "Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence" will stage their annual "Hunky Jesus" contest -- mocking the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ -- as shirtless men in "crucifixion" costumes parade on stage in an atmosphere of haughty, homoerotic humor.
     The profane and shockingly insensitive spectacle illustrates the secular, pro-"gay" Left's hypocrisy in demanding "respect" for homosexuals and transsexuals -- even as they cynically mock Christ and true religion on the holiest day of the year for Christians, says Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH).
     "There's nothing that delights arrogant, pro-homosexual liberals more than making fun of Bible-believing Christians -- as evidenced by this blasphemous Easter 'contest,'" LaBarbera said. "Of course, it goes without saying that these defiant champions of 'tolerance and diversity' wouldn't dare hold a 'Hunky Muhammad' contest during Ramadan -- so it seems even envelope-pushing, in-your-face, pro-perversion libertines know their limits. (Muslims: beware: LGBT activists will end up hating you as much as they hate Christians.)"
     LaBarbera said the "Hunky Jesus" contest [watch YouTube HERE] symbolizes the contempt that many homosexual militants have for God and religion. Politically this translates into their growing advocacy of pro-homosexuality laws that use State power to crush Americans' historic religious and First Amendment liberties -- i.e., to reject homosexuality and other immoral, destructive behaviors.
"Gay activists are out of the closet in their plans to criminalize Christianity insofar as it relates to their particular politically-correct sin," he said, "One way they do that is by reviling and ridiculing committed Christians and others who oppose homosexuality -- portraying them as sociopaths and the heartless equivalent of deranged racists. But the fact that African-Americans now poll strongest against 'same-sex marriage' throws a wrench into this evil 'frame.'"
LaBarbera said the "Hunky Jesus" contest -- despicable as it is -- actually is less threatening to Christendom than the escalating campaign by LGBT activists to re-define Christianity and other religions as "gay-friendly."
     "Homosexual political groups are strategizing on how best to persuade evangelicals that supporting pro-homosexuality-laws including 'same-sex marriage' is part of the Christian's duty to 'love thy neighbor,'" he said. "Who knew that creating a system of superior legal 'rights' based on a sin that God's own Word, the Bible, says is 'detestable' was part of the divine plan?!
"Truth is, the most compassionate thing a Christian can do for people practicing homosexuality is to reach out to them with the Gospel -- with an uncompromising 'tough love' that says proud homosexuality is never part of God's plan for anyone's life. The same Jesus Christ whom the San Francisco liberals mock not only will judge them one day -- but He has helped countless men and women -- like Trace McNutt and Denise Jones -- leave homosexuality behind."

------------------------------------------------------

And here is an "unofficial" response from The Artist Formerly Known As Sister Boom Boom:

Assalaamu Aleikum!

First of all the Sisters would like to thank Peter La Barbaria for all the free publicity he is providing for our Hunky Jesus Contest. Even in the most reactionary communities and families there are brilliant young queer children aching for something truly revolutionary, a chance to be utterly glamorous, and to royally piss off their uptight, puritanical parents. The Sisters often declare their love for Peter and especially appreciate Mr. La Babar's effectiveness in getting news and images of the Sisters to those children. Of course we don't hate anybody, but his saying we do is a great way to grab the interest of angry resentful children, and we have much experience in helping GLBT youngsters work through their anger to find a more joyous spiritual path.

Sister ZsaZsa's blog
However, as much as Mr. La Barbarella is promoting our appeal to rebellious youth, it is not really our intention or purpose to offend Christians. Many of our friends and fans are Christians as are some of the Sisters. It's not even our intention or purpose to offend uptight, humorless prigs, though we often do so by suggesting that the Deity has a sense of humor. After all, God created a garden of paradise for us, declared His/Her love for us, and created such laughably bizarre creatures as the platypus, the naked mole rat, and Sarah Palin. But our mission is not to offend. Rather we are dedicated to the expiation of stigmatic guilt and the promulgation of universal joy. Still, we do understand that any sort of liberating theology is offensive to those who want to keep others under their thumbs. Offending prudes and tyrants is not our purpose, but we consider it a bit of a bonus.

As nearly all of us grew up in Christian-dominated America, many of us come from Christian backgrounds, and we include a number of believing Christians,
some still active in their respective churches, we are all familiar with the ideas and images of Christian culture. These are for us the best vehicles for promoting our ideal of a God who loves and laughs. We also have some Jewish sisters and since nearly all Americans have some familiarity with Jewish culture - if only through sit-coms - we sometimes include some Jewish humor. And why not? It couldn't hurt!

Mr. La Boobaria is correct that we seem to neglect our Muslim brothers and sisters, many of whom are clearly in need of a good laugh. We must confess that we don't have the same sort of inside knowledge of Islamic culture as we do of Christian and Jewish cultures. From "The Axis of Evil Comedy Tour"
to "Little Mosque on the Prairie" we've seen that plenty of Muslims can take a joke and deliver one, too. We trust that, especially in the current political ferment, our Islamic friends will find their voice, their humor, and their own ways of standing up to pompous prigs and puritans, to assert that the one true God who is all mercy and compassion also loves a good laugh.

Maa salaama.

KCCI poll on new Atheist billboards in Des Moines for this weekend's national Atheist convention

These results were as of 4:34 pm today for the station's web poll, about three weeks old and still active.


(Via JoeMyGod — see bloglist)

And a very happy Easter from Pat Condell!

ABC News: 15-count indictment handed down in death of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, spied on by roommate Dharun Ravi

A hate crime charge was filed; no charges against Ravi's girfriend and alleged partner Molly Wei have yet been filed.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Gay USA: April 12-18, 2011


(Via Free Speech TV)
We will talk with Edie Windsor and her attorney, Roberta Kaplan, about their fight to get Edie’s marriage to the late Thea Spyer recognized by the federal government. She has had to pay more than $350,000 in estate taxes that she wouldn’t have had to if her late spouse was a man. Since President Obama and the US Department of Justice will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act because they see it as unconstitutional, Republican House Speaker John Boehner just hired a big high power lawyer to deny rights to the 81-year old lesbian widow. You can learn more about the case at:
http://inr.synapticdigital.com/MarriageAct_37570/
or at the ACLU's website at:
http://www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights/windsor-v-united-states-thea-edie-doma
Edie and Thea, who were together for 40 years before getting married, are the subject of a 2010 documentary, "Edie and Thea: A Very Long Engagement"

Lee Terry's attack on Medicare would cost seniors $12,500 per year

In addition to Lee Terry, Nebraska's other congressional representatives, as well as two of Iowa's, voted to strangle Medicare. (See below.)



Nebraska/Iowa Republicans who voted to kill Medicare (clockwise from upper left):
Steve King (5th district, Iowa), Adrian Smith (3rd District, Nebraska),
Lee Terry (2nd district, Nebraska), Tom Latham (4th District, Iowa),
Jeff Fortenberry (1st District, Nebraska)
Kyle Michaelis at New Nebraska Network has a more comprehensive description of exactly what Lee Terry's campaign promises were regarding Medicare, how he broke those promises to voters, and a clear explanation of the destructive bill he supported.

Steve King:
1131 Longworth Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202.225.4426
Fax: 202.225.3193

Tom Latham:
2217 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Toll Free:866-428-5642
Phone: 202-225-5476
Fax: 202-225-3301

Lee Terry:
2331 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-4155 phone
(202)226-5452 fax

Jeff Fortenberry:
1514 Longworth House Office
Washington, DC 20515
p (202) 225-4806
f  (202) 225-5686

Adrian Smith
503 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone (202) 225-6435
Fax (202) 225-0207

Iowa lunatic homophobe Rep. Steve King's job to be eliminated; Ex-Iowa first lady to challenge him in new district

POLITICO reports that former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack (from Mt. Pleasant) has received the blessing of Iowa Democratic party leaders for a congressional challenge to Rep. Steve King, who represents the soon-to-disappear Iowa Fifth Congressional District. The Des Moines Register has called King an embarrassment to Iowa. Nebraska's Omaha World-Herald, widely distributed in Western Iowa, has endorsed King.
An Iowa Democrat familiar with Vilsack’s planning said she is mulling a move to [ultra-liberal]Ames, Iowa, which would place her in the newly drawn 4th district that King occupies...
     Vilsack had been weighing the possibility of running against a Democratic incumbent in a primary — against either Rep. Dave Loebsack or Rep. Leonard Boswell — but waging a campaign against King instead would allow her to rally the party against a lightning-rod conservative and avoid a contentious and potentially bloody intraparty battle.
     The scrutiny surrounding Vilsack’s future comes as Iowa lawmakers finalize a new congressional map that will shrink the state’s House delegation from five seats to four. The Legislature approved a new map last week and sent it to GOP Gov. Terry Branstad, who told local reporters Friday that he will sign the plan into law.
The World-Herald is saying that a possible Vilsack vs. King matchup would have all the makings of a high-profile, red-hot race, according to Steffen Schmidt, a political scientist at Iowa State University:  “It’s great. It’s wonderful. It’s going to make that race one of the most expensive House races in the State of Iowa,” said Schmidt.

Bradley Manning to be moved from Virginia to Kansas

Politico reports that Bradley Manning will be moved from maximum security in Quantico, VA to a medium security facilty [the new Joint Regional Correctional Facility] at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The Pentagon insists that the decision isn't  a concession that Manning has been mistreated.
Manning, his attorney, liberal activists and international human rights groups had complained that the Army was, in essence, punishing him through unnecessarily strict treatment at Quantico. They said he was in solitary confinement, with virtually no contact with other prisoners and only an hour a day out of his cell for exercise. He was forbidden to exercise in his cell and took all his meals there. At one point, Manning was made to sleep naked due to what the military said were suicide concerns, though Navy psychiatrists declined to support the move. More recently, he's been given a smock to wear at night...
     Manning's attorney, David Coombs, said in a blog post Tuesday night that he learned of the move from a leak to the Associated Press. He said he was officially advised of the planned transfer 20 minutes before the Pentagon news conference.
Pretrial confinement cell, JRCF
     ..."The defense was in the process of filing a writ of habeas corpus seeking a court ruling that the Quantico Brig violated PFC Manning’s constitutional right to due process," Coombs said. "The facts surrounding PFC Manning’s pretrial confinement at Quantico make it clear that his detention was not 'in compliance with legal and regulatory standards in all respects' as maintained at the Pentagon press briefing."
     Coombs said he intends to take further legal action "at the appropriate time for the flagrant violations of his constitutional rights by the Quantico confinement facility."
     Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), who like the U.N. official was denied a private meeting with Manning, said the announcement had not resolved his concerns.
     "Absolutely nothing the Department of Defense has done so far with respect to Pfc. Manning provides any assurance that his basic human and constitutional rights are being protected. The Department of Defense has refused to provide timely answers to even the most basic questions," Kucinich said in a statement.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Gay USA: April 5-11


(Via Free Speech TV)

The hopes of bi-national same-sex couples are dashed by the Department of Homeland Security. In Washington State, out-of-state same-sex marriages will be recognized as domestic partnerships, but Colorado kills a civil union bill. Some same-sex married couples are refusing to lie about their marital status on their federal tax returns. For more information, go to: http://refusetolie.org/. House Republicans try to attack Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal. An out lesbian is nominated to the high court of Massachusetts and another one is nominated by President Obama to serve on a federal court. An anti-gay top cop costs New York City two million in damages—and he is still on the job. A gay corrections officer in Mississippi is reinstated with the help of the ACLU.  A new book on Malcolm X delves more deeply into a relationship he had with a man, while in India, a book hinting at Gandhi’s crush on a man gets it banned in some states. The US Department of Health and Human Services steps up its attention to LGBT health issues. You can read the report at http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2011/The-Health-of-Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-and-T.... Dan Savage has a best-selling book and is getting a show on MTV. We will review “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying” with Daniel Radcliffe and “The Book of Mormon” on Broadway.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Prop 8 complaint backfires spectacularly: Matt Baume

US taxes high? Uh, not even close

If you think taxes in the US are particularly high, you need to mute Donald Trump, block Fox News and shred those G.O.P. mailers, because statistics show otherwise. Lots of stats.


Voted to kill Medicare: Lee Terry, Jeff Fortenberry, Adrian Smith, Steve King and Tom Latham

Nebraska/Iowa Republicans who voted to kill Medicare (clockwise from upper left):
Steve King (5th district, Iowa), Adrian Smith (3rd District, Nebraska),
Lee Terry (2nd district, Nebraska), Tom Latham (4th District, Iowa),
Jeff Fortenberry (1st District, Nebraska)
Via Americablog comes the news that 235 Republicans supported the Medicare elimination bill, with just four GOPers casting a vote to leave Medicare unmolested. Five of the usual suspects, the Nebraska/Iowa gang of five, above, were among the supporters of the House Republican plan which:
repeals traditional Medicare and replaces it with a health insurance voucher that loses its value over time. Because the value of the Republicans’ privatized Medicare replacement does not keep up with the cost of health care, their plan will gradually eliminate Medicare because its increasingly worthless vouchers will eventually only cover a very tiny fraction of the cost of a health insurance plan.
This new attack on seniors comes courtesy of:

Steve King:
1131 Longworth Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202.225.4426
Fax: 202.225.3193

Tom Latham:
2217 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Toll Free:866-428-5642
Phone: 202-225-5476
Fax: 202-225-3301

Lee Terry:
2331 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-4155 phone
(202)226-5452 fax

Jeff Fortenberry:
1514 Longworth House Office
Washington, DC 20515
p (202) 225-4806
f  (202) 225-5686

Adrian Smith
503 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone (202) 225-6435
Fax (202) 225-0207

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tribeca Film Festival to screen Lee Hirsch's new film on bullying, partially shot in Sioux City, Iowa

Via towleroad comes the trailer for Lee Hirschs' extremely well made new film which will screen next week at New York City's Tribeca film Festival.
"Rare access to the Sioux City [Iowa] Community School District captures up close and disturbing 'on the ground' footage of bullying in classrooms, playgrounds, cafeterias, and school buses. Kids who are made into outcasts at school become the film's heroes as they defend their right to be different and courageously give testimony to the trauma and dangers of severe bullying."

Obama's birth certificate? Nah, how about letting us see Trig Palin's birth certificate!

Business Insider, Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish, and other blogs are taking a second look at the rumor that Sarah Palin is not Trig's mother...

Craig Ferguson takes Vegas road trip, eats hallucinogenic custard, gets gay married

On Thursday, after teasing his audience all week, Craig Ferguson showed the video of last weekend's trip to Vegas.

"Secretariat:" You're tripping your balls off so badly...I sound like Morgan Freeman.
Let me be your spirit guide. You must go to the top of the Stratosphere.
There you will meet a Romanian gentleman with an eye patch.
You must tap him three times on the shoulder and he will illuminate your past.
Ferguson: Couldn't we just go to a strip club?
"Secretariat:" Or you can go to a strip club.
Geoff: Oh, my God. Look at all those wieners!
Craig: Geoff, please, you think everything's a wiener.

Hello Gentlemen. Would you like to eat some suggestively-shaped foods?
Do you, gay robot, take this Liza Minelli impersonator to be your twisted sex fantasy?"

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

People for the American Way busts religious right's bully protection initiatives

In quite a long article here, People for the American Way exposes, point by point, the tactics used by the right wing to kill anti-bullying programs in schools and elsewhere. Excerpts:

The Indoctrination Myth

The crux of right-wing opposition to comprehensive bullying prevention programs is that by addressing bullying directed towards gay and gay-perceived students, schools may engage in “homosexual indoctrination.” While modern scientific research and reports from the American Psychological Association confirm that sexual orientation is not a choice, anti-gay activists have a long record of arguing that people, especially youth, become gay as a result of “recruitment.”

The “Special Rights” Smear

Just as dangerous as the indoctrination myth is the false claim that anti-bullying programs are schemes to give LGBT youth “special rights” over their peers. Religious Right groups falsely describe measures from workplace protections to health insurance benefits for gays and lesbians as “special rights,” even though they simply attempt to end discriminatory policies. Now, the right-wing is deploying the same illogical argument against bullying prevention efforts.

Playing the Victim

The Religious Right’s campaign against bullying utilizes an upside-down version of reality where the bullied are the bullies. Just as right-wing activists falsely predicted that hate crimes laws would lead to the arrest, prosecution and imprisonment of people of faith and the criminalization of religion, now they say that anti-bullying programs will force religious students out of schools.

Blaming the Victims

In one of the crudest aspects of the Religious Right’s desperate efforts to block schools from putting anti-bullying programs in place, many right-wing activists are suggesting that the LGBT community should be blamed for bullying. Their stigmatizing and demonizing rhetoric only exacerbates problems by making bullies feel justified when they torment their gay peers while pushing gay youth on a path of shame, depression, and self-hatred.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

ACLU finds four more states illegally filtering LGBT sites in high schools: Virginia, Pennsylvania, Texas, Michigan

The ACLU's press release:
NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union and its regional affiliates today sent letters to schools in Michigan, Texas, Pennsylvania and Virginia demanding they stop viewpoint-based censorship of web content geared toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities. Another school in New Jersey has voluntarily removed its anti-LGBT filter after receiving student complaints and an open records request from the ACLU. The letters were sent as part of the nationwide “Don’t Filter Me” campaign, in which the ACLU has teamed with Yale Law School to combat illegal censorship of pro-LGBT information on public school computer systems.
    “There is no legitimate reason why any public school should be using an anti-LGBT filter,” said Joshua Block, staff attorney at the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Project. “This is not a case where overbroad filters are accidentally filtering out LGBT websites. These filters are designed to discriminate and are programmed specifically to target LGBT-related content that would not otherwise be blocked as sexually explicit or inappropriate.”

     The campaign asks students to check to see if web content geared toward LGBT communities – a frequent target of censorship in schools – is blocked by their schools’ web browsers, and then report instances of censorship to the ACLU LGBT Project.
     Last month, the ACLU, the ACLU of Michigan and the ACLU of Kansas and Eastern Missouri sent demand letters to schools in Rochester, Michigan and Kansas City, Missouri after students there reported to the ACLU the web content at their schools was being censored. The North Kansas City School District immediately unblocked the websites identified by the ACLU, and the Rochester Community School District has undertaken a review of its filtering procedures. The ACLU continues to engage in communications with both school districts to ensure that their web filtering software is reconfigured to remove the unconstitutional anti-LGBT filters.
     “I’m the vice president of the gay-straight alliance club at my school, but when I tried to go to GSANetwork.org to get ideas for club activities, I found it’s blocked for being ‘gay or lesbian or bisexual interest,’” said Brandon Bleau, an 18-year-old senior at John Glenn High School in Westland, Michigan, who submitted a complaint through the initiative. “None of the other clubs I know of at school have these kinds of roadblocks thrown in their way when they’re trying to plan meaningful things for their clubs to do.”
     Since launching the “Don’t Filter Me” initiative, the ACLU has identified several web filter companies whose products include special categories designed to filter out LGBT websites. Some of these include:
  • the Blue Coat software used by the Vineland School District in New Jersey and the Prince William County Schools in Virginia, which has a specialized filter called “LGBT;” 
  • the Websense software used by the Wayne-Westland school district in Michigan and the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District in Texas, which has a filter called “Gay or Lesbian or Bisexual Interests;” and
  • the Lightspeed software used by the North Kansas City School District in Missouri and the Downingtown School District in PA, which includes LGBT sites in a filter called “education.lifestyles,” defined as “Education about lifestyles -- gay, lesbian, alternate.”
     When used by a public school, programs that block all LGBT content violate First Amendment rights to free speech, as well as the Equal Access Act, which requires equal access to school resources for all extracurricular clubs. This means that gay-straight alliances and LGBT support groups must have the same access to national organizational websites that help them to function, just as other groups such as the Key Club and the chess club are able to access their national websites. By blocking access to LGBT websites, schools deny helpful information to gay-straight alliances and other support groups that could be vital for troubled LGBT youth who either don’t have access to the Internet at home or do not feel safe accessing such information on their home computers.
     Several students reported to the ACLU that they had persuaded their schools to override the filters and grant access to websites on an individualized basis, but they felt it was burdensome and insulting to have to request special permission every time they sought to access a new website that had been blocked by the anti-LGBT filter.
     “Unblocking individual sites is not a viable solution,” said Block. “As long as the anti-LGBT filter is in place, students will be confronted with a demeaning and stigmatizing message that the site has been blocked on account of its LGBT-related content. It’s unfair to put students in the difficult position of asking special permission before being allowed to access LGBT viewpoints. Public schools have a duty to provide students with viewpoint-neutral access to the Internet.”
     A video showing students how to test whether or not their schools are illegally filtering content, and providing instructions for reporting censorship can be seen here: www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights/dont-filter-me
     Students who want to report unconstitutional web filtering at their schools can fill out a form at: action.aclu.org/dontfilterme
     More information on the ACLU’s work on LGBT school issues can be found here: www.aclu.org/safeschools

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

Swedish army recruitment ad takes potshots at US recruiting ads

But why is this in English? (Via Joe.My.God; see bloglist)

Wing Nut, er, WorldNet Daily descends from buffoonish spin into fakery

This stunt, exposed by Media Matters, reminds Aksarbent of the time Weekly World News published a picture of a space alien exiting Air Force One next to Reagan (no jokes, please) next to a picture without the space alien and claimed that the picture without the space alien was retouched by the CIA. Despite the best efforts of World Net Daily, Aksarbent misses the Weekly World News.
     Aksarbent would provide the link to the WNDaily web site, but the killjoys there have already removed the incriminating pictorial evidence of their stupidity in employing columnist Cashill, so why should we bother?



Cashill writes: "The bench is real. The grandparents are real. The wall behind them is real. Barack Obama is not. He has been conspicuously photoshopped in. Who did this and why remains as much a mystery as Obama's extended stay in New York." He embeds a YouTube video that claims to have uncovered the "real" photo, seen below, in which Obama is nowhere to be seen:



Actually, to say Obama is "nowhere to be seen" isn't quite accurate, given that the young future president's right knee is still somehow visible in the "real" photo.

TLC fake promo, or why Aksarbent doesn't subscribe to cable television

Its viewers say TLC is getting weirder and stranger. Someone took that perception and ran with it. (Via Andrew Sullivan via Jason Kotkke)
     Compare and contrast. Real TLC shows: 19 Kids and Counting; Strange Sex; Extreme Couponing; and I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant. (via ★dansays)

Peter Tatchell: Corroboration of Malcolm X's same-sex experience will undermine decades of denialism

Note: Peter Tatchell is the gay Australian-born British human rights advocate who, wnen appearing on Celebrity Mastermind (according to Wikipedia), chose Malcolm X as his specialist subject, explaining that he considered him an inspiration and hero; however, his endorsement of Bruce Perry's biography in an article calling for black gay role models has led to criticism due to Perry's claim that Malcolm X had male lovers in his youth.
"My claims were not original," says Tatchell. "They were based on evidence collected by the brilliant US author Bruce Perry and documented in his towering 1991 book, Malcolm: The Life of a Man Who Changed Black America. Perry was unfairly maligned by black nationalists and the Nation of Islam for recounting Malcolm's gay / bisexual past. So was I. We were accused of racism and revisionism.

"Manning Marable was a widely respected historian with great credibility in academic, black and left-wing circles. His corroboration of Malcolm X's same-sex experiences will hopefully help undermine the decades of denialism by those who misguidedly regard homosexuality as shameful and unAfrican."

News Youse Gay Jews Can Use

Sorry about the headline, but Aksarbent just came back from the bar... MyHeBro.com indeed! Snork! We are total suckers for 3-way puns, especially when they're domain names.

This from Queerty via GoodAsYou.org: 
Kosher.com, where customers can have some 5,000 different kosher food items sent to their homes, has teamed up with Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality for a special coupon program! Just enter "JONAH25P" at checkout and JONAH will receive a portion of the proceeds. Because Kosher.com has no problem teaming up with homophobic groups trafficking in psychological terrorism.

Queerty reader Jayson Littman, of the gay Jewish events outfit MyHeBro.com, tells us that after spending five years as a JONAH member before coming out and fleeing from the group, he's still on the organization's email list -- which just alerted subscribers to its deal with Kosher.com.

**FULL PIECE, including company response: Why Is Jewish Food Delivery Service Kosher.com Teaming Up With Ex-Gay Group JONAH? [Queerty]

Thursday, April 7, 2011

New exhaustive Malcolm X biography alleges affair with white businessman; calls popular Malcolm X biography written with Alex Haley 'fictive'

Larry Rother, of the New York Times, reports on the publication of Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, which the few scholars who have read it describe as full of new and startling information and insights. The author, Columbia University professor Manning Marable, worked on the book he considered his life's work for 20 years before completing it last fall. The book was published Monday. Marable died unexpectedly last Friday.


Above: Video made in 2007 by Malcolm X Memorial Foundation, narrated by Walter Cronkite and submitted to Nebraska Historical Society to nominate Malcolm X to the Nebraska Hall of Fame. Malcolm X has still not been inducted, although J. Sterling Morton, the notoriously racist founder of Arbor Day, was inducted in 1975.

During his 35 years in academia, Mr. Marable wrote and edited many books about African-American politics and history, and was one of the nation’s leading Marxist historians.
But the biography is likely to be regarded as his magnum opus. He obtained about 6,000 pages of F.B.I. files on Malcolm X through the Freedom of Information Act, as well as records from the Central Intelligence Agency, State Department and New York district attorney’s office. He also interviewed members of Malcolm X’s inner circle and security team, as well as others who were present when Malcolm X was shot to death.
The book takes issue with popular and scholarly portrayals of Malcolm X and calls "The Autobiography of Malcolm X," written with Alex Haley, "fictive." That book is widely assigned in colleges.
Drawing on diaries, private correspondence and surveillance records to a much greater extent than previous biographies, his book also suggests that the New York City Police Department and the F.B.I. had advance knowledge of Malcolm X’s assassination but allowed it to happen and then deliberately bungled the investigation.



Michael Eric Dyson, the author of “Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X” and a professor of sociology at Georgetown University, said on Thursday: “He’s done as thorough and exhaustive a job as has ever been done in piecing together the life and evolution of Malcolm X, rescuing him from both the hagiography of uncritical advocates and the demonization of undeterred critics.”
Since Malcolm X’s death, the posthumous “Autobiography,” along with “Malcolm X,” Spike Lee’s 1992 film drawn from it, has made a pop-culture hero out of the man who was born Malcolm Little. But the Marable book contradicts and complicates key elements of his life story.

Malcolm X himself contributed to many of the fictions, Mr. Marable argues, by exaggerating, glossing over or omitting important incidents in his life. These episodes include a criminal career far more modest than he claimed, an early homosexual relationship with a white businessman, his mother’s confinement in a mental hospital for nearly 25 years and secret meetings with leaders of groups as divergent as the Ku Klux Klan and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

In many ways, the published book is more Haley’s than its author’s,” Mr. Marable writes, noting that Haley, who died in 1992, was a liberal Republican and staunch integrationist who held “racial separation and religious extremism in contempt” but was “fascinated by the tortured tale of Malcolm’s personal life.”


Above: Promotional video of Malcolm X Memorial Foundation, which appears to be heavily invested in the popular biography of Malcolm X taken to task in Marable's meticulously researched new book.

London's Daily Mail outs gay caveman 5,000 years too late; reader not impressed

The story (via Joe.My.God, see bloglist) elicited the following comment:
Note to the Mail, what's the fun in outing someone when they've already been dead for thousands of years? Let us know when you've got something on a member of the government, a footballer or a pop group. Can't believe how screwed up your priorities are!
— Mr Winslow, GREAT Britain, 07/4/2011 07:23

(By the way, no blog presented this story better than towleroad, where the headline was 'Buried This Way.')

Y-M-C-Cave: The skeleton was found in a Prague suburb with its head pointing eastwards and surrounded by domestic jugs - rituals only previously seen in female graves
Y-M-C-Cave: The skeleton was found in a Prague suburb with its head pointing eastwards and surrounded by domestic jugs - rituals only previously seen in female graves. Men would normally be buried with weapons, hammers and flint knives

Elton John's hilarious SNL gay cowboy skit

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

D5100 (D5000 replacement) came out of Nikon's closet today, and yes, it got better, baby. Way better!

The much-anticipated replacement for the defunct D5000 was unveiled today. A.K.A. the Canon Rebel T3i/EOS 600d killer, the new Nikon 5001 is a terrific gift to HDR aficionados, as it has auto exposure bracketing up to 4 stops apart or an automatic 2-shot HDR mode up to 3 stops apart. HDR mode may be used SIMULTANEOUSLY with Nikon's Active D-Lighting feature for even more dramatic HDR effects. Yay!
Automatic HDR
     Video has changed from motion jpeg to .mov H.264/MP4 yielding smaller file sizes, but also fewer key frames. MSRP is 20% less than the comparable Canon. Yeah, baby! Viewfinder has much finer resolution; it's now a swing-to-the-side-and-rotate articulated display. Eleven AF points instead of 9 on the D5000. Frame rate tops out at 30 FPS rather than the 60 FPS on the Canon. This lameness is why Nikon doesn't make camcorders. On the other hand the D5100 offers continuous AF in video mode; the Canon doesn't. (Since autofocus hunting wrecks the monophonic sound, Nikon offers a $179 stereo mini-shotgun mike which attaches to the hot shoe and which is insulated from lens noise.)
1/40 at f 3.5; 3200 ISO
Nightvision
     Unlike the Canon (and the Nikon D7000) the D5100 has no in-camera autofocus motor, it's DIY with Nikon lenses without built-in AF motors. Battery life is very good. Nikons meter in color, of course; Canons don't.
     Sensor is now 16 megapixels slightly trailing the Canon.
     Aksarbent like dis veddy, veddy much and probably won't wait for Santa.
     A Canon/Nikon EOS600D/D5100 comparison is here.

Video surfaces of tantrum by anti-gay Colorado Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg


A video has surfaced on the web site of the Colorado Independent showing Jerry Sonnenberg, one of the six Colorado Republicans who killed that state's civil union bill last week, blowing up in front of a medical marijuana advocate, apparently dropping the F-bomb and ripping up a bill amendment. Things started to get heated at about 1:45 when Sonnenberg attempts to stop the videotaping.
     In 2008, Sonnenberg's ranch hand, Jonnie Walker, had to get special permission from a judge to work with Sonnenberg's two teenage boys, because at the time he was facing sexual predator charges.
     Later, Sonnenberg told the Colorado Independent that activist Miguel Lopez had been kicked out of the Colorado capitol building and had spit on lobbyist Kara Miller. The video, released by the 420 Coalition's "Cap'n Cannabis" shows neither, and ends with a blunt song that leaves no doubt about the singer's choice in cigarettes.
     Ironically, Sonnenberg was trying to pass an amendment to get rid of mandated video surveillance of customers at Colorado medical marijuana dispensaries.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Desperate Housewives: Andrew hits the bottle, crashes in the wrong house
Karen: 'If I wanted a drunk homo on my couch, I would have married my college boyfriend!'


Last night's Desperate Housewives revealed that Andrew has drifted into the Lush Life. Mother Bree got the news early in the morning.
"It's Karen. Get your ass over here. I got something that belongs to you. Little hint: it reeks of Mai Tais and you gave birth to it... If I wanted a drunk homo on my couch, I would have married my college boyfriend."
     Andrew: "I didn't break in. I got a little confused and went in the wrong house. You gotta admit, all these places kinda look the same."

Revulsion spreading over GoDaddy founder Bob Parson's elephant snuff video

Wired's Madhumita Venkataramanan weighed in on the snowballing reaction to Bob Parson's elephant snuff video, in which the web hosting mogul plays the Great White American Savior of Zimbabwe villagers who apparently are unable to deal with "problem" elephants on their own by any of several means, including spreading a few bottles of Tabasco, which pachyderms can't stand and which multimillionaire Parsons evidently cannot afford to purchase for them.
     It gets interesting in the minute or so of absolute darkness before terrifying shots rent the silence and the hulking shape of an elephant is illuminated by gunfire.
     Possibly the most offensive scene of the video follows, with Parsons smiling cheekily next to the dead elephant, his gun placed casually on its hide. Its wide open eyes are looking straight at the camera, enough to give anybody the chills.
     There are no dialogues or voices, just some overly facile subtitles and the widely-decried AC/DC “Hells Bells” soundtrack. All in all, completely preposterous and more than slightly disturbing.
       ...It seems like the video has touched a universal chord, beyond the usual animal rights crowd. Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society of the United States wrote on his blog that he doesn’t “like doing business with a company with a leader like Parsons.” The society has found a new web host for its 650 domain names. Actress Cloris Leachman (who recently parodied the GoDaddy Girls in a commercial for a competitor) has lashed out against the video, encouraging her followers to switch to a different web service. A petition started by Laura Goldman of Change.org has more than 3000 signatures, expressing their anger towards Parsons.
     Rival companies like Network Solutions and NameCheap.com are capitalizing quickly by offering domain transfers at discounts, and pledging profits to the Save the Elephants charity.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Bill Maher tells Obama, Democrats to look at the polls and grow some convinctions about gay marriage


Via GoodAsYou (see bloglist)

Amazon.com subsidiary announces email database breach

AbeBooks, the huge Canadian Internet seller of used books, through which thousands of used bookstores sell online and which was acquired by Amazon.com in 2008, has sent the following email to its customers:
Epsilon Informs AbeBooks of E-mail Database Breach

We have been informed by Epsilon, a third-party vendor we use to send e-mails, that an unauthorized person outside their company accessed files that included e-mail addresses of some AbeBooks customers. Epsilon has advised us that the files that were accessed did not include any customer information other than email addresses.

As a reminder, AbeBooks will never ask customers for personal or account information in an e-mail. Please exercise caution if you get any emails that ask for personal information or direct you to a site where you are asked to provide personal information.

High-speed surfing shot captured Dylan Longbottom in massive 12-foot wave

Photographed with a Typhoon HD4 high speed camera, it was the first shot of its kind.

How to convert 8mm films to video: the most elegant DIY video aksarbent has ever seen!


The Projector - 8mm Direct to 5Dmk2 from James Miller on Vimeo.

Elton John on SNL for first time in almost 30 years; 'Even though the changes were quick, I didn't get my dick stuck in the zipperrrrr'

Don't know how long this will stay up on youtube. Unfortunately the hilarious gay cowboy skit doesn't seem to be posted anywhere yet.





Gay USA: March 29-April 4, 2011



We started this week’s show off excited about the news that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service was suspending deportations of non-citizen same-sex spouses of American citizens pending the resolution of the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act which is being challenged—so far successfully—in the federal courts. NEVER MIND!  Even though the Obama Justice Department itself is not defending DOMA any more because they believe it is unconstitutional, they decided on Tuesday evening that they must still enforce the law. So the hold on these deportation proceedings is off. A story updating the situation from Metro Weekly is at the end of this e-mail. For more information, go to www.immigrationequality.org. In other news: Transgender rights protections pass in the Maryland House of Delegates, but things are iffier in the State Senate. The ACLU wants the help of public school students in making sure that your schools aren’t filtering gay content from getting to you via school computers. For more information, go to http://www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights/dont-filter-me. The LGBT community mourns the losses of some giants: Elizabeth Taylor, playwright Lanford Wilson, actor Farley Granger. UN takes stand against violence against LGBT people. An update on the “kill-the-gays” bill in Uganda.

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