Friday, September 30, 2011

September 30: International Blasphemy Day

(Via Joe.My.God)

Go Big Read

A librarian calender? Yes, there is one, and since Zack was on a Rugby team at UNL, and is safely ensconced in New York, we're betting that Tom Osbourne won't be able to spank him for besmirching the fine name of Nebraska's premier land-grant university.

Current location: New York, NY
Place of birth: Lincoln, NE
Tale of the tape: 6’5” 220lbs.
Sign: Pisces
Favorite place in New York:  Housing Works Bookstore in Soho

Outside of his office, he is the director and assistant coach for a men’s rugby club.  His playing career began in college and is a proud former Cornhusker.  The farm boys on the team taught him how to rope (ask him ladies, he’ll demonstrate).

He spends his occasional free weekend as an EMT for the Central Park Medical Unit.  Working at emergency medicine in New York City relaxes him, compared to the library business.  Looking for a sylvan tryst in the big city’s best park?  Check out the waterfalls at the north end between The Pool and Harlem Meer.  Bring a blanket, wine and thug spray for the drug dealers.

Zack’s favorite hobby is bicycling.  Nothing better than NYC by bike.  Smell the rainbow of the city.  Keeps you in motion, fit and hard to mug.

George Burns, cigar-whisperer, claiming to be Nat King Cole: 'I'm also a liar!'

New NOM SVU martyr video: Gerald W. Buell

Florida high school teacher Gerald W. Buell, briefly suspended for his homophobic facebook rants, is the newest National Organization for Marriage poster boy victim in a just-released propaganda video for its recently-organized "Anti-Defamation Alliance" division.

What NOM's video leaves out is Buell's practice of plastering bible verses around his public school classroom (including a picture of Jesus Christ above the clock) as well as advocating to his gay and straight students the death of gay soldiers and threatening disciplinary action against one student who walked out of class following said behavior. His former students paint quite a different picture of Buell than does NOM.

Sylvia Robinson, née Vanderpool, dies at 76; pioneering hip-hop producer

Sylvia Robinson, half of the 50's duo Mickey and Sylvia, has died at 76 in Edison, New Jersey.

Her biggest solo release was the 1973 disco hit Pillow Talk, which reached number one for two weeks on the R&B chart and number three on the pop chart, selling over two million copies.

Later, according to the New York Times,
...she found three young, unknown rappers in Englewood — Big Bank Hank, Wonder Mike and Master Gee — and persuaded them to record improvised rhymes as the Sugarhill Gang (sometimes rendered as Sugar Hill Gang) over a nearly 15-minute rhythm track adapted from Chic’s “Good Times.”

The song was “Rapper’s Delight,” and the Robinsons chartered a new label, Sugar Hill Records, to produce it. It sold more than 8 million copies, reached No. 4 on the R&B charts and No. 36 on Billboard’s Hot 100, opening the gates for other hip-hop artists.

Ms. Robinson later signed Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, and in 1982 she was a producer of their seminal song, “The Message.” It was groundbreaking rap about ghetto life that became one of the most powerful social commentaries of its time, laying the groundwork for the gangsta rap of the late 1980s.
In November of 1956, as half of the pop duo Mickey and Sylvia, she released Love Is Strange, which peaked at #1 on Billboard magazine's R&B Singles chart and #11 on the Hot 100 in 1957 and was also recorded by Bo Didley (but not released until 2007) and Buddy Holly.

In 2004 that song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for its influence as a rock and roll single.

Director Terrence Malick used the song in Badlands, a film loosely based on the Charles Starkweather spree killings in Nebraska in the 1958, which also inspired the film Natural Born Killers and Bruce Springsteen's 1982 song Nebraska.

AKSARBENT's mom remembered Starkweather, her Lincoln garbageman, who was an odd, lethal redhead with a James Dean fixation.

(Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek dancing to Love is Strange in Badlands)

The full Dolly Parton/Kenny Rogers Nashville treatment of the song:

Anthony Bologna, who pepper-sprayed confined women in Wall Street protest, gets the Daily Show treatment by Jon Stewart and Christopher Meloni

The Manchester Guardian has revealed that Bologna is the subject of a civil suit regarding civil rights violations during the 2004 Republican national convention protests.

In a followup story, the Guardian published NYPD guidelines regarding the use of pepper spray:
According to the guidance, officers are permitted to use pepper spray when "necessary to effect an arrest of a resisting suspect, for self-defense or defense of another from unlawful force, or to take a resisting emotionally disturbed person into custody." The patrol guide also specifies that officers should "not use pepper spray on subjects who passively resist." Officers with special training, however, do have latitude "in the use of pepper spray for disorder control."

Donna Lieberman, director of New York Civil Liberties Union, said: "There's no excuse for using pepper spray in the faces of peaceful demonstrators whether or not they are engaging in minor disorderly conduct. The use of pepper spray appears to be gratuitous and in violation of police department rules. What the video demonstrates how harmful it is for the police to engage in excessive force against protesters because it causes fear and how harmful it is for the police department itself."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Suspended Dallas student Dakota Ary may have a history of gay-baiting his teacher

The Dallas Voice is reporting the teacher's perspective and will publish another piece on the controversy tomorrow.
On the particular day in which this incident occurred, Mr. Franks was opening class when the topic of Christianity in Germany was broached by one student, who asked what churches were there, another whether they read the Bible in English, etc. Franks asserts that the topic of homosexuality was not broached in any way, and that Ary‘s assertions to the contrary are entirely false. At this point, Ary declared, with a class audience, “Gays can’t be Christians; homosexuality is wrong,” looking directly at Mr. Franks. Franks says he understands and affirms students’ right to free speech, and that he is perfectly prepared to lead a respectful discussion on topics such as gay rights that allows for the assertion of opinions with which he disagrees. He has led such discussion in the past in his sociology classes. But in this case, he feels the context makes it clear that this remark was made ad hominem, aimed specifically at him to devalue him and any information he might share on the topic of religion, on the basis of his perceived sexual orientation.

Nebraska Pinnacle Bank ad:
He wasn't looking for a roommate...

Update: As of spring, 2015, Pinnacle is again rerunning these seasonal ads, which is fine with AKSARBENT, as they are adorable. Notes about the ad are here.

Corn and soybean crops are fetching record prices, a fact which has evidently not escaped the attention of a certain regional bank which is seeking lonely, bachelor farmers and all their money. This ad promoted the opening of a new Omaha Pinnacle branch.

Important Keystone XL pipeline hearing held in Lincoln; KMTV, Fox 42 and WOWT too busy to show up; only KETV does

ABC affiliate KETV, which takes news seriously enough to maintain a bureau in the state capitol, was the only Omaha TV station to do its job. CBS affiliate KMTV, NBC affiliate WOWT and FOX 42 were too busy chasing ambulances and shaking their Go Big Red pompoms to send reporters to the hearing, which involved hundreds of people invested in the biggest environmental debate in Nebraska in decades.

Tuesday's State Department hearing at the Pershing Center in Lincoln was the first of two in Nebraska; another in Atkinson will be held Thursday. Only 33% of Nebraskans support the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline route through the Ogallala Aquifer. KVNO reports the following:
“Whiskey is for drinking, and water is for fighting, and we are in a fight for our water. TransCanada is in a fight for more profit,” State Senator Ken Haar said to boos and applause. “It’s the water we drink; it’s the water that enables our agricultural economy; it’s the water that is more valuable than oil.”
The North Platte Bulletin reported that droves of opponents attended the hearing; the paper's headline was "Pipeline public hearing: Resounding 'no'

The paper noted the attendance of 12-year-old Della Wilson of Bellevue:
“At 12 years old, I don’t belong to a clique or a political party, but I believe this is wrong. Your decision will affect me, my children and my grandchildren. Oil and jobs are important, but they are not required to sustain life. Water is.”
Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman preposterously continues to question whether the state has the authority to mandate an alternate pipeline route, even though both the Congressional Research Service and TransCanada itself say it does. As late as today in the Omaha World-Herald, Heineman was still passing the buck to the State Department, saying that the best way to affect the route would be for it to reject a permit TransCanada Inc. Heineman continues to refuse to call a special session of the Unicameral to pass pipeline regulations, of which Nebraska has virtually none.
Public comments will be accepted by the State Department until midnight EDT on Oct. 9. Comments may be emailed to Or, mail comments to: Keystone XL Project NID, P.O. Box 96503-98500, Washington, D.C. 20090-6503.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Amazon introduces two new e-ink Kindles and Kindle Fire, a proprietory Android tablet

First the new e-ink kindles:

The $199 Kindle Fire color Android tablet:

Evangelical bullies upstaged at University of Nebraska at Kearney by 'drag queen'

After seeing posts of this on Joe.My.God, then Towleroad, both referring to "Drag Queen" in their headlines, AKSARBENT was, like, Whoa! there are drag queens in Kearney? Nobody informed us before proceeding with this...

Imagine our relief when we actually watched the video and realized (as a commenter at JMG confirmed) that this was not a drag queen, this was a boy in a dress.

Whatever. We still liked the guerrilla theater that threw a monkey wrench into the photo op that the Christers undoubtedly intended to use to fleece more money from their flock.

As one YouTube commenter more familiar with Kearney and its denizens than we are, said: "Attaboy Spencer!"

Finally, as much as we like to root for the home team, we still prefer the way the reprobates at Yale handle situations like this. So thanks, pushy Cornhusker Christers, for providing AKSARBENT another excuse to show this magnificent picture taken by the Yale Daily News in 2009. We get almost as much of a kick out of the reaction of pink shirt dude as he is getting from the proceedings.

Today in Police War on Photography

Not all Texans enamoured of Rick Perry

Photo: Reinhard Heinen, Flickr
A friend of AKSARBENT's, wincing at Rick Perry's rise in national polls, (this was before his idiotic debate performances) all but prayed for the resurrection of Molly Ivins. ("I'm not antigun. I'm pro-knife.")

Fortunately, we may not need a second coming of Miss Ivins. In the deathless prose of George W. Bush himself: "Can't get fooled again."

The New York Times sums it up:
Unwilling to be taken for saps this time around — the local press pretty much gave G. W. B. a pass leading up to the 2000 election — many of the major publications have sharpened their coverage, especially since Perry announced. Cronyism? The Houston Chronicle has been relentless in tracking Perry’s pay-to-play tendencies. Opposition to progressive health care? The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit Web site (which is affiliated with The New York Times), revealed that Perry had an experimental adult stem-cell procedure for his back pain. And my Texas Monthly colleague Paul Burka has been moonlighting as Cassandra, deploring the collapse of state institutions during Perry’s term.
...This isn’t just about snobbery but about something far more important here: money. Texans who have spent zillions to brag about the state’s opera and ballet companies, and who have paid the likes of Santiago Calatrava for architectural gewgaws, also know that multinational corporations aren’t willing to locate in a place that has awful schools and toxic air and that wears its provincialism proudly.

Esoterica: How many times did The Rifleman fire?

Nothing is ever as cut and dried as you think. AKSARBENT counted 13, but it's apparently either 11 or 12 according to the excruciatingly informed comments (samples below) attached to the first YouTube video below. Not insignificant is the contention that the 1892 rifle Chuck Connors is supposed to have only held 11 bullets. BTW, Chuck Connors, who was better known as a baseball player, was the first professional basketball player to shatter a backboard, which he did in 1947 when he played for the Boston Celtics.

11 in holding 1 in chamber = 12.

If there was one in the chamber, he would have to pull the hammer back and pull the trigger, but he cocks the rifle which would eject the one in the chamber.

The soundtrack is part of the confusion, as Connors cocks the rifle you can hear part of a gunshot which some people count, so year hear 12.5 shots and see 12. I saw Connors in 1963 at the Houston Fat Stock Show, where he fired his rifle, which was loud but didn't sound like the show, confusing to a 9 year old.

I've read where Chuck said it only held 8, which I can't figure out. I own a 1892 44/40 and it definitely holds 11 shells. The only thing I can think of is that on set they never loaded more than 8 blanks for scenes and Chuck never realized it could hold more.

I believe the answer is 11. This is because a close-up shot is duplicated when the 2nd camara (zoomed-out) took over. In addition i think 13 total shots are heard though in total, perhaps 1 extra due to the duplication + 1 from the grassy knoll?! :)

The Rifleman opening sequence, extreme edition:

NHL won't take any action against Wayne Simmonds

Statement by NHL senior executive vice president of hockey operations regarding the slur (fucking faggot) that Sean Avery accused Simmonds of using against him:
"Since there are conflicting accounts of what transpired on the ice, we have been unable to substantiate with the necessary degree of certainty what was said and by whom. Specifically, Flyers player Wayne Simmonds has expressly denied using the homophobic slur he is alleged to have said. Additionally, none of the on-ice officials close to the altercation in question heard any inappropriate slurs uttered by either of the primary antagonists. In light of this, we are unable at this time to take any disciplinary action with respect to last night's events."
It sure looks to AKSARBENT that he said what Sean Avery accused him of saying...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Darrel Choat, Albion, NE native, recounts Marine reaction to his coming out on NPR after end of DADT

CAMP RIPPER, Iraq - Regimental Combat Team-2 awards officer Capt.
Darrel L. Choat (left), 42-year-old Albion, Neb., native, and Cpl. Paul N. Ibarra,
a 20-year-old Brooklyn-Mill Basin, N.Y., native and administrative clerk,
discuss work while working late one night. 2005 photo by Cpl. Ken Melton.
Well, one buddy leaned over and said, hey, were you on NPR this morning? And I said yes. Then, well, what was that about? And I said, well, "don't ask, don't tell" ended today. And he looks at me and he goes, yeah - so? And I says, well, it was about "don't ask, don't tell" ending today. And he goes, Oh. Then he finally got it.

At this point AKSARBENT supposes it would be just mean to dredge up the chant which used to be popular in the Air Force: "If you have a low IQ, you can be a jarhead too. Onnnnnne.......two. Onnnnnne.......two.

Fast-moving fire of unknown origin guts Iowa City's only gay bar

The fire started shortly after 2:00 a.m. (bar closing time in Iowa) at a Bagel shop next to the Yacht Club last Saturday. Mitchell Schmidt of the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported:
Amazingly, the building housing Iowa City's only gay bar, The Yacht Club and three apartments still was intact when the sun came up.

"I thought we were done," Thomas said, standing near a now water-covered dance floor. "I can't believe it's not worse than it is."

Thomas is one of several Iowa City business owners, residents and officials reeling from Saturday's fire that caused extensive damage to the Bruegger's Bagels building, 225 Iowa Ave., and the neighboring Van Patten building, 9 S. Linn St.

Mitt Romney / Donald Trump meeting lambasted by DNC in web video

(Via Americablog)

Monday, September 26, 2011

ABC's Desperate Housewives attacks Atheists; Marc Cherry onboard with the Christers-as-victims program

Last night's episode mentioned, in passing, the death of class rodent mascot Cupcake, whose burial occasioned a mini-meltdown as Susan obsessed over her coverup of Carlos' lethal reaction to intimidation of his wife by her stepfather/abuser. Typical Marc Cherry strange: trivializing (and worse) the church that allowed the abuse of Gabby to continue (a church which demonizes gay people like Cherry himself) then pandering to its adherents by taking a swipe at people who work to stop religious incursions in public schools. Here's the snippet of dialogue which aired last night:
There's a little spot in the garden where we bury the class pets... Have a little funeral, say a few words. Just don't mention god. Amanda's parents are atheists, lawyers and MAJOR douches.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Short takes: Another state GOP cries wolf over 'voter fraud;' origami paper bag handles; new hack can intercept PayPal session; messed-up military rape law

Maine Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster's claim that 200 out-of-state-tuition rate students were registered to vote in Maine and possibly double-voting not corroborated even once after a two-month investigation at state expense.

Do low capital gains taxes really spur investment?

High School students in Covina, California not amused by the firing of their gay water polo coach.

Microsoft charges Casio to license... Linux? ...and Windows 8 certified hardware may block Linux installations.

Practical origami: instant handles for paper bags.

New JavaScript hacking tool can intercept PayPal, other secure sessions.

Meat industry still denying antibiotic resistance.

Ask a Mexican: Am I supporting the Mexican drug cartels if I smoke pot?

Congress' messed-up new military rape law shifts consent burden of proof to defendent; but under the constitution, that's the prosecution's job.

Google Exec. Chair Eric Schmidt grilled at hearing by Al Franken on company's conflict of interest: fair search results vs. promoting company products

Bar heckler explains why he told Bristol Palin that her mother, Sarah, is a whore

He's a 47-year-old consultant who said he did the same thing to Newt Gingrich at the Four Seasons and who insists he was not a plant and isn't an actor.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Maggie Gallagher to lead Special Victims Unit of National Organization for Marriage

Maggie Gallagher couldn't bait gay people enough to attack her on her bus tours; in fact she couldn't even get kicked out of a recent public reading of the Prop 8 trial at a New York City theater, even though she did her best to block a balcony row and ate noisily from a plastic feed bag she frequently and loudly crunched.

But she's a game gal and is now supervising the production of propaganda videos which will apparently feature heterosexual supremacists whose gilded cages are rattled when companies refuse to hire them after seeing how they moonlight.

Frank Turek, NOM martyr crucified by Cisco and Bank of America:

Frank Turek, strutting Christer bully misrepresenting evolution:

Here Turek presents the kindergarten version of evolution, wondering why, if homosexuality is genetic and not learned, it hasn't disappeared because of the rather low birth rates among same sex couples. This only makes sense if you're stupid. If you're not, you would immediately wonder why, for example, about 7% of domestic rams will have nothing to do with ewes. Generation after generation after generation, to the eternal frustration of sheep ranchers. Obviously, nature is selecting FOR a certain amount of exclusive homosexuality among sheep even more strongly than nonreproduction selects against it. But Turek is either too dumb to realize this or too dishonest to say so. Either way, AKSARBENT wouldn't hire the jerk to mop the floor. Now, after googling his activities, CISCO and BofA aren't either, so *poof* he's a victim.


Bristol Palin, daughter of famous heterosexual supremacist, visits West Hollywood bar wearing Christer T-Shirt followed by film crew; gets the footage she came for

John Cornyn, idiot GOP senator from Texas, wants Warren Buffett to release his tax returns

Sen. Cornyn at Ft. Bliss
His reason: “I know that Mr. Buffett’s not likely to release his tax records, but I’ll bet what it’ll show you is that most of what he earns is from capital gains, which is taxed at a 15 percent tax rate rather than deriving it as income [for] which he’d pay a much higher tax rate.”

Well, duh, moron. That capital gains taxes are too low is exactly Buffett's point. And, not incidentally, the Oracle of Omaha DID show his tax return to talk show host Charlie Rose — last month.

News: Georgia simply won't allow gun-pointing, weed-smoking, door-kicking, sheriff-insulting Anthony Peters to remain on its bench

(Magistrate Judge Anthony Peters, via Talking Points Memo)
The Georgia Supreme Court has maintained the high standards of that state's judiciary by throwing Magistrate Judge Anthony Peters off the bench for pulling a gun in the courthouse, pointing it at himself and saying to another judge: "I am not scared. Are you all scared?" Also for smoking pot once a week from at least March to May of 2010. Also for kicking in two doors in his sister-in-law's estranged husband's house. Also for calling in to a talk show where the Catoosa County Sheriff was being interviewed and, after initially trying to disguise his voice with various foreign accents, calling the lawman a "spineless jelly spine," and letting him know that he had "crapped himself."

AKSARBENT applauds the uncompromisingly rigidity of Georgia's judicial ethics and that system's vigilance in maintaining such a high bar of professional comportment. It also suggests that ex-judge Peters try looking for work in Texas.

Jon Stewart worried about excessive taxes on Bill O'Reilly, other millionaires

New Hampshire Rick Perry endorser:
state sold kids to gay couples for $10,000 each

Mother Jones reports that a new Rick Perry New Hampshire endorser, state Rep. Al Baldasaro, sparked an outcry in 2010 when he compared adoption by same-sex couples to child traffick­ing. New Hampshire passed a law in 2008 per­mit­ting unmarried same-sex couples to adopt children. Afterward, Baldasaro testified before a legislative committee that New Hampshire "sold each kid to a homosexual couple that's not mar­ried for $10,000." Baldasaro later apologized, called the statement "a bad choice of words," and claimed he was referring to federal money received by the state to cover adoption costs.

Elizabeth Warren vs. Scott Brown in Massachussetts

Sen. Scott Brown doesn't understand why upstart Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren is already leading him by two points in polls. Maybe he should watch this video.

(Via Towleroad; see blog list)

How Florence Henderson figured out Robert Reed was gay; Brady Bunch star also has a Google problem

Related: Florence Henderson's Google problem:

After R.E.M. breakup, Michael Stipe drops some inhibitions and his pants

The short, not really a music video, was posted on Stipe's tumblr page. AKSARBENT, while impressed, likes this earlier video better.

Gay GI in Iraq booed by Republicans at Fox debate

(Dave Evans clip via Towleroad)

Tony Bennett offers completely unnecessary apology for his 9/11 remarks on Howard Stern's radio program

Bennett, 85, fought in the Battle of the Bulge in WWII and marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 60s. He said the experiences made him into a humanist and pacifist.

Bennett's statement included the following assertion: "There is simply no excuse for terrorism and the murder of the nearly 3,000 innocent victims of the 9/11 attacks on our country...I am sorry if my statements suggested anything other than an expression of my love for my country, my hope for humanity and my desire for peace throughout the world."

On Stern's show, Bennett took issue to with Stern's assertions that the terrorists "started it," and obviously referred to blowback from U.S. policies in the Middle East.

"They flew the plane in but we caused it," Bennett said on the show. "Because we were bombing them and they told us to stop."

Iowa Family Leader uses anti-Bob Vander Plaats T shirt to raise money

This shirt, with our President & CEO Bob Vander Plaats's face on it, is for sale at a t-shirt store in Des Moines' East Village. (Note: the letters are not blurred out on the actual shirt.) I guess the people behind this would rather attack and smear an individual than have a civil discussion about the issues.
Vander Plaats, whom the Iowa Family Leader claims was 'smeared,' laughed and said 'Good one' at a fag joke told to him in Audubon, Iowa earlier this year and has refused to apologize. The Iowa Family Leader is using the attack against its leader to peddle $40 yearly partnerships on its web site.

William Shatner at Charlie Sheen roast:
'Who's the warlock now, bitch?'

Comedy Central's Charlie Sheen roast
"I was recently at a celebrity auction where I sold one of my kidney stones for $75,000. Oh yeah, oh yeah. Do you understand what I've done? I synthesized uric acid and calcium inside my bladder and turned it into a house for Habitat for Humanity. Who's the warlock now, bitch?"

Bonus from Mike Tyson: "As the bard once said, "All the world's a stage and Charlie's been booed off them all... (to another roaster) "During your performance I wish I'd bitten my own fucking ears off."

Renault's and Nissan's ad agencies both rip off student spec ad for Mitsubishi electric car

Probably neither Renault nor Mitsubishi copied each other, as their ads came out within days of each other. It's more likely that their ad agencies both ripped off a much funnier spec ad for Mitsubishi's i-MiEV made by German film students months ago...

Privacy: GM now compiling your GPS location and speed 'for any purpose, at any time' — even if you cancel OnStar

Jonathan Zdziarski's blog has some disturbing news for GM owners:
OnStar’s latest T&C has some very unsettling updates to it, which include the ability to now collect your GPS location information and speed “for any purpose, at any time”. They also have apparently granted themselves the ability to sell this personal information, and other information to third parties, including law enforcement. To add insult to a slap in the face, the company insists they will continue collecting and selling this personal information even after you cancel your service, unless you specifically shut down the data connection to the vehicle after canceling. This could mean that if you buy a used car with OnStar, or even a new one that already has been activated by the dealer, your location and other information may get tracked by OnStar without your knowledge, even if you’ve never done business with OnStar.

The complete update can be found here.

Anonymized GPS data? There’s no such thing! ... If your vehicle is consistently parked at your home, driving down your driveway, or taking a left or right turn onto your street every single day, its pretty obvious that this is where you live! 

What is more profitable to OnStar that your personal GPS data could be used for?... How about employers who purchase these records from these third parties to see where their employees (or prospective employees) travel to (and how fast), sleaze bag lawyers who want to subpoena these records to use against you if you’re ever sued...?

...To make matters even more insulting, it was difficult to ensure the data connection was shut down after canceling. I still have no guarantee OnStar did what they were supposed to. I had to request the data connection be shut down repeatedly, after the OnStar rep attempted to leave it on and ignore my requests.

When will our congress pass legislation that stops the American people’s privacy from being raped by large data warehousing interests? Companies like OnStar, Google, Apple, and the other large abusive data warehousing companies desperately need to be investigated.

Craigslist sues unemployed man for $1.2 million for posting management software he "shut down" in 2008; questionable legal tactics alleged; man claims he was never served

Mike Masnick of Techdirt reports on Craigslist's questionable and aggressive legal tactics in going after software writers writing posting management software.
Hubert makes it clear that his software was designed for legitimate uses of Craigslist, for those who needed better management tools. In fact, he makes it clear that he left out and/or disabled certain features if he realized they might be attractive to spammers. For example, after noticing that the Craigslist Personals section was hit with a lot of spam, and realizing that such a category probably wouldn't need such a management system, he blocked the software from posting to that category. Hubert claims that in 2007 Craig Newmark himself reached out to Hubert to ask for some details about the software. Hubert says that the emails were "encouraging" and never once did Newmark suggest any concerns or problems with the software, let alone ask Hubert to stop offering it. Hubert also notes that after running into more issues with spammers trying to use his software, he shut down the whole thing at the end of 2008.

Tea Party trashed in ad by health advocacy group

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

National Guard readiness officer stationed in Ashland, NE marries boyfriend 11 hours after DADT repeal

The Lincoln Journal-Star reports that Gregory Smith, 48 (left), got married to John Burns, 39, an employee of Kawasaki's Lincoln rail car production unit, "in a state that recognizes gay marriage," which would be Iowa, specifically, Council Bluffs. Congratulations and best wishes from AKSARBENT. Oh wait — no bride, so congratulations and congratulations. Our apologies to etiquette goddess Letitia Baldridge, alumna of Omaha's Sacred Heart Convent.

Rondo Leewright, one of the greatest of St. Louis Blues singers, is dead at 65 of cardiac arrest

The fantastically talented biracial lead singer of the Soulard Blues Band and later his own group, Rondo's Blues Deluxe, was born in Brockton MA but raised by a black St. Louis area couple. He was described as a combination of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Joe Cocker.

Online gamers discover structure of AIDS-like retroviral enzyme in three weeks — after it stumped scientists for a decade

The enzyme, a Mason-Pfizer monkey virus (MPMV) retroviral protease, was accurately modeled by Foldit players in well under a month, and opens a window on developing antiretroviral drugs which may treat AIDS. According to the New York Times, the clever game, which crowd-sources the considerable spatial ingenuity of gamers and harnesses it to medical research, works like this,
Foldit begins with a series of tutorials in which the player controls proteinlike structures on a computer display. In the game, as structures are modified, a score is calculated based on how well the protein is folded. Players are given a set of controls that let them do things like “shake,” “wiggle” and “rebuild” to reshape the backbone and the amino acid side shapes of a specific protein into a more efficient structure.

Five billion medical claims will be analyzed by Health Care Cost Institute team to find a way out of unsustainable spiral of health care costs

For the first time, data from four of the largest U.S. health insurers, Aetna, Humana, Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealth Group, plus government data from Medicare Fee For Service and Medicare Advantage will be analyzed (after being stripped of patient IDs) by a research team headed by Carnegie Mellon University professor Martin Gaynor.

The data includes information on more than 5,000 hospitals, a million health care providers and more than $1,000,000,000,000 in health care spending over the last decade.

Jon Stewart marks the end of DADT

"If you're watching the show from a military base, and your fellow soldiers seem from 2-10% happier today... there's a reason."

No, Rick Perry, Social Security is not a Ponzi Scheme

Mother Jones magazine

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pissed off penguin (and if your continent were
melting wouldn't you be?)

AKSARBENT would take a dim of humans intimidating penguins were it not for the fact that by all accounts, Antarctic penguins aren't much worried by people.

J. Edgar trailer released

As for the gay element in the film (USA Today via Towleroad), Director Clint Eastwood said:

"I'd heard all the various controversies and gossip—that he wore dresses at parties. Everybody was saying, maybe he's gay because he'd never gotten married. But that's the way they did it back in the '40s. If a guy didn't get married, they always thought, Oh, there's something wrong with him....[Associate FBI director Clyde Tolson and he] were inseparable pals. Now, whether he was gay or not is gonna be for the audience to interpret. It could have been just a great love story between two guys. Or it could have been a great love story that was also a sexual story...It's not a movie about two gay guys. It's a movie about how this guy manipulated everybody around him and managed to stay on through nine presidents. I mean, I don't give a crap if he was gay or not."

Leonardo DiCaprio:

"What we're saying is that he definitely had a relationship with Tolson that lasted for nearly fifty years. Neither of them married. They lived close to one another. They worked together every day. They vacationed together. And there was rumored to be more. There are definite insinuations of—well, I'm not going to get into where it goes, but…If I were a betting man, I actually don't know what I would bet [regarding his sexuality]."

Al would have liked this...

Local readers of AKSARBENT well remember our late mutual friend, a master of deadpan sarcasm, practical carpentry, and an occasionally crazy aficionado of George Dickel.

Al, of Fortuna, California, was fond of awesomely loud shirts gayer than a tree full of parrots, (think early Arnold Schwarzenegger) and used to be a finance officer in the United States Air Force.

Though he had a keen interest in shirts, Al was indifferent to shoes and was once told by his boss at an Omaha social service agency to buy new ones, as he was beginning to take on the patina of a homeless person.

Al had a bifurcated mind which was 50% nuts and bolts (his dad ran a hardware store) and 50% whimsy (he once ran his own art gallery and published an arts newspaper.)

In the early 90s, Al was present during a discussion about a DADT news story in which various heads of the armed services were asked how they would react if a service member confessed he or she thought they might be homosexual.

Al's favorite response was from the representative of HIS branch of service, who said he would ask said service member to decide one way or the other and get back to him.

Today, another Air Force finance officer, Josh Seefried (aka "JD Smith"), who cofounded the 4300-member servicemember LGBT group Outserve, revealed his identify following the repeal of DADT.

Al would have delightedly toasted a successor who has the very job he once had, and who has rocked the boat, so to speak, as much as Josh has. But since Al can no longer tie one on, AKSARBENT will making two toasts in his absence.

U.S. Copyright law explained via Star Wars

Jane Lynch at the Emmys: TV is a liquid crystal wonderland — except for HBO, which isn't TV

Madmen vignette (at 4:17):
Jane Lynch, singing: Where what makes a good workplace environment is sexism, smoking and scotch!
Don Draper: Sweetheart, can you get us some coffee?
Jane Lynch: You're hilarious. I'm not a secretary, I'm the host of the Emmys
Pete Campbell: The Emmys? What you should be doing is learning how to type and firing the guy who gave you that man's haircut.
Jane Lynch: Well, a lot has changed since 1965; in fact women can marry other women... Hey Peggy...
Peggy Olson: Hi.
Joan Harris: Women with other women? Men must hate that...
Peggy Olson: Does that mean women don't have to sleep with men anymore to make it to the top?
Jane Lynch: No, you still have to do that... But, on the bright side, people can watch television on their phones... and if they want to, well, they can fast forward through the commercials.
Don Draper: You're gonna turn around, you're gonna walk out of here, we're gonna pretend like we never met you.
Jane Lynch: OK. And this haircut cost more than your house.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Here Comes Trouble: Michael Moore's new book about his life before Roger & Me made him famous

At 18 he became allegedly the youngest elected public official in America by winning a seat on the Board of Education to get revenge on a sadistic teacher.

Moore had the following to say in an interview with the Financial Times:
“You have a Republican group of candidates that are certifiably insane. They think the country is as crazy as they are. It’s not. Granted, I think a good 50m people are probably certifiably nuts too but this is a big country. There’s over 200m voters. We can weather 50m idiots.”

The New York Times Book Review mentioned the time, in high school (when Elks Lodges still accepted only Caucasions), that Moore took the opportunity to use an Elk-sponsored essay contest about Abraham Lincoln to excoriate the organization in front of the Chief Elk.
The speech began, the author recalls, with the words “How dare the Elks Club.” It ended with: “And you can keep your stinkin’ trophy.” “The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite” and other national media outlets called for interviews. A rowdy star was born.
In the opening chapter, Moore described his efforts while out of the spotlight to get fit and the results:
“If you take a punch at me now,” he announces, the following will happen: “(1) You will break your hand. That’s the beauty of spending just a half hour a day on your muscular-skeletal structure — it turns into kryptonite; (2) I will fall on you. I’m still working on my core and balance issues, so after you slug me I will tip over and crush you.”

The Catholic boy that’s still alive inside Mr. Moore adds: “It won’t be on purpose, and while you are attempting to breathe, please know I’ll be doing my best to get off you.”

Mayor Suttle, American Lung Association to Near North Omaha residents: Screw you!

This Sunday, Omaha's Corporate Cup run, for the umpteenth time, snarled traffic and actually trapped hapless motorists unlucky enough to be between taped barricades on Florence and on 16th, unable to escape North since no streets between those points go through and stopped from a southern exit by more barriers.

Once again the organizers of the Corporate Cup Run (the American Lung Association, 8990 West Dodge Rd., Suite 226, Omaha, NE 68114, 402-502-4950) and Mayor Jim Suttle (402- 444-5000) have demonstrated that they don't give a rat's ass about people in Near North neighborhoods who don't like the imperious yearly invasion and the total disruption of their mobility.

If Suttle and the high-handed American Lung Association dared to inconvenience well-to-do West Omahans by barricading THEIR streets and quarantining THEIR residents, they'd be barricading themselves in their own offices from entitled yuppies screaming bloody murder.

The American Lung Association's contempt for the neighborhoods it disturbs by commandeering their roadways and blocking their access with 12,000 runners is so complete that it doesn't even bother to publish a route map with street closings and times on its website.

The Omaha Police Department, by blocking off ALL access between 16th and Florence for about a mile, including southern exits (no Northern streets go though at that point in the route) apparently believes that the rights of thousands of interlopers to completely lock down a neighborhood trump the rights of area residents to leave their homes during the American Lung Association's fundraiser. 
We'd like nothing better than to see residents greeting the tone-deaf participants with signs reading "Go play on the Interstate, jerks."

Christmas creep: Nordstrom draws a line in the pre-Labor Day Summer sand

USA Today notes the endless cascade of retailers jumping the starting blocks of the Christmas sales blitz by reporting that Costco's Christmas decorations were up before Labor Day (that would be Summer, AKSARBENT observes crossly.)

By the  end of September, Home Depot, Kmart, Sears and Walmart also will have holiday trimmings in stores.

Not so Nordstrom, which never decorates before the day after Thanksgiving. Spokesperson Pamela Lopez: "We believe in celebrating one holiday at a time."

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Michele Bachmann on Jay Leno: Tonight Show host clearly not a fan of her position on gay marriage

Richard Adams, in his Guardian blog post entitled Michele Bachmann gets no laughs from Jay Leno wrote this:
Asking about the clinic run by her husband, Leno was even more dismissive: "That whole 'pray the gay away' thing, I don't get that."

"When I heard that I thought it was a mid-life crisis thing, 'prayer raises grey'," was Bachmann's lame attempt at a jokey reply, which drew only an annoyed grunt from Leno.

"You know what I'm saying," he said.

3 trailer: German director Tom Tykwer's new
2-men-1-woman love triangle drama

Oklahoma Gov. Fallin ignores 200,000 emails urging her to repudiate State Rep. Kern's accusation that gayness is a greater threat than terrorism

200,000 emails by HRC members and supporters to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and state legislative leaders, calling on them to speak out against State Rep. Sally Kern’s dangerous anti-LGBT remarks, have been met with stony silence. Kern recently called homosexuality a bigger threat to the United States than terrorism. The Human Rights Campaign said this:
“The silence of Governor Fallin and Oklahoma’s legislative leadership [Speaker of the House Kris Steele and Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman] is deafening, particularly given the number of people we now see calling on them to speak out. Enough is enough. Sally Kern has a long track record of outrageously slandering LGBT Americans, ethnic and religious groups, and women. It’s time for Oklahoma’s leaders to stand up to her bigotry and hold her accountable for her remarks.”
     HRC is calling on its members and supporters to keep the pressure up on Governor Fallin, Speaker Steele and President Pro Tempore Bingman, and to rally friends and family to join in taking action. For the latest, visit

Friday, September 16, 2011

Short takes: Poverty jumps, Netflix revolt, Republicans try to keep DADT, Illinois law against recording police finds sympathetic judge

Census Bureau reports that the number of people in deep poverty is highest in 36 years

California Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and another committee member, South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson have written a letter asking Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to delay the new policy allowing gays to serve openly in the military

A great roll-your-own budget PC for about $600. What to buy

Is copyright law becoming too draconian? Witness this year's introduction of the PROTECT IP Act and S. 978, which would make unauthorized streaming a felony

600,000 customers quit Netflix over price increase

Seventh Circuit appeals court judge Richard Posner seems to agree with Illinois' repressive law against recording police in public

Omaha's hail-pummeled "string of pearls" globe lights along Abbott Drive to be replaced by energy-saving LED lights; will still shine upward, contributing to light pollution, the bane of stargazers

University of Iowa apologizes for tweet referring to Michele Bachmann as a cougar

Iowa Democratic Senate majority in jeopardy; GOP Gov. Branstad entices Democrat in swing district to leave legislature; Iowa gay marriage could be undone

Iowa State Senator Swati Dandekar
Jason Clayworth of the Des Moines Register reports that Gov. Terry Branstad will appoint a Marion senator and Democrat, Swati Dandekar, to an $85,000 job at the Iowa Utilities Board, a move that leaves open a Republican-leaning seat and a chance for the GOP to lock up the Senate in a tie 25 to 25 split.
Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal and other leaders discussed the issue with their members today in a conference call. They have not conceded defeat, promising an aggressive challenge to retain the seat.

“It would certainly change the Senate,” said Senate President Jack Kibbie of Emmetsburg. “A lot of the conservative issues that came from the House died in the Senate.”

It means that Republicans could finally break the stalemate that has prevented them from passing some of their key initiatives.

One key issue: A constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage.

All 24 Republicans are in favor of the amendment and a few conservative Democrats are on board. Gronstal has said he will refuse to call the issue up but with a 25-to-25 split, he may no longer be able to hold the line, noted Tim Hagle, a political science professor at the University of Iowa.

Tom Osborne cancels TransCanada stadium ads during Husker football games

Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Nebraska. Photo: BeatBoxBadHabit, Flickr
UNL Athletic Director Tom Osborne has voided a contract negotiated by IMG Husker Sports Network last April for TransCanada stadium ads during Husker football games.

"I want to make it clear that the athletic department has no position, either pro or con, regarding the proposed Pipeline," Osborne said in a statement.

The stadium video ads elicited booing during recent games.

BOLD Nebraska, which is fighting the TransCanada Pipeline, launched an online petition earlier this week to get Osborne to drop the ads and was planning to purchse 1,000 foam “cornfingers” with anti-pipeline slogans that fans could hoist into the air when the TransCanada ads were displayed.

A TransCanada official told the Omaha World-Herald that company was disappointed with the decision to drop the ads, saying they were not political but aimed at glorifying Nebraska's traditional “pipeline” of great offensive linemen.

(Please excuse AKSARBENT for a moment while it visits the restroom to talk to Ralph on the Big White Phone.)

Although Bold Nebraska has called off the stadium protests, it isn't done with TransCanada's spin on the story.
It's crystal clear that TransCanada's become too toxic to handle. When college football's best fans start booing your ads (not even the other team), well, the actions speak for themselves.
     Of course, TransCanada's spin doctor Jeff Rauh was on hand to express the company's remorse that they can't "be a part of the community" anymore. Sorry guys, foreign companies who bully landowners and buy off elected officials aren't community members Nebraska wants.
     He promised that TransCanada would take the ad money and give it to non-profits in the state. Well if that's true, we want a list published of when they get their checks and how much they are getting. 
     Maybe TransCanada considers their astroturf group the Nebraska Energy Forum a non-profit and will give them more money for their misleading push polls? Or does Rauh mean real non-profits that actually contribute to our communities like the Center for People in Need?
     And even if TransCanada does try to donate money to real non-profits, will they accept it? The Huskers have already shown that they're steering clear of TransCanada's toxic cash. Will anyone else want money that's as toxic as the tar sands TransCanada wants to pump through the Ogallala Aquifer?

New poll: 53% favor government recognition of same­sex couples; figures about the same as last year's

Steve Tanis, left, and his partner of 13 years, Rich Garraputa, both from Greensboro, N.C., walk toward the North Carolina Legislative Building after a rally against a state constitutional amendment banning all domestic legal unions in North Carolina except those between a man and a woman, on Halifax Mall in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011. Ted Richardson /AP Photo

A new nationwide telephone poll by The Associated Press and the National Constitution Center reveals that 53% of 1,000 adults surveyed believe the government should give legal recognition to marriages between couples of the same sex, about the same as last year.

48 percent, said they would favor a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

57 percent said same-sex couples should be entitled to the same legal benefits as married couples of the opposite sex.

Anderson Cooper reviews the reel of Michele Bachmann falsehoods

Rachel Maddow:
World Net Daily nutcase "training" FBI agents?

Possibly Gay U.S. presidents list: Clinton only #8

11 points: You find yourself involved in enough threesome, foursomes, ninesomes and dodecasomes and eventually you're going to cross swords with someone.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Who voted against gay marriage in North Carolina?

The North Carolina Senate has approved SB 514, sending to voters a constitutional amendment that would appear to forbid not only gay marriage but civil unions and domestic partnerships as well.

ThinkProgress observed:

Despite this supposed weakening of the language, the new bill does not seem to be all that accommodating:
Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.  This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into  contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit  courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.
If one-man/one-woman marriage is still the “only domestic legal  union” that will be recognized, how exactly does the additional language  leave room for domestic partnerships? Law professors have condemned it  as “vague and untested,” suggesting it may even “invalidate domestic violence protections” for unmarried couples.

Against placing constitutional amendment to ban all gay legal unions on ballot in North Carolina: Atwater, Berger, D., Blue, Clodfelter, Dannelly, Garrou, Graham, Jenkins, Jones, Kinnaird, McKissick, Nesbitt, Purcell, Robinson, Stein, Vaughan

For placing constitutional amendment to ban all gay legal unions on ballot in North Carolina: Allran Apodaca, Berger, P., Bingham, Blake, Brock, Brown, Brunstetter, Clary, Daniel, Davis, East, Forrester, Goolsby, Gunn, Harrington, Hise, Hunt, Jackson, Meredith, Newton, Pate, Preston, Rabon, Rouzer, Rucho, Soucek, Stevens, Tillman, Tucker

Absent: Hartsell, Mansfield, Walters, White

Here is how the North Carolina House voted on the same issue yesterday:

1295      SB514DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE.   
Third Reading
Outcome: PASSED
Time: Sep 12 2011  6:02PM

Total Votes: 117   Ayes: 75   Noes: 42   Not: 2   Exc. Absent: 1   Exc. Vote: 0


Ayes:   Representative(s): Brisson; Crawford; Floyd; Goodman; Graham; Hill; McGuirt; Owens; Pierce; SpearRepresentative(s):  Avila; Barnhart; Blackwell; Blust; Boles; Brawley; Brown, L.; Brown, R.;  Brubaker; Burr; Cleveland; Collins; Cook; Current; Daughtry; Dixon;  Dockham; Dollar; Faircloth; Folwell; Frye; Gillespie; Guice; Hager;  Hastings; Hilton; Hollo; Holloway; Howard; Hurley; Iler; Ingle; Johnson;  Jones; Jordan; Justice; Killian; Langdon; LaRoque; Lewis; McComas;  McCormick; McElraft; McGee; Mills; Moffitt; Moore, T.; Murry; Pridgen;  Randleman; Sager; Saine; Samuelson; Sanderson; Setzer; Shepard; Stam;  Starnes; Steen; Stevens; Stone; Tillis (SPEAKER); Torbett; Warren, H.;  West
Noes:   Representative(s):  Adams; Alexander, K.; Alexander, M.; Bell; Bordsen; Brandon; Bryant;  Carney; Cotham; Earle; Faison; Farmer-Butterfield; Fisher; Gill;  Glazier; Hackney; Haire; Hall; Hamilton; Harrison; Insko; Jackson;  Jeffus; Keever; Lucas; Luebke; Martin; McLawhorn; Michaux; Mobley;  Moore, R.; Parfitt; Parmon; Rapp; Ross; Tolson; Wainwright; Warren, E.;  Weiss; Wilkins; Womble; WrayRepresentative(s): None
Not Voting:   Representative(s): None Representative(s): Bradley; McGrady
Exc. Absence:   Representative(s): None Representative(s): Horn

Matt Baume: Marriage News Watch 9/11/11

A legal skirmish in the Prop 8 case sets the stage for a big victory down the line. Meanwhile, A-list celebs come together to tell the story of the Prop 8 trial. Marriage debate is slated for Monday morning in North Carolina, and Minnesota's newest anti-gay activist [Chris Plante] comes with some skeletons in his closet.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

University of Iowa students ask for — and get — LGBT residence hall floor

School officials say they are open to the idea and say they plan to put it on the application for next fall. Students tried to get a floor this year, but only a handful signed up.


Rolling Stone: Koch Brothers funding GOP war on Democratic voters

Rolling Stone has taken note of new obstacles to voting, which include requiring voters to prove citizenship before registering, making it harder for groups to register new voters, repealing Election day voter registration, cutting short early voting periods, barring all ex-felons, and in six states controlled by GOP governors and legislatures, requiring voters to produce government-issued IDs at the polls. More than 10 percent of U.S. citizens lack such ID and among groups more like to vote Democratic, like the young and blacks, the numbers are, respectively, 18 and 25 percent.

Karl Rove Karl has apparently told the Republican National Lawyers Association that illegal voting is "an enormous and growing problem." In parts of America, he said, "we are beginning to look like we have elections like those run in countries where the guys in charge are colonels in mirrored sunglasses."

The truth is that a major probe by the Justice Department between 2002 and 2007 failed to prosecute a single person for going to the polls and impersonating an eligible voter.. Out of the 300 million votes cast in that period, federal prosecutors convicted only 86 people for voter fraud – and many of the cases involved immigrants and former felons who were simply unaware of their ineligibility. A much-hyped investigation in Wisconsin, meanwhile, led to the prosecution of only 7/100 of one percent of the local electorate for alleged voter fraud.
Republicans have long tried to drive Democratic voters away from the polls. "I don't want everybody to vote," the influential conservative activist Paul Weyrich told a gathering of evangelical leaders in 1980. "As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down." But since the 2010 election, thanks to a conservative advocacy group founded by Weyrich, the GOP's effort to disrupt voting rights has been more widespread and effective than ever. In a systematic campaign orchestrated by the American Legislative Exchange Council – and funded in part by David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who bankrolled the Tea Party – 38 states introduced legislation this year designed to impede voters at every step of the electoral process.
 In an update, Rolling Stone reported on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights hearing on this issue, held 9/8/2011 and entitled “New State Voting Laws: Barriers to the Ballot?”

AKSARBENT readers may view the webcast here.

Harvey Perlman's State of the University Address puts new spin on an old joke

Perlman, Chancellor of the University of Nebraska, said:
It is my privilege for the first time to address you as chancellor of one of the 12 members of the Big Ten, rather than as one of the 10 members of the Big 12 — which proves there are three kinds of athletic conferences, those who can count and those who can't.

National Organization for Marriage, Mormon front group, targets David Weprin; group bombarding New Yorkers with robocalls urging election of Bob Turner

Despite NOM's recent failure to defeat gay marriage legislation in New York (See posts here, here and here)  the LDS-organized political group is again innundating New Yorkers with annoying robo calls, this time trashing David Weprin in attempt to elect Bob Turner to replace Anthony Weiner. Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein officiates this time. And yes, that would be the same Orthodox Jew on record saying that gays cause earthquakes.

This summer, an astute AKSARBENT reader recommended a way to get NOM to leave your phone alone:
Chris said...
I found out better information - call 202-457-8060 and ask to speak to Dave Monge, with the National Organization for Marriage. I called him and very sternly told him to take me off their call list or I will be calling my local law enforcement people, because it amounts to harassment. Bloggers everywhere please post this information - and call his # to get a real person on the phone, not a full answering machine that ignores you.