Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Stacey Campfield will co-chair Newt Gingrich's Tennessee campaign with fellow heterosexual supremacist Tony Shipley

Two of the most homophobic members of Tennesee's legislature, Senator Stacey Campfield and Representative Tony Shipley, are Newt Gingrich's Campaign co-chairmen for the Volunteer State.

Related: Knoxville News columnist Sam Venable says "Any joint that won't serve Stacey Campfield is my kind of place." Venable said the direct quote to him by Martha Boggs, "I said I wasn't serving that (s.o.b)," should be "cast in bronze and permanently affixed to the building."

Also related: The Murfreesboro, TN pundits of Red State update "endorse" Newt Gingrich...

Border collie takes 5 while rabbit herds sheep

Craig Ferguson and his haunted Omaha hotel

I stayed in some great hotels when I was out on the road... and none of them were haunted, except one. Now I can't tell you which one, but it was the Hotel Deco in Omaha, Nebraska [the former Raddison Reddick, downtown at 15th & Harney.]
     I know some of you are probably skeptical that the hotel was haunted. 'Did you see ghosts. Craig?' No, I didn't see ghosts. Or, 'Did the furniture move?' No. No, I didn't see that.
     But I did hear a spooky moaning in the middle of the night. I heard that... But that was just the hobo sleeping next to me. I know I shouldn't really pick up snory hobos. By the way, Snory Hobos is the folk singer who opens for me on the road.

Monday, January 30, 2012

TN Sen. Stacey Campfield says Bistro at the Bijou owner yelled at him, called him names; says he may be victim of discrimination; Campfield helped kill Nashville's gay rights ordinance

A photo-shopped picture of TN state representative Stacey Campfield - Patriotboy.blogspot.com
Photo-illustration of Tennessee state senator
It seems that Stacey Campfield has a blog, called Camp4u (please excuse AKSARBENT while it does a spit take.)
     Camp4u's URL is http://lastcar.blogspot.com/ which is certainly as logical as anything else Campfield does.
     Today, in said blog, Tennessee's model of legislative tolerance tells his side of the incident in which he was ejected from Sunday brunch line at a restaurant on Gay St., (really!) in Knoxville, TN.

     But it's what Campfield said on the weekend that AKSARBENT found so, um, interesting.
     On Sunday Campfield proved the "hetero­sexual AIDS epidemic" was manufactured to draw support for gays with this link:
     On Friday, Campfield insisted that his claim that writer Randy Shilt's so-called patient zero in his book And the Band Played On was infected by HIV because he screwed a monkey. (Campfield took a discredited myth and then something totally from the twilight zone and simply put them together!) And he's using the following language to insist that his fairy tale could have happened:
The research on sex with a monkey being the first transmitter of AIDS has not been proven nor firmly dis proven. It is one of about 5 theories I was able to find on the source of AIDS. No credible source said any one was clearly definitive one way or the other.
AKSARBENT also has a theory: When Stacey Campfield was in high school, he drove to Nashville and seduced Dolly Parton's husband in a gravel truck. He didn't like the experience and now he's on a mission. And since this has neither been proven nor disproven, we're going to call up Michelangelo Signorile tomorrow and tell him it's true.

Also on Friday, Campfield blogged this:
Only the last link is from the CDC. It shows that Black Straight Women got HIV almost as frequently as did Hispanic "MSM" — 5,400 to 6,000. And Black heterosexual men got HIV at about 1/4 the rate of Black "MSM." A lot less, but also a whole lot more than Campfield's 'almost never' incidence. Campfield went on to say that sexually active people...
"get AIDS through heterosexual sex at about 1 in 5 million. Most  "Normal" people I imagine would also stay away from the IV drug users,  hemophiliacs, known disease carriers, prostitutes and other high risk  people. Also conceding a man less likely to receive the disease then a  women because of the nature of sex, the odds of a man getting AIDS from a  female are pretty low."
Incredibly, in the CDC report linked to by Campfield there's a revelation that 12,400 of 28,200 of new MSM HIV infections among Black, White and Hispanic MSMs FORTY THREE PERCENT — were in the 13-29 age group.  In that Campfield-cited report, the CDC said prevention efforts were vital. But Campfield, who apparently doesn't read what he recommends, wants to stop discussion of homosexuality in the public schools that most 13-year-olds attend. Nice work, Campfield.

And now, Campfield's version of his Bistro Brunch encounter. You can believe it if you like.
As you may have read I was asked to leave a restaurant in Knoxville  because my beliefs did not support the owners beliefs on homosexuality. I  had not said anything. I was just standing there waiting for a table when the owner came up and started yelling at me calling me names and  telling me they were not going to serve me because of my alleged beliefs  saying I hate gays. I said in as calm a way as I could that I don't  hate gays and the things I have said were backed up by the CDC. I offered to send her the links.
     I  have been quite open and clear on my beliefs and have backed them up  with facts from the CDC and others. Unfortunately some people do not let  facts get in the way of their prejudice.
     She looked confused on  what to do for a second then she started to yell and call me names  again so I figured it was better to just leave. As Jesus said, "If you  are not welcomed in a town shake the dust off your feet and move on". My  friends and I went to latitude 35 and had a good breakfast.
     The  cries of "Ha ha. we showed him!" fall flat to me. It is not I who lost  out. My friends and I still had a good meal. We just gave our money to a  more gracious host.
     What was showed was a lack of  professionalism. In my legislative role I have always had an open door  to any of my constituency. Gay rights groups have been in my office  several times and I would like to think that even though we may disagree  on some issues I have always treated them graciously.
     In my  private business (Property rental) I have rented to people of all races  and creeds. Black, white, Asians, gay, straight, christian and non  christian alike. I do not discriminate. I wonder how the owner of the  restaurant would act toward another restaurant if the shoe were on the  other foot and the business refused service to a gay person? I know I  would not eat there.
     In the 60's my grandfather sat at the lunch  counters with the blacks in Knoxville to help break up the segregation  of the races. I guess some people still support segregation. Just  segregation of thought. Some people have told me my civil rights were  violated under the 1964 civil rights act in that a person can not be  denied service based on their religious beliefs. (I am catholic and the  catholic church does not support the act of homosexuality) I had not  thought about that much.
     I just figured this is just another  example of the open minded tolerant left. They claim tolerances for  divergent points of view.....Until someone actually has one. Then they  don't know how to handle it.

TN Sen. Stacey Campfield, who helped kill Nashville's gay rights ordinance, gets kicked out of Knoxville's Bistro at the Bijou brunch for being a heterosexual supremacist

Martha Boggs as shown in 2010
Blue Streak post on the Bistro
Update: Now Campfield is claiming he's a victim of discrmination.
     Alert Knoxville blogger Sean Braisted, after seeing her Facebook post about the incident, broke the news that Martha Boggs, who runs Bistro at the Bijou, (on Gay Street!) in Knoxville, TN, sent homophobe extraordinaire and Tennessee State Senator Stacey Campfield packing when he showed up for brunch Sunday.
     Boggs evidently heard Campfield's ridiculous comments, sourced from Internet postings by right-wing cranks and discredited shrinks, on Sirius XM's Michelangelo Signorile Show.
     Boggs showed Campfield the door because of her deeply held personal belief that the legislator has gone from "stupid to dangerous." Today she told the Knoxville News-Sentinal that she  "didn't want his hate in my restaurant." Evidently, Campfield's attempts to backpedal didn't convince her that he is a nice guy.

Video: Martha Boggs explains why she asked Stacey Campfield to leave her restaurant.

     While Campfield is widely known as the Don't Say Gay senator, for his repeated attempts (and recent success in Tennessee's senate) to pass a bill muzzling any mention of homosexuality in that state's public schools, the fact is that his bill has not yet been passed by the Tennessee House. The bill has been widely mocked, even in the reddest of red states.
     Curiously, no one seems to mention Campfield's vote on Senate Bill 632, which, with its companion house bill, passed Tennessee's legislature and is now law. That measure voided Nashville's recently passed gay rights ordinance and prevents any community in Tennessee from passing similar legislation. You can see which Tennessee lawmakers voted for SB632 and HB600, banning gay rights ordinances statewide, here and here.
     Copycat legislation is pending in Nebraska.
     SB632/HB600, which enshrine the right to deny public accommodations because of sexual orientation, work both ways of course, and actually allowed Boggs to kick the presumably heterosexual Senator Campfield out of her establishment with impunity. (Careful what you wish and vote for, Senator Campfield!)
     Here was the vote:
Ayes: Mae Beavers, Mike Bell, Tim Barnes, Charlotte Burks, Stacey Campfield, Rusty Crowe, Mike Faulk, Dolores Gresham, Jack Johnson, Brian Kelsey, Bill Ketron, Randy McNally, Mark Norris, Doug Overby, Terry Roberts, Steve Southerland, Jim Summerville, Jim Tracy, Bo Watson, Ken Yager, Ron Ramsey
Noes: Andy Berke, Lowe Finney, Ophelia Ford, Thelma Harper, Joe Haynes, Beverly Marrero, Eric Stewart, Reginald Tate
Present and Not Voting: Doug Henry
Incidentally, Think Progress has researched and refuted the falsehoods articulated by Campfield on Signorile's Sirius XM show:
Campfield justified his comments by citing an advice column from 1988 and a Christian apologetics website.
     But the facts don’t back up Campfield’s vicious lies. Most women who have been infected with HIV were infected through heterosexual sex, many from their husbands or boyfriends. In 2007, women made up more than 60 percent of adults living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, and the Global Council on Health reports that the male-to-female transmission of HIV is twice as likely as the female-to-male transmission. Not to mention the fact that his claim that gays and lesbians have shorter lifespans has already been thoroughly debunked.
     Campfield has a history of degrading the LGBT community. But his lies downplay the HIV risk that women face by trying to incorrectly make it only a gay issue.
     Campfield defended his outrageous comments, saying he was simply speaking “on the fly,” and that while he’s not an AIDS historian, “I’ve read and seen what other people have read and seen and those facts are out there.”

South Dakota House votes to encourage ‘academic’ study of Christian Bible in public schools

The non-binding resolution was introduced by Pastor and Rep. Steve Hickey, R-Sioux Falls. No representative spoke against it.
“...supporting HCR 1004. Rep. Shawn Tornow, also of Sioux Falls, also Republican, and also a fashion plate, cited the state's motto ‘under God the people rule’ as reason for students to learn about the Bible. ‘I think it's appropriate under this resolution to give kids the opportunity to understand, historically who God is.’
Hickey was depicted by S.L. Ehrisman of southdacola.com in a photo illustration (top, right) before he abandoned his US Congressional campaign in favor of a SD senate seat.

Shawn Tornow (bottom, right) at his job as a city attorney of Sioux Falls. Tornow was called "kingpin of worthless legal defense against the city...losing case after case because of constitutionality."

South Dakotans, here are the the rest of the perps:

HCR 1004, House, Adopt Resolution

Abdallah Yea Blake Nay Bolin Yea
Boomgarden Yea Brunner Yea Carson Yea
Conzet Yea Cronin Yea Deelstra Yea
Dennert Yea Dryden Nay Elliott Nay
Fargen Nay Feickert Yea Feinstein Nay
Gibson Excused Gosch Yea Greenfield Yea
Haggar Yea Hansen (Jon) Yea Hawley Yea
Hickey Yea Hoffman Yea Hubbel Yea
Hunhoff (Bernie) Nay Hunt Yea Iron Cloud III Nay
Jensen Yea Jones Yea Killer Nay
Kirkeby Yea Kirschman Yea Kloucek Yea
Kopp Yea Liss Yea Lucas Nay
Lust Yea Magstadt Yea Miller Yea
Moser Yea Munsterman Yea Nelson (Stace) Yea
Novstrup (David) Yea Olson (Betty) Yea Perry Nay
Romkema Yea Rozum Nay Russell Yea
Schaefer Yea Schrempp Yea Scott Yea
Sigdestad Yea Sly Yea Solum Yea
Steele Yea Street Yea Stricherz Yea
Tornow Yea Tulson Yea Turbiville Nay
Van Gerpen Yea Vanneman Excused Venner Yea
Verchio Yea White Yea Wick Yea
Willadsen Yea Wink Yea Wismer Nay
Rausch Yea

Ayes 55 Nays 13 Excused 2 Absent 0

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tweet of the Month: Conan O'Brien may be
warming up to the Genie Bra

Matt Baume, Marriage News Watch 1/23/12: Canadian marriages may not be safe after all

“Canadian marriages may not be so safe after all, with an author of the country's marriage equality law raising the possibility of an anti-gay stealth attack. Here in the US, nearly a hundred mayors across the country come out for marriage equality, including one who testified during the Prop 8 trial. We're just one vote away from passing a marriage bill in the Washington Senate, but time's quickly running out. And remember that cute Australian ad with the first-person courtship? I'll talk to the American college student who's busy raising funds to bring that ad to the states.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

State of North Carolina complicit, Aero Contractors, Ltd., active in CIA torture rendition flights

From Physicians for Human Rights: "A report (PDF) prepared by professors and students at the University of North Carolina School of Law states that the CIA has been relying on Aero Contractors, Ltd., a North Carolina-operated civil aviation company to transport detainees to international destinations for detention, interrogation and torture."
(Via BoingBoing)

From Wikipedia:
The company was founded in 1979 by the late Jim Rhyne, a former pilot with Air America. The company has 26 planes and 79 employees and operates from the tiny Johnston County Airport.
    ...Aero Corporations allegedly operate under several different shell companies, including Stevens Express Leasing, Inc., Premier Executive Transport Services, Aviation Specialties, Inc., and Devon Holding and Leasing, Inc.

2007 Protest at Smithfield, NC, 35 miles from Raleigh:

@4:35 "Money's behind it. These guys are making a quarter of a million dollars at least, if not a half a million dollars for being the pilots of these torture taxis. They're flying all over the world getting a big, big salary and then lots of per diem to stay in the biggest, best of the resorts all over the world."

PA House unanimously declares 2012 the year of the Christian bible, thumbs nose at other religions, atheists

Hon. Rick Saccone
6B East Wing
PO Box 202039
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2039
(717) 260-6122
Rick Saccone, of Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania, just south of Pittsburgh, introduced House Resolution 535, passed unanimously by that body and which concluded:
RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives declare 2012 as the "Year of the Bible" in Pennsylvania in recognition of both the formative influence of the Bible on our Commonweath and nation and our national need to study and apply the teachings of the holy scriptures.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation had this to say:
The Pennsylvania Assembly has no business telling citizens which god to recognize, which so‐called holy book to “study,” much less directing citizens to “apply its teachings.”
After discovering that posters to his facebook page were livid, Saccone shut them down:

Saccone purports to represent all the citizens of Pennsylvania District 39, mapped here.

Short takes: animal shelter soup nazis; NBC News tells Romney to back off; plastic bag glamour shot; piracy vital to preservation

Click it or die: unbelted Lincoln, NE cop hits Interstate median and dies after being ejected from car on way to work

Little girl: I called 911, but first I slapped her with a piece of Pizza...

Mitt Romney's half-truth about his impoverished Parisian existence as a Mormon missionary

Apple employees about 43,000 people in the US, but 700,000, indirectly, in Asia. GE's recent expansion brings its R&D investment in China to $2.5 billion

Soup Nazis at the animal shelter

NBC's legal department "asks" Romney to remove its news coverage from his ads

Did Yale Daily News sit on quarterback sex assault story for two months?

Glamour photograph of a plastic bag

Fiercely atheist father-in-law of Mitt Romney, Edward Davies, who regarded all religions as "hogwash" was posthumously "converted" to Mormonism by Romneys

Cory Doctorow reminds us that pirate cracks are the only reason much legacy software is available today and points to an editorial about why piracy is important to preservation

Actor Jon Voight endorses Mitt Romney for president;
candidate disses Angelina Jolie, Voight's daughter

Voight told a Pensacola crowd he was backing Romney because he was "strong" and "honest." He declared President Obama had "decided to follow his father's footsteps and take us to socialism."

Romney on making small talk with Voight: "I started talking about my five boys. I said, you know, it's easier to raise boys than girls. Well, after a long pause, he says, 'Tell me about it.'"

Arizona role models: police sergeant thought bullet-riddled Obama tee shirt was so cute he took a picture of it; Secret Service is fascinated

Orlando Republican airs 2011's weirdest campaign ad

Via Slate comes Republican Mark Oxner's ad for a new Florida district including a part of Orlando. Slate seems to think Alan Grayson will win the seat.

Best (or worst) Peephole

It climbed to the top of reddit, which is where
AKSARBENT saw it. Came from here.

Samsung ripped Apple in its ads; are fanboys of dead Steve Jobs returning the favor?

Audio NSFW.

World's most accurate pie chart

And it comes to you via Jason and Cody of I love Charts.

Focus on the Family founder Dobson telling more lies about California's SB48

Photo illustration via Queerty
Brian Tashman of Right Wing Watch writes about Focus on the Family founder James Dobson appearing on a conference call with Champion the Vote, a nominally non-partisan group that focuses on mobilizing Religious Right voters and doing his best to terrify listener with lies about California's new SB48 law, which adds gay people to the list of classes which California schools must depict accurately and respectfully.
     Dobson: “five year-olds toddling off to schools on their wobbly little legs” in California are now forced to hear teachers tell “them about adult sex perverse behavior.”
     Listen here.
     No one should be surprised about the founder of Focus on the Family, an SPLC-certified antigay hate group, being freaked out about the language of SB48, which includes a prohibition of "sectarian or denominational doctrine or propaganda" in public schools.
     That pretty much shuts out Focus on the Family, doesn't it?

American Family Assoc. on spread of HPV virus:
Get vaccinations? Nah, blame Bill Clinton!

Marriage equality battles in Washington State and Maryland

CNN's Thomas Roberts talked to Washington Governor Chris Gregoire and Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, also asking them about the same-sex voter referendum called for by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
(Via Towleroad)

Rachel Maddow on Romney foundation support of Pray-Away-The-Gay groups

"If anybody has the chance to ask Mitt Romney a question on this — I never do, they never return my calls — you might just say, 'Hey, your family foundation has been funding the promotion of pray-away-the-gay organizations, do you believe that homosexuality can be cured through therapy or praying?'" Maddow suggested. "You could just ask. Wouldn't take long. Might not kill you."

Friday, January 27, 2012

Best Reuben sandwich may be in Omaha, across the street from the former hotel where it was invented

Blackstone, Omaha. Photo: NIC221, Flickr
New Yorkers, who gave the world the pathological liars at Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns and Lehman Bros. — and Donald Trump — would like you to believe that the Reuben sandwich was invented at one of their delis in 1914.
     Omahans claim that the Reuben sandwich was invented by a poker player at the posh Fern Room at the Blackstone, a stone's throw from what is now Warren Buffett's headquarters, back when the Blackstone was still a hotel.
     Now really, who would you believe: people like that nice Omaha billionaire tycoon who steadily steers Berkshire-Hathaway, or the unindicted New York City criminals who ruined America's housing market?
     We thought so.
     The World-Herald just went spelunking for the best Reuben in the city that begat it and found it — at the Crescent Moon, across Farnam street from the Blackstone!
     There, it's made with Thousand Island Dressing, whereas the Culinary Institute of America recipe specifies Russian (a choice many insist matches the Blackstone Reuben's original ingredient, regardless of what the Moon's menu says) but the sandwich is pretty delicious anyway.

Missouri sporting goods store refuses to print Gay Straight Alliance T-Shirt

Missouri's Blue Springs South High School senior Bailee Webb, who is president of her school's GSA, wanted shirts emblazoned with the words, "Why is it that as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?" The club liked it, the principal approved it, so she emailed an order for a dozen to Rod's Sporting Goods in Blue Springs.

The next day, after "praying" about it, Rod Lindemann, 48, the owner, refused to print the shirts. He felt the slogan would be condoning gay lifestyles. He told the Kansas City Star that he wouldn't sell out for a dollar. He also told the Star that he does a lot of business with ROTC students and thought the quote might "offend" them.

Lindemann made his decision, so Webb made hers, as expressed in an email to the store: “I respect your decision, even if I do not agree with it, and I’m sorry that the Blue Springs South GSA and many other clubs here at South cannot and no longer will be doing business with you.”

Bailee is a senior honor student with a grade point average of 4.19, ranked fifth in her class of more than 440, and has a pending application to Harvard. The only time she ever asked to wear makeup was for a Zombie makeover with gruesome scars. Also, she can't stand Justin Bieber.

Sounds very grounded to AKSARBENT.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pat Sajak on taping Wheel of Fortune buzzed and his days as a Good Morning, Vietnam DJ: 'The enemy never got one of our records'

(Via Towleroad)

AKSARBENT used to watch Pat Sajak's short-lived CBS late-night talk show and could never figure out why it was canceled, as he was engaging, witty and never competed with or upstaged his guests. We miss that, although we can't say we would Wheel of Fortune, a program so moronic as to be irredeemable even by Sajak. We also don't get why such a charming and fun man is a Republican.

NE Sen. Ben Nelson rips Gov. Dave Heineman's repeated disappearing acts on tough issues

Lame duck Nelson tore into Heineman during his weekly conference call with reporters on Wednesday.

"For example, where was the governor of Nebraska in dealing with safety at the Beatrice State Development Center? The Legislature handled that. Where was the governor on the CIR? The Legislature handled that. Where was the governor on the Keystone pipeline? The Legislature handled that. And finally — where is the governor now that the child welfare system seems to be in chaos? Again, the Legislature has to lead while the governor offers no ideas to address major issues in the state."

In respect of gay issues, a favored Heineman tactic is to appoint homophobic administrators who shut gay views out of the conversation in state government. Then Heineman clams up about his role or what side he's on. Lately, Iowa GOP Gov. Terry Branstad seems to have picked up on this technique.

Adorable manatee!

Watch here.

(Via Towleroad)

Iowa GOP Governor Branstad won't say whether he asked to have title removed from LGBTQ Youth Conference

Branstat: Suddenly
Iowa GOP Governor Terry Branstad, who apparently has been taking duck-and-cover homophobe lessons from his Nebraska counterpart, Dave Heineman, refuses to say whether the antigay Family Leader's report that he asked to have his title stricken from the “Iowa Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth” is true.

The Des Moines Register quotes the Family Leader's Legislative Report:

The Governor’s office told us last week that they have asked the confer­ence organizers to remove the word ‘Governor’s’ from the event. The Governor’s spokes­man also indicated that state government agencies would not be participating in the confer­ence, like they did under Governors Vilsack and Culver.

Prominent Omaha musicians, including Bright Eye's Conor Oberst, sign letter slamming LB912, antigay attack by Sen. Beau McCoy; 'deplorable and unacceptable'

This comes via Voice of Omaha. McCoy, of District 39, is running against Democrat Judy Domina. Read more here, here and here.
January 23, 2012

RE: Legislative Bill 912

Dear Senators,

We are musicians who have chosen to live in the Omaha community. Our work has had national and international media attention, and when we tour around the country and around the world, we want to be proud to say that we’ve come from Omaha, Nebraska. It’s extremely important to us that the policies of our community reflect our values.

We were excited to learn that Councilman Ben Gray was going to put forth a citywide ordinance that would ensure equal employment opportunity for all, including our LGBT community. Progressive cities attract eager newcomers, both young professionals and artists, which in turn creates growth and economic prosperity. We firmly believe that Omaha is a vibrant city and can continue to be a top US destination for business and the arts, but only if we provide the same protections that other major cities do for every one of their citizens.

Senator Beau McCoy has recently proposed a legislative bill (LB 912) that will effectively squash Councilman Gray’s Equal Employment Ordinance before the City Council of Omaha will even have the chance to vote on it. We find this deplorable and unacceptable. LB 912 will send the message to the world that Nebraska is not forward thinking or welcoming, which would be detrimental to our community’s current momentum and future growth.

A lot of the recent national press surrounding Omaha has revolved around the strength of our burgeoning art scene and the economic growth that has resulted from it. Passage of LB 912 will likely cause the attrition of some of our community’s best and brightest; it will certainly deter outsiders from exploring opportunities in Omaha.

We want to continue to be proud of our community and keep our creative class and entrepreneurial spirit strong. Please don’t let LB 912 move forward and let the state of Nebraska block the City of Omaha’s attempt to do the right thing and create equal opportunity for everyone.


Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes)
Laura Burhenn (The Mynabirds)
Orenda Fink (Azure Ray, O+S)
Todd Fink (The Faint, Depressed Buttons)
Clark Baechle (The Faint, Depressed Buttons)
Jacob Thiele (The Faint, Depressed Buttons)
Nik Fackler (Icky Blossoms & feature film director of Lovely, Still)
Dan McCarthy (McCarthy Trenching, So So Sailors)
Stefanie Drootin Senseney (The Good Life, Big Harp & founder of Omaha Girls Rock)
Chris Senseney (Big Harp, Baby Walrus)
Benjamin Brodin (Before the Toast & Tea, producer & recording engineer at ARC studios)
Rachel Tomlinson Dick (Honeybee & Hers)
A.J. Mogis (Criteria, producer & recording engineer at ARC studios)
Melissa Amstutz (Honeybee & Hers)
Roger L. Lewis (Conduits, The Good Life, & Neva Dinova)
Jenna Morrison (Conduits, Son Ambulance)
Mike Dappen aka Dapose (The Faint, Vverevvolf Grehv)

Sen. Al Franken goes to bat for gay Minnesotans trying to fend off antigay constitutional amendment

(Via JMG)

But the comedian in him can't resist letting loose with one zinger (aimed at himself and his wife.) Now if we could just get Franken from supporting legislation like SOPA/PIPA...

First Oscar Best Picture Winner, 1927's Wings, gets new DVD/BluRay release

Wings, 1927
Wings was the first movie (and only silent film) to win a Best Picture Oscar. But never say never... the 2011 release, The Artist, is mostly silent and is nominated for best picture. Hope the restoration of Wings isn't sepia-toned, as the trailer below seems to imply. Yecch.
     Also hope the "restoration" doesn't delete the interesting shots at the recruiting station or the shot of Clara Bow (very) briefly flashing the camera as she changes clothes.
     Fluff aside, the movie is STILL thrilling to watch after all these years, and taught movie makers an important, expensively-learned rule: Airplanes filmed in mock-dogfights need to be filmed against clouds to show movement, else the shot seems static.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels' blatant lie about unbuilt Keystone XL pipeline: 'perfectly safe' despite a dozen leaks in year-old predecessor laid by same company

In his nationally-televised GOP response to Barack Obama's State of the Union address, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said, "The extremism that stifles the development of homegrown energy, or cancels a perfectly safe pipeline that would employ tens of thousands, or jacks up consumer utility bills for no improvement in either human health or world temperature, is a pro-poverty policy."
     He claimed this despite the fact that the "perfectly-safe" Keystone XL pipeline hasn't been built yet. Despite the fact that its predecessor, Keystone 1, leaked at least 12 times in its first year of operation. Despite the fact that Keystone XL is bigger in diameter, but no thicker, carries abrasive tar sands mixed with corrosive, carcinogenic additives, is heated to 160 degrees and pressurized to 1600 PSI. Despite the fact that the cancelled project was to have been built over North America's largest supply of underground fresh water, the Ogallala Aquifer. Mitch Daniels is a shameless, contemptible whore to moneyed interests. If he is anything else we can't see it from here in Nebraska, the state whose water Daniels would cheerfully see ruined.
Keystone 1 pipeline spill in Sergeant County, North Dakota, May 2011
Photo via Sierra Club

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Obama's State of the Union speech on fairness singled out Warren Buffett's Omaha secretary, Debbe Bosanek, seated directly behind Michelle Obama

Right now, we’re poised to spend nearly $1 trillion more on what was supposed to be a temporary tax break for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. Right now, because of loopholes and shelters in the tax code, a quarter of all millionaires pay lower tax rates than millions of middle-class households. Right now, Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.

Do we want to keep these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans? Or do we want to keep our investments in everything else –- like education and medical research; a strong military and care for our veterans? Because if we’re serious about paying down our debt, we can’t do both.
— Barack Obama, 2012 State of the Union address

Secretly-funded antigay group bombarding New Jersey with robocalls from 202-505-5356, 202-505-5653 and 202-599-4723

The calls are paid for by the National Organization for Marriage. NOM was organized by Mormon officials and members to fight gay marriage in California and elsewhere. It has thumbed its nose at campaign disclosure laws in Iowa, Minnesota, New York, Maine, Rhode Island, Florida, California, New Hampshire, and Washington State, all states which have sued or investigated NOM or in which NOM is suing or playing fast and loose with campaign disclosure laws because it doesn't want the public to know where it gets millions of dollars. NOM's chairman, Maggie Gallagher, has a history of unethical behavior which was covered by the Washington Post.

NOM's president, Brian Brown, makes more than $170,000 per year and lives in a million-dollar, five-acre, mini-estate in Great Falls, VA.

Recently, Brown (see photo at right) was seen doing his part to angrily repel protesters and a Mother Jones reporter. at a $1000-per-plate fundraiser for Newt Gingrich at the posh Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. While NOM solicits donations to kill gay marriage, civil unions AND domestic partnerships, it also raises money for a thrice-married presidential candidate accused by an ex-wife of demanding an "open marriage."

NOM's facebook page is here, if you'd like to post a message to it. Some people have had luck reducing NOM's incessant telephone assaults on their homes by following the below advice, seen in a feedback post here at AKSARBENT:
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.
Below is video of NOM president Brian Brown, evading hard-nosed questions about NOM's finances in Washington, DC. Skip to 3:20 to get beyond his grandstanding.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dave Wingert, popular gay Omaha DJ, returns to air Monday — on a different station — after Bain Capital-instigated purge of talent at Clear Channel

Dave Wingert, facebook photo
Omaha morning DJ Dave Wingert, host of the second most popular radio show in Nebraska's largest city before being fired by Clear Channel's KGOR after a Bain Capital cost analysis, will be back on the air Monday at K000 FM 101.9 from 6 am to noon.

Wingert, a force in Nebraska radio for decades and a member of the Nebraska Broadcasting Hall of Fame, is immensely popular. AKSARBENT's post about his firing has received about 3500 hits from people who presumably were so jarred by his sudden disappearance from the airwaves that they went looking for him on Google.

AKSARBENT doubts that Mitt Romney's company, Bain Capital, which owns a lot of stock in Clear Channel, will save enough from its stupid firing of Wingert to weather the loss of revenue it will inevitably suffer as thousands of Wingert's fans desert KGOR for KOOO.

NRG Media of Cedar Rapids, Iowa owns K000, as well as KOIL and KKAR AM and KQKQ FM and 41 other stations in Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois.

Wingert was host of Clear Channel's highly rated morning show on KGOR-FM in Omaha for almost five years before being axed in mid-October after an expletive aired live on the air.

It speaks to the intimacy of the radio medium, of which Wingert is a master, that he has been able to matter-of-factly let listeners know where he stands without losing a very Red State audience.

Beheaded 66-year-old found near Hollywood sign
was gay former Mexicana Airlines employee

(Via Queerty)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Privacy: Cops who slap GPS's on cars
slapped down by SCOTUS

A longer piece on this decision was broadcast on NPR by Nina Totenberg.

The court's unanimous opinon, written by Antonin Scalia, declared that because the tracking device was physically placed on Jones' property, "at a minimum" it was a search within the original meaning of the Constitution's ban on searches of property without a warrant.

Two concurring opinions were written by Samuel Alito and by Elena Kagan, who wrote: “it may be necessary to reconsider the premise that an individual has no reasonable expectation of privacy in information voluntarily disclosed to third parties…This approach is ill suited to the digital age, in which people reveal a great deal of information about themselves to third parties in the course of carrying out mundane tasks.”

Justice Alito observed that the Scalia opinion "ironically" decides a 21st century case based on 18th century tort law...the property rationale makes no sense and disregards a half-century of Supreme Court doctrine. To approach the issue as a question of trespass on private property, said Alito, is simply "unwise." What matters, he said, is the reasonable expectation of privacy in a modern world.

Omaha attorney James Martin Davis has several tracking devices found attached to his clients' cars which local law enforcement agencies have curiously failed to claim despite Davis' best efforts to return them.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fat Tony Scalia blames havoc wreaked by Citizens United decision on everyone but himself

Jeffrey Collins, writing in the Huffington Post, covered Scalia's remarks at a presen­ta­tion to the South Carolina Bar in Columbia.

Scalia was asked about the two-year-old, 5-4 decision letting outside groups take unlimited contributions as long as they don't directly coordinate with the candidate. Scalia & Co.'s toothless stipulation was hilariously exposed for the sham that it is by a satirical piece by South Carolina native Stephen Colbert.

Justice Stephen Breyer, on the losing side of "Citizens United, said, "By nature, when a decision isn't unanimous, somebody is making a mistake... There are real problems when people want to spend lots of money on a candidate ... they'll drown out the people who don't have a lot of money."
Money flooding political races was a consequence predicted as soon as the decision was handed down in January 2010. And so far, it's true. Super PACs have raised more than $30 million just three races into the 2012 presidential race, according to the website opensecrets.org, run by The Center for Responsive Politics. TV advertising alone in South Carolina, which is voting Saturday, is estimated at $12 million, or nearly $27 per voter when calculated using the 2008 Republican primary turnout numbers.

"I miss seeing car ads," said U.S. Sen. Linsey Graham, R-S.C.
"People are not stupid. If they don't like it, they'll shut it off," said Scalia, adding, "If the system seems crazy to you, don't blame it on the court."

The 5-4 decision in which Scalia prevailed overturned controls on political contributions by corporations in effect since the Teddy Roosevelt presidency.

"The judge paused for a second, then looked directly into my lens and said, 'To my critics, I say, 'Vaffanculo,' [Italian for F*ck you in the ass] punctuating the comment by flicking his right hand out from under his chin, Smith said.
Peter J. Smith, Boston University photojournalism professor and freelance photographer, describing a gesture and accompanying obscenity made and uttered by Scalia in March of 2006 inside Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross. When Peter Smith released the photo, he was fired by Antonio Enrique, the editor of the Archdiocese of Boston's newspaper. Enrique, a truly nasty homophobe of the first magnitude, frequently uses The Pilot for gratuitous, dubious and unprovoked attacks on gay people.

Why aren't iPhones made in America?

In yesterday's Business Day section of the New York Times, an explanation by Charles Duhigg and Keith Bradsher of How U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work recalls the question President Obama asked Steve Jobs last February in Woodside, California: What would it take to make iPhones in the United States? Why can't that work come home?

According a fellow dinner guest, Jobs' dismissive reply was “Those jobs aren’t coming back.”
“We sell iPhones in over a hundred countries,” a current Apple executive said. “We don’t have an obligation to solve America’s problems. Our only obligation is making the best product possible...” 

     Factories in Asia “can scale up and down faster” and “Asian supply chains have surpassed what’s in the U.S.” The result is that “we can’t compete at this point,” an executive said.
     The impact of such advantages became obvious as soon as Mr. Jobs demanded glass screens in 2007.
     For years, cellphone makers had avoided using glass because it required precision in cutting and grinding that was extremely difficult to achieve. Apple had already selected an American company, Corning Inc., to manufacture large panes of strengthened glass. But figuring out how to cut those panes into millions of iPhone screens required finding an empty cutting plant, hundreds of pieces of glass to use in experiments and an army of midlevel engineers. It would cost a fortune simply to prepare.
     Then a bid for the work arrived from a Chinese factory...

National Organization for Marriage congratulates thrice-married serial philanderer on winning the hearts of South Carolina voters

Brian Brown, NOM president, pictured shooing away Occupy
protesters and a Mother Jones reporter from a $1000-per-
plate fundraiser for Newt Gingrich at the posh Willard Hotel
in Washinton, DC.  Brown lives in a five-acre, million-dollar
mini-estate in Great Falls, Virginia, near Washington.
From the press release:
"NOM congratulates Newt Gingrich on his impressive come-from-behind victory in South Carolina." said Brown. "We have had three different victors in state contests thus far — Rick Santorum in Iowa, Mitt Romney in New Hampshire and now Newt Gingrich in South Carolina. What all these states have in common is that they have picked candidates who have signed NOM's Marriage Pledge. They are all winners and NOM supports each of them."

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Matt Damon, negotiating table badass

Damon in Invictus
From Manohla Dargis' 2006 NYT piece, The secrets behind Matt Damon's smile.
There's a juicy story about the making of "Good Will Hunting" in Peter Biskind's history of American independent film, "Down and Dirty Pictures." In their attempt to make the film and in their dealings with Miramax's Harvey Weinstein, who finally got the project off the page and into theaters, Damon comes across as tough, if not as savvy about money as Affleck. In one memorable exchange, Damon faced down Weinstein over who would direct. The writers wanted Gus Van Sant. Weinstein had offered the film to Chris Columbus, then best known for "Home Alone." Damon protested Weinstein's choice and, in between expletives, the executive shouted: "How ... dare you talk to me like that? You're a nobody!" "I'm a nobody," Damon said, "but I'm a nobody with director approval."

AKSARBENT may be leaving money on the table

After AKSARBENT's sarcastic post entitled "Rick Santorum, hottie" about entities in cyberspace searching for shirtless pictures of the former Pennsylvania senator, then inexplicably landing on this blog (confirming that Google now builds a sense of humor into its algorithms, which frightens us), the blog reeled in another batch of similar searches this morning. Seriously. They came from Florida, Ontario, Massachusetts, Alabama, D.C., Pennsylvania, Maryland, Georgia — and the center of devil-may-care decadence, Paris, France.

Montgomery Clift with some actress
AKSARBENT swears to Montgomery Clift that it wrote that post to mock such behavior, not to google-bait it, but guess what? The joke's on us and who's sorry now? Not the Internet, that's for sure. (A monkey held back a year in chimpanzee special education could have predicted this, but AKSARBENT didn't.)

Maybe AKSARBENT needs to chill, reflect, and then hold its nose and exploit the hell out of this revoltin' development. Another blog may even be called for: AKSARBENTOVER: AKSARBENT's dirty little furtive but assertive teabagging brother!

(As an only problem child, AKSARBENT obviously was deprived of a sexually repressed, emotionally damaged, mentally screwed-up real brother, so creating a virtual one fascinates us.)

Our informed hunch is that closeted, reactionary, self-hating pervs have some serious coin to drop after clicking on ads geared to them, as they probably pour themselves into their work.

And we bet Google knows exactly how much money they gots, where they live, what body types they favor, what they drive, and where they eat out, so to speak.


Wanda Sykes on the two Ricks —
Santorum: 'You think I'm going to hell then you've already won. Just shut the hell up
Perry: I see Rick Perry, I smell whiskey. He was one debate away from saying the N word

I'm glad he dropped out. Whenever I see Rick Perry, I smell whiskey... He had to drop out. I'm pretty sure he was one more debate away from saying the N word. He was right on the edge. ... One more debate and it's just gonna fly out. He knew it.

He [Rick Santorum] is so antigay, it makes you wonder a little bit. You protest a little too much my friend. A little too much.

Obama, Al Green; compare and contrast

(Via JMG)

Dallas VA ignored complaint about 3-hour rant by homophobic nurse practitioner Lincy Pandithurai until thousands signed petition

When Esther Garatie, 28, a former Marine lance corporal walked into a mental health clinic at the Dallas VA Medical Center on October 12, 2011 she didn't expect to be asked about her sexual orientation or subjected to an hours-long-tirade by a factually challenged staffer. But that's what she got from a nurse practitioner named Lincy T. Pandithurai.

Garatie subsequently filed complaints against nurse Ratched, Lincy Pandithurai of Cedar Hill, with both the VA Medical Center and the Texas Board of Nursing. A friend, Jessica Gerson, launched an online petition at Change.org calling for the nurse to be fired. In the petition, Gerson related the following:

Nurse Pandithurai subjected Esther to a vitriolic, hateful rant that lasted three hours on the topic of Esther's sexual orientation. Ms. Pandithurai told Esther that the only reason she's depressed is because she's gay.
      When Esther broke into tears, Ms. Pandithurai announced that her tears were clearly a manifestation of guilt over her sexual orientation. Ms. Pandithurai stated that Esther is living in darkness and needs to "return to the light." She also told Esther that there are churches now that "actually accept homosexuals and can help you get your life back on track and stop choosing to be gay." She further stated that "homosexuality used to be a diagnosis until recently, but they changed it because of Obama." [A falsehood — AKSARBENT]
The petition page's post mortem notes: "Prior to Jessica Gerson's campaign on change.org, the VA hadn't even responded to Esther's formal complaint. "

After completing its investigation the Dallas VA said this:
The Administrative Investigation Board has completed its investigation. The board was able to substantiate material portions of the veteran’s claims VA North Texas Health Care System will continue to provide an environment where veterans can receive the physical and emotional healing that they desire and deserve. As such, we remain committed to respecting diversity and providing the best possible care to all veterans. providing the best possible care to all veterans. veterans Our commitment to equal rights remains strong as we practice our core values of integrity, commitment advocacy, respect and excellence Ms. Pandithurai will retire from federal service effective January 21, 2012.
Another petition, to the VA and the Texas Board of Nursing, has been started to revoke Pandithurai's pension and her license.

Meanwhile, a facebook page supporting Pandithurai has appeared, courtesy of someone who apparently doesn't want to be identified, which does not surprise AKSARBENT, after it almost choked on this:
This dear sweet nurse dared to witness Jesus Christ to a lost lesbian. So now the the gay community would rather see a good nurse fired rather than someone possibly have an opportunity to choose another path. How sad is that? Fellow Americans I ask you to wake up,speak out before it is too late. Let's show this loving nurse our support. Pray for the lost soul she witnessed to. I bet she never said an unkind word.
Lincy T. Pandithurai appears to be a 70-something resident of Cedar Hill with interests in Saragreb LLC and Mount Carmel Investments, LLC, both of which seem to be commodity trading enterprises.

How spiritual.

Words to live by from the Nikon User Manual

#1: Not specifically saying Americans are stoooopid,
but this IS published in English...

#2: The James O'Keefe clause...

#3: Wishful thinking (see #2)...

#4: Tina, Tina, Tina...