Monday, April 30, 2012

Did 'It Gets Better' gay activist Dan Savage bully Christian high school students?

John Shore, in his new post Dan Savage and the Truth, doesn't think so.
The controversy is due to Mr. Savage calling bull**** those parts of the Bible that throughout history been used by “Christians” unworthy of the name to justify the Holocaust, condone slavery, oppress women, and victimize gay people...
     Well, thank you, young people who walked out of Dan’s speech the moment he began talking about the parts of the Bible to which he takes exception, for reminding us of what beats so passionately in the heart and soul of every true journalist. Speaking as a person who for twelve years made his living as a journalist, I admire your dedication to the journalist’s creed: When you personally disagree with something someone is saying, get up and leave...
     What immediately become a meme amongst Dan’s critics is that those who walked out of his talk felt bullied by him. But that’s impossible... victims of bullies are selected for persecution; they are pulled from the pack before being pointedly and repeatedly victimized. The people who walked out during Dan’s talk were not separated from their peers by anyone...Theirs was not an act born of suffering. It was a proud show of disdain.
Truth In Advertising, Christer Edition:
"We can redefine bullying but you can't redefine marriage!"

Jon Bruning says Obamacare is unconstitutional. Is it?

Bruning calls Obamacare an unconstitutional "power grab" that "forces you to buy" health insurance.
      Perhaps if Bruning weren't so busy serving on the boards of about two dozen private companies while drawing a public salary, he would have found time to research this phony claim.
Barack Obama is the third president to back a health insurance mandate
     Professor Einer Elhauge of Harvard Law School did, in the New Republic.
     Slate says his research thoroughly rebuts Bruning's — and others' — argument.
  • In 1790, a Congress including 20 Founders passed a law requiring that ship owners buy medical insurance for their seamen. Washington signed it into law.
  • In 1792, another law signed by Washington required that all able-bodied men buy a firearm. (So much for the argument that Congress can’t force us to participate in commerce.)
  • And in 1798, a Congress with five framers passed a law requiring that all seamen buy hospital insurance for themselves. Adams signed this legislation.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Group exploits James Franco's fame and assignations so he exploits them back

It's all too, too confusing for AKSARBENT but Gawker understands it. We just like to watch. And listen. What's that music?

MIT students throw a piano off the roof of their dorm for the 40th consecutive year

MIT students relive the bliss of commemorative destruction
In 1972, residents of MIT's Baker House dorm engineered a solution to their broken piano problem by shoving the instrument off the roof. This was so much fun that they've been doing it ever since. Catherine Coleman, an alumna of the university, even took a euthanized ivory with her to the International Space Station for six months. Read more at Time.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A bunch of teen Christers walk out on Dan Savage; Fox News Radio's Todd Starnes is on the case! Family Research Council's Citizen's Link swings into action!

Carefully avoiding telling his readers that thousands were in the audience, Todd Starnes, of Fox News Radio said "As many as 100 high school students walked out of a national journalism conference after an anti-bullying speaker began cursing, attacked the Bible and reportedly called those who refused to listen to his rant “pansy assed.”
     Starnes also concealed the fact that as soon as Savage first "cursed" (a "bullshit") he got a big round of applause and then a second one as the Christer Contingent began filing out. (Watch the video.)
     Karla Dial, of Citizen's Link, a Family Research Council political pressure group, quoted a father of one of the students who walked out:
“I’m well-versed in the rules of the game, the captive-audience ethic,” he said. “You have a bunch of kids. They’re required to go to school. They don’t have the option of walking out on you as a teacher, so you guard your speech."
But in the first paragraph of her story, Dial, made it obvious that the attendees weren't in school, that the conference was obviously optional (taking place on the weekend) and that students probably should have known what they were in for, given the title of the conference and the well-known quantity that is Dan Savage:
A group of high school journalism students attending a conference called “Journalism on the Edge” in Seattle over the weekend felt they were pushed over the edge by syndicated sex advice columnist Dan Savage.
     Please. Spare. Us. Like Christer high school students studying journalism don't know how to use The Google and didn't know in advance what Dan Savage is all about?
     AKSARBENT thinks it'll go to a Coach Ron Brown revival meeting and then bitch to the media, Tom Osbourne and Bo Pelini about how shocked we were that he crapped all over our gay feelings and see how far that gets us.
     RELATED: Though none of the kids in that audience is old enough to remember it, doesn't this remind you of Apple's "1984" ad, with Dan Savage in the role of the evil IBM-like video overlord, right down to his, um, costume? Creepy. Also creepy: Apple is now a much more valuable company than IBM, which makes a lot more of its products in the USA than Apple does.

H/T: Towleroad

New York Times Ad: It's time to consider quitting the Catholic Church

The New York Times charged the Freedom from Religion Foundation about $52,000 — and forced it to change the headline from "It's Time to Quit the Catholic Church," to "It's Time to Consider Quitting the Catholic Church." Ad, in full resolution, is here.

(Via The Friendly Atheist)

Unfit: Ward vs. Ward; story of how Pensacola judge awarded custody of girl to killer dad over gay mom

Mary Ward, a divorced gay woman, lost custody of her pre-teen daughter, Cassey, in 1995 when a Pensacola judge declared the girl should “live in a nonlesbian world.”
     Judge Joseph Q. Tarbuck ruled Cassey’s father would make a better parent — even though John Ward had pleaded guilty to murdering his first wife in a rage over custody of their daughter, who years later said he tried to sexually abuse her.
     In 1996, a Florida appeals court upheld Tarbuck’s decision and an anguished Mary Ward, 47, died of a heart attack soon after.
     Read more in Steve Rothaus' account of this entry in the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

Sports Illustrated not buying Bo Pelini's defense of assistant Ron Brown, either

Bo Pelini, seen here incognito, pays tribute to former NU
head coach Bob Devaney's post game relaxation rituals.
Why don’t you ask me why I hired him? I hired him because he’s a good football coach. He’s trustworthy. He has a lot of integrity. I hired him because I believe in him as a football coach and a guy who has positive impact on kids.
— NU Football
head coach Bo Pelini

Not all kids. Not even all kids at Nebraska.
— Holly Anderson,
Sports Illustrated

Yesterday, ESPN also took a skeptical look at Pelini's claim that no NU football players have complained about Ron Brown's locker room proselytizing, and the New York Times published a blog post about Ron Brown's attitude toward gay people, including NU students.

ESPN skeptical of Bo Pelini claim that no Husker football player has complained about coach Brown's locker room proselytizing

ESPN today published a highly critical editorial questioning Ron Brown's and NU's commitment to treating all football players fairly at the very time that Running Backs Coach Brown is out trying to convince young football players that Nebraska has a university for which they'll want to play.
Brown has the absolute right to express his views. But at what point do those views bleed into the workplace? It's a small thing, but Brown's office voice message is proudly nonsecular. And Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini has said that Brown discusses religion with his players, but, according to the AP, no team member has complained.
     But what does that mean exactly? That the players want Brown to continue mixing religion with football, or that they're reluctant to say anything, in fear that it could affect their standing with a coach who controls their place on the depth chart?
     And what if there were a gay player on the Nebraska roster? Or what if one of the players Brown is trying to recruit this week is gay, or has a family member or friend who is gay?
     These are not unreasonable scenarios. Would you want to play for a coach who thinks God loves gays less than women or African-Americans? Would you want to play for a coach who preaches compassion and love, but is willing to turn his back on a fellow human being because of that person's sexual orientation?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Nebraska environmentalists not happy with proposed new TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline route

They're encouraging landowners not to talk to TransCanada, not to sign anything, and not to allow either the company or its purported land agents on private property:
If you are a landowner and are approached by TransCanada agents or their contractors, and if you are unsure of your property rights, do not sign any documents produced by TransCanada.
     You have no legal obligation to allow anyone from TransCanada access to your property.
     They have no permits or approved routes in place and do not have the right to access your property without your permission.
     If you say "No," they must leave you and your property alone. Other Tips:
1. Do not even take phone calls from TransCanada or any "land agent" or return them. Silence is the best option at this point. Keep all written correspondence TC sends and keep it organized in chronological order.
2. Do not be seduced into any oral conversation. Force TransCanada and any "land agent" to put any and all requests in writing. Record all oral exchanges with TransCanada representatives and contractors.
3. Ignoring them is the best option. They have no right to come on to your land. If they do, call the local authorities and file trespassing charges against them.
     If you have any questions or would like to report actions by TransCanada agents or their contractors, please contact us. We can also connect you to other landowners who have experienced TransCanada.
Bold Nebraska landowner handbill

Petition to fire Ron Brown gets some LDS support!
I am a Mormon. I once had a homo pit bull. He was kinda disgusting but hey, he was my dog. If I had a son like that, it would be the same thing.

Hudson Taylor with now-wife Lia.

AKSARBENT has been reading through some of the comments to the petition started by Hudson Taylor to fire homophobic assistant NU football coach Ron Brown. We found this one, by one "Jeffrey J. Hill."

Thanks Jon Bruning "Jeff!" The International Homosexual Conspiracy is grateful for your support. Here, have an agenda.

Denver Nicks on his new Bradley Manning bio:
At this point, anyone who suggests that Bradley Manning leaked government secrets maliciously is either stupid or not paying attention

Indy Driver Charlie Kimball awed by insulin commercial crew 5 times bigger than his pit crew — and at least as well organized

John Mack's Pharma Marketing Blog found a "making of" look at Novo Nordisk's commercial, which makes sponsored Nascar driver Kimball look so adorable that you'd swear Franceso Scavullo climbed out of his grave to shoot it. Right wing political candidates, probably the only products aside from drugs that benefit from so much promotional money, should take note.

MO Rep. Cookson targets teachers with TN-style
'Don't say gay' law, then plays victim card

Missouri Rep. Steve Cookson, who is now refusing to talk to reporters outside his district, has introduced a copy of Tennessee's "Don't Say Gay" law in the Missouri legislature.
     It reads: "Not withstanding any other law to the contrary, no instruction, material, or extracurricular activity sponsored by a public school that discusses sexual orientation other than in scientific instruction concerning human reproduction shall be provided in any public school."
     Randy Turner, a Missouri English teacher, notes that while student students will retain their constitutional right of free speech, it is teachers in the state who will be faced with the loss of their jobs if Cookson gets his way.
HB 2051 is sponsored by Rep. Steve Cookson, R-Fairdealing, and has 19 GOP co-sponsors, including the two most powerful leaders in the House, Speaker Steve Tilley and Majority Leader Tim Jones (yes, the same Tim Jones who is a plaintiff in Orly Taitz' birther lawsuits), who is poised to become Speaker of the House in 2013 since Tilley is term-limited.

AKSARBENT likes Grant

Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate.

Despite being a terrible judge of character who, as president of a corrupt administration, gave jobs to associates who were damn crooks, Ulysses S. Grant (personally a an honest man) was probably the most popular American of the 19th Century. The column marching in his funeral procession in New York City on August 8, 1885 was seven miles long and watched by seemingly everyone in the city.

Hiram Ulysses Grant was born at Point Pleasant, Ohio, on April 27, 1822. After his death, Grant's body was placed in a temporary tomb in Riverside park while the biggest US fundraising campaign up to that time collected over $600,000 from 90,000 people around the world to construct what is still the largest tomb in North America.

When it was finished, President William McKinley and a million other Americans attended the dedication on April 27, 1897, in Morningside Heights, New York City. Each year, 100,000 people visit his tomb.

His autobiography, a favorite of historians, has NEVER been out of print. He wrote it while fatally ill with throat cancer so his wife would be provided for, as he was not wealthy. In fact he was so indifferent to money and so lousy at business that a dry goods store he invested in went broke — in San Francisco, during the Gold Rush — at a time when a shovel cost 20 bucks, or over $500 in today's dollars.

By the way, it's not true that he was a drunk. What is true is that he couldn't hold his liquor. Which is why he seldom imbibed.

And he would have looked way better in a tank top than his old boss.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Black chick who can't resist a Big Mac loses personal war with McDonald's ethnic stereotyping

The actress is Pia C. Glenn and she's brilliant.

(Via JoeMyGod via Andrew Sullivan.)

Reaction to Ron Brown's AP interview; a growing embarrassment to NU athletics and to recruiting

A day after the Associated Press gave Ron Brown space to play the martyr (picked up by Sports Illustration's as well as USA Today) a blogger on CBS's Sports website is all over Ron Brown and NU.
    The Huffington Post piled on as well, reminding readers:
"This is about using that religion to discriminate against others and build an environment on the Cornhusker football team that prohibits gay athletes and allies from achieving their goals," Outsports co-founder Cyd Zeigler wrote in a blog for HuffPost GayVoices. "Both of these contradict the university's nondiscrimination policy."
     Columbia University wrestling coach Hudson Taylor, who also serves as executive director for LGBT advocacy group Athlete Ally, echoed those sentiments to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). "A coach's most important role is his or her place as a mentor and leader...given Brown's work to thwart equal rights for LGBT people, I fear that his presence on the Huskers' coaching staff will undermine the well being of his athletes regardless of their perceived or actual sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression."

Lincoln, NE gay rights ordinance: Mayor Chris Beutler has the best refutation of the antigay "religious exemption" argument we've heard

On right-wing Lincoln AM radio station KLIN Beutler said churches in the Civil War said slavery was dictated by the Bible and Mormonism once allowed polygamy but those beliefs don't have to be incorporated into the law of a democratic society. KLIN also interviewed Carl Eskridge; his questioners repeated Alliance Defense Fund talking points about the integrity of a University of Nebraska Medical Center survey of antigay bias in Nebraska.

Nebraska Watchdog reports that Coby Mach, head of the "Lincoln Independent Business Association," has asked the city attorney for an opinion from the early 80s relating to the classes protected by Lincoln's proposed new protection for LGBT residents. Mach thinks adding a protected class would necessitate changing the city charter and could not be done with an amendment.
     Mach said his organization is "doing research too see what the effect would be on business." Even though he admits he hasn't read the ordinance. Even though his group is obviously looking for an city charter card to trump any City Council protected class addition via an ordinance.
     According to Nebraska Watchdog, Lincoln's city attorney office isn't giving Liba the time of day:
...City Attorney Rod Confer said the city attorney’s opinion will not be shared with LIBA because it’s protected by attorney-client privilege. He would not discuss the contents of the opinion, either.
     “If I tell you what the opinions say, then I’m waiving attorney-client privilege,” Confer told Nebraska Watchdog.
     He said state law gives the city authority to pass such an ordinance and there’s no need to amend the city charter. Confer cited a 1981 attorney general’s opinion on whether cities have the right to enact ordinances that would protect classifications of people not specifically mentioned in state law
The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce wouldn't talk to Nebraska Watchdog about the issue.

Video: Romney's foreign policy lies refuted

This will save you 55 hours. You're welcome.

This sounds like my grade school lunch room, but is not as weird-looking.

(Via JoeMyGod via Americablog)

Carol Burnett tells Craig Ferguson about making out with Julie Andrews in front of Ladybird Johnson

First Lady: Aren't you Carol Burnett?
Carol Burnett: Yes m'am. And this is Mary Poppins...

First, Carol Burnett's version, (at the 4:35 mark):

Then, Julie Andrews' version, starting at 1:07

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sports Illustrated: NU head football coach Bo Pelini insists no NU players have complained about antigay assistant Ron Brown's locker room proselytizing

Bo Pelini, notoriously combative NU Football head coach,
in a photo illustration by Derek Vogt
In an AP story published today by Sports Illustrated on, NU head football coach Bo Pelini admits the notoriety his antigay assistant coach Ron Brown has received for his extracurricular activities has worn on him, adding:
"Why don't you ask me why I hired him?" Pelini said. "I hired him because he's a good football coach. He's trustworthy. He has a lot of integrity. I hired him because I believe in him as a football coach and a guy who has positive impact on kids."
     Pelini said he knows Brown injects religion into his relationships with his players and none has complained.
     The story is a mostly sympathetic confection portraying Idealist Brown beset by detractors who call him a homophobe and a hater but who "turns the other cheek." The dark spectre of impending professional martyrdom is thrown into the account:
"To be fired for my faith would be a greater honor than to be fired because we didn't win enough games," Brown said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I haven't lost any sleep over it. I realize at some point, we live in a politically correct enough culture where that very well could happen."
     He said the risk of losing his job pales in comparison to the price others have paid for standing up for their beliefs. Christians throughout the world, he pointed out, have been murdered because of their faith.
Do these rants make my ass look fat? NU
running backs coach Ron Brown gives the
Omaha City Council a Sunday School lesson
in Old Testament cafeteria bigotry.
     Brown, who heads a Christian ministry called FreedMen Nebraska, hosts a show on a statewide Christian radio network, appears on a cable-access channel in Lincoln and writes a column for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes' magazine, has been the target of threatened legal action by the American Civil Liberties Union against Nebraska public schools that require students to attend his religiousity-soaked appearances.
     Brown said gays and lesbians do not deserve the same protections against arbitrary employment or public accommodations discriminations as blacks and women but insists on not being portrayed as attacking homosexuals, seeing himself as the instrument of a "simple, gentle, compassionate expression of the truth of God's word" and not as a "bigot or a homophobic or narrow-minded."
     Brown's most prominent local critic, Barbara Baier, a member of the Lincoln Board of Education, was adamant in her condemnation of Brown:
"He says terrible things about members of my community - citizens of this country, people who have not committed any crimes," Baier said. "He compares gays and lesbians to people who have committed crimes, people who are desiring to go and cause the destruction of the American family, and nothing could be further from the truth."

New British marriage equality ad

Conan Christopher O'Brien's senior Harvard thesis: not a barrel of laughs

Buffy Holt requested a copy of “The ‘Old Child’ in Faulkner and O’Connor” by Conan Christopher O’Brien from the Harvard Depository and got the following. Suffice it to say that if O'Brien's show is keeping you awake at night, his thesis won't
     This from the Magna Cum Laude grad who went on to once model millinery fashioned from urinal deodorant discs on the National Broadcasting Corporation television network:
“Flannery O’Connor’s fiction also explores this distinctly Southern paradox through the symbol of the “old child”. Like Faulkner, she creates child characters who are disillusioned by the inactivity and lack of belief in their parent’s generation and subsequently construct their identity on the model of an elderly figure, only to suffer a tug of loyalties between the past and the present which embitters the child. The difference with O’Connor is that the discrepancy she seeks to capture is not between the Old South and the New South but between the Christian promise of Redemption and a modern nihilism and as a result her “old children” suffer both a spiritual and physical progeria. Her “old children” are more freakish and grotesque than Faulkner’s but they still emanate from the Southern question of how to incorporate past myths in articulating an identity in the present…”

Millard West Muzzling of GSA president: Correct us if we're wrong, but we're thinking maybe someone in the Heineman administration doesn't want you to read about KMTV's story

Mitt Romney and Big Oil

Matt Lauer: Please tell me spilling yogurt on the leader of the free world wasn't part of your sorority initiation

SEC probing Fox, Disney and Dreamworks for bribes to state-owned China Film Group

The Hollywood Reporter says that on Tuesday, Reuters said it was tipped to an investigation by U.S. regulators by an unidentified person who had knowledge of letters sent to the studios in the past two months.
     Fox, Disney and Dreamwords have not commented to either Reuters or the Hollywood Reporter. China Film Group declined comment to Reuters.
     The state-owned China Film Group tightly limits the number of foreign releases allowed in the country to about 20 per year...If true, an investigation could lead to prosecution for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it illegal for Americans to pay bribes to foreign government officials in order to facilitate their business dealings.
     While the law has been on the books in the U.S. since the 1970s, it has only been used a few times. An action against Hollywood studios would be a bombshell case.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 created by founder Ben
Rattray to help his gay brother

Iowa viral Internet sensation Zach Wahls on Letterman to promote new book

Wahls'new book, My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family, is out this week to capitalize on the interest created by the viral YouTube popularity of his testimony to the Iowa House against the cynical advancement of a GOP initiative to kill gay marriage in the state, as well as bar the door to civil unions and domestic partnerships.

(Via Towleroad)

Killer budget Android phone, HTC One V, coming to Virgin Mobile in US; already in stock in Britain

Dan Savage on coming out to his divorced parent:
'Hey mom, I'll give you something to cry about...'

Savage's coming out was eased by the help of a priest for whom the activist still has great respect and affection.

(Via JMG)

Cox Cable celebrates Earth Day with another deceptive mass mailing

Dear Cox: Next time you send AKSARBENT a lime-green
mailer, we will photograph it in the trash amidst chicken bones
and discarded coffee grounds. Go to hell and rip off Roy Cohn.
AKSARBENT, though it hasn't had Cox Internet in at least a decade, just received the latest installment in a never-ending series of Cox Cable come-ons in the mail.
     This one promotes Cox High Speed Internet Essential, which the cardboard, plastic-coated brochure describes as "blazing-fast."
     The cost is $19.99 for three months, $39.99 thereafter, modem extra. Nowhere in Cox's brochure, not even in the fine print, is the speed of the promoted product revealed, so we went to the Internet to find out.
     It's 3 megabits per second. AKSARBENT's current service, with Century Link, aka Qwest, aka USWest, aka Northwestern Bell, is cheaper.
     Right now, Google is wiring Kansas City with optical fibre for an Internet product that is 1,000 megabits per second.
     Wonder what overwrought adjective Cox's lame ad agency would use to describe that kind of residential service — more than 333 times faster than Cox's "blazing-fast" High Speed Internet Essential.

A Google Fiber crew gets ready to hang fiber cables
from a Kansas City utility pole.
     During our session, a pop-up sales window from Cox appeared, in which AKSARBENT, in a unnecessarily hostile manner, dumped on the chick at the other end of the popup window which rudely interrupted our research.
     A more constructive thing to have done would have been to ask the woman how to lessen Cox's mass-mailer assault on the environment by getting us off her company's damn mailing list.
Chat Information: Thank you for choosing Cox Communications. A representative will be with you shortly.

Chat Information: You are now chatting with Tiffany.

Tiffany: Hello! Welcome to the Sales Department!  How may I assist you with placing the order online today?
You: No questions. Just doing a blog post about how Cox is celebrating Earth Day with another cardboard-wasting, forest-leveling mass mailing in which it promotes Internet Essential without telling its customers in the mailing how fast the product is. Have a nice day!

Tiffany: Great!, It was a pleasure to chat with you. Have, not a good, but an Excellent and Lovely day!

You: In the post I'll be informing my [tens of thousands of monthly readers] that Century Link's product is cheaper. Bye for now!

Tiffany: You're free to do so.

Tiffany: Have a Nice Day!

GOP war on women; Stephen Colbert rips new Arizona law which says life begins before conception

Skip to 2:09. And thank you Stephen Colbert, for finally identifying for culturally deficient AKSARBENT the origin of the musical passage used in every other Hollywood movie trailer: Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik Allegro from The Magic Flute, played here by an ensemble which obviously don't need no friggin' conductor.

One third of the players in DC's gay flag football league aren't gay; here's why they like playing in a gay league

Jim Buzinski , who plays on a gay flag football league in L.A., posted this video on Outsports last year.

Nebraska alleged voter supression scheme now being formally investigated by Justice Dept.; GOP Gov. Dave Heineman stonewalls KMTV reporter about his appointee, Dave Phipps

To NE Gov. Dave Heineman: "The department of Justice is
investigating your appointee. Are you going to start looking
into him as well?"
Nebraska, which hasn't gone Democratic for a president since LBJ, can now split its electoral vote; it and Maine (which has the same system) are the only states which can.
     The two delegates corresponding to the state's senators have to vote as the state did, but the three delegates corresponding to the state's congressional districts must vote according to the preference of each district.
     In 2008, Omaha went for Obama, putting the second congressional district in his column (Obama opened several campaign offices in Omaha to pull this off.) In the wake of that, the GOP has tried to repeal Nebraska's ability to split its vote; so far it hasn't succeeded.
Douglas County election commissioner Dave Phipps knowingly
sent out 2,000 voter cards with wrong information, then said
they couldn't be recalled in time — but never called the printer,
who told KMTV they probably could have been pulled.
     But, there are other ways... GOP Gov. Dave Heineman's appointee, Douglas County Election Commissioner Dave Phipps, recently created an uproar by announcing the closing of about half the county's polling places. Then he admitted to sending out 2,000 voter registration cards for largely black North Omaha —cards that he knew had wrong information — saying that it was too late to stop the printer. (KMTV's Liz Dorland interviewed the printer, discovering that not only could the printer have pulled the 2,000 cards, but that Phipps never called.)
     After stiff-arming Dorland repeatedly, Heineman (whose modus operandi is to clam up or to plead ignorance about bad news) has told KMTV he "might" be willing to agree to a sit-down interview on the subject. Dorland's KMTV report nails Heineman to the wall.

Holy Land Christians now collateral damage victims of Israeli supression of Palestinians

Bethlehem Lutheran Minister:
If you see what's happening in the West Bank, you will find that the West Bank is becoming more and more like a piece of Swiss Cheese, where Israel gets the cheese, that is, the land, the water resources, the archaeological sites and the Palestinians are pushed in the holes behind the walls.
     The wall completely surrounds Bethlehem, turning the city into what its residents call an open air prison.
     Getting from Bethlehem to Jerusalem, seven miles away, for medical needs or anything else, requires passage through an Israeli checkpoint, which can take hours and can't happen without a permit — which can take weeks or months to obtain and is frequently denied.
     Israel's ambassador to the United States: "We regret any inconvenience."
     The most common estimates of the cost of US foreign aid to Israel are between 100 and 114 billion tax dollars, but David R. Francis, staff writer of the Christian Science Monitor, says it's really more like $1.6 trillion.

Cynical new Family Research Council media hustle: fictional business partners Mike, Ike are gay-married

Tony Perkins, a spokesman of SPLC-designated Colorado hate organization, the Family Research Council, (which is now pushing a 'license to discriminate' law in that state) recently said this to his radio listeners:
“And I don’t know what’s more disturbing–that advertisers think divorce appeals to kids or that sexualizing candy will make people buy more."
Perkins is trying to sell the idea that Mike and Ike are gay-married and divorcing, despite the fact that neither advertising persona actually exists and that the ad campaign touting their alleged "split" doesn't make any reference to a romantic relationship.
     It would appear that Tony Perkins is now venturing into the kind of cynical media hustle pioneered by Jerry Falwell when he claimed that one of the Telly Tubbies was gay.
     From the New York Times:
Unlike the ice cream entrepreneurs Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, Mike and Ike do not exist. Even the candy’s parent company, Just Born, cannot pinpoint the origin of the name for the brand, which was introduced 72 years ago; the company speculates that the name came from a vaudeville act, a song popular in the 1930s or an internal naming contest.
     Last week ex-Marine Perkins blamed the ongoing Secret Service scandal regarding the hiring of opposite sex prostitutes on “open homosexuality in the military.”

Monday, April 23, 2012

Marine Lance Cpl. Philip Bushong stabbed, killed; suspect: Marine Pfc. Michael Poth; stabbing witnessed by barracks guards; homophobic slurs heard

  video platform
  video management
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  video player

Sioux City, IA Journal devotes entire front page of Sunday edition to anti-bullying editorial

Following the "Siouxland" suicide of 14-year-old Kenneth Weishuhn, Jr., after intense harassment, Sioux City Journal editor Mitch Pugh devoted the entire front page of his paper's Sunday edition to an anti bullying editorial. Interviewed by the Des Moines Register, he said:
A lot of newspapers shy away from putting editorials on the front page, but we feel we have to be a strong advocate for our community.
     ...The Sioux City Journal's front-page opinion piece calls on the community to be pro-active in stopping bullying and urges members to learn more about the problem by seeing the acclaimed new film, "Bully," which documents the harassment of a Sioux City middle school student. It notes that while many students are targeted for being gay, "we have learned a bully needs no reason to strike."

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Bait-and-Switch Republican, Colby Coash, to use hunting scofflaw Ted Nugent as fundraising bait to 'protect hunting in Nebraska' — but Nugent is barred from hunting in California, Alaska, Forest Service Properties and potentially 34 other states

Republican State Senator Colby Coash,
who apparently will do anything to
protect hunting in Nebraska —
except shield it from out-of-state
scofflaws like Ted Nugent. Coash
is running for Dist. 27 reelection
against Kyle Michaelis
The New York Times has just reported that right wing extremist Ted Nugent  has agreed to a $10,000 fine and two-year probation including a special condition that he not hunt or fish in Alaska or Forest Service properties for a year.

Nugent was just booted from a Ft. Knox performance after threatening President Obama, but is still scheduled to appear at a pricey Omaha fundraiser for state senator Colby Coash, who represents a district in... Lincoln.

Nugent's California deer hunting license is already under a nearly two-year revocation (up in June) after he pled no contest to misdemeanor charges of deer-baiting and not having a properly signed tag.

That license loss allows 34 other states belonging to the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact to take action against Nugent too.

Nebraska is not a member of the Interstate Wildlife Violator compact.

Since Colby Coash (whose largest campaign contributor in 2008 was Peter Ricketts of Omaha's TD Ameritrade family) is so interested in protecting hunting in Nebraska, AKSARBENT wonders why he hasn't urged the state to become an Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact member, in order to protect hunting and fishing resources in Nebraska from out-of-state scofflaws like Ted Nugent. Oh never mind. We suppose that question answers itself, n'est-ce pas?

Here is an explanation of the compact:
The Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact is an agree­ment in which member states reciprocate regarding the suspension or revocation of licenses and permits resulting from violations concerning hunting, fishing and trapping laws. If a person's license or permit privileges which come under the scope of the Compact are suspended or revoked in one member state, they are subject to suspension or revocation in all member states. In addition to license and permit suspensions and revocations which result from a conviction for the illegal pursuit, possession or taking of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, mollusks, shellfish and crustaceans, failing to appear in court or to otherwise answer a ticket or summons issued for such violations will also result in license or permit suspension. Compact member states also agree to recognize convictions for violations within the scope of the Compact which occur in all other member states and to apply them toward license and permit suspension and revocations in the state in which the person resides.

Millard West High School celebrates Day of Silence by muzzling GSA president: 'We were told by the district that we're not supposed to promote it.'

Millard West GSA President James Kasun
Now that school officials have been busted by KMTV, the finger pointing has begun.
     School administrators are blaming district officials. District officials, afraid of an ACLU lawsuit, are telling the student to talk to the principal.
     It started when Millard West Gay Straight Alliance president James Kasun wanted to get an announcement on the school PA and to mention last Sunday's bullied-to-suicide death of gay student Kenneth James Weishuhn who attended school in Paulina, Iowa, not far from Omaha.
     Kasun was turned down flat by the Millard West administration. He said the school told him: 'We were told by the district that we're not supposed to promote it.'
     Millard Public Schools spokesman Amy Friedman, told KMTV, "The intercom system is for the use of the principal and we make announcements about meetings and that's pretty much the extent of it." The district policy is: No speeches over the intercom — only events.
     But James said other groups are allowed to use the PA system to talk about events. He has complained to the Nebraska ACLU.
     An email to teachers from the Millard School District specifically addressing Day of Silence said:
Your classroom cannot be a forum for this activity or subject. The less said the better.
     KMTV said the District is encouraging James to take his complaint up with the principal, but he's waiting to hear back from the ACLU.

Below: the members and email addresses of the Millard Public School District's Board of Education, whose written instructions to teachers already may have triggered an expensive and forthcoming lawsuit.
Click to enlarge, but if the email addy's are still unclear, they are:,,,,,

Michael Moore: Secret Service let Ted Nugent play with their guns

The incident recounted above happened years ago in Crawford, Texas where Ted Nugent apparently bought a ranch near the one owned by then-President Bush.
     After Nugent's just-concluded meeting with Secret Service agents over his latest academic observations and political analysis at a recent NRA symposium, the scholarly entertainer said: "Metaphors needn't be explained to educated people."
     Nugent went on to say, in respect of the agents: "I thanked them for their service."
     In a statement to The Associated Press, Secret Service spokeperson Brian Leary said: "The Secret Service does not anticipate any further action."
     AKSARBENT absolutely agrees with Mr. Nugent's assertion that metaphors don't need to be explained to educated people.

Onion sends crack autistic reporter to Afghanistan

Four American Troops Tragically Killed Along With 23 Afghanis

Friday, April 20, 2012

Romney's new gay tool Foreign Policy Spokesman tells preposterous falsehood equating Romney marriage stance with that of Obama, Clintons

 Jeremy Hooper dissects Romney's fact-free misrepresentation of his marriage equality stance, delivered by proxy. But anyone with a passing acquaintance of Obama's administrative actions and nonactions need only compare Romney's National Organization for Marriage pledge to underling Richard Grennel's ridiculous tweet (both of which we have "borrowed" from to smell a rat.

Carnival's Star Princess cruise liner steams past fishing boat in obvious distress; two now dead

A Princess Cruises ship ignored a fishing boat in distress, and crew members apparently lied to concerned passengers who implored them to help, by assuring them things were OK and that the ship had "chatted" with the fishing vessel, which didn't have a working radio. The captain claims he was never notified of the problem. Two Panamanians died; one hours after the cruise ship steamed past it. A lone 18-year-old survivor was recovered near the Galapagos Islands, about 600 miles from where his small fishing boat set out.
After Oropeza and Fernando Osario died, Vasquez was eventually picked up by a fishing boat off Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, more than 600 miles from where they had set out.
      Vasquez said he slipped their bodies into the sea after they began to rot in the heat. Before he was rescued, a rainstorm gave him fresh water to drink, helping him survive. Throughout the ordeal, the thought about his eight brothers, and never gave up hope.
Passenger Judy Meredith also sent an email to the US Coast Guard with the ship's coordinates at the time it passed the fishing vessel in the hope that the Coast Guard would notify South American authorities, but nothing came of that, either. The Star Princess is owned by Miami-based Carnival Corp., which also owns Costa Cruises, 32 of whose passengers died off the Italian coast when the Costa Concordia ran aground in January.

Short takes: George Lucas gives up, Mel Gibson freaks out, Connor Oberst's secret show, affronts to free speech recognized

Lucasfilm Grady Ranch
After 25 years of fighting neighbors over his plans to develop a new Luscasfilm studio on his Marin County. property, George Lucas has given up — and announced plans to build low income housing on the site. (Snort!) He may have another fight on his hands.

Mel Gibson freaks out again...

For the 21st consecutive year, the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression has awarded “Jefferson Muzzles” to those who in the previous year committed particularly egregious or ridiculous affronts to free expression

Should the US start exporting its natural gas surplus?

Ten notorious Google bombs

Connor Oberst played a secret show in Benson, then announced he is turning a former bookstore into his very own bar, which will be called Pageturners Lounge. The good: AKSARBENT much prefers lounges to bars, as they tend to be darker and quieter. The bad: there will be patio seating outside, a few steps from Dodge Street's traffic. Seriously? We'll pass and hope that no westbound drunk drivers do either, at least on the right

Student paralyzed by bully attack, who underwent 19 operations and almost died, gets $4.2 million

Rogue waves: high as a 10-story building, they can capsize huge ships on the sunniest of days

Rogue waves, until recently dismissed by scientists as sailors' fantasies, may be more common than previously thought and might go a long way toward explaining why so many big ships — up to two a week — sink, even in fair weather. From Time:
...there was little evidence to back it up [the phenomenon of rogue waves]. But in 1995, an oil rig in the North Sea recorded an 84-ft.-high (25.6 m) wave that appeared out of nowhere, and in 2000, a British oceanographic vessel recorded a 95-ft.-high (29 m) wave off the coast of Scotland.

New Romney gay tool Foreign Policy Spokesman has catty history of twitter sexism and unasked-for fashion advice for Rachel Maddow: Wear a necklace

Richard Grenell so far hasn't explained to America whether Romney's "Mother May I" taunt against President Obama for not starting a third foreign war (with Iran) betrays genuinely reckless irresponsibility in his boss or merely bellicose and unpresidential pandering to those who do exhibit those qualities.
     What Grenell has breathlessly explained to America is his opinion about Calista Gingrich's looks, Rachel Maddow's looks, Jessica Simpson's looks, Hillary Clinton's looks and Madelaine Albright's looks.

Paris Anding convicted of lesser charge — voluntary manslaughter — in baseball bat killing of Marcellus Andrews last summer in Cedar Falls

Paris Anding shows how he hit Marcellus Andrews during his
murder trial Tuesday, April 17, 2012, in Waterloo, IA
(MATTHEW PUTNEY / Courier Photo Editor)
Although the most serious charge faced by Anding was second-degree murder, for which he could have received up to 50 years, KCRG reports that the jury also had the option of finding him guilty of a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, assault causing serious injury or assault causing bodily injury. They did so, choosing voluntary manslaughter.
     The jury returned its verdict today at about 2:30. Jurors deliberated 3-4 hours on Thursday and went home, after having sent five written questions to the judge.
     In Iowa, voluntary manslaughter is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison.
     Andrews was taunted with antigay slurs shortly before being killed, said witnesses, but at the time Waterloo police said they weren't informed of what their witnesses told the media, and refused to treat the murder as a hate crime. The incident resulting in Andrews' death capped a running feud between a female friend of Andrews and the father of her child.
     Despite the invectives about his sexual orientation, Andrews' family and friends claimed he wasn't gay.
     Anding's attorneys said he clubbed Andrews to protect his aunt from Andrews, whom they claim was wielding a pole. Prosecutors say Andrews had been threatened earlier, that Anding's aunt was an instigator of the final confrontation and that she herself was wielding a stick.
     Anding hugged his attorneys, Steve Addington and Jill Eimemann, upon hearing the outcome.

Catholic League (Bill Donohue and his fax machine) declare war on Daily Show and Jon Stewart

James Beard Foundation president: 'I have informed the Boy Scouts of America that I am rescinding my acceptance of the award.'

After the Boys Scouts of America gave Susan Ungarao, the President of the James Beard Foundation, its "Distinguished Citizen" award, Michelangelo Signorile, in a Huffington Post piece, ticked off a few highlights of the Boy Scouts' history of antigay discrimination, including the recent incident in which den mother Jennifer Tyrrell was dismissed for being gay. Signorile also noted that the legendary chef and cookbook writer was himself gay and discriminated against, and wondered aloud how Ungaro could accept an award from the Boy Scouts.
     Within hours, Ungarao wrote the following:

While I support all the poverty and hunger-fighting programs of the Boy Scouts of America, including sending at-risk youth to camp, your report brought to my attention that accepting the Distinguished Citizen Award implied I support their anti-gay policy, which I absolutely do not. When I accepted the honor, I was focused on supporting the New Jersey chefs and restaurant community.
   I have informed the Boy Scouts of America that I am rescinding my acceptance of the award.

(Via Towleroad)

The Boy Scouts' Mormon Problem.
New suit filed against Boy Scouts of America
Are Boy Scouts of America sitting on a list of 5,000 proven or suspected pedophiles in their ranks?

Lincoln Councilman will introduce ordinance protecting LGBT citizens in Nebraska's capitol

City Councilman Carl Eskridge, running for
reelection in District 4, is a UNL graduate
and 30-year resident of Lincoln, where,
with his wife Janet he has raised two
daughters, Hannah and Rachel
From Nancy Hick's story in the Lincoln Journal-Star:
     ...People in Lincoln who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered face significant barriers, said Tyler Richard, a member of the Outlink community center.
     ...Outlink members took their concerns to Eskridge after he was elected to the council in May 2011.
     Morgan Watters, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln student working in support of the ordinance, lost a job in Omaha when the owner found out the student attended an event supporting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people.
     "There was no recourse, no protections," Watters said. "While that didn't happen in Lincoln, I know it can."
     Eskridge said he has the support of Mayor Chris Beutler and has enough support from the seven-member City Council to get the measure adopted.
     It will appear on the council's agenda April 30, with a public hearing May 7. The council likely would vote on it May 14, Eskridge said.
 A 2011 Human Rights Campaign-commissioned poll revealed that about 73 percent of Nebraskans disapproved of discrimination against people based on sexual orientation. The coalition Make Lincoln Fair is supporting the reform of Lincoln's equal protection ordinance.

Darren and Chuck Criss cover Dylan's "New Morning" for Amnesty International Chimes of Freedom album

Harmony is nice, but we don't get why Darren and Chuck manifest their individuality by showing that landing on the same word and departing from it in unison is optional. Is this a new thing?

Rachel Maddow on GOP gay rights split; Romney's newest lie: denying he said Arizona''s anti-Latino 'papers please' law was a model for US

Kansas' Secretary of State and Romney immigration adviser
Kris Kobach wrote Arizona's 'Papers Please' law, which
initially made walking down the street without immigration
documents a misdemeanor
...This is the nondiscrimina­tion policy for Liberty University's law school. Try to make sense of this: "In its employment practices, the  School of Law does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, but does discriminate on the basis of homosexual conduct."

How do they know? They're saying they won't fire you if you are gay but they will fire you if you act gay? What if you're straight and you act gay? What if you're not sure but you're just generally fabulous?

...How do you win Latino voters [Romney is at an unsustainable 14% among that group] when you adopt as your immigration advisor the guy who wrote the Arizona 'Papers, please' law which initially proposed that the police should be able to walk up to you on the street and demand to see your immigration papers, not if you were doing anything illegal, but if you just looked like you might conceivably be illegal based on something about how you looked.

MSNBC Rachel Maddow Show video here