Thursday, May 31, 2012

James Dobson and Nebraska's Family First:

Family First, which has circulated petitions with legally dubious language in order to block Lincoln's new LGBT ordinance, says on its website that it "serves as the statewide family policy council associated with Focus on the Family, The Family Research Council and The Alliance Defense Fund."
     Well, that's nice! (Unless you're Al Riskowski, of the Nebraska Family Council and don't like other people horning in on your action.)
     Let's examine Family First's pedigree, shall we? Why not start with its proud affiliation with Focus on the Family, founded by James Dobson. Here's what a cofounder of Focus on the Family said about Dobson:

A Public Apology and Appeal by Gil Alexander-Moegerle Co-Founder of Focus on the Family [The following is a statement made at a press conference August 15, 1997 in Colorado Springs]
Hello, ladies and gentlemen. I have a statement and then I am happy to take questions. My name is Gil Alexander-Moegerle. I live in Los Angeles with my wife Carolyn and I'm the proud parent of three great young people and the grandfather of a fine little boy. Please ask to see pictures of my grandson when we're done.
     I'm the author of the new book "James Dobson's War on America", the first book to critique James Dobson's character, style and political agenda from an insider's perspective.
     I was one of the co-founders of Focus on the Family.
In 1977 seven people signed their names to the legal documents that started Focus on the Family. We were its first Board of Directors.
     You will find my signature among the seven, along with my former friends Jim and Shirley Dobson, Mike Roberts, Mac McQuiston, Peb Jackson and Bobb Biehl.
     One of those seven founders was a ten year veteran in the fields of broadcasting and fund raising and therefore accepted responsibility for managing the day-to-day start-up activities of Focus on the Family.
     That person was me. I personally set up the three core operating divisions of Focus on the Family:
  • The Broadcast Division: I was the founding Executive Producer of Focus radio its on-air co-host, and the person responsible for the program's initial syndication and distribution.
  • The Publications Division: I was the founding editor of the Focus magazine and oversaw its initial production and circulation.
  • The Mail Processing Division: I established the organization's first post office box and bank account, oversaw the answering of its first listener letters and the receipting of its first donations, and set up its first computer-based mailing list.
I also started: The Film and Video Division: I was responsible for producing the very first Focus on the Family film, "Twice Pardoned," which was awarded best film of its type in 1987.
     Speaking, then, as a co-founder of Focus on the Family, I have come to Colorado Springs to make two statements. First: I recently heard the Jewish philosopher Dennis Prager say, "Civility requires that responsible members of the various groups that make up a culture have the courage to apologize to the rest of society for bad people within their group."
     I have come to issue just such an apology for certain actions and attitudes on the part of the Christian Right in general and James Dobson and Focus on the Family in particular:
     First, I apologize to the women of America for the sexist attitudes all-too-often displayed by James Dobson and the organization I helped found.
     I apologize to African Americans and other ethnic minorities who are concerned by the continuing vestiges of intolerance in the land and by the dangerous role James Dobson, a wealthy, powerful, white, heterosexual male, plays in promoting intolerance.
     I apologize to lesbian and gay Americans who are demeaned and dehumanized on a regular basis by the false, irresponsible, and inflammatory rhetoric of James Dobson's anti-gay radio and print materials.
     I apologize to Jewish Americans as well as Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and atheist Americans who are also victims of the dangerous words and divisive political actions of James Dobson, who claims quite falsely that this is a "Christian nation" that should be "ruled" by fundamentalist Christians and their doctrines.
     I apologize to the American media, specifically to radio, television and print reporters, who have been ridiculed and demonized by Dobson and his staff and guests.
     I am ashamed of my former colleagues for their attacks on you and for their pattern of slamming the doors of reasonable access in your face. And I encourage you to bang those doors down, to investigate, and to report the truth about the threat James Dobson and other religious extremists pose to the American tradition of tolerance, inclusivity and the separation of church and state.
     And I apologize to my fellow Christian Americans, many of whom have been misled by a man I once loved and trusted. I hope you will not make the same mistake I made in letting my personal loyalty to an old friend blind me to the unchristian and un-American words and actions of James Dobson and so many of his Focus on the Family guests.
     I apologize to any American who has felt the sting of James Dobson and the Christian Right wagging their holier-than-thou fingers in your face, shrieking that because your views differ from theirs, you are ungodly, evil and unworthy of the rights of full citizenship.
     Please don't let these extremists confuse you about the life and teachings of Jesus. He spoke in love. I regret that Jim and Focus have not. Second: I have come to Colorado Springs to call on James Dobson to step down as a political activist and return Focus on the Family to its original mission.
     When we began Focus, in 1977, the seven founders had only two objectives: (1) To help Americans raise their children and (2) to help us maintain our marriages. Millions of Americans would say that James Dobson has made a tremendous contribution in those two areas.
     Unfortunately, the same cannot be said regarding his harmful foray into big-time politics. I believe Dobson-style politics have been inept, simplistic, exclusionary, divisive and alarmingly sectarian. Mr. Dobson has shown little respect for our pluralistic system, for differing views or for the core skill of statecraftocompromise [sic] and consensus building. That is un-American.
     James Dobson's political style has been one of relentlessly demonizing his adversaries. And he has created the impression that the pathway to national moral reform leads through the legislative machinery of Washington. That is unchristian.
     I ask Mr. Dobson to:
  • cancel his political radio series "Family News in Focus" and his political magazine "Citizen"
  • to get out of the business of organizing and training grassroots political organizations around the country
  • to break off his powerful alliance with lobbyist Gary Bauer and the Family Research Council
  • to discontinue meeting with politicians in an effort to leverage his influence to shape public policy
  • and to pledge never again to devote a Focus on the Family radio broadcast to politics.
     I call on James Dobson to return to the kinder gentler Focus on the Family we seven founded in 1977; to support America in those noble human endeavors of building strong marriages and raising strong children. Thank you.

Lincoln, NE's LGBT protection ordinance; opponents turn in four times the signatures needed to block measure, but petition language is shaky; equivocation by mayor; the plot thickens

Pastor Tim Kemnitz "We made a reference to Sodom out of love.
We're not trying to single out any single sin, like homosexuality..."
UPDATE: Mount Olive stirs the homophobe pot. Video here.
     To see all AKSARBENT posts about Lincoln's new LGBT ordinance, click the label at bottom of this post.
     Specific concerns about the legality of the petition circulated by Focus on the Family Nebraska affiliate Family First and the Nebraska Family Council now have surfaced.
     It started when prominent Lincoln attorney Vince Powers personally delivered a letter to the Mayor's office on May 22, expressing skepticism about the petition's compliance with Nebraska's single-subject rule regarding voter initiatives.
     While legislative bodies may enact laws addressing multiple subjects, voters may not.
     Lincoln's new ordinance makes discrimination on the basis of TWO separate criteria unlawful: sexual orientation and gender identity. That means that two additional protected classes were added to the code. Here is the actual language in the ordinance:
  • Sexual Orientation means the actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality.
  • Gender Identity shall mean the actual or perceived appearance, expression, identity, or behavior of a person as being male or female, whether or not that appearance, expression, identity, or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s designated sex at birth.
     Powers pointed out that some people opposed to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation might nevertheless not want protection on the basis of gender identity. (This is quite true; many people who testified at the measure's hearing were obsessed with supposed and lurid scenarios of future sex offenses committed by people they evidently feel would receive carte blanche by gender identity protection to visit the restrooms of either sex in order to perpetrate sexual assaults, even though there is zero evidence that transgender people are more prone to this than anyone else.)
     Dave Bydalek, Executive Director of Family First and a former Nebraska Assistant Attorney General under Don Stenberg, claims that Power's concerns are "a stretch" because the petition concerns a "single city ordinance with a single title."    
     Powers, who is certified to argue cases before the US Supreme Court and has had the highest peer review rating (AV) bestowed by Martindale-Hubbel for the last 15 years, says the distinction DOES matter and noted that the Nebraska Supreme Court set aside a referendum election in North Platte last year because it addressed multiple subjects.
    The Council can repeal the ordinance targeted by the petition, or put it on the ballot as is. Mayor Chris Beutler, who seems to have gotten cold feet, now appears to want to fix errors in the petition for the anti-gay right-wingers who proposed it by having the council repeal the amendment, then submit a proposed charter amendment to voters with the same types of discrimination protections.
“Allowing the ballot issue to proceed with this fundamental flaw would give voters a false choice and create an unfair election,” he said. “If we initiate litigation and win, then the petitioners are denied the vote. We do not want that result even though it does follow from their own errors.”
Dave Bydalek, Executive
Director of Family First
Deena Winter of Nebraska Watchdog, said Powers accused the petition organizers of spreading falsehoods about the ordinance by claiming, for example, that making an idle comment about opposing homosexuality at work could result in a lawsuit.
     “Any competent lawyer would tell you this isn’t true,” Powers said. 
     “These are smart people who are blinded by their fear of homosexuality.”
     Bydalek said that was ridiculous and that Powers is the one being blinded by his support for the ordinance.
     Powers doesn’t expect anyone would sue under the ordinance because it included no provisions for damages or remedies...
     [Bydalek] thinks the mayor is considering lumping together on a ballot several protected classes that are already in city ordinance but not in the city charter – which Bydalek said would cause an uproar.
     “I would not put it past them,” he said.
 Below: Lincoln Attorney Vince Powers in a video posted by his firm:

Omaha actor, Tony-nominated for 'Book of Mormon' role and cast as gay dad in forthcoming NBC sitcom, officially comes out

In a New York Magazine interview by Miranda Siegel published Tuesday, Omaha-raised actor Andrew Rannells appears to have publicly come out, in response to a cannily-crafted leading question which produced exactly the doubtless intended effect in Rannell's response.
Do you ever feel a special investment in the gay characters your play?
     Well, there’s a part of me that would say I treat every character in the same way — to be as honest as possible with every role. But then, as a gay man, I think there’s a responsibility to show a fully realized person, so even though Elijah might not be the the best person in the world, I want to make him as fully fleshed out and human as possible. Because chances are he’s gonna represent somebody who’s a real person. With
The New Normal, I feel even a larger responsibility because it’s sort of a new idea for a lot of viewers and Americans, to see Justin Bartha and I play this very much in love couple who just wants to have a baby. We’re telling that story for the first time, in a way, for a lot of people, so I think there’s a lot of responsibility there.

Rannells, 32, is a 1997 graduate of Creighton Prep who grew up in a house on 32nd Ave., just south of Center, conveniently close to the Emmy Gifford Theatre, which beckoned him from an early age. (His New York apartment was in Hell's Kitchen, close to Broadway, where he played Link Larkin, Tracy Turnblatt's love interest in Hairspray in 2004 and later, Bob Gaudio in Jersey Boys.)
     While attending Our Lady of Lourdes grade school and Creighton Prep, he appeared on half a dozen local stages.
“He liked to perform for the family from the age of 3,” [mother] Charlotte said. “He made puppets at the (Omaha Community) Playhouse, he took classes at the Emmy Gifford. He'd dance along with the Solid Gold Dancers on TV. He was always a happy-go-lucky child.”

Ad week at AKSARBENT continues: this one pimps $45 candles

But the promotional video is fantastic, and the candles (made of clean, smokeless and long-burning soy wax blah, blah, blah) each burn for 80-100 hours. Since AKSARBENT is math-challenged, we'll split the difference to amortize the cost, as 90 hours is evenly divisible by $45, and works out to 50 cents per hour. The music is Magnificat by Mina.

Here's the best ad for a camera dolly you'll ever see

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lincoln, NE LGBT protection ordinance: In 15 days, 2 antigay Christian organizations collect 10k petitions to block law; 4 times number needed

Family First, a Nebraska Focus On The Family affiliate, and the Nebraska Family Council only needed to gather 2,489 signatures to block Lincoln's new LGBT protection ordinance and force a popular vote on the issue.
     Instead, they turned in 10,092 signatures yesterday, which Election Commissioner Dave Shively said would take a week or two to verify.
     Al Riskowski, head of the Nebraska Family Council, said every Catholic church in Lincoln was collecting signatures to block the law. Riskowski is part of the dominionist/7 mountains storehouse faction of fundamentalist Christianity.
     Nancy Hicks, writing in the Lincoln Journal-Star on Thursday, May 24th, reported that City Attorney Rod Confer has written a letter in which he says he thinks the language is flawed, but has refused to explain how.
     Dave Bydalek of Family First evidently thinks Confer should be helping his antigay pressure group by disclosing what he thinks is wrong with the petition language. "A referendum should not become a 'hide the ball' or a a 'gotcha' game," he said.
     Confer says his client is the city, not the Nebraska Family Association or Family First.
     Below: Hannah Buell, of the Nebraska Family Association, argued against the ordinance during its hearing by reciting a by-now familiar right-wing litany of supposed consequences of a gay rights ordinance — many of which had little, if anything, do with the ordinance. The very first "example" was completely bogus: employers can fire people for saying things they think hinder their corporate agenda with or without an LGBT protection ordinance.

A few things Deeb Realty forgot to mention about that "charming" property in Council Bluffs...

429 S. 25th, Council Bluffs, IA
Deeb Realty:
Like new home conveniently located near the interstate, schools and shopping. Minutes from downtown. Neutral decor throughout this charming 3 bedroom ranch home on a flat lot

Property Condition Report, US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development:
Evidence of Mold, Missing Copper Pipes, missing HUD Labels, Plumbing Repairs Needed, Plumbing Inspection Recommended, Furnace Inspection Recommended, Structural Inspection Recommended, Foundation Inspection Recommended, Gutters and or downspout--replace or repair, Interior Repairs

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Multimedia and multipurpose

Not really a home theatre, per se, and accoustically, this setup is probably a mess for surround sound, but the color is right; evidently, home theatre geeks recommend chocolate brown-clad walls more than any other hue, even charcoal or gray.

Obama rips Romney in Des Moines: 'I don't know whose record he twisted the most — mine or his'

While acknowleging that private capital firms are an important part of the economy, the President, during a campaign stop in Des Moines, noted that job creation is not the raison d'etre for such companies.
“The people who work in these firms will tell you that’s not their goal,” Obama said, explaining that the goal for private equity companies, such as Bain Capital, the company Romney cofounded, is “maximizing short-term gains for your investors.”
     “There may be value for that type of experience but it’s not in the White House,” the president said, where the goal is “strong and sustainable, broad-based growth [not short-term profits].”
Obama added that he said he wants to reform the tax code, as well as Medicare, which he does not plan to privatize, but make more cost-effective by "reducing the actual costs of health care.”
     By most metrics, Medicare is already more efficient than private, for-profit health care.

Crack that wrist!

( via towleroad, goodasyou, daily dish, et al.)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

NE Gov. Dave Heineman supports effort to block Lincoln's new LGBT fairness law; in 2007 his administration stopped diversity teams from providing programs about LGBT issues — even after hours

In a news conference Tuesday, Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman said, “None of us want to see discrimination in the workplace,” and then went on to support the efforts of opponents of Lincoln's new LGBT protection ordinance who are getting signatures to block it at every Catholic church in the capitol city.
     Heineman said he concurred with the opinion of Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, who claims that the Nebraska Constitution requires Lincoln and Omaha to amend their city charters via a citizen vote in order to ban discrimination against groups not enumerated by state law, even though attorneys for both cities have said that isn't true.
     Al Riskowski, head of the Nebraska Family Council, which has 200 people circulating petitions to block the ordinance pending a popular vote, said his petitions were available last Sunday in Lutheran churches as well as every Catholic church. Riskowski said he has been pleased with the response and expects to get the required 2,500 valid signatures by the deadline, May, 29th.
      In November 2003, Jon Bruning said Massachusetts' Supreme Court ruling against that state's ban on gay marriages was ridiculous. "Does that mean you have to allow a man to marry his pet, or a man to marry his chair?" Bruning said. "I mean, at some point, it needs to stop." [Associated Press, 11/18/03]
     In 2007, Gov. Heineman refused to comment on guidelines that his administration's Health and Human Services System prohibited diversity teams from providing programs about gay and lesbian issues and wouldn't say whether he agreed or disagreed with the policy.
     At the time, the Lincoln Journal documented the hostility of his administration toward even the discussion of LGBT issues.
But some members of HHS diversity teams in Omaha and Lincoln recently resigned after administrators prevented programs that included discussion of gay and lesbian issues.
     In Omaha, at least 10 of 24 team members quit when administrators stopped a program and panel focusing on gay and lesbian issues.
     One of the invited speakers said the administration first stopped a daylong training and then said the group could not host a shorter program offered after work hours.
     Committee members were told they could not discuss gay, lesbian and transgendered issues on state time, said Betty Dorr, past president of Omaha PFLAG, a group representing parents, family and friends of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Onion reacts to the death of Donna Summer and reports that Mitt Romney was a bully

More reactions from the Onion on the death of Donna Summer here and on accusa­tions that Mitt Romney was a bully here.

Gay son of CO Rep. who killed civil unions, speaks

(Via Zack Ford, ThinkProgress)

Obama Administration: zero tolerance for prison rape

In 2003, Congress passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act to combat rape and victimization in jails, prisons and halfway houses. Now, nine years later, another president has unveiled mandatory screening, enforcement and prevention protect inmates from other prisoners and prison staff.
Anti-rape advocates and victims of prison rape, while saying the standards are not perfect, cheered the new regulations. ...The regulations were announced only minutes after the Justice Department unveiled a new survey of former state and local prisoners that showed that almost one in every 10 reported at least one incident of sexual victimization by prison staff or other inmates.
Via Steve Rothaus

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bee Gees' Robin Gibb dies at 62

Photo: Wikipedia
The Australian disco/pop star died of colon and liver cancer after briefly emerging from a coma. Wife Dwini and son Spencer supposedly were at loggerheads about unplugging Gibb from life support.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Jimmy Kimmel: Have you ever had a gay experience?

(Via Towleroad; see bloglist)

The real schtick is: we talk to the sucker, stop the camera, and ask the audience to predict a Yes or No before we pose the question. Or, let's dish out the comfort food of reassuring gaydar stereotypes to our audience. Nice work, ABC. Jimmy Kimmel isn't the dick, he just engineered the setup! It's really the audience!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Nebraska Family Council launches petition drive to kill LGBT protection ordinance amid a propaganda offensive against Lincoln gays; cites evidence from crackpot Obama-hating birther website, WorldNet Daily

Nebraska Family Council's Al Riskowski:
At the Lincoln City Council, reasonable
and respectful, but in his web site, a
font of disinformation about the gay
community, replete with agitprop
from one of the nastiest right-
wing websites in America.

The Nebraska Family Council (NFC) is busy gathering the 2500 signatures it must collect in two weeks to put Lincoln's new LGBT ordinance on holding pending a popular vote.
    During the recent hearing, the NFC's Al Riskowski and Hannah Buell both testified against the measure's adoption by the City Council, which approved it 5-0. Lincoln's two GOP councilmen, Adam Hornung and Jon Camp abstained.
     Buell cited a now-familiar litany of Christians supposedly victimized by laws extending to gay people the protected status that Christians now enjoy.
      A favorite anecdote, repeated by Buell, was of the New Mexico wedding photographer who refused to photograph a gay couple's affair and got sued.
     Because the NFC obviously considers gay people inferior entities, it is predictably silent about the fact that a gay person could also be suedeven without a sexual orientation ordinance — for refusing business from an antigay Christian bigot.
     That's right, gay wedding planners — if the grandson of, say, a Mormon heterosexual supremacist stake president wants you to plan his wedding, you'd better say yes or you could be in a lot of trouble — even if said grandson is cut from the same cloth as the grandfather who turned out a small army of petition gatherers and raised several hundred thousand dollars for Amendment 416 back in 2000 to make sure you and your partner can never own your house as tenants-in-entirety or even have a civil union or domestic partnership in Nebraska.
     This is how Hannah Buell, Al Riskowski and the Nebraska Family Council roll. To them, victimization is a one-way street; Christers are the targets; homos are the perps.
Nebraska Family Council link to WND, a radical right-wing birther website
The above link, as well as at least a dozen others, have disappeared.
     To drive this ideology home, NFC has thrown up a web page with lots of links, often to far-right-wing organizations like the so-called Pacific Justice Institute. Said page  with this introduction to the gullible:
Here are a few cases of the impact these types of ordinances have on religious liberty, freedom of speech, and freedom of association.
Top: Hannah Buell, of the Nebraska Family
Council, testifies against LGBT rights to the
Lincoln City Council, referencing her "large"
amount of "research" into LGBT protection
Bottom: Current Anti-Obama "birther" story
in wingnut website WND, one of the sources
cited by the Nebraska Family Council website
for stories about alleged victimization of
Christians by gays.
     Underneath are link after link to one-sided takes conjuring up a new mythology of Christian victimhood peddled by Riskowski/Buell types.
     One fable appears under the heading
CA citizens fired because of Prop 8 support; the NFC link recounts the scary saga of a "Los Angeles" restaurant manager (who, contrary to NFC's headline, was not said to have lost her job) but who was supposedly targeted by gay "mobs" who "harassed El Coyote’s customers" until police in "riot gear settled them."
     Where did the Nebraska Family Council find this horror story? Why, in WND, that's where! That's right — WorldNet Daily, the radical right-wing, birther conspiracy, anti-Obama website.
     You'd think that the Nebraska Family Council, which lists "integrity" as a "core value" would be above smearing gay Lincolnites by association with tripe from a publication that:

  • In 2004, uncritically repeated unverified rumors about a John Kerry affair and never apologized when they were proven false;
  • Was sued by Clark Jones, an Al Gore fundraiser, for $165 million after WND described him as a suspected drug dealer, said he obstructed justice, was guilty of arson, etc. (WND settled out of court a month before trial and retracted its statements.)
     But AKSARBENT digresses. What about the "mobs of protesters who harassed El Coyote’s customers" until police in "riot gear settled the crowd"?
     Well, actually, the protesters "harassing" El Coyote's customers WERE El Coyote's customers — or ex-customers — furious about the restaurant's Christian manager/backstabber who pretended to support the gay community which patronized her restaurant while quietly betraying that community by giving money to a movement which villified them and ultimately got passed a referendum ending civil marriage for gays and making gay couples strangers to the law in California.
     This is also called a boycott. It's a tactic that Christian organizations use every day in the US. But when gay people do it, organizations like the Nebraska Family Council consider it intimidation and victimization of "people of faith."
     That "Los Angeles" restaurant? It was located in West Hollywood, one of the gayest communities on the planet.
     The cops in "riot gear?" Um, look at the picture below (cop circled) to get a feel for the kind of cheap lies Hannah Buell, Al Riskowski, and the Nebraska Family Council are currently promoting, statewide.
West Hollywood gays furiously react to the news that the manager of a
restaurant with heavy gay patronage had secretly given money to the
Prop 8 campaign to strip gay couples of their civil marriage licenses.
Left: a cop, clad in what the Nebraska Family Council is tricking followers into thinking was "riot gear," watches LA gays protest a duplicitous Christian business manager who rewarded their patronage by contributing to Prop 8.

Rachel Maddow: I sorta feel like I'm still waiting to meet my true self...It's gonna be in a dark alley and there's gonna be a fight.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Thursday, May 17, 2012

One in three votes in South Bronx precinct invalidated by Omaha World-Herald company's voting machines

ES&S: "...our business has grown to
serve four countries, 41 states
with more than 4,000 election offices"
Recent stories about ES&S practices and products:
ES&S is a subsidiary of McCarthy Group, LLC, which is jointly held by the holding firm and the Omaha World-Herald Company, the publisher of Nebraska's largest newspaper. In 2007 it became the largest manufacturer of voting machines in the United States. In 2009, it absorbed its biggest competitor, Diebold/Premier.
      Last week, WNYC reported that tests on an ES&S electronic voting machine that recorded shockingly high numbers of extra votes in the 2010 election show that overheating may have caused upwards of 30 percent of the votes in a South Bronx voting precinct to go uncounted.
     ...A review by the state Board of Election and the electronic voting machines’ manufacturer ES&S found that these "over votes," as they’re called, were due to a machine error. In the report issued by ES&S, when the machine used in the South Bronx overheated, ballots run during a test began coming back with errors.
     “After lunch [when the machine was idle for about an hour] almost every ballot was read incorrectly, in all orientations, even ballots that had read correctly just before lunch,” the ES&S report said.
Aldo Tessi, whose company counts nearly all Florida
The Brennan Center wrote him a letter.
     ...The Brennan Center brought a lawsuit in 2010 after reports of voters being given a confusing warning screen when an over vote was detected. The legal process led to the finding of the South Bronx districts where more than one out of every three votes were invalidated.
     “Commissioner [Naomi] Barrera, [the Democratic Bronx commissioner] and I pushed for the New York City board for us to get this machine replaced by ES&S and they have agreed to replace this machine immediately so the voters can rest assured that this machine will no longer be deployed,” [Board of Election Commissioner J.C.]Polanco said.
     Norden said so far the machine in the Bronx was the only machine found to have this problem, but it’s also the only machine that’s been tested...Given that the city uses more than five thousand of these electronic voting machines, an error like this, unresolved, could have disastrous consequences in a close election.
An incompetently designed user interface worsened the effects of the mechanical failure of ES&S's machine:

Design Deficiencies and Lost Votes

National Organization for Marriage now claims its expensive, carpetbagging intimidation of Iowa politicians is the work of Iowa's electorate

NOM's Brian Brown

Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins, up for a retention vote, says he WILL respond to attacks and won't let well-funded out-of-state pressure groups (like NOM) misrepresent him without pushback.
     And how did NOM spin this in its blog?
Pro-SSM Iowa Justice Says He Won't Let Voters "Bully" Him

Save Dade's C.J. Ortuno on Obama and gay marriage

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The smoke-and-mirrors game of
Maine's No Special Rights PAC

In the years since the Fallouja battle,  James Blake Miller has slowly turned against the war. “What have we gained as a country?” he asked. “What have we actually accomplished other than the loss of some damn fine people?”
"Marlboro Marine" James Blake Miller photographed by Louis Sinco / LA Times
Photo essay here.
In selecting their poster boy, Maine's anti-marriage equality lobby failed to mention the rough time James Blake Miller has had since being cashiered from the Corps on account of PTSD.
     The PAC prefers to use the iconic image of him as a blank screen on which to superimpose a two-dimensional patriotism, in opposition to an implied gay agenda of nonstop gender-bending revelry and dissolution.
In the years since the Fallouja battle, James Blake Miller has slowly turned against the war. “What have we gained as a country?” he asked. “What have we actually accomplished other than the loss of some damn fine people?”
     For all we know, Miller may personally find gay marriage abhorrent. But we'd rather hear it from him, if true, than from proxies with a political ax to grind.

NE Primary: major homophobe, frontrunner AG Jon Bruning, demolished by GOP dark horse, a billionaire's SuperPac — and a Sara Palin endorsement

County-by-county: Jon Bruning's stunning defeat. Deb Fisher-carried counties are dark red, Bruning counties are light red.

Below: TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts' SuperPac ad trashing Jon Bruning:

In November 2003, Jon Bruning said Massachusetts' Supreme Court ruling against that state's ban on gay marriages was ridiculous. "Does that mean you have to allow a man to marry his pet, or a man to marry his chair?" Bruning said. "I mean, at some point, it needs to stop." [Associated Press, 11/18/03]
     In 2011, Jon Bruning had Nebraska State Senator Mike Gloor introduce legislation punishing HIV+ Nebraskans who sneezed in the direction of a cop with up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine — despite the fact that saliva doesn't transmit HIV.
     In 2012, after state Senator Beau McCoy's bill to kill looming gay rights ordinances in Omaha and Lincoln died in committee, Bruning issued an opinion that LGBT rights ordinances were illegal anyway despite contrary opinions by city attorneys in both Lincoln and Omaha.
     Now Bruning's US Senate ambitions are in ruins, courtesy of a dark horse Unicameral representative from rural Nebraska, Deb Fischer, a last minute SuperPac expenditure of $200,000 paid for by the billionaire Omaha founder of TD Ameritrade, Joe Ricketts and an endorsement of Fischer by Sara Palin. (Paterfamilias Rickets' out gay daughter is an attorney who supports Lambda Legal; his son supported the candidacy of state senator Beau McCoy, who will kill gay rights in Nebraska if it's the last thing he does. The Ricketts family must have some interesting Thanksgiving dinners.)

     Bruning had other problems, notably the candidacy of former AG Don Stenberg (almost as antigay as Bruning himself) and a string of articles in both the Lincoln Journal-Star and the Omaha World-Herald which chronicled Bruning's swift rise to millionaire status while attorney general.
     Deb Fisher will face former Nebraska Governor and Senator Bob Kerrey in the general election.
     Kerrey won in a landslide, as expected, though he didn't get AKSARBENT's vote because he arrogantly refused to answer any of the questions in the League of Women Voter's questionnaire.
     We'll vote for him in the general election because he came out for gay marriage recently. (While doing so, Kerrey instructed a reporter to be sure to mention that Dick Cheney does too.)

Below: Joe Jordan of talks to Democratic victor Bob Kerrey about Fischer's win:

     Kerrey is quite funny. Here's how he answered a question from Omaha World-Herald columnist Brad Dickson, a former gag writer for Jay Leno:
Q: If elected, will you be favoring us with “Waltzing Matilda” again? Feel free to respond no comment.
A: Yes, but you'll have to be in the shower to hear it, and there's no chance I'll invite you.
(Actually, Kerrey sang And The Band Played Waltzing Mathilda, a 70s antiwar song, after first being elected to the US Senate in 1988.)

While governor, Kerry, who lost a limb in Vietnam, dated actress Debra Winger when she was filming Terms of Endearment in Lincoln. When a reporter asked him about the romance, Kerrey deadpanned: "She swept me off my foot."

Monday, May 14, 2012

Video: Lincoln, NE passes gay rights measure 5-0; both Republicans abstain; AKSARBENT/YouTube celebrity Jane Svoboda displeased; urges everyone to seek psychological counseling

AKSARBENT had stupidly turned the camera off when Jane got up to object to passage of Lincoln's new LGBT ordinance. We didn't record Councilman Adam Hornung shutting her down as he firmly explained that no further comment was allowed after the vote.
     No matter. Jane was prepared (at 14:10) with material on other important matters, such as:
  • dietary tips to ward off Alzheimer's,
  • the necessity of psychological counseling for everyone,
  • bike lanes, and
  • Nebraska Atty. General Jon Bruning's refusal to answer her letters.
Jane has some issues, but she's really starting to grow on us. We can see why UNL students have dedicated a twitter account, facebook page and blog to her.

We're not so crazy about the most of the people below, whose nasty antigay testimony in Lincoln was even meaner than a similar effort recently in Omaha. The Christian outpouring was a calculated, coordinated and cynical character assassination of an entire class of people and filled with lies and/or preposterous exaggeration from start to finish. Here's a big helping of the contrived contempt, with some bittersweet encouragement at the end.

UPDATE: Family First, Focus on the Family's Nebraska "affiliate" and the Nebraska Family Council say they will start gathering signatures to force a referendum on the ordinance. Expect a jihad of scare tactics like the ones above. Here are some of the fear tactics that the Nebraska Family Council is employing on its web site targeting business owners. 

Below is video of the testimony of Hannah Buell, of the Nebraska Family Council, which said it will attempt a referendum to dump LGBT employment and public accommodations protection in Lincoln. The very first example she cites has nothing to do with LGBT laws — employers have long had the right to fire employees who publicly excoriate the policies and core values of their employers.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Romney says he doesn't remember bullying fellow student, but five of his classmates do

Wonkette: Omaha World-Herald company loses tens of thousands of votes in South Bronx

Wikipedia says ES&S is a subsidiary of McCarthy Group, LLC, which is jointly held by the holding firm and the Omaha World-Herald Company, the publisher of Nebraska's largest newspaper. Diebold Election Systems became Premier Election Systems, which was acquired by ES&S in 2009. From Wonkette:
This came to light when the radio station WNYC reported in 2011 that tens of thousands of  votes had been lost in the 2010 races for both Senate seats and and the Governor’s mansion. In response to the very serious problem of the losing of 30% of votes cast, the state Board of Election and the electronic voting machines’ manufacturer ES&S (née Diebold) assembled a crack team of experts to figure out what went wrong...

Transcript of antigay rant in front of Lincoln, Nebraska City Council

This link was sent to us as a comment by someone who typed it all up. We're guessing that this thankless task was undertaken by someone who is a touch masochistic.
     AKSARBENT, shameless as it is, is ripping off all but the last several lines so that you'll have to go here to get the whole thing. Clever, huh?
I’m [name redacted]
Winter Wipe Out TV show had broken bones and manslaughter every minute.
Winter Wipe Out show is produced in Holland by gays, bis, and orgiers.
Why do gays like to see people perishing!
P-E-N-I-S goes into the anus to rupture intestines.
More a man does this more likely he’ll be a fatality or a homicider.
Getting pleasure while the other man passes away reverberates another homicide later.
UNESCO United Nations has gender and bio-ethics conferences combined.
Only gays go to gender studies.
Gays are the biogenerciders in hospitals.
Children can be eliminated.
The Feds said in the December 11th article the Lincoln Journal Star page six, “Gays should not be employed in hospitals or any health occupation.”
Whitney Huston was found without clothes in a bathtub.
Every corpse found without clothes has a partner that did away with them.
Lesbians and gays rarely live past 40 years old because it is common for a partner to do away with them or they self-inflict.
We want everyone to live as long as possible, to be 80 years old instead of 40 years old.
Don’t go gay, it’s not healthy.
Anus licking causes sepsis.
If not given antibiotics within a half hour they perish.
Have no gays in education.
A high percent of gay men in school grounds molest boys, partly because they don’t have AIDS yet.
Be on the side of the innocent boy who gets Fs and Ds a year after being molested.
Don’t allow hundreds of molestations a year with this Equality Ordinance!
Where are our school teachers that should be speaking about this today?
Hilary Clinton’s roommate 4 years in college was Eleanor or “Eldie” Acheson, a gay woman, daughter of Dean Acheson.
To avoid going gay like Hilar—Clinton did, college students need single rooms and single gender dorms.
Going lesbian is not normal.
A college woman is seduced with illegal Rohypnal to go gay otherwise they think it is abhorrent.
Lesbian professors state, quote, wives are enslaved by their husbands, unquote.
All you married councilmen know this is not true and this is deranged thinking.
Have no gays in education.
The Canadian Gaëtan Dugas was the first person to get AIDS in 1980.
He depressed his immune system with pot.
He ruptured intestines as his partner became a corpse!
Candida a fungus grows hugely on a corpse!
AIDS is a candida of fungus disease.
Roman senators went to Roman baths to be promiscuous, gay, bis and orgiers, then went to the Coliseum to see Christians get mauled and perish!
Do gays become sadistic, yes!
They cuss after coupling, don’t like the land they lay on and 80% of those who did treason by the year 2000 were gays.
Don’t employ gays in military, education, health or psychology.
They are the generciders, molesters, treasonist, deranged.
Gays not a behavior by the way—gay is a behavior, it’s not an identity.
Shoplifters don’t make good salespersons.
Gays behaviors aren’t needed for military, education, health and psychology.
Don’t encourage gays.
Do not harm gays.
Gays can transform [One minute] I have—let’s see—gays can transform to be celibate to live to be 80 years old.
Gay persons want to adopt children.
California Board of Education said last year, “Children in San Francisco had the worst scholastic spelling of all subjects all grade levels. They cry all day and rape each other hetero without being told not to.”
Give us your molested children deranged by seeing only gays kissing.
Don’t ask don’t tell what you do in your bedroom and you’ll be respected for your work.
Read the book Nijinsky to understand the bisexuals always become insane.
A wedding dress is for a woman, not for a man.
Jesus was kissed by Judas, a homo, who tried to sabotage Jesus’s kind ideas...
The rest is here.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Lincoln LGBT ordinance: Republican Jon Camp lets his bias show

During Monday's hearing on LGBT rights, one of the two Republicans on the Lincoln City Council, Jon Camp, seems to have tipped his hat on which way he will vote when he skeptically asked Steve Langdon of Community Action how he (Camp) was to reconcile Langdon's statement that discrimination breeds poverty, against previous testimony that dubiously claimed 70% of LGBT people made more money than average.
     This is a question born either of stupidity or bias. Since Camp isn't stupid, AKSARBENT assumes he is perfectly able to figure out that no "reconciliation" is necessary, because most gay people can successfully impersonate heterosexuals, and therefore can evade career-damaging antigay prejudice by being dishonest. Whether they should have to do that is at the heart of the discussion of the ordinance.
     Tellingly, although Jon Camp asked Langdon for evidence of his contention that single lesbians made less money than straight women, he accepted uncritically the previous assertion that gay people were unusually well off, financially.
     It turns out that it was Camp who, behind the scenes, encouraged the gum-chomping testimony of physician Richard Wurtz, who conjured up for the council chamber the highly improbable horrors of prospective sexual assaults by transgendered people who apparently will be transformed into aggressive bathroom-haunting pedophile machines immune from prosecution if an equal protection ordinance is passed.
     Camp's email is

Video: Lincoln, Nebraska hearings on proposed LGBT ordinance; Best In Show hater, Catholic Church willing to sacrifice homeless on altar of carve outs; 3 health care providers we wouldn't want to meet

Some new advice from
Jane after passage of
NEW! Lincoln passes LGBT ordinance 5-0; Jane Svoboda not amused. Nebraska Family Council Launches petition drive to block law and a propaganda blitz on radio and the Internet against Lincoln gays

To see all videos and AKSARBENT coverage of the hearing, click on the "Lincoln LGBT Ordinance" label between the bottom of this post and the comments.

More on Lincoln LGBT Hearing:
  • GOP council member Jon Camp reveals his bias...
  • Psych student vs. psych student, and how Big Red homophobia is probably about to deprive the state of another future rural MD...(Note to Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, who never met an anti-gay law or policy he didn't like: Is this part of the brain drain you claim to be concerned about?)
Unrelated, but interesting election news: Omaha World-Herald company loses 30% of votes in South Bronx precinct (Did you know that a company owned by Nebraska's biggest newspaper counts more votes in the U.S. than anyone? And that California decertified at least one of their products?)
Readers, please understand that contrary to the headline (written before AKSARBENT confirmed that the woman is indeed schizophrenic), it is unlikely that she is a hater. She is deluded — an excuse that several of the more homophobic, manipulative and mean-spirited medical professionals at the hearing cannot proffer. Certainly, she is NOT responsible for what she says. And to those who think that schizophrenia can't create homophobia if it didn't already exist, psychologists say you're wrong. Locals should worry more about people like Omaha's "Mean" Jean Stothert or Dr. Franklin Thompson!

Left: The woman behind hat lady had HER say too, and it was the perfect antidote. She lives in a state of grace. Video of her testimony is rapidly spreading. Help do that.

Brad Chapin's devastating testimony
is at the 11:30 mark in the video below
Below: Fr. Chris Kubat plays hardball with the Lincoln City Council, followed by the most deeply affecting testimony (at 11:30) that AKSARBENT has seen in Omaha, Lincoln or anywhere else in months, by PFLAG volunteer, Brad Chapin, who is doing his best trying to pull suicidal gay kids out of a dark whirlpool of Catholic psychological terrorism, indoctrination and hopelessness. Some days he wins and some days he doesn't

Lincoln Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz,
who has described gay sex as
"intrinsically disordered" and as not
coming "from a genuine affective
and sexual complementarity"
whatever the hell that means.
Quote and photo from Wikipedia.
The Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, under Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz's leadership, has become one of the most iron-fisted and reactionary in North America. Example: it is now the last United States diocese which still prohibits girls from being altar servers.
   Several years ago, Bishop Bruskewitz pugnaciously refused to participate in a voluntary annual audit of diocesan policies against child sexual abuse requested by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. John Krejci, a South Omaha native ordained in 1962 who left the priesthood in 1971 to become a professor of social work, was excommunicated by Bruskewitz, along with several other other local members of a Catholic reform group known as Call to Action.

Below: Drs. Edward Stringham, Richard Wurtz and Timothy H. Fischer testify against  Lincoln's proposed ordinance.

Dr. Edward Stringham is a Lincoln psychologist who has repeatedly lobbied against legal measures which would give LGBT Nebraskans legal recourse when subjected to arbitrary discrimination.

Regarding employment, for example, there does not appear to be any compelling need for this action. I have attended probably a dozen hearings at the legislature as well as in other venues and up until today I have never once heard an allegation that any Lincoln employee suffered discrimination or job loss as a result of their sexual orientation...
     This was a convenience sample of volunteers recruited from activist organizations such as Rebel Interactive and Gay Pride parades. Most who identify as LGBT do not participate in organizations such as these.
In Dr. Stringham's reality, Gay day partiers are all "activists," as presumably are Mexicans, Irish, Italians and Chinese who participate in Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick's Day, Columbus Day and Chinese New Year celebrations.
     (This reminds AKSARBENT of when George Will attempted to sell his idiot mantra that gay St. Patrick's day celebrants who wanted to march in New York City with their own banner had an "agenda." George Stephenapolous shut him down with a glare and the curt observation that "Saying who you are is not an agenda, George.")
     In the video, Stringham asserts that "sexual orientation by its very nature is highly fluid." He than cited a Dr. Edward Laumann of the University of Chicago, who Stringham said claims said that over half of those who profess it, eventually "spontaneously exit homosexuality."
     "Homosexuality is 0% genetically inheritable, according to the Human Genome Study," Stringham claimed, without attribution. "That's just one example of the so-called pseudo science that we've been given today."
     Here's what Dr. Francis Collins, respected geneticist and head of the Human Genome Project, has actually said about the subject after having been misquoted before by the ideological fellow travelers of people like Dr. Edward Stringham:
The evidence we have at present strongly supports the proposition that there are hereditary factors in male homosexuality — the observation that an identical twin of a male homosexual has approximately a 20% likelihood of also being gay points to this conclusion, since that is 10 times the population incidence. But the fact that the answer is not 100% also suggests that other factors besides DNA must be involved. That certainly doesn’t imply, however, that those other undefined factors are inherently alterable.

Obama gay marriage ad rips Romney

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Bluegrass fan gets great seat without buying a ticket

Watch carefully at the 1:30 mark. This video is almost a year old, but AKSARBENT only found out about it yesterday. Sigh.

Davenport, IA Catholic Bishop bars foundation from presenting scholarship to gay student

Keaton Fuller. Photo: Eychaner Foundation
Davenport, Iowa Bishop Martin Amos has barred Keaton Fuller, an 18-year-old senior at Prince of Peace Catholic High School student in Clinton, Iowa from receiving a $40,000 scholarship from the Des-Moines-based Eychaner Foundation during his graduation ceremony May 20th.
     School officials, who had encouraged Fuller to apply for the award, were blindsided by the action.
Bishop Amos, Diocese photo
     Fox News has reported that School Board President Edward O'Neill said he was disappointed by the bishop's decision. He said Fuller was a talented student who was accepted by his peers after coming out years ago. He said Fuller had taken his boyfriend to prom over the weekend and other school dances without controversy. (Three guesses as to what Bishop Amos will lower the boom on next.)
     The Eychaner Foundation was founded by Iowa businessman and gay rights activist Rich Eychaner, and chose Fuller as one of three recipients of its gold scholarship, worth up to $40,000 toward attendance at one of three public universities in Iowa. Fuller will attend the University of Iowa where he wants to study film. More than 130 Matthew Shepard scholarships to graduating high school seniors who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender have been awarded since 2000
     Foundation executive director Michael Bowser  said Fuller is believed to be the first gay student at a Catholic high school to attend multiple school dances with a partner of the same sex.
     The Catholic Diocese of Davenport said Monday a school staff member will present the scholarship at the assembly but its policy bars any organization which promotes a position contrary to church teachings from giving school presentations.
     “Everybody at the school has always been very accepting and extremely encouraging toward me. That’s why the latest turn of events has been such a surprise -- I feel invalidated and unaccepted,” Fuller told Monday evening..
"It is difficult to understand how, after I have spent 13 years at this school and worked hard during all of them, I would be made to feel that my accomplishments are less than everybody else’s,"
     The Diocese of Davenport has posted a response to the controversy on its web site but MSNBC said attempts to contact Amos or officials with the Diocese of Davenport were unsuccessful on Tuesday.
     Although Fuller appears to be the sole "out" gay student in his small high school, he said  teachers have always supported him, making sure he believed in himself.

Video: Iowa Supreme Court justices ousted by costly National Organization for Marriage campaign collect 'Profile in Courage' award from JFK Library

From the press release:
The 2012 Profile in Courage Award is presented to Marsha Ternus, David Baker and Michael Streit for their demonstrated political courage and judicial independence in upholding, in the face of popular opposition, the basic freedoms and security guaranteed to all citizens under the Iowa constitution... [and to Syrian] Ambassador Robert Ford for the courageous example he has set and the light he has shone on the power of creative and robust diplomacy to serve as a vital tool for advancing human rights

Lincoln, NE City Council LGBT ordinance hearing; top cop argues forcefully for adoption; Ben Gray slams NE AG Jon Bruning

Last night's Lincoln City Council hearing on a proposed LGBT rights ordinance, which would echo one recently passed in Omaha, lasted from 3 pm to 10:25 pm. AKSARBENT is working on acquiring the complete video of the hearing. When and if we do, we'll have coverage of:
  • Astonishingly eloquent testimony by an older PFLAG member recounting her "Steel Magnolias" moment confronting homophobia in a salon and getting some unanticipated support from the owner/beautician
  • The most wrenching testimony we saw either in Omaha or Lincoln by a gay counselor who could barely speak as he described trying to talk gay kids out of offing themselves
  • A two-time Christian public access TV martyr who described her victimization (as a Christian, of course) at work to the Omaha City Council and as a grade school student to the Lincoln council
  • A reel of anti-LGBT equality ordinance testimony by medical professionals AKSARBENT hopes never to have to meet in a doctor-patient setting
In the mean time, here is audio of Lincoln's Public Safety Director Tom Casady arguing strenuously for passage of the proposed LGBT measure and of Ben Gray taking a swipe at Nebraska AG Jon Bruning's suspiciously swift opinion that local LGBT ordinances are unconstitutional.

I believe an ordinance like this is a small step, a very small step, but it's a step towards making Lincoln an infertile ground for the attitudes that nurture the mindset of these two (1993 murderers of Dillards gay shoe salesman Harold Grover) and for all those other people whose own moral conscience is so weak and debased that they judge people by  their characteristics rather than their character...
     I think we could find other examples of that where the law was one step among many that changed a climate. I think of how attitudes in this community have changed towards things like domestic violence and drunk driving and child abuse and neglect during my 10 years as a police officer here in Lincoln. This is a huge and dramatic change and I think that an ordinance like this is one of those bricks in the wall that helps to create that change. There are lots of people in Lincoln that I respect and admire, work with have laid my life on the line with and had protect mine that are protected from discrimination by this ordinance and I stand here in defense of their rights as citizens in this community.
                  —Tom Casady, Public Safety Director, Lincoln, Nebraska
      Bruning, who is pulling a Sarah Palin in trying to jump from AG to senator without completing his term (he also did this when jumping from state senator to AG), once compared LGBT relationships to a guy wanting to marry a chair.
      Last Wednesday, Bruning got a request from State Senator Beau McCoy of Elkhorn, asking him if local LGBT legislation which went beyond state protected classes was unconstitutional. On Friday, McCoy received an opinion from Bruning saying he thought it wasn't.
     Nice to know that Bruning can get the lead out when he wants to use gay Nebraskans as a political football.
     Contrast his recent quick action with what Nebraska Watchdog reported the other day: that Bruning's GOP primary opponent, Don Stenberg, remembered writing Bruning in April, 2011, for an opinion on whether health insurance funds for the state Highway Patrol and other state employees are funds of the state that should be held by the state treasurer; nine months later he still hadn't got an answer from Bruning.
     (Apparently, homophobe Bruning, who has gotten rich in Public Office, didn't attend a single meeting of the State Records Board in 2011. Bruning has been involved in at least two dozen businesses and ventures since being elected attorney general. )
     The Senator's ruling was issued in response to a request from State Senator Beau McCoy who, with the help of the Alliance Defense Fund, tried to head off Omaha's recently-passed LGBT ordinance by trying to get a bill, LB912, through the Unicameral Judiciary Committee last session. He failed, but is still trying to sabotage gay rights legislation throughout Nebraska. (McCoy is running for reelection against Judy Domina.)
     Bruning, unsurprisingly, thinks local gay rights legislation is unconstitutional. City attorneys for Lincoln and Omaha disagree and are ignoring him. AKSARBENT finds the Bruning/McCoy scheme dubious. If local LGBT ordinances really overstep state authority, why has this escaped the attention of city attorney's in both Lincoln and Omaha and why did McCoy try to pass LB912, if it wasn't necessary?