Wednesday, October 31, 2012

If Ellen DeGeneres is wearing a dress, it must be Halloween

Celina OH Ass't Principal Phil Metz tells 2 gay students and 20 supporters to remove "political" T-shirts, but he allowed antichoice and antiObama shirts

Zack Ford at ThinkProgress reports the Reddit eruption about two students at Celina High School in Ohio who celebrated “Twin Day” with T-shirts that read “Lesbian 1″ and “Lesbian 2.” Although they were forced to remove them, 20 more students went to school Tuesday wearing home-made T-shirts in sympathy, organized by sophomore Jimmy Walter.
Metz, top, and Luebke,
who didn't get the
memo about state
schools not allowed
to be"enclaves of
     Assistant Principal Phil Metz forced all the students to remove the shirts because they were “political,” and those who did not were given detention with the threat of suspension.
Erick Warrner, a Celina junior who brought attention to this situation on Reddit, points out that plenty of “political” dress is regularly tolerated at the school, including “Students for Life” anti-choice T-shirts with pictures of fetuses, as well as blatantly political shirts supporting Mitt Romney for President or calling President Obama a socialist. In fact, just this week the school hosted a Romney campaign event at which Paul Ryan spoke.
Metz and Principal Jason Luebke haven't responded, but evidently they didn't get the 1969  Tinker v. Des Moines memo from the Supreme Court forbidding state-operated schools from being "enclaves of totalitarianism.”

Bold Nebraska: loophole in Deb Fischer bill gave pipeline, but not wind companies, emiment domain

Deb Fischer Supporter Sarah Palin (left) and the Senate candidate,
who had nothing to say to a Lincoln radio station about Mitt
Romney's "47%" remarks during a fund-raiser at the lavish Florida
estate of a private equity manager whose Long Island sex parties
are notorious in the Empire State.
Deb Fischer claims she strengthened eminent domain with a bill when she was a state senator. In fact, she had an opportunity to ensure landowners had the upper hand when facing eminent domain, and instead she did nothing to define the word pipeline and did nothing to provide guidance for a public process over eminent domain power.
     Deb Fischer’s bill actually put into law that wind companies could not use eminent domain but oil pipeline companies could use eminent domain for private gain.
     Because of Fischer's lack of vision on that eminent domain law, any pipeline carrying oil, tarsands or even toxic waste could claim eminent domain using her bill as the legal standing. Today, it's a Canadian company who many of us see as "friendly." Tomorrow, under Fischer's eminent domain bill, it could be China or Iraq.
Facts on the Fischer Eminent Domain Loophole.

The Onion explains how to keep your children safe this Halloween

In the Middle West, the drought continues

We suppose it's close to cruel to taunt New Englanders with a photo of a dry roadbed (this one taken just north of Omaha in the Ponca Hills) but the particular curse inflicted this year by nature in the middle of the country is a severe and ongoing drought.
     Well, it's a curse if you grow corn or soybeans. Pumpkin farmers are enjoying bumper crops, according to Bloomberg:
The orange vegetable is usually planted from late May to early July and harvested in late September or early October. This year’s drought included the warmest weather since 1936 in Illinois, the largest U.S. grower of corn and soybeans after Iowa. Field conditions began deteriorating in June, and by July more than 95 percent of the state was experiencing a severe drought, according to the Drought Monitor in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Iowa City friends say Romney campaign ejected them from Cedar Rapids rally because they're gay

Scott Raynor reports that two Iowa City residents got escorted out of a Romney Rally in Cedar Rapids. Independent Romney supporter Chase Gundersen and his friend, Independent Obama supporter Adam Peters, said because they are gay, they were told to leave and threatened with arrest.
     The Romney campaign spokesperson Andrea Saul told U.S. News and World Report that Peters was thrown out because he's a known disruptive protester.
     "We were informed by people on the ground that this gentleman was a known protester who has caused issues at previous events," Saul wrote in an email to U.S. News and World Report. "So [we] had him escorted off the premises to prevent any disruptions."
     Peters described the incident on his Facebook page, denying he was a protester. In it he wondered if they were given a bum's rush because they looked "gay."
     After seeing one of the people who sell T-shirts at Romney/Ryan rallies, AKSARBENT has its doubts about this.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Frontline grills NOM attorney James Bopp, who started Citizens United, about dark money in Montana politics

Watch Big Sky, Big Money on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

James Bopp, Jr., who initiated the Citizens United lawsuit, represented the National Organization of Marriage in its defiance of Maine's campaign financing disclosure laws, and tried to destroy Iowa's Judicial Nominating process, was interviewed by Kai Ryssdal last night in a Frontline program about dark money in Montana politics.
     His remarks start at 38:15 and 49:49 in the above video. Here are excerpts from Frontline's transcript of his interview, most of which was not aired.
I appreciate that, but the question was, is money in politics inherently corrupting?
And I said no. Who does it corrupt for doing what? I don’t know what that would be.
I guess my point was corruption of the process.
It doesn’t corrupt the process. It’s necessary for the process. To communicate, you have to spend money, so you have to have money to communicate, see, and that’s called speech.
You look at campaign finance, and it’s this thing you’ve spent literally your whole life on, your whole career on. The average voter reads the stories about it and watches the ads that come as a result of it. What do you think voters think about all of this? Can you blame them for sort of being turned off by the whole thing?
Voters in the United States have always had a healthy skepticism about government and politicians, and I think it’s a good thing. … But the problem we have is we don’t have enough information available to voters to allow them to make informed choices, so we need more spending.
With all the ads and the news, you think there’s not enough information out there in American politics?
Definitely. If a third of the people in the United States cannot name the vice president of the United States, a majority of the people do not know who their congressman is or who their senators are, so you think that’s enough information? No. That’s not enough information. They need a lot more information.
Do you think people should care about where this money’s coming from?
Generally no, because it’s the message. You know, you either buy the argument or don’t buy the argument. Generally no, it doesn’t matter. Truth doesn’t change because of who’s funding it.
I don’t even know what to say. You actually think that?
I actually think that the truth doesn’t change based on who’s funding it. John Gregg is either a pro-life [candidate] or not. What difference does it make who’s funding that? The truth doesn’t change. What they say may change, but the truth of whether he is or not — and by the way, he is pro-life — he’s a Democrat running for governor. Whether he is or not doesn’t change by who’s funding the message on that.
Should citizens in this country be able to find that information? Should they be able to learn who’s funding?
Not generally. They don’t care.
That’s not the question. Just because they don’t care doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be able to know, right?
No. I’m sorry. Well, then are you’re just patronizing them? Sorry, you ignorant Hoosiers, you should want to know this. Well, actually they could[n't] care less because it’s not relevant to them. It’s not relevant.
You’re the one who said they shouldn’t know because they don’t care, right, and my question is —
No, I said they shouldn’t be told or shouldn’t be disclosed. I forget how you put the question, but to be clear on what I meant, things shouldn’t be required based on voter information, which is the only justification for disclosure that’s ever been upheld, if they don’t care. It’s not relevant to them.
What does that say about democracy, though?
It says that this is completely irrelevant information that only some left-wing nut jobs care about. That’s the bottom line. And they also care about it because they know that it undermines people’s participation that they don’t want to be participating, because they don’t care.

Video: Sandy forces Letterman, Fallon to send audiences home, tape in empty studios

Ken Tucker at Entertainment Weekly has the unusual details.

Tonight: Frontline examines Montana fallout of SCOTUS Citizens United decision; mysterious docs in meth house reveal secrets of dark money group

See post-broadcast AKSARBENT comments here.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Lawrence O'Donnel, at sea with his California ballot, gets a former governor to help him vote, on the air

10-story construction crane dangles 90 floors above Manhattan at 57th & 6th Ave in hurricane winds

National Organization for Marriage Special Victims Unit releases another production, but leaves out a lot

GoodAsYou has published NOM's latest martyr video, starring Dakota Ary, the Ft. Worth Christer high-schooler who says he was victimized by a gay-agenda teacher, but who some people say was gay-baiting his instructor and was sitting, with his homies, next to a bulletin board picture from Stern (it was German class) right before it was ripped mysteriously ripped down.

Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters said Liberty Counsel, an activist Christer legal organization which likes to sue gay-friendly schools and which represented Ary, lied about the incident.
     The Dallas Voice talked to Marvin Vann, a member of the group LGBTQ S.A.V.E.S., formed to protect LGBT students and teachers in Tarrant County from anti-gay harassment, and got quite a different story quite different from Dakota Ary's:
I and other members of LGBTQ S.A.V.E.S., a group formed a year ago in response to local and national incidents of school-based, anti-LGBTQ incidents of harassment, became aware of this incident last week, shortly after the first, distorted media reports came out. Concerned that only one side of the incident was being reported, we met Friday night with Mr. Franks. His account contradicts Ary and his lawyer’s version of events, and has been substantiated by several of the other students in class at the time. We found Mr. Franks’ explanation entirely credible.
     He reports (and has reported to his school) repeated acts of anti-gay harassment by several students that occurred this and last year, including by a group of four specific boys in this class, of whom Ary is one. Among other incidents, Mr. Franks maintains a “word wall” for his German IV class on which he posts articles and images from several journals, including the German magazine, Stern. One of these articles concerned gay rights in Germany, and included a photo of two men kissing. The group of four boys concerned was sitting near this image immediately before Mr. Franks found it had been ripped from the wall. The student and his lawyer are now asserting that including this photo among the others constituted his teacher’s “imposing acceptance of homosexuality” in his classroom. These students subsequently took every opportunity to denounce homosexuality in class, frequently without context; that is, with the topic having otherwise been broached.
     On the particular day in which this incident occurred, Mr. Franks was opening class when the topic of Christianity in Germany was broached by one student, who asked what churches were there, another whether they read the Bible in English, etc. Franks asserts that the topic of homosexuality was not broached in any way, and that Ary‘s assertions to the contrary are entirely false. At this point, Ary declared, with a class audience, “Gays can’t be Christians; homosexuality is wrong,” looking directly at Mr. Franks. Franks says he understands and affirms students’ right to free speech, and that he is perfectly prepared to lead a respectful discussion on topics such as gay rights that allows for the assertion of opinions with which he disagrees. He has led such discussion in the past in his sociology classes. But in this case, hr feels the context makes it clear that this remark was made ad hominem, aimed specifically at him to devalue him and any information he might share on the topic of religion, on the basis of his perceived sexual orientation.

Photo: Hurricane Sandy seawater already seeping into upper east side of NYC

Morning View - East River

From JoeMyGod blog:
...Even at high tide, the water level is usually about eight feet below the ledge.  I'm guessing that they'll have to close the FDR before too much longer.

Latina LGBT/labor activist Lisbeth Meléndez Rivera will speak at PFLAG Omaha Nov. 8

Via Brad Chapin (whose affecting testimony last spring in favor of Lincoln's short-lived LGBT anti-bias law (at about the 10 minute mark here) was a welcome counterpoint to the stunningly blatant lie of a Catholic priest in the first part of the video) comes the news that Lisbeth Meléndez Rivera, a longtime LBGT and labor organizer of some note who has been effective enough to receive Human Rights Campaign funding, will speak at a PFLAG meeting Thursday, November 8, 2012 in Omaha:
She is a phenomenal sociologist, biologist, and activist, educating the country about how important our roles as allies and members of the Latino LGBT community really are.This is about moving people to create permanent and positive changes in Omaha and Lincoln by promoting acceptance for ALL LGBT individuals and their families. Within the Latino LGBT community, we may sometimes assume that LGBT identities cannot exist in harmony with religious and cultural ideals, but Lisbeth empowers us to see just how possible this really is and what we can do to make Omaha LGBT communities and families even stronger when faith, la familia, and culture collide.
     If you use Facebook (we don't), you can RSVP here.
     Here are PDF descriptions of the program in English and in Spanish.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Gay-married Alex Greenwich elected independent MP for Sydney, Australia

Greenwich, 30, (right) with husband Victor Hold, 31
Alex Greenwich, the former convener of Australian Marriage Equality (AME), won the seat of Sydney on Saturday. Greenwich married his partner in Argentina in May.
      More than 48 per cent of voters chose Mr Greenwich in as independent MP for Sydney in Saturday's poll, with the Clover Moore-backed candidate finishing with a two-party preferred vote of just under 65 per cent. The result was a stinging defeat for the O'Farrell government and its candidate Shayne Mallard.

Could gay voters deny Romney the White House?

Gallup thinks, in an election this close, they certainly could. Right here in Omaha, where most Nebraska gay people live, Obama was able to capture an electoral vote in 2008, the first time any Democratic presidential candidate has picked up electoral support in the Cornhusker state since Lyndon Johnson's 1964 landslide, almost half a century ago.
     Nebraska has been able to split its electoral votes since 1991 and did so for the first time when Obama picked up Omaha in the second congressional district. Only Maine also allows split electoral votes, and in the same way: whoever carries the state gets the two "Senate" electoral votes, but congressional district electoral votes go to the candidate who won the district. This is why Omaha is now called "Blue Dot City" by political strategists.

Prilosec spokesman Larry the Cable Guy (Dan Whitney) now mocked by Capitol Steps as poster boy for antichoice political Neanderthals

The Washington political satirists took careful note of the wealthy Lincoln, Nebraska entertainer's exploitation of disdain for gay people among his audience, exhibited recently at a Hollywood Roseanne roast.

Senior VP of biggest vote counter in US arrested; big chunk of ES&S owned by paper backing Romney

Why in the World-Herald would a
newspaper which endorses political
candidates own a large interest in a
vote-counting company?
Unseemly, much?
The company is ES&S, which tabulates votes for about 4,000 election authorities in 41 states with more than 300,000 units deployed and counting about 60% of US votes.
     In 2004, Ronnie Dugger, writing in The Nation, said the Omaha World-Herald, now backing Republicans Mitt Romney (President) and Deb Fischer (Senate) owned "about half" of ES&S.
     AKSARBENT could find no current statements about W-H ownership more specific than "minority," which could mean, of course, as much as 49.99%.
Mugshot of ES&S Senior Vice President
of Marketing and Public Relations, John  Groh
     On Wednesday, ES&S announced that a senior vice president, John Groh, had taken "a leave of absence." Perhaps this is related to the fact that Groh's wife recently turned over to authorities a video camera Groh was accused of hiding in a bathroom that recorded an 11-year-old girl preparing to shower. Groh was arrested September 28th in Florida.
  • In New York, in 2010, 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.
  • In Anchorage, Alaska's miserably botched (or rigged) 2012 election, ES&S machines were found to have broken seals.
     Recently the top vote-counting muckraker in the U.S., Brad Friedman, has been at odds with ThinkProgress (a site unwaveringly scrupulous in crediting AKSARBENT for tips), over the issue of Tagg Romney, via a company called H.I.G. Capital (believed to stand for Hart Intercivic Group) taking over control of Hart Intercivic, the nation's third largest voting machine company, in 2011.
     Internet talk show host David Pakman (<pettiness> who didn't bother to credit AKSARBENT for a viral video he used that we uploaded </pettiness>) seems to be siding with Friedman; MSNBC analyst Chuck Todd, in a tweet, seems to be siding with ThinkProgress.

Diva Night, 2012 or why most straight dudes should never, evah do drag

This is difficult enough to watch on YouTube; AKSARBENT can't understand how 1,000 way-too-easily-amused Council Bluffs women were able to sit through so witless a travesty in real time long enough to watch Dr. Ty Dworak win. That money for charity was raised does not begin to excuse the event's excruciating awfulness.

Photo: Bruce Glikas

Wash your eyes out with someone who understands drag, a real pro and an evil wit, Barry Humphries, shown here with sons Rupert (l) and Oscar. If you don't recognize him from this photo, you will here.

Sandy: New Yorkers should hope for direct hit

Today's Outside The Box column has some counterintuive insight from meteorologist Eric Holthaus on the Hurricane Sandy Frankenstorm facing New York City:
...Normally, when hurricanes approach the East Coast from Sandy’s angle, they are pulled safely out to sea by a semi-permanent low-pressure center near Iceland. This time around, that low pressure isn’t there. In fact, it’s been replaced by a high pressure so intense it only occurs approximately 0.2% of the time on average.
      The coincidence of that strong of a high pressure “block” being in place just when a hurricane is passing by — in and of itself a very rare occurrence — is just mind bogglingly rare. It’s the kind of stuff that’s important enough to rewrite meteorological textbooks. The result: Instead of heading out to sea Sandy’s full force will be turned back against the grain and directed squarely at the East Coast.
     .... if I were a resident of New York right now, I’d be rooting for a direct hit. If given a choice, I’d take 12 inches of rain over six feet of coastal flooding any day.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Another day, another Facebook privacy scandal

From Mashable: Bulgarian blogger Bogomil Shopov  that he had purchased a spreadsheet containing 1.1 million Facebook user IDs and email addresses for $5. The data was allegedly scraped by third-party applications and offered for sale on a website called Gigbucks by a user named “mertem.” Shopov verified that the emails did correspond to the Facebook user IDs, most of them private. He had even identified people he knew in the list. The next day, he was contacted by Facebook’s Platform Policy Team.

Iowa Family Leader's Get Wiggins! sugar daddy, National Organization for Marriage, releases another video attacking gay Iowa couples

The National Organization for Marriage, which pledged up to $100,000 to the Trash-David-Wiggins bus tour of Bob Vander Plaats and Tamara Scott (see videos below) has released a new antigay video that is so full of shit that it took AFER over 4 1/2 minutes to deconstruct all the homophobic slurs, misrepresentations of social science and outright inventions, like "natural marriage."

Here are two videos about the character assassination initiatives of Iowa for Freedom during its crusade to destabilize Iowa's judiciary by abusing the judicial retention process.

Diabolically cunning Chick-fil-A to open 2 Omaha area locations on gay Christmas, will have costume prizes

On Nov. 1 at 6 am, two new Omaha-area standalone Chick-fil-A restaurants (there are now two limited-service locations in the Mutual of Omaha Dome and Mutual Bank) will open, in Papillion at 8710 S. 71st Plaza, operated by Kyle Schisler and in Bellevue at 2016 Cornhusker Road, operated by Tom Deall. The first 100 heterosexual supremacists customers in line will get free Chick-fil-A for a year (52 free meal cards). If there are more than 100 in line, a raffle will be held.
(Via The New Civil Rights Movement)
     Both locations will have "fall festival-themed" (Oh look! Christers want to redefine Halloween!) activities for overnight campers, including games, music, prizes for costumes and tent-to-tent trick-or-treating.
     Privately-held Chick-fil-A hasn't released 2012 sales figures yet, but consumer use of the chain was up 2.2 percent in the third quarter compared with the same period in 2011, according to a Sandelman & Associates survey of more than 30,000 fast-food consumers conducted in markets where Chick-fil-A is located.
     Market share was up 0.6 percent, and total ad awareness was up 6.5 percent.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Deb Fischer now among 13 GOP senate candidates who think rape victims should be forced to have child

Deb Fischer, the Nebraska GOP candidate for Senate who is long on feel-good conservative bullet points and short on vision has now flip-flopped from her 2004 position on the issue of a woman's right to choose not to carry the baby of a rapist to term. (Story here.)
     She also doesn't believe in Global Warming, despite the increasing regularity of weather extremes characteristic of that phenomenon, including record drought here in Nebraska.
     Oh — and she underhandedly snuck in a loophole in legislation which confers eminent domain privileges on pipeline companies but not wind energy companies.
     The Nebraska GOP has never made it easier to justify a vote for Bob Kerrey.

Blowback from Ohio GOP overreach in suppressing voting and attacking unions will work for Obama

PayPal revenue up 23% so it's laying off up to 400

PayPal's suburban Omaha
operations center in LaVista
Related: Reddit Donate spurns PayPal for donations, goes with Iowa-based Dwolla in partnership with another payment startup called Stripe

PayPal, Ebay's payment unit, buoyed third quarter results of its parent by ending the quarter with 117.4 million active registered accounts, a 14% increase over the third quarter of 2011. Revenue increased 23% year over year and net total payment volume (TPV) grew 20% year over year to $35.2 billion.
     But the Omaha World-Herald says the company is celebrating that performance by cutting about 3% of its workforce (up to 400 jobs out of 13,000) to trim costs, according to an unnamed source.
PayPal is eliminating jobs primarily in its product and technology groups...
     [President David] Marcus, who took over in April, is leading an overhaul to streamline a business marked by excessive meetings and a monthslong project-approval process. He started the makeover in June by consolidating nine product groups into one. Workers also will be reorganized — moved from walled cubicles and offices to open rooms, where management will sit among staff.
     “We have told PayPal employees about plans under way to strengthen and simplify how we create and deliver consistently great products and brand experiences to our customers,” PayPal said in a statement. “We have not yet discussed how these plans may impact any existing jobs across our product, technology and marketing teams.”

Chris Kluwe kicks the ball back to the 10-yard-line of Minnesota Haters in a radio spot

(Via ThinkProgress)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Iowa Family Leader wackjob Reisetter running for state senate won't talk much about his college appearance but Iowa Democrats have the video

AKSARBENT loves this story because it gives us another excuse to post our video exposing the hypocrisy of the leaders of the Iowa Family Leader before getting into the deceptions of one of the organization's staffers, now running for office.

Below, Matt Reisetter attacks his opponent for trying to tack on an amendment (S-5030 to amendment S-5004 (H.F. 589)) to Iowa's infamous "Ag Gag" law, passed last session, which would imprison people who document animal cruelty undercover in agricultural production facilities in the state. To mitigate this free reign to abuse animals, an amendment was proposed to require oversight of animal treatment in such facilities via internet-connected security cameras for review by state officials to safeguard against abuse. It was defeated and the Ag Gag law, which Reisetter evidently supports, was passed. Now, in Iowa, livestock owners can engage in practically any degree of sadism they wish, and can get outsiders who bust them put behind bars. The law, which impinges on press freedom, has been called unconstitutional.

Keenan Crow of Northern Iowa Democrats has a much more complete rundown of Reisetter's right-wing fundamentalist radicalism than even we dare "borrow." Go here to see everything. There's a lot.

Here are some highlights:
Last night I, and several other of our members, were able to attend the League of Women Voters candidate forum. We also had the opportunity to write several questions (although only a few were asked, and even then not the way we wrote them). What we took away was that many Republicans were not willing to honestly answer these questions. In particular, Matt Reisetter was very dodgy on his record and his stance of several issues. We all know he worked on the Family Leader campaign to oust 3 Iowa Supreme Court justices in 2010, yet when asked about the current retention vote he declined to give a straight forward answer. Further, when asked about a personhood amendement which would outlaw birth control, he gave a non-committal response about leaving it to the people. 

...This week we start with a tape from an event Reisetter put on entitled “Homosexuality: Is it okay to be gay?” During this event Reisetter admits outright to using unnecessary scare tactics, compares consensual homosexuality to statutory rape and smoking, and decides that, despite all applicable research, gender is a hard dichotomy and homosexuality is a choice. Watch the full video of this here:
  • “Social scientists, pagans and Christians alike agree the healthiest environment for the next generation to be raised in is an environment where there's one mom who’s married, who’s a woman. Who’s married to one man. You see social development, academic performance, suicide rates, poverty...everything about a one man one woman household where kids are raised pins the chart as far as health of the next generation.”
First of all, there is an entire division of pagan scientists which are actively coming up with data which is qualitatively different than the Christian ones? This is news to me. Second of all, no they don’t. The American Psychological Association, the American Sociological Association, the American Anthropological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics are in disagreement with Matt’s assertion just to name a few. Professor Judith Stacey of New York University stated:  “Rarely is there as much consensus in any area of social science as in the case of gay parenting, which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics and all of the major professional organizations with expertise in child welfare have issued reports and resolutions in support of gay and lesbian parental rights”. So that claim is not just a half truth, it’s outright fallacious...
  • Audience Member: What about evidence that says it isn’t a choice, that you’re born with it?
    Matt: The evidence there is not even close. Your sociology professor telling you that maybe? You might be reading it somewhere.
Yes Matt, we’re reading it somewhere. In peer-reviewed journals and text books. In reports from major medical organizations. You know...places where you find evidence.
  • “Where does it stop? [...] By logical reasonable outgrowth of people who support same sex marriage, you’ve got to support polygamy, you’ve got to support man-boy relationships with NAMBLA (the National American Man Boy Love Association) they’re advancing that cause right now.”
[During Q&A]
  • Cody: I thought it was very curious that you were trying to throw [NAMBLA] in there as a scare tactic and I wanted to address it and ask why you brought up NAMBLA when I think we can all come to the consensus that NAMBLA is somewhat different than consensual male to male or female to female relationships. 
    Matt: I think you’re right, I think I’m probably using that as a scare tactic and I’m being honest.
Reisetter willingly admits he misled the audience to make his point. Do we really want this man representing Cedar Falls?
  • “Public health, this is a new one. The CDC released two studies. One says smokers  are 10 to 20 times more likely to contract or die from lung cancer. They also put out a study that says men that participate in anal sex are 40 times more likely than women to contract HIV/AIDS. What does that have to do with anything? State legislatures in the last two years around the country have been banning smoking. Why? Because of public health. Because we don’t want people contracting and dying of lung cancer. We want to put a dent in the people who are smoking. At the same time, in Iowa at least, they’ve been blessing same sex marriage thereby giving an indirect approval of a behavior which is more dangerous by the statistics than smoking.”
Mr. Reisetter was pressed on this issue during the Q&A more than any other and Reisetter repeatedly back pedaled...Two students named Joe and Cory pressed him on the issue..
  • Joe: Going back to the anal sex/HIV correlation. The argument is likely to come out from under it because you don’t get HIV from having anal sex. HIV is contracted by being exposed to someones DNA that contains HIV. It doesn’t have anything to do with whether or not you have anal sex.
    Matt: Um...okay. Touche. But there’s still a strong correlation right? 

    Joe: More than likely it’s because of having promiscuous sex.

    Matt: Yes. 


    Cory: So why are you opposed to a measure that would increase monogamy among homosexual males and thus decrease the overall transmission? 

    Matt: Because homosexual males by in large are not really interested in marriage. Homosexual females are more interested in marriage than homosexual males by far. Am I right?

    *Crowd groans*

    Female student: Can you give us some research on that?

    Matt: I don’t have it in front of me right now.

    Female student: Yeah...that sucks doesn’t it. 
Crow concluded: This video is in stark contrast to what Mr. Reisetter presented himself as last night. Matt never once answered a direct question on his stance on social issues. I think the implications within this video are clear, however. He is willing to lie, manipulate, and misrepresent in order to perpetuate his rigid social agenda. Matt Reisetter is not a good choice for Iowa...

1953: Ritchie Cunningham's gay buds on the down low

1953: The first James Bond novel and the first issue of Playboy were published. Unions were growing, and the average house cost $9,950, a car $1650 and the first color TVs $1,175.
     It was the McCarthy era, when gay people were considered security risks and it wasn't safe to take a photo of you and your boyfriend to the drugstore to be developed.
     But there were photobooths... Via Buzzfeed comes this nifty evidence of gay ingenuity from ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives:

Or they could have borrowed one of those new Polaroids from a funny uncle. (The first model, the 95, was made from 1948 to 1953.)

Ann Coulter, troll of all media, blows off a letter from man with Down Syndrome after calling Obama a "retard," but the CBC interviews him

Skip to 1:45 here.

The New Normal: 'Bless me father for I have sinned. It has been 20 years since my last confession..."

AKSARBENT supposes that if the protagonist handled his religious problem by renouncing God the advertisers would rebel, so instead, the show encourages Catholics to rebel, in this clip featuring The Hip Padre.
 I have pretty much done them all except kill someone and covet my neighbor's wife.
Well, contrary to popular opinion, being gay isn't a sin. The church is not antigay.
Yet any chance he gets, the pope treats gay marriage like Amanda Bynes treats pedestrians.
Eh, the pope. C'mon — haven't ya ever had a lovable old uncle who popped off intolerant comments at a family barbecue?
Can't you get fired for saying stuff like that?
I don't know if you noticed, but it's pretty hard to get fired around here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Oh, look — Uganda has a World Net Daily too!

Paul Ryan in Iowa: some lying, some football pandering and a confession about his boys — 'bear and wolf!'

Before introducing Paul Ryan, Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds trash-talked President Obama a little,
claiming he has "no style."  Fortunately for Council Bluffs Republicans with similar issues, a GOP
Romney/Ryan fashion consultant — seen here expertly sizing up a prospect — was able to lend a hand.

Ryan got a little snarky with a Cub Scout at the 1:07 mark:
...Right here at Bass Pro. It's where we take our kids to teach them values...
I see a Cub Scout right here. What are you, a bear, wolf, bobcat?
I can't see, buddy.
You're WEBELO!
Oh, hey! Sorry, I didn't mean to imply an emotion.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Battle Bears: game firm hits paydirt selling thinly disguised homophobia to preteen boys; 19 million downloads; TV show, toys, action figures in works

Also: Paul Ryan in Iowa — football pandering, a big Keystone XL lie, and some snark for a Cub Scout.

Wednesday: Iowa Family leader candidate doesn't want to talk about his homophobic college appearance.

This contemptible game has blown up since its August release, now closing in on 20,000,000 downloads to mostly preteen boys. Since many of the install­ments in the Battle Bears series are free, in-game advertising accounts for half the revenue of the company, SkyVu Entertainment — for now.
     But soon the not-so-subtle antigay subtext of the game will be rewiring the brains of young boys on children's TV too, with action figures and toys not far behind. Hey GLAAD, did you forget to set your alarm clock?

SkyVu Entertainment facebook page shows
a happy employee sporting a shirt depicting
one of the company's pink bear villains with
its head shot off and spewing rainbow guts.

Here's how the game works, according to Friday's Omaha World-Herald:
Battle Bears is the story of a band of teddy-bear soldiers that roams the galaxy on a quest to rid it of danger — most notably Huggables. Bright pink and cuddly on the outside, Huggables just want to smother your character — literally — with love.
      When Huggables are shot with any of the wide array of Battle Bears weapons, they burst forth with rainbows rather than blood.

Tricia Duryee, in All Things Digital:
Michael Polis, the president of Wildbrain said, “Between its built-in fan base and the expandable universe that lends itself to consumer products and character-driven extensions, Battle Bears has the potential to become the next big boys action comedy brand.”
     The TV show’s plot is expected to follow the lives of six Battle Bears as they travel to a remote pink planet. The bears soon learn that the planet is home to some of the galaxy’s most dangerous threats. The bears will have to use their skills to save the day.
Last Spring, Omaha's AIM Institute gave company cofounder and CEO Ben Vu its "Technology Innovator of the Year" award. (What's next? Trophies from NOM and the FRC?)
     In August, SkyVu announced a second round of seed capital with Lightbank leading the way. NextView Ventures of Boston, Great Oaks Venture Capital of New York, Michael Chang (the former CEO of Greystripe), and the Nebraska Angels also participated in the round.

Here's some adulatory coverage from earlier this year by Channel 6, the Omaha NBC affiliate of Gray Television of Atlanta, which evasively explained that when you waste a pink bear, "colored stuffing" comes out.

Below is an uncritical profile of SkyVu Entertainment in Friday's Omaha World-Herald Money section featuring a grinning Vu holding toy incarnations of his pink bear villains while applying a little dynamic tension to the rainbow sash attached to the neck of one of them. What a cutup.

Straight boxer Jorge Pazos, after losing to gay boxer, Orlando Cruz: '...he has good legs. I couldn't get him."

Does the fact that Jorge Pazos was respectful of his opponent, not homophobic, articulate and diplomatic mean that AKSARBENT won't twist his post-fight remarks into something undeservedly salacious? Nah. Unlike Pazos, we don't have any class at all.
     Kudos to what's-his-name for being the first gay boxer to come out BEFORE retiring and all that, but we're just mesmerized merely watching his adorable, but straight, opponent walk through an airport. Pretty shallow, huh?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Lawrence O'Donnell outdoes even predecesser Keith Olbermann; dares Tag Romney to take a swing at him; 'the flawlessly consistent intergenerational combat cowardice of Romney men'

O'Donnell's ramp-up to essentially calling Tag Romney a punk for saying he wanted to take a swing at President Obama was a revisitation of the glaring tradition of military nonservice of Mitt's grandfather, father, himself and his five sons.

OK Taggart. Let’s have a little talk, just you and me. You– When I hear you talk about taking a swing and taking punches, why do I get the feeling you have never actually taken a punch, or thrown a punch. I didn’t have that luxury in the part of Boston I grew up in. But in your rich, suburban, Boston life, with your father filling a $100 million trust fund for you. I don’t know, I just get the feeling things were kind of different for you.
     Now, I know you've got a lot to be pissed off at these days starting with the name Taggart which you have every right to be wicked pissed off at for every day of the 42 years of your life. So let me try to help you deal with all this aggression you are feeling right now.You’re mad at President
Obama for calling your father a liar? Well, let’s get something straight. He didn’t call your father a liar, I did. The president just said that what father said isn't true.
     I’ve been saying all year that your father is a liar. I’ve repeatedly said that your father lies and is trying to lie his way into the White House. So, you want to take a swing at someone for calling your old man a liar? Take a swing at me. Come on. Come on! And don’t worry. There won’t be any Secret Service involved. Just us. And I’ll make it easy for you. I’ll come to you. Anytime, anywhere. Go ahead Taggart, take your best shot.

Inside Google's Iowa data center; you may not have been to Council Bluffs, but your computer probably has

Google doesn't even let most of its own employees who don't work in one, much less the public, inside its data centers but it recently published photos by Connie Zhou of several of its off-limits facilities, including the $600 million Council Bluffs, IA location, which will soon be joined by a $300 million com­panion.

Deer who live near the cooling towers

Iowa's center is about 115,000 square feet

Plastic curtains corral refrigeration; the fiber in the yellow cable trays carries data back and forth to other Google centers about 200,000 times faster than an average home Internet connection

Robotic tape library.

Gas prices to rise in Nebraska and Midwest if Rep. Lee Terry's TransCanada efforts succeed in House

Nebraska GOP Rep. Lee Terry has been excusing all the pimping he does for Big Oil by talking incessantly about the need for US energy independence.
     What he doesn't tell voters is that his cheerleading and strong-arm tactics in Congress on behalf of a foreign oil company — TransCanada — will actually jack up the cost of gas in Nebraska and the entire Midwest, but contribute almost nothing to US energy independence, since Keystone XL pipeline oil will flow to refineries in Houston, be refined and then get shipped off in tankers bound for the four corners of the world and the highest international bidders.
Currently, Canadian crude can be pumped only as far as the U.S. Midwest, where a crude oil oversupply is keeping regional oil prices low. The Keystone XL would clear that bottleneck, send Canadian oil to the Gulf Coast and open access to world markets, creating a massive business opportunity for tar sands players.
     "There's no ability to access world markets, and that's the reason why WTI [Midwest oil pricing] is depressed. Keystone XL will relieve that issue," said Chad Friess, an oil and gas analyst at UBS Securities Canada Inc. in Calgary, Alberta. "Pricing is expected to improve as it comes on stream."
     A 2009 market analysis conducted for TransCanada, the Alberta-based company that hopes to build the pipeline, projected that it would create a $3 per-barrel increase, at minimum, for Canadian heavy crude in the Midwest. Canada's petroleum producers would benefit most from the price hike.
      The report predicts their annual revenues would increase $2 billion to $3.9 billion in 2013.  But the entire industry—including the refineries and shipping businesses where Koch Industries has concentrated its efforts—would also profit.

The Romnesia of Mittmento

Here's the gold-plated bobblehead trophy that
Reddit awarded to the troll who started Jailbait

Friday, October 19, 2012

Judy Domina's campaign against Beau McCoy, the #1 Unicameral adversary of gay Nebraskans

This excerpt, from Mary Anne Andrei's profile of Domina over at Bold Nebraska, insightfully explains the outrage at McCoy's behavior that prompted Elkhorn voters to encourage Domina to unseat him.
     In 2005, Judy Domina received a panicked call from her daughter. She needed to get her boys away from her husband who was abusing them. Judy drove without stopping to Iowa. She picked up her grandsons and brought them back to her home in Scotia. They had been severely abused, but Judy had taught children with special needs and had worked as an advocate for children and families; the boys couldn’t have had a better champion than a loving grandmother who knew the ins and outs of Nebraska’s health and human services. Still, Judy ran into roadblocks—and was shocked that even she was unable to navigate the system without help. She worried about her grandsons, but she also began to think of others: “If I can’t get services for these children, what is happening to the families who don’t know who to call or how to go about accessing these services?”
      We sat drinking coffee in Judy’s kitchen, as she remembered it all. She seemed lost for a moment in the memory then shook her head. “I see myself as the candidate for the vulnerable,” she said finally. “I believe that in a nation as wonderful as the United States we need to make sure all of our citizens are taken care of.” This philosophy, she said, grew from her upbringing on a small farm in Oconto in Custer County. “In rural communities,” she explained, “if somebody has difficulty the neighbors wrap their arms around them, and come in and harvest their crops or make sure they have food.” That sense of communal effort—of pulling together for the common good—is something that Judy sees as a core value in Nebraska. And she believes that, even as more and more Nebraskans move to cities, she can help farmers and ranchers find shared purpose with their urban neighbors.

     That’s why Judy was shocked to see the behavior of her opponent Beau McCoy at a hearing before the Natural Resources Committee during last November’s special session on the Keystone XL pipeline. Many in the room felt that McCoy’s treatment of Robert Bernt, a Sandhills rancher who makes organic products in Spalding, crossed the line—ridiculing Bernt for erring on a matter of procedure, rather than listening to the substance of his testimony, to the point that Bernt eventually apologized for his “lower intelligence.” This is exactly the kind of excluding of constituent voices Judy would not tolerate. “No matter what my own personal opinions are,” she said, “I’m always going to be open to listening. I will work with my constituents to look at the facts together.”
In the last legislative session, Beau McCoy introduced LB912, Tennesee-style legislation that would have outlawed any municipal LGBT bias legislation in Nebraska by forbidding the protection of any class not specifically enumerated in state law.
     Brenda Council and Brad Ashford took a dim view of the proposed law and the way McCoy's bill would have let the state run roughshod over the freedom of local communities to decide this matter for themselves; they helped table it.
     The first person to testify for the law was Brian Babione, an ally of McCoy's from the radical right wing legal lobby, the Alliance Defense Fund, which is now calling itself the Alliance Defending Freedom. Here's video of Babione's Unicameral testimony. Be sure to watch the portion at the 1:30 mark to see just what kind of organizations Beau McCoy is in bed with.

Gallaudet University tells antigay Maryland Marriage Alliance to stop ripping off its copyrighted video

The Baltimore Sun is now reporting this:
The new commercial, funded by the Maryland Marriage Alliance, shows footage of Angela McCaskill, the diversity officer who was removed from her post because she signed a petition to put the same-sex marriage law on the November ballot.
     "The video they are using, the ad, is actually copyrighted by us," said Katherine Murphy, executive director of communications and public relations at Gallaudet in Washington. "We're in touch with our attorneys to have them follow up with the group to ask them to take down the ad."
     ...The ad was designed by Frank Schubert, a political consultant from California who is heading anti-same-sex marriage campaigns in Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington state.

Even GOP-biased Omaha World-Herald is fed up with Rep. Lee Terry's fact abuse; yesterday it endorsed his opponent, John Ewing

The Omaha World-Herald, whose tolerance of fast-and-loose-with-the-facts GOP ideology is high enough that it endorsed serial liar and flip-flopper Mitt Romney, has drawn the line at Rep. Lee Terrys latest excursion into political advertisement fiction.
...this newspaper has supported Terry in each of those elections. But the Republican congressman has demonstrated relatively little legislative leadership during his time in the House, a period that included 10 years of GOP majorities....After 14 years, it's time for a change.
     [John] Ewing has served as an exemplary Douglas County treasurer, cleaning up a dysfunctional office with customer service problems and which saw an embezzlement under his predecessor...

     Ewing also deserves credit for stepping forward and chairing the United Way of the Midlands committee... after the 2007 Von Maur shootings. He used remarkable diplomacy and grace in overseeing the handling of well over $1 million. Unlike the experiences in many other locales, the Von Maur fund operated without lawsuits by potential recipients or problems with Internal Revenue Service requirements...
     It is troubling that the Terry campaign, with substantial leads in both opinion polls and fundraising, would have resorted to misleading television commercials that required the candidate to backtrack during Monday night's debate...'s unseemly behavior [Terry's misrepresentations] for a veteran congressman...
     We suggest that District 2 voters cast their ballot for John Ewing on Nov. 6.

More evidence of widespread GOP voter fraud

Talking Points Memo reports that a 31-year-old Pennsylvania man, Colin Small, employed by Pinpoint, a company hired to register voters on behalf of Republican Party of Virgini,a was arrested by investigators from the Rockingham County Sheriff’s office on Thursday and charged with destroying voter registration forms.
     Hutcheson’s office began investigating after the manager at a Tuesday Morning store in Harrisonburg, Va., allegedly spotted a man on Monday afternoon throwing eight voter registration forms into a dumpster behind the shopping center where he works.
     A message left for a spokesman at the Virginia Republican Party was not returned. A man who answered the phone at Pinpoint and only gave his name as Ryan said he was not allowed to comment. “I really want to stay out of it,” he said.
     Last month the GOP stopped all voter registration efforts in several critical swing states because of continued abuses by the firm it hired to conduct the efforts — a firm whose ethical lapses were so familiar to GOP officials that they advised the firm to change its name before hiring it.