Tuesday, December 31, 2013

"American Thinker" gives a bullhorn to Oscar Robert Lopez's martyr reaction to "fascist" GLAAD's "black­listing," (i.e., publicizing, verbatim, his nasty attacks)

Robert Lopez is angry that since the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation added him to its Commenter Accountability Project, the mainstream media has shunned him.
     True to form he blames not himself for widespread revulsion at his vitriol, but GLAAD for publishing, verbatim, his nasty attacks on gay people in general and gay parents in particular. Here's part of his whiny screed:
     In case you don't know the full extent of GLAAD's fascism, let me tell you what GLAAD did to me.
     I won't hyperlink this, but if you go to GLAAD's website and seek out their "commentator accountability project," you will find my name. This is GLAAD's blacklist...
     Aside from that one fling on Al Jazeera, since GLAAD placed me on their blacklist, no secular media outlet has invited me on its show in the United States... I'd been interviewed, prior to the GLAAD blacklisting, by Minnesota affiliates of NBC, CBS, Fox, and NPR, as well as a number of newspapers. Since GLAAD's blacklisting, none... 
     Prior to GLAAD's blacklisting, I had received calls from people at universities discussing their interest in having me come to campus and give speeches... Since GLAAD's blacklisting, none...
     Being blacklisted by GLAAD was the end of my world. (It just so happens I entered a new, happier one, but that doesn't take away from the terror caused by their omerta.)
     Here's a GLAAD sample of Lopez' attacks, the creeped-out reaction to which Lopez claims is GLAAD's responsibility, and not his own fault:
     Says neighbors should intervene in lesbian households "to make sure the kids don't turn out totally screwed up": "Listen, lesbian moms out there — cut the crap. You went out of your way to place helpless children into a fatherless home. You knew your household was going to be controversial. You shouldn't have created this situation in the first place. Now that you created it, we all have to make the best of it. Your loved ones and neighbors should be intervening in your household to make sure the kids don't turn out totally screwed up."
(H/T JoeMyGod)

Phil Robertson vs. The Dating Game

Phil Robertson, who, at age 67, is puzzled that some people's sexual attraction is not "logical," questioned why some men would prefer a particular variant of sex with other males when women"got more to offer." What we assume Robertson also doesn't know is that the sexual activity that confounds him is practiced far more frequently each day by heteros than by homos.

Here's what Jezebel said about the patriarch of Duck Dynasty:
Hot on the heels of "gay men were sent by the devil to tempt us all with their magnificent anuses" and "picking cotton was so fun, black people just COULDN'T STOP SINGING" comes Phil's latest greatest hit: If you want a subservient Biblical wife-slave, make sure you marry her when she's still an impressionable and terrified 15-year-old child.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Comedian who raised over $125K for Atheist victim of Moore, OK tornado did it to piss off her FEMA dependent neighbors: 'It's funny how hate can make you do real nice things every now and then'

Go to the 14:00 mark in the video below:

(Via JMG via Gawker)

Employee gay partner benefits begin Jan 1 at Alegent Creighton/CHI, Omaha VA and Methodist but not at Children's Hospital & Medical Center, Nebraska Medical Center or Bryan

Above: Nebraska Medical Center, which doesn't offer partner benefits to gay employees; three other Omaha/Lincoln hospitals will do so in 2014. to Photo: mpburrows/Flickr
Nebraska Medical Center spokesman Paul Baltes told World-Herald writer Bob Glissmann the facility is "working toward" adding health care as a benefit.
     The rationale of Alegent Creighton/Catholic Health Initiative in offering same sex couple benefits was fascinating, given the church's ongoing hostility to marriage equality and the regular reports of gay teachers being fired from Catholic schools:
“CHI reviewed the IRS definition of individuals eligible to be claimed as a dependent on a federal tax return,” the statement continued, “and used that definition as the basis for a new dependent classification, an adult dependent, to be eligible for CHI medical, dental and vision plans. An adult dependent will include any non-spouse adult, spouse as defined by CHI health plans as an individual of the opposite sex married to you, that is financially supported by you and lives with you.”
Read the entire article at the World-Herald here.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A&E paints a smiley face on its Robertson family PR trainwreck

A&E issued a press release Friday to accompany its announcement that it won't suspend Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson after all, following the revelation of a 2010 video in which Robertson viciously slandered millions of LGBTs and his recent remarks in GQ comparing LGBTs to terrorists and insisting that he never saw any black mistreated in the South while growing up in Louisiana in the 50s and 60s.
     Robertson has refused to apologize or acknowledge his ugly remarks; in fact, he preposterously claimed he is not a hater and that he would "never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me."
     If we ran A&E, we'd make a PSA out of his nasty 2010 remarks, beginning with video of Robertson saying what he now says he would never say, then dissolving, as his slurs continued, to still photographs of the gay families he trashed and run it during every episode of Duck Dynasty until the s.o.b. took ownership of his behavior instead of telling a cheap lie about it that Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal and Fox News, et. al eat up with spoons.
     A&E's complete press release follows the graphic below

As a global media content company, A+E Networks' core values are centered around creativity, inclusion and mutual respect. We believe it is a privilege for our brands to be invited into people's home and we operate with a strong sense of integrity and deep commitment to these principals.
That is why we reacted so quickly and strongly to a recent interview with Phil Robertson. While Phil's comments made in the interview reflect his personal views based on his own beliefs, and his own personal journey, he and his family have publicly stated they regret the "coarse language" he used and the mis-interpretation of his core beliefs based only on the article. He also made it clear he would "never incite or encourage hate." We at A+E Networks expressed our disappointment with his statements in the article, and reiterate that they are not views we hold.
But "Duck Dynasty" is not a show about one man's views. It resonates with a large audience because it is a show about family… a family that America has come to love. As you might have seen in many episodes, they come together to reflect and pray for unity, tolerance and forgiveness. These are three values that we at A+E Networks also feel strongly about.
So after discussions with the Robertson family, as well as consulting with numerous advocacy groups, A&E has decided to resume filming "Duck Dynasty" later this spring with the entire Robertson family.
We will also use this moment to launch a national public service campaign (PSA) promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people, a message that supports our core values as a company, and the values found in "Duck Dynasty." These PSAs will air across our entire portfolio.

Seattle Catholic school didn't tell the whole truth about popular gay-married teacher whose firing led angry Seattle Catholic school students to protest

Former Eastside swimming coach Mark Zmuda (right)with husband Dana Jergens
It seems that the arch­diocese forced the school's hand and that the institution was caught between a rock and a hard place.
     Towleroad caught the nuances of the controversy here.

Facebook once again kicks users off for posting picture of males kissing

AKSARBENT doesn't have a Facebook page because its sleazeball founder, Mark Zuckerberg, led the way in putting Facebook pictures into a facial recognition surveillance database, because his company retains information that its users thought they deleted, because it constantly plays a cat-and-mouse game with users' privacy, because it has been repeatedly busted for security leaks, and because of this recent company behavior:

Bobby Jindal twists the Phil Robertson knife; L.A. Times columnist calls GOP Louisiana gov. a 'jackass'

Jindal on Louisiana's polluted gulf coast
Jindal's statement, released Friday following A&E's revocation of the Duck Dynasty patriarch's suspension:
     I am glad to hear that the folks at A&E came to their senses and recognized that tolerance of religious views is more important than political correctness. Today (Friday) is a good day for the freedoms of speech and religious liberty.
      The left is going to have to get accustomed to the fact that it does not have a monopoly on free speech and is not the only group who is permitted to voice its opinion in the public square. The left may control Hollywood, but they don't control the hearts and minds of a majority of Americans.
Here was L.A. Times columnist Michael Hiltzik's response:
     ...Most self-respecting political leaders would have run away from association with such views; that's the essence, after all, of the "leadership" part of the equation.
     ...In Jindal's seven-sentence statement, not a word of defense for gay people so crudely mocked by Robertson. Not a word to remind us that the life of black sharecroppers in Louisiana's Jim Crow era was not "godly" or "happy."
     In January of this year, Jindal lectured his fellow Republicans on the need to "stop being the stupid party." 
     He talked about how the Republican brand had been damaged by its candidates' "offensive and bizarre comments." That was supposed to represent the launch of a new GOP outreach to communities that had been excluded by Republican doctrine, including the gay and minority communities.
     But that was 11 months ago. Now, according to Jindal, Republicans are supposed to embrace offensive and bizarre comments. 
     The party's transformation into a marginal and regional movement thus continues. Jindal has made himself the biggest jackass in the story, and his career as a national political figure the thing to be laughed at.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Quote of the day: Pope Francis invites war-mongering atheists to "desire peace"

Love the pontiff, hate the church, even when Francis sticks his foot in his mouth:
“I invite even nonbelievers to desire peace,” he said. “Let us all unite, either with prayer or with desire, but everyone, for peace.”
We liked Francis' take on trickle-down economics better; that the theory "expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power." Well put.

Game over for Ender's Game franchise hopes


As of Dec. 25th, Ender's Game only pulled in $88 million worldwide, ($61 million domestically).
     The unenthusiastically-reviewed movie allegedly cost $110 million to produce (not including advertising, distribution, etc., which usually double the break-even point).
     The audience for the film evidently spent its money on "Thor: The Dark World" and "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire."
     Contrary to rumor, the book's author, Orson Scott Card, a homophobe in a class by himself, neither profits from the success nor suffers from the failure of the film:
...multiple sources from both inside and outside the companies that produced the “Ender’s Game” film – distributor Summit Entertainment, visual effects company Digital Domain and book-rights holder OddLot Entertainment – tell TheWrap that Card’s fee has already been paid through a decade-old deal that includes no backend.
     If you really want to hit Card where it hurts, boycott his book instead: Card still profits handsomely from the novel, perched at the top of the latest New York Times Best Seller List for paperback mass-market fiction.

Divorced San Antonio televangelist/huckster John Hagee tells atheists to get out of America again to make more room for gullible Christers he can fleece

     Pastor John Hagee of San Antonio, a very rich, low-rent Texas bible bully, has gone off again on the phony-baloney War on Christmas and on atheists, saying:
Humanists are now making the claim that Christmas was originally a pagan holiday. Hey dummy: look at the word: CHRIST-mas!
     He's lying, of course. What "humanists" actually claim, correctly, was that December 25th was first a pagan holiday.    
     The marks at his extremely profitable business, Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, and those who watch him on 10 (!) TV networks must be among the gullible people on the planet. By itself, Hagee's mailing list of chumps must be worth several fortunes.
     Wonder if they'd swallow this variation of the above (only a fool would bet against it):
Historians are now making the claim that Istanbul was once Constantinople. Hey dummy! Look at the word: ISTAN-bul!
We're already bored. Oh, look over here: there's another one from a different faith franchise, this one up in Dallas.

     How about washing your brain off with a nice Betty Bowers video, which exposes Hagee, Jeffries and their ilk as the plodding, witless, trolling, grasping liars they all are.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

OPD Officer Bossman wants everyone to really look at the Energy Systems mural. We did, and were reminded of the ugly controversy that OPD has reawakened

     Today, officer Mike Bossman (yup, that's his name), of the Omaha Police Department, invited inattentive civilians to really scrutinize the huge mural on the outside of the Energy Systems building at 13th and Webster.
     Some of us already have, and to a degree to which Bossman seems not to have, or he probably would have avoided stirring up a lingering controversy.
     We don't know if the officer has himself lived in Omaha long enough to have earned the right to credibly exhort long-time Omaha residents or natives to pay more exacting attention to local historical facts, but if so, he somehow seems to have remained clueless to the resentment which still simmers in some quarters about that mural that he so high-mindedly invited others to consider in detail.

     For those of you reading this who don't live in Nebraska, Father Flanagan founded Boys Town, the orphanage made world-famous in the 1938 MGM film of the same name. He was portrayed by acting legend Spencer Tracy.
     Peter Kiewit was an ultra right-wing Omaha construction magnate.
     While Kiewit is prominently portrayed at the extreme left of the mural, Father Flanagan is not depicted at all.
     Apart from several Omaha cinema legends (Astaire, Brando and Henry Fonda), who are in a fame category all to themselves, Father Flanagan is one of the most enduringly famous Omahans ever, almost certainly more so than Peter Kiewit, whose company's renown far eclipsed his own and who was never the subject of a popular motion picture biography.
     (Incidentally, if an odds-maker ever asks you to bet on whether Father Flanagan or Peter Kiewit will be declared a saint in your lifetime, do not put any money on Kiewit.)
     Why Father Flanagan was completely ignored by Philadelphia mural artist Meg Saligman is a mystery to us. Although the Kiewit foundation, which funded the mural, may not actually have blackballed Flanagan (as some have darkly suggested) it nevertheless seems to have raised no objections to his conspicuous and shocking absence in a mural which purports to recount even a rough outline of Omaha history.
     The mural, according to the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts:

...tells the story of Omaha’s past, present, and future by featuring historical references, present-day communitites, [sic] and portraying the passage of time...

Robert Sobel: How the GOP broke the American dream

From Examiner.com:
When Ronald Reagan was elected president, he started the United States down a path of economical and social destruction. In his first four years in office, from 1981 to 1985, Reagan lowered the top income tax bracket from 70% to 50%. Over the next four years, Reagan took the top bracket from 50% and cut it down to only 28%. With the lack of revenue coming into the federal government, the national debt tripled and to make up for the loss, Reagan raided the Social Security trust fund and went on to raise taxes eleven times, primarily on working Americans.

GOP lickspittle Star Parker pretends Duck Dynasty star isn't a cherry-picking biblical hypocrite, then sells out her people by remaining silent on his racism

We discovered that Star Parker is running interference for Robertson here
Here's what Jesse Jackson told ABC News in a statement responding to Phil Robertson's preposterous contention (in GQ) that he never, with his own eyes, witnessed mistreatment of African Americans while growing up in Louisiana in the 50s and 60s:
These statements uttered by Robertson are more offensive than the bus driver in Montgomery, Alabama, more than 59 years ago. At least the bus driver, who ordered Rosa Parks to surrender her seat to a white person, was following state law. Robertson’s statements were uttered freely and openly without cover of the law, within a context of what he seemed to believe was ‘white privilege.’

Bugs Bunny's closest confidant said he really liked cross-dressing; subversive Warner Bros. character
has been delighting transgender kids for 3 generations

Also in AKSARBENT: Who's your daddy, War on Christmas?;
NE gov. candidate wants to free Phil Robertson of consequences from slandering millions of LGBTs

Yesterday AKSARBENT was reading Julie Tarney's account in the Huffington Post about how, on a 1997 visit to the Hallmark Store in the gift shop at Chicago's Palmer House Hotel, her seven-year-old-son Harry, when told he could pick out a Christmas tree ornament for himself, immediately chose, out of stacks of boxes, one containing an ornament depicting Bugs Bunny as Carmen Miranda.
I realized that Bugs and the other occasional Warner Brothers cartoon cross-dressers were the only children's TV characters that validated my young son's desire to dress in girls' clothes.
     Ha! Evidently, the House UnAmerican Activities Committee was clueless about the real threat to America that the four Brothers Warner were posing when it singled out their studio for its allegedly subversive, socially-conscious pictures of the thirties (which presumably did not include Golddiggers of 1933, 1935, or 1937, Golddiggers in Paris, Fashions of 1934, Wonder Bar, The Singing Marine, Dames, Hollywood Hotel, Men Are Such Fools, Varsity Show or any of Busby Berkeley's other films).
     AKSARBENT hopes Bugs' transgender validation doesn't show up on the radar of the Million Moms subsidiary of the American Family Association or its Doberman-in-Chief, Bryan Fischer, and cause them to paint a target on Mr. Bunny.
     Oh wait... Please, please DO go after Bugs Bunny, AFA!
     But we digress. Our reading caused us to wonder what, if anything, legendary animator Chuck Jones had to say about Bugs' frequent excursions into cross-dressing.
     Jones, who drew many of Bugs Bunny's funniest cartoons, joined Leon Schlesinger Productions, the independent studio that produced Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies for Warner Bros., in 1933 as an assistant animator. He said he "learned how to be funny" in 1942 with the cartoon The Dover Boys, one of the first uses of stylized animation in American film, after he broke away from the more realistic Disney animation.
     And it turns out that he did have something to say about Bugs In Drag.
     From a 1996 interview of Jones, who died in 2002, by Mark Thompson and Brian Phelps (M&B) of KLOS, Los Angeles in Chuck Jones Conversations by Maureen Furniss, University Press of Mississippi, 2005:
M&B: ...I always wondered whose idea was it to put Bugs in drag the very first time? And did you have any negative connotations from whatever organization?
Chuck Jones: Well, at that time, which was before you guys were even born — it may be difficult for you to imagine a time when you weren't born. And I'm sure the public would agree that it's far better that you're here. But —
M&B: Depending on the day, Chuck.
Chuck Jones: The thing was at that time, if a man dressed up like a woman, there was no transvestite. Nobody even knew the term.
M&B: It was just funny.
Chuck Jones: It was just funny. The man would put on a woman's hat, and they would think that was funny. They wouldn't think that the man was turning into something "inappropriate."
M&B: Little did they know he really liked it.
Chuck Jones: Yeah, he did. We found that out as we went along.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A guide to the Utah gay marriage court case: after three slapdowns, state now asking US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to please make marriage equality stop

  1. Last Friday, federal district court Judge Robert Shelby issued a detailed ruling overturning both Utah’s state laws and constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Because the state did not pre-request a stay, Shelby only heard their request Monday.
  2. Noting that several hundred couples had already married and that the state’s arguments were no more convincing the second time around, Shelby denied the stay.
  3. The state then turned to the Tenth Circuit, which twice denied an emergency stay over the weekend on procedural grounds.
  4. Tuesday, that court suggested that there is not a compelling reason to disallow same-sex marriages from continuing. This could have significant implications should this case reach the Supreme Court.
  5. Maria Sang of the Salt Lake City Tribune reported that Utah will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court Justice assigned to Utah's 10th Circuit, Sonia Sotomayer, to obtain a stay. She can consider the stay herself or refer it to the full court. If she decides against the stay herself, Utah can then appeal to the full Supreme Court, which Acting Attorney General Brian Tarbet says will happen.
     Zack Ford, at ThinkProgress wrote most of the above here, which AKSARBENT butchered reformatted and slightly edited for numerical bullet-pointing.
     Ford also wrote a long, but elegantly clear piece on Judge Shelby's original decision overturning Utah's ban on same sex marriage which you should read: How A Federal Judge In Utah Adeptly Dismantled All Of The Arguments Against Marriage Equality.

Bollywood star Imran Khan snarkily answers stupid questions about gay people

Chicago: Remember America's William Kelly uses Christer banner to hide Atheist signs, so he can lie about their message

Click image to enlarge and read
The videographers to whom Kelly lied photographed both signs, the text of which confirm none of Kelly's falsehoods.
     Kelly: They're just saying that they don't like Christianity. Personally, I think that's hate speech. and I know that Christmas Market is the place where families bring their children. They want to see a tree, they want to see a manger, and then they come upon the Atheist symbol and the Atheist sign that says that Christianity and religion has produced nothing but war, hatred and disease. That to me, is hate speech.

(Via JMG)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Who's your daddy, war on Christmas?

We'll be watching the Nebraska GOP twitter feed to see if NE GOP executive director Bud Synhorts and Chairman J.L. Spray remove the evidence (below) proving that they obviously don't believe in their own party's manufacture and exploitation of a ginned-up, phony-to-the-core "War On Christmas."
     What the following indicates, of course, is that Nebraska Democrats are so cowed by the GOP in this state that they feel compelled to toe the line of right-wing political correctness even when the GOP itself doesn't bother. Sad.

Texas State Rep. Steve Toth: defending Phil Robertson's right to slander millions of Americans!

Jumping on the Phil Robertson Multimillionaire Martyr bandwagon seems to be a trend among pandering, opportunist GOP politicians. Nebraska goobernatorial candidate Charlie Janssen is exploiting the imbroglio too. By the way, the Dixie Chicks didn't really slander George Bush.

NE gov. candidate Charlie Janssen: Free Phil Robertson from consequences of slandering
millions of people!

Actually, the Dixie Chicks didn't slander George Bush, they just said they were ashamed to be from the same state as he. Nevertheless, it was enough for radio behemoth Clear Channel to ban them from its gigantic network.
      CMT never played that game. In fact, it used to play Dixie Chicks videos back-to-back with those of one of the group's most vocal detractors, Toby Keith.
     Incidentally, Keith, unlike Janssen, is not a homophobe.

How does Omaha-born tennis star Andy Roddick troll the Internet? By retweeting himself wearing a tee shirt of John Isner, naked

But it's ok. Isner's grandfather wears the same shirt.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Hundreds of Utah couples forced to play 'Beat the Clock' to marry before hearing of governor's request for stay of ruling ok'ing marriage equality

Some jurisdictions have refused to issue licenses; others are heroically trying to accommodate as many people as possible in ceremonies as short as a minute.
     For the latest, go to Equality Utah's twitter feed or Facebook page. As usual, JoeMyGod and Towleroad are covering breaking developments like a blanket.
     Below: a line of couples waiting to get married snaked to the the second floor of the Salt Lake City Complex. (Photo: Equality Utah)

Miss Coco Peru goes on a fruitless quest for Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer tea

(Via JMG)

Seven GOP reps want criminal investigation opened into whether Gen. James Clapper lied to congress about NSA mass surveillance

GOP actress Sarah Palin says her imaginary nameless gay friend totally hates A&E for what it did to Phil Robertson and will boycott the network!

Also: A Texas state representative and a Nebraska gubernatorial candidate opportunistically jump on the Defend-Duck-Dynasty-Millionaire-Martyr bandwagon;
Omaha-born tennis great (and fun-loving Internet troll) Andy Roddick is now sporting a t-shirt with a naked photo of John Isner.

You know what else? Palin just happened to be wearing Duck Dynasty camo attire when Fox called, so she didn't even have to change clothes! What luck, huh?
     From the interview, starting at the 3:14 mark of the video above:
"In fact, a friend of mine who happens to be gay, she emailed me to say she is outraged at A&E for the hypocrisy here, for the things that they air on their program that she finds offensive, yet A&E doesn't fire a star or somebody involved in their programming based on what they said but they would  when it comes to Phil on Duck Dynasty and this friend, she said that she would boycott A&E and that network, and um, she's not the only one — I've received many, many emails from people saying, 'Yeah, why give 'em our money, our eyes, our ears, our resources, uh, there are other channels out there to be watching.' "

Quote of the Day: Drew Magary,
from his article on the Duck Dynasty clan

From GQ:
For what it’s worth—and since I actually looked it up—the violent-crime rate here in America has plummeted since 1990, even as church attendance has stayed the same. And, of course, Phil is conven­iently ignoring centuries upon centuries of war, bloodshed, and human enslave­ment committed in the name of Christ. But I doubt any of that would sway Phil. And anyway, I’m a guest in his house and he is my welcoming host, so I smile politely and nod like the milquetoast suburban WASP that I am. If you can’t reconcile some of the things Phil says with his otherwise friendly demeanor—perhaps because you are gay, or a duck—I don’t blame you.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Connivingly cute baby seal saves ducks by crawling into hunters' boat and distracting them

New tweet from the American Family Association Ministry of Agitprop, Dept. of half-truths

     Naturally AFA's con artist-in-chief doesn't mention what else the new Ugandan law includes.
     Fischer's regularly-scheduled torrents of bullshit are heard in Nebraska on KAYA (Hubbard) and KKNL (Valentine) which hold licenses compelling them, according to FCC regulations, to operate in the public interest.
     Did you know that the FCC has a form for folks to complain about licensees who habitually air unfair or biased broadcasts? It's here

Actually, Billie Jean King is far more charming than this funny SNL parody of her forthcoming official U.S. delegation trip to Sochi

And she was once married to a FINE-looking man.

How to lose a job in 10 seconds


Same old Cracker Barrel: when push comes to shove, it panders to the ugliest racist and/or homophobic bigots

The company's total web site capitulation to its most homophobic and or racist customers:

Dear Cracker Barrel Customer:
When we made the decision to remove and evaluate certain Duck Dynasty items, we offended many of our loyal customers. Our intent was to avoid offending, but that’s just what we've done. You told us we made a mistake. And, you weren't shy about it. You wrote, you called and you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings. You flat out told us we were wrong. We listened. Today, we are putting all our Duck Dynasty products back in our stores. And, we apologize for offending you. We respect all individuals right to express their beliefs. We certainly did not mean to have anyone think different. We sincerely hope you will continue to be part of our Cracker Barrel family.

From Business Insider: If you're defending Robertson, this is what you're really defending:
  1. Robertson thinks black Americans were treated just fine in the Jim Crow-era South, and that they were happy there. "I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field.... They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues."
  2. Robertson thinks the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor because they didn't believe in Jesus. "All you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I’ll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero. That’s eighty years of ideologies that have popped up where no Jesus was allowed among those four groups. Just look at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups."
  3. Robertson hates gay people. Robertson in 2010: "Women with women, men with men, they committed indecent acts with one another, and they received in themselves the due penalty for their perversions. They’re full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant, God-haters. They are heartless, they are faithless, they are senseless, they are ruthless. They invent ways of doing evil."

Owners of Duck Dynasty sponsor Skyjacker call Phil Robertson's insulting anti-gay remarks 'crude,' then affirm they agree with him

The vehicle suspension company, whose owners live in the same Louisiana town as the Robertsons, were interviewed during another ginned-up War on Christians segment of Fox and Friends.

Newly revealed by New York Post: Duck Dynasty star's homophobic off-the-cuff remark to Post reporter

Earlier this year, Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson asked a New York Post reporter if she "was seeing anyone." When the reporter answered no, Robertson responded: “Must be hard in New York — what with all them gays.”
     According to another tabloid, Britain's Daily Mail, "Sources within the close-knit Louisiana clan" are now blaming A&E's minder during Robertson's interview with GQ for not stopping the interview and/or keeping his insulting remarks from being "made public."
     AKSARBENT wonders why a married man who wears his Christianity on his sleeve would ask an out-of-town female reporter if she is seeing anyone.

Under Armour's Duck Dynasty sponsorship
subject of scrutiny in hometown, Baltimore

American Family Association calls Kwanza a fake holiday; (Pssst. Don't tell the AFA about Christmas)

Bryan Fischer, the historically, ethically and intellectually-challenged American Family Association attack dog, obviously doesn't know, or hopes you don't, that Christ (according to the mythology of the bible) wasn't born anytime near December 25th; that Christ's birth wasn't celebrated at all for 400 years and that the celebration of Christ's birth on the exact day of the winter solstice was a naked attempt to co-opt pagan celebrations by a church which distinguished itself in later centuries by torturing anyone it decided was a heretic and by raping small boys until secular authorities became powerful enough to stop it.
     Fischer's torrents of bullshit are heard in Nebraska on KAYA (Hubbard) and KKNL (Valentine) which hold licenses compelling them, according to FCC regulations, to operate in the public interest.
     Did you know that the FCC has a form for folks to complain about licensees who habitually air unfair or biased broadcasts? It's here?

A very strange Andy Williams / Johnny Mathis duet, replete with heavy breathing

The fun doesn't start until about 1:33.

A heavily-reverbed For You was Ricky Nelson's second-to-last top 20 hit (before Garden Party). Below (on the right, behind Nelson) is rockabilly legend James Burton and his trusty Fender Stratocaster. Burton left Nelson to back Elvis. From Wikipedia:
     "For You" is a song written by Johnny Burke and Al Dubin in 1930. Burke was one of the writers of "Ramblin' Rose" and Dubin wrote the songs for the Broadway show 42nd Street. The Glen Gray Orchestra recorded it with Kenny Sargent doing the vocals. Perry Como recorded it in November 1947, releasing the song in 1948. Dean Martin recorded it for an album in 1957. Timi Yuro also recorded the song. It was released on her LP Timi Yuro (Liberty LRP-3208 (mono) and Liberty LST-7208 (stereo)) in 1961.
      The biggest hit version of the song was recorded by Ricky Nelson in 1963. Nelson's version went to number six on the US pop chart and spent two weeks at number one on the "Middle-of-the Road" (or adult contemporary chart) in early 1964.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Passive/aggressive Google

New antigay Uganda law, engineered by American evangelists, essentially will make gay Ugandans homeless

Uganda decides the best way
to discourage homosexuality
is to imprison LGBTs
(Screencaps: Oz, HBO)
NPR noted that the anti-homosexuality bill's actual name is "The Anti-Homosexuality Bill" and goes well beyond punishing LGBTs with life sentences in prison. It also makes it a crime to " 'promote' homosexuality, which could mean simply offering HIV counseling."
     But wait, there's more:
     It also makes it a crime punishable by five years in prison for renting an apartment to an LGBT person and not informing on your tenant to authorities.
     "It's trying to make it impossible for people to have private lives," says Jessica Stern, executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, based in New York.
     "If you're perceived to be LGBT, no one's going to rent to you, for fear of their own criminal responsibility," she adds. "So if this law is enacted in its current form, it's basically a homelessness sentence for LGBT Ugandans."
Back when the bill included the death penalty, Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council urged its passage, then removed evidence of that support from their website, then lied about what they did.

Below: American Family Association mouthpiece and professional heterosexual supremacist Bryan Fischer, heard in Nebraska on KAYA (Hubbard) and KKNL (Valentine) cheers the draconian new law:

Jeremy Hooper of GoodAsYou ventures into the belly of the Fox News monster to give Family Research Council some Duck Dynasty pushback

Atta boy. From Media Matters recap of the broadcast:

Disgust by Seattle Eastside Catholic school students over firing of gay teacher over summer marriage spreads to other Catholic schools; alumni threaten to stop funding high school

Former Eastside swimming coach Mark Zmuda (right)
with husband Dana Jergens
Although several Eastside Catholic alumni have said they will stop financial support of the institution, the school's hands are tied as the firing was ordered by the Seattle Archdiocese.
    Eastside's spokesman, Mike Patterson, referred to Zmuda, as an "exemplary" administrator.
     On Wednesday, walkouts and sitins effectively shut down Eastside; the protests also spread to other Seattle Catholic schools.

Rachel Maddow on court decision allowing Utah marriage equality

Bristol Palin: LGBT community spreads "the most hate"

UPDATE: Add Bristol's blog to the litany of things fake about the Palins. Turns out she doesn't write it.
The unwed mother still, in 2013, thinks homosexuality is a life "style." From her blog:
Everyone needs to leave Phil Robertson alone for expressing his beliefs. I think it’s so hypocritical how the LGBT community expects every single flippen person to agree with their life style.  This flies in the face of what makes America great – people can have their own beliefs and own opinions and their own ways of life.
     Everyone needs to treat others like God would, with love.  
     It goes both ways.
     I hate how the LGBT community says it’s all about “love” and “equality.” However, if you don’t agree with their lifestyle, they spread the most hate. It is so hypocritical it makes my stomach turn.
     They need to learn how to respect others’ opinions and not just jump to the conclusion that everyone who doesn’t support homosexuality and gay marriage is homophobic.

     They take the easy way out every time anyone speaks out about their beliefs on the Bible.
     If I were Duck Dynasty, I would take my show to another channel.
     So much disrespect.
Below: Bristol Palin's three-year-old son, Tripp, calls his aunt a "faggot" during a temper tantrum. Wonder where he learned that?

Replay: Nebraska's own Dick Cavett wrote about his own annoyance with Bristol's mom, Sarah, in his blog. Post: The Wild Wordsmith of Wasilla

Under Armor and Skyjacker will remain Duck Dynasty sponsors but Cracker Barrel is quietly removing merchandise with Phil Robertson's image

"Christian-based" truck suspension company Skyjacker said "standing with Phil Robertson is an easy choice for us." UnderArmor, maker of camouflage merchandise seen on the show, will also remain as a sponsor. The Cracker Barrel chain, which has been burned once for its racist practices, (which may have noticed not just Robertson's homophobic comments, but also his nostalgia for all the wonderfully happy black people of the Jim Crow era) is apparently tip-toeing away from the Robertson family.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Cult of Dusty busts phony 'redneck' Duck Dynasty yuppy millionaires with before and after pictures

Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson has  a master's degree in Education (to go with his doctorate in deception, no doubt.) The audio in the video below (via JMG) is NSFW.


     Here's how Phil Robertson pigeon-holed gay people in a video from 2010. “They’re full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant, god haters, they are heartless, they are faithless, they are senseless, they are ruthless, they invent ways of doing evil.”
     Here's what Robertson said the other day after the shit hit the fan: "...I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.”
     In 2013 the Robertsons sold about $50,000,000 worth of Duck Commander duck calls. Their joint Duck Dynasty merchandising deal with A&E rang up $400,000,000 in sales in 2013, 50% of which came from items sold at Walmart (including the most popular tee shirt sold by the chain this year.)
     Oh, by the way, the man who created Duck Dynasty, Scott Gurney (the blond in the 2nd video below) played a cliched, self-destructive gay porn star in The Fluffer.

Young Turks' unconventional wisdom on Snowden case: Libs and cons vs. CNN and Fox

This is either thinking outside the box or simply an astute close observation of what's really happening.
     AKSARBENT has long thought that, in respect of civil liberties, the pie-eyed treehuggers and the foaming teabaggers are the real allies of the constitution and the go-along get-along middle, usually thought to hold the country together against the fraying excesses of the left and right, is actually the faction betraying the republic, at in respect of privacy.
     We would have included CBS in the condemnation of old media, because it is doing at least as much (via John Miller) to run interference for NSA mass surveillance as CNN and Fox are together.

People for the American Way calls out U.S. right-wing extremists connected to Uganda's new life-in-prison laws for LGBTs

Here's the press release and the links provided within it:
WASHINGTON – People For the American Way Foundation is deeply saddened to learn of the reported passage of the infamous anti-gay bill in Uganda. The draconian bill would make so-called “aggravated homosexuality” punishable by life in prison.
A number of far-right leaders in the United States are connected to this bill. Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, called an older version of the bill an effort to “uphold moral conduct.” The anti-gay activism of Abiding Truth Ministries’ Scott Lively in Uganda has helped foment anti-gay sentiment there, and a lawsuit brought by gay rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda alleges that Lively’s activities in Uganda led to the torture and deaths of gay and lesbian Ugandans. Lively has explicitly come out in favor of a version of the bill that included life in prison as a punishment for homosexuality.
“American far-right groups have long embraced bigotry and discrimination when it comes to LGBT communities in this country. In recent years, they’ve also worked hard to export their hatred,” said People For the American Way Foundation President Michael Keegan. “Their help in facilitating a clear violation of human rights is abhorrent. These far-right U.S. leaders must take responsibility for the human suffering caused by their role in its development.”
The far-right’s work in Uganda is part of an ongoing effort by American anti-gay activists to spread their bigotry abroad, including support for suppressive anti-gay laws in Russia, Jamaica, and Peru. Right Wing Watch will continue to monitor and expose these efforts to export homophobia.

Mother Jones just found an unredacted copy of secret FBI interrogation manual in Library of Congress stacks; after years of asking, ACLU only got a censored copy

The LOC copy was placed there by a senior FBI agent and copyrighted under his name, not the FBI's (government documents aren't protected by copyright law). From Mother Jones:
     Because the two versions are similar, a side-by-side comparison allows a reader to deduce what was redacted in the later version. The copyright office does not allow readers to take pictures or notes, but during a brief inspection, a few redactions stood out.
     The ACLU has previously criticized the interrogation manual for endorsing the isolation of detainees and including favorable references to the KUBARK manual, a 1963 CIA interrogation guidebook that encouraged torture methods, including electric shocks. The group has also expressed concern that the manual adopts aspects of the Reid Technique, a common law enforcement interview method that has been known to produce false confessions. A redacted sentence in the manual says the document is intended for use by the FBI's "clean" teams—investigators who collect information intended for use in federal prosecutions. That raises the question of whether teams collecting information that's not for use in federal courts would have to follow the manual's (already permissive) guidelines at all.
     Another section, blacked out in the version provided to the ACLU, encourages FBI agents to stage a "date-stamped full-body picture" of a detainee, complete with a bottle of water, for use in refuting abuse allegations at trial.

Red meat homophobe Penny Nance impersonates a moderate on CNN Crossfire's Duck Dynasty debate with gay ESPN/CNN commentator LZ Granderson

Granderson reminded CNN's audience that the Robertson family patriarch in hot water for racist and homophobic comments has a master's degree in education.

ABC examines Bristol Myers-Squibb's cancer drug pricing plan: go bankrupt or die

From the piece: A cancer diagnosis doubles your chance of going bankrupt in no small part because cancer drugs have doubled in price in the last decade; 11 of 12 drugs approved by the FDA in 2012 for fighting cancer cost more than $100,000 per year.
     Sprycel, a Bristol Myers-Squibb leukemia drug which turns a fatal condition into a chronic one, costs $106,000 per year and has doubled in price since 2007; many of the more expensive cancer drugs cost twice in the U.S. what they do overseas.
     100 cancer specialists — doctors — are protesting, demanding that drug companies lower their prices. Critics say pharmaceutical companies are inflating the cost of developing new drugs by a factor of 10.

Nokia presents: the hairdresser's assistant

Creepy homoeroticism at the barbershop. But fun. From Nokia, now owned by Microsoft, which is pretty creepy in its own right.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Duck Dynasty family / A&E showdown: entire family threatens to walk over sanctioning of patriarch's homophobic/racist rant

Just posted to the official Robertson family website:

We want to thank all of you for your prayers and support.  The family has spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E's decision.  We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word.  While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible. Phil is a Godly man who follows what the Bible says are the greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Phil would never incite or encourage hate.We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right.We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm.  We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty.   Again, thank you for your continued support of our family. 

Since Rednecks are threatening to boycott A&E, it occurred to AKSARBENT that liberal sportsmen and women could do the same to the Golden Goose that has made the Robertson duck call family wealthy. (After all, Duck Commander duck calls cost up to $180 at Cabelas.)
     For that amount of money a duck hunter could surf here on his or her smartphone, run a cord to a battery-powered PA, and attract ducks with the calls of actual ducks without being limited to the one-species-per product scheme of the Robertson family's offerings. 
Photo source

AKSARBENT's approach would work with other waterfowl, such as geese, who can be real bullies.

Bob Newhart pulls out of gig for anti-LGBT group formed by Domino's pizza founder Tom Monahagn

Kudos to everyone at GLAAD for persuading Bob Newhart that appearing before such a group would not do much to enhance his reputation.
     The story is here, marred by an unfortunate exaggeration by GLAAD writer Ross Murray:
In 1976 The Bob Newhart Show featured an episode with an openly gay character. It was remarkably groundbreaking for its time.
     It was not, unless you consider the 12 other shows which aired gay-themed episodes in 1976 also to be "remarkably groundbreaking." (The Newhart character may have been distinguished by being one of the first recurring gay characters on episodic TV, but the GLAAD story did not note this.)
     Before the 1976 Newhart episode, (from 1970 through 1975) Wikipedia lists gay-themed episodes of the following television programs:
All in the Family, Sanford and Son, Maude, Mash, Columbo, Marcus Welby, Medical Center, Streets of San Francisco, the Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bold Ones, Room 222, Dan August (where Martin Sheen again played the gay boyfriend — who got killed), Police Story, Police Woman and Barney Miller.
     Not listed, (probably because it was a TV movie and not an episode of a TV show) was 1972's That Certain Summer, a Levinson-Link coproduction aired by ABC starring Hope Lange, Martin Sheen, Hal Holbrook and Scott Jacobi, about a father whose son discovers that his dad's male roommate is actually his mother's replacement. Many critics did call that program "groundbreaking."

NBC TODAY show in full Sochi spin mode; bemoans Obama "snub" and "total disrespect" for Russia and Putin; Matt Lauer's hostile questions to gay Olympian Caitlin Cahow

The peacock gets mean when it's backed into a corner...

The TODAY show's introductory report, shown before Matt Lauer's interview of out gay Olympian Caitlin Cahow, showed heavy-handed obeisance to Kremlin interests and some crude fear-mongering by NBC's Peter Alexander, who served up comments by "longtime Olympic observer" Alan Abrahamson in his report:
     Alexander: One long time Olympic Observer insists the president's decision is a significant snub.
     Abrahamson: This is sending an absolute signal of complete and total disrespect for the Russian Federation and for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
     Alexander: Abrahamson described that American decision about its delegation as what he called a clear disregard for the International Olympic Committee as well. He warned that the move could actually impact U.S. athletes chances in Sochi, Matt, where of course, many of the competitions are JUDGED sports.
     Matt Lauer: Yeah, whether it will be held against them.
     Lost in NBC's ominous fear-mongering was the obvious counterweight to any politically-motivated Russian judging: there are plenty of nonRussian judges in various sports who would be just as tempted to rule against Russian athletes for a variety of reasons which might or might not include LGBT rights.
     Later came some rather hostile questions from TODAY show host Matt Lauer to gay U.S. Ice Hockey Olympian Caitlin Cahow, who will accompany tennis legend Billie Jean King to Sochi as part of the official U.S. delegation. (Cahow is at least as good at PR as she is at hockey):
Do you feel as if you're part of a statement?

Do you think you would have been chosen if you were not gay?

The Russians have said there will be no repercussions on any athlete, or, I guess, bystander, doing any kind of subtle protest, wearing rainbow armbands or anything like that. Do you think we're going to see a lot of protests once the games begin?

Does it distract an athlete when politics are brought into the Olympic competition?