Thursday, February 27, 2014

After antigay legislation; Ugandan shilling falls sharply against dollar; Norway, Denmark pull gov't aid

Uganda's ultra-criminalization of its gay citizens — and of heterosexuals who fail to report them — will cost it significantly.
     Norway is withholding aid, Denmark says it will redirect assistance to private industries, and the Swedish Finance minister is reconsidering his country's foreign aid to Uganda. Standard & Poors cut Uganda's credit rating last month over concerns that the nation's deficits will widen after spending increases without support from donors including the World Bank, Britain and Ireland, which already suspended support in 2012 over corruption. About 1/5 of Uganda's budget comes from such donors

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Alyona Mink talks to Glenn Greenwald about UK court decision that claimed 'terrorism' detention of his boyfriend at Heathrow Airport was legal

Alyona Mink interviewed journalist Glenn Greenwald on the NSA's surveillance of Wikileaks and its supporters, and the U.K. High Court decision that the detention of his partner David Miranda was justified.

Nebraska judge stops GOP Gov. Dave Heineman from allowing TransCanada eminent domain seizures of farms and ranches for Keystone XL pipeline;
state law unconstitutional; actions null and void

TransCanada's laughable claim that its Keystone XL pipeline will be the safest ever built ignores two glaring facts: 1) its last pipeline through Nebraska, Keystone 1, leaked 12-14 times in its FIRST year of operation, and 2) TransCanada isn't planning to use state-of-the-art leak detection technology to safeguard Nebraska's priceless Ogallala Aquifer.
     Oh, one more thing: the robot "pigs" used by TransCanada to inspect pipe for leakage use software that whistleblowers claim are rigged to looser standards than required, allegedly in order to save TransCanada money in pipe replacement, by not flagging suspected defects as aggressively as it could.

Today's ruling (linked to below, in its entirety) by Lancaster District Court Judge Stephanie Stacy was a huge setback for TransCanada's push for eminent domain seizures of farms and ranches of Nebraska landowners who refused to grant the oil giant permission to build an extension of its leaky Keystone One pipeline across Nebraska land which feeds the pristine Ogallala Aquifer, biggest in North America, and indispensible to Nebraska's $20 billion ag industry.
     Randy Thompson, a Republican Nebraska rancher who used to support the very GOP politicians who subsequently enabled the eminent domain seizure of his land by a foreign oil company, and who has become the poster boy for BoldNebraska's efforts to fight the TransCanada pipeline, was interviewed on As It Happens, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's national newscast during its coverage of today's Nebraska ruling against TransCanada at the 2:22 mark here.

Via BoldNebraska:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 19, 2014
David A. Domina
Domina Law Group pc llo

District Court Declares Nebraska Pipeline Law Unconstitutional 
Governor’s Approval Of Pipeline Declared Invalid; 
TransCanada KXL Pipeline Hits Wall In Nebraska Court 

OMAHA, Neb. – February 19, 2014 – The Nebraska Legislature’s 2012 L.B.1161 allowing TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline Co. to proceed with construction across Nebraska was declared unconstitutional and void. The ruling came from Lancaster County District Court Judge Stephanie Stacy, today. The Court ruled for three Nebraska landowners who challenge the law. The ruling includes a permanent injunction preventing Gov. Dave Heineman, and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality from taking any further action to authorize or advance the pipeline under the unconstitutional law. 
     Judge Stacy concluded that LB 1161 unconstitutionally confers upon the Governor of Nebraska authority to approve a crude oil pipeline route, and to authorize the crude oil pipeline company to exercise the power of eminent domain against Nebraska landowners. Siding with three landowner plaintiffs, the District Court concluded that under Nebraska’s State Constitution, exclusive regulatory control over pipeline companies like TransCanada Keystone XL must be exercised by the Nebraska Public Service Commission, and cannot be given to the Governor. 
     The Court declared LB 1161, unconstitutional and void. Judge Stacy also concluded that action by Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman purporting to approve TransCanada’s route and to empower the pipeline company to take land from Nebraska property owners is null and void. The court’s action effectively rescinds Gov. Heineman’s notification to Pres. Barack Obama that Nebraska legal procedures had been satisfied. Now, it is back to the drawing board for Gov. Heineman and the Legislature.
     Dave Domina, the lawyer who handled the case for the landowners summarized the Ruling: “Under the Court’s ruling, TransCanada has no approved route in Nebraska. TransCanada is not authorized to condemn the property against Nebraska landowners. The pipeline project is at standstill in this State.” The Court’s extensive, 50-page opinion is accompanied by 248 footnotes. The opinion dissects LB1161 on state constitutional grounds. The decision turns largely on the pipeline’s status as a “common carrier”. Common carriers are regulated by the Public Service Commission under the Nebraska Constitution. 
     Dave Domina noted that “this case is not about the merits of any pipeline in particular. This is a landowner rights case involving whether a specific statute was invalid under the Nebraska State Constitution.” Domina’s clients contend the law was, and is, unconstitutional and void.
     The District Court agreed. 
     Domina stressed, “This is not a commentary on the pipeline project. That subject belongs to the President of the United States exclusively. This ruling means that, in Nebraska, the Governor’s office has no role to play, and all state law decisions must be made by the Public Service Commission.”
     A copy of the Court’s Opinion is found HERE (and embedded below):

Sir Patrick Stewart prefers wrongly being called gay by The Guardian than wrongly being called dead by the Internet

Evidently, hanging out with buds like known homo Sir Ian McKellen is confusing some newspapers and damaging Sir Patrick's heterosexual reputation.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Christian bigot Bizzle rips off Macklemore hit to attack LGBTs; Slate calls him a homophobic narcissist

Houston, Texas antigay rapper, Mark J. Felder,
(known as 'Bizzle') grew up in Los Angeles
From Slate:
Bizzle’s lyrics are a textbook case of homophobic narcissism. He suggests same-sex desire is a “syndrome” and a “defect,” and he compares it to pedophilia, retardation, and extramarital sex (a rich accusation, since Bizzle opposes allowing gay sex to ever occur within a marriage). But since gayness doesn’t harm or disable anyone, viewing it as a syndrome really means this: Anyone who doesn’t like what I like is abnormal and defective; being just like me is the only acceptable model.
The vitriolic rant Bizzle set to Macklemore's song is a toxic hate dump ended by the preposterous protestation that he loves the folks he just cheaply slandered. Among the low points:
     ...But, see your hypocrisy is something I could paint vividly
Saying, it's the way you was born, and I'm sure that
You lust just like I do just in a different form
But I'm married so if I give into mine, I'm a cheater
If you give into yours, you just fight to make it legal
     ...You would compare your sexual habits to my skin (What?!?)
Calling it the new black
     ...So, quit comparing the two. It ain't the same fight
You can play straight. We can never play white
Using black people as pawns for yo' agenda
     ...It angers you, if I compare you to a pedophile
Cuz' he sick, right?
And you're better how?
     ...And that rainbow you using as a gay pride symbol (you stole that)
It represents a covenant with God if you didn't know
Check Genesis 9:13 for the info
     ...The problem is if you don't call it sin, then
You walk as if there's nothing to repent for
     ...To describe someone who was born a little differently than we are
I guess down syndrome really isn't a thing ya'll
What do we call yo' syndrome?
Oh, that term is offensive now when it hits home?
So, what gives you the right to call the way he was born a defect?
I call yours a defect, you feel it's disrespect
You don't believe in God?
Hey, the universe says if we all gay
We either die off or have to do it God's way
     ...God is worth it
God bless you
No hate about it
I love you

Stephen Colbert to Jimmy Fallon: Welcome to 11:30, bitch!

Because we at AKSARBENT have never understood Fallon's appeal, we continue to predict he will  fall flat on his face, or at least lose the Tonight Show ratings edge that Leno mostly maintained. To us Fallon has always seemed an impersonator without a core who constantly grovels to his audience, imploring it to please like him.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Meet The Press: Bill Nye schools Marsha Blackburn, knee-jerk Tennessee GOP global warming denier

At the 8:15 mark, Bill Nye holds up visual aids for the benefit of viewers taken in by Congresswoman Blackburn's deliberate disinformation.

Omaha World-Herald publishes remarkable account of college football player who came out at Nebraska 11 years before Michael Sam did at Missouri

Eric Leushen during his playing days at Nebraska.
Photo: University of Nebraska, Lincoln
World-Herald columnist Matthew Hansen has written a remarkable account of how University of Nebraska kicker Eric Leushen came out to his team. (Spoiler: in these situations, it's never a bad idea to be tight with two of the squad's most popular players.)
     After Eric truthfully answered his buds' direct question and the word trickled out, some assistant coaches began to covertly insult him, but Ron Brown, who became a symbol of arrogant antigay intolerance last year, when he sternly lectured the Omaha City Council about its (subsequently favorable) consideration of added LGBT antidiscrimination provisions, was not among the coaches who dissed him, Leushen took pains to point out to writer Hansen.
     One lineman who never let Eric Leushen pass him in the locker room without intoning "faggot" sotto voce, accosted Leushen a year later at a party, and drunkenly foisted his personal bottle of Crown Royal onto Leushen for a swig, who thanked him on account of it being his birthday, at which point his former tormenter yelled, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" at him and the room, then confided that he used to hate him but didn't any longer because he was a cool dude and then slurred a promise that he would take care of anyone who had a problem with him.
     The part of Hansen's account that AKSARBENT found most touching— and something Husker fans should be very proud of — was this:
     He thinks of that night in 2005 when he looked at his boyfriend, whom he would date for two years. His boyfriend looked at him. “You ready?”
     Together they walked toward the music.
     Part of what Eric cherishes are the looks on his teammates' faces as they neared the dance floor.
     Nebraska football players slapped him on the back as he passed. They offered his boyfriend high-fives. They cheered like he had just hit a 52-yarder. They cheered like friends.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Great minds think alike! NE AG Jon Bruning totally on same page as Vlad Putin spokesman about LGBTs having sex with furniture

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, currently running for governor again, has a history of likening gay relationships to a romantic attachment to articles of furniture as does Vladmir Putin's spokesman Sergei Markov:

Nebraska AG Jon Bruning pictured
with Eames and Barcelona chairs
     Last week Bruning spent an undetermined amount of Nebraska public funds filing an amicus brief in support of Utah's efforts to keep gay couples strangers to the law.
     By filing a brief on behalf of Utah, Jon Bruning has shown yet again that he seems never to have met an antigay policy or law he doesn't embrace.
     In November 2003, Jon Bruning said Massachusetts' Supreme Court ruling against that state's ban on gay marriages was ridiculous. "Does that mean you have to allow a man to marry his pet, or a man to marry his chair?" Bruning said. "I mean, at some point, it needs to stop." [Associated Press, 11/18/03]
     In 2011, Jon Bruning had Nebraska State Senator Mike Gloor introduce legislation punishing HIV+ Nebraskans who sneezed in the direction of a cop with up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine — despite the fact that the CDC has repeatedly said that saliva has never been shown to transmit HIV.
     In 2012, after state Senator Beau McCoy's bill to kill looming gay rights ordinances in Omaha and Lincoln died in committee, Bruning issued an opinion that LGBT rights ordinances were illegal anyway despite contrary opinions by city attorneys in both Lincoln and Omaha.

SPLC: old photos emerge of Andrew Breitbart and James O'Keefe hobnobbing with white nationalists

From the Southern Poverty Law Center: 

     Photographs published this week by an anti-racist website show the late Andrew Breitbart, a leading figurehead among mainstream conservatives, and his onetime protégé James O’Keefe – whose undercover videos are credited with causing the demise of the community organizing group ACORN – rubbing elbows with young white nationalists at two different right-wing conferences.
      The pictures are noteworthy because Breitbart, who died of a heart attack in March 2012, and O’Keefe had been adamant that they had nothing to do with the conference attendees – and vocally attacked anyone who suggested otherwise.
     ....Daryle Jenkins told Hatewatch he was inspired to publish the old photos this week because he had finally gotten around to watching Hating Breitbart, and decided that he needed to update his older entry on O’Keefe to refute the film’s claims.

LGBT activist John Becker: Johnny Weir is
a 'gay minstrel show'

(Via Back2Stonewall)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Kansas GOP now worried over extremist House bill, passed 72-49, allowing police, nurses and others to withhold services from gay couples; a list of reps
who voted for bill

Kansas House of Representatives photo:
JimmyWayne via Flickr
HB 2453 would: government sanctions when individuals, groups and businesses cite religious beliefs in refusing to recognize a marriage or civil union, or to provide goods, services, accommodations or employment benefits to a couple. Antidiscrimination lawsuits also would be barred. Individual workers and government employees also would get some protections.
The Lawrence Journal-World published a list of Kansas state representatives who voted to legalize discrimination against gay couples (below) as well as their reasons for doing so.
     On roll call, the vote was: Yeas 72; Nays 49; Present but not voting: 0; Absent or not voting: 3. Yeas: Anthimides, Boldra, Bradford, Brunk, Couture-Lovelady, Campbell, Carlson, Carpenter, Cassidy, Christmann, Claeys, Corbet, Crum, E. Davis, DeGraaf, Dove, Edmonds, Edwards, Esau, Estes, Ewy, Garber, Goico, Gonzalez, Grosserode, Hawkins, Hedke, Henry, Hibbard, Highland, Hildabrand, Hoffman, Houser, Howell, Huebert, Hutton, Jones, Kahrs, Kelley, Kelly, Kiegerl, Kinzer, Kleeb, Lunn, Macheers, Mast, McPherson, Meier, Meigs, Merrick, Moxley, O'Brien, Osterman, Pauls, Peck, Petty, Powell, Proehl, Read, Rhoades, Rothlisberg, Rubin, Ryckman Jr., Ryckman Sr., Schroeder, Schwab, Schwartz, Seiwert, Suellentrop, Sutton, Thompson, Vickrey.
     Nays: Alcala, Alford, Ballard, Barker, Becker, Bollier, Bridges, Burroughs, Carlin, Carmichael, Clayton, Concannon, P. Davis, Dierks, Doll, Finch, Finney, Frownfelter, Gandhi, Henderson, Hill, Hineman, Houston, Jennings, Johnson, Kuether, Lane, Lusk, Lusker, Menghini, Perry, Phillips, Rooker, Ruiz, Sawyer, Sloan, Sloop, Swanson, Tietze, Todd, Trimmer, Victors, Ward, Waymaster, Weigel, Whipple, Wilson, Winn, Wolfe Moore. Present but not voting: None. Absent or not voting: Bruchman, Peterson, Thimesch. The bill passed, as amended.
In Britain The Guardian reports that national and international disgust at the Kansas legislature's action has caused the state's GOP to have second thoughts:
     Susan Wagle, the Republican president of the Senate, has raised objections to the bill, House Bill 2453, that has already cleared the House of Representatives by a 72-49 majority. In a statement, she said that despite strong support among the 32 Republican state senators for traditional marriage, “I’ve grown concerned about the practical impact of the bill… My members also don’t condone discrimination. If we cannot find ample common ground to ease legitimate concerns, I believe a majority of my caucus will not support the bill.”
     ...The business coalition, Kansas Chamber, praised Wagle for her intervention, which effectively puts a halt to HB 2453 in its current form. The Topeka-based organization said that many Kansas businesses were worried that the bill would have raised potentially costly legal actions over speech, discrimination and privacy concerns. “The impact on Kansas businesses, particularly those with very few employees, is very troubling,” it said.

Bail lowered for alleged assailant of Omaha Marine, Ryan Langenegger, who peacefully defended gay friends

Suspected gay-bashing assailant Gregory Duncan of Fenton, Missouri
Ryan Langenegger was bashed after three Old Market
Pepperjax customers harassed two of his gay friends,
one of whom was in drag, then followed them outside
when they abruptly left. Langenegger received facial bruising,
a gash and two chipped teeth after allegedly being sucker-
punched by Duncan while Langenegger was distracted by
Duncan's companions.
Original AKSARBENT post here.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that "a Douglas County judge" lowered bail for Gregory S. Duncan, 35, of Fenton, MO to $15,000 from $100,000 following his arrest last Friday for the October 27th, 2013 assault of Ryan Langenegger outside PepperJax Grill.
     Duncan will stand trial in district court.
     Duncan, in Omaha working a construction job, must now get permission to leave Nebraska and faces up to five years in prison, for a third degree felony assault (upgraded because of a hate crime charge due to the nature of harassment and insults allegedly made by Duncan and his two companions.)
     Below: AKSARBENT's video of the "Drag Out Hate" rally across the street from PepperJax Grill, where Langenegger was assaulted.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

LB485, LGBT antidiscrimination bill, stalls in NE Unicameral; here's who voted against it

Voting against LB485: (l-r) Colby Coash (402-471-2632), Mark Christensen (402-471-2805),
Les Seiler (402) 471-2712 and Al Davis (402-471-2628)
Advancing the bill required 5 of 8 Judiciary Committee votes. The vote was 4-3 against.
     Voting for the measure were Amanda McGill, Ernie Chambers, Brad Ashford and the bill's sponsor, Danielle Conrad.
     Against were Les Seiler of Hastings, Colby Coash of Lincoln, Al Davis of Hyannis and Mark Christensen of Imperial.
     Steve Lothrop, of Omaha, missed the vote.
     Lobbying against the bill were the Nebraska Family Alliance and Jim Cunningham of the Nebraska Catholic conference who, according to the Omaha World-Herald, said it would be “hard to tell” if religious groups would be exempt based on the wording of the amendment.
     The measure may come up again this session.

Gregory Duncan arrested for assault on Omaha Marine who stood up for gay friends

Suspected gay-bashing assailant Gregory Duncan of Fenton, Missouri
Omaha police have arrested a Missouri man working on a construction project in Omaha on suspicion of a third-degree felony assault on Ryan Langenegger outside the PepperJax Grill in Omaha's Old Market on October 27th.
Ryan Langenegger was bashed after three Old Market
Pepperjax customers harassed two of his gay friends,
one of whom was in drag, then followed them outside
when they abruptly left. Langenegger received facial bruising,
a gash and two chipped teeth
     Langenegger was said to have been sucker-punched by Duncan while his companions distracted Langenegger, resulting in a gash on his forehead, a bruised eye, bloody nose and two chipped teeth.
     On Monday, Duncan's bond was set at $100,000. Police also are considering charges against his two companions.
     Security footage and a photo lineup led to the identification of Duncan, 35.
     Langenegger's friend, Joshua Foo, 29, told the Omaha World-Herald: "When I saw his picture, I knew. I knew that it was him."
     WOWT's report of Duncan's apprehension is here.
     Below: AKSARBENT video of the "Drag Out Hate" demonstration in downtown Omaha following the assault of Langenegger:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Kicker Eric Lueshen was openly gay NE Cornhusker football player 11 years ago; took boyfriend to NU Student-Athlete formal, says Coach Callahan couldn't have been nicer to him

Lueshen then and now: left as a NU Cornhusker kicker
and right from Facebook page
Former University of Nebraska Cornhusker football player Eric Lueshen (a husker kicker from 2003 to 2006) told Firth (a village near Nebraska's capital, Lincoln) radio station KNTK "The Ticket" that he did not hide the fact that he was gay while at UNL and even took his boyfriend to a student-athlete formal when he was a freshman. Lueshen said that while Callahan was very accepting (and even shed a tear when Lueshen shared his story), not all the assistants were. The radio interview is in two segments, Part 1 and Part 2.
“Two of my really good friends on the team, Sean Hill and Corey McKeon, asked me at lunch one day, ‘We were just wondering if you were gay.’ I very honestly said, ‘Yes, is that a problem?’ They were like, ‘Oh no, that’s really cool. We all thought that you were, and we just wanted to know.’”
From Big Red Today:
     The Pierce, Neb., native said coaches were also aware that he was gay, and that the Nebraska walk-on and World-Herald All-Class selection in C-1 once took a boyfriend to the student-athlete formal.
     And while he said that some assistants made him feel uncomfortable, “numerous coaches were very, very kind, and very sweet to me.” Coach Bill Callahan was “accepting of me,” Lueshen said. “I know in the conversations I’ve had with him how much he respected me as a person.”
     At the time, Nebraska's head football coach was Bill Callahan, now a Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.
Too see CNN's coverage of Ron Brown's trip from Lincoln to Omaha to
deliver a sanctimonious sermonette to the City Council go here. To see
Brown's condescending remarks in their entirety, go here.
     AKSARBENT would love to know whether Assistant Coach Ron Brown was among those who supported Lueshen the way his teammates and Head Coach Callahan did or whether Brown was among the coaches who shunned Lueshen and said "negative things."
     So far, Lueshen is being tactfully unspecific on that score. Pity. A lot of people would like to know if Ron Brown is really as 'tolerant' of gay players as he has claimed to be while on various Jihads against laws which would give LGBTs legal recourse against arbitrary discrimination.
     A gay player who has actually seen how Brown behaves in the locker room away from TV cameras could provide a much-needed reality check about whether the assistant coach's private behavior toward gay players matches his public claims about being respectful of them.


Stephen Colbert prepares to send Buddy Cole on a special assignment to Sochi

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

IA group puts $50,000 in dark money ads behind NE Gov. candidate who tried to outlaw LGBT protection ordinances

Update: Charlie Janssen has left the crowded GOP primary field of gubernatorial candidates, but uber-homophobe Nebraska AG Jon Bruning has just joined the pack, which includes Peter Ricketts, GOP scion of TD Ameritrade fortune, biggest contributor to McCoy's first state senate campaign, and brother of Laura Ricketts, gay supporter of Lambda Legal.

Beau McCoy
     In 2012, Nebraska State Senator Beau McCoy, a home-schooled, global warming denier, introduced LB912, a copy of a Tennessee law that negated Nashville's LGBT antidiscrimination ordinance. The proposed Nebraska legislation failed.
     Now, Robynn Tysver of the Omaha World-Herald reports that Iowa's ultra-right-wing American Future Fund is pouring $49,000 of dark money into Nebraska ads to advance McCoy's candidacy.
     American Future Fund has been around since 2007. In past years, it has been a major player in presidential politics, spending more than $25 million in 2012 in support of Republicans.
     While its individual donors do not have to be reported, the group has been linked by some to Charles and David Koch, billionaires who have spent millions in recent elections on television advertisements supporting Republicans and criticizing Democrats.
     Tysver noted that Open Secrets, a nonprofit group that tracks campaign financial reports, reported that two groups with ties to the Koch brothers donated about 92 percent of the American Future Fund's revenue in 2012, based on tax forms filed with the IRS.
     In the Nebraska television ad, the American Future Fund hails McCoy as one of Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman's “closest allies” in the Nebraska Legislature.
     Nick Ryan, founder of the American Future Fund and the Concordia Group, rails against a supposed conspiracy here between the Federal Elections Commission and the Internal Revenue Service against his dark money political organization, one he absurdly told Greta Von Susteren was a "grassroots" group.

Jon Stewart mocks NFL for trash talking Michael Sam's draft chances in wake of self-outing

Outsports had an interesting twist on this whisper campaign by NFL minions and owners' assistants: it might be a cynical ploy by one or more franchises to attempt to pick up a third-round draft choice at fifth-round prices.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Here's the proof that Ireland's Panti Bliss is one of the smartest drag queens in the English-speaking world

An excerpt:
     ...Three weeks ago, I was on the television and I said that I believed that people who actively campaigned for gay people to be treated less or treated differently are, in my gay opinion, homophobic.
     Now, some people — people who actively campaign for gay people to be treated less under the law, took great exception to that characterization and they threatened legal action against me and RTE.
     Now, RTE, in its wisdom, decided incredibly quickly to hand over a huge sum of money to make it all go away.
     I haven't been quite so lucky. And for the last few weeks, I have been lectured to by heterosexual people about what homophobia is and about who is allowed to identify it.
     Straight people have lined up: ministers, senators,  barristers, journalists have lined up to tell me what homophobia is and to tell me what I am allowed to feel oppressed by.
     People who have never experienced homophobia in their lives, people who have never checked themselves at a pedestrian crossing, have told me that unless I am being thrown into prison or herded onto a cattle truck, then it is not homophobia, and that feels oppressive.
     And so now, Irish gay people, we find ourselves in this ludicrous situation where we are not only not allowed to say publicly what we feel oppressed by, we're not even allowed to think it, because the very definition — our definition — has been disallowed by our betters.
     And for the last few weeks, I've been denounced from the floor of [parliament] to newspaper columns to the seething morass of Internet commentary.

     Denounced for using hate speech because I dared to use the word homophobia and a jumped-up queer like me should know that the word homophobia is no longer available to gay people, which is a spectacular and neat Orwellian trick because now it turns out that gay people are not the victims of homophobia — homophobes are the victims of homophobia...

Coke's diversity ad, now driving Teabagistan crazy, is mocked by remake featuring languages which didn't make the cut

The funseekers who ridiculed the ad seem to have no discernable political agenda and are too incisive and funny to be Teabaggers anyway.

(Via Americablog)

Band of Thebes: How degayed was Monuments Men?

Band of Thebes: Imposing, six-foot, broad-shouldered uber queer Lincoln Kirstein age 38 in May
1945 is played by five-foot-five, 68 year-old Bob Balaban who in these interviews says he didn't study
Kirstein for his role as "Preston Savitz" and no Q or A mentions anything gay... Balaban hints "many
of his key characteristics weren’t necessarily written into my part of the movie." ...Why be honest
about actual gay heroics in history when you can rely on stale signifiers and sissy stereotypes?

Stephen at Band of Thebes was not amused by George Clooney's Monuments Men:
The list of what I'd endure for Thebes does not extend to sitting through writer-director-star George Clooney's "tepid" (USA Today), "lifeless" (Variety), "pandering" (NYT), "self-congratulatory" (AV Club), "failure" (EW, which gave it a C-) of "threadbare formula and sentimental cliches" (Wash Post), The Monuments Men, so I can't report the exact extent to which he's degayed the real men and women who rescued art stolen by the Nazis.
     Band of Thebes linked to a documentary that it considers a much better recounting of the events in Monuments Men.

Masterpiece Theatre pigs out! Downton Abbey's Lady Mary and Charles Blake save swine in evening wear!

The Guardian has a breathless, play-by-play recap:
It begins with [Lady] Mary and Charles [Blake] discovering that the pigs have knocked over their watering trough. They are dying of dehydration. Something must be done at once. Mary and Charles must save the pigs. There’s a water pump nearby, and four galvanised buckets. Charles grabs a bucket. Will Mary help? She’s wearing an evening gown. Of course Mary will help. They’re her pigs.
Best dialogue snippet for homo DA fans:
Lord Grantham: “What if [EVIL gay footman] Thomas doesn’t want to go?”
Lady Mary: “Why wouldn’t he? It’s an adventure. All those handsome stewards strutting down the boat deck.”
Lord Grantham: “Don’t be vulgar. What do you know of such matters?”
Lady Mary: “I’ve been married. I know everything.”

A second Nebraska county extends health benefits
to gay spouses despite 'no' votes of Commissioners Don Kelly and Jim Warren

Sarpy County commissioners Don Kelly (left) and Jim Warren,
respectively, of Districts 1 and 5
Emily Nohr of the Omaha World-Herald reported that Sarpy County voted 3-2 Tuesday, Jan. 29th to extend health insurance benefits to spouses of gay employees who live in Nebraska but were legally married in another state.
     Although Sarpy County HR Director Karen Buche estimated that 10 or fewer employees of 450 covered county emplyees would use the benefits, board members Don Kelly and Jim Warren nevertheless voted against extending the benefits.
     Warren said they were being asked to approved a contract issue with "no concept" of what the budget impact was.
     Kelly piled on, saying responsible people don't make decisions without knowing the cost.
     Both questioned the constitutionality of the extension, even though board member Tom Richards had already asked Deputy County Attorney Bonnie Moore if the measure was unconstitutional, to which Moore replied  no, adding that the Nebraska's constitution isn't so far reaching as to invalidate a contract between Sarpy County and Blue Cross Blue Shield.
     The move follows the actions last December 3rd of Nebraska's most populous county, Douglas, to extend insurance benefits to gay spouses on a 7-1 vote with Clare Duda the only board member to resist the change.

Ft. Myers, FL HS kicks out student for 10 days after he stopped a homophobe from beating up gay student WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Rosie O'Donnell defends Dylan Farrow on The View as Barbara Walters runs interference for her friend and alleged pedophile, Woody Allen

Although the New York Times gave space to Woody Allen's refutation of Dylan Farrow's Feb. 1  open letter on Feb. 1 claiming sexual abuse at the hands of Allen, the open letter was deemed unfit for publication on the Times' website and was instead published on New York Times blogger Nicholas Kristof’s On the Ground blog.
     Vanity Fair's Maureen Orth promptly responded to Allen's letter, posting "10 Undeniable Facts About The Woody Allen Sexual-Abuse Allegation" to the magazine's website and Dylan Farrow herself authored within hours a refutation of Allen's version published in The Hollywood Reporter. 
     On The View, Rosie O'Donnell came down squarely on the side of Mia and Dylan Farrow (below) while Babara Walters ran interference for her friend, Woody Allen on the same show.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Chevy bought two gay-inclusive modern family-style ads aired during NBC Olympics broadcast

The ads look very much like Google and Facebook promotions for their products...

In the video below, a shout-out to gay whiz kid Jack Andraka, who invented ultra-cheap hypersensitive tests for three types of cancer and won a top Intel science prize.

Farm Kings: As ratings for homophobic Duck Dynasty patriarch's show plunge, a reality show about a PA farm family with nine sons holds its own

Elizabeth and her nine brothers, Joe, Tim, Pete, Dan, Luke, Sam, John, Paul and Ben, run a very profitable farm with matriarch Lisa, who can make 30 pies in a hour. Their reality show is on GACTV Thursdays this February.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak: we have surveillance video of hotel showers; an aside to LGBT visitors to Sochi Olympics: 'Don't touch the kids'

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak
(Photo: Russian Federation via Wikipedia)
Before being quickly hustled away from reporters, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak responded to questions about hotel water shortages in Sochi by inadvertently admitting:
     “We have surveillance video from the hotels that shows people turn on the shower, direct the nozzle at the wall and then leave the room for the whole day.”
Earlier in the presser, Kozak, according to the New York Daily News, politely asked LGBT visitors to Russia to try to restrain themselves from molesting Russian children:
     Moments before, he gave the impression he believes gays may have pedophilic leanings, going a step further even than Russian President Vladimir Putin.
     “We are all grownups and any adult has the right to understand their sexual act,” Kozak said. “Please don’t touch the kids, that’s the only thing.”

How to tell if Russians have installed a camera in your Sochi hotel bathroom

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Bob Dylan knows Chrysler is now an Italian company, right?

Here are the words of Chrysler's new pitchman:
So let Germany brew your beer
Let Switzerland make your watch
Let Asia assemble your phone
WE will build your car!

Philip Seymour Hoffman, brilliant 'Capote' actor to whom Heath Ledger lost Best Actor Oscar, also meets untimely death due to drug overdose

Ledger was thought to have accidently OD'd on prescription meds while fighting off the flu. Hoffmann reportedly was found in his apartment bathroom with a heroin syringe still stuck in his arm.

Here's the real Capote, on Dick Cavett in 1971, responding to a tongue-in-cheek engagement proposal by Groucho Marx, hedged by his disclaimer (at about the 8:25 mark) that he couldn't give Capote "what you're entitled to," to which Capote responded: "The best years of your life!"

Josh Finkelman sues NFL for offering only 1% of Super Bowl tickets directly to public when NJ law says 95% must be sold that way

Finkelman as portrayed in the New York Times
The New York Times explained the apparent disparity between the NFL's business practices and the law of New Jersey, site of the 2014 Super Bowl:
Section 56:8-35.1 of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act reads:
     “It shall be an unlawful practice for a person, who has access to tickets to an event prior to the tickets’ release for sale to the general public, to withhold those tickets from sale to the general public in an amount exceeding 5 percent of all available seating for the event.”
     While certainly a mouthful, to Mr. Finkelman and Mr. Nagel this passage from the law explicitly forbids the N.F.L.’s practice of providing only 1 percent of Super Bowl tickets for sale to the public. In fact, it would seem to dictate that 95 percent of the seats must be sold that way.
     ...Brian McCarthy, an N.F.L. spokesman, an email: “We can never fulfill all the requests for tickets. The N.F.L.’s Super Bowl ticket distribution process has been in existence for years and is well documented. We are confident it is in compliance with all applicable laws.”
     When Mr. McCarthy was pressed to explain how that process complied with the New Jersey law, he wrote a second email, saying, “We strongly disagree with the plaintiff’s interpretation of the NJ Consumer Fraud Act and his claims.” After one more request to clarify the nature of the league’s disagreement, he wrote, “We will be formally responding to the complaint next month. We do not have any further comment.”

Seth Meyers gets a tearful SNL sendoff after reading his last joke

Libyan Musab Mohamed Masmari, is arrested en route to airport; is suspected in attempted arson at packed gay Seattle club


Saturday, February 1, 2014

40 human rights groups critizcise Sochi Olympic sponsors Atos, Coca Cola, Dow Chemical, General Electric, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, and Visa for not defending LGBTs

Here, via JoeMyGod, is the beginning of the joint letter to the top ten corporate sponsors of the Olympics:

Perhaps the most coldly dismissive statement so far in respect of LGBT concerns was issued by Panasonic:
  ...the company “has no involvement in, and is not in a position to comment on political and social matters related to the Olympic Games or specific governments in any country or region.”

None of the above, Jesse Pinkman