Monday, August 03, 2015

OREGON: Alleged Victim In Terry Bean Case Vanishes, Trial May Not Proceed

Oregon Live reports:
The prosecutor handling the sex crimes case against Terry Bean, a prominent gay activist, told a judge Friday that his investigators have been unable to find the alleged victim in the case. Without the teenager's testimony, the case will have to be dismissed or the trial rescheduled, the prosecutor acknowledged. The boy, now 17, doesn't want to testify at the trial, his attorney said at an earlier hearing. Meanwhile, the search for the boy goes on. "We continue to put all available resources toward that issue," prosecutor Scott Healy said after a hearing before Lane County Circuit Judge Jay McAlpin. Bean, 66, and his former boyfriend, Kiah Loy Lawson, 25, are accused of having sex with the then-15-year-old boy at a Eugene hotel in 2013. They each are charged with two counts of third-degree sodomy, a felony, and third-degree sexual abuse, a misdemeanor. They pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Bean, a co-founder of the Human Rights Campaign, allegedly met the teen on Grindr. Last month Judge McAplin rejected Bean's attempt to settle the case with a payment to the alleged victim. The amount of the settlement offer was not disclosed. After Friday's development, the lead prosecutor in the case said he might request a continuance, but the judge smacked him down, saying that in his court "we set dates and we expect them to be met." The trial is scheduled to begin next week.

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Texas AG Ken Paxton Smirks For Mugshot After Arrest On Multiple Felony Charges

Anti-gay Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was today arrested and booked on the three felony securities fraud charges announced on Friday. He was released on bond shortly afterwards.
Around noon, the grand jury indictment against Paxton was unsealed, revealing that two first-degree fraud charges were based on Paxton’s efforts in July 2011 — when he was a member of the Texas House — to sell stock on behalf of Servergy Inc., a McKinney-based tech company. According to the indictment, Paxton failed to tell stock buyers — including state Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, and Florida businessman Joel Hochberg, who were listed as complainants on the fraud charges — that he had been compensated with 100,000 shares of Servergy stock. Paxton also said he was an investor in Servergy when he was not, the charges indicated. Paxton encouraged investors, including Texas House members, to put more than $600,000 into Servergy, special prosecutor Kent Schaffer told the New York Times last week.
Democrats are calling for Paxton's resignation. The Texas GOP has issued a statement which declares that Paxton is entitled to his day in court. (Tipped by JMG reader Charles)

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Manly Man Ted Cruz Fires Machine Gun

From the same right-wing publicists that brought you Lindsey Graham destroying a phone and Ben Carson playing Operation.

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Walker Punk'd By Climate Activists

(Tipped by JMG reader BKMN)

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Trump Lead Now Exceeds 2-1 Over Bush

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Gary Bauer: America Needs Sanctuary Cities For Conservative Christians

"What if there were sanctuary cities for religious conservatives? Imagine if some city in red-state America – perhaps Little Rock, Arkansas; Dallas, Texas; or Bowling Green, Kentucky – decided to be a refuge for unborn children and refused to grant business licenses to abortion clinics. What if a city decided that it was going to be a sanctuary city for the Ten Commandments and displayed them in schools, libraries, and the county courthouse? What if a city decided that it was important for children to have mothers and fathers, declared itself a sanctuary city for traditional marriage, and refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples? Remember when liberals said that illegal immigrants needed to be granted legal status in order to bring them 'out of the shadows' of society? Remember when liberals insisted that gays needed to be given full marriage rights so that they could step out of the closet? Well, these groups may have emerged from the shadows and stepped out of the closet. But those places won’t stay empty for long. Christians, if liberals have their way, will soon fill them." - Gary Bauer, writing for American Thinker.

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Racing Extinction: Empire State Building Lights Up For Endangered Species

Via NBC New York:
The landmark Empire State Building, known for its stunning light displays, shined brightly with digital light projections of the world’s endangered species Saturday evening. The show was billed as a first-of-its-kind live video projection and aimed to raise awareness about animals at risk of being lost forever. The display, a project conceived by “The Cove” filmmaker Louie Psihoyos, showed a looping reel of endangered animals over a 33-floor span of the southern face of the Empire State Building. In all, 160 species were shown, including a snow leopard, golden lion tamarin, birds, snakes, manta rays, and various mammals and sea creatures. "We're set to lose half the species on the planet by the end of the century," Psihoyos said at the event. At one point an image of Cecil -- a beloved lion in Zimbabwe that was shot and killed by a U.S. dentist during an allegedly illegal hunt in July -- was shown on the building. The killing sparked off a social media firestorm and led to calls for the hunter's extradition. Coincidentally, the uproar gained international attention just days before the light show.
Organizers called the show "a weapon of mass instruction." Their series Racing Extinction will debut on Discovery in the fall.

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John Oliver On DC Statehood

With a lovely song at the end.

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ISRAEL: Hundreds Hold Memorial Vigil For Teen Murdered At Jerusalem Pride

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GOP: Our Digital Team Is Ready For 2016

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AUSTRALIA: New Anti-Gay Group Unveils Titanic-Themed Marriage Campaign

SBS reports:
Backed by wealthy businessmen, The Marriage Alliance says it hopes its media campaign will encourage Australians to feel comfortable voicing their concerns about same sex marriage. The ad was unveiled at a launch today along with the campaign slogan "there's more to it than you think". The ad starts with a simple drawing that later becomes the tip of an iceberg. “Trying to achieve something big can feel like climbing a mountain,” it states. “It's time to step back and consider all the issues around same sex marriage. Like how it will affect children or sex education in schools or what rights you could lose.” Ivan Hinton-Teoh the deputy director of Australian Marriage Equality which is in favour of same sex marriage described the ad as a last minute scare campaign. “This kind of desperate, eleventh hour scaremongering has failed to stop the momentum for marriage equality in other countries and it will fail in Australia as well," he said. “It's asking to have a conversation start where we've been going for ten years."

(Tipped by JMG reader Damian)

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RNC To Vote On Anti-Gay Resolutions

The Republican National Committee is set to vote on two anti-gay resolutions, one of which was proposed by former Michigan state Rep. Dave Agema, who now sits on the committee. Via the Washington Blade:
If the RNC were to adopt any of the non-binding resolutions next week, it would be the first official act of the Republican Party on the marriage issue following the historic U.S. Supreme Court decision last month in favor of marriage rights for same-sex couples. The initial vote could take place during the executive committee meetings on Wednesday and Thursday, where a successful vote would lead to consideration at the full committee meeting on Friday.

One resolution, titled “Resolution for Balanced Sex-Ed in Schools,” was introduced by former Michigan State House lawmaker and RNC member Dave Agema. It encourages schools “teaching the homosexual lifestyle in their sexual education class” to “also include the harmful physical aspects of the lifestyle.”

The resolution is based on the belief the Republican Party “supports the institution of traditional marriage,” which is considered code for opposition to same-sex marriage. The proposal is also based on questionable assertions that American culture “is portraying the homosexual lifestyle as an attractive option for school-aged children” and the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes says being gay take up to 21 years off a person’s life.
Another proposed resolution would call on Congress to strip federal courts of jurisdiction over marriage laws and declare that the Supreme Court's Obergefell ruling was unconstitutional.

RELATED: Agema made national headlines in 2013 after posting a virulently anti-gay piece on Facebook.  Among the claims made in the article was that gay people are responsible for half of the murders in America's largest cities.

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Shira's Last Song

From the Jewish Standard:
Shira Banki was a student at the Hebrew University High School. She was 16 and attended the Jerusalem Pride Parade as an ally of the LGBTQ community, and to show support for friends of hers. She was killed by a stab wound inflicted by a Hareidi-religious Jew that had attacked the same parade ten years before, and just completed his prison term. Banki was a pianist and this video of her playing is making the rounds online as people search for more information about her life, after it was ended so tragically.
Shira's performance begins at 1:00.

(Tipped by JMG reader Mike)

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BRONX: Four Die In Legionnaires Outbreak

CNN reports:
The number of deaths in the New York City Legionnaires' disease outbreak is up to four. Seventy-one cases of the flu-like disease have been reported since mid-July in the South Bronx, up from 31 on Thursday, the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said Sunday. Legionnaires' disease is a respiratory bacterial infection usually spread through mist that comes from a water source, such as cooling towers, air conditioning or showers. It is not transmitted person to person. Symptoms of the disease include fever, chills and a cough. Most people recover, but between 5% to 30% of those who get the disease die, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The four victims were all older adults with additional underlying medical problems, the city said. Fifty-five individuals are hospitalized.
The outbreak has so far been traced to five buildings in the south Bronx, including a hospital and a hotel. Bronx borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is calling for a city-wide inspection system that would regularly test the water infrastructure of all buildings. People living with untreated HIV are considered to be at high risk of contracting Legionnaires.

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TRAILER: Best Of Enemies

Vulture raves:
You might see a film about William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal’s ten televised debates during the 1968 presidential conventions as an opportunity to bask in eloquent, pointed repartee. You might also enjoy the spectacle of two of the foremost intellectuals of their time coming very close to physically beating the crap out of each other. You might not expect, however, to find yourself weeping — for the state of the republic and the poisoned media landscape, for the decay of the American social contract. Yet here we are. Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville’s masterful Best of Enemies leaves you with an overwhelming sense of despair. It’s not just a great documentary, it’s a vital one.

The setup is simple, and beautiful — so simple and beautiful that I’m shocked nobody’s tried to make this movie until now. In 1968, the struggling ABC network, dead last behind CBS and NBC (“They’d be fourth, but there were only three,” quips one talking head), didn’t have the resources for the kind of convention coverage that their competitors did. So ABC decided to let the flamboyant, unapologetic Vidal and Buckley — one a dapper left-wing bomb-thrower, the other the very backbone of arch-conservatism — debate the issues of the day. Point-counterpoint. A novel idea at the time for television news.
The film began a limited run on Friday.

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TEASER: Zoolander 2

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NEW YORK: Dozens Of Catholic Churches Close As Archdiocese Consolidates

Reuters reports:
Teary-eyed and angry Catholic parishioners across New York attended final mass services on Friday in some of dozens of churches closing or stopping regular worship services. The closures follow an announcement by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York in November that it would consolidate 368 parishes into 294, reflecting a national trend of parish closures in the United States caused by low attendance, a shortage of priests and financial troubles. Parishioners expressed sadness at the shuttering of churches like Our Lady of Peace, a red brick church with an ornate interior on Manhattan's Upper East Side that is more than 100 years old. "It's like a death in the family," said Manhattan resident Lola Skaro, a retiree in her late 70s, who became emotional when talking about the church she had visited everyday since her retirement.
The Daily News notes that workers were changing the locks at some of the nearly two dozen closing churches in New York City as the final mass took place. (Tipped by JMG reader Jerald)

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Sunday, August 02, 2015

Breitbart Closes Comments On Story About Girl Murdered At Jerusalem Pride

In the first Breitbart story about the attack on Thursday, multiple commenters openly celebrated the stabbings. For today's update they have closed the comments.

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ISRAEL: Thousands Rally To Protest Stabbing Attacks On Jerusalem Pride

Ynet reports:
LGBTQ rights groups and youth activists were holding demonstrations in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa following the terror attack at the gay pride parade in the capital on Thursday, in which six people were wounded. Demonstrations were also being held in response to the Jewish terror attack late Thursday night that killed a Palestinian infant and critically wounded the other three members of his immediate family. Thousands attended the rally in Meir Park in Tel Aviv in solidarity with the LGBT community, which also marks six years since the killing spree at the Barnoar community center. Among those participating were Isaac Herzog and fellow Zionist Union MK Tzipi Livni, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, and former president Shimon Peres.

"I cannot believe we have reached such an abyss," said Peres. "I took before this stage six years ago, mere days after the murders at Barnoar. I am finding it difficult to believe that we are standing on that same stage, once again before the same phenomenon. We have gathered this evening for a war of independence – Israel's independence from insanity and insane people. This is not a disagreement between right and left. This is a profound clash between those with a conscience and those who lack a conscience." "It is appropriate on this evening to remove the masks," continued the former president. "Anyone who calls the pride parade a 'beast parade' should not be surprised when a knife is raised at a 16-year-old old girl."
Speaking at the rally in Jerusalem, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin denounced the "Jewish terrorists" behind the attack. Opposition leader Isaac Hertzog called for the Israeli government to classify the far-right anti-gay group Lehava as a terrorist organization. (Lehava is a Hebrew acronym for "Stop Assimilation in the Holy Land.") Speaking at the Tel Aviv rally, Meretz Chairwoman Zehava Gal-On called the attacker on the parade a member of "Jewish ISIS."

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ISRAEL: 16 Year-Old Girl Stabbed At Jerusalem Pride Dies Of Her Wounds

Haaretz reports:
Three days after being critically wounded by an ultra-Orthodox man that went on a stabbing rampage at Jerusalem's Gay Pride Parade, Shira Banki, a 16-year-old Israeli teen succumbed to her wounds Sunday afternoon. Five other people were wounded in the attack. Police confirmed that the suspected stabber is Yishai Schlissel, a Haredi man from Modiin Ilit who stabbed three participants in the 2005 Gay Pride march. He was recently released from prison after serving a 10-year sentence. Banki was a high-school student from Jerusalem, studying at the Hebrew University High School. She took part in Thursday's parade to show solidarity with her LGBT friends. She is survived by her parents and three siblings; her family decided to donate her organs.
Shira's family has issued a statement.
"Our magical Shira was murdered because she was a happy 16-year-old – full of life and love – who came to express her support for her friends' rights to live as they choose. For no good reason and because of evil, stupidity and negligence, the life of our beautiful flower was cut short. Bad things happen to good people, and a very bad thing happened to our amazing girl. The family expresses hope for a less hatred and more tolerance."

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Lively: It's Time For A Christian Revolution

"How is it that a relatively tiny handful of homosexual activists, themselves representing less than 2% of our population, has managed in the same period of time to establish a reign of homo-fascism in the United States that has turned centuries-old American values upside down and has turned its large Christian plurality (if not majority) into criminals (if they dare to cling to the teachings of the Bible)? Isn’t it true that one man with the flimsiest of plans could utterly defeat the abortion industry and the LGBT agenda in short order — if God backed Him? So why have virtually all our efforts failed? It’s really pretty simple. The American church just doesn’t have God’s favor anymore. The brutal truth is the church has lost the so-called culture war and is now under occupation, like the French under the Nazis, with nothing left to do but organize resistance and plot to overthrow the occupiers through a political revolt." - Crimes against humanity defendant Scott Lively, writing for his blog.

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At Amsterdam Pride 2015

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Pop Star Cilla Black Dies At Age 72

Via the Telegraph:
Cilla Black has died at her Spanish home, local police have confirmed. The much-loved TV star and singer is believed to have died of natural causes after being found at her home in Marbella. The Liverpoon-born star enjoyed her first taste of fame at the city's Cavern Club, where she performed alongside acts including The Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers. She went on to release 14 albums but later established herself as a television personality, presenting hit shows including Surprise Surprise and Blind Date. In 1968, she became the first woman to have her own prime-time chat show on BBC One. In more recent years, despite suffering from arthritis and deafness, she remained in the public eye. Her rise to stardom was recently told in award-winning three-part drama, Cilla, starring Sheridan Smith.
During her pop career Black charted nearly two dozen Top 40 hits in the UK including two #1 singles - Anyone Who Had A Heart and You're My World - both of which were drag staples in the 70s.

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TEXAS: Anti-Gay AG Ken Paxton Indicted On Multiple Counts Of Securities Fraud

Via the New York Times:
Ken Paxton, the Republican attorney general of Texas and a former state legislator, has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of securities fraud and of failing to register with the state securities board, officials said. The grand jury in the northern Dallas suburb of McKinney handed up a three-count indictment against Mr. Paxton on Tuesday, the officials said. The indictment is to be unsealed on Monday, when Mr. Paxton is expected to turn himself in to the authorities at the Collin County Jail. The charges — two counts of first-degree securities fraud and one count of third-degree failure to register — are tied to Mr. Paxton’s work soliciting clients and investors for two companies while he was a member of the Texas House of Representatives, before he was elected attorney general in November.
RELATED: Several days after the Obergefell ruling, Paxton declared that county clerks were allowed to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

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Saturday, August 01, 2015

Headline Of The Day

Details. (Tipped by JMG reader David)

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ISRAEL: Rallies To Be Held Nationwide In Aftermath Of Jerusalem Pride Stabbings

Via Haaretz:
Rallies to protest Thursday's stabbing attack at Jerusalem's Gay Pride parade and the arson attack in which a Palestinian child was killed will be held in major Israeli cities on Saturday night. A rally in Tel Aviv already planned to mark six years since two people were killed in a shooting at Bar Noar, a Tel Aviv gay youth center, will be turned into a protest against violence following Thursday's stabbings. At 7:30 P.M a Peace Now rally will be held at Tel Aviv's Rabin Square, and from there the participants will march to Gan Meir, where another rally is scheduled to take place. Opposition leader and Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog is scheduled to speak at the Rabin Square rally, as well as Meretz leader Zehava Galon, Zionist Union MK Amir Peretz, former Shin Bet chief Carmi Gilon and more. The Jerusalem rally will begin at 9:30 P.M. in Zion Square. A protest will also take place at 8:00 P.M. in the northern city of Haifa, and at 8:45 P.M in the southern city of Be'er Sheva.
During yesterday's arraignment the deranged attacker declared that he does not recognize the authority of Israel's legal system as he was acting under orders from God.

RELATED: Yesterday the New York Post published an op-ed which denounces the resurgent claims of "pinkwashing" that appeared on social media after Israeli politicians and religious leaders unanimously expressed outrage about the attack. An excerpt:
Their voices arrived this week both loudly and swiftly, often cloaked in the veil of “pink-washing” — the academically vogue assertion that Israel uses its pro-LGBT record to obscure its Gaza blockade and West Bank occupation. Transgender activist Pauline Park declared Thursday on Twitter: “Jerusalem LGBT PrideParade attack by Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Assailant undermines Zionist Pinkwashing Propaganda.” “Will the Zionists continue their pinkwashing campaign?” asked another on Twitter.

Indeed, across the #pinkwashing spectrum, posters insisted that Israel is actually unsafe for its LGBT citizens, that it’s far from a liberal haven and that Netanyahu’s good wishes are merely political showmanship. As with most socio-political-cultural conflicts, the truth is at once far simpler — and more complex. Indeed, much as in other Western democracies, Israel’s open society can cultivate extremists who may act out with violent results. Yet despite their horror, these egregious examples do not render those societies fundamentally violent.

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New Order - Restless

Via Pop Matters:
“Restless” takes me back to Club Paradiso in Amsterdam, a church converted into a dance club. There is a reason why New Order never grow old or fade. Their sound has become archetypal of not only an era, but also of specific nighttime emotions. New Order has become synonymous with that eloquent longing that only comes at 3am after several glasses of champagne cognac and hours of dancing under the multicolored spotlights of a club. The world turns and we turn with it and in that dizzying waltz we grow reverent and speechless. “Restless” is the sound of sanctus bells calling the faithful to worship.
Other reviews at the link are less glowing.

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Seen In Brooklyn

Via Laughing Squid:
New Zealand street artist Owen Dippie, the incredible mind behind the Renaissance Mutant Ninja Turtles mural, recently created “The Radiant Madonna“, a giant mural that features the Virgin Mary cradling a distinctive Keith Haring figure on the side of a Brooklyn building. Dippie explained the concept behind the mural, which was done in cooperation with the Bushwick Collective, “If art is a religion then Keith Haring is a god”.
(Tipped by JMG reader Wilson)

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Huckabee Has A Sugar Daddy

Politico has the details:
Almost all the money raised by the super PAC supporting former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee came from one donor: Ronald Cameron of Little Rock, Arkansas. Cameron, the CEO of the agribusiness behemoth Mountaire, gave $3 million to the pro-Huckabee super PAC Pursuing America’s Greatness, according to a Friday FEC filing. Cameron is a regular donor to major Republican causes. After Cameron, Sharon Herschend of Herschend Family Entertainment donated $500,000 to the super PAC. Real estate investor Jon K. Gibson and Cary Maguire, president of the Maguire Oil donated $50,000 each. In total, the super PAC raised $3,604,855.94.
In other words, about 98% of the donations came from just three donors.

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The Lion King: The Retribution of Cecil

A rip on the social media reaction.

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Tony Perkins On The "Un-Equality Act"

"The entire purpose of the 'Equality Act' (better titled the 'Un-equality Act') is to provide special privileges to people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered by incorporating sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity into laws regarding employment, like ENDA would. But it doesn't stop there. It would also encompass laws governing public accommodations, public facilities, public educational institutions, private employment, housing, credit, and jury selection. This 'Un-equality Act' would change more than twenty-five provisions of the U.S. Code and would effectively require high schools to allow boys in the girls' locker rooms, strip elementary schools of the authority to dismiss a kindergarten teacher for transitioning from a male to a female during the course of the school year, and could force religious hospitals to provide sex-change operations and family-owned businesses to affirm such behavior. Not only that, but this sweeping legislation specifically limits the ability of people who object to its requirements from seeking accommodations based on their religious beliefs in natural marriage. Thus, in the battle between special rights for homosexuals and freedom, the Equality Act strips conscientious objectors of their freedom and would, by law, require their compliance with the LGBT agenda." - Hate group leader Tony Perkins, via email.