Friday, August 07, 2009

Evening View - Tranquility Base

Aaron, Chris and I got a later start than normal this morning, so we're just now setting up camp in the twilight. It's "Illuminations" weekend at Hillside, the time when everybody decorates their sites with strings of lights and many, many, many tea candles. Gay. The entire camp is mobbed this weekend, with more tents per site than I've ever seen. Should be a blast, I haven't been here for Illuminations in several years.

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80's Flashback

The Specials, Ghost Town, 1981. One of my favorites from my year-long obsession with 2-Tone Records. Although I don't think I quite got it at the time from Orlando, the song is a statement on Margaret Thatcher's policies during a period of rife unemployment in the UK. I just thought it was spooky and cool.

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HomoQuotable - Melissa Etheridge

"We (gays) are a sweet group of people who just really want to love and dance. We want to work and decorate our homes and fix up our houses. For us to have to fight for our equal rights for that is really strange."

"I could have probably been under that label (sex addict) but I was more of a drama addict. Lots of drama (in my 20s). I really, really enjoyed a woman's touch. I enjoyed being intimately connected to another woman. And I enjoyed it a lot and with a lot of different women. I just really liked it. I would think it was a beautiful, amazing thing that would make me feel good, and then in the morning, I didn't feel so good. There was a lot of dishonesty that came with it. If I had been really honest, I probably would have felt better about it. There was an emptiness that only I could fill, but I was looking for others to fill it." - Melissa Etheridge, speaking to LA's Lesbian News.

(Via - Rex Wockner)

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Hawaii Pol To File Bill To Force Release Of Obama's Birth Certificate

According to World Net Daily, Hawaii state Sen. Will Espero has filed a bill to force his state's Department of Health to release Barack Obama's "long-form" birth certificate.
Espero told WND his bill is aimed at "giving citizens access to birth records" under a standard of government transparency which would permit journalists to request in writing the public disclosure of vital birth records including long-form birth certificates of all persons born in Hawaii. He said it would include the release of birth records on those previously born in Hawaii. "My decision to file the legislation was primarily a result of the fuss over President Obama's birth records and the lingering questions," Espero said. Espero told WND that he believes President Obama was born in Hawaii. "My motivation is strictly to promote transparency," he said. "When I found out that Hawaii birth records were not available to the public my first thought was, 'Why wouldn't they be available to the public?' "As far as I am concerned, records regarding whether a person was born here or not should be in the public domain," he said.

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Maddow On Astroturf Anti-Reform Group Americans For Prosperity

Americans For Prosperity is an astroturf organization, one that poses as being comprised of "grassroots" individuals, but is actually largely funded by corporations opposed to reforms that would hurt their profitability.

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Gotham Coffeehouses Cracking Down On Laptop Lingering

With so many of NYC's unemployed spending their idle time in coffeehouses, hovering for hours over their laptops, shop owners are beginning to put their foot down.
Amid the economic downturn, there are fewer places in New York to plug in computers. As idle workers fill coffee-shop tables -- nursing a single cup, if that, and surfing the Web for hours -- and as shop owners struggle to stay in business, a decade-old love affair between coffee shops and laptop-wielding customers is fading. In some places, customers just get cold looks, but in a growing number of small coffee shops, firm restrictions on laptop use have been imposed and electric outlets have been locked. The laptop backlash may predate the recession, but the recession clearly has accelerated it. "You don't want to discourage it, it's a wonderful tradition," says Naidre's owner Janice Pullicino, 53 years old. A former partner in a computer-graphics business, Ms. Pullicino insists she loves technology and hates to limit its use. But when she realized that people with laptops were taking up seats and driving away the more lucrative lunch crowd, she put up the sign. Last fall, she covered up some of the outlets, describing that as a "cost-cutting measure" to save electricity. So far, this appears to be largely a New York phenomenon, though San Francisco's Coffee Bar does now put out signs when the shop is crowded asking laptop users to share tables and make space for other customers.
A friend of mine boasts that he can stretch a $3 coffee into four hours of free wi-fi at his local joint. I guess those days are ending.

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Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) To Resign, Will Charlie Crist Appoint Himself To Replace?

Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) had already said that he would not run for re-election in 2010, clearing the way for Gov. Charlie "Closet Case" Crist to run for his seat. But today Martinez told his staffers that he is resigning and will not return to Washington after the August recess. That clears the way for Crist to appoint himself to replace Martinez in the U.S. Senate. Sources say Martinez is resigning to deal with "family problems." Ruh-roh! Appalacian Trail!

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The Guy Leading The Fight Against Health Care Reform Paid $1.7B Fine For Fraud

When Rick Scott was the CEO of Columbia/HCA, then the nation's largest health care provider, his company had to pay $1.7B, the largest fine in American history, for systematically defrauding the government on Medicare billing. Now Scott is the founder of the Conservatives For Patient Rights, the astroturf group buying airtime to oppose Obama's health care reform plan. CNN's Rick Sanchez tears into him.

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Orly Taitz, Remixed

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Anti-Gay Maine Group Agrees To Ethics Pledge (With Lots Of Provisos)

Yesterday No On 1/Protect Maine Equality issued a campaign ethics challenge to the anti-gay groups working to repeal marriage equality. Stand For Marriage Maine responded immediately, saying they'd be delighted to sign the pledge, but with the following provisos.
1. Agree to at least one public debate with the media invited to cover it live. The voters deserve to hear from both sides of this important issue in a forum that allows for a full discussion of the ramifications of LD 1020.

2. Agree that no contributor, volunteer or staff member will be harassed due to their participation in the campaign. Regretfully, supporters of marriage in California and other states were repeatedly harassed by gay marriage activists including posting their personal information on the Web, having their employers called, and subjecting them to various forms of intimidation.

3. Agree that property will not be destroyed, as has happened elsewhere. This includes destroying or defacing campaign signs, damaging vehicles containing bumper stickers and defacing churches that are active in the campaign.

4. Agree that churches on both sides of the issue will be dealt with respectfully and no attempt will be made to interfere with their lawful expression of beliefs or discussion with their members and the public.
In other words, Stand For Marriage Maine wants to hide the identities of their donors, they refuse to acknowledge that pro-gay Prop 8 activists were assaulted and harassed and had their signs stolen and their property defaced, and they don't want any objections when churches abuse their non-profit status and cross the line into political activism. They also make no pledge not to engage in the blackmailing of corporations that support marriage equality, as happened in California.

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PhoboQuotable - Robert Knight

"It [ENDA] takes away the idea that sex is created by God in two different categories -- male and female -- and it makes it entirely a radical, self-determined persona. The larger problem of this is it turns private sin into a public right. It puts Christian and Jewish employers on the defensive, saying that if you don't give in and accord civil-rights privileges based on behavior that you know is sinful, 'We're coming after you. We're going to fine you. We're going to punish you.' The bill criminalizes God's biblical morality in the workplace." - Coral Ridge Ministries leader Robert Knight. For decades, this Fort Lauderdale-based church and its globally televised ministry has worked tirelessly to repress LGBT people.

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Louisiana: Governor's Commission Won't Consider Adoption By Gay Couples

After a New Orleans-based LGBT rights organization pled their case to allowed unmarried partners to adopt in Louisiana, they were immediately shot down by one of Gov. Bobby Jindal's flacks.
"If anything, they (state marriage and adoption laws) should be strengthened,'' Rep. Frank Hoffman, R-West Monroe, a member of Gov. Bobby Jindal's 29-member Commission on Marriage and the Family, said. "Marriage is between one man and one woman, and we need to do all we can to support that." The commission viewed a 15-minute video titled "Families, Too,'' from the Forum for Equality, a New Orleans-based gay rights organization which supports laws that would allow unmarried heterosexual couples and gay couples to adopt children with each partner having parental control. A married couple, defined in Louisiana as a union of one man and one woman, and a single person of any gender can adopt. If a gay person enters into a relationship with a partner, that partner has no parental authority over the child, said Trey Williams, chief spokesman for the state Department of Social Services.
Most of the 29 members of Jindal's Commission on Marriage and the Family come from conservative and anti-gay organizations.

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Numerous Violations Found In Raid Of Forth Worth's Rainbow Lounge

The investigation of the raid of Fort Worth's Rainbow Lounge has uncovered numerous violations of procedures and the involved TABC agents and their superiors will likely face discipline.
"There were so many violations that one could readily assert that they had no business walking through the door," said state Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, who met with Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission officials Wednesday to discuss the report. The 32-page document outlines what happened during the controversial bar check by Fort Worth police and TABC agents at the gay bar, which led to six public intoxication arrests and left one bar patron, Chad Gibson, seriously injured. The report says agents Christopher Aller and Jason Chapman violated agency policy because they:

-Participated in the operation with Fort Worth police without approval.
-Were dressed in "unapproved" attire.
-Failed to follow bar inspection procedures.
-Failed to report using force against patrons.
-Failed to report that Gibson was injured.
-Disrupted business, among other things.

Aller told investigators that he violated some policies, according to the report. "I hope I’m not the scapegoat for some things.  . . . I’ll take the responsibility for the things I did wrong," Aller said.
A spokesman for the TABC said, "We know we violated the rules and bruised our relationship with the gay and lesbian community and the community as a whole. We want to do what we can to mend that." How about starting by firing everybody involved?

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More Town Hall Assholism In Michigan

At Rep. John Dingell's health care reform town hall meeting in Romulus, Michigan last night, hundreds of tea-birthers/birth-baggers screamed and cursed at the legislator, then erupted into cheers when a LaRouche supporter paraded into the room with an Obama=Hitler sign.

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Babs! In Concert! In NYC!

I'm not a fan but I know my homos well enough to expect a little bit of squealing about this.
Forty-eight years after she first appeared in the club opening for Miles Davis, Barbra Streisand will celebrate the release of “Love Is the Answer,” her new album of jazz and popular standards, by performing a selection of its songs at the Village Vanguard on Sept. 26, according to her publicist, Ken Sunshine. The storied jazz club is a far cry in both size and atmosphere from Ms. Streisand’s usual settings, like the arenas where she played her last farewell tour in 2006. A chance to get free tickets to the Vanguard shows will be available only to those who either pre-order the CD or register for a lottery online. Full details and rules can be found on
Only 100 fans will be chosen from the lottery.

(Tipped by JMG reader Band)

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Punking The Birthers

The creator of the Kenyan birth certificate that Orly Taitz ran to the press with has come forward.
It’s looking more and more like the forged “Kenyan birth certificate” released by Orly Taitz on Sunday was a prank by a supporter of President Obama. Politijab points to an anonymous blogger at FearlessBlogging, who has uploaded four photos of the original forgery and a mocking declaration:

Fine cotton business paper: $11
Inkjet printer: $35
1940 Royal Model KMM manual typewriter: $10
2 Shilling coin: $1
Pilot Varsity fountain pen: $3
Punkin’ the Birthers: Priceless
Bwa ha ha ha.

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Mayhem At Tampa Town Hall Meeting

In what is becoming a national epidemic of assholism, a health care reform town hall meeting held last night in Tampa by Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) erupted into screaming, pushing, and violence. Things get worse as the clip goes on. According to a detailed report on Daily Kos, the protesters were organized by Glenn Beck.

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Glenn Beck Jokes About Poisoning Pelosi

RELATED: Beck's douchenozzelry is losing him advertisers.
Three companies who had run ads during Glenn Beck's Fox News show have distanced themselves from Beck, including LexisNexis-owned, Procter & Gamble and Progressive Insurance. We're told a P&G spot inadvertently aired during a weekend Beck broadcast, but that the company never had a regular buy for the show. The group called on their members to pressure advertisers to pull ads from Beck's show after he called Pres. Obama a "racist" who "has a deep-seated hatred for white people."
Fox claims they are merely moving to clients to other time slots and "no revenues have been lost."

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Gay Miami News Anchor Fired After Filing Discrimination Complaint

Less than a week after filing a complaint alleging that he'd been demoted for "acting too gay," Miami ABC newsman Charles Perez has been fired.
The drama all began in June, when Perez was "demoted" from the local ABC nightly evening newscast to the weekend edition -- and Perez claims it was because the station felt he was "becoming too gay" for the public to handle. Perez decided to file a complaint with the Miami-Dade County Equal Opportunity Board, in which he details a performance review, where one of his bosses warned him that he smiled on air too much and that he and his female co-anchor were "like girlfriends while on the set." Perez believes he was fired in retaliation for filing the complaint with the EOB. The station claims Perez's recent "actions" left then "no real choice" but to fire him. Here's the catch -- the boss who demoted him is himself gay and issued a statement saying, "As a gay man myself, I can safely say the station does not discriminate against gay people." The station also denies the allegation.
Perez said he plans to file a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the station and its parent company, the Washington Post. According to Perez, the entire situation began when his ex-boyfriend forwarded his bosses a private email that wrongly implied Perez was interested in changing his gender.

UPDATE: Perez' ex, Dennis Pena, emailed the Miami Herald's Steve Rothaus to deny responsibility:

He got himself fired by his own actions, as the station stated. This situation gives me no pleasure. The whole thing is just so sad for everyone involved, mainly for Charles himself. I just wish he had ears for wise advice. I wish him well.


Dennis Pena.

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Director John Hughes Dead At 59

The king of teen comedies, director John Hughes, died today of a heart attack while taking a walk in Manhattan
The 59-year-old was taking a morning walk in New York when he went into cardiac arrest, according to Michelle Bega. He was in Manhattan visiting his family. Hughes was famous for his countless hit movies in the 1980s including "Sixteen Candles," "Home Alone" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." His films made such young stars as Molly Ringwald, Demi Moore and Andrew McCarthy household names in the 80s, with fans dubbing the group of actors "The Brat Pack." Hughes was born in 1950 in Michigan and began his career in the field of advertising. At the time of his death, he lived in Illinois and set many of his films in the Chicago area. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Nancy, with whom he had two sons, John and James.
While I enjoyed Hughes films, for me the best part of his work was their soundtracks. But I will confess that my roommates and I could quote every single line of dialog from Sixteen Candles. I probably still can.

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Judge Disses Drag Troupe On
America's Got Talent

Judge Piers Morgan on drag troupe Diva League after their performance on America's Got Talent:
"There's no easy way of putting this. We are trying to find an act that can represent America on the world stage From where I sit, a bunch of lip-synching old drag queens who can't dance is not what America needs right now. It's not exactly Barack Obama. Nothing personal."

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Wise Latina Confirmed

Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed as the next Supreme Court Justice today in a partisan vote of 68-31. All Democrats approved, as well as nine Republicans. Sen. Ted Kennedy was too ill to be in the chamber. The GOP's ugly smear campaign against Sotomayor may have repercussions in the next election.
From the moment Mr. Obama chose her in May, many political strategists warned Republicans that opposing the first Latina nominated to the Supreme Court would jeopardize the party in future elections. In the waning days of the debate, some Democrats sought to portray Republican opposition as a grave insult to Latinos. “Republicans will pay a price for saying ‘no’ to this judge,” Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, said in Spanish at a news conference Wednesday.
Party in the Bronx tonight!

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All Eyes On Maine

Today No On 1/Protect Maine Equality (formerly Maine Freedom To Marry) issued a call to its anti-gay opponents, asking them to endorse a standard of ethics in the battle to repeal same-same marriage. The Maine Code Of Campaign Practices is routinely signed by candidate for public office and No On 1 has sent a copy to the local Catholic diocese as well the campaign manager for the repeal effort.
“Maine has a longstanding tradition of campaigns that do not engage in mudslinging, lies, distortions and the politics of division,” said Jesse Connolly, Campaign Manager for NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality. “Maine voters expect us to take the high road, avoid poisonous attacks, and make our case based on fact and principle. Today, NO on 1 pledged to abide by that high standard, and we invite our opponents to join us and deliver the kind of campaign that Maine voters want and deserve.”
Meanwhile, Lorri Jean, executive director of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, has called for Californians to turn their eyes to Maine.
It would be hard to overstate the importance of a victory in Maine. Such a victory would be the first clear-cut, outright ballot box rejection of the kind of deceit, fear-mongering, anti-gay rhetoric they are sure to employ. Turning the tide there would change the landscape for all the fights to come. Yet this uphill battle will be hard to win without support and involvement from our community and our allies across the nation. So what can those of us in California and elsewhere do to help achieve that victory?

Decisions about whether and where to give money cannot be taken lightly in these tough economic times, but the stakes are high in Maine, and even a small contribution can go a long way in a state with only 1,400,000 residents. The anti-gay opposition is currently out-raising us by almost 3-to-1. We must help our side catch up to assure that their messages reach every voter. So please consider sending whatever you can. If you have the time and means to volunteer, the No on 1/Protect Maine Equality campaign will coordinate housing, provide training, and plug you into campaign teams.
Frank Schubert, the man who successfully engineered Proposition 8, has been hired to head the repeal effort in Maine.

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How To Get Ahead

Cafe FiGo, First & 68th, 1:30pm

Woman 1: After the meeting, the VP of sales told me that I made two of the junior clerks cry because they didn't make their targets. And then he smiled.

Woman 2: You are SO getting promoted.

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New Commenting System

As some of you have noticed by now, this morning JS-Kit began moving some of its customers over to their new ECHO system, including this here website thingy. Most of the JS-Kit features remain: you can embed YouTube clips, upload photos and gravatars, and link to your Facebook profile. Upgrades include being able to post your comments directly to your Facebook wall or Twitter feed, but since both sites are hacked today, good luck playing with that. I'm not crazy about the smaller font or the smaller gravatars and have requested returning them both to their former sizes. Feel free to compliment or bitch, they're reading.

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80's Flashback

Lois Bromfield, Sorority Girls From Hell, 1985. Arguably the most popular gay video bar clip of its day, this film by the openly lesbian Bromfield first appeared in former Monkees member Mike Nesmith's short-lived summer replacement show Television Parts. Ah, the stampede to the monitors at Fort Lauderdale's Cathode Ray when this was on. Picture two hundred gay men shouting in unison: "Look at your clothes, Irma! You can't even get a guy! LOOK AT YOU!" Bromfield went on to be a writer and producer for Rosanne and other shows.

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HIV Genome Decoded

Researchers at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill report that they have successfully decoded the entire HIV genome, a breakthrough that may lead to new antiviral therapy.
"We are beginning to understand tricks the genome uses to help the virus escape detection by the human host," said Kevin Weeks, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the study's main architect. Like the viruses that cause influenza and hepatitis C, HIV carries its genetic information in single-strand RNA rather than the double strand DNA found in all living organisms and certain viruses. This make is more difficult to decode because, unlike DNA, RNA is able to fold itself into intricate, three-dimensional patterns. Earlier studies have succeeded in modeling small regions of the HIV genome, which consists of two strands each containing nearly 10,000 nucleotides, the basic molecular building blocks of both DNA and RNA. Using a new technique, Weeks and colleagues produced images which, while lower in resolution, spanned a much larger area. The study, published in the British journal Nature, should help scientists discover ways in which the RNA genome determines the lifecycle of the HIV virus.
Other researchers applaud the achievement, saying this "aerial view" of the virus will allow scientists to understand its workings at the atomic level.

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Twitter Hacked

You're probably actually being productive at work today, as Twitter is down in a hacker attack.
Twitter co founder Biz Stone: "We are currently defending against a Denial of Service attack on this otherwise happy Thursday morning. Attacks such as this are malicious efforts orchestrated to disrupt and make unavailable services such as online banks, credit card payment gateways, and in this case, Twitter for intended customers or users. As I said, we are defending against this attack now and we'll continue to update our status blog as we continue to defend and later."
I feel a great disturbance in the Force. It's like a million teenage girls cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

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Julia Child, Homophobe

Tomorrow the movie Julie & Julia opens, starring Meryl Streep as famed chef Julia Child. The premise of the flick seems cute enough, but I thought I'd remind folks about the real Julia Child, whose casual homophobia was so famous, she was sued in 1992 for blocking a gay chef from an executive position with the American Institute for Wine and Food. From a 2007 Boston Magazine article:
Homophobia was a socially acceptable form of bigotry in midcentury America, and Julia and Paul participated without shame for many years. She often used the term pedal or pedalo—French slang for a homosexual—draping it with condescension, pity, and disapproval. “I had my hair permanented at E. Arden’s, using the same pedalo I had before (I wish all the men in OUR profession in the USA were not pedals!),” she wrote to Simca. Fashion designers were “that little bunch of Pansies,” a cooking school was “a nest of homovipers,” a Boston dinner party was “peopled by 3 fags in an expensive house…. We felt hopelessly square and left when decently possible,” and San Francisco was beautiful but full of pedals—“It appears that SF is their favorite city! I’m tired of them, talented though they are.”
Although the article notes that Child appeared to have softened in her later years and spoke sympathetically at an AIDS fundraiser in 1988, the lawsuit that came a few years later tells us that perhaps she didn't change that much. Many excuse Child's attitudes as typical for her day, but one has to wonder how someone could maintain a decades-long homophobic posture in a gay-heavy environment like professional cooking.

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Netanyahu: Tel Aviv Attack Was Terrorism

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the site of the shooting at a Tel Aviv LGBT center today, saying the attack had "the markings of terrorism."
Netanyahu said that while all murders were shocking, Saturday night's killings were particularly so. "The idea of someone entering a youth club and beginning to commit serial murder - it bears the markings of a terror attack," he said. The premier said he believed stereotyping and denigrating people was wrong and unacceptable. "We are all created in god's image. We all have fundamental rights, the first of which is to be treated with respect by others and give [them] the same respect," he said. "Anyone who has suffered from gratuitous hatred, as an individual or in a group, knows how painful and unacceptable it is. This is something we must uproot from society as much as possible," he added. "I think Israeli society has made progress towards tolerance, and I hope and feel certain that we can make further progress."
Netanyahu was accompanied by Tel Aviv's mayor and police chief. All pledged to find the shooter. Vigils have been held around the world since Saturday, with demonstrations seen in Berlin, London, Paris, NYC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC and elsewhere. Another vigil will take place on Saturday in Tel Aviv at Rabin Square.

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Test Your Faith-Vision

Another winner from Edward Current.

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Error Rate Increasing On Referendum 71

Washington state auditors report that the percentage of bad signatures on the petition drive to repeal domestic partners legislation is increasing.
"Overall, 23,457 signatures have been processed, with a cumulative error rate of 13.31 percent. Sponsors need to get 120,577 of their signatures declared valid in order to secure a ballot spot. They turned in 137,689 signatures back on July 25. That is 14.2 percent above the bare minimum. With their 17,112 extra signatures, they could sustain and overall error rate of 12.42 percent," secretary of state spokesman Dave Ammons said in an e-mail. Ammons said the R-71 signature check should be completed by Aug. 17.
Many of the names have been rejected because they are not registered voters.

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Rupert Murdoch: You'll Have To Pay To View My News Sites

Rupert Murdoch, the largest owner of newspapers worldwide, says he plans to begin charging for access to all of their websites by next year.
Stung by a collapse in advertising revenue as the recession shredded Fleet Street's traditional business model, Murdoch declared that the era of a free-for-all in online news was over. "Quality journalism is not cheap," said Murdoch. "The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive distribution channels but it has not made content free. We intend to charge for all our news websites." The Australian-born press and television baron was speaking as his News Corporation holding company slumped to a $3.4bn (£2bn) net loss for the financial year to June, hit by huge writedowns in the value of its assets, restructuring charges and a dive in commercial revenue. Murdoch's newspaper holdings span the globe, from the Australian to the Wall Street Journal and to his News International stable in London. At present, only the Wall Street Journal charges a fee for online access and until recently, received wisdom in the publishing industry was that readers would not pay to read newspapers on the internet.
Yesterday Murdoch's News Corp posted a $203M fourth quarter loss which was largely driven by the declining MySpace.

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Maddow On Fake Protesters

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True Blood Love

True Blood's serodiscordant couple Bill and Sookie are getting married in real life.
It's true love for "True Blood" couple Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer. The two are engaged to be married, reps for both actors on the HBO vampire series confirm to PEOPLE exclusively. No further details were available. The two have been together since February 24 of this year. Paquin, who plays telepathic Sookie Stackhouse on "True Blood," is originally from New Zealand and won a 1994 supporting actress Oscar for her role as the precocious child in "The Piano."
What the funk going on with True Blood, anyway? Maryann is Satan or something, Sam turned into a bird, Lafayette is dealing V again, dirt-eating orgies, there's a second telepath, Bill's maker is a bitch, Jessica loves many subplots!

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Sean Hannity: Bill Clinton Handed PR Victory To North Korea

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APA: Ex-Gay Therapy Doesn't Work

Citing 83 studies performed since 1960, yesterday the American Psychological Association declared that "reparative therapy" for homosexuals does not work and should not be attempted. But you knew that.
In a resolution adopted by the APA's governing council, and in an accompanying report, the association issued its most comprehensive repudiation of "reparative therapy" — a concept espoused by a small but persistent group of therapists, often allied with religious conservatives, who maintain gays can change. No solid evidence exists that such change is likely, says the resolution, adopted by a 125-4 vote. The APA said some research suggests that efforts to produce change could be harmful, inducing depression and suicidal tendencies. Instead of seeking such change, the APA urged therapists to consider multiple options — that could range from celibacy to switching churches — for helping clients live spiritually rewarding lives in instances where their sexual orientation and religious faith conflict. The APA had criticized reparative therapy in the past, but a six-member task force added weight to this position by examining 83 studies on sexual orientation change conducted since 1960. Its report was endorsed by the APA's governing council in Toronto, where the 150,000-member association's annual meeting is being held this weekend. The report breaks new ground in its detailed and nuanced assessment of how therapists should deal with gay clients struggling to remain loyal to a religious faith that disapproves of homosexuality.
The APA's press release is here.

Wayne Besen: “Ex-Gay therapy is a profound travesty that has led to pointless tragedies and we are pleased that the APA has addressed this psychological scourge. It is our hope that persistent violators of the principles enumerated by the APA will be held accountable for their unethical actions.”

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Open Thread Thursday

It's time for some linky love. Give us the link to your own blog or one that you recommend.

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Friendly Voices - Brad Pitt

"I have love in my life, a soul mate--absolutely. When someone asked me why Angie and I don't get married, I replied, 'Maybe we'll get married when it's legal for everyone else.' I stand by that, although I took a lot of flak for saying it--hate mail from religious groups. I believe everyone should have the same rights. They say gay marriage ruins families and hurts kids. Well, I've had the privilege of seeing my gay friends being parents and watching their kids grow up in a loving environment." - Brad Pitt, speaking to Parade Magazine.

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80's Flashback

The The, Uncertain Smile, 1984. My favorite track from my all-time favorite rock album. There are several versions of Uncertain Smile and if you were clubbing back then, you'll probably know the ten-minute 12" version with the gorgeous sax and flute solos by Crispin Cioe. But this, the album version, closes with three minutes of astounding keyboard work by former Squeeze member Jools Holland, the likes of which I've heard nowhere else. The The had scant success in the U.S., although its primary member and creator Matt Johnson made a little bit of coin here last year when another fantastic track from Soul Mining, the gloomily cheery This Is The Day, was used in an M&M commercial.

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LGBT Online High School Launches

The nation's first online high school for gay youth has been launched out of the Minneapolis area, aiming to provide educational opportunities to ostracized kids around the country who have left school due to anti-gay tormenting and bullying.
Other online schools exist, as do bricks-and-mortar schools that serve gay students. But the Minnesota program is the first to combine the two features, according to the International Association for K-12 Online Learning. It is the brainchild of David Glick, the first online learning coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Education. He has received applications from students across the country and from faculty around the world. "We may not bring people closer physically — but we will in every other way," Glick said. "We want to make them feel more confident about who they are." The online nature of the school allows it to reach young people wherever they have Internet access — especially in rural areas, whose smaller populations makes a physical version of his school impossible, Glick said. It also removes gay students from potentially hostile school environments and places them in what he touts as a "safe and welcoming educational community." Instead of facing bullies every day, students would be learning with other students who understand their concerns.
Some educators fear that the online environment would only worse the isolation of LGBT students, but the school's backers say that student-teacher interaction is actually higher with online learning. Visit the site of the GLBTQ Online High School. The school is a registered non-profit and is accepting donations. Classes are slated to begin in early 2010.

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Money Woes For NYC Gay Men's Chorus

New York City's Gay Men's Chorus may have to disband unless its financial situation turns around quickly.
Like so many nonprofit arts organizations in this economic downturn, we are hurting,” said Rick Clodfelter, Chairman of the Board of Big Apple Performing Arts, Inc., the umbrella organization for the NYCGMC. “Decreasing donations, limited resources and the rising costs of production make it more difficult than ever for a community arts organization to survive. Our goal is to raise $500,000 to enable us to retire debt, proceed with our 30th season and ensure we are better positioned to advocate for equality in the future.”

In addition to reaching out to elected officials for help and holding community wide fundraising campaigns, individual members of the choir have reached out to supporters through social networking sites. “We are not going down without a fight. We have drastically reduced operating expenses and embarked on a no-holds barred fundraising campaign,” said the choir’s executive director Peter Criswell. “We have remained a grassroots organization with many generous individuals and a few loyal corporate sponsors supporting us. In a better economy, that kept us afloat. However, with today’s economic downturn and rising costs, we will not be able to begin our 30th anniversary season without an influx of funds.”
Visit the Chorus' site for information on how to help.

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Olbermann On Health Care Reform

On Monday's show, Keith Olbermann issued another of his classic "special comments," this one on health care reform and how big pharma owns the votes of many legislators. Watch this.

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ENDA Introduced In Senate

Sen. Jeff Merkely (D-OR) introduced a fully inclusive version of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act to the U.S. Senate today, backed by Susan Collins (R-ME), Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Edward Kennedy (D-MA.) The Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee, of which Merkley is a member, will hold hearings on the bill before bringing it to the full chamber.

The House version of ENDA was introduced in late June. To learn how to lobby your legislators on this vital bill, join the Facebook group, Inclusive ENDA.

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Male Rape Rampant In Congo

The New York Times reports that armed militias are raping male villagers in the Congo in order to force them into submitting to their control.
According to Oxfam, Human Rights Watch, United Nations officials and several Congolese aid organizations, the number of men who have been raped has risen sharply in recent months, a consequence of joint Congo-Rwanda military operations against rebels that have uncapped an appalling level of violence against civilians. Aid workers struggle to explain the sudden spike in male rape cases. The best answer, they say, is that the sexual violence against men is yet another way for armed groups to humiliate and demoralize Congolese communities into submission. The United Nations already considers eastern Congo the rape capital of the world, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is expected to hear from survivors on her visit to the country next week. Hundreds of thousands of women have been sexually assaulted by the various warring militias haunting these hills, and right now this area is going through one of its bloodiest periods in years.
Many of the victims refuse to come forward or seek medical attention as those that do become outcasts to their communities, referred to derisively as "bush wives."

The Freepers react in their usual sympathetic fashion.
- "Sodomites don't care if a man is gay or not... they want to fulfill their lust, like an animal ... that's what Sodomites do and it's very, very close to beastality... we have adjusted and adapted and put up with this filth to the point that we are in the dung hill with them."
- "More AIDS checks from Hussein are on the way!"
- "I'm betting Elton John is booking a week's stay as we speak!"
- "Now that you mention it, I saw Barney Frank was signed up for a trip to the Congo with Anderson Cooper."

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BiQuotable - Gerard Butler

“I talk about my sexuality, but it’s always glossed over. People seem to shy away from the issue. Whenever it is discussed, its distended and exaggerated. Gerard Butler is gay. No I’m not. I don’t know myself what I am so it can be bewildering to see that being plugged. I have been in relationships with women. And men. That doesn’t make me gay. That doesn’t make me straight. Its hard enough to go through these things in my mind without being scrutinised about it so there are times when you want to close the door and say my sexuality is my own personal business." - 300 star Gerard Butler, in a 2004 Movieline interview just now getting attention.

UPDATE: Movieline is saying that the story is a fake! It looks like this all started on Saturday on the LiveJournal community forum Oh No They Didn't. And they got it from an April 20th posting on the UK film fan forum Female First, where the very first commenter called out the story as false. Hmm. Thanks anyway to all the JMG readers who bombarded me with the tip this morning.

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Photo Of The Day

American journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling greet their husbands and families after Bill Clinton helped negotiate their release from North Korea. The two women were pardoned after 140 days, having originally been sentenced to 12 years in prison for entering the country illegally. Laura Ling is the sister of famed television reporter Lisa Ling.

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Wisconsin's DP Law Goes Into Effect

Wisconsin's domestic partners law went into effect yesterday and gay folks appeared at county clerk offices around the state to apply for the 43 protections granted by the new legislation. Anti-gay groups including the Alliance Defense Fund are suing to overturn the law, saying it violates the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

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DNC Calls Out GOP Wingnuts

The Democratic National Committee has produced a television ad calling on the GOP to rein in their nutcases. Lost cause.

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El Paso Sees Fight Over Partners Vote

After suffering poor national press due to a group of gay men threatened with arrest for kissing in a local restaurant, last week the El Paso, Texas city council voted to extend domestic partner benefits to the city's gay and unwed employees. Right on cue, Christiantists showed up at last night to scream their heads off.
"If our government starts passing laws that are against guidelines in the Bible, it starts to contaminate the spiritual water of our people ... What does God say about homosexuality? He says it is an abomination," said Barney Field of El Paso for Jesus. After the pastors had their say, local activist Lisa Turner spoke up in response to the pastors' comments. "These are the people that are preaching hate. You tell me where in your Bible does it say to preach hate," said Turner. "Forty years ago they were using the same arguments against Black people."

The group made such a big show that they actually stopped Tuesday's meeting. However, because of a loophole in state open meetings rules, Council members were legally barred from responding. This led to several members of Council saying they were willing to stop the meeting and take the debate outside. Once outside, O'Rourke explained that concerns over what some see as "wasteful" spending by the city were unfounded. He explained that the cost of extending benefits to gay and unwed city employees would only add about $200,000 to a $700 million city budget. "It's a drop in the bucket," said O'Rourke. "Basically, what your concerns amount to is a moral issue."
It's presently unclear if city budgetary matters can be put to a popular vote, but local anti-gay activists say they are going to try.

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Gay FL Cop Charged With Sex Crimes

UPDATE: Father Tony points out that despite the wording of the below Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel story, Bleiweiss' arrest report (PDF) makes it very clear that he was the one performing the oral sex, not his victims. The arrest report reads like a very, very bad porn script and may be NSFW.

Openly gay Broward County sheriff's deputy Jonathan Bleiwiess, 29, has been accused of coercing eight illegal immigrant males into performing oral sex on him during traffic stops.
Bleiweiss, arrested Monday, faces 14 charges, among them three counts of sexual battery by a person in authority, four counts of battery and one count of stalking. He's accused of intimidating at least eight men in his Oakland Park patrol district into performing sex acts with him during traffic stops. "This is not an act that necessarily impacts the gay community," said Michael Rajner, a local gay rights activist who lives in Pompano Beach. "This is an act of an individual, not a community." Investigators said they opened the case in April, after learning a deputy was committing the assaults. Officials on Tuesday declined to say when Bleiweiss became a suspect. He was removed from road patrol in mid-July, only after there was substantive proof to make a case, said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright. The court documents state the men positively identified Bleiweiss from a photo lineup starting in July. Eric Schwartzreich, the deputy's attorney, said, "I do point out that they are allegations by undocumented aliens, that at this point in time I'm not seeing any physical evidence to support the allegations." During a bond hearing on Tuesday, he said it was too early to fully comment on the case.
Bleiweiss was recently lauded for his work in LGBT activism, such as organizing a 30-member team from his department to take part in the local AIDS Walk.

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Tweet Of The Day

"With sadness in my heart, I've decided not to return to #IDOL. I'll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all ...being a part of a show that I helped from day1become an international phenomenon ... What I want to say most, is how much I appreciate the undying support and enormous love that you have showered upon me ... It truly has been breathtaking, especially over the past month ... I do without any doubt have the BEST fans in the entire world and I love you all." - Paula Abdul.

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Mayor Stu Reprimanded Over Outfit

Silverton, Oregon Mayor Stu Rasmussen, the nation's first transgender mayor, was reprimanded by his city council yesterday for wearing a short skirt to a youth meeting.

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

BREAKING: President Obama Actually A Bewildered Man From Adelaide, Australia

I can't wait for Orly Taitz, who seems to have fled to Israel, to respond to this. Via ABC News Australia:
An unsuspecting Adelaide public servant has found himself swept up in a conspiracy to oust the 44th President of the United States from office. A movement known as the Birthers, which originated in California, is attempting to prove that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, therefore making him ineligible to be President. In a bid to stake their claim they released what appeared to be a Kenyan birth certificate with Obama's name on it. Sceptics soon traced the bogus birth certificate and found it to be a forgery. The document turns out to have been based on the birth certificate of an Adelaide man called David Jeffrey Bomford.

Dina Rosendorff broke the news to him. DINA ROSENDORFF: David Jeffrey Bomford's language was a touch too colourful for radio when PM first contacted him with news his birth certificate had been used in a bid to oust Barack Obama. Now that he's come to terms with his unwitting involvement in an international conspiracy, he's slightly more amused. DAVID JEFFREY BOMFORD: (Laughs) That is ridiculous. Little old person in Adelaide, the President of the United States. I don't know whether to laugh about it or not, be worried about it. It is interesting someone from here being involved in a conspiracy - that is so funny.
Not a word about this on World Net Daily. Of course not.

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80's Flashback

Vanessa, Upside Down (Dizzy Does It Make Me), 1982. Cheese! Camp! Cheesy camp! This clip by Dutch disco queen Vanessa, whose makers obviously watched ONJ's Physical a few times, was quite popular in gay video bars thanks to all the beefcake. I remember being told that one of the bodybuilders was a gay U.S. porn star, but one of you guys will have to give us his name. (It might be the guy doing preacher curls, I'm not sure.) Vanessa is married to one of the richest guys in Holland and staged a comeback a few years ago, appearing at Amsterdam Pride in 2005. File this one under "guilty pleasure."

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Happy Birtherday, Mr. President

Barack Obama turns 48 today. Still can't believe I'm older than the president.

UPDATE: New image via Andrew Sullivan.

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Heather & Chelsea Edgett - The Proposition

Married ladies Heather and Chelsea Edgett give us a lovely tune about Proposition 8. Love it. Sweet kiss at the end, too.

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Miami ABC Anchor Charles Perez: I Was Demoted For Acting Too Gay

Miami news anchor Charles Perez has filed a sexual orientation discrimination complaint against his ABC employers, claiming he was demoted for acting "too gay." A personal email forwarded to Perez' bosses by his former boyfriend may have started it all.
Perez, 46, claims station bosses demoted him to weekend anchor/reporter ``because of their discomfort over the increasingly high profile of my sexual orientation,'' reads the complaint. The filing summary details Perez's quick descent at Channel 10, which began weeks after a March 3 performance review, when Perez says that WPLG News Director Bill Pohovey told him he was "too anchor-like and too `Brian Williams' in my delivery.''

On March 16, a private e-mail from Perez written to a family therapist was forwarded to everyone in the reporter's online address book. The e-mail said Perez told the therapist he needed to work through his "gender identity issues.'' Three days later, Pohovey called Perez into his office for a "new'' performance review, this time saying Perez came across "too soft,'' didn't sound "main anchor-like'' and smiled too much with co-anchor Laurie Jennings. "Like girlfriends.'' On April 3, Perez went to court seeking a restraining order against his former partner, Dennis Ricardo Peña, whom he accused of leaking the private e-mail. Later that month, Perez claims he ``began to disappear'' from station promotional spots. He lost the weeknight anchor seat July 22.
Perez' boss: "This is an outrageous accusation. As a gay man myself, I can safely say the station does not discriminate against gay people. Charles' claim that the station discriminates against gay people is untrue and offensive.''

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Linda Harvey: JMG Is A Liar

Mission America founder Linda Harvey is very upset about my post characterizing her as saying the murder victims in Tel Aviv got what they deserved for being at a gay event.
If you have landed here from the "joemygod" blog, you now need a dose of reality --unless you are one of the deranged people actually wishing harm to Linda Harvey in the comments, or totally mis-characterizing a phone call with her, or making personal attacks because they can't debate the points. Oh,the glories of "tolerance"! Regarding the Tel Aviv shootings and our news release, Joe has done what is all too common among homosexual bloggers-- he mispresents the truth ( which is a nice way of saying, he lies). Whether it's incompetence or deliberate distortion, we can't say.

If you read our statement, it doesn't say anything close to what Joe's summary says it says: "Harvey goes [sic--I think he left out the word "on" here] to say that if those kids hadn't been at a perverted gay youth event in the first place, they wouldn't have been killed. In other words, that's what you get." Not true! Where did our press release say anything like this? He can read minds--then why is he wasting his time on a blog? Get into the stock market, Joe!! We do NOT blame these kids. All we are saying is that these centers promote homosexuality; we oppose homosexuality; the behavior is problematic for kids; and we always hope for kids to have long and happy lives. Which is why our headline says, "Mission America CONDEMNS Shootings." Very easy to read, if one takes the five seconds to do so.
Linda Harvey's words spoke for themselves and I stand by my original post. Calling me a liar or saying that I "mispresent" the truth, doesn't change the naked hatred of Linda Harvey's message. As is typical for those in the anti-gay movement, Harvey professes to love gay kids while simultaneously telling them they are disordered, sick, and doomed. I'm sure that when the next gay kid kills himself because of her campaign of hate, Linda Harvey won't take the slightest responsibility, but will say, "Oh, dear! Isn't it just too bad he isn't still around to hear my message about the wrongness of homosexuality!"

Which is exactly what she said about Tel Aviv.

UPDATE: Please join the Facebook group Fight Mission America.

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UK Boxer To Transition Gender, Wants To Fight As A Woman

British professional boxer Rob Newbiggin says he was born intersexed and plans to transition to female, after which he hopes to fight as a woman.
The 44-year-old father-of-three said he was born with the physical characteristics of a man, but had high levels of oestrogen in his body and was put up for adoption, according to several British media outlets. Newbiggin told the reporters that after his sex change operation he would change his name to "Mercedes." However, the decision to undergo the sex change has not been widely received from his friends. "I have lost every friend I have ever had in the world in this town." Rob, who is married with three children wants to continue boxing as a woman, although if this falls through he hopes to carve out a career as a model.
Some sports writers are speculating that Newbiggen is pulling a publicity stunt, while others are already moving on the issue of transwomen competing against born-women. Below, Fox News' Red-Eye crew is typically obnoxious.

NOTE: The original news alert I received on this story came with an incorrect photo which I've replaced.

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Search Engine "Death Penalty" For Sen. Kay Hutchinson (R-TX)

Sen. Kay Hutchinson (R-TX) is running for Texas governor against incumbent Rick Perry and her campaign staff thought it was a good idea to embed thousands of invisible search term meta-tags on her campaign site, including "rick perry gay." Oh, hilarious! The folks at Google and Yahoo didn't like that so much and have given Hutchinson the "death penalty," completely removing her site from their search results. Hutchinson's staff is blaming a vendor.
Hutchison's campaign initially told the Austin American-Statesman that "a vendor sold them on a tool that generates the phrases hourly or less in an attempt to divine the most frequent Web searches made by individuals who search online using one or all of the terms 'Rick Perry,' 'Kay Bailey Hutchison' and 'Texas'"--and plenty of people search for "rick perry gay." The tool was allegedly used to help make banner ad buying decision, said the campaign, a claim that makes little sense on its face. Why would such a list be inserted in the website's source code unless the goal was to draw search traffic to the site?
"Kate Hutchinson asshat." "Kate Hutchinson bukkake." "Kate Hutchinson sex tape." Whee!

(Tipped by JMG reader Atomische)

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WA: Low Rate Of Bad Names On Petitions

The rate of bad names found so far on Washington's domestic partners repeal petitions indicates that the measure may make the ballot, although it's very early in the count.
The secretary of state's office said Monday evening that it has completed its second day of checking signatures on Referendum 71 - the attempt to repeal Washington's "everything but marriage" same-sex domestic partner law. So far the error rate is low, 12.31 percent. R-71 proponents turned in 137,689 signatures - 14 percent more than the minimum needed to be placed on the November ballot. Whether Referendum 71 will ultimately qualify is still unclear. As of Monday state election workers had checked 11,502 signatures, and 10,087 have been OK'd with 1,415 rejected, mostly because the person does not show up on the voter rolls. Referendum sponsors need 120,577 valid signatures to earn a place on the November ballot.

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Auto-Tune The News #7

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Washington DC: Last Night's Tel Aviv Vigil

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Blue Nation

New from Gallup.

(Tipped by JMG reader Alex.

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Orly Taitz Meltdown!!!

You can't watch and yet you can't look away as birther loon Orly Taitz goes nuts.

RELATED: The Washington Independent thinks they've found the original Kenyan document that may have been altered to show Barack Obama's name.

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Monday, August 03, 2009

Anti-Gay Group Mission America On Tel Aviv Murders: Don't Blame The Religious Right (And That's What You Get Anyway)

Linda Harvey, the founder of Mission America, one of the viciously anti-gay groups that opposes the Day Of Silence in public schools, has issued a statement about the Tel Aviv murders. After a rote sentence denouncing the murders, Harvey launches into complaints that gay groups are blaming religious extremists.
"[I]t is deplorable this incident is already being used by the homosexual community to blame this act on those holding a traditional moral viewpoint. Israelis, just as anyone else on earth, should still have the right to oppose homosexuality for religious or other reasons without being called accessories to murder. The motive is still unknown; why engage in slanderous speculation? Are those who bravely stand up against the deviance of homosexuality—which violates the dignity and worth of those involved -- responsible for all crime against those drawn to the lifestyle? This kind of bigotry has no place in a civilized society and is wildly irresponsible, unjust and inaccurate.”
Harvey goes on to say that if those kids hadn't been at a perverted gay youth event in the first place, they wouldn't have been killed. In other words, that's what you get.
“It’s tragic that any teens go to these centers, and we remain unequivocally opposed to their purpose, which is to legitimize this behavior and draw young people into claiming a homosexual identity, often without parental involvement or knowledge. ” Harvey said. “Yet the reason we have for our opposition, is because of the harm homosexuality will do in these precious lives. I don’t know any pro-family conservatives who would wish more harm to come into these young lives. We are in the business of trying to help them avoid the risks simply by proclaiming there’s a better way.” She added, ”No one needs to be involved in homosexuality, but unfortunately, these two young people can no longer hear that message."
Feel free to give her a call: 614-442-7998.

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Chemical Attraction

Towleroad points out an interesting story about why mosquitoes prefer some folks over others. It turns out only about 10% of humans are "highly attractive" to skeeters.
"People with high concentrations of steroids or cholesterol on their skin surface attract mosquitoes," Butler tells WebMD. That doesn't necessarily mean that mosquitoes prey on people with higher overall levels of cholesterol, Butler explains. These people simply may be more efficient at processing cholesterol, the byproducts of which remain on the skin's surface. Mosquitoes also target people who produce excess amounts of certain acids, such as uric acid, explains entomologist John Edman, PhD, spokesman for the Entomological Society of America. These substances can trigger mosquitoes' sense of smell, luring them to land on unsuspecting victims. But the process of attraction begins long before the landing. Mosquitoes can smell their dinner from an impressive distance of up to 50 meters, explains Edman.
Sadly, I am one of those people getting dizzy from blood loss while everybody is completely unbothered. I am also one of those people who gets up in the middle of the night and turns on all the lights to stalk the little suckers.

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80's Flashback

Visage, Fade To Grey, 1981. Steve Strange, Midge Ure, and crew giving us some early New Romantic-ness. As I was already a Bowie freak, it was a short hop to Visage.

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