Tuesday, September 13, 2011
VIDEO: Marriage Vote In NC Senate
Today In Mildly Interesting Trivia
Pat Robertson: Stop Being So Jewish!
NORTH CAROLINA: State Senate Sends Anti-Gay Marriage Bill To 2012 Ballot
By a 30-16 vote, the Tea Party-dominated North Carolina Senate has voted to place a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage on the May 2012 ballot. Yesterday the state House approved the same bill. For the last ten years, Democrats beat back efforts to send such a bill to the voters, but they lost their majority in the 2010 elections. And the progeny of Ken Mehlman continue to spawn....
BRAZIL: Anti-Gay Televangelist Charged With Embezzling $300M From Followers
A major religious scandal is exploding in Brazil after one of the nation's best known anti-gay televangelists, Edir Macedo, was charged with embezzling $300M from his impoverished followers.
Three leading members of one of Brazil's most powerful churches have been accused of laundering millions in church donations and using worshippers' money for personal gain. The charges, unveiled on Monday by São Paulo's public prosecutor, relate to 404m reals (£150m) allegedly obtained from mostly impoverished churchgoers by leaders at Brazil's Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. The money was subsequently channelled out of the country via a network of offshore bank accounts and money changers, federal prosecutors claimed. Among those charged is Bishop Edir Macedo, a controversial televangelist who founded the church in 1977, and his financial director, Alba Maria Silva da Costa.Prosecutors says the actual amount funneled to offshore accounts could exceed $1 billion. Macedo is known for fiery condemnations of homosexuals and for his promise that donations to his ministry will be "returned ten-fold by Jesus." His church reportedly has eight million members worldwide.
Insulin May Help Alzheimer's Patients
According to a just-released study, an insulin nasal spray may help Alzheimer's patients with memory problems.
"The results of our pilot trial demonstrate that the administration of intranasal insulin stabilized or improved cognition, function and cerebral glucose metabolism for adults with aMCI or AD (Alzheimer's disease)," Suzanne Craft, of the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System and the University of Washington School of Medicine, and colleagues said in a journal news release. More research is needed to see if insulin therapy can be recommended for staving off the symptoms of Alzheimer's, but the researchers are optimistic about the findings. "Taken together, these results provide an impetus for future clinical trials of intranasal insulin therapy and for further mechanistic studies of insulin's role in the pathogenesis of AD," they wrote.
WASHINGTON: GOP Pays Anti-Gay Group To Train Capitol Hill Staffers
Roll Call reports that four GOP members of the House used congressional funds to send staffers to a leadership conference run by the Indiana Family Institute, an affiliate of the Family Research Council. And of course, that is weasel-y legal.
House rules prohibit the use of official funds for political purposes, but the House Administration Committee’s “member Handbook” allows expenditures for “ordinary and necessary expenses for Members or employees to attend conferences, seminars, briefings, professional training, and informational programs related to the official and representational duties to the district from which elected.” Josh Gillespie, Burton’s communications director and an alumni of the Indiana Family Institute training program, points out that the training is run through IFI’s nonprofit arm — not the PAC — so “any money coming from our office is not going to any political activity.” The IFI website describes the Hoosier Congressional Policy Leadership Series as a monthly class intended to “advance conservative policy and faith-based servant leadership principles” among Indiana “community leaders.”(Tipped by JMG reader Dave)
THE HAGUE: Pope Benedict Accused Of Crimes Against Humanity
At the International Criminal Court in The Hague, representatives of victims of child abuse today filed a formal accusation against Pope Benedict and other top Catholic officials, charging them with crimes against humanity for enabling pedophile priests.
The submission, lodged at The Hague on Tuesday, accuses the four men not only of failing to prevent or punish perpetrators of rape and sexual violence but also of engaging in the "systematic and widespread" practice of concealing sexual crimes around the world. It includes individual cases of abuse where letters and documents between Vatican officials and others show a refusal to co-operate with law enforcement agencies seeking to pursue suspects, according to the Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR), a US-based organisation that represents the claimants. Pam Spees, human rights attorney with CCR, said: "The point of this is to look at it from a higher altitude. You zoom out and the practices are identical: whistleblowers are punished, the refusal of the Vatican to co-operate with law enforcement agencies. You see the protection of priests and leaving them in the ministry and because of these decisions other children are raped and sexually assaulted."The above-linked report does not speculate on what legal repercussions, if any, this complaint may actually have on the Vatican or those accused.
UPDATE: The Catholic League's Bill Donohue reacts.
Most cases of molestation did not involve children, and they did not involve rape. The most common victim was a post-pubescent male victimized by homosexuals, the most common offense being "inappropriate touching." The figures being bandied about are nothing more than a wild guess provided by the Church's critics; they bear no relationship to reality. How do we know? Because when hard data are available on these matters, the projections are proven wholly inaccurate. Moreover, it is a lie to say that sexual abuse is being covered up at the highest levels of the Vatican. The homosexual scandal took place during the sexual revolution, and most of the offenses ended a quarter-century ago. To charge otherwise is scurrilous. The Holy See is not a member of the ICC, making it difficult to prosecute. Nonetheless, the Catholic League will contact the ICC today, providing documentation of our own that demonstrates how partisan this complaint really is.
What Will Historians Write?
Bryan Fischer: Help! I'm Being Oppressed!
DoD Rules For Post-DADT Military
Evangelists use a bullhorn to shout condemnation at partying Vanderbilt students. "No drunkard will enter the kingdom of heaven. Repent of your lust, your idolatry, your fornication! You need to flee from sexual immorality! You are a tool of Satan!"
Mittens: I'll Ban Unions From Politics
Magic Underpants, who has received millions in campaign donations from mysterious corporations, doesn't want unions to have that same right.
Speaking to reporters after touring a Boeing plant in South Carolina Monday, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney pledged to pursue legislation that would prohibit unions from contributing dues to political campaigns. “We have a very unusual circumstance in this country,” Romney said, “and that is that we allow union bosses to collect dues from union members and then to use that money as the union boss sees fit to elect people who might do their bidding. It’s unseemly at best.” “I will pursue and hopefully enact legislation which inhibits taking money in the form of dues and putting it behind political campaigns. That should not happen.”Corporate personhood? Fuck, yeah! Power to the people? Fuck YOU!
Rights Group Makes Demand On NY Town Clerks: Marry Gays Or Resign Your Job
Via press release from People For The American Way:
People For the American Way Foundation and Proskauer Rose, LLP, a global law firm, sent a letter this weekend to the Ledyard Town Board, demanding that the town’s clerk fulfill her legal duty to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The letter refers to Ledyard Town Clerk Rose Marie Belforti, who had publicly stated that she will not sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples and refused to do so for Katie Carmichael and Deirdre DiBiaggio on August 30. With the Ledyard Town Board’s permission, Ms. Belforti decided to stop issuing marriage licenses altogether due to her opposition to the Marriage Equality Act, instead delegating the responsibility to a subordinate officer.PFAW president Michael Keegan: "Public officials can’t pick and choose the laws they want to follow. If a public official simply decides to shirk the obligations of her office, then she should resign and be replaced by someone who will do the job and carry out state law. Enforcement of the Marriage Equality Act is not subject to the opinion of town clerks – it is the right of all New Yorkers."
Upon appearing before Ms. Belforti for a marriage license on August 30th, Ms. Carmichael and Ms. DiBiaggio were told by the town clerk herself that they could not obtain a license that day and instead would need to return by appointment another day to meet with a subordinate official who would fulfill their request. Faced with discrimination by an elected official who placed her personal prejudices above the law, Katie Carmichael and Deirdre DiBiaggio turned to People For the American Way Foundation for help in realizing their right to wed.
Cindy Jacobs: Rick Perry's Prayer Rally Broke The Curse Of Cannibalism
"The Native American people were cannibals and they ate people. And so you can see a manifestation of that in the churches where people turned against people and kind of cannibalized other people’s ministries. So there’s been a lot of prayer over that in Houston, Texas, they’ve done a lot of intercession over that and broke the curses on the land. We just had a prayer meeting in Houston a little a week ago, the governor of Texas, really as an individual instigated this, and 35,000 people showed up to pray and it was only a prayer meeting called within three months, three month period of time. So what happened? The land is starting to rejoice, you see, because of that prayer." - Self-proclaimed prophetess Cindy Jacobs.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Biggest Applause Line At CNN's Teabagger Debate: Let The Uninsured Die!
LIVE VIDEO: North Carolina House Debates Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment
NOM-Backed Orthodox Rabbi Makes Anti-Gay Robo-Calls Against Weprin
CONNECTICUT: Congressional Candidate May Lose Foreign Partner Due To DOMA
HomoQuotable - Jane Lynch
"If anything, I think people respect me for not hiding. But what it comes down to is we’re all just people. At the end of the day, I happen to go home to a woman. In Hollywood, all that matters is do you do your job and do it well. Everybody’s going to have their own story, and we have to leave it up to them to decide how and when they’re going to come out. I would never give anybody advice that way. It’s so personal." - Jane Lynch, speaking to The Advocate.
Madonna's Love Letter To Hydrangeas
WIKILEAKS: American Embassy Convinced Vatican To Oppose "Kill Gays" Bill
According to a leaked diplomatic cable, the Vatican came out against Uganda's still-pending "kill the gays" bill after lobbying efforts by the American embassy. Via Box Turtle Bulletin:
Embassy Vatican has actively lobbied Holy See officials to take a stand against pending legislation in Uganda that would criminalize homosexuality and in extreme cases, even punish it with death (reftel). On December 11, after the Ambassador raised USG (U.S. Government) concerns, Cardinal Antonelli Ennio, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, reaffirmed the Church’s position that legal approaches to homosexuality are inappropriate. Antonelli admitted that he had not followed the Uganda controversy closely, but agreed that Catholic bishops there or anywhere should not/not support the criminalization of homosexuality. The Ambassador urged the Cardinal to make sure bishops in Uganda understood this. Embassy poloff followed up with the Cardinal, providing information about the bill and USG concerns about it.The Archbishop of Uganda later came out against the bill in a speech that was broadcast on national television.
Obama's Speech On Israel Made God Destroy Missouri With Tornadoes
Deranged Escaped Mental Patient And Faded TV Performer Rails Against Obama
Quote Of The Day - Ruben Douchebag
"I praise the Lord that the National Organization for Marriage has given me opportunities to robo-call and send mailings to the voters in the 9th Congressional District about my support for Bob Turner's pro-family values. These efforts will empower Bob Turner with real support from New York's Hispanic community. I expect that the Hispanic vote in this race will be influential in determining who wins, and since the Hispanic community has traditional family values*, I believe they will vote for Bob Turner because of his position against gay marriage." - Reverend Senator Ruben "Douchebag" Diaz, via press release.
*And by "traditional family values," Diaz means shit-canning your first wife for a much younger model and staging fascist hate rallies against close family members.
SPOILER: True Blood
Pawlenty Endorses Magic Underpants
Somebody wants to be vice president.
Just weeks after abandoning his campaign for president, Tim Pawlenty is injecting himself back in with the endorsement of Mitt Romney. The expression of support for his former foe is a quick turnabout for the former Minnesota governor, who earlier this summer lampooned Romney over his "Obamneycare" healthcare reform plan. It also comes as the GOP race for president has entered a newly competitive phase between Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, and Perry, the current governor of Texas.
Morning View - Subway Thingie 2
This is the finished version of one of the several ginormous block-long Subway Thingies that have landed on Second Avenue. Each of the Subway Thingies completely blocks the windows of dozens of apartments and likely will for years. (Good luck selling THAT.) On this block, a handful of storefronts continue to struggle along in the narrow darkened tunnel between their front door and the Subway Thingie. Those little green signs on the fence around the Subway Thingie tell people that there are stores on the other side. Enter the tunnel at the blue dumpster!
FRANCE: Explosion At Nuclear Plant
Details are just starting to come in:
At least one person has been killed and three more wounded in an explosion which rocked on Monday a nuclear power plant in Marcoule, southern France. According to the rescuers, there is a risk of a radioactive leak after the blast. All of the plant's reactors have been shut down following the incident. There is no clear information immediately available as to how much risk the incident poses. The site is involved in the decommissioning of nuclear facilities, and operates a pressurized water reactor used to produce tritium. Sources say the blast happened in one of the workshops where nuclear waste is disposed of.
DADT Repeal Hastens End Times
"Jesus tells us in Luke 21 that before all the signs of His return ultimately are completed that they will take us before kings and rulers and persecute us in His name. And that is, just scripture, that’s prophesy, and I think we’re seeing that persecution now of Christians, particularly of Christians in uniform, Christians that are prominent Christians, Christians that are in the public eye. That persecution is going to increase as we come closer to the time of Jesus’ return." -Retired Gen. Jerry Boykin, speaking on Christian radio.
CA Bans Bans On Circumcisions
After several California cities saw attempts to outlaw circumcisions, the state legislature has approved a bill banning any future such attempts. The bill is now on the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown.
Lawmakers in The Golden State have sent a bill to Governor Jerry Brown (D) that, if approved, would ensure parents' rights to circumcise their male children. The state assembly approved AB 768 in a 67-2 vote, essentially deciding that local governments should be prohibited from banning the circumcision of male babies. The measure's proponent, Assemblyman Mike Gatto, says he introduced it because a ban on the practice would halt religious and medical freedoms.A federal version of Gatto's bill is being considered by the U.S. House.
Poll Predicts Upset Win For GOP In NY-9
A just-released Public Policy poll shows NOM-backed Bob Turner upsetting Assemblyman David Weprin (D) in the race to replace Rep. Anthony Weiner. The election is being closely watched nationwide as a possible bellwether on Obama 2012.
“If Republicans win this race on Tuesday it’s real-world evidence of how unpopular Barack Obama is right now,” said PPP President Dean Debnam. “Approval polls are one thing, but for the GOP to win in a heavily Democratic district like this would send a strong message about how unhappy voters are.” A Siena poll released Friday also found Turner ahead by six points in the battle to replace ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner. The poll from Democratic PPP found Socialist Workers hopeful Christopher Hoeppner at 4% and 7% of voters undecided. PPP surveyed 664 likely NY-9 voters by phone from Sept. 8-11 with a +/-3.8 margin of error. The survey found a surging Turner ahead 32 points, at 58-26, with voters unaffiliated with either major party. He's also grabbing 29% of the Democratic vote, leaving Weprin under 60% with his own party, while losing just 10% of Republicans.NOM has deluged the heavily-Jewish district with fliers claiming that Weprin "violated Torah law" by voting for same-sex marriage. The election is tomorrow.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Tired Old Queen At The Movies #83
Quote Of The Day - Paul Krugman
"What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons. A lot of other people behaved badly. How many of our professional pundits — people who should have understood very well what was happening — took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to the corruption and lending their support to the hijacking of the atrocity? The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it." - Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, writing for the New York Times.
RELATED: Krugman's column has already caused furor in the rightwing blogosphere, with GOProud's Chris Barron tweeting that Krugman "may be the most despicable human being to ever wander the planet."
This story makes its seventh annual appearance on JMG today.
Manhattan, September 11th, 2001
That day, I got to my office on 42nd Street at about 8:55am. About ten minutes later, I got a call from Thomas in Orlando. "Honey, you should look out your window because a plane just hit the World Trade Center!"
I have a fabulous view of the Chrysler Building from my office, but to see the World Trade Center I had to go downstairs and walk over to Fifth Avenue. There was already a crowd on every corner, shielding their eyes against the morning sun. All we could see was a plume of smoke. Just as I got back into my office, the word spread that a second plane had struck.
A few minutes later someone reported that the subways had stopped running and it only took about another 15 minutes before office decorum began to dissolve. Davita, our normally stoic sales manager, began sobbing, worrying about getting home to her daughter in Brooklyn. Some of our staffers nervously took post at our windows overlooking Grand Central Terminal, watching the sky over the Chrysler Building one block away. We all tried calling our families but got nothing but busy signals.
Our CEO called us into the conference room at 10am and announced, "It appears that the United States is under attack. I'm suggesting that we all try to make our way to our homes at once. Please call the office tomorrow before you come in, to see what our situation is." His voice was overloud, his nerves overcoming his normally lilting Liverpool accent.
A moment later someone with a radio announced, "One of the towers just collapsed." That sent the office scrambling for the door. A few minutes later I was on the street. I headed towards my apartment on 22nd Street in Chelsea and had just turned south onto Sixth Avenue when the second tower collapsed. I watched the top half of the building slide from view. Everybody stopped walking and stood in silent horror. From our distance there was no noise.
As I continued walking I began to pass people in varying states of distress. Lines began to form in front of payphones as cellphones were now useless. Taking a cue from Hurricane Andrew, I decided to stop at an ATM and get all the cash I could, remembering that it was weeks before the machines were restocked in South Florida. Lots of people had the same idea, there were long lines at every ATM that I passed. I was almost home before I finally found a deli with an unnoticed ATM in the back.
I pulled $300 from the ATM and headed up front with my cash, where I heard a couple of guys telling the clerk that they were going to head downtown and offer their help to the firemen. That hadn't occurred to me and it seemed like a good idea just then. Then a woman rushed in looking for bottled water, saying that she'd heard that the water supply was being turned off because it had been poisoned. That seemed quite possible, in the context of the day, so I followed her to the back of the store and picked up four gallons of water. I added a disposable camera to my purchase and struggled out. Once home, I changed into my heaviest jeans and my work boots. Our cable was out, the radio stations were out, so without much information I headed downtown.
There were crowds of people on most corners, staring southward. Anybody with a transistor radio drew an immediate crowd. The only stations on the air were those with towers in New Jersey. I got as far as Canal Street when I first encountered a police road block. They seemed to be stopping vehicles only, but when I tried to walk past the cops, they turned me back, saying, "Residents only." I guess I didn't look like someone who might live in Chinatown.
Above: Every corner offered a fresh perspective on the horror.Above: I veered east on Canal and a few blocks away I found many thousands of people walking home to Brooklyn across the Manhattan Bridge.Above: People were in a trance. There was little talking, just an occasional glance back at the smoke plume.Above: I walked out onto the upper part of the bridge and took this picture.Above: When I headed back south, along the edges of the financial district, I found many people wearing facemasks. I still have no idea where these thousands of masks came from, but when I came across one lying on the ground, I put it on.Above: The first physical evidence of the attack that I found was this heavy dusting. Above: This abandoned fruit stand struck me as a sign of the terror that must have reigned just a couple of hours earlier because the owner even left his cash box behind. It was lying open with money visible.Above: This cop wouldn't let me go past his corner, but he did tell me that he heard that volunteers were being advised at the Ferry Building. He didn't seem very convincing, I think he just wanted me to go away.
A few feet away, a female cop started screaming at some people who'd arrived with cameras. She shouted, "You're horrible ghouls! This is a terrible disaster and you fucking want souvenirs!" I shoved my camera deeper into my pocket. One of the guys shouted back at her, "This is history, lady! Terrible, terrible history! People need to know what we are seeing!"Above: This is John Street, looking west. Those spots on the picture are tiny pieces of paper, raining down from some damaged skyscraper.Above: Just around the corner, I was about 100 feet up the block when a gust of wind brought thick smoke down on top of me just as I was taking this picture. The darkness of the smoke prevented the camera from showing that this shoe was just one of dozens lying in the street. People had run right out of their shoes in the panic. I was very glad to have my facemask right then. Above: Taking this photo of the Stock Exchange almost got me sent to Leavenworth. As I learned a moment later, taking pictures of financial institutions during national emergencies can be considered an act of treason because you might be providing proof to the enemy of what they did or did not accomplish. While the news reporter standing next to me vehemently argued his case, I slipped away.
From here, I walked south to the Ferry Building, where as I suspected, there was no gathering of volunteers, just some dazed looking ferry employees and some passengers hoping for service to Staten Island. This is when I decided to give up on volunteering that day, there was just nobody around to report to. Nobody seemed in charge of anything, except the lone cops in charge of guarding their portion of the disaster's perimeter. The route to the west side of Manhattan was blocked from the Ferry Building, so I doubled back and circled the entire financial district, counter-clockwise, until I got to Battery Park City, intending to walk home up the West Side Highway.
I joined a ragtag group of office workers, perhaps a dozen or so, who'd just braved coming out of their buildings, and we walked on the sidewalk along the Hudson. We'd just about gotten to Tribeca when a police SWAT team of sorts appeared before us. One of them barked at us through his megaphone, which was a bit funny because he was only about ten feet away.
"You may not proceed in this direction. You may not return the way you came. You must all now join a mandatory evacuation of this area."
OK, fine. But if we can't go forward and we can't go back, what do we do?
"This tugboat is waiting to deliver you safely to Jersey City."
TUGBOAT? And indeed, moored there was a tugboat, one of those pushing things that steer the cruise ships into the harbor. The cops made us get on the tugboat. We protested, of course.
"This is for your own safety. We cannot allow you people to be wandering around this area. Once safely on the Jersey City side, you can re-enter Manhattan via the PATH train to the 33rd Street Station."
The tugboat crew had to lift us down onto the boat as there was no real dock there. In my group of evacuees was a dog walker who had eight tiny dogs on leashes. Once on the tugboat, it was noticed that the deck of the boat, which was an open-grill of sorts, was too wide for the little dogs' feet. We were each handed one of the dogs to hold while we crossed the Hudson. I got the pug. Above: This is the view as we pushed back from the west side of Manhattan.
Above: When we were about halfway across, another building collapsed. I never figured out which one it was, but you can tell it was just north of the Twin Towers.Above: This young paramedic stood with his hands over his mouth, sobbing. No one spoke to him. Above: On the Jersey City side, we were met by eager emergency workers who seemed genuinely disappointed that we had no injuries. A young girl gave me a wet towel to wipe my face and I was surprised to see the towel turn black after just one pass across my forehead. I walked through a big crowd of EMT's all set up with no one to treat. They were just sitting in chairs, watching the smoke rise from downtown Manhattan.
I heard one of the tugboat people ask about the PATH train, and she was told, "Oh, no. There will be no trains to Manhattan for at least 72 hours, by order of the Port Authority. The bridges and tunnels are closed too. You folks are going to have to make do over here for a few days."
I was furious. The cops on the Manhattan side had lied to us to get us onto the tugboat. I argued with a couple of the cops, telling them with great indignation of how we'd been deceived. One of them looked at me and said, "Buddy, if you want me to feel sorry for you, you need to turn around and look back at what you just left."
That shut me up.
A moment later, I had another attack of anger, this time at myself. I'd forgotten to take the $300 cash out of my work pants. I was in Jersey City, by myself, and in my pockets I had a disposable camera, an expired California driver's license and $6. I have no idea where the $6 came from. It could have been there since before I moved to NYC.
Trying to quell panic, I walked away from the pier towards downtown Jersey City in the direction of the PATH train station. I passed a young man sitting on a bike, studying the scene across the Hudson. Even in my very upset state of mind, I noted that he was very handsome.
"Joe! Is that you?"
I turned around. The guy on the bike was from San Francisco! He and I had fucked around once shortly after I got to SF and from then on I'd seen him out at the clubs every so often. My spirits lifted, maybe he could put me up for three days?
"Hi Ricky! What are you doing in New York?"
"Actually, I live here in Jersey City. I'm going to school here now. Been here for about a year. What a day, huh? Oh, here comes my boyfriend."
And up walked a Port Authority cop. I couldn't believe my luck. I quickly explained my situation to them. The cop looked me up and down, then said, "Well, you can understand why they lied to you over there. You must have been in a dangerous area. And we've been told there will be no trains, tunnels or bridges open for at least 72 hours. But...."
"There is going to be one more inbound train to Manhattan in about 20 minutes. The train's gonna be all fire-rescue and search units from Jersey. You could probably walk right onto that train and no one would stop you. You could pass for fire-rescue. Just don't talk to anybody. They're all from different units so they don't know each other anyway."
A few minutes later, Ricky's boyfriend, the Port Authority cop, walked me past the other cops and through the yellow tape blocking the PATH station entrance. We shook hands at the top of the escalator and I headed down. At the bottom of the escalator, I nearly gave myself away by instinctively heading for the fare machine, my $6 in my hand. Then I saw a fireman jump the turnstyle and I whirled around and did the same. The train left almost the moment I got on. I made it by 20 seconds, tops. Nobody spoke on the ride over. Not one word. I sat at the far end of the car and tried not to meet anybody's eyes, even though it was too late to throw me off.Above: When we reached the 33rd Street station in Manhattan, I walked upstairs to find the streets completely deserted of cars and buses. I have no idea where all those vehicles went, but this picture of Seventh Avenue, looking north, is the proof. That's the west entrance of Macy's on the right.
I walked home to Chelsea for the second time, that day.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
GOProud On 9/11 Anniversary
Florida Goes Gun Crazy
Now that the teabaggers are in charge of Florida's legislature, cities and counties are no longer allowed to enforce their local gun laws.
This year the State Legislature passed a new law that forces counties and municipalities to do away with, and stop enforcing, their own firearms and ammunition ordinances by Oct. 1. Mayors, council and commission members will risk a $5,000 fine and removal from office if they “knowingly and willfully violate” the law. Towns that enforce their ordinances risk a $100,000 fine. To comply with the law, cities and counties are poring over their gun ordinances, repealing laws and removing gun-related signs. In Palm Beach County that means removing ordinances that ban people from taking guns into county government buildings and local parks and from firing guns in some of its most urban areas. In Groveland, that means they can fire their guns into the air to celebrate. And in Lake County, firearms will soon be allowed in libraries.Madness.
RALLY: September 13th In Raleigh
Gays Are Worse Than Terrorism
"In the last twenty years, fifteen to twenty years, we’ve had maybe three terrorist attacks on our soil with a little over 5,000 people regrettably losing their lives. In the same time frame, there have been hundreds of thousands who have died because of having AIDS. So which one’s the biggest threat? And you know, every day our young people, adults too, but especially our young people, are bombarded at school, in movies, in music, on TV, in the mall, in magazines, they’re bombarded with ‘homosexuality is normal and natural.’ It’s something they have to deal with every day. Fortunately we don’t have to deal with a terrorist attack every day, and that’s what I mean. It’s more dangerous, and yes I think that it’s also more dangerous because it will tear down the moral fiber of this nation." - Oklahoma state GOP Rep. Sally Kern.
Friday, September 09, 2011
The Onion Spoofs The "WTC Cross"
Just in from The Onion.
Despite the surprising coincidence of finding a perfectly formed swastika amidst the broken girders of the Twin Towers, 9/11 memorial curators have opted not to display the symbol, choosing instead to leave it in the storage facility where it has been located for the past 10 years. "On the one hand, it's pretty miraculous that there was a precisely shaped 80-by-80-foot swastika found in the rubble of the fallen World Trade Center, but in the end, we decided not to include it in our plans for the museum," said memorial spokesman Stanley Morgenstern, adding that it would probably be seen as inappropriate. "Although you've got to admit that it is pretty incredible. Mathematically, what are the odds? It's amazing but, perhaps, not right for what we are trying to achieve with the museum." Upon hearing the news, neo-Nazi groups have complained about the exclusion, arguing that the giant swastika is "a sign from heaven" and that "9/11 affected all Americans, including those who believe in the inherent genetic superiority of the Aryan race
Orthodox Rabbinical Edict: It Is Against Torah Law To Vote For David Weprin
NOM is doing an excellent job of stoking the fires of anti-gay hatred among New York's Orthodox Jews. Today several dozen Brooklyn rabbis issued a letter declaring that to vote for Assemblyman David Weprin is a violation of the Torah. Because he voted for same-sex marriage.
“Weprin’s claim that he is Orthodox makes the chillul Hashem even greater,” states the letter signed by the Flatbush rabbonim. The letter states that it is therefore Assur“ [forbidden according to Torah law] to vote for, campaign for, fund or otherwise support the campaign of NY State Assemblyman David Weprin.” The letter contains several non-Flatbush signatories, most notably Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky and Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen. Many are upset about Mr. Weprin’s vote earlier this year in Albany to legalize same gender marriage in New York state, and particularly that Mr. Weprin cited his Orthodox Jewish faith as a reason to vote for the bill. The district that Weprin and his opponent, Republican Bob Turner, are vying for covers parts of Queens and Brooklyn and has a 3-to-1 Democratic registration advantage.RELATED: A Siena poll released today shows Weprin trailing Bob Turner by six points, a huge reversal from earlier polls.
Obama's Job Speech In 35 Seconds
Domestic Partners For Fort Lauderdale
A Quick Note About Sock-Puppeting
As some of you are already aware, I've begun banning the accounts of commenters who use the "hide comment history" function. While that feature is arguably useful to those who don't want JMG readers to see which other JS-Kit supported sites they visit, recent rampant sock-puppeting has forced this action.
To The Elderly: Don't Yell At Paul Ryan
As Congressman Paul Ryan cracked a joke about him, Tom Nielsen found himself face down on the floor being handcuffed by police. The 71-year-old retired plumber from Kenosha was thrown to the ground, placed in handcuffs, and arrested for trespassing and resisting arrest after objecting to Ryan's plans to gut Social Security and Medicare during his congressman's only public appearance scheduled during the August recess -- a $15 Rotary Club luncheon in West Allis on Tuesday.