Saturday, August 30, 2014

St. Louis Rams Cut Michael Sam

The St. Louis Rams released Michael Sam today in the final cut before the official season begins. ESPN reports:
Sam's efforts to become the first openly gay player in NFL history came up just short in a competition against undrafted rookie Ethan Westbrooks. Westbrooks is one of nine defensive linemen to land a roster spot. Sam officially hit waivers Saturday at 4 p.m. ET when all NFL teams had to trim their rosters down to the league-mandated 53 players. From there, the other 31 teams will have until noon ET on Sunday to put in a claim for Sam. If he goes unclaimed, he will be free to sign with a practice squad. According to one league source, the Rams would like to bring Sam back to their 10-man practice squad. "There will be no challenge, no challenges whatsoever," for whatever team picks up Sam, Rams coach Jeff Fisher said at a news conference. "There's no challenge with respect to Mike Sam," Fisher said. "He's not about drawing attention to himself. He kept his head down and worked and you can't ask anything more out of any player for that matter."
More from the Washington Post:
Now that Michael Sam has been released by the St. Louis Rams, failing to make their season-opening 53-man roster, the question becomes: What’s next for him? It appears that, following a productive preseason, he will have a home in the NFL, although it’s not immediately clear where that will be or what roster status he will have. The most likely outcome, according to people throughout the league, is that Sam ends up right back where he started and is re-signed by the Rams to their 10-member practice squad, making him eligible to practice with the team — and continue to try to develop into an NFL-ready player — but not play in games. That’s if he’s not signed by another team to its roster, which those in and around the league also consider possible.
The celebrating is already underway at Breitbart and Free Republic.

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Christian Site: John The Baptist Was Killed For Opposing Unnatural Marriage

The virulently anti-gay LifeSiteNews attempts to put a contemporary spin on the story of John The Baptist:
A Christian man was executed during the night by a high-profile ruler after making an uncompromising defense of real marriage. The Christian, who was renowned for his holiness, had told the ruler in public that his relationship with his partner was “against the law” of God. The Christian’s words enraged the ruler’s partner who successfully plotted to have him permanently silenced. John the Baptist was first imprisoned before he was beheaded. The Catholic Church honors him today, August 29, as a martyr and saint.

While John’s death happened a little less than 2,000 years ago, his heroic stance for real marriage is more pertinent today than ever before. According to the Gospel of Mark, the ruler Herod had ‘married’ his brother’s wife Herodias. When John told Herod with complete frankness, “It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife,” Herodias became “furious” with him to the point of wanting him killed for his intolerance, bullying, and hate-speech.

John the Baptist was not intolerant or a bigot, he simply lived the word of God without compromise, speaking the word of truth when it was needed, knowing that God’s way is always the best way. Were John alive today, he would be at the forefront of the grassroots movement opposing the social and political agenda to remake marriage in the image of man. If he were alive today he might speak simple but eloquent words such as, “It is against God’s law for two men or two women to be together as a husband and wife in marriage. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman." He would most likely be hated. He would be ridiculed. He would surely have the human rights tribunals throwing the book at him. But he would be speaking the truth and have God as his ally.
In other words, we are all Herodias.

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Headline Of The Day

Details.

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AUSTRALIA: Protesters Block Entrance As Hate Conference "Opens In Chaos"

Via the Guardian:
About 100 protesters blocked the entrance to the Catch the Fire evangelical ministries in the Melbourne suburb of Hallam on Saturday morning, where the controversial World Congress of Families conference was scheduled to begin. Many speakers, including the American campaigner Angela Lanfranchi, who planned to speak on the thoroughly debunked link between breast cancer and abortion, were unable to get through the gates in their cars. Their path was blocked by protesters holding signs with slogans such as “Our bodies are our property” and “Women are not incubators”. More than 30 police officers formed their own barrier on the opposite side of the gate in the quiet street of Star Crescent, located in an industrial area. It forced attendees to trickle through the gates one by one as church security struggled to establish whether they had registered. The Monty Python satirical song Every Sperm is Sacred boomed from a sound system organised by protesters. The protests were vocal, but largely peaceful. Two protesters were arrested as others chanted “What’s the charge?”
More from The Age:
One protester managed to sneak in as a registered guest, storming the stage and pouring fake blood over herself in front of NSW MP, the Reverend Fred Nile and his wife. "We don't want your backyard abortions," she yelled, before being marched out. Guests at the event were visibly rattled by the breach and turned to prayer as the woman was ushered outside. But despite ongoing protests at the gate throughout the day, the rest of the conference was incident free. Controversial American breast cancer doctor Angela Lafranchi was one of the headline acts, pushing her research suggesting a link between abortion and breast cancer. Reverend Nile, leader of the NSW Christian Democrats, called for more Christians to get involved in politics. And Paul Hanrahan, the executive director of Family Life International Australia, used his speech to suggest abortion was worse than terrorism in Syria. "Many people lately have been upset at the terrible atrocities being committed in the name of religion in Iraq and Syria and other places. Terrorists and terrorists' kids holding severed heads is certainly gruesome. Answer me this: how is it worse?" he asked.
A slideshow of today's protest is here.
RELATED: Rev. Nile made international headlines in 2010 when it was revealed that his state parliament computer had been used to view a huge amount of porn. One of Australia's most vile anti-gay activists, Nile has called for abolishing Sydney Mardi Gras because it's a "public parade of immorality and blasphemy."

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Bingham Cup: Day Two Highlights


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eBay Map: Most Popular Items By State

Via Business Insider:
E-commerce giant eBay has revealed the most popular item in every state. Californians favored high-end women's accessories, while men's cologne ruled in New Jersey. Some states were more practical. People in Ohio purchased outdoor equipment. North Carolina residents spent their money on baby products, while Connecticut customers bought batteries. Texans ordered "tactical and hunting goods," while New Yorkers favored firearms.
There's a huge infographic at the link. (Tipped by JMG reader Ray)

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HAWAII: Gov. Neil Abercrombie Blames Primary Loss On Same-Sex Marriage

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie yesterday declared that he lost this month's reelection primary because he had called a special legislative session on same-sex marriage.
Republicans are allowed to vote for Democrats in Hawaii's open primary, and Abercrombie said they chose to vote against him because of his support for gay marriage and because they think his party rival, state Sen. David Ige, is an easier target to beat in the general election. "Republicans crossed over en masse to vote in the Democratic primary, and then the religious factor came in," Abercrombie said. "Doctrinally I was outside the circle and paid for it." He argued that voters were urged to choose his opponent by their religious leaders. Abercrombie, who spoke to reporters in his office, lost to Ige by a stunning 2-1 margin, the first time a Democratic governor has been unseated in a Hawaii primary. But Abercrombie said losing was worth it to pass a law legalizing gay marriage. "There's no way I could live with myself if I thought I was diminishing another human being's ability to reach their full capacity," Abercrombie said.
Those who watched night after night of those public comments during the Hawaii House committee hearings will remember them as the ugliest we've ever seen. And that is really saying something.

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New From MoveOn.Org

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SAN DIEGO: Cops Suspect Inside Job In Trashing Of Homocon Carl DeMaio's Office

Remember a few months ago when the office of homocon US House candidate Carl DeMaio was trashed just days before the primary? Remember how reporters suspected an attention-seeking inside job? Via U-T San Diego:
Two former staffers may be the ones responsible for a burglary at GOP congressional candidate Carl DeMaio’s Mira Mesa campaign headquarters on the eve of the June 3 primary election, a San Diego Police Department spokesman said Friday. Lt. Kevin Mayer said police have concluded that a burglary did occur at the office late in the evening of May 27 or in the early morning hours of May 28. Several thousand dollars of hardware was damaged or destroyed, including computers, telephones, a copy machine and an Internet router and cable modem. Mayer said the DeMaio campaign identified two former staff members as potential suspects early on in the investigation. “Both staff members are cooperating with our investigation,” Mayer said. “We anticipate the our investigation will be turned over to the District Attorney’s Office in the next couple of weeks.” He was unable to say if the two were staffers at the time of the burglary or left the campaign subsequent to the incident.
DeMaio declined to comment for the above-linked story.

RELATED: Two weeks before the break-in DeMaio confessed to having plagiarized a National Journal report on members of Congress who take government pensions in addition to their salaries.

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Atoms Are Held Together By Jesus

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Quote Of The Day - Charlie Crist

"Dear Governor Scott: Four years ago, a district court of appeals ruled Florida’s ban on gay and lesbian adoption unconstitutional. When the ruling came down, I believed it was my job as Governor to exercise the authority vested in me by the people and our Constitution. The day the judge ruled, I declared Florida’s adoption ban over. Gay and lesbian parents began adopting the children they loved immediately. It is one of my proudest moments as an elected official.

"Last Thursday Federal District Judge Robert Hinkle gave you the same chance to speak out for what is right when, in a ruling that would apply statewide, he struck down Florida’s ban on same sex marriage. By declaring the marriage ban finished you could discourage any future appeals and end the nightmare that loving same sex couples all across our state endure every single day, ending court battles that could drag on for months or years.

"Courts throughout Florida are endorsing the principle that government ought not deprive an entire class of citizens the right to marry simply because of whom they love. Florida deserves a governor who will stand up for all of the people of this state.

"You have the power to end the suffering of people like Arlene Goldberg. Last March, Arlene lost her wife and partner of 47 years, Carol Goldwasser. At a moment of enormous and understandable grief, Arlene had to suffer the humiliation of not being listed as Carol’s wife on the death certificate. Even worse, she lost her home because she was denied the social security benefits they had earned.

"When faced with a very similar decision four years ago I did what I believed was best for Florida and best for the thousands of children waiting to be adopted by loving parents. Today, I urge you to do what’s best for Floridians and declare the state will not be challenging Judge Hinkle’s Order or any other orders supporting the rights of all Floridians to marry." - Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who supported his state's ban on same-sex marriage while in office.

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Dr. Drew Interviews Daniel Pierce

The Advocate sets up the clip below:
Previewing the video, host Dr. Drew Pinsky and his panel offered a little context on the situation that ensued before Pierce began filming. The teen's grandparents, father, and stepmother were attempting to stage an "intervention" surrounding his sexual orientation, allegedly trying to send him to a "reparative therapy" program where he could try to "pray away the gay." When Pierce stood firm in his conviction that being gay was not a choice, the situation quickly escalated into violence. Before welcoming Pierce to the show, Pinsky hosted a panel to discuss the video, including a call from a self-proclaimed "ex-gay" man who practices so-called reparative therapy. Pinsky acknowledged that he is concerned by those who would try to change a person's sexual orientation but still welcomed David Pickup to the program, noting that he believed Pickup's view, while controversial, was worth hearing. Video of the segment featuring Pickup is not available through the show's website, though a transcript of the conversation is available via CNN. In the second half of the segment, Pinky welcomes Pierce, who he identifies under the pseudonym "David." Most of Pinsky's panelists laud the teenager's poise, grace, and courage in coming out despite the hostile reaction.
David Pickup, of course, is the NARTH-affiliated "ex-gay" crackpot on whose behalf the Liberty Counsel failed to overturn California's ban on "ex-gay" torture.

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MONTANA: Anti-Gays Sue To Overturn Non-Discrimination Ordinance In Bozeman

Earlier this month the mayor of Billings, Montana cast the deciding vote to reject a proposed LGBT non-discrimination ordinance. Buoyed by that victory, haters are pointing their horns at a similar bill that was passed in Bozeman just a few weeks ago.
The complaint filed by attorney Michael San Souci in District Court this week asks the court to declare the ordinance invalid. The plaintiffs — Peter Arnone, Dave Baldwin, Ross Hartman, Dawnette Osen and Sharon Swanson — argue commissioners overstepped their authority in passing the ordinance despite legal opinions advising against it. Both sides say the court’s ruling will have implications for similar laws in Missoula, Helena and Butte. The complaint says state law doesn’t allow local governments to exercise any power that applies to any private or civil relationship, or any law that affects landlords with regard to tenants. The complaint also says the state constitution gives District Court original jurisdiction in cases involving matters of equity. Bozeman’s ordinance says anyone who feels discriminated against under the ordinance can petition Municipal Court.
The lawyer mentioned above specializes in personal injury claims.

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Headline Of The Day

This time it was a flight from Miami to Paris and somebody did end up in handcuffs and charged with interfering with a flight crew.

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VIRGINIA: Alliance Defending Freedom Asks SCOTUS To Hear Bostic Case

Acting on behalf of Prince William County Clerk Michele McQuigg, today the Alliance Defending Freedom petitioned SCOTUS to hear their appeal of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that struck down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage. Today's petitions follow those from AFER and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. The full request is here. (Via Equality Case Files)

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Porno Pete Is Very Upset There Were No Anti-Gays At Gay Journalism Convention

"Even the NLGJA panel on religion and 'gay rights' was bereft of a traditionalist perspective, while the two openly homosexual speakers—former Episcopal Church bishop V. [Vicky] Gene Robinson and new Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ECLA) Bishop Rev. Doctor Guy Erwin—were heralded in the program as leaders of 'this next wave of the civil rights movement.'Both Revs. Robinson and Erwin compared opposition to homosexuality and Christian businessmen’s principled refusal to participate in 'gay weddings' to racist bigotry. Perhaps it is asking too much of  'mainstream' journalists who consider homosexuality part of their intrinsic identity (“who they are”) to cover LGBT-related issues impartially. Nevertheless, intellectual diversity and ‘opposing’ viewpoint inclusion—the watchwords of this conference and pro-LGBT advocacy in general—were in short supply at the NLGJA convention. That is a peculiar and glaring deficit for a profession that ideally is supposed to cover 'both sides' of controversial issues." - Peter LaBarbera, who paid $330 to spend a day glowering from the audience.

RELATED: The Evangelical Press Association will hold its annual convention in Denver on Oct. 1st thru Oct. 5th. And somehow, I'm not finding anybody on their list of speakers that will provide viewpoints that oppose the Christianist agenda. Somebody should totally write an outraged post about that.

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COLOMBIA: Constitutional Court Grants Limited Adoption Rights To Gay Couples

Progress in Colombia:
The Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday that a lesbian woman,could adopt her long-time partner's daughter, since the child in question was the biological child of one of the two partners. The court said Ana Leiderman, who underwent artificial insemination to conceive her daughter, and raised her with Veronica Botero, had the right to request an adoption by her partner regardless of sex. The Colombian Family Well-being Institute had earlier rejected Botero's adoption application. "The court considered that the discriminatory criterion the administrative authority had used to deny the adoption procedure ... was unacceptable in this case, which involves a consensual adoption in which the biological father or mother consents to an adoption by his or her permanent partner," magistrate Luis Ernesto Vargas said. However, the ruling does not not allow gay couples to adopt if neither person is the child's biological parent, and even couples covered by the ruling will have to meet certain conditions, such as having lived together for at least two years.
Local experts hope the ruling sets the stage for expanding adoption rights to all same-sex couples. (Tipped by JMG reader Steven)

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Tea Party Kook Larry Klayman Sues Obama For Being A Pro-Hamas Muslim

Tea Party hero Larry Klayman has filed a lawsuit against President Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and the Secretary General of the United Nations, claiming they are conspiring to aid Hamas. Which proves that the president is a Muslim, of course.
According to the lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, the defendants are allegedly involved in a criminal conspiracy that falls under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO. They are laundering United States currency, which is then “foreseeably used to buy rockets and construct tunnels to attack Israel and terrorize and kill American and dual American-Israeli citizens who reside or are located in Israel.” In a statement, Klayman said that “the nation and the world have increasingly come to see that Obama views himself primarily as a Muslim and acts accordingly in favoring Islamic interests over Judeo-Christian ones, and the complaint lays out Obama’s history in documented detail.”
Klayman, who founded Freedom Watch and who unsuccessfully sued Rachel Maddow on behalf of hate group leader Bradlee Dean, has repeatedly called for outright armed revolution against the federal government. Fewer than 100 idiots showed up at Klayman's rally outside the White House last October, where he infamously called for President Obama to "put down the Koran and come out with your hands up."

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SCOTLAND: Pro-Independence Group Aims To Place LGBT Rights In New Constitution

Next week a subgroup of the Yes Scotland secession movement will hold a meeting to discuss enshrining LGBT rights in a new national constitution.
YES LGBT and MSP Patrick Harvie will host the conference on Monday in Glasgow, and will address issues such as the written constitution, equality law, gender recognition, asylum policy and foreign policy. An introduction to the Rainbow Paper, which will be announced on Monday, reads: “It goes without saying that as LGBTI people we are much more than just our sexual orientation, gender identity, and intersex status. We are younger and older, students and workers, parents and grandparents, and we have the same hopes and aspirations for our families and our country as everyone else. As LGBTI people we will be voting for independence for many of the same reasons as other Scots. We want to see decisions about Scotland taken by the people who care most about Scotland – the people who live and work here. We know that with the full powers of an independent country Scotland will be able to take progressive decisions on a wide-range of important issues from tackling poverty to strengthening our economy."
The independence vote is September 18th and a poll released today indicates that the result may be closer than previously thought.
A poll for the Scottish Daily Mail newspaper released Friday showed that support for independence has surged by 4 percent, to 47 percent – just 6 percentage points behind the “No” campaign. The Survation poll found 47 percent of respondents would vote "Yes" to independence, compared to 53 percent who would vote "No," excluding people who were undecided. This is the first survey after the final TV debate between Alex Salmond, the leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party, and Alistair Darling, the head of the anti-independence "Better Together" campaign.
Below are the latest ads from the two sides. 


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Matt Barber Has The Fayetteville Sadz

The non-discrimination ordinance passed earlier this month in Fayetteville, Arkansas already exists in similar form in hundreds of cities, but the Liberty Counsel is going to try to place a repeal on the November ballot.

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Media Matters: Right Wing Rodeo

The week's worst in conservative media.

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Britain Goes On "Severe" Terror Alert

The United Kingdom today raised its terror alert to "severe" in response to ISIS activity in Iraq and Syria.
"What we're facing in Iraq now with ISIL is a deeper and greater threat to our security than we have known before," U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said in a news conference from 10 Downing Street, referring to the Islamic State by its former name, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. "With ISIL, we are facing a terrorist organization not being hosted in a country but actually seeking to establish and violently expand its own terrorist state," he added. There is no specific threat or information suggesting that an attack is imminent, Home Secretary Theresa May said, however, the "severe" threat level indicates a terrorist attack is "highly likely." Severe is the second-highest of five possible threat levels. The U.S. threat level remains elevated.
According to UK intelligence, about 500 Brits have traveled to the Middle East to join ISIS militants.

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FLORIDA: Another State Appeals Court Defies Attorney General Pam Bondi

Two days ago Florida's Second District Court of Appeals disregarded the instructions of Attorney General Pam Bondi and kicked the marriage equality case before them upstairs to the state Supreme Court. Yesterday the Third District Court of Appeals also rejected Bondi's demand.
A state appeals court has rejected Attorney General Pam Bondi's request to hold off deciding the constitutionality of Florida's gay marriage ban until after the U.S. Supreme Court someday rules on the issue. "Upon consideration, appellant's motions to stay briefing are denied," wrote the 3rd District Court of Appeal in a terse ruling Thursday. "That is the best news of the day. We would have been sitting in limbo for an undetermined amount of time," said attorney Bernadette Restivo, who represents Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, two Key West bartenders who on July 17 won the right to marry in Monroe County Circuit Court. "Pam Bondi's stay would have caused enormous irreparable harm to the plaintiffs and others similarly situated. Every day that we move forward in this case will hopefully mean we are moving closer to ending this oppressive discrimination." Bondi's spokeswoman, Jennifer Meale, said: "The court has ruled that the case will move forward, and we will proceed accordingly."
The Third District Court also yesterday agreed to combine the case of the Key West bartenders with the suit brought in Miami-Dade County, whose plaintiffs are represented by the National Center For Lesbian Rights. (Tipped by JMG reader Joel)

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Italy Allows First Gay Adoption

Via The Local:
A gay couple in Italy has become the first to be allowed to adopt a child. Rome’s Juvenile Court agreed to the adoption of a child by a lesbian couple, La Repubblica reported on Friday. The five-year-old is the daughter of one of the two partners, who were married abroad. It is the first case of a “stepchild” adoption in Italy. The girl was born after her biological mother underwent fertility treatment in another European country and has since been raised by the couple at their home in Rome.
(Tipped by JMG reader Andrea)

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Donations Pour In For Daniel Pierce

Early yesterday morning I posted the video of 20 year-old Georgia resident Daniel Pierce, who recorded his family as they verbally and physically abused him for being gay. Since then the clip has gone wildly viral with over 2 million views. The story has been picked up by the national press, fueling donations that stand at over $52K at this writing.
Pierce confirmed the video's details to the Huffington Post on Thursday, adding that he initially came out to his parents in October. But when his father, stepmother and grandparents attempted to stage a "delayed intervention" on Wednesday, things quickly went awry, which resulted in Pierce being attacked, disowned and thrown out of his house. "You're full of shit," Pierce's stepmother can be heard saying in the video. "You told me on the phone that you made that choice. You know you wasn't born that way. You know damn good and well you made that choice. You know that [your father] has done everything he can to raise you. ... He didn't need to blame himself." "Their reaction was pretty much expected [once] I chose to leave instead of pray because they have always been very vocal about not supporting the gay lifestyle," Pierce told the Huffington Post. "My [stepmother's] reaction was the most surprising and hurtful." Sadly, Pierce's story is not unique. While Pierce has confirmed that he is now safely staying with supportive friends and family members, there are many LGBT youths in America who face even more unfortunate circumstances. A 2012 study by UCLA's Williams Institute found that around 40% of homeless youths identify as LGBT, many of them having been rejected or abused by their family members over their gender or sexual orientation.
While Pierce appears to be in safe hands now, countless other LGBT youth remain in peril. Please consider supporting the Ali Forney Center or a similar organization near you.

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TRAILER: Transparent

Via CNET:
Amazon's original-TV-series push, overshadowed by Netflix since its beginning, is taking a couple of pages out of its bigger rival's playbook with Amazon's next show. Amazon said Wednesday that it will release all 10 episodes of "Transparent" on Prime Instant Video in the US and UK on September 26. Like Netflix's programs, the dark comedy has critical buzz and a creator with impressive bona fides. Also like Netflix, Amazon will make it available in a big, binge-able bunch.The half-hour dark comedy from Jill Soloway, an Emmy-nominated writer on "Six Feet Under" who won a directing award at Sundance last year, tracks a Los Angeles family as its patriarch's secret life comes out. Skirting outright spoilers, the series' title is a pun. It stars Jeffrey Tambor -- known for playing George Bluth Sr. in Netflix's "Arrested Development," among his long list of credits -- as well as Judith Light, Gaby Hoffmann, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass.

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Religion Maps

Via Pew Research:
Earlier this summer, on World Population Day, we explained that half of the world’s population lives in just six countries. In many cases, the world’s major religious groups are even more concentrated, with half or more of their followers living in one or a handful of countries. For several years, demographers at the Pew Research Center have been studying the demographic characteristics of eight groups: Buddhists, Christians, adherents of folk religions, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, the religiously unaffiliated and followers of other religions. While Christians and Muslims are more widely distributed around the world, the other groups have a majority of their populations in just one or two nations, according to 2010 estimates from our Global Religious Landscape report.

While there continues to be much attention paid to the growth of the religiously unaffiliated population in Europe and North America, more than half (62%) of the world’s 1.1 billion unaffiliated people live in one Asian country: China. China also is home to 50% of the world’s 488 million Buddhists and 73% of the 405 million global adherents of folk religions. Since China is the world’s most populous nation, it may not be altogether unexpected that it has a lot of people in a variety of categories. While China accounts for 19% of the world’s overall population, it is home to majorities of all Buddhists, unaffiliated people and adherents of folk religions.
More maps are at the link.

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Bingham Cup Opens In Sydney



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Joan Rivers In Medically-Induced Coma

Doctors at Manhattan's Mt. Sinai Hospital have placed Joan Rivers in a medically-induced coma after the comic suffered cardiac arrest yesterday while undergoing outpatient surgery on her vocal cords.
A picture of health only the day before, Rivers accepted a bouquet of flowers from a fan as she finished her stand-up performance at around 9.30pm on Wednesday. The entertainment legend even posed for pictures with a fan on the way out of the Laurie Beechman Theatre, only to suffer respiratory failure less than twelve hours later during surgery on her throat. Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, dashed from LA to New York and arrived at the hospital at around 8pm and was ushered to the 11th floor luxury room in which her mother is now said by doctors to be in a stable condition. She released a statement thanking everyone for their messages of support and gave a brief update on her mother's condition. 'I want to thank everyone for the overwhelming love and support for my mother,' Melissa Rivers said in a statement. 'She is resting comfortably and is with our family. We ask that you continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers.'
Rivers has been the target of widespread condemnation in recent weeks after referring to the First Lady as a "tranny" and saying that Palestinian civilians "deserve to be dead" for having elected Hamas. 

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AUSTRALIA: Federal Policitians Cancel Speeches To World Congress Of Families

Virtually all federal politicians in Australia have now cancelled their plans to attend the World Congress of Families convention after it was announced that the event would be hosted by the far-right After The Fire Ministries, a group which recently claimed that God sent devastating wildfires to the state of Victoria in anger over the legalization of abortion.
Kevin Andrews’ decision not to speak at the controversial World Congress of Families conference is a cop out, the event’s new host says. The Social Services Minister [pictured] and Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark today cancelled their speeches on the eve of the Melbourne conference — run by pro-family religious body the World Congress of Families — because it’s now being hosted by the right-wing Christian group Catch the Fire Ministries. The evangelical group is hosting the conference after three other venues refused to hold it, with critics attacking the World Congress of Families because of its stance against gay marriage and claims of links between breast cancer and abortion. Mr Andrews has been under unprecedented and sustained pressure to pull out but attacked the “intolerance” of the “Greens and the left” for trying to shut the forum down as he confirmed he would not attend. “The calls for me not to attend demonstrate the intolerance of the Greens and the left — instead of arguing their case in the public arena, they seek to shut down debate,” Mr Andrews said.“Equally, I cannot support intolerance from other quarters. As I have been informed today that the event is now to be hosted by Catch the Fire, I have decided not to attend.”Mr Andrews said he would release the speech he planned to give at the event.
The location of the convention, which begins tomorrow, has not been disclosed. More from the Sydney Morning Herald:
The political arm of Catch the Fire Ministries is the Rise Up Australia party led by Danny Nalliah. Mr Nalliah said Mr Andrews' withdrawal from the conference on the grounds that it was being hosted by his organisation was a "cop out". "I think the real reason that he is pulling out is because of the protests," he said. "I think you just look for a scapegoat to try and get out of the situation. I'm not surprised in that sense because our politicians are gutless." Mr Nalliah said several senior Coalition figures had addressed Catch The Fire functions in the past. He said as prime minister John Howard had recorded a message for a Catch The Fire event, while former treasurer Peter Costello and former deputy prime ministers John Anderson and Mark Vaile, as well as former governor-general Peter Hollingworth had spoken at Catch The Fire functions while in office.
The controversy over the convention has earned daily national headlines across Australia. We need to make very sure that the exact same thing happens next year when the convention comes to Salt Lake City.


(Tipped by JMG readers Str8 Grandmother, Lezhow, Michael, and Ken)

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Utah Plaintiffs To SCOTUS: Hear Our Case

The good guys in Kitchen v Herbert today petitioned SCOTUS to hear their case. Hit the link and dig into their argument. (Via Equality Case Files)

RELATED: Plaintiffs in the Oklahoma and Virginia cases have filed similar petitions, but SCOTUSblog today pointed out an angle from the Oklahoma case:
In the most specific advice so far on how the Supreme Court could handle the same-sex marriage cases, lawyers for an Oklahoma lesbian couple urged the Justices on Wednesday to consider two options: a slimmed-down, one-issue, one-case review or a sweeping, all-issues, multiple-cases approach. That filing also suggested that the Court might want to divide argument between two different constitutional tests for judging the validity of states’ bans on same-sex marriage. The document was the closest thing the Court has so far seen to a distinct plan for review of the rapidly expanding caseload on the issue. Up to now, filings have been largely focused on promoting specific petitions as the best candidates for review.

The Court now has four petitions on the issue: one from Oklahoma (Smith v. Bishop), one from Utah (Herbert v. Kitchen), and two from Virginia (Rainey v. Bostic and Schaefer v. Boston). A third from Virginia has been promised (McQuigg v. Bostic), but has yet to reach the Court. Many of the lawyers involved have been pressing the Court to take up the issue at their first private Conference, on September 29. The Court and its staff, though, will make that call. The Justices alone will decide what, if any, cases they will grant. The Oklahoma filing on Wednesday came from lawyers for Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin, a Tulsa couple barred from marrying by state laws and by a state constitutional amendment approved by voters ten years ago.

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TRAILER: Saving Christmas

Cameron is going all Tyler Perry as the movie's full title is Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas.

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Twitter War: Canada Vs Russia



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Bob Mould On Jimmy Kimmel Live

Stereogum raves:
The former Hüsker Dü/Sugar frontman Bob Mould is a punk rock legend, and it turns out that he’s also really, really great at performing on late-night TV talk shows. Remember when he ripped through “I Don’t Know You Anymore” on Conan? Jesus. Ridiculous. Last night, Mould was on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and he once again rocked hard enough that I’m worried he’s going to break something one of these days. Mould usually plays with Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster, but last night, he had a ringer behind him, as Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins filled in.

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Little Caesars Chain Sued For Denying Insurance Benefits To Gay Couples

Via Reuters:
A former trainee manager at Little Caesars pizza in California sued the company for discrimination on Wednesday, accusing the Detroit-based chain of denying employees health insurance benefits for their legally wed same-sex spouses. The lawsuit was brought in state Superior Court in Orange County, regional headquarters for the nation's third-largest pizza chain, by Frank Bernard, 47, who said he quit his job after Little Caesars refused to extend coverage to his husband of six years. "I didn't want anything special, I just wanted the same benefits package as heterosexual couples," Bernard said at a news conference in Los Angeles. It cites a letter Little Caesars presented Bernard explaining a benefits policy that defined "spouse" as "the one person to whom you are legally married under the laws of the state in which you reside, including common law spouse, and who is the opposite gender from you."
Little Caesars has 3700 locations and ranks third in gross annual sales behind fellow pizza chains Pizza Hut and Domino's.

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TRAILER: Barba Rija

JMG reader Gerard tips us to the Portuguese bear series Barba Rija (Rough Beard). Three episodes have gone up in the last couple of weeks: Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3.  The clips are subtitled in English - click play then the CC button.

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Linda Harvey Has The Target Sadz

Deviance! Perversion! Unnatural desires!

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Kazaky - Pulse

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Brian Brown Has The Oregon Sadz

"We are of course disappointed with the Ninth Circuit's decision today. The Ninth Circuit did not reach the appeal of the denial of motion to intervene, holding instead that even if NOM had been allowed to intervene on behalf of its members (including Oregon voters, wedding services providers, and a county clerk), it had no standing to appeal the judgment below even though the elected officials of the state refused to provide any defense of the marriage amendment adopted by a strong majority of Oregonians.

"We believe that the decision conflicts with a prior Ninth Circuit opinion specifically recognizing that a County Clerk with the duty to issue marriage licenses likely would have standing to intervene and appeal an adverse judgment. NOM alleged under oath that it had among its members just such a county clerk, and it sought to intervene on the clerk's behalf under the Supreme Court's well-established precedent in the case of NAACP v. Alabama allowing membership organizations to pursue the interests of their members when there are substantial hurdles to the members litigating in their own name, such as the real threats of harassment and violence that have been manifested elsewhere in the country around the marriage issue. Because of that conflict, we will certainly be exploring whether to file a petition for rehearing en banc with the full Ninth Circuit or whether we will seek review in the Supreme Court itself.

"Ultimately, though, NOM remains concerned that a sovereign act of the people of Oregon went entirely undefended by the elected officials of Oregon, an abdication of duty that resulted in the long-standing understanding of marriage in Oregon being rewritten by a single federal court judge. The policy fight over the definition of marriage is something that should ultimately be resolved by the people, not unelected judges. For now, Oregonians have been denied their voice on that important policy issue, and that is truly regrettable." - Hate group leader Brian Brown, in a press release posted to NOM's blog.

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Joan Rivers In Critical Condition

Numerous outlets are reporting that Joan Rivers is in critical condition after she stopped breathing during outpatient surgery on her vocal cords. TMZ has some details:
We're told an emergency call was placed to 911 at 9:39 AM ET and the caller said, "We have somebody in either cardiac or respiratory arrest." Joan Rivers was rushed to a hospital in New York City moments ago after she stopped breathing during a surgery on her throat,  TMZ has learned. We're told Rivers was undergoing the throat procedure in a clinic (specifically on her vocal chords) when she stopped breathing during the surgery. Sources say 81-year-old Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai hospital in New York. We're told her daughter Melissa is on her way to New York.
UPDATE: More from ABC New York.
The New York City Fire Department transported a woman matching her description to Mt. Sinai Hospital earlier this morning after receiving a call that the woman was in cardiac arrest at an Upper East Side clinic, Yorkville Endoscopy, an FDNY source said. The law enforcement source confirmed the woman was Joan Rivers. TMZ earlier reported that Rivers was having surgery on her vocal chords at the clinic. No other details were immediately available and her rep had no other information when contacted by ABC News.

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ASAP Science: Your Brain On Coffee

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NRA Women: 7 Ways That Children Can Have Fun At The Shooting Range

NRA Women yesterday tweeted then deleted a link to a post describing all the hilarious ways that kids can have fun at the shooting range.
The story linked in the tweet lists a number of new and colorful targets that it says will engage young shooters who have grown bored with the standard bull's-eye. In describing a pack of zombie targets, the author, Mia Anstine, writes that children "can imagine they're getting rid of the monsters from their nightmares." But a nightmare is precisely what unfolded on Monday, when 39-year-old Charles Vacca, a range instructor at Bullets and Burgers in northwest Arizona, stood over a 9-year-old girl holding an Uzi. The Israeli-made submachine gun can fire almost 30 rounds per second, according to the manufacturer. Police say the child lost control of the machine gun, and Vacca was shot in the head. He died later that day in a hospital. Anstine's column about children's shooting targets was posted on August 20, almost a week before the Arizona shooting. Why the NRA would decide to push out this column to the more than 7,000 followers of its "NRA Women" account is unclear. The NRA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The post is here.

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NEXT MONDAY: Ninth Circuit Court To Hear Marriage Cases From NV, ID, & HI

Via press release from NCLR:
On September 8th the Court will hear oral arguments beginning at 1 p.m. Pacific at the James R Browning US Courthouse, 95 7th Street, San Francisco, to laws banning marriage equality in Idaho, Nevada, and Hawaii. The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and Boise, Idaho attorneys Deborah A. Ferguson and Craig Durham of Ferguson Durham LLP represent four same-sex couples challenging Idaho laws banning marriage equality. Lambda Legal and the law firms of O’Melveny & Myers LLP and Snell & Wilmer LLP represent eight same-sex couples challenging Nevada laws banning marriage. There will be media availability for the legal teams and plaintiffs after arguments. Since the Supreme Court’s June 2013 decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, the Seventh, Sixth, Tenth, and Fourth Circuits have heard oral arguments in marriage equality cases. The Tenth Circuit issued rulings on June 25th and July 17th in cases from Utah and Oklahoma. The Fourth Circuit issued a ruling on July 28th in a case from Virginia. All three decisions held that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry.
That's a 4PM start for east coasters, so we'll go into the evening here with live tweets, analysis and video as it becomes available.

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Quote Of The Day - Dave Welch

"[Houston] City Attorney David Feldman did not have the legal authority to intervene with the validation and acted as judge, jury, and executioner by declaring 2,750 entire petitions invalid due to his claim of technical problems. The fact that a very diverse pastor-led coalition, in only 30 days, produced over 55,000 signatures in this historic effort makes it crystal clear that Houston citizens do not want our fundamental right of conscience stolen. We will win this battle. This is not an Alamo moment. It is a San Jacinto moment in protecting our families and freedom against liberal tyranny.” - Houston Area Pastors Council leader Dave Welch, referring to the 1836 battle in which the Texas Army slaughtered 630 Mexicans in 18 minutes. (Tipped by JMG reader Erik)

RELATED: Welch has called Houston Mayor Annise Parker "a cancer on the soul of the people" and has compared President Obama to Hitler. According to Welch, gay people are "morally depraved" and possessed by "the forces of spiritual darkness." Last year Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is running for governor, accepted an award from Welch's group.

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AUSTRALIA: National Senate Formally Condemns World Congress Of Families, Protesters Vow To Block Convention

Today the Australian Senate formally condemned the anti-gay World Congress of Families, which has been booted out of four venues and has not yet disclosed where they might hold this weekend's convention.
The motion was moved by Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters and was agreed to on voices with minimal dissent. “The World Congress of Families is responsible for spreading homophobic and sexist prejudices around the world, including in Russia, the United States, and countries in Eastern Europe and Africa,” it read. The motion also reaffirms equality, tolerance and non-discrimination as “fundamental Australian values”, and reaffirms the “value and dignity of all persons regardless of their gender, sexuality or family status”. Waters drew particular attention to the participation of Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews, who will open and close the conference in Melbourne on Saturday. Other state and federal MPs are also expected to attend. Conference organisers remain tight-lipped on the location of the event after a number of venues have cancelled in response to community outrage over the organisation’s conservative views.
A coalition of pro-gay and feminist groups say they will protest the convention wherever it may take place.
Opponents of the hard-right World Congress of Families have vowed to block attendees from getting into its conference on Saturday, although they do not know where it will be held. The controversial forum features speakers who say abortion causes breast cancer, as well as homophobic speakers. Senior Liberals including Abbott Families Minister Kevin Andrews and Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark are to attend. The Coalition to Beat Back the Far-Right says it has already scored victories, with at least three cancelled venues for the forum.  Radical Women spokeswoman Debbie Brennan said the group expected thousands of people to protest. She also said if the event was held outside Melbourne the group would hold a victory rally in the city. "We are going to make it very difficult for them, we are going to be blocking as much as we can, we are going to be making it very hard for people to get in," Ms Brennan said. "And we [will] certainly make it very loud. They are going to know that we are out there. "The violence that ever comes, comes from the other side. We do have to take into account that the World Congress of Families and the far right generally are violent people."
Sen. Larissa Waters, the author of the above-linked condemnation, has penned an essay for the feminist site MamaMia:
If Minister Andrews and other right-wing politicians intent on attending the conference won’t listen to the Senate, they should at the very least listen to the overwhelming public opposition to the WCF. But Minister Andrews seems to want to block out the community’s protests instead, as evidenced at Parliament House today. Today Minister Andrews refused an invitation to accept a large photo album of diverse family photos submitted by hundreds of Australians, opposed to the Congress’ discriminatory view of what a family should look like. The Minister needs to start listening to the community in all of its wonderful diversity and realise that Australians value love and equality, not prejudice and bigotry. I’m so proud of the way so many Australians have made their voices heard on this issue, which has resulted in Melbourne venues refusing to take the conference on. It couldn’t be clearer that the WCF’s homophobic, sexist, anti-choice views are not the Australian way. As explained by Vocal Majority’s Melanie Poole on Mamamia this week, in many countries, the WCF campaigns against women having abortions even when their lives are at risk. The WCF’s influence has seen LGBTIQ people across the world criminalised and even murdered.
(Tipped by JMG reader Michael)

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This Should Be Interesting


UPDATE: Here's the clip. Disappointing result.

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Freep This Florida Poll

As you can see, the readers of Free Republic, from whom the word "freep" originates, are already on it.

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NORTH CAROLINA: Federal Court Stays Marriage Until SCOTUS Rules On Virginia

Yesterday a federal court stayed any further action on North Carolina's same-sex marriage battle until SCOTUS rules on Virginia's Bostic case. According to the order, should SCOTUS decline to hear Virginia's case, the stay will be lifted. Also yesterday AFER followed Virginia AG Mark Herring and the Alliance Defending Freedom in asking SCOTUS to hear Bostic.

The North Carolina ruling is here.

RELATED: Yesterday activists delivered 12,000 petition signatures to North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, asking him to stop defending his state's ban. McCrory is unswayed:
"We're going to let the process work. During that process we ought to have a stay to allow the current law to remain in place, but this is going to the Supreme Court for all the states," said McCrory. State Attorney General Roy Cooper said he'd no longer support the ban in court after the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Virginia's ban unconstitutional. Republican legislative leaders have indicated they may retain outside counsel to represent the state in the existing lawsuits. McCrory said if a court rules the ban unconstitutional, he wants a legal stay put in place pending a final decision. "We should have stay to allow us to implement our current laws up until the Supreme Court decides this."

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NEW MEXICO: Homeschoolers Campaign Against Pro-Gay Marriage State Rep

New Mexico state Rep. Bill McCamley was one of the key legislators in his state's successful same-sex marriage battle and local homeschoolers are enlisting their children in the campaign to unseat him. Via Progress Now New Mexico:
In the legislature, McCamely has been a strong supporter of LGBT equality. That’s no surprise given Dona Ana County’s prominence in the national marriage debate following the decision by County Clerk Lynn Ellins to begin issuing New Mexico’s first licenses to same-sex couples in 2013. Nearly 900 same-sex couples have received licenses in Dona Ana County, which includes McCamley’s district, since last year. So, it’s not surprise that marriage equality could be an important issue in House District 33. McCamley recently started handing out a campaign walk piece featuring his position on the issue and that has his opponent fired up and ready to lead an army of children (literally) against McCamley in their “critical” quest to defeat the progressive candidate in HD33.
McCamley's opponent, Neal Hooks, is a creationist whose website says this: "The push of homosexual agenda in our schools are destroying us." The homeschoolers are having their children walk the district to distribute materials in support of Hooks. Donate to McCamley's campaign here.

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VIRAL VIDEO: Kid Comes Out, Family Curses, Disowns Him, Then Assaults Him

440K views in one day of this YouTube clip in which a kid comes out to his family, only to have them curse him because Jesus, then physically attack him. Dan Savage writes:
"That was hard to listen to. Jesus. Fucking. Christ. My heart breaks for that poor, brave, tough kid. What the fuck is wrong with these people? We could have a fundraiser up and running for this poor kid by morning—if we knew who he was and where he was."
Stay out of the YouTube comments, seriously.

UPDATE: A fundraiser has been set up.


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OREGON: Ninth Circuit Court Rejects NOM's Attempt To Stop Marriages

Via the Oregonian:
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a request by a group opposing same-sex marriage in Oregon to intervene in the case. The decision, handed down Wednesday afternoon, means the National Organization for Marriage has no route left short of appealing the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Unless NOM does appeal, any threat it posed to gay marriage in Oregon is over. The action comes in the wake of the May 19 decision by U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane in Eugene to strike down Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage. Voters in 2004 passed an amendment to the state constitution, Measure 36, defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Supporters of same-sex marriage applauded Wednesday's decision. "We're thrilled by the news but not surprised at all," said Jeana Frazzini, executive director of Basic Rights Oregon. "There was never any merit to their proposal and they've been denied now at every turn."
The attorney for the good guys said, "I don't think NOM ever presented a threat. Their appeals, after all, weren't based on the substantive merits of the case. It was merely a question of whether an out-of-state lobbying organization was improperly left out of the party."

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Open Thread Thursday

Any big plans for Labor Day?

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