2351 posts categorized "Media"

October 19, 2014

Headlines about the Catholic synod that miss the real news

N-SYNOD-large570

Check out these headlines on the failure of the Catholic Church's extraordinary synod to achieve the supermajority needed to adopt even watered-down language reaching out to gays:

All three are accurate, but the Times avoids the wrong emphasis. The real story here is that a Catholic synod voted 118-62 in favor of any slightest move away from its monolithically anti-gay position, not that there was strong opposition to it, not that it fell short this time. The effort Francis has started will not soon be completed, but his sacking of Cardinal Raymond Burke as prefect of the Apostolic Signatura shows he means business.

I left the Church long ago, but I respect those who, having chosen to stay and fight, are sticking with it. We don't all have to make the same choices (unlike in pre-Reformation Christendom). People like the folks at New Ways Ministry deserve our respect for their perseverance. As it happens, they now have a sympathetic pope. But the College of Cardinals is packed with appointees of JPII and Benedict, and the conservatives have a lot of power. It is going to be a long struggle.

October 18, 2014

Pope Francis removes anti-gay Cardinal Burke from Vatican court

Pope Francis has removed the virulently anti-gay Cardinal Raymond Burke (interviewed above prior to this development) as prefect of the Holy See's Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican's supreme court. Excellent news. Timmian Massie reports at NCRM:

American Cardinal Raymond Burke, a darling of conservative Catholics who is virulently anti-gay, has confirmed to BuzzFeed what rumors from Rome have said for weeks. He will be demoted by Pope Francis from the head of the Roman Catholic Church's version of the Supreme Court to a figurehead role as the Patron of the Knights of Malta, a chivalrous order known for its work among the sick....

Burke recently told an interviewer that legally-married gay and lesbian family members should be shunned from family celebrations during the upcoming holidays, asking “what would it mean to grandchildren to have present at a family gathering a family member who is living [in] a disordered relationship with another person?”

Burke's strong criticism of a preliminary document that included more inclusive welcoming of LGBT community members in the life of the Church and his challenge to Francis, who is seen to have had a hand in the drafting of the document, were apparently the last straw for the Pope.

I am not a praying person, but if you are, please pray for the health and longevity of this pope. The cleanup job he faces rivals the Augean Stables.

October 17, 2014

Sen. Cruz attacks Mayor Parker over Houston Equal Rights Ordinance


The battle over the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance continues, with Sen. Ted Cruz demagoguing (see video below) and the city clarifying its subpoena.

In celebration of hermaphroditic snails

Snail-shell-on-keys-garry-gay
("Snail Shell on Keys" by Garry Gay)

In an update on my earlier post regarding the new snail species Aegista diversifamilia, Manon Verchot at Treehugger.com quotes me, including my new lyrics channeling Cole Porter:

Bi-curious whales do it, quails do it,
New hermaphroditic snails do it.
Let's do it, let's fall in love.

Below, though sadly without benefit of my special lyrics, Billie Holiday gives her rendition. Use your imagination.

Rick Scott, man without a fan

The Florida gubernatorial race has come down to a debate over whether an electrical appliance (specifically, a small fan) counts as prohibited "electronics" in a televised debate. If your house were on fire and someone said, "Grab the electronics!" I bet you would grab the laptop computer before a household fan. Just saying. In any case, the tagline of the day goes to the meme below.

Rickscotthasnofans

October 14, 2014

Funding or Die

Well-deserved mockery of the Democratic fundraising emails many of us have been spammed with.

October 12, 2014

Cardinal Burke – It is scandal to present homosexual uncle’s relationship to kids

Cardinal Raymond Burke spreads the love and understanding of Jesus Christ. Or Something.

It is disturbingly tone deaf, as well as brazenly hypocritical, for a prince of the Church to talk about protecting children from their gay uncle after decades of child abuse by Catholic priests and coverups by the Church hierarchy. All I can say is, work the cape, honey.

Cardinal-Burke-Cappa-Magna-Featured-640x428

(Hat tip: Joe Jervis)

Carl DeMaio's bizarre sexual harassment scandal

CNN reports. I confess I never thought that masturbation would come up in this campaign.

October 09, 2014

Civil Forfeiture

Introducing Law & Order: Civil Forfeiture Unit, starring Jeff Goldblum. This is funny, but the problem is real, and it is appallingly arbitrary and unjust. Police departments are enriching themselves simply by seizing people's cash during stops and keeping the money without charging the people with a crime, based on arbitrary and evidence-free claims like, "No one carries that much cash for an honest purpose."

October 08, 2014

Diseases and Demagogues

Child_vaccinated-Julien_Harneis
(Photo by Julien Harneis)

My Blade column this week looks at the right wing's political exploitation of Ebola. Here's a portion:

Obama Derangement Syndrome spiked again last week over Ebola, after a man from Liberia was diagnosed with the viral disease in Dallas, Texas.

Radio talk show host Laura Ingraham asked, "Why did Obama let the Ebola virus into the U.S.?" Another radio demagogue, Michael Savage, said Obama "wants to infect the nation with Ebola" as part of a war on white people. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said that the American troops being sent to West Africa to help fight the Ebola outbreak are really being sent "to go catch Ebola and die." Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) managed to connect the Dallas Ebola case with ISIS, the IRS, and Benghazi. Fox News host Steve Doocy asked Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Tim Frieden, "Why should we believe you when you're telling us this stuff?" since Frieden works for Obama.

It is difficult enough to confront resurgent diseases without an explosion of unhinged conspiracy mongering.

Read the whole thing here.

Update: I note with sorrow that the Dallas patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, has died. May he rest in peace.

October 07, 2014

Geoffrey Holder, 1930 - 2014

NYT reports:

Geoffrey Holder, the dancer, choreographer, actor, composer, designer and painter who used his manifold talents to infuse the arts with the flavor of his native West Indies and to put a singular stamp on the American cultural scene, not least with his outsize personality, died on Sunday in Manhattan. He was 84.

Charles M. Mirotznik, a spokesman for the family, said the cause was complications of pneumonia.

Few cultural figures of the last half of the 20th century were as multifaceted as Mr. Holder, and few had a public presence as unmistakable as his, with his gleaming pate atop a 6-foot-6 frame, full-bodied laugh and bassoon of a voice laced with the lilting cadences of the Caribbean.

In the clip above, Holder dances with the original Scarecrow as he receives his Tony for directing The Wiz. Below, a glimpse of his work for Alvin Ailey. May this great artist rest in peace.

October 06, 2014

SCOTUS declines marriage appeals from five states

The Supreme Court of the United States today declined to hear appeals in marriage equality cases from Oklahoma, Utah, Indiana, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Chris Johnson of the Blade reports.

Gay marriages began in Virginia this afternoon. Today's high court ruling will also mean equality in six other states, which are in the same federal appeals circuit courts as the five directly affected. This will bring the U.S. marriage equality roster to 30 states and the District of Columbia, representing 60 percent of America's population.

We will not be done until all fifty states enjoy equality, but this is an enormous step forward. Justice Ginsburg recently indicated that there was no need for SCOTUS to weigh when all the appellate rulings so far have been for marriage equality. If one of the remaining circuits upholds a state ban on same-sex marriage, that would set up a conflict that SCOTUS needs to resolve.

This is not the end, but it is a very good day. Congrats to everyone in the new marriage equality states.

October 04, 2014

General Mills, the anti-Chick-fil-A

As Mark Joseph Stern at Slate writes, this Cheerios commercial for Canada, featuring Quebecois parents André and Jonathan and their daughter Raphaëlle, "hits all the right notes." For a major commercial brand to embrace gay families as part of its diverse customer base, in such contrast to Chick-fil-A, is a big deal, as Stern suggests.

(Hat tip: Bob Witeck)

October 03, 2014

Michael Savage: Obama Wants To Bring Ebola Epidemic To America, Should Resign

It just doesn't quit. The hate, I mean.

(Hat tip: Right Wing Watch)

Mike Huckabee's strange concept of religious liberty

As with all Christianist bullies, Mike Huckabee thinks that his religious freedom is being infringed if he cannot impose his beliefs on his fellow citizens.

Key & Peele - Gay Wedding Advice

Very funny.

September 30, 2014

John Oliver on drones

American drones are not frightening only if you are not living under them. John Oliver of HBO's Last Week Tonight makes it real.

September 29, 2014

Rosendall, Summersgill testify for Human Rights Amendment Act

The D.C. Council Judiciary Committee today heard testimony on a few bills, including Bill 20-803, "Human Rights Amendment Act of 2014," and Bill 20-321, "Human Rights Act Notice Requirement Amendment Act of 2013." Read our testimony here:

Rick Rosendall's testimony (on Bills 20-803 and 20-321)

Bob Summersgill's testimony (on Bill 20-803 only)

The hearing became much more interesting that it might have been because an attorney for Catholic University testified against Bill 20-803's repeal of the Armstrong Amendment, which was imposed by Congress on the District 25 years ago and permits religiously-affiliated educational institutions to discriminate against gay people. Mónica Palacio, Director of the D.C. Office of Human Rights, testified in support of the legislation.

Julia Robey Christian, communications director for Judiciary Chairman Tommy Wells, tweeted praise for my comments during the question-and-answer session:

BBC News reports on Hong Kong protests

BBC News reports from Hong Kong:

The BBC's Carrie Gracie reports from the heart of the protest. Hong Kong police have used tear gas to disperse thousands of pro-democracy protesters near the government complex, after a week of escalating tensions. Dozens of demonstrators were arrested, with hundreds remaining in the city centre late on Sunday.

Serbia holds first Gay Pride march in four years

Serbia-pride-march1

The Independent reports from Belgrade.

What will SCOTUS do this term on marriage equality?

Above, AFER's Matt Baume discusses the marriage equality issue that was on the agenda for this morning's meeting of the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices. NYT reports:

The endgame started Monday morning. At their first private conference of the term, the justices were scheduled to consider, among many other things, seven petitions urging them to hear appeals from decisions striking down bans on same-sex marriage.

In an unusual move, the same-sex couples on the winning side of those cases joined their adversaries in asking the Supreme Court to settle the question, nationally and once and for all.

The justices face complicated choices about which case to accept, and when. They could announce their choices as soon as this week and hear arguments as soon as January.

Or they could sort and sift and wait for other courts to rule. The last time the court heard cases on same-sex marriage, in 2013, they were argued in March. The last argument session of the term is in April.

Lambda Legal blogged before the SCOTUS conference here.

September 28, 2014

Conservative blog: ISIS publicly crushing babies of Christians to death

A friend on Facebook posted this story from a conservative blog and commented, "What you don't want to know, but need to..." Follow the link if you want to see the photo, as I will not.

Speaking of what we don't want to hear but need to know, shall we keep track of the number of Christian babies crushed by ISIS as well as the number of babies and children of all faiths killed by American bombs? There are many horrors in the world. Are we obligated to go to war over each one? The fact is American warfare has made the Mideast less stable, not more. We must not allow ourselves to be stampeded. That is not just my opinion; it is what every damn one of you knows to be true. The neocons refuse to learn any lessons from the past decade. For God's sake, let us not emulate them.

Fox's Bolling makes second apology for insulting female UAE pilot

Media Matters shares this. Here's the transcript:

BOLLING: A personal comment before we go to break. Earlier this week I made a comment that was wholly inappropriate, and I apologize for it. The comment became during K. G.'s One More Thing honoring UAE bomber pilot Major Miriam al-Mansouri, who bombed ISIS. My remark was not intended to be disparaging of her, but that's how it was taken. I should have known better and used better judgment.

Yesterday I made an apology on this show, but it was inadequate. Fox News has received letters from viewers including from women in the military, and I have taken them to heart. Therefore, let me speak clearly and sincerely. I'm sorry for what I said, I believe that Major al-Mansouri is a hero, she's courageous, brave, and she deserves our praise, not inappropriate jokes. I appreciate that she is fighting the extreme radicals that threaten all of us. She has my admiration and my very, very sincere gratitude.

He didn't mean to offend. Pardon me, but fuck you, Mr. Bolling. Some men will die before they honestly confront their male privilege and disrespect of women.

Obama defends his foreign policy

President Obama, in demolishing a Fox News reporter's loaded question on his allegedly weak foreign policy, shows that he agrees with me on the unwisdom of launching another ground war in the Middle East. As he notes, his critics say they don't want a ground war either. So what DO they want? Other than wanting him to fail, that is.

(Hat tip: Ronald King)

September 26, 2014

Palin: truth an endangered species #At1400Pennsylvania

When Sarah Palin spoke Friday afternoon at the Values Voter Summit, she referred to the address of the White House as 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue. I suppose she could have been referring to the Commerce Department, which is on that block, though its address is 1401 Constitution Avenue. On the other hand, there is plenty of space there, and I am sure special arrangements can be made if she is determined to move to 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Of course, there is also 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, just steps from the Metro, as the realtors say. And she can see the Capitol from the roof.

Storybook ending

Derek Jeter wins the game with a walk-off single in his final at-bat in Yankee Stadium. As he hugged his teammates, several past greats waited to greet him: Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, Tino Martinez and former manager Joe Torre. Below, Derek walks off the field for the last time. (Meanwhile, the New York Giants beat the Washington Football team.)

September 25, 2014

HBO trailer: The War Against Gays in Russia

Hunted: The War Against Gays in Russia premieres Monday, October 6 at 9PM, only on HBO.

The Worst Right-Wing Smears About Eric Holder

A compilation by Media Matters for America.

Krauthammer: 'Let me just say as a layman … Obama is clearly a narcissist.'

Colbert skewers Charles Krauthammer.

The Catholic Church makes life impossible for infertile women

Joel Baden and Candida Moss at Slate report.

AG Eric Holder resigns

Here are several reports, blogs, and tweets about Thursday's big news from Washington.

From NYT:
Eric Holder Resigns, Setting Up Fight Over Successor

Talking Points Memo:
Libertarian Think Tank Removes Piece Comparing Eric Holder To George Wallace

Blue Nation Review:
Eric Holder’s Greatest Achievements

Bilerico:
AG Eric Holder, LGBT Rights Hero, To Resign:

And from Steve Clemons of The Atlantic:

"Why did you shoot me?"

Yet another example of (1) the boneheaded recklessness of some cops, and (2) the value of dash cams. The ghost of Oscar Grant, on the platform at Fruitvale Station, is in the room.

Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still's daughter has tumor removed

NFL Player Devon Still gives his daughter a pep talk before her cancer surgery. Watching this did my heart a lot of good. (Follow link for video.)

Update: "After a 5hr 50min surgery the surgeon was able to remove ALL of her tumor and all of her lymph nodes and her right adrenal gland where it all started from."

Jimmy Carter on gay rights

September 24, 2014

Why people use aliases on Facebook

MyNameIs

Change your uninformed policy, Facebook. #MyNameIs

(Hat tip: David da Silva Cornell)

Cute little baby bats

It's baseball playoff season, and what could be cuter than an armful of bats?

RI Supreme Court hears case on firefighters objecting to parade duty

Former Providence mayor Buddy Cianci is in the Rhode Island state Supreme Court over his having ordered a couple of firefighters years ago to drive a firetruck in a gay pride parade. Call out the waaambulance for these guys.

While we're on baseball

From September 16, the Washington Nationals clinching the 2014 NL East division title. Go Nats!

Made in New York

Gatorade and Derek Jeter make a classic.

Crazy Eyes: "Phyllis Schlafly Is My Heroine"

I find that after about 20 seconds, I can filter out Michele Bachmann and just listen to Pachelbel.