A beautiful ad from MTN, a mobile telecommunications firm based in South Africa.
Konnichiwa, incidentally, is Japanese for "Good afternoon."
A beautiful ad from MTN, a mobile telecommunications firm based in South Africa.
Konnichiwa, incidentally, is Japanese for "Good afternoon."
SB Nation reports.
Sherman also did not take part in the brawl. While many of us were still in shock at the idiocy of the call that lost the Seahawks the championship, this guy had the presence of mind and the class to show his respect to a victorious opponent. Also noteworthy: standout players Malcolm Butler of the Patriots and Chris Matthews of the Seahawks were undrafted. Butler's reaction to his big moment was quite moving.
In related news, every SB XLIX player, ranked by the quality of his butt. Who wants to see this vulgar crap?! Marshawn Lynch and Richard Sherman are ranked 14th and 15th, btw.
Coca Cola describes this Super Bowl ad:
Michael Sam has experienced firsthand how the Internet has grown increasingly negative. Watch as he channels this negativity into positivity and provides great advice for how to #MakeItHappy.
Russell Brand knocks the media for its exploitation and disrespect regarding Bruce Jenner's gender identity transition.
On this Super Bowl Sunday, a look back twenty-four years to the memorable rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner by Whitney Houston before the 1991 Super Bowl. As Tom Sherwood said in sharing it, "This is how you do it." Amen.
PS: Best wishes for her daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown's healing.
Eugenia and Corinna are included in Hallmark's #PutYourHeartToPaper campaign. As simple as that.
Mike Huckabee again.
Happy birthday, Langston Hughes.
(Hat tip: Tom Sherwood)
The American Family Association has written to the Southern Poverty Law Center repudiating certain statements by its longtime spokesman and talk show host Bryan Fischer, demanding that SPLC stop attributing those statements to AFA.
In the Jan. 28 letter to the SPLC, AFA general counsel Patrick Vaughn listed a series of offensive comments from Fischer and said the organization “has never held these views and wishes to clarify that it still rejects such sentiments.”
Vaughn also wrote that Fischer would no longer serve as an AFA spokesperson or its director of issue analysis. However, Fischer will continue to host his two-hour, daily Focal Point radio show and write blog posts. Vaughn wrote that the AFA’s radio network provides a “diversity” of viewpoints but that Fischer’s statements do not represent the views of the AFA.
In response, Cohen wrote, “The fact that the AFA is continuing to allow Mr. Fischer to host a daily radio show and blog on its website also makes us question the AFA’s sincerity. Sponsoring Mr. Fischer’s racism, anti-Semitism, and hatred of the Muslim and the LGBT communities in the name of ‘diversity’ says as much about the AFA as it does about Mr. Fischer....
“Without ending Mr. Fischer’s talk show, without apologizing for the bigoted statements that he, Mr. Wildmon, and others associated with the AFA have made, and without making it crystal clear that the AFA will not tolerate any such statements in the future, the AFA’s 11th-hour disavowal of Mr. Fischer appears to serve only one purpose: to give the AFA a degree of plausible deniability while it continues to spew hateful rhetoric,” Cohen wrote. “It’s a shell game and a transparent one at that.”
If you think AFA's Bryan Fischer is extreme, check out Christian nationalist David Lane, who has close ties with Republican leaders. Brian Tashman at Right Wing Watch reports of Lane:
- Argued that “homosexuals praying at the Inauguration” of President Obama in 2013 will provoke God’s wrath in the form of “car bombs in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Des Moines, Iowa.”
- Urged conservative Christians to prepare for martyrdom in their fight to “save the nation from the pagan onslaught imposing homosexual marriage [and] homosexual scouts.”
- Favorably quoted a Christian author who said that “same-sex marriage practiced universally is suicide. To survive gays and lesbians are parasites, depending for their cultural survival on couples that birth the next generation.”
- Explained why homosexuality is a threat to freedom: “Homosexuality is debauchery. God’s loyalty and fidelity — that guard the nation — make sustainable freedom dependent on seeking virtue.”
- Said homosexuality is part of a Marxist “psychological conditioning” plot.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Contact: Rick Rosendall 202-328-6278
The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C., today launched its 2015 Election Project as the group Heritage Action called on Congress to overturn District bills that protect reproductive health decisions and LGBT students.
GLAA President Rick Rosendall stated, "We thank Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton for her strong statement today that included this: 'Just as my colleagues insist that the laws of their constituents be respected by Washington, you better bet that we will insist on the same American principle and will target members who dare disrespect the people of the District of Columbia by trying to overturn our local laws.'"
Rosendall continued, "The Congresswoman is right. As the District prepares for a special election on April 28, we should not have to look over our shoulders for fear that congressional overseers will substitute their judgment for that of D.C. voters by blocking our local enactments."
This week, GLAA released its LGBT policy brief, "Building on Victory," and its questionnaire for candidates in the April 28 special election to fill D.C. Council vacancies in Wards 4 and 8. The deadline for receipt of candidate responses is March 5, after which GLAA will assign ratings to the candidates (on a scale of -10 to +10) based on their questionnaire responses and their records on LGBT issues. GLAA does not endorse candidates in partisan elections.
Bryan Fischer kicked off his radio program today by refuting reports that he had been fired by the American Family Association, explaining that he has simply given up his role as an official AFA spokesman while retaining his role as a daily radio host for AFA's radio outlet, American Family Radio.
Fischer said that his designation as an AFA spokesman while he also served as a radio host was creating confusion and resulting in the personal opinions he expressed on the radio being unfairly attributed to the AFA. As such, Fischer will no longer serve as an official voice for AFA but will continue to spew his bigotry from the AFA's radio stations.
So apparently Rachel Maddow was misled.
GLAA anticipated this sort of thing. Follow the link to the new Home Rule section of our policy brief, out this week. We have briefed Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and the Human Rights Campaign, and they are on the case.
Mediaite reports. It involves RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and a bunch of RNC folk heading to Israel on a trip paid for by American Family Association, whose longtime spokesman Bryan Fischer has said that Jews have no right to practice their religion in America. Below is the video from the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.
My column for this week's Blade is now online. Here is an excerpt:
Back home at the Iowa Freedom Summit, Dr. Ben Carson joked to reporters about a baker putting poison in a gay couple's wedding cake. (Is the GOP running a contest to find the most deranged person who thinks he or she can be president?) In related news, a man filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division last year against the Azucar Bakery in Denver for refusing to write "God hates gays" on a cake. This is the new religious freedom: muddling the difference between denying service to a minority and refusing to assist expressions of intolerance. Perhaps we should train shop owners to distinguish real customers from trolls.
Cardinal Raymond Burke, whose demotion by Pope Francis has not shut him up, recently discussed what he called the Church's "man crisis" and blamed "radical feminists" for priests raping boys. Seriously. Eminence, if we get you another fabulous set of embroidered vestments, could you stuff an altar cloth in your mouth for the rest of the year?
AFA's Bryan Fischer has a great deal of chutzpah to call other people vicious when he does nothing else but vilify and attack. But he says gay people are of Satan simply because we demand our birthright of equality. His fever-pitched rhetoric could inflame someone to violence. But people of his ilk never take responsibility for the poison they put out.
Above, a bit of motion capture from Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug in The Hobbit. Below, how the animation was constructed.
Linda Greenhouse at NYT explains why.
Our friend @OfficialSampson (Sampson McCormick) appears in this funny video.
Lucas Grindley at Advocate.com reports:
Among the usual laundry list of American priorities and constituencies, the State of the Union address for the first time explicitly included lesbians, bisexual and transgender people.
It might be surprising, but never before had any president used the words "lesbian," "bisexual" or "transgender" when talking to the huge audience that watches the annual State of the Union. The reference came Tuesday as part of President Obama's description of the values that make us American.
As the President celebrates the advance of marriage equality, Speaker Boehner keeps his grim face, the six SCOTUS justices maintain their practiced neutrality (they have cases pending, and were not there as a partisan cheering section), and one of the heroes of Selma rises to his feet.
It is worth noting that by using the phrase "civil right" about gay marriage last night, the President moved the discussion forward. Those of us who have been on the front lines of the marriage equality fight have studiously avoided using that phrase, because it has been a sore point with African American voters. We used phrases like "equal rights" and "human rights" instead. Here in D.C., when the Foundation for All D.C. Families hired Celinda Lake to do a poll on marriage equality in 2006, this was one of the points we examined.
The issue of messaging, where you consider your audience when framing your message, may seem cynical and calculating, but when you are trying to persuade people and win their votes, it is not helpful to start by pissing them off. This is a linguistic point on which white gay activists have respectfully let black leaders like Rep. John Lewis and President Obama take the lead. And if there is a greater moral authority than John Lewis, I would like to know who.
Does Boener have to look like he's getting a colonoscopy everytime Obama says something good about America? I thought Repubs loved America?— Bill Maher (@billmaher) January 21, 2015
Bill Maher misspells "Boehner," but he has a point.
Instant reaction is calling this the "best burn in SOTU history."
Entire address is below. I thought it was a strong speech. It didn't have the laundry list lots of people wanted, but it challenged the Republicans and showed his confidence. Bisexual and transgender people were recognized for the first time in a State of the Union address. And he celebrated the advance of marriage equality. Overall I was very pleased.
Pink News reports:
Billy Crystal has claimed that modern gay storylines on TV shows are “pushing too far”.
Crystal played one of the first regularly openly gay characters, Jodie Dallas, on 1970s comedy ‘Soap’.
Speaking to the Television Critics Association, the star claimed that he doesn’t want TV to “shove it in our face” with regards to gay issues.
He said: “Sometimes I think, ‘Ah that’s too much for me.’
Dear Billy, I assume this means you are locked in a dungeon, tied down with your eyes forced open like in "A Clockwork Orange," with a giant tv showing gay programs in a loop. I admit it does sound like torture. Maybe if it's a good boy, its tormenters will untie it and give it a remote control.
Now Billy says his comments were taken out of context. Well that's dreadful, of course.
Noah Michelson at HuffPost Gay Voices comments.
Score one for Jon Stewart. Notice that Huckabee manages to put his anti-elitism in the nicest possible light, though Stewart isn't having it. Huckabee is a lot more likeable than the other whackjobs.
MLK marched to Montgomery. I was in Montgomery Wards once in March. #aninterestingparallel— Tina Dupuy (@TinaDupuy) January 19, 2015
The above tweet, and the hashtag #aninterestingparallel, is part of the mockery in response to conservative provocateur Dinesh D'Souza's comparison of himself to Dr. King as a way of bashing President Obama. Raw Story reports.
@Pontifex If the people you are winning back to the Church find the same old policies regarding women and gay people, they won't stay.— Richard Rosendall (@RickRosendall) January 20, 2015
I figure someone at the Vatican reads the papal Twitter feed. So I offer my two cents.
@Pontifex You have brought people hope. But Catholic schools fire gay teachers and you say gay marriage is threat to family. That's no help.— Richard Rosendall (@RickRosendall) January 20, 2015
This article by Justin Jones at The Daily Beast, on unofficial gay-themed art tours at the Vatican, overstates the degree of the Vatican's and the Pope's pro-gayness, as became clear the other day when Francis spoke in the Philippines and called same-sex marriage a threat to the family. That should not be a surprise to anyone, nor does it mean we should not continue to engage the Church on a range of issues. But the welcome contrast with Benedict (whom I regard as a classic vicious closet case) is not everything.
Still, I will be interested in the Vatican's reaction to gay-themed art tours, as I am curious about their reaction to Michael Sam's twitpic of his proposal to Vito atop the dome of St. Peter's. While doctrine and policy are my main focus, symbolic gestures have their value, as do simple courtesy and respect. The latter, however, are not advanced by calling us a threat to the family. We must remember that the Curia remains powerful.
A lovely song inspired by Dr. King's most famous speech.
(Hat tip: Mark Thompson)
@daveachuk writes about this video exploring the Hubble Space Telescope's super-high-res image of the Andromeda Galaxy:
First & Last photo by Cory Poole: https://www.facebook.com/CoryPoolePho...
Super-high resolution image of Andromeda from Hubble (NASA/ESA): http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/...
Music is 'Koda - The Last Stand': https://soundcloud.com/kodachrome/kod...
Here's an excerpt from my latest column, concerning the deadly terrorist attacks last week in Paris at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket:
Conservative pundits indignantly asked why there were no condemnations by Muslim leaders of the attacks, when in fact there was a flood of them. On the other hand, it was jarring when several despotic regimes sent representatives to a massive Paris march for the murdered cartoonists despite their own repression of journalists.
Any facile sorting of friend from foe was refuted by news reports. The last victim in the Charlie Hebdo attack was Muslim police officer Ahmed Merabet. During the kosher market incident, Muslim employee Lassana Bathily saved several hostages from terrorist Amedy Coulibaly by hiding them in a walk-in freezer.
A news report referred to Coulibaly's "fluent French and broken Arabic." Having come home to roost, the West's imperialist chickens are less likely to fit the profile. Only cooperation across faiths and cultures can save us from endless retributive justice. Defending secular freedoms against racism and sectarianism is the best response to Marine Le Pen.
Read Blade editor Kevin Naff's bracing editorial here.
The New Yorker writes:
Barry Blitt drew next week’s cover, inspired by the photographs of the Selma-to-Montgomery march that are everywhere again. “It struck me that King’s vision was both the empowerment of African-Americans, the insistence on civil rights, but also the reconciliation of people who seemed so hard to reconcile,” he said. “In New York and elsewhere, the tension between the police and the policed is at the center of things. Like Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, Martin Luther King was taken way too early. It is hard to believe things would have got as bad as they are if he was still around today.”
Lyle Denniston reports at SCOTUSblog:
Taking on a historic constitutional challenge with wide cultural impact, the Supreme Court on Friday afternoon agreed to hear four new cases on same-sex marriage. The Court said it would rule on the power of the states to ban same-sex marriages and to refuse to recognize such marriages performed in another state. A total of two-and-a-half hours was allocated for the hearings, likely in the April sitting. A final ruling is expected by early next summer, probably in late June.
The Court fashioned the specific questions it is prepared to answer, but they closely tracked the two core constitutional issues that have led to a lengthy string of lower-court rulings striking down state bans. As of now, same-sex marriages are allowed in thirty-six states, with bans remaining in the other fourteen but all are under court challenge.
UPDATE 7:51 p.m. The Obama administration will file a brief in the same-sex marriage cases, supporting equal access to marital rights in all of the states, Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.
I really hope that counsel for our opponents boils it down during oral arguments by saying, "Your Honors, what about the chirren?!!" and sitting back down.
@Pontifex reacts to the Charlie Hebdo murders by reminding us that Holy Mother the Church, Inc. is not a democracy. There are limits to freedom of expression, he says, and he doesn't mean things like falsely crying "Fire!" in a crowded theater. He means offending someone's religion. Well I am sorry, Your Holiness, but you are wrong. Put me on the rack if you don't like it. Oh, that's right, you don't have the power to do that any more. Well that's a relief.
I warned everyone a year ago not to commit the sin of wishful thinking with this charming pope. He is not quite the liberal some people were hoping for.