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8401NEWS -- 2014.03.22.Saturday afternoon

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  • James Martin
    Mar 22, 2014
    • 0 Attachment
      Spring.  It has sprung.
      Dogs bark, but the caravan passes on.
      1) Federal Judge Strikes Down Michigan’s Ban on Same-Sex Marriage
      2) Cosmos
      3) 'Cosmos' Accused of Taking a Jab at Catholics 
      4) 8 Surprising Uses for Cream of Tartar
      5) The Ugandan Tabloid That Stole Our Pride
      6) As Criticism Mounts, American Pastor Denies Inspiring Uganda’s Anti-Gay Law
      7) Anti-Gay Law Will Be Overturned Say Uganda's Campaigners
      8) Judge calls Tennessee gay marriage ban historical 'footnote': Do Southerners now agree?  (Hell no!)
      9) ‘Frozen’ Gay Conspiracy Theory
      10) Michele Bachmann Claims Gay People Have 'Bullied The American People'
      11) Wrongly convicted
      12) After audit reveals corruption, Florida town's days could be numbered
      It's a small group of people that cause all the trouble.  Like 1%.
      Obama and Crimea
      My opinion -- Obama needs help.  He's not focused in the correct direction.  He's lost his way.
      But he has done a lot of good.

      The Newly Insane State of North Carolina

      By Charles Pierce, Esquire

      22 March 2014

       Holy hell, our old pal, Agenda 21, the secret UN plot to steal all our golfs, is making an appearance in the Republican senatorial primary in the newly insane state of North Carolina.

      Brannon, a physician, is running as the tea party alternative to North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis, who has been the presumed frontrunner for the GOP nomination. A March 11 poll from the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling found Brannon and Tillis tied at 14 percent to lead the Republican primary field. For the uninitiated, Agenda 21 is a non-binding UN plan regarding sustainable development that is the subject of numerous fringe conspiracy theories. Glenn Beck, for instance, wrote a dystopian novel about it, and Beck's news site, The Blaze, has warned readers that it could lead to a one-world government. "This scam of Agenda 21, this scam of humans are poisoning the earth, is a scam," Brannon said. "They are using that to control you, to control me, to control life." "That's why Obamacare, Agenda 21, NDAA, all these things are the collective over the individual. The spirit of 1776 must be rebirthed because we are living in the Orwellian 1984."..."I want to know how Agenda 21 is attacking our private property," he said. "This is going to be bloody because Mr. Tillis does not want that kind of fight, he's not comfortable with those forums. So I'm going to disagree with this. This is truly confrontational because you know what happened? They took my Constitution away."

      Also his shoes, his belt, and several sharp objects, one presumes.

      These really are the fking mole people.


      Federal Judge Strikes Down Michigan’s Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

      On TV
      The new Cosmos
      Sunday nights on Fox
      Monday nights, and other times, on National Geographic Channel

      'Cosmos' Accused of Taking a Jab at Catholics

      By Michael Gryboski, Christian Post Reporter
      March 11, 2014|4:31 pm

      Some are crying foul at the opening episode of the much-anticipated reboot of the Carl Sagan science program "Cosmos."

      Hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Sunday's (March 9) debut episode featured an animated segment on the persecution of Giordano Bruno, a 16th-century monk and astronomer.

      Bruno claimed that neither the earth nor the sun was the center of the universe, reportedly prompting his arrest and execution as demanded by the Roman Catholic Church. It is a scene that some, including media researcher Matt Philbin, have decried as unfairly attacking the Catholic Church.

      Managing editor of the Culture and Media Institute of the conservative group the Media Research Center, Philbin told The Christian Post that "Cosmos" "absolutely" was taking a jab at the Church.

      --- click on URL for the rest ---
      My comment -- A jab well deserved. As usual, nobody knows how to lie and bear false witness like a rightwing religionist. Religions do not like truth/honesty that shakes their theological mythology, and exposes their hypocrisy.
      Cosmos airs Sunday nights on Fox and Monday nights (and other times) on National Geographic Channel.

      8 Surprising Uses for Cream of Tartar


      The Ugandan Tabloid That Stole Our Pride

      My friend Dismus, in remote western Uganda, told me: “I’m so angry. Is life worth living now? I don’t know.” Elijah, who also lives in western Uganda, told me that he was at work when colleagues approached him holding a copy of the newspaper. The group soon grew into an angry mob that chased him away amid shouts and threats. Too fearful for his safety to return home, when I spoke to him, he was walking the streets of Masaka, a city several hours away by bus.

      “Tell me, what am I to do?” he yelled into the phone. “I’ve lost everything!” I felt guilty and responsible; I worked with friends in Uganda to find Elijah safe temporary lodging.

      Most of the people in my story have been forced to relocate or have gone into hiding. One fled the country. Several, like Elijah, lost their jobs. Mr. Mugisha and other prominent figures in the Ugandan L.G.B.T. movement have stayed put, working to assist others.

      Uganda is often painted with a broad brush in the West, as though the entire country were stridently homophobic. But many Ugandans oppose this law, and most rulings in Ugandan courts regarding civil rights cases for L.G.B.T. people have sided with the activists. Several of them were outed in 2009 by the Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone (which had no connection with the American music magazine). They sued, and won, in a ruling that called the outing a threat to “fundamental rights and freedoms.” The newspaper subsequently folded.

      I am now preparing to file suit in Uganda for copyright infringement against the Red Pepper. So far, The Advocate, the oldest L.G.B.T. rights publication in America, has been reluctant to get involved. After the Red Pepper’s unauthorized publication, The Advocate took down the online version of the photo essay. The magazine’s editor, Lucas Grindley, said that before republishing the project, he wanted to contact all the participants to give them “a chance to reassert their intention to stand up while under these new, and terrifying, conditions.” As for the copyright theft, he said, “This is something our lawyers are investigating.”

      “This is a very important case for L.G.B.T. advocacy and responsible journalism,” said my Ugandan attorney, Stephen Tumwesigye. “It is important that The Advocate is a party to this suit.”

      I have learned from my Ugandan friends that to achieve any lasting change, we must be willing to step forward — often, alone. Their course of action has changed me; I am no longer willing to wait for others to do my work for me. For my friends as well as other Ugandans, I will, if required by the courts or my attorney, return to Uganda to fight this case in spite of my own vulnerability under the new law’s provisions against homosexuality and its perceived promotion.

      My friend Richard was in San Francisco last week to speak at a technology conference. We caught up afterward.

      “Are you still glad you participated in our project?” I asked.

      “Yes, absolutely,” he said. “So I could tell the world my story.”

      Denver David Robinson works for an international development organization.

      A version of this op-ed appears in print on March 17, 2014, on page A23 of the New York edition with the headline: The Ugandan Tabloid That Stole Our Pride.


      As Criticism Mounts, American Pastor Denies Inspiring Uganda’s Anti-Gay Law

      By Kristina Bravo | Takepart.com, Monday 10 March 2014Takepart.com

      Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni faced global outrage when he signed into law an anti-gay bill in February and lashed out at “arrogant and careless Western groups” for proselytizing about tolerance. But many critics blame American evangelists, with one name turning up more frequently than most: Scott Lively.

      Mother Jones published an in-depth profile of the 56-year-old pastor on Monday. Lively is running for governor of Massachusetts, and the piece reports that his anti-gay agenda began upon “finding God” in an Oregon treatment center in the 1980s. The former alcoholic then joined the Oregon Citizens Alliance, which worked to propose a ballot initiative that equated homosexuality with pedophilia. After a backlash, Lively moved to California, where he earned a law degree from Trinity Law School in Santa Ana and a Ph.D. in theology from Pentecostal Assemblies of God in San Jacinto.

      “As they lose ground at home, where public opinion and law are rapidly shifting in favor of gay equality, religious conser vatives have increasingly turned their attention to Africa,” reporter Mariah Blake writes. “And Uganda, with its large Christian population, has been particularly fertile ground for their crusade.”

      Lively made his first visit to the African country in 2002; there he met with anti-gay politicians and religious leaders. Videos of his sermons to Ugandan audiences, including Parliament members, have since surfaced on the Web. His lectures were based on his doctoral thesis, which has been published under the title Redeeming Rainbow.

      “The majority of people that I’ve known who are homosexuals were sexually abused as children,” explains Lively in one clip. In another, he warns, “There’s a whole network of people ready to simply inculcate you and pull you into their world…. The more people they have on their side, the less they feel abnormal.”

      His sermons became the basis of the first draft of Uganda’s anti-gay bill in 2009, Sexual Minorities Uganda director Frank Mugisha told Mother Jones. “The bill is essentially his creation.”

      In response, Lively tells TakePart, “My influence was minimal. A Uganda bill was planned but not written before the March 2009 conference. My suggestions for revision, after I first saw the proposed bill in draft form in April, were ignored.”

      He adds, “That Mother Jones piece is extremely biased and hostile.” Lively recommends instead a recent NPR interview, which “is much more honest and objective.”

      In it, Lively insisted, “I love gay people.… I’d rather that they stop trying to mainstream this sort of anything-goes sexuality and, you know, go back to the original goal of seeking tolerance, the right to be left alone.”

      Though Lively has become the face of radical evangelism, he’s not the only one. The 2013 documentary God Loves Uganda exposed missionary groups who regularly send young “do-gooders” to anti-homosexuality missions in Africa.

      So far, the international community has withdrawn millions of assistance to the East African republic, with President Obama warning that the move would “complicate our valued relationship.”

      The act, previously known as the “Kill the Gays" bill, originally included a death penalty clause. The final version imposes lifetime terms for “aggravated homosexuality” and criminalizes all homosexual acts, including lesbianism, for the first time.

      “The Russian law banning ‘gay’ propaganda to children reflects my philosophy and approach, and I have no problem saying so,” Lively says. “The Uganda law does not. Anyone who knows me knows I am not shy to say what I believe, without regard for political correctness or the opinions of my detractors. Those who claim that I orchestrated or helped draft the Uganda law are simply liars.”

      Related stories on TakePart:

      • 11 of the Best Responses to Arizona’s Anti-Gay Bill

      • Russian Neo-Nazis Made These Horrifying Videos of Anti-LGBT Attacks

      • Religious Violence Raises Fears of Ethnic Cleansing in Africa

      • You Can Be Sent to Prison for Being Gay in This Country


      Anti-Gay Law Will Be Overturned Say Uganda's Campaigners

      Saturday, 22 March 2014 15:17 By Amy Fallon, Inter Press Service

      Kampala - Human rights campaigners who filed a recent legal petition against Uganda’s draconian anti-gay law believe that they have a compelling case for its nullification. 

      “Judges are human beings. But we are pretty sure we have made a compelling case for the nullification of the law and the judges will exercise their judicial minds to the law as presented before them [rather than pay attention to] public sentiments,” Secretary of the Uganda Law Society, Nicholas Opiyo, told IPS.

      “Personally I do not agree that we’re going to lose in the Constitutional Court and the Court of Appeal… We have a good case.” -- Fox Odoi, a ruling party MP and former legal advisor to Museveni

      On Tuesday, Mar. 11, a coalition of campaigners filed a petition with Uganda’s Constitutional Court in Kampala in response to the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2014. President Yoweri Museveni signed the bill into law on Feb. 24.

      The law strengthens penalties for homosexual acts, prescribing life imprisonment for “aggravated homosexuality” and criminalising the “promotion” of homosexuality. The team is seeking an injunction against the enforcement of the law.

      Opiyo, who helped draft the petition, said the legal challenge “raises important constitutional and legal issues that the court must resolve satisfactorily.”

      The petition was filed under the auspices of the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CSCHRCL), a coalition of 50 indigenous civil society organisations advocating for non-discrimination.

      It argues, among other things, that the anti-gay law “violates Ugandans’ constitutionally guaranteed right to: privacy, to be free from discrimination, dignity, to be free from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment…”

      The petitioners are also seeking a permanent injunction against media houses or any other organisations from publishing pictures, names, addresses or other details of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual and intersex (LGBTI) or suspected LGBTI persons.

      On Feb. 25, just one day after Museveni signed the anti-gay law, Ugandan tabloid Red Pepper published a list of what it said were “Uganda’s 200 top homos”. A string of other sensational headlines in other editions of Red Pepper, and another tabloid Hello, ensued.

      Geoffrey Ogwaro of CSCHRCL was named in a Mar. 1 issue of Red Pepper, which carried the front page headline “Ugandan homos form cabinet”. His photo was featured on page two.

      Although the activist’s immediate family knows that he is gay, he said his mum was still “heartbroken” after being shown the paper.

      “She’s never really come to terms with it and when it became public it was really embarrassing for her,” Ogwaro said.

      “She’s cooled down now but it was a bit of a shock to her.”

      Opiyo said his “conservative guess” was that it could take “about six months” to come up. But he said that even then the public discourse surrounding the law, which is popular with most Ugandans, may “weigh on the minds of the judges.”

      “We are under no illusion that this petition is the most popular petition. We know too well that the general public may be adverse to our petition and will seek to vilify the petitioners and their lawyers,” Opiyo said.

      Among the petitioners is Fox Odoi, a ruling party MP and former legal advisor to Museveni who is the only legislator to speak out publicly against the law.

      “I believe it’s irrational, it has no basis, it offends every human right that you can think about, it offends our constitution. It offends our treaty obligations of Uganda,” Odoi told IPS about the anti-gay law.

      “As a citizen, as a legislator, as a human rights lawyer, I owe it to the people of Uganda to stand up and challenge it. Of course there’s a big political risk, this society is very homophobic and they’ll brand you all manner of names just because you stood up to speak for the minority. But in life you take a risk even waking up in your bed every day.”

      “Personally I do not agree that we’re going to lose in the Constitutional Court and the Court of Appeal… We have a good case,” Odoi said.

      Other petitioners include law professor Joe Oloka-Onyango, media personality Andrew Mwenda and former leader of the opposition Professor Morris Ogenga-Latigo.

      A number of distinguished gay rights campaigners and Ugandan NGOs Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) and the Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) are also named in the petition.

      Adrian Jjuuko, executive director of HRAPF, said there had been 10 cases of arrests of LGBTI and suspected LGBTI people since the law was passed by Parliament in December. There were also more than three cases of evictions of tenants by landlords who did not follow due process of the law.

      Ugandan activists have vowed for years to challenge the law in court. Campaigners have already notched up two legal victories. In 2011 leading gay rights activist David Kato and two others won a case against now defunct tabloid Rolling Stone, which had called for homosexuals to be hanged. Weeks later Kato was murdered.

      In 2008 two lesbians, Yvonne Oyoo and Victor Juliet Mukasa, were awarded 7,800 dollars by a judge who found their rights were violated when the pair was arrested and one of them was undressed by police.

      Some activists are hopeful they could win again.

      “I think court could work out, it’s usually very objective. It has been very objective in the other two cases that have been won,” Ogwaro of CSCHRCL said.

      “However, there are going to be the usual delays because the judges will fear issuing the judgment and how it will be seen.”

      The petitioners say that even if the Constitutional Court does not rule in their favour, it is not the end.

      “We shall appeal to the Supreme Court. Uganda is [also] a signatory to the law that establishes the East African Community, there is a court and we shall explore that option. We shall keep fighting,” said Odoi.

      See also
      Ugandan activists challenge anti-gay law in court
      By Emmanuel Leroux-Nega, March 11, 2014
      My comment ---
      Southern Baptists are pissed! --->
      --- video at URL ---

      Judge calls Tennessee gay marriage ban historical 'footnote': Do Southerners now agree?

      The South remains the most hard-line US region opposing same-sex marriage. But a recent shift in public attitudes – even in the Bible Belt – suggests that may be changing.

      By Patrik Jonsson, Saturday,  March 15, 2014 1:16 PM
      The Christian Science Monitor
      In ordering an injunction against Tennessee’s ban on gay marriage, a federal judge on Friday called laws against recognizing same sex couples mere “footnotes” in history.
      As the legal battle over gay rights shifts to the South, the big question now is whether Southerners have tacitly begun to agree with that notion.

      The injunction ruling by Judge Aleta Trauger covers three couples who filed a lawsuit last year against the 2006 state constitutional amendment that both bans gay marriage in the state and orders officials not to recognize marriage certificates from other states. The judge has not made a final ruling in the case, but did seem to tip her hat Friday.

      "At this point, all signs indicate that, in the eyes of the United States Constitution, the plaintiffs' marriages will be placed on an equal footing with those of heterosexual couples and that proscriptions against same-sex marriage will soon become a footnote in the annals of American history," Judge Trauger wrote in the order.

      The ruling is the fourth of its kind in the South, which remains the most hard-line region when it comes to denying people of the same sex joining in state-sanctioned unions. In Tennessee, 81 percent of voters approved the gay marriage constitutional ban in 2006.

      But a recent shift in public attitudes on gay marriage – even here in the Bible Belt – suggests that a truce could be near.

      A Washington Post poll this week showed support for gay marriage in the South at 50 percent for the first time, compared to 59 percent support nationally. Forty-two percent of Southerners say they’re opposed to gay marriage.

      “While geographic splits on same-sex marriage approval do show the South lagging other regions, it’s no longer a minority view even here, and it isn’t hard to fathom which way it’s trending,” writes Bruce Barry in the Nashville Scene.

      Gay couples are filing lawsuits at a rapid pace in states where voters approved anti-gay marriage amendments to their state constitutions – Indiana, for example, saw 11 couples joining a lawsuit filed on Friday alone. The suits are coming on the heels of last year’s Supreme Court ruling that affirmed the right of same-sex couples to get federal benefits. Since then, judges have struck down marriage bans in Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, Oklahoma, Utah, and Texas.

      In the US, pro-gay marriage states are clustered in the Northeast and Far West; anti-gay marriage states are stacked up in the South, in the Appalachians, the Ohio River Valley, and parts of the Mountain West.

      In response to Friday’s ruling in Tennessee, David Fowler, president of Family Action Council of Tennessee, said he expects attorney general Robert Cooper to appeal any final ruling against the marriage ban.

      The judge “clearly signaled her intent to continue the war by unelected federal judges against the rights of the states and the citizens … to determine what its policies regarding marriage should be,” Mr. Fowler fumed in a statement.

      But it’s not clear, given changing attitudes and legal dynamics – including US Attorney General Eric Holder telling state attorneys general they don’t have to try to uphold laws they feel are discriminatory – whether Southern officials will try to rebuff the courts.

      Already, six Democratic attorneys generals have said they will not appeal court rulings striking down gay marriage bans in their states. Such hesitation has begun to spread to the South, as well. Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway angered conservatives in the state when he recently signaled he will not appeal a federal pro-gay marriage ruling in his state.

      "Southerners are increasingly on a journey in support of the freedom to marry," said Marc Solomon, national campaign director for Freedom to Marry, in a statement. "At its core, marriage is about love and family – deeply ingrained Southern values."


      Lots of comments at the Yahoo URL.

      My comment -- No, Southern Baptists do NOT agree.  They will want to start another war over this.



      ‘Frozen’ Gay Conspiracy Theory

      By Caitlin Dickson March 12, 2014 5:45 AMThe Daily Beast
      Frozen might just be the most talked-about kids movie since Toy Story, but it’s not all accolades and awards for the Oscar-winning animated flick. There is a fear campaign mounting against the film, warning conservative parents and grandparents to keep their impressionable young children away from what some believe is a musical advertisement for the gay agenda.

      It seems to have started with Kathryn Skaggs who, according to the title of her blog, is “A Well-Behaved Mormon Woman.” After being dragged against her will three different times by three sets of grandchildren to see Frozen, Skaggs couldn’t “Let It Go” any longer. After the third viewing she was convinced: This beloved movie, with its top-notch animation and its catchy theme song doesn’t just have homosexual undertones (what Disney movie doesn’t?) but is 108 minutes of pure gay propaganda! “It is apparent that the very best talent within the industry was called upon for every facet of producing and bringing [Frozen] to the big screen: illustrators; animators; writers; composers; singing artist; actors; etc., in order to woo its intended audience, parents, into a frozen-state, which would then allow liberalism to indoctrinate children,” Skaggs wrote in lengthy blog post last month.

      Most of the reactions to Skaggs’ claims that the evil geniuses at Disney had duped Christian parents across the country into allowing Frozen to brainwash their children into supporting the “normalization of same-sex sexual behavior”—or worse, turn them gay—have been criticized, dismissed and mocked the Internet over. Yet, as is often the case with outrageous, politically-charged conspiracy theories, someone was bound to bite. “If I was the Devil, what would I do to really foul up an entire social system and do something really, really, really evil to five- and six- and seven-year-olds in Christian families around America?” Pastor and right-wing radio host Kevin Swanson asked on his show Monday. “I would buy Disney.” He continued, “I wonder if people are thinking: ‘You know I think this cute little movie is going to indoctrinate my five-year-old to be a lesbian or treat homosexuality or bestiality in a light sort of way.’ I wonder if the average parent going to see Frozen is thinking that way. I wonder if they are just walking in and saying, ‘Yeah, let’s get my five-year-old and seven-year-old indoctrinated early.’ You know they’re not, I think for the most part they’re oblivious. Maybe they do pick up on pieces of it, but they just don’t get up and walk out.”

      Like Skaggs, neither Swanson nor his co-host Steve Vaughn, offer much in the way of specific examples of lines, scenes or even themes in the movie that prove their point. In fact, the only proof of “gay messaging” Skaggs provides is the suggestion that the main character Elsa’s magical power is a metaphor for homosexuality: She is ostracized by the public and even her family, just like the “demonization of homosexuals by society.” Elsa’s non-magical sister Anna’s shotgun wedding to someone she barely knows is meant to illustrate how “heterosexuals diminish marriage.” And, of course, the happy ending wherein Elsa’s family and community finally accept her for who she is sends the message that gays (Elsa) are not the problem, but rather society is the problem for rejecting them.

      National Catholic Register writer Steven Greydanus (who actually questioned Frozen’s gayness back in January) not only saw the rejected Elsa as a symbol for oppressed gay people, he also points out that Elsa, unlike her boycrazy sister, shows no interest in dating, so clearly she is a lesbian. If that’s not enough, following the closing credits “Elsa’s giant, male-voiced snow monster, wandering through her abandoned ice palace, picks up her abandoned tiara and places it daintily on his own head, smiling as it discovers its true inner princess.” Disney has a long history of fielding accusations of using its children’s movies to advance one liberal agenda or another —whether it’s gay rights, environmentalism or socialism. However, there seems to be something about Frozen that has attracted more than the usual amount of controversy for a kids’ cartoon.

      Frozen is a feminist movie, claimed some critics, because neither of its female protagonists are rescued by a handsome prince in the end but, rather, they save themselves. Frozen is not so feminist, others argued, because Elsa’s climactic “coming out,” if you will, includes an arguably sexy makeover. Others still took the time to call Frozen racist, accusing Disney of “whitewashing” the indigenous people of Scandinavia, where the animated film is supposed to take place. And this was all before John Travolta epically flubbed singer Idina Menzel’s name, creating a fictional person and immediately overplayed meme, at the Academy Awards.

      Those fearing Frozen’s homosexual agenda might want to consider the agendas of its critics. Kevin Swanson, for example, declared that “decadent homosexual activity,” marijuana legalization and abortion rights were to blame for the floods that devastated Colorado last summer. And despite insisting in her Frozen post that she is “not anti-gay” nor “here to judge homosexuals,” Kathryn Skaggs has dedicated a large number of her blog posts to advocating for “traditional marriage.” Then again, if you’re legitimately concerned about a Disney movie turning your children gay, you might be just the choir Swanson and Skaggs are preaching to.

      My comment ---
      At least Fred Phelps is dead.
      Priceless ---
      Michele Bachmann Claims Gay People Have 'Bullied The American People'
       | by  Mollie Reilly
      Florida ---

      After audit reveals corruption, Florida town's days could be numbered

      "They make Boss Hogg look like a Sunday school teacher," says sheriff

      By Mike Krumboltz, Yahoo News | Yahoo News – Monday 10 March 2014