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Archive for January, 2007

January 10th, 2007

The Bitter Pain Of Harrassment…

Apparently Ex-Gay-For-Pay Randy Thomas, membership director of Exodus, and staunch opponent of hate crime laws, is getting a bit tired of being harassed for what he is…

This is rich:

Private Blog

There is something to be said about having a public blog.  I love to blog.  I have made some amazing friends and had wonderful conversations over the years.  I like posting pictures and artwork and discussing important topics (overcoming homosexuality only being one of millions of important topics.)  Even so, having a personal "public" blog is also time intensive.  Especially when you have so many people willing to harass you and your loved ones because they don’t agree with you. :)  So, at this point, this blog is going to be completely private and posts will only be visible to my VOX neighborhood, friends and family…

Scott over at Reality Cubed has a pretty good retort up to all this, to which I can only add that it’s grotesque watching someone who played his part in a right wing propaganda offensive against hate crime laws, with gusto, bellyaching now about being harassed because, because, because they don’t agree with him.  Honestly you pathetic gutter crawling maggot, I don’t give a flying fuck what your opinions are about homosexuals and homosexuality.  Out of the lifestyle are you?  Fine.  Whatever.  And for the record I don’t think people should be harassing you online, except I strongly suspect what you consider harassment is simply the kind of eminently expectable ill will people get in return when they keep spitting in their neighbor’s faces, and trashing their lives.  Be nice if your kind would stop inciting religious passions against gay people, and then encouraging the police and the courts to keep looking the other way when they start taking it out on us violently though, wouldn’t it?  Ask this Milwaukee Lesbian what being harassed feels like, you drooling moron.

Randy’s the guy on the…er…far right…in the ad below, produced by Exodus in their offensive in late 2005 against hate crime laws protecting gay people from what happened to Angela Emanule above, and countless others, like James Maestas, who was beaten so badly in Santa Fe earlier in the same year Exodus produced this ad, that his lungs were burned by his own stomach acid.

Here’s Randy hobnobbing with Karl Rove…

And, just to remind everyone, here’s how Rove likes winning elections in swing states…

Producing the inevitable results like this one…

or like what happened to Patricia Wells after she got in the way of a neo-nazi attacker who broke into her trailor to kill her gay son

The gay kid wasn’t there, but the man managed to kill his 17 year old friend who was.  And republicans sure do seem like they’re perfectly willing to live with the consequences of demonizing homosexuals for votes, so long as it keeps winning them elections.   And you’ll keep helping them do it won’t you Randy?  Like…by spreading the damnable lie that we think our lives are more valuable then anyone else’s.  All that ad did was generate more hate toward gay people.  But…that’s what it was for.  You know what Randy?  Your name was on the knife that killed Kristofer King.


by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Bitter Pain Of Harrassment…

“The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.”

Via Steve Gilliard

News Analysis: Blogosphere Trumps Old Media In Disney/Spocko Dustup
by Tom Siebert, Tuesday, Jan 9, 2007 6:00 AM ET

THE WALT DISNEY CO.’S FAILURE to suppress access to controversial audio files from its ABC Radio affiliate KSFO is a textbook example of the impossibility of controlling the marketplace of ideas in the digital age.

Like a swarm of tiny locusts overwhelming a massive mouse, it was fascinating to watch the blogosphere unite in defense of the online media critic Spocko last weekend. Disney had sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Web site Spocko’s Brain and its ISP, 1&1, after the online muckraker taped segments of KSFO’s morning talk show, posted them on his site, and invited the station’s advertisers to listen.

What they heard was drive-time hosts endorse torture, insult Muslims and enact the execution of journalists. When some advertisers fled, the Disney legal department briefly killed the messenger with a cease-and-desist order, alleging copyright violation.

But less than 48 hours after Spocko’s case was brought to light on the progressive news blog "The Daily Kos," several new Web hosts, including YouTube, Blogintegrity and Firedoglake, stepped up to provide access to audio files from KSFO. Instead of one ISP to threaten, there were now many–basically challenging MouseCorp to sue all of them.

Disney is now left with the option of playing a virtual game of "Whack A Mole," as the Rodent Empire’s lawyers will need to slap citations against a series of sites as swiftly as they pop up. Plus, it may only be a matter of time before the mainstream media rides the story for at least one new cycle. That’s got to be Disney’s worst nightmare: 24 hours where "Disney" and "Hate Speech" are both part of the topic line.

The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.  –John Gilmore

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on “The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.”

Ice On The Brain

"Everything you know is wrong" – The Firesign Theater

I’m looking through my server logs and I see a reference to my blog coming from a site I’d never seen before…Why the hell are you here?  Check out the Bad Science and Dead Racists tags for some good reading.  Anyway…I was looking around and I found a link to this…of all things…

The Geocentrism Challenge

CAI will write a check for $1,000 to the first person who can prove that the earth revolves around the sun. (If you lose, then we ask that you make a donation to the apostolate of CAI). Obviously, we at CAI don’t think anyone CAN prove it, and thus we can offer such a generous reward. In fact, we may up the ante in the near future.

Scripture is very clear that the earth is stationary and that the sun, moon and stars revolve around it. (By the way, in case you’re wondering, "flat-earthers" are not accepted here, since Scripture does not teach a flat earth, nor did the Fathers teach it).  [Bruce: Actually…I belong to the Flat Mars Society…]  If there was only one or two places where the Geocentric teaching appeared in Scripture, one might have the license to say that those passages were just incidental and really didn’t reflect the teaching of Scripture at large. But the fact is that Geocentrism permeates Scripture. Here are some of the more salient passages (Sirach 43:2-5; 43:9-10; 46:4; Psalm 19:5-7; 104:5; 104:19; 119:90; Ecclesiastes 1:5; 2 Kings 20:9-11; 2 Chronicles 32:24; Isaiah 38:7-8; Joshua 10:12-14; Judges 5:31; Job 9:7; Habakkuk 3:11; (1 Esdras 4:12); James 1:12). I could list many more, but I think these will suffice.

This was copied from a site called Catholic Apologetics International, and seems to have since been pulled from it, as the page they’ve linked to is no longer found.  But some digging around among the other links back at Why The Hell Are You Here? turned up this amazing little tidbit

The non-moving Earth 

& anti-evolution web page of

The Fair Education Foundation, Inc.

Exposing the False Science Idol of Evolutionism,
and Proving the Truthfulness of the Bible from Creation to Heaven…

–  since 1973 –

Marshall Hall, Pres.

Questions from Daniel Ott and his audience will be seeking hard evidence from me

which proves that the Earth is neither rotating on an axis nor orbiting the sun.

You won’t want to miss this unraveling of the granddaddy of all conspiracies, and

what the Truth about the Non-Moving Earth issue means to every living person.


This site doesn’t appear to be satire.  In case you’re wondering, they seem to be claiming that the stars we see in the sky at night are mostly reflections of sunlight off of ice crystals.  Which explains for me a reference that’s always puzzled me in Jacob Bronowski’s wonderful book Science and Human Values.  In Part 2, The Habit of Truth, Bronowski relates a story of how the great German scientist, Werner Heisenberg, was denounced by the S.S.  He mentions a letter Himmler wrote defending Heisenberg, and suggesting that Heisenberg might be useful in a Nazi Academy he was planning to establish, "which Himmler proposed to devote to the conviction which he either shared with or imposed on his scientific yes-men, that the stars are made of ice."

Why, I wondered, would a blood drenched Nazi lunatic want people to believe the stars were made of ice?  Well now I know.  It’s necessary for an earth centric model of the universe.  The universe just can’t be as huge as it is, and work in an earth centric model.  So it has to be much smaller.  Which means the stars can’t be so big, and so far away.  They have to be much smaller, and huddled around the earth like a halo.  So the stars must be a cloud of ice crystals, reflecting the light from the sun.  That was what Himmler was wanting to prove, so he could prove the earth centric model, so the Nazis could throw out mountains of science that existed, and which was the result of free inquiry.  That much of modern physics by that time had been done by European Jews was probably on his mind.  But science, regardless of who is doing it, is anathema to totalitarians, who exalt authority over free inquiry, and the Nazis, contrary to a lot of claptrap about their so-called paganism, time and time again appealed to the bible, and to their own brand of biblical fundamentalism for justification.

It’s incredible to find people so afraid of the world as it is, that they’ll shrink back from it into this kind of delusion.  Galileo blew this model apart when he took a telescope he made and pointed it at the heavens and saw with his own eyes that the earth centric model simply didn’t work, and Copernicus’ powerful insight had been right.  You can buy a pair of binoculars nowadays that are far better then anything Galileo had in his day.  But Bronowski, writing this time in his book The Ascent of Man, puts his finger on it…

Galileo seems to me to have been strangely innocent about the world of politics, and most innocent in thinking that he could outwit it because he was clever.  For twenty years and more he moved along a path that led inevitably to his condemnation.  It took a long time to undermine him, but there was never any doubt that Galileo would be silenced, because the division between him and those in authority was absolute.  They believed that faith should dominate; and Galileo believed that truth should persuade.

And there it is.  This is why the republicans and the Bush administration have been waging an unprecedented (for America) war against science and knowledge.  When people say that the rush back into religious fundamentalism comes from fear of change and apprehension about where science is leading us, that may well be true in part.  But it is not the whole.  This is a fight over who is in charge, and at the core of it is the struggle for free inquiry.  Does your life belong to you, or to some strongman dictator, to the man thumping his bible at you, to your local committee of some national authoritarian political party?  Every time you ask a question, you challenge authority.  That is what is wrong with asking questions.  That is why science must be brought to heal.  Because it sets a bad example.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Ice On The Brain

January 9th, 2007

Perhaps We’ll Be Able To Sell Our Wedding Rings On eBay

So here I am…watching the auction of a couple of really nice looking original Canon F1s, and two really nice 85mm f1.8 lenses on eBay.  The F1 I bought back in 1971, after a summer of working behind the counter at Burger Chef, has only had to visit the repair shop once and is in great shape now, but I worry about what will happen if it ever needs another repair.  So I’d like to get another spare F1 body.  I love that camera…best 35mm SLR film camera ever made in my opinion…

They made them practically bombproof.  Solid overbuilt mechanical guts, alloy frame, solid brass lens focusing helicoids, roller bearings, titanium foil shutter curtains, oversized film pressure plate, and that breach lock bayonet lens mount that never got loose.  The thing was a tank compared to the Nikon F it was competing with when it first came out, and yet in operation it was as smooth as silk.  Heavy and yet precise in feel.  My friends used to call it the Brass Monster.  But in almost 30 years of nearly constant use (at one time I’d wanted to become a professional photographer) it never once failed me.  It’s been smacked by a horse, slammed by basketballs and players while covering my school sports, knocked down stairs, knocked out of my hands by angry protesters, taken into the bitter freezing cold, and baking hot conditions.  I’ve probably run tens of thousand of feet of 35mm film through it.  And only once, did it ever need to be taken to the doctor.  That was in 2001 and it took them six months to find a part they needed to fix it.  They did a great job…the camera came back restored back to absolutely great shape.  But immediately afterwords that repair shop announced they would no longer be servicing any Canon FD series cameras.

So I worry what will happen if mine ever needs repairing again. I just don’t want to be without one of these.  For my money, this is the perfect 35mm SLR.  Simple, elegant, beautiful, over engineered, yet smooth and precise like a fine watch.  I never work better then when I have one of these in my hands.  And after all this time, that one I bought back when I was a teenager after months of flippng burgers has great sentimental value to me.  So there I am prowling around eBay…looking to buy another backup body (I actually have two others, but one of those is more of a parts camera as it is missing a few pieces), and perhaps get a lens I still don’t have.

And then I see this, first over at Americablog, and then at Pam’s House Blend

Mr. Romney’s supporters came armed with lists of friends and, in the case of politicians, their own contributors. A lot of internal planning had gone into the day, so the recipients of calls asking for donations of $2,100, the legal limit, were not surprised. And Mr. Romney was certainly not taking any chances. When it came time for him to make a fund-raising call, piped over the loudspeaker and in front of a crush of cameras, he chose to call his older sister, Lynn Keenan, at her home outside Detroit.

…"I’ve never done anything like this before," said Meg Whitman, the chief executive of eBay, in a break from her callers. "I start out by saying: `You won’t believe where I am! I’m at the Boston Convention Center with four or five hundred other people dialing for contributions for Mitt Romney.’ "

Meg is one of Mitt’s regional chairs for his finance committee, and apparently she’s doing a bang-up job for him.  According to this link, Meg gives money to, among others, Orrin Hatch and…yes…George Allen.  No macacas on her payroll I guess.

There is apparently no way to cancel your eBay account.  Once you sign on, you’re in their system for life.  In the meantime I’m trying to find a viable email point of contact, just to let them know that I’ll be shopping elsewhere for the time being, and maybe forever if Mitt’s anti-gay same sex marriage amendment succeeds in cutting off the ring fingers of gay people in Massachusetts.  I’m probably better off shopping for used camera equipment at a real camera store anyway, like B&H in New York City.  I’ve never bought anything from their used camera department that wasn’t in exactly the condition advertised.  I can’t say the same about everything I’ve bought on eBay.  That parts F1 I have being one example.


by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Perhaps We’ll Be Able To Sell Our Wedding Rings On eBay

No Room At The Inn…

On the one hand, we’re fighting for, and winning in some places, the right to marry.  On the other, there are still gutter crawling bigots out there who are perfectly willing to argue for their right to discriminate against gay people, right down to the level of basic goods and services

UK Christians, Muslims and Jews are planning to rally outside Parliament Tuesday against new gay rights laws that they claim will force them to "actively condone and promote" gay sex.

According to BBC News, organizers say the Sexual Orientation Regulations would limit their right to live according to religious beliefs.

The legislation would ban discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities and services on the basis of sexuality.

The BBC reports that hotels could be prosecuted for refusing to provide rooms for gay couples and parishes obliged to rent out halls for gay wedding receptions.

Equally, gay bars would not be able to ban straight couples.

Thomas Cordrey, barrister and public policy analyst with the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship, told the BBC: "The debate in the Lords is a signal to the government of the need to acknowledge these regulations do not currently strike the correct balance between two competing rights. Christians have no desire to discriminate unjustly on the grounds of sexual orientation, but they cannot and must not be forced to actively condone and promote sexual practices which the Bible teaches are wrong."

Note the formulation, discriminate unjustly. Since when did bigots ever regard anything they ever did to the object of their hatred as unjust?  Somehow, we always have it coming.  And note also, that the complaints aren’t just about the possibility of having to rent out church space to gay people…something I would be against myself (but they don’t have a first amendment over there).  They’re bellyaching about having to rent us rooms in hotels, or for that matter sell any goods and services at all to homosexuals.

Who would Jesus refuse to feed?  Next time you hear one of these righteous people complaining that homosexuals are so mean and hateful, laugh in their face.  If they had their way, we’d be living in cardboard boxes on steam grates, so they could be righteous. 

by Bruce | Link | React! (1)

January 8th, 2007

Loving The Sinner…(continued)

Via The Christian Science Monitor…this from Peter Akinola, who it’s a safe bet fancies himself the Archbishop of the new church he’s busy carving out of the Anglican one.  It’s really entertaining when they don’t know enough to keep their goddamned mouths shut…

Best known for his vocal opposition to homosexuality, Akinola has found support among US Anglicans, or Episcopalians, who opposed the 2003 consecration of a gay bishop and the church’s move to allow dioceses to bless same-sex unions.

Last month, two of America’s oldest Episcopalian churches – both in Virginia – voted to break with the US branch of Anglicanism over the issue and concerns about church leaders’ adherence to biblical authority. These churches, and several other smaller churches, joined the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, which is connected to Akinola.

"Homosexuality seeks to destroy marriage as we know it, unity as we know it, family life as we know it, so how can we endorse that?" asks Akinola. "That is completely outside what God planned for humanity. When God created man, he saw man was alone and added a female mate for him. Why didn’t he pick one of the baboons, one of the lions to make his partner? He could have done so. He didn’t,"

[Emphasis mine]  Say…weren’t they saying the same thing about mixed race marriages not all that long ago in Virginia…?

by Bruce | Link | React! (2)

The Ring That Hate Can Take Away…

The right of same-sex couples to marry is now hanging by two threads in Massachusetts.

More on the cartoon page… 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Ring That Hate Can Take Away…

January 7th, 2007

The Casual Deceit Of The Right Wing Pundocracy…

Brad DeLong catches David Brooks in typical form

David Brooks says Nanci Pelosi is some kind of hereditary plutocrat, like George W. Bush:

A snit in first class – Opinion – International Herald Tribune: I have a dream that [Nancy] Pelosi, who was chauffeured to school as a child…. I dream of a great harmonic convergence among the obscenely rich…. [But] I know that both Bush and Pelosi are part of an upper-income whirlwind of strife….

This week, witness Pelosi going on her all-about-me inauguration tour, which is designed to rebrand her as a regular Catholic grandma from Baltimore. Members of the middle classes never have to mount campaign swings to prove how regular they are, but these upper-bracket types can’t help themselves, and they always lay it on too thick…

Here is a photo of Nancy Pelosi’s childhood home in Baltimore:

Nancy Pelosi grew up at the far end of this block of Albemarle Street in Baltimore. San Francisco Chronicle photo by Michael Macor.

Here’s a photo of the Bushes’ summer house on Walker Point:

Daughters of ethnic Democratic mayors in the 1950s did get driven to school. But hereditary plutocrats they were not.

I live not far from where Pelosi grew up and I can attest to the fact that this is not a neighborhood full of "obscenely rich" people.  It is Baltimore’s little Italy…thoroughly Baltimore working class.  People live in the usual Baltimore row houses there, and yes, some of those row houses are very nice, but there are nothing near the palatial splendor you see in the Walker Point photo.  Pelosi got driven to school because she was the mayor’s daughter, not because their family was filthy rich like the Bush clan. 

But Brooks, without a doubt, knows this.  What he’s counting on is that you don’t.  He can just say…oh…she was chauffeured to school as a child, just like the silver spoon brat in the White House now.  My next door neighbors drive their boy to the Friend’s School here in Baltimore every day and they live in the same working class Baltimore rowhouse neighborhood I do.  Maybe Brooks thinks that gives them the same childhood George Bush had too.  Maybe Brooks thinks that makes us all Obscenely Rich here in Medfield.  On the other hand, maybe Brooks is just pulling the same kind of fast one that the book that made him famous, Bobos In Paradise is full of.

As I made my journey, it became increasingly hard to believe that Brooks ever left his home. “On my journeys to Franklin County, I set a goal: I was going to spend $20 on a restaurant meal. But although I ordered the most expensive thing on the menu—steak au jus, ‘slippery beef pot pie,’ or whatever—I always failed. I began asking people to direct me to the most expensive places in town. They would send me to Red Lobster or Applebee’s,” he wrote. “I’d scan the menu and realize that I’d been beaten once again. I went through great vats of chipped beef and ‘seafood delight’ trying to drop $20. I waded through enough surf-and-turfs and enough creamed corn to last a lifetime. I could not do it.”

Taking Brooks’s cue, I lunched at the Chambersburg Red Lobster and quickly realized that he could not have waded through much surf-and-turf at all. The “Steak and Lobster” combination with grilled center-cut New York strip is the most expensive thing on the menu. It costs $28.75. “Most of our checks are over $20,” said Becka, my waitress. “There are a lot of ways to spend over $20.”

The easiest way to spend more than $20 on a meal in Franklin County is to visit the Mercersburg Inn, which boasts “turn-of-the-century elegance.” I had a $50 prix-fixe dinner, with an entrée of veal medallions, served with a lump-crab and artichoke tower, wild-rice pilaf and a sage-caper-cream sauce. Afterward, I asked the inn’s proprietors, Walt and Sandy Filkowski, if they had seen Brooks’s article. They laughed.

I called Brooks to see if I was misreading his work. I told him about my trip to Franklin County, and the ease with which I was able to spend $20 on a meal. He laughed. “I didn’t see it when I was there, but it’s true, you can get a nice meal at the Mercersburg Inn,” he said. I said it was just as easy at Red Lobster. “That was partially to make a point that if Red Lobster is your upper end?” he replied, his voice trailing away. “That was partially tongue-in-cheek, but I did have several mini-dinners there, and I never topped $20.”

Let’s be civil here: David Brooks is a goddamned liar. He does it for money.  Perhaps he believes in the republican party cause.  Perhaps he has his own emotional stake in the American Kultar Kampf.  But the first thing to remember about him, is that he lies for money.  Really…that’s all you need to know about him.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Casual Deceit Of The Right Wing Pundocracy…

New Photo Gallery Up…

It’s only been a couple years.

These are shots taken during my weekend trip with some friends to celebrate New Year’s at Rehoboth Beach.  It’s my first experiment at using Apple’s Aperture software to organize and publish my photos, and all in all I’m finding Aperture a pure pleasure to use.  With one really irritating exception.  It doesn’t seem to be able to handle the very large file sizes that result from the scans of color medium format film.  Scans off my Hasselblad are running almost half a gig and Aperture just doesn’t seem to be able to handle them…at least on the hardware I’m running. 

Aperture has a reputation, not unjustified, for being a resource pig.  The first versions of it were, I’m told, horrible.  But 1.5.2 isn’t so bad at all, if you give it at least a couple gigs of ram (I’m running three in Bagheera now), and if you’re using your machine to process graphics you should be running with lots of memory (and hard disk space) anyway.  But Aperture handles very large Tif files poorly.  So poorly the image display becomes garbled and I get the spinning beachball of death when I try to work with those images.  This time, since I was creating a web gallery, I loaded the Hasselblad image files into Photoshop and bumped down the resolution, and then saved them back out to work with in Aperture.  That did the trick.  But I shouldn’t have had to do that with a program that bills itself as being professional grade.  For the record, Adobe’s Lightroom beta handled those files just fine.  But I like Aperture’s toolkit and workflow much better.

You can create a web photo gallery pretty easily with Aperture.  I did some minor tweaking of the html pages Aperture produced, but not much was needed.   You can see the results for yourself.  It was a snap.  With Aperture this process is so easy now, that I can see updating my photo gallery much more frequently then once every couple years.

It’s interesting, but with the new film scanner and Aperture, my film cameras, and in particular my Canon F1s, are becoming much more useful to me then they’d been.   I’d seen my use of film going on the decline and my sense of it was that my future was going to be digital whether I wanted it to be or not. I bought the Canon EOS 30d digital SLR last spring so I could more easily put my stuff up on the web.  But the integration of my film cameras with the computer is considerably tighter now, and I’ve been using an F1 since I was a teenager.  I like my F1s.  They’re like old friends.   They fit comfortably in my hands and I don’t have to think about it much when using them, I’ve done it the manual way for so long.  You wouldn’t believe the number and the variety of settings there are on the 30d.  On the F1s there are only focus, aperture, shutter speed and film speed.  That’s it.  If you asked me to recite all the settings on the 30d I couldn’t do it. 

The only problem with the film cameras is taking them on the road with me means I can’t see what I’ve got until I get it all back home and the film processed.  With the digital camera I can see what I’ve got right away.  I can even post it up on the web right away as long as I have my laptop with me.  But I reckon the F1s are still essential to me, and always will be.  I’ve been using them for so long, setting my focus, and my exposure manually now for so long, it’s really second nature anymore.  They’re more an extension of me then the digital camera gets for now, and probably ever.  I can just concentrate on what I’m seeing when I use them.

I think I may not be the only one who feels that way about the Canon F1s.  I’m noticing that one of those in good condition still fetches a pretty good price on eBay.  Best camera Canon ever made.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on New Photo Gallery Up…

January 6th, 2007

Nice Day…For May.

Walking around Hampden with one of my Canon F1s, the 24mm f1.4 wide angle lens, a red filter and some Kodak Tri-X pan.  I’m happily snapping away at whatever catches my eye.  No jacket…not even a light vest.  Just jeans, sneakers, a light short-sleeved shirt and my Taos cap.  The sky is bright blue with a few puffy cumulus clouds to make it visually interesting.  When I stop and turn towards the sun, I can feel its heat on my body, through the fabric of my shirt.

I was going to spend the day working in the artroom, but it’s too nice to be down in the basement all day.  They’re saying it will be colder and rainy tomorrow.  By colder, I mean in the 50s.  It was 70 in my back yard just a little while ago.  As I write this, it’s reading 74 at BWI airport.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Nice Day…For May.

Walt Disney’s Wonderful World Of Hate

Via Steve Gilliard…via Firedoglake…  How do you sell advertising space on a radio station that openly calls for liberals to be killed?  Why…you sell it to them as Disney programming, of course…

Evenin’, fellow firedogs!  Tonight I’m going to attempt to get us all up to speed about a situation that I suspect we’re going to be hearing a lot about in the near future.  This story was brought to my attention by ¡El Gato Negro!.

Where to begin?  First we’ll go to A. J. Kandy, who blogs at King Marketing:

ABC/Disney operates a US-wide network of radio stations and affiliates. One of these affiliates, San Francisco’s KSFO, is a die-hard right-wing talk shop whose rabidly eliminationist hosts have publicly endorsed (if not outright revelled in) torture and engaged in hate speech of all stripes. However, the station is sold to its advertisers as a “Disney” station, with all the connotations of family-friendliness that entails. [Bruce here – the emphasis is mine…]

Self-described “fifth-tier blogger” Spocko decided to “out” KSFO to its national advertisers with a polite letter-writing campaign, and by exposing their hate speech on his blog with short audio clips and transcripts (which falls under the Fair Use statutes.)

This, of course, is what we call citizen action, and most of us know the drill by now.  We write to advertisers and once in a blue moon, they write us back, pat us on the head and tell us that they’ll take our suggestion under advisement, then go on their merry way without changing a thing.  This was not the case, however, with Spocko.  From a guest post at BlogIntegrity, Spocko himself can tell us what happened next:

In mid-December I got confirmation that a major national advertiser, VISA, pulled their ads from the Melanie Morgan and Lee Rogers show, based on listening to audio clips I provided them. I also think that FedEx, AT&T and Kaiser are considering pulling their ads. Visa isn’t the first advertiser who has left KSFO, multiple advertisers have left the station, especially from the Brian Sussman show. In July of this year when KSFO lost MasterCard as an advertiser someone from KSFO “outed” me on a counter-blog (which I won’t link to). This same person has also threatened me with local and federal criminal action for using the audio (which I clearly used under the fair use portion of copyright law). And because they have suggested violence toward me (in addition to talking about suing me "for everything I have”) I have chosen to remain anonymous.

As Thers has said,

Hooray, for Thers!!  Oh, uh, ahem.  Sorry.  You were saying, Spocko? 

95 percent of blog fights don’t mean anything, but I think this one does since KSFO is using the full weight and force of an ABC/Disney lawyer and copyright law against a private citizen blogger. I dared to use the audio content in question for nonprofit educational purposes (I don’t even have ads on my blog!), and thus under the protection of the Fair Use Doctrine set forth in Section 107 of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C.§107.

Now we go to Online Media Daily:

IN THE LATEST SKIRMISH BETWEEN big media and a blogger, The Walt Disney Company has succeeded in shutting down the Web site "Spocko’s Brain."

On the site, blogger and media critic "Spocko" took issue with on-air comments made by right-wing talk show hosts at Bay Area ABC affiliate radio station KSFO. He posted audio files of hosts’ comments on his Web site, and also began a letter-writing campaign that, he says, resulted in advertisers fleeing the station.

But Tuesday, Spocko’s Internet service provider, 1&1 Internet, pulled the plug on the blog–a move prompted by a Dec. 22 cease-and-desist letter from ABC Radio claiming that material on Spocko’s Brain violated Disney’s copyright.

And that’s where things stand right now.  Many of us are now familiar with ABC/Disney’s strong-arm fascism-in-mouse-ears tactics from the "Path to 9/11" debacle earlier this year.  Here’s what you can do to help our fellow blogger, Spocko:

1. The KSFO hate clips are all up at Online BlogIntegrity.  Collect ’em all.  Share with your friends.  Spread them around.  It’s a veritable cornucopia of Right Wing Hate Speech.  (Listen at your own risk.)

2. Go here and scroll down to "What Can You Do?" and follow the instructions.  Spocko has provided us with a step-by-step plan to alert the blogging world, the MSM (if they’ll listen), and KSFO’s advertisers to the current situation.

I urge you all to get involved.  This is an example of how we can effectively fight the tide of hateful bile that pollutes our airwaves and rots the brains of millions of overly credulous talk-radio listeners.  We, of course, support the wingnuts’ right to say whatever they want to say, but they must be prepared to face the real-world consequences of stoking the fires of ethnic, political, and religious hatred.  If that means losing the support of their advertisers and cutting into their six-figure salaries, well, then, hurrah!  We win.

Thank you and good night.

If those clips get taken down email me and I’ll pass them along to you.  Here’s some excerpts from the menu at Online Blogintegrity…

Brian Sussman says we should cut off detainee fingers and penises
Melanie Morgan and Ann Coulter say liberals should be executed

Coulter and Morgan say Bill Keller should be executed – sound effects by Officer Vic
Officer Vic wants to send a hit team after photojournalists

More laughter about Bill Keller in the electric chair
Honky talk-show host is offended because Sen. Obama is a ‘halfrican’
Paint a bullseye on Rep. Nancy Pelosi?
More bullseye talk about Rep. Pelosi
KSFO crew says ‘dig up Rachel Carson and kill her again’
Coulter says ‘at least they hit some UN peacekeepers’
Morgan says ‘hang the NY Times editors’
KSFO crew wants to kill liberals
KFSO crew says ‘liberal tree should be pruned’
KSFO crew says liberals should be ‘stomped to death’

Somebody at Disney needs to get their head screwed on straight.  This isn’t anything Disney should want its brand associated with.  Yet they’re apparently marketing that station to advertisers as a Disney station.  It’s like putting the Disney logo on a burning cross at a Klan rally.  Why are they doing this?  Is someone in marketing there just completely brain dead or what?

I can appreciate wanting to attract an audience.  But some audiences you should probably just walk away from, regardless of whether or not it adversely impacts the shareholder bottom line.  The kind that think ridiculing a congressman’s racial make-up is funny, for example.   If Disney owns this station, then they either need to make it reflect their corporate values, or they need to sell it.

In the meantime, the least the rest of us can do is inform the advertisers of what it is they’re buying into, when they buy into the Disney brand.  Read this from the blogger Disney is going after, for more info on how.  If that post gets taken down email me and I’ll send you a copy of it.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Walt Disney’s Wonderful World Of Hate

Summer In The City

So it’s early morning here at Casa del Garrett, and I’m getting ready to make myself some breakfast.  I’m barefoot, and just wearing my jeans and a light shirt.  I glance outside and I see a squirrel hanging off one of my bird feeders (they jump onto them from nearby trees…it’s quite a leap for the little dickens…).   I quickly slip on some shoes and rush outside to chase it off so the birds can come back to eat.  And…

Christ Almighty…it’s warm out here!  I mean…summertime in the city warm.  I’m living in Baltimore Maryland, It’s January 6 and it’s too warm to even be wearing a coat outside.

Other people would just relax and enjoy prospect of a low heating bill for the month…but not me.  Is it the Scot in me, or the German, that keeps worrying about how I’m going to be paying for all my low heating bills this winter, with some ugly looking AC bills this summer…?

[Update] Yes…my daisies are coming up now.  Much more of this and I might have to get the lawn mower out again.  I’ll be mowing my lawn.  In January.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Summer In The City

January 5th, 2007

Not That I Object To Being Warm…

I’m the last person to complain about being too warm.  But this weather is starting to freak me out.  I was just outside taking an evening walk.  It is somewhat foggy again this evening, and warm enough to walk around with my jacket unzipped.  It was colder inside the local supermarket, standing next to the frozen food coolers, then it was outside. 

I’ve had the furnace off more then its been on for a couple months now.  Mid Atlantic winters aren’t exactly fierce, but this is ridiculous.  When I was a kid, there would be permanent, winter long pockets of snow on the ground by now.  All the places that didn’t get much sunlight during the day, or spots where it got piled up by the snow plows in parking lots and side streets, would have snow in them by now, and when that snow was finally gone you knew it was getting to be spring again.  Yesterday someone told me the cherry trees had started to blossom in spots.  Tomorrow I should check to see if my daises are coming up.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Not That I Object To Being Warm…

Christ’s Vacuum Cleaner Salesmen

In a perverse kind of way, this is encouraging.  You can tell homosexual bogyman is loosing its punch as a fund-raising icon, when outfits like Lou Sheldon’s Traditional Values Coalition have to resort to the same kind of cheap postal scams on elderly people that the secular crooks do

Who would have guessed that answering a few census questions could make you a participant in battling the "homosexual agenda"?

Napa resident Marcia Zwick never imagined this when she recently received a large, important-looking envelope in the mail. She works as a legal secretary and is accustomed to handling official documents.

"I’m a reasonably intelligent person," Zwick said. "I couldn’t tell what this really was."

The answer isn’t readily apparent.

"U.S. Taxpayer Census," the envelope says on the outside in big letters. "Do Not Tamper: Reply Within 5 Days."

Inside is an official-looking questionnaire. "This U.S. Taxpayer Census has been specially commissioned to gather public opinion in America’s ‘grassroots’ about the new Social Security Preservation Act (HR 219) now pending in the U.S. Congress," it says.

"This Census is individually registered under your name to represent Napa public opinion in California 01 voting district. So it is critical you return it — even if you are undecided about some answers."

In reality, the "Census" is a mailer from something called the Christian Seniors Association. And of the nine questions it asks, six involve a slanted look at Social Security and three involve donating money to the right-wing organization.

What the mailer doesn’t tell you, though, at least not in so many words, is that any funds contributed to the Christian Seniors Association will in fact go to its parent group, the Traditional Values Coalition.

Cute.  This from the man who routinely calls gay people sexual predators and pedophiles.   They’re the folks responsible for this bit of fragrant web advertising:


The mailer from the Christian Seniors Association only hints at broader public-policy goals. An accompanying letter explains that the organization was started several years ago as an alternative to the AARP.

It’s not until you get to the fine print on the back of the association’s Census form that you learn the organization "is a division of Traditional Values Coalition" and that "all contributions are combined to help pay Traditional Values Coalition expenses."

So this ersatz seniors organization really exists mostly to funnel old people’s money over to TVC.  You have to figure that’s because scaring them with the gay bogyman isn’t opening up their checkbooks like it used to.  Picture Lou spending money old people gave to him out of their fixed incomes thinking it was going to a campaign for senior’s issues, on his splendid little war on homosexuality instead. I guess screwing old people isn’t ungodly if all you rape them for is their money. You know…that stuff they use to put food in their mouths and a roof over their heads and buy their medicine with.  Who the hell made Lou Sheldon a reverend?  John Gotti?


by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Christ’s Vacuum Cleaner Salesmen

When Is An Episcopalian Not An Episcopalian…

If the vehement prejudices toward gay people in some Episcopalian churches here in America seems surprising to the majority of American Episcopalians…there may be a reason for that…

Episcopal Churches’ Breakaway in Va. Evolved Over 30 Years

Parishioners say it happens quietly, unobtrusively: As the sick make their way to the altar, some worshipers begin speaking in tongues. Occasionally, one is "arrested in the spirit," falling unconscious into the arms of a fellow congregant.

The special faith-healing services, held one Sunday night a month at The Falls Church in Fairfax, are a rarity in the Episcopal Church. But members of The Falls Church have long felt at odds with fellow Episcopalians, who they believe have been drifting theologically in an ever more liberal direction.

Speaking in tongues…!?  I hear you ask.  Didn’t know that Episcopalians did that, did you?  I sure didn’t.  But they do at The Falls Church in Virginia.  On the other hand, it’s probably not actually Episcopalians that are doing that…

At least two-thirds of the worshipers are Methodists, Presbyterians or Baptists, and there is no pressure on them to be confirmed as Episcopalians, said the Rev. Rick Wright, associate rector.

Now that’s really interesting.  Go read the article.  The schisming churches in Virginia have all the sense and sensibilities of your typical southern charismatic megachurch.  So much so that they’ve lost many of their Episcopalians to other area churches.  Now two-thirds of the people in that sanctuary don’t even bother calling themselves Episcopalians.  And yet they’ve decided to take that Episcopalian church out of the American Episcopalian community, in favor of the church of a man who thinks gays should be arrested simply for sitting down together for lunch in public.  Why is that not surprising?  Ask the faithful at Six Flags Over Jesus and you’ll probably hear the same sentiment.   But they’re in their own church, not living like digger wasps inside someone else’s.

So I guess while its technically true that the Episcopalians in northern Virginia are schisming, the reality seems to be that it’s really just the usual suspects.   Ah, well…how else could a bunch of Baptists stage a schism, unless they did it in someone else’s church…

by Bruce | Link | React! (1)

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