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Colleen Raezler: One of the Right-Wing Nut Busters at NewsBusters

Monday, September 28, 2009

By James Hipps
Gay Agenda


There’s a post on NewsBusters.com by Colleen Raezler which tries to disguise itself as a ‘critique’ or ‘review’ of the new ABC comedy, Modern Family.

Basically, all she accomplishes is blasting the critics who like the show and blasting ABC for trying to ruin the moral values of a good Christian nation by promoting homosexual propaganda.

From her post:
“the show itself is stereotypical Hollywood propaganda.”
What’s the stereotypical Hollywood propaganda?  Why it’s promoting the gay agenda, of course.  This lady appears to be somewhat riled up over the fact the show depicts a gay couple who have adopted a child.

So, unable to contain her opposing views, she spews the “stereotypical” Christian right rhetoric, such as:
“Mitchell’s dad is less than thrilled with his son’s lifestyle. Writers portrayed him as a bigot.”
No Colleen, of course he’s not a bigot.  Everyone knows if you base your hate and discrimination on the Bible you’re not a bigot…you’re just a good Christian who hates people....(Remainder.)

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“Unveil the Girls and Educate the Boys” say Belgian Protesters

By Expatica

A few hundred people took to the streets of Brussels on Saturday calling on the authorities to impose a ban on wearing the Muslim headscarf in Francophone schools.

The view, according to the organisers of the demonstration, is that politicians should ban all religious symbols from schools in Francophone education.

"Unveil the girls and educate the boys" is one of the slogans used by demonstrators.

According to one of the advocates of a headscarf ban, Karima, there is huge social pressure in schools to wear a headscarf.  "Those who don't wear a headscarf are cursed at and accused of not being religious or of being a prostitute."

Nadia Geerts of the organisation RAPPEL called on politicians to take a decision to protect young girls from the obligation of wearing a headscarf.

The debate over whether or not to allow religious symbols in schools has been in the spotlight over the last few months, both in Flanders as well as in Wallonia, where a number of schools have implemented a ban individually.

After a turbulent start to the school year, the network of Flemish Community schools decided to implement a ban on headscarves and other religious symbols in all schools.

The debate is still very much alive in Belgian schools around the country....(Remainder.)

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The Religious Right Vision of Marriage

By Daylight Atheism

Christian conservatives always talk about "defending traditional marriage" - which has that warm, homey, fresh-baked-apple-pie feeling to it - but never make it clear precisely what they're defending.

This is deliberate, of course, and a clever political strategy: they choose phrases with positive mental associations but otherwise leave their position vague. That way, ordinary people can project onto it whatever idealized notion of a happy family they happen to hold. By this tactic, the religious right makes it sound as if all they want is to protect millions of imaginary-1950s, smiling-wife-and-picket-fence families against the godless hordes who want to take this all away. (How would granting equal rights to same-sex couples take anything away from heterosexual couples? Don't ask!)

But when Christian conservatives talk among themselves, they're not nearly as concerned with disguising their true goals. And if we listen in to those internal conversations, we can see exactly what their model of "traditional marriage" is: what they want to defend, and more so, what they want to impose on everyone else. And it bears mention that the ideal religious-right model of marriage and family is nothing like ordinary people's conception of those things. In fact, most ordinary people would be shocked and revolted by their true plan and desire.

As Exhibit A, I present this utterly horrifying article (sent in by a Daylight Atheism reader - thanks, Stacey!) from No Greater Joy Ministries, a religious-right group. The article, by Michael and Debi Pearl, concerns how good Christian wives should deal with emotionally and physically abusive husbands, and all the cheerful imagery of smiling children on the masthead can't change the pure, unfettered evil it contains. If you think I'm exaggerating, just wait....(Remainder.)

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The War on Language

By Chris Hedges
Truthdig
Photo:  Mohammed Ballas (AP)

There is a scene in “Othello” when the Moor is so consumed by jealousy and rage that he loses the eloquence and poetry that make him the most articulate man in Venice. He turns to the audience, shortly before he murders Desdemona, and sputters, “Goats and monkeys!” Othello fell prey to wild self-delusion and unchecked rage, and his words became captive to hollow clichés. The debasement of language, which Shakespeare understood was a prelude to violence, is the curse of modernity. We have stopped communicating, even with ourselves. And the consequences will be as extreme as in the Shakespearean tragedy.

Those who seek to dominate our behavior first seek to dominate our speech. They seek to obscure meaning. They make war on language. And the English- and Arabic-speaking worlds are each beset with a similar assault on language. The graffiti on the mud walls of Gaza that calls for holy war or the crude rants of Islamic militants are expressed in a simplified, impoverished form of Arabic. This is not the classical language of 1,500 years of science, poetry and philosophy. It is an argot of clichés, distorted Quranic verses and slogans. This Arabic is no more comprehensible to the literate in the Arab world than the carnival barking that pollutes our airwaves is comprehensible to our literate classes. The reduction of popular discourse to banalities, exacerbated by the elite’s retreat into obscure, specialized jargon, creates internal walls that thwart real communication. This breakdown in language makes reflection and debate impossible. It transforms foreign cultures, which we lack the capacity to investigate, into reversed images of ourselves. If we represent virtue, progress and justice, as our clichés constantly assure us, then the Arabs, or the Iranians, or anyone else we deem hostile, represent evil, backwardness and injustice. An impoverished language solidifies a binary world and renders us children with weapons....(Remainder.)

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80 Arrested in Benelux Drugs Operation

By Agence France-Presse
Expatica


Police in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg arrested 80 people in a four-day cross-border drugs operation that ended on Sunday, a Dutch police statement said.

The operation that focused on shared border areas and transport routes netted 10 kilograms of cocaine, five grams of heroine, 22 grams of hashish and 277 grams of cannabis, it said.

Police officials from the three countries searched cars on busy highways, passengers of international trains and several buildings since Thursday.

Arrests were carried out mainly in the southern Dutch towns of Roosendaal and Maastricht, in Antwerp in northern Belgium and two in Paris on board the Thalys high-speed train en route from Brussels.

The operation was part of a broader project to tackle drug trafficking and drug tourism between the Benelux countries and France, said the police statement....(Original.)

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Cassandras of Climate

By Paul Krugman
The New York Times


Every once in a while I feel despair over the fate of the planet. If you’ve been following climate science, you know what I mean: the sense that we’re hurtling toward catastrophe but nobody wants to hear about it or do anything to avert it.

And here’s the thing: I’m not engaging in hyperbole. These days, dire warnings aren’t the delusional raving of cranks. They’re what come out of the most widely respected climate models, devised by the leading researchers. The prognosis for the planet has gotten much, much worse in just the last few years.

What’s driving this new pessimism? Partly it’s the fact that some predicted changes, like a decline in Arctic Sea ice, are happening much faster than expected. Partly it’s growing evidence that feedback loops amplifying the effects of man-made greenhouse gas emissions are stronger than previously realized. For example, it has long been understood that global warming will cause the tundra to thaw, releasing carbon dioxide, which will cause even more warming, but new research shows far more carbon dioxide locked in the permafrost than previously thought, which means a much bigger feedback effect.

The result of all this is that climate scientists have, en masse, become Cassandras — gifted with the ability to prophesy future disasters, but cursed with the inability to get anyone to believe them....(Remainder.)

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Aw Jesus!

By Mr. Fish
Truthdig



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In Another Corner of South Carolina, GOP Lawmaker Booed

By James Rosen
McClatchy Newspapers


 WASHINGTON -- Rep. Bob Inglis is paying the price for independent thinking.

Inglis, a Travelers Rest Republican, may have been the only GOP lawmaker in the country who was booed lustily by his own constituents at town hall meetings last month.

Inglis was shouted down when he asked listeners why they're afraid of President Barack Obama -- and then suggested that they stop watching conservative TV commentator Glenn Beck.

"He's trading on fear," Inglis advised one group, setting off loud catcalls.

Despite a broadly conservative voting record, Inglis has angered many Republican activists with his contrarian stands on a handful of high-profile issues.

Inglis was one of 17 GOP House members who in February 2007 voted against President George W. Bush's troop surge in Iraq -- a stance, he now says, that subsequent progress there has proven wrong.

Inglis opposed warrantless criminal searches and cast a decisive committee vote against a measure protecting the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.

More recently, Inglis has been one of the few Republican lawmakers to view global warming as a crisis, introducing a bill that would tax carbon emissions....(Remainder.)

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Glenn Beck Gets Key to City — ‘Change the Locks,’ Protesters Urge



By Daniel Tencer

The Raw Story
Photo: Driftglass

Questions still surround death of Beck's mother in 1979

Some 800 protesters packed the sidewalks outside an auditorium in Mount Vernon, Washington, on Saturday to express their displeasure at the city mayor's decision to give Fox News host Glenn Beck the key to the city.

"The Fox News personality's visit Saturday to Mount Vernon had sparked weeks of protests and petitions calling for the cancellation of the visit," Seattle's KOMO TV reported. The station said one protester was arrested when the crowd "surged" during the protests.

As the protest mounted, an airplane could be seen flying overhead trailing behind it the words "Change the locks," KOMO reported.

And, in what has evidently become a habit of his, Beck wept openly as he reminisced about growing up in the town north of Seattle, according to the Seattle Times.

NCB affiliate KING Channel 5 got varied reactions from the crowd in attendance:
"I think we need people on TV that are not fomenting anger and hatred and tearing this country apart," said protestor Doug LeClair. "It's a really sad thing that he's being honored in this way, it's a really sad event."

"He's kind of a native son from this whole area," said Bellingham resident Larry Helm, "and I heard they were going to ship in busloads of protestors from Seattle, and I don't think that's right. I'm coming here to show this area supports the decision to give him the keys to the city."
(Remainder.)

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Conservative Facebook Investor Funded Anti-ACORN Videographer

By Steven Trasher
The Village Voice


James O'Keefe, the activist filmmaker who achieved sudden fame for a series of undercover videos recording ACORN workers, has repeatedly said that he is "absolutely independent" and received no outside funding to make his films.

But the Voice has learned that O'Keefe, in fact, has had heavyweight conservative backers who funded the young filmmaker as recently as a few months before his ACORN films were made.

The ACORN videos are actually just the latest of several films O'Keefe has produced and uploaded to YouTube. An earlier film posted in February, "Taxpayers Clearing House" featured nonwhite, working class people being duped by O'Keefe, who led them to believe they had won money in a sweepstakes.

That video was produced with the help of a grant -- said to be about $30,000 [Thiel's spokesman says closer to $10,000 -- see update] -- from Peter Thiel, one of the founders of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook -- an investment which made him a billionaire. Thiel is one of Silicon Valley's more interesting figures: a gay man (according to Gawker's "Valleywag") who has railed against the evils of "multiculturalism." He lives in San Francisco and today runs a hedge fund.

O'Keefe is now well known as the young man who dressed up as a pimp with a colleague, Townhall.com blogger Hannah Giles, who was dressed like a prostitute. The pair traveled around the country, seeking advice from ACORN workers about how to hide prostitution money for tax purposes. At five of the offices they visited, ACORN workers gave such advice while O'Keefe's hidden camera was rolling. The videos have cost ACORN the support of Congress, the U.S. Census and the White House, and the organization stands to lose tens of millions of dollars in government grants....(Remainder.)

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Colbert Rips Wall Street, Talks "Capitalism" with Michael Moore

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Troubling new details on Census worker hanging death

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Sen. Inhofe Doesn't Think Climate Change Because "God's Still Up There"

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O'Reilly on ACORN "Sting": No One Cares About Wiretap Laws

By The Raw Story

Congressmen Barney Frank (D-MA) and John Conyers (D-MI) have asked the Congressional Research Service to scrutinize recent charges against the community organizing group ACORN, as well as "conflicting allegations" over whether any laws were broken by the amateur sting operation that videotaped ACORN representatives allegedly recommending illegal activities.

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, however, does not want to see any investigation into the two young conservatives who went to ACORN offices posing as a pimp and a prostitute. He insists it "would be brutally wrong and come off as a partisan hatchet job. ... They do not deserve a federal witch hunt."

O'Reilly spoke on Wednesday with Rep. Frank, repeatedly pressing him to agree that the amateur videotapers should not be punished and should actually be admired. As Frank became increasingly exasperated, O'Reilly was finally driven to insist that "no one cares about the Maryland wiretap law."

"We see that ACORN is now going to sue the two undercover private citizens and Andrew Breitbart, whose website distributed the tape," O'Reilly began. "Don't you admire these young people rooting out corruption?"

"Bill, please," replied an obviously annoyed Frank. "This is a complicated situation. ... My job as an elected official is to deal with public policy."...(Remainder.)

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The Truth About the Lies About ACORN

By Heather
Crooks and Liars

Rachel Maddow breaks down who is behind the smears against ACORN and why, and how dishonest the reporting has been by the right wing media on the topic.
MADDOW: It may seem like the only thing happening in Congress these days is the never-ending fight over and of health reform. But if you happen to be watching the House floor at 3:00 this afternoon, this is what you would have seen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. STEVE KING ®, IOWA: Who has consistently called for the clean-up of the corrupt ACORN, the criminal enterprise ACORN and all of their affiliates? It‘s been people on the Republican side of the aisle that have done that. This is the star of ACORN. He is—he is the lead chief organizer. He is the—he is the person who told the people at ACORN, “I will invite you into the—and we will be setting the agenda for America,” even before he is inaugurated as president of the United States. This is the man who worked for ACORN.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: This is the star of ACORN!

That was paranoid Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa, today, railing against the community organizing group ACORN, and falsely accusing President Obama of being ACORN‘s lead chief organizer. This sort of animus toward ACORN is something that‘s been percolating on the right for a really long time, but it‘s broken open recently as even Democrats in Congress have decided to go along with efforts to defund and demonize ACORN, and some Republican governors have even enthusiastically defunded ACORN as well, despite the fact that those governors didn‘t fund them in the first place....
(Remainder.)

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Jeremy Scahill: ACORN Got Pennies Compared to War Contracting Firms—Their Crimes Pale in Comparison

By Heather
Crooks and Liars


Rachel Maddow with the second half of her report on the political witch hunt of ACORN and the problems that the De-Fund ACORN Act is going to bring for private war contractors if it actually passes.

As Rachel notes the De-Fund ACORN Act has a bill of attainder problem. In order for the law to not violate the bill of attainder act, it will have to include "any company that's ever been indicted for breaking campaign finance laws, or that's ever filed fraudulent paperwork with any federal agency". That means a good deal of our military contractors are going to be swept up under the law as well and it cannot only be enforced against ACORN.

Rachel reads off a list of all of the military contractors that would have their funding cut off and goes into the list of other crimes like murder, prostitution and contract fraud that they have committed as well which pale in comparison to what ACORN has been accused of.

Jeremy Scahill is asked whether the war contractors are worried about this law touching them. His answer. "Hell no." It's all about politics and too many in Congress are bought and sold by our military industries. And as he notes, ACORN got pennies when compared the massive sums of money these private contractors received....(Remainder.)

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Glue Sniffers = Death Threats to Elementary School

By Larisa Alexandrovna
at-Largely


So I am sure that by now you have heard of the "praise Obama" video. The Malkinites are making wild use of this to get the psychotics all fired up and ready for an attack on... an elementary school:
"The tension at B. Bernice Young Elementary School escalated to such a degree Thursday that the school was placed temporarily on lockdown after its principal received death threats over a YouTube video that showed nearly 20 children being taught songs lauding the president, though back-to-school night events continuing as planned Thursday night at the school."
Death threats over a YouTube video. And how did people find out which school to threaten? Well from stalker of small children Michelle "shiksa" Malkin of course. Now this idiot is a mother. I wonder how she might feel if the school that her child/children attended went into lockdown because of death threats? Might she be very upset and worried? I would wager yes.

That is what these people now do when they cannot find a doctor to murder or a hate-crime to commit. This is the story, not the stupid YouTube video which clearly had nothing to do with Obama or his administration or government or anything other than some stupid individual doing a very stupid thing. Moreover, Fox News  removed the above death threats and school lockdown from their story. Why?...(Remainder.)

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Traveling With the VP: Setting the Record Straight on Medicare

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President of Bullshitistan, Beck, Still Pushing His Obama, SEIU, ACORN Bullshit; Now With Extra Batshit

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Baron of Batshit & the Retarded Baby Jesus Claim IPCC Has Somehow Challenged Climate Change

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Sultan of Anti-Semitism, Beck, Wonders How Jews Are Missing "What's Going On" at the UN

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Reichsführer Beck Has Some New Black Helicopters: Drudge's "Indoctrination" Video Is a Conspiracy by NEA! Oh Noes!

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Porcine Prevaricator of Right-Wing Propagda, Breitbart, Wants Money for Legal Defense

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Pseudo-Legal "Scholar" Napolitano Hysterically Claims that Obama Doesn't Want to Enforce the Constitution

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Imperial Grand Wizard Dobbs Thinks School Kid Video is Indication of Left-Wing Propaganda

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Fox's Morning Homophobic Moron, Doochey, Smears Barney Frank With Outright Lies

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Eric Cantor's Insane Rant at a Town Hall Meeting. Just Go Broke & Find a Gov't Program to Help You Beg for Charity

By John Amato
Crooks and Liars


Do you want to know how lost in space conservatives are during this health care debate? Watch Eric Cantor, the golden boy of the conservatives, make a complete fool of himself. When their goal is to just block everything, lies, dodges and sick thoughts cascade out of their mouths and into the atmosphere. First he says health-care reform is so time-consuming and is stopping them from doing anything else, but the real sickness comes out when he's asked at a town hall if he could help a woman who has tumors in her belly, who had lost their health insurance and has cancer.

The anti-government freak Cantor actually looks this woman in the eye and asks her to try and find some mythical government program for help. If these programs existed, shouldn't the golden boy at least know what they are? And I thought the government was the devil to Cantor? When confronted with real-life problems, they have no solutions and just make twisted crap up.

Then he brings up the BIG CANARD: Charity care. Hahahahahahaha....(Remainder.)

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Following Reichsführer Beck Lead, Right-Wing Media Goes For Broke With Nonsense NEA Bullshit

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Fox's Morning Moron Mash-Up Continues to Hype Misleading Humana Medicare Letter

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Fox's Morning Cavalcade of Crazy Once Again Brings Up Manufactured "Apology Tour"

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Clusterfox Follows Drudge's Lead in Invading Children's Privacy

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Pathetic Right-Wing Cum Dump, S.E. Cupp, Tells Hannity School Video is Like "Havana"

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The Retarded Baby Jesus Wants to Raise Money for Hannah Giles

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Luogotenente Generale Retarded Baby Jesus Claims Obama "Earmarked" $8.5 Billion for ACORN

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Malkin's Venom & Vitriol Knows No Bounds: Obama 'Doesn't Like This Country Very Much'

By David Neiwert
Crooks and Liars


Michelle Malkin was the featured guest on Sean Hannity's Fox News show last night to talk about President Obama's address to the United Nations, and it was a sight to behold. A wretched, horrifyingly ugly sight, but yeah, a sight:
Malkin: He doesn't like this country very much. And I think you did a great video tour there of all of his wonderful hits on his "We Suck '09" tour, ah, so far. And this latest speech before the United Nations and its cast of villainous characters -- it was really a Legion of Doom parade that he dignified with his presence -- and he solidified his place in the international view as the Great Appeaser and the Groveler in Chief!
Hannity finds it "almost shocking" that "Obama was saying we're not going to force our values on you." Malkin correctly calls this "a rejection of American exceptionalism" -- as though that were a bad thing. Maybe that's one of the differences between movement conservatives and sane people: The latter do not harbor megalomaniacal visions of American power ruling the world and forcing our values on other nations.

Ah, but we liberals are so naive, Malkin says, because "hatred of America is never going to go away" -- which is probably true. On the other hand, policies that arrogantly inflame and deepen that hatred are not, you know, really in our best interests....(Remainder.)

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NBC Glosses Over ACORN Videographer O'Keefe & Right-Wing Connections

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Reichsführer Beck & the Right's Fascist Propaganda Machine Fearmonger About Kids to Attack Progressives

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Titan of Tin-Foil Hats, Beck, Tries to Connect School "Indoc" Vid to Van Jones

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Batshit Crazy Michele Bachmann Repeats Discredited ACORN Talking Points on Floor of House

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Rep. Keith Ellison: Most Doctors Support a Public Option

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Right-Wing Ass-Weasel, Stephen Hayes, Says Obama at UN Was Leading Critics of US

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Rachel Maddow: FBI Investigating Hanging Death of U.S. Census Worker

By Heather
Crooks and Liars


Rachal Maddow talks to the AP's Devlin Barrett about the apparent homicide of Census worker Bill Sparkman.

From the AP:
A U.S. Census worker found hanged from a tree near a Kentucky cemetery had the word "fed" scrawled on his chest, a law enforcement official said Wednesday, and the FBI is investigating whether he was a victim of anti-government sentiment.

The law enforcement official, who was not authorized to discuss the case and requested anonymity, did not say what type of instrument was used to write the word on the chest of Bill Sparkman, a 51-year-old part-time Census field worker and teacher. He was found Sept. 12 in a remote patch of the Daniel Boone National Forest in rural southeast Kentucky.

The Census has suspended door-to-door interviews in rural Clay County, where the body was found, pending the outcome of the investigation. An autopsy report is pending.

Investigators have said little about the case. FBI spokesman David Beyer said the bureau is assisting state police and declined to confirm or discuss any details about the crime scene.

"Our job is to determine if there was foul play involved — and that's part of the investigation — and if there was foul play involved, whether that is related to his employment as a Census worker," said Beyer.

Attacking a federal worker during or because of his federal job is a federal crime.
(Original.)

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Rep. Barney Frank Testifies Before House Regarding EDNA (H.R. 3017)

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States Should Decide on Gay Marriage

By Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO)
CNN Editorial


(CNN) -- After weeks of looking for the perfect puppy, my partner Marlon and I adopted Gia last month from the Colorado Humane Society and brought her back to Washington with us.

We wanted to make sure we adopted a small breed that wouldn't grow too large for us to bring on board the aircraft and commute with from Colorado to Washington each week.

We finally found a beautiful 11-week-old terrier mix and adopted her on the spot. Her slightly larger and noisier two brothers were there with her, and we bid them farewell and escorted our puppy to her new home.

With the health care debate temporarily on hold until House leaders bring a new bill to the floor, members of Congress have had a chance to once again address the plethora of issues on our legislative plates. For me, this meant working on important education and environmental legislation as well as speaking in favor of LGBT equality and immigration reform, while trying to spend time with Gia during her important formative weeks.

Thirteen years ago, Congress passed the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which effectively outlawed same-sex marriage. At that time, no states allowed same-sex couples to marry. It was a so-called "defense" against something that was only hypothetical at the time.

Today we have tens of thousands of married same-sex couples in this country, raising families and paying taxes in the five states that have granted them the right to marry. Both President Clinton, who signed DOMA into law in 1996, and Rep. Bob Barr, who originally authored DOMA have agreed it is time for its repeal. This law prevents states from determining what marriages to allow or not allow by second guessing them at the federal level....(Remainder.)

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Campaign to Overturn Prop. 8 & Legalize Gay Marriage Begins With Ballot Filing

By Shelby Grad
The Los Angeles Times


Despite concerns from some gay-rights activists that it's too early to revisit the issue, one group today pushed forward with plans for a 2010 ballot measure that would repeal Prop. 8 and allow gay marriage in California.

The group Love Honor Cherish filed ballot language with the state today for a measure to overturn the ban on gay marriage in the state. That is the first step in getting the question on the ballot.

According to the group, if the state approves the language, they will begin the process of collecting the estimated 1 million signatures needed to get on the November 2010 ballot.

Last month, Leaders of Equality California, one of the state’s largest gay rights groups, announced  it will wait until 2012 to push for an amendment to the California Constitution to permit same-sex marriage.

They have said they worry about raising the millions of dollars necessary in the current tough economic climate and also that it will take longer than two years to convince enough voters.

But Love Honor Cherish said now is the time to move....(Remainder.)

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Coming Out in Middle School

By Benoit Denizet-Lewis
The New York Times Magazine
Photo:  Brent Humphreys (NYT)

Austin didn’t know what to wear to his first gay dance last spring. It was bad enough that the gangly 13-year-old from Sand Springs, Okla., had to go without his boyfriend at the time, a 14-year-old star athlete at another middle school, but there were also laundry issues. “I don’t have any clean clothes!” he complained to me by text message, his favored method of communication.



When I met up with him an hour later, he had weathered his wardrobe crisis (he was in jeans and a beige T-shirt with musical instruments on it) but was still a nervous wreck. “I’m kind of scared,” he confessed. “Who am I going to talk to? I wish my boyfriend could come.” But his boyfriend couldn’t find anyone to give him a ride nor, Austin explained, could his boyfriend ask his father for one. “His dad would give him up for adoption if he knew he was gay,” Austin told me. “I’m serious. He has the strictest, scariest dad ever. He has to date girls and act all tough so that people won’t suspect.”

Austin doesn’t have to play “the pretend game,” as he calls it, anymore. At his middle school, he has come out to his close friends, who have been supportive. A few of his female friends responded that they were bisexual. “Half the girls I know are bisexual,” he said. He hadn’t planned on coming out to his mom yet, but she found out a week before the dance. “I told my cousin, my cousin told this other girl, she told her mother, her mother told my mom and then my mom told me,” Austin explained. “The only person who really has a problem with it is my older sister, who keeps saying: ‘It’s just a phase! It’s just a phase!’ ”...(Remainder.)

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