(RNS) Evangelist Franklin Graham is praising Russian President Vladimir Putin for his aggressive crackdown on homosexuality, saying his record on protecting children from gay “propaganda” is better than President Obama’s “shameful” embrace of gay rights.
Graham, who now heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association started by his famous father, praises Putin in the March issue of the group’s Decision magazine for signing a bill that imposes fines for adults who promote “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors.”
The Russian law came under heavy criticism from gay rights activists, and from Obama, ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. In response, Obama included openly gay athletes as part of the official U.S. delegation to Sochi.
“In my opinion, Putin is right on these issues,” Graham writes. “Obviously, he may be wrong about many things, but he has taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.”
Obamacare opponents have already run more than 30,000 television ads attacking the health law and Democratic candidates who support it, according to the media tracking group CMAG — a staggering 12-fold increase from four years ago. Many of the ads are being run in states with high uninsurance rates where hundreds of thousands of poor people could benefit from the Affordable Care Act, including Arkansas, Kentucky, and Louisiana.
Nearly half of all ads that have been run about the health law in House and Senate races through March 9 are critical of the ACA. And in a reflection of the post-Citizens United political landscape, spending by outside groups without any official connection to a particular organization or party accounts for almost three-fourths of all the commercials, compared to just 13 percent in 2010.
“We knew there would be heightened public awareness around the implementation of the law, and we thought it was important to go up early with a heavy effort,” said Tim Phillips, president of the Koch brother-funded group Americans for Prosperity (AFP), in an interview with Bloomberg.
AFP has run the most anti-Obamacare ads of any political group by a large margin, targeting vulnerable Democrats who are up for re-election, such as Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA). The organization’s spots play up misleading “horror stories” related to the health law, such as Americans who have had their insurance policies cancelled or seen their premiums spike. But the ads’ content tends to range from exaggeration to outright misinformation — and AFP has even been caught hiring paid actors to play the roles of “real” local residents.
I’m tired of men who insert themselves into feminist spaces with claims of hurt feelings. I’m tired of men who somehow manage to make every issue about them. I’m tired of men like the one who recently stopped by a friend’s Facebook thread in order to call feminism “cunty,” then lecture the women involved for not being more polite in their responses to him. I’m tired of men telling me that my understanding of feminism and rape culture are wrong, as if these aren’t things that I have studied intensely. I’m tired of men who claim to be feminist allies, then abuse that position to their own advantage. I’m so fucking exhausted by the fact that I know that I will have to, at some point in this piece, mention that I understand that not all men are like that. I will have to note that some men are good allies. And those things are true! And all of you good allies get cookies! But honestly I’m tired of handing out cookies to people just because they’re being decent fucking human beings.
I spoke today on a panel about rape culture, and while the whole experience was fucking fantastic, I was totally disheartened by how many of the other presenters went out of their way to convince the men in the room that rape culture affected them, too. The phrase “rape culture isn’t a women’s issue, it’s a everyone’s issue” kept coming up, and though I understand why it could be valuable to frame it that way, the rationale behind that makes me kind of sick. Because if rape culture is a woman’s issue, then it’s not as important to men. I mean, not as much as an issue that affects men directly.
Men should not care about rape culture because it might hurt them; men should care about rape culture because women are people, too.
More: Tired of Talking to Men
Another Bundling of Holding containing one of my games!
And good company I’m in, too!
Adventurer! The fellowship of The Undauntables brings us a fine collection of indie tabletop roleplaying games of heroic action in many exotic settings. These DRM-free .PDF rulebooks will take you into savage lands of fact and fantasy, of space and sky, and of primeval myth.
For just US$6.95 you get all the titles in our core collection (retail value $30):
- Beast Hunters (retail price $10): Stalk and fight monsters that threaten your people. When you defeat them, use their blood to ink tattoos on your skin and gain their power. The first RPG from Christian and Lisa Griffen at Berengad Games; they later published Anima Prime (in December's Super Asian Bundle Blast).
- High Valor (retail $10): Dark fantasy with glorious battles, rhyming magic, and dice pools based on Will, Faith, and Valor. (Tim Kirk, Silverlion Studios)
- Jaws of the Six Serpents (retail $10): Sword and sorcery meets the PDQ System for a rules-light but gritty fantasy game. (Tim Gray, Silver Branch Games)
And if you pay more than the threshold price (starting at $13.95), you’ll level up and get our complete collection of bonus games:
- Hellas (retail $13): Spacefaring Hellenes and their Gods in an exciting fusion of adventure, romance, and mythology-infused space opera. (Michael Fiegel and Jerry D. Grayson, Khepera Publishing)
- Honor + Intrigue (retail $15): Inspired by both Hollywood and history, this game of an alternate 17th Century Europe adapts the Barbarians of Lemuria rules to model cinematic gameplay, nine dueling styles, and the power of Fortune to beat overwhelming odds. (Chris Rutkowsky, Basic Action Games)
- Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies (retail $15): Skyships ply the Mysterious Blue for conquest, espionage, and piracy. Like Jaws of the Six Serpents, S7S uses the lightweight PDQ system but adds a little extra crunch. 2009 Silver ENnie Award winner for best setting. (Chad Underkoffler, Evil Hat Productions)
And don’t forget — now you can give a Bundle of Holding as a gift. Bring a friend into the action!
For more info on S7S, check out this link: evilhat.com
Eight companies—including General Motors, Johnson & Johnson, and Gap—did not answer the reporter’s repeated emails, phone calls, and social-media queries over the course of several weeks. Nine other companies—including Chrysler, McKinsey & Co., and Citigroup—responded only to say they would not comment. Eleven companies—including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Ford—claimed that they do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, but they don’t provide health insurance to same-sex partners, either. Along the way, the reporter unearthed the Russian version of Coca- Cola’s statement issued last summer in response to Queer Nation’s protests against its sponsorship of the Sochi Olympics—it omitted all references to LGBT people and issues. (And yes, that means it made virtually no sense in Russian.) Only six of the 34 companies contacted said they provide health insurance to same-sex partners; these were Nike, Deutsche Bank, Dell, Boston Consulting Group, Disney, and Google.
A Houston man arrested in the murder of his daughter and her girlfriend was “not happy” about the couple’s lesbian relationship, according to a spokesman for the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office.
James Larry Cosby, 46, was arrested Wednesday night and charged with two counts of tampering with evidence in the deaths of his daughter, Britney Cosby, and her girlfriend of two years, Crystal Jackson. Authorities say the charges against James Cosby could be upgraded to capital murder. The bodies of Britney Cosby and Jackson, both 24, were found beside a Dumpster in Port Bolivar, near Galveston, last Friday.
It sounded too good to be true, like something from a Burt-Reynolds-meets-Duke-of-Hazzard movie: A cross-country “Cannonball Run”-style road race, sponsored by a Southern “colonel” whose wealth comes from making copper moonshine stills, with a big $50,000 prize waiting at the end. And sure enough, as with most schemes cooked up by so-called “sovereign citizens,” it fell apart upon close scrutiny.
The race - dubbed “Cannonball One,” and described as a “coast to coast race from sea to shining sea” - required an entry fee of $90, and the website promoting it used weasel language about the prize, saying participants could “potentially win up to $50,000”. The competition, scheduled for June 1, had no check points, and any kind of road vehicle, including motorcycles, would be accepted. You could buy your entry tickets through eBay.
Feminist Daily News 3/10/2014: Domestic Violence Program Survey Demonstrates Need for More Resources
The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) released its 2013 census report documenting the continued, dramatic need for domestic violence services and a lack of adequate resources for domestic violence shelters and programs that are struggling to help victims in need.
“Domestic Violence Counts: Census 2013 Report” was conducted by surveying domestic violence programs on a single day, September 17, 2013. Eighty-seven percent of identified domestic violence programs participated. On just that one day, 66,581 victims received services from programs across the United States. Over half of those found refuge in emergency shelters or transitional housing, including 19,431 children, while others received non-residential assistance such as counseling, legal advocacy, or children’s support groups. In addition, 20,267 hotline calls were answered, providing support, safety planning, and other resources.
Although thousands of victims were assisted, almost nearly 10,000 requests for some kind of service went unmet. Over 60 percent of denied requests involved the need for housing, which many shelters and programs could not provide because of a lack of resources and staff. Lack of resources is directly related to reduced government funding and decreases in private and individual donations, even as the demand for services has increased, in part because of mandatory domestic violence screening required by the Affordable Care Act.
U.S. officials announced plans Friday to relinquish federal government control over the administration of the Internet, a move likely to please international critics but alarm many business leaders and others who rely on smooth functioning of the Web.
Pressure to let go of the final vestiges of U.S. authority over the system of Web addresses and domain names that organize the Internet has been building for more than a decade and was supercharged by the backlash to revelations about National Security Agency surveillance last year.
The practical consequences of the decision were not immediately clear, but it could alleviate rising global complaints that the United States essentially controls the Web and takes advantage of its oversight role to help spy on the rest of the world.
Car dealers fear Tesla. In states across the country, powerful car dealer associations have lobbied to ensure the electric car maker and its direct-sales model are kept out. This movement claimed another victory this week when New Jersey banned Tesla stores in the state.
On the surface, the fear is hard to fathom. In New Jersey, for instance, sales of Tesla’s $70,000 Model S reportedly number in the hundreds. But if you dig a little deeper, it becomes obvious why dealers are worried. They don’t just fear Tesla’s cars. They fear Tesla’s plan to create a world where you never have to bring your car into the shop again.
The first and most striking way Tesla kills the dealer service department cash cow is downloads. As part of its sales pitch, Tesla says you should think of its Model S sedan as “an app on four wheels.” That may sound like vacuous Silicon Valley marketing copy, but the company isn’t just being metaphorical. Software is at the heart of what keeps Teslas running. These internet-connected cars are designed to self-diagnose their problems. The vehicles can also download software fixes or updates — even new features — much like an iPhone when Apple puts out a new version of iOS. When fixes happen over the air, there’s no need for a shop in the first place.