Sunday, April 26, 2015

Thought for a Sunday

Aaron and Melissa Klein, checking under their bed every night.

Todd Starnes of Fox News on how an utter lack of proof should never stand in the way of some slagging-the-gays (emphasis added):
It’s not exactly clear what led GoFundMe to drop the fundraising drive - but Perkins blamed it on gay activists. “This reveals two very important aspects of the redefinition of marriage, Americans are not going along with it and two - the intolerance of those trying to redefine marriage is historically unprecedented,” [Family Research Council chief Tony] Perkins said. Samaritan's Purse, a Christian ministry run by Franklin Graham, has stepped up and offered to raise funds for the embattled Christian couple. Aaron Klein told me they will appeal the judge’s recommended fine. “All Americans should be free to live and work by their faith without the fear of the government punishing them,” he told me. Klein told me the gay rights activists won’t be satisfied until her family is living in a homeless shelter.
Always an upside thinker, Waldo- typing furiously in his bath- commented, "Even in a homeless shelter, they can discriminate all they want." 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

He must not want my money for his outfit, then-

English: Franklin and Billy Graham, in Clevela...
Franklin and Billy Graham, in Cleveland Stadium, in Cleveland Ohio, in June 1994 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Franklin Graham may tarnish his family name every time he opens his mouth these days, but there's no denying his international relief organization- Samaritan's Purse- has done a lot of good work through the years.

This morning Graham must have decided SP can afford a good wallow in the partisan mud with him: he signed up to act as bagman for Melissa and Aaron Klein, who soaked the credulous at for $110,000 yesterday before even that outfit- which will let almost anyone on- shut them off.

The Kleins have spent the last two years making themselves media martyrs for refusing to sell a wedding cake to an Oregon lesbian couple getting married. So great has the drumbeat of negative publicity the Kleins and their allies been on the lesbian couple- who have shunned media outlets- that an Oregon administrative law judge whacked them for $135,000 in damages yesterday.

Going through the motions

Former SC senator Jim DeMint, who denounced Washington insiders cashing in until he did it himself to become head of The Heritage Foundation, shows how to be a leader of anti-marriage equality forces. He posted this video urging people to go to National Organization for Marriage's April 25 rally in DC- on the afternoon of the 23rd.

You knew it had to sprout in Georgia...

From Joe.My.God., the latest crowdfund welfare seeker lays his groundwork:

Citing his religious beliefs, the owner of an AlphaGraphics print shop franchise in suburban Atlanta has refused to print wedding invitations for a lesbian couple. Via Atlanta's NBC affiliate:
Paige Beckwith says throughout her wedding planning process she has been open with vendors that there would be two brides on the wedding day. She says none of the vendors seemed to care, but him. Beckwith says she contacted the company after being referred by a friend. They were trying to go with a train theme. Their engagement photos, taken by Snap Shots By Allie, were on railroad tracks. Their reception would be at an old train depot in Lawrenceville. They wanted the invitations to look like a train ticket, so she needed a company that could design and print them. "The owner called me back and let me know that he's not going to print our invitations because he does not support same sex marriage," said Beckwith. "I kept asking him how, why, how he could do this? He just basically stood on his religious beliefs, referenced the Bible, called it a sin, and I was basically in tears saying how could you treat me this way?," she recalled.
The AlphaGraphics main office has denounced its franchisee and promised to print the invitations at no charge. They have also issued a statement: 
We do not condone discrimination of any kind, and wish to make clear that customers of any race, religion, nationality, ethnicity or sexual orientation are welcome at our franchisees' locations nationwide. We also wish to apologize to the customers who were impacted by the actions of this franchisee, and hope that our response conveys the level of commitment we feel toward upholding our company's standards of inclusion, and that all members of the Suwanee community continue to feel welcome at AlphaGraphics.
Georgia does not protect LGBT residents from business discrimination.

"Bring out yer dead....bring out yer dead..."

A truly exclusive professional calling, detailed in Scientific American:
The job of maintaining Lenin's corpse belongs to an institute known in post-Soviet times as the Center for Scientific Research and Teaching Methods in Biochemical Technologies in Moscow. A core group of five to six anatomists, biochemists and surgeons, known as the "Mausoleum group," have primary responsibility for maintaining Lenin's remains. (They also help maintain the preserved bodies of three other national leaders: the Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh and the North Korean father–son duo of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, respectively.) 
As it turns out, there's a bunch of other dictators under glass around the world. 

Sweet Cakes campaign hits quick sell-by date.

A night of high drama is unfolding in conservative crowd funding circles, as the site, host to most of the campaigns to bail out bigots acting out religious freedom claims against gays and others, shut down the campaign for Sweet Cakes by Melissa only hours after it opened.

Around 9.50 pm Pacific time, the Sweet Cakes by Melissa Facebook page reported:

Evidently Go fund me has shut down our Go fund me page and will not let us raise any money. Satan's really at work but I know our God has a plan and wins in the end!

Commenters on Facebook and Free Republic reported making inquiries and receiving this message:
Thank you for writing to us about this campaign. 
After careful review by our team, we have found the “Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa” campaign to be in violation of our Terms and Conditions. The money raised thus far will still be made available for withdrawal. 
While a different campaign was recently permitted for a pizzeria in Indiana, no laws were violated and the campaign remained live. However, the subjects of the “Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa” campaign have been formally charged by local authorities and found to be in violation of Oregon state law concerning discriminatory acts. 
Accordingly, the campaign has been disabled. 
The GoFundMe Team
At least one Freeper reported the last time he saw the Sweet Cakes site, last evening, just over $109,000 had been raised.

Given the Go Fund Me Team's reasoning, it is not clear why Barronelle Stutzman, the discriminatory florist of Richland, WA, is keeping her campaign site up and raking in. Stutzman has been found guilty of violating Washington's anti-discrimination laws.

An inquiry to Go Fund Me to find that out has been promised a response later Saturday.

In the meantime, it has been another slow day for the other crowd fund welfarists. Barronelle Stutzman raised $90 yesterday, from four new donors. Jimbo Boggess, the racist deli owner in New Jersey, got $10 from one new fan of White History Month celebrations. And Brian Brown, trying to drum up bus far for poor opponents of marriage equality, raised $1105 toward his $10,000 upward beg to charter buses. The rally is tomorrow; NOM raised $$43,156 of the target of $50k.

Now let's sit back and see how long after tomorrow's rally before NOM shuts the beg down.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Nothing should ever be done for the first time.

From Harvard Business Review, how to kill creativity at work:

More crowdfund follies.

There is a new martyr, after an Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries administrative law judge issued proposed findings assessing $135,000 in penalties against Aaron and Melissa Klein, dba Sweet Cakes by Melissa, of Gresham, Oregon, for refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

The text of the decision, issued today, is here. It is worth reading, for the factual and legal analysis that no one will rely on in the debates to come.

The Kleins, who have pursued an active media campaign in religious and conservative circles for two years, have ten days to challenge the findings before the Bureau's commissioner makes a final determination. That determination can then be appealed to the Oregon Court of Appeals, and, then, to the state Supreme Court.

The page went up within hours of the decision, and in four hours raised $33,000 of a $150,000 goal.

Waldo will be updating this new case at Waldo's Go-To Guide to Anti-Gay Crowdfunding.

Expenses paid, one presumes.

Barronelle Stutzman, the martyred florist of Richland WA who says she is struggling to save her business from the oppressive hand of marriage equality activists, is taking the weekend off to be a second-tier keynote speaker at a $250-a-plate dinner for the Center for Arizona Policy's Family Dinner. The big draw for April 25 event is the perpetually dyspeptic Charles Krauthammer.

Her dinner bio says she is notable for being "a 70-year-old grandmother, [who] owns Arlene's Flowers in Washington. Barronelle faces the loss of her home, retirement, and business after referring her long-time friend and customer to another florist because her faith prevented her from using her creative skills to design custom arrangements and support services for a same-sex ceremony. "

In addition to Krauthammer, Stutzman will share the podium with ACP's president and the Governor of Arizona.

Waldo has been predicting for some time that Stutzman would do something to jump start her flagging "pay me for discriminating" campaign.

The campaign, which started February 23, 2015, was stalled out until April 4, when the Memories Pizza gofundme campaign was closed out after raising $842,000 for the Indiana shop whose owners rejected the custom of any gay couples wanting catered 'za for their same-sex nuptials.

With Memories Pizza's table cleared, Stutzman became the flavor of the week (Memories Pizza is also an ice cream parlor). She doubled her money almost overnight; since then she has raised just $10,000. No one has posted anything on the "Stand With Barronelle Stutzman" page on Facebook since April 2.  On April 7, the Memories Pizza family told the UK paper The Daily Mail they are sharing an undisclosed cut of their haul with Stutzman. Both campaigns were set up and run by the same conservative business.

The notion that this case has dire financial implications for Stutzman is specious, a concoction she and her lawyers dreamed up. She is getting her legal services free. The Attorney General of Washington and the gay couple she rejected have both said they are not trying to ruin her financially; the court has awarded the State $1 in costs, and fined Stutzman $1,000. The couple's damage claim is $7.91 in mileage finding another florist: their legal representation is also being provided by a nonprofit legal group. She has even said, in one of her television interviews, "It's not about the money."

Stutzman's business income from all weddings is 3% of her sales. She is suing- with more free legal representation- the state and the gay couple to recover her damages; if she prevails, she will not be out of pocket at all. If she doesn't, her downside is virtually nil. She has offered no public proof that her business has suffered overall. She has not reported turning down any other same-sex nuptials work. Stutzman is only involved in the case personally because the Washington Law Against Discrimination prohibits using corporations as shields against liability for barred discriminatory acts that drive her company's decision; Arlene's Flowers had a written nondiscrimination policy that banned just the sort of discrimination she decided to practice. 

By any measure, Barronelle Stutzman will make a handy profit on this business.

Picking up where Jerry Falwell left off with the Teletubbies...

"Gone to see a man about a dog."

Twelve years ago today, Box Turtle Bulletin reminds us, this happened:

Sen. Rick Santorum’s “Man On Dog” Interview: 2003. In an interview printed inUSA Today, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) was in the midst of blaming the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandals on liberals and the “right to privacy lifestyle” (which Santorum made abundantly clear that he did not accept), when he cast his eye toward the pending U.S. Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas which would strike down sodomy laws later that summer. Santorum defended sodomy laws and launched his most infamous polemic against gay families:
AP: OK, without being too gory or graphic, so if somebody is homosexual, you would argue that they should not have sex?
SANTORUM: We have laws in states, like the one at the Supreme Court right now, that has sodomy laws and they were there for a purpose. Because, again, I would argue, they undermine the basic tenets of our society and the family. And if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does. It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn’t exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution, this right that was created, it was created in Griswold — Griswold was the contraceptive case — and abortion. And now we’re just extending it out. And the further you extend it out, the more you — this freedom actually intervenes and affects the family. You say, well, it’s my individual freedom. Yes, but it destroys the basic unit of our society because it condones behavior that’s antithetical to strong healthy families. Whether it’s polygamy, whether it’s adultery, where it’s sodomy, all of those things, are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family.
Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. Why? Because society is based on one thing: that society is based on the future of the society. And that’s what? Children. Monogamous relationships. In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality —
AP: I’m sorry, I didn’t think I was going to talk about “man on dog” with a United States Senator, it’s sort of freaking me out.
The AP reporter wasn’t the only one freaking out. Dan Savage wrote a New York Times op-ed calling Santorum out for his blatant bigotry. Noting that Sen. Trent Lott had lost his post as Senate majority leader over remarks praising staunch segregationist Sen. Strom Thurmond’s (R-SC) 1948 presidential bid, Santorum was assured of escaping this outrage with no sanctions. “Unlike the former majority leader, Mr. Santorum didn’t slip up and say something in plain English that every good Republican knows must only be said in code. Unlike Republican appeals to racist voters, Republican appeals to homophobic voters are overt.”

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Is right-wing, crowdfunded welfare this year's Pet Rock?

The air's going out of the party balloons fast, friends...

It's been days since anyone wrote anything about Barronelle Stutzman. The Memories Pizza family is becoming- no, not a pizza. A memory. Brian Klawitter, the Dieseltec guy in Michigan, taunts Facebook readers but blocks all commenters who displease him. Dude, that's gonna seriously cut into the gofundme stash once you finally knuckle under and beg!

Here's today's haul:

Barronelle Stutzman, the double-dippin' florist (she's getting a slice of the Memories Pizza pelf: $ $90 today, from two people.

Brian Brown's gotta get his buses on the road Saturday, but he only made 20% of a bus today: $405, from 45 Greyhound fans/

And Jimbo Boggess, the racist deli owner from New Jersey? 


Will he vote FOR the unqualified ones, then?

English: US Senator Richard Burr.
English: US Senator Richard Burr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
National Review is annoyed by Senate Republicans, who are leery of getting called racists. They think it's "caving."

And they quote this gem from NC Senator Richard Burr, who is up for re-election in '16:

Republicans agree that Lynch is qualified for the job — “probably the most qualified nominee that’s come out of this White House,” concedes Senator Richard Burr (R., N.C.), who voted against her confirmation. 

Profiles in Courage, Raleigh Edition

As GOP Republican legislators in North Carolina started jumping ship, Speaker Tim Moore pulled the Pizza & Prayer Bill from any further consideration this year:
One Wake County Republican said Thursday the bill could cost him and others their seats at the next election. Rep. Gary Pendleton, former chair of the Wake County commissioners, said he withdrew as a co-sponsor at the request of 21 of his campaign contributors.
“This bill will cause at least four members to be defeated,” Pendleton told a reporter. “Including me.”
[House Speaker Tim] Moore acknowledged that some Republicans were worried.
“There are some folks who worried about that,” he said. “I could go back and defend that in my district and not be concerned. There are other folks who are worried that in their districts, it would be difficult … We’re a political body, and that’s just the reality of it.”
Moore’s decision apparently caught some of the bill’s supporters off guard...

Read more here:

Bless his heart... and he can!

English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
More bad news for National Organization for Marriage as it fumbles and stumbles toward extinction in July.

Not even a free bus ride can get the Archbishop of San Francisco- one of the stars of last year's NOM anti-equality pep rally in DC- to show up this year. With two days to go before the event, he's pulled out.

Meantime, leading parishioners continue to call for his removal from office back home for his antigay jeremiads and a morality clause he's imposing on church employees

Jindal declares a theocracy

As the entire Louisiana university prepares for a trip to bankruptcy court, Governor Bobby Jindal published this in The New York Times today:
As the fight for religious liberty moves to Louisiana, I have a clear message for any corporation that contemplates bullying our state: Save your breath.
In 2010, Louisiana adopted a Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which prohibits government from unduly burdening a person’s exercise of religion. However, given the changing positions of politicians, judges and the public in favor of same-sex marriage, along with the potential for discrimination against Christian individuals and businesses that comes with these shifts, I plan in this legislative session to fight for passage of the Marriage and Conscience Act.

California-style drought hits freedom restoration fundraising.

Even as she fights to save her business, her life savings and her home from homosexualists wanting her to sell them flowers, Barronelle Stutzman, the florist-martyr of Richland, WA, bottomed out today.

No one in this great land tossed a penny into her begging bowl over at After 4645 defenders of marriage gave her $173,370, on Wednesday the tap went dry.

Things were hardly better for Jimbo Boggess, whose deli window sign inviting customers to celebrate white history month with him led all of them to stop going in at all, raised $10 from two new donors. He's up to $1885.

Brian Brown, the mendicant bus captain of National Organization for Marriage, upped his beg from $40k to $50k yesterday, to get five more buses for his Saturday rally against marriage equality. He pulled in another $1500, but has a squint to make $50,000 in less than two days.

For the cumulative rundown, and back story of these scams, click here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Quebec school bus driver decrees: reading is, literally, dangerous, and must be stopped.

Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu (Québec) - Pont Gouin
Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu (Québec) - Pont Gouin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Yep, this is for real:

An eight-year-old girl in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. was told she's no longer allowed to read books on the school bus because it poses a risk to the safety of other students.
Sarah Auger loves reading and used to enjoy using her 20-minute ride to and from school to read for pleasure.
But recently, her bus driver told her she had to stop.
She says she was told reading posed a risk to other students on the bus.
He suggested they might stand up to see what she was reading, or she might poke herself in the eye with the corners of the book. 

Father wants rule changed

The no-reading rule is not sitting well with her father, Daniel Abel.
Abel says he's proud of his daughter for loving to read, and wants to encourage her to do so as often as possible.
He wants to see the rule on her school bus change.
"I find it stupid and useless," he said.
Abel complained to the school board, which deferred to the driver, saying the person who drives the bus is allowed to make the rules.
"The responsibility of a school bus driver is to transport students safely," said Mario Champagne, general secretary and director of communications for the Hautes-Rivière school board.
In a statement, the board concedes that "obviously" reading is not dangerous. 
The statement also specified that personal belongings of students, including books, must stay in their bags during the duration of their trip home.

Apocalypto, without subtitles

English: Maggie Gallagher at the Cato Institute
Maggie Gallagher at the Cato Institute (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Having spent years- and millions- trying to reduce the American gay community to the status of a hated minority, National Organization for Marriage co-founder Maggie Gallagher now finds her efforts have boomeranged. She and her posse see themselves as being reduced to the status of a hated minority, and she doesn't like it one little bit.

All the while, Gallagher and her fellow culture warriors assured supporters they were winning. She had the strategy and the tactics and the lawyers to get 'er done.

Now, instead of apologizing to her army of marriage defenders for being a pocket-lining humbug, Gallagher is telling them she will be there, again, to lead them to victory: this time, rebuilding civilization after the gays finish tearing it down.