May 19th, 2012

Jack Conkling, Kansas Teacher, Writes On Facebook That Being Gay Is 'The Same As Murder'

Jack Conkling, a Prairie Hills Middle School social studies teacher and Buhler High School assistant women's basketball coach in Buhler, Kan., is under fire after equating being gay to being a murderer on his Facebook profile, the Hutchinson News reports.

In his post, Conkling comments on gay marriage, writing that homosexuality "ranks in God's eyes the same as murder, lying, stealing, or cheating."

According to the paper, several of his students who were also his Facebook friends left comments on the post, something that led the school to eventually take notice.

"I wrote what I wrote for my Facebook friends who understand my heart and my intent," Conkling told the Hutchinson News. "I understand that there were some folks who didn't understand my heart, and while that's sad, it is what it is."

While the school district has no Facebook policy for its teachers, Craig Williams, the middle school's principal, said school officials are "looking into it."

In a news release, Kansas Equality Coalition Executive Director Thomas Witt condemned Conkling's public sentiments, saying it isolates students.

"What would Mr. Conkling say to a student who is getting bullied for being gay or lesbian," Witt said in the statement, according to the blog "Gay Star News."

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I think the sound of my teeth scraping can be heard all the way across the Atlantic right now.
Murasaki Shikibu

Japan mayor: I wouldn't hire tattooed stars Johnny Depp, Lady Gaga

Japan mayor: I wouldn't hire tattooed stars Johnny Depp, Lady Gaga

Even Hollywood stars Johnny Depp and Lady Gaga would not be welcome to work for the Japanese city of Osaka because of their tattoos, its mayor said amid a backlash over his stance against body art.

Mayor Toru Hashimoto this week said that public employees "should go to the private sector" if they want to keep their tattoos.

City authorities carried out a survey of their staff to ask whether they had any, whether they were normally concealed by clothing or not. More than 100 sanitation, public transport and other workers admitted they had tattoos.

But about 800 of the city’s 30,000 employees refused to answer the survey and a lawyer is now on the case.

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Ahh, Hashimoto being Hashimoto.
ontd → glasses!rdj

India's dam plans anger Pakistan, symbolise global water woes

ITS three great basins - the Indus, the Ganges and the Brahmaputra - are the most densely populated area in the world. The Ganges alone supports half a billion people.

Seventy per cent of South Asia's 1.5 billion people live in farming families, and depend on the water of those basins for their survival. That number grows by 25 million every year.

For generations the rivers have watered the bread basket of the Punjab, the cotton plants and fruit trees of the Sindh, and the rice paddies of Bangladesh, and grown this region faster than anywhere else.

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*blowing bubbles

Father of 30 wants a "break" on child support

And you thought Octomom had her hands full—a Tennessee man who has fathered 30 children is asking the courts for a break on child support.

Desmond Hatchett, 33, of Knoxville has children with 11 different women, reports WREG-TV.

The state already takes half his paycheck and divides it up, which doesn't amount to much when Hatchett is making only minimum wage. Some of the moms receive as little as $1.49 a month. The oldest child is 14 years old.

Hatchett explains how he reached such a critical mass: He had four kids in the same year. Twice.

Back in 2009 when Hatchett was in court to answer charges that many of the mothers were not receiving child support, he had 21 children. At the time, he said he was not going to father any more kids, but he ended up having nine more in the past three years.

The state cannot order Hatchett to stop making babies. He hasn't broken any laws, according to the report.


What do you think _p? Is he breaking laws by not providing adequate support for his children? How do you think the state should be handling this? What about the moms? Do they bear some of the responsibility for this situation?
Spike personalized

The Birthers Are Back, Might Keep Obama Off Arizona Ballot

The birthers are back, baby. Oh you might have thought that President Obama's producing his long form birth certificate last spring might have been the proverbial stake through the heart of birtherism (the belief that the president is ineligible for his office because he was not born in the United States of America), but staking only kills vampires, and the birthers are more aptly compared to zombies: implacably shuffling forward no matter how many holes you shoot in (in this case) their theories.

So they never quite went away but there's been a new outbreak just this week—coincidentally the same week when another fringe conservative hobbyhorse, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, briefly resurfaced. Maybe our politics have caught spring fever.

Whatever the reason, creeping birtherism is suddenly threatening to keep President Obama off the Arizona presidential ballot. Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett told a right wing radio host on Thursday that he has been asking the government of Hawaii to verify that Obama was indeed born there. Collapse )


and related
misc // orca whales

Fojol Bros. food trucks criticized for stereotyping

TW: Racism/cultural appropriation

Neither Drew Franklin nor Arturo Viscarra has ever eaten at one of the Fojol Bros.’ three colorful, cross-cultural food trucks. Despite this fact, the two roommates have, in the course of a week, transformed one of the District’s most popular mobile vendors into one of the most despised.

It started on May 11 with Franklin’s semi-crude “Open Letter to the ‘Fojol’ Bro-dawgs” on Facebook and continued with Viscarra’s online petition at, which demanded that the Fojol Bros. “[r]espect Asian and African cultures — stop the brownface minstrel act!” As of Friday, more than 950 people had signed the petition, many expressing outrage over the cultural insensitivity of Fojol employees, who wear turbans and fake bushy mustaches and assume mythical personas from the lands of “Merlindia” and “Benethiopia” — all while peddling dishes inspired by the cuisines of India, Ethiopia and Thailand.

The charges of racism and cultural mockery have blindsided Fojol co-founder Justin Vitarello, who essentially pioneered the city’s modern food-truck movement when he rolled out his first Fojol Bros. vehicle during Barack Obama’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 2009. The charges have impacted his young, ethnically diverse staff, says Vitarello, and they have proven a huge distraction as his ever-growing business gears up for the busy summer months on Washington’s streets.

“This is all just happening,” Vitarello says. “This is a proactive move to de-legitimize us. . . . We’re still trying to understand what the situation is.”

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Source has a picture, and it's pretty gross.
Pride & Prejudice

Mississippi Conservative Calls For Putting Gay People To Death On Facebook Page

Republicans have been furiously attacking the LGBT community ever since President Obama announced his support of marriage equality for same-sex couples. Some Republicans have taken their criticism to the extreme. In Mississippi, GOP state Rep. Andy Gipson posted a message on his Facebook page which calls for putting gays and lesbians to death.

On May 10, Gipson made the following post:

“Been a lot of press on Obama’s opinion on “homosexual marriage.” The only opinion that counts is God’s: see Romans 1:26-28 and Leviticus 20:13. Anyway you slice it, it is sin. Not to mention horrific social policy.”

Later on in the thread, Gipson posts a comment about how homosexuality is “unnatural” and causes “disease.”

According to Leviticus 20:13, “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”

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LGBT Marrige

[USA]: BREAKING: NAACP Endorses Marriage Equality

The Board of Directors of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the United States of America’s largest and oldest civil rights organization, today endorsed marriage equality at an meeting on Saturday, 19 May 2012. The organization had originally been founded in 1909 to improve the lives of the country’s African American citizens.
NAACP Board of Directors with Roslyn M. Brock Chairperson & Benjamin Todd Jealous, President

The NAACP’s move comes as attitudes in the African American community towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are changing rapidly. A recent poll found that 54% of African Americans supported US President Barak Obama’s recent decision to also personally endorse marriage equality in the USA and his additional remarks that he favors the repeal of DOMA, the misnamed Defense of Marriage Act that codified anti-marriage discrimination into law on a federal level.

The Decision Affirms Opposition to Government Efforts to Codify Discrimination

“The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure the political, social and economic equality of all people,” said Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NAACP. “We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law.”

“Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP’s support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people” said Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP. “The well-funded right wing organizations who are attempting to split our communities are no friend to civil rights, and they will not succeed.”

Below is the text of the resolution passed by the NAACP board of directors:

The NAACP Constitution affirmatively states our objective to ensure the “political, education, social and economic equality” of all people. Therefore, the NAACP has opposed and will continue to oppose any national, state, local policy or legislative initiative that seeks to codify discrimination or hatred into the law or to remove the Constitutional rights of LGBT citizens. We support marriage equality consistent with equal protection under the law provided under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Further, we strongly affirm the religious freedoms of all people as protected by the First Amendment.

Source NAACP, Bi Magazine, Democratic Underground, TransGriot
Murasaki Shikibu

In New Jersey, Memorial for ‘Comfort Women’ Deepens Old Animosity

In New Jersey, Memorial for ‘Comfort Women’ Deepens Old Animosity

Two delegations of Japanese officials visited Palisades Park, N.J., this month with a request that took local administrators by surprise: The Japanese wanted a small monument removed from a public park.

The monument, a brass plaque on a block of stone, was dedicated in 2010 to the memory of so-called comfort women
, tens of thousands of women and girls, many Korean, who were forced into sexual slavery by Japanese soldiers during World War II.

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Way to shoot yourselves in the foot, Japan. And also: y'all committed war crimes. Deal with it. And by "deal with it," I mean "fess up instead of denying/waiting for the clock to run out on the survivors."