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News: UCLA Taser, Jake and Reese, Penguins, Seattle Gays

road.jpg Gay group Soulforce launches letter-writing campaign to Ted Haggard: "This is obviously a moment of personal, familial, and professional crisis for Rev. Haggard. We want to make sure that the voices of intolerance and homophobia are not the only voices that he hears during this difficult time. Through the Soulforce web site, members of our community can share their own experiences and affirm that LGBT people can and do live lives filled with faith, love, and happiness." Pen a letter to Pastor Haggard here.

road.jpg SHOCK: UCLA student tasered by police for not showing ID. (via AmericaBlog)

road.jpg Fund set up to benefit Ted Haggard's gay escort Mike Jones.

road.jpg Gay penguin book And Tango Makes Three ruffling parents' feathers again: When it came to the point where the zookeeper saw that the penguins were in love, I redirected (my daughter). That was the end of the story for her."

road.jpg George Michael thanks nurses who cared for his dying mother with free concert: "Almost 10 years ago, during the last week of my mother's life, I told my friends and family that if I ever played my own concerts again, I would make sure to do a free one for NHS nurses. The nurses that helped my family at that time were incredible people, and I realised just how undervalued these amazing people are."

road.jpg Looking for some new threads? "The One" T-shirts designed by Steph & Alek at Oh La La will benefit people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) in developing countries .

road.jpg Seattle has the second-highest amount of residents who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual: 12.9%. That's 57,900 people.

road.jpg Meet the cast of the Broadway version of Legally Blonde

Jakereeseroad.jpg Jake and Reese?

road.jpg Record shop Davey's Basement in small Michigan town boycotted after it sponsors Homecoming parade float for local high school's gay-straight alliance: "Ever since the parade, the record store’s business has been non-existent. Several of our regular customers, who previously ignored the fact that we carry gay pride stickers and other (similar) items, now have informed us that they will do everything in their power to boycott and hurt our business. We are now known amongst the town as the store that publicly ‘promotes queers.’ These ignorant people have been spreading vicious rumors about our store and a mass-scale boycott has come into effect, courtesy of these parade-goers. We cannot financially deal with this. We are struggling daily to even make a couple sales. This boycott is founded on ignorance, and because of it we literally will shut down in a matter of time. That is not the message we want to send to the community; that hatred and homophobia, if in the majority, will accomplish its intended destruction."

road.jpg Marc Jacobs still with boyfriend, and cleans up well!

road.jpg Larry King has never used the internet: "I wouldn’t love it. What do you punch little buttons and things?"

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  1. I hate it when you link to Pink is the New Blog. That site has that idiotic star opening graphic, which always messes up my computer.

    Posted by: wtf | Nov 16, 2006 2:49:31 PM

  2. Mr LV lost a *lot* of weight, that's for sure.

    Posted by: just sayin' | Nov 16, 2006 2:55:47 PM

  3. UCLA (and hence, the State of California) is in for a major lawsuit for excessive force. That is the most disgusting, jack-booted thing I've seen outside any filming, real or reel, of Nazi Germany. Those thugs ought to be fired and sent to prison.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Nov 16, 2006 3:29:59 PM

  4. Andy -- As I'm sure you know, "amount" is not the same as "percentage." Seattle may have (at least according to the article) the second highest PERCENTAGE of GLB residents but the AMOUNT of GLB residents in places like Los Angeles, Chicago and (as you can see if you just look out your window) New York is clearly much larger than Seattle's 57.9k.

    My pedantic point for the day.

    P.S. - I agree with WTF about hating links to Pink is the New Blog -- but more because he's kind of a childish, star-fucker than any problem with the coding.

    Posted by: Buster | Nov 16, 2006 3:39:23 PM

  5. WOW! Marc Jacobs looks great. I barely recognize him. His boyfriend is delicious.

    Many of the top banned books in America have gay people or characters in it.

    Ted Haggard will one day admit he's gay. Hopefully soon.

    I hope Davey's Basement makes it. That kind of stuff happens all across America. Leland what are you going to do about it?

    Posted by: Jack | Nov 16, 2006 3:41:08 PM

  6. If you do not follow Police demands. They have the ability to use whatever force required... Tase away ! that guy is an idiot... Wrong time to try and make a statement.

    Posted by: M | Nov 16, 2006 3:41:38 PM

  7. Can someone explain why a fund is being set up for Mister Jones. Was Ted Haggard his sole customer and now he has no income? Has he no more Mojo after the scandal and now has no means of income?

    Posted by: WTFPart Deux | Nov 16, 2006 4:00:07 PM

  8. Having a great deal of respect and admiration for much of the work of Soulforce, which I have often plugged on Towleroad, and having spent much of my childhood in "holy roller" churches, I can only hope that their Haggard letter writing campaign is just a kind of Trojan Horse attempt to get public attention to the futility and destructiveness of "conversion" "therapies."

    Trust me, even dethroned, it is EXTREMELY unlikely that Rev. Ted opens his own mail, or even sees any of it before some assistant sorts what he/she determines to be the wheat from the tares. Were this not true, if he open all of his own mail, there is a REMOTE chance that some of the good, supportive, gay-affirming words they're soliciting MIGHT soak in.

    But one doesn't have to have read his pathologically self-loathing apology to his flock [and, in effect, the world] comparing gays to "dirt" to know that he is HIGHLY invested in exposing himself only to those who reinforce that belief and reassuring them that he is not going to further subject himself to temptation, even as simple as reading progay letters.

    The moment his mail handler sees the return address from Soulforce, five, fifty, 5000, whatever, letters will be immediately tossed into the trash—UNOPENED—or stamped "Return to Sodomite" and given back to their postman. On the other hand, they might decide to use them as props, burning them in a dramatic, public bonfire with singing and praising Jesus name for protection against the godless homosexual agenda, Eli, Eli.

    For a public action group, I'm surprised and disappointed that they aren't demonstrating instead in front of Haggard's megachurch, in the same way they have twice, in the same town, at the doors of Focus on the Family. Much of what Soulforce does, particularly their Right to Serve campaign, deserves our support, but this letter campaign is a waste of time and money and the good will of good people.

    Posted by: Leland | Nov 16, 2006 4:00:27 PM

  9. M- these were not police, they were campus police...totally different story. We should tase the hell out of the rent-a-cops...Im surprised that there wasn't an all out beat down by the students. should've been

    Posted by: westvill | Nov 16, 2006 4:02:00 PM

  10. Jack: Leland better keep his hands off of Davey's Basement...that's in my neck of the woods. Shit, I could walk there!

    Posted by: JT | Nov 16, 2006 4:04:25 PM

  11. I, too, am not a tremendous fan of the pink linking. I've done my best to bite my tongue, but every day is gettin' a bit tiresome.

    Posted by: that guy | Nov 16, 2006 4:04:28 PM

  12. Re: UCLA

    What I'm reading is that school policy required him to have his ID with him in that area, to prove he was a student. He didn't, so technically he was trespassing. What I see on the video is someone breaking the law, screaming like an utter lunatic and refusing to cooperate with police officers. Why WOULDN'T he be tasered?

    It looks like UCLA kids would have a hard time in NYC, or anywhere in the northeast, for that matter. Freakin' hippies....

    Posted by: Rich | Nov 16, 2006 4:10:51 PM

  13. Westvill: Actually, the article says:

    "The CSOs left, returning minutes later, and POLICE OFFICERS arrived to escort the student out."

    Posted by: Rich | Nov 16, 2006 4:16:52 PM

  14. well, what I saw in that same video was a guy being repeatedly tasered, then being told to "stand up" immediately after said tasering... Sort of a physical "catch-22," imho. Irrespective of the man's jerk quotient, he did emphatically say he was leaving and could, quite likely, have left, escorted. It looked to me as though the security guys were enjoying their power (and their spankin' new tasers) and the exercising, thereof. I think the guy has a case for excessive force, at the very least.

    And, I join you in the hating of the Pink Links. Is it me, or do all other links go directly to the referenced topic; while the Pink Links force one to slog through all that starfucker crap to get to the subject...?

    Posted by: kile | Nov 16, 2006 4:20:54 PM

  15. You're right Rich, anyone who's committing the heinous crime of trespassing should be immediately punished with severe pain and electrically-induced convulsions. Tasers can, and have, killed people for lesser infractions -- and hippies (especially hippies who scream like lunatics) deserve to die, I'm sure we can all agree on that.

    Freakin' uniform-fetishists...

    Posted by: John T | Nov 16, 2006 4:23:59 PM

  16. That UCLA video was absolutely horrifying. There better be news stories about this. I'm surprised there wasn't a student riot.

    Posted by: Jordan | Nov 16, 2006 4:39:08 PM

  17. Those screams show unbearable pain. At best, those cops should be fired. At worst, put in jail for a couple of decades. (after a fair trial of course).

    On a lighter note, I won't go to a trent/pink link. His stuff is way too juvenile and much of it seems made up. Whoever said star fucker had it right. But it's AT's blog and he seems to like it. So be it.

    Posted by: jon luddite | Nov 16, 2006 4:47:45 PM

  18. re: UCLA

    If you read the article, and listen closely to the video, when the other students begin arguing with the cops, they ask them, "Do you want to be tased, too?"

    Sounds like excessive force. Yes, the student wasn't supposed to be in the lab. Yes, he refused to leave. However, he started leaving once the police officers got there. There seemed to be no need to even touch him. The problem escalated only once the officer grabbed his arm.

    Aren't tasers supposed to be used only when people are being dangerously disobedient? Yeah, the student was being an ass, but he was LEAVING, and he was not threatening anyone.

    Posted by: Mike | Nov 16, 2006 5:16:27 PM

  19. For the Jake fans, the trailer for his new movie Zodiac just hit the web:

    Posted by: Sebastien | Nov 16, 2006 5:18:40 PM

  20. John T: I'm far from an expert on tasers, so I won't argue whether they are cruel or unsafe.

    The guy certainly did sound like he was in a lot of pain. Perhaps we should outlaw tasers. Seriously.

    In the meantime, I assume the officers were issued tasers by their department as an approved method of subduing uncooperative perps.

    Based on the first :30 of the video, the guy was screaming like a lunatic and sounded quite uncooperative BEFORE the taser was used. I can't SEE what happened during that part, so perhaps it didn't happen the way it sounded.

    The guy might have said "I said I would leave", but from the beginning it's clear that he was refusing to leave. Toward the beginning, his response to "stand up" was a very loud and clear "fuck you". Nice.

    My point is that I'm not comfortable just blaming the officers without knowing whether they were following their training and procedures. If the problem is police policies, training and procedures, make it about that, not the officers.

    What I see in the video is a guy who's acting pretty crazy, possibly breaking the law, and not only refusing to cooperate with police, but doing so in a very confrontational way.

    I'm against excessive force, of course, but surely police need tools to handle people like this guy.

    Posted by: Rich | Nov 16, 2006 5:33:06 PM

  21. "Jack: Leland better keep his hands off of Davey's Basement...that's in my neck of the woods. Shit, I could walk there!"

    What are you saying? Are they not a good store?

    Posted by: Jack | Nov 16, 2006 6:13:23 PM

  22. I'd be curious to know why the guy felt the need to be so confrontational up front. He made the situation much worse than it needed to be.

    I also agree w/Rich. From what we hear, it sounds like they tased him because he wasn't cooperating. while the first time might have been warranted, the repeated tasings were unnecessary and do show a use of excessive force.

    Tasing does interrupt the bodies normal electrical signals and it is possible he simply could not get up. The officers should have known that. We could not see if he was struggling or fighting w/the officers but we do hear him yelling BEFORE he got tased quite loud and then several times after.

    He'll sue, win, and everyone's tuition will go up as a result.

    Posted by: moby | Nov 16, 2006 6:21:48 PM

  23. I like Pink blog. I don't read it everyday, but I like it in small doses, just the way Andy links to it.

    I don't like that he posts everything as one long rambling post, so Andy can't link to something specific. It's annoying scrolling through five pages of Britney-watch to find the interesting bit Andy linked to.

    But that's Trent's fault, AFAIK. Andy please keep linking to Pink!

    Posted by: Rich | Nov 16, 2006 7:01:55 PM

  24. tasering an unruly student??

    1 time might, stress MIGHT be called for

    5-6 taserings is excessive

    It is very difficult after being tasered to imediately get up and walk

    Many brands of tasers allow for different settings. From stun to pain

    The guy obviously was being tasered all 5-6 times on the extreme setting. Those are not faked screams of pain.

    Anyway; this and the you tube video of the guy getting beat by cops last the you tube stuff that afected 2 elections (Allen in virginia and Burns in Montana)....all show that people will not and can not get away with the crap they used to. It is amazing. Cell phones with cameras and video + the internet is making fascism and foolishness impossible.

    On the gay front, sadly we will probably soon see a gay bashing filmed on a camera phone and put on you tube. It will impact the gay rights movment for the positive, but someone will be getting hurt.

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Nov 16, 2006 7:10:46 PM

  25. My $.02...

    1) We know that these particular officers are jerks (at the very least), which is demonstrated by the fact that they tasered the student repeatedly, when it was not necessary. Even if you believe the first tazer was acceptable, surely the subsequent ones were not. Keep the "jerkness" of the officers in mind...

    2) We know that the BEGINNING of this altercation is not caught on tape. Obviously, the girl/guy with the cell phone did not immediately wip it out and start taping as soon as the cops approached the student and asked him to leave. Thus, the student's response of "Fuck You" when asked to leave may be slightly more appropriate when you consider the action that might have taken place prior to the camera being turned on.

    I mean, the cops have already demonstrated that they are jerks. Do you really think they approached the student and politely asked him to leave? Or, do you believe it's more likely that they approached him in a very rude, condescending, obnoxious or nasty way, thus prompting a series of actions that eventually led the student to say "fuck you" and eventually led to the cops tasering the student. I would imagine by the time the student said "fuck you", the alteraction had escalated enough for one student to deem it worthy of taping.

    I certainly believe in respect for the the law and lawful orders. I even believe in respecting security guards. However, the law or policy of a library does not give individuals, even security guards or police officers the right to be disrespectful and it certainly does not give them the authority to tazer someone repeatedly (without cause, of course). What I see is a clear example of excessive and abusive force. Now, my inclination is to say that the kid was a jerk too (obviously not to the same degree), but first, I would need to know whether or not the officers instigated the escalation through unprofessional conduct other than tasering him.

    I know we want to be fair, but before we chastise the student for saying fuck you, let's at least find out why he said it in the first place. If he was just saying it to bust the cops chops, then yea, shame on him (although he certainly didn't deserve to be tasered). If he was saying it because the cops were total assholes leading up to that point, then he certainly shouldn't be attacked.

    Posted by: Angelo | Nov 16, 2006 7:19:30 PM

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