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News: David Blaine, Brazil, Tim Gunn, Arctic Gas, Taser Death

road.jpg Barack Obama and John McCain's joint statement on the economy.

Thorperoad.jpg Ian Thorpe dabbles in painting.

road.jpg "Ex-gay" Alan Chambers to lead simulcast rallies for Prop. 8 at churches via satellite.

road.jpg This doesn't look like a "suspended" campaign to me. Also, this morning, "while McCain says he was meeting with key advisors and becoming increasingly concerned about the financial crisis facing the country -- he was actually holding a special meeting with Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, the expat international financier who once supported Hillary Clinton but now is supporting McCain because she thinks Obama is 'elitist'.

road.jpg Clay Aiken still a working dad.

road.jpg Pepsi grants $500,000 to PFLAG. Exec director Huckaby: "PepsiCo has provided PFLAG with an enormous gift, and an unparalleled opportunity, to demonstrate the power we have to create change, no matter where we are, or who we are. Because of the Foundation's generosity and commitment, we now have the resources to produce materials for our chapters to use in their communities, and to create critically important conversations, in every corner of our country."

road.jpg SICK: NYPD tasers chemically imbalanced naked man on ledge, who falls to his death.

Wigroad.jpg Britney Spears wigging out again.

road.jpg Study supports gay adoption: "...findings by a nonpartisan adoption group being released Thursday conclude that gays and lesbians are an important resource for children awaiting adoption. There is near "universal professional consensus" that these applicants should be judged on their qualifications, not sexual orientation."

road.jpg Polish men get community service, fine, for anti-gay threats, assault: "The pair downed vodka with the couple, also Polish, before turning nasty, Bradford Crown Court heard last Thursday...Prosecutor Dave MacKay said the gay couple, from Keighley, asked the defendants to help move some of their property. All drank vodka together and Klodzinski and Szofer began making homophobic comments. Klodzinski, of Holker Street, Keighley, shouted: 'I kill gays,' the court heard. Both he and Szofer, of North Street, Keighley, were told to leave but they returned to break a window and hurl plates at the couple. One of the men was punched in the face by Szofer and kicked on the knee by Klodzinski."

road.jpg Two big Broadway shows are getting the old heave-ho...

road.jpg A McDonald's hamburger from 1996: how it looks today.

Blaineroad.jpg David Blaine completes Central Park hanging stunt.

road.jpg Tim Gunn does an interview with Time Out and talks about his favorite New York moment: "We had just wrapped the taping of Project Runway season two. Season one had aired, and there were mixed reviews in the industry, including a fair amount of snarkiness about whether it was a quality program. On Bastille Day 2005, I was in my office and received a call from Lauren Zalaznick telling me we had been nominated for an Emmy. I went screaming down the halls to see the producers, who were a floor below me, shouting at the top of my lungs, 'We’ve been nominated for an Emmy! We’ve been nominated for an Emmy!' I remember it vividly. And one of the things I was most pleased about was, 'Take that, Seventh Avenue snarkiness. Take that!'"

road.jpg Brazilian gay rights group Arco-Iris launches petition drive in support of law criminalizing homophobia.

road.jpg Travolta to play secret agent in new Luc Besson film?

road.jpg Little Britain USA is on its way...

road.jpg Scientists: is melting of the arctic ice cap triggering a methane timb bomb? "Underground stores of methane are important because scientists believe their sudden release has in the past been responsible for rapid increases in global temperatures, dramatic changes to the climate, and even the mass extinction of species. Scientists aboard a research ship that has sailed the entire length of Russia's northern coast have discovered intense concentrations of methane – sometimes at up to 100 times background levels – over several areas covering thousands of square miles of the Siberian continental shelf."

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  1. For a Rothschild to accuse anyone of elitism is beyond absurdity. And for McCain to meet with her despite "halting his campaign" is idiocy.

    Posted by: Paul R | Sep 25, 2008 3:33:17 PM

  2. Gay hating churches in gigantic [probably illegal] get out the pro Prop 8 vote drive? HELLOOOOOOO! Ellen! Rosie! Melissa! Elton! Berlanti! Lance! Fill in the blank!

    WHERE ARE YOU???????????????????

    WHERE'S YOUR MONEY?????????????

    "Mega A-Gays Missing in Fight Against Prop 8"

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Sep 25, 2008 4:07:24 PM

  3. "Scientists: is melting of the arctic ice cap triggering a methane timb bomb?"

    Ho-ly sh#t. Do people really understand how serious this finding may become? God help us, we have become a virus to this planet and we're all too concerned about Britney Spears and mortgages. Hate to be pessimistic, but who is going to care about those issues when we don't have a planet to squabble on?

    Posted by: CJ | Sep 25, 2008 4:44:16 PM

  4. There is nothing illegal about issue advocacy by non-profits. They are barred by the IRS (not criminal law) from campaigning for or endorsing particular candidates.

    There is nothing new about the methane under the ocean story. The problem with the theory is that undersea vents and volcanoes would have triggered the release a long time ago as they are hundreds of degrees warmer than the cold parts of the oceans. If vast cracks in the crust of the earth cannot warm the oceans than little will. Also 70% of all meteorites hit the oceans, and large ones hit about once every thousand years. There are no records of large methane releases on these time scales despite the enormous amounts of heat released by an impact.

    Posted by: anon | Sep 25, 2008 5:17:06 PM

  5. Sorry "ANON" but, in addition to the inanity of your screenname, you don't know shit from Shinola about IRS restrictions on non-profits. From their own "Tax Guide for Churches & Religious Organizations":

    "In general, no organization, including a church, may qualify for IRC section 501(c)(3) status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying). An IRC section 501(c)(3) organization may engage in some lobbying, but too much lobbying activity risks loss of tax-exempt status.

    Legislation includes action by Congress, any state legislature, any local council, or similar governing body, with respect to acts, bills, resolutions, or similar items (such as legislative confirmation of appointive offices), or by the public in a referendum, ballot initiative, constitutional amendment, or similar procedure. It does not include actions by executive, judicial, or administrative bodies.

    A church or religious organization will be regarded as attempting to influence legislation if it contacts, or urges the public to contact, members or employees of a legislative body for the purpose of proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation, or if the organization advocates the adoption or rejection of legislation. ...

    Measuring Lobbying Activity: Substantial part test. Whether a church’s or religious organization’s attempts to influence legislation constitute a substantial part of its overall activities is determined on the basis of all the pertinent facts and circumstances in each case. The IRS considers a variety of factors, including the time devoted (by both compensated and volunteer workers) and the expenditures devoted by the organization to the activity, when determining whether the lobbying activity is substantial.
    Consequences of excessive lobbying activity. Under the substantial part test, a church or religious organization that conducts excessive lobbying activity in any taxable year may lose its tax-exempt status, resulting in all of its income being subject to tax.

    In addition, a religious organization is subject to an excise tax equal to five percent of its lobbying expenditures for the year in which it ceases to qualify for exemption. Further, a tax equal to five percent of the lobbying expenditures for the year may be imposed against organization managers, jointly and severally, who agree to the making of such expenditures knowing that the expenditures would likely result in loss of tax-exempt status."

    While determining whether any given activity is "excessive" is obviously subjective, and the most recent IRS investigation reports show them only issuing written advisories to churches where the confirmed inappropriate political intervention [which actually revoking the IRS tax-free status of a few non-church nonprofits], the laws are there and we should be doing more to see that they are followed.

    In fact, it's past time that some churches were directly demonstrated against, externally AND internally—as some Catholic churches were during the 80s re AIDS. When religious freedom becomes religious fascism there should be hell to pay here on earth!

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Sep 25, 2008 5:51:02 PM

  6. Global Warming naysayers have been so entrenched in the political that they continue to forget that Global Warming is a natural occurrence - historically speaking.

    The political debate rages on - but what is evident is that the Earth is warming up and permafrost is melting -- whether or not we've accelerated the natural order can be argued til the cows come home -- but it appears to be fact not fiction.

    What will it take for the world to wake up -- especially the USA to this life altering event?

    Posted by: Chapeau | Sep 25, 2008 10:18:06 PM

  7. Since when is hanging upside down magic?

    Does this mean I can do magic, too?

    I wish David Blaine would make himself disappear.

    Posted by: Joe Bua | Sep 26, 2008 3:38:14 PM

  8. Don't you mean Gaygent?

    Posted by: Br!on | Sep 26, 2008 9:30:52 PM

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