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Student Allegedly Attacked For Pro-Marriage Equality Editorial In College Newspaper


Destinie Mogg-Barkalow is a student at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts, roughly midway between Boston and Providence. She contributes regularly to BSU's campus newspaper, The Comment, which on Wednesday published a brief screed of Destinie's celebrating the demise of Prop 8 in California. In response, it seems, two Comment readers attacked Destinie in a parking lot on Thursday night.

According to The Comment's coverage:

Destinie Mogg-Barkalow told police she was walking in the Chapel Lot at approximately 6 p.m. Thursday when she was approached by a tall male and a red-headed female. Mogg-Barkalow, who writes regularly for the paper and is the editorial page assistant editor, was wearing a Comment sweatshirt. The couple, who were presumably students, asked if she had written the article advocating gay marriage that appeared in this week's paper.

When Mogg-Barkalow, who is gay, confirmed that she was the author, the female punched her. Mogg-Barkalow told police her assailants headed in the direction of East Campus after they hit her, while she went to the Comment offices where other staff members were meeting.

Once Destinie related her story to a very shaken editorial staff, one of her colleagues called the police. A couple matching Destinie's description was soon apprehended in the vicinity of the attack, but Destinie insisted they weren't her assailants. Police went to work on a composite sketch of the alleged perps, which they so far have declined to release.

A BSU student who's also part of Occupy Boston has planned a rally for Destinie and her supporters for this Tuesday. "This kind of hate crime will not be accepted by Bridgewater State University students, or by the 99% as a whole," she wrote, which I hope doesn't mean that the beating of writers is objectionable only when it seems likely to elicit the anger of an unspecified 99% of the public. 1% ought to do it, or even no % at all.

Posted Feb. 18,2012 at 6:03 PM EST by in 99 Percent Movement, Crime, Massachusetts, Proposition 8 | Permalink | Comments (20)

Anti-Immigration Sheriff Paul Babeu's Gay Affair With Undocumented Immigrant

SheriffBabeuSheriff Paul Babeu, of Pinal County, AZ, is one of the most recognized faces of American anti-immigration sentiment. He's been a FOX News regular. He appeared in a John McCain campaign ad calling for a border fence. In January, Babeu announced his run for the United States Congress in a macho press release headed "It's Time For a New Sheriff In Washington," in which he decried the "400,000 illegal crossings into our state every year."

Well. According to a story broken this week in the Phoenix New Times, Babeu spent much of the last decade in a long-term gay relationship with an undocumented immigrant named Jose, whom Babeu threatened with deportation after their relationship ended.

From The Phoenix New Times:

He says [Babeu's] lawyer Chris DeRose demanded he sign an agreement that he would never breathe a word about the affair. But Jose (New Times is withholding his last name because Babeu and his attorney have challenged his legal status) refused.

The 34-year-old from central Mexico charges that the sheriff's lawyer warned against mentioning the affair with Babeu. DeRose said gossip about Babeu would focus attention on Jose, attention that could result in his deportation, Jose says.

... Babeu didn't respond to requests for comment by publication time for this article, but his attorney, DeRose, says the dispute between Jose and the sheriff concerned Jose's work on Babeu's websites. He says Jose was a former volunteer who hacked into a campaign website.

DeRose didn't immediately address the other claims against him and the sheriff, except to say, "I never threatened to deport anybody" and that "[Babeu's] not threatening anybody."

Babeu and Jose allegedly met on in 2006. At some point, Jose began doing web work for Babeu, maintaining his campaign websites, Facebook profile and Twitter feed. Their relationship began to disintegrate after Jose discovered Babeu's profile on Adam4Adam and created a false profile to see if Babeu was amenable to an affair. After many messages and explicit photos exchanged between Babeu and Jose's alter-ego (including Babeu's self-portrait, above), Jose's alter-ego arranged a date with Babeu at a steak house. (Babeu told Jose's alter-ego to "pack an overnight bag.") Babeu showed up and was shocked to discover Jose in the parking lot.

After the couple split, Jose began posting disparaging remarks about Babeu online. Texts exchanged by the men during that time are both sad and illuminating. From New Times:

Jose shared text messages between him and Babeu with New Times. A September 4, 2011, text from the sheriff reads: "You can never have business after this and you will harm me and many others in the process . . . including yourself & your family."

A couple of minutes later, Babeu followed with: "And you say you have loved me? Papi . . . this is no good."

Jose responded: "Good threats. Wont work. Im already hurt me . . . and you didn't care."

They exchanged more texts on September 6.

Jose: "Dont threat me. Thats illegal. Im just speaking . . . true."

Babeu: "You have crossed the line. Better get an attorney. You brother will also be contacted."

Since then, Jose claims he's been a constant target of harassment by Babeu and his lawyer. New Times writer Monica Alonzo solicited comment from Nancy Jo-Merritt, a "long-time Phoenix immigration attorney":

"If what [Babeu's attorney] says is correct [about Jose's being illegal], either the sheriff had a long relationship with someone he knew was undocumented, while all the time being Mr. Bluster about the border and using it for political gain," or he threatened to deport someone he just broke up with, Merritt says.

"That's just the worst kind of hypocrisy."

She adds that federal immigration-enforcement agents have better things to do than "take care of Babeu's boyfriends."

Posted Feb. 18,2012 at 1:15 PM EST by in 2012 Election, Arizona, Immigration, Mexico, Paul Babeu, Phoenix | Permalink | Comments (129)

Chris Cornell's Live Tribute To Whitney Houston: VIDEO

This is both the strangest and most affecting tribute to Whitney I've seen all week. Here is Chris Cornell, the titanic voice behind Soundgarden, singing a solo version of "I Will Always Love You" as an encore in San Francisco. Cornell acknowledges that he's only just learned the song, and it's by no means a perfect version. Then it again, it is.


(HT: Buzzfeed)


Posted Feb. 18,2012 at 12:15 PM EST by in Chris Cornell, San Francisco, Whitney Houston | Permalink | Comments (19)

Conservative Talk Radio Host Michael Berry Was Definitely At That Gay Bar In Houston ...

Berry... and we know this because the establishment's security footage has finally been released to the public.

As Andy reported: Michael Berry, a Republican, former city councilman, and syndicated radio talk show host famous for thinking murderous thoughts about those of his fellow citizens who happen to be Muslims, has been accused of perpetrating a hit-and-run outside of T.C.'s Show Bar in the Montrose gayberhood of Houston on January 31st, 2011. Berry allegedly reversed some 70 feet in a Chevy Tahoe, slammed into the car of a bouncer named Tuderia Bennett, who happened to be standing right outside the bar, and sped away. Witnesses confirmed the hit and run, and Bennett says he got a clear look at the perp before he drove off, as well as a good reading of the vehicle's license plate. When traced, the plate number turned out to be Berry's.

From Raw Story:

Berry, a former Republican city councilman, suggested on his radio show on Thursday that he had been framed by his “enemies.”

“I’ve always said when you do what I do, the way I do it, you make enemies,” he said. “When you poke your finger in as many people’s eye as I do every day, you make enemies,” adding that they will “will accuse you of most anything.”

Now, a man who looks very much like Berry can be seen by all on footage from T.C.'s security cam, which was posted yesterday by KHOU 11. With the tape, the witnesses, and the license plate number, Houston police have more evidence than is usually brought to bear on hit and run cases. Nevertheless, they've so far declined to launch a full investigation of Mr. Berry. Bennett suggests this is because of Berry's connections in local government.

For the record: There was a drag show in progress during Berry's visit to T.C.'s Show Bar, and while it's odd to catch a professional right-winger in such environs, Berry's presence is not necessarily indicative of hypocrisy. Berry celebrates at least one drag queen on his website, which features a page devoted to the comedic stylings of Shirley Q. Liquor.

Anyway -- watch KHOU 11's coverage, as well as the uncovered security footage, AFTER THE JUMP ...


Posted Feb. 18,2012 at 11:02 AM EST by in Houston, Texas | Permalink | Comments (61)

'Multi-Racial' Marriage On The Rise

HandsAccording to a new Pew study, rates of so-called "multi-racial" marriage have more than doubled in 30 years:

About 15% of all new marriages in the United States in 2010 were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity from one another, more than double the share in 1980 (6.7%). Among all newlyweds in 2010, 9% of whites, 17% of blacks, 26% of Hispanics and 28% of Asians married out. Looking at all married couples in 2010, regardless of when they married, the share of intermarriages reached an all-time high of 8.4%. In 1980, that share was just 3.2%.

The increasing number of Americans marrying outside of their "race" roughly correlates with the rise of acceptance of mixed marriages, which has roughly doubled since 1986:

... nearly two-thirds of Americans (63%) say it “would be fine” with them if a member of their own family were to marry someone outside their own racial or ethnic group. In 1986, the public was divided about this. Nearly three-in-ten Americans (28%) said people of different races marrying each other was not acceptable for anyone, and an additional 37% said this may be acceptable for others, but not for themselves. Only one-third of the public (33%) viewed intermarriage as acceptable for everyone.

If there's any bad news in the study, it's that the tendency to "marry out," as Pew calls it, is not equally pronounced across all segments of the population, which -- if I'm reading the results right -- seems to suggest that some people might have difficulties marrying at all. In 2010, a quarter of all black men who became married did so with non-black partners, while only 9% of black women married out. That trend roughly reverses for for Asian-Americans, with 35% of Asian women "marrying out" compared to only 17% of Asian males. The number hints that there may be far more black women and Asian men who are uninterested in marrying or unable to marry members of other "races" than there are appropriate potential mates for them. (Black women have known about the shortage of marriageable black men for a while, and are unhappy about it.)


Posted Feb. 18,2012 at 10:26 AM EST by in Science | Permalink | Comments (25)

Truth In Action Says The Devil's In The Classroom: VIDEO

This week, Truth In Action released an instructional video explaining the evils of American public schools. (Truth In Action was once known as Coral Ridge Ministries, which was led by the execrable and now-deceased Dr. D. James Kennedy and operated from within a church famous for sporting the most unnecessarily huge steeple/god-antenna in Florida.) Basically, it seems, schools are "Hitlerian" because they seek to reaffirm the bedrock values of American society (tolerance, pluralism, critical thinking, the worth of civil society, etc.) rather than the values with which Truth In Action would like to replace them (intolerance, homogeneity, superstition, and a distrust of civil society). The moral: Home school your children!

The folks at watched the vid so you wouldn't have to, and have put together a highlight reel. Watch AFTER THE JUMP ...


Posted Feb. 18,2012 at 9:28 AM EST by in Education, Religion | Permalink | Comments (8)


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