UPDATE: The production has ended. We'll post a full version, if possible, once it is archived and available.
The situation worsens in Homs.
Here's a video of government explosives detonating in the middle of a peaceful crowd.
... Reuters: Red Cross can't get through ... "A major assault on Homs took place yesterday ... We continue to received grisly reports of summary executions, arbitrary detentions and torture." ... "They are torturing them and killing (detainees) one by one. They are executing them in batches."
INDICTED: Javaris Bradford, the fourth criminal thug fingered in the beating of Brandon White.
From The Advocate: Homophobes to gather at Oxford ...
Christian Concern ... opposed antidiscrimination laws and is currently fighting efforts to legalize same-sex marriage, and a related organization, the Christian Legal Centre, is helping a psychotherapist appeal her conviction of malpractice by offering an undercover journalist a “cure” for homosexuality. The U.S.-based Alliance Defense Fund, a right-wing legal group, is also involved with the conference.
... Gay students, and many Christians, will be deeply offended to see extremist groups given a platform at Exeter College,” Sam Dick, policy director for the gay rights group Stonewall, told the Oxford Student, a campus newspaper.
Even if Santorum wins Ohio, he can't win Ohio's delegates:
Santorum ... has already forsaken nine delegates by not being on ballots in three Ohio congressional districts.
... Santorum failed to file a full complement of delegates in six additional districts, said central committee member Bob Bennett. The holes add up to another nine delegates, for a total of 18 out of the 63 up for grabs. Santorum also did not file all 18 of his at-large delegates.
... but, says Joe Nocera, Santorum is excellent for the Republican Party, and we should all root for him:
If Mitt Romney takes the nomination and then loses to Obama, the extremists who’ve taken over the party will surely say the problem was Romney’s lack of ideological purity. If, however, Santorum is the nominee — and then loses in a landslide — the party will no longer be able to delude itself about where its ideological rigidity has taken it.
An alcoholic doesn’t stop drinking until he hits bottom. The Republican Party won’t change until it hits bottom.
American Conservative: Why we can't have a Christian republic.
Judge revokes license of bad teenage driver -- for life. Bad teen driver gets for life.
It's no crime to break an unjust law: The deportation of a valedictorian.
How many people can fit in Manhattan?
Authors Kergan Edwards-Stout and Gregory G. Allen have an enlightening chat about AIDS, literature, and the quirks'n'perks of modern publishing.
Miley Cyrus grows up; becomes a Lawrence Krauss fan, secular humanist, and moral disappointment to millions of Bible Belt fans.
Tornados wreak havoc across five states; at least 38 die.
Some people were saved. And some who were saved believe they were saved by magic.
WATCH: The disgustingly cute spectacle of a one-year-old who can play drums. AFTER THE JUMP ...
Earlier this week, Andy reported on the interrupted anniversary dinner of Kenyata White and Aeimee Diaz -- two lesbians in Phoenix, AZ, who were ejected from a restaurant in a Sheraton Hotel after sharing a brief kiss. From ABC15:
The couple says they shared a simple kiss and they didn't think anything of it until the manager came up to them and told them to get a room.
The women said the manager told them other patrons had complained to him.
"By no means at all were we doing any inappropriate activity. It was a light kiss a kiss that you could give your friends on the lips. It wasn't any make out at all and so we were very puzzled as to why we need to get a room," White said.
After the manager saw how upset they were they say he apologized and offered them free drinks if they would leave and come back another time.
When the story broke, it broke big. The incident spawned its own Facebook page. Phoenix's mayor got involved, issuing a statement which read, in part:
We fully expect the Sheraton, which also has committed their support to our LGBT community, to work with Equality Arizona and resolve this issue in a professional way with their staff. Let’s be completely clear -- Phoenix is a gay-friendly city and we welcome the LGBT community, not only because it is good business but also because it’s the right thing to do.
All the publicity caused the Sheraton deep shame, or at least deep nervousness, and the restaurant's management contacted the couple on Facebook. From Edge magazine:
The hotel’s representatives eventually reached out to White and Diaz and asked to meet with them and apologize for making them leave.
"We had the opportunity to meet with the couple late (Tuesday) to listen to their story and better understand their view and how they felt," hotel General Manager Leo Percopo said in a statement. "We had a collaborative conversation, and both parties are taking this incident seriously. Together, we have identified opportunities in which both parties can unite and work together to foster diversity awareness."
The magazine reports that the Sheraton's offer for free booze remains intact. Incredibly, it has not been upgraded to an offer for a free meal.
It's unclear how Kirk Cameron keeps scoring TV appearances. Cameron, a not-especially-noteworthy star of B-movies who was once worked in a middling sitcom, spends his days running a ministry called "Living Waters" with his guru, a man named Ray Comfort. This ministry has no discernible purpose other than making science-literate people look good in public debates. (Ray Comfort's a creationist, and one of his best "arguments" against evolution goes like this: Mammals reproduce sexually, a process requiring both a male and a female. Therefore, the first, freshly-evolved elephant/hyena/human/whathaveyou wouldn't have anything to mate with. Bet Stephen Jay Gould never thought of that!) For a price, Living Waters dispatches preachers to deliver sermons on demand. It doesn't do much else.
Nevertheless, Cameron was on Piers Morgan last night, saying not-nice things about gays and lesbians. He didn't seem to want to say those things, but Piers goaded him into it. He didn't say them cruelly, and he was emphatic about the primacy of such things as love, respect, and humility in his version of Christendom. But, he conceded, if any of his kids turned up gay, he'd tell them to be ceibate.
Today GLAAD is making a big deal about the Cameron interview. They've produced the graphic at right, and have posted a press release to their website, which reads, in part:
“In this interview, Kirk Cameron sounds even more dated than his 1980s TV character,” said Herndon Graddick, Senior Director of Programs at GLAAD. “Cameron is out of step with a growing majority of Americans, particularly people of faith who believe that their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters should be loved and accepted based on their character and not condemned because of their sexual orientation.”
... and so forth. Watch the Cameron clip AFTER THE JUMP. (And take heart: Tonight Piers interviews Penn Jillette, which ought to be a lot less dreary.)
There is, in fact, an occasion on which it is both brave and peerlessly cool to wear a Toby Keith teeshirt: When participating in an Iranian presidential election.
As (very few) Iranians dolefully queued up to participate in yesterday's electoral rubberstamping, this unnamed young man dressed as one should when participating in a democratic act: precisely as he wished. Maybe he did it as a joke, maybe he did it because he really loves America and/or Toby Keith; maybe he did it because he's irrepressibly punk and wanted to offend somebody's political pieties. (Or maybe it was his only clean shirtt.) Whatever the reason, salaam to him. And good luck.
(HT: The Atlantic.)
The AP reports that top Republican strategists are disappointed by the lack of discipline evident in Rick Santorum's recent campaigning, and his seeming inability to remain, as they say, "on message." Having squandered a massive lead ahead of last week's Michigan's primary by obsessing over culture war arguments that annoy even most Republicans, Rick Santorum seems incapable of adhering to his own strategy for avoiding a repeat performance.
Last week, Santorum rolled out a re-tooled message in Grand Rapids, MI, on primary night, focusing anew on job creation, his working class roots; his love of family, hearth, and home. From the AP:
"He is always going to have to struggle by responding to misperceptions that are out there," top adviser John Brabender told a handful of reporters after the Michigan loss became official. "The way that you solve that sometimes is to let people into your life and see a picture of you that you don't always share."
It was a strategy widely viewed as smart - and it didn't last.
Soon after, as Santorum dashed from state to state ahead of Super Tuesday, the candidate backslid into "sometimes rambling" speeches about contraception, health care for college students, Ronald Reagan's fight against "evil," and the death of nuclear family From the AP:
At the American Croation Lodge in Willoughby, Ohio, Santorum said it was impossible to talk about the economy without talking about the importance of two-parent families.
"Go to the areas of Cleveland where you don't see any dads. What do you see? Do you see freedom? Do you see opportunity?" he asked during his Friday night appearance. "Do you see jobs? Do you see police? Do you see government? Everywhere. That's the reality."
Republican strategists Todd Harris and Michael Dennehy think Santorum's public kultukampf is political suicide. Dennehy says the campaign needs to get "much better on discipline"; Harris has a go at Santorum's handlers for not controlling "what comes out of the candidate's mouth." Neither man apparently thinks Rick Santorum does the country a favor by honestly stating his beliefs.