We covered a story six months ago about University of Texas student Cody Wilson 3d-printing his very own fully-functional handgun. It was scary, particularly given that the thing was entirely plastic and would contain no traceable details such as a serial number and could easily be mistaken for cheap toys from Walgreens, but at least they would suffer catastrophic failure after just a few shots.
Not to be outdone by a college student, Austin-based industrial 3d print house Solid Concepts has successfully printed a metal handgun that is accurate to 30 yards and can fire 50 shots without breaking (though thankfully not all in one magazine). Solid Concepts stressed that home 3d printers are not capable of printing the gun they designed, that it requires the use of a heavy-duty industrial printers that are too expensive for an individual. Nor do they plan to release the plans online the way that Cody Wilson intended to do. While these are mildly reassuring facts, all it will take is one resourceful gun nut to start printing unregistered and potentially untraceable weapons that could do a great deal of harm.
Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...
We last mentioned Dave Wilson back in 2010 when the homophobic electrician distributed anti-gay fliers to campaign against Houston mayor Annise Parker, an activity that the Houston Republican Party distanced themselves from. Wilson also ran for Harris County commissioner at the time, but did not win the election.
Wilson has now run for the Houston Community College Board of Trustees, and since blatant homophobia didn't work, Wilson tried a different tactic: deception. Specifically, by leading unfamiliar voters in predominantly black neighborhoods to believe that Wilson himself was a black man. Once again relying on fliers, Wilson filled them with random pictures of black people that he freely admits to just pulling off of the internet, adding the caption “Please vote for our friend and neighbor Dave Wilson.”
Also on the fliers was the endorsement, "Endorsed by Ron Wilson." While technically true, the Ron Wilson who endorsed Dave Wilson's campaign fliers is his cousin from Iowa, not the Ron Wilson who is a black former state representative.
Wilson won the election by a mere 26 votes, so it's highly probable that his fliers deceived just enough of the 35,000 voters who received them to make a difference. Wilson is now on the Board of Trustees and the man who justified his actions with “[e]very time a politician talks, he’s out there deceiving voters,” and claims that "[t]he openly gay lifestyle leads to extinction," now has the power to approve the educational program for Houston Community College.
If you don't recall the name Andrew Shirvell, here's a primer: he's a former assistant attorney general for the state of Michigan, who lost his damned mind and engaged in a one-man hate-war in 2010 against gay then-student body president of the University of Michigan Chris Armstrong.
After creating a blog flooded with anti-gay attacks against Armstrong and having been caught protesting with Westboro Baptist Church, Shirvell was placed on a leave of absence from his work. He was later scheduled for court hearings in regards to his actions. He even made an appearance on The Daily Show to defend his actions, which went about as well as one would expect. Shirvell was then fired from his position and subsequently sued by Armstrong for harassment and ordered to pay Armstrong $4.5 million in damages. Armstrong founded a scholarship fund for students who have been victims of bullying while Shirvell went on unemployment benefits.
And those are only about half of the articles we've written on the man.
Now, Shirvell has crawled back out from whatever rock he was hiding under to sue his former boss, former attorney general Mike Cox, for wrongful termination. Current AG Blll Schuette is also named in the suit along with four others. Shirvell is seeking a monetary award, of course, but is also demanding his old job back, because that will go over well and won't make for an awkward work environment. Cox is convinced that the suit is a joke, while Schuette's spokeswoman had no comment.
Bright Light Bright Light (aka Rod Thomas) is back with a new single and video "An Open Heart". He writes:
“An all-out electronic pop song, ‘An Open Heart’ looks at perception, and how easy it is to miss the beauty of a moment. Whereas the debut record looked at what a place or a person can tease out in you, these new songs look at how you see your surroundings – what it is you see and what it is you miss.”
Watch the new video, AFTER THE JUMP...
You may also recall his track "Moves".
For more on Bright Light Bright Light don't miss the June interview he did with our own Bobby Hankinson:
"I don’t define myself as a “gay artist,” because that has lots of loaded implications. I don’t think of myself of like a spokesperson for the gay community. But I am very proud of who I am, and I’m never, ever inclined to be anything other than honest about my sexuality when I’m asked about it or when I’m talking about that. I don’t try to gender rectify songs to make it sound anything more generic. It’s actually quite liberating. There’s a lot of artists that say it’s been a real hindrance to them, and I’ve never felt that. I’ve always felt that it’s been embraced.
Check it out here.
Watch the new video, AFTER THE JUMP...
Here's your crackpot video of the day, brought to our attention by Right Wing Watch.
It was posted on the website of Scott Lively, the evangelist who has taken credit for facilitating anti-gay laws in both Russia and Uganda. Writes Right Wing Watch:
Obviously, we were professionally required to check that out and what we found was an interview conducted by crackpot preacher James David Manning with a woman named Mia Marie Pope, who claims to have been a classmate of President Obama's back in Hawaii in the 1970s when he was a gay, cocaine using foreigner.
"He very much was within sort of the gay community," Pope said. "And we new Barry as just common knowledge that girls were never anything that he ever was interested in ... He would get with these older white gay men, and this is how we just pretty much had the impression that that's how he was procuring his cocaine. In other words, he was having sex with these older white guys and that's how he was getting this cocaine to be able to freebase".
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
On Thursday, we reported on Hawaii Rep. Jo Jordan, a lesbian, who made a "no" vote on the marriage equality bill. Jordan voted "NO" again last night at the bill's third and final reading.
Jordan had reservations about the bill before Hawaii’s special session even began. Last week, she explained that she was undecided, because even though 75 percent of her constituents support marriage equality, she felt she had to represent the entire state. She seemed to be unaware that statewide polling showed a 55 percent majority support marriage equality.
The Supreme Court’s decision overturning the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) did little to convince Jordan that the state’s civil unions would no longer suffice: “Has anybody been denied before DOMA or after DOMA — what has changed in our state? These are questions that I still have to settle in myself and that’s why I’m undecided.”
Before the vote, Jordan explained herself in a long post at Honolulu magazine.
Writes Jordan, in part:
I’m choosing not to look at the news, but I hear I’m being blasted pretty bad.
As soon as I got off the floor, probably within the first half hour… (makes explosion noises) I want to have faith that it’s the Mainland and it’s not here. I’m like, "You don’t know who I am, No. 1, because obviously you weren’t in those hearings."
I totally thought I was going to get blasted by the religious community. When I walked into the hearings, I was like, those faith-based guys are going to come out. And not one of them said anything. They were more about, "Thank you, thank you for listening." And they didn’t know who I was. Outside, I was Rep. Jordan sitting at the table. They had no idea who I was, or my lifestyle, and that’s why I like it. Can we get to know each other before you know the rest of the stuff?
I was blasted by the GLBT community on Saturday, outside the door. That took me aback. At the time, I hadn’t stated my position, and I was still undecided. These were testifiers the day before, saying, “How can you be undecided? You should be a 'yes.' Do you know what this means?” And I politely engaged with them: "I have some problems with SB1." I explained the issues and they slammed me again. “It’s good. Just vote yes.” They started getting boisterous. My natural instinct is, I’m going to fly some words at you. But you can’t, so I’m like, "Thank you."
It has been interesting. I am not part of any faith-based group, so I walked in thinking those were going to be the ones going, grrrr, grrrr. But unfortunately, it’s been coming from my community during the hearing. I was like, “Wow, so much for minorities that have been suppressed.” But I’ve got to look at it this way: Maybe they feel they’ve been suppressed for so long that they no longer can contain it and they are just going to lash out at anything without thinking first. But I have to keep that faith to help me not take it personally. It’s not about who is right and who is wrong. It’s about, are we creating a measure that meets the needs of all?
Now that marriage equality looks almost assured to become law in Hawaii, Jordan will have to live with the fact that she voted against rights for herself and the LGBT community.