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04/19/2007


Flashback To 2002 Speech Revisits 'Socially Moderate' Romney

RomneyClan

During his speech at the Republican National Convention last night, Mitt Romney tried yet again to prove to his party's most conservative voters that he's one of them. As part of that mission, he spent a considerable time discussing his parents, though mostly glossed over both of their political achievements: Romney's father was Michigan's governor and mother Lenore tried to run for that state's U.S. Senate seat.

Their political story may not have gotten big play last night, but Jeremy at Good As You reminds us that Romney's parents were instrumental in his 2002 gubernatorial campaign in Massachusetts. The following excerpt comes from a speech he gave that year, and the remarks bear little resemblance to the politics Romney has been touting this campaign:

Like [my parents], I am fiscal conservative and a social moderate.

Believing in people is fighting prejudice and bigotry where ever it exists, while extending an open hand to each other, regardless of color, faith, or lifestyle.
...
Believing in people is protecting their freedom to make their own life choices, even if their choice is different than yours. Accordingly, I respect and will fully protect a woman’s right to choose. That choice is a deeply personal one, and the women of our state should make it based on their beliefs, not mine and not the government’s.

My position has not changed. The truth is there is no candidate in this race from either party who would deny the women of our state abortion rights. So let’s end an argument that does not exist and put to rest these cynical and divisive attacks made simply for political gain.

If only the same could be said for this year's presidential race.


NEWS: The Doubt Of Dawkins, Ageless Madge, Hip-Hop Improves, Brian Brown's A Jerk (VIDEO)

Dawkins

Towleroad-roadicon Playboy's Chip Rowe's excellent interview with Richard Dawkins.

 Towleroad-roadicon In California, kids will soon be protected from "reparative therapy" -- but aren't their parents churches often just as dangerous?

 Towleroad-roadicon For legal purposes, Arizonians may be pregnant up to two weeks before conception

 Towleroad-roadicon Lynyrd Skynyrd bails on RNC.

 Towleroad-roadicon The best bit of political writing last week came from Gawker, and included these lovely lines:

It's a pernicious bit of false piety in America to assume that wealth confers goodness and goodness wealth; that the two evidence an indivisible value to anything other than profit. Asking how Romney became wealthy and how he manages wealth transgresses nothing. It is not an unreasonable intrusion or a heretical line of inquiry. There is not and will never be a minimum number of zeroes to your net worth that confers either absolution or immunity.

MagicJammeh Towleroad-roadicon Last week, the nutso Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, who claims to cure AIDS with magic and wants to chop off gay people's heads, pledged to execute all his country's death row inmates before September.

 Towleroad-roadicon It seems nine death row inmates have been executed so far. The EU responds:

"I strongly condemn the executions which have reportedly taken place on Thursday 23 August 2012, following President Jammeh's stated intention to carry out all death penalties before mid-September," EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement.

"I demand the immediate halt of the executions," she added.

The European Union has previously condemned death sentences passed in Gambia, but Sunday's statement went further by indicating that action might follow.

"In light of these executions, the European Union will urgently consider an appropriate response," 

 Towleroad-roadicon Brian Brown's "civil" description of those GOP legislators who voted for marriage equality in New York: "Slippery" "slithery" "traitors."

 Towleroad-roadicon Hip-hop's long journey to acceptance:

"People are learning how to live and get along more, and accept people for who they are and not bash them or hurt them because they're different," Snoop Dogg said in a recent interview ... 

"When I was growing up, you could never do that and announce that," Snoop said of [Frank Ocean's recent public acknowledgment of his homosexuality]. "There would be so much scrutiny and hate and negativity, and no one would step (forward) to support you because that's what we were brainwashed and trained to know."

 Towleroad-roadicon FOX News correspondent thinks Neil Armstrong's death provides an excellent opportunity to attack Barack Obama. 

 Towleroad-roadicon Madonna has been singing "Holiday" for a really long time. How long? Watch AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "NEWS: The Doubt Of Dawkins, Ageless Madge, Hip-Hop Improves, Brian Brown's A Jerk (VIDEO)" »


Anti-Gay Facebook Troll Enrages Italy

084442999-cd4943f6-0f8d-4e62-a920-d20cb15dfee1Last week, the Italian internet was briefly galvanized by an anonymous troll with a rather Catholic-looking Facebook page (see right), apparently created to advocate for the abortion of gay fetuses. Yes -- gay fetuses, which, claimed the troll, doctors now have the ability to identify with some specificity. The page launched on June 19th, with this exhortation:

Too many people have been misled by the false morality of the sodomites. But now, thanks to the miracle of science, we can prevent this. Yes, it is terrible to abort even the poor children burdened with sodomite genes, but it is the lesser evil. 

(The translation's approximate, but that's the gist.)

The page stuck around, and its author stayed busy. Eventually, if I've got the translation right, it seems the author began to provide fake reports from clinics about the murder of infants -- in one case, a report of gay babies who'd been strangled with their umbilical cords. Fake testimonials from fake mothers appeared, including this one:

After my [unborn] son was diagnosed with homosexuality, I wandered aimlessly and craved death above all things ... After aborting the homosexual fetus I became pregnant again. My son is now healthy. I have seen God. I am happy.

It was all insane. It looked like the mindless jabbering of an under-supervised and over-caffeinated 14-year-old with psych issues. None of it was very worth thinking about. Except -- for some reason, this particular detonation of nuttery managed to capture the attention of thousands. By the end of last week, when public furor over the troll caused Facebook to can his account, the profile had racked up more than 2,000 comments, and illicited comment from Italian politicians. Paola Tanning, some kind of official with the Democratic Party, threatened legal action against Facebook if the troll's page didn't disappear. Paola Concia, a member of the Italian parliament, publicly expressed solidarity with any gay kids who might have seen the page. And Stoppello Daniel, a famed lawyer who deals with cases of threats and discrimination against gays, told La Repubblica that the Facebook page was actionable:

In my opinion, [the page demonstrates] abuse of popular credulity -- Article 661 of the penal code -- in which you try to deceive people by promoting scientifically false and completely unfounded hypotheses, exploiting ignorance ... We shouldn't underestimate the fact that [the profile constitutes] a public incitement to abortion.


Legislators And Eve Ensler To Perform 'The Vagina Monologues' On Michigan Capitol Steps

The absurdity began Wednesday, when Democratic Rep. Lisa Brown assumed the dais to protest Michigan's new anti-abortion law. She said her piece, and concluded her address with:

I have not asked you to adopt and adhere to my religious beliefs. Why are you asking me to adopt yours? And finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but no means no.

Vagina_Dentata_by_Narcisse_ShrapnelRepublicans were scandalized. Rep. Brown had mentioned her naughtybits! Right there in the Capitol, in the citadel of democracy most holy! Vagina! As Republican state rep. Mike Callton put it:

What she said was offensive. It was so offensive, I don't even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company.

Callton and his fellow legislators promptly and indefinitely banned Rep. Brown from speaking in the Capitol, along with Democratic Rep. Barb Byrum, who is also reputed to possess a vagina.

Now, Brown, Byrum, seven other legislators, assorted Michiganer actresses, and author Eve Ensler have announced their plan to vaginize the Capitol with a performance of Ensler's The Vagina Monologues on the Capitol steps. The performance shall be held Monday, from 6 - 8 p.m. The event has been dubbed "Vaginas Take Back The Capitol," and it has its own Facebook page.


NEWS: Danger In The Castro, Lies About Apple, Abortions And Poultry, And The Improbability of Warp Speed

Castro
Towleroad-roadicon Gay men being drugged and robbed in the Castro:

It seems there have been too many instances lately in which older gay men are being targeted by (straight) criminals who are coming into gay bars, flirting with men, and then robbing them after they take them home.

Towleroad-roadicon Rosie leaves OWN.

Towleroad-roadicon Upper house of Swiss parliament narrowly votes to allow gay adoption. 

Towleroad-roadicon Producers of This American Life, the world's greatest radio program, are "horrified" that lies about Apple appeared in their show:

MikeDaisyA highly popular episode of This American Life in which monologuist Mike Daisey tells of the abuses at factories that make Apple products in China contained "significant fabrications," the show said today.

... The 39-minute piece aired in January and TAL says after 888,000 downloads, it became its most popular podcast. The story is compelling: It tells of the awful working conditions of Chinese workers making shiny Apple products like iPhones and iPads at factories owned by a company called FoxConn, which also manufactures products for other electronics giants.

The piece essentially made Daisey Apple's chief critic and it also inspired a Change.org petition that collected more than 250,000 signatures demanding that Apple better the working conditions at the factories.

Towleroad-roadicon Georgia rep: Stop killing babies, and you'll get chickens.

Towleroad-roadicon New York Times: How Bain Capital supplies the Chinese police state with surveillance technology, and how Mitt Romney stands to profit:

In December, a Bain-run fund ... purchased the video surveillance division of a Chinese company that claims to be the largest supplier to the government’s Safe Cities program, a highly advanced monitoring system that allows the authorities to watch over university campuses, hospitals, mosques and movie theaters from centralized command posts.

The Bain-owned company, Uniview Technologies, produces what it calls “infrared antiriot” cameras and software that enable police officials in different jurisdictions to share images in real time through the Internet. Previous projects have included an emergency command center in Tibet that “provides a solid foundation for the maintenance of social stability and the protection of people’s peaceful life,” according to Uniview’s Web site.

Such surveillance systems are often used to combat crime and the manufacturer has no control over whether they are used for other purposes. But human rights advocates say in China they are also used to intimidate and monitor political and religious dissidents. “There are video cameras all over our monastery, and their only purpose is to make us feel fear,” said Loksag, a Tibetan Buddhist monk in Gansu Province. He said the cameras helped the authorities identify and detain nearly 200 monks who participated in a protest at his monastery in 2008.

Moonevolution Towleroad-roadicon Joe Nocera on corporate morality.

Towleroad-roadicon Accused Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk is dead; his life was bookended by horrors. 

Towleroad-roadicon Seinfeld actor Daniel von Bargen shoots himself in the head; survives.

Towleroad-roadicon Barack Obama can't take sole credit for rescuing Detroit. 

Towleroad-roadicon Those neutrinos almost certainly did not travel faster than light. Bummer.

Towleroad-roadicon Watch the evolution of the moon, AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "NEWS: Danger In The Castro, Lies About Apple, Abortions And Poultry, And The Improbability of Warp Speed" »


Romney Says He'll 'Get Rid of Planned Parenthood', Obamacare, Amtrak Funding, NEA, NEH: VIDEO

Romney

At an interview in Kirkwood, Missouri, Mitt Romney offered a few ideas on how to make cuts to reduce debt:

"The test is pretty simple. Is the program so critical, it's worth borrowing money from china to pay for it? And on that basis of course you get rid of Obamacare, that's the easy one. Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that. The subsidy for Amtrak, I'd eliminate that. The National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Romney won the Hawaii and American Samoa caucuses last night, and, as you may have heard, came in third in Mississippi in Alabama. Santorum and Gingrich took first and second in those states, respectively.

Here's where the delegate count stands:

Santorum's two victories Tuesday were worth at least 29 delegates. Gingrich won at least 24 and Romney at least 31, including the nine from American Samoa. The delegate split underscored the difficulty that Romney's rivals face in overcoming his big lead.

The partial allocation of delegates from Tuesday's voting states left Romney with 485 in The Associated Press count, out of the 1,144 needed to win the nomination. Santorum had 246, Gingrich 131 and Paul 47.

Continue reading "Romney Says He'll 'Get Rid of Planned Parenthood', Obamacare, Amtrak Funding, NEA, NEH: VIDEO" »


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