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May 10, 2010

Glenn Beck's followers now taking aim at gay library books

School ban on gay anthology challenged by US free speech organisations | Books | guardian.co.uk
American free speech organisations are fighting a decision by a New Jersey school to remove a critically acclaimed anthology of writing about teenage homosexuality from library shelves after parents described it as vulgar and obscene. Revolutionary Voices, a collection of stories, poems and artwork by young homosexuals, was banned at Rancocas Valley Regional High School last week following a campaign by the local chapter of Glenn Beck's conservative 9.12 project. Local grandmother and 9.12 member Beverly Marinelli told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the book was "pervasively vulgar, obscene, and inappropriate", while insisting that she is "not a homophobe". But a coalition of free speech groups has jumped to the book's defence, saying that residents "have no right to impose their views on others or to demand that the contents of the library reflect their personal, religious, or moral values". . . . "No one has to read something just because it's on the library shelf," the letter continued. "No book is right for everyone, and the role of the library is to allow students to make choices according to their own interests, experiences, and family values ... Even if the books are too mature for some students, they will be meaningful to others."

May 07, 2010

Iowa senator wants to block gay families from using parks

Gay marriage opponent questions family camping policy for state parks
A state senator who opposes gay marriage is asking questions about plans to change a camping rule in the state park system. Just over a year ago the Iowa Supreme Court issued a ruling which legalized gay marriage in Iowa. Senator Merlin Bartz, a Republican from Grafton, says it appears to him that the Department of Natural Resources wants to make gay couples eligible for family camping at state parks. “They’re citing the Supreme Court case and changing, you know, ‘husband and wife’ language to ’spouse,’” Bartz says. The rates or fees for camp sites are the same, whether you’re a family or a non-family, but the state allows families to put up more than one tent on a camp site. “They’re changing their language even though the state legislature has not had a debate on this particular issue,” Bartz says. . . .

Riot footage from Greece shows cops attacking cameraman

The guy is standing there, taking pictures when the cops just lay into him.

May 06, 2010

Missouri SWAT team raids house, murders dogs (warning: graphic)

The SWAT team received an anonymous tip that there were drugs in a house. They smash in, murder the dogs which were in cages, and find a teeny tiny bit of marijuana. They shoot the dogs while the seven-year-old child watches and then arrest the parents for "child endangerment." So the police straight up murdered this guy's dogs because of an anonymous tip. We need better police. SWAT raid in MO -- front lines of the 'drug war'

May 05, 2010

Did Dick Cheney decide the BP oil platform didn't need a remote-controlled off switch?

Michael Tomasky: Dick Cheney and the oil spill | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
The oil well spewing crude into the Gulf of Mexico didn't have a remote-control shut-off switch used in two other major oil-producing nations as last-resort protection against underwater spills. The lack of the device, called an acoustic switch, could amplify concerns over the environmental impact of offshore drilling after the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig last week... . . . The U.S. considered requiring a remote-controlled shut-off mechanism several years ago, but drilling companies questioned its cost and effectiveness, according to the agency overseeing offshore drilling. The agency, the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service, says it decided the remote device wasn't needed because rigs had other back-up plans to cut off a well. . . . The Journal's report doesn't come out and say this, but the environmental lawyer, Mike Papantonio, said on the Schultz show in an interview you can watch here that it was Cheney's energy task force - the secretive one that he wouldn't say much about publicly - that decided that the switches, which cost $500,000, were too much a burden on the industry. The Papantonio segment starts at around 5:00 in and lasts three minutes or so.