Natalie deMacedo makes the argument that the recently passed Arizona Senate Bill 1062, which would permit any person to refuse service to another on religious grounds, isn’t anti-gay because the term homosexual is not mentioned in the bill. To be precise, the bill defines a person as “any individual, association, partnership, corporation, church, religious assembly or institution, estate, trust, foundation or other legal entity”.
The Spectacle Blog
Leading Cuban dissident Dr. Oscar Biscet was beaten and arrested in Havana today, according to his wife, Elsa Morejón. Biscet, a physician and winner of numerous human rights awards, including the 2008 Presidential Medal of Freedom, has been advocating for human rights and democracy in Cuba for two decades.
I spoke with Biscet’s wife, Elsa Morejón, today by phone. She said:
“At 8: 00 this morning, Oscar was walking with eight others in Havana when state security approached them. They were all beaten and Oscar was shoved to the ground. He lost consciousness. All nine of them were taken away and I haven’t heard from them since.”
Biscet spent eight years in prison for his non-violent human rights work. He was released in 2011, when the Catholic Church in Cuba helped broker the release of scores of political prisoners. Biscet was the only released prisoner who refused to be exiled from the island, and has continued his work from his home in Havana since his release.
In the Obama administration's effort to talk about anything other than Obamacare and Obama's near-jobless recovery, the president flew across the country to find the one part of the United States which is having a warm, dry spell. The other 90+ percent of the nation's landmass has been suffering through a terribly cold and expensive winter.
A meteorologist at the National Weather Service created a "winter extremity index" -- which some are calling a "winter misery index" -- that, as the Associated Press reports, "confirms what many Americans in the Midwest and East know in their all-too-chilled bones: This has been one of the harshest winters of our lifetimes."
Where's Algore when you need him?
One thing is for sure: He isn't in England.
Arizona is torn over SB 1062, which has reached the desk of Governor Jan Brewer.
No one knows yet if Brewer will veto the bill, which permits any business or organization to refuse service to anyone if they cite sincere religious convictions. Brewer told CNN:
"I don't rely a whole lot on my gut because I have to look at what (the bill) says and what the law says and take that information and do the right thing," she said from the National Governors Association's winter meeting in Washington. "I will do the right thing for the state of Arizona."
Uproar and outrage has swept the country. Republican senators John McCain and Jeff Flake have come out against the bill and three others who voted for it have now flip-flopped. The bill passed the state house of representatives 33-27 and the senate 17-13.
Imagine your daughter, sister, or female friend gets her working permit at age 14 and heads out for “an honest day’s work.” She absolutely loves her job; she make a great wage and describes the experience as “freeing, empowering, and wonderful.” Instead of being burdened by thousands of dollars in college debt, she makes enough money to pay off her loans and still enjoy life.
And she does it by being a porn star.
If you think this sounds abhorrent, a Duke University freshman who goes by the pseudonym “Lauren” (who Bill Zeiser already introduced us to) couldn’t disagree more. She decided to pay off her bills by doubling as a porn starlet, and after being “outed” by a fellow freshman who recognized her while viewing porn, she told her story on XOJane yesterday:
For me, shooting pornography brings me unimaginable joy. When I finish a scene, I know that I have done so and completed an honest day’s work. It is my artistic outlet: my love, my happiness, my home.
Marco Rubio had one of his better moments on the Senate floor yesterday.
Watch it below.
Governor Chris Christie did not attend the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last year. The official story is that Christie was not invited because he was open to some form of gun control. But it’s reasonable to suspect that CPAC and Christie both had something to gain from his absence. CPAC could placate certain constituencies who are understandably cynical about Republicans out of the northeast, while Christie could avoid having clips played from the conference during his re-election run. But he’s coming this year, just ahead of the mid-term elections and his possible presidential run in 2016.
So what would you like to ask the Jersey governor—aside from Bridgegate? Until something tangible emerges that says Christie was complicit in the decision to shut down the lanes between New Jersey and New York on the George Washington Bridge, I take him at his word. So let’s move onto substance.
Feature of the Day: At Last, Google Glass for the Battlefield
- Hagel Says US Military Must Shrink to Face New Era
- Centralizing Organ Removal May Benefit Transplants
- Pressure Mounts Over Arizona Bill Opposed By Gays
The Internal Revenue Service is considering a proposed rule change which would effectively silence many 501(c)(4) organizations, such as most Tea Party groups, along with many other "social welfare" organizations, on the thin pretense that the IRS is finding the current rule structure too complicated.
In fact, these are the rules which were being drafted in secret by Lois Lerner, the lady responsible for the current IRS targeting scandal, and for the same reason: to silence opposition to the Obama administration specifically and unlimited government generally. They would essentially give cover to the criminal acts (in my opinion) committed by Lerner and her IRS cronies by allowing them to say "See, what we did would have been fine if the rules had already been passed" -- though even that would basically be a lie because of the clearly partisan application of their illegal "standards."
During its first three seasons, I watched Downton Abbey sporadically. Even though I didn’t watch much of it, I pretty much knew what happened by virtue of osmosis. Downton Abbey has captured the public imagination unlike any other Masterpiece Theater series before it. In season four, I finally joined the legions of devoted Downton Abbey viewers and have enjoyed our own Natalie deMacedo’s summaries following each episode.