Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ervin lupoe | Ervin Antonio Lupoe’s Murder-Suicide Note

Here is a redacted text of the letter sent to KABC-TV by Ervin Lupoe, who is believed to have killed his wife and five children at their home in Wilmington, California. A redacted copy of the letter was posted on the KABC-TV Web site.

“To whom it may concern:

“To start off about this tragic story, my name is Ervin Lupoe, my wife Ana Lupoe, my eldest daughter Brittney Lupoe-8yrs, my twin daughters Jaszmin, Jassely-5yrs, my twin boys Benjamin, Christian 2yrs 4mo.

“We worked at Kiaser (sic) Permanente West Los Angeles. My wife as a mammo. Tech. damn fine one ask everyone including the physicians. My new position as a Special procedural tech. My position was a fight to get, in fact had to file a grievance with the union for discrimination and HIPPA violations, then another administrator had to correct the DA (redacted) regarding the union procedures, the ADA who did this is, I truly believe is the reason, well not the whole reason, but added kindling to the fire, why we are dead, (redacted).

“Well my wife and I were being investigated for misrepresentation of our employment to an outside agency for the benefit to ourselves’s, childcare. When after we had our initial interview on Dec. 19th. It seems our fat with the company had been decided on Dec. 22nd, yet on the 23rd, I was told by my administrator, (redacted) that, `You should not even had bothered to come to work today you should have blown your brains out.’ After such admonishment from my administrator, assuming there had been a decision reached, I contacted my union rep. who stated goto HR and inform them of the incident, and to the union reps. knowledge there was no decision made.

“(redacted) the HR person handling our matter stated that there was no decision reached as of yet and that an outside agency was handling the matter. (redacted) stated to me that she had spoken to (redacted) and (redacted) concerning the statement made, but (redacted) completely denied making such a comment. I produced the names of the employees, and (redacted) reached me two days later stating (redacted) thought about the matter and did state (redacted) made the comment. Then (redacted) asked me how I would accept (redacted) apology, but not to answer just yet, think about it a couple days and let (redacted) know. I left the office and two days later my wife and I were terminated. Our administrator also stated that we would not be eligible for unemployment, my wife applied anyway.

“We returned Kiaser (sic) Permanente’s property prior to leaving the facility, yet the company could not provide us with our license’s so that we may look for other employment. I let the (redacted) of the facility know what was occurring yet she stated there was nothing she could do but refer us the HR or our union rep. We were told by (redacted) that we should have received our license’s as they were mailed, yet we did not and when we attempted to reach her concerning the matter and unable to reach her, again we reached the assistant administrator of the facility who again stated the same to contact HR. We stated we have attempter (sic) but there was know response. Then when (redacted) reached us, she stated don’t contact (redacted) … any more concerning any problems.

“So after a horrendous ordeal my wife felt it better to end our lives and why leave our children in someone’s else’s hands, in addition it seems Kiaser Permanente want’s us to kill ourselves and take our family with us. They did nothing to the manager who stated such, and did not attempt to assist us in the matter, knowing we have no job and 5 children under 8 years with no place to go. So here we are.

“Ervin Lupoe

“(Handwritten:) Oh Lord my God is there no hope for a widow’s son!”

Monique Plays Villian In New Movie PUSH

The bestselling novel Push -- about an overweight, HIV-positive Harlem girl who's pregnant as the result of incest has been made into a film and received a couple of awards this year at Sundance. The independent production, directed by Lee Daniels whose recent film Shadowboxer was his directorial debut. Before that, he was producer on heavy fare like Monster's Ball and The Woodsman.

The book was written by Ramona Lofton under the pseudonym Sapphire and was published in 1996. It tells of an African-American teen named Clareece "Precious" Jones whose miserable life starts to look up when a teacher takes an interest in her. Paula Patton (Idlewild, Deja Vu) will play the teacher; a newcomer named Gabourey Sidibe -- who auditioned among 300 other girls -- will play Precious. Mo'nique plays her wretched mother, and Lenny Kravitz plays a kindly nurse who helps Precious, even Mariah Carey has a role in the film.

I haven't read Push, but the descriptions of its content are pretty harrowing. The girl is illiterate ... bullied by her mother ... she has HIV ... she's pregnant for the second time with her own father's child. According to my filmmaker friend Debra Wilson, who attended Sundance this year to promote her new film Mississippi Damned, "Push is powerful!"

Obama Nation

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Almost all U.S. cities to lose jobs in 2009: forecast

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - All but five U.S. cities will experience job losses this year, with New York suffering the largest decline, according to a forecast released by the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Saturday.

Global Insight, an international economic forecasting firm that put together the outlook for the mayors' group, projected that by the end of 2009 one-third of all metropolitan areas in the country would have experienced no overall job growth for the first decade of the century.

New York will likely shed 181,000 jobs this year, with more than 50,000 in the financial services industry alone, the firm said. Los Angeles will lose 164,000 jobs. Overall, 171 cities will see job losses in excess of 2 percent through 2009.

Unemployment rates will rise above 10 percent this year in 70 of the 363 metropolitan areas in the United States, Global Insight said.

In November, 23 cities had jobless rates of at least 10 percent, according to a report released this month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while 121 had rates of at least 7 percent.
Metropolitan areas are home to 90 percent of the country's wage income, according to the firm.

Recent jobs here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Porn Star Diesel Washington Responds To Critics

In a very powerful, intelligent, but clearly pissed response to critics, Porn star Diesel Washington discusses his film choices and explains his views on race in the porn industry
after a posting appeared on Rod2.0.
(see his response below my note).
Note: Diesel, this is Joe Hawkins, producer of Blatino Oasis and the Blatino Erotica Awards (BEA). As you may know, these awards were created to recognize men of African or Latin descent for their work in the adult film industry because we noticed that the existing adult gay mainstream video awards were not recognizing these actors.
The BEA's is just entering our 3rd year, so in response to the comment on your blog about our ceremony maybe not wanting to recognize your work, the only reason that we haven't gotten to honor your work is because we are so new and just haven't made a connection until now. We appreciate your views about race and the porn industry because we know that so much of what you are saying is true. Stay strong and keep doing you!
All below posted on the blog of Porn Star: Diesel Washington

Here, I was to write a nice post about what is going on with things in Porn, and this happens!!! I dont know where to start??.....I will break the ideas into sections. First, we are going to talk about this "Angry Black Man" thing. Im getting tired of hearing it over and over from people, its annoying me. Secondly we are going to talk about this Reverse Racism Shit!!! Im so tired of hearing it, I get it from both sides people!!

And One of the Biggest Subjects : Me being a Sell Out????????!!! Ouch that one hurts!!! No better way to handle this but jump right in:

The "Angry Black Man" role........ I dont know what the fuck is up with people???? I do fucking Porn!!!!...... My sexuality belongs to me!!!
But I share it through Vids, So I dont know what bugs people more???..... The Fact that I fuck hard as hell...and don't have a smile on my face, while Doing it???..... The Fact that in real Life and Porn, I'm a Top and don't bottom?????.... Maybe I have to do more Love scenes?????

When I came into the Industry, I wanted to make a Big Splash and be that Monster Fucker!! And maybe I played that character so well that people can't shake the idea... Diesel Washington is a character.... I didn't base it off a Stereotype!!!!

The Big Bad Macho Black Fucker... Geez. I feel bad that People call me a Stereotype..when IM A TOP AND LIKE TO FUCK HARD!! Period!! Its not an act, its what I like to do in the Bedroom and on Film!! Only that!!

To Me, I thought I was showing off for the camera and showing skills that people would say "Damn He knows How to Fuck!!" But I guess Im wrong!!! At this point, I dont give a fuck anymore....its not worth fighting....But there has to be something more to this "Angry Black Man" thing...??? To me, it sounds like People want me to smile more when Im fucking LOL.... But Hey Ur Still Watching Me!!! So keep on doing that!!

Now this Reverse Racism Shit!!! Wow!!! I wrote about this in another blog, but I will talk about it again... I get all this Hate email from people(who are not avid readers of my blog) saying I don't like my own Kind...Whiteboy crazy...Uncle Tom bah bah bah.... Ouch!!!
You Guys Dont Know Me!! Never Met Me!! So FUCK OFF!! Seriously there are some Ignorant People out there!!! I was born Black, I'm staying Black, and I will Die a Black Man!!!

From my point of view, I get it from both sides... But since I play Low Key(on Race Issues) on my blog it seems that I have to be very vocal now so u will understand!!!

Some People in the Black Community say "Diesel doesnt like Black Guys" and this is based off what???????? U dont know me!!!

I was an Exclusive with TitanMen for 2 1/2 years, I had contracted work with one studio only(that is the choice I wanted to build the Diesel Brand) in that time.. I have worked with an Asian Model, four Latino models, one black model(Markus Ram)Models from France, Italy, Germany. I have worked with so many different kinds of models, its ignorant to say "Diesel doesnt Like Men of Color" do my Movie history... Fuck People!!!

U act like Im the guy that does the Casting.... I can't believe I'm explaining myself to the ignorant people(they are small minded they wont learn)who are making assumptions about my lifestyle offscreen like it's their business!!!... U don't know me or ever will!!! I dont deal with Ignorant Fucks!!Im a Strong,Proud and Confident Black Man... I wouldnt have it any other way!!

For complete posting see Diesel's blog>>>>

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama Do-Over

Obama takes presidential oath again after stumble

WASHINGTON – After the flub heard around the world, President Barack Obama has taken the oath of office. Again. Chief Justice John Roberts delivered the oath to Obama on Wednesday night at the White House — a rare do-over. The surprise moment came in response to Tuesday's much-noticed stumble, when Roberts got the words of the oath a little off, which prompted Obama to do so, too.

Don't worry, the White House says: Obama has still been president since noon on Inauguration Day. Nevertheless, Obama and Roberts went through the drill again out of what White House counsel Greg Craig called "an abundance of caution."

This time, the scene was the White House Map Room in front of a small group of reporters, not the Capitol platform before the whole watching world.
"We decided that because it was so much fun ...," Obama joked to reporters who followed press secretary Robert Gibbs into the room. No TV camera crews or news photographers were allowed in. A few of Obama's closest aides were there, along with a White House photographer.
Roberts put on his black robe.
"Are you ready to take the oath?" he said.
"Yes, I am," Obama said. "And we're going to do it very slowly."

Roberts then led Obama through the oath without any missteps.
The president said he did not have his Bible with him, but that the oath was binding anyway.
The original, bungled version on Tuesday caught observers by surprise and then got replayed on cable news shows.

It happened when Obama interrupted Roberts midway through the opening line, in which the president repeats his name and solemnly swears.
Next in the oath is the phrase " ... that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States." But Roberts rearranged the order of the words, not saying "faithfully" until after "president of the United States."

That appeared to throw Obama off. He stopped abruptly at the word "execute."
Recognizing something was off, Roberts then repeated the phrase, putting "faithfully" in the right place but without repeating "execute."
But Obama then repeated Roberts' original, incorrect version: "... the office of president of the United States faithfully."

Craig, the White House lawyer, said in a statement Wednesday evening: "We believe the oath of office was administered effectively and that the president was sworn in appropriately yesterday. Yet the oath appears in the Constitution itself. And out of the abundance of caution, because there was one word out of sequence, Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath a second time."

The Constitution is clear about the exact wording of the oath and as a result, some constitutional experts have said that a do-over probably wasn't necessary but also couldn't hurt. Two other previous presidents have repeated the oath because of similar issues, Calvin Coolidge and Chester A. Arthur.

My Favorite - Rev. Joseph Lowery

More about Rev. Joseph Lowery - Click here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama takes power, urges unity vs. 'raging storms'

WASHINGTON – Before a jubilant crowd of more than a million, Barack Hussein Obama claimed his place in history as America's first black president, summoning a dispirited nation to unite in hope against the "gathering clouds and raging storms" of war and economic woe.

On an extraordinary day in the life of America, people of all colors and ages waited for hours Tuesday in frigid temperatures to witness a young black man with a foreign-sounding name take command of a nation founded by slaveholders. It was a scene watched in fascination by many millions — perhaps billions — around the world.
"We gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord," the nation's 44th president said.

The presidency passed to Democrat Obama from Republican George W. Bush at the stroke of noon, marking one of democracy's greatest gifts: the peaceful transfer of power.

But a stark transfer all the same. In one of the new administration's first acts, Obama ordered federal agencies to halt all pending regulations until further review — this after Bush's final weeks raised heated debate over rushing new rules into effect on the way out the door.

And even though new White House aides struggled to find offices and work intercoms, an overhauled* Web site was running under Obama's banner within minutes of his swearing-in. "Change has come to America," it declared.

Obama plunges into his new job in earnest on Wednesday after capping inaugural festivities at a national prayer service in the morning, meeting with his economic team and Iraq advisers and welcoming a stream of public visitors into the White House while Congress gives his economic revival plan a going-over and takes up the nomination of Hillary Rodham Clinton to be secretary of state. Her confirmation has been held up for now by Republican concern over the foundation fundraising of her husband, the former president.
complete story>>>


Saturday, January 17, 2009

When Oprah Was On Crack

Remember when.....circa 1995.

Calling it "one of the hardest things I've ever said," talk show queen Oprah Winfrey revealed during a show that she had smoked crack cocaine while in her 20s.
Back in 1995 Oprah Winfrey Show was interviewing four mothers who had experienced problems with drugs along with Patrice Gaines, a Washington Post reporter, who has written a book chronicling her own experience with drug abuse.

During the taping, Winfrey turned to her guests and the studio audience and said, "Let me say this, and this is probably one of the hardest things I've ever said," her voice beginning to crack. "Hold on just a second," she said as she tried to regain her composure.

Turning to one of the guests who had admitted smoking crack, Winfrey said, "I relate to your story so much because of what Patrice just said about being introduced to drugs by men in your life."

She continued, "In my 20's, I'd done this drug and I know exactly what you are talking about." She said the drug use occurred while she was an anchorwoman on a television news show.
"It's my life's great big secret. It was such a secret because--I realize (with) the public person I have become--if the story ever were revealed, the tabloids would exploit it and what a big issue it would be."

She went on to explain, "But I was involved with a man in my 20s who introduced me to the same drug that you've been talking about and, like Patrice, I always felt that the drug itself is not the problem but that I was addicted to the man." She admitted: "I can't think of anything I wouldn't have done for that man."

Reflecting on this difficult period in her life, she added, "And I've often said over the my attempts to come out and say it, I've said many times I did things in my 20s that I was ashamed of, I did things I felt guilty about, but that is my life's great big secret that's always been held over my head.

"I had a perfect round little Afro, I went to church every Sunday and I went to Wednesday prayer meeting when I could... and I did drugs."
She said dealing with the topic on the show gave her the strength to face her own demons. "But you having the courage to come out...has made me feel free enough to say it today."

Winfrey, her audience spellbound, clinging to her every word, pointed out, "I understand the shame. I understand the guilt. I understand the secrecy. I understand all that."
However, she affirmed, "But what I know is that the spirit of God inside of all of us--but what we tend to believe, I think a lot of people believe, is that the drug is stronger than the power of God. They believe that disease is stronger than the power of God.

"There is nothing greater than the spirit within you to overcome. You and God can conquer this. You can conquer it," she affirmed as the audience broke into applause.
After sharing her "great shame" with her mentor, poet-author-actress Maya Angelou, Winfrey said she was bolstered by her comforting response. "I shared this with Maya Angelou...and you know what she said to me? It really turned my life around and I say this to you, 'You did then what you knew how to do and when you knew better you did better.' And I'll never forget that."

While Winfrey had not released an official statement regarding the show at JET press time, in Gaines' first-person account about the show's taping there was a comment from Deborah Johns, a spokes-woman for the show.

Johns was quoted in the Post as saying, "Oprah made a spontaneous admission to mothers battling drug addiction that she also had used drugs...Oprah's words on the show are the best expression of how she feels."

In the article, Gaines, the author of Laughing in the Dark: From Colored Girl to Woman of Color - A Journey From Prison to Power, said Winfrey began to cry before making the admission to her guests.

Gaines said Winfrey told her later that the drug use had been at the behest of a man that she was involved with and that when the two parted, she stopped using drugs.
Winfrey, whose show is number one, did not indicate what form of cocaine she had used, but Johns said she understood the drug had been smoked. Johns also said that Winfrey would not be available for interviews on the subject.


Brave singer to perform for the first time since family murders

Looks like we're going to be seeing (and hearing) Jennifer Hudson earlier than we expected. Hudson was just confirmed for an appearance during next months Superbowl. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed to the Associated Press that Hudson will sing the National Anthem during Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, Florida on February 1st. It's going to be her first public appearance (and performance) since her family tragedy back in October.

It's going to be nice to see her resurface. Her Super Bowl performance will come just days before Hudson is also scheduled to sing the songs of Neil Diamond at the MusiCares person of the year gala on Feb. 6.

For The Love Of Ray J.

14 ladies will compete for the heart of R&B star Ray J come Feb. 2 at 10:30/9:30c when "For the Love of Ray J" hits VH1, courtesy of 51 Minds (i.e. the people responsible for Flavor of Love, Rock of Love, I Love Money and the like). The show will air each following Monday at 10/9c. Ray J’s is on the ultimate search for a ride-or-die chick....literally with what he is packin!


Recon black gay leather biker promo video - The funniest videos clips are here

Friday, January 16, 2009

Activists cheer Obama's choice of gay bishop

The selection of Robinson for the opening party on Sunday came after weeks of criticism over Obama's choice of conservative pastor Rick Warren to deliver the religious invocation on Tuesday, January 20, the day Obama is sworn in to office."Our intention is to root the event in history, celebrating the moments when our nation has united to face great challenges and prevail," said executive producer George Stevens, Jr.Gene Robinson who announced his inclusion in the event in an email to friends that was printed in part by US media, said he believed his role was an important one."It's important for any minority to see themselves represented in some way, Whether it be a racial minority, an ethnic minority or, in our case, a sexual minority."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

PSA For Peace - From Belli Sullivan

More Than 1,000 Ready To Protest In Oakland Today

Activists plan to return to downtown Oakland on Wednesday, one week after a small group of rioters marred what had been a nonviolent protest over a BART police officer's shooting of an unarmed, prone man.

This week's event, scheduled to start at 4 p.m. Wednesday in Frank H. Ogawa Plaza outside Oakland City Hall, is part of a national day of nonviolent protest over the New Year's Day death of Oscar Grant III, 22, of Hayward, at the hands of Officer Johannes Mehserle, 27, in the Fruitvale BART station. The shooting was captured on video by several onlookers, and has caused consternation around the world.

Gatherings also are planned for Wednesday in other cities, including Pittsburgh, Pa.; Columbus, Ohio; Little Rock, Ark.; and Erie, Pa., according to a Web page hosted by the Oakland-based Ruckus Society, a nonprofit that teaches nonviolent protest and civil disobedience methods to activists.

Organizer Dereca Blackmon — a founder and partner at Oakland-based Aya Solutions, which consults with government agencies and private companies on issues of race, gender and social justice — said organizers are doing their "due diligence" to ensure Wednesday's event isn't hijacked by others with their own, violent agendas. A group that splintered from last week's nonviolent protest rampaged through downtown Oakland's streets, smashing windows and damaging cars.

"We are having those conversations internally," Blackmun said Monday, adding her Coalition Against Police Executions would probably brief the media and public Tuesday on its preparations. "There is a lot of concern."

The Coalition Against Police Executions' Facebook page had 1,434 members Monday; a similar but London-based Justice for Oscar Grant page had 5,268, including members from all over the nation as well as from countries including Canada, England, France, Greece, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland.
Complete story at source>>>

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Civil-rights activist Ida B. Kinney dies at 104

LOS ANGELES—Ida B. Kinney, a civil-rights activist who helped dissolve racial barriers with employers, unions and hospitals, has died. She was 104.
Believed to be the oldest black person living in the San Fernando Valley, she died Jan. 1 of complications related to old age.

"She was living history," state Sen. Alex Padilla told the Los Angeles Times. "She was a living reminder that not that long ago, our country was breaking civil-rights barriers."
The granddaughter of slaves, Kinney was one of the first black "Rosie the Riveters" to work at Burbank's Lockheed Corp. during World War II. While there, she launched a successful drive to integrate the union.

Hired by the defense firm in 1943, Kinney was paid the same as white workers but had been barred from joining the union. When her co-workers learned she was actually taking home more money than they did because she didn't pay union dues, the union soon became integrated.
"I told them: 'I don't want to ride on anyone's back—I want to contribute just like everyone else,'" she told the Times in 1997. "I used to eat my lunch with a sandwich in one hand and a petition in the other."

Born Ida Ford on May 25, 1904, in Lafayette County, Ark., Kinney was raised mainly by her grandparents because her mother was a maid and a cook. Her grandparents had bought their way out of slavery by selling cotton.

In an attempt to stop her from following in their footsteps, Kinney's mother refused to teach her to cook and instead sent her to college. Kinney studied at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark., and at the University of California, Los Angeles. She eventually earned a bachelor's degree in sociology in 1970.

Kinney was a committed volunteer who helped the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People push through various initiatives. She also helped establish a senior center and played a key role in creating the Pacoima Boys & Girls Club.

"Much of the positive change that has occurred in the San Fernando Valley among African Americans as well as seniors is because of her," said the Rev. Zedar Broadous, a Los Angeles County commissioner on human relations.

Saturn Commercial Via Europe


Internet giant Google China issues formal apology for being too slow, in the Chinese government's estimation, to remove all links to porn sites from its search engine.

The crackdown on websites that are "threatening morals by spreading pornography and vulgarity" continues in China, targeting sites like Baidu, Google and TV reports actually showed government officials hauling digital equipment from offices. We're glad we live in the good ole U S of A. Even though our own government may have made us sad for a good, oh, eight years, at least we still have our porn!

Via The Register: Sci/Tech News for the World. (


"Knick center Eddy Curry was slapped with a shocking sexual-harassment suit yesterday by his former driver, who claims the 6-foot-11 hoopster tried to solicit gay sex from him.

Stunning court papers charge that Curry, a married father of several kids, repeatedly approached chauffeur David Kuchinsky 'in the nude,' saying, 'Look at me, Dave, look' and, 'Come and touch it, Dave.' Curry, 26, also made Kuchinsky perform 'humiliating tasks outside the scope of his employment, such as cleaning up and removing dirty towels [into which Curry had ejaculated] so that his wife would not see them,' the Manhattan federal court suit says. Kuchinsky, 36, who is straight and Jewish, also alleges racism, saying Curry hurled slurs at him, including 'f- -- ing Jew,' 'cracker,' 'white slave,' 'white devil' and 'grandmaster of the KKK.'"

Said Curry: "It's false, and everyone who knows me knows I'm not a racist. I've never made a comment like that, playing, or nothing. . . . That's incredible, man."
Kuchinsky wants $98,000 and compensatory damages.


UK Police Charge 11 for Racist And Homophobic Abuse at Football Game

After police released 16 photographs of Tottenham Hotspur fans from a match against Portsmouth last month, eleven were arrested, five are still being sought, and those arrested were charged today, according to the Guardian:

"The group, which includes two 15-year-olds and a 13-year-old, are alleged to have subjected the former England player to abuse during the club's 2-0 home win against Spurs at Fratton Park in September...A police spokeswoman said of the accused: 'They were charged with indecent chanting at a football match using words which were essentially swearwords. They weren't appropriate to be used at all, especially where there were children and we received a number of complaints.'"

These were the chants:
"He's big, he's black. He takes it up his crack. Sol Campbell, Sol Campbell."
"Sol, Sol, wherever you may be / You're on the verge of lunacy / And we don't give a f**k if you're hanging from a tree / You Judas c**t with HIV."

The Guardian adds: "Campbell, a former Spurs player, was outspoken about the incident, likening the abuse to human rights violations. Speaking on Radio 4's Today programme he said: 'We can all take the booing or light banter, but when it gets to the realms of verbal abuse, it's a bridge too far.' The FA recently announced funding for an anti-homophobia video as part of a campaign to rid football grounds of homophobic abuse."

King LeBron James Hanging With The Queens

A team of GQ editors went to Cleveland to play basketball with the 24-year-old.

Later they found themselves at a gay club, and realized that some LGBT people and those who hang with them may actually care about sports: "Later that night, after eating dinner and drinking 200 cans of Schlitz at a little place in the Tremont district of Cleveland called the Prosperity Social Club (if I lived in Cleveland, I would go there every day to eat and drink and pump quarters into the jukebox), we went round and round talking about different moments in the game, mocking ourselves and expressing our awe at him and trying to tease out that quality I was just talking about above.

We were sitting next to a wood-burning stove, and we looked around and realized there was some sort of LGBT event going on that night. We were the only people in there who weren’t L or G or B or T. There was a lot of ABBA coming out of the jukebox. I imagined there aren’t a whole lot of places in Cleveland that the L’s and G’s and B’s and T’s feel this at-home, and so I also imagined that this was probably one of the few spots in town, and this one of the few crowds, where the fact of LeBron James doesn’t matter a whole lot. I’m stereotyping, I know, but you get what I mean. But then the owner came over to us, a fantastically friendly woman who’d heard about our playing LeBron that day and wanted to know how the game went. Turns out the Prosperity Social Club was in the running to be the location for an ad shoot featuring LeBron, and she was keeping her fingers crossed. It would mean a lot to them."

When John Amaechi came out in early 2007, James said he'd rather an athlete be out of the closet: "With teammates you have to be trustworthy and if you're gay and you're not admitting that you are, then you are not trustworthy. So that's like the No. 1 thing as teammates - we all trust each other. You've heard of the in-room, locker-room code. What happens in the locker-room stays in there. It's a trust factor, honestly. A big trust factor."

Obama Appoints Gay Man to High Post, Retains Another

Barack Obama has named a gay man his principal advisor in matters of personnel administration, and retained a Bush appointee as his AIDS ambassador.

Clinton Assistant Interior Secretary John Berry is rumored to be Obama's Director of the Office of Personnel Management. Said The Victory Fund's Chuck Wolfe: "It says a lot about Barack Obama’s commitment to equality in the workplace that he has apparently chosen an openly gay person for this extremely important job. John has dedicated his career to public service, so it makes sense that he will be able help thousands of others who are willing to do the same."

Bush appointee and gay physician Mark Dybul will keep his job as Global AIDS Coordinator as we head into an Obama administration: "A number of AIDS and reproductive rights groups have urged Obama to replace Dybul with someone the groups feel would be more likely to change the Bush administration’s insistence that at least some international AIDS relief funds be linked to abstinence-only programs. Among the groups calling on Obama to replace Dybul as AIDS coordinator are the International Women’s Health Coalition and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, which advocates, among other things, for gay-sensitive sex education programs."

But Richard Socarides, who helped coordinate AIDS policy during the Clinton administration, told Towleroad: "I think he (Dybul) gets universally high marks from both progressives and conservatives, gays and straights, for doing a terrific job with this, Bush's most important legacy program."

Below, you may remember Dybul's swearing-in, at which Condoleezza Rice referred to Dybul's partner Jason Claire's mother as Dybul's "mother-in-law," delivering the labels of marriage without the laws.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Police killing of unarmed man sparks riots in Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Protests over the fatal shooting of an unarmed man by a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer turned violent Wednesday night with windows broken, fires set and train stations closed.

A few hundred protesters took the streets of downtown Oakland to condemn the shooting and call for criminal charges against 27-year-old officer Johannes Mehserle. Oakland police reported at least 15 arrests.

Mehserle resigned from the transit agency shortly before he was supposed to be interviewed by investigators Wednesday.
Mehserle is accused of shooting 22-year-old Oscar Grant of Hayward, who was lying face-down on the station platform when he was shot and killed early New Year's Day. Mehserle was one of several officers responding to reports about groups of men fighting on a train.

Protesters gathered in the afternoon at the Fruitvale BART station where the shooting occurred. It was peaceful at first but began to turn nasty after a splinter group left that site and marched downtown.Protesters set fire to a trash container and tried to overturn a police car, smashing the front window. Police attempted to disperse the crowd and smaller groups of protesters marched to different areas.

Some protesters threw bottles, a window of a fast-food restaurant and other downtown stores were smashed and a car was set on fire during the rampage. Police in riot gear threw tear gas to try to break up the demonstration.

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums went to the protest scene Wednesday night to urge for calm. He and several council members then led a group toward City Hall and further addressed them.
"Even with our anger and our pain, let's still address each other with a degree of civility and calmness and not make this tragedy an excuse to engage in violence," Dellums said. "I don't want anybody hurt, I don't want anybody killed."

Grant's family has filed a $25 million wrongful death claim against BART and want prosecutors to file criminal charges against Mehserle.
Associated Press writer Evelyn Nieves contributed to this report.


Porn Industry Seeks Bailout

Is the porn industry up next for a bailout? If porn titans Joe Francis and Larry Flynt have anything to do with it, it will.

Yes, ladies and gentleman, the titans of pornography are begging for a bailout.
Joe Francis, creator of the "Girl's Gone Wild" video series, and Larry Flynt, founder of Hustler, will ask Congress for a $5 billion bailout, according to TMZ.

Why does the porn industry need a bailout? Because apparently even porn is getting smacked by the recession.

XXX DVD sales have taken a hit - about a 22% hit, according to TMZ.
"With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind," Flynt is quoted as saying on TMZ. "It's time for Congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America."

Francis thinks that the porn industry deserves a bailout just like the auto and financial industries got, and he said he'll go to DC to get it, according to TMZ.
"Congress seems willing to help shore up our nation's most important businesses; we feel we deserve the same consideration," Francis is quoted as saying on TMZ.

Is the porn industry really experiencing a severe downturn? It depends on who you ask.
Francis Koenig's fund AdultVest, which invests in porn-related assets, was up 50% in 2008, according to Tom Johansmeyer's article in next month's Atlantic (as reported by The Huffington Post). But video sales are down.

"The industry's not going anywhere," Koenig says. "You've got 6 billion people on the planet," he laughs, "and they're all horny."
The porn industry generated about $12 billion in 2007, according to the Atlantic article.


Race Not A Prop. 8 Decider According To Report

According to a new report out to today in the Oakland Tribune, Neither African-Americans nor any other ethnicity were disproportionately in support of Proposition 8, which changed California's constitution to ban same-sex marriage, according to a study of election results and post-vote surveys released Tuesday.

Rather, whether someone voted yes or no on the ballot measure was influenced mostly by the person's age, religiosity, party affiliation and general political ideology, the study's authors say.
Although support for Prop. 8 in the African-American community had been pegged as high as 70 percent by one previous postelection survey, this study — which not only reviewed pre- and postelection polls, but also crunched precinct-level election results and census data from Alameda, San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego counties, in which two-thirds of the state's African-Americans reside — found the number was between 57 percent and 59 percent.

And that number is more about religiosity than race, study co-author and New York University assistant professor of politics Patrick Egan said. While higher than the level of support among white and Asian-American voters, it's due to the higher rates of African-American church attendance: Fifty-seven percent of African-Americans attend church at least once a week, compared with 42 percent of whites and 40 percent of Asian-Americans, he said.
The study found that more than 70 percent of voters who were Republican, identified themselves as conservative, or who attended religious services at least once a week supported Prop. 8. Conversely, 70 percent or more of voters who were Democrat, identified themselves as liberal, or who rarely attended religious services opposed the measure. More than two-thirds of voters 65 and older supported Prop. 8, while majorities younger than 65 opposed it.

Even personal relationships with lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people paled in comparison to these factors, said study co-author Kenneth Sherrill, a political-science professor at Hunter College in New York City. Although two-thirds of California conservatives said they know or are related to LGBT people, four of five conservatives supported Prop. 8.

"At least in terms of marriage equality, opposition to our rights isn't personal, it's ideological and partisan," Sherrill told reporters on a conference call Tuesday, adding that while Democrats, Asian-Americans and people younger than 30 have moved significantly toward supporting same-sex marriage since the issue was on the ballot in 2000, there remains "hard-core, seemingly implacable opposition among Republicans and conservatives."

The study was commissioned by the San Francisco-based Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, a private family foundation established by the former president, CEO and chairman of Levi Strauss & Co. and his wife.

Jaime Grant, director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute, called it "a wake-up call to the LGBT community on a couple of fronts" — first and foremost, that same-sex marriage supporters must do more outreach to the faith-based community, probably via LGBT people already active within faiths. Organizing within mainstream religious denominations will be crucial in order to make serious inroads, she said.

The Rev. Mark Wilson, of Oakland, former pastor of Berkeley's McGee Avenue Baptist Church and now outreach coordinator for the African-American activist group And Marriage for All, agreed it's time to "redouble our work with people of faith."

That means convincing people that supporting marriage equality is not at odds with their religious framework, and that to do otherwise conflicts with their faiths' concepts of freedom and justice, he said. It would mean building long-term relationships between African-American churches and the LGBT community, he added.

Overall, "support for marriage equality in California has increased by about 1 percent per year since 2000," Sherrill said the study found. Voters in 2000 approved Proposition 22, which added another statutory ban on same-sex marriage; Prop. 8 was a constitutional ban, pursued by proponents after the California Supreme Court ruled the statutory bans unconstitutional.

Sherrill noted that the growth in support since has come even as Republicans and conservatives haven't moved at all on the issue, indicating a shrinking Republican and conservative populace during these years.