Salute to the Beatles

Last night, I went to the water show at the local rec center. How could I not? It was a salute to the Beatles! But my batteries were low and I didn’t get everything.

It was so much fun – the kids were absolutely adorable, there was great music and we didn’t have to watch little girls dressed like hookers and gyrating like Madonna. Disney princess camp – or Beatles camp? No contest!


Considering that Obama has given the Republicans everything they wanted, I mean:

At an election party last night, Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County GOP Chair, Jim Roddey, brought the crowd to laughter and applause by calling an Obama supporter “mentally retarded.” Roddey, who is a long-time supporter of Mitt Romney, told the joke to a crowd of about 200: “I was very embarrassed. I was in this parking lot and there was a man looking for a space to park, and I found a space for him. And I felt badly — he looked like he was sort of in distress. And I said, ‘Sir, here’s a place.’ And he said, ‘That’s a handicapped space.’ I said, ‘Oh I’m so sorry, I saw that Obama sticker and I thought you were mentally retarded.’”

With a piece of chalk


Art not only inspires us to create, it can also bring us to new heights when we are at our lowest moments. A new short film, With a Piece of Chalk, tells the heartwarming story of young boy who overcomes a painful past through the joy of breakdancing.

With a Piece of Chalk was produced by JubaFilms, a team of four young filmmakers based in Germany. Julien Bam and Gong Bao, two members of the team, are break dancers themselves and teach the art to younger children. “The little kid escapes his misery by dancing and playing and finally feeling free,” the filmmakers toldMashable. The team hopes the film will show show viewers “how important dancing can be.”

The low-budget short was planned over two months and shot in just 3 days. Music for the silent film was composed and arranged by Vincent Lee, another member of JubaFilms. The German team found Justen Beer, the young star of the film, online and contacted his family to see if they had any interest in the project. Beer, now 12, is a break dancer for the group Hustle Kidz. “We were not only fascinated by his dance moves, but also by his acting and his dedication during the shootings,” said Bam and Bao.

Fans of the short can check out more work by JubaFilms on their YouTube page.

Let’s ask Romney if he took part in LDS sex abuse coverups

A lot of people, especially members of the media, are reluctant to ask questions about Mitt Romney’s LDS affiliation. It’s frequently compared to religious prejudice against Jack Kennedy’s Catholic faith. No big deal, we’re so much more enlightened now. End of story, right?

I’m not so sure. The difference is, Jack Kennedy wasn’t a Catholic bishop. But if he were, and we knew about the problem of child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy and the extensive coverup by the church hierarchy, wouldn’t some enterprising member of the media ask at least a few questions?

Because there is an extensive problem with such abuse in the Mormon church, and Mitt Romney was a bishop. From 1986 to 1994, he was president of the Boston stake, which is similar to a Catholic diocese. “Before that, Romney was bishop, similar to a lay pastor, of congregations in Belmont and Cambridge. Each job included both organizational work and counseling.”

And guess what? The Mormon church leaders consistently discouraged victims from reporting such crimes to authorities. They now claim to have strict rules on reporting, but the very structure of the LDS community makes it difficult to know whether it’s made a difference, because it’s hard to measure what isn’t reported.

After all, unlike the Catholic church, LDS members literally stand to lose everything if they insist on bringing criminal charges against the advice of their bishop or stake holder — or even make allegations within the church community. (Especially when the perpetrator is a bishop.)

Like the Catholic church, the Mormons frequently denied and covered up for perpetrators, who would simply move to another part of the country and start abusing again. (The church now keeps a registry of the accused, making it more difficult.) Also like the Catholic church, bishops frequently accepted “repentance” as a reasonable solution to accusations. Unlike the Catholic church, though, the Mormons are much more likely to pay settlements to accusers. They really don’t like bad publicity — although they’re not above trying to protect themselves financially.

Kelly Clark, a Portland OR attorney specializing in child sexual abuse cases, points out:

The structure of the LDS Church has contributed to the problem. By this statement, I mean that, unlike, say, the Catholic Church, with its rigid hierarchy of ministry and its well-defined concept of who is a “minister,” the Mormon Church’s local leadership structure—Stake Presidents and Bishops being lay, not professional, ministers, and serving on a rotating, and not permanent, basis— made it harder for the Church to educate, train and supervise the local leadership to screen, monitor and supervise those who are in a position to abuse children. Additionally, given the large number of church tasks delegated by the Church to its members via “callings”—home teachers, Sunday School teachers, quorum leaders, bishoprics, Scout leaders, etc—the number of “relationships of trust” between “official” church leaders and children are many times the number in other churches and youth organizations.
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Yes, they’re working themselves into an ecstasy of bipartisan prostate massage over their plans for a lame-duck Grand Bargain. The media is full of barely-contained joy with articles about Very Serious People planning to make their Very Serious Compromise – you know, the kind where the rich get richer and everyone else gets screwed.


In other words, these rich fat fucks don’t want anything to interfere with their fine cigars and brandies after dinner with their lobbyist friends, amirite?

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey joined cigar companies from across the state in Bethlehem on Tuesday in a bid to snuff out a federal Food and Drug Administration effort to regulate large and premium cigars.

Toomey, standing in front of an American flag in Cigars International’s Bethlehem warehouse, said the FDA’s push is a solution in search of a problem.

“Unfortunately, this kind of solution would mean fewer jobs and an economic downturn for this entire industry,” said Toomey, R-Pa. “And we don’t need that.”

He is co-sponsoring a bill that would exclude large and premium cigars from the FDA’s regulation. The bipartisan bill, introduced by Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., is joined by a companion measure in the House co-sponsored by 168 Republicans and 50 Democrats.

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