Drawing Dallas

Even with a big family (3 kids and 5 grandkids), retired schoolteacher Richard John du Pont projects a dandy’s fashion sense

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator
mark@markdrawsfunny.com

Name: Richard John du Pont

Occupation: Retired elementary school teacher

Spotted at: Kroger’s on the Strip

Colorful and vibrant, Richard was born and reared in upstate New York in a small town on the Mohawk River called Crescent. Retired since 2003, this tireless educator spent 30 years teaching 4th and 6th grades, and continues as a substitute teacher for the Dallas I.S.D (Sam Houston Elementary and Maple Lawn Elementary). He graduated with a bachelor’s in elementary education from the Central University of Iowa and a has masters in education from North Texas State University at Denton.

A man of taste: This silver-haired taste maker owns an exquisite collection of antiques, tastefully chosen to accent his beautiful home. He also lends his skill and expertise as a salesman to two estate sales and as a sales rep for Metrotex at the four large annual shows at the Dallas Trade Center.

Daddy dearest: This proud patriarch of two sons, one daughter and five grandsons sees family as the root of his life. His close-knit clan lives in the area so he is able to spend a lot of time with his children and grandchildren.

His hobbies include volunteer work for DIFFA, Legacy Counseling Center and Fresh, as well as traveling, reading, working out at Gold’s Gym Uptown, dancing and shopping. He collects vintage clothing and jewelry (more than 100 suits at least — he attends the Cathedral of Hope every Sunday in one of them with an antique brooch), and Converse and Vans shoes.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 29, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Great Spaces: Conditioner love

Yes, you can have a cold house without the big bills — and that’s not hot air

By David Taffet

Perhaps the one thing we loathe the most besides triple digit temps in summer is that dreaded electric bill. The air conditioner is a must for summer in Texas, but the wallet sure takes a beating. One local expert recommends these simple tips to help you keep your cool and some green.

Todd Ylen of TNS Mechanical in Arlington said that only half the air conditioning complaints his company receives could be traced to the main unit. The first thing he checks is the overall cleanliness of what he calls “the guts.” He recommends a professional cleaning with caustic chemicals.

“It should be done professionally,” he says, “The chemicals won’t hurt the plants but it can melt the rubber off your sneakers.”

During the season, he said, don’t be afraid to wash the unit with a hose, but not a pressure washer. A garden hose will not damage an outdoor air conditioning system. They’re made to withstand gale-force winds.

Keep grass and weeds off outdoor condensers. They clog the system and decrease efficiency.

Next, Ylen said he checks the house.

“How efficient is the ductwork?” he says. “How efficient is your house?”

The outer lining of much of the ductwork installed in the 1980s has deteriorated. Squirrels, raccoons and other animals that get into the attic can cause a tremendous amount of damage to the ducts as well.

Cold air will blow in the attic but never reach the living areas of the house if the ducts are torn or worn. He recommends modern, high-insulated ductwork.

Next, he suggests an energy audit company to check for leaks around doors and windows.

“Seal the house,” he says. It pays off in lower energy bills quickly.

And ventilate, he said. Ylen called the old whirlybirds on most roofs worthless.

He recommends solar-powered, fan-driven ventilators. A year ago, he said, they were $1,800. Today they sell for $400, an amount that will pay for itself in one season. He calls it an upfront investment that continues to pay off by lowering electric bills on air conditioning and never costing a cent to operate.

Filters should be changed monthly. Dirty filters prevent the system from drawing air easily, making it work harder and use more energy.
Programmable thermostats are also useful in keeping the system from cooling the house when not needed.

Ylen calls radiant barriers ineffective with a 50-year payback, but insulation very useful.

“A preventive maintenance program is crucial,” he says. He sums up his energy-saving tips to all homeowners — insulate, ventilate and stop air leaks.

TNS Mechanical services homes throughout Texas and has other tips at AirConditioningRepairArlington.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 15, 2011.

—  John Wright

CORRECTION: All major candidates for Dallas mayor vied for LGBT vote in 2002

In my cover story for this week’s paper, I made a minor mistake. Actually it was fairly major. The opening paragraph of the story, as originally written, stated that 2011 marks the first time in history that all major candidates for Dallas mayor have actively courted the LGBT vote.

As former DV staff writer David Webb pointed out in the comments to the story, that’s not true. In 2002, Laura Miller, Tom Dunning and Domingo Garcia — the three major candidates for mayor — all courted the LGBT vote.

From The Dallas Mornings News on Jan. 15, 2002:

Dallas gays and lesbians, who used to hope that they could just find a candidate who wouldn’t be hostile to their interests, find themselves for the first time being wooed from all directions in what boils down to a three-way citywide race – and disagreeing about whom to support.

“It’s the first time I haven’t had to go vote for the lesser of two evils,” said Deb Elder, a Laura Miller supporter and political organizer. “Nothing has piqued my passion like this mayoral vote.”

Put another way, with major candidates Ms. Miller, Tom Dunning, and Domingo Garcia all touting their support for including gays in a nondiscrimination ordinance, a sector of voters that was shunned not long ago can’t lose this time around.

“It’s historic. I knew it would happen, but I didn’t know it would be this soon,” said Michael Milliken, one of the city’s first publicly identified gay appointees. “The gay community is in a unique position this year.”

I had based my report on statements by openly gay former City Councilman Ed Oakley, who called the 2011 mayoral election “a watershed moment for the community” and “unprecedented.”

While that may be true in some other respects, this isn’t the first time all major mayoral candidates have sought the LGBT vote, and I apologize for the error.

—  John Wright

Flashback: Indianapolis NOM ‘Traditional Marriage’ Supporter Called for Gays to be Hanged

Adams

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is crowing about how victorious they were in the Indiana House today, as it voted to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage and civil unions.

They are reminding folks of the rally they had in Indianapolis in July with a video painting themselves as victims.

So, it seemed like a perfect time to remind people what their supporters looked like at that rally.

You'll remember that one of them carried signs calling for gays to be hanged.

The interview with Larry Adams, AFTER THE JUMP


Towleroad News #gay

—  David Taffet

Palm Springs Police Chief: I’m Sorry I Called Gay Men “Filthy Motherfuckers”

Palm Springs Police Chief David Dominquez has apologized for an anti-gay slur made during a sting in which gay men were arrested for public sex. Dominquez reportedly told cops on the scene: “What a bunch of filthy motherfuckers. You guys should get paid extra for this.”

The comment “did not display the utmost professional conduct expected from the Chief of Police and I sincerely apologize to the community at large,” Dominguez said in a statement. It’s the first time Dominguez has admitted to making expletives during the lewd-conduct sting, which has sparked controversy across the valley over how it was carried out, the severe charges those arrested face, and the gay slurs police made during surveillance. The comment “did not display the utmost professional conduct expected from the Chief of Police and I sincerely apologize to the community at large,” Dominguez said in a statement.

It’s the first time Dominguez has admitted to making expletives during the lewd-conduct sting, which has sparked controversy across the valley over how it was carried out, the severe charges those arrested face, and the gay slurs police made during surveillance. Dominguez previously declined to comment on the complaint. His apology came about an hour after City Manager David Ready released a memo to the Palm Springs City Council, outlining Ready’s conclusions – and regrets – about how the controversial sting to curb public gay sex in the area played out. “Portions of the operation were not conducted according to the professional standards that are expected of our Police Department,” Ready stated. “As a result, appropriate disciplinary and correction action has already been taken.”

The 19 men arrested face charges that may require them to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Matt Barber called equality activists ‘purveyors of evil’. But yea, it probably is the SPLC that deserves scorn. Uh huh. Sure.

Matt Barber, Director of Cultural Affairs with Liberty Counsel and Associate Dean with Liberty University School of Law, is among the most incendiary Matt-Barbervoices in the “pro-family” movement. Examples: There was the time Matt said that gay male relationships constitute “one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it ‘love’”; the time Matt called President Barack Obama an anti-american enemy; the time he accused Obama and Barney Frank of being anti-religious bigots; the time he suggested there are “sinister motives” in the Obama White House; the time he agreed with TVC’s Andrea Lafferty that homosexuality is “among a litany of…sexual deviances” that include things like sex with an amputee’s stump and sexual behavior involving feces and urine; the time he likened pro-equality progressives to Fred “God Hates F*gs” Phelps; the time he referred to marriage equality advocates as “purveyors of evil“; the time he compared gay unions to marrying a house plant; the time he said Ellen Degeneres “guides her many adoring housewife fans into rebellion against God’s divine and explicit natural order”; the time he called Google “satanic” for supporting marriage equality; the time he accused gay-friendly media outlets of trying “to make the absurd appear reasonable and normal”; etc., etc.

Now, in a completely self-unaware turn, the undeniably homo-hostile Matt is jumping in to support those groups (like the Family Research Council) who the Southern Poverty Law Center has added to their latest hate groups list. Here’s a brief snip:

Of course, the tired goal of this silly meme is to associate in the public mind’s eye mainstream conservative social values with racism, white supremacy and neo-Nazism. The ironic result, however, is that, as typically occurs with such ad hominem and hyperbolic attacks, the attacker ends up marginalizing himself and galvanizing his intended target (I’m rubber, you’re glue and all that).

Hence, beyond a self-aggrandizing liberal echo chamber, the SPLC – and by extension the greater “progressive” movement – has become largely, as it stews in its own radicalism, just another punch line.

It’s often said that the first to call the other a Nazi has lost the argument.

Congratulations, conservative America: They’re calling you a Nazi. Carry on.

BARBER: SPLC: The wolf who cried ‘hate’ [Wash Times]

Well, actually SPLC isn’t calling anyone a Nazi. But you know who totally does elicit Nazi-dom in his own rhetoric? Bryan Fischer from the American Family Association:

Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews. Gays in the military is an experiment that has been tried and found disastrously and tragically wanting. Maybe it’s time for Congress to learn a lesson from history.” [SOURCE]

And yet the AFA is the other newly-listed group besides FRC that Matt specifically defends in his above Wash. Times piece! Because again: Unawareness and logical inconsistency rule the far-right day. These folks love to blow smoke into the dog whistles, but they go absolutely apepoop angry when their critics listen in to their dish.

The funny thing? Matt’s Liberty Counsel group was specifically left off the SPLC’s list. They were mentioned, but not added. Does Matt really want to tempt that fate by adding more light to his litany of aggressive insults? Because we’re totally okay with that, if he does. We just wonder if the Liberty Counsel’s benefactors, present or future, really see this as smart strategy.




Good As You

—  admin

San Diego, Where Being Called ‘Faggot’ During a Gay Bashing Doesn’t Make It a Hate Crime

Jacob Harshbarger, the San Diego man called a "fucking faggot" during a Halloween gay bashing he suffered while walking his dogs, might see his assailants meet some justice: 23-year-olds Michael Brandon and Christopher Blount have been charged with felony battery counts. Police initially called the attack a matter of "being in the wrong place at the wrong time," and not a hate crime. It appears they're sticking to it: prosecutors aren't levying any hate crime element to the charges.

CONTINUED »


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Queerty

—  admin

Some Twerp Called Justin Bieber A ‘Faggot’ At Laser Tag, And Got Shoved For It

There is an "active investigation" into a fight between Justin Bieber (and his bodyguards) and a 12-year-old boy at a laser tag facility in a Vancouver suburb. The 16-year-old singer is allegedly the perp, inflicting minor injuries on the other boy, though Planet Lazer Tag is spinning it in The Bieb's favor, saying he "did what any other person would do during a laser tag game, and was just trying to get away from getting shot at and accidentally hit the kid while running away. The kid’s sister said he started crying because he was hit hard, but when we saw the boy there was no marks or anything. Justin stuck around after in the lobby explaining what happened, when the kids parents decided to call the police." But now comes word the younger boy called Justin a "faggot," and that's what started the spat. I can imagine Justin is tired of being called a lesbian, let alone a ghey. [photo: ZackTaylor.ca]


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Queerty

—  John Wright

Lady Gaga called her Senators. Have you?

We mentioned this earlier today, but SLDN released a list of its top Senate targets:

SENATE VOTE VERY TIGHT: For repeal to happen advocates need one more vote to break John McCain’s filibuster. All supporters must call their senators now.

KEY SENATORS UNCOMMITTED ON BREAKING THE FILIBUSTER:

–Susan Collins (R-ME)

–Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

–Mark Pryor (D-Ark.);

–Richard Lugar (R-IN);

–Judd Gregg (R-NH);

–Jim Webb (D-VA)

–George Voinovich (R-OH);

Louise and Keori have an excellent post at The Blend with more DADT info.

Also, Lady Gaga is doing her part:

This is very helpful. Lady Gaga talks to a lot of “lil Monsters.” She has 6,347,425 followers on Twitter. And, she’s got 18,097,096 people who like her on Facebook. Already, almost 26,000 people like her Facebook post of this video. She has an amazing reach. And, she’s getting young people to pay attention to DADT.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright