Ellis County Observer publisher Joey Dauben finally gets a court-appointed attorney

Joey Dauben

Joey Dauben, the publisher of the now-defunct Ellis County Observer, finally got to see a court-appointed lawyer this week to help him fight the three felony counts of child sexual abuse that have kept him in the Navarro County Jail without legal advice for almost two months now.

Edward Jendrzey, whose office is in Waxahachie in Ellis County, received the court-ordered appointment Thursday, Feb. 16. Jendrzey accepted the case after Steve Keathley, a Corsicana attorney whose wife is the president of the Navarro County Bar Association, declined an appointment by District Court Judge James Lagomarsino to represent the journalist.

In a telephone interview today, Jendrzey said, “Yes, he knows I’m representing him,” when asked whether he had met with his new client, who reached out for help from the media this week in a handwritten letter from jail. When a defendant declares himself to be indigent and asks for a court-appointed attorney, that is supposed to occur within 72 hours. In the letter, Dauben also again claimed he is innocent of the charges.

Jendrzey said his first step in Dauben’s representation will be to conduct an independent investigation of the case to learn the circumstances and to attempt to get Dauben’s $200,000 bond set by Lagomarsino lowered. “I’ll be meeting with the prosecutor about that,” Jendrzey said. Dauben’s family and friends have been unable to raise the 10 percent (or $20,000) payment bond agencies typically charge to get a defendant released from jail.

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SMU sends 18 to Midwest LGBT conference

Iowa State University is hosting the 2012 Midwest Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay Transgender Ally College Conference Feb. 10-12. One student from Texas Women’s University, 17 from Southern Methodist University’s LGBT group Spectrum and an SMU professor are attending, according to the Daily Campus. Spectrum Co-President Harvey Luna put the group together after attending last year’s conference, according to the SMU newspaper.

Karen Click at SMU Women’s Center for Gender and Pride Initiatives called it a national conference for student leaders. She said this is the second year SMU has participated.

“They come back inspired to create change on campus,” she said.

Registration for the event is $80 per person and the group chartered a bus from Dallas.

“The SMU Student Senate paid for them to go,” Click said.

The MBLGTACC conference began in 1991 and takes place annually in the upper Midwest. The goal is to learn new strategies to face problems LGBT students face on campus daily.

Two weeks ago, Youth First Texas hosted a conference of North Texas gay-straight alliances.

—  David Taffet

WATCH: Bystanders lift vehicle, pull motorcyclist from beneath it after fiery wreck in Logan, Utah


I have no reason for posting this here other than it happened in a city where I once worked at the daily newspaper — Logan, Utah — and the victim is apparently the nephew of one of my former colleagues. Also, it’s a pretty amazing rescue. According to my old paper, The Herald Journal, the motorcyclist remains in intensive care but is expected to recover. Watch the rescue below.

—  John Wright

A senior GLBT reflects on a life cross-dressed

From our friend Rick Vanderslice, who continues to host his daily radio program via Skype while living in Buenos Aires, comes this article in an English-language newspaper in Argentina, profiling “90-year-old transvestite Malva,” who has recently published a memoir. The terminology seems less enlightened than our own, but the information is still interesting.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Snap shots: ‘Bill Cunningham New York’ turns the camera on fashion’s most influential paparazzo

LENS ME A SHOE | The Times photographer documents foot fashion in ‘Bill Cunningham New York.’

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Life+Style Editor
jones@dallasvoice.com

Maybe Project Runway’s to blame, maybe The Devil Wears Prada, but for the past few years there has been a surplus of documentaries about the fashion industry, with profiles of designers like Valentino (Valentino: The Last Emperor), Yves Saint-Laurent (several in fact), even young designers (Seamless) and Vogue magazine’s editor (The September Issue). (By contrast, I can only recall one fashion doc from the 1990s: Unzipped, about a young designer named Isaac Mizrahi.) Is there really that much to say about dressmaking?

Maybe not, but while Bill Cunningham New York fits broadly within the category of fashion documentaries, its subject is unusual because he eschews the trappings of haute couture even as he’s inextricably a part of it — a huge part, really.

If you don’t read the New York Times, you might not recognize Cunningham’s name, and even if you do read it, it may not have registered with you. For about, well, maybe 1,000 years, Cunningham has chronicled New York society with his candid photos of the glitterati on the Evening Hours page. At the same time, however, he has documented real fashion — how New Yorkers dress in their daily lives — with his page On the Street, where he teases out trends (from hats to men in skirts to hip-hoppers allowing their jeans to dangle around their knees). Anna Wintour may tell us what we should wear; Cunningham shows us what we do.

“We all get dressed for Bill,” Wintour observes.

What makes Cunningham such an interesting character is how impervious he seems to the responsibility he effortlessly wields. He loves fashion, yes, but he’s not a slave to it himself. He scurries around Manhattan (even in his 80s) on his bicycle (he’s had dozens; they are frequently stolen), sometimes in a nondescript tux but mostly in jeans, a ratty blue smock and duck shoes, looking more like a homeless shoeshiner than the arbiter of great fashion. He flits through the city like a pixie with his 35mm camera (film-loaded, not digital), a vacant, toothy smile peaking out behind the lens, snapping the denizens of Babylon whether they want it or not.

One of the funniest moments is when strangers shoo him away as some lunatic paparazzo, unaware how all the well-heeled doyens on the Upper East would trade a nut to have Cunningham photograph them for inclusion in the Times. Patrick McDonald, the weirdly superficial modern dandy (he competed as a wannabe designer on the flop reality series Launch My Line a few seasons back), seems to exist with the hope that Cunningham will shoot him. And shoot him he does.

Many artists are idiosyncratic, even eccentric, but Cunningham is supremely odd by any standards. He lives in a tiny studio near Carnegie Hall filled with filing cabinets cluttered with decades of film negatives on the same floor as a crazy old woman, a kind of urban variation on Grey Gardens. He knows tons of people but most of them seem to know very little about him. By the time near the end when the filmmaker, director Richard Press, finally comes out and ask him outright whether he’s gay, Cunningham arches in that prickly New England way, never really answering outright, though he says he’s never — never — had a romantic relationship. Things like that were simply not discussed by men of his generation.

In some ways, we never really know any more about Cunningham at the end than any of his friends do, and perhaps even him. Cunningham comes across as defiantly non-self-reflective. He lets his work do all the talking for him. And that work has a lot to say on its own.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 8, 2011.

—  John Wright

Daily Ungrumble

I must confess a sick yet gleeful anticipation for tonight’s SOTU response from Crazy Eyes. Death panels! 0 million per day hotel rooms! Government takeover of 90% of private industry! Obama annexes Mars to China! I cannot wait to hear the latest whopper from Teabagistan. I denounce myself.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

The Daily Beast ranks the 20 Most Tolerant States – does the list make sense to you?

As the country commemorates Martin Luther King Day and reflects on Tucson, The Daily Beast crunches the numbers to rank the tolerances of every state across America. How did yours stack up?

In the four-plus decades since Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, America has surely moved closer to a country where people are judged more by content of their character than the color of their skin-or their gender, religion or sexual orientation. In honor of today’s national holiday, and mindful of the debate fostered by the massacre in Tucson nine days ago, The Daily Beast sought to examine which states are the most tolerant, devising a thorough point system that measures each state’s residents based on their actions and opinions, as well the scope of state laws guaranteeing equal rights and protections, which reflects the broader political will.

When you surf over to look at these rankings by The Daily Beast as described above, a state’s tolerance ranking takes into account this criteria:

1. Tolerance score: __ out of 100

2. Hate crime score: __ out of 40

3. Discrimination score: __ out of 40

4. Gay rights score: __ out of 10

5. Religious Tolerance Score: __ out of 10

6. Hate crime incidents per 100,000 residents: __ (+ ranking out of 50 states)

7. Discrimination cases filed per 100,000 residents: __ (+ ranking out of 50 states)

8. Population in support of same-sex marriage: __

9. Population that believes many religions lead to eternal life: __%

Now with that in mind, take a look at the top 20, without the benefit of seeing their scores on the above criteria; some of the ranking seems quite bizarre from a LGBT perspective.

The Daily Beast’s List of the 20 Most Tolerant States

1. Wisconsin

2. Maryland

3. Illinois

4. Pennsylvania

5. Hawaii

6. California

7. Minnesota

8. New Jersey

9. New Hampshire

10. New Mexico

11. Virginia

12. Iowa

13. North Carolina

14. Connecticut

15. Florida

16. Louisiana

17. New York

18. Massachusetts

19. West Virginia

20. Nevada

#1 Wisconsin actually has a marriage amendment in place.

For the life of me I cannot understand how holy-rolling Virginia and West Virginia even made it into the top 20, or for that matter, Louisiana. And what is Massachusetts doing bringing up the rear at #18? New Jersey surely should be in the top 10, but behind Pennsylvania?

And if we’re strictly going on institutionalized equality advances, California should be near or at the top because aside from Prop 8, LGBTs have parity in protections at almost every level.

I’ll share the stats for my state, NC, which is at #13. Surf back to The Daily Beast to see the other states for comparison.

13. North Carolina

Tolerance score: 63 out of 100

Hate crime score: 25 out of 40

Discrimination score: 30 out of 40

Gay rights score: 2 out of 10

Religious Tolerance Score: 6 out of 10

Hate crime incidents per 100,000 residents: 1.1 (11 out of 50 states) Discrimination cases filed per 100,000 residents: 11.5 (10 out of 50 states)

Population in support of same-sex marriage: 36%

Population that believes many religions lead to eternal life: 62%

Since I can speak to the anecdotal issue of tolerance in the state, there are a couple of facts to put on the table:

* We don’t have a marriage amendment (yet; that is now in sight after the midterms, with GOP rule of the Gen Assembly for the first time since Reconstruction).

* More of the population is urban/suburban than rural now, but there is a downside. What that means is more people live near centers of business, education, techonology and medicine, which draw highly educated transplants from around the world. The problem here is that the conservative, more exurban/rural areas are hardcore conservative, and more progressive transplants/transient families don’t necessarily consistently vote. Prime example – the Wake County School Board debacle, where fundies packed the board taking control because lazy progressives didn’t bother to go out and vote to prevent the resegregation of the school system.

* Day to day life in the city centers is tolerant: I’ve encountered more overt and passive-aggressive race-based and LGBT-based discrimination  in NYC than I do here in NC. Neighborhoods tend to be more racially diverse, with the main division socioeconomic.

* Re: being out of the closet — people generally just don’t think about it, care about it, and take it in stride. Now if you drive far enough out into the stix and see trucks with Stars & Bars stickers and a gun rack, you may want to keep driving. We’re not stupid.

* Equality: um, there really is little to report when it comes to LGBT rights, but what we can report is significant. NC was the first Southern state to pass a trans-inclusive anti-bullying bill, and had equal hospital visitation rights long before the federal advance that went into effect this year. Other than that, you can be fired for being LGBT if you are a state worker or work for a private business where there is not an anti-discrimination policy. The only mitigating factor is the wealth of private corporations and universities employing many LGBTs have not only trans-inclusive anti-discrimination policies, but offer partner benefits.

All that said, a ranking of #13 seems high to me. If one of those states is your own, how do you think it should rank?
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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Daily Grumble

Today’s reading of the Constitution on the floor of the U.S. House is the most asinine bit of grandstanding faux patriotism since BeckStock. From Twitter: “Just need more USA flags and ‘We’re Number One’ foam fingers during Constitution reading to make it complete.” I think they should insert the word “totally” wherever it’s hilarious.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

World Net Daily trying to exploit criticism of book linking gays to the Nazi party

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

Last week, it was discovered that the right-wing site World Net Daily is selling a discredited book which accuses the gay community of being behind the Nazi Party in Germany during World War II.

This week not only is World Net Daily continuing to sell the book, The Pink Swastika, but it is also trying to capitalize on the recent controversy by claiming that the gay community is trying to silence the book's “findings.” The site calls The Pink Swastika:

 a book that is disturbing, compelling and persuasive on its major point – that homosexuals dominated the German Nazi Party from its birth through its catastrophic demise.

It's a book that is vilified by America's “gay” activist establishment.

The Pink Swastika hasn't just been vilified by the the so-called “homosexual establishment.” It's been vilified by everyone with a working brain and seen for what it is – the latest attempt by a homophobe (i.e. Scott Lively) who has carried his vendetta against the lgbt community to the corners of the globe.

The biggest criticism of  The Pink Swastika is that Lively and co-writer Ken Abrams committed several distortions in formulating their theories. According to the site Box Turtle Bulletin:

Dr. Warren Throckmorton, an associate professor at the Christian-based Grove City College, has continued to add to his online series debunking The Pink Swastika. His latest installment is probably the most devastating, where Throckmorton catches Lively lying about his source information virtually red-handed. Throckmorton was joined in this endeavor by associate professor of history, Dr. Jon David Wyneken, whose Ph.D. is in modern German history with a focus on the period between 1933 and 1955. Together, they have undertaken a methodical exposé of Lively’s shoddy scholarship.

Throckmorton has written extensively regarding the errors behind The Pink Swastika, all in devastating detail.

 

Of course World Net Daily editor Joseph Farah  would probably disagree with Throckmorton. He claims to have read the book and found it to be accurate:

They say this book has been discredited,” Farah says. “But I've read the book and I've read all the criticism. The book more than stands up to all the attacks I've seen, most of which are completely baseless.”

However, based on Farrah's past and present history of exploiting conspiracy theories, one could easily guess that his vouching for The Pink Swastika has less to do with its supposed veracity and more to do with how much money it could potentially put in his pocket.

According to an article in the Huffington Post,  in 1996, Farah helped to promote a video pushing conspiracy theories about the death of Clinton White House counsel Vincent Foster at a pop.

The same article also says that Farrah is behind a cottage industry of exploiting birther conspiracies regarding President Obama (i.e. the notion that Obama is not a United States citizen) including the sale of bumper stickers, yard signs, postcards, and videos.

To put it in cynical terms, Farrah can be described as a sort of degenerate P.T. Barnum, seeking to reap the benefits of fear, xenophobia, and homophobia.

No doubt he will probably make his money and there is really nothing anyone can do about that. But the question should be asked just how many Congressional leaders will show up should Farrah and World Net Daily put on another “Taking Back America” conference.

We should all pay attention to that. It would definitely give new meaning to the term “lying down with dogs.”
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

AIDS drug, taken daily, ‘greatly lowers the chances of getting infected’

This could be a major breakthrough in prevention:

In a development that could change the battle against AIDS, researchers have found that taking a daily antiretroviral pill greatly lowers the chances of getting infected with the fatal virus.

In the study, published Tuesday by the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that the hundreds of gay men randomly assigned to take the drugs were 44 percent less likely to get infected than the equal number assigned to take a placebo.

But when only the men whose blood tests showed they had taken their pill faithfully every day were considered, the pill was more than 90 percent effective, said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, head of the division of the National Institutes of Health, which paid for the study along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“That’s huge,” Dr. Fauci said. “That says it all for me.”




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin