Posts Tagged ‘Google’


VERDICT: Methodist Pastor Has 30 Days To Renounce His Gay Children Or Be Defrocked

By Zack Ford

VERDICT: Methodist Pastor Has 30 Days To Renounce His Gay Children Or Be Defrocked

Rev. Frank SchaeferRev. Frank Schaefer

CREDIT: UMC.org

On Monday, the United Methodist Church convicted Rev. Frank Schaefer on two counts against the Church for officiating his son’s same-sex wedding. On Tuesday, the impaneled jury determined his sentence: Schaefer is suspended for 30 days, and if it at the end of that time he has not renounced his support for marriage equality, he will be defrocked.

Schaefer, however, was unapologetic, refusing the invitation to “repent of your actions”:

SCHAEFER: [The Church] needs to stop judging people based on their sexual orientation. We have to stop the hate speech. We have to stop treating them as second-class Christians. […]

I will never be silent again. This is what I have to do. […]

I have to minister to those who hurt and that’s what I’m doing.

Three of Schaefer’s four children identify as gay.

After his sentence was announced, his supporters began overturning chairs in the courtroom, a reference to the biblical story of Jesus and the moneychangers.

Schaefer’s critics framed his actions as “breaking the rules” and “rebuking” the Church.

Update

Watch Rev. Schaefer’s remarks from after the sentencing, committing himself to being an “outspoken advocate” for the LGBT community. He also added that if a same-sex couple asked him to marry them in the next 30 days, he would do it:

 


Far Right Whackjob Allen West Turns Out to Be Antisemitic, Right Wing PJ Media “Shocked!”
A Far Right kook is also Anti-Semitic?
Inconceivable!
A shakeup at Right Wing PJ Media, where former Congressman Allen West has been fired, or resigned, or something.
Imagine their shock to discover that this bigoted, crazed far right nutjob is also antisemitic.

Former Congressman Allen West is leaving his job at Pajamas Media after an altercation with a female staffer in which he allegedly called her a “Jewish American princess,” BuzzFeed learned on Thursday.

[…]

Two sources familiar with what happened told BuzzFeed that West had gotten into an argument with a female employee and called her a “Jewish American princess” while telling her to “shut up.”

Reached by phone, West told BuzzFeed he was leaving his job voluntarily, though one source familiar with the situation told BuzzFeed he had been fired. He did not deny that an exchange with the employee had occurred, but said it hadn’t led to his leaving the company.

“No I didn’t get fired,” West said. “I’m leaving to pursue political aspirations. That’s it. There’ll be a statement that comes out and it’s effective in October.”


This man helped save six children, is now getting harassed for it

Gene Rosen sheltered six kids during the Sandy Hook massacre. Now he’s become a target of conspiracy theorists

By Alex Seitz-Wald

This man helped save six children, is now getting harassed for it
Enlarge  (Credit: AP/Mary Altaffer)

“I don’t know what to do,” sighed Gene Rosen. “I’m getting hang-up calls, I’m getting some calls, I’m getting emails with, not direct threats, but accusations that I’m lying, that I’m a crisis actor, ‘how much am I being paid?’” Someone posted a photo of his house online. There have been phony Google+ and YouTube accounts created in his name, messages on white supremacist message boards ridiculing the “emotional Jewish guy,” and dozens of blog posts and videos “exposing” him as a fraud. One email purporting to be a business inquiry taunted: “How are all those little students doing? You know, the ones that showed up at your house after the ‘shooting’. What is the going rate for getting involved in a gov’t sponsored hoax anyway?”

“The quantity of the material is overwhelming,” he said. So much so that a friend shields him from most of it by doing daily sweeps of the Web so Rosen doesn’t have to. His wife is worried for their safety. He’s logged every email and every call, and consulted with a retired state police officer, who took the complaint seriously but said police probably can’t do anything at the moment; he plans to do the same with the FBI.

What did Rosen do to deserve this? One month ago, he found six little children and a bus driver at the end of the driveway of his home in Newtown, Conn. “We can’t go back to school,” one little boy told Rosen. “Our teacher is dead.” He brought them inside and gave them food and juice and toys. He called their parents. He sat with them and listened to their shocked accounts of what had happened just down the street inside Sandy Hook Elementary, close enough that Rosen heard the gunshots.

In the hours and days that followed, Rosen did a lot of media interviews. “I wanted to speak about the bravery of the children, and it kind of helped me work through this,” he told Salon in an interview.  “I guess I kind of opened myself up to this.”

The “this” in question is becoming a prime target of the burgeoning Sandy Hook truther movement, which — like its precursor that denied the veracity of the 9/11 terror attacks — alleges that the entire shooting was a hoax of some kind. There were conspiracy theories surrounding the shooting from Day One, but the movement has exploded into public view the past two weeks, and a Google Trends search suggests it’s just now picking up steam. It’s also beginning to earn the backing of presumably credible sources like a professor and a reporter.

Rosen,  a 69-year-old retired psychologist who now runs a pet-sitting business and volunteers to read books to kids in schools, initially called me to ask if I thought he should reach out to the FBI about the harassment. I said it probably couldn’t hurt. When I asked if I could tell his story, he was reluctant at first. “Here’s my fear: If I start talking like this, will one of these truthers read this and will it embolden them? Will they say, screw that guy, how dare he impugn our credibility or question our intellect, I’m going to go one step farther? Am I being stupid?” he asked.

After thinking about it, Rosen decided that he had to speak out: “I talk to you about this because I feel that there has to be some moral push-back on this.” Rosen said he’s a staunch believer in free speech, and realizes there is little legal recourse possible unless he gets direct threats, so he had a different idea.

“There must be some way to morally shame these people, because there were 20 dead children lying an eighth of a mile from my window all night long,” he said, choking back tears. “And I sat there with my wife, because they couldn’t take the bodies out that night so the medical examiner could come. And I thought of an expression, that this ‘adds insult to injury,’ but that’s a stupid expression, because this is not an injury, this is an abomination.”

The harassment has turned Rosen’s life upside down, and made him feel things once foreign to him, like searing rage. “I was sitting in a restaurant the other night and these guys who were part of a car club came up to me and shook my hand and said, ‘You know, you’re a hero to me.’ He had seen me on TV. So I said thank you. Then I’m sitting there and I hear this other guy, ‘Oh yeah, it was a conspiracy.’ He was a big guy,” he said.

“I tell you what, I had evil thoughts. I wanted to go over to the first guy, and he had about 15 big guys with him, and say, ‘I’m going to go talk to this other guy — just watch my back.’ And then I wanted to go over to the other guy and get up in his face and say, ‘See those guys over there, just know they’re keeping an eye out for me.’ And then I wanted to say, ‘I want to see what you look like. I want to see what a person who generates this kind of evil shit looks like. I want to look at your face and tell you you’re an asshole,’” he said.

He didn’t do it, of course. “But it tells me how rageful I am. And I am rageful about it, both for the children and for the mother of the child who came to my house looking for her son, and I wanted to look at this guy and I wanted to just fucking decimate him. That’s my rage.”

But when he starts to feel that way, Rosen can think of the first man. And the countless others out there who see Rosen as a hero, and not a tool of some shadowy conspiracy. Because for every angry call or email, there any many, many more praising ones: “I get the most beautifully written cards, wonderful calls.” Let’s hope they continue to be the majority.


            Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon’s political reporter. Email him at aseitz-wald@salon.com, and follow him on Twitter @aseitzwald.


Viral Video Recap Features Google’s Year In Review
Google compiled a Year In Review video posted on December 12. The nearly three-minute clip starts with Baumgartner’s jump from 24 miles above the earth and progresses into clips of other history-making moments this year: Oscar Pistorius’ competing in the Olympics as the first athlete to have carbon-fiber artificial legs; clips from this year’s presidential debates; images from the Arab Spring and the protests in Greece, plus some adorable animal videos that kept us entertained.

Just how big are porn sites?

Sebastian Anthony in Extreme Tech:

The-planet-data-center-messy-348x196

According to Google’s DoubleClick Ad Planner, which tracks users across the web with a cookie, dozens of adult destinations populate the top 500 websites. Xvideos, the largest porn site on the web with 4.4 billion page views per month, is three times the size of CNN or ESPN, and twice the size of Reddit. LiveJasmin isn’t much smaller. YouPorn, Tube8, and Pornhub — they’re all vast, vast sites that dwarf almost everything except the Googles and Facebooks of the internet.

While page views are a fine starting point, they only tell you that X porn site is more popular than Y non-porn site. Four billion page views sure sounds like a lot, but it’s only when you factor in what those porn surfers are actually doing that the size and scale of adult websites truly comes into focus.

More here.


Strange bedfellows: new nexus between Israel and far Right

My fol­low­ing essay ap­pears in today’s Crikey:

Amid the acres of com­men­tary on the ex­change of IDF sol­dier Gilad Shalit and more than a thou­sand Pales­tin­ian pris­on­ers, one com­ment stands out: “Let the WORLD know about Is­rael’s hu­man­ity and the ter­ror­ists’ in­hu­man­ity — SHARE this one with EVERY­ONE you know, friends!” What makes it note­wor­thy is that it fea­tured on the “Geert Wilders In­ter­na­tional Free­dom Al­li­nace” Face­book page, where sup­port­ers of the far-Right Dutch politi­cian gather, one of many mes­sages of fa­nat­i­cal pro-Is­raeli com­men­tary.

The grow­ing ap­peal of Is­rael to the world’s right-wing com­mu­nity has been de­vel­op­ing for some years. Nev­er­the­less, some ex­am­ples are eye-pop­ping. In July 2011, a Russ­ian neo-Nazi del­e­ga­tion trav­elled to Is­rael, after an in­vi­ta­tion by far Right Is­raeli politi­cians and an ed­i­tor of a pro-set­tler news ser­vice. The Holo­caust de­niers vis­ited Is­rael’s Holo­caust cen­tre, Yad Vashem, de­spite being pho­tographed pre­vi­ously giv­ing Nazi salutes and pub­lish­ing songs cel­e­brat­ing Adolf Hitler on their web­site.

The pair was in­ter­viewed on Is­raeli TV. One said that the idea of the Jew­ish state “ex­cites me” be­cause it in­volves “an an­cient peo­ple who took upon it­self a pi­o­neer pro­ject to re­vive a mod­ern state and na­tion”. The TV jour­nal­ist then asked how a neo-Nazi could now em­brace Zion­ism. The other Russ­ian quickly re­sponded by ex­plain­ing the com­mon enemy they both faced: “We’re talk­ing about rad­i­cal Islam which is the enemy of hu­man­ity, enemy of democ­racy, enemy of progress and of any sane so­ci­ety.” In De­cem­ber 2010 a much larger del­e­ga­tion of Eu­ro­pean far Right politi­cians, in­clud­ing a Bel­gian politi­cian with clear ties to SS vet­er­ans and a Swedish politi­cian with con­nec­tions to the coun­try’s fas­cist past, also paid their re­spects at Yad Vashem. They were wel­comed by some mem­bers of the Is­raeli Knes­set and agreed to sign a “Jerusalem De­c­la­ra­tion”, guar­an­tee­ing Is­rael’s right to de­fend it­self against ter­ror. “We stand at the van­guard in the fight for the West­ern, de­mo­c­ra­tic com­mu­nity” against the “to­tal­i­tar­ian threat” of “fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam”, read the doc­u­ment.

The sig­na­to­ries were some of Eu­rope’s most suc­cess­ful anti-im­mi­gra­tion politi­cians who long ago re­alised that back­ing Is­rael was a clever way to guar­an­tee re­spectabil­ity for a cause that risked being framed as ex­trem­ist or racist. One Is­raeli politi­cian who met the del­e­ga­tion, Nis­sim Zeev, a mem­ber of ul­tra-Or­tho­dox, right-wing party Shas, em­braced the group: “At the end of the day, what’s im­por­tant is their at­ti­tude, the fact they re­ally love Is­rael.”

Yes­ter­day’s anti-Semi­tes have re­formed them­selves as today’s cru­sad­ing he­roes against an un­stop­pable Mus­lim birth-rate on a con­ti­nent that now sees Islam as an in­tol­er­ant and ghet­toised re­li­gion. These in­creas­ingly main­stream at­ti­tudes have mar­i­nated across Eu­rope for at least a decade — most starkly ex­pressed in the writ­ings of the Nor­way killer An­ders Breivik, who slaugh­tered nearly 70 young left-wingers on Utøya is­land in late July this year.

Breivik’s in­ter­est in Is­rael wasn’t an ac­ci­den­tal quirk of his Google search terms. It was re­flec­tive of years of in­doc­tri­na­tion from that fate­ful Sep­tem­ber day in 2001 on­wards. None of Breivik’s right-wing he­roes openly praised his killings — po­lit­i­cally speak­ing, half-hearted con­dem­na­tions were the order of the day — be­cause their vi­sion of open war with Islam was ar­guably even more clin­i­cal. They cheered as Amer­ica and Is­rael used the vast power of the state to at­tack, bomb, drone, kid­nap, tor­ture and mur­der lit­er­ally count­less Mus­lim vic­tims in the past decade in Pak­istan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pales­tine, So­ma­lia and be­yond.

Breivik’s ad­mired this Is­raeli “can-do” at­ti­tude but equally dis­missed left-wing Jews who sup­ported Pales­tin­ian rights. “Were the ma­jor­ity of the Ger­man and Eu­ro­pean Jews [in ’30s Eu­rope] dis­loyal?” he asked in his “2083” man­i­festo. He went on:

“Yes, at least the so-called lib­eral Jews, sim­i­lar to the lib­eral Jews today that op­poses na­tion­al­ism/Zion­ism and sup­ports mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism. Jews that sup­port mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism today are as much of a threat to Is­rael and Zion­ism (Is­raeli na­tion­al­ism) as they are to us. So let us fight to­gether with Is­rael, with our Zion­ist broth­ers against all anti-Zion­ists, against all cul­tural Marx­ists/mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ists. Con­ser­v­a­tive Jews were loyal to Eu­rope and should have been re­warded. In­stead, [Hitler] just tar­geted them all.” (p 1167)

Breivik mir­rored the fa­mil­iar sep­a­ra­tion of “good Jews” and “bad Jews” that ap­pear in West­ern di­a­logue over the Is­rael/Pales­tine con­flict. The na­tion­al­is­tic, Arab-hat­ing Jew who be­lieves in the never-end­ing oc­cu­pa­tion of Pales­tin­ian land is praise-wor­thy but the ques­tion­ing, anti-Zion­ist Jew is a threat that must be elim­i­nated. The com­men­ta­tors, jour­nal­ists and politi­cians who re­ceive main­stream ac­cep­tance and ap­pear reg­u­larly in our media such as Daniel Pipes, who calls for the bomb­ing of Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran, are wel­comed into the club of pop­u­lar Is­lam­o­phobes be­cause they speak the lan­guage of dom­i­na­tion and vi­o­lence re­flected in our media and po­lit­i­cal dis­course on a daily basis.

My enemy’s enemy is my friend

Breivik’s con­vic­tion that he was a friend of Zion­ism cre­ated a moral chal­lenge for many of those he had quoted in his man­i­festo. It was not a chal­lenge many faced well. One of the more no­to­ri­ous, Amer­i­can blog­ger Pamela Geller, con­demned the killings as “hor­rific” but not so sub­tly in the same post re­minded read­ers that the young stu­dents who at­tended sum­mer camp at Utøya were ac­tu­ally wit­ness­ing an “anti-Se­mitic in­doc­tri­na­tion train­ing cen­tre”. How? Nor­way’s For­eign Min­is­ter Jonas Gahr Store had vis­ited the camp and called for an end to the Is­raeli oc­cu­pa­tion of Pales­tin­ian land, ap­par­ently mak­ing him an anti-Semite by de­f­i­n­i­tion. Reg­u­lar Jerusalem Post colum­nist Barry Rubin sim­ply called the youth camp, “a pro-ter­ror­ist pro­gram”.

Geller was fur­ther in­censed that he even called “Pales­tini­ans” Pales­tin­ian, be­cause for her and her fel­low trav­ellers the Pales­tini­ans aren’t a real peo­ple de­serv­ing rights or a home­land. “Utøya camp was not Is­lamist,” Geller as­sures us, “but it was some­thing not much more whole­some.” Thus Is­lam­o­pho­bia seam­lessly mor­phed into blind and racist Zion­ism.

In Aus­tralia like­wise, the Is­rael lobby skirted around this un­com­fort­able re­al­ity, both pub­licly re­pulsed by the mur­ders but they re­main on the record as ar­gu­ing for bound­aries on Mid­dle East de­bate. Oth­ers sim­ply de­nied that Breivik’s sym­pa­thises for right-wing Zion­ism was ir­rel­e­vant to un­der­stand­ing his crimes.

Of course this was ab­surd. Ex­ag­ger­at­ing a clash of civil­i­sa­tions has be­come the bread and but­ter of count­less key­board war­riors in the past decade, with ever-more bru­tal Is­rael placed at the fore­front of this strug­gle. De­mon­is­ing Mus­lims and call­ing for their death on a reg­u­lar basis has con­se­quences. Mus­lims re­plac­ing Jews as the sup­posed enemy aim­ing for world dom­i­na­tion will come with a price.

Is­raelophilia in the ser­vice of Is­lam­o­pho­bia

The mes­sage em­a­nat­ing from the Zion­ist crowd was at times con­flicted yet clear; Breivik could be for­given for think­ing that Is­rael was striv­ing for racial per­fec­tion. The Jerusalem Post pro­vided clar­i­fi­ca­tion after the at­tack in a star­tling ed­i­to­r­ial. It claimed mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism had failed in Eu­rope, Mus­lims were a threat to so­ci­etal har­mony and clearly im­plied that an eth­noc­racy, such as Is­rael, was the ideal global model:

“While there is ab­solutely no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for the sort of heinous act per­pe­trated this week­end in Nor­way, dis­con­tent with mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism’s fail­ure must not be dele­git­i­ma­tised or mis­tak­enly por­trayed as an opin­ion held by only the most ex­trem­ist el­e­ments of the Right.”

The Post seemed to de­fend the mind­set, if not the ac­tions, ex­pressed by Breivik, as a com­mon and un­der­stand­able at­ti­tude of sim­ply want­ing to “pro­tect unique Eu­ro­pean cul­ture and val­ues”. These val­ues did not in­clude Islam or being proud of a racially di­verse land. (A week later, the paper is­sued an apol­ogy ed­i­to­r­ial after a mas­sive back­lash against its po­si­tion. Be­lat­edly, the ed­i­to­r­ial noted that “Jews, Mus­lims and Chris­tians in Is­rael and around the world should be stand­ing to­gether against such hate crimes”.)

An­ders Breivik’s real mo­ti­va­tions may never be fully un­der­stood but his love for Is­rael didn’t ap­pear out of the blue. It was be­cause Zion­ism and its clos­est fol­low­ers have cul­ti­vated an image of a coun­try that can only sur­vive with­out in­te­gra­tion, peace with its Arab neigh­bours or an end to the oc­cu­pa­tion. Racial dom­i­na­tion is the dream. Breivik took this call to a dev­as­tat­ing con­clu­sion and his man­i­festo makes clear that his sup­port for Is­rael is couched in the lan­guage of sur­vival against an un­for­giv­ing, in­tol­er­ant and high Mus­lim birth-rate world.

You can hear these views on any day of the week on Face­book, on Twit­ter — and in the Is­raeli Knes­set.

*This is an ex­tract from an essay in On Utøya: An­ders Breivik, right ter­ror, racism and Eu­rope, edited by Eliz­a­beth Humphrys, Guy Run­dle and Tad Ti­etze, an ebook to be pub­lished on Oc­to­ber 26. The book will be launched by Sen­a­tor Lee Rhi­an­non and Antony Loewen­stein , 6.30pm Wednes­day, Oc­to­ber 26 at the Nor­folk Hotel, Cleve­land Street in Surry Hills, Syd­ney.

via Strange bedfellows: new nexus between Israel and far Right — Antony Loewenstein.