If You Need One More Reason to Like Patricia Todd, This Might Be It

When it comes to local politics, Patricia Todd is tired of the gay community being put on the back burner. After a singular court victory last week for same-sex couples granting them the opportunity to marry — in a state that practically has no equal rights protections on the books for LGBT people, the Birmingham-based state representative took to her Facebook page to write a personal letter to elected officials who stand in her way.

"This [is] a time where you find out who are accepting, loving people. To say I am disappointed in Speaker [Mike] Hubbard comment’s and Attorney General [Luther] Strange’s choice to appeal the decision is an understatement," Todd wrote in a Facebook post this past weekend. "I will not stand by and allow legislators to talk about ‘family values’ when they have affairs, and I know of many who are and have. I will call our elected officials who want to hide in the closet OUT."

Last year Todd posted a similar rant on Facebook, but the comments came after watching Outrage, a documentary about politicians who vote against LGBT rights but are homosexuals in their private lives.

This clarion call for transparency resurrects at a time when bible-thumping conservatives are crying foul at the LGBT community, that allowing marriage equality will ultimately destroy the fabric of family in our country. This is their embarrassing belief, and they are sounding off their beliefs at a time when a large majority of Americans believe that the same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional. 

Some in the LGBT community believe that Todd is fighting fire with fire and should not stoop down to levels of mud-slinging and scared gossip tactics to push equal rights.

Al.com media writer Kyle Whitmire - torn between the idea - asked readers if it was ever a good thing to expose dirty little secrets. “When is it OK to out someone as gay..or to expose infidelity?,” he asks. “Many folks consider marital fidelity important when assessing a public official’s character. Others think it doesn’t matter and it’s none of anyone’s business. I’m still going back and forth.”

Some of the commentary coming from Birmingham’s LGBT community suggests some discomfort in this type of politics. “This is the exact opposite of how a spokesperson for this community should be acting,” said Devin Michael on a Central Alabama Pride’s post. “This sort of mud slinging and threats only stoops to the level of those that oppose our cause.”

Several media circuits have taken a handful of quotes from her online statement, making her seem like a vindictive “get even” dictator. That’s what happens in the biz of fast food media coverage. But Todd’s message is about being malicious for the sake of it. It’s about exposing the bitter hypocrisy that prevails Alabama politics. She’s had enough…and she’s fighting back with a message that should appeal to Christian standards (“He that is without sin cast the first stone.”).

She spoke to The Huffington Post, clarifying her bold stance. ”If certain people come out and start espousing this rhetoric about family values, then I will say, ‘Let’s talk about family values, because here’s what I heard.’ I don’t have direct knowledge, because obviously I’m not the other person involved in the affair. But one thing you would never hear about me is that I ever cheated on a partner or had an affair,” said Todd.

She continued:

"One thing I’m pretty consistent on is I do not like hypocrites," she added. "If you can explain your position and you hold yourself to the same standard you want to hold me to, then fine. But you cannot go out there and smear my community by condemning us and somehow making us feel less than, and expect me to be quiet."

As mentioned before, Todd’s comments is a response to Hubbard’s reply to the ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Callie Granade in a case focusing on Alabama’s Marriage Protection Act, which the federal judge struck down.

“I consider Rep. Todd a friend, and we have always enjoyed a good and cordial relationship, so I am sorry that she is upset about my remarks,” Hubbard recently wrote. “We do have a fundamental disagreement on allowing same-sex marriages in Alabama, and I will continue to voice my opinion on this important social issue, just as I expect she will continue to voice hers, but we can disagree without being disagreeable,” he added.

Todd isn’t showing any sign of slowing down. As Alabama’s only openly gay politician, she is getting louder about her beliefs and convictions. Certainly she’s not standing alone. Her comments almost broke the Internet with Kardashian-style. All of the gay blogs cheered her on.

Don’t hold back, girl!, said Instinct.

"It may be time for a good old fashioned outing," wrote Edge

Listen, folks. If she has to out a few hypocrites to prove her point, let her do it. As long as those allegations are true, she will have proved that point. It makes no sense for GOP’s religious core to cry foul about gays when some of their leaders are probably committing a world of infidelity, and may even be closeted. Republicans and opponents of same-sex marriage must evolve with the times - or they will continue to drag the reputation of Alabama through the mud.

So watch out. Don’t get in the way of Patricia Todd. She’s clearly bad-ass.

Which is why I decided to make a bad-ass meme about it:

Source: Gay Marriages May Begin This Monday in Alabama

With Alabama governor Robert Bentley and his cohorts (Luther Strange, Mike Hubbard) standing on the wrong side of history, it looks like the ruling from federal judge Judge Callie V.S. Granade on Friday’s historic case will impact thousands of same-sex couples living in Alabama beginning this Monday.

The Alabama Probate Judges Association said on Sunday it is possible some judges there may issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples when courthouses open Monday morning, despite their advice against it. It would be up to each probate judge to decide whether to grant licenses to same-sex couples from Monday.

There’s a bit of worry in the atmosphere, since the judgement was specific to the couple that sued. In the ruling for Cari D. Searcy and Kimberly McKeand - a couple who married in California and wanted their marriage to be recognized in the state of Alabama, for which they now live, their interpretation of the victory meant that it only applies to that particular case and not for others.

Opponents of marriage equality and same-sex marriage cited that, but are ignoring the verdict’s grand slam: That the Alabama Marriage Protection Act and the amendment that later enshrined it in the state constitution both were unconstitutional.

Jefferson County judge Sherri Coleman Friday (Judge of Probate, Place 2) remarked to questions surrounding the hotbed of controversy and the worries coming Monday morning by saying, “At this point, our analysis is the ban has been ruled unconstitutional. I don’t violate federal court rulings. You should be able to. Do remember a license is good for thirty days.”

Republicans and elected officials are asking for a stay on the decision, at least until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the matter later this year. 

“The people of Alabama voted in a constitutional amendment to define marriage between a man and a woman,” Jennifer Ardis, Gov. Bentley’s spokeswoman, wrote in a press release following the verdict. “The governor is disappointed with the ruling today, and we will review the decision to decide the next steps.”

Read our coverage from Friday’s ruling by clicking the following link:

UPDATE (1/25; 8:15 p.m.): On Sunday, a stay has been issued by Judge Granade and will be in effect for fourteen days. With the last-minute update  comes a bit of good news, some relief. The judge is rejecting any arguments coming from the Attorney General’s Office that the state would likely win on appeal. If the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Atlanta, fails to act in that time to extend or lift the stay, gay couples will be able to marry on February 9.

Read more on the announcement by clicking here.

Culture appears more monolithic than ever, with a few gigantic corporations—Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon—presiding over unprecedented monopolies. Internet discourse has become tighter, more coercive. Search engines guide you away from peculiar words. (“Did you mean … ?”) Headlines have an authoritarian bark (“This Map of Planes in the Air Right Now Will Blow Your Mind”). “Most Read” lists at the top of Web sites imply that you should read the same stories everyone else is reading. Technology conspires with populism to create an ideologically vacant dictatorship of likes.

The #JournoList

January 20, 2015

President Barack Obama will make what is likely to be his second-to-last State of the Union address — and his first to a Republican-controlled Congress — after a year fraught with racial tension over police treatment of young black men, the rising threat of ISIL extremists overseas and on the back of a dramatic reversal of U.S. policy in Cuba.

While the Obama administration and GOP leaders have said they want to find common ground and ways to compromise, Obama is likely to offer an array of policy proposals that are unlikely to advance in Congress in the final two years of his administration.

With the American job market surging to life, President Obama plans to use his State of the Union address to effectively declare victory over the economic hard times that dominated his first six years in office and advocate using the nation’s healthier finances to tackle long-deferred issues like education and income inequality.

President Barack Obama will use his State of the Union speech to propose hundreds of billions of dollars in tax increases on the wealthy, and to urge that the money be used to finance tax cuts for the poor and middle class, free college, and other benefits.

Freshman U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (D-IA) is the Republican Party’s pick to deliver its rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union address.

Republicans running Congress have promised to use every weapon in their arsenal to take down President Barack Obama’s health care law. But now some are questioning how the should attack it.

With legislatures convening across the country, lawmakers are moving quickly to respond to one of the biggest stories of the past year, the police killings of unarmed residents in Missouri, New York and elsewhere.

Low income students are now a majority of the schoolchildren attending the nation’s public schools, according to the latest data collected from the states by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Though gasoline prices continue to fall nation-wide, a fuels analyst said the trend may reverse as U.S. refineries start entering a maintenance phase. 

American support for a pair of diplomatic initiatives in Syria underscores the shifting views of how to end the civil war there and the West’s quiet retreat from its demand that the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad, step down immediately.

The militant group Islamic State released an online video purporting to show two Japanese captives and threatening to kill them unless it received $200 million in ransom.

Photo: Reporters sit in a balcony behind U.S. President Barack Obama as he delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on January 28, 2014 in Washington, DC.

The Desire 526G+ Dual SIM Is HTC’s Newest Smartphone For The Indian Market

HTC is doing their best to offers their smartphones in emerging markets in order to gain marketshare and raise their profits. We all know that this Taiwan-based company had issues turning profit in 2014 and they had to cut costs because of it. Anyhow, HTC is trying to leave its mark in India as well, the company has just launched yet another device as part of their Desire lineup, the Desire 526G+ Dual SIM. Quite a mouthful name, I know, either way, let’s see what this thing has to offer.

This handset sports a 4.7-inch 960 x 540 display along with 1GB of RAM and 8 or 16GB of internal storage (depending on the version you purchase), expandable via microSD card. This thing is powered by a 1.7GHz octa-core processor, the listing doesn’t say who manufactures this SoC, but I’m pretty sure this is a MediaTek unit. 8-megapixel camera is available at the back of this device and is flanked by an LED flash, while a 2-megapixel snapper is located on the front side of this handset Android 4.4 KitKat comes pre-installed on this device with HTC’s Sense UI on top of it, of course. 2,000mAh battery is also a part of this package and we’re talking about a dual-SIM (micro SIM), dual standby handset here, as its name says. This is a 3G handset, no 4G LTE connectivity is available here, and Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS are also a part of this picture. The handset measures 139.8 x 69.65 x 9.8mm and weighs 154 grams.

“Our new HTC Desire model is a power packed combination of innovative designing and comfortable handling and smooth processing. The HTC Desire 526G+ dual SIM is the best buy for tech lovers who look for innovation and technology that fits perfectly in their pocket. HTC wants to empower the masses and put a good phone in everyone’s hands, without compromising on features and specifications,” said Faisal Siddiqui, Vice President and Country Head of HTC India. Senior Vice President of Electronics & Home at Snapdeal, Tony Navin, added: “India is globally one of the most attractive smartphone markets and smartphones are one of the fastest growing segments for Snapdeal.com. The users are seeking devices that are feature rich at an affordable price and HTC Desire 526G+ is a good fit for Indian market. At Snapdeal.com, we offer the latest and most innovative products to our 40 million users and HTC Desire 526G+ series of mobiles are a valuable addition to our smartphone category.”

This handset comes in Glacier Blue and Lacquer Black color options and will cost you Rs. 10.400 if you choose to purchase the 8GB variant, and Rs. 11,400 should you opt for a 16GB model. The 8GB variant will be available exclusively from Snapdeal, and the 16GB model will be available through various retail stores across India. Both versions of this device will be available for purchase at the end of this month.

The post The Desire 526G+ Dual SIM Is HTC’s Newest Smartphone For The Indian Market appeared first on AndroidHeadlines.com |.

More gadget review in www.38today.com.

from http://www.mamaktalk.com/2015/01/the-desire-526g-dual-sim-is-htcs-newest.html

Russia Says Ukraine Must Stay Neutral
(Reuters) Ukraine must retain its neutrality to prevent further divisions in the country, Russian news agency Interfax on Wednesday quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying.

Greek PM Tsipras Says Has Mandate for Radical Change
(Reuters) Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told his ministers on Wednesday voters had given them a mandate for radical change that would restore national sovereignty but pledged to negotiate responsibly with international creditors.

Obama, Merkel Want Russia Held Accountable for Violence in Ukraine
(Reuters) U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed their concern about Russia’s role in rising violence in eastern Ukraine in a phone call late on Tuesday and agreed on the need for funds to stabilise the Ukrainian economy.

Mozambique Says Death Toll Rises After Heavy Flooding
(Reuters) More than 100 people have been killed and 150,000 displaced by floods in Mozambique, a senior government official said on Wednesday, as southern Africa counts the human and economic costs of this month’s torrential rains.

Doubts Arise Over Crucial Philippine Autonomy Law After Rebel Clash
(Reuters) Work to set up an autonomous Muslim region in the Philippines to end a 45-year insurgency has been suspended and may be abandoned altogether because of a clash in which more than 50 people were killed, legislators said on Wednesday.

Moscow Says North Korean Leader Kim Confirms Russia Visit
(Reuters) North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has confirmed he will attend celebrations in Russia in May marking the Soviet victory over Germany in World War Two, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said on Wednesday, citing a Kremlin spokesman.

Israeli Jets Strike Back After Syria’s Golan Attack: Israeli Army
(Reuters) Israeli airforce jets struck Syrian army artillery positions near the Israel-occupied Golan Heights on Wednesday, the military said, in retaliation for rockets launched in the area the previous day.

Indonesia’s Search for AirAsia Crash Victims Could End in Days
(Reuters) Indonesia’s search for dozens of victims still unaccounted for from last month’s crash of an AirAsia passenger jet could end within days if no more bodies are found, a senior government official said on Wednesday.

Australian Court Rules Detention of Sri Lankan Asylum Seekers on High Seas Lawful
(Reuters) Australia’s highest court ruled on Wednesday that the government’s detention of Tamil asylum seekers on the high seas outside its territorial waters was lawful, a win for the government’s controversial immigration policies.

Venezuela Confirms Defection of Former Security Agent to U.S.
(Reuters) Venezuelan officials confirmed on Tuesday the defection of a former bodyguard of Socialist Party heavyweight Diosdado Cabello but denied media reports his evidence to U.S. investigators implicated the powerful official in running a drug ring.

Mexico: Missing students’ parents reject official account
MEXICO CITY (AP)—Parents of 43 college students missing since last year angrily rejected the Mexican attorney general’s declaration that investigators are certain the youths were killed and incinerated after being seized by police in the southern state of Guerrero.

Libyan Islamic State group affiliate claims hotel attack
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP)—A Libyan affiliate of the extremist Islamic State group claimed responsibility Wednesday for an attack on a Tripoli luxury hotel that killed 10 people, including an American and four Europeans.

Israel fires into Lebanon after missile strikes vehicle
JERUSALEM (AP)—An anti-tank missile hit an Israeli military vehicle near the Israeli-Lebanese border Wednesday, the Israeli military said. Lebanese security officials said Israel later fired 25 artillery shells into Lebanon.

Episode 19: Back to Basics

After a few episodes of feeling like we weren’t following the original premise we set out for ourselves when we started, we go back to the fundamentals of why we decided to podcast in the first place - things that made us say “really, though?!” We start off with a quick recap of Rocky’s week and how it started off promising enough, just a few hours into that Monday, things took a turn for the crummy. 



ITS two new Sols seem to be perfect fits for Barako Bull.

Sol Mercado and namesake Sol Alabi played big games and, coupled with Blackwater showing up with an injured import, the Energy had little trouble in notching a runaway 92-70 win Wednesday at the start of their PBA Commossioner’s Cup campaign at the Astrodome.

Mercado, acquired from GlobalPort for Denok Miranda just before the mid-season conference started, scored 20 points, a far cry from the career-low 6.4 ppg average he posted after starting the season with San Miguel Beer.

For his part, Alabi proved to be for the dominant inside force the Energy needs as the 7-foot-1 Nigerian debuted with game-highs of 21 points, 22 rebounds and five blocked shots and fueled Barako Bull’s big endgame surge that enabled the team to fully put away the gutsy Blackwater side.

Chico Lanete and JC Intal also made major contributions, but it was Mercado also dishing out three assists while efficiently orchestrating Barako Bull’s plays that drew the most praise from Energy coach Coy Banal.

“Si Sol (Mercado) nag-deliver siya, kaya right now we’re not missing the services of Denok,” said Banal. “We got a gem as well in Sol Mercado.”

Banal also has good words for his import as well. “Si Alabi I can’t ask for more,” said the tactician. “He delivered and he was the ring protector we wanted. I also like his attitude, madaling bigyan ng instructions at sumusunod.”

It didn’t hurt Barako Bull any that Blackwater’s own 7-foot import, Chris Charles, suited up but did not see action as management opted to rest his strained left hamstring suffered during a tuneup game over the last weekend.

Bryan Faundo’s 16 points and eight rebounds led Blackwater, but no other Elite scored in double figures as they slid to a 12th straight loss since the Philippine Cup, alarmingly closer to the 0-14 record posted by Shopinas.com during the 2011-12 season-opening tourney.

Still, it took a big 30-point fourth quarter by Barako Bull while holding Blackwater to just 12 before the Energy could join opening day winners GlobalPort and Meralco, the latter an 85-74 victor over Barangay Ginebra late Tuesday.

Banal said holding Blackwater down was by design. “Ang goal namin this conference is to give our opponents 22 points at most per quarter,” he said. “I think we did better than that today.”

It was indeed an impressive job by the Energy on the defensive end as Blackwater failed to buy a single point since crawling to within 70-81, still 5:50 left.

Lanete added 19 points and Intal 13, and even the likes of RR Garcia and Nico Salva hit their stride in the closing minutes.

Forced to take outside shots due to Alabi’s imposing presence, the Elite went 0-for-13 from the floor and committed a turnover to cap their sorry opener.

That was practically the theme throughout the game, with Barako building up sizable leads and Blackwater gallantly fighting back.

In the stretch that mattered most, however, the Elite simply could not match the Energy, putting to naught the former’s valiant stand.

Still, just when everybody thought Barako Bull would run away with the win after erecting a 53-37 spread, Blackwater reprised what it did earlier by fighting back to within 58-62 going to the final canto.

Faundo was the main man for the Elite in that surge when he scored 10 of his points off four jumpers and a driving hook while rookie Brian Heruela’s five straight points were capped by a three-point play that made it 58-60.

Only Alabi’s side-stepping drive snapped Barako Bull out of its funk, a fact Mercado and Lanete stressed by combining for 10 straight points opening up the fourth period and making it a 72-58 game. Willie Wilson then made a surprise triple, extending the lead to 75-58.

Val Acuna, Bambam Gamalinda, Faundo and new acquisition Raphy Reyes pulled the team within 11, but that would prove to be Blackwater’s last gasp.

It was practically the same story in the first half.

With Alabi already having 10 points and 16 rebounds and Mercado and Intal combining for 19 points, Barako Bull went on a run late in the second quarter to take a 43-35 lead at the half.

Lanete, Alabi, Intal and Mercado conspired for a 15-1 charge that lifted the Energy from a 28-32 deficit and into a 43-33 advantage.

In that six-minute span, Blackwater shot 0-for-10 from the floor and committed a turnover, with its only point coming off a technical free throw by Reyes off an Intal infraction.

It took an 18-foot jumper from Eddie Laure before the Elite could snap out of the spell.

That first half windup was in stark contrast to the gallant stand Blackwater put up earlier, when it came back from an early nine-point deficit to even lead by 32-28 off a Heruela basket, 7:11 to go before the break.

Then Alabi returned and the Elite were forced to try and wage the fight from outside – with very little luck. (NC)

The scores:

BARAKO BULL 92 – Alabi 21, Mercado 20, Lanete 19, Intal 13, Wilson 5, Garcia 4, Pascual 4, Salva 3, Lastimosa 2, Hubalde 1, Pena 0, Marcelo 0, Salvador 0, Paredes 0, Sorongon 0.

BLACKWATER 70 – Faundo 16, Reyes 9, Heruela 9, Gamalinda 8, Ballesteros 7, Nuyles 6, Acuna 5, Erram 4, Laure 4, Bulawan 2, Charles 0, Timberlake 0, Celiz 0, Ciriacruz 0, Austria 0.

Quarterscores: 23-17, 43-35, 62-58, 92-70 http://j.mp/1K3b57D