Facebook, Oh Facebook X.

Dan Johnson (WDRB).

Dan Johnson (WDRB).

The claims of “I’m not a racist, I’m not!” are emanating from yet another white politician, who seems to think that monkey jokes about the President and the First Lady are just knee smackin’ hilarious. These are being defended as “scrutiny”. There’s a near fatal eyeroll. I think this asspimple should be scrutinized right out of office and into obscurity.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A candidate for Kentucky’s state House is making no apologies for shocking images found on his Facebook page.

Dan Johnson is a Republican challenging an incumbent Democrat in the 49th district, which includes much of Bullitt County.

He is also bishop of the Heart of Fire Church in southeast Louisville.

“I love America. I love people. I believe red, yellow, black and white, all are precious in God’s sight. I’m not a racist,” Johnson told WDRB News.

His church sign reads, “Jesus and this church are not politically correct.”

As WDRB found, neither is Johnson’s Facebook page.

“Well, I’d like to know first off, what images that are being considered offensive,” Johnson said.

WDRB’s Lawrence Smith showed him printouts of images he’s either posted or shared, such as a photo of a chimpanzee, labeled as a baby picture of President Barack Obama.

Another image had ape-like features photo-shopped onto pictures of the Obama family.

“It wasn’t meant to be racist. I can tell you that. My history’s good there. I can see how people would be offended in that. I wasn’t trying to offend anybody, but, I think Facebook’s entertaining,” Johnson said.

When pressed, Johnson would not acknowledge that the images crossed the line. He calls it satire.

“I looked this up. There has been no president that hasn’t had that scrutiny. Not one. I think it would be racist not to do the same for President Obama as we’ve done for every other president.”

Johnson’s Facebook page also contains numerous images of the confederate flag.

“That flag was for state rights. The reason it is under attack now is we’re being attacked as state rights and constitutionalists. We are being attacked,” Johnson said.

There are also a number of anti-Islam posts, such as one calling for states to ban Islam.

“My thing for Islam, if you want to be in America, be an American. The thing about all religions in America, they don’t oppose America or want to destroy America, or some way or another get us to take on another law, like Sharia law. I hate that,” he said.

Johnson says if the Facebook images cost him votes in November, so be it. He is not apologetic.

“I want to be myself. I would rather be myself than be elected as state representative of the 49th.

Let’s examine this remarkable case of non-racism:

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Looks like the poisonous output of a repellent bigot to me.

Via WDRB.

A Black Moon Comin’, It’s the End of the World. Again.

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On Sept. 30, Friday night, the sky will turn dark, setting the scene for a black moon phenomenon for those in the Western Hemisphere. It will be a second new moon experience for the month of September.

Precisely, the black moon will happen at 8:11 p.m. Eastern Time with the Pacific Time equivalent being 5:11 p.m. The Western Hemisphere covers the Americas, and certain parts of Africa and Europe.

Unlike other new moons, black moons will be invisible. As the moon becomes super dark there is no better time for stargazing on that eventful Friday night of Sept. 30.

For the counterparts in the Eastern Hemisphere, a similar event might be happening in October and will clash with the Halloween season.

For the Western Hemisphere, the black moon will be a double treat as it follows September’s first new moon with a ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse delivered to them. That was unique as the first new moon passed directly between Earth and the Sun.

In simple terms, black moon is explained off as a second new moon that comes in a calendar month. Technically, it happens when the illuminated side of the moon comes under the shadow of the Earth, making it hard to see.

It is said that black moon occurs once in every 19 years, when February skips a full moon. A second full moon in a single calendar month is sometimes called a blue moon.

A black moon is at best the flip side of a blue moon. For those in the Western Hemisphere, Friday night will be like shutting out the moon as it goes off in the night sky.

Astronomers also noted that it was in March 2014 that two new moons fell in the same month.

Meanwhile, the news of upcoming black moon has evoked fears of ill omen and some have taken the matter to social media laced with grim prophecies. The dark moon, coming after a “ring of fire” was witnessed on Sept. 1, has set many tongues wagging over God’s wrath.

They have Bible’s numerous references to bank upon. Luke 21:25-26 says “there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars” that will set “men’s hearts failing them for fear.”
A Facebook post even said these are signs of Jesus coming soon.

“We are approaching the end of our world and the end of life on Earth for all human beings,” the FB enthusiast said.

The usual contingent of religious conspiracy theorists are happily wallowing in visions of a wrathful god, and terrible things happening to all us non-believers. Unfortunately for them, that won’t happen, but if you love star watching, or just want to gaze at the awesome of the universe, you won’t find a better night.

Via Tech Times.

Standing Rock, Back at Camp: The Good.

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Where to start? First, find your note cup. The line of flags is now marching down 24 into Standing Rock proper, there are so many. It’s not possible to get them all in one shot. As we were on the way home on Wednesday, we passed a long convoy of cars heading to camp, with more flags piled into a couple of the cars, so there will be more when we get back next week. It was quiet when we arrived on Wednesday morning with a load of wood. We pulled around the back of the kitchen, and unloaded all the wood, then wandered into the communal area. Solar panels have been donated, and while one was in the communal area, most were up by the media tent on Facebook hill. We arrived too late to be part of the spell out – people went up on Facebook hill and laid down to spell out Water is Life and No DAPL for one of the drones, but a helicopter also flew over. We were in time to hear the roaring cheer as people got back up.

There’s heavy emphasis on recycling and trash pick up, and there are more washable plates and utensils in camp now. On a walk, we noted, with fascination, a tipi frame made with unusual material (10th photo), and realized what it was when we passed one of the tips (11th photo) – a broken tent canopy frame. That’s the same kind that collapsed and slammed into me. Perhaps I brokt it, being so hard-headed. The endless creativity of people deeply delights me. We have the potential to be such grand animals.

Okay, back to the beginning. On our way to camp (6 to 21 to 24), we noticed an unusual amount of cops. Generally speaking, cops aren’t terribly visible in Ndakota. They were certainly visible that morning. We sighed as we turned onto 24, at the realization that the cop in the gas station was most likely recording license plates. No one likes that sort of thing, we certainly don’t, but you can’t let yourself be intimidated. Right after passing the turn off for Sacred Stone Camp, we were very surprised to see a very large, very new looking mobile command center hulking behind some silos, along with assorted cop vehicles. We continued on into camp.

Right now, people are focused on preparing for winter. There were meetings set up about getting compost toilets going, and building earth lodges. There’s also some uncertainty right now, regarding the Oceti Sakowin camp (No DAPL), as the ACoE are being petty asses and making bullying noises about everyone having to get off “their” land, land to which they do not own the mineral rights. So, the whole camp may need to be moved a couple of miles up on the hill, which is Standing Rock Rez proper. We didn’t hear too much about that during our day there. Things may well have really changed by the time we get back on the 4th or so. Damn, I think I have to get to the pain clinic then. I need to keep track of appointments.

Two massive trucks filled with wood were brought in by the Tsalagi people out of Oklahoma, to cheers and applause. We had the privilege of meeting Tom Jefferson, tireless in his documentary work. While many people might not know his name, a whole lot of people will remember this particular video of Tom’s: One Of The Many Face of Racism in America, which went wildly viral. Tom is also involved with Tour de Frack.

We were fortunate to listen to a Havasupai elder speak, who was there with his 90+ year old grandfather. They were leaving the next day, so we felt particularly blessed to have been there to hear and listen. I was very disappointed to have to turn away from the opportunity to help tan two whole buffalo hides, but it required a 4 day commitment. It’s upsetting to be there, and not be able to stay.

There was a call to go up to the “front lines” and people needed rides. I considered calling Rick out of the kitchen, where he was happily slaughtering squash, but I had a very bad feeling about it, so stayed quiet. That bad feeling translated to most everyone being arrested. Phyllis Young had quite a lot to say about that, but that’s for tomorrow’s post, which will be Part the Bad.

Photos © C. Ford, all rights reserved.

Opus Anglicanum.

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Opus Anglicanum means English work, and this embroidery was sought after, for good reason. Maureen sent me a brief article about a recent show at the V&A in London. I dare say there aren’t many textile artists and embroiderers who aren’t familiar with medieval Opus Anglicanum work. It’s quite clear why it was so sought after, and much of the work survives in dazzling glory. I know someone who does this type of work exclusively, and the name of their blog is opusanglicanum. Now, I have no doubt, that to many people, this would be a dry, dusty subject. That’s fine, no one is obligated to ooh and aah over everything.

English work was highly sought after by the royalty, as it were, of religions. Much of the work that survives today is religious garments for high ups in a church, these certainly weren’t garments for your bog standard monk or priest. The Toledo Cope is just one example of not just stunning hand work, but the wide and rich array of story telling done one a single ceremonial cloak:

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I could go on about this, it’s an amazing part of history, but I’ll let everyone choose their reading and oohing and aahing. Oh, I do want to mention they have a special event today I’d love to go to, about the Game of Thrones Hardhome Embroidery. They also have curator talks, workshops, and symposia as well as the exhibition. I could stay lost in there for weeks, I suspect. http://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/opus-anglicanum-masterpieces-of-english-medieval-embroidery

All that excitement, all that vibrant history, all that amazing art work, and yet, one reviewer found it all rather terrible, because the emphasis wasn’t on Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Seems you can’t appreciate medieval art work of any kind unless you’re under the thrall of religion, which makes it all blossom forth, because really, the art is only so so without the added power of god. Pretty sure I don’t need to detail my opinion about that. Mr. Jones also seems to be of the rather odd opinion that it’s obvious the god stuff is so much better, because “mysteriously”, it’s the religious garments which survived the best, whereas few secular pieces survived well. *Coughs* Well, that would be because ceremonial garments weren’t worn all that often, and they were scrupulously taken care of, and stored very carefully in between wearings. After a religious person, such as a bishop, died, those garments were usually whisked off to a museum or other careful storage. There’s no goddish mystery there. The equally stunning and richly embroidered work done for kings and their courts, well, regardless of how splendid, they were every day clothes for those people. Naturally, they were going to see more wear, especially if people were in the habit of dashing off to war in said clothes. I also imagine there were more opportunities for theft in the vastness of royal courts.

Ah well, each to their own. Mr. Jones can wax on about god, while I’ll continue to be absolutely fascinated by the art work produced by those medieval hands.

Spurs Jesus for President.

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Instagram will soon be blessed with San Antonio’s latest piece of photo opportunity art, a mural of — and by — Spurs Jesus, on the exterior wall of Tito’s Mexican Restaurant.

The holiest Silver and Black superfan, who has a local discipleship of his own, is the subject and co-artist of the “Spurs Jesus for President” mural, at 955 Alamo St.

Spurs Jesus told mySA.com he and local artist, Carlos Cantu, finished the mural, designed by Ray Scarborough, late Tuesday night.

Like the “I love tacos so much” wall, by Luis Munoz, there is a higher purpose for the Spurs Jesus piece.

He told mySA.com the installation is sponsored by the St. Anthony Hotel and Alamo Brewery. The two businesses will donate $1 for each photo taken of the wall and posted to social media with the hashtag “#SpursJesus4President.” The challenge lasts until Election Day, Nov. 8, and will benefit The Paseo del Rio Association, dedicated to preserving and protecting the San Antonio River Walk.

The mural is also part of Spurs Jesus movement to “keep San Antonio great” and “puro.”

“I’m excited to bring another fun piece of art to San Antonio,” Spurs Jesus said, adding he hopes the mural becomes a “fun way to lighten up” the U.S. Presidential race.

Sharing a mural photo is also good for your appetite. Spurs Jesus said Tito’s will give a 10 percent discount to customers who show proof of their social media posts.

Surely, a Spur Jesus presidency would have room for taco trucks on every corner.

Via My San Antonio. That’s a Jesus I could get behind, and if I was in the area, I’d be taking advantage of that discount, too.

Arizona Cops: No Native Voices Allowed.

Protectors of the sacred Moadag Do’ag Mountain - Photo Amanda Blackhorse.

Protectors of the sacred Moadag Do’ag Mountain – Photo Amanda Blackhorse.

I find myself constantly running headfirst into the conclusion that most white people have zero understanding of the concept of respect, unless they mean what they feel is owed to themselves. This has become a serious problem at the camp, but I’m not quite up to going in to that one yet, I’m still trying to tamp my anger down. Heading up the worst of the worst when it comes to arrogant white people who think they owe no one or no thing any respect, it’s our favourite: cops. The Tonoho O’odham, Ahwatukee, and Gila River communities have been fighting to protect Moadag Do’ag (South Mountain) in Phoenix, Arizona. This is an age old story. Indians fight to protect what is important to them, government rolls over them, most people are ignorant of the ongoing fights of indigenous people everywhere, and don’t much care, white people either sneer or try to take over and play saviour, and cops act well outside their authority in putting Indigenous people down. Once again, young people are active in trying to preserve their culture, and to protect their lands, and the lesson they learned? No native voices, please.

Calling for the end to the pre-construction of a six-lane highway that will parallel and cut through the southwestern part of a sacred mountain, the Ahwatukee and the Gila River Indian community hopes to deliver a message to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) that the fight to protect Moadag Do’ag (South Mountain) in Phoenix, Arizona is far from over.

However, before they could share their views with the agencies involved, local authorities told community members — which included the Protecting Arizona Resources and Children organization, approximately 20 O’odham runners from the Gila River Indian Community and others — that their sacred prayer items would not be allowed into the ADOT community meeting.

Prior to the meeting, the community, which is also concerned that the highway is set to parallel the community of Ahwatukee and the Gila River Indian Community reservation boundaries, hosted a 10-mile prayer run from an encampment at the sacred mountain Moadag Thadiwa to Desert Vista High School in Ahwatukee, Arizona.

The public meeting, sponsored by ADOT and Connect 202, was a preliminary design meeting to gather feedback and the opinions of community members.

The peaceful group arrived for the meeting Tuesday evening, but were denied entrance to the facility by police. At first, the police stated the prayer staff carried by the O’odham runners was not allowed in the meeting because it could be considered a weapon. But when members of the group volunteered to leave their staff and prayer sticks outside, the police allegedly changed their rules.

Another runner who was holding a single eagle feather was then told the group was not allowed to attend the public meeting because Desert Vista High School doesn’t allow religious items onto their campus.

The group attempted to explain the items were for prayer but the police officers did not allow passage.

One member of the group went into the ADOT planning meeting without a prayer staff and announced the purpose of the prayer run and the need to protect Moadag. The police immediately escorted the speaker and others out of the building.

Outside, a runner sang the traditional O’odham song of Moadag and then it rained. The police then announced the group had to leave school property.

Amanda Blackhorse at ICTMN has the full story.

To read more about the fight to save Moadag and the current encampment at Moadag visit their Facebook page.

Cool Stuff Friday.

Riders in traditional dress perform stunts on horseback at the the second World Nomad Games © Viktor Drachev/TASS

Riders in traditional dress perform stunts on horseback at the the second World Nomad Games
© Viktor Drachev/TASS

World Nomad Games are an international sport competition dedicated to ethnic sports practiced in Central Asia. The first two World Nomad Games were held in Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan. This years the games are underway from 3 to 8 September. Fifty three countries are participating in the event. Sports include eagle hunting, bone throwing and kok-boru, a Central Asian form of polo in which two teams battle for control of a decapitated goat carcass. The highlights of the unusual competitions on the shores of Lake Issyk Kul – in this gallery by TASS.

Click on over to see the slideshow.

Wonder Woman Confirmed Bisexual.

Greg Rucka said Wonder Woman’s queer identity was important to the narrative. Photograph: Frank Cho/DC Comics.

Greg Rucka said Wonder Woman’s queer identity was important to the narrative. Photograph: Frank Cho/DC Comics.

Wonder Woman is queer, her writer has confirmed: “I don’t know how much clearer I can make it”.

Greg Rucka, who worked on Wonder Woman for DC Comics throughout the 2000s, returned to DC Comics this year for the new Rebirth series commemorating her 75th year in print.

He told the comic news site Comicosity the character had “obviously” been in love and relationships with other women, as has long been speculated by fans.

Wonder Woman is known as the warrior princess Diana in her homeland of Themyscira, an island populated only by Amazonian women.

The confirmation was met with celebration on social media.

That said, Rucka then goes on, practically choking in his need to say this doesn’t mean there should be any sort of queer storylines, no. I suppose acknowledgement is a good thing, but representation sure would be nice. Really nice.

Full story at The Guardian.

BE WHITE.

Alt right fliers were found littered around the University of Michigan campus. The university responded swiftly and well, and the fliers have been removed, but this is yet another sign of the supremacist cancer eating away at all decency here in uStates. Deplorable is too light weight of a description. The outright lies, old and new, are disgusting, repellent, and appalling. People who believe such shit or are willing to believe such shit are barren, empty beings, devoid of any good human characteristic.

Several racially charged fliers were found in buildings in the heart of the University of Michigan’s campus in Ann Arbor on Monday, causing outrage among students after images were shared on social media.

One reads, “Euro-Americans! STOP

— Apologizing

— Living in fear

— Denying your heritage

. . . BE WHITE.”

“Denying your heritage.” Right. I find this as profoundly stupid as people who insist on referring to all Indigenous cultures and traditions as “Native American”. There’s no such thing, any more than there is something known as “White heritage”. That sort of lumping is moronic and meaningless. If you’re a white person, and you want to embrace your particular cultural heritage, customs, traditions, and language, I’m all for it! I don’t know anyone who is against that, or why they would be. When you want to lump all white Americans into one bucket, that’s where it all goes wrong. And colonial whiteness is not a thing to be celebrated, and colonial whiteness wasn’t just the genocidal madness against Indigenous people and the enslavement of Black people – it was a wealth of bigotry, hatred and mistreatment of many other white cultures, such as Irish people, and Jewish people. The list goes on. There’s nothing prideful in that.

Another lengthy flier advised white women not to date black men, with lines such as, “Your kids probably wouldn’t be smart.”

Michigan was one of many campuses to start the school year with images and messages that offended many, at a time when racial tensions are high across the country with protests over race and police violence. At the University of North Dakota, four women apparently posted a photo of themselves in blackface with the caption, “Black Lives Matter.” At Eastern Michigan University last week, a professor found the wall of a building on campus spray-painted with “KKK” and a racial slur. And a racial slur and image at Kansas State University earlier this month went viral.

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“White people exist. White people have the right to exist. White people have the right to exist as white people,” the flier added.

Has anyone been going around advocating that white people don’t have the right to exist? Has anyone been demanding that white people cease existing as white people? This isn’t just disgusting, it’s remarkably stupid, too. Quite honestly, the very last thing white people need is an exhortation to ‘be white’. Talk about being the worst person you can be.

Full story at The Washington Post, but whatever you do, seriously, don’t look at, read, or even allow the comments to load. BuzzFeed has more visuals.

Kim & Kim: Interview with Magdalene Visaggio.

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Science fiction stories are nothing new. It’s a pretty sure thing modern geeks have traveled to and from the stars many times within the pages of a comic book, novel, or in their favorite TV show or movie. At this point, space is no longer the final frontier; it’s as familiar to comic books readers as a superhero’s cape and tights.

So it’s truly rare and exciting to discover a story that can add a new element to the sci-fi genre. Thankfully, four-issue limited series Kim & Kim is just such a story. Published by Black Mask Studios, written and created by our trans writer Magdalene Visaggio, with art by the straight/queer team Eva Cabrera and Claudia Aquirre, Kim & Kim mixes space-faring action, with salty language, humor, and a female buddy adventure with a trans lead character.

In short, this outer space comic book series with a decidedly queer- and female-centric tale is what our modern culture needs. The Advocate was happy to chat with writer/creator Magdalene Visaggio to discuss Kim & Kim, the importance of featuring an authentic trans character, her upcoming work, and what to look forward two in the final two issues of the series.

The Advocate has an in-depth interview with Magdalene Visaggio, good reading, and if you’re new to Kim & Kim, now’s a good time to catch up!

Facebook, Oh Facebook IX.

Charles Wasko (Classmates.com)

Charles Wasko (Classmates.com)

Yet another bigoted, white politician just couldn’t manage to keep all that nasty poison off their facebook. This time, bigotry presents one Charles Wasko, the mayor of West York, Pennsylvania, who likes making monkey jokes about the President and First Lady, and thinks it’s very funny to make jokes about lynching the President. Golly, I find myself with no desire to laugh at all.

Several West York borough council members have called on Mayor Charles Wasko to step down in light of racist posts he has made on Facebook.

Wasko, who was elected mayor in 2013, has posted several pictures on Facebook this year that council members took issue with: Two compared President Barack Obama and his family to monkeys, and one suggested Obama should be hanged with a noose. Another post featured a fictional black person saying that socialism is “when the white folks work every day so we can get all our governmental entitlement stuff for free.”

The four council members reachable by phone on Wednesday — two Democrats and two Republicans —  out of the seven members of the council, said they want Wasko out as mayor.

Wasko didn’t respond to multiple messages seeking comment on Wednesday.

Council president Shawn Mauck said this was the first he’d heard about issues regarding the mayor’s posts. He was shocked when he pulled up the mayor’s publicly visible profile and read them.

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One of Wasko’s posts from June features a picture of a wheelbarrow full of apes with the words “Aww … moving day at the Whitehouse has finally arrived” and “Kenya or bust.” Another, from February, is a photo of a monkey gritting its teeth, to which Wasko added the comment, “Most think it is Obama’s picture……sorry its Moochelles baby photo,” presumably referring to Michelle Obama.

 

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Mauck and councilman Brian Wilson  raised a particular issue: the fact that Wasko has some oversight of the day-to-day operations of the West York Borough Police Department.

“With those types of thoughts in your mind, how can you oversee the police department?” said Wilson, who also called on the mayor to resign. “We can’t have anybody being racist or bigoted … especially an elected official.”

Matthew Millsaps, the acting chief of the department, said Wasko does, by law, have some role in the department’s operations, though Wasko’s interactions with Millsaps have been limited, the chief said. The council appointed Millsaps acting chief after Justin Seibel, who had been chief, was suspended earlier this month.

“I’ve viewed these images and am disturbed,” Millsaps said in a statement he read over the phone Wednesday night.

He said two of the borough’s eight officers are minorities — a Hispanic man and a black woman — so the percentage of people of color in the department is about the same as for the borough as a whole.

“This in no way reflects the ideology or beliefs of this department,” he said,

“Of particular concern are any images with undertones of violence — lynching or that are threatening in nature,” he said.

When asked if the picture of Eastwood and the noose was one such image, he said: “I could understand how it could be taken that way.”

How it could be taken that way? FFS, in what other way could it possibly be taken? West York, you have a serious problem.

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Wasko also has made headlines for physical confrontations with council members.

Former council member Tim Berkheimer said that in November 2013, Wasko grabbed his arm and tried to choke him. Wasko claimed the two men came together when they tried to walk up the stairs to the borough building at the same time, but said he indeed pushed the former councilman.

More recently, this past April, Seibel, the now-suspended West York Police chief, had to physically separate Wasko from Nick Laughman, who then was vice president of the council.

Gosh, what a charming guy.

Full story at York Dispatch.