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by Danny Cross 06.06.2012
 
 
zeng

Morning News and Stuff

A local music teacher says Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy offered him a job and then rescinded the offer after asking him if he is gay. Jonathan Zeng says he went through the school's extensive interview process, was offered a position and then called back in for a discussion about religious questions in his application, during which he was asked directly if he is gay. Zeng says he asked why such information was pertinent, and an administrator said it was school policy not to employ teachers who are gay because they work with children and something about the sanctity of marriage. When contacted by local media CHCA released the following statement:

CHCA keeps confidential all matters discussed within a candidate's interview. We're looking into this matter, although the initial information we have seen contains inaccuracies. We will not be discussing individual hiring decisions or interviews.
Cincinnati's deficit isn't going to get better any time soon, according to a new report.

The Reds drafted high school pitcher Nick Travieso in the first round of the MLB draft on Monday. Here's a rundown of their other picks Monday and Tuesday.

Senate Republicans yesterday blocked a Democratic bill calling for equal pay in the workplace, and the Dems are going to stick it in their faces during this year's campaigns. From the AP:

As expected, the pay equity bill failed along party lines, 52-47, short of the required 60-vote threshold. But for majority Democrats, passage wasn't the only point. The debate itself was aimed at putting Republicans on the defensive on yet another women's issue, this one overtly economic after a government report showing slower-than-expected job growth.

"It is incredibly disappointing that in this make-or-break moment for the middle class, Senate Republicans put partisan politics ahead of American women and their families," Obama said in a statement after the vote.

"Even Mitt Romney has refused to publicly oppose this legislation," added Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "He should show some leadership."

The Washington Post wonders whether Mitt Romney can use Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's template for surviving a recall election to try to win the presidency. It involves “big money, powerful organization and enormous enthusiasm among his base.” Exit polls in the state suggest Obama is ahead, however.

China wants foreign embassies to stop releasing reports and Tweeting about its poor air quality.

Gonorrhea growing resistant to antibiotics? Rut roh.

Dinosaurs apparently weighed less than scientists previously thought. Adjust paper-mache Brontosaurus as necessary.

Facebook is considering letting kids younger than 13 use the site.

The Boston Celtics took a 3-2 series lead over the Miami Heat on Tuesday and could send Bron Bron and Co. back home on Thursday.

 
 
by Danny Cross 03.15.2013
 
 
rob portman

Rob Portman Doesn’t Think Gayness Is Gross Anymore

Senator announces support for gay marriage two years after son comes out

Terrace Park isn’t the likeliest of neighborhoods for Cincinnatians to mingle with diverse groups of people, so it wouldn’t be that surprising if Sen. Rob Portman maybe didn’t have much experience interacting with gay people before his son came out two years ago.

But boy what a difference a gay son and two years of reflection make.

Portman had to prepare his own coming out speech yesterday, this one to his GOP senatorial brothers and sisters, none of which support same-sex marriage. Imagine how nervous he must have been, sleeves rolled up, flag pin hanging slightly askew as he spoke to reporters in response to the op-ed he published supporting gay marriage. If he stuttered at all it’s not because he wasn’t earnest — he just really loves his son.

Two years ago Portman’s son, Will, was a freshman at Yale when he came home and explained that being gay “was not a choice,” which seems to have resonated with Dad. Portman consulted with religious leaders and other men who have been anti-gay even though they have close family members who are homosexual, like former Vice President Dick Cheney, who probably said something like, “Dude, it doesn’t matter anymore now that Obama is talking about queers in the State of the Union and shit. Roll Tide.”

Portman explained his new found interest in respecting millions of fellow humans this way: "[I want] him to have the same opportunities that his brother and sister would have — to have a relationship like Jane and I have had for over 26 years.”

Portman says he would like to see congress overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, a redundant and discriminatory piece of legislation banning federal recognition of gay marriage, which he helped pass in 1996. But he still doesn’t think the federal government should tread on the states and make them recognize it if they don’t want to.

Meanwhile, in Washington Harbor, Md., Republicans at the Conservative Political Action Conference yesterday discussed their bigotry during a panel called "A Rainbow on the Right: Growing the Coalition." The featured speaker was Jimmy LaSalvia, whose Republican gay-rights organization GOProud wasn’t allowed to sponsor the conference.

While gay-rights leaders celebrate the support and the possibility of other powerful Republicans realizing that they know and care about someone who is different, the announcement brings attention to other conservatives trying to remove yuckiness from the party’s official stance on homosexuality and gay marriage.

NBC News today recapped a few other Republicans who have recently come out in support of gay-marriage:

Jon Huntsman, a GOP presidential candidate in 2012 who had endorsed civil unions, said this year that he supports marriage rights. Furthermore, he framed it in conservative terms. 

"There is nothing conservative about denying other Americans the ability to forge that same relationship with the person they love," he wrote. 

And Theodore Olson, a former solicitor general for President George W. Bush, has been one of the lead attorneys challenging California's Proposition 8, a ballot initiative barring same-sex marriage in that state. (Portman fretted in his op-ed that a court decision might hamper the political movement toward legalizing gay and lesbian weddings.) 

And Fred Malek, a Republican power-broker, told NBC News this week that conservatives shouldn't feel threatened by gays and lesbian couples who wish to marry.

"I've always felt that marriage is between a man and a woman, but other people don't agree with that," he said. "People should be able to live their lives the way they choose. And it's not going to threaten our overall value system or our country to allow gays to marry, if that's what they want to do."

Nearly a quarter of Republicans reportedly support same-sex rights, leaving the door open for plenty more GOP leaders to search for gay family members on Facebook who might offer insight inspirational enough to frame their own stories of new found compassion and respect for other people.

 
 
by 10.08.2008
Posted In: Social Justice at 03:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

JustNews

The Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center (www.cworkers.org) is putting out a newsletter with all kinds of peace and justice events in the Queen City. To sign up, send an e-mail to calendar@cworkers.org.

In the meantime, here’s a sample of what’s coming up this week:

Saturday, Oct.11:

Amnesty International - Group 86

Location: Sitwell’s Coffee House 324 Ludlow Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45220

Please confirm that this meeting is happening as scheduled by contacting Laura Osborn Coffey at 513-734-6043 or lozcoffey@cs.com

9:30 a.m.-12 p.m.: Quarterly Peace Brunch

Topic: Environmental Sustainability and Justice

Presenters: Dan Korman, Park and Vine; Jim Embry, Sustainable Communities Network Facilitator: Susan Dirr, from Miami University and Peaslee Center Children’s Garden Location: Peaslee Neighborhood Center, 215 E. 14th St., Cincinnati, Contact: saad.ghosn@uc.edu

10 a.m. Workers & Immigrant Rights Meeting

Open discussion among workers and their families about solutions to problems in their workplaces and communities.

Location: The Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center, 40 E McMicken St.

513-621-5991 or e-mail: cworkers@cinci.rr.com

Sunday, Oct. 12:

3-5 p.m.: Students Together Against Racism Town Hall Think Tank

Organize to undo racism and to build consciousness in our communities!

Location: Essex Place 7610 Reading Road

Contact Akosua Favors & Ben Sea via e-mail at star@nku.edu or revol-radio@hotmail.com

Monday, Oct. 13:

12 p.m.: City Council debate & vote on Environmental Justice Ordinance

Council members David Crowley, Roxanne Qualls, John Cranley, Cecil Thomas and Laketa Cole have cosponsored an ordinance for "smart and clean development." Speakers are invited to address the Health, Education and Environment Committee.

Location: Council Chambers at City Hall

Contact: David Crowley 513-352-2453

4:30-5:30 p.m.: Women in Black Vigils

Join us on the grassy island at the corner of Vine Street and Central Parkway for a vigil held every Monday protesting the Iraq war. Wear black or dark clothes. All are welcome!

Contact: For more information, call 513-579-8547

6:30-8:30 p.m.: Talk, Act, Listen, "Konnect"

A weekly program that aims to bring women of diverse backgrounds together to talk about the challenges and issues that are common to women everywhere regardless of race, socio-economic status and age.

Location: The Women's Connection's Learning Center, 4022 Glenway Ave.

Contact: Alisa Franks at 513-471-4673 ext 17 or e-mail her at afranks@thewomensconnection.org

Tuesday, Oct. 14:

6:30 a.m.: Vigil Outside Lucasville Prison for Richard Cooey

Carpool will leave from Peaslee to travel to the state prison in Lucasville for the execution of Richard Wade Cooey.

Prayer vigil will begin at 9 a.m. and last until the execution is over.  We will return to Peaslee around 1:30pm.

8:30 a.m.: Rally to Make CINTAS Safe This October

More than one and a half years since a Cintas Worker was killed on the job, the Cincinnati-based company still hasn't done enough to make its laundries safe. Join hundreds of injured Cintas workers, union members and community allies at the company's annual shareholders meeting.

Location: 6800 Cintas Blvd., Mason OH.

Contact: UNITEHERE: uniformjustice@unitehere.org or 800-872-8646

7 p.m.: Cincinnati Chapter of Ohioans to Stop Execution

Cincinnati Chapter of Ohioans to Stop Execution Meets at 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month.

Location: Peaslee Neighborhood Center, 215 E. 14th St.

Contact: 513-579-8547

— Margo Pierce

 
 
by 04.07.2009
Posted In: Social Justice, LGBT Issues, NAACP at 05:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Odd Musings About 'the Odd Couple'

Maybe Christopher Smitherman, the Cincinnati NAACP’s president, is cagier than most people think.

Read More

 
 
by Stephen Carter-Novotni 06.24.2009
Posted In: Social Justice, Media at 02:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Appalling News of the Day

The UK furniture store Habitat capitalized on the Iranian political crisis on their Web site using Twitter keywords to lure potential customers who, instead of shopping, were looking for news on more mundane matters — human rights violations, political unrest, that sort of junk.

Has it really come to this?

Read More

 
 
by Paul Smyth 06.15.2009
Posted In: Environment, Financial Crisis, Social Justice at 04:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Building a Framework for the Future

More than 200 people attended Imago’s Earth Spirit Rising conference at Xavier University this weekend, where they were challenged to rethink their actions and their effect on the planet.

Speaker Paula Gonzalez, a Dominican nun and futurist, cast the challenges ahead in stark terms: “We must realize the scale of our times, which is on the scale of transitions like going from hunter-gathering to agriculture, or industrialization. You must take the messages of this conference home in your heart, in your soul, in your gut, and get off your butt and act.”

Read More

 
 
by Danny Cross 07.06.2012
 
 
steve_chabot,_official_109th_congress_photo.nar

Morning News and Stuff

Steve Chabot’s self-righteous attempt to block federal streetcar funding found new criticism yesterday, as The Enquirer spoke to several credible sources who say his amendment is broad enough to affect federal funding for transportation projects beyond the streetcar, including bus lanes or ferries.

Mayor Mark Mallory and 3CDC representatives were scheduled to kick off a grand opening celebration of Washington Park at 10 a.m. this morning. The $48 million renovation includes an underground parking garage, concession building, dog park and concert space. A rally against the renovation and displacement of residents was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. CityBeat’s Mike Breen blogged away yesterday about the park’s scheduled weekly music series. 

It’s going to be another sucky hot weekend in Cincinnati.

U.S. hiring is being weak again.

Walgreens is buying mass drug store chains, preparing to cash in on that ObamaCare money. 

Brad Pitt’s mom wrote a pro-Mitt Romney, anti-abortion and anti-same-sex marriage letter to the editor of a Missouri newspaper. Brad, for the record, is pro-gay marriage and donated to the 2008 anti-Proposition 8 campaign in California. 

I have given much thought to Richard Stoecker’s letter (“Vote for Mormon against beliefs,” June 15). I am also a Christian and differ with the Mormon religion.

But I think any Christian should spend much time in prayer before refusing to vote for a family man with high morals, business experience, who is against abortion, and shares Christian conviction concerning homosexuality just because he is a Mormon.

Any Christian who does not vote or writes in a name is casting a vote for Romney’s opponent, Barack Hussein Obama — a man who sat in Jeremiah Wright’s church for years, did not hold a public ceremony to mark the National Day of Prayer, and is a liberal who supports the killing of unborn babies and same-sex marriage.

I hope all Christians give their vote prayerful consideration because voting is a sacred privilege and a serious responsibility.

First they were telling us that the Higgs boson is the building block of the universe. How Professor Peter Higgs says he has no idea what the discovery will mean in practical terms. Come on, Higgs!

Apparently 250,000 people are going to wake up without the Internet on Monday. 

Scientists believe they’ve created the most realistic robot legs ever. 

 
 
by Danny Cross 09.20.2011
 
 
200px-jean_schmidt,_official_portrait,_111th_congress

Morning News and Stuff

Do you enjoy looking at slideshows of rich people? Here's a good one, themed “Most Corrupt Members of Congress.” Guess which local Eastside representative made the list … Here's a hint: Jean Schmidt.

Read More

 
 
by 02.17.2009
 
 

Religion and Politics

Referred to as the "Stir the Pot" series, a film/discussion series at Grace Episcopal Church in College Hill (5501 Hamilton Ave. 45224) will show The Freedom Files on Feb. 22 at 4:30 p.m.
According to the ACLU, producers of the video series, the Freedom Files focuses on issues on some of the most volatile issues of our day including surveillance, sex education, freedom from abuse of power, school to prison pipeline and lesbian/gay families.

Read More

 
 
by 02.18.2009
Posted In: Social Justice, Public Policy, News at 12:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Darfur and the Southern Sudan

"Darfur and the Southern Sudan are among the most devastated areas on the planet," according to a press release from Xavier University. "Join us for a conversation with Simon Deng, a former Sudanese slave, and Omer Ismail, a native of Darfur, to discuss what we can and should be doing to address this inhuman situation."

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