Saturday, December 20, 2014

Coming to TLC: "My Husband's Not Gay"

The Wrap shared news yesterday about an upcoming new special on TLC: "My Husband's Not Gay." Basically, a bunch of Mormons with "same-sex attractions" (I hate that term) have married women and want to tell the world that they aren't gay -- despite their same-sex attractions:
TLC will air a special in January called “My Husband’s Not Gay” that follows four men living in Salt Lake City, Utah, who don’t identify themselves as homosexual despite having an attraction to men.

The show focuses on three married couples: Jeff and Tanya, Pret and Megan, and Curtis and Tera. Joining the cast is 35-year-old Tom, the bachelor of the group who enjoys fishing and baseball and served as a missionary in Long Beach.

All cast members are devout Mormons belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The special will follow the cast as they navigate life while explaining to outsiders their unique marriages.

“I get a little defensive when somebody calls my husband gay,” one wife says in the debut trailer.
As to the last paragraph, can I suggest that you not share your husband's same-sex attraction with the world if you don't want to field the question about whether or not he's gay?

Check out a promo piece for the program here:

The show premiers at 9:00 PM  (CST) on Sunday, 01/11/15, on TLC.

For the record, my own husband also isn't gay despite his own same-sex attractions. He's bisexual. Just sayin'...

Friday, December 19, 2014

Iowa City City Council Approves $20,000 for Temporary Homeless Shelter // Local Businesses Petition Council to Reject Temporary Homeless Shelter

Here's the good news: The Iowa City City Council approved $20,000 to pay for a temporary homeless shelter at the old Aldi's building on Gilbert Street in Iowa City. This shelter would be staffed by two people, would provide shelter for 20-25 people, and would be in operation in January and February 2015. This would alleviate some of the overcrowding at the Shelter House and could be used as a "wet shelter" (i.e., be available for individuals who'd been drinking). Those individuals are turned away from the Shelter House.

And then there's the bad news: A group of business owners that operate near the old Aldi's building have begun fighting back against the temporary shelter. According to KCJJ, they are concerned about increased criminal activity. They also appear concerned that this temporary shelter will become a permanent homeless shelter.

A petition has been signed by 37 representatives of nearby businesses. They want the Iowa City City Council "to refrain from funding, participating in and/or providing any financial or other support for the creation and/or operation of any homeless shelter at any location other than the location now operated by Shelter House."

Iowa City Man, Whose Cat Was Allegedly Tortured by Roommate, Now Charged with 18 Counts of Sexual Abuse

A local man was arrested two months ago and charged with torturing his roommate's 8-week-old kitten for at least three hours non-stop. This abuse was reportedly recorded by a video camera on the roommate's laptop.

Here is where everything gets complicated. Its seems that the Iowa City Police Department found additional videos on Nathan Schloss' laptop. Those videos led to his arrest earlier today. According to the Gazette and the Iowa City Police Department, Nathan Schloss faces 18 counts of third-degree sexual abuse for allegedly committing sexual acts with "an 'incapacitated' woman and recording those acts without her knowledge:"
Police said that while all 18 charges involve one victim, there are multiple victims involved and more charges are to come. Police have not given a definitive number of victims.
“We have identified and spoken to several of the victims involved in this manner and continue to identify others,” (Sgt. Scott) Gaarde said...

According to criminal complaints, the earliest incident occurred on May 13, 2012 and continued until September 8, 2013. The criminal complaints are sparse in details, but share in common traits. 

Police said that in each case, the victim was “incapacitated” and had no idea she was being recorded. 

Schloss is depicted in the videos touching and, in multiple cases, penetrating his victim or rubbing himself on her, according to the criminal complaints.

It appears that in at least one case, police had to inform the alleged victim that she was sexually assaulted.

“The victim has never seen this video and was unaware this ever happened,” one complaint reads.
Gaarde said he could not comment on how the women were incapacitated or what would account for their lack of memory of the events...

In one case, police said video shows the alleged victim waking up in the middle of the abuse and repeatedly telling Schloss to get off her.
According to the Gazette, Schloss told the police that the woman in the video was aware of both the sexual activity and that she was being recorded.

Schloss faces up to ten years in prison for each of those 18 counts of third-degree sexual abuse.

It goes without saying that he has been accused and not convicted of these charges.

Methodist Church that Forced Out Gay Choir Director to Close Following 80% Membership Decline

Nearly one year ago, I wrote about First United Methodist Church in Alexandria, IN. It seems that the church's interim minister had a problem with the church's openly gay choir director. He set up a situation so that the choir director quit his job. He then fired one of the long-time lay leaders over this personnel matter and refused to hire back the choir director. As a result of this situation, 80% of the membership left this church. A commenter in this post noted that average worship attendance had been around 75 people prior to the firing.

That membership decline apparently never turned around. First United Methodist Church will close on December 31, 2014. It's final worship service will be held on December 28th.

Rev. David Mantor denies that the closing has anything to do with Adam Fraley's employment termination:
David Mantor, pastor of the church, said the decision to close the church resulted from falling attendance, membership and financing problems. Mantor said statistics he's seen from United Methodist Church headquarters show a "downward spiral" of membership and donations across the whole UM church for the past 30 years.

"This is a problem that's going on everywhere," Mantor said. "And that's why we're closing."
It's true that the church suffered a "downward spiral" of membership and donations, but this was a fairly significant drop within the past year. I think he's spinning the statistics a bit to make himself feel less responsible about this church closing. IMHO, as always

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Wrong Season!

City Councilor Bud Williams
A crowd gathered on Court Square this past Tuesday night in Springfield, MA, to participate in the annual city menorah lighting ceremony. The ceremony was attended by several Jewish leaders and residents, as well as various local politicians. All of the speakers reflected on the Hanukkah, as well as the history of the Jewish faith within Springfield.

And then Springfield City Councilor Bud Williams stepped up to the microphone and offered some wisdom of his own:
"Jesus is the reason for the season," Williams said during remarks at the ceremony that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.
Which kind of makes sense, since Jesus was a Jew. But he wasn't the reason for this season.

Councilor Williams later offered an explanation for his remarks:
"I thought it added something to the service, it didn't take away," Williams said Tuesday night.

The city councilor said he referenced Jesus Christ, whose birth is celebrated every Dec. 25 by Christians worldwide but not by Jews, after participants in the ceremony mentioned "the bright light" of 2,000 years ago – an allusion to Christ, according to Williams.

"They said it," Williams said.

The councilor said his remark wasn't meant as an expression of religious superiority or "dominance," but rather as a simple reminder about the "reason for the season."

"Jesus was Jewish," Williams said. "To me, Jesus is the messiah ... I thought I was being very positive."
Hanukkah celebrates the victory of the Maccabees over the mighty Greek occupiers within the Holy Land. It also celebrates the time when a menorah within the Temple was able to miraculously remain lit for eight days and nights despite there only being enough pure oil for one day.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mama June Spends Thousands to Boost her Floundering Christmas Toy Drive

Over the past five years, June "Mama June" Shannon of "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" used her family's notoriety to collect toys for a local Christmas charity. Kids comes from all over to bring toys and to sit on Sugar Bear's lap -- dressed as Santa Claus.

Usually, it's pretty popular. This year, it hasn't been. Mama June ended up purchasing more than $2,000 for toys in order to make up for the shortfall, which is nice.

But she has posted more than once on Facebook that people aren't coming this year because Lee "Uncle Poodle" Thompson is talking smack about her. And maybe he is, but I haven't seen it online. I'm talking specifically about any criticism about her involvement in the annual Christmas toy drive.

This is what really disappoints me about Mama June. She really seems oblivious to the damage that she has done to her reputation -- and her entire family's reputation, for that matter -- because of her romantic relationship with convicted child molester Mark McDaniel. It doesn't matter if it's over. It was stupid to do in the first place.

I mean, they were already causing damage to their brand when she and Sugar Bear broke up and rumors of his infidelity came out. Adding Mark McDaniel to the picture -- particularly since he is the man who sexually abused her oldest daughter roughly ten years ago -- just shows how out of touch they really are.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Mrs. Weatherbee???

I was reading ARCHIE'S FUNHOUSE JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #11 and noticed an old short story featuring Archie, Mr. Weatherbee, and... Mrs. Weatherbee??!?

Longtime fans of Archie Comics have pretty much always seen Mr. Weatherbee as a bachelor. But here we are seeing the 'Bee as a married man -- and as the victim of domestic violence in front of his own students!!

But I'm getting ahead of myself...

Mrs. Weatherbee was featured in a story titled "Ship Shape" by Samm Schwartz. Archie has been answer Mr. Weatherbee's office telephone while the principal is out to see the Glamor Queen. Meanwhile, Veronica has given Archie one of her new swimsuit studio pictures to keep him company. Archie receives a call from Mrs. Weatherbee and tells her that Mr. Weatherbee is out to see the Glamor Queen. She immediately turns green with jealousy and storms over to the principal's office -- where she proceeds to batter her husband senseless with an umbrella before realizing that the Glamor Queen is a boat.

No wonder Mr. Weatherbee isn't married anymore. If he had any sense, he got a restraining order and divorced his wife years ago!!

Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater: No Plans for Relaunch of The Carneys!

I learned from my buddy Jimmy today that Jon Goldwater, the publisher and CEO of Archie Comics, did a Reddit AMA today. Basically, fans were encouraged to ask him anything!

I was busy with work-related appointments, but Jimmy was kind enough post a question for me:

Click on the image if you cannot read it, but I essentially wondered if this might be a good time to revisit the Carneys as a mature horror relaunch. This makes perfect sense to me, given the success and popularity of both AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE and CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA, as well as "American Horror Story: Freak Show."

As anticipated, Jon Goldwater told me that there are "no plans for that," but I planted the seed.

Jimmy posed the following AMA question to Jon Goldwater:

Basically, Jimmy wants Kevin Keller and Cousin Ambrose to hook-up in the new CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA comic book. Jon Goldwater punted that question to the SABRINA creative team, but really like how Jimmy's brain works!

Kevin + Cousin Ambrose Together Forever!

Iowa City Homeless Advocates Considering Temporary Winter Shelter

So far, Winter 2014/15 has been pretty mild in Iowa City. But winters here can get pretty nasty. Unfortunately, we have a lot of people who struggle with homelessness or who are on the verge of homelessness. Fortunately, we have a pretty good homeless shelter. Unfortunately, it fills up quickly during this time of year and people are either sleeping in the Shelter House's lobby or in the Iowa City City Hall building or in vehicles or in other makeshift spots.

I learned today that the Shelter House and the Johnson County Local Homeless Coordinating Board are working to convert the old Aldi's building on Gilbert Street into a temporary homeless shelter for the coming winter months. Not only would this serve those who cannot get beds at the Shelter House because of overcrowding or because they maxed out the number of nights that they're allowed to remain at the shelter, but it would also serve those who are unable to stay at the Shelter House for other reasons, such as drug or alcohol abuse.

According to Little Village, the Iowa City City Council will vote tonight on whether or not to approve $20,000 for this temporary shelter. Efforts are also being made to secure additional funding from other local governmental entities.

If approved, this temporary shelter will serve up to 20-25 people through February 2015.

Nero at Daycare -- 12/16/14

Nero was running wild this morning at doggy daycare! Check out this action move!:

Also, here are a few other pics from recent weeks that haven't yet made the blog: