Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Iowa Man Arrested After Going to White House wtih Gun // Iowa Man Pleads Guilty to Gun Charges.

Originally written on 11/20/14: Iowa is in the news today -- and not for a good reason! A man from Davenport, IA, was arrested near the White House yesterday after driving to Washington DC with a gun and a knife on a "self-described mission to go to the executive mansion:"
R.J. Kapheim, 41, of Davenport, Iowa, walked up to a Secret Service officer on the east side of the White House grounds and “told the officer that someone in Iowa told him to go to the White House,” Secret Service spokeswoman Nicole Mainor said.

Kapheim said he had driven to Washington from Iowa. When officers searched his car, a 2013 Volkswagen Passat parked a few blocks away on the edge of the National Mall, they found a .30-30 rifle with more than 40 rounds of ammunition and a six-inch knife in the trunk, she said.
Kapheim has been arrested and charged with possession of an unregistered firearm. He potentially faces additional charges.

Updated on 11/26/14: That was fast. R.J. Kapheim was arrested late last week for bringing a knife and a gun to the White House. Now we learn that Kapheim pleaded guilty yesterday to misdemeanor charges of possessing an unregistered firearm and ammunition. He will remain in custody until his sentencing date, which has been scheduled for 01/26/15.

According to the Press-Citizen, Kapheim approached a Secret Service post last week and told them that he had an appointment with President Obama. They informed him that he wasn't on the president's schedule and escorted him to his vehicle, where they found the weapons.

It's clear from reading media reports that Kapheim has been struggling with mental health problems. I don't say that to be mean or anything. Neighbors describe his behavior as "really odd" and "strange." One neighbor reports that he was trying to sell his home so that he would have enough money to pay for a "transgender operation." And then there's the larger delusion that he was summoned to see the president.

I could be wrong, but that's my uneducated assessment. Hopefully he receives the help that he needs.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Kevin Keller Grows Up in New Series!

Jonathan Merrifield at the Riverdale Podcast aired its third "Welcome to Riverdale: The Official Archie Comics YouTube Show" earlier today. He introduced the comic books that Archie Comics will be publishing later this week, but he also relayed several questions to Archie Comics SVP of Publicity and Marketing Alex Segura.

Here was my favorite question: "I would love to learn more about the 'Kevin Keller' relaunch for next year."

Alex relayed the following piece of Dan Parent art featuring an older, hairier version of Kevin Keller.

Not much more was revealed, though Dan Parent noted that Kevin "and the gang" will be a few years older in the new series.

I've speculated in the past that this could be a story about Kevin's army years, as well as Clay's introduction to his life. But then my friend Jimmy pointed out that he's awful shaggy to be in the military. Maybe it's "Kevin Keller Goes to College??"

I can only speculate, but I'm really excited to see this bit of artwork. There is always a nagging concern in the back of my head that the new "Kevin" series will just fade away over time. This shows continued interest by the company to keep Kevin around -- which is pretty awesome!

Review: "The Overnighters"

I went yesterday to watch "The Overnighters" at FilmScene, Iowa City's nonprofit theater. "The Overnighters" is a documentary about the town of Williston, ND, which became overwhelmed by thousands of unemployed men seeking employment within the oil industry. Even though many of these men successfully found work, many others (particularly older men or men with criminal backgrounds) found that employment opportunities were not as plentiful as hoped. On top of that, there are few affordable housing options for this onslaught of migrants.

Pastor Jay Reinke ends up creating the Overnighter program at Concordia Lutheran Church. Dozens of men end up sleeping night after night in this makeshift shelter until other housing options become available. Many more end up sleeping in their vehicles in the church parking lot.

The film begins several months into the program. Pastor Reinke is trying to juggle his responsibilities to his family and to his church with his desire to provide housing and outreach to these Overnighters. Meanwhile, the church is hemorrhaging members and the City Council is in the process of passing an ordinance to ban residents from sleeping in RVs within town for more than a month. Additionally, the newspaper is stirring things up with emotionally-charged articles about the migrants and the resulting increase in crime.

"The Overnighters" does a good job of bouncing back and forth from hope to despair. Pastor Reinke is obviously emotionally connected to his community's visitors -- much to the detriment of his neglected family. The documentary follows a handful of the men. It's wonderful to watch men secure employment for the first time in years. But how sad is it that they're earning anywhere from $25,000-$40,000/year and still cannot do much better than live in RVs on the outskirts of town?

And then there is the sex offender whose criminal background is hidden by Pastor Reinke so that he doesn't jeopardize the larger Overnighters program. What happens when his background is ultimately exposed to the community?

I won't give away everything, but nobody leaves "The Overnighters" unscathed -- not even Pastor Reinke and his wife. It's clear throughout the movie that Pastor Reinke has poor pastoral boundaries and those poor boundaries eventually lead to something horrible -- seemingly out from left field, but when you look back at the movie it makes more sense.

Check out this link for a listing of the film's current schedule.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Open Response to the People Who Want Gay Couples to Know that They Disapprove of Marriage Equality

I wrote yesterday about Ryan Buell's engagement. If you go onto his Facebook account, you will find well over 2,000 comments following that announcement. Most of those people are congratulating him and/or asking for the identity of his fiance. A couple snarky individuals are asking about money still owed to fans following a canceled tour.

But then there are a handful of individuals who want Ryan to know that they do not agree with same-sex marriage. Because Ryan Buell is going to go out of his way to cancel his wedding if any complete stranger objects to his relationship and future marriage. (That was snark, by the way...)

Anyway, I responded to one of those commenters. She wanted Ryan to know that "my Bible says marriage is between one man and one woman so not sure what Bible u are reading..it is also says homeosexulaity is punishable by death- God forgives pretty much everythng but u cant ask forgiveness and still keep sinniing the same sin over and over- I am a christian and not perfect- I make mistakes- we are all a work in progress but when the Bible says something is not "right" I have to beleive it- and for u to use the Bible in your ghost shows etc just shows u are picking and choosing what parts of the Bible to follow." (Note: I could have corrected her horrendous spelling, but it was more satisfying to leave it alone.)

She then went on to tell people that we don't follow any of the Old Testament except for the ten commandments since Jesus' birth, but then cited the sin of Sodom.

To which I replied, "Sodom? I thought we weren't to worry about the Old Testament..."

To which she responded that "Sodom was a town- sodomy is anal sex and technically illegal in many states are u that uneducated?"

To which I quote Ezekiel 16:49: "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy." (Note: If I'd been on my game, I would have added verse 50, also: "They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.")

I then responded to her comment about anal sex being illegal in many states: "As for anal sex being illegal in many state, "Lawrence v. Texas" in 2003 struck down those laws. Are u that uneducated?" (Note: That last question was a cheap shot, but it felt good.)

She then got fed up with me and said: "there is no talking to a person like u Jon so I will say a prayer and be done with it." (Note: That comment elicited an LOL from me -- both online and out loud.)

Except that she wasn't "done with it." She posted a link to a six month old USA Today article that points out that 12 states technically still have anti-sodomy laws on the books despite the U.S.S Supreme Court's "Lawrence v. Texas" ruling.

I told her that I would like to see those laws stand up to a court challenge, which resulted in the following comment from her: "states have their own laws - they dont have to follow federal laws- where have u been?" (Note: That's Joni Ernst logic. Don't believe me? Check out this piece. I know a handful of Iowa Republicans who voted against her specifically for that reason. Not that it did any good...)

I LOL'ed again and pointed out that those sodomy laws were unconstitutional. "They might be on the books, but they aren't constitutional. The very article that you linked me to showed how men recently charged with "crimes against nature" had their charges dismissed by the prosecution because those laws were unenforceable. Did you read the article that you referred me to?"

Anyway, that's how the conversation ended. Or at least, that's where it stands at the present.

But I can't help wondering why people feel the need to tell gay people that they object to our marriages when we announce our engagements? Others wish us well. And others beyond them are polite enough to mind their own business. But I don't get how it's socially acceptable to respond to a "we're getting married(!)" message with a "I don't agree with gay marriage and you need to get right with God" response.

Ryan's family has disowned him over this relationship and he's still getting married. Do these people seriously believe that their opinions -- opinions of complete strangers -- will cause him to break off his engagement and relationship? Or any of us gay couples, for that matter?

So next time you learn that a gay person is getting married, do the right thing and either wish them well or mind your own business. Anything else is just rude.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Ryan Buell of "Paranormal State" Getting Married

Here's the latest from Ryan Buell, formerly of "Paranormal State." He announced earlier today that he is engaged, presumably to longtime boyfriend Sergey Poberezhny:

No news on the whens and wheres. He doesn't engage with his fans on Facebook as much as some other reality TV folks, but I'm sure we will learn more when they're ready to share it.

I'm assuming he's joking about the polygamy and proton packs. But maybe not.

Iowa City Man Arrested After Torturing Roommate's Kitten for Hours // Updated on 11/22/14: Fritz Continues to Heal!

(Leo Nopoulos)
(Originally written on 10/15/14): A 21-year-old man from West Liberty, IA, was arrested and charged late last week for torturing his former roommate's 8-week-old kitten "non-stop, for a period lasting longer than three hours." Leo A. Nopoulos has been charged with animal torture, which is an aggravated misdemeanor, and faces up to two years in prison if convicted.

According to Nate Schloss*, he believed last week that his kitten Fritz was sick due to periodic incidents of bleeding from the cat's right eye and nose. Things would improve and then the bleeding would resume. He rushed the kitten to the pet hospital and received treatment last Wednesday evening the 8th. (Jon's note: For some reason, nobody -- including the hospital staff -- was able to recognize the signs of severe abuse. I'm just saying...)

Schloss decided last Thursday the 9th to set up his laptop to record his bedroom while he was away in order to get a better idea of what was going on with his cat. This is what happened over the course of nearly four hours while he was away:
I can't say it enough again, but it's simply a miracle after the extent of trauma my kitten Fritz sustained that he is even alive! There is a 3.5 HOUR VIDEO in police possession that shows the CONTINUOUS torture of my little kitten Fritz going on in my bathroom AND bedroom. The depth and details that I would need to explain involving everything that this recording shows would take me more than several hours to elaborate on. To give even the smallest idea as to what exactly happened, the video shows Leo leaving my room only a few times and for only several minutes at a time, AND brings 3 other friends total in at different times to show them my kitten Fritz and what he has done. Whether they have knowledge of what exactly happened is still not known. The first scene shows Leo searching my room, in, under, and around everything searching for Fritz as if he is on a mission. You see him take Fritz by the neck and throw him into my ceiling in my bathroom and hear all the sounds that follow along with, which in itself I cannot begin to explain enough. He is shown throwing my 8-week old KITTEN into the walls, doors, cupboards of my bathroom. He is shown bringing Fritz into my bedroom and violently with full force throwing Fritz into the walls, into corners, into my t.v. stand, beating Fritz with his own hands many many many times! He is shown grabbing a t.v. remote and full force beating Fritz in the head and face over and over and over. He is shown taking a Glade metal spray bottle and beating Fritz in the head over and over and over with NO REMORSE SHOWN. The metal bottle was obtained from my bathroom and brought to police as tangible evidence with blood spatter still being present all around the bottle in multiple places. This is only a BEGINNING as to what I can explain as to what occurred on Thursday, Oct. 9th.
The Press-Citizen included this extra bit of detail:
At one point, police said, the cat gets away, and Nopoulos is seen in the video actively looking for the cat; once he catches it, he continues to abuse it. Police said Nopoulos admitted to abusing the cat to his roommate, his parents and an officer.
According to Schloss, Fritz survived this abuse, though his left eye had to be removed yesterday. Additionally, Fritz is blind in his right eye, but hopefully he will eventually recover his vision in that eye.

Schloss communicated that Nopoulos admitted to the animal abuse several different times. He reportedly said that he was "fucked up" and that he has "bad voices in his head telling him to do terrible things."

*I feel a bit "oogy" about including the name of the cat's owner in this blog. However, he directed people to his Facebook account of the abuse in the comments section of the Press-Citizen article and I believe that his account gives a lot of needed detail to this horrific story.

Updated on 11/22/14: I have had requests from others to provide an update on this situation. I don't know much, but here is what I know...

The legal case against Leo Nopolous continues to wind its way slowly through the courts. The arraignment hearing is currently scheduled for 12/04/14. In other words, it's gonna be a while.

As for Fritz, he now has his own Facebook page. For the most part, Fritz appears go be mostly healed. However, he still appears to be blind or mostly blind in his right eye. At most, he is only seeing shadows at this point. He's also learning to navigate his home and how to play again quite successfully.

Earlier this month, his owners got a second cat named Squash and the two cats appear to be getting along well.

So that's the update!

President Obama Getting Rid of the White House Christmas Tree in 2014? Don't Believe that False Rumor!

A friend told me yesterday that President Obama has decided to do away with the annual White House Christmas Tree for the first time ever in 2014 in favor of a new Holiday Tree. She thought it was horrible that the president was giving into political correctness and disrespecting God in this manner.

It took me about five seconds to google "White House Christmas tree" and I immediately found this page on the White House website:
Upcoming Guidance on Holidays at the White House

Friday, November 28, 2014
The White House * North Portico * 11:00 AM -- On Friday, November 28, First Lady Michelle Obama will welcome the Official White House Christmas Tree to the White House. Mrs. Obama will be presented the Blue Room tree by the Botek family, growers of this year's tree.

This year's White House Christmas Tree, which will be on display in the Blue Room, is an 18.5-foot Douglas Fir grown by Chris Botek, a second generation Christmas Tree Farmer from Crystal Spring Tree Farm in Lehighton, PA. Botek is the National Christmas Tree contest's 2010 champion and his parents, Francis and Margaret, were the 2006 contest champions.

Members of the National Christmas Tree Association have presented the official White House Christmas Tree for display in the Blue Room since 1966.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014
The White House * 1:30 PM --On Wednesday, December 3, First Lady Michelle Obama will welcome military families to the White House for the first viewing of the 2014 holiday decorations. Mrs. Obama will deliver remarks in the East Room, and then ask military children to join her in the State Dining Room as White House Chefs Cris Comerford and Susan Morrison, and White House Florist Laura Dowling, demonstrate holiday crafts and treats. As in years past, many of this year's White House holiday decorations will honor military families.
In other words, there will be a White House Christmas Tree in 2014, just like there has been going back to at least 1966.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Marvel Comics Announced New HOWARD THE DUCK Ongoing Comic Book Series!

I really like Howard the Duck. He's this talking duck character who got yanked to Earth back in the 70s and (when he's written best) is a great source for subversive social commentary and satire. It was announced earlier today that Marvel Comics plans to publish a new ongoing comic book series featuring Howard the Duck in Spring 2015!!

It seems like Howard will begin a new career in this series. He's going to become a private detective -- which seems more like a Howard-job compared to his last career as a zombie-hunting Agent of A.R.M.O.R. in MARVEL ZOMBIES 5 and MARVEL ZOMBIES DESTROY!

HOWARD THE DUCK will be written by Chip Zdarsky and penciled by Joe Quinones.

Uncle Poodle Vents on Facebook about Mama June and his Haters!

I lamented yesterday that Ryan Buell of the Paranormal Research Society and formerly of "Paranormal State" keeps so much of his personal stuff bottled up, which makes it difficult to watch things from a distance. That is one of the reasons why I love Uncle Poodle from "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo." It seems like something new erupts every other day. And the frequency of reveals means that something new and exciting is just around the bend!

It's been the busy end of a busy week, so I haven't had time to troll the comments on Uncle Poodle's fan-page. I'm not sure what triggered it. Maybe Mama June left a series of posts on his page, which usually get deleted. Maybe she texted him some nasty message. Maybe her kids texted him some nasty message. Maybe one of her fans (and yes, Mama June still has a few fans) posted some nasty message. Either way, something triggered a Facebook response from Uncle Poodle late this afternoon:

Uncle Poodle claims that Mama June is essentially the Queen of Lies. He claims that she placed the family utilities in one of her daughter's names. Same with the credit card. He claims that they managed to steal cable. He also claims that Mama June stole his dead mother's life insurance money from him.

He also repeats that Mama June has cut Uncle Poodle out of the family -- and especially out of Alana's life. He also asserts that he will be there for both Alana and Anna (and presumably the other girls) if/when they want and need him.

Lastly, he clarified that he DOES NOT want a spin-off reality TV show -- which really bums me out because I want to see "Here Comes Uncle Poodle!"

Shortly afterwards, he posted this message:

Uncle Poodle addressed his fans and haters who periodically complain that he keeps stirring the "Honey Boo Boo" pot. He basically tells them to get over it. It's his fan page. Sometimes he wants to vent. If they don't like it, -- and seriously, why would they love this?? -- then they need to unlike his fan page.

He also said that he and his fiance Alan are trying to do something special for their fans for Christmas and that he will try posting other types of topics.

And then he finished up with my favorite post of the day:

Uncle Poodle replied to some of the most repeated complaints posed to him by his haters such as "You're just an attention whore" and "You're in this for the money" and "You're just as bad as Mama June."

He reminded people that he was Alana's director and choreographer from her "Toddlers & Tiaras" days. He was just as integral to Honey Boo Boo's rise to fame as her mother was. He reminded people that he has always been pretty clear that he is famous because of her -- which is very true. I've never seen him say anything different.

He also didn't create any of the mess surrounding Mama June's recent sex offender scandal.

Lastly, he's not making any money. He's living paycheck-to-paycheck and has about $300 to his name right now.

Anyway, I know I said earlier that I would try to post fewer posts about the "Honey Boo Boo" scandal, but nights like these make it very difficult to keep to that promise!

Nero at Daycare -- 11/20/14

It's been a while since Nero has graced this blog with his ever-loving presence. He still makes it to doggy daycare every week, but his times got shifted and this new time seems to clash with the photographer! But he finally showed up on the Lucky Pawz blog yesterday and doesn't he look handsome?

Check it out: