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Actor, director, husband, father and activist, Mark Ruffalo has been outspoken on many social issues, including but not limited to; climate change, clean energy, water preservation, and women's rights.

In 2013, Ruffalo delivered a letter that was read during a Jackson, Mississippi abortion rally. Here is an excerpt from Ruffalo's letter:

I am a man. I could say this has nothing to do with me. Except I have two daughters and I have a mother who was forced to illegally have an abortion in her state where abortion was illegal when she was a very young woman. It cost $600 cash. It was a traumatizing thing for her. It was shameful and sleazy and demeaning. When I heard the story I was aghast by the lowliness of a society that would make a woman do that. I could not understand its lack of humanity; today is no different.
The entire letter is well worth the read.

Lately there has been a lot of social media discussion as to what feminism means and who "qualifies" as being one. In March, Ruffalo reblogged an unabashed statement by writer Libby Anne Bruce, about feminism. Ruffalo, in public support, posted Ms. Bruce's statement on his Tumblr page, it's mentioned in Reddit, and tweeted on Twitter. There has been some confusion as to whether it was Ruffalo's quote, and my apologies for the confusion. Here is Libby Anne Bruce's great statement from July 2013 which Ruffalo advocates:

“My response to the “I am not a feminist” internet phenomenon….

First of all, it’s clear you don’t know what feminism is. But I’m not going to explain it to you. You can google it. To quote an old friend, “I’m not the feminist babysitter.”

But here is what I think you should know.

You’re insulting every woman who was forcibly restrained in a jail cell with a feeding tube down her throat for your right to vote, less than 100 years ago.

You’re degrading every woman who has accessed a rape crisis center, which wouldn’t exist without the feminist movement.

You’re undermining every woman who fought to make marital rape a crime (it was legal until 1993).

Bruce goes on to talk about the sacrifices women have made for their families and this country. It's worth visiting Libby Anne Bruce's Facebook Page or Mark Ruffalo's  Tumblr page to read the entire statement. She ends with this:
In short, you know not what you speak of. You reap the rewards of these women’s sacrifices every day of your life. When you grin with your cutsey sign about how you’re not a feminist, you ignorantly spit on the sacred struggle of the past 200 years. You bite the hand that has fed you freedom, safety, and a voice.

In short, kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks.”
 

Many thanks to Libby Anne Bruce for her strong opinion of feminsts and feminism. And thank you to Mark Ruffalo, not only for using his celebrity to speak out about women's reproductive choice and  feminism, but also for having the courage to take a political stand on many social issues. With exception of a small number, many entertainers in music/film industries are afraid to speak their truth for fear of losing fans. My bet is for every fan Ruffalo might lose, he gains 10 (or more). And for some reason, I imagine he's not too concerned about it these days.

Special thanks to Kossack, Black Griffen, for pointing out Libby Anne Bruce is the author of the statement on feminism.

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The soon to be officially announced presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, from Vermont, and former MN Republican Congresswoman, Michele Bachmann, from Uranus, were guests on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. The show aired just before President Obama addressed the nation with his 2014 State Of The Union Speech. Sanders discussed issues that included income equality, minimum wage, education, social security, jobs creation, corporate wealth and tax evasion. Bachmann, a known liar (documented by Politifact), read from the repetitive Right-Wing, Koch-Sucking Declaration of Co-Dependance, while interjecting something about 'Australia.' She stuck to the GOP script and was completely unyielding to a mature, courteous, and educated debate.

It really was unfair pairing the two. Bernie Sanders knew what he was talking about, defended his positions, and asked pertinent questions, even while continuously being interrupted. When asked to declare her stance on cutting social security and raising the minimum wage, Michele Bachmann dodged and evaded like a boxer avoiding a punch. I've never seen any politician blatantly avoid a question quite so well, and I'm glad Sanders didn't give up. She did cave a bit at the end when Blitzer jumped in and also pushed her for an answer. Blitzer didn't' do a very good job moderating unless it was his intention of letting her go on so she could make a fool of herself. He did cap the 'debate' very well at the end, which Bachmann took at as a compliment. She gets confused. It was not.

Now, the conversation did start off non-partisan, and I think Sanders wanted to keep it focused on the problems, rather than the parties, but Bachmann seemed to not know how to have that kind of conversation.

Given the disparity in basic intelligence, (I think Bachmann has a few 'toys in the attic') it's almost cruel that they were put together in the same ring. This clearly it's no contest. Sanders won just on intelligence, before the first round began. But I will say, just watching some of his expressions, as Bachmann rants, makes the video worth watching. The amount of patience he shows is remarkable. I especially enjoyed the end watching Sanders laughing at her, kind of like, 'Is she kidding us with this?' I think what made this especially enjoyable for me to watch was knowing Bachmann is no longer in office and still being investigated for campaign fraud.

Am I incredibly tough on Michele Bachman? I am. She was a waste of taxpayer money. The anti-LGBT and anti-choice politician voted against reducing college costs, called global warming a 'hoax'/'voodoo,' tried to repeal ACA healthcare reform multiple times, perpetuated the 'death panel conspiracy theory,' voted against minimum wage increase, and is an in-your-face-judgemental-pseudo-Christian… The woman makes me angry just looking at her. She had no business being in our American government. Do I hate her? No.

Do I love Bernie Sanders? I do. The man works for the struggling everyday people, not for the parties, not for the wealthy. He has no problem going the most powerful and corrupt individuals/1% and corporations in America - all while doing his best to lift up the poor and middle class. Can you imagine what he'd do, if given the power of the presidency? Many are eager to find out.

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Oops. Seems to be happening a lot these days. People are forgetting to renew their website domain names. It might not be the end of the world for some, but to an angry LGBT-damning pastor, it can be damn embarrassing.

According to Queerty.com, Pastor Randy Bryson and his pseudo-Christian followers from Open Door Baptist Church in South Carolina, have been crashing a good number of LGBT-friendly events and gay rights rallies. Much like their WBC counterparts/competitors (Westboro Baptisit Church), the Open Door folks also carry signs with cute phrases like,“Gay pride is why Sodom was fried.” Aw, look - they learned how to rhyme. Tomorrow, we'll work on colors!

Now it gets good. After one very funny and clever man finds out the WarningsOfWrath.com domain name expired, he bought it. He then redirected Open Door Baptist Church followers to a NSFW, XXX, very hardcore gay porn site called scaryfuckers.com. And oh my, let me tell you they are some scary fuckers.

So now, instead of visiting Open Door to thump the bible, Open Door followers can visit the site to see a whole different kind of 'Do unto others.' Let's just say they might not want to open that door.  

And on this day, I believe the Lord did smile.


You can also click here to read the Daily Kos story by Jen Hayden, about the anti-gay pastor who also got himself into a heap of trouble.

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You don't mess with America's EAS.

iHeart Media, the home of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Hate Radio, was fined on Tuesday by the FCC/Federal Communications Commission, for misusing America's EAS/Emergency Alert System. Here is an excerpt from the FCC Press Release:

The Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau has resolved an investigation into the misuse of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) tones by iHeartCommunications, Inc., a subsidiary of iHeartMedia.

On October 24, 2014, iHeart’s station WSIX-FM, in Nashville, Tennessee, aired a false emergency alert during the broadcast of the nationally-syndicated “The Bobby Bones Show.” Broadcast or transmission of emergency tones outside an emergency or authorized test violates FCC regulations designed to protect the integrity of the EAS system. False broadcast of an emergency signal can cause unnecessary public concern and undermine the urgency of real alerts.

FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. “Misuse of the emergency alert system jeopardizes the nation’s public safety, falsely alarms the public, and undermines confidence in the emergency alert system.”

As part of the settlement, iHeart admits its broadcast of EAS tones during the 'Bobby Bones Show.' violated the FCC’s EAS laws. The company is required to pay a civil penalty of $1 million dollars and implement a comprehensive three-year compliance and reporting plan. Additionally, they must remove or delete all simulated or actual EAS tones from the company’s audio production libraries.

iHeart certainly doesn't need more debt. They continue to report heavy losses quarterly with an outstanding debt of $20 Billion. This is partly due to their parade of well-known radio hate mongers, with Rush Limbaugh leading the way in killing off adverting and sponsor revenue with his hate speech. Over 135,000 people have signed a Limbaugh Sponsor Petition, boycotting companies until they remove ads from his show. Over 3,000 companies have left. Perhaps iHeart should rethink their strategies. Better yet, perhaps iHeart should rethink their leadership. This is not a test.

 

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Losing stations has become a thing for the Republican 'king of hate radio.' Last month it was WIBC in Indiana. And now this month (so far) it's WRKO in Boston. AllAccess.com confirmed and published a statement by Premiere on Tuesday:

“We were unable to reach agreeable terms for The RUSH LIMBAUGH Show to continue on WRKO. A final broadcast date will be announced in the near future. RUSH LIMBAUGH airs daily in every measured media market in AMERICA, and we look forward to announcing exciting news for our BOSTON listeners soon.”

That last line, to me, is political speak for:
"Rush, we're trying like hell not to piss you, the Right-Wing, and your dittoheads off. For all we know, you just might make a comeback. So, we're going make 'dumping your ass' sound as nice as possible. Love ya, big guy! (We just don't LUV no mo. Yer killin' us.)
Just a hunch.

Limbaugh has been spouting and provoking hate on public TV/radio for decades. It started to catch up with him several years ago when he attempted to demean and degrade an unknown college student, calling her a 'slut,' and worse, on air, for three days. That student is now the attorney and activist, Sandra Fluke. In 2012, Fluke was advocating for mandatory insurance coverage for birth control, emphasizing birth control is also used for medicinal purposes. Limbaugh bullied Fluke relentlessly -- because that's how he rolls. But this time the public found out, via social media, and it was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.

Brian Rosenwald, in his February Time Magazine piece, talks about how Limbaugh's hateful and inflammatory words now go far beyond the ears of his dittoheads/fans/listeners than they did 25 years ago. His vitriol can easily reach hundreds of thousands via social media campaigns:

Indeed, a show’s actual audience need not be bothered for comments to cause trouble. Campaigns against a host can build over time, and social media makes it easy to pressure station management and advertisers.

In fact, the provocative, unpredictable content that produces the best talk radio fits poorly with an advertiser-based business model in the Internet and social media era. This problem may eventually drive the content provided by Limbaugh and his peers to an internet-based subscription platform, where hosts do not have to worry about losing advertisers when they generate controversy.

With the Limbaugh Sponsor Petition (now at 135k signatures) and social media campaigns like StopRush, sometimes 'bad press,' really is 'bad press.' Advertisers continue to dodge Rush Limbaugh's show daily. The flailing, self-proclaimed 'El Rushbo' continues to lose millions in ad revenue, radio stations, and ratings. If there is such a think as Karma, it seems to enjoy coming around to visit Rush Limbaugh a LOT these days - and rightfully so.

To join the hundreds of thousands in this powerful citizen/consumer-driven protest:

   
Visit/Like: BoycottRush Facebook Group
Sign: Limbaugh Sponsor & Clear Channel/iHeartPetition
Join: The Fight To Flush Rush
Visit: StopRush.net for an extensive list of Limbaugh Sponsors
Twitter: #StopRush and #FlushRush
Thank you, Kossack Richard Myers. Rest in peace. We miss you dear friend. We will finish this. Special thanks to Gary Flinn and Freya Malin!

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Still circulating the Internet, is a great interview with country music legend Garth Brooks. The interview took place at the Kennedy Center, in Washington DC, just before the 2011 Point Of Light Ceremony began in honor George H. Bush.

Reporter, Nicholas A. Ballasy, who is no longer with Right-Leaning news/opinion group CNS, asked Brooks what he thought about President Barack Obama and the current political system. Unlike many other celebrities afraid of losing fans by discussing politics, Garth Brooks did not hold back.

Here's the 2-minute YouTube video of Garth Brooks being interviewed, followed by the transcript:

Ballasy: Has President Obama lived up to you expectations?
“Yeah, I think what President Obama is finding out is, all that we want to do, the system kind of doesn’t allow the most powerful guy in the world to kind of do his job, and I’m sure nobody’s more frustrated than him to complete those promises that he did and I think he’s trying his heart out. I love him to death and I fully support him and I just wish him well because it’s got to be hell in that office,” said Brooks.
Brooks went on to answer questions about today's political system.
“The whole political system kind of has me concerned right now, to tell you the truth. Two hundred years old and we might think of about, you know, kind of kicking it in the ass a little bit."

"It just seems like we vote for things because they’re Republican or Democratic. I think we should vote for them because they're right or wrong and we kind of have seemed to have fallen into that trap so that would be the one warning I would give all us," he said.  "Put down where you're from and what flag you fly under and let's get to putting the best person, man or women in the office and let's start making some strides."

Ballasy: Any specific examples of that, where people are looking at not what's right or wrong but political affiliation, rather?
"For me, it's if my guy didn't get in, then I drag my feet for four years and we don't get anywhere. And if my guy gets in, you drag your feet for four years and we don't get anywhere… We've got to stop doing that. Once we get there let's try to be four years further down the road than we were, and let's see what happens. Let's all work together, and that's kind of what this is all about tonight."
Sounds pretty insightful, straightforward, and patriotic, yes? Not to some Republican extremists who only heard him praise Obama, and immediately lashed out at the artist with incredible vitriol, refusing to heed anything else Brooks had to say in the interview.

I doubt it bothered Garth Brooks much. He's not one to worry about the 'haters.' While in the music business I got to know Garth. I met him after one of his first Nashville shows, in a small, quaint, now legendary club called, The Bluebird Cafe. Something many might not know is, after his career initially took off, he was approached and encouraged to drop his producer, manager, and label rep… to work with more prominent/famous industry members. Brooks refused, and remained loyal to those who helped him in the beginning. Thus they were all able to experience great success together. He's also one of he most generous entertainers of our time. The extent of his generosity goes far beyond what most people know, because he often gives anonymously.

This man is a trailblazer, and he has been from the start. Garth Brooks was one of the first country acts to perform high-energy, mega arena shows, at very affordable concert ticket prices. After the shows, he would spend hours with fans, signing autographs. That simply wasn't done in country music back then, and his love for, and from, his fans, helped give him wings and propelled his career. Many find Brooks to be kind, funny, passionate, talented, intelligent, humble and okay, a 'leetle' bit corny. He's a man who puts himself above no one and is especially kind to people who can't help him. He sees the good in others, and clearly he sees the good in our president.

Thank you, Garth Brooks, for speaking out. Thank you for the joy you've given millions of people around the world with your music. And thank you for your integrity.

The Dance - Garth Brooks

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Rev. Dr. William Barber II, former Netroots speaker and founder of Moral Mondays, along with Forward Together and the NC NAACP, released a new date for the NC NAACP v. McCrory trial. The lawsuit alleges voter suppression in North Carolina, and the trial is now slated for July 13, 2015, in Winston Salem. There is also a massive 'North Carolina Is Our Selma' march scheduled on that same day that will most likely become historic. So if you're in the neighborhood…

Here is an excerpt from the latest email from Rev. Barber, followed by a timeline of informative past events leading up to the pending trial.

From Rev. Barber and Forward Together/NC NAACP:
May 16, 2015
NC NAACP v. McCrory (New) Trial Date Set for July 13

The historic trial of our lawsuit against the McCrory-Tillis-Berger law designed to disenfranchise African American and other anti-racism voters has been postponed a week. The federal judge notified us that he wants the trial to begin on on July 13 in his court in Winston-Salem. "It gives us a week more to spread the word," Rev. Dr. Barber said. "Tell everyone. Monday, July 13, Winston-Salem! We march across our Edmund Pettus Bridge in Winston-Salem to expose and reverse the Tea Party's unconstitutional attack on the voting rights our parents and grandparents won with their lives and blood. North Carolina is our Selma!"

This Week We Called on Gov. McCrory to Explain the Substantial Drop in Voter Registrations at Public Assistance Agencies

The NC NAACP and Forward Together Moral Movement handed a request for e-mails between the Governor, Dr. Wos, who runs the Department of Health and Human Services, and the 100 county DSS Directors, trying to get evidence about why the voter registrations of people applying for public assistance had dropped 66% from the day Gov. McCrory took office in January 2013. We asked Gov. McCrory for an immediate public statement about this suspicious drop off in registration of welfare recipients, which is required by the 1993 National Voter Registration Act. Dr. Wos' staff has said we can get some e-mails, but we have to pay for them. Stay tuned.

On Thursday, May 7, the Daily Kos published a troubling report that showed a substantial drop in voter registrations submitted from public assistance agencies since the beginning of 2013. According to the State Board of Elections, in 2012, 41,162 registration applications were submitted from pubic assistance agencies . In 2013, this number dropped to 18,758 and in 2014, it dropped even further to 13,340.

You can watch the news conference by clicking HERE or on the image below. You can also read our letter to Governor McCrory by clicking HERE.

For those still learning about Moral Mondays and the North Carolina citizen protest, I have compiled a timeline of events, including links to various mainstream and social media articles:

Here are some of the events from 2013:

January 2013
Republican Governor Pat McCrory takes office along with Republicans who won the House and Senate seats in 2012. The election gave Republicans control of both the legislative and executive branch for the first time since 1870. The Republicans began passing bills that many believe negatively affect education, voting rights, women's rights, the environment, racial justice and many social programs.

April 2013
A weekly grassroots protest led by Rev. Dr. William Barber II begins in Raleigh, North Carolina, called, Moral Mondays. It's reported that 924 protestors were arrested for peaceful 'civil disobedience' in 2013.

June 2013
The Supreme Court decision for Shelby v. Holder includes gutting a major part of the of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, giving states and many counties/municipalities, with the propensity for voter suppression, to have the right to change their election laws - without federal approval.

August 2013 
Governor McCrory signs new voting laws allegedly meant to suppress and discourage the votes of blacks, minorities, the elderly, the poor, many whom are known to vote Democrat.  

August 2013
NC NAAP and ACLU file lawsuit against Governor McCrory (NC NAACP v. McCrory).

September 2013
Attorney General Eric Holder with the Department of Justice files a lawsuit against the state of North Carolina over the new voting laws.

Here are some of the events from 2014:
February 2014
Tens of thousands show up for Moral March (aka Moral Mondays/Forward Together - Not One Step Back) in Raleigh.

June 2014
After watching the NC Moral Mondays/Forward Together grow by the thousands, NC Senator Thom Goolsby writes op-ed calling the Moral Monday citizens, 'Moral Morons.'

September 2014
 Over 100,000 erroneous voter packages are sent out by Koch brothers' Americans For Prosperity reportedly to mislead and misinform NC voters.

October 2014
After the League of Women Voters and others file a lawsuit against Governor McCrory and members of the NC Board of Elections leading to an Appeals court panel to blocks two key voter suppression provisions of new North Carolina voting laws

October 8, 2014
Supreme Court overrides the Appeals Court decision.

November  2014
Midterms lead to overwhelming Republican victories causing Republicans to maintain majority in the House, Senate, NC Supreme Court, and Governor's Office.

Here are some of the events from 2015, as well as some important upcoming events:
February 2015
Once again, tens of thousands show up for a 2015 Forward Together Moral March in downtown Raleigh.

May 7, 2015
Daily Kos writer, DocDawg, reveals large drop in voter registration drops and discrepancies in a Daily Kos breaking story.

May 11, 2015
Rev Barber calls emergency press conference where Rev. Barber discusses the disturbing evidence from the aforementioned Daily Kos breaking story and the NC NAACP demand official records from Governor McCrory. Here is the youtube video of the May 11th press conference.

May 12, 2015
Daily Kos diarist, DocDawg, updates the North Carolina voter registration meltdown.

May 16, 2015
Rev. Barber announces new court date for lawsuit, NC NAACP v. McCrory against Governor Pat McCrory, Senator Thom Tillis, and Senator Philip Berger is now July 13, 2015 in Winston Salem.

Upcoming:

July 13, 2015
Court date scheduled for the NC NAAP v. McCrory trial, and a historic march in Winston-Salem, NC.

The results of this North Carolina lawsuit may be an incredible game changer for this country. At minimum, we hope to see these messages resonate to other states that are accused of voter suppression. Cheers to the Rev. Barber, the NC NAACP, and most of all to the thousands of Moral Monday protestors and supporters of 'justice for all.' Stay tuned for more updates.

This movement is amazing. Here are some photos I took on my iPhone while participating in Moral Monday rallies last summer. The photos don't show the huge crowds, but show the beauty of everyday Americans, both genders, all ages, colors, religions, economic statuses, political parties, and all walks of life coming together in joyful and peaceful spirit to protest injustice. It was life-changing for me. These images were also published in a Daily Kos diary from last September. See more photos below the fold.

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Ouch. Illinois governor, Bruce Rauner, watched his anti-union bill called, 'Right-To-Work,' die a swift, cruel death in the House, on Thursday, with zero votes. Natasha Korecki with Chicago Sun Times reports the the tally was 0 yes votes, 72 no votes, and 37 voting present - "offering a blistering rebuke" to Rauner’s agenda.
 
A handful of Republicans went for a walk during the vote, not publicly falling on one side or another.
Isn't that nice. How healthy it would be for them, and us, if Republicans would take more walks during voting sessions.
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, lambasted Democrats for moving what he said amounted to “sham bills” in the House. The legislation voted on Thursday was not drafted by the governor’s office. Last week, Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan had urged Rauner to give him language for a bill, needling Rauner that he had talked about right-to-work for 100 days.
“What’s happening today, what happened last week really is a disservice to this body, to this chamber and to this building,” Durkin said. “I’m embarrassed to be part of this process today. I think this is a very dark moment in this body’s chamber.”
We're embarrassed too, Jim Durkin, but not for what happened on Thursday. We're embarrassed that we have elected officials who want to sabotage unions and union workers in this country, under a misguided bill with a misleading name like, 'Right To Work.' It's kind of like the misnomer, 'Citizens United,' which has nothing to do with 'citizens uniting' at all. It's about uniting and breeding, 'Koch-Suckers.' I digress.
Asked whether the vote on right-to-work was meant to embarrass him, Rauner said:
”Difficult negotiations in government often involve political theater. That’s a little bit of what that is. I don’t take it that way. This is just part of a political process. We’re working together and we’ll get through it. . . . There’s a lot of pressure from special interest groups who don’t want to change. We are in a long slow decline we need to grow pretty strongly . . . we are encouraging Republicans to stay strong together. We’re a super-minority.”
That's just super, Bruce. ZERO. Go on with your bad self.

Read more on the story here: Chicago Sun Times

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A magic moment in April 2013, when hundreds of the New Zealand House of Parliament was filled with the sound of music. Here is a youtube video of hundreds of spectators in the gallery, breaking out into song after a law (Definition of Marriage Amendment) was passed, allowing equal marriage rights for LGBT citizens. What makes this video even more lovely, is seeing the members of Parliament join in.

In his youtube video, Martin Richardson goes into more detail about the song:

For my American chums who want to know more about the song being sung: 'Pokarekare ana.' Unofficially it is New Zealand's second national anthem. It is believed to have been communally written by Maori soldiers in training camp during World War I.

Here are the translated lyrics:

Stormy are the waters on restless Waiapu
If you cross them, girl, they will be calmed
Oh girl, come back to me, my heart is dying of love for you.
I have written you a letter, and enclosed with it my ring,
So your people can see how troubled I am
Oh girl, come back to me, my heart is dying of love for you.

Other translated verses to the song include (not sung here):

My pen is shattered, I have no more paper
But my love is still steadfast.
Oh girl, come back to me, my heart is dying of love for you.
My love will never be dried by the sun,
It will be forever moistened by my tears.
Oh girl, come back to me, my heart is dying of love for you.

Jayness33 shows more of video and gives more information about the law.

New Zealand become the 13th country in the world and the first in the Asia-Pacific region to legalize same-sex (equal) marriage. Lawmakers voted 77 to 44 in favor of the bill. Some believe Obama is deserves credit:

The change was given impetus last May when US President Barack Obama declared his support for gay marriage. That prompted Prime Minister Key to break his silence on the issue by saying he was "not personally opposed" to the idea. Bill sponsor, Louisa Wall (shown in the image) then put forward the bill, which she had previously drafted.
One of the standing ovations occurred after Louisa Wall told lawmakers the change was:

"…our road toward healing."

"In our society, the meaning of marriage is universal - it's a declaration of love and commitment to a special person," Wall said. She added that "nothing could make me more proud to be a New Zealander than passing this bill."

It's just a reminder of the love that does exist in this world, and sometimes in government.

Special thanks to Cindi Sherman Brady and Collective Evolution on Facebook

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North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory in July 2012.

Photo: North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory -

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II sent out an email Sunday afternoon from Forward Together/Moral Mondays/NC NAACP.

BREAKING NEWS

NC Board of Elections data reveals voter registration irregularities under Gov. McCrory's Administration that could have suppressed thousands of votes.

The Daily Kos (DocDawg) broke the story last Thursday with the below article. You can read the full story by clicking here.

Exclusive to Daily Kos

A data-mining analysis of information publicly available from the North Carolina State Board of Elections has uncovered apparently systematic irregularities in voter registration efforts which are required of the state by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA; the so-called 'Motor Voter Act'). These irregularities, potentially disenfranchising tens of thousands of poverty-level North Carolina citizens, have all occurred during the Republican administration of North Carolina's current governor, Pat McCrory (R).

Under McCrory (who took office in January of 2013), North Carolina has become the tip of the GOP's spear in efforts to suppress voting by demographic groups which typically do not lean Republican (blacks, Latinos, youth, and the economically disadvantaged). McCrory's efforts culminated in 2013 with his signing into law of the nation's single most draconian voter suppression bill, The Voter Information Verification Act (VIVA; detailed in this diary). Legal challenges to VIVA have been filed by numerous organizations including the North Carolina NAACP, the ACLU, the League of Women Voters, and the U.S. Dept. of Justice. Oral arguments in NC-NAACP v. McCrory will begin in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, in Winston-Salem, on July 6th. But while many of those suits argue, in part, that VIVA may have been intended to suppress minority voting, evidence of such malicious intent has been hard to come by.

Until now…

It would be historic to see this North Carolina Republican dictatorship crumble and fall. Currently, Republicans own the majority in the North Carolina House, Senate, Supreme Court, and Governor's Office. This could be a game-changer for the Koch brothers, Art Pope, and the many Republicans who won during the 2014 Midterm Elections, especially in states that have a preponderancy for racism and voter suppression.

Rev. Dr. Barber is the founding leader of Moral Mondays, a grassroots citizens protest, which began in 2013, in response to the actions (and alleged corruption) by elected NC lawmakers.

An emergency press conference was called for Monday, May 11, 2015 at 10:00 AM ET. The re-broadcast of this morning's press conference can be seen in the video below or HERE.

UPDATE: Monday, May 11, 2015, 4:45PM - Here is this afternoon's  email from Dr. Barber:

This Morning We Called On Governor McCrory to Explain
the Substantial Drop in Voter Registrations at Public Assistance Agencies

Earlier today, we delivered a public records request to the Department of Administration, seeking to know why voter registrations submitted from public assistance agencies have dropped substantially over the last 28 months. We asked that the Governor respond publicly to our request by Wednesday, May 13. We also announced that, if necessary, we would ask the U.S. Department of Justice to intervene to ensure North Carolina's compliance with the 1993 National Voter Registration Act.

Last Thursday, the Daily Kos that showed a substantial drop in voter registrations submitted from public assistance agencies since the beginning of 2013. According to the State Board of Elections, in 2012, 41,162 registration applications were submitted from pubic assistance agencies. In 2013, this number dropped to 18,758 and in 2014, it dropped even further to 13,340.

Below is a complete list of what is being asked of Governor McCrory:
All communications dated between January 4, 2013 and today, to and from the Governor's office and Dr. Wos’ offices from any national organizations, including American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Americans for Prosperity, Heritage Foundation, and other national and regional organizations, including Civitas Action, Civitas Institute, and John Locke Foundation, which have been involved in promoting policies that result in the suppression of minority voting rights.

All memoranda, emails, and meeting minutes between the headquarters of NC DHHS and county public assistance (“PA”) offices (in both directions) related to voter registration, the NVRA (National Voter Registration Act), or HAVA (Help America Vote Act), dated between Jan. 4, 2013 and today. This is a continuing request.

All memoranda, emails, and meeting minutes between county PA office managers and their staff and between PA office managers and their staff and third-party contractors of NC DHHS (in both directions) related to voter registration, the NVRA, or HAVA dated between Jan. 4, 2013 and today.

All requests from county PA offices or third party contractors of NC DHHS, in paper and electronic form, to DHHS regional and central headquarters for new supplies of the forms used to register PA applicants to vote and to apprise them of their voting rights, from 2010 until today.

At the DHHS Website link http://www.ncdhhs.gov/... Dr. Wos has posted under Food & Nutrition Services case data the "Number of Applications Taken By Month" all the way up to April 2015. This would indicate it is relatively easy for her staff to keep this data up to date. This does not seem to be the case, however, for similar data for the number of "County Food and Nutrition Services Denials" which indicates the most recent available data is for the 4th quarter of 2012.  Please provide us with the data for these “Food and Nutrition Services” denials through the present.

Please provide us with all information requested by the attached notice letter to Gov. McCrory, dated May 8, 2015.  

Here is the formal letter to Governor McCrory.

UPDATE: Daily Kos writer, DocDawg, who wrote the breaking story last Thursday, has promised a new story with more specifics after attending Rev. Barber's Monday press conference. Stay tuned, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, around 9:00 AM, ET.

This is not a new fight, nor will it even begin to end until the Conservative Supreme Court Justices start putting people over corporations/corruption. Meanwhile, the battle will continue, with many thanks to people like Dr. Rev. Barber, the Moral Monday/Forward Together protestors, NC NAACP, Kossack DocDawg and other writers/diarists, and sites like Daily Kos, who let the public know - what mainstream media often 'forgets' to mention.

To join the Daily Kos community, visit here. You can also catch Daily Kos stories on Facebook and Twitter.

To stay informed with the Forward Together - Not One Step Back!/Moral Monday's movement, send a request to receive Rev. Dr. William Barber's emails: ForwardTogether@NCNAACP.org
Website: NCNAACP.org
YouTubeChannel: Forward Together Moral Movement
Facebook: William J. Barber, II
Facebook: Forward Together Moral Movement

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An undercover operation conducted by Mercy For Animals revealed severe abuse taking place at the Seaboard Foods Farm in Colorado. Seaboard is a major pork supplier for Walmart. According to the Denver Sun Times, the Phillips County sheriff did an investigation and contacted Seaboard officials, who then did their own investigation. In the lengthy, but less than apologetic Seaboard's statement, the company claims seven workers at the farm were identified and fired, including two managers.

Some of the scenes in this video are horrific, and may trigger strong disturbing emotions. It did with me, and so I suggest strong viewer discretion. The Seaboard abuse gets progressively difficult to watch as the scenes show beatings, cruel living conditions, shooting pigs in front of other pigs (considered to be intelligent creatures), crating pregnant pigs where they can't even turn around or lie down comfortably, and scenes of sociopathic butchers cutting piglets and ripping out their testicles while still alive and without pain reducers. The reason for posting the video is not for shock. It's to verify the claims in the article/title, and to bring awareness.

I didn't want to write about this. I wanted to forget about it. It's almost too big for me to wrap my head around. I've seen videos like this before and it happens everywhere. It will never change, I thought. Well, yes, it can and does change. It starts with exposure, which leads to awareness, which leads to protest, which leads to change. Mega companies like Walmart must demand higher standards from their suppliers. A petition with over 60k signatures (and growing) is being sent to Jim Walton, Rob Walton, and H. Lee Scott. The petitionstates in the last several years, companies like Costco, Starbucks and other food providers have implemented animal welfare requirements in their supply chains that engage 'third party auditors to ensure compliance.' It also states:

"Over 60 major grocery chains, restaurants, and food providers, including Safeway, Kroger, Target, Kmart, McDonald’s, and Burger King, have all implemented policies requiring their pork producers to phase out inherently cruel gestation crates. Walmart should do the same. It is time for Walmart to follow the lead of your competitors and adopt new animal welfare requirements to prevent egregious animal abuse."

Walmart is spotlighted here because they are the world's largest retail chain by revenue. All too often they act as if they are above complying with the legal and ethical standards of other companies and countries. The mistreatment of their own employees has been highly scrutinized and condemned as well. On a positive note, it has been proven, that with enough pressure from the public, Walmart does listen, and sometimes they actually do take action. It's just a shame we rarely hear of them taking positive initiatives by their own good will and conscience. Perhaps the next generation of the Walmart dynasty will be different. Meanwhile, the public is taking note, protesting, petitioning, and boycotting. There is no reason - and no excuse for these innocent animals to be abused.
SIGN: The Petition To Walmart

You can share your thoughts on the Seaboard Foods Facebook Page, or use their website contact form. Some of their products include: PrairieFresh® Premium Pork, PrairieFresh Prime® Cuisine, Daily's® Premium Meats, 67th Street BBQ™ Made with Sweet Baby Ray's®, High Plains Bioenergy and a proud partner with Butterball.

To learn more about Mercy For Animals, visit: Mercy For Animals.

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Yes, Rush Limbaugh becomes incredibly unhinged, his face gets all contorted, and his head spins around so fast he gets his panties up in a twist. Why? He's being slam-dunked by US Uncut co-founder Carl Gibson. The Occupy activist is posing as a Fan/Dittohead in this Vintage TBRLAD (Throw Back Rush Limbaugh Any Day) clip. Gibson manages to fool the screeners to speak live with Limbaugh.

It's quite hilarious. And after watching the short 2:34 minute youtube video below, if you're in the mood for more comedy, play it again - this time without the sound. (He's only exaggerating Conservative points and turning them nonsensical hogwash.) Watching squirm - priceless.

Carl Gibson's (aka 'Keith from Galveston, TX) gives his account:

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2011
I call into Rush Limbaugh as "Keith from Galveston, TX" to remind him that Republicans are depriving people of good jobs to protect millionaires from a 0.5% tax increase. Rush says gov't doesn't create jobs. I remind Rush that the private sector HAS been growing jobs in line with what's expected from the private sector during an economic recovery, and that the real lag has been in the public sector, thanks to crushing budget cuts handed down by Republicans. Rush flips out, calls me an idiot, a tool, and garbage, accuses me of reading from a script, and hangs up.

Thank you, Carl Gibson, for this and all you do.

Clearly, this is not the side of Rush Limbaugh that his protestors are going after. Here, he's just another arrogant, lying, asshat on Conservative talk radio, practicing free speech.

The side boycotters want to stop is the Rush Limbaugh that uses hate speech, to calls women 'sluts' and 'semen receptacles,' compares gay men to 'pedophiles,' lesbians to 'lazy drunks,' Latinos to 'spermatozoa,' and shames poor children, and suggests the disadvantage seek food in dumpsters. Limbaugh has been spouting and provoking hate on public TV/radio for decades. Thankfully, the protest against him has become more powerful every day. With the Limbaugh Sponsor Petition (now at 135k signatures) and social media campaigns like StopRush, advertisers continue to dodge his show. The flailing king of hate radio continues to lose millions in ad revenue, radio stations, and ratings. To join the hundreds of thousands in this powerful citizen/consumer-driven protest:

   
Visit/Like: BoycottRush Facebook Group
Sign: Limbaugh Sponsor & Clear Channel/iHeartPetition
Join: The Fight To Flush Rush
Visit: StopRush.net for an extensive list of Limbaugh Sponsors
Twitter: #StopRush and #FlushRush
Thank you, Kossack Richard Myers. Rest in peace. We miss you dear friend. We will finish this.
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