OMAHA, NE  – Norfolk’s Independence Day Parade contained a large display of disrespect for President Barack Obama, some even calling it blatantly racist. Many residents of Norfolk, Nebraska and the Nebraska Democratic Party called foul.  The controversy even made its way to national news. The float featured a zombie-face dummy in overalls portraying Obama standing in front of an outhouse with Obama Presidential Library on the side. See more at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/06/obama-outhouse-float_n_5561568.html

Obama Presidential Library

Obama Presidential Library –      Norfolk Parade

The offensive float is a  slap in the face to a sense of decency and The mission of the Odd Fellows Lodge: Specifically, IOOF today are dedicated to the following purposes:  To improve and elevate the character of mankind by promoting the principles of friendship, love, truth, faith, hope, charity & universal justice. To help make the world a better place to live by aiding each other, the community, the less fortunate, the youth, the elderly, the environment and the community in every way possible. To promote good will and harmony amongst peoples and nations through the principle of universal fraternity, holding the belief that all men and women regardless of race, nationality, religion, social status, gender, rank and station are brothers and sisters. See more: http://www.ioof.org/IOOF/About_Us/Mission/IOOF/AboutUS/Mission.aspx?hkey=836e4547-847f-466f-a9f1-0b67deb0b125

For the record, the City of Norfolk denies any involvement with the float being in the parade. Norfolk Mayor Sue Fuchtman told KMTV-3 News  the city has no involvement, even though she later admitted she granted approval for the Odd Fellows Lodge to use city streets for the parade. KMTV-3 News http://www.jrn.com/kmtv/news/City-Of-Norfolk-Denies-Parade-Involvment-265963471.html

A FaceBook page was created that is dedicated to demanding an apology from Norfolk’s Odd Fellows Lodge. The Page currently has over 260 FB likes in just 24 hours.  The page will be a hotbed of activity for folks upset over the parade float.
Please like and share the page if you agree.  https://www.facebook.com/NorfolkApology

Norfolk, Nebraska was in the national news before for passing a housing ordinance to ban renting to illegal immigrants.  The ordinance was ultimately upheld in a court challenge. See more: http://www.newstalkradio.net/news/us-supreme-court-upholds-fremont-immigration-ordinance

To the Odd Fellows Lodge and your allies, I must ask, what’s next, a parade where the participants wear white robes and hoods? A racial lynch mob? Public Stoning of Queers along the Parade route?  The Obama Float is the perfect example of what Nebraska Nasty is all about.

 

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OMAHA, NE – Recently, a concerned Omaha Atheist expressed his concerns to a Nebraska Mayor about the presence of religion in a city sponsored event. The Mayor responded with some Nebraska Nasty by saying, “Take me to f*cking court, because I don’t care… Minorities are not going to run my city.”  According to KETV, Mitch Beaumont, La Vista community relations coordinator, released the following statement on Kindig’s behalf Monday: “I am truly sorry that my response to this representative caused backlash against the City. I was coming out of a very emotional event at which local veterans who were killed in action were recognized, and my reaction was certainly emotional in nature. It is my hope all sides can move forward together,” said Kindig.

Nebraska Nasty

“Take me to f*cking court, because I don’t care…      Minorities are not going to run my city.”                   Pic from American Atheists

As a result, the Omaha Atheists group is hosting a rally on Monday, June 2nd at 5:30pm at La Vista City Hall, 8116 Park View Blvd., La Vista, NE 68128. The following day, members of Omaha Atheist will have a discussion with La Vista Mayor Douglas Kindig. The rally is scheduled to feature a diverse program of brief remarks from representatives of various minority groups in the Omaha metro area. Immediately after the rally, a “Meet the Atheists” potluck, open to all, is planned at Central Park a half-mile away. According to the press release from American Atheists, “The rally protests some of La Vista’s recent Memorial Day activities, which included a “Prayer Walk” and a “Faith and Freedom Day,” including an official “Service” led by a local Christian pastor. The activities, promoted on the city’s official website, included songs praising “Jesus” and overtly Christian prayers.”

http://www.ketv.com/news/atheists-group-says-la-vista-mayor-defended-bigotry/26179258

Links to National articles:
Rawstory article: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/05/26/ne-mayor-challenges-atheists-over-faith-based-event-take-me-to-f-cking-court-i-dont-care/
Washington Times:http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/may/27/neb-mayor-rails-atheists-who-decry-faith-event-tak/
The Daily Beast: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/27/should-atheists-pay-for-a-prayer-day-a-nebraskan-town-s-crisis-of-faith.html

Link to FaceBook Event, Minorities Matter: https://www.facebook.com/events/246540582205028/

Omaha Atheists Link: http://www.omahaatheists.org/

American Atheists Press Release: http://news.atheists.org/2014/05/29/press-release-atheists-to-host-minorities-matter-rally-after-nebraskan-mayors-outburst/

Links From American Atheists.

Become a member at http://www.atheists.org/membership
Support the cause at http://www.atheists.org/donate
Follow us at http://www.twitter.com/AmericanAtheist
Subscribe to our quarterly magazine at http://www.atheists.org/magazine
And subscribe to our NEW YouTube channel at http://www.YouTube.com/atheistsdotorg
And our NEW Instagram feed at http://instagram.com/americanatheists

Posted by: Ken R | May 29, 2014

Painful Memories – The Normal Heart


Ken R:

A nice write up about the HBO special The Normal Heart.

Originally posted on JerBear's Queer World News, Views & More From The City Different - Santa Fe, NM:

imageI got around to watching The Normal Heart which I had recorded on my DVR. I had been putting it off because the AIDS crisis was traumatic for me as it was to almost any gay man who lived through the 1980s and ’90s. As I feared, the scenes of people with later stages of the disease really brought memories flooding back. I had already started a longer post on some of the friends I lost and the experiences I had during the time I was involved – this made me determined to finish it. Expect it in a week or so. In the meanwhile I want to recommend The Normal Heart for those that haven’t seen it.

It was written by Larry Kramer and was quite autobiographical. You can clearly see Larry’s famous righteous indignation on display by the lead character, Ned Weeks played brilliantly by Mark Ruffalo. It…

View original 612 more words

Posted by: Ken R | May 24, 2014

Help My Friend Tati Out!


Ken R:

Tati’s story. Help Tati pay for their surgery.

Originally posted on In the Eyes of Mika:

Tatipicforblog

This is my friend Tati.

My friend Tati Urzedowski suffers from gender dysphoria. For him, this means he feels a strong disconnect and sometimes an outright rejection of his body. I have empathy for him because I am genderqueer and understand the hardships of feeling that your body does not fit your gender identity.

About four years ago, Tati realized that he did not quite fit in the gender he was assigned. A year later, he came out as transgender or genderqueer. From that, point on he went through a change in his self-perception and self-worth. He began to live openly among friends as transgender. This year, he expanded his openness about his gender identity/expression and the response from his friends and family has been supportive and accepting.

Realizing I was transgender was by and large a liberating experience for me – Tati

Even with the support and acceptance…

View original 258 more words

Posted by: Ken R | May 5, 2014

Nebraska, The Not Open For Business State.


OMAHA, NE – Welcome to Nebraska! The state where The Good Life withered and died, along with civil rights, access to healthcare, and the ability to pay your bills among a long list of things. Oddly enough, Omaha and Nebraska end up on a number of top lists, but it seems to me those only apply to those who rich, white, and Christian, the holders of the so called “Good Life”. This article, in particular,  Omits a lot of things you need to know if you are moving to Omaha. I’d like to point some out: The Public Transportation is horrible here. You better have a car, or you might not make it to work or school. According to WalletHub, Nebraska is the third worst taxpayer state, right after California and New York. Omahans would like to think their city is a progressive city, but this is hampered by being located in such a backwards state. Nebraska RightWing NutJobs killed Medicaid Expansion. Hope you have healthcare access, Nebraska doesn’t care about you. Nebraska conservatives also killed a  Minimum Wage increase, a bill covering LGBT Non-Discrimination, second parent adoption and foster parenting legislation.  Nebraska is one of the least LGBT friendliest places in the USA, topping it off with one of the nations toughest anti-Marriage Equality SuperDOMA.  Are you African-American? Nebraska’s largest city, Omaha, was recently recorded as the most dangerous city for African-Americans. Don’t feel safe here, Out-of-Stater, minorities don’t.

  The negative list is endless, these just came to mind first. So, don’t be poor, and certainly don’t be a minority of any class if you want to have an easy time here. Future Top Lists that try to put Omaha or Nebraska in a positive light, BEWARE! The truth is out there. Here is the breakdown.

Nebraska Rejects Medicaid Expansion

The Nebraska Unicameral voted down the Medicaid Expansion. The state legislature rejected an expansion bill for the second year in a row. The bill was defeated in a cloture vote 27-21, 33 were needed to advance. This bill was special because it included compromises meant to attract the votes of the typical Nebraska conservative. The bill included programs recently approved for use in Iowa and Arkansas. For more info: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/03/19/nebraska-rejects-compromise-effort-to-expand-medicaid

Nebraska Rejects Minimum Wage Increase

That same one house legislative body voted down a Minimum Wage increase to $9.00.  Seattle approved a $15 minimum wage, Omaha and the rest of Nebraska are stuck at $7.25, less than half of Seattle’s $15 per hour. How’s that for perspective? Nebraska would do well with some perspective outside its little RedState bubble. For more info: http://www.omaha.com/article/20140331/MONEY/140339698/1694

Nebraska, 3rd Worst TaxPayer state

According to WalletHub, Nebraska is the third worst taxpayer state. From the information on the chart below, the average Nebraskan pays $9,450 annually in just state and local taxes. That is the THIRD highest figure on the chart.  Now, where does all that money go?  To fund the broken promises of Nebraska richest CEOs and richest corporations? I can see why California and New York is so high, they have well developed programs for their residents.  Nebraska does not. Want to live in a BLUEr state, close by, with lower taxes?  Hint: its not Iowa, its not Minnesota. It is called Colorado at #10 best for taxes, and with the advent of marijuana legalization there, taxes could get a little lower.

Republican Mess Called Nebraska!

Nebraska, Third worst taxpayer state.

Nebraska, 2nd Highest Rich-Poor Gap in the Nation

A recent study by AFL-CIO shows Nebraska to be the state with the second biggest rich-poor gap. According to the Lincoln Journal Star, “CEO of a publicly traded company based in Nebraska made an average of $6,342,786, 170 times more than the $37,204 average paid to the Nebraska worker. When compared to the earnings of minimum wage workers who make $7.25 per hour in Nebraska, the gap between CEO and worker pay jumps up to a 421:1 ratio, the data showed.”  That’s ridiculous, especially when you consider Nebraska also turned down a minimum wage increase. For more info:  http://journalstar.com/business/local/nebraska-s-pay-gap-second-biggest-among-states-afl-cio/article_1017e23c-9b34-55b8-9b05-e7a0ad82ccd1.html

Nebraska Kills Equality Legislation

Civil rights legislation filibustered or held up in committee. This session there were 3 bills introduced that would have affected Nebraska’s LGBT community. The most publicized was LB485, the workplace nondiscrimination bill.  A cloture vote did not attain enough votes to stop a filibuster, and it died.  The Second parent adoption didn’t even get out of committee, which of course, the Coalition didn’t exactly help either. For more info: http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2014/04/bill-to-prohibit-anti-lgbt-workplace-discrimination-stalls-in-neb-legislature

Omaha and Nebraska ranked as the most dangerous places for African-Americans

Omaha and Nebraska have been recently ranked as the most dangerous places our nation’s African-American community. From PolicyMic.com, “According to the Violence Policy Center, a Washington, D.C.-based research and advocacy center, it’s Omaha, Nebraska. Thirty black people were murdered in Nebraska in 2011 (the latest year for which data is available), 27 of them in Omaha. That means the state had a black homicide rate of 34.4 per 100,000 people, or twice the national average.” See more info: http://www.policymic.com/articles/80371/what-is-the-most-dangerous-city-to-live-in-if-you-re-black-the-answer-will-surprise-you

Omaha rated low in Public Transportation.

Omaha is actually a major regional transportation hub, but respect for that distinction is low when you have to suffer on Omaha’s Public Bus System. Visitors to Omaha should plan ahead for getting around Omaha. Don’t expect to get too far at night, and don’t expect to get too far West. See Reviews: http://www.yelp.com/biz/metro-area-transit-omaha

As you can see, Nebraska rejects all kinds of ways of moving forward.  Good Sense is an endangered species on the Plains. Checkout the FaceBook Page: Nebraska: Not Open For Business.

 

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