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I'm a Dork 4 Jay Brannan to see his links click here:

"The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported."

Fight the H8 in Your State"A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity."

~ Honorable James Madison, Jr., President, The United States of America, 1809–1817. The Father of the Constitution, Author of the Bill of Rights, Co Author of The Federalist Papers


Come On People! Is your life really worth the risk? Wrap It Up!
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31 January 2008

FW READER: Myths of the Smoking Ban

Michael Summers over at the Fort Wayne Reader has written a wonderful article in the latest issue of the Fort Wayne Reader entitled Myths of the Smoking Ban (copied below) which opens up data on several other issues regarding City and County politics that I feel every citizen should take a second look at.

F6 is going to analyze his article and rip off (with credit given to Michael for it here), the original data and highlight some other issues in the next couple of posts that are prevalent issues in both City and County governance especially with recent statements and actions by the City Council and Mayor Henry, along with the At Large County Council and Commissioner races coming to a head this fall, and the conversation at the State level with the Commission on Local Government's controversial recommendations for changing the way business is done at the local level- sort of.

No, the city’s smoking ban isn’t going anywhere, and yes, seven months later, area bars are still waiting for all those new customers


Since Fort Wayne’s ordinance prohibiting smoking in virtually all public areas went into effect on June 1, 2007, the fallout on local businesses has been the subject of rampant speculation and rumor-mongering.


Food and Beverage Tax revenues have plummeted or they’ve shot up; dozens of bars and restaurants across the city were closing their doors and laying off employees or they were hiring more staff to handle the flood of new customers; formerly crowded establishments were virtually empty or they were so packed you couldn’t find a table. Violations were so widespread that the fire department couldn’t write tickets fast enough. We even heard one rumor that claimed some bars in town were allowing smoking and just paying the fines.


For the record, the Fire Department says they’ve only issued two tickets — both to businesses, at $100 a piece — and 21 warnings in the seven months the ordinance has been in effect. 12 tickets were issued the year after the first ordinance was passed in 1998 (we’re law-abiding folks here in Fort Wayne, or at least not snitches).

But while the damage the recent ordinance has had on local restaurants and bars is perhaps not as hysterical as the rumors might suggest, the truth for some segments of the hospitality industry is ugly enough — they really are suffering. Places have closed their doors and let go of employees. Bar and restaurant owners in Fort Wayne report seeing their regulars less frequently, that customers drink less and don’t stay as long. Furthermore, they complain that it’s not a level playing field; the smoking ordinance applies to the Fort Wayne city limits, not Allen County, and they’ve seen their business move outside the city limits.

In short, many of the things that city officials claimed wouldn’t happen as a result of the smoking ban have become the reality.


The ordinance was proposed in late 2006 by Dr. John Crawford, Republican At-Large on the Fort Wayne City Council. Inspired by a Surgeon General’s report earlier in the year that stated there was no risk-free level of exposure to second-hand smoke and modeled on similar laws in cities all over the country, the ordinance banned smoking in almost all public areas — bars, restaurants, clubs, workplaces, and the majority of hotel and motel rooms.


In an interview last year in FWR #69, Dr. Crawford anticipated some of the concerns local businesses might have with the new ordinance. “We’ll hear all the same things we heard 10 years ago (with the 1998 ordinance): ‘If we do this, all the restaurants will go out of business. If we do this, nobody will come to Fort Wayne, and dah-dah-dah.’ But remember, all those other states that have done this have looked at all this, and that doesn’t happen.”

He added that a study looking at sales tax receipts from restaurants the year before and after the 1998 smoking ordinance showed absolutely no effect. “The reason there wasn’t a change is, remember, 3/4 of the people don’t smoke and 1/4 do, so the 1/4 that smokes, they go out a little bit less, and the 3/4 that don’t smoke, they go out a little more,” Dr. Crawford said. “For example, I don’t go to a bowling alley now because I can’t stand the smoke, but I’ll go when it’s smoke-free. Same thing with bars.”


In another media outlet, Crawford said he wasn’t worried about any election year backlash, because “smokers don’t vote.”


Apparently, smokers do vote, just not for Dr. Crawford. He lost his bid for re-election last November, with many claiming that his work on the smoking ban made him a target for disgruntled citizens. The issue was so controversial that many political candidates in last year’s elections mentioned they would like to “re-visit” the city’s smoking ban.


But odds are, nobody is going to re-visit anything. Proponents of the ordinance gained more ammunition when a study conducted by the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York was released in mid-January. Air pollution monitors were used to measure the levels of fine particulate air pollution at the same 14 establishments in Fort Wayne in May, 2007, before the ban, and then again in the same 14 establishments after the ban in June 2007.


Here’s a shocker: after the ban was instituted, the level of air pollutants went down. All sarcasm aside, the difference is dramatic — the level dropped 94%. “The one thing you eliminated was exposure to second hand smoke,” says Miranda Spitznagle, director of Program Evaluation at Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation (ITPC — www.itpc.in.gov). “It’s taken away, and there’s the difference.” Proponents of the ban have always cited the health risks to hospitality workers as the leading reason to institute the ordinance; in fact, it’s referred to as the “smoke free workplace law.”


Karla Sneegas, executive director of ITPC, who announced the results of the Roswell Center Study in conjunction with Tobacco Free Allen County, United Hispanic-Americans Inc, and the Allen County Health Department, says they’ve seen consistent results in every city where they’ve done the study. Bloomington, IN, the first place where the study was conducted, showed an 89% decrease. As far as the economic impact on such bans, Sneegas says: “Every published study that is an economic review of smoke-free air ordinances that have been implemented does not show an economic effect. At minimum, it shows no effect, and in many instances, it actually shows a net growth. We have not collected any economic data in Fort Wayne, but it has been done in city after city, and has been done on states that have gone smoke free.”


Meanwhile, bar owners like Sammy Leto of the Mid-City Grill are still waiting for all those new customers to show up. “I haven’t seen is that big influx of non-smokers we were supposed to get,” he says. “Those people don’t come out. There have probably been some that have come through, but not enough that I’ve noticed, not enough to see business go back up.”


Leto says he’s seen a change in his business since June. “It’s coming back a little, but not like it used to be. It hurt a lot during the daytime, when we don’t get a lot of the people who used to come after work.”


Lynn Rice, a manager at Mad Anthony’s brewery for about a year-and-a-half, gives an unequivocal “yes” when asked if the smoking ban has had an effect on their business. “(Regular customers) don’t come in as often and don’t stay as long,” she says. “We’ve probably lost more regulars than we’ve gained new customers.”


Judy Dubuisson, day manager at the Brass Rail for 14 years, says she see fewer daytime customers coming in. “A lot of these guys, they’re older people, they have a lot of problems going outside to smoke,” she says. “Now, the night’s totally different, because there’s a bunch of younger people. A lot of them are just 21, 24, so it’s not a big deal to them to go outside, they’re not used to (smoking inside) like the rest of us are.”


Dave Harris at Legend’s says his business has changed, too. “We probably see the same amount of people, but they don’t stay as long, and when they go outside (to smoke), they don’t drink,” he explains.


“I’d say 90% of the people who come in here smoke, so I don’t think they (city council) should have been worried about places like this,” Harris adds. “Maybe the restaurants, but not a place like this. They surely didn’t poll the people, because if they had polled the people who go into each individual place… well, there were other options. But it’s our business. For them to tell us that we can’t let our customers do what they want to do in our business… I just don’t think that’s right. That’s overstepping their boundaries.”

Unlike Leto, who says that Mid-City has had to let go of several employees, Harris says that Legends was operating a minimum staff anyway, so while they definitely haven’t had to hire anybody, no layoffs have been necessary so far. And generally, they all say business is “okay,” though not what it used to be (“we aren’t going anywhere,” says Lynn Rice).


If so, they’re the lucky ones, according to Loren Fifer. The regional president and state vice-president of the Indiana Licensed Beverage Association (ILBA), Fifer owns Peanuts, Peanuts Too, and the Aboite Grill. He estimates that his bar business has seen a decline in the teens percentage-wise (the Aboite Grill doesn’t allow smoking), and they’ve had to let go of a few employees, but at least he’s still around — over 20 other area businesses in the hospitality industry have shut their doors in the last year. “I’m going to open up a Pandora’s Box right now,” Fifer says. “When Kittyhawk closed, and 300 people lost their jobs, everybody thought that was a major tragic event. My question is, why is that so tragic, when 20 other places went out of business? If they averaged 20 – 40 employees, we’re talking 400 – 600 people who have lost their jobs. When the freight industry loses 300 jobs, it’s a big deal. When 600 people in the hospitality industry lose their jobs, it’s no big deal?”


Fifer admits that the smoking ban may not have been the only reason these places went out of business, but after a series of changes over the last several years — raising the DUI rate, the crackdown on the Cherry Masters machines, an uncertain economy — the smoking ban was the final nail in the coffin. “The people who most of the neighborhood bars appeal to — and this may not be politically correct — are basically blue-collar workers,” he says. “Those are the people who are the smokers.”


Where are all those people going? Some are just staying home. Area liquor stores say they’ve seen an increase in sales since June. “Almost to the date, there’s been a significant increase,” says Rachel Vergara, manager at Cap-N-Cork in Foster Park Plaza. “As a matter of fact, there was probably a time when this actual location was in jeopardy, and we aren’t going anywhere now.”


The people are also going to the county, outside the city limits, according to Fifer. Tavern and restaurant owners from New Haven, which doesn’t have the same smoking ordinance, say business is fine out there. In an interview in FWR #92, Rack & Helen’s owner Pat Anderson estimates his business has gone up 12-15%. He can’t attribute it all to Fort Wayne’s smoking ban, but thinks a good chunk of it came from there.


The theory that smokers are now going outside the city limits might explain the fact that collections from Allen County’s Food and Beverage Tax haven’t seemed to change much. According to the Indiana Department of Revenue, collections from May of 2007 were over $513,000, and dropped to $395,000 for June, after the smoking ban went into effect. It’s a considerable drop, especially considering the collections from the same period the previous year went up from $451,000 to over $548,000. But collections were back up to $548,421.90 for July 2007. “Part of what’s happening is when they report the food and beverage tax, that’s for the whole county, that’s not for the city of Fort Wayne only,” Loren Fifer says. “The county hasn’t lost any taxes but the bars and restaurants (outside Fort Wayne) have picked up patrons. Sure, the taxes are up. They should be, because everyone has raised their prices to stay in business.”


As Fifer implies, it’s the neighborhood bars which seemed to have been hit hardest; the restaurants that complied with the 1998 ordinance and created a separate smoking section, or the establishments that catered to a restaurant/bar crowd, tell a slightly different story. Tony Bryant of Big Eyed Fish says it’s actually worked out well for his business; tables turn over faster, and the place was transitioning into more of a family-style restaurant anyway. “We basically shut off the bar business and made it all family room. The bar business just isn’t out there anymore,” Bryant says. “The smokers I did have, they leave after their meal and my tables turn over faster.”

Kyna Steury, assistant manager at Club Soda for about nine years, says things haven’t changed much. The restaurant added a patio area to accommodate their smoking customers, and the non-smokers seem pleased. “Customers have told us, and written us letters, right after the smoking ban was passed, saying they were happy they could now come into Club Soda and enjoy their dinner without smoke,” Steury says.


Steve Gard, owner of the Oyster Bar restaurants, says it’s probably difficult for many restaurants that used to allow smoking to pinpoint why business might be down a little. The economy is flat, gas prices are up… “I think it would be difficult for restaurants to say ‘the smoking ban caused me to be down 2%’ or whatever.”


“I know that the bars have a larger portion of smoking customers than probably most restaurants, so I think it’s legitimate when the bar owners are saying they were definitely damaged by the ban,” Gard adds.


Of all the restaurants in the city, Gard believes the Hall’s restaurants were probably hurt the most. “The clientele has been built up, and a great many have been smokers. (Sam Hall) went to great expense to comply with (the 1998 smoking ordinance), and then they changed in the middle of the stream.”


In fact, Sam Hall says the ordinance was the last straw for three locations in the city. “In some situations — we had two of them — you’re almost in the red,” Hall says. “But it’s a location, it’s 35, 40 jobs, you’ve been there for 20 years… But then you get to the point where you take a hit like that and it turns into real money… common sense has to take over sooner or later, and there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it.”


“I think that’s the problem with governments,” Hall continues. “They assume that just because somebody unlocks their doors and opens everyday that they’re making a lot of money. But there’s a lot of people out there in a lot of different industries that are thinking ‘Jesus, I hope tomorrow is better than today, I hope next week is better than last year.’”


Recently, city officials have been making noise about “re-visiting” the smoking ban. Loren Fifer outlines what he would like to see happen. “I think what we would like to see happen is to let us decide whether we want to be smoking or non-smoking, even if that means we have to put a big sign on the door,” he says. “Let us decide what we want to be, and let the patrons decide where they want to spend their money. If we’re worried about the kids, okay, then let’s do 21 and over only.”

Several areas across the country have made modifications to similar smoking ordinances. A circuit judge in Louisville, for instance, struck down a smoking ban in that city just last month. But whether we’ll see any reversals happening in Fort Wayne looks more and more unlikely. “From my perspective, we’ve got Ohio that’s smoke-free, Illinois that’s smoke-free… I mean, it’s heading in that direction,” says Steve Gard. “Indiana has to take a good, hard look at smoking bans across the state. That would certainly level all the playing fields. You wouldn’t have to worry about, say, New Haven being the maverick out there.”


Indeed, what’s far more likely is expanding the smoking ordinance to include the entire county. Dick Conklin, executive director of Tobacco Free Allen County (tobaccofreeac.com) references a comment city council member Tim Pape (D-5th) made in a recent meeting. “It’s not that the city is going to change the ordinance,” Conklin explains. “The bar owners need to collectively go to the county commissioners and say ‘you’ve created an uneven playing field. We need to, as a county, address the issue again and establish a playing field that is in fact even for everyone.’”


This “even playing field” is essential if the bar owners who have suffered because of the smoking ban are going to find ways to revitalize their business. One thing bar owners have to look at, Conklin says, is if the bar’s traditional patrons have changed, and what the bar itself is doing to attract new customers. “Because those who have changed and recognized that they have to market differently are more than surviving,” Conklin says. “And yes, that’s a tough thing to do. You’re asking people who say ‘I’ve done it this way for years, and now all of a sudden I have to change?’ Well, yes, that’s the way of business.”

27 January 2008

End of week humor: Its a beautiful day in the gayborhood!

The Gay Parrot

A guy decides that maybe he'd like to have a pet and goes to a pet shop.

After looking around he spots a parrot sitting on a little perch; it doesn't have any feet or legs. The guy says out loud, "Geez, I wonder what happened to this parrot?"

"I was born this way," says the parrot. "I'm a defective parrot."

"Ha, ha," the guy laughs. "It sounded like this parrot actually understood what I said and answered me."

"I understand every word," says the parrot. "I am a highly intelligent and thoroughly educated bird."

"Yeah?" the guy asks. "Then answer this: how do you hang onto your perch without any feet?"

"Well," the parrot says, "this is a little embarrassing, but since you asked, I will tell you. I wrap my little parrot penis around this wooden bar, kind of like a little hook. You can't see it because of my feathers."

"Wow," says the guy, "you really can understand and answer; can't you?"

"Of course. I speak both Spanish and English. I can converse with reasonable competence on almost any subject: politics, religion, sports, physics, philosophy. And I am especially good at ornithology. You should buy me; I am a great companion."

The guy looks at the $200.00 price tag. He says. "I can't afford that."

"Pssst," the parrot hisses, motioning the guy over with one wing. "Nobody wants me because I don't have any feet. You can get me for $20.00; just make an offer."

The guy offers twenty dollars and walks out with the parrot. Weeks go by and the parrot is sensational. He's funny; he's interesting; he's a great pal, he understands everything, sympathizes, and gives good advice. The guy is delighted.

One day the guy comes home from work and the parrot says, "Pssst," and motions him over with one wing. The guy goes up close to the cage. "I don't know if I should tell you this or not," says the parrot, "but it's about your lover and the mailman."

"What?" asks the guy.

"Well," the parrot says, "when the mailman came to the door today, your lover greeted him in a pair of briefs that showed everything and kissed him on the mouth."

"What happened then?" asks the guy.

"Then the mailman came into the house and put his hand on your lovers crotch and began petting him all over," reports the parrot.

"My God!" the guy says. "Then what?"

"Then he pulled down the briefs, got down on his knees and began to lick him, starting with his chest, slowly going down and down." The parrot pauses for a long time...

"What happened? What happened?" says the frantic guy.

"That's what pisses me off. I don't know. I got a hard-on, and fell off my fucking perch."

Since Eric White is running around in circles with Dan Turkette at the moment F6 would like to take a moment and provide the Fort Wayne blogosphere with your weekly Top Ten reasons that "you know someone lived through 2007" when...

10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.

9. sections of text are "left empty to show solidarity with the writers strike" is yet another excuse also for the Journal Gazette to not be delivered to your home on time.

8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't even have the first 20 or 30 years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.

7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen

6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have a blog.

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.

3. You have a list of 10 phone numbers to reach your family of three.

2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.

and the number one reason you know someone lived through 2007 is:

1. You regularly find yourself entering your PIN on the microwave.

24 January 2008

Why is SHORTBUS necessary? Stick figures don't cut it anymore!

F6 recieved the title of this post and the pic on the right as a confidential comment towards this whole fiasco, we thought it was funny and posted it. In addition, so F6 can provide a full disclosure in its public service, here is the original WANE TV News Channel Fifteen story by Megan Stembol. Please note that there were certain inaccuracies in this report which were later corrected by Kevin Leininger in his review of the situation which you can review in the post below.


And finally, a comment from John Cameron Mitchell, taken directly from Andy Towle's Towleroad, the 22nd of March 2006:

"I actually like pornography, but I don't consider this film pornographic. I define — and most people do — pornography as devoid of artistic intent. The purpose of pornography is to arouse. I don't think anyone got [sexually aroused] watching this film. There is a certain provocation we had in mind with this film, but more important than that, we wanted to use sex as a metaphor for things that were, perhaps, universal, themes like connection and love and fear. We just thought the language of sex could be used the way the language of music could be used in a musical."

23 January 2008

F6 quoted in News-Sentinel regarding SHORTBUS

Yes you read correctly, (does happy dance) the "local gay-oriented blog" mentioned in Kevin Leininger's article on 22nd of January, (copied below) is none other than this one right here!

F6 originally picked up on the story from Dan Turkette @ Fort Wayne News and then felt obliged to report and review the situation regarding the local controversy started by Mike Hinkle with the Allen County Public Library over the film SHORTBUS. Dan used and cited an article by WANE TV and a letter written by Jeff Krull, ACPL Director, to an unrevealed female patron regarding censorship and the resources and review policies if the Library. Leo Morris, long time editor of the News-Sentinel, also threw some wisdom into the frying pan and we had to take a moment and applaud him for his discourse. We also gave four paws of approval to Justin Roebuck, for his comments regarding the movie and its validity in the general discourse of sexuality in modern America. It would also be wise to note that there are plenty of comments all from different vantage pointes on this topic via F6, Dan, Leo and others.

Earlier this evening, after shopping at Wal*Mart, I happened to catch the end of The Big Show with Pat White which I ended up getting on to talk about this issue for the last three minutes of the show, when I then realized they were citing/quoting me in their review of the story, as it had unfolded to this pointe, during the two minute back and forth dialog with Pat is how I found out about Kevin's article:

It's not library's job to police morality
But its choices reflect local community, officials say.

Less than 50 years after Jeannie's belly button scandalized network television, a film containing sex acts that make “Deep Throat” seem prudish is threatening to do the same for the normally sedate Allen County Public Library. But does the library's decision to buy a single copy of director John Cameron Mitchell's 2006 movie “Short Bus” mean taxpayers are subsidizing pornography, as Mike Hinkle of Fort Wayne complained to News Channel 15 last week? Or is the availability of what Variety magazine called the “most sexually graphic American narrative ever made outside the porn industry” simply a response — as library officials suggest — to dramatic changes in American culture and the technology by which it is distributed and consumed?

The answer to both questions is uncomfortably easy: yes. The hard part is in knowing what — if anything — can be done about it.

“We reflect the culture, but we don't try to drive it (because) the influence we could bring is not great,” said Director Jeff Krull. “It's a tough call to say when something is over the edge, because the line moves.” But has the line really moved that far in this “City of Churches”?

Adult Bibliographer Kathy Witwer, who annually screens thousands of items for possible inclusion in the 3 million-piece collection, said Fort Wayne's culture does influence the library's policies. Even though American Library Association opposes the use of Internet filters on library computers, the Allen County library uses the devices to block access to sites containing pornography or other objectionable materials. Adults can ask the filters be removed, but must request a specific site to prevent “surfing the Web” for porn that could be seen by children.

That crucial point has mostly been lost in this debate. The public can — and should — debate the library's selection criteria, and complain when appropriate. But those concerns should be tempered by the library's efforts to limit children's access to questionable materials. The library does not carry X-rated films, and anyone wanting to check out R-rated movies must be 17 years old. Nonrated films like “Short Bus” are treated the same way, as are the copies of “Playboy” magazine. [CORRECTION:] Contrary to last week's report, Krull said, the library does not carry copies of harder-core magazines such as “Penthouse” and “Hustler.” According to a policy adopted in 1992, the library's collection is designed to include “all points of view on current and historical issues and inclusive portrayals of human experience. ... Partisan or doctrinal disapproval does not result in exclusion or removal of a work from the collection.”

[F6 Quoted:] Many items are added at the request of the public, and the author of a local gay-oriented blog claims to have requested the acquisition of “Short Bus” “so I could review it ... and broaden everyone's queer horizons.”

Witwer said she's uncomfortable about the prospect of being a “censor for Fort Wayne's kids,” and she's right to feel that way. Graphic sexuality is only one of many things people find offensive, and some people have suggested the Bible and other religious texts be removed because of the “wall of separation between church and state.” Why allow “Short Bus” and “Playboy” but not “Hustler”? Krull said “Short Bus” was a legitimate film reviewed by serious critics and Playboy often contains articles by noted authors. The library is also the community's repository of knowledge and culture, both good and bad, and to remain relevant must compete with the Internet and other readily available sources of even more graphic material.

“Short Bus” is not available at Blockbuster Video, however — even though many R-rated and unrated films are. “We try to be a family store,” said Chad White, manager of the store at 6404 W. Jefferson Blvd., who also imposes age restrictions on certain films at the request of account holders, who must be at least 18.

It's not the library's job to protect adults from anything that might give offense. And good parents know it's their job — not Krull's — to equip their children to avoid or resist negative influences.

Even so, the sexual revolution has created too many victims of abortion, broken families, disease and other miseries for us to smugly criticize the days married TV couples with children were forced to sleep in twin beds. Adults can't legally smoke in a Fort Wayne bar or drive without wearing a seat belt. But at least you can still check out an explicit tax-funded skin flick at the library. It's a reflection of our culture, all right — and of us.
I would now like to take a moment to thank Kevin and Pat personally for their treatment of these very delicate topics and issues. While one may disagree in certain percentage with Kevin's concluding opinion, I must give him credit for fair and balanced presentation and for correcting certain misinformation (for reference) in the original news stories and cross blog coverage. And as always Pat, thank you for letting the other vantage pointe be heard as well.

19 January 2008

SHORTBUS creates local controversy at Public Library

John Cameron Mitchell's film SHORTBUS which introduced the world to the music and acting of Jay Brannan has come under the guise of certain puritan idealist locally. According to a WANE TV report, local activist Mike Hinkle is on a mission of ignorance and mortification, based on his perception of normal everyday American SEX! Yes you read correctly, a movie that discusses that horrible topic about what we do to each other willingly, yet refuse to talk about; while we wonder why our kids our having kids and worse yet getting incurable diseases, because no one is willing to have an honest conversation about relationships, let alone sex! SHORTBUS and the actors who starred in it had that as its primary goal a discussion and presentation about RELATIONSHIPS AND SEX!!

Now apparently he has rented SHORTBUS along with several other movies he deems unworthy of public comment and review to be taken to the Associated Churches of Fort Wayne. To start a censorship battle with the Library Board there? Who knows.

"Hinkle is now (supposedly) filing a formal complaint with the library, to have the movie banned from the library shelves. Hinkle says a library committee reviews complaints about material, and then decides whether or not to take action." A move Justin Roebuck, another long time patron of the library, agrees with sort of. "That gentleman has every right to file a complaint, but I think it's up to individual discretion to decide what is, and is not pornography." Justin further defended the film, "It is about sex in modern day America. I think it was an important film, actually."

F6 wants to take a moment, roll over and give Justin four paws in the air, for standing up for truth and freedom of speech in the midst of this obvious act of bigoted close minded grandstanding on the part of Mike Hinkle.



Library Director Jeff Krull reassured citizens that when patrons check out those kinds of magazines, they have to leave behind their driver's license for collateral. When it comes to checking out movies, Krull says the staff strictly enforces the G-, PG-, and R-rating system. A further clarification of the system states that unrated movies which include certain foreign language films and television shows also are unrated and therefore have restricted access.

In a letter dated the eleventh of January 2008, Jeff explains the Resource Development Policy to a concerned female patron, "materials in the collection present all points of view on the current and historical issues and inclusive portrayals of human experience in a wide variety of media and styles." Jeff goes on in the letter to express one of the most Libertarian stances I have ever heard in my lifetime: "It is not the ACPL policy not to place any... restrictions on borrowers in making ... selections. We rely on parents (as the primary educators of their children) to provide guidance and direction to their children on appropriate reading choices. We believe it is the right and responsibility of parents, and only parents, to restrict their own children's access to library materials they believe are unsuitable."



The letter was made available by Dan Turkette of Fort Wayne News here in (pdf) his coverage of this story. Which brings me to my last notation: I am actually the one who made the formal request for this movie to be purchased, so I could review it on here as part of F6's service to the community and broaden everyone's queer horizons a little more each day, since they couldn't retrieve it from another library. Six month turn around is actually fast work on their part which results in a excellent government efficiency rating for processing a casual request! Thank you to WANE TV, Dan, and Mike for bringing this to my attention so promptly.

Now all I have to do is pray that Mike or the Associated Churches decide to return the DVD to the Library rather than burning it in effigy. To refuse to allow the rest of the citizenry make an open and honest decision for themselves about this offering to the public conversations surrounding RELATIONSHIPS and SEXUALITY would be the greatest offense to the Constitution hands down! If it is not returned, I would hope that the ACPL would restrict if not ban this zealot from checking out further material at a minimum and preferably they would sue his ass in federal court for theft or destruction of public property and violation of our first amendment rights to preview information that is already in the public sphere.


[Editor's Note: Text in orange was
highlighted after posting, reflecting
where it was
quoted without direct cite by The News Sentinel.]



[F6 UPDATED:] In his Opening Arguments, Leo Morris, reminds us that in fact the correct legal question regarding Community Standards is whether SHORTBUS is obscene not pornographic and that review falls under the jurisdiction of the County Prosecutor who will probably not touch this issue with a twenty foot pole and defer to the standing policy of the Library's review process for guidance.

[THIS IS A POLITICAL RANT:] Although with that information now out on the blogosphere, we are only three steps away from a concerned member of the Associated Churches or the Library Board to resign from a statewide watchdog organization which then turns around and files a formal complaint even after the local government authority clears the movie from any violation of community standards or obscenity, to get the ball rolling yet again. I wonder who the Special Prosecutor will be for this one. Can you imagine the headline "City of Churches sues Independent Film".

It is We The People not I The Citizen at the beginning of the Constitution!

Come on people this whole fiasco is a flagrant violation of the intent behind our first amendment rights and my liberty to decide what is appropriate for myself and my children to read or view. This isn't about porn it is about an honest visual conversation that apparently some in the community don't want to have undertaken, and that my friends, is puritanical censorship not to mention minority rules trumping majority rights.

17 January 2008

One of the downsides to New Media: Old Rules

In true old fashion reminder that riddles with every person especially the minute they begin a new venture or start a new job within government or major corporations and small alike: scrutiny rears its ugly orifices. The person either has to sift their history or obliterate their previous or future independence of expression on views and events from the public view. One of the things that NEW MEDIA NEW RULES promoted, wrongfully so in my opinion, was "no anonymous blogging/comments"; unfortunately that lack of pseudonymous status, has now claimed part of the historical record of Fort Wayne politics and life events in its wake.

Rachel Blakeman, formerly the Editor of BE PART OF THE SOLUTION has, according to Jeff Pruitt @ Fort Wayne Left, accepted a position within the Mayoral administration of Tom Henry as the Public Information Officer; as a precursor to that event, BPOTS went dead about three days ago and is now completely wiped from existence. This is the ultimate reason why traditional print media will never go completely away as a primary source, because it provides an historical record and is independent from what your current and future boss or company might consider within the preview of your eligibility for or sustainability with employment. If we are going to embrace the New Media over the Old or Traditional, then the Old Rules need thrown out as well or at least revised to accommodate if not the independent thought then at least the historical recall; which due to these actions, whether undertaken by Rachel as a personal decision or directed to her as a condition of employment, has greatly diminished for our posterity part of the dialogs of our City's history.

I used Rachel's analysis to balance my own on certain thoughts and issues and the give and take across the blogosphere of Fort Wayne has lost a great contributer to the conversation. I hope and pray that at some pointe she will make an archive available. I also wish her the best as she explores these new opportunities to keep the citizen informed and government as transparent as possible.
BTW, Jeff, thank you again for the information.

16 January 2008

subsidies? we dont need no fucking subsidies!

MAY I HAVE THE ATTENTION OF CONSERVATIVES, COMMUNISTS, LIBERALS, AND SOCIALIST PLEASE:

This is just one more example of what happens when the market is allowed to regulate itself on prices or services ~ competition always provides a win for the consumer and for the businesses.
Now the only three questions I have to ask you all to consider are:

1. How many people from the north and east side of town drove all the
way to Roanoke to get cheaper fuel for their Sports Utility Vehicle?
2. Would not that of course be a bad thing by wasting all that gas while taking
advantage of corporate greed to increase business revenue and statistics?
3. How much money did the Federal, State, and Local government
agencies loose in tax revenue based on the reduced versus normal pricing?



Gas Price War in Roanoke

(Roanoke, Ind. - WANE TV) We all keep an eye on gas prices, hoping to fill up for less. Now, two local gas stations are offering dramatically lower prices than others.

When you drive around Fort Wayne, you'll see gas prices at several local stations inching close to $3.00 a gallon for regular unleaded. "I wish it would go down," said one customer filling up. "I remember it only took 20 bucks or so, but now you put in about 40 to fill up," said another. "It's way too high," said another customer.

Just 20 miles away from the Summit City, in Roanoke, it's a dramatically different story. Gas prices there are nearly 30 cents cheaper, and that's making many people very happy."I was like yeah; that's a deal right there," said one excited Roanoke customer who filled up in Roanoke for $2.68. "I was really happy when I saw it," said another customer. "I think it all ought to be 2.68," said another. The prices are cheaper at the two Roanoke stations, mainly because, of competition.

"Lassus Handy Dandy has come to the Roanoke community some 20 years ago, and found ourselves with some new competition in the area," Lassus Handy Dandy Manager Andrew Carmichael told Newschannel 15's Matt McCutcheon. That competition comes from the recently-opened Sparky Mart, right across the street.
"We felt that we should be even with them on price, so that's where the price ended up at 2.68... before they stopped and let us be even," said Sparky Mart General Manager Scott Olbin.

Analysts point to higher gas prices as taking a toll on the economy; that's something local people agree with. "It's going to curt-tail my traveling this summer," said one concerned customer. "I tend to have to try to watch what I spend when going out, and on food," said another. "It's killing me! Simply killing-me," said another. While some people call $2.68 a bargain... "Every penny counts," said one customer. ...it's a price that'll won't likely last for long.

"They vary everyday, so you never know if it's going to go down or up tomorrow," said Olbin.


!VOTE LIBERTARIAN FOR A TRUE CHANGE!

something every eighth grader should memorize and never forget


STAR TREK: Original Series- Season 2 Episode 23, The Omega Glory

15 January 2008

stuff you just cant make go away

SEPARATED AT BIRTH TWINS GET MARRIED
(who says fraternal twins aren't drawn and connected to each other- nudges Josef with elbow)

In London, twins who were separated at birth and adopted by different sets of parents later married each other without realizing they were brother and sister. The brother and sister were granted an annulment after a high court judge ruled that the marriage had never validly existed.

The identities of the twins and details of their relationship and marriage have been kept secret, but it was known they were separated soon after birth and never told they were twins. They only discovered they were blood relatives after the wedding.

WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE ON YOUR CHECKS
"Motherfucking fuck is just another fucking word.
The idea the word is dirty is to him fucking absurd."
(Jay Brannan ~ On All Fours)

A man who wrote a vulgar message on the memo line of a check he used to pay a $5 parking ticket has apologized in writing, leading police to drop a disorderly conduct charge against him. The man sent the check after receiving a $5 parking ticket. He calls it "a temporary lapse of judgment." Clerks were offended by the message, and the disorderly conduct charge was filed because the comment was obscene.

A lawyer for the man said his client would have prevailed if he went through a trial. "The F-word isn't what it used to be," the attorney said, because it doesn't have a sexual connotation anymore and so can't be considered obscene. However the man has agreed to pay the parking fine and court costs.

NEW JERSEY SIGNS ON TO ELIMINATE ELECTORAL COLLEGE
(you idiots - The Constitution was written that way to provide a fail safe for the people!)

Yesterday New Jersey became the second state to enter a compact that would eliminate the Electoral College's power to choose a president if enough states endorse the idea. New Jersey’s governor signed legislation that approves delivering the state's 15 electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. The Assembly approved the bill last month and the Senate followed suit earlier this month. Maryland had been the only state to pass the compact into law. The measure could result in the electoral votes going to a candidate opposed by voters in New Jersey, which has backed Democratic presidential candidates since 1988.

The compact would take effect only if enough states agreed to it. The compact has also passed both houses of the Illinois Legislature and has been approved by one legislative house in Arkansas, Colorado and North Carolina. Governors in California and Hawaii, though, vetoed bills to join the compact.

TEXAS STUDENTS SUSPENDED FOR REFUSING HAIRCUTS
(at least if the youth were native they could fight under religious protections)

Four Kerens, Texas teens were suspended from school Tuesday for refusing to get their hair cut over the Christmas break. The students had been warned that the district was cracking down on dress code that hair cannot extend beyond the collar in the back. They had been allowing the students to bind their hair, but that practice became “inconsistent.” After several complaints from parents in the small rural town south of Dallas, school officials decided to eliminate the hair-binding loophole. Students were told to go to the barber over break or face the consequences. Persistent insubordination could go as far as a disciplinary alternative school placement, according to the school.

Strict dress codes are common in Texas, and have been upheld by challenges which went as far as the Texas Supreme Court. Students at the high school are also prohibited from wearing sleeveless shirts, excessively tight or baggy pants, mismatched socks, "disruptive hair styles" and "unnatural" hair colors, according to an 86-page student handbook.

FBI WIRETAPS DROPPED DUE TO UNPAID BILLS
(the Patriot Act was pissed on from within the Administration. So why renew it Mr. Souder?)

Telephone companies have cut off FBI wiretaps used to eavesdrop on suspected criminals because of the bureau's repeated failures to pay phone bills on time. A Justice Department audit released yesterday blamed the lost connections on the FBI's oversight of money used in undercover investigations.

In one office alone, unpaid costs for wiretaps from one phone company totaled $66,000.
In at least one case, a wiretap used in an investigation "was halted due to untimely payment," the audit found. These wiretaps are used in the government's most sensitive and secretive criminal and intelligence investigations, and allow eavesdropping on suspected terrorists or spies. More than half of 990 bills to pay for telecommunication surveillance in five unidentified FBI field offices were not paid on time.

The faulty bookkeeping was blamed, in large part, on an FBI employee who pleaded guilty in June of 2006 to stealing $25,000 for her own use.

(That isn't an explanation. Does anyone else belief that a twenty five thousand theft accommodates for the almost a thousand bills going unpaid?)

THEY SAY THERE IS ANOTHER RECALL: TRAILER BICYCLES

(This is on here to show solidarity with a fellow local blogger @ Fetchy's Bantering. Eric's recent fiasco with his Schwinn Indoor Trainer disintegration over the New Years holiday causing plentiful damages to his house and scraping him but thankfully not his sister and pets.)

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a voluntary recall of about 7,000 InStep “Pathfinder,” Schwinn “Run About,” and Mongoose “Alley Cat” Trailer Bicycles—single-wheeled children’s bicycles that connect to an adult’s bike by a coupler. The coupler connecting the children’s trailer bike to the adult’s bicycle has welds that can fail, posing a fall hazard to children. There has been one report of the coupler failing, resulting in a fall and abrasions to the rider.

The items were sold at bicycle stores and retailers nationwide from January 2007 through August 2007 for between $80 and $120. The items were manufactured in China (can we expect another execution?) Consumers should stop using the trailer bicycle immediately and contact the firm for a free repair kit.

For additional information, contact Pacific Cycle toll-free at (877) 564-2261 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit www.instep.net, www.schwinnbikes.com, or www.mongoose.com

13 January 2008

Winter Wonderland Drag Show TODAY!!

EREN of IPFW

Proudly Presents A Winter Wonderland Show (the rescheduled version)

IPFW- Walb Student Union Ballroom (north side of the campus, west of the roundabout off Stellhorn/ State Road 37

6:00pm- $6.00 at the door

Featuring: Sasha Sinclaire, Della Licious, Jessica Banks, Miss Tykela, Niomi Necoll Onassis, Flawless, Mz. Gizelle, Mercades, Olivia Davis, Vanessa Styles, Lola Palooza, Britney Monroe, Kristina, Danielle Diamonds, Natasha Necoll, with special guest Mr. Gay Three Rivers!

Co-sponsored by the HRCFW and Reality Magazine!

Come out and help sponsor your local GLBT community organizations!

12 January 2008

FAQ's: These were a few a my favorite things

In this latest installment of F6 we continue with the list from Harry Reineke IV @ Ramblin Rosko. Some of the most awesome things to do along the three rivers, Harry, are completely illegal. Here are two examples:

1. Sometime after midnight me and some of my best friends will periodically go to to Reservoir Park on Creighton Avenue between Clinton Street and Lafayette Boulevard, after a good rain or snow storm and go sliding down either the east or southwestern face of the upper hill in our underwear. Normally someone snags themselves on a tree the second time down and so slowly but surely we'll probably end up naked as the game progresses. The goal is to not fall down completely if you do you loose and the punishment for loosing involves either a few smacks across the ass or purchase of the next case of beer the second one that looses buys dinner along with the third (usually Arbys since Powers is no longer open 3rd shift). The fourth is the pre-elected guinea pig or bait for any future pranks we decide to pull in the next forty eight hours. Yes we know it is illegal but damn it is fun. Between the hours of midnight and three hundred hours everyone else is either home asleep, working, or drinking at a local establishment; so aside from, an occasional yelps from: an almost castration, a few good smacks, and a tumble down the hill backwards, no one can actually see us frolicking around naked. We aren't disturbing the peace either since the hill and trees muffle the sounds of our little tangos.

If you ever heard me or any alternative Christian and pagan in the City affectionately refer this hill as God's Rock now you know what we are talking about. This is also a really cool place to go and meditate or just hide away from the world for a while. I would make one recommendation that you never go to La Rez alone, at least take someone with you as a look out. For a pointe of reference, F6's Title Banner Picture is taken from the northwest face of God's Rock.


2. Sledding or inner tube down the BMX hill at Franke Park (still clothed by the way) at like one in the morning at one in the morning. With the exception of that one hump in the very middle which will cause someone to loose the use of an appendage for at least two weeks. Grabbing a cauldron of hot chocolate and roasting marshmallows with a lighter finish out the event and make for an awesome way to meet new totally random friends in the course of just a few hours.


I think that is one of the truly beautiful things about our city,
"We are truly a 'Crossroad Community' and it shows in the everyday bounty; which rather unfortunately, goes overlooked by most when the daily grind takes over their lives. Take a moment to explore the hidden kaleidescope that is here in the midsts of this historic community. Take a bike ride along the River Greenway but don't feed the geese they do bite back. And while you are exploring the Summit City, take time to introduce yourself to a stranger and inherit 40 friends in five days flat."

3. We have some wonderful trails within the City and surrounding country areas although if you take the time to go on any length or duration of a trip you will want to make sure that you have a full service of food and water on board with you as well as a roll of toilet paper, first aide kit, and communication device of some form. Our parks also don't have full access toilets either so be prepared to squat at random places to relieve any byproducts that have built up. In addition study your maps (pg 2 pdf document) carefully because it is easy to get lost on and off the trail.

I spent a better portion of my weekends during my teenage years on the Greenway just exploring nature and the hidden beauty outside of everyones typical vantage pointe. After you get used to the River Greenway a little bit and I can find a seat that will accommodate my over sized balls I will show you some of the secret passages built in across the City. You would be surprised to find out how intertwined the City really is and most residents don't know it.

4. And while my fourth favorite thing to do around the Old Fort is not illegal it might be considered blasphemous by others. I developed this last one on my own while visiting my grandparent's grave. It is called "how far can you get around" and what you do is as you enter Lindenwood Cemetery you throw your car into high idle, lock in your cruise control at random speeds (no higher then forty mph) and then put your car in low gear. Then as you traverse the hills and valleys of the outer rim road of Lindenwood you see how far around you can go without loosing momentum. So far I have made it half way around at thirty two miles per hour and a quarter of the way around at twenty eight mph.

Photo of a map of Lindenwood Cemetery was ganked from the Northeast Indiana AIDS Memorial. While I do support the Memorial I do not support the CATT program which is where some of the money goes when purchasing a brick; so therefore can not suggest that anyone purchase a paving brick at this time, until Tula (aka Charles Miller) gets her fat little fingers out of the cookie jar and the pocket book of the Memorial- or the UTSCC for that matter.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Links not working; Image not showing]
[Apparently due to
F6's investigative work, before this post was made available to the public; enough questions were asked in the right direction/ towards the right people, that some heads decided to roll and websites were taken down, all because a cute little bear decided to paw at a few loose branches, oh well. Here ==> is a thumbnail of the picture you should have been able to see if F6 hadn't sent certain organizations scrambling for answers or cover, which ever applies.]

5. The fact that we are such a diverse City is one thing that makes us great. At one pointe you will still have the stereotypes and misnomers but in the same breath when it comes down to the nuts and bolts of the matter at hand whether Gay or Straight, Pagan, Jew, Christian or Muslim or any other random personal belief structure held by individuals, the betterment of the greater community usually shows forth before any individuals' bias in a given situation. Even when the occasional hate monger shows its ugly presence there are usually enough people to back up the one being attacked or at least available to assist afterwards, going beyond general Hoosier Hospitality, that is something ingrained upon us from childhood, to look out for each other and our occasional moments of stupidity.

Unfortunately as the City grows and we modernize we are starting to loose our sense of individuals making up a community rather than organizations as evidenced by the gang of little drunk homophobic twerps that attempted to shove a three hundred and forty pound bear (me) down last night after I broke up a confrontation they were having with another party by involving Fort Wayne's finest. Let's just say the picked the wrong priest to piss off, thankfully for them, I am a pacifist.

09 January 2008

Expose of Gay Romance and White Trash Gossip Returns In Fall

The Del Shores movie Sordid Lives is making it mini series debut in the fall of this year on LOGO (source: Brian Juergens' blog). A black comedy about white trash, as three generations of a family in a small Texas town gather for a funeral, we learn the hilarious, sad, trashy truth of the "Sordid Lives" as they find out they're all connected... whether they like it or not!

Writer-director Del Shores serves up a heaping helping of Southern-fried comic melodrama in this adaptation of his own play about infidelity, country & western music, and Airstream trailers. When their sister dies, Latrelle (Bonnie Bedelia), LaVonda (Ann Walker), and Sissy (Beth Grant) plan her funeral -- an unenviable task, considering that they must carefully hide the deceased's affair with amputee G.W. (Beau Bridges) from his wife, the vindictive Noleta (Delta Burke). Meanwhile, the trio has to come to terms with two cases of sexual orientation: Latrelle's openly gay soap-opera star son Ty (Kirk Geiger), whose sexuality she continues to deny; and their only brother, Boy (Leslie Jordan), who's serving a sentence in a mental ward for his adamant belief that he is actually country & western legend Tammy Wynette. Playing an aspiring singer-songwriter, Olivia Newton-John turns up to provide the film with the occasional musical interlude.

~ Michael Hastings, All Movie Guide
Some of the cast of the new series includes Wyatt Earp III and Jason Dottley and Dale Dickey all from Southern Baptist Sissies fame which is also being turned into a series to debut in 2009. We will also see the return of gay jazz and gospel singer Levi Kreis who appeared on the fourth season of The Apprentice, Kiss The Bride (2007), Days of Our Lives, Young and The Restless, amongst many other cameo appearances and and actual characters within.

A synopsis video of SORDID LIVES with the infamous end bumper at the 6:15 mark of the video (warning: scene with fully fleshed woman's breasts, and no Battle Ready Armor!)



Life From The Left Coast's Ben Patrick Johnson introduces Levi @ PRIDE Fest



Levi's video for "We're Okay" from his album The Gospel According To Levi (2007)



And now pardon me for a moment while my inner baptist black woman goes to church as hottie Eric Himan (pic to right) and Levi Kreis perform "Son Of A Preacher Man" at the Eighth International Gay Games in Chicago Illinois back in like 2006.



Here is a video interview with Levi and his partner Greg Weaver @ the debut of Kissing The Bride:



F6 EDITOR'S UPDATE: SORDID LIVES THE SERIES

LOGO NETWORKS | MYSPACE | BLOGSPOT |

YOU TUBE
| FAN PAGE |

give medals 4 killing men but 4 loving men they wish you were dead?

give medals 4 killing men but 4 loving men they wish you were dead?
thanks to the sacrifice of many the scourge of Dont Ask Dont Tell in the land of the free and home of the brave will be gone by the end of June!!!!