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Indiana School Board Deems LGBTQ Pride Flag ‘Controversial’ After One Parent Voices Concern – Meeting Tonight

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An Indiana school board received a complaint from one parent about an LGBTQ pride flag hanging in an 8th grade classroom, and has obtained legal counsel after deeming it “controversial.”

The Bluffton-Harrison Metropolitan School District will hold a meeting for parents Tuesday night as it takes input before developing a new policy on how to deal with what it is calling “controversial material.”

“I spoke with that parent in regards to their concerns and notified them that we need to get some legal advice in regards to the legality of the situation,” District Superintendent Dr. Brad Yates said in a note to families, WANE reports. “Then I was able to get back with them and say that we were working to develop a policy is what our plan would be. But right now it would be permissible for that [flag] to be displayed in the classroom.”

Dr. Yates in a letter posted to Facebook (below, but since removed from Facebook) adds the “goal of the board is to develop a policy to clearly identify topics considered controversial and outline the buildings or grade levels in which controversial topics would not be permitted.”

In an interview with WANE Yates suggested Tuesday night’s meeting is part of a “legal process.”

UPDATE: Indiana Students Urge School Board to Keep LGBTQ Pride Flag But District Labels It ‘Indoctrination’

Comments on the school’s Facebook post largely appeared to be in favor of allowing the flag to remain, and parents who oppose it were widely challenged. But some commenters asked for parents to attend Tuesday’s meeting to support the teacher who hung the flag, and others appeared to suggest what prompted hanging the flag was a student being bullied.

 

 

Image by Gallant’s Photography via Flickr and a CC license

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President Biden Had Two Vulgar Words to Say When He First Encountered One of Trump’s ‘Toys’ in the White House

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According to the book “Peril,” as newly-inaugurated President Joe Biden first toured the White House after Donald Trump vacated it January 20, he encountered one room of the former president’s “toys,” and responded with a two-word vulgarity.

“Trump’s existence permeated the White House, even the residence,” Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa write in the new book, per an excerpt cited by ABC News, HuffPost reports. “One night, Biden wandered into a room where a huge video screen covered the wall. To relax, Trump used to upload programs to virtually play the world’s most famous golf courses.”

The new President had just two words to say about the golf “toy.”

“What a fucking asshole,” President Biden responded.

 

Image: Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz via Flickr

 

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Watch: Madison Cawthorn Challenger Accuses Him of Being ‘Radicalized’ in Devastating Ad That’s Going Viral

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One of U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn‘s Democratic challengers has just released an ad accusing the North Carolina Republican of appearing to have been “radicalized by extremists,” and it’s going viral, with more than 300,000 views in about ten hours.

“Like too many young people before him from around the world to right next door, Madison Cawthorn exhibits the signs of a young man who has been radicalized by extremists and is now dangerously radicalizing others,” Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, one of four Democrats and seven Republicans running to unseat Congressman Cawthorn, says in her new ad accusing him of “stoking insurrection.”

Jasmine Beach-Ferrara is a North Carolina county commissioner, ordained minister, and founder and executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality. She announced her run for Congress in March.

Her campaign website says: “Jasmine attended public schools through high school and received her undergraduate degree from Brown University. She holds a Master of Fine Arts and completed her Master of Divinity degree at Harvard Divinity School. She served on the Biden Foundation’s Advisory Council for Advancing LGBTQ Equality.”

The ad is emblazoned with images of young Nazis in Hitler’s Germany, along with neo-Nazis and white supremacists from the Unite the Right “rally” in Charlotte, NC, along with white supremacist, neo-Nazi, and mass murderer Dylann Roof who slaughtered nine Black bible study group members, and alleged teenaged killer Kyle Rittenhouse who goes on trial in November.

The video says eight months after the January 6 insurrection, Cawthorn “calls these violent insurrectionists ‘hostages’ and can’t let go of the Big Lie.”

The ad also features images of Beach-Ferrara with her wife and children, as she says, “as a mom, an ordained minister and a county commissioner, I’m running to defeat Madison Cawthorn, not by confronting hate with more hate, but with love of neighbor, love of community, and love of country. Because violent extremism has no place in western North Carolina. This isn’t who we are. We need to be crystal clear about the difference between right and wrong.”

Beach-Ferrara calls Cawthorn “a danger to our democracy,” and says, “I’m asking for your help, not just to defeat him, but to come together to create the America our kids deserve.”

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The ‘Rosetta Stone of the Far Right’ Just Got Hacked — and Its Secrets Are Being Exposed

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On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported on the hack of Epik, a domain hosting website that has become synonymous with far-right groups and causes.

“Online records show those sites have included 8chan, which was dropped by its providers after hosting the manifesto of a gunman who killed 51 Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019; Gab, which was dropped for hosting the antisemitic rants of a gunman who killed 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018; and Parler, which was dropped due to lax moderation related to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack,” reported Drew Harwell, Craig Timberg, and Hannah Allam.

Epik also briefly hosted the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer, and prolifewhistleblower.com, the website set up to facilitate bounty-hunting snitches for the new Texas abortion law.

According to the report, experts are combing through the data of the leak, which came courtesy of the hacker group Anonymous and includes everything from client names to home addresses to the account credential of far-right site administrators.

“Extremism researchers and political opponents have treated the leak as a Rosetta Stone to the far-right, helping them to decode who has been doing what with whom over several years,” said the report. “Initial revelations have spilled out steadily across Twitter since news of the hack broke last week, often under the hashtag #epikfail, but those studying the material say they will need months and perhaps years to dig through all of it.”

One of the revelations provided by the leak, said the report, was that Epik had weak security measures.

“Epik’s security protocols have been the target of ridicule among researchers, who’ve marveled at the site’s apparent failure to take basic security precautions, such as routine encryption that could have protected data about its customers from becoming public,” said the report. “Similar failings by other hacked companies have drawn scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission, which has probed companies such as dating site Ashley Madison for failing to protect their customers’ private data from hackers. FTC investigations have resulted in settlements imposing financial penalties and more rigorous privacy standards.”

You can read more here.

 

Image by Kjetil Korslien via Flickr and a CC license

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