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Friday, November 07, 2003

Berg Defends His Citations on Lesbian Violence

Mitch Berg defends the citations he used to back up his statement that Lesbians are more violent than the general population.

Mitch's words are in italics, my responses are not.

Note to the casual reader: This is not a topic of immense interest to me. On the other hand, if you read any of the Twin Cities' numerous political mailing lists, you'll note that Eva writes about it fairly obsessively, and occasionally with a great deal of vitriol. She continuously refers to conservatives who evince any theological trouble with homosexuality as "Theocrats", any group that has qualms about "the gay agenda" as "The Leviticus Crowd", no matter what their motivations (and I'll head Eva off by saying, Yes, some have some noxious motivations indeed! But not all!

EY: Mitch builds a straw man here. The terms "Leviticus Crowd" and "Theocrats" are used to refer to people who like to hide behind the word "conservative" but really are "anti-gay". If I was going to use these terms indescriminately, I would refer to Mitch Berg as a proud member of the Leviticus Crowd. From my readings of his posts, he tends to be more libertarian than anything else.

Also we all have our hot button issues. Mitch's are guns and how men get screwed over in divorces. One of mine is Gay and Lesbian Issues.

Mitch:
So when you get done dancing over your great coup - that I inadvertently linked to an "ibid" rather than the actual footnote, or whatever - would you care to address the OTHER stuff I posted? Like, the entire Renzetti book?


EY: If Mitch was really concerned about the accuracy of what he posted on his blog, he would have put a correction on the original posting. "A wide variety of sources echo the notion that lesbians are, at the very least, no less violent than straight males." "A wide variety of sources" is linked to a footnote - which oddly enough says nothing (just id). That was my criticism.

As far as the Renzetti book,

Mitch:
Bear in mind that when/if you DO address Renzetti, I will probably not be able to counter much, since my interest in this issue really has little or nothing to do with relative levels of violence, but in getting some of the crowd on the original discussion to step back and wait for the investigation to happen before declaring the investigation solved.


EY: I'll pass on discussing Renzetti except for making one point. Her book is about domestic violence - not about what goes on in Lesbian bars. This research doesn't do anything to help get at the truth about whether this incident at Lucy's happened or not.

Lloydletta vs Southwest Journal

Brauer starts by quoting Janis Hall's letter that I posted on the issues list under a nom de plume (and I appologised to E Democracy for that one btw - and I'm not the only E Democracy list manager or former list manager who has posted to E Democracy lists under nom de plumes). I also got 6 months added to my sentence for this one. This letter is still available at the Stride site. I can't get to the letter from the Stride Main page.

http://www.stride-mn.org/newspaper/SWJnotpleased.htm

There was NO legal threat. That doesn't mean we can't ask people not to use images we own when we disagree with what they're doing. We felt it was common courtesy, if nothing else.
EY: If what you mean, there was no threat of "I'll see you in court" in this letter - that's correct. However, clearly this letter is what lawyers advise for newspapers in this situation.

Brauer:

Final proof is that the photo was never removed - a bit was erased (replaced with the word "CENSORED," even though there was no censor) but the devil's horns stayed.

EY: From talking with Ken Avidor about this, he said he had talked with other cartoonists, and that they told him it was expensive to fight these things - even if legally they could win. Apparently there's some legalism for how high of a percentage of the original photo is used, so the body of Johnson was deleted from the photo, so Stride could claim to have less than the legal percentage of the photo in their adaptation of the photo.

Brauer:
We didn't sue.

Nor would we.

Please, this second-hand information is proving frequently wrong. And these old grudges really need to be put to bed.


EY: I didn't say Southwest Journal sued. They just sent a cease and decist letter, and the photo was modified to protect Ken Avidor from a lawsuit. My guess is Brauer was nitpicking about this part of my post:

But Avidor has his name on the site, so he got the legal contact.

Correction: But Avidor has his name on the site, so he got contacted by Southwest Journal's Publisher. It's not clear to me from Stride's site whether the email was cced to SW Journal's attorney. Typically such communications are. I'm also not clear whether SW Journal Contacted Avidor again after the photo had been doctored again so there was less of SW Journal and more from Stride on it, and told them this settled the matter.

Was the Re-Election of Peter McLaughlin a Referendum on the 35W Excess Project?

Eddie Felien writes:

Was I censoring Ken Avidor for writing about the Access Project? Last year I ran against Peter McLaughlin for County Commissioner. He is well known as a supporter of the Access Project, and my campaign focused a great deal of attention on that question. I was most critical of the flyover ramp which would have taken a large number of homes, created an eyesore in South Minneapolis, and reduced the number of hours of daylight for residents living under its arching shadow. The election was in many ways a referendum on the access project, and Peter beat me 4 to 1 in the precincts most affected by the proposed ramp. If it was a referendum, then Peter certainly won it. In spite of his convincing victory the project made concessions to the immediate residents and eliminated the flyover ramp. There are some diehard antagonists who continue to oppose the project and malign anyone who might support it. But, for me, having gone one-on-one on this issue and lost convincingly, the issue seems settled. It cost me a lot of time, money and psychic energy to earn this black eye, and I am content that it is over. There are other battles and worse enemies.

EY: Then how would the election of Robert Lilligren be explained? Part of the reason Robert ran was because of his strong opposition to the Access/Excess project. I do know a number of Access Project opponents who wrote in candidates rather than voting for either Peter McLaughlin or Eddie Felien. I also know of Access Project opponents who voted for Peter McLaughlin despite his stands on that issue.

As far as whether Smith Parker or Peter McLaughlin have any editorial control over what goes into Pulse. I find that one quite a stretch.

.

Lloydletta's Nooz gets Kudos from Censored Cartoonist

Posted with permission of the Author

Eva,

Thanks for your support on the Issues list and on your blog

"Dickensian" -I like that! It's too bad I won't be able to develop "The B.E.E.E.P." like I planned to. I wanted it to be not just about the Excess Project, but also about how these big projects get built all over the world over the objections of people (and animals) in the way. I wanted it not to be whiney, though. The story would have also given more meaning and purpose to some of my old characters I hoped to put in several strategies and tactics to open up the process to democracy. But, it looks like I won't be able to do it in the PULSE.. it's a disapointment ...I may do it somewhere else if I can get someone to pay for it.

One thing about Felein's post...what he says about his managing editor repeatedly telling me "Gondwanaland" sucked is not true. I did get one e-mail after Pulse skipped an episode telling me that a bunch of fans complained about not seeing it! Also, it's one of the more popular comics series on my website (see what happens when you type "Gondwanaland" into Google). Nothing like your editor telling the world you suck....

Lilligren for Mayor? I'd vote for him as many times as they'd let me. Same for Lisa...

Renee Lavoi! EEEEK!!!!!!!!!

Keep up the great work!

-Avidor

Pulse Publisher Responds to RoadKill Bill Censorship Allegations

Posted on the Minneapolis Rumours List, sponsored by E-Democracy with List Meister David Bruaer.

Ed Felien edfelien@edfelien.com
Wed Nov 5 17:25:09 2003
[Mpls] cartoon censorship
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Allow me to clarify a question that has arisen about the cartoons of Ken Avidor as they have appeared in Pulse of the Twin Cities.

First, let me say how much I love and admire Roadkill Bill--how can you not love an angry rodent with tire tracks across his stomach?

For the last few months Ken Avidor had been using his strip to tell a fantastical tale about Gowandaland. It got convoluted and (frankly) a little tedious. People on the staff begged him to get out of Gowandaland and back to earth. Finally, he did get back and immediately started a new series about the access/excess project. The series was predictable and the arguments seemed tedious. I called him up and said the topic seemed more appropriate as a feature or cover story for Pulse. We have run cover stories by Avidor that were futuristic parables about the dangers of dependence on fossil fuels. I asked him to use Roadkill Bill the way it was when we began--a simple short idea developed in four panels--and save the more extended stories for a longer cover story. I invited him to re-write the series as a cover. We will be running a cover on the Access Project by another writer sometime in the next few weeks.

Was I censoring Ken Avidor for writing about the Access Project? Last year I ran against Peter McLaughlin for County Commissioner. He is well known as a supporter of the Access Project, and my campaign focused a great deal of attention on that question. I was most critical of the flyover ramp which would have taken a large number of homes, created an eyesore in South Minneapolis, and reduced the number of hours of daylight for residents living under its arching shadow. The election was in many ways a referendum on the access project, and Peter beat me 4 to 1 in the precincts most affected by the proposed ramp. If it was a referendum, then Peter certainly won it. In spite of his convincing victory the project made concessions to the immediate residents and eliminated the flyover ramp. There are some diehard antagonists who continue to oppose the project and malign anyone who might support it. But, for me, having gone one-on-one on this issue and lost convincingly, the issue seems settled. It cost me a lot of time, money and psychic energy to earn this black eye, and I am content that it is over. There are other battles and worse enemies.

Was I censoring Ken Avidor? I don't think so. I wanted him to go back to the original premises of Roadkill Bill, and I was offering him the opportunity to do a cover on the Access Project.

Ed Felien, Editor/Publisher, Pulse of the Twin Cities
Powderhorn

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Southwest Journal Editor and Minneapolis Issues ListMeister Responds

quoting yours truly:

A while back, the Minneapolis Southwest Journal sent local Minneapolis cartoonist Ken Avidor a cease and decist letter because a graphic posted on the Stride site was a photo from SW Journal that was doctored. Since the photo was doctored as a parody, it seems that it was a new piece of original work - and not a copyright violation. The original photo: a picture of Tom Johnson, the Excess Project booster. The Stride site graphic - the picture of Johnson with horns. It looked like the horns were added in crayon. I also understand that this particular bit of creative work was not Avidor's - but another Stride members. But Avidor has his name on the site, so he got the legal contact.

Brauer: Oh please. Lawyers were NEVER involved. There was NO legal contact.

Using a fake name, Eva posted our e-mail to Ken on Mpls-Issues last April:

The photo of Tom Johnson (altered to make the subject look like a devil) that appears on your STRIDE website originally ran in an issue of the Southwest Journal. The photo is copyrighted and we are requesting that you remove the photo from your website.

In the future, please ask our permission before publishing one of our copyrighted images.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Janis Hall
Publisher

There was NO legal threat. That doesn't mean we can't ask people not to use images we own when we disagree with what they're doing. We felt it was common courtesy, if nothing else.

Final proof is that the photo was never removed - a bit was erased (replaced with the word "CENSORED," even though there was no censor) but the devil's horns stayed.

We didn't sue.

Nor would we.

Please, this second-hand information is proving frequently wrong. And these old grudges really need to be put to bed.

David Brauer
Kingfield
Editor, Southwest Journal and Skyway News

EY: From talking with Ken Avidor about this, he said he had talked with other cartoonists, and that they told him it was expensive to fight these things - even if legally they could win. Apparently there's some legalism for how high of a percentage of the original photo is used, so the body of Johnson was deleted from the photo, so Stride could claim to have less than the legal percentage of the photo in their adaptation of the photo.

Stride vs Southwest Journal

Janis Hall sent Stride a cease and desist order


From: Janis Hall
To:
Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2003 2:39 PM
Subject: Photo on STRIDE's website


The photo of Tom Johnson (altered to make the subject look like a devil) that appears on your STRIDE website originally ran in an issue of the Southwest Journal. The photo is copyrighted and we are requesting that you remove the photo from your website.

In the future, please ask our permission before publishing one of our copyrighted images.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Janis Hall
Publisher

=========================================
EY: Seems as if SW Journal is not aware of the law in this. Once a photo is doctored (in this case, a photo of Tom Johnson was doctored by adding horns and a mustache), it is a new creative image, and is not a copyright violation.

This reminds me of when the official Bush campaign tried to shut down the parody GW Bush site - and Bush made his famous statement "There ought to be limits to Freedom".

Southwest Journal I'm sure would be approved by the Minnesota Council of Humor.

Dee Colcord (nom de plume for yours truly)
Northside

Intimidation Tactics towards Cartoonists

A while back, the Minneapolis Southwest Journal sent local Minneapolis cartoonist Ken Avidor a cease and decist letter because a graphic posted on the Stride site was a photo from SW Journal that was doctored. Since the photo was doctored as a parody, it seems that it was a new piece of original work - and not a copyright violation. The original photo: a picture of Tom Johnson, the Excess Project booster. The Stride site graphic - the picture of Johnson with horns. It looked like the horns were added in crayon. I also understand that this particular bit of creative work was not Avidor's - but another Stride members. But Avidor has his name on the site, so he got the legal contact. When I talked with Avidor about fighting SW Journal on this, he said that he has heard from other cartoonists that it takes lots of money to fight these things - and for this reason, SW Journal - and their lawyers won out. Later the Stride site featured a photo of SW Journal Editor (and Minneapolis List-Meister) David Brauer with an Alfred E Neuman smile. That photo originated at SW Journal and the new creative version appeared on the Stride Website. I can't find any of this stuff when I peruse the Stride Site now.

It kind of reminds me of Fox News Suing Al Franken for the use of the words "Fair and Balanced". Or Talk Radio Networks's Mike Savage suing the savagestupidity.com website for trademark infringement with the domain name. Fox News Suit helped push Franken's book into a best seller. But this story has a local Minneapolis flavor - repleat with a Minneapolis cast of characters.

Now Pulse TC has decided not to publish cartoons of Avidors which come down too heavily on Peter McLaughlin.

The cartoon in question here portrays Peter McLaughlin as a rather Dickensian character. The Pulse (Twin Cities Rag) has declined to publish it.

I read the thread posted on the Minneapolis Issues list from a Cartoonist site about the intimidation of Ken Avidor. So I'm not clear whether there is evidence that County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin or Smith Parker were involved or not. I'd find it odd that Eddie Felien of the Pulse would kowtow to something Peter McLaughlin would want.

McLaughlin and 35W Excess Project appologist Wizard Marks posted:

I checked with Peter McLaughlin about this. His reply, "It's all news to me." The poster might have done the same before putting the blame on Mame, as it were. Personally, I like satire that's at least a little more subtle than a brick.

=======================================
McLaughlin ofcourse has not been above trying to use the E Democracy complaint process to shut down critics of himself and the 35W Access project. He got me booted from the Minneapolis Issues list for including a quote from a CJ gossip column about him in a post to the list. I have since served my sentence.




Monday, November 03, 2003

Big Chill at the NIH

A Traditional Values Coalition hit list of NIH grants has researchers scared. New York Times Columnist Bob Herbert opines.

A list of nearly 200 scientific researchers has been compiled and given to federal officials by the Traditional Values Coalition, a conservative group that goes wild over gay issues and federal funding of research related to human sexuality.

The list, which has sent a chill through some researchers, is being used by the coalition and its government allies in attempts to discredit the researchers and challenge or revoke their federal grants. It's a sloppy, dangerous and wildly inaccurate list, put together by people who are freaked out by the content of the studies, and unconcerned about their value.

The targeted studies cover a wide range of topics related to health and sexuality, including H.I.V. and AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and adolescent sexual behavior.

The Web site of the Traditional Values Coalition is bizarrely fixated on sexual matters. The banner headline on the home page the other day blared, "HOMOSEXUAL URBAN LEGENDS: The Series . . ."

The site complained that "nearly $100 million has gone to research many projects which reasonable people, even those with no particular religious or political perspective, would view as prurient."

For a right-wing coalition to be hung up on these matters is one thing. But the coalition's list, which includes some of the most respected scientists and institutions in the country, is circulating among members of Congress and was forwarded to the National Institutes of Health, which is responsible for awarding the crucially important grants.

More

Which HHS or NIH staffers leaked this information to the Traditional Values Coalition?

Mayor Randy Kelly Speaks Out about Lucy's Brawl

From Lavender Magazine

Mayor Kelly Re: Lucy's
By Randy Kelly

As many of you may be aware, a St. Paul Police Officer is currently under investigation, facing allegations of criminal misconduct involving a fight at Lucy's Saloon in St. Paul's Frogtown neighborhood on October 19. Witnesses have reported that the officer used offensive language and assaulted at least one patron, possibly because of their sexual orientation.

St. Paul takes seriously our commitment to laws that protect people from hate and bias crimes. Crimes that are committed against a person because of what they look like, how they profess their faith, their sexual orientation, their ethnicity, their age, national origin, sex, or race are wrong and against the law.

I am confident that the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will conduct a comprehensive and fair investigation, independent of any direct or perceived conflict of interest with the St. Paul Police Department.

I want to emphasize that as mayor, I will do all I can to ensure that everyone who lives in, works in, or visits Saint Paul feels safe and welcome.

Mayor Randy Kelly
City of St. Paul

Thanks to Mayor Kelly for writing this letter to Lavender. Has he also
commented on this in the mainstream press? I hope he does.

Lavender also has a longer article on the topic:

http://www.lavendermagazine.com/220/220_go_51.html