Monthly Archives: October 2009

Will gay activists actually buy tickets to Americans for Truth fundraiser?

Here’s a headline that’s sure to get attention: “Gay Activists Despise AFTAH Because We Expose their Radical Agenda.”

The AFTAH in question is the Carol Stream-based Americans for Truth about Homosexuality. Peter LaBarbera, the group’s president, posted an item a few days ago on his Web site pertaining to the “attack” to which he and like-minded individuals have been subjected.

The most-recent harassment campaign, LaBarbera said, has come on the heels of AFTAH publicizing its upcoming fundraiser. The banquet will be held at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow at Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights.

(Imagine what the conversations will be like from one table to another at a banquet for a group called Americans for Truth about Homosexuality! Not only do you have a group solely dedicated to obsessing itself with what other people do in the privacy of their bedrooms, now you have supporters fueling such a group so it can continue obsessing itself with what other people do in the privacy of their bedrooms. How bizarre is that?)

LaBarbera pointed out that Joe Jervis promoted the AFTAH banquet on his blog, which in part covers gay culture. Jervis urged his readers to buy tickets to the event in order to spice it up. He also wrote that people who don’t want to buy tickets are invited to join members of the Gay Liberation Network at their protest of the banquet.

Jervis noted that Matt Barber will be at the event promoting his new book, “The Right Hook: From the Ring to the Culture War.” The blog posting also publicized the phone number to make a reservation for the fundraiser.

Here’s where the trouble really begins. LaBarbera said that gays have been making harassing phone calls to the Concerned Women of America member who’s been taking reservations.

I certainly don’t condone harassing phone calls, no matter how much you differ with someone’s opinion. There’s a way to register your opposition of someone’s viewpoint, but pestering someone with repeated calls isn’t an effective manner to accomplish this.

LaBarbera, however, overreacts a tad to the way Jervis publicized the information. LaBarbera has the woman’s name and phone number on a few of his Web posts, even the one where he’s objecting to Jervis publicizing this information. Is he the only one authorized to promote the event?

He also contradicts himself when he claims that some people lied when leaving bad reviews of Barber’s book on LaBarbera indicated that people couldn’t have read the book yet because it won’t be released until Nov. 3.

In the same post, however, LaBarbera said that signed copies of the book obtained in advance of its release will be available at tomorrow’s AFTAH banquet. So how does LaBarbera know that those who left bad reviews are lying? If AFTAH can get advanced copies of the book, why can’t other people?

And both and Barnes and Noble list the book as being in stock now through their Web sites and available for immediate shipping. So LaBarbera as well as two booksellers have demonstrated that people can access the book in advance of Nov. 3.

LaBarbera falls short in his claim to be exposing the radical gay agenda. The only agenda gay people have in opposing AFTAH is a desire to be looked upon as human beings worthy of equal treatment under our laws, which is our nation’s bedrock principle.

But however misguided their efforts, its AFTAH’s right to publicly state their opposition to homosexuality. In the same vein, it’s the right of gay people to publicly state their opposition to groups like AFTAH.

If gay activists actually show up at tomorrow’s event, it will certainly make for a lively banquet. Bon appétit, mon amis!


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How has the outbreak of the flu altered your daily routine?

OK, this whole germ thing is starting to get a little freaky.

When 972 students failed to show up yesterday, St. Charles East High School canceled its classes and extracurricular activities for the rest of the week. That’s almost one-half of the student population! Officials said many students exhibited flu-like symptoms.

Being a creature of the Cold War, I’m blaming the Ruskies for the widespread illness in the United States. I don’t care if the Soviet Union dissolved nearly 20 years ago — the commies are up to something.

The news that half a high school has been impacted by disease can’t be comforting at all to local hypochondriacs. I’ve never obsessed about picking up bugs from other people, but the empirical evidence has given me plenty of doubts.

Do I really want to pick up that telephone receiver? Can I trust that this dish doesn’t have some virus? Has this hallway recently been occupied by someone who’s passing out bacteria faster than Santa doles out gifts at Christmastime?

Perhaps people like Adrian Monk are on to something. Sure, they spend their lives afraid that their own shadow is going to make them sick. But I’ll bet they actually stay pretty healthy.

So, are you a germaphobe? Do you fixate over every tiny bug you may encounter? How has the outbreak of the flu (including H1N1) altered your daily routine?

I’d love to hear some stories, so please let me know. You can leave a message here, or you can e-mail me at But please wear a mask and surgical gloves when you contact me, just in case.

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IOC didn’t play by Chicago political machine’s rules in awarding Games

After listening to a week and a half of public debate, I’ve concluded that most people are wrong about why the International Olympic Committee awarded the 2016 Summer Games to Rio de Janeiro rather than to Chicago.

The conventional wisdom about Chicago losing the Olympics is that those pitching the campaign failed to do what a Chicago political machine has always done best: Make sure all the votes are there to ensure victory.

The problem with this theory is that the Chicago political machine wasn’t running the IOC election and had nothing to offer to the voters. Ward bosses usually pass out jobs to the faithful to make sure they get to the polls and put the right people into office. With the IOC, those pitching Chicago could only ask for their votes with no clue as to the outcome.

Many IOC members were determined to give the 2016 Olympics to Rio regardless of what campaign any other city made. Chicago was looked upon as the strongest contender, and perhaps that’s why European and Asian members of the IOC voted overwhelmingly against Chicago in the first round of the final vote. Why risk leaving Rio’s biggest competitor in the running when it could be elminayed off the bat?

So Chicago wasn’t going to get the 2016 Games, no matter what. In contrast to local elections where mechanics running the political machine could “fix” problems as they came up (e.g., ensure ballots from the stronghold of an opponent go missing), Chicago officials could only stand by and watch as their dreams were dashed.

All the promises they got from IOC members to support Chicago’s bid didn’t mean anything because there was nothing of value to swap. Precinct captains have the power to punish those believed to have failed in achieving the political machine’s goals. But even Mayor Richard M. Daley has nothing over the IOC, so this was an election he couldn’t control.

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