Monthly Archives: July 2014

Anti-gay organization twists bad metaphor into hyper-pretzel

Jeremy Hooper over at GoodAsYou.Org explains the new argument the haters are urging their supporters to use: Ruth Institute (former NOM affiliate): Same-sex marriage is as much of a wedge as interracial marriage bans.

The argument they are pushing is: “allowing same sex couples to marry is exactly the same as prohibiting interracial couples to marry.” If you don’t read that closely, it sounds like they’re finally agreeing with one of our arguments, but look again (and go look at the confusing graphic that accompanies the meme they’re trying to get their people to post everywhere).

Because interracial marriage bans prevented people from marrying who they wanted to merely because the color of one half of the couple’s skin didn’t match the other was bad. Most everyone agrees the interracial marriage ban was bad. And the Ruth Institute agrees. But, they say, allowing same-sex couples to marry is just as bad because it prevents straight women from marrying gay men if they want to. And so forth.

That’s literally their argument.

Which is wrong on so, so many levels. Allowing my husband and I to legally marry does not prevent any gay person (closeted or not) from entering into a marriage with a straight person if they want. It doesn’t. If they want to do that, they can. I don’t know why they would want to, but they can.

Allowing someone to do something doesn’t prevent other people for doing it.

The closest you can get to any “logic” in this argument is that if marriage equality is not available anywhere, it increases the odds that people will be closeted, and it makes it slightly more likely that unsuspecting straight people will get married to closeted gay people, and probably suffer a lot of heartache later on.

I think Jeremy is right: desperation is making them lose their minds.


Going on autopilot

Everybody has at least a few habits and routines. Some of them are so minor we don’t even think of them as a routine. For instance, at the end of most work days I fill in my timesheet, check in all my documents and code, shut down the computer, make one last run to the kitchen (rinse coffee mug, throw out trash), put away my headphones, put away my badge, pack things up in my backpack, and leave.

Simple and logical and no problem, right? Continue reading Going on autopilot

Cursed be those who support homo devils

Pastor Manning's church is misconstruing scripture and broadcasting hate to the neighborhood. Again.
Pastor Manning’s church is misconstruing scripture and broadcasting hate to the neighborhood. Again.
So, I’ve written before about the church in Harlem with the church sign that has previously referred to white homo devils and called for the violent murder of gay people and has tried to portray themselves as victims of hate when people object to their signs (and sermons, and so forth), and have tried to disrupt fundraising events for homeless shelters for gay youth.

Among other things.

Their new sign says that individuals and churches that support “homos” will be cursed with cancer, HIV (the virus that causes AIDS), syphilis, stroke, madness, and itch, then references I Corinthians 6:9: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind…” Interestingly they don’t reference the next verse, which is a continuation of the sentence, “nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

That’s important because Pastor Manning spent time in prison in both New York and Florida for burglary, robbery, larceny, criminal possession of a weapon, and other things. So verse 10 would seem to say that Pastor Manning may not be so welcome in the kingdom of God.

But less snarkily, look at another word there: “revilers.” A reviler is someone who insults or verbally abuses someone else, someone who criticizes abusively. Such as someone who calls people devils, or calls for whole classes of people to be stoned to death. That sort of thing.

I know that Pastor Manning is using one of the more hateful translations of the Bible. Since 1946 certain people have decided that the scriptures weren’t anti-gay enough, and they went through changing verses where it isn’t entirely clear what they are referring to to explicitly says “homosexual.” But the two words that used to be translated into english as “effeminate” and “abuses of themselves with mankind” are not so clearcut.

Scholars argue a lot about what the Apostle Paul meant there. Paul wrote in greek, which had a word for men who have sex with other men already, but Paul didn’t use that word. Greek also had a word for male temple prostitutes, and Paul didn’t use that word. Instead, he made up a word, arsenokoitai. That words has never appeared in any other Greek text at all. It appears to be a compound of the words “man” and “beds.” If Paul was condemning homosexual behavior, why would he make up a new word when words already existed for it? And also, it is important to note that he uses specifically male-gendered nouns, so if Paul was condemning homosexual behavior, it was only gay male homosexual behavior: so apparently lesbians are fine, as far as Paul is concerned.

My own guess, based on how much of a misogynist Paul appeared to be, and how much he despised sex of all kinds (the fundamentalists all ignore Paul’s other admonishments where he condemns marriage and having children as an anti-Christian waste of time that would better be spent preparing for Jesus’ return; yes, Paul was against people marrying and raising families), is that Paul was making a general condemnation of all kinds of sexual and romantic behavior, here. And he aimed it at men because Paul didn’t really believe that women mattered, or at the very least he didn’t believe that women made choices of their own, but rather simply did what men told them to do.

And there is nothing in 1 Corinthians at all about cancer, or the virus that causes AIDS, or itching.

But Manning sees lots of things that aren’t actually in the text. It’s very convenient for a man with as big an ego as his, and as long a history of abusing and using others as him.

Friday Links!
It’s Friday! And we’re getting ready to leave town to attend a wedding. So I’m running around a little crazed right now…

Here’s a collection of news and other things that struck me as worthy of being shared:

Beware a bro who knows what he ‘deserves’: the friendzone is only purgatory if women’s decisions are less valid.

Wingnut Nurse Sues Family Planning Center For Not Giving Her Job Just Because She Says She Won’t Do Job.

James Garner, Witty, Handsome Leading Man, Dies at 86. While I am old enough to have seen and loved him as Brett Maverick, he’ll always be James Scott “Jimmy” Rockford to me… except when he’s being King Marchand.

Fort Worth Is Recruiting Gay Cops, and They Won’t Even Be Openly Harassed by Colleagues.

An important perspective… Even if I don’t agree with all of his points. The Shifting Landscape on LGBT Issues in the Evangelical Church.

Really bad and inaccurate headline. Most progressives I know do completely understand this. What we continue to not get is why folks like the author keep apologizing for the irrational bigotry of the fundamentalists, and why he and others keep referring to the fundamentalist evangelicals as merely traditional. What progressives fundamentally don’t get about traditional Christians.

Elephants’ Superior Sense Of Smell Beats Out Other Mammals In Surprising New Study.

Calling for a Debate Over Pluto’s Nature.

Moose drool can undermine grass defenses.

Why Has the Sun Gone So Quiet? – because it’s plotting something nefarious!!!

Bats can navigate using polarized light.

All You Need To Know About the 10% Brain Myth, in 60 Seconds.

NASA releases never-before-seen supernova photos from Chandra Observatory.

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic hits No. 1 with ‘Mandatory Fun’.

You guys, will you please pipe down so Sen. Rubio can dismantle your deserved freedoms?

John Boehner Finally Confirms Bush is Responsible for Immigration Crisis, Admits Obama is Trying to Fix It.

Michael Brown will save his waning movement by grouping homosexuality with incest.

Quickly And Quietly, Rep. Jared Polis Just Created A New LGBT Rights Bill.

Woman Says She Overheard IBM Execs Say They Won’t Hire Women Because They Get ‘Pregnant Again And Again’.

Tessa Hartmann: John Barrowman’s gay kiss at Commonwealth Games was ‘inappropriate for children’.

A New Face for the ‘Ex-Gay’ Movement.

Sci-Fi: why do so many gays love it?

Who Owns Science Fiction/Fantasy?

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert battle for title of World’s Biggest Star Wars Fan!:

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‘Weird Al’ Yankovic Explains the Internet to Fox business reporter:

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George Takei Tells How He Was Sent To An Internment Camp At Age 5. And Somehow It’s Not Horrifying!:

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Wicked Medley – Peter Hollens & Nick Pitera:

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MNEK – Wrote A Song About You:

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Futile & Fooled – Brett Gleason (Official Video):

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Pomplamoose covers Cher – Believe (In Life After Love):

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“Weird Al” Yankovic – Mission Statement:

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Managing music

Kitten listening to ipod.
I just want to listen to what I want to listen to.
I have just shy of 80 gigabytes of music in my desktop’s iTunes library. I only have 54 gigabytes of music on my laptop’s iTunes library. Managing the two has become just a little bit exasperating, lately.
Continue reading Managing music

I am the king of typos

FB_quote_23-e1379605544254I make typos. A lot. It is amazing the number of people who believe there is a strong correlation between intelligence and typing accuracy. And that’s what we’re talking about, here; it often isn’t spelling that is at issue. There is no such connection.

Now, it’s not that I don’t think correct spelling is important, I do. No one gets more irritated at me that I get at myself when I make a typo, trust me. As much as it may amuse or exasperate you, I am ten times as angry at myself when I find them or have them pointed out. Plus humiliated. I want to spell things correctly.

And most of the time I do. And sometimes it is not spelling correctly that’s the problem…

Continue reading I am the king of typos

Sunday Funnies, part 4

Copyright Sony Music Entertainment, Inc.Usually my Sunday Funnies post is all about web comics, but this week is going to branch out. Weird Al Yankovich has released a new album this week, Mandatory Fun. And to promote the album, he has made eight music videos of songs from the album, and is releasing one video a day for the first week the album is available.

As Weird Al himself has explained in several interviews this week, he first became famous during the MTV era, when music videos on that network were the way to promote a new album. Now viral videos on the internet has replaced all that. His thinking is that a video that becomes famous on the internet enough to “go viral” is only really famous for a day or two, so the only way to promote something like an album is to release several videos over the course of several days.

The other thing he explains is that this album finally concludes the deal he signed with Sony 30-some years ago. So now he will be free to produce music the way you need to in the internet era: singles for digital download. “My songs are often topical. By the time I have made enough songs to release an album, most of the songs aren’t topical any more.”

Back in those MTV days, Weird Al’s songs were sometimes hit or miss, but the music videos for even his misses were comedic gems. I bought the album this week, and have listened to it, and I have to say that Weird Al is at the top of his game on this one. There were a few of the songs that I rated less than five stars… and the video for one of those came out after I listened to the song, and I have to say the video is fantastically funny.

So, I definitely recommend the album, and if you need some convincing, here are the videos he’s released thus far this week:




Word Crimes






Sports Song


First World Problem


And if you haven’t already, please check out these previously recommended comic strips:

I’ve long been a fan of: “Mr. Cow,” by Chuck Melville… and not just because the artist is a friend! A clueless cow with Walter Cronkite dreams presides over a barnyard of a newsroom.

dm100x80I’m also a big fan of “Deer Me,” by Sheryl Schopfer. This artist is also a friend. I have previously described this strip as: “Three roommates who couldn’t be more dissimilar while being surprisingly compatible.” Except in a recent story line Thomas has moved out! Eeek!

And I love this impish girl thief with a tail and her reluctant undead sorcerer/bodyguard: “Unsounded,” by Ashley Cope.

The_Young_Protectors_HALF_BANNER_OUTSIDE_234x601The Young Protectors begins when a young, closeted teen-age superhero who has just snuck into a gay bar for the first time is seen exiting said bar by a not-so-young, very experienced, very powerful, super-villain. Trouble, of course, ensues.

The Cóyotl Awards return!

Good to know these are still going:

Furry Writers’ Guild

After a much longer than expected (or desired) hiatus, the Cóyotl Awards are back, and we’re hitting the ground running to get caught up. Voting for the 2013 awards and nominations for the 2014 awards are now officially open. Full  information here:

In the forums, we also have a thread for recommendations for the 2014 awards — something members can use to jog their memories about what was published in 2013 and might deserve to be nominated.

All FWG members (writers and associates) may nominate and vote in the Cóyotls. Remember, though — both the 2013 voting and 2014 nominations end on Friday, August 8, so don’t wait too long to make your choices!

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Friday Links (with Weird Al)!
Yay! (
It’s Friday! Again. And this week I really, really, really am glad that the weekend’s here.

Here’s a collection of news and other things that struck me as worthy of being shared:

Red Lobster Comps Widow’s Check on Anniversary.

In case you needed more proof that the ex-gay movement is a fraud: Pastor Duane Youngblood, author of the book Freedom From Homosexuality: No Longer Living The Lie, was arrested for molesting a teenage boy dozens of times. But wait! This should be a surprise to no one. Back in 2006, the very same year his ex-gay book came out, Youngblood was arrested for molesting a 15-year-old boy in his church office! And that 2006 arrest wasn’t the first time…

One of the very few attempts to render a male superhero costume in the same ridiculously “sexy” female supers are routinely drawn: Why Must Dudes Ruin Perfectly Good Superheroine and Action Franchises with Their Requests for Diversity?

Research: Human friendships based on genetic similarities beyond the superficial.

Church of England approves women bishops for first time in history.

CNBC’s Climate “Expert”: “Demonization Of Carbon Dioxide Is Just Like” Demonization Of “Jews Under Hitler”.

ENDA: The Nightmare Scenario in Which GOPers Push a Bad Bill That Gay Groups Dropped.

Non-Believers Win A Decisive Court Victory In Indiana.

Churyumov-Gerasimenko is a contact binary!.

The distorting reality of ‘false balance’ in the media.

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Calls for Death of Comic Creator.

A History of Throwing Shade for Black Women and Gay White Men. Before “white gays” copied it from black women, black women stole if from black gays…

Why do we have blood types? Scientists still trying to figure out the evolutionary reason for blood types.

Arizona Politician Mistakes YMCA Campers For Undocumented Children. Warning: auto-playing video on site (grrrr)

Marvel Comics Just Made Thor Female, And Conservatives Are Furious.


File this under “Duh!” Studies: Stand Your Ground Laws Lead To More Homicides, Don’t Deter Crime.

Salem Mayor: ‘Apparently, Glenn Beck Is Not Happy With Us’. City hall inundated with angry calls from homophobes, starts donating to gay youth charity.

Blues Guitarist Johnny Winter Dies At 70.

‘Nano-pixels’ promise thin, flexible, high-resolution displays.

Connecticut Supreme Court: Same-Sex Marriage Rights Are Retroactive.

California Experiences Warmest, 3rd Driest Year Since 1895.

Robert Reich: Deadbeat 1 percenters endanger U.S. democracy.

‘Bye Sierra’: A Slightly Angry Queer Response to the Sierra Mannie Controversy.

In case you missed it, earlier this week I had a more concise, less angry response to the same weird op-ed piece: Confessions of a white homo devil, part 3.

Matt Alber Covers “Walking on Sunshine”:

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National treasure “Weird Al” Yankovic is releasing a new video each doy this week of a parody of a hit song. This was Tuesday’s, which is my second favorite thus far, Weird Al’s parody of Blurred Lines, Word Crimes:

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Jenny Lewis – Just One Of The Guys [Official Music Video]:

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Church of England Votes to Allow Women Bishops:

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Exclusive “Weird Al” Yankovic Music Video: FOIL (Parody of “Royals” by Lorde):

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Coffee karma

I like to think that I’m not superstitious. I’m a science geek who majored in mathematics and has studied (both formally and on my own) physics, astronomy, relativity, logic, rhetorical theory, chemistry, biology, and a wide variety of related topics. Mr. Spock has long been one of my favorite characters in fiction. My real-life heroes have included famous skeptics such as Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, Stephen Jay Gould, Billy Nye, and James Randi.

But every now and then things happen that make me believe. Lately, it’s been the coffee pot at work.

Continue reading Coffee karma