Archive | August 2020

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion…

August is almost over and I’m trying not to freak out at how fast the year has gone. Along with trying to maintain a reasonable level of anxiety (rather than completely falling about) as the political situation and the related pandemic and civil situations continue to get worse, dealing with the stresses at work, and so on. I keep meaning to write about things more mundane and personal that all the news related and sci fi related stuff that has been dominating this blog for the last many weeks. Let’s see if I can pull that off!

One of the challenges of me working from home every work day (and because of being in a high risk group the current guidelines are that I try to avoid going shopping et cetera more than once a week) has been just trying to keep track of what day of the week it is and what time it is and what I’m supposed to be doing on particular days.

Being home constantly does strange things to my notions of housework, as well.

For instance, I was finding myself getting more and more annoyed at how cluttered two parts of the kitchen counter were all the time. It was on either side of the sink, making it difficult to deal with dishes and the dishwasher, because there was always the chore of assessing and dealing with the clutter before I could get to the chore I had gone into the kitchen to do in the first place. And given how easily I distract myself and go down metaphorical rabbits holes and forget why I went into a particular room in the best of circumstances, this was getting much worse.

One day I made myself stop and look at all the clutter and ask myself why it was there. A small part of it is that both my husband and I have a habit of drinking multiple glasses of water a day, and so each of us has a glass or mug that sits next to the sink to be reused through out the day, then put in the dishwasher and a new one is used the next day.

But that was a miniscule part of the problem. A lot of the clutter were things that aren’t dishwasher safe. We have a rather lot of those. And what I realized was happening day after day was that I’d notice several of them beside the sink, and then not be certain if they had been washed out or not, so I would wash it out, and since and then I would sit it on the counter to dry… and later in the day Michael might to exactly the same thing, so I was come in and notice that one of the plastic water pitchers, for instance, which I thought I’d washed in the morning, is wet again. So I’d leave it. But then the next day I would find myself worrying that maybe I was mixing up a time it had been rinsed and waiting to dry a week ago, so I’d wash it again.

Several other things were items that don’t normally go in the cabinet after being washed, but instead have a spot in the pantry, which is slightly more work to get into, and so they were stuck in a similar cycle. And I realized there was a simple solution that we just hadn’t thought to put in place. So I bought one of those folder bamboo dish racks, cleaned everything and towel dried some things and put everything away.

The rack takes up one of the two places that used to be filled with random clutter all the time, but not the space is serving a purpose. If something in the rack and is dry, neither of us has to worry that it hasn’t been cleaned. We put it away, hand wash anything else that is on the other side of the sink, put in in the rack, and the rest of the counter is available for whatever.

It shouldn’t have taken me several months of being frustrated to think of that, I know.

So, we have replaced a bad habit with a more useful one, which is good. But I noticed a little wrinkle that has developed since. Every Sunday I put all the parts of the coffee maker that are dishwasher safe in the dishwasher and run in. I get down one of the antique bone china tea cups (which belonged to my late first husband’s grandmother), a saucer, and my infusing pot, and I drink tea all day instead of coffee.

At the end of the day I wash out the teacup and saucer and put them on the rack to dry, right? And the pot goes into the dishwahser when the coffee maker (and other cleaned dishes) come out. Throughout the week my husband and I wash other things, take dried items from the rack and them away… except we both keep leaving the teacup and saucer in the rack all week.

Most Sundays when I get ready to make tea, I put the teacup and saucer that have been sitting in the rack all week in the cupboard, each on the bottom of their respective stacks, and take another from the top of the stacks down to make tea. The latter part because I’m justifying hanging on to these small number of specialized dishes for all the years since Ray died by making sure I rotate so that all of them get used regularly.

Now, where I keep the teacups and saucers is on a high shelf in one of the higher cabinets precisely because unlike many other dishes and utensils they aren’t used every day. So I suspect I’m not putting them away sooner is because it’s fractionally more work. And I strong suspect Michael doesn’t want to put them away for fear that he’ll mess up my rotation system.

And it’s not really a conscious decision. At some point after we’d had the rack for a couple of weeks, I just started putting away everything on the rack except the cup and saucer, and now it’s like my brain literally doesn’t perceive them as being a separate object from the rack itself until the day that I go to make a cup of tea.

I know that it’s a very minor glitch in our improved habits on this issue. It just… when I notice that my brain isn’t doing what I want it to do, I get tetchy.

Dirty Deeds Coming Home to Roost, or, What’s Happening with those Evangelical Pool Boy Chasing Devils?

I’ve decided to just embrace that fact that because I have blogged a lot about the bigotry and hypocrisy of so-called Christians in general, and one anti-gay grifter in particular, that it is okay to just embrace the fact that as long as this story is in the news, people are going to be clicking on a lot of those old posts.

I laughed out loud when I saw this headline, because (particularly if you read in aloud with a lot of dread in your voice) it sums up how I’ve been feeling: And Now For Your Daily Update On Jerry Falwell’s Dick. This article was from earlier in the week, but I love his summary of the scandal:

Sometimes when a man and a woman love each other, and the man is the president of an evangelical Christian clown college and is friends with the pussy-grabbing authoritarian president of America, they get married and then they meet a 20-year-old pool boy named “Giancarlo” and they are like “Oh hey, Giancarlo, is that the Holy Bible in your pocket, or is it your boner?” and he is like “Oh it’s just my boner” and they are like “Good, we really aren’t into that Holy Bible shit when we aren’t profiting financially from it” and the pool boy is like “cool” and they are like “cool” and so they start having a sexual affair with the pool boy for years and years, where the lady does nakeds with the pool boy while the clown college Christian leader husband plays shadows puppets with his weener and watches in the corner, and they end up giving the pool boy SWEET business deals that kinda sorta look like payoffs, and fly him all over the country in their jet, and maybe there’s a similar arrangement with the hot jacked personal trainer, but we’re not sure yet, but anyway then everybody finds out and the man has to quit being a clown college Christian leader, WOMP WOMP.

The story quotes heavily from this interview: Falwell sought to cut financial ties to pool attendant before Trump’s campaign – Giancarlo Granda, who met Jerry Falwell Jr. and his wife at a Miami Beach hotel, offers new details on his relationship with the couple.

Note that Granda’s account in the Politico interview appears to change the timeline of events I and others have put together. But also note that some of it contradicts that photo of Falwell introducing Granda to Donald Trump at the rally at Liberty University 10 months after when Granda claims Falwell tried to cut all ties with him. On the other hand, if what the former pool boy says there is true, it’s possible that Falwell was trying to get out of the deal without actually coughing up the promised money, and since Granda wanted the promised money, while Mrs Falwell apparently didn’t want to give up the Pool Boy… well, it sounds like it was messy for months.

And, as many people have expected, a couple more guys are coming forward with their stories: ‘She was the aggressor’: Former Liberty student alleges sexual encounter with Becki Falwell – A former student at the evangelical university opens up about a 2008 incident with the wife of the school’s president. Warning! This story has a lot of creepy details about multiple instances of Mrs Falwell coming onto (and much more) a young man (in his 20s) who at the time was a bandmate of her son. That sentence alone may have already put too many bad images in your head. Sorry…

There are a few aspects of this story that I do want to comment. The young man was a student at Liberty University at the time, and he was a member of a band that had recruited the Falwell’s oldest son, Trey (who was also a student at the university, though a few years younger than they) as their lead guitarist. One of the stories the young man talks about he and Trey hanging out at the Falwell’s home drinking whiskey and jamming, and because he’d been drinking he stayed in the guest room, where things later happened.

I want to point out, however, that this is a violation of the Liberty University Code of Conduct: “Liberty University’s code of conduct, known as the Liberty Way, prohibits the consumption of alcohol for all students living on or off campus. This policy applies not only to those under the age of 21, but also those who are 21 and older… This policy not only applies for students during school, but also while they are on breaks or trips.”

At the time of this incident, Trey Falwell was both a student at the University and underage. The other young man was 22 at the time, but was still a student at the university, yet it seems that they were partaking of whiskey at the Falwells’ home with the knowledge of at least Mrs. Falwell… who was an employee of the University at the time, as well.

I mean, we shouldn’t be surprised at the hypocrisy and double standards are in play, but… well…

The young man who has now came forward says that part of the reason he kept the story to himself for over 10 years is because his mother has always admired the late Jerry Falwell, Sr, and that the young man himself didn’t want to detract from all the supposed good that Falwell, Sr accomplished.

Falwell, Sr accomplished no good in his entire life. He was a liar, a grifter, a proven-in-court chiseler, who promoted racial and anti-gay hate for many decades. He was one of the leaders of an evangelical conference in the mid-70s that met for the express purpose of trying to figure out how to get donations flowing in again like they used to be able to by preaching against racial de-segregation and women’s rights. He was one of the people who made the cynical decision to change their doctrine regarding abortion (which before hadn’t been exactly pro-choice, but had been this complicated ‘the old Testament says clearly that unborn babies are not yet people, so this prove Catholics aren’t real Christians because they insist they are, but we’re not saying the we approve of abortion, but…’) and to make Abortion and The Gays their new focus to see if that would fire up people to send in donations. He then formed the so-called Moral Majority and dragged the Evangelicals into the Republican base and amped up the bigotry on all levels.

The gospel was a tool Falwell, Sr distorted to manipulate people into giving him money and influence. It shouldn’t surprise us that his son is a grifter and abuser, too.

Falwell, Jr has tried to wiggle out of this scandal by throwing all the blame on his wife and claiming the Pool Boy was blackmailing him. Mrs Falwell has joined in, saying it was all her fault for being weak and sinning and bringing the Pool Boy into their lives. That doesn’t really Falwell sharing nudes and such of his wife with all sorts of people who didn’t want to see them, as well as the Pool Boy, Personal Trainer, and apparently several others. It doesn’t explain grooming college students as additional sex toys. It might possibly explain some of the multi-million dollar deals, but doesn’t really explain sending the jet for the Pool Boy again and again after the deal, nor enthusiastically introducing him to Trump (which we have not just photos, but Fox News video of).

Sorry, the Falwells are both predators and jerks. A pox upon them!

And now, I’m going to let Stephen Colbert have the final word:

Stephen Colbert Unloads on Jerry Falwell’s Cuck Affair, Shares Photo of Trump Shaking Hands with Pool Boy – “Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Link To Trump Is Far More Troubling Than His Sex Scandal”:

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

Weekend Update 8/29/2020: The virus and the fascism are the enemy, not the masks

This is going to be a slightly different Weekend Update than usual. There is a lot of news that I came across after I finished this week’s Friday Five post on Thursday night, but as is often the case, a lot of it is either salacious or outrage-inducing of otherwise bad news. It’s also all over the map with various topics and sometimes the scatter shot of “and that’s f-ed up too!” can multiply the outrage. So I’m going to focus on only a couple of topics, and a certain amount of it is good, scientific information that you can actually use.

I’ll start with that. If you don’t want to be outraged, don’t read past the bold “Meanwhile” below.

COVID-19 Is Transmitted Through Aerosols. We Have Enough Evidence, Now It Is Time to Act.

When it comes to COVID-19, the evidence overwhelmingly supports aerosol transmission, and there are no strong arguments against it. For example, contact tracing has found that much COVID-19 transmission occurs in close proximity, but that many people who share the same home with an infected person do not get the disease. To understand why, it is useful to use cigarette or vaping smoke (which is also an aerosol) as an analog. Imagine sharing a home with a smoker: if you stood close to the smoker while talking, you would inhale a great deal of smoke. Replace the smoke with virus-containing aerosols, which behave very similarly, and the impact is similar: the closer you are to someone releasing virus-carrying aerosols, the more likely you are to breathe in larger amounts of virus. We know from detailed, rigorous studies that when individuals talk in close proximity, aerosols dominate transmission and droplets are nearly negligible.

If you are standing on the other side of the room, you would inhale significantly less smoke. But in a poorly ventilated room, the smoke will accumulate, and people in the room may end up inhaling a lot of smoke over time. Talking, and especially singing and shouting increase aerosol exhalation by factors of 10 and 50, respectively. Indeed, we are finding that outbreaks often occur when people gather in crowded, insufficiently ventilated indoor spaces, such as singing at karaoke parties, cheering at clubs, having conversations in bars, and exercising in gyms. Superspreading events, where one person infects many, occur almost exclusively in indoor locations and are driving the pandemic. These observations are easily explained by aerosols, and are very difficult or impossible to explain by droplets or fomites.
—Jose-Luis Jimeez, Professor of Chemistry and a Fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado-Boulde

The killer phrase is here: “many people who share the same home with an infected person do not get the disease.” (emphasis added)

There’s more: We Need to Talk About Ventilation – How is it that six months into a respiratory pandemic, we are still doing so little to mitigate airborne transmission?

And: Hygiene Theater Is a Huge Waste of Time – People are power scrubbing their way to a false sense of security.

Basically, masks are a big help if you have to go out and be around people, washing your hands frequently is also good, but ventilation is more important that scrubbing every inanimate object in sight. Dr. Jimenez sums it up as: Avoid Crowding, Indoors, low Ventilation, Close proximity, long Duration, Unmasked, Talking/singing/Yelling.

So, don’t go to bars, don’t hang out in church, don’t got to concerts, don’t go to theatres… and wear the mask correctly!

Meanwhile…

More Portlanders Share Experiences of Being Snatched—and Detained—by Federal Police.

Feds in Portland Now Unrestrained in Removing Journalists at Protests.

‘Horrifying Situation’: ACLU Condemns Arrest Of Protesters By Officers In Unmarked Vehicles.

If you don’t understand that this is full fascism, direct attacks on the fundamental idea of freedom, I don’t know what to say.

Friday Five (the murderer is not a patriot edition)

“The only reason you are defending his actions is because you disagree with the politics of his victims. He was an out of state agitator, disobeying a police ordered curfew, illegally carrying a firearm, in 'defense' of property he didn't own. He is a MURDER, not a patriot.”

“The only reason you are defending his actions is because you disagree with the politics of his victims. He was an out of state agitator, disobeying a police ordered curfew, illegally carrying a firearm, in ‘defense’ of property he didn’t own. He is a MURDER, not a patriot.”
Click to embiggen!

It is the final Friday in August!

Because I wrote a number of posts over the last couple of years about the son of an anti-gay, racist televangelist with whom I had a bit of a connection, when the scandal many of those posts had been about exploded this week, I suddenly had many hundreds of clicks on all those old posts. One of them has now crossed into the thousands, and it left me feeling weird (even though I made two more posts about it this week because, he’s been trying to take away my rights for years) because I’d really rather some other topics I’ve written about where getting all those click. One friend pointed out that even though it isn’t my favorite subject, it’s still my writing people are clicking on, and another pointed out that this is just the weirdness of blogging. Anyway…

It’s time for me to roll out this week’s Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five stories of the week, five stories about tropical storms/hurricanes, five stories of interest to queers and our allies, five stories about the pandemic, five stories about awful people, and five videos (plus a notable obituary and some things that I wrote).

Stories of the Week:

College Trombonist Brings His Instrument to Battle Against MAGA Cultist, Becomes Hero.

Do Some Damage: What Could Have Been and What Still Can Be – a former cop talks about what is needed for police reform.

Evangelical leaders denounce QAnon as ‘political cult,’ ‘satanic movement’ – Evangelical leaders denounce QAnon as ‘political cult,’ ‘satanic movement’.

‘God, this sucks’: Internet aghast at what Melania Trump has done to the Rose Garden.

Chris Wallace Shuts Down Fox News’ Support Of Vigilante Violence – Chris Wallace got into a heated argument with other Fox News pundits because they endorsed the idea that murderous vigilantes attacking protesters were justified because they were “filling a void” for the police.

This Week in Tropical Storms:

Tropical Storm Laura Moving Through the Mid-South With Gusty Winds, Flooding After Category 4 Landfall.

Hurricane Laura causes destruction across Louisiana.

Hurricane Laura damaged a Lake Charles Confederate monument, after parish officials voted to keep it. Heh

Hurricane Laura leaves at least six dead and a trail of destruction – “We have thousands and thousands of our fellow citizens whose lives are upside down,” Louisiana’s governor said.

Marco makes landfall, but it’s Tropical Storm Laura that has Gulf residents really nervous.

This Week in News for Queers and Allies:

Federal appeals court rules that anti-trans school bathroom policies are unconstitutional – Gavin Grimm just won another court victory against the Gloucester County School Board of Virginia and its transphobic student bathroom policy.

State park renamed to honor legendary trans activist Marsha P. Johnson – The first state park in New York to honor an LGBTQ person will reflect “Marsha’s style and colors.”.

AOC endorses gay primary challenger Alex Morse over powerful incumbent Congressman – Out progressive candidate Alex Morse is within striking distance of knocking out the powerful chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Richard Neal.

Coronavirus lockdown has led to depression in LGBTQ people – “One gay man described how his social isolation had become ‘unbearable’ and was ‘destroying my mental health.'”.

Study: Pride Games Decrease Antigay Slurs Among Players by 40 Percent.

This Week in the Pandemic:

New coronavirus cases are down nationwide. But the US is still averaging more than 900 deaths a day – The number of deaths related to the coronavirus in the US topped 180,000 on Thursday.

Fauci Says He Was Under Anesthesia When CDC Changed COVID-19 Testing Guidelines.

Almost 50 North Texans Drank Bleach This Month, Poison Center Warns ‘Stop, It Won’t Cure COVID’.

Big 12, Conference USA join SEC in conducting three COVID-19 tests per week during 2020 season.

Hate Group’s Office Listed As “COVID Outbreak Site”.

This Week in Deplorables:

Prosecutors announce homicide charges against Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old accused of shooting and killing 2 people at a Kenosha protest and Illinois teen arrested in connection to deadly shooting in Kenosha.

Jacob Wohl Accused of Starting a Voter Suppression Scheme – Michigan Attorney General Says Culprits In Robocall Voter Suppression Stunt Face Up To Five Years In Prison.

New Zealand mosque shooter sentenced to life without parole – Brenton Tarrant, who killed 51 Muslims as they prayed, is first in New Zealand to be sentenced to life without parole.

Trump Has Now Moved $2.3 Million Of Campaign-Donor Money Into His Private Business.

Daniel Dale On Convention Lies: ‘It’s Hard For Me To Know Where To Start’.

In Memoriam:

Darryl Macdonald, co-founder of Seattle International Film Festival, dies of cancer.

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 8/22/2020: At least justice for some….

Oh you cuckolded devil—or, the Evangelical Power Couple and the Pool Boy.

Tuesday Tidbits 8/25/2020: Acceptable deaths continue while stock market soars.

Pharisee says being held to his own standards is unfai.

Every starship needs a navigator, or, how librarians enabled my love for sf/f.

Videos!

The RNC’s Appeal to Black Voters & Don Jr.’s “Imagine” Speech | The Daily Social Distancing Show:

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

Why Did the Police Shoot Jacob Blake? | The Daily Social Distancing Show:

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

Stephen Colbert: I Didn’t Watch The RNC Tonight, And I Feel Great About It:

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

Chris Webber Holds Back Tears Speaking On NBA Players’ Strike after Police Shooting of Jacob Blake:

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

Kylie Minogue – Say Something (Official Video):

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

Every starship needs a navigator, or, how librarians enabled my love for sf/f

“One does not simply return from the library without a book”

“One does not simply return from the library without a book”

There is an entirely different sci fi related post I’ve been working on all week, but a lot of the sci fi blogs and such I read have been talking about a topic that gets me a bit worked up. And I’ve already written three blog posts this month that are at least partially related to it. I got into a conversation commenting on this post by Cora Buhlert and I realized there is at least one hero of my personal journey through science fiction and fantasy whose praises I ought to sing.

I’ve mentioned before that because of my father’s work in the petroleum industry my childhood included 10 elementary schools across four states. Toward the end of my elementary school years, my dad got promoted to what was essentially a regional manager type position, and we were able to move back to the tiny town where I was born (And at the time where my paternal grandparents and maternal great-grandparents lived).

In the first week of seventh grade I tried to explore the school library, and found that it was open during limited hours (the librarian worked at the elementary school and the high school as well as the middle school, so was in on only certain days). I also found out that the school library only let you check out one book at a time unless a teacher signed a request that you needed additional books for a class project. The first time I was able to go in and check out a book, I did what I always did when finding a new library: I went looking for my favorite authors. I found an anthology of Ray Bradbury stories.

Which I read all the way through before the next day, but I think I had to wait two days to check it back in and get another. It was while I was checking it in that the librarian asked me how I liked the stories in the book. And then she asked about some other authors I liked, and during the course of the conversation asked if I had ever read anything by Fritz Leiber. I said I thought I had read some of his stories, but wasn’t sure. She led me to a shelf and pulled out a collection of stories about Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. I think it was the volume Swords Against Death, but I’m not certain.

When I brought back the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser book, she recommended the anthology, Warlocks and Warriors edited by L. Sprague de Camp, which contained one of the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser stories I’d already read, but also contained “The Black God’s Kiss” by C.L. Moore, which introduced me to another great sword & sorcery protagnist, Jirel of Joiry.

Over the course of the next few months, with that librarian’s help, I read every single science fiction and fantasy book in the school library. Which would have left me sad, except that the town had a much more well-stocked public library.

The first visit to that library had been with my mother and younger sister, and Mom had commented on how much bigger and modern looking it was than the same town’s library had been when I was a baby. The library that Mom had checked out all of those Heinlein, Bradbury, Norton, and Christie (mom was a mystery fan as well as a sci fi fan) that she read to me as an infant.

Anyway, the public library had a much larger collection and they acquired books much more often than the school library had. And they allowed you to check out more than one book at a time and were open a lot more hours (having multiple full-time librarians, unlike the school district). That library had a lot to do with the fact that I read at least one book every day throughout seventh and eighth grade.

It was from that library that I read a rather large number of books by Madeleine L’Engle. I’d been a L’Engle fan since I had gotten a copy of A Wrinkle in Time from the Scholastic Book Club in about third grade. But hadn’t found many other books by her until that public library.

One day I came into the library to drop off books I had read intending to browse for new ones, but the librarian at the desk said (with a twinkle in her eye), “You should go check out the new acquisitions display.” They periodically put up the dust covers of recently acquired books along with some extra information about the author or if it was part of a series typed up on an index card. There would also frequently be bright pink cards next to the index card saying, “Currently checked out — ask to be put on the reserve list!”

Anyway, I got to the display and started scanning the books when Madeleine L’Engle’s name jumped out at me. And the title was one I didn’t recognize, A Wind in the Door. The little index card said something like, “The long awaited sequel to -A Wrinkle in Time-!” Joy started to bubble up in me… and then I saw that dreaded pink card.

“Someone’s checked it out already?” I don’t think I actually wailed, but you know, I was only 12 or 13 (I don’t know which month of 1973 the book came out, and now if you didn’t know how much of an old man I am, now you do) and a book I didn’t even know I’d been waiting for had just come out but I couldn’t read it yet!

The librarian didn’t scold me for being too loud. Instead she said, “Oh, yes! One of our best customers has already checked it out!” She made a dramatic show of looking through some papers… and then she read out my name.

The Head Librarian had already checked it out in my name, and she and the other librarians had cooked up the idea of sending me to the display and so forth. I found out later there had been a bet as to which one of them would get to spring that act on me.

So there it was, behind the counter, and I got to be the first one to read it.

Many other librarians helped me discover fabulous science fiction and fantasy works, not just the ones mentioned above. And I owe all of them a ton of gratitude.

Pharisee says being held to his own standards is unfair

Apparently I’m writing about Jerry Falwell, Jr some more…

Joe Jervis at JoeMyGod.Com has a really good collection of stories summing up yesterday’s churn on this issue, as Falwell said he was resigning, then retracted it while issuing a legal threat to the university trustees, and then supposedly resigned for real this time. Maybe: Jerry Falwell Jr. Re-Resigns From Liberty University.

While talking to Fox News in the middle of all that churn, at the point when he was still threatening to sue the board he said: “The board put me on leave, took away my duties as prez, and that’s not permitted by my contract. And they put me on leave because of pressure from self-righteous people.”

Pressure from self-righteous people, which he thinks is unfair. Really? This from a man who has campaigned to keep queer people from getting various civil rights. A man who has campaigned to prevent trans people from getting medical care, among other things. Has campaigned for the rights of medical personnel to refuse to treat queer people if they claim a religious objection. He has publicly condemned abortion, pre-marital sex among straight people—has even called for laws criminalizing not just gay people having sex, but also straight people having sex with people they aren’t married to be reinstated.

And he’s complaining about pressure from self-righteous people?

Wow! Talk about having your head shoved so far up your own hypocrisy you can lick your own tonsils!

I should explain the title of this post. The Pharisees were an ancient Jewish sect, distinguished by strict observance of the traditional and written law, and commonly held to have pretensions to superior sanctity. They appear in the Gospels on several occasions, usually being in opposition to Jesus. In many modern Christian circles that word Pharisee is often used to refer to any self-righteous person or hypocrite.

I already pointed out in yesterday’s post that Falwell’s claim that he wasn’t a willing participant in the sex going on between his wife and Giancarlo Granda is contradicted by Falwell’s actions during Donald Trumps visit to Liberty University in 2016. You don’t enthusiastically introduce your blackmailer to the candidate for President that you’ve just endorsed… I’m glad other people are pointing this out. I’m also glad people are pointing out that Falwell sent naughty pictures of his wife to Personal Trainer (the guy I have often called the Other Pool Boy)… and accidentally cc-ed a ton of staff members at the university. Again, not something one would do if they weren’t a willing participant in the sexual shenanigans.

I hope, I really hope, that some state tax examiners are going to look into these transfers of million-dollar-properties to the Pool Boy and the Personal Trainer. Because I can’t believe those don’t violate some laws governing how non-profits handle their assets. And if the anti-guy, anti-feminist, pro-racial segregations non-profit entity takes a big financial hit because of it, I won’t be complaining.

Tuesday Tidbits 8/25/2020: Acceptable deaths continue while stock market soars

“Dear Seniors who Support Trump, we get it, it's a hard call. On one hand he's underfunding your Social Security, jeopardizing your mailed prescriptions, and eradicating your Medicare. But on the other hand he did also advocate kill you in a pandemic to keep the Dow strong.”

It’s a lose-lose situation for everyone but him…

Trump Wants to Do the 1 Thing That Could Kill Social Security.

Trump promises permanent cut to payroll tax funding Social Security and Medicare if he’s reelected.

More than 176,000 in US have died of COVID-19; 57% of Republicans polled say that is ‘acceptable.

The stock market isn’t the success story Trump thinks it is – A surging Nasdaq and Dow doesn’t indicate a healthy economy.

“If Black Lives Matter bothers you because it doesn't say All Lives Matter, but Blue Lives Matter doesn't bother you, then what really bothers you is the word BLACK.”

Besides, there are no such things as Blue Lives… being a cop is a career choice, being Black is not.

We need Black Lives Matter. The police who shot Jacob Blake prove it.

‘Black Lives Matter’ messages washed away after protest groups clash over Allendale Civil War statue.

“This machine kills fascists”

The postal service may be our last hope against the fascist takeover of America.

Rep. Katie Porter Grills Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Basic Facts About the Post Office.

Don’t reconnect mailing machines, Postal Service tells plants. Tacoma does it anyway.

How to Save the Post Office.

“Btw 'systemic racism' doesn't mean 'lots of racists in the system.' It means that even if there were *zero* 'racists' present, the system would still disproportionately harm people of certain races. It's baffling that lots of educated folks don't understand this concept.”

Important to know this concept.

Systemic racism has consequences for all life in cities.

The lack of Black leaders in New England college sports is ‘what institutional and systemic racism look like’.

How does systemic racism affect Black Americans’ access to capital?

“So when Trump decided to sabotage the USPS to slow down mail delivery, did he just decide that the millions of Americans who rely on the Post Office for the timely delivery of medication and drugs were a necessary sacrifice?”

Trump cares for no one but himself.

Postal Service delays of prescription drugs put thousands of American lives at risk – “Without it, people are going to die,” said a retired nurse in Michigan whose pain medication arrived late.

82-year-old Houston-area man left without heart medicine for a week due to USPS delays.

US Postal Service delays force Department of Veterans Affairs to shift prescription delivery methods.

Oh you cuckolded devil—or, the Evangelical Power Couple and the Pool Boy

Let me begin by saying, I told you so.

Business partner of Falwells says affair with evangelical power couple spanned seven years.

Giancarlo Granda says his sexual relationship with the Falwells began when he was 20. He says he had sex with Becki Falwell while Jerry Falwell Jr, head of Liberty University and a staunch supporter of President Trump, looked on…

Giancarlo Granda, who says he had a years-long sexual relationship with the Falwells that began when he was 20, said he now believes the Falwells preyed upon him. “Whether it was immaturity, naïveté, instability, or a combination thereof, it was this ‘mindset’ that the Falwells likely detected in deciding that I was the ideal target for their sexual escapades,” he said.

The Falwells have a particular kink, and it involves younger, hunky men having sex with Mrs Falwell while Mr Falwell watches and takes pictures. I called it!

In previous posts I’ve talked about how the relationship seemed to begin when Granda was 20 years old, working as a poolboy at a very expensive Miami hotel the Falwells were vacationing at. He was a young man working his way through school, they were an extremely wealthy couple staying in one of the most expensive suites, were known for tipping lavishly, and owned their own jet.

And we know the discovery process of a lawsuit filed by the real estate mogul father of one of the former pool boy’s classmates, who helped the Falwell’s find a suitable property, that as the relationship continued, the Falwells spent more than $1.8 million buying a youth hostel, refurbishing it, and gifted half ownership to the pool boy.

And then, of course, there is the second pool boy

I’ve said before that hot-wifing, threeways, and cuckold fantasies are all perfectly healthy sexual things that a committed couple who are into ethical non-monogamy should be able to engage in without shame. The problem comes in when millions of dollars of money extracted from two tax exempt non-profits are used to finance particularly elaborate versions of those sexual relationships. That means tax payers subsidized this. And those two non-profits are actively engaged in trying to criminalize queer relationship, and restrict the sexual freedoms of straight people, too. And then there is that apparent fact that Falwell endorsed Trump on the eve of the Iowa Caucuses, effectively swinging the evangelical vote to the pussy grabber in chief, to pay Trump back for helping make a blackmailer who had photos of the sexual shenanigans go away.

Falwell is now trying to blame it all on his wife, Jerry Falwell Jr. Says His Wife Had an Affair With the Miami Pool Boy They Befriended and the pool boy blackmailing him. However, we already know Falwell bought the 1.8 million dollar business for the pool boy long before the blackmail. We also know from the Trump’s ex-lawyer who brokered the deal that it wasn’t the pool boy who attempted the blackmail. We also know that Falwell sent his jet to pick up the pool boy and bring him to Virginia for a week of “play” and actually introduced the pool boy to Donald Trump more than a month after the blackmailer had been paid off. And we know that Falwell accidentally texted photos of his wife in fetish gear to the staff of Liberty U, and he later admitted the pictures were meant for the guy I call The Other Pool Boy.

Yeah, this lie isn’t going to hold up, Jerry.

Weekend Update 8/22/2020: At least justice for some…

“It appears we have some breaking news.” “Good lord, what the fuck now?”

“It appears we have some breaking news.” “Good lord, what the fuck now?”

After making an effort to shake up the this week’s Friday Five with a new section called “This Week in I Need a Break from Bad News” I’m skipping over a lot of news I read last night and this morning that might normally go into one of my round up of news that broke after I queued the Friday Five or updates to stories I’m commented on before. Which doesn’t mean that there is no bad news below, just that I’ve tried to keep things focused a bit. And some of the following is actually good news! So, let’s begin!

A couple of updates on my least favorite evangelical hypocrit:

50 pastors who graduated from Liberty University demand Falwell be ‘permanently removed’, though I prefer the headline Joe Jervis of JoeMyGod.com gave it: “50 Liberty U Pastors: Permanently Shitcan Jerry Falwell.” I’ve written way too much about that jerk. He’s a grifter, a fraud, he’s used the so-called Christian University as his personal piggy bank to finance multi-million dollar gifts the hunky young men in exchange for sexual escapades involving his wife, and he repaid Donald Trump for helping him get rid of a blackmailer by endorsing Trump at a crucial stage of the 2016 election and effectively delivering the evangelical vote to the Pussy Grabber in Chief. I’m glad that he’s finally paying some price, but I don’t have much hope he’ll face real consequences: Liberty Board confirms Falwell’s leave, Prevo as acting president. Again, I prefer Joe Jervis’ headline: “Liberty U Asks God To Decide On Shitcanning Falwell.” Except we all know that most of the decision-makers haven’t actually talked to god in decades. If ever…

Moving on!

Golden State Killer Joseph DeAngelo sentenced to life in prison . Not just life in prison, 11 consecutive life in prison without parole, plus additional sentence. He pled guilty to over 50 rapes and 13 murders, so doesn’t seem like an overly harsh sentence. In case you don’t recognize him, the Golden State killer was a former police officer who committed at least 13 murders, more than 50 rapes, and over 120 burglaries in California between 1973 and 1986. He operated in different parts of the state (different areas he lived in) from 1973 until 1986. It took years for police agencies to figure out the that Visalia Ransacker, East Area Rapist, and the Original Night Stalker were one and the same. It wasn’t until April, 2018, that police were able to identify the killer thanks in part to DNA evidence.

One of the reasons I have followed this case is I have a friend who lived in one of the areas where he operated back at the time who has talked about how scary it was to hear and read those stories at the time.

Anyway, I really do hope that he dies in prison.

Tropical Storms Laura, Marco form potential double threat to Gulf Coast: What we know. As I said on twitter, who was it that had double hurricanes on their Apocalypse 2020 Bingo Card? If they storms continue to track as predicted, both will be crossing the Gulf of Mexico at the same time, something that has never happened since we started keeping storm records in 1851. We’ve had two hurricanes stike the U.S. within a day of each other before (back in 1933), but they didn’t both strike the Gulf coast.

Batten down the hatches and stay safe!

Now, here are some court cases that have all gone right:

Court orders Donald Trump to pay legal fees in Stormy Daniels suit.

Haters Lose Chick-Fil-A Lawsuit – Texas appeals court rejects ‘Save Chick-fil-a’ lawsuit, hands San Antonio a victory.

Republicans Lose Court Battle Against Michigan Lockdown – Michigan Court of Appeals upholds Gov. Whitmer’s emergency actions.

Speaking of Govenor Whitmer: It’s Shark Week, MF’ers: The Internet Loves Gretchen Whitmer’s Sassy Mouth. There’s even not a t-shirt!

Finally

Guess how I’ll be spending the rest of my weekend: ‘Lucifer’ Season 5 Instantly Rockets To #1 On Netflix?

Friday Five (don’t be a dumbass edition)

Just like Dolly said…

It is the third Friday in August!

The heatwave came back, and it felt as if all week I was trying to keep cool and figure out things to cook for dinner that didn’t heat the house up worse than it was. The work week, meanwhile, felt more like a month squeezed into a week. On the other hand, the prescription issue I was still dealing with last week has been taken care of for now, so that’s a yay. Also, I enjoyed streaming the DNC convention, which gave me a few moments of hope.

Which brings us to this week’s Friday Five. For a while now I’ve had basically the same five categories of stories week after week, and it’s seemed harder than ever to not let all the outrage-worthy news predominate. So I’ve tried to shake things up a little bit. This week I bring you: the top five stories of the week, five stories of interest to queers and our allies, five stories that are about good or funny or interesting things, five stories about awful people, and five videos (plus a notable obituary and something I wrote).

Stories of the Week:

Dolly Parton Steers Her Empire Through the Pandemic — and Keeps It Growing . This is an awesome interview! “As soon as you realize that [something] is a problem, you should fix it. Don’t be a dumbass. That’s where my heart is. I would never dream of hurting anybody on purpose.”

The Case of the Top Secret iPod.

Matriarch of Northwest apple industry passes away at age 194. Not a misprint.

Asteroid Makes the Closest Earth Flyby a Space Rock Has Ever Survived – The car-sized object zoomed by just 1,830 miles away.

Wolverines return to Mt Rainier for first time in more than 100 years.

This Week in News for Queers and Allies:

Waiter Has Message for Trump Supporters After Receiving $5 Tip with ‘Get Out of America, Fag’ Written on It.

‘It Has A Chilling Effect’: Some In LGBTQ Community Say Scrutiny Of Alex Morse Is Harmful .

Judge stops Idaho from enacting ban on transgender athletes – The ruling means transgender athletes wanting to participate in sports that match their gender identity can do so this fall.

I’m A Nurse Who Cares For Gender Surgery Patients. Here’s Why I Love It So Much – “It’s terribly lonely to have people know you as an incomplete or incorrect version of yourself.”.

Record Number of LGBTQ+ Delegates Make Voices Heard at Dem Convention.

This Week in I Need a Break From Bad News:

Cutie Jack Kennedy Schlossberg appeared at the virtual DNC with his mom.

Evangelical Coalition Urges Christians To Get COVID Vax Because “All Scientific Truth Is Ultimately From God”.

Florida mosquitoes: 750 million genetically modified insects to be released.

Earliest art in the British Isles discovered on Jersey.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Explained What Her “Shark Week, Motherfucker” Comment Meant And Made It Even Better – “It’s funny and it’s about women’s empowerment, and it makes me smile.”.

This Week in Deplorables:

New Senate Report Links Trump’s Business Partners To Russian Mob, Human Trafficking, And Putin.

Steve Bannon, Three Others Arrested In $25M Scheme To Defraud Donors To Private Border Wall.

Postal Service cuts imperil ladder to middle class for many Black Americans – Postal workers say DeJoy’s policies would make it nearly impossible to cope with sweeping changes that are affecting their jobs every day.

Thom Brennaman should be fired for his anti-gay slur – We know exactly who you are. Calling yourself a “man of faith” isn’t an excuse.

Squidbillies Star Stuart Baker Fired for ‘Extremely Offensive’ Facebook Posts. His long racist rant included calling Dolly Parton a freak and a slut for speaking out against racism, so, you know…

In Memoriam:

Chi Chi DeVayne dead: RuPaul’s Drag Race queen dies at age 34.

Things I wrote:

Sometimes we leap, sometimes we fall, sometimes we’re pushed….

Videos!

Watch Barack Obama’s Full Speech At The 2020 DNC | NBC News:

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

Why You Shouldn’t Be Asking If Kamala Harris Is “Black Enough” | The Daily Social Distancing Show:

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

Barack Obama’s Fiery, Emotional Speech Sets The Stage For Historic Kamala Harris VP Nomination:

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

Billie Eilish debuts ‘My Future’ at the 2020 Democratic National Convention:

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

Carly Rae Jepsen – Me And The Boys In The Band:

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

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