Archive | February 2021

Friday Five (so frucking proud edition)

Welcome to the fourth Friday in February!

Temperatures are warmer here, although there is a lot of snow still coming down in the mountains not that far away. And I know much of the rest of the country is still dealing with the fallout of those severe winter storms. Our state wildlife department is still urging us not to put our bird feeders and such back up, and I must say I really miss seeing all the birds outside my window. Also, the coolest of the Valentine’s Day gifts my husband gave me was a hanging bird bath for our veranda, and as of now I’m not allowed to put it up until April.

Meanwhile, we have the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five stories of the week, five stories of interest to queers and our allies, five stores from my local news, five stories about the pandemic, five stories about haters and other deplorables, and five videas (plus things I wrote and some notable obituaries).

This Week in News to Just Be Happy About:

I Miss My Bar – Recreate Your Favorite Bar’s Atmosphere. Yes, this link was in my Monday Update post, but I think it is worth linking to once again a free web site that allows you to generate a customized sound ambience as if you are out at a bar or restaurant rather than quarantine…

Stories of the Week:

Landmark LGBTQ civil rights legislation passes House in bipartisan vote – The Equality Act is now going to the Senate, where it faces an uphill fight against Republican opposition.

Lawyers have found the parents of 105 separated migrant children in past month – The parents of 506 separated migrant children still haven’t been found, however. Lawyers say the parents of 322 of them were likely to have been deported.

Baffled Canadians Spread Reports Of ‘Hard’ Butter.

Republicans Go To War While Democrats Try To Negotiate.

I’m Being Censored, and You Can Read, Hear, and See Me Talk About It in the News, on the Radio, and on TV.

This Week in News for Queers and Allies:

Black & Gay Back In The Day: The Story Behind The Archive.

5.6% of American adults say they are LGBTQ. Over half identify as bisexual – The number of LGBTQ Americans coming out and claiming their identity just keeps growing.

Furious crowd forces armed police officers to release men arrested for kissing on a beach – Parents and locals started chanting “I’m gay!” and “I’m gay too!” in solidarity with the men as they surrounded the cops.

How Black LGBTQ talent helped shape the history of modern music.

What Trans Elder Miss Major Griffin-Gracy Wants You to Know.

This Week In News Local to Me:

Washington state wildlife officials: Leave bird feeders down until April.

Washington State Supreme Court Rules the Simple Possession Law is Unconstitutional – Former U.S. Attorney John McKay weighs in on a State Supreme Court ruling that found Washington’s simple drug possession law is unconstitutional.

Washington State Patrol worker arrested for child rape investigation in undercover sting.

WA Insurance Commissioner Calls for the Death of His Own Bill After Senate Democrats Gut It.

King County to reexamine decades-old bicyclist helmet law – The move by the King County Board of Health comes after a Crosscut report showing disproportionate enforcement toward homeless people.

This Week in the Pandemic:

Covid Hospital Admissions Drop 72%, Led by Oldest U.S. Patients.

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine deemed “safe and effective” by the FDA.

Amid COVID-19 pandemic, flu has disappeared in the US.

Moderna says new version of vaccine is tailored to quell infection by South Africa variant.

Half Million US People Die Of The Coronavirus.

This Week in Haters and Other Deplorable People:

Southern Baptists oust 2 churches over LGBTQ inclusion.

Evangelical Leaders Condemn ‘Radicalized Christian Nationalism’. As my grandpa would say, “Y’all are closing the barn door long, long, long after the horses ran away.”

Rand Paul goes on unhinged transphobic rant at Dr. Rachel Levine’s confirmation hearing – “Genital mutilation,” Paul bellowed as he started questioning the first transgender person nominated to a Senate-confirmed position, Dr. Rachel Levine.

State judge rejects motion by right-wing robocallers to toss case.

Republican asks for a moment of silence for Rush Limbaugh during LGBTQ Equality Act debate – Over a week after Rush Limbaugh died, Rep. Ralph Norman wanted the House to take a moment of silence for the notorious homophobe during the historic LGBTQ debate – His request was rejected.

In Memoriam:

Pioneering Lesbian and Feminist Activist Ivy Bottini Has Died at 94.

Farewell to Jan Morris, Groundbreaking Trans Explorer of Realms.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, City Lights founder and champion of the Beat Generation, dead at 101.

‘It’s not in books, it’s in the world’: Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s shining legacy.

James Burke, Five Stairsteps Singer Who Crooned ‘O-o-h Child,’ Dead at 70.

Things I wrote:

WandaVision goes Modern while really breaking all the walls.

Monday Update 2/22/2021: For whom the subpoena tolls… plus some free ambience!

Videos!

NASA’s Thrilling Mars Landing Is The Good News Pandemic-Weary America Needs:

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

The GOP Is Actively Working to Restrict Voting in Key States | The Daily Social Distancing Show:

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

Great Vaccine News Has Everyone Asking When Life Will Return to Normal: A Closer Look:

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

Bernie Sanders on Raising the Minimum Wage, Big Lies from Republicans & Biden’s Health Care Plan:

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

Tina (2021): Official Teaser:

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

Monday Update 2/22/2021: For whom the subpoena tolls… plus some free ambience!

Time to cover some news that either broke after I composed the most recent Friday Five, or has had new developments since then, or didn’t quite make the cut for that post, or is simply an update to some news story I have previous linked and talked about. So let’s go:

Supreme Court won’t halt turnover of Trump’s tax records to New York prosecutor. Finally!

This related to the Manhattan District Attorney’s investigation into whether Trump’s company inflated the value of some of his signature properties to obtain the best possible loans, while lowballing the values to reduce property taxes. There may also be evidence of insurance fraud. This is completely separate from the New York State Attorney General’s investigation, though it includes similar allegations. The Manhattan DA only has jurisdiction over crimes that happened within New York City, whereas the state AG can be looking at potentially criminal activities throughout the rest of the state: New York Attorney General Letitia James says Trump Supreme Court ruling won’t affect her tax probe.

And this is separate from a criminal investigation in the state of Georgia over Trump’s attempt to bulling state officials into magically “finding” enough votes to flip the state: Georgia prosecutors open criminal investigation into Trump’s efforts to subvert election results. And things are getting even more interesting in Georgia: A Trump criminal probe in Georgia expands to include Sen. Lindsey Graham – A Georgia district attorney is investigating whether Graham violated state law in a call with an elections official. Lady G just might wind up being deposed!

Moving on…

“Some of you may die, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make.”There aren’t likely to be criminal charges coming for the Texas Senator over this, but: One night in Cancun: Ted Cruz’s disastrous decision to go on vacation during Texas storm crisis. Let’s be honest: Cruz has always been nothing more than an ambulatory tape worm badly pretending to be a human who somehow manages to keep getting re-elected. But this was a particularly tone-deaf decision, and illustrates how any signs of empathy for people outside his immediate circle is all performative. Meanwhile, Ted’s constituents are being left to fend for themselves: Hypothermia deaths in Texas mount amid severe weather conditions and Texas power outages left woman with over $10,000 electric bill.

What a mess!

At least some help is coming: Biden Declares Major Disaster in Texas as Federal Aid Flows – The Federal Emergency Management Agency has shipped dozens of generators and supplies, including fuel, water, blankets and ready-to-eat meals, to the affected areas. I want to point out that, unlike the previous president, Biden didn’t hesitate to declare and emergency and authorize aid to a state that didn’t vote for him, and whose governor has been a virulent critic of Biden and his party. Just sayin’…

Meanwhile…

Unfortunately, we still have other issues to worry about: Fauci calls 500,000 coronavirus deaths ‘terrible’. It is a horrible milestone that we never should have reached. And still there are idiots (including some elected officials) encouraging idiots no to wear masks and so forth! Also: ‘Rapid take-off’ of variant first found in Britain threatens US.

There is one tiny bit of good news for at least some of us: People who wear glasses may be up to 3 times less likely to catch COVID, new study suggests. I’ll take any good news I can get, right now. And I can start feeling less irritated that my glasses keep fogging up.

Here’s a weird one: Who’s the Homophobe Bothering Local Businesses and Ken Jennings’ Family? If you are aware of Ken Jennings, a multiple Jeopardy champion, you might also know that he lives in Seattle, where I live. Because he is local, he is probably a bit more of a celebrity here than other places. Anyway, a few years ago someone started mailing postcards containing very unimaginative homophobic rants to Ken and his wife. Jennings has never identified as queer, but there is at least one of two times that he has publicly stated his support for queer rights in general, and marriage equality in particular.

They’ve been getting this postcards for a while, as I mentioned, but in the last several weeks similar postcards, supposedly signed by Mrs. Jennings, have been being received by various small businesses around town. Most of these businesses are not owned by queer people, though I know at least two of the businesses have offered Pride Month specials in previous years. It’s a weird story and a weird way to harass people. I assume the homophobe signed the new cards with Mrs. Jennings’ name in hopes that some of the recipients would believe they were from her and go public with the news?

But again, whey have they sent these postcards to the barely semi-famous straight couple for the last few years?

If I weren’t running out of time on my lunch break, I’d go off in detail about how often homophobes always spout almost the same, unimaginative slurs and insults. But, let’s move one…

Let’s leave with something cool!

I Miss My Bar – Recreate Your Favorite Bar’s Atmosphere. If you go to this website, you can select various options to make your computer, tablet, or whatever you’re browsing on generate background noised that sound like a bar (or restaurant). You control the mix of which ambient sounds, want a very light rain on the window? Or maybe the sound of more heavy rain? A lot of background conversations? Or just a few other people in a mostly empty place.

It’s just a really cool concept. And even though I’m a big introvert, I can appreciate how odd it has been that I haven’t been in a bar or restaurant for over a year. For people who used to go out a lot more than I ever did, this may be even more interesting.

It’s not world-shattering or life-changing, thus a really cool project that someone has put together and then put out in the world.

WandaVision goes Modern while really breaking all the walls

© Disney+

Things really got moving in this episode, “Breaking the Fourth Wall.” I think we may have learned enough that it’s possible to start making some judgement calls on some of the plot and delivery decisions made in earlier episodes. Despite the fact that there was a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth during the first about hour after the episode became available for streaming. Disney+ was experiencing problems. For some people the service crashed completely and didn’t come back for a while. A lot of others experience multiple long pauses in the middle of the action. Many are inferring that a lot more fans of the show are waiting up on Thursday night until the episode becomes available, and simply overwhelmed the system.

This episode gave us a couple of answers to questions swirling around the underlying mystery and hinted at more to come. I’ve seen a few people already claiming that the reveal near the end of this episode completely eliminates a few other fan theories, and I think those people are jumping the gun. Which I will get to below. But before I get into any spoilers, I think it is worth mentioning that for the first time in the series there is a post-credits scene. I won’t tell you what it is above the break, but just in case you’re one of those people who stop playing or skip to another show once the credits start, you might want to stick around this time.

One more thing before I get into it: this show appears on Disney+, and may I remind you that Disney corporation is refusing to pay Alan Dean Foster and other authors money they are owed for media tie-in novels.

I can’t say more without spoilers, so…

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Seriously, every single sentence below is full of spoilers…

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Seriously, turn back now!!!

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I warned you!!!

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Seriously, spoilers ahead!

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Read More…

Friday Five (rickrolling upgrade edition)

Bigot, misogynist, homophobe, crank - Rush Limbaugh Dead

Some editor at Huffington Post changed this headline to something less accurate than what the origionally posted. Meanwhile, may I remind you: Rush Limbaugh celebrated the deaths of gay men from AIDS on his radio show.

Welcome to the third Friday in February!

The snow here in the Seattle area started melting on Monday. Unfortunately most of the rest of the country is still experiencing much colder temperatures than usual, and then there is the disaster going on in Texas. So I’m feeling fortunate that right now we’re not worried about keeping warm or having safe drinking water.

Meanwhile, we have the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five stories of the week, five stories of interest to queers and our allies, five stories related to science fiction, five stories about the future of democracy, and five videas (plus things I wrote and some notable obituaries).

Stories of the Week:

NASA’s Perseverance rover nails Mars landing, sends first images of Jezero Crater.

Texas was “seconds and minutes” away from catastrophic monthslong blackouts, officials say – Officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said that grid operators implemented blackouts to avoid a catastrophic failure that could have left Texans in the dark for months.

General Unstructured Thoughts On “Being Cancelled”.

Pentagon report reveals inroads white supremacists have made in military.

COVID shaving years off American life expectancies: – US life expectancy drops in pandemic, most since WWII.

This Week in News for Queers and Allies:

Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) Reintroduce LGBTQ Equality Act.

State anti-transgender bills represent coordinated attack, advocates say – Many proposed bans on trans athletes and transition care for minors share identical language.

Hallmark to homophobes: More gay is on the way.

Chasten Buttigieg had the shadiest reaction to Rush Limbaugh’s death – Rush Limbaugh was obsessed with Chasten & Pete showing any affection for one another in public. So Chasten acknowledged that homophobia one last time.

Texas lawmakers are trying to pass pro-LGBTQ proposals. Do they have a chance?

This Week in Science Fiction:

Baen Books Forum Being Used to Advocate for Political Violence.

Opinion: On Baen Books, Moderating Discussion Boards, & Political Expression.

More bad Baen’s Bar defences.

Masks and Magic 2021 – A Round-up of Indie Mardi Gras Speculative Fiction.

2020 Locus Recommended Reading List.

This Week in the Future of Democracy:

Investigation finds Latino ballots in WA more likely to be rejected – Latino signatures are more likely to be questioned and less likely to be fixed during Washington state elections..

A GOP donor gave $2.5 million for a voter fraud investigation. Now he wants his money back.

After Weeks Of Being Offline, Parler Finds A New Web Host.

FBI Informant Panic Is Ruining Friendships All Over the Far Right.

Trump left them to die. 43 Senate Republicans still licked his boots.

In Memoriam:

Remembering Charlie Brydon, an Early LGBTQ Rights Leader and father of the LGBTQ Civil Rights Movement in Washington State.

Pioneering Out Recording Artist Ari Gold Dies at 47.

‘Extraordinary, trailblazing and inspiring’ trans writer and historian Jan Morris has died, aged 94.

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 2/13/2021: The truth eventually comes out.

Happy Day Before Discount Chocolate Day.

In which I pedantically remind you that today is NOT President’s Day….

With great satisfaction.

WandaVision Brings Tricks, Treats, and a Growing Menace.

Videos!

The Next Pandemic: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO):

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

Ted Cruz Jets To Cancun While Texans Freeze | The Daily Social Distancing Show:

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

‘Brazen Lie’: Chris Hayes Calls Out Gov. Abbott, Fox News For Texas Power Grid Lies | All In | MSNBC:

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

Reporters WILL NOT STOP Humiliating Themselves with Jen Psaki:

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

Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ Video Was Remastered in 4K and It’s So Damn Crisp Fans are Flipping Out:

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

WandaVision Brings Tricks, Treats, and a Growing Menace

© Disney +

Last week brought us the 6th episode out of 9 of WandaVisiom, entitled “All-New Halloween Spooktacular!” I’m still enjoying the series a lot. But I realized after I finished my review last week, that if the answers to the various mysteries they are aiming to aren’t close to my guesses, the series may have gone completely off the rails. Two of my favorite fan writers have commented that it’s nearly impossible to review this series because you can’t tell whether things make sense if you don’t know the ending. So maybe it’s okay that I’m somewhat conflicted. This review is so late because I kept trying to write it without it being a long recap of the episode.

Before I begin my spoiler-heavy review, because this show appears on Disney+, I am morally obligated to tell you that the Disney corporation is refusing to pay Alan Dean Foster and other authors money they are owed for media tie-in novels.

This is the first episode where I was completely clueless as to who they were doing an homage to during the opening credits. I mentioned previously that due to various life events I watched virtually no television in the 1980s, right? So, due to very different life events1, I wound up missing a lot of television and other pop culture events in the 1990s.

Other viewers, more knowledgeable than myself tell me that the show skipped over the 1990s entirely to make a full-throated embrace of Malcolm in the Middle which aired from 2000 until 2006. And I’ll take their word for it.

The rest of my review/partial recap is rife with spoilers, so don’t scroll down or click below if you don’t want to be spoiled!

I can’t say more without spoilers, so…

.

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.

Seriously, every single sentence below is so full of spoilers you need a vomit bag…

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.

.

Seriously, turn back now!!!

.

.

.

I warned you!!!

.

.

.

Seriously, spoilers ahead!

.

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.

Read More…

With great satisfaction

“All men have an emotion to kill; when they strongly dislike some one they involuntarily wish he was dead. I have never killed any one, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction.” — Clarence Darrow

It wasn’t Mark Twain who said the thing about obituaries…

Lots of people misquote an old Latin proverb and admonish us that we are never to speak ill of the dead. The actual proverb is more properly translated into modern English as, “Of the dead, speak nothing but truth.”

So allow me to speak some truth.

Rush Limbaugh was a racist, sexist, homophobic, hypocritical liar. His radio show normalized a form of hateful demonizing of political opponents in addition to people of color, queers, women, and anyone who had the audacity to show compassion to their fellow humans. And he frequently insisted that there was no proof that nicotine was addictive (there is tons), and likewise no proof that smoking tobacco could cause cancer, emphysema, or heart disease (there is a lot).

And today he succumbed to lung cancer.

Maybe there is some justice in this world after all.

In which I pedantically remind you that today is NOT President’s Day…

"When a person did his best, do not scold him for his failure" —George Washington

“When a person did his best, do not scold him for his failure” —George Washington

Originally published February 15, 2016:

I know I start to sound like Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory when I say this sort of thing, but the holiday we’re celebrating today is not named “Presidents’ Day,” it is “Washington’s Birthday Observance.” I’ve written before about how the myth that the holiday is President’s Day got started and why it is so persistent. I’ve also written about the reasons why there has never been a federal holiday dedicated to Lincoln.

But especially because of those racist reasons that have prevented a Federal holiday recognizing Lincoln, I think it’s important to remember that this holiday is not Presidents’ Day, unless you’re in one of the 10 states that have a state holiday this day which is called President’s Day (my state isn’t one of them). Five states still recognize a state holiday for Lincoln (Illinois, California, Connecticut, Missouri, and New York), though schools and state offices often remain open on that day.

And don’t get me started on the fact that because Washington’s Birthday Observance happens on the third Monday of February, George’s actual birthday, February 22, never lands on his Federal holiday. For shame!

Happy Day Before Discount Chocolate Day

We’re snowed it, which seems to have made us more busy rather than less. I have not finished my WandaVision review. I started to write a post about the impeachment BS, but I’m just not in the mood.

Our original plans had been to get takeout from one of the restaurants we haven’t been to in a while, but the snow and ice and being in a hilly part of town (and watching both yesterday and today cars struggling to get up the hill at either end of our block) has left us both feeling much safer staying it. Besides, the chest freezer is so full we can’t squeeze any more food into it, so it’s not like we don’t have anything to eat.

Today also happens to be the birthday of one of my favorite people, and we already had plans to watch a movie (virtually) together tonight with him and a bunch of mutual friends. Among the silly thing my hubby gave me today is a pink and lavender and other fun colors hanging bird bath that will be going out on the veranda (I have the perfect place to hang it, midway between were the birdseed feeder and the hummingbird feeder hang) once the snow and ice are gone. I have been scattering a lot of birdseed out on the veranda, with is all really visible on the snow, so there have been lots of birds hopping around out there. I haven’t seen but one fleeting glimpse of a hummingbird since the hold weather hit, but since I’m bringing in the hummingbird feeder each eventing at sundown so it doesnt freeze, I’ve been measuring the nectar. I usually put a quart of nectar in when I refill, and ordinarily it takes the local birds about a week and a half to drink that much. The first two cold days they drank about half a pint. Yesterday it was a bit more than a pint. So they are definitely visiting, just not when I happen to be looking out.

We got a little bit of rain mixed with snow today. The weather service is predicting rain and warming temps tomorrow. But last time I checked they are still saying a bit most snow late tonight transitioning to freezing rain in the wee small hours.

I need to go check the squirrel feeder and maybe scatter some more seeds for the birds…

Weekend Update 2/13/2021: The truth eventually comes out

“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?”

Time once again for stories that either didn’t make the cut for this week’s Friday Five, or broke after I finished that weekly news post, or update stores I have linked to and/or commented upon previously..

Christian Prophets Are on the Rise. What Happens When They’re Wrong? – They are stars within one of the fastest-growing corners of American Christianity. Now, their movement is in crisis..

“Brought to you by the same people who claim that football players kneeling was disresptful to America and unpatriotic”

(Click to embiggen)

Popular Information: The next insurrection.

‘Hold the Line’: QAnon Adherents Claim Trump Will Become President Again on March 4.

Some Republican Leaders Call Capitol Riot a ‘False Flag’ –.

“The Republican Party does not want unity. If they did they wouldn't still defend the man who orchestrated the coup & refuse to punish those persons involved. Democrats need to RAM every bill through through the next 2 years. Stop being polite. Being polite got us the insurrection.”

“The Republican Party does not want unity. If they did they wouldn’t still defend the man who orchestrated the coup & refuse to punish those persons involved. Democrats need to RAM every bill through through the next 2 years. Stop being polite. Being polite got us the insurrection.”

Trump’s political operation paid more than $3.5 million to Jan. 6 organizers.

‘Smoking gun’: House Republican admits Trump made an explosive comment during the Capitol attack.

Why a GOP senator’s accidental revelation about Trump’s attacks on Mike Pence matter.

Witch offering the poisoned apple to Snow White: “For unity's sake, eat it!”

“For unity’s sake, eat it!” The apple is POISONED!

Georgia DA Gets Threats After Announcing Criminal Investigation Into Trump.

Biden leaves Republicans behind on $1.9tn bill.

Why a GOP senator’s accidental revelation about Trump’s attacks on Mike Pence matter.

Friday Five (needs more dinosaurs edition)

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” ― Carl Sagan

(click to embiggen)

We’ve already reached the second Friday in February! Wow!

It has been getting colder and colder all week. We started getting snow Thursday. Overnight lows significantly below freezing, and much most snow is expected Saturday. And I live on a hillside with very steep hills the only way out of the neighborhood, so I probably won’t be leaving the house until next week when the temps are predicted to come back up.

Meanwhile, we have the Friday Five. This week I bring you: one story about why snow is such a catastrophe here, the top five stories of the week, five stories of interest to queers and our allies, five stories about the pandemic, five stories about threats traitos, five stories about bad people getting their due, and five videas (plus things I wrote and some notable obituaries).

This Week In News Local to Me:

“To all the people who moved here in the last few years, and think you’re a great driver in the snow, you’re not,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan declared. “Seattle hills are notoriously difficult, in particular when the snow melts and then freezes.”

Stories of the Week:

8-Year-Old Calls Out NPR For Lack Of Dinosaur Stories.

They Stormed the Capitol. Their Apps Tracked Them. This story is not really about the murder mob, rather it is a fascinating and chilling example of what can be learned by aggregating anonymized ad network data. The graphics alone are worth the click.

KUOW – The last youth jail in the country moves to end contract with ICE.

Dozens of states see new voter suppression proposals after baseless fraud claims.

Essex academic’s imposter ‘copied work and tattoos’.

This Week in News for Queers and Allies:

Arkansas senate passes bill to allow pharmacists & nursing home staff to turn away LGBTQ patients – The bill lists protected health care professionals, including doctors and nurses and any “individual who furnishes or assists in the provision of a healthcare service.” Employers could demand their health insurance refuse to provide LGBTQ health care.

Federal agency to crack down on LGBTQ housing discrimination.

Activists gathered 500,000 signatures to force Michigan’s legislature to vote on LGBTQ civil rights – The state legislature will have to vote to accept the petition for LGBTQ protections and make it immediate law or put it on the ballot in 2022.

C.D.C. Report: Gay and Bi People at Greater Risk for Severe COVID-19.

Transgender activists in the South are battling homelessness with tiny homes and private shelters amid COVID-19.

This Week in the Pandemic:

US could have averted 40% of Covid deaths, says panel examining Trump’s policies – The country began the pandemic with a degraded public health infrastructure, leading to more deaths than other high-income countries.

Biden just purchased 200 million additional doses of coronavirus vaccines — and we now have enough shots coming to immunize most Americans.

Drugmakers Look for New Ways to Test Covid-19 Vaccines – Researchers aim to measure how much immune response a shot triggers—potentially useful for assessing new shots and new uses.

Vaccinated workers at Massachusetts hospital volunteer to sit with Covid-19 patients.

GOP Rep. Ron Wright dies after Covid diagnosis – Dozens of members have also tested positive for the disease over the past year and one representive-elect died from it less than two months ago, but Wright is the first sitting lawmaker to do so.

This Week in Seditious Traitors:

No, the Trump Era Was Not a ‘Thrill’ – White political journalists distanced themselves from the horrors of the Trump administration in a way many of us couldn’t.

Trump-supporting evangelicals should share blame for January 6 insurrection.

Justice Department says an Oath Keepers leader waited for Trump’s direction before Capitol attack.

A majority of the people arrested for Capitol riot had a history of financial trouble – Trail of bankruptcies, tax problems and bad debts raises questions for researchers trying to understand motivations for attack.

At Trump Impeachment II, the Republican Party Is Also on Trial .

This Week in Deplorable People Facing Consequences:

Twitter Suspends Right-Wing Activist Group Project Veritas, James O’Keefe.

Judge Orders Dan Bongino to Pay The Daily Beast $31,000 in Attorneys’ Fees for Filing Defamation Lawsuit ‘Without Merit’.

Judge Orders OAN to Pay Rachel Maddow and MSNBC $250,000 in Attorney Fees For Filing Frivolous Defamation Lawsuit.

Tim Eyman violated campaign finance law, judge rules, is barred from controlling political committees Eyman is a horse’s ass, a grifter, and man who has devastated local government budgets.

Trump could be fined $12 million after an Illinois judge ruled his Chicago hotel violated an environmental protection law for 3 years.

In Memoriam:

Mary Wilson, founding member of The Supremes, dies at 76 – “She was a trailblazer, a diva, and will be deeply missed,” Motown founder Berry Gordy said.

Mary Wilson, longest-reigning original Supreme, dies at 76.

Christopher Plummer, actor of ‘The Sound of Music’ fame, dies at 9 – Plummer died at his home in Connecticut with his wife, Elaine Taylor, by his side.

Remembering Christopher Plummer for so much more than ‘The Sound of Music’.

Porn Mogul Larry Flynt, ‘Hustler’ founder and 1st Amendment champion, dies at 78.

Things I wrote:

WandaVision Goes Even More Meta in “A Very Special Episode…”.

Monday Update 2/8/2021: Infamy, Defamation… but also a bit of good news.

Ask the Next Question, or how SF/F has always been confronting social issue.

Bullying, gender, and the importance of horses – or, more of why I love sf/f.

Always re-blog.

Videos!

One Billion Years of Earth’s Evolution in 45 Seconds:

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

Dolly Parton on Funding Coronavirus Vaccine and Teaming up With Barry Gibb:

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

Reality Sets In After A Weirdly Normal Super Bowl Sunday:

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

Trump’s Impeachment Lawyers Are Very Bad: A Closer Look:

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

Never-Before-Seen Capitol Riot Videos Provide Damning Evidence Against Trump:

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

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