We have arrived at the first Friday in October. Yes, you must bid farewell to September, that most blesséd of months, when superior people are born. But now we are most definitely in Spooky Season, so that’s good!
Autumn is upon us. We’ve had a number of days with delightfully cool and overcast weather (that is not sarcasm–I love the rain!). I got to see, in person, a friend that I haven’t seen face-to-face since well before the pandemic. That was very nice. Vaccines and masks are godsends!
Anyway, it’s time for this week’s Friday Five in which I bring you: the top five stories of the week, five stories of interest to queers and our allies, five stories about deplorable people, and five stories about the pandemic (plus something I wrote and some notable obituaries).
Stories of the Week:
School Boards Are Asking For Federal Help As They Face Threats And Violence
Forecasters Are Running Out of Hurricane Names (Again)
Hurricane Sam bringing a rough surf weekend to US East Coast
90% of the top Christian Facebook pages were run by Eastern European troll farms – “Our platform has given the largest voice in the Christian American community to a handful of bad actors, who, based on their media production practices, have never been to church,” the leaked report admits
Let’s Encrypt’s root certificate has expired, and it might break your devices
Stories of Interest to Queers and Our Allies:
Orlando school elects its first transgender homecoming queen – “It made me feel like I actually belonged,” Evan Bialosuknia, 17, said after she was crowned
Students stage massive walk-out after a trans girl was blocked from the locker room – Students held trans and rainbow flags and chanted while teachers shouted, "Go back to class!"
Queer rights are reproductive rights & repro rights are queer rights – This fight has never just been about abortion but about freedom from the tyranny of a State that picks and chooses how to control our bodies at will
Students stage defiant walkout after lesbian teacher ‘marched off campus’
Switzerland votes to make same-sex marriage legal by near two-thirds majority
This Week in Haters, Deplorables, and Liars:
Hack Of Oath Keepers Militia Group Includes Names Of Active NYPD Officers, De Blasio Launches Investigation
Accused Washington neo-Nazi leader found guilty in intimidation plot
Pro-Slavery, Pro-Rape Cult-like Church Takes Over Idaho College Town – Doug Wilson’s domineering evangelical church is built on a fundamentally misogynist worldview that permits male members to rape their wives, and threatens any women who object
Alex Jones Just Lost 2 Sandy Hook Cases – A judge issued default judgments — a rarity in the legal world — against Jones and Infowars after the conspiracy theorist failed to produce discovery records
Anti-Vaxxer Brags About Fake Vaccine Card On TikTok, Gets Reported To The FBI – Showing the fake card and lip-synching to "’What You Gonna Do About It?", the TikTokker got her answer quickly and a visit from the FBI
This Week in the Pandemic:
Rural Americans now dying of COVID-19 at twice the rate of those in urban environments: research
Biden signs government funding bill hours before midnight deadline to avert shutdown – The House voted Thursday afternoon after the Senate also approved the measure
Flu and Covid jabs safe to be given at same time, study finds – Clinical trial on joint flu, Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccinations reported only mild to moderate side-effects
Idaho Republican Urges Vaccine After Unvaxxed Mom Dies From COVID – “Frankly, there’s some anger,” Chaney said. “I think there are people in our political realm … who are essentially killing people with misinformation."
Worries grow about a 4th COVID-19 surge
“Old Yeller” star Tommy Kirk passes. Disney fired him when he was outed as gay – "Disney was a family film studio and I was supposed to be their young, leading man," Tommy Kirk said in an interview decades later
Bay Area woman who survived 1918 flu, world war succumbs to COVID
Community mourns 37th trans person violently killed in 2021, Brianna Hamilton
Things I Wrote:
Weekend Update 9/25/2021: Thanks for finally noticing, Washington Post!