Friday Five (end of the year edition)

We have reached the final Friday in December–which also happens to be the final Friday of 2021, and just happens to be New Year’s Eve.

We have been snowed in. Our particular neighborhood is bounded on all sides by hills that become difficult to drive on if we get ice and snow. Various government agencies were pleading with people all week not to drive if they could avoid it. Buses are on emergency routes. (Just Google "Seattle bus slides down snowy hill" and you’ll be taken to some truly terrifying videos and stories from past storms). My husband took the bus in to work two days, which involved him walking further to catch a bus because of the emergency route avoiding steep hills. After his scare ride home the second work day of the week, when more snow came down, he decided to take the day off.

Anyway, it’s time for this week’s Friday Five in which I bring you: two stories about fictional parents, the top five stories of the week, five stories of interest to queers and our allies, five stories about discrimination, five stories about treason and deplorables, and five stories about the crime and punishment. Plus some notable deaths and a couple of things I wrote.

This Week in Fictional Parents:

The 2021 Darth Vader Parenthood Award for Outstandingly Horrible Fictional Parents

The 2021 Jonathan and Martha Kent Fictional Parent of the Year Award

Stories of the Week:

A 6th Grader Saves the Lives of Two People on the Same Day – Davyon Johnson, 11, has been honored for his Dec. 9 interventions but says he doesn’t understand the attention he’s drawn. It was “the right thing to do,” he said

Betty White’s Words of Wisdom at 100: ‘Avoid Anything Green’

Webb Space Telescope Got a Lucky Boost From Its Christmas Launch – The mission may have enough fuel to last over a decade, thanks to an ultra-precise launch

A pandemic-scarred year ends in darkness — but with hope on the horizon

21 most popular LGBTQ news stories of 2021 – This year’s most clicked on queer stories include a transgender Miss USA contestant, gay emperors, a nonbinary Olympian, lesbian bars and more

Stories of Interest to Queers and Our Allies:

Two California teachers were secretly recorded speaking about LGBTQ student outreach. Now they’re fighting for their jobs

Gay-Straight Alliance Wins Equal Rights After Judge’s Injunction

Gay Man’s Entire Family Helps Him Stand Up To Mom And Invite BF For Christmas

New Jersey Legislators Vote to Protect Marriage Equality

Colton Haynes shares photo he spent years trying to get wiped from internet

This Week in Discrimination:

Sodomy laws are still being used to persecute queer people

Pennridge School District removes LGBTQ books from libraries

Mom heartbroken by daughter’s suicide blames transphobic Republicans & health insurers

Oklahoma bill gives parents the right to have a book removed from a school library

Anti-Semitic Man Attacked Neighbor While Yelling Homophobic Slurs

This Week in Seditious Traitors and Other Deplorables:

‘Slow-motion insurrection’: How GOP seizes election power

A Lie Totally Devoid of Reality’: Venezuelan Businessman Sues Fox News, Lou Dobbs, Sidney Powell Over ‘Egregious and Sinister’ Claims Linked to 2020 Election

Rep. Liz Cheney hits back at Trump as Jan. 6 committee pushes Supreme Court to order release of White House records

Ex-Gaetz associate Joel Greenberg agrees to pay Seminole County nearly $2M in restitution

Jim Jordan ‘Committed a Felony’ With Text Message to Mark Meadows: Former Federal Prosecutor

This Week in Crime and Punishment:

Ghislaine Maxwell convicted in Epstein sex abuse case

Capitol rioters hit with severe sentences and sharp reprimands from judges – Some of the longest sentences have gone to rioters charged with ‘assaulting a police officer with a dangerous weapon’ I disagree with the headline. Four Puerto Rican nationalists who assaulted the capitol in the 1950s got sentences of 50 to 75 years for their crime. None of the convicted rioters — including those who assaulted capitol police — have been sentenced to more than 6 years.

Convicted of sex crimes, Jack Strain may have to pay costs of his prosecution, jailing – DA’s office also seeking restitution for former sheriff’s victims

A man convicted of killing four people in what authorities say was one of the most gruesome crimes in North Dakota history has been sentenced to multiple life prison terms without the possibility of parole

Non-Prosecution of Jeffrey Epstein Jail Guards Made Official

In Memoriam:

Desmond Tutu, South Africa’s ‘moral compass’ – Tutu, who died on Sunday at the age of 90, was considered ‘a thorn in the side of the apartheid government’

LGBTQ+ Rights Ally Archbishop Desmond Tutu Dies at 90

Harry Reid Didn’t Care What You Thought of Him

Harry Reid, former Senate majority leader and Democratic kingmaker, dies at 82

Gay Olympic Diving Star Ian Matos Is Dead at 32

John Madden, football legend, dies at 85

The final, beautiful goodbye of NFL legend John Madden

Things I Wrote:

We need a Rainbow Christmas more than ever!

On the seventh day of Christmas vacation…

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