Weekend Update 8/14/2021: Get your jab

As a friend who retweeted this commented: “COVID is not our first rodeo, and the last one didn’t have a vaccine!”

It’s been way too long since I spent part of a Saturday morning composing one of these posts about a news story that I learned about after already assembling this week’s Friday Five. Let’s just hop in:

More Than 90% of LGBTQ+ U.S. Adults Have Received a COVID-19 Vaccine – That’s compared to just 71.3% of the country’s general adult population

More than one person I saw online (most of them either queer themselves or presenting themselves as allies) made a joke about the reason that so much of the LGBTQ community in the U.S. have rushed to get our vaccinations is because we’re all just dying to get out there and start hooking up for sex again.

And I know that is a sentiment many had expressed. Or that they missed going to bars or concerts and so on.

But I’m sorry, the friend I quoted in the caption of the graphic above has hit the nail on the head identifying not just why many of us got the vaccine as soon as we could, but also why most of the queer communities in various U.S. towns and cities, canceled 2020 Pride events mere weeks after the first lockdowns were announced.

For a lot of us, this isn’t the first time we have lived during a deadly epidemic.

In May of 2020, there was one of the Fox /(Propaganda/) network talking heads who tried to get a viral thing going about how all the queers and their liberal friends would stop supporting the idea of lockdown once late June rolled around at Pride Parades were cancelled.

She instead was dragged on social media and news sites with the fact that we’d already canceled the Pride Parades, on our own at least a month previously. I remember just weeks into the first lockdowns that on several queer forums people had already been posting, "We’re canceling in-person Pride events, right?"

I know I’ve told the following story on this blog and else where before: but there was one month in the early nineties where 12 people that I knew personally died from complications of AIDS. In a couple of cases, my late husband, Ray, and I had to decide which of the memorial services we weren’t going to attend. And that was after years of watching vibrant people we knew deteriorate before our eyes and die. It’s not that that was the only time a bunch happened close together, it just happened to be the worst.

For years we watching our neighbors, friends, acquaintances, community leaders, and more suffer and die with virtually no help from government health agencies. There were exceptions. Dr. Anthony Fauci famously (incognito) went to bathhouses and some other places queer men went looking for sex to get a better idea of the cultural reasons that a disease which could be transmitted sexually had spread so quickly. But most responses were like this:

Listen to the Reagan Administration Official and the Entire White House Press Corp Laughing at the AIDS Epidemic

The headline on that particular article at the site doesn’t mention what I think is a crucial aspect of those chilling recordings: most of the laughter you hear at the very idea that the government would concern itself at all with a deadly disease that was perceived as killing gays were members of the so-called liberal media.

In the early years hospital staff didn’t want to treat AIDS patients. What treatments that were offered were anti-viral medications most of which had been developed a decade or so before under military research grants because we were afraid future soldiers would face biological weapons in the field during conflicts. They actually hoped to develop a drug that would allow every soldier to be issued a few pills along with their other equipment and if they thought they’d been hit with a bio-weapon, they could take the pills and keep fighting. Didn’t quite work out.

But they were the only thing that seemed to slow down the virus, even though there were often some pretty severe side-effects.

In the early 90s someone came up with the idea of putting patients on not just one anti-viral, but three or more that each attacked different parts of typical viral replication process. By 1995, the so-called "antiviral cocktails" were approved for general use.

The result was startling.

The August 13, 1998 edition of the Bay Area Report was the first edition in over a decade that didn’t have obituaries of local residents who had died of complications of AIDS.

It seemed like a miracle. Some people who were already very sick and looked like shadows of their former selves seemed to rejuvenate in a matter of months.

Unfortunately, those anti-viral drugs are very expensive. If you need three or more in combination, that makes things even worse. So the cocktails have only performed their apparently miracles in countries that have reliable health care.

And note that it isn’t a cure. It’s not really a miracle (unless you want to talk about the insane profit margins of the pharmaceutical companies). Because in order to stay alive and healthy, people infected with the HIV virus have to take those very expensive drug combinations (which still often have wicked side effects) every day for the rest of their lives.

We don’t have an HIV vaccine. Forty years into the epidemic that still kills hundreds of thousands of people world wide every year doesn’t have a vaccine.

Queer people younger than me, who don’t have the same personal memories of the worse part of the HIV epidemic, still had their lives overshadowed by the disease. Because despite the fact that most new infections in the U.S. these days are straight people (that’s right!), and most of the people who are dying in the so-called developing world are straight women and children, the perception is still that AIDS is a "gay thing." I linked a year or two ago to a poignant story a young cartoonist posted about how when he was 15 years old and had never had sex with anyone, he went to an anonymous clinic for an AIDS test–because all he knew about the disease was the gay people got it. Nothing he had been taught in school or seen in the news or what very few media portrayals of people dying of the disease there were at the time, had conveyed two very important facts: 1) any human can get infected by the virus that causes AIDS, 2) it is most often transmitted sexually.

And part of his story is talking about when he came out in in twenties and started meeting other gay people, virtually all of them approximately his age had gone through a period in their teens where, after realizing they were attracted to members of their own sex, they also assumed that meant they would die young because of AIDS.

My point is, that once these younger queers do find out that his horrible specter which was part of their trauma growing up queer and closeted is a disease that was ignored for decades? Well, their attitude about health issues is a lot like us older queers.

And so that is the real reason that so many of us rushed out to get vaccinated. We know what happens when a health crisis is ignored. And we damn well refuse to take part in ignoring this one.

Friday Five (anti-vaxx crisis edition)


Well, here we are at the second Friday in August!

Heat. Poor air quality. Stress at work. All things I could talk about, but I don’t want to. Instead, I want to point out that my ongoing battle with one particularly persistent squirrel has entered a new stage. I was contemplating washing the bird feeder that has been hanging outside my window since the summer of 2017, and then coating several bags of bird seed with a more potent mixture of pepper-spray… when I realized that the plastic parts of that bird feeder had some cracks. So I ordered a completely different style of feeder which claims to be squirrel proof and I have since seen said persistent squirrel try few times to get to the seed, then give up, drop down to the deck, and pull food from the squirrel feeder. I am getting a LOT more birds at the feeder than I had during previous months, and also a whole lot more finches. So I think that so far this is a win!

Anyway, it’s time for this week’s Friday Five in which I bring you: two different stories that I think each deserve their own category, plus the top five stories of the week, five stories of interest to queers and our allies, five stories about deplorable people, plus discussion about a story that I think I must comment on, but I don’t really feel comfortable linking to.

This Week in It’s Not Over Yet!:

FDA set to authorize additional Covid-19 vaccine doses for certain immunocompromised people

This Week in Overcoming Oppression:

Congressional candidate’s campaign ad shows him being kicked out of the navy for being gay

Stories of the Week:

Hear Us Out: We Actually Need More Wildfires, Not Fewer The headline is VERY misleading. The experts interviewed call for more controlled burns, which are definitely NOT wild fires.

This terrifying ‘dragon’ was Australia’s largest flying reptile

‘Jeopardy!’: Mike Richards To Host Syndicated Show, Mayim Bialik To Host Primetime & Spinoff Series

A Carnivorous Plant Has Been Hiding in Plain Sight in North America – Triantha occidentalis is picky: It won’t eat insects heavy enough to be its pollinators

Marvel and DC face backlash over pay: ‘They sent a thank you note and $5,000 – the movie made $1bn’

Stories of Interest to Queers and Our Allies:

How Howard Ashman (while dying of complications of AIDS) Forced Disney to Tell Queer Stories

A New Study Shows Queer Politicians Still Face “Electoral Discrimination” at the Ballot Box

Texas trans girl’s affirming mother gets full custody after father fails to pay child support – Luna Younger, now eight, has been the center of right-wing outrage over the existence and affirming of trans youth for the last two years. Her mother now has most parental rights

Heroic mom grabs phone from man following her trans son to the bathroom to take pictures of him – "What bathroom are you going to use, tranny?" the ex-trans activist shouted. That’s when mom intervened to protect her 17-year-old son

Smith College Alums Rally Funds for Gay Student Cut Off By Parents

This Week in Deplorable People:

Rand Paul discloses 16 months late that his wife bought stock in company behind covid treatment – An aide to the Kentucky Republican said he prepared the disclosure last year and only recently learned that it was never transmitted

Federal judge says Trump’s accountants must turn over tax records to House panel – The judge approved a subpoena for Trump’s records covering 2017 and 2018, but turned down most of the panel’s request for similar information dating back to 2011

Former U.S. attorney in Atlanta says Trump wanted to fire him for not backing election fraud claims

Dominion Lawsuits Against Sidney Powell, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell And Giuliani Can Move Forward, Court Rules

NJ conversion therapy “experts” lose big in court to tune of $3.5 million

This Week in Too Horrible to Link:

One of the news stories in my bookmarks for the week is truly horrific. So horrific that I have decided not to link to it. But it is an important news story, in no small part because I have seen a lot of people on the Progressive End of the political spectrum laughing at the people who believe the QAnon Conspiracy as it it is nothing more than a joke.

It is more than that.

So, I’m going to mention the story of the man who, having completely bought into the conspiracy theory, kidnapped his one very, very young children, ran off to Mexico, and murdered them. Because the theory convinced him that his wife wasn’t entirely human and the children would therefore be monsters. The conspiracy theory and the people who buy into it are NOT jokes. They are very really threats to the lives of innocent people, such as these two very young children. If you haven’t read the story, and think you can stomach it, then use Google to find the tale of the father murdered his down kids because of the QAnon theory.

Friday Five (nobody should be poor edition)


OMG, it’s the first Friday in August!

I don’t want to talk about work. It’s been weird. Our weather had also been weird. Earlier this week I started to freak out because the squirrel who was very obviously pregnant a week and a half ago (and has clearly given birth since) has continued to insist on ignoring the squirrel feeder on our deck and jump up on the bird feeder to the point that I saw birds flying toward the feeder the seeing the squirrel and veer away–but the point is one day she ate birdseed so fast that she was out there hanging on the perch choking for air and for about a minute or maybe two I thought I would have to go out there and try to perform a tiny squirrel heimlich manuever… anyway, after she coughed up and started breeding again and left the feeder, while I was checking it I realized that it was nearly four years old and the main plastic tube had cracks in it. So I ordered a different feeder whose design is supposedly squirrel proof. It arrived late Thursday. I filled it and put it out on the veranda and also cleaned out and refilled the squirrel feeder with fresh food. So over the next few days we will see if the new feeder is, indeed, squirrel proof.

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, and five stories about deplorables (plus a post I wrote).

Stories of the Week:

After a DNA test, he told a stranger: ‘I think you might be my father’

Poll Shows Many Seniors Would Switch Parties For Lower Drug Prices

2 dads say teachers at a New York school blamed their gay son for the ‘horrific’ homophobic bullying he endured and now they are suing for ‘justice’

‘Nobody’s ever seen a number like this!’ New data reveals just how bad the Trump economy actually was

Covid Booster Shots Likely Offered Soon To People With Compromised Immune Systems — Fauci ; Priority Include People With HIV

Stories of Interest to Queers and Our Allies:

Lawsuit: Tennessee Anti-Trans School Restroom Law Is Unconstitutional

Megan Rapinoe leads Team USA to Olympic bronze medal in incredible comeback – Rapinoe scored twice, including a rare "olimpico" goal, and teammate Carli Lloyd broke a record for the most career Olympic goals

Teen punished for saying she’s a lesbian on the school bus gets actual justice – The bus driver and the school’s principal lost their jobs

Olympic Diver Jordan Windle Credits & Thanks Gay Dad For His Success

From ‘kiss of death’ to competitive edge: Out athletes finally score big endorsements – Coming out as gay in the ’90s was referred to as the “kiss of death” for sports endorsements, but LGBTQ athletes are slowly starting to snag some of the lucrative sponsorship market

This Week in Deplorable People:

Trolls harass drag queen & call her “pedo” for helping gay bar employees get vaccine – Vandals spray-painted "pedo bar" near her bar because she is giving her employees more time to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Federal judge tells Capitol riot defendant what he did was ‘not patriotism’

‘It doesn’t leave you’: the toxic toll of LGBTQ+ conversion therapy

Tucker Carlson praises murderous regime

Bi man ordered to pay ex-wife “emotional damages” for coming out… but that got overturned – She said she wouldn’t have married him if she’d known he was bisexual – and she somehow won her case. And then lost again

Things I Wrote:

Tuesday Tidbits 8/3/2021: Some thoughts on masks

Friday Five (nobody should be poor edition)


OMG, it’s the first Friday in August!

I don’t want to talk about work. It’s been weird. Our weather had also been weird. Earlier this week I started to freak out because the squirrel who was very obviously pregnant a week and a half ago (and has clearly given birth since) has continued to insist on ignoring the squirrel feeder on our deck and jump up on the bird feeder to the point that I saw birds flying toward the feeder the seeing the squirrel and veer away–but the point is one day she ate birdseed so fast that she was out there hanging on the perch choking for air and for about a minute or maybe two I thought I would have to go out there and try to perform a tiny squirrel heimlich manuever… anyway, after she coughed up and started breeding again and left the feeder, while I was checking it I realized that it was nearly four years old and the main plastic tube had cracks in it. So I ordered a different feeder whose design is supposedly squirrel proof. It arrived late Thursday. I filled it and put it out on the veranda and also cleaned out and refilled the squirrel feeder with fresh food. So over the next few days we will see if the new feeder is, indeed, squirrel proof.

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, and five stories about deplorables (plus a post I wrote).

Stories of the Week:

After a DNA test, he told a stranger: ‘I think you might be my father’

Poll Shows Many Seniors Would Switch Parties For Lower Drug Prices

2 dads say teachers at a New York school blamed their gay son for the ‘horrific’ homophobic bullying he endured and now they are suing for ‘justice’

‘Nobody’s ever seen a number like this!’ New data reveals just how bad the Trump economy actually was

Covid Booster Shots Likely Offered Soon To People With Compromised Immune Systems — Fauci ; Priority Include People With HIV

Stories of Interest to Queers and Our Allies:

Lawsuit: Tennessee Anti-Trans School Restroom Law Is Unconstitutional

Megan Rapinoe leads Team USA to Olympic bronze medal in incredible comeback – Rapinoe scored twice, including a rare "olimpico" goal, and teammate Carli Lloyd broke a record for the most career Olympic goals

Teen punished for saying she’s a lesbian on the school bus gets actual justice – The bus driver and the school’s principal lost their jobs

Olympic Diver Jordan Windle Credits & Thanks Gay Dad For His Success

From ‘kiss of death’ to competitive edge: Out athletes finally score big endorsements – Coming out as gay in the ’90s was referred to as the “kiss of death” for sports endorsements, but LGBTQ athletes are slowly starting to snag some of the lucrative sponsorship market

This Week in Deplorable People:

Trolls harass drag queen & call her “pedo” for helping gay bar employees get vaccine – Vandals spray-painted "pedo bar" near her bar because she is giving her employees more time to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Federal judge tells Capitol riot defendant what he did was ‘not patriotism’

‘It doesn’t leave you’: the toxic toll of LGBTQ+ conversion therapy

Tucker Carlson praises murderous regime

Bi man ordered to pay ex-wife “emotional damages” for coming out… but that got overturned – She said she wouldn’t have married him if she’d known he was bisexual – and she somehow won her case. And then lost again

Things I Wrote:

Tuesday Tidbits 8/3/2021: Some thoughts on masks

Tuesday Tidbits 8/3/2021: Some thoughts on masks

It’s not a violation of your rights to require a mask and so forth during a pandemic.
Exactly!
To take the analogy further…
I’ve been saying for a while now that we should normalize wearing masks during flu season. At the very least, you should wear a mask if you have any symptoms that might be cold or flu, in order to protect other people. If this pandemic ever ends, I intend to wear a mask whenever I go in public and have even just what might be hay fever symptoms. And if people ask I’ll say, “Because I have a cold and I don’t want to get YOU sick.”

Friday Five (COVID hot spots edition)


We have reached the fifth and final Friday in July!

I feel as if I’ve just been playing catch-up at work all week. Our region has mostly avoided the heat this week, for which I am grateful.

Anyway, it’s time for this week’s Friday Five in which I bring you: a headline I felt needed its own topic, the top five stories of the week, five stories of interest to queers and our allies, five stories about people who aren’t thinking, and five stories about haters and deplorables (plus two posts I wrote plus some notable obituaries).

This Week in Deserves Its Own Category!:

CDC wants vaccinated Americans to wear masks indoors in Covid hot spots – The announcement marks a sharp change in policy for the nation’s leading health agency

Stories of the Week:

Mysterious ‘Jetpack Man’ may have been spotted again in the skies near LAX – Air traffic controllers warned pilots that a person in a jetpack was spotted flying near LAX

This Man Does Not Make Poppers – For decades, poppers have been the go-to sex drug for gay men. But where do they come from? This is a very odd tale…

Some people in Missouri are getting vaccinated in secret to avoid backlash from loved ones, doctor says

These kids had questions about trans athletes. So they asked one. – Sometimes, the power of a simple conversation is all it takes to understand something you didn’t before

Lil Nas X’s New Video Is More Than a Homoerotic Prison Romp

Stories of Interest to Queers and Our Allies:

Stephanie Dolson is first out American athlete to win Olympic gold medal – With over 160 out athletes participating in the Tokyo Olympics, Dolson isn’t the first member of "Team LGBTQ" to win a gold medal, but she’s still a trailblazer

Illinois Decriminalizes HIV Exposure, Adds Gender-Neutral Birth Certificate Option And More As Pritzker Signs LGBTQ-Affirming Laws

Gay athletes more comfortable living their lives openly — and that’s a good thing – It’s not as though gay athletes suddenly appeared out of the blue. They’ve always been here, just hidden, fearful, living closeted lives while playing the games they love

Atlanta mayor hosts job fair for LGBTQ applicants

A Chicago suburb is finally repealing a law that bans people from wearing opposite sex clothing – The ordinance governed "obscene and immoral acts." And relics of old anti-LGBTQ laws like it are still on the books nationwide

This Week in What Were They Thinking:

Woman Charged After Viral Close Call With Grizzly – The woman videoed approaching within 15 feet of a Grizzly sow and her two cubs in Yellowstone National Park in May of this year has been charged with two citations. Investigators used tips and an investigation of social media posts to identify the Illinois tourist

Elizabeth Warren Schools Billionaire Over Social Security – Billionaire thinks he’s gonna get one over on Sen. Elizabeth Warren with "easy" question

Washington State Patrol’s toxicology lab ran tests in office contaminated by meth, possibly jeopardizing thousands of cases

Florida Man Hospitalized After Jumping Into Jaguar Exhibit at Zoo

Punk’d: Fox Airs Deep-Faked Story Stoking White Resentment – Fox should air a retraction since the "letter" they whine about turns out to be from a right-wing astroturf organization.

This Week in Deplorable People:

Trump Family Loses Big Appeals Court Fight to Force Fraud and Deceptive Practices Lawsuit into Secret Arbitration

Defrocked Cardinal Theodore McCarrick Is Charged With Sexually Assaulting A Teen

Former Virginia policeman charged in Capitol riot to stay in jail after buying guns – A federal judge called his purchases "a remarkable shopping spree for high-powered assault weapons."

11th Circuit strikes down Florida megachurch challenge to hate group label – An evangelical Christian ministry listed as an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center was not discriminated against when its application to fundraise through Amazon’s charitable website was denied, the court ruled

Gaetz Hastily Escorted Out of Press Conference as Reporter Repeatedly Asks: ‘Are You a Pedophile?’

In Memoriam:

ZZ Top Bassist Dusty Hill Dead At Age 72

Ron Popeil, ‘Set it and forget it’ infomercial star, dead at 86

Things I Wrote:

Miss Piggy was aggressively straight, yet it took decades to acknowledge the existence of Muppets who aren’t straight

Mid-week Update: Scared little boys playing soldier

Mid-week Update: Scared little boys playing soldier

Of course, they are irony-impaired, so they don’t get it…
Ditto

It’s been a while since I did a post using a bunch of the memes, cartoons, and similar graphics that have been accumulating on my hard disk without finding their way into a blog post.

I also have a few stories that I don’t want to wait until Friday to comment on.

Ed Buck Guilty of All Charges Against Him, Will Likely Die in Prison This guy got away with preying on homeless men for far too long. The short version: rich white bastard who donated lots of money to local elected officials over the years, had a fetish about watching black men take a lot of drugs until they passed out, then he fucked them. Two that we know of died in his apartment, and based on the videos he took (and assuming that he was doing it for years before recording it became so easy), he’s probably responsible for a lot more. Anyway, yeah, I hope he rots in prison.

Metro Atlanta spa shooter agrees to guilty plea deal in Cherokee County shooting, gets life without the possibility of parole This is only the first case. He faces more charges in another county. If you don’t recall, this is the idiot who shot up some day spas because looking at asian women made his dick hard, and he’d been taught by his fundamentalist evangelical church that being horny was a sin worse than murder. So he murdered a bunch of strangers. Again, I hope he rots in prison and dies behind bars.

"Trump Man" Guilty In Serial Pooping Spree – Ohioan, 70, targeted gay neighbors for ten years Besides the fact that he was only sentenced toe 20 days and to write a letter of apology, his letter is obviously a big lie. Why is that? Well, he insists in the letter that he didn’t target these neighbors for harassment because they were gay. No, it was because they were Biden supporters and he’s a "Trump Man." Other than the little fact that Biden only became the Democratic nominee a year ago, and Trump wasn’t running president until a bit over five years ago — but this guy has been doing this to his neighbors for at least 10 years. Long before he could have become a Trump man. He’s a liar and a homophobe, and I wish the judge would hold him in contempt for the letter…

That’s enough for those sorts. Let’s close with:

Exactly!

Miss Piggy was aggressively straight, yet it took decades to acknowledge the existence of Muppets who aren’t straight

I first began following Matt Baum when he was posting regular video news reports on what was then the fight over civil unions vs full marriage equality for queer people. A few years later he branched out into other topics, and over the course of those years I came to realize that we had a bunch of mutual acquaintances. And yet I still have never met him.

One of his projects is producing videos where he analyses ways the queer people and queer issues were handled in popular media, such as situation comedies of the ’70s, ’80s, and beyond. This week, he tackles one of the pivotal people behind the Muppets, who happened to be a gay man, and how that influenced and eventually changed the Muppets.

This isn’t the first I have hear of Richard Hunt and his contribution to one of my favorite media properties, but Matt weaves in video clips and quotes from people who worked with Hunt that I have never heard before. So give it a watch.

I probably should mention that a couple parts of the story made me cry. But I am a really big softie who is very easily moved to tears:

Richard Hunt: The Gay Man Behind the Muppets Richard Hunt - The Gay Man Behind the Muppets


Assuming you’ve watched it, I want to expound a little bit on the topic that I put into the headline. It isn’t just that for many years the corporations controlling the Muppets as well as important performers from the troupe would insist emphatically that, for instance, Bert and Ernie were absolutely not gay. They would (Sometimes angrily) insist that because the Muppets were puppets, they could not possiblye *have a sexual orientation.

Despite the fact the Miss Piggy wasn’t just obviously heterosexual, but she was aggressively so from the nearly her very first appearance. A Piggy wasn’t the only one. Lots of female Muppets had (usually off-screen) husbands and boyfriends. A smaller number of male Muppets had wives and girlfriends.

Yes, technically, puppets don’t have a sexual orientation. But it is exactly equally true that they don’t technically have voices, either–those are provided by the humans operating them. Just as the personalities are provided by the operators and the script writers.

I’m glad that the people currently running the Muppets have finally begun embracing the truth the queer people are everywhere and that we’ve always been here. A lot of the world still doesn’t understand that when someone identifies they are gay, it is not about sex. Just as when a conservative businessman introduces people to his wife, we aren’t "shoving out sexuality down your thoart" — we’re just telling you about ourselves and at least one of the people we love.

Friday Five (fire clouds edition)


And here we are at the fourth Friday in July!

The middle of my work week was once again stressful and frantic, though this week the day after we had two releases things were very quiet, rather than having a lot of drama. So, I guess that’s better.

Anyway, it’s time for this week’s Friday Five in which I bring you: a pair of headlines I felt needed each needed their own topic, the top five stories of the week, five stories of interest to queers and our allies, five stories about the pandemic, five stories about traitors, and five stories about haters and deplorables (plus two posts I wrote plus some notable obituaries).

This Week in Trans Health Care:

Federal Judge Temporarily Halts Arkansas Transgender Youth Health Care Ban, Arguing It Causes ‘Irreparable Harm’

This Week in You Tell Him, Dr Fauci!:

‘You Do Not Know What You Are Talking About’: Fauci Destroys ‘Lying’ Rand Paul Over COVID Conspiracy Theory

Stories of the Week:

‘Fire clouds’ explode more than a mile high in Oregon wildfire now bigger than New York City – “The fire will continue to be extremely active with unstable air conditions and extremely dry fuels.”

Report: NFL Warns Teams of Possible Forfeits, More Penalties for COVID-19 Outbreaks in Unvaccinated Players – The NFL just informed clubs that if a game cannot be rescheduled during the 18-week season in 2021 due to a COVID outbreak among unvaccinated players, the team with the outbreak will FORFEIT and be credited with a loss for playoff seeding This is a very good thing and I hope sets an example. There is more.

Tenn. Man Died After He Was ‘Swatted’ by People Targeting Twitter Handle

U.S. Attorney General Garland bars prosecutors from seizing reporters’ records

Superbowl Champion Tom Brady trolls Trump – Jokes at White House: 40% of people "still don’t think we won" – Axios

This Week in the Pandemic:

Why fully vaccinated people get breakthrough COVID infections

Alabama Doctor: Dying Patients Beg For The Vaccine – ‘I’m sorry, but it’s too late’: Alabama doctor on treating unvaccinated, dying COVID patients

Fox has quietly implemented its own version of a vaccine passport while its top personalities attack them

Indiana University Can Require Covid-19 Vaccines, Federal Judge Says – Ruling by Trump=appointed judge deals setback to growing legal effort against compulsory inoculation at public educational institutions

How Republican Vaccine Opposition Got to This Point – In recent months, Republican skepticism of Covid vaccines and their rollout has grown louder: One recent poll found that 47 percent said they weren’t likely to get vaccinated

Stories of Interest to Queers and Our Allies:

Louisiana lawmakers fail to overturn veto of transgender ban

How Two ‘High School Musical’ Actors Brought Disney’s First Queer Love Song to Life

Here’s all the actions taken so far by the Biden-Harris administration to advance equality – We are officially halfway through the first year of the Biden-Harris administration. Here’s what they’ve done for LGBTQ rights

Judge orders West Virginia to allow transgender girl to join girls cross-country team – "Forcing a girl to compete on the boys’ team when there is a girls’ team available would cause her unnecessary distress and stigma."

Political Pundits Can Now Be Gay Black Men Who Wear Nail Polish

This Week in Haters, Hate Crimes, and Discrimination:

A high-ranking Alaska official called for a drag queen to be burned alive – State attorney Matthias Cicotte allegedly called a drag queen a "demon" who should "be burned to death" and called for "the death penalty" for people who support trans youth.

Liberty University ‘enabled on-campus rapes:’ 12 women file lawsuit

Guilty Plea In 2019 California Synagogue Mass Shooting

A Christian teacher demanded a religious exemption to using trans students’ names. A judge said no. – Music teacher John Kluge sued the school he used to work for, claiming that as a Christian he couldn’t be required to call trans students by their names. The judge was not impressed with his argument

2 LGBTQ Books Pulled From Elmbrook Schools After Daily Wire Story – Elmbrook Schools removed two LGBTQ resource books after the publication lied about children had access to sexual content

This Week in Seditious Traitors:

New Ad Hits Senator Ron Johnson Squarely In His Treasonous Face

Liz Cheney Spells Out Why Kevin McCarthy Is A Danger To Democracy – She said anyone who wanted to become speaker should show a commitment to the Constitution and the rule of law, and he has not done that

Pelosi: Jordan, Banks’ Actions ‘Made It Ridiculous’ To Be On 1/6 Commission Jordan and Banks are among the traitors, so…

Proud Boys Leader Guilty Of Burning Church’s Banner

Capitol rioter who breached Senate sentenced to 8 months in first riot felony sentencing

In Memoriam:

Gary Corbett Dies: Touring Keyboardist With KISS & Cinderella Also Co-Wrote Cyndi Lauper’s ‘She Bop’

Jerry Granelli, Vince Guaraldi Trio Drummer Behind A Charlie Brown Christmas, Dies at 80

Robby Steinhardt — Whose Group Kansas Notched Hits Like ‘Dust In The Wind’ — Has Died

William F. Nolan, Iconic Sci-Fi Author Who Co-Penned ‘Logan’s Run’, Dies at 93

‘She Rates Dogs’ podcast co-host Mat George dies at 26 after hit-and-run in LA

Civil Rights Pioneer Gloria Richardson Dies at 99: ‘She Was Born a Leader’

Charlie Robinson, ‘Night Court’ Star, Dies at 75

Things I Wrote:

A look at the latest Apple Remote

Again with the pastors sexually abusing people under their care

Again with the pastors sexually abusing people under their care

“If kids got rapped at Denny’s as much as they get raped at church, it would be illegal to take your kids to Denny’s.” –Dan Savage

I will be working on the next Friday Five tonight, and skimming through my news bookmarks I realized that there has been several of these stories in the news lately, and I’d rather not make a whole category for them tomorrow.

I suppose giving them their own post isn’t much better, but since I’m putting the topic of pastors committing sexual abuse in the title, I hope people who don’t feel like getting any of this imagery in their heads can skip this post and tomorrow read more general news and such.

So:

Former Maryland Youth Pastor Don Martin Charged In 30-Year-Old Rape, Police Search For Other Victims He was a youth pastor at the time of the assault, and the victim was underage. They bury that in the story. I’m leaving the "former" in the headline here, but want to note that at the time of his arrest while he was no longer a youth pastor, he was still an active pastor.

New Albany assistant youth pastor arrested on child pornography charges I took the word "former" out of this headline because he wasn’t fired from his position as a youth pastor until after he was arrested. I really wish that news outlets would stop putting the word "former" in the headline in those situations. I will say that I’m happy the church at least acted this quickly. It is more often the case that the church refuses to believe the pastor is guilty and don’t fire him until the legal case moves forward past arresting and charging.

National Guard chaplain, youth pastor among 18 arrested on human trafficking charges I didn’t have to remove any words from this headline. This was actually a sting. Law enforcement placed an ad about having sex with a 16-year-old, and these 18 men answered the ad, got directions to the location, and arrived each expecting to have sex with a minor. I suspect that more charges may be applied if any victims of molestation come forward.

Florida youth pastor arrested for 3rd time; accused of hiding camera in church bathroom Hidden cameras in church bathrooms. One of them specifically in the boys’ bathroom of the youth hall.

Vernon minister arrested for sexual assault of 15-year-old – Cops Say TX Pastor Charged Church For Motel Room Where He Smoked Meth, Had Sex With Underage Girl I’m not sure how to respond to this tidbit: "The girl told police they continued to meet at the church for counseling and he continued to offer her methamphetamine." That’s a very unusual counseling method…

Florida Megachurch Pastor Charged With Molestation- SBC megachurch ‘shocked’ ex-pastor arrested, accused of grooming, molesting 12-y-o girl Note that this is a different Florida pastor than the one arrested for planting cameras and recording people using the restroom. Anyone, this guy started sexually abusing the girl when she was twelve, and continue to do so for five years.

The next story is from March, but it illustrates a point I made above and have mentioned many times before: Catholic Church Opposes Colorado Bill That Lifts Time Limit On Lawsuits Against Accused Child Molesters

Lots of states have a statute of limitations on child sexual assault (many also have statutes of limitations on rape of adults), which just makes no sense. Adult sexual assault victims are reluctant to come forward in part because statistically they are very unlikely to be believed when they do, but also because society conditions us to blame the victim in such situation. Multiply that by at least 1000 for children. The kids are often groomed by the abuser to believe that they deserve what has happened to them, and to believe they will be punished by family, their church, and so forth if anyone finds out.

So most of these cases wouldn’t come to light until years later. For example, when we learned that former Republican Congressman Dennis Hastert had molested numerous teen-age boys back in the days he was a high school wrestling coach, he couldn’t be charged with any of those crimes. What he was charged with was violating financial laws as he sought to pay-off some of his former victims to keep them from talking.

One of the main reasons we have statutes of limitation of child sex abuse is that organizations such as the Catholic Church have lobbied for them. And then they lobby against appealing them. Gee, I wonder why?

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