Tag Archive | news

Weekend Update 11/16/2019: Guess who is going to be a jailbird?

“Another Trump minion takes the fall for him. Roger Stone found guilty of seven counts including lying to Congress and Witness Tampering, related to the Trump 2016 campaign.”

Roger Stone found guilty of all seven counts.

It is time for another post about news that broke after I posted this week’s Friday Five, this time with a cartoon-worthy villain who has featured in previous posts.

Roger Stone Found Guilty on All Count – Longtime Trump adviser convicted of lying to Congress under oath about WikiLeaks. Who would have guessed that the man who got Richard Nixon’s face tattooed on his back, and has for years lied about being a member of Nixon’s Presidential Campaign (last year the Nixon Foundation issues an offical refutation of the claim because all of the headlines that were referring to him as a campaign aide or a Nixon aide).

In case you don’t recall this criminal, Stone is a longtime Trump associate who, during the 2016 campaign, communicated (through intermediaries) with Wikileaks people to find out what was in those hacked Clinton campaign emails and similar bits of information. When we was subpoenaed by Congress a couple years ago, he denied all of it. He also communicated (often by text and email, the idiot) to others who had been subpoened and told them to lie, threatening them if they didn’t. This week, prosecutors laid that all out to a jury. Stone’s lawyers countered mostly by saying that laying under oath isn’t really a crime (which it is), and even if is it, so what? Fortunately, Assistant US Attorney Michael Marando had an answer:

“So what? So what?” Marando asked, with what seemed like real indignation. “If that’s the state of affairs that we’re in, I’m pretty shocked. Truth matters. Truth still matters, okay.” “…in our institutions of self governance, courts of law or committee hearings, where people have to testify under oath, truth still matters.”

“Mr. Stone came in and he lied to Congress,” Marando thundered at jurors. “He obstructed their investigation and he tampered with a witness, and that matters. And you don’t look at that and you don’t say: ‘So what?’ For those reasons we ask you to find him guilty of the charged offenses.”
—as quoted by Dan Friedman writing for Mother Jones, Prosecutors Just Rested Their Case Over Roger Stone’s Lies: “Truth Matters”.

Of course, this isn’t completely over:

Roger Stone was found guilty. Now all eyes turn to Trump – The president will face pressure to pardon Stone after the GOP operative was found guilty of charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller. Donald took a few minutes out of his unhinged rage tweet-storm yesterday smearing and threatening the former Ambassador to Ukraine while she was testifying in the impeachment hearing, to tweet out typical what-about-ism nonsense. Basically, if Stone has to go to jail for lying, why aren’t other people who Trump claims have lied going to jail.

Stone got his pal, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to broadcast a plea to President Trump to pardon him. That fact came up in court on Friday, as prosecutors argued that it was a violation of the judge’s gag order on Stone about talking to the media. In a twist that I can’t say I complete disapprove of, the judge decided that Jones isn’t a journalist, merely a media figure. I’m glad that someone is starting to realize that just because someone posts video lies and distortions doesn’t mean they’re a journalist.

Because, you know, the truth matters.

I know that we’re soon going to be flooded with stories trying to generate sympathy for Stone. After all, earlier this year Stone and his wife were forced to move out of the 9-bedroom mansion they had been renting for nearly $10,000 a month into a one bedroom apartment! Not only that, they had to do the move themselves! His poor wife had to actually rent a U-Haul truck!? On the indignity!

I mention that specifically because one of the claims Trump and his allies have made is that Stone wasn’t even working for Trump when he was talking with Wikileaks and asking for dirt on the Clinton campaign and giving that dirt to members of the Trump campaign. That’s a pretty hard notion to swallow just on it’s own. But Stone’s careers has consisted mostly of getting hired as a consultant or advisor by wealthy men with little or no political experience who are considering running for office, or at least like to threaten to run for office. He’s always made his money by working as a so-called political consultant, and it is well known that he never does anything that he isn’t getting paid for.

Seriously, none of these photos are fake. This is how he dresses!

Seriously, none of these photos are fake. This is how he dresses!

Someone was paying him enough to continue to afford to rent that big mansion in Florida, to keep buying his ostentatious wardrobe, to keep wining and dining people and jetsetting around while he was spending all that time finding information that would benefit the Trump campaign. If it wasn’t some part of the Trump organization, who was it?

Of course, even if he wasn’t being paid by Trump to do it, it was still illegal. Just as lying under oath to a government entity investigating a possible crime later was illegal. And it doesn’t become legal just because you think some people who disagree with have said things you disagree with and have decided to label as “lies.”

I don’t know if Trump is going to pardon Roger. Roger is, afterall, the sixth person so far to get convicted for crimes on the Trump campaign’s behalf, and he hasn’t pardoned any of the previous five. In Trump’s mind, loyalty only goes one way. You must be loyal to him. He will never to loyal to you. So I don’t think he will.

And, hey, Stone doesn’t get sentenced until February. By then, maybe Trump won’t be the person holding the power of pardoning.

A guy can dream, can’t he?

Friday Five (preventable deaths edition)

We’ve reached the third Friday of November and the news has been quite interesting.

I’m plugging away at NaNoWriMo, so not getting much blogging done. While I’m really happy that the impeachment hearings are proceeding, I’m going to try focus most of my linking to news stories on things that you are likely to have missed with all the other coverage.

Anyway, welcome to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five stories of the week, five stories about sciece & sci fi, five stories deplorable people, and five videos (plus a thing I wrote).

Stories of the Week:

Jimmy Carter’s humanity and Donald Trump’s vulgarity | Editorial.

3 Cows Swept Out to Sea by Hurricane Dorian Are Found Alive.

Millions in U.S. Lost Someone Who Couldn’t Afford Treatment.

What ‘English style’ owes to Asia’s gardens.

5 Ways You Can Support Bullied LGBTQ+ Youth Like Jordan Steffy.

Science and Science Fiction:

NASA’s Curiosity rover makes a baffling oxygen discovery on Mars – Seasonal variations in Martian oxygen levels are puzzling NASA’s planetary scientists.

Silver-Backed Chevrotain, With Fangs And Hooves, Photographed In Wild For First Time.

Disney+ Version of Star Wars: A New Hope Alters Greedo Scene Yet Again.

Are we living in a Blade Runner world?

Secrets of the largest ape that ever lived.

This Week in Deplorable People:

Principal who banned gay books charged with child pornography – “As I said to some friends last night when I got the news, ‘You can’t make this sh– up,'” one of the authors whose books were banned said.. Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! [/sarcasm]

Of the incidents involving sexual-orientation bias, 60 percent targeted gay men- Of the incidents involving sexual-orientation bias, 60 percent targeted gay men.

SURVEY: 40% Of Evangelicals Say They Are Pro-Choice.

Judge Napolitano: Trump ‘Pretty Clearly’ Violated Criminal Bribery Laws.

VP Mike Pence proud of effort to steal LGBTQ tax dollars.

In Memoriam:

Virginia Leith, Star of ‘The Brain That Wouldn’t Die,’ Dies at 94 – She also played the female lead in Kubrick’s first feature and a woman threatened by fiance Robert Wagner in ‘A Kiss Before Dying’.

Things I wrote:

The 11th day of the 11th month….


SLAPP Suits: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO):

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Billionaires Freak Out About Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders: A Closer Look:

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Bill Taylor’s Testimony Closely Ties Trump To Ukraine Quid Pro Quo:

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Greyson Chance – Boots (Official Video):

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Jakk Fynn – Fire:

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Friday Five (ok boomer edition)

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We’ve reached the second Friday of November and there was a lot of good election news this week.

Before I get into anything else, I want to point out that I am a Baby Boomer, and please put my name at the top of the list of people who say that neither ‘boomer’ nor ‘ok boomer’ are slurs. Furthermore, Boomers are the ones who started the generational conflict by wrecking the housing market, not standing up for workers’ rights, starting wars we don’t intend to pay for, and all those stupid “Millenials kill…” headlines.

Anyway, welcome to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five stories of the week, five stories about reading & writing & sci fi, five stories about the blue & rainbow wave, five stories about the impeachable one & another deplorables, and five videos (plus a thing I wrote).

Stories of the Week:

Hundreds of mammoth bones found in 15,000-year-old traps in Mexico.

Charles Addams: The Long Island Macabre Master Who Created The Addams Family.

Chicago book returns surge 240% after city eliminates fines.

For the first time ever, a US cheese is named best in the world.

Feds Sue Gilead Over Patents On HIV-Prevention Drugs.

Writing, Reading, and Science Fiction:

Ready. Set. Write a Book.

Terminator: Dark Fate Review. I really enjoyed the movie, myself.

Is Publishing Too Top-Heavy? – As megabestsellers command more of publishers’ marketing budgets and retailers’ shelf space, breaking out the next crop of hit makers has become a challenge.

[NOVEMBER 5, 1964] THE STATE OF THE SOLAR EMPIRE: PERRY RHODAN IN 1964. Galactic Journey is a web site that covers important development is science and sf/f—55 years ago. It’s almost like time traveling back once a week.

Round-up of Awards Posts by F&SF Writers, Editors, and Publishers for 2019.

This Week in the Blue & Rainbow Wave:

Massive, Major Victories for Democrats in Virginia and Kentucky as Trump Fails to Deliver Wins for His GOP Candidates.

The Blue Wave Hasn’t Crested – Virginia has been a bellwether in the Trump era, and Democrats hope their historic victory last night points to another national win in 2020.

Anti-LGBTQ Fairfax school board member loses re-election bid.

At Least 100 LGBTQ Candidates Win Elections as Rainbow Wave Continues.

Let’s Celebrate All The Good Shit That Happened On Election Night.

This Week in the Impeachable One and Other Deplorable People:

‘Lawless’ Trump Foundation Must Pay $2M Settlement.

Don Jr’s ‘Book’ Sales Boosted By Republican National Committee – Don Jr’s “book” is climbing the charts due to a huge purchase by the Republican National Committee, who is giving the book away for free to donors.

Hate Crime Verdict In Burning Of Church Rainbow Flag.

Milo Posts Racist Rant By Extremist Richard Spencer – Leaked audio purportedly shows the far-right leader screaming anti-Semitic slurs and threatening further violence in Charlottesville.

Impeachment transcripts reveal a consistent, damaging narrative for Trump – The witness testimonies released so far are all aligned, offering Democrats a powerful political weapon in public hearings next week.

In Memoriam:

Bernard Slade, 89, Dies; ‘Partridge Family’ Creator and Playwright .

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 11/2/2019: Seamy underbellies everywhere.

Old authors yell at clouds again—or, I thought sf/f was supposed to be about progress.


Stephen Colbert – Meanwhile… Is It OK To Say “OK, Boomer”?:

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Seth Meyers’ monologue – Roger Stone’s Trial Begins and Other Topics:

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New Zealand lawmaker shuts down heckler: ‘OK, boomer’:

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Stephen Colbert – “Read The Transcript” Is Trump’s Latest Rallying Cry:

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Sam Smith – I Feel Love (Visualiser):

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Weekend Update 11/2/2019: Seamy underbellies everywhere

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Normally, this would be another post about news that broke after I posted this week’s Friday Five, or didn’t come to my attention until afterward, or that didn’t quite make the cut, or about a previously linked story which has new developments.

This week I’m starting with something else. A story I very emphatically did not bookmark last week after reading it, because I knew no matter how sparse my list of possible stories were by the end of the week, I didn’t want to link to it. It was yet another “Millenials Kill…” story, this one about so-called “power lunches” at swanky Manhattan eateries. I admit I only clicked on the headline when I saw because I thought that surely this was from the Onion, so I was expecting to read something funny.

No, it was dead serious. While the article did admit that part of the “problem” for these famous restaurants in downtown New York City aren’t raking in the weekday cash like they used to is because many corporations have moved large portions of their workforce to cheaper locations outside the city. But otherwise it was all about how office workers eat lunch at their desks instead of going out.

Now, to be clear, I classified as a Baby Boomer under the currently most prevalent definition of the generation. And this Baby Boomer eats lunch at his desk, it isn’t a Millenial thing. And the reason I do it is the same reason that hundreds of thousands of other office workers out there do it: our employers keep demanding more and more productivity from a smaller work force. That’s it. If I take the time to leave the office, walk to a nearby restaurant, order food, wait for my meal and eat it there before sauntering back to the office, that means I have to stay even later that I already do to meet my deadlines.

Also, like most Americans in the workforce for the past three decades, while I do occasionally get a raise, the raises don’t ever seem to get ahead of the increase in the cost of living. And because the length of time between raises keeps getting longer, well, I can make my own lunch a whole lot cheaper than it will cost me to got out at lunch.

The other issue is that these “traditional power lunches” were never attended by rank and file office workers. Older white male executives and younger ambitious white men who wanted to become executives were the vast majority of people at those three-martini lunches.

I’m just going to start ranting angrily if I keep going, so instead here are two stories (one from nearly a year ago that I’m pretty sure I included in one of the Friday Five posts then) which cover things quite well:

Millennials Didn’t Kill the Economy. The Economy Killed Millennials – The American system has thrown them into debt, depressed their wages, kept them from buying homes—and then blamed them for everything.

12 Industries Experts Say Millennials Are Killing — And Why They’re Wrong.

Usually I have a lot to say about the other stories I include in a Weekend Update, but I’m doing NaNoWriMo at the moment, so here are a few quickies:

Beto O’Rourke Packing Up His Air-Drumsticks And Your Diner’s Countertops And Going Home. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Beto as a Senate candidate. And clearly, after the mass shooting in his home district when he found his voice and demonstrated a lot of spine in the gun control topic, I became more fond of him in the Democratic debates. But I think the three-term Congressman could serve the country better as, say, a Senator from Texas (the climate is going to be more favorable to Blue candidates this next time against John Cornyn that it was last time against Ted Cruz). He’d probably make a decent cabinet secretary, and he’d look lovely standing beside President Warren or President Harris as veep. I’m just sayin’.

Conservative Supreme Court Justices Are Showing Their Biases On Twitter Now – If only the Supreme Court had ANY ETHICS RULES AT ALL. Since we can now prove that one of these guys committed purjury during his confirmation hearings, I really hope we can do something about him in the not too distant future.

Smugglers Easily Cut Through Trump’s New Border Wall. All you need is a $100 reciprocating saw. Like we said!

Inside The Seamy Underbelly Of Trump’s Twitter Feed – The New York Times has done a deep dive into Trump’s Twitter feed, examining how extremists and lunatics use his audience – and more importantly – his attention, to springboard their agendas of hate. I’m linking to this excerpt because the main story is behind a paywall.

Friday Five (convenient hypocrisy edition)

And now we reach the first Friday of November!

It continues to be winter-cold, without any rain. Which means the spore counts keep climbing. Having hay fever when it’s cold is never fun.

Anyway, welcome to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five stories of the week, five stories about deplorable people, five stories about the impeachable one, and five videos (plus a thing I wrote).

Stories of the Week:

Who Gave You the Right to Tell That Story? Ten authors on the most divisive question in fiction, and the times they wrote outside their own identities.

Looking at Cute Animals Online Is Literally Good for Your Brain.

Are 90% of giraffes gay – or have their loving looks been misunderstood?

Blast from Waukee gender reveal felt over 2 miles away.

‘He’s a patriot’: Republicans defend key impeachment witness from attacks.

This Week in Deplorable People:

Senate blocks effort to roll back Trump administration’s ObamaCare rule. Excluding pre-existing conditions will kill thousands of Americans… which is what Trump and his billionaire buddies want.

Right-Wing Lobby Divorces Itself? In Lawsuit, NRA Says NRA-TV Is Racist. Which is true… but the NRA is also racist.

Missouri’s state health director says he tracked Planned Parenthood patients’ periods.

Evangelical conservatives are determined to go down in disgrace with Trump. Let them do it.

When One Good Day Is One Too Many.

This Week in Impeach the Mo-Fo Already:

Trump lures GOP senators on impeachment with cold cash.

Why it’s such a big deal that Donald Trump is suddenly selling his Washington DC hotel.

Trump Takes Swipe at Obama for Not Capturing al-Baghdadi Then Admits to War Crime at Police Chiefs Conference.

‘Music to Putin’s ears’: Ambassador McFaul blasts Trump’s pattern of furthering Russian interests.

Security Official Testifies Ukraine Transcript Was Edited.

In Memoriam:

Robin Brett, NASA scientist who studied ‘moon rocks,’ dies at 84.

Tributes pour in for John Witherspoon after actor dies at 77.

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 10/26/2019: Cold hearts and webs of sin.

Yelling at clouds, pointless nostalgia, and blind spots.

Time to fire up those word processors! #NaNoWriMo.

…and then what happened? And then? And then? — getting the story started and keeping it going.

Evasive geniuses, invisible monsters, and helpful (sassy gay) robots—more of why I love sf/f.


Stephen Colbert and the gang go after Hallmark and Lifetime Movies – Just In Time For Halloween, It’s The Late Show Christmas Movies!:

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Lunar Module Costume: Big Sis Lunar Lander, Little Sis Astronaut (with flag):

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Trump & Syria: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO):

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TESS Catches its First Star-destroying Black Hole:

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Galantis & Dolly Parton – Faith feat. Mr. Probz [Official Music Video]:

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Weekend Update 10/26/2019: Cold hearts and webs of sin

It is time for another post about news that broke after I posted this week’s Friday Five, or didn’t come to my attention until afterward, or that didn’t quite make the cut, or about a previously linked story which has new developments. As usual I have some opinions that I wish to expound upon regarding this stories.

First: New Poll Finds Voters Strongly Oppose Employer Insurance. This is something I was complaining about during the first couple of Democratic Presidential Candidate Debates: there is a myth perpetrated by conservatives and so-called moderates that the American people absolutely love their employer-provided insurance. And it’s not just the politicians: the moderators at the first couple of debates, for instance, kept framing questions with that assumption as if it were a fact. I was so happy when finally one of the candidates emphatically asserted that almost no voter they have talked to likes their insurance.

What is true is that fear-mongering paid for by the for-profit insurance & pharmaceutical industries (and amplified by the politicians in their pocket) has a lot of people fearing that universal health care will be even worse than what they have now. That’s not the same thing as being happy with their current plans.

Second, this should come as no surprise: New polling suggests that Trump’s evangelical base is totally unified behind the president, no matter what investigations might reveal. I continue to be irritated that people who want to take aqay my legal rights because of some badly translated and cherry-picked parts of the Bible also support a politician whose policies run explicitly counter to every single thing that Jesus is actually quoted as saying in that same holy book. Although it is worthwhile to look closely at the statistics, here. Some people having been crowing about how 99% of evangelical Christians support the president and oppose impeachment. Except that isn’t what these polls show. The 99% is only true of white people who also identify specifically as evangelical AND Republican. When you step out of that demographic and look at other evangelicals, well, the numbers change. And that 99% was from polls taken a few weeks ago. Other polling shows an across-the-board shift in all demographics of more support for impeachment as more information comes out.

I don’t expect the white evangelicals who were chanting “Build the wall” are ever going to abandon Trump, but they’ve also clearly shown that their bigotry drives their decisions more than the actual words in the Bible.

While we’re on the topic of people who quote the Bible but don’t actually follow it: Falwell preparing legal battle against reporter after “smear campaign”. I’ve written so many times about the real estate that he has purchased for the former pool boy who spent a lot of time under questionable conditions hanging out with Falwell and his wife. And about the real estate he ordered Liberty University to essentially give to another former pool boy and personal trainer, one who we know that Falwell was texting pictures of Mrs Falwell in kinky sex gear (we know this because he accidentally group-sent one of the sexts to nearly all of the employees of the non-for-profit ministry of which he is head). And about the blackmailer who had compromising photos of Mrs. Falwell (and perhaps others) who was paid off my Trump’s lawyer conveniently a few weeks before Falwell shocked everyone by endorsing Trump instead of fellow evangelical Ted Cruz. And so on and so on.

So Falwell tried to get the FBI to investigate some of the former employees who spilled the beans about this questionable behavior (which, remember, is being subsidized by tax-payer money because of the tax-exempt status of the ministry and the university and so on). Now he’s trying to scare some reporters and news outlets for reporting on his scandal parts of which may constitute financial crimes. So far, both reporters and the publications say they are standing by their reporting.

Next: Zuck Testified Before the House Financial Services Committee and It Did Not Go Well for Him . Facebook is a force for evil, and I more and more people are recognizing the problems it is enabling: Facebook Slammed for Including Breitbart Among Trusted News Publishers.

And I do think it’s true that part of the problem is that Zuck and his yes-men don’t understand significant parts of the problem Timothy Egan: Facebook’s Zuckerberg still doesn’t get the big picture. But I also think that Zuck and his yes-men are douche-bags who have an almost pathological lack of empathy and an inability to even recognize their own prejudices.

West Virginia shines a spotlight on absurdities of tariff bailout program. “…the real issue is not about farmers, it’s about a government $22 trillion in debt handing out six-figure checks as part of a carrot-and-stick game in which $28 billion in bailouts serve as a political Band-Aid for the injury caused by flawed trade policies.”

China isn’t paying the tariffs, American consumers are. China isn’t really being hurt by the trade war, American farmers and workers are. Paying out billions to try to offset some of the harm to U.S. industries just means that tax-payers are paying for the tariffs twice

Fox News analyst: Republicans are protesting their own impeachment inquiry rules. The republicans set up these rules as part of the Clinton impeachment, and the last time the rules were updated it was when the Republicans had a majority in the House and John Boehner was the Speaker. And here’s the thing: the impeachment inquiry isn’t a trial. The trial happens if the House votes in favor of impeachment, and then that happens in the Senate. So the people screaming about due process either don’t understand the situation or are lying to keep their base hyped up and ready to cause trouble.

While we are on the subject, the Democrats are not conduction impeachment inquiries, the U.S. House of Representatives is. There are Republicans on each of those committees. Those Republicans are at the closed-door sessions as well as the public hearings. Those Republicans get equal time to ask questions and so forth during the committee deliberations.

Both houses of Congress sometimes hold closed-door hearings. When Nixon was under the gun, committees in the House conducted some of their hearings behind closed doors. When Clinton was impeached, committees in the House conducted some of their hearings behind closed doors. One of the reasons you question witnesses behind closed doors during an investigation (which is what this is—it isn’t a trial yet) is so those witnesses can’t get their stories straight. You can catch some of the lies that witnesses tell if they don’t know what the other guys have said.

Samantha Bee Exposes Man Who Invented The Ukraine-Biden Conspiracy Theory:

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Friday Five (starvation killer edition)

Are we really already at the fourth Friday in October?

I believe I’ve figured out what I’m going to work on for NaNoWriMo next month. We’ve had a short break in the very rainy weather, but I’m not sure anything is going to dry out before the rain returns.

Anyway, welcome to 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 about science fiction, five stores about science, five stories about injustice and justice, and five videos (plus a thing I wrote).

Stories of the Week:

Most people in Seattle are from somewhere else. So what does that say about the ‘Seattle Freeze’?

Ivar’s, Seattle Seafood Restaurant Chain, and the Serial Killer. More than 100 years ago, Washington state was the home of a woman who was eventually dubbed the Starvation Killer…

I Ate Like a Member of the Royal Family for a Week and Here’s What Happened.

The Phone Call Isn’t Dead, It’s Evolving.

Inside the Phone Company Secretly Run By Drug Traffickers.

This Week in News for Queers and Allies:

One of Comcast’s top executives is suing for anti-gay discrimination – He was called slurs, paid less, told he was “too gay and flamboyant,” and the cable company retaliated when he complained.

Conservatives, religious right go to the outer limits of audacity in exploiting case of transgender child.

Drag Queens Are Hosting Story Hours Across the Country to Teach Kids Acceptance & We Say YAS to That.

This health care ruling could endanger untold numbers of LGBTQ Americans.

How ‘It’s a gay bar, Pamela’ became the Twin Cities’ favorite meme.

This Week in Science Fiction:

What Is the Time Signature of the Ominous Electronic Score of The Terminator? – The time signature of the Terminator score is a mystery for the ages.

Ray Bradbury’s Tales of the Bizarre – Series 1 – Available for Streaming from the BBC.

Eminent writers, editors and critics choose some favorite works of fantasy and science fiction. Read it for Chabon’s Bradbury comments…

David Gerrold – I disagree with Scorsese. I disagree with Coppola….

‘Watchmen’ Review: A Dazzling Reinvention of a Landmark Comic.

This Week in Science:

Bam! Scientists Watch Distant Exoplanet Collision.

Remarkable fossils capture mammals’ recovery after the dino-killing asteroid – Survivors grew from the size of a rat to that of a wolf within 700,000 years of the impact.

U.S. Air Quality Was Improving. Now It’s Getting Worse .

After A DNA Surprise: 10 Things No One Wants to Hear.

New tsunami evacuation maps show the fastest way to escape the Big One on foot.

This Week in Crimes and the Fight for Justice:

She was raped 15 years ago. Her rape kit was finally tested and turned up a match.

New bulletproof memorial to Emmett Till replaces vandalized sign in Mississippi.

Tennessee Deputy Sued Twice In The Same Day Over A Roadside Anal Search And A Forced Baptism.

Police Seize High-Ranking Atomwaffen Division Member’s Guns. The stripping happened earlier this month. Kaleb J. Cole, the strippee, is a leader of the Atomwaffen Division’s Washington State cell. The Seattle Police Department filed an “Extreme Risk Protection Order” petition against him late last month.

A Bangladesh court has sentenced 16 people to death for the murder of a student set on fire after accusing her teacher of sexual harassment.

Things I wrote:

Ah, yes, the Lady Mondegreen dancing with the devi.


Trump Lashes Out After G7 Controversy, Mulvaney’s Ukraine Confession: A Closer Look:

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Colbert Gets A Surprise Visit From Rudy Giuliani:

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Republicans Storm Impeachment Hearing After Bombshell Testimony: A Closer Look:

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O Great Pumpkin | Robot Chicken | Adult Swim:

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MIKA – Dear Jealousy:

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Friday Five (cockwomble edition)

And now it is the third Friday in October.

It’s been non-stop rain for several days and is expected to continue through the weekend, so I’m happy. Also, it was nice to be reminded this week of the word cockwomble, meaning: “A person, usually male, prone to making outrageously stupid statements and/or inappropriate behaviour while generally having a very high opinion of their own wisdom and importance.”

Anyway, welcome to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five stories of the week, five stories og interest to queers and our allies, five stores about science, five stories about deplorable people, five stories about the Impeachable One, and five videos (plus things I wrote and notable obituaries).

Stories of the Week:

Religion Continues to Decline in America.

Cuomo signs law aimed at weakening Trump’s pardon power, closes ‘double jeopardy’ loophole.

Twitter says it will restrict users from retweeting world leaders who break its rules. Um, well, I guess it’s a start… or maybe just an empty gesture.

Former NASA scientist says they found life on Mars in the 1970s.

Trump tweeted a photo attacking Nancy Pelosi. She made it her Twitter cover photo.

This Week in News for Queers and Allies:

Justin Tranter Was Punished in H.S. for Enduring Anti-LGBTQ Bullyingv- The out songwriter shared a disturbing story of harassment at a Spirit Day concert and fundraiser.

Parents of Matthew Shepard use DOJ speech to criticize Attorney General Barr’s stance on gender identity protections.

The way this trans man’s family expresses solidarity with his dream of having top surgery will make your heart burst.

Porno Pete Blames “Radical Lying Homosexual Activist” JMG For Beto O’Rourke’s Stance On Ex-Gay “Torture” . Right, it’s one gay blogger, and not the many juries, doctors, and medical associations that have all call it unconscionable, traumatic, and harmful.

Black lesbian Ernestine Eckstein was protesting when most gays thought protests were crazy – Closeted gays and even many early gay organizations criticized her for being visible and active.

This Week in Science:

Planetary ‘autopsies’ indicate worlds like Earth common in the cosmos.

480-million-year-old trilobite ‘traffic jams’ may reveal ancient migratory behavior.

Hubble telescope captures the best photo yet of the interstellar comet Borisov as it hurtles through the Milky Way at 110,000 miles per hour.

Space Mysteries: If the universe is 13.8 billion years old, how can a star be more than 14 billion years old?

Paris zoo unveils the blob, an organism with no brain but 720 sexes.

This Week in Deplorable People:

Trump’s Fox News Meltdown Proves He’s “the Snowiest, Flakiest Snowflake,” Says Kimmel.

Jury awards Sandy Hook father $450,000 for defamation by local conspiracy theorist.

Inside The Christian Legal Army Weakening the Church-State Divide.

The Heritage Foundation co-hosted a half day anti-LGBTQ event. Here are the worst comments from panelists.

2 Trump officials said the US should be run as a Christian theocracy.

This Week in Impeach the Mo-Fo Already:

Mulvaney acknowledges Ukraine aid was withheld to boost political probe.


Fox News’ Andrew Napolitano: Trump holding G7 at Doral resort is a ‘profound’ emoluments clause violation.

Karma For Republicans: Clinton Rules Apply To Trump Impeachment – Andrew Napolitano reminds Fox and Friends that all the rules Adam Schiff is following were written by Republicans during the Clinton years. Womp, womp.

Sen. Mitt Romney raises a troubling theory about Trump and Turkey.

In Memoriam:

Stephen Moore – known as the voice of Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’s Marvin the Paranoid Android – has died aged 81.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, LGBTQ Rights Champion, Dead at 68.

Elijah Cummings ‘signed subpoenas from his hospital bed’ for Trump impeachment before his death.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, dignified Democratic nemesis of Trump, dies at 68.

U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, key figure in Trump impeachment inquiry and longtime Baltimore advocate, dies at 68 .

Things I wrote:

Join us in the light! #NationalComingOutDay.

Celebrate Indigenous People’s Day — and recognize that Columbus was a violent unscrupulous invader.

Tuesday Tidbits 10/15/2019.

Where do they come from? (or, some things remain ineffable).


GIULIANI! (Here He Goes Again) – Randy Rainbow Song Parody:

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Rudy Giuliani Associates Arrested as Support for Impeachment Rises: A Closer Look:

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Harry Styles – Lights Up (Official Video):

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Katy Perry – Harleys In Hawaii (Official):

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MIKA – Sanremo:

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Tuesday Tidbits 10/15/2019:

I started to do a Weekend Update post with a couple of the stories below on Saturday, but I needed to get shopping done and be back up and set up somethings before my gaming group logged into the group chat at 1pm. So I didn’t get to it. I also frequently save memes, cartoons, and the like to use as an illustration for a blog post or Friday Five. I always gather a lot more than I can actually use, so every now and then I share some that I didn’t use. And I was struck by the fact that for several of the stories I had been leaning toward putting in the Weekend Update, I have a related graphic.

Without further ado, please enjoy!

Lindsey Graham dishes on Trump in hoax calls with Russians – Graham thought he was speaking with Turkey’s minister of defense. Instead, it was a pair of Russian pranksters.

Rudy keeps admitting to crimes on air and sincerely doesn’t realize he’s doing it! The almost comical corruption of Rudy Giuliani.

Giuliani was always a fraud. Just ask the FDNY – As the image of “America’s Mayor” was being rehabbed, 9/11 families saw how his malfeasance killed their loved ones.

John Oliver Thinks Rudy Giuliani Is Totally Screwed: ‘Trump Will Abandon Him’:

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“AA Republicans turn on people like Mitt Romney & US intelligence agents, I'l like to remind everyone that the crook they're stupidly protecting is banned from operating a charity in all of New York state because he and his swindling kids stole form a children's cancer charity.”

“AA Republicans turn on people like Mitt Romney & US intelligence agents, I’l like to remind everyone that the crook they’re stupidly protecting is banned from operating a charity in all of New York state because he and his swindling kids stole form a children’s cancer charity.”

Trump banned from running a charity due to fraud.

BREAKING: Donald Trump is facing multiple fraud charges.

Trump used $258,000 from his charity to settle legal problems.

How Donald Trump Shifted Kids-Cancer Charity Money Into His Business.

“The Republican Party's rapid switch from 'Law and Order' to 'Snitches are bitches' has been amazing.”

“The Republican Party’s rapid switch from ‘Law and Order’ to ‘Snitches are bitches’ has been amazing.”

The effort to demonize House Intelligence Chairman Schiff (D-Calif.), who is leading the impeachment inquiry into the president, and create political fog for the president demonstrates Republicans’ deep reluctance to opine on whether it was appropriate for Trump to commite treason when he asked Ukraine to dig up dirt on a political opponent.

‘A Whistle-Blower Is Not a Snitch’.

“Just to be clear: if someone supports a political candidate who seeks your extermination, they also support yout exterminatiion. It doesn't matter how they treet you interpersonally. They want you dead structurally.”

“Just to be clear: if someone supports a political candidate who seeks your extermination, they also support yout exterminatiion. It doesn’t matter how they treet you interpersonally. They want you dead structurally.”

Gay rights battle against employment discrimination extends beyond the grave, and to the Supreme Court.

The Trump Administration Is Trying to Erase Trans People, but the Law Clearly Protects Them.

The rise of anti-trans “radical” feminists, explained – Known as TERFs, trans-exclusionary radical feminist groups are working with conservatives to push their anti-trans agenda.

Why We Need Pride In 2019: ‘There Are Still Those That Would Rather See Us Back In The Closet – Or Dead’.

…and it was only a year ago he posted a pic of himself online wearing a “Broke Hoe” t-shirt and bragging about being $4million in debt…

Broke Homocon Milo Forced To Sell Website. Wow… a bit over a year ago he was actually bragging about being in debt, then last month he was whining on Telegram (the only social media platform that hasn’t banned him) about the fact that his followers don’t buy his books or donate.

Friday Five (coming out day edition)

And now it is the second Friday in October.

Today is National Coming Out Day! I’ll have some more to say about that later today. You’ll find a few of this weeks stories and videos are related to that topic.

Anyway, welcome to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five stories of the week, five stories about being queer and being out, five stores about science and science fiction-y things, five stories about deplorable people, five stories about the Impeachable One and related deplorables, and five videos (plus things I wrote and notable obituaries).

Stories of the Week:

Ancient Greek Scroll’s Hidden Contents Revealed Through Infrared Imaging.

City Thinks Cops Can Legally Murder Undocumented Immigrants.

Male cat needs glucose drip after mating with five females in one night in pet hotel.

The Rich Really Do Pay Lower Taxes Than You.

For the first time in my life, I don’t give a shit what the science says.

This Week in News for Queers and Allies:

Saying ‘I am gay’ in mirror led track athlete on path to acceptance .

Navajo Nation’s LGBTQ Pride Event Celebrates A Return To The Culture’s History.

Once in closet, gay hockey player voted high school homecoming king .

Family and Friends Are Seeking Justice for Channing Smith, Outed Teen Who Was Bullied into Suicide .

The Supreme Court showed its liberal/conservative split in LGBTQ cases. Here’s how it went.

This Week in Science, Science Fiction, Tech and Related:

Saturn overtakes Jupiter as planet with most moons.

Why This Fanfiction Site’s Prestigious Literary Honor Is a Win for LGBTQ Representation – Archive of Our Own, a volunteer-run, queer-inclusive fanfiction repository, scored a Hugo Award earlier this year.

A Gothic Education, or: How I Learned to Love the Dark.

Monarch butterflies swarm Colorado park Video .

Computer historians crack passwords of Unix’s early pioneers.

This Week in Deplorable People:

Florida’s DeSantis returns donation linked to Guiliani’s Ukrainian Crooks.

San Diego Man Charged With Hate Crime After Beating Three Muslim Women Wearing Hijabs.

Tulsi Gabbard threatens to boycott upcoming debate claiming DNC and corporate media trying to rig 2020 primary. Let’s re=write that headline: “Rep Gabbard, poorly disguised Republican mole and friend of dictators, whines about the fact that most democractic voters aren’t falling for her scam.”

Jerry Falwell Jr. settles Miami court case over South Beach ‘pool boy’ venture.

The Humiliation of Lindsey Graham. Too bad he has no shame…

This Week in Impeach the Mo-Fo Already:

Two men connected to Giuliani’s Ukraine efforts charged with funneling foreign money into US election.

Trump Targets The Poor To Balance His Bloated Billionaires Budget.

H.R. McMaster: Seeking foreign assistance for a U.S. election never appropriate.

What The Parnas-Fruman Indictment Reveals About The Trump-Ukraine Pressure Scheme.

‘Donald Trump Is Not Well and You Know It!’: Morning Joe Scorches GOP for Standing by as President Falls Apart.

In Memoriam:

Diahann Carroll, first black woman to star in nonservant role in TV series, dies at 84 – Carroll was the star of “Julia,” which ran for 86 episodes on NBC from 1968 to 1971.

Oprah, Ava DuVernay, Lee Daniels, Debbie Allen Remember “Icon” Diahann Carroll: “We Will Forever Sing Your Praises”.

Rip Taylor, Flamboyant Comic and Host of ‘The $1.98 Beauty Show,’ Dies at 84 – Known as the “King of Confetti” and “The Crying Comedian,” he made thousands of outlandish appearances on television and in nightclubs.

Things I wrote:

How we react to the world is both human and political, but I repeat myself.

A conspiracy of muses, or, the myth of writer’s block.


MTV Documentary Films: Gay Chorus Deep South Trailer:

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These emotional coming out videos will restore your faith in humanity:

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Old Gays Share Their Coming Out Stories:

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Stephen Colbert Points Out That Trump’s Achilles Heel Is… His Mouth:

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MIKA – Tomorrow:

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