Tag Archive | news

Friday Five (riling the base edition)

“Racism is so American that when you protest it, people think you are protesting America.”

(click to embiggen)

Here we are at the third Friday of July.

It’s been a weird week. Started out trying to convince myself that it was just hay fever. Instead, I’ve been unwell all week.

Anyway, welcome to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five stories of the week, five stories about sf/f and science, five stories about haters and their ilk, and five videos (plus things I wrote and notable obituaries).

Stories of the Week:

Who has given money to rebuild Notre Dame? – The French super-rich promised to dig deep, but such philanthropy comes at a steep price.

All 104 James Bond Villains, Ranked – From masterminds to henchmen, the final word on 007’s furious foes.

Will Typewriters Become Popular Again?

Man shouting ‘You die!’ kills 33 in Japan anime studio fire.

Abigail Disney, an heiress of the Walt Disney empire, has become a champion for better working conditions in her family’s parks after she went undercover in one of them and found a grim reality beneath the facade of the “Happiest Place on Earth.”.

This Week in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Science:

Voyager – A New Plan for Keeping NASA’s Oldest Explorers Going.

Hayabusa-2: Japanese spacecraft makes final touchdown on asteroid.

The Evolution of the Disc.

Five SFF Works Reminiscent of Andre Norton.

Harvard exhibit charts history of Apollo 11 moon mission.

This Week in Homophobes and Other Deplorables:

Editorial: Congressional Republicans shame themselves with their silence on Trump’s racism.

Netflix Legal Warns Straight Pride: Stop Using Our Logo As We’re Here, We’re Queer, And You Better Steer Clear.

Religious author says evangelical silence about Trump’s racism proves they made ‘a deal with the devil’.

Founder of Neo-Nazi Site Daily Stormer Ordered to Pay $14 Million to Target of Racist ‘Troll Storm’.

Trump Needs His Base to Burn With Anger.

In Memoriam:

After 71 years of marriage, a husband and wife die on the same day.

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has died at the age of 99 .

John Paul Stevens, long-serving Supreme Court justice, dies at 99.

John Paul Stevens Leaves Legacy of LGBTQ Rights Advocacy. “It borders on the absurd to assume that the word ‘liberty’ does not include one’s right to choose a spouse, but does include a right to possess a firearm in one’s home.”

John Paul Stevens Evolved into the Supreme Court’s Unlikely Liberal Champion.

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 7/13/2019: Powerful men sometimes face consequences, but what happened at New Republic?

SF-adjacent: the inherent fuzziness of human enthusiasms.

Why I hate hay fever reason #6508.

Stop claiming that being called a bigot is worse than the actual bigotry.

Divine prophecies and muscular men in very short skirts, or more of why I love sf/f.

Videos!

What Scarlett Johansson’s Missing in the Representation Debate – Between the Scenes | The Daily Show:

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The GOP Reacts (And Doesn’t) To Trump’s Racist Tweets:

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Trump’s Racist Attacks on Democratic Congresswomen: A Closer Look:

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Where Are All the Bob Ross Paintings? We Found Them:

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‘Batman’ DVD Robin storyboard sequence – The sequence introducing the Boy Wonder – ultimately cut before filming began – was taken from an early draft of the 1989 ‘Batman’ movie, put together using original pre-production storyboards and voiced by B:TAS’s Kevin Conroy (Batman) and Mark Hamill (the Joker):

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

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Stop claiming that being called a bigot is worse than the actual bigotry

“*sobs* I just want to express my racist and sexist views without being called racist of sexist! *sniffle*”

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If you are somehow unaware of the racist thing Trump tweeted this last weekend, and the doulbing-down and defending of the words that has happened, I’m not going to sum them up. The salient facts are here: Congresswomen say Trump’s ‘openly racist’ attack is a distraction. And I agree with U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib that the purpose of those tweets is not really to attack the congresswomen in question, but rather to get all the news sites to stop talking about the illegal inhuman camps that our government is packing children and adults into at the border: Migrant children report sex assault, retaliation for protests at border facility and Mike Pence Toured a ‘Horrendous’-Smelling Detention Center Where Migrants Were Packed in Cages.

And what comes to the top of many of the google searches I did looking for recent stories on the camp situation were people arguing about terminology. It doesn’t matter whether you think that the camps meet a particularly carefully cherry-picked definition of concentration camp: the conditions in the camps violate U.S. law and international treaties; locking people who present themselves at a border and ask for sanctuary is illegal; it is not illegal for people to present themself at a border and ask for sanctuary; the treatment of the children in particular is immoral, unethical, illegal, and appalling.

Call them Detention Centers if you must, but they are still illegal, they are as immoral as any historical Concentration Camp, and you should be ashamed of yourself for not caring what happens to any fellow human beings, but especially children.

“Straight people. If a restaurant was taking the money they make and giving it to organizations trying to dissolve your marriage and take your kids away from you, you wouldn't give a if they have really good leamonade.” —Faith Naff

Do not eat at Chik-Fil-A (click to embiggen)

People who want to discriminate against others get really angry when you call what they are doing discriminate, despite that fact that a couple of years ago some of them made this argument at the Supreme Court: White House: We’d Be Fine With Bakers Hanging “No Gays” Signs In Their Windows. The weird part is, that in many states they can do just that. They are free to both discriminate against queer people and even put up signs in their shop windows saying so, and yet, virtually none of them do. And here’s why:

They want to quietly and discreetly refuse to serve individual customers who happen to be gay without their other customers finding out. They wanna hate on the down low because they know that customers who may not be gay themselves—people who know and love LGBT people, customers who don’t approve of discrimination on principal, other minorities who worry that they could be next—will take their business elsewhere.
Dan Savage

“Just because you're gay doesn't mean you can't be homophobic. Internalized homophobia exists.”

And that internalized homophobia is often turned outward at your fellow gays, particularly if they don’t conform to your idea of what gay means…

I commented on the weekend about the poorly written, nasty, inappropriate op-ed that The New Republic published about presidential hopeful Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and then removed for the site while listing a lame apology. While it was roundly condemned by straight people and queer people alike—and even some publications that no one would describe as gay-friendly—we have now reached the point where certain queer journalists are falling all over themselves to defend it. They are really leaning into the fact that several of the critics of the original piece saying that portions of it come off as homophobic. The counter argument is that, since the author of the piece, Dale Peck, is himself gay, the thing he wrote can’t possibly be homophobic. One particular op-ed that lots of people are linking to agrees that the piece was rude, and that it demonstrates a part of gay culture that many queer people are uncomfortable with, but insists it isn’t at all reasonable to describe it as homophobic because not only is Peck a gay man, but he was a gay man who was active in Act Up back in the day (which apparently means he can’t be homophobic), and the piece is simply a case of “reading” which has a long tradition in queer culture. The author of the defense piece also made the assertion that it was only straight people who were objecting, and clearly as straight people they don’t have a right to call out homophobia(?).

In case you don’t know, reading in this context is usually defined as the act of pointing out a flaw in someone else (usually publicly and addressed directly to them) and exaggerating it in a humorous way. It’s that last bit—that the exaggeration needs to be funny that I first complain about—because I didn’t find it any of it funny. And while, yes, reading is a tradition in parts of the queer community, it still is an ad hominem attack, which only belongs in political analysis if one is offering proof of several character flaws or harmful ideologies. In other words, if the piece had called Mayor Pete a bigot of some sort and offered up some evidence to back it up, then maybe doing so in the reading-style would have been appropriate. But that isn’t what happened.

So, since these folks think that only straight people object, let me be clear: I’m a gay man. I see Peck’s Act Up crendentials and raise my own Queer Nation involvement. I found the use of phrase “Mary Pete” over and over homophobic. The rest of the essay is a mess—badly written, the opposite of persuasive, and one long ad hominem attack—and The New Republic was right to pull it (and shouldn’t have published it in the first place).

Dan Savage has said many times that queer people have the right to throw slurs back and forth at each other so long as they meet this criteria: “so long as it’s used affectionately and ironically and so long as the term is embraced by the user and so long as it isn’t tossed around in front of strangers and so long as it isn’t used as an insult…”

  • Peck was not using the term Mary Pete affectionately nor ironically,
  • There is no indication Mayor Pete embraces the term “mary,”
  • This use of the slur wasn’t just tossed around in front of strangers, it was written specifically to be published in a publication whose target audience is the general public,
  • It was definitely intended as an insult.

So this queer man has absolutely no problem calling b.s. on these attempts to spin one bitter gay man’s homophobic attempt to read (and if this was reading, oh, it so missed the mark) another gay man for not being the right kind of gay as anything other than it was.

There is an argument to be made that some of Mayor Pete’s policy proposals are further to the right of center than both most Democratic voters and the country as a whole. One can legitimately critique the tepid response he had to a recent incident of a person of color being killed by police in the town of which he is mayor. And I want to point out that even Peck’s defenders aren’t certain if these were the sorts of things he was trying to imply in his essay.

But vulgar speculation about his sexual desires and practices (which was what most of the so-called “reading” was about) doesn’t belong in a opinion piece published on a serious political news site. Yeah, if you’re sitting with your friends in the local queer bar tossing back drinks and gossiping about people, that sort of commentary may get you some laughs. But it isn’t how you educate voters about issues you disagree with him about.

Weekend Update 7/13/2019: Powerful men sometimes face consequences, but what happened at New Republic?

This is a picture for the day Acosta was sworn in as Labor Secretary. Note the identical haircuts and dresses of the daughters (who are NOT twins) not to mention Mom’s clothes. Why does this picture make me think of the kind of super-strict “christian” family with dark secrets?

It’s Saturday morning and time for a news update. Once again, there have been some news stories that broke after I composed this week’s Friday Five upon which I don’t want to wait until next Friday to comment. And one of them is a doozy! So, let’s get to it!

First: Trump Labor chief Alex Acosta resigns due to Jeffrey Epstein case. I wish I’d posted on line on Thursday what I said to my husband when I saw a news stories in which Trump was reported to have said that there was “zero chance” he would fire Acosta over these allegations. Because the moment I read that I thought, “he’s going to be out by the end of the week!” In case you don’t know what this is about, a week ago Trump pal Jeffrey Epstein arrested for sex trafficking dozens of minors and Fund manager Jeffrey Epstein was charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy, accused by US prosecutors of paying girls as young as 14 for sex and using them to recruit others from 2002 to 2005. And not just trafficking: Wealthy financier charged with molesting dozens of girls under the age of 18.

“Prosecutors said the evidence against Epstein included a “vast trove” of hundreds or even thousands of lewd photographs of young women or girls, discovered in a weekend search of his New York City mansion. Authorities also found papers and phone records corroborating the alleged crimes, and a massage room still set up the way accusers said it appeared, prosecutors said.”

How does this involve Trump’s Labor Secretary? Well, 12 years ago Acosta was a U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and mega-rich Epstein was under investigation for very similar charges involving molesting 36 young girls. Acosta stepped in a negotiated a plea deal where Epstein plead guilty to two minor prostitution charges, and would be required to register as a sex offender. Immunity from prosecution was granted on all of the other charges for Epstein, four named co-conspirators, and “unnamed potential co-conspirators.” People have been criticising that deal for years, particularly as it was pointed out that around the same time, Acosta prosecuted much less high-profile defendants on similar charges and got much more serious prison time for them.

Acosta had a press conference earlier this week in which he argued that the case hadn’t been strong enough to win, and besides, state authorities were really to blame. Those officials had something to say: ‘Abhorrent’ and ‘Completely Wrong’: Former Florida Officials Push Back Against Acosta’s Account of Epstein Case.

Some conservative sites are arguing that the new case isn’t prosecutable because of the deal. There are a few problems with that. The original deal only covered the 36 victims mentioned in the deal, for one, and More than 12 new Jeffrey Epstein accusers come forward. So none of these cases would be covered by the prosecutorial immunity. Also, one of the conditions of the deal was not just the Epstein would register as a sex offender, but that as a sex offender he would report his movement to authorities: NYPD let convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein skip judge-ordered check-ins (when you’re rich, you can get away with anything). Which doesn’t automatically mean the deal is voided, but a judge can set aside such a deal on those grounds.

Also, the original plea agreement was approved by a judge (as all have to be), and at that hearing it is traditional that victims of the alleged crimes are given a chance to address the court concerning the deal. At the time, only a few of the victims did so, and Acosta’s office told the court that all of the other victims declined to comment. Several of those victims insist that they were not consulted and not given an opportunity to speak, and a Florida judge ruled earlier this year that the non-prosecution agreement violated the Crime Victims’ Rights Act because at least some witnesses were never consulted or informed that it had happened. The federal court where Epstein is currently being tried doesn’t have to abide by the state court’s ruling, but it can take it into account.

So, Acosta resigned yesterday. Good riddance. Though I don’t think that simply resigning and then retiring to a cushy consulting job in the vast alt-right media-and-consulting ecosystem is adequate punishment: How Alex Acosta Got Away With It for So Long – The only way the labor secretary could give Jeffrey Epstein that 2008 plea deal is by ignoring victims.


Every now and then, someone likes to accuse me of only going after bad behavior on one end of the political spectrum. Yesterday evening was an example of the other direction: The New Republic removes op-ed attack on Buttigieg; admits it was ‘inappropriate and invasive’. Yesterday, the New Republic, which is generally considered to be a left-leaning publication, published a op-ed by an out gay writer entitled, “My Mayor Pete Problem.” I saw lots of people commenting on it throughout the day, but didn’t get a chance to go read it until the evening.

It was special.

It literally read (and I said so on line before it was pulled) like a drunken rant you would hear in a gay bar in which someone was critiquing a gay politician and blending opinions about the politician’s personal life choice, speculation about his habits in bed, along with poorly sourced comments on the politicians actual policy positions. Since the essay has been taken down (and a rather lame editorial apology posted), you can’t go read it for yourself. But don’t take my word for it:

In the hard-to-believe essay, Peck repeatedly referred to the also openly gay Buttigieg as “Mary Pete.” …Among the many gratuitous personal insults to the mayor, Peck also compares him to a 15-year-old boy who’s wondering if he should sleep with a 50-year-old man, and speculates about Buttigieg’s sexual preferences in bed — in terms that are not appropriate to repeat in this publication.
—The New York Daily News

Beside the fact that this vulgar hit piece was represented as political commentary (and then after the firestorm of criticism, the editors pivoted to claiming it was satire), the other crime it committed is that it forced me to agree with the arch-conservative wingnuts at the Washington Examiner: Nasty, horribly written New Republic op-ed attacks Mayor Pete as the gay Uncle Tom (Note, this is a donotlink.it link).

When the same publication that frequently insists that IQ is hereditary which therefore justifies some of their racist editorials recognizes that something you’ve published is homophobic, you have really screwed up!

Someone at the New Republic needs to get fired over this.


And here are a collection of awful headlines that I want to clear out and not even think about for next Friday:

Florida principal wrong to equivocate on Nazi Germany atrocities – The Holocaust happened. Period. End of story. At least he was fired.

A Detroit man is facing a first-degree murder charge after allegedly using Grindr to track down gay people and shoot them. Arrested.

Feds Bust Christian Missionary For Molesting Orphans. Arrested. Please, oh please don’t let anyone like Acosta near this case!

Finally, while I don’t feel right trying to end this on a positive note, I will end it with just a bit of schadenfreude:

Anti-Gay Former GOP Rep. William Dannemeyer Dies At 89, Called For Firing And Quarantining People With HIV. When he was still in congress he claimed that queer men infected with HIV “emitted spores” that could infect pregnant women—and that was hardly the craziest thing he ever said. Anyway, here’s hoping his soul is mounted on a nice rotisserie in hell.

Friday Five (frauds and furor edition)

And now it’s Friday. The second Friday in July.

The weather has been interesting. Overnight lows that seem more in keeping with April or May. The daytime highs are at least above 70, but so much of every day is overcast, that it looks like it should be colder than it is.

Anyway, welcome to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top two stories of the week, five stories about sf/f and science, five stories about haters and their crimes, five stories about why someone should be impeached, and five videos (plus things I wrote and notable obituaries).

Stories of the Week:

Amazon says ‘Bye, Felicia’ to books pushing fraudulent ‘ex-gay therapy’.

When Being a Tall Girl was a Medical Condition: DES and the Tall Girls- Hormones Matter.

NRA Implosion Has Trump 2020 Team Panicking – Republicans worry that the NRA and two other groups that have long formed the core of their electoral infrastructure will be effectively on the sidelines.

Louisiana Braces for First Possible Hurricane Landfall of the Season.

Lawmakers Pass Bill Requiring Trump To Release Taxes To Appear On 2020 Ballot, Gov To Sign.

This Week in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Science:

Ancient life awakens amid thawing ice caps and permafrost .

Another Word: Being James Tiptree, Jr. by Kelly Robson .

Remembering Artur Brauner and Dr. Mabuse.

Scientists Use CRISPR and Antiviral Therapy to Eliminate HIV-1 DNA from Genomes of Mice.

Heinlein’s Juveniles vs. Andre Norton’s Young Adult Novels.

Haters and Hate Crimes:

NYPD Arrest Man Who Burned Rainbow Flags Outside Harlem Gay Bar.

Teen hate crime: Swatiskas, racist graffiti divide a Maryland high school .

Proud Boys Rally Rocked by Sex, Cocaine Allegations – Top speakers are fleeing and one-time allies are feuding as the gathering of MAGA faithful teeters.

Man accused of killing black teen in Arizona said he felt threatened by victim’s rap music, police say.

Hate crime on the rise in Seattle and Washington state, study finds.

This Week in Impeach the Mo-Fo Already:

Trump once hosted an exclusive party with Jeffrey Epstein at his Mar-a-Lago estate, a new report says. It was just the 2 of them and ’28 girls.’.

McConnell Blocking Plans to Prevent Russian Election Attack.

Inside Trump’s concentration camps: Attorney Hope Frye saw “cruel,” “inhumane,” “sadistic” treatment .

A Fifth Teen Beauty Queen Says Trump Visited Dressing Room.

Trump’s “Natural Law” Commission Members Are All Anti-LGBT, One Calls Legalizing Gay Sex “Dangerous”.

In Memoriam:

Eva Kor, Survivor of Twin Experiments at Auschwitz, Dies at 85 .

Rip Torn, star of ‘The Larry Sanders Show,’ dies at 88.

Denise Nickerson, Violet in ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,’ Dies at 62.

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 7/6/2019: Miss Major, still leading the trans revolutio.

Strangely, bigots aren’t interested in protecting children from the actual predators….

Three cheers for the Red, White & Blue — or why I’m more patriotic than any MAGA-hat wearer you will ever meet….

Videos!

Another Life – Katee Sackhoff | Official Trailer | Netflix:

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Moose Stays Hydrated During Heatwave:

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Twin Temple – “Satan’s a Woman”:

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JUDY | Official Trailer | Roadside Attractions:

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MIKA – Ice Cream:

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Weekend Update 7/6/2019: Miss Major, still leading the trans revolution

I had several news stories that either didn’t make the cut for this week’s Friday Five, or that I found after posting. And there was even a good strong theme emerging. And then I saw something that had totally slipped by me yesterday: Miss Major Griffin-Gracy Has Suffered a Stroke – The Stonewall veteran and lifelong transgender activist has been hospitalized. Miss Major is one of the trans women of color who was involved in the Stonewall Riots. Unfortunately, she was struck on the head by a cop and taken into custody during the riots, and while in jail was beaten severely. Before Stonewall, she had been actively fight for trans rights and women’s rights, and she had continued the fight for all the years since.

So, I think this Weekend Update is more of an extension of my Pride report posted last night, today I want to point you to more information about Miss Major, and the role she and other trans people of color have played in the fight for queer rights:

Stonewall Activist Miss Major Is Still Leading the Trans Revolution.

Trans Activist Miss Major Revisits the Stonewall Riots.

Here’s hoping Miss Major has a swift recovery. If you’re so inclined, send love, healing thoughts, and good vibrations for one of our heroes.

Friday Five (fifth of July edition)

“Not ALL Trump supporters are overtly racist, or ableist, or misogynist, but everyone of them decided hating people with brown skin, disabilities, or women wasn't a deal-breaker. Own the decision.”

Own the decision (click to embiggen)

It’s the first Friday in July, the day after a big holiday here in the U.S. and I’ve been a slacker at blogging all week.

Last weekend we attended Locus Awards Weekeend plus watched part of the Seattle Pride parade and spent a couple hours are the Pride Festival. I used vacation time to make it a four day weekend so I would have Monday as a cool-down/unpack/do laundry/etc day. Then had two days at the office, most of which were filled with me fixing things people didn’t know how to do or didn’t have permissions for during the two days I was gone (which happened to coincide with a release date). And now, between the holiday and another vacation day, I’m in the middle of another four-day weekend.

Anyway, welcome to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top two stories of the week, five stories about sf/f and science, five stories about deplorable people, and five videos (plus things I wrote).

Stories of the Week:

Holocaust Survivor Tells Heartwrenching Story of the Day He Was Freed. It’s a good story, though if I had been the editor, I would have refrained from using the word “heartwarming” in the headline.

Death in Life.

I’m Trans. The 2020 Candidates Don’t Know How to Pander to Me.

Here are all the celebrities who’ve come out as LGBTQ in 2019 (so far). For some reason the photo at the top of the article shows only three people, a very odd editorial choice when there are at least a dozen in the list…

HR Isn’t Stopping Workplace Sexual Harassment –.

This Week in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Science:

Ten Favorite Flawed Books That Are Always Worth Rereading.

I Was Born To Be A Fake Fan.

This AI Gives Other AIs Names Like “Ass Federation” And “Hot Pie” Because Robots Can Be Weird Too.

Why you should not dismiss “Münchhausen” out of hand.

Pregnancy and Biology 101. “I originally titled this “Pregnancy 101 for Guys,” but given the state of sex education in the U.S., I suspect many of us need some additional learning regardless of gender. But I’m mostly looking at my fellow guys with this thing, especially with all of the recent debate and discussion. Some of this is information I wish I’d learned sooner. Hopefully it will be helpful to others.”

This Week in Homophobes and Other Deplorables:

Straight Pride organizers alert police after receiving glitter-filled letters. A glitter-filled letter that also contained Bible verses. These neo-Nazis are either more cowardly than we thought, or just really good at getting in the news.

Once Again, a Christian Health Insurance Company Won’t Cover a Couple’s Bills .

So the President F*cking Hates My Girlfriend.

Ted Cruz gets roasted for boycotting Nike over Betsy Ross shoes: ‘No one wants your business!’ .

Portland Police Offer No Proof That Protesters Had Milkshakes with “Quick-Dry Cement”.

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 6/29/2019.

It’s Pride Day, 2019 — Happy Pride!

Sunday Funnies, part 38: Goodbye to Halos.

Oppressed Oppressors: getting non-fatal blowback to your genocidal policies isn’t oppression.

Videos!

JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL – Official Trailer:

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Lil Nas X: ‘I am Gay’ and ‘I’m Already Getting’ Backlash :

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Pete Buttigieg Blasts Racist Attendee at Iowa Campaign Stop:

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The First Democratic Presidential Primary Debate: A Closer Look:

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I LIKE BOYS by Todrick:

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Weekend Update 6/29/2019:

“Anyone who thinks villain monologues are unrealistic has never seen a famous dude double down on twitter.”

(click to embiggen)

Even though I had two Friday Five postss yesterday, I am once again finding myself following up on either stories the broke since then, or ones that I’ve linked to before that have had new developments. Or at least I have more information that I did when I last posted. I suppose I’m being overly pedantic.

Onward! So yesterday I posted about These 9 Pride-celebrating companies donated millions to anti-gay Congress members – Despite giving millions to anti-gay politicians, the HRC gave these companies a perfect 100 score. A lot of corporations out there want to take in queer people’s money, because even if (as many claim) we only make up 4.6% of the population, first, 4.6% of 330 million Americans is still 15 million people. But not only that, we have a lot of supportive straight relatives and friends and other allies who might also be included to patronize a particular brand if that company appeared to be supportive of queer people. The report I linked yesterday and this one show a bunch of really large companies who have done such a good job pretending they support us (while donating millions of dollars to politicians actively harming us) that the Human Rights Campaign has given them a perfect pro-queer rating.

To be fair, when contacted by the reporter who first broke this story, HRC admitted that their criteria up to now had been whether a company had non-discriminatory hiring practices, extended benefits to queer employees, and so forth. They have since said that clearly they need to revise their criteria and start taking into account corporate support for anti-queer politicians. I look forward to the new ratings next year.

Also, it isn’t just those nine companies that are trying to have it both ways: Two in five brands with Pride campaigns not donating to LGBT+ causes in 2019. And Marketing with Pride vs. Rainbow Washing: Marketing Lessons from Pride Month 2019.

Okay, on to the next topic.

So, I knew something was up with disgraced former U.S. Congressperson, Aaron Shock earlier this week because suddenly a bunch of people were clicking on a post I did about his financial crimes and the very poor job he was doing hiding his queerness while being an extremely anti-gay politician. Well, this one shouldn’t surprise us: EXCLUSIVE: Former Republican congressman known for his anti-gay policies and using taxpayer dollars to decorate his office like Downton Abbey is filmed slipping cash into a go-go dancer’s tiny briefs while partying at a gay bar in Mexico City. Gee, it seems like only a couple of months ago someone got video of the former Congressman making out with another man with his hands inside the man’s pants! He posted shirtless with a bunch of shirtless hunks at the music festival in question, and then the guys he had been partying with were informed what at rat-bastard anti-gay politician he was, and all felt the need to issue apologies on their Instagram accounts for not recognizing him.

I guess maybe he was hoping he would be less recognizable in Mexico?

Before anyone tries to lecture me for outing him or (the new accusation I saw recently) “weaponizing his sexuality,” let me make a couple things perfectly clear. When someone who has caused measurable harm to the community (voting for laws that denied us right, stripped us of existing rights, and so on), while secretly being a queer themselves, it is a moral imperative to expose the hypocrisy. Second, the only weaponizing that is going on is by him and his anti-gay allies. Because his is not just a white man, but a wealthy white man with extensive political and financial connections, he is able to avoid most of the forces of oppression that he has helped to create. And part of the protection that he gets from the anti-gay forces of discrimination is precisely because he so vehemently advocated against queer rights.

When we expose these hypocrites we are de-weaponizing their rhetoric, you see.

That’s enough about that jerk. Let’s move on to another.

Jerry Falwell, Jr. Lashes Out at Christian Critic of Refugee Children Conditions. So, what happened? Well, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, a man named Russell Moore, expressed some sympathy for the refugee children our Republican government has chosen to put in concentration camps. He didn’t actually condemn the camps or the government, he just said that children ought to be treated with dignity and respect. Jerry Falwell, Jr, couldn’t have that. He launched into a bizarre attack about Moore having never be the head of a corporation that had to meet a payroll… and somehow this means he can’t comment on what the Bible says about how he and is co-religionists treat others?

I don’t quite see the connection. Also, it is deeply ironic the Fallwell, Jr., who became the wealthy real estate tycoon thanks to questionable investments from his father’s ministry plus obscene salaries as various offices of the far-right Christian college his father founded, would fault someone else from never starting an enterprise “from scratch.” Again, how that is relevant to expressing sympathy for grossly mistreated children, I can’t fathom.

Speaking of those mistreated children in concentration camps: Malnourished toddler relieved to hear he’s not technically in a concentration camp. First, I don’t buy the convoluted argument that they aren’t concentration camps. Second, stop worrying about what to call them and let’s stop treating children barbarically!

Let’s move on.

Remember during the first year of our hellish dystopia when the neo-Nazis were marching with tiki torches? And there was a protest where one young man, who had been saying on line for some days before hand that he was going to drive his car into the counter-protesters and kill as many as he could? So, he pled guilty to 29 separate crimes, including killing one young women, injuring a bunch of others, and attempting to kill more. And at his sentencing he had the temerity to Charlottesville Killer Begs Court For Mercy. ‘Don’t ruin my life because of one little mistake!’ Yeah, right. Thank goodness, the judge wasn’t having it: Man who killed a woman when he rammed his car into Charlottesville counterprotest gets life in prison. Seems about right.

Finally:

I don’t even want to dignify the stupidity that is the straight pride parade in Boston. Literal Nazis are organizing this thing (some of them people connected to the Charlottesville rallies) were being portrayed as trolls, but given some of the past rallies and harassment and worse they have perpetrated, I’m not sure trolling is the right label.

I said plenty about why straight pride isn’t needed and is redundant, but let’s just close with this:

“Gay pride has zero to do with whom I sleep with and everything to do with the fact that I survived you and your friends in school and now I am tough enough to walk down the street in my own skin.”

“Gay pride has zero to do with whom I sleep with and everything to do with the fact that I survived you and your friends in school and now I am tough enough to walk down the street in my own skin.”

Friday Bonus Five (critters and pride edition)

Since I’m on vaction and trying not to stress too much about the housework and packing I need to do before leaving for our mini trip, and because I did a fairly basic Friday Five last night after working later and because I saw several interesting animal stories when checking the news this morning, here is a bonus Friday Five!

So, here are five stories and five videos to add some cuteness and fun to your Friday:

This Week in the Animal Kingdom:

Oregon Zoo reveals names of rescued otter pups.

Writer spots that lions in Noah’s Ark kids’ books are nearly always ‘gay’.

Denver Zoo says male flamingos have been together for several years, could raise chick.

The London Zoo is celebrating Pride month in honor of its gay penguins.

Flying goats! Olympic Range mountain goats are being relocated by helicopter and ferry.

Videos!

Sea otters use tools, too. Now scientists look at their ‘archaeology’:

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Our Planet | Otters | Clip:

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The 10-month-old baby panda was named “Qiqi” at Shanghai Wild Animal Park:

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‘I’m being chased by an otter!’: Hilarious man versus beast:

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Penguin Chicks’ Stand Off Against Predator | Spy In The Snow | BBC Earth – Penguin chicks rescued by unlikely hero:

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Friday Five (love is love edition)

It’s the final Friday of Pride Month, and my husband and I are going on a small vacation.

It’s once again time for Locus Awards Weekend, a small sci-fi event we’ve been going to for a few years that is on the same weekend as Pride and whose hotel is conveniently really close to the end of the parade route and the location of the festival. So, Happy Pride!

Anyway, welcome to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five stories of interest to queer folks, the top two stories of the week, and five videos (plus things I wrote).

This Week in News for Queers and Allies:

Gay teen couple leading new telenovela makes history in Mexico.

Report: Just One Accepting Adult Can Save an LGBTQ Young Person’s Life.

The Older Generation to Young Gay Men: “Why the Fuck Are You Complaining?”. I would say some of the older generation, not all of us.

The Religious Roots of Pride.

These rainbow flag-waving corporations donated millions to anti-gay members of Congress.

Stories of the Week:

Selfies now more deadly than shark attacks – report.

I Don’t Know How To Explain To You That You Should Care About Other People .

Fit or Fitted – What’s the Difference? .

114 Times Trump Threw the LGBTQ Community Under the Bus.

German Locals Purchase Town’s Entire Beer Supply Ahead of Far-right Music Festival: ‘We Wanted to Dry the Nazis Out’.

Things I wrote:

Weekend Supplement 6/22/19: the spectrum from unreasonable to wonderful.

Sunday Funnies, part 37: What QQ.

Bone China Teacups, or more confessions of a sentimental fool.

You only gave us rights because we gave you riots: thoughts on Pride.

When did you know you were queer, or more confessions of an ex-evangelical homo devi.

Videos!

Everest: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO):

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Stranger Things 3 | Official Final Trailer | Netflix:

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LGBTQ+ Pride Month FYI: Larry Kramer | The View:

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21 Songs Every Gay Knows 🏳️‍🌈:

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Adam Lambert – Comin In Hot (Official Video):

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Weekend Supplement 6/22/19: the spectrum from unreasonable to wonderful

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This is not a usual Weekend Update. I changed the format of my Friday posts a few years ago for several reasons, one being that to include all of the links I gathered in a week took a much longer time to assemble the post than if I limited myself to a smaller number. This week was the first time since 2017 that I had significantly more than five videos I wanted to include, for instance. Plus a larger number of links than usual. Since I am running an online roleplaying game today, I know I won’t have time to do a typical Weekend Update on Saturday morning, so I’m assembling this post from links that almost, but didn’t quite, make it to the Friday Five.

Unreasonable People

Oregon governor sends police to find missing Republicans, bring them to Capitol. It gets weirder. Militia nutjobs have vowed to protect the senators. The senators are believed to be out of state so the state troopers can’t get them.

New Zealand Jails Nazi For Sharing Terror Attack Video.

Miami Herald: We Saw Naked Photos Of Falwell’s Wife. Seems as if Cohen’s claim that the blackmailer destroyed all the photos is wrong. Also: How cut-rate South Beach hostel launched Jerry Falwell Jr. ‘pool boy’ saga, naked picture hunt, and why it matters: Details emerging about behind-the-scenes maneuvering before Falwell’s 2016 endorsement of Trump.

Sandy Hook Father Wins Lawsuit Against Book Authors.

Alex Jones hit with sanctions by judge in Sandy Hook lawsuit.

MSNBC bashes ‘disorganized’ Trump for failing to ask about casualties until warplanes were launched against Iran. Given that the alleged president’s tweets about aborting the attack were grammatically correct, I’m assuming that Vladimir Putin dictated them after telling him to call off the strike.

Good News

How a Seattle skyscraper became a refuge for falcons – A once-endangered bird of prey thrives in a downtown high-rise.

Jon Hamm on ‘Good Omens’ and the Archangel Gabriel.

Videos

Good Omens [Bohemian Rhapsody]:

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Billy Porter “Love Yourself”:

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Dining at the Ritz:

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I’m Gay – Eugene Lee Yang – Eugene comes out as gay in his original, deeply personal music video, featuring music by ODESZA:

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