Tag Archive | news

Bigot Bulletin: Principal and Police Officer who harassed students at Oregon high school are both fired

“Good news: An oregon high school police officer and principal have been fired for anti-LGBT discrimination, including telling gay students they were going to hell, and forcing them to read the Bible as punishment for being gay.”

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I decided that this can’t wait until Friday. This is an update to a news story I shared as part of a previous Weekend Update: Oregon School Officials Who Discriminated Against Gay Kids Fired.

For some background: Gay teen says she went to school resource officer after getting bullied — and he told her she’s going to hell. The “resource officer” is a local police officer assigned to the school supposedly for the purpose of protecting the students. But he wasn’t the only problem. The principal of the school punished gay kids who reported incidents of being harassed (including at least one incident where the principal’s son nearly ran two of the other kids down with his car while yelling anti-gay slurs). Teachers who tried to help the kids in varying ways were retaliated against by the Principal and the district Superintendent, and so on.

So the Oregon Department of Education sent in an investigator. The local officials admitted to several issues, including that they had forced the gay kids to read and recite passages from the Bible as part of their punishment. The ODE investigator issued a report finding that the actions of the officials probably constituted illegal discrimination under Oregon law as well as a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s requirement of separation of church and state. A final finding was pending, but the state ordered to school district to come to a settlement with the kids and their parents by the end of April. They didn’t.

During that time, many more former and current students came forward, with more incidents of anti-LGBT and racial discrimination. Meanwhile, the ACLU was pursuing a lawsuit against the district.

Monday things came to a head: ACLU OF OREGON REACHES SWEEPING SETTLEMENT WITH NORTH BEND SCHOOL DISTRICT OVER LGBTQ DISCRIMINATION AND BIBLE READING.

How sweeping?

  • Principal fired
  • District dismisses Resource Officer and requests local police assign a new officer
  • District will create a diversity committee (keep in mind that teachers already tried to set up a Gay-Straight Alliance and were stopped by the principal) which will hold celebrations for Coming Out Day and Ally Week and will issue an annual report on how the school is doing on issues of diversity, inclusion, et cetera
  • District will hire an anti-discrimination expert to help them craft policies to appropriately respond to harassment and discrimination
  • District will donate $1000 to a local queer support group

Additionally, as a result of the state investigation, the district will be under supervision of the state ODE for at least five years while all of this is monitored. The remaining bit of less than awesome news from my point of view on this is that even though the state’s investigation and the discovery process of the lawsuit found that the district Superintendent knew about all of this and committed some of the retaliation from teachers who tried to help the queer kids, he isn’t being fired. Maybe everyone assumes with the state breathing down his neck he’ll behave?

I get such a bee in my bonnet on these stories because of my own experiences being bullied as a kid. More than one teacher and administrator told my parents that until I acted like “the other boys” or “normal” there was nothing they could do to prevent the bullying incidents. Never mind that some of the worst bullying came from teachers. In middle school I was called “faggot” and “sissy” by four specific teachers far more often than most of the other kids. And then there was the time I was the one threatened with expulsion for being bullied again and again, unless I attending regular counseling sessions where, apparently, the counselor was trying to teach me to act like a normal boy.

A lot of people think that those kinds of days are behind us, but these incidents happening for the last several years at this school are merely one of many such cases. Fortunately, the ACLU keeps coming in to represent the students, and again and again the districts wind up paying big penalties for their discrimination, bigotry, and bullying. As Dan Savage has asked (many times) when will public school administrators get it through their thick heads?

And I agree with Dan on another thing. This story is a good reminder to go make a donation to the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon!

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Friday Five (f– a silver lining edition)

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It’s the third Friday of May!

We had a couple days of much warmer than usual weather, then things went back to cooler… mostly. Unfortunately, the snowpack in the mountains is melting faster than usual because of this odd days. So some parts of the state are experiencing flooding, and it’s no longer certain we’re going to have plenty of water through the summer. Yeesh!

It’s Friday! That means it’s time to present my Friday Five: This week you get the top five (IMHO) stories of the week, plus the top five stories of interest to queer people, and top five videos (plus notable obituaries and a recap of my blog posts).

Stories of the Week:

Months After a Brutal Day in Charlottesville, a Tender Wedding.

How Do They Create The Sounds In Sex Scenes?

Now we know why Donald Trump “won” all four surprise swing states by the same one percent.

Boulder, Colorado, unanimously votes to ban assault weapons, high-capacity magazines.

Bitcoin’s energy use got studied, and you libertarian nerds look even worse than usual. In addition to being a scam, Bitcoin is actually a significant threat…

News for Queers and our allies:

Queer Teens Are Winning Prom, and These Pics Are Proof.

‘Patient Zero’: Correcting the Record on a Media-Made Gay Villain.

Too Many People Still Oppose Marriage Equality. That Could Spell Doom.

No, I Will Not Stop Talking About Queer Pride.

Mitch McConnell Appoints Hate Group Leader Tony Perkins to U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

In Memoriam:

Margot Kidder, ‘Superman’ Actress, Dies at 69.

Why MARGOT KIDDER Was the Best LOIS LANE Ever.

How Lois Lane became her own superhero.

Tom Wolfe, novelist and pioneer of New Journalism, dies at 88.

Tom Wolfe, Author of ‘The Right Stuff,’ Dies at 88.

Tom Wolfe’s ‘right stuff’ matters more than ever.

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 5/12/2018: At least some good news.

Believability isn’t just about fiction, or Let me tell you about my Evil Grandmother.

Videos!

Panic! At The Disco: (Fuck A) Silver Lining (Audio):

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Sannie – Boys on Girls:

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Sam Smith – Pray (Official Video) ft. Logic:

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Years & Years – If You’re Over Me (Official video):

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Michael Medrano – Heal (feat. Steve Grand):

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Weekend Update 5/12/2018: At least some good news

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Yep, it’s a weekend.

Even though I love the show and have watched it faithfully for five years, I wasn’t very surprised when Brooklyn 99 was canceled by Fox. One of the things the show excelled at (besides doing diversity right) was tackling important issues in a thoughtful way that was still funny hell. And let’s face it, diversity, thoughtfulness, and nuance are not exactly in Fox’s wheelhouse. Which isn’t to say the Fox’s entertainment network doesn’t carry diverse show. What I mean is that the people who make the business decisions are less likely to feel sympathy for such shows. No matter how much executives (at any network) may insist that it’s just about numbers and the bottom line, you can point to many examples of shows with worse numbers being kept around. Bias and sympathy do figure into how they see the numbers.

Goodbye, ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine.’ And thank you. It is a great show it is funny, and I agree with Mark Hamill who said on twitter that it was one of the great workplace comedies of all time, up there with shows such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Taxi.

Fortunately, the twitter storm and fan petitions and praise from famous actors and comedians seems to have paid off: ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ saved by NBC and Brooklyn Nine-Nine Cast Praises Fans After NBC Saves Canceled Fox Show: ‘You Did This!’.

It is worth noting that among the NBC executive comments quoted in the various articles about the show is a reference to the fact the Brooklyn 99 was a show created and produced by a division of NBC-Universal, and sold to Fox originally. Not being a show that Fox made internally means that profits from syndication deals for reruns are not as high as they would be for a show of similar popularity that had been wholly owned by Fox. This also probably figured into NBC’s decision to give the show a 13 episode sixth season. They get a lot of good PR out of the move, will presumably get acceptable ratings for those 13 episodes, and will get just a little bit more out of syndication having these additional episodes int he can.

I fully expect this to be the final season of the show. I suspect the writers and show runners will think of it that way: write a good send-off that leaves a possibility for continuing, but don’t count on it.

Related: I think it was not good that a number of fans who were screaming, before the NBC announcement, about their fave show being removed were doing so by denigrating other shows. First of all, come on, don’t attack things other people like merely because you don’t. It doesn’t matter how much you may dislike another series (whether it be movies, TV shows, books, whatever), that doesn’t mean that there are not people who genuinely like it. It’s okay to critique, especially if a show is overtly racist (I’m looking at you, Roseanne reboot) or gratuitously misogynist (and now looking at you, Supernatural), but dismissal is not the same as critique.

There other thing, it isn’t really relevant. The shows most people were mentioning were not Fox shows. At least if you’re going to make an observation about, “How dare they cancel my fave while keeping X on the air” choose something that involves the same they. Pick something that Fox is keeping on the air to make your comparison to, like the very derivative 9-1-1, for instance.

Anyway, at least those of us who love the show will get some more Brooklyn 99. I can just quietly sob in the corner over hear that we can’t say the same for another of my favorites: Fox Cancels Fan Favorite Lucifer After Three Seasons.


Now let’s have a couple things that are more typical for a weekend update: Anti-Gay Former Michigan Assistant AG Loses Appeal To Keep His Law License. I’ve written before about this self-loathing closet case who target, stalked, harassed, and encouraged others to harass and send death threats to a young gay man who had been elected student body president of the same university the assistant attorney general had graduated from years earlier. Note that the guy used state equipment to do the stalking and to post the online harassment, as well as doing a lot of it when he was supposed to be working. In one incident, when neighbors had called in the suspicious car that had been circling the block where the student lived, the guy lied to police saying that he was staking out someone for a legitimate investigation.

Originally the Michigan Attorney General claimed to have investigated the instances and said the guy was merely expressing opinions. Then, after the parents of the harassed gay student were interviewed on TV about the incident, a prosecutor announced he would run against the AG to clean up the department (and polls showed he might win), then suddenly the AG asked an semi-retired judge to perform an outside investigation. While that judge couldn’t reveal the specifics of the original internal investigation, his own report indicated that all the evidence necessary to justify firing the assistant AG had been contained in the first investigation. Anyway, the anti-gay assistant AG was fired, then disbarred, and now he’s lost his last appeal of the disbarment.

Couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.

Now, let’s hope that something similar happens to some school officials: Oregon school allegedly forced LGBTQ student to read Bible as punishment. Before anyone points out that there is a hearing coming up, please note that in the initial official report, the administrator who is disputing that these incidents constitute discrimination has admitted that the student was forced to read the Bible as punishment. So there isn’t really an “allegedly” there. The administrator and supervisor are only disputing that this and other incidents don’t count as discrimination. They aren’t denying that the things happened.

This is a public school, therefore a government-run institution, and the Constitution conservatives claim to love prohibits the establishment of religion, which means while acting in your official capacity you can’t use your religion to justify actions, and you sure as hell can’t force people to read your holy book to try to convince them to agree with you. Which, when you make a queer kid read the parts of the Bible you think condemn homosexuality as “punishment” of the crime of complaining about being called a faggot on school grounds, is clearly what the school official was doing.

The Oregon Department of Education has already made the finding that these incidents probably (duh) violate the state’s anti-discrimination law and the Constitution. I sure hope the ACLU is involved and these administrators get sued into oblivion.

Friday Five (financial consequences edition)

“Capitalists 'I'll employ workers for as low a wage as possible to maximize profits. 'Why don't people have enough money to buy all of my commodities?'”

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It’s Friday! And it’s the second Friday of May!

Most of the plants on the veranda are blooming and growing. I repotted one lavender that got drowned during the monsoon like weather we had in April and still waiting for it to recover. Knock wood. In its former pot I planted a rosemary plant last weekend which in a single week has gone from about three inches tall to ber eight, so that’s good! Alas, while I still love my flowers, my sinuses continue to hate all the pollen, so there’s been a lot of hay fever stuff going on all week.

It’s Friday! That means it’s time to present my Friday Five: This week you get the top five (IMHO) stories of the week, plus the top five stories of interest to geeky people, and top five videos (plus notable obituaries and a recap of my blog posts).

Stories of the Week:

Photos: Star Wars characters get Indigenized by Comox First Nation artist.

Boeing to lose $20B as Trump withdraws from Iran pact.

Professor Explores Dark Side of the Anti-Trafficking Movement.

Gay 17-Year-Old Leaves Behind A Heartbreaking Suicide Note. And is family asked the the note be shared with the public.

A megachurch pastor just went viral warning evangelicals that their Trump hypocrisy is “killing” their churches.

Geekery and Science!:

Why Pluto is a planet and many moons are, too.

Corals Are in Serious Trouble. This Lab Could Help Save Them.

Reader Request Week 2018 #6: The Fall(?!?!?) of Heinlein.

There’s six types of straight people who have same-sex experiences, expert says.

The Silurian hypothesis: would it be possible to detect an industrial civilization in the geological record?

In Memoriam:

[R.I.P.] Creature Performer Noble Craig Was an Unsung Horror Icon.

Things I wrote:

One year of being an ex-Seattleite.

Cocky romance author testing my ability to suspend disbelief.

Good, bad; I’m the guy with the gun — more of why I love sf/f.

Videos!

Jim Parsons: It’s Never ‘Too Late’ For Gay Representation On Film:

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Shelby Earl – Strong Swimmer [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]:

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Sam Smith – Pray (Official Video) ft. Logic:

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An Unforgettable Performance by Panic! At the Disco:

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Ryan O’Shaughnessy performs ‘Together’ | Eurovision Song Contest | RTÉ2:

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Cocky romance author testing my ability to suspend disbelief

“I don't drink coffee to wake up. I wake up to drink coffee.”

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A concept we often talk about when critiquing someone’s fiction is the “willing suspension of disbelief.” The phrase was coined by the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, when he said that if a writer could infuse their tale with a human interest and a semblance of truth, the reader will react to even the most fantastic tale as if it were real. The semblance of truth means, among other things, that events within the story don’t feel out of place. Once we have accepted that frogs can have a passionate debate about the nature of government, for instance, we are not at all surprised when later in the tale a stork expresses a different opinion. The suspension of disbelief is broken if the writer introduces incongruities or forces the reader to stop following the tale to try to understand a confusing phrase. One friend often phrases it as, “bounced me out of the story.”

There is a flip side to this concept of being bounced out of the story. It is implicit in the relationship between a reader and a story that when one first opens a book (or opens a reading app, et cetera) the reader is ready to give the story the benefit of the doubt. Which isn’t to say that a reader is obligated to keep reading if they don’t enjoy the story or it becomes confusing or whatever. It just means that for the first sentence or so the reader will accept what is being offered.

Different readers have different definitions of that initial willingness to accept the story. I once had an English teacher insist that a good story shouldn’t begin with a compound, complex sentence. An arrogant smart aleck student in the class1 pointed out that the classic novel, A Tale of Two Cities, opens with a single very long sentence:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

One reason that opening works is because it doesn’t sound, in one’s head, like a run-on sentence. It has almost a musicality to it that builds and builds as it goes along. My favorite bit is the “we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…”

Somedays when I read the news, I find myself convinced that we’re all going that other way and in a handbasket of colossal proportions.

But occasionally that handbasket induces a few giggles. Such as #CockyGate: This Romance Novelist Trademarked the Word ‘Cocky’: And now she’s threatening other writers with legal action if they don’t change their book titles and The #CockyGate Trademark Kerfuffle. The article gives more details. An intellectual property lawyer working with the Romance Writers of America has filed a petition with the Trademark office to invalidate the trademark on the word (and it is possible this will work; but the system has been inconsistent).

The notion that someone could trademark an adjective and forbid other people using that word in their stories (or even just the titles of stories) is a chilling one. I hope that, like the “space marine” trademark issue from five years ago, that this trademark bully will be stopped.

Because that’s what this is: bullying. The cocky author has been sending cease and desist messages to any other romance author who has used the word in a book title, including books that were first published long before she started writing herself. She’s been threatening to issue takedown notices to Amazon (just like the space marine trademark bully did years ago), which can result in lost sales as well as messing up their review and ratings histories, even when Amazon re-instates the listing. Also, some books were taken down when the cocky author contacted Amazon directly without first sending a letter to the author. The RWA and their lawyer has since contacted Amazon, to ask them to stop taking action on any cocky romance books until the legal matter is resolved. Fortunately, the books were restored.

It’s also a likely case of the Dunning-Kruger effect. This is the notion that incompetent people aren’t able to recognize their incompetence. In this case, I say that in part because of how the cease and desist messages are worded. Rather than having an actual lawyer draft the letters (which would cost money), she is writing her own, and her messages include the statement, “my lawyers have advised me that I will win all the monies you have earned on this title, plus lawyer fees will be paid by you.” Which clearly is not a statement a competent lawyer would make. The lawyer might say that if she prevails in a lawsuit that she might be entitled to the money earned and so forth, but they would never say they were even guaranteed to prevail.

And someone has already posted a parody book called, Too Cocky for the Law: Cockier Than the Rest (Cocky Legal Book 1), and have included the word cocky and many synonyms in the description. I have heard that the proceeds of the book are going to help with the legal fees of the trademark challenge, but I wasn’t able to confirm that.

I have been very tempted to create a parody e-book with the title Cocky Space Marine, but since I have crazy deadlines at my day job and a couple of fiction writing deadlines also looming, I really shouldn’t… even if the story almost writes itself…


Footnotes

1. It was me, all right.

Friday Five (May the Fourth edition)

And we’re into May!

The weather is doing it’s usual May thing already: some days that hint at summer, interspersed with cooling and drizzle. And, oh! That is pollen everywhere! I’m maxing out on my allergy meds and it’s barely helping!

It’s Friday! That means it’s time to present my Friday Five: This week you get the top five (IMHO) stories of the week, plus the top five stories of interest to geeky people, and top five videos (plus notable obituaries and a recap of my blog posts).

Stories of the Week:

This 84-year-old Mayor, Bartender, and Librarian Is Her Town’s Only Resident.

White Supremacist Jacob Goodwin Found Guilty of Beating DeAndre Harris in Charlottesville Parking Garage.

Fake antifa posts reportedly tricked police into massive show of force for neo-Nazi rally.

LGBT Alarm As President Trump Signs ‘Religious Liberty’ Executive Order.

Police accidentally released this antigay terrorist from custody and now they can’t find him.

Geekery and Science!:

Gooey, Magma Ocean May Have Once Roiled Inside the Moon.

A new giant virus found in the waters of Oahu, Hawaii.

When You Should—and Should Not—Rescue Baby Birds.

Jenny and Maureen Solve the Genre Wars.

HOW THE CREATORS OF WICOMICON EXECUTED A BLERD CONVENTION IN A WEEK.

In Memoriam:

Charles Neville Of The Neville Brothers Dies At 79.

8-term Washington congressman Al Swift dies at 82. Best known for the Motor Voter law…

‘Golden Girls,’ ‘Partridge Family’ producer Paul Junger Witt dies at 77.

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 4/28/2018: A lot going on here….

Now is the month of Maying….

A sneaky oral surgeon – or, adventures with the dentally anxious.

Videos!

Alt-right Proud Boy gets beat by sign. May Day in Seattle.:

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Stephen Colbert (The Other One) On Michelle Wolf’s WHCD Speech:

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Trump’s Michigan Rally Goes Off the Rails: A Closer Look:

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Rudy Giuliani Fuels Trump’s Stormy Daniels Scandal | The Daily Show:

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Céline Dion – Ashes (from the Deadpool 2 Motion Picture Soundtrack):

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Weekend Update 4/28/2018: A lot going on here…

© Tom Toles. Clcik to embiggen.

Ryan’s Dismissal Of House Chaplain Sparks Outrage And Suspicion. One of the chaplain’s prayer’s included the line: “May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans.”

Yeah, the Republicans can’t stand that kind of radical religion!

Asking you to stop punching us in the face and stabbing us in the back isn’t being disrespectful… (click to embiggen)

NPR: Conservatives Are Sad Because No One Likes Them.

I’m just going to turn this one over to Dan Savage:

The “average American conservative” spends the day attacking women, people of color, gays and lesbians, illegal immigrants, legal immigrants, trans people, non-Christians, leftwing Christians, Democrats, progressives, liberals, sex havers, sex workers, people who’ve had abortions, people who use birth control, single moms, football players, basketball players, late night talk show hosts, teachers, actors, singers, Olympians, “Hollywood,” high school students who survived mass school shootings, the poor, the disabled, Gold Star parents, Gold Star widows, environmentalists, news reporters, cable news anchors who don’t work for Rupert Murdoch, rappers, college professors, college students, union members, scientists, non-scientists who believe in science, the elderly, “takers” on Social Security and Medicaid and Medicare, people who live in big cities and blue states… and then they run to NPR to whine about how nobody likes them. JESUS FUCKING CHRIST.

I don’t know how many times we have to say this: there aren’t “both sides” to this thing. One side is constantly attacking the other, and then insist that even if all we do is protest being constantly dehumanized and worse, that we’re the aggressors.

And it’s no longer just queer people they’re going after. Again, I’ll let Dan explain it:

I’m old enough to remember when most of the attacks were directed at queers. Or that’s how it felt in the 1980s, anyway, when I was a young queer. The AIDS Crisis, Robert Mapplethorpe, Anita Bryant, Jesse Helms, and Ronald Reagan. It felt like—what’s the expression? Oh, right: like we were being bombarded daily with murderous disrespect. That I can sit down and make list of the people being attacked daily by conservatives now and that list includes football players, to say nothing of late-night talk show hosts, teachers, and the FBI… it blows my fucking mind. They don’t like ANYBODY and they can’t figure out why no one likes them?

“Can you name all 59 women who came forward against Cosby? Can you name half of them? Can you name 5? Would you recognize them out of context? Do you want an autograph? Cool. So can we agree that women don't make rape accustions to become famous?”

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Bill Cosby convicted on three counts of sexual assault.

Five universities revoke Bill Cosby’s honorary degrees after sexual assault conviction.

I used listened to some Cosby comedy albums my parents owned so much, that I could recite entire routines from memory, with appropriate pauses and verbal sound effects. After reading some of the stories of the 59 women who came forward… well, I can’t bring myself to listen to his voice.

Always shifting the blame… (click to embiggen)

The “Incel Rebellion” Is Misogynist Terrorism. So Why Do So Many People Still Put the Blame on Women?

The Toronto Van Attack Suspect Was Obsessed With Rejection From Women. He Is Not Alone Among Violent Men.

Why are ‘incels’ so angry? The history of the little-known ideology behind the Toronto attack.

Unfortunately society brews a toxic stew of slut-shaming women, telling young men that the only way to be a man is to never feel empathy or treat others with respect, and then we wonder why things like this happen. That’s not all that’s in play, here. It takes an incredibly big mass of hubris to keep insisting that nothing that is wrong in your life could possibly be your fault. Think about the cognitive dissonance that has to be going on: on the one hand most of these guys have embraced the notion that they are not as attractive as other men and so forth, but they also believe that they can do nothing wrong. It ought to make their heads explode.

Now, me bringing up the toxic double-standards of society is not to say, in any way, they these guys are victims. There comes a point where a person should learn to question their assumptions, to question and examine the things they’ve been taught, look around at the world and all the evidence in it, and ask themselves if maybe some of those things are f—ed up. It’s called growing up.

These guys have no one but themselves to blame.

That’s enough about that. I have errands to do and an Avengers movie to see. Time to go be productive!

One person can only do so much... or cross out the only, and One person can do so much.

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Friday Five (heroes edition)

Good guy without a gun (click to embiggen)

April is nearly over. Wow.

It has been a very weird month, weather-wise. First couple of weeks temperatures were about 10 degrees below normal and we had a whole lot more rain than usual for this time of year. Then it dried out and for most of this week temperatures were at least 10 degrees above normal. The rain is supposed to come back this weekend.

It’s Friday! That means it’s time to present my Friday Five: This week you get the top five (IMHO) stories of the week, plus the top five stories of interest to geeky people, and top five videos (plus notable obituaries and a recap of my blog posts).

Stories of the Week:

Man fought gunman: He ‘was going to have to work to kill me’. Waffle House Hero.

Man In Underwear Saves Woman From Kidnapping, Knocks Out Attacker’s Tooth. Boxer Short Hero

Wisconsin AG Brad Schimel admits Voter ID a scheme to suppress democratic voters.

The Truth About the 7,000: Why are there still so many AIDS-related deaths?

‘Imploding’: Financial troubles. Lawsuits. Trailer park brawls. Has the alt-right peaked? (Remember the rule of headlines that ask a yes/no question…)

Geekery and Science!:

Back to the wild! How letting Mother Nature reclaim prime farmland and allowing cattle and ponies to run free produced breathtaking results.

Scientists accidentally found this octopus nursery deep in the Pacific Ocean.

It Be Your Own People: On Universal FanCon and the Perversion of Community.

Scientists Genetically Engineered Flies to Ejaculate Under Red Light.

Space-Hopping ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Raises The Stakes To Infinity — And Beyond. This is actually an NPR portal to a group of non-spoilery reviews they’ve targeted to people with varying degrees of geekiness. It’s an interesting idea…

In Memoriam:

My Best Friend.

Come Thou.

She spoke to the soul.

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 4/22/2018: Attacking child survivors of school shootings.

My young man.

Water for the temple plants.

Oppressed Oppressors: Hateful, Angry Men.

Videos!

Homophobia In 2018 | Time For Love:

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Seth Meyers: Trump’s ‘FOX & Friends’ Rant Was ‘the First Time a TV Show Had to Change Its Number Because of a Stalker’:

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Patton Oswalt Talks About the Golden State Killer:

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‘We found the needle in the haystack’: Golden State Killer suspect arrested after sudden DNA match:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/c/embed/2fdfb162-48d2-11e8-8082-105a446d19b8

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TOP POP, VOL. I MEDLEY – Pentatonix:

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Oppressed Oppressors: Hateful, Angry Men

"Stop making excuses for hateful, angry men"

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I’m a news junkie who bookmarks stories all the time, which is why for years I posted a weekly round up of those bookmarks in a Friday Links post. I’ve scaled that back to the Friday Five, in part because by limiting the number of stories I post I don’t have to share quite so many outrage-generating stories. But sometimes it’s useful to share some of the less than happy news. If you don’t know about the people who are trying to take your rights or livelihood away, you can’t do anything about it, for instance. So this post is going to be about a couple of different seemingly unrelated stories of angry, hateful men in the news lately, along with some commentary. If you don’t want to read about that sort of thing, don’t click through. Otherwise… Read More…

Weekend Update 4/22/2018: Attacking child survivors of school shootings

NYSFOP withdraws endorsement of GOP Senate candidate Julie Killian  Hicksville, NY (April 18, 2018) The New York State Fraternal Order of Police is formally withdrawing our endorsement of the State Senate 37th District Candidate Julie Killian. This decision has been made after Killian’s Fund-Raising host took to twitter attacking Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg.  The New York State Fraternal Order of Police will never support a candidate or campaign that condones the attack on child survivors of a school shooting.

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Once again, stories that I either didn’t see in time to consider for the Friday Five have turned up and I feel a need to comment. This is what we’ve come to. Republicans have been attacking the high school students who survived the Parkland shooting, because those students have been rallying for gun control: Conservatives Still Can’t Stop Attacking Parkland Shooting Survivor David Hogg. Well, at least a couple of these despicable Republicans are facing some consequences. The nation’s largest law enforcement union mad a dramatic announcement this week:

NYSFOP withdraws endorsement of GOP Senate candidate Julie Killian

Hicksville, NY (April 18, 2018) The New York State Fraternal Order of Police is formally withdrawing our endorsement of the State Senate 37th District Candidate Julie Killian. This decision has been made after Killian’s Fund-Raising host took to twitter attacking Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg.

The New York State Fraternal Order of Police will never support a candidate or campaign that condones the attack on child survivors of a school shooting.

Unfortunately, later that day they re-endorsed her after she denounced the fund-raiser and returned the donations. I say unfortunately because it isn’t just the fund-raising host who made the comments. As the story I linked above points out, she has attacked David Hogg herself many times. So apparently they will endorse someone who attacks child survivors of school shootings after all.

It’s not just state senate candidates: Sandy Hook Parents Sue Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones Over Claim Shooting Was ‘Fake’. Personally, I hope they win big and put him out of business for good. Of course now that he’s facing possible consequences, after ten years of badmouthing these parents (and in my opinion, essentially desecrating the memories of murdered children), he’s suddenly saying, Alex Jones, Backtracking, Now Says Sandy Hook Shooting Did Happen.

I just keep shaking my head that these people are prioritizing gun manufacturer’s profits over the lives of children: Florida Leaders Keep Embarrassing Themselves by Attacking Parkland Survivors

Editorial Cartoon by Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News

False Flag: February 22, 2018