Tag Archive | news

Friday Five (no punching bag edition)

It’s Friday! And it’s the second Friday in July.

I really wish I could blame Camp NaNoWriMo on how little blogging I’ve been doing, but it’s all down to the string of more than 10-hour days as we zero in on yet another ridiculous deadline at work. And now the heat is back, and I don’t deal well when the weather gets hot.

Anyway, here I present this week’s Friday Five: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week, the top five videos, and a couple of notable obituaries (plus my blog posts).

Stories of the Week:

You don’t get to call me a sinner AND help yourself to my gay tax dollars.

Republicans Thought Peter Strozk Would Be a Punching Bag. He Just Knocked Them Out.

‘Ghost particle’ found in Antarctica provides astronomy breakthrough. And for more informationg: Why a 4-Billion-Year-Old Particle That Hit Antarctica Is Such a Big Deal.

Samsung phones are spontaneously texting users’ photos to random contacts without their permission.

How the Disposable Straw Explains Modern Capitalism , and related: Disposable Plastic Straws Suck. Try These Disability-Friendly Alternatives.

In Memoriam:

Hollywood film star known for Damn Yankees, The Burning Hills and his TV sitcom, The Tab Hunter Show.

Obituary – Tab Hunter, Hollywood golden boy forced to hide his sexuality.

Steve Ditko, Spider-Man Co-Creator and Legendary Comics Artist, Dies at 90.

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 7/7/2018: White people who think the police are fugitive slave catchers.

Playing Piano on a Star’s Surface and Other Impossible Things — more of why I love sf/f.


Gene Editing: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO):

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

Steve Grand – “don’t let the light in” [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]:

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

Cazwell – Cakes:

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

Stephen Colbert: Red Hot Congressional Strzok Fest 2018:

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

Youngr – Lost In Translation (Official Video):

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


Weekend Update 7/7/2018: White people who think the police are fugitive slave catchers

l to r: Pool Patrol Paul, Permit Patty, BBQBecky [Image: Michael Harriot (Jasmine Edwards, HipHop DX, Emen)]

l to r: Pool Patrol Paul, Permit Patty, BBQ Becky—what do they have in common? [Image: Michael Harriot (Jasmine Edwards, HipHop DX, Emen)]

Yesterday’s edition of Friday Five included the story of a 12-year-old black kid who was mowing a lawn (which he had been hired to do) when neighbors called the cops on him. That was not the only episode of a white person calling the police on a black person this week: Pool Patrol Paul.

So, a woman and her daughter went to use the pool owned by the neighborhood Home Owners Association, of which the black woman is a member (which means she is one of the owners of the pool). There are a couple of different videos of the incident, with the guy explaining that it isn’t racial, he’s just enforcing the rules. A white woman in the background of one video points out that she wasn’t asked to show her ID. A few moments later, after the police determine the the black woman has a valid keycard to unlock the gate, and the white guy tries to imply that the black woman stole the key card from a valid resident, an different white woman says, “You didn’t make me sign in!” The guy has subsequently resigned from the board of the home owners association, resigned from his position as the “pool chairman” and either was fired or agreed to resign from his job.

The funniest take I’ve read on this was written by Michael Harriot: Sentient Marshmallow Calls Police on Black Woman for Swimming in Her Own Pool, which is where I grabbed the image above, because he has a theory as to why certain white people, as he asks, who do “white people believe the cops are their personal fugitive slave catchers. Are police supposed to be universal technical support for white people? Why are white people like this?”

At least Pool Patrol Paul remained non-violent, unlike Pool Patrol Paula (no relation): A white woman allegedly hit a black teen, used racial slurs and told him to leave a pool. Then she bit a cop. Last week a group of 15-year-olds showed up at a pool, invited there by a friend, and this woman started yelling at them that they couldn’t be there. The boys (and at least one other witness) say that she used a racial slur, which is what prompted one of the kids to start recording it on his phone. The phone really set her off, because he shouts and comes at him, trying to bat the phone away and she hits him several times. She asks angrily, “How does that feel?” after hitting him. The boys retreat, at least one can be heard very politely saying, “Yes, ma’am, we’re leaving.” Police, reviewing the video and talking to at least one witness at the pool, then got an arrest warrant and went to pick her up. She fought the two cops at her home, injuring both of them—biting one severally enough to break his skin. She’s been charged with assault and battery on the teen, plus two counts of assault on the cops. She’s out on bond, but she has also been fired from her job.

I saw at least one comment to the effect that Pool Patrol Paula, since she got violent with the cops, has some other issues and this shouldn’t be considered a racial case. That’s the wrong way of looking at it.

Let’s go to the case of Pool Patrol Paul insisting that he was only doing his duty as the pool chair person, which including making sure the facilities weren’t used by non-members. When it was pointed out that he didn’t ask anyone else there to prove they belonged, he dodged the question. One of the explanations given over the fact was that he simply didn’t recognize her, since she had bought the house and moved in recently.

Seems plausible, right?

One of the big disconnects that people who are not members of a marginalized group have about the nature of racism, sexism, homophobia, and so forth, is that bigotry is about feeling a burning hatred for those people. But bigotry is much, much more subtle than that. The video indicates that the pool was pretty crowded. It was a hot day, it was Independence Day, so a lot of people were there. It is not possible to believe that in that situation that he carefully assessed every face around the pool, ticking off names from his mental list. As two of the white women there pointed out, he wasn’t enforcing the rule that everyone sign in—until the black woman and her black daughter showed up.

Systemic bigotry is a subtle, insidious force that we absorb throughout our lives. It tints our perceptions, creating filters in our minds that we don’t process consciously. Our brains are really good at classifying things, people, and sounds we recognize. But it classifies them according to these assumptions that we don’t always understand.

I have no problem believing that Pool Patrol Paul did not literally think, upon seeing the two enter the area, “Uh, oh! Can’t let the n—–s in the pool!” It’s more subtle than that. All of the white skinned people moving around him registered to his subconscious as folks who belong, without him thinking about it. The racial issue made him notice the woman and her daughter, and once he noticed, only then did he think, “I don’t recognize them.”

He asked her her name and address. He went into the office, then came out and asked for her ID. In subsequent attempts to explain himself, he first claimed that he forgot the address by the time he got inside to look her up. Then he changed the story to say that the address she gave was for a part of the subdivision that hadn’t completed construction. Then he said that she gave two different addresses.

What really happened is: she gave him a name and her address. He went inside and looked that name up, and it was the name of a home association member registered at that address. But his gut told him she was lying (later he told the police that it’s possible the key card was stolen). So he went back and asked for her ID.

And the problem is that he never asked himself why his gut was telling him she didn’t belong. And given what statements have come out since, he still hasn’t asked himself that question.

Similarly with Paula—she seems to be a more inherently violent person, but again, it isn’t just that she’s violent, it’s why she immediately assumed those boys didn’t belong at the pool (where she was just a person using it herself; she wasn’t responsible for enforcing any rules), and therefore were legitimate targets for assault. When the cops came to her home a couple days later to arrest her, of course she was outraged! She had done nothing wrong, in her mind.

Michael Harriot was on to something with the comment about perceiving police as personal fugitive slave catchers. These incidents happen because on a fundamental level, people like Pool Patrol Paul and Paula, and BBQ Becky, and Permit Patty, and the neighbors who called the police on a 12-year-old for mowing a lawn, all perceive certain people as not belonging. More than that, they perceive the presence of (in these cases) black people in these places as a wrong that must be righted.

Until they understand that about themselves, they’re going to keep doing things like this, while loudly proclaiming that they aren’t bigots.

Friday Five (barnstorming space probe edition)

© Mike Luckovich

It’s Friday! And it’s the first Friday in July.

Most of my writing effort is going to Camp NaNoWriMo, so there will be fewer updates here than usual. I’m currently on a small vacation, as well.

Anyway, here I present this week’s Friday Five: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week of, top five stories about people disappointing us, the top five videos, and a notable obituary (plus what I posted this week).

Stories of the Week:

Spiders Can Fly Hundreds of Miles Using Electricity: Scientists are finally starting to understand the centuries-old mystery of “ballooning”.

Dawn is now barnstorming Ceres and seeing wonders.

Pixar’s Bao Is More Than an Appetizer: It Is a Landmark in Asian Visibility.

Today’s Purple Hearts were first made for the invasion of Japan.

We Should Be Building Cities for People, Not Cars. The most interesting bit of this story is the fact that the makers of Sim City had to abandon their original plans to base the game on real cities, because so many parking lots made city look uninteresting!

People behaving badly:

12-year-old black kid gets cops called on him for cutting neighbors’ grass. But it isn’t all bad: Boy’s lawn business picks up after neighbors call police on him.

Powerful GOP Rep. Jim Jordan accused of turning blind eye to sexual abuse as Ohio State wrestling coach. 1,500 to 2,000 college-aged boys may have been sexually assaulted or raped by a doctor who GOP Rep ‪Jordan‬ allegedly protected. There’s more: Fourth Ohio State wrestler says Rep. Jim Jordan knew about sexual abuse when he was coach.

Keep the focus on Trump’s cruelty and incompetence.

Man suspected of killing 21 co-workers by poisoning their food.

An Addendum to An Addendum: Problematic writer was problematic.

In Memoriam:

Dick Leitsch, ‘Sip-In’ leader, is dead at age 83.

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 6/30/2018: Hypocrisy, faux civility, and why we mustn’t stop fighting.

More likely to replace than upgrade — confessions of a penny-pinching gadget lover.

Hey, campers! Let’s get writing!

Oppressed Oppressors: Civility Isn’t What You Think


Jon Stewart Is Ready To Negotiate With Donald Trump:

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

G Flip – Killing My Time (Official Music Video):

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

Keiynan Lonsdale – Preach (Official Music Video):

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

Broadway United: We Are the World:

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

Panic! At The Disco: Hey Look Ma, I Made It [OFFICIAL VIDEO]:

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

Weekend Update 6/30/2018: Hypocrisy, faux civility, and why we mustn’t stop fighting

“Mitch McConnell, 2016" 'One of my proudest moments was when I told Obama You will not fills this Supreme Court vacancy.'”

(click to embiggen)

We now know that Supreme Court Justice Kennedy’s decision to leave the court was not his own. The White House has been pushing for it: Trump’s little known ties to Justice Kennedy & the scheme to nudge him out and Inside the White House’s Quiet Campaign to Create a Supreme Court Opening and What we’re reading: The White House’s subtle push for Kennedy’s retirement. What is particularly scary is the number of sources that say the phrase, “time is of the essence” when they were communicating with Kennedy. What would the alleged president and his advisors (including the billionaire Koch brothers) bring pressure to bear to push Kennedy out and get a more conservative justice confirmed less than 16 weeks before the midterm elections? What could the possible reasons be?

Well, there are at least two reasons. The simplest one is that if the Dems manage to take back the Senate, they could prevent Cadet Bonespur from appointing anyone new to the court. So at least some of the GOP operatives see this as their only chance to ensure future court rulings continue to take rights away from workers, women, queers, and everyone else that isn’t a Republican billionaire.

But that isn’t the only issue! Now that we know that Justice Kennedy’s son arranged for Trump to get a billion dollar loan, and that Trump has made references to Kennedy’s son within earshot of live microphones just about every time the Justice and the alleged president have been together in public, it seems extremely likely that among those dozens of sealed indictments that Robert Mueller has obtained over the last year or so is probably against Kennedy’s son. This could result, if any of the related indictments or Cadet Bonespur’s attempts to pardon (pre-emptively or not) key people winds up being appealed to the Supreme Court. While recusal is solely up to each Justice, it would be very unlikely that Kennedy would not recuse himself if his son was involved in a case before the Court.

Though it angers me enough that the Republicans stole a seat from Obama last year, and I’m not looking forward to what the court will do with another arch conservative on the bench, I do take heart that despite all the brave talk about a red wave, the people in the know (like those billionaire mentioned above) are acting as if there is a good chance that the Senate won’t have a Republican majority after November. So there is that, I guess.

In other hopeful news, the resistance is alive and well: Thousands across U.S. join ‘Keep Families Together’ march to protest family separation. And people have some great signs: 21 Signs From Americans Fed Up With Trump At Families Belong Together Marches.

The marches themselves may not directly accomplish something, but the turn-out indicates people are willing to take action (which includes voting in November).

“Hypocrisy is when Republicans spent eight years disrespecting, delegitimizing and obstructing Pres. Obama, but now say 'Come together to support our president (t)rump because his success is our success.'”

(click to embiggen)

Meanwhile, there have been continued mock outrage over things like a restaurant deciding it didn’t want to serve members of this administration that our aiding and abetting the kidnapping of children at the border, taking health care from tens of thousands, encouraging white supremacists to commit violence, and so forth. I don’t always agree with columnist Michelangelo Signorile, but this week I do: Fuck Civility. And an extra stron f– you to the editorial writers who seem to think that getting in the face of people who have either ordered the commission of these crimes (mass separation of families is defined under international law–the very agreements our country help promulgate after World War II–as genocide and is a crime against humanity) is somehow just as bad or worse than actually committing those heinous acts.

ETA: I hadn’t seen this interview with Hilary at the Guardian: Hillary Clinton: ‘What is more uncivil than taking children away?’

“Give me a break! What is more uncivil and cruel than taking children away? It should be met with resolve and strength. And if some of that comes across as a little uncivil, well, children’s lives are at stake.”

Friday Five (TOOOOKE-lahoma edition)

The New York Posts sums up the situation correctly, again.

The New York Posts sums up the situation correctly, again.

It’s the final week of Pride Month. And it’s Friday!

Last weekend did not quite go according to plan. My husband came down with a cold on Friday, and decided he shouldn’t be hanging out at the convention hotel infecting other people. So I attended Locus Awards Weekend alone. He had hoped to be well enough Sunday morning to join me for the parade, but then woke up feeling much worse. Despite him telling me to go join the festivities, I decided to head home and try to take care of him. I enjoyed the events of the con and came home with a pile of new books, and I saw a lot of people dressed up in their Pride gear.

Here I present this week’s Friday Five: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week of interest to queer people, top five general interest stories, and top five videos, and a couple of notable obituaries.

Queer stories of the Week:

Court Upholds Damages in Same-Sex Wedding Cake Case .

Jared Polis could become America’s first openly gay elected governor.

Sharon Brackett Becomes First Transgender Woman Elected To Public Office In Maryland.

99 Photos of Pride Beyond Borders In Seattle.

Education watchdog rebukes school that redacted history textbooks to remove gay Holocaust victims.

Other stories of the Week:

Dragons and wealth inequality.

Asteroid Arrival! Japanese Probe Reaches ‘Spinning-Top’ Space Rock Ryugu.

Maryland shooting: At least five dead as gunman opens fire at Capital Gazette newspaper building in Annapolis.

Breaking down the impact of Kennedy’s retirement.

Study Suggests White People are More Likely to Assault Black, Latino People Than the Other Way Around. As one friend who shared this online noted, “in other words, water is still wet”

In Memoriam:

Christopher Stasheff, author of Warlock In Spite of Himself, and Her Majesty’s Wizard, dead at 74.

Harlan Ellison, Provocative Sci-Fi Writer of ‘Star Trek,’ ‘A Boy and His Dog,’ Dies at 84.

Things I wrote:

Sunday Funnies, part 30.


Rep. Maxine Waters Responds To President Donald Trump Attacks:

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

Chris Hayes Explains Why It’s Important to Yell at Public Officials:

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

CNN anchor fact-checks Trump supporter on family separations:

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

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez Surprised Everyone, Even Herself:

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

Troye Sivan – Bloom:

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

Weekend Update 7/23/2018: Stop Mincing Words, Don’t Derail, and Shed a Tear

Upper picture is a child taken from parents by U.S. ICE agents, lower is child taken from parents by the original Nazis during WWII. Can we spot the similarities?

American attorney and author Mike Godwin coined his eponymous law on Usenet in 1990. Godwin’s law (or Godwin’s rule of Hitler analogies) is an internet adage asserting that “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler approaches 1”; that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Adolf Hitler or his deeds. Promulgated by the American attorney and author Mike Godwin in 1990…. [There] is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that, when a Hitler comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever made the comparison loses whatever debate is in progress.
—Wikipedia’s article on Godwin’s Law

Becaue of that latter tradition of the law being used as a trigger for moderators to shut down discussion threads, there are many well-meaning people who believe (falsely) that Godwin’s Law is a statement of a logical fallacy. In other words, they believe that someone how the act of invoking Hitler is an actual invalidation of the argument being made. In a time when:

…one often finds oneself being concern trolled by someone trying to derail one’s comments with invocations of Godwin’s Law. Which makes said de-railers either complicit with all these evil being perpetrated by the so-called alt-right or really stupid (sorry, there is no other word for it).

So this a reminder that Godwin himself, last year after the events of that Charlottesville neo-Nazi protest that resulted in injures and death, suspended his law:

We’re talking full-on fascism here, folks. Stop arguing semantics and let’s look for solutions. Also, if you have ever said, when contemplating the history of how the Nazis took over Germany in the 1930s, that you would never stand idly by had you been there. We are there now. What are you going to do?

A few other things that either didn’t make it into the Friday Five or come up after:

The Killer That Haunted My Adolescence: John Wayne Gacy was all over the news in my freshman year of high school. But worse was yet to come.

What Is the Gayest Marvel Movie?

How To Be A Writer In This Fucked-Ass Age Of Rot And Resistance.

Tolerance is not a moral precept.

Pride Month Special: “One True Pervert In the Courtroom” – The Trial of Dale Jennings. Great piece by Boozy Barrister, a straight guy who occasionally explain legal things for those of us who aren’t lawyers.

9,000 barrels of bourbon fall in Kentucky distillery building collapse. Oh, the humanity!

Friday Five (Pride bash extravaganza edition)

Where are you on the Gay Spectrum? (click to embiggen)

It’s the forth weekend of Pride Month, and this weekend there are three Pride parades or marches happening in Seattle (and lots of other cities also now have several parades).

My husband and I are, for the third year in a row, attending Locus Awards Weekend. And it just so happens that the con hotel is conveniently close to the part of the parade route and the Seattle Center where the big festival happens. So we’re going to have a fun few days of books and sci fi and fantasy and funny shirts and rainbows and lots of other fun.

Here I present this week’s Friday Five: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week of interest to queer people, five stories that made me go “What the f–k?”, top five general interest stories, and top five videos (plus a recap of my blog posts).

Queer stories of the Week:

Queer Love in Color – Photographs and Text by Jamal Jordan.

What Happens After the Person You Married Tells You They’re Transgender: I’m seeing Pride in a whole new way this year.

7 of the Best Queer Reads for Summer 2018.

The Advocate Publishes a Lot of Photos from all Many of the Pride Events That Have Happened So Far This Month.

Court rejects bid to ban transgender kids from school bathrooms.

Nafessa Williams on playing Black Lightning’s unapologetic, badass lesbian superhero.

This Week in WTF:

Feminists are blaming trans women for ‘forcibly transing’ crocodiles.

Atlantic cover story is a loud dog whistle for anti-transgender parents.


The WTF of this is that we actually need to do this! Here’s How You Can Help Fight Family Separation at the Borde.

ABC Greenlights Roseanne Spinoff Without Roseanne Barr.

Other stories of the Week:

Mexican Nuns Work to Save Endangered Salamander.

Opinion: The State of the Star Wars fandom in 2018.

Led by a Chaplain from Washington State, 600 Members of Jeff Sessions’s Church Charged Him with Cruelty and Abuse.

Gabriel Jesus: Call your mama.

Oregon dog that survived 2 gunshot wounds finds new home.

Things I wrote:

Confessions of a bad son, part 2.

Blasphemy is as blasphemy does — an adventure beyond the dictionary with the anti-gays.

Anger is better than fear — confessions of a militant fairy.

Pride means visibility and hope— confessions of a hopeful fairy.

Pride means love and survival—confessions of a joyful fairy.


Rachel Maddow Broke Down in Tears at News of Where Babies are Being Sent at the U.S. Border:

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

Stephen Colbert Trashes ‘Gay Nazi’ Candidate and Uber-Homophobe Scott Lively:

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

St. Vincent – Fast Slow Disco (Music Video):

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

Big Dipper – Lookin [Official]:

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

Shirtless Violinist ft. Tom Goss – Perfect – Ed Sheeran – Cover:

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

Friday Five (stunning upset edition)

It’s the third weekend of Pride Month.

It appears that the rains have come to an end, and now I have to brace myself for scorching weather.

Here I present this week’s Friday Five: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week of interest to queer people, top five general interest stories, and top five videos (plus a recap of my blog posts).

Queer stories of the Week:

New Jersey’s Capital City Trenton Just Elected its First Gay Mayor, Reed Gusciora, in Stunning Upset Win.

Teacher Resigns Because He Can’t Handle School’s Transgender Name Policy.
Translation: he rage quite because they won’t let him bully trans students.

Why Some Gay Men Hate Pride Parades — And Ourselves.
Internalized homophobia can take a lifetime to unlearn.

The queer history of Wonder Woman and the Amazons.

Provo Bans LGBT Groups From July 4th Parade.

Other stories of the Week:

The Fight for the Right to Be Cremated by Water.

Hop Sing Laundromat Owner: No Fan of Bad Tippers, Cheesesteaks or (Ugh) “Mixologists”.

Between the Coats: A Sensitivity Read Changed my Life – an Essay by Sarah Gailey.

A Kenyan, Retired Reverend Timothy Njoya has taken his defense for the clitoris to court saying it should be let to stay where the Lord put it.

‘Shocking’ die-off of Africa’s oldest baobabs: study.
Trees that can easily live to by 3000 years old are not faring will under a changing climate.

Things I wrote:

To Conquer the Kingdoms of Sin — more confessions of a queer ex-evangelical.

A flag proclaims we are a people, a family, a tribe….


Republican Senator Hatch Marks Pride Month with Call for Inclusion, Understanding:

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

WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? – Official Trailer [HD] – In Select Theaters June 8:

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

Stephen Colbert on Inspector General’s report:

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

GOP’s Trump “Cult”; Trump Foundation Lawsuit; Comey Report: A Closer Look:

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

David Bowie – Heroes (Official video):

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

F/r/i/d/a/y/ Saturday Five (not losing is better than nothing edition)

(click to embiggen)

It’s the second weekend of Pride Month. If you don’t celebrate Pride (or at least understand why we do), maybe you should re-read this post from earlier this week.

Anyway, here I am posting the Friday Five on Saturday. I’ve been sick at least Monday, though I didn’t recognize the signs until after waking up with the cover and fever Tuesday morning. I felt much better Thursday morning, thought I was getting over it, and went into the office after sleeping through two sick days. Then Thursday night I was very scattered and the Friday Five assembly (which usually takes about an hour) drug on and I started dozing off at the keyboard so I went to bed. I figured it would only take fifteen minutes or in the morning to finish it and post; since I was going to be working from home anyway, it would be a good thing to do for a break, right?

I got up when the alarm went off, feeling worse than the day before, got my meds, set up the work computer, was logging into the work network… and I fell asleep for two hours. My fever was back and my brain was just sluggish. I had unmovable end of the day deadlines that were already behind because of the two sick days, so I was scrambling the rest of the day.

So this week it’s a Saturday Five: This week you get the top five (IMHO) stories of the week of interest to queer people, top five stories about people who are less-than-wonderful, top five general interest stories, and top five videos (plus notable obituaries and a recap of my blog posts).

Queer stories of the Week:

Court upholds Phoenix law over same-sex wedding invitations.
The ruling that the anti-gay folks were crowing about as a victory wasn’t; it wasn’t a victory for our side, either, but it contained some good things.

Sexual Assault and Silence Among Men in the Military During Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: My boyfriend was sexually assaulted when we were in the navy. Then I made the mistake of speaking up.

Lee Pace Came Out Seven Times a Week on Stage. Then He Came Out for Real.

Where Are The Trans Men In Politics? Transgender visibility is on the rise — but not for all trans people.

Sam Smith helped me accept my queer and Catholic identities.

Stories about horrible people:

The Deadly Incel Movement’s Absurd Pop Culture Roots.

Head of Illinois NRA affiliate accidentally admits gun restrictions stop mass shootings.

Missouri governor’s lawyers and prosecutors struck an unusual deal: A resignation in exchange for a dropped felony charge.

Authors Guild and RWA Prevail in Court Defending Authors in “Cocky” Trademark Dispute.

Good Riddance Joseph Backholm, Washington’s Ultimate Anti-Gay Dipshit.

Other stories of the Week:

‘Sherlock’ Star Benedict Cumberbatch Saves Cyclist From Muggers.

Out of 52,179 homicides in 50 cities over the past decade, 51 percent did not result in an arrest.
The Washington Post is mapping unsolved murders, and updating their interactive database as they get more information from more cities.

The Quiet Rage Of Mazie Hirono.
I have a new hero: Hawaii’s Mazie Hirono is the only U.S. Senator who asks every nominee if they have ever been accused of sexual misconduct and whether they have ever signed a non-disclosure agreement.

The case for massively expanding the US House of Representatives, in one chart.

How the media ignored Puerto Rico, in one chart.

In Memoriam:

Jerry Maren, Last Surviving Adult Munchkin From ‘Wizard of Oz,’ Dies at 98.

William Phipps, Voice of Prince Charming in ‘Cinderella’ and Sci-Fi Movie Star, Dies at 96.

Anthony Bourdain saw the humanity in all of us.

Things I wrote:

Ode to the MacGuffin, or, moving the plot and subplots along.

Too much coffee, you say? Here, have some nice black tea….

Who will judge the judges?

That’s Dr. Freak to you — more adventures in dictionaries.


Consumer Identity = Cultivated Identity (VERY IMPORTANT DOCS №11):

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

Eli Lieb covers Celine Dion’s Ashes (from Deadpool 2):

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

How We Met by Anthony Bowens [Official Audio]:

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

MNEK – Colour (Lyric Video) ft. Hailee Steinfeld:

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

Troye Sivan – Bloom:

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

Who will judge the judges?

“His life will never be the one that he dreamed... that is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action.”

This was the judge’s rationale for giving such an incredibly light sentence (click to embiggen)

This is one of those news stories where I don’t want to wait until my Friday round-up of links to talk about it. Among the things voters did in the various states holding primaries on Tuesday, nearly 60% of the voters in one California district voters to recall (remove) a judge: Voters Recall Aaron Persky, Judge Who Sentenced Brock Turner.

The rest of this post is going to be about a sexual assault, including details that I found disturbing when reading earlier coverage of the case, and disturbing again while summarizing before stating my opinion about why the recall was justified. Don’t click through if you don’t want to read about such a crime… Read More…