Tag Archives: weekend

Weekend Update 3/16/2019: Liars, bigots, and fakes

“Christchurch Mosque: White supremacist. Tree Of Life Synagogue: White supremacist. Mother Emanuel AME Church: White supremacist. Oak Creek Sikh Temple: White supremacist. Overland Park Jewish Center: White supremacist. Islamic Center of Quebec City: White supremacist.” Gee, do you see a pattern?
“Christchurch Mosque:
White supremacist.
Tree Of Life Synagogue:
White supremacist.
Mother Emanuel AME Church:
White supremacist.
Oak Creek Sikh Temple:
White supremacist.
Overland Park Jewish Center:
White supremacist.
Islamic Center of Quebec City:
White supremacist.”
Gee, do you see a pattern?

Another in my occasional posts of either news that broke after I finished the Friday Five post for the week, or with more information about news stories which I’ve linked to in the past.

First, the mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand. I’m trying to avoid linking to sites that name the gunman or his co-conspirators or show their pictures. I am angry at the news sites that have run stories about how he was a blond angel as a child, blah blah blah. Seriously, fuck those guys. Instead, Dead, injured or missing: Victims of Christchurch begin to be identified. It is heartbreaking, particularly when you see the pictures of the two youngest killed: a three-year-old and a four-year-old. I’m reminded of the time on some news show when Geraldo Rivera, of all people, got angry at another panelist for defending “some of the ideas” of the Oklahoma City Bomber. Geraldo mentioned the number of children who were killed in the daycare that was part of the building destroyed and said, “he was a baby-killer!”

Australia Re-Bans Homocon Milo Yiannopoulos Over NZ Comments. So, Milo the white supremacist who keeps trying to claim he can’t be a bigot because he only dates black guys, did a tour of speeches and rallies in Australia and racked up a huge debt by not paying for the police security at the rallies. At least one of the rallies turned violent. He announced another such tour in 2018, but then suddenly canceled (while various reporters had uncovered that his group had failed to pay deposits to venues on time, and news of his deepening debt spread). He was set to do another one this year, when the Department of Home Affairs recommended against granting him a visa, based on the violence, protests, and all those unpaid bills from the 2017 tour. But conservative members of parliament pressures the cabinet minister to grant a visa, anyway, and things were looking like another Milo crapstorm were going to happen… until Milo opened his mouth on social media last night, essentially agreeing with all the points of the Christchurch shooter’s published manifesto.

New Zealand shows willingness to curb guns after one, not 1,981 mass shootings. Imagine! A government taking action after a mass shooting! Why, oh why, has no one done that before?

FOX News Contributor Calls for Prosecution of Homocon MAGA Troll Jacob Wohl for Faking Death Threats Against Himself. Lock him up! This is hardly the first time that Wohl has made false reports and tried to profit from them while stirring up conspiracy theories. And while so far the police department that Wohl made the false report to hasn’t made a statement, the man whose photo was stolen by Wohl to create the fake account to send the death threat to himself, has retained Michael Avenatti, the former lawyer for adult film actress Stormy Daniels, to sue Wohl. I’m not a fan of the grandstanding Avenatti, but if anyone can keep attention on the false death threat issue, it’s him.

Speaking of slimy lying people: Trump Issues First Veto Of Presidency After House And Senate Vote To Block “Emergency” Wall Declaration. At least he actually did it correctly. When he sent out the tweet the night before consisting of the single word VETO in all caps, many of us wondered if he thought that’s how it works.

Meanwhile, MAGABomber To Plead Guilty. The guy who sent pipe bombs to critics of the alleged president has agreed to plead guilty to some of the charges, attempting to avoid a mandatory life sentence. We’ll find out what the deal is later this week.

I could comment more on all these horrible people, but it’s just been a depressing news week. So I think we need to end on a funny note. Stephen Colbert shows why it is so unbelievable at the First Lady would use a body double for public appearances. It’s quite amusing:

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

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

(click to embiggen)

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.

Weekend Update: 4/25/2015

Click to embiggen!
Click to embiggen!
There are a few stories I linked to yesterday (or in earlier Friday Links) that have had further developments. There are also a few stories I found after posting Friday Links that I would have included if I had seen them sooner.

First, I posted about the straight high school student who, when seeing that his best friend who happens to be gay was lamenting online about the fact that once again he’s on the planning committee for a dance, but he doesn’t have a date, got together with a couple of friends to make a big banner that said, “You’re hella gay, and I’m hella Str8, but you’re like my brother, so be my D8.” Here are some more pictures. I like this because, well, just think about how far things have come. It’s been pretty amazing that so many kids are out as queer in high schools, now. And it’s cool that most of them can go to prom without hassle from fellow students, or administrators threatening to expel them (only most, there were a few of the other kind in the news earlier in the month, alas). And it’s cool that openly lesbian, gay, and trans students have been elected Prom Kings and Queens.

Click to embiggen.
Click to embiggen.
But when a straight guy can do this, and nobody bats an eye (look at the grins on the faces of two of the kids taking pics/vids of Anthony and Jacob), where the straight guy doesn’t worry about what people will think… well, it’s even more amazing. And in a really good way.

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a virulent anti-gay group that has been losing, and losing, and losing and refusing to admit it, is hosting their third annual March For Marriage in Washington D.C. today. Two years ago they got 2000 people, but claimed to get 15,000 (and they photoshopped a picture of the crowd from President Obama’s inauguration into one of their pictures, posted it to the web, and tried to claim it was their rally). Last year they got far less than a thousand—and half the crowd were older ladies who spoke no English who were tricked into taking “a bus ride to see the monuments in Washington DC!” by an anti-gay New York state legislator; I’m not kidding, the ladies stood around confused until all the speeches the didn’t understand were over, then they didn’t march, the left to go look at monuments on their own! Even the most conservative news sites admitted the crowd was disappointingly small. I haven’t seen numbers, yet, but Jeremy Hooper from Good As You, posted (along with a link to their livestream) “Watch live at 11:30 ET: NOM’s hilariously out of touch (and likely final) #March4Marriage.”

I listened to one of the speakers while I was catching screen caps for the first update and writing part of this post, and it is definitely out of touch. The speaker was repeating their usual claim that activist judges have forces marriage equality on all 37 states that currently have it (completely ignoring four states where the voters approved marriage equality at the polls, and the several states who have approved it at the legislature). He doubled-down on that falsehood a minute later, repeating their lie that no marriage equality measure has been approved at the ballot box and that the vast majority of americans are opposed to “gay marriage.” They’re holding the rally on Saturday this year, instead of a weekday like before. And even more hilariously, instead of Tuesday, when the Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments on Marriage Equality. Everyone is assuming that they’re holding it today and not Tuesday because they might get a bigger crowd to show up on their side on a weekend when fewer of their base would have to take a day off work, and because it is pretty certain that the pro-equality side will have huge crowds on Tuesday. 5 Reasons NOM Will Need Much More Than A Prayer At The March For Marriage 2015.

In much, much happier news, Nation Public Radio reports Transgender Teen Wins Case To Wear Makeup In DMV Photo. When will these state officials realize that, if nothing else, it’s a violation of the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection before the law to impose dress codes and so forth based on a person’s gender. In many ways, this isn’t even about the fact that she’s transgender. Insisting that because they believe she’s a guy, she can’t wear makeup for her photo? Anyway, I’ve glad Chase has won, and hope she looks better in her new driver’s license picture than most of us do.

Fairy rings and h/a/y/ fungal fever

The fairy ring has returned, although it's not as sharply defined as last year.
The fairy ring has returned, along it’s not as sharply defined as last year.
This started out as another in my series of “I hate hay fever” posts. I had been having mildly worsening hay fever-like symptoms for two weeks, and coincidentally noticing a lot of mushrooms, toadstools, and similar fungal species popping up in lawns, flower beds, and the sides of trees everywhere I walked. Since I have a mildly severe allergic reaction to spores and molds as well as pollens, it seemed like a good guess that I was reacting to all the fungus “blooming” around town.

Same image, with a light line added to show the boundaries of the fairy ring.
Same image, with a light line added to show the boundaries of the fairy ring.
Two separate fungal blooms are happening in our lawn: clusters of small brown toadstools, and slightly larger white mushrooms. It is the latter that form the fairy ring tangential to the curb in front of our house. Last year the ring had so many of the white caps around its edge, that it was impossible to miss. This year, so far, there are a lot fewer of the caps, but the little clusters of them mark out a circular area, once again. Several of the white caps are a lot smaller than the others, and you can’t see them as well in the picture I took. Since the camera is catching it at an angle, it appears elliptical rather than circular. Anyway, I’ve added a ring to the second image to help show it. (Click either to embiggen)

Continue reading Fairy rings and h/a/y/ fungal fever

Weekend update: Can’t keep up

The people updating this maps can't keep up!
The people updating these marriage equality maps can’t keep up! (Click to embiggen)
The marriage equality court rulings, whether states are deciding not to appeal or whether the Supreme Court refuses the appeal, just keep rolling forward. The people trying to maintain graphics that show which states have equality, which don’t, where rulings are under appeal, and so forth have been having to update them at least once a day all week. Again. It’s more than a little breathtaking!

One that is particularly exciting for me is Arizona. I have some friends who live there, two of whom happen to be a lesbian couple who, after being together more than a decade, had gotten legally married over in California during the brief period it was legal before Proposition 8 was passed (which, of course, was later struck down and now California is a marriage equality state, once more). But Kathy and Barb are Arizona citizens, and it has been galling (not to mention sometimes costly {don’t ask about how hard it is for a couple whose relationship is not legally recognized to get a clear house deed in both their names once the mortgage is paid off}). Anyway, on Friday Arizona came into the 21st Century, recognizing the rights of same sex couples to marry, which means their California marriage license is recognized. And the icing on the cake? Friday was the sixth anniversary of their California wedding! Talk about an awesome anniversary present! Congratulations, Kats and Barb, and here’s wishing you many more happy years together!

It’s not all good news regarding equality, Media Matters explains How Conservative Media Make It Harder For Schools To Protect Transgender Youth.

And look at this, Report about racial profiling for traffic stops in Ferguson, MO, reveals that 25% of the city’s revenue come for court fees and fines. Am I supposed to be surprised?

In case you missed it, since earlier this week most of the media failed to report that the seemingly slightly more tolerant statements about homosexuality were reversed, Catholic Bishops Scrap Welcome To Gays.

But in moderately better news, Catholic Cardinal who said it is evil to introduce children to their gay relatives ousted.

I don’t mean to be grumpy

Jimmy Tohill/National Geographic Contest
I’ve had better days.
I’d been looking forward to Sunday for weeks. A friend (who is a very talented artist and teacher) had suggested a meet up on Sunday afternoon at a restaurant/tavern several of us enjoy for the express purpose of drawing or otherwise arting together, while drinking with friends. Two of my New Year’s resolutions are to do more socializing that isn’t driven by specific projects, and to do more art and music. So this was a tangible way to do a bit of both. Then my favorite meteorology professor said, during his weekly science of weather segment on one of the local NPR stations, said that we had a probability of lowland snow this weekend, and the further north of Seattle one went, the higher the probability.

And specifically he said, “Bellingham will see it for sure.” Bellingham being where the host of the event lives, and the location of the event being a spot sort of midway between Seattle and Bellingham, therefore in the snow zone, there was a possibility the event would be canceled… Continue reading I don’t mean to be grumpy

Anything but blue…

Had a busy weekend, which included going with some friends to hear another friend perform.

I mentioned just the other night how many wonderful, talented people I’m privileged to know. Having a friend who’s won the Washington Blues Society’s Best of the Blues Electric Guitar Award twice in a row is just one of those examples. Hearing C.D., Chris, Don, and the two Mikes play a selection of blues and blues-adjacent music for a couple of hours would brighten anyone’s week. And I’m looking forward to the new album they’re looking to release around the end of the year.

I didn’t get a lot of writing done over the weekend, but I worked a lot on writing-adjacent things. My biggest accomplishment was dropping off a new issue of the Tai-Pan at the printer Friday. My second biggest was working on the issue after that (a good chunk is now in copy edit), organizing a bunch of in-progress stories, and otherwise participating in a work party with a few other editorial board members on Saturday. Just a few hours before we ran out to be band groupies together.

And then there was the journey to the year 1876 where we moved a little closer to the nuptials of “Atlas” O’Flaherty and Miss Prudence Earwig.

The weekend wasn’t all great news. After helping a couple friends earlier in the week diagnose significant computer problems, my husband found his main computer dead when he got home Friday night. Turned out to “only” being the failure of his primary boot drive, but it still took him most of the weekend to get his system restored, pulled data out of backups and off the failed drive, and so on.

So he didn’t come with us to the work party, nor dinner and music after.

And then late at night, we got rain, ending our dry streak that was only a few days from an all time record. We didn’t get a lot of rain. And the long range forecast has no rain coming up, but this bit was quite welcome. I love the way the world smells after a rain. The sunlight looks cleaner, somehow. And I love the rain.


So there I am, laying in bed, having a very intense dream.

What was I doing in the dream? Watching TV. It was like a 60 Minutes report on a harassment in the workplace case which, according to the dream, had happened several years ago and had caused a major change in… Something.

And the attorney who had represent the poor worker when no one else would? Ellen Degeneres, who, again according to the dream, had tried to pursue a legal career before going into comedy.

In my dream, I was on the edge of my seat, rivetted by the drama in the news story. I don’t remember anything the slightest bit interesting about the case.

Isn’t my subconscious an exciting place?