Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Gay Thing (Again): Ohio Must Recognize Out-of-State Marriages

While this is great news for my home state, which does have one of the nation's more draconian anti-gay marriage constitutional amendments, it seems like it shouldn't be news. Of course Ohio should have to recognize marriages performed in other states. The already do. The straight ones. And they even recognize marriages of closer relations (like first cousins) if performed in other states. Not doing so previously, really didn't make a lot of sense. So, good! But of course, allowing the couple down the street who were married out of state to be married, while preventing the one down the block from getting married doesn't make a lot of sense either. So, this is ultimately another domino on the road to 50-state marriage equality. Can't happen soon enough.

Image from source, USAToday

Judge: Ohio must recognize other states' gay marriages

A federal judge Monday ordered Ohio authorities to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples performed in other states, the latest court victory for gay-rights supporters. Judge Timothy Black called Ohio's gay marriage ban both unconstitutional and unenforceable. . .

Read more at: USA Today

Grazing Cattle! (Another Rocky Mountain Mike Parody)

I'll freely admit to still not really getting this whole Cliven Bundy cattle grazing dispute. I mean I get that this Bundy guy is peeved and doesn't want to pay the rev-en-ooers. But try as I might, I can't figure out what kind of leg he has to stand on, or exactly what the "freedom" principle is here.  But the good news is, it's provided fodder for yet another Rocky Mountain Mike parody, and this one is inspired: Blazing Saddles, writ large! It's great! And it makes as much sense as anything else. And how weird is it. . .Cliven. . .Cleavon?!?

The Gay Thing: Louisiana Votes to Retain Sodomy Law

There are pockets of mean and pockets of stupid in this country. And they tend to make news, and they often converge. For what other reason than a blend of stupidity and meanness would a state keep a law on the books that was ruled unconstitutional more than a decade ago? But Louisiana did it, retaining a law against sodomy. Which means, the conservative government of the Bayou State wants government big enough to peek into your bedroom, and let you know that only state approved sex acts are allowed.


Louisiana House votes 27-66 to keep unconstitutional anti-sodomy law on the books

The Louisiana House of Representatives rejected legislation, on Tuesday, that would remove the state's symbolic ban on certain kinds of sodomy. The bill failed by a wide margin on a vote of 27-67, with 11 members not voting. . .

Read more at: The Times-Picayune

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Science is Cool: Darwin Fish, for Real

This fish, a transitionary form between an ordinary fish and a land animal, was actually discovered several years ago, and is in the news because of new book. But I missed it, and so it's new to me! And it's cool. Ugly, but cool. A fish with a neck? And armlike fins? It also shows a minor advantage to climate change: the Arctic was melted enough for them to find the thing.

Image from source, Mother Jones

This Fish Crawled Out of the Water…and Into Creationists' Nightmares

We all know the Darwin fish, the car-bumper send-up of the Christian "ichthys" symbol, or Jesus fish. Unlike the Christian symbol, the Darwin fish has, you know, legs. Har har. But the Darwin fish isn't merely a clever joke; in effect, it contains a testable scientific prediction. If evolution is true, and if life on Earth originated in water, then there must have once been fish species possessing primitive limbs, which enabled them to spend some part of their lives on land. And these species, in turn, must be the ancestors of four-limbed, land-living vertebrates like us. . .

Read more at: Mother Jones

Conspiracy Corner: Hillary Clinton and the "Shoe Truthers"

Yes. Because if you're the presumptive front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, you want to get embarrassed by having someone throw a shoe at you in public.


‘Shoe Truthers’ Wonder If Hillary Staged Shoe Throwing Incident

Wisconsin GOP Committee Votes for Right to Secede

Dixieland up north? Image from ThinkProgress
Attention, you faux patriots: you cannot love America and favor secession. You can't be patriotic, and want to separate from the country. One thing cancels out the other. Morons.

Thank you for your attention.


Wisconsin Republican Committee Votes To Uphold ‘Wisconsin’s Right… To Secede’
Earlier this month, the Wisconsin Republican Party’s Resolutions Committee voted to endorse a proposal expressing the party’s support for “legislation that upholds Wisconsin’s right, under extreme circumstances, to secede.” A stronger version of this resolution passed one of the state GOP’s eight regional caucuses in March. That version provided that “we strongly insist our state representatives work to uphold Wisconsin’s 10th Amendment rights, and our right to secede, passing legislation affirming this to the U.S. Federal Government. . .”

Read more at: Think Progress

The Funniest, Dirtiest, Rudest Benghazi Write-up You'll Ever Read

The incomparable Lee Papa, The Rude Pundit
There are some perennial Right Wing World outrages, during the Obama Era. The undercurrent is always the same: we hate this guy, and oppose anything he's for, even if we'd otherwise agree with it. But they keep coming back to several topics, and they pop up like Whack-A-Mole, in between whatever big stories are in the news cycle. ObamaCare™ has been one of the biggest ones, but when it wanes (and no plane has recently gone missing), up crops the IRS "scandal," NSA privacy issues (this one bugs both sides, me included), Michelle and the girls travelling (horrors), and of course, Benghazi!!!

Benghazi was the thing that was going to stop Barack Obama's second term. Then it was going to be his undoing, after the election. Now, they're hoping they can hang it around presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton's neck. But the truth is, as terrible as the attack on Benghazi was, most people don't consider it to be a scandal, and most of the rest don't care. Benghazi excites the base (they're an excitable bunch), but it doesn't rile anyone else. Now, it seems even some prominent conservatives are getting the message that Benghazi is pretty much over as an issue. But that doesn't mean they're happy about it.


Boehner's Benghazi Blues

Man, the GOP wanted Benghazi to be more than just another c**ktease. To be sure, Benghazi was good at it, rubbing its scandal-tightened ass up against the GOP's groin until the GOP was aching with a desire to furiously f**k Benghazi. Goddamn, what a little slut Benghazi was, all whored out in a little skirt and see-through top with a red lacy bra under it. Just those lips, those tarted-up, red-lipsticked, d**k-sucking lips, invited the GOP to get it up and get ready to. . .

Read the rudeness at: The Rude Pundit

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Bundy Bunch ( A Rocky Mountain Mike Song Parody)

I'm gonna step right up and say, I don't get the Bundy cattle dispute with the BLM here in Nevada, 85 miles northeast of Las Vegas. I know that the BLM claims Bundy owes $1 million in grazing fees, and that Bundy doesn't want to pay it. I know that Bundy claims the land isn't the federal government's, but I have heard no claim that Bundy owns it himself, only that his family has ranched it since the 1870s. Somehow, this became the teabagger cause of the decade, and I don't get it. Let's see if Rocky Mountain Mike can help. . .

Sunday, April 13, 2014

SNL: Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush Reach for the Youth Vote at Coachella

Over Time with Bill Maher, April 11, 2014

Blast from the Past: Clean & Fresh!

I'm in the tail-end phase of a home improvement project that just snowballed through the entire first quarter of the year, on into spring. We'll complete the effort over the next week or so, but in the meantime, things are in a bit of disarray. As such, there's a constant need for cleaning, and that got me to thinking of all the cleaning products that used to be advertised when I was growing up. Loads of them are still around today, of course, but the commercials aren't as classic.

1. Mr. Clean (1978)
2. Calgon (1970s) - I've used this before, but can't resist.

3. Palmolive (1981) - With Madge the manicurist
4. Dow Scrubbing Bubbles (1978)

5. Spic and Span (1970s) - With Minnie Pearl!
6. S.O.S Pads (1981)

7. Atlantic Bee Mop (1987)
8. Mop & Glo (1988)

9. Clorox 2 (1986) - The magic of Clorox 2!
10. Wisk (1971) - Ring around the collar!

And with that, I'll wish you a good (clean & fresh) week, and a happy Monday!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Miami-Dade Polling Places to Close Bathrooms? For Fairness?

Only in Florida, man. Miami-Dade election officials have responded to a question regarding restroom accessibility for the disabled by closing all restrooms. That's right, in polling places with hours-long lines, there will be no potty breaks. Tough it out, or go home. A third option would be to pop a squat right there in line, I suppose. But this strikes me as just ridiculous. You?


New Rule Prohibits Voters In Miami-Dade County From Using The Restroom, No Matter How Long The Line

During the 2012 presidential election, voters reportedly waited on line for upwards of six hours. That wait alone is enough to deter would-be voters from going to the polls. But now residents in Florida’s most populous county will have another disincentive: they won’t be able to go to the bathroom. . .

Read more at: Think Progress

Stephen Colbert to Take Over for David Letterman on The Late Show

I'm of mixed feelings about this one. As a Daily Show with Jon Stewart fan since it was . . .with Craig Kilborn, I of course have watched The Colbert Report since the beginning. At first, I wasn't sure he could sustain his pompus, "educated Archie Bunker" news reporter character through a regular series. But sure enough, he could and did. Colbert's show was the perfect follow-up to Stewart's, and the interplay was terrific. And it has to be said, Colbert's in-character roasting of George W. Bush at the White House Correspondent's' Dinner was masterful.

I've also watched The Late Show with David Letterman since it was Late Night. I watched from episode for all of the above. And though, more often than not, I watch the Comedy Central line up instead of CBS's, I'd come back to Dave whenever Jon and Stephen were in reruns. And it's only due to those guys that I ever left. I still find Dave preferable to the Jimmys. But Dave is leaving. And Stephen is moving in!

But not Stephen Cole-bear. This will be Stephen Cole-BURT. The real guy, not the character. Having seen the real Stephen in other things--not to mention being able to see through the character to the brilliance of the real dude--I'm cool with that. While he'll surely need to tone down the politics a bit, and will have to spoon-feed a little more to the larger general audience, I believe he's deft enough to pull it off. Still, I'm hoping he retains the old guy in some capacity. Whether it's a Colbert Report show-within-a-show segment, or just one of a roster of characters, I'd hate to see that persona retired forever.

As for Comedy Central, I think they may have as tough a choice as CBS had. They fortunately have a lengthy list of performers to choose from, many from The Daily Show, past and present, or from other Comedy Central shows. They'd be wise to create  something in the mold of either Stewart's or Colbert's current shows, to be a companion to The Daily Show, rather than trying to plug in a Tosh.O or Workaholics, and hoping it keeps the audience.

My choice--though I'd miss his current new-ish show--is Chris Hardwick. His @Midnight is a hoot, and I never miss The Talking Dead. He's smart, funny, irreverent, cute and nerdish. The perfect combination. But I'll bet you John Oliver is sorry he deserted for a weekly HBO show.


Why Stephen Colbert is the perfect choice for CBS

CBS nailed this. Stephen Colbert, just named to replace David Letterman, might seem in some ways an odd choice for a late-night broadcast host: He's an intensely satirical comedian who at least until now has hosted his show in the guise of a self-righteous buffoon. But he may also be the smartest person in late night. And the most likable. . .

Read more at: MSN

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mass Stabbing at Pennsylvania School

When I first heard about this, it was presented like yet another school shooting, then I heard stabbing. What? Stabbing? Yes. And predictably, much of the response from Right Wing World was, "See, it's not just guns! Should we take knives away from people now?" First, yes, at least at schools we should take away the knives. But secondly, it should be noted that though there were some critical injuries, nobody--at least of this writing--has died. Which is the only good news beyond the fact that the kid responsible is alive also, and in custody.

I'm waiting to hear that the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a knife is a good guy with a knife.


Student named, charged as adult in Pennsylvania stabbing rampage: police

[Continued after the break because of an auto-playing video I can't turn off.]

Could Religious Fundamentalism Be a Curable Mental Disorder?

"Dark sided!"
As an atheist, it can be tempting for me to look at this headline and say, "Well, obviously! All religions are crazy!" But by that, I really just mean preposterous. And by that, I mean to me. But I think even a religious person could acknowledge that some people take their brand of religiosity a bit (or a lot) too far. I mean, there are religiously-driven people whose entire livelihood hangs on trying to turn gay people into second-class citizens. Or worse. That's nuts, right?

Turns out, maybe so.


Kathleen Taylor, Neuroscientist, Says Religious Fundamentalism Could Be Treated As A Mental Illness
An Oxford University researcher and author specializing in neuroscience has suggested that one day religious fundamentalism may be treated as a curable mental illness. Kathleen Taylor, who describes herself as a "science writer affiliated to the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics," made the suggestion during a presentation on brain research at the Hay Literary Festival in Wales on Wednesday. . .

Read more (with video) at: Huffington Post

Louie Gohmert is an Idiot, Part #87

Texas should be embarrassed. Eric Holder deserves a medal for putting up with Gohmert, and for the masterful asparagus dig.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Frivolity Break: Would You Have Sex with Paul Rudd?

I'm tired, and didn't get around to blogging for Wednesday. Sorry. Here's something funny to watch instead. Oh, and the obvious answer to the above is, "Yes, please."

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Jon Stewart Rips Rumsfeld & Cheney on Torture

EDITOR'S NOTE: I'm playing with Raw Story's "post it legally" feature. Of course, as far as I know, I always post things legally. but I thought I'd give it a go. And since I didn't have anything to add to this one beyond, "You, go, Jon Stewart!," I thought this was a good enough post to try it on. I have a feeling I'm going to have to do some tweaking of this service in the future though.

Jon Stewart rips Rumsfeld and Cheney: ‘Look how f*cking proud’ they are to avoid discussing torture (via Raw Story )
Daily Show host Jon Stewart observed on Monday that, as the Senate moves closer to declassifying a report trashing the Central Intelligence Agency’s “enhanced interrogation” techniques, the political figures behind it — including former Vice…

The Gay thing: Supreme Court Declines Photographer "Religious Freedom" Case

When marriage equality activism started reaping widespread results, and began to seem inevitable in all 50 states, counter-forces tried a new tactic. Christian business owners began to claim that it was a violation of their "religious freedom" to have to sell products or services to gay couples for their weddings. There were several things wrong with these cases.

In most, there were public accommodations laws which forbid discrimination toward gay people. In most, oddly enough, there wasn't even legal "gay marriage" in the localities involved, at least not at the time. And in several, notably bakeries, the dispute wasn't even a gay wedding, but the reception after. Which is kind of strange, since receptions are seldom religious affairs.

Image from source, Washington Post
There were other problems, such as why a company would care who they sell a cake or flowers to. Why a customer's religious beliefs should have to align with the sellers. And then the practical implications, like, would it be the clerk's or the owner's religious beliefs that had to be followed? Which religions get this exemption? Which businesses should get this exemption? What law would be immune from being potentially exempted? It's a can of worms in a Pandora's Box. And it's still not clear how selling something would violate religious freedom.

The case that was before the Supreme Court was a wedding photographer. Or, more precisely, a commitment ceremony photographer,* who didn't want to take pictures for a gay couple. But SCOTUS declined to hear the case, so the lower court decision stands: the photographer loses.

*It should be noted that in the marriage equality fight, we're often confronted with the "why do they have to call it marriage?" argument. Allegedly, if we were to only be happy with civil unions, domestic partnerships and commitment ceremonies, all would be well, and the battle would end. Except that in this case, as with several others, there was no legal marriage.


Supreme Court declines case of photographer who denied service to gay couple
The Supreme Court declined on Monday to consider whether a New Mexico photographer had a right to refuse service to a same-sex couple who wanted her to record their commitment ceremony. . .

Read more at: Washington Post

So, That Happened: Star Trek's Kate Mulgrew Narrates Wacky Geocentrist Documentary

Why, Kate, why? I know that Star Trek: Voyager never got the respect it deserved. And I know that jobs can be scarce for actresses "of a certain age," who have some trouble getting work. But you've got Orange is the New Black going for you! It's a hit! Why oh why would you narrate some pseudo scientific clap-trap documentary, where Earth is the center of the universe? Don't you know that your voice gives gravitas to this ludicrous "theory?" Oh, Kate.

In all seriousness, I'm a Star Trek fan, and always liked Voyager, despite all of the fan whining. I got to meet Kate Mulgrew right when she first got the gig, on an autograph line in Pasadena. She was elegant, poised, friendly, and amazingly composed sitting out there in the hot California sun. Since then, I've seen her a few times at conventions. She is--without fail--one of the most interesting panelists, with compelling stories, and tangents into topics you just wouldn't expect. She's a little Shirley McClain spacey for a few moments, then comes back and ties it all together. In short, she's great. So this is a disappointment. I'll be very interested to hear her reasoning on this gig.


‘Star Trek’ actress lends her gravitas to film promoting idea that sun revolves around Earth

A new documentary film, narrated by a former Star Trek actress, promotes the long-ago disproven idea that the sun revolves around the Earth. “Everything we think we know about our universe is wrong,” says actress Kate Mulgrew as she narrates the trailer for “The Principle.” The film, which is set to be released sometime this spring, was bankrolled in part by the ultra-conservative and anti-Semitic Robert Sungenis, who maintains the blog “Galileo Was Wrong. . .”

Read more at: Raw Story
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