Link Me Up, Scotty - Make Them Hear You Edition

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How 45 has become the unreliable narrator of his Presidency, and what that means.
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Guess who doesn't have a clue about what is included in the Republican's health care bill? The Republicans that are drafting it, that's who. GRAIN OF SALT WARNING: Vox is a left biased news source, but the questions and responses are direct quotes, which leaves us free to draw our own conclusions.
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Turns out 45 has hundreds of millions of dollars in financial liability. The new financial disclosure also outlines where his money is coming from in a general sense, and the fact that 45's promises to "donate" money to the US Treasury that was earned from foreign governments is basically lip service. Can you say "emoluments clause?" I knew you could.
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The GOP is still crafting their Health Care Bill in secret and behind closed doors. I have daily missives going to my Republican Senator on this issue, with calls for transparency and PUBLIC hearings. I'm not holding my breath, however - the Coward Cory Gardner has never disobeyed his Party Masters, and as my divorce attorney used to say, "The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior."
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"Two-and-a-half miles below the ocean near Australia, there is crushing pressure, total darkness and a collection of some of the strangest creatures on the planet — if you're willing to go find them." And scientists are, with the help of a grant. All of time and space, and the wonders and horrors therein.
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Another fine example of how 45's Presidency is the Presidency of bigotry, apathy, and ignorance. This administration is so lacking in basic human kindness and compassion, every day they remain in the once-proud White House is another day where I'm further embarrassed to be a voting member of a Republic that would make such a miscreant our President.
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Check out this performance of Three Mo' Tenors recorded in 2001 at (of all places) Troy High School in Troy, OH. A wide variety of music sung by three STUNNING tenor voices who are obviously having a great time.
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I loved this story of former NFL player Ryan O'Calloghan's journey to self-acceptance and purpose. Too many young people don't get the support they need, when they need it, and I'm happier than I can say that our culture is slowly making strides to accept people in the LGBT community.
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My favorite Christian Pastor with observations on Carrie Fisher's unrelenting battle with mental illness and substance abuse. Addicts are weak my ass. Carrie Fisher is one of the bravest human beings I've ever heard of, and her passing only re-emphasizes for me how much grit it took for her to live as long as she did. An amazing woman.
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And speaking of awesome music, the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington chose to respond to the protesters at the Knoxville Pride event with song. You know, like you do. I love this response so very much. It clearly emphasizes the hate and vitriol of the so-called Christians while the chorus sings about love and courage. Way to go, gents!




Today's Sources:
  • NPR: Mainstream Media source with left-center bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • Vox: Internet Media source with left bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • NBC News: Broadcast Media source with left-center bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • New York Times: Mainstream Media source with left-center bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • The YourTube Channel of Jazz Music Vault 
  • Outsports: An online source for LGBT athletes.  
  • Things That Need to be Said: The personal blog of Pastor John Pavlovitz
  • The YouTube Channel of the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington.

Link Me Up, Scotty - We Heart Uncle Joe Edition

Monday, June 19, 2017

Terry Gross interviewed Vice President Joe Biden, and the resulting recording is insightful, interesting, and moving. I do loves me some Uncle Joe.
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Nikos Giannopoulos, Rhode Island's Teacher of the Year, is FABULOUS, and I love him.
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It looks as though a number of sailors have been killed in the collision of the USS FITZGERALD and a Japanese container ship. I have many feelings about this news, but foremost is the always present knowledge that the profession of arms is dangerous, in more ways than one. This could have just as easily been me, or my son, or any of hundreds of sailors I've known over the years. Fair winds and following seas, my shipmates.
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Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman takes a look at Congressional Republican's handling of the Health Care Bill and determines that the Party basically consists of Vampires and Zombies.
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People suck so much, I can't even.
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My favorite Christian Pastor takes on those who would conflate disagreement and resistance to our current administration to a failure of patriotism. I will put up my service and dedication to our nation and its people against anyone's, thank you very much. I haven't served as much, sacrificed as much as some, but it's a safe bet that I've served and sacrificed more than most, and the fact of my liberalism doesn't mean conservatives get to question my patriotism or my dedication to the well-being of the Republic.
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Smart Man and all-around good egg David with his latest observations on the State of the Union. I especially like #16, although I myself frame the observation in this way: When someone says they're tired of being "politically correct," what they really mean is that they're tired of having to treat others with respect or face the social consequences.
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ExtraNewsFeed give us...18 reasons 45 is a better President than President Obama.
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Star Trek: Discovery has announced its premiere dates. BEGIN GEEKERY.
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Oh, look - our allies aren't taking 45 seriously, and are now going so far as to publicly mock him. While I can't really blame them - after all, 45 has to be one of the most unserious political figures in history - this does not bode well for our position on the world stage.
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Today's Sources:
  • NPR: A mainstream media source with a left-center bias and highly factual reporting. 
  • The Washington Post: A mainstream media source with a left-center bias and highly factual reporting. 
  • The New York Times: A mainstream media source with a left-center bias a highly factual reporting. 
  • Stuff That Needs to be Said: The personal blog of Pastor John Pavlovitz. 
  • 4 Quarters, 10 Dimes: The personal blog of professional historian David. 
  • ExtraNewsFeed: Satire and humor. Their tagline: "The same political rants you see on Facebook, but they’re well written."
  • StarTrek.com: All things Star Trek
  • Vox: On-line media source with a left bias and highly factual reporting. 

Link Me Up, Scotty - Short Form Edition

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Libby Bakalar of One Hot Mess takes on Disney's Beauty and the Beast with the help of her 6 year old son, with hilarious results.
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Oh, look! Evidence that the Russians tried to hack into election data in ways that would directly affect the outcomes of elections. This is my shocked face.
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Because I know you need more Trump/MAGA jokes in your life.
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What the hell is wrong with people? No, seriously - what? I dislike 45 and the morally bankrupt Republican Party as much as the next tax-and-spend liberal, but shooting them down like rabid dogs is wrong on every level. We still have some investment in the rule of law around here, regardless of 45's efforts, and such events only hurt the liberal cause. And then there was a workplace shooting in San Francisco. I don't understand people at all. 
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An interesting look at how when it comes to living in harmony with our fellow creatures, humans are looking at the problem in the wrong way. In other words, hive collapse isn't the problem, it's the symptom. 
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June 12th was the 40th anniversary of the verdict in the case that struck down miscegenation laws nation-wide. Like most people in this country, they just wanted people to leave them alone.
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Sources: 
  • One Hot Mess: The personal blog of Libby Bakalar.
  • Bloomberg: Mainstream Media source with a left-center bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • The Nib: A web comic.
  • The Washington Post: Mainstream Media source with a left-center bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • NPR: Mainstream Media source with a left-center bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 

The Unforgivable Sin

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

I'm a big believer in forgiveness. It's good for me, as it allows me to move along smartly with my life without allowing those I perceive to have wronged me taking up permanent residence in my head. Sometimes it takes me a long time to forgive someone who has done me particularly grievous harm, but eventually I'll come around, forgive the person in question, and move on with my life. Typically the person in question is no longer welcome in my life after that, but hey, I'm okay with that.

But there is one thing that falls under "unforgivable sin" in my forgiveness rubric. And that thing is causing grievous harm to those I care deeply about.

I don't know why I'm willing to forgive those who do me harm, but not those who do harm to people I love, although I'm sure there's some deep psychological reason for it. Maybe it's because I know I have the skills and the practice to be able to manage such things, and I'm not sure if my loved ones do, as well. Maybe it's because when something like this happens, I want to fix it, and relieve the pain of the person I love, but I can't. So I'm not only railing against the perpetrator for causing harm to the person I love, but also for making me feel powerless. Maybe it's because Karma just doesn't work fast enough for my tastes, and really I'm just a vengeful bitch.

But one thing's for sure. There are two people on this list, and I wouldn't spit on them if they were on fire. Sometimes I feel bad about that, and think I need to work harder at being kinder and more forgiving. And sometimes I'm just grateful the list isn't longer.

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NOTE: I'm not going to write about the example that precipitated this blog post, as it's not my story to tell. But believe you me, if there was ever someone who fell into "unforgivable" category, it's the individual who caused this pain.

Reasons I Think MRAs Hate Wonder Woman - A Noncomprehensive List

Friday, June 9, 2017

Now that I've actually seen the Wonder Woman movie - which was fucking awesome, by the way - I think I'm informed enough to speculate on why Men's Rights Advocates (MRAs) hate this movie with the fire of a thousand burning suns. Here we go:

1. MRAs have a problem with Copernicus. It is their belief that the entire universe revolves around them, or at least it should, and they truly can't understand why this movie doesn't. To make matters worse, when they try to make it about them, the ladiez (and a great number of men) are rolling their eyes, laughing in their faces, and merrily flooding the box office with ticket sales to this fabulous movie.

2. The Wonder Woman character refuses to apologize for being a woman. Her attitude is more like, "Why does anyone care that I'm a woman?" Historically, strong female characters had to justify their strength to their male compatriots, ensuring they don't bruise the tender egos of the menfolk. Wonder Woman doesn't do that, and doesn't understand why she should. Fuckin' A, Diana of Themyscira.

3. The Wonder Woman character was not written as "broken." She's an amazing warrior because she came of age in a warrior culture, and worked hard to become amazing. There's no hidden motivation regarding a man, her desire to get revenge, her overwhelming desire to have a child of her womb, or whatever. She's just a badass. And we all know that being a fully whole badass is a state solely reserved for the menfolk.

4. Gal Gadot is not be trifled with. She was an Israeli Defense Force Combat Instructor. In preparation for this role she took swordsmanship, Kung Fu kickboxing, capoeira, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu training. She did all her own stunts for the Fast and the Furious franchise. She did the reshoots for Wonder Woman while five months pregnant with her second child. She's been happily married for almost nine years. She and her husband are richy, rich, rich. AND she was 2004's Miss Israel. So she's smart, stable, accomplished, gifted, strong, rich, beautiful, and she doesn't give a good goddamn when MRAs think about her or her movie. Intimidating much, Ms. Gadot? YES YOU ARE, SISTER, AND GOOD FOR YOU.

5. Wonder Woman is a morally and physically superior being. This should not be a surprise, after all - she's a demigod, for fuck's sake. But apparently only male demigods (like Thor, for example) are allowed to be superior to men. Not uppity Amazons with a penchant for love and justice.

6. Many MRAs believe this movie was made solely to make the DC Universe politically correct. Apparently that domestic opening weekend haul of over $103M - exceeding Dr. Strange, Iron Man, and Thor - is just a coincidence. Because really, what studios are REALLY interested in is being politically correct and inclusive, not making money. Amirite, ladiez?

7. Wonder Woman is getting great reviews, both from the masses (93% on Rotten Tomatoes) and from professional movie critics. That there is a hard pill to swallow, I imagine, after all the vitriol expended on its irrelevance and accusations of kowtowing to the femi-nazis.

SUCK IT, MRAs. Wonder Woman is the feminist icon of our time, and she is AMAZING. 

Why I Cried During Wonder Woman

Thursday, June 8, 2017

We saw Wonder Woman last night at our local theater. I've been looking forward to seeing this movie since it was announced, as I was fan of the Lynda Carter era Wonder Woman and the only reason I ever watched The Justice League was to see Wonder Woman. And Aquaman. But that's another story.

And I cried.

Like many women who have watched this movie, it touched me in several fundamental ways, and this Super Hero movie became much more to me than a fun entertainment.

I cried because Diana is a badass. But she's a matter-of-fact badass. She worked hard to attain the skills and strength that are her birthright, but really - it's not that big of a deal. It's just part of who she is, and I loved the fact that her will was forged in the cultural fire of her people, not in some tragic event (usually involving either a man or her uterus or both) that left her broken or on fire for vengeance or some shit. She came of age in a warrior society, and she's a warrior. That's it, nothing to see here, move along. When was the last time I saw a female character in a movie that was strong, tough, undamaged, totally passing the Bechdel test - without apologizing for who she is, or for smashing patriarchal norms? Never, that's when. And the inclusion of this character in the modern zeitgeist makes my heart soar.

I cried because Diana does what is right, not what is easy or expedient. Like Steve Rogers, she's the moral center of her Super Hero universe, and she gave up everything she knew and loved in order to do the right thing. Watching her run head-long into No Man's Land made me weep with pride and longing.

I cried because Diana is an advocate for capital "J" Justice. You do what you need to do, but don't make the mistake of assuming she will follow any moral compass but her own. She's the master of self-determination, something we all wish for ourselves and our children.

I cried because our Moe-Moe was a fan of Wonder Woman, as well as having many other geek interests. Prior to her death, she was so looking forward to this movie, hoping that the studio's portrayal would be a well-rounded one, including the core of who Diana is, without failing the Bechdel test (as so many movies do). I know she would have been delighted with the end result. It breaks my heart that she was robbed of this experience - and so many others - by her mental illness.

I cried because this is the movie I've been waiting for my entire life. It provided, in its daring and complete vision, an example of what female characters should look like, but don't. Diana was a fully formed character, with nuance, complexity, emotional vulnerability, strengths, weaknesses, substance. Her life, desires and values didn't revolve around a man, or a tragedy, but around her duty. And in the end, she chose love. Not the love of a man, but the love for the very best of humanity, while acknowledging that the very worst is always there, as well. The brave choice, the tough choice, the generous choice. A true Super Hero.


Link Me Up, Scotty - Dumber than a Box of Rocks Edition

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Cthulhu's children, 45 is so stupid. He's now compromising his own SCOTUS case regarding his ridiculous "travel ban" by failing to STFU about it and follow the Justice Department attorneys' advice. What is wrong with him?
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Local peeps: Douglas County Library's Summer Reading Program for kids and adults is now in full swing. And, of course, so is mine.
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GRAIN OF SALT WARNING: Yahoo News' factual accuracy is sometimes suspect, and I have been unable to find this news reported anywhere else.

Apparently four law firms who are considered some of the best in the United States have turned down retainers from the President to defend him in the on-going Congressional and Justice Department investigations surrounding improprieties during the 2016 election. The reasons? 45 doesn't pay his bills, he won't listen to experts in their fields, and the firms themselves are concerned about their reputations if they're associated with the President of the United States. That is some fucked up shit, right there.
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From the "an embarrassment to us all" files: London's Mayor, Sadiq Khan, is calling on the British government to cancel 45's state visit (after throwing 45 some shade for his stupid Twitter rant) basically because our President is a Grade A Tool.
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And....no one wants to work for 45. Including the spouse of one of his closest advisors. Completely understandable - what if some that gets on you and you can't get it off?
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You know that $110B deal 45 supposedly made with Saudi Arabia for arms? Yeah, totally not a "deal." And totally started during the Obama administration. What a troll.
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Orly has collaborated with Muslim Girl to create Halal certified nail polishes for Muslim women. Speaking as an Atheist, I have to say that this is what inclusion looks like. Accommodating these women's faith tradition in your product line is not only the right thing to do, it just makes good business sense.
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Let's end on an inspirational note, shall we? Meet Mandy Harvey, a contestant on America's Got Talent who touched my heart with her story and her amazing talent.


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Today's sources:
  • Outside the Beltway: An online journal of politics and foreign affairs analysis written by a highly educated and ridiculously qualified staff. 
  • Douglas County Library: The public library special district of Douglas County, Colorado. 
  • Yahoo News: A mainstream media news source with a left-center bias and a mixed degree of factual reporting. 
  • The Guardian: A mainstream media news source with a left-center bias and a high degree of factual reporting.
  • The Washington Post: A mainstream media news source with a left center bias and a high degree of factual reporting.
  • The Brookings Institute: A research group with a left-center bias and a very high degree of factual reporting. 
  • Glamour: A fashion and beauty magazine with a high degree of factual reporting.