Thursday, February 28, 2013

Daily Blend: Thursday, February 28, 2013

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Bill Donohue (President, Catholic League)
Bill Donohue

NOTE: Effective tomorrow, Disqus will automatically “update” the old system (still in use on this blog as of this writing) to the new platform, which trades in marginally improved functionality while stripping any trace of customization. I expect to spend some time tinkering with the new system to try and squeeze out any possible improvement, though I won’t hold my breath. (Configurations and commenting histories should remain untouched.) That is all. (UPDATE: 03/06/13 3:35 PM ET – Date has been set back to the 13th. So … yay?)

  • You know, it’s not often that we see priests making accusations of clerical child abuse against their superiors. Refreshing?
    (via Joe. My. God.)

  • Indiana Republicans correct themselves: One government-sanctioned rape by medically pointless transvaginal ultrasound (instead of two) is just right for women seeking an abortion after all.

  • Another prosecutor thinks the best way to protect teens from the eeevils of “sexting” is by ruining their lives with the criminal justice system.

  • US Senate finally reauthorizes full Violence Against Women Act despite House Republicans’ best attempts to derail it and strip LGBT, native American and undocumented immigrant protections.

  • (Old gem) Quacks of a feather: Australian chiropractors accused of being key supporters of the anti-vaccination Australian Vaccination Network.
    (via @DrRachie; RT: @BadAstronomer)

  • And finally, I don’t understand what Bill Donohue’s [pictured] anti-abortion argument is, here. I don’t think he does, either.

  • If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

    Donohue is squicked by BDSM “perverts”

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    As I seem to be saying a little too regularly for comfort: My apologies again for the downtime in blogging, which is (as always) attributable to a lack of motivation and some mild sleep deprivation. And so – also as always – here’s a quick little something to chew on: Catholic League chief pearl-clutcher Bill Donohue has the vapors over this New York Times piece on the rising popularity of BDSM practices:

    ZOMG, a number of consenting adults do things on their own time and dime behind closed doors that sound really weird and disturbing to a crusty old prude like me, the freaks!!!”

    Of course, that’s not even mentioning the impressive amounts of irony on display here, considering this squawk of puritanical protest comes from a man who devotes himself to the passionate defense of a flamboyantly creepy cult and whose best-known export is the continual defense of almost any clergyman caught committing child sexual abuse and the officials who do their best to cover it all up. Forget glass houses; they can see this guy’s glass palace from space.

    Sunday, February 24, 2013

    I Get (Hate) Mail: First edition!

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    I’ll take this as another sign of my imminent popularity: After having received plenty of comments and tweets from various hateful pissants, I’ve now reached the milestone of receiving my first ever instance of genuine, bona fide hate mail! A certain Charles Bronson writes:

    Whats up, dumbass? How does it feel to be voted Canadas Favorite Brainwashed Liberal Asshole? Take pride in that shit, homeboy, because Canada doesn't offer this planet shit except fucking hockey. How do you liberal bed-wetters get anything done with your worthless presidents dick in your mouths all day? Once you go black, you never go back, right, loser? Keep up the good work, idiot, and again, congratulations, asshole.......

    Hang on – first he accuses me of being a dirty socialistic Canuck, then of being an Obama-philic USian in the very next sentence? I’m not sure that says many good things about this person’s state of mind.

    So … now that I’ve got my own hater(s) and everything, what’s my prize? Do I get an “explode their head” button? (Does it come in shiny red?)

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

    Headline of the Day: A Toowoomba wedding

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    Well, a December 2010 headline, anyway, but here you go:

    Headline: “Australian Man Marries His Dog: An Australian man named Joseph Guiso married his five-year-old Labrador named Honey in the city of Toowoomba yesterday evening. He clarified to close friends and family that “it’s not sexual, it’s just pure love.”” [@ 12/01/10 12:16 PM EST]

    (via @BuzzFeedAndrew)

    Doggycide Roundup: 02/23/13

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    Dog chalk outline
  • Clearwater, FL (02/16/13): Officer “forced to shoot and kill” allegedly aggressive pitbull after failing to repel the repeatedly charging dog with his baton.
    (via Dogs Shot by Police | Facebook)

  • Los Angeles, CA (02/18/13): Police chasing five stolen car suspects shoot & kill a dog during the pursuit. No further details known. Great reporting, that.
    (via Dogs Shot by Police | Facebook)

  • Fort Valley, GA (02/21/13): Cops investigate allegedly loose dog chasing children in the street, shoot & kill Champ the 5-month-old rottweiler when he becomes “aggressive” after they try & fail to restrain him with a catch-pole.
    (via Dogs Shot by Police | Facebook)

  • Statistics:
    Shootings: 3
    Victims: 3
    Deceased: 3 (100%)
    Survivors: 0 (0%)
    Pitbull index: 1 (33%)

    Obama administration finally calls for demise of DOMA

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    Same-sex marriage

    It’s been a long time coming, but at last, the Obama administration is calling for the Supreme Court to put an end to institutionalized anti-gay discrimination under the Defense of Marriage Act:

    Arguing that Section 3 of DOMA, which forbids federal recognition of same-sex marriage, violates the Constitution, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli writes that DOMA also deserves heightened scrutiny because of the history of discrimination faced by gays and lesbians.

    "Section 3 of DOMA violates the fundamental constitutional guarantee of equal protection," the brief reads. "The law denies to tens of thousands of same-sex couples who are legally married under state law an array of important federal benefits that are available to legally married opposite-sex couples. Because this discrimination cannot be justified as substantially furthering any important governmental interest, Section 3 is unconstitutional."

    The brief also slaps down the Republican DOMA defense’s claims about how the federal gay marriage ban supposedly works to protect children from some vague homosexual threat. Because that canard has served them so well in court this far, hasn’t it?

    For all its (many and serious) faults, LGBT rights is one domain the Obama administration has generally been quite excellent in, though it does have a tendency to drag its feet for no good or clear reason at times. But from killing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to the President’s (personal) endorsement of same-sex marriage, it’s been nothing but hit after hit lately, for which they certainly deserve kudos.

    (via @BuzzFeedAndrew)

    Friday, February 22, 2013

    Daily Blend: Friday, February 22, 2013

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    Diana Medley (special education teacher, Sullivan High School, Indiana)
    Diana Medley
  • Ontario top appeals court rules it just fine if police want to snoop around a suspect’s cellphone – so long as there’s no password, or then they have to ask permission.

  • Indiana Republicans agree: One government-sanctioned rape by medically pointless transvaginal ultrasound just isn’t enough for women seeking an abortion.
    (via @jennifurret)

  • I’m not sure what’s remotely surprising about a study that links childhood bullying to psychological disorders in adults (except to those “it’s normal/harmless for kids to pick on each other” assholes).
    (via RT: @jennifurret)

  • Sullivan, Indiana teacher [pictured] suspended over anti-gay remarks, universally suspected of being special educator Dianne “gays have no purpose in life and I don’t understand it” Medley.
    (via Friendly Atheist)

  • If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

    Thursday, February 21, 2013

    More brief thoughts on civility

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    Bad language

    Godless ethicist/philosopher Daniel Fincke is once again rankling feathers around the atheist blogosphere, this time by proposing a civility pledge to encourage people to moderate the tone of their arguments when addressing individuals or situations they disagree with. Predictably, there’s plenty I wholeheartedly agree with and a fair amount I take exception to for various reasons (though none of which amount to dismissing it as “tone-trolling”, an accusation flung around far too casually and inaccurately these days). In short, I believe it depends entirely on who is being addressed: those who are open to new ideas and reasonable disagreements, versus those who have a priori closed off their minds to any different perspectives in their zeal to discriminate against others because of their ethnicity, sexuality/gender identity, religious beliefs, and so on.

    As is usually the case, the always-level-headed Ed Brayton best summarizes my feelings on the matter:

    There are hard bigots and soft bigots. Ten years ago when the first court ruling on same-sex marriage came down in Massachusetts, 70-80% of Americans were opposed to marriage equality. Now it’s about 55-45 in support, and a much higher percentage support equal rights and protections for gay couples as long as you call it a civil union rather than a marriage. And in another ten years, I have no doubt that the numbers will reverse themselves completely and it will be about 70-30 in favor of equality. Why? Because most of the people who were initially opposed to it weren’t really bigots, they were just ignorant. They didn’t hate gay people, they just didn’t really know any and they were scared of such a big change so quickly. Once they started seeing that same-sex marriage didn’t really change anything and that gay couples were no different from them in any meaningful way, they changed their minds. So I think that soft bigots need to be talked to in a reasonable and civil manner.

    But Tony Perkins? Joseph Farah? Eugene Delgaudio? These are hard bigots, people who are absolutely committed to hatred and discrimination and will do whatever it takes to maintain their hegemony. A civil discussion with them or about them will achieve nothing. For them I reserve nothing but ridicule. And while I do take the time to break down their arguments and show why they’re irrational, I also reserve the right to call them what they are: bigoted, authoritarian assholes.

    Heads and nails, as he would say himself. Those who are honestly ignorant (as opposed to dishonestly so) and simply haven’t encountered or sought out anything that might change their minds should be treated with civility, at least when making a first approach. More often than not, being introduced to new ways of thinking – usually by encountering the very people they know little about and seeing how perfectly decent and harmless they are – is the ticket to getting them to see the light.

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

    Daily Blend: Wednesday, February 20, 2013

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    Bob Beckel
    Bob Beckel
  • Canadian free speech ombudsman asked to investigate whether federal scientists are being unfairly muzzled by the government. (Y’know, as opposed to fairly muzzling them.)

  • Make a Counter-Strike map of a real Montréal metro station, get threatened with a $50,000 fine because it might, like, scare people or something.

  • In shocking news to all, a new study reveals that religion isn’t actually a very good deterrent against criminal behavior.
    (via Friendly Atheist)

  • Fox News token liberal Bob Beckel [pictured]: “When was the last time you heard about a rape on campus?” Hmm, let’s see.

  • And finally, Cardinal Roger Mahoney, “humiliated” by God after he was caught shielding child-molesting priests from justice, is “asking God to bless and forgive” … his critics. Quoth Ed Brayton: You should be in prison, you sick bastard.

  • If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

    Monday, February 18, 2013

    Daily Blend: Monday, February 18, 2013

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    Rhonda McGee (50)
    Rhonda McGee
  • Iowa woman [pictured] “arrested and charged with intent to manufacture [crystal] meth” after buying cold medicine for her allergies – without even violating legal limits.
    (via @radleybalko)

  • In case you somehow missed it, Phil Plait has breathless coverage of last Friday’s spectacular Russian meteoric fireball, along with a reassurance that no, the Universe is not out to get us lately (any more than usual, that is).

  • The Heartland Institute: Still a bunch of lyin’ liars about climate change.
    (via @BadAstronomer)

  • And finally, here be morans. (To be fair, the handrail looks like it broke and slid askew rather than got installed that way.)
    (via @RichardWiseman; RT: @pzmyers)

  • If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

    Sunday, February 17, 2013

    AZ court: DUIs don’t require actually being “under the influence”

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    Marijuana badge

    It’s all too often that I find myself both astounded and depressed at the almost cartoonish stupidity and injustice exhibited some courts of law in the US, particularly when any form of drugs are involved:

    An Arizona appeals court has ruled that marijuana users don't need to be actually impaired to be successfully prosecuted for driving under the influence. The ruling came Tuesday in the case of a man who tested positive for an inactive marijuana metabolite that remains in the body for weeks after the high from smoking marijuana has worn off.

    The ruling in Arizona v. Shilgevorkyan overturned a decision by a superior court judge who said that it didn't make sense to prosecute people for driving under the influence if they're not actually under the influence.

    The ruling turned on a close reading of legislative intent in writing the state's DUID law. The legislation specified the presence of "the metabolite" of THC, and Shilgevorkyan had argued that lawmakers meant "hydroxy-THC, the metabolite which would indicate current impairment, not carboxy-THC, an inactive metabolite that indicates only usage some time in the past.

    The appeals court disagreed, citing its decisions on earlier challenges to the DUID. "The legislature intended to create a 'per se prohibition' and a 'flat ban on driving with any proscribed drug in one's system," the court noted. "We determined that the legislative ban extends to all substances, whether capable of causing impairment or not."

    In other words: It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since you’ve taken a substance, how much of it is present in your system, or if it’s actually affecting you in any way, shape or form – or if it’s even possible for it to affect you – because, well, drugs are bad, m’kay?

    I’d say there has to be some sort of legal principle against any rationale that ridiculously hackneyed and overbroad, but the fact that none was brought up to prevent this ruling would indicate that there isn’t. And that’s one damning condemnation against the legal system and its agenda-driven puppets all on its own.

    (via @BuzzFeedAndrew)

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

    Daily Blend: Thursday, February 14, 2013

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    Dr. Callan Bentley (Assistant Professor of Geology, Northern Virginia Community College
    Dr. Callan Bentley
  • Information is Beautiful reveals the horrible state of rape prosecution in the UK, where only 1.5% of all estimated rapes end with a conviction.

  • Illinois Senate votes to approve same-sex marriage, sends bill to Democrat-controlled House where passage is virtually guaranteed.

  • Florence, AZ high-schooler suspended for using photo of a gun as desktop wallpaper on his school-issued laptop.
    (via @radleybalko)

  • And finally, geology professor Callan Bentley [pictured] graciously provides an ID/Creationist with a head-spinning scientific smackdown.
    (via @BadAstronomer)

  • If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

    Ray Comfort: Only Christianity prevents horse-meat burgers!

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    Ray Comfort
    Ray Comfort

    I generally avoid paying any attention to Ray Comfort’s more mindless anti-atheist arguments (not that anything he’s ever said on the matter could be called “mindful”, no matter how charitable one feels), but this was just too funny to pass up:

    There was a big fuss recently in Sweden about lasagna and burgers containing horse meat. Sweden is atheist heaven, and so there shouldn’t be any hard and fast table manners—other than “if it tastes good, eat it.”

    So why aren’t cats and horses on restaurant menus in most countries? It’s because Judeo/Christian nations base what is right and wrong to eat on the rules God gave to the Jews. But if atheism has its way, we can expect restaurants to expand their menus to include eagle-wings, double-double whale burgers, fresh cat casseroles, and tasty little kitten fingers. When any nation forsakes God, it defaults to mob rule (what society dictates) and that can go anywhere it wants.

    Swinging at fruit this low-hanging is rather like picking a fight with a four-year-old; it leaves one feeling sullied and unsatisfied.

    Canadian gov’t kills “lawful access” Internet snooping bill

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    Online privacy

    It’s been a year since a commotion erupted around Canada over the government’s proposed Bill C-30, so-called “lawful access” legislation that would allow law enforcement to openly snoop around citizens’ private online data. (Particularly memorable was Public Safety Minister Vic Toews’s typically horrendous argument that privacy advocates who opposed the bill were really just “stand[ing] with the child pornographers”.)

    Unlike in the US, though, where public outcry is generally met with contemptuous silence, it seems the Canadian government has actually paid attention to all the protesting, as the bill has effectively been axed for now:

    Earlier this week, it was announced that the Canadian government has agreed not to move forward with the bill, claiming that they "listened" to the concerns of the public:

    We will not be proceeding with Bill C-30 and any attempts that we will continue to have to modernize the Criminal Code will not contain the measures contained in C-30, including the warrantless mandatory disclosure of basic subscriber information or the requirement for telecommunications service providers to build intercept capability within their systems. We've listened to the concerns of Canadians who have been very clear on this and responding to that.

    That’s one battle over with, though there still exists numerous issues with the current system, such as voluntary ISP disclosure of private user data. Privacy rights aren’t in as dire straights in Canada as they are in the US, which seems to take an almost perverse joy in violating its Fourth Amendment these days, but it’s a struggle nonetheless to keep the government’s eyes and ears away from where they don’t belong.

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

    Daily Blend: Wednesday, February 13, 2013

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    U.S. President Barack Obama (addressing the U.N.)
    Pres. Barack Obama
  • President Obama [pictured] shocks privacy advocates everywhere with an executive order on cybersecurity that isn’t replete with Fourth Amendment violations.

  • Republicans still think it’s a good idea to put queen crazypants Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) on the House Intelligence Committee.

  • 17 months after DADT, Defense Department finally figures out what limited benefits they can grant same-sex military families under DoMA.

  • Science-Based Medicine’s David Gorski hammers Penn & Teller for their appearance on the quack-tastic Dr. Oz Show.
    (via The Daily Grail)

  • Sean Curry at BuzzFeed offers some pointed rejoinders to “15 questions atheists are sick of answering”.
    (via Friendly Atheist)

  • If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

    Obama DoJ: Bankruptcy still a fair price for filesharing

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    Copyrights & piracy

    The Obama administration doesn’t seem to mind reaffirming the validity of “rebellion” as a reason for why people chose to pirate media:

    This shouldn't be seen as much of a surprise at all, given that the Obama administration previously supported the $1.5 million verdict against Jammie Thomas-Rasset for sharing a mere 24 songs. However, now that an appeals court has reverted back to the original $220,000 ruling (procedural reasons...), and Thomas-Rasset has filed to ask the Supreme Court to hear the case, the Obama administration is back again, saying that there is nothing wrong with $220,000 for 24 songs. The argument is basically what you'd expect. In short: Congress set the statutory rates, the record labels asked for statutory damages, and thus nothing in that range should be considered too high.

    Any system that favors mandatory minimum punishments (be they prison sentences or monetary fines), particularly minimums so egregiously disproportionate to any alleged harm caused, is a system invested in public spectacles rather than anything resembling true justice. There is simply no valid sensible or ethical (if not, sadly, legal) justification for throwing someone into insolvency over the “offense” of downloading or sharing a few tunes (or videos, or games, or anything else). The very most they can – or should – be accused of is displaying a lack of support for the artist(s) or right-holder(s), which ought to be punishable by furrowed eyebrows rather than criminal sentencing.

    There is undeniably merit to the concept of copyright in itself (not to use the silly term “intellectual property”), as affording content creators legal protections against plagiarism and other unscrupulous behavior is evidently the right thing to do. But no rational mind can argue that the current system is anything other than categorically broken when it’s seen as a sign of leniency for a court to hammer an average citizen with crippling sanctions over an act that simply cannot be reasonably said to cause any harm to anyone (especially given the patent absurdity of “lost sales”*).

    * There is no such thing as a “lost sale”, which implies that a transaction was actually conducted before somehow being undone. What “lost sales” really means is that fewer potential customers are committing to handing out their money in exchange for content, which is simply a failure in marketing (and possibly PR – hint, hint, EA.) The blame for that rests squarely on publishers.

    EDIT: 02/14/13 1:20 PM ET – Made a few minor phrasing edits.

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

    Headline of the Day (one year ago)

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    This is actually a year old to the day, but it seems I never mentioned it, so here you go:

    (via @BuzzFeedAndrew)

    Monday, February 11, 2013

    Religious head of global criminal organization resigns

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    Pope Joseph “Benedict XVI” Ratzinger
    Pope Benedict XVI

    Some unexpected news this morning, for the two of you who may not have yet heard:

    Pope Benedict XVI on Monday said he plans on resigning the papal office on February 28th.

    The only reason this is relatively newsworthy is its novelty; only four popes have resigned in the Church’s history, with the last one doing so almost 600 years ago.

    Of course, while Ratzinger claims he’s stepping down because of tiredness due to his old age, it’s not hard for most to see through such an excuse and posit that the Catholic Church’s ever-worsening-international-child-rape-cover-up-scandal just may have something to do with it. And with a little luck, the next conclave will give us a new holy figurehead who only indirectly helped his antiquated institution continue its deception. Can’t you sense the enthusiasm?

    Or, alternatively, I leave it to Tim Minchin, who really just put it ever so well:

    Lyrics: (click the [+/-] to open/close →) []

    Fuck the motherfucker, fuck the motherfucker
    Fuck the motherfucker, he's a fucking motherfucker
    Fuck the motherfucker, fuck the fucking fucker
    Fuck the motherfucker, he's a total fucking fucker
    Fuck the motherfucker, fuck the motherfucker
    Fuck the motherfucker, fucking fuck the motherfucker
    Fuck the motherfucker, fuck the motherfucking pope

    Fuck the motherfucker, and fuck you motherfucker
    If you think that motherfucker is sacred (fucking motherfucker)
    If you cover for another motherfucker who's a kiddie fucker
    Fuck you you're no better then the mother fucking rapist
    And if you don't like this swearing that this motherfucker forced from me
    And reckon it shows moral or intellectual paucity
    Then fuck you motherfucker, this is language one employs
    When one is fucking cross about fuckers fucking boys

    I don't give a fuck if calling the pope a motherfucker
    Means you unthinkingly brand me an unthinking apostate, and
    This has naught to do with other fucking godly motherfuckers
    I'm not interested right now in fucking scriptural debate
    There are other fucking songs and there are other fucking ways
    I'll be a religious apologist on other fucking days
    And the fact remains that if you protect a single kiddie fucker
    Then pope or prince or plumber you're a fucking motherfucker

    You see I don't give a fuck what any other motherfucker
    Believes about Jesus and his motherfucking mother
    I've no problem with the spiritual beliefs of all these fuckers
    While those beliefs don't impact on the happiness of others
    But if you build your church on claims of fucking moral authority
    And with threats of hell impose it on others in society
    Then you, you motherfuckers, can expect some fucking wrath
    When it turn out you've been fucking us in our motherfucking asses

    So fuck the motherfucker and fuck you motherfucker
    If you're still a motherfucking papist (fucking motherfucker)
    If you covered for a single motherfucker who's a kiddie fucker,
    Fuck the motherfucker he's as evil as the rapist
    And if you look into your motherfucking heart and tell me true
    If this motherfucking stupid fucking song offended you
    With its filthy fucking language and its fucking disrespect
    If it made you feel angry go ahead and write a letter

    But if you find me more offensive than the fucking possibility
    The pope protected priests when they were getting fucking fiddly
    Then listen to me motherfucker, this here is a fact
    You are just as morally misguided as that motherfucking
    Power-hungry, self-aggrandized bigot in the stupid fucking hat

    (via @BreakingNews)

    Indiana high-schoolers want their own anti-LGBT prom night

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    Diana Medley (special education teacher, Sullivan High School, Indiana)
    Diana Medley

    It seems that one sure-fire method to expose all kinds of wretched attitudes towards LGBT folk is the idea of gay and lesbian students mingling with their straight peers on prom night. It happened three years ago with the Constance McMillen saga in Itawamba County, Mississippi, and it’s now happening in Sullivan, Indiana:

    Several parents, students, and others who believe gays should be banned from the Sullivan High School prom met Sunday at the Sullivan First Christian Church.

    "We don't agree with it and it's offensive to us," said Diana Medley.

    Their idea is to create their own separate...traditional prom. Students say there are several others from their high school who agree, but are afraid to take a stand.

    "If we can get a good prom then we can convince more people to come and follow what they believe," said student Kynon Johnson.

    And now they want everyone to know where they stand.

    "We want to make the public see that we love the homosexuals, but we don't think it's right nor should it be accepted," said a local student.


    Several local pastors support the separate prom movement.

    "Christians have always been prepared for a fight. Jesus gave us armor for the front, not the back; we're not running anymore," said Bill Phegley with Carlisle Church.

    You know, I really don’t believe there’s any other group on the planet that’s so keen to spin their own intolerance and discriminatory attitude as a symbol that they’re the ones putting up a brave fight in the face of overwhelming persecution. They want to show their support for LGBT folk – while condemning and shunning them because they have the gall to be attracted to people of the “wrong” gender. Why, how could anyone not think that they “love the homosexuals”?

    Leave it to conservative Christians to combine such abject stupidity, bigotry and hypocrisy all at once and try to wrap it up in the diaphanous cloak of “love”. It would be hilarious if it weren’t so sickening.

    At least one of them – someone who ought to know about the plight of marginalized students better than anyone – is honest about their ignorance [my emphasis]:

    Sunday, February 10, 2013

    Daily Blend: Sunday, February 10, 2013

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    Christopher “Chris” Hayes
    Chris Hayes
  • Strong monologue by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes [pictured] about depressingly rampant liberal/progressive hypocrisy over the Obama administration’s escalated drone war.
    (via @ggreenwald)

  • The easy solution to anti-gay bullying in schools: Just tell kids that they can pray the gay away!

  • FBI continues to heroically foil its own fake terrorist plots.

  • Bigot-tank Family Research Council rehashes the exact same arguments against allowing gays in the Boy Scouts that it used against repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. Because their predictions were so obviously correct the last time. (And the time before that, and …)

  • And finally, #INeedMasculismBecause it’s a comedic draw between watching MRAs try to explain their bigotry while the rest of the world laughs at them.

  • If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

    Doggycide Roundup: 02/10/13

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    Army the pitbull
    Army the pitbull

    Sorry for the lateness and general lack of bloggery these past few days. Just haven’t really been in much of an opining mood lately.

  • Las Vegas, NV (01/22/13): Constable under investigation for shooting & injuring dog of young woman he allegedly stalked and harassed.
    (via Dogs Shot by Police | Facebook)

  • Long Beach, CA (01/30/13): Officers open fire at a possible trespasser’s dog that “ran at [them]”, miss; dog runs away and no injuries are reported.
    (via Dogs Shot by Police | Facebook)

  • Battle Creek, MI (01/30/13): Police investigating a reported assault shoot & kill Junior the pitbull as it allegedly attacked them.
    (via Dogs Shot by Police | Facebook)

  • Pitt County, NC (02/06/13): Deputy enters woman’s yard to speak with her, shoots & kills Army the pitbull [pictured] for “growling, hissing [?] and showing its teeth and lung[ing]” at him. Deputy claims he only opened fire when he was cornered, though makes no mention of attempting to use non-lethal force. Owner plans to sue.
    (via Dogs Shot by Police | Facebook)

  • Statistics:
    Shootings: 4
    Victims: 3
    Deceased: 2 (50%)
    Survivors: 1 (25%)
    Pitbull index: 2 (50%)

    Wednesday, February 06, 2013

    Daily Blend: Wednesday, February 06, 2013

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    U.S. President Barack Obama (addressing the U.N.)
    Pres. Barack Obama
  • A Tale of Two Obamas: BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski presents a trenchant exposé on the President’s [pictured] then-and-now stance on civil liberties and government powers.

  • 10-year-old Alexandria, VA boy arrested and charged with “brandishing a weapon” for showing his orange-tipped toy gun to other kids on a school bus.
    (via @radleybalko)

  • Maybe the reason some police departments hate being recorded (including by their own surveillance tools) is because it exposes their corruption.
    (via @normative; RT: @radleybalko)

  • And finally, latest Republican attempt to force God into classrooms includes text from a noted pro-choice atheist.
    (via Rob F)

  • If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

    Some late-night street music to weep over

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    Google describes this man as an unidentified cellist who occasionally regales passers-by on Der Graben street in Vienna, Austria with his performances. All I know is he damn near drove me to tears, the magnificent, beautifully talented bastard. (The song is Andrea Bocelli’s classic ‘Con te partirò’, or ‘Time to Say Goodbye’.)

    I just wish there were a button to mute the background noise, though the crowd appears deservedly respectful.

    Tuesday, February 05, 2013

    Daily Blend: Tuesday, February 05, 2013

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    Bill Donohue (President, Catholic League)
    Bill Donohue
  • New York City teen pregnancy rate continues to plummet thanks to easier access to birth control.

  • Creeping Creationism fails in Colorado.

  • Continuing from yesterday, Bill Donohue [pictured] really, really hates that sexually experienced and shamelessly gay man Andrew Sullivan would dare criticize the Catholic Church’s child-molestation problem. (Note his revealing derision over “consent” – that word obviously has no application or meaning in Catholicism.)

  • And finally, John Scalzi’s counter-Vox Day fundraiser is starting to make some impressive headlines.

  • If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

    Hack of the Day: MSNBC’s Touré excuses presidential crimes

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    There’s nothing like the recent revelation of the Obama administration’s legal justification for assassinating U.S. citizens suspected of terroristic activity to help expose the more dedicated partisans out there, and MSNBC’s Touré was quick to take the cake:

    Maybe I’m growing blind(er) in my old age (*cough*), but I could’ve sworn that reads “Commander in Chief”, not “king”, “emperor”, or “judge, jury and executioner”. The Office of the President is responsible for executing the law and representing the people, not subverting the whole purpose of the separation of powers by declaring who gets to live or die by fiat based on whatever loose interpretation of the law they chose. (Even if that’s what they’ve been doing for a while, now.)

    Even President Bush (whose executive overreach Obama has now matched or exceeded in several ways) never dared try to declare himself the sole party responsible for wantonly murdering U.S. citizens. Yet, is there any doubt at all that apologists like Touré would have cried bloody murder if Bush had tried to pull a similar stunt as Obama’s secret kill list? But because it’s a Democratic president who does it, well, it’s just necessary to combat them evil terrorizers, then. (And really, who cares if we even know what they’re accused of, or if we’re even sure they’re the right targets in the first place?)

    But that’s not all:

    Monday, February 04, 2013

    Donohue doesn’t want gay dude dissing child-rape-hiding Pope

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    New from Catholic League chief blowhard Bill Donohue:

    Yes, someone who may or may not have previously engaged in perfectly consensual sexual relations with other mature adults – of the same gender, no less! – has absolutely no right to talk about the head of an organization declaring itself the utmost paragon of virtue and divine morality whilst deliberately brushing thousands of cases of child molestation under the rug and constantly relocating the offenders to provide them with fresh reserves of victims as part of a global cover-up spanning several decades (if not longer).

    I mean, the gall.

    Also … Bing?

    Sunday, February 03, 2013

    Daily Blend: Sunday, February 03, 2013

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    Jenny McCarthy
    Jenny McCarthy
  • Canada’s Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation: “We invited Jenny McCarthy [pictured] to headline our fundraiser!” Internet: “WTF?” ORCF: “Um, whoops, sorry, never mind.”

  • President Obama: LGBT folk should be allowed in the Boy Scouts. Absolutely schadenfreudelicious Right-wing freak-out in 3 … 2 …

  • John Scalzi has a beautiful plan for dealing with Vox “Racist Sexist Homophobic Dipshit” Day’s endearing little obsession with him.
    (via @BadAstronomer)

  • And finally, please, Slymepitters, do tell me all about how your wretched hive of scum and bigotry is actually a venue for enlightened discourse?
    (via Pharyngula)

  • If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

    Saturday, February 02, 2013

    Doggycide Roundup: 02/02/13

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    Dog chalk outline
  • Kingston, NY (01/13/13): Cops forced to shoot & injure a pitbull that was allegedly “released by its owner to attack when an officer tried to arrest [him]”. Officer apparently used an appropriate escalation of force when Tasering the animal failed.
    (via Dogs Shot by Police | Facebook)

  • Middletown, NY (01/16/13): Police investigating call about screaming man shoot & kill two pitbulls that were allegedly released to attack them.
    (via Dogs Shot by Police | Facebook)

  • Melbourne, FL (01/17/13): Police investigating reports about domestic abuse shoot & kill Tyson the pitbull when he allegedly attacks an officer.
    (via Dogs Shot by Police | Facebook)

  • Fort Lauderdale, FL (01/18/13): Cop responds to call about two dogs that killed cat, shoots at both when they allegedly attack, injuring one and killing the other.
    (via Dogs Shot by Police | Facebook)

  • Jackson, MS (01/21/13): Police called in for domestic abuse case shoot apparent pitbull after unrelated woman claims it had attacked her and “was trying to bite everyone”. Dog’s status unknown.
    (via Dogs Shot by Police | Facebook)

  • Chester, PA (01/25/13): Police respond to apparent dog fight in a pickup fight by shooting & killing both animals. Details are confusing, but no less damning.
    (via Dogs Shot by Police | Facebook)

  • Selma, CA (01/25/13): Officer approaching animal shelter dog cage gets rushed by excited dogs at the gate. Naturally, he “feared for his life” and promptly shot & killed five of them.
    (via Dogs Shot by Police | Facebook)

  • Statistics:
    Shootings: 7
    Victims: 13
    Deceased: 10 (77%)
    Survivors: 2 (15%)
    Pitbull index: 6 (46%)

    Friday, February 01, 2013

    Daily Blend: Friday, February 01, 2013

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    “Don’t say gay”

    Is it just me, or are months going by faster and faster?

  • Tennessee’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill [pictured] is back, now with the requirement that school faculty out any students seeking sexuality counseling to their parents.
    (via Joe. My. God.)

  • Unbelievable: Remember the old joke about conservatives being so anti-Obama that if the President came out against Hitler, the Right would defend the Nazis? Oh, wait, that totally just happened.
    (via @radleybalko)

  • More on creeping Creationism in Missouri.

  • And finally, I am quite happy to see Jen McCreight is back in the game. And not just because it promises more Pokébiology.

  • If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

    EDIT (02/01/13 9:53 PM ET) – It turns out the above is the same Creationism/ID bill I mentioned in my last Daily Blend. (via Rob F)