27 July 2010

Clever.

The single best thing I've read about the current vampire craze is this post titled I Know Why the Vampire Sparkles.

Please to enjoy.

26 July 2010

Surprising news.

Today, a U.S. President who faces contentious elections in three months ignored overwhelming public opinion against and signed an executive order desegregating the military just because he thought equality as a principle was important enough to actually do something about it.

It was today, 62 years ago. The president was Harry Truman. He informed Congress he had, “instructed the secretary of defense to take steps to have the remaining instances of discrimination in the armed services eliminated as rapidly as possible.” Of course, then as now the glorious leadership of our armed forces thought "rapidly" meant 15 goddam years.

Today, there is overwhelming public support for removing the institutional discrimination against gay soldiers. It polls at 78%. Seriously, nothing polls at 78%.

However, the "Homosexual Conduct" law has not yet been repealed and there continues to be zero movement to enact any kind of federal antidiscrimination law to protect gay citizens within or without the military. In fact, the momentum seems to be to continue to heap increasingly more legal disabilities on top of existing discrimination — y'know "state's rights," and all. Viva Jim Crow!

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Daniel Choi was officially discharged two days ago, and the Obama Administration is currently in federal court defending the military's gay ban as rational, reasonable, and necessary in Log Cabin Republicans vs. United States of America.

Nice work, Democrats.

President Truman once offered your party some valuable advice you persistently ignore: "If you give the people a choice between a watered-down Republican and a Republican, they will choose the real thing every time."

Probably too late now.

±$1,150,000,000,000.00

That's how much our post-9/11 wars have cost...so far.

If you took hundred-dollar bills and stacked them, the stack would be over 780 miles high. If you built that stack in Kansas City, and it tipped over, the top would land in Pittsburgh.

We haven't even started paying for either war, because neither was funded. We just put them on the credit card. Seriously.

Military spending currently represents 54% of the federal budget. Adjusted for inflation, we are currently spending more on the military today than we spent when we were fighting in World War II — which, for us, only lasted four years. And that enemy had submarines, ships, tanks and aircraft. The current enemy has...donkey-bombs.

I have reached the inescapable conclusion that despite being provided nearly infinite resources and a highly trained, willing corps, either our military leaders cannot win these wars, or they will not.

I don't know which is worse.

24 July 2010

Goddamit so much.

Kenneth Feinburg was appointed "pay czar" by the Obama administration for the purpose of investigating the outlandish compensation the bailed-out banks persisted in paying their executives.

He has completed his report. His conclusion: do nothing.

That's right. Nothing.

From Wapo:
The report declined to name individual executives whose pay was deemed excessive. Feinberg said he didn't want his findings to trigger a round of private lawsuits and congressional hearings.
"I think it's sufficient they voluntarily accept this [pay contract] break position, that we all move forward with lessons learned and that we put this sad chapter behind us and look forward," said Feinberg, who will soon shift his attention to overseeing the $20 billion BP oil spill compensation fund.
Emphasis added because holymotherfuckingshit...are you kidding me?

Image

Honestly, it's like GWB never left.

20 July 2010

She won!

Remember Constance McMillen, the Mississippi high school student who got tricked by school administrators into going to a fake prom because she had the temerity to be a lesbian?

She won.

CBS reports:
the Itawamba County School District to pay $35,000, plus attorney's fees. As part of the agreement, the school district also said it would follow a policy not to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity in any educational or extracurricular activities...
"I hope this means that in the future students at my school will be treated fairly," McMillen said.

Given the Itawamba County School District seems disproportionately populated with liars and bigots, I doubt that'll happen.

But hey — by settling and adopting a nondiscrimination policy, they conceded that Ms McMillen was right.

Good job, kiddo.

Thanks, ACLU.

16 July 2010

Congrats to Argentina.

I'm thrilled Argentina passed marriage equality, but it's pretty depressing at the same time.

When I was an undergrad, South Africa was a racist hellpit and Argentina was a creepy semifascist state where people got snatched off the streets by plainclothes government agents.

I never would have believed that only a couple of decades later gay citizens of South Africa and Argentina would have more rights than I have as a citizen.

Some people in this country aren't going to be happy until they prove Margaret Atwood right.

Christ, I need a drink.

12 July 2010

Money talks.

Send a message to the do-nothing politician in your life.

Please to download and enjoy.

Those lesbian mice are FucM knockouts.

Molecular geneticists Dongkyu Park, Dongwook Choi, Junghoon Lee, Dae-sik Lim, and Chankyu Park from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology published an article on July 7, 2010 in BMC Genetics 2010 claiming they could create lesbian mice through genetic manipulation.

They created a strain of mutant female mice lacking one particular gene (FucM) that produces a particular enzyme, and these mice are called the "FucM knockouts."

"The FucM knockout mice displayed an abnormal sexual receptivity...although the animals were fertile." In other words, the FucM knockouts weren't interested in smelling the urine of, or having sex with male mice, but were totally down with the ladies. Fertility was established among some of the FucM knockouts by...well, rape. (In case you were curious, the scientific term for rape is "forced intromission.")

The researchers also discovered that the brain structure of the FucM knockouts was atypical among females, but resembled the brain-development of ordinary male mice.

While the research is certainly interesting, as this article points out, it's important to note that the enzyme doesn't function exactly the same way for gender development in humans. Stanford University's Dr. Simon LeVey, says "Nevertheless, it is probably only a matter of time before molecular geneticists identify genes that influence sexual orientation in humans."

06 July 2010

I care about your safety.

Lifehacker published this very excellent article about how to protect yourself from malicious dickweeds who exploit public wi-fi networks.
Just because most wireless routers have a firewall to protect you from the internet doesn't mean you're protected from others connected to the same network. Lots of wireless hotspots these days are completely unencrypted...this leaves you unprotected against malicious users in the same coffee shop, so there are a few settings you should always make sure to tweak when you're connected to a public network. We're going to show you which settings are the most important ones, as well as how to automatically change your settings to the appropriate level of security every time you connect to a public network.
The article contemplates both Mac and Windows users and it's nicely illustrated.

Please to enjoy.