I'm not going to link to anything about the Orlando shootings, and especially not to the political insanity playing out on our national stage. I have too many friends who are LGBT, some fully open, some still in the closet. You can't work for 26 years in the arts without knowing a fair share and seeing their pain played out in their art. I'm just going to share some thoughts I had yesterday. One, this shooter's pledge of allegiance to ISIS, and the San Bernardino shooter, is the caliphate version of Pascal's Wager, not any actual connection. ISIS doesn't have the ability to project power internationally. The France/Belgium shooting are still in question of how closely that was directed and even funded through ISIS. At best they've been able to reach into Turkey for assassinations. Second, for all those people who accepted, agreed with, or nodded their heads in consent to any of the recent American Christian blatherings that this or that disaster was brought on by God as punishment for our cultural acceptance of gays (I'm thinking a lot of Katrina here, but almost any hurricane that makes landfall, or any major earthquake, or really any sparrow's fart near a city with an openly gay community) you can take your thoughts and prayers and shove them. For this one, all those people can sit down and STFU. If you have any inclination to say "God/we disapprove of gays" do me a favor and be quiet, because I don't want to hear it anymore. I know friends who are still in the closet to the wider world, and probably will remain there for life. I've seen three friends struggle with coming out to themselves and to accept who they are. Some say it's easier these days, I don't believe them. Anyone who says it's a choice is either an idiot or is bisexual (and for them, it could be a choice to deny part of themselves).
John Scalzi ruminating on how blogs work in the social media market. Things certainly have changed here on Walton's Mountain.
The Radiolab episode on cellmates. So, you may have balked about how we can trace our human ancestry to one guy (and even farther back, one woman). How about this, all life came from one cell that learned how to accommodate mitochondria.
Venus in infrared. Wow. Okay, some people post kitten pics to sooth, I'll take this any day. (Grokked from Tania)
Whelp, Philly is the next place to try a tax on sweetened beverages.
Everybody put on their tinfoil hats (do they still make tinfoil?). The Real Reason™ we went to war in Iraq? A Star Gate. Okay, so, before you start laughing, this part is absolutely true, my first story that was accepted (but never published) was about a transdimensional gateway in Ur that al Qaeda was using to channel in the Old Ones (aka, it was a Cthulhu story). I'm a little impressed and freaked. (Grokked from John)
In other tinfoil hat news, "Last year, the Richmond, California city council passed a ban on space-based weapons that are secretly causing physical and psychological damage against people via 'remote transmission.'"
"The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety has purchased several 'Electronic Recovery and Access to Data' devices to install in police cruisers for seizing funds from prepaid debit cards during roadside arrests." What. The. Fuck. Civil asset seizures in the age of plastic.
Hey, remember that talk radio call-in person who said they had explosive evidence on Benghazi? Remember the Benghazi Committee's direction to the Pentagon to find this mysterious person? Good News, Everybody™, they found him and brought him to Congress to testify. So, how did it go? "Unfortunately, 'John from Iowa' had nothing to tell them that they didn't already know. After holding more hearings on Benghazi than almost any other tragic event in our history and spending millions of dollars up to this point, how sad that they relied on a talk show call in guest to help with their witch hunt." Yep, pretty much as expected (and as well as all their other "bombshells"). I wonder if we can sue the committee to recover the tax money spent on this boondoggle? (Grokked from Jim Wright)
What is becoming a meme; Is the Trumpster a racist/neo-nazi? Well, he sure sounds like one.
Paul Krugman on how "someone who looks so much like a cheap con man bulldoze right through the G.O.P. nomination process?" It's the same reason so many churches fall for serial con-men who offer "only the best deal to let their fellow Christians in on the secret." Once you set up a scheme based on grifting, other grifters will come in and take advantage of it. In case you've maxed out your NYT articles for the month, here's a summary over at Salon. (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)
Ken Burns' Stanford Graduation speech where he addresses the threat to our democracy posed by the Trumpster. "Vichy Republicans", I'm going to have to remember that one. (Grokked from Joe Hill)