August Rambling II: Smart is sexy and stupid is not


The New York Times’ prophetic 1983 warning about the NSA, which naturally leads to Glenn Greenwald killed the internet.

My Feelings About the Harriet Tubman Sex Tape in 10 GIFs.

Invisible Disabilities Day is October 24. I have this friend with rather constant neck pain, but she doesn’t LOOK sick, and therefore feels diminished by those who actually don’t believe her. Conversely, The Complexities of Giving: People with Disabilities as Help Objects.

Photos of the worldly goods of inmates at the Willard Asylum. I backed the Kickstarter for this and wrote about it a couple years ago.

“Each week, TIME Magazine designs covers for four markets: the U.S., Europe, Asia and the South Pacific.” Often, America’s cover is quite, well – different. I had noticed this before. I don’t know that it’s “stunning,” but it IS telling.

The Peanuts gang meets The Smiths, in which This Charming Charlie masterfully blends Charles Schulz’ comics with lyrics by The Smiths. Continue reading

July Rambling: privilege, and 12-tone music

Watch the important documentary Two American Families online at Bill Moyers’ website. In the same vein, To Rescue Local Economies, Cities Seize Underwater Mortgages Through Eminent Domain.

From Meryl, the graphic novel expert: The Armageddon Letters and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Also, Zahra – from Paradise to President. Published in 2011, its story takes place in Iran, June 2009.

Brief Thoughts on Shelby County v. Holder by Mark S. Mishler. (But the actual title is TOO long!)

Daniel Nester writes about privilege. I found it interesting, in part, because it reminded me of certain white sociology students Continue reading

That equality thing

It’s happening so quickly that I’m having a difficult time keeping track, but marriage equality has moved forward quite a lot in the past year since President Obama had given his support for same-sex marriage. Whether people support it, or not, there seems to be almost a sense of inevitability that it will happen nationwide, sooner or later, regardless of what happens in the Supreme Court this month. (Though if SCOTUS DOESN’T strike down DOMA, it will rather suck for a lot of people right NOW.)

National Basketball Association player Jason Collins comes out as gay this spring, and other than a lot of support, from the President, to other sports figures, on down, the reaction mostly seems to be, “Hey, no big deal.”

All of this worries me.
Continue reading

Gay rights QUESTION

It’s Gay Pride Month. Here is the schedule of events in Albany [PDF]. Also, check out Libby Post’s blog. And I’ve been encouraged by several things:

ITEM: Home Depot to American Family Assocation: take a hike, we support gay causes. It wasn’t that long ago that corporate America would cower under threat of a boycott by antii-gay forces.

ITEM: A prominent billboard urging a local politician to vote for same-sex marriage has a restaurant source: Bombers Burrito Bar. Continue reading

April Rambling

As a friend noted, “If this occurred randomly and naturally, it’s amazing. If it was done with Photoshop, it was inspired.”

‘Cheap flights’ song (and dance)

Rivers of Babylon a capella by Amy Barlow, joined by Kathy Smith and Corrine Crook, at Amy’s gig in my hometown of Binghamton, NY, July 2009.

Star Wars, the complete musical?

Many people use the terms science fiction and fantasy as if they are interchangeable or identical, when they are actually related, not the same. Author David Brin illuminates the differences.

Superman: citizen of the world

Re: World Intellectual Property Day and Jack Kirby

As a Presbyterian minister, I believed it was a sin. Then I met people who really understood the stakes: Continue reading

The Daughter’s First Gay Pride Parade

We almost didn’t make it.

I have participated in the Gay Pride Parade in Albany at least a half dozen times. And since this was the 40th anniversary of the Capital District Gay and Lesbian Community Council (CDGLCC), reportedly the longest continuously-running group of its type in the nation, this was a particularly significant event this year.

This past Sunday just seemed too complicated, though. The Daughter was having a dance recital later that afternoon, and the weather was looking threatening to boot. But The Wife had volunteered to serve coffee after church, and that involved cleanup afterward.

So I suggested that The Daughter and I at least watch the parade. The Sunday school assignment of the junior high kids at our church that morning was to work on the float with some parishioners and one of our pastors, so The Daughter was at least aware of our congregation’s involvement. And she watched it being finished after Sunday school.

As we waited for the noon start time, I decided that we could find the More Light Presbyterian contingent and at least walk with them from the park to the church a couple blocks. I see State Senator Neil Breslin with probably the most well-known gay rights activist in the area, Times Union blogger Libby Post who wrote, before the parade, about unusual acceptance at a local high school. (I agree with someone’s assertion that “tolerance” of gay people seems akin to “tolerating” root canal or “tolerating” veggies you don’t like but eat anyway; not an adequate word at all.) There were other local pols there as well; US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was not there, but there was a float representing her.

So, The Daughter and I start walking with the Presbys. At an entrance to the park was the small, but apparently vocal “God can cure homosexuals” band. While most people along the parade line cheered our group, I heard at least one guy from the Westboro-like cabal refer to us as “an abomination” Continue reading

May Ramblin’

If I think about the BP debacle, my blood boils. So I try not to, generally unsuccessfully.

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DNA Clears NY Man Wrongly Convicted of 1988 Murder
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: April 28, 2010
Filed at 3:29 p.m. ET

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — A New York truck driver who spent nearly 19 years behind bars for a 1988 slaying he didn’t commit walked free Wednesday after DNA testing exonerated him and instead pointed to another prison inmate.
The exonerated inmate, Frank Sterling, 46, was convicted of murder in 1992 based on a confession that he later recanted.
State Judge Thomas Van Strydonck vacated the conviction after Monroe County prosecutors agreed with lawyers for the Innocence Project that DNA evidence obtained from the victim’s clothing excluded him as the killer and pointed instead to
Mark Christie, who was convicted of strangling a 4-year-old girl in 1994.

There’s a couple things about this story that jump out at me;
1) that people DO confess to crimes they did not commit; Sterling “claimed he had slipped into a hypnotic state and parroted details police gave him about the crime”
2) DNA testing can and should be used to solve more cases. Yet there as a disturbing report this month on ABC News about tens of thousands rape kits go unprocessed, some for a period beyond the statue of limitations
3) I continue to oppose the death penalty because sometimes the authorities just get it wrong
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Info sent me: Thirty years ago, Douglas Fraser, then president of what was still a million-member United Auto Workers union, presciently warned that the leaders of corporate America—in combination with the American Right—were waging a “one-sided class war.” He described it as “a war against working people, the unemployed, the poor, the minorities, the very young and the very old, and even many in the middle class of our society.”
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A nominee we can all support for the Supreme Court
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HP takes cue from Dick Tracy to develop a solar-powered wristwatch for the military that can display strategic information.
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There is a search engine called Clusty. The technology has been purchased by something called Yippy.

From the Yippy MISSION STATEMENT
Oh, we should say that we are a very far-out group of people. Everyone is a certified genius here and we work together for our goals for the love of it all. Good vs. Don’t be Evil … We are too smart to sell out to Porn, Gambling and other things that infect our society for profit. Good always wins, and conservative values will bring us our victory in the marketplace.
God controls all creative thought, it’s what you do with it that defines who you are.
Search Samples: Search of the word pornography
Sorry! Your choice of keywords indicates that you may be searching for a type of content which YIPPY does not allow. Please try another search term.

As someone sarcastically commented on the listserv where I found this: “How wonderful to see a search engine doing God’s will. It’s incredible!”
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I get bulletins from Los Angeles Times. This past week I see: Big Bear teen becomes youngest to summit Everest, about 13-year-old Jordan Romero, who has been on a quest to climb the highest peaks on all seven continents. And what is my first thought? I didn’t know that “summit” was a verb.
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I get Google alerts for my name. Peculiar title: Indecent assault accused whacked with brolly. This is from Guyana. Then there’s the story about the German driver who narrowly escaped a fiery crash.
Finally, this obit for Roger Green of Nashville, TN. Only 58 – damn.
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Don’t use a public copy machine until you see this video from CBS News. If you’ve copied your birth certificate, passport, drivers license, social security card, or other extremely personal info on copy machines at places like Kwik Copy, Office Max, etc, you may never do so again.
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Google Pac Man is a permanent page. So if you missed it on the two days it was the main Google page logo, you’re in luck.
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This is the 40th anniversary of the Capital District Gay and Lesbian Community Council, which is sponsoring two full weeks of Pride events.
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Evanier had this: Jonathan Ortloff Plays Springtime for Hitler on the Wurlitzer organ.