Don Pettit's photography -- pictures "taken 240 miles up in space by combining multiple 30-second exposure photos, and then stacking them together with imaging software." Star trails, city trails, gorgeous.
Rick Santorum has a new PAC, presumably so he can run semi-anonymous attack ads.
Yea gods! This woman castrated a guy with her hand!
50 years hence there will be statues of Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs will be forgotten.
Egyptian women are sexually assaulted during a protest against sexual assault.
I sometimes think of Canada as one of those science-fiction parallel universes -- a world strikingly similar to but slightly different from our own. The differences can be illuminating.
In Ontario a controversy has been raging, as they say, involving legislation that would require schools to sponsor Gay-Straight Alliances, the anti-bullying clubs that some social conservatives see as Trojan horses for the “gay agenda.” (They’re right, if by gay agenda they mean recognition that gay and lesbian students exist and should feel good about themselves and their sexuality.)
The twist is that Roman Catholic schools in Ontario receive government funding.
The archbishop of Toronto, Cardinal Thomas Collins, had complained that GSAs include an agenda that does not comport with Catholic teaching ...
Nevertheless, after the bill was approved, Collins issued a statement recognizing that it “is now the law” and that Catholic schools “will seek, as we have always done, in a way that is in accord with our faith, to foster safe and welcoming school communities.” The Ontario Catholic School Trustees Assn. said it had no intention of challenging the provision in court.
At a time when U.S. Catholic bishops are crying foul -- or crying wolf? -- about intolerable intrusion on their religious liberty in the form of "Obamacare" regulations, it’s interesting to speculate how they would react to a law like Ontario's GSA requirement ...
God's getting nicer.
On the prescience and darkness of Ray Bradbury:
There’s already been a lot of rhapsodizing about Ray Bradbury’s “sense of wonder,” the dark magic and October chill he infused into his work. But let’s not turn him into something harmless, a kindly, childlike uncle spinning marvelous tales of rocket ships and dinosaurs. Don’t forget that he was also the crazy uncle, the dangerous one, a malcontent and a crank, alarming everyone at the dinner table with impassioned rants and dire warnings. (For a bracing antidote to his sentimentality, reread the demented revenge fantasy “Usher II,” in which an entire board of censors is meticulously killed off after the manner of Edgar Allan Poe stories.)
The obverse of his reverence for the natural world was a keen-edged contempt for the greedy men and crass, destructive culture that would gladly bulldoze it for a buck. “We Earth Men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things,” says the archæologist Jeff Spender in “—And the Moon Be Still as Bright” from “The Martian Chronicles.” “The only reason we didn’t set up hot-dog stands in the midst of the Egyptian temple of Karnak is because it was out of the way and served no large commercial purpose.” There isn’t a hot-dog stand at Karnak yet, but I’m advised there are tourist shops selling pricey bottled water and Pharaonic souvenirs made in China.
Posted Jun. 9,2012 at 6:10 PM EST by Brandon K. Thorp in 2012 Election, Bill Gates, Books, Canada, Catholic Church, Deaths, Egypt, Gay Marriage, Religion, Rick Santorum, Sci Fi, Science, Steve Jobs | Permalink | Comments (34)
Identity Kenya reports that an apparently gay man from Kayole estate, outside Nairobi, was stoned to death on May 27th.
The man was a cook at a food-vending kiosk in an open-air market portion of the estate. He was discovered by passersby having sex with a male co-worker, who seems to have done prep-work in the kiosk. According to Identity Kenya:
It is said the two have ‘been enjoying prolonged stares for month and the deceased made the first move.’
The two are said to have agreed to have meet up behind the Catholic Church building in Soweto estate at 8pm on the fateful day.
From there, sources say, they began to have sex.
The area is described as ‘deserted with bushes and a dumping site.’
In the darkness, the two were caught with passersby as they were having sex and they were beaten up.
Later, a crowd milled around and started to stone the two men amidst insults.
One of the men survived by crawling away from the mob. "Anonymous sources" tell Identity Kenya that the survivor suffers broken arms and internal bleeding.
The dead man's body was discovered by authorities on the morning of May 28th, in a "dump site" not far from where he was murdered. His remains were taken to a mortuary, and he was buried in early June. Identity Kenya doesn't report whether police are searching his killers.
Note: There was something very much like a witch scare in Kayole not long ago, in which the townspeople became terrified of half-mythical transvestite serial killer. Anti-gay sentiment is always prevalent in Kenya, but the scare probably doesn't help.
Paul E. Singer, billionaire and massively influential Republican donor and fund-raiser, has committed $1 milion to creating a pro-marriage equality "super PAC."
From the New York Times's Frank Bruni:
Named American Unity PAC, its sole mission will be to encourage Republican candidates to support same-sex marriage, in part by helping them to feel financially shielded from any blowback from
well-funded groups that oppose it.
In an interview on Tuesday, [Singer] told me that he’s confident that in Congressional races, which would most likely be the super PAC’s initial focus, there are more than a few Republicans “who could be on the verge of support” or are “harboring and hiding their views.”
“And this kind of effort could be catalytic in generating some more movement,” he said.
As Andy previously reported, Singer is straight, but has a married gay son. Singer has contributed massive sums to pro-equality efforts before -- he was instrumental in bringing Republican support to the cause of marriage equality in New York -- but he's also contributed to the campaigns of anti-gay political candidates. He's a big Mitt Romney fan, and last month hosted a Romney fundraiser which brought the candidate $5 million.
It's a country song. It's catchy. It's an It Gets Better video! And it's powerfully, almost virulently adorable. Watch "Girls And Boys," by Richard Hefner, AFTER THE JUMP ...
This is, I promise, one of the most fascinating things you'll read this June: The blog post in which Josh Weed, full-time "marriage and family therapist" and part-time humorist, comes out of the closet.
Thing is, Josh Weed is a very devout Mormon, and he's married to a woman. He and his wife, Lolly, have three daughters. Lolly and Josh have been friends since they were kids, and Lolly's known Josh was gay since he was 16. They got married anyway, and they reportedly have a "robust" sex life. But Josh says he's not bisexual. From the blog:
Some might assume that because I’m married to a woman, I must be bisexual. This would be true if sexual orientation was defined by sexual experience. Heck, if sexual orientation were defined by sexual experience, I would be as straight as the day is long even though I’ve never been turned on by a Victoria’s Secret commercial in my entire life. Sexual orientation is defined by attraction, not by experience. In my case, I am attracted sexually to men. Period. Yet my marriage is wonderful, and Lolly and I have an extremely healthy and robust sex life. How can this be?
The truth is, what people are really asking with the above question is “how can you be gay if your primary sex partner is a girl?” I didn’t fully understand the answer to this question until I was doing research on sexuality in grad school even though I had been happily married for almost five years at that point. I knew that I was gay, and I also knew that sex with my wife was enjoyable. But I didn’t understand how that was happening. Here is the basic reality that I actually think many people could use a lesson in: sex is about more than just visual attraction and lust and it is about more than just passion and infatuation. I won’t get into the boring details of the research here, but basically when sex is done right, at its deepest level it is about intimacy. It is about one human being connecting with another human being they love. It is a beautiful physical manifestation of two people being connected in a truly vulnerable, intimate manner because they love each other profoundly. It is bodies connecting and souls connecting. It is beautiful and rich and fulfilling and spiritual and amazing. Many people never get to this point in their sex lives because it requires incredible communication, trust, vulnerability, and connection. And Lolly and I have had that from day one, mostly because we weren’t distracted by the powerful chemicals of infatuation and obsession that usually bring a couple together (which dwindle dramatically after the first few years of marriage anyway). So, in a weird way, the circumstances of our marriage allowed us to build a sexual relationship that is based on everything partners should want in their sex-life: intimacy, communication, genuine love and affection. This has resulted in us having a better sex life than most people I personally know. Most of whom are straight. Go fig.
So -- Josh's gayness somehow improved his het sex life. It's a crazy world.
Josh's blog post is a little bonkers -- less because of his love life (which, like most love lives, looks a little bonkers to those on the outside looking in) than because of his Mormonism (which is just bonkers, full-stop) -- but it's kind of sweet, too. If he's to be taken at his word, it seems he ignored the imperatives of his own natural attractions to settle down with the person he believed to be his soul-mate, and with whom he wanted to build a family. If he was an atheist or a Unitarian or a Buddhist who did that and wrote about it, he'd be proclaimed a bold sexual rebel. The fact that he just happens to be a member of a religion that condemns homosexuality makes the decision feel a lot less bold, and more like the result of brainwashing --
-- but he's so nice! So reasonable! From the blog:
About two years ago, I saw a psychologist to get medication for my ADHD-I. She was a lesbian, and when I told her that I was a gay man in a heterosexual marriage, she spent an entire session hammering me with questions about my situation in a genuine effort to make sure I was happy. I didn’t love that she did this, but as a clinician myself, I understood where she was coming from.
During our conversation, she told me about her life with her partner. She spoke of a girl, whom she considered her daughter, who is the biological child of her ex-lover, with whom she lived for only three years. She told me of how much she loved her daughter, but how infrequently she got to see her. And eventually, when talking about my sex life, she said “well, that’s good you enjoy sex with your wife, but I think it’s sad that you have to settle for something that is counterfeit.”
I was a little taken aback by this idea—I don’t consider my sex-life to be counterfeit. In response, I jokingly said “and I’m sorry that you have to settle for a counterfeit family.” She immediately saw my point and apologized for that comment. Obviously, I don’t actually think a family with non-biological members is counterfeit in any way. I also don’t feel that my sex-life is counterfeit. They are both examples of something that is different than the ideal. I made that joke to illustrate a point. If you are gay, you will have to choose to fill in the gaps somewhere. She chose to have a family in a way that is different than the ideal. I choose to enjoy sex in a way that is different than the ideal for a gay man. It all comes down to what you choose and why, and knowing what you want for yourself and why you want it. That’s basically what life is all about.
(UPDATE: Anthony Sanchez was arrested Friday afternoon. Thanks to Kris et. al. for pointing this out.)
In the below video, see Anthony Sanchez, of California's Imperial Valley, beating his 10-year-old step-son with a belt, apparently because the boy has difficulty catching a baseball. The footage was shot by Sanchez's neighbor, Oscar Lopez, who rather stirringly disrupts the domestic violence in the video's final seconds.
Anthony Sanchez is the Division 5 director for the Imperial Irrigation District, which is apparently a big deal in that part of California. As a result, Lopez's video has caused a minor scandal. Sanchez is now under investigation by the Imperial Valley Sheriff's Department, and is reportedly cooperating with authorities. From the Imperial Valley Press:
Sanchez’s attorney, Ryan Childers, made clear that Sanchez has not been charged with anything, nor are any charges pending, he said. He is cooperating with authorities but at this time there’s no reason for him to turn himself in, he said.
“What’s happening in the context of the video itself is certainly disturbing,” Childers said in response to the video. “We recognize that. But we need to let the Sheriff’s Office have time to fully investigate the incident so all the facts can come to light.”
Sanchez contacted Childers’ office Thursday morning and has since canceled a business trip out of town to cooperate with the investigation, Childers said. His wife and children, including the stepson reportedly in the video, are on a previously planned trip to Alabama, where the wife is from. Sanchez was set to head there as well after a business meeting in Los Angeles, but those plans have been put on hold.
If sheriff’s officials want the child to be brought back to Imperial County, the family will cooperate, but so far there is no indication that that will be necessary, Childers said. He has made contact with the police in Alabama to work with local authorities.
“Our position at this point is we want to let the sheriff’s department do their job, let all the facts come to light, and then we may be in a position to address things at that point,” Childers said.
Watch the video AFTER THE JUMP ...