2012 Election | Bill Gates | Books | Canada | Catholic Church | Deaths | Egypt | Gay Marriage | Religion | Rick Santorum | Sci Fi | Science | Steve Jobs

NEWS: Legacies, Stars, Canada, God


Towleroad-roadicon 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.

Towleroad-roadicon CNN has a feature on the Maryland divorce case Andy briefly discussed here.

Towleroad-roadicon Rick Santorum has a new PAC, presumably so he can run semi-anonymous attack ads.

Towleroad-roadicon Yea gods! This woman castrated a guy with her hand!

Towleroad-roadicon 50 years hence there will be statues of Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs will be forgotten.

Towleroad-roadicon Egyptian women are sexually assaulted during a protest against sexual assault.

Towleroad-roadicon "Catholics, Gays, and a Parallel Universe":

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 ...

Towleroad-roadicon Gay Pride in Tel Aviv.

Towleroad-roadicon God's getting nicer.

Towleroad-roadicon On the prescience and darkness of Ray Bradbury:

BradburyThere’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.

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  1. @Zack: you are a witty, witty fellow.

    Posted by: MIKEYB | Jun 10, 2012 3:51:15 PM


    As the weekend editor at Towleroad, I can't speak with any certainty about what goes on during the week. But, yes: If there is a Pride event over the weekend, and if I should come upon a news story related to it while I'm searching the web for things to put in the roundup, I include it. From San Jose to Bangladesh, France and Spain and Marakesh.

    I'm a little curious about what you'd recommend I do instead. Could you please explain in more detail? From what I gather, you'd prefer that no one report on what happens in Israel unless it relates specifically to Palestinian oppression. Is that correct?

    And if it is correct, might you indulge me further by explaining: Should I continue reporting on gay-friendly happenings in the United States despite the ghastly overseas adventures of our military? And if so -- what's the difference?

    - BKT

    Posted by: Brandon K. Thorp | Jun 10, 2012 4:01:19 PM

  3. The Roman Catholic Church, along with a bunch of other brands of "Christianity" had a knee-jerk reaction to the "Coming Out" of Homosexuals in current times. Back when we were in hiding because of laws and possible Family rejection, being "GAY" was risky. However, when Science showed that Homosexuality was Genetic; Not a Choice; Things changed. But not for the Churches. Instead of embracing Homosexuals, they continued to fight them; To the extent that they have not only turned Homosexuals away, but Their Families are now turning off the Churches, also. Whatever happened to the "We are all God's Children" philosophy?

    Posted by: Jerry6 | Jun 10, 2012 4:21:22 PM

  4. One thing Bradbury lived and wrote through, that many of us don't remember - there was a time in this country (USA) when many otherwise intelligent and thoughtful people were afraid of fantasy. School libraries threw out all their Baum and Carroll, parents were warned to keep their precious children away from anything that smacked of 'escapism'. Read "The Exiles" for Bradbury's poignant despair at this, and then rejoice that, thanks to him and many other writers and readers, this fashion is now as dead as smallpox.

    Posted by: Robert | Jun 10, 2012 4:23:12 PM

  5. @Jerry6: Science has never shown us that being gay is 'genetic', as you put it. Rather, it has shown us that sexual attraction is 'innate' (but not necessarily 'inborn'), which should in no way be a grounds for denying us our rights.

    Posted by: The News-Breaker | Jun 10, 2012 6:18:40 PM

  6. News-Breaker, while I agree that there has been no conclusive link between homosexuality and genetics, there HAVE been ample indications that it's inborn. Once sperm meets egg you have a zygote with all its DNA but you still (typically) have 9 months to go until actual birth. At that point it's like an unbaked cake, subjected to a wide range of nutrients and hormones which effect all aspects of development, particularly that of the brain.

    No two fetuses (with the possible exception of twins or more) have an identical set of circumstances in utero. Though they often seem silly and don't apply across the board (suggesting there there isn't just one "cause"), all those studies about ring-finger length, direction of hair "whorls," and gay/straight brain structure comparisons suggest exposure to estrogen and testosterone at various stages of fetal development may be key in determining later sexual orientation.

    And that doesn't rule out other, including genetic, factors altogether. For instance, what if the gay male "gene" is actually a FEMALE gene that makes some women more likely to produce the conditions during pregnancy that tends to result in gay male children? That would explain genealogical studies from the past that seemed to show homosexuality ran along matrilinieal lines.

    Buy you're right. Genetic, inborn, or innate shouldn't matter in the fight for gay rights.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jun 10, 2012 6:48:54 PM

  7. to add on to what you smart fellas have said, the fact that people insist that "it's wrong cuz it's a choice" are always coming from a place of religion is just galling: there aint no bigger choice on earth than being religious.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jun 10, 2012 6:55:42 PM

  8. If you don't understand even after reading the other two readers' response to my comment, here's some background:

    "Israel has begun an aggressive public relations campaign to market itself as an oasis of gay tolerance and democracy in the Mideast, surrounded by “backward” countries where gays have no rights. THE CAMPAIGN IS NOT ABOUT SUPPORTING QUEERS IN PALESTINE OR ELSEWHERE IN THE MIDEAST WHO ARE RESISTING HOMOPHOBIA. IT IS ABOUT USING THEIR EXPERIENCE OF HOMOPHOBIA TO PROMOTE HATRED OF PALESTINIANS, ARABS, AND MUSLIMS – INCLUDING QUEER PALESTINIANS, ARABS, AND MUSLIMS. The campaign is designed to make people living in liberal democracies like Canada feel an affinity for Israel. The implication is that Israel needs to practice apartheid, colonialism, and violence in order to preserve the liberal freedoms it enjoys.....

    Queer rights are now just a propaganda tool in the defense of apartheid Israel.

    During the long struggle against apartheid South Africa, many of the same arguments were used in its defense: it was an island in a sea of “backwardness”, it was the only “democracy” in the region; it protected liberal rights — even the status of gays in South Africa was invoked. Because of its special circumstances, it was argued, South Africa needed its apartheid system to protect those freedoms for the favoured race. One day, the argument that Israel needs to practice apartheid and colonialism to protect the freedoms of a favoured race will seem equally hollow."


    BTW, your question in the last paragraph as an editor of US-based TWR is rather disingenuous in its unrealistic suggestion.
    (Here @ TWR, so many readers have expressed over the years their oppositions on the wars US have been waging, but you can't say the same about the topic at hand...So it's all about the balance.)

    Of course, now that you are saying that your motivation was rather innocuous, I feel better.:-) But the incessant torrents of Operation Pinkwashing could make me question every bit about the topic.

    Posted by: Iban4yesu | Jun 10, 2012 8:53:54 PM

  9. Canada rocks!

    Posted by: NorthoftheBorder | Jun 11, 2012 12:06:01 PM

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