Friday, July 31, 2015

Is It Hot In Here ... Or Is It Charlie Hunnam?

Charlie Hunnam photographed on the set of a King Arthur reboot in England for Entertainment WeeklySmoldering.

Can I Get An Amen: Professor Coupland Has Been Fired

I love teachers; my father was a teacher, and a darn good one if I do say so myself, and I do because this is my blog. But, one thing, of many, that I learned from my Dad is that we are all teachers; we can all educate someone, just by imparting information or opinions or ideas.
Sadly, though, there are times when I think some people should not teach, anywhere, anytime, ever, and Rick Coupland is a prime example.

Coupland, a former St. Lawrence College professor, is out of a job because of a Facebook post. 

Yes, a Facebook post. It all began when Coupland apparently posted something to Facebook — and then removed it sometime later; but, as happens with social media, there are things called screenshots, and when someone takes a screenshot of a post, and then you delete, it, they still have it. No matter how many times you try to delete it, and it disappears from your Tweet, Status Update, Instagram, whatever, if I have a screenshot, it still exists. It.Cannot.Be.Erased.

And that’s what happened when Rick Coupland shared a link to a Facebook story about a rainbow flag being raised in St. Petersburg, Florida, and added this commented:
"It's the queers they should be hanging, not the flag."
I think the minute he shared and commented, Coupland knew he was done; he tried to delete it — again, not before screen garbs were taken — and then even deleted his Facebook account, but the damage was done. It was out there.

St. Lawrence College began receiving complaint after complaint about this professor, and, well, quicker than you can say, “Asshats stay off Facebook,” Rick Coupland was fired.
Good.

And, real quickly, before anyone spouts that Freedom of Speech argument, let me say, Yes, we have Freedom of Speech, and we also have consequences when we exercise that freedom.

Freedom of Speech does not mean Freedom from Consequences. And let's not even go into his Free Speech suggested that gay people should be hanged. 

I Didn't Say It ...

Jim Obergefell, on how he hopes his case — which resulted in marriage equality everywhere — is seen by future generations:

"I would like future law students to know that my case as well as the cases of the other plaintiffs that really it was about love. Telling our government that our love is just as worthy as any other love. The fact that standing up for that love led to such a momentous change proves that it’s a very powerful force. Although the law can be antiseptic and divorced from emotion, the fact that ours was based on love - I think it improved the law because they could look at us and recognize that we deserve the same amount of respect as anyone else."

We didn’t fight because we hate Christians; some of us are Christian.
We didn’t fight to ruin traditional marriage; some of us grew up in houses with traditional marriage as our example.
We didn’t fight because we wanted to destroy anything; we fought because we want to be recognized as equal, to have our love recognized as equal.
Ted Cruz, proving once again he is unfit for public office:

"Let me do a little psychoanalysis. If you look at Star Trek: The Next Generation, it basically split James T. Kirk into two people. Picard was Kirk’s rational side, and William Riker was his passionate side. I prefer a complete captain. To be effective, you need both heart and mind. The original Star Trek was grittier. Kirk is working class; Picard is an aristocrat. Kirk is a passionate fighter for justice; Picard is a cerebral philosopher. The original Star Trek pressed for racial equality, which was one of its best characteristics, but it did so without sermonizing. I think it is quite likely that Kirk is a Republican and Picard is a Democrat."

Seriously? He spends his time trying to decipher the political leanings of fictional TV characters and he wants to be president? Oy.
Cory Booker, New Jersey Senator, on the Equality Act:

"Almost 50 years ago, a couple tried to purchase a home in suburban New Jersey in a neighborhood they loved, but found their efforts thwarted when the house they wanted was inexplicably pulled off the market. The couple later learned from fair housing advocates who had investigated on their behalf that the home was made unavailable to them because of their skin color. The couple's names were Cary and Carolyn Booker. They were my parents. You'd think this problem is relegated to the history books. But in 2015 — today — a couple can try to purchase a home and in 31 states be told it is not available to them on the basis of their sexual orientation. More than half a century after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal government has yet to pass a large-scale law that protects Americans from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. It's time for that to change."

Civil rights should be for everyone, and to have to continue this fight — and why it’s a fight I  still don’t know — is just ridiculous. It should be the law that you cannot discriminate. How hard is that?
Raven-Symoné, criticizing Caitlyn Jenner for her trans advocacy:
“When I came out, I didn’t go hardcore and be like, ‘I’m going to save the world for LGBT!’ You’ve got to learn it first. And she’s not, really. I appreciate all that she’s going to do for the community, I think it’s wonderful. I just am surprised how many girlfriends that she has all of a sudden. I’m so surprised at how much she’s showing these stories all of a sudden. And I’m not faulting you because, yes, we need you, but it felt like, ‘Oh, so now you are, so now you represent … It’s too fast, too soon.”

Bad enough we have straight people bashing the LGBT community, but now we have an L telling a T how she should be acting, and how she should advocate.
Raven, honey? Why don’t you stick to worrying about which hair color to choose today and let people who choose to advocate do the advocating, m’kay? It doesn’t matter how, or when, you come to be an LGBT advocate, it’s a matter of just doing it, and you don’t. Butt hat's your choice.
You rarely mention your sexual orientation and, in fact, the few times I’ve seen you on The View — growing more horrible with the addition  of you as a host — you seem to talk more about the time you dated boys.
Boil it down: Caitlyn Jenner chooses to be an advocate; you choose not to. Sit down. Shut up.
Caitlyn Jenner, on trans suicide:

“And it’s not because trans people are somehow inherently unstable – it’s because we live in a world that makes it very, very difficult to be trans. Many people, especially kids, can’t see how they can live as their authentic selves and keep their family, their jobs and their homes.”

And, Raven, honey, there you have it. 
Caitlyn Jenner, upon transitioning, learned how serious a problem suicide is in the trans community and is trying to do something to help.
She deserves our attention, Raven-Symoné does not.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Random Musings

Oy, the morning. Carlos, who is the Absentminded Husband, misplaced his wedding ring.

“Don’t you keep it on the tail of that tiny metal cat on your dresser?”

“Yes. Always.”

Me, under my breath: “Well, not always because then it wouldn’t be lost.”

“What?"

“Nothing. Did you have it on the kitchen table and leave it there?”

“I’ve never done that.”

“Well, if you remember I found it rolled up inside the table runner one morning after breakfast.”

“I.Don’t.Remember.That.”

This goes on and on. On the bedroom floor, we look. In the closet we look; the bathroom, the tray by the kitchen door where the keys and wallets go. No ring.

“Go to work. I’ll look for it before I leave.”

“I know I had it in the closet when I was putting on my ratty shorts.”

Which ratty shorts.” Oh, but that’s an argument for another day.

In the closet I find said shorts, and in the pocket I find the ring. I give it to my husband, and he says. “I must have put it in there when I put those shorts on after work yesterday.”

He wasn’t wearing those shorts yesterday, and by this time, I’ve bitten all the way through my lip.

Whatta morning. And then his car wouldn't start ... oy.
Tom Brady’s Deflategate four-game suspension upheld by Roger Goodell after it was learned that Brady had an assistant smash the cellphone that ALLEGEDLY contained incriminating texts and emails.

Brady is foot-stomping and head-snapping and whining and bitching and kvetching.

I’m smiling.
Presidential candidate — gosh that still makes me laugh — Donald [t]Rump faced questions about his immigration policy from reporters last week while visiting the U.S.-Mexico border.

He did not respond to a question from NBC News regarding what he plans to do about the nation's estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants, but he bloviated:

"First thing we have to do is strengthen our borders and after that we'll have plenty of time to talk about it."

So, he has no plan. Then he was asked if his tour yielded any evidence to support his claim that Mexico is "sending criminals" over the border, and he promised ... promised ... to produce documentation but offered no details.

"We'll be showing you the evidence."

That’s what he said four years ago when he said Obama wasn’t American.
Out there in Seattle last week Anthony Rebello, a hetero-activist, created a Straight Pride Event “celebrate (his) right to be heterosexual, and to encourage younger heterosexuals that they should be proud of their heterosexuality.”

Rebello was the only participant in the parade, and, from the looks of it, the only spectator.

Meanwhile, back at [t]Rump … who also said this week that he would love the Mama Grizzly Bore™ in his administration.

And that got me thinking: maybe she could call in every so often from her house and tell [t]Rump what was happening in Russia? 

Or, maybe she could be the one who arranges the books and newspapers that come across his desk so he can read them? 

Or, and this is my favorite, maybe she could be head of the Dept of Trailer Parks and Drunken Recreation?
The Last Ship, on TNT, is about a virus that wipes out most of the population, and a Navy ship that was spared because it was out to sea when the virus wreaked havoc across the globe.

And the virus apparently doesn’t kill hot men because that ship is overrun by Hottie McHotties, like Bren Foster, a beefy Australian hunk.

Kinda makes you wish for a worldwide epidemic if it weeds out the unattractive people.
Just sayin’. And hoping I don’t fall into that category …
[photo 1, 2, 3]

Earlier this year I posted about Evan Young, the 18-year-old valedictorian of Twin Peaks Charter Academy High School in Longmont, Colorado who was banned from giving his graduation speech in which he planned on coming out as gay—see that post HERE.

In addition to being denied the right to speak, Evan was outed to his parents by school principal BJ Buchmann, who subsequently resigned over the controversy.

Well, the school looked into the whole mess and decided that it was the fault of the school … and Evan Young. I’d say that’s a fair evaluation but … on the issue of outing Evan Young to his parents, attorney William Bethke says that Buchmann did not violate Young’s privacy because Young intended to publicly disclose that he was gay in his graduation speech.

Except that he told the parents that information before Young had the chance to come out himself, which is what he wanted to do. And the report found that Buchmann was “distinctly uncomfortable” with Young coming out as gay through his speech.

And that makes me think that’s why Buchmann outed Evan to his parents, in the hope that they might stop their son from saying, “I’m gay.”

As if that would have been so terrible.
And cue heads in Teabagistan exploding, because last week President Barack Obama said he was confident he could win a third term, if only the Constitution would let him run:

“I actually think I’m a pretty good president. I think if I ran, I would win. But I can’t.”

And the right went apeshit … and those folks with fully functioning brains giggled at the joke.
So, we … and by ‘we,’ I mean ‘I’ … get lots of interesting comments to blog posts. Some piss me off; others make me think and rethink. This one had me scratching my head and laughing because this woman, Nancy Leonard, commented on a blog post with a request to loan me some money:

Nancy Leonard said...
Good-day,
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Get approved for a business or personal loans today and get funds within same week of application. These personal loans can be approved regardless of your credit and there are lots of happy customers to back up this claim. But you won’t only get the personal loan you need; you will get the cheapest one. This is our promise: We guarantee the lowest rate for all loans with free collateral benefits.
So email:ptlender01@gmail.com
We strive to leave a positive lasting impression by exceeding the expectations of my customers in everything I do. Our goal is to treat you with dignity and respect while providing the highest quality service in a timely manner.
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No social security Number required and no credit check required, 100% Guaranteed.
So email:xxxxxxxx01@gmail.com today to apply for a LOAN.xxxxxxxr01@gmail.com
Yours Sincerely,
Miss Nancy Leonard(MD).
Seriously. Does anyone think I would apply for a loan via a comment on a blog post? I don’t have time because I’m too busy sending a $5,000 money order to my relatives in Nigeria so I can collect on my inheritance form a relative who just died.
Duggared. Even though they got cancelled fired, the Duggars are millionaires from their TLC show.

But what to do when your whole life is fame-whoring and hypocrisy? Money beg.

On the family YouTube page, Duggar Studios, the family asks for supporters to contribute funds so the kids can create “fresh quality content” on their video site, like videos of the brood playing basketball or going to the dentist.

Why not just do a video where you tell us how desperate you are to remain relevant in light of the fact you’ve raised a child molester and now have no television show to pay your bills so you want us … and by ‘us’ I mean ‘no way in hell, me’ … to pay you.

The Daily Hypocrite: Pastor Wells Is Suing Kentucky So He Can Bully LGBTQ Youth

Once again, I wonder about this war on Christianity when all around the web I see stories about those of so-called faith waging a war against The Gays.

In this case it’s Baptist pastor David Wells, from the Pleasant View Baptist Church in McQuady, Kentucky, who is challenging a policy of the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice [DJJ] that states LGBTQ juveniles are to be treated with respect for their identities. 
This is Rule 912, the one that Pastor Wells finds so hard to obey:
DJJ staff, volunteers, interns, and contractors, when working with juveniles under the care of DJJ, shall use respectful language and terminology that does not further stereotype the LGBTQI community. 
DJJ staff, volunteers, interns, and contractors, in the course of their work, shall not refer to juveniles by using derogatory language in a manner that conveys bias towards or hatred of the LGBTQI community. DJJ staff, volunteers, interns, and contractors shall not imply or tell LGBTQI juveniles that they are abnormal, deviant, sinful, or that they can or should change their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Wells volunteered at the Warren County Regional Juvenile Detention Center until his privileges were revoked because he refused to sign the agreement to abide by Policy 912; he doesn’t think, as a God-fearing man, that he needs to treat LGBTQ youth with respect and is suing to connote that habit.

Wells has retained the right-wing, anti-LGBT hate group, the Liberty Counsel and is threatening to sue if the Warren County Juvenile Justice Department does not change its policy regarding LGBTQI youth and reinstate Mr. Wells. 
"Pastor Wells must be able to discuss what the Bible says about matters of sexuality with the juveniles he is trying to help. To remove the Bible from a pastor’s hands is like removing a scalpel from a surgeon’s hands. Without it, they cannot provide healing," — Mat Staver, Chairman of the Liberty Counsel
Healing; it's healing to berate young LGBTQ youth by making them feel less than, worthless; in this day and age, with suicides in the rise among our LGBTQ youth, for a man who professes to love God, and all that God has created, to use the Bible to bully gay kids is simply disgusting; and to sue for the right to bully is the height of arrogance.

Staver and his Liberty Counsel sent a letter to the Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice, asserting that Policy 912 is a violation of Minister Wells' First Amendment rights, and says that discussing the ALLEGED sin of homosexuality is crucial to the "mission" of Pastor Wells. Staver says that Policy 912 equates the teaching of biblical morality with "derogatory, biased and hateful" speech.

In response to the Liberty Counsel's letter, Kentucky Juvenile Justice Department released this statement: 
"The Department of Juvenile Justice seeks to protect the rights of all youth in its care and custody regardless of sexual orientation or committing offense. To this end, the department prohibits its staff and volunteers from discriminating against youth based on sexual orientation or gender identity."
Funny that, a man of God, or, in my opinion, a so-called man of God, is suing Kentucky so that he can berate, belittle, torment and torture LGBTQ youth with his own perverse version of what the Bible teaches. He is not a man who is helping any of these young people; he is a man hell-bent on harassing and bullying young people in the name of God.

And he’s suing the state of Kentucky for the right to bully.
NCRM

Cari and Kim Are Finally Khaya's Two Moms

Well, it took nine years, but finally Khaya Searcy has his two moms.

Last week, after a four-year long battle to adopt a child, retired Alabama Circuit Court Judge James Reid granted the adoption of Khaya Searcy by Cari Searcy, the wife of Khaya’s biological mother, Kim McKeand.

Most ironic of all, however, is that even though all these two women wanted was to have both of them recognized as Khaya’s parents, that simple request — which turned out to be not so simple — was what spurred a federal judge to overturn Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage. 
Now, Cari and Kim are legally married in their state, and are both the legal parents of their child.
"It was such a surreal feeling when (Reid) said 'it's in the best interest of this boy to have two legal parents.' For me, that's when I broke down. It's very emotional and a day we've been waiting for a long, long time." — Cari Searcy
Back in 2011, Cari Searcy first filed paperwork in Mobile County Probate Court to legally adopt Khaya, whom she has raised since birth, but a year later, after a brief hearing, Judge Don Davis rejected the petition because, you know, The Gays and marriage wasn’t happening in Alabama.

In February 2015, a federal judge ruled that Searcy could not be denied her desire to adopt Khaya, a ruling that paved the way for same-sex marriage in Alabama, but a few hours before the law legalizing same-sex marriage was to begin, Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore ordered the state's probate judges to withhold same-sex marriage licenses pending the Supreme Court decision on the matter.

Cari Searcy filed another lawsuit because Judge Davis would not give final approval of the adoption until the Supreme Court case resolved the same-sex marriage issue. When Davis recused himself from the case, citing a second lawsuit, the adoption was put into limbo until Judge Moore could appoint a judge.

And in what I’d call full-circle moment of irony, Chief Justice Moore, one of the most virulent same-sex marriage opponents, appointed Judge Reid to oversee the case, and Reid granted the adoption.

So, nine years after Khaya was born, and five years after his mom sued to be his legal mother, Cari and Kim are now legally recognized as his parents; and, because of Cari’s quest to be a parent, we have now come to full equality on the marriage equality front.

It’s funny how one fight, one question, one adoption, could lead to so much change.
Photo credit: Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Architecture Wednesday: Loma House

Okay, so it doesn’t look like much from the outside. I mean, what’s with the electric pole and all the wires right there by the gate? But you gotta go inside this one, and then you’ll see it’s really something.

The building is an old traditional house sitting on a high, steep hill, but the idea was to reuse the old home and then restructure the inside to make it more modern for a family today.
The project used traditional construction in adobe by applying traditional techniques, and using existing materials found on the property, such as rock, dirt, eucalyptus wood, hay and reed. At the same time, for the re-functionality of the areas, new elements such as steel and glass are used to show off the new while still showcasing the old.

The home is divided into two main areas connected through the patio. The single-story section holds the more social areas: living rooms, dining room, kitchen and access to the back porch. The second floor contains the private areas such as a family room, office, library, bedrooms and a loft area.

Glass walls are placed along the interior galleries to increase thermal comfort in the areas as well as to protect the wooden structure from the rain and wind, but also create a sense of openness from every room along the courtyard, which is defined by a water mirror containing river rock and an Arupo tree.

Since this is an area where the house visually, and literally, opens up, it is considered an element that evokes both nature and the comforts of home.

Where's The Outrage? #BlackLivesMatter

So, Walter Palmer, the American dentist charged in the killing of Cecil, Africa's "most famous lion" has reportedly gone into hiding.

Good. Stay there.

Now, I am not a gun person, y’all know that, and I am not a fan of hunting, and killing, for sport, though I understand some folks like to hunt for their food. Me? I hunt for food at my local Publix, but, again, that’s just me.

And I am outraged at what this so-called human being did, luring the animal out of his [protected area, using a tranquilizing dart t numb the animal so he could hunt it and kill it, and then take a selfie smiling over a dead animal.

And them realizing he was bused, and about to have the wrath of the world on his head when he learned Cecil was microchipped, the dentist cut off the lion’s head to save his own hide.

I’m sickened but … I am also sickened by the rash of Facebook posts and memes and shares and likes about the dentist and what an awful human being he is and what a horrible thing he did to that animal.

Where is the outrage for Sandra Bland, a black woman,  who spent three days in jail — before she killed herself — for a traffic stop?
Where was the outrage for Trayvon Martin,  a young black teenager murdered by a white man because of a hoodie?
Where was the outrage for Michael Brown, a black man, shot to death by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri?
Dontre Hamilton, a black man, shot 14 times by a police officer in Milwaukee after a call that Hamilton, a paranoid schizophrenic, was disturbing the peace
John Crawford, a black man, shot and killed by a police officer in an Ohio Wal-Mart while carrying a toy BB gun
Ezell Ford, an unarmed mentally ill black man, shot three times, including once in the back, by a white police officer
Tanisha Anderson, a black woman, who died after officres in Cleveland slammed her head into the pavement while taking her into custody
Akai Gurley, a black man, unarmed, but shot and killed by a police officer while climbing a stairwell with his girlfriend
Tamir Rice, a black boy, shot and killed by Cleveland police after they mistook his toy gun for a real weapon — he was twelve years old
Rumain Brisbon, a black man,  shot and killed by a Phoenix police officer who mistook a pill bottle for a weapon
Tony Robinson, a black man, unarmed, but shot and killed by a Madison police officer responding to reports of someone disrupting traffic
Eric Harris, a black man, shot and killed by a reserve deputy officer who mistook his own gun for a Taser
Walter Scott, a black man, shot and killed by a police officer while running away from a traffic stop for a broken taillight
Freddie Gray, a black man, who died of a spinal cord injury a week after he was arrested by Baltimore police
Sam DuBose, a black man, unarmed, but shot and killed by University of Cincinnati police officer during a traffic stop
Eric Garner, a black man, strangled to death for selling loose cigarettes on the street.








Where’s that outrage? The Facebook petitions, the memes, the protests, the questions?

Like I said, that dentist killing that lion was disgusting, and sick and twisted, but where the outrage for the human lives taken on our own streets every single day, many times with no apparent reason or cause.

I need some outrage. I am outraged that Walter Palmer murdered that lion for sport, but I am even more outraged that Black Americans are being murdered on our streets and we don't seem to be bothered.

I need some outrage.