1. birgerjohansson says

    Beatrice, Dallilama, hugs to you both.
    F. O.
    In Sweden the debate seems to have been won by the asshats and Oil Collaborators. Saudi has sent back their ambassador, everybody pretends it is not a murderous dictatorship and now the swedish prime minister is off to the Chinese dictator who is apparently not a dictator at all.

    I want to puke.

  2. The Mellow Monkey says

    Welcome to the Lounge, Gen.

    *HUGS* for Beatrice and Dalillama.

    I’m suffering some major caregiver burnout right now. My best friend is seriously ill and has been in and out of the hospital, with no diagnosis and nothing to show for it except for more bills (no insurance) and prescriptions for her pain and nausea. Actually figuring out the underlying cause of her illness and doing anything for it? Ehhh… Her other friends and family have been largely unsupportive and useless.

    Then there’s my step-father, whom I hate more than just about any human alive with good reason and wish I could live the rest of my life without ever thinking of him again. But he broke his ankle (his surgeon excitedly gushed to me about how nasty the break is and what a thrilling challenge it was putting it back together again) and I was the one who had to call an ambulance for him because for some bizarre reason he refused to do it and instead called me, have had to take him to and from appointments and surgery, and have had to wait on him endlessly because he can’t put any weight on his foot and can barely move on his crutches. So…he’s here. In my home. Watching twelve hours of Breaking Bad a day and asking me to cook him popcorn and bring him hot cocoa.

    And then there’s my mother, whose mobility is limited due to her knee and her back and she’s in a lot of pain. She’s also severely depressed. She needs somebody to vent to and is incapable of offering any emotional support of her own right now, so it all falls on my shoulders. One day when I started to cry about how lonely I was, she interrupted me to yell about how lonely she is for half an hour.

    And, finally, my partner. Who seriously fucked up as a partner, then declared his fuck ups were the result of his depression, and so now he needs me because he can’t do anything because he’s too depressed and maybe if I’m really, really supportive eventually he’ll recover enough to stop being a terrible partner. And any reminder of my own unhappiness just makes him that much more depressed and sad and pitiful and in need of my comfort and reassurance.

    I feel like a towering pillar of rage, just barely keeping it together. There’s nobody here to be my support person. Just about the only person I’m not angry at on some level is my best friend, because even with as bad as things are for her she’s still kind and treats me like a person with my own feelings.

  3. Saad says


    Damn, sorry to hear you’re going through that. You don’t deserve to be taken for granted like that :(

    I respect you for being so helpful to people even when they’re not being considerate of you.

  4. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    The Mellow Monkey,

    I’m sorry people are treating you like you don’t matter. You do, your feelings and well being are important too.

  5. opposablethumbs says

    TMM, I am truly sorry. It’s utterly shitty that you are not getting the support you too need. I hope you can get rid of your stepfather soon … I don’t suppose there’s any chance you could actually go and stay at your friend’s for the occasional night? I mean, obviously I have no idea if that would work for either of you, but like you say she’s the only one behaving decently right now. And I remember from things you’ve mentioned in the past that your mum and stepfather have always given you some serious grief; it must be awful having them so on top of you at the moment and not being able to take a break.
    Damn. For what it’s worth, please feel free to rage here; at least we can listen and hear you!

  6. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    TMM Thanks for the welcome (and Tony! too). I’m so sorry that it’s so sucky rifght now. I hate my stepfather too and the thought of having to care for him like you’re doing… Wow. You’re so much a better person than me.

    I hope you know you’re welcome to vent here to your heart’s content.

    I hate it when people blame their shitty behaviour on their mental illness. You still have a choice in how you treat people, even when you’re ill and taking a cop-out and expecting all this emotional work from you is just, I dont know. It must be so hard on you.

  7. says

    Politicians in Arizona have cut K-12 education funding so often that the state now spends 70% or less per pupil when compared to other states. Performance categories for K-12 students place Arizona in 40th place, or lower.

    Of course, the Republican-dominated legislature is also full of dunderheads who frequently sponsor giveaways to charter schools, with privatized education being the goal.

    The picture is equally bleak for higher education. Funding cuts have forced Arizona State to rely on more corporate funding. The curriculum has been negatively affected.

    Oh, yeah, legislators also increased prison funding, sending wads of cash to privately funded prisons, while stripping millions and millions of dollars from the public educational system.

    The Arizona legislature has ticked off enough educators and responsible citizens that a lot of people are fighting back.

    The Governor and legislators of Arizona decided to tell the protestors to shut the fuck up. They used some Koch brothers money and money from other dark sources to fund robocalls that smeared protest organizers.

    The protestors did not immediately shut the fuck up, or at least some of them did not shut the fuck up, so the legislature passed a bill to make it illegal for education officials to speak for or against bills, plans or referenda that affect their funding. Freeze Peach in the land of rightwing extremists means free speech for rightwing asshats only.

    Arizona Capitol Times link
    CBS 5 Arizona link
    ABC 15 News link

  8. Brony, Social Justice Cenobite says

    @Beatrice 476
    It does not seem to be you at all.

    I mean… I was angry and I was complaining but I don’t think I was yelling. Maybe I did raise my voice. I probably did. But “Why are you always yelling at me and torturing me” said 2 second after screaming at me “BARK; THEN” after I answered that Why was he asying I was yelling because I wasn’t but “I guess now I will”. (I feel like Ms Cake only in a really really bad way – I get accused of yelling and then that gets me upset enough to yell.)

    I hate that crap.
    People get to complain. Claims of torture and the intensity are there to make you do something, not communicate constructively about an interpersonal problem. I may overuse this a bit but, it sounds like a dominance display. Especially since you instinctively responded with one of your own which was totally fair since they did one first.
    If they wanted to be constructive they might have asked that you reduce the intensity so you could both be more constructive, but that’s not what they did.

    It makes me so scared. That I really am a monster. So then I walk on eggshells or just keep quiet for a while… which just makes it more probable that I’ll at some point react over the top because I won’t be able to hold everything in any more.

    I think walking on eggshells is the point.

    @cicely 494

    A stable level…pun intended?

    I am dissapoint at missing that.

    I hope things are better.

    @The Mellow Monkey
    I hope you are able to get your emotions out in a way that helps here. I don’t suppose there is any convincing them that if they don’t give you what you need they might not be able to depend on you for reasons out of your control? They should still be responsible for the emotional damage that they do. I hope things work out.

  9. says

    New commenter, long time lurker. So, I just spent a couple hours packing up the books from the library of my local group. I resigned my position as a member of the executive over the final straw of my group voting to join the SPI coalition. Feeling bruised and hurt that a nebulous connection with an organization filled with people who have shown time after time that they don’t share my values was more important than the contributions of someone like myself, who poured her time and energy into creating a community.
    On the plus side, in giving up my duties as group librarian, I no longer have a reason to keep books in my house authored by rapists and misogynists.

  10. says

    Thanks Anne
    I already have been here for awhile and now that I have lost the community that has been such a big part of my life, I’ll need to reach out more to cyber-communities. I’ve spent a fair bit of time here already, reading the comments of the many kind and smart folks here, but not chiming in because someone else usually articulates what I’m thinking, usually better than I could myself.
    I’m feeling a real mix of emotion right now, sad, angry, hurt and most of all completely stunned that in the end, my group chose a rapist and his buddies over me. I just don’t know how to process that.

  11. rq says

    You must be subjected to the Equestionnaire! Please share your thoughts and controversial opinions on the following items:
    1) cheese
    2) peas
    3) horses
    4) Miracle Whip.
    Welcome in! Grab a seat and chime in whenever you feel comfortable, and don’t worry if you feel like what you’re saying is redundant – sometimes it’s important to hear as many voices as possible, whether agreeing or not.

    The Mellow Monkey
    I have a stack of *hugs* and *higs* for you. You don’t deserve to be made to feel like shit for being an awesome person, and I hope at least some of the caregiver worries are alleviated as soon as possible.
    And for the record, Partner’s faults are not your fault, and it sucks that you feel so used by someone who should be your emotional support, too.

  12. birgerjohansson says

    Is miracle whip related to cool whip? And will Stewie Griffin murder me if I pronounce it the wrong way?

  13. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    I’ve spent a long time in the anti-abuse line of work. I’m trying to figure out how to write concisely to you without compromising what I know or intend.

    Abusers very often express the idea that they are in fact the victim in the dynamic. Individual abusers rarely if ever spend time seriously analyzing whether or not they might in fact be abusive, especially in a context where others are privy to those thoughts. The fact that you’re taking this action places you in a group of people who are less likely to be abusive… to the point that the reasonable conclusion is simply that you aren’t one.

    But not all bad behavior is abuse. One can engage in a pattern of unintentional behaviors that are, nonetheless, hurtful, harmful, or bad. But the ethical implications of this are very different, and you seem to be struggling with the ethical implications and whether you are being “good”.

    Go for self-improvement, but the odds are very unlikely that any of the moral implications that fall on abusers fall on you.

    Only you can say if you’re the rare sociopath with enough knowledge of the dynamics of abuse to deliberately mislead us.

    Absent that? You’re not being abusive. You’re being gaslighted. But even a jerk-face gaslighted can occasionally be correct that one of our behaviors isn’t great. Do the introspection. Get a neutral opinion from someone who knows you well enough to have seen you when you get loud and have an idea how often it happens. But fuck that shit about you being abusive.


    So glad to see someone else write in. It helps to have lurked a while, eh? Didn’t we all?

    As for the local community and the library: yeah, happy for you that you don’t have to store those books, unhappy for you that your community didn’t value your work. We’ll just have to do our best to fill you with our Happiest, Go-Luckiest Pharyngula Grog™.

  14. birgerjohansson says

    Trigger warning:
    If you are nauseated by rape in fiction, you should probably avoid the first volume of The Black Company. The main character is “clean”, but the others are anything but.

  15. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    We’ll just have to do our best to fill you with our Happiest, Go-Luckiest Pharyngula Grog™.

    And if you don’t care for Grog™, our Swill™ looks remarkably like most other alcoholic beverages of choice, but served in a dirty looking glasses. Various snacks like bacon sammiches, popcornz, and a veggie plate are available.

  16. says

    Wow. Between the Colorado coffee shop I mentioned on the first page and now Starbucks, I may have to force my body to like coffee. You may be asking what I mean by ‘…and now Starbucks’. I’m referring to this fucking *awesome* comment from the CEO of Starbucks:

    Starbucks has always been very intentional in vocalizing their support of legalizing same-sex “marriage.” Recently, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, made a startling announcement at their annual shareholder meeting in Seattle, Washington.

    During the meeting, founder of Corporate Morality Action Center, Tom Stobhar, expressed concerns about the company’s support of homosexual marriage. He explained that the company’s stance affected shareholder earnings after Starbucks backed efforts to legalize same-sex “marriage” last year. The company’s announcement had resulted in boycotts against the billion-dollar coffee franchise.

    Trobhar stated,

    “In the first full quarter after this boycott was announced, our sales and earnings — shall we say politely — were a bit disappointing.”

    Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, promptly rebounded after Trobhar and replied,

    “Not every decision is an economic decision. Despite the fact that you recite statistics that are narrow in time, we did provide a 38% shareholder return over the last year. I don’t know how many things you invest in, but I would suspect not many things, companies, products, investments have returned 38% over the last 12 months. Having said that, it is not an economic decision to me. The lens in which we are making that decision is through the lens of our people. We employ over 200,000 people in this company, and we want to embrace diversity — of all kinds. If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38% you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much.”

    I feel a very strong urge to send an email to Schultz.

  17. says

    Scientific Publisher BioMed Central has withdrawn 43 papers, and is investigating many more, over what it calls the “fabrication” of peer reviews. Representatives of Journal editors have admitted the papers are the tip of a dangerous iceberg, and the scandal may to lead to an overhaul of how peer review is conducted.

    Peer review is fundamental to science, a central part of the process of self-correction that sets it aside from faith-based systems. True peer review does not end with publication; plenty of scientific papers are published only to subsequently be shown to have major flaws. However, the initial process whereby editors of scientific publications send work, usually anonymized, to other researchers for checking is meant to filter out the worst mistakes.

    That failed for a number of the 277 journals BioMed Central publishes, with researchers finding ways to review their own papers, or those of friends. The problem may be far more widespread, and BioMed Central may be ahead of the curve in picking the issue up.

    The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) issued a statement saying they have, “become aware of systematic, inappropriate attempts to manipulate the peer review processes of several journals across different publishers.” COPE started out as an effort by a small group of medical journal editors to raise the standards of academic publication. It now has a membership of 9000 editors from across academic fields, and its growth is indicative of concerns about the challenges facing the peer review process.

    According to the COPE release, “These manipulations appear to have been orchestrated by a number of third party agencies offering services to authors.”

  18. says

    Interesting questionaire. I’m not sure if I have strong feelings about any of the items on the list, but I am certain that with the addition of some lime jello I could whip up a dish with items 1,2 and 4 that would be the envy of all my friends at the next Tupperware party I attend.

  19. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #454 Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    Hi everyone. I’ve been wanting to get involved with the Lounge for a while now, and have even tried a time or two, but my social awkwardness trips me up every time, so this time I’ll just come on out and ask: How do you get involved with the Lounge? Do you just start commenting on what people have said? Isn’t it weird that a perfect stranger just does that?

    Just start commenting, yeah. Often newly de-lurkers will start with an introduction but it’s not required. And you’re hardly a stranger.

    Welcome to the Louge!

    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I honestly have no idea if I’m being gaslighted or if I’m being abusive. I don’t know.
    I mean… I was angry and I was complaining but I don’t think I was yelling. Maybe I did raise my voice. I probably did. But “Why are you always yelling at me and torturing me” said 2 second after screaming at me “BARK; THEN” after I answered that Why was he asying I was yelling because I wasn’t but “I guess now I will”. (I feel like Ms Cake only in a really really bad way – I get accused of yelling and then that gets me upset enough to yell.)
    I sometimes just don’t know. Have I crossed a line? I try and try and try and then this happens and I just want to stop existing.
    We had an argument, people do that. I wasn’t over the top. I think .
    It makes me so scared. That I really am a monster. So then I walk on eggshells or just keep quiet for a while… which just makes it more probable that I’ll at some point react over the top because I won’t be able to hold everything in any more.
    I just want to know. I mean, it seems like gaslighting since I observe as a third party when he starts screaming at and insulting mum (which is often how the two of us end up with me “torturing” him) and then it’s obvious he’s the guilty party.

    Oh god, I know this, I live this too. I’m so sorry you’re going through it. *hugs*

    I know I have a problem with anger. With my issues, I hold it all in and can’t confront people until I reach a breaking point. I hate confrontation and end up making it worse since I wait so long. And if it’s with an asshole like my “step-father”, I end up screaming. I haven’t been able to control that besides walking away.

    There’s hope at least. I talked to Roomie about him not doing a chore (one single little damn thing) and it only took a day and half to get the courage and control. It went well like how it was supposed to. I did good and I will get better. It just takes practice undoing all the damage. All the things I learned wrong or didn’t learn at all.

    You are not a monster. You may have things to work on but you’re in a shitty situation and he’s beyond your control. You can’t change him. And you can’t force your mom to leave if she won’t.

    But you’re doing the best you can and in the face of assholes, that’s all you can do. With him still in the picture, it’s distorted. You’re trying to be a better person (you’re doing a damn fine as it is, but you’re a good person so you strive for more) but it’s hard to see with a funhouse mirror.

    Survive, fly, fix what you can, accept what you can’t, thrive.

    I hope that helps. It’s what I keep trying to tell myself. If not or if I’ve overstepped, I’m sorry. You should probably just listen to Crip Dyke and everyone else.


    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Hello folks, I’m still around. That old black dog has me by the throat,and I am spoonless. *hugs* for all.

    *hugs back*

    TMM @ #2

    Holy fuck. o.0 *hugs*

    I second Beatrice (#7).

    That’s a lot and I’m sorry no one is there for you.

    I know I couldn’t take care of my “step-father” (Techincally, but fuck if I claim him as fam). Of course, I’m spineless and would end up doing it if I didn’t have roadblockers in place. Roomie would move out before that fucker would come in and no matter what I won’t put Little One anywhere near him.

    Of course, it’s damn okay not to do it just for you. Fuck being the sacrificial woman.

    Damn, that’s really messed up of your partner. I understand the depression all too well but to be so self-centered is…ugh. Both Roomie and I are depressed and I get the feedback loop problem but we try. I sometimes self-censor because I don’t want to set him off but I’d never ask someone else to do that. And he doesn’t ask me either.

    And then your mom…

    I’m sympathetic for the mental and physical illness but not for being an asshole. And they are being inconsiderate assholes.

    I hope it gets better and they shape up.

    #16 dianagoods

    New commenter, long time lurker. So, I just spent a couple hours packing up the books from the library of my local group. I resigned my position as a member of the executive over the final straw of my group voting to join the SPI coalition. Feeling bruised and hurt that a nebulous connection with an organization filled with people who have shown time after time that they don’t share my values was more important than the contributions of someone like myself, who poured her time and energy into creating a community.
    On the plus side, in giving up my duties as group librarian, I no longer have a reason to keep books in my house authored by rapists and misogynists.

    Damn, that sucks. Well, fuck them and good for you, taking such a stand. Welcome.

    There’s oh so much more but I’m far too behind. *leaves pile of hugs*

  20. says


    I, and a handful of other regulars, have been on unofficial Troll-Watch over at Hemant’s, which is normally pretty mellow, but the last week, week and half there’s been a weird influx of trolls.

    I’m feeling really burned out.

    In other news, my little brother decided that I was the perfect person to come out to. (World’s most Transparent Closet.)

    I finally got a bra that fits comfortably. It doesn’t quite offer the level of compression I want, but it’s keeping my boobs out of my way, and providing support so they’re not flopping around when I’m running the trails.

    And speaking of trails, it shouldn’t be too much longer until I get the new set of wheels, and then I’ll be back out. I’m going stir-crazy from being house-bound for the last month and a half.

  21. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Hi dianagood, good to see you here. Thanks for the welcome JAL. WMD I’ve given up on Hemant’s place a while ago, not because of the trolls but because of the host. I’m sorry you feel burnt out – it’s not your responsibility to keep his blog trolls under control, so if it gets too much, don’t feel bad about stepping out.

    Here’s something interesting: See the Living God in action through these baked goodies! Yes indeed, the real meaning of Easter can be revealed through this recipe for you and your family!

  22. bluentx says

    From the ” I CAN NOT BELIEVE she said that” Department:

    One of my oldest friends made a Facebook post the other day that I am still facepalm-ing over.

    My friend (since 5th grade) is S. Her son is K. Her son is in prison [drug charges]. S has always been very religious but over the years we have come to an understanding. She used to ‘preach to me’ but now we talk religion occasionally in a general (non-evangelizing vs. non-‘religion makes no sense’) kinda way. [Guess which is my part of that equation.]

    Now the FB post: She actually said she ‘thanked god’ for her son’s time in prison because… wait for it… he’s become a better Christian…. !!!!!!!!!!!

    Uh, Mom… what about his getting beat up (more than once) by other inmates? What about his getting transferred to other units (at a moments notice, for no discernable reason) meaning YOU have to travel hours and hours (across the 2nd largest state) just to visit him? What about his being denied a case review for an earlier release date? (It seems-even to me- that he’s been in there ‘forever’ for a non violent crime.)

    How can a parent, a reasonable human being (in most things) call this ‘a blessing’ and ‘thank god’ for such a thing?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU ‘S’ ???!!! Looking for a silver lining in the situation is one thing but CRAP ! ‘Prison is a good thing if he comes out ‘a better Christian?’ REALLY ???

    I can not wrap my head around such thinking!

  23. bluentx says

    WHEW !

    Got that out of my system (maybe) ! Now for the important stuff:

    Good morning Lounge Lizards !

    “Hi, ya’ll” and *Hugs* on offer…

  24. rq says

    Whew, that’s pretty intense, from your friend S… wow. I can’t imagine. A better christian through suffering? I mean, I understand the christian logic, but that seems so… callous and insensitive to the fact that her son is a person, who deserves better even if in prison.
    Also, *hugsback*, I’ve been a terrible correspondent, as usual. But all is well here, we thought it was spring but it’s been snowing all day today so far. At least it’s not cold.
    And I’m on the annual hunt for red cabbage, because Easter is next weekend and we need to paint some of them pagan eggs bright blue. Red cabbage will do it but it seems to be a rarity in stores around this time of year.

  25. opposablethumbs says

    Dear Horde.
    I’m not sure about saying this, but I don’t really have anyone in meatspace to whom I could talk about this particular thing. And I’m thinking about it all the time.
    The person I like best and most enjoy spending time with apart from the Spawn, though I only see them occasionally as they live a long way away and have a great many friends besides, and who is one of the best people I have ever come across (xe is a wonderful person – fun and smart and generous and aware and engaged and so full of life you wouldn’t believe) just confirmed that xir prognosis is not good. As in, metastases and from about one to a handful of years not good. Having already gone one long round of surgery, radio, chemo – the lot – xe is deciding whether or not to go another round, weighing quality against quantity both of which are only known as probabilities.
    Apart from wanting to cry a lot, I want to try and be fun, send fun or interesting or beautiful clips and links and pics and stuff. I’m of course worried about not knowing what to say and fucking up.
    Thank you for hearing.

  26. bluentx says

    Resurrection rolls @ #34:

    The story behind the biscuit is adorable*….

    These Resurrection Rolls help the kids connect with the truth* of the empty tomb.

    *Snarky emphasis mine.

    Bookmarking for future chuckles (and groans).


    You’re the bad correspondent !? Heh!
    Good luck on The Great Cabbage Quest !

  27. rq says

    Whatever comes next won’t be easy, and I hope you manage to be there for your friend. It certainly won’t be easy, especially if you have a hard time accepting xir decision (which – let’s face it, even though it’s not about you, will feel like it is about you in some way), but I wish you all the strength and courage.
    Also, I don’t know what kind of a person xe is, but it will probably be okay for you to show xir every now and then how sad you are. It might even help to talk to xir about it, see what xir thoughts are, if you have that kind of a relationship. (I don’t know if that counts as putting additional stress onto xir, again, this depends on xir.) Good luck in finding happy and exciting things to post for xir or to show xir, at least there’s the internet for that!
    PS *hanky*

  28. rq says

    You know how resurrection rolls should work? Like a reenactment of the empty tomb: make a bunch of delicious, delicious rolls, and make sure the kids know about them. Then, eat them all overnight, and when the kids come down to eat some rolls, they’ll find them GONE. And you can tell them that’s exactly what happened on that first easter morning a couple thousand years ago!
    (Of course it’s a bad analogy because they found Jesus more or less alive in the end, and I’m not sure how to recover the rolls, but still. :) )
    (Also, a marshmallow = the pure body of Jesus? THEN WHY CAN’T THEY SERVE MARSHMALLOWS IN CHURCH?)
    I’m actually curious about the recipe itself, though. Too bad I don’t have any pure body of Jesus bits marshmallows.

  29. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you rq. The only thing about all this that will be/is easy is accepting xir decision; whatever xe chooses is right. It’s everything else that is hard :-s
    I’m sort of venting here so that I will find it easier (I hope) not to have my feelings cluttering up too much in the wrong direction (you know, that circles thing – venting should go out, support in towards the middle. If I who am only a pal feel bereft and gutted, I can’t even presume to imagine how xe, and xir family and really close friends must feel)
    Thank you so much for the hugs and hanky, I really really appreciate those right now.

  30. A. Noyd says

    Sooooooo exhausted. I haven’t had a weekend in like 3 weeks. There are 2 more days of rather intensive training and then I get to move to my new apartment. And then, hopefully, I’ll have some time to take it easy. But if I ask, it’ll seem like I have a bad attitude.

    Most of the other trainees have either moved within Japan or are just commuting to the training without moving at all, the lucky fuckers.

  31. opposablethumbs says

    The best thing ever with marshmallows was school science project “make a model of the molecule of your choice” (obviously nobody attempted a protein). So, a bit of food colouring and hey presto, a model of the glucose model made out of marshmallows of different colours – and lo, it was a sugar molecule … made out of sugar, and thus a sugar sugar molecule :-)

  32. bluentx says


    *Hugs* to you and your friend ! What a stressful time (to say the least) for you both and a monumentally important decision for your friend! [I know it’s hard even being a second party to this kind of thing… my Dad had inoperable Pancreatic cancer.]

    The Lounge is a good place to come… no ‘apologies’ necessary about venting here! Perhaps The Horde can help with finding “… fun or interesting or beautiful clips and links and pics and stuff..,”. I know some here *cough… rq, for instance …cough* have wonderous internet speed, agility and taste. [Is that enough AK-ing to get me out of trouble ,rq?]

  33. rq says

    Needs a few more AKs. Plus I’ve been lax with the fun posts for a while, but something always turns up. :)

  34. Saad says


    I’m really sorry to hear about your friend. I agree with rq: sadness is a valid emotion especially in a time like this. It’s perfectly fine to feel sad for xer with xer. I haven’t experienced a situation like this myself (at least not yet), but it’s something I’m scared of and think about often so you certainly have my sympathy. Since you two are close, I’m sure xe will only appreciate the time you give xer, whether it be happy thoughts and conversation or sharing in xer feeling sad or down.

    You can talk about it here whenever and however much you want. We’ll be here to listen. :)

  35. Saad says

    And I want to address something to the Lounge in general:

    The lounge (and Pharyngula in general) is the *only* place I know of (meatspace or otherwise) where no form of bigotry is tolerated and people do not put up with negativity being expressed against one of our own, especially those who are already being punched down on by society. With every other place I find myself in, it’s only a matter of time before some form of bigotry or insensitivity ends up creating an atmosphere of ill will towards some group of downtrodden people. But not here. And I hugely appreciate and cherish that.

    I know a lot of us openly discuss our personal lives and issues here, which is a great way of getting to know what other people are like. I’ve usually avoided talking about too much personal stuff of mine, mostly because I’ve always been very private like that, but I know if I ever wanted to, I could do it here.

    I don’t know the origin of this term, but many higs to all. :)

  36. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you bluentx. I mean, obviously I know that I and my feelings are the least of things in this situation, in the actual context of my friend’s cancer – and that’s exactly why I’m very grateful to be able to spill here, where to the best of my knowledge and belief xe is very unlikely to be exposed to my self-indulgence. The last thing I want to do is waste one second of xir attention and energy. So thank you, I really appreciate it!

  37. bluentx says

    BTW, ‘Thanks’ (so to speak) rq, for all the work you’ve been doing over at the ‘Morning in America’ thread. Horrifying, maddening (with the occasional bright spot) and informative all at the same time !

  38. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you Saad! I’m just one of xir many friends, and I’m glad to say that xe has a great many really lovely friends – and a wonderful family including possibly the best sister ever in the known universe. But xe has made such a difference in my life in the few short years I’ve known xir – well, xe means a lot to me.
    I’m disappearing for a few hours now – just wanted to say how very good it is to be able to come here sometimes.
    See you all later.

  39. rq says

    re: the origin of ‘higs’
    I believe it is the most recent addition to a list of acceptable and functional (and inadvertent?) tpyos, on a list with ‘tpyos’ and ‘sniny’ and ‘Grauniad’ and the like. Whatever it is, it works. :) I think of it as a non-intrusive gesture of general support, plus it takes a lot less time to type out than ‘non-intrusive gesture of (general) support’. At least that’s how I’ve adopted it. :)

  40. kellym says

    Just saw that DJ Grothe is doing some work for a Symposium for the Institute for Science and Human Values (the group started by Paul Kurtz after he was ousted from CFI by Ron Lindsay) . Yay, ANOTHER atheist/skeptic group on my Permanently Avoid list.

  41. says

    Sometimes, I see that my aversion to group activities is a good thing – if I’d actually gone out and joined an atheist organization, I’d be even more mad at the world now.

    I’d rather be here in the Lounge anyway. The company is much more pleasant and nonjudgmental.

  42. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    I believe we can thank Ogvorbis’ sacrifice to Tpyos for the *higs*.

    Crip Dyke and JAL, thank you very much.
    Your comments cleared up a lot for me.

  43. says

    As we know, the dietary supplement industry in the USA is a mess. Too little regulation, way too much woo factor. Investigations have revealed that the situation was worse than we thought … well, worse than I thought.

    […] Since DSHEA became law, substances as varied as paint stripper, bat s***, toad venom, and lamb placenta have all been imported from overseas, bottled up – often by people with no scientific or health backgrounds – and marketed as dietary supplements to unsuspecting American consumers.

    Many supplements have been tainted with salmonella, arsenic, lead, pesticides, unapproved foreign prescription drugs, as well as garden-variety carcinogens. And despite their New-Age health aura, a significant portion of these “natural supplements” are stimulants, depressants, and other mood-enhancers that some medical experts believe would be classified as drugs if they were synthetic. A surprising number of these products are addictive.

    Thanks to Hatch [Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican mormon from Utah], the U.S. now has standards as low as those in many Third World countries for the sale of many products with serious, pharmacological effects. The results have been deadly. […]

    That’s from 2001, and things have gotten worse, in part due to the Dr. Oz factor. John Oliver skewers OZ in June 2014.

    The situation has also gotten worse thanks to the mormon factor. I’ll include this news in the Moments of Mormon Madness list. Senator Hatch receives massive campaign donations from the supplement industry. Many of the companies are based in Utah, where Hatch and others have been instrumental in passing state laws that are even more lax than national laws regulating dietary supplements. In Utah, the supplement industry also thrives under laws that allow a lot multi-level-marketing (pyramid) schemes to skirt the law.

    New York state’s Attorney General recently attacked the problem on a state level since the feds were hampered by law, by inertia, and by public opinion.

    […] And in the New York state investigation, the state A.G.’s office tested “78 bottles of popular, store-brand herbal supplements that it purchased at a dozen Walmart, Target, Walgreens and GNC locations” across the state. Investigators found “that four out of five bottles contained no detectable genetic material from the plants advertised on their labels.”

    GNC now says it’s choosing to take new steps to ensure quality control, but again, these steps are voluntary, we don’t know what GNC competitors will do, and the entire industry will continue to operate under lax regulations.

    David Schardt, a senior nutritionist at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, told the Times the GNC announcement represents “important progress,” but what consumers desperately need is congressional action that would allow the Food and Drug Administration to promptly oust from the marketplace products that are dishonestly marketed or potentially dangerous.” […]

  44. says

    Rand Paul has decided that his campaign for the presidency needs a boost from the religious rightwing. He has written not one, but two books that amount to pandering is a very slimy way.

    He wrote “Taking a Stand: Moving Beyond Partisan Politics to Unite America,” and “Our Presidents & Their Prayers: Proclamations of Faith by America’s Leaders.”

    “Rand Paul reveals the practices of each President of the United States and sheds light on how religion played a part in their governing and personal lives,” according to the publisher’s description.

    Just last week, Senator Paul spoke to a meeting of pastors and said, “The First Amendment says keep government out of religion. It doesn’t say keep religion out of government.”

    Senator Paul has also been claiming that he passionately believes in opposing marriage equality, reproductive rights for women, and on an on. Paul doesn’t put it that way, of course, but those are the policies he is against. “Things evangelicals hate” are the things Rand Paul hates. He proposed a “Great Awakening with tent revivals.” Maybe we’ll end up with another Joseph Smith?

  45. says

    More welcome backlash to the “religious freedom” law that was passed in Indiana:

    […] the latest to cancel an upcoming event in Indiana because of the state’s new license-to-discriminate law is the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which announced Monday that it is pulling its 2015 women’s conference out of Indianapolis. Lee Saunders, the union’s president, said in a statement that “This un-American law allowing businesses to refuse service to gay and lesbian customers sets Indiana and our nation back decades in the struggle for civil rights. It is an embarrassment and cannot be tolerated,” […]

    In 2013, the AFSCME conference was attended by about 800 people. It was predicted that more would attend this year. Indiana will lose the associated revenue.

    Throughout our proud history, our union has stood up whenever injustice has occurred – be it for striking sanitation workers in Memphis in 1968, or for the victims of apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s. Governor Pence’s law, motivated by ultra-right wing zealots, is an affront to the vast majority of those in our nation who believe that every American deserves equal treatment under the law, no matter whom they love or where they worship.

    AFSCME will relocate our Women’s Conference to a state to be determined as a sign of our disgust and disappointment with Governor Pence’s discriminatory law. We stand with the ever-growing number of businesses and associations who are taking similar action this week and demanding fairness for all in the state of Indiana.”

  46. rq says

    I read today that the governor of Indiana is shocked – shocked!!! – at all the negativity sent his way since he signed the bill. May his fainting couch fall and break from under him.

  47. says

    More on the lies told by Governor Pence of Indiana, plus a good explanation of past laws as compared to this new travesty:

    On ABC’s Sunday program “This Week,” Indiana Gov. Mike Pence gave a career-ending performance in which he repeatedly refused to answer whether Indiana’s new “religious freedom” law, SB 101, allows discrimination against gays and lesbians (#NotReadyForPrimeTime). Pence also likened SB 101 to the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) signed into law in the ’90s and those adopted by about 19 states since. […]

    Lies. All of it. Indiana’s new law is substantially different than both the 90s-era RFRAs and there is no parallel to be drawn between Indiana now and the Illinois bill Barack Obama voted for 17 years ago.

    First, these new RFRAs aren’t even close to the same as those that have been passed by other states over the last couple decades. The new ones are RFRAs on steroids. The old RFRAs were meant to keep the government from infringing on the religious beliefs of individuals. The new ones vary, but they almost all apply to private disputes. That is new and will allow people to use their religious beliefs as a defense if they are sued for discrimination by another individual. […]

    Scroll down at the link to watch a video of Mike Pence tap dancing like crazy, and flailing all over the place.

  48. blf says

    Anne, Cranky Cat Lady: “Testing because I modified my name a bit.”

    Ok, the cat is spinning furiously. It’s really cranking. You must have used a large piece of toast with extra butter. Cinnamon butter, perhaps?

    The mildly deranged penguin has packed her portable trebuchet and will heading out to provide it with some flying lessons as soon as she can find the furiously spinning cat on the Spinning-Kittyscope (which is also quite good at locating Belgian waffles, but has never really worked at its designed purpose as a replacement for the paperclip). This may take awhile, she is currently searching Andromeda…

  49. says

    rq @65, Yeah, Pence is not grounded in reality. He is in need of a fainting couch that travels with him everywhere he goes — including to TV studios where his inability to account for discrimination against gays has made him an object of ridicule.

    Some people have pointed out the law Governor Pence just signed is a windfall for devil worshippers, the Church of Cannabis, and other religious groups. Expect more fainting. He should wear pearls so that he has something to clutch.

  50. says

    Rahm Emanuel can spot a financial opportunity with his eyes closed:

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) is looking to capitalize on the outrage over Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) signing a controversial religious freedom law […] raid some jobs for his city and state.

    Emanuel sent letters to a dozen Indiana based companies criticizing the law and urging them to move their headquarters to Illinois and Chicago in particular, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

    In the letter Emanuel writes that Pence’s move is “wrong for the people of Indiana, wrong for the individuals who face new discrimination, and wrong for a state seeking to grow its economy.”

    “I am writing to urge you to consider Chicago as a place to move and grow your business,” […]

  51. says

    More Freeze Peach, rightwing style:

    In a bizarre email, businessman and heavyweight conservative donor Foster Friess demanded that the Washington Post “scrub” its story on a misogynistic email chain connected to Daily Caller editor Tucker Carlson.

    On Wendesday, Carlson’s brother, Buckley Carlson, had apparently accidentally cc’d a spokeswoman for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in an email that referred to her as, among many other things, a “whiny little self-righteous bitch” with “extreme dick-fright.” […]

    The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple decided to ask Friess, who has invested more than $3 million into the conservative site [Daily Caller], about the conduct of the brothers Carlson. […] [I snipped the bizarre Twitter war.]

    Later on, Friess told Wemple to “scrub” the story.

    “Scrub your story and lets figure out a way we could reconcile them. There is way too much nastiness and negativity in the world without sensationalizing it,” Friess wrote.

  52. says

    Gay people are way too powerful to have equal rights. So say various rightwingers in Ohio:

    Gay Americans simply have too much political power to be afforded equal rights under the Constitution, according to a brief filed by the state of Ohio asking the Supreme Court to permit that state to continue to practice marriage discrimination. Ohio’s claim comes as part of a greater effort to convince the justices that laws which discriminate again gay men, lesbians and bisexuals should not be treated with skepticism by courts applying the Constitution’s guarantee that everyone shall be afforded “the equal protection of the laws.” […]

    Two years ago, House Republicans made a similar gay-people-are-too-powerful argument in their brief supporting the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). That brief claimed that “gays and lesbians are one of the most influential, best-connected, best-funded, and best organized interest groups in modern politics, and have attained more legislative victories, political power, and popular favor in less time than virtually any other group in American history.” This argument did not carry the day in United States v. Windsor, the decision striking down DOMA […]. If the Court follows its own decisions, the argument that gay people have amassed too much political clout to have equal rights will not carry the day in Ohio’s case either.

  53. blf says

    The Grauniad is reporting Indiana Republicans to amend ‘religious freedom’ law in face of backlash:

    State legislators say law is not anti-gay and blame the reaction on a ‘mischaracterisation’. ‘What we had hoped for was a message of inclusion’

    Snicker. It’s not a laughing matter, but some lies are funny just because they are amazingly incompetent.

    Indiana’s Republican legislative leaders said on Monday they were working on adding language to the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to make it clear that it does not allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.

    The move comes amid widespread outcry over the measure that prohibits state laws that “substantially burden” a person’s ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. The definition of “person” includes religious institutions, businesses and associations.

    Brian Bosma, the speaker of the Indiana house of representatives, … blamed the reaction on a “mischaracterization” of the law by both opponents and some supporters.

    These thugs are really bad at this lying thing.

    In the days since Governor Mike Pence signed the RFRA, reaction has been swift and fierce.

    The next day, the social media campaign #BoycottIndiana took over Twitter, and on Saturday hundreds gathered at the statehouse in Indianapolis to rally against the bill.

    Local businesses across the state capital have posted signs bearing the message that Indiana citizens, known as Hoosiers, will “not serve hate”.

    And major Indiana-based businesses such as Angie’s List have put expansion plans on hold and other companies, like, have stopped sending employees there for business.

    “This is not just a gay issue, this is a Hoosier issue,” said city councilman Zach Adamson, the first openly gay elected councilman in Indianapolis. “We are, as a people, incensed about it.”

    Pence, long admired by billionaire conservative donors Koch Brothers, was seen as a dark horse Republican presidential candidate for the 2016 election, though this recent public relations disaster has in effect guaranteed he will not be on the ballot.

    On Sunday, Pence defended the bill in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s The Week. The appearance inflamed opponents as Pence danced around questions about the law’s discriminatory implications and refused to directly answer questions about whether it gives businesses the right to deny service to LGBT people — six times.

    …[S]tore owners in Indianapolis to put up signs that say: “Instead of hate, we proudly serve everyone,” “This Hoosier still opposes the anti-LGBT license to discriminate,” and “Open for service! We do not support the Religious Freedom Bill.”

    [Indianapolis] Council vice-president John Barth said that SB101 and the international reaction to it has nearly undone the work by he and past city council employees to make Indianapolis an attractive site for tourists, businesses and events. …

    “We just took a 100- to 150-year jump backward,” said Austin Clevenger, who works in the video industry and attended Saturday’s rally against SB101.

    Since we are dealing with lying thugs here, I won’t believe it until there is signed, unambiguous, and in-force law — better, a total repeal of the new law — and assume this move is just an attempt to stop the boycotts, et al, with vague, hand-waving “promises” of “clarifications”. From lying thugs?

  54. says

    MDP had better watch out around the Resident Felines, as I am exceedingly cranky today and might just load her into her own trebuchet and fire it. MDP wants to go to Andromeda? That could be arranged.


  55. blf says

    Shell cynically blocking action on climate change, says ex-diplomat:

    Shell and its oil and gas peers are narcissistic, paranoid and psychopathic, and engaged in a cynical attempt to block action on global warming, according to the UK’s former climate change envoy.

    In an open letter to Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden, John Ashton said the company’s promised transformation in response to climate change is in reality “a manifesto for the oil and gas status quo”. The companies justified their strategy, he said, with the unsupported claim that the economic and moral benefits of providing cheap energy to the world’s poor exceeds the risks to the same people from climate change.

    Ashton, an independent commentator and until 2012 the UK’s top climate diplomat, wrote the letter, published in the Guardian, in response to a speech by van Beurden in February. The Shell CEO said those calling for “fossil fuels out, renewables in” were naive and said provoking a sudden death of fossil fuels was not a plausible plan to tackle global warming.

    Ashton said van Beurden’s speech “was a classic of obfuscation and dissimulation.”

    Ashton said: “It is their right to say whatever they want, but it is essential that this prospectus be challenged. Underpinning [the oil and gas industry’s response to climate change] is a cynical calculation that it will be politically impossible to mobilise a truly transformational response, together with an equally cynical attempt to make this self-fulfilling.” Shell declined to comment.

    In the letter, Ashton wrote: “You and your peers cannot complain if society increasingly comes to see in your behaviour the characteristic marks of the professional narcissist, paranoiac, and psychopath.”

    In the final section of the letter, Ashton issues a challenge to van Beurden and Shell: “Stop frustrating ambition. Talk to us about how you will play your part in a [clean energy] transition. Tell us the inspirational story of that transition, backed by your knowledge and experience … And don’t tell us through crocodile tears that this will all take a long time. Tell us what you will do to hasten it.”

    Ashton adds: “Stop pretending that gas is part of the answer to climate change, rather than a necessary stage in a transition to be kept as short as possible. Urge your peers to turn their backs on new fracking around the world, as you wisely have in the UK.

  56. rq says

    blf @71
    Okay, so that covers gays and lesbians – what about bisexuals, trans* people, those who are generfluid, asexual, etc.? Will they be included in the new language, too?
    (Also, why are Indianianianians called ‘Hoosiers’?)

  57. blf says

    Okay, so that covers gays and lesbians…

    I have a very famous bridge to sell you. My colleague in Nigera will be contacting you shortly.

  58. blf says

    I am exceedingly cranky today and might just load [the mildly deranged penguin] into her own trebuchet and fire it.

    She’s been laughing and giggling so hard she now has a case of hiccups. Her remedy for hiccups is to quaff a large bottle of cider (the proper stuff).

    However, she neglected to stop hiccuping before doing so, so it was a case of glug glub HIglubCBLEWLY BOOOOOOOM! as the cider reversed course and sprayed across the lair, and then was ignited by something. This resulted in her taking off backwards (EXCATAH — EXploding Cider Assisted Takeoff And Hiccup) and bouncing about the lair at some speed.

    After the thrust finally died down, and some hiccups later, she decided that as fun (and LOUD!, which is always a good thing), and wants you to tell another joke.

  59. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    We haz rent money, yay!

    Thank you everyone so much, and Esteleth for handling it all and donating too.

    And I got a hold of coupons for free cat food and litter from Petsmart. So it’s only internet that’s left for this month, which is due on the 12th.

  60. says

    Several Pharyngulites commented on Arizona legislator, Sylvia Allen, and her proposal to pass legislation mandating church attendance. (Not her first venture into a LaLa Land with a mormon flavor).

    Steve Benson, ex-mormon and Pulitzer-Prize-winning cartoonist, drew a cartoon depicting Sister Allen’s latest rant:
    Gannett news link, Phoenix.

    Excerpts from news coverage:

    According to Arizona’s flake from Snowflake — Republican Sen. Sylvia Allen — the way for this country to rebuild its moral fiber is to (1) let people carry concealed guns into public buildings, and (2) force everyone to go to church.

    This seems to be the proven way for the Grand Canyon-Mouthed State to get itself into the national spotlight these days: Trot out our state leaders, then wait a second or two for them to say something really dumb. (By the way, Allen also thinks that uranium mining near the Grand Canyon is just fine because the Earth is only 6,000 years old. The connection between the two to be announced later.)

    Delivering her own version of “We Have Nothing to Fear but No Firearms or Faith” speech, Allen declared:

    We are slowly eroding religion at every opportunity we have. … Probably we should be debating a bill requiring every American to attend a church of their choice on Sunday to see if we can get back to having a moral rebirth. Since that would never be allowed, and we would not even be debating that, I’m going to vote ‘yes’ that people — who are responsible and have a (hide and don’t seek) permit — don’t have to worry about their gun as they’re out and about doing business.

    Later trying to dig herself out of that unholy mess, Allen said she simply longed for the good ol’ days of her 1950s youth when “people prayed, people went to church” and “on Sundays the stores were closed.” As great as those times were, however, she said that her biggest, baddest memory was when “religion was kicked out of our public places, out of our schools.

    As cartoon fodder, it is hard to beat a mormon politician.

  61. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness, transgender category.

    […] LDS apostle Dallin H. Oaks acknowledged recently that Mormon leaders “have not had so much experience with [transgender persons]. … We have some unfinished business on that.”

    Still, the faith does have policies in place, saying elective sex-reassignment surgery “may be cause for formal church discipline,” according to the church’s Handbook.

    In some Mormon missions, including Thailand, with its many transgender persons, missionaries ask would-be converts if they are in their “original gender.”

    An official LDS document, “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” written and approved by the faith’s top leaders, states that “gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”

    “Because of this,” church spokesman Eric Hawkins writes in an emailed statement, “the church does not baptize those who are planning transsexual operations. If a person has already had such an operation and wishes to join the church, they may be baptized only after an interview with the mission president and approval by the First Presidency.

    “The church does not ordain transgender people to the priesthood or issue temple recommends to them,” Hawkins adds. “Church leaders counsel already-baptized members against elective transsexual operations, and bishops may refer specific cases to the stake president for possible resolution at that level or by the First Presidency. […]

  62. says

    This is a followup to comment 81, in which the mormon reaction to transgender persons is discussed.

    Here are some comments from readers of the Salt Lake Tribune article:

    So called “transgender” people are still listed as mentally ill by the DSM manual. This is fact, not opinion. The reason they’re still listed as mentally ill (despite the political activists who once again want to erase science, as they did in 1973) is they are liars. They say they’re a male when they were born a female, and vice versa. They demand that others participate in their charade.
    So called “transgenders” as this article calls them, are lying in a fundamental way. When a news article written by a liberal refers to a “transgender” as a “he,” just substitute that for “she” so it makes sense. If they call a transgender a “she” just substitute the word “he” so honesty can be restored.

    This business of “being in the wrong body” is utter nonsense and lies.

    The church won’t baptize people who are so fundamentally dishonest that they want to mutilate themselves. Members who want to mutilate themselves are subject to church discipline, for turning themselves into more of advanced liar by their actions. For turning lies into self mutilation.
    I remember my mother telling me that if someone had a sex-change and were Mormon, they would automatically be ex’ed because they were thwarting god’s divine plan. I love my mom, but she was and is wholly wrong on this subject. Gender is so incredibly dynamic. The Bible’s early statement in Genesis regarding there being ‘male’ and ‘female’ is so utterly false, that you can pretty much bet that most of the following biblical assertions to be equally false or immoral. So much for it being a ‘good’ book.

  63. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says


    Well, without going into too many details, I found profiles of a couple of people I met at an event and had been interested in getting to know based on common interests and apparent compatibility, on a specialized social networking site, and between the attitudes in their profiles and their comments on some community issues, it turns out they’re actually pretty gross people. :(

  64. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    Just noticed the new post-nym epithet. Nicely done. And kids today think there’s no reason to study maths.

  65. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    In your “racism is super-pervasive” news of the day…

    I knew (well, assumed…apparently there’s a cultural component?) dark-skinned people “blushed” in the sense of having the rush-of-blood-to-the-face reaction…but, for writing’s sake, I had to Google how that actually played out visually. Because what I’ve read so far gives me nothing to work with x.x

  66. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    …damnit, misplaced the first comma in parsing the link title. x.x

  67. rq says

    It actually made a weird kind of sense. :D

    Yay!! :) Will it have lasers?

  68. bassmike says

    Congrats to WMDKitty on the new wheelchair. I hope it is everything that you want.

    Welcome to Gen & dianagoods . My approach to posting in the lounge is primarily to keep up with the friends I have gained here and comment when the subject is something to which I feel I am in a position to make a contribution. There are lots of well-informed intelligent people in here; I like to take advantage of that!

    The concert went well. The West Side Story is officially the longest single piece we have played for a long time, possibly ever. I may post some bits at some point if anyone is interested.

    For those in the UK Louis Theroux has a programme on BBC2 on Sunday at 9.00pm about Transgender kids. I will watch it, but I’m sure others may be interested.

  69. pHred いつでも今日が、いちばん楽しい日 says

    Brain dead and threadrupt. Daughter is in bright pink cast (she is fine now). Buried under piles of grading. Sigh. And it will probably snow again today.

    Pile of hugs and virtual chocolate.

    Getting depressed. Tired of grey skies, tired of constantly having to fight just to be able to do my job and just plain tired.

    Cool thing last month – was interviewed for an NPR show ! Mentioned it at department meeting and one jerk in dept (our only full P) went all “well, I put gas in my car today” and was massive sour grapes all over the damn place. Still pissed off about it.

  70. bassmike says

    pHred It’s great that you were interviewed for NPR. I’m impressed! You have my sympathies regarding the sour grapes. Some people can never just be happy for others.

    I hope the depression goes soon and that the weather improves.

    It’s been very windy here for the last day. At home we have an extractor fan in the kitchen just below my daughter’s room. In the wind the fan’s flaps bang rather noisily. It disturbed my daughter in the night..which means that we were all disturbed. Weather’s never what you want it to be.

    rq I’ll see what stuff from the concert I can get to post. It may take some time!

  71. pHred いつでも今日が、いちばん楽しい日 says

    bassmike Thanks!

    As far as weather goes, is it really to much to ask that it at least stop snowing this spring ?

  72. says

    Hi all!

    Special thoughts and hugs (higs?) for Beatrice, Dalillama, The Mellow Monkey, and opposablethumbs.
    Whatever happens in meatspace, know that you’ve got support here in the lounge.


    one jerk in dept (our only full P) went all “well, I put gas in my car today”

    Sounds like a wonderful human being. :P

  73. pHred いつでも今日が、いちばん楽しい日 says

    No kidding – they are a nightmare. And two people have chosen to retire at the end of the year, so there goes a chunk of the buffer. The jerk ratio of the department will go through the roof. I desperately want a new job, but moving around is tough in my line of work – especially after this department got its claws into me.

  74. says

    pHred, I’ve been practising my Japanese writing diligently, and can now say I really like your epithet. :)

    Hugs & higs (out of bosons just now) for the pile.

    Oh, and I might be looking for early playtesters for a game based on The Legend of Korra, a board game. If you’d be interested – it’s a 1v1 competitive, about half an hour to play once – get hold of me at cave + babe + 21 à g to the mail in a com style (take out +). Thanks.

  75. rq says

    Congratulations on the interview (impressive indeed!), and seriously, that guy can go and shove his sour grapes in a very uncomfortable location of his choice. Good luck with the rest of the stuff, *hugs* and *get well soon* for the daughter (glad all is well right now). Not sure how to help you with the grading, but here’s some *moral support* for that!

    I’d be interested, even knowing nothing but carlie’s rave reviews about Legend of Korra, just not sure how it would work…

    It’s been windy here, too – last night, driving home, I almost got blown off the road – on the usually leeward overpass. But at least nothing took out the power this time, just some intense howling and banging of various loose ends around the house. And possibly bits of the roof flying off, which I hope are the old already-broken bits that were sitting on the patio and not new ones. :/


    BUT the rain stopped around midday, which means the Annual Massacre of the Roses could continue (I started last week when it was sunny, but had to stop because of the rain – can’t prune roses in the rain, they’ll mould, or so I’ve heard!). And now begins the annual wait-to-see-if-I-have-killed-them, stubby little things that they are now (one plant didn’t survive, I know that for sure, and there’s another one on the edge, but the rest seem to have handled Winter quite alright).

  76. birgerjohansson says

    Geckos found able to expel all manner of fluids and their skin can kill bacteria
    Geckos: The honey badgers of Reptilia

    — — — —
    Doctors are treating cancer with polio — and it’s working: 60 Minutes Gromeir explained that human cancers develop protective measures to make them invisible to the immune system, but he said the polio treatment removes that shield and allows the immune system to attack. Researchers believe that the re-engineered polio virus starts killing the tumor, but then the body’s own immune system does the real killing.

    — — —
    Obama Files State Secrets Privilege in Private Lawsuit
    This is pretty extreme.

    — — — —
    Why Democrats can’t be counted on to fight against income inequality.

  77. birgerjohansson says

    “BBC confident it can find a new prick”
    THE BBC has confirmed that Top Gear will continue without Jeremy Clarkson as Britain is awash with boorish oafs.

    — — — —
    Looking Back On My Life, I Guess My Biggest Regret Is Trying To Fight That Alligator 5 Minutes Ago,38287/

    — — — —
    A robot-specific horror genre:

    — — —
    Sport: Plucky Lithuania set out to injure as many players as possible

  78. opposablethumbs says

    Congratulations, pHred! And commiserations to Daughter (coloured casts are cool. I remember when Spawn had a purple forearm-to-wrist :-) )

    Thank you, awakeinmo. It’s good to be able to come here.

    Please don’t get blown off the road, rq!

    Assorted hugs.

  79. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Go WMDKitty!

    New wheels are ALWAYS a reason to celebrate.

    Conga rats are dancing for pHred. (How is it that in the presence of my caustic comments you don’t turn pHblue, I’ve always wondered?)

  80. waldenpond says

    Sighing over the Indiana law. The main Indiana paper is being lauded for demanding a ‘fix’ by adding gays as a protected class….. It’s an expansion of Hobby Lobby. It will apply the right of denying basic health care to the individual.

    It’s been a masterful bait and switch.

  81. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Anne, 111 & waldenpond, 109:

    Good that people aren’t buying it. That law is terrible.

  82. says

    Indiana’s Governor, Mike Pence, answered questions today from the press. In a very long press conference Pence repeated over and over again that the new law is about “religious liberty” and that the law “does not give anyone the right to discriminate.” He also repeated like a mantra that the law President Clinton signed 22 years ago (RFRA, Religious Freedom Restoration Act) is same as the law Indiana legislators wrote for their state.

    The Governor’s explanation for all the backlash is that everyone is mischaracterizing the bill. “This law has been smeared.” He is offended by this, and his Hoosier feelings are hurt. He invoked the Hobby Lobby ruling to justify his new law.

    Pence repeated this shite so many times that I imagine that he convinced many to believe him. Many people will now jump all over the media for “reckless and irresponsible reporting.”

    The legal community disagrees with you, Governor Pence. Bobby Jindal, Ben Carson and other far rightwing dunderheads agree with Governor Pence.

    The Atlantic published an article delineating the differences between existing federal rules and the new Indiana law. Spoiler alert, the federal and the state law are not the same.

    It’s difficult to summarize the Atlantic article, but below are some excerpts so you can get the general idea, (go to the article for more details).

    […] There’s a factual dispute about the new Indiana law. It is called a “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” like the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed in 1993. […]

    Giving two bills the same name does not make them the same.

    The problem with this statement is that, well, it’s false. That becomes clear when you read and compare those tedious state statutes. If you do that, you will find that the Indiana statute has two features the federal RFRA—and most state RFRAs—do not. First, the Indiana law explicitly allows any for-profit business to assert a right to “the free exercise of religion.” The federal RFRA doesn’t contain such language, and neither does any of the state RFRAs except South Carolina’s; in fact, Louisiana and Pennsylvania, explicitly exclude for-profit businesses from the protection of their RFRAs.

    The new Indiana statute also contains this odd language: “A person whose exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened, by a violation of this chapter may assert the violation or impending violation as a claim or defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding, regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity is a party to the proceeding.” […] Neither the federal RFRA, nor 18 of the 19 state statutes cited by the Post, says anything like this […]

    […] the Indiana statute explicitly recognizes that a for-profit corporation has “free exercise” rights matching those of individuals or churches. A lot of legal thinkers thought that idea was outlandish until last year’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores […]

    […] the Indiana statute explicitly makes a business’s “free exercise” right a defense against a private lawsuit by another person […]

  83. Saad says

    Even the thing they pretend the RFRA is for is wrong (in that it discriminates against the non-religious).

    Just get rid of it altogether or make it all inclusive.

  84. blf says

    rq@96, Regarding the list “10 signs your beard is too big”…

    Eh? What’s wrong with me wringing out my beard for an extra drink at the end of an evening, or with it entering the room first? And you don’t kiss babies, you eat them (the beard is great for collecting the juicy crumbs and spilled gravy)!

    Oh, and another reason to not bother shaving, as pointed out by the BLF some years ago: “the waste of natural resources involved in producing shaving foam and brushes.”

  85. blf says

    Annual Massacre of the Roses […most] seem to have handled Winter quite alright

    What is this, reverse Pavlovian training?: Don’t croak or else I’ll massacre you!

    (Sounds like a bad film, Croak Roses Massacre, or an even worse band.)

  86. rq says

    Soooo just read a local article that says that friends of the Germanwings pilot believe that the company is making him a scapegoat in the accident. And here I thought they were being all decent to him, refusing to call him a mass murderer and all that! *sigh*

  87. says

    More on Governor Mike Pence, and the Indiana right-to-discriminate law.

    […] The Republican governor, and possible presidential candidate, published a Wall Street Journal op-ed overnight in which Pence outlined his plan to address businesses that exploit his new law to discriminate against gay consumers: “If I saw a restaurant owner refuse to serve a gay couple, I wouldn’t eat there anymore.”

    As Rachel joked on the show last night, “So, if you were worried that gay people might be refused service by a business in Indiana now, don’t worry. That could never happen because the state has decided to wield the grave threat of depriving businesses of Mike Pence’s personal patronage.” […]


    This reminds me of the argument made once by Rand Paul, which was, basically, that “if anyone discriminates, the Free Market will take care of it.” No. The free market did not take care of it when African Americans wanted to sit at the lunch counter with whites. The free market will not pressure all bigots to run their businesses as if all people deserve equal service and treatment.

    Dunderheaded Mike Pence offered up additional excuses for his state’s stupid law, including that rightwing favorite, blame Obamacare.

    Many states have enacted [Religious Freedom Restoration Acts] of their own … but Indiana never passed such a law. Then in 2010 came the Affordable Care Act, which renewed concerns about government infringement on deeply held religious beliefs. Hobby Lobby and the University of Notre Dame both filed lawsuits challenging provisions that required the institutions to offer certain types of insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.

    Last year the Supreme Court upheld religious liberty in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, based on the federal RFRA. With the Supreme Court’s ruling, the need for a RFRA at the state level became more important, as the federal law does not apply to states. To ensure that religious liberty is fully protected under Indiana law, this year the General Assembly enshrined these principles in Indiana law. I fully supported that action.

    To summarize: Businesses in Indiana should be able to discriminate against gays because the Affordable Care Act’s contraception policy was fucked up by the Supreme Court.

  88. says

    Further proof that Governor Mike Pence and the Republican-dominated Indiana legislature knew what they were doing when the passed the “religious freedom” law — or proof that they cannot read. One or the other.

    In our expert opinion, the clear evidence suggests otherwise and unmistakably demonstrates that the broad language of the proposed state RFRA will more likely create confusion, conflict, and a wave of litigation that will threaten the clarity of religious liberty rights in Indiana while undermining the state’s ability to enforce other compelling interests. This confusion and conflict will increasingly take the form of private actors, such as employers, landlords, small business owners, or corporations, taking the law into their own hands and acting in ways that violate generally applicable laws on the grounds that they have a religious justification for doing so. Members of the public will then be asked to bear the cost of their employer’s, their landlord’s, their local shopkeeper’s, or a police officer’s private religious beliefs.

    That’s an excerpt from a letter sent to Representatives, and signed by 30 law professors expert in religious freedom and civil rights issues.

  89. says

    Other Republican doofuses who support Indiana’s okay-to-discriminate-in-the-name-of-religion law:
    Jeb Bush
    Marco Rubio
    Ted Cruz
    Bobby Jindal
    Rick Perry
    Rick Santorum
    Ben Carson
    Scott Walker

  90. Saad says

    Lynna, #126

    Is there a single link that lists those people’s approval of it?

    Asking because I’d like to share it with someone.

  91. Saad says

    Lynna, #124

    This reminds me of the argument made once by Rand Paul, which was, basically, that “if anyone discriminates, the Free Market will take care of it.”

    Classic Libertarian non-aggression copout bullshit: Say it’s not the progressive idea you’re against, but the enforcement of said idea. Voila. You’ve avoided looking like a full Republican while opposing a good idea at the same time.

  92. blf says

    This reminds me of the argument made once by Rand Paul, which was, basically, that “if anyone discriminates, the Free Market will take care of it.”

    Backsubstitute the missing free variables to see how stooopid this is:

    if anyone does X, the Free Market will take care of it

    If anyone votes thug, the Free Market will take care of it.
    If anyone does not vote thug, the Free Market will take care of it.

    If anyone eats peas, the Free Market will take care of it.

    If anyone bidulcakes the fakorfufu, the Free Market will take care of it.

    If anyone understands this, the Free Market will take care of it.

  93. bluentx says

    Break over. Must get back to the yard work before dark.

    *Pant, pant*
    Not even April and it’s already freaking HOT !

  94. bluentx says


    “if anyone discriminates, the Free Market will take care of it.”

    Yeah, Rand that argument REALLY worked pre-Civil Rights Act. Jeeze!
    Not to mention that NOT ALL communities have alternatives (in coffee shops, mechanics shops, florists, etc.) I live in a town with a population of less than 3,000. How many market choices so you think we/I have ?

    Libertarians REALLY don’t think things through (ever) do they?

  95. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Libertarians REALLY don’t think things through (ever) do they?

    Well, enough so it ends up with what they want, de facto discrimination….

  96. says

    Saad @130, I read several sources to come up with that link, but I’ll recommend two sources that are fairly complete.

    Also, this is really good:
    It talks about the people who helped write the Indiana bill, and lo and behold, all of them think it was a bill to allow Christians to discriminate against gays. Some of those asshats stood behind Governor Pence when he signed the bill.

    And here are all the athletes, CEOs and celebrities going the backlash against the law:

  97. bluentx says

    Lynna@: #138

    Thank you, Lynna ! I couldn’t find that link/list right away to include @ # 133.

    Yea, Hivemind !

    –Now it’s Arkansas’ turn for backlash—

    –AND… I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again….. “GET ME OUTTA HERE !!!” *
    I understand Texas has at least TEN legislative ‘religious freedom’ bills being considered.

    *clicks Ruby Red garden boots*

    “There’s no place like The Commune….There’s no place like The Commune…”

  98. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What I want to know is, is the same mechanism likely to function as easily on other terrestrial planets with oceans?

    My gut feeling, is that the Earth’s large moon, and the center of gravity of the pair below the Earth’s crust, has a lot to do with keeping plate tectonics going.

  99. bluentx says

    Oookay, the link didn’t work…

    Just picture doctors, nurses, etc. in scrubs preparing for surgery…. holding hands…. in a ‘prayer circle’ !!!!


  100. bluentx says


    …they had to take the chair back to the shop for some adjustments…

    NOW, they’re going to install the lasers?

    *thinks about the practical applications for this in The Commune….*

  101. says

    No, still no lasers. Just seat and footplate adjustments. I’m one of those people who’s at an awkward in-between size where adult sized chairs are too big, and peds/adolescent chairs are too small. So, adjustments must be made to fit the chair to my body.

  102. bluentx says

    Well, as long as they get it right for your comfort.

    Surely, someone in The Horde can design the necessary extra accessories (Bwahahahah!).

  103. The Mellow Monkey says

    Well. There’s one less relationship for me to stress over.

    Is it unhealthy for an adult to spend the rest of the night sobbing into their cat’s fur?

  104. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Surely, someone in The Horde can design the necessary extra accessories (Bwahahahah!).

    We rely on the brainiacs in the Pullet Patrol™, who make it happen. Sometimes it doesn’t happen the way you would like though.

  105. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    Is it unhealthy for an adult to spend the rest of the night sobbing into their cat’s fur?

    If it is, let me never be miserable and healthy at the same time.

  106. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    Is it unhealthy for an adult to spend the rest of the night sobbing into their cat’s fur?

    Depends on whether you’re allergic.

  107. rq says

    Looks good!

    Good luck with the yardwork, hope your triffids haven’t wandered too much this year. I’m just getting started, too (The Annual Massacre of the Roses is just the beginning! Next – Dandelion Doom!!!), but it looks like the zombies are still nicely dormant behind the shed. No sprouting or budding yet.
    Also, how is ‘yardwork’ not a word? Misandry!


    This morning’s favourite tweet: Do not support Big Gay!! Do your shopping at small, local gays instead!! #DownWithBigGay #SupportLocalGays; quoted tweet from Bryan Fischer reads: “The pressure Big Gay has put on Indiana is proof they are not about “marriage equality” but “homosexual supremacy”.”
    I suppose the homosexual supremacy is the first phase of the apocalypse or something, neh? Bring on the Commune.

  108. bassmike says

    Interesting music rq . Not entirely to my tastes, but he/they are doing something different.

  109. The Mellow Monkey says

    After crying myself to sleep, I had nightmares about going swimming and my former partner “accidentally” holding my head underwater and going on a train trip with him and discovering there was no room for me in our sleeper car. Subtle, eh?

    This is just so huge and awful and confusing. We were nearly at our five year anniversary. We were talking wedding plans and dream houses. And from that to this in one night. I know he’s been crappy lately, but there wasn’t even time to process, no trial “let’s take a break”, nothing. He just wanted it clean and that was that. More than just losing a relationship, I feel like I lost the next few decades of my life.

  110. pHred いつでも今日が、いちばん楽しい日 says

    Everyone – Thank you for the congratulations. It helped me feel better. I really is cool stuff too, but I can’t say what because I would totally dox myself and I want to keep this a safe space.

    CaitieCat @103 – Thanks! I am working on learning Japanese too and have to confess, I stole it from Yotsuba. I have picked up some manga and graded readers and have been working on translating them. I seem to be making strides in written Japanese, but speaking – that is a problem. I know that I am pronouncing everything terribly!

    I managed to pull myself together with loud Thomas Dolby music, hot tea and get a bunch of grading done. I have to do the same thing today as well.

    Hugs, chocolate and some all purpose muscle relaxant for the pillow fort. The sun is at least shining today which makes it easier to cope.

  111. rq says

    Today is a screaming day. No sun.
    On the plus side, I put together the survey I need to make my presentation, and I talked to (emailed with) my boss about it, and ask her to email it out to the appropriate persons. I call this a Win (because I’ve been avoiding it like crazy).
    Also, I know more forensic entomology than the local guy they called out to a case last year, and all I needed was the information from the newspaper article to figure out that his conclusions are crap.
    Latvia needs a forensic entomologist.

  112. opposablethumbs says

    Holy shit, TMM. That is one hell of a pile-driver. Fuck, I am so sorry. Extra {{{hugs}}}.

  113. carlie says

    TMM – I have as many hugs as you want. It might help to go to Captain Awkward and read the golden retriever of love and then everything else she has ever written about love, and all of the comments where other people talk about how they have been through it too. And do so while snuggled in your favorite blanket, eating your favorite snack, while taking a sick day from work (if possible).

  114. The Mellow Monkey says

    Thanks for the supportive comments. *HUGS where welcome* That golden retriever of love article was especially helpful, carlie. I may find myself mentally reciting some Dune mumbo jumbo now.

  115. says

    TMM, more hugs, apply as needed.

    I went back to bed after Husband left for work, and fell asleep. I haven’t done that in a while. I think I’ll just mostly write today off – there are things I need to do, yes, but the rest can wait. The rest of the week will be all go anyway.

  116. says

    @157, WMDKitty’s chair looks awesome. Small turning radius. Kind of elegant. Does need a popup sun/rain shade … and lasers.

    As for crying into cat fur, ah ha! Cats have a purpose as all-purpose sops/filters for misery. I approve.

    I loved the “Golden Retriever of Love” thing, which I have capitalized in my mind.

  117. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    I have as many hugs as you want. It might help to go to Captain Awkward and read the golden retriever of love and then everything else she has ever written about love, and all of the comments where other people talk about how they have been through it too.

    Seconded with the caveat that I strongly endorse avoiding the comment space there.

  118. blf says

    Is it unhealthy for an adult to spend the rest of the night sobbing into their cat’s fur?

    The mildly deranged penguin prefers to make cats soggy by trebuchet-launching them into the sea. Usually at a low angle, so they skip… The only health risk (other than getting a beak or something caught in the trebuchet) is the cat “accidentally” hitting a fisherperson or kraken, or landing on a nudist beach.

  119. blf says

    Now rq can have a much more portable choir, Squeaky serenade: male mice woo females with song, scientists discover:

    Study reveals that high-pitched ‘singing’ varies according to to social context, placing mice in an elite group of animal vocalisers

    They may stop short of singing The Bells of Saint Mary’s, as demonstrated by the mouse organ in Monty Python, but scientists have discovered that male mice woo females with ultrasonic songs.

    The study shows for the first time that mouse song varies depending on the context and that male mice have a specific style of vocalisation reserved for when they smell a female in the vicinity.

    In turn, females appear to be more interested in this specific style of serenade than other types of squeak that male mice produce.

    “It was surprising to me how much change occurs to these songs in different social contexts, when the songs are thought to be innate,” said Erich Jarvis, who led the work at Duke University in North Carolina. “It is clear that the mouse’s ability to vocalise is a lot more limited than a songbird’s or human’s, and yet it’s remarkable that we can find these differences in song complexity.”

    [… Various] questions may be resolved thanks to a global database, Mousetube, that researchers have set up to upload mouse sounds for others to use in their own experiments.

  120. blf says

    Whilst there is an argument for a government made up of loonies (esp. of the Monster Raving variety), this isn’t it, Arizona orders doctors to misleadingly tell women abortions may be reversible. Next up, Arizona orders zombies to misleadingly tell grieving people the death is reversible, to be followed by Arizona orders male mice to misleadingly squeak “you stink and I’m not interested”, with the last step being Arizona orders a hyperspacial bypass from the Vogons.

  121. blf says

    Can the Vogon fleet please hurry up? Hitler ads from pro-Israel group begin running on Philadelphia transit buses:

    Ads showing a photograph of Adolf Hitler with a former Arab leader have started appearing on Philadelphia transit buses.

    Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority buses serving riders Wednesday bear ads with the tagline “Jew Hatred: It’s in the Quran.”

    The ads from the pro-Israel American Freedom Defense Initiative will appear on 84 buses. …

    Ignoring these jerks confusion of Israel with Judaism (an extremely common tactic so anyone who objects to an Israeli policy can be labeled “anti-semitic”), why the hell are they picking on a comparatively recent set of legends and myths? There’s a c.2000yo set of legends and myths with a much longer genuine genuflexion to antisemitism.

  122. says

    Here’s how Indiana’s “religious liberty” law actually works:

    “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no,” says Crystal O’Connor of Memories Pizza. […]

    “We’re not discriminating against anyone, that’s just our belief and anyone has the right to believe in anything,” says O’Connor.


    Yeah, that’s an action based on belief. That’s a discriminatory action in the town of Walker, Indiana

    Meanwhile, here’s what Mike Pence, Governor of Indiana says:

    I believe in my heart of hearts that no one should be harassed or mistreated because of who they are, who they love, or what they believe. And I believe every Hoosier shares that conviction.


  123. says

    Good news:

    On Tuesday, the city of Madison, Wisconsin announced that it is now against the law to discriminate against atheists, making it the first city in the country to grant explicit legal protection to people who do not believe in a God. […]

    Think Progress link.

  124. says

    Discrimination for which Mike Pence has voted in the past:

    Discrimination in the workplace, based on sexual orientation: “I don’t condone discrimination against people for any reason whatsoever. I believe in civility and decency in society. But the problem here is that by extending the reach of Federal law to cover sexual orientation, employment discrimination protections, in effect, can wage war on the free exercise of religion in the workplace.”

    Pay discrimination based on gender: Pence voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act when he was a congressman.

    Discrimination in the military, based on sexual orientation: “And let me say to the distinguished gentleman from Massachusetts who just spoke who suggested that those of us who oppose a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell would commit some libel against Americans with whom we differ on life-style choices, nothing could be further from the truth,” Pence said. “As a conservative, I have a particular world view about moral issues. They do not bear upon this question. This is an issue exclusively that is about recruitment, readiness, unit cohesion, and retention because we are a nation at war.” [uh … bullshit]

    Discrimination against same sex couples: “I believe first, though, marriage should be protected, because it wasn’t our idea. Several millennia ago the words were written that a man should leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. It was not our idea; it was God’s idea. And I say that unashamedly on the floor where the words ‘In God We Trust’ appear above your chair, Mr. Speaker.”

    Think Progress link.

  125. says

    David Letterman did a Top Ten list based on “Guys Indiana Governor Mike Pence Looks Like.”

    Talking Points Memo link. Scroll down for video.

    “The guy at the bar who sends your girlfriend a drink.” etc.

    Meanwhile, asshats like Tucker Carlson are calling critics of Indiana’s “religious liberty” law “jihadis.”

    […] “These are absolutists. These are jihadis,” he said.

    “These are people who want to make you obey,” he continued. “They don’t brook any opposition to their worldview at all. They will crush you.” […]


  126. says

    Yikes. How offensive.

    Writing today in WorldNetDaily, Liberty Counsel communications director Charla Bansley proposed that pastors and “those victimized by religious intolerance” from all around the country hold a massive rally in Indianapolis to defend Indiana’s ‘religious freedom’ law.

    “Gov. Pence is the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. of 2015,” the Religious Right activist wrote.

    Right Wing Watch link

  127. blf says

    Are we sure it was the B Ark (barking useless population) and not the D Ark (dangerously barking population) that crashed? ‘Kidnap Obama’: Ukip candidate Jeremy Zeid replaced after outburst:

    Jeremy Zeid, a Ukip candidate in Britain’s 2015 election, has been replaced after writing on Facebook that Israel should “kidnap” Barack Obama.

    The post by Zeid was a response to the declassifying of US federal government documents on Israel’s secret nuclear programme and was written last week as he prepared to run for a seat in the election on 7 May.

    “Once Obama is out of office the Israelis should move to extradite the bastard or ‘do an Eichmann’ on him and lock him up for leaking state secrets,” Zeid wrote in the Facebook post, according to a screenshot.

    “Just kidnap the bugger, like they did to Eichmann,” he added in a comment, referring to the Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, who was captured in Argentina in 1960 and put on trial in Israel.

    I surprised this nutter is too racist for UKIP (the UK fascist party which, like the FN (French fascist party) just did, might get some wins in the upcoming election or an alarming percentage of the vote). More likely, he forgot to clean the spittle and blood off his suitsheet.

  128. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness: no fishing, no recreational activities, on Sundays category.

    […] LDS leaders are clear that recreational pursuits such as fishing should steer clear of Sundays. With time constraints tight due to job, church and family obligations, many anglers hoping to escape for some time on the water often find themselves in a quandary. [snipped the blather from Joseph Fielding Smith, 10th LDS Church president, early 1970s]

    Lo and behold, there is a positive side to this no-recreation-on-Sundays for mormons:

    “When people come to visit Utah we actually encourage them to go fishing on Sunday,” said Steve Schmidt, owner of the Salt Lake City-based Western Rivers Flyfisher store. “Some people have a perception it will be crowded on the weekend so they don’t go fishing, biking, hiking or whatever. Everybody knows Saturday is the day to avoid because the Mormons who won’t go on Sunday go then.” […]

  129. says

    blf @188, That Ukip dunderhead is disgusting.

    Meanwhile, our rightwing in the USA is in a dither because President Obama is traveling to Utah to speak at Hill Air Force base. They think this is the beginning of Obama’s plot to use the military to take over the USA and make himself tyrannical president forever. Feckin’ eejits.

  130. blf says

    Modern child rape enablers in action, Ultra-traditional Catholics rebel against pope in Brazil: ‘He is less Catholic than us’:

    Hailing from around the world, a group led by an excommunicated bishop call themselves a ‘resistance’ movement against Vatican reforms. The response from the Vatican was swift and unequivocal: ‘Excommunication is automatic’

    In a secluded monastery in south-eastern Brazil, a breakaway group of ultra-conservative Catholics gathered to participate in an act of rebellion against the pope.

    [… T]he 50 or so priests, Benedictine monks, nuns and other worshippers who file into Santa Cruz monastery on Saturday were no ordinary congregation. Hailing from Europe, the US and Latin America, they described themselves as a “resistance” movement against Vatican reforms.

    In favour of Latin services — and fiercely opposed to ecumenism, freedom of religion and closer relations with Judaism …

    The ceremony harked back to an earlier, more conservative age. Women sat on one side of the aisle, their heads — even the youngest girls — covered in scarves. Over three hours, the liturgy was almost entirely in Latin, as were the hymns sung by a choir of monks accompanied by a nun on an electric organ.

    Apart from the digital cameras, cellphones — and the electric organ — the ceremony would have been recognisable to centuries of Catholic believers …

    Some of these people are known holocaust-denying genuine anti-semitics, the people who perhaps really should be in those bus ads.

  131. blf says

    Lynna@190, I assume the barking nutter D Ark elite also have tightly-twisted panties over Mr Obama’s upcoming presidential visit to Kenya, Barack Obama to visit Kenya for first time as president. It isn’t until July, so there’s lot of time for the conspiracy kooks and crooks to invent something completely implausible for Faux & Kochroach Bros. to spread and order the thug candidate clown car to, well, do something…

  132. says

    blf @192, Oh, yes, the Kenya visit is an opportunity for a rebirth of birtherism. Ugly stuff.

    President Obama is “inciting” the passions of so-called “birthers,” who believe he was born in Kenya, by planning a trip to the African country, former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu (R) said Monday.

    Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell is using the Tom Cotton playbook to undermine American leadership in the face of a different international crisis:

    In an effort to undermine international negotiations aimed at combating climate change, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is telling other countries not to trust President Obama’s promise to significantly reduce the United States’ carbon emissions.

    In a statement released Tuesday, McConnell warned other countries to “proceed with caution” before pledging any carbon emissions reductions to the United Nations, saying the U.S. would likely not be able to meet its own climate goals.

  133. says

    Indiana’s “religious liberty” law goes further than the Supreme Court “Hobby Lobby” ruling in granting businesses the right to hold religious beliefs, like individuals do.

    The Hobby Lobby decision specifically limited the ruling to “closely held for-profit companies” — so, a closely held for-profit company can be considered to be a “person” with religious beliefs.

    The Indiana bill, on the other hand, grants religious beliefs to “a partnership, a limited liability company, a corporation, a company, a firm, a society, a joint-stock company, an unincorporated association, or another entity.” So, yeah, every business is included.

    Furthermore, the religious doofuses claiming special right-to-discriminate privileges do not have to own a majority control in the company. They only have to have ““substantial ownership,” whatever the fuck that means.

  134. says

    Satire from The New Yorker:

    […] “A lot of everyday people have gay friends, and they’re not afraid to call and/or e-mail you to tell you that,” Pence said. “To be honest, I’m still trying to process it all.”

    Pence said that from what he has been able to gather thus far, the phenomenon of “ordinary folks” having gay friends “has been going on for years.”

    “You could be walking down the street, and without you knowing it, this person is friends with gays and that person is, too,” he said. “It really seems to be pretty widespread.”

    “It’s the darnedest thing,” he added.

    While Pence acknowledged that he has “no gay friends personally,” the growing popularity of being friends with gays has made him question whether he has been “missing the boat on this.”

    “When I see so many people having gay friends, it makes me wonder if I should go out and get one,” he said. “But I guess that would be kind of hard for me to do now.”

  135. says

    Taking another look at a woman scientist:

    Hertha Marks Ayrton (1854-1923) was a dedicated suffragette, enduring physical and verbal abuse during demonstrations between 1906 and 1914, and nursing hunger strikers back to health under duress from the police and press. Over her lifetime, Hertha made substantial contributions to the understanding of the direct-current arc and patented several inventions. […]


  136. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Got a local election coming up, and the Redhead and I have our vote by mail ballots to fill out. Apparently nobody noticed that our present incompetent alderman was running unopposed again, so there is at least an effort for a write-in candidate. Get our present alderman out. Then, worry about about getting somebody better. At least they won’t oppose everything logical simply to oppose it.

    The school board elections appear interesting. There is “group for choice” pushing a couple of shitheads, wanting to have the local schools pay for private education. So we know who not to vote for….

  137. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, I forgot to mention the sane school board candidates have Hispanic sounding names. They want to improve the school system, not wreck it. Bonus, pissing off the RWA xenophobes, for folks in the community they prefer to ignore.

  138. says

    Hello fellow Loungers!

    I have hugs aplenty for Mellow Monkey, if desired.

    bluentx @136:

    Libertarians REALLY don’t think things through (ever) do they?

    They like to think they do. Of course they never do seem to reach the point in their thinking where they acknowledge the impact their horrible philosophy would have on others. Either that or they don’t care (IOW, “I’ve got mine. Fuck you.”)

    Lynna @183:
    I’m somewhat curious to know how the owners of that pizza joint define discrimination

    Two short Tony Tales:
    #1- I had a lovely conversation with two guests at work a few days ago. A man and a woman were seated at a table, and as I passed by, I saw an image on the man’s phone that said something about religion. He was showing the image to the woman, and I only caught a glimpse of it. When I inquired what the image was (looking back I think I might have crossed a line by intruding into their conversation and I feel kinda bad about that), he showed me. I don’t recall exactly what it said, but it was one of those anti-religion memes that many of you have probably seen online. Turns out that both of them were atheists. We chatted for a while about the separation of church and state, as well as the B.S. coming out of Indiana. The conversation was quite pleasant and I think both of them enjoyed it. Especially since the woman noted how difficult it can be to talk about religion, or be an open atheist in the U.S. (especially in the South).

    #2- On Sunday evening, a lovely lesbian couple sat at my bar for dinner and drinks. I’ve waited on them before and they are really nice people. We talked for a while about Governor Pence and the situation in Indiana. The cool thing about our chat (for me at least)- a heterosexual couple at a table close to the lesbian couple chimed in upon hearing our discussion. They told us they were Indiana natives and wanted to apologize for the homophobia coming out of the state. They went on to chat with the two women for a good 10-15 minutes (I had to work so I couldn’t stay and participate longer). This was notable for me bc I rarely encounter heterosexual people in meatspace who are openly friendly toward LGBT people. It put a smile on my face knowing that this couple felt the need to express their disapproval of the recent law. In addition, I also appreciated the fact that they chatted with the lesbian couple as if they were people. It’s a small thing, but I don’t encounter such acceptance and tolerance in meatspace very often (don’t get me wrong, I don’t encounter much overt homophobia either), so this struck me as notable.
    I know it shouldn’t be something noteworthy, but given that the U.S. is still immersed in homophobia, I couldn’t help but be pleasantly surprised.