Today's Mighty Oak


I’m all done with my NaNoWriMo novel, so now I can finally get through some of my RSS feeds, here’s what I’ve found:

The combination Star Wars/Indiana Jones you didn’t know you needed.

Now you can get a giant Ritz cracker that doubles as a serving tray.

Brian Sims discusses why queer people thrive in politics: empathy.

The bottles you need to stock your bar.

What August Wilson can teach us about the current Supreme Court.

Alright, that’s it, short update today, have a great one!



Alright, let’s see what we have today. First up, the crew of Queer Eye makes over my favorite sports mascot, Gritty!

A thing which I did not exists, is the Boston Typewriter Orchestra. And they’ve done an at-home concert!

Also in musical news, a saxophonist accompanies himself!

Sam Smith has an amazing cover of Coldplay’s, “Fix You:”

In uplifting news, John Boyega (Star Wars) delivers a great speech at a BLM protest!

We’ve had some good SCOTUS rulings lately (And some bad ones), but buried detail in the earth-shattering workplace discrimination ruling is the Trojan Horse that we’ll be seeing next: religious liberty laws. This fight is far from over, but for now, we can celebrate the bit of ground we gained.

And speaking of queer rights, the fascist in the White House used the anniversary of the Pulse massacre to remove healthcare rights for trans people.

Ending on something fun, The Hamilton Polka!



Alright, let’s see what we have today, it’s a fairly short update.

First up, what we witnessed on Friday, while showing the absolute strength, resolution and power of women and sexual abuse survivors, was, all-in-all, one of the most heinous things concocted by the Republicans in the 242 year history of this country, and that is saying something.  Don’t forget to take some time for yourself and self-care, and if you need help, reach out.

A priest in Chicago defied the Archdiocese and performed an ‘exorcism’ of a Pride flag, burning it.  A reminder, the Catholic Church is a hate group, full stop.

There’s a new trailer for the next Fantastic Beasts movie:

Google celebrated Mister Rogers this week with a wonderful Doodle!

That’s it for today, have a great one!



Alright, let’s see what we have today.  First up, in case you forgot, the TEA party didn’t actually care about deficits.  They were just racists.

Also, Debra Messing is not messing around.  Good for her, a fuck Susan Sarandon.

Brett Kavanaugh, who is incredibly anti-gay, won’t say on the record his opinions about same-sex marriage and anti-discrimination laws.  But his court writings reveal he’s as far, if not further right, than Scalia.

In that vein, 16 states are petitioning the US government to let them fire workers for being gay, after that executive order was struck down.

The Russo Brothers put out an awesome video that goes over all the deaths in the MCU:

Kipchoge broke the World Record in the Berlin Marathon this morning.  Dumb Runner, always spots on, weighs in.

I wrote a while back, at least I think I did, about the article ‘the epidemic of gay loneliness,’ and a recent Savage Love column looks at that as well, a good read for everybody.

In case you need some positive news, a heartwarming letter from a gay man’s little brother went viral.

Okay, that’s all for now, but I’ll be back soon!



Alright, let’s see what we have today.  First up, it’s almost time for NaNoWriMo!  This will be my 13th year!

Dominic Monaghan has joined the cast of Star Wars: Episode IX!

In case you (for whatever reason) thought otherwise, the SCOTUS nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, is opposed to same-sex marriage and would certainly rule against it (if there is a conservative majority on the court, it will be back and I’ll lose my rights).

In other horrifying news, the administration has now directed federal contractors that they can discriminate against LGBT people based on ‘religious beliefs.’  Remember when I said that elections have consequences?  Yeah, this is not good.

The anti-gay baker from the Masterpiece decision is back, and now is saying he doesn’t have to serve trans customers.

2 Political Junkies covers the grand jury report about the Catholic Church:

While the Catholic Church was protecting and covering up the sex-crimes of some of its members, let’s all remember that it was also lecturing everyone else on the evils of:
Birth control
Abortion
Masturbation
Sex outside of marriage
Not being straight (i.e. being either “L” or “G” or “B” or “T” and so on)
Any number of other issues regarding “sexual morality”

The word you’re looking for is hypocrisy. Huge blatant hypocrisy.

No amount of contemporary apologies will change that.

Okay, onto some better and more beautiful news, there is a fake final image sent by the Cassini probe, which is beautiful (but fake because it wasn’t the last photo sent).  The last photo is also breathtaking:



In June, SCOTUS ruled on the Masterpiece case, handing down a ‘narrow’ ruling.  Basically, they said that how Colorado handled the legal case was in appropriate.

This is still very troubling, and will for sure just open the door and be the first shot across the bow, as it may, The latest tactic against equal rights is the so-called ‘religious liberty’ argument, as we’ve seen with racist house elf Jeff Sessions even putting together a religious liberty commission, specifically to stamp out queer rights.  At the end of the day, this ruling, while narrow, still means that two men were denied service because they’re gay.  But there are larger implications; the court, incorrectly, said that a lawyer for the men was critical of religion, when instead he was critical of what religion was being used to justify (as well as it’s use to justify slavery, segregation and more):

If saying something true, yet critical about religion as an institution is an example of expressing hostility toward religion, then is every comment critical of religion evidence of bias? Are we never allowed to say anything negative about the harms that can be wrought by fundamentalism? It’s now hard to imagine the forces of equality getting a fair hearing if no one can say anything negative about the forces of bigotry when they use religion to justify their hatred.

And of course, the insanity continues.  A GOP lawmaker from South Dakota has said that Masterpiece means business can discriminate based on race.  In good news though, a lower court in Arizona stood by the narrow ruling and refused to allow a a non-discrimination ordinance to be struck down.

We will see more of these, and honestly, I think we are lucky that a larger ruling was prevented due to the technicalities of the legal system.  With a conservative court, without Kennedy, it will only be a matter of time when non-discrimination ordinances are a thing of the past.  As it stands right now, doctors are allowed to refuse to treat patients (for anything, including emergency services) if it conflicts with their ‘deeply held religious beliefs,’ which is why, on all of my race bibs in the emergency information, I have to specify to not be taken to Mercy, the local Catholic hospital.  I have to play the odds, and hope if the worst were to happen and I was already unable to speak for myself, that I could actually get the medical help I need.

All my best,

Mike



Two bits of legality today, one good (but currently probably futile) and one bad.

First the bad.  A jury in South Dakota condemned a man to death because he’s gay.  There’s an additional step in there, but that’s what it comes down to.  A gay man is a convicted murderer, but the jury sentenced him to death because they felt “he would enjoy” life without parole in an all-male prison.

Jurors cited his orientation with disgust and said they didn’t want to send him ‘where he wants to go,’ and the Supreme Court refused to step in to take up an appeal.  Currently (and I just learned this) jury deliberations are kept secret, except when there might be racial bias involved in sentencing.  The same does not apply for sexual orientation or gender expression.

Putting aside the sickening notion of the death penalty, the entire episode is disturbing and vile and quite frankly sickening.

But onto some better, if unlikely to pass legal news: Democrats have put forth a bill to put a federal ban on the ‘gay panic’ defense.

A few states already bar it, but this would ban using ‘gay panic’ as a defense in federal court.  Gay panic, for those unaware, is the idea that someone can be found innocent of a crime (usually murder or the like) if they were hit on by a person of the same sex and they ‘acted out of panic.’  So total bullshit.

Do I think this bill has a chance: no.  But, it’s good to see at least recognition that these things need fixing.

All my best,

Mike



We’re a third of the way through the month already!  I’ve been enjoying writing every day, and really enjoyed the more free-form blogging over the weekend (as well as the time to work on the site a bit), so I’m certainly glad I’m doing this.  However, if other NaNoWriMo projects are any indication, this is where it starts to get hard!

Anyway, first up today, it’s illegal for the Pride flag to be displayed in Russia.  But these World Cup fans have found a way around that!

The Governor of Maine has vetoed a ban on gay ‘conversion therapy torture.’  No word on if the state legislature will overrule him.

Various LGBT groups have come together to help stop the SCOTUS pick.  If he’s confirmed, we will most likely lose any kind of discrimination protection and will probably lose marriage equality as well (in addition to legal and safe abortion, contraception, voting rights and the list goes on and on).

The trailer for OITNB has arrived:

 



There’s new Firefly comics coming out!  This time, a new studio, Boom!, who did the Munchkin comics, will be publishing them.

I’ll be writing at length about the MasterpieceSCOTUS decision, but of course, a member of the South Dakota GOP has said that because of that case, businesses can discriminate based on race.

Students from Majory Stoneman Douglas performed a song from RENT at the Tony’s:

New research shows that anti-gay views correlate with lower intelligence.  Of course.

The trailer for the new Matt Groening’s new show.  It’s definitely the same art style as Futurama, and I’ll give it a chance.



Alright, been a bit, but let’s see what we have today.  First up, would you like the sheet music for the THX deep note?  Here it is.

In the news that has me so excited, Idris Elba is going to start in, produce and direct Netflix’s new, live-action Hunchback of Notre Dame!  Hunchback is my favorite animated Disney movie and in my top five stage musicals so I cannot wait for this!

Overwatch has partnered with You Can Play, marking that non-profits first foray into eSports!

Alone in the Game explores what it’s like to be gay or trans in sports.

Because his is where we all said we were headed: GOP congressmen want to make it legal for people to not sell houses to queer people.  Because fuck this world.

And a reminder, they’re far from perfect, but the Democrats every now and then pull out a great win when it’s needed.  In South Carolina, a clutch filibuster helped prevent an abortion ban from being passed.

A favorite web comic of mine, Surviving The World just wrapped up, but here is his last Pride comic:

The new Smash Bros. looks amazing (although I actually don’t like the art direction on the character models):

And of course, the CDC will roll back the collection of data from queer communities, which will lead to decrease in funding and more deaths from diseases that affect us more than other communities.

I’ll be talking about the Supreme Court decision in Masterpiece Cake in a later post, but this executive order from May is also really, really dangerous.  We’re quickly moving into a world where the few rights I have are being superseded by the ability for people to use their bigoted “religious views” to discriminate against me.  And yes, even if you’re using religion, it’s still bigoted.

Alright, that’s it for now, sorry for all the depressing things, but sometimes, that’s just what the world deals you.  I’ll be back with more soon!

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