Month: February 2010

Trial Summary Evidence filed by Olson & Boies

This is very interesting. It’s a tad under 300 pages but if you want to get to the good stuff skip to page 267. That’s where they demonstrate the evidence necessary to support their claims.

This quote really stretches:

PX0480 at 16:58-17:20 (In a video posted on the American Family
Association’s website entitled “Proposition 8 and the Case for Traditional
Marriage,” a Dr. Melson “can only imagine the confusion with two moms or
two dads. I mean, who do you go to when you need to learn how to change the
oil if you’re a guy? Who is there—I mean, God’s giving, given moms a natural
instinct to mother and love. . . . If you have a boy with two moms, who’s going
to teach him all the dad stuff? Dads have instinctual differences. They do. They
don’t, they, there’s just appropriateness on when to cry, when to be emotional,
when to not—when to stand up, when to be the leader.”).

I know some lesbians that are tough as nails and could probably field strip an engine without issue and then re-assemble it. I know gay men that could whip up a phenomenal feast and keep a perfect home, or vise versa. And guess what, straight people are like this too. My very straight friend hasn’t a mechanical inkling in his body. He wouldn’t know a Philips head screwdriver from a T10 torx bit.

This argument is nothing but pure bovine effluent. And the document is LOADED with crap like this.

Then of course you’ve got Bill Tam claiming that same sex marriage would open the door to legalized prostitution. That one is so far out of whack that it isn’t funny.

If you want to get good and ornery just do like I said, skip to page 267. Of course the rest of the document is loaded with insanity from the opposition.

PEAC Demonstration against the FRC Event in RI

The Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage decided to hold a little dog and pony anti-gay gathering at the Ocean State Baptist Church.

Ocean State Baptist Church
Ocean State Baptist Church

Note the sign – “Seek Me and you shall find Me”. Yeah, right. Keep dreamin’. And we at the Providence Equality Action Committee decided to be there.

Anyhow we had a tad under 30 people at this protest with participation from the community at Rhode Island College as well as many others. This was actually one of PEAC’s more populous events.

The standard chants were uttered, the signs held up.

Holding the signs
Holding the signs

Had a ProJo writer and photographer there as well as a photographer from Rhode Island College’s student newspaper.

And who showed up and went up to the ProJo writer but my favorite (If you read this blog you know I’m being sarcastic) person Susan Heroux. But our man Josh Kilby ran interference on that one. I note ProJo coverage only had this to say about Queer Action Rhode Island:

(A second wave of protesters, under the umbrella of Queer Action and the Rhode Island National Organization for Women, took over later in the day).

Didn’t even quote Heroux at all. I think the balance is finally starting to tip.

About a half hour into the demonstration a Smithfield, RI cop decided to hassle us a bit.

Smithfield PD
Smithfield PD Shows Up

Ok, rant time. The entire state of RI (With the exception of the major departments like Providence) is on a uniform charging system. In other words the laws and charges are all the same.

One of the cops (I believe it was the 2nd) told us we couldn’t use the megaphone. What? If you look at the pictures we’re really in the middle of nowhere. Who are we going to disturb or distract? Please, the cops were just pulling shit out of their ass like most suburban cops do all the time.

So the Smithfield PD hassled us on three separate occasions. This is why I love urban protest. The cops don’t bother you in fact you probably have a protective police detail. In the suburbs the damned cops have nothing to do so hassling people is their big thing.

We still stuck it out for the full hour and a half though, even when it was snowing. Got many beeps and hand waving from passing motorists. So they’re not all bigots in Smithfield.

Even in the snow
Even in the snow

Always fun to chant yourself hoarse especially when it’s in opposition to the bigotry.

The new Bachmann Comic

Michelle Bachmann lampooned. This should be done to every anti-gay politician out there. I’ve linked the front page to the “Stop your Gayness” issue.

False Witness! The Michelle Bachmann Story
False Witness! The Michelle Bachmann Story

I note a common theme that emerges from the mouth of Bachmann and her Christian fundamentalist handlers. It’s all about the children. They are terrified that their children will accept being LGBT as a normal part of the human experience. It’s already happening and it scares the shit out of them.

I think they know that the fight against full equality is a losing proposition. Full equality includes employment, housing and credit non-discrimination and marriage equality. The hell of it is that if you just had the latter the others would flow through easily.

And the best way to counter the arguments of the bigots is ridicule and this comic series on Bachmann does that in spades.

Is there something in the water in California?

Because the Christian homophobes are crawling out of the woodwork. The latest is Miss Beverly Hills 2010, Lauren Ashley.

This part really annoys me though:

“The Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Ms Ashley told Fox News.

“In Leviticus it says: ‘If man lies with mankind as he would lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death and their blood shall be upon them.’

“The Bible is pretty black and white.

“I feel like God himself created mankind and he loves everyone, and he has the best for everyone.”

“If he says that having sex with someone of your same gender is going to bring death upon you, that’s a pretty stern warning, and he knows more than we do about life.”

Fox News – I should have known. As to the Levitical prohibition of the homosexual activities by calling the act an abomination, there are plenty of abominations in that book and not just oriented toward gay people.

As for the Bible being black and white, I suggest Ms. Thing read the fucking book. It’s anything but black and white. Lots of gray area in there.

And I have a question, if God loves everyone then why harp on the homosexual thing?

Of course when asked if she thinks her chances might be hurt by her position Ashley tries to distance herself by saying:

“I have a lot of friends that are gay, and … I have a lot of friends who have different views, and we share our views together. There’s no hate between me and anyone.

Listen peaches, go ask your gay friends if they're cool with your spouting Levitical platitudes. I can pretty much tell you they won't be happy about it.

Tech: A new experience

So I noticed that there were updates for both Windows XP and IE 8. I looked at both, saw that they indicated a restart would probably be necessary. No restart. Nice! This is a first for me.

Movies: Who is Kaspar Carr – Street Thief

If you have a Netflix account just click here.

That said, it’s a documentary about a Chicago thief by the name of Kaspar Carr. Carr agreed to let the documentary makers film his exploits. About mid-way through the movie though Carr decides to hit a nightclub. It’s totally off his M.O. He only cased the place for three days and even the filmmakers were a little weirded out by his cavalier attitude.

When Carr does the nightclub job he’s all weird. The guy is a professional thief, has all the gear, the knowledge, etc. But this again is out of character.

He does one more job with the filmmakers, he hits a movie theater for over $100,000. After this the filmmakers don’t hear from Kaspar. They go by his warehouse one day and there are police vehicles all over the place.

The filmmakers call every police district and none of them have Carr in custody.

Turns out they found Carr’s Mercedes-Benz with all the doors open, blood on the seat and ground, and his personal effects strewn on the ground nearby.

To this date they haven’t found his body. I should mention that the nightclub robbery was NEVER reported to the police and owned by a gentleman with a very Ukrainian name. I’m thinking Ukrainian or Russian Mob.

The eastern European and Russian mobs are a tad bit more malicious than the Italian mob of years ago. And it would fit entirely in their profile to disappear a person who has wronged them.

Now earlier in the film the filmmakers ask what he’d be if he wasn’t a thief. He tells them that’s all he wants to be is a thief. But a little later on he theorizes he could be a good cook.

Leads me to two theories:

1) Carr was murdered because he robbed the wrong nightclub.


2) Carr staged his own murder.

Either one has a high probability.

Reading: Cheating Death

I’m now reading Cheating Death by Sanjay Gupta, M.D. It ties in nicely with the last book I read which was “The Department of Mad Scientists” by Michael Belfiore.

Gupta covers new therapies that stave off death until more advance treatment can be reached. E.g. cryonics, hydrogen sulfide, suspended animation (Or as he calls it dimming) etc. In essence slow things down so that a soldier injured on the battlefield can ‘survive’ until better treatment is available.

He also covers the new CCR, the 100 push per minute resuscitation method. Apparently a couple of factors can influence your survival in the case of a cardiac event. Prime among them are bystanders that know how to implement CCR.

CCR is REALLY simple. Call 911 first and then follow the video:

The statistics of CCR are interesting. They triple to to quadruple survival rates. When I think about it we should be teaching basic first aid to high school kids including the above method.

No surprise that much of this work is DARPA sponsored, which ties in with my mentioning the Belfiore book.

More interesting is that I just chose this book because the title captured my interest. That’s why I love browsing the new books section of my local library.

An analysis of religious bigotry

And that is precisely what drives all of the opposition to GLBT people having full equality. The Southern Poverty Law Center does a nice job of showing the bigots for what they really are. By coaching it as special rights it devalues our cause. We cannot continue to let them get away with this. Expose them for what they really are Christians of a hypocritical nature. They cannot see the forest for the trees.

This paragraph grabbed me though:

Writing in support of DOMA, Bauer predicted that gay marriage would have dire consequences for Americans of faith: “If they succeed, all distinctions based on sex may fall, and the worst aspects of the rejected Equal Rights Amendment will be imposed. Homosexuals will gain the ‘right’ to adopt children; … churches will be pushed outside civil law; and government power will be wielded against anyone who holds the biblical view of homosexuality.”

I’d like to see Bauer’s explanation of the ‘worst aspects’ of the ERA. I think it’s just an anti-feminist attitude to be honest. The concept of women as equals is abhorrent to the religious bigots.

The use of single quotation marks shows Bauer’s attitude about what he things of civil rights equality. Because that’s what this fight is all about, that we are EQUAL to everyone else, not necessarily better than or lesser than but equal under the eyes of the law.

As to his claim of churches being pushed outside civil law, I’d welcome that. The churches had the better part of two millenia to get it right and they never did. So much so that Martin Luther tacked his 95 theses on the door of the church in Wittenburg. And of course in the U.S. you’ve got Methodists, Southern Baptists, Presbe…oh screw it you know many crazy ass sects are in the U.S. If even they can’t agree on basic doctrine what makes them think they can agree about equal rights?

I had to pin progress in civil right as starting in one era I’d say the industrial age is what propelled society. You can sort of see this going on in China right now as people flock to the cities where jobs are plentiful and money isn’t as short.

There was a poll on facebook about what was a better environment for kids to grow, city, suburbs or rural. I explained that the city was the best place. Cities mix it up. I made the same argument when the likes of Tucker Carlson moaned that people who complete a four year college are more liberal than others. Of course they are, you go to college and you meet people from other countries, states and cultures. You’re required to take what I term soft arts courses like sociology,l psychology. To charge those areas with a liberal bias is ridiculous, Studies of the humanities by their nature are liberal because they deal in truths about existence.

The same applies to social attitudes. I can remember when the area I live in was predominantly Italian. That only started to change in the late 1980’s. Now it’s Italian, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Lebanese etc. The signs on the church down the street and at the nearby supermarket are in English, Spanish and Italian.

But you mix it up. Granted we have a long way to go but it’s happening. It happened when my father of Italian descent married my mother who was predominantly Irish. And it happens today when my Irish descended friend’s brother marries a Puerto Rican girl. Over and over again. And that’s good. Good for the genome, good for society.

Enough of that. His reference to the biblical view is comical. If you’ve ever read the entire book you get a fairly schizophrenic read on the Bible. Contradictions galore. But the religious always say you can’t throw the baby out with the bath water. That’s an apples to oranges comparison. If the Bible is the inspired and literal word of God, don’t you think divorce is wrong? Or that people who eat shellfish are committing and abomination?

Of course not, the anti-homosexual bigots are taking things out of context in the Bible. The folks at the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible can only pull 38 quotes out of the entire Bible. Compare that to the 453 contradictions, or the 1,582 absurdities. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read the entire book but the folks at Skeptic’s have done a nice job assembling it all for easy reference.

How the U.S. gets screwed for voice, data and tv services

So today I was re-configuring a system for a new client. She’s originally from France. She was showing me a web site of the ISP she used in France. For 30 euros ($40 at current trading) they get 100mbps download speed, 50mpbs upload, 300 video channels, and phone service with a calling plan that includes 100 countries.

Just for comparison, my 20mbps/5mbps is $53.99 a month, and my Vonage VoIP service costs $33 a month. That’s $87 a month and no TV service. Lets not discount the network speeds. I could assume that to get 5 time the net performance the price would be about $150 a month. Compare that to the $40 the French pay and you can see why I’m pissed about this.

In France the regulatory system says that the the cabling is shared. In other words, many ISP’s can use the existing fiber system there. Here in the U.S. it’s all tightly controlled, if you want service from Verizon and Cox for example, you get two cables coming into the house.

The U.S. needs to get its act in gear. The first thing we need to do, is clamp down on corporate power. A half dozen words inserted into the 14th Amendment would be a good start. “Does not apply to inanimate entities.”

From net neutrality to being overcharged simply because they know we don’t have any options is galling in the highest manner.

The FCC needs to step in, and the congress needs to step in.

Another thing, the U.S. had the option to parity tie the dollar to the Euro back under the bad Bush days. Bush sought to retain the supremacy of the U.S. dollar. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Speaker Fox on Marriage Equality

He says it’s quote “Not a priority..”. Well Speaker Fox, seeing as how 51 of your house colleagues voted for you, and that a veto proof majority in the house is what, 47 people do you think we could maybe just push it through?

And I think the Senate will follow house leadership. There the burden isn’t as heavy, we just need 24 people.

Think about that, 71 votes and we’d have marriage equality in RI.