Kevin killed himself playing Russian Roulette with what I must assume he thought was an empty gun. The gun was not empty, but even if it was he should not have been playing Russian Roulette with it. Bottom line: A handgun was in the hands of a person who should not have had access to it. Someone owns that gun and needs to take responsibility for it.

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People will get mad at me, disown me, hate me, and perhaps even tweet me if they think that I’m suggesting for a moment that anyone should ever not do whatever comes to mind when using any social media. Of course I don’t think that. If you have a twitter account, a facebook page, whatever, just do whatever you want and if someone identifies that there were negative consequences to your actions, tell them to STFU.

(Below the fold, what I really think. If the above paragraph made sense to you, please don’t go below the fold.)

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Don’t miss these two upcoming events:


Sketpically Speaking: Changing Planet
This week, we’re looking at the medical effects of global climate change. We’re joined by Dan Ferber and Paul Epstein, to talk about their book Changing Planet, Changing Health: How The Climate Crisis Threatens our Health, and What We Can Do About It. And on the podcast, Josh Rosenau, of the National Center for Science Education, joins us to compare the denial tactics of advocates against climate change and evolution.

We record live with Dan Ferber and Paul Epstein on Sunday, October 2 at 6 pm MT. The podcast will be available to download at 9 pm MT on Friday, October 7

And somewhere near you, Richard Dawkins will be hawkin his book.

This is one of the most commonly asked questions on the internet (judging by it’s position in various search engine listings). The answer of course, is, “be bisexual, then.” But a related question that I used to hear more often a few years back but less so these days is this one: “Is everyone basically bisexual?”

My friend Carol would say that all the time. Her husband would look right at me and say “She’s wrong. Just so you know.” Made me laugh.

Anyway, the question is now both asked and answered in an excellent post by fellow ftb.com blogger Greta Christina. Go here and have a look.

Personally, I think most people are sexual, and then individuals are filtered, and they are filtered to varying degrees and there are times when the filters can change. Somehow, depending on cultural and often linguistic factors, those filters get translated into categories. Did you know that in some cultures a man who has sex with other men as a “top” is considered straight, perhaps even very straight?

Anyway, Greta has what might be a slightly different take, but thoughtful and well informed. Go have a look.

Ripple in Stillwater has been keeping track:

Michele Bachmann has failed to show up for work in Congress 58.7 percent of the time since July 1, missing 145 out of 247 roll call votes. The last time Bachmann even cast a vote was August 1. If we were to pay our goldbricking congresswoman on a pro rata basis for the time she was actually working for us in the past three months, we would dock her $174,000 annual paycheck $25,534.50.

Details

Edit the Pledge of Allegiance to remove the phrase “Under God”

The Pledge of Allegiance is said every day in schools across America. It is a government sanctioned speech, and should remain neutral in matters of religion. In its current state, it supports the existence of God, which goes against several religions, and supports others. This bias should not be supported by the country according to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

There’s a petition you can sign. Here.

This, if real, is over the top cool.

I go to a private school that is rather strict. Recently, the principal and school teacher council released a (very long) list of books we’re not allowed to read. I was absolutely appalled, because a large number of the books were classics and others that are my favorites. One of my personal favorites, The Catcher in the Rye, was on the list, so I decided to bring it to school to see if I would really get in trouble. Well… I did but not too much. Then (surprise!) a boy in my English class asked if he could borrow the book, because he heard it was very good AND it was banned! This happened a lot and my locker got to overflowing with the banned books, so I decided to put the unoccupied locker next to me to a good use. I now have 62 books in that locker, about half of what was on the list. I took care only to bring the books with literary quality. Some of these books are:

GO HERE

Hat Tip Sean Archer

The extreme anti-choice members of Congress have launched yet another all-out attack on Planned Parenthood.

This time, Congressman Cliff Stearns, as Chairman of the House oversight committee, has initiated a massive investigation into the activities of Planned Parenthood and its affiliates based on the blatantly incorrect assertion by rightwing activists that Planned Parenthood misuses federal funds to pay for abortion services

Go here and sign the damn petition!

Banning books is so hard to do these days that the new phrase we use is “challenged.” Which makes sense. I mean, really does a list of books banned in North Korea or Iran have any purpose other than pointing out the obvious? What is more interested is seeing which books get challenged by self righteous citizens or groups in the context of a “free” society.

So let’s have a look.
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I am not surprised but I am annoyed.

Google’s Android Marketplace is selling smartphone owners of all ages an app which promises to answer what they think is a pressing question: “Is My Son Gay?”

If we alert the Google team to this outrageous questionnaire, we’re sure they’ll do the right thing and shut it down.

Go sign the damn petition.

Apparently the original bill has been watered down a bit, but not enough, and it shouldn’t exist anyway.

The bill provides for charnging women who have miscarriages due to “intentional or knowing acts.” The previous version of the bill included reckless acts along with willing acts. So, being a poor driver and getting into an accident and your unborn fetus being killed would make you a criminal. The new bill still would allow that to happen, of course, if vehicular homicide is a crime, this would presumably be as well.

But, the details are complex and rather nuanced. I recommend this piece at alternet.

Hat Tip Betsy McCall

Donations needed for SlutWalk Minneapolis- ALMOST THERE! 🙂

We really need your help.

We have $1,742 in donations right now, and that means we have paid the permit for the Park Board. YES!

We have an additional invoice of $402 for the rentals for the road barriers for the Walk. The total is $2,137. We are only $395 away from paying for the Walk. So close, we can hardly stand it!

Please help. Your donations are tax deductible. We have over 600 Walkers signed up. If each of you donated just $5, we’d have the permit paid, any other extra fees, including the rental for the PA system and the road barriers, and money left over for donations to MN NOW and Alexandra House.

We know you’re Walking because this is really important to you. You’re a survivor or you are supportive of a survivor or you feel that the Rape Culture needs to be changed and sexual violence against people is never OK.

Please donate, ask your friends to donate, link this to your social media sites, tweet it….get the word out.
Other SlutWalks had to raise their funds as well, and they were successful. We know that the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota can do this.

Our donate button is just below. Please donate. Please ask others. Remember, you’re doing this for yourself, for someone you love and care about, for someone you don’t even know who appreciates your support and care. Thanks for donating!

Go here

Debbie is a friend that I KNOW has a lot of blog posts in her. I have special powers, I can see these things. And she’s told me that she wants to write more, and I strongly sense this is more than a half baked idea; It might even be a need. Or at least, a fully baked idea.

So, I’m very happy to see that Debbie caught a break. Our mutual friend, Amy, was kidnapped by Pirates, and her blog had an open space in it so Debbie has jumped in to fill it with a very interesting post on gender transitioning vis-a-vis the Naturalistic Fallacy. Have a look:

NATURAL TRANSITIONING FOR FTMs

For weeks, you and other All Out members have been urging companies to cut ties with CVN (also known as CGBG) – a site that allows customers to donate a portion of their online purchases to ‘charities’ – including several anti-gay groups such as Focus on the Family (FotF) and Family Research Council (FRC). Because of our efforts, dozens of major companies have dropped off the network!

But now these groups have taken notice and they are telling their supporters to directly contact companies like Apple, Macy’s, Microsoft and Netflix and push them to re-join CVN. These companies have come out in support of LGBT rights, but are now the targets of a powerful hate machine.

Go here learn more

The Medieval Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a relatively progressive King, apparently. He decided that women would be allowed to vote. This is a good thing, but it does remind us of how backwards a nation can be. And makes us wonder if a country like Saudi Arabia should have ever been allowed in the UN to begin with.

From the wp:

Saudi King Abdullah announced Sunday that the nation’s women will gain the right to vote and run as candidates in local elections to be held in 2015 in a major advancement for the rights of women in the deeply conservative Muslim kingdom.

In an annual speech before his advisory assembly, or Shura Council, the Saudi monarch said he ordered the step after consulting with the nation’s top religious clerics, whose advice carries great weight in the kingdom.

Abdullah said the changes announced Sunday would also allow women to be appointed to the Shura Council, the advisory body selected by the king that is currently all-male.

Note that only local elections were mentioned. Women in Saudi Arabia still can’t drive, and are liable to be sentenced to death if they are raped, etc. etc. But this is an important step in the right direction.