Thursday, July 2, 2015

Gay Marriage: Reactions to Reactions

This is the appropriate reaction (link here, original found at Avedon Carol's blog).  Gay couple Brett and Harry pretty much nail it:

Same Sex Couple Threaten Not To Give A Shit If Other Couple Divorces

In response to threats from a Canberra [Australia] couple to divorce were equal marriage laws to pass, a local couple in a committed same-sex relationship have in turn threatened to absolutely not give the slightest shit were that to happen.

Local couple Brett and Harry have said that while they are not heterophobic and do their best to be open to all different kinds of views if this divorce does go ahead they will have no choice but to go on with their lives completely unaffected by such a dumb stunt.

“You know, it’s kind of like equal marriage laws themselves,” said Harry. “It absolutely does not affect anyone except the people directly involved. This couple divorcing because we have equal rights makes about as much impact on the rest of our lives as if they decided to wear big novelty hats if same sex marriage passes. The only difference being big novelty hats are fun and this threat is just kinda pathetic.

“It’s truly surprising that they expect other people to give the slightest shit about their relationship when clearly they don’t. If you’re willing to throw away your ten year marriage because a bit of legislation you don’t like passed maybe the thing you’re really unhappy about is your terrible marriage.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Rules of the Road

I truly appreciate simple things and am an aficionado of signage, so this is right up my alley.

The reason for the sign is that this ramp goes from two lanes down to one:

Image credit Gary: on-ramp of Halfway Blvd to I-81 northbound near Hagerstown, MD

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Kinda Like Swords Into Plowshares...and Ultrarunning

More of this, please: taking some 62 chunks of unused military real estate and making nature preserves out of them.  

From Germany (you should go read the whole article):

BERLIN (AFP) - Germany agreed Thursday to turn more than 60 former military bases into nature preserves, with the aim of creating vast new green oases and sanctuaries for rare species of birds.
Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said an ongoing overhaul of the German armed forces had made it possible to set aside more than 31,000 hectares (76,600 acres) of forests, marshes, meadows and moors.
She said the government had opted against selling the land, in some cases, prime pieces of real estate, to investors in favour of creating natural refuges.

What strikes me most is that the authorities stood up to development and investment pressures to do the right thing.  

I posted about this type of activity some 5 years ago, here.  

The link to Ultrarunning, of course, is the availability of backcountry places in which to go running.  As population pressures grow, exacerbated by climate change and wealth inequality, the "need" to tap wilderness and formerly set-aside land will grow and must be resisted.  Wild areas are necessary for the proper functioning of the human psyche.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Bags o' Money

Image credit here, found via Google Images

The bride and I were recently watching Outlander or something else set a couple hundred years ago--before people used wallets and paper money--and a financial transaction was being done.

When it was time to exchange the money, the buyer tossed a bag of coins to the seller.

They always toss the bag.  They never just hand the bag to the seller.

So anytime you see a bag of coins in a film or on TV, rest assured that it will soon be airborne.

Remember the movie reviewers Siskel and Ebert?  I recall one show where they pointed out the presence of a fruit cart in the film, saying that the sole purpose of including a fruit cart in a shot is its inevitable upset.  Fruit carts never remain intact and part of the background.

Republican Politics and Blind Squirrels

I'm pretty sure but not certain that this cartoon came from a recent issue of Sierra, the monthly magazine from my tree-hugging friends at the Sierra Club.  I'm usually better about attribution, so please excuse my lapse:

By the way, I read over the weekend that while all of the Republican candidates for president are still sputtering over the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, there is a slight break in the ranks.  Lindsey Graham said this on Meet the Press on Sunday:  

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told Chuck Todd on NBC's "Meet the Press" that if the Republican party doesn't change its official position on same-sex marriage it will "hurt" the GOP in 2016. In 2012, the Republican platform read, "We reaffirm our support for a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman."

And there's more from Senator Graham:

In an interview Sunday [7 June] with CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) continued to distance himself from the growing field of GOP presidential candidates when it comes to climate change and environmental policy. 
“If I’m president of the United States, we’re going to address climate change, CO2 emissions in a business-friendly way,” Graham said during the interview, noting that he does “believe that climate change is real.”

Believe me, I'm solid liberal, won't be casting any votes for Graham, and believe that he's perhaps only the least batshit crazy of that pack of scoundrels (hey, I never used the word scoundrels before in print!), but I give him credit.  
But the snarky side of me thinks this is only an example of even a blind squirrel occasionally finding a acorn (or in this case, a pair of acorns).

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Cats in Art: The Meeting of Dante and Virgil (Stradano)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art. I am using some ideas from the coffee table book, The Cat in Art, by Stefano Zuffi. This is the second in my series featuring the art of Giovanni Stradano.

Image credit Arts Connected, The Meeting of Dante and Virgil, Giovanni Stradano, 1546-49, tapestry, 207" x 185", held by Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN.

Arts Connected provides some background:

The subject of the tapestry, the meeting of Dante and Virgil, reflects the renewed interest in Dante's work which occurred during the sixteenth century. In the episode illustrated, Dante has become lost in the Wood of Error, where he is confronted by three symbolic animals which menace his approach to the Holy Hill where Virgil waits to guide him through Hell and Purgatory. 

And here's a close up of the three animals that are blocking Dante's way.  Of course, two of the three are kitties...big, possibly dangerous kitties:

But as I look at the close-up of the cheetah, lion, and the dog-like animal, I just don't get a feeling of true menace or danger.  It's almost as though the three critters are pets or at least following along. Dante has stopped and they--seemingly fixated on his eyes--are just waiting to see where he is heading next.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

"No Longer May This Liberty be Denied to Them"


The Supreme Court of the United States has finally rendered its decision in the matter of same sex marriage, and they came down on the side of right, of history, in affirming that same sex marriage is OK. 

Just read these few powerful words from the majority opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy:

"The Court now holds that same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry. No longer may this liberty be denied to them."
"The Court, in this decision, holds same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry in all States. ...They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. It is so ordered."

And you know what?  The sun rose today, and will again tomorrow.   The Apocalypse is not upon us, and the "institution of marriage" goes on, arguably even stronger than before since it's now a bigger tent.

As I have many times here, I must echo the words of Duncan Black and ask:

Watching some conservatives completely lose their shit over this Supreme Court ruling (including 4 Supreme Court justices) is entertaining but also just bizarre. I mean, why do they care so much? No one is making you get gay married. No one is telling your pastor he has to have God bless this legal arrangement established by the state.

The only theory I can come up with is that they're running out of people who it's acceptable to hate, and when there's no one left to hate what will be the fun in life, really?

And this one, where the light bulb finally goes on in the mind of a staunch conservative.  People, this is how change happens, one person at a time:

Conservative pundit and CNN contributor S.E. Cupp began to tear up on-air on Friday as she urged the Republican Party to embrace gay marriage after the Supreme Court upheld it as the law of the land.

“It’s hard not to watch that and get emotional," Cupp said of the rolling footage showing couples celebrating the ruling.
“Those people there are not pariahs, they’re patriots,” she continued.
She said the couples were simply looking for "human dignity" and the benefits that are allowed for straight couples under legal marriage.
"I would challenge members of my party to look at the faces on the right hand of your screen, and ask yourself if they deserve the same kind of dignity that the rest of us get to enjoy," Cupp said.
"And so for my party — which I deeply, deeply love — my party really has to reconcile with the fact that we are going to become relics if we don’t get to where these people are," she added.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Preflight Cat Check Fail

Via the Earth Bound Misfit, this interesting video.  If the embed doesn't play, here's the link.

What I find interesting is that the kitty seems rather unperturbed and casual about the whole affair, at least until the final removal sequence.