Monthly Archives: September 2010

Assistant attorney general blogs against gay student body president –

Apparently the Assistant Michigan Attorney General, Andrew Shirvell, has been blogging about Chris Armstrong, the openly gay student assembly president at U of M Ann Arbor. While I do agree that Mr. Shirvell’s blog should fall under free speech, the Michigan Attorney General, Mike Cox, needs to keep a really close eye on what is going on here. This could very easily go from free speech to hate speech and then spiral down to illegal harassment.

(CNN) — For nearly six months, Andrew Shirvell, an assistant attorney general for the state of Michigan, has waged an internet campaign against college student Chris Armstrong, the openly gay student assembly president at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Using the online moniker “Concerned Michigan Alumnus,” Shirvell launched his blog in late April.

“Welcome to ‘Chris Armstrong Watch,'” Shirvell wrote in his inaugural blog post. “This is a site for concerned University of Michigan alumni, students, and others who oppose the recent election of Chris Armstrong — a RADICAL HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVIST, RACIST, ELITIST, & LIAR — as the new head of student government.”

Among other things, Shirvell has published blog posts that accuse Armstrong of going back on a campaign promise he made to minority students; engaging in “flagrant sexual promiscuity” with another male member of the student government; sexually seducing and influencing “a previously conservative [male] student” so much so that the student, according to Shirvell, “morphed into a proponent of the radical homosexual agenda;” hosting a gay orgy in his dorm room in October 2009; and trying to recruit incoming first year students “to join the homosexual ‘lifestyle.’ “

via Assistant attorney general blogs against gay student body president –

Survey: Atheists, Agnostics Know More About Religion Than Religious

This is hardly surprising. I find that religious fanatics tend to take bits and pieces of religion and bend that to their view. Atheists and Agnostics actually study the materials to learn more about the religions. I think many of these people were searching for a religion that felt comfortable, but either never found one or decided that there was no higher power.

And as far as that body and blood thing, that is just disturbingly cannibalistic.

“The Pew Forum on Religious Religion and Public Life released a survey on religious knowledge today. Atheists and Agnostics scored higher on it than anyone else, closely followed by Jews and Mormons, all Christians, Protestants and Catholics, were far behind.

That’s overall, but when you get into specific religions it does show a startling lack of basic knowledge by practitioners. From the report:

More than four-in-ten Catholics in the United States (45%) do not know that their church teaches that the bread and wine used in Communion do not merely symbolize but actually become the body and blood of Christ. About half of Protestants (53%) cannot correctly identify Martin Luther as the person whose writings and actions inspired the Protestant Reformation, which made their religion a separate branch of Christianity. Roughly four-in-ten Jews (43%) do not recognize that Maimonides, one of the most venerated rabbis in history, was Jewish.”

via Survey: Atheists, Agnostics Know More About Religion Than Religious : The Two-Way : NPR.

Throwing out the Playbook

Blackberry is jumping into the tablet game with their new Playbook. First, I have to agree that the name is pretty cool. Outside of that, I have no use for a Blackberry phone or tablet, but this looks really nice for those of you that are stuck on BB.

“So Blackberry announced their tablet today…the Playbook. My immediate impression? Awesome name. There were rumors of a few others out there…BlackPad was the worst. This is actually one of the few times I can think of where the final name of a project was actually better than the code names. But I digress…

The Playbook is essentially BB’s answer to the iPad, and from the looks of it, it may be a nice choice. I have to say, most of the tablets I have seen haven’t been all that impressive. That could be simply because most of them are Android and I am not a huge fan of that OS, but this one, especially from a hardware perspective is pretty darn impressive.”

via Throwing out the Playbook | webOSroundup.

What’s that park doing in my parking spot?

What an amazing idea. I wish I had known about his event so that I could have stopped by for the day. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for the next event. I think that it is amazing that the city of Oakland is allowing people to put on events such as this one. If you want to see a video covering parts of the event, click on the link for Walk Oakland Bike Oakland below and scroll down.

“Parking downtown is often frustrating, but one driver looking for parking near the bar Penelope on 12th Street must have been especially confused Friday, when he found the last spot on the block taken—not by another car, but by a couch and a makeshift coffee table, on top of a bright green swath of Astroturf.

With the help of Penelope and five other local businesses, cycling advocates celebrated PARK(ing) Day on Friday by converting parking spaces like the one on 12th Street into tiny parks—all while feeding the meter, of course. The temporary green spaces, or “parklets,” which sprang up on streets in Oakland and other cities around the world, were meant to show what cities might look like with more space for people and less for cars.

Organized by cycling advocacy groups Walk Oakland Bike Oakland and the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, Oakland’s parklets dotted the city with bits of green space—at least technically. Each parklet was built on a foundation of artificial green turf, but most included real potted plants, as well as some kind of furniture to entice visitors to linger.”

via What’s that park doing in my parking spot? – Oakland North — North Oakland News, Food, Art and Events..

An Open Letter to BART

I want to send out a huge thank you to the BART ticket booth guy who was working at the Downtown Berkeley station on 9-17 around 9 am. You really took a very embarrassing situation and made it comical and pleasant.

To start from the beginning, I was mostly asleep as I walked over to the South Hayward station and jumped on the BART train. I didn’t look at my ticket before boarding. Once I got off the train at Downtown Berkeley, my ticket was rejected at the exit. Low and behold, I did not have enough money on my card.

For those of you that don’t ride the BART, you can add money to your ticket with a credit card or cash before entering the station. Once you put your ticket in the turn stile, your only option to add money is with cash.

So I am in the Downtown Berkeley station trying to get out, but I don’t have any change on me. As luck would have it, I just emptied my change out of my pockets that morning. Frustrated with myself, I walked over to the ticket booth and explained to the guy what happened. He asked me if I had low dollar value tickets, which I don’t. He then asked me where I worked. I told him where I worked (which is up the stairs and a across the street) and he told me that he would let me out if I brought the seventy cents back. I told him I would, with a very serious face. I was extremely embarrassed about my stupid mistake. At this point the guy smiled and told me to head out the exit gate. He also told me that if I didn’t bring the change back, he would come after me. He then laughed a hearty laugh and my embarrassment faded. I laughed with him and my day became so much better. Twenty minutes later, I gave the change to him. He laughed again and told me I could have come back at lunch. I thanked him, smiled and went about my day.

This guy took a really embarrassing and stupid experience and turned it into a five star experience. I am happy to have crossed his path because it made me a better person for the day.

Nokia exec: Using Android like ‘peeing in your pants’ for warmth | Technically Incorrect – CNET News

This is too funny.

In our globally connected world, some things are lost in translation. But, perhaps, not all things.

In a delightfully expressive commentary on the wisdom of using Android, Nokia’s outgoing chief smartphone person, Anssi Vanjoki, declared that those who use Android are, philosophically speaking, “peeing in their pants” like Finnish boys do to keep warm.

via Nokia exec: Using Android like ‘peeing in your pants’ for warmth | Technically Incorrect – CNET News.

Justice Department objects to court action on “don’t ask, don’t tell” –

Curiousor and Curiousor… Maybe the Senators were too afraid of the big, bad DADT and decided to let the nice Court handle the issue for them.

Washington (CNN) — The Obama administration is objecting to a request for an immediate halt to the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy after a federal court ruled that the policy barring gays from serving openly is unconstitutional.

The government calls a worldwide cessation of the policy “untenable,” saying an injunction should be limited to the plaintiff, the gay political group Log Cabin Republicans, and members who it claims are gays and lesbians

via Justice Department objects to court action on “don’t ask, don’t tell” –

Gilmore Guys: Jess

This is more for Jason than me. I was always focused on Lorelai’s men on the show.

Court affirms overturning Fla. gay adoption ban | News Story on

These are tumultuous times for the LGBT community. DADT repeal falls flat this week, but then the 3rd District Cour of Appeals upholds the 2008 decision to overturn the ban on adoption by gay people. Will this be yet another LGBT case on the way to the Supreme Court?

(Miami) Florida’s strict ban on adoption by gay people is unconstitutional because no other group, even people with criminal backgrounds, are singled out for a flat prohibition by state law, an appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The ruling by the 3rd District Court of Appeal upholds a 2008 decision by a Miami-Dade County judge who found “no rational basis” for the ban when she approved the adoption of two young brothers by Martin Gill and his male partner. The prohibition was first enacted in 1977 and is the only law of its kind in the nation, according to court records.

In a 28-page opinion, a three-judge panel of the court noted that gay people are permitted to become foster parents or legal guardians in Florida, yet are the only group not allowed to adopt.

“It is difficult to see any rational basis in utilizing homosexual persons as foster parents or guardians on a temporary or permanent basis, while imposing a blanket prohibition on those same persons,” wrote Judge Gerald Cope for the panel. “All other persons are eligible to be considered case-by-case to be adoptive parents.”

via Court affirms overturning Fla. gay adoption ban | News Story on

Senate repeal of ban on gays in military falters | News Story on

Well this sucks coconuts, but did anyone really expect the Democrats to do anything this close to an election? DADT has been pushed back yet again. I just hope the court case has a faster impact than Congress.

A Senate bill to repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy appeared headed for defeat Tuesday, a major setback for gay groups that saw the vote as their last chance this year to overturn the 17-year-old ban.

Advocates had been optimistic that the Democratic-controlled White House and Congress could overcome objections to repeal of the law barring gays from serving openly in the military. The move is unpopular among Republicans, military officers and social conservatives.

But in the end, Senate Democrats were expected to fall at least one vote short of the 60 needed to limit debate and advance the legislation .

via Senate repeal of ban on gays in military falters | News Story on