Monthly Archives: October 2008

10 Reasons Why Gay Marriage is Wrong

I have seen the light. –Ryan

1) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.
2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.
3) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven’t adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.
4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can’t marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.
5) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were
allowed; the sanctity of Britney Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.
6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren’t full yet, and the world needs more children.
7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.
8) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have only one religion in America.
9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That’s why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.
10) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

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Savagely Stolen News — Alaska NOT for Baked Alaska

Kids, I swear, I’ll be back to my old fluff-posting shenanigans once my life frees up a little bit. –Ryan

    Sarah Palin’s home state Anchorage Daily News endorses Barack Obama

Alaska’s largest newspaper has endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for the White House, saying it would be too risky to put the state’s Republican governor Sarah Palin just “one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world.”

Telegraph. co. uk
By Our Foreign Staff
Last Updated: 9:59PM GMT 26 Oct 2008

The Anchorage Daily News, the leading daily in the overwhelmingly Republican state, called Mrs Palin’s vice-presidential nomination “an improbable and highly memorable event” which had brought prominence to Alaska.

Nevertheless, the paper said that “despite her formidable gifts, few who have worked closely with the governor would argue she is truly ready to assume command of the most important, powerful nation on earth.”

The paper was even more scathing in its assessment of the top of the Republican ticket: “Our sober view is that her running mate, Senator John McCain, is the wrong choice for president at this critical time for our nation.”

“Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, brings far more promise to the office,” the Anchorage Daily News said.

“In a time of grave economic crisis, he displays thoughtful analysis, enlists wise counsel and operates with a cool, steady hand. The same cannot be said of Senator McCain.”

Particularly on the top campaign issue – the faltering US economy – the newspaper said Mr McCain “has stumbled and fumbled badly in dealing with the accelerating crisis as it emerged.”

“His behaviour in this crisis – erratic is a kind description – shows him to be ill-equipped to lead the essential effort of reining in a runaway financial system and setting an anxious nation on course to economic recovery.”

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Laramie, 10 Years Later

I’d love to take credit for this, but I stole it from Newsweek… nothing I could say could match those who lived through it. –Ryan

Has Anything Changed?
The creators of ‘The Laramie Project’, a play about Matthew Shepard, returned to Wyoming on the 10-year anniversary of his death.

By Moisés Kaufman, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti, Stephen Belber and Andy Paris | Newsweek Web Exclusive

The fence where Matthew Shepard met his brutal demise now removed from towns history.

The fence where Matthew Shepard met his brutal demise now removed from town's history.

One month after the brutal murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard in 1998, 10 members of the Tectonic Theater Project , led by playwright and director Moisés Kaufman, went to Laramie, Wyo., to interview residents about the killing. Those interviews served as the basis for “The Laramie Project,” a play that chronicles how the community grappled with the slaying. On the 10th anniversary of Shepard’s death, which has become a rallying cry for gay rights and hate-crime laws, the theater company returned to Laramie. These are their observations:

In returning to Laramie, Wyo., 10 years after the murder of Matthew Shepard, the pressing question for all of us was: how has the town changed since 1998? But soon a different question arose: how do we measure that change?

On the state level no hate crime legislation has passed; the fence where Matthew Shepard was murdered has been dismantled; the Fireside Bar where Matthew met his killers has been renamed; and the University of Wyoming still has yet to grant domestic partner benefits to its gay and lesbian faculty and staff. And when you ask of the people of Laramie how has the town has changed, many say, “We’ve moved on.”

“Moved on to what?” asks Reggie Fluty, the policewoman who was the first to arrive at the fence where Matthew was tied. “If you don’t want to look back, fine. But what are we moving towards?”

Certainly the university has taken several concrete actions to promote inclusiveness: they’ve added gay and lesbian study classes to the curriculum, created a resource center for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and permanently renamed the Social Justice Symposium after Matthew Shepard. They’ve also recently joined Matthew’s mom, Judy Shepard, in memorializing Matthew on campus. (Judy is the executive director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation.)

As for the rest of the town, Shepard’s former academic adviser Jon Peacock says, “I think when you’re so close to an event like this you become more sensitized. You start to pay more attention to those issues.” Detective Sergeant Rob Debree, the lead investigator in Shepard’s murder, adds, “I think overall, there’s just more acceptance.” Debree became a forceful national advocate for Federal Hate Crime legislation alongside Officer Dave O’Malley as a result of this murder.

“The fact that cops like DeBree and O’Malley, law officers in positions of real power, are committed to gay and lesbian people and their protection, that should be construed as concrete change,” says Beth Loffreda, author of the book, “Losing Matthew Shepard.” “You won’t find that in a statute or in a public monument to Matt, but that’s real and meaningful change.”

A real cause for concern, however, is the emergence in Laramie of a narrative that has gained many proponents in recent years: one that states that Shepard’s murder by two local residents, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, was only “a robbery gone bad” or “a drug-fueled murder” and not a hate crime. “That’s nonsense,” says Fluty. “All you have to do is look at the evidence.” O’Malley, lead investigator of the Laramie Police Department agrees, “I’m convinced that these guys killed Matt because he was gay.”

Debree of the Sheriff’s department adds: “We went in depth reviewing [the murderers’] blood for any kind of drugs or anything to that effect. There was nothing.” The fact that this was a hate crime was decisively proved at the trial when in excerpts of McKinney’s confession, the jury heard him tell DeBree: “[Shepard] put his hand on my leg. … I told him I’m not a f—ing faggot” before beginning to brutally beat Matthew Shepard.

Catherine Connolly, the first openly gay professor at the university, also takes issue with this willful ignoring of the facts: “This distortion of history, this is what kids 18, 19 years old think now. It’s devastating to us. This is our history.”

So why has this distortion of the truth become so prevalent? One hypothesis is that because Laramie was portrayed in the media as a backward town where hatred and bigotry were rampant, forcing the citizens to question their identity as an idyllic community, a “good place to raise your children.” “And when we have a theory about who we are,” says Laramie resident Jeffrey Lockwood, “and the data goes against that theory, we throw out the data rather than adjust the theory. We are hardwired as human beings not to contemplate our own complicity in things.”

Yet there are many people who found in this murder an opportunity to reflect deeply about the role that the culture and values of Laramie played in the crime. “This whole thing forced us to look at our warts,” says Dr. Don Cantway, the physician who treated Matthew’s injuries. “To look at our bigotry, the hatreds, the intolerance that exist here.”

These two stances, denial and self-reflection, have divided the town. “This is where I choose to live,” insists Jonas Slonaker, a gay man who chose to come out after Shepard’s murder, “and this is a state that always votes Republican and is pretty conservative. So there’ll be a lot of resistance [to change]. It might be a situation where those rights will come from a federal level down before it comes to the state level.”

But nationally, the situation regarding gay rights legislation mirrors Wyoming’s. In 2007, the Matthew Shepard Act passed in both the House and the Senate but the legislation never made it out of Congress—because of a Bush veto threat and the bill’s attachment to a defense authorization measure.

Still, shifts are occurring: Wyoming’s Governor Dave Freudenthal, says, “If you really believe in that Western ‘live and let live’ [philosophy] then you wouldn’t have homophobic violence. So there’s a contradiction. We tolerate an awful lot of violence in this state and we have to look at that.” In 2005, the neighboring town of Casper elected a gay man as mayor and professor Connolly is running for a State House seat in the coming election. In addition, the faculty at the university continues to fight for same-sex partner benefits.

Measuring change is not an exact science: the markers can be elusive or blurry, yet no less meaningful. Peacock says, “I think it does a great disservice to the power of the story around Matthew’s death to measure it by whether there’s been definitive or quantifiable change like a law passed. We know that there has been so much qualitative and transformational change. So I think it does a real disservice to the story to measure it that way. I just think that’s too thin of a measure.”

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3 Down, 47 To Go

Well, the breeding grounds of those freedom and equality-loving treacherous “liberals” has expanded: Connecticut will overturn its ban on same-sex marriage.

Now, those heathens can profess their love openly and legally, and have the same full-fledged rights under the law.

Watch your white picket fence, Sammy and Sally Republican… for those Homer Sexuals can now commit such grizzly acts as:

  • File taxes as a married couple!
  • Visit their husband or wife in the hospital!
  • Command one’s estate after death!

Oh, the humanity!!

What’s next? Tolerance? Acceptance? When will this madness end?

Ok, ok, I’ll drop the act now. The one thing I don’t like about this, is that the Governor of Connecticut doesn’t support it, and is only backing the state Supreme Court because she thinks attempts to reverse the overturning will fail. Such was the idea in the South during the Jim Crow era. But I digress…

Well, the economy will grab a little jolt in Connecticut now, because if there’s one thing my people are willing to spend money on, it’s a party. Wedding planners, rejoice.

I’m currently planning my first dance at the reception should Nevada happen to get a clue.

Truly,

Ryan

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Savagely Stolen News: HOLY BIRTH, BATMAN!!

Sorry if I haven’t been as visible lately, I’ve been swamped with this “Dream Match” between some Filipino guy and some Boy made out of Gold? Anyway, as our economy goes down the tubes and people are still dying in Iraq (not that anyone’s talking about that right now) and our President, the Lord God Supreme Dictator Decider-Guy Monkey Face, continues to giggle like a stupid hyena… I think I’ve found the answer to our problems. Obama? Yes, but this is even BETTER…

Immaculately conceiving sharks.

Enjoy. –Ryan

RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) — Scientists have confirmed the second case of a “virgin birth” in a shark.

A blacktip shark in the wild patrols the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean.

A blacktip shark in the wild patrols the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean.

In a study reported Friday in the Journal of Fish Biology, scientists said DNA testing proved that a pup carried by a female blacktip shark in a Virginia aquarium contained no genetic material from a male.

The first documented case of asexual reproduction, or parthenogenesis, among sharks involved a pup born to a hammerhead at an Omaha, Nebraska, zoo.

“This first case was no fluke,” Demian Chapman, a shark scientist and lead author of the second study, said in a statement. “It is quite possible that this is something female sharks of many species can do on occasion.”

The scientists cautioned that the rare asexual births should not be viewed as a possible solution to declining global shark populations. The aquarium sharks that reproduced without mates each carried only one pup, while some species can produce litters of a dozen or more.

“It is very unlikely that a small number of female survivors could build their numbers up very quickly by undergoing virgin birth,” Chapman said.

The medical mystery began 16 months ago after the death of Tidbit, a blacktip shark that had lived for eight years at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach. No male blacktip sharks were present during her eight years.

In May 2007, the 5-foot, 94-pound shark died after it was given a sedative before undergoing a yearly checkup. The 10-inch shark pup was found during a necropsy, surprising aquarium officials. They initially thought the embryonic pup was either the product of a virgin birth or a cross between the blacktip and a male of another shark species — which has never been documented, Chapman said.

Tidbit’s pup was nearly full term, and likely would have been quickly eaten by “really big sand tiger sharks” that were in the tank, Chapman said in a telephone interview from Florida.

That is what happened to the tiny hammerhead pup in the Omaha case.

“By the time they could realize what they were looking at, something munched the baby,” he said of aquarium workers. The remains of the pup were used for the DNA testing.

Virgin birth has been proven in some bony fish, amphibians, reptiles and birds, and has been suspected among sharks in the wild.

The scientists who studied the Virginia and Nebraska sharks said the newly formed pups acquired one set of chromosomes when the mother’s chromosomes split during egg development, then united anew.

Absent the chromosomes present in the male sperm, the offspring of an asexual conception have reduced genetic diversity and, the scientists said, may be at a disadvantage for surviving in the wild. A pup, for instance, can be more susceptible to congenital disorders and diseases.

The scientists said their findings offer “intriguing questions” about how frequently automictic parthenogenesis occurs in the wild.

“It is possible that parthenogenesis could become more common in these sharks if population densities become so low that females have trouble finding mates,” said Mahmood Shivji, one of the scientists and director of the Guy Harvey Research Institute at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

The DNA fingerprinting techniques used by the scientists are identical to those used in human paternity testing.

Chapman, who is with the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science at Stony Brook, was assisted in the study by Beth Firchau of the Virginia Aquarium.

Chapman and Shivji were on the team that made the first discovery of virgin birth involving the Nebraska shark.

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