Digital Chum - Virtual fish guts and other nonsense

June, 2011:

Hooray for New York!

New York finally passed legislation to allow same-sex marriage in their state. According to CNN (and other news sites), the vote was 33-29 in favor. It was the “first time a state Senate with a Republican majority has approved such a bill.”

Other than the awesome news that gay couples will now have the same rights as straight couples, that also means that there are still 29 people in the New York senate that are probably theocratic bigots.

Says the CNN article…

The new law, which will allow same-sex couples in New York to marry within 30 days, drew a sharp rebuke from opponents, who spent millions to try to defeat the measure.

Because, you know… those damn gays!

But the Catholic Church stepped up in support! Oh wait. No they didn’t.

“We worry that both marriage and the family will be undermined by this tragic presumption of government in passing this legislation that attempts to redefine these cornerstones of civilization,” the state’s Catholic bishops said in a joint statement released late Friday. It was signed by Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan and seven other bishops.

It’s an absurd argument. Marriage isn’t undermined by omg-teh-gheys!!!. It’s undermined (if it is at all) by drunken Vegas weddings, marriages of convenience, sex scandals and infidelity, hypocrisy, televised marriage contests, marrying for money, serial marrying, arranged marriages, and a myriad of other things, none of which have anything to do with two people of the same sex loving each other.

And to show how loving and considerate the opponents of same-sex marriage are…

Opponents of the marriage equality law have vowed to take political action against any Republican who voted for the bill.

Because presumably, standing up for equal rights is just wrong and should be punished!

Fortunately, there were enough rational politicians to get this measure passed. It’s sad that it needs to be passed at all. You’d think in a country that prides itself on freedom and human rights, this would be a complete non-issue, but the religious right can’t help but try to impose their twisted moral values on the rest of us.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg gets it, though.

“In recent weeks, I have had many conversations with our state Senators. I emphasized that not only is marriage equality consistent with bedrock American principles, but it is also consistent with bedrock Republican Party principles of liberty and freedom — and the Republicans who stood up today for those principles will long be remembered for their courage, foresight, and wisdom. In fact, 10 or 20 or 30 years from now, I believe they will look back at this vote as one of their finest, proudest moments,” Bloomberg said in a statement released shortly after the vote.

So three cheers for New York. Kudos to those Republicans who had the wisdom and courage to stand up to their party’s archaic stance on the matter.

And congratulations to all those who are waiting to be married and now are able.

Oh no! Sunspots! (or lack thereof)

Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy beat me to it (as did probably another 50 blogs).

I heard the report last week about the decrease in sunspot activity and just knew that the global warming deniers would pounce on it with a vengeance, even though plenty of articles had statements such as…

But scientists warn that the temperature change due to a decline in sunspot activity would likely be minimal and not enough to compensate for global warming. – Global Post

Statements like that will most likely be dismissed with a haughty "poo poo" from deniers, however, because it doesn’t fit into the strategy of cherry-picking data in vain attempts to support their untenable position.

It’s one thing to disagree on policy issues and about how to handle the situation. That’s a matter of political opinion and can be debated endlessly from various ideological viewpoints. However, to avoid the policy issue by trying to discredit the actual science… the science that is backed up by virtually all the available data, by virtually all climate scientists, and by virtually all scientific organizations… is disingenuous, dishonest, and despicable.

I constantly read deniers railing against climate science based on policy issues, saying things that basically amount to "climate science is wrong because cap and trade legislation would cause job losses!" It’s an absurd statement, but it’s one that gets repeated, in various forms, over and over and over and over by global warming deniers… seemingly without any awareness of how ludicrous it is.

It’s the position that "facts don’t matter to me because they don’t fit neatly into my preconceived conclusions based on my ideology."

Curse you, Phil Mickelson!

Phil Mickelson in commercial: “If you have painful, swollen joints, I’ve been in your shoes.”

Dammit, Phil! Get out of my shoes! You’re making my joints hurt!!! …and what the hell kind of disease do you have on your feet that causes my joints to hurt!!?!?

Hawaii Vacation Pictures

Hawaii Vacation Photo GalleryWe went to the Hawaiian island of Maui in May for about a week (courtesy of Lori’s hard work with The Pampered Chef) and had a great time. From the ocean view from our hotel room to the pool, the helicopter tour, the fresh pineapple, and the spectacular scenery, everything we saw and did made for the perfect vacation.

Click here for the photo album