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(This entry's soundtrack can be found here - 4.3MB)

Representative Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, on the anti-gay marriage legislation currently under debate in Texas. (Many thanks to ristin and nicodemusrat for pointing this out. This should not be missed - be sure to follow the link to her full speech)

An excerpt:

'Let's look at what this amendment does not do: It does not give one Texas citizen meaningful tax relief. It does not reform or fully fund our education system. It does not restore one child to CHIP, who was cut from health insurance last session. It does not put one dime into raising Texas' Third World access to health care. It does not do one thing to care for or protect one elderly person or one child in this state. In fact, it does not even do anything to protect one marriage.

Members, this bill is about hate and fear and discrimination. I know something about hate and fear and discrimination. When I was a small girl, white folks used to talk about "protecting the institution of marriage" as well. What they meant was if people of my color tried to marry people of Mr. Chisum's color, you'd often find the people of my color hanging from a tree. That's what the white folks did back then to "protect marriage." Fifty years ago, white folks thought inter-racial marriages were a "threat to the institution of marriage."'

And in other news, Steve Ballmer has stated, "After looking at the question from all sides, I've concluded that diversity in the workplace is such an important issue for our business that it should be included in our legislative agenda. Microsoft will continue to join other leading companies in supporting federal legislation that would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, adding sexual orientation to the existing law that already covers race, sex, national origin, religion, age and disability."

A rather beautiful, brief CG short, Isfahan, inspired by the architecture of the eponymous ancient Persian capital. (Downloadable in two sizes, 24MB and 7MB)

ducktapeddonkey pointed out an excellent online educational resource: Connexions, provided by Rice University. eg Adaptive Filtering, Major Keys and Scales, and Grilling the Best Steak.

Hummer H2: "it only looks tough".

Dinner on Friday - well, I'm trying to get around to more cooking again, given it's something I'm very fond of, despite the *cough* confined nature of the kitchen at paw. Still, for a quick concoction, it turned out remarkably well. Four asparagus spears, cut into 2" lengths, a moderate palm-sized floret of broccoli, chopped coarsely, into boiling water, joined by some defrosted chicken strips in a pesto-style coating, and three finely sliced shiitake, and a teaspoon or two of bran. To round off the flavor, a little smoked hot paprika, a dash of garlic powder, and a teaspoon or two of shrimp sauce. (Thai style: ground shrimp, salt. Marvellously stinky :)

A rather disturbingly accurately titled piece, "Expressionless Girl" (585K Flash, with loud music). (Or, there's the soundtrackless animated GIF version (380K), which lends a certain fluidity to the loop)

bosn on Utah: "There is nothing gay out here."
Fifty years ago, white folks thought inter-racial marriages were a "threat to the institution of marriage."'

I saw a special with two black politicians debating this. One of them says that Dr. King is rolling in his grave because when he was talking about equality between the races he did NOT mean for people to marry same sex people. Keh. Maybe I'm just odd, but what business of the governments is it who I care to marry? What business is it of ANYONE besides myself and whomever I marry?
It's something I've not really been able to fathom, and it's a point I'm thus especially pleased to see her pound home. One might think it'd be stunningly obvious, but it does seem wrapping oneself in piety can divert a lot of people's thoughts away from the actual reasoning.

There are certainly parallels to King's time, I'd say. Then, it was still considered entirely acceptable to be racially divisive - popular sentiment did indeed lie in the majority that mixed race marriages were wrong. Legislation helped play a pivotal role in changing that. Not that all is perfect, of course, but easily better than just a few decades ago, with de facto and de jure apartheid.

Where are the firebrands of the US now? (Of course, if even someone like Kerry can be painted as some ultra-left revolutionary, one wonders what the Fox News bobbleheads would make of someone of King's caliber)
My dad's family still thinks mixed racial relationships are evil. My dad was dating this wonderful black woman and took it upon themselves to try and set him up with other women. So nice of them. Honestly, I need a black woman who'll pretend to be my girlfriend next time I go visit them. ^_^ I like stirring up shit with my family. It's a fun game.

As I didn't live through King's time, I can only imagine the bad shit he must have gone through and the bad feelings a lot of people felt about him. Sadly, I really think if we had someone of his calibur speaking out about gay marriage, I think they'd get worse.
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So very well worth reading. Her speech made several crucial points, showing them up to be hollow hatred masquerading as righteousness. It's heartening to see someone take such a positive stance, even in a situation where one might think none such would even be necessary.. a moving piece of writing indeed. (And in this way, the Democratic party may yet rediscover its soul)
And in other news, Steve Ballmer has stated...

Hooo, well, that was a bit of bad PR advise. The article doesn't state whether Ralph Reed is still a paid Microsoft consultant. Seriously, they should fire the person who ADVISED Microsoft to hire Ralph Reed. He has a PR track record that only a liberal can admire. \^.^/

Connexions, provided by Rice University

Seems to be down... Did you save a local copy of Major Keys and Scales anywhere? :)

A rather disturbingly accurately titled piece, "Expressionless Girl"

I suspect (slight) Photoshop enhancement. For instance, around the mouth.

Still, it's encouraging to see that Ballmer's recognised the wretched position previously advised. I'm not the greatest admirer of said company, but credit ought be given for this position, belated as it may be, given how close the margin was on the WA bill in question this year.

As for Ralph Reed - notice that article also points out Enron as a former client? More googling notes Karl Rove was a significant shareholder in Enron (please, don't expire from the surprise :), who also signed Reed on.

(You are in a maze of twisty passageways, all alike)

Seems to be down...

Eep! May well have been just a net.blip, thankfully - it seems to be coming up okay here. Unless Rice is getting their hosting from a spammer promotion these days.. you know how academic finances can be. ^_^

I'll have to check some of the original photos.. it's certainly entirely possible, given its b3ta roots, and we've all seen just how skilled some folks are with potatoshop. It's a.. remarkable collage, nonetheless.
I was a little worried after what someone on one of the mailing lists I'm on wrote after that link got passed around.

Apparently one of the "courses" is the exact material from a $400 kit. This person made note of that, and the fact that this material was now supposedly under the Creative Commons License so he said, "Alright, EBay here I come!"

I don't know if that material was supposed to be there or not. But I'm sure that someone at National Instruments has been made aware of it's existence there. Hopefully they had permission to post that article.
Listen to these examples. Three are in a major key and two in a minor key. Can you tell which is which simply by listening?





Folk tune

I do like the way that of the five excepts provided, three of the filenames begin with "Maj" or "Min".
ROFL, didn't notice that one. That's classic. ^_^
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Copy the link location and open a new browser window and paste it in the URL box, then you will be able to view the image.

I reposted the Senfronia Thompson speach on Gaybay. I read the whole speech and as I did injoy it im sure it was like pounding on jello in Texas. She talks about marrage between races, well gee, there are still alot of fokes in this nation not happy about that.

Theres always a problem when comparing others misery to the gay issues. You tend to lose supporters. I have some black friends who say that they are bitter that gays will compare there discrimination with theres (everyone wants to be the most abused I guess) I remember my moms expression when I told her how many Homosexuals were put to death in German death camps. She just shook her head and said "well they could have chosen not to be gay or simply lied about it so its there fault there dead".

However, I have great hope for the future. 50 years ago this wouldnt have even been talked about, let alone a political issue. As time goes on things will simmer down. We need to stay defiant, open and true. Time, my friends is on our side.
Does that mean that Ballmer is officially reversing Microsoft's decision to pull out of supporting gay rights bills?

I'm glad someone is finally tying anti-gay equality to other forms of discrimination. The usual counter to gay equality is to extrapolate it to progressively more surreal and unlikely forms of sexual expression such as pedophilia, but Rep Thompson's point is the important one: look back at other forms of repression and discrimination and see if this argument has been tried before. If you're ashamed of having used it in the past - think about how you're using it now.

The real question that no one on the anti side has ever managed to explain to me is: how does allowing same-sex couples to marry in any way interfere with, or lessen opposite-sex couple's appreciation of marriage? Is marriage a special club? Is it only enjoyable when isolated from non-married people or worse, people of whom we think poorly? Is marriage only for 'people like us' or is it a representation of a commitment or bonding that we hold in high value?

Clearly, some people have their priorities confused. If marriage is about love, then everyone who loves each other to the point where they want to make it a hard commitment should be allowed to marry - regardless of the gender combination. If it's not, then it's about something really crass and unworthy of this amount of attention.

I know antis who have come right out and said that they consider marriage to be solely about reproduction - reducing marriage to nothing more than a financial and social obligation to reproduce... the gay term 'breeders' has never been more appropriate when applied to that group. I find their attitude amazingly sad.

And if that's really what marriage is all about (and I do not think for one moment that it is), then to be honest - I can live without it - gay OR straight.
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Yes, you are. :-)

Once incest becomes legal in the US and Canada, and marriage licenses are issued to polygamous groups of people+animals, I'll conceed the point.