Are any of you still out there?

Should I give this blog CPR and bring it back to life? My photoblog is doing well, and I’m hanging out my shingle to make some money from the black box.

But . . .

I may want to mull some things over again. And this feels like the right place to do it. Or maybe I retire this one and start completely fresh.

Those few of you still hanging on, what do you think?


Take That Yellow Ribbon Magnet Off Your Bumper



Originally posted on Desert Beacon:

Yellow Ribbon Senator Harry Reid (R-NV) nailed the ginned up controversy about the capture of a Libyan terrorist in this commentary:

“It doesn’t matter what your ideology is, you should feel good about this. There’s no conspiracy here, this is actual news. But the reaction of some of the Republicans, I’ve been told, is to downplay and insult the brave men and women of our special forces and the FBI. They’re trying to say, oh, it’s no big deal. I wonder if the men and women who captured the terrorist agree. But the Republicans said it’s no big deal. Even in these days of polarization, created by the obstruction, the delay, and diversion of the Republicans, even in these days of polarization, their reaction is shocking and disgusting. They’re so obsessed with criticism, criticizing anything President Obama does. They’ll go so far as to sit here and insult the men and women…

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Introducing Rainbows At Play!



Originally posted on Raising My Rainbow:

It all started years ago when we went looking for other families like our own — families raising gender bending boys who like wearing skirts and playing with dolls.


We came up with nothing…until we found each other.  Every day we are grateful for the relationships that have developed between our families.  We’ve always been aware that we have it good and, now, we are giddy as hell to help other families connect.

This blog post marks the official launch of Rainbows At Play.  Rainbows At Play is an online community that connects families raising gender nonconforming kids so they can playdate and find fierceness in numbers.


Here’s how to join:

  1. You must be a primary caregiver of a differently gendered child.  (If you are not raising a child, please don’t join the community.  Help us keep Rainbows At Play kiddos and families safe by only joining if you…

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Originally posted on Please...don't move!:

This manifestation is as violent as those in my country, but there, they kill us.

The above quote was displayed on a banner in the manifestation last Saturday in Barcelona  (see pictures in gallery).

That was a peaceful protest.

We were protesting against insecurity and dictatorship in Venezuela. For doing this, the government in Venezuela sends troops and kill protesters. If you are sensitive to human rights, Please….move! and share this gallery.


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They Just Can’t Help Themselves?


Excellent post by Desert Beacon.

Originally posted on Desert Beacon:

GOP Women QuotesThere’s probably a reason for the GOP “Women’s Problem.”  When Google gives a seeker at least ten+ pages containing lists of quotations*  from prominent Republican and conservative sources, which grate like a rasp on bare skin, then perhaps some people have been providing a fairly accurate assessment of the mentality of party leadership on women’s issues.

Collections of commentary about women’s anatomy, and the functioning thereof, range from A to B, from Republican sources including the infamous “body shutting down,” to the more recent suggestion by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee that “If Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing them for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive  system without the help of government, then so be it.”

It’s difficult to corral…

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Why We Fight Anti-Vaccinationism


This. This. This.

Originally posted on Mike the Mad Biologist:

Katie Couric recently had a scurrilous episode of her show Katie where a mother whose daughter tragically died, blamed the HPV vaccine for her death. As Seth Mnoonkin notes, there is no evidence to support this claim:

* More than 25,000 new cancers attributable to HPV occur in the United States each year. Almost 12,000 of these cases are cervical cancer in females; another 6,000 are oropharyngeal cancers in men.

* More than 100 million doses of the vaccine have been given since it was approved in 2006.

* A study published in the British Medical Journal in October evaluated 997,000 girls, 296,000 of whom had received at least one dose of the HPV vaccine. More than 150,000 of those girls received all three doses. The results? Absolutely no link to short- or long-term health problems. As Lisen Arnheim-Dahlström, the lead researcher on the study, told Reuters Health

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In a shoe box of my grandmother’s photographs, I found a photo my father had taken of himself. With his camera on tripod, and a shutter release in his hand, my dad took a photograph of himself in the bathroom mirror. His tie is askew, and his mouth open slightly, his gaze says, “Okay, let’s try it.” There is no mugging for the camera. No posing. For Dad, this was pure experimentation. And as an amateur photographer myself, I completely understand that compulsion. And that was Dad: Infinitely curious, always wanting to learn something new and expand his world.

My father was a whistler, and sitting on his lap while he watched the Friday night fights, he taught me to whistle too. My daughter, Alison, inherited the “whistle while you work” gene from Dad.

My dad taught me to ride a bike. And he also taught me to be brave. If something in life knocks you down, get back up. Try again. Keep going. And yet, he never exactly said that to us. He just lived it. And he expected us to do the same.

But when I think of my dad, I keep coming back to this word: Special.

As some of you know, and many of you don’t, I did not have the privilege of spending a lot of my childhood years in my father’s presence. So the moments I did have feel like precious jewels to me.

Special. My father always managed to make me feel special.

When he carried me around the hospital after I got my tonsils out, and he showed me the place where I was born, I felt special. And even though I demonstrated my life-long sensitivity to anesthesia by tossing my breakfast all over him, he did not get upset.

Special. Even when I’d done something to disappoint him.

When I was about five or so, Kurt and I got in trouble for doing something we’d specifically been told NOT to do. A neighbor’s yard had a fence that butted right up against a concrete drainage ditch. A tumble off the wrong side of that fence meant the difference between a broken arm and something far more serious. We had been told, in no uncertain terms, to stay off that fence. Needless to say, Kurt and I didn’t listen, and Dad caught Kurt and me red-handed. He blew his stack and marched us home. First up for the spanking was Kurt, and then came my turn. My first, and only, spanking from my father.

Afterward, he sat me on his lap, we talked . . . probably about the seriousness of the crime. I’m really not sure. But what I do remember is that, rather than releasing me to sniffle in my shame, my Dad taught me how to tell time. No really! He got a clock, and moved the hands around, and taught me. I don’t know how long it took. But I walked out of that room with the feeling that though I’d really messed up, all was forgiven, and in my little girl heart, I knew Dad thought I was smart.

When we’d take a picture together, and he’d wrap his arm around me, I felt special. When he called me “sister” when he spoke of me to my four brothers, I felt special. When he walked me down the aisle, and danced with me to Frank Sinatra’s “The Second Time Around,” I felt so very special. For us, second chances meant so much.

I loved the way his face would light up when I would see him again after a long absence, and the way he would look at me and blow me a kiss when we said good-bye. Oh man, did that make me feel special.

As a little girl, I wanted to believe, because I was his only daughter, that I held a special place in my father’s heart. I realize now that Dad’s heart was so big, that there was always room for all of us. And always room for one more, and another, and another.

As I tried to teach my daughter: Love is not a pie. When you give your love to one, it does not diminish your capacity to love another. Love is an ever-expanding force that grows as we give it away.

My father lived that every day of his life.

Social Security and the CPI Cuts: A Solution to a Bogus Non-Crisis

Originally posted on Mike the Mad Biologist:


Very few scientists or science writers are so wealthy that they can ignore what happens to Social Security, so you might want to read this. Once again, despite its immense unpopularity, our political betters including some Democrats and the Obama administration, are talking about long-term cuts in Social Security. Essentially, by switching to a new cost-of-living formula, the chained CPI, in real dollar terms, Social Security payments twenty years from now would be about twenty percent lower. Keep in mind that the average monthly benefit is $1,203.72, so have fun knocking twenty percent off of that. The maximum monthly benefit is $2,513. By the way, to receive the maximum benefit you have to retire at seventy, not sixty five.

So if we’re going to cut what are pretty meager benefits, we better have a damn good reason. If you follow this at all, you’ve probably read…

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