Monthly Archives: February 2006

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Attention, geeks — I’ve got computer woes.

This afternoon, I (rather stupidly) spilled coffee all over my desktop keyboard. I managed to dry/shake out most of the intruding fluid off the keys — but now my keyboard is acting funky.

Everything was okay for the first hour or so after the spill, but then, whenever I would press a key, it would act as if I was pressing control+the key. (for example: I’d press “i” and it would act as if I pressed control+i and would turn on the italics macro)

I restarted the computer, and when I did, then the keyboard wouldn’t respond AT all. So, I tried replacing the keyboard with an older one we have around the house, and it wouldn’t work, either.

Luckily, I have a USB port-replicator, and so now I’m plugging in the keyboard through that, and not the regular keyboard port (that doesn’t appear to be working). Apparently, while composing this, my Dell keyboard lost its ability to use the space key, so I’m on the old keyboard.

Could I have shorted out the keyboard port in my coffee spillage? What’s the next step for me to do? This port-replicator deal is working for now, but I’d rather be able to plug in my keyboard directly.

This is my first spillage incident, involving computers. While I’m *so glad* it was a keyboard, and NOT my laptop, it’s still really frustrating.

HELP!

Today’s reading

… will be from Yann Martel’s Life of Pi (page 78):

There are always those who take it upon themselves to defend God, as if Ultimate Reality, as if the sustaining frame of existence, were something weak and helpless. These people walk by a widow deformed by leprosy begging for a few paise, walk by children dressed in rags living in the street, and they think, “Business as usual.” But if they perceive a slight against God, it is a different story. Their faces go red, their chests heave mightily, they sputter angry words. The degree of their indignation is astonishing. Their resolve is frightening.

These people fail to realize that it is on the inside that God must be defended, not on the outside. They should direct their anger at themselves. For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart. Meanwhile, the lot of widows and homeless children is very hard, and it is to their defence, not God’s, that the self-righteous should rush.

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News roundup:

  • Pentagon: Iraqi Troops Downgraded: The only Iraqi battalion capable of fighting without U.S. support has been downgraded to a level requiring them to fight with American troops backing them up, the Pentagon said Friday.
  • US agrees not to fund abstinence program: The federal government agreed to stop funding a nationwide program that promotes teen abstinence to settle a lawsuit alleging the money was used for Christian proselytizing.
  • Barrier Methods: Why it’s so hard to get birth control at Planned Parenthood: Conservatives paint Planned Parenthood as an abortion mill and birth-control factory, an institution that doles out emergency contraception to teenage girls like Halloween candy. But a few years ago, I realized birth control wasn’t quite as easy to get as I (or the religious right) thought.

    [...] And the president’s appropriations for the program have stagnated. Right now, Title X’s annual allotment is $283 million a year; if it kept pace with inflation, that number would be $693 million. But instead of increasing funding, the Bush administration is funneling money to abstinence-only education, which doesn’t provide information on contraception — or health care.

(incidentially, more insurance companies cover the costs of Viagra than will cover the costs of birth control pills)

Ohio Republicans banned from adopting children?

If an Ohio lawmaker’s proposal becomes state law, Republicans would be barred from being adoptive parents.

State Sen. Robert Hagan sent out e-mails to fellow lawmakers late Wednesday night, stating that he intends to “introduce legislation in the near future that would ban households with one or more Republican voters from adopting children or acting as foster parents.” The e-mail ended with a request for co-sponsorship.

On Thursday, the Youngstown Democrat said he had not yet found a co-sponsor.

Hagan said his “tongue was planted firmly in cheek” when he drafted the proposed legislation. However, Hagan said that the point he is trying to make is nonetheless very serious.

Hagan said his legislation was written in response to a bill introduced in the Ohio House this month by state Rep. Ron Hood, R-Ashville, that is aimed at prohibiting gay adoption.

“We need to see what we are doing,” said Hagan, who called Hood’s proposed bill blatantly discriminatory and extremely divisive. Hagan called Hood and the eight other conservative House Republicans who backed the anti-gay adoption bill “homophobic.”

Hood’s bill, which does not have support of House leadership, seeks to ban children from being placed for adoption or foster care in homes where the prospective parent or a roommate is homosexual, bisexual or transgender.

To further lampoon Hood’s bill, Hagan wrote in his mock proposal that “credible research” shows that adopted children raised in Republican households are more at risk for developing “emotional problems, social stigmas, inflated egos, and alarming lack of tolerance for others they deem different than themselves and an air of overconfidence to mask their insecurities.”

However, Hagan admitted that he has no scientific evidence to support the above claims.

Just as “Hood had no scientific evidence” to back his assertion that having gay parents was detrimental to children, Hagan said.

“It flies in the face of reason when we need to reform our education system, address health care and environmental issues that we put energy and wasted time (into) legislation (Hood’s) like this,” continued Hagan, who has been in the Ohio Senate nine years. Before the Senate, he served 19 years in the Ohio House.

link

I love it.


grrrl meets world –

[noun]:

A level headed person who always makes the wrong decision

‘How will you be defined in the dictionary?’ at QuizGalaxy.com

via

Fish can’t fly

From the website:

Is religion something that only belongs to a few? Taking a secular point of view, FISH CAN’T FLY explores the lives of Gay men and women of faith as they recall their journeys to put their sexuality and spirituality in harmony. While the whole concept of changing ones’ sexual orientation may be viewed with a high level of skepticism, ridicule and even humor by the larger GLBT community, these are the stories of those who have tried.

Finding that their strong religious convictions and faith seemed to be used against them, these are the personal stories of people who have participated in “ex-gay” ministries and found in fact that they did not provide a “cure“…. the answers seemed to come from within. The stories they recall are sad, frightening, poignant and yet surprisingly inspiring and enlightening. With less of a focus on the “ex-gay” movement, the film is more about the telling of stories behind the debate and the role religion can play in one’s life. During our lives, each of us embarks on a journey to find our place in the world. Being Gay can make that process more difficult….being Gay and having strong religious convictions can make it doubly hard.

This afternoon the University chaplins screened the documentary Fish Can’t Fly. It is such a good (and important) film, that I’m already ordering a copy of it. I’m hoping that I can show it to some important people in my life, if only so that they can see the other side of a polarized issue in the Church.

I know that I’m still processing a lot of what I saw. The movie consists of several gay men and lesbian women who share their stories of what it is like to grow up gay in the Church. Most of them ended up in several ex-gay ministries (or “miseries”) — where they were forced to divide their sexuality from their spirituality, in a desperate effort to be accepted amongst God’s people.

Some of their stories were heart-wrecking. Many of them earnestly tried to deny an inherent part of themselves, mainly out of an institutionalized self-loathing. They attended programs, only to be taught that their natural desires were akin to cannibalism (!!) — and that in order to be accepted into God’s kingdom, they’d forever have to live a lie and deny any natural inclinations that God gave them. These men and women endured rejection upon rejection from the people closest to them — and many of them were sucidial as result. (and yet are still people out there who believe this is a “willful choice?!”)

At one point, a psychologist was talking about the effect of these reparation ex-gay programs — you know, the ones that are intended to make gay people straight. This doctor likened these programs to a covert form of sexual abuse. He said that when sexual molestation happens to a young child, it is because the adult is forcing his or her sexuality upon the child. The adult is, in essence, saying that his/her sexuality is more of a priority than that of the child’s — it’s overt sexual abuse. Covert sexual abuse is when you are told that your sexuality is not natural, and must be either transformed or never acted upon — because it’s “God’s will.”

Throughout history, the Bible has been used to justify prejudice in a variety of ways — discriminating against gender, race, and now homosexuality. There’s nothing worse than institutionalized ignorance, and my passion is to show the human side behind this divisive issue. I want people who are so ardently against homosexuals (including those who “hate the sin, love the sinner) to see the person behind the doctrine. It just tears me up inside to see my friends, who I love, discriminated against because of something biological that was out of their control. It is SO unfair to make someone who’s gay have to decide between their spirituality and their sexuality. How is that possible? Which would you choose?

My passion for this topic stems from my own experience. I also know what it’s like to be told how I am “supposed” to act and believe. Growing up in an evangelical church, I knew where my place was, as a woman. I was quoted, chapter and verse, sections of the Bible that told me where I fit into the hierarchy of relationships and leadership within the Church. If I questioned, I was told to “have more faith” (translated: sit down and shut up).

I also know what it’s like to have certain Bible verses thrown in your face, ones that forever change the way people see you.

RLP posted on this topic yesterday, and he referred to this video, by Dr. Lewis Smedes. In it, he says:

…and then I met a lot of other gay people, lesbian people, who suffered a lot — in the hands, of all things, their churches. The ONE place on this Earth where grace, and love, and fairness ought to be the theme of life for them. Their gay children — their gay sons, their lesbian daughters — are treated with such cruelty and injustice.

Nobody that I’ve met in these churches wants to be cruel — and wants to be unjust and unfair in their treatment of them. But, their minds are so conditioned that when they are cruel to homosexual people, their minds tell them that all they are doing is eschewing rejecting SIN. And, that grieves me so terribly.

I think that the Church’s treatment of homosexuality has become the greatest heresy in the history of the Church. It’s living heresy — because it’s treating God’s children as if they’re not God’s children. If there’s any heresy in the world, it’s that. It isn’t just that the Church is making a mistake — it’s doing a great wrong.

Watch it.

Much more to say on this, but I’ll save it for another day (& another rant).

Sites I never knew existed: