Conservatives Attack Starbucks Holiday Coffee Cup “Gay Agenda”

Another year, another nutball controversy over a Starbucks holiday cup.

This season, Twitter is convinced that the cup features a same-sex couple holding hands. The illustration in question is part of this year’s “Give Good” theme, which lets customers color in their coffee cups.

Starbucks did not confirm or deny “the lesbianism of The Hands.” In a statement, the coffee company said, “Each year during the holidays we aim to bring our customers an experience that inspires the spirit of the season, and we will continue to embrace and welcome customers from all backgrounds and religions in our stores around the world.”

In past years, conservatives have criticized Starbucks for the “war on Christmas” and being too secular in its holiday designs. Many also denounced the new cup for its possible “gay agenda,” with some promoting the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks.

Bigoted, backwards and useless for anything but conservative cannon fodder. Please, meatheads, start a campaign for anyone whose mind is this corrupt to enlist in the US military. Encourage them to volunteer for Trump’s warzone-of-the-week. If we’re lucky their prejudice will overcome their natural-born cowardice and they can die for their 19th-Century stupidity.

As for me, even though I think my wife makes the best coffee on the planet, next time we’re in town I’ll have to stop and have a Starbucks Holiday Coffee. Just to stick my finger in the metaphorical eye of some bigot.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

US not capable of handling a flu pandemic


influenza ward, US Naval Hospital, Mare Island, California, December 1918

Despite countless breakthroughs in medicine since the 1918 flu pandemic, one key advance continues to elude researchers.

Without a universal vaccine to combat ever-changing flu strains, another pandemic threatens to overwhelm the U.S. health care system, warns Tom Inglesby, MD, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health…

A 2006 study at the Center for Health Security examined the potential impact of a 1918-type pandemic a century later, based on updated U.S. population figures and the current health care system.

“At the peak of the pandemic in the U.S., we’d have seven times more people in need of ventilation than we have ventilators, and seven times the number of people needing intensive care than we have intensive care beds,” Inglesby said.

The relatively mild pandemics of 1957, 1968 and 2009 killed between 12,000 and 70,000 in the U.S. The severe 1918 pandemic killed up to an estimated 50-100 million people worldwide, including about 675,000 in the U.S. Deaths a century ago were primarily attributed to lack of a flu vaccine, lack of antibiotics to treat superimposed bacterial pneumonia, and the absence of basic medical supplies that we take for granted now, like oxygen, IV fluids and mechanical ventilation.

Since then, improvements include effective treatments for pneumonia and emergence of vaccines that can generally be developed for a new flu strain within six months. Studies show that vaccines reduce flu risk from 40 to 60 percent—and scientists constantly seek to make them faster and more effective.

RTFA. It might also be useful to have a Congress with elected officials who care more about healthcare than squeezing out another few buck$ in tax breaks for our biggest corporations, wealthiest denizens of Wall Street.

Of course, that would require more than the 2-Party dead end we get lost in every couple of years.

Oz says “YES” to marriage equality — the fight for human rights continues

❝ The results of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey are in. Despite the voluntary nature of the survey, 12,727,920 (79.5%) eligible Australians voted.

By a margin of 61.6% to 38.4%, Australians have said “yes” to the proposition:

Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?

❝ To permit same-sex marriage, parliament must amend the Marriage Act 1961…

The definition of marriage can be simply changed by removing the words “a man and a woman” and replacing them with “two people”.

Such a change will have flow-on effects throughout Australian society. For example, celebrants will be free to officiate at legal wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples. State and territory authorities will be empowered to register same-sex marriages.

❝ Most significantly, same-sex couples will have equality of choice in how they want to formalise relationships. Those who choose to marry will be entitled to the legal benefits of marriage.

This will engage much of the usual anti-democratic sophistry and histrionics beloved of bigots and True Believers. One can only hope that the Australian Parliament will recognize the forward-looking spirit of this poll as meaningful – and predictive of the spirit of voters come the next election.

Most folks hope the bill sorting things out in legalese will be kept simple and to the point. Human rights are for all humans. Spirits in the sky are entitled to have their opinions voiced by folks who believe in such. They have no standing in civil liberties, civil rights.