Shower arguments: the silliness is almost over

Sometime Saturday Michael Sam will find out if he is part of the St. Louis Rams’ 53-man roster, their practice squad, or cut. As the first openly gay player on an NFL team, his fate will be news. His shower habits are not news. Nor is the opinion of an unidentified teammate on said shower [...]

About that miracle cure


I almost worked on Ebola virus. A PhD candidate at Emory University, I had the option of working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After reading The Hot Zone and a lecture on emerging diseases from one of its heroes, C.J. Peters, I was ready to don bio-hazard gear for a P4 lab. [...]

Streaks end. Their meaning doesn’t

It finally happened. After a string of court victories for marriage equality, Circuit Court Judge Russell E. Simmons Jr., upheld Tennessee’s amendment against same-sex marriage, becoming the first jurist to uphold such a ban since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act last year. Having not won a case [...]

A good idea emerges on assistance programs

When Rep. Paul Ryan releases a new economic plan, I am typically left to wonder if he is on something. With his new plan for helping the poor, however, I think he might be onto something. Not the idea that poor people need a nanny to help them pull it together, mind you. That’s demeaningly [...]

Where are they now?


When Jo Becker’s book Forcing the Spring: Inside the fight for marriage equality was published earlier this year, it set off a firestorm of arguments about who had contributed how much to the effort and when. Given the breadth of the title, some long term LGBT activists felt it focused too much on Hollingsworth v [...]

2014 ENDA: a sense of deja vu?

“Was it the same cat?” That was Trinity’s question in The Matrix, when Neo reported seeing two black cats in rapid succession. In the movie, déjà vu is a glitch that portends a dangerous change in the computer program. Watching multiple advocacy groups again remove their support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) has given [...]

A bad day in court

Last year, the decisions of the Supreme Court’s June term were met with joyful celebration in San Diego’s LGBT community, with decisions bringing an end to both California’s Proposition 8 and part of the Defense of Marriage Act. The final day of the 2014 spring Supreme Court term was markedly different, with decisions that clearly [...]

Primaries: ‘a great night for Republicans’ — really?

Scientists rarely get to create their own facts. Politicians do. Say something enough times, and people start to think it’s true. Like the idea that last Tuesday’s primary was a great night for San Diego Republicans. Sorry, but I respectfully disagree. Let’s start with the numbers. In Congressional primaries, Republicans lost 3:2. They are happy [...]

Addressing the VA health care scandal

Medicine can be confusing. It is therefore often assumed that problems with medical centers and health care delivery are confusing. Sometimes they are, but not in the case of the current scandals at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA medical centers do not have a medicine problem. They have a math problem, a reality [...]

Equality physics

Escape velocity is the speed needed to break away from a planet without eventually being pulled back by gravity. Hit it, and you can coast to the freedom of open space without hitting the jets again. For Earth, it’s about 25,000 mph. The escape velocity of a political movement can’t be calculated, but there is [...]

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