Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Updates - BP Spill, #LGBT & #DADT, Prison Geeks, etc.

Share on Twitter:

Did you think I was going to totally ignore the US just because I skipped the SOTU? Nah, I can totally do both! It's just going to be kind of low key this week, you know, laid back. Maybe even a bit silly at times. And I just need to actually find out what's going on in the US... (I needed to take a break for a while. America really pisses me off sometimes...)

  • BP Oil Spill - Surprise, surprise, the oil's still down there. And guess what? So are the dispersants. (Warning - high science content! Yay!)
  • 63 year old Roger Stockham was arrested today outside one of the largest mosques in the country, in Dearborn, Michigan. He carried with him a large quantity of explosives.
  • While I don't particularly want to draw attention to certain people right now, I thought this was worth sharing today: out of all the Rush Limbaugh boycotts we've seen over the years, I don't think any of them have been as widespread and fast-moving as this one. His racist comments and derogatory imitations following Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the US have spurred a national backlash among activists and Asian-Americans. California state senator Leland Yee (D, from San Francisco) is at the forefront of this movement demanding an apology from Limbaugh, as well as a withdrawal from his sponsors. And in related news, Glenn Beck's ratings have dropped to an all time low and are continuing to fall. So low he has apparently already been dropped by NY's WOR station. See, I thought we could use a bit of good news...
  • Have I mentioned what's been going on with DADT lately? We might see some action on the implementation of repeal as soon as February 4th. Hey, it's a start. We're getting there.
  • In other LGBT news, Brenda Namigadde, a lesbian woman from Uganda, won temporary reprieve from deportation back to Uganda (where she would very, very likely be killed...). A British High Court judge granted an injunction.
    • Also Re: Uganda - on that same day, David Kato, the gay rights leader who was recently murdered, was buried. Many believe that his death occurred as a result of the American evangelicals who had increased anti-gay sentiments (Maddow video) and influenced Uganda's "Kill the Gays" law, as well as the Rolling Stone tabloid's vicious hit list.
    • And on a semi-related note, it seems that gay people seeking asylum in America are being faced with a new and appalling challenge. In the Czech Republic, gay asylum seekers were forced to undergo arousal testing (fellow psych geeks should know how this works... It used to be done on prisoners, if they were gay or sexual offenders, in America, for "rehabilitation" research. For everyone else - imagine being forced to watch porn while a scientist stares at, pokes, and measures the responses of your nether-regions... And if it's just not doing it for you, you're labeled "sick.") Men are given two options - get measured, or get deported. While I could rant about about all of the problems with mandatory arousal testing (especially how it discriminates against asexuals), I'll let you research that for yourself. In the US today, asylum seekers are forced to conform to an immigration officer's idea of what a LGBT person should look or act like. LGBT people are being forced to "prove" their gayness by representing stereotypes and submitting to humiliating "tests," just to be taken seriously.
  • This just cracks me up. Apparently even geeks in prison want the right to play D&D (that's Dungeons & Dragons for all of you non-geeks out there. I'm a proud nerd and tech/art/book geek. D&D is much lower on the hierarchy of geekdom, so my knowledge on the subject is very limited. But I know the name and that it involves role-playing of some sort and dice with many sides... I dunno, google it.) Apparently some prison officials have banned the game because they believe it could lead to gang behavior. Gang behavior. And escape fantasies. (Well, I'm sure there is some sort of fantasy involved in playing the game, and I'm sure many prisoners already have "escape fantasies." But I suspect the point they're talking about, or anything worth worrying about, is actually not so much a fantasy but a psychological disorder... Extreme delusions?) And like I said, the image that popped into my head... A gang of this:
That's a hardcore gang member alright! The death penalty will never be a deterrent - but mandatory D&D games? Ack.
  • Boehner felt a need to comment on his crying... Honestly, it's not a big deal. Men can cry. It's allowed. In fact, it's encouraged. It's ok, dude, let your feelings out. You're allowed to have them. You're human. Just don't ever diss a woman for being "too emotional" either. And please, for the love of ____, stop tanning!!!
  • Remember the Rent is Too Damn High guy who was trying to run for NY governor? Jimmy McMillan? Apparently now he's running for president in 2012. As a Republican-- so that he doesn't have to face Obama in a primary. 
    • On a side note, he has interesting views... I'd say he might actually be sort of moderate. Admires a certain Alaskan's political views, wants to essentially force one parent to stay home and raise the children, supports allowing Christianity to dictate/influence laws, doesn't believe in global warming... But also completely supports LGBT rights and gives full support for marriage equality, believes in free (in state?) college tuition, social justice, federal education programs and social programs for senior citizens. At least he did, when he was running for governor. Yet somehow he plans to do all of this by cutting taxes (for property owners). I'm not entirely sure how lowering taxes will "raise tax revenue," but good luck with that.
  • There was a protest in California today, against the Koch brothers
  • Whatever happened to rules reform in the Senate? All I've seen is this - it failed?
  • This just in in World News - Sudan suceded?!

I'll try to update this a little more, later. There are few really interesting things in my news feed right now... I need to slough through it some more.

No comments: