Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Drive-by postings

I haven't had much time to read, let alone post, recently because I started a new job (where I'm actually busy working and setting up infrastructure) not too long ago. To make matters worse, my mom was just diagnosed with cancer and I'm just popping in as a diversion until she's out of surgery/post-op. I'm sure I'll need a diversion over the next few weeks/months, whether I'll actually have any time is another story. If I don't have a chance to say it before Thursday, I hope ya'll have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Crypto 'mos strike again

Pam has another story on the ex-gay movement claiming that their conversion to biblically mandated heterosexuality is proof that no-one is really gay, they just choose to ignore G-d's word to appease their deviant sexual desires.
However, one of the conference speakers, Exodus International president Alan Chambers, disagrees. "I myself was a homosexual man 15 years ago," he says, "and for over a decade now, I have been leading a heterosexual life. And it wasn't about me hating myself; it was about me wanting something different than what I found myself struggling with." [Agape Press]

The "ex-gay" movement touts a party line basically claims that those who remain homosexual are really straight people who actively sublimate their feelings and desires for the opposite sex in order to reject G-d's word and fulfill their most base desires to commit sodomy (an act that is apparently acceptable when performed by a "good Christian man", even when it's not consensual). Despite this, I've noticed that the majority of ex-gays substantiate their claims by making statements about their conversion like Chambers' own comment above "I was homosexual then, but now I lead a heterosexual life."

Being heterosexual and leading a heterosexual life are not the same thing. For many years, most homosexuals were forced by society to hide in the closet and lead a socially acceptable heterosexual life (or at least provide the appearance of doing so) - that did not make them straight, it had them living a lie. In principle, they're much like the Crypto-Jews who were forced to feign Catholicism (those who escaped to places like England pretended to be Catholic or Protestant depending on who the crowned monarch was at the time, in other countries some were forced to adapt an appearance of being Muslim), yet they were still Jews most of whom secretly practiced their religion. Centuries later, there are still Catholic families (primarily of Spanish decent) who are finding out that some of their family religious traditions are the vestiges of those who were forced to convert, verifying that purporting to be something you're not and leading a life inconsistent with your nature does not mean you are what society demands you to be.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

and then there were three

Explain how this helps Libby's case. As far as I'm concerned, National Security Advisor's penchant for whispering those sweet nothings known as classified information in to Bob Woodward's ear lends more credence to the suggestions of a conspiracy across the administration to violate their Non-disclosure Agreements and regulations applicable to the handling of classified information in order to advance the WHIG agenda.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Philly adolescent missing

I just got home to an email from Tulin noting that Philly PD issued an alert about 12-year old Hudson Carter who hasn't been seen since 6 PM last night (14Nov05). Hudson is 5'3 and about 180 pounds with brown eyes, a medium brown complexion and short brown hair. He was wearing a white T-shirt & blue jeans when he was last seen.

Hudson suffers from depression and is known to frequent the Cheltenham Mall.

If you have any information about Hudson's disappearance contact the Northwest Detective Division at 215-686-3353 or 215-686-3354.

UPDATE 17Nov05 (courtesy of Tulin): Apparently the Philly PD had his first name wrong, it's really Harrison. Luckily, the error in the first name didn't seem to do any harm, he's been located.


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PA senatorial race: what would Jesus do?

As noted by Kos, Rick "please don't associate me with the Preznit" Santorum has challenged presumed Democratic opponent, Bob "I got my cred the old fashioned way - I inherited it" Casey, Jr to a debate. We all know that the election is a little less than a year away and that, despite the insistence Chuck Schumer and the Republocrat party that all Democrats pretend Casey is running unopposed in the primary, there is a Democrat challenging Casey who is worthy of consideration. Chuck Pennacchio has repeatedly challenged Casey to a debate to no avail, so it's unlikely that Casey's camp will agree to a debate this far in advance, especially since Santorum has a penchant for parading his ignorance and (more recently) and flip-flopping on issues - especially when he is directly affected by the outcome.

Since Santorum has challenged Casey to a debate well in advance of the primary, it's telling that Chuck Pennacchio was not invited as well. Conventional wisdom would dictate that including Pennacchio in a debate would increase his visibility and threaten Casey's presumed landslide victory. The only reason for Santorum to exclude Pennachio would be that he fears that the potential increase in Pennachio's name recognition and the likely outcome of a stellar defeat would make the latter candidate a bigger threat if he were to win the primary. Pennacchio should publicly insist that he be included in a Santorum v Casey debate and that, if/when Casey declines (including a non-response to the challenge), the plan for debate continue between himself and Santorum regardless of Casey's [lack of] participation.

Hat Tip to Albert

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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Science organizations refuse to let creationsists make a monkey out of them

Jennifer Granick's recent Wired News article accusing the science organizations National Academy of Sciences (NAS) & National Science Teacher's Association (NSTA) of abusing Intellectual Property (IP) rights by refusing to allow the Kansas State Board of Education to incorporate their science education standards manuals into the state's public school science curriculum because the state plans to require teaching of religiously based Intelligent Design (ID) into its science curriculum. IP is a really hot topic these days with people using it to claim ownership of intangible ideas and concepts in the midst of sociological academic research and suggestions that the government use eminent domain to wrestle IP and patents from proprietary drug manufacturers and provide them to generic firms (who can sell them at a significantly lower price because they do not identify or develop the drug in the lab or pay to conduct any of the research that goes into proving the compound is safe and efficacious).

Granick likens the refusal by the NAS and NTSA to the stifling free speech when that speech involves complaints of a product's inadequacies and/or election fraud. There is a big diference between the stifling of free speech and refusal to allow an organization to incorporate a curriculum manual for the purposes of adulterating it. What the Kansas state board of education wants to do is assert a claim of the scientific legitimacy of ID by associating it with a respected science education plan (inserting ID into the science education plans of the organizations) when the organizations that created the copywrited material want to maintain the scientific and intellectual integrity of their copyrighted material. The state is trying to have it both ways by maintaining accreditation of their science curriculum by using the NAS and NTSA manuals while undermining the integrity of those manuals by insinuating a program that is inconsistent with the standards of those manuals. The NAS and NSTA, on the other hand, are refusing to permit the state to incorporate the manuals because it would be seen as a tactic endorsement/approval of a revision to the curriculum that does not meet the high scientific standards of those organizations. If the state board of educators is so sure they know so much more about what is and is not science than these organizations do, they should develop their own manuals instead of expecting the science organizations with whom they openly disagree to provide them with the permission they need to use theirs. Kansas can determine what they will mandate as part of their science curriculum, but that does not mean that the rest of us must accept their students as having received an accurate and acceptable science education.

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Support the troops now so you can screw em over later

How to be a patriotic Christofascist: support the troops by sending them to an unneccessary war without the proper equipment and then turn a deaf ear if they survive to come home. What a happy Veteran's day they can have tomorrow.

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Monday, November 07, 2005

Maybe I really am a guy with a rack

Anyone who believes this has never had the great (dis)pleasure of being in a car with me at the wheel.

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Missing Monday: missing Florida man

35-year old Mazi Bul Haque hasn't been seen since October 30th when he closed the Super Shop 5, a Jacksonville convenience store he owns.
"When he left that was the last time anybody ever heard from him, so anything could have happened," said Amin. "He was needing to go to the bank to make a deposit." Co-workers say they checked Austin Bank and found out the money never got there. When they opened the store the next morning, they say everything was normal. That is, until he didn't show up for work that night." [KTLV]
Haque is 5' 6" weighs 130 pounds, has black hair, brown eyes and a tatoo on his right shoulder. He drives a black 2003 Ford Expedition w/ Florida license plate W31 PYR. Updates can be found at Angels Missing. If you have any information about Haque's disappearance or whereabouts please contact the Cherokee County Sheriff's at 903-683-2271.

Previous Missing Monday posts

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Sunday, November 06, 2005

McCain sells soul for presidential bid

As Pam points out, after enduring the ire of the Christofascists for making a cameo appearance in the fundie-unfriendly movie the Wedding Crashers, little Johnny has decided to roll over in bed in order to make sweet political to them. To this effect, he's not only thrown his support behind Arizona's keep 'mos from marrying amendment & endorsed religion in a lab coat (aka "Intelligent Design"), he's also been actively courting support of Lindsey Graham (potential VP) and had a romantic tête-à-tête with teletubby arch-nemesis Jerry Falwell. As a matter of fact, McCain's now so desperate to shed his moderate credentials he's now supporting Karl Rove by insisting Turdblossom should retain his top secret security clearance despite Karl's own admission he gossips about classified information with people who have no security clearance whatsoever and and be an anonymous source to reporters who plan to publicize that top secret info well before it's safe to declassify the information.

It never ceases to amaze me how those so opposed to sodomy they want legislation to ban it (except when performed on/by a female and/or when the male engaged in sodomy with another male is a Republican) take such pleasure in getting male politicians in the jack-knife position, but then it seems as though McCain really enjoys sticking his ass in the air for the likes of Rove.

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Friday, November 04, 2005

Three Dems and a Republican

Talk about forcing the issue. Democratic Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Joseph Crowley of New York, Jay Inslee of Washington, and Republican Rep. Christopher Shays of Connecticut introduced a bill yesterday that didn't get much press in all the brouhaha of Scalito's nomination and the aftermath of Democratic testicular development in the aftermath of Scooter's indictment.
The measure says the Plan B pill, made by Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc., would be automatically be approved for over-the-counter sale 30 days after the bill's passage, until the agency makes a decision. [Reuters]
I can't wait to watch this move played out!

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what's the purpose of spousal notification?

Shakes has posted about Krauthammer's latest bout of asshattery in support of Scalito's stance on requiring a woman to notify her husband prior to obtaining an abortion. The renewed visitation of one of the late Bob Casey's preferred requirements for obtaining an abortion legally begs an obvious question: what's the purpose of this notification when the woman does not have to obtain her husband's permission to obtain the abortion? Yes, it would be ideal if a couple communicated openly about pregnancy and agreed on its disposition, but this is not always the case.

There are reasons why women don't tell their husbands they are pregnant and planning to have an abortion including, but not limited to: the woman knows her husband played no part in the conception (either due to adultery or due to her entering into a relationship with another man prior to finalization of a divorce); the woman knows her husband would not support her decision to terminate; or there is a legitimate reason to suspect that notification would induce or exacerbate spousal abuse.

Another reason a woman may decide not to inform her husband about her pregnancy and decision to terminate is because the husband is in a situation in which the woman thinks this knowledge may be detrimental to her husband's emotional and/or physical health. [When I was 19 & found out I was pregnant, I struggled not only with a decision whether to terminate but also with if/when to tell my ex-boyfriend and parents. My roommate and friends all thought I should tell my ex to get him to pay for the procedure and were adamantly opposed to my telling my parents. As much as I could have used the financial assistance, my ex had just started rehab in a distant state and I really thought that this bit of info could negatively impact his recovery, so I opted not to tell him anything. I did, however, tell my parents because I thought they had a right to know why I'd been so violently ill.]

While I don't think keeping secrets (especially ones of this magnitude) bodes well for a marriage, I don't think legislation forcing communication about one issue between a couple serves any legitimate state purpose or is in the interests of anyone but those who wish to erect an additional barrier to abortion and reinforce the traditional belief that a woman is subordinate to her husband.

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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Bush blasting raises awareness of EC

Dubya and his fundie friends have inadvertently done a service to Barr Labs and frightened women who don't want to get pregnent. Thanks to the brouhaha over the FDA's constant captitulation to those who feel a need to refute science on biblical grounds, annual sales of Barr's Plan B alone has doubled in the past two years.
It has generated a ton of publicity, and that almost surely has a consequence of increasing awareness - and awareness is still the biggest barrier to use," said Princeton University economist James Trussell, a longtime proponent of emergency contraception. [Inky]
The heightened publicity has helped reach women prior to being in emergent need such that many rape victims who would not otherwise be counseled about emergency contraception by hospitals and health care providers who put their religious beliefs ahead of appropriate medical treatment and ensuring patients can make informed decisions about treatment/intervention.

The FDA has still not made a final decision regarding approval of OTC/behind the counter status of Plan B despite the fact clinical data supports it's safety and the lame arguments of religious groups such as the claim use of the drug encourages risky sexual behavior & increases sexually transmitted infections are easily refuted.

The latest argument against EC from the religious wingnuts is that easy availability of the drug will assist statutory rapists cover up their crime, a statement that begs the questions as to whether their next campaign will be to remove access to all non-prescription methods of contraception (and or those a man can can advantage of himself) and how they can justify forcing a pregnancy on a female for the sole purpose of obtaining DNA to match to a man in order to press criminal charges? Regardless, the louder and more inane they are, they more they help promote EC to those they are trying to ensure have no accurate knowledge of sex education.

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