October 10, 2007 archive

in Other news…

Welcome to a weekly roundup of news related to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and otherwise “Other” community.

First, a friendly PSA: tomorrow is National Coming Out Day.  There are two very important things that members of the queer community can do: 1. come out to people who don’t already know, and 2. remind people who do.  As someone (I forget who) at the yearlykos LGBT caucus noted, even the friends and family who already know don’t intuitively realize that being queer is a 24/7, 365 day a year proposition: it helps to remind them that your difficulties didn’t end when they accepted you.  Good advice, as far as I’m concerned.

In the meantime, a more stylish PSA from GLAAD, featuring some actor dude:

News and stuff below the fold:

Pony Open Thread: The Planet’s Secret Places

Cost of the War in Iraq
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Through October 15, I plan to devote my Pony Party slots to support International Blog Action Day and its focus on our environment. Below the fold is a look at some secret places on this place we call Earth… v.v.v. cool.


I have been trying to stay current with what is going on in Burma.  That isn’t easy, of course, because of the difficulty of getting stories out of the country.  If caught trying to cover what’s going on, journalists can expect the same harsh treatment from the junta as any Burmese citizen.  But still, stories emerge.

One of these stories is posted in ABITSU, All Burma I.T. Students Union.  It is about a 15 year old novice monk who is in hiding from the junta.

By timesofinda.indiatimes.com : YANGON: Just two weeks ago, Yin Phoe Htoo’s life was governed by the austere but peaceful routines of the Yangon monastery where he has spent the past five years as a novice monk.Every morning, the 15-year-old would wake up at 4:00 am, eat breakfast at dawn, and then walk through the community in his saffron robes to accept alms from residents.

But since Myanmar’s deadly crackdown on pro-democracy protests that saw Buddhist monks lead 100,000 people onto the streets, Yin Phoe Htoo now lives in hiding at one of the homes where he used to seek alms of food or small coins.

He has shed his flowing robes for a T-shirt and the traditional lungi that most men in Myanmar wear.

“I want to become a novice again. I feel uncomfortable living with the family here,” he said, giving a false name to protect himself from military reprisal.

For now he has little choice but to hide. At least three monks were killed and hundreds more were beaten or arrested as security forces used baton charges, teargas and live weapons fire to break up the monks’ peaceful protests.

jamesboyce over at Daily Kos has written a diary today with a disturbing story out of Burma, from the Sunday Times Online, entitled “Secret cremations hide Burma killings:”

THE Burmese army has burnt an undetermined number of bodies at a crematorium sealed off by armed guards northeast of Rangoon over the past seven days, ensuring that the exact death toll in the recent pro-democracy protests will never be known.

The secret cremations have been reported by local people who have seen olive green trucks covered with tarpaulins rumbling through the area at night and watched smoke rising continuously from the furnace chimneys.

jamesboyce has also set up a blog entitled burma newsladder, trying to aggregate all stories on what is going on there.

But let’s go back to Yin Phoe Htoo, the 15 year old novice monk.  One person, one story.

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Guards fire on car in Iraq, kill 2 women
By KIM GAMEL, Associated Press Writer
21 minutes ago

BAGHDAD – Guards working for an Australian-owned security company fired on a car as it approached their convoy Tuesday, killing two women before speeding away from the latest bloodshed blamed on the deadly mix of heavily armed protection details on Baghdad’s crowded streets.

The deaths of the two Iraqi Christians – including one who used the white sedan as an unofficial taxi to raise money for her family – came a day after the Iraqi government handed U.S. officials a report demanding hefty payments and the ouster from Iraq of embattled Blackwater USA for a chaotic shooting last month that left at least 17 civilians dead.

The deaths Tuesday at a Baghdad intersection may sharpen demands to curb the expanding array of security firms in Iraq watching over diplomats, aid groups and others.

On Iraq: Coddling The Congress, Criticizing Clinton

The problem with liberal pundits is that they are capable of being overtaken by herd mentalities just like their conservative colleagues. On Iraq, the majority of liberal pundits have bought into the the patently false notion that the Congress has done “everything it can” to end the war while at the same time deciding Hillary Clinton is not pure on Iraq, notwithstanding the facts. Take Harold Meyerson for instance:

. . . Congressional Democrats have honorably tried and failed to scale back the war; the Senate's requirement of a 60-vote supermajority to alter policy requires supermajority support from the public for an altered Senate.

This is simply false. Meyerson can not be ignorant of the fact that no bill need be passed to end the war. That in fact, FUNDING the war requires passage of a bill and not funding does not. Meyerson gives the Congress a free pass while taking shots at Hillary Clinton:

Pony Party, some good news….

Every once in a while, you see a news story that makes you feel good about people again.

Paul Sucher was on a waiting list for a new kidney when a Kirby Vacuum Cleaner salesman knocked on his door.  When Sucher told Jamie Howard that he couldn’t afford a Kirby because of his disability, Howard was touched. 

US tells Turkey to stay out of Iraq

Uh oh.

A short except as I don’t have permission for a full cross-post – (I’ve put in a request to site editor – if that comes, I’ll update):

Turkey and America’s strategic partnership is at risk because of the tension growing between the Turkish army on the border of Iraq and the ~3,000 outlawed PKK Kurdish fighters said to be using the mountainous region as a base from which to strike inside Turkey:

The Turkish government is seeking parliamentary approval for a possible cross-border military operation to hunt down Kurdish separatists in Iraq.

Here’s a link to the story.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

The muses are ancient.  The inspirations for our stories were said to be born from them.  Muses of song and dance, or poetry and prose, of comedy and tragedy, of the inward and the outward.  In one version they are Calliope, Euterpe and Terpsichore, Erato and Clio, Thalia and Melpomene, Polyhymnia and Urania.

It has also been traditional to name a tenth muse.  Plato declared Sappho to be the tenth muse, the muse of women poets.  Others have been suggested throughout the centuries.  I don’t have a name for one, but I do think there should be a muse for the graphical arts.  And maybe there should be many more.

Please join us inside to celebrate our various muses…

[Inside: Part V of America the Ugly]

dubya’s library

Three years ago next month the Clinton library opened.

Three years.

November 2004, some of us had yet to get up from the floor, others seethed while still others moved on to action. “2006” was the cry. There was hope amidst all the bad, Howard Dean and the DNC comes to mind, but then it got really, really bad. dubya was ‘reselected’ and all pretense was dropped, political capital ruled the day. The constitution was shrouded shredded; dissent was suppressed, personal rights disappeared and fear was mongered as never before.

Through it all there remained the image of dubya; dubya dropping the dog, choking on a pretzel, bulging inappropriately or those “WTF” moments like the door in China or the malaprops or all of the unapologetic flights to idiocy (the gynecologists line or “Need some wood”). Ah, memories of a great so-so truly bad president.

Mitt Romney Says Fuck Off to Dying Medical Marijuana Patient

Good Job, Mitt!  Your Cruelty knows no bounds!
More down there…

Cognitive Liberty

Of all the freedoms you have to lose, none is more fundamental than the freedom of thought. 

Pony Party: Music for the gosh oh gee of it! w/poll

With things being so serious lately, what with the SCHIP override coming up and an apparent capitulation on FISA, I thought it was a good time to put some music up for no reason whatever!  🙂

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