Amazonfail: Amazon dropping ‘adult’ content from rankings.

I just saw this post at a site that I frequent(*),:

Amazon De-ranks “Adult” Books

This is not a crisis, nor should we run screaming, but I think it is important enough that every reader, writer, publisher, editor and all champions of freedom of expression should take note. Amazon has changed its policy and has de-ranked books that it deems “adult” in nature. This includes anything they count as erotica and many non-adult LGBT books, as well. De-ranking means that they have been pulled from the sales ranks and are also not coming up in the search engine.

(and this particular euphemism always amuses me … dropping adult content rankings? That means only children are supposed to refer to Amazon ratings?)

NOM, NOM, NOM. Fibbers extraordinaire

Also posted on Daily Kos. I figured I would share here, too.

First, I know that I am preaching to the proverbial choir on this. Please comment, but this diary is as much for lurkers, trolls, and freepers as it is for this community.

Second, I am an entrenched GLBT ally. I have no direct and solely personal interest in same sex marriage, but I have family, friends, and online friends who are. That’s more than enough for me to get involved.

Third, and this will come as the shocker of the week, but it turns out that the National Organization for Marriage is a bunch of liars.

Fourth, I haven’t gone off on a good rant in a while and I don’t have a date this Friday evening (or most Friday evenings for that matter). So this is my outlet for righteous indignation.

Fifth: I am the sort of person who reads methodology sections in academic papers. I actually enjoy this sort of thing.

Friday Philosophy: Who moved the camembert?

Recently I’ve read several essays gloating about the death of the anti-gay forces.  I understand the urge to do that gloating, but I’d like to caution people that a longer view is useful.  We have, in fact, won very little thus far.

And that ugly beast may be mortally wounded, but it is still quite dangerous.  Declaring victory too soon is also dangerous, if it means people stop working towards equality.

Perhaps a look at where we have come from and what we have accomplished so far is in order.  Enclosed within is a little amateur history of the movement for GLBT rights.

Friday Philosophy: marriage equality

It was supposed to be Gay Pride Week here on campus.  Everything has conspired to screw that up, not the least of which were apathy and poor organizational ability by the volunteer coordinators of the event, including yours truly.

Our main mode of communication has been webmail.  That went down for two days in the middle of the week.  

Today there were thunder showers.  It is not a good idea to stand around in an open field, let alone on a podium with a microphone, if there is going to be lighting.  So AV Services didn’t even set up the mike.  The rally was canceled.

But I did write a speech and I don’t want to waste it.  You’ll find it on the other side, embellished with whatever doo-dads I can think of, find, or create.

Friday Philosophy: prelude to apathy?

It’s that time of year again.  Next week is Gay Pride Week on campus here at Bloomfield College.  Sometimes it is a little earlier, but usually it is a little later.  But the second week of April includes Easter Break, so it was now or never.

I’d love it if it were a time of joy.  But I often find it to be rather depressing.  I’ve been one of the co-coordinators of the Gay/NonGay Alliance since I got a full-time job here in 2001.  I wish I could say it has been rewarding.

The truth is that it has all been an uphill journey.  No matter which direction one looks, it is uphill.

Declaration pushed at UN for inclusive universal human rights

Last week was the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Born from the horrors of WWII,  all the members of the UN stood together to clearly define basic human rights. Through the years it has become the widely accepted as the universal agreement for human rights and is the most translated document in the world, found 360 different languages.

The UDHR is not a binding treaty, however it does enumerate human rights as stipulated in the UN Charter, which is binding on all UN members and has become an important part of international law. It also stands as the foundation for two additional UN Pacts which are binding, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.

Unfortunately all human beings hasn’t been all inclusive. Follow me below the fold for this stunning and historic move by members of the United Nations.

Friday Philosophy: Stories at the Inn

By the end of the night we are expecting 5 to 7 inches of snow with a quarter of an inch of ice on top.  And my sinus is roaring in protest.  So the best I can do here is hope for something resembling coherence.

This morning there was a request by jlms qkw that we share A Few of our Favorite Things:

My favorite things are freedom from tyranny, especially the tyranny of the majority, the freedom to be Other, the liberty to be happy and at peace with myself.

But my most favorite thing is the ability to speak up for others who have not been as fortunate as I.

There are a lot of people who are less fortunate than I.  I cannot stand idly by while they don’t have the freedoms I have.

So I use the only weapon to fight for them that I have, which are my words.

Come on in and sit by the fireplace awhile.

Brutal violence against gays, trans, etc.

Lest we forget:

The number of reported attacks against LGBT people increased 24 percent in 2007 over 2006, and they were expected to jump in 2008, said Sharon Stapel, executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

Associated Press

Not everything in the gay, lesbian, transgender, and otherwise queer world is about marriage and inauguration prayers.  But understanding these things in the context of fear and violence can help us come to terms with the anger and frustration that a lot of queer voters are facing.  Follow me below for more stories and statistics.

Do you know your LGBT history?

How well do you know LGBT history in the United States?

I put together a short (15 question) quiz addressing different facts, figures, and facets of this long and diverse history.  See how many you know, then join me for a discussion in the comments section below.

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