February 5th, 2011


Emergency News: How Teh Gey Can Give you Cancer and Make You Addicted to Nicotine!

Conservative Science Already Working on a Gay Patch, "GayDerm CQ": Side Effects May Include Spontaneous Homophobia, Outbreak of Republicanonitus, Explosive Hypocrisy Leaking, Outright Support of Family Values, and Fondness for Deep Closets.

Leading Iowa ‘Family’ Group Compares Homosexuality To ‘Second Hand’ Cigarette Smoke

Good As You’s Jeremy Hooper has put together a video exposing the anti-gay rhetoric of The Family Leader, a conservative group spearheading the repeal same-sex-marriage campaign in Iowa. The organization’s president, Bob Vander Plaats, has embarked on a 99-county tour in which he presents The Family Leader as a traditional religious group that is more interested in restoring biblical values than slandering gay people. “The Family Leader affirms sexual relations within the bond of marriage, and opposes distortions of sexuality or special rights to those practicing distorted sexual behavior,” the group’s website states.

But as Hooper discovered, a slight alternation of the organization’s website reveals SecondHandEffects.com, a site which describes homosexuality as a public health crisis akin to smoking and endorses discredited ex-gay reversal therapies:
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Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Why more Americans don't travel abroad

Why more Americans don't travel abroad

The numbers tell the story: Of the 308 million-plus citizens in the United States, 30% have passports.

That's just too low for such an affluent country, said Bruce Bommarito, executive vice president and chief operating officer for the U.S. Travel Association.

"Americans are comfortable in their own environment," Bommarito said.

There were 61.5 million trips outside the United States in 2009, down 3% from 2008, according to the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries. About 50% of those trips were to either Mexico or Canada, destinations that didn't require a passport until 2007.

The percentage of Americans with passports -- a number that was in the teens just a few years ago -- has spiked since the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative was adopted. It requires American and Canadian travelers to present documents showing citizenship when entering the United States.

Despite the climbing number of American passports in circulation, 30% is still low compared to Canada's 60% and the United Kingdom's 75%.

"Not taking the leap is comforting, because this is the American life," said Matthew Kepnes, international traveler and creator of NomadicMatt.com, a blog chronicling his travels and observations. "Breaking outside anything that is your norm is scary."

Tourism experts and avid travelers attribute Americans' lack of interest in international travel to a few key factors, including: the United States' own rich cultural and geographic diversity, an American skepticism and/or ignorance about international destinations, a work culture that prevents Americans from taking long vacations abroad and the prohibitive cost and logistics of going overseas.

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I think the expense and lack of vacation time is a big reason why Americans don't really go abroad that much--and, like the article said, America is just so big and with so many geologically varied areas that it's easier to just stay inside the country (and hey, no language barrier problem!) Plus, yeah, America is very insular.
[animals] rat with balloons!

The Making of a Girl

[TRIGGER WARNING, especially the video]

Research shows that sex trafficking spikes on Super Bowl Sunday. But what exactly does sex trafficking in America look like?

What You Can Do

- Help pass a Federal Bill to increase direct support services to young sex trafficking survivors and resources to address and combat sex trafficking. Women’s Funding Alliance on Facebook will be glad to keep you updated on that.

- Use Super Bowl Sunday as an opportunity to teach the boys and men in your life how to have healthy relationships free from violence.

aurora // once upon a time

Tribunal to probe Peel [a district outside of Toronto] school board discrimination

A groundbreaking examination of a GTA school board’s racial makeup may take place when the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal hears a case alleging systemic discrimination in the Peel public board.

Ranjit Khatkur’s claim could become a precedent-setting case now that her application has been granted a formal public hearing after mediation attempts failed.

The Indo-Canadian vice principal of Brampton Centennial Secondary School alleges that her ethnic/racial background is a reason she has been overlooked for promotion to principal despite fulfilling all requirements and suggestions made by superiors.

A vice principal “who started with me with no previous experience at that level became a principal in four years while I had more than twice as much VP experience,” Khatkur said.

Khatkur has 24 years of experience with the board, 14 as a teacher and counsellor, and almost 10 as vice principal. She’s now with her third school in that role.

Khatkur’s claim extends beyond her personal experience which she says has been marked by obstacle after obstacle in her efforts to advance.

The application contends that visible minorities are vastly under-represented among the Peel board’s teaching ranks and administrative staff, in part because those in authority routinely hire friends, family or people recommended by acquaintances.

Meanwhile, Khatkur says, some Peel schools have student bodies that are more than 80 per cent visible minorities with few role models or educators for students and parents to turn to, particularly when culturally sensitive issues must be addressed. [OP's note: this is really not an exaggeration. Christmas at my high school? Pffft whatever. Diwali? FUCK YEAH~]

“I routinely have to make calls for other administrators at my schools because parents want to speak Hindi or Punjabi. I’m not saying every educator should speak the languages spoken in the community but it certainly helps if there is some representation on staff.”

As of 2008, only two of 37 high school principals in the board were visible minorities, she says.

Tony Pontes, the board’s education director, was unavailable for comment, but a spokesperson released the following statement:

“We respect the process of the Human Rights Tribunal and as such all information related to human rights complaints is confidential. And we respect the privacy of the individuals involved. The board will make its case at the hearing.”

The hearing will take place May 18.

Jennifer Ramsay, who works with Khatkur’s legal counsel at the Human Rights Legal Support Centre, said the hearing is unprecedented in Ontario. “The application now puts forward legal evidence and statistical evidence that will become part of the public record and if the decision is for the applicant, it becomes part of the case law. It’s a very significant case.”

Asked what will happen if the board does not have the sort of race-based statistics needed to determine whether patterns of discrimination exist, Ramsay said the tribunal would then ask it to gather such data.

She said Khatkur’s performance will also be scrutinized to see if other factors paid a part in her struggle to be promoted.

Khatkur, who has championed diversity in schools, said she wants to put her energy and experience to good use. “My personal mission is ‘excellence and equity through inclusion, involvement and innovation.’ I have demonstrated this in every single school I’ve been in.

Really not surprised at the accusations. Shout out to my former high school and hometown, holla~

EDIT: Source
Warm tone butterfly (by fruitpunch_it)

Identity politics: Cameron on multiculturalism and religious extremists

David Cameron will today signal a sea-change in the government fight against home-grown terrorism, saying the state must confront, and not consort with, the non-violent Muslim groups that are ambiguous about British values such as equality between sexes, democracy and integration.

To belong in Britain is to believe in these values, he will say. Claiming the previous government had been the victim of fear and muddled thinking by backing a state-sponsored form of multiculturalism, the prime minister will state that his government "will no longer fund or share platforms with organisations that, while non-violent, are certainly in some cases part of the problem".

In a major speech to a security conference in Munich, he will demand: "We need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism."

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MLP Rainbow Dash nahnah

Well punishing rape survivors didn't work... what about dying women?

New GOP Bill Would Allow Hospitals To Let Women Die Instead Of Having An Abortion
By Evan McMorris-Santoro

The controversy over "forcible rape" may be over, but now there's a new Republican-sponsored abortion bill in the House that pro-choice folks say may be worse: this time around, the new language would allow hospitals to let a pregnant woman die rather than perform the abortion that would save her life.

The bill, known currently as H.R. 358 or the "Protect Life Act," would amend the 2010 health care reform law that would modify the way Obamacare deals with abortion coverage. Much of its language is modeled on the so-called Stupak Amendment, an anti-abortion provision pro-life Democrats attempted to insert into the reform law during the health care debate last year. But critics say a new language inserted into the bill just this week would go far beyond Stupak, allowing hospitals that receive federal funds but are opposed to abortions to turn away women in need of emergency pregnancy termination to save their lives.

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ETA: MoveOn has a petition going here. Also, if you can, please contact your representatives. Again, the chances of this passing the Senate or getting past Obama are minimal, but there's always the chance.
aurora // once upon a time

Homosexuality, Hockey, and Brendan Burke's Legacy

MODS: My internet messed up, if I submitted this twice, apologies.

Were it not for Brendan Burke, the Stanley Cup would have never marched through a gay pride parade.

Last June, Andrew Sobotka, president of the Chicago Gay Hockey Association, wanted to continue the Chicago Blackhawks' championship celebration, which cut through different cultures and demographics in the Windy City, by having the Stanley Cup appear at the annual Pride Parade.

After some uncertain moments before the event, former Blackhawks defenseman Brent Sopel(notes) marched with the Cup in the parade, citing the powerful support shown by the Burke family to Brendan when he publicly came out in a Nov. 2009 ESPN column.

Said Sopel:

"When Brendan came out, Brian stood by him, and his whole family stood by him, like every family should," said Sopel. "We teach our kids about accepting everybody. Tolerate everybody, to understand where everyone is coming from."

Brendan Burke died one year ago today in an automobile accident in Indiana. The 21-year-old son of Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke, Brendan's story as an openly gay athlete and student manager at Miami University inspired a dialogue about sexual tolerance in hockey culture that continues today.

His legacy is especially important to the openly gay athletes who play hockey, who see Burke's contribution to their cause as a landmark moment.

"He sparked the debate about gays in hockey," Sobotka said. "Everything that's happening now is people carrying his torch."

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Article source.
Sean Avery article at the Advocate
GQ Article on Brian Burke and taking up his son's legacy < YOU SHOULD READ THIS.
Original ESPN Blog with Brendan's interview.

RIP Brendan. You were incredibly brave and a true inspiration. You will be missed.
movies | Impish Fräulein2

LIVE POST: Egyptian Protests Discussion Part 9.

PREVIOUS LIVE POSTS: eight | seven | six | five | four | three | two | one

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Will update this entry as notable link suggestions/updates come in.

NOTE: Separate submissions related to Egypt will likely be rejected. Please link articles in THIS post for discussion/entry spotlights.
  • mswyrr

A trip through time to Historic South-Central Los Angeles

A trip through time to Historic South-Central Los Angeles

Hector Tobar
January 24, 2011

'The Green Book,' a guide for black travelers first published in 1936, offers a glimpse of a vibrant Historic South-Central Los Angeles scene that some still recall, some hope to revive.

I took an excursion into Historic South-Central Los Angeles last week, using an old tour book that in its day was an essential tool for black visitors to L.A. and many other cities.

"The Green Book" is an artifact. First published in 1936, it was meant to aid African American travelers in their journeys across the segregated U.S., by listing places where black people were welcome.

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I've been inspired by radiovolume's excellent posts. I hope this article will contribute something good to the conversation! I'm doing a research project on African American history in Los Angeles right now, so I thought I'd share something related to that. I can vouch for the sources used in this article; they're the good stuff. R.J. Smith's book is a great combination of excellent (ethical) journalism, oral history research, and an enjoyable writing style, and the Green Book itself is such a fantastic primary source. :)
Q // La revolución

Trans rights bill to be debated on this Monday, voted on Wednesday

Trans rights bill gets boost from Chow
C-389 bumped forward on parliamentary agenda

Bill C-389, which would add gender identity to Canada’s human rights law, has been moved up on the House of Commons’ Order Paper, thanks to NDP MP Olivia Chow. The final hour of debate will now take place in the morning on Monday, Feb 7, with the third-reading vote on Wednesday, Feb 9.

“With all the election speculation, it’s important to get the trans bill voted on at third reading and have it done just in case there’s an election,” Chow says. “There might not be, but you never know. Also, Bill is not running again, and I want to make sure that the trans bill becomes law, and that will be part of his legacy.”

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I have been terrible about posting on this issue. It's awesome of Chow to hold her own bill back. This is the third time this bill has been put forward and I'm really, really worried about what will happen if it doesn't get passed. I fucking love Bill Siksay, he's been working on this bill for years. He's retiring and there doesn't seem to be anyone who will take on the bill if it doesn't pass. I'm hopeful it'll pass, it has the support of all three opposition parties. The Conservatives are opposing it because they're hateful douchebags they say that since 'gender' is already in the Act this bill it a moot point. So, yes, cautiously optamistic. Given the National Transgender Discrimination Survey results it's not hard to see why this bill is needed. It would just be so wonderful if this passed.

Staten Island attorney and ACS deputy accused of impersonating woman on lesbian dating site

Source: Staten Island Advance

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- A Rosebank attorney, deputy director of the city’s Administration for Children’s Services and a former military JAG lawyer ripped by the Pentagon for his handling of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal is in legal hot water over charges that he impersonated a Staten Island woman on a lesbian dating Web site.

James O’Hare, 51, of Lynhurst Avenue, was arrested earlier this week on misdemeanor counts of aggravated harassment and criminal impersonation after the victim told police she was getting calls from strange solicitors who retrieved her information from a lesbian dating site.

Investigators traced the poster who set up the account to O’Hare, a law enforcement source said.

The victim, whose name is being withheld, told police she was acquainted with O’Hare in college, but has "no relationship whatsoever" with the ACS supervising attorney.

"She doesn’t know the guy," the source said, noting that investigators have yet to determine a motive for O’Hare’s alleged cyber attack. "He just for some reason used her face and info to put up on a lesbian dating site."

Calls soliciting dates with the unwitting victim through the site allegedly began on May 1 last year and continued through July 19 when the woman notified police.

"(O’Hare) did set up an account and written profile in the name of the [woman] on an internet Web site by pretending to be the informant, posting her home telephone number, posting a picture of the informant, and asking and directing persons to call her at home, in order to injure, harass, annoy and alarm her, and that persons did then call her telephone," court documents stated.

Tracing business records, detectives found that O’Hare impersonated the woman to communicate on the site from computers inside his ACS office and the city’s Department of Information, Technology and Telecommunications, court papers charged.

A source close to the case said O’Hare allegedly courted a 15-year-old girl while posing as the victim on the site.

"James O’Hare has been suspended from ACS without pay," said ACS spokesman Michael Fagan. "ACS is working with the NYPD and the Staten Island District Attorney’s office on the investigation."

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SPN: Sanity is relative

The train is completely off the tracks isn't it.

Glenn Beck is known for doing bizarre things sometimes--such as threatening to cut a bunny in half with a chainsaw--and his Friday show opened on what might be one of his strangest stunts. Beck was wearing a cape--or cloak, or robe, depending on how you look at it--and holding a staff.

He told viewers that, if they hadn't been frightened watching his shows on Egypt all week, "you will be" after watching Friday's show. (He said these words in a Yoda-like voice.) But he gave no explanation as to why he was dressed the way he was, and after the opening credits, the cape and staff had disappeared. Was Beck casting himself as a latter-day Moses? Or Gandalf? Or Dumbledore? Or even Yoda? We'll never know.