Thursday, December 31, 2009
See: The Human Race Machine
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Yesterday I heard the wonderful news from the U.S. Attorney General, that the Obama administration will no longer defend the repugnant Defense of Marriage Act in court proceedings. This gives me hope that eventually same-gender bi-national couples like us will be able to finally enjoy life together. ~Madison Reed
Relentless and unabated denial of my human rights by the United States government, inspired by the followers of Jesus Christ because I am a homosexual man - not even a Christian (I am Baha'i) - has destroyed my relationship with my partner in Eastern Europe. It's been two years on Christmas day since I've been able to be with him in Kiev. Christians need to embrace the fact that their religion has delivered more hatred and harm to billions of human beings than any religion in 12,000 years of human civilization.
I implore everyone to learn about what religious bigotry directed against gays and lesbians does to other Americans. It's too late for me and my partner, but please know that there are 40,000 to 100,000 gay or lesbian American citizens (bi-nationals with same-sex foreign partners) living lives with less respect than people give to farm animals, solely because of the satanic power directed against us by Christians in the United States, who want us to live in celibacy because they call our love an abomination to God.
It's salt vigorously rubbed into our wounds when we see our President smiling and talking about the joys of being with his family, while having such a joyous time in Hawaii, while he knows about the bi-nationals like me whose lives are being destroyed, the thousands of American soldiers like Lt. Daniel Choi who have been fired from their careers, and families and marriages ripped apart by zealous hate-filled Christian voters in the United States funded and driven by the Holy See (World Ecclesiastical Center for Roman Catholicism), The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormons) based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and other right-wing evangelical Christian cults, all because we are God's homosexual, bisexual and transgender children. All people however, should be aware that a handful of Christian religious leaders such as Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill I, Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu, founder of Soulforce.org, Rev. Dr. Mel White, and Poland's Pastor Szymon Niemiec, has been instrumental from a lesser to a greater degree, in reducing hatred against gays, lesbians and transgenders worldwide by global Christendom.
Please learn about just a few - a small fraction - of your fellow citizens who are living in torment separated from their loved ones, being forced into exile, loosing their careers and having their finances drained, because the United States, blackmailed or pimped by Church leaders, will not extend to gay, lesbian and transgender Americans, the same fundamental human rights as it guarantees to all other Americans!
Bishop Gene Robinson's Prayer for President Obama
Russian Patriarch Kirill's Appeal to Stop Harm to Homosexuals
The Baha'i Faith's Discrimination Against the LGBT Community
SEOUL, South Korea – A Christian missionary from the U.S. has entered political prisoners believed held in the , an activist said Saturday.carrying a letter to leader in order to call attention to the tens of thousands of
concentration camps" where they are held, said the activist, who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the issue's sensitivity., a 28-year-old Korean-American, crossed the frozen into North Korea from China on Christmas Day to urge Kim to release political prisoners and shut down the "
It was unclear Saturday if Park was in North Korean custody. Illegal entry into the country is punishable by up to three years in prison. The communist regime held two American journalists for nearly five months earlier this year before freeing them during a visit by former President Bill Clinton.
Park is a missionary from Tucson, Arizona, according to the activist, who works for Pax Koreana, a conservative Seoul-based group that calls for North Korea to improve its human rights record.
"I am an American citizen. I brought God's love. God loves you and God bless you," Park was quoted by two activists as shouting in Korean as he crossed the North Korean border, according to the activist who spoke to The Associated Press.
He said Park was last seen by the two other activists, who saw him enter North Korea near the northeastern city of Hoeryong from the poorly guarded border late Friday afternoon. He added that the crossing was videotaped and the footage would be released Sunday.
North Korea holds some 154,000 political prisoners in six large camps across the country, according to South Korean government estimates. The North has long been regarded as having one of the world's worst, but it rejects outside criticism and denies the existence of prison camps.
North Korean state media did not mention any illegal crossing. The country's criminal code punishes illegal entry with up to three years in prison.
Park carried a letter to Kim calling for major changes in how the country is operated, according to Pax Koreana.
"Please open your borders so that we may bring food, provisions, medicine, necessities, and assistance to those who are struggling to survive," said the letter, according to a copy posted on Pax Koreana's Web site. "Please close down all concentration camps and release all political prisoners today."
The activist said that Park also carried a separate written appeal calling for Kim to immediately step down, noting alleged starvation, torture and deaths in North Korean political prison camps. The second letter was addressed to the leaders of , China, the U.S., Japan and the United Nations.
North Korea is expected to react strongly because Park raised the issue of its political system, said Koh Yu-hwan, a professor at Seoul's Dongguk University.
Demanding Kim step down is "a kind of hostile act" and "the North won't likely compromise on such an issue," Koh said, predicting it will take time to resolve.
Kim wields absolute power in the communist state of 24 million people. Any acts seen as hostile to him and his leadership carry harsh punishment, said Choi Eun-suk, a professor on North Korean legal affairs at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies at Kyungnam University in Seoul.
The U.S. Embassy in Beijing said it is looking into Park's case, but it had no details.
"His fate to us is unknown," said embassy spokeswoman Susan Stevenson. She said a charitable organization, which did not identify, had notified the State Department in Washington of Park's actions.
The activist said Park came to South Korea in July and stayed there until leaving for China earlier this week to enter the North.
"I would not go to North Korea to live. Even if I die, world leaders should really repent for keeping silence" on North Korea, Park said in Seoul before leaving for China, the activist said.
The activist said Pax Koreana is affiliated with another organization called Freedom and Life For All North Koreans, which is a coalition of advocacy groups for North Korean human rights. Park is a member of the broader group, he said. The coalition and other activist groups plan to hold rallies in New York, Tokyo, Seoul and other cities from Sunday to Thursday.
In August, North Korea released two U.S. journalists it had sentenced to 12 years of hard labor for trespassing and "hostile acts." Their release came amid a trip to Pyongyang by former President Clinton aimed at winning their freedom.
American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee were captured by North Korean guards near the Tumen River in March while reporting a story on .
Park's reported entry comes weeks after North Korea held one-on-one talks with the United States and signaled its willingness to return to international negotiations on ending its
“Even if a bullet goes through my heart it’s not important,” she told Caspian Makan, her fiancé. “What we’re fighting for is more important. When it comes to taking our stolen rights back we should not hesitate. Everyone is responsible. Each person leaves a footprint in this world.”
Ms Soltan, 26, had no idea just how big a footprint she would leave. Hours after leaving home, she was indeed shot, by a government militiaman, as she and other demonstrators chanted: “Death to the dictator.”
Arash Hejazi, a doctor standing near by, remembers her looking down in surprise as blood gushed from her chest. She collapsed. More blood spewed from her mouth. As she lay dying on the pavement, her life ebbing out of her, “I felt she was trying to ask a question. Why?” said Dr Hejazi, who tried to save her life. Why had an election that generated so much excitement ended with a government that claims to champion the highest moral values, the finest Islamic principles, butchering its own youth?
A 40-second telephone clip of Ms Soltan’s final moments flashed around the world. Overnight she became a global symbol of the regime’s brutality, and of the remarkable courage of Iran’s opposition in a region where other populations are all too easily suppressed by despotic governments.
Her name was invoked by Barack Obama, Gordon Brown and other world leaders. Outside Iranian embassies huge crowds of protesters staged candlelit vigils, held up her picture, or wore T-shirts proclaiming, “NEDA — Nothing Except Democracy Acceptable”. The internet was flooded with tributes, poems and songs. The exiled son of the Shah of Iran carried her photograph in his chest pocket.
She was no less of an icon inside Iran, whose Shia population is steeped in the mythology of martyrdom. Vigils were held. Her grave became something of a shrine, and the 40th day after her death — an important date in Shia mourning rituals — was marked by a big demonstration in Behesht-e Zahra cemetery in Tehran that riot police broke up.
It was not hard to see why Ms Soltan so quickly became the face of the opposition, the Iranian equivalent of the young man who confronted China’s tanks during the Tiananmen Square demonstrations 20 years earlier. She was young and pretty, innocent, brave and modern. She wore make-up beneath her mandatory headscarf, jeans and trainers beneath her long, black coat, and liked to travel. She transcended the narrow confines of religion, nationality and ideology. She evoked almost universal empathy.
The story of her death was so potent that the regime went to extraordinary lengths to suppress it. It banned a mourning ceremony, tore down black banners outside her home, and insisted that her funeral be private. It ordered her family to stay silent.
In the subsequent weeks any number of leading officials, ayatollahs included, sought to blame her death on British and American intelligence agencies, the opposition, and even the BBC — accusing its soon-to-beexpelled Tehran correspondent, Jon Leyne, of arranging her death so that he could get good pictures.
The regime announced investigations that, to no one’s surprise, exonerated it and all its agents. It managed to coerce Ms Soltan’s music teacher into changing his story, but it failed to do the same with Mr Makan, despite imprisoning him for 65 days — many of them in solitary confinement. Released on bail, he fled the country — making a five-day overland journey to escape.
Dr Hejazi also fled, back to Oxford where he had been taking a postgraduate course in publishing. There he confirmed in an interview in The Times that Ms Soltan was shot by a Basij militiaman on a motorcycle. But the regime still hounds him. It has harassed his family in Tehran, is trying to close his publishing company in the capital, and has accused him of helping British agents to kill Ms Soltan. It stages demonstrations outside the British Embassy demanding his extradition. He would be arrested the moment he returned to Tehran, meaning that he, his wife and infant son are now exiles.
When The Queen’s College, Oxford, established a scholarship in Ms Soltan’s name the regime sent the university a furious letter of complaint.
Back in Tehran, the regime tried to buy off Ms Soltan’s parents by promising them a pension if they agreed that their daughter was a “martyr” killed by foreign agents.
Her mother, Hajar Rostami Motlagh, was outraged. “Neda died for her country, not so that I could get a monthly income from the Martyr Foundation,” she said. “If these officials say Neda was a martyr, why do they keep wiping off the word ‘martyr’ in red which people write on her gravestone? ... Even if they give the world to me I will never accept the offer.”
Soon afterwards, government supporters desecrated her grave. The regime has not arrested or investigated Abbas Kargar Javid, who was caught by demonstrators seconds after he shot Ms Soltan. The crowd, unwilling to use violence, and with the police the enemy, let him go — but not before they had taken his identity card.
Six months on, it is obvious that Ms Soltan did not die in vain. The manner of her death, and the regime’s response, has shredded what little legitimacy it had left. She helped to inspire an opposition movement that is now led by her generation, which a systematic campaign of arrests, show trials, beatings, torture and security force violence has failed to crush, and whose courage and defiance has won the admiration of the world.
As the new year approaches, the so-called Green Movement appears to be gaining confidence and momentum. It no longer seems impossible that the regime could fall in 2010. If and when it does, Ms Soltan will be remembered as the pre-eminent martyr of the second Iranian revolution.
Story Original Source:
Friday, December 25, 2009
By Alfred Lambremont Webre
The scientific mystery of the ultimate source of the Dec. 9, 2009 Norway spiral light deepened with the revelation of a Dec. 9 pyramid UFO over the Kremlin in Red Square, Moscow (the same night as the Norway light) and of similar vortex lights to the Norway light over Russia and China. (See videos below).
No definitive solution has been yet offered for these phenomena, assuming they are related. Aside from the conventional explanation of Russian missile failure, the major alternative scientifically based alternative explanations offered so far include:
(1) Extraterrestrial civilizations causing both the giant UFO pyramid over the Kremlin and the failure of the Russian Bulava missile (which led to the Norway light spiral), as a context communication message to the Russian military establishment to cease its development of intercontinental missiles;
(2) HAARP, the space-based weapon of mass destruction, caused the electromagnetic plasma light effects visible over Norway on Nov. 9, on the eve of Barack Obama’s Nobel Prize speech either as a warning to Barack Obama, or as a possible Project Blue Beam mass psychological conditioner assuming Obama is an agent of a corporate new world order. The Kremlin pyramid UFO could be a Project Blue Beam artificial electromagnetic or plasma artifact under this hypothesis.
Other interpretations concluded, “that it could be a wormhole opening up, while others linked the event to the recent high-energy experiments undertaken at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.”
An extraterrestrial context communication?
The video above captures a large pyramidal UFO over the Kremlin, the seat of Executive power and residence of the Russian President in Red Square, Moscow on the night of Dec. 9, 2009, the same night as the Norway vortal lights.
The context communication theory of extraterrestrial communication posits that extraterrestrial or UFO encounters can be symbolic communications from a higher intelligent civilization to a human civilization.
“The [Nov. 9, 2009] failure of the [Russian Bulava missile] and the UFO over the Kremlin - the interpretations that I give are these:
“1 / These two demonstrations of technological power are primarily intended for military and political power in Russia.
“2 / The Sixth failure of Bulava missile, if it was caused by an extraterrestrial civilization, is a condemnation of such tests.
“3 / These two events are a destabilization of military power (failure of the missile) and political power (a UFO over the Kremlin).
“4 / These two events are also a warning if not a threat:
- A threat to the military to destroy their nuclear toys.
-A threat to the political power by making them understand that they are not immune to aggressive action, domination, right in Moscow.
“5 / These two events are also a message of change and hope - not the military leaders and political leaders, but for the people:
-Hope - Stopping a final race for weapons of mass destruction if a civilization intervenes.
-Hope to make contact with extraterrestrial civilizations and benefit from technologies to solve energy problems and climate.
“6 / A sign that the aliens have been here for millennia, like the pyramids ...
“That's where we are, and the event of aliens over the Kremlin is certainly the first in a long line [of similar events] above the capitals of the world.
“Moreover, the video of the UFO over Red Square has achieved in Russia a record viewership on Youtube because the information was repeated in the media.
“What happened recently in Russia is absolutely remarkable, and we must prepare for an acceleration of history and an increase in UFO sighting on Earth.
“We are not at the end of surprises to come...”
Jean-Charles Duboc (translated from the French)
Mr. Duboc does not provide analysis as to why the Dec. 9 Norway lights are not HAARP or a similar Project Blue Beam-connected mass conditioning phenomenon.
The China and Russia vortex lights
China vortex light phenomenon (above) starts at 37 seconds.
The China (video posted on Dec. 11, 2009, starting at 37 seconds) demonstrates a spiral vortex light, which some have interpreted as a wormhole to other dimensions.
The Russia video is a phenomenon which is remarkably similar to the Dec. 9, 2009 Norway light. One commentary on the Russian video states: “Very strange clip of beams of light seemingly coming out of nowhere in the night sky in Tomsk Russia. As the beams disappear a galaxy shaped spiral of light appears and forms from above. *Note: An alternative explanation could be that it is a 3 stage rocket launch, when the boosters disengage the next stage malfunctions and spirals out of control.”
Both the China and the Russia vortex lights appear susceptible to interpretation as either (1) failures of a missile or similar aerospace hardware; (2) extraterrestrial or interdimensionally induced phenomena or (3) HAARP or other electromagnetically induced plasma light phenomena.
Two researchers, David Wilcock and Richard Hoagland have independently posited that HAARP, a space-based weapon of mass destruction one of whose antenna fields is close to the site of the Norwegian spiral light. According to one of the researchers, David Wilcock, one of his confidential sources stated the Norway spiral light was part of Project Blue Beam. Mr. Wilcock's interview appears on the Project Camelot Radio show with Kerry Cassidy.
Mr. Wilcock’s discussion of the plasma effects of the 18-layered energy field surrounding the Norway light seem to be persuasive that HAARP may indeed be the source of those, as well as the China and Russia lights. If some case were to be made that the Dec. 9 Kremlin UFO were a human artificial Blue Beam construct as well, Project Blue beam would be the common denominator behind all of these events.
One of the alleged purposes of Project Blue Beam is the use of advanced electromagnetic imaging such as that produced by HAARP and exhibited in the Norway spiral light as a psychological mass conditioning device in aid of the implementation of a global corporate new world order.
How to evaluate interpretations of these impactful phenomena
The Dec. 9 Norway lights and Kremlin pyramid UFO had world-wide media impact.
Evaluating whether the Dec. 9 Norway light, Kremlin pyramid UFO, and Russia and China vortex lights are either an (1) extraterrestrially-induced phenomenon or (2) Project Blue Beam mass psychological warfare operations is a matter of scientific and pattern discernment.
Thus far, the proponents of the extraterrestrial interpretation have not fully provided analysis as to why the Norway, Russia and China lights, and Kremlin UFO are not Project Blue Beam, and the proponents that HAARP is the cause have similarly not authoritatively dismissed the extraterrestrial interpretation of the lights and Kremlin UFO.
Either way, the outcome may be positive. If these Norway, Russia and China lights and Kremlin UFO phenomena are HAARP and Project Blue Beam-related, then this mass deception, in which the persona of Barack Obama is coordinated with Kremlin power in a corporate new world order, is being unmasked.
On the other had, if the phenomena are extraterrestrially related, the outcome is equally positive, as it implies an extraordinary degree of extraterrestrial intervention to avoid nuclear war.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Paganism is not separate from Christianity or Judaism - it's part of them. ~Jay Michaelson
"Judith Beheading Holofernes" - by Caravaggio
By Acharya S.
The holiday of Hanukkah was established, it is claimed, in commemoration of the "cleansing" of the Jewish Temple by the Jewish military family of the Maccabees, during the second century BCE. Over prior centuries, the Temple had been "polluted" by the foreign and gentile presence of the Greeks, Romans and Syrians; hence, Jewish fighters decided to seize it in a purported act of patriotism and religious duty. During this siege, called the "Maccabean Revolt," an oil lamp was lit that supposedly "miraculously" lasted for eight days. Thus, Jews light one candle of the nine-branched candelstick or candelabra called a "menorah" each day. With today's religiously based fracas over which faith gets to be represented at "Christmas" time, it is often suggested that a menorah be included in public displays. But what does the menorah truly symbolize?
The rest of the story...
While most tales of Hanukkah stop with the miracle of the oil lamp, writer Andrew Marantz continues the narration of the temple siege by what he calls "Rambo Jews," based on the Jewish books 1 and 2 Maccabees:
The tale of the magic fuel starts and ends in chapter 4 of 1 Maccabees, but for the rest of that book (chapters 5 through 16) and for the entirety of 2 Maccabees (15 more chapters), the Rambo Jews go on kicking ass. They slaughter gentiles and lapsed Jews alike. "They forcibly circumcised all the uncircumcised boys they found within the boundaries of Israel,"says the book. They burned their enemies alive and "divided a very large amount of plunder." They decapitated the enemy king and impaled his head on a pike, "a clear and conspicuous sign to everyone of the help of the Lord."
Marantz concludes: "At best, the Maccabees were fundamentalist freedom fighters. At worst, they were terrorists - the Bible clearly reports that they targeted civilians. When the Maccabees were triumphant, they made sacrifices unto God; when times were tough, they went on praying and retreated to the mountains, sleeping in caves and growing scraggly terrorist beards. These are the heroes of the Hanukkah tale: the Taliban without dialysis."
So, that's what is being commemorated during this happy festival season! Perhaps it's time to reform or toss out this blatantly anti-gentile holiday, which others have claimed was devised in actuality some centuries ago in order to compete with Christmas.
The pagan candlestick
And the menorah? Typically it is claimed that its branches represent the eight days of this Maccabean lamp-lighting "miracle" and that the ninth, middle branch is the "shamash," which it is said, means "guard" or "servant." In reality, shamash means "sun" and is the name in several Semitic cultures for the ancient sun god. In his Antiquities of the Jews (3.6.7), Jewish historican Josephus (37-c. 100 AD/CE) says that the Jews had a candlestick of "seven lamps," which "referred to the course of the planets, of which that is the number." This tradition, along with the twelve loaves upon the tabernacle table - representing the months of the year - and the candlestick also being branched out into 70 parts - symbolizing the "Decani, or seventy divisions of the planets" - Josephus traces back to the great Hebrew prophet Moses himself. Hence, this ancient "Jewish" holy celebration is based largely on patently astrotheological or pagan nature-worshipping motifs.
As Jay Michaelson says in the Huffington Post, "...paganism is not separate from Christianity or Judaism - it's part of them." Let us therefore end once and for all this pretension to superiority by the Abrahamic cultus that is so divisive and destructive to the human family as a whole.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
By Dan Murphy, Staff Writer, Christian Science Monitor
A UFO? A Stargate style wormhole opening a path to other galaxies? The Aurora borealis?
A videotape of a strange spiraling cloud captured over Norway at dawn on Wednesday morning has had the Internet all atwitter (literally) with speculation as to its causes – everything from space aliens arriving to celebrate Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize award, to clandestine aviation tests.
Well, now it appears the mystery of the phenomenon, which bore some resemblance to a spiral galaxy, has been solved. Russia says it was the result of a failed test launch for its troubled Bulava missile program. In a statement, the Russian Defense Ministry said it fired a Bulava from a submarine in the White Sea near the Norwegian coast Wednesday morning. The intercontinental ballistic missile’s first two stages worked perfectly, the ministry said, though the third stage engine proved “unstable.”
Though the ministry didn’t provide an opinion on whether its missile was responsible for the spiral, rockets often start spiraling on their own during partial engine failure. And the fact that the first two stages worked as the powerful missile hurtled skyward meant it should have been high in the atmosphere before the problem occurred, leaving a spiral of exhaust that would have been illuminated by the lights of Norway before the missile exploded.
Though the phenomenon delighted thousands in Norway, the cause behind it is the source of some embarrassment for Russia, which has planned the Bulava to be the crown jewel in its sea-based nuclear program. The missile is designed to carry a nuclear payload and to be easily launched from attack submarines, but so far eight of 12 test launches have resulted in failure....
Article continued at csmonitor.com
From Tehran to Riyadh, This is How We Are Discriminated Against - An Interview with Hossein Alizadeh
An interview by Ernesto Pagano
Turkey and Lebanon are the countries most tolerant of gays; Iran and Saudi Arabia are the most homophobic. The picture painted by Hossein Alizadeh, a young Iranian who is the spokesman for the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) with headquarters in New York, is that of a patchy Middle East, where on the one hand embryonic gay movements appear while on the other sentences against sodomy are ferociously applied.
Tell us about this organisation. When was it founded and what are its objectives?
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission was founded in 1990. Its mission is the emancipation of human rights for everyone, in all countries, to put an end to sexual discrimination, gender identity or restrictions to the expression of one's sexuality.
What are the most important problems faced by homosexuals in the Middle East?
Sexuality in general and homosexuality in particular are considered taboo by people and by the media. Many are only informed about homosexuality on the basis of what they have been taught by their religious leaders, who often speak of it as a sin, as well as gossip on the streets labelling gays as perverts. General ignorance has been exacerbated by laws on sodomy, whether based on Shari’a, as in Iran and in Saudi Arabia, or inherited colonial laws as in the Lebanon. The combination of disinformation and strict laws against homosexuality have made LGBT people (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, editor’s note) extremely vulnerable in the Middle East.
Can one consider Beirut as a sort of refuge for homosexuals in the Middle East?
Historically the Lebanon has been one of the cultural centres for Arab countries. Its heterogeneous society has allowed the growth of a LGBT movement in loco. This works as an example and a model for the rest of the region. On the other hand political barriers do not permit gays and lesbians to travel to the Lebanon from other countries in the region. Furthermore, the Lebanese government is very sensitive as far as non-Lebanese Arab immigrants are concerned and makes it very difficult for them to settle in this country. There are also language differences that make the integration of between Arabs and non-Arabs more difficult, such as between Turks and Iranians.
Are there any other gay organisations appearing directly in the Middle East apart from the Lebanese one?
There are various LGBT groups in Turkey. In the Palestinian Territories there are two gay and lesbian organisations. There are also various activists in other countries such as Iraq, Iran, Morocco and the Sudan, who run their organisations from outside the region, in exile.
Do you remember any important episodes of homophobia in the region?
One of the most crude episodes perhaps is one that took place in the spring of 2009, when a few hundred homosexuals were raped and tortured by Shiite militias in Iraq. The manner in which homosexuals are treated by the Iranian authorities is also a dark chapter in the history of this movement.
How do homosexuals live their relationships in a country such as Iran?
There are many small secret clubs forming an underground network of gays and lesbians linking people and allowing them to meet and get to know each other. Unfortunately there is always a fear that government elements might infiltrate the organisation and in some cases there have been police roundups that have led to arrests, brutal torture and persecutions.
Are conditions for homosexuals improving in spite of repression?
The battle continues but I do not think the situation is improving. As long as there is ignorance, homophobia will prevail unconditionally. I am convinced that the role played by local activists is extremely important in establishing a dialogue with public opinion and in making the falseness of these prejudices understood.
Is it just a question of prejudice or are there links between Islam and homophobia?
Like many other religions, Islam is interpreted so as to only allow a binary vision of sexuality. Many religious leaders, using a literalist interpretation of religion, have brutally attacked homosexuality. Luckily, in recent times a movement of erudite preachers, both Sunni and Shiite, has encouraged a reanalysis of this issue with a more tolerant approach to sexuality in general and homosexuality in particular.
In his book Desiring Arabs, Joseph Massad criticises movements such as the IGLHRC because they impose the "homosexual" category there where it did not previously exist.
It is true that the concept of homosexuality as we know and understand it in the West is a strictly western experience. It is however certainly not true that people with desires for their same sex did not exist in other cultures before contact with the west. The truth is that Arab Islamic society has never accepted an open dialogue on sexuality. The idea of being gay and having a different identity has never been developed among Muslims. This does not mean that homosexuality has been exported from the West, just as it does not means that human rights are valid only for the West and not for Muslims.
Translated by Francesca Simmons
Read the original articles:
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Astronomers and Norwegian citizens alike have been baffled by the appearance of a strange blue spiral light in the sky above the Scandinavian country last night: Was it aliens, evil Russians, or just a Dante's Inferno marketing stunt?
This one goes under "holy crap": The astronomical community (and the Norwegians) have been all up in a tizzy since the appearance of a bizarre spiral light in the night sky, reports the Daily Mail.
Witnesses in the north of the country reported an unusual atmospheric phenomenon that began when "what appeared to be a blue light seemed to soar up from behind a mountain. It stopped mid-air, then began to circulate ... Within seconds a giant spiral had covered the entire sky. Then a green-blue beam of light shot out from its centre - lasting for ten to twelve minutes before disappearing completely."
Story continued here: EscapistMagazine.com
Could it be related to Obama's Nobel Prize acceptance speech in Norway on Dec. 10th, and speculation that he's going to announce something about E.T. contact? Examiner.com
Original here: DailyMail.co.uk
See this story with video from similar spiral that appeared over China: UniverseToday.com
By Kim Zetter
Yahoo isn’t happy that a detailed menu of the spying services it provides to "law enforcement" and spy agencies has leaked onto the web.
After earlier reports this week that Yahoo had blocked an FOIA Freedom of Information release of its "law enforcement and intelligence price list", someone helpfully provided a copy of the Yahoo company’s spying guide to the whistleblower web site Cryptome.org....
Photo: Jeff Pearce/Flickr
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Gay marriage became legal in the country on May 1st, allowing couples to wed in religious or civil ceremonies.
Until now, the church had not decided whether to allow them to marry in church.
In June, the church board submitted a petition to the Church of Sweden synod. The synod announced the decision this morning.
According to The Local, some small changes will be made to current church regulations, such as replacing “man and wife” with “lawfully wedded spouses” when gay couples marry.
In January 2007 the church, which was disestablished in 2000, began offering religious blessings to gay unions and actively welcomed LGBT clergy.
Six of the seven political parties in Swedish parliament backed the proposal to introduce a gender-neutral marriage law.
The proposal passed with a 261 to 22 vote and 16 abstentions.
The only party to oppose the ruling were the Christian Democrats, who said they wanted to maintain "a several hundred-year-old concept" of marriage.
Over the years, various activist groups and researchers have raised concerns about a link between mobile phones and several kinds of cancer, including brain tumours, although years of research have failed to establish a conclusive connection, the Reuters report claims.
"We did not detect any clear change in the long-term time trends in the incidence of brain tumours from 1998 to 2003 in any subgroup," Isabelle Deltour of the Danish Cancer Society wrote.
Deltour's team analyzed annual incidence rates of two types of brain tumour – glioma and meningioma – among adults aged 20 to 79, from , , , and Sweden, from 1974 to 2003. This represented virtually the entire adult population of 16 million people, the researchers said. The countries all have comprehensive cancer registries that record details of known cancer cases.
"In Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, the use of mobile phones increased sharply in the mid-1990s; thus, time trends in brain tumour incidence after 1998 may provide information about possible tumour risks associated with mobile phone use," the researchers wrote.
Over the 30 years, nearly 60,000 patients were diagnosed with brain tumours. While the team did see a small, steady increase in brain tumours, this started in 1974, long before mobile phones arrived.
"No change in incidence trends were observed from 1998 to 2003," the researchers noted. This would have been when tumours would start showing up, assuming it took five to 10 years for one to develop, they said.
Most scientific studies show no association between mobile phone use and brain tumours, and researchers trying to find a connection have failed to find any biological explanation for how a mobile phone might cause cancer, according to the Reuters report.
"Because of the high prevalence of mobile phone exposure in this population and worldwide, longer follow-up of time trends in brain tumour incidence rates are warranted," the research team cautioned.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Muslim reaction across the world to Sunday’s Swiss referendum banning the construction of further minarets for mosques in the tiny Alpine nation has been almost entirely negative.
Indonesia’s Maskuri Abdillah, leader of the largest Muslim organization in the world’s most populous Muslim nation said the vote reflected Swiss “hatred” of Islam and Muslims.
Egyptian Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, close to the regime of President Hosni Mubarak, said the ban was an attempt to “insult the feelings of the Muslim community in and outside Switzerland.”
Yet the referendums outcome pales in comparison to restrictions on non-Muslims who aim to practice their faith in Muslim lands. In fact, the vote only brought Swiss legal practice closer to that of many majority Muslim states that also place limits on the construction of houses of worship.
Here’s a review of practices in four large majority Muslim states:
1. Indonesia. In a state with large minority populations of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and animists, the US State department reported in 2009 that at least 9 churches – and 12 mosques associated with the Ahmadiyya Islamic sect (which mainstream Muslim groups consider heretical) – were forced shut by violence or intimidation from community groups, and that a number of churches and Hindu temples have struggled to receive official permits in recent years. The Indonesian government has on a number of occasions stepped in to prevent church construction, largely over fears that it would stoke sectarian violence. But religious practice, by and large, is freer in Indonesia than most other Muslim majority states.
2. Egypt. The country has a sizeable minority of Eastern Orthodox Christians, or Copts. By law, their churches must receive the permission of local Muslim communities before new construction is allowed. The State Department’s religious freedom report on Egypt in 2009 says in part: “Church and human rights leaders complain that many local officials intentionally delay the permit process. They charge that some local authorities refuse to process applications without ’supporting documents’ that are virtually impossible to obtain.”
3. Saudi Arabia, home of Mecca and Islam more generally, is one of the least religiously free nation’s on earth. In the Kingdom, the public practice of any faith but Islam is illegal. Christian’s and Jews receive 50 percent of the compensation that a Muslim would receive in personal injury court and the country has no churches at all, though it officially tolerates private worship in homes.
4. Pakistan. Freedom of religious worship is constitutionally guaranteed, but in practice the government sets limits and there has also been a rise in attacks by militant groups on both Christians and Shiites in the majority Sunni Muslim country in recent years. The State Department found that “societal discrimination against religious minorities was widespread, and societal violence against such groups occurred.” District level government “consistently refused to grant permission to construct non-Muslim places of worship, especially for Ahmadiyya and Baha’i communities” the State Department found, while also noting that missionaries are allowed to work inside the country. In 2009 “public pressure routinely prevented courts from protecting minority rights and forced judges to take strong action against any perceived offense to Sunni orthodoxy,” the report said.
Source: The Christian Science Monitor
Swiss ban on minarets is pure discrimination (latimes.com)
Swiss ban on minarets draws widespread condemnation (guardian.co.uk)
Swiss Ban Building of Minarets on Mosques (nytimes.com)
Dear human family,
I'm just about at the end of my rope. My beloved partner lives in Eastern Europe. It's been almost 6 weeks now - except for a 6 minute phone conversation on his birthday - since I've had any communication with him. No telephone or email contacts. My intuition tells me that he's in dire need of help and is in a potentially life-threatening situation. For a long time I've asked LGBT advocate organizations for some idea to help my angel, but they offer nothing, only ask for financial a contribution. The institutions of Christendom are waging a offensive against all LGBT people worldwide, intending to destroy us further. WE are not spiritual filth! God loves us. We love God, and we're some of the finest human beings that exist on Earth.
Where's the voice and swift intervention of the elected American President, whose ancestors were murdered and violated by the same group who hasn't stopped its persecution and killing orgy against LGBT people? Where's the loud outcry from the leaders of religion? From the institutions of my own faith, the faith of Baha'u'llah, the founder of the Baha'i Faith? Why have I heard nothing from Jacques Soghomonian, the IV Guardian of the Baha'i Faith?
Please don't doubt or get too busy, and go on with your daily life after reading my letter. I believe in the power of focused prayer and visualization to influence creation. I believe in God, and a majestic, bounteous, beautiful Universe, that wants us all to be happy and to prosper. I'm calling on all of you, asking you to focus on my partner, and ask for God's/The Universe's intervention into his life, to surround him with unfailing, impenetrable protection, benevolent people to come to him and associate with him, and for a doorway to open for him to help him get out of Belarus so that he can experience freedom and happiness!
Love to all of you. And I mean it!
SOS! Bi-national Same-Sex Couples Need Your Help! (blog.lotusopening.com)
Our Stories (imeq.us)
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Work on deciphering a complex set of symbols sent to them is underway, scientists from the country's Space Research Institute said.
They claim aliens are currently answering 30 questions posed to them.
Lachezar Filipov, deputy director of the Space Research Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, confirmed the research.
He said the centre's researchers were analysing 150 crop circles from around the world, which they believe answer the questions.
"Aliens are currently all around us, and are watching us all the time," Mr Filipov told Bulgarian media.
"They are not hostile towards us, rather, they want to help us but we have not grown enough in order to establish direct contact with them."
Mr Filipov said that even the seat of the Catholic church, the Vatican, had agreed that aliens existed.
He said humans were not going to be able to establish contact with the extraterrestrials through radio waves but through the power of thought.
"The human race was certainly going to have direct contact with the aliens in the next 10 to 15 years," he said.
"Extraterrestrials are critical of the people's amoral behavior referring to the humans' interference in nature's processes."
The publication of the BAS researchers report concerning communicating with aliens comes in the midst of a controversy over the role, feasibility, and reform of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
Last week it lead to a heated debate between Bulgaria's Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, and President Georgi Parvanov.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
They hope that their marriage will help advance their struggle for equality and acceptance back home. With the support of their lawyer, Nikolai Alexeyev, they intend to pursue their case for human rights for gays and lesbians in Russia, to Russia's Supreme Court and to the European Court of Human Rights.
Events organized by Egale Canada; camera by Alex Lisman and edited by Nancy Nicol.
Russian court denies lesbians the right to marry: (pinknews.co.uk)
Lesbian Couple Takes on Russian State in Fight for Same-Sex Marriage (rferl.org)
On Nikolai Alekseyev: Russia to Gays: Get Back into the Closet (time.com)
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Questions about what legally binds two individuals are alive with fervour in the halls of wherever Americans gather. On their lips is conversation about gay marriage. The idea of this kind of union is close to my heart in that I am a part of this community being discussed. Being questioned is the validity of marriage within constitutional right. Homosexual unions are not recognised by the majority of states in this country. This past week, in fact, voters have overturned the right for gay marriage in Maine. For what it's worth, this article is my two cents on the matter. For those who argue that marriage is a sacrament governed by the church, I simply say that it isn't exactly true. In this day and age, as it hasn't always been true even in the most dogmatically Catholic countries of the past, one does not have to be in a church to be considered married. There has long been the fact that one can get married in the eyes of the state, in front of the justice of the peace, and even legally be considered married after the passing of time in many states in the Union. So, the sanctity of marriage is bound only by a single very thin thread of truth. I encourage all people to support our forefathers at the foundation of this country when they said "Separation of Church and State." One cannot govern the other, but of course we all know it does. That brings me to the story of Madison Reed.
The problem is this: Under current federal law, gay or lesbian American citizens or permanent residents like Madison who have foreign same-gender life partners or spouses are given no legal mechanism to bring their partners to the United States to live together as a family unit, since they cannot marry, and cannot therefore meet the overriding federal definition of marriage, which states that a marriage must be between "one man and one woman." Under U.S. immigration law it is only an American who is legally MARRIED to a foreign spouse according to the federal definition, or intends to marry within 90 days after the arrival on U.S. soil of the fiancé, who can petition to the U.S. Immigration authorities on behalf of his relative, for the issuance of a family-based visa for his spouse or fiancé to enter the United States. Since the family-based immigration visa benefit is tied to whether a marriage or family relationship exists between the American applicant and his foreign beneficiary, bi-national couples of the same gender fail to meet this qualification, and cannot receive a family uniting immigration visa. Being married in a state that has legal same-sex marriage will not help, because to receive the federally conveyed immigration benefit, the couple must meet the federal, not state, definition of marriage. So Gays and Lesbians are left out in the cold with absolutely no possible way to live in the United States with their legal spouses or life partners. Even if they are legally married, the foreign spouses must leave the United States after their student visas or tourist visas expire. Their relationships are invisible, non-existent, to the federal government. These Americans are hopelessly barred from any means to sponsor their partners to receive an immigration visa. They are forced to spend their lives apart in two countries, go into exile into a third country, or give up and abandon their relationships. This has never been true for heterosexuals. Federal immigration law has always allowed any straight American citizen or permanent resident to sponsor his foreign partner to move to the United States, get a green card, and get married and live happily as a couple.
The Uniting American Families Act of 2009 (H.R. 1024, S. 424) is a bill in Congress that makes an exception in U.S. immigration law to allow Americans in same-gender bi-national relationships to bring their foreign partners to the United States to live with them as heterosexual Americans can do for their foreign spouses or fiancees. Americans like Madison, in bi-national relationships with their foreign partners, need our U.S. representatives in Congress to throw their support behind The Uniting American Families Act. The bill currently has 137 sponsors in the House, and 95 in the Senate. To date, there are no sponsors of the bill from West Virginia.
Comparatively, we have made great strides when weighed against times past, except that we are living in the now and we have so much opportunity within the fabric of our changing American landscape to make swift, strong, historical changes which will reunite what at one time made people breathless with wonder when they took in the great experiment called America. The homosexual community is not going away. We are here to stay and stand strong, and in our community we still hear Liberty as she cries "bring us your poor, your tired, your huddled masses longing to be free..." Until next week!
Original story from Huntingtonnews.net
The stories of bi-national same-gender couples from Imeq.us
Friday, November 6, 2009
Alyaksandr Lukashenka believes that the situation with swine flu in the world, as well as in Belarus and Ukraine, had been intentionally provoked by pharmaceutical companies.
“It is a usual provocation of pharmaceutical companies. Their ambitions and desire to earn money on people’s misfortune,” Lukashenka said in Kyiv airport Borispol when he arrived on the official visit to Ukraine, Interfax informs.
Answering journalists’ questions about whether the leader of the Belarusian state whether he had fear to go to Ukraine, Lukashenka said: “What should I fear? One should calm down and live it through”. “To my mind the whole world is squealing likes pigs today. Belarus and Ukraine are not exception,” the Belarusian leader said.
“As far as I know, we have much less pneumonia cases this year as compared to the last year. As far as I know, the situation is the same in Ukraine,” the Belarusian leader said.
Speaking about bilateral Belarusian-Ukrainian relations, A. Lukashenka said: “Me and Viktor (Yushchenko) have long been considering these issues including the border and the Eastern Partnership joint projects,” the President said.
Answering the question concerning the state border issue, in particular ratification of an agreement on that, A. Lukashenka stated: “We have never had problems with the Ukrainian border, and do not have them now either”. Everything here will be all right,” the Belarusian leader added.
As charter97.org website informed already, the main unsolved issue in the relations of Belarus and Ukraine is ratification of the Belarusian-Ukrainian border. An agreement on the state border between Ukraine and Belarus was ratified by the Ukrainian side and still hasn’t been ratified by Belarus. Belarus linked ratification of the agreement with fixing financial obligations of Ukraine to Belarus, which formed after 1991 as a result of abandonment of mutual accounts on Soviet rubles.
In 2003 Ukraine and Belarus signed a bilateral protocol under which financial obligations of Ukraine of $134 mln were defined. In November 2003 Ukraine offered Belarus to pay 80% of the indebtedness by building facilities at the borders and building border crossings.
Original source: Charter97.org
Thursday, October 22, 2009
We, LGBT Americans are suffering terribly from the effects of forced separation from our foreign spouses and partners.
Intervene for us and unite us with our loved ones!
Homosexual, bisexual and transgendered people throughout America and the world have been suffering endlessly for centuries from cruel and deadly oppressors who have controlled our world religions and societies for millennia.
Intervene on our behalf!
Our religions were causes founded by the Spiritual Suns of humanity, Who were born into the world to bring Love and Justice, and yet the Founders were immediately delivered into the hands of the same ecclesiastical and political authorities who continue to oppress us and dim human civilization.
Free the earth of all parasitic influences!
Until now, the world's religions have not brought unity, justice or peace! They have largely failed us.
Sweep away the superstition and perversity from religion so that we can have peace!
Let's not forget that humanity's Teachers were were spit on; they were beaten, exiled, imprisoned, and murdered. Their oppressors spit on us, beat us, exile us, imprison us and murder us.
Shield and free us!
The world's LGBT people need your swift intercession.
Unite and protect our families!
Rip the mental and legal chains that our enemies have wrapped around us, and set us free!
And remove our perennial oppressors from their power and influence, forever!
We rest in your strong arms, and await your intervention.
It may take a village to raise a child, and apparently it takes at least two adult birds to teach a young song sparrow how and what to sing.
In the first study conducted in the field to examine how juvenile song birds learn their repertoire, University of Washington researchers have learned that eavesdropping on the singing conversations between two adult sparrows appears to be a key event in song learning. The results are being published Oct. 21 in the online edition of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The Royal Society is the British version of the National Academy of Sciences.
Scientists study how song birds acquire their songs because the process has parallels with human language learning. In each case eavesdropping seems to play a role.
The researchers used radio telemetry to track the young song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) and monitor responses to recorded bird songs played over two speakers. Only male birds were studied because female sparrows generally do not sing.
“We measured how close the juveniles came to the speakers, how long it took for them to approach and their overall movements. They generally moved closer, faster and farther when they heard recordings of two adult male sparrows interacting than when they heard recordings of a solo sparrow singing,” said Christopher Templeton, a UW biology doctoral student and lead author of the study.
The research stems from an earlier UW laboratory study that showed young sparrows acquire more of their songs when they eavesdrop on two birds than when they interact with a tutor. That research was headed by Michael Beecher, a UW psychology and biology professor, who is a co-author of the new paper.
For the field study, the researchers radio tagged 11 male sparrows in Seattle’s undeveloped Discovery Park. These birds were about two months old and had not yet begun to sing. The park has a year-round resident population of approximately l50 breeding pairs.
To test a young bird’s reactions, it was first located by its radio signal and then the speakers were placed about 50 yards from the animal’s location. Finally the bird was exposed to five minutes of pre-recorded song, either from pairs of song sparrows, a sparrow and a chickadee (effectively a solo sparrow) or a pair of chickadees (the control condition). All of the sparrow recordings were from birds that were no longer alive, so that the songs the young birds heard were not familiar. Chickadees commonly live in the same habitat as song sparrows, so sparrows are familiar with their songs.
That the juvenile birds approached the simulated interaction of two song sparrows but largely ignored the solo singing of a song sparrow lends support to the social eavesdropping hypothesis proposed by Beecher. This theory says young birds learn to sing by eavesdropping on singing between adult birds, rather than listening to a single bird or directly interacting with an adult.
“They seem to be learning how to sing and interact by eavesdropping on interactions. This way they can learn shared songs, which will be important for their future success. Having shared song is the basis of song sparrow communications,” said Templeton.
“By listening to two birds, the juvenile can also learn how the songs are used, something he can’t learn by listening to a single bird. The young bird could do this by directly interacting with a mature adult bird, but that is risky because he might be chased away or beaten up.”
Co-authors of the study are Caglar Akcay, a UW psychology doctoral student, and Elizabeth Campbell, a research technician. Funding for the work came from the National Science Foundation, the American Museum of Natural History, American Ornithologists’ Union, the Animal Behavior Society and the UW Royalty Research Fund.
Article Source: http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/557558/?sc=swhn
"There is no lawful manner for a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident to apply for a family-based visa for his or her partner if they are of the same sex. Our laws break apart these couples for no reason other than that they are of the same gender. This is unjust, cruel and unnecessary."
By Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) - 10/20/09 07:38 PM ET
In many respects, Greg and Jaime of New York City are like millions of other American families. They met at a mutual friend’s party in 1998 and have built a loving, stable life together over the past 11 years. They live in a pre-war apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and share a love of New York City, travel, dining out and hosting friends for dinner. Jaime has worked for nearly 10 years in the financial services industry. Like so many others in this economic downturn, Greg lost his job in January. If their life sounds unremarkable so far, that is because it is.
Greg and Jaime are both men, and Jaime, who was born in Argentina, is not a U.S. citizen. Because they are not a heterosexual couple, current immigration law does not allow Greg, who is a U.S. citizen, to sponsor Jaime for lawful permanent residence. When Jaime’s visa expires, in order to live together lawfully, they may have no choice but to leave the United States. This would mean abandoning their friends, Greg’s extended family and Jaime’s career. And then, where could they live together with immigration rights as a gay couple? Not Argentina.
Another couple, with the U.S. citizen a native of Vermont and his partner a Brazilian national, made this hard choice recently. The U.S. citizen was forced to sell his Vermont family farm and move to London in order to be able to live with his partner without violating immigration laws.
These couples are not alone. There are an estimated 36,000 other couples in America that face the same tortured predicament, in which one member of a same-sex couple is not a citizen and cannot be sponsored by his or her U.S. citizen partner for residence. There is no lawful manner for a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident to apply for a family-based visa for his or her partner if they are of the same sex. Our laws break apart these couples for no reason other than that they are of the same gender. This is unjust, cruel and unnecessary.
It is not only same-sex couples that are harmed by this harsh and discriminatory system. Innocent children suffer when one partner loses his or her lawful immigration status and families are torn apart by deportation of the non-citizen partner. Almost half of gay or lesbian bi-national couples have children.
Extended family, communities and employers are also affected when these couples are needlessly separated. At a time when our economy is suffering, it makes no sense to drive skilled workers away or put unnecessary strains on hardworking Americans.
Moreover, in a society where a premium is placed upon strong, stable and intact families, it is strikingly backward for the United States to have a policy that destabilizes American families. The principle of family unification is a hallmark of American immigration policy. We must apply this principle to lesbian and gay couples too.
This issue is about civil rights, not about same-sex marriage, domestic partnerships or civil unions. To fix this problem, we need not re-open same-sex marriage laws; we simply need to modify our immigration laws to treat bi-national couples equally. Nineteen other countries, many of which are our closest allies, provide immigration rights to same-sex couples. The United States can and should follow suit.
We have introduced legislation to right this wrong — the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) of 2009. This bill would grant same-sex couples the same immigration benefits — and responsibilities — as opposite-sex couples, under the same existing legal framework. It is cosponsored by 22 senators and 117 members of the House of Representatives and has the support of a diverse coalition of businesses and civil rights organizations, including the NAACP, the American Bar Association and the Anti-Defamation League.
NOTE: Greg and Jaime are a genuine couple. Their names were changed to protect their privacy but all details are accurate.
Leahy chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. Nadler is a member of the House Judiciary Committee.
Readers are asked to add their comment to Senator Leahy and Representative Nadler's article on The Hill. Comments can be added here: http://thehill.com/opinion/op-ed/63987-pass-the-uniting-american-families-act