jhameia: ME! (Call To Arms)
This makes me cry.

I am now conflicted, because it’s for stuff like this that I believe in the death penalty, and yet the death penalty is problematic. (If you don't know why it's problematic you'll have to look it up because I can't right now.) Is it very problematic when it constitutes the removal of such individuals, whose crime cannot be disproved (except by a very long stretch of irrational, nonsensical, non-reality-aligned imagination)? Or is death too harsh a punishment for 24 years of imprisonment, rape, forced childbearing, and torture? CNN catalogues the charges and possible sentences. Have a read and tell me. I don’t know anymore.
jhameia: ME! (Call To Arms)
So a youth pastor is now facing charges of sexual assault on a 14-yr-old girl from his church.

"Caldwell was charged with 6 counts of statutory rape of a 14-year-old, three counts of statutory sex offense of a 14-year-old and eight counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor."

After which he was re-arrested:
"After originally posting bond, a High Point youth pastor and Christian school athletic director was re-arrested on 19 additional sex charges.

At the second website, someone wrote this in the comments:

LindsayFnWhite wrote:
Well it’s like this. He may be a YOUTH pastor, but he’s NOT GOD! He IS HUMAN, just like the rest of us. We all make mistakes, but it’s not our option to judge him, discriminate him, or anything else. God will do that for us. What’s done is done, and no he’s not right, but what bout them little girls, they know how to say NO! Why are they messing with a married man with a wife and kids? You have to look at both sides of the story, yes he’s older and knows better, but them little teenagers these days, psh their parents don’t care letting them wear whatever, do whatever with friends, watch whatever on TV, and so forth. If these kids were true Christians they would have said no. Like I said he’s the older one and the youth pastor, but still it’s takes two!! And the next time you think oh well he should have this and that done to him, next time you lie, cheat, steal, cuss, dishonor your parents, lust, gossip, whatever it may be, just remember you committing a sin just as big as he is.

Galatians 6:1 Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly, should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation. 6:3 IF YOU THINK YOU ARE TOO IMPORTANT TO HELP SOMEONE, YOU ARE ONLY FOOLING YOURSELF. YOU ARE NOT THAT IMPORTANT.

That’s God’s words...believe it.

I do!

I'm not sure which part of the comment is worse:

"What's done is done" or "Why are little girls messing around with a married man?" or "these kids aren't true Christians, they watch TV / wear whatever they want / do whatever they want with friends" or "he may be the youth pastor but rape still takes two" or "gossiping, lying, lusting, cussing is as bad as rape" or "OMG GUYZ WHY ARE YOU CONDEMNING HIM?? HELP HIM!"

Just... ugh. How much brainpower does it take that hurting another human being, especially one weaker than you and lower in the hierarchy from him is a crime?

And this "if a 14-year-old girl and a 29-year-old man are involved, he's just a weak vessel and she's a conniving temptress" thing - No, really. One must inquire: how does a person arrive at this conclusion?


via Pandagon


Jan. 20th, 2009 01:52 pm
jhameia: ME! (Joline)
Rev. Joseph E. Lowery's benediction was utterly mindblowing. I'll post a video and transcript when I can. At Hoyden, someone mentioned that maybe it was strategic to have the invocation done by Rick Warren, because then he was TOTALLY OVERSHADOWED by Rev. Lowery.

And now that that's over, I suddenly crave Michelle Obama shortbread.

Also, transcript of Obama's Inaugural Address is already up at Shakesville.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
From an English major with some interest in linguistics and grammar and rhetoric.

Obama's speeches tend toward parallel structures in how he arranges his sentences. Not only that, but they're sometimes triple phrases too.

Will elaborate more when I get the time. Or if anybody asks.
jhameia: ME! (Joline)
I watched the "We Are One" concert on HBO and it was neat! Best acts were "My Country, 'Tis Of Thee" by Josh Groban and Heather Headley (with the Washington DC Gay Men Chorus backing them up - a historical first, mind you!) and "You'll Never Walk Alone" sung by Renee Fleming and the US Naval Glee Club.

I'll be watching the live feed here (the only feed which works fine despite my shitty connection) and I've got the TV on to CNN, but it's in the next room. BBC, NYTimes, MSNBC and other news sites also have live feeds, although they haven't begun yet. CNN live coverage began at 6pm (Malaysian time) and will keep going on until 6am.

Live blogging is happening at Pandagon, hosted by Auguste with a Hulu feed and Hoyden About Town with a feed from C-Span. Hoyden bloggers will mostly not be there because, well, it IS really late at night for them since they're Aussies and most of them are working parents with, you know, lives the next day XD It's fun, though, live blogging. Join in!

Also, if you like, take a picture of your shoes and post it in solidatory with the "Iraqi shoe-thrower" to say BYE BYE BUSH!! I wish I got a picture of my sandals, but I didn't, so I'll link to the Shoes of the Feministe Crew instead!
jhameia: ME! (Default)
"Clown teaches abstinence-only ed in Ohio middle schools."

Pam Spaulding of Pandagon shits us not!
jhameia: ME! (Joline)
I just sent this off to the Star newspaper.

Dear Editor,

In light of the fact that sex parties are held to usher in the New Year, moralists have come seeping out from under coconut shells to express their appalled amazement that people like to have a lot of sex (!) with a lot of other people (!!) and, possibly, an audience (!!!). Why, I ask, are we invested in what other people do with their own bodies? The idea that people participate in such events is a problem - if you think sex is a shameful act that should happen only behind closed doors, rather than a fun-filled activity between consenting adults.

Sure, sex can be an intimate, monogamous act, but that is not the only way it is peformed, and getting angry because other people have sex in other ways than you do is ignoring the variations of human sexuality. Even then, there is always willful ignorance of what's happening with other people's bodies, a mental state unfortunately more often used for issues such as economic disparity and human rights.

And the blame games! What simplistic notions we buy into! "Blame the West!" cry some, as if only Westerners condone sexual activities, completely ignoring the fact that the United States of America has poured _millions_ into abstinence-only programs to discourage pre-marital sex among teenagers, only to fail in preventing teens from having sex before marriage. (They did succeed in one thing: said teens are less likely to use contraceptives.)

"Blame the parents!" cry others, completely ignoring the fact that most parents, for all their flaws, do their best to raise children in an expensive world, in societies that encourage self-sufficient nuclear family setups that are neither sustainable nor supportive to young families, in economies that make it impossible for parents to earn a decent living without leaving their beloved children at home for long hours, just to earn enough so said children can have the best possible starts in life through an education system that runs on money. And that's being optimistic.

Which leads us to the group that cries "Teachers must do their part too!", forgetting that many teachers a) are bogged down with ridiculous administrative tasks that hamper them from the actual job of teaching; b) are trained to spoonfeed children facts and formulas instead of encouraging mental facility and curiousity; and c) are miserably underpaid for the grand task that is Making People.

People are going to have sex anyway; the best thing we can do about that is to encourage safe, sane and consensual sex. We have more important, highly complex issues to worry about than some random people whom we don't know having lots of sex with other people and an audience.

If they publish that entire thing like how they've been publishing the dribble from the moralists, I will treat anyone interested to lunch. Anyone in Malaysia, that is. And it would have to be a cheap lunch. Like, RM1 nasi lemak.

New Meme

Jan. 1st, 2009 05:56 am
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Here's a New Year's meme!

Post the first article with really neat news you read in the new year! It doesn't have to be written in 2009, it can be a few days old, like this one from One News Now about a "pro-family" group getting its knickers in a twist over Campbell Soups catching teh Gay, and Campbell's awesome response.

Click to read teh awesome )

h/t to Cara of the Curvature. HAPPY NEW YEAR! SPARKLES FOR EFFERYVUN!
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Here's the situation:

Someone on Facebook creates a group called "Kick A Ginger Day".

This group encourages everyone to kick a red-headed person on a specific day.

This was inspired by some South Park episode in which a red-headed kid is kicked by others. Fuck the context, I don't give a shit about context atm. All I need to know is the idea was generated from there. It's not altogether surprising to me; I've always seen South Park as a messed up parody show (no, not satire, the satire failz) with horrible shit happening that's apparently funny.



And this was a daylong prank.

And this is funny to them.

Just as it was funny on South Park.

And wow, what a joke on Facebook, eh.

That is fucking disgusting.

Times like this make me wish reproductive justice WAS revoked... against people who breed children like these.
jhameia: ME! (Call To Arms)
This is an actual study done recently:

"Employees who are sexually harassed experience less job satisfaction and lower job performance."

No fucking shit, Sherlock.

I know, I know, srz studiez like this make it clear that there's empirical evidence for the case against sexual harassment, but still, the fact that some people do not understand this correlation as a matter of course is baffling. Especially if you take into consideration the fact that these same people would be capitalistic kinds that want to make all sorts of monetary profit. Shouldn't it be obvious that happy people work hard and produce more profit?

Unless of course, they're not seeing them as people.
jhameia: ME! (Call To Arms)
Here's my full response to the AP reporter. You can find the article here.

The reporter was initially attracted to my blog by way of this post.

Clickies to read! )

Thoughts, criticisms, comments?
jhameia: ME! (Call To Arms)
So last night I was writing to an AP reporter who wanted some commentary from me on how Obama winning would affect other countries, especially mine. I answered the best I could, because in no way can I speak for my country, especially since our racial politics are much different than America's.

This morning while at work I had it open to CNN's page waiting for the state ballot initiatives come in. The numbers weren't looking good. But not all the precincts had reported in, so I was willing to give Americans the benefit of the doubt. Surely they wouldn't allow personal "ew yucks" to make them vote away the rights of others. That would betray the fundamental core of American values.

But they did. Oh god they did. They used their democracy, that ideology meant to bring out the best in people, to hurt others, their own neighbours, and possibly their own kin, their own fellow Americans. They made their message to homosexual Americans clear: you're not human enough in my eyes to have this right to marry.

Right now, my heart aches for my LGBTi friends in America who have essentially been told that they're not human enough to deserve the basic right to marry and have children to have, hold and raise.

From Feministe's Thomas:

Today is a day of both triumphs and disasters. When we went to bed last night, We were not saved, if maybe a little more than We had been the day before. And this morning We are more broken than We were when We went to bed. But today as yesterday, We fail, and We fall short, and We do the wrong thing, and our country is broken. So I’m not celebrating. And that the ways We fail often benefit me personally isn’t a comfort — it’s a rebuke of my complicity. Every day I benefit from it I cheat people who’ve never wronged me; who I’ve never met.

I’m going downstairs now to the drugstore near my office, and I’m going to get some black electrical tape, and I’m going to wear it over my wedding band, and I’m going to tell people that what happened is wrong. I need to do whatever I can to fix this, so that when my kids are old enough to ask, I have a better answer than “No We Can’t.”

This morning, while watching CTV News, one of the reporters asked, "are the Secret Service taking extra measures to protect president elect Obama?"

It reminded me of the cold hard truth that Obama may be the first black president in U.S. history, but that in no way renders racism null and void. That it was the collective votes of all persons of colour (white, yellow, black, brown, etc) getting together to vote, and whether or not we like it, there still is a demographic of racist white people who will do everything they can to hold others down.

From Tim Wise, guest-blogging at Racialicious:

And so it is back to work. Oh yes, we can savor the moment for a while, for a few days, perhaps a week. But well before inauguration day we will need to be back on the job, in the community, in the streets, where democracy is made, demanding equity and justice in places where it hasn’t been seen in decades, if ever. Because for all the talk of hope and change, there is nothing–absolutely, positively nothing–about real change that is inevitable. And hope, absent real pressure and forward motion to actualize one’s dreams, is sterile and even dangerous. Hope, absent commitment is the enemy of change, capable of translating to a giving away of one’s agency, to a relinquishing of the need to do more than just show up every few years and push a button or pull a lever.

This means hooking up now with the grass roots organizations in the communities where we live, prioritizing their struggles, joining and serving with their constituents, following leaders grounded in the community who are accountable not to Barack Obama, but the people who helped elect him. Let Obama follow, while the people lead, in other words.

For we who are white it means going back into our white spaces and challenging our brothers and sisters, parents, neighbors, colleagues and friends–and ourselves–on the racial biases that still too often permeate their and our lives, and making sure they know that the success of one man of color does not equate to the eradication of systemic racial inequity.

So are we ready for the heavy lifting? This was, after all, merely the warmup exercise, somewhat akin to stretching before a really long run. Or perhaps it was the first lap, but either way, now the baton has been handed to you, to us. We must not, cannot, afford to drop it. There is too much at stake.

The reporter last night asked me how this would reflect on racial polity in Malaysia - would it inspire it? Would Obama's presidency inspire Malaysians to look at their politics and identify the racism within? My answer was more complex than he probably wanted, but for more, this election was more than race - it was about the civil right of women to claim control of their bodies, and it was about the civil rights of LGBTi to be able to partake in an institution that comforts, consoles, and inspires many.

Frankly? In Malaysia, we haven't even STARTED to talk about either of those yet. We don't talk about abortion rights - we don't even want to acknowledge the existance of sexuality. We don't want to talk about gay rights - we prefer to mock Anwar Ibrahim's indiscretions, as if anal sex was a dirty little secret that we should all point and laugh at. We're hardly fucking touching these issues, and frankly? These are the two issues which are more dear to me than the issue of race in Malaysia. And I'm sure f-listers of mine are frustrated with Malaysia's glossing over of other issues important to them, too.

But America, we are watching, and your petty squabbles lead the way for the rest of us. I'm going to take the lessons I learnt from watching arguments on Feministe, Feministing, Pandagon and Shakesville, take them home to Malaysia, and set about trying to educate away the racism, sexism and homophobia of those unlucky enough to cross me. America is a huge country and all these people are connected through various communities, grassroot organizations, campaigns, and other whatnot that amounts to so many teaspons working their way through the large pile of oppression that has been building for centuries.

If any of my fellow Malaysians are reading this blog, I want to hear from you: would you bother wielding a teaspoon with me to clean our own waterworks? Or is it too hard, and we should just move away to places which would appreciate us more? And for good measure: Did Obama's win affect you at all?
jhameia: ME! (Default)
So, I'm neither black nor living in America. I've never known what it's like to want a representative just like myself in office, nor to be a minority in a predominantly white-washed society (Malaysia is quite well integrated in that sense that you can't go ANYWHERE without seeing different races unless you're in the ghetto, and even then...). I've been following this year's US elections with interest, starting with Hilary Clinton. I still follow it because, well, the blogs I read talk about it, and it seems really insane down there in the States right now.

I remember when I was younger, I wanted to be Prime Minister in Malaysia. I was dissuaded from it, because to be Prime Minister, apparently the best way in is to be Minister of Education. And that post is always given to a Malay. This was a fact and could not be debunked, not for my 15-yr-old self.

So Feministe had a link to Elle PhD, the blog of a black woman telling stories of her life as a black mother raising black children. I don't normally read this sort of stuff, because it's not something I can easily relate to nor understand, and sometimes I feel like I'm intruding on these spaces, somehow.

But there was the link about Elle PhD talking about what this year's elections mean, particularly for young black boys like her son:

First, a few days ago, I was trying to decide what clips from the The Murder of Emmitt Till I would show in my African American History class. My son saw parts of it and asked for the back story--he knows a bit about Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement already, but we've always discussed "And black people could be killed for..." in an abstract sense. But here was the story of a boy, only a few years older than he, who'd been savagely murdered. That troubled him enough.

But when I told him the murderers got away with it, he got visibly angry. "Wait til Obama is president," he said. "Racism-"

"Will still be here," I interrupted him. "Baby, Barack Obama being president will not fix all of the things we've talked about."

He nodded, but I know, in his heart, he thinks an Obama presidency will rectify so much of what is wrong.

Then, he came home Wednesday, sort of pissed, because his friend's mom had a "Nobama" sticker on her car.

He thought aloud about the likelihood of the friendhsip being able to continue. I scolded him for that and told him that not everyone has to agree with him politically. He just looked at me because he's still self-centered enough to think that everyone ought to see things the way he does.

And so she shared some pictures from Yes We Can (hold babies), a site showcasing pictures of Barack (and sometimes Michelle) Obama holding babies, or children showing support for Obama. Most of the pictures she posted are of young black boys with Obama. The expression on their faces are simply indescribable. I mean, kids are usually excited to meet famous people, that's pretty much a given. But for a moment I want to pause and consider what it must feel like to have an actual role model - a person who actually looks like you - in what is one of the top leading positions of the world. Particularly for a community that's stereotypically filled with troubles, associated with predatory, aggressive, antisocial behaviour... being a child from that community to suddenly have a role model one could actually imagine being like someday.

I can't place it. I can't think about this subject without crying and being filled with this feeling that is wonderful, but being unable to describe why.

Looking through the picture site some more, I found more pictures. It's not just the black boys . Not just the black children. Certainly not just the minorities.

This election is fascinating, because of the young. For all their youth, they give a damn. They are watching. Like that song from Into the Woods, children will listen. And not only will they listen, they also have a brain in their heads, and thoughts in those brains. We may think they're silent vessels waiting for us to pour the wisdom of the old into them, but that's a fallacy.

My gosh.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Apple donates $100,000 to fight Prop. 8

Apple Inc. is donating $100,000 to fight Proposition 8, which aims to end same-sex marriage in California by amending the constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

"Apple was among the first California companies to offer equal rights and benefits to our employees' same-sex partners, and we strongly believe that a person's fundamental rights -- including the right to marry -- should not be affected by their sexual orientation," the company said in a statement posted on its Web site Friday.

Apple joins Google, which came out publicly against Prop. 8 last month. Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page reportedly have donated a combined $140,000 to fight the measure.

In revealing its support, Google officials voiced similar points, saying the company sees the issue as one of equality and is opposed to the elimination of fundamental rights.

"While we respect the strongly held beliefs that people have on both sides of this argument, we see this fundamentally as an issue of equality. We hope that California voters will vote no on Proposition 8 -- we should not eliminate anyone's fundamental rights, whatever their sexuality, to marry the person they love," Brin said.

It is not common practice for either company to take a stand on political measures. It remains to be seen what effect the move might have on Proposition 8 supporters, who might avoid doing business with companies that oppose the measure.

jhameia: ME! (Joline)
So, yesterday, I headed out to help do stuff around Stepping Stone in preparation for "An Evening With Valerie Scott". I wasn't actually in the room for most of the evening, since I was at the table right outside the door, to welcome in people and say goodbye to them (Rene had to tell me that there was no one left but board directors in order to get me to close down).

When Ms. Scott came in, I thought, "wow." She's dressed well. She looks beautiful. She has so many smile lines. In fact, her whole face looks more used to smiling than anything. Rene introduced me, and she laughed a lot throughout the evening. She's a really petite woman too. But these are superficial things. The first non-superficial thing one notices about her? How full of life she is. Laidback, non-judgemental, and she really follows up on this first impression.

The AGM went really quickly because Rene rocks the agenda, and one of the Board members, Debbie Martin, was really nice to me... while I was sitting up front and the talk was over, she brought me food! It was the first real food I had the whole day... except for the nugget that Rene tossed to Jeff earlier in the afternoon (because they always toss Jeff scraps, lol) which I took, because Jeff's awesome like that.

Valerie Scott was interviewed by CTV at the venue itself, as well as a couple other reporters, and I stood behind her while she was talking. It was kinda neat. She speaks slowly, very very carefully, and you can tell she's done this before, thought out what she was going to say, and doesn't just break out into whatever. Really well-spoken lady, and she doesn't speak too fast nor too slow, but every word she says, she says it with conviction.

Her talk was incredible - she described all the problems that sex workers face, and the way she told us was so earnest, I nearly cried. But she was also so funny - she handed out nickels and said, "and now you're all my pimps" because the Living on the Avails Law (aka procuring or pimping) says that anyone who receives any money from a prostitute, or lives with one, is, basically, a pimp, which is stupid because that means they can't share that money or share living space: can't have roommates, can't have a spouse, or a friend.

I didn't get to talk to her much, because I was working the door (and I wouldn't know what to say to her anyway), but I DID get her to sign my "Sex Workers in the Maritimes Talk Back" book... she didn't write it, but it's about sex workers, and she's one, and what better book in which to get her autograph??

The turnout was AMAZING. Over a hundred people were there! I gave out info booklets that I helped photocopy (and fold) earlier in the day, and we were selling Sex Workers in the Maritimes books (inventory from Outside the Lines on Quinpool; they're the only bookstore in Halifax selling it! and the guy from the bookstore came too. I must tell you about him, he's lovely)... only one person bought it, but lots of people expressed interest in it, which is great, because it's a very solid, biographical book that collected stories from sex workers and keeps most of the quotes in verbatim.

It was a good time, honestly. There was a bit of dialogue when during the Q&A session, someone asked, "how did you get into sex work?" and someone who'd formerly worked with Stepping Stone pointed out, "That's not a relevant question; you'd never ask that of a banker." I had a good chat with the girl who asked the question (journalism student at King's, here's hoping she does more research) and I directed her to a few blogs she could read to get a grasp of other issues that sex workers face (one of them's yours, Ren!!) - hopefully, she'll run with it, and it would be a damned interesting assignment to read!

Here are a bunch of links you guys can read on Valerie Scott!

- The Chronicle Herald's interview with Ms. Scott
- Metro Daily News' article on the talk by Ms Scott, with a picture of Rene Ross, Executive Director of Stepping Stone
- CBC's interview with Ms. Scott (RealPlayer needed, I imagine, since it's in .ram format)
- fab Magazine's article on Scott, which has nothing to do with her Halifax visit, but is still awesome nonetheless, plus with an awesome, 18+ picture of Ms. Scott

Here's the Sex Professionals of Canada (SPOC) website, and you can imagine my nerdy glee when Ms. Scott pronounced the acronym just like "Spock".

There were also a bunch of TV interviews too, and apparently they were on after the event was over and I just didn't turn on the TV, which I should do more often. I'll keep posting links as they come up over the next few days.
jhameia: ME! (Call To Arms)
Happy Raya, (for my Malaysian friends), and Happy Eid for those the world all over. I hope you had a good celebration after your holy month of Ramadhan. The fact that this fasting month is a pillar of Islam makes what I'm going to share with you all the more horrendous. But it has to be done, because major media outlets probably won't touch on this at all, because ... well, we'll see.

From the Daily Kos:

On Friday, September 26, the end of a week in which thousands of copies of Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West -- the fear-mongering, anti-Muslim documentary being distributed by the millions in swing states via DVDs inserted in major newspapers and through the U.S. mail -- were distributed by mail in Ohio, <a "chemical irritant" was sprayed through a window of the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, where 300 people were gathered for a Ramadan prayer service. The room that the chemical was sprayed into was the room where babies and children were being kept while their mothers were engaged in prayers. This, apparently, is what the scare tactic political campaigning of John McCain's supporters has led to -- Americans perpetrating a terrorist attack against innocent children on American soil.

From the Dayton Daily News:

DAYTON — A 10-year-old girl sprayed in the face with a chemical Friday, Sept. 26, while at a local Islamic mosque was not the victim of a hate crime, police Chief Richard Biehl said.

The girl was watching children whose parents and relatives had gathered at the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, 26 Josie St., to celebrate Ramadan when she noticed two men standing outside a basement window about 9:40 p.m., according to police.

One of the men then sprayed something through the open window and into the girl's face from a white can with a red top, according to a police report. The girl said she immediately felt burning on her face and felt "sick to her stomach," the report stated.

Other children and a woman in the room felt affects from the chemical and the mosque was evacuated.

"The men didn't say anything to her (before she was sprayed)," Biehl said. "There was nothing left at the scene or anything that makes us believe this is a biased crime."

HAZMAT crews called to the scene started testing for chemicals less than 20 minutes after a member of the mosque called 911, team coordinator Denny Bristow said.

"Whatever chemical was released it dissipated too quickly for us to determine what it was," Bristow said. "We can test for about 130 to 140 chemicals, including pepper spray, and all our tests came back negative."

Bristow said there were no chemicals found on the 10-year-old girl.

A few of the 300 people celebrating the last 10 days of Ramadan with dinner and a prayer session were treated for eye irritation at the scene.

Mosque board member Tarek Sabagh said many people within the mosque speculated that the incident was the result of a DVD about Islamic radicalism titled "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West" that was mailed to area homes by its producers and circulated as a paid advertisement with more than 70 newspapers, including the Dayton Daily News.

"We are not linking the two at all," Sabagh said.

Biehl said the incident will be assigned to a detective today, Sept. 30, since it happened over the weekend. The detective will determine if a crime was committed. The police report of the incident was filed Monday afternoon. He said a detective was at the scene Friday.

Normal prayer services were held at the mosque through the weekend and on Monday, Sabagh said. The 10-year-old girl and the woman who was in the room with her have returned to the mosque, he said.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. During the month, Muslims fast (do not eat) from sunrise to sunset. In the evening and in the morning before the sun comes up, they eat small meals. During this month, they take extra time for family, inner reflection, and spiritual growth.

What kind of horrible being do you have to be to spray chemical poison into a basement room full of children??

And to do this while their parents are in the next room, celebrating another day passed that they have fasted, sharing food and prayers? Just practising their religion in a peaceful manner that is completely non-threatening to other folks (look, fasting means you generally don't have time to get a hate-on for anybody else), and some anti-Muslim freak thinks it's a good idea to spray chemicals at children?

And how blind can police be to not call this a hate crime? Particularly in light of the fact that just a week ago, a DVD containing anti-Muslim polemic was released and distributed all over the place? Do these people honestly not see how a "documentary" like that could provoke someone to commit a hate crime?

And why aren't more papers reporting this? This shit would be all over the papers if it had been a church. It would have been called a hate crime if, a week before, Muslims had been distributing anti-Christian DVDs.

So, I'm sharing this with you, as Racialicious says:

If you have a blog, if you are a journalist, if you just have a lot of friends on your email contact list - write about this. It is completely abhorrent to me that almost no one, so far, is talking about this. Let’s prove to ourselves that our society is not as horrifyingly racist as it appears to be today.

I'm so ... angry. And sad. And angry. This is so many degrees of fucked up. Just like other hate crimes are. Am I being optimistic in hoping you'll get angry too?
jhameia: ME! (Default)
There's a piece of legislature up for voting in California, Proposition 8, which effectively bans gay marriage in California.

Google has stated its official position on it, even though it normally doesn't get involved with these things.

And Google is on the side of equality.


I blubbed.

Sep. 24th, 2008 01:36 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
You might, too.

Two months after the foster child came to live in Wayne LaRue Smith's two-story Key West home, the brown-eyed 5-year-old boy looked up from the kitchen table and, in a plaintive voice, asked what seemed a simple question.

``Will you be my daddy?''

At first, Smith, a foster father who has cared for 33 children in state custody, could not say yes.

Smith, who is openly gay, could raise other people's children. But in Florida, the only state that outright bans all gay people from adopting, he could never adopt a child of his own.

Until now.


''Chief among the interests served by Florida's adoption law is the best interest of Florida children,'' Assistant Attorney General Valerie J. Martin has written. ``Can it be seriously contended that an arguably rational basis does not exist for placing adoptive children in the mainstream of American family life?''

The state did not defend the ban, however, in Audlin's court.

In a strongly worded 67-page order signed Aug. 29, Audlin wrote that Florida's 1977 gay adoption ban arose out of ''unveiled expressions of bigotry'' when the state was experiencing a severe backlash to demands for civil rights by gay people in Miami.

''Disqualifying every gay Floridian from raising a family, enjoying grandchildren or carrying on the family name, based on nothing more than lawful sexual conduct, while assuring child abusers, terrorists, drug dealers, rapists and murderers at least individualized consideration,'' Audlin wrote, was so ''disproportionately severe'' that it violates the state and U.S. constitutions.


Smith and Skahen were, in most respects, model foster parents, state records showed.

''The applicant is seen as nurturing, stable and devoted,'' a social worker's home study concluded. ``As an individual, he is considered to hold high moral character and is known to be gentle and patient.''


Smith and Skahen now are raising the 12-year-old boy Smith adopted, and a 10-year-old foster child whom they expect to remain with them until he reaches adulthood. There also are two cats, a dog and two hermit crabs.

The family maintains a strict routine in other areas, as well. Children open their backpacks every afternoon when they come home so the dads can inspect for homework. Homework is done promptly. The family shares dinner every night, no excuses. Quiet time after dinner and before bed. Lights out at 8:30, except on the weekend.

''We were a family going into this,'' Skahen said. ``We're just more of a solidified family now.''

It's a bit problematic because this decision didn't overturn the ban, but it's something.

October 2017

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