effex: Sorry we're fucked (Sorry we're fucked)
If Rick Perry wins the 2012 Presidential Election I'm leaving the country. He's already a large part of why I'm trying to leave the goddamn state.

Rick Perry: not the dude you want for US President.

effex: TV has the fun (TV has the fun)
A couple of links:

* Al Jazeera's 'Disaster in Japan' live blog for March 15th (previous days linked in the post)

* On Good.is: Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan: How to Help

* Nuclear energy 101: Inside the "black box" of power plants. Also, Fukushima Nuclear Accident – a simple and accurate explanation.

* Al Jazeera's spotlight on Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Egypt, and Algeria.


There's more - sweet baby bunnies, there's more - but I'm not in a good headspace for going over it right now. Let's talk about TV instead.

I've been faithfully watching Wandering Son (Hourou Musuko) since Crunchy Roll started airing it and folks, let me tell you, this show is amazing. Amazing. You should click on that link and watch it (it's free!).

Wandering Son's a lovely, slow, slice of life story about trans kids in Japan - growing up, struggling with identity, and love, and family, and friendship, and puberty. It's gorgeous, beautifully animated and acted and full of sympathetic characters and, just [flails].

Let's move on to something I can talk about coherently, shall we? My roommate D and I spent Saturday afternoon burning through both seasons of The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers and, well. Never have I seen that much Awesome and that much Fail packed into the same space.

The basics: LXD (for short) is a webseries that runs on Hulu. It's about dancers! There's a nominal plot, but mostly it's about showing off the work of some incredible artists.

The awesome: The vast majority of the characters are people of color - something like 13 out of 19 of the reoccuring characters (in the first season). Ditto for the background dancers (though I didn't go back and count, heh). Every single one of them is a fucking amazing dancer. We've got b-boying, we've got ballet, tricking, krumping, hip-hop, roboting, popping, tap... all integrated into the environment and the (again, nominal) plot. There's no special effect or wire work, everything's shot on location, the cinematography is beautiful. Also, there is Harry Shum, Jr.

The fail: The show is really, really, really bad with woman. Only 3 of the aforementioned repeating characters are female, only two of them are dancers (there are more in the background, but not many). All three are love interests/plot devices and, ugh. In the 7th episode of season 1 (S1Ep7), one of them literally has control of her body stolen by a dude in a sequence that should come with a trigger warning. The only all-female dance routine (S2Ep5) is all about how women seduce and kill men, good times. There's also some messed up race stuff (especially the Eaters in S2Ep3 - black demons, really?) and ablism (the psychiatric hospital scenes, especially in S2Ep8). There's also a weird weaponization of dance/art that I'm iffy about.

The neutral: The writing is terrible - they basically threw a bunch of Cool Stuff (chi chakra Ra! Secret organizations! Boarding schools! The occult! Love triangles! Etc!) at a wall to see what would stick. The end of season 2 is so hilariously bad it comes out into awesome. The acting's not great either, but most of these guys are dancers, not actors.

So. If you want to watch a bunch of amazing, often adorable and/or attractive dudes dance and can ignore the fail (and the plot), LXD's worth a look. If nothing else, you should catch Harry Shum, Jr's intro chapter (he shows up at 1:08, dancing starts at 2:20):

Why is there no fanfic for this, fandom? I am disappoint.

effex: default (Default)
* The Red Cross has set up a donation page specifically for Japan. USians can text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10. Canadians can do the same by texting REDCROSS to 30333. It can take a while for texted donations to process, though, so donate directly through the website if you can.

* CNET has a long list of online resources for finding people and tracking the tsunami.

* Al Jazeera continues to rock the good reporting. They're also covering events live and live blogging here.

* Great Tohoku Earthquake - Info, news and live updates, mostly for English speakers inside Japan.

* George Takei is doing a lot of tweeting about the earthquake - I'm getting most of my disaster relief info from him.

* The NHK and Japan Times Online both have ongoing coverage.

* All Things Nuclear has an analysis of the Nuclear Crisis at Fukushima.

eta: plus a couple of links from around DW:

* [personal profile] glass_icarus has a link roundup.

* [personal profile] kerri has a post about ways to donate.

* [community profile] help_japan / [livejournal.com profile] help_japan

eta 2:

* There're rumbling's going around about the Red Cross's treatment of queer folk, which I'm taking with a grain of salt (no references, googling doesn't turn up much, the Red Cross/Red Crescent societies are individual by country, etc). If you're looking for a RC alternative, though, Doctors Without Borders/Medecins sans Frontieres is an excellent organization.

eta 3:

* Gizmodo (I know, but it's a guest blogger) reminds us that Japan hasn't actually asked for outside help yet (aside from some search and rescue teams, I think) and they money we're donating now isn't actually going to Japan. Except for Doctors Without Borders. Maybe.
effex: default (Default)
Hey, fellow USians - the House of Representatives just voted to de-fund Planned Parenthood. Now would be a really good time to sign Planned Parenthood's Open Letter to Congress. Pro-Choice America has one too (via [personal profile] zillah975). It still has to get through the Senate, there's a chance we can still do some good.

Don't know what's going on (but want to)? I posted a primer on Monday.
effex: I don't *think* so (I don't *think* so)
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! Spring is in the air, love is all around us, and the US House of Representatives is hard at work restricting women's access to health care. Let's talk about that.


Before we start: I am not interested in debating the ethics of abortion or contraception. This is a pro-choice and pro-women's health space, please proceed accordingly.


What's going on?

There are currently three pieces of anti-women’s health legislation going through the US House of Representatives: the "Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act” (H.R. 217), the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (H.R. 3), and the “Protect Life Act” (H.R. 358). There's always anti-women’s health legislation going through the US congress, but the shiny new Republican majority + lack of public awareness makes these three particularly dangerous.

So what would these bills do, exactly?

The "Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act” (H.R. 217) 'would strip federal family planning funding from health care providers that also provide abortion care with private funds'. Excludes abortions for pregnancies that are the result of rape and/or incest or fatally endanger the woman.

The “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (H.R. 3) 'Seeks to prohibit even indirect funding streams that may potentially come in contact with abortion services. For example, it would deny tax credits to companies that offer health plans that cover abortions and it would block anybody with insurance that covers abortions from receiving federal subsidies, even if the abortion portion is paid separately with personal funds'. This is also the bill that tried to redefine rape, although that has since been dropped.

* From rhrealitycheck.org: No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion? A New Bill With An Old Face. In addition to the bill's ban on abortion coverage, [H.R. 3] imposes over-reaching tax penalties upon Americans and small businesses whose health plans cover abortion care for its female employees. This bill would ensure that millions of women are permanently prevented from accessing abortion care: from lower income women using Medicaid as their insurance coverage, to women with private insurance coverage who would be penalized for needing or wanting abortion coverage, to businesses offering insurance coverage with abortion care, to federal employees who are prohibited from having abortions covered in their insurance plans, to women (and their dependents) who serve bravely in our military (and male soldiers' dependents) and have no access to insurance coverage if they are in need of an abortion, to Native American and Pacific Islander women who seek services from Indian Health Services.

The “Protect Life Act” (H.R. 358) would prohibit federal funds from being to used to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion services. 'Focuses on restricting access to abortion coverage in the health care reform law passed last year, in addition to beefing up refusal clauses for providers. The most heinous piece of the legislation would seem to allow providers to refuse to do procedures even in emergency situations in which the woman’s life is at risk'.

As a bonus, the House Majority has also resolved to eliminate the Title X family planning program altogether. Because it's not like we actually need affordable access to preventative health care and family planning services.

* From the Huffington Post: Don't Let Them Kill Family Planning!. The Title X Family Planning -program, which Nixon signed into law in 1970, is one of this country's great achievements in public health and social justice. Clinics funded through Title X now prevent nearly a million unintended pregnancies every year. They save women's lives through cancer screening, immunization and blood-pressure testing. Publicly supported family planning even saves the government money -- $3.74 for every dollar invested..

Why does this matter?

For millions of people, Planned Parenthood and the organizations like it are the only affordable source of pap smears, screenings for cervical cancer, breast exams, testing for STIs and HIV, contraceptives, and other forms of reproductive health care. Reproductive health care that saves lives (and vastly improves the quality thereof). Reproductive health care that's often the only access to any kind of health care people have. Plus information about, you know. How bodies work. How contraception works. How you can protect yourself while having a healthy sex life.

These bills aren't about preventing taxpayer money from being spent on abortion services; those restrictions already exist. They're sure as fuck not about protecting women or children. This is about punishing women and health care services for providing abortion at all. It's about control.

The good news is that there are things you can do! Contact your State Representative (yeah, yeah, I can hear the groans in the back. This is just an email form, it's easy). Volunteer and/or donate to your local Planned Parenthood or family planning organization. If you're in Texas, Planned Parenthood is doing a Lobby Day in March. Make your voice heard.

* From Tiger Beatdown: #DearJohn: On Rape Culture and a Culture of Reproductive Violence. We live in a culture of reproductive violence against anyone who can get pregnant. And so, so much of the violence is invisible, even to the people who experience it, because it’s normalized. When my boyfriends tried to pressure and coerce me not to use birth control, it was a form of violence. When I was raised, as a devout Catholic, without any reliable or scientifically accurate information about abortion and birth control — when I was encouraged throughout my own life to value my health less than I valued fetuses — it was a form of violence. When condoms broke, or guys “accidentally” had sex with me without condoms, and I was treated with hostility and shamed for being upset about it, it was a form of violence. When I wasn’t given information about how Plan B worked, when I was told it was “a form of abortion,” when information proving that wrong wasn’t widely accessible to me, it was a form of violence. Having to go 45 minutes away to get it? Violence. Not being taught, as an essential part of self-care, where to access it? Violence. I should have been told “it is a normal part of self-care to brush your teeth, shower frequently, use tampons or pads, always use birth control and to know that Planned Parenthood will give you emergency contraception for $15,” ALL of those messages should have been TOTALLY NORMAL AND WIDESPREAD throughout my adult life, but they weren’t.


Cut for more linkage )

effex: default (Default)
* The big news: Hosni Mubarak has resigned as Egypt's president. Fuck yes, Egypt! If you haven't been following along at home, Al Jazeera has a timeline of events.

Don't stop paying attention to Africa and the Middle East - this'll have major impact on the protests in other countries.

* On Good.is: Americans Have No Idea How Much Welfare They're Getting. The rise of the anti-big government Tea Party movement in America has also seen a rise in the number of citizens publicly decrying both taxes and the social welfare programs for which those taxes provide. A recent study shows, however, that many Americans actually have no idea that they're on the dole, calling into question the validity of their attacks on government handouts.

* On BoingBoing: StartingPage now returns Google search results, privately. Google and other search engines track what users search; over time, the data collected can be pretty revealing, so much so that the DOJ wants access. For the most part, privacy policies are only as good as the lawyers backing them, and "law of the land" can trump anything. And all of that adds up to worrisome prospects for all of us.

* [personal profile] the_future_modernes has been doing info roundups on anonymous vs. private security firms/Bank of America/US chamber of congress/lots of people. Informative and entertaining!

* I found this article on death on Mt. Everest both interesting and deeply disturbing - WARNING FOR GRAPHIC PHOTOS.

Moving on...

* Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Dinosaur Sex

* [livejournal.com profile] pollums has posted a bunch of beautiful, sensual, turn of the century ads for men's Interwoven Socks. They are amazing. [livejournal.com profile] pollums regularly posts vintage illustrations and is an amazing artist in her own right, you should check out her journal.

* We're going to get new Avatar comics!

* The owners of Project:Messiah, an industrial grade 3D animation program, are trying an experiment - they're offering the entry version for $10 (regularly $499) and the whole package for $40 (regularly $1195). Everyone needs a chance to show what they can do. That chance is more often limited by money; maybe that's you, maybe that's someone you know; a parent, a friend, some students of yours. We got a chance to prove what we could do starting out, and now we're giving one to you. I'm a little stunned.

* Boingboing again: Mike Mignola talks setting and architecture.

* Google recently launched Art Project, virtual tours of some of the world's best art museums. Shiny!

* [community profile] build_a_world's February/March challenge is 'Create and Use a Conlang'. Even if you're not participating, the resource post is worth raiding.
effex: default (Default)
Dallas is completely shut down due to ICE APOCALYPSE. The schools, public transit, the airports, you name it. We're basically stuck in our apartment because no one's been out to salt the stairs.

Which is fine, no complaints here! We're gathered round the tv, watching the Al Jazeera English live feed. Which you should do if you have the chance, there are two million people protesting peacefully in Tahrir Square. The Jordan monarchy has fired it's cabinet in an attempt to ward off similar protests. Things in Syria are tense. There are fresh protests in Yemen. It' a good time to start paying attention to international news (*not* via US news networks).
effex: Holy keyboard Batman! (Holy keyboard Batman!)
A quick one today, for I am ill and also swamped at work (hurray).

* There are major protests going on in Egypt and Yemen and smaller ones going on in Libya, Jordan, Algeria, and other North African and Middle Eastern countries. There have been several protester deaths in Egypt and the Egyption government is attempting to shut down internet access and restrict information...and the twitter feed I'm following (@SultanAlQassemi, an Op Ed writer for The National) says army vehicles are moving into Cairo. This is a big deal, folks. Al Jazeera has a spotlight on Egypt, BBC News - Middle East has general coverage. Mother Jones has 'What's going on in Egypt, explained.'

* [personal profile] colorblue has a followup/link roundup to the last round of Book!Pirates: piracy & literary festivals

* Speaking of book pirating, History is a weapon has the entirety of Howard Zinn's 'A People's History of the United States' online. Fellow USians (and anyone else who's interested), if you haven't read this yet you need to. Know your history.

* The first Potluck food carnival, as hosted by [personal profile] glass_icarus, is live! YUM.

* [community profile] notgreenorblue, a characters of color in comics fest, is open for prompt claiming! I snagged 'Jaime Reyes, an a/u in which Jaime Reyes is part of the Young Avengers' because I am incredibly predictable.

* Porn Battle XI is up and running until Feb. 3rd!

* [livejournal.com profile] bb_shousetsu is still taking signups for their all-women Bang*Bang Special #1.

* [community profile] purimgifts is open for signups

* [community profile] festivids has gone live! Sweet, sweet vidding goodness. I'm especially fond of Space Oddity (Community).

* [personal profile] talitha78 has a roundup of three incredible non-festivids vids.

* [personal profile] the_future_modernes has a post up about pretty, pretty dreadlocked dolls.
effex: default (Default)
Let's start with disaster relief:

* The flooding in Australia is still bad, bad, bad, but you probably know that already. Both the Australian Red Cross and the Queensland Government homepage are good places to donate (via [personal profile] copperbadge).

* There's also flooding in Brazil, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Sri Lanka. And Columbia is still recovering from flooding in early December. Googling gets me the Brazilian Red Cross (in Portuguese), the Philippine Red Cross, the Malaysian Red Crescent, the Thai Red Cross, the Sri Lanka Red Cross, and the Columbian Red Cross (in Spanish). Anyone know of other repudiable organizations?

* It's been a year since the earthquake in Haiti and they're still rebuilding (while fighting a malaria outbreak) - [livejournal.com profile] help_haiti has a roundup of organizations still operating in the country.

Opinions go under a cut )

Enough opinionating, on with the links:

* Why is nobody calling Jared Loughner a terrorist?

* On Tiger Beatdown - The Arizona Shooting: An FAQ

* On Slacktivist - Only a crazy person would take what we say seriously

* From Ta-Nehisi Coates - On Loughner

Comments were good reading on all of these last time I checked.

Other things:

* From Sara Mayeux, one of Ta-Nehisi Coates' recent guest bloggers Fun with numbers, high school student drug use edition

* From Jamelle Bouie, also a guest blogger - A brief history of welfare for middle class Americans

* On boingboing - US orders Twitter to hand over account data on Wikileaks and multiple Wikileaks supporters

* You've heard about the 'Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior' article on the Wall Street Journal, yes? Turns out it had been edited without [Chua's] input, and by the time she saw the version they intended to run, she was limited in what she could do to alter it.

"I was very surprised," [Chua] says. "The Journal basically strung together the most controversial sections of the book. And I had no idea they'd put that kind of a title on it. But the worst thing was, they didn't even hint that the book is about a journey, and that the person at the beginning of the book is different from the person at the end -- that I get my comeuppance and retreat from this very strict Chinese parenting model."

Good job, WSJ.

Fun shiny things go under a cut )

Videos go under a cut. Wow, this post is long. )
effex: Liquor (Liquor)
Many links about Delicious (not actually being shut down!), politics, Wikileaks, science, and stuff. )

I've got another 12 or so, mostly fannish stuff, but I'll post them tomorrow. Now is the time for YULETIDE PANIC, OH SHIT. There's 3.5 hours to the defaulting deadline, which is the deadline I gave myself for getting my first draft done. Because if it's not done by then I might as well give up, you know? :/

But I'm close! So 'night (or morning, or afternoon), y'all, have a good one.
effex: default (default)
Arizona's governor has just signed 'Immigration' bill S.B. 1070 into law, which is... terrifying. From the New York Times article earlier this week:

The Arizona Senate passed one of the most stringent immigration laws in the country on Monday, marking a new level of influence for a Republican state senator who not long ago was seen by many as an eccentric firebrand.

Passage of the law, which would, among other things, allow the authorities to demand proof of legal entry into the United States from anyone suspected of being in the country illegally, testified to the relative lack of political power of Arizona Latinos, and to the hardened views toward illegal immigration among Republican politicians both here and nationally.

Take a moment to let that sink in - Anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. Which means if you're Hispanic, or brown, or look like you might be brown and you left your identifying documents at home that day, you are fucked. American citizen, permanent resident, temporary resident, illegal resident, it doesn't matter.

Why was this passed? Says the bill's Republican sponsor, state Rep. Russell Pearce of Mesa:

"Illegal is illegal [...] We'll have less crime. We'll have lower taxes. We'll have safer neighborhoods. We'll have shorter lines in the emergency rooms. We'll have smaller classrooms."

I'm too angry to even start unpacking the fuckery in that statement (but if we only got rid of those icky illegals who clutter up our schools and hospitals and neighborhoods, why then, this would be paradise!). But this isn't racial profiling, folks, why would you think that?

A Phoenix Law Enforcement Association representative acknowledged that racial profiling can occur but said fears associated with the bill are unfounded.

"We're not targeting any particular group," said Levi Bolton, a retired police detective. "Cops are not here to do these things to you."

This is not the answer to our 'immigration problem'. This is fucked up, and racist, and oppressive, and wrong.
effex: Letter to your mama (Letter to your mama)
I watched the news tonight. I don't, usually (GUESS WHY. Hint: It's awful!), but my roommate turned it on while I was making dinner and I'm apparently incapable of walking away.

If you missed it, former President Carter gave a speech tonight in which he said "I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African American." It's a response to Sen. Wilson and the recent conservative demonstrations and, predictably, the news sphere has exploded with talking heads and accusations and analysis. My roommate claimed Carter was calling anyone who disagreed with Obama a racist, I pointed out the 'intensely demonstrated animosity' bit, she waved it off as 'implied,' we shut down the conversation to avoid killing each other heated argument (hey, it's worked so far). But that's beside the point.

My own feelings on race, conservatism, and Obama are complicated (much like the issue!) - I suggest reading Ta-Nehisi Coates and the Tenured Radical if you're interested in thoughts much more intelligent then mine.

One thing that stood out at me, amidst all the discussion, was the line put forth by both sides - that racism is still around, sure, but (white) Americans (the demonstrators in particular) are Good People Making Their Voices heard, it's wrong to call them racist, some are kinda iffy but it's just a fringe element. The extremists.

And just, no.

I know you've heard this all before, but- )

It's every god-damned where; casual, pervasive, systematic. It's in our movies, our music, our books, our heads. It's on our televisions, telling us it doesn't exist.

I am really not looking forward to the national debate these next few weeks.
effex: Those are KINDS of evidence (Those are KINDS of evidence)
I am determined to become a well-rounded, informed citizen of the world - I don't know enough about the government of my *own* country, never mind the other 194. If I can explain the complex history of the Bat!clan and Gotham at the drop of a hat, I can damn well learn the names/politics of all nine US Supreme Court Justices and the geographical location of Tehran.

I'm thinking flashcards, and also a separate world news feed.
effex: default (Still here)
Michael Jackson and Captain Eo )

Other Celebrity Deaths/fauxDeaths )

Iran )

Warnings, as in Fic Warnings )

And that's enough of that, I think. Next up, 'Blue Beetle and Hayate Cross Blade are AWESOMEOMG.'
effex: Holy keyboard Batman! (Holy keyboard Batman!)
Again, to be updated throughout the day.

* Bracing for New Protests, Iran Tightens Crackdown (New York Times): Thrown on the defensive by the biggest demonstrations since the Islamic revolution in 1979, the authorities on Tuesday offered a concession to the sustained rage here, saying they would allow a limited recount of the vote — an offer that was resoundingly rejected as opposition leaders sought to maintain the impetus of the protests.

* The 'Iran' tag at FiveThrityEight - Nate's been crunching the numbers.

* Iran's post-election unrest: live - Guardian Liveblog

* In Iran, "Pretty" Is Sometimes The Protest (Jezebel): As you peruse the images coming out of Iran from all over, remember this: when you see a woman with a tunic above her knees, red fingernails, an extremely loose headscarf and a protest sign, try to look beyond the "pretty". Those things are also a symbol of what an Ahmadenijad regime would deny (and, in some cases, has denied) her the right to be.

* Iran Election Fraud: 5 Reasons to Doubt the Results (YouTube): In which John discusses the Iranian presidential election. Incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was reelected by a landslide over (quasi-) reformist Mir Hussein Moussavi, but I argue that there are at least five reasons to doubt the results.

* We don't have Mousavi supporters, it's now all of Iran... (Informed Comment): Report on Tuesday's Demonstration for Mousavi in Tehran from an eyewitness. Again, I was sent this by an academic, but will not give the name to avoid any repercussions for the individual.

* Iran widens jamming of BBC as Revolutionary Guard cautions bloggers (Guardian): The BBC claimed today that Iran has widened electronic jamming of its services, as the country's Revolutionary Guard ordered domestic websites and blogs to remove any material that might "create tension" amid post-election unrest.

* Iran election fallout: on the streets, in cyberspace, protest faces tough opponent (Guardian): In its response to the current crisis, the Tehran government shows signs of having studied the experience of its foreign counterparts, and learned from it. Its web filtering system is said to be second only to China's, and cyber attacks were speedily mounted on foreign-based diaspora websites such as the one run by the Iranian film director, Mohsen Makhmalbaf.

* first audio dispatch from within Iran (ontd_political/Small World News)

* Text for the Players/Timeline post that's been going around.

* Ahmadinejad Rally Photoshopped to Appear Larger (Daily Kos)
effex: default (Soaring)
Coding for this post from [livejournal.com profile] misshallelujah, available here. Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] one_hoopy_frood.

A list of links re: the Iran election )

I'll be updating this throughout the day.


If you are reading this right now, you have more luxury than someone in Iran could ever hope for right now. If you are watching TV or a video on youtube, updating your status on Facebook, Tweeting, or even texting your friend, you are lucky. If you are safe in your home, and were able to sleep last night without the sounds of screaming from the rooftops, you need to know and understand what is happening to people just like you in Iran right now.


They are not the enemy. They are a people whose election has been stolen. For the first time in a long time, a voice for change struck the youth of Iran, just as it did for many people in the United States only seven months ago. Hossein Mousavi gained the support of millions of people in Iran as a Presidential candidate. He stands for progressiveness. He supports good relations with the West, and the rest of the world. He is supported with ferver as he challenges the oppressive regime of Mahmoud Amedinejad.

On Friday, millions of people waited for hours in line to vote in Iran's Presidential election. Later that night, as votes came in, Mousavi was alerted that he was winning by a two-thirds margin. Then there was a change. Suddenly, it was Ahmedinejad who had 68% of the vote - in areas which have been firmly against his political party, he overwhelmingly won. Within three hours, millions of votes were supposedly counted - the victor was Ahmedinejad. Immediately fraud was suspected - there was no way he could have won by this great a margin with such oppposition. Since then, reports have been coming in of burned ballots, or in some cases numbers being given without any being counted at all. None of this is confirmed, but what happened next seems to do the trick.

The people of Iran took the streets and rooftops. They shout "Death to the dictator" and "Allah o akbar." They join together to protest. Peacefully. The police attack some, but they stay strong. Riots happen, and the shouting continues all night. Text messaging was disabled, as was satellite; websites which can spread information such as Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and the BBC are blocked in the country. At five in the morning, Arabic speaking soldiers (the people of Iran speak Farsi) stormed a university in the capital city of Tehran. While sleeping in their dormitories, five students were killed. Others were wounded. These soldiers are thought to have been brought in by Ahmedinejad from Lebanon. Today, 192 of the university's faculty have resigned in protest.


Mousavi requested that they government allow a peaceful rally to occur this morning - the request was denied. Many thought that it would not happen. Nevertheless, first a few thousand people showed up in the streets of Tehran. At this point, it is estimated that 1 to 2 million people were there. (Personal note: I've heard reports that it might have been 3 million-- but nothing is confirmed at this point). Mousavi spoke on the top of a car. The police stood by. For a few hours, everything was peaceful. Right now, the same cannot be said. Reports of injuries, shootings, and killings are flooding the internet. Twitter has been an invaluable source - those in Iran who still know how to access it are updating regularly with picture evidence. Women are being brutally beat.

Tonight will be another night without rest for so many in Iran, no older than I. Tonight there is a Green Revolution.

For more information:

Here - from Boston.com
Here - on Flickr

Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish - near constant updates
ONTD_political live post - Collated information, pictures & etc in the comments

@Change_For_Iran <-- no tweets for a while, which is worrying :(
@NextRevolution <-- absolutely heartbreaking

ETA: SIGN THE GLOBAL PETITION! 25,000 signatures and growing! http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/protest-against-the-june-2009-coup-detat-in-iran.html

دنیارابگوییدچطورآنهاانتخاباتمان دزدیده اند
Tell the world how they have stolen our election

(original post by [personal profile] one_hoopy_frood here)
effex: I don't *think* so (I don't *think* so)
So. I may have mentioned before - my roommate is a professional (in that she works for a fairly prominent Republican politician) Republican (short version - I needed a roommate, she was the only one off of craigslist who was not-crazy and didn't back out at the last minute, we get along very well at a superficial level) and, as part of her job, she watches the news every morning. Fox News. Y'all, there is no better way to start your day then listening to Joe Lieberman talking about why we shouldn't investigate the 'enhanced interrogation' memos, that Obama's halted the practices in the memos anyway, that we as a country should "move on." I'll see if I can find a clip or a transcript later, but right now, aaaaarg.

So! Let's talk about torture. I mean, I have no idea *how*, but it's worth a try.

First, some links:

* Terry Karney ([livejournal.com profile] pecunium), a former military interrogator, reads through all 80 pages of the memos and talks about them here and here. In which we learn (among other things) that driving a subject into a state where they cannot tell hallucination from reality (via sleep deprivation, say) is 'surprisingly' ineffectual in getting reliable information.

* In Adopting Harsh Tactics, No Look at Past Use, from the New York Times, talks about the history of these techniques (including the bit where "waterboarding had been prosecuted by the United States in war-crimes trials after World War II and was a well-documented favorite of despotic governments since the Spanish Inquisition; one waterboard used under Pol Pot was even on display at the genocide museum in Cambodia.") and the officials who failed to learn anything about said history (or even read the entirety of their briefings).

* Detainee Project: A collection of photos and stories from (a very few) of the individuals detained by the American government. divorced with seven children, she is an accountant in baghdad. "they put me in a room and they put my son in a cage in front of me. the soldier said to her, 'confess that you know terrorists or i will send you to a place where they will rape you, they will do things to you that you could never imagine."

* Tangential, Ta-Nehisi Coates on The Intellectual Dishonesty Of "Looking Forward": The only way you can embrace the "Looking Forward" line of logic, or the "some things in life need to be mysterious" line of logic, is to accept that the law works one way for people who've accrued political power, and another way for those who don't.

Incoherent first version )

Edit: This is why I shouldn't write anything after 10pm. Take two:

We, the United States, as a nation, have this self image - the hero, the upstanding, the righteous, beloved by god and the best damn country on Earth. And I love my country, I do*, but this is not and never has been true. We've done horrible things** (to ourselves and others), told ourselves (and the world) a lot of lies, and built up a complex structure of privilege and prejudice around ourselves (and pretend it's not there). It scares (sickens/horrifies) me, that we've gotten so far off track that we're debating (after *using*) torture, publicly, with the people we tortured, and their families, and their communities, and the whole damn world looking on. As we prove, no, we *aren't* better then this.

And I hope (naively) like hell that we wake up and use this as an opportunity to take a good, hard look at ourselves (as uncomfortable and painful as it will be). Because not doing so won't be 'moving forward,' it'll be another ten steps backwards, with our head in the sand and our bare, morally repugnant ass high in the air for everyone to see.

I'm still trying to figure out what I can do, on a personal level - it's awfully easy to make a post no one will see and sit back, satisfied. I don't want that, easy as it would be, but talking about what the hell I can do instead is another post entirely.

*And there are and have always been people who fight to make the country better, who speak and act and live and die in their attempts to make us better. Who are entirely responsible for what good we have, what's still worth loving.

**Yes, I can provide a list. It's long. Not as bad as some other countries, yes, I *know,* but that is not the point.
effex: default (Default)

ETA: Okay, so. I moved to Iowa (from Southern California) when I was 16. I spent my last year of high school there and went to college at one of the state universities. Iowa is where I figured out I was gay (sophomore year), where I fell in love for the first time, where I made really fantastic friends who have always loved me for who I am [hugs [livejournal.com profile] nepnthe and [livejournal.com profile] quamada].

There's been some shock going around the internet that Iowa, 'of all places,' would be the third state to legalize gay marriage. And folks, I understand where you're coming from (my teenage self was *not* a happy camper when she found out about the move), but y'all are operating under a misapprehension.

Iowa? Iowa is *great.* For me, anyway - the people have a live-and-let-live attitude that I haven't seen anywhere else. I was out, *out* out, on campus. There was a very active GLBT group that participated in all student organization events (come to the student org fair and see live gay acts! - hanging out, eating cookies, sitting at the table, we do it all!). Pride week had tons of scheduled events and sidewalk chalk advertisement. We had our standard-issue crazy religious folks speechify outside the Student Union, and the usual response was that whatever gay couple was handy made out in front of them. This wasn't Ames or Iowa City, either, but the little state university that could to the north.

My friends were uber-supportive when I came out - all of them (well, [livejournal.com profile] nepnthe laughed at me, but after that she was great), even the particularly religious. Our family pastor (Methodist, in a town that's as 'small town america' as you can get) was never anything but wonderful.

Which is the long way around to saying - I'm not surprised. Iowa is freaking *awesome,* and I am so, so proud of it.
effex: Super hero behavior (Super hero behavior)
First, the inaugeration was... inspiring. I don't even know how to talk about it, in my head it's this glorious blur interspaced by brief, clear moments (Michelle's green gloves, Aretha's fantastic hat, "Obscure in their labor," Bush's face during "On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics," that crowd.)

Second, I am a golden designing machine. When I went in to work, Adobe CS4 was crashing, files were missing, information and photos where *still* missing [shakes fist at management], and two major deadlines were looming. By time 6pm rolled around, I had cleanly reinstalled CS4, recreated the missing files from earlier proofs, created the needed photos from thin air (or close to), submitted the final proofs for review, and still had 10 minutes to catch the bus. Fuck yeah.

Third, ya'll, Bush is moving to Dallas. His new house is about a mile from my apartment. I repeat, George Bush is moving to my neighborhood. The mind boggles.


effex: default (Default)


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