will brady's ruminations
shameless promotions / "adult" humor
On a much lighter note than the last posting, [attesting to the surreal nature of life] from Happy Scrappy
comes a link to a promotional video | Click on the image to see the show |
persecution of gay people
Iran executes two kids for having sex
| First reported in Farsi by the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) the story got picked up by Britain's longest surviving queer rights direct action group OutRage!
One youth was aged 18 and the other was a minor under the age of 18. They were only identified by their initials, M.A. and A.M.
They admitted to having gay sex (probably under torture) but claimed in their defence that most young boys had sex with each other and that they were not aware that homosexuality was punishable by death.
Iran enforces Islamic Sharia law, which dictates the death penalty for gay sex. Prior to their execution, the teenagers were held in prison for 14 months and severely beaten with 228 lashes.
Their length of detention suggests that they committed the so-called offences more than a year earlier, when they were possibly around the age of 16. Under the Iranian penal code, girls as young as nine and boys as young as 15 can be hanged.
Three other young gay Iranians are being hunted by the police, but they have gone into hiding and cannot be found. If caught, they will also face execution. | Read the whole story |
Contact the Iranian Embassy
in London to protest this barbaric practice | Let Amnesty International know
your thoughts as well |
OTHER PERSPECTIVES: Persian Journal reports this as Barbarity by Islamo-fascists | PIX CREDITS: Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) | Are these the first of many of Iran's lynch mob history pictures of the future? |
is a two day celebration of Tibetan history and culture staged on a 3000 acre nature preserve in Litchfield, CT. The event will be held on July 30th and 31st at The White Memorial Foundation off Route 202 in the northwest corner of Connecticut | Entrance fee: Adults $10.00 - Students $5.00 - Children (under 5) Free - Saturday 10 am to dusk, Sunday 10-5 |
For thousands of years Tibetan culture evolved in the
isolation of the Himalayan Mountains, the highest region in the world. The culture revolved entirely around spiritual practice, and the hub of life and education was based in the Buddhist monasteries dotting the rocky, barren landscape. The monasteries were supported by the generosity of farmers and lay people, and the monks were the most educated and respected members of Tibetan society.
When communist China invaded Tibet in the 1950s they systematically destroyed 6000 monasteries throughout the land. A small band of monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery - the largest in Tibet - escaped over the Himalayan mountains, were granted refugee status by the Indian government and re-established a monastery in the jungles of southern India.
The driving force behind TibetFest is to assist refugee Tibetans in their ongoing struggle to save their ancient culture from extinction |
blips + updates
Matt + Dave's Cross Country Bike Trip
| The intrepid travelers have reached the Grand Tetons, dealing with temps that range some 80 degrees [farenheight] from dawn to dusk | Dave is now up to
9.5 flat tires but still pushing onward | They've posted some great recent photos, two of which you see here | Here's their photos, page 1
and page 2
, at Wetass Chronicles
tells about the largest luxury yacht on the seas
| Owned by an Arab Oil Sheik, the yacht Platinum is projected to be powered by four (4) diesel engines, each packing in excess of 9000 horsepower. Suffice to say, this might be the first yacht that needs an onboard crude-oil refinery. ;-) Good thing fuel oil is so cheap right now...
, at Nighmare Hall
recounts his difficulties with indifferent and uncaring medical types
who lose paperwork and don't give a fig | Ends up sounding like the old Soviet health care system where social dissidents got worse treatment than well connected Politbureau Types
provides a link to a good think-piece pubished in LeMonde on A Guide to Living with Terrorism
| Teaser quote: “Nothing would be worse for the battle against terrorism … than restraining our freedoms, renouncing habeas corpus, or practicing torture or imprisonment without a trial.”
Steve Gilliard's News Blog
touches on Dropping National Guard recruitment figures
; White right-winged snot Tucker Carlson's bald faced racism while heartlessly joking about a missing woman of Color
; and let's not forget the BDSM Pervert and dirty trickster Joe Braun
who is campaign manager for Ohio's "Family Values" candidate Jean Schmidt | [personally, I got not problem with what kind of consensual actitivies Mr. Braun engages in. It's his bed, he can lay in it if he chooses; but don't lie about it, please
] Oh yeah, you can donate to her opponent, Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett
and his campaign at this site
Finally [and on a lighter note] Kevin Janson
, updates up on Airline Food Reviews
, Immigrant children who spell English better than most Americans
and exotic, affordable honeymoon venues
The Cassini Mission
has recorded radio frequencies from Saturn | Strange and beautiful sounds
| Rather like Louis and Bebe Barron's
soundtrack from the sci-fi flick Forbidden Planet
| John Scalzi
has already meddled with the sounds to produce his own ethereal musical composition
You can also find Cassini inspired visual artwork on the NASA-JPL website
progressive religious radicals
The Religious Left comes out of the closet finally!
Schaghticoke Tribal Nation
It's remarkable what lengths rich white people will go to deny another group's history
| That's what CT News junkie
chronicles in a recent write-up on the Schaghticoke Nation's travails
| The Burghers of Kent, for example, continue to lobby and cajole mostly Caucasian politicos and bureaucrats to deny the legitimacy of the Schaghticoke assertions that they have been here for centuries | Congresswoman Nancy Johnson, not shy of controversy [she help bend the definition of ethics for Newt Gingrich
] even filed a bill in Congress cosponsored by Republican Reps. Christopher Shays and Rob Simmons to terminate the tribe’s federal recognition |
Mind you, none of the foes of the Schaghticokes are disputing the reality or legitmacy of 300 descendants owning and living on a 400 acre tribal reservation overlooking the Housatanic River [not seriously, anyways
] The foes are disputing this Tribe's assertion of Tribal Soverignty |
Worried, no doubt, that once the recognition is established, this group will become independent, even affluent [from anticipated casino winnings] and could actually then exert influence on the toney social circles and decision makers amongst Litchfield County's 17th Century Eurotrash Descendants |
Sharing the cultural wealth | Wouldn't that
be a horrible thing?
What's the ruckus really about? Maybe the respected citizens of Kent don't want to acknowledge their own ancestors parts in cultural genocide back in the Colonial era | Protestant Guilt's deep roots | To get some perspective on this grimier past, it helps to look at similar histories, such as the Deerfield Raids of 1704
| Shaking up the blank spots in White Manifest Destiny's memory banks |
I encourage the Schaghticoke peoples to persevere | The odds may be against you though history is on your side |
why design prisons?
| Architects / Designers / Planners for Social Responsibility
not only ask this queestion, they advlocate alternatives to the system that "...does very little to solve crime problems, and they sometimes do a great deal of damage to those who serve time...
| ADPSR is currently sponsoring a design competition calls for a poster than explains the problems with the current U.S. prison system and why the refusal to contribute to it is an important and effective response. This poster will have high visibility within the realms of architecture, design, and planning as ADPSR distributes it to the growing number of supporters of the prison design boycott.
Poster submissions must be in by 30 August 2005 | Go to the ADPSR website for more details
health insurance fraud???
Recently I have come across a problem with Blue Shield.
My partner, last summer, became 65 years old and ends up being co-covered by Medicare Part A. Last autumn he was hospitalized. Went into the hospital via the emergency room. Stayed overnight but due to tests racked up close to $7,000 in inpatient hospital bills.
Blue Shield provides State Employee Benefits, but I pay extra AND the "unpaid" medical benefits are taxed as "income" [unlike male/female married couples] They initially paid the bill but six months later rescinded payment to the hospital, sending it forward to Medicare arguing that this should be paid by Medicare.
Medicare then refused to pay, saying that it was Blue Shield's responsibility "because they were the primary provider."
Today, by phone, Blue Shield called me at work to tell me that they were under no obligation to pay the costs because Medicare does not recognize the validity of Domestic Partnerships. I was told point blank -at first- that there was no way around this, that since Medicare would not recognize the bill, neither would Blue Cross/Blue Shield. I was told that we are now responsible for paying the full cost of what Medicare doesn't cover for my partner.
I was told that if my partner was under 65, that he would still be covered. Since he is over 65, Blue Shield is under no obligation to honor the bills because "you two are not married."
My response, abruptly, was to ask if what I was being told was that we are not covered because we are a couple of queers. The phone person was silent, the said "I didn't say that" to which I replied, "but the higher ups at Blue Shiled have said it." Her response was, "apparently."
Later, I was told there might be a "carve out" that allows for unconventional dependent arrangement, but the phone worker was unable to tell me how to initiate this.
Does anyone else know of similar situations? If and how they were resolved?
scenes from my picture files
Things seen while traveling about Connecticut
| For more images of mine, see the Image Gallery
Cloudfront, Route 9
Tool Box Contents
Tow Truck Driver
the rewards of greed
I know it may seem a surprise but oil companies are reaping huge windfall profits
| Thanks to the sharp eyes and determined investigative teams at MSNBC [and John W Schoen in particular] we now know that
"By just about any measure, the past three years have produced one of the biggest cash gushers in the oil industry’s history. Since January of 2002, the price of crude has tripled, leaving oil producers awash in profits. During that period, the top 10 major public oil companies have sold some $1.5 trillion worth of crude, pocketing profits of more than $125 billion."
No, really! I'm astounded about this | Who would have thought it? |
John Roberts a Good Guy?
| Think again
Here’s a list of some of the things that make Roberts the wrong pick for the Supreme Court:
Wrong on environmental protection
: Roberts appears to want to limit the scope of the Endangered Species Act, and in papers he wrote while in law school he supported far-right legal theories about “takings” which would make it almost impossible for the government to enforce most environmental legislation.
Wrong on civil rights
: Roberts worked to keep Congress from defending parts of the Voting Rights Act.
Wrong on human rights
: As a appeals court judge, Roberts ruled that the Geneva Convention doesn’t apply to some prisoners of war.
Wrong on our right to religious freedom
: Roberts argued that schools should be able to impose religious speech on attendees.
Wrong on women’s rights
: Roberts wrote that “Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and should be overruled.” He also weighed in on behalf of Operation Rescue, a violent anti-abortion group, in a federal case.
Then again, Ann Coulter thinks he's too soft |
visits Afghanistan | Sometimes comic strip artists say things so much better in pictures | Here's Tom Batiuk's Sunday's posting: