whackanarwhal

news you should know about

newsmongering 04/25 (last day of classes)

with 2 comments

> Three days of rain instantly let up after I called a friend about running to Target to get an umbrella. I have superpowers!

> Hungary’s President Pal Schmitt formally signed the country’s new constitution into law on Monday, despite heavy criticism from civil rights groups, opposition parties, and practically everyone else. Within the new constitution, a two-thirds majority in parliament will be required to change laws, virtually guaranteeing that no new laws will be enacted. The constitution’s preamble, which makes numerous references to Christianity and ‘traditional’ family values, is a bit unnerving, as are the implications for those who fall outside of that umbrella. Hungary has been moving steadily to the political right for the past few years.

> French president Sarkozy and Italian prime minister Berlusconi have called for a return of border controls to Europe, apparently in response to the waves of north African immigrants entering the continent.

> Crackdowns by Syria’s security forces against protestors continue to escalate, with tanks entering the streets of the flashpoint town of Deraa. The death toll for the past five weeks is now estimated at 350, and it is reported that Syria has closed its borders. Multiple towns are said to be ‘surrounded’ by government forces; the Syrian army has been called in, and the US is allegedly now considering sanctions against Syria.

> In Yemen, protestors are refusing to dissipate, despite President Saleh’s promise to step down within the month.

> Forecasted protests were indeed widespread in Morocco yesterday, with over 10,000 allegedly participating in the country’s largest demonstration in Casablanca demanding an end to widespread unemployment and government corruption. The protests were apparently widely peaceful, with no police retaliation yet reported.

> A NATO airstrike against a Qaddafi compound yesterday is widely reported to have been an attempt on the dictator’s life. Forty-five people were killed in the strike.

> A Kazakh man armed with a knife attempted to hijack a Paris-Rome Alitalia flight to Libya on Sunday. He was overpowered by flight attendants and is now in custody. (That’ll make you think twice before complaining that your in-flight meal is lukewarm, amirite?)

> A new dump by Wikileaks suggests that the US released dozens of high-risk prisoners from Gitmo while imprisoning over 150 innocent people.

At least 150 people were innocent Afghans or Pakistanis, including drivers, farmers and chefs, who were rounded up as part of frantic intelligence gathering, and then detained for years. [Philip Gourevitch’s The Ballad of Abu Ghraib discusses this in helpful depth. – ed.]

In several cases, senior US commanders were said to have concluded that there is “no reason recorded for transfer”.

…To date, 604 inmates have been transferred out of Guantanamo while 172 remain detained.

> A church in Kentucky (I know, right?) is refusing to sign any more marriage licenses until gay marriage is made legal:

“[O]ur membership is committed to treating homosexuals and heterosexuals equally. Our congregation believes it is unfair to provide different services and benefits to heterosexual couples than we can provide to gay and lesbian couples,” said associate minister Rev. Ryan Kemp-Pappan.

> Congressman Allen West (R-FL) believes Planned Parenthood is “neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness”. In the same speech, he makes some allusions to Sparta suggesting that his knowledge on the subject begins and ends with 300.

> The US military is finally unveiling a line of uniforms designed for female recruits. Finally:

At present, women soldiers are roughly 20 per cent more likely to report musculoskeletal disorders than their male counterparts, a statistic many attribute to the fact that they wear clothing and body armour designed for the male body shape.

> The law firm hired by the House GOP to defend DOMA to the tune of $250/hour up to $500,000 has dropped the case.

> Texas governor Rick Perry has announced that he ‘unintentionally’ signed a bill allowing transpeople to marry people of the opposite sex. All other issues aside, how on earth do you ‘unintentionally’ sign a bill? What else has Rick Perry done lately without intention? Anyway, Autostraddle discusses the implications:

“The legislation by Williams, of Houston, and Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, of Brenham, would prohibit county and district clerks from using a court order recognizing a sex change as documentation to get married, effectively requiring the state to recognize a 1999 state appeals court decision that said in cases of marriage, gender is assigned at birth and sticks with a person throughout their life even if they have a sex change.”

The current legal stance on marriage for trans people was a provision to a larger bill that passed two years ago, but it doesn’t seem to have been a case where the clause about marriage was buried in the fine print in between a bunch of zoning laws, where someone whose entire job it is to read and understand the laws they’re enacting could have missed it.

Anyway, “Governor Rick Perry and his staff welcome your comments and concerns.” You know what to do.

Relatedly, Rick Perry is welcome to jump off a bridge. Intentionally or otherwise.

Added 20 minutes later…

> Donald Trump, being the self-appointed arbiter of all things birther, has definitively announced that President Obama’s birth certificate is definitely missing, although he won’t cite his source:

“Well I’ve been told very recently, Anderson, that the birth certificate is missing,” Trump told CNN’s Anderson Cooper Monday. “I’ve been told that it’s not there or it doesn’t exist. And if that’s the case it’s a big problem.”

When asked from whom he received the information, Trump said he didn’t want to say and that he feels bad about the situation.

“I’d love for him to produce his birth certificate so that you can fight one-on-one,” Trump said in an interview set to air Monday. “If you look at what he’s doing to fuel prices, you can do a great fight one-on-one, you don’t need this issue.”

I’m not entirely sure what that last paragraph was supposed to mean (perhaps Mr. Trump doesn’t realize that he can’t fire POTUS?), but at this point, I’m not entirely sure I care, either.

I’m, um, just going to leave this here.

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Written by whackanarwhal

April 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. […] born a man. I’ve briefly covered Texas’s crusade to screw over its trans population here; Autostraddle gets more in-depth […]

  2. […] The country’s taking a significant swing to the right recently (as I’ve discussed here). Now, in the town of Tiszavasvari, the capital of the radical right-wing Jobbik party, the local […]


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