Thursday, July 31, 2003

Playing opera to Australian camels

The Vatican’s statement ordering Catholic lawmakers to oppose gay marriages also has this to say about adoption by gays: “Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development.” But priests fucking choirboys is still ok, right? Read the thing (excerpts here), it’s actually more gratuitously insulting to gays than you’d expect even from the Vatican.

The New Mexican Standoff: The Texas Lite Governor is poo-pooing earlier stories about bounty hunters. But did threaten to expel the missing D’s from the state senate altogether (and then quickly pretended he hadn’t).

I said Queer Like Me yesterday. The show is actually Queer as Folks. The aphasia of impending middle age. Two days ago I couldn’t come up with Henrik Ibsen’s name. However, I can always bring to mind the word aphasia. Forty years from now it’ll be the only word I can still say; “Maybe it was the name of his sled,” the nurses will say as they change my diapers.

Speaking of which, Harvey Fierstein has an op-ed piece in the NYT (reprinted in the London Times) on AIDS that may stir some controversy. He thinks all the ads for AIDS drugs and all the attempts to foster acceptance of HIV-positive people has made catching the virus appear a great way to win popularity and acceptance, and still live an active lifestyle while the drugs control the disease.

Maybe everyone in the world but me already knew this, but Howard Dean’s brother was executed by Communists in Laos in 1974, who said he was a spy.

The Knesset passes the racist bill denying citizenship or residency to Palestinians who marry Israelis. This includes West Bank/Gaza Palestinians who marry Israeli Palestinians. Also, their children would be forced out of Israel at the age of 12. Anyone who isn’t a Palestinian who marries an Israeli is entitled to citizenship. The government evidently argued, in a closed session addressed by security types, that this class of people become suicide bombers.

Article on how technological resources, drone planes and the like, were transferred from the search for Al Qaida in Afghanistan to the war in Iraq. Also, some of the few soldiers who actually speak Arabic.

An enterprising Bahraini company established the first-ever mobile phone service in Iraq. The US authorities shut them down, threatening to confiscate their equipment, in order that Iraq wind up with a system using the American technical standard rather than that of the whole rest of the world (something like ordering that all VCRs be Betamax, is my understanding). And all medical equipment will have to meet American technical standards as well.

Malaysia reverses itself on text-message divorces.

Despite reports that Schwarzenegger has decided not to run for governor, he won’t make his official announcement until next Wednesday, on the spot where all official announcements are made in California politics, the Tonight Show. Incidentally, the election may not cost $35m after all, because they’re going to do it on the cheap, by not using that many polling places, half the usual number in LA County, for example.

I believe I said that the six old Jews Israel got out of Iraq were all men. One was a 99-year old woman.

Here’s the first sentence of a Guardian story: “Six Australian camels are being played opera music to prepare them for an appearance in Aida in South Korea.”

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