Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Breaking News and Developing Situations

Too much is going on in  the world today that I has made it very difficult to pick a single issue to blog about. We've seen North Korea launch a missile attack against South Korea in what could potentially become a very messy situation not utterly complicated by the huge Wikileaks debacle that has done incalculable damage to diplomatic efforts around the world. I truly feels as if that old Chinese adage, "May you live in interesting times", applies directly to us.

so without further ado...lets get to the news...(updated 1:00 pm pst)


Don't Ask Don't Tell:

Filed under the category of "no Sh*t Sherlock" comes the release of the long awaited pentagon study, polling the U.S. military about how to implement a Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal. The study is set to be officially and completely released as of 2:30 ET this afternoon. Preliminary numbers seem to support the obvious...the most soldiers don't have a problem with it. The respondents with the highest resistance to the repeal coming from the Marine. 69% of respondents reported working with someone they believed was gay and 92% of those respondents report that serving with a gay soldier did not effect their units in any negative fashion.

On the flip side, 40%-60% of the Marine Corps. "expressed concern or predicted a negative reaction" if DADT were repealed by Congress.

Not to be a Jerk but...its the Marines. Did we really expect them to say anything else? If they are tough enough to storm a beachhead I think they can be tough enough to get to know the gay men and women already serving among them. Not acknowledging this simple fact will not make it go away. However, I look forward to the official numbers and how they will affect the attitudes of senior military officials and the Congressmen who hold the fate of gay soldiers in their hands. I'm guessing their is going to be a whole lot of tap dancing around some very obvious conclusions by individuals and groups who will do their level  best to discredit the survey and stall the repeal yet again...cue Tony Perkins.

The hearings will begin this week based off the report. When the report does go live you can find it on the Department of Defense website,...Here.

(update)Live stream briefing by Admiral Mike Mullen:




*(UPDATE)*....for the brave of heart with alot of reading time, here is the actual report:

DADTReport FINAL Hires)


(Prop 8) Perry v. Schwarzenegger:

The three justices who will be hearing the Ninth Circuit appeal have been unveiled...a date set..and yes, it will be televised! And its happening this week! Reported via the Prop 8 TrialTracker and originating from California Faith For Equality comes a brief background of the Justices who will make up the panel:

Judge Stephen Roy Reinhardt:
confirmed in 1980 after being nominated by President Carter. He served in the U.S. Air Force. On November 18, 2009, Judge Reinhardt ruled in favor of a a gay couple having their spousal health care benefits denied - Brad Levenson and Tony Sears were married during the period gay marriage was legal in California during 2008, and was seeking benefits for his partner while working as a public defender for the federal government. Judge Reinhardt also wrote an opinion relating to “standing” in a 1997 case relating to Arizona voters amending the state Constitution to make English the state’s official language.

Judge Michael Daly Hawkins:
 Joined the court in 1994 after being nominated by President Clinton, He served as U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona from 1977 to 1980 and then as Special Prosecutor for the Najavo Nation from 1985-1989.

Judge Norman Randy Smith:
 Nominated by George W. Bush in 2007 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate that same year. Born in Logan, Utah, Smith graduated from Brigham Young University with his Bachelor’s Degree in 1974, and received his J.D. from Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark School of Law in 1977.

The case is not even being heard yet and already the bickering has begun. There is some questioning online of how Judge Smiths Mormon background may affect his ability to impartially hear this case. Personally I don't feel this is something we should make an issue about given the fact that most of us argued(rightly) that a judges sexual orientation should not affect their ability to deliver an impartial verdict in a trail of this nature. I tend to agree with most bloggers on this issue, that past verdicts are a better indicator of  which way a judge will lean rather than religion of sexuality as neither of those seem to be reliable indicators of impartiality. There is also an ongoing conversations that Judge Reinhardt  should recuse himself because his wife works for the ACLU in Southern California and was consulted about whether or not the case should be brought to court. Personally I think these discussions have more to do with political wrangling than they do about ensuring the impartiality of the Judges in question. Most of the allegations seem based on rather tenuous grounds and don't do much to prove their point....but expect more of this...lots more as the trial progresses.


But the really big news...THE TRIAL WILL BE TELEVISED!....Yes! No more sifting through transcripts and blogs written in shorthand to find out what happened. Now testimony from both sides can be viewed by the public, as its happening. I'm sure that will mean alot to the bloggers who developed Carpal Tunnel trying to report on the last phase of the lawsuit. Here's the details...

C-SPAN applied to televise live the case captioned above, scheduled to be heard in San Francisco, on December 6, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. C-SPAN’s request to televise live is GRANTED. A maximum of two (2) video cameras will be permitted in the courtroom. C-SPAN will serve as the pool-feed for all media organizations that submit an application.

According to the Trial Tracker there will actually be two cases heard. The first regarded who has standing to defend Prop 8 and the second tackling the constitutionality of the ballot measure. Expect this to be an all day event.

World AIDS DAY:

Today is World AIDS Day...a day in which we take stock of where we are in the battle against an epidemic that has claimed millions of lives and which we are still fighting today. It seems to have been a year of mixed results because we saw so many amazing scientific breakthroughs...from discovering antibodies capable of preventing a wide range of HIV strains, approximately 90% of them...The discovery of a specific enzyme that allows HIV to infect a cell and thus replicate itself thus allowing for more possibilities to block new infections...and of course, Truvada the much talked about pill that claims to cut down new infection rates by at least 44%. The downside being you need to take the pill daily to see beneficial effects.

With all the advances this year around prevention of new infections, I have not heard much about new treatments or progress toward a cure for those who currently have HIV/AIDS. And to make matters worse money for HIV research and prevention is still a hot topic as the President came under fire for underfunding a plan to cut new infections by 30% worldwide....harming those who are the most vulnerable and in need of those monies. AND...there is news that new infections may be on the rise again in a new generation of people having high risk sex.

It had been a long time since Jay and I were tested, so we figured this day gave us a good reason to get our butts up and go do it:



And todays final and most important item...(to us at least)...drum roll please....da da da DA!

On The Positive Side: 

Our daughter Selena got a great surprise this morning as she was picked out of her class to be student of the month for her Kindergarten class. She had no idea it was coming so it was great to see her face when she got called to come up and receive her award...all to the applause of her fellow students and proud family. I am very proud of both Daniel and Selena so this is the silver lining on what will otherwise be a very anxious day.

Keep looking for the positive everyone and stay safe and sane in the crazy week ahead.

Until next time dear readers...

8 comments:

  1. I can only imagine how you and Jay were like today. This past week, I've been seriously wanting to go hide in a cave and get away from the news. Tell Daniel and Selena I said congratulations. I guess we all desperately need silver linings these days...

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  2. I disagree with one point. I feel being gay is like being a gender or a race or an ethnicity, not a religion. LDS is a philosophy. It is the code by which one achieve nirvana or salvation or whatever. Not perpetuating the religious code is grounds for excommunication from one's religious community or worse, hell.

    So, I think it is fully appropriate to question the bias of a person of a a certain faith which is a choice, and not question the bias of a person who had no say in their genetic characteristics.

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  3. I can only hope justice is served properly and quickly.

    As for Selena, GREAT JOB!!!! :)

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  4. I, for one, support the WikiLeaks disclosures.

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  5. Regarding the prop 8 transcripts, I enjoyed reading them.

    And I'm just waiting for Wikileaks to dish about the U.S. bank scandal. I'll lay money that it's Bank of America we're talking about here.

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  6. You may have seen this already but it looks like Illinois will legalize civil unions for gay couples.

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