900 posts categorized "International"

July 03, 2014

Oh no, Scott Lively is unhappy with John Oliver

International poison merchant Scott Lively is unhappy over the above segment by "Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver, whom he calls "a liar and a fraud." Well he would know. Oliver, who recently moved from Comedy Central's "Daily Show" to helm his own show on HBO, is one of the best things on television. I ran a portion of his interview with Pepe Julian Onziema before, but if you haven't seen the full thing, including his intro, I recommend it. Oliver nails it, and Pepe's restraint and quiet confidence and poise in the face of ignorance and hysteria are simply astounding. I saw Pepe at the U.S. Capitol last week, and he is not someone you forget.

July 02, 2014

Tea Partiers block buses carrying undocumented immigrants

A crowd of irrational xenophobes blocks buses in which federal authorities were transferring undocumented immigrants who had been detained. Reuters reports:

As the buses neared their destination, some 150 protesters waiving American flags and shouting "Go home - we don't want you here," filled a street leading to the access road for the Border Patrol station, blocking the buses from reaching the facility.

The demonstrators disregarded orders from police to disperse, but officers did not attempt to intervene physically to break up the demonstration.

After about 25 minutes, the buses backed up, turned around and left. A board member of the union representing border patrol agents, Chris Harris, said the buses would likely be rerouted to one of six other Border Patrol stations in the San Diego sector.

June 25, 2014

The anti-gay Roman Catholic 'Primate of the Americas'

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Bilerico reports:

Roman Catholic Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez, the powerful Archbishop of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and Primate of the Americas, is continuing his vindictive anti-gay crusade against James "Wally" Brewster, the United States' openly gay ambassador to the Caribbean nation.

Cardinal Rodríguez, who made headlines last year when he called Brewster a "faggot," is using the occasion of LGBT Pride Month to attack him again, this time telling him to "take his gay pride elsewhere."

I have tweeted the following:

@Pontifex Your Holiness, why does your foul-mouthed cardinal in Santo Domingo still have a job? http://t.co/ADcZVRq31R

June 22, 2014

Obama announces further steps to protect human rights in Uganda

As the above report from NTV Uganda indicates, the White House has announced further steps in response to the anti-LGBT persecution represented by Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act. The new U.S. actions include:

  • Restricting entry to the United States of specific Ugandan human rights abusers.
  • Ceasing support for Uganda’s community policing program.
  • Redirecting certain financial support for the Ministry of Health (MOH) to other partners.
  • Relocating funds for a planned public health institute and other measures relating to health programming.
  • Cancelling a military aviation exercise.

(Hat tip for video to Frank Mugisha)

June 19, 2014

Megyn Kelly Confronts Dick Cheney

Get the popcorn! Megyn Kelly on Fox News confronts Dick and Liz Cheney on their shameless blaming of President Obama for the Bush-Cheney debacle in Iraq. As a general principle, the arsonist should not criticize the firefighter.

June 12, 2014

An inadvertent ad for Uber?

A "go slow" protest in Trafalgar Square by taxi drivers against competition from Uber could prompt more people to use the Uber app. I can't believe that's what the protesters intended.

June 02, 2014

Protest as anti-gay Uganda minister heads for human rights top job

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(UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe/SG's Office)

The Guardian reports:

The United Nations is facing a chorus of criticism over the inauguration as president of its general assembly of Uganda's foreign minister, just four months after that country enforced a brutal and widely denounced anti-gay law.

Sam Kutesa will become ceremonial head of the world parliament on 11 June. There will be no ballots cast and he will be "elected by acclamation", as he is the only candidate for the 12-month post, having been chosen by t he African Union for the job that falls this year to Africa on a Buggins' turn basis.

But as the appointment nears, questions are being asked about his track record of alleged corruption, as well as his role as cabinet member of a government that has enacted one of the most virulent homophobic laws on the globe. Voices of disapproval have spread from Uganda to the general assembly's home in New York and to the US senate.

Sign the Change.org petition against Sam Kutesa.

May 24, 2014

Greenwald's haters, exposed

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(Photos by Reuters/Keith Bedford/Eduardo Munoz)

Elias Isquith in Salon has a good piece on mainstream media's scorn for Glenn Greenwald, zeroing in on Michael Kinsley. Hey, Mike: tough investigative journos are not always the nicest people. So what? I recall Kinsley a couple of decades ago insisting that his pal and fellow talking head Pat Buchanan was not a racist--despite overwhelming evidence that he was, which he has continued to provide. The establishment blinders can get pretty comical.

Iran’s Gay Underground Railroad

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Vocativ reports.

How can any society be threatened by people who go to such lengths to be together?

May 23, 2014

Too happy in Tehran

MTV reports:

Six young Iranians have been arrested after they uploaded a video of themselves dancing throughout Tehran to Pharrell’s “Happy.”

“Happy in Tehran” was uploaded to YouTube last month and garnered more than 165,000 views before being made private. It shows three men and three women — all unveiled — looking, well, happy as they dance and lip-synch to Pharrell’s hit.

But authorities in Tehran are calling the video “vulgar,” and all six were arrested and forced to formally apologize on state television. (Under Islamic law, women are required to cover themselves from head to toe in public, a rule monitored by “morality police.”)

Do not take your freedom for granted.

Olympia Dukakis on LGBT rights in Cyprus

Greek American actress Olympia Dukakis speaks her mind.

May 17, 2014

Today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

From the United Nations, on the above video:

The United Nations Free & Equal campaign presents a message on this International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). Share your story and change hearts and minds -- we are all the foundation for this movement for equality.

Click here for more information.

President Barack Obama issued the following statement yesterday:

Continue reading "Today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia" »

May 14, 2014

'We oppose bearded men in dresses', say bearded men in dresses

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As The Independent reports, "The Russian Orthodox Church’s condemnation of Conchita Wurst’s Eurovision victory is being ridiculed on social media."

God is great, and She has a sense of humor.

(Hat tip: Joel Lawson)

May 11, 2014

Nightscapes

From Australia. The astrophotos begin at 2:21. Photographer: Mike Salvay. Soundtrack: Vangelis - Across the Mountains (2004). Project, concept and design, light effects and editing by Sandro Sansone. Source: www.mikesalway.com.au.

(Hat tip: Dickie Popp)

Rise Like a Phoenix

Austrian drag performer Conchita Wurst won the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen on Saturday with "Rise Like a Phoenix." As others have observed, right wing heads must have been exploding yesterday.

May 06, 2014

#StoptheSultan Protest outside Beverly Hills Hotel

Former GLAA President Lorri Jean, longtime CEO of the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, speaks at a protest rally outside the Beverly Hills Hotel against its owner, the Sultan of Brunei.

The protests, and associated boycotts, are in response to the Sultan's announcement of Islamic criminal punishments, including death by stoning for sodomy and adultery and cutting off limbs for theft. The Guardian reports, "Earlier this year, many users of Brunei's active social media – the only avenue for public criticism of authorities – denounced the penal code as barbaric and out of step with the gentle Bruneian national character."

Justin Snow reports at Metro Weekly.

Boko Haram leader: 'I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah'

The depravity of abducting over 200 girls and attributing your crime to Allah is as hard to fathom as the laxity of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in seeking to find and rescue them. AP reports above. CNN reports here.

#‎bringbackourgirls

May 02, 2014

Darrell Issa Subpoenas John Kerry To Testify On Benghazi

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HuffPo reports that Rep. Darrell Issa has subpoenaed Secretary of State John Kerry to appear at yet another hearing on the fabricated Benghazi scandal, this time on May 21 (Frank Kameny's birthday, incidentally). Issa accuses the State Department, which has responded voluminously to his nonsense, of "a disturbing disregard for its legal obligations to Congress."

Issa is lying. There is no scandal. The Benghazi affair has been more thoroughly investigated than the deaths in several similar incidents under Obama's predecessor. My first reaction to this is to say that Obama should publicly forbid anyone in the executive branch from wasting any further time responding to this partisan smear campaign led by Issa, should tell Republicans who are so inclined to lose their frigging minds over it, and should tell the GOP-controlled House to go ahead and pass articles of Impeachment over it if they are that reckless and unscrupulous. It is time to stop reasoning with these aggressively unreasonable and morally treasonous opportunists and start fighting them.

April 29, 2014

Eat your heart out, Elian Gonzalez

British swimmer Adam Walker was joined by a pod of dolphins on April 22 as he crossed New Zealand's Cook Strait as part of a fundraising competition to help the conservation of whales and dolphins.

Walker's YouTube page states:

Swim coach Adam Walker is swimming the hardest 7 oceans in the world the Oceans Seven in aid of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation charity (http://www.justgiving.com/swim4whales). Adam is set to be the first British person to complete the Oceans Seven and only four people in the world have completed it so far! With the English Channel, Gibraltar Straits, Catalina Channel, Molokai Strait, Tsugaru Strait and now the Cook Strait under his belt, Adams final swim of the seven takes place this August in the Irish Sea. Check Adams website for more details http://www.oceanwalkeruk.com

Walker spotted a great white shark swimming beneath him at about the time the dolphins surrounded him. So they may have been protecting him. They stayed with him for over an hour, until after the shark left. What a beautiful encounter with another intelligence, not on a distant world orbiting Proxima Centauri, but in Cook Strait. How we can allow such wonderful creatures to be enslaved in water parks I do not understand.

(Hat tip: Rob Neighbour)

April 06, 2014

20 years later, commemorating the Rwandan Genocide

[Above, the 2004 film Hotel Rwanda tells the story of how hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina, played by Don Cheadle, hid and protected 1,268 Hutu and Tutsi refugees during the Rwandan Genocide. Rusesabagina's story was told by Philip Gourevitch in his book, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda.]

20 years ago the horror was already planned, and needed only surface-to-air missiles to set it off. Wiki reports: "On April 6, 1994, an airplane carrying [Rwandan President Juvénal] Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira was shot down on its descent into Kigali, killing all on board. Genocidal killings began the following day: soldiers, police and militia quickly executed key Tutsi and moderate Hutu leaders, then erected checkpoints and barricades and used Rwandans' national identity cards to systematically verify their ethnicity and kill Tutsi. These forces recruited or pressured Hutu civilians to arm themselves with machetes, clubs, blunt objects and other weapons to rape, maim and kill their Tutsi neighbors and destroy or steal their property."

The commemoration to be held in Kigali tomorrow, April 7, will not include a representative of France. Al Jazeera reports:

Continue reading "20 years later, commemorating the Rwandan Genocide" »

Citing Israel Policy, D.C. Jewish Community Center Pulls The Plug On The Shondes

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(Photo by Frank Stefanko)

WAMU reports the demoralizing details.

The Shondes’ singer and bassist, Louisa Solomon, said, "The occupation is illegal, brutal, and unjust, and it is hard to imagine anyone with both a heart and a mind concluding anything else." Well, we can't have that kind of talk at DCJCC.

As a longtime defender of Israel, I increasingly find myself asking: If willful moral blindness is necessary for that defense, does it not undermine itself? As J Street understands, the West Bank Occupation is itself an existential threat to Israel. A two-state solution is the only sane path forward. Given demographic trends, if Israel stays on its current path, it will either stop being a Jewish state or it will stop being a democracy. It is unfathomable how the denial exemplified by DCJCC on this situation can possibly help Israel or the Jewish people.

I wrote to the leaders of DCJCC on this subject a year or two ago in response to an email I received from them. I got no response. If you have to hunker down and shut out contrary views, including from friends like me, you are not headed down a sustainable or happy path. This makes me inexpressibly sad.

April 03, 2014

World Vision Board Member Resigns Over Gay Uproar

AP reports:

A World Vision board member has resigned in protest after the Christian aid group quickly reversed its decision to hire employees in same-sex marriages.

Jacquelline Fuller, director of corporate giving for Google Inc., said in an email Wednesday to The Associated Press that she remains a "huge fan" of the group's work on behalf of the poor, but she resigned Friday "as I disagreed with the decision to exclude gay employees who marry." ...

Last week, World Vision U.S. was at the center of an uproar after confirming it would hire employees in gay marriages. The charity, based in Federal Way, was started by evangelicals and grew to become a nearly $1 billion international relief agency.

Some prominent evangelical leaders condemned the decision, and several thousand donors canceled their child sponsorships over the new policy. Within two days, the charity backtracked, causing a separate backlash, this time from evangelicals and others who supported recognition for married gay employees. Washington is among the states that recognize same-sex marriage.

March 31, 2014

Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury

I emailed the following this morning. You may wish to send your own message.

From:Richard Rosendall
Date:Monday, March 31, 2014
To:Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, contact@lambethpalace.org.uk
Subject:Please denounce rally statements by Archbishop Ntagali

Dear Archbishop Welby:

I have been reading the Twitter feed from Ugandan gay rights leader Frank Mugisha on the rally held today in that country celebrating the Anti-Homosexuality Act:
https://twitter.com/FrankMugisha

One of the speakers at the rally is Anglican Archbishop Stanley Ntagali. He celebrated the Ugandan church's having cut ties ten years ago with the Episcopal church in America over homosexuality. His statements, as reported by Mugisha, include "Homosexuality is the devil's agenda in Uganda," and "We have to be focused, without fear to fight the battles facing us, battles facing our families."

Ntagali is effectively endorsing persecution and murder. He should be expelled from the Anglican Communion. Your predecessor was so afraid of schism that he allowed the African bishops to behave disgracefully with no consequences, and even pandered to their threats over the participation of Americans at the Lambeth conference. But a problem like the aggressive bigotry and inhumanity of the African bishops cannot be dealt with by avoidance. What is the point of keeping someone at the table who is poisoning the food?

I appreciate that you have publicly argued with Ntagali over the treatment of gay people by the church. You have stated that some gay couples have loving, stable, and monogamous relationships, and that we deserve the "best pastoral care and friendship," but you still support the Church of England's opposition to active homosexuality (that last phrase is according to the BBC). I am sorry, but this will not do. To be merely tolerated and told we must embrace lifelong celibacy is not acceptance and is not humane. Our love and its expression are as good as anybody else's. We are a threat to no one. We are entitled to equal protection as citizens.

I urge you at a minimum to denounce the participation and remarks by Archbishop Ntagali at the anti-gay rally in Uganda, and not to put a facade of unity before the rights of LGBT people whom some Anglican leaders are persecuting.

I have been in contact in recent days and weeks with persecuted and hunted Ugandan friends. I am grateful to hear from them at all, as it means they are still alive. Asylum efforts are not enough, because most LGBT Ugandans will remain in their country, whose leaders avoid addressing real problems in favor of scapegoating a minority. Words fail in expressing my admiration and respect for Frank Mugisha, who holds his head up and speaks out despite being in grave danger. Please add your respected voice for decency in the face of this mounting horror.


Yours sincerely,

Richard J. Rosendall
Washington, D.C.

Ugandan archbishop speaks at rally celebrating anti-gay law in Uganda

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I am reading Frank Mugisha's Twitter feed. One of the speakers at the rally in Uganda celebrating the Anti-Homosexuality Act is Anglican Archbishop Stanley Ntagali. Indeed, he is delivering the "message of the day." He celebrates the Ugandan church's having cut ties ten years ago with the Episcopal church in America over homosexuality. Here are some of Mugisha's tweets and retweets.

Continue reading "Ugandan archbishop speaks at rally celebrating anti-gay law in Uganda" »

March 13, 2014

Ugandan activists challenge Anti-Homosexuality Act in court

BuzzFeed reports. Bravo and best wishes to Frank Mugisha, Julian Pepe Onziema, and their fellow petitioners.

Barney Frank on export of hate by American evangelicals

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March 10, 2014

Meet the American Pastor Behind Uganda's Anti-Gay Crackdown

Mother Jones has published a lengthy profile of viciously anti-gay evangelical Scott Lively.

March 06, 2014

Russian LGBT athletes hold Open Games despite official harassment, cancellations

I missed this item from WaPo when it came out on Sunday. Good for the U.S. Embassy and the Russian athletes.

(Hat tip: Lisa Keen)

Feder: Gays In The Military, 'Armed With Vibrators,' Greater Threat Than Putin

Um, what?

(Hat tip: Right Wing Watch)

Sarah Palin explains Vladimir Putin's manly qualities

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(Photo: Reuters)

Here's the latest on international affairs from the former half governor who can see Russia from her house, in an interview with Sean Hannity:

People are looking at Putin as one who wrestles bears and drills for oil. They look at our president as one who wears mom jeans and equivocates and bloviates.

Laura Clawson writes at Daily Kos:

Here's hoping the producers of Saturday Night Live have Tina Fey on the phone right now, begging her to appear this weekend. Because Sarah Palin just wrote their script for them, no revisions or edits needed.

March 04, 2014

Mugabe: 'I understand we have a group of homosexuals in this country'

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(AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Love the scarf. Will someone please strangle him with it?

March 03, 2014

Kerry on Russia's 'incredible act of aggression'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told President Obama after speaking to Russian President Vladimir Putin that she was not sure he was in touch with reality.

March 02, 2014

World War 3 Russia vs Ukraine and Europe Simulation

Prediction: this is not going to happen. But Winter Storm Titan is headed for the eastern U.S.

March 01, 2014

Global LGBT recap

Peter Montgomery at Religion Dispatches, who is a Senior Fellow at People For the American Way, reports on the situation for LGBT people in several countries around the world.

February 28, 2014

Gay Uganda’s plea: ‘Don’t cut aid, you’ll make it worse’

Amid calls (including by Sen. Patrick Leahy) for a freeze in American aid to Uganda in the wake of President Museveni signing the Anti-Homosexuality Act, Ugandan gay activists are saying such a move would be counterproductive. Gay Star News reports:

Frank Mugisha, director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, has said he does not support aid cuts.

‘We can’t afford to create new victims,’ he said on Twitter this week. ‘We should go after the crazy politicians! Not innocent Ugandans.’

America's presence and aid dollars in Uganda give us leverage that we would lose if we withdraw. It is a very frustrating situation, to say the least, but we should not react in such as way as to leave LGBT Ugandans worse off. And we should seriously consider the views of Ugandans who are enduring the persecution.

February 25, 2014

Michael Brown defends Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Law

Brian Tashman at Right Wing Watch shares this.

Right-wing evangelicals in America are demonstrating by their latest statements, in case you missed it before, that they would carry out the same brutal repression against LGBT people here as we are seeing in Russia, Nigeria, Uganda, and elsewhere, if they could.

Schlafly and Solomon Suggest Ukraine-Style Uprising

The latest right-wing lunacy, courtesy Right Wing Watch.

It'll be a Merkel if no one is offended

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(Photo by Marc Israel Sellem / Jerusalem Post)

Our friend Walter Olson shared this photo with the helpful advice: "Very important rule in photo composition: be aware of where the shadow is going to fall." He added:

Reminds me of the recent joke, also in questionable taste, at the height of the Greek fiscal crisis. The German Chancellor flies into Athens airport, goes through processing. "Name?" "Angela Merkel." "Occupation?" "No, just visiting for a few days."

The actual story is here.

Archbishop Tutu deplores #Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act

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U.S. Embassy Kampala shares:

Archbishop Tutu's plea to ‪#‎Ugandan‬ President ‪#‎Museveni‬ to reconsider the country's Anti-Homosexuality Bill has made news around the world. He says, “We must be entirely clear about this: The history of people is littered with attempts to legislate against love or marriage across class, caste and race. But there is no scientific basis or genetic rationale for love. There is only the grace of God…. Our diversity requires of us to be tolerant and compassionate and respectful of each other. ” Read on here: http://goo.gl/Cka3VQ

Amen. Wherever you are, join me tonight in lighting a candle of hope for our brothers and sisters in Uganda, that they find safety and preserve courage and hope.

February 24, 2014

Museveni signs Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law

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(Photo courtesy African Arguments)

The news from Uganda today could hardly be worse. President Museveni said during the signing at State House Entebbe:

Homosexuals are nurtured but not natured. No study has shown that one can be a homosexual purely by nature. Since nurture is the cause, that is why I have agreed to sign the Bill into law,” Museveni said during the public signing of the Bill into law.

It is interesting and darkly amusing, if also preposterous and hypocritical and damning, that Museveni relies on junk science while ignoring reputable scientists, and wraps his actions in anti-colonial rhetoric notwithstanding the fact that the bill he signed was pushed by American evangelicals and reinforces the colonial-era British Penal Code. What in heaven's name is African about that?

His action is really about seizing on a scapegoat to throw to the mob to distract them from his own misrule. It is a tragic day. Many lives will be destroyed for the sake of his opportunism, and not a soul will be helped. I have been getting desperate pleas by email from gay Ugandans. I respond by sending them links to various resources that may be of help. But those groups are undoubtedly being swamped.

If you are a praying person, pray for Uganda and its LGBT people. They are in grave danger.

The White House press secretary issued a statement today:

Instead of standing on the side of freedom, justice, and equal rights for its people, today, regrettably, Ugandan President Museveni took Uganda a step backward by signing into law legislation criminalizing homosexuality. As President Obama has said, this law is more than an affront and a danger to the gay community in Uganda, it reflects poorly on the country's commitment to protecting the human rights of its people and will undermine public health, including efforts to fight HIV/AIDS. We will continue to urge the Ugandan government to repeal this abhorrent law and to advocate for the protection of the universal human rights of LGBT persons in Uganda and around the world.