Found

Salon.com has an insightful article on Obama’s Justice Department’s decision to no longer stand by the Constitutionality of certain statutes of the Defense of Marriage Act…
Obama Sets Marriage Trap… for Republicans

Money Quotes:

In the end, the opponents of same sex marriage were reduced to a perfectly circular argument that would not survive a freshman philosophy class, much less law school. They asserted that the meaning of marriage was a union between opposite sexes, then concluded that allowing any other union would destroy the meaning of marriage as they had just defined it. They were forced to employ such twisted logic because there is no empirical evidence to support the exclusion of gays from marriage; the prohibition is the last vestige of the religious belief that homosexuality is sinful, a rare application of the language of the Old Testament to otherwise victimless behavior in a secular society. (One of the hardest things about talking to God is finding an expert to give a proper deposition.)

From the Middle East:

Gawker covers Muammar Gaddafi’s many fashion statements throughout the years…
Muammar Gaddafi’s Most Memorable Fashion Moments

I think this one is my favorite…

For anyone interested in the comparison between the revolutions of 1848 in Europe and those happening today in the Middle East here’s some essential background… from Wikipedia
Revolutions of 1848

An interesting twist from Yahoo India on the case of a CIA Agent? being tried in Pakistan…
“CIA Spy” Davis was giving nuclear bomb material to Al-Qaeda, says report

Money Quotes:

Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) is warning that the situation on the sub-continent has turned “grave” as it appears that open warfare is about to break out between Pakistan and the United States, The European Union Times reports.

The most ominous point in this SVR report is “Pakistan’s ISI stating that top-secret CIA documents found in Davis’s possession point to his, and/or TF373, providing to al Qaeda terrorists “nuclear fissile material” and “biological agents”, which they claim are to be used against the United States itself in order to ignite an all-out war in order to re-establish the West’s hegemony over a Global economy that is warned is just months away from collapse,” the paper added.

I have yet to read this article… but Robert Fisk has written his first dispatch from Libya, probably just as extraordinarily insightful as most of his work is… will probably break down with comments at a later point.

The Independent: Robert Fisk with the first dispatch from Tripoli – a city in the shadow of death

 

The Cool Stuff…

Mark Zuckerberg now stars as the hero of a comic…
The Mark Zuckerberg Comic Has Arrived

*A side note – “Gurl, that boy is one hot mess, and not just because of his billions in cash”

I wish I could play violin as good as this Toyota robot…

And finally, this is probably the coolest video I’ve seen all day… I’m definitely going to grow a beard like that when a) I begin writing a dissertation or b) am deployed to a remote village with the Peace Corps. He’s pretty hot to boot – I have a thing for guys with beards and nice lips… mmm… yeah I could marry him in a heartbeat

Today in the World

Well, the Arab world is falling apart – Tunisia is still roiled by protests which have now spread to Egypt and Lebanon, where Hezbollah has officially installed their own puppet to form a new government. I’m tired of reading about angry Arab youth. Don’t get me wrong – its an incredibly exciting and fundamentally significant time in the Middle East – concerning the developments that are going on. I guess I’m just bitter that I’m not there to witness them myself. I’m out in the cold here in New England, where it was below 7 degrees the other day. So lets take a short break from the normal prerogative of this blog to focus on what is clearly more important…

First off, I love this picture… I don’t care much for Sarah Jessica Parker, but Pierce Brosnan is always cool, and even cooler when he’s eating a New York pretzel, which are some of the best in the world…

Humor –

– according to Gawker – Stoners Will Now Have Their Own Soft Drink

I just love the photo they got for this. So funny.

Other Articles of Interest:
The Atlantic: How to Stop James Bond from Getting Old

Gawker: Ten Sundance Movies People Are Talking About

Gizmodo: Can You Imagine Your Cellphone Passing Any of These Stress Tests?

The Latest in Attempts at Historical Revisionism:

The Atlantic: Shame on The Kennedy’s

But in the past month we’ve also been treated to widespread news reports about the death of Teddy Kennedy’s 13-year-old dog, Splash; weepy commentary about how this month marks the first time in sixty years that there hasn’t been a Kennedy in Congress; and Camelot-coated ceremonies commemorating the 50th anniversary of Robert Kennedy’s swearing-in as Attorney General.  (Really?  The 50th anniverary of a cabinet officer’s swearing-in? Please.)  This sort of thing is orchestrated by the Kennedy family and their legion of acolytes and media flacks.

Here’s what seems increasingly wrong about all this.  The Kennedys don’t deserve this attention and adulation if they’re not willing to be open with the truth, if they remain intent on having the public see only the attractive side of Robert Kennedy’s legacy.  They don’t deserve the unstinting praise and the undying devotion if they’re not willing to come clean.  If they were to do so, they might deserve the attention that comes their way now by constant management and manipulation of the family image.  Enough.

In Other News…

For a gay political media correspondent, Andersen Cooper and his boyfriend make a cute couple:

On DADT

With Congress close to repealing DADT, I thought it would be prudent to post in full this honest account from a gay soldier in the U.S. military…

Jezebel: A Gay Soldier’s Letter Before Leaving For Afghanistan

I’m writing letters to my loved ones in case I don’t return from Afghanistan. I hope my partner never has to open his. If he does, it will ask him to tell who I was, because I couldn’t.

I was a teenager when my brother came home with an American flag draped over his coffin, so I understand the fragility of life and the dangers of serving. And the additional burden of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is one I choose to carry. I volunteered for deployment, and I continue to serve. It’s my deepest core value, whatever the cost.

The silence is the hardest part. I listen intently as my fellow soldiers talk about facing the reality of leaving their loved ones for a year and all the life events that will be missed. I don’t talk about my own experience at all, because it’s easier to come across as cold and removed than to risk slipping and mentioning that my loved one is of the same gender. For all I know, there are other gay soldiers in my unit, ones who understand what I’m going through. My gay friends in civilian life are supportive, but they don’t often understand the military or soldiering. That camouflage is another burden I carry as I prepare to leave.

It’s also difficult knowing that this policy is nothing more than politics. I try not to think too much about DADT and how destructive it is to peoples’ lives, to military units, readiness, and to the progression of our country to a better place. But when I do let myself think about these things, I seethe with anger.

I am angry at the politicians who have for several years talked the talk on the policy, heightening the awareness of homosexuality among military personnel, and then done little to nothing to actually change it. We gay soldiers are the ones who suffer but can’t openly participate in the debate.

I am angry at certain senators -– John McCain comes to mind –- who have obviously lost touch with any understanding of the current generation of service men and women, who, as we all know, support repeal at overwhelming numbers. They hide behind a vitriolic rhetoric fraught with illogical arguments and innuendo, smothered by their obvious fear.

And so we wait to see what the Senate will do. In the meantime, I have to remind myself to look elsewhere for comfort, to remember the courage of people like Dan Choi and his consistent devotion to changing this policy, at a very personal cost. Or Katie Miller, who made public at West Point who she really is, but would seek return the moment the policy is overturned. I also remind myself of the moral courage of Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, thankful that some at the highest level of military leadership get it even as others call our plight a “distraction.”

And I’m reminded of the moral courage of my partner, who encourages me everyday to continue to put on that uniform; who believes that some things are worthy of our energies; who quietly plods along and prepares for my deployment as I do the same. I know as a soldier, it is the people we leave behind who bear the real brunt of deployment, who hold it all together, who send the care packages and pray for our returns. He’ll have to do it on his own though. There are no support groups for the gay partners left back home.

In the meantime, gay soldiers who are still serving in silence will continue to put on our rucksacks and do what our country asks of us –- and wait.

This is probably one of the most honest and genuine accounts I’ve come across of what it’s like to serve in the military as a homosexual.