Kuwait Uses “Gaydar” To Keep Out LGBT

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If you have been keeping up with international news you just might have seen the little tidbits offered about Kuwait implementing “gaydar” to keep LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual, and Transgender) out of their country. Other countries in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Countries) that include Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates already deem homosexual acts as unlawful. Health centers conduct the routine medical check to assess the health of the  expatriates when they come into the GCC countries. However, they are taking  stricter measures that will help them detect gays who will be then barred from  entering Kuwait or any of the GCC member states. And did you know that It’s illegal to be gay in 78 countries, with  lesbianism banned in 49. Five countries mete out the death penalty to gay people, those being Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen and Mauritania.

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  • Iran:  Since 1979, the government has executed more than 4,000 people charged with  homosexual acts. A non-adult who engages in consensual sodomy is subject to a  punishment of 74 lashes.
  • Saudi  Arabia: Although the maximum punishment for homosexuality is execution,  the government tends to use other punishments – such as fines, prison sentences,  and whipping – unless it feels that homosexuals have challenged state authority  by engaging in social movements.
  • Sudan: For homosexual men, lashes are given  for the first offence, with the death penalty following the third offence. 100  lashes are given to unmarried women who engage in homosexual acts. For lesbian  women, stoning and thousands of lashes are the penalty for the first offence.
  • Yemen: Homosexuality is still illegal in Yemen  in accordance to the country’s Shari’a legal system. Punishment ranges from  flogging to death.
  • Mauritania: The Shari’a law applies in  Mauritania. The penal code states that, since 1983, any adult Muslim caught engaging in an ‘unnatural act’ with a member of the same sex is punishable with  the death sentence by public stoning.

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This warped plan comes from Kuwait’s director of public health, Yousuf Mindkar. The clinical screens are meant to make sure the foreigners entering the Arab countries are healthy. But Mindkar wants to use them as an opportunity to crack down harder on what’s been seen as a troublesome rise in the country’s gay population. Theoretically, the health officials in Kuwait could distil this practice and other similar research findings into a science-inspired gay detection screening process. But the accuracy rate would be far from proficient, and leaps and bounds away from the level of proof sufficient to ban someone from entering the country. We don’t even have to look to the East for examples of homophobic immigration law. For 22 years the United States tried to screen out HIV-positive foreigners which could be considered a form of gay discrimination. Meanwhile, Kuwait’s gaydar plan is set to be debated at the Gulf Cooperation Countries committee meeting next month. It will be interesting to see if the committee gives the proposal the green light, and even more interesting to find out how Mindkar proposes to pull it off. Unfortunately, wherever the gay detector falls in the spectrum between asking someone if they like sports or analyzing their facial width-to-height ratio, it won’t be the first time history has used soft science to justify a kind of witch hunt rooted in fear and hatred. And those never ended very well in the past.

Everything I have read about or seen on the television about Kuwait and the GCC using supposed scientific tests to ban people from entering one of the countries has sent red flags right up my WTF flag pole. As a serving member of the United States Air Force (active duty) I was stationed in the Gulf region in the country of Kuwait as well as visiting Bahrain for r & r. As an American, used to American culture, I witness first hand, what appeared to me, as unethical treatment to human beings. That’s not seeing things as only a foreigner to the county but as a human being. Who gives a flying fuck what a person’s sexual orientation or their sexual preference is. I wonder why we haven’t seen any WBC (Westboro Baptist Church) support for Kuwait and the GCC. Maybe the WBC has been banned from those countries as well. Neither here nor there, it just seems like there are countries who wish to alienate themselves from others in the world. I would think this would affect their income from international travels no matter their orientation. Anyway, just wanted to pass on some international bullshit news that struck me as worthy to put here.

As a housekeeping note, the 3, count them 3, pictures were borrowed from 3 different sources found publicly on the world-wide web using a Google search. They don’t belong to me or this blog and were, at the time of posting, considered to be free to use in the public domain. If 1 or all of the pictures belong to you or your organization just inform me and I will remove them with haste.

The Possibility Of Designer Babies

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Being adopted I have often questioned my roots. I have always had the questions about my traits, which ones are genetic and which ones are unique. Since becoming a legal adult I have been on a couple national and international adoption listings. I get really weird mail and e-mail on occasion with different ways to look into my genetic paths of the past. I have always had two concerns with being adopted which are my own health questions with an unknown family history as we all those same questions for my children and grandchildren. Over the years I have spent countless (1000s and 1000s) hours doing records research, phone calls, letter writing, and door knocking, all with few or poor results. It was a challenge for me personally because I didn’t actually want to know who my biological family was, I just wanted to know family medical history for my own peace of mind. Due to the conditions of my adoption back in 1968, my adoption records were sealed only to be opened by my biological mother. It took much time and a fair amount of court costs to have that over-ruled and have my adoption records un-sealed. In the end it was actually a fruitless effort since 99% of the included information was indeed false. However, there was one vital piece of information that was included, and that was her social security number. I was able to use her social security number to track her down. I will leave it there as this is getting into another story for another day. So, the other day I get a letter from a company called 23andMe announcing an opportunity for myself to be genetically tested for multiple reasons. I called the provided phone number and had a chat with a very nice receptionist who explained that my name was drawn from a national seeking adoption information listing. I was told that the genetic information would provide me a genetic history which could be used to further map my existence. Want to talk about a “WOW” and “WTF” moment all rolled up tightly together, this was it.

After I hung up the phone I was still a little stunned and really didn’t know what to think. I began a conversation with my wife to review what we already knew about “me” and what more we could want to know. Starting with the simple things I knew we remembered that the date on my birth certificate had been altered to read the 7th of November when it was actually found to be the 6th of November. Why this was done has been a controversial question I have had for many years, but after receiving my original “original” from the hospital I was born in I let it rest. As far as genetic history I had found out that my heritage is “Viking” and can be traced back a good 900 years with some really cool family heirloom documents, crests, flags, and so forth. It has been interesting to find things related to these documents and symbols over the years. I was also able to produce some nice results from Ancestry.com which confirmed allot of what I was told as family “folklore” and so forth. It has always been an interesting ride when researching. It has been so interesting that all three of my children have done anything from family tree projects to full on heritage research essays over the years. Now, what does all of this has to do with anything at all? It’s simple, from my point of view, because the resources, as scarce as they may be, are out there if you know what you are looking for and sometimes even if you don’t know what you are looking for. My wife and I decided to explore what we could find out about 23andMe and what that company was all about. There have been many, and I mean many, articles, papers, reports, and stories written about this company. Most of what we read all ended up with them talking about the morality of what this company does for a living. Why? Recently the company received a patent on a product that could allow parents to calculate “traits” of their future offspring. It’s been called a Personalized Genomics Revolution by some since what it allows a person to do is unlike anything in the past. Now, I’m not going to do a run down on everything ever said or what others think about the company. What I want to do is explore what this patent, which the company says it will never use, has to say and/or do with our future as human beings.

The first question I would have is why patent a process that you promise will never ever be used? What’s the point? Is it solely a proprietary issue? Is it because the research and technology industry is so competitive? These are questions which I could not find the answers to. Had I not had contact with this company would I be asking these questions or would I have the questions at all? Good question. We here it in the news, read it in the papers, see the articles in magazines, here it from other people, and read it on the internet about the advancements in genetics and what is theorized to be able to be done. There are many claims being made by the scientists of the world and they have their critics as well as their fans. One thing I find interesting is that critics claim the scientists are “playing God” and screwing with mother nature in their research. I find that amusing on so many levels its unbelievable. First, what does “playing God” really mean? Aren’t we talking about science here? We are not talking theologies, theories, or myths so how can God even come into the equation. I’m not knocking people and their beliefs but I personally believe that God and science are two completely different topics altogether. Past my own opinions I think that genetic research has led to many great discoveries in the scientific and medical world. The human race has moved forward because of scientific discovery and will continue to improve ourselves as time goes by. But what is the cost? What do we lose in the process? Will we skip steps in human evolution that should take thousands to millions of years? One thing I do disagree with, and I’m pretty firm on this, is using science and medicine to alter how a baby is created. The mixing, splicing, and choosing the genes of a baby in a pre-pregnancy soup really bothers me. We do not want a generation of science experiment children which will spend their whole lives being examined and observed to verify if the scientists were right or not. But, wait. it’s already being done in the plant and animal kingdom isn’t it? We already ingest in one way, form, or fashion, the science behind our food and drinks already. Now, the line into human testing can be crossed. Is it ethical? Is it moral? Is it righteous? Is it needed?

So, what would happen if I purchased a “DIY Kit” and sent a sample of my DNA into to be tested, categorized, localized, and a genetic trail to be created? How would this benefit me? Would the information learned, if any, be beneficial to me? I think I will be passing on the opportunity. I think there are things about “ME” that might be better left unknown. I think I will pass so the off chance my DNA isn’t misused somehow by “accident”. I will leave it right there. Some other information I found interesting is that the past price for the kit was $299.00 and has been reduced to $99.00 in hopes to get more of the general public to participate. Something very interesting about Anne Wojcicki is she is the wife of the co-founder of Google, Sergey Brin, who recently gave an investment of $50M ($50,000,000.00). Coincidence? I wonder if it was a personal check or a Google company check because the press release doesn’t actually say. If it is a Google investment does that mean that Google will somehow play a role in the future of genetic tracking? Or is Sergey Brin just protecting his wife’s investment. Interesting sometimes to look where the money comes from and why. Except the “Why” rarely surfaces it’s ugly little head. Hey, I’m not knocking it, if one has the means the by all means do with your money what you please. But high profile people should expect that Joe Public just might a basic question or three.

hl-viking

Pet Relief At The Airport? WTF?

 
See the original story here @ The Huffington Post where I borrowed it from.
 
“San Diego International Airport doesn’t discriminate against any of its travelers — including the small, furry kind. In addition to the typical men’s and ladies’ restrooms located throughout the airport, San Diego offers bathrooms just for dogs. Located in terminal two, the pet pit stop is decked out with turf, a fire hydrant and a hand-washing station for owners. The airport also has a pre-security pet relief area that’s outdoors and is located between terminals one and two.” (This information borrowed from the story posted by The Huffington Post)
 
WTF? WTF? WTF?

Now go read what I had to say about it HERE.