14 December 2006

Oops, looks like I stepped out

A number of different things have piqued my interest of late, but unfortunately I'm a grad student. This means that every so often I have to write lots and lots of things in bursts of productivity that I'd honestly rather avoid. Anywho, I have decided to provide a roundup of sorts for your viewing pleasure (all 1.5 of you).

Africa conflict news
  • The Central African Republic is destabilizing due in part to the ongoing conflict in Darfur, which has already spilled into Chad. CAR provides a lovely stomping ground for Sudan and Chad to fight each other by proxy on somebody else's land.
  • Speaking of proxy wars, Ethiopia is gearing up to support the transitional Somali government against the Eritrean backed Islamic Courts.
  • DR Congo is alleged to be on the path to recovery now that elections went peacefully and no new fighting erupted. This is a good thing.
  • Sierra Leone may be destabilizing just a touch ahead of 2007 elections, which many expect to be rigged.
  • Let's not forget about the upcoming Nigerian elections, which might just be scary.
  • Ethiopia's former dictator found guilty of genocide, even though he's being sheltered by Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.
UN news
  • Kofi Annan has made his final major speech, in which he politely bitch slapped the United States, in his very polite Kofi Annan way. One can also find a brief version of his lessons learned in office via WaPo.
  • Ban Ki-Moon has been sworn in as the new SG. Let's hope he'll have some teeth. Apparently his rise to the top of the planet somehow includes being fired from a top-level post in Korea after a major typo.
  • John Bolton is out, nations (literally) rejoice.
Homo news
  • NYT does an article on gay evangelicals that is sensationalized and written for the lowest common denominator in a way that queer related NYT articles always are. Said article features (and mischaracterizes) a friend of mine from NC.
  • Mitt Romney has filed suit in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to compel the legislature to put gay marriage up to a public referendum. Apparently likes to lose political battles in as many ways as possible.
  • Middle East is still not a fun place to be gay, reminds some observers of small towns in Tennessee or Utah.
Weird science
  • New study financed by abstinence crazed Bush administration finds male circumcision reduces HIV rates. Same study apparently fails to examine whether or not condoms are used, assuming that those silly Africans didn't pay attention in the sex ed that accompanied their operation, or lack there of. Way to spread cultural imperialism to peoples' genitals. Surely there's not some better way to curb the spread of HIV?
  • Nobody really knows what to do if a Democratic senator gets incapacitated. Some sort of cloning or stubborn refusal to die and thus vacate seat may be under consideration.
To spare you the repetition, I'll spare any mention of Vietraq and all the DC dribble going on around that issue. Consider yourselves lucky.

As a final note, I've made a couple of layout changes, and added a neat feature from LibraryThing that lets you see random books from my shelf, as though you actually cared. Also, this blog may now actually be read by at least 2 people. And that, friends, is better than nothing.

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