Archive for the DEEP THOUGHTS Category

D.I.Y. Baby

Posted in DEEP THOUGHTS, NEWS, ON OUR RADAR on March 3, 2009 by transracial

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Transracial read today a story detailing how a fertility doctor in Los Angeles will soon be offering parents the option to pre-select their baby’s eye color, hair color and even skin tone. Indeed, for a mere $15,000 fee, Dr. Jeff Steinberg of The Fertility Institute will go beyond offering “100 per cent success” in choosing a baby’s sex, but will also now offer these more elaborate characteristics. We at Transracial already find pre-natal procedures such as sex-selection and even certain genetic testing futuristic and problematic.

These next steps even more so.

With traits such as appearance now made-to-order, what does this mean for minority groups such as Gays, Lesbians, people of (too much) color or the physically-challenged. Where will they fit into this menu of baby-making services.

GLBT’s should pay particular care to this issue as Steinberg’s firm is — oddly — big in the Gay surrogacy arena . His practice is “the world’s ONLY fully integrated program incorporating all aspects of the gay parenthood process into one centralized location.”

While we can confirm no ulterior motives — as of yet — Steinberg’s hands in so many fertility pots causes our eyebrows to raise skyward.

Steinberg clearly knows his was around a petri dish and ovum. With access to so much genetic information — and fates — under one roof, we only hope that Steinberg adherers to the strictest moral standards in an industry so UNregulated that it ushered in the era of the Octomom.

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Battle for Same-Sex Marriage Heats-Up in Israel

Posted in DEEP THOUGHTS, NEWS, ON OUR RADAR on March 1, 2009 by transracial

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Talk about a hooplah under the hoopah!

As Israel’s left, right and center scramble to cobble together a government, the red-hot issue of same-sex marriage is coming to a head in the Jewish nation. Right now a bill is being negotiated by Israel’s major parties to deal with the issue of “civil marriages” — which currently do not exist in Israel, where all nuptials must be performed by a certified religious authority (AKA rabbi, priest or iman).

According to reports, under the proposed new agreement, Civil Marriages would be introduced — but would be limited to only unions between a woman and man. In other words, Gay and Lesbian Israelis should cancel those honeymoon plans.

This is unsurprising. Civil Unions are hot in Israel right now owing to the strong showing of politician Avigdor Lieberman, whose Israel Beteinu party scored 15 Knesset seats during last month’s election. That’s more than 10 percent. Right-winger Lieberman supports Civil Unions because they directly server his main constituency: Nearly 1 million Soviet Jews who emigrated to Israel late last century. Many are not technically Jewish and hence under current regulations — and a lack of Civil Unions — cannot marry in Israel. Yes, it may seem shocking, but Jews and non-Jews may not marry in the country.

Under Lieberman’s plan, the new legislation would allow these folks to get hitched — but fails to extend this right to Homo and Lesbo Heebs! Moreover, divorces would still only be available by religious decree — leaving religious leaders with important levels of power.

Shanda!

But there’s hope. A bill introduced today by leftist Knesset Member Nitzan Horowitz would work toward making Civil Marriage open and equal for all Israelis — Jew, Muslim, Gay, Straight, Lesbian, etc, etc, etc. In other words, civil marriage would be just that — CIVIL. And Israel’s pernicious religious right would finally get out of the marriage industry.

Progressive!

Israel has a long history leading the movement toward LGBT equality: Since 2006 Israel recognizes same-sex marriages performed outside of the country. Israel has also had nationwide protection of LGBTs in the workplace since 1992. And Gays and Lesbians are proud, effective — and often sexily uniformed — members of the armed services. All besting America’s record.

As Tzipi Livni, Benjamin Netanyahu and Lieberman work overtime to form a coalition, it is important that the issue of same-sex marriage is not lost in the commotion. Moreover, by committing to full-scale civil unions, Israel has a tremendous opportunity to lead the West towards a more equitable — and less religious-controlled — future for all.

It’s a complicated — but important — issue, with more information available here.

Good luck.

WE’RE CONCERNED ABOUT: Guinea

Posted in DEEP THOUGHTS, NEWS, ON OUR RADAR on February 28, 2009 by transracial

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Fresh from West Africa’s latest coup, the small nation of Guinea is worryingly teetering towards failed state-status. News from the capital, Conakry, is bad — due mostly to Guinea and neighboring nations becoming transit points for powerful South American drug cartels looking to ship narcotics via Africa to Europe. While rumors of high-level collusion between government officials and the well-funded narcos had been spoken of for years, the son of Guinea’s former leader confessed on TV that drug trafficking had indeed reached the Presidential Palace. The recent revelations by Ousmane Conte confirm the precariousness of desperately poor nations such as Guinea — which watch-dog agencies such as InterPol suggest may soon be both funded and ruled by cartel-backed politicians.

Scary!

DAILY TRANSRCIAL: Roberty Downey, Jr

Posted in DAILY TRANSRACIAL, DEEP THOUGHTS on February 22, 2009 by transracial

45172136 While there is certainly something odd and offensive about Roberty Downey, Jr’s donning of Blackface for Oscar-nominated role in Tropical Thunder (above, with Ben Stiller), we conceded the move is nothing if not novel. Coming hot on the heel’s of his summer success with Iron Man, the cross-color performance proves that Downey is indeed a master of reinvention. Hollywood likes nothing better than a comeback — let’s see if Downey’s decision to go ‘Gro will win him his first statue.

Election Quandary

Posted in DEEP THOUGHTS, NEWS on February 9, 2009 by transracial

avigdorliebermanTuesday sees Israel heading to the polls to elect a new prime minister and of all the major candidates, we’re keeping our eye on Soviet-expat and Yisrael Beiteinu party leader Avigdor Lieberman (above). On one hand, Lieberman’s extremist, neo-fascist and anti-Arab views could not worry us more. However, Lieberman’s strong support for measures which would separate Synagogue from state — including civil marriages — are welcome and long-overdue steps towards a more secular nation. Lieberman’s 10 year-old party is predicted to nab upto a dozen Knesset seats meaning his once fring policies — both left and right — will certainly be getting some air time.

Curious for more? CNN has all of the Lieberman dirt.

On the Up

Posted in DEEP THOUGHTS, NEWS on February 7, 2009 by transracial

Finally some good news for the struggling music industry. According to trade group Soundscan, sales of actual records (yes, vinyl LPs) surged last year to almost 1.9 million units — up from a mere 858,000 in 2007. They’re welcome numbers in a tough time for music companies and artists, though with some 1.1 billion songs sold digitally last year, old fashioned records will likely remain just that — old fashioned!

Remember them?
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Devvie Does Hollywood

Posted in DEEP THOUGHTS, WE SUPPORT on February 7, 2009 by transracial

360px-freidapintodevpatel08tiffSlumdog Millionaire breakout Dev Patel (seen here with co-star Frida Pinto) has just landed his first post-Slum blockbuster role as Prince Zukio in Paramount’s upcoming film The Last Airbender. Patel’s quick move from Bollywood to Hollywood suggests that the latter is finally waking up to the potential — and potency — of the former. Nearly a decade ago, Anglo-Indian actress Parminder Nagra appeared on Hollywood’s radar screen thanks to her stellar performance in cult hit Bend it Like Beckham. While Nagra was the clear flick favorite, it was co-star Keira Knightley who ultimately rose to movie-star status, with Nagra settling for a recurring role on ER. True, mass-media success on any level would be widely welcomed by most struggling actors. But Transracial can’t help but wonder whether Nagra’s ultra-Punjabi name and curry-colored skin are the real reasons she still on the small-screen, while Knightley conquers the big screen. Let’s hope a decade later, Patel and Pinto avoid a similar fate.