Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Beverly Hills Hotel/Sharia Law; Blogger Copyrights; What's Gluten Free?

Beverly Hills Hotel/Sharia Law

I've been posting the story about The Beverly Hills Hotel and how it's run by a company named Dorchester and a CEO from a country, Brunei, that enforces some of the worst crime laws and corporal punishments in the world with LGBTI people. This is all enacted through Shari Law...Sharia. The matter only continues to grow more controversial, and now there's a new trade pact with Brunei supported by the President of the United States. I'm linking to responsible sources and it's all true.

Here's something basic about Sharia:

Sharia deals with many topics addressed by secular law, including crime, politics, and economics, as well as personal matters such as sexual intercourse, hygiene, diet, prayer, everyday etiquette and fasting. Though interpretations of sharia vary between cultures, in its strictest and most historically coherent definition it is considered the infallible law of God—as opposed to the human interpretation of the laws (fiqh).[5] Historically however, much of Sharia has been implemented in its strictest understanding.

The city of Beverly Hills is applying pressure to the country of Brunei to divest The Beverly Hills Hotel. Many have been boycotting it and canceling prominent events. Jay Leno, along with many other top celebrities, have been highly vocal in offering support.

Brunei, a former British protectorate of about 400,000 run by Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, last week became the first East Asian country to adopt the Islamic criminal law. It will punish offenses like sodomy and adultery with the death penalty, including by stoning.

The laws will be introduced in phases in the energy-rich country nestled between two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo, with the harshest penalties going into effect in two years.

Even more interesting, they have been holding gay weddings at the hotel, which I'm sure is because most people don't even know about this.

"This is the height of hypocrisy, and we must ensure that profits from LGBT weddings in the U.S. stop going to a regime that could soon start executing its LGBT citizens," the group's president Chad Griffin said in a statement.

The reply from Dorchester is arrogant and shows no support for equal rights in general. You can read it here.

The White House has remained silent on the matter...oh, except for this, and even this has been kept top secret. The President has been working on a trade deal with Brunei and on the day Brunei began to enforce Shari law the White House was closing a deal that will now tie the US to Brunei more than ever. But it gets even better: the Islamic Sultanate will now receive special economic privileges thanks to this trade pact. Isn't that rich?

On his East Asia trip, President Obama became the first U.S. president since Lyndon Johnson to visit Malaysia, which has laws against homosexuality with sentences that could include corporal punishment such as whippings. Obama mentioned nothing of that and only seemed intent on securing deeper economic ties and getting the trade pact finalized throughout the region. Rewarding Brunei, the first East Asian nation to follow in the footsteps of Taliban-era Afghanistan by stoning gays to death, will send a grotesque message to the world.

You can read more about that here. I think this is one of the most fascinating involved pieces I've read in a long time.

Here's another link to a Towerload piece with similar content.

Blogger Copyrights

I think this matters whether you are a large blogger or a small blogger, blogging for profit or not for profit. It's an insightful piece written by blogger, London Beauty Queen, about how she's tired of people taking her work for free, and boldly without permission.

She discusses respect...or rather the lack of it...for bloggers, and how many just assume that blogging is less important that other arts, like writing books and photography.

I've been on a quest, literally, for a while to see how other bloggers like me get to post photos of good looking men all over their blogs. In some cases some of these small bloggers have been posting photos on a daily basis without links or a hint of origin. And I'm curious as to how they go about this. Do they get permission? Or do they just pilfer the photos and pretend they don't know any better? I've reached a point where I won't even post photos on social media anymore unless I know it's safe.

It's not chance I would be willing to take. I've seen some bloggers that put up disclaimers, but I've heard those disclaimers mean nothing because the laws are all over the place right now. And I highly suggest that when you, the people reading blogs like this, come across a blog filled with photos of good looking men you question it the same way I do. Each time I have politely questioned a blogger about this photo topic I have never once had a reply one way or the other.

There's this interesting mind set that the entire Internet is just one big free zone where one thing is linked to another. And even though in some cases that might be true, in many cases bloggers just like everyone else are working hard to get content out and nothing should ever be assumed about what they will and will not share for free. I think most readers don't even know this is happening. I also think that most bloggers like me would be willing to share if someone were to ask. But at least ask first.

You can read more here about London Beauty Queen. It's a good web site in general, too.


What's Gluten Free?

I have always been a little obsessed about what I eat and how much of it I do eat. I've always wanted to maintain a 32 inch waist and also try to keep a healthy diet. But the one thing that has always puzzled me is this gluten free thing that's become so popular. I had a good friend once whose mother had celiac disease and she had to live a gluten free lifestyle otherwise she would have been in tremendous agony. It even gets more complicated for some people with gluten allergies. But frankly, you have to wonder about a lot of these people out there who are now on this gluten free trend, which is exactly what Jimmy Kimmel did in the following link. You be amazed at how many are on a gluten free diet and don't even know what gluten is.

For what it's worth, gluten is composed of the gliadin and glutenin proteins and is responsible for the elasticity of dough. Research has found that one of the better-known forms of gluten intolerance, celiac disease, affects 1 in every 141 people in the United States.
You can read more here, with a video clip.

It reminds me of when Howard Stern went around New York during an election year and asked people what they thought about Sarah Palin running as Barack Obama's Vice-President. At the time, even though it was clear Palin and Obama were running on opposite tickets, most people didn't seem the mind the Obama-Palin ticket in the least. In fact, they supported them 100%.

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