In a story appearing on International Day Against Homophobia (May 17), it appears the Pentagon for the first time has officially recognized transgender service members. The move is being hailed as a breakthrough by the LGBT community, reports The Daily Mail
“The acknowledgement came in the form of a letter to veteran and transgender activist Autumn Sandeen confirming that the Navy had updated its records to show she is a woman.
“While still a long way from open transgender service in the military, OutServe-SLDN, an organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender service members and their families labeled the move ‘symbolic.’
“The letter from the Navy official, dated May 2, read: ‘Per your request the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) has been updated to show your gender as female effective April 12, 2013.’
“Sandeen’s military identification card now reflects the change.
‘The fact that a process exists [to change the gender listed] indicates that there are people in the Department of Defense who are aware of the needs of transgender retirees and who are working to see those needs met,’ OutServe-SLDN executive director Allyson Robinson told BuzzFeed.
“‘And, in that sense, the significance of this symbolic act for our broader work and for our goal of open service becomes I think a little bit more apparent.'”
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2325737/Autumn-Sandeen-Pentagon-recognizes-transgender-service-members-time-symbolic-LGBT-community.html#ixzz2TathbWnG
“Opposing genocide has become a sort of cottage industry in the United States,” writes Patricia Johnstone in a thoughtful essay in CounterPunch. The article then analyses how justified war has become a preferred solution to mass extermination . . . but at what cost and in whose interests?
“Everywhere, “genocide studies” are cropping up in universities. Five years ago, an unlikely “Genocide Prevention Task Force” was set up headed by former secretary of state Madeleine Albright and former defense secretary William Cohen, both veterans of the Clinton administration.
“The Bible of the campaign is Samantha Power’s book, ‘A Problem from Hell’. Ms. Power’s thesis is that the U.S. Government, while well-intentioned, like all of us, is too slow to intervene to “stop genocide”. It is a suggestion that the U.S. government embraces, even to taking on Ms. Power as White House advisor. Continue reading “War and genocide today”
Dogs do it all for the military: sniff for bombs, detect narcotics and rescue hapless humans. But to recruit the best canine squadmates, the Pentagon’s blue-sky researchers are working on a plan to scan their brains — and figure out how dogs think. Belly rubs won’t cut it anymore.
According to a new research solicitation from Darpa, the project — adorably called FIDOS, for “Functional Imaging to Develop Outstanding Service-Dogs” — touts the idea of using magnetic image resonators (or MRIs) to “optimize the selection of ideal service dogs” by scanning their brains to find the smartest candidates. “Real-time neural feedback” will optimize canine training. That adds up to military pooches trained better, faster and — in theory — at a lower cost than current training methods of $20,000, using the old-fashioned methods of discipline-and-reward. Continue reading “Pentagon scanning brains of dog recruits”