[syndicated profile] political_betting_feed

Posted by TSE

Farage’s ratings for a third party leader are pretty poor

With the seven way debate upon us shortly, I was trying to see the circumstances that led to the Cleggasm in April 2010.

Using the Ipsos-Mori leader satisfaction ratings as a proxy,  we can see how Nigel Farage’s net ratings compare to Clegg in March 2010.

Then in April 2010 the public for a short time, ended up liking someone they already liked a bit more.

Given that that Farage and UKIP are the recipients of the None of the Above voters that the Lib Dems used to attract, and are effectively the third party of Great British wide politics, in the polls at least, compared to his predecessors of the third party/second opposition party, Farage’s ratings aren’t that good.

This may be a by product of the voters’ perception of UKIP, which sees them as the most extreme and least fit to govern party,  as the most sleazy and disreputable party, and a racist party likely to have candidates with racist/extreme views.

So does this mean no Faragasm tomorrow night? I suspect the format of the debate is what is more likely to stop a Fargasm tomorrow night rather than Nigel’s poor ratings as a third party leader, but it does present Farage an opportunity to regain the UKIP voters he seems to have misplaced recently, as Lord Ashcroft’s marginals polling today was the latest to confirm this trend.


Super Typhoon Maysak Seen From Space

Apr. 1st, 2015 03:57 pm
[syndicated profile] badastronomy_feed

Posted by Phil Plait

On Tuesday, in the western Pacific Ocean, the tropical cyclone Maysak strengthened rapidly and became what is called a Super Typhon, with sustained winds of more than 250 kilometers per hour, the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic. The main part of the storm has grown to a staggering 1,300 kilometers across and is headed for the Philippines.

High level winds are strong, and the wind shear may weaken the storm soon (winds blowing over the storm rob it of strength it needs to sustain itself). Still, the damage this immense typhoon can do is terrifying.

And yet, its beauty cannot be denied. Images taken by astronauts Terry Virts and Samantha Cristoforetti from the International Space Station are as surpassingly beautiful as they are quietly menacing.

From several hundred kilometers to the side and at an oblique angle, the entire storm can be seen. The feeder bands resemble the arms of a spiral galaxy, and you can see convective thunderstorm clouds popping up along them.

From a different angle with low Sun, radial streamers are visible outside the storm.

This image is looking down into the eye when the Sun was relatively low. Virts said, “It seemed like a black hole.” A space station solar panel can be seen on the left.

In another close shot, the feeder bands can be followed all the way in to the eye.

The full fury of the typhoon is apparent in this image taken by NASA’s Earth-observing Aqua satellite photo, taken on Tuesday. The detail in the high-resolution image is incredible.

According to Jeff Masters at Wunderground (via the Washington Post), this typhoon season has had a record early start, and Maysak is so strong due to unusually warm waters in the Pacific (due to a weak El Niño). I’ll note that global warming plays a part in warming waters as well, and while the interaction is complex, record-breaking typhoons and hurricanes may be more common now than they once were.

NASA’s efforts to study storms like this are critical in understanding them. How they form, grow, strengthen, and travel—this is obviously a life-or-death situation, and NASA’s fleet of Earth-observing satellites are helping meteorologists be able to predict them better. I strongly support NASA in this regard, as should any reasonable person

[syndicated profile] skepchick_feed

Posted by Amy Roth

It’s time for the Los Angeles Women’s Atheist and Agnostic Group’s monthly meet-up on Tuesday April 7th at 7pm. This month we are gonna listen to, and learn about some really cool popular music with our very special guest, from this here blog, the smart, the fashionable and the collector of vinyl, Ms Courtney Caldwell!

Courtney is coming all the way from Texas to L.A. to visit us and she is bringing a playlist, speakers and some interesting information on some of today’s hottest musicians who are incorporating feminism, atheism and social justice into their work. This event is gonna be a LOT of fun. So bring your friends AND your dancing shoes, cuz we are gonna get down AND get educated!

I just got word that we can use the Steve Allen Theatre at CFI on Tuesday night if we want, so we can turn the lights down and turn the music UP!

This event is open to all genders so do feel free to bring/invite friends! Please RSVP on our FB invite so I know how many snacks and how much wine to bring.

The event is here:
Center for Inquiry | Los Angeles
4773 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90027

Join us!

[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

Is the novel finished: NO

Today’s question: April Fool’s Day: Love it, hate it, indifferent about it?

My answer: I like it as a concept but am generally disappointed in the execution, as most “jokes” or “pranks” on April Fool’s Day aren’t really funny or clever. Being funny and clever is harder than most people seem to think it is.

Your thoughts?

james_davis_nicoll: (Default)

The Sad Puppies' gripe

Apr. 1st, 2015 10:17 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Change: threat or menace?

The book has a spaceship on the cover, but is it really going to be a story about space exploration and pioneering derring-do? Or is the story merely about racial prejudice and exploitation, with interplanetary or interstellar trappings?

Solar System

Pretty sure there's a rocket in the background of this collection of stories from the 1940s and I can assure you racial prejudice and exploitation is a recurring theme.
[syndicated profile] skepchick_feed

Posted by Mary

  • That Time the Avengers Battled Scientology – “The turn of the millennium was a weird period for superhero comics; an era when financial desperation opened a path for wild experimentation. Marvel Comics was particularly hard hit, plunging into bankruptcy and emerging as a wounded giant. The company welcomed bold, weird ideas: Punisher became a zombie, Spider-Man and the X-Men got rebooted series where they were all angsty teens again, and … a Scientologist joined the Avengers. And then the Avengers teamed up with the evil super-powered leader of Scientology. And they all flew in a spaceship powered by the souls of Scientologists. And they fought a giant alien pyramid.”
  • What ’60 Minutes’ Got Right And Wrong On Duke’s Polio Virus Trial Against Glioblastoma – “An engineered version of the poliovirus has been in development for more than 20 years as a treatment for one of the most difficult-to-treat cancers, a brain tumor called glioblastoma multiforme, abbreviated GBM. A human safety trial of the virus, called a Phase I study, is ongoing at Duke University’s Brain Tumor Center in Durham, North Carolina. The patients who’ve been enrolled have the toughest form of this disease: GBM that has returned after previous surgery and treatment.”
  • Study finds black girls face harsher discipline in schools than their white peers – “Nationally, black girls are suspended six times more than white girls, according to the study, while black boys are suspended three times more than white boys.”
  • Audit This: The Most Disturbing Scientology Stories of the Last Decade – “Following the premiere of the damning Scientology documentary Going Clear last night, you may have more questions about the bizarre cult and its recent history. Compiled below are the most insane reports about Scientology from the past ten years.” I just watched the documentary and I liked it. Plus, I finally got to learn how to pronounce “Miscavige.”
  • Bill Cosby is not sorry: Under a Nelson Mandela portrait, the accused rapist delivers bizarre jokes to his die-hard fans – “Exclusive: The surreal experience of watching Cosby’s unapologetic stand-up act — sweat pants and all.”
  • A Very Special 1944 Message to Women from the Government About STDs – “The real audience for this PSA quickly becomes clear, as the doctor informs Peggy’s mother of her daughter’s diagnosis. She wails that they’ve given Peggy everything and wants to know what else they could’ve done. ‘You could have given her the information she needed about herself—her mind, her mind, and her proper relations with other people,’ retorts the doctor. And so Peggy’s mother embarks on a quest to understand venereal disease, thereby becoming the framing device for a bunch of information on gonorrhea, syphilis and their consequences.”
  • Abortion Patients Deserve “Spa-Like” Conditions – “Abortion is legal. If you want a little more misery and shame with your abortion experience, feel free to impose that on yourself, but for those who disagree, pass the fluffy robes and the herbal teas. “

Featured Image

[syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

Posted by Paul Burstow

Knowing that you will receive the best care possible means the world to everyone who finds themselves or their loved ones in need of social care.

That is why I made it my first priority as Care Minister, and together with Norman Lamb – our current Care Minister – and other Lib Dem colleagues we have worked hard to reform our badly out of date care system and drag it into the twenty first century.

Today, that work reaches a major milestone with the Care Act coming into effect. As the independent health charity the Kings Fund put it, on social care “the coalition has made more progress in five years than the previous government did in thirteen”.

The Care Act creates new rights and protections for people who need care and new rights for the friends and family who selflessly care for them. It puts in place for the first time a national rules to determine when a person is eligible for care ending the unfair postcode lottery that existed in the past. This means that  people with the same level of care needs will now be treated in the same way wherever they live. It also puts people’s wellbeing at the heart of all care decisions, and creates new responsibilities for local authorities to make sure that support is available to stop people developing care needs in the first place.

Just as importantly, the Care Act finally ends the devastating unfairness that meant the most in need could be left facing catastrophic care costs. As Care Minister I asked the respected economist Sir Andrew Dilnott to chair a commission on this difficult issue within 8 weeks of forming a government, and when the commission reported I worked with Lib Dem colleagues to challenge Osborne’s intransigence and secured the money to fund it.

As a result we now have a cap on the catastrophic costs of care, giving people certainty and the ability to plan for their needs. As the Kings Fund put it “To make any headway at all on an issue that has eluded all previous attempts at reform – and in the toughest fiscal climate in living memory – is a big achievement.

The Care Act shows the difference Lib Dems can make in government, working together to build a fairer society for everyone.

* Paul Burstow is Liberal Democrat candidate for Sutton and Cheam and was the MP until the dissolution of Parliament on 30th March.

[personal profile] jimhines

As we wrap up this year’s series of guest posts on representation in SF/F, I’ve been looking ahead to what comes next. And what comes next is Invisible 2, an ebook that will collect these essays and a few bonus materials. As before, the book will be priced at $2.99, with any proceeds being donated to Con or Bust. I’m hoping to have the book available some time around mid-May.

Dennis R. Upkins lays out some experiences and observations here that may be hard for some of us to read. But often, it’s the painful truths that are most valuable…

A satirist by the name of Jon Stewart once said, “If you don’t stick to your values when they’re being tested, they’re not values, they’re hobbies.”

I love the work I do.

However, in the last year or two I’ve experienced pangs of resentment at the burden of being a gay author of color. I knew what I was signing up for when I entered the industry. Penning stories that features a diverse cast (being a minority writer myself), I was all but committing career Seppuku.

No this resentment was something else. Something I couldn’t quite shake.

Requests would be asked of me as a black writer. Whats my minority quotient in the story, which social justice issues will I be tackling, why am I not tackling them, why arent I doing more for the movement?

Writing has always been my calling, my passion, and my great escape. So it constantly struck a nerve that I couldn’t even be an artist and do what I love without my race or orientation being a detriment.

The answer finally revealed itself during an installment of the Buzzfeed Brews series. In an interview with the leading ladies of Shondaland, Ellen Pompeo (Grey’s Anatomy), Kerry Washington (Scandal), and Viola Davis (How To Get Away With Murder) discussed their experiences portraying groundbreaking heroines and working with legendary Shonda Rhimes.

During the discussion, Ms. Davis expressed that while strides in diversity and progress have been made in the media, it’s ultimately hindered by the fact that white artists, directors, and writers aren’t held to the same standards as their marginalized peers.

A most tragic and all-too-accurate reality.

HollowstoneAs a black writer, my talents, skills, and credentials are always under suspicion. Simply because Noah Scott, the narrator in my YA novel, Hollowstone, was a black teenager, I was accused of author insert by white colleagues and readers alike. On the flipside of that, I caught heat from other white critics because Noah wasn’t gay and I failed my people. And because the publisher traditionally markets to blacks and audiences of color, white critics were the first to claim that said publisher was not a legitimate operation.

Tackling racism and teaching white audiences how to be human beings is an expectation of myself and other black authors, and yet when we share unpopular truths, suddenly we’re not qualified to speak about our history and culture.

I had the privilege of having a bigoted Lethe Press publisher invite me to submit to a Civil War anthology, only to be instructed that I am not allowed to include gay characters because the anthology needed to appeal to a mainstream cis heterosexual audience.

As a black author I get ignorant emails from some failed hack that I have too many white characters in West of Sunset, yet this particular cretin has no issue watching a marathon of Star Trek or Game of Thrones.

It would be one thing if this nonsense only happened to me. In fact, take me out of the equation for just a moment. Far too many other PoC and LGBTQ creators have similar horror stories. Many talented and deserving colleagues and friends have dedicated their lives to creating rich diverse novels, comics, films, etc. and rarely do they get support from the same white fandom that is constantly complaining about wanting more diversity.

The same white fans, specifically in social justice circles, will deliver a Meryl Streep Oscar-worthy performance swearing that they would sooooooooooooo buy a novel that features a heroine of color or a gay protagonist, but when said alternatives are brought to their attention, they’re nowhere to be found.

The same money that’s spent on movie tickets for the latest Michael Bay film everyone is complaining about could make the difference for indie artists who are working to be about the change.

Homophobia is wrong and should never be supported or enabled, unless the culprits are Orson Scott Card or Chuck Dixon or Steve Moffat. Then the goalpost is shifted to “can we separate the artist from their art?” In other words, can we pay lip service to LGBTQ equality and still find an excuse to consume and financially support the work of bigots. Interesting how the issue of separating the art from the artist wasn’t raised when Isaiah Washington was fired from Greys Anatomy for his homophobic remarks and conduct.

Nevertheless, I’m expected to dedicate my entire soul into a cause that’s often sabotaged at every turn.

In the end, everyone loses. When systemic oppression blocks minority artists from sharing new ideas, deeper truths with the rest of the world, the world misses out. When white privilege and white mediocrity is allowed to thrive unchecked, it inevitably leads to ruin, as we’ve seen with the publishing industry.

This ultimately goes back to Stewart’s point in that we as a whole are not committed to equality and diversity as many of us like to believe.

Equality and diversity aren’t just ideas, but they should be values that we are practicing fearlessly and continuously. We should be holding the privileged to the same standard that we hold the marginalized.

Until that change happens, we can pretty much expect to deal with the same carbon dated nonsense that has no place in the 21st century. Until that change happens, the world continues to miss out.

Dennis R. Upkins is a speculative fiction author and an Atlanta, Ga. native. A lifelong geek and a hopeless comic book guy, his genres of choice are often superhero fantasy, urban fantasy and YA.

In 2011, his debut novel, Hollowstone, was released by Parker Publishing. His sophomore title, West of Sunset, was also released by Parker Publishing in 2014.

Upkins regularly critiques and analyzes the representation and portrayal of minorities in comics and media and has served as a contributor for Ars Marginal, Black Girl Dangerous,  Prism Comics, Geeks Out, Nerds of Color. Org,   Nashville Geek Life, and Comicbook.com.

In an effort to help enlighten society about the cultures of the African diaspora and promote a more accurate and positive image,  Upkins launched the Black Folks Being Awesome initiative on Facebook in 2013.

When he’s not out saving the world and/or taking it over in his spare time, Upkins’s hobbies include drawing, modeling, acting, photography, cosplay, rollerblading, martial arts and of course writing.

Dennis R. Upkins

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

[syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

Posted by Caron Lindsay

I was pretty grumpy on Monday when I was watching the rolling news coverage. First of all, the BBC had live reporting from Westminster, the only place in the country you wouldn’t find any politicians following the dissolution of Parliament. Ok, so they did find Simon Hughes, but they could have headed a couple of miles down the road to go to him.

Then there were people reporting from Downing Street long after everyone had departed to ht the campaign trail.

But what made my blood boil was the aerial shots of Buckingham Palace broadcast as David Cameron and Nick Clegg made their visits there. We all know what it looks like. The BBC and Sky didn’t really need to spend money on a helicopter to give us pictures of one of the most familiar sites in the country if not the world.

Why on earth were  we not able to see what was going on inside? What’s with the mystery? It wasn’t very exciting, but we weren’t even given a photograph of the occasions. Cameron met first with the Queen, although that was pretty much a waste of time given that the dissolution of Parliament is an automatic process these days. Then Nick Clegg met with the Privy Council he chairs to carry out the necessary formality. When I say chairs, there actually aren’t any as the meetings are traditionally held with everyone standing to make them shorter. 

It seems ridiculous that in the 21st century we the public are kept out of meetings like this. I’m not suggesting that the PM’s regular audiences with the Queen should be recorded, because those are private conversations. It is perfectly legitimate for the PM and Head of State to meet in private. However, there is something that grates about a simple but important event n national life taking place behind closed doors.

Why shouldn’t cameras be allowed at Privy Council meetings, though? Even if some business has to be private, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t see who is taking the decisions?

There is still a presumption in favour of keeping the people away in too many of the traditions of our state. And nowhere is that more true than in the relationship between the monarchy and government. I disagreed with Nick Clegg last week on the issue of Prince Charles’ letters. If I wrote to a minister, even a Lib Dem one, I’d be ignored. If Prince Charles is going to make use of the privileges of his position, then there should be transparency about it. One of the more unfortunate measures of the Coalition was to give the Royal Family an absolute exemption from the Freedom of Information Act which is not in my view a healthy step. If we have to have a monarchy, then it should be one that is much more open. Andrew Page had more over at A Scottish Liberal:

Perhaps, instead of supporting Prince Charles’ right to privacy, it might have been more fitting for a Liberal Democrat leader to instead congratulate The Guardian on its outstanding 10-year campaign and recognise the significance of this ruling from the perspective of both transparency in public life and Freedom of Information.

Councillor Mathew Hulbert, Co-Ordinator of Lib Dems For A Republic, says ”I’m really surprised to hear Nick Clegg defending Prince Charles’s letters to Ministers remaining private. Charles isn’t writing as a private person to his local MP, he’s writing to Ministers in his capacity as second in line to the throne. We, therefore, should have a right to know what he’s been saying and what his views are. If these letters display an obvious political bias, then all the more reason they should see the light of day, so people can see that their future Monarch is anything but an impartial figure floating above politics

It’s time to look at the message that our traditions and protocols send out about the relationship between the people and the state. This is far from the most important issue of the day, but in five years’ time I want to see more of these meetings than an aerial photograph.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

[syndicated profile] markpack2_feed

Posted by Mark Pack

Newly updated for 2015 is my poster summarising the key elements and origins of the Liberal Democrat political philosophy. Click through for a larger version, including a handy A3 poster for printing off and adorning an office wall:

Infographic showing the Liberal Democrat principles and philosophy

As with earlier versions of the poster, the 2015 version of What the Liberal Democrats believe isn’t aimed at the mass electorate but rather the new member, the interested helper, the student who wants to know more about the party or the particularly interested voter. More one for social media and for members and helpers newsletters and emails than for letterboxes.

Thanks as ever to Alex Wilcock for his encouragement and support for the original version. Alex now has his own new blog also promoting the party’s beliefs: libdemsbelieve.tumblr.com.

Erupting Volcanic Lightning!

Apr. 1st, 2015 11:00 am
[syndicated profile] badastronomy_feed

Posted by Phil Plait

Your daily dose of awe: a volcanic eruption showing lava bubbling out of the caldera, a towering plume of ash, and lightning coursing up the ash cloud.

Yeah. Tell me you’re gonna see something cooler than that today.

The volcano is named Colima, a 3,800-meter-high stratovolcano on Mexico’s west coast. It may be less famous than its bigger brother Popocatépetl, but its Mexico’s most active volcano at the moment; it’s erupted dozens of times over the past few centuries, including a big one in 1913.

It erupted again in 2005, and then, in November 2014 it started a series of eruptions that are ongoing. Photographer (and amateur astronomer) César Cantú took this shot on Sunday night. The six-second exposure blurs the ash cloud a bit but caught that amazing lightning blot.

Here’s another shot:

Lightning in ash clouds is relatively common. It’s thought to be due to static charge building up as the rough, glassy particles of ash rub against each violently in the plume. I’ve been to a few volcanoes in my time, but only one active, and nothing like this. Seeing lightning in an erupting ash cloud is now on my must-see list.

Update (Apr. 1, 2015 at 14:45 UTC): Cantú created a time-lapse animation from a series of pictures he took, showing an eruptive burst from Colima. It covers two minutes of real time, and you can see the plume blasting upward, an ash cloud flowing down the volcano's flank, and some lava peeking through the maelstrom.

Cantú’s work has been featured on my blog many times; below is a list of articles I’ve written about his work. You can follow him on Facebook, too.

Related Posts:

[syndicated profile] political_betting_feed

Posted by Mike Smithson

At this stage not naming the candidates becomes a defect

[syndicated profile] tim_worstall_forbes_feed

Posted by Tim Worstall

Although he’s right in some ways Warren Buffett might not be entirely correct here when he says that Greece leaving the euro might not be a bad idea. It depends upon who it is bad for in one sense. And Buffett’s point is that Greece leaving might not be bad for the euro. And that rather depends upon what happens if or after Greece does leave. From the point that he’s actually making Buffett is correct: but it’s what happens after that which will determine whether it’s a good idea overall. Buffett’s point here is really that the eurozone is a club, a club is defined by having rules and if someone who doesn’t follow the rules leaves then this aids all of the other members of the club. Absolutely correct so far:

Warren Buffett, the billionaire chief executive and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, has said a Greek exit from the eurozone could be constructive for the region.

“If it turns out the Greeks leave, that may not be a bad thing for the euro,” Mr Buffett told CNBC. He said that member countries could come to better agreements about fiscal policy if Greece left the single currency.

Yes, in that first iteration, getting rid of the country that appears to flout the rules could indeed aid in the cohesion of the club.

“I’ve thought that the euro had structural problems right from the moment that it was put it in, which does not mean it will necessarily fail,” Buffett said on CNBC. “You can adapt to those structural problems, but maybe some countries won’t adapt and they won’t be in. It’s not ordained that the euro has to have exactly the members that it has today.”

That’s also entirely true. There’s horrible and vast structural problems with the euro as it is. The most important of which is that it’s just too large an area to be an optimal currency area. And we can change the size of what is optimal, this is entirely possible. But that would mean having fiscal union as well as monetary union (that is, large and substantial movements of tax revenues from richer areas to poorer, as happens within the nation states at present, as happens through the Federal government in the US). Or, as we could also put this, German taxpayers having to subsidise Greek ones, the very thing that’s causing all the discontent at present.

The remarks were originally on CNBC:

“The euro is not dead and it may never be dead but it does have to work in greater harmonization of financial matters in its constituent countries,” he said. ” It can’t live with people going in dramatically different directions. The Germans are not going to fund the Greeks forever.”

In this first iteration then yes, it probably would be good for the euro if Greece left. I also happen to think that it would be good for Greece if Greece left the euro. But that is an opinion there. I would expect, on Grexit, that there would be another intensification of austerity and some very unpleasant times in the Greek economy. However, I would also expect a rapid rebound. The other eurozone members would be rather more all reading from the same hymn sheet than they are now and there would be that short term strength added to the euro. However, the problem will come when (or if, if you prefer) that rebound in Greece comes. At the moment the euro is a currency: once you’re in you can’t get out. If Greece does leave then obviously the euro becomes a little more like a fixed exchange rate system. And if Greece thrives outside that then there will be increased pressure for other countries to similarly leave the euro.

It all depends upon what happens to the Greek economy two and three years out. If, freed from the shackles of the euro, it thrives then that will weaken the euro as others see that they too can leave and possibly thrive. The short term effects I would expect to be as Buffett describes, the long term are much more uncertain.

Well, it is April 1st

Apr. 1st, 2015 11:00 am
[syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

Posted by The Voice

We’re pleased many of you enjoyed our little prank today.  To maintain the joke we kept all most of the comments in moderation, but have now released them, so you can go back and see who fell for it.

For some readers the penny only dropped when they read our new comments policy for today.

Here is a round-up of some other April Fools that we liked across the media:

The Guardian tried to get us to believe that Jeremy Clarkson had turned environmental campaigner.

Pink News told us that Nick Clegg had joined Grindr for the duration of the election.

And scientists at Cern say May The Force be with EU.

Mark Pack had a beautifully crafted piece about how the party was using automated technology. The first part was almost plausible. we rumbled it at the robo-calling and the end is hilarious.

The Telegraph reports on plans to turn Leaning Tower of Pisa into a luxury hotel called 3.99 degrees.

Mixmag tells us about the new cat nightclub in Japan.

And the Evening News reports on a bit of a cock up with the construction of the new Forth bridge. 

The Guardian also has a round-up of the best jokes from around the world.

And you must check out com.google.




andrewducker: (Default)

Interesting Links for 01-04-2015

Apr. 1st, 2015 12:00 pm
[syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

Posted by Caron Lindsay

On Monday, Liberal Democrat candidate for Vauxhall Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett told Buzzfeed about his HIV status which means that he’s the first openly HIV positive candidate to contest an election in the UK. Yesterday, as Buzzfeed reports, Sir Elton John and his husband David Furnish praised his courage.

After hearing about the story, Elton John and his husband David Furnish contacted BuzzNews News with a heartfelt message of support for Adrian.

“Elton John and David Furnish applaud Adrian Trett for his courage and bravery in publicly acknowledging his HIV+ status,” the statement said. “He is a fine example that HIV+ people live robust, happy and productive lives. We wish him all the best.”

Adrian was really chuffed with this:

He told BuzzFeed News: “I’m completely overwhelmed to have the support of Elton John and David Furnish and particularly appreciate it coming as a result of disclosing my HIV status. Their kindness means a lot to me, not least because Elton and David, along with the Elton John AIDS Foundation, have worked tirelessly on combatting HIV/AIDS – and the stigma surrounding it – for years.”

Representatives from various charities also applauded Adrian for speaking out. Here’s one example:

Dr Rosemary Gillespie, chief executive at the Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “Adrian has made a really brave decision in speaking so openly about his HIV status. More than 100,000 people live with HIV in the UK. They come from all walks of life.

“However, we know that many people may not feel able to speak openly about their experiences, for fear of judgment and discrimination. Anyone in the public eye who speaks out will help raise awareness and is in a position to challenge the stigma and misconceptions around HIV.

If you haven’t read Adrian’s powerful interview, you can do so here.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

[personal profile] supergee
I am not good at deferring gratification. I am currently itching & twitching waiting a month for the NFL Draft, but I can feel relatively sane: When I go to the sites devoted to it, I see a few projections of the 2016 draft, about which we know absolutely nothing except that it's likely to take place in 2016. We as a nation do not pass the marshmallow test.

Speculation on the 2016 presidential election (which will take place after the 2016 NFL Draft) likewise began some time before the 2012 election. To throw some raw meat to the devotees of the process, each pre-Presidential year the state of Iowa holds a series of caucuses to assign a tiny fraction of delegates, and the Republican candidates are now eagerly crawling in pursuit of those. Charles Pierce looks at the whole tiresome business. (He also notes that even NASCAR is grossed out by Indiana's Right-to-hate law.)
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats & the membership secretary for Calderdale Lib Dems and run the web campaign for the local candidates. I have a job, a stepdaughter and a life.

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