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Inside the Mad Pride movement

The Growing Push for "Mad Pride" | Newsweek Health | Newsweek.com

We don't want to be normal," Will Hall tells me. The 43-year-old has been diagnosed as schizophrenic, and doctors have prescribed antipsychotic medication for him. But Hall would rather value his mentally extreme states than try to suppress them, so he doesn't take his meds. Instead, he practices yoga and avoids coffee and sugar. He is delicate and thin, with dark plum polish on his fingernails and black fashion sneakers on his feet, his half Native American ancestry evident in his dark hair and dark eyes. Cultivated and charismatic, he is also unusually energetic, so much so that he seems to be vibrating even when sitting still.

I met Hall one night at the offices of the Icarus Project in Manhattan. He became a leader of the group—a "mad pride" collective—in 2005 as a way to promote the idea that mental-health diagnoses like bipolar disorder are "dangerous gifts" rather than illnesses. While we talked, members of the group—Icaristas, as they call themselves—scurried around in the purple-painted office, collating mad-pride fliers. Hall explained how the medical establishment has for too long relied heavily on medication and repression of behavior of those deemed "not normal." Icarus and groups like it are challenging the science that psychiatry says is on its side. Hall believes that psychiatrists are prone to making arbitrary distinctions between "crazy" and "healthy," and to using medication as tranquilizers.

May 06, 2009

Maine legalizes gay marriage, New Hampshire not far behind

Gay marriage leaps ahead in Maine, New Hampshire

If New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch signs the bill or lets it become law without his signature, his state would become the sixth overall to allow gay marriage and the fifth in New England. Rhode Island would be the region's only holdout.

Maine Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat who hadn't indicated how he would handle his state's bill, signed it shortly after the legislation passed the Senate on a vote of 21-13 — a margin not large enough to override a veto.

"In the past, I opposed gay marriage while supporting the idea of civil unions," Baldacci said in a statement read in his office. "I have come to believe that this is a question of fairness and of equal protection under the law, and that a civil union is not equal to civil marriage."

U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan caught proselytizing

GIs Told to Bring Afghans to Jesus

DOHA, Qatar -- U.S. Soldiers have been encouraged to spread the message of their Christian faith among Afghanistan's predominantly Muslim population, video footage obtained by Al Jazeera appears to show.

Military chaplains stationed in the U.S. air base at Bagram were also filmed with Bibles printed in the country's main Pashto and Dari languages.

In one recorded sermon, Lt. Col. Gary Hensley, the chief of the U.S. military chaplains in Afghanistan, is seen telling Soldiers that as followers of Jesus Christ, they all have a responsibility "to be witnesses for him".

"The special forces guys -- they hunt men basically. We do the same things as Christians, we hunt people for Jesus. We do, we hunt them down," he says.

The Army officially denied it was happening. And then officially confiscated all their bibles.

May 05, 2009

The Onion killing print editions in LA, San Francisco

Gawker - The Onion Killing Los Angeles and San Francisco Print Editions, Says Source - The Onion

An Onion staffer whispers to us that the humor publication has already laid off editorial and sales staff for its Los Angeles and San Francisco print editions, which will, said the staffer, cease publication.

Tomorrow's editions of The Onion are said to be the last ones for those markets. Some management will be retained there, as will the just-launched local "Decider" websites, our tipster said.