Archive for April, 2007

Oh I really believe that line from Bush’s senior man who was the first Global AIDS coordinator. This is the guy who to fight AIDS/HIV in Africa pushed Abstinence over condoms, preached about family values and being faithful in marriage. This is a married man by the way, who resigned when his name appeared on a Madam’s client list.

In 2003 Bush appointed Tobias as the first global AIDS coordinator. For three years he promoted abstinence over the use of condoms, and fidelity in traditional marriage, to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa and was blamed for tying abstinence programs to aid to foreign countries. (see Story)

I’ll give him credit, he did resign the day after he knew his name was on the list, obtained by ABC News. He even talked to them, where he came up with his line that he didn’t have sex, just a massage. Course the billing of $275 seems rather high for someone to rub your naked pecs, but hey, he’s a government worker. Guess the big shots can pay those kind of prices, like John Edwards and his outrageous haircut. Wonder if it was the same one that did Bill Clinton’s for $300 a few years back, while Air Force One was waiting?

I suppose maybe he never bothered to listen to his own agency’s program on abstinence, or on being faithful. Maybe he was having one of those maritini lunches or, maybe his massage was scheduled for those times when he should have been listening to his own preaching.

This is so hypocritical, and yet hardly a buzz. I guess with all of the scandals in the Bush Administration happening, this is just one of many and the front page or lead story blurbs are limited in size.

Still, you have to really wonder about these Conservatives. Haggard gets caught with a male hustler, despite his vehement condemnation of homosexuality. Now here is Tobias, using an escort agency for a massage, while preaching to dying people, they shouldn’t use condoms, but just not have sex.

Uh huh.

Preach Tolerance At Your Peril

It totally blows me away these days, at the absolute hypocrisy that exists in the world today. No wonder kids are so turned off by education and by life. It amazes me really that more aren’t turned on to drugs than are already.

So the teacher in Indiana, who let a kid write an editorial about Tolerance, (see commentDon’t Preach Tolerance, Hate is Better‘) settled with the school who had suspended her, pending a decision on whether to fire her or not, because she didn’t notify the Principle that an article on tolerance might by controversial.

Tolerance is controversial?

See, I tolerate the diatribes by people like the Pope, like Mitt Romney and others, but I guess that isn’t how this game is played. They certainly show no Tolerance for me, or for teachers who actually teach. I mean to possibly fire this teacher for not thinking that an article on tolerance might be controversial, is just bizarre.

School officials in the conservative northern Indiana community about 10 miles east of Fort Wayne said Sorrell did not comply with an agreement to alert the principal about controversial articles. (see Story)

I suppose that unless you have deep pockets or have some ultra right wing backer, you can’t fight these people anymore, or if you do, it winds up costing your career. I can’t blame this teacher for backing down, but I wonder, why is it that good people, who do the right thing, get shit on so much these days? Doesn’t seem fair to me, and yet maybe the solution is that we need to find our own deep pocket supporters out there. Either that, or start coughing up some hard cash to GLBT legal groups like Lambada.

Sorrell said she is “very proud” of Megan Chase, the student who wrote the editorial calling for tolerance and acceptance of gays, and the Tomahawk’s other writers and editors. But she said she could not financially afford to fight the school district over her discipline. (see Story)

Hard for me to understand how these religious groups can afford all these legal battles. Don’t the people who put money into their collection plates expectt the money to go to helping the poor? the less fortunate? If so, when did that include fighting legal battles to promote racism, and to attack those who are promoting tolerance?

Have We Gone Nuts?

I don’t get it anymore. I mean I wonder if we, as a society, haven’t gone completely bonkers. For example, last night the wife and I went to buy a new digital camera. It was on sale for $200 and by the time we were finished, it was $322 and it had to be the strangest buying trip I have ever gone on.

Does $300 no longer mean anything?

To begin with we went to Staples. Now that might have been the problem to begin with but hey, the price was right. When we got there, there was no one really around. Some guy was helping someone behind the cameras so we waited. Then he just left so we went up to the cashier, to get a sales person for digital cameras.

You would think that alone would evoke some interest. Guess again. Then when we asked if she could page someone, well that seemed to be like we asked to see her titties. I mean like she really didn’t want to, but did. Okay so now we figure someone will come, right?

Nope.

Finally we snagged someone walking and got him to help. Well I think that was what he’d call it. Certainly not me, though in fairness he was polite, sort of. Bottom line, is that after what seemed like hours, it went from buying the camera then, to the next day, which then somehow became middle of next week. Like that was unreal, so we asked to have them sell us the model on the floor. That wasn’t a suggestion he liked when we first mentioned it, but finally he agreed, like huh? You would think they’d want to make a sale.

So eventually we got it, paid the bill and did anyone say thank you?

So what is happening today? Are we that unhappy with where we work, are we that untrained today that we don’t even have simple matters to thank someone for just spending $300+?

Obviously not at Staples.

Then gas went up again yesterday, and no one is bitching. We just accept it and keep taking money out to pay for simply living, and I really wonder.

Have we gone nuts?

Gas is at $65 a barrel. When it was up at $70 a barrel gas went up to just over $1 a litre here, and here it is at $5 less and gas is now at $1.23 a litre. So like why the hell isn’t anyone bitching like crazy? I know I am, and in fact am writing my idiot Member of Parliament who thinks the Harper Energy Plan is a godsend to Canada. Like yeah, to the oil companies, and car companies, but sure as hell ain’t for those of us who have to pay for it.

Just like the stupid tax credit for riding the bus. Harper claimed it would increase ridership by 50%. Man, how in the hell did we buy into that total bullshit? The price to ride the buses also went up early this month. So there really is no incentive to use public transport, and yet we get dumb tax credits? I mean why don’t we start getting real? Why aren’t there more protests happening or at least opposition MPs screaming more?

Where is the press?

Busy talking about the Hockey playoffs and the upcoming Olympics in 2010? Give me a break. Isn’t it time someone stood up and got counted? Why is it, that we simply accept this nonsense, high gas prices, higher food prices, and for what? So CEO’s of Oil Companies can buy a new private jet, or retire to become Stephen Harper’s adviser on ethics?

Where is the Morality?

If you ever listen to the diatribes by the Religious Right, they talk a great deal about morality, and about restoring traditional family values. It makes me wonder, just what is this morality they are talking about? Given their opposition to things like protecting vulnerable children, their adamant refusal to prevent Hate Crimes from including attacks on people because of their sexuality, I have to wonder, just what morality are they talking about?

Take Health Care. In the USA its relatively expensive and depending on who you listen to, there could be as little as 48 million without any coverage, or as much as 90 million people, which includes children. Now I don’t know, but 48 million or more, just seems unbelievable to me. To think that so many could be risking everything, and here is the Highly Moral Folk determined to deny partner benefits to those who don’t have a marriage license.

Look at Kentucky. A second State University is planning on including family and partners of staff in their medical plan, even if they are not a man and woman, and don’t have a marriage license. This includes homosexuals, but it also includes simply a guy and lady who live together. Common Law I believe is the term. Now the Governor is threatening to intercede if they do, claiming they can’t do this, because of the State’s ban on same sex marriage and its definition of marriage.

(Frankfort, Kentucky) The University of Kentucky will become the second public college in the state to offer health benefits to the unmarried partners of employees – but the plan may never get off the ground. (see Story)

I simply wonder at the so called morality here. I mean how is okay in anyone’s mind to deny health benefits to anyone, married, unmarried, straight, or gay? Where is the honor in that? I mean that has to be the exact opposite of any code of Morality I ever heard about, Christian, Jewish, or Islamic. How does it become Moral to deny health care and benefits?

See, this is perhaps what gets me upset the most. Seems a lot talk the talk, about Morality, about being Good Christians, but when it comes to walking the walk, somehow they seem to forget to put their foot forward. This isn’t being a Good Christian, or is it?

While i totally disagree with the stance on Marriage, I can at least understand slightly some of the arguments opposing it. However, when it comes to protecting people from Hate, I can see no rationale in exclusing any group that is a target for such crime. That is racism, and for anyone, and I mean anyone, to actively support that exclusion, they are certainly not acting in any moral standard I am aware of. In fact, I‘d suggest that in essence they are acting Immorally.

It is worse, I think, if they wish to deny health care benefits to anyone as well. If a company or university wants to attract quality, it seems that good benefit packages can make or break the deal. To deny such benefits, because two people aren’t married, just seems not only uncaring, but mean spirited. How it can be moral is also a mystery, because bluntly speaking, it is racism.

You know, it is fine to have a set of Moral standards. I have one, so does my wife, David. It might not be the same as the Governor of Kentucky, but I am not out there forcing him to accept my take on morality, so why is he and others like him, determined to override the individual’s right of free choice, to foist his morality on them? How can that be moral in his world? How does he justify such behaviour when he goes to Church on Sunday?

Granting protection against Hate, granting health benefits given to one group, isn’t about promoting homosexuality, nor is it about promoting deviant behaviour. It is simply about creating a viable society where people of differences are able to believe as they wish, and get along.

I might not be the best moral person around, but you know, I’ll stack my ethics and morals up against these people any day of the week, and no, not in some court, but on Judgement Day.

One More Step To Citizenship.

No this isn’t about the Immigration battle waging in the States.

Tuesday saw another bill introduced, where it would become illegal to discriminate against Homosexuals in the workplace. Now that might not seem like much, but its a step forwards to actually allowing homosexuals to share in the Great American Dream.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire or refuse to promote an employee based on the person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. (see Story)

When I saw that headline, I had to take a double take. I mean I never thought that in 2007 the United States would still have no federal law covering discrimination against Gays on the job. I just naively assumed such a law already existed, which goes to show you. Never assume. I have to check, but am fairly certain that our Federal Laws were altered several years ago to include sexual orientation as being unlawful for grounds to fire, or not hire, and that also included housing. Not sure though, but it does raise an interesting point.

If not, why not?

Then too, I have to ask. Why hasn’t the various gay groups in the States been addressing this issue more vocally? I mean it is important, and perhaps just as important as getting included for protection under the Hate Laws. Seems to me, that one way to help end the abuse, is to make it illegal in all places. It sends a stronger message when blatant discrimination in the workplace, or in housing, is prevented.

It is this type of State vs Federal that is at the crux of many of the problems. Without a strong Federal Government, you can have 50 varieties of laws that go from one extreme to the other. Take discrimination. In California it could be legal to fire someone who is gay, while in Nevada it isn’t. So what about the poor shmuck that moves from Nevada to California? He gets discriminated against, simply because of geography? I mean he is a citizen of the country, irrespective of where he lives, so why shouldn’t the same freedoms exist across the country?

Perhaps it is for this simple obstacle, that Gay Rights are such a battle. It should be National, not State by State and yet, it seems that there is where the focus goes. To each State, that simply makes no sense. Without strong Federalism, is it a wonder that Education is not working? That there is no Universal National Health?