Friday, 11 November 2011

Remembrance Day 2011

As the sun sets on this first snowy day of the year, we remember our veterans living and gone.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

A reminder we should not take our freedom to worship (or not) as we choose lightly. 

Facing Execution for the 'Crime' of Being a Christian In Iran

By Ben Cohen
In 2010, the Iranian regime carried out 546 executions, more than at any other time during the preceding decade, and representing an increase of around 25 per cent on the previous year. Increasingly, execution is becoming Tehran's favored method for dealing with anyone it deems an opponent -- like Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, an Iranian pastor who has refused to recant his Christian faith.
Pastor Nadarkhani's case is another grim illustration of the volatile situation faced by religious minorities living under Iran's Islamist clerics. Even though the state formally recognizes the existence of Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians, these minorities are under no illusions about their subordinate status.
Since 2009, when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stole Iran's election to claim a further term as the country's president, the crime of "moharebeh" -- waging war against God -- has frequently been invoked against those who question the Islamic legal codes which underpin the state. 
Pastor Nadarkhani's embrace of Christianity, is a prime example of "moharebeh," and carries the penalty of death. This is despite the fact that Nadarkhani maintains he has never been a Muslim as an adult. But an Islamic court has determined that he has Islamic ancestry and therefore must recant his faith.
It's important to note that the persecution of religious minorities in Iran did not begin with Ahmadinejad. 
Ayatollah Khomeini, who led Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979, was clear that abandoning Islam amounts to apostasy. 
In 1990, Hossein Soodmand, a Muslim who converted to Christianity in 1960 -- nearly two decades before Khomeini came to power -- was executed. Soodmand's fate proved that the Islamic Republic has no hesitation about acting retroactively in the face of such "crimes."
The only way to escape the death sentence, as Pastor Nadarkhani knows, is to publicly renounce his conversion to Christianity. That he has not done so is a humbling display of his courage, for in Iran, the death sentence is the climax of a long punishment that begins in the jails of the regime.
Recent Congressional testimony by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom detailed the torture and abuse faced by inmates whose offense is simply to adhere to a different faith, or to ascribe to an alternative set of political beliefs. 
At a human rights summit in New York last week, Ahmad Batebi, a former Iranian political prisoner, gave a chilling account of his own experiences, which included having his head forced into drain filled with excrement, and being compelled to watch his friends beaten senseless in order to secure his confession.
Thousands of Iranians can offer similar testimony, among them many Christians. A recent shocking case involved Vahik Abrahamian, an Armenian Pastor carrying a Dutch passport who served a year in prison, including 44 days in solitary confinement. Abrahamian's family's spoke of the "severe mental and psychological torture" which he'd faced while in jail.
Arguably, the circumstances of those religious minorities who are not defined as "People of the Book" -- a term denoting those faiths which came before Islam's advent -- is even worse.
The 300,000 members of the Baha'i faith, whose religious beliefs crystallized in 19th century Persia, are regarded by Iran's rulers as virtually subhuman. Under Iranian law, the blood of a Baha'i is "mobah," which means that Bahai's can be killed with impunity.
When they are not being killed, Bahai's face discrimination with few parallels elsewhere in the world. In May, for example, the regime's security forces arrested and imprisoned hundreds of Bahai's who were involved in a clandestine university that had been launched only because members of their faith are legally proscribed from attending Iranian universities.
Against this bloodstained background, Ahmadinejad again flew to New York last week to address the U.N. General Assembly. His visit sparked fervent demonstrations outside the U.N. building, with many of those present demanding his arrest; as a head of state, however, Ahmadinejad is free to come and go as he pleases.
Ahmadinejad's annual jaunt to the U.N. General Assembly highlights a painful truth: as public awareness of his regime's depravity has reached unprecedented levels, the outside world has remained utterly powerless to rein him in.
"We have very little leverage in Iran," Rev. Keith Roderick, a leading advocate for the civil rights of religious minorities, told me. "Ahmadinejad is at war with the Christian church there, but our influence has diminished."
Rev. Roderick explained that on the cases of individual prisoners, intervention by Vatican or Swiss Embassy representatives in Iran can be helpful. However, the occasional act of mercy by the Iranian authorities does not change the legal or political fundamentals.
Should the Iranian regime should one day decide that it no longer needs to use its religious minorities for political window dressing, the consequences are too painful to imagine.
Ben Cohen is a political analyst and commentator based in New York. He writes frequently on Iranian and Middle Eastern issue. Follow him on Twitter @BenCohenOpinion.

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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Insiders think that claimed future NASA goals are just fake Wild West storefronts

At MSNBC (August 14, 2011), we are told, “NASA opens new office for deep space missions: In post-shuttle era, agency looks at trips to the moon, asteroids and Mars”:
To embark on its next chapter in human space exploration, NASA has created a new department to oversee manned spaceflight in the post-space-shuttle era.
The department is called the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, and combines two previous organizations, the Space Operations Directorate and the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate.
You know they’re not actually going anywhere when the big news is “office,” “department,” and “directorate.”
When NASA was going somewhere, it was A-OK! and reading Genesis, floating in space.
Rob Sheldon comments,
If you recall, George HW Bush wanted to put a man on Mars back when he became president in 1988. In 1971 Werner von Braun called all the NASA Marshall employees to a all-hands meeting in to announce we would be on Mars in 1981. So this is nothing new for NASA, but Obama has to look like he has a plan after he cancelled the Moon mission, which would have put a base on the Moon in 2020. So after abolishing George W Bush’s program that was 10 years in the making, he is merely saying we’ll do “something” by 2030. And along the way, he is “combining” (read reducing) various offices at NASA. So it looks like a cost-cutting reorg with some splashy PR about a mission, but pushed so far into the future it won’t affect his reelection or his budget.
Why should NASA bother? In the newly popular multiverse isn’t everything true anyway?

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Dr Cleese is in the house!

Still slaying sacred cows 35+ years on.
You have to hand it to Mr Cleese: Classy guy, and funny as hell!
Special thanks to Pépé on Egnorance

Friday, 12 August 2011

Should we let Europe burn this time?

One would have to be blind to miss the decline of the West.
The USA is becoming more isolationist by the month. Economies shrink globally.
Export markets have shrivelled and imports and debt have become our stock of trade.
In the midst of this, like some flock of mad ostriches, the governments bury their heads in the sand and pray nto some mythical future technology or event that will 'save us'.
The USA, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand watch in horror as the UK and their new masters in Europe plummet into chaos. Seasonal riots, immigrant revolts, Islamic intifada: ALL in the EU. Some leaders seem to recognize this and call for change and a REVERSAL in policy, but will it come?
For the purposes of this post I will assume it is NOT coming.  I will assume that the Federal powers of the EU are engaged in social engineering and have NO intention of preserving indigenous European culture and values. I hope I am wrong here, and I may be.... but IF I am not, should we in the Americas and Australasia run to help, AGAIN?
Us backwards ignorant 'red-necks', 'bible bumpers', 'hood rats', 'cowboys', 'eskimos', and 'arrogant' North Americans in general  have done it before, and could no doubt do it again, but at what cost? Millions of lives? Generations of our youth?
As contradictory as it sounds: YES, we should. Why? We are next.
Europe has been deracinated by socialist (national) policy. A vacuum has been created and it is now filling RAPIDLY with 'others' that will soon enough wrestle for control.
Quite simply put, if we allow this to happen there  - it will happen here too. Europe and our ties with her, will be used as the staging ground.
Should we let Europe burn this time?
For altruism: NO. For pragmatism: NO!
We must NOT let Europe burn again, even if that means preventing it with FORCE.
If we do allow the downfall, it will be at our own peril.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Upside of a Downturn I: TV / Media

We live in a market driven society. Known as many things since it's inception, with all sorts of ever expanding and changing 'principles' it has provided our (Christian/Western) cultures with much wealth and material prosperity. It has provided us with more, as well: A means to provide security. Most commonly it is called 'capitalism'.
This area of great cultural strength seems to be suffering a setback recently. We are being weakened by our economies. Some would suggest it is our enemies, unable to attack us militarily, who seek to destroy us by destroying our material wealth and strangle us with trade agreements and debt. Others would suggest the system itself is to blame; failed or flawed  in one way or another.
The whole idea is scary, and there obviously many negative 'changes' on their way. Adaptations will be made, some painful. Prosperity must be exchanged for Austerity. Not a nice switch.
But, as in all clouds there are silver linings to this storm.
In this series of posts, you will encounter my more optimistic side (yes there is one, you snarky @$$holes).
I will attempt to discover some of the positives we may encounter, as we roll back our ambitions and change our focus as cultures and as a broader civilization.  I will suggest that, as an inevitable consequence of our prolonged prosperity, we have suffered from a horrid form of cultural malaise known as 'affluenza', and that like a cold (rather than flu) this bug is beaten by staying hungry, not getting fatter.
I will suggest that if we stay resolute and hold fast to our diminished roots, this collapse may just be a fall - and not only can we get back up from a fall - but we can get back up with rediscovered strength and passion. That we can not only recover what we lost in our opiated slumber, but go beyond and be even greater than before.
The signs of this reawakening will be subtle, cultural, and obviously many will be driven by economics. Simply put: Austerity (pulling in the belt) forces people to think ahead. They do not have imagine what they would do in a hard situation - they are in one. We are talking about a great 'bursting of bubbles' here, or the potential for that.

In the first part I will write on TV, Film, and visual media (music videos etc).
No one with the slightest bit of taste could deny the general decline in quality of visual media over the last two decades. Stupid, simplistic, empty, and blatantly politically motivated programming have dominated the airwaves. The 'Geezer' TV of the 60-80's seems Shakespeare by comparison.
Most critics and pundits claim market forces are to blame for this. The old 'root of all evil' .
Mum and Dad's wallet to be precise. Or, you could say it was spoiled brats.
Spoiled brats who grew up and spoiled their own brats.
The idea is to sell - and to sell ideas. Not new or profound, but on a never before seen scale.
The 'tween' became the new target market. They were easy prey.
If you were selling soda/pop, candy bars, minivans, TV's, vacations, or even adult clothes little ms missy and junior HAD to be taken into account. Still do. DVD players in your truck? Disney Cruise? Gangsta Rap videos playing in your hybrid van on the way to the magic kingdom?
More and more media was influenced by this desire to apply the economic pressure of advertising on kids/ preteens, and teens. It became normal to see 'cute' images of children hurling their dinner at the wall, or 'cute' teenage brats demanding new electronics and clothes, bitchy little girls demanding this or that while both parents scramble, or the whipped and henpecked idiot father yanking out the plastic for worldy and ( but still a 'big kid') mum's 'retail therapy' sessions.
Hilarity! ....
This is the NORM now. If anyone is getting steamed at this, it is not because I describe some future horror, but that they feel I am somehow being mean spirited. Judgemental etc. Not so. I am as culpable as the rest of the market. As any of the readers. Just as guilty, but maybe a tad more honest with myself than those who see no flaws in what I have described above. I have laughed at the lame assertions and vague references as if these were 'inside' jokes. I have had plenty of chances to indulge myself in bohemian pursuits, and taken more than a few!  I am no saint or pure spirit who is above all this, and  cannot look down on this mess; but rather only about.
What I see is a society that has taken it a step further again.
We now design our film, TV, and visual media in general to attract this  'market' and hold them.
The advertisements, once a filler and means to produce 'timeslots' on TV, are now the programming.
The result? We have all seen it, and changed the channel. Hard stuff to watch sober.
So where is the optimism? What was this about a silver lining?
Well the storm clouds have been described. In order for the storm to break, the rains to fall, and the silver lining or rainbow to show itself, mum and dad have to be too POOR to give a damn; or less of a damn. Little Ms Missy and Junior will have to play with toys, not 50' Plasma screens. Read some BOOKS not snuff or porn sites. Meet some REAL flesh and blood people, not just internet pals.  The economic engine will have to step back a decade or two, just to sell us the goods - just to keep some semblance of their wealth alive. The alternative, to continue to market to kids and overgrown kids with no means of payment, will result in collapse and out-competition.
Once things get perceivably tougher, people become more realistic; more pragmatic. I have seen this many times in operations and in the field. People are shaken out of their complacency and malaise, and forced to wake up or retreat into fantasy land where some technology or (usually scifi or religious) event rescues us (2012, Green energy etc). Those that wake up face a scary, but beautiful and BIG new world full of risk and wonder.
Right now we are not quite there yet, as a populace. Not quite awake.
Most people still prefer the dream; to place their faith in hope.
They hope there will be a reprieve and they will not face such hardships as their parents, but they know better in their hearts. They enjoy while they can, what they can. Still, they know something is in the wind.
The markets know it too, and they are changing their targets.. They are contracting and restricting.
they are shutting down or controlling areas once their focus. Consider the, internet for example. While it grows in size and ability, it diminishes in 'freedoms' and just the areas previously built up for the 'spoiled brat' market: video, networking, gaming,  Big corps launch infringement suites and hacker revolts create security backlashes.
The markets are beginning to react, as they always do.
They begin to refocus.
When they do, there is a real potential for change.
One such change I hope for is a more creative and adult visual arts scene.
What do I hope to see more of on my TV and at the big screen?
  • Adult plots in dramas, adult comedy and satire, and adult news coverage. When I write 'Adult' I mean adult, not XXX or pornographic. 
  • Political pundits with an education that speak in sentences and do not simply recite talking points. Less sneering and more real engagement on the issues. 
  • Comedies with real people, who have jobs, and are in realistic situations (e farce/sit coms) and less kiddy comedies with penis jokes for the grey haired kids in the audience. Cartoons (adult and kiddy) that don't make Fred Flinstone look like a Da Vinci. 
  • Scifi and fantasy that doesn't try to neatly explain everything away with some current/trendy political or scientific theory. 
  • An ORIGINAL film or two on an interesting (not simply nostalgic) subject- not a shitty retelling of a classic. (If we must retell, do so FAITHFULLY and LITERATELY so there is a reason to read the book or watch the play - otherwise watch the old film and learn something about the past.)
  • Music videos and styles presented for an over 30 audience. Less giggling thonged buttocks, less fish eye lens thugs, less 'mo' mo' mo'', less twitching 'diva heads' and more of what people actually listen to who can pay for it. I suspect more R&b, blues, jazz, contemp, pop, rock, even metal. 
  • Brand new ideas in gaming designed to attract older gamers and provide them with a good 'fix' for a busy day. A return of many 'old school' gaming ideas that require less hardware and resources to play; that can be played online or stored on a card/chip/pen etc.
    Maybe JUST maybe the return of the arcade... and even pinball, bowling, or skate parks???....(fingers crossed here)
  • Speaking of games, how about the return of REAL RPG's and board games?
  • Food! Who could forget food. Less bullshit health trends and fast food. More filling, tasty, homecooked FOOD. Mum, Dad, and the kiddies could even find themselves at a table? Perhaps I hope for too much too fast.
Those are the possible silver linings. If we can recover enough of our foundations and dignity to march on and live with and enjoy what we have - we could just come out of this hardship BETTER than before. Our kids could inherit a world were material things are not as important as family, education, love, and purpose. 
This could be a BIG upside to the Downturn!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Madman - real issues

I wrote this little blurb on one of Canada's big daily's and thought it might interest the folks at the Signal.
First allow me to state I have skimmed, and am now reading this 'maifesto' for professional reasons; otherwise I would not defile my senses with such madness. 

While I will agree there is a connection (w/Hitler's book) with sexual obsession and this kind of madness, there is no doubting that some of these issues are real (STD, Promiscuity, childless parents, crime, cultural issues, immigration backlash, sex slavery etc) and they are very important issues. We cannot simply, as a society, ignore these problems.
One reason we cannot pretend there is no problems is that maniacs like this are a DIRECT result! These circumstances enabled this murderer; gave him an excuse, and obsession. 
We seem to have no problem grasping that opportunism when it comes to international and Muslim terror groups, but when it comes to a white man who is a self described Christian, we seem to miss the point ENTIRELY. Could it be there is a little post colonial guilt or even RACISM in these bleached progressive bones we call a culture?
This man did NOT do these things because he was white, Christian, read Darwin, Mill, or Orwell; or because had issues with social morality. 
His motives are clear as day: He did mass-murder for attention/fame/infamy. He killed 85+ kids for a gruesome publicity stunt. For his publicity statements post arrest, he used the common politics, religion, and racial rational. POPULAR stuff, really.
We may act shocked by the ideas in this book, but that is not being honest. We have ALL heard these ideas about before. In the bar, at the water cooler etc etc. Who has not heard someone say 'well he was crazy to go that far, but...' But WHAT? But, the issues are real enough and controversial enough. 
But reason is not what Breivick is about: This guy is a perfectly modern sociopath, a product of nu Europa. Child of the liberal elite, JUST like his victims.
His murder costume was as a Christian Conservative. Want a picture of madness? Do the Freud or Jung on THAT one folks!

He KNEW that millions of people would read his book. He knew people would react.
This man is literally a maniac who preaches sexual abstinence and meets with call girls, who calls for Social Darwinism and then  describes himself as a Christian Knight, who wants to liberate Europe form a cultural invasion by 'Muslims' by killing EUROPEAN children as 'punishment', and who dresses up like an imaginary Knight to make himself look important.  

In closing I will say this: There is an element here (in these posts / media in general) that wants to lay blame. They want to point fingers, ban books, enforce ideas. Just like this murderer, they see an opportunity - an opportunity to use the deaths of these children to defame people of faith and of legitimate conservative political values. Most of them are just conformist tools, parroting off what they think is edgy or subversive, but some of them harbour very deep seated hatreds and spew them openly. I urge all my fellow Christians and ALL Canadians to be VERY aware and subtle in the coming days and weeks, as I honestly fear there could be a backlash, copycat,  or reprisal due to the statements of this horrible crime. Keep your eyes open and report anyone saying or acting crazy in that respect. Remember the hate crime laws of this country are there to protect ALL the faithful, not just minorities.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

A vacation? ME? NO!?

Yes folks. Your favourite Crusader will be taking a vacation.
Not for a good time yet, but it is on the distant horizon.
It has been a LONG time since I have travelled simply for pleasure, and I am literally starting to look into destinations already. One week with the Mrs our new little guy, and In-laws, and another 'on the loose'. Looks like I will have some company in the way of my grown son and maybe even an old friend or my brother in law and his lads.
But WHERE will I go?
Still working that out. But it will be in the SOUTH.
I am going to post some pics of where it COULD be and see if any of you computer savvied or well heeled travel types may just recognize it!

What or WHO is this 'Science'?

Science! SCIENCE!
What a profound word that is. A LOADED word like 'nature', 'world', 'child', 'love', or even to some degree like 'God'. It is a word we here used all the time. 'The science behind this...' or 'according to modern science', or even 'thanks to science', spoke like a prayer of Grace or thanks*. I have even heard, recently, the most ridiculous yet, in a kids game called 'Portal 2'. 'You saved science', says one of the most irritating fictional robots in the history of scifi. 'Saved' it, eh? Must be alive too!
'Science' is everywhere.
It seems often times people are calling his name, not talking about the method I am thinking of .Who or what is this much invoked person or principle?
Science, as I think of it, is the attempt to make useful categories of knowledge about the universe we experience and sense (feel, see, smell, touch, and otherwise perceive). It is information gained by inductive experimentation and research and is embodied by Bacon's Method. When I think of science, I think of men like Newton. What is it's purpose/function? Science's only purpose is to better the life of the people who pay for /support it. There is no such thing as 'for the sake of science' or 'saving science' to me, as science is not a living thing. But real PROXIMATE science, my science -  is useful.
For example, there is medical science. Medical science is funded by governments and taxpayers to research cures, preventatives, palliatives, surgeries, etc etc for the good of the public. The Doctors of Medicine make an oath like  Judge, Soldier, Lord, or Police officer. They declared their scientific ideology for all to see. Any doctor who violates this oath is no Doctor at all.
So what about other types of scientists? Well, they may swear allegiance for a club or board. They may make arbitrary oaths to various groups of peers, but nothing like the physicians do, and even the Hippocratic oath has been watered down in recent years; which is in itself a very nasty indicator of things to come.
Do Astronomers need a binding oath and laws to back it? Chemists? Geologists? Fossil hunters? Diggers of Ruins? Collectors of bugs?
Maybe - Maybe not. Maybe these studies are apolitical and remote enough that they don't. I don't see why an oath would hurt, but I cannot see the immediateness in the need.
But what about (nuclear/particle) physicists? What about microbiologists? What about ballistics engineers? Robotics engineers? Genetic engineers? Social Engineers? 
These new 'disciplines' all hold the potential to be both extremely dangerous and beneficial. What happens if they are USED by power hungry minds to fuel movements and broader ideologies?
The answer has been, and no doubt will be, catastrophic.
This leads me to another thought: Academic Hybridization.
There are many pseudo sciences (fake, semi-scientific metaphysical pursuits) masquerading as 'hybrid' studies in today's academe.  They are actually philosophies/ideals with an academic stake or axe to grind. They are usually materialistic/naturalistic ideals, but there has been more than a few theological based ones over the centuries. They are always about power.
A popular 19th and 20th century one was called 'social Darwinism', and was advocated by the Nazis in Germany and Eugenicists world wide. Social Darwinism was the ideal behind the the horrific holocaust of the handicapped in the Third Reich. Designed to save the Aryan race (The idealized European in Nazi eyes) from a some imaginary decline into idiocy and foreign dominance, this disgusting embrace of cold barbarism was justified by declaring the sky was falling. A socially engineered problem (declining birth rates etc) was shown to be an indicator of an impending cultural apocalypse, and the social engineers stepped in to fix it. They broke the system and it was reformed in a new and horrific one.  They did not do this all at once, but drip fed the ideas to the public for years through the media and education systems. They used the academe to deliver their ideas to the masses.
People today blame these horrors on Hitler, a mere facilitator and figure head, but the men/women and ideas who committed the atrocities were already in place, for decades. The efficient systems for killing they created, in turn, facilitated the Nazi's racial genocides.But  before the Jews and gypsies and long after: People rounded up and 'put down' because of 'idiocy' or 'defects', like a lost limb or blindness (or homosexuality). Others, more useful to the state, were simply sterilized against their will and/or locked in 'asylums'. 
You think we would learn to at least avoid this garbage, wouldn't you? I mean, after WWII and all that hell.
At least how they sell it?
No such luck.
In 2011 AD we see the creep of the very same pseudo science. Not only alive, but thriving.
Now under the new, PC, consumer friendly repackaging. Now it is 'Evolutionary Psychology'. Well just about any outfit that tries to sell as 'Evolutionary- anything'...
You know the lobby?
The one with the guys who say you are nothing more than a brain? The ones who say 'morality, even consciousness is all an illusion' (you're imagining your imagination). Love, beauty, art, even altruism is all instincts to these folks; evolved from behaviour patterns that help us survive.
Survive for what?To replicate.
For what/why? Because shit happens! (how PROFOUND)
The supernatural you say? Just illusions and delusions.
Purpose? None.
I find this hard to reconcile with reality! That's because you're stupid and probably have some disorder. other than being arrogant, depressing and banal / boring as all hell, and being built on assumption rather than science; what do these Evolutionary Psychologists have in common with Social Darwinism?
First off they base their ideas on Darwinian natural selection models: The fittest survive.
Also,both groups are CONVINCED they have it all figured out; and I mean ALL. Origins.The soul. Life/death. ALL of it.
These folks make the Pope look like a dithering agnostic.
All you have to do is read their 'stuff' to get it.  You'll quickly find the sky is falling again.
Oh yes! There is something going on and we need to let them fix it for us. The tale goes like something like
 'It seems that some unknown group of minds  (usually portrayed as Christian & Conservative) has allowed progress to run rampant and pollute the planet. Millions of tonnes of junk have been produced for landfill. Our oceans are getting billions of gallons of shit dumped in them, there is too much fuel burning, and the atmosphere is hot and toxic in many places it wasn't. So what do we do? We must summon the wise scientists and they will help us breed new seeds that can take the pollution and waste."So we are told to go to the men who got us INTO this mess to get us OUT. Having been shot, to seek the gunman for a cure. Okay, I don't buy it, but let's follow that rabbit down the hole.
So? What is this 'way out'? For most of us, the obvious answer would seem to be a reversal of course. To turn some aspects about. To temper our personal ambitions. To rush a little less, to live a little more.
Eat a little less, use less fuel, recycle, grow our own food, and maybe spend a little more time in the real world with people we love. We didn't ask for a lot of this 'stuff', and we are more than happy to do without. I mean I like big Mac's, but you don't have to burn Brazil so I can have one. I'll cook my own burger. I like the internet nice and fast, but you don't have to fill the air with microwaves to do it.
It is only 'stuff', after all.
Other people, love and immaterial things are what most people find important in life.
Not these guys.
Progress must continue in the straight line form for them. We must advance for the sake of 'science'!
There can by no cycles, nor altering of course. We MUST progress!
We must alter nature's design's to our course, in this thinking. Biologically, we must change the genes of plants and animals (even ourselves) to suite our increasingly degraded environments. It may kill off the natural creatures and even change the environment completely , but we will deal with that the 'science becomes available'. New worlds will appear for us to devour and use for 'progress'.
Progress towards WHAT?
This mad logic is extended to man, in Evolutionary Psychology.
Man is simply a product of his environment and can be made to fit into an efficient one, it is argued. There are many natural behaviours that can lead to fulfilment, we are told by the EP crowd. Not all of them are current. Some of the current ones are now deemed 'outmoded'. Like Marriage or parenthood for example. Other behaviours could be perhaps re-awakened for the enjoyment of the masses. Some of these behaviours may make living in a purposeless, overcrowded, culture-less,  polluted hell-hole better; well, that is the argument.
Now, eat your GM lunch and LIKE it, Citizen!
What could these new future freedoms look like? Well drugged out, of course! Promiscuous, definitely!
But there's more; much more.
Dr Singer, perhaps the most famous evolutionary psychologist and advocate of this pseudo science, has made arguments in favour of 'post natal abortion' (up to 3 years of age) and 'animal human' sexual relations as natural, but suppressed behaviours. There is no application of morality to infanticide or bestiality, rather a genetic advantage to keeping that behaviour in a 'back up' capacity...currently.
Obviously NOTHING is off the table in securing the happiness of a futurist Utopia.
Problems? Never mind, 'science' will solve the ALL.
Could it be that these folks really believe that much in this mystical person of science they feel an answer MUST be forthcoming to all their problems?
Whatever there reasoning it does not sound like the science I know and enjoy. It sounds like a faith in matter, in solids and liquids and gasses to resolve themselves in favour of the the 'scientist' invoking 'science'.
The correct term for these folks is not Atheist, Darwinist, Naturalist, or Evolutionary this or that, it is Materialists; Promissory Materialists to be precise. All the former terms are descriptives of types, not nature. They are sub categories of the same faith.
The word for what they do is not 'science' it is tautology. They tell stories about OTHER people's science and research. Stories about a past they cannot begin to fathom, and a future they cannot possibly know.
Their motive? Tools don't have motives, they are simply used by those with motives.
Like the Social Darwinists of the 20th century the Evolutionary Psychologists (and even many Biologists) of the 21st are being used to forward an agenda loaded with scientific pretensions. In order to set up this faith in technology and the future, the word and idea 'science' has been transformed into a semi-religious, ideologically pregnant concept. Science must now be saved, and can now save us. If Science is used correctly it can save people, feed the hungry, and cure illness.
"Science save us all from the wrath of the South Men!"?
So Where is He? This Science? Maybe we are just imagining him in our imaginary imaginations.
Make sense?
Not for I. I will continue to rely on HUMANS and living beings for my welfare, and pray to a Creator known to my ancestors since time immemorial. I will have faith that if life should stumble, or fall - it will rise again; That there is a purpose and meaning to life, no matter how mysterious. And, of course, that 'science' is a method and means (if limited) to understand our world, not it's meaning.

*Much less rarely do we hear the honest 'scientists think/speculate', or 'scientists think that one day...'. 
Even then, many times the 'scientists' that are quoted they are nothing of the sort. They are researchers with a theory.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

The horror in Oslo

It has only been a few hours since the horrific and murderous rampage of a certain Anders Behring Breivik. 
This maniac planted explosives in government and press buildings in his nations capital, Oslo. 
His intent, it seems, was to 'punish indigenous' Europeans for allowing (truly) massive amounts of Muslims to migrate there in the last few decades. He decided to 'punish' them by killing Norwegian children at a summer camp, 85+ of them.  The bombs killed another 8-10. All innocent lives lost to madness of a lone nutter.
The reaction from the Norwegian people was simply shock and horror, as encapsulated in the quote from CTV news here:

"Norway's King Harald V and his wife Queen Sonja and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg joined mourners on Sunday at Oslo Cathedral, where the pews were packed, and the crowd spilled into the plaza outside the building. The area was strewn with flowers and candles, and people who could not fit in the grand church huddled under umbrellas in the rain."

The loss of so many children at once will forever scar the people of Oslo. They are a tough bunch, but this is 
children of whom I write, and NOTHING can prepare a parent for that. A Hundred parents? Like this? At least there is strength in community, numbers, and faith.
truly heartbreaking.

The murderer himself?
I have, unfortunately, skimmed his 'manifesto' pdf now and cannot see a common thread all the way through, it is ALL over the place. No Marx. No Hitler. More like Manson.
Due perhaps to this insanity, 
Breivik (thankfully!) seems to be unconnected to any larger group or movement. So far his 'Knights' and 'associates' have all denied knowledge of him, or proved non-existent.
There is no green banner, no symbol, no leader.  So, for this we should be thankful. In short: Breivik's writings (his 1500 page 'manifesto') are utter madness: First he is a racist fascist, then a liberal anti-racist,  then a 'Templar Knight' on a 'Crusade', and then a Mason who is in favour of charity, and LOTS of anti Muslim stuff; literally ALL over the place and replete will all sorts of photoshopped images. A maniac who seems to have been reinventing himself over and over.
All this madness and pent up rage eventually resulted in him acting out in an act of murder and Evil.  Now he has been caught, and they are actually listening to him; giving him an audience. 'Why?' they ask.
His responses have led the grossly incompetent Oslo police officials (who DROVE for 30 minutes to the scene while helicopters buzzed about officials and investigated an overturned boat) to say he is a 'Christian 
fundamentalist' (my emphasis).
Yeah that's right. Not an extremist, fanatic, or terrorist - but a 
fundamentalist, you know like those people at the church (the victims families), ministers, friars, saints, nuns, and Mother Teresa? WTF? This guy does not even get DOMESTIC terror, how the HELL is he supposed to protect the Norwegian people from foreign ideological groups? I am not trying to say this guy could not have held Christian beliefs or attend Church(?), he writes he is and does.
But, he was no practising Christianity as he massacred children; and to assert Christian beliefs drove him to this Evil demonstrates CLEARLY just how THICK these cops are and how irresponsible the media are about their language use.  Nor did the fact his hair was blonde have much to do with the news, but it was reported by EVERY media outlet I scanned today. What was news is he was Norwegian. Why was that such a shock? WHO did we expect to see in Norway, if NOT a blonde haired, blue eyed, Christian man?
These are important questions that tie in with the madman's motives.... but they will not get the 'limelight'. Modern Europe is all about burying it's collective(ist) head in the sand. Those with pretentious social agendas will have no problem turning this into a great straw man debate on religious rights and a back patting session for progressives. Like vultures, they will not even wait till the dead are cold. In fact they have already begun, hence the 'fundamentalist' comments and the PRESS surrounding them. 
So, for those who wish to politicize this event and blame it on 'Christian Fundamentalist' thinking, I suggest you consider the differencs and consult your powers of reason (if available).

Consider: There was no organization jumping up to claim the responsibility (well there WAS actually a Jihadist group that later detracted the note), no national holidays in Iran or Iraq, no dancing in the street, no religious leaders calling for blood and the death of entire races and/or peoples, no Presidents firing assault rifles off the palace balconies, no candy being handed out in celebration. There was collective shock and horror from the Christian nations and Churches of the West (the fundamentalists). This was no 9/11, 7/7, Bali, or Madrid. This was no act of fundamentalist religious sect (certainly not REMOTELY Christian in foundations) , but of a lone murderer who want's us to buy his garbage book on politics. A Maniac so narcissistic he would kill children to write his name into history..... 
The horror in Oslo can not be blamed on any one but the killer, and that seems to fall short.
So in our human need for justice, we seek to broaden the scope. 'Who enabled this? Who emboldened or inspired him?' are the questions law enforcement and security in Oslo want us to ask, but perhaps the most important question is really 'how did this nut get through, and how do / can we stop this from happening again?' This line obviously leads to 'how did HOURS of youtube, blogs, forums, and facebook danger signals go unnoticed? How did he get the hollow point rounds? How did get the police kit/uniform?' Much less embarrassing for police to discuss religious fundamentalism (ie freedoms) vs. individual rights.
The blame game will go right around. Who knows who will end up being slurred with associations?
But in the end, the dead are still dead and evil has been done to the innocent.
All we can do is hope and pray that the policy makers learn from this in some way that may save lives in the future, and that the cowardly killer of children who committed this act pays in both this world and the next. 

Thursday, 14 July 2011

The Angel of Death

History is full of enigmatic, information-bearing events.
To the uninitiated, these may seem like events that replay themselves over and over in some insane regression. In fact, I think this is one of the reasons so many people find the study of history 'tedious' and boring; or even 'horrible'.
But as a farmer or hunter loves his bloody work, so do I love mine.
For me as a young man, history was a passion. The older and more remote: The better.
Prehistory fascinated me.
I loved the tales of the most ancient order.
I can remember being a boy of eight, and listening to my dad read The Odyssey – chapter by chapter, night after night one summer.
He had suggested I read it one day, as I seemed to love all things Roman and Greek. Legions in Africa and Gaul, the Spartans at Thermopylae were standard fare in 'boys books' and comics when I was a lad, and I loved those sword and sandals style stories, the stories of the medieval period, and those of the great periods of exploration.
Our passion for the Classical period was an overlap of mine and my father's tastes. I found Homer's book on his shelves and tried. It was too much for my eight year old mind to grasp. I read the words but they confronted me with strange realities. How to even pronounce the names?
What is a boy to do? I asked him if he would see fit to read it to me.
I can remember him saying he would try, but would stop the very moment he saw me lose interest. It was not to happen. Once I had the characters fairly clear in my minds eye, the story had me hooked. Not only me, but Grandad – who we were living with at the time – also kept popping his head in our den, ostensibly to bring tea and such, but eventually to sit and listen with me.
I was hooked. Two degrees and years of post grad later, I am still an avid student more than instructor of history. I am still learning, although I try to share what I have learned.
Some of these lessons are enlightening and happy. Others are dark, mysterious, and even evil.
One of the most commonly understood lessons that posterity teaches is the simple: History that is forgotten or wilfully ignored will repeat itself. There are many colourful versions of this thought throughout the history of Christian (IE Western) culture.
The lesson here is of The Angel of Death.
Not the Biblical Angel called forth by Moses the final plagues on the house of Egypt, but a man who lived within the memory of those alive today.
The Angel of Death that is referred to herein, is a certain 'Doctor' Josef Mengele.
I have use the inverted commas on the term Doctor, as he was such in Degree/Title only.
The Oath of Hippocrates was not his creed. The Schultz Staffel was.
But our little journey through the darkness does not begin with Hauptsturmführer Mengele, and his stain on infamy. It began centuries before. In the dawn of the modern age.
During the High Medieval and Renaissance period human cruelty reached long lost technical heights. Methods imported from around the world and studied with sadistic efficiency combined with new and potent psychological concepts came into play.
The method of delivery for these first sick experiments in pain threshold, living biology, and mental endurance/tolerance was improved and pushed into new levels; but the ideas were ancient. People had been doing horrible things to animals in the name of religion, diet, and sheer curiosity for as long as can be remembered. Extending this to other men and women? Just a matter of when this sadism shows it's face, and what pretence it will use to justify it's existence.
In the high medieval, it was morality and religion.
Gone were the days of the Reconquest and the justifiable Crusades in defence of the holy land and home.
Now all was about conquest.
That was not ideologically pure, and for that reason there had to be a work around.
Some reason to allow themselves to do what they knew was selfish and barbaric. They used the medium of the time. Religion. Religion and it's close cousin: philosophy. This was a slippery slope and we are still sliding down it.
While I will grant the overall outcome of the conquest of the New World has been beneficial (it certainly has for my people and family) the initial justifications introduced had a lot of very nasty side effects. Ideas that had been considered reprehensible were reasoned into morality by weighing options.
This same relativism can and will be applied to other areas. It will spread, like all ideas do; even if resisted.
I will use analogy to speed up the explanation. I will use the 'Conquest' as an example.
Moral Problem:The desperate needs of the many subjects of Imperial Spain (example) outweigh the needs of the fewer Caribbean Natives. Their resources must be annexed, but to kill people and steal their belongings is against all the moral teachings of the European Nations.
Justification: The Caribbean Natives are of a 'lower order of men' due to their lack of knowledge, morality, and religion. They must be converted and/or enslaved (for private venture, but taxed), or killed. Rules to be determined later. The native lands and property shall be annexed by the the regional or military powers.
Repercussions:Aside from the horrible suffering, a vast increase in the use of slavery and indentured labour created a market for more slaves than the island populations could supply, thereby increasing trade with the Arab West African (mortal enemy at the time) slavers, but also creating and entirely new market for the capture and sale of 'Indian' slaves in South and Central America. The evil grew and metastasized.
So what the F does this have to do with a Nazi guy or cutting people up in experiments?
Good question.
Here's the parallel, you see: Just as the slavery infected and corrupted the ventures of the Crowns and Churches of Europe, so did this other form of evil.
Just as the Natives of the 'New World' and West Africa had been dehumanized for sale and exploitation, so had an old favourite: The Heretic.
In reality these people usually had enemies in high places, or were the mob picked hapless victims of the the notorious blood circuses of the auto-da-fé and other such displays of barbarism. Not many were actually heretics of any sort. The real Heretics were usually quite good at hiding, especially in the areas that bordered or where formerly Moorish.
During these horrible periods of disemboweling and decapitations, the scientific minds took note.
I mean that literally. They took notes. An information source for anatomy was discovered. There was benefits to being able to see living things ripped apart, and now there was an excuse to do it to humans! Religion was used as a tool to achieve the justification, reason and sophistry to apply it selectively, and science to observe the results. Well, it was a new excuse, anyway.
Even after the Churches, Academia, and even some of the most powerful Crowns of Europe cast off these evils, and returned to a more morally guided path, the demand for the labour of slaves and the information (often called intelligence in my circles) gleaned from carnage still existed.
A quite vacuum, in constant balance with laws designed to keep those cruel markets closed.
Reasons, economic and social, were found to force people to work in far off lands and march boys into coal mines. Slavery's demand was met with criminals and 'Negroes', who were now scientifically being argued as 'racially'sub-human.
Brutal torture and vivisection was no longer religiously justified.
Those damn priests always go back to their book, and it says 'NO” to such bloody sport.
There needed to be a more EARTHLY and less far less limited justification!
No now Evil was politically endorsed. The Church had been taught it's place by the Crowns and State Houses of Europe, and now they would control that avenue. There was a new upsurging class; The Bourgeois. A new demand for medicine and doctors, and more demand for cadavers and the gory rites of vivisection. The new scapegoat, in human terms, was the 'traitor', or any capitol offence deemed nasty enough. But newly popular was the scientific justification for the animal cruelty that goes under this name. There had been no acceptable reasoning for the live butchery of animals since Constantine banned it.
All excuses had seemed savage by comparison to the sage and humane laws of the First Holy Emperors of Rome. But Rome was a long way back in the 18th and 19th century, and Science was a damn good excuse. A new word began to make the rounds: progress!
New heights were reached during this period. Not just of means to deliver pain, and prolong suffering; but also of anatomy performed on the still warm and even living bodies of the 'prisoners'. These observations did not result in great leaps in proximate medicines and in understanding of the function of our organs, as one might suspect. While the use of cadavers became popular for anatomists centuries ago, the gains have all been far more recent.
While vivisection of beasts has been used since at least Bronze age Greece, it also has only seen very recent and limited uses. An ultrasound or MRI of the interior of a man or pig is not only of more use that a dying organism, but also recordable and replayable – unlike the man or pig.
The most recent upsurge in this horrible trend has been during the 20th Century and into the Early 21st.
In this age of Racialism, Multiculturalism, Objectivism, and Communism; of polar ideological 'styles' and never ending political excuses we have seen a forceful return of these evils.
We have seen the rise of The Third Reich within living memory, for example.
That brings us back to Herr 'Doktor' Mengele.
The man held the rank of Captain in Himmler's SS, and was in charge of medical experiments at Auschwitz concentration camp. He had proved his ability as a surgeon serving with an SS Pnzer (tank) division on the 'Eastern Front' against the Soviets. He had apparently saved the lives of several colleagues and been wounded in the process.
As a 'reward' for his service he was given the horrible task of camp doctor at one of history's most notorious concentration / death camps. He experimented on men, women, and children. He injected dies and even isotopes into the eyes of his victims ('subjects' to him).
Mengele's real obsession was with twins. He felt the secret to breeding super human, disease and pain resistant Aryan soldiers was to be found in the relationship between twins. The depravities this man committed against children in the guise of research is nightmarish. He was an instrument of unspeakable, directed evil.
Mengele's justification was one of science and was based on the premises of 'Social Darwinism', as preached in the works of Ernst Haeckel. He like his Nazi colleagues, was an utterly modern man.
He was no black robed Inquisitor, no painted Pagan priestess, no Imam demanding conversion at the curve of his sword – he was a perfectly modern, civilized, normal looking man with a degrees in Medicine.
Mengele could vanish in a crowd.
In fact, that is what exactly what the 'angel of death' did.
For years the Israelis hunted him, but he evaded and was protected. Mengele died an old man of a heart failure, while swimming in his favourite lake near his family's ranch in South America in 1979.
The Escape of the 'Angel of Death' was made much of in film and media. Books, movies, and mystery shows are dedicated to the subject. It fascinates.
I feel there is a lesson here, or perhaps even a warning.
Mengele's trial would have exposed this particular evil in a light that it has never been in living memory. Such evils could have been set much further back, but justice failed. Corruption won.
The tumour that was Mengele's ideas continues to fester and grow.
The Eugenics in the West, Russia, and China of the past and present are mentioned only in hushed tones, or are even touted as 'progressive'.
Examples? Organ harvesting from near dead (vivisection) / executed criminals  , 'euthanasia' of depressed and the physically /mentally disabled (also a 'resource' for organ harvesting/Vivisection), abortion-on-demand (IE non medical / for profit / Mills), stem cell harvesting from the before mentioned aborted young, and the needless vivisection and repetitive experiments performed on 'lab' animals. All these evils self perpetuate. They will give rise to their own market and forces of demand and grow.  They fester.
I am not suggesting Religion, Politics, Science, or philosophy is at fault. I am saying they have been the paths by which we reached this crossroads, and they are same paths used by this evil - time and again.
I am suggesting that when we see men of standing suggesting that we should just kill off old people because they are depressed (no wonder!) and they cost too much, or when we hear people suggest criminals should be killed in order to sell kidneys to rich bankers, or when 'doctors' have full time for profit practices designed to END life and the potential for life and to make further profit from the very carrion they create; we should think about where this Evil ended last time. It ended in TOTAL WAR. The womb of Evil.
Perhaps it seeks to release, or be born anew?
But these are metaphysical questions (a bell tolls outside as I write o.0) and may be considered endlessly.
We should confront this legion of amorality for what they are, and we must do so intuitively.
We should not allow reason or dogma to cloud our perceptions, and be USED against us. We must hold fast to our faith, morality, reason, and understanding. The philosophies, including science, are OUR tools.
This tendril of Evil must be felt , it must be understood as a cyclical eventuality and be expected.
We must recognize it when it attempts to wrestle away one of our foundations.
That presents a further problem. While most politicians, soldiers, labourers, salesmen, priests, philosophers, poets, workmen, and artists all believe in Evil - the academe (researchers, journals etc - regent priests) , in our current age, does not.
It is distinctly materialist. The non existence of evil is a corner stone (moral subjectivity etc) of materialist ideas. Evolutionary psychology is probably the most extreme example of this (mind=brain). No Evil means there is no Good, and no culpability (guilt or punishment) beyond this life.
All morality becomes a luxury and survival becomes central. The EXTENSION of life (primarily one's own and those of immediate importance) becomes all that matters.
No evil means no limits. .
This is how Mengele's are made.This is why this type of evil thrives in the Academe.
Like Faust, the Academe gladly sells it's soul, which it has forgotten or does not believe in to a Devil it does not believe exists; ALL in the name of the PROMISE of  progress, which is termed broadly as 'science'.
It is an abuse of the word.
Mengele, left  Some of his 'subjects', right
I suggest this:
Not only did Josef Mengele escape the gallows at Nuremberg, but so did the ideals he represented.
In the early days of the 21st century A.D.,
the Angel of Death flies free.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Proud of WHAT?

Okay... so PRIDE week has come and gone again. We are all still here. 
No lighting bolts from above have vanquished these 'sinners' (who isn't?) for their outlandish public displays. No Armies of NAZIs have stormed the streets to oppress them. No lynchings. No beating. No pillars of salt.
Nothing has happened BUT the hype.
So, what is the big deal?
Well there isn't one really.
For those of you not familiar with PRIDE events, they are supposed to be some sort of demonstration in favour of 'Gay rights'. A parade to prove Gay and Lesbian citizens are just a fun loving bunch that mean no harm and just want to live the 'lifestyle' they have chosen without being the target of hate and bigotry. In principle, I am behind it 100%. That is not to say 'I approve' of this lifestyle: I do not. But, I would not dream of denying it to those who feel compelled to live that way. Nor would I ever condone the persecution of gays and lesbians. But that is in PRINCIPLE. In practice, I really don't see what the PRIDE events have to be proud of.
These are not marches of serious minded homosexuals protesting oppression. There are placards, sure. Many carried by completely naked adults..or worse: People dressed up in sexual / S&M style costumes and who expose themselves to other revellers.
Having witness two such events recently, I would say they seem like pro-promiscuity events and more of a carnival than any sort of serious political statement. Naked people dancing, drinking, smoking pot, 'making out', and waving their naughty bits at the police. Like Carnival in Brazil or Mardi Gras in New Orleans, these are ADULT events designed for the sensual pleasures of the party goers.
Okay. Big deal you say. Sure. Don't like – don't look. Find it offensive or outrageous don't attend.
Fair enough. That has long been my strategy. Let them have their fun, but don't include me!
So what's my beef? (pun intended)
Well, I just want to know what the HELL this has to do with 'rights'?
If anything the anti-gay attitude such displays engender FAR outweigh the penis waving hijinks. Sure they may be having fun poking fun, but do they expect the traditional and conservative minds they are laughing AT to chuckle too? A sober expression of gay rights and a reminder of the persecution these people have faced in the past (in the name of race, religion, politics etc) have endured ; A march for tolerance seems to make more sense to me.
Martin Luther King Jr. Did not march naked through Birmingham. The suffragists did not go on 'slut walks'. Can you imagine the backlash had they done so?
Then there is the whole aspect of 'pride'.
Proud of what?
There is two schools of thought on the reality of homosexuality. One says it is a choice, a preference that is exercised as a lifestyle of exclusive homosexuality or of ambiguity (bisexual). The other, the favourite of evolutionary biologists, is that homosexual behaviour is inborn: ie a defect of the sexual impulse.
A choice can change. People who choose one thing, may one day choose another. But people can be proud of a choice. They choose to love a person, despite the moral and social consequences. This love justifies this choice – a tough one – and they are proud of that decision. Those lofty ideals are of the 'gay day' events of decades past. Proud enough for a parade? Sure why not!?
But how does the nudity, sexual excess, and promiscuity fit in to this scenario? It doesn't.
Today's PRIDE events are a different type of beast altogether.
My point here is that to be proud of a choice (to love) is one thing, to be proud of your sexual impulses is just plain screwed up. Should I be 'proud' I am 'white'? or Tall? Should I be proud I am male? Should I be proud I can become aroused by looking at women? WHY? I just AM/DO these things. I had no choice - I was born that way.
If I should be proud, does that mean blacks, women, and impotent people should be ashamed they are not? Of course not. Should we ALL be proud? WHY? Again we just ARE these things. We live with them and perhaps even embrace them...but pride?
I DID have a choice to fall in love and be devoted to my wife and partner in life, but that does not mean we should dance naked in the streets waving our genitalia at police and passers by, or demonstrate our intimate acts. Such a display would be rightly seen as 'gross' and 'nasty'.
What is there to be proud about in that of 'nasty'? Nothing I can see.
Pride – the healthy SANE type – should be the result of achievements and well made choices. It should be tempered with humility.
The choice to portray everyone of the homosexual inclination  like insatiable exhibitionist perverts, and anyone who does not approve/agree a (straight) homophobes or (gay/lesbian)  'uncle Toms', is certainly NOT one I would be proud of. It is a position of Nero-like intolerance and hypocrisy.
Suggestions? Yes I do.
PRIDE should be a family friendly parade/march that culminates in some act of generosity and gratitude for the continued tolerance of the larger community and exposure of any continuing prejudice.
'Thanks Toronto, here is a new playground, clinic, or park DONATED by the gay / lesbian community' or 'Free food for the homeless from the lesbian and gay community' sure beats the SHIT out of 'look at my dick, I am gay!' or 'see! this is how we F**K!' displays replete with penis shaped water guns.
The positive display results in a positive reaction. The political display results in a political reaction. The VULGAR and crass display results in disdain and avoidance; and very possibly backlash.
It plays into the imagery that bigots use to portray homosexuals.
So what happened?
Where are today's Harvey Milk style marches?
Where are the real issues in the modern PRIDE parade?
Today's argument from the homosexual lobby is that people are BORN gay – the defect argument. Homosexuals cannot help but act like they do, and that extends to the wild and vulgar behaviour at these Carnival like events, it is posited.
Homosexuals, they assert, have the 'right' to be promiscuous, outrageous, and 'in your face'. Any attempt to AVOID this outburst – as Toronto Mayor Rob Ford found out – results in a media frenzy and labels of 'homophobia'.
 Ford is the first mayor of Toronto since 1994 who has dared NOT attend the event. His excuse is that he spends Canada Day weekend at the cottage (same weekend) and has done so for 30 years. He also commented that he will only attend parades his wife, children, and grandchildren would accompany him to – thus NOT the X-rated PRIDE revelry. For this he is labelled a homophobe?
I am not gay, and could never imagine being so..for many reasons.  I also could not imagine the whispers, lies, exclusion, prejudice, and sheer bigotry they are treated to. I would and have defended their rights to choice and freedom. That extends to how they wish to live their lives. I have openly gay friends and in laws that I happily break bread with. Some of them have a LOT to be proud of in their lives.
But I see/saw very little to be proud of at recent PRIDE events in Toronto.
I see a lobby being USED to promote a diagnosis / pathology style explanation for their choices, I see adults behaving like spoiled children, I see people acting out in acts sexual exhibitionism and promiscuity, I see a source for great social concern.
Above all I see a wasted opportunity for real change and progress in gay / lesbian rights, and that is a real SHAME.

July 2011