Archive for ‘Politics’

04/07/2014

Oh look at that assault rifle, his dick must be fuckin’ tiny girl!

I had a chat with a now former friend in Georgia (US) the other day. He was all enthused about being able to openly carry his guns anywhere he wanted. So I decided to see just how far down the rabbit hole of nuttiness he actually was, and asked “So if I go there can I wear my replica xiphos (an early Macedonian cavalry sword.) in a shoulder scabbard.”

You know, for my own protection. In case someone random went nuts and decided that I, and all the people around me needed to die for some random reason. Like I don’t know, he didn’t like my hair colour (blue), or my sexuality (lesbian), or Mondays (The Boom Town Rats.)

He went (appropriately enough) ballistic, because apparently that would be carrying a weapon, a dangerous weapon which he would be uncomfortable having his daughter around…seriously, he said this before adding this doozy to the mix, “a gun’s just a tool. A sword is a barely controllable weapon. You’re making a mockery of my country.”

Yeeeeeeeeah. Look I like guns as much as the next tomboy. They’re, much like swords, longbows etc, interesting pieces of engineering and materials use. They can be used to teach/learn physical and emotional control, responsibility, yadda yadda. But if you’re penis is so small you need to carry an assault rifle to the local store in compensation, dude you have big problems that you should probably see someone about.

But let’s break this down. To hurt someone with a sword, not even kill them, you have to be physically close to them, willing to look at them as you harm them, see the damage, gory, horrifying damage your weapon causes, and quite literally get their blood on your own hands. If it’s in a scabbard it’s not much more than a very clumsy club.

To hurt someone with a gun you don’t even have to be able to really see them. You can shoot them from across the room, street, hell with the right rifle across the whole fucking town. But it’s in a holster I hear you cry, are you 100% sure that the numbnut over there trying to fill his petrol car with diesel remembered to put the safety on? Are you certain he remembered to even uncock the damned thing before he holstered it? I ask because those things happen.

I would have to be built like Hulk Hogan to get a sword through even a plasterboard wall and still be able to get it to do much more than tickle the person on the other side. Seriously try it someday if you get the chance. On the other hand an accidentally discharged gun will make mincemeat of the wall, and anyone behind it, or a car door, or pretty much anything Hollywood has taught us is bulletproof.

Don’t get me wrong here, this isn’t swords vs guns. And I am not anti-firearms. Have a gun for home defence, have a gun for hunting (and fucking eat what you kill.) Hell, have a gun just for target shooting. But don’t act as if you have this god given right to carry a fucking assault rifle in a crowded shop, where there are children who will learn from your bad example. Yup I’m making this about the kids.

I am left wondering though, how long after the first rifle is snatched from an utterly incompetent carrier and then used to mow down half the shoppers around him, will this law be reversed. I can see this coming. In fact I would say (Coming from a nation that was essentially in a civil war only a decade ago, where the combatants on both sides would have fucking LOVED this sort of law for all the opportunities for mayhem it would have supplied.) that now domestic terrorist groups in the States must be positively drooling with the possibilities this law has created for them.

All those easy to reach weapons, just slung over a shoulder by someone not really paying attention to what’s going on around them because lil Brittany is demanding a new dress. No need to carry a weapon in themselves, just window shop ’til you find the one you want, then boom, boom, BOOM!

(I’m writing this because some of the people I love most are in the States, and I’d really like for them not to get shot by some dipshit having a bad day.)

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14/05/2014

So the Bristish Political party UKIP have shown their true colours…

The website scriptonitedaily.com are reporting that the British political party UKIP have started taking legal action against bloggers who dare to post a certain picture on their sites. For full details read the linked page, but I for one have no problem calling UKIP what they are, a party of hate, and a party who use intimidation as their chief tool to silence any criticism.

A party that holds dear those who think LGBT folk should be punished for existing, and are to blame for floods.

A party that welcomes members who feel women have gotten too big for their boots.

A party based in part on racism of the darkest kind. A party that use inflammatory language to stoke the fires of the Other. The kind not seen since the 1930’s and 40’s. The kind that was so beloved of the National Socialist Party back in Germany’s darkest days.

A party more than happy to scream about their freedom of expression, while using any means they can to silence criticism from others.

Here in Ireland we have our version, and as soon as they show their true colours I’ll have just as little trouble calling them what they are. But right at this moment I’m worried for the futures of my friends in our nearest neighbour. My LGBT friends. My female friends. My friends who are parents.

UKIP are not Libertarians (Most real Libertarians would shudder to be placed in their company.), Ukip are to speak plainly Neo-Nazi’s in well-tailored suits. Their rhetoric matches that term, and so do their actions…Oh and that image they’re trying to have removed from the internet? Why it’s this one…

How thin-skinned the real bastards of the world are when the light is shone on them. Oh, and to use another now well-known meme.

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10/09/2013

So I had this idea over the weekend.

In Ireland we have a big problem. We have all these “experts” who advise our political masters. Nothing unusual about that, every democratic nation has those. And there’s also nothing unusual about those advisers having their own political axe to grind.

No one half of the big problem we have is that not so long ago (5-ish years) a group of financial leaders knowingly lied through their teeth about how deep the financial hole they’d just walked in to actually was. We now know they knew precisely how bad it was, and that they played the government of the time like a cheap fiddle. Though that’s not to say that the government of the time weren’t just as bad in their own ways.

The other half of the big problem is that those fraudsters are most likely going to get away scot-free from this. They’ve stolen the futures of probably the next two generations of Irish people, and then in some cases walked away to a very comfortable early retirement and lovingly provided with nice golden parachutes to help keep them in their dotage. The poor dears. After all there’s nothing will make you more tired than knowingly defrauding an entire nation of dozens of billions of Euro’s of taxpayers money.

So my idea. Well, there I sat on the toilet, noisily evacuating my bowels when it suddenly hit me. Maybe it was the proximity to a large quantity of shite, maybe it was the rank smell of that same shite wafting gently on the breeze. I don’t really know. But one second I was thinking about how nice it would be to not have to spend most of every day on the toilet, the next second one word went running through my mind, screaming at the top of it’s lungs, while waving sparklers. That word?

Perjury.

Now this won’t work for falsehoods spoken in the past, but in the future it could maybe, just maybe, make our own shower of self-serving, lying scum-bags (certain political advisers, politicians, civic leaders of various stripes, senior bankers) think twice before they lie with utter blatancy. Lying knowing full-well that those lies will never come back to haunt them, beyond a little embarrassment here or there.

How about laying out a law that requires an oath of truthfulness of any adviser to any member of the government who is Cabinet level or higher? The same would go for anyone, anyone at all, speaking before either of the House of the Dáil.

That way if it is later proven that they have knowingly misled the State, or officers of the State well we can immediately put them somewhere secure. Where we can always find them if we need to ask them any probing questions while the reason for those lies are investigated by the police, NOT the government itself.

Sure it’ll mean having someone in Dáil Éireann, pretty much all the time, who can actually legally witness and record an Oath to the State. But hey, surely some civil servant in there has enough free-time to add that to their résumé.

Who knows maybe “National Officer of Oaths to the State.” could be a nice little feather in the cap in the future.

10/06/2013

YouTube anti-choice/prolife adverts.

I love YouTube, where else can you go to watch movies which were never released on DVD in 9, highly censored, parts?

Where else can I go to watch my favourite critics, because the video systems they use on their home sites are rubbish, and just don’t work with any of my PC’s?

YouTube, home of the cat video, the angry bile filled responses to a world where not everyone shares your beliefs in a particular sky fairy, and Mrs. Betty Bowers.

Lately though YouTube has also become home of one hundred and fucking one anti-choice adverts. And you know what? I’m sick of them.

I’m sick of the sanctimonious crap of prolifers whose concern for children ends when they’re born.

I’m sick of living in a country that gives lip-service to secularism, while its leaders still get down on bended knee to suck off the local representatives of the Vatican City.

I’m sick of seeing people who I wouldn’t trust with a potato peeler, being given, or buying, immensely far reaching platforms from which to spout their hypocrisy.

But right now, most of all I’m sick of seeing guilt tripping advert after guilt tripping advert on YouTube, with no fucking way to either block, or opt out of them.

*deep cleansing breath* Going to go kill something on my Xbox now.

04/06/2013

“Wipe out Homophobia” but let’s make sure the transwomen keep quiet. (I hope I’m wrong about this.)

This weekend past something happened on Facebook which took me right back. Back almost ten years to a point in time when the LGB societies in Ireland were debating whether to include “T” in the acronym. That brought me right back to the good ole days when the LG part of the acronym seemed to take total joy in silencing the “B”s and the “T”s. It was a moment in my own life that showed me once more though this time in a very personal way, if I needed another example, that the “T” in LGBT is nothing more than a placeholder for an extremely convenient sacrificial lamb.

So Amanda, what happened?

Well on the morning of Friday the 31st, the self described education page Wipe out Homophobia (WOH) posted this link to an article about the Stonewall Riots. For those who don’t know, the Stonewall Riots were a pivotal moment in LGBT history, which marks in many ways the start of organised action for civil rights for LGBT people.

If you read the article in that link you’ll notice something is missing. Something rather glaring in fact if you happen to know anything about the riots. Why yes, there’s absolutely no mention of transgendered people. Funny considering that there most definitely was transpeople of varies types involved.

So being me I decided to comment this. Mine was the first comment. And my comment was the following.

“So transgendered people are written out of history again I see.”

I posted, and within a few minutes not only was my comment removed, but my account was blocked from making any further comments. So how do I perceive this act? Well as being censored of course.

The LG movement has a long history of throwing the Bs and the Ts under any political bus that happens along, though because it’s much easier to throw the Ts under a big political tyre we have tended to get it a bit more. We get written out of queer history all the time. We often have our rights, and our needs neglected, or misrepresented by the cis-gendered Ls and Gs for their own political gain pretty regularly, usually it seems to be explained away with a phrase like “A small sacrifice for a greater good.” As a matter of fact we as a group are misrepresented by Ls and Gs all the time, in every sort of situation, I can’t count how many times I’ve been described in some way as a fake person by one of my so called allies. How many times truly horrid comparisons have been made about me, my brothers, my sisters from within what is supposed to be our own loving community For an excellent example of this, well, remember I mentioned this at the start of this article?

“…when the LGB societies in Ireland were debating whether to include “T” in the acronym”

Back then I was a member of several Irish LGB forums. All of which I left after various people decided to compare transgendered people to pedophiles. And if that comparison sounds familiar well here’s the first page of a google search. It’s been almost ten years since that particular vitriol filled debate was heard in Ireland. But the pain caused by some of the comments, and arguments made during that debate is still with me, and I’m sure others, to this day.

The T of LGBT is sometimes heard to be called the “silent T.” And that is with good reason, seeing as our places in our own history keep being rewritten, by people who are not us. I won’t try to explain how, not when someone else has already done it infinitely better than I ever could. Please click this link to read how the story of Stonewall has been stolen from the trans-community by cis-centric members of the L and G communities. Censoring of transpeople is simply business as usual for the LG part of our little family.

Taking a deep cleansing breath, because this could devolve in to a full-blown rant very easily and I’d rather like to keep the high ground here, but I am very angry, rightly angry. Well anyway, I have this to say directly to the owner/s of the Facebook page “Wipe Out Homophobia“.

The history of my particular subset of humanity does not belong to you, or to any lesbian or gay person. Nor to any bi-person, politician, historian, or asshole with a red marker and a nasty attitude. In fact it doesn’t belong to me either. It is history, the past, an immutable fact. It has already happened. The truth of who was actually there can not be changed. But by trying to silence someone who draws attention to the way in which a key part of our communities history has been altered, rewritten, perverted,  you are simply doing to transpeople what the rest of the world has at one stage or another tried its damnedest to do to you.

Your page is listed as an “education website” on Facebook. But if you deny the truth of an event. If you deny a group of people access to the heroes of their part of their community in that event, then you sir/madam prove yourself as wrong, as misguided, as indefensible as any other history denier who walks this Earth.

Whether you like it or not transpeople were a part of Stonewall. They and the other queerfolk who couldn’t hide in plain sight, the queers, the nancy-boys, the butches, the trannies of all stripes are the ones who led that particular charge, because they had No. Other. Choice.

They were there then.

We ARE here now.

WE ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE. No matter how hard some of our communities members may try to drive us away, you probably know exactly who I’m talking about.

Denying our place in history won’t erase us.

Denying our existence won’t erase us.

Stealing our words, won’t silence us.

Nor will stealing our voices.

Trying to silence us when we call “bullshit” won’t silence me for one. It’ll just make me scream louder. And you better fucking believe I’m not alone.

WOH, I can now post on your page again, I unliked you and boom, look at that, I can comment. But I no longer care to do so. You tried to silence me when I called bullshit on a history denying article that YOU posted on your page. You supported history deniers, the rewriters of history when you did so. You stopped being educators, and became oppressors.

You erased my words, then stole my voice. Guess what? I have many voices, and congratulations, you just became one of the very people who vilify you, and as I avoid them, I now avoid you.

I hope I have taken what happened on Friday the wrong way. I hope you were having a pissy day and you regretted your action afterwards. I hope that you are not one who has taken the first step down in to a darker place. I have hope, but not a lot. In any event have a nice life.

Just one small thing more.

I’m not going anywhere.
I will not be rendered silent by anyone.
I will not have my heroes denied their places in history.
What they did matters.
They matter.
I will be heard, and I will be counted.
What I think and feel matters.
I matter!

(Why do I get the worrying feeling that Sputnik is about to land on me?)

Edited to add that I’ve just found out that a friend who made much the same comment, but even more politely has had his comment removed also. Well, so much for hope then.

19/02/2013

Living in a golden age.

(This was written at 4am this morning in a fog of insomnia fueled exhaustion. So if it rambles a little please be patient.)

Recently a wonderful and horrifying thought struck me, that we are all in the western world, and almost certainly in other parts of the world also, living in a golden age. Now please do not take me up wrong on this. I’m not saying that we’re living in a perfect age, I fully acknowledge that there are still inequalities, wrongs, discrimination, hatred, and all the other seething pus that humanity always seems to spend a lot of it’s time floating on. But right now life, even in this second Great Depression, is for most people in the West blessed beyond the dreams or imaginations of even our grandparents at our ages.

Information is there for the taking, piped directly in to our homes, and on to our laps by the internet. Why I just spent the past few hours taking a very basic crash course in film-set lighting, something that even in my memory would have before required at minimum a very understanding librarian and a lot of patience.

Medical care is widely available. Now it’s far from perfect, and the right care may not always be readily available for the right person all the time, but for the vast majority of people (in Ireland, and the UK, America…WTF Dudes?!)  it is achievable.

The much maligned welfare state exists in many western countries, and through national conscience helps to keep those in trouble from finding themselves on the street. It’s not for nothing that it is sometimes referred to as a safety net.

Education is up until 3rd level guaranteed. Admittedly it is still up to the student to apply themselves, and make the most of that opportunity, but at least they get the chance.

Those last remaining ill-regarded, and unprotected minorities are finally gradually being cared for by states laws. Roll on the day some of the cutest lesbian and gay couples I know can throw simply fabulous weddings.

Compare a world where the “Emigrants Wake”, a sort of combined going-away party and funeral for the still living which was even in the 80’s a major part of Irish emigration, is not really needed anymore. Now we have Skype, email, telephones (mobile or good old-fashioned landline) in every home. Our loves who are a world away have never been so close. Where as even 30 years ago a family member leaving for the States meant at worst good chance of never seeing them again, and at best rarely hearing from them.

Add to this the fact that the European continent has never been at peace for so long. (Yes, I know there was a war in Serbia and Bosnia not all that long ago, it was terrible, and I can only imagine the pain that people from there still feel to this day. I’m speaking here of the larger European powers not being at each others throats for once, and Europe as a larger whole.)

Nuclear war has shrunk from an ever present worry, to a pale shadow of its past self. And while that particular genie is still out of his bottle, and will forever more haunt our species to some degree, at least for now we only have to worry about the U.S.A., North Korea, and China starting something, at least until the next time Russia decides that Empire is a good idea.

When I think about the world I live in today, and compare it to the world I lived in as a child, or even a teen I find myself filled with wonder, relief, and not a little fear.

Wonder because the world has become wonderful in ways I never imagined. The internet, somewhat affordable air travel (for now at least), the freedom to publicly love whoever I wish regardless of their gender, HIV becoming to some degree a chronic illness rather than a death sentence. Hell even the small things like my entire music collection fitting in one pocket, while 1,200 books fit in the other is something beyond my own imagination as a child, but most days I walk around with a small library music and literature in my pockets.

Relief because the older ways of thinking are gradually, painfully being erased, and I for one don’t worry about the pain, a little pain isn’t a bad thing, it helps you to appreciate the joy that follows. In my own life I’ve seen Europe become a (somewhat fractious) whole, the power of corrupt religions called in to question, and the voices of the abused, tortured and raped finally heard. Of course those with the power doing something about it…well that will take some more time, and possibly a liberal application of cattle-prods. But I have genuinely seen life get better in my own lifetime. I’ve experienced it get better for me personally.

But I’m also experiencing fear at what I’ve called a Golden Age, perhaps I should have said “start of a Golden Age”. You’ve heard it said I’m sure, that to all things there is a time, and the sort of progress we’ve only just really started making is fragile. The wrong person in the wrong position of authority, and it could all come crashing down. The wrong act by the wrong well-meaning madman and we find ourselves at each others throats yet again. The very human tendency to say “that’s good enough”, when we should be saying “That’s a good start”, could lead us in to stagnation, and then in to decay.

Humans are still just a blip in history. Our whole history as a species is microscopic compared to our worlds story. And nanoscopic compared to the universe as a whole. But even in that short blip so many human societies have experienced their Golden Ages, lived without noticing, without seizing the potential that was offered. I truly fear that this chance to achieve greatness might be lost too.

But for this moment, right now, I’m going to concentrate on being happy that I live in a time of wonders. So those memories will sustain me if the time of collapse comes while I still live.

29/05/2012

What worries me about all this Euro-anger.

Shortly we here in Ireland are going to vote in a referendum. With that vote we are supposed to be voting against, or in favor of something called the Stability Treaty. Now, I’m not going to actually write about the treaty, because frankly that’s not what this is about, we should each make up our own minds on this. Instead I want to write about a related worry of mine.

We’ve been told that this referendum will decide if Ireland stays in the Euro zone. That’s fine, that makes sense, and it makes sense that if we leave it we can, like others who never adopted the Euro in the first place, remain in the European Union itself. But there have been rumbles about a “No” vote also meaning that we as a nation might leave the E.U. entirely. I’m not here saying that a “No” vote means we must leave, only that I’ve witnessed a lot of people voicing “we should if…”‘s.

There’s a lot of anger in Ireland right now. A some of it is justified. But like all anger of this type at least some of it is baseless, simply a nations frustrations spilling over. But regardless of whether that anger is based in fact or not it is a real emotion, and angry people tend not to think rationally. I fear that as a nation we’re not thinking beyond our anger. Not realising one of the costs of leaving the E.U.

A major part of being an E.U. citizen is the right to travel freely within the E.U., along with the right to be employed in any other E.U. country without a work visa.

So my worry is that in our anger we as a nation vote “No”. And this somehow leads to us not only leaving the Euro, but in a spasm of national anger also the E.U. But what happens to all the E.U. nationals living, and working in Ireland? What happens to the Irish citizens living, and working in other E.U. countries? What about the lives they’ve created for themselves? The homes they’ve found. The relationships they’ve forged? Does the politics of the situation just tear them apart?

I don’t know what way this referendum is going to go. I don’t think anyone does really. I don’t know if this fear of mine has any real basis in potential fact. But for the first time I really fear for our humanity to each other here in Europe, all based on how a club of scared, angry nation’s may cast their various votes in the coming months, and years.

I honestly don’t know whether a Yay or Nay will ultimately prove to be in our best interests. Everything in Europe seems to change day by day at the moment. I just hope that when it’s all over, and the dust has settled that we haven’t destroyed too many people’s lives. Though let’s face it, even one destroyed life will be too many.

18/10/2011

The Dame Street Protest, a few thoughts.

Anyone who reads my blog will know I’m a bit of a weirdo. Politically I’m probably even more weird than in other aspects of my life. I would tend to describe myself as a conservative-liberal. What do I mean by that? Well we could start with describing it as wanting people to be free to put each other in consensual bondage without the state poking its nose in, whips optional. But also wishing common sense, not political rhetoric to rule the day. But here’s a few actual examples of my political weirdness.

Outside of situations which can not be legislated for with a universal ruling, all rights should be universal, not special rights. So there shouldn’t need to be special gay marriage law, that should be universal marriage law for everyone regardless of gender or orientation. However if you’re transsexual, you need a specific law in place to allow for legal recognition of your true gender, that’s an essential specific law, because it speaks to a situation which affects a small minority in a unique situation.

I think there should be abortion in Ireland. But I also don’t think it should be possible to use abortion simply as birth control.

I believe the Constitution is the heart of the Republic. But I also believe that as it stands it is a broken document. One which  is no longer fit for purpose, and so needs to be re-drafted, but not by vested interests, rather it should be rewritten by a national committee which does not include any serving or formerly serving politicians.

I believe there should be a 1 year period of military service in something akin to the Territorial Army in the United Kingdom. But that there should also be a conscientious objectors clause, which can allow anyone who truly believes such service to be morally abhorrent to avoid doing so.

Like I said I’m a weirdo. And many of my beliefs, where good citizenship are concerned at least, are probably rather self-contradictory. But sometimes both my liberal and conservative switches get flipped at the same time, in the same direction. Usually by a watershed, or potential watershed, event. So let’s talk about the Dame Street protesters.

These men and women are mostly Irish citizens who, along with protestors around the globe, have chosen to emulate their fellow protestors in Wall Street. They are exercising their right to peaceful protest, in order to voice their objections to the way in which the Irish State is treating its own citizens at the behest of foreign powers. But unfortunately their actual message isn’t nearly as clear as that.

I doubt that there is any need to rehash everything that has happened in Ireland over the last 12 months. But I think everyone has to admit it’s been a hell of a ride. We went from boom to bust, had a government ousted, had our country in some ways conquered without a single bullet being fired, and as a nation we took it all on the chin. Bread now in the hopes of jam to go with that bread later. I said there was no need to rehash, not that I wasn’t going to.

The protestors have reason to be angry, we all do. Our standard of living has been slashed, not for our sakes, but for the sake of apparently hopelessly inept business people spread across Europe, and perhaps even further afield. Worse still we can’t kid ourselves, we will not know the true depth or scale of what’s happened and what is still happening right now, for a very long time. Perhaps even a generation. It may take that long after the dust settles for the academics to translate the mechanics of this depression into something the average man on the street can understand.  Of course, not knowing the true scale of this disaster, is yet another reason for us all to be angry.

Fine but what both the Wall Street and Dame Street protestors seem to have forgotten is that it’s not enough to be angry. You also have to have a coherent message for people to hear. Have an established leadership, including public relations, negotiators, even ewwwww…solicitors ready to deal with changes in circumstances, either positive or negative. Hell even just having everyone chanting from the same hymn book would help project an image of solidarity, rather than semi-sentient “me too”-isms.  Put another way…

“What do we want? A fair deal. When do we want it? Now!”

Is a hell of a lot more effective than…

“What do we want? *reads long, looooong laundry list of sometimes contradictory demands* When do we want it? Uhhhh….

Unfortunately for those demonstrating around the world right now, they’re sounding far more like the latter, than the former.

I agree with a lot of their sentiments. I want there to be change. My liberal side wants there to be better services for the needy. I want there to be a fair wage for a fair days work. I want there to be a damned days work for that matter. I don’t want truly insane amounts of money being torn from the national, and local, budgets only for it to be turned over to foreign powers, and indigenous businessmen, who are just as culpable for what is happening to us all as a global economy. I want us to have government by people who have not lost all connection to what real life is like. I want the Humphreys not to have a guaranteed job for life ruling us all from the shadows. But instead have them openly, and fairly compete everyday of their professional career for those same careers, and not just with one another but with outsiders also.

My conservative side wants tighter oversight on all public spending. Means test all non-contributory social welfare. Bring in military service, it’s insane to have a population of over 4 million, the vast majority of whom are virtually incapable of defending their own nation if the need arises. Keep controlling interests in all the semi-states, and force the national will on them. Crack down on unionism in Ireland. What started as a way for common workers to safely air grievances with their employers have become a shadow government. One which answers only to itself. One nation, one government, elected by the people, not self-selected. And not one which as we now all know is perfectly capable of holding the entire state to ransom, on a whim.

The protestors here and over there want what we’ll have to call a “National Dream“. A good life for themselves and their children. But I don’t think for a second that a few tents, or even a lot of tents here, or in New York, are going to change the course we’ve all been forced to sail. All they can do is voice their dissatisfaction. Make it clear what parts of their plans we approve of and what we don’t. Then all we can really do is wait to see if there’s anyone who can bring us back to something approaching prosperity. Perhaps there are a handful of young leaders out there waiting for their turn who will do the job the way it should be done. Who can stabilise the world economy, through new ways of thinking, of doing business, instead of slamming us all violently on to the rocks until something gives.

I hope that the conservative, and liberal viewpoints can find a middle ground where real equitable change can be achieved.  Rather than both sides becoming more and more polarized. Rather than politics again becoming about us and them. After all the last time that happened in the 1930’s, it didn’t end well very well for Europe, or the rest of the world for that matter. Depressions are dangerous, history shows us that, and let’s be honest here, that’s what we’re living through.

16/07/2011

A few more thoughts on the clerical abuse of children in Ireland.

I’m worried that something fundamental has been missed in all the dust from both the Cloyne Report and all the previous reports into clerical abuse in Ireland.  These bishops, who took direction to pervert the course of Irish justice, did so on the orders of the ruling head of a foreign nation. Think about that, they ignored Irish law, the law of the nation they supposedly claim citizenship of.  Surely that is an act tantamount to being treasonous. A direct betrayal of the nation and people of Ireland, at the behest of a foreign power.

That being the case perhaps that, is the route to take with non-pedophile leaders within Ireland’s church. Simply strip them of their  Irish citizenship and expel them back to their master in the Vatican city. After seizing any, and all goods belonging to them personally for redistribution to those who their acts have directly harmed.

In addition why have we not officially rebuked the Vatican? Surely a just response to their interference with the internal affairs of another sovereign nation would be to cut all diplomatic ties for a set period of time.  Then if necessary forcibly remove them and their mouth pieces from all positions of authority in our nations system of education?

As for the pedophile priests themselves and in fact all pedophiles, life sentences, life meaning life.  Pedophilia is not a curable illness, they do not get cured. There are cases in the U.S. of convicted pedophiles who have been chemically castrated, self injecting with testosterone to get around their treatment.  That being so they should on conviction be held indefinitely, in a facility capable of keeping them separated from all children, for the rest of their natural lives.

There are those who would say this is an extreme and cruel punishment, well let me say as an abuse survivor, it is not.  Child abuse is murder.  Plain and simple.  The person that child was, the person they might have been is killed over the course of one abusive act.  They will never again be the same.  The person they become will never feel whole and will never be truly okay ever again.  It is the most heinous act that can be perpetrated upon a child.  Actual murder would be almost kind in comparison, at least their suffering is done, but the abuse survivor never stops hurting.  It will often be the first and the last thing they think of each day.  It will prey on their minds, fill them with fear and dread when they go to any location, where they might conceivably see their abuser.  Often they will never lead fulfilling adult lives, often the most normal and natural parts of life, will have been soured and destroyed for them.  And worse still their families will usually suffer the after effects with them.

Every time there is a new revelation about the clerical sex abuse of young children, there is talk about recompense, but little is done beyond a weakly worded letter to the Vatican.  A letter which the Vatican then promptly ignores.  If Ireland wants to be seen as a truly civilised, modern nation, then surely we should be seen to act to protect our children and where justified avenge those who have been failed in the past.  That is what a mature nation should do, protect the young.  While making it clear to the entire world, and any who would shelter those who abuse our children, that if you harm our youths, we won’t respond with a letter.  Instead we will as one united nation, respond in a legally defined way, that will amount to a complete disaster, brought down upon your representatives who perform or cover up any such act.

14/06/2011

Amina Abdallah – Hoax of the year.

Last week I posted a very short entry, it called on my readers to help support a Syrian woman named, Amina Abdallah who had apparently been kidnapped.  At the time like the vast majority of LGBT people I simply accepted the apparent facts of the case.  Her blog had been extraordinary in its emotion and its descriptive language.  In short like virtually everyone who had read it, I believed her words, I believed in her and I wanted very badly for not only her but for her family and nation also, to be well and safe.

To be totally honest I along with everyone else was had.  There is no Amina Abdallah, she is instead a figment of the imagination of a married, male, American, named Tom MacMaster who lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.  In a ridiculous pseudo-apology posted on the Gay Girl in Damascus website yesterday, he admitted the truth, while claiming that he perpetrated this global fraud in an attempt to raise issues surrounding LGBT and civil rights in Syria.  In the post entitled “Apology to readers” he said “I feel that I have created an important voice for issues that I feel strongly about.”

However, regardless of what he would like to delude himself into believing, the truth is almost certainly the opposite.  Rather than helping he has created a poisoned chalice for the next real person who finds, him or herself in such need.  He has rather than creating a voice, created a reason for people to disbelieve genuine horror stories from real people, in real trouble, whose lives are actually endangered.

In all likelihood he has endangered the lives of real civil rights activists in Syria, and set back the cause of civil and LGBT rights in Syria, perhaps other Middle-Eastern nations, months, if not years.  Why?  Because his thoughtless fraud has probably sent many activists back into hiding, out of fear for their freedom, safety and in such a hardline nation even their lives.  For the words of genuine rights crusaders who will have to live with the repercussions of MacMaster’s foolishness read this article on GayMiddleEast.com.

But after all of this the LGBT world is left with one burning question.  Why?

Why create such an event?  Selfishness?  Greed?  A “look at me” mentality?

What ever the reason, people are angry over the actions of this man.  People who took time from their lives to try to help a non-existent woman are angry.  People who took time to pray and worry for her, are angry.  People who put faith in the honesty and reality of “her” words, are angry.  I’m certain that the various diplomatic officials, who wasted perhaps hundreds of man hours and thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars searching for her, are furious.

So Tom MacMasters why did you do it?  And why shouldn’t some very angry LGBT folk take you out behind a woodshed with a garden hose filled with lead-shot?

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