Saturday, January 07, 2012

Tennessee Anti-Bullying Law Change Could Allow Students To Speak Out Against Gays For Religious Reasons: Report

Tennessee Anti-Bullying Law Change Could Allow Students To Speak Out Against Gays For Religious Reasons: Report Posted: 1/4/12 01:35 PM ET Updated: 1/5/12 10:02 AM ET — "Less than one month after a local gay teen took his own life after allegedly being tormented at his high school, a proposed change in a Tennessee law could protect students who engage in anti-gay bullying if they do so for religious reasons."

The complexity of law can be convoluted and frustrating. Free Speech and Freedom of Religion vs. Hate Crimes[1] and public safety. Basic common decency says that you should never do anything to harm another person. And, if you follow the teachings of the western deity[2], love and compassion are the only things you would ever say to anyone. However, we are not a society based on the teachings of Jehovah, Jesus or Mohamed. We are a society based on the Bible/Qur'an, which are often incorrect, misrepresented and blatantly false interpretations of said teachings by men attempting to push their own agendas. We should have little need for anti-bullying laws. But that is, unfortunately, not the case.

The critical issue here, though, is where do you draw the line? Personally, I feel it is akin to the whole, yelling "Fire" in a theater or "Bomb" in an airport, situation. But that's just me.

[1] This really is a misnomer because when is crime not perpetuated by hate
[2] Specifically, the God worshiped in Judaism, Christianity and Islam

First Openly Gay Woman Competes for Miss California

First Openly Gay Woman Competes for Miss California Jenn Kennedy Posted: 1/6/12 08:50 PM ET — "Fewer things are more all-American than the Super Bowl, Fourth of July parades, and Miss America. Most of us grew up watching as these gorgeous women teetered on stage in conservative swimsuits and dazzling evening gowns. I clearly recall the interview portion, which is where you hear the contestants espouse their views about starving children or literacy or some other safe cause. I never thought I'd see the day a lesbian was in the ranks talking about human rights, marriage equality, and gay teen suicide... until Mollie Thomas."

This, for me, seems like a very odd story. Not because there's an openly gay beauty pageant competitor. But because this should not be something headline worthy. Can you imagine a headline touting the first competitor who read Isaac Asimov? Or listened to Black Flag? Or who had pet goldfish as a kid? These are all irrelevant to anything concerning a beauty pageant. Or to anything beyond a reading group, music discussion and a love of pet fish.

Someday, people will stop concerning themselves with superficial and nonessential minutia.

Right after I become a multimillionaire.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Not looking back; Not looking forward

Another year in the books. For the last week or so there's been an overabundance of "Best of...", "Worst of..." and "A look back..." stories that try to hit the highlights of 2011. There have also been all the "What are your New Years resolutions" and "Plans for the coming year" posts inundating Twitter and Facebook, et. al.

This isn't one of those.

You see, I have some difficulty dealing with the past and future tenses. The past is not significant for the future beyond the fact that it happened. It's like watching a movie. It can be entertaining and, occasionally, educational, but it has little baring on today. And the future hasn't happened so it isn't something to be concerned with. Acknowledged and made allowances for, certainly. But it isn't really here until it's here.

Many people talking about living in the present; living in the "right now." But what they are really talking about is being present. Being aware of what they are doing while they are doing it. This isn't the same thing. Being consciously aware of what you're doing, as opposed to running on autopilot, does not preclude an awareness of the past and future. For me, this isn't generally the case. I know there's a past and a future, of course. But they don't enter into my cognitive processes unless I intentionally, actively concentrate on them. When I do that I lose touch with what I'm supposed to be doing at the moment. Sounds like I have brain damage, doesn't it.

Truth be told, I do. More or less.

For almost 20 years I have been on various medications for treating Fibromyalgia that have cognitive impairment as side effects. Then, about five years ago, I discovered I have Asperger's Syndrome. Between those two, and the times when I was a child and had a fever over 102°F, it's a wonder I can function at all.

So here I am. Starting the new year the same way I've started every other year. Floating along the river of time hoping I end up somewhere. And, while I do have plans for the coming months, it remains to be seen whether I can find enough help to act on those plans.