Sep 26, 2013

SCOTT LIVELY: ¨Pray AGAINST those invovled in suing me for crimes against humanity¨

¨Deadly¨ Scott Lively
So here it is!  It has come to this!  Scott Lively, the author of the ¨Pink Swastika¨ and regular anti-LGBT ¨religious¨ guest/liar and hate-monger in Uganda and Northern Europe, wants you/us to PRAY AGAINST his human rights activist enemies who are taking legal action against him.  Legal action to stop him from slandering LGBT abroad.  My mind snarls, but then, I have never understood the basic thinking, described as reasoning,  of Evangelical zealots who harm LGBT Christians/others through words and acts of demonizing and demeaning preaching:

Sep 22, 2013

THAILAND GOVERNMENT PUSHING SAME-SEX UNIONS: Global South -- Does the Anglican Church/Thailand welcome Gay couples?

The Thai Ministry of Justice announced on Wednesday, September 18, that it would push draft legislation on civil unions for same-sex couples. Working with the House of Representatives Committee on Laws, Justice and Human Rights, the bill would be tabled in the Thai parliament. - See more at:

Civil unions bill to be tabled in Thai parliament

The Thai Ministry of Justice announced that it would work with the House of Representatives Committee on Laws, Justice and Human Rights to push draft legislation on civil unions for same-sex couples.

Sep 18, 2013

DEPARTMENT OF KEEN CAUTION -- SUZANNE SOMERS: ¨...must be considered a threat to civilization¨ (ignorant dunderhead)*

¨Suzanne Somers, erstwhile TV celebrity associated with shows such as “Step by Step” and “Three’s Company”, is a prominent ignorant-celebrity-turned-self-help-guru. Among her bestsellers are “Ageless: The Naked Truth About Bioidentical Hormones”, which peddles T.S. Wiley’s scientifically unproven and demonstrably dangerous Wiley Protocol, and “Knockout: Interviews with Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer – And How to Prevent Getting It in the First Place”, hardcore cancer woo and conspiracy theories packed into the effective “who cares about clinical trials when we have anecdotal evidence and celebrity testimonials” rhetorical package. Her cancer writings have received apt criticism from the American Cancer Society. Of course, Oprah endorsed it (and received pretty harsh criticisms for it).

In 2001, Somers was diagnosed with breast cancer and declined to undergo chemotherapy (in favor of anthroposophic medicine). She claimed she was diagnosed with “inoperable cancer by six doctors”, which is false – even her doctors did not uniformly recommend chemotherapy, quite the reverse (and she did undergo lumpectomy and radiation, but according to herself it was of course the completely ineffective anthroposophic medicine that did the trick). She was furthermore (possibly) misdiagnosed in 2008, an event that (“invalidated Western medicine” and) seems to have spurred her bizarre crank adventures. Her interviews with frauds and cranks (such as Nicholas GonzalezRussell Blaylock,Stanislaw BurzynskiBurton Goldberg, and Jonathan V. Wright) over the course of 2008 provided the foundation for Knockout, which concerns alternative treatments to chemotherapy (and reality). The oncologists don’t understand cancer, you see. Fortunately Somers does it for them. Or it’s the conspiracies. According to Somers “Chemotherapy is big business, and the business end has been thoroughly thought out. Our med students are taught the company line, and after years of being intensively taught how to administer poisons, they are then graduated to go out and give these lethal medicines. To question this would discourage financial grants, and no one wants to be cut loose from pharmaceutical funding”. Then of course there is the Galileo Gambit (which Julian Whitaker invokes in the foreword to Somers’s book and Lee Schneider invokes at HuffPo).

Somers is also a water fluoridation conspiracy theorist and well into stem-cell woo.

*Diagnosis: Ignorant dunderhead. Lacks any trace of a clue about pretty much everything she writes about and in possession of the critical thinking skills of a mole in a whack-a-mole game. She is probably being widely read by a host of other critical-thinking-challenged people (that is, the “critical-thinking-means-feeling-your-way-to-the-truth” crowd), and must as such be considered a threat to civilization.¨

Thanks to Encyclopedia of American Loons, sidebar

Sep 16, 2013

ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU: ¨I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this¨

Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize laureate

Interview: Desmond Tutu on gay rights, the Middle East and Pope Francis 

RNS () — Retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his fight against apartheid in South Africa, continues to speak around the globe on justice and peace. Butler University and neighboring Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis announced Thursday (Sept. 12) that they would name a center for the 81-year-old icon.By Sarah Pulliam Bailey| Religion News Service, Published: September 13

Sep 15, 2013

INDEPENDENCE DAY TODAY: Guatemala celebrates the 192nd anniversary of independence from Spain

¨The history of Guatemala begins with the arrival of human settlers ca. 12,000–18,000 BC. Civilization developed and flourished during the Pre–Columbian era with little contact among the cultures external to Mesoamerica. The Guatemalan region of Mesoamerica was dominated by the Maya civilization (2,000 BC – AD 250). Most of the great Classic-era (AD 250–900) Maya cities of the Petén Basin region, in the northern lowlands of Guatemala, had been abandoned by the year AD 1,000. The states in the Guatemalan central highlands flourished until the arrival in 1525 of Pedro de Alvarado, the Spanish Conquistador. Called "the invader" by the Mayan peoples, he began subjugating the Indian states with his forces.
Conquered Guatemala was part of the Spanish Empire for nearly 300 years until it became independent in 1821. It was first part of the First Mexican Empire (1821–23) until becoming fully independent in the 1840s. Since then, Guatemala's political history has had periods of democratic government, interrupted by periods of civil war and military juntas. In the late 20th-century, most of Guatemala emerged from a 36-year civil war (1960–96) and re-established representative democracy. It has struggled to enforce the rule of law and suffers a high crime rate, as well as continued extrajudicial killings, often executed by security forces...¨ there is more:

Sep 14, 2013

LIFE AMONG THE MAYA: Antigua, Guatemala ¨has persisted through its fair share of catastrophes¨ but volcanos rule!

The Foot of the Volcano, Left/Bottom

¨It was 12 months ago that Volcán del Fuego lit up the sky above Antigua, sending grey ash to blanket the tender leaves of coffee trees growing more than 80km away. As scorching lava rolled 600m down the volcano’s slope, 33,000 people from 17 villages in the Guatemalan highlands were quickly evacuated.
Belying the devastation they bring, volcanoes are bewitchingly beautiful. I was among a small group of travellers who climbed Pacaya – the other active mountain visible from Antigua – six months after it erupted in 2010, prompting President Álvaro Colom to declare a national state of emergency. Though it was calm the morning we ascended, the mountain radiated heat; a small branch dropped into a hole in the crust lit on fire before it landed. Erring on the side of caution, we stopped to admire the panorama several hundred metres short of the smouldering peak, which again resumed its sputtering in January 2013. On the charred hillside below, mangled tree branches jutted out to meet the clear blue sky. To the northwest lay Fuego’s slumbering sister, Volcán del Agua, and just beyond it, in the verdant Panchoy Valley, was Antigua, a colonial town that writer Aldous Huxley described as "one of the most romantic cities in the world".
Entering Antigua for the first time is like stepping back in time. Most power lines are buried underground, and there are no traffic signs or signals. Stucco houses with terracotta roofs dating from the 18th Century wear lion’s head knockers on their doors; each building painted its own sherbet shade of pink, yellow, orange or blue. Bougainvilleas creep over walls and succulents spill out of iron-grilled windows. Three-wheeled tuk tuks zoom down the uneven streets past the Parque Central, where brightly attired indigenous locals peddle colourful textiles, wooden wares and traditional sweets; shoe shiners loiter; and Spanish professors chat over lunch. The city’s original 16th-century design – nine streets and nine avenues organized around an elegant Spanish square – remains unchanged. Wherever you stand, you need only look up to admire one of the majestic volcanoes that surround the town, sometimes feeling precariously close.
Despite the town’s present-day beauty, Antigua has persisted through its fair share of catastrophes, from the colonial-era decimation of the indigenous population  to a slew of disastrous earthquakes, the most recent of which killed 23,000 Guatemalans in 1976. The earliest-recorded tremor hit Antigua only two decades after its founding in 1543; several more in 1773 levelled it entirely, forcing the capital to move from Antigua to its current location in Guatemala City. But like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Antigua was born again in the mid-19th Century when hopeful elites pursuing coffee fortunes rebuilt the city. Since then, it has prospered – even amid a 36-year civil war that killed more than 200,000 indigenous Mayas in the late 20th Century.
Today, Antigua is the prized jewel of a country grappling with crime and corruption. As the anniversary of Del Fuego’s eruption and Pacaya’s recent rumblings remind, the nation’s larger problems are never far from this mountainous escape. Nonetheless, Antigua holds great reward for the adventurous traveller who craves historical intrigue, natural beauty and mouth-watering cuisine. Many travellers come for a day between visits to the Maya pyramids or Lake Atitlán, and are often surprised by the large number of things to do. To truly discover the best the city has to offer, start with the ghostly colonial ruins that won its designation as aUnesco World Heritage Site in 1979...¨  there is more:

Casa de los Gigantes, Antigua, Guatemala (room after room in a colonial mansion filled with Siggy´s discoveries)

Sep 11, 2013

MORALITY DRIVEN BY MONEY: ¨...the Christian Right had invested heavily in a propaganda machine that specialized in promulgating unjust sterotypes.¨

Former American Family Association Attorney Says The Christian Right Is Paranoid And Perverse

How Homosexuality Ruined The “Religious Right”

By Joseph R. Murray, II

Longshoreman Eric Hoffer recognized that many great American movements were borne of a noble cause, grew up to be a lucrative business, and ended up becoming a racket. Such is the dangerous Catch-22 of public interest politics and such is the tale of America’s Christian Right lobby.

When students of political science study the demise of the Christian Right years from now, the focus will most assuredly be on gay rights.

After the Christian Right tapped out the pro-life issue, the captains of Christian industry needed a new sales pitch to keep the coffers filled. These folks thought they saw the light in 2003 when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court declared a fundamental right to same-sex marriage.

This decision was a god-send for a Christian right that was always giddy to portray the judiciary as an unelected, out-of-touch super-legislature that imposed its minority will on the majority of the people.

Shortly after Massachusetts made history, all eyes turned to then-San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom’s decision to permit same-sex couples to say “I do.”
I was on the front lines working with the American Family Association as a staff attorney when Newsom made history in the City by the Bay after he gave clerks the green light to issue same-sex marriage licenses. The Christian right was drooling with delight thinking the maverick mayor had gone off the proverbial cliff. History, however, would show it was the Christian Right that joined Thelma and Louise in the backseat of their convertible.

As a staff attorney, I was able to see firsthand how the Religious Right operated. I first worked with AFA after I was selected to be in the inaugural class of the then Alliance Defense Fund’s Blackstone Fellowship. The Fellowship was designed to select the best and brightest budding Christian lawyers to train them to fight the culture war in courtrooms across America.

Such training did not prepare me for the reality of how the Evangelical “Christian” political machine operated, especially when the battle over marriage erupted.

At the time Newsom and Massachusetts opened a new front in the culture war, polls suggested that opposition to gay rights, especially marriage rights, was a winning issue for the Christian machine. While “Will and Grace” entertained the nation, the concept of marriage equality still generated a lukewarm response.

Moreover, the Christian Right had invested heavily in a propaganda machine that specialized in promulgating unjust stereotypes. Instead of letting the flock see gay couples as the neighbors next door, the Christian Right made it a point to portray all gays with the wildest pictures they could find from the Castro.

It was a brilliant strategy, for if groups like AFA could scare the faithful with pictures that portrayed the gay community in the worst light, it could frame the debate as one of deviancy versus decency. There were two problems with this strategy, though:

First, in order for the campaign to succeed the Right had to forsake the very Christian principles it claimed to be protecting. In typical fashion, a few Ben Franklins made it much easier for them to put profit over principle.

Second, the strategy would only work if the Christian Right could force gays, as well as those Christians that supported them, into the closet. It was the second problem that would result in the demise of the Christian right.

Aside from the hypocritical tactics of these right-wing groups, competition and distrust erupted among the various groups themselves. Though they claimed to be united for a single cause, they often had internal disputes and rivalries, and rather than rally behind winnable legal cases being litigated by their peers, these groups often focused instead on outdoing each other.

Why? Because high profile cases meant high-volume dollars. It was morality driven by money...¨ please read it all:

Sep 7, 2013

REALITY JUST TAKES SOME GETTING USED TO: Bisexuality & Transgender - John Corvino

Dr. John Corvino is chair of the Philosophy Department at Wayne State University in Detroit and the author of several books, including What's Wrong with Homosexuality?

Thanks to Blue Truck, Red State, sidebar

Sep 5, 2013

LIFE IN RURAL GUATEMALA - PART ONE: Everyday living/healing (or not) in a small village with no Emergency Room or Hospital

Life at the Foot of the Volcano, Part One
The thing I find most startling (especially as I've lived close to impoverished villagers in Guatemala who have none, little or very limited health care) is that people die close-by and I know it.

 They die sometimes because of treatable health problems.. not treated. In the small villages the person who manages the local/little farmacia is consulted and sells drugs freely (usually lots of antibiotics)
..not cheap always by local standards so customers buy one pill at a time. 

In my town when citizens die, their coffin is hand carried (on shoulders) to the center of town Catholic Church for a funeral (always within 24 hrs of death as there is no embalming). A weeks old baby died yesterday and there will be a tiny white coffin going down the street this afternoon with mourners draped in black following it. Most often women carry the coffins of women and men with men. 

A newborn baby wrapped and carried in a Rebozo
There is National Hospital near Antigua (free) but they often only can handle baby birthing and a few broken bones/etc. Drugs/tests etc must be purchased outside of the hospital by relatives (who sometimes don't have transportation or money). Once I had taken a friend to the Emergency Room and a old/old women arrived, near death, laying in the flat bed of a battered pick up with no cushions. 

We do have ambulance service for emergencies in our village and that is a very good thing...but, our village is a very well-run operation (brilliant mayor) and there is health care by authentic professionals (Dr´s without borders/HELPS/others and Italian dentists and there is also a half/day nurse at the Municipio Health Office and a part time nutritionist at the town school) arriving from time to time...but, the general health needs are endless, the two country doctors are overwhelmed  (about $6 dollars/U.S. a visit) and  illnesses and infirmities are as varied as anywhere else so most of us do what we can do to help others and those close to us. The more elegant physicians in Antigua (and more so in Guatemala City) are beyond the financial realities of the finca workers, the pickers of coffee or many everyday folk (visits around $50+ U.S.).

Families are especially cosupportive (except where alcoholism and other forms of abuse destroy relationships and result in critical neglect but even here there are two everynight Spanish AA Meetings) but friendly lifelong neighbors and outsiders help too (some religious and some just care about other human beings). 

Both Women and Men work very hard here everyday. They are out working before sun up and still at it after dark in the campo. There are no welfare checks. No disability checks.  No unemployment checks.  Recently a father died in a motorcycle accident on the way to work leaving four small children and a wife without ANY funds.

 Don't ever make the mistake of thinking that most people are lazy South of the Border(s) or all men are simply machismo/worthless bums...that is a blatant attack on a whole group of people who struggle and will go to any length to feed their families (and cover their homes with lamina). 

Guatemalans are tough, cheerful and most are able to wish you a good day with a smile as they pass your way.  But one can often/easily see that desperation makes people do desperate things.  Boundries of acceptable behavior blur. Of course there are common criminals, everyday conartists (foreign visitors/residents and locals) and gang related thugs.  The police are feckless (normally as they are scared to pry too deeply into the personal affairs of others). Passions can run on high/fierce.  The Army is rarely visable after the long civil war (which ended almost 20 years ago). 

Antigua, and other outposts of tourism and luxury are not representative of everyday life for the majority of Guatemalans. Poco a poco/little by little schools are improving and outside groups come, and go, bringing some support and educational backup opportunities and fresh learning materials for children and adults. Even in some of the tiniest indigenous villages they are now receiving computers with non-internet back-up resources which provide Spanish pods for learning Spanish and/or English educational aids.  Educating humanity is a worldwide effort that is gaining ground. Villagers are USING modern resources (with huge enthusiasm for learning by all ages).  Even internet cafes (without the cafe and charges are around .50 cents/U.S. an hour) are popping up in my little village. 

Ask Joan Fuetsch  (facebook friend of mine or as she knows much about rural learning progress.  Joan gives freely of herself (unpaid) and is an expert at connecting the outside ¨learning¨ world (including huge foundations like the Gates Group) with the smallest of humble villages and villagers in Guatemala.  She does it by cultivating one private person/friend at a time and in cooperation with her Rotary Club in the San Francisco Bay Area who often support Joan Fuetsch

Always beware of NGO´s with heavy overhead and who are not FULLY transparent financially nor nimble and quick to act on projects...find out where EVERY dollar you give goes and how it is spent.  Surface ¨appearances¨ can be deceiving.  Hands on is best. Give freely but responsibly, keep your eye on the ball and follow up on ANY donation or come visit us in person and see for yourself.  Guatemala is a beautiful place to visit and foreigners are quite safe and very welcomed and appreciated.

Leonardo Ricardo/Leonard Clark Beardsley
Sacatepequez, Guatemala
Central America

Sep 4, 2013

FROM RUSSIA WITH THANKS/LOVE IN PICTURES: LGBT International Solidarity (we are your sisters and brothers, family members and best friends)

From Russia with Love

¨Okay, this story and these pictures just made your Head Trucker lose it, totally. Groups of gays and lesbians and the rest of the LGBT community gathered quietly all across Russia yesterday to take pictures and thank the world for its moral support as the Putin government grinds down upon them. Stop whatever you are doing right now ango scroll down the page at Americablog, and look at those signs and those faces...¨  there is more, enjoy, thanks to Blue Truck, Red State


Today is Rosh Chodesh Tishrei, which is also Rosh HaShana (Jewish new year).
Rosh HaShana is the first of the "Yamim Noraim"(ימים נוראיים) , meaning Days of Awe.

Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, occurs on the 10th day of Tishri.

Sep 1, 2013


Russia Becoming the Next Uganda?

¨Russia may be on the road to becoming the next Uganda, with anti-gay sentiment spilling over from homophobic laws into society and everyday life and legal attacks on LGBTs spreadingtonearbcountries.

 Moreover, the anti-gay fervor sweeping the region seems to have another commonality with the African nation that attempted to impose the notorious "death to gays" law: News reports indicate that one of the anti-gay U.S. evangelicals who reportedly helped spark the Ugandan wave of anti-gay violence has also been active in spreading animus against sexual minorities in Russia.

In March of 2009, several American evangelicalstraveled to Uganda and presented what they called the "Seminar on Exposing the Homosexuals’ Agenda." Their talks contained assorted claims about gays and the "dangers" that gays pose to society, reported the New York Times in a Jan. 3, 2010, article.
The Ugandan group the Family Life Network, which purports to uphold "traditional family values," put the conference together. The speakers included anti-gay writer and missionary Scott Lively -- author of a book that purports to tell parents how to "gay-proof" their offspring -- and Don Schmierer, a board member of the now-defunct Exodus international, an organization dedicated to the idea that gays can be "cured" through prayer and counseling before the organization’s recent demise.
A third speaker was also in attendance: Caleb Lee Brundidge, who claims once to have been gay, but now to be heterosexual. Mr. Brundage heads seminars focused on "healing" gays (that is, attempting to turn them straight).
The views set out by the Americans ranged from highly dubious claims that gays can be "converted" to heterosexuality to wild, undefined assertions that a "gay agenda" was at work "to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity," as well as stereotype-based pronouncements that gay men prey on teenaged boys...¨ there is more: