Thursday, March 23, 2006

Homophobia or "Homosexual agenda?"

There are many who feel that there is not separation of church and state. They think that we should live in a Dominionist society. They think church should influence the state, because the state influences the church. What if the barriers between church and state go down like they want them to? When they lose power politically, their churches must bow down to the new order. Not a smart move on their part.

I read a lot of blogs withing the Green movement, and one asked for those reading to use an American Family Association website to send a message supporting gay marriage. The American Family Association is based in that forward looking, cutting edge state of Mississippi. I continue getting their newsletter, and no longer mind as it allows me an insight into Dominionist mentality. Here are clips of one e-mail:

March 23, 2006

Ford 'Proves' Commitment To Homosexual Agenda

Dear Kevin,

Ford Motor Company has proven its commitment to the homosexual agenda by sponsoring a TV program featuring a passionate kiss between two lesbians.

Last fall, in a meeting with AFA, Ford agreed to stop funding the homosexual agenda. However, after a group of angry homosexual leaders met with Ford, the company reneged on its agreement and announced that they would continue their commitment to support the effort to legalize homosexual marriage.

Ford even gave the homosexual groups a letter stating Ford's strong commitment to their cause.

On a recent episode of CBS's Without A Trace, Ford proved to the homosexual leaders the company's commitment to their agenda. The Ford-sponsored program included a scene of two lesbians passionately kissing each other.

To see what Ford sponsored, click here. (Warning! This scene is very offensive!)

AFA and 20 other pro-family organizations have called for a one-year boycott of Ford. AFA is asking individuals to sign the Boycott Ford pledge. Click here to see the extensive support Ford is giving to the homosexual cause and to sign the pledge found in the upper right hand corner.


And what is the "homosexual agenda?" They want the right to exist. Yeah, pretty scary. The AFA wants to stuff them back in the closet. Sorry, but this is America. Land of the free, while the AFA is not brave enough to withstand that. And there is much more to it than just that.

The AFA forgets that there is a separation of church and state. Churches don't have to abide by equal opportunity employment. They also do not have to follow secular beliefs, like seeing African Americans as human beings. They can do their own thing. And no church has to accept homosexuals into its "flock." Nor are any required to marry homosexual couples in Massachussets.


But let's assume they are right. Let's look at their side a bit more:

IVP: Homosexuality as a developmental disorder has been taken out of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Why do you still say that it is a developmental disorder?

Linda Nicolosi: Psychiatry says a disorder is characterized by distress and disability. We see a lot of subjective distress in homosexually-oriented people which cannot be attributed solely to social discrimination. We also believe there is evidence of a "disability" in the homosexually-oriented person's feeling of not being comfortable with members of their own sex, of feeling "different" and inadequate, and of course, in not being able to function according to their biologically mandated sexual design.

We should then rush out and buy these books and implement their teachings:

These are all published by credibly Christian publishing corporations. For some odd reason, the medical community disagrees that homosexuality is wrong and not normal. They even state that there are serious repercussions for those who follow the guidelines in the above books. Let us take a look at what the medical professionals are saying:


· "The potential risks of 'reparative therapy' are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient. Many patients who have undergone "reparative therapy" relate that they were inaccurately told that homosexuals are lonely, unhappy individuals who never achieve acceptance or satisfaction. The possibility that the person might achieve happiness and satisfying interpersonal relationships as a gay man or lesbian is not presented, nor are alternative approaches to dealing with the effects of societal stigmatization discussed ... the APA opposes any psychiatric treatment, such as 'reparative' or 'conversion' therapy which is based on the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based on a prior assumption that the patient should change his/her sexual orientation.

· "There is no published scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of 'reparative therapy' as a treatment to change one's sexual orientation. It is not described in the scientific literature, nor is it mentioned in the APA's latest comprehensive Task Force Report, Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders (1989).

· "Clinical experience suggests that any person who seeks conversion therapy may be doing so because of social bias that has resulted in internalized homophobia, and that gay men and lesbians who have accepted their sexual orientation positively are better adjusted than those who have not done so."


· "Even though homosexual orientation is not a mental illness and there is no scientific reason to attempt conversion of lesbians or gays to heterosexual orientation, some individuals may seek to change their sexual orientation or that of another individual (for example, parents seeking therapy for their child). Some therapists who undertake this kind of therapy report that they have changed their clients' sexual orientation (from homosexual to heterosexual) in treatment. Close scrutiny of their reports indicates several factors that cast doubt: Many of the claims come from organizations with an ideological perspective on sexual orientation, rather than from mental health researchers; the treatments and their outcomes are poorly documented; and the length of time that clients are followed up on after treatment is too short.

· "In 1990, the American Psychological Association stated that scientific evidence does not show that conversion therapy works and that it can do more harm than good. Changing one's sexual orientation is not simply a matter of changing one's sexual behavior. It would require altering one's emotional, romantic and sexual feelings and restructuring one's self-concept and social identity.


· "Most of the emotional disturbance experienced by gay men and lesbians around their sexual identity is not based on physiological causes but rather is due more to a sense of alienation in an unaccepting environment. For this reason, aversion therapy (a behavioral or medical intervention which pairs unwanted behavior, in this case, homosexual behavior, with unpleasant sensations or aversive consequences) is no longer recommended for gay men and lesbians. Through psychotherapy, gay men and lesbians can become comfortable with their sexual orientation and understand the societal response to it."


· "The psychosocial problems of gay and lesbian adolescents are primarily the result of societal stigma, hostility, hatred and isolation. The gravity of these stresses is underscored by current data that document that gay youths account for up to 30 percent of all completed adolescent suicides. Approximately 30 percent of a surveyed group of gay and bisexual males have attempted suicide at least once. Adolescents struggling with issues of sexual preference should be reassured that they will gradually form their own identity and that there is no need for premature labeling of one's sexual orientation."


One can make their own choice regarding homosexuals existing in our society or not. But I think it unwise to eradicate the barriers between church and state. It has negative consequences for all involved. It is better to keep things separate.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Disconnected from reality

I do not understand what is wrong with the current American administration. Did they ever thoroughly think through their plans? Do they not understand how their harsh treatment of those they disagree with will only fuel the fire for future animosity? Let us consider each of the latest incarnations of their disasterous record:

1) The Iraq war

a) They told us that we HAD to attack - and planted fear in everyone. Nucleur Biological and Chemical attacks on American soil from Iraq were immenent. We didn't want, as Bush eloquently put it, "the smoking gun, could come in the form of a mushroom cloud." All bogus even as United Nations weapons inspectors stormed Iraq and Saddam claimed no weapons as US claimed.

b) Those mobile weapons labs? Oh yeah - those were actually Cold War Era Russian field kitchens! Completely made up by the Pentagon to fuel more fear.

c) Our mission was accomplished. Well, until IEDs started showing up. But things were "getting better." The media began talking of an insurgency - but the administrations said that was bogus. Now they agree there is an insurgency - but NOT a civil war. Next thing you know, they will agree that there is a civil war but "we can't leave, we must HELP them!"

The question is, when civil war breaks out and the Iraqi government dispersed - whose side do we take? The SECULARS who we gave money to during the elections? Let's hope the decision is made by a future administration - but our military will pay the ultimate price.

2) Democracy in the Middle East ( and world?)

a) this was a justification for war in Iraq and even Afghanistan. Of course when they elect those we dislike we cut all aid. Now Palestinians - even those who did not vote for Hamas - will be punished extremely harshly. We're talking an economic depression - a doubling of unemployment and a government that could collapse. But Iran could pick up our slack - and teach them to hate America and take our backing of democracy as a joke(which it is).

Do I support Hamas? Of course not, I no longer feel violence a proper way to change the world. But Bush does - so I support Hamas as much as I support Bush ( I still pay taxes, right?).

b) Does the media make a big deal about the man that will be executed in Afghanistan - for converting to Christianity? As Bush says himself "We have got influence in Afghanistan and we are going to use it to remind them that there are universal values." ( Bush conveniently forgets that loving relationships are a universal value in banning marriage to heterosexual couples )

3) Creating a culture of fear

a) 9-11 , Saddam , Iraq , Al-Queda , Bin Laden , 9-11 , fear Arabs , go to war with them , etc, repeat 5 times

It is the repeating of certain words and phrases that Bush has created an anti-Arab sentiment in America. He has created an anti-Islam sentiment. And he has made America fearful of an imminent terrorist attack - which replaces the already awful scenario of Latin American countries going Communist. But of course, only Bush and the Republican Party can lead us to victory in a time of war. He creates fear, then sells a solution : endless war and violence for all eternity. Sounds like the conservative version of the anti-Christ to me. At least they voted for him.

4) Tripling the National Debt

a) How conservative of Bush to have mortgaged our countries future on politics!
At the end of fiscal year 1985, the total federal debt stood at $1.82 trillion and equaled about 43.9 percent of the nation's GDP. Political leaders from both parties warned of doom and demanded change. In spite of record prosperity in the late 1990s, at the end of fiscal year 2005 total federal debt sat about $8 trillion, about 66 percent of GDP.

b) 14% of your Federal taxes is squandered on interest for the National Debt. It will more than double to 30% within 15 years if we stay on Bush's track. ( and you thought paying rent was bad? ) You still want to cut taxes via loans?

5) Peak Oil

"America is addicted to oil. This country can dramatically improve our environment - move beyond a petroleum-based economy, and make our dependence on oil a thing of the past." George W. Bush stated in his state of the union address. Yet he does not propose an ounce of conservation. Unless we actually prepare for using less oil , we face an economic depression. Too bad so few are involved in the Peak Oil Caucus, and also happen to be Democrats.

6) Dubai Ports - Bush is right ( for once) Bush's stance on the Dubai Ports appears logical. Unfortunately, when Americans are fearful of Arabs they will do anything to step on their toes. This will hinder the American economy for the entirety of the 21st century. Arabs own the oil. And since its price will rise exponentially, they will find alternatives to invest their stash of cash. America can kiss this money "good-bye" and say hello to eternal deficits and recessions. Adios American superpower, hello rich Arabs and Asians.

There is no immediate political solution for the Bush administration. For those who are not Green politically, I challenge you to go Green in your own life. Buy organic. Work and shop as close to home as possible. Use less electricity. Support renewable energy by purchasing credits ( in Minnesota every citizen can support wind this way. Recuce consumption, reuse whatever you can or find those who will, and recyle what is leftover. The more who live green, the more positive solutions will follow.

Friday, March 10, 2006

March 8th was the 50th anniversary of M. King Hubberts prediction that the United States would peak in oil production. We did at about the time he said we would: 1970. Since then the U.S. has produced less oil each year. Yet even though our current President stated we are "addicted to oil" no one is seriously interested in changing this. ( minus radicals like myself)

There are some 220 oil-consuming countries in the world (a few are rather small islands). If, however, you rank these by their annual oil consumption per capita, interesting insights emerge. A few, like the US and Canada are really into using oil, going through a 1000+ gallons per capita each year. Others, like many European nations, seem to get along rather well on 400-800 gallons per person each year.

As you move down the list, you find average world consumption currently is about 200 gallons per capita per year. The bottom half of the list contains nearly 100 countries that consume 100 gallons per person per year or less, one-tenth of what we each consume in the US . About 4 billion people or two-thirds of the world's population live in countries that consume less than 100 gallons per capita per year. Finally, at the absolute bottom are about 20 countries using 10 gallons per capita per year, or 1/100th of what we burn in America

We have a long ways to go to reach the lower oil consumption levels of these other nations. Quite frankly, I do not see many doing this willingly. Many will feel helpless losing their jobs, cars, homes,and plentiful food. The poverty currently gripping 1/3 of mankind will reaffirm itself on many unaccustomed and unitiated to the depth of this pain.

While I have stated repeatedly that peak oil is an opportunity, I think many will squander it. They will keep their heads in the sand and deny it all the way to the streets. Either that or they will feel helpless to do anything. I honestly cannot say I know what to do, as there are many good things going on - but not everyone will be able to be part of the positive elements. It will be like any other change in conditions, leading only a certain group to move ahead and evolve. Who knows?

I do know that I am maybe 20% "there" but that is not nearly enough. Most Americans are probably near the 5% or less mark. But things will change as oil prices go up again this summer. America will realize that cheap oil really is a thing of the past.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I attended my local state Green Party caucus today at Sabathani community center. The event allowed me to see how this fledgling party currently is. Yet it provided me hope. Greens can build on its local success and blossom as a state party through long-term effort. But this requires more activists and volunteers leading the charge. But currently, it remains the only party that can successfully challenge Democrats in Minneapolis.

The first part of going somewhere is knowing where it is. Seeing as I went their previously to see Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir, I knew the buildings location. The room listed on the Green Party site was room J.

Upong getting to Sabathani, I saw posters for a DFL caucus. But the room listed was different, and since there was no map to state where room "J" was I went to the front desk. They directed me to a room right next to the DFL cacus. Unfortunately, this was for a homeowners workshop. The DFLers asked the ackward question had no clue as to where the Greens were. I then saw the bulletin board in the main entrance that stated where each event was held in the building. There on one line was the Green Party Caucus in a banquet hall - 2nd floor.

Okay, no big deal - yet when I got there the room was empty. But there were some printed adverts for Jay Pond, 5th Congressional District candidate for Congress. I ran into a couple other Greens confounded by the situation and we decided to hang out in the banquet hall. They at least knew that Farheen Hakeem, the Green endorsed candidate for Minneapolis Mayor, was the coordinator. This surprised me as I would think she would be as early as we were - 20 minutes early to the start time of 7 P.M. Ten minutes later I volunteered to do a quick walk-around of the floor to see if we were not expected somewhere else. No such luck.

So, we decided to start without her. We organized ourselves into a circle ( unlike the DFL , whose setup was like that of a classroom ) and decided who would be in charge of discussion and who would keep notes. We decided the order of discussion when Farheen appeared with a couple others ( not exactly an entourage). She brought order to what was more chaotic.

After she agreed with our order of discussion and who would keep minutes, discussion went back to me. Just prior to Farheen arriving, I had mentioned how we should at least mention the U.S. Green Party ten key values. I was the ONLY one with a copy - printed on the back of my national Green Party membership card.

Then we commenced into discussion about resolutions. I considered bringing my own ideas. As this is my first caucus ever, I thought it unwise to do so. Greens seem very pre-occupied on huge current topics. I also need to commit myself to becoming more active in their political community. It is also a wise thing to listen more than you speak.

Moments of irritation did rise in the group. Doug Mann, previous and current candidate for Minneapolis school board, spent much more time on his resolutions than he truly needed to. I found him rather rude. How would a school board deal with a man like this? He would keep them there all evening if he could! His longest resolution dealt with education.

Other resolutions included transit, mercury emissions, renewable energy, and the war in Iraq.

I signed resolutions I thought were practical and sustainable. For every 5 signatures, one delegate could go to the state convention in Duluth ( June 3 & 4) to represent the resolution. Up to 3 delegates could go per resolution. Since we had a little over 30 people attend, a couple resolutions had the ability to do this. Anyone can be a delegate at the state convention if they attend a local caucus. All one has to do is show up in Duluth. :)

There were two other candidates for office who showed up - both for a short period of time to greet us and succinctly sum up their campaign. Dave Berger, whom I always here wonderful things about and was finally able to see, running for State Auditor and Michael Cavlan for US Senate. I liked them both even more than Ken Pentel ( 2002 Green gubernatorial candidate).

The only real BIG issue were off topic comments by Phil Willkie. He is the "Associate Publisher" for the Pulse. I think Phil's opinionated repertoire is too harsh. Phil disagrees with Michael Cavlan's Senate run. He also takes issue with Farheen, but we won't even go there. He should save his viewpoints for the appropriate time and not cause everyone grief, as he did so eloquently tonight.

Phil arrived with Dean Zimmerman, who remained quite quiet throughout discussions. It was almost as if he came to watch - but I understand. The way things were being handled, it was all more confusing and messy than it otherwise could have been. But at least we GOT things done - as we were moving at a snails pace prior to Farheen arriving.

The big surprise for myself was meeting my cousin there - Jason Chavis. He lives in Uptown, just off Lake Street. He feels that America is facing a rise in fascism, and wants to stem its growth. I didn't ask him a lot of details about what he is doing apart from supporting the Green Party, but he did state he writes books. He gave me his card which had a fascist logo(eagle?), with un upside down GOP elephant replacing the swastika. I did a Google search on his "Jason Galore is famous, LLC , of which Jason is the chief manager, and nothing came up.

But at some point we will have to get together and chat a bit. Interesting how other Chavis' are involved in politics. Of course, our Grandfather was a big Huber H. Humphrey supporter and a DFLer.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Uraguay Enacts Smoking Ban

Norway, New Zealand, and the State of California all have smoking bans. This seems like a common sense solution to preventing cancer for millions. Yet Minnesotan politicians aren't all behind a state ban. This is an instance where the government should step in to promote the health of its residence over short-term corporate wants.

I do not willingly smoke - but must breathe second-hand if I want to maintain a descent job. If I work there for a few decades and get cancer - I will probably not be alone in suing my employer for damages. They could go non-smoking(at least 50%) but choose not to.

For those who want a healthier state, I encourage you to assist the Minnesota Smoke Free Coalition. The work they are doing will improve the lives of millions - locally and those inspired by Minnesotan courage in taking a stand.

On Dec. 8, a report commissioned by Gov. Tim Pawlenty pegged the public cost of illegal immigration in Minnesota at up to $188 million a year.

• It estimated the number of illegal, or undocumented, immigrants in Minnesota at 80,000 to 85,000, more than the numbers in at least 20 other states.

One state expert has estimated that the number of undocumented workers in Minnesota is much closer to 25,000.

Even if we choose to ignore the economic and social benefits of immigrants ,legal or not , let us consider their side of the story. For those who come here legally, they face an uphill battle. Many think they pay no taxes and come here for welfare. Interestingly, they usually come here to fill in jobs we can't keep up with - like Indian information technology professionals. These are Americas true competitors in the global economic sphere. Yet we lump them with Latin American immigrants.

Yet, Latin Americans are competing with the Chinese for factory jobs and exports. And over the last 25 years, Latin America has suffered the worst economic growth performance in its modern history. From 1980 to 2005, income per person in the region grew by only 10 percent. In the prior 20 years -- 1960 to1980 -- it grew by 82 percent.

Imagine only getting a 1% raise each year - for 2 and a half decades! Would you stick around in a country like that - with quality of life issues remaining stagnant? Of course not - you would come to America as well!!

But "They steal our jobs and high wages!!" people cry. This is not only pathetic - but the cause is preventable. The solution is but two highly charged words for a Catholic - family planning. And if Latin American women had the choice of how many kids they wanted and access to contraceptives and sterilization - we would have fewer immigrants. But in America - we think in binary. We can't take two interwoven issues and see a solution for both.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

For those unable to attend a Minnesota Political caucus this Tuesday, March 7th @ 7 P.M. - there is at least ONE option for you: The Independence Party Virtual Caucus. Read about it then click "Caucus Registration" at the bottom ( or here) and you are set. You get to vote how you feel their party should take certain issues.

The issues they mainly take up are ones that the DFL and GOP are currently debating: gay-marriage vs. civil marriage, eminent domain, taxpayer stadiums, healtchare, and tax/spending. Seeing as how they are what is left of the Independent Republicans - the voting should be just right of center. But we will see how things turn out. :)

All I know is that Republicans seem to be the "Party of Ignorance" lately. They don't believe in Global Warming, yet the Antartic is falling apart. The don't believe in any tax increases - apart from tax cuts and without spending cuts. They believe in saddling future generations with the National Debt. And for being so called "Conservatives" they don't believe in conserving any resources, by passing CAFE standards for motor vehicles. They are pro-birth, but not pro-child.

The dichotomy they represent is appalling, and many within the party see this. And so I hope that more Republicans that actually study issues to their party caucus. Of course I have checked their positions out - and their layout is sad. It is written more for emotional impact than for serious discussion/analysis.

But the Republicans do have one thing going: they are more United than their main opposition: Democrats. The Minnesota DFL seems pretty united compared to the national Democrats. And that could explain why they are as successful as they have been. But they will fall prey to the same problems that the national party is having if they do not develop a spiritual strategy. I think that Michael Lerner's book "The Left Hand of God" is a must read for any non-Republican. DFLers: read it then go to your Caucus.

I myself now consider myself an independent Green. I will be attending Minnesota's 4th largest party caucus at the Sabathani Community Center - room J. Should be interesting as I have some great ideas ( share those later).

The Minnesota Consitution Party is also having sporadic meetings throughout the state. This is the only sole-Dominionist political party ( apart from 25% of Republicans) in America. They believe that the Bible should replace the Constitution, and Jesus be placed above our President as our nations leader. Hard to follow a leader when they don't talk back to ones prayers "directly." But hey, it worked for the Inquisitors back in Spain.

The Minnesota Libertarians will not take part of our caucus tradition. They feel that they should remain as "pure" as possible regarding their principles. Therefore, outside public influence should be minimized. They claim to be pro-freedom, and they are - unless you try to change their mind on something. Their authoritarian yet anti-government style would make anyone realize they are hopeless. ( currently)

But there is one thing that I wish. EVERY political party in Minnesota should have a virtual caucus like the Minnesota Independence Party has! But from each site I have seen - there is no alternative. I hope they outdo the other parties using their virtual attendance. :)