Monday, February 21, 2005

As Ye Write, So Shall Ye Think...

Ann Althouse has a posting on the survival of languages, and speculates if the final battle will be Mandarin vs. English. My own feelings are that American-English will survive due to it's direct linkage to the alphanumerics of PC and the Internet, aligned with it's informal ability to co-opt words and phrases from almost any language without compromising it's internal structure. Mandarin (or the other variants) lack a link to an alphanumeric system with clarity.

The Pinyin-system of "Romanizing" Mandarin is not yet concise, and is an approximation. Plus there's the broader issue of a language (and it's structure) affecting the actual ways of thinking of concepts and relationships. Traditional Mandarin is non-hierarchical. You can not index and cross-index in the many ways that English allows one to alphabetize, and to numerically sequence. To categorize, to sort and to classify are methodolgies that traditional Mandarin and it's pictographic structure made quite cumbersome. This may change as Mandarin migrates to a "Romanized" written-form, but will the hierarchical conceptual organization follow...without having the Mandarin-speakers first having to "think" in English"?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Stupidity is eternal

Mandatory HIV/AIDS testing, haven't the Left...or the Right...learned anything???

First comes the "mandatory testing".
Next comes the databases.
Followed by armed raids, and "...rounding up the usual suspects".
From there it's tattoos and "legal" sanctions.
Then the "camps".

...From my cold, dead hands.

No-strikes and Your...Out!

Christian Grantham has been running several postings on drug-use within the G/L community.

It may be judgmental, but I've always had a "no-tolerance policy" in combining friends or "playmates" with drugs. I might be paranoid; but I've never even allowed someone I knew or suspected used anything stronger than poppers ride in my car, or enter my place. Smoking and smoker's breath/mouth may be a personal turn-off, but drug-use just plain scares me. I've walked away from more than a few real hotties once they suggested he (or I) might need a hit.

The rampant tobacco and recreational drug-use in the G/L is appalling, and it doesn't surprise me that Meth-use weakens the immune-system to HIV. After AIDS, I think there's going to be a wave of mid-life lung cancer due to all the smoking in the gay community. I'd like to see anti-smoking added to the HIV/AIDS and anti-coke/meth/E messages to our community.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

"A democracy is two wolves and a small lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Freedom under a constitutional republic is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
--- Benjamin Franklin, Printer

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Wholesale vs. Retail Homophobia

I have a long-seated theory that contrasts how Democrats and Republicans interface with the G/L community. I use the analogy of "wholesale" vs. "retail".

A Democrat supports the G/L Community as a group/class (wholesale) for political and ethical ends, yet has problems with the actual individual (retail) they meet. For many, their G/L support is an abstraction or the casual "...Some of my best friends are...", yet they really don't have G/L friends. They support gay marriage in some far-away state, yet they worry that their son's teacher is a "fag".

Republicans will be supportive of the G/L individuals (retail) that they actually know or meet. They support the individual and won't see them as "other" Yet the react negatively towards the G/L community (wholesale) as an abstraction...Especially ones outside of their community or state. They'll be opposed to gay marriage in their state; and at the same time are unthinkingly polite to the "two guys in the church choir", and think nothing of inviting them over for a picnic without a qualm.

(I never claimed it's a perfect explanation...Just a broad brush.)

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Who is speaking here...?

"... Our second great responsibility to our children and grandchildren is to honor and to pass along the values that sustain a free society. So many of my generation, after a long journey, have come home to family and faith, and are determined to bring up responsible, moral children. Government is not the source of these values, but government should never undermine them.

Because marriage is a sacred institution and the foundation of society, it should not be re-defined by activist judges. For the good of families, children, and society, I support a constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage."
--- Pres. G.W. Bush, 2005 State of the Union.

Attempting to parse Bush's remarks about families vs. his one line on FMA is giving me a headache. In the one camp are those who read the tea-leaves as he's willing to draw the line at civil gay marriage...and support (gay) families otherwise. In the other camp are those who read the tea-leaves that this means he's against gay marriage, civil unions, gay adoption, child custody and even the very dignity of G/L Americans. How much of his "comments" are genuine and how much is pandering to the salivating bigots out busily gathering kindling and stringing barbed-wire? Since August 2004, the two of them have been tacking back and forth like Kerry on a wind-surfer. What is the dignity of the individual that Bush has frequently spoken of? What are the boundries of that "dignity"?

My personal suspicion is that FMA can not get the Constitutionally-mandated super-majority trifecta of the US House, Senate and the State's legislatures. If the G/L community wants gay marriage...or civil unions...they'll have to fight for it at the Statehouses, not the Courthouses. And while it may be bitter medicine, I'd counsel fighting for civil unions as a openly-recognised trade-off for gay marriage with the social-conservatives.Is his return to "compassionate conservativism" inclusive?, or is supporting FMA and attacking the advances that the G/L community the price of getting the rest of Bush's political program? I think that instead of concentrating on the actions of the Administration, that the real story will be played-out on the Hill. If the openly-bigotted members of the Senate and House are in the lead on the Administration's political agenda, then we'll know that we've been sold-out. If it's the Moderates, then we have a chance getting everything short of gay marriage by concentrating at the state-level.

Barring "activist judges", there are really two major G/L issues that can not be resolved at the state level; DADT and federal recognition of gay marriages or civil unions for federal-purposes. The actual regulation of marriage, family relations, adoption and custody, and employment/housing are state-regulated and adjudicated. If enough states openly support these issues, then the federal courts will be forced to deal with the full-faith-and-credit clause to create new case-law.I have the firm suspicion that this arguement is NOT being driven by the White House, but instead is being driven by those on the Hill. In the absence of a clear, concise statement from Bush it's difficult to tell the conviction-statements from the red-meat tossed to the beasts to placate them.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

"When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber."
--- Sir Winston S. Churchill (1874 - 1965)

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Wither LCR-NJ?

For the last 10-months or more, there has been discussion of forming a New Jersey chapter of the LCR, all with little result. Due to the calendar constraints of last year's campaign, it was not possible to have an impact on the 2004 Election. The one meeting that has held was in late-October, just weeks before the Election. As a follow-up to that meeting, I wrote hopefully on the prospects of the 2005 Election-season to one of the local organizers;

"... We do have a gubernatorial race in 12-months to select McGreevey's "elected" successor and a number of statehouse positions, as well as deal with any backlash against NJ's newly-instituted domestic partners registration. Perhaps once the mad-scramble of the 2004 campaign-season is finally over once the Electoral College or the House of Representatives name the winner of this year's contest, Jeff and the LCR will be able to assist in organizing a northern New Jersey chapter. From what I saw and heard last night, with such a same group of potential active-members, I think that a state-wide chapter is both too ambitious; and too unwieldy given the geographic and political distances involved. A North Jersey Metropolitan chapter centered on the northeastern counties; plus Morris, Middlesex, Monmouth and possibly Ocean (Asbury, Ocean Grove and Belmar) might be feasible. Even that might be too decentralized, and just concentrate on the counties on or with the I-287 beltway; Hudson, Bergan, Passaic, Essex, Morris and maybe Middlesex."

In December, I e-mailed the LCR-NJ organizers my concerns about the pending Corzine entry into the Governor's race. At this point, there was still discussion of having a follow-up meeting to form the LCR-NJ.

".... With Sen. Corzine in active pursuit of the Governor's office, does it make more sense to concentrate at the County-level and State House-levels?

From the stand-point of the South Jersey TV/radio/MSM-markets, both Shundler and Forrester are ciphers as far as their positions on issues of interest to our community. Since we already have relatively broad discrimination protection and the new domestic partners legislation in-place, what will be the issues from our perspective at the State-level? Gay marriage is dead-on-arrival. And I'm not sure there's the support for for a major, bruising civil unions-push right on the heels of the DP here in NJ, and the debacle at the national-level over gay marriage."

Earlier today, I wrote a political friend;

" ...Just thought that I'd vent a bit on my feelings about LCR-New Jersey in-light of Sen. Corzine's apparent coronation as our next Democratic Governor.

It's now been 10-months (I just checked my e-mail logs) and we still do not have a New Jersey or North Jersey chapter started...and the Governor's race is apparently already over. If you remember, we did have that abortive meeting Oct 20th with Jeff Cook from LCR-Natl., and that was muddled and had absolutely no impact on the Presidential or Federal races as we had already lost the 2004 campaign-season.

I have since have several e-mail exchanges on the subject of a follow-up meeting for LCR-NJ, the last of which has gone unanswered. At this point I have to wonder if "they" (the North Jersey group, or LCR-Natl) have abandoned the idea of New Jersey being able to have an effective LCR chapter, ...(deleted by author)... My current thought is that LCR just doesn't have the outreach resources for NJ, or just doesn't care.

At one level, I can see there being a political calculus to not waste resources and time in New Jersey, and devote them instead to states where LCR might make a difference. I note the lavish attention and press spent on the effort in California by LCR-Natl and LCR-California to establish an dedicated outpost in Sacramento, Ca. California is a electorally-massive state, and is home to millions of gays and to many gay-enclaves and gay-centric cities and towns. It's also the base of several gay-friendly Republicans and Republican organizations outside the LCR. By comparison, the bulk G/L community here is a reflection of the urban, radicalized Liberal-Democratic G/L communities of New York City and Philadelphia. Also, here in NJ our Republican elected-officials are predominately of the Social-Right and the county Republican organizations are fairly homophobic in outlook considering their Evangelical support. I certainly would place my own Congressman in that category, "pro-life" is his main campaign stump-speech and claim to fame. I can see where LCR-Natl might well just write us off as not worth the effort.

At the moment, I feel isolated and politically-abandoned."