Thursday, July 26, 2012

What if....

Hi Everyone.
  This is a strange post, so you may want to get comfortable.  As I sit to write this, I realize that I have no idea where this post will go.  I guess I'm inviting you for the ride with me.  Maybe we can discuss this and find some better direction for ourselves?
  First, let me introduce you to a site I bumbled upon.   I find some things here humorous, some thought provoking, and there are others not quite up my alley.  That's ok... that's life!  One post this blog author posted spoke about how a culture will seek to understand the very things that most defy understanding.  Some create a belief system, a religion.  And, for the people and the time, it works - perhaps.  The blog author went on in quoting others that just because that belief system worked for that people group does not necessarily mean it works for others.  Further, being "true" in one people's eyes doesn't make it "true" in another's.
  I thought this profound and it truly caused me to return to this line of thought over and over again.

  The small blog post went on to this substantial truth of a creator, a God; the reality of this Being is likely to be beyond the understanding of those He creates. 

  I've considered some of the differing religions of our current world.  Granted, I know very few - and very little about those!  So, I'm bound to make some mistakes here...  
  Question:  How do we know what we know to be true is, in fact, true?  In Christianity - and I'll use this religion the most as it is one I've studied a bit - we are taught that all scripture is by inspiration of God and good to use for teaching, preaching and reproof.  Now, basically, what we are saying here is that person X says 'God told me to write this' and it is therefore true.  I am going beyond the simple historical rendering of an event or time or people, but to say that line for line, scripture is true because this person X said 'God told me to write this'.  What that requires is that little thing called Faith.
  Have you ever heard that song by Allanis Morrisette that goes 'what if God was one of us?  Just a stranger on the bus?...'  Well, that is the point.  What if?  We believe what we believe much due to what we were taught.  There are some who study, dig, seek.... and make decisions and believe by faith.  But, many of us believe what we believe because we are taught that this is true. 
  Well, what makes one religion true and another false?  Quite simply, if one religion is true - then the other, by definition, must be false.  Right?  So, is it by popular vote?  Is it by area covered?  If my mother and father didn't teach me what they did, would it still be true?  Is it true because the country that believed it overcame the country that thought their religion the truth?  Is religion true only by the sake of conquest?  "My God is stronger than your God".   Here is a frightening thought:  what if it was only a small group of people who knew the real God, the real Truth, and they were swarmed over and destroyed by a Mongol Horde, the Romans, the Plague, taken up to Haley's Comet..... what if?
  Then, there are those who believe in no God.  But yet, what if they are wrong? 

  In our world today, we have wars, struggles, etc. all based on what we believe to be true of our beliefs or untrue of another's.  Some Christians believe those who are gay are worthy of death.  What is the basis for this?  A vague reference in a book taken out of a contextual environment and inference thousands of years ago.  Is it true?  Well, they believe that those words were the very words of God, so they must be fact.  Of course, there are others words in that book that they'd just rather let go on by.  Not culturally relevant, don't you know.  But that?  Yep, that's the true and relevant part. 
  There are some others in our world who believe that if you don't believe the very things this group believes then you are to be put to death.  You are horrible and worthy of death at any cost.  Why?  Well, roughly 2000 years ago this person was given a revelation, he said.  So, there are now those who believe his revelation true, and there-in, all that he said the very words of God....

  But, I'm drawn back to that song.  What if God was one of us?  What if what we believed was not untrue, but just the very best we could understand of what we see as true?  What if that person who doesn't believe what we believe is just as likely to be correct as we are since no one can really be sure.  What if the best we can do is look to our neighbor and know that if there is a God, a Creator, He or She... or It?... created that person just as much as we were created, or for that matter, not created for those who believe in no creator... and so we are all equally bound? 

Well, I guess here is where this particular ride ends for the moment.  What do you think?


Tell them what you think!
   Evidently, it's not only acceptable to lie, but to now coerce and employ others to lie for you if you are a Catholic leader.   

Here is my thought on that:   ---->

  "Peter", the Catholic Church, seems to have not learned from Christ.  Can you imagine the story changing had Jesus simply said to the authority 'I never said that'.  Or, if He had sent someone else to say it for him?

  Integrity in religion?  What a concept.

Email can be tricky, as one Catholic Diocese in Massachusetts is learning.

The diocese was apparently trying to come up with some legal reason it refuses to sell a 44-bedroom mansion in Worcester to a gay couple who wanted to renovate it. But the back-and-forth over email was still appended to the bottom of the bogus explanation that eventually made its way to the couple, according to Worcester Telegram columnist Dianne Williamson.

"If you're going to discriminate, you should cover your tracks," Williamson wrote in jest in a column today, noting that what actually unfolded could be illegal.

A real estate broker for the diocese said in an email she sent to the couple, James Fairbanks and Alain Beret, that it had suddenly found "other plans" for the property.

But at the bottom of the email was this note from Monsignor Thomas Sullivan:

“I just went down the hall and discussed it with the bishop,” Sullivan wrote to the broker, according to the Telegram. “Because of the potentiality of gay marriages there, something you shared with us yesterday, we are not interested in going forward with these buyers. I think they're shaky anyway. So, just tell them that we will not accept their revised plan and the Diocese is making new plans for the property. You find the language.”
So very cute! 
Please read the story at the Milkboys link...
What a great family!

How many of us wish our childhood was so free?

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Hi Friends;

Tell me, what defines us? Can a certain label determine who we are, who we were, or even who we will be?
As many of us with blogs, we occasionally find things linked to us that seem odd at best. For a while now I've received spam about nude female celebrities. Now, anyone who has actually read my blog would find that to be not quite up my alley. Still, somewhere someone labeled it as such and on comes the blog spam. Today, just moments before writing this post, even, I found that my blog has been defined by someone as a blog about nudists. How they go that is seemingly in part due to a post I wrote about the way nudist blogs are being nuked, but I now understand a bit more of the spam I'm receiving and even some of the search words that come up under my stat page.
Now, don't get me wrong. I have nothing against nudists. I am a home nudist much of the time- but trust me when I say that you don't want to see that. Still, even though I am not against nudism in any way, that just isn't what this blog is about.
  Just to be direct, let me tell you what this blog is about: It's about me. It's about you! It's about us; how we can help each other, what we find important, and the fact that we care about each other.
 But, is it fair to put a label on something or someone? This blog has a lot to do with homosexuality, dogs, politics, religion, kids, growing and developing..... because, you see, growing and developing is what I am trying to do.  So, I guess I talk about it a bit, and you who comment really help me understand myself and my world better.
  In my life, I've had occasion to be labeled as many different things.  None, no matter how accurate, could even get close to defining me.  But, what they did quite easily, quite quickly, was limit the image I could project to that other person.  After the label, it didn't matter -- in that person's mind, I'd been defined, categorized, and they'd moved on.  You see, it is easier to label someone with an easily codified label than to really seek to understand them.  That's not news, and frankly it's just common sense - there are way too many people in this world to understand each of them.  The best, in my mind, is that we understand ourselves and be kind to everyone else.  Easier said than done...
  So, when I hear of the recent shooting, when I hear the commentators, everyone wants to know why.  What made this person do this?  The problem, the irony, is that we want to put a label on this man, not understand him - and surely not take steps necessary to arrive at a solution to the drives that brought him to that path.  We just really want to to simply have a tag to put on it all and declare it behind us. 
  But, there are some very smart people pointing to things that are just wrong.  They are not simply uncomfortable or inconvenient, they are poisonous.  I'm not so smart to be one of these people, but they are out there.  They are talking about the need for health care, non-petroleum/coal based energy, environment care, humane treatment for prisoners and law reform, equal rights.  What do we hear?  Do we hear the truth, the important things, the needful things? 
  One of the things that has me frustrated with politics is how often the truth falls victim to the brownie points or whatever it is that puts one politician or political party ahead of the other.  They see it is a bid for power, but I see it as a real shame.  In the end, we are private individuals and have the right to tell others what we will of ourselves, but to deceive and lie - to defraud?  No.  For then, the lie becomes the story, the thing people rely on, the hope they hold, and truth becomes inconvenient and a liability to be hidden and denied at all costs.
  So, I beg you; if labels are a must, let them help to point us to the truth, not be a limit of the truth. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

And the lead story on the 6:00 news....

Hello Friends;

  Today I had the opportunity to be at another adoption event for one of the local dog/cat rescue organizations, where I was viciously attacked by a dog of a customer to the store where we were set up!!!
  I had just taken one of the rescue dogs from the foster parent's car.... he was full of energy and so very, very happy to be there.  When out of no-where, amidst the noise and fury of a furry four pound fuzz ball and the panicked screaming of the little girl still holding an empty leash, I was caught up in a mad scramble of one attacking dog and another dog totally confused by this squeaking dervish snapping at anything in reach. 
  Taking the high road, literally, I snapped up the large dog to shoulder height as we both stared down at this maniacal miniature dust mop in awe as he attempted to unhinge his jaw enough to actually bite me in the calf.  A vicious attack carried out in the most cruel manner while an elderly woman and little girl looked on in horrified disbelief.   Thankfully I was clothed in the latest personal protection gear - worn out denim jeans - thereby halting the crazed canine's canines before I could lose such an important limb.
  In moments, a mad dash was under way as little girl, her mother, and vicious dog all piled into a rusting minivan and escaped into the mid-day sun.  The attack witnesses,  numerous pet rescue volunteers and store customers, stood in awe - no less awe than I and the dog still riding on my shoulders, as that rusty minivan disappeared into the wavering heat, dust and traffic... a defiant and  psychopathic snarl drifting back to us in the summer breeze.
  My new four legged friend and I made our way to the others with a shared shrug.  Concerned citizens everywhere stopped to be sure we had survived the ordeal, and I assured them it was a close call but we were yet whole.

  I am yet awaiting the call from my congressman that legislation has been enacted to be sure such outragious attacks never occur again.  He surely will have a news conference soon....

glad to be alive;

(Oh, I have GOT to stop writing my blog posts after watching the news!   hugs.)

What do you think?

Hi Everyone;

Reading your comments to the below post, I had to wonder; is it the tool or the user? Is it that some tools, as you said Sammy, have really only the one use and opportunity seems to find a place, much like owning a hammer brings about an abundance of things needing hammered? My father, when I was about 7, gave me my first hammer. I soon went out and destroyed our front steps - I felt the corners needed rounding. What sort of idiocy would I have done with a shotgun?

Nikki, you believe we really should outlaw guns, as it is the gun that is the problem.

On the other hand, the hammer, and in reality also the gun, are really not able to operate themselves. Can we blame the hammer that I am an idiot? Well, perhaps in hindsight, giving a 7year-old a hammer is foolish - is it equally foolish to give an immature person a gun?  How do we differentiate between the mature and the idiot without destroying simple human rights?

Scottie, you noted that the mindset that sees violence as cool is well developed and cultivated in America.

Which begs the question; if it isn't the gun - or in my case, the hammer, what other piece of foolishness would I have chosen?  What would be used then, for someone bent on killing people.... a bomb?  It just seems like there are some who are so very determined to hurt others.

What do you think?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Gunman Kills 12 at Batman Premiere in Colorado

And, that's all I'll say about him.  I don't say that to say he is not worthy of talking about, that he is worthless, that his crimes place him on the fast track to hell.  None of that is what I'm wanting to say; what I want to ask is if protecting one's rights to automatic modifiable weapons is necessary?  If seeing violence, cheating, stealing, using and abusing on television and in other media daily, yet classifying public nudity as a sex offense at all makes sense in any of this world?  Lone gunman in a movie theater is a horrible thing, losing sight of what is simple and natural in life is an unmentionable tragedy.
  My humble sympathy to the families of all involved.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Scotland: Catholic Church declares ‘war on gay marriage’

by Dan Littauer for
8 July 2012, 6:55pm

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland and the most senior Catholic in the UK has declared “war on gay marriage” pledging to spend another £100,000 in its campaign against equal marriage rights for same-sex couples in Scotland.

Speaking in today’s Sunday Times, Cardinal Keith O’Brien warned the Scottish Government that it will face an “unprecedented backlash” from the Catholic Church in Scotland if it goes ahead with plans to legalise same-sex marriage, claiming “marriage is under threat and politicians need to know the Catholic Church will bear any burden and meet any cost in its defence.”
The Catholic Church says it will spend an additional £100,000 on an advertising campaign against the plans, on top of the £50,000 it has already spent against marriage equality in Scotland.
The Equality Network, the LGBT equality charity that campaigns for equal marriage, slammed the move as “aggressive, undemocratic and unchristian” and urged the Scottish Government to “stand up for equality” rather than “give in to threats”.
The Equality Network says that the leadership of the Catholic Church in Scotland has a wider “anti-gay agenda” pointing out that in addition to opposing same-sex marriage the Church previously ran expensive campaigns against the equal age of consent, the repeal of Section 28, civil partnerships, and same-sex adoption.
Previously Cardinal O’Brien has described same-sex marriage as a “grotesque subversion”. In December, he said the introduction of Civil Partnerships had been a mistake, arguing the law should never ‘facilitate’ same-sex relationships; “These measures were not in the best interests of our society. The empirical evidence is clear, same-sex relationships are demonstrably harmful to the medical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of those involved, no compassionate society should ever enact legislation to facilitate or promote such relationships, we have failed those who struggle with same-sex attraction.”
Tom French, Policy Coordinator for the Equality Network, said; “For the Catholic Church to spend another £100,000 fighting LGBT equality in its self-declared ‘war on gay marriage’ seems to be an aggressive, undemocratic and unchristian thing to do. At a time of financial crisis, when poverty and deprivation are on the rise, surely there are better things that this money could be spent on. We know that two-thirds of Scots, and a majority of Scottish Catholics, support same-sex marriage. We trust that the Scottish Government will make its decision based on democratic principles and the evidence, and not who can spend the most money. We urge the Scottish Government to stand up for equality and not give in to threats.”
The public consultation on same-sex marriage closed in December with over 50,000 responses. The Scottish Government is due to publish the results and announce its decision this month.
In June the Equality Network announced that a majority of MSPs had signed its Equal Marriage Pledge, committing themselves to voting in favour of same-sex marriage. 74 MSPs have now said they will vote in favour, whilst just 9 remain opposed.
Opinion polls have shown consistent public support for same-sex marriage in Scotland. The most recent poll was conducted in mid-June by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Equality Network. It showed record support with 64% of Scots in favour of a change in the law, and just 26% opposed. Separate polls conducted over the past two years by Populus, YouGov, Angus Reid, and the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, have all shown similar levels of support.
The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey also showed that a majority of Scottish Catholics support same-sex marriage with 57% in favour and just 25% opposed.

Hello Friends;
So, the Scottish Catholic Church has decided to spend £150,000 on "The War on Gay Marriage".  How interesting.  Well, doubtful I am that the guy with the funny hat reads my blog, but just in case - I've put together a small bit of scripture for you to view this issue in context.  Hope you enjoy it:

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

So, please help me to understand this, Mr. Funny Hat Guy; where does Jesus declare spending money on halting personal freedom and equality is more important than, say, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, treating the sick and visiting those in prison? 
  Or, better yet, could you please define for me - for whom do you work?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Today's Shame

Give her the Dunce Cap!

  I've known folks who were mentally disabled my entire life.  A neighbor is now in her 60's - physically.  Mentally, closer to 8.  Spiritually, she's an angel.
  Oh, we all know kids who are terrors, and "adult children" can be just the same.  Still, there is a special quality, a special grace given to those who never grow up.  Innocence is a way of life, and joy in so many of their experiences.  My neighbor would grow bored, as many of us do, but she found such joy in very simple things and left me with the understanding that wisdom hides itself in very interesting places.
  When I was young, just graduating from high school and entering into college, I applied for a position working with disabled people.  I did work with the Emotionally Impaired, and the Mentally Impaired, and did some work with Autistic/Mentally Impaired - which is a huge challenge.  But, topping the list of it all were those listed as Severely Mentally Impaired.  I just didn't have enough heart for that group, and hold nothing but respect for those who do.
  But, what do we say when we allow someone, who I will grant has done likely the best she could, to simply dump an adult child by the side of the road?  Did she panic and seek freedom at the moment's whim?  Did she plan this?  When a parent/guardian takes on the responsibility of a child, no matter the age or challenges, then some certain expectations do come along.  Chief among them:  don't leave the child along the side of the road at a bar!

Shame on you, miss!

An interesting issue does arrive:  How do we define "adult"?  Is an adult a person 18 years of age or greater?  Shouldn't there be a certain level of self-sufficiency to establish 'adulthood'?  How about those who are 18 chronologically, but much much younger in all other ways?  For that matter, we are now charging kids as young as 11 as an adult if they do something so irresponsible and unthinking as commit a crime, while at the same time telling anyone under 16 that they can't have sex; telling anyone under the age of 18 that they can't buy smokes; telling anyone under 21 that they can't have alcohol - and yet calling an 11 year old that he's now an adult!   Bah!   Only the government can be this stupid!

(CNN) -- An Illinois woman who left her mentally disabled daughter outside a Tennessee bar cannot be charged with a crime, police said Tuesday.     (video and story available at this link)
Police in Caryville, Tennessee, said the daughter is 19 and not assigned to a legal guardian.

"As terrible as it is, unfortunately there is nothing we can do," Assistant Police Chief Stephanie Smith said. "There is no doubt we need a law for mental health rights, but pending this investigation, we just don't know what else to do."
According to police, Eva Cameron stopped at the Big Orange Bar in Caryville on June 28 when her daughter, Lynn, needed to use the restroom.
The mother left Lynn by the side of the road and returned to her home in Algonquin, Illinois, according to Smith.
"(Lynn) didn't know her age, she didn't know her address, she didn't know her phone number and she didn't even know her name," Smith said.
Eva Cameron told the Northwest Herald newspaper in Illinois that she brought Lynn to Caryville because of its concentration of Baptists and because Tennessee has the "No. 1 health care system in the United States of America."
The young woman's identity was unknown until Caryville police received an anonymous tip on Monday, having released a picture and requested information from the public.
At their request, Eva Cameron had a brief meeting with Caryville police on Tuesday. She signed a statement saying that Lynn Cameron was now a ward of Tennessee, officials said.
"She basically said, 'I don't want her and I don't want to take her.' Then she got in her car and she left," said Smith.
When reached later Tuesday by CNN, Eva Cameron said, "We understand she lost her ID card and that's how the situation has turned into what happened. She's already an adult. I just have to leave it at that."

Eva Cameron would not answer further questions.

Authorities took Lynn Cameron to a hospital, where she was discovered to have only a basic vocabulary of 30-40 words, according to Smith.
A Campbell County Chancery Court order in the case described Lynn Cameron as a "severely disabled adult, suffering from profound mental deficits, and is unable to care for herself or her personal needs."
According to the court, the mother stated "she could not and would not care for Lynn Cameron."
Eva Cameron said that she has another disabled child and that caring for both was too much to handle, according to the Northwest Herald.
Authorities said Lynn Cameron is being cared for at a facility in Roane County.

When asked how the young woman is doing, Smith replied, "Lynn is doing fantastic."

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Saturday, July 7, 2012

And Suddenly We Are Needed, So Perhaps Not Quite So Bad

CNN) -- The American Red Cross says power outages created by recent storms in the East and Midwest cut blood donations, which were already low this summer. In June there was a nationwide shortfall, with donations down more than 10% across the country.
"We are asking people to please call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit us at to find a way to donate if they can," said Stephanie Millian, Red Cross director of biomedical communications. "We need people's help."

One group that would like to help, but legally can't, may be moving one step closer to eligibility. Since the 1980s, when the AIDS epidemic decimated their community, gay men -- or MSMs (men who have sex with men) as they are called by federal agencies -- have not been allowed to donate blood. In June, a group of 64 U.S. legislators led by Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Illinois, and Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services encouraging it to move forward with a study that may lead to the end of the decades-old ban.

"We remain concerned that a blanket deferral of MSM for any length of time both perpetuates the unwarranted discrimination against the bisexual and gay community and prevents healthy men from donating blood without a definitive finding of added benefit to the safety of the blood supply," the letter said.

China lifts ban on lesbians giving blood

"This is a matter of life and death and we are turning away over 50,000 healthy men who want to donate blood," Quigley told CNN. "A straight person who has unsafe sex with multiple partners can give blood, and that creates a greater risk than a gay person in a monogamous relationship."

The policy started at a time when people didn't know how the deadly virus that causes AIDS spread. At the time, there wasn't a good test to detect whether HIV was present in donated blood, and HIV was getting into the nation's blood supply. They knew this because hemophiliacs who were getting blood transfusions started showing symptoms of AIDS. What scientists also knew was that a disproportionate number of gay men were affected by the virus.

To eliminate risk, the Food and Drug Administration added a screening question to the federal guidelines. Blood banks were instructed to ask male donors if they had had sex with a man, even once, since 1977. The FDA regards 1977 as the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the United States. If the potential donor responded "yes," he would automatically be removed from the donor pool for life.

No similar questions were asked to screen out donors who engaged in other potentially risky sexual behavior. Donors weren't asked about the number of partners they had, nor were they asked if their sexual partners had engaged in unprotected sex with other HIV positive partners.

"While the Red Cross is obligated by law to follow the FDA guidelines, we continue to work with the AABB (formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks) to push through policies that would be much more fair and consistent among donors who engage in similar risk activities," Millian said.

Scientists can now screen for most instances of HIV within days of infection, and the nation's blood banks have called a lifetime ban "medically and scientifically unwarranted."

Men who have sex with men still are disproportionately affected by the virus and account for nearly half the approximately 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But it is a person's behavior, not their sexual orientation, that puts them at risk say health experts.

While he is a gay man, Adam Denney thinks he would be the perfect candidate to donate blood. He doesn't use IV drugs. He practices safer sex. He even educates people on how to prevent new HIV infections as a regular volunteer educator with AIDS Volunteers Inc. in Lexington, Kentucky. He thinks his exclusion is unfair.

"Yes, gay men are still a high-risk community, but so are minority women, and there are no standards prohibiting them from donating. There would be rightful outrage against that kind of blanket population ban," Denney said. "I am banned based on one reason only, my sexual orientation. It's totally discriminatory."

When Denney went to donate at a blood drive on the Eastern Kentucky University Campus a few years ago, he said he knew what likely would happen when the nurses asked the sexual history question. "I did know what I was getting into, but I was shocked by how it felt to be rejected," he said. "It was almost like they thought I wasn't important enough to give blood, like because I was gay I didn't count. It was a horrible feeling."

Parts of UK lift lifetime ban on gay men donating blood

Nathan Schaefer with GMHC, an AIDS service organization, said Denney normally would be the type of donor blood banks are hungry for. Studies show those who give blood when they are young become regular lifetime donors, something most blood banks are struggling to find these days. GMHC has been fighting to change the ban for years.

In 2010 GMHC joined a coalition of other nonprofits to encourage Congress to send a letter to HHS to end the ban, which some members of congress did. In June of that year, HHS brought together an independent panel of experts. The Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability reviewed the policy and decided to keep it and concluded the ban was "suboptimal," because it allows high-risk individuals to donate while keeping low-risk donors out. However, the expert committee also concluded "available scientific data are inadequate to support change to a specific alternate policy." The panel suggested the policy not be changed and recommended further evaluation.

HHS then promised to conduct feasibility studies to determine if there was a subset of the gay male population that would pose little or no threat to the blood supply. "We finally got them to stop defending the policy at the very least, which was pretty significant," Schaefer said.

The HHS is still determining the criteria for which part of the population to study.

GMHC suggested the population to consider should include gay men who have had only one sex partner in the past six months. Spain and Italy, two countries with more progressive donor policies, hold everyone to that standard regardless of sexual orientation.

Schaefer takes the point one step further. "A straight person could donate today after having unprotected sex with hundreds of partners, and in the United States they won't ask about that behavior," he said. He added that four out of five gay men are HIV negative, which he estimated means 2 million additional people could be blood donors.

A 2010 study by the Williams Institute at the University of California-Los Angeles estimated that if gay men who had not had sexual contact for the past 12 months were allowed to donate blood, more than 53,000 additional men would likely make more than 89,000 blood donations. That number may seem small, but blood banks say it could help enormously, especially now, when blood supply shortages are common.

After Denney was denied the chance to donate, he asked some of his friends to help him demonstrate outside the blood drive. They produced signs to raise awareness about the ban and distributed educational material. They also escorted people to the drive, because they wanted people to continue to donate. "A lot of people in the Bible Belt assume you have AIDS if you are a gay man," he said. "We wanted them to understand that is not the case. We are banned based on an outdated policy. When people questioned us, I told them about how I always heard that people who donate blood are heroes. Gay men want to be heroes, too."

Thursday, July 5, 2012

He taught us as children, yet we forget as adults...

Hi Friends;

  I would like to dedicate this link and post to all those who think themselves so magnificent for nothing more than birth.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Living the life illegal....

Imagine if it were illegal to have blue eyes or be under 5ft 10ins and if breaking this law meant you could go to prison or face attack or even death. In many countries around the world, gay people don’t have to imagine it. They already face the very real prospect of being criminalised for their sexuality. In no fewer than 78 countries around the world homosexual acts are still illegal. In five of them the maximum penalty is death.

Hi Friends;
  What a frightening concept.  I guess I've grown accustomed to being a second class citizen in this land of the free.  I guess I've come to accept, if in no other way than exasperation, that those who are homosexual are treated differently for no other reason than the lover in their bed.  And oddly, we are still expected to profer the same taxes - more, in fact as we are not given the benefits of marriage.  And yet, in all of that, we are given yet a certain degree of freedom inherent in being an American - if not the perfect freedom, at least the right to yet live, provided one doesn't listen to North Carolina politicians or preachers. 
  I mourn for a world that still houses such horrid people and places them in leadership positions so as to create cultures and political environments where one can be a criminal for loving another consenting adult.  I don't care about Kim Kardashian, what Britney Spears wears at the next talent show, or the incessant ranting of spoiled men and women of politics who create little but noise.  There are people dying, wasting away in prison, and living in fear for no reason more than prejudice. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal

Hi Friends;

  I received this from a friend who, while staunchly democrat, is yet a hunter.  He believes in the right of Americans to own firearms, but also has the use of logic and rational thinking - so believes it is appropriate to instill some small measures of control into the process.

  My problem with the article is that it holds somewhat inherent the very same attributes as those other "truth-teller" writers:  it is a written article in a publication.  Seems an odd statement, I guess, but I've become so dismally uninspired by the rampant bs coming from the "fair and balanced" news mongers, that I just don't know who or what to believe.

  Nonetheless, here is the article.  I hope you enjoy it and find it informative, especially in light of the arguments and assertions/allegations being tossed about. (click here for article)