Thursday, March 01, 2007

Queer 101: A Guide for Heteros



From Cameron Scott, senior editorial fellow at Mother Jones, writes:

"Many in Middle America have come to believe homosexual values must be abhorrent, based on the right's insistence that all homosexuals are radical perverts.

Blindness to difference has allowed the right wing to invent a sinister stereotype of "homosexuals" that has only tenuous links to reality. Radical right groups generate bogus statistics by conflating gay men and lesbians (the claim that homosexuals are more likely to have STDs should more accurately say that lesbians have the lowest rates of STDs of any group) and gay men and men who molest boys (imagine if they consistently referred to men who molest girls as "straight men"). The right gets away with their smears because they have persuaded Americans that sex and desire have no role in polite society.

Queers understand that desire, like hunger, is inexorable and beyond reasoning with. Policy should work with that assumption, not against it or it will always fail. And as the good clean fun of bootlicking at the Folsom Street Fair demonstrates, the only aspect of sexual behavior that is subject to moral judgment is consent. What would happen if every minute and every dollar spent limiting the rights of gays and lesbians was instead spent on prosecuting sexual harassment, rape and child molestation?

But before we can even begin to think about policy changes, the public needs to become much more educated about queer culture -- a difficult task considering that even San Franciscans, who are tolerant of queers, often don't understand the nuances of their lifestyles."

Read more on the AlterNet.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Technogaian Thought of the Day



I wanted to share fellow CybDem blogger and perfectionist ethics philosopher Mark Alan Walker's whimsical yet technogaian perspective on the ultimate solution to environmental preservation, which is nearly identical to my own:
My guess is that in the long-term there will be pressure to leave the earth to its unpredictable weather patterns. Most people will live in reclaimed environments, e.g., space stations or tera-formed planets. These artificial environments may have a random element introduced into their weather patterns, but they probably won't have the retro feel of earth. I think I like the idea of people visiting the earth only as we might visit a national park. There would be no or few permanent residents. Rather we might stay a few days and try not to leave to big a footprint and then return to our tamed environments in space.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Control



From Michael Shank's interview of Noam Chomsky:
The Iranian issue I don't think has much to do with nuclear weapons frankly. Nobody is saying Iran should have nuclear weapons -- nor should anybody else. But the point in the Middle East, as distinct from North Korea, is that this is center of the world's energy resources. Originally the British and secondarily the French had dominated it, but after the Second World War, it's been a U.S. preserve. That's been an axiom of U.S. foreign policy, that it must control Middle East energy resources. It is not a matter of access as people often say. Once the oil is on the seas it goes anywhere. In fact if the United States used no Middle East oil, it'd have the same policies. If we went on solar energy tomorrow, it'd keep the same policies. Just look at the internal record, or the logic of it, the issue has always been control. Control is the source of strategic power.
Read more on the AlterNet.