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McCamy Taylor

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Member since: Tue Nov 9, 2004, 07:05 PM
Number of posts: 16,138

About Me

Here is my fiction website: http://home.earthlink.net/~mccamytaylor/ My political cartoon site: http://www.grandtheftelectionohio.com/

Journal Archives

All Your Base Are Belong to Clinton

The Democratic Party umbrella is huge. The party welcomes people whom the GOP and the MSM dismiss as "fringe" ---even though taken altogether the "fringes" make up a larger part of the democracy than the so called "norms"--you know the white , male, heterosexual, not disabled non Muslims. There are many different sections of the Democratic Party base. Some people belong to more than one. Here is a summary of some of the most important (in terms of numbers and votes).

1. Unions. This should be numbers 1 through 3, but I will just limit it to one. So far, All Your Union Base Are Belong to Clinton. Except for National Nurses United, which has given its support to Sanders. In 2000, NNU supporter Nader over Gore. All the other unions that have declared so far ( including teachers, machinists, plumbers) have declared for Clinton. I am going to go out on a very short, very sturdy limb at this point and predict that if Sanders does not get some more union support, his chances of being the party nominee are close to zero. So, his number one job is win over the unions.

2. Women. Women vote for both parties. But women lean heavily Democratic while men are more evenly split. Making women an important part of the Democratic Base. All Your Female Base Are Belong to Clinton (and Will Always Belong to Clinton). Period. That is not to say that some women will not vote for Sanders. Some women will also vote for the GOP nominee. Some would vote for David Dukes if given the option. But if given a chance to vote for another woman, turnout of women will be higher and GOP women will cross over. Here lies the mathematical key to Clinton's victory. No man will be able to separate her from her base. No voter suppression will be able to suppress the enhanced turnout of giddy women who are finally ready to have their day in the sun.

3. Blacks. As Toni Morrison said, Bill Clinton was the first Black president--until Obama was the first Black president. Hillary is married to one of these man, and she was Secretary of State for the other. In addition, she is Obama's anointed successor, and in 2008 she very graciously buried the hatchet at the Convention and campaigned for her primary opponent in a way that other Democratic nomination losers (see Ted Kennedy 1980) did not. Can Sanders peel away Clinton's Black support? Maybe. But people who live in fear of being shot by the police for no reason at all take politics pretty seriously. They are not likely to give up a "sure thing" in order to take a chance with something new.

4. LGBT. Last I heard, Hillary owned this portion of the base. LGBT believe that she is a member of this portion of the base. All Your LGBT Base Are Belong to Clinton, and Sanders would be advised to not even waste his time on this one.

5. Irish-Americans. Forgot about this one, didn't you? Irish-Americans are an important part of the base. Hillary brought peace to Northern Ireland. Hillary won New Hampshire in 2008 because of the tradition of strong female leaders among the Irish-American Matriarchy. Sanders chance of peeling off the Irish vote? See number 4. All Your Irish-American Base Are Belong to Clinton.

6. Latinos. With Julian Castro rumored to be on board, All Your Latino Base Are Belong to Clinton. Sanders had better pick himself a Latino running mate pronto if he plans to compete for this demographic. Or better yet, suddenly discover that one of his parents is Hispanic.

7. Young people. Not a chance anyone young and hip will be caught campaigning for an old woman who wears pant suits. This portion of the base belongs to Sanders---unless someone younger and hipper shows up. All Your Youth Base Are Belong to Sanders (let's just hope they can be reminded to get out there and vote).

8. Jewish DemocratsHard to say. I am pretty sure that Jewish Democrats would like a Jewish president to make up for all those years of discrimination. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton has shown a willingness to commit US ground troops in order to combat genocide. Bill was the one who vetoed sending troops to Rwanda, if it was up to Hillary we would have been there in Africa saving lives. And even if she did not actually dodge bullets in the Balkans stopping a genocide, she and her daughter were there on the ground showing their support for a mission that the GOP hated because it was not intended to prop up the price of oil, it was supposed to save lives. Sanders, on the other hand, is running as the No War, Not Ever candidate. Never, Bernie? Not even to stop another Hitler? Proof that you have to be careful when creating your brand image. I am pretty sure that Sanders would have voted "Let's go kick Hilter's butt!" But he is already being labeled the "Peace Candidate" .....with no qualifiers.

If I left out any portion of the base I am sorry! It is late. For Sanders to have a chance, he needs to get the majority--not just an even split of the Unions----and he needs to snag the Latinos. Can he do it?





Who Are These People Talking About? The Most Admired Woman in the US 17 Out the Last 18 Years!

You said earlier this month that you now wish you had supported Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries instead of Barack Obama. You said that she would make a better president.

Gore Vidal: Well, I was in a thoughtful mood.

Do you really wish you had supported Mrs. Clinton?

GV: She would have been a wonderful president.


http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/10/a-conversation-with-gore-vidal/307767/

In a recent interview with Larry King on Ora TV’s PoliticKing, the Dalai Lama, the face of Tibetan Buddhism and one of the planet’s most recognized spiritual leaders, said that the world is in need of more women as leaders. “According to scientists, women have more sensitivity than men. Sometimes I really feel that more women should take responsibility in the leadership of our planet. It would mean less violence,” his Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, said.


http://www.worldreligionnews.com/religion-news/buddhism/dalai-lama-says-more-women-as-leaders-might-lead-to-less-violent-world

"I don't know that a man would be treated the same way that Hillary is," Sanders said. "So all that I can say is I have known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. I admire her. I respect her. I like her. She and I have very different points of view on a number of issues."


http://edition.cnn.com/2015/08/09/politics/bernie-sanders-hillary-clinton-sexist-criticism/

Fiorina on Clinton in 2008: “She was a great candidate. She has helped millions of women all over this country. Women of any political party owe a debt of gratitude to Hillary Clinton and I will bet that every woman up here agrees with me.”


http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/heres-audio-and-video-of-carly-fiorinas-forceful-praise-of-h#.txp41NMV2

Rory Kennedy knows exactly who she wants to see in the White House
next.

When asked by HuffPost Live's Marc Lamont Hill about who she's eyeing for 2016, Kennedy was direct: "Hillary! I am so ready for Hillary, 100 percent."


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/04/rory-kennedy-hillary-clinton_n_5766368.html

DEPUTY FIRST MINISTER MCGUINNESS: Well, if I could say that it’s an incredible good fortune for all of us on the island of Ireland and the north that Hillary Clinton has been appointed the new Secretary of State. She has for many, many years, alongside her husband, been a true friend of all of us, a true friend of the peace process, contributing tremendously to the transformation that has taken place over the course of the last number of years.


http://www.state.gov/secretary/20092013clinton/rm/2009a/03/120483.htm

Franken is not only looking towards the new legislative session, but also the race for the White House. Citing Howard Dean’s recent endorsement of Hillary Clinton, I asked whether it was good for the party to have leaders endorsing someone who hadn’t even entered the race yet.
“I think that Hillary would make a great president,” Franken replied. “I think, I certainly feel I haven’t announced that I’m supporting her, but does this count? I guess, maybe this counts.”

But would he need to see who all the candidates are, I asked, before endorsing Clinton?

“No, no,” Franken said, “I think that I’m ready for Hillary. I mean, I think that we’ve not had someone this experienced, this tough, and she’s very, very impressive.”


http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/al-franken-im-ready-hillary

Now (Gloria) Steinem believes that the former secretary of State could become the first female president (if she runs in 2016, that is). "I don't think we know whether she wants to do it, but if she should decide to run, she could win," Steinem said. "At this point, I think she herself has been such an example of a woman in high leadership that now people can imagine it. By her own example, by both her toughness and her grace, and her intelligence and her hanging-in-there — in the primaries and in the presidential race, and also as secretary of State — I think she's created her own possibilities."


http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/02/gloria-steinem-on-hillary-clinton-for-president.html

Clinton noted that the struggle for the right to vote was central to the civil rights movement. But that struggle has not ended. Once more voting rights are under attack. Once more barriers to voting are being erected by those who fear a true vote of the people. Once more we need citizens to mobilize to demand their right to vote. Once more we need courageous leaders to defend that right. With this powerful speech, Hillary Clinton has stood up to be counted in that fight.


http://chicago.suntimes.com/opinion/7/71/672450/jesse-jackson-hillary-champion-voter-rights
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Mon Sep 14, 2015, 02:30 AM (22 replies)

Bernie Wept

At least, if he is the man I think he is, he is weeping. Here, on the first page of DU's primary forum, we have been told

1) Clinton's efforts to appeal to women as a woman herself are sexist

2) If you worry that mainstream America might not vote for someone who is Jewish then you are anti-Semitic.

3) If the mainstream media launches a groundless attack on a Democrat, we should help them as long as the Democrat is a rival of our candidate. Because the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Even if the enemy of my enemy is Fox News.

4) Democrats only want shiny new candidates, presumably because we get bored easily and treat our candidates as toys. Saying "I am tired" of a candidate is considered "issues" related criticism.

5) Being a "Democrat" is something to be ashamed of and we really wish that we belonged to some other party instead, but we do not have the guts to join that other party---why? Because that other party does not have a snow ball's chance in you know what of winning. See number 2 for extra irony.

6) "Kerry waffles" was a MSM abomination, but "Hillary waffles" is undeniable fact.

7) "Gore is a liar" was a MSM abomination, but "Hillary Lies" is undeniable fact.

8) Clinton has "shenanigans".

9) Clinton has a "kill list."

Gotta love the Democratic Primary. "Bull moose in heat" (Hunter S. Thompson) does not even come close. Party on, dudes and dudettes!

Posted by McCamy Taylor | Wed Sep 9, 2015, 02:04 AM (111 replies)

I Draw the Line at Anecdotes that Have No Video, No Link, No Nothing

Because hey! I can say that (fill in a politician) is (fill in an adjective) because (fill in a story), and if it fits a currently fashionable Big Lie then folks will rate it on up. The popular wisdom being all that some people need to decide whether or not something is news.

OK, so now a link. At least it is not an anecdote with no link, no video, no nothing.

https://twitter.com/jeneps/status/632594411277406208/photo/1

Enjoy.

Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sun Aug 16, 2015, 02:04 AM (20 replies)

Emmett Till/Sandra Bland or Why I Still Hate the South

In 1955, 15 year old Emmett Till from Chicago visited relatives in Mississippi. A white shop owner accused him of flirting with her. In response, the woman's husband and associates kidnapped the boy, beat him, gouged out his eye, shot him and finally disposed of his body in the river. At their trial, they were acquitted. After the acquittal, they bragged about the killing to reporters.

When Till's body was sent back to Chicago for burial, his mother decided on an open casket, so that the world could see what kind of "justice" the American South delivered to a boy for the "crime" of flirting with a white woman.


Sixty years later, in 2015, Sandra Bland, also from Illinois was driving through Texas when she was pulled over and issued a ticket for failing to signal a lane change. When she refused to put out her cigarette, she was ordered from her car, thrown to the ground, threatened with a taser and arrested. While in jail, she died from asphyxiation---for the "crimes" of failing to signal a lane change and smoking a cigarette in her own car.

I have lived in the South all my life. I have seen some things change and too many other things that have not changed enough. Getting rid of the Confederate Flag will not even begin to fix what is wrong with this region of the country. Yes, there are pockets of sanity in the South, mostly urban areas. But there are also pockets of racist insanity--like Waller County, where Ms. Bland died, Waller County which has repeated attempted to deprive the mostly Black students of Prairie View A&M University of their right to vote.

“I dont hate it he thought, panting in the cold air, the iron New England dark; I dont. I dont! I dont hate it! I dont hate it!”
― William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!


Posted by McCamy Taylor | Thu Aug 6, 2015, 12:56 AM (8 replies)

Vote As If This Election Matters...

I have never gotten a ticket. I have been stopped several times in my life. And each time the po involved has given me a warning and sent me on my way. Why? I am not delusional. I know that it has nothing to do with my charming personality. I do not get ticketed because I am a feminine (looking) white woman. These cops are not on the road to keep the world "safe" from me---they are there to keep the world "safe" from those who have been declared society's "enemy"---Blacks, Latinos, gays, Muslims.

Being a young man of color in the US means being a perp until proven otherwise. Being an academic of color means being stigmatized as someone who only made it thanks to affirmative action "stealing" a university spot meant for a white person. Being a politician of color makes one a lightening rod for anger. Being a shopper of color means having the eyes of store security all over you--while the white woman shoplifts undetected. Being a motorist of color means that you may die in jail for failing to signal a lane change. Being a parent of color means worrying that the phone call at night is the one you have been dreading.

Being LBTG means being a pedophile until proven otherwise. It means being assaulted on the streets. It means being labeled "the devil" and the cause for acts of gods, like Hurricane Katrina. It means that you have to prove yourself fit to be a teacher or Boy Scout leader or foster parent.

Being Muslim means having your religion denigrated. It means being one of a small group for whom the Bill of Rights does not apply. Muslims do not have freedom of religion in this country. If you are a Muslim, you do not even have the right to fly on an airplane. You do not have the right of habeas corpus. Your coworker can wear a cross on the job, but you can't wear a headscarf, because someone might be "offended".

Being Latino means you had better have your ID handy at all times, because you could be rounded up and shipped back to a country you have never visited at any moment. It means that your breadwinner could be taken from you and your teen aged kids forced to quit school and go to work to keep the family going.

As a white, non-Muslim voter (who has had a hysterectomy), I know that no matter which party wins the election, my family is secure. I despise white privilege, but it will keep me safe, even as minorities see their voting rights chiseled away and watch their children die at the hands of those who are supposed to protect them, even as women die from back alley abortions, even as immigrant families are torn apart, even as mosques are fire bombed----

Vote as if this election matters, and you will vote for the candidate who can win. It isn't a cop out, it isn't weakness, it isn't laziness, it isn't out of "habit" or blindness or because someone told you to. It is because you can not afford to lose.





Posted by McCamy Taylor | Wed Aug 5, 2015, 01:42 PM (0 replies)

How Parlkand Helps the Chronically Ill, Low Income Folks of Dallas Get the Care They Need with ACA

By now, most folks have heard about the copper plated ACA insurance plans, the ones with the $5000 deductible and low availability of providers. Some people with chronic diseases like copd, dm, cad have signed up for this coverage because the premiums are so low--they can not afford to move up to silver or gold--even though they can not afford to use this new insurance.

http://money.cnn.com/2015/02/12/news/economy/obamacare-costs/?iid=EL

Have these folks withered away due to lack of access to their insulin, heart specialists and inhalers. Not in Dallas County, thanks to Parkland, the so called "charity" health care system.

Insurance companies are usually pretty good at guessing how much they will have to pay out in care costs for their enrollees. However, ACA was a new type of insurance. Folks with massive medical illnesses like congestive heart failure now qualified for the same plans that healthy people bought. Luckily for the privates, most people with truly devastating illness are on Medicare or Medicaid, However, there are some middle aged people who are quite ill who do not qualify for either, because they are not old enough and not poor enough. These are the folks who benefit most from ACA--and they are the biggest risk for the privates that participate in ACA. The high deductibles, coypayments and limited provider lists were supposed to cut down on insurance utilization.

Despite these measures, insurers under the ACA in Texas are asking for double digit premium increases next year, citing higher than expected utilization of insurance.

http://money.cnn.com/2015/06/02/news/economy/obamacare-rates/

High utilization? Really? How can folks with no money afford these high deductibles and copyaments? How can they find providers?

One way is by getting their health care at places like Parkland in Dallas. Two years ago, some public hospitals attempted to pay their patient's premiums in order to get them enrolled in private insurers which would then reimburse the public for so called charity care. As best I can tell, attempts to pay patient's premiums were thwarted. However, the public hospitals have a new way to help you get more out of your copper insurance plan. Parkland's solution---waive the high deductibles and copayments that are intended to keep patients from seeing doctors except in dire emergencies.

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/local-news/20150213-parkland-memorial-hospital-to-give-insured-low-income-patients-a-break.ece

This is a great deal for someone who has to buy ACA insurance because their income is just barely high enough to qualify but who can not afford a policy that really meets his or her health care needs. And, it allows a public funded hospital district to recoup some of its losses from Texas' decision not to expand Medicaid. However...

When a public hospital and clinic makes it easier for people to bypass the deductibles and copayments which were intended to discourage use of the insurance (and insurance company bills) this is turn leads to higher than anticipated spending by the insurers---and rate increases.

While some may call the rate increases unfair, remember that all urban residents pay for the unfunded care which their counties offer. There is no "free" care for anyone. We either pay more in property taxes or we pay higher insurance premiums. The important thing is that people with chronic diseases like cancer get the care they need.

Of course, in a "perfect" state, Medicaid would have been expanded, the feds would have stepped in to pay for the care of the low income, chronically ill uninsured people whom public hospitals have been treating with funds provided by local taxpayers. This would allow the privates who participate in ACA to focus on the not so chronically ill people who are not guaranteed to generate tens of thousands of dollars of medical bills each year.

So, if you do not like the sticker shock of your health insurance rate increase in Texas, maybe you should apply a little pressure in Austin to accept the Medicaid expansion. Texas cities are not sitting on limitless sources of wealth. They can not afford to pay all the health care costs of all their (older, sicker, poorer) residents. And right now, they are not paying all the costs. Folks with ACA insurance are helping them.

If you know anyone who rejects the Medicaid expansion because they do not want to be forced to pay for the health care of strangers, you might want to remind them that they are already paying. The Medicaid expansion will just make that funding more equitable.




Posted by McCamy Taylor | Thu Jul 30, 2015, 02:34 PM (0 replies)

A Hygiene HypothesisTheory about LADA

Someone asked me to repost this here. I am interested in the topic of HLA mediated autoimmune diseases being the result of the absence of parasitic infections to which our ancestors were routinely exposed. In the UK they are conducting trials using hookworm infections in patients with MS to see if the auto-antibodies can be distracted. The theory evolved because of observations that people who grew up in the old south rarely got MS while those who grow up in the new south are just as likely as those who grow up in the north to contract MS. In the old south, hookworm infections were common in childhood due to the habit of running around barefoot outdoors.

I recently speculated that Latent autoimmune diabetes of adults in which adults start out looking like Type 2 but eventually end up requiring insulin could also be an HLA mediated autoimmune condition brought on by the lack of a particular parasitic infection, because there are no cases of the disease in Papua, New Guinea but a fairly consistent rate of the disease in other countries. What if there is a parasite that is still common in New Guinea that has been eradicated in other countries? Here is the link to the original OP:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/114215052

I am beginning to suspect that the culprit might be trichinella, the round worms that you get from poorly cooked pork but also from bear meat, wild game and crocodiles. Trichinella is extremely common in Papua, New Guinea.

http://www.ajtmh.org/content/65/5/553.full.pdf

Here is some general info on trichinella

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/787591-overview

Obviously, infection would be more common if you hunt wild game, especially if you eat freshly caught wild game before it has been properly cooked, the way that the hunters in Papua, New Guinea do. This raises the possibility that when hunter-gatherer groups like Plains Native Americans were forced onto reservations and switched to a diet low in freshly hunted game, perhaps they were inadvertently deprived of trichinella infections--- good thing, right? Unless the lack of a trichinella infection triggered some of them to then go on to develop LADA or the diabetes that plagues Native Americans.

Not saying we should eat raw bacon. But, maybe there is way to create a derivative of the proteins of round worms to see if it could prevent this type of diabetes.

Oh, and here is an interesting link about how worm "excretory products" successfully treated colitis in rats. Lots of links within the article to other articles about the hygiene hypothesis.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4008629/
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sun Jul 19, 2015, 12:40 AM (1 replies)

Please stop telling me I will vote for Sanders because I am a leftist.

I admit it. I am a leftist. Always have been and always will be. No one in Congress is left leaning enough to suit me. No one. They all play the same game---beg for dollars, pander for votes. Some of them are lucky enough to have constituencies (Vermont) that demand that they act like liberals. Some of them were unfortunate enough to have constituencies (New York) that demanded that they protect them from any more terror acts. They did what they did, because it is part of the job of being an elected official in the US. None of them have halos. All of them have feet of clay. All of them. The perfect candidate is one who would never run for office, because he or she is too busy leading protests or running a soup kitchen or raising awareness about an important cause. Everyone who runs for office has something slightly wrong with them. Everyone.

I will vote for the candidate who has the best chance of prevailing in November and who is best able to get the job done. The job being to obstruct the New Federalists and the Tea Party and all the other crazies on the right and maybe even guilt the members of Congress into not acting like total assholes 24-7 . I do not expect a president to single handedly change the structure of our government. He or she will have to know how to use the current system.

I am not looking for Eugene McCarty. I am looking for a second term of LBJ---LBJ as in Voting Rights Act, Civil Rights Act, Medicare. LBJ as in gets the job done. Competent. Crafty. Able to work both sides of the aisle.

Come on candidates. Show me your inner LBJ.



Posted by McCamy Taylor | Fri Jul 17, 2015, 01:42 AM (16 replies)

HRC: Real Change for a Change

Payday lending company fined for fraud. When folks in need of money---working people who were feeling the pinch of the recession---logged onto a website that promised to match them with banks that would give them loans, their financial information was sold to the payday lenders. Without signing an agreement, the financially strapped citizens suddenly found themselves with $300 more in their accounts---and then, at regular intervals, $90 was deducted from their accounts, for "administrative" fees. And then, their "debts" were sold to debt collectors who hounded them. These folks who were too poor to pay their bills, much less afford an attorney. Can you imagine how it must have felt, especially when they were told that by doing the query, they were actually agreeing to a "loan" with usurious interest payments? Yes, it is great that a court finally slapped the wrists of the Americans who thought it was just fine to rip off their fellow Americans---

But where is the politician who can change the mindset which says 1) a sucker is born everyday and 2) everything is ok if it makes a profit? This double fallacy has deep roots in our country. Our puritan ancestors claimed that material wealth in this lifetime was proof that one was among the elect. And so, we worship at the altar of money---no matter how that money is made. Donald Trump becomes a realistic presidential candidate because he (sometimes) is rich.

Physician going to jail for giving folks (dangerous) chemotherapy that they did not need, because some of them had cancer that was too progressed to benefit, meaning that he probably shortened their lives and increased their suffering. Others did not even have cancer, and yet he exposed them to carcinogens. "First do no harm?" Nope, in this country, it's "Every man for himself." He was caught and charged---with defrauding Medicare. Yeah! A victory for the common man! But what about the little old man in the nursing home who could not get out of bed, his dementia was so bad, the little old man who got a bright and shiny new hip---and then promptly died from post operative complications? He was never going to walk again, and yet, some doctor saw a hip that could be replaced, and he jumped right in and did the surgery. And billed Medicare. What does it say about our country when the health care providers are always on the look out for a good financial investment---like a diseased joint that can be replaced---rather than the welfare of their patient?

We need economic justice---but we won't get it from the top down. If we cut off one of the hydra's heads, two more will grow back. Don't kid yourself that the evil lurks out there somewhere, on Wall Street. The "evil" is within us. It is the voice which tells us "I am me and a few other people are also me and everyone else can go die for all I care." It is the voice which tells us "First, my needs get taken care. Then, I'll start thinking about other folks." It is the blindness which cannot see that we are all connected, that every "dog starving at his master's gate, predicts the ruin of the state'" (Blake) and that every crying child is shedding our tears, tearing a great big hole in our heart.

We will never excise suffering from our lives, because suffering is part of our life. We will never eliminate all the risks, because life is risky. But we can change how we think. We can open our eyes, take a good, long look at the faces of children who are suffering----

And acknowledge that their suffering is our suffering. That revelation does not fill the empty bellies or take the gun from the hands of the child soldier. But if enough of us look and really see, then the change will come from within us---

And that is Real Change for a Change.



Now, some worry that protecting the human rights of the LGBT community is a luxury that only wealthy nations can afford. But in fact, in all countries, there are costs to not protecting these rights, in both gay and straight lives lost to disease and violence, and the silencing of voices and views that would strengthen communities, in ideas never pursued by entrepreneurs who happen to be gay. Costs are incurred whenever any group is treated as lesser or the other, whether they are women, racial, or religious minorities, or the LGBT. Former President Mogae of Botswana pointed out recently that for as long as LGBT people are kept in the shadows, there cannot be an effective public health program to tackle HIV and AIDS. Well, that holds true for other challenges as well.

The third, and perhaps most challenging, issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens. This is not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation. Some people still defend those practices as part of a cultural tradition. But violence toward women isn't cultural; it's criminal. Likewise with slavery, what was once justified as sanctioned by God is now properly reviled as an unconscionable violation of human rights.

In each of these cases, we came to learn that no practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us. And this holds true for inflicting violence on LGBT people, criminalizing their status or behavior, expelling them from their families and communities, or tacitly or explicitly accepting their killing.

Of course, it bears noting that rarely are cultural and religious traditions and teachings actually in conflict with the protection of human rights. Indeed, our religion and our culture are sources of compassion and inspiration toward our fellow human beings. It was not only those who’ve justified slavery who leaned on religion, it was also those who sought to abolish it. And let us keep in mind that our commitments to protect the freedom of religion and to defend the dignity of LGBT people emanate from a common source. For many of us, religious belief and practice is a vital source of meaning and identity, and fundamental to who we are as people. And likewise, for most of us, the bonds of love and family that we forge are also vital sources of meaning and identity. And caring for others is an expression of what it means to be fully human. It is because the human experience is universal that human rights are universal and cut across all religions and cultures.


Secretary of State Clinton speaking on International Human Rights Day, 2011, Video at link

http://www.state.gov/secretary/20092013clinton/rm/2011/12/178368.htm




Posted by McCamy Taylor | Wed Jul 8, 2015, 02:48 PM (0 replies)
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