A boneheaded piece and a fitting response

 

“Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad”

…..Euripides….

 

The following is  an article which appeared in  the  Jamaica Gleaner today , 21st September  2014,  and a response to  the article in the online comments section.  

 

First, the response :

rational • 4 hours ago
It is no coincidence that Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) are the only group among whom HIV epidemics are expanding regardless of the income levels of countries studied. (Lancet 2012)

98% of the difference in HIV rates between MSM and heterosexuals is due to anal receptive intercourse and role reversal in MSM networks. (Lancet 2012)

HIV epidemics among MSM are described as “seem to be out of control”, “exploding”, “a crisis”, ” high and increasing” – and these terms are used in countries without buggery laws.

It is ironic and indeed laughable therefore that the author of this piece is framing the practice of buggery as a just cause similar to efforts for national independence .
6 • Reply•Share ›

 

The boneheaded piece

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20140921/focus/focus1.html

The War Has Just Begun

Published: Sunday | September 21, 2014

 

GayM20140904JB

Gordon Robinson, Columnist

Unsurprisingly, persons, especially those whose lives are surrendered to religious dogma, comprehensively fail to grasp the meaning of ‘privacy’.

Take Peter Espeut (please). Here’s a man against whom nobody could attribute anything but kindness of heart, spirit and intent. He also benefited from the best education available anywhere, namely, a 1960s Campion College schooling. During that period, when Campion was the laughing stock of Jamaican secondary schools for refusing to prioritise sports over academics, Campion students were taught to think independently.

Jesuits, who made up the overwhelming majority of Campion’s teacher population together with a smattering of the very best local pedagogues, insisted on being questioned, rewarded argument from students with reasoned reply, and encouraged independent thought.

So I know Peter had a great start in life educationally, which only proves how powerful church doctrine can be. Because, decades later, in the context of commentary on the Javed Jaghai claim that the ‘buggery law’ is unconstitutional, this was his expressed understanding of privacy:

“On May 2, 2014, I filed an affidavit … rebutting Jaghai’s 2013 claim. In paragraph 8, I refuted Jaghai’s claim that Jamaica’s so-called buggery laws violate his right to privacy. I argued the right to privacy doesn’t confer the right to break the law in private; if so, then one could commit murder in private with impunity. The right to privacy protects the sanctity of a person’s home, but it doesn’t permit illegal acts to be done in the privacy of one’s home. Jaghai misunderstands the meaning of the ‘right to privacy’ in the Jamaican Constitution, and this claim would have been thrown out.”

I’ll excuse Peter, as a legal layman, his belief that one can argue in an affidavit. No affidavit is allowed to include any argument nor can it ‘refute’ anybody’s claim. Affidavits contain only facts known to affiants. Claims are refuted when judges, with counsel’s assistance, apply the law to facts either agreed between/among the parties or found by judges.

Facile statements like “the right to privacy doesn’t confer the right to break the law in private” are like teaching kindergarten students, by rote, that one plus one equals two. That’s correct, BUT does any teacher explain “what’s a two”? It’s nothing more than an arbitrary method of adding up quantities only valid until a better system is invented. In the meantime, traditional counting (one-two-three … ) is functional only up to nine (we’ve only nine ‘numbers’), so man invented a way to start all over again by placing zero to nine beside the original numbers (in sets of 10) in order to be able to count any quantity. So that 10 (1+0) is really a repeat of 1; 11 (1+1) is really a repeat of 2, and so on.

Similarly, “the right to privacy doesn’t confer the right to break the law in private” is convenient, but the real question is, ‘What’s the law?’ Legal systems based on written constitutions limit lawmakers in what can be made ‘law’. If they exceed constitutional limits, the law may ‘pass’ but, as soon as an independent judiciary gets hold of it, it’ll no longer be ‘law’. One of Jamaica’s fundamental constitutional limits on lawmakers is: “Parliament shall pass no law and no organ of the State shall take any action which abrogates, abridges or infringes … the right of everyone to … :

(ii) respect for, and protection of, private and family life, and privacy of the home; and

(iii) protection of privacy of other property and of communication.”

Jaghai’s claim would NOT have been thrown out because “Jaghai misunderstands the meaning of the ‘right to privacy’ in the Jamaican Constitution … .” That ‘right to privacy’ would expressly prevent today’s Parliament from passing the ‘buggery law’ and any prosecution under that law would be unlawful. The many other offences created by the Offences against the Person Act don’t infringe on anyone’s privacy since they involve acts of violence against persons who don’t consent.

Selective religious dogma

The only difference between the attempted criminalisation of anal penetration and any attempt to criminalise vaginal penetration is the nature of the sex act, but both are (usually) done in private. Any attempt to criminalise either would be a savage invasion of the privacy of those consenting adults engaging in private sex acts. Non-reproductive vaginal sex with a consenting adult isn’t a crime, but rape of the same woman is. All anal penetration is criminal and the sole basis for the discrimination is selective religious dogma.

The ‘buggery law’ is without doubt an unjust law that, if passed today, would be struck down by our courts as unconstitutional. It’s a silly, ignorant, useless invasion of privacy of a significant percentage of humanity. It’s silly and useless because it can’t prevent the perpetual daily practice of the act criminalised. It’s ignorant because it turns a blind eye to the social consequences of forcing homosexuals to remain in the closet. This results in many marrying unsuspecting women with devastating results. I can’t believe any woman would support this intolerant dogma, which is a double-edged sword so destructive of the health and spirit of so many women.

As Lord Gifford pointed out in his excellent, balanced review of the Jaghai case, the reason Jaghai was fighting an uphill battle had nothing to do with a misunderstanding of privacy but only because the powerful, blinkered religious lobby succeeded in bullying Parliament to include the following savings clause in the Charter of Rights:

“Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law in force immediately before the commencement of the Charter … , relating to

(a) sexual offences;

(b) obscene publications; or

(c) offences regarding the life of the unborn,

shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of … this chapter.”

So, under pressure from the religiously righteous, Parliament decided to specifically exclude ‘sexual’ offences created by any previous law from the constitutional protection to privacy. Anal penetration is only an ‘offence’ because an archaic law, specifically saved from judicial scrutiny by a cowardly Parliament, says so. In every other context, including that of some heterosexual couples in their own bedroom, it’s simply another way of expressing love.

Constitutions are creatures of the society in which they exist and subject to flux as society itself evolves. This ‘savings clause’ itself was introduced by constitutional amendment. It can be removed by exactly the same process when Jamaican society matures and catches up with the rest of the world. Based on the same bigoted biblical bollocks, women (not men) were once put to death for adultery. Jamaica has matured so that adultery isn’t a crime. Pioneers like Javed Jaghai needn’t feel their brave efforts have come to naught. In Jamaica, the war against homophobia has just begun.

After Oliver Cromwell’s 17th-century invasion of Scotland during which 3,000 Scots were slaughtered and 10,000 imprisoned, the seat of Scottish government was eventually passed to London in 1707, thus dethroning the Stuarts. Bonnie Prince Charlie, rightful successor to the Scottish throne but for the English takeover, started the first Jacobite uprising in 1745, supported by Highland clans. It was obliterated by the redcoats in the 1746 Battle of Culloden. An interesting factoid: More Scots fought for the British in that battle than for Scotland.

The Stuarts never regained the Scottish throne. Prince Charlie, who fled the battlefield, lived the remainder of his life in exile in France where he tried in vain to gain support for his cause; conducted a string of affairs; and drank excessively. Bonnie Prince Charlie grew old, ugly and embittered. He died aged 67, fat and alcoholic.

But the struggle continued. Robert Burns’ poems, written in Scottish dialect, were pivotal to Scots retaining their identity. Recently, celebrities like Sean Connery have lobbied relentlessly for Scottish independence. Eventually, the English conceded a referendum. Panic-stricken, last-minute whining and begging by traditionalists like Piers Morgan and David Cameron resulted, again, in more Scots voting with England than against. But, more than 1.4 million voted for separation, ensuring the end of Westminster’s status quo and more autonomy for Scotland’s Parliament.

Don’t despair at lost battles. Time is on the side of just causes. Victory comes in increments.

Peace and love.

Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.

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Peter Espeut presents an alternative lifestyle in the era of secular depravity

It is good  to  see  the sharp distinction between  the  accepted  mores  of  secularists  and the  mores  of  the true Christian church.  There is  indeed a  great  gulf  between  the two groups. Secularists  are  morally nihilistic, the  recommended mores of  the  church  are wise.

 

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http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20140919/cleisure/cleisure4.html

An Alternative Lifestyle
Published: Friday | September 19, 2014
Jamaica is a highly sexualised society. Reggae and dancehall glorify sexual prowess, and commercial advertising displays the human body to sell almost anything. Pornography is easily available on the Internet, and even when you read the daily newspapers online, you are besieged with advertisements for ‘Cuban girls’ and the like.

Print media have regular features offering advice on how to impress the opposite sex – to get more sex – and to improve your sex life. Schoolers having sex in school, after school and on school buses is not uncommon. The media campaign to normalise all-sexual behaviour is in full swing. And the Church, which advocates sexual activity in lifelong faithful heterosexual relationships, is under serious attack for being in the dark ages.

Widespread sexual harassment is an indication of how highly sexualised Jamaica has become. Rape and sexual assault are extreme versions, but our culture of cyclists following women walking on the street while putting ‘lyrics’ to them, or openly commenting on the adequacy of certain female body parts, and offering assistance, are symptomatic of a society sexually out of control.

Blue Sisters

Last week Sunday, September 7, hundreds gathered to celebrate a much-maligned alternative lifestyle that runs counter-culture to highly sexualised Jamaica. In a wonderful celebration at Holy Trinity Cathedral, the Jamaican ‘Blue Sisters’ (who operate Holy Childhood High School and Preparatory School, among others) marked their 85th anniversary at the very same place they were founded in 1929.

Since 1929, more than 100 Jamaican women have joined the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Jamaica, affectionately called the Blue Sisters because of their signature blue garment and veil. They take sacred vows of poverty, of chastity (celibacy), and of obedience to their servant leaders, and live in community with others who have taken similar vows. Some Blue Sisters minister in schools, others in homes for the aged, and others serve in pastoral ministry, shepherding souls.

The religious vows of poverty, chastity and obedience these women take are profoundly liberating. The vow of poverty is intended to distance the person from attachments to material things. No Catholic nun ‘owns’ private property, but has the use of whatever she needs to live. In this materialistic age, declining to own private property runs profoundly counter-culture, and yet is profoundly Christian.

The Acts of the Apostles tells us that in the early Christian community, “the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one mind: neither said any of them that any of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things in common” (Acts 4:32).

The religious vow of obedience liberates the individual from following their own way, from pursuing selfish ambitions. Choosing a position of inferiority implies a spirit of humility. The sacrifice of one’s own independence and own will presupposes a spirit of self-denial that keeps the passions under proper restraint. In this, Christians follow Jesus, who put his life in the hands of his Father: “Not my will, but thine be done,” (Luke 22:42).

This is not such a foreign idea to many – especially politicians – who give utter obedience to their party leaders.

Vow of chastity

The vow of chastity or celibacy liberates the religious woman (religious men take it, too) from slavery to one’s sexual passions. If one is faithful in marriage, one liberates oneself from acting on sexual urges which draw us to persons other than our spouses. Choosing to live a celibate life is a short step from faithfulness in marriage; thousands of single Jamaicans live celibate lives, despite media messages pointing in other directions.

Roman Catholic religious men and women take a vow that celebrates this state. Not everyone is called to celibacy, but it certainly is a possible and acceptable alternative to a life addicted to sexual pleasure, using others for one’s own gratification.

At their 85th anniversary celebrations, two young women joined the Blue Sisters – one taking her first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience after several years of religious formation, and the other just entering the period of religious formation.

Congratulations, Blue Sisters! Ad multos annos! And may many more join with you!

Peter Espeut is a sociologist and Roman Catholic deacon. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.

 

xxxxx  E N D S xxxxx

secularists

o-TOPLESS-NUNS-ANTI-GAY-MARRIAGE-PROTEST-PARIS-facebook

Secularists – “Up your alley”

Gay Pride San Francisco

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Of boneheaded buggers or its buggery stoopid !

 

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/HIV-down-except-among-men-who-have-sex-with-men_17550450

News
HIV down except among men who have sex with men
BY ANIKA RICHARDS Observer staff reporter richardsai@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 8 Comments

aids
HIV down except among men who have sex with men

THERE has been a general decline in HIV prevalence among selected populations, except among men who have sex with men.

Data on Jamaica’s HIV/AIDS status was presented yesterday by director of treatment, care and support in the National HIV/STI Programme, Dr Nicola Skyers at the opening ceremony for the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) Treatment 2.0 Mission at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus.

“When we look at our prevalence among selected populations, we see the overall decline in all groups except our MSM (men who have sex with men) population,” Dr Skyers said.

The selected populations included antenatal clinic attendees, sexually transmitted infection clinic attendees, female sex workers, men who have sex with men, inmates, homeless people and drug users.

“(For) the antenatal clinic attendees, we have moved… from 0.9 per cent prevalence in 2009 and in 2013, we were reporting 0.7 per cent; STI clinic attendees down from 2.8 (per cent) in 2010 to 2.4 (per cent) in 2013; we have some studies that are yet to be completed that will give us some new data for our sex workers and our men who have sex with men,” Dr Skyers said. “Our inmates (moved) from 2.2 per cent in 2010 to 1.9 per cent in 2013,” she said.

The HIV prevalence among the homeless and drug users has dropped from 12 per cent in 2010 to four per cent in 2013. The available statistics for female sex workers also showed a decline from 4.9 per cent in 2008 to 4.2 per cent in 2011, while the data available for men who have sex with men showed HIV prevalence at 32 per cent in 2011.

However, Dr Skyers admitted that though the high HIV prevalence among MSM is a challenge, they do recognise that the “challenge with our data in that we are accessing MSM in the lower SES (socio economic status), so the output could be somewhat biased and hopefully the methodology that we will be using with this current survey will engage a more representative sample of the population, so we are hoping to see a decline”.

Although the parishes with the highest prevalence of HIV remained those considered urban areas and those in the tourism belt, Dr Skyers also reported that Jamaica has maintained a prevalence below two per cent for the last five to 10 years and has also noted a decrease in the number and percentage of people who are unaware of their HIV status. This was formerly reported at 50 per cent over the years, but Dr Skyers said with the new spectrum estimated that Jamaica was at 30 per cent being unaware of their status.

In the meantime, acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Kevin Harvey, welcomed the external and local partners at such a timely juncture.

“Jamaica is in a critical stage of the HIV response and as the evidence emerges to what are the best practices in terms of managing and mitigating the HIV response, Jamaica has demonstrated the ability to shift and change and to make the necessary adjustments in the response, to meet the targets and to have the greatest impact on those who are infected and affected,” Dr Harvey said.

The five areas that will be discussed in detail during the PAHO Treatment 2.0 Mission include optimising drug regimen, accessibility to HIV diagnosis and monitoring at the point of care, information systems and programme monitoring, rational and efficient use of financial resources/drug and other comorbidities strategic procurement mechanisms, and appropriate and accessible HIV services, including TB-HIV integrated care.

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Record highs of sexually transmitted infections in UK’s MSM

The UK is facing a surge in sexually transmitted infections among men who have sex with men, with record highs in infections of gonorrhoea, chlamydia, and HIV. Tony Kirby reports.

For PHE’s STI information see http://www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/ InfectiousDiseases/InfectionsAZ/ STIs/STIsAnnualDataTables/

For the report on HIV in the UK 2013 see http://www.hpa.org.uk/ Publications/InfectiousDiseases/ HIVAndSTIs/1311HIVintheUk201 3report/

For Australia’s STI surveillance report see http://www.kirby. unsw.edu.au/surveillance/2013- annual-surveillance-report-hiv- viral-hepatitis-stis

For more on the British Society for Sexual Health and HIV see http://www.bashh.org/

For more on the 56 Dean Street Clinic, Soho, London see http:// http://www.chelwest.nhs.uk/services/ hiv-sexual-health/clinics/56- dean-street/56-dean-street

Men who have sex with men (MSM) in the UK are experiencing record- high diagnosis rates for various sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and HIV. Data from Public Health England (PHE) showing these increases were recently presented at the conference Sex, Drugs, and MSM in Birmingham, UK (Nov 1), convened by the British Society for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) after concerns about an STI crisis in UK’s MSM.

In 2012, there were around 36000 STI diagnoses in MSM in sexual health clinics in England— the location where most MSM are tested. This figure includes chlamydia (8500 cases), gonorrhoea (10800 cases), syphilis (2100 cases), herpes (1400 cases), and genital warts (3500 cases). Since 2008, STI diagnoses in MSM have risen sharply, especially gonorrhoea diagnoses, which have trebled. There were 3250 new HIV diagnoses in UK MSM, an all time high, and a 10% increase on the 2960 new diagnoses in MSM in 2011. In 2012, an estimated

7300 MSM were living with HIV but unaware of their infection compared with 34000 MSM living with a diagnosed HIV infection. All of these infections are over-represented among the UK’s MSM population, with 51% of new diagnoses of HIV occurring in MSM, along with 72% of syphilis, 42% of all gonorrhoea, and 9% of all chlamydia diagnoses.

“Some of the increase in new diagnoses of various infections are due to increased and improved testing, for gonorrhoea, chlamydia, and HIV”, says Gwenda Hughes, Head of the STI section at PHE’s Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance and Control,London,UK.“However,there have also been rises in diagnosis rates for other STIs such as syphilis where there have been no changes in testing practice. This suggests that the rises in STIs are due partly to ongoing risky sexual behaviours.”

The number of MSM tested for HIV in 2012 increased by 13% (from 64 270 in 2011 to 72 710) in England and by 19% (from 28 640 to 34 000) in London, the number tested for other STIs through sexual health screens increased by 16% (from 85 322 to 99171) in England and by 21% (from 39 765 to 48 021) in London, explaining part of the increases. Also, in early 2010 nucleic acid amplification tests were validated for testing for gonorrhoea and chlamydia at extragenital sites—namely the throat and rectum—meaning that many people who had the conditions only at these sites and were asymptomatic are now being diagnosed. But the trebling in gonorrhoea diagnoses in MSM from 2008–12 and the more than two- fold increase in chlamydia diagnoses in the same period suggests that ongoing, increased transmission rates are a huge problem, stretching sexual health clinics in certain locations, especially London, to their limits.

There are also some emerging STI problems in the UK. Lympho- granuloma venereum (LGV) is caused by a specific strain of chlamydia that causes more severe symptoms and requires a longer course of treatment than other strains. In the past 10 years, cases of LGV have risen substantially, with 2397 in the UK since 2003, of which 99% were in MSM, and 54% were in London. HIV co-infection was present in 82% of cases, the hepatitis C infection in 20% of cases. There was a rapid rise in cases during 2009, and 56% of all reported cases have been diagnosedsince2010.Bycomparing cases during the so called surge period from 2009 with earlier cases, experts from PHE were able to determine that MSM more recently infected with LGV were more likely to have attended group sex parties, to have shared sex toys, and to be HIV positive. “This is suggestive of an increasing number of HIV-positive MSM in the UK engaging in high-risk sexual behaviour”, says Hughes. A PHE initiative in 2010 to promote better hygiene practices and safer sex, including in gay saunas, has probably helped bring down new infection rates of LGV from their 2010 peak.

Another relative newcomer to the STI scene is Shigella flexneri, a gastrointestinal infection spread by faecal–oral contact that can cause serious episodes of diarrhoea, fever, and other symptoms. Although data about sexual orientation are not routinely collected for cases of Shigella flexneri, the estimated number of sexually acquired cases in MSM in England and Wales has risen from 43 in 2009 to 172 in 2012. 224 cases have been reported so far in 2013. A PHE investigation of 34 MSM infected by Shigella showed that 59% were HIV positive, 76% had used recreational drugs, and, of these, 30% had injected them. Injecting was a new behaviour for almost all of those who reported it. Most men interviewed had met their partners online, through smartphone apps, or at private sex parties, and sex- on-premises venues such as saunas.

“The issues behind the rise in STIs in the UK are complex and multifactorial”, saysDavidAsboe,Chairofboththe BASHH MSM special interest group and theBritishHIVAssociation.“Firstly,it is important to remember that rates of STIs, particularly gonorrhoea and syphilis, were high in the 1970s and 80s. They dropped because of profound changesinsexualbehaviour,including reduced numbers of sexual partners, and increased use of condoms, directlyduetoHIV/AIDS.Whilesome of the data are conflicting, I have no doubt that a significant proportion of increases in STIs and HIV in MSM since 2000 relate to a reversal of these changes in sexual behaviour due to the fact HIV is now treatable and that AIDS and death related to HIV are rare.”

Sexual health surveys in London have shown that the proportion of MSM engaging in sex without condoms has increased from 29% to 47% over the 12 years from 1996 to 2008 (when the survey was last done).

The rise in gonorrhoea is a particular worry since antibiotic resistance to this infection has been increasing worldwide. In 2011, the UK changed treatment guidelines because reduced susceptibility to cefixime, the front-line therapy at that time, had increased beyond 5% of cases. This trend has reversed following the switch to the new front-line regimen, ceftriaxone and azithromycin. “This is only a reprieve”, warns Hughes. “History has shown that gonorrhoea is an infection that quickly develops resistance to new treatments. We do need new treatments but we should also investigate whether we can tailor treatments for specific population groups using existing drugs, to help keep them useful drugs for longer. We also need to improve awareness among MSM that this could become an infection that might not be so easy to treat in future, and that using condoms when having sex can greatly reduce your risk of getting infected.”

The UK is by no means unique among developed countries in terms of its STI epidemic in MSM. At the recent Australasian HIV and Sexual Health Conferences in Darwin, Australia, experts announced that 1253 new HIV diagnoses were recorded in Australia in 2012. This prevalence was the highest for 20 years, 853 of which were in MSM, an 8% rise on the total of 803 recorded in 2011. Cases of gonorrohoea increased by 91% between 2008–12 in all men, compared with 54% in women, whereas syphilis cases increased by 22% in all men from 2011 to 2012 compared with a 9% increase in women. LGV and Shigella are not currently notifiable STIs in Australia.

“Both chlamydia and gonorrhoea are increasing substantially in Australia, although not by the extraordinarily large percentage seen in the UK since 2008”, says Andrew Grulich, Head of the HIV Epidemiology and Prevention Program at the Kirby Institute (University of New South Wales, Australia). “For chlamydia, the increase is in men and women, whereas in gonorrhoea, the increase is largely in men, mostly MSM. Some of this increase is known to be related to increased testing rates using more accuratediagnostictests.Nevertheless, at least some of the increase is real, meaning from increased transmission.”

Back in England, PHE has established an expert group to address some of the health risks posed by the interplaybetweendruguseandsexual behaviours, especially in relation to

STI and blood-borne viruses, and to consider the kinds of services that are needed. Hughes believes clinics such asthe56DeanStreetClinicinSoho, London (which includes CODE, the AntidoteSubstanceMisuseServiceat LondonFriend,aLesbianGayBisexual and Transgender health and wellbeing charity) and the Club Drug Clinic at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, are vital to help deal with the crossover between STIs and drug use.

PHE are attempting pilots in sexual health clinics nationwide to ascertain drug use in MSM attending health screens, which could help improve understanding of the relation between unsafe sex and drug use. “More must be done to promote safer sexual behaviour and to improve sexual health screening for MSM, including regular HIV testing”, she concludes. Along with other experts across Europe, Hughes is hopeful that the recent European HIV Testing Week (Nov 22–29), has encouraged more MSM to come forward for testing for HIV and other STIs, since earlier diagnosis and treatment is one of the most important steps in slowing and eventually reversing the STI epidemic.

Tony Kirby

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Evolution and intellectual ghettoes : not just stupid, university stupid !

 

“core value of our university is free and open inquiry. We encourage robust debate on the difficult issues of the day, and we welcome people with many points of view to our campus to better understand those issues and the differences that can divide us. That can and does mean that we sometimes provide a forum for opinions that may be controversial — or even on occasion reprehensible — to many or a few. While we cannot and will not censor the expression of divergent opinions, we do expect those opinions be expressed with civility and with respect for other points of view.”

 

……. David Leebron, President of Rice University.….

 

http://www.jmtour.com/personal-topics/the-scientist-and-his-“theory”-and-the-christian-creationist-and-his-“science”/

Evolution/Creation

Layman’s Reflections on Evolution and Creation. An Insider’s View of the Academy
Assuming that I have something significant to contribute to the evolution vs. creation debate, many ask me to speak and write concerning my thoughts on the topic. However, I do not have anything substantive to say about it. I am a layman on the subject. Although I have read about a half dozen books on the debate, maybe a dozen, and though I can speak authoritatively on complex chemical synthesis, I am not qualified to enter the public discussion on evolution vs. creation. So please don’t ask me to be the speaker or debater at your event, and think carefully about asking me for an interview because I will probably not give you the profound quotations that you seek. You are of course free to quote me from what is written here, but do me the kindness of placing my statements in a fair context.
I have been labeled as an Intelligent Design (ID) proponent. I am not. I do not know how to use science to prove intelligent design although some others might. I am sympathetic to the arguments on the matter and I find some of them intriguing, but the scientific proof is not there, in my opinion. So I prefer to be free of that ID label. Blaise Pascal (1623-1662, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaise_Pascal), one of the finest scientists, mathematicians and inventors that the world has ever enjoyed, and also among the most well-respected and deepest thinking Christian apologists, wrote in his Pensees 463, “It is a remarkable fact that no canonical [biblical] author has ever used nature to prove God. They all try to make people believe in him. David, Solomon, etc., never said: ‘There is no such thing as a vacuum, therefore God exists.’ They must have been cleverer than the cleverest of their successors, all of whom have used proofs from nature. This is very noteworthy.’” As Kreeft (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Kreeft) points out in his commentary on Pascal’s Pensees, “If the Scripture does not use nature to prove God, it can’t be the best strategy. Notice that Pascal does not say that there are no good proofs of God or that none of them begin with data from nature. Elsewhere, he specifies merely that such proofs are psychologically weak, but he does not say they are logically weak. More important, they are salvifically weak, [meaning that] they will not save us. If nature proved God clearly, we would not have to search for him with all our hearts.” Pascal further writes in his Pensees 429 , “This is what I see that troubles me: Nature has nothing to offer me that does not give rise to doubt and anxiety; if there is a God supporting nature, she should unequivocally proclaim him, and that, if the signs in nature are deceptive, they should be completely erased; that nature should say all or nothing so that I could see what course I ought to follow.” Though 350 years since Pascal penned his dilemma, as a modern-day scientist, I do not know how to prove ID using my most sophisticated of analytical tools. I share Pascal’s frustration. Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if, when scientists had obtained the first molecular resolution images of human DNA, it had self-assembled (a thermodynamic process) into the Hebrew script to say, “The God of Heaven and Earth was here.”? But it did not, and I suppose that the wonder would have elicited no love from the skeptic anyway. Therefore, God seems to have set nature as a clue, not a solution, to keep us yearning for him.
Not that it matters much, but since many want to know, I will ask the question for them: Where does Jim Tour stand on the evolution vs. creation debate? I do have scientific problems understanding macroevolution as it is usually presented. I simply can not accept it as unreservedly as many of my scientist colleagues do, although I sincerely respect them as scientists. Some of them seem to have little trouble embracing many of evolution’s proposals based upon (or in spite of) archeological, mathematical, biochemical and astrophysical suggestions and evidence, and yet few are experts in all of those areas, or even just two of them. Although most scientists leave few stones unturned in their quest to discern mechanisms before wholeheartedly accepting them, when it comes to the often gross extrapolations between observations and conclusions on macroevolution, scientists, it seems to me, permit unhealthy leeway. When hearing such extrapolations in the academy, when will we cry out, “The emperor has no clothes!”?
From what I can see, microevolution is a fact; we see it all around us regarding small changes within a species, and biologists demonstrate this procedure in their labs on a daily basis. Hence, there is no argument regarding microevolution. The core of the debate for me, therefore, is the extrapolation of microevolution to macroevolution. Here is what some supporters of Darwinism have written regarding this point in respected journals, and it is apparent that they struggle with the same difficulty.
Stern, David L. “Perspective: Evolutionary Developmental Biology and the Problem of Variation,” Evolution 2000, 54, 1079-1091. A contribution from the University of Cambridge. “One of the oldest problems in evolutionary biology remains largely unsolved; Historically, the neo-Darwinian synthesizers stressed the predominance of micromutations in evolution, whereas others noted the similarities between some dramatic mutations and evolutionary transitions to argue for macromutationism.”
Simons, Andrew M. “The Continuity of Microevolution and Macroevolution,” Journal of Evolutionary Biology 2002, 15, 688-701. A contribution from Carleton University.”A persistent debate in evolutionary biology is one over the continuity of microevolution and macroevolution — whether macroevolutionary trends are governed by the principles of microevolution.”
So the debate between the validity of extending microevolutionary trends to macroevolutionary projections is indeed “persistent” in evolutionary biology.
Some are disconcerted or even angered that I signed a statement back in 2001 along with over 700 other scientists: “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.” Do not the texts written by the two authors above underscore what I signed, namely, “Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged”? And these “oldest problems in evolutionary biology” lead me and many others to our being “skeptical.” It is not a matter of politics. I simply do not understand, chemically, how macroevolution could have happened. Hence, am I not free to join the ranks of the skeptical and to sign such a statement without reprisals from those that disagree with me? Furthermore, when I, a non-conformist, ask proponents for clarification, they get flustered in public and confessional in private wherein they sheepishly confess that they really don’t understand either. Well, that is all I am saying: I do not understand. But I am saying it publicly as opposed to privately. Does anyone understand the chemical details behind macroevolution? If so, I would like to sit with that person and be taught, so I invite them to meet with me. Lunch will be my treat. Until then, I will maintain that no chemist understands, hence we are collectively bewildered. And I have not even addressed origin of first life issues. For me, that is even more scientifically mysterious than evolution. Darwin never addressed origin of life, and I can see why he did not; he was far too smart for that. Present day scientists that expose their thoughts on this become ever so timid when they talk with me privately. I simply can not understand the source of their confidence when addressing their positions publicly.
Furthermore, most of my scientist colleagues do not discuss macroevolution very often because they are too busy with their own fields of interest to be sidetracked by such tangential matters. Though the acceptance of macroevolution is rather implicit within their core understandings, most science professors are simply too harried to take much notice of the details. Pondering and thoughtfulness has been pounded and distilled out of many of us; there’s another meeting to attend, another proposal to write, another manuscript to proof, yet another lecture to deliver, 100 more emails to answer, and the anxieties about our futures must be allayed. “The peace which passeth all understanding,” is beyond reach, nay beyond understanding.
Likewise, I do not well-understand the stance of many of my creationist friends regarding their scientific evidence for creation or intelligent design, but they seem to be quite comfortable in most respects with the natural and historical suggestions for its claims. I am happy for them, but I hope that their position does not cause them to trump brotherly love or charity in thought or words. When they write on these topics, they are too quick to cite each other or to refer to 40-year-old studies, and slow to consider the newer findings in the mainstream scientific literature. The scientist is not the creationist’s enemy, and most scientists are quite sincere in producing research that is accurate to the best of today’s measurement abilities. For example, the gross dismissing of radiometric dating experiments that use even multiple corroborating nuclei, not by a mere 20% or even 100%, but by 4-5 orders of magnitude, based on antiquated “scientific” arguments, is unscientific and unfair. Moreover, to simply suggest that “God made it look older than it really is” is also unreasonable. With what else is God deceiving us? The virgin birth, the crucifixion or the resurrection, perhaps? Never. God is not in the business of deception, but in causing man to seek so that he could find. And my creationist friends need some thoughtful explanations for their children because, in my experience, young college-aged people seek truth, and if you threaten them, try to brow-beat them, or show them a select set of cloistered “scientific” data, they’ll smell hypocrisy, and sooner or later in life, reject it altogether.
What a comfort it must be to be pleasantly settled in one camp or the other, but I can not be so settled, and hence I have few tent-fellows. Based upon my faith in the Scriptures, I do believe (yes, faith and belief go beyond scientific evidence for this scientist) that God created the heavens and the earth and all that dwell therein, including a man named Adam and a woman named Eve. As for many of the details and the time-spans, I personally become less clear. Some may ask, What’s “less clear” about the text that reads, “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth”? That is a fair question, and I wish I had an answer that would satisfy them. But I do not because I remain less clear.
I hope that’s satisfactory; I mean for me, a scientist and a Christian, to be unsure of a few things in both science and Christianity. The question is not fundamental to my salvation as a Christian which is based upon the finished work of Jesus Christ, my confession in him as Savior and my belief in his resurrection from the dead. And I used to think that my outward confession of skepticism regarding Darwinian Theory was also of little consequence to my career as a scientist. Specifically, in the past, I wrote that my standing as a scientist was “based primarily upon my scholarly peer-reviewed publications.” I no longer believe that, however.
In the last few years I have seen a saddening progression at several institutions. I have witnessed unfair treatment upon scientists that do not accept macroevolutionary arguments and for their having signed the above-referenced statement regarding the examination of Darwinism. (I will comment no further regarding the specifics of the actions taken upon the skeptics; I love and honor my colleagues too much for that.) I never thought that science would have evolved like this. I deeply value the academy; teaching, professing and research in the university are my privileges and joys. Rice University, from the administration, has always been gracious and open. The president of Rice University, David Leebron, has even written to the faculty that a,“core value of our university is free and open inquiry. We encourage robust debate on the difficult issues of the day, and we welcome people with many points of view to our campus to better understand those issues and the differences that can divide us. That can and does mean that we sometimes provide a forum for opinions that may be controversial — or even on occasion reprehensible — to many or a few. While we cannot and will not censor the expression of divergent opinions, we do expect those opinions be expressed with civility and with respect for other points of view.”
Hence, by my observation, the unfair treatment upon the skeptics of macroevolution has not come from the administration level. But my recent advice to my graduate students has been direct and revealing: If you disagree with Darwinian Theory, keep it to yourselves if you value your careers, unless, of course, you’re one of those champions for proclamation; I know that that fire exists in some, so be ready for lead-ridden limbs. But if the scientific community has taken these shots at senior faculty, it will not be comfortable for the young non-conformist. When the power-holders permit no contrary discussion, can a vibrant academy be maintained? Is there a University (unity in diversity)? For the United States, I pray that the scientific community and the National Academy in particular will investigate the disenfranchisement that is manifest upon some of their own, and thereby address the inequity.
So what should be taught in schools regarding evolution? As I wrote, I am not a proponent of Intelligent Design for the reasons I state above: I can not prove it using my tools of chemistry to which I am bound in the chemistry classroom; the same tools to which I commensurately bind my evolutionist colleagues. But I think that a better approach might include more teaching about evolution, namely coverage of legitimate scientific criticisms of neo-Darwinism and disputes about the origin of the first life. That would be more balanced.
Some have asked me what I think of the movie, “Expelled. No Intelligence Allowed.” I saw a closed viewing of the movie in February 2008, two months before its public showing. It was difficult for me to watch because it struck so close to home, thus I am sure that my feelings were different than the other non-scientists in the theater. As to the veracity of the specific claims by others in the movie, I cannot judge since I was not walking in their shoes. But here is what I fear: the movie might serve to increase the polarization between the scientific and lay communities. That a subset of the scientific establishment is retarding the careers of Darwinian skeptics is true as far as I have witnessed personally. If there are legitimate scientific skepticisms regarding the extrapolation of microevolution to macroevolution, those skeptics are sometimes stifled through unfair treatment regarding their career advancement; that is real although most scientists would say that such attacks on careers are nonexistent. Most would say such a thing because they are not involved in the skirmish and they are not aware that a colleague down the hall is hemorrhaging. Like many, they are absorbed in their own work because science can be all-consuming. I do not fault them for that. Most scientists, as I said, are far too busy with their own careers to be involved with other’s problems of this sort. A small number of scientists would say that the stifled deserve stifling. Therefore, if attention can be brought to the unfortunate state in science through the movie, let it come. I hope all welcome freedom of speech and freedom of inquiry, even if that freedom threatens one’s own preconceived views or areas of research. But I also hope that the reaction will not be too great on the layperson’s side wherein their disgust induces a politician or two to become incensed in the investigation because of the unnecessarily incendiary portrayals to Nazism, Berlin-walling and church-demolishing in the movie; although entertaining from a theatrical perspective, that part of the movie is taken to an unrealistic extrapolation point. But then again, one who is far more qualified than I am, and further seasoned by fire, believed differently. Viktor Frankl (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Frankl), a former Auschwitz inmate wrote in The Doctor and the Soul, that the source for much of the 20th Century’s inhumanity has come from the very origins being discussed here.
“If we present a man with a concept of man which is not true, we may well corrupt him. When we present man as an automaton of reflexes, as a mind-machine, as a bundle of instincts, as a pawn of drives and reactions, as a mere product of instinct, heredity and environment, we feed the nihilism to which modern man is, in any case, prone.
“I became acquainted with the last stage of that corruption in my second concentration camp, Auschwitz. The gas chambers of Auschwitz were the ultimate consequence of the theory that man is nothing but the product of heredity and environment; or as the Nazi liked to say, ‘of Blood and Soil.’ I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some Ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desks and lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers [emphasis added].”
If Frankl is correct, God help us.

 

 

xxxxx   E N D S  xxxxx

Gay Pride San Francisco

” Up your alley”  :  secular nihilism

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Scottish referendum : the beginning of the end of an anti- free speech fascist Gaystapo state ?

 

“The remedy for speech that is false is speech that is true. This is the ordinary course in a free society. The response to the unreasoned is the rational; to the uninformed, the enlightened; to the straight-out lie, the simple truth”.

…..  Judge  Anthony  Kennedy …..

United States v. Alvarez, 567 U. S. ____, *16 (2012).

 

“Gay rights” are not human rights.  They are a special category of rights created by LGBT activists and their supporters which trump human rights and are used to punish persons who do not endorse same sex orientation.

Countries which embrace   “gay rights” are fascist gaystapo states  which directly or  indirectly restrict freedom of  speech, conscience and parental  rights.  The  UK   appears to  have  become one  such  state.  If  this  is  so  the Scottish referendum on independence may well be the beginning  of  the end of  this anti- free speech fascist gaystapo state. 

 

 xxxxx E N D S xxxxx

http://www.somersetcountygazette.co.uk/news/11274937.Police_advise_people_to_video_street_preacher__if_he_make_offensive_remarks_/

Police advise people to video street preacher ‘if he make offensive remarks’

 

First published Thursday 12 June 2014 in News

 

michael_overd_SGwk25
POLICE are advising people to video a street preacher on their mobiles if they think he is making offensive remarks.

Complaints have been made about Michael Overd following a number of confrontations in Taunton town centre, officers say.

Mr Overd has upset some passers-by in High Street when forthrightly expressing his views about homosexuality and sex outside marriage.

Officers have spoken to him and potential witnesses, including the manager of a business who claims some customers avoided the area on Saturday because they felt intimidated.

Sgt Neil Kimmins said: “People shouldn’t have abuse like that thrown at them.

“The street preacher likes to engage with individuals.

“He has a camera kit to protect himself from abuse and gathers evidence of people being hostile towards him.

“He’s being hostile towards them and they are responding.

“Homophobia is definitely an issue.

“We’re conscious of the right to free speech but it’s about getting the right balance so people can come to our town.”
Sgt Kimmins said he wants to gather evidence, which he will look at before discussing with the Crown Prosecution whether to make any charges.

He added: “I’d advise people that if they’re offended to record any incident on their mobile phone and send it to us.”

According to one complainant the preacher made “offensive and derogatory” comments about gay people in the town centre on Saturday and continued to do so despite someone approaching him and accusing him of being offensive.

Sgt Kimmins said: “This is about ordinary people being able to go about their daily activities without the fear of receiving abuse or harassment based on their perceived marital status or sexual bias.”

Approached by the County Gazette as he preached in Taunton town centre yesterday (Wednesday) Mr Overd, from Creech St Michael, said: “I’ve said fornication is a sin. I’m preaching what the Bible says.

“The Bible is an offence to sinners…they hate the word and the preacher. Sometimes we hate the truth.

“I’d rather people not be offended but I know they will be. I love them enough to tell them the truth.”

He said he loved God so much that he could face the fear of possible prosecution.

“I’ve done nothing wrong before Almighty God. My conscience is clear,” he added.

Anyone who feels offended by the street preacher can call police on 101 or e-mail any video evidence they obtain to ssntauntontowncentre@avonandsomerset.police.uk Mr Overd was cleared of harassment following a trial at Taunton Deane Magistrates’ Courts in February 2012.

 

 

 

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US exports “rights” to fisting,felching,farming,anal penetration , scat, gender fluidity and other nonsense; China grows.

 

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20140914/focus/focus2.html

China Awakening: What Are We Doing?
Published: Sunday | September 14, 2014

 

 

Mandarinp4

Rosalea Hamilton, GUEST COLUMNIST

“Let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will shake the world.”

- Napoleon Bonaparte

China’s growth is shaking the world as she wakes. During the period 1989-2014, China’s GDP annual growth rate averaged about 9%, reaching a height of 14.2% in the fourth quarter of 1992. In the second quarter of 2014, China has already hit its 7.5% growth target for this year.

In 2010, China’s industrial output marginally exceeded that of the US. By 2012, the value of China’s industrial production was 126% of the US level, at a value of US$3.7 trillion, compared to US$2.9 trillion for the US. This is the first time in more than a century that a country has surpassed the US as the world’s largest industrial producer. Using the purchasing power parity (PPP) measure, Bloomberg projects that China will overtake the US as the world’s biggest economy this year.

China has the world’s fastest growth of consumption compared to the G7 and BRIC economies and “easily has the world’s fastest rise in living standards”, according to John Ross, senior fellow at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China. Data on the rapid growth of Chinese spending on smartphones, cars, designer clothes, Internet, foreign holidays, etc. are evidence of its rising living standards. Ross argues, “China’s 9.9% average increase in GDP per capita during the two last five-year plans is the fastest economic growth per capita ever achieved by a major country in human history.”

For those correctly concerned about the millions of Chinese living in poverty amid the rapid growth of a wealthy Chinese middle class, Professor Danny Quah, of the London School of Economics, in 2010, noted that: “In the last three decades, China alone has lifted more people out of extreme poverty than the rest of the world combined.” In 1981, World Bank data revealed that 972 million people in China were living on an expenditure of less than US$37.50 a month. By 2009, the number fell to 157 million, lifting 678 million people out of extreme poverty. During this period, the number of persons living at this level of poverty in the world outside China increased by about 500 million.

China’s growth has been meteoric, from one of the world’s least-developed countries in 1949 to the biggest creditor to the US today. Many countries are positioning themselves to take advantage of new, emerging opportunities in China. What are we doing to position ourselves?

Jamaica has had a long-standing relationship with China. In fact, this year marks 160 years since the first Chinese came to Jamaica as indentured workers. Up to the 1970s, when there was a heavy migration of the Chinese from Jamaica, many Jamaicans interacted with Chinese-Jamaicans and got to know small aspects (perhaps too small) of the Chinese culture and personality. It could also be argued that because of the Chinese migration in the 1970s, two generations of Jamaicans have had only cursory interaction with persons of Chinese heritage.

SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP

What is even less known is Jamaica’s special relationship with China because of our early support in 1972 for the ‘One China’ policy. Also, most Jamaicans do not have first-hand experience of the rapid development taking place in China as it rockets to the number one position in the world.

This limited knowledge and understanding of China, coupled with negative reactions to recent Chinese activities associated with the trans-shipment port and logistics hub facility on the Goat Islands and labour disputes with Chinese construction officials, is contributing to growing anti-Chinese sentiments. This has led Prof Anthony Chen, in his inaugural presidential address at the launch of the Chinese Cultural Association of Jamaica in March 2014, to argue that increasing anti-Chinese sentiments can create conditions for violence against Jamaica’s Chinese community, as happened previously in the anti-Chinese riots of 1918 and 1965.

This is an unfortunate development rooted in the terms of our recent engagement with the Chinese. Over the past few years, Jamaicans have become aware of the many gifts and very generous loans from the Chinese government, including the Sligoville stadium, MoBay Convention Centre, North-South toll road and more.

Sceptics are not convinced that some of these edifices have delivered (or will deliver) their promised benefits. The consequence of this seemingly one-sided relationship is a growing dependence on the Chinese to solve our economic woes. For some, reminded of our dependent colonial past and observing a similar dependent relationship in Africa and other parts of the world, this new dependency is seen as a form of Chinese imperialism to be resisted.

These negative perspectives of the recent Chinese experience in Jamaica were recently challenged by the experience of nine Jamaicans who participated in a tour of China organised by the Scotiabank Chair in Entrepreneurship and Development at the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) and Sias International University (Sias) from May 26 to June 16. The tour, covering five major cities (Beijing, Zhengzhou, Xi’an, Hangzhou and Shanghai), provided an excellent opportunity to witness China’s rich cultural history, the phenomenal growth in infrastructure, growing opulence as well as the pride, discipline, friendliness and humility of the Chinese people. Results from a pre-/post-perception survey of participants revealed discernible shifts in perspectives after the tour. The following comments are instructive:

“Was just the tip of an iceberg … allowed me to see a significant scope for expanding the Jamaica-China relationship.”

“Caused me to question whether Jamaica is clear on its role in the relationship … . It is not adequately articulated to the Jamaican people.”

“Not being fully informed about present China-Jamaica relationship … . Now positive and sure that any China-Jamaica relationship would be a fruitful and beneficial venture for us if we actively pursue it.”

“Tour cemented in my mind that a robust post-modern China policy must be developed very quickly and not a policy that seeks to go to China cap in hand, but one that recognises the mutual path and appetites of both countries.”

It’s not just about what China is doing to us but, importantly, it’s also about what we are doing to China. As this giant awakens with an appetite for international tastes, are we actively seeking to understand how to whet their appetite for exotic Jamaican goods and services using the awesome power of the Internet, social media and other means? Are we confident and bold enough to create new demand in China for our unique cultural products: reggae, fashion, jerk and other spices, Patois, etc.? Are we leveraging the Chinese-Jamaican cultural experience to penetrate China?

We were able to penetrate the Japanese market (127 million population) with our music. What about the vast and growing China market (1.3 billion population)? Are we building on the tremendous brand recognition of Jamaica in China spawned by our athletes, especially Usain Bolt? Are we cultivating the ‘guanxi’ (social capital) required to benefit from our special relationship with China so as to create sustainable opportunities for the Jamaican people?

Instead of passively reacting in negative ways to the global expansion of China as she awakes, we need to proactively do these things and much more to create mutually beneficial relationships. In so doing, we avoid a new form of dependency and the associated negative perceptions and socially regressive outcomes.

Rosalea Hamilton, PhD, is VP, community service and development, UTech; and Scotiabank Chair professor, entrepreneurship and development, UTech. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and rosaleahamilton@gmail.com.
DATE TYPE PURPOSE LENDER AMOUNT
Nov 2005 Infrastructure Trelawny Stadium China China Ex-Im Bank $30M
June 2007 Infrastructure MoBay Convention Centre China Ex-Im Bank $45M
Feb 2009 Other Short-term trade financing China Ex-Im Bank $118M
Feb 2010 Infrastructure Shoreline reconstruction China Ex-Im Bank $58M
Aug 2010 Infrastructure Road construction China Ex-Im Bank $340M
Sept 2011 Other Jamaica Economic Housing China Ex-Im Bank $71M
Aug 2013 Infrastructure Road and bridge rehab China Ex-Im Bank $292M
Sept 2013 Infrastructure North-South toll road China Dev Bank $457M
Source: China-Latin America Finance Database (2013)

eahamilton@gmail.com.

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The United Nations about “LGBT rights” but what of your freedom of speech and conscience ?

The remedy for speech that is false is speech that is true. This is the ordinary course in a free society. The response to the unreasoned is the rational; to the uninformed, the enlightened; to the straight-out lie, the simple truth”.

…Judge  Anthony Kennedy…
United States v. Alvarez, 567 U. S. ____, *16 (2012).

click below to see  what  the UN is  doing  in your name

Free and equal

 

 

http://www.mambaonline.com/2014/09/09/qwelane-gay-hate-speech-case-resume-november/

 

qwelane_homophobic_hate_speech_case_to_resume_in_november

The years-long legal battle to make Jon Qwelane face the consequences of his homophobic hate speech will continue later this year.

On Monday, Qwelane’s lawyer, Andrew Boerner, said in a statement that the South Gauteng High Court will hear the disgraced journalist’s effort to challenge certain provisions of the Equality Act on 13 and 14 November.

Qwelane, who is now embarrassingly South Africa’s High Commissioner to Uganda, is specifically challenging sections 10 and 11 of the Act, under which he was convicted for hate speech in 2011, on the basis that they infringe on his constitutional right to free speech.

“Today [Monday] the heads of argument were filed and we will now prepare for the hearing,” said Boerner.

“We are also seeking a stay of the equality proceedings that are at present pending against our client in the Equality Court. What is sought is only a temporary stay pending the outcome of the constitutional challenge.”

Qwelane believes that he has the constitutional right to insult gay people, to compare same-sex marriage to bestiality and to call for the repeal of the Constitution’s sexual orientation discrimination protection, as he did in his infamous homophobic 2008 article, Call me names, but gay is NOT okay…

In statement issued last year, Boerner said that Qwelane’s views in the article “may have been unpopular, controversial and even shocking, but it neither advocated hatred nor constituted incitement to cause harm. His expression is therefore protected by our Constitution.”

The SA Human Rights Commission will be opposing Qwelane’s challenge, along with the ministers of justice and correctional services.

The Psychological Society of South Africa said in October that it will also provide evidence to the court showing “the nature and extent of the material harm caused by homophobic hate speech,” and “the tangible consequences of such hate speech on the lives of those who are its target and society at large.”

In 2011, an Equality Court ruled that Qwelane’s article “propagates hatred and harm against homosexuals” and ordered Qwelane to apologise to the gay community and to pay damages of R100,000 towards an LGBT rights group. Qwelane has doggedly continued to challenge the ruling ever since.

Despite his statements that flouted the country’s Constitution he was made South Africa’s high commissioner in Uganda by President Jacob Zuma. This was described at the time as a “F*** you” to South Africa’s and Uganda’s LGBT communities.

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