Archive for October, 2010


politics and the “truth,” ii

Is it just me, or is there anyone else out there who’s fed up with the lack of true, meaningful political/societal discourse? Billions of dollars are spent every political season, but nothing actually gets said, and too many of MFA are too easily taken in by vague, deliberately-misleading-ads bullshit.

Case in point: postcard flyer comes in the mail comparing the “career politician” (CP) with the “successful businessman” (SB) running for the Senate.

CP: raised taxes

SB: has never raised taxes

Am I the only person who realizes that SB has never raised taxes because he’s never had the opportunity, as he has never held office? And is American politics the only “profession” where having actual experience is considered a deficit? Yeah, I’m sure we’re all automatically so much better off if we have people in government, representing us and our interests, who don’t have a clue what they’re doing. In case you’ve forgotten, we did that, from 2000-2008 — (how short are the attention spans of MFA anyway? don’t answer that) —  how many of you are better off now than you were in 2000?

CP has “voted for cuts on education” and SB opposes cuts.

Am I the only person who realizes that CP may have opposed cuts as well, but was given no choice since we live in a state that legally requires a balanced budget and whose economy has been in the toilet for the last 7 years? And should we take this to mean that SB has never had to make a decision contrary to his wishes out of necessity? Sounds like a pretty cushy life.

Oh, but CP has “no business experience” and the “unemployment rate jumped from 7.5% to 13.0% while he was in the house” while SB is a “proven job creator.”

Well, duh. First of all, CP is a “career politician” so obviously he can’t have “business experience;” and the unemployment rate jumped that high in many many other states while our greed for inflated real estate prices, home-equity loans and the easy-win through stock market manipulations caused the countrywide economy to tank.

Meanwhile, SB is a “Succesful Business Owner.” What does that mean exactly? How many people does he employ? Does he pay their health insurance? Do they get parental leave when they have a baby? Does he contribute to their retirement plan? Nobody knows. And is he saying that government is a business, which makes him ideally suited? Please.

Ah, but he’s Pro Life. Never mind that a) so is CP, and b) “pro life” means the government gets to make your personal decisions for you but won’t guarantee that your child will get a decent education, health care, or be treated fairly in the workplace or upon retirement.

Oh, but look — SB has a picture on the front of him holding his baby. That must mean he’s a good person. And then there’s picture of a whole lot of people, including someone of a different race. Is he the parent? sibling? did he just come in and sit down on their front yard while they had their picture taken? Who knows, who cares, look — he’s smiling! I guess I’ll vote for him!

Sheesh. Gag.

In a related story — Why is it there are so many millionaire-billionaire-gazillionaires out there willing to spend their personal fortune getting elected to office? What’s in it for them, exactly? Doesn’t seem like a good return on their investment, unless they’re just in it for the power and prestige, which makes me wonder what they’re going to do for ME and MFA.  And why aren’t there laws about political truth-in-advertising, or restricting how much money can be spent in a race? We’re being bought and sold like so many Monopoly houses.

And then there are the robo-calls. You’re not telling me anything, you’re filling up my voice mail box, you’re shouting or pandering or obfuscating. Shouldn’t there be a do-not-call list for political ads? STOP CALLING ME!

Get informed, get smart, and vote. And no, if you’re not going to do the first two, do us all a favor, and don’t do the last.


(One of) the problem(s) with religion

Seen on a billboard:


__________ Church

Liars Welcome


That’s just terrific. In other words, you suck, your soul is black as dirt, but God loves you anyway.

What an uplifting message.

I wonder what the world would look like if instead of being told what miserable, sinning, waste-of-space creatures we all are we were told instead that we each held within us the power to change the world for the better.



just don’t mess with “my” Spanish coffee

Apparently there is a new beverage market out there among twenty-somethings for a drink that mixes alcohol and caffeine and is sold in brightly-colored cans reminiscent of Red Bull.

This is considered to be particularly dangerous because a) it is targeted towards young (barely-of-age) drinkers and b) the effects of the caffeine mask the effects of the alcohol, causing those partaking to be unable to recognize how “drunk” they actually are.

According to the story, one twenty-something was admitted to the hospital and found to have a blood alcohol level of .40.

Yikes. That can’t be good.

This does bring to mind a persistent question I have: why is it that it is legal in this country to get married (that is, decide you are ready to decide who you want to spend the rest of your life with, raise children with, etc., etc.) and join the Army (kill! kill! blood and guts and veins in your teeth [blame Arlo Guthrie, not me]) at the age of 18, but aren’t considered responsible enough to consume alcohol until you’re 21.

Just wondering. Maybe it’s just me.


windy weather

So, it’s a rather blustery day out there, and it’s apparently going to get even blusterier.

(I know, it’s not a word; work with me.)

I live in a house that’s surrounded by 80-90′ trees; I don’t really like strong winds all that much. A few weeks ago during a particularly windy day one of the trees in my front yard fell across the road. Luckily no one was driving, or biking, or walking, past at the time.

Read this report today of a woman impaled by a branch when a tree fell onto her Smart Car. I’m sorry if I seem to be lacking in sympathy, but how smart is it really to be out driving in a matchbox toy pretend Smart Car on what every weathercaster has been predicting will be one of the windiest days on record? The Edmund Fitzgerald couldn’t stand up to it, but gosh darn it, me and my matchbox toy pretend Smart Car will!

Wonder if she’s the same woman who was concerned about driving an electric car and forgetting to plug it in. . .


too busy

Too busy to think, too busy to read, too busy to write.

I love most of the things that I’m doing, but there are just too many of them, and I keep finding myself thinking “yeah it’s Wednesday!/why am I wishing my life away week by week?”

There has to be a better way.

Any ideas?



loss in two sentences

Separation, by W. S. Merwin

Your absence has gone through me

like thread through a needle.

Everything I do is stitched with its color.


golden grace

There are days when I am almost overcome by the beauty of my life and the world around me.

This is one of them.

I’ve been reminded over the past few days, as I had been dreading the falling of the leaves which signals the soon-to-be onset of winter, that there is a flip side. As the foliage falls away more sun, light ! , can find its way into my house. The soft green light so welcome in the spring, which becomes darkly verdant green shade throughout the summer now turns golden and bright.


Nox, by Ann Carson

This is a simply beautiful book. You find yourself immediately caught up in it in what seems to be a slower, meditative passage of time.

Ann Carson is a teacher of Greek and a writer on Greek topics, and of essays, poems. She compiled a scrapbook after her brother had died (mysteriously; we never know of what, or where, or how; we do not know if she knows), and then recreated it in this lovely dedication to him. It opens accordion-style, with remnants and fragments and scraps of photos and letters and stamps seemingly taped into the pages. It begins with a poem in Latin by Catullus, which she translates one word at a time on the left-side pages.

Many the peoples many the oceans I crossed –

I arrive at these poor, brother, burials

so I could give you the last gift owed to death

and talk (why?) with mute ash.

Now that Fortune tore you from me, you

oh poor (wrongly) brother (wrongly) taken from me,

now still anyway this – what a distant mood of parents

handed down as the sad gift for burials –

accept! soaked with tears of a brother

and into forever, brother, farewell and farewell.

The layout of the pages, the effect of the taped-in torn pieces of paper and bits of old photos are mesmerizing. She draws you in with the first page:

1.0 I wanted to fill my elegy with light of all kinds. But death makes us stingy. There is nothing more to be expended on that, we think, he’s dead. Love cannot alter it. Words cannot add to it. No matter how I try to evoke the starry lad he was, it remains a plain, odd history. So I begin to think about history.

. . .the starry lad he was. . .

It’s a big book, in that it is solid and heavy and housed in a box which opens and contains it as you read. It doesn’t take that long to read, but I want it out on the table where I can flip through it now and then, touch the glossy photos on glossy pages, read bits and fragments of beautiful sentences, beautiful thoughts.

Near the end she challenges that world you have found yourself in by (again) quoting Herotodus:

I have to say what is said. I don’t have to believe it myself.

and soonly closes with

He refuses, he is in the stairwell, he disappears.

We, as she, can almost see him go.


This bag is not a toy

Is it possible that there are still people on the planet who don’t know this and routinely pass these on to Junior to go off and play with?

Must be, because we also have things like:


Now I realize that everyone’s just protecting themselves against lawsuits, because apparently we are the dumbest species alive and completely unable to take responsibility for our own idiocy.

It’s a wonder we’ve survived this long.


Panera Bread

What a gold mine, eh? I’ve never been in one that wasn’t lousy with customers.

Reasonable prices, food seems relatively healthful, plus there’s that beautiful counter of sweet pastries to tempt you on your way in or out.

For those of you not familiar with the Panera system, you are given your choice of sides with your meal: a white or whole-wheat baguette, a bag of chips, or an apple. I always think the offer of the baguette is a little odd when you’ve just ordered a sandwich, but I guess there are people in the world for whom there is no such thing as “too much bread.”  I have yet to get a decent apple there. I’m beginning to suspect some kind of subsidy, paid by the chip distributor, to ensure that the apples on offer are tough, mealy, and tasteless. Well, I guess not completely tasteless, if you consider “styrofoam” a flavor.

Thought I’d do a little research considering the “healthy” factor. Here’s my lunch:

Panera Lunch

Not as good as I’d hoped, but better than it could have been I guess. Seems like a lot of fat grams for half of a sandwich.

At least I didn’t get the chips.


politics and the “media”

I am still kind of in shock that the Supreme Court has ruled that companies can give money freely to political candidates in the name of free speech. At least now I know that I am not the only one who thinks that the money polluting our political system is the biggest obstacle to true democracy. And any illusion of Fox News being “fair and balanced” has to be put to rest — unless they want to hire 4 of the top 5 Democratic candidates and give them equal air time. What are the chances of that do you suppose?  We’re being bought and sold, lied to and manipulated, all in the name of capitalism and (irony alert) free speech. That is, if you call millions of dollars in ads, salaries, consulting fees and donations “free.”

What are we going to do about it?

Op-Ed Columnist

Paul Krugman

Fear and Favor

A note to Tea Party activists: This is not the movie you think it is. You probably imagine that you’re starring in “The Birth of a Nation,” but you’re actually just extras in a remake of “Citizen Kane.”


Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

True, there have been some changes in the plot. In the original, Kane tried to buy high political office for himself. In the new version, he just puts politicians on his payroll.

I mean that literally. As Politico recently pointed out, every major contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination who isn’t currently holding office and isn’t named Mitt Romney is now a paid contributor to Fox News. Now, media moguls have often promoted the careers and campaigns of politicians they believe will serve their interests. But directly cutting checks to political favorites takes it to a whole new level of blatancy.

Arguably, this shouldn’t be surprising. Modern American conservatism is, in large part, a movement shaped by billionaires and their bank accounts, and assured paychecks for the ideologically loyal are an important part of the system. Scientists willing to deny the existence of man-made climate change, economists willing to declare that tax cuts for the rich are essential to growth, strategic thinkers willing to provide rationales for wars of choice, lawyers willing to provide defenses of torture, all can count on support from a network of organizations that may seem independent on the surface but are largely financed by a handful of ultrawealthy families.

And these organizations have long provided havens for conservative political figures not currently in office. Thus when Senator Rick Santorum was defeated in 2006, he got a new job as head of the America’s Enemies program at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a think tank that has received funding from the usual sources: the Koch brothers, the Coors family, and so on.

Now Mr. Santorum is one of those paid Fox contributors contemplating a presidential run. What’s the difference?

Well, for one thing, Fox News seems to have decided that it no longer needs to maintain even the pretense of being nonpartisan.

Nobody who was paying attention has ever doubted that Fox is, in reality, a part of the Republican political machine; but the network — with its Orwellian slogan, “fair and balanced” — has always denied the obvious. Officially, it still does. But by hiring those G.O.P. candidates, while at the same time making million-dollar contributions to the Republican Governors Association and the rabidly anti-Obama United States Chamber of Commerce, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, which owns Fox, is signaling that it no longer feels the need to make any effort to keep up appearances.

Something else has changed, too: increasingly, Fox News has gone from merely supporting Republican candidates to anointing them. Christine O’Donnell, the upset winner of the G.O.P. Senate primary in Delaware, is often described as the Tea Party candidate, but given the publicity the network gave her, she could equally well be described as the Fox News candidate. Anyway, there’s not much difference: the Tea Party movement owes much of its rise to enthusiastic Fox coverage.

As the Republican political analyst David Frum put it, “Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us, and now we are discovering we work for Fox” — literally, in the case of all those non-Mitt-Romney presidential hopefuls. It was days later, by the way, that Mr. Frum was fired by the American Enterprise Institute. Conservatives criticize Fox at their peril.

So the Ministry of Propaganda has, in effect, seized control of the Politburo. What are the implications?

Perhaps the most important thing to realize is that when billionaires put their might behind “grass roots” right-wing action, it’s not just about ideology: it’s also about business. What the Koch brothers have bought with their huge political outlays is, above all, freedom to pollute. What Mr. Murdoch is acquiring with his expanded political role is the kind of influence that lets his media empire make its own rules.

Thus in Britain, a reporter at one of Mr. Murdoch’s papers, News of the World, was caught hacking into the voice mail of prominent citizens, including members of the royal family. But Scotland Yard showed little interest in getting to the bottom of the story. Now the editor who ran the paper when the hacking was taking place is chief of communications for the Conservative government — and that government is talking about slashing the budget of the BBC, which competes with the News Corporation.

So think of those paychecks to Sarah Palin and others as smart investments. After all, if you’re a media mogul, it’s always good to have friends in high places. And the most reliable friends are the ones who know they owe it all to you.


the American way?

We all seem so busy finding ways to hate each other.

The “Reverend” Phelps

(This, and the following, in the name of “religion.” If your God decides to punish my son because my “country” has decided to accept homosexuality — which it hasn’t, really, although it should — then I want nothing to do with your God.  And notice the young teen making the posters; it’s important to start teaching them these things while they’re young and before they can start thinking for themselves. Wonder if the look on his face reflects distaste for what he’s doing. Or maybe it’s just the smell of the glue.)

Pamela Geller

This one makes me wonder — how does a woman who comes from one of the most vilified religions in the world decide that it’s a good idea to vilify another? You stab me in the back, I’ll stab you? (Duh? I guess this philosophy has governed a lot of political, inter-country, and sibling relationships for a long time. Silly me for hoping we could do better.) I am very reassured to find that she is able to afford maintaining her hateful blog because of her hefty divorce settlement and the sale of a nearly-two-million-dollar home.

I guess it’s not just us.

China resists the Nobel Peace Prize


Stoning and Iran

These from just one day. There are more. I’m going to stop now because it’s just too depressing.

Meanwhile, a colleague of my husband drove by this accident 5 minutes after it happened.

Those beautiful children, those poor families. They know, at least for now, what’s important. And they’ve lost it. For how many people does it take tragedy to remind them of this?

Is it really so hard for the human species to live a life of love?

Why CAN’T we all get along?


human memory and the environment

Heard on NPR today: a woman talking about really wanting to know what it would be like to drive this car. “Where will I plug it in? When will I plug it in? Will I remember to plug it in?”

I mean really, how dim does one have to be to forget to plug in one’s electric car?


Versace II

I don’t get it.

I don’t get this either.

Maybe it’s just me.

This, on the other hand, makes perfect sense.


When your food isn’t actually food

Which is, if you eat in most of America’s mainstream restaurants or eat any quantity of packaged food at home, most of the time.

Just finished reading a very enlightening book, The End of Overeating. The book is targeted towards people who have real problems controlling their eating, to the point where all they really do all day is think about food.

Now any of you who follow this blog at all know that I’d like to weigh a little less, and that I really like food. Especially good food. I’ve got a chicken roasting in the oven right now, stuffed with lemons and rosemary, and a bowl of tabbouleh chillin’ in the fridge; I’m really looking forward to tonight’s meal with a nice glass of Beaujolais.

I digress.

I’m not obsessed with food; I eat 3 pretty healthful meals a day, and sometimes a snack late afternoon — usually an apple, a bowl of almonds, a chunk of cheese, something like that. I struggle with cravings for potato chips, pretzels and blue cheese dressing, cheetohs, but can usually resist, especially if I don’t have any in the house. I try to limit snacking in the evenings — have discovered homemade applesauce and plain yogurt, or  a frozen Yoplait, can substitute for ice cream or sorbet, which my husband enjoys.

I digress, again.

The book revealed a few things to me which I did not know before, and which may not be common knowledge.

1. Eating food that you enjoy triggers dopamine. Dopamine makes you feel happy.

2. Eating food as a comfort, especially if it accompanies another sort of comfort — a plate of warm cookies from mom when you get home from a hard day of school, a rich dinner prepared by your spouse at the end of a long day — triggers a memory/conditioning response so that our desire for that food is triggered by a need for a similar comfort.

3. The food industry has very carefully deduced the prime combination of sugar, fat, and salt that triggers the production of dopamine, and therefore the desire for MORE, and just as carefully manipulates these combinations in the foods it produces.

White flour has most of the germ, bran, and fiber removed.

Chicken is processed, shredded, and then reassembled with binders, “supplemented” with saline, and then fried before being flash-frozen so that it is cheap, tender, juicy, dissolves in our mouths quickly (more calories, less work), and is easily digested (more calories, less work). Healthful-sounding meals like quesadillas include chicken that has not only been fried at the stage of production, but again at the restaurant, and accompanied by vegetables that have been fried in oil, 4 servings’ worth of cheese, layered into two white-flour tortilla shells which are again fried on the grill, and then served with guacamole (with massive amounts of added salt and fat in the form of mayonnaise or sour cream), sour cream, (sweetened) salsa, and tortilla “crisps” — more tortilla shells which have been shredded and fried.

The author of this book calls it fat on sugar on fat on salt on fat on fat.

Sugar is omnipresent — not just in cereals and jams but in peanut butter, bread, jarred spaghetti sauce. Even cereals that seem to contain a reasonable amount of sugar per serving are, in fact, ~ 1/3 sweetener of one sort or another. All they’ve done is constructed it out of 5 or 6 different versions — sugar, dextrose, corn syrup, etc. so they can move each of them a little further down the label. Apparently there’s almost as much sugar in a McDonald’s hamburger bun as there is in a home-made cookie.

Don’t even get me started on the sugar on fat on sugar involved in a Krispy Kreme doughnut. (They do look yummy, don’t they?)

And have any of you looked at the percentage of RDA of sodium in anything packaged lately? Chicken broth — no msg, no added sugar, reduced sodium, still contains 25% of the RDA per serving. The compensation for poor ingredients is salt; at least then it tastes like something.

Even reading the label on the tray of sushi I bought today gave me pause — does there really need to be that many ingredients in it? When I make it, it’s a sheet of nori, some rice that’s been seasoned with some rice vinegar, fresh tuna, and some cucumber. Granted, mine doesn’t stay in those neat tight little rolls when I’m done, but at least I know what’s in it.

Coincidentally, a facebook friend posted this picture of the meat that has been scraped from bones to be reassembled into chicken nuggets.


If you read the article you’ll find out that the scraping of the bones is just the beginning: the meat is now awash with bacteria, so it’s treated with ammonia. Now it tastes terrible (as one could imagine), so artificial flavorings are added to mask the flavor. Because no one wants to eat chicken that’s the color of Play-Doh, it’s bleached/colored to look like chicken. Gives new meaning to the expression “tastes like chicken.”

The other thing to be suspicious of is restaurants who are packaging an “experience.” Watch out for the flashy menus with glossy pictures and publicized “ambiance” or “fun-loving atmosphere.” It’s not about the food anymore, but about the escape from your tedious, mundane existence.

The gist of it is, I’m now mostly eating at home, food that’s been purchased from the periphery of the grocery store. I’ll have to find my escape elsewhere — Scrabble anyone?


Fall 2010

It’s beautiful here this fall. Wish I had more time to enjoy it.

Hope you enjoy these! (Click on each one to see it “full size.”)


Louder than a bag of Tostitos!

Sunchips has decided to reissue their product in a plastic bag. Apparently the compostable bag was too loud.


Were people trying to eat them in church or something? At the New York Philharmonic? Since when does someone expect a snack bag to be quiet?

We’re living in a loud world — my coffee grinder makes enough noise to wake the dead 3 counties over. Does that mean I should stop drinking coffee? (as if!) We use hair dryers, listen to Aerosmith (well, I don’t, but apparently some people do), make smoothies in blenders with motors strong enough to run lawn mowers, and have trouble carrying on a conversation with the person 3 feet away from us in almost every coffee shop, restaurant, or bar we find ourselves in, but we can’t eat a particular kind of snack chip because the bag is too loud?

I wonder how much noise the planet will make when it collapses under the weight of all our collective trash. I guess one snack-chip-crisp bag here and there probably won’t make that much of a difference.


Stem-Cell Research and Flawed Logic

Apparently the decision not to allow federal money to be spent on the destruction of embryonic stem cells has been upheld. While the author of the above quoted article is happy about this because it shows “proper judicial restraint,” I find the news troubling and disappointing.

Valuable research has been thwarted, research that could possibly lead to cures for many debilitating, if not fatal, diseases, all in the name of not spending federal money in the course of the destruction of embryos. If you want to throw them in the trash, that’s fine. Just don’t spend any federal money on them.

That makes sense.

Then there are the people who believe that the embryos can’t be destroyed because they are life.

If that’s the case, every single embryo that is created needs to be implanted into the mother and brought to term. It’s not going to happen. That means you need to ban in-vitro fertilization; which probably means you should ban birth control. I mean, isn’t every egg and sperm potentially life? What right do I have to prevent God’s work from being done in my life? Does this mean that God’s plan is for us to continue overpopulating this planet until we bleed it dry sooner rather than later?

I seem to hear a Monty Python clip playing in the background:

Or is it Cher singing “If I Could Turn Back Time?”


Disposable Society

Our TV is 3 years old. It only comes on when it feels like it.

I bought my daughter a new school bag in August and a new pair of shoes in September. The bag’s lining is already torn and the soles of the shoes are shredding off in little rubber bits.

I lived in a house for 9 years, from 1997-2006, during which we bought 2 washers, 2 dishwashers, and one refrigerator. (The dryer we bought in 1991 still works.)

I was told that appliances don’t last because the strain put on the motors so that they are more efficient consumers of energy means that the motor can only be expected to last ~ 7 years. Right now I have a refrigerator, a washer, and a dryer, all of which look and act like they’re at least 15 years old, but I’m afraid to replace them because then I know I’m going to be replacing them again before my 9-year-old graduates from high school.

I have a pair of shoes I bought 15 years ago; they look great, except the soles were wearing out about a year ago so I had them repaired. I noticed yesterday that those soles are shredding away in little bits of rubber.

What are we doing to our environment by making so many things that we’ll have to throw away? Common knowledge would say that’s the price to pay for cheap stuff, but it’s not just the cheap stuff that’s falling apart.

Does anything last anymore?


What is Love?

Auden says:

Some say that love’s a little boy,

and some say it’s a bird;

some say it makes the world go round,

and some say that’s absurd.

And when I asked the man next-door,

who looked as if he knew,

his wife got very cross indeed,

and said it wouldn’t do.

He continues by considering various things such as whether its odour reminds one of llamas, whether it will trod on his toes on the bus.


e.e. cummings says:

love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fail

it is most mad and moonly
and less it shall unbe
than all the sea which only
is deeper than the sea

love is less always than to win
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
less littler than forgive

it is most sane and sunly
and more it cannot die
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky


When I ask my son (17), he says it’s “something that rocks.”

Ah, the wisdom of teens.


I find myself often thinking about how important it is; that we feel loved. How it can color our whole existence, our whole outlook, our own self-image. How we can spend our whole lives looking for it, how strong yet fragile it is. Cummings gets it best because what he says makes sense on one level, but doesn’t if you parse it too closely; it’s undefinable, but it’s everything.


What is love?


Tyler Clementi and Unexplainable Hate

Unless you’re living at the bottom of a mineshaft, you’ve heard this tragic story. A college student jumps to his death after an intimate encounter with another man is secretly videotaped and broadcast via the internet.

On NPR this morning there was a panel discussion about the lack of support groups for LGBT students on college campuses. This is tragic for two reasons. The first reason is obvious. The second is that there is a need for any kind of support system at all, as if they had cancer, or were alcoholics; as if there was something WRONG with them. Why do we still live in a society where people can be made to feel that they are “other” because of something which is now known to be a matter of biology?  (For that matter, of a different religion, a different color, a different country?)

We should all be better than that.

There are a lot of people and organizations that can be “blamed” for this, including religious organizations which insist that they are an “abomination” and misinformed people (way, way too many of those around, btw, and not just on this topic) who think that it’s “contagious” or something.

Let’s state the obvious: most people who are gay have been born to and raised by heterosexuals. Many many gay couples raise children, children who are loved and nurtured and respected, who grow up to be “straight.”

Let’s consider the argument that this is a “choice”: Most people who are gay struggle against this realization, and often risk familial and/or social ostracization if they reveal their true nature. Does anyone still believe that this is some kind of rebellion, enacted to seek revenge on their parents or to try to undermine the institution of marriage? For that matter, how does the fact of two people, of any gender, committing to a life together undermine MY marriage? Would it be better if they were single, promiscuous?

We’re not even really talking about an issue of “tolerance” here; what am I “tolerating”? The right of someone to correctly identify their own nature and live a life free of prejudice and hate?

This is merely an issue of respect. No one should be secretly videotaping anyone’s intimate encounters; no one should be posting these videotapes without the videotapee’s permission; no one should be made to feel that he or she did something wrong based on the disrespectful, heinous acts of others.

We should all be better than that.

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