Thursday, August 16, 2007

Do children have rights?

I'm certainly a staunch defender of parental rights with regards to minors. Parents must have significant control over their children because they are financially and sometimes criminally responsible for the behavior of their children. For example, many states can send parents to jail if their children are truants, likewise, if a minor destroys property it is the parent is who is responsible in the eyes of the judicial system.

However, minors must have some sovereignty. Especially when it concerns their bodies. Should a parent be able to force their child to have an abortion? Does a parent have the right to force their child to be circumcised? Not in my opinion. There is a case going before the Oregon Supreme Court where a Jewish father is trying to enforce his religious right to have his 12 year-old child circumcised. The boys mother claims the boy does not want the procedure but is afraid to tell him. I definitely can't say whether she is lying or not, but the bottom line is does the father's freedom of religion give him the right to chop off part of his sons penis? Does a Muslim father have a right to circumcise his daughter?

His body, his choice...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Michael Vick & Dog Fighting

Let me start by saying I love animals; I think hunting should be banned. However, I'm ready to puke at all of the righteous indignation directed at Michael Vick. Is dog fighting despicable? yes. Should it end? yes.

But where is all of the anger at the way pigs are treated legally everyday in order to produce food? By all accounts pigs are every bit as smart as dogs. Pigs live their lives in cages without enough room to move. They are forced to defecate on themselves. But hey bacon tastes good, doesn't it?

The hypocrisy is deafening!

To be clear, he should go to prison if he is found guilty and I will not shed a tear, but the level of hysteria is much greater than when Ray Lewis was charged with a double murder.

*in the interest of full disclosure, I drafted Vick in one of my $100 fantasy football leagues

Monday, February 26, 2007


Well I have officially made my CSPAN debut. No I am not on CPSAN, but I am working for them as a free lance video reporter for the Road to the White House series. I recorded Senator Biden in Carson City, Nevada and they played about 30 minutes of my footage. You can watch here, although I have been having problems with the viewing it from my computer. Hopefully this is just the first of many.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Andrew Sullivan & Same Sex Showers

I must say I am big fan of Andrew, and I do support gay rights. That being said, he is way off base with one of his posts today.

I'm sure that's true. As a gay guy who grew up showering among straight guys in school, there was a moment during puberty when it was a little overwhelming. Your hormones are in full throttle and I was a mobile trouser-tent half the time. But I managed to keep it, er, down in the showers. I was probably looking around much less than straight guys because I was scared of getting a woody. Of course there were some guys who turned me on. But the first thing gay guys learn is to overcome that, not to let that stuff come between being mature, adult or committed to the team or whatever. And most straight guys I know can deal with it very easily. It's the insecure ones who have a problem. And the problem is their insecurity, not anyone's orientation. (My emphasis)

He is completely wrong and totally callous when it comes to showering people with someone of a different sexual orientation.

I ask him, why men and women don’t shower together? Is it because people are scared there will be mass rapes? Certainly a high school or college could easily prevent rape. Forty people of different sexual orientations showering together would not be the ideal time for a rapist to strike. Is it because they are worried about sex? Again, people of the same sex could just as easily have sex in the shower. The reason it does not happen is because people of both sexes would be uncomfortable or as Andrew says some people are insecure. Fine, I will grant him that; I would be totally insecure to take a shower with women or gay men. Does that make me a homophobe or hetrophobe? In a previous post Andrew claimed that he played the lead role in the play Equus, ironically he was too insecure to bare it all. I’ll answer my own question. No I’m not a homophobe or hetrophobe because I am too insecure to shower with people of the opposite sexual orientation, men or women. I’m human. Andrew says it’s my problem, sure it’s my problem but let me hear him state his case for integrated showers. Let’s stop all of this sex discrimination and have both men and women shower together.

Andrew has addressed the issue from an emailer with the same concerns. I think the emailer states it best to say any pleasure derived from someones naked body with out consent is a violation. I agree.

Andrew says it would be wrong to vet school boys to discover sexuality. Perhaps, but what about admitted gay adults. I.E. a gay athlete, or a gay soldier (although this is not allowed as of now).

Insecurity is not homophobia. Keep it real Andrew.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The battle with Islam

Must be waged from inside Islam. Muslims must overtly reject this brand of Islam.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Spread Spectrum

I just finished an interesting article on spread spectrum. I got the article from a university subscription site so I won’t link but the title is “Into the Great Wide Open” by Jesse Sunenblick for the Columbia Journalism Review. Although I was told these issues have not been resolved, the article is a few years old so I am not positive.

The basic crux of the article is scarcity—in relation to radio spectrum—is bullshit. Admittedly, I can barely grasp the concept of delivering audio and video around the world via airwaves, so I won’t spend anytime trying to explain the technology. Here is his explanation:

…When you connect to the internet at Starbucks, when you use your cell phone, or when you use many of the other radio technologies that constitute our current wireless craze, you are using spread spectrum. Spread spectrum works by contradicting the traditional rules of radio communication, in which a signal is sent over a single frequency in the electromagnetic spectrum for which it has no license from the FCC…licenses aren’t necessary for spread spectrum transmissions, but the devices currently aren’t allowed to operate at more than a few watts of power…Spread spectrum offers a far more efficient way of using the radio spectrum…Now the FCC is considering a series of rule changes that would open up more of the spectrum for unlicensed radio…

Needless to say, the television and radio networks are lobbying hard against these rule changes. If the FCC did open up the spectrum, there are endless possibilities. However, that is a very big “if.” It is the exception rather than the rule for commissions to defy powerful lobbies. These lobbies are powerful precisely because they persuade commissions to implement their wishes. The sheer amount of money that could be lost by media conglomerates means that these lobbies will spend a lot more money fighting deregulation than the opposition will advocating it.

At the heart of this article is an idealistic notion that we would use this technology to increase public dialog, increase community activism, increase global education and even advance world peace. These noble ideas perhaps would be a component to this advance in technology. However, it is also likely that this would further segment audiences into smaller sections. Hate groups, exploitive pornographers and even increased governmental intrusion would likely result from this as well. The same things this article claims are possible is the same thing possible with the internet. To an extent some of these concepts have been realized. The internet has definitely torn down borders and made increased dialog and instant communication possible.

The latest trend of the internet blogging and online communities such as “My Space” seem to fall short of the ideal. Rather than increase dialog and understanding, blogs seem to further entrench people in their beliefs. For example, a good deal of blogging centers on politics. However, many bloggers are not attempting to find mutual consensus but rather rallying around ideologies and reading counter points only to attack, not to enter genuine dialog. Reinforcing beliefs and values rather than broadening them. Likewise, sexual predators have used as a hunting ground. Pedophiles use the internet to share pornography and further exploit children. Terrorist groups also create blogs, websites and videos to spread their hateful messages.
This does not mean that the negatives outweigh the positives. The possibilities of deregulation seem limitless and this alone is reason enough for me to support it.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Quote for the Day!

"Fear is stronger than love." Tupac Shakur