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All posts for the month May, 2011

The Tower

Published May 25, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

Built brick by brick over time to keep me safe from hate

No door to ensure control of perceived treats no entry, no escape.

One barred window to look out from on the world

Sanctuary or prison for my soul

I see the world but it cannot see me

I feel safe but am afraid

I have control but at what cost

Oh to be free from my prison

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Bible

Published May 23, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

It is not the word of God that concerns me but its interpretation by humyns, in prosecuting their creed of hate. I freely acknowledge the Bible is both a tool for good and hate it enshrines core humanistic values and beliefs, while Haters draw on phrases often quoted out of context to justify their ignorance. This bastardisation of the message frames a campaign to persecute and discriminate against people who do not conform to their narrow vision of humanity including those who identify as LGBTIQ. The most infuriating of all Haters are those who quote the Bible chapter and verse or draw on a loose thematic analysis to qualify their position.

It seems futile to enter into a conversation where the topic is about a belief system mired in the superstitious  thinking of an Iron Age Middle Eastern tribal culture. However, do not be dissuaded from initiating such a conversation but be warned, our strength is to ask questions, to challenge the narrow worldview of the ignorant and naive. Our weakness is the deep wound of rejection we all feel as an individual and collectively as marginalised people, this emotion often appears as anger and may impair our ability to express ourselves in any conversation. It is about managing our weakness, in drawing on our strengths to promote learning in seeking understanding and combating ignorance.

Motivation

Religion and Sex QuizNicholas D. Kristof

Mollie Hemingway, Ed.: Nick Kristof Proof Texts The Bible – Ricochet  Benzinga Contributor

Critical Decade

Published May 23, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

Climate change

Today, Australia’s Climate Commission  added another chapter to the climate change debate in Australia with its release of The Critical Decade report.  The commission reiterates a message for urgent rather than real action it seems the political dithering over this issue during the past decade has not put us in a good place.  After a decade or more of indecision, this debate has degenerated into a farce reflecting a limited vision dominated by ideological driven partisanship. The narrow vision of this debate sees participants focus more on short-term political gains rather than long-term sustainability, a case of rhetoric over substance. The question here is not whether climate change is real or not, but how to manage effectively the risk.

The message here is clear get on with the job.

The Critical Decade report

Key message (PDF 307kb)

  1. There is no doubt that the climate is changing the evidence is overwhelming and clear
  2. We are already seeing the social, economic and environmental impacts of a changing climate.

Full Report (PDF 8mb)

Political positions on environmental issues

Labor  Liberal Greens

News

Climate report affirms need to ‘get on with it’

Sea levels could rise a metre by 2100 (Sky Au)

Commission questions ‘direct action’ (Sky Au)

Key themes

Climate Change Climate Warming Global warming controversy

Climate Change in Australia

IDAHO

Published May 17, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

Today is IDAHO  Day or the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, to highlight “that in reality it is homophobia that is shameful and must be deconstructed in its social logic and fought against openly”. We need to be mindful that while our communities experience homophobia it is not our issue alone, it is that of a society which labours under the weight of heteronormativity, a political lie. Heteronormativity, a “concept that reveals the expectations, demands, and constraints produced when heterosexuality is taken as normative within a society”. Therefore, by default labelling all non-conforming representations  to the ideal  sex, sexuality, gender identity, and gender roles i.e. LGBTI as deviant and legitimate targets for social sanction.  The principal example of a social sanctions here Homophobia, a penalty to ensure compliance by all not just our communities to the norm.

While the Rainbow Nation champion’s action against homophobia, two barriers remain for us to overcome this root of all discrimination and persecution.

  • How can we argue against homophobia when we may discriminate against for example effeminate men, people who identify as transgender and/or bisexual?
  • We do not tend to embrace the full diversity of the Rainbow Nation rather we tend to engage in similar normative themed arguments as our detractors.

Whether I was born this way or not

Accept me

AS I AM

We are many but We must act as one

Published May 16, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

The reality of the Rainbow Nation

The B of LGBT

The B in LGBT is a blog entry by @tcwaters reflecting on a story about perceived biases against people who identify as bisexual titled Lady Gaga Is Not an Ally to Our Community on The Bilerico Project. @tcwaters does not deny that people who identify as bisexual are not members of our community it just he has never thought about it previously until he read the Bilerico Project article. The author makes two interesting observations that Lesbian and Gay men may or may not really consider the bisexual experience and that we are not really one big homogenous “community.

The Personal

I use many different labels to define my identity including Queer, Gay & Bisexual but never heterosexual discounting it as a nonsense. In my early teens, I often thought of myself as bisexual, however, I could not say that I really was but it gave me comfort. Therefore, I can comfortably say that bisexuality is no alien concept to me it is a reality that your love is not limited by arbitrary gender divisions.

The Rainbow Nation

The dream, that one day the diverse communities of the Rainbow Nation will sit down together in an open and frank conversation to address strategically the discrimination we all experience. In a hostile heteronormative world, even with all the advances over time we still fight everyday to defend our right to be who we are. Our greatest barrier it seems is the lack of leadership to breach our internal biases, which see us discriminate against our own. This situation sees us construct, maintain, and reinforce politically convenient divisions, which in turn perpetuate the sameness that imprisons us. We like other marginalised people sit on the back stoop of the Master’s mansion fighting over scraps from his trashcan while trying not to be shot.

The greatest threat to our rights is ourselves

Only United shall we overcome

Nakba 2011

Published May 16, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

Violence erupts on Israel’s borders (31/05/11)

Violence erupted on Israel’s borders with Syria, Lebanon and Gaza on Sunday, leaving at least eight dead and dozens wounded, as Palestinians marked what they term “the catastrophe” of Israel’s founding in 1948. (ABC News Aust)

Israel seemingly has become the paranoid bully of the region today being Nakba Day it has launched a violent attack on its neighbours. This in is in no way an isolated event but another episode in an active long-term political and military campaign by Israel to neutralise any perceived Palestinian and Arab threats to its sovereignty. My thesis in a post-WWII the world seeming racked by guilt because of its inaction over Nazi Germany’sFinal Solution’ the Allies  enabled the establishment of Israel. This has effectively seen the destruction of Palestine evident in the Nakba & other regular violent disputes between the Palestinian peoples and the State of Israel. Israel has the seeming universal backing of The West in its ongoing campaign to establish and maintain its legitimacy.

It is time for the world to take this bully to task and apply the wisdom of Solomon by dividing the land equally between the disputing parties.

I support the right of both these nations to exist as equals among other countries of the world

Welcome to the back of the bus

Published May 16, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

Mental Health –  experience of discrimination & stigma

In my cyber wanderings, I discovered Diagnosed Bipolar? Welcome to the Back of the Bus! this piece seeks to highlight the discrimination and  stigma people with a mental condition may experience in contemporary America.  The title reflects on the discriminatory practices of the past the forced African Americans to sit in the back of public bus services a form of apartheid or race segregation. It provides the reader with some insight on the perceived experiences of stigma by a person with a mental illness. The only disappointing point here is an attempt to argue about degrees of discrimination and the inference that other marginal groups may not experience the level of stigma that people with mental illness may.

My view is that to discriminate against one person is an injustice perpetrated against us all, there is no degree of discrimination that is why marginalised people need to meet the challenge and stand as one. People may experience discrimination based on number of arbitrary demographic divisions, what about the M-F transgender butch lesbian Black Muslim diagnosed with schizophrenia. I realise some may see this as an extreme example but I am hoping people get the message that issues of identity like discrimination are complex. Therefore, the focus here is on educating people to embrace social diversity with an open mind and in a respectful way to gain an understanding of each other in striving for a more just society.

Do people living with bipolar disorder experience stigma and discrimination