Equality and Freedom are NOT compatible with Racism

My dad served in WWII fighting against Axis powers because of their beliefs in race supremacy (Nazis, White Supremacists). I can’t believe that we have to fight it again here at home.

You cannot believe in freedom and equality and support home-grown Nazis and White Supremacists.

You cannot be a God-fearing Christian and a Nazi.  You are one or the other.  Jesus would weep over those who try to claim both.  And he’d be rather pissed off, I imagine.

DHINe8bUAAA9kfH

SeaWorld Is So Pissed Over the Blackfish Documentary [gawker.com]

WhaleTail

by Rich Juzwiak / gawker.com

Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite recently told the New York Times that she approached her documentary Blackfish as a journalist with an open mind. The resulting film, which is about killer whales in captivity (specifically at SeaWorld and focusing on the 32-year-old orca Tilikum, who’s killed three people), is nonetheless damning enough that it reads like animal liberation propaganda. We hear numerous testimonials from former SeaWorld trainers on the negative effects of keeping these giant, sensitive creatures penned. We see hidden-camera footage of SeaWorld guides feeding park guests incorrect information about orcas’ lifespans and fins — the dorsal fins of captive killer routinely collapse, or flop to the side, which is rare in the wild. We see footage of brutal whale-on-human attacks. We hear nothing from SeaWorld itself.

(The corporation’s general counsel told the Times that SeaWorld declined to be interviewed for the film “because they doubted the material would be used in good faith.” SeaWorld also declined interviews for David Kirby’s book Death at SeaWorld, which was released last year.)

The film is not all straightforward condemnation – it highlights the irony at the heart of the anti-captivity movement. If SeaWorld hadn’t offered the general public an up-close look at these animals that were previously misunderstood as killing machines, killer whales wouldn’t have captured the sympathy of so many humans. It was largely through orca captivity that humans learned just how harmful captivity can be. The film spends a lot of time on former trainers’ accounts of bonding with these animals. Captivity may be widely denounced by scientists, and it may produce behavior that we just don’t see in the wild. For example, there have been two recorded human attacks by killer whales in the wild; in 2006 ABC reported that there had been nearly two dozen in captivity. However, the human-whale shared experience is not without joy, and Blackfish reasonably documents that.

Click here to read the complete article…

And, click here for the NY Times article with a different perspective…

Transsexual coed tells UP prof: I am not a ‘he’

By PATERNO ESMAQUEL II, GMA News

A transsexual student at the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City has complained against a professor for allegedly acting with religious prejudice toward the coed’s identity, sparking an online debate on freedom of speech.

The case involves European Languages student Hender Gercio, a self-described “transsexual woman” who had “undergone a gender transition,” who filed a complaint against French language professor Dominique del Corro. Gercio filed a complaint against Del Corro on February 7.

Gercio is a former President of Babaylan, an officially-recognized organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students in UP.

According to an incident report, the professor allegedly ignored Gercio’s requests to be addressed as a female in class because it is against her religious beliefs.

“She also told me that she cannot separate being a Christian from who she was as a teacher. She then continued that she believed that homosexuality was a sin, and it was due to this reason that she cannot allow herself to address and accept me as female,” Gercio said.

In a Facebook note entitled “Stop Transphobia/Homophobia in UP Diliman!” Gercio said “My pronouns are MY pronouns. I don’t care who your God is, but I will not let you take my gender identity away from me.”

Click here to read the rest of the article at GMA News

Everyone Deserves a Chance to Fly

Artist Heidi Jo Gilbert has done one of the most beautiful pieces of animation I have seen in a long time.  The song is from the musical “Wicked” and speaks of finding bliss with the decisions we must make about ourselves and our lives – and our ability to be who we are meant to be… Defying Gravity.

To view the animation please go to this link:

http://heidigilbert.blogspot.com/2010/09/dear-stephen-schwartz.html

Arsenic and Honey: Too Much of Either Can Ruin a Relationship

Arsenic and Honey“Eat arsenic? Yes, all you get,” Consenting, he did speak up; Tis better you should eat it, pet, Than put it in my teacup.” – Joel Huck

“When you go in search of honey you must expect to be stung by bees.” – Joseph Joubert

“Poisons and medicine are oftentimes the same substance given with different intents” – Peter Mere Latham

“When you shoot an arrow of truth, dip its point in honey” – Arab Proverb

“People who treat other people as less than human must not be surprised when the bread they have cast on the waters comes floating back to them, poisoned” – James Arthur Baldwin

” The fly that prefers sweetness to a long life may drown in honey” – George SantayanaI

“Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.” – Kahlil Gibran

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What is it about relationships, be they friendships or more, that makes it so much easier to distance myself from them, to sabotage them without really trying, rather than create bonds of closeness and love?

I do not doubt that this kind of question has been asked for centuries.  What is it that makes it so that if I try too hard to have a relationship I seem to fail?  And if I simply try to keep from loving and being loved, I undoubtedly succeed!  In either case, the end result is the same – loneliness.

Toxicity is often thought of as too much of a bad thing.  But it can also be too much of a good thing.  That’s often the difference between an ingredient being nutritious and being poisonous.  In this way, too much honey can be toxic to a relationship, in much the same way that too much arsenic is also toxic.

I have struggled in my life to understand how relationships succeed.  For many years I thought that relationships succeed because I am useful to that person.  I do good deeds, or have talents that are in demand, or a skillset that is useful.  If I did not remain useful then the relationship would end.  I strove to be the most USEFUL person around!  And I succeeded at being useful but not at having relationships!  There was the near consistent, predictable letdown of no longer being useful and then seeing the relationship disappear.

Or was it that I believed I was not worthy without being useful and I sabotaged the relationship myself?  Perhaps these words are closer to the truth?

There are always those individuals in the world that are users.  And there are those, like me, who are “usees.”  These are not relationships that are healthy in the long term.  Perhaps one could argue they are not relationships at all.

When I would feel “used” and not “loved” as I had hoped, then I would explode the relationship with arsenic.  A scenario of disappointment and creating distance.  A type of all or nothing response.  Often the other person had no clue about my feelings, nor about what I was really after.  To say that I understood my own needs would have been untrue, for I did not.

We utilize old habits and behaviors which we learned as children to have relationships.  In my case it was being “useful.”   Healthy relationships are not based on usefulness.  They are based on reciprocity.  On our ability to give and receive; on our ability to ask for what we need and want, without necessarily knowing if those needs or desires will be met.  And, finally, to have our own limits and boundaries respected, even as we respect the limits and boundaries of others.

Relationships are not an “all or nothing” proposition.  Relationships are truly made of amounts of both arsenic and honey.  Too much of either creates distance and disables the relationship.  If we wish to succeed we need to make sure we are neither users or “useess.”  Rather, we need to be able to understand that our worth is not in what we can do, nor in what can be given to us from others, but rather in who we are as human beings worthy of being loved and accepted.

In our world it is often hard to see past all the stress, pressures, and demands made upon us as parents, employees, taxpayers, citizens, children, amidst life’s busy-ness.  It is incumbent upon us to remember that what we do is not who we are.  Who we are IS who we are.  It is important to remember that relationships are based upon clarity and vulnerability.

It is not my abilities, or lack of them, that make me more or less worthy of relationships.  It is my ability to accept others as I would wish to be accepted myself.  To refrain from judgment and to understand that the best relationships grow from the bitters and sweets of being ourselves, accepting our own frailties, as well as our worth for being loved.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Can there be a love which does not make demands on its object?” – Confuscius

“What makes bitter things sweet? Hunger” – Anonymous