Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A bit of Catch Up Blogging...

Yeah yeah... I know.   Blogs been a bit quiet.  

The 50 Billion Dollar  Putin-palooza   that  was the  2014 Winter Olympics  ended  with fireworks and  the folks in Sochi even poking fun at their own  mishaps over the course of the Games.  Dancers  recreated the technical glitch from the opening ceremony when one of the five Olympic rings failed to open.   So fair play to  Sochi.

Meanwhile  back in the United States,  the  American Taliban  finally  decided it was tired of  losing  the  culture war and decided to strike back  Putin-Style at  LGBT Americans,  and  try to pass  "religious freedom projection laws".     Which are laws that basically say,  you can  violate any civil rights laws you want  by  claiming  that  God told you to.   Yes,  you read that  correctly.     The state of Arizona  is  one of the first  to  go so far  as to actually pass  such a law.   The question now  is  whether  Arizona's  Republican Governor, Jan Brewer will  sign  it into law.

But Arizona is just the tip of the  bigotry  iceberg.   A a number of other conservative states, including, Kansas, Tennessee and Georgia, have similar legislation working  its way through  their respective state legislatures.   All this  taking place in the shadow of  Russia's modern day  "Nuremberg Laws"  targeting  Gays and Lesbians,  and  the  American Taliban's  latest  overseas achievement, in Uganda.

The idea  that  it should be legal to discriminate against  someone because your particular  religion says so, is not new.   Women and other minorities  are  marginalized  in many parts of the world solely  on basis of  religious edict.

The Wing Nuts on the American Religious and  Cultural right wing,  realizing  they  can't win the debate on facts, and seeing the massive shift in attitudes on cultural issues;  Have decided the best  defense  is  to  claim that  THEY are the real victims here ,  and granting  equality to  people they don't like,  is an "attack" on their religious beliefs.

Of course  the chance of  these  new state laws, should they be enacted,  actually surviving the legal challenges that would most certain follow, are remote at best.   Yet  it signals  an interesting shift in the tactics of  anti-Gay American Taliban.    It also presents a real opportunity for the Religious Left to stand up for the religious freedom of people who actually  follow the  teachings of Christ.   Or  as  Seattle-based writer/activist  Dan Savage calls them,  NALT (Not All Like That)  Christians.

Dan has a point...

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Sochi 2014, The IOC reaps what it has sown...

With the countdown to the  2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia  now figured in hours, the world's attention has  slowly begun to turn to  the sleepy sub tropical resort town that is to host  the  games.   What they are finding is  not  terribly surprising...

Lets set aside  for just a moment moment,  the most disturbing issue facing  the International Olympic Committee; Their tacit support and enabling of  the violent percecution of  LBGT Russians,  and instead talk about  what  has become the most  expensive and most  corrupt  Olympic Games in history.

IOC President, Thomas Bach has decided the best thing for him to do is to stand in front of the world, look reality in the eye and just pretend not to see it.  His recent press conference with  Russian President Vladimir Putin, was a epic display of  denial  soaked in desperate self-justification.   Completely ignoring the elephants in the room,  Bach instead insisted the  real problem is all those pesky nay-sayers  badmouthing  Sochi and his  new BFF  Vladimir Putin.

The process by which the IOC awarded  the  2014 Winter Games to Sochi  is at best, ridiculously suspect.  Bach and IOC's  tone-deaf,  fingers in ears,  "la- la-la!  Can't hear you!! Nothing is wrong!"  response, has only served to  further undermine what little credibility  the IOC had left.   

Unable to resist  adding his voice to the chorus of  ignorance and idiocy led by Putin and Bach,  the Mayor of Sochi  chimed in with his two rubles worth, claiming there weren't any Gay people in Sochi so all the  international furor  over persecution of LGBT Russians was not a relevant issue.  The Young Turks  had a field day with that one...

Humor aside, the IOC has, through either complicity or incompetence allowed the one of the most corrupt regimes in the world to stand on the global stage, hands stained with blood of their own LGBT citizens, and pockets stuffed with Billions of dollars in kickback cash. All wrapped in the legitimacy of the Olympic Movement..