Apr 17

Pirate Bay founders found guilty

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A court in Sweden has jailed four men behind The Pirate Bay (TPB), the world’s most high-profile file-sharing website.

Frederik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Carl Lundstrom and Peter Sunde were found guilty of breaking copyright law and were sentenced to a year in jail.

They were also ordered to pay 30m kronor (£2.4m) in damages.

In a Twitter posting, Mr Sunde said: “Nothing will happen to TPB, this is just theatre for the media.”

Mr Sunde went on to say that he “got the news last night that we lost”.

“It used to be only movies, now even verdicts are out before the official release.”

The damages were awarded to a number of entertainment companies, including Warner Bros, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI, and Columbia Pictures.

The Pirate Bay is the world’s most high profile file-sharing website and was set up in 2003 by anti-copyright organisation Piratbyran, but for the last five years it has been run by individuals.

Millions of files are exchanged using the service every day.

No copyright content is hosted on The Pirate Bay’s web servers; instead the site hosts “torrent” links to TV, film and music files held on its users’ computers.

Critics of the trial say Swedish authorities only brought the case because of pressure from the US film industry.

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Oct 11

Source From: 10 links to walk you through today’s financial crisis — and make you smarter than 99% of other people

If u like his article, pls visit his blog:

All right, guys. I’ve gotten lots of emails about what’s going on with the economy and bailout, so I thought I’d put together a list of the articles I’ve been reading over the last two weeks. I added my own commentary to them below, plus links to stuff I’ve written that agrees/disagrees with each of the articles. My guess: If you read these links, you’ll understand more about the economy than nearly anyone you meet on the street. (Especially some of the fools I’ve been hearing lately, who are convinced that the U.S. will (1) go bankrupt, (2) start owning every mortgage in the country, and (3) think the entire financial system will be “crashing,” whatever that means.)


* * * 

1. Ignore the Sensationalist Media
Gawker pulls off one of the finest pieces of reporting on the bailout. When I wrote The Media is Atrociously Bad at Prediction and I’m Sick of It, I highlighted how various business media point make bold predictions, get it completely wrong, and are never held accountable.

In this case, Fortune highlighted AIG as one of “10 Stocks to Buy Now.” When they later apologized, they posted “The Best Stocks for 2008,” which, as Gawker points out, included…Merrill Lynch.



2. Hedge Fund Surprise?
This is like a tuna surprise, only worse: Hedge Funds Are Bracing for Investors to Cash Out. Many people haven’t heard about hedge funds’ redemption clauses, which basically means that fancy investors (e.g., universities, pension funds, and really wealthy people) will be able to withdraw their money today (Tuesday, 9/29/08). If that happens, nobody really knows what the repercussions could be…but they would probably be Very Bad. I’ve previously written about why hedge funds are overrated for investors.

3. We Have Short-Term Memories.
If you think history doesn’t repeat itself, you’re nuts. In fact, 10 years ago this month, Long Term Capital Management, a huge hedge fund, nearly caused a global financial collapse. Yet here we are — with the same words being thrown around. Does anyone really think investment bankers won’t make their same salaries at some point in the future? Or that we won’t gradually move back to huge executive compensation? Still, as I pointed out last week, none of that really matters to the individual investor. What matters is picking the right strategy and sticking to it.

4. What We Can Learn From Warren Buffett
Huge, long Warren Buffett interview. He is the man. Read this. It teaches you so much about long-term investing and admitting what you know — and don’t know. Note: I just ordered this new book on Warren Buffett.

5. Should You Buy More? Sell More? Something???!
Should I withdraw money from my 401(k)?” After 10 people sent me this link, I knew I had to check it out. In the article, 24-year old Bodie Partsch worries about the economy and contemplates withdrawing money from his retirement account, saying, “I could have the money sitting in a jar on my kitchen counter. It’d be safer than in my 401(k),” he said. BAD MOVE! Here’s a quote from my upcoming book:

Recently, a group called Dimensional Funds studied the performance of the S&P 500 from January 1970 to December 2006, during which time the annualized return of the market was 11.1%. They also noted something amazing: Of those 36 years from 1970 to 1986, if you missed the 25 days when the stock market performed the best, your return would have dropped from 11.1% to 7.6%, a crippling difference.

Now, if only we could know the best investing days ahead of time.

But, of course, you can’t. Trying to time the market is for fools. So you keep investing carefully and methodically, while spending as consciously as possible.

I’ll also add this link from JLP: It looks like Market Turmoil is Scaring Off Young Investors, where he notes:

Isn’t it crazy how we do the exact opposite of what we should be doing? If the stock market was going up, up, UP, people would be jumping in left and right—essentially buying over-priced stocks. Now that the market is on a downswing, people are sitting on the sidelines.

6. Cool Data Visualizations of The Economy
The New York Times does extraordinary data visualizations to give you a fresh perspective on the news. Check out What Your Global Neighbors Are Buying and A Year of Heavy Losses. From the first one:

How people spend their discretionary income – the cash that goes to clothing, electronics, recreation, household goods, alcohol – depends a lot on where they live. People in Greece spend almost 13 times more money on clothing as they do on electronics. People living in Japan spend more on recreation than they do on clothing, electronics and household goods combined. Americans spend a lot of money on everything.

7. Q&A: What’s Actually Going On With the Bailout?
If you don’t understand exactly what’s going on, that’s because nobody does. But there are some excellent overviews of the financial situation floating around. I like this one by Suze Orman, where she tells people the following:

  • What to do with $100,000 in debt and a $39k/year job.
  • The huge mistake first-time homebuyers make. (Hint: A $1,500 rent is not the same as a $1,500 mortgage.)
  • What to do when your mutual fund’s account value drops from $120,000 to $88,000.
  • Should you stick with stock funds in this tumultuous environment?
  • How to buy a car (I disagree with her on this one).

I also like this overview by NY Times Columnist David Leonhardt. If you like audio, check out this excellent program from This American Life. Finally, last week I linked to this excellent explanation of the market crisis on the Freakonomics blog.

8. What Gmail Has To Do With Your Money
I’ve been thinking about this post on a tech blog recently. It shows the early sketches/designs of Gmail, and what you realize from looking at them is that we only see the finished result — not the sausage-making in the back room. The same is true of rich people: We hear about people going on $50,000 honeymoons or driving brand-new Mercedes, but we don’t see the hard work behind it. This is an important concept that’s being more revealed with today’s economy: Many of the people who drove the expensive cars and bought the expensive houses couldn’t afford it. The people who were quietly accumulating wealth will do much better. Read more about this in one of my favorite personal-finance books, The Millionaire Next Door. (Btw, if you haven’t bought a couple good finance books recently — or anything that will help you turn your income into more money so you can hit your goals — please read this.)

9. Don’t Let Your Friends Be Morons
Don’t let your friends be idiots. If you read this site, chances are you understand that having 20, 30, or 40 years before you need your money gives you plenty of flexibility to invest for the long term, even with major or minor dips in the market. Yet with these terrifying headlines every day, it’s like people have become blind, yet highly literate zombies who wander aimlessly from one newspaper to another. Being dumb is not just focusing on the wrong things, it’s making poor financial decisions and then throwing up your hands and wondering why you don’t have enough money a few years later. If you own only one stock — especially if it’s your employer’s stock — then you are a fool. If you are going to buy a $1 million house with no research because you think it’s a good investment, you are a fool. If you don’t realize that your expensive, worthless mutual fund is costing you tens of thousands of dollars over your lifetime, you are a fool. Worry about the things you can control, not the headlines.

10. Get More Reading Material
Want more links? I keep my delicious bookmarks up to date every day, especially the section on finance.


* * * 

I hope this helped. I’m thinking of doing a live video/webchat next week. What do you think? Would you attend?

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Jun 20

History in brief.

History files.

Agency: Graffiti BBDO, Bucharest, Romania
Creative Director: Ema Prisca
Art director: Alina Zaharescu
Copywriter: Mihai Gongu 

Mao Zedong

History Files Magazine: Yalta Conference
History Files Magazine: Yalta Conference

History Files Magazine: Tien An Men Square
History Files Magazine: Tien An Men Square

History Files Magazine: Romanian revolution 1989
History Files Magazine: Romanian Revolution 1989

History Files Magazine: JFK
History Files Magazine: JFK

History Files Magazine: Iwo Jima
History Files Magazine: Iwo Jima

History Files Magazine: 9/11
History Files Magazine: 9 11

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Apr 23

To Obamas fans: Obama’s 50 lies

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50 Lies and Counting: Posted on Political – Elections and Campaigns by Latisha

1.) Selma Got Me Born – LIAR, your parents felt safe enough to have you in 1961 – Selma had no effect on your birth, as Selma was in 1965.

2.) Father Was A Goat Herder – LIAR, he was a privileged, well educated youth, who went on to work with the Kenyan Government.

3.) Father Was A Proud Freedom Fighter – LIAR, he was part of one of the most corrupt and violent governments Kenya has ever had

4.) My Family Has Strong Ties To African Freedom – LIAR, your cousin Raila Odinga has created mass violence in attempting to overturn a legitimate election in 2007, in Kenya. It is the first widespread violence in decades.

5.) My Grandmother Has Always Been A Christian – LIAR, she does her daily Salat prayers at 5am according to her own interviews. Not to mention, Christianity wouldn’t allow her to have been one of 14 wives to 1 man.

6.) My Name is African Swahili – LIAR, your name is Arabic and ‘Baraka’ (from which Barack came) means ‘blessed’ in that language. Hussein is also Arabic and so is Obama.

7.) I Never Practiced Islam – LIAR, you practiced it daily at school, where you were registered as a Muslim and kept that faith for 31 years,until your wife made you change, so you could run for office.

8.) My School In Indonesia Was Christian – LIAR, you were registered as Muslim there and got in trouble in Koranic Studies for making faces (check your own book).

9.) I Was Fluent In Indonesian – LIAR, not one teacher says you could speak the language.

10.) Because I Lived In Indonesia, I Have More Foreign Experience – LIAR, you were there from the ages of 6 to 10, and couldn’t even speak the language. What did you learn, how to study the Koran and watch cartoons.

11.) I Am Stronger On Foreign Affairs – LIAR, except for Africa (surprise) and the Middle East (bigger surprise), you have never been anywhere else on the planet and thus have NO experience with our closest allies.

12.) I Blame My Early Drug Use On Ethnic Confusion – LIAR, you were quite content in high school to be Barry Obama, no mention of Kenya and no mention of struggle to identify – your classmates said you were just fine.

13.)An Ebony Article Moved Me To Run For Office – LIAR, Ebony has yet to find the article you mention in your book. It doesn’t, and never did, exist.

14.) A Life Magazine Article Changed My Outlook On Life – LIAR, Life has yet to find the article you mention in your book. It doesn’t, and never did, exist.

15.) I Won’t Run On A National Ticket In ‘08 – LIAR, here you are, despite saying, live on TV, that you would not have enough experience by then, and you are all about having experience first.

16.) Present Votes Are Common In Illinois – LIAR, they are common for YOU, but not many others have 130 NO VOTES.

17.) Oops, I Misvoted – LIAR, only when caught by church groups and democrats, did you beg to change your misvote.

18.) I Was A Professor Of Law – LIAR, you were a senior lecturer ON LEAVE.

19.) I Was A Constitutional Lawyer – LIAR, you were a senior lecturer ON LEAVE.

20.) Without Me, There Would Be No Ethics Bill – LIAR, you didn’t write it,introduce it, change it, or create it.

21.) The Ethics Bill Was Hard To Pass – LIAR, it took just 14 days from start to finish.

22.) I Wrote A Tough Nuclear Bill – LIAR, your bill was rejected by your own party for its pandering and lack of all regulation – mainly because of your Nuclear Donor, Exelon, from which David Axelrod came.

23.) I Have Released My State Records – LIAR, as of March, 2008, state bills you sponsored or voted for have yet to be released, exposing all the special interests pork hidden within.

24.) I Took On The Asbestos Altgeld Gardens Mess – LIAR, you were part of a large group of people who remedied Altgeld Gardens. You failed to mention anyone else but yourself, in your books.

25.) My Economics Bill Will Help America – LIAR, your 111 economic policies were just combined into a proposal which lost 99-0, and even YOU voted against your own bill.

26.) I Have Been A Bold Leader In Illinois – LIAR, even your own supporters claim to have not seen BOLD action on your part.

27.) I Passed 26 Of My Own Bills In One Year – LIAR, they were not YOUR bills, but rather handed to you, after their creation by a fellow Senator, to assist you in a future bid for higher office.

28.) No One Contacted Canada About NAFTA – LIAR, the Candian Government issued the names and a memo of the conversation your campaign had with them.

29.) I Am Tough On Terrorism – LIAR, you missed the Iran Resolution vote on terrorism and your good friend Ali Abunimah supports the destruction of Israel.

30.) I Am Not Acting As President Yet – LIAR, after the NAFTA Memo, a dead terrorist in the FARC, in Colombia, was found with a letter stating how you and he were working together on getting FARC recognized officially.

31.) I Didn’t Run Ads In Florida – LIAR, you allowed national ads to run 8-12 times per day for two weeks – and you still lost.

32.) I Won Michigan – LIAR, no you didn’t.

33.) I won Nevada – LIAR, no you did not.

34.) I Want All Votes To Count – LIAR, you said let the delegates decide.

35.) I Want Americans To Decide – LIAR, you prefer caucuses that limit the vote, confuse the voters, force a public vote, and only operate during small windows of time.

36.) I passed 900 Bills in the State Senate – LIAR, you passed 26, most of which you didn’t write yourself.

37.) My Campaign Was Extorted By A Friend – LIAR, that friend is threatening to sue if you do not stop saying this. Obama has stopped saying this.

38.) I Believe In Fairness, Not Tactics – LIAR, you used tactics to eliminate Alice Palmer from running against you.

39.) I Don’t Take PAC Money – LIAR, you take loads of it.

40.) I don’t Have Lobbysists – LIAR, you have over 47 lobbyists, and counting.

41.) My Campaign Had Nothing To Do With The 1984 Ad – LIAR, your own campaign worker made the ad on his Apple in one afternoon.

42.) My Campaign Never Took Over MySpace – LIAR, Tom, who started MySpace issued a warning about this advertising to MySpace clients.

43.) I Inspire People With My Words – LIAR, you inspire people with other people’s words.

44.) I Have Passed Bills In The U.S. Senate – LIAR, you have passed A BILL in the U.S. Senate – for Africa, which shows YOUR priorities.

45.) I Have Always Been Against Iraq – LIAR, you weren’t in office to vote against it AND you have voted to fund it every single time, unlike Kucinich, who seems to be out gutting you Obama. You also seem to be stepping back from your departure date – AGAIN.

46.) I Have Always Supported Universal Health Care – LIAR, your plan leaves us all to pay the 15,000,000 who don’t have to buy it.

47.) I Only Found Out About My Investment Conflicts Via Mail – LIAR, both companies you site as having sent you letters about this conflict have no record of any such letter ever being created or sent.

48.) I Am As Patriotic As Anyone – LIAR, you won’t wear a flag pin and you don’t put your hand over your heart during the Anthem.

49.) My Wife Didn’t Mean What She Said About Pride In Country – LIAR, your wife’s words follow lock-step in the vain of Wright and Farrahkan, in relation to their contempt and hatred of America.

50.) Wal-Mart Is A Company I Wouldn’t Support – LIAR, your wife has received nearly a quarter of a million dollars through Treehouse, which is connected to Wal-Mart.

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Apr 16

Absolut Easter Special 2

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Queer worship can be hell: As Easter approaches, QX’s own little secular saint, Adrian Gillan, summons UK-based LGB activists from the major world religions to talk faith and discuss a deeper love that binds.Plus: What gay humanists make of it all!

Reverend Richard Kirker, General Secretary, Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement (LGCM)

Worst thing people in my religion say about LGBs:
God doesn’t make homosexuals; those who claim to be gay or lesbian are deluding themselves and, once they free themselves from their delusion, will becomeheterosexual.
My response:
Christianity embraces God’s creation, seeing all human beings as equal and capable of giving and receiving love. Differences of colour, gender and orientation are immaterial.
Ever made me doubt my faith?
No. My view of human nature’s tendency to victimise and exploit has caused me to speculate about the root causes of hatred. It’s too simple to just blame religions!
Message to fellow LGB ‘God Squaddies’:
Make yourself visible and heard. Challenge the institutions and leaders that defend the status quo. Give way to nothing less than freedom, dignity and self-respect. The LGCMwelcomes all those exploring spirituality and sexuality. We seek to provide a safe place in which we can honestly face doubts and truths, while affirming the essential goodness of sexuality and faith.
Message to largely secular, mainstream gay community:
Like it or not, religions are set to remain a potent influence in many cultures. Religions stand more chance of being reformed than disappearing, so ignore them at your peril.

Adnan Ali, Muslim gay activist and Founder of Al Fatiha UK (now Imaan)

Worst thing people in my religion say about LGBs:
Homosexuality is a Western, white man’s disease; it’s the curse of God and wrath of Allah; it’s unnatural and is not found in Eastern society or culture.
My response:
Homosexuality has always been prevalent in the Middle East and in South Asian cultures and even today it exists in as colourful a form as in the West, albeit more discreetly. And why would Godcurse His own creation when the Koran quite explicitly claims He has created everything beautiful?
Ever made me doubt my faith?
I have reconciled being gay and Muslim. Widespread condemnation did unsettle me in the beginning, but I in fact ended up feeling more comfortable and assured of my sexuality as I embarked on the journey of examining Islamic theology and social interpretations and finding no substantial evidence of such condemnation.
Message to fellow LGB ‘God Squaddies’:
Most of the monolithic religious institutions have rejected and condemned homosexuality, mainly influenced by the human interpretation of the Word of God biased by itspervasively macho-patriarchal cultures and traditions. However, this is changing as more and more LGB believers are coming out openly to address these issues. We can only come out if we are honest to ourselvesand to our creator.
Message to largely secular, mainstream gay community:
There is an awful lot of Islamaphobia within the mainstream gay community, but that’s a lot to do with the current political scene and general attitude towards the Muslim world.

Julian Harris, Jewish Gay and Lesbian Group (JGLG)

Worst thing people in my religion say about LGBs:
Orthodox Jews believe that physical homosexual relations are against the Word of God as per Leviticus 20:22, although they “reject the sin rather than the sinner”.
My response:
Just as heterosexuality is encouraged by our religion as a gift from God, homosexuality is also God-given, cannot be changed and should be celebrated.
Ever made me doubt my faith?
No. There are traditionally 613 commandments given to the Jewish people – in fact many more – and no one can obey them all. The fault lies with the interpretation of ancient writings rather than with the faith.
Message to fellow LGB Jews:
Fundamentalists in all religions are intolerant, but the majority are open to current thinking and accept us as avaluable part of society. Many Jews belong to non-Orthodox Jewish religious denominations that are more understanding and flexible, allowing LGB Jews to find spiritual and religious fulfilment.

Rama Keshava Dasa, Director, Gay & Lesbian Vaishnava

Worst thing people in my religion say about LGBs:
LGBs are sinners because they give in to the demands of the flesh and can’t control their loins.
My response:
What about heterosexuals? Do you think every time they have sex, they’re only thinking about making babies?
Ever made me doubt my faith?
Yes, when I was younger. It can feel like a double rejection: for being gay, but also for not meeting up to religious ‘standards’. I am lucky that my spiritual master takes a proactive stance on gays, and is welcoming and non-judgmental.
Message to fellow LGB ‘God Squaddies’:
Don’t hide in the closet, but don’t be in people’s faces either. Be a good example of whatever virtues your path demands. It’s possible, without compromise.
Message to largely secular, mainstream gay community:
Help us. I doubt ‘Tatchellite’ gay activism will help, but the informed voice of reason can do much to triumph over fundamentalist intolerance.

Jazz Singh, Founder, Darshan (internet-based group for LGB Sikhs)

Worst thing people in my religion say about LGBs:
That homosexuality does not exist within Sikhism, that it is a “Western illness” and that it is not an accepted lifestyle.
My response:
Properly understood, Sikhism is an inclusive religion with many socialist aspects, preaching equality and acceptance of all people, regardless of race, religion, caste, gender or sexual orientation.Homosexuality exists in all forms of life and, if Sikhism preaches tolerance and equality for all, then this must surely extend to sexual orientation.
Ever made me doubt my faith?
Sikhism does not prohibit homosexuality explicitly. However, most Sikhs are ethnically and culturally Punjabi,and I have at times felt alienated from my Punjabi roots.
Message to fellow LGB ‘God Squaddies’:
Recognition and acceptance from our respective ‘powers that be’ is a worthwhile cause. Anything worthwhile is worth struggling for. Persevere.
Message to largely secular, mainstream gay community:
The mainstream gay community would definitely benefit from greater awareness of various belief systems and their respective stances towards LGB believers.And it’s worth remembering: not all religions and not all followers take a negative viewpoint to being LGB.

Maitreyabandhu, meditation and Buddhism teacher, London Buddhist Centre (Friends of the Western Buddhist Order);

Worst thing people in my religion say about LGBs:
Well, the worst thing must be so completely mild that I can’t even remember it. Basically Buddhism – understood correctly – doesn’t see being LGB as any kind of issue. So there’s nothing negative to say about it.
My response:
I don’t really have one. I am a Buddhist teacher. There is absolutely no reason to hide my sexuality, but then I don’t think being gay is anything special either. It is just a fact of my life – like my eye colour. I think that is how other Buddhists see it too.
Ever made me doubt my path?
No, as I haven’t had any reactions to my sexuality. However, I have at times over-identified with being gay – Ithink that might have been an important stage, but I don’t need to do that anymore. I am gay and much more than that.
Message to LGB campaigners on other paths:
If you really want to practice spiritual life you need to do so in a tradition that doesn’t make homosexuality into a problem – be it moral, spiritual or psychological. I think there is only so much mileage in trying to get certain faith groups to ‘convert’ to being happy with LGBs. Better to get out and find somewhere where you can be yourself and – at the same time – more than yourself.
Message to largely secular, mainstream gay community:
I think that many LGBs are looking for human value and meaning that doesn’t deny who they are and doesn’t stigmatise them or ask them to believe in the impossible. Buddhism, a spiritual tradition without a God, is therefore extremely suitable for LGBs. However, as I say, over-identification with being LGB – making it your whole life – can be very damaging unless just a necessary transitory stage. Such over-identification causes a kind of narrowing of horizons and rather misses the point.

An anti-religious queer view…George Broadhead, Secretary, Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA)

Even if they loved queers, wouldn’t any major world religion still get your goat? As a Humanist, I strongly support freedom of belief, however barmy. However, I oppose religionists’ attempts to impose their viewson others and acquire special privileges like publicly-funded schools.Which do you dislike more – religion or homophobia? Religion is certainly the main source of homophobia. It can also be very divisive and inflict terrible suffering on people – gay or straight. These phenomena are ofgreat concern to Humanists. Would LGB activists be better off losing their faith, and becoming Humanists? I can’t understand how self-respecting gays can continue to give their moral and financial support to homophobic religions. They should ditch them as many members of GALHA have. GALHA is now celebrating 25 years of promoting the rational, supportive Humanist approach to gay relationships and gay rights.How would you rank major religions regarding homophobia? Islam and Orthodox Judaism, whose adherents follow strictly the explicit condemnations in their holy books, are aggressively homophobic. The teachingsof Hinduism and Sikhism are less clear, but their spokespersons have opposed gay law reforms. Atheistic Buddhism seems relatively benign. Anglican and Catholic homophobia is firmly based on biblical teachings, which Liberal-Progressive Judaists, Quakers and Unitarians seem able to ignore.


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Apr 16

Absolut Easter Special 1

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Easter:Season of redemption and renewal? Not for extremist Christians!ADRIAN GILLAN reviews yet another year of Christian gay hate…

APRIL 2005

84-year-old Papa Pontiff Pope John Paul II – dies; but not before musing: “It is legitimate and necessary to ask oneself if [gay marriage] is not perhaps part of a new ideology of evil, perhaps more insidious and hidden, which attempts to pit human rights against the family and against man.”John Paul II’s fellow homophobe Cardinal Ratzinger – becomes Pope Benedict XVI!

MAY 2005

Scots Catholics – get their cassocks in a twist after a senior bishop calls for a ban on gay teachers in their faithschools. Campaigners urge that – if the Catholic Church attempts to ban gay teachers from its schools – then the Government should either return Catholic schools to secular control; or cut their public funding.Bishop Jackson Nzerebende of Uganda – rejects over £185k of funding to help AIDS victims because the money has come from an American diocese that supported the election of the world’s first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson.

JUNE 2005

Exodus International (a worldwide umbrella group for ‘ex-gay’ ministries) – are urged by a ‘former ex-gay’ to remove his photo from their website now that he’s returned to the great queer fold (which, he admits, henever really left), quipping of the Christian quacks, “I can honestly say that in five years I did not meet oneperson that I believe had truly changed [orientation]. The harmful work of Exodus almost killed me and I don’twant others to suffer like that.”Presbyterian Minister Ian Brown – responds to claims from Belfast Pride organisers that religious groups havebeen inciting hatred in a bid to stop the annual event: “Why is it they can swear, stamp feet, foam at the mouth and shower all types of invective upon us, but the Christian is not allowed to tell them what God says concerning their sin?”


Joe Stark, father of 16 year old gay son Zach – on the decision to send his son to a Bible-based ‘ex-gay’camp: “We felt very good about Zach coming here… to let him see for himself the destructive lifestyle, what he has to face in the future and to give him some options that society doesn’t give him today. Statistics saythat by the age of 30 he could either have AIDS or be dead.”


Christian fundamentalists, Repent America – blame the death and destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans on local gay events like the annual Southern Decadence: “May this act of God cause us all tothink about what we tolerate in our cities and bring us trembling before His Almighty Throne.”


Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Head of the Catholic Church in Scotland – uses a four-minute Time For Reflection slot inthe Scottish Parliament to claim gays are “captives to sexual aberration”, comparing them to prisoners in the city’s jail, waiting to be “set free”.

JULY 2005

Living Waters (far-right religious group claiming to “cure” LGBs, and make them “ex-gays”) – are exposed for targeting vulnerable young people in UK youth groups, claiming – amongst other things – to offer help for those “addicted” to porn. Its chief tells a national newspaper, “We need to present what the consequence of this sort of behaviour is – infertility, sexually transmitted diseases, the breakdown of family life and fatherlessness for the next generation.”


The Vatican publishes its long-awaited document, Instruction On The Criteria Of Vocational Discernment Regarding People With Homosexual Tendencies – “The Church cannot admit to the priesthood those who practice homosexuality, have deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or those who support the socalled‘gay culture’.”The world’s first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson of New Hampshire – visits the UK and attacks the Vatican, despite the Anglican Communion’s own problems: “We are seeing so many Roman Catholics joining the [Anglican] church. Ratzinger may be the best thing that ever happened to us. [Yet] I find it so vile thatthey think they are going to end the child abuse scandal by throwing out homosexuals from seminaries. It is an act of violence that needs to be confronted.”


Meanwhile, Britain’s top female judge – calls for gay couples to be allowed to fully marry, claiming civil partnerships are “marriages in almost all but name”.
JANUARY 2006Cardinal Keith O’Brien (at it again) – uses his New Year’s Day homily to attack civil partnerships, accusinglawmakers of endorsing “trends in society, which are ultimately ruinous of family life”.


Bishop Gene Robinson – who became the world’s first openly gay bishop in 2003: “I am writing to you from an alcohol treatment centre where, with the encouragement and support of my partner, daughters and colleagues, I checked myself in to deal with my increasing dependence on alcohol.”

MARCH 2006

The UK Government – is urged by campaigners not to bow to pressure from religious groups seeking opt-outs in imminent equality legislation, which would allow them to continue discriminating against queers in any goods and services they may provide, like housing and charitable care. The Archbishop of Canterbury – is called“spineless” by the Gay & Lesbian Humanist Association, and guilty of “cowardice or selfinterest” in allegedly putting the survival of a unified Anglican Communion before the safety and well-being of gay people, both clergy and lay.

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