Monday, October 25, 2010
New Hampshire newspaper refused to publish homosexual wedding announcements
A newspaper in New Hampshire has come under fire for refusing to print wedding announcements for homosexual couples, despite same-sex marriage being legal in the US state. The Union Leader, New Hampshire's largest newspaper, declined to publish a notice of the marriage of two men in Portsmouth on Saturday.
New Hampshire is one of five US states to have legalised homosexual marriage. It became legal on January 1, two years after civil partnerships were allowed.
Joseph McQuaid, the publisher of the Manchester-based newspaper, said that it was not "anti-gay", but its stance was that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. "While the law sanctions gay marriage, it neither demands that churches perform them or that our First Amendment right to choose what we print be suspended," Mr McQuaid said in a statement.
But Paul Hodes, a Democratic Senate candidate for the state, told Mr McQuaid that the newspaper should "respect the law of New Hampshire" and change its policy.
Greg Gould, one half of the homosexual couple involved, described the newspaper as "out of touch". "It's just news," said Mr Gould, a 42-year-old financier, of his announcement. "If they didn't want to report on all the things they didn't like, then they wouldn't report on murder, and war, and government.''
A spokesman for Mr Hodes's Republican opponent, Kelly Ayotte, said that government had no right to interfere with the freedom of the press.
Shock and Awful Art
Rocco Landesman is the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Boy, does he know how to spin the official line on offensive art. In a recent interview in Cincinnati, he was asked vaguely about controversy. "The best art taps into deep feelings, sometimes to comfort and sometimes to confront. Art can be very uncomfortable," Landesman said. "That can lead to strong reactions. For some of us, it draws us into the arts over our lifetimes and careers. For others, it creates strong negative feelings."
Landesman wasn't being asked specifically about negative feelings over the Loveland Museum Gallery in Loveland, Colo., a taxpayer-funded art space that recently featured a controversial painting with Jesus Christ receiving oral sex from a man. He's certainly not used to critical questions about just how this blasphemy-by-numbers seems like a tiresome rerun -- Jesus in urine, Jesus in chocolate, Jesus in (homo)sexual ecstasy.
You know -- he wasn't asked, but you just know -- that he never would defend as "the best art" the depiction of the Prophet Muhammad or the Dalai Lama receiving oral sex. He'd be offended if it were a secular figure, such as, oh, President Barack Obama. But this is Christ, whom every taxpayer-funded artist always wants to crucify. This is "the best art."
The artist in this case is a Stanford professor named Enrique Chagoya, and he called his art outrage "The Misadventures of the Romantic Cannibals." Typically, Chagoya was raised Catholic and claims the work isn't hostile at all, that it's about "faith and belief," that Christ was "about love and about sharing." Blah, blah. For good measure, gallery officials denied the image is sexual, as if men usually put their faces in other men's laps for other reasons.
There's more religious imagery in the multi-panel piece, including what appears to be the head of the Virgin Mary on a scantily clad cocktail waitress and another picture placing the head of Jesus on an obese female body in a one-piece bathing suit, riding a bicycle. The piece also contains written vulgarities (in English and Spanish).
Some might yawn. Here we go again. But what makes this story different is that Kathleen Folden, bless her heart, entered the gallery, broke into the artwork with a crowbar and ripped it to pieces. She didn't really destroy the art, because it was one of several prints, but she did express a rebuttal of sorts to the constant artistic besmirching of Jesus. Someone offended back.
Folden will be prosecuted for "criminal mischief" in the case. Chagoya is now the outraged one: "Should we as artists -- or any freethinking people -- have to be subjected to fear of violent attacks for expressing our sincere concerns?" Seeing as he's obviously free of shame, the Jesus-insulting artist added, "Let's exchange ideas, not insults." This is too rich.
Our media easily blame the offended Christian and not the artist. But make the image a Muhammad cartoon and our media would blame and shame the artist for being needlessly provocative and not the offended Muslim who would take action in response. Someone should ask Chagoya whether he's heard of Molly Norris, who merely proposed (and quickly retracted) "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" and then had to vanish from public view (along with her art) and change her name on the recommendation of the FBI.
The vast majority of the art community's shocking, or "transgressive," work is aimed at celebrating sin and the sexually "liberated." The National Endowment for the Arts recently announced that it would expend $12,500 to translate into English a novel by the Marquis de Sade, the libertine icon whose appetite for sexual violence inspired the word "sadism." The federally honored translator, John Galbraith Simmons, told CNSNews.com that this particular novel ("Aline and Valcour") is not pornographic and that "Sade is a figure who belongs with Shakespeare, with the greatest of authors."
The NEA also seems to find supporting art most exciting in the most "sexually liberated" cities. As part of the Obama "stimulus" package, CNS also found, the NEA distributed $1.4 million in special "stimulus" grants to 37 private arts nonprofits in the city of San Francisco, most of which is represented by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. That was more than the total number of NEA stimulus grants handed out to arts organizations in any other state except New York.
The artistic elites like to pretend that they're the sophisticates and that their opponents are the uneducated brutes. But looking at weird and junky cartooning like Chagoya's just makes you think the vandalism here wasn't committed by the woman with the crowbar, but by the guy with the paints.
Incredible bureaucratic pettiness is not confined to Britain
A group of high school football officials in Washington state were trying to support breast cancer research while working this week's games, so they made a pledge to donate all game checks to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Then, to top off the charitable gesture, they announced they would all use pink whistles during the games. Now there's a chance those whistles could cost the refs a chance to work state playoff games.
According to KING 5 News, officials who are part of the Pacific Northwest Football Officials Association who worked games on Thursday night were informed by the chair of the Washington Officials Association that they could face a two-game suspension for using pink whistles. The playoff ban is possible because the colored whistles violate the uniform protocol for state high school officials. Those uniforms allegedly call for black whistles only, and the WOA claims that no officials asked for permission to use pink whistles for their designated charity games.
The chair of the WOA, Todd Stordahl, told KING 5 News and MyNorthwest.com he has little choice but to discipline officials who used colored whistles. He claims that letting them continue without punishment would send the wrong message to student athletes. "They chose not to ask for permission, not to go the right route," Stordahl told KING 5. "It sends the wrong message to kids that are playing the game. 'If they broke the rules why can't I do the same.'"
Though no discipline has been decided upon, Stordahl indicated it was likely that pink whistle-blowing officials would be suspended for two playoff games. That would not only keep the referees from working at the annual pinnacle of their sport, but also cost them two game checks.
Considering that the referees were already donating one game check to charity, that would leave them with three fewer checks than in a typical season.
Meanwhile, MyNorthwest.com is reporting the PNFOA is arguing the dress code for officials does not technically specify that only black whistles be used, which means any suspensions would be unwarranted. That follows a Tuesday PNFOA meeting in which the group's president, Mike Livingston, said the board voted unanimously to use the colored whistles, regardless of penalty.
The officials themselves seem to be on board with the PNFOA decision, due to a commitment the referees felt to both breast cancer awareness and each other. There's little indication that the threat that came Thursday night from the WOA will keep them from using the pink whistles they intended.
"A lot of the guys in the association have been touched by breast cancer in some way," referee Jeff Mattson told MyNorthwest.com. "So we decided to take on the Susan G. Komen Foundation."
Petty bureaucratic nastiness in Australia too: Man fined $300 after saving a life
Britain is the world HQ for this sort of thing but there is always some nasty little bureaucratic prick everywhere who needs to use his powers to hurt rather than help people
A MAN who saved his mate's life after a jetski accident at Caloundra is outraged that he has now been hit with a $300 fine by authorities. Brisbane man Dave Burke suffered the hit to the hip pocket by Maritime Safety Queensland for "failing to report an incident".
The "incident" happened near the Caloundra Bar on Easter Sunday when a large wave knocked the 30-year-old and his 29-year-old friend off Mr Burke's jetski. The jetski sank and Mr Burke was picked up by an onlooker and taken back to the beach.
"I've then borrowed a jetski and gone out to get my mate," he said. "He was wearing a vest but he was pretty frightened. "He kept getting hit with some pretty heavy waves and because he had the vest on he wasn't able to get away from them."
Both men made it safely on to the sand of Bribie Island, where a female sunbather alerted the nearest life guard. Mr Burke said his friend was uninjured and had walked about 200 metres by the time the life guard and Coastguard arrived on the scene. "He told them he didn't need any transport but the Coastguard have insisted. "Now, because they've insisted on a transport that we didn't want, I've had to pay a $300 fine."
Mr Burke said the life guard advised him he would take care of any required paperwork and he retrieved his jetski with the help of another jetski rider.
Several weeks after the incident he was contacted by Maritime Queensland, who requested he make an incident report. He claims he did that but officials say it never arrived and he received his $300 fine in the mail last Monday.
Mr Burke said Maritime Safety Queensland viewed the incident as a "man overboard" that required reporting. "It's a jetski. If that is a man overboard, then Maritime should be chasing up the other 200 of these that happen every day," he said.
But Caloundra Coastguard Commander Bill Rowland said he did not recall the incident but the law was very clear. "He has to understand that as the skipper of a vessel... he has responsibility under the Marine Act to report an incident to a shipping inspector within 24 hours," he said. "The law is very clear on that. There is no ambiguity. "He obviously didn't do that and he got fined.
"I imagine there will be more to the situation than he is saying. "He would not be fined for falling off a jetski, he would be fined for not reporting an incident which the MSQ determined was a reportable marine incident."
Mr Burke said he had paid the $300 and while he would save his friend again if he had to, the fine had left a sour taste in his mouth. "When you've busted your arse to get to someone and also risked your own life – this is the thanks you get," Mr Burke said.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.