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Archive for May, 2008

The denial of a right may be politics, but the denial of a freedom is tyranny.

The right to do, or participate in, something is invariably linked to the freedom to choose whether or not to exercise that right. That is to say that when one has the right to do, they also have the freedom to choose not to do. As an example of this, I have the right to freely travel across any state border, I also have the choice not to if I do not need or want to.

In a ‘free’ society, civil/human rights are justifiably seen as important to the workings of that ‘free’ society, and that the whole community ought to enjoy the same rights equally.

The preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) includes statements like ‘Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world‘ and Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law. In other words, the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world is the recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family; and that these inalienable rights should be protected by the rule of law (not by government fiat).

How many of us really believe these Utopian words?

Do we believe that the rights (and the freedoms attached to that right) should be shared and enjoyed by all? including minorities? all minorities? all peoples? ALL?

Article 7 of the UDHR continues with the above theme, stating ‘All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.’

All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.’

Article 16 of the UDHR states that ‘Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

Two words – GAY MARRIAGE

Early this morning (Australian time) the California Supreme Court ruled that the right to marriage extends to same sex couples, and that to exclude people from that right based on sexual preference is discriminatory and therefore unconstitutional. This is a correct decision and follows in the spirit, theme, and in the journey toward human rights and human dignity for all.

The right to marry, the freedom to choose not to marry. This may be a tiny thing in the larger scheme of things in the world; it may be just one brick in the structure of human rights and dignity, but without this brick another brick will not be supported and the structure will be weakened and incomplete. Each brick is equally important, just as each person is equally important – racial equality, dignity for disabled people, women’s rights, gay rights, etc. each brick of this structure supporting and supported by each other.

The denial of a right may be politics, but the denial of a freedom is tyranny.

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Religious conservatives will tell you the the Bible is the unerring and unchanging word of God; But some words (or even languages) have not been around all that long. The evangelical may point to some passages in the Bible and claim that it condemns homosexuality, it even does so by name in Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians. This was apparently written in the century after the death of Jesus.

The word ‘homosexuality’ was not invented until 140 years ago yesterday, and first appeared in the Bible in 1946…. the unerring and unchanging word of God?

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If you had to choose

Living long

or

Living loved

for only the truly fortunate get both.

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Theory: Accepting the notion that many men have an overblown image of their golfing prowess; The pace at which a man plays golf is inversely proportional to the speed of the vehicle that carries his clubs. In that, when a male golfer uses a push buggy, he generally walks directly to his ball, plays his shot (eventually), and walks directly to where he hit his ball. Generally a little slow but tolerable. When he uses a motorised buggy however he often drives the vehicle with as much care and attention as does a child in a dodgem car.

While this is not true of all male golfers, I have seen situations often enough to recognise a clear pattern. I have often found myself behind groups of such players, and have marveled at the complete lack of forethought at what they are doing and the total absence of consideration for golfers behind them.

Sharing golf carts multiplies the problem, multiple carts, and or multiple groups of men with carts and the situation is compounded exponentially into what I refer to as the ‘Molasses Circus – The greatest slow on Earth’.

Picture this, four men sharing two carts, two men in each cart. It is a slow day on the course, many guys thinking they are Tiger Woods, whilst proving themselves to be Wooden Tigers (humour). The men in cart A have hit their balls the same distance down the fairway though about 15 metres apart. The driver of cart B has sliced his ball into the deep rough halfway along the fairway, his passenger has put his ball on the fairway though about 30 metres shorter than the driver. Cart A has gone up to one of their balls and is waiting for the green (further away than they can hit) to clear. The driver of cart B has driven up to his ball and is also waiting for the green to clear. A modicum of forethought, and perhaps consideration for the flow of play on the course may suggest that; whilst waiting for the green to clear, the players from cart A could both go to their respective balls; and as the driver of cart B has to pass his passengers ball to get to his ball, it may be an idea to let the passenger off en-route to the drivers ball… but no. The green clears, player 1 from cart A hits his ball, puts his club away and climbs back into the cart and they drive the ten or so meters laterally across the fairway to the other player’s ball, meanwhile the driver of cart B has hit his ball, and drives BACK down the fairway for his passenger to play his ball. Situations akin to this occur regularly through the round. A floor show such as this is a galling experience if you find yourself behind such a grouping.

Absence of forethought, no idea of where they need to go, and will not take suggestions… I think male attitudes on the roads may be reflected when they climb behind the wheel on a golf course… only that golf carts don’t do 60 Kmph.

Dare I suggest a breathalyser for the 17th Tee?

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