Saturday, December 16, 2006
Ooh-la-la! Cheap condoms for school kids
Paul Parant writing in Têtu takes a tone of exasperation that only now—25 years after the appearance of AIDS—has the French Ministry of Education announced that it will install condom dispensers in all lycées (high schools).1 But of course from across the Atlantic this looks like the wildest kind of radicalism.
In the United States high schoolers are humping like bunnies. Yet the government response in most states is to make sure there are no books about sex in the school library.
The existence of teenage sex in America has to be the world's worst kept secret. From morning to night our commercials hint of, leer at, toy with and suggest sex, yet manage to play it so that some teenagers (and probably some adults) still believe babies are delivered by stork. And for the religious in our society that is the preferred manner of dealing with the matter, though the Southern Baptists have taken a precautionary step for those advanced teenagers to whom the secret of sex was leaked—the Virginity Pledge.
But ignorance is always better. Here's an extreme case of innocence that came up recently in a court hearing. The hearing was to determine if a Fundamentalist Mormon pastor should stand trial as an accomplice to rape for forcing a 14-year-old to marry her 19-year-old first cousin—
Bugden [the pastor's attorney] also claims the woman never explicitly told anyone that she was being raped and never used the word "sex" when she was questioned by police....
"The most specific she ever got was her husband did some things and touched her in places that made her uncomfortable," Bugden said....
Prosecutors countered that "sex" is not a culturally permitted term within the closed FLDS society.
"Sex" is not a culturally permitted term anywhere in our public life.
And meanwhile the French are putting condom dispensers in the high schools. You won't hear about it in the U.S. news. In order to report it, the media would have to figure out how to disguise the fact that it had something to do with teenage sex.
The Christian Right, STDs, monogamy and other wonders (5/30/05)
Condoms 1 Right-Wing 0 (6/22/06)
Finally! While the project "5 condoms for 1 euro," introduced into the tobacco shops, met real success with the delivery of 10 million additional items, condoms should soon become more available in the lycées. The Ministry of National Education is getting ready to install dispensers in all lycées of general, technological and professional education for an identical price of 20 centimes as valued in euros.... [a Simply Appalling translation][back]
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Batman living as expat, aids the Russians!
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Epiphany of the Day
You know, it is something very strange: You learn to live with things. For example, something is taken away, like let's say, the freedom of the press or yeah, let's say that your telephones are tapped. So you say "Okay, I can live with that" and then the next day something else, and then you say, "Okay, I will have to live with that too," and so forth. And then after a few months, you realize that you have lost everything. But, you got sort of used to it. And then there's a point when you're talking torture at breakfast time with your kids. And all of a sudden you have this epiphany or this revelation in which you realize what kind of life you are having. —Isabel Letelier, author and wife of the Chilean ambassador to the United States under President Salvador Allende, in an interview in 2003
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Honor of the Day
He ... will forever be remembered as the man who inaugurated a new leap in the concept of human rights, which is: Heads of states do not have impunity for those things they have done in crimes against humanity. Humanity can judge them for what they did against us all. —Chilean author Ariel Dorfman, commenting on defunct dictator Augusto Pinochet
Humanity will have to judge Pinochet since he was never tried in a court of law despite the many indictments he "suffered."
The honor of "inaugurating a new leap in the concept of human rights" by being convicted of a crime against humanity while head of state might have fallen upon former Yugoslav President Slobadan Milosevic. But he too was exonerated by the Grim Reaper.
So the honor remains to be awarded, and I know just the man who deserves it.