Sunday, October 22, 2006

I'm Really Tired of Mark Foley Being Called a Sexual Predator

This whole scandal around Mark Foley really stinks. And what stinks is the media coverage of it, the pandering of the Democrats, and the moral stupidity of the Republicans.

Just in case anyone cares: the age of consent in the District of Columbia is 16. Mark Foley certainly acted stupidly, but he's no sexual predator. He's a pathetic, hypocritical excuse for a human being, but not a sexual predator as some Democrats and some "religious" critics are painting him.

The Republicans will use this as an excuse to punish other closeted members of Congress, not to mention Capitol Hill staff. The Democrats will use this as an example (well-deserved, but for different reasons) of Republican moral bankruptcy. And the people who really get tarnished by this whole tawdry episode are gay people everywhere. We didn't cause this mess, but we'll get blamed for it.

The press' coverage is shameful, in getting the facts wrong in such an awful way that it inflames the religious nuts out there. By using terms like "sexual predator" and "pedophile," the media obscured the facts, and maliciously twisted the story to sell papers.

The Democrats jumped on the case because they smell blood. But this is such an ugly, awful place to go. And the Republicans are just so morally stupid. They can't confront their own miscreants. They're afraid of admitting any kind of moral failing, and they swim in their own cesspool.

The whole affair is disgusting, far more disgusting than the personal behavior of Mr. Foley.

Monday, October 9, 2006

High School Spanish

I knew that the day would finally come when my high school Spanish would stand me in good stead. At this point in my life, I remember approximately 40 words, although I can still conjugate present tenses of several Spanish verbs.

Two years ago, a friend and I talked about taking a trip to Spain. It finally happened, and it was a wonderful experience. Even better, that high school Spanish really helped a couple of times, and caused more than a few smiles on peoples' faces when I would open my mouth. Thank you, Mrs. Monlux, for the patience you exhibited with me in Potlatch High School Spanish class. It was well worth your efforts.

I took lots of pictures (about 1100), and wrote many pages in my travel journal, which should shortly begin appearing on one of my other websites. I met some wonderful people, ate fabulous food, and found a lot of ideas to get my head around, ideas that I didn't find at home in my comfortable place.

I'm not sure that travel makes one well-rounded (although I did gain seven pounds, all that Serrano Jamon), but it does expose one to difference: different languages, different cultures, different foods, a different sense and perspective on the world. Of course, I couldn't talk at length with people on the street, because I didn't know the language, but I'm going to make up for that the next time I go.

And I do plan to go back.