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Is it OK to be tolerant of gays but be proudly heterosexual?

MARK WIGNALL

Sunday, May 25, 2014    

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Were I recently fired university professor Dr Brendan Bain, I would sue the University of the West Indies (UWI) for every penny that backward-thinking institution doesn't have.

The professor was fired for completing an affidavit used in a court case in Belize in which Caleb Orozco, a gay man, challenged the constitutionality of an 1861 law that criminalises men having sex with men.

From what I have read, empirical evidence would suggest that men who have sex with men have a much greater risk of contracting HIV than those who only indulge in 'normal' sex, that is, a man with a woman, the way sex, especially for procreation (but also recreation), was designed.

Hey, does it take a highly trained doctor to make such a declaration, seeing that unprotected sex in such a despicably foul environment as the anus, a passage meant strictly for defecation, is the perfect place to harbour bacteria, viruses and to the layman, just plain 'germs'?

The increasingly intolerant but very powerful gay lobby wants everyone to be tolerant of their lifestyle, which, as far as I am concerned, is their private business. The drawback is, mere tolerance of their purely recreational romp is not what they seek. What they really want is total silence from every heterosexual while they reserve the right to hit the podium and shoot down every person speaking up in favour of being 'normal'.

Apparently their discontent is that we heterosexuals are miserably failing to see the gay lifestyle as the new normal, so they continue to huff and puff and throw powder puffs, sticks and stones at everyone who fails to come out in support of them.

Riding on the misconception that Jamaica is a violently homophobic place, gays and the gay lobby continue to sidestep the reality that in excess of 90 per cent of violent acts against homosexuals are perpetrated by other homosexuals.

Tolerance for homosexuals has increased rapidly in Jamaica and even in my case, it was just about 15 years ago that I was against the repeal of the Buggery Act. Now, I am in favour of the State allowing men to do whatever they want to do with each other in the privacy of their bedrooms. I have no business peeping through people's keyholes, and I do not want anyone to spy on me when I close my bedroom door.

There are openly gay prostitutes parading in New Kingston at nights in some of the most outrageously foppish outfits, and in the past I have been propositioned. Did I hurl abuse at the gay prostitute? No, I found it quite comical and simply walked away to ponder the new reality of the Jamaica that had taken off in new directions.

Many civil society organisations that have used the gay issue in Jamaica as a human rights issue will, every so often, make their convenient noise on behalf of gays, not necessarily because the community is being wronged, but mostly because powerful, cash-rich North American and Western European groups fund them. It's all about the greenback.

Professor Bain must take out suit or be given back his job. It is no secret that may powerful organisations in Jamaica are peopled with homosexuals in key positions, but because they still cannot 'come out' in a Jamaica that is not ready for that radical culture shock, they use the lobby of their powerful friends abroad to bring pressure to bear on our local players.

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, in her previous role in 2011 as opposition leader, opened a can of worms when she promised that a government formed by her would 'look at' the Buggery Act. Why did she do it, considering Jamaica's culture? Was that predicated on some powerful gay lobby group pumping significant funding into the People's National Party while it was on the hustings?

If tolerance has its limits, the recent pressure which brought about the firing of Bain will show us that when we bend too far backward to facilitate a group and a lifestyle that wants more than total acceptance, a little bit of 'useful intolerance' is not a bad thing.

The gay lobby wants to make noise while it wants us to embrace the lifestyle but shut up while doing so if praise for them is too hard a call to make.

How will Jamaica survive a mega-tsunami?

According to a May 15 article in the Independent out of Toronto, Canada headlined 'Mega-tsunami for Caribbean region', seismologists have been working on a model which is predicting the biggest ever tsunami in history.

It is predicated on the basis that there will be a volcanic eruption in the Canary Islands, those small islands just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa. Dr Simon Day of the Benfield Greig Hazard Research Centre at University College London has used his model to predict that "... a future eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano in the Canary Islands was likely to cause the western flank of the mountain to slide into the sea".

According to the article, "The monster wave generated by part of a mountain collapsing into the sea would be the biggest ever recorded and would be an unstoppable force, travelling at speeds up to 500 mph.

"The massive wall of water will likely make first landfall on the West Saharan coast of Morocco, where the wave could measure as much as 330 ft from trough to crest.

"The greatest destruction was nevertheless expected in the built-up coastal areas of the Caribbean, Florida, and Brazil...

"The tsunami could reach heights of 130 ft to 164 ft throughout the region and travel several miles inland, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

"The model predicts that after the landslide the tsunami would travel a distance of almost 155 miles in just 10 minutes and would reach the Caribbean and Florida in eight or nine hours."

According to the scientists, "The collapse will occur during some future eruption after days or weeks of precursory deformation and earthquakes.

"An effective earthquake monitoring system could provide advanced warning of a likely collapse and allow emergency management organisations a valuable window of time in which to plan and respond.

"Eruptions of Cumbre Vieja occur at intervals of decades to a century or so and there may be a number of eruptions before its collapse. Although the year-to-year probability of a collapse is therefore low, the resulting tsunami would be a major disaster with indirect effects around the world."

There is nothing quite as scary as an earthquake, and the Caribbean has been having a few tremors in recent months. I can remember in late 1988 just before the catastrophic Hurricane Gilbert devastated Jamaica, my two brothers and I were at a bar in the semi-rural Mount Salus when the ground beneath us began to shake. I was standing at the big doorway of the bar.

As the tremors seemed to accelerate, all the men inside the bar ran outside while all those who were just outside ran inside. I stood frozen in place, in fear, watching them. In a while all began paying their bills to head home or to pray. Fear was the main currency.

Jamaicans do not know what it is to be struck by a tsunami. It is said by some that when the great earthquake of 1692 struck Port Royal it was accompanied by a tsunami-like wave. The records indicate that the British colonial leaders in North America had issued words of sympathy for what had happened in Port Royal, but nothing they said support the idea that a tsunami was involved.

If there was indeed a tsunami, why was it so specific to Port Royal? Why did it not affect the city of Kingston and have major impact on the capital, then Spanish Town and environs, places within easy reach of a tsunami?

Frankly, I believe that it was sheer liquefaction from the massive quake which saw two-thirds of Port Royal disappearing beneath the sea.

The Goat Islands development would be history

Although there is no need for us to begin heading to the hills in preparation for a mega-tsunami, it is useful to note that should one strike the region it is hardly likely that with significant sections of the South Atlantic coastline of the USA impacted there will be any big aid coming our way.

Kingston and major sections of our built-up coastline towns and cities would be devastated. Portmore would be history.

An engineer who responded to my recent article about Goat Islands told me that engineering considerations alone will make the development a bad one.

"As you might notice, there are not only environmental challenges against the Goat Islands but practical engineering ones as well, such as being flooded by storm surges, as the JPSCo's Old Harbour power plant was during Hurricane Ivan.

"That part of the Bight is often over-run by storm surges. Climate change with the Antarctic ice now melting at a rate of nine billion tons/year, doubling from four years before (source BBC Tuesday), an accelerating rate.

"The proposed bridge may be destroyed by the storm water flow when submerged. Potable water supply, sewage disposal in a swampy area, oil and coal storage, etc must be addressed as well."

When I suggested that the Chinese could be considering the 'reclaiming' of land between the bridge connecting the islands and the mainland, the engineer said: 'Actually, no. They could not block that area by reclaiming it, because that's the place where the Salt Island Creek empties into the sea (look at a map), and blocking it would create a pocket where any vegetation washed down would tend to accumulate.

"'Plus, the minister says in Parliament they've applied in CHEC's request to place a bridge there. Furthermore, the current port location will most likely have to be eventually abandoned, due to the cumulative effects of climate change (sea level rise + storm surges from increased hurricane intensity) being at near sea level.

"When I asked Dr Fritz Pinnock last night if they were going to connect the island with a rail link in addition to the road bridge, he hesitated and said he supposed they should, having just delivered the lecture Logistics 101 wherein it was stressed that the port, the manufacturing areas and the airport should be right beside each other. He gave examples such as Mariel, Cuba, etc (complete with aerial photos) pointing out where the existing ports were abandoned and the thousands of acres were so contiguously available.

"He didn't see the contradiction in having the proposed Goat Island port separated by over 40km from the Vernam Field airport or the manufacturing areas as far away as he proposed...

"Look at the Macarry Bay location which I proposed in the analysis (attached .PDF file from Smith Warner International, port designers, etc), it got more points than Goat Island despite having to dredge a somewhat longer (12km) approach channel for the port because of the ease of land side construction, and other considerations. As well, it is within 4km of Vernam Field with more than 12 sq km ready for logistics facilities, it is connectable by rail overland from the existing Rocky Point spur line, and it is a short run from Highway 2000 to the north (a big plus in my opinion) though Smith Warner did not consider it is that stable -- the land is gradually a gentle slope from the 25 ft contour by the sea to miles inland at Vernam Field at 104 ft elevation, immune to hurricane storm surge and sea level rise!

"Goat Island as a choice of location for the port is just a bad deal, with little in it for us. The nearby land being swamp, Mitchell's Bog included.

"[Fritz Pinnock said the Chinese company that makes a significant part of the worldwide production of port container cranes will be on Goat Island. We simply do not have the internationally qualified workers to weld and otherwise assemble them. The only jobs that we could get in any quantity would be low-paying clean-up crews, and janitorial staff for the offices.

"Are you aware that the straddle carriers at the Port of Kingston have to be constantly repaired due to damage caused by the uneven settlement of the reclaimed land, going on even now? (I'm not too sure about what's happening to the port container cranes.) Just as the reclaimed land at Goat Island will do for the next many years."

The economy is in a slight uptick position but it is ever so delicate. We have no idea when the Canary Islands mountain will collapse into the sea and bring devastation to Jamaica. It could be the next five years or it could be in the next 100 years.

What we need to do is develop the country, rapidly build the economy and generate massive surpluses for any future mega-disasters that are sure to come. Otherwise, we are doubly dead.

— observemark@gmail.com

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