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Monday, September 14, 2009

Humans have come a long way since 1952

Posthumous Apology to Gay Code Breaker Who Helped Defeat Nazi Germany

Alan TuringAlan Turing
On Friday, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain issued a public apology to Alan Turing, a mathematician and computer pioneer whose work as a code breaker during World War II helped defeat Nazi Germany. Mr. Turing was convicted of “gross indecency” in 1952 for having a homosexual affair and was forced to endure injections of female hormones. Two years later, killed himself by biting into a poisoned apple.
In his statement, Mr. Brown said:
Turing was a quite brilliant mathematician, most famous for his work on breaking the German Enigma codes. It is no exaggeration to say that, without his outstanding contribution, the history of World War II could well have been very different. He truly was one of those individuals we can point to whose unique contribution helped to turn the tide of war. The debt of gratitude he is owed makes it all the more horrifying, therefore, that he was treated so inhumanely. In 1952, he was convicted of ‘gross indecency’ — in effect, tried for being gay. His sentence — and he was faced with the miserable choice of this or prison — was chemical castration by a series of injections of female hormones. He took his own life just two years later.
Thousands of people have come together to demand justice for Alan Turing and recognition of the appalling way he was treated. While Turing was dealt with under the law of the time and we can’t put the clock back, his treatment was of course utterly unfair and I am pleased to have the chance to say how deeply sorry I and we all are for what happened to him.


It is nice to finally see someone at the head of the

British Government taking the initiative to apologize for

this awful situation which occurred when so
much ignorance about sexuality existed in the world

(Unfortunately there is still a long ways to go in this regard, with hate crimes
against Gays occurring all
too frequently.) I am pleased that the

United States Government has taken a forward

step in the right direction in this regard:
"The Federal Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (H.R. 1913) passed the U.S. House on April 29, 2009 by a vote of 249 to 175. The bill expands 1969 federal hate crime laws to include sexual orientation, gender expression or identity and disability. Previous hate crime laws gave the Justice Department authority to prosecute crimes motivated only by race, color, national origin and religion."
Thankfully in Canada we also have legislation dealing with hate.Hate" is defined as a crime under two parts of Canada’s Criminal Code: sections 318 and 319. To convict anyone under the Code, very specific proof is required: both of the criminal act itself, and of the intention or motivation to commit the crime. It isn’t enough that someone has said something hateful or untrue; the courts will only find someone guilty if they contravened the Code exactly, and if they did it deliberately.
In most cases, hate propaganda communicated through the Internet is an offence under the Criminal Code. Amendments to the Code, made under the Anti-Terrorism Act in December 2001, further clarify measures and offences regarding Internet hate crimes.


No one in the world deserves to be treated with hate from another person or another group of persons. I hope some of Mr. Turing's family are still alive so they can get some
peace from what happened to him.
Personally, I had to endure hate crimes for over 2 years of my life,and
I will always be affected by what happened to me in Junior high school by a group of ignorant,hate filled teenage boys,who knew exactly what they were doing to me and enjoyed doing it, because I had a visible physical deformity which they could not accept.
Fortunately due to the wonderful talents and dedication of 2 plastic surgeons,I no longer have to endure people staring at my deformity.

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.