battling for hearts and minds
some people fight for equality while many others indirectly make a case for the need for improved public education.
earlier this week, the Massachusetts Legislature voted overwhelmingly (157-39) to reject a constitutional ban on gay marriage in that state. this means that such a measure will not appear on ballots in 2006, and that equality under the law will continue indefinitely. some part of that rejection came from opponents of gay marriage who want a more restrictive amendment, though that will have to wait until 2008 at the earliest. and given how little furor there's been in the past year as over 6,000 couples have been married, i think it unlikely that a a more restrictive measure could possible pass, especialy given quotes like this one:
"Gay marriage has begun, and life has not changed for the citizens of the commonwealth, with the exception of those who can now marry," said state Sen. Brian Lees, a Republican who had been a co-sponsor of the amendment. "This amendment which was an appropriate measure or compromise a year ago, is no longer, I feel, a compromise today."
meanwhile, Connecticut has passed a civil union law set to take effect next month, Rhode Island and CT may recognize gay marriages performed in Massachusetts, California has passed a same-sex marriage bill (about to be vetoed by the Governor), and Maryland has become the latest place where legal challenges hope to take down laws limiting marriage to a man and a woman.
sitting at #2 on the most recent bestseller list is Kevin Trudeau's "Natural Cures 'They' Don't Want You to Know About", which has spent 13 weeks in the Top 150. this may seem like just another ripple the self-help pool filled with snake oil, but is actually much more insidious: Trudeau is a twice-convicted felon for check kiting and credit card fraud who has been banned from appearing in infomercials, has been prosecuted by 18 Attorneys General and the U.S. Postal Service. he's also a veteran of numerous multi-level marketing companies that are basically nothing but pyramid schemes. meanwhile, while Trudeau claims to be fighting a medical establishment that it for some reason sitting on the cure for cancer, his $30 book seemingly contains very little except plugs for his webiste, which costs another $10 a month to utilize. the New York State Consumer Protecton Board has denounced the book as a fraud. this part cracked me up:
�Throughout the book, Trudeau tries to fool readers into thinking he knows the cure for specific diseases when all Trudeau really offers are different theories on what causes an illness or a disease.�
Another example, she said, is Trudeau�s June 2005 newsletter which carries the headline: �The Natural Way to Cure Cancer.� In that newsletter, Trudeau wrote, �The cure for cancer is: simply stop doing the things that are causing the cancer!�
�It�s like the old joke where a patient complains to a doctor that it hurt to lift his arm and the doctor says, �Then don�t lift your arm,�� said Chairperson Santiago. �Trudeau even has the nerve to tell that joke in his book � not once, but three times.�
you almost have to admire his audacity before remembering what a total douche he is. the author claims to have sold over 4 million copies, which like everything else he says is dubious. but at 13 weeks on bestseller lists, there's a significant number of these things out there contributing to the massive black hole of ignorance that is threatening to turn this country into a place from which no light can escape while Trudeau goes to sleep on his pile of money surrounded by many beautiful ladies. the people buying this book must be the same folks falling for the Nigerian e-mail scam. how do they keep earning money to then throw away?
Cockeyed.com has a long but rewarding series of e-mails regarding multi-level marketing as part of their ongoing quest to expose these schemes for what they are and the havoc they cause for many people.