The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Thursday, February 21, 2008

UMass Decency Rally

Mixed messages.

Yikes, it was only eight degrees when I left this morning! In this weather my neighbor with the woodstove will make good use of the old tree he cut down.

As cold as it was, I was surprised by the size of the crowd that showed up for a so-called Decency Rally at UMass today at noon.

It was put on by the UMass Republican Club.

The cause of the uproar was some explicit safe-sex posters put up by the Radical Student Union. The information about sex on the posters were non-controversial, but the illustrations accompanying them were. Here they are, judge for yourself: (click photo to enlarge)

Was it really necessary to have an illustration showing how to suck cock? If so, then I'm willing to give private lessons at low rates. Obviously the posters were intentionally provocative, but what about free speech?

Here Republican Club President Brad DeFlumeri is shown addressing the gathering.

The media was there, such as Bill Peters from the cyberzine Local Buzz. Here Channel 3 is shown interviewing a spokesperson for the Radical Student Union.

Notorious local right-wing activist Ed Cutting can almost always be found at these events.

Also in attendance was Larry Kelly of the popular blog Only in Amherst.

I was glad to see an anti-porn rally and to see it well attended. However, I wish the case was more clear cut. The inclusion of the safe sex message muddies the water, as well as the fact that the images were gay. I think the Republican Club could have chosen a less ambiguous event to try to make their point.

Here is a video of President DeFlumeri reading from a letter he received, plus an overview of the crowd.

The ever astute Robert Novack is back with more brilliant insights:

The impressive Barack Obama win in Wisconsin cut off another possibility for a Hillary Clinton comeback. That means Clinton goes into March 4, where she must win both Texas and Ohio with zero momentum. Time is running out, and signs of panic increase in the Clinton campaign -- as characterized by her odd charges of plagiarism by Obama.

It should be borne in mind that Democrats are determined to enter the Denver convention late in August with the nominee decided. That means that, to have any chance, Clinton will have to regain momentum -- not any easy task with Obama flying high.

With little notice and little effort, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) trounced former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in yesterday's Wisconsin Republican primary. It was perhaps indicative of how serious Huckabee's campaign is that he was in the Cayman Islands Sunday for a paid political speech two days before the Wisconsin primary.

To read the rest click here.

Finally, here is a great violinist.

Here is a person playing violin on the streets of Northampton recently.


Anonymous said...

Sometimes, especially in this day and age, you have to shock people to get their attention. If that means showing gay oral sex to get people to understand the issue of HIV/AIDS and how to protect themselves, then so be it.

As for the UMASS Republicans... you know what they say.. if you're a conservative when you are young you have no heart and if you're a liberal when you get older, you have no brain.

Bill Dusty said...

Why "in this day and age" do people need to be shocked? That's a fake statement made by people to justify their own offensive behavior. HIV/AIDS is understand more now than it was twenty years ago. No shock treatment necessary.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect Mr. Dusty, HIV rates among most demographics, including senior citizens, college age people and heterosexuals is climbing at an alarming rate. Far too many people simply still do not understand the risks and how to protect themselves. Its no longer even feared among the gay male population as the reported number of cases of unprotected sex among gay males has once again begun to increase rapidly. Because people can live healthier and longer even if they are HIV positive, HIV is no longer the deterrent it once was to unprotected sex. Not to mention the rate of infection among drug users is also climbing.

So with all these indicators of a rising health crisis, not a diminishing one, you tell me how we get through to people? The cynical kids of today need a provocative message in order to get their attention. Its a simple fact. So whether its displaying the mangled vehicle from the latest fatal teen car wreck in the parking lot of the high school to show them the dangers of drinking and driving or drawings of gay sex on a college pamphlet about HIV. If that's what it takes to save lives, then so be it.

UMasser said...

I work in the student union. Children in the daycare program are kept on the third floor of the student union. If they are brought upstairs, the northern-most staircase is used. Day care students never cross through the fourth floor atrium, where the pamphlets are displayed.

Anyone who has seen this pamphlet cannot reasonably deem it to be pornographic. The images are rudimentary cartoons. The real issue here is one of homophobia. Similarly sexual images of heterosexual couples are everywhere. The Republican Club has previously not been concerned with sexually suggestive imagery. Republican Club President Brad DeFlumeri has pictures of himself, on his facebook profile, dressed as a gynecologist, with a cartoon hand-drawn on the back of his robe depicting himself, in costume, having sexual intercourse with a female. He has previously been accused of sexually harassing female members of other republican clubs. These allegations have forced the Umass chapter to secede from their parent organization. The Umass Republican Club is not concerned with the “sexual harassment” of the campus population by these images. They are only concerned with promoting hatred and homophobia.

Bill Dusty said...

With all due respect, I disagree. I read newspapers and science journals, and sorry, but in the past several years I've read of no "alarming" increase in HIV cases. To the contrary, treatments for current HIV patients has improved tremendously over the years.

Here is a Center for Desease Control & Prevention page which shows fairly clearly that, while some demographics from 2001 - 2005 (years of the study) have shown mild increases, most others have in fact either stayed the same or gone down. I'm sure you'll fire back with some liberal journal showing off its own cooked stats, but I'll take mine from the CDC.

And you know what? Even if there was an "alarming" upswing in cases, that still does not mean "shock treatment" of the population is necessary. That's a code word/phrase used almost entirely by progressives to justify their abusive, offensive behavior.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who has seen this pamphlet cannot reasonably deem it to be pornographic.

There's a panel showing a man taking another man's penis into his mouth ... and it is your contention that no one can reasonably think that is pornographic?

I would like to point out also that the old liberal staple of screaming "hatred and homophobia" as a way to bypass having to defend such a thoroughly crazy argument doesn't help you.