Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Peace and tolerance
Speaking in the Senate last Friday during the clause-by-clause examination of that Bill, Dr Harding said his comment was prompted by a newspaper editorial titled "End discrimination towards gays now" which argued, among other things, that "legislators should expunge the buggery law, the main bit of existing legislation that makes homosexuality illegal" and questioned why the new Charter had provided for "no freedom from discrimination because of a person's sexual orientation".
Said Harding: "As someone who deals in philosophy of law, it is something that needs to be considered and I don't think we can just throw it out the window. The reason I say this (is that) we talk about parliamentary rights and freedoms but let us not make jokes about whether people have inclinations or so, the question is, it is an arising problem.
"I happen to have a lawyer who is on my staff and he wrote a letter to the newspaper and his life has been threatened. Now I don't think there is anything amusing about that, or anything to laugh about. We have two issues that we can't perhaps face now but the country needs to face; one is the question of our Creole language and whether it's recognised or not and there is the suggestion that speakers of Creole are disadvantaged. The second one is the question of the rights of people who have different sexual orientation," he continued, despite obvious signs of disagreement with the line of argument from some senators.
However, he said: "The question of marriage is quite a different matter, defined in our law as the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others for life. I mention these things of course because they are not going to go away, they are going to come back long after we have shuttled off this mortal coil, those problems are still going to be here. These matters cannot be pushed under the mat, they are going to come again. We don't have to accept the views but at least we could give some consideration of them."
Nicholson had said the Senate had not kept its promise to Devonish and his group to allow them to present the work which they were asked to do and urged that the senate apologise to Devonish and explain that it was too late for the proposed amendment at this point but encourage him to continue his work to help Jamaicans understand the Charter. Devonish had presented a paper containing his proposal to a Joint Select Committee of Parliament which had been deliberating the amendment to the Constitution.
That same matter prompted a last-minute call from Public Defender Earl Witter for the passage of the Charter to be delayed for that inclusion to be made.
On Friday, the Public Defender in a letter to the Senate, which was copied to several people, including Prime Minister Bruce Golding, Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller and House Speaker Delroy Chuck, had urged that the Senate before enacting the Charter give an audience to Professor Devonish and the work of the language unit.
Said Witter: "in any event even as I appreciate the Government's determination to press ahead without further delay, with enactment of what is undoubtedly the most fundamental piece of legislation since Independence (if not in all our history), I think it would be wise to have the benefit of Professor Devonish's and the unit's work prior to the Senate giving final approval to the measure today".
"It is therefore my urgent, respectful and humble recommendation that the Honourable Senate reserves the matter for further consideration before proceeding to enactment. This may even obviate the need for amendment before the ink is dry," Witter said.
The University's Language Unit, Witter said, has now found "on empirical grounds that approximately 30 per cent of the Jamaican population could not use or has difficulty comprehending standard English (in which the Charter is written) while nearly 70 per cent have positive attitudes to the Jamaican Creole being embraced as a formal language".
Harding remains unconvinced by the argument that the law should be used to enforce moral codes, and argued that the private activities of consenting homosexuals and prostitutes should not be criminalised.
Harding, who was attorney-general and justice minister and later foreign minister in the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) administration of the 1980s, is basing his argument on the findings of the Wolfden Committee in Britain in 1954. He noted that the report recommended by a majority of 12 to one that homosexual practices between consenting adults in private should no longer be a crime. And it unanimously recommended, he said, that in the case of prostitution, though it should not itself be made illegal, there should be legislation “to take it off the streets” on the grounds that public soliciting was an offensive nuisance to ordinary citizens.
Harding was delivering the inaugural lecture of the Institute of Law and Economics at the PCJ Auditorium in Kingston last week.
He further posited that the Wolfden Committee’s report reflected those of noted philosopher John Stuart Mill in his Essay on Liberty to the effect that the function of the law “is to preserve public order and decency, to protect the citizen from what is offensive or injurious, and to provide sufficient safeguards against exploitation or corruption of others, particularly those who are vulnerable because they are young, weak in body or mind or inexperienced”.
His comments have a particular relevance in today’s Jamaica, and internationally, against the background of current topical debate about the banning of Jamaican entertainers for anti-gay lyrics. The issue of same sex marriages has also featured prominently in the run-up to the American presidential elections.
Homosexual acts are deemed illegal in Jamaica under existing buggery laws, while prostitution is officially outlawed, though often winked on.
During his address, Harding also echoed the Wolfden Committee’s basis for the recommendation for relaxing laws against homosexual practices on the grounds that: “There must remain a realm of private morality and immorality which is, in brief and crude terms, not the law’s business”.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Women get infected more often than men and pregnant women, diabetics and obese people are particularly prone to Candida infections. Medication like antibiotics, the family-planning pill, some hormones and steroids, including skin creams, can also promote the growth of Candida.
In some women, hot, sweaty conditions or the use of tight underwear made from synthetic materials may trigger off yeast infections. In others, stress and emotional factors like a dysfunctional sexual relationship may be the underlying cause of recurrent vaginal yeast infections. Still, others tend to have infections at the time of their menses, which suggests a hormonal cause. Any condition with immune-system impairment, for example, HIV infection, predisposes the individual to fungal infections.
Vagina: The vagina is the most common site of candida infections. Most women will have a few episodes of a vaginal yeast infection during their lifetime, but in the high-risk group the problem may recur frequently. Typical symptoms include a thick, cheesy, white or yellow vaginal discharge, with burning, itching and redness on the vaginal walls and the vulva.
Skin folds: This includes areas under the breasts, in the groin, the navel and the anus. Symptoms include a patchy, itchy rash that may ooze when scratched.
Mouth: A candida infection of the mouth is called thrush. Creamy white patches may appear on the tongue or sides of the mouth. Oral thrush can appear in a healthy child, but when it appears an adult it may be a symptom of a more serious disorder such as diabetes or HIV/AIDS. Candida infections may also occur at the corners of the mouth, creating painful cracks.
Nail beds: Candida infections of the nail beds of the fingers and toes may cause pain, swelling and secretion of pus. Infected nails may become disfigured, and discoloured and can even separate from the underlying nail bed. Diabetics and people who frequently have their hands in water are particularly at risk.
Penis: Uncircumcised men who have diabetes or whose sexual partner has a vaginal candida infection may get infected. A red, itchy, scaly, often painful rash appears on the head or the underside of the penis. However, an infection of the penis (or vagina) may not always cause obvious symptoms and partners may unknowingly continue to reinfect each other.
In some instances, candida can even invade the bloodstream and deeper tissues, causing a variety of serious systemic problems.
Treatment depends upon anti-fungal drugs, either as topical creams, vaginal inserts or as oral medication. The distressing problem of recurrent vaginal yeast infections that responds poorly to medication is very common and exposes the sufferer to repeated courses of expensive and potentially toxic drugs. This situation often responds better to a more holistic approach.
These include diabetes, hormone imbalance, drugs, immune dysfunction, poor nutrition and stress. Careful attention to personal hygiene and the involvement and treatment of your sexual partner is important.
You can help to prevent vaginal yeast infections by making sure that your genital area stays dry and well ventilated. Wear cotton, rather than nylon, underwear, and avoid tight-fitting pants and pantyhose. Change out of a wet swimsuit right away and avoid frequent douches, feminine sprays, scented toilet paper and tampons containing deodorant.
This is critical. If you have a chronic yeast problem, failure to change your diet will result in failure to resolve the issue. Just taking a drug is not enough. Removal of sugar, including the sweet fruits and their juices, along with the refined carbohydrates from the diet, cannot be overemphasised, as candida thrives on sugar.
Many people suffering from this problem have serious sugar and carbohydrate cravings and this must be dealt with. Avoid dairy products and yeast-containing products (that includes all baked goods like breads, cakes and biscuits).
I suggest you eliminate these foods entirely during the recovery period and possibly reintroduce them slowly after you have been free of infections for at least three months. If you have food allergies, those foods need to be avoided also. I strongly recommend supplementing your diet with the cellular nutrition programme.
Strengthening the immune system is crucial. The natural antioxidants, vitamins A, C and E, and the mineral selenium (the ACES), along with herbs like schizandra, rosemary and medicinal mushrooms, are excellent immune-system boosters. Adequate rest and good stress management are equally important.
Probiotics: These healthy bacteria are beneficial in the prevention and treatment of yeast infections. They normally live in the intestines and vagina and are called probiotics (in contrast to antibiotics). The most popular of these are the acidophilus and lactobacillus bacteria. Laboratory studies have found that lactobacilli can block the growth of candida in the vagina. I use a probiotic tablet called FloraFiber as a healthy way to restore the natural balance to the body without the use of powerful drugs.
Herbs: Garlic has a direct yeast-killing effect and should be used liberally in cooking. Garlic cloves may be inserted directly into the vagina. Goldenseal (as a tea) and oregano (as an oil) also have anti-fungal properties while aloe vera helps heal the infected intestinal tract. Tea tree oil, when diluted and applied to the vaginal area, is an effective natural remedy for yeast infections.
You may email Dr Tony Vendryes at email@example.com or listen to An Ounce of Prevention on POWER 106FM on Fridays at 8 p.m. His new book - An Ounce of Prevention, Especially for Women addresses these matters.
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thank you for your donations via Paypal in helping to keep this blog going and related costs. Please continue to support me and my allies in this venure that has now become a full time activity. When I first started blogging in late 2007 it was just as a pass time to highlight GLBTQ issues in Jamaica under then JFLAG's blogspot page but now clearly there is a need for more forumatic activity which I want to continue to play my part.
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Individuals who are mentioned or whose photographs appear on this site are not necessarily Homosexual, HIV positive or have AIDS.
This blog contains pictures that may be disturbing. We have taken the liberty to present these images as evidence of the numerous accounts of homophobic violence meted out to alledged gays in Jamaica.
Faces and names witheld for the victims' protection.
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Recent Homophobic Incidents
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Steps to Take When Contronted or Arrested by Police
b) Only give name and address and no other information until a lawyer is present to assist
c) Try to be polite even if the scenario is tensed) Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation
e) Every complaint lodged at a police station should be filed and a receipt produced, this is not a legal requirement but an administrative one for the police to track reports
f) Never sign to a statement other than the one produced by you in the presence of the officer(s)
g) Try to capture a recording of the exchange or incident or call someone so they can hear what occurs, place on speed dial important numbers or text someone as soon as possible
h) File a civil suit if you feel your rights have been violatedi) When making a statement to the police have all or most of the facts and details together for e.g. "a car" vs. "the car" represents two different descriptions
j) Avoid having the police writing the statement on your behalf except incases of injuries, make sure what you want to say is recorded carefully, ask for a copy if it means that you have to return for it