Tag Archives: controversy

Killing wolves again

I thought the country was on the right track in the mid-1990s when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released 66 wolves in Yellowstone and central Idaho. Finally, the wolf had returned from extinction. But in April of 2011 Congress removed wolves in Montana and Idaho from the protection of the Endangered Species Act. It didn’t take long for hunters to start killing wolves.

Personally, this is heartbreaking for me to see a beautiful, intelligent animal murdered for no good reason other than for the enjoyment of killing. The opposition to wolves has made false claims like wolves carry a tapeworm that can be transmitted to dogs and humans or that the Canadian wolves that were brought in are a different species and will kill elk, deer, livestock, even humans, for sport. I have never heard of a human killed by a wolf except for in fables. Wolves are elusive creatures and prefer to stay away from humans. They will normally run from people.

Wolves have been painted as demons and witches in myths, fables and in books like Cotton Mather’s On Witchcraft. What I don’t understand is why. It might be because wolves killed some livestock and competed with humans for food, but I can’t see that happening today. The ranchers complaining about wolves attacking their livestock ranch on federal land. Big game hunters don’t want wolves reducing the big game population. Boo hoo. I don’t feel sorry for hunters that hunt for sport. Find another hobby that doesn’t involve killing something just for fun.

If anyone has any doubts about wolves and how they live, I suggest visiting the Sawtooth Wolf Pack website, Living with Wolves, and watching the videos on the Sawtooth Wolf Pack on youtube. See how wonderful these animals live, how they are loving, loyal and intelligent, far from the vicious beasts they are portrayed as by those that oppose wolves. After having wolves welcomed back from extinction only to see them vilified and killed off again, is tragic. We have truly de-evolved as humans.

Note: I want to dedicate this post to my Grandma Betty who passed away recently. She shared my love of wolves.

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author

Captivating…Sensual…Otherworldly

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More gun-related drama in AZ

Republicans and guns seem to go together like Chihuahuas and tacos, especially in Arizona. As a gimmick to try and raise money for get-out-the-vote efforts in Pima County, the same county as the deadly shooting that seriously wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed six people, the Republican Party is raffling off a gun. And not just any gun—a Glock—the same weapon used in that shooting.

It’s hard to tell if this is poor judgment or an intentional affront to the tragedy. Either way, the people in charge of this fund raising event could have picked a different prize to raise money for the Republican Party.

The Pima County Republican Party had held gun raffles in the past, but it seems that in light of the shooting that happened on January 8, less than a year ago, maybe some sensitivity should be in order. It’s not just Democrats or anti-gun advocates that think the gun raffle is a bad idea. There is at least one Republican that advised against holding a gun raffle. James Kelley, chairman of the GOP legislative district that includes southern Tucson, decided not to stand with his fellow Republicans on this issue, stating that “post Jan 8, it’s bad messaging, and its insensitive.”

Is holding a gun raffle in an area still healing after a deadly shooting rampage a good idea?

Kelley Heckart

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Weiner Fest—What is wrong with our politicians?

Just when everyone had almost recovered from the shock of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s infidelity, another politician commits a sexual indiscretion, this time via Twitter.

Congressman Anthony Weiner is the latest to join the large and growing club of politicians that have committed perverted, unethical, childish acts. There have been so many of these lately that I don’t even care about them anymore. So, why am I writing about it? I picked this for my topic because a lot of people do care. They are angry and fed up with men who are supposed to be respected by the American people, but do stupid, immoral things that are anything but respectful.

And how can I pass up the opportunity to write about a Weiner sending out pictures of his wiener? He just happens to have an ill-fated name that is perfect for jokes about sexual indiscretion. One sign held by a protestor calling for his resignation read: Circumcise Congress-Cut the Weiner. Weiner’s incident also proves how dangerous Twitter can be in the wrong hands. If only he had sent the picture via direct message to the person he intended to send it to, instead of sending it to everyone that follows him, he probably wouldn’t have been caught. Yet.

What’s wrong with these grown men that makes them act like teenage boys? These politicians are representing us and should set a good example. It’s hard to respect a man, especially a married man, that sends half-naked pictures of himself and then lies about it. And it’s not just the politicians that act like this. There are plenty of grown men in high-ranking positions that have affairs, email dirty jokes or pictures of their junk.

Should politicians that get caught doing unethical acts be removed? Maybe there should be rules put in place for this kind of behavior—suspension without pay or a fine. If fines were put in place, counting the number of politicians committing sexual indiscretions, bad behavior could help pay down our debt. They could call it the Politician Behaving Badly rule.

The latest news since I started writing this post is that Weiner has resigned. Now maybe we can focus on what’s really important. That is, until the next politician is caught up in the vast wave of politicians gone wild.

Kelley Heckart

‘Timeless tales of romance, conflict & magic’

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Why is Sex so Offensive to Some?

As soon as I read this article in my local newspaper, ‘Ill. Prof. Apologizes for Sex-Toy Demonstration,’ I knew it would be perfect for this column.

A Northwestern University psychology professor had to apologize for allowing a couple to demonstrate the use of a sex toy during a discussion of sexual fetishes.

First off, this is a class of college age students enrolled in a human sexuality class (so what do their parents think they are learning?). And second, this was a voluntary discussion so the young adults (note: not elementary school age) were there because they chose to be and the professor warned them it would be graphic.

Of course, this has upset alumni and parents who complained about the demonstration.

Why? What is so wrong about sex that some people get so offended? European countries seem to be more relaxed about sexuality than the United States. Sex is a natural human act. Isn’t it more harmful to make people think that if they are interested in sex that they are somehow dirty, shameful and deviant?

I gotta love Professor J. Michael Baily’s closing comment—He said his critics have not made a compelling case as to why they object to this demonstration. He said he would give them an ‘F’ if he were grading their arguments. Apparently, the ones offended by the sex toy demo can’t even explain why.

Go figure.

 

Kelley Heckart

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For some, spring’s song is the sound of a harsh battle horn, for others, new love, for all—certain danger.

What’s wrong with being a witch?

I don’t know what angered me more—that tea party candidate Christine O’Donnell trashed witchcraft or that people have a problem with a Wiccan running for political office. I wasn’t the only pagan upset about this.

When I first saw the video with O’Donnell admitting to dabbling in witchcraft, I thought she was a nut ball and was glad she wouldn’t get elected since the majority of conservatives are Christian. But then I realized that by thinking that way, I was being as narrow-minded as everyone else that objects to any non-Christian religion.

Why couldn’t someone with a brain admit to being a witch? Someone who could explain Wicca/pagan practices correctly? Pagans had a chance to have a voice and instead were aligned with Devil worshippers.

So, what’s wrong with being a witch? Nothing, unless witches are truly as horrible as Christine O’Donnell described them. Thanks to her rambling nonsense, witches will have to work even harder to fix an already tarnished reputation among the mainstream population. Pagans do not worship the Devil, they don’t even believe in the Devil. The Devil is a Christian invention. I can see how people get confused, especially when the dictionary doesn’t even get it right. A witch practices Wicca.

It would be awesome to have a Wiccan elected to a political office, but it was obvious from the way O’Donnell giggled and babbled in the video that she wasn’t serious about being a witch, and she didn’t know what she was talking about. And, Ms. O’Donnell, you don’t dabble in witchcraft. Witchcraft/paganism is a lifestyle.

Kelley Heckart

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Anne Rice quits the Catholic Church

Author Anne Rice recently decried Christianity and officially announced her exit from organized religion.

Rice was fairly blunt about her reasons for leaving the church, laying it out pretty clearly in a Facebook post. “My faith in Christ is central to my life,” Rice writes. “My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn’t understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me. But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been, or might become.”

Rice’s proclamation has of course created quite a stir,  drawing observations from everyone from Deepak Chopra to the LA Times. Rice has posted many of the letters, articles and essays on her Facebook page, where she continues to comment on the matter, and stated that “Comments pro and con are welcome.”  The responses vary from insightful and thought-provoking to grr-inducing. Though there has of course been the expected backlash,  Rice  is also getting support from some unlikely camps, including a Baptist preacher who identifies with her decision and says it was  “a great call for others to follow Christ, too.”

As the Miami Herald puts it, Rice just delivered a wake up call for organized religion.

You go, girl.

Religion is supposed to bring one into harmony with the universe, but somehow organized religion, with its eternal entanglement in political power struggles, seems to lead time and again into conflict. Organized religion definitely has a knack for holding up hate in one hand and love in the other, for committing heinous acts in the name of religion, for masking hatred with morality; The Taliban, the Inquisition, abortion clinic bombings, witch burnings, The Crusades and Westboro Baptist Church serve as just a few examples of this. The hypocrisy in the system goes all the way to the Pope , who does, incidentally resemble the Emperor in Star Wars. 

Which isn’t to say that organized religion doesn’t strive to do good. There are a lot of good Christians. There are good people and bad people in any organization, faith, race, religion, class, culture, restaurant, bar, or parking lot. And in a way, the dual nature of organized religion, with its life/death love/hate mantras, only echoes the dual nature of the universe itself. But one has to admit a discord in a system that preaches not to kill, not to hate, not to judge, yet does just that, and with a fair amount of enthusiasm to boot.

One of my favorite bumper stickers reads ‘Please God, save me from your people.’  

I think a lot of people confuse spirituality and God with religion, when really, they’re entirely different things, and there is no single right choice, just the right choice for an individual. Everyone has to find their own way, their own beliefs, and I applaud anyone who realizes that their path is not the brightly lit, billboard-plastered highway of the masses, but the quiet footpath that leads down an unknown forest trail. For that, truly, is the sacred journey.

“I quit being a Christian,” Rice writes. “I’m out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life.”

 Amen.