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Archive for the ‘Quinn Gormley’ Category

Intolerance – Cali Style

Posted by 19sevenseven on November 5, 2008

Proposition 8, which is California’s proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same sex marriage is not yet decided. According to a variety of sources there are over three million absentee and provisional ballots that have not been counted yet.

Intolerant Minorities

Prop 8 sponsors which includes the religious far right, and visual minority groups in California have declared victory on the issue of gay marriage. Yet, gay and human rights groups have said that there are too many votes still unaccounted before there can be a final decision made on the topic.

According to the The Washington Blade, Proposition 8 garnered “critical support from black voters who flocked to the polls to support Barack Obama for president. About seven in 10 blacks voted in favor of the ban, while Latinos also supported it and whites were split”. While Black and Hispanic voters may have made up the numbers for ballots, Mormons have emerged as the leading financial contributors on this controversial topic.

If Proposition 8 passes, marriage would be limited to hetrosexual couples. Although the same amendments were approved in Arizona, and Florida, this is the first time that a vote on same sex unions has taken place in a state where gay marriage have been legal.  has said, “Similar bans had prevailed in 27 states before Tuesday’s elections, but none were in California’s situation — with about 18,000 gay couples already married. The state attorney general, Jerry Brown, has said those marriages will remain valid, although legal challenges are possible.”

Gays Were Targeted

Gay rights activists have had their work cut out for them on this election. The movement suffered further setbacks when it was decided in Arkansas that unmarried couples have been banned from serving their communities as either foster or adoptive parents.

Activists in Arizona, Florida and Arkansas made it clear that the gay community was their target for these changes.

Most Expensive Campaign EVER

California is America’s most populated state, with more people than Canada. For this very reason, California has been seen as the grand prize for activists.

A reported $74 million dollars was spent for and against Proposition 8. That makes Prop 8 “the most expensive social-issues campaign in U.S. history and the most expensive campaign this year outside the race for the White House” according to Times. Because of the size and population of California, activists for and against Proposition 8 saw spending huge amounts of cash key to bringing attention, and untilmately a win to their cause.

Just in time for Christmas

MSNBC reports that “Kate Folmar, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Debra Bowen, said initiatives typically take effect the day after an election, although the results from Tuesday’s races will not be certified until Dec. 13.”

So just in time for Christmas, the ballots will be counted, and it will be revealed if intolerance is this seasons must have viewpoint in the run up to the season associated with love, forgiveness, generosity, and kindness.

For further information on this topic, click here. (Background article)

By Quinn Gormley


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Background: Proposition 8 Information

Posted by 19sevenseven on November 4, 2008

Proposition 8 is defined as the California State ballot proposition that, if successful, would change the California State constitution. The changes would mean that marriage would and could only ever be for heterosexual couples. If this Proposition 8 passes, it would cancel out a California Supreme Court decision that stated the gay marriage was a basic human right.

$74 Million Dollar Question

The for and against campaigns for Proposition 8 raised a total of over $74 million USD combined. The For Prop 8 side raised $35.8 million dollars, where as the gay activists side raised $37.6 million. This campaign has raised the most cash ever for a political campaign, has been the most expensive proposition campaign outside of the campaigns associated with the run for the White House.

Being Discriminatory has been the spearhead behind the yes vote on Prop 8. They also fought for the protection of education and church tax breaks. Organisations like relied heavily on religious groups, and ethnic minorities to have vote Prop 8 through. It is well documented that Barack Obama had a large black Christian following, that same group is also well known for being discriminatory towards gay’s rights, and liberal views.

Equality for All

HRC ( the Human Rights Campaign) was the main organisation that was against Prop 8. Their argument against Prop 8 was that “eliminating the rights of any Californian and mandating that one group be treated differently from everyone else was unfair and wrong”.

Californian Ideology in Question

The current results of the ballot, and amount of money raised by has been why this story is so newsworthy. California has always been marketed as a bohemian, free thinking, and liberal society. A society that is accommodating and accepting of alternative lifestyles, which are not overly religious, and a society that is very concerned with environmental issues. And the outcome of this election process has given everyday Californians, across the state the opportunity to reexamine whether this self belief that Californians are enlightened free spirits is true or not.

For more information, click here (Main article)

by Quinn Gormley

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A Snapshot on the New President Elects Views

Posted by 19sevenseven on October 30, 2008

Barack Obama’s political views are as diverse as the cross section of people who voted for him. On some subjects Mr. Obama can come across as relatively conservative, such as NAFTA, an agreement he wants renegotiated, as he deems the agreement detrimental to US jobs. Yet, it’s the same agreement that has given Mexican and Canadian people and companies’ greater opportunity to do business with the US. In contrast to his views on NAFTA, Mr. Obama’s views on illegal immigration are conclusive, and includes a clearly defined pathway for illegal immigrants to eventually receive citizenship.

Topical Taxation

On the topic of taxation, Obama would plans to implement a clearly defined plan that would cut taxes for middle class families. Any family making over $250,000 would not see the benefit of the tax breaks, which is a complete departure from the workings of the Bush Administration, and would provide three times as many tax breaks for middle class families that McCain would have planned too.

Health Care Hysteria

Health care is another area that the new president elect won votes. He plans to implement a form of universal health care, a system of health care never seen before in the US. 47 million Americans are uninsured in the US. And statistics show that over $15 billion is spent annually to care for the uninsured. Mr. Obama blames cost as the main reason so many American’s are without health insurance. The new president would like to see affordable health care for all citizens of the US, which he believes should be paid for by insurance reforms, cutting costs, taking drug patents away from pharmaceutical companies, and require, as here in the UK, employers to contribute to the universal health care system. The most sane part of this healthy insurance reform would be to provide health insurance that would be mandatory for children.

NAFTA, illegal immigration, and health care reforms are just some of the issues that helped win the new president elect his seat in office. But with a looming, and growing financial crisis on the horizon, will he able to implement such radical changes in four short years?

For more information, click here. (Background Article)

By Quinn Gormley

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Background: Barack Eyes up the Oval Office

Posted by 19sevenseven on October 30, 2008

According to Barack Obama, the US is facing the “greatest economic challenge of our lifetime”.  He was speaking on Friday, attempting to make Americans feel more secure about their choice about the new President. He assured the citizens of the world’s largest country that he would deal with the economic problems as soon as he was in office.

Game Face

Obama’s game plan is simple; he said to reporters on Friday “We’re going to have act swiftly to resolve it”. This was a speech Obama made with his new chief of staff Rahm Emanuel standing with him, showing the US a front of strength, and courage. He was in Chicago speaking to some of the US’s top business leaders, economists and officials. This was Mr. Obama’s first news conference since the winning the US presidential on Tuesday November 4th.

Rescue Plan

As soon as the new president was elected he met with his 17 member economic transition board to talk about the financial troubles affecting the world’s economies. Obama has asked his team to work out some new plans to assist the beleaguered car manufacturers.  Mr. Obama also wants his team to create a ‘rescue plan’ for the middle classes. He would like to see more jobs created, and provide a financial break for the countries lowest earners.

Meeting his Predecessor

Barack Obama plans to meet the current president George W. Bush shortly and has plans to work closely with the current president to ensure a smooth transition.

Needed Stimulus Package

Obama and is hoping to discuss in detail a “long overdue” stimulus package with Bush. A package that he would like to see actioned before he takes his seat in office.  According to the latest figures from the US Labour Department, there were 240,000 fewer jobs in October. A shocking statistic. Barack Obama would like to see an extension of unemployment benefits to see the mammoth country and economy through these financially trying times. This latest statistic from the US Labor Department will come as a shock to economists and citizens alike. Unemployment is up from 6.1 percent to 6.5 percent. A figure American society hasn’t seen since 1994.

Shocking Statistics

These statistics are not unfounded. Ford has published a loss of $219 million and had to publicize that it will be cutting 10 percent of its Canadian/American work force by the end of January. This news came on the same day that General Motors announced it could run out of cash in 2009 as it lost $2.5 billion in the last quarter.

Barack Obama has overcome a minefield of barriers to get to where he is today. The question is, facing this flailing economy, could his biggest battle be yet to come.

If you want further information, please click here. (Main article)

By Quinn Gormley

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Flying Fuel Prices

Posted by 19sevenseven on October 20, 2008

We can’t escape it. The words ‘credit-crunch’, which have just entered the English dictionary, are being projected out of every television show and newspaper to do with consumer affairs. Flying and holidays are seen as a modern day luxury, and in the time of crunch, luxuries go. The airline industry has had its fair share of credit crunch related issues too. Some have gone out of business, many have cut capacity and allegedly one airline has even removed sugar sachets from meal-trays in a bid to stem costs.

Blame the US

The credit crunch first hit the US in late 2007, when over greedy mortgage lenders’ customers started to feel the pinch. Excessive loans were given to people who wouldn’t normally be offered them. These factors alongside the rising cost of living, through higher fuel and grocery bills, meant some struggled to pay the mortgages at all, which meant foreclosures.

Winds of Change

Soon after, the economic rumblings started to blow across the Atlantic. In the UK, first-time buyers were given easy access to cash by lenders to get on the property ladder.  In February 2008, the UK government saved troubled mortgage lender Northern Rock by privatising it. Northern Rock had fed its incredible growth by relying on world markets to borrow most of the cash it loaned for mortgages.

Stretched and Squeezed

It isn’t just the financial institutions that are being stretched; other industries are starting to feel it too. The airline world, which is well known for its cyclical highs and lows, is looking for its closest emergency exit, by cutting routes, slashing capacity, and laying off staff the world’s airlines are attempting to stave of the financial pinch.  Some airlines have already crashed landed economically, such as XL, Maxjet, Eos, Oasis Hong Kong, and Silverjet.

Even the Big Ones are Shrinking

In the US, Continental Airlines has cut 3,000 jobs, 6.5 percent of its total work force and reduced its flying capacity by 11 percent. 67 planes in Continental’s fleet are off to the desert for retirement. 100 of United’s fleet are facing the same fate with an 18% cut in domestic services, and a 5 % cut in their international services.  4,000 employees of Delta has offered voluntary redundancy, while over at Northwest, 2,500 frontline and management staff will be cut.

Huge Losses Predicted

British Airways is forecasting a major drop in in its profits. The airline recently announced a cut in capacity by 6.4% with the suspension of flights to Calcutta and Dhaka, a recruitment freeze, and a £100 million cut in capital expenditure.  In Europe, both Air France-KLM, and Iberia have reported a drop in profits. Air-France-KLM have said that their first quarter profits have fallen by 59%, Lufthansa, and Austrian Airlines have also issued profit warnings.

Slow it Down

Several US arilines have their pilots to fly more slowly to save on cash. BMI has said its reduced its flying speeds by 3 mph, and Air New Zealand, Air Canada, Brussels Airlines have announced similar moves.

Higher and Higher

The last year has been marred with outlandishly high fuel prices. The reactions by airlines around the world have shown that these high prices can not be sustained with out cutting back in capacity, on staff, or by increasing ticket prices.  A number of factors have forced up the price of oil. The equation works like this. The amount of oil being produced does not match supply; oil refineries are limited in numbers; countries such as India and China have seen a surge in demand as they modernise; oil is traded speculatively for financial gain, which pushes prices up artificially; these factors combined with the fact that environmentally friendly oil refining is expensive, and costs time and money, its understandable how the cost of fuel has skyrocketed. 

How and when this financial crisis will end is yet to be seen.  All people, businesses, and airlines can do is cut back as they see fit, save capital, and know what to do in an unplanned financial emergency.

For further information on this topic, please click here. (Background article)

By Quinn Gormley

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Background: Aviation according to the Dictionary

Posted by 19sevenseven on October 19, 2008 defines a credit crunch as: An economic condition whereby investment capital is difficult to obtain. Banks and investors become weary of lending funds to corporations thereby driving up the price of debt products for borrowers.’

Raising Interest Rates

The credit crunch that is currently sweeping the world has been caused by a long period of irresponsible lending to people or organisations that should have never been leant money in the first place. This results in lenders falling into debt when the loans are not repaid. What happens next is, banks and lenders then slash the amount of credit available, and increase the cost of borrowing by raising interest rates.

2007 Subprime Crisis

The current credit crunch has been caused by the 2007 US subprime mortgage crisis. The US housing market had market prices that were overinflated, and when the prices collapsed it created a financial crisis. Since all banks and financial institutions do business with each other in the global village, the collapsing US housing market directly affected foreign banks and lenders, because they had invested in some of the organisations in the US that had leant out the money in the first place to people or organisations who couldn’t afford the loans. So when the US market began to crash, the UK and European lenders and investors pulled back on the amount of credit available, and increased interest rates on all their current products to attempt to recoup the losses they had sustained elsewhere in the financial market.

Trying to Stablise

US and UK governments have recently been slashing interest rates in a bid to stabilise the market and have been encouraging financial lenders to pass the cuts onto customers and in turn encourage consumers to go out and spend money once again. There is fear that if the western world doesn’t pull itself out of this financial crisis that a long recession could happen, with the potential of a 1930’s – esque Depression being around the corner.

The outcome for this situation will only come clear with time. The question is, to spend our way out or save?

For more information, click here. (Main article)

By Quinn Gormley

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The Abolishment of Tanzania’s Albinos

Posted by 19sevenseven on October 14, 2008

Since March 2008 over 25 Albino people have been murdered in Tanzania according to a recent BBC survey.

Albinos are targeted for body parts that are used in witchcraft, and killings continue despite government efforts to stamp out the witch hunt that is going on in Tanzania.

The Occult

Sorcery, witchcraft, and the occult have a firm grip on the people in this corner of Africa, especially in the rural areas. There is also very little public awareness around the issue of Albinism.

Tanzania’s albinos are not just hiding from the sun, but from their fellow countrymen. There seems to be a strong belief within the general population that Albinos organs, blood, hair and hands, when mixed into a potion can make a person rich.  Albinos in Tanzania are also subjected to widespread social discrimination which are fuelled by powerful myths such as: Albinos are evil or a curse from God and will bring bad luck on a household, that Albinos never die – they just vanish, Albinos are the offspring of a relationship between a white man and a black woman, and that Albinism is a contagious disease. 

Babies Being Murdered

According to the BBC, there have been reports of babies being murdered and people having their limbs hacked off in the light of day as they go about their business.

Albinism affects one in 20,000 people worldwide, but the number of Albinos in Tanzania is much higher than the reset of the world. states that in Europe it is estimated that 1 in 20,000 have some form of albinism, yet in Tanzania it is 5 times as common, with 1 in 4,000 being affected.

According to the Albino Association there are  more than 4,000 albinos registered with them. Although the Association has speculation that there could be as many as 173,000 Albinos living in Tanzania today.

Albino MP

All is not lost for Tanzania’s Albinos.  In April of this year, Al-Shymaa-Kway-Geer was nominated by the President of the country as an MP. With the goal of bring attention to the issues surrounding Albinos is this discriminatory country. The strange thing about the killings in Tanzania are how they appear to be a Tanzanian issue, as there have been no reports of the same sort of behaviour from neighbouring countries. This is an issue that not only questions Tanzania’s societal norms but its government’s inability to hammer out the persecution of select members of its society.

One thing that Albinos do have working for them, is Al-Shymaa-Kway-Geer and more and more widespread out cry on this shocking issue.

If you are interested in further information about the genetic condition of Albinos, please click here. (Background Article)

By Quinn Gormley

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Background: Inherited Conditions; The Plight of Africa’s Albinos.

Posted by 19sevenseven on October 14, 2008

The word “albinism” refers to a group of inherited conditions. People with Albinism have little or no pigment in their eyes, skin or hair. They have inherited altered genes that do not make the usual amounts of a pigment called melanin. Albinism affects people from all races. Most children with alninism are born to parents who have normal hair and eye color for their ethnic backgrounds.  Sometimes people so not recognise that they have albinism, a common myth is that people with alninism have red eyes. In fact there are different types of albinism and the amoun of pigment in the eyes varies. Although some individuals with albinism have reddish or violet eyes, most have blue eyes.  Whatever the eye color, all Albinos have associated vision problems.

 Vision Problems:

People with Albinism always have problems with their vision which are not correctable, and many have low vision. The degree of vision impairment varies with the different types of Albinism and many people with Albinism are legally blind, yet can read, and do not require Braille. Some people with albinism have sufficient vision to drive a car. Vision problems in albinism result from the abnormal development of the retinal and abnormal patterns of nerve connections between the eye and the brain. It is the presence of these eye problems that defines the diagnosis of albinism. Therefore the main test for albinism is an eye exam.

 Medical Problems:

In the Western world, most people with Albinism live normal life spans, and have the same type of medical problems as the rest of the population.  In tropical countries, those who do not use skin protection may develop life-threatening skin cancers, and if they use skin protection, sich as sunscreens with an SPF of 20 or higher and wear opaque clothing, people with albinism can enjoy the outdoors even in summer.

People with albinism are at risk of isolation because of their condition is often misunderstood. Social stigmatization can occur, especially within communities of color, where the race or paternity of a person with albinism may be questioned. Families and schools MUST make a effort not to exclude children with albinism from groups. Contact between Albinos is of the utmost importance.  And there are a number of website with links to social networking opportunities.

For more information, click here. (Main article)

 By Quinn Gormley

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