The loss of the middle class is at the heart of the loss of quality of life in our country and a key component in the poor economic recovery. I believe we are asking the wrong questions. We should not be arguing over the rights of the wealthy or corporations to do as they wish but rather the right of the people who live in this country to have as good a life as possible. In an unfettered capitalistic society a small group becomes enormously rich. As the laws and regulations were eliminated by conservatives and regressive democrats like Mr. Clinton this is exactly what we have seen. There is now more wealth concentrated in fewer hands and less upward mobility than anytime since the early 1900′s. Does anyone think that this has made us happier overall? I believe that the purpose of a government and an economic system is to maximize to happiness of it’s citizens. By this definition the governments of Norway, Finland, Denmark and other more socialistic countries are far superior. They allow for business and competition but do so within much tighter regulation and have robust safety nets so their citizens do not have to live in fear. We on the other hand have moved away from what we have, the results of this experiments are in and we have failed the class.
Juror B29 in the ZImmerman murder trial is certain that Mr. Zimmerman committed a murder and that he should receive punishment for that act. She however eventually voted to acquit. In her interview she says ”But you can’t get away from God” . Herein lies another failure for belief in the nonexistent. It seems likely that one reason Maddy was willing to let Mr. Zimmerman go free is that she believes he will the punished in the after life. For thousands of years people have suffered and died with this sort of an excuse. It is time to stop using the unknowable as an excuse for real pain. Any society that allow imaginary repayment for real debts is inherently and horribly unjust.
When discussing gay rights I often find myself embroiled in the choice vs ‘born that way’ arguments. I have spent years explaining the biology of genetics and the science which shows strongly that homosexuality is at least strongly influenced by biology (i. e. no or very little choice).
I am now labeling that exercise and those discussions a completely irrelevant waste of time. I no longer care and no one else should. Very simply since I am hetero I can choose to marry whom ever I want to , old/young (within reason, skinny/normal/plump, blond/brunette, brown/black/tan/white/??, bald/brunette/blond, etc. . In exactly the same vein why should my choices be limited due to the sex of the person I choose as long as they consent to the event?
I expect that the counter arguments will center on “well then what if i prefer sheep can I marry one?” and “well what if I want to marry 12 women?”. On the former sheep (as well as the underage) cannot ‘consent’ and therefore are excluded. On the latter because of the legal implications of marriage making a change to allow polygamy or polyandry would be practically complex. If this discussion is one we want to have as a society we could do so and I do not see that it would be impossible to implement in time. The ‘poly’ questions however are independent of the same sex questions, either could be done without the other.
I am happy to note that the Exodus Ministry has finally seen the light and completely reversed their previous practice of using unproven, ineffective and often harmful methods to supposedly modify the sexual orientation of homosexuals. Over the last few weeks several of it’s leaders (and founder) have issued apologies and admitted that they themselves had failed to change their orientations. Now they have announced that the ministry devoted to changing orientations will be shut down. While I am glad that they will no longer be causing additional pain and suffering to individuals who are already experiencing deep difficulties, I am saddened to think of the suffering of the thousands whom they have mistreated in the past. For those of you who still believe against all evidence that sexual attraction is a sin or harmful or dangerous or …. I highly recommend that you get on the bus because change (same sex marriage, etc) is bearing down on you and if you do not get moving in the right direction you will be run over and left behind.
The June 9 2013 article in the Tennessean ‘Businesses step up efforts to attract LGBT customers” was certainly a breath of fresh air. While I have seen huge movement toward acceptance in Nashville, there is still a long row to hoe for us to catch up with the more advanced areas of the country.
One point you did not mention I think is significant: Although there is a large audience in the LGBT market, I think the most significant impact of the ads is to let the much larger progressive heterosexual community know that those businesses are not bigoted and are supportive of human rights.
I, for one, am much more likely to give my business to a company that stands up for the rights of all people. Of course, there is also the chance of backlash, so I additionally applaud the courage of a business that will risk losing income in order to stand up for others.
Edward Snowden is beyond a doubt my hero. He has sacrificed a high-paying job and the ability to live as a free man in the U.S., to let us know that our government is violating our rights.
The Fourth Amendment clearly prohibits any search without warrants specifying who is being searched and why. This administration have chosen to completely ignore the Constitution, force Verizon to provide phone records and, even worse, appear to be reviewing my Google documents.
It is so sad to see that the 9/11 terrorist have won. We have lost many rights and trillions of dollars, things which they could not possibly have done — we now have done to ourselves.
The jury is in. Global Climate change is happening and humans are the cause. The majority of Scientists agreed years ago but there were skeptics. One of the main disbelievers Richard Muller working with the best people of his choosing announces in the NY Times that he has joined the consensus.
His researchers have taken a macro approach. First they reanalyzed billions of data points looking for problems in the reported temperatures. Using the generated records of the change they attempted to match that curve with all other climate change hypothesis’s. Getting no matches they then turned to the records of increased CO2 produced by humans and got the match they needed. In addition the human CO2 solution lined up well with the predictions from greenhouse gas theory.
When a leading Climate Skeptic gets funding from a major anti climate change organization and comes to the same conclusions developed by the rest of the experts, there is no longer an open question. It is vital that we no stop the squabbling over fact and start the long and painful political process toward mitigating the worse effects of this change. People, please get over whatever emotional issues you have with this and make the shift. Only if the masses start pushing will the politicians push the corporations and while it is too late to prevent some large problems swift action can make a difference.
It is time to end all mutilation of babies. The evidence is in. There is no medical reason to slice off the foreskin of baby males and doing so should be against the law. It is illegal to chop off the clitoris of a baby female. Why should males be treated any differently? We do not allow a child to get a tattoo agreeing that that decision should be made when one is an adult. The same should be true for a human’s genitals.
It is time to stop supporting the Boy Scouts of America (http://bit.ly/OORoDT) . By refusing utterly to accept reality in their leadership they have shown that they are either ignorant of the facts or are pandering to their homophobic base.
Of course I realize they are called the Boy Scouts not the Rational Scouts but the fact is that in this case they are acting like children. Open adult homosexual males are actually less likely to commit the sex crimes they seem to be worried about. They are no more attracted to young boys then they are to women. Allowing them to lead a group does not increase any risks and simply encourages and teaches bigotry.
In contrast the Girl Scouts allow not only lesbian troop leaders but have no problem with males being in leadership. I encourage anyone who supports the Boy Scouts or is affiliated with a group that allows them to meet to consider if you want to continue to do so.
(published in Tennessean Letters)
I am utterly amazed at the continual consternation and confusion concerning the question of Same Sex Marriage (SSM). Rationally it is clear and simple.
- In order to prohibit SSM there needs to be some reason
- The reasons must be either social (allowing SSM damages society as a whole or individuals in some manner) or religious
- If the reasons are religious any laws based on them are unconstitutional
- Therefore in order to prohibit SSM there must be societal issues
After years and years of these discussion I have heard only 2 societal reasons
- Marriage is for procreation and SSM does not pair humans who can procreate
- SSM makes some people very upset because they are disturbed by it
#1 is clearly not a valid reason since we allow infertile people to marry and #2 is simply no reason at all
Thus clearly and simply Same Sex Marriage cannot be prohibited in an rational manner and must be allowed.