Posts Tagged ‘gay marriage’
Well, been a few changes the past few days. Obama won the 2012 election, no big surprise there. I was pretty sure all along that he would be hard to beat, the man is shrewd politician. Even his weak performance at the first debate was deliberate I now suspect, it just made his final two debates that much better. Though despite all the crowing on the liberal side, the popular vote was very close, this was not a landslide or a mandate. It was however a slap-in-the-face for the most neanderthal on the right, the five worst pro-rapist politicians soundly lost their elections, as did a number of tea partiers. And things like gay marriage and marijuana decriminalization won in a number of states. I don’t think the election results are all that surprising, though I hear many on the right are shocked. Yeah, well, many on the left were shocked when Bush was re-elected, the shocked righties will live. I think basically Romney alienated pretty much everyone but straight white males, allowing Obama to squeak by on a broad coalition despite the weak economy.
It would be nice if the Republicans decided to work with Obama the next four years instead of devoting themselves to obstructionism and making sure Obama didn’t win re-election. So far it’s not looking good. There’s even talk of employers retaliating against their employees because of the results of the election. Classy, real classy. And the interesting coincidence of the two maps above doesn’t inspire me with hope and change. The top map is the results of the election. The bottom map are the states that seceded during the civil war. Though the map was a bit premature, Obama did win Florida. I sometimes wonder if the south should be allowed to leave the union, lately it sure seems like they don’t want to be a part of it.
On the other hand, divided America aside, I have hopes that the results of this election means that despite what the Tea Partiers think, the nation is shifting back in a liberal direction. It’s been heading right since Reagan, it would be nice to live to see the pendulum swinging the other way. Not surprising really, it’s hard not to notice that borrow and spend, the upwards transfer of wealth, and endless military/security/police/prison spending … at the expense of infrastructure/education/health care … hasn’t delivered on all of its promises. Or any of them, unless one really wanted endless war. As I am sure someone has said better, if giving the rich tax breaks created jobs, everyone in America and their pets would be employed. Plus it would be cool to see another cultural revolution like the 60s, humans always come up with interesting new stuff. Some are dragged into the future kicking and screaming, some look forward to every new day.
Moving right along, General Petraeus is moving right along. Darling of the neocons and pro-war media (aka the mainstream media,) General Petraeus, the man who convinced Americans to shed more American lives so that we could pretend we “won” the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has resigned as Director of the CIA. I for one am relieved, the man was more politician than general, and his presidential aspirations sure seemed palpable to me. He resigned because it turned out he was having an affair with his biographer. There are also concerns that he may have allowed her access to information that she wasn’t permitted to access. It’s all rather vague at this point. It would be nice if he was replaced by someone who wasn’t going to use the office as a stepping stone to the presidency. Someone actually tuned into the real world. I’m not holding my breath.
Speaking of the real world, that’s the topic of the next blog. I plan to segue from politics to the real world. Then some fun posts on science, Vikings, neanderthals, and related subjects. It’s gonna take a lot to wash the election from my brain. Lastly, I hope everyone is having a Happy Veterans Day. I honour those who have served in uniform for their country, I spit on those who send uniformed men and women to die in senseless wars that have nothing to do with national defense. One can be pro-firefighter without being pro-arsonist, something our war culture obsessed media generally neglects to mention these days.
“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s all over Facebook, no idea who to attribute it to. Yes, that’s the original Pledge of Allegiance, from before the USA started turning into a theocracy. Maybe this election means that tide has turned too, one can only hope.))
Well, once again I am at odds with some of my progressive friends. Maybe all of them, I don’t know. And this visual distributed by the National Organization for Marriage Equality pushed me over the edge, I just had to post about this controversy. Don’t get me wrong, I think any two consenting adults should be able to get married; as has been demonstrated in court any times, the only objections to gay marriage are religious in nature. This means they aren’t objections, they are bigotry. Theists don’t want to hold gay wedding ceremonies in their church, no problem. They want their religious beliefs mandated by public law, big problem.
Moving right along, this graphic is a wonderful example of tortured logic. How, exactly, does a chicken restaurant offend a community’s sense of morality and fairness? It doesn’t of course, so the comparison to strip clubs and porn shops is both misleading and odious. What people are upset about is that the owners of the Chick-Fil-A chain contribute to causes that many people find offensive. Illegal causes? Well, no. Is the Chick-A-Fil chain illegally discriminating against anyone? Again, well, no. So basically the Chick-A-Fil chain is run by people whose political opinions are unpopular with some. Great, boycott them, picket them, complain about them on line. Heck, why not just don’t let them have a business permit to operate in a city where they aren’t welcome, why shouldn’t the mayors of Chicago and Boston refuse business permits to Chick-Fil-A?
Because it’s illegal, it’s unconstitutional, and it’s wrong. Yes, the owners of Chick-Fil-A give money to causes some people find offensive. They are exercising what the old people call … freedom. It used to be important to progressives, sometimes now I wonder. Yes, in America people are free to express whatever opinion they want, no matter how offensive, and the government is forbidden, by the constitution, from stopping them. It’s in the very first amendment, and there was a reason it is in the first amendment, because it’s fucking important. Please though, don’t take my word for it, here’s what Susan Bloch, a professor of constitutional law, had to say on the topic: “If they’re complying with laws, but as an institution espousing political beliefs, there’s a constitutional problem with the government withholding benefits from them based on a political stance.” I note though that since this news broke, the mayors of both cities have waffled and backed off some. No doubt because they got an email from their legal staff saying “Um, boss … you can’t really do that.”
Or to look at it from another perspective, if a mayor could deny a business permit based on the political stance of the business owner … business permits could be (and would be) denied routinely over whatever a mayor found objectionable. Mayors could basically decide what businesses could or could not operate in their city. Maybe some people don’t have a problem with that, but I do. And the courts and the ACLU are on my side. Living in a free country means that there will be people who have opinions that many other people find loathsome. It’s a price of freedom, and one I am happy to pay. Don’t like, it … as I said earlier: boycott Chick-Fil-A, picket them, write letters to the editor. What people can’t do, is use the power of the state to discriminate against them. Which is at the root of this whole marriage thing to start with, churches using the power of the state to sanction their idea of marriage.
Basically NOMEUSA thinks it’s OK for the government to do to the owners of Chick-Fil-A what they decry having done to gays. I guess because their cause is “just,” it’s OK? Sadly I’m seeing this sort of attitude more and more coming from the left, the idea that since they are right, anything goes. It’s an attitude that used to be confined to Fundies and the far right, now it seems increasingly common across the board. Or maybe I’m just noticing it more, in either case it scares me. It scares me because throughout history that’s how leaders have manipulated people into following them, and once people are convinced that their side has the moral high ground, they can be convinced to do anything, no matter how heinous.
Am I claiming that gay marriage is heinous? Of course not, I’m decrying the idea that “anything goes” since my side has the moral high ground. It’s not exactly an attitude conducive to debate and compromise. And, frankly, this attitude is why so many progressive Americans are now supporting our imperialistic, violent, and intensely misogynistic foreign policy. That’s for another blog post though.
“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” —Voltaire
(The above image is all over Facebook so I’m assuming its been released into the Public Domain. If not, I’m claiming it as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit, and the graphic above is the topic of this blog post, let alone being central to it. Credit and copyright, if it exists: NOMEUSA.)
I was planning posting a post about the Iraq War today, but alas it’s not finished. And it’s a post I want to be fairly polished before publishing, a war only ends once so I have to get it right. So … quick random burblings about whatever comes to mind in the hour before I have to head out into the rain to fix people’s plumbing. It’s going to be easy, becasue the world is going to hell in a hand basket, lots of bad news to choose from.
Things are going from bad to worse in Afghanistan. Hard to decide what is more disturbing, the media and government completely misrepresenting the situation, or the republicans almost gleefully using it to score political points against Obama. If chortling over American deaths can really be called scoring points, the republican party didn’t lose their moral compass, they are using it backwards. We may be forced to leave soon, it’s becoming clear that they all hate us, we didn’t have South Vietnamese troops turning their guns on Americans in Vietnam (not that I recall at least,) but it’s almost a daily occurrence in Afghanistan now.
Moving right along, the Republicans as part of their “abandon all morals ye who enter here campaign,” have more or less declared war on women, introducing new and increasingly misogynistic laws on almost a daily basis now. It’s about putting women back where they belong, in the homes breeding and raising children. Newt even just came out and said that women who use birth control are sluts. Same ol same ol, a guy who sleeps around is a stud, a gal who sleeps around is a slut. There’s even a holocaust denier and former American Nazi Party member trying to get on the Republican ticket in one state, though at least so far the Republicans aren’t going that far. Small comfort.
North Korea has agreed to stop enriching Uranium, allow international inspections of its nuclear facilities, and stop missile testing in exchange for food aid. It’s a good sign. I suspect the USA will put so many other preconditions on the deal that nothing will come of it, but who knows. I keep thinking that maybe somewhere in the primitive lizard brain that is now Washington is the dim perception that we can’t afford to police the whole world and that we need to actually dial back some of our overseas confrontations. What can I say, I’m the eternal optimist.
Syria is basically close to civil war at this point, peaceful demonstrations having given way to armed insurrection. Again as in Afghanistan, what a mess. Like all dictatorships in nations that don’t have a real national identity yet (it takes more than just drawing a line on a map to make a nation,) the rulers are very much all from the same religious and ethnic faction. So it’s as much a fight for the majority trying to get their share of the pie as it is a fight for freedom and democracy. I’m not even going to guess as to how it’s going to end, but I think it’s safe to say it isn’t going to be pretty.
And I’m pleased to end on a good note. All those bailouts and the stimulus plan have worked. Yes, the stock market is back to where it was before the crash! Isn’t that great, the people who destroyed the economy by accumulating ever higher piles of funny money at the top of the pyramid have all gotten their money back. And of course with the rich being super rich again, surely the trickle down theory will finally kick in and they will re-invest this wealth in America and we will all have good paying jobs again soon! Yes, the American dream still lives.
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s all over Facebook so I think I’m good. I don’t know who holds the copyright but the speaker is Anne Hathaway at the 2008 Human Rights Campaign Dinner. YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZuIdQVEVY0. I posted it because it illustrates a point about the gay marriage “debate” that numerous judges have now based their rulings on, the only objections people have to gay marriage are predicated on Biblical teachings. Prejudice is not a valid reason to deny people their rights. If gay weddings bother you, don’t go to them when invited.)
Another week gone, another week older. Still, another week without World War Three, another stroke, or a gunfight outside my door. Not complaining, still blogging. Hopefully I didn’t alienate too many readers this past week, but there’s always a few. And hell, if I’m not occasionally pissing someone off, I have failed at my task. I learnt as a young man that if something pissed me off, not a bad idea to examine my preconceptions about the topic. Sometimes I’m mad because in my heart I know my thinking about something is screwed up, and my annoyance is about being forced to confront and admit the error of my ways. This is how I went from being in a right wing militia to being a blogger for peace and tolerance.
Moving right along, no war in the Middle East yet. On the one hand the US and its allies love the endless war scares, brought to us non-stop since 1979 by the annoying folks in Iran and Washington. On the other hand, they don’t really want or need a war. Israel on the other hand would love to have the right war, a war that would give them the pretext to “transfer” the Palestinians out of Gaza and the West Bank. The rest of the world would call it ethnic cleansing. Or worse. Still, not happening yet, maybe cooler heads will prevail. And in Syria, I have become so suspicious of what we are being told that I don’t want to comment at this juncture.
A US appeals court struck down California’s prop 8, a proposition that limited marriage to a man and a woman. And they did so in a way that will likely make it though the Supreme Court. I don’t really grasp why anyone would care about two people they don’t even know getting married, but humans get their dander up about all sorts of stuff other people do that really is none of their business whatsoever. I’m pretty sure religion is involved. Times change people. Does anyone know what they call gay marriage in Canada now? Marriage. People got used to mixed race couples, they will get used to this. And the minority that doesn’t, I’m sure there’s people who still foam at the mouth when they see an interracial couple, their problem. Chillax people, you will be able to better deal with it when one of your kids says: “Um, mom and dad … “
I’m considering post about Ayn Rand. A child murdering sociopath was one of her idols, so it’s going to be a tough row to hoe. The submarine conspiracy is coming up. I have another mystery picture. I might just do an Expanding Earth post, it really is kind of an interesting theory with some fascinating historical antecedents. More space exploration posts. Oh, yeah, I don’t have a grammar checker on my computer. If I make egregious grammatical errors, I would be happy to have them pointed out. Conceptual errors too, but of course those are extremely rare. Snort, I wish. Spelling errors, check your Canadian dictionary first.
In last late breaking news, a cure for senile mice as been found. Um, why are scientists trying to cure senile mice? Wouldn’t it make more sense to give mice senility? Kidding aside, this is a very promising study, and might lead to a cure for senility. Hopefully at a minimum it will lead to a better understanding of the condition. At worst it will accidentally release some senile zombie mouse plague that will jump the species barrier and kill 99.99% of the human race before Christmas.
Have a great weekend everyone!
(The above image is being used legally in accordance with the copyright holder’s requirements. Credit and copyright: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA; Colour Composite: Gordan Ugarkovic It’s an image of Saturn’s Moon Enceladus, lit by the reflected light of Saturn, giving it the golden hue. At the lower left ice volcanoes are visible, an indication that Enceladus may have liquid oceans under its icy surface. It’s only a little over 300 miles in diameter, with a surface area somewhat larger than Texas. Click on the image for the full size version. Why did I use this image? Because the fact that humans have had a nuclear powered robotic camera platform orbiting Saturn for years is still mind blowing, and under appreciated I believe. When it comes to space exploration, human’s rock.)
God is in his corner office, sitting at his desk, creating new stars, galaxies, and forms of life … as he has done dutifully six days a week for billions of years. St Peter walks in.
St. Peter: “My Lord, I have a message from the Pope, supreme leader of one of your fan clubs on Earth.”
God: “The guys who think I sent my son on a suicide mission to show them I loved them, what is it this time?”
St. Peter: “They want to know your official position on the wearing of little rubber hats on their male reproductive organs while they have sex.”
God: “Peter, I’m really busy today, I don’t have time for jokes.”
St. Peter: “No, he is really serious. Apparently this is a matter of considerable importance to him.”
God: “He … really … thinks I care about how he decorates his dick during sex? What’s next, he’s going to want my opinion of what reproductive organ should be placed in what bodily orifice while they screw?”
St. Peter: “Well, now that you mention it, yes, he also has some questions along those lines.”
God: “I was joking!”
St. Peter: “I wasn’t my Lord, apparently him and many people on Earth are quite concerned about this issue, mating genders, orifices, they have even killed each other over it.”
God: “They’ve killed each other over disagreements about who and how people should have sex with?”
St. Peter: “Yes my Lord.”
God: “The fact that their entire planet is filled with animals and plants, including their near relatives, that are happily engaged in a vast array of consensual mating activities hasn’t suggested to them that sex is a good thing, and I couldn’t care less about them doing it however they please?”
St. Peter: “They seem to think they are a special case my Lord, and that you would have specific requirements for them in the realm of sexual activity.”
God: “Jesus Christ!”
Jesus (from next room): “Yo, dad?”
God: “Nothing, go back to your PS3.” (Sound of muffled explosions and gunfire resumes from the next room.)
God: “So this really isn’t some elaborate joke you and Satan cooked up on your rafting trip last week?”
St. Peter: “I wish it was my Lord.”
God (facepalms): “So do I Peter, so do I.”
(The above image is hundreds of years old and thus is no longer copyrighted. Well, at least until SOPA II is passed. If people like this, I may write more. There’s a lot of things that could go on in God’s office. Copyright © 2012 Doug Stych, All Rights Reserved.)