Saturday, June 4, 2011

Pride and Marriage

So I have been thinking a lot lately about the topic of Gay Pride and the issue of same sex marriage. Recently the town I live in had its first pride festival and it drew some local criticism from people accusing us of flaunting our chosen lifestyle in their faces. In addition to that civil unions are now legal in the state I live in and there has been controversy surrounding that. As there always is when the subject of same sex marriage comes up. First let me address the pride issue. For Springfield this was a first, it lasted one day and over 1200 people showed up. For Springfield this was phenomenal. But for 1 day out of 365 gay people were out and proud, not afraid to kiss, hug, and be themselves in public. My question is how is this flaunting? Every other day of the year are gays and lesbians not subjected to the flaunting of heterosexuality? Everything from advertising to depictions of relationships is designed to flaunt a heterosexual favoritism. So my response to those who complain of flaunting is that for 1 day I think we are entitled. For 1 day members of the LGBT community can be who they are and show the world they are proud to be that way. Now onto the subject of same sex marriage. A post made by a family member to facebook spurred this, a post she has sense deleted all opposing comments from. She argued that marriage is between a man and woman for the purpose of creating a child and that is all that is biblical acceptable. She also argued that the separation of church and state should be maintained and protected by enacting legislation that limits “marriage to one man and one woman”. I have several arguments on this. First is that the institution of marriage is not solely and institution of faith. If it were this would not be an issue as I believe every church has the right to choose for itself that it will marry and set its own criteria for doing so. But it is not that simple, first a “marriage” can now be conducted by a judge meaning you never have to step foot in a church or involve religion in anyway in order to be married. Marriage is also a vehicle by which over 1,000 federal benefits alone are based. This makes marriage something that transcends the confines of just being and institution of the church. It has a dual purpose and a dual existence. Again I don’t think a church should be forced to perform a marriage for anyone that does not conform to the teachings of that church, that right is guaranteed by the 1st amendment separation of church and state. But I also find that by banning gay marriage you are saving marriage and preserving the separation of church and state to be absolute BULL SHIT. You want the government to pass a law that tells churches who they cannot marry and that is preserving the separation of church and state, yet passing a law say who they CAN marry is a violation of the separation of church and state. More telling is what religions are behind this. In Illinois and other states the Methodist Church, the Episcopalian Church, the Unitarian Universalist Church, and several synods of the Lutheran Church have all said they will marry same-sex couples who meet all other requirements of the faith to be married in the church. It’s the Catholic Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) as well as the southern Baptists that are pushing that in order to save the separation of church and state you must blatantly ignore it. This logic is not only dangerous, it is stupid, and the sign of an ignorant argument that is the sign of a mind so weak that it cannot process anything other than the dogmatic bullshit fed into it by a church that wants to blame its decline on the gays rather than its own problems. The decline of the Catholic Church has nothing to do with gay marriage. It has to do with years of cover-ups, greed, and a refusal to move progressively forward. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Road Back Home

So its been a very long time since I have posted anything to this blog. In fact I had more or less relegated it to mothballs. Now I have decided to resurrect it, give it a new purpose, and begin sharing my views on issues, politics, current events, and in general whatever my opinion may be on any given issue. I encourage this as a forum to debate issues, and in general have a discussion. I encourage people to challenge me and disagree with me each other, but I do have some ground rules.

  1. There must be a level of respect even if you don't agree
  2. Your post must be intelligent and contribute to the debate, school yard logic will not work
  3. Keep it mostly clean
  4. no personal attacks
  5. have fun and enjoy the debate, we all might learn something. 
Stay tuned for more. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Two giant leaps forward, one big step backwards.

Last night voter across America with a clear voice said they wanted change. And in a historic election Barack Obama, the junior senator from Illinois, has been elected President of the United States. Hopefully President Elect Obama will be the leader that so many of us have invested with our hope, our dreams, and our desires for changed society. Currently Obama has 349 Electoral votes, 52% of the popular vote, and strong majorities in the House and Senate. The next President will face a daunting task of correcting the course of this nation. Leading us out of war, and into a time of peace, out of a recession and into a time of financial prosperity, and to end the inequities if bigotry and hate that have plagued this nation. The mandate of the people has been issued, and now it is the time to sit back and see if we have vested our trust in the right man. With the construction of an administration, and the assembling of a cabinet over the next several weeks, and almost certain supreme court appointments over the next 4 years, now is a time in American history unlike any other, and we have the opportunity to see change first hand, for better or worse.
And on a brief note, my respect to Senator John McCain, for his service and dedication to his country, as well as the classy way in which he ended his campaign without desperate legal challenges and accusations, but with kind words and a call to work together, putting country first. While I have not agreed with his policies, or the way in which his campaign has been ran, John McCain deserves the respect of a grateful nation, which he has served his entire life, as a navy officer and a United States Senator.
Finally, last night despite a national mandate for change, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida have all voted to ban gay marriage. It was a long and expensive fight, filled with attacks that played to people’s fears, insecurities, misconceptions, stereotypes, and prejudices. Let it be known however that this fight is not over. We will not just go quietly into the night. In time, this country will come recognize basic rights for all of its citizens. The history of the world is filled with ideals of hate and bigotry, and time and time again, the better angels of mankind have prevailed, it might not be tomorrow, it might not be next week, next month, or next year. Nevertheless, it will happen, and I truly believe it will happen within our lifetimes. And last night we took a big step towards that by election Barack Obama President of the United States.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Closing Arguments

"In one week, we can choose hope over fear, unity over division, the promise of change over the power of the status quo," …"In one week, we can come together as one nation, and one people, and once more choose our better history. That's what's at stake." – Senator Barack Obama
2008 is an election that will change all of our lives. All across this nation, we have a choice to make, we have to choose hope over fear, we have to choose unity over divisions, we need to bring the change this country desperately needs. It is up to us to choose the course of our history, and we do not get second chances to make it right. I used to hold Senator McCain in a high regard, and would have voted for him in 2000 when he ran for President, had that John McCain showed up this time, then I might still be one of his supporters. But John McCain has sold out, he has sold out his principles, he has sold out to the religious right, he has sold out to the neo-cons, and he has turned this from an election about real issues facing real people and tried to take it to the lowest common denominator playing off people’s fears and prejudices, and it is time that Senator McCain take his final curtain call because his 15 minutes are up. But who we vote for as our next President we need to look at ballot propositions. In five states there are proposed amendments/propositions that would deny rights to gays and lesbians and ban gay marriage, California (VOTE NO ON 8), Florida (VOTE NO ON 2), Arizona (VOTE NO ON 102), Connecticut (VOTE NO ON 1), and Arkansas (VOTE NO ON 1). This is an election that will have consequences, consequences on our economy, our nation defense, our foreign policy, and our basic fundamental rights to equality. As I said we don’t get second chances, we don’t get do over’s, this is the defining moment of a generation to stand up to the fears and prejudices of the past, this is our chance to overcome division and take a stand for equality. This is our chance to have our shining moment in the sun. We are at the crossroads of American History, and our destiny is of our own choosing, so make the choice, make the choice that will ensure a better tomorrow for all of us.
CALIFORNIA: Vote No on 8
FLORIDA: Vote No on 2
ARIZONA: Vote No on 102
CONNECTICUT: Vote No on Question 1
ARKANSAS: Vote No on Act 1

Thursday, October 9, 2008

No Title

I am still around. I have just been really busy lately and not felt motivated enough to post anything. Honestly I still don’t. I may decided to keep the blog, I may decide to drop it. I don’t know yet.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Politics Unleashed

I have found a new political blog that looks like it could be interesting, it only has one post as of right now, but I think this one is worth keeping an eye on.


Friday, August 1, 2008

Time of Trials

“We live, my dear soul, in an age of trial. What will be the consequence, I know not.” – John Adams 2nd President of the United States - 1774
Those word where written 234 years ago in a letter that John Adams sent to his wife Abigail. The American Revolution would not begin for nearly another year, and the United States, consisting of the thirteen colonies, did not declare their Independence until July 4, 1776. Today, more than two centuries after those words where used to describe the tumultuous times leading up to the American Revolution, those words could not more accurately describe the time we live in. Gas prices continue to rise, global warming continues to grow worse, home foreclosure on the rise, the economy going down, this is a new age of trials and the consequences of our actions. As I watch the developing campaign, I see two choices developing. The first is John McCain, going back in time 8 years, I would be right there with the man. Eight years ago, McCain was the maverick; he was the man who would stand against his party when it was the right thing to do. The John McCain who ran for President eight years ago died when his campaign was crushed by the establishment backed Bush 00 campaign. Then there is Barack Obama, on the surface he brings a fresh face with a message of hope can change we can believe in. However one question remains, is Barack Obama the real deal that so many have staked their hopes and dreams in, or is he an opportunist saying what he feels the people want to hear, not what they need to hear. As far as the current situation, I will say this. A former boss of mine was fond of the phrase “doing the right thing wrong”, to me that is the perfect description for the current administration, and albeit I also agree in several areas, he has been just flat wrong. However, in terms of the war on terror, national security, and domestic intelligence, has he not done what the people demanded? Did the American people not demand retaliation for 9/11, did the American people not demand the government take measure to know about and prevent such attacks, and did the American people not demand a feeling of security and safety? The American people got exactly what they asked for; they just did not realize the price they would have to pay for it. As far as the war, I agree something needed done with hostile countries who actively sought to inflict pain and suffering on this country. The Iraqi War should never have been needed if the original dessert storm had been fulfilled to completion. As my boss used to say, it’s doing the right thing wrongly, we went into Bosnia claiming human rights violations, could we not have made the same arguments against Iraq, god knows the evidence was and is there, could we not have made a case that after nearly two decades of UN resolutions it was time for action, we didn’t need to fabricate anything. This is indeed a new age of trials, and as we continue on, I cannot say what the consequences of our actions will be; I cannot say which candidate is better. Do we put our faith in trust in a man who was sold out, and has sold himself out over the last eight years, do we trust that he will go back to be that man? On the other hand, do we trust the young Idealist to be the man we all hope he is?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Free World

First, the set up.

Driving to work today my car radio locked itself on the AM band (don’t get me started, I am getting a new one next month). And I got to listen to this blow hole talk about how great America is, how we are the leaders of the free world and how we have so many rights and freedoms in this country, that if people don’t like it they can just leave. The blowhole in his next segment went on to talk about the dangers of a black President, said that their fried chicken and watermelon would ruin the White House and that they would never get the smell out, this blow hole also talked of the dangers of allowing the homosexual agenda to be pushed upon us, we are endangering our marriages and our children if we believe that the homosexual agenda is harmless, yet we are the leader of the free world.

Now, for my soapbox

Citizenship in America is not easy, to quote a movie, America is advanced citizenship and you have to want it. When is America going to get it, free speech is about more than being able to stand up and say whatever you desire, free speech is the ability to acknowledge someone is standing in the middle of room advocating at the top of their lungs what you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours, that is the freedom of speech. Freedom is taken for granted in this country; freedom is taken to mean freedom for those who agree with you, a moral standard, and a belief system shoved down everyone’s throats, while we pretend to have a freedom of religion. What happened to the ability to change the channel if you find something offense, why do we need it regulated, censored, or banned, pick up the remote and change the damn channel, it isn’t that hard. Moreover, what exactly is it about that homosexual agenda that scares the hell out of you, why you are so insecure in your beliefs, and in your marriage that you think the two boys in a loving relationship down the block will ruin it for you is beyond me, and if you can figure that out, well then you are a smarter person than I am. Let ask our allies such as France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, or the Czech Republic, Hungary, Uruguay, Slovenia, Spain, and Norway how they feel about same sex unions, those countries all have some form of legalized same sex union, and none of them have been stricken from the face of the earth, married couples did not cease to love each other or be married because two people of the same sex are also in a committed union together. America professing to be the leader of the free world is a crock of shit. Before we can profess ourselves to be the leaders of the free world we need to establish what freedom is, not a one sided “I am free to inflict my views upon you”, but an open debate, an open world where two people can stand openly in a room and profess their beliefs openly, and have the person standing next to them respect their right to be able to do it, that is freedom. Let us see that taught in classrooms, defend that, then we can stand up and sing about being the land of the free. The problem with so many people in our society, especially our leader is not that they do not get it, but that they can’t sell it. We have many issues facing our society, a failing economy, a falling foreign policy, a failed war, and what we need are serious people who get it to take charge and work together to solve the problems facing our nation. Most politicians are not the least bit interested in what our problems really are, they are interested in making you afraid of it, and telling you who is to blame for it, that is how elections are won. Senator Obama was right when he talked about apathetic voters who cling to their guns and bibles because that’s all they feel they have. Republicans have gotten really good at that game, you don’t need to debate issues, you just need to talk about family, values, character, and scare people that the other side is coming to take that away next. We have real problems facing this country and it is time for serious people to step up and help pull this country back up, and for blow holes like the moron on the morning radio, it’s past time that your fifteen minutes are up.

Thank you and good night.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

America, This is Our Moment

Some quotes from Senator Barack Obama's speech 06/03/08.


OBAMA 2008, onto Washington, and the White House.

"because you decided that change must come to Washington; because you believed that this year must be different than all the rest; because you chose to listen not to your doubts or your fears but to your greatest hopes and highest aspirations, tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another—a journey that will bring a new and better day to America"

"So it was for that band of patriots who declared in a Philadelphia hall the formation of a more perfect union; and for all those who gave on the fields of Gettysburg and Antietam their last full measure of devotion to save that same union.

So it was for the greatest generation that conquered fear itself, and liberated a continent from tyranny and made this country home to untold opportunity and prosperity.

So it was for the workers who stood out on the picket lines; the women who shattered glass ceilings; the children who braved a Selma bridge for freedom's cause.

So it has been for every generation that faced down the greatest challenges and the most improbable odds to leave their children a world that's better, and kinder, and more just.
And so it must be for us.

America, this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past. Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for the country we love. "

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The political reality

As I watch the current race for the Whitehouse, I find myself, shocked, appalled, and even disgusted by what is going on, even as a major in political studies, I am finding this current situation to be stupid. When is America and American voters going to get their heads out of their asses and pay attention? When can we have a campaign that is about issues, ideas, policy, not about the petty bullshit that a tabloid media and the intellectually lacking people who thrive on it push down our throats? Senator Clinton is still in the Democratic race for the nomination, despite trailing in money, pledged delegates, popular vote, and loosing super delegates by the day, and no mathematically possibly way to catch up. Her claim is that she, not Senator Obama can win in November, well Senator Clinton after the hatchet job you, your husband, and your daughter (who yes, you have pimped out on the campaign trail) have done, no wonder he is going to have a tough fight in November. Senator Clinton has had the nerve to say shame on Barrack Obama, well senator, SHAME ON YOU. You have made this race not about issues, but about Race, Gender, who can where a flag pin and call themselves a patriot, and who can sell out their friends the quickest. Do I agree with what Senator Obama’s former pastor has said, NO, I do not, but I also don’t think that you can judge Obama based upon it. I have friends who are racist, I have friends who have done some really stupid and wrong things, but they are still my friends, they know I do not always approve of what they say or do, and I most certainly do not always think the way they do. This race has accused Senator Obama of being a Muslim because of his name, hinting he may be a terrorist agent trying to infiltrate the government. Others will not even listen because he is black. Well people, NONE OF IT FUCKING MATTERS. It’s not about if your black or white, male or female, Christian or Muslim, Wealthy or Poor, what matters is what the next person to hold the Presidential Office will do to fix what has gone so terribly wrong over the last 8 years, what they next President will do to ensure a safe future. Everyone seems to want to know that, but it’s not the policy speeches that get attention, it’s not the ideas that get debates, it’s the tabloid garbage that is discussed around the water cooler so to speak. Senator Obama was correct when he spoke of American voters. People have become apathetic , and they cling to whatever they can that makes them feel safe and comfortable, guns, religion, “family values”, whatever it may be, and anything that comes along and challenges that apathetic security blanket is attacked, no attention is paid that the grass may be greener on the other side, and that the world could be a better place, we have all become to disinterested to care, to scared to dare to find out. Hopefully, some day we can have campaigns that focus on issues, and not what a candidate had for breakfast, or what an old friend of relative did, but unfortunately that day is not today, and by November millions upon millions will spent destroying the records and reputations of both candidates. Imagine what a campaign would look like if those millions got spent educating voters on issues, and ideas, that is real politics.