Jun 17, 2011

Same-sex Marriage: A Necessary Civil Rights Act. New York State Must Approve this Progressive Law.

UPDATE (6/25/11): New York became the 6th state and the largest (doubled the number of people who have equal right to marriage) state to adopt same-sex marriage! It's also the among the 3 states whose legislatures and governors passed such a law; the other states have it because of court decisions. The NYS law will be in effect by the end of July.

It's a simple question, really. Should every adult be able to marry someone of his/her choice? But, religion interjects and argues about defending "traditional" marriage--yeah, traditional--when marriage was between man and women, or, married not for love but other considerations, or, when races weren't allowed to mix. 

New York state is on the verge of approving same-sex marriage, but Senate Republicans have to come along to make it happen. Again, the objections center around "protecting" religious freedom. It's a constitutional right to believe whatever, and religious organizations can have their own rules. Among adults, any religion can remove the eyes of every third congregant if it has a "command from God" that the ..truly faithful must walk in darkness. I have no problem with that, as religions shouldn't have any problem with other adults choosing their mates. But, they do, so their strange beliefs become our problem. Progressive states must truly separate public policy from religious dogma.

I'm not gay, and, as far as I know, no one in my immediate family is homosexual, so the law allowing same-sex marriage won't affect me--except that it will be another important step in expanding civil rights & liberties in a society I live in. 

The modern state gives certain privileges (economic and legal) to married couples, because it's deemed good for society. Therefore, the state should and can give out such allowances. Such marriages need no blessings from the Church or any other false--and they are false--God(s). We don't ask any religious organization to accept the secular approach to reality. Heck, the Mormon church didn't even admit blacks until 1978. [By the way, do you know why blacks are ..blacks, according to the Mormon doctrine? They were cursed by God who turned their skin dark!] Free-willing adults can join any crazy outfit they desire, and if they accept crazy beliefs that's their choice. 

The problem has been that for far too long religion and its "divinely-revealed truth" has hampered humankind. This is the time for us to take great strides in ending this moronic approach to reality. Public policy should be based on secular, scientific, and well-thought out approach. Our government should promote happiness and the well being of the people; that's progressive and allows for individual choice!

Jun 13, 2011

Bill Moyers: The Need for Equilibrium Between Public and Private

"I think this country is in a very precarious state at the moment. I think, as I say, the escalating, accumulating power of organized wealth is snuffing out everything public, whether it’s public broadcasting, public schools, public unions, public parks, public highways. Everything public has been under assault since the late 1970s, the early years of the Reagan administration, because there is a philosophy that’s been extant in America for a long time that anything public is less desirable than private.
And I think we’re at a very critical moment in the equilibrium. No society, no human being, can survive without balance, without equilibrium. Nothing in excess, the ancient Greeks said. And Madison, one of the great founders, one of the great framers of our Constitution, built equilibrium into our system. We don’t have equilibrium now. The power of money trumps the power of democracy today, and I’m very worried about it. I said to—and if we don’t address this, if we don’t get a handle on what we were talking about—money in politics—and find a way to thwart it, tame it, we’re in —democracy should be a brake on unbridled greed and power, because capitalism, capital, like a fire, can turn from a servant, a good servant, into an evil master. And democracy is the brake on my passions and my appetites and your greed and your wealth. And we have to get that equilibrium back."  Bill Moyers

Bill Moyers has just published a book based on the PBS Bill Moyers Journal series--one of the highest-rated public broadcasting programs, drawing 2 million viewers weekly.  The PBS site has videos from his interviews, but the book should be on everyone's reading list.

Jun 4, 2011

We Don't Have a Problem With Social Expenditures, We Have a Problem with Revenue (and tax breaks to the super rich)

The US is hitting the debt ceiling and without Congress' authorization the country will default. This dangerous game of dare is being played by the Republicans who want reductions in social services in order to raise the debt amount the US government can borrow. Of course, it is now--under a Dem president--that the GOP suddenly because fiscal conservative! Half of the $14.5 trillion is the result of a Republican president and a Republican Congress.

Oh, and let's not forget the excessive militarism, the tax breaks to the elites--that have increased the outlays and decreased the revenues! Their presidential candidates are running on the slogan that Obama failed to fix the economy, while they forget that 3 years ago this president inherited the Great Recession.

Yeah, why hasn't Obama fixed the economy yet? The Republicans don't want to acknowledge that we have a revenue problem, because the rich (individuals and corporations) don't pay their dues! What's their due? You tell me. What's fair as a percentage of someone's income? I bet you'll be wrong as to what you think it's fair and what's actually being paid in taxes.

It's a myth that the middle class and the poor don't pay taxes--a myth that's perpetuated by the conservatives. The latter say the former don't pay any taxes, but they don't say it's federal taxes. If you look at other taxes (local, real estate, state, etc), the middle class and the poor pay a lot more (as a percentage of their income) than the very rich! Surprise, surprise. And, the gap of wealth is getting bigger in the US. Yeap, that's Obama's socialism at work!