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#76 | Back to Top11-07-2008 01:47:29 AM

Yasha
Bitch Queen
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registered: 10-15-2006
Posts: 6018
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Re: Politics

I don't think you've upset anyone, love. Ideas are not attacks. :hugs:


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#77 | Back to Top11-07-2008 02:13:31 AM

Katzenklavier
Wondrous Sexual Eggplant.
From: Back of your thoughts.
Registered: 09-13-2008
Posts: 1120

Re: Politics

Valeli, I quite agree. I do believe in the rights of various institutions to determine the spiritual validity of such unions. However, you brought up an important distinction between legal and spiritual concerns with very good reason. I concur that gays should be granted complete and utter legal equivalency, but it should ultimately up to churches whether they decide to religiously recognize them. California has laws granting many of these rights. But not all. And even the slightest difference can put homosexuals into a different and very demeaning category. Ultimately, reform should be done. But on the legal level and not an attempt upon the religious.


We must go forward, not backward. Upward, not forward. And always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom.

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#78 | Back to Top11-07-2008 07:18:59 AM

Stormcrow
Magical Flying Moron
From: Los Angeles
Registered: 04-24-2007
Posts: 5971
Website

Re: Politics

No, you're quite right Valeli, and I don't think that Yasha, Satyr or Katz is disputing you. The reason why they want marriage and civil unions separated is BECAUSE that way individual churches could decide who gets married, which is manifestly not the case now. Proposition 8 and similar laws elsewhere make it unlawful for churches to marry anyone other than who that law sees fit to be allowed to marry, specifically male/female couples.

Look at it this way. There are in fact Christian churches that recognize gay marriage as valid. No one ever talks about them in the press for some reason, but they definitely exist. By passing these ballot measures, the people have declared that they are NOT churches. It is now unlawful for these people to practice their religion as they see fit. Personally I find this horrifying, and I'm sure you do too.

On the other hand, if marriage and civil unions were separated, it would disentangle the government from the sacrament of marriage and allow all people to again worship and behave in a way that reflects their religious faith without government interference.


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#79 | Back to Top11-07-2008 08:38:16 AM

Arki
Dark Whisperer
From: Croatia
Registered: 10-28-2006
Posts: 1120

Re: Politics

What if you're an atheist who wants to get married? emot-confused

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#80 | Back to Top11-07-2008 09:00:28 AM

Stormcrow
Magical Flying Moron
From: Los Angeles
Registered: 04-24-2007
Posts: 5971
Website

Re: Politics

If you're an atheist you have to decide what marriage means for you. Assuming that civil unions and marriages become distinct institutions, you could enter into a civil union under license from the government without any other hurdles. Marriage would be a purely personal affair into which the government would not enter. You could ask a church to provide the service if that's what you desire in a marriage, or you could just invite a bunch of friends to a park, dress up, hire a caterer, and read your vows to your intended spouse. It would be entirely up to you. Of course, any church that you ask may refuse you, that would be their business.


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#81 | Back to Top11-07-2008 10:50:08 AM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
Website

Re: Politics

Thank you, Stormy, that's exactly what I meant to say.  There are a lot of good reasons to disentangle church marriage and civil union, but one of the best is that churches, thank God, are not arms of the government in America and should be allowed to practice their religion as they see fit.  Even if I don't like their choices, those choices are their business, not mine; I should not be able to compel them to follow my agenda through legislation or the courts. 

Of course, being a church doesn't give you license to conduct human sacrifice or practice slavery; such gross violations of life and liberty threaten our bedrock rights as Americans.  Your freedom to practice your religion however you want ends where my freedom to live a life in the way I choose begins.  But conversely, my freedom to live the life I choose does not oblige your church to accommodate me.  If that means that atheists or gays can't get a church marriage, or can only get a Unitarian church marriage, that's too bad, but the alternative is making religion subject to government, which is even worse.

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#82 | Back to Top11-07-2008 11:23:09 AM

purplepolecat
Atlantean Singer
From: Vancouver, B.C.
Registered: 03-26-2007
Posts: 570

Re: Politics

In Canada we have a good compromise : the legally binding part of marriage is open to gay couples, but churches are not required to offer ceremonies for them. This is important because of the many legal rights and protections that marriage gives, and because it makes it much harder for companies to discriminate when offering partner benefits.

I find it weird that people have trouble separating the legal and religious components of marriage; this is mainly because of my background. I was married in a secular ceremony, as were my parents and most of my married friends. Ironically the only church wedding I've been to recently was for a same-sex couple (Unitarian I think). I forget that for most people, WEDDING = CHURCH, even for people who don't normally attend church. Some people don't even realise you can be legally married without a church service, when in fact the church is incidental to the whole process.

I can ALMOST understand the people who voted yes on prop 8; they see marriage as an important tradition that you can't go changing willy-nilly. They see the tick box, and say "no, thanks". What I can't understand is the people running the prop 8 campaign. They worked really hard, and managed to raise what, $30 million, not to HELP people, but to STOP people doing something that will not affect them in any tangible way. Good job, guys. I'm sure California doesn't have any OTHER pressing social problems that need solving. emot-rolleyes


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#83 | Back to Top11-07-2008 06:52:05 PM

End of the Tour
Ballgoer
From: The Nowhere Islands
Registered: 09-11-2008
Posts: 143

Re: Politics

This may be overly cynical, but I can't help but feeling that the problem is that a lot of people just don't accept that it isn't the place of our government to implement God's Law.  Which just seems so backwards, given that freedom of religion is such a huge part of our country's history... but I suppose religious extremists are also part of our history, and a lot of the colonists didn't even think to extend religious freedom to the Catholics, much less non-Christians.


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#84 | Back to Top11-10-2008 11:02:24 AM

Lightice
Azure Paleontologist
From: Finland
Registered: 10-21-2006
Posts: 1255

Re: Politics

I have new respect for Arnold Schwarzenegger. He compared the whole mess with banning the gay marriage as similar decision as one made in 1948 that banned marriage between whites and blacks. He's also sure - as am I - that it will return to the courts soon enough.


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#85 | Back to Top11-10-2008 11:05:13 AM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
Website

Re: Politics

Lightice wrote:

I have new respect for Arnold Schwarzenegger. He compared the whole mess with banning the gay marriage as similar decision as one made in 1948 that banned marriage between whites and blacks. He's also sure - as am I - that it will return to the courts soon enough.

Words.  The Arnold promised to go out and campaign against Prop 8, then reneged on that promise.  I believe that Arnold is happy to see gay marriage if that's what the voters want, but he hasn't done a darn thing from his pulpit in the governor's office to make it happen.

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#86 | Back to Top12-09-2008 05:11:53 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
Website

Re: Politics

Ha ha, Governor Blagojevich.  You guys heard about this, right?  Just in case...

Rod Blagojevich was the governor of Illinois, and he had a job to do.  There was a senator from Rod's state named Barack who had just been elected president!  Everyone was very excited.  Barack was excited because he was going to be the next leader of the free world.  Barack's daughters Sasha and Malia were excited because their daddy was excited.  And Rod was excited because he got to choose who would be the next senator after Barack!

Rod thought hard about his choices.  There was a man named Jesse who wanted to be senator, but Jesse scared some people.  There was a woman named Lisa who was good with the law, but Lisa did not know very much about politics.  There was a woman named Tammy who was a respected war veteran, but Tammy had not been born in America.  Many other people also wanted to be senator.  Rod thought and thought about who to pick.

But the thing Rod thought most about was money.  When Barack called Rod to suggest who should be the next senator, Rod told Barack that he was not appointing anyone senator unless they gave him lots of money or did him a lot of very expensive favors.  Rod even said that if no one gave him money, he would make himself the next senator.  Rod told other people the same thing.  He told people this while talking on a phone that the FBI had secretly tapped.

On December 9, the FBI handcuffed Rod and took him to jail for being a very bad governor.  Everyone was shocked, except the people in Illinois, because they already knew Rod was a very bad governor.  But Rod was still the governor, and he said he still got to decide who would be senator.  "It doesn't matter how bad a governor I am," he might have snarled as the FBI took him to jail.  "I have the biggest cock in the state of Illinois and you will never take my power away from me!"  And it was true: there was no way to take away Rod's power except to impeach him, which takes a long time.  Rod could choose a new senator before anyone could stop him.

What happened next?  Watch the news!

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#87 | Back to Top12-09-2008 06:24:20 PM

Stormcrow
Magical Flying Moron
From: Los Angeles
Registered: 04-24-2007
Posts: 5971
Website

Re: Politics

Oh, Blagojevich.emot-rolleyes


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#88 | Back to Top12-10-2008 04:33:20 AM

Asfalolh
Knight of Gates
From: Barcelona (Catalonia)
Registered: 10-23-2006
Posts: 2005

Re: Politics

satyreyes wrote:

Watch the news!

That's not fair, news won't talk about this over here! emot-mad

... just kidding. etc-love That's why e-newspapers are for. Thanks for the tale, satyr! Now, let's google for the ending...

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#89 | Back to Top12-10-2008 07:15:17 AM

OnionPrince
Covert Diarist
From: Nagoya
Registered: 10-28-2007
Posts: 876

Re: Politics

Asfalolh wrote:

... just kidding. etc-love That's why e-newspapers are for. Thanks for the tale, satyr! Now, let's google for the ending...

E-newspapers? Nah, I'd rather read about Blagojevich on the blagosphere. emot-biggrin

...Sorry. Couldn't resist.

Seriously, though, he sounds like an ass of monumental proportions. Hopefully he'll be violated in prison.

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#90 | Back to Top12-10-2008 07:28:51 AM

Asfalolh
Knight of Gates
From: Barcelona (Catalonia)
Registered: 10-23-2006
Posts: 2005

Re: Politics

OnionPrince wrote:

I'd rather read about Blagojevich on the blagosphere. emot-biggrin

emot-rofl
Though, if anything like a blagosphere exists within the blogosphere, do provide a link, please! emot-smile

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#91 | Back to Top12-10-2008 05:50:22 PM

BioKraze
Faceless Master
From: Yuma, Arizona (USA)
Registered: 11-26-2006
Posts: 8280

Re: Politics

OnionPrince wrote:

E-newspapers? Nah, I'd rather read about Blagojevich on the blagosphere. emot-biggrin

Very punny, OnionPrince. emot-keke


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#92 | Back to Top02-13-2009 05:53:21 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
Website

Re: Politics

Here's a stat I thought was interesting.  I calculated it myself, so it comes with caveats about not being an expert and such.

The poverty line for an individual in America is $11,20137.3 million Americans live in poverty.

The cost of sending each of them a check for $11,201 would be $418 billion.

So far in this financial crisis the government has spent $2 trillion and has invested, lent, or insured another $6.8 trillion, most of which we'll probably never see again.  Assuming we don't, then -- holding everything else constant, which of course it wouldn't be -- we could have "ended poverty" for twenty-one years with that sum of money.

Don't get me wrong.  Writing every American in poverty an $11,000 check every year for 21 years is a terrible idea for all kinds of reasons that go way beyond the philosophical.  But the fact that this sum of money would be enough to end poverty in America for a generation should make us at least sit back and wonder if there is no better way to spend this money than giving most of it to companies like Fannie Mae, Citibank, and Chrysler.

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#93 | Back to Top02-14-2009 10:52:42 AM

Stormcrow
Magical Flying Moron
From: Los Angeles
Registered: 04-24-2007
Posts: 5971
Website

Re: Politics

I've thought similar things before... I think that people are a little hung up on "the economy" and keeping it "moving". Granted that there are a lot of benefits to that, I still don't think people are being critical enough about that assumption.


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#94 | Back to Top02-14-2009 06:54:31 PM

End of the Tour
Ballgoer
From: The Nowhere Islands
Registered: 09-11-2008
Posts: 143

Re: Politics

I'm too lazy to look for it right now, but I think someone totaled the amount it would have cost to completely bail out everyone who couldn't cover their mortgages back when the housing crisis was starting, and of course it came in far, far under $700 billion.  Also perhaps not a statement of what would be a good general policy, but definitely a reflection of skewed values.

Relatedly, I found this to be an excellent summary of what all went wrong, not over the past decade but over the past half a century.  (Then again, I'm not an expert, so there could be errors in that analysis that I'm not catching.)


Sometimes life is about making difficult sandwiches.

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#95 | Back to Top06-24-2009 07:16:26 PM

Nilamarthiel
The Icon Icon
From: Northern Michigan
Registered: 02-05-2007
Posts: 3972
Website

Re: Politics

Because my grandmother and I just got into a big fight over Obama just now [big as in shouting, name-calling, and slamming things], I really need some clarification.

My grandparents get all of their political information from Bill O'Reilly's and Sean Hannity's radio shows because we don't have television anymore. I, however, do not get political information at all because the only news radio station is the ultra-conservative gay-bashing "string up all the liberals and cover them in tar and feathers" station. Which comes to my main question:

Has Obama made any substantial positive changes in the US? Has he delivered on his promise for change?


Please discuss. I'd like to be informed, and I don't want to wade through the double-talk of articles. If you can, please put it in Pro/Con format, because I am dense.

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#96 | Back to Top06-24-2009 07:21:07 PM

KillerxXxQueen
Snowdrop Lover
From: North Augusta, SC
Registered: 04-22-2009
Posts: 1760

Re: Politics

Lady Nilamarthiel wrote:


Has Obama made any substantial positive changes in the US? Has he delivered on his promise for change?

http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/

This site is a great starting point. I think its best for people to read the facts [as un-biased as possible; please don't watch Fox news and pretend to be informed] and do their best to make their own opinions. Personally, I think Obama's trying his best but he won't live up to the "Obama Hype" that keeps surging up. He's not doing a bad job so far, but it's way too soon to tell how his methods are affecting the country. I think bail-outs are a dumbass idea, though...


"Reason I know is only a drug and, as such, its effects are never permanent."
                                                         --Hope Mirrlees, Lud-in-the-Mist

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#97 | Back to Top06-24-2009 07:26:20 PM

spoon-san
Someday Shiner
Registered: 03-18-2009
Posts: 3423

Re: Politics

Funny because my father was discussing this over dinner yesterday.  Though he originally said "don't vote for Obama," now he's saying stuff like "no one's ever done this much change in such a short time" as far as presidents since the fifties, in his mind.  He mostly mentioned how he was largely responsible for making it illegal for credit card companies to target under age of legality teenagers with credit cards and that without parent consent, they cannot obtain credit cards.  To him, that's a huge deal since he used to always complain as to how many people drop out of college or get stuck in enormous debt because they don't know how to responsibly use a credit card.  But I see KillerQueen has put a site up, so props on that. 

And if your grandparents give two shits about being objective, clearly they need to get some internet connection and learn how to use it.  Bill O'Reilly and similar nut bags are as likely to talk objectively as they are to shoot lightning out of their ass.  Just saying.

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#98 | Back to Top06-24-2009 08:18:58 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
Website

Re: Politics

Lady Nilamarthiel wrote:

Has Obama made any substantial positive changes in the US? Has he delivered on his promise for change?

That depends what you mean by "positive," doesn't it?  emot-wink

I like the Obameter, the site KXQ linked to.  It does a fairly thorough job assessing which campaign promises Obama has kept, which ones he's broken, and which ones he's pretty much done nothing about (which is most of them -- but we're only half a year into his four-year term).  I also find it to be quite objective; its authors don't seem to have a partisan agenda.

But if you don't want to go browsing, here are (to my mind) some of the most significant things Obama has done, for good or for ill:

- Restricted interrogation techniques to the ones listed in the Army Field Manual, effectively ending government torture; ordered the closure of Guantanamo Bay detention center
- Ordered a withdrawal from Iraq (though we are certainly not completely withdrawn yet) and refocused our military on Afghanistan and Pakistan
- Passed a credit card bill of rights, outlawing certain credit practices considered deceptive
- Pushed for expedited distribution of bailout funds and continued to promote further stimulus spending
- Expanded children's health insurance and pushed hard for universal health care through a "public option" by which any American could purchase health care from the government (which Congress is still hashing out)
- Nominated Sonia Sotomayor for Supreme Court Justice, based in part on her quality of "empathy" (also pending before Congress)

And here are some of the most significant things Obama hasn't done:

- Hasn't ended "earmarks," the attachment of specific spending projects to unrelated bills to induce legislators to vote in favor
- Hasn't clearly established the right of our foreign prisoners to be jailed only for specific and fact-based reasons (habeas corpus); hasn't abolished warrantless wiretaps of American citizens
- Hasn't banned lobbyists from working in the White House (in fact, he's hired some)
- Hasn't found sources of revenue or made budgetary cuts to offset all the spending we're doing
- Hasn't made any gesture toward education reform
- Hasn't spoken on behalf of gay rights, such as marriage rights and the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell

So has Obama delivered change?  Sure.  Has he broken promises?  Yes, he's done that too.  (Though bear in mind he has three and a half years to go.)  Both sides have plenty of facts to muster in support of their arguments -- though McCain voters who complain that Obama hasn't brought change presumably don't want Obama's brand of change anyway and thus may be arguing in bad faith.

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#99 | Back to Top06-24-2009 08:21:45 PM

Bluesky
Chpn Dlst
From: Your window
Registered: 10-25-2008
Posts: 1939
Website

Re: Politics

See, you guys get Obama, and over here we have Gordon Brown...count yourself lucky emot-tongue
Not like I don't especially like the bloke, I voted Labour after all, but he doesn't seem to be doing the sort of job that needs to be done here.


/人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\

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#100 | Back to Top06-24-2009 08:21:53 PM

Prince_of_Stars
Someday Shiner
From: The Hellsing Organization
Registered: 06-12-2008
Posts: 4165
Website

Re: Politics

I agree with KillerQueen on the whole idea of bailouts. I think it gives banks and car companies the easy way out. The way I see, these banks and companies are more than partially to blame for their situations. Banks are always doing credit checks; as a matter of fact, that effects the loans that are given out. If they KNOW the people won't be able to pay the interest on the loans, set the people on fixed interest, and work it so that it's an interest they can afford. It may take longer for the banks and mortgage companies to get their money, but at least they won't have these bad loans on the books. Right now, the foreclosures are all over the banks, and the banks are no longer getting money. What should be done is that all these mortgages, bad loans, etc should be refinanced and reworked so that these people that have been foreclosed on can pay one fixed rate, WITHIN THEIR BUDGET. That way, the banks still get their money, and people still keep their houses.


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Sir Hellsing: Leader of the Feminine Failure Revolution
Faithfully failing at feminine tasks, gender roles, and the conventionality of femininity since 1990.

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