Saturday, November 29, 2003

Huge movement in the "world of blogs" to free Iran. Interesting how every other article includes some reference to Europe/EU as being complicit in abetting the "government" in Iran to oppress the people of the country and cause worldwide instability....
I can tell you one thing...not one of the Iraqi blog sites that I check daily has posted anything about Hillary, I don't even know if they know that she was there, but they have all posted about the President's visit in the positive. Alaa, Zeyad, Ays, and Omar all have one thing in common. They are ready to accept responsibility for their country's actions. When you read their words speaking about how sorry that they are to have not given Bush the welcome that he "deserved", that he had to stay in the immediate airport area, you see that they have embraced the first thing needed for freedom, personal responsibility. None of this "why did he not come in the streets of Bagdhad to the people?", no, they are apologizing for not yet making that possible for him after all that his administration and our countrymen along with the rest of the coalition have been trying to do to help them. Pride can be a virtue, until it blinds you, and then it is an albatross around your neck, dragging you down instead of lifting you up.

If we don't see the rest of Iraq throwing off the albatross, I expect the violence to increase. Just as Bin Laden has stated that he was encouraged by inaction, so will these terrorists be, whether they are interior or exterior, the end goal is the same.

Re: Hillary's Baghdad visit

Here's an encouraging anecdote.
Nobody seems to have pointed out that the President's Thanksgiving day visit to Baghdad completely neutralized Hillary Clinton's similar visit. This bodes well in terms of campaign savvy if these two end up going head to head in 2004, which still is a distinct possibility. It is laughable that some are calling the President's visit a stunt or a shameless political maneuver, while the queen of souless politics is treated as if she just couldn't stand to be away from her beloved troops. If I were stationed in Iraq I'd have a really hard time not showing Hillary my ass.
Sigh. This sort of thing is going to have to change.
The EU has begun planning its own army. Oooh! Better watch out Liberia! Settle down Lichtenstein! Oh, Serbia? They're *cough* too powerful, someone could get hurt *cough* not OUR problem....
"If it were to die completely, it would take on a mythical grandeur and like Obi Wan Kenobi become more powerful as a spirit than in physical form."
Just like Che Guevera. Good point.
I've decided that it would not be a good thing for socialism to be eradicated from the planet. It would be much better for it to crop up every now and again (hopefully outside the U.S.) just to serve as an example of man's folly in trying to reengineer society. If it were to die completely, it would take on a mythical grandeur and like Obi Wan Kenobi become more powerful as a spirit than in physical form. Here's to the French and the Germans keeping the flame alive for a while, and here's to the unfortunate souls in the other EU nations that are strapped in for the ride of their lives.

Kerry, I also wanted to thank you for your info on Mary Magdalene a few posts back. I learned something, and put the information to good use in some recent political discussions. I stand corrected.

Friday, November 28, 2003

Looks as if the minor EU members are getting boned again by France and Germany. They should just rename the EU the "Greater French-German Co-prosperity Sphere" as the other European countries are going to get as good a deal as Asia did under Japan during WWII.
Hmmm, didn't see anything about this in the lamestream media.
This is from Alaa's blog in Baghdad, I usually just link, but couldn't resist re-posting this one:

"AHLAN WA SAHLAN; GWB
IN THE NAME OF GOD THE COMPASSIONATE; THE MERCIFUL

Ahalan (= Kinsmen: it means you have come amongst kinsmen)

Wa = and

Sahlan (= Plateau or plain easy land: meaning you have trodden welcoming land)

These are the traditional words of welcome in the Arabic language.

Yes GWB, though the visit was brief, it was very meaningful. We know that you have come, not as the President of an invading nation, but as the friend who wishes to renew commitment to our people, and as long as your intentions are what you have repeatedly said (and we don't doubt your sincerity), the land and the hearts welcome you.

It gives us pain that the visit is so short and that the masses cannot in the present circumstances come out to give you the welcome that you deserve, but the day will come, the day will come (God's Willing). Yes the day will come when the millions will come out to welcome the best friend that the Mesopotamian people have ever had, and he will be amongst the most devoted and allied people that America will ever have.

The bones in the mass graves salute you, Avenger of the Bones.

Hail, Friend and Ally, Hail, Sheikh of Sheikhs, GWB; Descendant of the Noble Ancient Celt."

Alaa

Now if we could just get him to lead in this area....
Oh, don't worry, they were spinning moments after it happened:
This from the Guardian (UK)
This from Reuters

I was reading an article this morning where CNN was saying that they would be "interested" to hear how the "Bush team" chose the reporters that went, because one of their crews got cut. My first thought was, "for God's sake, they took Reuters, what more do they want"?!

Spin this:

"I just wanted to drop you guys a note from here in downtown Baghdad where I interact with the local population on a daily basis. The President's visit was even more of a morale boost to the Iraqis than it was to the troops. When the President of the U.S.A. visits a place like this, it's like the most popular kid in school coming to a party hosted by the A.V. club. The Iraqis feel validated and Al Jazeera looked foolish in the eyes of the Iraqis trying to find a negative spin to the story.

George Bush's visit has made my job easier in showing that we are committed to helping this country. I had Iraqis wishing me "Happy Thanksgiving" all day today (they only learned of the holiday by finding out the reason why Bush came to visit us).

Just wanted to give you the perspective from the street here in Baghdad."

Hat tip to NRO Corner
I agree Kerry. How long do you think it will take the Bushophobes to spin this into another "reckless stunt" like the aircraft carrier landing? It will be tougher for them to pull it off, since it was a holiday visit to the troops, but rest assured they will attempt to use this against the President.

How pissed are the terrorists in Baghdad now that they let The Mothership slip right past them?


Thursday, November 27, 2003

President Bush pays Thanksgiving visit to troops in Iraq. That's a leader.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

I'm with you one hundred percent on the loser pays legal system. We can't get it fast enough in my opinion.

The best part of the article was that pretty much everyone has called the guy telling him that he's an idiot and should be fired. It doesn't really sound like it's going to go anywhere, but it shouldn't ever have been an idea in someone's brain in the first place....


As far as the tribute to the soldiers goes, I'm glad that you liked it. This is the quote that struck me: Most American warriors subscribe to the words of John Stuart Mill: "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

Also, I had the same thought Tom, but always have, having known the intelligence and abilities of you and both of your brothers that are in, as well as Mark, and others.

The other thing is that it kind of cracks me up when people start talking about how we'll have to institute the draft again if we need more guys in Iraq, or in other areas. I'm thinking "how many guys are still IRR like you are?" Not to mention that not the ENTIRE reserves have been called up in any of the forces, just certain units that specialize in certain areas. Sure I realize that we still need people to run the homefront, but those people are still in place and IRR people still haven't been called, so it's not like we're on our "last legs" the way that the media often makes it out to be.

I am probably the only woman in America that is blogging today instead of cooking! Happy Thanksgiving!
Kerry,

That tribute was nice, and I can attest from my limited experience in the reserves that it is right on target. I met some pretty amazing people who were "...so bright and talented and could do anything..." but chose to serve their country anyway. I have a lot of respect for these people.

The other thing that really struck me was the quote by Thomas Paine: "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, so that my children may have peace." I am still eligible to be called up for 3 more years, and while it would be very hard, I would go without complaint. The sentiment expressed in that quote alone pretty much sums things up for me.
Kerry,

That's a nice tribute. Much to the surprise of the left, our troops are doing exactly what they believe in and are committed to finishing the job. People often say that one of the things the troops are fighting for is the right of the lefties to freely express their opinions, and they are correct. Unfortunately, the left does not believe that the troops are fighting for them in any way. The great thing about our soldiers is that they fight on, completely unaffected by those who deep down don't care a fig about them. Thank God we have them, for I would hate to see what would happen if all we could muster in times of crisis were a bunch sisified liberals.

-----------------------------

Tom,

That master slave thing is a flaming crock of shit. As if all our bloated social welfare programs aren't enough for those who would rather not work for a living. This clown has to file a discrimination lawsuit against the use of a technical term? The time is ripe for a loser pays legal system. We'll see how many of society's moochers will try this crap if there's a chance they might have to fork over some cash.

-scott

Being the sentimental female of the group I feel that it is my duty to post a heartfelt Thanksgiving Thank You to our soldiers in Iraq, and the families that hold the fort at home for them.

This WSJ op ed article has been cited at a lot of other sites, but one more time can't hurt. (Sorry you have to sign in, but it's worth it. )
And that's why I'm a conservative, not a Republican. I'd vote for Zell Miller over Susan Collins any day.
Tom, be a bit more sensitive with the hate speech OK?
Stupid sons of whores.
Cal Thomas takes a swing at the last congress. I couldn't agree more. The confetti hasn't even settled yet from the celebration of the Republicans winning over congress, and this is the performance they turn in? This is why I'm a Libertarian. I already pay nearly 50% of every dime I make back into the government teet fund, and these supposed fiscal conservatives are greasing my ass for even more. At the end of the day, Republicans suck only fractionally less than Democrats. Congress needs an enema.

-scott
More EU messiness. Thanks to Drudge for the link.
This is my last word on the whole gay marriage issue. An extremely balanced view of both sides in my opinion, and an honest assessment of why most of America is uncomfortable with the idea.
Geez, you guys are getting way ahead of me here. I'll try to catch up.

Tom, I agree that ideally government shouldn't be involved whatsoever in marriage. The polygamist example I gave was simply to point out that you don't necessarily open up the floodgates when you allow same sex civil unions; it is possible to draw the line here based on financial practicality. I see this as an imperfect but much more realistic solution to the issue. While I would support government getting out of marriage, I would expect many on the right would equate this with the destruction of the institution and lose their minds over it.

Kerry, you're right in that we're approaching this from different perspectives. I think it's very positive and often necessary to apply social pressure against behavior that is legal yet potentially destructive (smoking, drinking, burning flags, etc.) Being aware of this difference is the important thing. People too often want the government to outlaw things that bother them, without any regard for the fact that they are jeopardizing their own rights in the process.

I also agree that same sex partners are truly looking to have their partnerships viewed on an equal footing with traditional marriages. Again, the legal vs moral issue crops up. As long as the government views the relationships equally, then nobody can bitch from a legal standpoint. There are those who would like to make it illegal to think less of a homosexual relationship, but they belong in the same asylum as the people that want to outlaw hate speech. I for one am not offended by the desire for homosexuals to have their relationships on an equal footing with a same sex marriage, but I understand the reasons some people are. I think it gets to the point that people are fighting over trivialities that should best be left alone. Obviously there has to be something unique about a same sex marriage, as that is the only way people can procreate. I'm just not sure why people on both sides of this get so upset over what other people's perceptions are. It reminds me of the quote from Adlai Stevenson "America can choke on a gnat but swallow a tiger whole."

-scott
OK, guys, you are going to kick me off from this site sooner or later! I'm going to bring this argument somewhere else, just for the hell of it.

Reasons purported that gays want to marry are for equal treatment for health care and passing on of estate. Let me address.

Health care: Most major companies already have the "partner" clause. Those that don't shouldn't be mandated to by legislation, in other words, if the company doesn't already offer it, your argument yesterday would be valid Tom. You may as well legislate to open marriage to anyone so that they can get the health care that they "deserve". And of course that is absurd. We all agree that privatization and letting the market dictate these things is the best way to achieve results. There are many companies, (as you well know Scott) that can't afford to give their employees health insurance, and some that offer it only for the employee but not their spouse or children (particularly in construction and waitresssing as well as small privately owned businesses). If you can't afford to or don't want to work for one of these companies, you don't have to. You are free to choose any company that you want to work for. It is your responsibility to choose one that meets yours and your family's needs, whatever your family consists of, not the company's or government's responsibility to do that for you.

Estate: Right now, if a will is written, a gay partner would have to go through no more estate management than I have as the executor of my father's estate. They will not lose any of their partner's estate, they will not be treated any differently than a child of a parent is. Now, I won't claim that they will be treated as a spouse, that will depend on what state they live in as far as the state goes, but federally, a spouse can just "absorb" the shared estate of their partner if there is nothing legally prohibiting them from doing so, (a pre nup, or an agreement by both parties in a will). This makes both the paperwork and everything else easier at a time that is one of the most difficult in life. Again, though, this is a reason to change the IRS laws, not to legislate marriage. It is no more fair that I have had to deal with two estates for the past four years after losing a parent than it is for anyone that has to go through grieving a death of someone close while having this extra enormous responsibility. And believe me, it can be quite enormous, having had an audit of an estate on top of it. But nobody ever said that life is fair.

The real argument: What gay partners really want is to be treated equally to heterosexual partners in marriage. The other arguments just help facilitate the true one. That they should be treated in every way the same as a man and a woman. Only one problem there, they aren't a man and a woman. The argument can be made that it is not much different from disabled people. It isn't their fault that they were born that way. We shouldn't be any less compassionate to them, if anything, we should try to be more so. But it doesn't change that there are some things that they just CAN NOT BE or CAN NOT DO because of their disability. Because of the way that they were born. Is it fair? No. But life isn't fair, and should we equalize everything for everyone? Once you start doing that in one arena, you are already headed down the road towards socialism.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Scott,

We are coming from two different angles here, as Tom has pointed out to me. You are coming from a legal standpoint, and I am coming from a purely moral standpoint. I agree with you that we would never want to legislate it. My question was more in the frame of where you come down on it morally, which you answered with "not optimal". I do understand that there are horrid, abusive parents that are heterosexual that do far worse damage than two loving, responsible homosexual parents would to a child. In theory, I have no problems with it. In reality, I have yet to meet a well adjusted homosexual. I'll be the first to admit that this is probably partly the fault of our society, they have often spent their lives trying to "fit in", or because they can't fit in, "screaming" through their actions that they don't fit in. The first homosexuals that I met that I knew were homosexual were in college. There was a guy that was a homosexual at a kid's camp that I worked at, and he was a really nice guy, very quiet and shy though, and obviously not very self confident. Another guy and myself had a huge argument with one of the other counselors one day because of the absolutely ignorant position that he felt that the boys in this guys group were in danger of being molested because of his sexual orientation. I, as a psychology major, went ballistic trying to explain the difference between sexual orientation and pedophiles. (There is, however a 3-5 times higher rate of pedophilia among homosexuals, depending on the source that you use. The American Psychological Association says 3 times higher.)

Then I worked with many homosexuals, there are a lot of men in the retail industry that are homosexual. My sister and her husband lived in an apartment building for two years owned by a homosexual couple that were stereotypical, young guy at 18 met older guy in 40's, have been together 20 years now. They own a lot of real estate in Portland and FL. Older guy obsessively controlling. Younger guy really nice, true pleaser personality. My father was married his third time to a lesbian, who thought that maybe if she tried hard enough she could force herself to not be one. Her younger sister committed suicide because she was a lesbian and was so depressed/didn't want to accept it. Both nice enough, but totally screwed up. And my dad's wife did ask him to adopt kids with her more than once. I thought she was crazy, since he never even wanted to have my sister and I, forget about starting again in his 40's, when we were already grown up.

I also worked with kids from "troubled" homes (read abused and/or abandoned by their parents and/or mentally ill) in college for my major, so I am well aware of the other things that could be worse than a "good" homosexual home. Yet again, in that arena, I have yet to meet a good example. I know one woman that was with her partner for a few years, got artificially inseminated, the partner's son from a previous marriage was really messed up and ended up at 10 years of age sexually molesting the two year old daughter. There has been an ongoing custody battle since, the daughter is 4, has two mommies that hate each other, her main exposure to males other than her uncles that live across the country has been a psychotic 10 year old. I know another mother in her late twenties that got her Masters in computer science, had a child with one guy, got together with another guy, and moved to San Fran with him, where they both decided to be bisexual. What that 6 year old girl is like, with her dad living on this side of the country, and her mother and some guy, and some girls and guys living on the other side of the country is amazing. She has stolen things from my niece, even though she has plenty materially. She is a compulsive liar and extremely demanding. She is easily hurt by any correction of behavior. The poor kid is 6! Now, maybe it is just me, but every single homosexual that I have met, and there are a lot of them, are off the spectrum on the well adjusted scale.

Again, I don't think that these things should be legislated, but I also don't think that there is anything wrong with social pressure for or against such situations. I feel the same way about single parents, no fault divorce laws, etc. You can do anything you want until you start screwing up a kid's life in my book. Adults, if they don't get out of an unhealthy situation, that is their choice. But the kids don't have a choice. Generally, as a parent I don't like the idea of anyone having the right to tell me how to parent my kids, however, the fact that I can't spank my kid's hand in the grocery store if they are two or three and continue to try pulling things off from the shelves because I have to worry about being arrested, while we as a society practically give license to others to screw up their kids in much worse ways just blows my mind.
Scott, regarding your post on the cluster-fuck that is the EU, it is going to be REALLY amusing if they ratify strict emissions controls at next week's United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. I'll be all chucklehouse (I used it!) as they enter a full-fledged depression, although one can't help feeling sorry for average Europeans being led into a hellish skein of legal minutiae by unelected bureaucrats.

Oh, and this doesn't bode well for Europe in their plans to overpower the USA economically. United States of Europe. Pshaw.
"I would allow polygamy, but only allow marital benefits for one spouse. While this is an uncomfortable compromise, it is a necessary evil."

Scott, are you advocating the government getting involved or even mandating marital benefits? That doesn't sound like the boy with the libertarian bent that I know. While I think if people want to live together in a polygamous (or same-sex) relationship they should be allowed to, government should not be involved in anyway in marriage, civil unions, etc. What I am getting at is that the government shouldn't be denying rights to certain groups that could lead to diminished rights for all down the road, they sure as hell shouldn't be pushing legislation for them either. The only "benefits" being discussed should be in the workplace between the employer and employee.

That being said, if you are going to allow polygamy through legislation, you can't limit rights to one spouse. It's not only hypocritical but perpetuates problems due to the fact that it is a half-assed compromise. This is part of the problem with the abortion compromise.

As far as "There are practical reasons polygamists will not be allowed civil unions. Chief among these is the fact that one spouse will be disproportionately draining governmental benefits" - since when has this been a disqualifying factor? Christ, I can see the Dem presidential nominees running for the microphones to announce this as a plank in their platforms and evidence of how much they "care".
Kerry,

To answer your questions:

Do you support the right for homosexuals to have children by artificial insemination?
Do you support the right for homosexuals to adopt children?

Yes on both. I can't think of a single reason why we should deny homosexuals this right that doesn't violate the constitution. While I agree that this is not the optimal parental scheme, if that becomes the standard by which we judge people's right to have/ adopt children then we open up the door to government putting up all kinds of other qualifications for insemination/ adoption (intelligence, race, health, age, etc.) If we care about our own rights, we must accept that denying these same rights to homosexual couples could diminish our own freedom down the road.

Do you believe that there are inherent defenses biologically between men and women that make an ideal family consist of a mother and a father when possible?

Yes, but there is no ideal family, and all families are flawed. The other parental attributes (love, responsibility, discipline, etc.) are far more important than gender. A homosexual couple with all of those qualities will raise better children than a heterosexual couple without them. Again, "qualifying" for being a parent is a slippery slope.

As far as opening the door to polygamists, etc, you have a point. However, this issue, like the issue of abortion, is going to be defined in its gray areas. There are practical reasons polygamists will not be allowed civil unions. Chief among these is the fact that one spouse will be disproportionately draining governmental benefits due to his/ her multiple spouses. I would allow polygamy, but only allow marital benefits for one spouse. While this is an uncomfortable compromise, it is a necessary evil. Our abortion laws have similar gray areas (you can have an abortion but not certain types of abortions.) Perhaps it's a bit untidy but you have to do this to keep from cutting your own nose off.

-scott
Tom, agreed, but that's like saying that the NEA and the IRS shouldn't exist. It's not going to happen so we have to deal with what we have. You are right, in that when the government first got involved in marriage (and it didn't start in this country) it was legislation of morality. In my mind, we should not legislate morality, BUT we should also not look to legislate immorality.

One of the biggest arguments that I get for my stance on homosexuals having children (my stance is that they should not be allowed to do so) is "Why should two loving people that have a stable relationship no matter their sexual denomination not be allowed to have children when there are already tons of them out there with single parents, drug addict parents, etc.?". My response is that you don't add to the problems already inherent in society because you can't get rid of the ones that you have. All children DESERVE a mother AND a father. Unfortunately, all children don't get that. The only exception that I would make are for more unadoptable children (kids that would be considered true "orphans") because even a loving single parent, or a set of loving same sex parents is better than no parents. Essentially, I am against homosexuals having children for the exact same reason that I am against a man or a woman CHOOSING to be a single parent. It is selfishness, pure and simple. It is all about their needs, and the kids pay the price, and in turn, society pays the price.

Before I go into this next part, let me just say that though it does not express my personal beliefs, that it has helped me to understand where these people are coming from, and I think that it is important that others can as well.

It is ironic, because this is one place where evolution and religion cross. There is a reason that a man and a woman becoming "one flesh" when married (as stated in Genesis) produce offspring, where a woman and a woman can't, and a man and a man can't. The basic ideology against homosexual marriage from religious people is not always a "lack of compassion" or a "fear of homosexuality". It is a fear of what it opens our society up to. If any two people have the right to be married, and the only test is a "promise" to be faithful to each other, what is the likelihood that eventually they will be seen as "excluding" other groups from marriage such as polygamists? Where are their rights? Why should their rights as religious peoples to hold their own beliefs be worth any less than the rights of homosexuals? For example, I know many religious people, orthodox Jews, and Catholics, and Christians, that believe that homosexuality is simply a person's "test". That we all have our weaknesses to fight, and that it is accepted that they are born that way genetically, and they are attracted to the opposite sex, but it doesn't mean that they have to act on it. I may be attracted to men other than my husband, but it is my duty to not act on it. While being homosexual isn't chosen, the act of having sex with a partner of the same sex is chosen, therefore it is controlled by free will. God gave you the free will to act or not act on your impulses and desires. That is what sets us apart from the rest of the "animal" kingdom. When we let our desires only govern us, we debase our true potential as humans. There are numerous pieces in the New Testament that speak of marriage as specifically between a man and woman, notably in the gospel of Matthew, as well as the well known wedding that Jesus visits in Cana. The Corinthians is where it is specifically stated that homosexuality offends God.

Not that any of this matters even to most religious people, who know darn well that the Bible was written by people and therefore is about as slanted as most of our history books, and that Genesis in particular was created as a group of moral stories that are awfully darned difficult to translate sometimes.

I know, I know, this is seen as an archaic view, twisted, and ridiculous now. The current numbers suggest that 3% of our population is homosexual. There are two distinct views on this, one is "Come on is 3% really going to affect marriage that much?" while the other is "Why are we changing a time honored institution of thousands of years for 3% of the public, all of which wouldn't even choose it if it were offered?".

On a separate note, please don't call Mary Magdalene a whore. Not in the bible does it suggest it, and not in any historical writings of her life. I have read more about her than I have about Jesus and while she was possessed or mentally ill, there is no proof that she was a prostitute, actually quite the contrary. It is an old wives tale made up to explain how a woman could be out tramping around the countryside with 12 men and still be privy to have a special place with Christ. She must of course have been a prostitute, and he cured her! We can't have a woman walking around with the apostles and Jesus otherwise and then make a good case for celibacy. Simple mind twisting of the Institution of the Catholic Church. I maintain a distinct difference between the institution and the religion, they are two different things. One is uplifting, the other stifling.

All that said, I have no problem with civil unions for homosexuals, which is fine with them, it's the homosexualists that would be whining about it not being equal if we didn't call it marriage. Shit, I didn't get married in a church, it would've been completely hypocritical, since I was not a practicing Catholic, not to mention that I was living with my spouse before marriage. Doesn't mean that I don't have regrets though, or that I'd want the same for my kids. But that's another argument for another time....

Re: Gay marriage

Can I marry my mother when she is old so she can share my health benefits? Government should have NOTHING to do with marriage whatsoever. It was a religious rite originally until government got in on the action - probably to increase revenues. If people want to live together, and share they're lives together - fine. If a company wants to give the spouse of someone that works for them benefits - fine. But government should not be involved.
Scott, my reason behind separating marriage from civil unions is this: children.

While I have no problem with your stance on marriage, mine is the same, I am also against a FMA which most conservatives support, I would argue a couple of your points.

I'll get to that later, but questions in the meantime:

Do you support the right for homosexuals to have children by artificial insemination?

Do you support the right for homosexuals to adopt children?

Do you believe that there are inherent diffences biologically between men and women that make an ideal family consist of a mother and a father when possible?


Tom?
About the EU: I want a front row seat for that train wreck. The failure of the EU will hopefully mark the end of socialism as a significant political force, as well as the end of the ridiculous American perception that the Europeans are somehow more sophisticated and intelligent, despite their abysmal modern track record. Europe is on it's way to being the largest 3rd world country in history, but there are millions of bozos in America that think we should follow their lead and let them make national security decisions for us.

You won't see this kind of news coming out of Europe any time soon.
My 2¢ on gay marriage: You cannot simultaneously call yourself a Christian and deny two people who love each other the right to form a civil union, and all that comes with it. While I understand that there is some sensitivity about using the actual word "marriage", due to religious beliefs as well as due to it's definition of being a union between a man and a woman, you're not hearing the gay community whining about definitions. All they want is the right to form a civil union (call it whatever you want) and receive the same legal benefits that a straight couple would. Denying gay couples the right to form a civil union is no different from denying black couples the same right. Those who would use the few Old Testament lines denouncing homosexual acts as the basis of their argument need to read the New Testament (you remember that, don't you) where Jesus pretty much spends his whole adult life talking about forgiveness and compassion. He also spends a considerable amount time in the company of a whore, but he didn't lobby to have her rights taken from her. I would also point out that nowhere in the U.S. Constitution does it say "when in doubt, check the Bible."

It all boils down to people who have an irrational fear of homosexuality, along with that time tested trait of humanity to not be comfortable unless they have someone or some group to blame for their troubles. Half the people losing their minds fighting gay marriage are cheating on their spouses for crying out loud. Straight people have done more to damage the institution of marriage than all the gay people in history could ever hope to.
Forget WMD's, here are 49 pages of reasons of why we went to Iraq...
RE: Post by Tom

Thank God that SOME liberated countries are young enough in their time since tyranny to remember life before liberation....
Maybe France didn't live for long enough under Hitler's rule to appreciate it in the same way that the "cold war" countries seem to....
This guy knows what is going on.
Here's an interesting article from Slate (I don't get to say that very often). Lots of people just don't like to get into the marriage debate, it's too touchy. But it brings up a lot of the points that I have discussed with various people lately. Tom, you said that government should be totally out of marriage, but we decided that it's pretty much too late for that. (BTW, we had a civil ceremony.) Ideally, in my opinion, a civil union constituting the same idea of what civil ceremonial marriage is right now should be the governmental model for their usage for any couple, regardless of their sexuality (taxes, estates, health care, etc.). Marriage itself should be a sacrament. If you want to undertake the sacrament, then you would have to (and do have to in many religions) do most of the things suggested in the Slate article; counseling beforehand, discussion of some of the larger things that would make most people quake in their shoes and think twice when they are ready for a "civil" ceremony, ie "are you ready to support this person if suddenly they start showing signs of mental illness"(-shit, never thought about that, thought we covered the big things, kids, religion, common values). I know that Pre-Cana in the Catholic Church for example, is very enlightening for a lot of people, and that after going through it, a priest may and often will suggest that certain couples need to go through more counseling, take more time in their relationship, or downright tell them that they can't see it working. The people involved often see that by then as well, but are hoping that love is enough to conquer any baggage that they bring with them, knowingly or not.

When it comes to marriage, friendship, loyalty, and most importantly, commitment are much more of a "marker" to measure longevity by. The question that too many people ask is "is longevity worthwhile if there is no happiness left?" In other words, should you stay in a difficult marriage (not abusive on either side) just because of some promise that you made? And to that I say, you do not understand the meaning of commitment. It isn't just staying when it sucks, it is commiting to work harder at the same time to make it better. And yes, it takes two people that both will commit to that to have a real marriage. So that when one is doing something that may undermine the marriage, the other can say, "can't you see how this could undermine our commitment in the long term?" Or in the ideal situation, the person doing the undermining will recognize it in themselves as a personal flaw and do something to take responsiblity for changing it (been there, done that). In other words, the only true love comes from proving it over time, and commitment is essential to it's growth in a marriage.

That's my opinion, I'm open to debate.....

Monday, November 24, 2003

Nice.