Well, at least there is still a little freedom left. Not much though. There is NO comparison between the amount of freedom we had pre-9/11 and the amount of freedom we have now.
I don't see persecution of religion where I live. Dubya was off-the-wall whacko (about 13 years ago) with that fundamentalist little book he made his entire White House staff read but I I don't see other religions persecuted. Would you care to share a few examples?
The thing I do see is a strong Christian identity in the armed forces of the US and the labeling of an enemy anywhere they fight as "barbarian". Even this does not seem to be the majority and the demonizing of the enemy is a normal human tendency. Kind of a thing that religions are supposed to educate about...
all the more remarkable because the majority was Scalia, Thomas, Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan: No, they can't search your house without a warrant after they've brought a drug-sniffing dog onto your front porch with no consent.
Truly lovely bit from Scalia:
"The police cannot, without a warrant based on probable cause, hang around on the lawn or in the side garden, trawling for evidence and perhaps peering into the windows of the home. And the officers here had all four of their feet and all four of their companion's, planted firmly on that curtilage — the front porch is the classic example of an area intimately associated with the life of the home."
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Court-Drug-dog-sniff-is-unconstitutional-search-4385197.php#ixzz2Og3WxGXP
In my humble and terribly unenlightened opinion, I think the only reason that gay marriage is such a "hot button" issue is that this country has forgotten the beliefs upon which is was founded. Perhaps it's because children aren't learning the same history lessons those of us among the "older" generation learned, but the religious persecution that's been going on for at least a decade now is the whole reason why the settlers left in the first place. I don't know the source of the misrepresentation of this country's history is coming from--though I have a few ideas where Scooby Doo & Co. should start looking--but it's a sad sight to see for someone who considers himself to be fairly well educated.
What probably doesn't help, either, is that it seems quite clear that no one--and I mean NO ONE--can grasp the concept of "Separation Between Church and State." The fact that we have politicians in Washington who believe the Constitution should reflect the laws of the Bible and are allowed to keep their jobs disgusts me. Another thing that disgusts me is how many of the churches on the Christian Right that are teaching their followers to hate everyone who isn't exactly like them. What ever happened to "Freedom of Religion"? You know, one of those other principles upon which this country was founded? Sure, I get that America was founded on Christian principles, but it was NOT founded as a Christian nation. I don't care what Fox "News" says.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that making same-sex marriage unConstitutional is, in itself, unConstitutional. It's not like the gay community is asking to be married in churches; all they want is the legal recognition the rest of us get. The only reason the Christian Right have their mullets in such a tizzy is because they refuse to see the other side of the argument. But what if their right to marry a member of the opposite sex was taken away? Is that REALLY what it takes for someone to empathize with their fellow man? And since when was denying another American citizen his/her rights Constitutional?
I raise the shades at dawn, light the incense and candles and meditate as flurries falling on the mountain pass my window. I am grateful for this day, not knowing if I will wake for another.
Tiger Woods just won Palmer's Bay Hill for the 8th time and the 77th victory of his career. He again ranked #1 in the world after winning 6 of his last 20 PGA tour starts.
Look for Tiger in a big way at the upcoming Masters in April.
The Supremes take up the issue this week. The score is 13-9 with states allowing gay marriage holding the lead. The 9 not allowing have passed constitutional amendments against. The Supremes are widely predicted to throw the issue back to the states because it has traditionally been a state's rights issue. The first governor of a state allowing gay marriage, Howard Dean of Vermont, was advised to wear a bullet-proof vest for a year.
While California passed and then repealed gay marriage in a ballot initiative the latest polling shows that 61% of Californians are in favor of gay marriage. So how did the initiative pass? One issue voters, religious zealots and other factors. Also, the 61% poll may be somewhat off or flawed. But to cut to the quick, there is a 20% upward swing in votes from a mid-term election to a presidential election year. Those extra people that come out and vote (or as the Republicans would say "get pulled out of their apartments") are less hardcore and more enlightened.
California is also a bit unique in that it has islands of liberal to radicalism among a sea of conservatism. But what kind of conservatism? Noam Chomsky argues in the magazine Zee this month that there are large bastions of libertarianism and libertarians are overwhelmingly in favor of freedom of choice. That may explain why Californian's unique brand of conservatism among islands of liberalism comprise an actual majority of over 60% that will win the day.
I understand why some people are against gay marriage, but I am not one of them. I believe all people have the right to be happy and part of that happiness, for some, is a formal long-term commitment. On the other hand I don't believe taxpayers need to pay for four separate bath-rooms in NH high schools - one for men, one for women and two for transgendered male and females. That is ridiculous, but it is happening.
Parkas, I am a huge Bill Maher fan, but since I've only been able to receive broadcast transmissions from an antenna for the last 5 years, I would like to think that good ole Bill shot me a vibe that I just happened to hop on to the other night. Thanks for the ear-to-ear grin.
Anna, as long as the Republican party remains a grain of sand in the eye, so to speak, please feel free to let the equine flogging continue; it's alive and kicking. Only the deaf and the blind need not comment (the ideal Repub. party voter). Love the "crop circles" observation. lol
God bless Dead.net and all who inhabit here!
Thanks for making those points. Some times I think I'm beating a dead horse in this thread making the same observations but I know most of the Deadhead baby-boomers are of like opinion. A Republican showing empathy to LGBTers (which includes even being seen talking to Gay Congressperson Barney Frank) is sure not to last long. Empathy and compassion are hard to come by when one of your main allies is the Christian right. The money for re-election dries up or somebody, well-financed, cuts you down in the party primary. Humans are slow to show empathy and compassion when their own continued source of wealth is concerned.
I realized that the sons and daughters of Congresspersons were getting a free pass when I was an activist at Brown University in the early 70s and met a guy who earned his BA in a liberal arts major after matriculating from 66-74 at the least rigorous Ivy school in the club. Then he took a cushy job in the family company and lived happily ever after. On a side-note, Jerry already served in the service and the rest of the boys got high draft numbers, virtually assuring none of them would be called to service.
Parkas has some good points also. I don't think another knuckle-dragger will be elected for the next 50 years except from a "red" state. There are so many knuckle-dragging tracks in Kansas, around the Wichita world-wide headquarters of the Koch Brothers, that their recent tracks have been mistaken for crop circles!
Many of us remember the surpluses of the dotcom bubble years. They were built not on Clinton's smarts but on another financial gimmick that eventually crashed and burned (It's not about making money, it's about getting to the IPO quickly and raking in investor money). Still, the Federal Treasury could boast a year-to-year surplus. That was quickly blown away by Dubya and his tax cuts and dishonest book-keeping when it came to financing the Iraq and Afghan wars. I won't even mention the rest of Dubya's screw-ups. Besides the obvious burst of the housing bubble there was his next to the last act as President: Bailing out the auto industry. This after proclaiming like a mantra that government is bad and shouldn't effect the free market as the hallowed creed of the GOP party for the last 33 years, at least.
Dubya was the ultimate example of how irresponsible and vindictive and menacing his fellow ideologues were (as a neo-con he was the Goldwater radical right of his party) Thanks, Parkas, for reminding us. We should be reminded on a regular basis so as not to repeat the mistake of electing another GOP president, ever.
Do I detect the presence of a fellow "Real Time with Bill Maher" fan? Because he said much the same about Republican Congress(wo)men on a recent episode, and it's, sadly, very telling of the type of people running the show in Washington, D.C.. What saddens me is the utter lack of empathy the Republican party seems to have for...well, all of us that aren't part of their individual families. United we stand? I don't think so, at least not in this country. Not anymore.
I have to say, a very, very small part of me hopes the Republicans win the next Presidential election, and I'll tell you why: A) No one whines quite like a Republican, and I am SO SICK of hearing them whine; and B) I think the knuckle-dragging morons of this country need to be reminded what happens around here when a fellow knuckle-dragger is sitting in the control booth. No one finds it pertinent to recall that the greatest economic surplus was turned into the second greatest deficit this country has EVER SEEN, and all in less than 8 years. It's no wonder that, when the media talks about the economy, they fail to mention not only Bush II but Clinton as well.
Several years ago, I said that I could see another Civil War on the horizon, and I feel more and more that I just might be right as the days drag on and on. I mean, c'mon, I'm only 32, and I can remember when anybody could talk politics and not want to immediately stab the other person in the face simply by citing their party affiliation.
AAAAAAAAARGH...I FEEL LIKE I'M TAKING CRAZY PILLS!!!!!