Gmarriage: Part 1, Government

November 24, 2008 at 4:13 pm (Politics, Religion) ()

With thanks to the folks at the Sex is Fun podcast for coining the word.

I’m going to handle this one as a multi-parter, mostly in the interest of trying to get some comments/interaction on the subject.

Gay Marriage.  It’s the highlight of political campaigns, for and against.  It’s the subject of protests and rallies – for, and against.  Personally, I support it wholeheartedly.  A lot of people I know in my state don’t – it’s one of those that approved the whole ‘one man, one woman’ line.

Let me be the first to say that anybody vandalizing the property of or threatening those who supported Prop 8 should go turn themselves in now.  So lemme wait while you do that, okay?

*twiddles thumbs, plays a couple rounds of Gemcraft*

Hmm… oh, ready?  Good.  Now, here we go.

Gay marriage… what’s the big deal?  There are religious arguments against it, I’ll grant you (and more on those later), but I live in the USA.  In this country, we’ve got this little document called the Constitution, and it demands a separation between church and state.  So your religious arguments fall apart right there.

What good reason is there – governmentally – to deny gay couples equal access to health care that straight couples can have?  What reason is there to make it harder for them to inherit?  Why can’t two guys or girls sign the same piece of paper that a guy and a girl can?  I have yet to hear one compelling argument against gay marriage from a non-religious standpoint.  So if you’ve got one, please post it – I’d love to hear it, and to open up the discussion.  The comments section is there for a reason.

Next week, the religious end of things….

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Religious Gaming

November 18, 2008 at 2:49 pm (Religion) (, )

With thanks to GamePolitics for first bringing this story up in a place I haunt….

So, a board game out there parodying religious violence.  With figures like Buddha wielding a chaingun.

And, of course, folks are getting all bent out of shape about it.

May I ask… why? 

I mean, c’mon people, learn to laugh a bit!  And even if we ignore the (to me, obvious) humorous potential here… maybe we should think a bit about the actual message in the game.

This game is not anti-religious.  It’s anti-zealot, if anything.  Throughout history, religion has done wonders for causing violence.  The ultimate irony, to my mind, is that the peaceful ones have often proven the most bloodthirsty (you want examples?  I’ve got ’em, but they’re rather obvious.)  This isn’t because of factors directly in the religion, but in the people who’ve warped them after their founders’ deaths.  And yet, most people perpetrating it believe fully that their god is on their side.

Really, the absurdity of pitting Buddha-with-a-chaingun against Cross-wielding Jesus pales in comparison to the fact that, historically, their FOLLOWERS have been duking it out for centuries.

Maybe you don’t like the fact that your god is being portrayed as violent in this game, as a destructive force.  Be that as it may, keep things in perspective. 

This is a game. 

A board game. 

If tiny plastic Jesus behaving violently shatters or damages your faith, you were probably already having more than a few issues with it of your own.

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Gah!

November 12, 2008 at 10:13 am (Politics) (, , , , , , )

This is ridiculous.

When the bailout was first suggested, the plan had been to use this money to purchase ‘toxic debt’ so that the government could wait until the inevitable recovery, sell it, make a profit, and help out the financial market.  Further, the government could then decide unilaterally to hold off on foreclosures, letting people keep their homes.  I explained bits of this in “The Blame Game.”

Instead, they started by using the funds to strong-arm the banks into accepting partial Government ownership.  Then, as seen in the first link, they decided that no, they wouldn’t go with the original plan.  They’d keep buying stock in the various banks, and maybe put the money into other industries that hadn’t originally been part of the plan.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m on the board of a small company that’s owned by a non-profit organization.  My parent-organization files for grants on a fairly regular basis.  If we had asked for grant money to build a local arts center, and instead used it to buy old masters for investment, we’d be hauled in on charges of fraud.

The only difference between that fraud and this one is that the taxpayer is forking over the grant money, not a single wealthy philanthropist.

Congress shouldn’t be worrying about whether or not to bail out the auto industry, they should be telling Paulson to give back their $700 billion dollars, give the banks back their stock, and either use the money for its original purpose or find a replacement who will while he’s on his way out the door.

But somehow, I doubt he will.  Because honestly, I think the current Congress (and the next one) are a little too fond of the idea of the government owning significant portions of the biggest banks out there.  This is why I didn’t have too big a problem with the original bailout plan – it relied on the free market, which works pretty well when Congress doesn’t screw around with it, to get us out of this.  Instead, the new version looks suspiciously like an attempt to get the Republicans to agree to nationalizing numerous industries.

And that’s not the *free* market system at work….

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Wonderful news from a blog!

November 9, 2008 at 12:25 pm (Particle Physics) (, , , )

http://outtheotherear.wordpress.com/2008/11/08/accidentally-curing-aids/

This is great news, if it worked!

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It’s over (I hope)

November 7, 2008 at 3:51 pm (Politics) (, , )

Well, the election was Tuesday.  Obama won (cue cheering from a lot of people).  McCain lost (cue tears from a lot of people).  The Democrats didn’t get enough seats in the Senate to be bulletproof, but with a President firmly on their side it’ll only mean they can’t totally override filibusters… I’d be a lot happier if we had at least two parties in control, but I’ll take it.

However, there is one thing that pissed me off during the election coverage.  At 8:00, CST, the WI polls closed.

By 8:05, CBS, CNN, and others were all declaring Wisconsin a win for Obama, with 70-80% of the votes.

Without a single district’s results.  They based it purely off the results of the exit polls.

For those paying attention, his actual margin was more like 51-48.  Ladies and gentlemen, can we please agree that exit polls are virtually meaningless?

Or, at the very least, PLEASE stop reporting their results as gospel until after the polls close?  Because reporting like this influences the results of the election.  People in California (and other states) hear the results from Georgia, and decide whether or not they should bother going to the polls on the basis of the east coast results.  Alaska and Hawaii have it even worse.

The press should be able to report the results, yes.  But they should have to report actual results, and they shouldn’t be reporting them while any of the polls are open.  I’m a firm believer in the freedom of the press – but I also believe they’ve got some responsibility for that freedom.

At any rate, it’s over with.  Now that the election is through, we can get into what I actually wanted to do with this blog from the start – more on issues, less on people.  So, anything that anybody wants to see discussed?  I’m leaning towards gay marriage, myself (considering Prop. 8), but I’m up for suggestions.

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