Thursday, August 11, 2005

QUESTION EVERYTHING: KATE'S TAKE ON FASCISM AND THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION

Editor's note The following post comes from our good friend, Katie, who writes for our sister blog, LeftWingRising. The following essay is a sequel to our recent post about historical revision, World War II and the nature of fascism and communism. My coauthors, Brandon and Kyle, found her remarks both enlightening and informative, and we trust that our readers will too.

Advocate 1 (AKA Jeffrey)


QUESTION EVERYTHING: KATE'S TAKE ON FASCISM AND THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION

By Katie from LeftWingRising

It's always an interesting (aka hitting one's head repeatedly against a brick wall) discussion when the far right claims that Nazis and facism are leftist ideals. Socialism, at least, has smatterings of left leanings (well, perhaps not Hitler's kind), of course, but to assert that fascism has anything to do with the left at all is ludicrous. Hitler made it well-known that he had no use for communism or socialism. Let's all remember that communism and fascism are mutually exclusive. A totalitarian dictatorship doesn't work so well if it's a collective.

Interesting that you mention not recognizing Hitler as a threat to the U.S. President Bush called Saddam Hussein an "imminent threat" to our country...and yet, Hussein did not have political interests outside Iraq. He did not control the Middle East like Hitler controlled Europe. He didn't even seem to have any weapons with which to fight. How, then, is this a threat? Oh, it must be that famous Bush logic: of COURSE you can fight a war without allies, other political interests or weapons. Sometimes, I have to wonder if our commander-in-chief honestly believes that "God makes all the bad men go away." It does seem to be the base of all the foreign policy we've seen in the last five years. Hell, it seems to be the base of any policy we've seen in the past five years. There are some stunning historical parallels between Hitler and our own little Georgie and yet, nothing is being done. Have the free-thinking people of this nation really given up to the Insanity Party (aka any sort of radical right-wing anything)? My history teachers always taught me that the reason Hitler was so effective--and therefore so dangerous--was that for the most part, he came to power through the proper political means. He staged no coups and overthrew no governments. He was elected. George Bush was elected at least once. He seems to move further and further to the right with every passing day. In fact, he's moving so far right, he just might end up in Germany soon. Truly, has no one noticed the echoes of a supremely treacherous government? All the promised (and yet-to-be-delivered) economic reforms? The emphasis on military strength? Less and less tolerance for individuality and beliefs other than the leader's? The founding of policies based on one man's opinion of religion (Hitler's being a backlash against, Bush's being ultimate faith in)? The xenophobic tendencies of a nationalist obsession? Need I go on?

I'm fairly certain I don't need to point out eerie and ominious similarities to the members here. What about the common public? Thomas Paine incited a revolution with one pamphlet...why aren't we trying harder when one tactic fails? Why are we letting anyone bulldoze our lives with ideas of, "My vote doesn't count" (well, that's a bad example...sometimes, as Florida has shown us, it doesn't) and "I only have one vote." There are close to 300 million people in this country. I'm willing to bet at least half of that are voting-age. 150 million people. If we can gauge a vote by public opinion, it seems like an overwhelming majority are not in support of right-wing ideals. Let's say that 3/5 of that would vote for a more liberal candidate, ideology, whatever they're voting for. 3/5 is 90 million people. That's 90 million votes, or 60% of the estimated total voting population. Last time I checked, 60% wins an election. A whopping 9% (8.1 million) of those votes could be declared useless and the liberal candidate would still win. That's roughly the population of New York City. One city has the power to change an entire election. And yet...

Nothing happens. We've still got Adolf Jr. in office. Why? Because of mindless propaganda like "Fascism and socialism are leftist ideals." Remember all those propaganda posters from WWII? Sometimes, I feel like I'm going to wake up some morning and see a big sign that says "Don't get involved, it's bad for your health!" There are obvious and blatant commonalities between Hitler's regime and Bush's regime. Doesn't that tell us something about which side of the political spectrum they reside? Though it's rather like preaching to the choir at this point, I leave you all with two words:

Question everything.

20 comments:

Brandon said...

Well done Katie! A fine follow up and an independent post in its own right.

halcyon67 said...

Very well done! I don't know if can question everything anymore. Considering that we don't know if what we are questioning actually exists. For instance, Plame...Every single fact has been lost in this maelstrom of misinformation. I am surprised to still see that we are able to find out who are representatives are and how many people died in Iraq.

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

Blah blah blah. "Bush is Hitler." What's the matter? Get tired of "Slavery is freedom," and "Lies are truth?" The dystopian nightmare in Orwell's 1984 has nothing on you. Are there significant problems with Bush's foreign and domestic policies? Yes. Is he calling for the extermination of entire peoples? Please, if you have evidence of this, cite it. Otherwise, you're just prattling on like yet another sheep. This post and the responses above merely serve as proof of my long-held dictum that incest is as harmful to intellectual discourse as it is to other forms of human interaction. Attack positions all you want, but before you compare a sitting president to one of the vilest men to ever live, do something novel: Try actually reading books on history. Learn about that which you speak. Then get back to me, because frankly, you bore me.

P.S. Despite whatever impressions this comment may falsely create, rest assured that I'm no friend of the right either.

Daniel Gallagher said...

RE "Attack positions all you want, but before you compare a sitting president to one of the vilest men to ever live, do something novel: Try actually reading books on history. Learn about that which you speak. Then get back to me, because frankly, you bore me."

Before I say anything else, I want to agree with you on your point about Bush and Hitler. There are definite differences between them. Hitler actually rose to power without the help of a wealthy mommy and daddy. Hitler served with honor in (and was decorated for) his military service in World War I. Hitler actually wrote a book, although we have it on good authority that Bush is actually trying to read one.

Kidding aside, I think the problem you're having here stems from the fact that some of our team members are degreed people who have shifted from the right side of the spectrum to the left--in some cases, rather dramatically. You know what they say about people who change religious or political beliefs; about a convert being the most outspoken and supportive of a newly embraced belief system...

I came from a strong, Southern Baptist background in central/southern Illinois. (Try being BOTH a Young Republican AND a young, gay male in GOP Southern Illinois. It's a "unique" experience to say the least! Brandon considers himself a former Republican and a recovering Catholic (the guy was a "Young Republican" for Chrissakes). Advocate 1 (Jeff) was a Nixon-Ford-Reagen Republican until he changed stripes in the 1980s. Our "Uncle Abe" has been all over the map with his political beliefs. In fact we're STILL not too sure about where he stands on a lot of issues, but he's a fun guy to have around. Trevor (Enlightenment) came from an almost reactionary Prebyterian background, but became an atheist and a Liberal Democrat turned Green. The rest of us are young liberals or Greens. I guess the point that I'm trying to make here is that we have never disguised the fact that this is a partisan blog. We openly admit this. The title of the blog itself should say it all: THE COLAITION FOR A REPUBLICAN-FREE AMERICA, emphasis on the hyphenated Republican-Free. We have never concealed the fact that we are liberals. I'm really a little surprised by the fact that you seem to be surprised by the nature of what we do here. You seem to be a highly intelligent, even independent individual. I can't believe you didn't understand this.

By the way, I think you should know that we have been looking at your site. We don't always like what we read there, but we don't always hate it either. So I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree on certain issues.

Regarding your comment about reading books. You probably didn't intend to do this, but you created a few, unintential laughs over here. Katie, the young woman who wrote the post that we're responding to, works as a LIBRARIAN! No, you aren't seeing things, a LIBRARIAN! The person who introduced her is a fomrer journalist who volunteers at the SAME LIBRARY where Katie works! Moreover, most of us have extensive book collections. Enlightenment (Trevor) quite literally has a private library of history, theology, and sicence books which fills two rooms in his 1887 Victorian house! (Think 11 foot high ceilings with nearly ceiling high shelvbing unitis.) Advocate 1 has a somewhat smaller library (only one room with 9 foot ceilings) which includes works about history, journalism, philosopohy, science, and religion; not to mention a HUGE collection of classical music. And since Brandon is Enlightenment's son and Advocate's best bud/border, he has access to the extensive, well-read collections that I just mentioned. Of course, that might have something to do with the fact that Brandon was a political science/history major in college, but who am I to say? I'm just a lowly nurse who does his meager best to alleviate suffering and to save lives on an every day basis. I just haven't had the time to obatin the degrees and expertise than my team members have.

In closing I would like to offer a tested and proven home remedy for your obvious case of Low Adrenalin Syndrome. If we bore you, don't torture yourself. We all tend to be rather libertarian when it comes to literature and communications. So we shall tell you what we tell the would be censors on both the left and the right. If you don't like the TV program turn off the TV or change the channel. if you don't like the magazine don't read it. And if you're bored by what we're doing here don't torture yourself. Don't google us. Or, as they might say in Hollwood: "Don't call us. We'll call you."

Have a nice day, Sweetums

Daniel

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

Ah, so you're a bunch of people who, in this instance at least, may have read quite a bit but comprehended little. That's interesting. Forgive me for my mistaken impression that, your name aside, you preferred critical thought over propaganda. As for me, I'm an independent, with some strong libertarian and nonconformist tendencies. If it can be said that I have an ideology, it's that solutions actually fix the problems and that those solutions comply with the laws and Constitution of the land and that, for the most part, fewer laws are better.

Kate said...

Quote: "If it can be said that I have an ideology, it's that solutions actually fix the problems and that those solutions comply with the laws and Constitution of the land..."

I think we can all agree that's the way the world should work. Does it? No. Why? Because we live in reality, a fabulously grey area where absolutes are few and far between, if they exist at all.

The problem with saying solutions must comply with the Constitution is that, no matter if you agree with it or not, there are various ways to interpret any kind of written work. One person may view a solution as being compliant and another will say exactly the opposite. Even something as seemingly simple as trying to make a federal law can step on a lot of toes and naturally, you can't please everyone. It would be lovely if, one day, that kind of America is a reality but I'm not getting my hopes up any time soon. The politics of this country have been so polluted (by ANY side) that it would take more than an overhaul to get back on the right path.

As for history, remember this: the winners write it, not the losers. It's already biased.

In regard to my comprehension level: I took both the ACT and the SAT when I was applying to colleges. I got a 35/36 on the ACT's reading comprehension section and I got a 710/800 on the verbal section of the SATs. Care to make any more snide comments about my English abilities?

Yeah. I didn't think so, either.

Policy Hawk said...

Question Everything should include your Bush=Hitler paradigm. Ick.

Daniel Gallagher said...

RE "Ah, so you're a bunch of people who, in this instance at least, may have read quite a bit but comprehended little. That's interesting. Forgive me for my mistaken impression that, your name aside, you preferred critical thought over propaganda"

Only if you'll forgive us for assuming that you knew what you were taking about.

Libertarians fall into two basic categories:

1. Right wingers who don't wanty to admit that they are right wingers and who hide behind the libertarian cloak. Note that the Libertarian party is an offshpott of the Republican Party--a fact that some Libertarians don't alwayts want to admit.

2. Professional malcontents who don't have the back bone to be full blown anarchists but who use the Constituion and the Libertarian Label as a fronts to justify their paranoia about everything and everything.

From an practical point of view Libertarianism is long on consistant rhetoric but short on practical solutions. I, for one, am glad that we do NOT live under the provisions of the Constitution as it existed in 1787. I kind of like the fact that women can vote; I'm glad that we have a direct election of Senators. I'm not at all unhappy about the idea that blacks are no longer counted as 3/5 citizens and that slavery has been condemned.

Which raises an interesting question chaos--and I really don't mean this to sound sarcastic. Would you still be a Liobertarian if in four or five years a political faction came to power, along with a large enough majority, which amended the Constitution to embrace everything you find repressive? I realize that might be stretching it a little bit, but you should realize that it is a possibility. Would your love of the constitution be so fervent if it were amended into a document of tyranny? Or would you just say, "hey, the new Amendments say we don't have any rights, I gotta go along with the Constitution?"

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

So, Kate, you test well. So what? What practical difference does 3-4 points on the ACT's mean? A lesson it took me a while to learn, probably because I'm quite stubborn, is that experience is far better than theory. You're excellent at theory, but it seems you lack the experience to see how that theory meshes with reality. You also seem to lack the ability to understand the full importance of your words. That too comes with age. Also, you seem to lack perspective. Many times, wisdom also comes with age. For your sake, I hope so, because you certainly need it.

Daniel, I'm neither. I'm merely an amateur malcontent, and not a particularly devoted one at that. I'm actually a professional cynic. I support the Constitution as it is currently written and amended, and feel that any areas not specifically granted to the national government are better left to the several states. I agree with the many legal minds, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg and others, who feel that Roe v. Wade was poorly-reasoned. I further disagree with Nancy Pelosi that the recent Kelo decision would require a Constitutional amendment to resolve to the satisfaction of a large chunk of the American people, though I believe the decision itself was a significant error.

I've examined several political parties and have yet to find one that is a comfortable fit, including the Libertarians in their current form, though I've found more than a couple of parties that are particularly poor fits. As such, I'm stuck with a second and probably healthier option: Choosing individual candidates on the issues. As a result, I've voted for some Republicans, some Democrats, and some Libertarians. As far as the rest, I've already posted several of my opinions on my site in the past and feel no need to repeat myself at this time.

What I would like to see is that the Constitution actually be amended before it's altered in practical terms. That's a bit of a novel idea. It's only occurred 27 times in the last 2 centuries or so. With few exceptions, none have matched the importance of the first 10 amendments, and one was a horrible mistake that took several years to correct. In short, I support change, but only reasoned change driven not by whatever whims may come to pass; but rather, to address specific concerns. There was a reason that, while the possibility of change in the Constitution was built into it, the mechanism for such was made difficult. That reasoning is sound. Would I support the Constitution if it were to become an object of tyranny? No, and I would work to ensure the failure of those proposed amendments.

Kate, history is not only written by the victors. History is also written by the victims, and it is for that reason that your choice to equate Bush with Hitler is nothing less than reprehensible. As a result, I have responded in kind.

Kate said...

It's true that I'm young. I won't deny it. As a consequence of my youth, I perhaps don't possess the wisdom of a well-experienced septagenarian. Then again, youth itself shouldn't be considered a consequence, either. I'm sure we've all heard some version of the story about the semi that was stuck in the tunnel and for hours and hours, the most brilliant engineers, mathemeticians and the like could not find a solution to the problem. A nine-year-old girl offered a simple fix: let the air out of the tires. The point of this story being, of course, that youth has its value as well. I know I don't have the wisdom that comes with age and experience but don't fall into the trap that so many older generations have in thinking that because I'm young, I'm also blind and stupid. Sometimes, issues are far less complex than those older and wiser would like to admit.

I know the full impact of my words. In fact, I choose them carefully, so if it seems as though I don't know what I'm talking about, know that I put every single one of them there for a reason. Of course, I'm far from perfect but for the most part, if it's there, it's there on purpose. I take language incredibly seriously and I'm not about to toss it around carelessly.

I don't compare Adolf Hitler to George Bush because I think Bush is capable of the kind of atrocities Hitler committed. I compare them because, politically speaking, there are striking parallels between the two and to ignore those parallels is ignorant. It's more to point out that this country is moving in a certain political direction I'm not comfortable with. Do I think Bush is going to incite mass genocide and the slaughter of millions of innocent people? Of course not. At the same time, I'm sure the president feels less pressure to keep the American public happy. After all, he can't run for president again, so he has no re-elections to worry about. I'm worried he feels he can go unchecked because of this. Whatever his political position at this point, the President of the United States is still answerable to the American people. And when those people don't like what their leader is doing, it is not Bush's job to say, "Too bad, I'm doing it anyway, I don't care what you think." There is a time and a place for that but I would hope he'd recognize it needing to be the most dire of circumstances.

Victims write very little of history. Perhaps more now, simply because of the times we live in. But for the most part, centuries upon centuries have gone misrepresented and who are we to know? I can't say I was around to tell the true story of the Roman Empire. Look at the epic poem of Beowulf. Originally, all its mythology was Norse but after the Christians came to power, the story was edited and now includes only Christian references. In fact, to use another Hitler example: history paints him as one of the most vile humans in existence and rightly so. But I'm willing to bet that during his time, those who supported him would have considered Adolf a great hero and if the Axis had won the war, a great deal more would have been forced to concur. But, the Allies won, and so he is remembered for his unforgivable acts. I can go more recently than that, even, and make it personal. During WWII, there were horrible Japanese internment camps, most on American soil. Yet, I did not learn about these until I was halfway through high school. Why? Because they're a black mark on my country's history, one I'm sure they'd much rather be swept under the rug. Nearly everyone can tell you the evils of the Holocaust but I wonder how many can state the main idea of the Monroe Doctrine. And one last shining example: a friend of mine and I were having a discussion about the Native American plight. She studied for a semester in Spain and one of her friends there had said at one point, "It's really wonderful what the American government did for the Native Americans, giving them their own land and everything." Bearing in mind, of course, that "their own land" refers to the reservations. As I said, the winners write history, not the losers. Victims have their own say as a piece of the puzzle but the main outline goes to the winners.

Mainly, my point is that I said what I did for a reason and I stand behind it. Don't underestimate me because I happen to be at the younger end of the age spectrum. While there is value in letting age and experience teach us, youth has its own lessons to offer, as well.

Abraham said...

RE KATE, MANDELBROT, and DANIEL

I want to thank all three of you for the past three comments. Well done on both your parts. Despite all the bitching and crossfiring that can take place on these blogs, they can evolve into something quite interesting and stiumulating. Keep up the good work. I look forward to future exchanges.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Is he calling for the extermination of entire peoples? Please, if you have evidence of this, cite it.
^^Um, Bush isn't, his followers are. Those people would be Christians, and they are trying to eradicate everyone who does not agree with them, and don't forget gays. Most of the anti-gay groups are conservative and reside in states that favor Bush immensely. It is quite possible that you can carry on a civil conversation without insulting someone?

--Steve

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

Steve, please note that not all Christians are alike, and that, as with any other faith, there's a very wide spectrum of political beliefs within that huge category. With a billion or so adherents to the various sects, a uniformity of belief on even simple issues would be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. I say this not as a Christian, but as an ex-evangelical Christian, though truth be told, even before I lost my faith, I hadn't been devout for years. Just as Christian groups were at the forefront of the abolitionist and Civil Rights movements, there are still Christian groups involved with gay rights, though a far smaller percentage than existed in the first two instances. This may be a result of there being a smaller percentage of devout Christians in the general population as compared with one to eight generations ago. I know a gay Christian man, nice guy by the way, and a devout Pentecostal woman (very conservative evangelical) who is also his friend. She's one of the kindest souls I know, and has an amazing sense of humor. So it isn't just Christians, or just evangelical Christians. It's assholes who defile their faith with their hatred.

Dennis, your argument seems to be that, since, according to one of the sites you mentioned, hate crimes against gays, lesbians, and transgender individuals has risen 10% since Bush was elected to our nation's highest office, that he must be the reason this has occurred. I am quite interested in reading how you arrived at this conclusion, given Bush's stance on all crime and the prosecution thereof, especially violent crime.

Daniel Gallagher said...

RE " It's assholes who defile their faith with their hatred."

WELL SAID


Like I said before, I was brought up in Springfield, Illinois and Atlanta, Georgia. My adoptive parents were VERY conservative southern baptists, and there had been a time when I was rather conservative myself. I suspect that part of my deconversion had something to do with the fact that I was trying to uphold my conservative religious beliefs while my religious leaders--who had no idea I was gay--were telling me that gays were biological mistakes, possessed, devils, sinners, perverts. When I was 17 or 18 our local pastor actually read a sermon in which he harped on the fact that homosexuality was a death penalty offense in the Old Testament. I guess you might say that it was a little hard to reconcile the religion part with the gay part. I tried, but then I read the Bible from cover to cover without a pastor putting a spin on it. What I found was horrifying. Contradiction after contradiction; murder, war, mahem in the name of God. In the end it just made more sense to drop religion all together and become an atheist.
Although, I don't think of it as losing my faith. I think of it as finding free thought.

Daniel Gallagher said...

RE "...given Bush's stance on all crime and the prosecution thereof, especially violent crime."

I wish it were that simple. The fact that Bush condemns violent crime is actually a good thing. But by the same token, he (Bush) has seldom used the Presidency as a bully pulpit to condemn violence against gays. I speak with a certain degree of expertise in this matter since I was attacked in 2003 by a group of thugs who informed me that Jesus hates fags. (Note that I do not refer to this as a hate crime. As a matter of practicality I don't care what my attackers were thinking. The fact that they landed me in the fucking hopsital with cracked ribs and internal injuries isn't changed in the least by calling it a hate crime. Violent offenders should just be dealt with, regardless as to what they were thinking, but I'm probably in a minority on the left in this regard.) But I have digressed. Bush was at his best after 911 when he implored us not to hate Muslims and then it all faded away. Instead he has cozied up to the religious right by suppporting a Constitutional Amendment against gay marriage which only encourages the violent nutcakes on the lunatic fringe to think "HOT DAMN! HE'S WITH US!" In other words, the moderately anti-gay rhetoric (and sometimes not so moderately gay rhetoric) the religious right does encourage the extremists to become more bold (read violent) in its behavior.

Whether that's because of Bush or because of the extreme elements within the "Christian" Right is something we can debate forever and never truly resolve, but it does seem interesting that the violent backlash against gays is taking place during a conservative period when we're seeing an increase in the number of fundamentalists and evangelicals. But like you said, those people are assholes. They'd probably be assholes no matter what religion they were. I'd just like to see more people of good conscience (such as yourself) on the right offering profound and frequent condemnations of violence against gays instead of these Justice Sundays when the rhetoric sounds as if it were written by Julius Streicher. .

This isn't all that difficult. I talked to some of my older team mates here and they told me that Ross Perot, during the 1992 Presidential debate said something to the effect "If you hate I don't want your vote." That kind of moral courage seems to be in short supply today.



On a side note. You may or may not believe this, but you actually have more in common with some of the members on this blog than you may realize.

KATIE says question everything. You are a self-described cynic.

TREVOR (Enlightenment) was an ordained minister before he became an atheist.

ABRAHAM does a slightly different take on what you do--he votes for the person but he "changes political parties more often than most people change socks."

Most of us are civil libertarians, and you even have a few members here, who are into home schooling, though not for reasons you might suspect.

I guess what I'm saying here is that we'll just have to disagree when we disagree and agree when we agree and let the chips fall where they may. And we'll have a blast in the process.

Ciao

Daniel

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

One argument I haven't heard all that much from those who, like myself, support full rights for gay, lesbians, and transgender individuals is one that is, ironically enough, partially derived from the Bible, specifically, Matthew 7:3-5 or Luke 6:42. I'll go with the latter because, frankly, I'm feeling lazy. "Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye." To wit, the question is how can gay marriage be considered a significant threat to "traditional marriage" by reasoning individuals when the far greater threats of marital infidelity and divorce affect a huge percentage of the married populace. I know one conservative Christian woman who has ranted on this topic and is currently, I believe, on her fourth marriage. Bah indeed.

I do apologize. I tire so much of the comparisons of Bush to Hitler that sometimes, I come out sounding like an angry, though coherent, redneck. As far as the status of my faith, I lost my faith in Christianity but am unwilling or unable to take that to the step of becoming an atheist, so I'm an agnostic with some Confucian leanings.

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

And for clarity, the conservative Christian woman to whom I referred was arguing against gay marriage. I honestly don't care what it ends up being called, as long as same-sex spousal equivalents have the same full rights as a married couple, including the right to adopt provided they meet the same standards required of a straight couple.

Daniel Gallagher said...

Actually, I have made that argument in the past. Not so much on this particular blog but in private convesations with friends. A lot of people find it to be a reasonable response. Others, however....With the others it usually boils down to the same response. "You're just taking those quotes out of context." How do you argue with that? After awhile you feel like you're talking to a brick wall. For the record, I happen to agree with your take on gay marriage. I too know a number of conservative Christians who talk about the sanctity of marriage but who are on their third, fourth, and one case, fourth marriage with a girl friend on the side.

At the time that the gay marriage issue was brewing in the courts and headlines a number of cartoonists and satirists made comments about why gays would want to be burdened with marriage. I found that to be a rather odd stand to take because there are MANY gays out there--myself included--who really want a permanent relationship--a certain degree of security coupled with a family life etc. Thank you for your reasoned approach on the matter.

I would also suggest another approach on the matter which I am sure you are already familiar. Bascially all marriages, to a certain degree, are a matter of contract law. It might be argued that in not allowing gays and transgendered indvividuals to enter into such contracts that you would in fact be discriminating against gay and transgender individuals. I won't bother to go into details. Instead I shall just assume that you understand said details.


Ironically, in some ways the Christian Right actually has it correct when it comes to marriage. Not so much in denying gays the right to marry, but regarding the public service or social/psychological functions that it provides. I do believe that it provides stability for couples and children; and it probably provides a certain degree of protection against sexually transmitted diseases as long as both parties are loyal to the marriage bed. Which by the way is what I eventually hope to find. Marriage, family, and stability with a partner of choice. In many ways the fundamentalist argument against gay marriage seems self-contradictory. On the one hand they argue that gays are too promiscuous, and that we represent a public health threat, or that we're diseased ad infinitum. They also argue that marriage is a good thing, that it provides protection against the above-mentioned ills. Until gays want the right to marry and acquire the same protections Then it's almost as if marriage is a terrible plague while a virus is an acceptable occurance by which the gay community--males at least--can be eradicated by the "will of God." I am of course refering to the AIDS epidemic, which on a global basis is not at all a homosexual epidemic. Go figure.

On another front, please don't feel that you come off sounding like any kind of redneck. We all tend to say things when we feel frustrated. You do, I do my team mates do. WE ALL DO. I've been talking to a number of my colleagues and you are actually respected around here; highly so. Believe it or not we're not the hot-headed bunch that we were when Brandon started this blog back in...when? November? December? Oh well. We actually enjoy hearing a variety of view points, although there are times when we get a little tired of the flame throwing on both the left and on the right, and even from the middle.

Interesting that you refer to yourself as an agnostic with glimmers of Confuscious. ave you met the founder of this blog? Brandon is a recovering Catholic who consdiers himself a secular Buddhist. This getting a LIT-TLE scary.

Have a good one. I have to be off now. I promised a friend that I would send her my recipe for home made maple-pecan ice cream and then I have to get to work.

Ciao

Daniel

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

By "redneck", I tend to agree more with the Jeff Foxworthy comic definition than the better-known definition with its negative connotations. Sometimes, I'm guilty of a glorious lack of sophistication which has made for some hilarious stories I'm too embarrassed to say here. When I say "I", it sounds more like a cross between "ah" and the long-i. I've had deer meat, though not recently enough; hogshead cheese; and love several foods that sound as though they belong on Fear Factor. In short, I'm a proud son of the South who loves my region so much I'm willing to be honest about what needs to change to make it better, and I don't care if the proponent is a Republican or a Democrat, as long as it gets done.

Daniel Gallagher said...

My family bounced back and forth between Springhfield, Illinois, Southern Illinois, and Atlanta Georgia. I'm not sure what kind of an accent I speak with. I more or less northernized my accent when I moved up to Chicago, and now I'm just letting it show again. Come to think of it we have a lot of accents here. Brandon and Trevor--VERY heavy Brooklyn (New York) accents. My half brother Kyle has an Indiana twang, and then there are these Wisconsin accents. (shhhhhh--don';t tell anyone, they think WE'RE the ones who have the accents.) Oddly enough, I've found more homophobia here in Southeastern Wisconsin than I ever found in the South or in Central-SOuthern Illinois. Of course that could be just personal experience.

Ciao Daniel

Maybe you should consider wiriting a SOuthern cookbook!

Daniel