SORRY! I have been incredibly busy. BUT. As my Bri 2.0 project is over (it's been over since August... oops) I'll resume political blogging on my main website because it just makes more sense to have everything together. Thanks for understanding :)
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I'm sure by now everyone has heard about Prop 8 being ruled unconstitutional in California. Judge Vaughan Walker ruled that "the freedom to marry is a fundamental right protected under the due process clause...Never has the state inquired into procreative capacity or intent before issuing a marriage license; indeed, a marriage license is more than a license to have procreative sexual intercourse...
"The evidence shows that the movement of marriage away from a gendered institution and toward an institution free from state-mandated gender roles reflects an evolution in the understanding of gender rather than a change in marriage. The evidence did not show any historical purpose for excluding same-sex couples from marriage, as states have never required spouses to have an ability or willingness to procreate in order to marry...
"Plaintiffs do not seek recognition of a new right. To characterize plaintiffs’ objective as “the right to same-sex marriage” would suggest that plaintiffs seek something different from what opposite-sex couples across the state enjoy —— namely, marriage. Rather, plaintiffs ask California to recognize their relationships for what they are: marriages."
BAM! GO JUDGE WALKER!
I think that these sentiments should demonstrate why we should just stop arguing already. Seriously. Gay people are people, straight people are also people. So why can't every person get married? It's ridiculous.
I don't care what your religion says. I really don't. You know why? It's not because I'm a heathen, and it's not because I don't respect your beliefs. It's because it doesn't matter.
I'm not saying it doesn't matter to you, or the people who belong to your church, or whatever. I'm saying it doesn't matter in the realm of law. Your religion, while it may bring you great comfort, has no place in politics. I'm sorry that your religion doesn't like gay people. I truly am. But please, don't use that against us.
What if my religion said that eating the flesh of animals is immoral, and I started lobbying to shut down every single meat production entity in the country? What if I spent millions of dollars campaigning and screaming that people who eat meat are all going to hell and should not be allowed to have rights under the law?
You would think I was crazy and lock me up.
Why is it so difficult to understand that
A. Homosexuality is not only a biological phenomenon, it also occurs in nature, and
B. We live in a country that grants freedom of religion, thus in turn meaning that we live in a country where your religious beliefs mean nothing in a court of law when your religious beliefs aim at taking away rights from other people on the grounds of they are your religious beliefs.
The thing about the Prop 8 trial is that only an idiot would have ruled in another direction. Seriously, other than the religious arguments, what else do the opponents of this issue have? Right. Nothing.
I can't believe that our so-called "advanced society" hasn't yet realized that we're acting like stubborn children.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
I know that I'm a bit late for this bandwagon, but I haven't whined about politics in a while. Even though school is over and this is no longer an assignment, I hope to update this lovely blog offshoot from time to time. Who knows, maybe I'll integrate it better with my actual website eventually!
Back to my intended rant topic however, I want to talk about Arizona's fun new immigration law. I was bored enough today to download the full, 19 page text of the law, and here are some especially fun bits that I found.
"FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY OF A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE, WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON, EXCEPT IF THE DETERMINATION MAY HINDER OR OBSTRUCT AN INVESTIGATION. ANY PERSON WHO IS ARRESTED SHALL HAVE THE PERSON'S IMMIGRATION STATUS DETERMINED BEFORE THE PERSON IS RELEASED."
To sum this bit up, Arizona law enforcers are basically supposed to arrest anyone who they believe looks like an illegal alien. And before these "reasonably suspicious" persons are released, their immigration status has to be verified. More on this later.
"IT IS UNLAWFUL FOR A PERSON WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES AND WHO IS AN UNAUTHORIZED ALIEN TO KNOWINGLY APPLY FOR WORK, SOLICIT WORK IN A PUBLIC PLACE OR PERFORM WORK AS AN EMPLOYEE OR INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR IN THIS STATE."
I just thought this was funny, since obviously this very specific law is going to stop people. "Hm. I'm unlawfully in this country. I should NOT try to get a job, even though my family is starving and I wouldn't be in this country in the first place if I didn't want a job."
The bill goes on to discuss the different ways that it is editing current laws, including ones about employment and transporting illegals, but there aren't any more fun quotes.
So back to that first quote, which is the most important in this blog. There has been a lot of talk thrown around regarding "racial profiling", and let's be honest, that's exactly what this law is condoning. Think about this for a second, what gives a police officer reasonable suspicion for believing someone is an illegal immigrant? How does one look illegal? Does one drive carefully so as not to be pulled over? Does one constantly check over one's shoulders for border patrol? Does one have a tattoo reading "I'm in this country illegally! Na-na-na!"
No. All one has to do is look Hispanic, and police officers are justified under this law to arrest you.
This brings up an interesting paradox, however. Not all illegal immigrants are from Mexico, although they are the majority. According to the Urban Institute, "between 65,000 and 75,000 undocumented Canadians currently live in the United States." And according to the Department of Homeland Security, 280,000 people from India and 230,000 people from China are in this country illegally. Does that mean that police officers are justified in pulling over anyone who looks Chinese or Indian? Of course not!
Unfortunately, just from visual cues, there is really nothing that sets illegal immigrants apart from the rest of society. This law is inherently racist, and it's clearly a violation of our freedom. Illegal immigration needs to be quelled, or at least dealt with, but this law is not the way to do it. I can only hope that soon, someone, somewhere will realize just how awful this law is and destroy it before it goes too much further.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
A couple months ago I posted a scathing discussion regarding the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. And apparently, there have been some updates regarding this issue.
According to Time Magazine, "The Pentagon took a giant step toward integrating openly gay men and women into the U.S. military on Thursday. No, it didn't repeal 1993's "Don't ask, don't tell" law — only Congress can do that. But it did something that could be almost as important: it eased the enforcement of that law by loosening the regulations that have been used to snare 13,500 gays — and boot them out of uniform — since 1994."
Good for the Obama administration. Although, seeing as the policy was created by an executive order, I don't see why it can't be repealed the same way.
Eh. What do I know?
Monday, March 29, 2010
You know what is starting to get on my nerves? This statement:
"I know the health care bill isn't perfect, but it's a step in the right direction."
WRONG WRONG WRONG.
First off, the health "care" bill is mostly about health insurance reform; namely, getting it to everyone. Because everyone already has health care- you're not allowed to be denied a life threatening surgery.
Second off, something that isn't perfect isn't a step in the right direction. That's a logical fallacy. A step in the right direction would be perfect, but it would only have a small impact. If something is being put into policy that isn't perfect, then isn't it a step backwards? Wouldn't it just cause more problems, because now not only do we have to make more policy to complete the steps, but we also have to correct the policy we just passed! That doesn't make sense.
Third off, and finally, that's not a reason to support something. That's a cop-out statement that means "I've heard stuff from both sides, but I'm generally a liberal, so I should probably be in support of it. But I want to seem moderate, so I'll concede that there's some stuff wrong with it."
Don't be a zombie, guys. Come on.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Yeah, yeah. There's been a break in blog posting. But I got my wisdom teeth out last week, so I've been loopy with pain medication. Whatever.
Green jobs make sense. I don't know why anyone would think otherwise. Not only does it promote clean energy- which will sustain us for a lot longer than fossil fuels- but also the creation of jobs, many of which could be considered skilled.
Obviously, things aren't going to change immediately. It's ridiculous to assume that. Of course we can't just raise the masses magically out of unemployment, because there's things to work out, as this economic downturn wasn't exactly planned, but they will be raised.
And look, the economy isn't actually that bad. During the Great Depression, unemployment was 25% and higher. Today, it's like 12-15%. It's bad, yes, but I don't see a Dust Bowl anywhere.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Communism: a social structure in which classes are abolished and property is commonly controlled, as well as a political philosophy and social movement that advocates and aims to create such a society.
It's not a secret that most of my friends are very, very liberal. One is even pending membership in the Socialist party. And oftentimes, we get into deep political ideology discussions, in which I hear this quite often.
"Yeah, communism is good in theory, but not in practice."
I don't just hear this from my friends, however. This argument defending the ideology is quite common. But I have news for you: it's untrue.
Communism is neither good in theory nor in practice, and I'm here to tell you why.
First, there's the issue of innovation being doomed to halt. I'm sure you're all aware of the dark ages. "Later historians expanded the term [Dark Ages] to refer to the transitional period between Roman times and the High Middle Ages, including not only the lack of Latin literature, but also a lack of contemporary written history, general demographic decline, limited building activity and material cultural achievements in general. Popular culture has further expanded on the term as a vehicle to depict the Middle Ages as a time of backwardness, extending its pejorative use and expanding its scope."- Joseph Tainter
How does this relate to Communism? Patience, please. In Communism, regardless of your skill level or occupation, you are paid the same amount as everyone else. That's one of the big changes in the system to eliminate socioeconomic classes. However, all this would do is murder any kind of competitive drive that exists within workers. If there are no rewards for doing a good job or inventing something or having a better idea, then there is no reason anyone will do any of those things. Let's face it, competition creates innovation, because without some sort of reward, why bother? If we accept Communism, then we accept responsibility for creating another Dark Age, where we move backwards instead of forwards.
Second, there's the idea of complete government control. In the Communist system, the government is in charge of everything. Whatever they want, they can do. Civil rights? Forgetaboutit. The wishes of the few override the wishes and the needs of the whole, and that doesn't seem like a sound system.
I sort of see where my friends and others like them. Communism would eliminate classes, because classes are BAD! Communism gives everyone the same opportunities, and opportunities are GOOD!
Unfortunately, I have to disagree. Social classes may seem bad, but without them, again, competition wouldn't exist. People of lower classes are motivated to work hard in order to earn a position higher up, even if there's only a very low probability it will happen. And people of higher classes have earned- through their own hard work or the hard work of a family member- their status. We shouldn't punish someone for being successful. Also, although communism seems to allocate the same opportunities to everyone, it's an illusion. What communism does is chooses the opportunities it wants to afford its citizens and then limits its citizens to those few things. Capitalism affords the same opportunities to everyone, even though the success rates aren't always even, but communism limits both success and opportunity.
As far as I can tell, there's nothing good about the idea or the practice of Communism.