Wednesday, December 22, 2010
A couple of weeks ago, I posted a brief comment on my Facebook page regarding a 'shared' Glenn Greenwald column about the hue and cry over Wikileaks. A few days later, a friend of mine sent me an email containing an article by Gonzalo Lira also on the subject of Wikileaks. (I just now read the article, which does more to illustrate how my life has been and why I don't write more often, than anything I could say.) Here is a link to the original post by Mr. Lira. I'm glad I found the time to read it. The following quote is his:
"McCarthyism is the arbitrary labeling of an individual as belonging to a widely and justly abhorred group, a labeling carried out by a powerful official but without any evidence and without due process, resulting in the systematic intimidation, isolation, and even ruin of that individual."
While I also disagree with Julian Assange and Wikileaks' basic premise, in that I firmly believe there are secrets which need to remain so, the concerted persecution/prosecution of Assange and Wikileaks terrifies me. The conservative political/social bloc in our country has ceded to our government almost carte blanche ability to do whatever it wishes to a person or group, without check, balance, nor oversight, once the government labels said person or group as a terrorist. That this willingness to cede power can come from a political/social bloc which so loudly beats the drums of being anti-big-powerful government, I find... astounding.
The Patriot Act: The gift from the Anti-Big Government folks that can allow McCarthyism to reign unchecked. To be fair, there are plenty of Pro-Big Government folks (yes, you may interpret that as Democrats) who also support(ed) The Patriot Act. It is the hypocrisy of being ANTI-Big Government but being FOR ceding unchecked power to the government which I find so astounding.
My life, my job, and my ability to keep my family safe are dependent upon secrets being kept. There is plenty that I REALLY don't want to know. But I want SOMEONE to know other than the wielder of power. Someone to say, 'whoa there big fella', step on back, you're out of line, we need to follow a little due process here.'
You know, Checks and Balances. That pesky little principle upon which our Founding Fathers based our Constitution. For all those folks who beat the drum of being for 'Original Intent' regarding the Founding Fathers, their ability to overlook this I find even more astounding. But I suppose they should be forgiven. For if Rupert Murdoch hasn't told them to think about it, it just doesn't make their radar.
USNS Pililaau, T-AKR 304
Corpus Christi, TX
Update 29 DEC 2010: Here is a link to Ron Paul interview on the National Review where he minces no words defending Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
Update 31 JAN 2012: Here is a link to an article by one of the lawyers representing Julian Assange and Wikileaks, which provides an excellent perspective. We pardon those who committed torture, but we prosecute those who told the world we were doing so. Really? This is for what America stands?
Sunday, February 21, 2010
The Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA): Defending marriage from... what? The same political forces that gave us the Defense Of Marriage Act also attempted to amend the U.S. Constitution to "defend traditional marriage". During Senate hearings on the proposed Constitutional amendment, Senator Cornyn (the senior Senator from Texas and one of the leaders of the charge towards a DOMA constitutional amendment) called the anti-DOMA position "my marriage doesn't affect your marriage" a myth (scroll down the link to section titled Honesty). Interestingly, Senator Cornyn calls this a "myth" because, "...A casual attitude toward divorce and cohabitation has had serious consequences for the institution of marriage in the last 20 years. Redefining marriage in a way that reduces it to a financial and legal arrangement of adult relationships will only accelerate the deterioration of family life". (Senator Cornyn is quoting the Archbishop of Boston, Sean O'Malley.) Senator Cornyn hinges his unwavering support of DOMA on the principle that society needs stable families to raise children and without DOMA, stable families will exist in ever decreasing numbers.
Ernest Hemingway coined the phrase, "built-in automatic crap detector." Mine goes off with bells and whistles screaming as I read the reasons for support of DOMA and a DOMA Constitutional Amendment. I can not fathom on an emotional nor intellectual level how my marriage, between Alma (female) and myself (male), can be affected by anyone else's marriage. I suppose I could LET someone else's marriage affect mine. But then the responsibility would still be mine for letting the affect take place. Moreover, I would think that for an affect to take place, a predilection for the type of affect would have to be present in the first place. For instance, if I were repressing issues with my sexual orientation, then perhaps someone like Senator Larry Craig (Republican, married to a woman, three children) having sex in airport bathrooms with other men might have an adverse affect on my marriage. Or if I were simply cavalier about my marriage vows, perhaps someone like Governor Mark Sanford (Republican, married to a woman, four children) having an affair with a woman in Argentina might have an adverse affect on my marriage. However, neither of these two hypocrites, nor any of the other hypocrites of the same ilk on both sides of the political aisle, have the slightest affect on my marriage. (I use Republican examples, as that is the party beating the DOMA drum as part and parcel with their political platform.) If Alma and I were the last or only married couple on earth, I can't imagine our relationship being any different. I'm pretty sure our marriage vows did not contain the caveat, "...so long as there are other married couples around for you to emulate." A good thing our vows didn't contain that caveat since the divorce rate in this country has been hovering around 50% my whole life. Emulating other people in their marriages could have quite the adverse affect on our or any marriage...
I can find no statistical evidence that is contrary to the statement that children do well in stable families regardless of the sexual orientation of their parents. The key word? Stable. (There is a well-rounded, general article here from the Toronto Star on the subject and another from Salon.com here.) There is paranoid ranting regarding the dangers of same-sex couples raising children, of which an example can be found here, but I can find no legitimate statistical evidence supporting that paranoia.
If DOMA supporting politicians are really interested in protecting and supporting stable marriages, why are they so fixated on the sexual orientation of other people? While I could postulate that they are repressing some degree of fear regarding their own feelings, (in the extreme of this, we have the 'Senator Larry Craig'
Of course, we would probably have to lock up most of Congress. Which explains the loud and protracted blaming of "evil, gay lifestyles" destroying family values. But to actually support a law which would reduce the actions of those people in marriage which do the most to destroy the family values and stable marriages which we need to raise stable children? To actually say that society has a vested interest in the stability of marriage and therefore if you unzip your pants or raise your skirt, society is going to punish you? Oh no, we can't have that... We'll just blame the gays.
Hypocrisy is the only sin.
USNS Yano, T-AKR 297
P.S. For any of my poly-amorous friends and readers, don't get your dander up. I define "marriage" as a blood binding contract between spouses, given before children, family, friends, society and/or whatever one perceives God to be. The terms of any other marriage contract other than my own, are not for me to judge. I feel that I have barely enough time to dedicate to what my marriage deserves, much less to be concerned about anyone else's. Which is kind of my point. If everyone focused on their own marriages and kept their respective sexual organs where they were supposed to be, the preponderance of divorces in this country would be limited to abusive situations and the need of a DOMA would rendered moot.