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Monday, October 22, 2012

Equal rights

I know I have posted on this before.
I also know this is an important issue so it deserves to be posted on multiple times... as many times as it takes for the issue to go away.
I also know that it is not going away in my home state until is passes as law; and that it will not go away for two more generations after that, perhaps longer (proof being that we still have racism).
The issue I am talking about is the rights for people of the same gender to get married to each other.
I've said before that I think that the entire concept of marriage is broken; I believe it is an intrusion by the government and church(es) into the private lives of people where those entities do not belong.
Marriage, however, solves one legal issue that exists; it resolves whom the individual wants as their default heir.
I, personally, believe that there are several ways this can be handled in a MUCH simpler manner. I believe that there are many ways that would be considerably more efficient for all involved. Could they be abused and misappropriated by spiteful heirs? Certainly. But so can the default heir process and so can the process of the "last will and testament." All that one needs is more time, energy and money than the opposing party.
That being the case I will NOT discuss the nature of marriage as a valid selection of default heir nor will I be discussing the alternatives (at least not in this post). What I WILL do is post a recent facebook timeline post I wrote and discuss the core responses I received that tried to argue it.

This is what I wrote there:
The more I see "no on one" stickers/signs the more angry they make me. If you believe no one one is a good idea that is your prerogative and your right to vote that way... But if you do keep in mind that that "no" vote is also voting "no" to equality, a "no" vote to separation of church and state, and "no" additional business related to additional marriages in the state. It is also a "yes" vote for fear, bigotry, and hatred. It won't change or damage heterosexual marriages; it will extend LEGAL protection of marriage to ALL. If you cast a "no" vote don't tell me about it unless you are prepared to explain to me why you feel discrimination, fear, religion, bigotry, and hate belong in the law. "It's God's will" and "because its not normal" are not valid reasons for LEGAL decision making.... The latter is not valid for deciding someone else's life at all.....
br> I received many comments in support of this and one that was against my blanket declaration. It pointed out that I am painting a picture where all of the people, approximately half of the population of this country, are automatically fear-laden bigots.
It made this comment as though I did not realize I was making a blanket statement. It made this comment as though I might be swayed in MY opinion on the issue because I am calling the opposing view irrational.
It, in short, tried to bully me into changing my mind on this issue through the use of guilt.

I replied that that post with this:
Matthew: you are welcome. I will hold the position until someone can give me solid, logical and completely non-religious reasons for why the discrimination should be allowed in the law books. I don't care if the religious aspects stay defined as they are and I don't care if specific churches and specific religious persons refuse to perform the ceremony... What I do care about is one religion telling everyone else that their way should influence the law in such a way the causes a tenth of the population to not be able to make their loved one the default heir.... To make their loved one the person who is ALWAYS allowed to visit in the hospital.... To make the their loved one be the one who is officially recognized as such. To prevent that equality is bigotry. To prevent that is a form of hatred. To prevent that is discrimination. To prevent that is oppression. To prevent equality in the eyes of the LAW means you are afraid of something..... This is as important for humanity as allowing couples of different races to marry was when that was a legal issue. All of the same arguments are being used against homosexual people and all of the same fear mongering is being used. The arguments are, literally, the same ones. Applying the to interracial couples seems foolish; why is applying them to same-sex couples acceptable? It seems obvious from your post you disagree. I welcome you to put together all of your arguments and try to persuade me I am wrong. So far no one has been able to and each attempt has strengthened my position that the morally right thing on this one is to allow equality in the eyes of the law. If you wish to try and persuade me in this thread you are welcome to do so.... But others will join in. If you wish it to be a private conversation I welcome that, too. The response deviated from the conversation by informing me that the way to keep friends on facebook is to avoid speaking of politics and to avoid speaking about religion and then to inform me that this topic is both.
It then pointed out that my stance is hateful and discriminatory toward those who oppose gay marriage and informed me that the poster was not stating which side of the topic they fall on.
I replied to that with this:
I don't hate the people - I hate the idea of oppressing people. Voting to prevent this is oppressing people. You are correct - you did not say what side of this you are on.... and I made a reasonable assumption that you were voicing an objection because you felt that it was directed toward you. If that assumption was in error - I'm sorry. But I am not sorry about feeling that preventing equal rights for people is fear-based bigotry that is based on forcing religion into the law books. Because it is. Until someone can give me a logical set of reasons to the contrary that I cannot logically invalidate I will hold that position.

What baffles me about this is that it is CLEARLY a means of oppressing people. There is no other word for it. Why view that they should have equal rights and my condemnation of anyone who does not support it does nothing except, possibly, hurt their feelings. My stance that the law should be changed does nothing to the people who can already marry; they won't suddenly be not able to marry; they won't, suddenly, have their marriages invalidated; they won't suddenly all turn gay. Nor will this change make people who are not gay or make people who are curious more gay. This law change will, literally, do NOTHING to harm anyone. All that it will do is allow the homosexual community to have the same LEGAL right as everyone else to make their loved one and chosen partner their default heir in the event of their death and allow them the power of attorney in the case of their loved one being incapacitated in some way through the same mechanism that is available to everyone else.
That's it.

In each instance of someone confronting me about my stance on this (or vice-versa) I have asked them to outline to me why the LEGAL right should be withheld. I have asked them to give me solid reasons that are rooted in logic and reason which I cannot invalidate through using the same logic and reason that they are using.

To date EVERY attempt to do so has failed. Every attempt has failed to last more than a few moments before the opponent runs out of excuses for their stance and runs into "because it's wrong" or "because God says so" as the root reason for their opposition. Neither of those are good reasons for making LAW when it comes the truly private lives of two consenting adults.
I open up the comments of this post to discussion.
If you believe that homosexuals should be second-class citizens and barred from the legal right to marry whom they choose then, please, by all means, convince me you are right. Apply logic and reason to your stance. Give me a reason to change my mind. But your logic and reason had better hold up because I will point out any and all holes in it that I see.... Just as I point out the holes in the very existence of marriage as a legal institution (which I am happy to do).
The bottom line is that marriage is currently a legal contract between two adults. It should be available to ALL adults; not just 90% of them.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Is Equal Pay an Inherent Right?

One of the items that the Occupy Wall Street movement is the notion of fair pay for all and equal pay for equal work.

This is a derivative concern of the movement and it comes from the main concern of the people losing net wealth to the ultra-rich at an increasing pace.

The inherent economic force created by wealth inequity is what makes motivation for work to be completed. Without that motivating force there is no incentive for people to work for income.... and with equal distribution of all the stored wealth of the world then all of it becomes devalued to the point of being useless.

These abstract concepts bring the question forth of whether fair pay for fair work is a human-level concept or whether it is an inherent concept that "lesser" being can understand.

The video below clearly outlines that the idea of equal pay for equal work is something that transcends the boundaries of humanity. It is something that "lesser" animals understand. It is something that they can demand.

Why, then, is the idea of fair distribution of wealth according to work performed a concept that is so hard to accomplish among the humans of the world?

Why is it that we cannot figure out how to make the wealth inequality stay static so that the forces that make our economy work are present but limit the gross and unfair leveraging of that wealth to take more wealth from the less-than-wealthy and delivering it to the wealthy for virtually no work being performed?

I am not a socialist - I understand the power of capitalism and I understand how it can help everyone. I also understand that the capitalistic pressures that aid wealth accumulation are not sustainable - they will lead to an imbalance that will topple the wealth tower and destroy those at the top. It has happened before, it will happen again. History proves it to be a valid cycle of economic forces that will continue until a sustainable equilibrium is reached.

Here is the video that shows that monkeys understand this concept, too:

If you disagree please make comments below.