Young and Apathetic

My comment reposted from The Huffington Post

The other night I was soaking in my apartment building jacuzzi listening to four young women in their early-to-mid 20′s— neighbors of mine and some of their friends— chatter amongst themselves. They’ve all got glasses of wine with them. They’re bank tellers and managers, and one is a nursing student. They’re chatting about their jobs and their boyfriends and their trips to Vegas and parties. They casually mention the weed they smoke in their off hours. At this I cheerfully comment, “So, you’ll all be voting for Proposition 19 then?” After a momentary awkwardness they all admit that none of them vote— that none of them really feel like their vote matters. “Oh,” I think to myself, “so that’s why Prop 19 won’t pass.”

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I can’t respond to everything, but I do read everything!

Four Debates on Marijuana Legalization

When I look at the most articulate representatives of both sides, it is plain that all the really powerful arguments are in the hands of those who endorse legalizing cannabis. Prohibition has failed: on November 2, please vote YES on proposition 19.

Dale Skye Jones, Yes on 19 vs. Roger Salazar, No on 19

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Watch this video for an informed response on the issue of intoxicated driving under Proposition 19.

Representative Steve Cohen (D) Tennessee vs. FBI Director Robert Mueller

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Jeffery Myron, Sr. Economics Lecturer at Harvard vs. John Walters, former Drug Czar under George W. Bush.

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Rob Kampia, Exec. Director of the Marijuana Policy Project vs. Asa Hutchinson, former head of the DEA

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I can’t respond to everything, but I do read everything!

The It Gets Better Project

I just read about a gay teenager in Indiana—Billy Lucas—who killed himself after being taunted by his classmates. Now his Facebook memorial page is being defaced by people posting homophobic comments. It’s just heartbreaking and sickening. What the hell can we do?

Gay Bullying Victim Who Survived

This letter to sex and relationship advice columnist Dan Savage galvanized him into creating the It Gets Better Project, which uses YouTube video to encourage lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender teens to have hope that their adult years will be much better than the isolation and bullying they receive would indicate. LGBT adults have submitted hundreds of videos showing how their lives are now fulfilled and happy.

If you know a LGBT young person, show them these videos. Let them know that there are better times ahead.

Dan Savage, his husband Terry, and their son DJ

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Joel Burns’ Emotional Speech at Fort Worth City Council Meeting

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And finally, a great response by Dan in his column to a Christian who wrote:

I heard an interview with you about your It Gets Better campaign. I was saddened and frustrated with your comments regarding people of faith and their perpetuation of bullying. As someone who loves the Lord and does not support gay marriage, I can honestly say I was heartbroken to hear about the young man who took his own life.

If your message is that we should not judge people based on their sexual preference, how do you justify judging entire groups of people for any other reason (including their faith)? There is no part of me that took any pleasure in what happened to that young man.

To that end, to imply that I would somehow encourage my children to mock, hurt, or intimidate another person for any reason is completely unfounded and offensive. Being a follower of Christ is, above all things, a recognition that we are all imperfect, fallible, and in desperate need of a savior. We cannot believe that we are better or more worthy than other people.

Please consider your viewpoint, and please be more careful with your words in the future.

Dan responds:

I’m sorry your feelings were hurt by my comments.

No, wait. I’m not. Gay kids are dying. So let’s try to keep things in perspective: Fuck your feelings.

A question: Do you “support” atheist marriage? Interfaith marriage? Divorce and remarriage? All are legal, all go against Christian and/or traditional ideas about marriage, and yet there’s no “Christian” movement to deny marriage rights to atheists or people marrying outside their respective faiths or people divorcing and remarrying. Why the hell not?

Sorry, L.R., but so long as you support the denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples, it’s clear that you do believe that some people—straight people—are “better or more worthy” than others.

And—sorry—but you are partly responsible for the bullying and physical violence being visited on vulnerable LGBT children. The kids of people who see gay people as sinful or damaged or disordered and unworthy of full civil equality—even if those people strive to express their bigotry in the politest possible way (at least when they happen to be addressing a gay person)—learn to see gay people as sinful, damaged, disordered, and unworthy. And while there may not be any gay adults or couples where you live, or at your church, or in your workplace, I promise you that there are gay and lesbian children in your schools. And while you can only attack gays and lesbians at the ballot box, nice and impersonally, your children have the option of attacking actual gays and lesbians, in person, in real time.

Real gay and lesbian children. Not political abstractions, not “sinners.” Gay and lesbian children.

Try to keep up: The dehumanizing bigotries that fall from the lips of “faithful Christians,” and the lies about us that vomit out from the pulpits of churches that “faithful Christians” drag their kids to on Sundays, give your children license to verbally abuse, humiliate, and condemn the gay children they encounter at school. And many of your children—having listened to Mom and Dad talk about how gay marriage is a threat to family and how gay sex makes their magic sky friend Jesus cry—feel justified in physically abusing the LGBT children they encounter in their schools. You don’t have to explicitly “encourage [your] children to mock, hurt, or intimidate” queer kids. Your encouragement—along with your hatred and fear—is implicit. It’s here, it’s clear, and we’re seeing the fruits of it: dead children.

Oh, and those same dehumanizing bigotries that fill your straight children with hate? They fill your gay children with suicidal despair. And you have the nerve to ask me to be more careful with my words?

Did that hurt to hear? Good. But it couldn’t have hurt nearly as much as what was said and done to Asher Brown and Justin Aaberg and Billy Lucas and Cody Barker and Seth Walsh—day in, day out for years—at schools filled with bigoted little monsters created not in the image of a loving God, but in the image of the hateful and false “followers of Christ” they call Mom and Dad.

Comments? Send a tweet to @ironwolf or use the response form.
I can’t respond to everything, but I do read everything!

California Propositions 2010— How I’m Voting and Why

Update: I have added the election results for each measure. The voting public agreed with my picks on 6 out of 9 measures.

I’m a registered Libertarian. Libertarians are neither conservative nor liberal. Broadly, Libertarians believe that you have the sovereign right to do whatever you want, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the sovereign rights of others to do what they want. If you haven’t ever considered Libertarianism, then take this short quiz to find out whether you might be a Libertarian and not even know it!

Nonetheless, Libertarians vary in how much government should be allowed to interfere in our lives ranging from “All governments are criminal,” to “Governments should exist only to provide a few necessary services that provably cannot be provided by the free market.” I fall at different places in that range depending on the issue at hand. And in the 2010 California elections there are a number of issues at hand that really put my Libertarian leanings to the test.

Below are the ballot propositions, along with how the Democratic (Dems), Republican (GOP) and Libertarian (LP) parties advise you vote. I also add how I’m going to vote and a brief note as to why. You’re welcome to add your own thoughts to the comments below— perhaps you’ll sway me to your way of thinking!

And if you’re in California and not registered to vote, what are you waiting for?

Continue reading

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I can’t respond to everything, but I do read everything!

Californians: Yes on Proposition 19— Legalize, Tax, and Regulate Cannabis

I have never used cannabis, or any recreational drug stronger than caffeine, and if Proposition 19 passes I have no intention of using cannabis. This shows that you don’t need to be “pro drugs” to see the grievous harm that the War on Drugs has caused. We Californians MUST lead the way in ending the tragic social and financial madness of prohibition… we must pass Proposition 19.

Some things you can do to support Proposition 19:

Previous Writing

My other relevant blog posts:

Videos

Fox News: Conservatives Against Marijuana Prohibition

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CBS 60 Minutes: The War Next Door

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2002 John Stossel Documentary on The War on Drugs in Columbia

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[part 1] [part 2] [part 3] [part 4] [part 5] [part 6]

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I can’t respond to everything, but I do read everything!

Bill Moyers Journal: The Supreme Court and Marriage Equality

The two marquee lawyers who fought each other all the way to the Supreme Court to decide whether Al Gore or George W. Bush would become President are at it again. Ted Olson is a conservative, and David Boies is a liberal. But this time they’re fighting as allies to defend marriage equality.

This is the finest discussion I’ve heard about the marriage equality issue. Moyers takes the devil’s advocate position throughout, posing objection after objection that’s been advanced by the religious right in America. Watch as these two brilliant lawyers deliver absolutely devastating rebuttals. It shows that ultimately, the only “argument” against same-sex marriage is a religious one advanced by those who would, if they could, destroy our democracy and turn it into a theocracy. With them in charge, of course.

Please, listen to this interview and pass it on to your friends. The audio is below, or you can watch the entire show’s video on the PBS web site.

Bill Moyers Journal: Theodore Olson and David Boies

Comments? Send a tweet to @ironwolf or use the response form.
I can’t respond to everything, but I do read everything!

12 Reasons Why Gay Marriage Should Be Illegal

So a while back I asked for the real reasons for why some people are against legalizing same-sex marriage. Unfortunately, no-one responded and I had to end up debunking an anti-gay marriage web site’s answers. Well, still no-one’s answered so I did a little more digging and discovered the answers are already out there, as seen on Reddit. So finally, here are the top 12 reasons why gay marriage should be illegal:

  1. Homosexuality is not natural, much like eyeglasses, polyester, and birth control.
  2. Heterosexual marriages are valid because they produce children. Infertile couples and old people can’t legally get married because the world needs more children.
  3. Obviously, gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.
  4. Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage is allowed, since Britney Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage was meaningful.
  5. Heterosexual marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all; women are property, blacks can’t marry whites, and divorce is illegal.
  6. Gay marriage should be decided by people, not the courts, because the majority-elected legislatures, not courts, have historically protected the rights of the minorities.
  7. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have only one religion in America.
  8. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.
  9. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.
  10. Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That’s why single parents are forbidden to raise children.
  11. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society. Heterosexual marriage has been around for a long time, and we could never adapt to new social norms because we haven’t adapted to things like cars or longer life-spans.
  12. Civil unions, providing most of the same benefits as marriage with a different name are better, because a “separate but equal” institution is always constitutional. Separate schools for African-Americans worked just as well as separate marriages for gays and lesbians will.

Comments? Send a tweet to @ironwolf or use the response form.
I can’t respond to everything, but I do read everything!

What is the argument against same-sex marriage?

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The core of her argument, from the end of the clip:

Marriage is the only institution we have that’s about bringing together the two great halves of humanity: male and female, so that children can know and be known by, and love and be loved by their own mother and father. And if the government moves to same-sex marriage— if the law teaches the next generation: “there isn’t anything unique about unions of husbands and wives” a lot of things are going to change for a lot of children. Maybe not for you and me, we’re kind of old [and for us] maybe everything will go on just the same, but marriage will change, and it will change for everyone in the state.

This fear-mongering “argument” sums up just about every position I’ve heard against same-sex marriage. Yet, it is full of inconsistent and vague assertions, the most glaring being that the sole purpose of marriage is for children. Yet, many people get married with no intention of ever having children. If marriage is all about children, then why don’t we only make marriage available to couples of child-bearing age who sign affidavits that they intend to have children together? The answer is that we don’t do this because marriage can be about many things that may (or may not) include love, companionship, division of responsibilities, legal benefits, and yes, even children. To insist that the law allow older or infertile couples to get married, or that the law allow couples with children to get divorced, and to simultaneously insist the law prohibit same-sex couples from marriage with only an incoherent, mealy-mouthed, “a lot of things are going to change” for your point is the height of bigotry and Orwellian double-think.

And if you agree with her, and want to claim that she just ran out of time, please state your most compelling rational argument against legalizing same-sex marriage in the comments. No, I don’t accept purely faith-based arguments as rational. You’re playing with the big boys here, so tell me: what are the negative consequences for society if this became legal everywhere?

Comments? Send a tweet to @ironwolf or use the response form.
I can’t respond to everything, but I do read everything!