Thursday, January 11, 2007

Same Sex Marriage

Once again, clicking on the title of this post will lead you to a post by another author that bears relevance to this post.

Here is another way to look at it:

One of the tenets of doing things "Pauls Way" is that if what you want to do doesn't harm anyone else, then you should be allowed to do it.

Many things in this country, and this world, are forbidden by law. Recreational drugs are not allowed. Same sex marriage, not allowed. These are just two examples of the things that the government of the United States does not allow. I would like to place them in a juxtaposition, just so they can be seen in a different light.

Drugs, such as cannabis, cocaine, LSD, MDMA, and heroin, are outlawed in the U.S. .
While by themselves they have no apparent victim, I can in part understand why a nation would wish that it's citizens did not partake of them. In part because of the fact that you cannot tell legally if someone is on a drug at a particular moment, as you can with alcohol, means that person cannot be accused of DUI for a drug. Cannabis LSD, and heroin reduce productivity in the workforce. The jury is still out on the long term affects of MDMA, but someone high on it is useless to do anything other than pleasure themselves. All of these things can be harmful to the community at large. At least that is the common "wisdom", but that is for another post. While I may not agree with the current drug laws in this nation, I can certainly understand them. There is some inherent harm to drug usage.

Is there any harm in same sex marriage? To begin with, I plan to throw any moral arguments out of the window. If you happen to think same sex marriage is immoral, then don't get married to someone of the same sex. Do not, however, try to impose your morals on someone else. Now that I have set aside any discussion of morals, Lets take a look at marriage first, and what it is.

Marriage is a civil contract, a contract designed to improve the stability of family, it helps garner cheaper insurance rates, it makes for a desirable situation for a child(ren) to grow up in. Marriage is also an expression of love for another individual, and a commitment, to him or her, to provide for, care for, and protect that person for as long as you live.

It is a heavily debated point whether a child is best brought up by a man/woman marriage, or by a same sex marriage. However, I do not believe that this should be a criteria to judge a marriage by, since many couples choose not to have children at all. A same sex marriage can only adopt. In this case, only the other standards apply. Is the couple committed to each other? Do they understand the contract they are entering? Do they wish to achieve stability? Should they be able to share insurance together? Will they be more stable with a license than without? Will they be just as stable whether male/female or same sex?

Divorce is a common thing in today's world. The commitment and love for each other that a male/female couple has at the time of marriage has no bearing on whether they divorce or not. So this criteria is valid for marriage either way.

Their is no mental competence hearing for a marriage license, but perhaps there should be. To understand the commitment of the civil contract a same sex couple is entering into, they only have to say "I do". If this were different, perhaps divorce rates would be lower, but until then, we will have divorces as a common occurrence, and either way, there is still no way to differentiate from a same sex marriage or a male/female marriage.

The truth of the matter is, whether of the same sex, or opposite, some couples stay together, and some do not. In some cases, the commitment to marriage alone is the stabilizing factor, sometimes that commitment is too much. There is no scientific way to tell ahead of time which couples stay together, and which ones don't.

Now for the insurance. When I married my wife, my insurance rates decreased, across the board. The reason for this is that insurance companies believe that marriage is a commitment to stabilize a couples future, making them less likely to take unwarranted risks. The insurance companies have many facts to back up this belief. Why should a same sex couple be viewed differently? What difference is there, then, between a same sex couple, and a male/female couple?

The only difference is a lack of tolerance for that which goes against the "norm". A "norm" established centuries ago. As a worldwide community, we have accepted change, after change, after change. Why not this change as well?

Since the only debate left is whether a same sex couple can raise a child as effectively as a male/female couple, why don't we, as a society, enact new laws. To date, any two people, of opposite sex, can have a child, just because they decide to. This means any butt loving assholes can have a baby. We have tests to get a drivers license, but not to have a child. That is the change needed. Test all couples, same sex or not, and decide if they show the patience and love needed to raise a child. Test for the ability to care for a child. If a couple can prove they can raise a child responsibly, then let them have one. Until such a time, allow same sex marriage, and put off the decision whether they can raise a child until we can reasonably determine(as a society) if any couple would make for suitable parents.

That's Pauls Way.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The war in Iraq: A matter of belief.

I just recently read a post on valley of the shadow. It truly helped to inspire this blog, and the topic, when inspiration for this blog was needed. Thanks again to that writer!
If you click on here, and read the article it links to, you may become very disturbed(unless you are a member of an extremist terrorist organization).
It would seem that the bad guys, al-Qaida that is, are looking to do more than to merely piss off the west. Folks, what we are speaking of here is a long range plan with an eye to world domination. Sounds familiar to me.
I remember the cold war, and the threat of nuclear war with Russia, starting from when I was very young. There were TV shows about nuclear winter, and how little the chances of survival would be. There was talk everywhere of how oppressive the government of the U.S.S.R was, and how they did not allow religious worship. The rally cry was that no American in their right mind would want their freedoms taken away by a government like this. As a small child, this was very frightening. I would wake up in the middle of the night from nightmares about nuclear war, and the devastation left behind. As a country, however, "better red than dead" didn't catch on. Despite air headed critics yammering about nuclear proliferation, we "stayed the course", and it was rewarded. Rewarded with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the advance of Democracy in Russia, and all the other things that are now a shining part of the history of the Reagan administration.
Fast forward to today. We now face an enemy even greater than communism. Even worse than no religion, these extremists wish to force the beliefs of their religion on the world as law. Beliefs founded on, and perpetuated by violence. Violence of the worst sort, perpetrated by cowards who will attack any innocent, knowing they are innocent, so that their message will carry that much more impact. Beliefs that would have your wife beaten because she dared to show her face in public. Beliefs that would not allow you to have your own faith. A Belief that would not allow this, or any other diatribe against it to be published
Despite the fact that no WMD's were found, and that many believe Bush lied, the war in Iraq must be continued. We have to rebuild the country we destroyed. It is of utmost importance that democracy reign there. Then democracy must spread from there, as well as tolerance for what others believe. The reward will be that even more people in this world can believe the way they wish to, not the way they are told to.
And that is Pauls Way.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

On the hanging of Saddam

Like many others, I first saw Saddam's hanging on CNN. My first thought was, why is there no sound? My second was,"why don't they show him swinging"? The first question was answered for me when I joined millions of others in webland in searching for more video. The sound was edited because of the taunting that was being done. I was concerned about not seeing him swing, since that would have left open the question of whether he really was hung. I am surprised the world hasn't heard from conspiracy theory crackpots about this one, but it will come, oh yes, it will come.

Now that a little time has passed, and the reactions are rolling in, I can only shake my head in resignation.

I have heard that Saddam is being viewed as a martyr.Come again with that? Yes, that is right, many people are now viewing him as a martyr who faced his death with dignity and pride. I will agree that this travesty of human reproduction was better behaved than the crowd around him, but why should they have behaved any differently? Secondly, how does his composure make him a martyr?

To my first question, some would say they should have behaved more solemnly because a man was being killed. I could not disagree more. This so called man was responsible for the deaths of thousands of his own countrymen! If it had gone my way, his execution would have been done in the middle of Baghdad, tied to a post, and the very citizens he terrorized would have pummeled him to death with small rocks being thrown at him. This was a brutal and vile subhuman excuse for a man, and no death could have equaled the pain he caused to others. At least with the taunting, he went to his death with the exact reasons for his death ringing in his ears to his very last moment.

As to my second question, why is Saddam being viewed as a martyr? I cannot believe that any but those with the lowest respect for human life and dignity, and the witless automatons that follow them, could brand Saddam as a martyr. I suspect in many cases, such as with the governments of nations who proclaim and uphold this view, that it is only with an eye to yet another way to sway public opinion against the U.S. . What they downplay is the fact that Saddam was tried, and executed, in Iraq, by Iraqi citizens, in an Iraqi court appointed by its democratically elected government. Once again, the method of execution, and the behaviour of the witnesses to it have no bearing on how Saddam should be viewed.

Saddam will soon be no more than a vile stain on the history of the world, a stain who was eradicated way too late, but was eradicated nonetheless. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Thank you Iraq, for almost doing it Pauls Way.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Explaining Pauls Way

To begin, I feel that I must expand on what I wish this blog to be about. I am a highly opinionated man with a lot of ideas about how our world could be better. I do not truly believe that it should all be Pauls Way, but I could point out a lot of things that are worse than my way, and will. I aim to write as often as possible about the things I read and hear about. I may also throw in some thoughts on books, movies, music, and other media, but I mainly want to address issues that bother, inspire, or otherwise pique my interest. I hope that any of you out there in webland that stumble across this will pause a moment or two to think about some of the things I say. I may not change your mind, but hopefully I can open it just a bit.
I certainly welcome comments, especially those that disagree with me, as they may help pry open my somewhat closed mind as well. Besides, I always enjoy a good argument!Just show a little respect for other readers sensibilities, and do not swear at me too often.
I would like to briefly touch upon some of the topics I will write about. The drug war, Iraq, racism, bad driving habits, tipping, immigration, workplace conditions, current events, political activism, liberals, conservatives, political nutcases, affects of TV and the Internet on peoples opinions, same sex marriage, separation of church and state, the state of organized religion, alternative fuels, global warming, and just about anything else that springs to mind.
I will also welcome suggestions for future posts, such as if one of you weblanders are interested in my opinion on a particular subject that I have yet to touch upon.
I will endeavor to be as clear and precise as possible. If I get my facts wrong, let me know, but please have a credible source to refute me with, or just your own opinion may be enough, but I doubt it.
One last note before I close this post, any sacred cows are open to prodding!
Let the games begin!