Saturday, July 26, 2008

You're so pretty, and witty, and ... gay?

On the anniversary of a daughter's long ago declaration of her "gayness" I reviewed a response I made to her then. The world hasn't gotten any better in the intervening years and, as the blog is the staunch defender of the functional middle ground, I am very clear on the fact that the world isn't and shouldn't be made up of nothing but gay rights activists or gay bashers. With a view toward "declared" gays understanding a rational viewpoint on the subject, and people in the middle finding SOMETHING to identify with in print (there is VERY little that is not arch extremist from either perspective) I offer the following response to my daughter from that time some ten years ago -

" If you want to exist within a given social structure - if you want the benefits and functions of that social system - you have to be willing to pay the price, make the sacrifices in relation to pure personal autonomy that go with co-existence. This is true for everything from marriages to neighborhoods to communities and societies in whatever form they may take. This is an immutable law that exists in every instance of human society or civilization that exists. My discussion with them ended at this point. For you I will take it a step further.

The function of "being gay" has understandable roots in a recognized biological anomaly. As such, it IS NOT the "normal" biological direction intended for the species and therefore constitutes a deviation from "normal". Reproduction does not occur in gay pairing and reproduction, not recreation, is the fundamental reason for sexual function in humans. Whether we like it or not we are ALL "pawns" in a huge numbers game played by a very numbers oriented function called "survival of the species". That's WHY it feels so good - the pleasure center can create some of the strongest drives in humans to repeat certain behaviors (witness the problems associated with drug addiction). We're wired to survive - or not, in the case of those who are legitimately, biologically gay. Some so-called straight people are more at ease with tolerating broad variations on the human theme, others are not. In turn, some gay people are more effective at living life first as humans, and then in the context of their sexual orientation.

This is where paragraph two ties in - there is a fundamental misconception among those who constitute the (validly) gay community that by simply declaring their existence openly (coming out of the closet as they say) they can make a legitimate claim to special treatment and/or rights. I don't agree with or believe in supporting this misconception, as you know. The overall values and morals of any given civilization or community of whatever size are going to fundamentally revolve around what is collectively seen as best for that community, which in turn is going to trace it's roots to survival of the community. Survival of any community is inherently linked to it's capacity were reproduction/procreation are concerned. This puts the gay element on the fringe if not outside the pale in all instances - legitimate biological gay IS NOT a genetic path of survival and, like mules, dies out in one generation. The denegrating use of the term "breeders" by gays to signify straight people as much as acknowledges this point.

Advances of modern medicine have obviated much of the process of natural selection in humans thus allowing (if not promoting) vastly more survival of non-viable genetic material. That not withstanding, fundamental alignment toward "natural selection" and "survival of the species" are the underlying basis for societal resistance to and hostility toward the "gay" community. Ancient Sparta practiced the policy of infanticide for any infant not deemed genetically superior. No matter how "broken" the institutions of our society may be or seem, there is still the sense that any tolerance of something as "dead ended" as gay lifestyle is completely against the most elementary "best interests" or values of a community and society. Forget the fact that many myths about gay people exist because of exceedingly poor behavioral choices and value judgments made by earlier gays. Forget that the record of gay relationships throughout history is replete with sexually predatory behavior. Forget the alleged condemnations of gay lifestyle purported to be in the bible. All of that is emotional froth fraught with misinformation and knee-jerk reaction.

This problem is further exacerbated right now in history because of the emergence of a detailed view, and corresponding knowledge, of the myriad skeleton's that have been hidden in many closets for decades if not centuries, almost all of which involve some form of sexually predatory behavior. Sexual abuse of children, spousal abuse, male on male rape, male on female rape, incest, etc. The predatory record of homosexuality tends to get lumped into that sphere.

The bottom line: I am, on the level just outlined, part of THIS social system or community and I AM willing to make the sacrifices necessary to be a contributing part of the process. One of those could be seen as the sacrifices of individual liberty required to have and raise children, rather than hedonistic pursuit of our own earthly pleasures. These children will grow up to contribute to and perpetuate that social process. While it is not horrifying or particularly offensive to contemplate one of our children being gay, there is nothing particularly appealing about it either. I am not avoiding or rejecting communications on this subject as a matter of disrespect or dislike. I simply don't accept gayness as being a valid function of normal community survival or prosperity and don't find anything of happiness about declarations in that respect.

On some level the greater community good is the fundamental driver of all civilization. The natural derivative of that in the individual is commitment to a life that embodies and empowers a value system bigger than one's self. Early Greek and Roman thinkers spent a good deal of time on this subject. Some of the early arguments, pro and con, regarding the good of the individual, democratic thinking, and the notion of a republic all centered around different views of the “greater good”. Not much has changed in three millennia. While most people are, at one point or another, selfish, or may do things that are manifestly self-centered, if the overall balance of society or a civilization operates on an essentially self-centered scheme, devoid of a greater philosophy than personal materialism, it will ultimately fail. Witness the decline of the western Roman Empire, etc.

On a rational or intellectual level, I can accept that a gay couple can be every bit as loving, caring, and concerned for each other, as a straight couple BUT in the final word, all of that serves only the benefit of the couple, if it doesn't yield an incremental increase to the life span or survival of the community and it doesn’t convey the aggregated values of what DOES perpetuate the social process forward. By its very nature, a successful biological coupling brings a broad array of things to the process of forward social and psychological movement, as well as community survival that are either competely absent or severely challenged in an adoption situation, so adoption isn't the "easy" answer either.

Ultimately the works of the gay community over time have contributed and will continue to contribute in substantial and meaningful ways to the QUALITY of human life and civilization, but do not directly contribute in the most fundamental way to the CONTINUANCE of that community, and that will always be the critical focus and point of rejection, at the bottom line. "

Friday, July 25, 2008

More Obama Related Compost Turns Out To Be... Compost!!

The fun never stops under the big top... another dedicated McCain enthusiast and veteran (who apparently isn't familiar with McCain's voting record on veteran's issues!) by the nickname of Corky sent me another piece of electoral compost the other day that went along these lines:

Subject: This ought to wake us all up!


Spread the word.....

This is something you should be aware of so you don't get blind-sided. This is really going to catch a lot of families off guard. It should make you worry. Proposed changes in taxes after 2008 General election:

0% on home sales up to $500,000 per home (couples) McCain does not propose any change in existing home sales income tax.

28% on profit from ALL home sales

How does this affect you?
If you sell your home and make a profit, you will pay 28% of your gain on taxes.

If you are heading toward retirement and would like to down-size your home or move into a retirement community, 28% of the money you make from your home will go to taxes. This proposal will adversely affect the elderly who are counting on the income from their homes as part of their retirement income.


MCCAIN 15% (no change)

OBAMA 39.6%

How will this affect you? If you have any money invested in stock
market, IRA, mutual funds, college funds, life insurance, retirement
accounts, or anything that pays or reinvests dividends, you will now be paying nearly 40% of the money earned on taxes if Obama become president.

The experts predict that 'higher tax rates on dividends and capital gains would crash the stock market yet do absolutely nothing to cut the deficit.


MCCAIN (no changes)
Single making 30K - tax $4,500
Single making 50K - tax $12,500
Single making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 60K- tax $9,000
Married making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 125K - tax $31,250

(reversion to pre-Bush tax cuts)
Single making 30K - tax $8,400
Single making 50K - tax $14,000
Single making 75K - tax $23,250
Married making 60K - tax $16,800
Married making 75K - tax $21,000
Married making 125K - tax $38,750

Under Obama your taxes will more than double! How does this affect you? No explanation needed. This is pretty straight forward.


MCCAIN 0% (No change, Bush repealed this tax)

OBAMA Restore the inheritance tax

How does this affect you? Many families have lost businesses,
farms and ranches, and homes that have been in their families for generations because they could not afford the inheritance tax. Those willing their assets to loved ones will not only lose them to
these taxes.

* New government taxes proposed on homes that are more than 2400 square feet
* New gasoline taxes (as if gas weren't high enough already)
* New taxes on natural resources consumption (heating gas, water, electricity)
* New taxes on retirement accounts

and last but not least....
* New taxes to pay for socialized medicine so we can receive the same level of medical care as other third-world countries!!!


The GOOD NEWS? There's somebody beside me doing the homework on this junk (Hats off to Brooks Jackson!!) and Corky's nephew, who was aware of his work, sent the following response:


"Call me Alan Colmes (you know, a token independent that only seems liberal because of the company he keeps), but I had to reply to my uncle forwarding this one. A guy named Brooks Jackson thought the e-mail sounded as skewed as I did, and he did a little leg work
researching the "wake-up call."

"Alert readers may already have noted that this chain e-mail does not provide links to any of Obama's actual proposals or cite any sources for the claims it makes. That is because they are made up. This widely distributed message is so full of misinformation that we find it impossible to believe that it is the result of simple ignorance or carelessness on the part of the writer. Almost nothing it says about Obama's tax proposals is true. We conclude that this deception is deliberate.

Our own sources for the following are Obama's own Web site and other statements, interviews with Obama's policy advisers, and a comprehensive analysis of both the McCain and Obama tax plans produced by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, plus additional sources to
which we have provided links. (Sender's note: links at bottom)

Home Sales: The claim that Obama would impose a 28 percent tax on the profit from "all home sales" is false. Both Obama and McCain would continue to exempt the first $250,000 of gain from the sale of a primary residence ($500,000 for a married couple filing jointly) which
results in zero tax on all but a very few home sales.

Capital Gains Rate: It's untrue that Obama is proposing a 28 percent capital gains tax rate. He said in an interview on CNBC that he favors raising the top rate on capital gains from its present 15 percent to 20 percent or more, but no higher than 28 percent. And as for a 28 percent rate, he added, "my guess would be it would be significantly lower than that." Furthermore, he has said only couples making $250,000 or more (or, his policy advisers tell us, singles making more than $200,000) would pay the higher capital gains rate. That means the large majority of persons who pay capital gains taxes would see no increase at all.

Tax on Dividends: Another false claim is that Obama proposes to raise the tax rate on dividends to 39.6 percent. Dividends currently are taxed at a top rate of 15 percent, and Obama would raise that to the same rate as he would tax capital gains, somewhere between 20 percent
and 28 percent but likely "significantly" lower than 28 percent. This higher tax also would fall only on couples making $250,000 or more or singles making more than $200,000.

Taxing IRAs and 529s: Contrary to the claim in this e-mail, raising tax rates on capital gains or dividends would not result in higher taxes on any investments held in Individual Retirement Accounts or in popular, tax-deferred "college funds" under section 529 of the Internal Revenue
Code. The whole point of such tax-deferred plans is that dividends and capital gains are allowed to accumulate and compound tax-free, and neither Obama nor McCain proposes to change that. And as previously mentioned, any capital gains or dividend income from stocks, bonds or
mutual funds owned outside of tax-deferred accounts would continue to be taxed at current rates except for couples making over $250,000, or singles making more than $200,000.

Doubled Taxes? The claim that "Under Obama your taxes will more than double!" is also false. The comparative rate tables this e-mail provides for McCain and Obama are entirely wrong, as we explained in an earlier article March 13 about another false e-mail from which these tables are copied. It is supposedly a comparison of tax rates before and after the Bush tax cuts, but it grossly overstates the effect of the Bush cuts. Furthermore, Obama proposes to retain the Bush cuts for every single income level shown in this bogus table.

Estate Tax. The claim that Obama proposes to "restore the inheritance tax" is also false, as are the claims that McCain would impose zero tax and that Bush "repealed" it. McCain and Obama both would retain a reduced version of the estate tax, as it is correctly called, though McCain would reduce it by more.

The tax now falls only on estates valued at more than $2 million (effectively $4 million for couples able to set up the required legal and financial arrangements). It reaches a maximum rate of 45 percent on amounts more than that. It was not repealed, but it is set to expire
temporarily in 2010, then return in 2011, when it would apply to estates valued at more than $1 million ($2 million for couples), with the maximum rate rising to 55 percent.

Obama has proposed to apply the tax only to estates valued at more than $3.5 million ($7 million for couples), holding the maximum rate at 45 percent. McCain would apply it to estates worth more than $5 million ($10 million for couples), with a maximum rate of 15 percent.

"New Tax" Falsehoods: The e-mail continues with a string of made-up taxes that it falsely claims Obama has proposed. He has not proposed a tax on new homes with more than 2,400 square feet, or a new gasoline tax or a tax on retirement accounts. The most laughably false claim is that Obama would tax "water." Two claims in this message, while not completely false, are still grossly misleading.

The claim that Obama would impose "new taxes on natural resources" may refer to his support for a cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions, which indeed would impose large costs on industries burning coal, gas or oil and, indirectly, on their consumers. But McCain also
supports cap-and-trade legislation, and even co-authored an early version of a bill that reached the Senate floor this year. Obama's plan would give the federal government more of the revenue from auctioning pollution permits than McCain's plan. Whether cap-and-trade amounts to a "tax" is a matter of interpretation. The fact is neither McCain nor Obama call it that.

There is also some truth to the claim that Obama would impose "new taxes" to finance his health care plan, depending on your interpretation of "new." He has said he would pay for much of his plan "by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for people making more than $250,000 per year, as they are scheduled to do." That would certainly be a tax increase for those high-income persons, compared with what they are paying now. But whether that's imposing a new tax, or just letting an old one come back, depends on your point of view. It may well be that Obama will eventually propose tax increases to finance some of his plan. We've noted before that the "cost savings" that he says will finance much of his plan are inflated and probably won't materialize, according to independent experts we consulted. But it's wrong to say that he's proposing such taxes now.

“Background Questions and Answers on Health Care Plan.” Barack Obama’s Web site, accessed 10 July 2008.

“Energy and Environment. “Barack Obama’s Web site, accessed 10 July 2008.

News Release: “CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo Speaks with Senator Barack Obama
>on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” 27 March 2008. CNBC Web site.

“Plan to Strengthen the Economy.” Barack Obama’s Web site, accessed 10 July 2008.

Tax Policy Center: Urban Institute and Brookings Institution. “A Preliminary Analysis of the 2008 Presidential Candidates’ Tax Plans,” 20 June 2008.

Thank you to everyone who doesn't just auto-magically "buy in" to the bullshit much less waste everyone else's time and disk space to spread it! God save me from zealots who refuse to place honor and truth above their personal cause and will lie if necessary to save their hegemony.