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Marriage for Same-Sex Couples - Wow

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2 Votes
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Marriage for Same-Sex Couples - Wow

drowningnotwaving
{ Inspired and enabled by the previous encouraging series of posts, of course! :) } ...

I read with shock and awe, the announcement from Barack Obama that he's now evolved his thinking to say (as reported, let me add) "I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married."

Personally I can't see how we as a community can do anything else but enable full access to full rights for all human beings.

Enabling other people to enjoy the same legal and moral rights that I do, doesn't diffuse or dilute those rights for me, whatsoever. Indeed the opposite.

I would have thought documents like the US Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the US constitution make people's fundamental access to rights very clear. All people being equal and all that stuff. Those and similar documents don't qualify people who have three limbs, red hair or vote Green (more's the pity, perhaps, on the latter).

But then there's the political reality. Like admitting that the War on Drugs makes drug lords and corrupt cops both very rich. Like admitting that the longer term outlook in Afghanistan is unchanged, despite thousands of deaths and trillions of dollars. Few political leaders would be so naive to ignore the outcome of a public statement in support of gay marriage, no matter how it is 'positioned' or 'massaged'.

Did Obama just put the pistol to his own head? Perhaps seeing the end of his presidency as a foregone conclusion, did he decide to take his own moral high-ground?

Or is he some inspired genius about to make yet another mark on the global political landscape?
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    mjd420nova

    If the sole intent is to allow partners to make life decisions and control a partners estate upon death. It still comes down to the states deciding what to allow and how to apply the desired measures. Don't redefine the term for marriage just to satisfy the "civil rights" of same sex partners in single household.

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    AnsuGisalas

    Marriage is already a bunch of other things than the church gig, so I definitely don't see where the huge problem would be in same-sex marriage.
    On the other hand, if this "marriage term controversy" helps the "hegemosexual lobby" to prevent access to basic protections, then by all means circumvent it.

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    JamesRL

    To me marriage is the act of creating a lifelong committment of yourself to your partner, in front of your friends and family and optionally God, and having the state notified for legal reasons. And I say this as someone who is going through divorce proceedings, and has spent much time thinking about it.

    Many couples live together as common law couples. In my jurisdiction, if they live together for six months, they are considered common law couple, and they have most but not all of the rights of a married couple. But you can be common law in a passive sense. Being married in a ceremony is an active statement to the world.

    I don't think that the state should ever define my right to choose my partner in life. I think a church can and should decide if they want to marry my partner and I, and they already do - as a non-Catholic for example, I can't be married by a Catholic priest. Leave all of that up to the churches to decide. Let the state keep their nose out.

    You may not like the idea of gay marriage, but to openly oppose it, you have to go farther than that. You have to oppose equality. I am not a muslim or a jew, and I don't believe what they believe in, but I believe in their right to worship as they see fit(as long as it doesn't infringe on my rights to do the same). I am not gay, but I believe in the rights of all to chose who they love, and sanctify that love with a marriage ceremony and have all the rights as a married couple as straight married couples do.

    I come at this as a bit of a libertarian. I'm not pushing some "agenda", I am concerned that so many people who want the government out of their lives in some areas are willing to use the government to discriminate in one of the most personal areas of anyone's life. If I want others to respect my rights, I have to also respect theirs.

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    cmiller5400

    I couldn't have said it any better.

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    PurpleSkys Moderator

    And I totally resemble that remark. I have friends that are of different faiths and gay friends as well. I love them all as the people they are and I respect their beliefs.

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    AV .

    I never expected him to support same-sex marriage either, but I have so much respect for him that he did and that he was honest and spoke about how he arrived at his evolving decision. We all know gay people, gay couples and I've never understood why they, as taxpayers, should not have the same rights as me.

    Obama really had to take a stand on this issue, and I think he was being honest, come what may. I don't think he planned it as part of his campaign, it really came in response to the NC amendment to ban gay marriage and civil unions and Joe Biden's comments that he was comfortable with gay marriage. The President had to make a stand.

    Obama really put himself out there today and I think he said something that needed to be said. I think the focus should be on why states like NC would deny civil rights to taxpaying citizens because they have a different lifestyle than the norm.

    His decision to make a stand will force his Democratic constituents to talk about their views on gay marriage. That may not play well in the south, but those people need to look past their prejudices and realize that we are all taxpaying Americans and deserve the same rights. Forget about the bedroom.

    AV

    PS: Thank you DNW for your post. One day you should explain how you came up with your name

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    maxwell edison

    Fawning over the courage of Barack Hussein Obama over how his opinion has evolved. Give me a friggin break! How can people be so duped by this stuff?

    It was a political calculation, plain and simple. Even Joe Biden was chastised for upsetting the timing of the announcement, lest you think it was not a timed political calculation.

    Will Barack Hussein Obama's support of gay marriage be part of the Democratic Party Platform? Im guessing no.

    Will Barack Hussein Obama support a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between people other than one man and one woman? Not in your dreams.

    So what did Barack Hussein Obama do? He did what he does best. Drive yet another wedge into the minds of the electorate. Class warfare. Divisiveness, etc. Pit one group against another. Social demagoguery. That's what he does. And that's what he did again. No more, no less.

    Just like the bogus war on women issue that was totally contrived, this was also a political calculation intended to distract attention from the REAL issues, including, but not limited to, the looming debt question that will, once again, arise as the newly established debt ceiling is pushed even higher - something Obama and the Democrats claimed would not happen again until well into the twenty-teens.

    And what a distraction from those massive Barrack Hussein Obamas deficits, which, over the past three years of Obamas administration, have exceeded the GW Bush deficits over the entire eight years of his administration.

    And what a distraction from the lives lost in Afghanistan - more over the past three years than the previous seven combined.

    And what a distraction from the campaign lies spewed in the 2008 election.

    And what a distraction from the scandals of this administration, including, but not limited to, Fast and Furious, Solyndra, Holder, hidden records, secretive background, etc.

    And what a distraction from $5 gasoline.

    And what a distraction from an unemployment sector that remains terribly high.

    And what a distraction from.......

    The sad part is, people actually buy into the diversions.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    ...during Obama's term in office, no other politician has ever engaged in any of the following behaviors: "Drive yet another wedge into the minds of the electorate. Class warfare. Divisiveness, etc. Pit one group against another. Social demagoguery."

    ...the deficits, the war, the unemployment, and everything else (and the policies that created them) didn't exist on January 19, 2009, but auto-magically appeared from nowhere on January 20.

    ...his opposition has been doing everything in their power to help him succeed.

    You would have done better to simply complain about the timing, without the added commentary.

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    maxwell edison

    .... you don't see the big picture ....... that is, my "big picture" ....... that is, even which "big picture" I'm referring to!

    Re: "You would have done better to simply complain about the timing, without the added commentary. "

    Next time, perhaps I'll check with you to determine how I should reply to all the different people around here.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    as I read it, was that everything wrong in the world is the fault of Obama, with no acknowledgement of history or the conditions existing at his inauguration. In other words, pretty much the same tone heard on Fox News, from the WSJ, and from all the other "everything bad that happens is Obama's fault" talking herd.

    That almost directly contradicts what I understand of your previously stated "big picture".

    Obama expressed a personal viewpoint, that denying the legal and financial benefits of marriage to gays simply because they are gay is not consistent with Constitutional principles. Can he not have opinions because he is President?

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    maxwell edison

    ..... of posting before someone criticized "the tone" of my message. That must be a record of sorts.

    I guess I never realized that a message must have one distinct "tone" that appeals to, and can be understood by, scores, or hundreds, or maybe even thousands of readers.

    I'll be sure to mind my timbre. I sure don't want to strike a sour note with a TR Moderator!

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    ...approved.

    Perhaps I explained it poorly. I had thought you more just than to imply a single individual could be responsible for problems that have been 30 years or more in the making.

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    maxwell edison

    My "bigger picture" might be better described as follows:

    I can say with 100 percent certainty that AV (the person to whom my message was in reply) read my message, and took away from it something entirely different that you did (or someone else might have). It was intended for AV, who has other bits and pieces of this or that, which all makes my message something more tuned for AV's ears (eyes). (Realizing, of course, that other people will be reading it.)

    To say it was an "inside joke" might be a good comparison. Likewise, AV has some "inside information" that you don't have, with which my message can be further processed and understood. As such, I might surmise that you and AV saw two totally different messages, at least in its totality.

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    AV .

    Since the Republican-controlled NC legislature introduced an amendment banning gay marriage and civil unions, the media has had an ongoing discussion about marriage equality. Joe Biden's comments were in response to that ongoing conversation. Obama had to give more of a response than to say his views on marriage equality were "evolving", especially after Joe Biden's comments.

    If it was a political calculation by Obama as you say, it was a poor one. There are 30 states that have some kind of gay marriage ban in place. I think he would have rather not talked about this extremely divisive subject at all, but he was backed into a corner.

    I applaud Obama for his courage to give a very honest opinion of why there should be marriage equality. He spoke from the heart and risked his re-election because of his views. At the same time though, he gave hope to the many gay people in this country that they might one day be free to marry who they choose and enjoy the same rights as heterosexual couples. I think his opinion will inspire younger voters who don't have a problem with marriage equality.

    I don't think Obama wants to go any further with this issue at this time either, but now the issue has legs, so to speak and eventually it will be up to the Supreme Court to decide whether the state amendments infringe on civil rights.

    There is an upside for Romney in this too. The social conservatives will now feel more comfortable voting for him because he says he doesn't believe in marriage equality.

    All of these social issues are a huge distraction for sure, but I think the election will still be decided on economic issues. Both parties share in the blame for our country's woes because they can't work together and fix the problems. The truth is, after almost four years of Obama's leadership, we are still just treading water and going nowhere. Everyone sees that. We need someone that has strong leadership abilities to get the country out of this, but sadly it isn't Obama or Romney.

    AV

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    DelbertPGH

    Joe Biden's announcement forced Obama's hand. He had to make a statement. Large forces within the Democratic party support gay rights, including marriage. If Obama said he could not back gay marriage now, or worse, that he could never accept the concept of gays being recognized as entitled to the status of married people, he would have ignited civil war in his party. So, he announced he had "evolved."

    The more politic thing would have been to keep quiet while the rest of society worked closer to recognizing this as a human right. There are lots of moderate Democrats, as well as the whole evangelical group that has now become almost exclusively Republican, who are offended by it. He's just fired up more anger and opposition that he just didn't need. The whole gay marriage issue is a wedge, but it's not one that favors Obama.

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    Deadly Ernest

    as there's virtually no chance of any such legislation being put up before they close down for the next election, and if he wins he doesn't have to suit anyone but himself and if he loses he's out anyway. However, with what he's said and shown over the last two and a half years there's no way in **** Obama will actually sign off on any gay marriage legislation if it gets to him, no matter what.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    The term Marriage is very badly misunderstood and instead of allowing Gay People to "Get Married" we should allow "Civil Unions" and remove the Legal Implications from the Cristian Beliefs of what Marriage is.

    Enable Same Sex Couples to have the Same Legal Rights as Heterosexual Couples but remove the Term Marriage to anything but a Christian Joining and most defiantly remove the Legal Implications from the Christian Beliefs which to be perfectly honest where never there in the first place but have grown up Legally around the Church State to Propagate the Species.

    The Pauline Church Introduced Marriage to Improve/Strengthen it's Powers hold over it's followers and the State followed along with Legal Rights for that Pauline Church Union. What should be freely available to any who wishes it here is the Legal Rights that go along with what we now call Marriage but to get rid of the Rabid Pauline Christian Fanatics we should remove all State Sponsored Legal Rights/Obligations from the Marriage that is accepted by the Church. It will at least give the Loony Christian something real to complain about when they realize that they have no more rights than any other member of the society who protects them from their own stupidity.

    Personally I don't give a Rats if Same Sex Couples can marry or not but I do find it Discriminatory that they are prevented from having the same Legal Rights as others in the same Society for no better reason than that they like someone from their own sex more than from the other sex.

    That is called "Individual Choice" and I really don't have a problem with it where as those Married Christians who come to my door uninvited attempting to Pervert me to their way of thinking along with their Wives and snotty Nosed Sick Children hoping for Sympathy should have the Legal Niceties removed from what they rely on as the Backbone of their flawed belief system to have the same Legal Rights as anyone else who doesn't care one way or the other.

    The Problem here is the Word Marriage and it's the Lonnie Christian Groups who object most strongly with what is effectively stupid retorts that are not backed up by the sources that they quote. Remember despite Popular Belief Cinderella wore Fur Slippers not Glass and Electricity flows from Negative to Positive not Positive to Negative.

    Marriage is a Legal Union between People and it's only the Church which claims that it's between a Man & a Woman for the Proposes of Procreation. Apparently if a Married Couple do not or can not have children they are somehow less than Married in the Eyes of some Church Members and Followers.

    Personally the Heterosexuals have so badly messed up Marriage that I feel "What the ****" let the Gays get married they couldn't make it any worse.

    Col

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    CharlieSpencer

    "remove the Term Marriage to anything but a Christian Joining"

    Replace 'Christian' with 'religious' and I'm with you. The government should do a 'Find and Replace All' operation on every occurrence of the word 'marriage' in our laws and substitute 'civil union'.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    It's just that as the West is predominately Christian it's Laws reflect Christian Values.

    After all there currently are no Western Countries with Shara Laws which predominate and God Help us all if that was ever to happen.

    Col

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    Snak

    .... and Stoutism, Dwarfism, Ageism and any other -ism you can think of. It's time we abolished words like these (and the concepts behind them). ANY form of discrimination or prejudice is, and can be described by, 'Social Prejudice'. And Social Prejudice (or any sub-type) is, or should be, a crime. Social Prejudism on grounds of skin colour, sex, age etc. is just as ridiculous as on grounds of ginger hair, flat feet, green eyes, long/short/no hair. We are all Human.

    With no prejudice on grounds of difference, the topic of 'same-sex' marriage goes away because any coupling or grouping just becomes a coupling or grouping of two or more people - each with identical rights and with no discrimination between or against them.

    I once raised this in another forum and was told that the concept of 'Racism' should be maintained so that 'we can fight it'. I do of course exclude from this argument 'stupidism'. That's fair game.

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    john.a.wills

    Both are behavior sets around the concept homosexuality, which is an improper concept, so they are two sides of the same counterfeit coin. There are two underlying issues, viz. sexual inversion of the erotic instincts, a psychological condition; and the set of behaviors, including buggary, tribadism, cunnilingus, what-have-you called by the biologists simulated copulation, by the moralists mutual masturbation and perhaps by most people sexual perversion (although they are actually perversions of eroticism away from sexuality). When these two phenomena coincide in a person we call that person gay, or *****.

    I spent a lot of time trying to make this distinction to a gay friend (he used to walk in the Gay Pride parade with a sign proclaiming "God is gay"), who started correcting his language but did not, alas, live long enough to transform his doctrines.

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    CharlieSpencer

    "sexual inversion of the erotic instincts"

    Clarification, please. What is 'sexual inversion'? Googling the phrase yields results mostly from the early 20th century. Many of those refer to the phrase as synonymous with 'homosexuality' and describe it as 'innate'. With no modern definitions to work from, can we associate 'innate' with 'instinctive'? Do we all have the same 'erotic instincts'? If so, why do some find certain acts or behaviors as erotic while others do not? If not, who or what defines some instincts as 'proper' and some as 'improper'?

    "the set of behaviors, including buggary, tribadism, cunnilingus"

    The first and last of these behaviors are not limited to homosexuals; heterosexuals perform them too, along with variations of the second. Indeed, this heterosexual performed at least one of them this morning. Are these behaviors 'improper' only when homosexuals engage in them, or are they also 'improper' when done by heterosexuals? If 'improper' in all cases, is heterosexuality also then an 'improper concept'?

    "we call that person gay, or *****."

    We? Maybe you do, but many us have moved '*****' to the same ashcan as '*****', '****', and '******'.

    And no, I didn't give you the '-1' vote.

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    john.a.wills

    The words "heterosexual", "homosexual" and "bisexual" attempt to cover a set of bases, but close examination reveals that they do not work very well. It was in fact by consideration of the uses of "heterosexual" that I came to the realization that all 3 concepts are improper. Now, "homosexuality" is sometimes used as a synonym for sexual inversion, but the word has become too loaded with other meanings to be of any real use in intelligent discussion.

    I have not said that the behaviors I mentioned are in any sense improper - if you think they are sinful, then obviously a two-sex couple engaging in them is more sinful than a one-sex couple, because the two-sex couple has the option of copulation, which is at worst a "natural sin" and at best a sacramental.

    I have not said that anyone's instincts are in any sense improper. I merely attempt to clear the field for intelligent discussion of biology, behavior and, as you have brought it up, morality.

    The gays where I work have a "***** Resource Center", so obviously the connotations of words are different between California and South Carolina. Oddly enough, in British Manchester the people who call themselves ***** are the sexual inverts who live as gays most of the time but about once a month engage in copulation just to prove they can.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    are based in religion, also a human construct, they are, with respect to sexual conduct , constructs as artificial as homosexuality...

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    robo_dev

    There are pills for that, surely.

    Having read the OP around five times, I think the point is that people should do whatever they want and not worry so much about what other people think, as long as no other people, animals, or livestock get hurt in the process.

    It's like p0rnography, it's impossible to describe but I know it when I see it.

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    john.a.wills

    a bill proposed by Senator Lieu would make it illegal to prescribe them in California.

    As for the question of doing what one wants... what if doing what one likes gives scandal, i.e. encourages others to sin, or somehow degrades humanity? I think that the latter is perhaps important because rights are not really self-evident but derive from human dignity, and it is for the sake of human dignity that states forbid cruelty to animals, not for that of any rights the animals have.

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    CharlieSpencer

    Define 'sin' in a legal context. Gay marriage (or civil union, if you prefer) is a legal issue. No one disputes the right of a religious organization to sanction only those partnerships that meet its requirements. But US law supposedly isn't biased toward the beliefs of any one religion.

    As to degrading humanity, if love between two people is the most degrading behavior being exhibited then I submit humanity is in pretty good shape.

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    john.a.wills

    Love is the only thing that cannot harm your neighbor, one of the NT letters says somewhere. But one might argue that mutual masturbation is contrary to human dignity - again with the understanding that it is more easily pardonable when the participants cannot copulate.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    If not, why is it even anybody else's business?

    All the religion-based arguments used by Christians against homosexuality (and they are all based on religion) ignore the statement in Genesis 1:27 that man was created in God's image and that in Genesis 1:31, God saw that everything he had created was "very good". For self-described Christians to call homosexuality (for want of another word) "un-Godly" or "the Devil's work" strongly implies their disapproval of the work of God...

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    CharlieSpencer

    Wasn't it Mark Twain who said, "Man is the only animal that blushes; or needs to."

    There's little dignified about The Beast With Two Backs; at least, not if you're doing it right.

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    robo_dev

    I forgot to add "in the privacy of one's bedroom with two (or more) consenting adults"

    The right to privacy really blows apart the whole idea that particular sexual activities are somehow morally wrong, an affront to humanity., or there is harm in encouraging others to do whatever it is they want to do within the legally defined boundaries of their bedroom, (with other consenting adult or adults, and with whatever food products or industrial machinery they might fancy.)

    My statements about livestock were meant to be a joke since the law proscribes that only adult humans of sound mind are capable of granting consent.

    God created sex, and God created pleasure, but since us humans have free will, last time I checked, exactly how we all get from point A to point B is not something that society or the government should monitor, regulate, or control, and if God has a problem with it, we either will or will not have he__ to pay in the end, depending if the athiests were right or not.

    We cannot regulate if people do things below their dignity, and scandal, per-se, tends to be a mixture of hatred, jealousy, and a misguided attempt for one group to impose their moral standards on another group.

    The 'Sake of Human Dignity' does indeed grant rights to animals; it is fairly self-evident that animals feel pain and experience hunger, therefore animal cruelty laws forbid these things; it's not a vague moral construct, but specific actions that are allowed or forbidden.

    Human dignity can and should be the basis of our laws, and we also expect that our judicial system helps to apply these laws fairly, but on their own, they are little more than the 'church lady' making a really sour face.

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    maxwell edison

    Re: "Human dignity can and should be the basis of our laws...."

    I thought the basis for our laws was the US Constitution, which has its basis on the concept of individual liberty.

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    JamesRL

    If the basis of the US Constitution is individual liberty, then how can states deny individuals the right to marry who they chose?

    BTW our Canadian consitution isn't so individually based, but it was still used as the basis to allow gay marriage in Canada, as a prohibition on descrimination based on sexual orientation was already in the Charter of Rights which is a key part of our constituion.

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    maxwell edison

    Re: If the basis of the US Constitution is individual liberty, then how can states deny individuals the right to marry who they chose?

    It's already established that states have a right to define parameters of what may or may not constitutes a marriage. That's not really debatable.

    The question is whether or not those parameters (laws) are in conflict with either a granted power (a provision) contained within the US Constitution, or if they actually do violate a constitutionally protected right. I'd love to witness such a debate in front of our nine Supreme Court judges and possibly learn the answer to that question myself.

    Moreover, a discussion regarding the the relationships of, and the differences between, the US Constitution and individual State Constitutions, is a discussion in and of itself.

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    john.a.wills

    The basis is surely the theory given in the Declaration of Independence (the U.S. Constitution itself does not give much theory), viz. God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (which, I have been told, was very nearly "property"). This puts liberty second to life and has all the rights coming from God. The state does not grant rights, it merely recognises them and secures them (or should). The authors of the Declaration included Deists, not just Christians of a variety of denominations, but they had in common enough to recognise God as the author of, inter alia, individual liberty. Now if these rights are aspects of human dignity, as at least one constitution (the German) says, then perhaps human dignity is indeed the basis of the freedoms enumerated in the U.S. Constitution.

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    maxwell edison

    Re: The basis is surely the theory given in the Declaration of Independence (the U.S. Constitution itself does not give much theory), viz. God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (which, I have been told, was very nearly "property"). This puts liberty second to life and has all the rights coming from God. The state does not grant rights, it merely recognizes them and secures them (or should). The authors of the Declaration included Deists, not just Christians of a variety of denominations, but they had in common enough to recognize God as the author of, inter alia, individual liberty. Now if these rights are aspects of human dignity, as at least one constitution (the German) says, then perhaps human dignity is indeed the basis of the freedoms enumerated in the U.S. Constitution.

    As you probably know, I'm a big-time Constitutionalist. I know, and agree with, what you said. An exception I might make, however, is that in the Constitution, the word "God" is not used. The word "Creator" is used instead. While in the eyes of Christians (and other faiths), God might be the Creator, in the eyes of others, "the Creator" does not always equal God. The "Creator", as referenced in the US Constitution, is called, "Nature's God", in the Declaration.

    Point being, as you indicated, mortal man (or government) does not grant rights. They are instead naturally endowed upon a person by the "Creator", regardless of how one might define "the Creator". Government's role is to secure and protect them. (But government has actually become the biggest violator of them!)

    I would love to have a discussion on the US Constitution. Maybe it would get some people around here to actually read it.

    My initial reply was regarding the "human dignity" thing - it's pretty subjective. On the basis of "human dignity", for example, one person might be vehemently opposed to something like euthanasia, while another person is in favor of it for the same "dignity" reasons. We don't want government defining "human dignity", do we?

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    AV .

    As you mentioned in your post:

    "I would love to have a discussion on the US Constitution. Maybe it would get some people around here to actually read it."

    Something to consider . . .

    AV

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    CharlieSpencer

    "'Racism' should be maintained so that 'we can fight it'."

    I guess that mean small pox should be maintained so doctors can learn how to treat it.

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    robo_dev

    And we really do not know who created them. If they were all eliminated, the companies like McAfee and Symantec would go out of business.

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    JamesRL

    I do think McAfee and Symantec have great PR people who keep the fear of virus industry running at a fever pitch. Rarely do we get hit as hard with attacks as predicted.

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    AnsuGisalas

    It bothers me, as I translate to and from English, that there's this dialect of English, spoken now by at least two presidents, and by a number of corporate CEOs as well, which seems to do its best to communicate as little as possible, while using the first person pronouns often as possible - I am not sure about the latter, I haven't been able to study the phenomenon as much as required, because it numbs the brain, even with minor exposure.
    I could understand it if it were an objective-bias speech; one where the speaker goes out of the speaker's way to underline which parts of speech are statements of perceived fact, and which are statements of personally held opinion... there would be some merit to that, I feel. In stead I see this "I can definitely say that we can now clearly state that it is my stated opinion that fire burns!"
    I first thought it was all just a Dubya idiolect (that term does not [always] mean idiot's dialect, but rather idiosyncratic speech pattern), but now I see it everywhere.

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    JamesRL

    The president of the US, or a CEO, has a number of roles.

    The President of the US, for example, is the leader of the government, the most important member of his partisan political party, the head of the armed forces, a husband/wife, father/mother etc. Through his speech and his tone, he has to be clear who is speaking for, himself, his government, his country,his military, his family, his political party.

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    AnsuGisalas

    But look at the example given above: "I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think X"... merely separating I-as-a-person and I-as-the-figurehead-of-Y would have been satisfied by "I have come to the conclusion that X", or the much shorter "I now feel that X".
    So I think there's something else going on.
    You could be on to something though - it would be fun at least to interpret the different 1.person references as referring to different aspects of the presidential person: The first can be the human person, the second can be the leader of the administration, the third can be the representative of party leadership and the last can be the Commander In Chief...
    Compare, if they were different people: "I've just concluded that for John, personally it is important for Bob to go ahead and affirm that Jaqueline thinks X" :^0 Schizophrenia, the game of Kings!

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    CharlieSpencer

    They're trying to sound impressive while saying as little of substance as possible. Common US English descriptions include 'smoke and mirrors' and 'house of cards'. Don't you have the joke about how to tell when a politician is lying?

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    AnsuGisalas

    They're lying if what they say seems to have some kind of concrete content? :^0

    Or is it if their lips are moving?

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    Slayer_

    It's just gay marriage, get over it.

    Why not tackle a real issue like universal healthcare or the massive national debt.

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    jfuller05

    He probably went ahead and defined his position on same-sex marriage because he can't run on his economic record. So, instead of running on his economic record, he will try and run on a social record.

    I've been trying to figure out why he "all of a sudden" publicly announced his same-sex marriage position and that is the best I can come up with. The other idea I have is that his "gay" donors were going to withdraw funds to his campaign if he didn't publicly advocate same-sex marriage.

    I'm definitely willing to say I could be wrong on either idea, but those seem to be the most likely reasons.

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    JamesRL

    And I have worked for politicians, and still count many as friends....

    ...cause Joe Biden made an ooopsie....

    Obama was sitting back, not seeing an advantange in stating a position, or struggling with the legal implications.

    Then Biden comments. When your VP brings his opinions to the national media, suddenly the national medium thinks, "if the VP thinks this way, what does the President think. If the VP is "brave" enough to say it, then why isn't the president." Suddenly the president found himself behind the issue, and it wasn't pretty. He had to declare or be tarred with the indecisive brush. Maybe he remembers Jimmy Carter, who was tarred with that same brush.

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    AnsuGisalas

    of course, with these power struggles always going on between Ps and VPs, it's also fully possible that Biden decided to excercise some power, either for moral reasons or for the rush it gives... or why not both?

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    maxwell edison

    Not trying to be offensive, Ansu, but that's almost laughable. I won't deny that there are many of those types of things that might tend to give Biden some kind of power rush, but the Obama tingle that crawled up Chris Matthew's leg in 2008 has a closely related cousin residing on Biden's.

    Regarding the general speculation of a power struggle between Ps and VPs, it might sound nice in print or to say, but in reality? Actually, I can't recall such a power struggle between a P and a VP in my entire adult lifetime.

    Is there an Obama / Biden power struggle? No way.

    Bush (43) / Cheney? Nope.

    Clinton / Gore? Maybe to a degree, but Al was pretty much a lap boy (lest he would have pounced on the Clinton sex scandals)

    Bush (41) / Quayle? Pause while I stop laughing.

    Still paused because of my laughing at the thought of a Dan Quayle power grab.

    Still paused because of my laughing at the thought of a Dan Quayle power grab.

    Reagan / Bush? Maybe initially, early in Reagan's first term (since G HW Bush was Reagan's major primary challenger), but not over the long term of Reagan's two terms. G HW Bush was pretty much the silent guy in waiting at that point.

    Carter / Mondale? Not that I recall. Mondale was curiously silent during the debacle we call the Carter Administration.

    Nixon / (Pardon Me) Ford?
    Nixon / (Flip the Finger) Rockefeller?
    Nixon / (No Contest) Agnew?

    Not likely any of them were in a power struggle with "Tricky ****".

    Johnson/Humphrey? Now we're going WAY back. But as I recall, Humphrey carried Johnson's Social Programs Bucket.

    Kennedy/Johnson? BINGO! I might put this as the last, great, power struggle between a P and his VP. In fact, some conspiracy theorists actually believe that it was Johnson behind .......... well, never mind. I won't go there.

    Disclaimer: My "adult lifetime" has not had a span of as many years as my P / VP analysis. I was a mere lad when Kennedy was president.

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    CharlieSpencer

    was the first one that came to my mind. The potential for a power struggle between them was aggravated by Johnson's dislike of Kennedy's Attorney General / brother, Bobby Kennedy. Johnson's rough-and-tumble Texas background didn't jibe with those of Kennedy's 'best and brightest'. Unlike more recent VPs, Johnson gave up significant power, stepping down from Senate majority leader for the comparatively impotent vice-presidency. That couldn't have done much for his attitude. I sometime wonder why he made the career choice. I assume it was to use the VP office as a springboard, but certainly not in the way it eventually happened.

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    ...

    AnsuGisalas

    at least you/we hope not!
    That would put all conspiracy theories to shame, wouldn't it?

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    robo_dev

    Jackie O believed that Johnson was part of the plot to kill Kennedy and said so on recorded interview tapes she requested be kept secret until 50 years after her death.

    Johnson was the target of a huge investigation and he was likely to get dropped from the ticket in 64.

    "Jackie Onassis believed that Lyndon B Johnson and a cabal of Texas tycoons were involved in the assassination of her husband John F Kennedy, ???explosive??? recordings are set to reveal.

    The secret tapes will show that the former first lady felt that her husband???s successor was at the heart of the plot to murder him.

    She became convinced that the then vice president, along with businessmen in the South, had orchestrated the Dallas shooting, with gunman Lee Harvey Oswald ??? long claimed to have been a lone assassin ??? merely part of a much larger conspiracy.

    Texas-born Mr Johnson, who served as the state???s governor and senator, completed Mr Kennedy???s term and went on to be elected president in his own right.

    The tapes were recorded with leading historian Arthur Schlesinger Jnr within months of the assassination on November 22, 1963, and had been sealed in a vault at the Kennedy Library in Boston."

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2023418/Jackie-O-tapes-reveal-JFKs-affairs-believed-death.html#ixzz1uqrxw36I

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    robo_dev

    The more it sounds like it's true.

    There is this guy in Texas called Billy Sol Estes who must have been bad luck, because everybody he knew ended up dead, including the guy whose death was ruled a suicide (shot five times with his own hunting rifle), and three prosecution witnesses who died of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

    "On 3rd June, 1961, Marshall was found dead on his farm by the side of his Chevy Fleetside pickup truck. His rifle lay beside him. He had been shot five times with his own rifle. County Sheriff Howard Stegall decreed that Marshall had committed suicide."

    Johnson was being investigated and he was likely to be dropped from the ticket in 64, in lieu of Bobby Kennedy.

    If the allegations are true, Estes was Johnson's hit-man. Seriously.....

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    AnsuGisalas

    Ok, that's understandable, as he was never able to formulate his intent as anything other than "I want a bigger potatoe"... which understandably received a smile and a pat on the head.

    But, to any president, the VP (reverse the roles for the Dubya/Cheney set) will represent a potential rival, someone to be watched like a hawk. VPs must have moments where they think, why am I here just twiddling my thumbs for four years? Especially when the Presidency isn't going in a way that will help their chances in future elections.

    The VP does have this symbolic power, and since that symbolic power cannot be used except by railroading their bosses, their bosses will have to try and safeguard against that, usually by getting a lame horse as a running mate: Which is what your historical records also show.

    But you're right, I wasn't talking about an open power struggle, but about a more theoretical power struggle, and often it is one that is won pre-emptively, by way of getting a total dweeb for VP (again, reverse for Dubya/Cheney).
    Still, I do think all the presidents you mentioned will have had a moment of each day where they've felt a pang of fear about what their VP might do.

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    maxwell edison

    ..... Obama "following" Biden.

    Biden screwed up by spilling the politically calculated beans sooner than Obama wanted them spilled. This was a planned and calculated move, not an Obama reply to a Biden "oops" moment.

    The only "oops" was on Biden's part by revealing the administration's announcement sooner than planned.

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    jfuller05

    I think it was a poor move on Obama's part. He should have waited until after his win in november, provided he actually does win of course, instead of speaking out about it now. Of course, it may not have been a poor move, it could be that he was losing donors for not cementing a pro position for same-sex marriage. He may have been forced into speaking out sooner because of Biden or because of donors or maybe a combination of both?

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    maxwell edison

    It matters little what Barack Hussein Obama (or anyone else, for that matter) "thinks" about gay marriages. What matters is the "therefore what" question.

    What can (or what should) the federal government do if an individual state (or states) wants to either ban gay marriage or define marriage as a union between one man and one woman in their respective states constitution?

    Short of a U.S. Constitutional Amendment regarding the definition of "marriage" within the United States (or some other constitutionally allowed federal law), there's not a lot the feds can do.

    And since Obama and his minions are not planning to advance a gay-friendly Constitutional Amendment regarding the definition of marriage, they are exploiting the issue purely for political expediency. Talking the talk is easy. But taking the walk, thats a different story all together.

    My message to Obama and the Democrats: Either advance the notion of a Constitutional Amendment that allows gay marriage within the United States, or STFU and quit dividing people.

    As a disclaimer, my position is just that. Either way, pro gay marriage or anti gay marriage (and I fall on neither side), advance your notion by way of a Constitutional Amendment, and just let those chips fall where they may.

    I get SO TIRED of people debating questions or issues, with nary a thought of the right and proper way to address them. In this case, that's a Constitutional Amendment, whether it be U.S. or State Constitution.

    But, that's the sport of politics.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

    It's taken us over a century to even get close to the precepts in that statement with regard to skin color. Will it take another century to do the same with respect to sexual orientation?

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    AnsuGisalas

    That does sound like language to make the case, after all, any argument before the Supreme Court that marriage (as defined by a state!) must/can be about anything else than "the equal protection [of property rights as described by] the laws" would be quite hard to substantiate.
    Possession is nine tenths of the law, also of any law defining marriage.

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    maxwell edison

    You're misreading the article. To apply your interpretation (in this case), you'd have to also allow a brother and sister who wish to wed the same "equality under the law".

    "Equality under the law" implies that all laws are applied equally across the population. Moreover, marriage is not a "law".

    For the record, here's my take on the issue:

    It's not my issue. I don't care one way or the other. But I don't see anyone's rights being infringed upon.

    Having said that, I don't like tax laws that favor married people over single people, that favor one group over another group, etc. I don't like any law that treats different people differently. But marriage is not a law. If laws (taxes, etc.) favor married people over single people, then it's the law (or tax rules) that should be changed, not the definition of what has been marriage for eons. It's stupid to change the definition of words and institutions, or to make defined institutions more inclusive, just to accommodate a law. If that's what's necessary for fairness, then it's the law, itself, that's unfair; and it's the law, itself, that should be changed or repealed.

    I do believe that a ???legal??? marriage and a ???sacred??? marriage are as different as black and white. One does not necessarily make and/or equal the other. And although I'm not crazy about government even being involved in marriage at all, I do see a need for such a thing; as such I have no problem with state government defining parameters for what may or may not constitute a marriage. I have no problem with the federal government getting involved to the extent of keeping respective state government laws applicable with each other across state lines. (As long as the federal government involves itself in a constitutionally consistent manner - i.e. a constitutional amendment, one way or the other.)

    But if a state is violating individual rights by disallowing same gender couples to marry, then that same state is also violating the individual rights of a blood-related brother and sister who want to legally marry; and that same state is also violating the individual rights of a threesome who wants to legally marry; or a foursome who wants to legally marry; etc.

    Individual rights are not automatically violated just because one person can legally do something that another person cannot legally do. Are a fifteen year old's right being violated because he can't get a driver???s license? No. Are my individual rights being violated because I can't join a women's only health club? No. Is a gay guy's rights being violated if he can't "marry" another guy? No.

    The definition of "rights" often gets skewed.

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    AnsuGisalas

    But the protections and benefits granted to married couples are not integral to this "marriage", either. These are protections written to law.

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    JamesRL

    We are both espousing theories, and I doubt we will ever be able to prove either of them. Even if someone writes a memoir a few years down the road, their view will not necessarily reflect reality.

    Equally plausible was that Biden was releasing a trial balloon, and polling after Biden's statement gave Obama the courage to make his statement.

    What I do know is that making the statement won't net out in a gain of votes for the Democrats.

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    AnsuGisalas

    Just playing devil's advocate; if Biden's statement HAD forced Barack Hussein Obama II to make up his mind about whether to declare or not, then it would be highly embarrassing, and a public statement about how this wasn't the case, but rather one of "timetable misunderstanding" would be excellent damage control...

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    JamesRL

    I am somewhat ambivalent on Obama's action, truth be told.

    He is late to the party as it were. His VP's comments about the NC vote probably prodded him into action, but as a President, he has a duty to lead, not follow.

    I can understand that he may have struggled with the issue. But it was an active issue in many states before now, and he should have come to grips with it one way or another. I did state on a FB post that he did have to consider the implications, not from an electoral perspective, but a consitutional one. But upon reflection, he could have started the process of consulting with constitutional experts some time ago.

    But sometimes you have to applaud the act, late or not. Like someone who has a commonlaw relationship for years, and then gets married. (Been there, done that, got the T shirt, burned it).

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    robo_dev

    It was a gift to energize his base in an election year.

    Enough of trying to reach across the aisle and lose fingers, just show some leadership, dang it, and make some decisions already. It was a move that shows confidence and leadership.

    There was no panic in the streets with DADT was repealed.

    Obama could cure cancer and the GOP would blast him for taking jobs away from doctors.

    He could walk on water, and the GOP would blast him for doing something beneath the dignity of the president "look at him, out there dancing around on the water while Americans are without jobs".

    Personally, this is an issue that does not affect me or impact me at all. If people of the same sex want to experience the soul-destroying thing called marriage, more power to them.

    With the election six months away, it was wise to get in front of this issue, handle it, and thus it goes away. What, like there were scores of conservative Christians who WERE going to vote for Obama who are now offended....yeah right.

    It's not really an issue the GOP can go ballistic on, since going against it alienates the very voters they need, and again, Obama can do nothing right in their book in any case.

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    AV .

    It was an inopportune time for him to address this issue during the presidential campaign, but there was no BS on his part. I like that about Obama. The US is backwards on this issue and in denial. There are so many gay people out there and privately they are accepted, yet the evangelicals in this country won't accept it publicly. It is a total farce.

    I think Obama did a good thing by stating his honest opinion, but when I look at Mitt Romney and listen to him talk about how he doesn't support marriage equality, I see a man that is either lying or hasn't kept up with the times or maybe someone who is just playing to the conservative base of people that don't like the idea of marriage equality.

    I can relate. I lived in sin for fifteen years and then got married. I'm still married though, I survived.

    AV

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    JamesRL

    I can't honestly tell you if Obama recently came to his position, or whether he came to it some time ago. But the opportune time for the president to chime in was as the first states started to pass these anti-same sex marriage resolutions, not after many of them had already been passed. If he hadn't come to a decision at that point, he should have dove in and come to it. That would have been leadership.

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    AV .

    From Wikipedia:

    "In January 2009, it was reported that Obama opposed a federal mandate for same-sex marriage, and also opposed the Defense of Marriage Act,[58] stating that individual states should decide the issue.[59][60] Obama opposed Proposition 8 ??? California's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage ??? in 2008.[61] In December 2010, the White House website stated that the president supported full civil unions and federal rights for LGBT couples and opposed a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage."[57] He also stated that his position on same-sex marriage was "evolving" and that he recognized that civil unions from the perspective of same-sex couples was "not enough", before subsequently declaring his full support for the legalization of same-sex marriage in May 2012"

    I don't think he really wanted to pursue this issue right now. Some people say he is using the issue to distract from his poor record on the economy/job creation. If he is, he made a poor choice because this country is not ready to accept gay marriage and the number one issue on voters minds is the state of the economy and job creation.

    AV

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    markp24

    I personally feel in the USA, we have freedoms, and if your religion or non religious belief allows you to marry (fill in anything here) that's fine with me, who am i to tell you what to do.
    But i do feel the government had s no right stating what is marriage and what is not. The constitution clearly state separation of church (ie religion) and state (ie government) will not.
    If this is all for tax advantages, well I disagree with Tax favoritism based on marriage status, religion, race, social status, etc)

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    AnsuGisalas

    But ...also about some other benefits, like being allowed to decide if the hospital can stop keeping a person alive who will no longer come to. Imagine living with someone for 30 years, sharing joys and griefs, but when it comes to allowing them a dignified end, you have to pin your hopes on the other person's estranged parents who hate you.
    Also about life insurance benefits, as well as the right to stay in a co-owned property even if the other partner had heirs (otherwise those heirs have the right to demand that the shared home is sold).

    Actually, IT IS THE CHURCH WHICH HAS NO RIGHT TO STATE WHAT MARRIAGE IS AND IS NOT, SINCE MARRIAGE IS NOT A RELIGIOUS ARTIFACT!

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    markp24

    Interesting information, i was unaware of the nitty gritty stuff that legal system has going on. but thank you for noting that, im always learning something new.

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    AV .

    If I was a gay person and my partner was seriously ill, I would not be able to see him or do anything to help him because I'm not next of kin or part of his immediate family. Thats pretty devastating to me and I think to most people in that situation.

    Denying marriage equality denies gay people the rights to be with their loved ones when its most important.

    AV

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    AnsuGisalas

    Neat! When did that happen? Better than the NEW flag, I think.
    Does it work for the all-expanded viewing too? (I use the collapsed view, so I dunno)

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    but I use expanded view almost exclusively.

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    CharlieSpencer

    I meant to comment on it myself. Thanks for giving the PTBs some recognition.

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    mjd420nova

    If the sole intent is to allow partners to make life decisions and control a partners estate upon death. It still comes down to the states deciding what to allow and how to apply the desired measures. Don't redefine the term for marriage just to satisfy the "civil rights" of same sex partners in single household.

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    AnsuGisalas

    Marriage is already a bunch of other things than the church gig, so I definitely don't see where the huge problem would be in same-sex marriage.
    On the other hand, if this "marriage term controversy" helps the "hegemosexual lobby" to prevent access to basic protections, then by all means circumvent it.

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    JamesRL

    To me marriage is the act of creating a lifelong committment of yourself to your partner, in front of your friends and family and optionally God, and having the state notified for legal reasons. And I say this as someone who is going through divorce proceedings, and has spent much time thinking about it.

    Many couples live together as common law couples. In my jurisdiction, if they live together for six months, they are considered common law couple, and they have most but not all of the rights of a married couple. But you can be common law in a passive sense. Being married in a ceremony is an active statement to the world.

    I don't think that the state should ever define my right to choose my partner in life. I think a church can and should decide if they want to marry my partner and I, and they already do - as a non-Catholic for example, I can't be married by a Catholic priest. Leave all of that up to the churches to decide. Let the state keep their nose out.

    You may not like the idea of gay marriage, but to openly oppose it, you have to go farther than that. You have to oppose equality. I am not a muslim or a jew, and I don't believe what they believe in, but I believe in their right to worship as they see fit(as long as it doesn't infringe on my rights to do the same). I am not gay, but I believe in the rights of all to chose who they love, and sanctify that love with a marriage ceremony and have all the rights as a married couple as straight married couples do.

    I come at this as a bit of a libertarian. I'm not pushing some "agenda", I am concerned that so many people who want the government out of their lives in some areas are willing to use the government to discriminate in one of the most personal areas of anyone's life. If I want others to respect my rights, I have to also respect theirs.

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    cmiller5400

    I couldn't have said it any better.

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    PurpleSkys Moderator

    And I totally resemble that remark. I have friends that are of different faiths and gay friends as well. I love them all as the people they are and I respect their beliefs.

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    AV .

    I never expected him to support same-sex marriage either, but I have so much respect for him that he did and that he was honest and spoke about how he arrived at his evolving decision. We all know gay people, gay couples and I've never understood why they, as taxpayers, should not have the same rights as me.

    Obama really had to take a stand on this issue, and I think he was being honest, come what may. I don't think he planned it as part of his campaign, it really came in response to the NC amendment to ban gay marriage and civil unions and Joe Biden's comments that he was comfortable with gay marriage. The President had to make a stand.

    Obama really put himself out there today and I think he said something that needed to be said. I think the focus should be on why states like NC would deny civil rights to taxpaying citizens because they have a different lifestyle than the norm.

    His decision to make a stand will force his Democratic constituents to talk about their views on gay marriage. That may not play well in the south, but those people need to look past their prejudices and realize that we are all taxpaying Americans and deserve the same rights. Forget about the bedroom.

    AV

    PS: Thank you DNW for your post. One day you should explain how you came up with your name

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    maxwell edison

    Fawning over the courage of Barack Hussein Obama over how his opinion has evolved. Give me a friggin break! How can people be so duped by this stuff?

    It was a political calculation, plain and simple. Even Joe Biden was chastised for upsetting the timing of the announcement, lest you think it was not a timed political calculation.

    Will Barack Hussein Obama's support of gay marriage be part of the Democratic Party Platform? Im guessing no.

    Will Barack Hussein Obama support a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between people other than one man and one woman? Not in your dreams.

    So what did Barack Hussein Obama do? He did what he does best. Drive yet another wedge into the minds of the electorate. Class warfare. Divisiveness, etc. Pit one group against another. Social demagoguery. That's what he does. And that's what he did again. No more, no less.

    Just like the bogus war on women issue that was totally contrived, this was also a political calculation intended to distract attention from the REAL issues, including, but not limited to, the looming debt question that will, once again, arise as the newly established debt ceiling is pushed even higher - something Obama and the Democrats claimed would not happen again until well into the twenty-teens.

    And what a distraction from those massive Barrack Hussein Obamas deficits, which, over the past three years of Obamas administration, have exceeded the GW Bush deficits over the entire eight years of his administration.

    And what a distraction from the lives lost in Afghanistan - more over the past three years than the previous seven combined.

    And what a distraction from the campaign lies spewed in the 2008 election.

    And what a distraction from the scandals of this administration, including, but not limited to, Fast and Furious, Solyndra, Holder, hidden records, secretive background, etc.

    And what a distraction from $5 gasoline.

    And what a distraction from an unemployment sector that remains terribly high.

    And what a distraction from.......

    The sad part is, people actually buy into the diversions.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    ...during Obama's term in office, no other politician has ever engaged in any of the following behaviors: "Drive yet another wedge into the minds of the electorate. Class warfare. Divisiveness, etc. Pit one group against another. Social demagoguery."

    ...the deficits, the war, the unemployment, and everything else (and the policies that created them) didn't exist on January 19, 2009, but auto-magically appeared from nowhere on January 20.

    ...his opposition has been doing everything in their power to help him succeed.

    You would have done better to simply complain about the timing, without the added commentary.

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    maxwell edison

    .... you don't see the big picture ....... that is, my "big picture" ....... that is, even which "big picture" I'm referring to!

    Re: "You would have done better to simply complain about the timing, without the added commentary. "

    Next time, perhaps I'll check with you to determine how I should reply to all the different people around here.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    as I read it, was that everything wrong in the world is the fault of Obama, with no acknowledgement of history or the conditions existing at his inauguration. In other words, pretty much the same tone heard on Fox News, from the WSJ, and from all the other "everything bad that happens is Obama's fault" talking herd.

    That almost directly contradicts what I understand of your previously stated "big picture".

    Obama expressed a personal viewpoint, that denying the legal and financial benefits of marriage to gays simply because they are gay is not consistent with Constitutional principles. Can he not have opinions because he is President?

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    maxwell edison

    ..... of posting before someone criticized "the tone" of my message. That must be a record of sorts.

    I guess I never realized that a message must have one distinct "tone" that appeals to, and can be understood by, scores, or hundreds, or maybe even thousands of readers.

    I'll be sure to mind my timbre. I sure don't want to strike a sour note with a TR Moderator!

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    ...approved.

    Perhaps I explained it poorly. I had thought you more just than to imply a single individual could be responsible for problems that have been 30 years or more in the making.

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    maxwell edison

    My "bigger picture" might be better described as follows:

    I can say with 100 percent certainty that AV (the person to whom my message was in reply) read my message, and took away from it something entirely different that you did (or someone else might have). It was intended for AV, who has other bits and pieces of this or that, which all makes my message something more tuned for AV's ears (eyes). (Realizing, of course, that other people will be reading it.)

    To say it was an "inside joke" might be a good comparison. Likewise, AV has some "inside information" that you don't have, with which my message can be further processed and understood. As such, I might surmise that you and AV saw two totally different messages, at least in its totality.

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    AV .

    Since the Republican-controlled NC legislature introduced an amendment banning gay marriage and civil unions, the media has had an ongoing discussion about marriage equality. Joe Biden's comments were in response to that ongoing conversation. Obama had to give more of a response than to say his views on marriage equality were "evolving", especially after Joe Biden's comments.

    If it was a political calculation by Obama as you say, it was a poor one. There are 30 states that have some kind of gay marriage ban in place. I think he would have rather not talked about this extremely divisive subject at all, but he was backed into a corner.

    I applaud Obama for his courage to give a very honest opinion of why there should be marriage equality. He spoke from the heart and risked his re-election because of his views. At the same time though, he gave hope to the many gay people in this country that they might one day be free to marry who they choose and enjoy the same rights as heterosexual couples. I think his opinion will inspire younger voters who don't have a problem with marriage equality.

    I don't think Obama wants to go any further with this issue at this time either, but now the issue has legs, so to speak and eventually it will be up to the Supreme Court to decide whether the state amendments infringe on civil rights.

    There is an upside for Romney in this too. The social conservatives will now feel more comfortable voting for him because he says he doesn't believe in marriage equality.

    All of these social issues are a huge distraction for sure, but I think the election will still be decided on economic issues. Both parties share in the blame for our country's woes because they can't work together and fix the problems. The truth is, after almost four years of Obama's leadership, we are still just treading water and going nowhere. Everyone sees that. We need someone that has strong leadership abilities to get the country out of this, but sadly it isn't Obama or Romney.

    AV

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    DelbertPGH

    Joe Biden's announcement forced Obama's hand. He had to make a statement. Large forces within the Democratic party support gay rights, including marriage. If Obama said he could not back gay marriage now, or worse, that he could never accept the concept of gays being recognized as entitled to the status of married people, he would have ignited civil war in his party. So, he announced he had "evolved."

    The more politic thing would have been to keep quiet while the rest of society worked closer to recognizing this as a human right. There are lots of moderate Democrats, as well as the whole evangelical group that has now become almost exclusively Republican, who are offended by it. He's just fired up more anger and opposition that he just didn't need. The whole gay marriage issue is a wedge, but it's not one that favors Obama.

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    Deadly Ernest

    as there's virtually no chance of any such legislation being put up before they close down for the next election, and if he wins he doesn't have to suit anyone but himself and if he loses he's out anyway. However, with what he's said and shown over the last two and a half years there's no way in **** Obama will actually sign off on any gay marriage legislation if it gets to him, no matter what.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    The term Marriage is very badly misunderstood and instead of allowing Gay People to "Get Married" we should allow "Civil Unions" and remove the Legal Implications from the Cristian Beliefs of what Marriage is.

    Enable Same Sex Couples to have the Same Legal Rights as Heterosexual Couples but remove the Term Marriage to anything but a Christian Joining and most defiantly remove the Legal Implications from the Christian Beliefs which to be perfectly honest where never there in the first place but have grown up Legally around the Church State to Propagate the Species.

    The Pauline Church Introduced Marriage to Improve/Strengthen it's Powers hold over it's followers and the State followed along with Legal Rights for that Pauline Church Union. What should be freely available to any who wishes it here is the Legal Rights that go along with what we now call Marriage but to get rid of the Rabid Pauline Christian Fanatics we should remove all State Sponsored Legal Rights/Obligations from the Marriage that is accepted by the Church. It will at least give the Loony Christian something real to complain about when they realize that they have no more rights than any other member of the society who protects them from their own stupidity.

    Personally I don't give a Rats if Same Sex Couples can marry or not but I do find it Discriminatory that they are prevented from having the same Legal Rights as others in the same Society for no better reason than that they like someone from their own sex more than from the other sex.

    That is called "Individual Choice" and I really don't have a problem with it where as those Married Christians who come to my door uninvited attempting to Pervert me to their way of thinking along with their Wives and snotty Nosed Sick Children hoping for Sympathy should have the Legal Niceties removed from what they rely on as the Backbone of their flawed belief system to have the same Legal Rights as anyone else who doesn't care one way or the other.

    The Problem here is the Word Marriage and it's the Lonnie Christian Groups who object most strongly with what is effectively stupid retorts that are not backed up by the sources that they quote. Remember despite Popular Belief Cinderella wore Fur Slippers not Glass and Electricity flows from Negative to Positive not Positive to Negative.

    Marriage is a Legal Union between People and it's only the Church which claims that it's between a Man & a Woman for the Proposes of Procreation. Apparently if a Married Couple do not or can not have children they are somehow less than Married in the Eyes of some Church Members and Followers.

    Personally the Heterosexuals have so badly messed up Marriage that I feel "What the ****" let the Gays get married they couldn't make it any worse.

    Col

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    CharlieSpencer

    "remove the Term Marriage to anything but a Christian Joining"

    Replace 'Christian' with 'religious' and I'm with you. The government should do a 'Find and Replace All' operation on every occurrence of the word 'marriage' in our laws and substitute 'civil union'.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    It's just that as the West is predominately Christian it's Laws reflect Christian Values.

    After all there currently are no Western Countries with Shara Laws which predominate and God Help us all if that was ever to happen.

    Col

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    Snak

    .... and Stoutism, Dwarfism, Ageism and any other -ism you can think of. It's time we abolished words like these (and the concepts behind them). ANY form of discrimination or prejudice is, and can be described by, 'Social Prejudice'. And Social Prejudice (or any sub-type) is, or should be, a crime. Social Prejudism on grounds of skin colour, sex, age etc. is just as ridiculous as on grounds of ginger hair, flat feet, green eyes, long/short/no hair. We are all Human.

    With no prejudice on grounds of difference, the topic of 'same-sex' marriage goes away because any coupling or grouping just becomes a coupling or grouping of two or more people - each with identical rights and with no discrimination between or against them.

    I once raised this in another forum and was told that the concept of 'Racism' should be maintained so that 'we can fight it'. I do of course exclude from this argument 'stupidism'. That's fair game.

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    john.a.wills

    Both are behavior sets around the concept homosexuality, which is an improper concept, so they are two sides of the same counterfeit coin. There are two underlying issues, viz. sexual inversion of the erotic instincts, a psychological condition; and the set of behaviors, including buggary, tribadism, cunnilingus, what-have-you called by the biologists simulated copulation, by the moralists mutual masturbation and perhaps by most people sexual perversion (although they are actually perversions of eroticism away from sexuality). When these two phenomena coincide in a person we call that person gay, or *****.

    I spent a lot of time trying to make this distinction to a gay friend (he used to walk in the Gay Pride parade with a sign proclaiming "God is gay"), who started correcting his language but did not, alas, live long enough to transform his doctrines.

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    CharlieSpencer

    "sexual inversion of the erotic instincts"

    Clarification, please. What is 'sexual inversion'? Googling the phrase yields results mostly from the early 20th century. Many of those refer to the phrase as synonymous with 'homosexuality' and describe it as 'innate'. With no modern definitions to work from, can we associate 'innate' with 'instinctive'? Do we all have the same 'erotic instincts'? If so, why do some find certain acts or behaviors as erotic while others do not? If not, who or what defines some instincts as 'proper' and some as 'improper'?

    "the set of behaviors, including buggary, tribadism, cunnilingus"

    The first and last of these behaviors are not limited to homosexuals; heterosexuals perform them too, along with variations of the second. Indeed, this heterosexual performed at least one of them this morning. Are these behaviors 'improper' only when homosexuals engage in them, or are they also 'improper' when done by heterosexuals? If 'improper' in all cases, is heterosexuality also then an 'improper concept'?

    "we call that person gay, or *****."

    We? Maybe you do, but many us have moved '*****' to the same ashcan as '*****', '****', and '******'.

    And no, I didn't give you the '-1' vote.

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    john.a.wills

    The words "heterosexual", "homosexual" and "bisexual" attempt to cover a set of bases, but close examination reveals that they do not work very well. It was in fact by consideration of the uses of "heterosexual" that I came to the realization that all 3 concepts are improper. Now, "homosexuality" is sometimes used as a synonym for sexual inversion, but the word has become too loaded with other meanings to be of any real use in intelligent discussion.

    I have not said that the behaviors I mentioned are in any sense improper - if you think they are sinful, then obviously a two-sex couple engaging in them is more sinful than a one-sex couple, because the two-sex couple has the option of copulation, which is at worst a "natural sin" and at best a sacramental.

    I have not said that anyone's instincts are in any sense improper. I merely attempt to clear the field for intelligent discussion of biology, behavior and, as you have brought it up, morality.

    The gays where I work have a "***** Resource Center", so obviously the connotations of words are different between California and South Carolina. Oddly enough, in British Manchester the people who call themselves ***** are the sexual inverts who live as gays most of the time but about once a month engage in copulation just to prove they can.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    are based in religion, also a human construct, they are, with respect to sexual conduct , constructs as artificial as homosexuality...

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    robo_dev

    There are pills for that, surely.

    Having read the OP around five times, I think the point is that people should do whatever they want and not worry so much about what other people think, as long as no other people, animals, or livestock get hurt in the process.

    It's like p0rnography, it's impossible to describe but I know it when I see it.

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    john.a.wills

    a bill proposed by Senator Lieu would make it illegal to prescribe them in California.

    As for the question of doing what one wants... what if doing what one likes gives scandal, i.e. encourages others to sin, or somehow degrades humanity? I think that the latter is perhaps important because rights are not really self-evident but derive from human dignity, and it is for the sake of human dignity that states forbid cruelty to animals, not for that of any rights the animals have.

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    CharlieSpencer

    Define 'sin' in a legal context. Gay marriage (or civil union, if you prefer) is a legal issue. No one disputes the right of a religious organization to sanction only those partnerships that meet its requirements. But US law supposedly isn't biased toward the beliefs of any one religion.

    As to degrading humanity, if love between two people is the most degrading behavior being exhibited then I submit humanity is in pretty good shape.

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    john.a.wills

    Love is the only thing that cannot harm your neighbor, one of the NT letters says somewhere. But one might argue that mutual masturbation is contrary to human dignity - again with the understanding that it is more easily pardonable when the participants cannot copulate.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    If not, why is it even anybody else's business?

    All the religion-based arguments used by Christians against homosexuality (and they are all based on religion) ignore the statement in Genesis 1:27 that man was created in God's image and that in Genesis 1:31, God saw that everything he had created was "very good". For self-described Christians to call homosexuality (for want of another word) "un-Godly" or "the Devil's work" strongly implies their disapproval of the work of God...

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    CharlieSpencer

    Wasn't it Mark Twain who said, "Man is the only animal that blushes; or needs to."

    There's little dignified about The Beast With Two Backs; at least, not if you're doing it right.

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    robo_dev

    I forgot to add "in the privacy of one's bedroom with two (or more) consenting adults"

    The right to privacy really blows apart the whole idea that particular sexual activities are somehow morally wrong, an affront to humanity., or there is harm in encouraging others to do whatever it is they want to do within the legally defined boundaries of their bedroom, (with other consenting adult or adults, and with whatever food products or industrial machinery they might fancy.)

    My statements about livestock were meant to be a joke since the law proscribes that only adult humans of sound mind are capable of granting consent.

    God created sex, and God created pleasure, but since us humans have free will, last time I checked, exactly how we all get from point A to point B is not something that society or the government should monitor, regulate, or control, and if God has a problem with it, we either will or will not have he__ to pay in the end, depending if the athiests were right or not.

    We cannot regulate if people do things below their dignity, and scandal, per-se, tends to be a mixture of hatred, jealousy, and a misguided attempt for one group to impose their moral standards on another group.

    The 'Sake of Human Dignity' does indeed grant rights to animals; it is fairly self-evident that animals feel pain and experience hunger, therefore animal cruelty laws forbid these things; it's not a vague moral construct, but specific actions that are allowed or forbidden.

    Human dignity can and should be the basis of our laws, and we also expect that our judicial system helps to apply these laws fairly, but on their own, they are little more than the 'church lady' making a really sour face.

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    maxwell edison

    Re: "Human dignity can and should be the basis of our laws...."

    I thought the basis for our laws was the US Constitution, which has its basis on the concept of individual liberty.

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    JamesRL

    If the basis of the US Constitution is individual liberty, then how can states deny individuals the right to marry who they chose?

    BTW our Canadian consitution isn't so individually based, but it was still used as the basis to allow gay marriage in Canada, as a prohibition on descrimination based on sexual orientation was already in the Charter of Rights which is a key part of our constituion.

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    maxwell edison

    Re: If the basis of the US Constitution is individual liberty, then how can states deny individuals the right to marry who they chose?

    It's already established that states have a right to define parameters of what may or may not constitutes a marriage. That's not really debatable.

    The question is whether or not those parameters (laws) are in conflict with either a granted power (a provision) contained within the US Constitution, or if they actually do violate a constitutionally protected right. I'd love to witness such a debate in front of our nine Supreme Court judges and possibly learn the answer to that question myself.

    Moreover, a discussion regarding the the relationships of, and the differences between, the US Constitution and individual State Constitutions, is a discussion in and of itself.

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    john.a.wills

    The basis is surely the theory given in the Declaration of Independence (the U.S. Constitution itself does not give much theory), viz. God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (which, I have been told, was very nearly "property"). This puts liberty second to life and has all the rights coming from God. The state does not grant rights, it merely recognises them and secures them (or should). The authors of the Declaration included Deists, not just Christians of a variety of denominations, but they had in common enough to recognise God as the author of, inter alia, individual liberty. Now if these rights are aspects of human dignity, as at least one constitution (the German) says, then perhaps human dignity is indeed the basis of the freedoms enumerated in the U.S. Constitution.

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    maxwell edison

    Re: The basis is surely the theory given in the Declaration of Independence (the U.S. Constitution itself does not give much theory), viz. God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (which, I have been told, was very nearly "property"). This puts liberty second to life and has all the rights coming from God. The state does not grant rights, it merely recognizes them and secures them (or should). The authors of the Declaration included Deists, not just Christians of a variety of denominations, but they had in common enough to recognize God as the author of, inter alia, individual liberty. Now if these rights are aspects of human dignity, as at least one constitution (the German) says, then perhaps human dignity is indeed the basis of the freedoms enumerated in the U.S. Constitution.

    As you probably know, I'm a big-time Constitutionalist. I know, and agree with, what you said. An exception I might make, however, is that in the Constitution, the word "God" is not used. The word "Creator" is used instead. While in the eyes of Christians (and other faiths), God might be the Creator, in the eyes of others, "the Creator" does not always equal God. The "Creator", as referenced in the US Constitution, is called, "Nature's God", in the Declaration.

    Point being, as you indicated, mortal man (or government) does not grant rights. They are instead naturally endowed upon a person by the "Creator", regardless of how one might define "the Creator". Government's role is to secure and protect them. (But government has actually become the biggest violator of them!)

    I would love to have a discussion on the US Constitution. Maybe it would get some people around here to actually read it.

    My initial reply was regarding the "human dignity" thing - it's pretty subjective. On the basis of "human dignity", for example, one person might be vehemently opposed to something like euthanasia, while another person is in favor of it for the same "dignity" reasons. We don't want government defining "human dignity", do we?

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    AV .

    As you mentioned in your post:

    "I would love to have a discussion on the US Constitution. Maybe it would get some people around here to actually read it."

    Something to consider . . .

    AV

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    CharlieSpencer

    "'Racism' should be maintained so that 'we can fight it'."

    I guess that mean small pox should be maintained so doctors can learn how to treat it.

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    robo_dev

    And we really do not know who created them. If they were all eliminated, the companies like McAfee and Symantec would go out of business.

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    JamesRL

    I do think McAfee and Symantec have great PR people who keep the fear of virus industry running at a fever pitch. Rarely do we get hit as hard with attacks as predicted.

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    AnsuGisalas

    It bothers me, as I translate to and from English, that there's this dialect of English, spoken now by at least two presidents, and by a number of corporate CEOs as well, which seems to do its best to communicate as little as possible, while using the first person pronouns often as possible - I am not sure about the latter, I haven't been able to study the phenomenon as much as required, because it numbs the brain, even with minor exposure.
    I could understand it if it were an objective-bias speech; one where the speaker goes out of the speaker's way to underline which parts of speech are statements of perceived fact, and which are statements of personally held opinion... there would be some merit to that, I feel. In stead I see this "I can definitely say that we can now clearly state that it is my stated opinion that fire burns!"
    I first thought it was all just a Dubya idiolect (that term does not [always] mean idiot's dialect, but rather idiosyncratic speech pattern), but now I see it everywhere.

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    JamesRL

    The president of the US, or a CEO, has a number of roles.

    The President of the US, for example, is the leader of the government, the most important member of his partisan political party, the head of the armed forces, a husband/wife, father/mother etc. Through his speech and his tone, he has to be clear who is speaking for, himself, his government, his country,his military, his family, his political party.

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    AnsuGisalas

    But look at the example given above: "I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think X"... merely separating I-as-a-person and I-as-the-figurehead-of-Y would have been satisfied by "I have come to the conclusion that X", or the much shorter "I now feel that X".
    So I think there's something else going on.
    You could be on to something though - it would be fun at least to interpret the different 1.person references as referring to different aspects of the presidential person: The first can be the human person, the second can be the leader of the administration, the third can be the representative of party leadership and the last can be the Commander In Chief...
    Compare, if they were different people: "I've just concluded that for John, personally it is important for Bob to go ahead and affirm that Jaqueline thinks X" :^0 Schizophrenia, the game of Kings!

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    CharlieSpencer

    They're trying to sound impressive while saying as little of substance as possible. Common US English descriptions include 'smoke and mirrors' and 'house of cards'. Don't you have the joke about how to tell when a politician is lying?

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    AnsuGisalas

    They're lying if what they say seems to have some kind of concrete content? :^0

    Or is it if their lips are moving?

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    Slayer_

    It's just gay marriage, get over it.

    Why not tackle a real issue like universal healthcare or the massive national debt.

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    jfuller05

    He probably went ahead and defined his position on same-sex marriage because he can't run on his economic record. So, instead of running on his economic record, he will try and run on a social record.

    I've been trying to figure out why he "all of a sudden" publicly announced his same-sex marriage position and that is the best I can come up with. The other idea I have is that his "gay" donors were going to withdraw funds to his campaign if he didn't publicly advocate same-sex marriage.

    I'm definitely willing to say I could be wrong on either idea, but those seem to be the most likely reasons.

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    JamesRL

    And I have worked for politicians, and still count many as friends....

    ...cause Joe Biden made an ooopsie....

    Obama was sitting back, not seeing an advantange in stating a position, or struggling with the legal implications.

    Then Biden comments. When your VP brings his opinions to the national media, suddenly the national medium thinks, "if the VP thinks this way, what does the President think. If the VP is "brave" enough to say it, then why isn't the president." Suddenly the president found himself behind the issue, and it wasn't pretty. He had to declare or be tarred with the indecisive brush. Maybe he remembers Jimmy Carter, who was tarred with that same brush.

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    AnsuGisalas

    of course, with these power struggles always going on between Ps and VPs, it's also fully possible that Biden decided to excercise some power, either for moral reasons or for the rush it gives... or why not both?

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    maxwell edison

    Not trying to be offensive, Ansu, but that's almost laughable. I won't deny that there are many of those types of things that might tend to give Biden some kind of power rush, but the Obama tingle that crawled up Chris Matthew's leg in 2008 has a closely related cousin residing on Biden's.

    Regarding the general speculation of a power struggle between Ps and VPs, it might sound nice in print or to say, but in reality? Actually, I can't recall such a power struggle between a P and a VP in my entire adult lifetime.

    Is there an Obama / Biden power struggle? No way.

    Bush (43) / Cheney? Nope.

    Clinton / Gore? Maybe to a degree, but Al was pretty much a lap boy (lest he would have pounced on the Clinton sex scandals)

    Bush (41) / Quayle? Pause while I stop laughing.

    Still paused because of my laughing at the thought of a Dan Quayle power grab.

    Still paused because of my laughing at the thought of a Dan Quayle power grab.

    Reagan / Bush? Maybe initially, early in Reagan's first term (since G HW Bush was Reagan's major primary challenger), but not over the long term of Reagan's two terms. G HW Bush was pretty much the silent guy in waiting at that point.

    Carter / Mondale? Not that I recall. Mondale was curiously silent during the debacle we call the Carter Administration.

    Nixon / (Pardon Me) Ford?
    Nixon / (Flip the Finger) Rockefeller?
    Nixon / (No Contest) Agnew?

    Not likely any of them were in a power struggle with "Tricky ****".

    Johnson/Humphrey? Now we're going WAY back. But as I recall, Humphrey carried Johnson's Social Programs Bucket.

    Kennedy/Johnson? BINGO! I might put this as the last, great, power struggle between a P and his VP. In fact, some conspiracy theorists actually believe that it was Johnson behind .......... well, never mind. I won't go there.

    Disclaimer: My "adult lifetime" has not had a span of as many years as my P / VP analysis. I was a mere lad when Kennedy was president.

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    CharlieSpencer

    was the first one that came to my mind. The potential for a power struggle between them was aggravated by Johnson's dislike of Kennedy's Attorney General / brother, Bobby Kennedy. Johnson's rough-and-tumble Texas background didn't jibe with those of Kennedy's 'best and brightest'. Unlike more recent VPs, Johnson gave up significant power, stepping down from Senate majority leader for the comparatively impotent vice-presidency. That couldn't have done much for his attitude. I sometime wonder why he made the career choice. I assume it was to use the VP office as a springboard, but certainly not in the way it eventually happened.

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    ...

    AnsuGisalas

    at least you/we hope not!
    That would put all conspiracy theories to shame, wouldn't it?

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    robo_dev

    Jackie O believed that Johnson was part of the plot to kill Kennedy and said so on recorded interview tapes she requested be kept secret until 50 years after her death.

    Johnson was the target of a huge investigation and he was likely to get dropped from the ticket in 64.

    "Jackie Onassis believed that Lyndon B Johnson and a cabal of Texas tycoons were involved in the assassination of her husband John F Kennedy, ???explosive??? recordings are set to reveal.

    The secret tapes will show that the former first lady felt that her husband???s successor was at the heart of the plot to murder him.

    She became convinced that the then vice president, along with businessmen in the South, had orchestrated the Dallas shooting, with gunman Lee Harvey Oswald ??? long claimed to have been a lone assassin ??? merely part of a much larger conspiracy.

    Texas-born Mr Johnson, who served as the state???s governor and senator, completed Mr Kennedy???s term and went on to be elected president in his own right.

    The tapes were recorded with leading historian Arthur Schlesinger Jnr within months of the assassination on November 22, 1963, and had been sealed in a vault at the Kennedy Library in Boston."

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2023418/Jackie-O-tapes-reveal-JFKs-affairs-believed-death.html#ixzz1uqrxw36I

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    robo_dev

    The more it sounds like it's true.

    There is this guy in Texas called Billy Sol Estes who must have been bad luck, because everybody he knew ended up dead, including the guy whose death was ruled a suicide (shot five times with his own hunting rifle), and three prosecution witnesses who died of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

    "On 3rd June, 1961, Marshall was found dead on his farm by the side of his Chevy Fleetside pickup truck. His rifle lay beside him. He had been shot five times with his own rifle. County Sheriff Howard Stegall decreed that Marshall had committed suicide."

    Johnson was being investigated and he was likely to be dropped from the ticket in 64, in lieu of Bobby Kennedy.

    If the allegations are true, Estes was Johnson's hit-man. Seriously.....

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    AnsuGisalas

    Ok, that's understandable, as he was never able to formulate his intent as anything other than "I want a bigger potatoe"... which understandably received a smile and a pat on the head.

    But, to any president, the VP (reverse the roles for the Dubya/Cheney set) will represent a potential rival, someone to be watched like a hawk. VPs must have moments where they think, why am I here just twiddling my thumbs for four years? Especially when the Presidency isn't going in a way that will help their chances in future elections.

    The VP does have this symbolic power, and since that symbolic power cannot be used except by railroading their bosses, their bosses will have to try and safeguard against that, usually by getting a lame horse as a running mate: Which is what your historical records also show.

    But you're right, I wasn't talking about an open power struggle, but about a more theoretical power struggle, and often it is one that is won pre-emptively, by way of getting a total dweeb for VP (again, reverse for Dubya/Cheney).
    Still, I do think all the presidents you mentioned will have had a moment of each day where they've felt a pang of fear about what their VP might do.

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    maxwell edison

    ..... Obama "following" Biden.

    Biden screwed up by spilling the politically calculated beans sooner than Obama wanted them spilled. This was a planned and calculated move, not an Obama reply to a Biden "oops" moment.

    The only "oops" was on Biden's part by revealing the administration's announcement sooner than planned.

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    jfuller05

    I think it was a poor move on Obama's part. He should have waited until after his win in november, provided he actually does win of course, instead of speaking out about it now. Of course, it may not have been a poor move, it could be that he was losing donors for not cementing a pro position for same-sex marriage. He may have been forced into speaking out sooner because of Biden or because of donors or maybe a combination of both?

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    maxwell edison

    It matters little what Barack Hussein Obama (or anyone else, for that matter) "thinks" about gay marriages. What matters is the "therefore what" question.

    What can (or what should) the federal government do if an individual state (or states) wants to either ban gay marriage or define marriage as a union between one man and one woman in their respective states constitution?

    Short of a U.S. Constitutional Amendment regarding the definition of "marriage" within the United States (or some other constitutionally allowed federal law), there's not a lot the feds can do.

    And since Obama and his minions are not planning to advance a gay-friendly Constitutional Amendment regarding the definition of marriage, they are exploiting the issue purely for political expediency. Talking the talk is easy. But taking the walk, thats a different story all together.

    My message to Obama and the Democrats: Either advance the notion of a Constitutional Amendment that allows gay marriage within the United States, or STFU and quit dividing people.

    As a disclaimer, my position is just that. Either way, pro gay marriage or anti gay marriage (and I fall on neither side), advance your notion by way of a Constitutional Amendment, and just let those chips fall where they may.

    I get SO TIRED of people debating questions or issues, with nary a thought of the right and proper way to address them. In this case, that's a Constitutional Amendment, whether it be U.S. or State Constitution.

    But, that's the sport of politics.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

    It's taken us over a century to even get close to the precepts in that statement with regard to skin color. Will it take another century to do the same with respect to sexual orientation?

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    AnsuGisalas

    That does sound like language to make the case, after all, any argument before the Supreme Court that marriage (as defined by a state!) must/can be about anything else than "the equal protection [of property rights as described by] the laws" would be quite hard to substantiate.
    Possession is nine tenths of the law, also of any law defining marriage.

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    maxwell edison

    You're misreading the article. To apply your interpretation (in this case), you'd have to also allow a brother and sister who wish to wed the same "equality under the law".

    "Equality under the law" implies that all laws are applied equally across the population. Moreover, marriage is not a "law".

    For the record, here's my take on the issue:

    It's not my issue. I don't care one way or the other. But I don't see anyone's rights being infringed upon.

    Having said that, I don't like tax laws that favor married people over single people, that favor one group over another group, etc. I don't like any law that treats different people differently. But marriage is not a law. If laws (taxes, etc.) favor married people over single people, then it's the law (or tax rules) that should be changed, not the definition of what has been marriage for eons. It's stupid to change the definition of words and institutions, or to make defined institutions more inclusive, just to accommodate a law. If that's what's necessary for fairness, then it's the law, itself, that's unfair; and it's the law, itself, that should be changed or repealed.

    I do believe that a ???legal??? marriage and a ???sacred??? marriage are as different as black and white. One does not necessarily make and/or equal the other. And although I'm not crazy about government even being involved in marriage at all, I do see a need for such a thing; as such I have no problem with state government defining parameters for what may or may not constitute a marriage. I have no problem with the federal government getting involved to the extent of keeping respective state government laws applicable with each other across state lines. (As long as the federal government involves itself in a constitutionally consistent manner - i.e. a constitutional amendment, one way or the other.)

    But if a state is violating individual rights by disallowing same gender couples to marry, then that same state is also violating the individual rights of a blood-related brother and sister who want to legally marry; and that same state is also violating the individual rights of a threesome who wants to legally marry; or a foursome who wants to legally marry; etc.

    Individual rights are not automatically violated just because one person can legally do something that another person cannot legally do. Are a fifteen year old's right being violated because he can't get a driver???s license? No. Are my individual rights being violated because I can't join a women's only health club? No. Is a gay guy's rights being violated if he can't "marry" another guy? No.

    The definition of "rights" often gets skewed.

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    AnsuGisalas

    But the protections and benefits granted to married couples are not integral to this "marriage", either. These are protections written to law.

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    JamesRL

    We are both espousing theories, and I doubt we will ever be able to prove either of them. Even if someone writes a memoir a few years down the road, their view will not necessarily reflect reality.

    Equally plausible was that Biden was releasing a trial balloon, and polling after Biden's statement gave Obama the courage to make his statement.

    What I do know is that making the statement won't net out in a gain of votes for the Democrats.

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    AnsuGisalas

    Just playing devil's advocate; if Biden's statement HAD forced Barack Hussein Obama II to make up his mind about whether to declare or not, then it would be highly embarrassing, and a public statement about how this wasn't the case, but rather one of "timetable misunderstanding" would be excellent damage control...

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    JamesRL

    I am somewhat ambivalent on Obama's action, truth be told.

    He is late to the party as it were. His VP's comments about the NC vote probably prodded him into action, but as a President, he has a duty to lead, not follow.

    I can understand that he may have struggled with the issue. But it was an active issue in many states before now, and he should have come to grips with it one way or another. I did state on a FB post that he did have to consider the implications, not from an electoral perspective, but a consitutional one. But upon reflection, he could have started the process of consulting with constitutional experts some time ago.

    But sometimes you have to applaud the act, late or not. Like someone who has a commonlaw relationship for years, and then gets married. (Been there, done that, got the T shirt, burned it).

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    robo_dev

    It was a gift to energize his base in an election year.

    Enough of trying to reach across the aisle and lose fingers, just show some leadership, dang it, and make some decisions already. It was a move that shows confidence and leadership.

    There was no panic in the streets with DADT was repealed.

    Obama could cure cancer and the GOP would blast him for taking jobs away from doctors.

    He could walk on water, and the GOP would blast him for doing something beneath the dignity of the president "look at him, out there dancing around on the water while Americans are without jobs".

    Personally, this is an issue that does not affect me or impact me at all. If people of the same sex want to experience the soul-destroying thing called marriage, more power to them.

    With the election six months away, it was wise to get in front of this issue, handle it, and thus it goes away. What, like there were scores of conservative Christians who WERE going to vote for Obama who are now offended....yeah right.

    It's not really an issue the GOP can go ballistic on, since going against it alienates the very voters they need, and again, Obama can do nothing right in their book in any case.

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    AV .

    It was an inopportune time for him to address this issue during the presidential campaign, but there was no BS on his part. I like that about Obama. The US is backwards on this issue and in denial. There are so many gay people out there and privately they are accepted, yet the evangelicals in this country won't accept it publicly. It is a total farce.

    I think Obama did a good thing by stating his honest opinion, but when I look at Mitt Romney and listen to him talk about how he doesn't support marriage equality, I see a man that is either lying or hasn't kept up with the times or maybe someone who is just playing to the conservative base of people that don't like the idea of marriage equality.

    I can relate. I lived in sin for fifteen years and then got married. I'm still married though, I survived.

    AV

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    JamesRL

    I can't honestly tell you if Obama recently came to his position, or whether he came to it some time ago. But the opportune time for the president to chime in was as the first states started to pass these anti-same sex marriage resolutions, not after many of them had already been passed. If he hadn't come to a decision at that point, he should have dove in and come to it. That would have been leadership.

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    AV .

    From Wikipedia:

    "In January 2009, it was reported that Obama opposed a federal mandate for same-sex marriage, and also opposed the Defense of Marriage Act,[58] stating that individual states should decide the issue.[59][60] Obama opposed Proposition 8 ??? California's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage ??? in 2008.[61] In December 2010, the White House website stated that the president supported full civil unions and federal rights for LGBT couples and opposed a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage."[57] He also stated that his position on same-sex marriage was "evolving" and that he recognized that civil unions from the perspective of same-sex couples was "not enough", before subsequently declaring his full support for the legalization of same-sex marriage in May 2012"

    I don't think he really wanted to pursue this issue right now. Some people say he is using the issue to distract from his poor record on the economy/job creation. If he is, he made a poor choice because this country is not ready to accept gay marriage and the number one issue on voters minds is the state of the economy and job creation.

    AV

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    markp24

    I personally feel in the USA, we have freedoms, and if your religion or non religious belief allows you to marry (fill in anything here) that's fine with me, who am i to tell you what to do.
    But i do feel the government had s no right stating what is marriage and what is not. The constitution clearly state separation of church (ie religion) and state (ie government) will not.
    If this is all for tax advantages, well I disagree with Tax favoritism based on marriage status, religion, race, social status, etc)

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    AnsuGisalas

    But ...also about some other benefits, like being allowed to decide if the hospital can stop keeping a person alive who will no longer come to. Imagine living with someone for 30 years, sharing joys and griefs, but when it comes to allowing them a dignified end, you have to pin your hopes on the other person's estranged parents who hate you.
    Also about life insurance benefits, as well as the right to stay in a co-owned property even if the other partner had heirs (otherwise those heirs have the right to demand that the shared home is sold).

    Actually, IT IS THE CHURCH WHICH HAS NO RIGHT TO STATE WHAT MARRIAGE IS AND IS NOT, SINCE MARRIAGE IS NOT A RELIGIOUS ARTIFACT!

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    markp24

    Interesting information, i was unaware of the nitty gritty stuff that legal system has going on. but thank you for noting that, im always learning something new.

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    AV .

    If I was a gay person and my partner was seriously ill, I would not be able to see him or do anything to help him because I'm not next of kin or part of his immediate family. Thats pretty devastating to me and I think to most people in that situation.

    Denying marriage equality denies gay people the rights to be with their loved ones when its most important.

    AV

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    AnsuGisalas

    Neat! When did that happen? Better than the NEW flag, I think.
    Does it work for the all-expanded viewing too? (I use the collapsed view, so I dunno)

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    but I use expanded view almost exclusively.

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    CharlieSpencer

    I meant to comment on it myself. Thanks for giving the PTBs some recognition.