Same Sex Marraige

I wrote this on someone’s comment section that was debating same sex marriage.

I think what often gets lost in these debates of same sex marriage is the difference marriage, a moral and sacred pact made by a man and a woman and blessed by the church and marriage the legal contract issued by states which confers favored status and responsibilities for those contracted parties.
Same Sex marriage isn’t forcing churches to perform ceremonies to anyone they don’t seem fit. Heck some churches won’t perform ceremonies for heterosexual couples they don’t deem fit. Some Catholic Churches will not sanction marriages where one or both parties were previously divorced and some synagogues will not marry a couples who consist of a Jewish person and a non Jewish person. The issues of religious morality have nothing to do with the rights and standings that legal marriage confers in matters of the state. Things like Health insurance, end of life decisions, taxation, fifth amendment issues, immigration issues.

Now, onto why this is an issue. This is an issue because certain states are trying to restrict access to their citizens to the ability to enter into a marriage contract. These issues have implications on a national level again in things like Tax returns (For instance Gay couples in California may file jointly for their California taxes but because of federal laws that do not recognize marriage [doma] they must file separately for their federal taxes. So not only do they not enjoy the same tax breaks of a other couples in a federally recognized marriage, they end up having to pay their tax preparer an extra fee for doing an extra return). A husband and wife cannot be compelled to testify against each other, and are protected by the fifth amendment, but couple who have the same love and trust with each other but are prevented from entering into a contract with their life partner can be forced to testify and can be brought up on charges of obstruction or accessory charges for not doing so.

It’s very easy to say “Well, I can get married, what they do don’t effect me. Why don’t they talk about the economy.” Fortunately for black people there were whites who DIDN’T feel that way in the 60s, and understood “If some of us aren’t, free then none of us are.” Life, Liberty, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS are the ONLY rights actually enumerated in the original The Constitution, how quickly we forget when its not our rights being abridged.

Republican Whispering

I’m not going to Lie, I loves me some Barack Obama.  Now I’m not one of those black folks with pictures of Malia and Sasha mixed up in my family photos, but I did work my ass off FOR FREE (like alot of folks) like it was a full time job to get him elected.  He’s my dude.  He may not do everything that I want him to do, but I realize my grandmother didn’t let me eat ice cream at every meal and shit on the coffee like I wanted to.  Some times people who lead have far more information available (or they become way more risk averse).  Case in point, right now as a starving artist I can take shit jobs and live on Ramen noodles and Pink Slime, but the second I share sixteen chromosomes with some lady and there is half a me running around you’ll see Corporate Quis.  I’ll buckle down, get a “good job” at the post office and foist all my dreams on my kid.  I’ll be like the like the Toddlers and Tiara moms but blacker and with a penis.

Back to talking about the campaign.

At a Fundraiser with Michelle Obama, Jill Biden, Baby Face, and Barbara Boxer

At a Fundraiser with Michelle Obama, Jill Biden, Baby Face, and Barbara Boxer

I started out on the phones during the campaign and then worked my way into a whole MYRIAD of things. One of the things I ended up doing was being a phone bank trainer.  People would come into the office and phonebank, people who have never worked on any sort of campaign before (like myself) and my job was to show them how to make the calls and how to feel comfortable.  At that time we were calling into Nevada, that wonderful bastion of Hippy Liberalism.  And occasionally someone would be on a particularly tough call.  But thing thing that I’ve learned from doing sales is that if someone hasn’t hung up on you then they’re waiting for you to help them buy (Unless they’re from fucking Minnesota cause those polite mutherfuckers won’t say “No” and they won’t initiate getting off the phone  [sidebar, I hate Minnesota nice, and I’ve had way too much telemarketing experience for someone with a degree from Northwestern{see first paragraph}].)   In order to get the caller onto making more calls (we’re a volume operation here people!) I would take on those difficult calls.  Now sometimes this would result in some jerk face who just wanted to stay on the phone an spout conspiracy theories.  Or sometimes They just wanted to call him a Stupid F”””””g MUSLIM (The M-word fit perfectly for the clear N-word subtext).  At which point I would say “So he can count on your vote in November?”  Then they would laugh and get off the phone.   The calls that I love, the ones that I built my reputation on (being the Republican Whisperer) were those wayward souls that watched Fox News all the time but had some weird inkling that something wasn’t right.  With those people I used the oh so simple but effective.  If what you say is true, then what…??? This was something I picked up in my logic class back at Northwestern {Sidebar, I did EXTREMELY well in my logic class because there was this cute girl with insanely perfect boobs (looking back, probably fake) that offered to pay me a hundred bucks a week to let her cheat off of me, my dumb ass didn’t take the money (but I let her cheat) in the hopes she would one day show me those insanely perfect boobs.  Maybe I should played the logic out on that.}

The road to conversion starts with conversation.

I have a Republican friend at the office where I work.  Great guy, Broker by trade, artist at heart.  We have conversations all the time on politics. When we boil it down we agree on MOST things.  We just fervently disagree at our breaking points.  I’m NOT okay with the government allowing people to die if they don’t get medical treatment.  After some cajoling:

Me: “So if you don’t have insurance what happens if Someone gets hit by a car?’

Him: “Don’t be ridiculous, they take him to the emergency room?”

Me: “Well, An emergency room visit IS NOT FREE!?!? The money has to come from somewhere, right?

Him: “Well the hospital pays for it?”

Me: “The hospital doesn’t have magic money.  Where do you think they get the money to pay for it?”

Him: …

Me:  “From the insurance companies, that turn around and charge you higher premiums and for government subsidies.  So in fact, you’re still paying for Universal Healthcare, just in the most inefficient way.  If we can make it more efficient by having a mandate and a public option why shouldn’t we do that?”

Him: “The government shouldn’t be paying for stuff like health care?”

Me: “But it already does.  Should they stop giving money to the hospitals for emergency treatment?”

Him: “They should stop it.  That has nothing to do with providing for the common defense, as the Constitution lays out.”

Me: “Then what about the guy getting hit by the car with no insurance?  If he doesn’t have money for the medical treatment, should the ambulance and the hospital allow him to die?”

Him: “Well, its his responsibility to make sure he’s covered.”

Me: “That’s not what I asked.  If the medical professionals and hospital are not going to get paid for their services and use of equipment, should they allow the uninsured guy die?”

Him: “Its a lot more complicated than that.”

Me: “No its really not.  It’s like being at a restaurant.  If I eat and don’t pay, somebody is paying for the ingredients and the chef’s time.  In some restaurants, its the server who has to take it out of the tips, or its the restaurant owner who has to write that off as a loss.  Just because I don’t PAY doesn’t mean there is NO COST.  So, are you willing to let this guy with no insurance receive your tax dollars in the form of life saving treatment or will you let him die.”

Him: “He knew what he was getting into.  When he didn’t get insurance.”

Me: “So what you’re saying is we should let him die?”

Him: “You’re just trying to make me sound cold and heartless.”

Me: “No, I’m just looking at the action and reaction.  If you’re saying we shouldn’t pay for his medical coverage through any subsidy, then we are denying him treatment.  If we deny him treatment we are allowing him to die.”

Him: “You know what, yes.  That guy made a decision not to have insurance.  Let him die.”

Me:  “What about babies?”

Honestly I haven’t moved him over to “my side” yet, but having to face the reality that everything has a cost has really made him tamp down on the rhetoric.  If you’re going to say “They shouldn’t have bailed out GM.”  Then you have to concede that millions of people (and I do mean millions, meaning the workers of GM, Chrysler, eventually Ford, the parts manufacturers, the surrounding businesses, Leather manufacturers etc.) will be out of work.  Actions have consequences.

I don’t think I’ll ever get him to pull the lever for Obama (I think he’d rather go down on Putin before doing that).  But I can help him see that helping other people isn’t the end of all democracy.

 

Inspiration

September 5, 2010 1 comment

Alrighty.

It takes a little bit of a nudge to get me to do something that I know I should do.  In this case, its to write a blog entry everyday.  As you can see, there was a bit of a lag time in between this entry and the last.  I will endeavor to make that lag time less significant as time goes on.

I’ve been inspired by a FANTASTIC BLOG by Ken Levine.  If you haven’t read it.  Then read it.  He’s a former Head Writer for Mash and has written and directed SO MANY friggin hours of Quality Television (Cheers, Frasier,  Dharma and Greg…)  Its a blog I discovered after the Emmy’s and I’m now going through back entries like they contain the secret of the ooze.  Ken updates the blog every day.  Every, single, day.  Not with banality, but brilliance!  It’s dazzling, and envy inspiring to see such a great mind at work on a consistent basis.

But the mind doesn’t get that way from sitting on the sidelines thinking about being brilliant it has to put the art into practice.  So this is my endeavor to write something, anything here every day.  Even if it is like a small joke that I write or a long piece of brain excrement.  Something will be filed in these pages everyday.  If not for you then for my own sense of accomplishment.

So Ken Levine.  Thank you.  Hopefully we’ll meet each other in the awesome writers club one day and I’ll buy you a drink.

Quote of the Day — 1/20/10

“A good friend is a connection to life- a tie to the past,a road to the future,the key to sanity in a totally insane world.”

– Lois Wyse

Quote of the Day 1/19/10

“Far too many people are intimidated by change, and as a result they are eliminated by change.”

–Les Brown

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5 Quotes of the Day From MLK 1/18/10

“A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live. “

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent. “

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

From:  http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/martin_luther_king_jr.html

Quote of the Day 1/17/10

“Win as if you were used to it, lose as if you enjoyed it for a change.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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