Day: June 24, 2011

A Massive Victory For Gay Rights: Gay Marriage Becomes Law In New York State!

Late today, the New York State Senate, with a few Republican supporters, approved gay marriage rights in the Empire State, although allowing religious institutions to opt out of the requirement to marry two people of the same gender.

This is a massive victory in the march toward civil rights for gays, as New York is the largest state to allow gay marriage. Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Iowa, as well as Washington, DC, now allow gay marriage, and California is still involved in litigation over the issue, after having allowed it for brief periods of time.

It is clear that gay marriage is becoming more acceptable, as shown by public opinion polls, as well as by legislative action, and while it may not be available everywhere anytime soon, we are involved in an irreversible course toward greater human rights!

It is the appropriate time for President Obama, who is said to be “wrestling” with the issue, and had earlier in the mid 1990s seemed to be in favor of gay marriage, to have the courage, finally, to endorse it, and stop worrying about a counter reaction by opponents!

If Obama came out squarely for gay marriage rights, his odds of winning re-election would increase dramatically, and he needs to show conviction on this issue, because speaking up for human rights is always the right thing to do, even if it were to lead to defeat.

There are more important things than just winning an election, Mr. President, so show some leadership and assert yourself, and you will have millions of people to back you up!

The Republican War Against Science And History

The Republican Party has become a “KNOW NOTHING” party, encouraging the population to believe myth and fable as fact.

In the field of science, the Republicans deny climate change is going on, despite harsh environmental conditions, including floods, fires, and tornadoes, along with extremes of temperature at all points of the year.

They also deny evolution, and instead profess the concept that the earth is about 6,000 years old, and that mankind walked with dinosaurs, the concept of creationism or intelligent design, with most Republicans arguing that it should be taught alongside evolution, even though creationism is a religious belief with no evidence of being scientific.

At the same time, Republicans love to argue their own version of history and government, totally distorting the Founding Fathers, the Civil War, the history of American capitalism, the role of American religion, American foreign policy, and Ronald Reagan! It is literally embarrassing how often Republican Presidential candidates and congressional and state Republicans misread history, and show their total ignorance and prejudice toward women, African Americans, immigrants, and labor!

The Republicans are busy spreading a propaganda view of human knowledge, and in the process, undermining America’s greatness! Knowledge is supposed to be power, but to the GOP, knowledge is a enemy of their distorted agenda to mislead the American people!

Abortion Pledge Causes Split Among Republican Presidential Candidates

The issue of abortion rights is dividing the Republican Presidential candidates, with Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman deciding not to address the National Right To Life convention in Jacksonville, Florida, and refusing also to sign a pledge against federal funding for abortion services created by an anti abortion, pro life group, the Susan B. Anthony List.

It makes it more clear than ever that there are two groups within the GOP: the mainstream, represented by Romney and Huntsman; and the right wing extremists, led by Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty.

Newt Gingrich did not participate at the gathering in Jacksonville, as his campaign has imploded, and his mind is on other things such as his loss of staff and financial supporters, and trying to defend outrageous statements, and his reckless spending for his wife at Tiffany’s. No one, except Newt himself, takes him seriously anymore!

But it all comes down to the reality that the Republicans will have a choice to pick a mainstream, somewhat centrist candidate, or face a massive repudiation by the voters in November, 2012.

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute And Civic Literacy Testing

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute is an organization which promotes civic literacy among the American people.

In a survey done in 2008, it was discovered that the average American taking a 33 question test scored 49 percent, and more shockingly, college educators only scored 55 percent! But those in public office scored lower than the average citizen, only 44 percent!

The test deals with American history, government, and economics, and it demonstrates how poorly our citizenry is knowledgeable about its own institutions and traditions.

79 percent of those in public office did not know that an official establishment of religion is banned in the Bill of Rights! 43 percent do not know the purpose of the Electoral College! 54 percent do not know that the power to declare war resides in the Congress! 27 percent cannot name one right or freedom guaranteed in the First Amendment! And 49 percent cannot name the three branches of government!

The author of this blog is proud to announce that he got a 90.91 percent result, 30 out of 33, matching his son David, on the exam, with both of us somewhat stumped by economics questions, but fortunately, only three of them!

By the way, IF such an exam was given to Rick Santorum, who this week condemned liberals for the poor knowledge of American history in America, it seems certain he might not even score the average of 49 percent of the typical American citizen who participated in the exam in 2008 or the average of 44 percent of officeholders. And it is clear that Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin would also fail miserably. Instead of them all blaming liberals, who have promoted an expansion of the American history curriculum to cover the history of minorities, women, and labor, from just the usual white male leaders of government and great business capitalists constantly idealized by conservatives, they might finally learn the truth and complete story of American history!