Saturday, November 22, 2003 - Apache Junction, Arizona, USA
TAXING AND SPENDING
Interesting the Repubo spin on the Dem debates. They’re ready to spank the old "Tax and Spend" monkey by saying that’s all they heard. Vote Democratic and see your taxes go sky high again to finance schemes for the takers in our society.
For those of you who aren’t into politics, allow me to give you the Repubo idea behind tax cuts. The rich you see, have tons of money. They own businesses and stores that employ people. But if the government takes their money away in taxes, they have to cut jobs in order to maintain their healthy profits. However, if we lower the taxes for the wealthy, as Mr. Bush did immediately on taking office and wants to do again, then employers will be able to open new businesses, produce more products and hire more employees, thus negating the job situation. You know, the highest unemployment rate this country has ever seen which came about AFTER the tax cuts.
The problem is, after cutting their taxes considerably, the rich simply stuff this found money into their pockets and continued cutting back on employees or using the money to close down US operations and open foreign operations where people are willing to work for $25 a week like back in the good old days.
Cutting taxes for the rich means the middle class has to foot the bill for government spending. The middle class, unlike the rich, doesn't have the tax shelters that stop the erosian of their spendable income. The rich don't make up for the down turn in economic spending because there just aren't that many of them compaired to the rest of the population. Less tax dollars coming in and less money being spent in the economy leads to guess what? A spending deficit in the trillions of dollars materializes along with a sick economy and unemployment.
I'll give you an example of how this effects the economy. The auto industry has sold less cars over the past 12 months. However there was a sharp increase in the sale of ultra luxuary vehicals, those with price tags between $30,000 to $300,000. Most of these automobiles are imports, of course. Since the middle class can't afford to buy a new car, sales of doemstic vehicles costing $10,000 to $30,000 drop considerably. This causes layoffs and a downsizing of the economy.
The repubo answer to spending is to cut programs that protect the environment, help pay for the education of our children, and limit spending on anything that might smack of "welfare" for America's poor and destitute. Meanwhile, they ship $87 billion of our tax dollars to Iraq to fix problems they started in the first place.
When the Dems get back in office, they will indeed raise taxes. For whom? Why, the wealthy of course. And guess what? Soon we’ll have a budget surplus again like we did before Mr. Bush took office. This will ease the strain on the middle class who will have more cash in hand to spend in the marketplace. Since more products are being purchased, more employees will be needed to manufacture them, ship them and sell them. Wonder of wonders, unemployment drops and the economy recovers.
Gee. I might shed a tear.
©2003 Marcia Ellen "Happy" Beevre
Friday, November 21, 2003 - Apache Junction, Arizona, USA
CHURCH AND STATE
Jana Bommersbach had a great article in Phoenix Magazine a month ago. My favorite columnist notes that "Seven of 16 leadership positions in the Arizona Legislature are held by Mormons, including the top spots in each chamber. How significant is it?"
Jana's article asks if the Mormon influence in our State Legislature shows a Mormon agenda in voting. Some say yea, some nay. She raises a question affecting gays and lesbians everywhere, especially on the National level. Can our politicians vote without religious bias on issues that support minority views that conflict with their religious teachings? The largest of these issues is same-sex marriage.
I believe every American who understands the value of human freedoms will admit that all people should be able to marry the person of their choice and both partners should gain all benefits and rights that their union deserves. It's simply unAmerican to think otherwise, no matter the traditions concerning marriage that any church holds.
The Pope has put out a call to all Catholic lawmakers to do everything in their power to oppose same-sex marriage. The American Council of Bishops ratified the Pope's call. Before John Kennedy was elected president, there was always a fear that the Pope would try to exert his influnce on American politicians if given the chance. This has never happened before, but it's happening now. How will our Catholic politicians handle themselves in light of this decree? Will they vote for upholding Constitutional equality or as their church directed?
My largest concern is the Christian right. These politicians have shown a proclivity to vote with their religious beliefs rather than for American freedoms. They rant about the sanctity of marriage while gold diggers still marry 70 year old men hoping to cash in when the old buzzard kicks the bucket. The tell us marriage has always been between a man and a woman when the Bible clearly shows that polygamy existed for hundreds of years and was even condoned by God. They tell us that gays will hurt marriage, without explaining how and by overlooking the spousal abuse so rampant in our society that safe homes are set up for victims across the nation. They say it's for the benefit of the children yet in every county in every state in America, Child Protection Services case loads are so heavy that the staff can't handle them. The killing of newborn children is so high that laws have been passed so young mothers can drop off their unwanted young babies at fire houses or hospitals, no questions asked, instead of having to kill them. Mothers and fathers are killing their children at an alarming rate in America, yet they tell us how great children have it in heterosexual married homes. They tell us how the nation holds marriage to be an unassailable institution yet the divorce rate climbs every year and is now well over 50%. Fifty year old executives leave their wife and children to marry girls twenty years younger. Some people divorce and remarry many many times. Hollywood stars marry and remarry and Americans follow their exploits in magazines sold in supermarkets across the country. Some conservative ministers will not marry divorced people in their church, but I don't hear a call for a constitutional amendment abolishing divorce. Why? Tell me, which is the larger threat to heterosexual marriage today, gay marriage or divorce? Honest Americans will not buy the arguments of conservative hypocrites.
Jana knows where the blame belongs. Arizona has a lazy electorate where most eligible voters aren't registered and those that are don't make it to the polls. This is true throughout our country. The only way to stop political tyranny is at the ballot box. Young people especially, who know that gay marriage poses no threat to anyone need to get out and vote. They need to educate themselves on the candidates views and vote accordingly. Many are under the impression that their vote doesn't count. I beg to differ. Local and state level elections are often decided by single digit numbers. And I shouldn't have to remind anyone of what happened for Bush in Florida during the last presidential election. They only way your vote doesn't count is if you refuse to cast it.
Get to know the candidates. If you want something you have to work for it. Gays and lesbians are being elected. They are as equipped to represent their constituents as anyone. We can overcome religious and secular bias at the polls. That's where change starts. It was true in the 60s when unequal rights for blacks were challenged and overturned. Its still true today.
Register and vote. Their God, your God, my God, nor anyone else's God has any business involved with the American government.
©2003 Marcia Ellen "Happy" Beevre
Thursday, November 20, 2003 - Apache Junction, Arizona, USA
What does freedom mean? I've always felt like I was free but now I'm beginning to realize that my ideas of personal feedom are an illusion. If you're different in this country, your freedoms are always in question.
I've never been arrested, I've never done drugs, I'm not an activist. I've always thought I was free to do about anything I wanted to as long as I didn't stomp on anyone else’s freedom or break the law of the land. But that's not the case and it's getting worse.
I’m 28 years old. I'm not a child anymore. If called upon I would go to war and die for my country. Yet my government will not even allow me to marry the person of my choice. If I lived with someone for 30 years and she got in an auto accident I wouldn't be permitted to enter her hospital room to hold her hand, stroke her hair and pray for her. I would have no right to inherit her property or be helped by her social security or retirement benefits if she passed away.
If my partner had children and died young, I would have no claim to keep our family together. Her ex-spouse or a member of either family could lay claim to the children and I would lose them. I would have no rights as parent no matter how long I had raised them.
By simply asserting I am suspect, I could become a target of the FBI. I could be arrested and held without charge forever. I could be interrogated in any way my captors saw fit. They could search my home without having to obtain a warrant. Now my President wants to limit my freedoms even more. Mayhaps it will come to be like the innocent Japanese Americans during WWII who were taken from their home and put into camps, losing all their possessions.
In Arizona, many people of Middle Eastern ancestry were taken prisoner after 9-11. Most were only guilty by way of looks and for having a name that condemned them to suspicion. A female student at ASU was outright killed by fanatics implementing frontier justice. Americans still live in fear. If you're black, gay or Native American you know all about living in fear.
Please. I'm glad I live in America and I love my country. But my President scares me. He lies to me and starts wars based on his lies. He will spend American lives without being brought to task for his lies. He wants to restrict my freedoms even more. He never wants me to marry the person of my choice. Yet this man didn't gain office by election. He wasn't elected by Congress. He was put into office by order of a Supreme Court empowered by his own political party. The Supreme Court has portected the rights of Americans for years. Yet when that same court rules to protect my freedoms it is accused of overstepping it's bounds.
©2003 Marcia Ellen "Happy" Beevre
Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - Apache Junction, Arizona, USA
BISEXUALS AND LESBIANS
What's the problem between bisexual women and lesbians you ask? First of all, the disclaimers...I don't pretend to speak for all bi's or lesbians. This is totally the Marcia Ellen viewpoint. So if you disagree with what I have to say here, no problem.
If you search through any number of lesbian personal ads, you'll see statements like, "No bisexuals please." There have been distinct issues between long-time lesbians and their bisexual sisters. It's been called "bi-phobia" and I'd like to comment on that.
On her excellent website, Bi The Way, site owner Sunny states, "I think most bisexuals have had some experiences with bi-phobia. You expect it from the heterosexual community. However most of my experiences with bi-phobia have been from the lesbian and gay communities. It's difficult for me to understand how a segment of our society, who has been so categorically rejected and demeaned by society, could be so closed-minded to the possibility that there are other sexualities aside from their own." Lesbians tend to see bisexuals as promiscuous swingers, with concurrent lovers of both genders. They are thought to be denying their lesbianhood. They're confused about their sexuality and will probably dump you for a man. Men get jealous when their woman is loved by another female. There is always trouble with a man in the picture.
I've heard it said that bisexuals have a problem with monogamy. Not so. Just like straights and gays, bi's are fully capable of a loving monogamous relationship. One's sexuality doesn't take away the choice of living your life forever with the one person that you truly love. Bi's usually aren't attracted equally to both sexes. I always favored women but recognized early on that I was attracted to men also. Over the past sex or seven years though, that attraction wained for me and I realize now that I'm a total lesbian. Not everyone is transitional like I was. Many remain bi their entire life.
From my experience of being bi, I could never be in a relationship with a woman and a man at the same time. I might flirt with both, but that's not the same. If I wasn't seriously dating one person, which was most of the time, I was open to advances from both sexes. I never thought it odd or unusual. It was simply the way I was. I counted having feeling for both genders as a plus. I certainly learned a lot about people and myself that I wouldn't have had I been straight or fully gay during those years.
Which brings me to the point that most straight people lump bisexuals into the generic catagory of "gay." I put up with the same kind of discrimination from straights when I considered myself bi that I do now as a lesbian. I couldn't hide within the straight community if I had wanted to. I knew I was different and I was quite open about it. For that reason, I would have no fears dating a bi woman now. I don't like discrimination. We gays need to open up to our bi brothers and sisters and not ostracize them. Being different is hard enough without having to be made to feel "wrong" by people who ought to know how that feels themselves.
So get out there and hug a bisexual today!!
©2003 Marcia Ellen "Happy" Beevre
Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - Apache Junction, Arizona, USA
YES! THANK YOU, MASSACHUSETTS!!
The country took a huge step forward today as the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled 4-3 that the state may not deny the right conferred by civil marriage to two individuals of the same sex who wish to marry. Massachusetts becomes the first state to fully legalize gay and lesbian Marriage. This makes Massachusetts the first state to fully legalize gay and lesbian marriage. Lawmakers have 180 days to come up with a solution that would allow gay couples to wed.
"The court appeared to be on the verge of announcing that same sex couples have the right to same-sex marriage but they took a tip toe back from the cliff and allowed the legislature to adopt something that is not marriage in name but in all other respects," Paul Martinek, editor of Lawyers Weekly USA said." This court is going one step further than Vermont. This court is saying marriage is required or the benefits of marriage are required. But they did put the ball back in the legislature's court," the court said. This ruling will immediately ignite a national political debate on gay rights with conservatives renewing their push for a US constitutional ban on gay marriage. State conservatives may initiate a move to change the Massachusetts constitution as well. Gay rights groups plan press a state by state battle for equal marriage rights across the country in wake of the Massachusetts decision.
Legal observers said the case took a significant step beyond the 1999 Vermont Supreme Court decision that led to civil unions in that state. This decision, lawyers said, rules that gay couples are entitled to all the rights of marriage and that creating a separate class of marriage - such as civil unions - would not be acceptable. The key difference between civil unions and marriage is that benefits from civil unions would stop at state borders while rights from marriage would extend across the country - giving gay couples equality under federal laws for taxes, health and retirement benefits, among other areas.
The majority opinion read, "Whether and whom to marry, how to express sexual intimacy, and whether and how to establish a family - these are among the most basic of every individual's liberty and due process rights. And central to personal freedom and security is the assurance that the laws will apply equally to persons in similar situations. Barred access to the protections, benefits and obligations of civil marriage, a person who enters into an intimate, exclusive union with another of the same sex is arbitrarily deprived of membership in one of our community's most rewarding and cherished institutions," Read the entire court record, including responses from all judges involved in the decision, here. (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader obtainable free here.
It seems America is changing for the better indeed! Thank you, Massachusetts!!
Should the Massachusetts Legislature move to allow same-sex marriages?
©2003 Marcia Ellen "Happy" Beevre
Monday, November 17, 2003 - Apache Junction, Arizona, USA
THE FANTASY OF THE "MALE LESBIAN"
I have to thank a recent commenter at another site for reminding me of this habitual male remark when confronted with a cute homosexual female. "I consider myself to be a male lesbian." I'm sure more than a few of us have heard this statement from men many, many times before.
Please allow me to make one thing perfectly clear, Bubba. There is NO such thing as a male lesbian. Especially a man who considers two men being sexually together as "the sickest, most disgusting thing there is." Um, Bubba, most lesbians have male gay friends and they do NOT consider them disgusting in any way.
Just because you are a Bubba who likes good looking women, lesbian or not, it doesn't make you a lesbian in a male's body. Now, if you were a transvestite as in the picture of Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter above, you might be a little closer to being able to make that remark. But only if you have done your homework and are transsexual and scheduled for the "change" operation. The only male who could justifiably make that claim would be a post-op transgender, but she wouldn't cause she now considers herself to be totally the woman she was born to be.
Bubbas like you have no understanding of the female body other than how to use it to satisfy yourselves. If that weren't the case you wouldn't be fantasizing about being turned on by watching two women. You'd be out there pleasing a woman yourself, which I doubt you've ever really accomplished. There are many good men in this world, I'm sure. But it's Bubbas like you that make the saying, "If it has tires or testicals there's bound to be trouble down the road," a very honest platitude.
So I suggest you lay your fantasies aside. No true lesbians will ever perform for you. You might get your wife or girlfriend (pity her) to put on a show with a bisexual friend, but that's about the end of it. I'm afraid you're stuck with with your blow up dollies, paper girlfriends from nudie magazines and made for men sex pix of "lesbians" from porn sites. It's Bubba's like you that give men a bad reputation.
Thanks for the inspiration.
©2003 Marcia Ellen "Happy" Beevre
Sunday, November 16, 2003 - Apache Junction, Arizona, USA
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
Remember the recent Ten Commandments plaque flap in Alabama? It's been in the news again because they ousted the guy from his judgeship who wanted to keep his monument in the courthouse.
Why all the commontion about this issue anyway? The Ten Commandments are the opening commands of the Jewish Law Covenant listed in Exodus 20:1-21. The rest of the Law-code is given from Exodus 20:22 through 23:33. Are these two different things? No. The Ten Commandments are simply the first part of the Law and given no special recognition by anyone in the Bible. In fact, Jesus once said if you break any part of the Law, you've broken the whole thing. No one part was more important than another.
Do Christians uphold the Law Covenant today? No. The Law Covenant became void at the death of Christ, who instituted a New Covenant. Christ issued two commands - Love God and Love your neighbor. That's it. Christians were to be identified by their love. Does this mean the Law Covenant is meaningless today? No. It's value lies in the guidelines it offers to people trying to understand the God they worship.
If Christians aren't under the law then why the trouble? The church sees the Ten Commandments as an icon. They pick and choose from the Jewish Law things that fit their program. The Ten Commandments are one example, the condemnation of witches and gays is another. It's odd because the Ten Commandments say, "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath.." Yet that is exactly what the Ten Commandments have become - an Idol replacing the New Covenant of Jesus. Oh, by the way, please note there is nothing in the Ten Commandments about witches or homosexuals. Homosexuality is mentioned in the other part of the Law Covenant, but not as a crime punishable by death. Aldutry, however, was punishable by death. Which do you think is a bigger threat to marriage today, adultry or homosexuality?
Why not put up plaques honoring the New Covenant Laws that Christians are to follow? Because people would have no foundation for their hatred. They'd have to love their neighbor. Who's their neighbor? That follower of Wicca who lives down the street. The two gay guys at work. The Moslem fanatics who flew jets into the twin towers on 9-11. Yes, Jesus said, "Love your enemies."
The Bible shows that the old Law Covenant was impossible to keep. The new Covenant seems just as difficult, judging by the hatred spewed from the churches. The history of the Christian church is abominable. How many wars pitted Christian against Christian? How many witches, gays, blacks, Native Americans, Jews and, oddly enough, other Christians have died in the name of Christianity? These were/are followers of Jesus?
The Bible is very clear about how the followers of Christ would be recognized. "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:35) How important is the love command? "Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness." (1John 2:9) "Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions in truth." (1 John 3:18) "If anyone says, 'I love God,' yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother." (1 John 4: 20-21)
Simple enough, right? So why all the confusion. It seems the nature of mankind in sin is to hate, not love. Jesus came to rectify that. He fought with the clergy of his time who wanted to hate the Romans. Jesus refered to them as "Blind guides." Many clergymen and their followers today are just as blind to the love that Jesus taught.
I'm not against Christians, nor am I against Jesus. But God gave me the capacity to love and to understand when I am loved in return. When asked what the greatest commandment in the Law Covenant was, Jesus replied, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your sould and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Can you find it in your heart to love and not hate?
©2003 Marcia Ellen "Happy" Beevre