Believe it or not, corporate America is changing policies regarding “Same Sex Marriage”.

By Isis Win

Disclaimer: English is my second language and regardless of all my efforts, I fall short to master it in a way that I make myself easy to read. Please, be patient and hopefully you get the idea at the end of my text. However, feel free to leave any criticism, suggestion and comment. That will help me and expedite my learning of your wonderful but no so easy language. Thanks!


No so long ago, there was no clear positive participation from the mainstream to support LGBT issues and realm. Today, this panorama differs drastically from our recent panorama but corporate America is making a grand difference and a dent in the mind of the mainstream. During the past decade several one 100 corporations incorporated policies in the work force, hiring, provided perks, etc, to serve equally to LGBT people. These actions had been implemented by hundreds of them and now, they are supporting Same Sex Marriage. Since corporations cannot change the existing legislation to this unconstitutional denial, they not only opened their doors to LGBT workers and new employed people, but they are enacting policies that provide to their gay and lesbian workers equal services from their providers. Today, several of these corporations allow a gay or lesbian workers to include their beloved on in their health provisions package and benefits. It does not validate the civil right that according to the US constitution every single American should receive, but this is a mighty good start. Although gay and lesbian American workers expect more regarding their right to marry their chosen one, this corporate move very likely will mimic part of the desired goals based on a rightful wish. At this point, LGBT advocates and the related organizations, such HRC are only waiting for the Supreme Court to revise the constitutionality of this demand, the opposition movement, etc, in several states. Experts believe, the Supreme Court will rule out denial of this right based on the value of the constitution. The question will be if this becomes a federal mandate or states are allowed to choose how they will enact this policy.
It is clear the several organizations involved in denying this right will continue to invest their multimillion contributions to campaigns against it. Mostly religious organizations that ironically ignore the fact that separation of church and state does not allow them to attempt to “guide” the government and American people to deny such basic right and based on the Sacred Scriptures. However, candidates at the brink of elections, present their support to this religious battle and clearly to gather the support of their constituents that do not support marriage between the same-sex. This is prevalent on the republican party side but there are a few democrats politicians that oppose to this right as well. The Supreme Court and the White House have a package in their hands to either observe this constitutional right or delay it. On the long run, there will be a day in which this right is observed and no longer is a political issue in the platform of those no scrupulous politicians.
Same sex marriage has been on the table for many years now in the USA. It has created one of the most radical polemics among their opponents and supporters to a point that, when testifying to the media, their arguments fall right away through the cracks when confronted with the civil aspects of this issue. I’ve heard in many talk programs arguments on their part that do not present any other notion but the believe that marriage, “natural marriage” as they call it, can only be allowed between a man and woman. A notion that right away lose the shine they pretend to present in their effort as a part of God’s design, because the religions they use to support their position, as well states clearly, according to their very own interpretations: God intended to seed in his human children forgiveness compassion, generosity, love and acceptance to every one of his children, that would be allowed to enter “Heaven” if repented of their sins. And this cannot be a sin. Being born as God’s design and being incongruent with the established role by humans is an issue between humans, not God’s will. This regardless of the hostile antagonism represented through history, at large, and coming down to the loss of beloved family members, peers and friends and suicide to many. This to a point that, although it is federally and state illegal, LGBT people are harassed, bullied, destitute, physically and emotionally punished. This clear sign not only represents that lack of ability to exercise compassion and generosity to those that in their view lack what life only accepts and support, but as well, the mean streak represented against LGBT through history as the recent disease that killed thousands of people in our nation as the result of HIV and AIDS when they celebrated this disease and deaths. Up to date, thousands of people point this disease as a deserving punishment from God to gay people and consider it appropriate punishment to the case. However, we as well have many more folds numbers of compassionate people who have work constantly to find the means to treat the disease and find a cure. Today, more people survive this disease than ever before.
Corporate America recognizes the fact that LGBT people are as good contributors to the working force as any other human being. They recognize it is of utmost importance that they acquire the very same rights and benefits in their working force as anyone and several businesses include this initiative in their policies. Perhaps one of these days, this right no longer is denied anywhere at anytime, to any deserving member of this minority. Meanwhile, every month dozens and dozens of people and their businesses are moving to that place of support and that reflects the vision of our founding fathers. As well, it represents a higher state of human consideration among the supporters of LGBT people. This contribution of corporate America brings a tremendous positive outcome to our nation, same that at some point will reflect the evolution of our race. Although we are far superior to all other species, for some strange reason, we humans are troubled by this and ignoring the fact that animal life in hundreds of species – exhibit this very same homosexual behavior. Even theologians from all walks of life, beliefs and cultures, attest that marriage between a man and woman is not contemplated in the Sacred Scriptures but it is the result of a bad and manipulated interpretation. In my part, I believe that whatever this is for one or the other side of this issue, one greatly overlooked fact is that no one is entitled at any level, whatsoever, to make themselves the judge, jury and enforcement on the lives of law-abiding members of our society. This a phenomena speaks very eloquently of the poor moral, ethic and legal state of mind of those that not only oppose to this right, but as well desire to force the rest of the world to comply with their own view. The day the stop minding the business of others, as LGBT people actively have represented no to mind others issues through this polemic issue, we may reach a plateau in which we can mingle together and peacefully. Regardless of the differences of opinion, beliefs and lifestyles between us. Overall, we will perform better as citizens, human beings, brothers and sisters, when we exclusively remain faithful to our own choices and allow others to do exactly the same.
Thank you and congratulations to corporate America for taking the right position in this polemic issue and the very same to every individual that supports LGBT people or refrain from participating in a controlling and belittling way against them. These times are a clear indication of what we need the most: To gather our efforts and support everyone towards their well-being, peace and harmony and regardless of who they are. LGBT people care for others without making any distinction of others lifestyle, beliefs, status, etc.

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Presidential Equality.

By Isis Win

This past Sunday, I watched Vice President Biden candidly say on “Meet the Press” that he has no issue about gay couples and their desire to marry.

Coming from the second highest office, this is something that cannot be taken lightly. As well, he mentioned that he believed President Obama has been supportive of LGBT people, although Biden did not compromise and assert Obama’s position. This was followed by all the news services and of course, the questions about: “A political mistake? Compromised the upcoming vote? Political maneuver?” popped wildly. However, the press had no clue in regard to the presidential take and position on this issue that had become almost as important as the economy in recent days. Previously, the press reported Obama does not support Marriage Equality.

See excerpt of this interview here: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/video/obama-sex-marriage-legal-16312940

It is extremely hard to know what is the true level of general support for this effort and as well, the counter movement. Even after the many polls and the numbers skewed to figure the true numbers, there is no true statistic.  This is an issue that covers a spectrum much larger than left-center-right political views. Religion, moral beliefs and the personal state of mind, and as well the feelings of each person have weight in this issue. Homosexuality has been such a stigmatized issue since the earliest days of our history. Although archeological findings have much to say as to how and what changed in certain times, ostracizing homosexuality has grown on its own for centuries.  Homosexuality has been associated mostly with superstition, bad interpretations of the Bible and other sacred scriptures, but as well, through times in our history homosexuality has been considered decadent and sinful, creating a strong animosity against it. Mostly during times when homosexuality was not closeted, many high rank figures were gay and what was considered marriage in those times was common. But as well, those times were times of major tragedy and famine, such as the events during and after the fall of the Roman Empire, both abroad and their country itself. Superstition was used to justify many of those tragedies as well as many of the natural disasters of the times. The “Wrath of God” at work, and of course, religion took part in these times. However, homosexuality before and during those times, if not accepted, it wasn’t fought and committed gay relationships were allowed.

Today, after Obama’s announcement in support of same-sex marriage, this panorama has changed somehow. There is a positive joy going on around not just because the importance of the first US president supporting Marriage Equality, but as well, it is believed that this news will help the movement for LGBT equality. I have a very different take on this and trust me, I am not a cynic in this regard. The very same way discrimination against LGBT people seemed to be fading, discrimination against African-Americans seemed to be a thing of the past.  The reality is that political correctness and politeness were abandoned by many people who in theory were OK with racial equality. Something that somehow changed post Obama’s election. Something that, to my own disbelief, I’ve witnessed personally in many realms walks of life: Many voters despise Obama because he is black. The reality is, while African-Americans were accepted “across the board”, that didn’t include having a black president. A president with different ideology (socialist as alleged by many conservatives), opposition party, etc, is one thing but an African-American that will determine the future of the entire nation? That is unacceptable by many. People do not express openly their views in this regard, unless in the presence of others who they know are in the same place. I heard things such as: The trust and importance of the White House in the world will be severely demerited by a black president. A black person lacks the necessary quality and style of an American president. I even heard people calling him a monkey. The same is the case with homosexuality. Prior to President Obama’s Pro Equality announcement, a lot of people refrained from sharing their opinion openly about same gender marriage. But today, many are infuriated that our president, a Democrat, who in their view “has done nothing for the country and themselves”, has made many serious mistakes and now is supporting something that most people believe is immoral and against the biblical beliefs. I find the hatred against Obama exhibited in many of these conservatives now is a combo of hate against Obama with homosexuality. People seem to fear change more than any previous time in American history and their fear, becomes unproportional to reason and logic. It is no more than shutting the door to both issues, as much as any issue that represents change and tradition that seems threatened.

I liked Obama’s interview and what he said. Particularly when he mentioned the “Golden Rule”: “Don’t do to others what you don’t want to be done with you”. Exactly! Where would the president be if he realizes that one of his daughters is a lesbian and desires a committed and legally supported marriage? What many people fail to see, is that compassion and generosity are some of the most positive and influential forces that make everything better, for everyone. People seem to overlook the fact that freedom is a necessary and mandatory state of life to achieve the best possible growth in life. Denying legal marriage to gay and lesbians, is a form of denial of this freedom. Something that perhaps didn’t matter to them much before, but today is a vital need. Regulations and laws do not permit couples out of legal marriage to benefit from federal and state perks that come along with the accomplishments of their obligations and the necessary requirements to claim legal rights when the partner is unable to decide for her/himself or deal with the legal and necessary rights in case of death, child custody, and divorce. But all unjust civil issues take their place in the roster of what needs to be addressed at some point. Many racial issues somehow have been worked out and only time will decide how much gain comes from it. So far, African-Americans have been able to achieve higher education, predominant places in all industries and fields, including the military, and so having a president of African-American origin definitely changes that perspective for them by many folds. Black people today, especially young generations, increased their aspirations and confidence because America elected one of them.
I’ve heard educated and upper (or more) middle class people wondering if allowing same-sex marriage rights at some point will allow having a gay or lesbian (and couples) elected as an US president. This is a terrible miss and a short-sighted view because what a nation really needs and can benefit from, is having capable people in charge that are willing of giving their very best to the nation. Lincoln was not fully accepted when running for the White House chair because his education and social status. But his mind and heart were much more than brilliant and with his “limited” resources, not only saved the nation in one of the most difficult times in American history, but he pushed the nation better than what many presidents had done. Those shoes will be hard to fill for a long time.
I really hope that this testimony from the President does not do any more harm to his effectiveness and re-election goals, and helps many to persuade themselves that denying a basic civil right to a few – that is supposed to be granted to everyone, does not treat anything or anybody fairly or justly.
Apparently many people opposed to Obama and LGBT rights now – out of the blue – became very vocal and are taking initiative to broadcast their views to fight LGBT equality and president Obama. Perhaps before president Obama’s testimony supporting LGBT people and marriage equality, people who never cared nor believed this right would be granted are reacting to this news, but Obama’s support “awakened” their animosity and in just a few hours past this testimony, they became quite vocal and active to show their true sentiment. The irony of this case is: God didn’t invent marriage. Marriage is a human invention that through centuries and millennia had changed about the reasons to exist. For instance, at some point it was used to halt women from seeking relationships out of marriage and if doing so, they would be executed by law. Men were allowed to do exactly that. As well, during some history periods, this was the tool for fathers to make any claim about their children. Gay and lesbians care for legal marriage simply because they care of having the exact same legal rights all other couples do. Legal rights that will not exist for as long as their marriage is not legally recognized and granting Civil Union rights is not the same. Still is a form of control and discrimination and there is no true reason within the human realm that can justify such aberration. As well, religious beliefs must be left in the hands of the parishes the very same way the government doesn’t have the right to state, regulate, etc, them. The will of the church is free from this. Government and religion are two different and separate entities that by any means should not be mixed, as the US Constitution states. So why do people fight marriage equality as an item of biblical reasons?

The world is not going to become gay across the board because of same-sex marriage equality. There is no way that a straight man or woman is going to turn gay because nondiscrimination laws are in place. The very same way that a gay person cannot switch to being straight, heterosexual people cannot change their sexual or gender orientation; that is innate and unchangeable. Let history speak about this so people can see that homosexuality has existed through our entire presence in the physical realm and never produced any harm to anyone or anything. Nothing has changed, regardless of the many efforts through our history to fight them, and even to eliminate them, such as the genocide of homosexuals in many cultures through centuries. Middle east nations still do that!  Despite these oppressions, no one, absolutely no one is capable of changing what is built-in, what we are born with.

More importantly, it is evident that those who are allowed to be themselves, freely and without concern, have been individuals that fulfilled their role in life and often for the benefit of many others of all ethnic backgrounds, walks of life, social status, etc. regardless of all the limitations and denial of their rights. In fact, this denial is so unfair, unjust, stupid and non-sensical because many of the best contributors in all realms to the American life were (and are) people that had been ostracized by society and their obsolete rules. These people never focused on the unfairness that was imposed in them. Instead, they focused on the talents they were born with and poured all their dedication to render their best to all. And because of their pride of being, they survived all. But no one is “cut from the same cloth”, nor has the same abilities as anyone else. Some need to be supported in order to explore their gifts of birth and to not deal with a lifestyle that needs to fight everyone and the establishment. Let them live freely and join the battle of moving from our ankylosis and bring fortune and well-being to themselves and everyone. Let everyone be free! Everyone must have the right to choose whatever they wish!

I thank President Obama for taking a stand in this issue, although the possibility of making him to lose this coming election now is larger, judging from this reaction. What President Obama has done is to be himself; an honest, fair, compassionate human being and a President to all, including the underdog. Something to celebrate forever.

I know the absolute truth but you . . .

By Isis Win

It is so interesting how some of the aspects in a democratic society and process, somehow fail to deliver what originally was intended as a the main purpose of a nation that serves, supports and entitle every single citizen of the exact same rights. Those rights that were extensively examined by the founders of our nation and became the constitution of the USA. Since its inception and the following amends, the constitution aims towards the deserving freedom that every single contributor to the nation earns by abiding the law and regulations that will preserve the peace and harmony of each citizen, same that become the order and progress of the nation. Therefore a free and happy society, brings what the country needs to ensure that prosperity and the well-being of all will be. The results go both ways: to the components of this society and the nation that holds them.

Law abiding citizens that comply with their responsibilities and obligations are deserving of those liberty rights and any other provision the government creates, which will be served equally and without any distinction to ethnicity, gender, lifestyle, belief, origin, social and cultural status, etc. The constitution does not provide any “special favors” to any group, person, organization, etc. All – is about every individual that independently contributes to the positive formation and progress of the entire nation.

Jefferson, considering the measurable and important value of public happiness included in the United States Declaration of Independence the right to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” . Which is considered one the best crafted and most influential sentences in the history of the English language. He recognized these three rights as an “unalienable rights” or sovereign rights of man.
George Mason wrote:
“That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.”

But it is interesting that one of those perks offered by democracy, has been used at large, when a legislation that has been passed to protect and provide those constitutional rights to a minority lacking of those – becomes a matter of “popular” consensus by a referendum and only to deny that passed legislation.
Nothing wrong with that mechanism, for as long as the same doesn’t violate the basic principle of granting – indiscriminately – those rights to everyone, no exception. But referendums created and presented to override the right to legal marriage to gay couples should be questioned before posted. The interesting part of all this, is  that there is no substance when it comes to any legal or reasonable principle to deny a right – that already was granted by the higher office of a state and based on that constitutional right. Religious, moral or anything beyond the scope of the legal realm doesn’t suffice to derail something that has been established as a constitutional legal right. But those referendums keep coming and attempting to override that passed legislation. I am not a constitutional lawyer and sadly my ignorance in that department will not help me to present the necessary legal arguments that are violated with such referendums. But just common sense tells me that they are way wrong and out-of-place.
 
Looking a little beyond this constitutional and legal aspect, we can see the main issue at stake, somehow, most miss to see it or address it: There is no individual, organization, law or regulation that entitles anyone to decide how others may live their own life. But somehow those that are against those rights for that minority of the minorities, feel that somewhere marriage between a man and a woman, is written in stone that and that kind of marriage, is exclusively the only one that can  take place in our society. Is it that those religious minds suspect that if this constitutional right is addressed and federally enforced, those gay couples may seek for religious marriage? Give me a break!
 
Interesting! for a lack of a better word, theologians, historians, anthropologists and archeologists had found no sound evidence to such in the sacred scriptures. Not to mention the fact that the basic principle of all religions establish – that every single human being must be loved, accepted, supported and forgiven when wrong. To make this case even more compelling, there is no evidence in the sacred scriptures that presents that homosexuality as wrong, unnatural or a matter of personal choice. So where does this come from? The undeniable fact here is, that some people strongly believe to know the only truth, even if such goes against their own religious principles and as well is a total denial of equal liberty rights to all. We can go even deeper in that regard, when we ask: why those individuals tend to believe that they are the only holders of such truth? But frankly, that is not of my business as much as it is not theirs to analyze, judge, ostracize and sentence those that they are unable to recognize and accept. However, from the civic point of view, it is rather revolting that those uptight and judgmental individuals fail to recognize that gay people seeking for the right to marriage – are as good contributors to the well-being of the nation – as perhaps they are. They work, pay taxes, respect the law, are loving people, etc. And all they ask is the acknowledgment of being who they are: equal to all and entitle to legal marriage that will provide them the same rights their opponents receive. But it is not just the civil right what they seek for. Anyone who desires to commit into legal marriage, desires to do so because, they like the rest of the population, they aspire to help with the foundation in which society has been built on. They want to participate in the well being of the nation with every single aspect of the established, working and organized society they live in.
Their love for each other will note impaired by this denial and their commitment always existed since the moment that they committed to each other. But that “doesn’t suffice” to validate their commitment and the recognition they aim for, which is for the well-being and benefit of our nation and society. How ironic this is, when at least 50% of the heterosexual couples are already divorced, the majority pregnancy cases in the US are in single women under 30 years old, the numbers of family less children sky rocketed in the last few decades, thousands of children lack of any nurturing family and most crimes, come from those that never had an opportunity to become law-abiding citizens, because they are unrecognized and lack of all opportunities.

Same gender marriage will pitch in – tremendously – in addressing and correcting some of those problems. In fact, more than half of the gay families opt for adoption. And there is no evidence of any sort, that kids growing up in a same gender couple family are dysfunctional, less human, disrespectful of the law and much less, not loving people. Many of the kids from gay couples I’ve met through my kid’s events, schools, etc, are some of the most loving and compassionate kids I’ve known. But those that propose these referendums, as well those that vote for them, seem to know the truth better than the rest of the American people. Even better than those gay couples.

More ironic is the fact that not everyone is against same gender marriage. The majority of the people under 30 yo are in favor of same gender marriage rights. But today, baby boomers , the flower generation, are much older and they’ve forgotten what they learned, when they were young as their kids are today. As well, it is overwhelmingly clear – that the advocate efforts of some religious groups (#1 the Mormons) are the reason this legislation has been threatened and defeated before (Prop8) and possibly legislation in those states that already passed this constitutional legislation, will be defeated again and again, until this case goes to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court will not have any other saying but to speak in favor of the constitutional rights of every American. Just the very same way that inter-racial marriage became protected.

But I have another point in this regard, that is as valid and solid as the previously mentioned. We are not in the middle ages. Science, sociology, history and many other fields had proven consistently that homosexuality is a natural event in our species , records existed since our early days of history, there is nothing wrong with it and going against it, reflects a deep lack of compassion, understanding, fear and plain ignorance. And that doesn’t match our needed progress in any field or history. Or is it human nature to always have an issue to go against and a certain group of people? Specially a minority? There is no evidence to this notion but that the individual that feels, thinks and acts that way, have an internal and very personal issue about what they are against. And their issue has nothing to do with the people they are against, because there is no foundation or evidence to their sentiment. The reason they have no other argument than to use something that is not even proven, such as the Sacred Scriptures they assert. However, it seems “they know the truth and the only truth” but those are against to it, in reality, know nothing. They are just holding their sentiment based on their very personal opinion. A Freudian projection of some sort? Therefore, they feel obligated to fight them at any cost. Also, they take the law in their own hands. They police the order they believe should be, they try to enforce it and they do whatever it takes to keep it that way. And the cost of this illegal efforts is a tremendous waste of money, time, and it damages the establishment, the uneducated and fearful society because it plainly disseminates discrimination towards those that never have done anything to deserve such. This is nothing different from what today is not illegal anymore, such as interracial marriage, rights for women, desegregation, religious freedom, etc, etc, etc, The same items that  were removed from our unspoken “laws” of our ancient past and were nothing less than a disgraceful violation to humanity and harmonious order.

Nevertheless, the most of all annoying aspects of this discriminatory initiative of some religious groups, is that the only argument they present to advocate against gay couples, is nothing else than their moral and religious views. Same that had not be proven by any means in terms of any biblical validation and the separation of church and state suppose to go both ways. No one is advocating about any of the above beliefs or religions, so what is the excuse those jealous have to make their case, out of what has been clearly legislated and protected by our constitution? These referendums that attempt to derail any constitutional right, do not deserve to become a matter of democratic process, because no one has any negative evidence proof this attempt. And is a violation to the liberties that all Americans deserve and are granted. Civil union is not the proper measure to be granted by state governments because such is not a validation of that right and as well, for as long as this right is not federally addressed and corrected, gay couples will continued being unrecognized as law-abiding and deserving people, as the constitution and the law states should be.

I am not attempting to state that (as they like to think and act) I own the universal truth about this issue. Therefore I know better than they do. I am just expressing my own view based on a little more educated place. I am not seeking myself to marry anyone, same gender or the opposite. I do not have a family member that wishes to receive this right. Yes, I know of people who wish to be able to do so but my investment is not based on my own belief or wish. I am just expressing something that once taken care of, for good and enforced to the dot, will deeply and positively affect an area in our world and nation, that has been for the longest neglected and unspoken. And that only is because those against this, are extremely vocal and proactive to enforce their own set of beliefs and the rest of the people prefer not to get involved because – for starters – this is not a business that belongs to anyone but those that wish, aim and aspire to get it legally granted. The very same right that you and I receive and most take for granted. Marriage is about commitment into a monogamous, steady and loving establishing of a family. It is recognized as a right to one of  the basic principles that establish a positive future of a functional and progressive society that up-keeps a nation. Nothing more, nothing less. Those referendums should be denied by the local governments and they should use their resources in something that offers true promises to our democratic process, state and nation.

Settling of a reality

 By Isis Win

Ending another year prompts reflection. Perhaps when it comes to our personal reflection the process seems, “Smooth and easy” to attain but when it comes to issues of our country and world, things may become complex and incomprehensible.

The reasons are quite obvious but offer no explanations as how we arrived to where we are. For starters the media does not make it any easier but as well, not always represents the truth. Propaganda and manipulation often make the headlines and we are left thinking what is not. In most cases, all depends on what the medium in place is. However, many of those issues foreign to our inner world affect everything including our personal and close world.

The political scene is no exception and as we know, such alters many other realms that ultimately affect us personally.  Here I am doing a quick revision about some of those issues that have resulted in apathy, vitriolic reasoning and divided further the American people. All resulting in one of the worse cases in the American peopleʻs lack of confidence.  However, it is clear that no one fully agrees in many of those points of issue and their true representation.  Nevertheless, with some distance, the truth shines for itself, showing the facts as they truly are. Here are some at the top of the list.

Through the entire twenty-first century we’ve been encountering a not-so-familiar panorama in the US, starting with the unprovoked attack on the WTC, an event that shocked and infuriated even the most cool and collected person. For some “strange” reason, if we could have removed our selves from what happened as it happened, we didn’t. We were emotional witnesses to this hard-to-believe painful tragedy. Some people mourned, while for others, their anger was triggered to the point of seeking revenge against the perpetrator.

I bounced back and forth between both, but always kept in view that a terrorist faction is not a country. They have no official home and they can be spread around the world. How scary! Almost like in the bloody seventeenth century when many religion wars were fought. Therefore, fighting them seemed close to impossible. Those that were obsessed by that core anger wanted to take matters in their hands. As a consequence, flocks of young people joined the armed forces. Young patriotic people who were willing to sacrifice their lives to defend our sovereignty and freedom. People whose values rank at the highest level of caring for their nation and people, something to be much more than admired. But sadly, even the armed forces have failed them from beginning to end.

Through those same times, we were consumed as well by a previous enemy of the USA and a threat to the world: Saddam Hussein. Hussein already was an icon in our minds when he invaded and stole the vaults of Kuwait and was flawlessly ousted out of Kuwait by the US forces. The US demolished his arsenal, leaving him totally unprotected in one of the most dangerous and unstable regions of the world, a region that constantly has been at war since the beginning of history.

It was well-known that Hussein possessed chemical weapons and was fully capable of using them, and as well, US intelligence suspected a large arsenal that could be used against the US as retaliation, and the existence of production plants. There even was speculation that he was preparing to possess nuclear weapons although the UN stepped in and established there were not suspected weapons, nor plants. Saddam was no threat to anyone. As well, US intelligence assured the White House that Hussein had business with Al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden and was involved in the WTC attack.

Then, the US went to a preemptive assault on Iraq, a war that then-President Bush promised to the American people “will be a short one and a definite win” without any problem. History showed that not being the case at all, but as well, the presumed US intelligence was wrong. Way wrong! Hussein was not a threat nor was part of any act of terrorism against the US or any allied country. However, we engaged into a war that cost several thousands of life lost, and severely physically damaged many folds more of soldiers. The cost of this war was way beyond what the country could afford – especially when we were enjoying tax cuts across the board. But like if that wasn’t enough pain to the country and to the American people, the post-invasion effort was a total flop. The only winners in this war had been all the humongous businesses that garnered multi-billion contracts to support the troops, do the clean up, and saw to the return of Iraq, such as Halliburton. As well, we faced the true problem behind the 9/11 attack: Afghanistan. Our troops went there to kill all Al Qaeda operatives and their top rulers. It was another flop, although several of the people responsible for the attack had been detained and others killed, including Osama bin Laden.

We learned that what Bush said in regard to Iraq and Saddam was completely false, and his team made sure to point the finger at faulty intelligence, but not him. Bush simply washed his hands of any responsibility. To the public opinion, he just retaliated against the culprits of 9/11, and that sufficed to most. However, we now know that there was evidence of manipulations within the government agencies, and consequentially around that time, Secretary of State Colin Powell renounced his position, leaving politics for good. We will never know what the truth is. It has been said over and over that the attack to Iraq was planned before 9/11.

Nevertheless, we engaged in two war fronts, lost too many lives, and more, although Bush assured us to the contrary. We left Iraq a total mess, and Afghanistan is far from reaching an end. The cost of both wars amounts several billions of dollars, although we’ll never know if the actual cost of the wars on Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq is close to 4 trillion dollars as stated by the press.

But the previous administration left us one more chaos. Although analysts, academics and several legislators warned the White House about the dangerous housing and mortgage balloon, the White House did nothing. It burst, leaving us in the second-worst recession in history. Frankly, after all I’ve read about the depression of the 30s, I believe what we’ve dealt with is a true depression. However, it never reached that level because the White House stepped in and saved most of the banks.

This created another breed of winners: bankers and their top men, including those that illegally traded many corrupted loans. Bottom line, the Republicans left the country and the American people in dire straights. We lived through almost an entire decade while watching the most powerful White House in the history of the US deceiving the American people, selling the country to China, creating a war that was not justified by any means, and violating the Freedom Act with the Patriot Act, and all in the name of justice. But justice to who? Although most Americans agreed with bringing to justice all responsible for the attack, no one agreed to the results of the flawed management to achieve that purpose. So far Al-Qaeda has cost the US almost 10,000 lives and a fortune we cannot afford.

It wasn’t surprising to see Bush winning a second term. Although I forecast many years ago Kerry being president due to his remarkable political career, his campaign was too poor and the fact was that he is part of the American aristocracy, even if just by marriage. I knew all that would be a heavy price for him. Bush won and we were set on course to tragedy. The silver spoon-born rancher got a second term. The saddest part is – learning about Bush’s grim past. Although a college graduate, he is an ignorant, not presidential caliber at all.
Bush has not even traveled overseas ever! And he became a president? As well, all his previous “professional” positions were a total flop. Not even being governor of Texas created sound credentials, well, despite the grand fact that he came from a family with a long history in American politics.

Then, elections came again, and with the American people already fed up with the terrible and failed Republican policies of Bush, the Democrats rose into power. I remember so clearly when Governor Obama delivered that phenomenal speech at the Democratic Convention at Kerry’s nomination, I was awed and deeply impressed by it. I told my wife right away, “Here we have a presidential Democrat.” My wife dismissed my comment simply because in her eyes, America was not ready for an African-American president. I had doubts too. However, I believed that the principles of his speech were exactly what the American people wanted and needed: to return to the known American principles of social justice and a growing economic power to all. But that panorama was too far from reality, considering all of above.

Obama became the choice of the American people. Personally, I favored Obama simply because McCain was not promising throughout his campaign at all, particularly after he selected bimbo Palin as his running partner. It was clear that either he wanted absolute power by choosing her or he felt the election was in his pocket anyway. I took offense at his poor choice. “Why Palin?”, I wondered. Because she is an eloquent loose canon? Because she is very attractive? Or because she is quite poisoned against moderate or liberal policies?

My question was answered once the Tea Party started to take over the Republican platform. All that is about is vitriol and nothing about policies or real patriotism, not even American dreams. Opposition to abortion, illegal immigrants, gun control and antagonism against gay rights became their platform and nothing about American policy nor the well-being of the American people. It was about removing from the American tapestry anyone that wasn’t approved by them.  Like that defines our nation! Clearly, as well, greed known among republicans is part of their song.

However, it is my impression that in reality, McCain gave away his presidential dreams due to the recent disaster of the financial meltdown. In fact, I don’t doubt the possibility that the Republican party gave away the election to let the Democrats deal with the existing crisis and then win the following period. Fixing the depression wouldn’t be possible in the next four years, but it is more promising during the next period. We must remember at all times that in politics, anything can happen. And if so, the Republicans had made a great performance presenting a view of Obama and the Republican Party that would assure them the White House in 2012.

I can only hope that the American people have a better vision than going by the Republican propaganda and the blocked attempts to address our current situation. If the White House ends up Republican in 2012, we must be prepared to manage a worse war than the one against Al-Qaeda, because the American people have left behind for far too long the worst scenario for the American people in the last 100 years. Frankly, I believe that the majority voters are not willing to deal with the Republicans, at least in 2012.

The American voters are after justice, fairness and equal distribution. Obama promised not only that, but a total change of the political landscape. A red flag in my view. He was committing to too much and on top of that he was to going to bridge differences between Republicans and Democrats? I wondered how could he do that? That definitely would represent a major change! However, I knew as well that the fact that he is of African descent could bring as well another can of worms for him and the Democrats. Of course, no one wants to publicly admit that, but for four years I’ve heard too many Republicans and Democrats whining about that fact. In 2008, I didn’t care myself because my eyes don’t suffer from those ethnic filters. As well, I knew what the nation needed was someone who wanted to achieve a place in history that confirmed what this nation is supposed to be about. If we could have another Lincoln or Jefferson, that would be it! How naïve of me, because I disregarded the fact that the opposition would make sure he failed in any attempt to bring any of those promised changes. All that because he is a Democrat, he promised too much, he believed in the ability to fully change the nation and because he is black. It seems I was right, but that doesn’t remove the sadness I experienced because, in my book, everything should be about the bettering of the country and everyone in it.

Now we’ve witnessed for a few months the front-runners for the official Republican candidacy throwing dirt at each other and many folds more to Obama. At the early stage of the debates, I was somehow excited about it. Now, I am so disappointed and just as frustrated. Between all the candidates, the Republican party lacks of any true presidential caliber candidate. Flip flopping, ignorance, deception and a hidden agenda are out in the light, even to the politically blind. Not even extracting the best of each candidate can we create one candidate that is sound and promising. On the other side, we still have Obama who, according to the Tea Party and the running candidates, is nothing close to presidential caliber and is a total fraud. If that were to be true, we are in a humongous jam because what the American people need is even a tiny bit of confidence in our future and a change of social and economic structure, something the Republicans openly are against. This is the reason the Occupy movement was born.

Although it seems that Occupy has awakened consciousness along the Main Streets, I see no signs of participation in numbers, something that is vital and badly needed. Perhaps everyone is too busy doing Christmas shopping or too depressed to say anything? It is another layer to the apathy I see. But I don’t blame anyone for it. It would be useless to do so. We cannot change our deficit, unemployment, nor the animosity of the Arab world towards us, or the divisive mentality in politics.  We are hopeless!

I know as well that most of the people unaffected by the recession not only don’t really care about what’s going on in the country or the people, and they have an opinion that differs so much from  reality. Dentists can afford looking at the eye of the customer and say: “Well, I have a plan for your dental care. It will take a few visits and your cost will only be $5,000!” Not to mention a visit to the Doctor, who in the long run, will only write another prescription to be filled and enrich the already-billionaire bio-chemical industries. God forbid that you need a lawyer that will charge you $300 for that letter he sent in your behalf! Nor go back to the gas prices of the early 2000s. But instead, we can buy a large screen TV, an iPad, or a car in payments so it provides some sense to living! And that while a small group of new millionaires and billionaires take their monies to foreign banks, can afford multiple mega-million homes, have their own jet, a fabulous yacht in an exotic place and pay almost no taxes!

Only the blind cannot see what’s truly happening to the world and our country, but, since they are blind, they will not read my blog. But way high in the aristocratic ladder, I can point to all those politicians who are not only out of touch with what the nation needs, but are clueless about what the American people want. Why would they care? Especially if they can enjoy a million dollar revolving account at Tiffany’s, or live in a $1,000,000+ home, while others are just concerned about putting a turkey on the Christmas dinner table or even worse, having a warm roof over their heads. In case you are not aware, poverty levels have grown as bad as our deficit.

If the country needs something, it is to put an end to negativity, to halt the bashing of those who are not approved by others, to – pitch in – where and when possible, and to insure the well-being of every single law-abiding citizen. We need to open our minds, eyes and hearts! Every single American matters as much as you do! After all, the well-being of others, is reflected in our own lives because our lives, are the fabric of America. Diversity has been one of the greatest blessings of the USA; therefore, every single individual should count, regardless of how different we might be or of our personal preferences. Therefore, everyone must be entitled to the exact same rights and opportunities. It is great for corporate America that has achieved the wold’s greatest place, but that place should not be exclusive to them, nor exclude anyone.

God Bless America and each of us!

OCTOBER LGBT History month

While The State of California is sorting out the right of LGBT people to be included as part of the American History at schools, we the entire nation celebrate our history month.

Next to the battle against segregation, women’s right to vote, rights to disable people and war veterans, many of our bothers and sisters had contributed towards civil rights and earned a deserving place among the rest of the population at work, home, place of worship, institutions, public establishments and everything else that anyone else has been entitled to by default. Many had been victims of violence, including the loss of their own lives.

Having a place in the history books is not a gift to anyone but a right to rightly represent the struggles, gains and losses that we people under the LGBT umbrella had endeavored for dozens of decades. This month, October, is the time we celebrate our own heroes and victims.  

We don’t exclusively celebrate our known fallen heroes this month. As well, we celebrate any single individual that in a sound way had contributed towards our cause. But we don’t stop there, as well, we celebrate all the people who never had a chance to see their life flourish and nurtured because they couldn’t manage life with all the tribulations, abuse and repression – that was the highlight of their lives and self terminated their agony because they never were able to find a place to retreat. A place to be their selves and honor the gift of life that any living creature suppose to be entitle to.
But there is more, much more and if you care about it, want to learn about all those souls and lives: Every day of the month, a single individual will be honored. To see everyone log into:
http://lgbthistorymonth.com/
As well, you’ll find additional information at:
http://www.equalityforum.com/GLBThistorymonth.cfm
and if want to see The Five documentaries to watch during LGBT History Month, log into:
http://www.afterellen.com/movies/five-documentaries-to-watch-during-lgbt-history-month

In these three sites you’ll find many other links to more info about this month. As well, several advocacy agencies across the country will stage special events to commemorate this important month, particularly to every gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender person. Happy celebration!

Steve Jobs you said?

I know, millions of people are expressing their sentiment through the internet but like all of them, I feel I must express mine too.

My deepest condolences to his surviving family, friends and all the people who had the immense pleasure to meet him.

Steve Jobs: an amazing entrepreneur, business Alpha Dog, inspirational guru, visionary (not only of the cyber kind), perfectionist, opinionated, temperamental, esoteric, dedicated to the core of all he was involved with, in a few words he was a creative genius.

From his garage he gave us Macintosh, Pixar (deep love of mine), Apple (interesting, The Beatles did too! Coincidence?), iPod (what a device!), iPhone (the not anymore “just a phone”), the iTablet (wow! another super hit!), iTunes Store and Cloud. He simply changed the way we related to digital technology, how we communicated, how we connected and how we made our lives, work and leisure and creative time, much easier, faster and fun!

He was was a husband and a father, an esoteric, a visionary, a dreamer, sometimes scary, an innovator, inventor, a mentor, an inspirational speaker and Steve Jobs was . . .  a very young man. Too young!

Jobs now is no longer with us. What a great honor to live in his time as it was for many others to live during the times of Edison, Tesla, DaVinci, Gram Bell, Gutenberg and many more times.

Even if Apple would not survive (yeah, right!), Steve Jobs will always be remembered through history. Steve Jobs put an apple on top of Silicon Valley and the entire planet saw it. What a task!

Rest in peace

Unlike Most Marxist Jargon, ‘Class Warfare’ Persists

In the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx (above) and Friedrich Engels used the German word Klassenkampfen, which translates as "class struggles." Their critics rendered it as "class warfare."

by Geoff Nunberg
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Geoff Nunberg, the linguist contributor on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, is the author of the book The Years of Talking Dangerously.
This transcript has been published with Professor’s Numberg written authorization. My deepest gratittude for your consent professor.
I believe all readers will connect the dots with the recent declarations from the Republican Party in regards of President Obama’s recent submission of his Labor Act to the Congress. Perhaps a little education in regards of the origin and meaning of Class Warfare will aid a few readers to understand how improper labeling is used to discredit the opponent’s initiative to justify their reaction and vote on the floor. You’ll be the judge.
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“Class warfare” was a dodgy phrase from the outset. In one of the most famous sentences in the history of political thought, Marx and Engels wrote in their 1848 Communist Manifesto: “The history of all society up to now is the history of …”
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That’s where things get complicated. In the original German they wrote Klassenkampfen, which means “class struggles.” But some of their critics rendered it more belligerently as “class warfare.” That was the stock label they put on the bearded socialist agitator in political cartoons. And some socialists actually did use it, while others tried to turn it around to describe the capitalist oppression of labor. But “warfare” more readily suggested the disorderly violence that broke out from below. It conjured up the red flags, cloth caps and barricades of Les Mis, not the measured operations of the parliaments and law courts on the side of the bourgeoisie.
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It was those violent overtones that endeared “class warfare” to the right and spared it the fate of Marxist jargon like “proletariat,” “class struggle” and “the masses.” Even the left has bailed on those expressions. They’re only about a quarter as common in the pages of the New Left Review as they were in the 1970s. But “class warfare” has been on a tear in the language of the right — it’s used five times as often in The Wall Street Journal now as it was 40 years ago. In fact, the phrase has actually become more frequent as the marginal tax rates have gone down. It’s sort of a revenant, a specter that haunts the English language whenever appeals for making the rich pay more are heard in the land.
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Like other dead metaphors, it has to be said just so. It’s “class warfare,” not “class war,” which sounds disconcertingly European, where class isn’t a forbidden subject. In a speech to a Labour Party Conference in 1999, Tony Blair famously announced, “The class war is over.” You wonder how people would have responded if Bill Clinton had said that — “What, there was a war?”
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In fact, “class warfare” is just about the only phrase in American political discourse where “class” can appear without the all-forgiving prefix “middle.” People who level the charge of class warfare never go the logical next step to extol the virtues of class cooperation. That would imply that there actually are classes in America and would undermine the ideal of a land of opportunity. As the story goes, there are only two kinds of Americans — those who are already rich and those who expect to be. That’s why Americans won’t tolerate tax-the-rich proposals that pit one group against another, when we should be all in it together.
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Democrats react by dismissing the charge of class warfare as a tired Republican talking point, or by trying to turn it around on the rich, the way the old Socialists did. During the 2000 election, Al Gore described the Bush tax program as “class warfare on behalf of billionaires.” But the charge does tend to put Democrats on the defensive. As President Obama said when he announced his tax program, “This is not class warfare, it’s math.” But that approach doesn’t always work in politics, where denials often are apt to raise suspicions rather than dispel them — as in “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” and “I am not a crook.”
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Yet these days, the C-word isn’t quite as off-limits as it used to be, maybe because the populist genie has been let out of the bottle. In a speech the day after he announced his tax ideas, Obama said, “If asking a billionaire to pay the same rate as a plumber or a teacher makes me a warrior for the middle class, I wear that charge as a badge of honor.” That may be just stump speechifying, but it also makes him the first Democratic politician who has ever accepted the label and invoked the rhetoric of war against the rich.
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The tone is different on the right, too. The Republican leadership still warn against divisiveness and avoid talking about class explicitly, other than saying that we shouldn’t be increasing taxes on the “job creators” but rather “broadening the base.” But the conservative media and bloggers have been less circumspect about cleaving society in two. Some of them talk about an all-out war between the producer class and the moocher class. And Fox Business ran a series of segments last spring called “Entitlement Nation: Makers vs. Takers.” It isn’t entirely clear who the moochers and takers are, but everybody seems to define them as including the 51 percent of American households who don’t pay federal taxes, along with those who receive Pell Grants and other forms of government assistance.
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This isn’t just about a couple of welfare queens anymore; it carves broader than that. In fact, it recalls another famous sentence from the Communist Manifesto: “Society is splitting more and more into two enemy camps, into a face-off between two huge classes.” It’s true that Marx and Engels would have wanted to draw the line in a different place and switch around those “maker” and “taker” place cards, and of course they were rooting for a different team. Still, they all share the same basic theory of class conflict as the motor force of history. It puts me in mind of what an Italian friend of mine once said: “America, what a country! You have everything in America. You have mechanical bulls. You have early bird specials. You can even find Marxists in America.” He was right about that — and in the damnedest places, too.