Thursday, May 05, 2011

Palm Springs City Council Votes To Support Same-Sex Marriage

Though the resolution carries no legal weight, the city council of Palm Springs, CA voted to support “right to full civil marriage equality for all residents of Palm Springs who wish to be married regardless of gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation.”

The vote was unanimous, and makes Palm Springs the only city in the Coachella Valley to take such a formal stance.  Maybe enough California cities will follow suit and Prop 8 will become history?

Instead of Trying To Create Jobs, House Passes Abortion Bill

John Boehner made a lot of pronouncements when he became Speaker of the House.  He alluded to creating jobs and fixing the economy.  All well and good, but instead the House has been wasting time creating an anti-abortion bill that raises taxes on women, redefines rape and would force the IRS into enforcing the abortion ban.  Say what? 

Yes indeed.  The GOP bill that will never see the President's signature is a complete waste of time and a bad piece of legislation to boot.  Read more about it here.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Texas House Proposes Cutting Education but Gives Breaks to Wealthy Yacht Buyers

It's no joke.  During our states biggest budget crunch the lawmakers in Austin proposed slashing $27 billion from the budget.  That will mean lots of cuts to education, health care and nursing homes, but surprise, there is a provision to cut taxes!

This time the tax cut is for people buying personal boats over $250,000, in other words yachts!  The bill proposed by Houston Republican Rep. John Davis would cap sales tax on the luxury craft and cost the state $1.4 million.  Now just exactly does this help the budget?

Once again the GOP has been proven to be the party of the rich, by the rich and for the rich.  Don't be fooled, they are not trying to balance the budget, merely rob the treasury for their rich contributors. Now let's all go out and buy a yacht!

Facebook Apologizes for Removing Gay Kiss

Facebook has apologized for removing the photo of two men kissing from a page a few weeks ago.  The page was created in support of two men who were tossed from a pub for kissing.  US writer Niall O’Conghaile created the page to publicize a "kiss-in".

My readers will remember I started a campaign on Twitter to report heterosexual kissing on Facebook as "offensive" and request it be removed.  Personally, I reported a few hundred pages and I suspect others did the same.  Apparently Facebook took so much flack that they relented and restored the picture. (I am not claiming credit for this in any way, just noting that it happened.)

Monday, May 02, 2011

Osama Bin Laden is Dead - Now What?

When I first heard the annoncement that US forces has found and killed Osama Bin Laden, I had mixed feelings.  My first thought was, "it's about time!"

For a few moments I was delighted that under President Obama, we had managed to do what President Bush failed to accomplish during his 2 terms in office.  Oh yes, Bush did get us into a costly and unjust war in Iraq, and did spend billions of dollars blowing up the infrastructure of 2 countries, however he failed to get the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks. 

After coming to my senses, I find that though less appealing.  The main reason is, that though Bin Laden is dead, terrorism is not and will never be dead.  It's too easy and effective for small factions to give it up.  When a few guys can go through flight training and essentially cripple the economy and security of a superpower with a suicide attack carried out with box cutters, well the bottom line is pretty obvious.

The fact that Bin Laden was found in a comfortable secure compound in a wealthy suburb just a few miles from Islamabad in Pakistan is also troubling.  Obviously Pakistan or at least some folks pretty high up were not serious about bringing Bin Laden to justice.  That is one reason why the operation was done without notifying the Pakistan government.  The truth is they have been compromised sufficiently that information about such attacks would leak back to the intended target.  This means the Pakistani military is probably well infiltrated with Al Quaeda sympathizers.

Then there is the matter of "revenge" which suspect will take the shape of more terrorist attacks.  This is an unfortunate given in this case.  Since Bin Laden successfully franchised the Al Quaeda brand, there will undoubtedly be some loyalists who will hatch plots for revenge.  I would expect to see a heightened security level for the next several years, but we will love through it.   All in all, it is a tough situation.  Let Bin Laden live and get more attacks, kill him and get more attacks!

So I still have mixed emotions about this whole thing.  I was reminded about a quote from Rev. Martin Luther King:
I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
Now I guess we have to find the light.  That may be more difficult that finding a terrorist mastermind.