Society

New Zealand same-sex marriage moves ahead

One more country moves into the 21st century

Yet another country in the world is proving that there is hope for the human race to move beyond its stifling, superstitious past and into a future where all people are possessed of the same rights and privileges.  This time around it’s New Zealand, who recently passed the Marriage Amendment Bill through one of its three needed votes to become law.  This bill officially recognizes same-sex marriages as legal, moving the status of gay couples to more than that of a civil union.

China's unlivable cities: a warning to all

Don't let this happen to your city!

If you want a taste of the nightmare that your city could become, look to China. Foreign Policy has an excellent article that ties together a lot of threads I have picked up over the last few months. To sum up, "For all their economic success, China's cities, with their lack of civil society, apocalyptic air pollution, snarling traffic, and suffocating state bureaucracy, are still terrible places to live."

 
China is what happens when industry is allowed to run the show. China's cities are a model of the perfect Libertarian society: freed from the constraints of a restrictive government, China's industries pollute the air, water, and land to a shocking extent. Without government intervention, everything becomes a commodity, including the people. The author describes "smog the color of gargled milk" in one city, and describes another as "a gray Manchurian industrial powerhouse."
 
This is what happens when a government gives free rein to business, without a thought for protecting its people. As a rule, you can either defend business or people, and if you throw all your weight behind business, you end up with cities where the average lifespan is 30, and food adulteration scandals (melamine in baby formula; "soy sauce" made from discarded human hair) are a daily occurrence.

Hugh Hefner gives his two-cents on gay marriage rights

Hefner is a prominent supporter of gay rights.

Another voice has sounded off recently in support of gay marriage rights and the rights of the LGBT community in general - Hugh Hefner.  Contrary to just being the wealthy ladies-man as many might perceive him as, Hefner is actually a prominent supporter of gay rights.  Most people, however, have never really heard him speak out.  Now, in a recent editorial in Playboy Magazine, he decided to put in his two cents about the ongoing gay marriage debates, adding some interesting insight regarding the role of sexual freedom for the LGBT community and how it relates to everyone.

Blue blood action

For Team Donkey, that is!

Whether you’re living in a blue state or not, if you’re a Dem, these news stories and action items might be of interest to you. If so, please consider taking action—it only takes a minute!

Tell Akin a thing or two

You probably know about Todd Akin’s “legitimate” rape comment already, but have you told Mr. Akin what his careless words mean to you? Click here to send him a message. And while you’re at it, call on the GOP presidential nominees to denounce these attacks on women and remove them from their entire platform. We’re pretty sick of being referred to as farm animals and it’s about time the political climate reflects that.

Medicare: Who's to blame?

Facts and Logic 18

Facts and Logic 18. The latest buzz-word amongst the candidates is “Medicare.” Who’s trying to abolish it? Who’s trying to make it more difficult to get? Who’s lying about what they’re going to do with it?

Here’s the actual phrase that you will hear from now until November and perhaps points after:

A Republican member of Congress voted to end Medicare as we know it."

This “scare” has especially seen light since Romney’s naming congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate.

Wisconsin representative Ryan, had made a 2010 proposal revamping our current Medicare system. Democrats are saying that his plan forces seniors to pay $6,000 more for their medical care. While this is true, Ryan’s plan in 2010 was to keep traditional Medicare for current beneficiaries until 2023, then new beneficiaries would get a choice between private insurance or traditional Medicare with the government offering a stipend for costs.

Mitt Romney’s camp has also made the claim that Obama’s health law "ended Medicare as we know it."

Mitt Romney: Not releasing taxes because of Mormon tithing

Another lame excuse

Democrats are calling for Mitt Romney to release his 2010 income tax return to the public, but he has yet to do so. As the LA Times and the Washington Post report, Romney’s Mormonism is one of the reasons that Mitt Romney is claiming that he wants to keep his tax records and contributions as private as he possibly can.  

As the Romneys told Parade, the Romneys feel that the tithing that they do to the Mormon Church should be private. Traditionally, Mormons tithe 10 percent of their earnings each year to the Mormon Church. Ann Romney reportedly cries when she sends her 10 percent to the Mormon Church. Mitt feels that his tithing is a personal reflection of his deep commitment to God and his church and admitting how much he tithed “would reveal how much he has given to the Mormon Church.”

Akin to buffoonery

Why Todd Akin’s asinine statement sort of makes me happy

By now you and everyone else in America has probably heard about the ridiculous statement Todd Akin, a representative from Missouri, has made about rape. You can read his vile and, for no better word, stupid statement here; in short, he basically said that if a woman is “legitimately” raped, her body will shut down and not let her get pregnant.

If this is the first time you are reading this, I will pause to allow you to throw something, laugh, cry or call Akin and complain.

Are you back? Now that you know what an idiot Todd Akin is, you might want to note that Kirk Cameron and Steve King (the representative, not to be confused with the author) plenty of Missouri’s General Assembly members are idiots as well, as they continue to endorse him after this horrific remark.

And the remark is horrific, no doubt. It’s not only completely false in the way that a statement like “Humans can stop bleeding by the power of telekinesis if they really want to!” or “Babies can turn into lemurs if given the proper amount of sleep!” is false, it’s also completely demeaning and offensive and hateful to any rape survivor. Whose rape is “legitimate” and whose isn’t, after all?

Actions to take for a better world

We’re beyond politics; now we need to focus on being a tribe of global citizens together.

When I considered running for office in my early 20s, I used to say, “I hate politics! But I love people, and I can help them through politics.” Somewhere along the way, I lost sight of this philosophy and started just listening to all of the hate, and it grew in my belly, all of the different inequities around me making me more and more furious. Somehow I started falling into the whole politics trap I had sworn I never would even look at, and that’s a shame.

I’m vowing to work from love starting today, and yes, I know it will be hard—and I will still be pissed off—but instead of focusing on calling everyone a bigot or a racist or a misogynist prick, I’ll focus instead on NOT being a jerkface myself. Isn’t that how everyone, from Dr. King to Mother Theresa, made change anyway?

So here are a few positive ways we can make change together today.

An apple a day doesn’t pay

Tell Apple to pay people fairly and take action on other issues.

Stumbling into your weekend this morning? Grab a cup of fair trade coffee and take action on these progressive issues that need your voice.

Stand up against worker abuse at Apple

You need the latest iPhone, iPad, and every other plastic iSore, right? Don’t you think it would be fair to pay Apple workers to be able to afford it, as well? That was Henry Ford’s way, maybe, but it’s not Apple’s. In fact, Apple workers work 12-hour days six days every week to make these products. They don’t get paid for overtime, and what they do get paid—about $17 a day—is worse than a joke. Apple’s making plenty of money off of these machines; they least they could do is pay their young workers, who inhale all kinds of chemicals to make these products all day, a fair wage—and provide them with safe working conditions as well. Click here to learn more and to tell the world’s most profitable company to treat its workers like people.

The 2012 Presidential Campaign Fact/Fiction Scorecard

Facts and Logic 17

Facts and Logic 17. As we approach November, the campaign ads begin to pollute our media, the yard signs litter our neighborhoods, and the phone calls begin interrupting our dinner times. The League of Right Wing Voters’ Facts and Logic would like to present the score card on the two major players in the Presidential race: President Barack Obama and Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Both candidates have run their share of mud-slinging political ads against each other and both men have stretched the truth or outright lied in the public eye. So as we look forward to the lesser-of-two-evils election, let’s take a look at their scorecard on truths, half truths and blatant lies.

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