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July 2004

sometimes i start to get serious

Felt like a bit of a rant...

What should law ever have to do with how people commit themselves to relationships? I know many people who have gotten married "officially" merely to take advantage of tax and insurance benefits. The commitment to each other, and sometimes to a belief in a higher power, had already been made.

The easiest answer is to alter how taxes are calculated, and also to allow people the choice of who their insurance premiums will cover.

Since insurance companies are supposed to be private, they can offer lower premiums to people who maintain balanced health habits and charge more to those who don't. That can create competition between companies and competition can mean lower costs to the consumer, who then demands the best product for his money. But there's a lot of bureaucratic garbage that clogs up private filters. Baby steps in the right direction would at least involve allowing people to choose who their payments benefit, choose how to spend their own money.

"Moral" objections to either gay marriage or marriage that two people enter into without a specific church are often based on the idea that marriage is a sacrament or that marriage only exists as a commitment to God and to a person of the opposite sex in order to "bind a cord of three strands, with Christ in the middle." Sacraments, according to the Catholic church, offer people Grace from God. Easy solution here: if something like either of these is what you believe, you go to an institution that sees it your way. Leave other people alone to do the same.

If you want to argue that the world you live in would operate best if everyone was forced by law to conform to your moral code, go visit the countries where religious governments rule the populace and see how well that works. If the argument is then that they are operating by the incorrect moral code and that all you need to do is create a government where the right Christian one is put into place, I'd first argue that this is probably counter to the preachings of Jesus, in which I'm pretty well-versed, and second, I would just rather not be governed at all, by anyone, if possible. So this argument is much better taken up by someone who actually believes federal governmental leadership is necessary for strong communities, safe streets, decent housing and education for the poor, and fair prices in exchange for quality goods. I have alternative views on that, but slice me, garnish me, I'm done. For now. -------------->>>

In case anyone hasn't seen this, nothing's changed since the last election except Kerry is sort of less off-putting to look at than Gore, and Bush is pretty much exactly the same as always. It's funny.

An editorial plea against collectivism

The dangers of preaching to the choir: A critique of Fahrenheit 911(this is long and starts out with the weakest argument, but then builds to some interesting points, mainly that the narrow focus of the film makes it more of a personal attack than a balanced assessment of a system that's been flawed for many decades.)

LP candidate on gay marriage: Badnarik is kind of a mess, but can be interesting, and i like the way he sums up this issue.

I believe that every system of life, whether natural or induced by man, works on a pendulum. It swings far in one direction, speeds down to the center, then slowly swings back in the opposite direction, repeating the process ad infinitum. Well, then there's entropy. But whatever. The point is, we have things one way for awhile, in government, then we have em another. Only been a couple times in the past century that the call to vote was not actually a call to get rid of the incumbent. I feel entropy coming on when I can't tell much difference between the donkey guy and the elephant guy. Or at least a temporary stay in the dead center. But I'm just an observer.


peace warmth love

Since I don't have much time, but things needed prettying up, i found some pictures of 1958 objects to sprinkle around the page, in honor of a friend who hails from that year. also because i just really like the idea of 1958, for whatever reason. so from this point on the page south, 1958 rules!

here's a cool 1958 radio. sometimes you can find these for sale on the internet.

Been thinking about songs that had a profound effect on me during childhood. I came up with a top ten list. It's sort of strange, and I actually want to spend a little effot citing the importance of each, but I don't have much time these days, so let's see what I can do with the time I've got just now. Anyway, this isn't a favorites list. Just a few songs I found interesting then, and look back on now with a sense of nostalgia or amusement. These songs were popular when I was between the ages of 3 and 13.

1. Cloud Nine--The Temptations, 1969
dude, he's singing about doing drugs! i didn't quite get that when the song was new. but a few years later, listening to KUDL oldies, i was all, whoa. and yeah, times were rough, but you just gotta hang in there. and so forth. i love all the rough-edged Temptations songs, much more than the princessy ones.

2. Afternoon Delight--Starland Vocal Band, 1976
at age 11, i could imagine hand-holding and hugging and sweet little kisses, okay? so just leave me alone. besides, it's really a fun song to sing, no matter how stupid the lyrics seem now.

3. That's the Way--KC and the Sunshine Band, 1974
my friend told me her dad wouldn't allow this song to be played at their house because of all the rude "uh-huhs." right. we know better, don't we? this song practically *is* sex, and i was pretty sure of that at the time as well, though i was far, far from thinking of sex as anything other than something strange that grownups did while undressed. but i love how the song makes me feel, even now, and i can't possibly imagine getting anything other than joy from it. same joy i got then, as a matter of fact.

4. Bohemian Rhapsody--Queen, 1975
here's an interesting factoid i just read about this song: Queen made a video for this to air on Top Of The Pops, a popular British music show, because the song was too complex to perform live. It started a trend in the UK of making videos for songs to air in place of live performances. When MTV launched in 1981, most of their videos came from British artists for this reason. um, it's just super cool, right? and it makes you think and feel and all sorts of things, especially if you're a wise old 10 year-old.

5. You Sexy Thing--Hot Chocolate, 1976
(that year doesn't feel right but this great list has it on there.)
the notion that people could use the word "sexy" this way in a song was mind-blowing to me. i was never very sure it was okay for me to like this song at all. but i did anyway, because the singer was filled with such happiness and he made me happy by singing about it. i'm serious here. i never sang along, though, because that didn't seem quite right.

6. Girl Watcher--The O'Kaysions, 1968
from this song i learned that men loved women. i guess it's derivative of the earlier song, "Standing on the Corner," but whatever. the singer makes no apologies for his unabashed appreciation of the female form, and when i was a little girl, i loved men who were honest about that. well, i guess i still do. <*>

7. Down on the Corner--Creedence Clearwater Revival, 1969
cowbell! also, Fogerty did these cool harmonies on this song. anyway, there's this line, "You don't need a penny just to hang around, But if you've got a nickel, why don't you lay your money down?" and i liked the idea that if you were only a little poor, you could help these guys out. but if you were very poor, it was okay for you to just listen for free. extrapolating that out to my current political philosophy is not actually possible. but it's a sweet idea, just the same.

8. On and On--Stephen Bishop, 1975
played this song endlessssssssly. i felt i related to the pain in the lyrics absolutely completely; though at 10 years old i had not experienced the loss of a special romance, i did understand how it felt to be alone, attempting not to care, and failing.

9. Brother Louie--Stories, 1973
interestingly, at least to me, this was a remake of a Hot Chocolate song which reached #7 in the UK. The American version was released a short time later, and went to #1 on Billboard for nine weeks. oh, the injustice of people who would disregard their son because of his love for a woman from another background! that sort of thing has always bewildered and angered me.

10. Took the Last Train--David Gates, 1978
this song made me feel moody and romantic. I was proud of how well I could sing the french lyrics, and also determined to take french in school because of it. still remember them: "you're telling me viens chez moi, ce soir va jamais terminer, en va rester toujours ensemble. come with me, tonight will last forever, we will stay together always."

there are some songs that had specific social significance to me when i was little, like Love Train, Black and White, People Got to Be Free, and Ev'ryday People. i still love those songs.

but see to me, that stuff, all the freedom and peace and love and brotherhood and all, that has nothing to do with notions of governmental legislation and so forth.

you can't regulate or legislate decent, loving behavior. but you can sing about it, and tell a little country girl how things are so that she grows up and lives her life in an effort to spread those cherished qualities around in the hopes that they'll continue to spread beyond her sphere of influence just the same way it happened for you when she heard your song. life's all about circles.