Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Tuesdays with Paulie 2/6/07

Only Hurting Your Cause

With the 2008 Presidential primaries starting in less than a year, one issue that all the candidates will be asked about is same-sex marriage and civil unions. As a proponent of homosexual rights, I am often critical of the gay activists who are more interested in angering heterosexuals than educating and changing minds.

This story out of Washington state is a perfect example of why a few bad apples can ruin it for everyone else. Proponents of same-sex marriage want to require heterosexual couples to have kids within three years or else have their marriage annulled. Initiative 957 filed by the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance requires men and women to prove they can have children before obtaining a marriage license. After three years of wedded bliss, the marriage will be annulled if no children are produced. The marriage would then be defined as "unrecognized" making the couples ineligible to receive any marriage benefits.

Same-sex marriage proponents behind this ballot initiative are attempting to use the social conservative argument that marriage exists primarily for pro-creation. Therefore if you can't have children or have none after three years of marriage, you have no right to be married. I understand what they are trying to do, but this idea can only backfire and create more enemies of a cause that has few friends to begin with.

Gay activists must be able to convince young adults that their cause is justified. Middle age and seniors are less likely to support gay rights, let alone gay marriage. It's simply a matter of upbringing, religion and culture. However, when you try to make your point by alienating those who's support you are courting, failure is the ultimate outcome.

No subject is more beautiful and at the same time more heart-breaking than young couples having children. Today most couples wait at least three years after their wedding day before having their first child. When they start trying and the magic moment doesn't happen immediately, it takes a mental toll on the couple, especially the woman. People see other couples with kids and start questioning what is wrong with them. Often that magic moment comes after years of trying only to result in a miscarriage. If you go around telling these people their marriage should be voided. Not only will you not bring them to your cause, they will hate you.

The homosexual rights movement in America is led by incompetent people making irrational decisions. Their biggest mistake is shoving gay-marriage down the throats of John Q Public. They should first attempt to establish civil-unions as mainstream thinking. Almost all Democrats and many if not most Republicans support this idea. Unfortunately they continue to push an idea that is simply inconceivable to most Americans.

For the record...again. I have a true conservative belief regarding marriage. I don't need or want the government to recognize mine or any marriage. I believe that the union of two people should be purely of spiritual or religious bond. Due to the reality of law, government should recognize civil unions of all couples, heterosexual or homosexual. It shouldn't be that difficult and in a post 9-11 world, it's a waste of time and security to debate.


Another Case for School Choice

Every person has political and social issues that are of a particular importance to that individual. Its obvious to my readers that supporting Israel, defeating Islamic extremism and limited government are at the top of my list. Part of the latter is the issue of School Choice.

I can go on and on about why government should stay out of education. Incompetence, bureaucracy, corruption, unions, they all contribute to the pathetic education most children receive from our public schools. In 2005 not one state could say that over 50% of 8Th grade students could read at a proficient level. Check out the chart in this story to see how bad your state did.

Recently in the city of Camden, New Jersey it has been revealed that a teacher who died in 1974 is still on the payroll with a salary of $130,000. That beckons repeating. The school district in cash strapped Camden, New Jersey is paying a guy dead for over three decades, 130 grand a year.

Let me ask you this simple question: Do you want the administrators running this school system educating anyone? I didn't think so. This is not an isolated incident. Public education incompetence is the norm in America. My old High School in an affluent Chicago suburb, was paying a teacher nearly $120,000 a year for sitting in the library telling student, "shoosh." He was a tenured Hebrew language instructor who was no longer needed due to the decline of students taking the language. He was of retirement age, but due to the union behind him he couldn't be forced into retirement. So he collects and offensive amount of tax-payer money to sit and do next to nothing.

The fact of the matter is that the government continues to greatly increase education spending, while our kids are getting dumber and less competitive on the world stage. The answer to our education crisis is school choice. Besides the fact it is better for the kids, it's the right thing to do from a moral perspective. Parents, not politicians should decide how their children are educated. My tax dollars should go to the school where I want my kids to be educated, public or private.

Democrats and Secular Progressives hate this idea. The fact is that school choice means accountability and competition. The teachers unions are in bed with Democrats, while Secularists are afraid that more children will receive a religious education and God forbid kids bring bibles instead of guns to the classroom.

Republicans aren't off the hook. They talk about implementing school choice, but give us no child left behind. Their rhetoric is getting old, I want action.

You will continue to hear more from me on this subject. In the meantime check out a great John Stossel article and pick up his book, Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity. If you are a parent, get yourself educated about education in America.

Paulie

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