Saturday, May 20, 2006


Hegel said that laws are made to protect the haves from the have nots.
So this week we find our lawmakers in Washington making two interesting Hegelian moves:
1. Passing S.J.Res.1 the Federal Marriage Amendment out of the Senate Judiciary committee and on to the floor of the Senate.
2. Passing a bill that would make English the official language of the country.

So, we are "protecting" heterosexual marriage from those supposed Weapons of Marriage Destruction (WMDs). Heterosexuals ,who bail out of marriage 49% of the time, are the ones who need help protecting their own serial marriages; same sex couples who legally wed in Massachusetts over the past two years (some 7300 couples) have the lowest rate of divorce--less than 1% (compared to the average 20% of het marriages which fail in the first few years).

And, after over 200 years there is a need to re-enforce English as our common language in this nation of immigrants??? Our culture is not strong enough to withstand the more recent waves of immigrants and their native languages???

Perhaps the haves are just protecting themselves from having to live up to "liberty and justice for all." They are strengthening their own gated community against the onslaught of democracy.

Monday, May 15, 2006

An apt statement

From Bob Herbert's "America The Fearful" in today's (5/15/06) New York Times p.A22:

"The Bush crowd, which gets together each morning to participate in a highly secret ritual of formalized ineptitude. . ."

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Can men be feminists?

Can men be feminists? This question was asked of me yesterday in class. My answer is that not only can men be feminists, men must be feminists if we are to achieve equality. [Then we all may become humanists.]
Men have female relatives--mothers, aunts, grandmothers, sisters, daughters, wives-- friends, and lovers, who they would not like to see treated with disrespect, who they would like to see receive equal pay versus the 25% discount that most employers take if their employees are female. Unpaid labor --parenting, volunteering, homemaking, tending the family garden--would be valued.
If men were feminists, then they also would have more freedom and liberties, more social leeway. Masculinity would not be so narrowly defined as to limit men's possibilities. Father's rights to custody of their children would be common place for instance--some men are naturally more parental than other people, including some women.
Women's Rights are Human Rights.

Please urge your senators to ratify the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women--over 175 countries have signed this, the US is one of the only developed countries that has not. The UN committee that oversees CEDAW is having its 35th annual meeting Mat 15th to June 2nd. To read this document go to :

Monday, May 01, 2006

May Day

Today is International Workers' Day. How fitting then for the Immigration March and Boycott planned in this land of immigrants for a day that commerates working people around the world, save here in the USA.
What seems to be at issue here is that those who have power, money, property want to protect and keep that power, money, property without reflection on how they achieved it, nor helping others achieve.
The recent statement concerning the "Star Spangled Banner," the National Anthem, from the President illustrates this by saying that the song should be sung in English and learned by all new citizens. A few points of reflection:
1. Most people do not know more than the first verse. (To read all the verses see: star-spangled-banner.shtml )
2. Most people can not sing this even though it was set to a popular British (!) drinking song's tune.
3. It did not become our "National Anthem" until 1931. Since then, almost annually there are bills proposed to change the anthem to one of the following songs: "My County Tis of Thee," "America, the Beautiful" or "God Bless America."
4. There is no national language, by common practice we speak English, but in actuality Americans speak a polyglot of languages (including Pres. Bush's family).
5. The translation of the "Star Spangled Banner" into Spanish should be considered a compliment--other Americans want to share the song.
6. The version, sung by popular American latino/as stars will be heard and listened to (not always the same thing), if not sung by not only our Spanish speaking neighbors, but by most young people under the age of 24--the people who have the lowest political efficacy and political participation. So if it reaches them! To hear this go to :
7. The lyrics, translated back into English (thank you M.R.), are not the warlike, violent images of the English poem by Francis Scott Keye but about stars, and hope and defending liberty.

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