"The Great Depression was not a sudden total collapse. The stock market turned upward in early 1930, returning to early 1929 levels by April, though still almost 30 percent below the peak of September 1929.
"...consumers, many of whom had suffered severe losses in the stock market the previous year, cut back their expenditures by ten percent..."
"In early 1930, credit was ample and available at low rates, but people were reluctant to add new debt by borrowing. By May 1930, auto sales had declined to below the levels of 1928. Prices in general began to decline, but wages held steady in 1930, then began to drop in 1931.""
Does any of this sound familiar? Nobody can say for certain whether or not we are headed for the next Great Depression, but our economic outlook is undoubtedly the worst it has been at any time since the depression finally came to an end.
The other day, I asked Steve, if he could imagine what it would be like to wake up each morning being Barack Obama, now that he is to be our next president. I believe that many of the tears of joy around the world came from the hope that this man could begin to change the course that the worldwide economy is currently on. To get up each morning, knowing that the entire world is counting on him and his advisers to make the right decisions must be very sobering. One man and one country cannot make all of the changes that need to be made, and forward progress will be slow, but my greatest hope is that President Obama rises to the challenge and gives me a story with a happy ending for my grandchildren.
Why did you chose to be a heterosexual?
How old were you when you decided to be heterosexual?
Would sleeping with someone of your own sex maybe change your mind about being heterosexual?
Why do you like the opposite sex more than the same sex?
Flipping the question around was enough to at least allow me to consider that homosexuality wasn't a choice.
Studies have shown that if one identical twin is homosexual the other twin is more likely to be homosexual, but when one fraternal twin is gay the likelihood of the other twin being homosexual is the same as when two non-twin siblings are compared. This suggests that genetics rather than environment has some roll in determining sexual orientation. Exposure to prenatal hormones is also thought to influence sexual orientation. There is also some evidence that the youngest sibling in a family of multiple male children may be more likely to be homosexual. The point is, that homosexuality appears to be much less a conscious choice than it is the result of a complicated interaction between the environment and genetic predisposition.
If homosexuality is aberrant or dysfunctional, why does it persist? Why hasn't natural selection eliminated this trait and further why does it occur even in non-human animals? This article explains a couple of theories on how different forms of a gene could confer a reproductive advantage for the gay individual or a close relative, thus causing the gene to persist. What about gay animals? Do they exist outside of South Park (Super! Thanks for asking!)? In fact, according to this article, homosexuality has been documented in "over 450 different vertebrate species", including the male bighorn sheep. This sounds like a case of Brokeback Mutton to me.
So, if homosexuality is not truly a lifestyle choice, shouldn't civil rights legislation be extended to gays for the same reasons that it is extended to women and minority groups? Maybe the religious right would feel more at ease with legislation allowing gay marriage if they could begin to understand that homosexuality is really part of God's big plan for all of us. Along with Adam and Eve, he really did create Adam and Steve. Do you think they'll buy it?
"For the past six months, Mormons misled Californians about the effects of the Supreme Court ruling.
They told us we would lose the right to participate in our children's education. Lies.
They told us the California state public school curriculum would be modified to teach sex education to kindergartners. Lies.
They told us churches would lose the right to free speech. Lies."
Remember when I said "Take a minute to read the arguments from both sides. If you can't or won't take the time to get educated, please don't vote. Stay home and leave it to those of us who are willing to vote with our brains and our conscience, not just follow popular sentiment like a bunch of sheep." I wonder if some of you were taken aback that I would discourage people from going to the voting booth. Well, the outcome of the vote on Proposition 8, and the comments above are exactly why I made that statement.
If you watched TV, read the fliers that came in the mail, listened to the ads on the radio, or saw all the signs in people's front yards and blindly voted in favor of Prop 8 without investigating the full implications of a yes vote, then you are as much at fault as the people who propagated these "lies". So yes, please, go to the above URL, read the information they provide, and make an informed decision. Take the time to follow the links that they provide to back up the statements that they make.
A moment that truly struck me as I worked at a polling place near my house on Tuesday was a young man who walked up to the touch screen voting machine, with no cheat sheet, not voter guide, no nothing in his hand and completed his vote in the space of about 5 minutes. It took me well over an hour in front of my computer, pouring over all sorts of information, to make up my mind about all of the different candidates, ballot measures, and propositions that needed my vote. It is high time that the American public shakes themselves out of their apathetic state and takes the time to really get educated before they vote. I am so tired of people who disconnect their brains and simply vote the way their church, their co-worker, their spouse, or their political party suggests they should vote. This is your country. This is your vote. This is the founding principal of democracy. Please, take the requisite time to decide if the way you are voting really makes sense!Whew. Done now. Thanks for listening.
Mr. Barack Obama
Mr. John McCain