Obama and Gay Marriage
Since President Obama wisely announced his support of gay marriage (The Rant, May 17th issue), there has been the expected negative reaction, primarily from fundamentalist religious groups. One totally erroneous objection that I keep seeing needs a sensible rebuttal. I read commentaries maintaining that only households containing both a male and female parent can raise a well-adjusted child. Not only is this a slam at single mothers (straight or gay), it is also blatantly false.
A number of studies have clearly shown that children raised by same-sex parents not only do as well as children raised in two-parent heterosexual families but actually do better academically, have higher self-esteem and fewer behavioral problems. This clearly flies in the face of the "it takes straight couples to raise good children" argument. Since some of these studies have been published in popular mainstream magazines, it has no doubt contributed to the fact that now a majority of Americans are in favor of gay marriage. Education tends to help eradicate bigotry.
At this point, the only objection that can be made against gay marriage is based solely on religious preferences. Even our current Republican Supreme Court is not likely to rule to abolish the constitutional separation of church and state, so it is only a matter of time before the U.S. joins every other enlightened nation in embracing fairness and equality for all its citizens.
We all know Memphis will barbecue anything ("Barbecurious," May 17th issue), but I have to give credit to the Flyer for coming up with at least a couple examples I hadn't heard about. I'm not real sure I'm going run out for barbecued tofu or portobellos anytime soon, but I just might try those char-grilled oysters at Pearl's.
On October 20, 2011, Timothy Williams from Grapeland, Texas, was in Tennessee's Obion County to buy hay. Williams was stopped by police and his cash, $6,451, was seized. The probable cause for the seizure was suspicion that it was drug money, although no drugs were found and there were no charges filed.
After returning home, Williams retained an attorney in Union City to recover his money. Williams settled for the return of his money, less $1,000. It also cost him $350 to post a bond necessary to apply for the recovery of his money. After the attorney fees of $1,500, Williams lost $2,850. He had done nothing wrong at all except to come to Tennessee.
There are hundreds of such examples of the seizure of cash on Tennessee's roadsides, and it is an outrageous violation of our Fifth Amendment, which states that we shall not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. If police seizure of money on our highways when no crime has occurred qualifies as due process of law, we have some serious problems with the interpretation of due process.
Tennessee's civil forfeiture laws have incentivized our police into becoming highway bandits. This is tyranny. If you are unconcerned, count yourself one of the "sheeple," a frog in the pot that slowly came to a rolling boil and never felt the heat, but you are cooked just the same. Liberty can only be retained by a vigilant citizenry. The rise of that vigilant citizenry is the Tea Party, here in an effort to regain and retain liberty, and here to stay.
Mitt Romney personifies the party of the rich. Every move the Republican Party makes, from gutting consumer protections to severely limiting society's safety net for the vulnerable, at-risk poor, is designed to aid the wealthy. Nothing is safe from these politicians, not even Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid.
"The Republican Party has totally abdicated its job as the guardian of fiscal discipline," said David Stockman, who served as Reagan's budget director. "They're on an anti-tax jihad — one that benefits the upper class."
Republicans are insisting that closing tax loopholes, Bush tax cuts for the rich, and subsidies for oil and gas companies are off-limits. This is what Mitt Romney stands for and fully embraces.
Nevada City, CA