Friday, June 26, 2015

Now, it's just marriage

As a friend of mine says, he's not for gay marriage ... just like he's not for gay parking, gay grocery shopping or other things made controversial by a prefix.  We're for marriage. Period.

As I've written so often, the argument here is about a simple question. Are all Americans entitled to get married - a contract of monogamy and devotion for life and extending beyond death (inheritance, notice on public records, etc) or not?  If some Americans are deprived of that right -- a natural right -- what is the state's compelling interest in that deprivation?

There is none, of course, and logic has had its way. And the arc of history bends once more. Now, it's just marriage, as it should be.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Supremes

It seems that Chief Justice John Roberts actually does care about whether or not the Supreme Court considers cases of substance. Lately, it has felt like his court was being used as a bonus bite at the apple for GOP lawsuits that failed in the system. The ACA case prompted Roberts to instruct on the role of the Court. His interpretation is a conservative one: “Our duty, after all, is ‘to construe statutes, not isolated provisions.’”
And thus, health insurance made affordable for millions of Americans will remain so. Unfortunately, this also allows the GOP to continue to demagogue on the topic, crying for the repeal and reform of the law that is saving lives for some and improving its quality for all.
That's right--ALL. When the rise in health care costs and the accountability that comes with the ACA holds down costs, it benefits all Americans. If you're employer provides your coverage, the benefit costs are less, relative to the total cost of employing you. That means more cash is available for that raise you haven't had for years.
The dissent in the King v. Burwell case is what really tells the story. It says that Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito are making up their minds on a political basis, not on the merits of the case or on strict interpretation of the law.  What a shame.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Scar of American Slavery

I have bad knees. Because of this I've had a lot of knee surgery which has led to scars.
Without a doubt, each time my knees were better after the procedure, but one of the surgeries was to remove scar tissue from the previous procedure.
Sometimes in the healing process, the body overcorrects, creating too much scar tissue and that's a problem in itself.
In healing our uniquely American wound from slavery's assault, our scar tissue of political correctness may be obscuring our view of today's real problem: white supremacy, white privilege and the hardwired sense of entitlement that white citizens seem to possess.
In deflecting this, white conservatives project criticisms of entitlement onto the African-American community with talk of a welfare state and laziness. Centuries-old racist arguments demonstrate clearly the lack of intellectual work on the problem. In fact, an outright rejection of there being a problem. So many believe that if they didn't personally enslave anyone, they're not in this problem.
There's no denying that all Caucasian Americans have benefitted from their accident of birth. We're less likely to be incarcerated. We live longer. We live better. And we're simply more free. All because we were born with this skin color.
And that's wrong.
Until and unless Caucasians reject these structures of unfairness in our justice system, our politics, our schools and our hearts, the poison of white supremacy will continue its attack on America's collective body.