Discussing Same Sex Rights In Small Town America

10-05-gay-rights-flagAlthough the nation as a whole is changing in its views of homosexuality, there are still pockets where homophobia and intolerance run rampant. It is the job of several grass roots organizations to help spread a message of tolerance and respect, and educate people on the fact that everyone deserves equality in the United States.

Just recently the Arizona State Legislature tried to pass a bill that would allow local businesses the right to refuse service to people if those persons violated the business owner’s “religious beliefs.” Basically the bill would have promoted bigotry and intolerance, allowing business owners to legally discriminate against citizens for arbitrary reasons.

One political blogger tried to defend the bill, saying that it was the business owner’s rights as it’s a free country and the business owners are allowed to do whatever they want. The argument seemed logical, but it smelled funny. One commented pointed out that Civil Rights of the state (or nation) had precedence over someone’s opinion.

Clearly the mixing of church and state comes to mind here – what is the nature of civil rights? Some people do not think that human sexuality falls into a category that civil rights protects (and usually those people are of the religious variety). The question is whether or not sexuality is a genetic factor or choice (this question seems archaic these days, but let’s play devil’s advocate). The next question would be whether or not that matters.

The goal for many grassroots organizations is to right intolerance to the best of their ability and to promote human rights in these areas. Generally speaking, change is slow. However these days social media and the internet have seemed to increase the pace at which gay rights have spread, and how societies views as a whole are trending towards total acceptance.

The movement is akin to racial segregation in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Many people link the two together in similarity, however it must be pointed out that racial segregation was a bit more pronounced and violent. However this could be because it is impossible to hide or “pass” if you are an African American, whereas many gays can blend in in their day to day lives.

If you want to support grassroots organizations that are geared towards upholding civil rights but you don’t have the personal time to commit, then you can make a monetary donation instead. This will allow those organizations to continue their cause. We suggest finding out if any of the organizations you want to donate to have a website, and consider donating online using Paypal or another secure system. We also suggest that you do a clean sweep of your computer for any spyware software (you can get great anti-malware software tools online and read reviews at this website) so that you don’t run the risk of any of your data being stolen in the transaction.

Civil rights weren’t always a guarantee in America, and our checkered past is proof of that. We must strive towards our goal each and every day.

Are Drugs An Unwanted But Necessary Evil?

I just came across this article from the 1980’s that discussed the growing trend of drug abuse and smuggling in the US.  That is around the time period where things really got crazy.  They make a comparison with Rome, but I really don’t think the comparison is apt.  Would love to know more from the readers.

However, I do think that things are in a decline right now, and it’s rather interesting to see their take on the subject so many years ago.  It’s cool to see how things change.

No ancient civilization ever matched Rome’s achievements. Rome grew from a tiny farming settlement on the east bank of the Tiber River into the controlling force of the known world. The Roman Empire over-extended itself and began to fall apart around the year 200. Outsiders–“barbarians” to the Romans–invaded the empire during the 300s and 400s and hastened its decline. Eventually, two barbarian groups–the Visigoths and the Vandals–entered the city of Rome itself and wrecked it.

Today, the U.S. is facing an invasion–one that some believe could be as deadly to our way of life as the one that ensured Rome’s downfall. This time the foe is drugs: cocaine, marijuana, and heroin. Like Rome 1,800 years ago, the U.S. is the world’s most powerful and productive force. But many see the nation’s might threatened by drugs that, in increasing amounts, are being ferried across our borders from Latin America and Asia. (See map, below.)

This traffic is having some troubling results. Forty years ago, Americans abusing opium, heroin, morphine, and cocaine numbered about 10,000. Today, in a given month, as many as 10 million Americans use cocaine, and another 20 million use marijuana.

The harmful effect drug abuse has on American society is plainly visible. Drugs are involved in anywhere from a third to a half of all crime in the U.S. Drug-related crime cost the nation about $7 billion in 1983–plus immeasurable amounts of fear and pain among crime’s victims. Employees who took drugs cost businesses an estimated $16.7 billion. Medical treatment for drug abusers cost more than $2 billion. (See Economics, pp. 12-13.) The shattering impact of narcotics on drug abusers’ families, on their communities, and on the abusers themselves is incalculable.

What is the U.S. doing to defend itself against the invasion of illicit drugs? An article on page 9 provides some answers, as does an exclusive interview with John Lawn, the chief enforcer of the nation’s drug laws.

TOO HIGH A PRICE?

In a sense, a flourishing trade in illegal drugs is part of the price we pay for a free and affluent society. The U.S. is an open society. This openness–one of the nation’s most attractive qualities–turns out to be a major “flaw” in the nation’s defense against drugs. A country where individual rights and freedoms were not guaranteed could no doubt control the drug trade more easily. But few Americans would want to live in a nation that has police on every street corner and in every corner of their lives.

Many teenagers have begun to create internal defenses against drugs. A nationwide study of high school seniors, conducted last year, showed illicit drug use continuing the gradual decline that began in 1980. For the nation, that’s good news. In the end, an economically strong, open society’s best defense against drugs is a refusal on the part of its members to put up with abuse.

“The challenge to an open, affluent society.” Scholastic Update 10 May 1985: 4+.

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