Don Schrader on Marriage
Do I ever know myself or the other person or the future well enough to know for sure we both will do well with only each other romantically until death? I aim to tell the truth and not to make foolish promises.
Many years ago as a preacher I performed marriage ceremonies. I was also a groomsman for some friends’ marriages. I attended many weddings.
I have decided from now on not to attend marriage ceremonies where two persons pledge themselves to only each other romantically until death. A solemn vow that many break or want to break. A solemn vow I refuse to make to anyone.
I have been in love with certain men. I treasure mutually passionate romance with certain men, but I do not want to be caged or to cage any man romantically for life. Like many people, I am able to be openly honestly and deeply in love with more than one person. No one person can fill all our emotional needs. If he and I part, I do not want him to sue me and I do not want to sue him.
Marriage partners often take each for granted and slack off from exercise and staying healthy. They often turn for comfort to booze, junk food or to buying crap no one needs.
Married couples often hold each other back and use each other as an excuse not to change and not to grow. Blaming the other, one says, “I can not stop eating meat or sugar crap, because (s)he has that stuff here and I can not resist eating it.” One says, “I would live simply in a much smaller place and I would stop paying federal income tax for war, but (s)he refused to change.”
Marriage partners often act as if they own each other so they try to control each other and get insanely jealous.
Some people may do best with only one romantic partner for life, but even they would be wise never to pledge themselves to only each other romantically until death. As the days and years pass, they can check if they both are doing well in this monogamous relationship.
Some people have their No. 1 romantic relationship with one person for decades but also enjoy close friendship and pleasurable sex with other persons and do it honestly and openly.
Some people are able to be deeply in love with two or more persons at the same time for years and do it openly and honestly with little or no jealousy.
The rule of no sex for couples outside marriage often breeds lies, cover-ups, heavy frustration, boredom, violent jealousy ...
Marriage often becomes a duel instead of a duet. My parents might have been much better friends had they never married. Marriage destroys many friendships. Many couples become better friends after divorce. My parents were not a good match. If I had been my mother, I do not know how I could have coped being married to my dad. If I had been my dad, I do not know how I could have coped being married to my mother. They were married 48 years until my mother died. Much of the time it was a war of words, hurt feelings and rage. My mother needed, wanted and was capable of much deeper intimacy than my dad gave her or perhaps was able to give her.
I learned from my mother and dad NOT to stay in a rotten marriage making each other miserable. Far worse than having no romantic companion is feeling trapped by a vow to someone I do not want to be with or to someone who does not want to be with me.
I understand people in love wanting to celebrate that with their families and other friends, so if invited I would go to wedding receptions. But I now refuse to witness persons pledging themselves to lifelong romantic commitment to only each other.
A Letter About Letters (Received Via E-Mail)
[News, “Not Just Net Neutral,” Nov. 25-Dec. 1] Michaela Cadena, coordinator of Young Women United, bemoans having to pay $68 per month for Internet service. She says she has to have it because it's the only way her daughter has to connect with distant relatives.
Really? Have Michaela and her daughter ever heard of a "letter"? You write sentences on a piece of paper, fold the paper, put it in an envelope, address the envelope, put a stamp on it and drop it into a "mailbox." In a few days, the distant relative receives the "letter" and is very happy to have it. The stamp costs a mere 44 cents—much less than $68 per month.
Try it. You'll like it.
Felons Need Direction and Opportunity
I've cut and pasted a letter that I wrote to our state senators and congressman. It is my goal to bring attention to the mistreatment of the less fortunate. This is not a request for pity; I accept responsibility for my actions and have "paid my debt to society." I just realize how much more difficult life is with a permanent blemish on my record, and I think some changes need to be made for those of us who are not hardened criminals.
As an "ex-con," I can live with losing my second amendment RIGHT, but being rendered unemployable seems like "cruel and unusual punishment." At what point is a felon's debt to society paid?
Excerpt from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: "The EEOC and courts have concluded that a policy or practice of excluding individuals from employment on the basis of their conviction records may have an adverse impact on certain minority groups in light of statistics showing that they are convicted at a rate disproportionately greater than their representation in the population."
Extreme circumstances aside, felony convictions should never trump a job applicant's qualifications. Surely, you do not expect anything positive to be gained by staying the course.
My thoughts on liberty are eerily similar to those of Patrick Henry. I am an American, and a patriot, and you don't have the RIGHT to take my "life" from me, or anyone else.
Please review what constitutes a felony conviction and consider making necessary changes to help those of us who have never committed serious crimes. There are many ex-cons who learned the "lesson" and have walked back from the brink of becoming a hardened criminal.
We need your help!
As one with actual knowledge of business, having owned one and being self-employed and working in tax accounting, the sheer ignorance about taxes by the masses, fueled by propaganda and politicization, is just mind boggling.
Republicans and their tea party auxiliaries argue that letting the Bush tax cuts expire will kill jobs. First of all, under the vaunted Bush tax cuts with rate reductions for top earners, only 3 million net jobs were created. Under Clinton, with a 39 percent top marginal tax rate, 23 million net jobs were created; more than under Reagan or Bush II.
Historically, the greatest middle class growth and opportunities for upward mobility took place after WWII with top marginal tax rates at 90 percent or higher.
The claim that letting the cuts expire will hurt small businesses is also a farce upon its face.
First of all, most small businesses are organized as nontaxable pass through business entities—partnerships, LLCs and S corporations. Only C corporations pay taxes at the business level. Less than 3 percent of self-claimed small business filers would pay any higher taxes under Obama's plan, according to Howard Gleckman of the Tax Policy Center.
Second, the Republican definition of small business / small businessperson is very broad; includes filers whose primary income sources are royalties, trust income, dividends, and investments in partnerships and joint ventures, not necessarily actual trade or job creation related income.
On Nov. 18, 40 millionaires urged President Obama to let the cuts expire for the top earners. As usual, on Yahoo blogs, the great unwashed did not miss an opportunity to demonstrate why they are the great unwashed. They all argued if those people wanted to pay high taxes, go ahead and donate to the treasury but do not pick their pocket.
This is the result of sheer laziness and stupidity.
Musings on Martinez
[Opinion, “Hard Lessons,” Nov. 25-Dec. 1] In the day-to-day workings of the Governor's Office, especially vis-à-vis the Legislature, it is hard to tell what all this change might mean. I do believe it is for the best and does represent the will of the people.
Will there be a retrenching of the Legislature, especially if the House leadership changes, which I do believe will happen, with the new numbers and coalition? You will definitely see a more recalcitrant Legislature, which incidentally, as Sen. Ortiz y Pino knows, has never been a fertile place for any NEW IDEAS.
The new governor's legislative picks, Gardner and Moore, show there will be a rather conservative direction in her legislative priorities right from the start. Both are nice guys but from ideological realms far removed from the Alibi's and Sen. Ortiz y Pino's!
The Ol’ Ball Gamer
I couldn't agree with you more, Dr. Baker [Letters, “Political Indigestion,” Nov. 25-Dec. 1]. Concerning politics, dialectical discourse in this country is incredibly hard to find at any level—federal, state or local. This is certainly not a new problem; it is a problem as old as democracy.
I often wonder how those of us who are disinterested in taking a particular side—by which I mean we do not have a vested interest in believing a particular side, financial or otherwise, but rather want to get to the bottom of the issues—could hope to raise the bar in political discourse. I invite you to disagree with me on this, because I would love to be wrong in this case, but I believe the problem lies with the masses of voters. They are not sufficiently educated, nor are they trained to recognize the non-arguments employed by political propagandists each election season. Like Willie Stark in Warren's All the King's Men, politicians who overestimate the intelligence of the voters by discussing the nuts and bolts of their policies will soon lose their followers to their demagogical opponents.
Sadly, this danger is all too real for journalists, as well. Journalism is a business like any other, and as such relies upon the bulk of its consumers, in this case the readers. Unfortunately, conflict and colorful rhetoric sells as well as sex, while facts and data are soporific. Our world is steadily becoming a Bradburyian nightmare in which words exceeding three syllables are useful for nothing other than ostentation, information of substance can only be delivered if it is a concomitant of entertainment, and anyone who aspires to escape the mold cast for him will contend with brutal normative forces.
My theory is that if this trend can be reversed, one crucial device toward this end will be the reintroduction of the study of philosophy into public education. After all, so much of a person's political beliefs are merely an outgrowth of his philosophical views. How can we be in accord over what would be for the greater good of our society if we cannot be in agreement over the basic philosophical question "what is good?" What immunity to propaganda can people be said to have if they cannot differentiate a valid, logical argument from an empty non-argument? If the voters' political beliefs are based entirely on unchallenged assumptions transmitted to them by the media, religion, teachers, their families and their peers, the future would appear very dim, at least insofar as it depends upon democratic processes.
In essence, for far too long American children have been taught what to think rather than how to think, and the course to correction will not occur overnight. The way I see it, the relatively perspicacious among us can either brainstorm the solutions to this problem, or choose a side, buy an air horn and a foam finger, and scream our heads off at one another at the "ol' ball game" of American politics. If it can rightly be said that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, we will almost certainly opt for the latter.
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