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Steve McIntosh Report Blog

Posts from March 2013

The gay marriage debate
This week the United States Supreme Court heard arguments about same-sex marriage laws. This brings the issue to the front burner on the American controversy “stove”.
A recent Washington Post/A-B-C News poll found 58% of the respondents favoring the legalization of same-sex marriage, with 36% saying it should be illegal. In 2004, the same question brought the opposite conclusion: 41% for legalization and 52% opposed.
40 states do not allow same-sex marriage.
Public opinion surely differs from one state to the next, and some say the issue is best handled at the state level. Let the voters decide. Others will say individual rights are being violated and gay people are experiencing discrimination.
Some will argue that public opinions polls are “skewed”, or in some way inaccurate.
But the Supreme Court is not charged to follow the whims of the citizens. The Court must decide if the laws are constitutional.
The Justices will not rule for several months.
Our thought for today is from Terry Pratchett:
“A marriage is always made up of two people who are prepared to swear that only the other one snores.”
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Topics: Law_CrimeSocial Issues
People: Terry Pratchett

Please slow the spending
Our federal government is a big part of commerce. Each year the Fed spends billions of dollars with private contractors on everything from national defense to building highways and bridges. Those who seek to increase government spending may label it “investment”, but when does that “investment” reach the point of diminishing returns to the taxpayer?
Intelligent, reasonable Americans have been telling us for years that the U.S. cannot sustain ever-increasing budget deficits and mounting debt. But because there has been no major economic meltdown related to the deficits and debt, our politicians have not responded in a meaningful way.
Our elected officials of all political stripes must come to the realization that a “melt down” is not in our national interest and could be extremely harmful to many Americans. They need to take action sooner, not later.
First step, serious treatment of entitlements and slow the rate of spending increase.
After that, let’s tackle the tax code again, with an eye toward fairness and shared burden.
Our thought for today is from William H. Borah:
“That marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.”
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Our water problem
It’s been a heck of a drought. If it continues -- were told -- Cheney Reservoir could be bone dry by 2015. The lake provides 60% of Wichita’s water, some of which we sell to smaller communities in the area.
The Wichita City Council is taking public input in their efforts to deal with the problem. Is voluntary rationing the answer? Should city customers who use more water face higher rates on their monthly bills?
My “extra” water use goes for washing my cars in the driveway and some gardening. I never water my lawn unless we’re trying to get some new grass started. My lawn greens up nicely in the spring and turns brown in the late summer. I keep it well cut and trimmed.
We don’t have a sprinkling system or a pool.
Two of my brothers lived in the west for years, and they were always conserving water.
Of course, a few nice Kansas rains could ease our concerns considerably.
Our thought for today is from Henry David Thoreau:
“Water is the only drink for a wise man.”
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Iraq ... ten years later
Last week marked ten years since President Bush started the second war with Iraq.
I opposed the war for several reasons. First, I did not see the need … since Saddam Hussein hated al-Qaeda, and could have been useful in our war on terror. Hussein had been to war with his neighbor Iran, and had balanced the power in that region. The current governments of Iran and Iraq have now become quite cozy.
I saw Iraq as no immediate threat to the United States, and stopped believing they had any weapons of mass destruction early in the game. I don’t like our nation going to war on suspicions, suppositions, and unsubstantiated fear.
I didn’t like the fact that no one in the White House had any close relative in harm’s way … no “skin in the game”.
My son served in Iraq, 45-hundred Americans died there, 32-thousand were wounded, and two trillion dollars was put on Uncle Sam’s credit card.
And by the way, we’re still there.
Was it worth it?
Our thought for today is from Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.:
“All wars are popular for the first thirty days.”
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