If you were a citizen….

05 Nov

Yesterday saw a historic moment in US history and America lived up to its name where any dream can come true. I am sure the global perspective about America will change and the anti American sentiments will tone down.Am I happy? Yes, I guess. I am sure Obama’s health care plan will be a big boost, though I am still not sure if it will affect me as he is forgiving to the small industries , but wants the big employers to pay towards the national plan. Will it trickle down and affect my premium? I don’t know, but I am OK with contributing to the national plan as I have seen lot of old people( courtesy, my red toe nail support group) suffering with the current health plan. Believe me when I say we are blessed to have an employer-sponsored plan. Yes, it might be getting close to socialism, but I am fine.My taxes will most probably get affected, now, that is something I am not happy about.It is time to wait and watch. All the Indian newspapers are screaming about BPOs and outsourcing . He is sure to take out the tax breaks which all the outsourcing firms were enjoying and if you ask me, that is a big YES!!. I think it was preposterous and ridiculous for the businesses to enjoy such benefits.
Coming to california, there was an important Proposition (Prop 8) for which all the citizens voted last night. For the unaware, Prop 8 is amending the California Constitution, which was passed in May 2008, letting gay couples marry. Unfortunately, after the passing of Prop 8 last night, no one knows what the status of the multitude of gay couples who got married in the past few months, will be. Do they have to remove their wedding bands? Its a pity that the same day when the Californians who elected an african-american as a president, proving that race is no bar , also voted for prop 8 , thereby discriminating people based on sexual orientation. In my opinion, I think gay couples should be allowed to marry. People who are together for years might get some benefits by getting married, especially while filing taxes.And , I firmly believe that Church and State should not be mingled. There were mormons from Utah, who came to Cal , with all their multitude of wives and children in tow,just to campaign for Prop 8. How ludicrous can it get?
If you were a citizen, would you have voted for Prop 8 ?

On a lighter note, whenever I type Obama,MSWord asks for a spell check and tries to replace it with Osama. Obviously, Osama has been popular till now and is definitely going to be ousted by Obama.:-)


Posted by on November 5, 2008 in From AM-KICKING blog


25 responses to “If you were a citizen….

  1. BrainWaves

    November 6, 2008 at 7:51 am

    No doubt that yesterdays was a historic day for USA. Black women president would’ve been ideal in my mind.
    Slightly off the topic: even after 2 terms of Barack, Michelle Obama will be just 52 – so it is possible. She may count her first lady experience in her primary πŸ™‚

    Is it outsourcing firms (Wipros etc) which are getting the tax breaks or the US companies that outsource to India/China etc.?
    If it is later, then it may be an ideological argument about Capitalism (do what is good for the company) vs partial Socialism (Government controls how the pvt. business should be run)
    For ex: Cisco may lose deals to Huwei (Chinese router company) if they don’t get tax breaks.

    On Prop 8, I would have voted NO. What do these morons (oops! Mormons) know about marriage anyway? How ironic that they fight against what seems absurd marriage to them?

  2. Survivor

    November 6, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    The tax breaks were announced by the Bush govt for the US companies and that is one of the reasons for outsourcing other than the salaries etc… I don’t think govt is controlling the businesses by removing the tax breaks. They should be taxed the same whether they outsource or not.

  3. BrainWaves

    November 6, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    You mean they’re encouraged to outsource? Without knowing the real data, I would heavily doubt that.

    As far as I understand, they were given equal tax breaks as anyother company and people are opposing that. In otherwords, they want to discourage companies from outsourcing.

  4. Mindframes

    November 6, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    On a tangential note, I have a fundamental philosophical difference in the way elections are held…

    When it comes to choosing a winner, there definitely needs to be a majority wins all type of process which election is trying to achieve. However, for social issues like the one on Prop-8, I am not sure how the majority of the people who are not gay/lesbian get to decide the social rights of gay/lesbian. By definition, isn’t that an irony… Wouldnt the social rights of all minority groups be affected if it goes through an election process… Shouldn’t the votes be taken as one of the inputs in deciding the outcome, rather than the only input… Shouldn’t the courts and justice departments be the final authority? In the Prop8 case, supreme court actually ordered originally to allow same sex marriages…. I don’t know where the disconnect is…

  5. Survivor

    November 7, 2008 at 12:55 am

    It goes like this. If a company outsources to somewhere, then they will not be taxed the US 35% tax on the revenue unless they repatriate that money back to US and this can go on indefinitely.So,all the firms outsource and keep on further investing that money outside US , thereby helping create more jobs in other countries, which obviously makes business sense for them.
    And thats how so many jobs are growing in India and elsewhere, in spite of the employees there being paid almost close to what we get here.I found a link about this
    But you can google it and find out.

    @ Mindframes,
    Thats a good point.I also heard in NPR today that people got confused with the YES and NO as “YES” means against gay marriage and “NO” means for gay marriage. Anyway,I guess their battle is still not over.

  6. BrainWaves

    November 7, 2008 at 10:52 am

    For some of the propositions they require a 2/3 majority (to address the issue you just mentioned) but they could not put Prop 8 under that category.

  7. Saumya

    November 7, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    What would I vote for Prop8? Interesting question – I would vote – NO (thanks shoba for clarifying that ‘No’ means ‘For Gay marriage’)

    When 2 people feel love towads each other, I am all for them wanting to spend their lives together. More love in the world is what we want in these times when hate is pouring out so easily.

    Excellent post Shoba

  8. sdpal

    November 11, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    thats a wonderful view mindframes.. (regarding voting for the issue of minority people, when majority isnt gay).
    I wouldve voted ‘NO’ too.
    I remember watching the news, there were senior citizens, who didnt know, what “YES/NO” meant for this proposition. They thought the other way (inspite of millions for ads they spent on this proposition).
    But adopting kids by the gay couple (not lesbians) wouldve been an issue for me. Im not sure, I wouldve supported that. Other states had an proposition to stop adopting by single parents/gays and it passed. What wouldve been your vote on that proposition ?

  9. BrainWaves

    November 12, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    I assume your reasoning (feel free to clarify) for voting No on adoption by gay couples is that the kids won't have both father & mother. If so, what about Single parents.

    BTW, the strong way the "Yes" side gained votes is by saying that they will teach about gay marriage to small kids in school.

    There was a lengthy discussion in NPR about prop8 today. Two things came to my mind,

    1) It is historic in nature and it is going to change the way our society behaves for generation to come. (similar to civil rights)
    2) Leaving the churches argument of "bible says" aside, this issue has lot of gray area.

  10. Manohar

    November 13, 2008 at 2:55 am

    On a side note, If we really need seperation of state and the church, then ideally polygamy/polyandry should also be legal. Shouldn’t it?

  11. sdpal

    November 13, 2008 at 6:17 am

    In my opinion, its very difficult for two guys (gays) to bringup a child. Ladies are atleast ok. Guys usually arent very patient (with kids) unless they are their own.
    Its not fair for the kids.
    Ofcourse there are single parents! Who said, its easy for them. Ask them..
    What if the gay couple get divorce, after adopting ?

  12. Survivor

    November 13, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    You are talking about voting NO for Prop8 as you don’t want to discriminate based on sexual orientation, but now you are discriminating based on gender. If two people can bring up a kid, it can be of any combination. Let me take it back.Even one person can bring up a child,and especially if they are adopting, they are giving a new life to the child. And your question about gay couple getting a divorce is baseless, as any married couple can get a divorce.

    I think, In India, muslims can marry more than once legally, which differentiates religion and State.

  13. BrainWaves

    November 13, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Sdpal@ You are indirectly responding to previous post (stereotyping) πŸ™‚

    But I agree most times the stereotyping comes based on the groups we know. Most of the single parent is women and hence women manage kids better on a average is IMO a reasonable conclusion.

    By extending that argument, it must be illegal to have a men single parent to have kids or adopt kids πŸ™‚
    Now, don’t we agree that it is simple if we say NO on gay marriage (Yes on prop 8) and follow one argument all the way πŸ™‚

  14. sdpal

    November 13, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    I would NO on 8, because thats between two adults, So, I support that. But, Im discriminating against guys (not lesbians atleast) to adopt kids because, I beleive that women are more patient with kids than guys. One guy – two guys, no difference. Single parents are there ofcourse, but women take care of the kids most of the days in the week. Men can be fun (for a short time) with kids. But, they arent built to be a caregiver 24×7. Women are better at it. Im not saying women should do that 24×7, but if a situation should occur, they are better than guys. So, I would vote no to adopting kids for single guys or gays(not lesbians)

  15. Meera Manohar

    November 23, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    Very nice post Shoba..

    I disagree with sdpal that a man cannot be as effective a caregiver as a woman πŸ™‚

    I know more than a few guys who are excellent with children than their spouses. So it all depends on how one wants to see it. Instead of saying a “woman” is more patient ( because culturally and socially they have always been expected to be that, and inturn been groomed to be that :D), guess we should attribute caregiving more to the attitude of whether one can think they can do it or not!

    On that note, doesn’t matter men/women OR a gay/straight or a lesbian couple.

    My 2c, a little late though !!

  16. Mad Max

    December 1, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    @ Shoba: Super late but better late than never…very nice post…i agree with all he points except on prop 8…

    now prop 8…hmm…well i’m a YES vote (i know that i’m the only one here to vote YES but still better to express what i really feel about it)…i feel that it goes against the law of nature and personally i do not like disequilibrium in society…

  17. sdpal

    December 2, 2008 at 5:49 am

    “I know more than a few guys”, which is my point too. Only few guys or more than few guys, you knew, I beleive are (happily)married, with a spouse and it would have been their kids mostly.
    Women may be “groomed” culturally or socially (unfortunately), but thats the truth. They are more strong (mentally), stable (comparatively) and patient than guys with kids. (Im not trying to be a sexist here)
    Although there may be few exceptions, we are not talking about few exceptions here.

  18. Survivor

    December 3, 2008 at 1:20 am

    I can guarantee you that humans are good at reproduction.A few gays here and there is not going to imbalance much.If gays&lesbians are not allowed to get married, its not like they are going to change their sexual orientation and go with the so called law of nature.In fact, on the other hand, they might actually help orphans by adopting them as kids..Don't u think so?

  19. Mad Max

    December 3, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    @ Survivor: It is an interesting point. However, my first question is what is the role of the institution called marriage? Is it not possible for people to live together without being legally married (regardless of sexual orientation)? There has to be a reason for such institutionalization and the question is what are the conditions under which it makes sense?

    Orphans can be adopted by two people even if they are not married (if the law so provides). So it is not necessary for people to be gay/lesbian for such an outcome to occur. Further what kind of values are we imparting to the kid who grows up with two guys or two women (I agree this is a value judgement). But to me it is kind of strange to imagine what impact that might have on the child’s development. So I’m not sure if that should be allowed in the first place.

    Nevertheless my point is, marriage as a social institution is meant to symbolize a relationship between a man and a woman (atleast this to me is the traditional idea of marriage). But people are not forced into this. Regardless of legal status they can still choose to live with their partners.

    So why do people who are not straight want to get married? That is something I do not understand unless it is to capture financial/tax benefits. If that is the case, then it kills the sanctity of marriage, by using it as a mechanism to earn some financial benefits.

    Hence, I feel that if they want to remain with their partners they are free to do so but I still do not get the benefit that they derive from being married. So why create a ruckus about it in the first place? Is that a fair argument?

  20. Mindframes

    December 3, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    @mad-max & sd-pal:
    One fundamental thing that we assume is that, gays == guys and lesbians == gals and that all rules must be applicable to them…Though that could be the "technical" categorization based on appearance or what not, they are different… Instead of applying normal rules of child-care or attitudes of a guy or a gal and associate it with them, we should think of them as a different sect of people and form rules for who they are… That being the case, I think, it is not upto us to decide why they should or shouldnt marry or lead a family…Unless we can put ourselves into their shoes, we really can't apply general rules to them…

    My $0.01 worth…

  21. Mad Max

    December 3, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    @ Mindframes: I’m in complete agreement with your point. But to take the argument to its core, we cannot really comment on anybody getting married then. In fact marriage as an institution need not exist. Unless there is a precise definition for it, it is meaningless. what say u?

  22. Mindframes

    December 3, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    @mad-max: that’s exactly. true…Since we are all governed by law, the lawmakers/judicial-wing should decide if it is “ok” (which is where the current definition of marriage comes from anyway), which points back to my earliest comment, which is, if the general public has to vote for a minority group. In a controversial situation like this, how will fairness be established to the minority community… Aren’t we all biased in some way…

  23. Survivor

    December 4, 2008 at 1:08 am

    @ Madmax
    I agree with Mindframes.Marriage is man made. Laws of Nature does not require marriage. It is purely legal and if two people gain benefits by getting married , since that is the only way around, the law should help them out.

  24. sdpal

    December 5, 2008 at 2:07 am

    My point has nothing to do with gays. They could ofcourse marry, they are adults and they should be given the freedom. My point is, I believe guys arent mentally strong to take care of a kid alone (or with other guy). This has nothing to do with them being gay. I know its unfair for them. But, I beleive its unfair to the kid also.
    But coming to think about it seriously, all they could is adopt. And if that (already born) kid will be in an orphanage somewhere, I guess, it should be ok if the kid is with these guys in a home.

  25. Manohar

    December 8, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    I think I disagree with you on multiple levels. To start with- you mention ‘laws of nature’. To be mild– what are they? You see the point I’m making is that– nobody has any clue as to what is natural and what is not. In some ways the intelligence that we humans have is againts the laws of nature. As you can see anything can be argued against the laws of nature.

    Now onto equilibrium., i’m not sure how gays marrying will upset the equilibrium. Gay-ism as we know it is a low probable genetic in a percentage of the population and that percentage has remained supposedly constant since times immemorial. The issue is not whether they should exist or not… we acknowledge that they should exist- yet they should somehow lead an unequal life?

    Now for the definition of marriage and the role this plays in society. Definitions are arbitrary- just because a definition is traditional, does not mean that definition is valid. Now, for the social impact of preventing gays from married as opposed to civil reunions….. Many benefits to spouses are afforded only if they are married. So in one stroke you have made a whole set of benefits inaccessible. Instead of going through the myriad of benefits and making them available to couple of civil unions… wouldn’t it be just easier to give them the status of marriage?


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