JamesTimCharlie

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JamesTimCharlie

  1. 1. By James Ma Tim Lee Charlie Randazzo
  2. 2. <ul><li>We are engaged in a debate which, in a less confused time, would be considered pointless and even oxymoronic: the question of same-sex marriage.Now, anyone who has known someone who has struggled with his homosexuality can appreciate the poignancy, human pain and sense of exclusion that are often involved. One can therefore understand the effort to achieve for homosexual unions both legal recognition and social acceptance. Advocates of homosexual marriages even make what appears to be a sound conservative argument: Allow marriage in order to promote faithfulness and monogamy. This is an intelligent and politically shrewd argument. One can even concede that it might benefit some people. But I believe that overall, allowing same-sex marriages would do significant, long-term social damage. </li></ul><ul><li>Recognizing the legal union of gay and lesbian couples would represent a profound change in the meaning and definition of marriage. Indeed, it would be the most radical step ever taken in the deconstruction of society's most important institution. It is not a step we ought to take. </li></ul><ul><li>The function of marriage is not elastic; the institution is already fragile enough. Broadening its definition to include same-sex marriages would stretch it almost beyond recognition — and new attempts to broaden the definition still further would surely follow. On what principled grounds could the advocates of same-sex marriage oppose the marriage of two consenting brothers? How could they explain why we ought to deny a marriage license to a bisexual who wants to marry two people? </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Recognizing the legal union of gay and lesbian couples would represent a profound change in the meaning and definition of marriage. Indeed, it would be the most radical step ever taken in the deconstruction of society's most important institution. It is not a step we ought to take. </li></ul><ul><li>The function of marriage is not elastic; the institution is already fragile enough. Broadening its definition to include same-sex marriages would stretch it almost beyond recognition — and new attempts to broaden the definition still further would surely follow. On what principled grounds could the advocates of same-sex marriage oppose the marriage of two consenting brothers? How could they explain why we ought to deny a marriage license to a bisexual who wants to marry two people? </li></ul><ul><li>After all, doing so would be a denial of that person's sexuality. In our time, there are more (not fewer) reasons than ever to preserve the essence of marriage. </li></ul><ul><li>Marriage is not an arbitrary construct; it is an “honorable estate” based on the different, complementary nature of men and women — and how they refine, support, encourage and complete one another. To insist that we maintain this traditional understanding of marriage is not an attempt to put others down. It is simply an acknowledgment and celebration of our most precious and important social act. </li></ul><ul><li>Nor is this view arbitrary or idiosyncratic. It mirrors the accumulated wisdom of millennia and the teaching of every major religion. Among worldwide cultures, </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>After all, doing so would be a denial of that person's sexuality. In our time, there are more (not fewer) reasons than ever to preserve the essence of marriage. </li></ul><ul><li>Marriage is not an arbitrary construct; it is an “honorable estate” based on the different, complementary nature of men and women — and how they refine, support, encourage and complete one another. To insist that we maintain this traditional understanding of marriage is not an attempt to put others down. It is simply an acknowledgment and celebration of our most precious and important social act. </li></ul><ul><li>Nor is this view arbitrary or idiosyncratic. It mirrors the accumulated wisdom of millennia and the teaching of every major religion. Among worldwide cultures, </li></ul><ul><li>where there are so few common threads, it is not a coincidence that marriage is almost universally recognized as an act meant to unite a man and a woman. </li></ul><ul><li>To say that same-sex unions are not comparable to heterosexual marriages is not an argument for intolerance, bigotry or lack of compassion (although I am fully aware that it will be considered so by some). But it is an argument for making distinctions in law about relationships that are themselves distinct. </li></ul><ul><li>Even Andrew Sullivan, among the most intelligent advocates of same-sex marriage, has admitted that a homosexual marriage contract will entail a greater understanding of the need for “extramarital outlets.” </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>He argues that gay male relationships are served by the “openness of the contract,” and he has written that homosexuals should resist allowing their “varied and complicated lives” to be flattened into a “single, moralistic model.” </li></ul><ul><li>But this “single, moralistic model” is precisely the point. The marriage commitment between a man and a woman does not — it cannot — countenance extramarital outlets. By definition it is not an open contract; its essential idea is fidelity. Obviously that is not always honored in practice. But it is normative, the ideal to which we aspire precisely because we believe some things are right (faithfulness in marriage) and others are wrong (adultery). In insisting that marriage accommodate the less restrained sexual practices of homosexuals, Sullivan and his allies destroy the very thing that supposedly has drawn them to marriage in the first place. </li></ul><ul><li>There are other arguments to consider against same-sex marriage — for example, the signals it would send, and the impact of such signals on the shaping of human sexuality, particularly among the young. Former Harvard professor E. L. Pattullo has written that “a very substantial number of people are born with the potential to live either straight or gay lives.” Societal indifference about heterosexuality and homosexuality would cause a lot of confusion. A remarkable 1993 article in The Post supports this point. Fifty teenagers and dozens of school counselors and parents from the local area were interviewed. According to the article, teenagers said it has become “cool” for students to proclaim they are gay or bisexual — even for some who are not. Not surprisingly, the caseload of teenagers in “sexual identity crisis” doubled in one year. “ </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Everything is front page, gay and homosexual,” according to one psychologist who works with the schools. “Kids are jumping on it ... [counselors] are saying, “What are we going to do with all these kids proclaiming they are bisexual or homosexual when we know they are not?” </li></ul><ul><li>If the law recognizes homosexual marriages as the legal equivalent of heterosexual marriages, it will have enormous repercussions in many areas. Consider just two: sex education in the schools and adoption. The sex education curriculum of public schools would have to teach that heterosexual and homosexual marriage are equivalent.  Heather Has Two Mommies  would no longer be regarded as an anomaly; it would more likely become a staple of a sex education curriculum. </li></ul><ul><li>Parents who want their children to be taught (for both moral and utilitarian reasons) the privileged status of heterosexual marriage will be portrayed as intolerant bigots; they will necessarily be at odds with the new law of matrimony and its derivative curriculum. </li></ul><ul><li>Homosexual couples will also have equal claim with heterosexual couples in adopting children, forcing us (in law at least) to deny what we know to be true: that it is far better for a child to be raised by a mother and a father than by, say, two male homosexuals. </li></ul><ul><li>The institution of marriage is already reeling because of the effects of the sexual revolution, no-fault divorce and out-of-wedlock births. We have reaped the consequences of its devaluation. It is exceedingly imprudent to conduct a radical, untested and inherently flawed social experiment on an institution that is the keystone in the arch of civilization. That we have to debate this issues at all tells us that the arch has slipped. Getting it firmly back in place is, as the lawyers say, a “compelling state interest.” </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>&quot;A New Birth of Freedom&quot; was the theme for  Barack Obama's  inauguration today—a reference to one of Abraham Lincoln's most memorable lines from the Gettysburg Address. It was part of  Obama 's sustained effort to link himself with the memory of one of America's greatest leaders and to give Americans reassurance that today, as in Lincoln's time, the country would find its way through any crisis. Obama, the first African-American president, has often emphasized his  bonds with Lincoln , who waged war to preserve the Union and end slavery. </li></ul>. Obama has pointed out t hat they both rose to prominence as politicians from Illinois and were considered unlikely successes early in their political careers. Obama even followed Lincoln's 1861 itinerary to Washington for his  inauguration, making stops in Philadelphia, Wilmington, Del., and Baltimore.
  8. 8. <ul><li>Obama was planning to be sworn in with the Bible that Lincoln used for his oath of office. Obama, the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas, was raised amid the cultural diversity of Hawaii and Indonesia, and he went out of his way to involve many different kinds of people in his inauguration. Nearly every major segment of the population seemed represented in some way—whites and blacks, men and women, straights and gays, the old, the young, the middle-aged. </li></ul><ul><li>But a review of the history of presidential inaugurations shows that Obama's emphasis on  populist  sensibility could not match the inauguration of Andrew Jackson in 1829 in terms of sheer drama and cultural change. Jackson campaigned in 1828 on the theme that rich and powerful elites from the East were running the government  for their own benefit, and it was time for Washington to promote and protect everyday people. He won 59.5 percent of the popular vote and swept into the White House on a tide of change. </li></ul><ul><li>On Inauguration Day, Jackson threw open the doors of the White House, and his supporters poured in, pushing and shouting as they celebrated their hero's victory. Many were rough men in muddy boots who climbed on chairs and wolfed down the food and drink, as did hundreds of farmers, laborers,  ambassadors , members of Congress, and a number of children. &quot;Several thousand dollars' worth of art glass and china were broken in the attempt to get at the refreshments; punch, lemonade, and other articles were carried out of the house in buckets and pails,&quot; wrote a shocked witness. &quot;Women fainted; men were seen with bloody noses; and no police had been placed on duty.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Other inaugurations have been intentionally low key. When Franklin Roosevelt was sworn in for his fourth term in 1945, he was too exhausted and sick to do much celebrating after the struggles with the Depression and World War II. He died several weeks later. When Ronald Reagan was inaugurated for his second term in 1985, the weather was so bitterly cold that he canceled the inaugural parade in order to spare marchers and well-wishers frostbite—or worse. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>William Henry Harrison, the ninth president, wasn't so lucky. On March 4, 1841, Harrison, 68, gave a 90-minute inaugural address in an ice storm, without a hat or overcoat. He caught a cold and died a month later of pneumonia. </li></ul><ul><li>George Washington set the pace with the first inauguration in 1789 in New York City, the nation's temporary capital. The oath of office he gave, as provided in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution, was simple and brief, and remains the same today: &quot;I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.&quot; Washington added the phrase, &quot;so help me God,&quot; and nearly every other president has done the same ever since. He followed his oath with an inaugural address, which most of his successors have also done. </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas Jefferson was the first president to be inaugurated in Washington, D.C., which became the capital in 1801. After his second inauguration, Jefferson rode on horseback from the Capitol to the president's house surrounded by mechanics from the Navy Yard—the forerunner of the inaugural parade. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>WASHINGTON — Fearing a financial crisis worldwide, the  Federal Reserve reversed course on Tuesday and agreed to an $85 billion bailout that would give the government control of the troubled insurance giant  American International Group . </li></ul><ul><li>The decision, only two weeks after the Treasury took over the federally chartered mortgage finance companies  Fannie Mae  and Freddie Mac , is the most radical intervention in private business in the central bank’s history. </li></ul><ul><li>With time running out after A.I.G. failed to get a bank loan to avoid bankruptcy, Treasury Secretary  Henry M. Paulson Jr.  and the Fed chairman,  Ben S. Bernanke , convened a meeting with House and Senate leaders on Capitol Hill about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to explain the rescue plan. They emerged just after 7:30 p.m. with Mr. Paulson and Mr. Bernanke looking grim, but with top lawmakers initially expressing support for the plan. But the bailout is likely to prove controversial, because it effectively puts taxpayer money at risk while protecting bad investments made by A.I.G. and other institutions it does business with. </li></ul><ul><li>What frightened Fed and Treasury officials was not simply the prospect of another giant corporate bankruptcy, but A.I.G.’s role as an enormous provider of esoteric financial insurance contracts to investors who bought complex debt securities. They effectively required A.I.G. to cover losses suffered by the buyers in the event the securities defaulted. It meant A.I.G. was potentially on the hook for billions of dollars’ worth of risky securities that were once considered safe. </li></ul><ul><li>If A.I.G. had collapsed — and been unable to pay all of its insurance claims — institutional investors around the world would have been instantly forced to reappraise the value of those securities, and that in turn would have reduced their own capital and the value of their own debt. Small investors, including anyone who owned money market funds with A.I.G. securities, could have been hurt, too. And some insurance policy holders were worried, even though they have some protections. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>“ It would have been a chain reaction,” said Uwe Reinhardt, a professor of economics at  Princeton University . “The spillover effects could have been incredible.” </li></ul><ul><li>Financial markets, which on Monday had plunged over worries about A.I.G.’s possible collapse and the bankruptcy of  Lehman Brothers , reacted with relief to the news of the bailout. In anticipation of a deal, stocks rose about 1 percent in the United States on Tuesday. Asian stock markets opened with strong gains on Wednesday morning, but the rally lost steam as worries returned about the extent of harm to the global financial system. </li></ul><ul><li>Still, the move will likely start an intense political debate during the presidential election campaign over who is to blame for the financial crisis that prompted the rescue. </li></ul><ul><li>Representative  Barney Frank , Democrat of Massachusetts and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said Mr. Paulson and Mr. Bernanke had not requested any new legislative authority for the bailout at Tuesday night’s meeting. “The secretary and the chairman of the Fed, two Bush appointees, came down here and said, ‘We’re from the government, we’re here to help them,’ ” Mr. Frank said. “I mean this is one more affirmation that the lack of regulation has caused serious problems. That the private market screwed itself up and they need the government to come help them unscrew it.” </li></ul><ul><li>House Speaker  Nancy Pelosi  quickly criticized the rescue, calling the $85 billion a &quot;staggering sum.&quot; Ms. Pelosi said the bailout was &quot;just too enormous for the American people to guarantee.&quot; Her comments suggested that the Bush administration and the Fed would face sharp questioning in Congressional hearings. President Bush was briefed earlier in the afternoon. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>A major concern is that the A.I.G. rescue won’t be the last. At Tuesday night’s meeting. lawmakers asked if there was any way of knowing if this would be the final major government intervention. Mr. Bernanke and Mr. Paulson said there was not. Indeed, the markets remain worried about the financial condition of major regional banks as well as that of  Washington Mutual , the nation’s largest thrift. </li></ul><ul><li>The decision was a remarkable turnaround by the Bush administration and Mr. Paulson, who had flatly refused over the weekend to risk taxpayer money to prevent the collapse of Lehman Brothers or the distressed sale of  Merrill Lynch  to  Bank of America . Earlier this year, the government bailed out another investment bank,  Bear Stearns , by engineering a sale to  JPMorgan Chase  that left taxpayers on the hook for up to $29 billion of bad investments by Bear Stearns. </li></ul><ul><li>The government hoped at the time that this unusual step would both calm markets and lead to a recovery by the financial system. But critics warned at the time that it would only encourage others to seek bailouts, and the eventual costs to the government would be staggering. </li></ul><ul><li>The decision to rescue A.I.G. came on the same day that the Fed decided to leave its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 2 percent, turning aside hopes by many on Wall Street that the Fed would try to shore up confidence by cutting rates once again. </li></ul><ul><li>Fed and Treasury officials initially turned a cold shoulder to A.I.G. when company executives pleaded on Sunday night for the Fed to provide a $40 billion bridge loan to stave off a crippling downgrade of its credit ratings as a result of investment losses that totalled tens of billions of dollars. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Peanut butter grossing you out a bit lately, with all of the news about it and salmonella? A nationwide salmonella contamination, thought to be stemming from one plant, has sickened 485 people so far, and killed six people.  The FDA and the CDC has traced the source of the salmonella contamination to a Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) plant, which produces peanut butter, sold to institutions, and peanut paste, which ends up in a whole host of commercial foods like cakes, cookies, ice cream and cereal, just to name a few. If you eat as straight peanut butter, you'll be happy to know that major national brands of jarred peanut butter are not affected, as PCA does not sell products directly to consumers.  </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>That means that it is just another type of flu virus, just like that causes our typical seasonal flu symptoms. The big difference is that the current swine influenza A (H1N1) virus has components of pig and bird influenza viruses in it, so that humans don't have any immunity to it. That makes it more likely to become a pandemic virus (have the ability to cause a global outbreak) if it can easily spread from person-to-person. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>RICHMOND, Va. - Presidential electors have formally elected Barack Obama the nation's 44th president. </li></ul><ul><li>Electors gathering in state capitols across the country have pushed Obama above the 270 electoral votes needed to win, according to a tally by The Associated Press. Obama takes office Jan. 20, becoming the nation's first black president. </li></ul><ul><li>Monday's voting was a largely ceremonial procedure, but one mandated by the Constitution. Obama defeated Republican Sen. John McCain in the Nov. 4 election. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>BY: </li></ul><ul><li> James Ma </li></ul><ul><li>Tim Lee </li></ul><ul><li>Charlie Randazzo </li></ul><ul><li>Article finders: </li></ul><ul><li>Tim Lee </li></ul><ul><li>James Ma </li></ul><ul><li>Charlie Randazzo </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>

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