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Chapter 1.

A Traditionalists Basis for Supporting a Liberal Platform I may not agree with your lifestyle, but I will fight for your right to Live It I may not agree with your lifestyle, but I will fight for your right to live it. That is because I am a proponent of freedom. It is a natural, modern day extension of the idea that 'I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight for your right to say it'. I am a proponent of freedom because I believe that none of us mere human beings can know the whole truth of the world. We are bound to make mistakes one way or another, serious mistakes, if we force our beliefs onto others in any way. It is time we move past doing that, and we must do that consistently. Therefore, we must make as little interference into others' personal lives as possible as a society. But not just that. We must have an economic safety net for

people to live a reasonably decent life with reasonable amount of choices they can make (some may not recognise it, but freedom and socialism do go hand and hand to some extent). We must have a set of antidiscrimination laws for people to take off the pressure of non-conformity. We all know that the limits of freedom lie in that crimes that victimise others should not be allowed, and your freedom is no excuse to intrude into others' freedom. But how about more controversial things like do people have a right to choose to get drunk and consume mind-altering drugs? Their right to do so must be balanced by others' right not to be victimised by those not in control of their actions. Maybe they should be allowed to do what they want to, but only if they can guarantee that they keep themselves inside their own private areas. If they could do that, I would fight for

their right to do whatever they wanted to. I remain strongly opposed to legalisation of drugs that would cause psychosis and lead to violent, out of control people spilling out onto the streets however, because that will lead to the loss of freedom of other people to use the streets without fear. I have said many times that I respect everyone's freedom to do whatever they do - what right have I not to respect their free will? May I now take it further and suggest that I won't automatically judge polyamourous families as to be not in the best interests of the child either, even though I suspect it is sometimes the case. Therefore, if polyamourous people want to adopt children, then I believe they just need to prove that they are as much good parents as anybody else. Liberation 2.0 Now! Once upon a time, people longed for liberation, after a

long period of oppressive, conservative rule. Some of them believed that to achieve liberation, we must be free of the constraints of the family, of religion, and participation in politics, or even to take mindaltering drugs to disconnect from this world altogether. Luckily (at least I believe so, you are entitled to hold your opinion on this and I will respect your opinion regardless), many of us were never involved in this, and this idea of 'liberation' never went mainstream. The reason, I think, is clear. Most people love their family and are closely connected to their religion, and wouldn't welcome the intrusion of their lives by mindaltering drugs. However, the very idea of liberation still has its value, even if it doesn't mean leaving your family and your religion behind and getting into drugs. The very idea of liberation is that we should be able to

control our own fate, without interference from government or established religious authorities, as long as we are not hurting anybody else. Therefore, I suggest a new version of liberation - where you can keep your family, religion and clean living lifestyle, but just to make it a little less susceptible to the often unfair and sometimes immoral inference from established political, religious or populist authorities, we are going to have to change the institutions of society around a bit, so as to put individuals back in control of their own destiny again. I call this project Society 2.0 and it encompasses projects like Marriage 2.0. Welcome to Liberation 2.0! A New Vision of Marriage/Commitment Of course I am a proponent of the gay marriage cause. I support everything that aims to bring equality to everybody. I am championing its legislation in the

country where I am residing at, and also everywhere else where it has a decent chance of success. However, the gay marriage cause is a distant hope only at this stage. No, I don't mean to the Western nations or America - I mean to the rest of the world. To Asia, the Middle East and Africa, gay marriage is thought of as a radical concept. Just this week the UN president, an African Muslim, has objected to decriminalising homosexuality (even!). True liberation with implications of worldwide equality cannot come quickly enough from the gay marriage movement. Rather, we need a new culture (and maybe new terminology, but I think we need to see how things play out before making a firm comment on this) for committed, two-partnered relationships that is outside of the control of authorities, whether secular or religious. That is why I support the marriage boycott

movement - a gradual attempt to phase out the marriage-as-we-know-it-now culture-set and replace it with something that is as affirmative of lifelong monogamous commitment of two people as marriage is/was, but not susceptible to the whims of outside authorities who wish to control it. It is like phasing out an old computer product to bring in a new, better version - the more people adopt the change, the more seamless it will be. The fact that I support a cultural phase-out of 'marriage as we know it' (government + church interference) and also legislation for gay marriage (thus recognising the government interference) at the same time may confuse people - why support a product that you want to phase out? Well, the phasing out will take time, and legal gay marriage will bring on benefits to many people

whilst the government is still hell-bent on using marriage to define how benefits are distributed. Also, whilst marriage-as-we-know-it is still the way relationships are recognised in many older, established circles, the need for legal gay marriage remains. Whilst I support a new version of monogamous life-long commitment to replace the marriage 1.0 culture and institutions, it is purely from a social libertarian perspective. I do not wish to sound like encouraging other, alternative type relationships because I cannot be blind to my conscience and say that they will function just as well as the life-long, two-adult headed family. I have every reason to believe the contrary indeed. Rehabilitating Feminism Making it Truly for Equality Fifth wave feminism is going to make things interesting again. It will be a big struggle, as big as second wave at

least, if not more. I believe that in due course it will reach the mainstream and be the next cool thing. But right now it is a concept that is hard to explain to a lot of people. Therefore, I shall start from wherever I find convenient. Let us start on an unrelated topic. We have all seen gay men as drag queens. Most of us think that gay men are an embodiment of resistance to the gender binary, challenging the mainstream masculine-feminine hierarchy in their everyday lives. But wait before you say that gay men are only ever victims of the gender binary. Apparently they are full of it too. The intersex people and the gay/queer people had a fight again regarding recent revelations that Lady Gaga may be intersexed. On one hand, the intersex people are complaining that the gay/queer people are invoking the gender binary by trying to label her as one

of the binary sexes and defining her sexual orientation (what the gay community, as well as the mainstream, is usually most interested in) according to that. On the other hand, gay/queer people have in returne said that the intersex are homophobic. For those who haven't been following this, this is actually a familiar argument that has repeated itself over the years again and again. But wait before you say that the intersex are only ever victims of the gender binary. Apparently they are full of it too. The intersex sometimes claim that while they flout the gender binary, and transgender people don't because they are not really born different, but rather are choosing to be something different. Sometimes other people say that they are the other way around that the transgender flout the gender binary, but the intersex don't because they .

But wait before you say that the transgender are only ever victims of the gender binary. Apparently, in some (many) transgender circles, people who are perceived as being closer to their target gender (due to longer history of transitioning, starting transitioning at an earlier age, simply how they are, or having the money to have various surgeries) are perceived to be higher up on the hierarchy. Sometimes bitter wars break out between the post-operative and non-operative transgender people. Apparently then, many transgender people are full of the poison of the gender binary too. In short, painful arguments amongst those who are already the most discriminated groups in society. Why all this pain? Because of the gender binary. And apparently, whilst all parties seem to be claiming they are the truly free ones here, apparently they are still trapped.

The above is just to illustrate how the gender binary enslaves us all, no matter where you are. However, lest you think that it is not relevant to our everyday lives, think again. In more mainstream contexts the gender binary has caused much pain too. In the past women had no freedoms and opportunities at all this is still the case in some countries. Cause? The gender binary. Even nowadays, women are expected to do more housework than men, and get paid less than men (if only a little bit). Cause? The gender binary and its expectations. Women still take the man's surname when marrying. Cause? The gender binary and its expectations, again. The truth is that, just like the intersex, gay and transgender people that I described above, many modern women have so internalised the gender binary and are allowing the gender binary to enslave them, to

pin them to inequality. In short, we must abolish the gender binary as an expectation of people and as an internalised value system if we are to truly become equal. Let me give you another analogy. When there was a Berlin Wall, living in West Germany and living in East Germany were two really different things. Nowadays the difference still exists to an extent, but in many areas things have equalled out to some extent. Why? Because people and ideas are free to move. It's just like two bottles of gases. If you have a bottle of gas with high pressure and a bottle of gas with low pressure and the two bottles aren't connected meaning that the gas cannot escape from one bottle into another, they will of course be of different pressures. But when the two bottles are connected, the pressures equalise. Equality is often achieved when people are truly free to move

around. Equality is impossible when there are many restrictions on doing so. The day when the gender binary is knocked down, we will still be men and women (and maybe some will be some things in between, but it's their inherent right and who are we to deny that right). We will still be of different shades of masculinity and femininity. Nobody is going to force us all to become all androgynous, undefined people. I myself like to identify as a woman, I am quite feminine and a little masculine too at times, and I quite enjoy being that. The downfall of the gender binary won't change that. However, whatever we are, all of us, we will know that we are where we are because we have a choice, and therefore we have equal bargaining power in society no matter whereever we are. That is the essence of fifth wave feminism, the wave

that hopefully will end all the gender inequality out there eventually, and also all the homophobia, transphobia and the 'anatomy is destiny' crap. If Liberalism Started from the Beginning I consider myself tolerant to the most part, although I do have some quite traditional aspirations myself, like life-long monogamy (as opposed to serial monogamy), dressing modestly, not having sex until being ready to start a family, not using alcohol and mindaltering drugs, etc. In a world where all tradition is banished and labelled negative, I doubt if I can survive. I am, however, for banishing the idea that we should cling to and compare ourselves against what society 'always was'. I believe that every day is a new page where we can start anew, without the trappings of the old factions and wars. For example, I support offering convenant relationships and divorce reforms. This is seen by many of my fellow liberals as wrong. The fact is that, offering one more

alternative to people who want it, without forcing it on others, is a good thing for freedom and diversity, and usually supported by the liberal community. The fact that this offering is traditional doesn't mean that its very existance is against the liberal ideology - unless you mean a 'liberal' that is defined in opposition to conservatism. In other words, the very existance of conservatism in this case has caused some people to become unable to see the whole picture, and hold double standards. Same with 'second wave feminism' and its sometimes man-hating ways. The whole movement was defined against conservatism. The man-hating variety of 'feminism' arose because of this view. Thankfully, it failed - most of us are grateful for the equality, but can do without the man-hating that came from being

reactionary to the times that are no longer. And they are non-discriminatory in their man-hating too - they hate not just men who are opposed to equality, they hate the men who are our allies, and they also hate the feminine men who don't have 'male privilege'. (In fact, I am happy to identify as feminist, specifically liberal feminist, but many of my friends aren't, because they don't want to be perceived as man-haters.) Conservatism can also be something to hold up as a standard to emulate, often from groups that you don't expect them to. For example, the gay male community (sorry, although I am not a gay man I have heard this too many times) is riddled with it. They generally believe in upholding traditional models of masculinity for all males and often have a hand in oppressing feminine males - something that I feel deeply disgusted

about (even though I support gay marriage). They may call for the right for two men to kiss in public but don't care about the right of a man dressing and behaving femininely to have some dignity. This double standard is part of the reason why gay rights aren't viewed as one of the most serious issues of our times yet: some may argue that after all, these 'proassimilationists' just want one more piece of ammunition to assmilate rather than make things more equal and dignified for everyone (which is a somewhat unfair view, but when you have holes in your argument, that's what happens). Again and again, people subconsciously holding onto 'conservative' standards, either to reject it or to copy it in as many ways as possible, have caused them to have a blind spot and hold double standards, causing the downfall of otherwise good ideas and causes.

Therefore, I believe that the very concept and standard of 'conservatism' should be banished altogether, and people should just stand up for what they believe in, without too much a care about what has 'always been'. True idealism and progress cannot be made when we still recognise the god (or rather, idol) of Conservatism. We must banish this false god in order to move forward. The Manifesto of the New Multiculturalism I am a total supporter of multiculturalism. And by that, I mean not just support for high levels of migration and the co-existence of different ethnic cultures. Multiculturalism by definition has to include that, but 50 years after the idea's conception, it is now time to add more to it. Besides acknowledging the right of the main ethnicity and religion based cultures to exist and to function in our society (as long as they don't harm

individual liberty), may I say that all the other 'cultures' in society that are not based on historical ethnic divides but rather on the attitudes we have and the lifestyle choices we make in the modern world, should be accorded the same recognition and space to function too. This idea will, from now on, form the very basis of my platform, and all other beliefs and causes of mine will have to factor this in too. The biggest implication of this, I guess, is that every individual should be accorded the maximum amount of freedom available whilst they don't harm or restrict the freedom of a third party. Obviously, you still shouldn't be able to run around the streets naked because that is very offensive to many people, nor should you be able to wander the streets drunken and posing a danger to the people around you, because that is taking the right

of people to use the streets without fear. However, we should never persecute individuals for doing what they do privately, no matter what our own personal moral values are. Multiculturalism demands that every cultural group be bestowed the same recognition, dignity and opportunities, both in law and in the society. Therefore, in this new version of multiculturalism, policies like legalising same-sex marriages become a necessity (if we view the queer community as a distinct cultural group). Similarly, the provision of convenant marriage (to BOTH straight and gay couples) would also be consistent with this view - providing more choices for more people, so that cultural groups with different values and aspirations can all be equally benefitted and dignified by the law. On My Economic Position I support the welfare state. I heartily support universal

health care, and hope that the US will get it ASAP. For these positions I have been called a socialist. The more accurate term for my economic position is social democrat rather than socialist, really, and I am proud of it. Pure capitalism has illiberal consequences, you see. In pure capitalism, people are only able to live reasonably well and have a reasonable range of lifestyle choices if they have enough money. And to have enough money, you may need to work like a slave. Therefore, the less well off (the majority of society) are never truly free in a pure capitalist system. Therefore, pure capitalism is incompatible with liberty. Pure capitalism is also incompatible with being family friendly. If our children are to grow up well, their parents need a living wage. If adult children are to take care of their elderly parents, they need to be on a living

wage. Poor people in highly capitalistic societies have been known to abort fetuses because they can't afford to have another child - how sad. Therefore, my conscience does not allow me to be a pure capitalist, nor condone any society run in that manner. In fact, if the only choices I had were pure capitalism or pure socialism (the European kind not the communist kind), I would have to choose the latter, because of my moral convictions. But knowing that the market economy does have its positives, and my libertarian principles telling me that if we can achieve the same results with less government intervention then we should do that, I end up in a social democrat (centre-left) position. The Morality of Taxes: A Discussion Some libertarians believe that government taxation is anti-freedom and the equivalent of robbery. I happen to

not believe in this entirely, and I have my own reasons. In a market economy, anybody who earns a decent income is earning it from society, by rendering their services to society. If a healthy society does not exist, they will quickly lose their market. For example, in a civil war affected country most industries go out of business. In a state where the government does not invest in infrastructure, the potential for businesses to grow is limited. Therefore, requiring those who have benefited from a well run society to pay back to that society from what they have earned is just, as long as it is not at an unreasonable level (like taking 98% of your income). To highlight the fact that taxes are a fair exchange of benefit, I would like to further advocate that the government provide an option where a citizen can opt out of taxes, but will not be able to use any

government-sponsored service like most of the infrastructure that has been set up in society. I guess very few will select that option. Now, you may argue that whilst taxation that goes to infrastructure, security and defense may be fair, taxation that goes to welfare for the poor is not. However, I should point out that giving everybody a living wage and adequate healthcare is the cornerstone of supporting a healthy society. A society that has a big underclass will soon evolve into a society with civil unrest. Likewise, a more educated and informed populace is more receptive to different personal and interpersonal needs, and will provide a good market for many types of services. You really cannot say that profit making businesses do not benefit from this work that the government is doing. This work is not socialism, it is

just part of providing a good infrastructure and human capital that benefits everyone, businesses included. I do, however, believe that some forms of taxation is not fair. The inheritance tax, for example, has no ethical basis. The wishes of the passed person to pass their wealth onto anybody else is entirely their own decision, and it is a disrespect of the dead to tax what they have left behind. The Solution on Drugs Whilst I really don't entertain the idea that taking recreational drugs are a good idea in ANY amount, I do NOT support the current war on drugs 'effort' at all. I used to be a supporter of the war on drugs because I was brought up being told that this was what a responsible government does. However, all that changed on 2 December 2005. On that day, the

government of Singapore hanged a drug mule who was only 25. And there went my support for the war on drugs as it is run now - forever. I am going to suggest a controversial new way to approach the drug problem: 1) Let the drug mules off with just a slap on the wrist. What harm have they done to your country, I suppose? 2) Get addicts into rehab without any further judgment. Make rehabilitation the only focus of a drug rehab program, and remove all stigmas associated with it. 3) Let private non-profit organisations take on a greater role in presenting the dangers of drug use. What's the nudity about, anyway? The PETA recently launched a 'I'd rather go naked than dress in fur' type campaign, and some celebrities have posed nude for their 'cause'. More recently, the no H8 campaign received some celebs' naked no H8 photos and decided to post them.

Why all this nudity, however? Do they want to defeat their cause and tar the reputation of both the animal rights and the gay equality movements with such indecency? Please help save the decency of these two very decent causes. I encourage you to contact both organisations to stop this crazy behaviour. Boycott, or a New Strategy? Boycotts have been used by the various campaigning groups, left and right wing alike, for organisations and companies that do not hold their viewpoint. It used to be fairly successful, but now it is largely a useless strategy, unless the complaint is about the product itself. Why? Because the boycotter is usually seen as a spoilsport today. Someone who is rigid and no-fun. Someone who will try to force their beliefs on others without proper belief.

If you have reason to believe that significant amounts of your money may be going to a cause you don't like as a result of your purchase, then I believe that it is fine to boycott. But otherwise, victories should be won through debate, and the creation and endorsement of your own alternative version of culture, rather than boycott. Semi Marriage Boycott Why and How I hereby name Marriage 1.0 (marriage-as-weknow-it: complete with government and religious intrusion) Boycott as my number three pet cause. Note that, as I said earlier, this is only a 'semi' marriage boycott - I have nothing against registering your relationship with the government as a marriage in itself. I just hope that everyone will go around saying that they are 'in a permanent relationship' with their partner rather than that they are 'married', basically. Accordingly, you

should ask someone if they are in a relationship rather than if they are married. My position is as a result of marriage 1.0 being abused as a political issue, one that people go to cultural war over. It is also as a result that being 'promarriage' is now a euphemism for being prodiscrimination. The word 'marriage' would be neutral for me indeed otherwise. It is a word to describe an institution that I generally support, namely the lifelong union of two people. It is also a word that does not come from my own culture, so probably I should not judge (the word and the specific concept of 'marriage', and both its civil and religious connotations, are part of the Western culture, despite how people may translate other terms in other cultures as 'marriage', they are not exactly the same, and I am not a Westerner). Note that my unwavering support for the sanctity of a

permanent, non-revokable relationship exclusively between two adults, with no possibility of annulment, and no acceptability of outside affairs, remains firm and uncompromisable, even in the view of this boycott. Let's start a Semi Marriage Boycott, shall we? Brad Pitt has told the media that he is angry at the fact that a TV evangelist took aim at him, saying that he is setting a bad sample and 'living in sin' because he is refusing to marry. We all know Mr Pitt is only standing by his principles. "When someone asked me why Angie and I don't get married, I replied, 'Maybe we'll get married when it's legal for everyone else.' I stand by that, although I took a lot of flak for saying it - hate mail from religious groups. I believe everyone should have the same rights. They say gay marriage ruins families and hurts kids. Well, I've had the privilege of seeing my gay friends

being parents and watching their kids grow up in a loving environment." Looks like he needs a bit more backup here. Why not let us all participate in a marriage boycott? You don't actually have to not register your relationship with the government, but just don't say you're married even if you are legally married. Make the 'married' flag a socially obsolete flag. Since we'd all be 'living in sin' what can this revered say now? And what about our family values? Well, as long as you stay with your partner forever, and care for the kids well (if there are any), then you are a good supporter of family values, no matter what you call your relationship. Substance, not form, is important. So feel free to join the 'marriage boycott'. NB. We still 100% support the idea that it is best to delay sex until a permanent commitment to one partner

can be made, the ideal of permanent monogamy in one relationship for life, and 'til death do us part'. The 'boycott' focuses solely on terminology, and I advise everyone to make sure that they adhere to their family values no matter what they are fighting for. Why my Movement is Logical, and What is Missing My movement, a combination of more 'traditional' aspects of family values, and a lovefest of human rights based progressive ideals, does not seem all that logical. Definitely, it defies the traditional stereotypes of the left-right division. I have thus been described by my readers as both 'very liberal', and 'very conservative'. However, this is just because everyone has been using the tainted lens of the contemporary cultural war in the Western world to view everything. Let me put it this way: the arguments for discrimination, racism,

homophobia and sexism will end in nothing as one day soon we will move forward and embrace equality anyway. Those who support discrimination are simply on the wrong side of history. This battle for equality is just a contemporary issue. However, the argument and struggle for a society marked by stable, healthy familial structures is an ongoing project that will benefit generations to come. It is a struggle that must be contributed to in a ongoing manner, and the battle is timeless. The two are also actually synergistic with each other - in a world of equality, families will be more able to support their children who are 'different' thus contributing to familial stability, for example. Ultimately, both fights come together to better the experience of humanity, in the long run. So if I believe the battle for equality is just contemporary, why am I jumping up and down about it

and spending that much energy on it? This is because I believe that, if we delay equality by ten years, it will be ten years too late to save some people from harm - a lot of people indeed. I believe a lot of people actually believe in the coexsitance of these two ideals, but due to the media being dominated by a few, many are led to believe, from what they see in the media, that they can't coexist. That is why besides just talking about it I have put out examples / prototypes of new models of media that allow us to express this ideal, this hope. However, the work of one, otherwise very busy, person is not enough. I hope that there will be more self made stars out there who will follow this lead, and contribute to the ongoing fight that will benefit humanity. A Liberal for Traditional Values, Please? A common assumption is that if you are in support of

traditional values you go for the conservative parties and toe their line on cultural matters. But then, I don't think that necessarily works. Consider the following reasons: 1) Conservative parties are there for the economic policies mainly, with the social policies little more than decorative. Their main aim is to promote unrestrained capitalism which will harm the economy in the end (as seen in 2008) and abolish all welfare so that traditional institutions like the family end up collapsing. 2) The 'conservative' cultural line is not what everyone believes how traditional values should be implemented in today's world. Take gay relationships as an example. Gay relationships are here to stay, even the homophobes must concede. There are two ways to deal with the increasing number of open gay relationships either you provide for a structure to include them in the

stable family model that has worked over the years, or you protect the formerly exclusively heterosexual institutions by excluding gay people, and encourage them to take on 'alternative lifestyles' as a side effect. I happen to prefer the former, but the 'conservatives' happen to prefer the latter. This debate is mirrored in many religious institutions, with a rift opening in many churches because of the same argument. Which brings me to my third point. 3) When we can't really agree on how to get things done, even if we are onto the same general idea, we must agree to disagree, and see which way turns out to be the best. That means we must have the freedom, each of us, to decide to do the right thing. I don't believe in the freedom to do just anything, but I believe in the freedom to do what is right, and that, ironically,

requires the freedom to do what some believe is wrong too (since we sometimes have to agree to disagree). The conservative approach to things is that only ONE way of implementing traditional values is allowed, meaning that all other ways would be disallowed. Have you ever thought for a while, for example, that a ban on gay marriage, as much as being religiously motivated, is actually stampeding on the freedom of religion? Therefore, as a free thinking traditionalist, I would rather support liberal policies on most social matters, instead implementing traditional values by cultural means. Thoughts on Eternal Partnership Having first discussed my new platform of a 'new radicalism' and part of that being something I call 'eternal partnership', I think I should elaborate on what I

mean by that. Eternal partnership is the union of two people to form a family, to the exclusion of all others, for life. Sounds like the definition of civil marriage itself? Surely, it does. However, although the civil marriage laws in most countries include the words 'for life' or something of that effect, that bit is rarely seen as important. In 'eternal partnership', the 'eternal' is emphasized as much as the 'partnership'. I do obviously hope that governments extend legal support for eternal partnership. That said, I don't mean that other forms of partnership, including marriagewithan-option-of-divorce, should be discriminated in policy or in society. In fact, having the same contract ('marriage') for every couple who wish to enter a shared life to the exclusion of all others is not good policy - one size fits all is rarely good. This has been highlighted by

the concurrent debate for the legalisation of same-sex marriage and the provision of 'convenant' marriage. (Sadly, these two camps seem not to think about including each others' agenda, typical of today's eachmanfor-his-own style of campaigning for causes.) That said, even where governments do not legally sanction eternal partnerships, we could still do them. In fact, the establishment of such relationships should rely as little as possible on the government, as we don't want our commitment to be affected by politics. We need special ceremonies for them, highlighting the 'eternalness' of the commitment. We need a community that is dedicated to them, so we can encourage each other to keep the faith on our chosen institution for life, and support each other on the unique challenges posed by choosing this unique institution.

My take on Relationships: A Clarification There have been further concerns raised about my thoughts on intimate relationships reflected on my recent articles. I wish to address them, once and for all, here. I am for relationships and structures that will promote the formation of life-long, stable families, with or without children. The reason is simple: if children are involved in the family, then the family should stay intact from the moment of their birth until at least their adulthood, simply for the sake of the wellbeing of the children. Even if there are no children involved, stable family structures benefit both individuals and the whole society by providing security and letting us all flourish. It is in this principle that I support legalising same-sex marriage, in the hope that it will encourage same-sex couples to form lifelong relationships and discourage

them from breaking it off. It is also in this principle that I support divorce reform that will decrease the incidence of divorce. Polyamoury is something that I doubt will work, even though if it is for familial stability I am OK with it. However, serial monogamy is just a bad idea for me, especially if children are involved. Whilst I doubt the stability polyamourous relationships can offer, at least they are still trying to make it a commitment. The Mini marriage is undoubtedly wrong to me. It's kind of like anarchy vs fascism - I don't believe anarchy will work, but I don't believe it is evil either; on the other hand, I believe that all kinds of fascism are inherently evil. Just like I have hated and depised the idea of fascism ever since I heard about it, I have hated and despised the idea of serial monogamy since I was a kid (just ask my mom).

The Imperative to Care A 22 year old man has died in the UK from end stage liver cirrhosis because doctors would not give him a liver transplant. He developed cirrhosis from alcohol abuse since he was a teenager, and the doctors would not trust him to not abuse alcohol after a transplant. I was truly saddened by this news. Teenagers do all sorts of silly things - do we just let a life go like that? End the Modern Caste Division Liberals of most stripes have always been against the modern caste divisions (unhealthy hierarchies everywhere in different forms), The caste system is a favourite of the conservatives, because it is the status quo, and because it favours those who have power retaining their status, both socially and economically. However, the caste system way of doing things, which

may be good for classifying information, is no good if used on people, because it causes distrust, intense rivalry, and in the extreme form, bullying and inefficiency. Therefore, us liberals, who want to change things for the better whenever there is an imperative to do so, is against the caste system. The best way to rebel against the caste system is to ignore it. Just be friendly and polite to everyone. Never, ever use any hierarchy position that you may have got to your advantage - ignoring the system is the best way to combat it. A system that does not enjoy widespread recognition will soon lose its authority, remember. A More Perfect Union! Australian opposition families minister Tony Abbott has recently brought up the idea of bringing back the faultbased divorce system, making it an option for *heterosexual* couples who want it. I never thought

that one day I may be discussing something that the usually insanely ridiculously conservative Abbott is raising, but hey, there is a valid issue we should all be discussing around the world. Truth is that, few have enough spine to say it openly. Few except somebody as crazy as Abbott. But then, he still misses a point. Being insanely, ridiculously conservative, he does not support same-sex marriage rights. And because this system, as he proposed, will only apply to legal marriages, it will not extend to gay and lesbian couples. So, to me, he has only got half the equation right. Forget things like climate change for a while - even though they are important, the most important issue for the developed world is to finish the task of bringing equality to oppressed people, and to resuscitate the health of our families - and the twin causes of legalising

same sex marriage and bringing in divorce reform are therefore, in my view, the two most important debates of our time. And only by supporting the two together will our society have a good future. Any other way, we are doomed one way or another. So here's my proposal: 1) Redefine marriage as the exclusive union of two adults for life, regardless of sex, 2) Provide the option of making marraiges non-dissolvable except by fault, although leaving an option for some couples to choose to have the option of no fault divorce. This should apply to all couples, gay or straight. Liberal vs Conservative vs Radical I am a proud liberal (in the modern, north American sense). We stand for equality of people, giving every citizen the freedom to do what they consider the right thing (including empowering them economically), and being inclusive - letting everyone participate in our community, trying to ensure that every type of

individual can live well under the sun. The conservatives are our ideological opponents because they believe in preserving traditional biases, even when they are blatantly unfair. That is our main difference, really, and one that has been irreconcilable so far. Whilst they probably like the same kinds of things in life as us i.e. a great family, good job opportunities, a safe community, and the like, they prefer to give these things to only certain select people, those who have traditionally had it well. For example, they discourage gay people from having a family, they don't believe racial minorities should receive good job opportunities, they believe in using force to suppress disaffected minorities rather than reaching out and solving the real problems in society to achieve a safe society. I do have to say that we share a lot in common - we are both

proud of our history and culture, we both care for the welfare of families, etc. But the basic difference in that we are inclusive and they are exclusive breaks any hope of us forming an alliance any time soon. Therefore we are seen as perpetual opponents - the two basic opposing political forces in most Western societies, who are usually represented by the two largest parties in these societies, and wrestle each other at every election. (Since the radicals do not generally participate in elections, the mainstream 'political spectrum' generally only stretches from conservative to liberal.) Of course there are then the radicals. It is hard to characterise them, partly because they don't particularly value the things that both liberals and conservatives consider sacred, like the family, and partly because their beliefs are so diverse that it is hard to

know what they collectively believe in. You would think that these are fringe elements. They perhaps were in the 1960s, but not anymore. More than a few radical beliefs have successfully infiltrated into the mainstream. -One of them is tuning out of mainstream electionbased democracy, due to the belief that 'they are all good for nothing'. Nothing has ever done so much harm for democracy than the myth that 'voting won't change a thing'. Fringe groups (like neo-facist and otherwise racist groups) who want to get a seat in parliament these days have it quite easy because most sane people don't bother to turn up at the voting booths. -Another one is the belief that drugs like marijuana are not harmful and should be legalised for everyday use. This runs counter to medical evidence, and any common sense at all indeed. Doped people are unproductive, and

long term use of even 'soft' drugs lead to permanent brain changes on CT scans. However, this idea has taken such a strong hold on my generation that it is almost unbelievable - most of my friends are for this 'policy' and even superstar Megan Fox said recently she would be the first to buy a joint if marijuana were legalised. -Yet another one is the de-emphasis of the family and the instead emphasis on instant gratifcation sex. Both conservatives and liberals alike generally belief in the central place of the family in society, although we have different views of it. However, whilst we liberals are busily fighting to get GLBT inclusion into marriage and adoption to make the family experience more real for GLBT people, the radicals are experimenting on such things as group marriages and sex with strangers. Initially they seemed like people from another planet to

me since they have very different concerns than the rest of us, but then I look around and see that many young people are going out there having one night stands and being 'serial monogamists' (which is NOT really in any way similar to monogamy, trust me), I see that radical ideas have taken hold yet again. Though I do see hope that liberals are gaining on radicals in the GLBT community, with more opting for the gay marriage movement and less opting for the sex=gratification life, with effects overflowing back into the straight community too. -Yet another one is the myth that, since our bodies are nothing to be ashamed of, we should not be ashmed of exposing it. Radicals vehemently denied that nudity is dangerous for women and sin-provoking for men, contrary to any common sense at all. Looks like this one

has caught on with our society too. Even sensible 'liberal feminism' has given way to the mysterious 'sex-positive feminism' over the years, sadly. My summary is that, conservatives want an unfair, unjust and oppressive society, liberals want a fair and inclusive society for all, and radicals want to throw away the kind of society we have today, and have already quite successfully medelled with many parts of it, unfortunately. Thus the liberal cause actually has two kinds of opponents, and so do the other two camps. It should be a political triangle, not a politcal spectrum. Chapter 2. Imagining the New World: Liberal, and with a place for traditionalists in it Defending My Right to Promote my own Culture Whilst I believe that everyone should have the right to

live their own lives, I do believe that everybody should have the right to promote their own culture and lifestyle choices too. For example, I am against substance abuse myself. In my own standards, any recreational drug use should be avoided. For myself, getting drunk even once should be avoided. I am also not in favour of dressing in revealing ways, practicing serial monogamy, or having sex before you are ready to have a permanent family. Whilst I won't force these beliefs on anyone else, I do believe I have the right to promote my own standards to other people and encourage them to adopt these standards without forcing them to. Since I believe these standards are good ones to have, it is only natural that I promote them to other people, just like how some people champion the diet that got them thin or the philosophy that worked for them.

That should be simple, right? However, I have managed to step on some toes just by advocating that. I think this is unhealthy. If we are to have a pluralistic, tolerant society, we should be prepared to listen to all kinds of opinions and advice, including those that some of us don't like. The Sport of Multiculturalism In a multicultural society we prize tolerance very highly, and for obvious reasons. But sometimes, to highlight our differences can be just as fruitful, as long as we do it in a benign way. We understand ourselves and our identity more when we highlight our differences. For example, I understand my own beliefs more in the light of seeing others who have other beliefs and therefore lead very different lifestyles. I wouldn't want to live that lifestyle or believe those things myself, but nonetheless it shows that we are all

free to pursue our lives according to what we believe in. That is, as long as we do it in a benign way. Never should we discriminate against other people, exclude other people or put them down just because of who they are, where they come from, or what they believe in. Feminism. Is it failing? On a website that featured my talk about fifth wave feminism, somebody replied that "feminism is outdated and will have come to an end long before the fifth wave" because "it is no longer relevant beyond academic debate." Which is, although a position that many of us disagree with, is undeniably a popular one out there. Therefore, we must engage with it, and show people why it is wrong. The most basic reason why it is wrong is because there

is no equality, still. Many may point to the fact that women still earn less than men, but I have to say that there are many more areas where gender equality is much more lacking. For example, masculine women, and especially, feminine men, are still discriminated against, quite heavily in some circles. Most people may not care about that because most people are not masculine women and feminine men. But that doesn't mean that it is not discrimination. Most people are not gay and lesbian either, but most people in the Western world of my generation are decent enough to support equal rights for gay and lesbian people. Therefore, the discrimination of those who don't fit gender stereotypes is a cause just as important and noble to address, and one that feminism set out to cure from the start but is still to make enough headway in. Therefore, I believe

this is what will drive the next big wave of feminism and keep it alive until its vision succeeds. Another Conservatism-Caused Blindspot I recently came across this quote from an old article. "I have always frankly admitted that abortion is murder... On the other hand, I support the death penalty for atrocious crimes (such as rape-murder or the murder of children). I have never understood the standard Democratic combo of support for abortion and yet opposition to the death penalty." That quote was from a firm supporter of abortion rights, by the way. I may not share her views. but the last bit, that opposing capital punishment whilst supporting abortion rights is not all that ethical. Nor is the standard 'Republican combo' of supporting capital punishment and opposing abortion rights logical for that matter. Both of them don't support the sanctity of life. That

means, both major parties do not support the sanctity of life, and by deduction, most of the American public don't support the sanctity of life. Why? I guess people are are too tied to the conservative vs opposite-of-conservative war (a meaningless war) to notice anyway. I suggest a New Right - the Freedom of Culture Stemming from my support for multiculturalism, I hereby suggest a new human right - the freedom of culture. This right is in concept similar to the freedom of religion we are familiar with, except it extends beyond nominal religious belief into lifestyle and more everyday issues. I believe this is important for a few reasons: firstly, there can't be true multiculturalism and equality if the mainstream demands conformity of all and goes out of its way to make sure the nonconforming are

disadvantaged in life. Secondly, there is no clear line where religious belief and moral values end and lifestyle choices begin, and the two are often intertwined with each other. Therefore, to fulfill freedom of religion in the broadest possible way, we need to have a right to freedom of culture too. Lastly, and most importantly, just like none of us are divine enough to force our religion on others, none of us are really good enough to force our culture on others. Having a right to freedom of culture recognises this, and recognises that we are all equal, and nobody is perfect. A debate on Capital Punishment (NB: This post contains controversial discussions that may offend some. If you are narrow minded, please do not continue reading) Difficulty in executing a prisoner in Ohio via lethal injection has resulted in a one-week reprieve. This in

turn has re-ignited the capital punishment debate in many parts of the world (especially on the internet). So here is my take. Capital punishment is not logical. Death is part of the normal human experience, it is not a punishment. Moreover, giving any mere mortal the right to kill another is against the natural order of things. Some people have advocated that life imprisonment is 'not enough'. Well, I think we should address this matter. Firstly, to make sure horrible offenders are never released back out, I think that we should have 'life without parole' enshrined in law, without an option for it to be overturned or pardoned in any way by any administrative power (including the president) except in the event of wrongful justice. That way many people will feel much safer. Also, the other argument is that capital punishment has

been shown to be not of more deterrent effect than life imprisonment - in fact, areas with capital punishment have a higher crime rate. I happen to believe that all punishments should be rated on their deterrence effect - after all that is how the law protects our society. Justification for the minimum of freedom Some people just want to outlaw everything in life that they don't like. Some are more moderate, and just want to outlaw things that seem offensive to a group of people. Things from alternative cultural practices to different beliefs, however, get occasionally targeted as things to outlaw too. Don't you wish that everything in your life would conform to your specifications? If I got my way, for example, prohibition would become the law of the land, divorce would be completely unheard of, all music

videos that are sexual would be banned, and all religions that antagonise other religions would be abolished. If that was the law of the land however, I believe many of you would just have to rise up and rebel. The truth is that, we live in a land where we must tolerate what each other does. I believe that a life without alcohol at all would be good for all, but I recognise that drinking in moderation does nobody harm indeed, and I am in no position to judge people for doing that. What I can do is, however, to promote a noalcohol lifestyle to more people, and let them take it up voluntarily. I also recognise that the way we currently do the 'war on drugs' is more harmful than good (just read all the evidence out there if you don't believe me), and must be changed, in particular we should not persecute individuals for their personal drug use habits.

This is regardless of my otherwise antagonistic attitude towards mind altering drugs - we just have to do the thing that provides the best outcome for everyone. Nor are we more than mere mortals indeed. How can we know what we want for the rest of the world is always right? I have, for example, refused to support polyamourists because I don't think it is a good way to live especially around children, but I have also strongly advocated against their persecution unlike most of mainstream society. We can say we think they are in the wrong, but we cannot say that we definitely know that they are in the wrong - in what position are we to say this? Therefore, as supported by multiple examples over controversial issues in real life, I believe that letting people have their own freedom to live as they wish

without persecution (unless they are doing another person harm), even if they use that freedom to do something that we really cannot agree on, is a basic value that we must promote and preserve. Abolish Capital Punishment Now A Texas death row inmate has broadcasted her message over London, hoping for widespread support for a reprieve. She claims that her trial was unfair and there were a lot of inconsistencies in it. Still, they decided to sentence her to death. If it is a wrongful death sentence, it surely isn't the first one from Texas. The main reason why capital punishment has become impractical is that we cannot ever have enough proof to be sure enough to execute the punishment. And our morals teach us that we cannot 'just do it anyway'. Wouldn't the simpler solution be to abolish capital punishment for most, if not all, crimes?

Rules and Liberty I recently read in a book about America that 1) Living in America means having quite a lot of freedoms 2) Living in America means playing by the rules I think that applies to most societies as well. Sometimes we need to play by the rules so that we have our freedom. The important thing is that those rules don't actually lead to a loss of freedom in the end. And the other important thing is that - we should not have 'unwritten rules' - I hate them outright. The key to living in a society with freedom and using freedom to foster creativity and vibrance is that, whenever there is no rule disallowing a certain behaviour, it should be allowed. Healthier Partying Venues? Lindsay Lohan has sparked controversy after taking her 16 year old sister to a party venue that she frequented.

Obviously, a teenager does not belong in an alcoholic venue. But then, denying entry to them is unfair either. Time for more alcohol-free fun places to hang out and party at, I say. Putting his Money where his Mouth is Daniel Radcliffe has reportedly donated a generous amount of money to gay youth support service The Trevor Project. Radcliffe has always voiced his support for gay rights and disdain for homophobic people. Now he is putting his money where his mouth is. Good on you, Daniel! Daniel Radcliffe, Good Ally Harry Potter a.k.a. Daniel Radcliffe has said that he welcomes rumours about him being gay, even though he is not. He says he is totally cool with gay rumours, he probably got them because he grew up with and was influenced by gay people. Earlier on he also said he had

contacts within the crossdresser community, and found those people cool too. If everybody thought like that, then gay=normal already. Well done for showing the way! Butterface? Does that matter? Kelly Osbourne has called Lady Gaga a 'butterface', and said that she has everything except the face. I personally don't find Gaga attractive either, I must say, but then, this comment is inappropriate and impolite. Lady Gaga is known for her music, not her looks, I believe. Luckily, meaningless loudmouths like Osbourne are becoming more of the thing of the past now, as we move towards a more polite and meaningful society in general. There is a reason why she has never been as popular as the likes of Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus. Chapter 3. Where The Self Made Star Movement Fits into All This

The Pressure to be Fake is Wrong Actress Olivia Wilde told the media recently that she was advised to lie about her marital status so that she can look desirable to young male fans. She refused of course. There is just too much pressure to be fake out there. A real star should never be fake, because only by being yourself and representing yourself to the world are you doing yourself, and those similar to yourself, justice. The Difficulty for Self Made Stars in the Current System Kim Petras, 16 year old pop star from Germany, has put out a new single called Die For You and a new music video to go along with it. Kim is a real self made star. You may remember her as the 'youngest transsexual in the world' one or two years back, but she has always strived to be known for her

music, not her gender problems. And she has made a big effort at it too - this is already her second album, quite an achievement from a 16 year old. And no, there is no big company out there to back her - it is all pretty indie at this stage. Reception of this video and single, however, has been quite poor. Many have criticised the below industry standard of the video and the recording. Which has made me think - has the industry made it impossible for the self made star to get anywhere, no matter how talented they may be? If that's the case, then it is up to us to change things. I believe that Kim is no less talented than the other starlets out there. What she lacks is a big company's backing. And if you would rate her any less because of this, then you are agreeing to the tyranny of the multibillion giants that want to decide the fate of

everyone. Shame on you! Chapter 4. Inclusive Spirituality The Lesson of America's Founding Fathers: Freedom is Religious We all know that America's Founding Fathers were religious people. However, we can see that the constitution they set up clearly mandates that the government shall not make any law regarding religion. Thus, a team of religious people were keen to make sure the country they were founding would not have a government that was tied to religion. Across the Atlantic in France, ever since the revolution they have maintained a fiercely secular state, even though the French themselves are well known as pious Catholics. Their logic is lost in today's world, it seems. It seems that religious people, of all religions and denominations,

are now called upon to make sure that their version of theology and doctrine is the one that is reflected in law. Thus those advocating a fiercely secular government are seen as having a lack of religiosity. But really? How many versions of religions and doctrines are there in this society? And yes, you are sure that the one you hold is right. But so did everyone in the past think so. What makes you, another mere mortal, more capable of understanding the truth than another? Claiming so is only hubris, and it is only appropriate to humbly accept that each of us can only do our best when on this Earth in understanding the truth, walking the path of the truth, and adhering to the morals that we believe in. Therefore, requiring that your version of the truth be legislated as law even at the opposition of many other groups who believe otherwise is only hubris

and, trust me, you will get something really, really wrong in the process, and you will be the one who will bear the responsibility of this wrongdoing. Can you, a mere mortal, bear this responsibility? Government getting its hand off religion is the best thing it can do to respect religion, and to reflect the humility of us mere mortals that should be expected of us. Therefore, government should not bend to ANY religious doctrine, be it the majority's or minority's view. Rather, it should do its best in making us live peacefully together, and leave matters of personal conscience at that. Therefore, I cannot morally support opposing legal gay marriage (doing so is justified on a specific version of a specific theology, even if it is a popular one), and I cannot morally support persecuting people who provide

euthanasia in their best conscience and with full consent even if I may not believe in providing it (that is putting one's own moral position over another's). I do believe abortion is, at least usually, wrong, and I support a debate in this matter. However, (not just because I don't believe it's not time yet to make laws about abortion due to social circumstances), I cannot morally support or even put myself amongst those who have the same belief, but use their own specific version of a specific theology to justify it and demand to make it law. Instead if you are so passionate about this issue, why don't you think of ways we can reduce the incidence of abortion without invoking the law? I believe I am at least doing a part by supporting a better welfare and healthcare system for all. Going back to my previous point, no, I cannot stand to be amongst those

who are comfortable to force their own theology down other people's throats. Therefore, you won't see me joining any 'religion based anti-abortion rally' anytime soon, despite my position on the matter. 'Secularism' guarantees Freedom of Religion, at least when not taken to the extreme Religious people in America are often said to be scared of 'the march of secularism'. But what do they have to fear, I want to know? Secularism is something that I support personally. And I have religious belief myself too (I am a Buddhist). Secularism does not mean that you cannot practise your religion at all. It only means that the government should not make any law that particularly advantages or disadvantages certain religions. For example, in a secular society you can still broadcast your beliefs about abortion. A secular society does not preclude an attitude against abortion and a belief in life

beginning before birth. All you need to do is to persuade other parties to believe it. Of course, you cannot use your own religious doctrine to pursuade everybody. Just as in a democracy your interests cannot always prevail, in a secular society your religion's decisions cannot always prevail. But that applies to everybody's religion and denomination too - so it's only fair, isn't it? What a secular society guarantees is that one religious group cannot dominate over others. Which is a good thing because, although you may say your religion is the one, so do almost everyone on this planet. Who can we trust then? Or maybe, (as in the more likely case I think), we are all wrong indeed, as we as mere mortals are by definition not capable of completely understanding higher being(s) (as most cultures agree). Therefore, the best thing for a government to do is to

make no law that affects religion at all, as is the situation in most Western democracies. Otherwise it would be government as God, the institution we pay tax to commiting a form of blasphemy! On the same rule, whilst I do respect an ongoing debate about abortion, I cannot have the same respect for a debate about whether the government should legally recognise same-sex marriage. For same-sex marriage is already practised by a number of religious groups, and if the government refuses to recognise them based on the beliefs of other religious groups, that is making a law favouring one religious group over another, which is wrong. Religious belief is good, but not enough, to deter evil politics Many very religious people have pointed out that many of the world's worst dictators of the 20th century were

atheists or anti-religious. The most famous of them would be Hitler, I guess. He was so evil that no matter which part of the political spectrum you identify with, you are bound to have the uttermost disgust for his actions. That's why we should have leaders who answer to a higher being, some say. But while that may prevent the hubris and the immorality behind acts like Hitler's, it is not guaranteed to do so. For while there are people who believe that their religion prevents them from hating, discriminating and killing, there are others who believe that their religion allows them to discriminate against 'infidels' (or even attempt to wipe them out), call great teachers of other traditions 'agents of evil' (I shudder to hear such disrespect), and disrespect cultures that are not their own. If a powerful leader had any of these ideas in their

mind, how would you think they would operate in their policies? Therefore, it is not just the presence of a belief that one is answerable to a higher law that matters, the other qualities of that belief must also be examined. Why I am Opposed to Fundamentalism Religion has been used for divisive purposes. Like it or not, that is fact. But this need not be the case. It is often said that those who read religious texts with an understanding of what they really mean end up as better people whose faith make them treat everybody around them with loving compassion. On the other hand, those who read religious texts without thinking and take the literal meaning of everything end up creating the divisiveness. And I think this is not a wrong thing to say too. Think about this. Religious texts often carry the stories

and myths of many centuries ago. The best way to illustrate things to people is by telling it via stories they can understand. Therefore, most texts written in a particular era designed for readers of a particular era will have in them the context of that particular era. Therefore, most texts that originate from many centuries ago are full of racism, sexism, homophobia, even disability discrimination and exclusion of people from other religious backgrounds, sects and castes. The fact that this context exists does not mean that it is the lesson that scripture readers should take. The ongoing division has hurt many people. Most think of things like losses to the gay rights movement when they talk about the adverse effects of socalled fundamentalism. However, I am worried about fundamentalism for another, much more important

reason (even when compared to the welfare of gay families): that of exclusion and condemnation of people of other races and religious backgrounds. It is this that leads to interfaith violence (an oxymoron in itself, I believe), and it is this that leads to people shutting their ears from great teachers from other cultures and traditions. It is for this reason mainly, rather than contemporary fights like gay rights and the like, that I am opposed to religious fundamentalism of any kind. I may be an advocate of gay rights, but my opposition to fundamentalism does not have much to do with that, in fact, it predates my joining of that fight. Chapter 5. On Progressive Family Values Elton John's adoption blocked Elton John and his partner wish to adopt a baby from

Ukraine. However, that country's adoption law prohibits gay couples from adopting. It just serves to highlight how ridiculous and unfair heterosexist adoption and family laws are. What makes Elton John less fit than, say, Madonna to be an adoptive parent? Down With False Family Values! Mike Duvall, a Republican California Assemblyman, has resigned after being videotaped talking about having sex with two lobbyists. Before this, he was touted by conservatives as a pro-family values politician. False family values can never win. Homophobia and discrimination do not make family values. Being faithful and maintaining your integrity does, however. Too many conservatives seem to forget about this. 19 and counting A couple in America are having their 19th child. The

media all around the world has seized on this story and made it as sensational as possible. All kinds of stereotypes of big families have been alluded to. What's wrong with having a big family? These days, people are having too few kids, rather than too many. Let me advocate that everyone have at least three or four kids if they can. Taking Back Family Values We should take back the term 'family values'. Long abused by the far right, especially in the USA, 'family values' means things that work for the benefit of our families, and has nothing to do with religious fundamentalism or discrimination. Supporting same-sex marriage is consistent with family values. It supports a same sex couple to stay together for longer, and provides a good backdrop for them to raise any children they may have between them.

Removing discrimination itself is also consistent with family values - we all have family members who are 'different' and are at risk of society's discrimination - we can only help them, and help them all, by removing all forms of discrimination. Maintaining a living wage for everybody is also consistent with family values. People need to not have to work for 70 hours a week to provide for their family to be able to spend quality time with their family. Obviously, families function better when their financial stress is taken off them. Therefore, no matter how good the capitalist system may sound in terms of profits, I will remain a family-values bound social democrat. Support for Anti-Spanking Measures New Zealand successfully introduced antispanking laws in 2007 under the Labor Government of Helen Clarke.

However, soon after the conservatives came in last year, they started talking about a referrendum to repeal the law. This move has triggered the concern of politicians as far away as Sweden, who say that spanking is never acceptable. Coporal punishment is cruel on children, and there is no excuse for it. It is a stain on a nation which cares about genuine family values. Please support New Zealand in retaining its anti-spanking law, and encourage your own country or state to adopt one too. Spaking your child in public is offensive You all know that I am anti corporal punishment when it comes to children. However, I generally don't support prosecuting parents who spank their children, as this will only further harm family dynamics. I just want society to condemn the practice. However, I really can't stand people who spank their kids in public. It is an act of violence that I do not have

to see if I do not wish to. It offends my beliefs on the matter of raising kids. In the public you should not be able to do certain offensive things, like running around naked. Therefore, I happen to believe that if you spank your kids in public, you should be slapped with a fine. Anyone else with me here? American 'Family' Association Strikes Again The American 'Family' Association has struck again. It has hassled the American Auto Association because they have decided to start recognising LGBT families. Stand up for your true family values now, and protest against such a grotesquely discriminative organisation which dares to call itself a 'family' association! Also, you might want to send a message of support to the AAA lest they get too much pressure from the evil AFA.

President Clinton's Change on Same Sex Marriage We all know that Bill Clinton was opposed to same-sex marriage equality as US president. But now, he has openly said that his ideas on it are evolving, and he even went near to overturning his long held position in the media, potentially joining the long line of politicians who came before him, including Paul Martin, Al Gore and the rest. One of his main reasons for his change is that he has seen an increasing number of committed gay couples raising children, doing the responsible thing just like everyone else. This reminds me of something: marriage is about family to a certain extent, and societies also like to look after families, for one obvious reason - the family is the bedrock of society. If only more of the LGBT community were family orientated, LGBTs would win

(because society will look after them more), and society would win (more committed family units = more secure future for the whole society). It's a win-win situation really. Appendix: Answering the Media, 2009 Am I A New Cultural War Adversary? Some people out there, surprisingly in the liberal side of the media, have said that I am a new type of cultural war adversary. The first time I saw this was in mid 2009. I understand that somebody from a religious fundamentalist point of view may see me that way, but why a liberal? Because of my own mainly culture-based (rather than politics-based) movement to usher in a new era of more stable families, apparently. They did not like the fact that I wanted to support the idea of 'Till death do us part' becoming a literal contract for life once again. Look, everybody can believe in different things, and if

you are a liberal you should allow that. Obviously, I think they should see me as a fellow traveler in the movement to end racism and homophobia, rather than focus on my other beliefs which do not have anything to do with this agenda and belong in a totally different sphere than the political cultural war itself.