Author: Mike Maples

Friday, June 26, 2015

Freedom For All

"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed. It is so ordered." -Justice Anthony Kennedy reading the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling, striking down state bans.

Congratulations to those that have been waiting for this decision, as well as to America itself, for finally climbing another rung on the ladder of human advancement.

All are welcome, and all are free.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Pork Chop Biscuit

Recently, Kelly Clarkson received a lot of heat about her pretty substantial weight gain in recent months. The result was a professional and positive response by Clarkson and a social media flood of reverse-fat shaming. I figured that as a person who has fallen into both the fit and fat columns (mostly the latter), I'd weigh in here.

If you're fat, you most likely know it. How you handle this knowledge is personal. For Kelly Clarkson, the response to critics of her larger size was great:
"I've just never cared what people think. It's more if I'm happy and I'm confident and feeling good. That's always been my thing. And more so now since having a family, I don't seek out any other acceptance." - Kelly Clarkson
Opinions on what obesity actually looks like varies wildly from person to person. Fortunately, the trend of rail-thin women as the model for attractiveness has fallen to the margins, replaced by the increasingly popular fascination with curvy women. However, I think that we are blurring the lines between confidence, as in one's self-confidence regardless of body image, and making excuses for unhealthy lifestyles, obesity, and more.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Punish the Weak

I saw an interesting statistic on Reddit today that showed just how many more prisons than colleges we have in the US. Here's my take in its most simplified form, along with other ways in which we beat down those who are already down.

The issue is that American bureaucrats, (most of) the super-wealthy, and fiscal conservatives aren't really fiscally conservative and unfortunately, they control everything. They sure as shit don't mind spending incredible amounts of money on prisons and punishment (or wars; they never seem to mind using our highly-expensive military to dispatch "freedom" all around the world), but don't want to spend money on rehabilitation or prevention in the form of higher education. This is what baffles me about both liberals and conservatives.