Ware Farms

Speaking truth to prejudice

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Cuba's Communism vs Haiti's Capitalism

From a letter to the Editor of The Dayton, TN Herald-News, published in March, 1994

To the Editor:

A pure communist system "From each according to his ability; to each according to his need," does not lead to economic prosperity. When no person receives higher wages than any other, there is no extra incentive to develop one's talents to the fullest. When wages paid are unrelated to value produced, there is no reason to become more productive. As productivity goes down, fewer goods and services are available for purchase. Rationing of basic goods becomes necessary. Finally, even the government lacks the resources to provide the "free" services it promised.

Cuba is an example. People have wages but there is less and less to buy. The result is an ever decreasing standard of living. Health care is free, but the government lacks the ability to provide many of the basic services that we take for granted.

An unbridled free market system is no better. Unrestrained by social values, businesses engage in cutthroat practices that concentrate more and more wealth in the hands of fewer people. With no government safety net, workers are forced to accept any wage offered in their desperate attempt to feed their families. As more and more workers end up with less money to spend, production is cut, which leads to ever increasing levels of unemployment.

Haiti is an example. Less than 2% of the people control almost all the wealth, 90% of the people live in shacks without electricity or running water. Unemployment is around 40%.

The premise in a recent letter that countries with the freest markets are the most prosperous is false. A completely free market leads to poverty for all but the few. The lack of a minimum wage in Haiti did not save these people their jobs, it ultimately led to their loss. And the idea that the moneyed few, those who exploited these people in the first place, would turn around and provide enough charity to help meet their needs is far fetched at best. In any case, these people don't want charity, they want jobs that pay decent wages.

In contrast, the world's most prosperous economies avoid these two extremes. They insure that business is conducted in a way that is consistent with community values. They provide a social safety net for their citizens. A lynch-pin of these systems is a minimum wage which provides the least skilled workers with an adequate living. Wages are higher for others based on skills and education. These good wages produce a large and prosperous middle class. The money they spend is good for business and leads to high levels of employment.

A main function of government then, is to maintain the optimum balance between free market forces which would hold down wages and leave more people in poverty, and social pressures which would compensate people in ways that are unrelated to productivity.

Stagnant middle class incomes tell us we are not at the optimum. Why?

Productivity is at an all time high, the best in the world, so we are not becoming more like Cuba. Instead, since the early eighties, we've had an ever widening gap in the incomes of the rich and the poor, driving more middle class people below the poverty level. We are becoming more like Haiti.

Now we have politicians promising more tax cuts for the rich and more cuts in social services to pay for them. They promise to finish what Reagan started. Good grief!

We need policies that increase the number of people in the middle class and their incomes, not the opposite. We've had about all the Reaganomics we can stand.

William J. Ware

Monday, March 28, 2005


1000 Legal Incidents of Marriage


Thanks for clarifying that the 1000 plus rights I referred to are the "legal incidents of marriage," the rights and privileges that our legislature has provided. I note that these are in association with a requisite set of obligations and requirements as well. The spouse who has the right to make medical decisions (unless Jeb Bush is your governor) also has the obligation to do so.

These legal rights can be subject to predetermined conditions. The benefits afforded the spouse of a veteran do not obtain if one's spouse never served in the military, for example.

The government has certain powers as determined by the consent of the governed through the ratification of our Constitution and it's amendments. All other civil rights and liberties are retained by the people. To deny an individual such rights requires that the government provide a "compelling state interest." We discourage thievery by putting those who steal things in jail, for example.

Those who would deny same sex couples the right to marry have provided no compelling (nor even rational) reason to do so. Courts in six of the nine Canadian Provinces and five of our own state courts have confirmed this. Quite the contrary. Those who promote the value of marriage should encourage as many couples as possible to enter such a commitment. The fact that many same sex couples are willing to marry affirms that marriage is valuable. This is good for marriage and ought to be supported. (From: Family Scholar's blog Comment #61)

Saturday, March 19, 2005


Genetic Factors in Sexual Orientation

Hereditary traits are those which are passed on through the transfer of genes from one generation to the next. We can test for these traits by examining the DNA to see if the genes that define these traits are present or not. Unlike hereditary genes and the traits they represent, the sets of genes that determine sexual orientation are present on everyone’s X chromosome. One’s sexual orientation then becomes a matter of which set(s) of genes are left on and which are turned off (methylated) as the result of the signaling that occurs based on the presence or absence of the Y chromosome.

Current methaylation studies provide us with only overall estimates, such as the percent of the genome which is mentylated during various early stages of embryonic development. Determining whether or not a specific gene set is methylated or not is well beyond our present capabilities.

The observation that sexual orientation is a nearly random occurrence and that there is almost no correlation between a person’s sexual orientation and that of his or her parents or siblings indicates that the genes that determine orientation are not inherited, but rather are universally present in each person’s genome.

The study of identical twins who share the same genome bears this out, their orientations may be different. Yet we also find that identical twins are significantly more likely to have the same orientation than random chance would allow. Identical twins occur when the zygote that results from a single fertilized egg splits in two and each develops into a separate person. If the zygote splits after the methylation has occurred which determines the orientation, then the twin’s orientation will be the same. If, instead, the zygote splits before the orientation is set, then they are as likely to be different as with any other sibling.

As to your first question, it refers to behaviors which we are all free to choose as we wish. Sexual orientation applies only to the gender of those who set off an sexual arousal response in the limbic system. Like the fight or flight reaction, this results in a faster heart rate, more fixed attention, increased blood flow to the musculature and other effects that result from an increase of norepinephrine in the system. In contrast, though, sexual arousal includes the release of phenylethylamine and oxytocin which creates an overall feeling of wellbeing and a wish to be closer to the source of this stimulation, rather than farther away.

The gender associated with the template in the limbic system which represents the primary and secondary sexual characteristics which trigger this response is determined by which set(s) of genes are left active on the X chromosome, and this response becomes manifest with the increased production of sex hormones after puberty. W (From: Family Scholar's blog Comment #29)


Problems with Same Sex Procreation

As in other areas where ethics and technology meet, I would be in favor of a ten year moratorium on human SSP which could be extended after review. If results can be produced that are equivalent in safety and efficacy as IVF, then I see no reason for it to be banned from that point on.

The problem with SSP is the same one involved with cloning. Gametes which come together during fertilization have nearly all their sets of genes turned on. This provides the embryo the potential to produce all the body's structures and functions. The exception to this is that one pattern of genes is turned off (methylated) in the chromosomes in the egg and a different pattern of genes is methylated in those found in the sperm. When these two gametes with complimentary patterns combine, the likelihood of having a healthy full term baby is increased.

With SSP, there is no gamete with the male methylation pattern. I believe this is the main source of the problems that have shown up. Normally, for example, the X chromosome from the egg remains dominant, while the X or Y chromosome provided by the sperm is eventually all but shut down. If the X chromosomes both come from an egg, both may stay on, resulting in the duplication of function, and all kinds of problems can ensue.

In cloning, a skin cell, for example, has to be demethylated to return it to a poly-potential state. This indiscriminate process would remove the male and female methylation patterns as well, resulting in the same sort of difficulties as with SSP described above. Producing an embryo with the same methylation patterns as occur in the natural fertilization process is way beyond our current understanding or abilities.


The sets of genes that later produce a template in the limbic system which would determine the gender of the person which produces an automatic sexual arousal response are on the X chromosome. The presence or absence of the Y chromosome from the male gamete usually leaves the set of genes which would result in a person being attracted to females turned on and the set which would result in a person being attracted to males turned off (Y present) or vice versa (Y absent.) This results in a heterosexual orientation. A small percentage of the time, this signaling goes awry, resulting in a person with a homosexual orientation. If both sets of genes for sexual attraction are left on, the person will have a bisexual orientation; if neither, an asexual orientation. On those rare occasions when the attracted to male sets of genes on both X chromosomes are left on, this female would be "doubly" attracted to males, a condition known as nymphomania. Since men have only one X chromosome, this doubling effect cannot occur, so there is no corresponding condition in males.


Since sexual orientation is determined by the gene selection which occurs after fertilization as described above, no amount of socialization can coax a person who is gay to be straight, and no amount of "indoctrination" (as some put it) can result in a straight person becoming gay.

How we treat people who have a different orientation than most of us is our choice. My moral system tells me to treat others with understanding and respect, and in all fairness and compassion, to allow lesbian and gay couples to have the same right to a civil marriage for all the same reasons that I have. (From: Family Scholar's blog Comment #24)


Procreation: a Prerequisite for Marriage?

John Howard,

My point was to avoid “sham marriage” by marrying a person with the same sexual orientation in the first place. Ex-governor McGreevey of New Jersey comes to mind as an example of what happens should we not. When sex is not based on love, but is just another chore, like cleaning the bathroom, then this is neither good for the couple nor the children.

Planning for children is the best way to guarantee that they will be well loved and cared for, no matter the orientation of the parents. Letting children “just happen” is better suited for rabbits and monkeys.

The right to have children is well established in case law. This applies, we find, to felons in prison and persons in mental institutions. But not to gay and lesbian couples, according to your philosophy? Your proposal would not meet constitutional muster.

Res Ipsa points out in comment 3, above, that homosexual couples have children for the same reasons that heterosexual couples do. Your “selfish” characterization applies to neither or both equally well. Your prejudice tells you that people who have a different sexual orientation are different in other ways as well when they are not.

You say that children should come first, but you don’t want the children of same sex couples to have the same protections under the marriage laws that the children of opposite sex couples have. Instead, you want to prevent same sex couples from having or adopting children so they can’t use the fact that they are parents to assert their right to be married. Yet the case law is clear here as well. The ability to procreate is not a prerequisite for marriage.

Denying marriage to people with a different sexual orientation makes no more sense that denying marriage to those with a different skin color, ethnicity, or any other irrelevant factors. This would go far in eliminating the “tragedies” you say you deplore. So explain to me again, how your opposition to same sex marriage is anything more that animosity towards lesbians and gays. W (From: Family Scholar's blog Comment #24)

Thursday, March 17, 2005


Marriage between Persons of Opposite Orientations

While there is a great deal of variability among individuals regarding their desire to have children, there is little difference between groups based on their sexual orientation. The concern, from a marriage counseling point of view, is that one should not let one's desire to have children (or for social reasons) enter into a heterosexual marriage if one does not have a heterosexual orientation.

One partner engages in an activity they don't like and would rather avoid. The other doesn't understand why there is nothing they can do to sexually satisfy their partner. With neither one satisfied, the chances of looking for satisfaction outside the relationship are great.

When the situation becomes untenable, which it almost always will, any children will be devastated, not just as any children are when their parents break up, but also in knowing their parents have been living a lie the whole time they were married. There is nothing a counselor can do to help in this situation where one partner enjoys sex while the other finds it disgusting.

To avoid this tragedy we must allow those who are not heterosexual to have the joy (and pain) of having and raising children by various other methods. To deny them the right to have or adopt children due to some irrationally based animosity towards those who have a different sexual orientation is simply unacceptable. (From: Family Scholar's blog Comment #13)

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Patriarchal Religions and Same Sex Marriage

Religions which are most distressed by the idea of Same Sex Marriage have a patriarchal structure, one that doesn't allow women in the top positions of the church hierarchy. Main stream Protestant churches, those who allow female pastors and bishops, are less likely to oppose SSM and may even encourage it.

Patriarchal religions also oppose abortion, the right of women to make reproductive choices. The Catholic Church also proscribes the use of artificial birth control, another way to burden women with more children, should the "natural" method fail, making them more dependant on their husbands. The Southern Baptist Convention is more direct in their position on the role of women in marriage, admonishing "wives to submit to their husbands." They surround this expression with qualifiers, we note, but that in no way diminishes the meaning of the words. Mainstream churches, in contrast, tend to see marriage as a partnership between equals that relies on cooperation rather than coercion, however that coercion is manifest and supported by religious doctrine.

SSM would be more like the mainstream church's view of marriage and the antithesis of the patriarchal view. Whether it's two men or two women, there is no obvious male in charge, submissive female in these situations. When patriarchal churches say that SSM would diminish "traditional" marriage and that children need both a father and a mother as role models, it's the patriarchal nature of these relationships that they are struggling to maintain. Equal rights for women and marriage rights for lesbians and gays, are both discordant with their patriarchal view of the world.

When I went to my granddaughter's Christening, and the pastor said the words and put the sign of the cross on her forehead, I felt twice blessed. The pastor was female and a testament that decades of effort to provide equal opportunities for women was worth it. My little granddaughter would have opportunities that my mother, a school teacher, could only have dreamt of.

Now it is time to provide gay and lesbian families, who are willing to assume the obligations, with the same rights and privileges that my wife, my children and I already enjoy.

As a Christian, I believe that God loves me as He loves all His children as evinced by the life and death of His Son. To show our love for God in return, we follow Christ's commandment to love God without reservation and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. That includes the gay and lesbian families who are your neighbors, as well as those who are mine.