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Thread: The NEVERENDING Political Discussion Thread

  1. #1801
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    And for those of us who don't belong to any organized religion? How do we get married? According to your suggestion, we couldn't go to the Justice of the Peace, correct?
    Yep. It would also exclude a ship's captain, mayor of a city, governor, or similar 'legal' authority.

    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    The other issue here is upholding the laws that govern rights associated with married couples. That is not something a church or synagogue, etc. can do. Visitation rights, issues of kids, estates, etc. What happens to people's assets when they die? What about divorce? All of these are governed by laws and that is why the government has a role in marriage. And there is a need to define the nature of partnerships to the extent that we need to distinguish a roommate (who should have no right to, say, a dead person's estate or their children) from a real, committed couple who has overtly agreed to such shared rights. Without some kind of legal identifier that two people have agreed to live as a unified household (and I don't care at all what their genders are), these rights to offspring and co-mingled assets become very murky indeed.
    Most of what you are concerned with can be addressed with a will, living will, or power of attorney. As for custody, those battles still occur for two parents who are not and never have been married. As for a legal identifier, I wonder if that is as important as a social identifier.

    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    As for the President's announcement about gay marriage, I guess I feel that its about time and the right position to have. Is the timing politically motivated? Of course. I wish this stance had been taken earlier, but at least there is a firm position and not a wishy washy, dodgy position that is a moving target. I'm actually surprised that he made this announcement at this point in time. There is a part of me that fears that social conservatives who may not be excited about Romney and would consider just sitting the election out rather than vote for him might be motivated to vote just to oppose this stance. Though times have changed and I don't think this is the wedge issue it once was. Heck, Dick Cheney has endorsed gay marriage - in 2009!
    His announcement has no impact on my choice not to vote for him. He could have been opposed to it, and I still would not have voted for him. I think your comment about social conservatives not voting for Romney is warranted. I am going to vote for him ONLY because I believe he will do a better job than President Obama.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  2. #1802
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Yep. It would also exclude a ship's captain, mayor of a city, governor, or similar 'legal' authority.



    Most of what you are concerned with can be addressed with a will, living will, or power of attorney. As for custody, those battles still occur for two parents who are not and never have been married. As for a legal identifier, I wonder if that is as important as a social identifier.



    His announcement has no impact on my choice not to vote for him. He could have been opposed to it, and I still would not have voted for him. I think your comment about social conservatives not voting for Romney is warranted. I am going to vote for him ONLY because I believe he will do a better job than President Obama.
    Extending your arguments, it would seem you would also be in favor of no governemnt-sanctioned "marital" or "civil union" status for any 2 individuals, regardless of sex? If all you need is a living will, will or power of attorney, why did you get married? Just curious.

    This is a human rights issue, not about social or legal identifiers. At least in my opinion.
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  3. #1803
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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  4. #1804
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    Extending your arguments, it would seem you would also be in favor of no governemnt-sanctioned "marital" or "civil union" status for any 2 individuals, regardless of sex? If all you need is a living will, will or power of attorney, why did you get married? Just curious.

    This is a human rights issue, not about social or legal identifiers. At least in my opinion.
    You are correct, I am opposed to any governmental classification, regulation, or licencing for the unity of ANY two people, regardless of gender.

    My wife and I got married in a Catholic Church which classifies marriage as a sacrament. However, do have all of the legal documents that I listed because if something happened to me, I want to know that my wishes are held up regardless of what someone else might say about it.

    Can you expand on why you think that a governmental recognized legal union of two people is a human rights issue?
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  5. #1805
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    You are correct, I am opposed to any governmental classification, regulation, or licencing for the unity of ANY two people, regardless of gender.

    My wife and I got married in a Catholic Church which classifies marriage as a sacrament. However, do have all of the legal documents that I listed because if something happened to me, I want to know that my wishes are held up regardless of what someone else might say about it.

    Can you expand on why you think that a governmental recognized legal union of two people is a human rights issue?
    I think it's a human rights issue in the context of how many states currently classify and define marriage. If a government is going to sanction marriage, then I believe any two consenting adults should have the right to get married.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    I agree with you that the government should stay our of "marriage", but I believe for purposes of health insurance and other certain rights granted only to spouses, the government does not to offer some form of civil union.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  6. #1806
    I can tell you from experience that when you aren't married, the legal paperwork to replicate even some of features of marriage is difficult, time consuming, expensive and confusing. It really doesn't work. Not to mention who carries around copies of all the relevant documents or can find them during an emergency. Its much easier when you can say yes to the question of if you are married.

  7. #1807
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Most of what you are concerned with can be addressed with a will, living will, or power of attorney. As for custody, those battles still occur for two parents who are not and never have been married. As for a legal identifier, I wonder if that is as important as a social identifier.
    For the record, no one is forcing anyone to get “married.” If people want to just cohabitate and draw up the kinds of documents you mentioned, they are perfectly welcome to do so under law. However, the legal aspect of “marriage” also allows people to forgo drawing up all those contracts and be governed by their state’s marriage law. Who is really getting hurt here? Is this really a problem? Or a solution (doing away with marriage) looking for one?

    While I agree that many aspects of visitation rights, debt obligations, children, assets, etc. can be handled by legal documents, isn’t part of the point of the government role in marriage to streamline the tedium and logistics of drawing up such agreements that, as GS notes, can be burdensome? If people can just say “we’re married, with all the legal implications” and leave it at that, it really makes a lot of potential future legal complications more manageable. Because, let’s face it, not every American has the wherewithal, money and knowledge about the law to adequately anticipate all of these potential eventualities. It becomes even more expensive on the back end if couples split or one dies. If you think this is complicated now, with lawyers arguing cases based on established marriage laws, I expect it would be even more so (and more expensive) if every party has their own, individually drawn up contracts to present. It would employ a lot of lawyers, though….

    Beyond that, it seems to me there are many unanticipated aspects to marital status that you might not be able to easily address in documents, including some that have to do with how OTHERS treat YOU (healthcare, for example, and what sorts of legal obligations they have to cover care for spouses). Marriage law also lays down clear rules about the interactions of the affinals (in-laws) and the rights they have to assets and children of a marriage in the event of a death.

    Personally, I think getting the government out of marriage would be a logistical nightmare.
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  8. #1808
    One huge advantage of marriage: Social security and pension benefits. Especially for planners, many of whom work for the public sector and get defined benefit pensions and do not qualify for social security.

  9. #1809
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    I think the most telling thing about Obama supporting gay marriage is that the GOP establishment is backing off it. I don't think that it is a political move really either. They are trying to say that they are doing it because they are focusing on the economy, but I really think it is because they realize that it is a loser in terms of strong issues.

    I think they fear the same backlash they saw with the female contraception issue early this year. Boehner jumped away from it as did his henchmen. There will be idiots on the right (and talking heads) who go after it... but the fact that the mainstream GOP (or at least those who aren't Jim Demint-Tea Party-Types) are essentially ignoring it.

    Interesting really. The fact that this is a non-story to the right in this heated environment, speaks a lot, I think....
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  10. #1810
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    The issue with gay marriage is that Republicans know it's a losing battle. Hardly anyone under the age of 30 has a problem with it and that's unlikely to change as they get older. Republicans could take a stand but they'd just be delaying the inevitable.

    Gay marriage is unique in that that degree of solidarity isn't present on almost any other social issues with Millennials.

  11. #1811
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink View post
    I think the most telling thing about Obama supporting gay marriage is that the GOP establishment is backing off it. I don't think that it is a political move really either. They are trying to say that they are doing it because they are focusing on the economy, but I really think it is because they realize that it is a loser in terms of strong issues.

    I think they fear the same backlash they saw with the female contraception issue early this year. Boehner jumped away from it as did his henchmen. There will be idiots on the right (and talking heads) who go after it... but the fact that the mainstream GOP (or at least those who aren't Jim Demint-Tea Party-Types) are essentially ignoring it.

    Interesting really. The fact that this is a non-story to the right in this heated environment, speaks a lot, I think....
    a non-story to the right? Hardly. He's been criticized for it heavily all over right wing media. The Romney camp was almost immediately out there saying he would not be running away from his opposition to gay marriage and his support for a federal ban on gay marriage. As far as being a political loser, I also disagree. While most young people support gay marriage, most of them also don't vote. North Carolina and many other swing states have passed bans- even California passed prop 8 recently by a pretty significant margin.
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  12. #1812
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    About a month ago my PC crashed. Wandered over to Best Buy to check out computers. Standing with me as we looked at the options.....Joe the Plumber. Politics were not discussed. Luckily.

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  13. #1813
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North View post
    About a month ago my PC crashed. Wandered over to Best Buy to check out computers. Standing with me as we looked at the options.....Joe the Plumber. Politics were not discussed. Luckily.

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  14. #1814
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    I think it's a human rights issue in the context of how many states currently classify and define marriage. If a government is going to sanction marriage, then I believe any two consenting adults should have the right to get married.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    I agree with you that the government should stay our of "marriage", but I believe for purposes of health insurance and other certain rights granted only to spouses, the government does not to offer some form of civil union.
    See, that is the root of the issue. You comment about how ‘states define marriage’. If they don’t defined it as it is not government regulated, then what is the issue? That is the only way for true equality isn’t it?

    Quote Originally posted by Gotta Speakup View post
    I can tell you from experience that when you aren't married, the legal paperwork to replicate even some of features of marriage is difficult, time consuming, expensive and confusing. It really doesn't work. Not to mention who carries around copies of all the relevant documents or can find them during an emergency. Its much easier when you can say yes to the question of if you are married.
    I can tell you from personal knowledge of three unmarried couples that I am friends with (one of which is a same sex couple who lives in a state where they cannot legally get married), it is not all that hard. Does it take time and effort, yes. But if the relationship is important enough, it will be worth it.

    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    For the record, no one is forcing anyone to get “married.” If people want to just cohabitate and draw up the kinds of documents you mentioned, they are perfectly welcome to do so under law. However, the legal aspect of “marriage” also allows people to forgo drawing up all those contracts and be governed by their state’s marriage law. Who is really getting hurt here? Is this really a problem? Or a solution (doing away with marriage) looking for one?

    While I agree that many aspects of visitation rights, debt obligations, children, assets, etc. can be handled by legal documents, isn’t part of the point of the government role in marriage to streamline the tedium and logistics of drawing up such agreements that, as GS notes, can be burdensome? If people can just say “we’re married, with all the legal implications” and leave it at that, it really makes a lot of potential future legal complications more manageable. Because, let’s face it, not every American has the wherewithal, money and knowledge about the law to adequately anticipate all of these potential eventualities. It becomes even more expensive on the back end if couples split or one dies. If you think this is complicated now, with lawyers arguing cases based on established marriage laws, I expect it would be even more so (and more expensive) if every party has their own, individually drawn up contracts to present. It would employ a lot of lawyers, though….

    Beyond that, it seems to me there are many unanticipated aspects to marital status that you might not be able to easily address in documents, including some that have to do with how OTHERS treat YOU (healthcare, for example, and what sorts of legal obligations they have to cover care for spouses). Marriage law also lays down clear rules about the interactions of the affinals (in-laws) and the rights they have to assets and children of a marriage in the event of a death.
    Personally, I think getting the government out of marriage would be a logistical nightmare.
    The idea that you need a lawyer to do up something like this is a joke. I personally spent less than $50 on mine and got them from USlegalforms.com and they work just as well. They are state specific, custom tailored to my needs, and include instructions on making sure they are registered and all the proper channels are followed. Everything you mentioned are in my legal documents. For example, in the event that my wife and I die, my sister and her husband take our kids. There is also very specific instructions regarding medical treatment, and allocation of assists upon my death.

    As for the ‘how others treat you’ you are correct. But it is because it is based on the system and idea of government sanctioned marriage. Without it, rules change.
    Quote Originally posted by Gotta Speakup View post
    One huge advantage of marriage: Social security and pension benefits. Especially for planners, many of whom work for the public sector and get defined benefit pensions and do not qualify for social security.
    Social Security is a government run program that my generation knows will not exist when we are able to draw from it. As for a pension, when I had one from my first job, I was not married and therefore I was able to list someone else as the receiver of my pension. All I needed was the basics, name, SS number, and birthdate. I know that there are different processes based on different programs.

    Let’s face it, everything mentioned above are based on regulations that were set forth by people… they can be changed and yes, there would be a bit of a learning curve. Do I think that this will occur in my life time? No I don’t. In fact, I fear that we will actually have increased governmental regulation on our personal lives regardless of who is our next president. I just believe that it would occur at a faster pace if President Obama is reelected.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  15. #1815
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Senator Rand Paul cut right to the chase when he said Obama's position on gay marriage "couldn't get any gayer".
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  16. #1816
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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  17. #1817
    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    See, that is the root of the issue. You comment about how ‘states define marriage’. If they don’t defined it as it is not government regulated, then what is the issue? That is the only way for true equality isn’t it?



    I can tell you from personal knowledge of three unmarried couples that I am friends with (one of which is a same sex couple who lives in a state where they cannot legally get married), it is not all that hard. Does it take time and effort, yes. But if the relationship is important enough, it will be worth it.



    The idea that you need a lawyer to do up something like this is a joke. I personally spent less than $50 on mine and got them from USlegalforms.com and they work just as well. They are state specific, custom tailored to my needs, and include instructions on making sure they are registered and all the proper channels are followed. Everything you mentioned are in my legal documents. For example, in the event that my wife and I die, my sister and her husband take our kids. There is also very specific instructions regarding medical treatment, and allocation of assists upon my death.

    As for the ‘how others treat you’ you are correct. But it is because it is based on the system and idea of government sanctioned marriage. Without it, rules change.


    Social Security is a government run program that my generation knows will not exist when we are able to draw from it. As for a pension, when I had one from my first job, I was not married and therefore I was able to list someone else as the receiver of my pension. All I needed was the basics, name, SS number, and birthdate. I know that there are different processes based on different programs.

    Let’s face it, everything mentioned above are based on regulations that were set forth by people… they can be changed and yes, there would be a bit of a learning curve. Do I think that this will occur in my life time? No I don’t. In fact, I fear that we will actually have increased governmental regulation on our personal lives regardless of who is our next president. I just believe that it would occur at a faster pace if President Obama is reelected.
    Of course these things are developed by people and can be changed. But you are very wrong that there are easy work arounds. They can be difficult (joint debt), time consuming (try having your taxes done in Massachusetts if you are a same sex married couple) or very dependent on having a benevolent employer (you can designate anyone to get your pension only if you have a liberal employer). There are a thousand privileges given to married couples in the US legal code. Try to think of them all and do a work around on them. It's not easy. And the more complicated life becomes, children, taking care of aging parents, etc., the more diffult it is.

  18. #1818
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gotta Speakup View post
    Of course these things are developed by people and can be changed. But you are very wrong that there are easy work arounds. They can be difficult (joint debt), time consuming (try having your taxes done in Massachusetts if you are a same sex married couple) or very dependent on having a benevolent employer (you can designate anyone to get your pension only if you have a liberal employer). There are a thousand privileges given to married couples in the US legal code. Try to think of them all and do a work around on them. It's not easy. And the more complicated life becomes, children, taking care of aging parents, etc., the more diffult it is.
    Agreed.

    Not to beat a married horse, but…

    My personal opinion on this topic is that I see no real problems with using the boiler plate legal language that accompanies getting married (as provided by one’s state). I see no reason to craft my own language if the end result is the same. These myriad legal issues, which we have identified in rather tedious detail, are the only way in which the government gets involved in marriage aside from the recent push to allow same sex couples to access the same legal status as hetero couples. Unless I am missing something.

    If getting government out of marriage really only amounts to pushing that burden of anticipating every potential legal complication that might arise in the context of your relationship onto the individuals involved, I don’t see why there is a problem. Are there freedoms being trampled on here (aside from current restrictions on same-sex couples)? In my mind, the advantages to state involvement are that they streamline these legal issues. Also, states have, over time, accrued a lot of experience about all the possible unanticipated issues that may arise. Its also rather affordable.

    When I go to buy a car or sign a mortgage agreement, while I might have the legal right to insist on and draw up my own contracts, most people adopt boiler plate language. Of course one should review it, but the idea of crafting your own contracts to cover such complex arrangements seems silly and complicated and unnecessary. And many people get married fairly young, when awareness of and experiences with legal issues/problems are not a big part of their lives. The potential for poorly managed arrangements based on outright ignorance about legal matters seems rather high to me.

    Again, no one is saying one can’t handle their “marriage” through their own contracts. Why not?! But why is it a problem for those that would rather not do all that to go with the state? What exactly is the perceived harm in having government involved in marriage? I’m not really clear on the argument here.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  19. #1819
    The state has certain interests in who gets married: the state outlaws polygamy, for example, and it sets age thresh-holds so that we don't see 12 YO brides/grooms/parents. These are legitimate interests for the state and compelling for the people to want the state to continue to have some say. To me these are where the Libertarian political philosophies just become so much hogwash.
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  20. #1820
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I have never lived in MA, but I am sure you are correct. Which is any I also think that the tax code needs to be burned and rewritten so that a 16 year old with basic math can understand it.

    You are all welcome to your own opinions, but I still personally believe that government regulated marriage is an infringement on my personal rights. I personally think that for the past 100 years, the government's control on peoples lives has gotten out of hand and is going to progressively get worse, regardless of who wins in November. I will continue to express my opinion but I am not going to waste the effort arguing with people about it.

    On a side note, a state rep switched parties before trying to get reelected. LINK
    I wonder how much it is going to matter? I don't know if he will vote any different just because the letter behind his name is different. Besides, in recent years, there is not much difference between the two parties. They both waste too much money and increase regulations.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  21. #1821
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    I have never lived in MA, but I am sure you are correct. Which is any I also think that the tax code needs to be burned and rewritten so that a 16 year old with basic math can understand it.

    You are all welcome to your own opinions, but I still personally believe that government regulated marriage is an infringement on my personal rights. I personally think that for the past 100 years, the government's control on peoples lives has gotten out of hand and is going to progressively get worse, regardless of who wins in November. I will continue to express my opinion but I am not going to waste the effort arguing with people about it.

    On a side note, a state rep switched parties before trying to get reelected. LINK
    I wonder how much it is going to matter? I don't know if he will vote any different just because the letter behind his name is different. Besides, in recent years, there is not much difference between the two parties. They both waste too much money and increase regulations.
    Did you sign a county marriage license? If you feel this strongly, why not divorce your wife in the legal sense, and then do all of your contracts, wills, power of attorney stuff?

    Just trying to play devils advocate.
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  22. #1822
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post


    Did you sign a county marriage license? If you feel this strongly, why not divorce your wife in the legal sense, and then do all of your contracts, wills, power of attorney stuff?

    Just trying to play devils advocate.
    The only reason that we have one is because our Church required it and they did not want to do anything in violation of local law. But you appear to miss the point all together. My opposition is not that we have one now, it is that the Government required us to get one in the first place. I actually tried for over a month to just do the Church thing but they refused.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  23. #1823
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    The only reason that we have one is because our Church required it and they did not want to do anything in violation of local law. But you appear to miss the point all together. My opposition is not that we have one now, it is that the Government required us to get one in the first place. I actually tried for over a month to just do the Church thing but they refused.
    Oh I get your point. Again, just playing devil's advocate.

    I'm all for government getting out of the way when it makes sense. We all want a more efficient governemnt. I think an argument can be made that government sanctioned marriage actually streamlines a multitude of issues (many of which have been already mentioned), in an extremely efficient manner, backed by hundreds of years of case law.

    As wahday asked, What is the harm of government sanctioned marriage? If the answer is simply "I want the government out of my life", well I can't debate you on that point. But if the answer is because it's easier, more efficient, and less costly to handle marriage through a contract, then that is a debate worth having.

    Marriage, any way you sanction, authorize or contract it, becomes a legal matter. If the government can provide the most cost efficient way of delivering this contract, while reducing potential litigation costs down the road, doesn't that make an argument for having the government involved.

    Although marriage is often construed as a "social" issue, akin to abortion, sex education, or with who, or how, I want to have sex, I see it as an legal and economic issue, which should be sanctioned by the government in some manner. Call it marriage, call it a civil union, I don't care.
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  24. #1824
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    If the government was out of it completely, what would happen to all of our stuff if we got divorced? Would I get it all because I am bigger and stronger than my wife and could take it by force? Who gets the children if we had any? If I die and didn't have a will would my wife have any way to claim my finances?

    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    . I personally think that for the past 100 years, the government's control on peoples lives has gotten out of hand and is going to progressively get worse, regardless of who wins in November. I will continue to express my opinion but I am not going to waste the effort arguing with people about it.

    .
    Totally. I wish I was a worker bee in the early 1900's. That would be sweeet!!!
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  25. #1825
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    Totally. I wish I was a worker bee in the early 1900's. That would be sweeet!!!
    I would have LOVED to have worked in the meat packing plants!!!!! Screw Teddy Roosevelt and his progressive ideas.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

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