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The Freedom Platform I advocate a platform of freedom for all, both in terms of negative and positive freedom.

I also advocate for things like clean living but only in ways consistent with the platform. You see, either we have freedom for all, or we are all threatened by tyranny. Us vs Them, and Friendly Debate One of my missions in life is to build a community of libertarians on social issues, people who will stand up for each others' freedom, despite not agreeing with each other's views and lifestyles. This community will include both traditionalists and people who live alternative lifestyles. It has been said that everyone has an 'us' and a 'them' - for me, my 'us' would be the whole of this community (including people who live alternative lifestyles), and my 'them' would be anybody who is anti-libertarian (even if they live a similar lifestyle to me). And it is important to me that this greater 'us' win the cultural war against 'them'.

Within the 'us', obviously we can have friendly debate. It is like the way every mature nation should behave, that all its citizens fight for the welfare of their country, but in everyday life within the said country people are still divided into different lifestyle-based sub-cultural groups and have debates with one another. This does not decrease the solidarity of the people, it merely increases diversity. One good example is my ongoing debate with people who live alternative lifestyles. I generally don't agree with the supposed merits of those lifestyles, and I am also very keen to ensure that (within the framework of the greater 'us' of libertarianism) I will be able to keep my community of traditionalist culture alive and well (and hopefully pass it onto the next generation), but that doesn't make those who live alternative lifestyles the 'them'. A Community of Libertarians I believe me, my friends and generally people

in my cultural group will mature into a community of libertarians in the coming years. A community that will stand together for the freedom of all, and to support each others freedom in all social issues. We may have different lifestyles and different personal beliefs, but we believe freedom for all protects us all. We will stand together on issues such as freedom from discrimination for private lifestyle matters, freedom in relationships and how to define marriage, and freedom of religion in a broad sense. We will stand by our own practices and rules, and refuse to assimilate into the anti-freedom mainstream culture. In this community there will be those who adhere to traditionalist lifestyles like me (I would say that I am more traditional than 70% of GenY at least), and those who adhere to 'alternative' lifestyles that I personally won't touch (and won't allow my children to touch in the future) but fully support the freedom for people to follow if they so choose. To build my political movement for freedom I need all of you, and in return I will do my best to bring my fellow

traditionalists out of the folly of believing in excessive government power on social matters, and therefore help create a majority agreement on society leaving everybody alone to do their own thing. The Way of the Social Libertarian I am a proud libertarian on social issues, and have been since 2003. Why? I believe the concentration of power and its use against individuals will lead to discrimination (and hence social disadvantage) and loss of peace. It was the Bush years that taught me this lesson, but now that we are out of there I believe we should not forget it. I am indeed a traditionalist personally on most cultural and lifestyle issues. Last time I checked, I loved country music and ballads and hated most hip-hop and heavy rock. Last time I checked, I prayed every day, and believed it is hard to be moral without being religious. Last time I checked, I was pro-life, pro decency, abstinent on alcohol, anti sexualisation in the media, pro-family, anti divorce, and firmly so, and was promoting my agenda everywhere to

the upset of modern hippies. In short, everything that the right wing supports except racism and homophobia. However, I detest the right wing's method of using government power to regulate everything. I do believe there should be laws preventing unwanted exposure to offensive things in public (like people being naked in public), and protection of couples and children against unilateral divorce, but there's where it should end. Anti-abortion legislation has not achieved its desired result (just look at Georgia), and ancient institutions like marriage have been destroyed by political squabbles and the enactment of 'no fault divorce'. Our tax money has also unwillingly gone to pay for the Iraq war, church 'faith based' initiatives that promote homophobia, and the like. Therefore, I believe in a combination of advocating and voting for pro-freedom socially policies on the political level, and promoting traditional values and morals (less the bigotry)

in the social and cultural setting. Anyone with me here? The Real Fix for Reactionarism It seems that nowadays there are more and more reactionary people around. You really can't disagree that extreme ideologies like racism are on the rise. Having done a lot of study in why this is the case, I have come to the conclusion that the way the world has changed recently has been too much for many people. And indeed it has. First of all, 1980s style Thatcherist economics are stupid and a complete return to Keynesian economic policies are in order. The economic miracle of the 1950s West was based on Keynesianism when you are onto a good thing, you don't let it go easily. Sadly, the recession in the 1970s became an excuse to try out extremist, anti-human type policies. People have suffered too much because of the rise of the economic right, and I believe it is the responsibility of the major centre-left parties of the world to take us back onto the right track. A return to a pre80s

model of economics with no ifs, ands or buts is not radical, it is pro-human. Secondly, I believe the right to live a Traditionalist life has been eroded. Hence a lot of traditionalists have decided to wage war on all things progressive - which I believe is misguided, but sadly we must face the fact that this is happening. You see, traditionalists really don't appreciate the in-your-face sexualisation of society, the putting down of the clean living ideal, the blaring of vulgar hiphop music everywhere you go, and pressure applied against families that wish to be stable. Obviously the multi-million dollar media business has its role here, and they should be our main target, but what we can do is to reaffirm the right of everyone not to be offended by oversexualisation and the lack of respect in society. I am a social libertarian and I believe in freedom. Hence I support extending anti-discrimination to polyamorists (even if I don't agree with their lifestyle), and the decriminalisation of abortion by legislation (Roe

vs Wade needs to be overturned because it is improper in and of itself, but whilst I am prolife I do believe in the state not interfering in matters so personal) for example. But to help people like me make the case for these amendments in the wider world to make your life easier, you have to give us, the traditionalist majority, some respect too. Shoving it in our face doesn't help. A Solution for Unemployment As a result of the global financial crisis, many people around the world have been chronically unemployed and are soon going to run out of unemployment benefits. I believe society should make sure that everyone can live without too much difficulty - this is the mark of civilization as I believe it. Here's a solution I propose: anybody who is unemployed or severely underemployed can apply for government loans of up to $300 per week. This has to be paid back once they get employment, with the income threshold for repayment being $350 per week. This loan

should last for about 26 weeks - thus is for the short term unemployed only, and the government would quickly recover the spending. To address the problem of chronic unemployment, government should offer all chronically unemployed people a full time job at $7.50/hr. This would not really cost that much, $7.50 per hour being pretty low and although many of these people may not be highly skilled, the government can employ more of them, thus potentially cutting costs through employing less of the more expensive workers. This will also stimulate the private sector in the long run as government will be setting free more coveted talent for the private sector. What do you think? I would never support a burqa ban Ever since France's parliament passed a ban on the burqa, much of the Western World's racist residents seem to be pushing on their own governments to do the same. Let me say this: I would never, ever support a

burqa ban, for any reason. This is antifreedom, specifically anti freedom of religion, and very statist of them indeed. And you know I oppose anything that is anti-freedom, except when to protect the freedom of those who wish to live a happy family-based life. And this is not even a 'liberal' stance - it is just plain old conservative principle arguing against marching towards fascism. Separation of Church and State is Rule No 1 In my previous article, Love Religion But Defend Secularism, I outlined why I am an avid supporter of secularism. And I am not alone in being religious but supporting secularism take France for example, a nation of religious Catholics who strongly defend their secular state. Separation of church and state exists for a reason - otherwise each church will compete for a portion of the state and use it to disadvantage those who don't agree with it.

Religion will then resemble politics at its worst power struggles, majority oppressing the minority. The wall must be maintained at all cost - for the sake of religion. I suggest that those of us who seek to maintain this separation follow this rule: refuse to deal with arguments that stem from purely religious dogma without suitable reasoning. This is sufficient to provide enough space for arguments against abortion for example (everyone can see a fetus on ultrasound not just members of a particular religion) but still exclude ridiculous things like teaching somebody's version of creationism in schools. This does not mean that we are not engaging religious people. I am a religious person myself. The idea is that we are open to all reasonable people who wish to talk, just not people who will fight for their dogma by force rather than persuasion. The Real Liberal Media - Not Playing by Conservative Rules They say that the media out there is liberal. Let me correct this - Hollywood, not the media, is

liberal. I'll say that whilst Hollywood is liberal, Hollywood is not the real world either. In the real world, a lot of the media out there is conservative, or at least play by conservative rules. Just in the country I am living in I am seeing a lot of media spin against the centre-left PM we currently have. The same could be said of Obama in the US. It has actually become very dire: every liberal act is now being judged by conservative standards in the media. The real liberal media needs to stand up if we are to have any chance to progress and not be tied by chains to conservative rules. We need to make our own rules in terms of judging people and things. The Wrongs We Must Distance Ourselves From My last article was about the past wrongs of certain liberal-related movements, i.e. those which advocated loose sex morals, disregard for the family and the like. And I have, for the record, spoken out against those things probably even more than against, for example, the religious right. Why do I do that, and should you be doing that too?

I understand how indebted we are to the 1960s-70s generation which brought about a new wave of liberalism. However, their mistakes were plentiful, and to this day it is the negative things they ushered in that have been blamed upon the whole liberal movement, giving religious fundamentalists their credibility. It is not doing us any good. Therefore, we must denounce those past wrongs and distance ourselves from them completely. We must do so even more decisively than the right, for it is we who are going to be harmed the most if these ideas continue to haunt the world. Wake Up, It's not the 1960s Anymore NB. This is a Cultural Critique and not meant to be judgmental. In the 1960s and 70s there were weird movements like 'free love', hippies, radical feminists rejecting the family and hating men, and the like. And we all know what the results were. The AIDS crisis of the 80s killed many from a generation, and had the most severe impact

on vulnerable minorities like the LGBT and certain ethnic communities. The hippie communes have largely disappeared without making much impact. Radical feminism has been rejected by most of our generation, and seen as actually conservative in many circles too. The family still won out as the best institution to live your life in. I thought everybody had accepted that whilst it is good to have freedom and equality, the white picket fence lifestyle is the best without peer. I thought that we had agreed that whilst we continue to rally against discrimination, injustice, war and poverty, we aim to make the family lifestyle available to everyone. Which is why I am surprised that recently I have encountered a few people who think that this is still the 1960s and that people like me are still considered ancient. No, we have found out the best way to live. And it's you, not us, that are ancient in 2010. The Limitation of Freedom: There Are Only Two Choices

The recent Rand Paul scandal made me think. Society must accept either one of two moral choices: complete freedom to everyone, at a great cost, or freedom on all things except excluding freedom of personal judgments in market transactions, which comes at a much lower cost. Let me explain. Everything is based on the premise of freedom being only fair if there is freedom for all (or freedom for none, but I don't agree with this). Complete freedom means freedom to discriminate at will, for example. This is what Rand Paul asked for. However, government has a responsibility to protect all its citizens - it is just not moral to protect some but not others. Therefore, this must include protecting the freedom of all citizens to live as they believe. To do this, it must both allow and counteract private sector discrimination, by using budgetary means. This means that lots will be spent in the public sector to this goal, and taxation will rise quite significantly, meaning that whilst freedom of conscience lives, economic freedom is virtually gone.

The other alternative is what we currently have - we accept limiting the freedom of people to use irrelevant cultural judgments whilst they are performing otherwise purely economic functions because this is a way to still allow freedom of conscience in everybody's personal lives without the government having to fork out a lot more. The maximises freedom, both social and economic, whilst minimising the need for a huge government. Which one makes more sense? I guess most people can tell me. My Vision for an Ongoing Shared Culture Culture makes us strong. Culture made the civil rights movement strong in the 60s, and made the religious right strong in the 90s. If the Inclusive Family Values Movement is to be strong and strong for a long time, it is required that we have a strong shared culture. The shared culture should be inclusive to all lifestyles compatible with family values,

inclusiveness and equality. Therefore, it should emphasize family friendly content, equal rights for all minorities and a equal chance at a good life for everybody, but put behind us other issues of divisiveness. It will transcend both politics and entertainment. As with any culture, creativity and entertainment is a big part, but it will also necessarily be political as all successful movement cultures have been. It will start as a small subculture but will blossom into a force to be reckoned with. It will start with us building the basic building blocks now, and years down the generation it will be the background culture our children grow up in, as they grow up to be defenders of the cause through the culture. Everyone reading this now, I am inviting you to participate in building this culture. You can participate by putting your ideas out there, putting your talent to use in spreading the message (for example by music or art), or just

simply connecting with other believers out there and start building your own big family of faith in inclusive family values. Freedom Above All Else! The number one thing we should be aiming for and defending in a democracy is freedom. No freedom, no democracy, fascism etc. can rise up easily. Forget about electing an efficient government, if the choice is between freedom and lack thereof. This includes not just economic freedom but also the freedom to believe and live as you believe. We must stand up for that freedom, at any cost. There are many lifestyles out there that I don't agree with. But then, when it comes to governance, freedom comes first, and I stand by others' rights to live as they believe without difficulty. Judicial Activism is a Myth Let me say this out loud: judicial activism is a MYTH. In every nation with a bill of rights, judges are there to make sure that every piece of

legislation is consistent with the nation's commitments to those rights, regardless of when it is applied to the majority or minorities. That some laws will and have to be struck down are because they are inconsistent with the constitution. Great statesmen would never argue with the court in such cases. They simply amend the legislation to make sure that it is consistent with the constitution. Some conservatives think that judges are there to make things more libertine without the populace's consent. But what they are doing in every case is only to expand a right available already to the majority to minorities who have been excluded - rather than creating a new right altogether. This is making things more inclusive, not necessarily more libertine. (Consider that, for example, if nobody had a right to unilateral divorce as it probably should be in an ideal world, no court can change that. And there is nothing preventing parliament from adopting such a law either.) The Idea of Prioritised Moderate Progress

It has been argued that societies can only take that much change before its essential values are lost, and its fabric torn apart. Against this idea is the one that change just cannot come quickly enough for some groups, especially long suffering minorities. If there is only so much change that society can take, say, every year, then logic would suggest that we direct that change to make things better for those who need it the most, if we truly believe in the idea of social justice. Those who live alternative lifestyles purely because they think that's a better way - well they have their freedom to - but to change society to better suit them would have to be a lesser priority. In our world we are continuously trying to find better ways of doing things and accommodating more 'lifestyle choices' as long as their is a way of accommodating them that is not harmful. But this is nowhere as an important a process as social justice itself. Sadly, this is not what society always does. For example, the 'changes' of the last few decades have changed society a lot to suit those who

live 'alternative lifestyles' - e.g. the availability of no-fault divorce, the relaxing of attitudes towards public discussion of sex, but not changed society enough to bring social justice quickly enough to those who need it - racism is still alive and well, and equal marriage has still not been achieved (save for a small proportion of the world). In fact, the former changes may have encouraged resistance for the latter ones, since they have put too much unnecessary tension on society's fabric making it unable to accept any more change in the meanwhile (seen in, for example, the rise of the religious right). There may be a way to let people who live their life by serial marriages or those who want to marry three partners at once feel more included in society - indeed, if there is such a way that will not tear the fabric of society apart, we probably should just do it, as we should respect others' choices. However, this is nowhere as important as providing equal

marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples, eliminating racism, and making sure transgender people have an equal opportunity at life, for example, as discriminating against the former is merely discriminating against lifestyle choices, but discriminating against the latter is discriminating against people for who they are and against the principles of social justice. Spite the Religious Right! But also win the Moral Race and prove them Wrong! Admit it - spiting a group that you don't like can be fun. However, using it on people who are otherwise fine but you just don't like is plain mean. I believe we should preserve that activity for groups that really deserve it groups that deliberately put misery into others' lives. The so-called religious right, for example. Have you done your bit to spite the religious right today? I have. Indeed, my very lifestyle is somehow set up to spite the religious right. First, I am a believer and builder of interfaith coming together. To have the world wake up to the fact that all faiths are compatible and

their one isn't the one true way - trust me, they fear this above all else, above gay marriages and the lack of school prayer. However, just to spite them and shoot holes in their worldview isn't enough. To really win, we have to do that whilst also winning the race on morality. We have to be able to set a moral example that is better than theirs. For example, my ideal is that we will have healthy, stable families and a lack of inappropriate sex, drugs, alcohol and abortions in my community. Winning the race on morality, more than anything, is going to put the nail in the coffin for the religious right movement. Note that this is only my vision for my immediate community, other liberals should choose their own definition of morality, and I will not be judgmental of it. Support the Family that Supports Liberty United we stand, divided we fall. As in all things, we need to be united in supporting each others' decisions to live out our lifestyle beliefs

freely, or otherwise we will all lose that freedom. Keep in mind that there are a lot of forces out there that seek to take away that freedom. Wingnuts who think that every community in the world should be made in the image of their own, for example. Religious fundamentalists who believe they have the right to shove their beliefs down our throats. However, when we, the diverse people and communities who share one common thing - believe in freedom stand together, they have no way denting our freedom. We will not have to fear them. Therefore, in regards to those who choose to live apart from clean living, whilst I personally will not consider for myself their lifestyle choices and would do my best to prevent my children from straying towards their cultural turf, I will still stand shoulder to shoulder with them in the battle to ensure the lifestyle freedom of all of us, and hope that they, even though they are often wary of all clean living people, will accept my offer to stand together to fight the

real threat to both of us. The Problem with Populism Put it simply - populism hurts. Ouch! We thought it was ridiculous enough that back in the 70s and 80s some self styled experts suggested it was okay to smack children against then-new advice from child psychologists. Now former bullies are saying that anti-bullying measures are no good for a country's competitiveness. What a load of crap! That somebody can find an argument against something doesn't mean that argument is valid. For example, I have yet to see a valid argument against same sex marriage. I have never, ever seen one indeed, even though the anti-equality people have made so much noise already. However, such populist challenges, which are designed to attract those minds who haven't seen the whole picture yet, can succeed by preventing such minds from actually seeing the whole picture ever, thus impeding the spread of important ideas. For example, when I was young I was taught that anyone who did not subscribe to traditional marriage was not of

family values. Obviously this is very false. But it took me more than a decade to find and accept the truth. Many more would not even bother to travel that difficult intellectual path. A Real Step Forward For those of us who wish for equality and acceptance for all in this world, change can't come fast enough. However, we do have to struggle with a lot of forces trying to contain access to institutions, celebration and the like from being more inclusive. And it often feels like we are fighting on their turf, since what they defend is almost always the long-established, difficult to change status quo. Maybe a better approach is to start by establishing new institutions ourselves. They can have the same spirit and purpose as the traditional ones, but have inclusion, tolerance and respect built into every one of them. A society built on such institutions would therefore have inclusion, tolerance and respect built right into its foundations. Doing this may sound like a lot more

complicated than just to convert a few existing institutions. But then, that's the only way that works maybe, especially if you take the whole world into context. Take a look a marriage equality (may fav subject). When will it be a reality across the majority of the world (not just the Western world)? 2100? Even that looks optimistic. (Obviously the equal legal marriage certificate movement is still important and my number one cause, since the only way to guarantee true equality is to have equal treatment of all couples under one single system). One thing that may stop people from defining their lives by new institutions rather than the old ones may be the factor of family approval. However, when each generation so desperately needs approval from the one above it, old bigotry and biases get passed down generations too. Therefore, we must be brave. In fact, if we are brave enough, we may just educate the generations above about the

values we cherish. Competition Isn't Necessarily Good In this market driven world we are often told that competition is always good. Which is something that I find ridiculous. Consider this. Worker A would be able to do a certain job for $10 an hour. Now worker B comes along and offers $5 an hour. Worker A, though demanding a wage that is not unreasonable at all, will still be priced out of the market and left jobless. Now imagine a whole nation of people surviving on $5 an hour jobs, and all the social implications. Would you like to live in that nation? Now consider this. Worker B continues to work on their job for $5 an hour, but worker C comes along and offers to do the same job for the same price, and is willing to be humiliated and yelled upon every day for no good reason and will return this with only praise to their boss. Guess who gets the job then? As you can see, it is not only a matter of economics, it is also a

matter of equality in human dignity. A Theme for a New Movement of Progress The progress that each generation can offer is often based on the circumstances they started out in. For example, the 60s generation in the West started out being conscripted for war, and their reaction against it was an anti-war peace movement whose legacy still stays with us today. Our generation needs to find such a common theme, and produce a better world based on this. Today a few people from the generations above us seem to run the world just because they have amassed a fortune by one way or another during times of economic change. The news is published and popularised because of them. Anyone who wants to run for political office need their blessings. Any new-comer to the Hollywood circle needs their approval to be successful (as the mass-advertising needed to launch anybody up there requires a huge amount of money). The overall effect is that

they control the culture. The culture is thus, at least the majority of it, not created by our generation - even if they employ people from our generation to get the message out, it is their message, not our message, that is heard. There are lots of voices out there from our generations that speak about the real issues. However, they are not heard. That is because the system is shutting us out. If the Beatles lived today, they would not be heard either. To even get a mention in the media, you have to have connections to the industry already in place. If you're not born in the right place - there goes your chance to have a star in the walk of fame for life. The effect of all this is that we, as a generation, have little power to create change. The way we work and the way we play is discriminated against in society. The media constantly promotes negative stereotypes of us. And we can't do anything about it. The bottom line: We need to change the way

culture is controlled and produced. Promises vs Results: Some Pro-Life Talk It is well known that the biggest abortion decline in recent US history came about during the Clinton administration, with his policy that abortion should be safe, legal and rare. (The rate did continue to decline in the Bush years, but I just can't see that it was anything that Bush did - the Clinton policies were simply continuing to work). Now to the 'Big-C Conservatives' who proclaimed themselves to be pro-life. They, however, also want to make sure that poor people did not have the means to raise a child properly in today's world. Their strategy is simple: just outlaw abortion. They don't seem to need to take care of the backyard abortion problem either. Just look at Poland: abortion officially outlawed, but a high rate of backyard abortion persist. Looks like these 'conservatives' are playing out of sight, out of mind rather than

facing the reality. I am not somebody who believes in abortion-on-demand. However, I favour approaches that work. I can't endorse policy that comes from pure doctrine and doesn't stand up to common logic. Nor do I believe that we should take away people's right to do according to their conscience in controversial matters that don't have a clearly agreed on answer - for example, what to do in the case that the fetus is severely deformed, or what to do in the case that the mother's life is not threatened but her physical health (not emotional wellbeing) is irreversibly damaged by the pregnancy? For the USA, I have nothing against repealing Roe vs Wade - but nor am I particularly excited by this prospect. However, beyond all this, we need to do what is effective - a living income for all, adequate childcare support, and all that. And this is what 'Big-C Conservatism' cannot deliver. The New Principles of 'Small Government' Traditionally, small government has been achieved with cost cuts, cutting programs to provide welfare to the needy, and being against basic health insurance for all. Yet these

measures can be harmful to many people and hence the fabric of society itself. I suggest a few other ways that small government can be brought about without using the above means: -employing people who are already receiving welfare as much as possible. This will decrease the need for welfare naturally, without needing to resort to providing below-livable incomes for those on welfare. This is also good for private enterprise as it frees up more talent for the private sector to use. Since employing those on welfare is also usually cheaper, this can result in natural cost savings for the government. -taking care of everybody's life so that every citizen is on a living income. From there, we can free up the market as much as possible without needing to worry about tearing the fabric of society apart. Cutting tariffs to zero, ending all agricultural subsidies, and allowing the natural fading out of unsustainable industries in favour

of imports should all be relatively easy by then. -encourage multiculturalism, with the government a protector of peace and freedom amongst all members of society rather than an agent in culture itself. The government then will be by default powerless to control culture. A New Approach to Government Employment The government should try to employ every single unemployed person in the nation. This is what I believe. This is not as hard to do as it seems. In most advanced countries the government already has a welfare system to look after the unemployed. The government can pay the welfare benefits as a wage and ask for work for them in return. This is important because while it is natural for private employers to look for what they see most fit to help them profit, it is the government's role in society to correct market failure, including to help those that private enterprise do not find useful.

This will also free up more talent for the private sector to choose from, which is also good for free enterprise. Conservatism Failed Because It Is False Advertising Conservatism says it is for freedom. They love to say how conservatism is based on libertarianism. Well, that seems quite like my approach - all the things I support are geared towards providing more freedom for people. Except that we actually are not fellow travelers politically. Why? Because conservatism, at least in its early 21st century incarnation, does not stand for freedom - not anymore. Not when it stand against freedom of religion, as in the denial of churches and religious organisations to marry same-sex couples in accordance with their doctrine. I am told that I do share a few causes with the conservatives, time and time again. However, I would not trust that they would do anything for me in that area either. Why? Just look at their

track record. Conservatism fought drugs, and drugs won. Conservatism fought divorce, and divorce won. Conservatism fought abortion, and abortion won. Conservatism fought crime, and crime won. Conservatism fought casual sex, and casual sex won. Need I say more? Conservatism has never delivered a bit of what they promised. Except for one thing - religious dogma. Why? Because for them, all the above are nice to have, but religious dogma is their goal. Conservatism in the 21st century is about one thing - the triumph of dogmatic, literalist interpretation of religion. No wonder conservatism, which promised so many wonderful things indeed, still failed, as seen by its support rate in the young generation today. Religious Right is Pro-Life? It's all a Fake! Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott, a conservative religious politician, in 2004 said that the abortion numbers in the nation constituted a tragedy. Now he doesn't seem so keen to carry the pro-life banner anymore. Why?

He has a chance to become prime minister on Aug 21. The religious right is pro-life - only when it suits them. Their real agenda is to impose their dogma on the world. I can't seriously believe that, amongst religious right leaders, abortion is at the top of their list of things to deal with, when there is a 'cultural war' to fight on the rest of us, and governmental power to win for Their God. Nor does pro-life need to come into conflict with maintaining the legal status of abortion. You can simply join us and our growing ranks of the new pro-life, who will support every method to prevent abortions and curb abortion numbers, but nonetheless committed to leaving state power outside this domain. A New Social Circle Traditionally elite social circles, and who is allowed in, have been about your family background. Then later people who have earned an exceptionally high income were welcomed too. Social circles that were not so

elite also followed this pattern, as the cultural practice trickled down - the only difference was the less stringent requirement. But the fact remains this - that people are accepted into those circles based on luck rather than their own merit. Which means that, over time, except for pretentious gestures, so-called social circles become culturally non-distinguishable from each other or from the lowest denominator in popular culture, and for a good reason too. Now let us welcome a revolution in the so-called social circle. We are all doing our best to enjoy the great things in life, and that's what brings us together, right? Some of us may like travel, others like cuisine, but that's what brings us together, right? Therefore, I think we should start welcoming people into our social circles based upon the fact that they do bring something enriching to the table, so that all of us can continue to enjoy the better things in life.

Let's Talk About This... I have supported equal marriage ardently since 2003. In 2003, as now, I understood marriage to be a lifelong monogamous union of two people. Since I believe it is ideal for everyone to have a lifelong monogamous union, I decided it was an issue I had to morally take up. I have encouraged equal marriage both from equal rights and social integration points of view, believing that both are equally important. However, something disturbing has been happening more and more since then. More and more, I see some gay people (usually men) saying that they are different and they want different rules. They want to be able to not have the monogamy part of it. Recently I have even read an article about such ideas - they call them the 'San Francisco relationship' (please don't destroy the reputation of that place, people). This is something that I can never, ever support. And when I say never, I mean never. I can never morally bring myself to support something that will destroy the family. I believe

the majority of the equal marriage movement is with me, and I believe we should make this point clear. Couples may choose to register their relationship with the government. That doesn't come with any additional rights (and therefore does not carry any incentive except for commitment's sake). Of course the government shouldn't be the main body maintaining the permanence of a relationship. Liberals, Go Back to Our Roots I count myself as a liberal. What do I represent? Freedom and equal opportunity. What's our opposite? Conservatives. What do they represent? The holding onto age-old biases in the systems whatever the cost. We should be winning. However, if you look at the electoral map today, large chunks of religious and country people, as well as many ethnic minorities, are choosing the conservatives over us. Why? Many intellectuals are quite confounded by this, but let me tell

you straight - conservatives have been able to sell themselves as the moral choice and us as the immoral choice. Why would they be able to do that when, for example, they wage wars around the world for profit and do nothing about the suffering of the poor? Because we have been dropping the ball on other issues. In fact, the failure of liberals to claim the moral high ground have resulted in suspicion over other aspects of our program, such as gay rights. We should fix this problem now, and our supporters will come back to us. Who Will Stand Up for Families Now? Once upon a time, maybe social conservatives did stand for families. They did fight against unilateral divorce and the sexualisation of popular culture, for example. But nowadays social conservatives are no more than a hate group for the most part, aiming most of their effort at discrimination against LGBT people which seems to be the prime cause that differentiates them now that the pro-life cause

has crossed party lines. Nobody seems to care about the actual health of families out there anymore. And that makes me hate the fact that social conservatives still use 'family values' as their slogan when they don't care anymore. I believe it is time for us who actually care about the health and integrity of the family to take back the lead on talking about 'family values', and distance ourselves from the so-called social conservatives who seem to be preoccupied with other things now. The Alternative to Censorship I have previously said that I would prefer to live in a culture without obscenity flying around everywhere. I want the same for my family. I believe many want the same. Some have turned to arguing for more government censorship. But due to the current political climate, that could be quite a double-edged sword easily abused by the religious right. Therefore, I believe the better way is by buiding your own culture around entertainment and

inspiration you find suitable, and then sharing it with others who want to live the same way. The religious right have done so successfully for decades, so why shouldn't we? For example, recently a media source has named Lady Gaga as the most influential pop artist out there. Do we want to be influenced by her? Do we want our families to be influenced by her? Probably not. That's why people like me will make comments warning others about people like her, and recommending other more healthy alternatives instead. And it works! The Future. Our Futures. We do not know what the future holds. Yet we know one thing: our future generations will have to live in it. Today we still know what is family, what is tolerance and equality, and what is peace. Will future generations know such concepts? Only if we keep them alive. We can't always control the outside world, but we can always try to create a culture that embodies these concepts, shared amongst

families who believe in these concepts. Crackdown on Racism I believe it is time now for a society-wide crackdown on racism. It is time to make racism taboo now once and forever. For example, we can show our clear displeasure to racist individuals or refuse to participate in any activity that is racist in one way or another. Why I Dont Oppose the Inevitable Fall of Roe vs Wade The idea to 'save Roe' is ridiculous for 3 reasons: 1) Roe herself is also pro-life. 2) Roe had a severe case of sexual immorality, thus the case itself grew out immorality and cannot be defended. 3) Roe herself was probably psychologically not very sound, she first had sexual relationships with lots of men, and then became a pseudolesbian, and then announced that she was no longer one. 4) The case itself does not appear to have much legal ground anyway. Not that I am for sweeping laws regarding abortion. I am against broad outlawing of abortion, which I believe leads to

backyard abortions. However, if we are to have no laws against abortion, it should be achieved in another way. Concerns about So-Called Family Groups Opposing Health Care Reform Some so-called family groups in the USA have publicly opposed president Obama's Health Care Reforms, a move which I can see as nothing but pro-family. OK's draconian abortion law: Exceptions Have to be Made The state of Oklahoma has passed a new law requiring women who want to undergo an abortion to see the unborn baby on ultrasound before having the procedure. They have made no exception for rape victims. Whilst I have no problems with requiring that of social abortions, I think an exception has to be made for rape victims. They should not be required to go through all that. Maybe we should instead require the rapist to watch the ultrasound, to understand why he is no better

than a murderer in any way. Dana Delany's Rally for Child Hunger Ends Here Desperate Housewives actress Dana Delany recently held a rally for the charity Child Hunger Ends Here, which urges people to donate to local food banks as part of the strategy to end child hunger in the US. I believe that child hunger can only be eliminated by the welfare state, but this is a good effort anyway. I don't like desperate housewives because I believe some of the plots are offensive to family values. However, this is real family values stuff. When It's Family vs Fundamentalist Religion Religious fundamentalists often hide behind the veneer of family values. But what if valuing your family contradicts the dogma of fundamentalist religion? Their record on this is pretty clear. Unless you think that cutting off a gay family member is consistent with valuing your family, it is clear which way they choose

when it comes to family vs religion. I personally value family above all else, including ALL religious dogma (including those from the religion I am raised up in). Family is more important that religious dogma to me, and if the two conflicted with each other, it is always the latter that will give way. Can you make the same commitment? A Relationship of a Couple of Couples More and more places around the world are starting to respect the right of gay and lesbian couples to access artificial reproduction services. This is a very great thing, I believe, as the basic human right to found a family is more important than even equal marriage itself, I believe. However, the situation still leaves many people out. For example, gay dads generally only have surrogacy as a choice to parenthood, and this is not an option for most people (how many altruistic surrogates are there out there?). Similarly, many lesbian mothers are finding sperm donors harder to come by these days with anonymous sperm donation increasingly

restricted. Which leaves me to another idea - there could be a non-intimate couple relationship between a gay couple and a lesbian couple. Within that relationship, all four will have parenting rights. This way, potentially every same-sex couple can live a family life. (And it should only be available to same-sex couples, because in them it will not lead to polygamy.) Equality should mean more than just nominal equality. It should mean that we all get an equal opportunity to live the white picket fence lifestyle, which I believe to be the only ideal lifestyle. The Solution to End Unilateral Divorce One of the reason why no-fault divorce has been introduced in many countries is because couples have often resorted to perjury to prove fault to get the divorce. However, our current system of divorce-on-demand for all couples still need not be the solution. For example, the current unilateral divorce mechanism should be replaced with one of

bilateral consent. Unilateral divorces, however, should be granted when fault of one party is present. There would be no need for a couple to resort to perjury when both desire divorce then. I also happen to believe that adultery should lead to jail for committed couples. It is a crime against the trust of the partner and also the children if there are any. Why shouldn't it be punished fittingly? Hey, I am more conservative that you, Tony Abbott Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott has suggested banning welfare payments to those under 30, thereby forcing them to move interstate to find work in places where workers are needed. He has rightly been met with rounded criticism around the country for a policy that may break up families. And this is a man who prides himself on being a social conservative. What kind of conservative policy is this, breaking up families? Tony Abbott is indeed quite ignorant about welfare it seems.

Welfare is needed to maintain a family-based vision of society, which I fully support. The main reasons I support welfare are that it maintains families and hence the fabric of society, saves people from having to work under dangerous conditions (people will do anything if they are poor enough, thus starting a race to the bottom for working conditions that will affect all the working population and turn us all into a sweatshop nation), and allows the government to otherwise be economically classically-liberal by eliminating the need to bail out companies or subsidize economically nonviable industries because the unemployed as a result of economic changes will always have a safety net. This all makes very good conservative sense, I believe. Draw the Line Somewhere, and Win the Argument Against the Huckabees of this World On the subject of marriage equality, likely presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has had the following to say recently: "Even civil unions are not necessary. ...You dont go ahead and accommodate every behavioral pattern that is against the ideal.

That would be like saying, well, there are a lot of people who like to use drugs, so lets go ahead and accommodate those who want who use drugs. There are some people who believe in incest, so we should accommodate them. There are people who believe in polygamy, so we should accommodate them." I think the good gay and lesbian couples out there who only wish for one lifelong monogamous relationship are indeed quite sick and tired of people like Huckabee lumping them with those whose lifestyle choices are merely that and are done without thinking about its effect on society's fabric, thereby denying them of very basic human rights. Therefore, we need to draw a clear line between the two groups, so as to secure social justice to those who need it, and need it quickly. Here's what I propose: We should treat everyone equally regardless of conditions they have at birth. That is, because gay and lesbian people are born that way and they are not making a lifestyle choice to experiment on being different for difference's

sake, their right to live comfortably and happily should be positively accommodated. However, for those who wish to experiment on lifestyle choices not because of the way they are born but because of what they believe in - for example, polyamourists - we should tolerate and not discriminate against them, but without additional accommodation required for example in legalising 'group marriages' (otherwise we would be required to accommodate everything). Those who use dangerous mind altering drugs are yet another group - because their behaviour can be dangerous for other people too, there should be restrictions against it to protect the community. Knowing the reason why we generally support gay rights but not polygamy rights, why there is a real logic behind it all, prevents us from falling down the slippery slope of moral relativism that the Huckabees of the world are prone to. Karl Lagerfeld, Keep you Radical Crap to Yourself Please

Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld has said that he doesn't support equal marriage, because it's going to encourage gay couples live the ordinary lifestyle. But guess what? Many of us, straight or gay, support equal marriage precisely because it does just that! You know, gay or straight, most of us aren't interested in radical lifestyles that are devoid of family, tradition and modesty. I respect you and your radical minority's lifestyle, but you have got to respect how the majority wishes to live - and gay people are no exception. Dragging the gay community along with you in order to promote a radical lifestyle is abusing a human rights issue and it is not on. Facebook Divorces: New Challenges Posed by the New World It's sad but true: marriage counsellors are citing social networks as a reason for increasing separations and divorces. One of the reasons they say is because bored middle-aged people are reconnecting with their previous partners. Divorce law firms also said that

facebook has been cited in a proportion of their cases last year. The new world brings new possibilities. Whilst some of these are good, others are not quite so good. These not so good ones can include bitter challenges to otherwise happy families. In the face of these challenges, I believe we need to really look into strengthening the basis for relationships and families. The 'we can always divorce if we grow apart' attitude of the last 40 years is just not sustainable anymore. A new cultural paradigm needs to grow out of this crisis. Family Rights is Good Policy for All Let's talk about an important issue: supporting families' rights to keep themselves intact and away from those who may harm them even out of good intentions. The issue of legislating to prevent governments from abusing power and taking children away from families that they merely don't approve of

(rather than as a last resort to prevent physical harm) is often seen as a side issue. This However, it should be an issue everybody should be concerned about. Many otherwise idealistic progressives feel that there is nothing wrong with the current powers government have over families. However, in more conservative jurisdictions (where they don't live anyway) parenting rights have been taken away because of sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, for example. Therefore, there is a very progressive stake in protecting family rights as much as we can. Therefore, making the government give back parenting rights to families is something which everyone, no matter their political views, should embrace. You Are All Family to Me To all loyal readers of my material: Even though we may believe and live life very differently, you are all family to me.

Speaking Out Against False Religion An Australian woman has told her painful story of being forced to have two abortions by scientology. I am not going to comment on the scientology part. But whether we are pro-life or prochoice, surely we can come together to oppose religious institutions that force women to have abortions. On a related note, I believe that the outdated concept of being against having children 'out of wedlock' could be such an institution itself. Support the Family that Supports Liberty United we stand, divided we fall. As in all things, we need to be united in supporting each others' decisions to live out our lifestyle beliefs freely, or otherwise we will all lose that freedom. Keep in mind that there are a lot of forces out there that seek to take away that freedom. Wingnuts who think that every community in the world should be made in the image of their

own, for example. Religious fundamentalists who believe they have the right to shove their beliefs down our throats. However, when we, the diverse people and communities who share one common thing - believe in freedom stand together, they have no way denting our freedom. We will not have to fear them. Therefore, in regards to those who choose to live apart from clean living, whilst I personally will not consider for myself their lifestyle choices and would do my best to prevent my children from straying towards their cultural turf, I will still stand shoulder to shoulder with them in the battle to ensure the lifestyle freedom of all of us, and hope that they, even though they are often wary of all clean living people, will accept my offer to stand together to fight the real threat to both of us. The New Concept of Family I have always supported the idea that family should include not just people that are immediately biologically linked, but also people who choose to be linked for life, and their next generations to be linked too. This

practice actually goes back a long way in my culture, with Chinese men vowing to be brothers for life being a common practice in ancient China. We used to take this pretty seriously in ancient China. I believe it's time that we start to take this more seriously, and formally - especially in an age where we are so lacking in permanent connections with other people. This new concept of family can have other benefits too. For example, under current adoption practices, in many cultures adoptions can only take place if the relationship with the biological parents are severed. Therefore, you cannot become an extra mom/dad to a kid who already has two parents. However, a new, 'biological plus chosen' based family can cater for this variation. Parents Who Hurt their own Children I really have to talk about something really sad, yet we should really face and change. Some parents deliberately psychologically hurt

their own children as 'punishment' just to get their point across. That may involve giving them severe corporal punishment (anything that actually terrifies the child) or destroying their favourite toy. I believe that as a parent, you should never do that - that is akin to child abuse. We should classify that as child abuse - for the sake of the future of our world. Children who grow up from this sort of household grow up to not know what true love is and how the world can be based on love. They often become vindictive individuals even if they don't actually act vindictively to society they still harbour those feelings, and I believe that's why there are so many loveless people out there in the world. Whilst these people continue to control a significant proportion of the world, the problems of our world can never be fixed. If we want to change the world tomorrow, we need to change the parents out there today first. A Multicultural Worldview - How?

To have a multicultural perspective is to tolerate, stand your own ground whilst standing for peace between people of different cultures, and to find common ground to progress this way. This also means that whilst everybody should have a right to be facilitated to live their lives according to their beliefs, nobody is entitled to step on another party's rights. Here's an example. There are gay activists out there who believe that with gay marriages the definition of marriage should be relaxed to allow 'open relationships' where both parties can have outside sexual partners. Readers of my articles will have no doubt that I am totally opposed to such an approach. But then, although I should be able to express such a view, I also have to recognise that I really don't have a say in their lives, just like they don't have a say in mine. What we can do is to find common ground in our support for legalising same-sex marriages, and leave the specifics as to what that entails to the individual. Moreover,

I recognise that neither of us are the people who determine the future of the definition of marriage - that goes to the majority of married and to-be-married people out there, i.e. everyday heterosexual couples. And whilst I clearly don't like it, these people don't believe in lifelong commitment as they used to 50 years ago. I cannot really change them, but what I can do is to help create a new institution that insists on lifelong commitment that coexists with their model of marriage. And we can co-exist peacefully, as long as we are tolerant of each other. The Ideal Visions of Our Generation It was around 1999-2000 that our generation began to receive attention from the mainstream media. At that time they were hopeful that we were going to be a clean living generation, finally putting the drug, sex and rock and roll of past generations of youth behind us. We were seen as potentially the most family orientated generation for some time. Our generation was then described as

unusually optimistic, seeing that even 911 and economic downturns didn't affect our optimism for building a better world. It was also seen that globalisation and suspicion of hierarchy was firmly rooted in our upbringing. Unlike the youth who came before us, we were not cynical, and could not be made cynical either. By 2004 when the cultural wars reached a peak, another hopeful point about our generation emerged: that most of us, even the traditionalist ones (myself included), were inclined to support equal rights for minorities, and most of us voted against dogmatic fundamentalists in elections around the world. Very soon polls would confirm that the majority of us support things like gay marriage. Later on it would also be noticed that we were the most politically active youth since the youth of the 1960s. We combined our activism with our use of technology. The participation of our

generation in elections like the US 2008 election made this apparent for the world to see. Not everybody in my generation would embody the above characteristics. However, these are ideals that I am proud to aspire to, and I would be proud to show the world that these are the great values that many of today's young people stand for. Show the World there is No Need to Fear As we champion for equal rights for everybody in society regardless of age, race, gender (which incorporates gender identity and sexual orientation in my view), and cultural background, we often find that the biggest hurdle is the fear of some people who believe this will be the end of stable, healthy society as we know it, society as we have lived throughout history. Which is complete nonsense, most of us know. But still, we are having a hard time explaining this to those skeptics. However, there is a way we can prove it. We can create an even more

healthy society than the discriminatory version that dogmatic Big-C Conservatives offer as their alternative - we can beat them at their game, and still promote tolerance and equality. We can create a culture with even more stable family structures than what they can dream of (presently, those theocons are doing nothing about the divorce rate, the single most important factor in the current epidemic of family instability, nor are they doing anything about adultery). By creating a culture of transparency, we can create a culture where family members never have something to hide from one another, and where clean living is a real thing rather than a facade people put on and later found to be just that (Britney style). By making sure every child brought into this world as well as their parents will be adequately supported, we can drop the abortion rate to near zero and also reverse the birth rate decline. To do all of the above would be in no way contradictory to equal rights for all, an improvement of civil rights and a strong tradition of liberty, multiculturalism and

interfaith harmony, a job guarantee program and a health insurance program by the government. It will also show that you CAN create your own healthy culture of your vision WITHOUT forcing the rest of the world along, something dogmatic conservatives seem to forget all the time. (**NOTE: I am not saying such a culture should be compulsory - it is entirely voluntary. But still the attempt to build such a culture, which I am engaged in every day, will prove my point, even if it is not the mainstream culture of society.) The New Traditionalist Face for Marriage Equality Recently, many traditionalist countries like Portugal and parts of Mexico and Argentina are moving towards marriage equality. There are reports that even Nepal is considering it. Moreover, conservative public figures from high profile lawyers to John McCain's wife and daughter have shown support for the cause. I have considered marriage equality to be a traditionalist issue primarily for a long time. It has the effect of encouraging more gay and

lesbian people to live lifelong, committed lives. This in turn reduces the number of people who don't choose to live that way, putting up the pressure for heterosexual couples - i.e. the majority of society to live that way too. This will be the biggest impact marriage equality will have on society. Marriage equality is an idea that traditionalists should definitely embrace. The Problem and Solution to UK Tories' move to discourage cohabitation The UK Tories have attacked the UK government (Labour) for planning to grant legal rights to cohabiting couples, in a bid to promote commitment. I am a proponent of lifelong commitment. However, I see a problem with the stance as this also means that only government sanctioned relationships have legal rights. And we are all too aware of what that can lead to, in this era of gay marriage legal fights (especially since the UK does not recognise gay marriage).

I suggest an alternative: cohabiting couples are automatically given the rights of married couples. This is already the case in Australia for example. This will increase commitment because to get away from a relationship with financial entanglements encouraged by the legal system is almost as hard as getting a divorce. This will be good for family stability, even if it isn't called marriage. Freedom From Divorce as a Right What is marriage exactly? This is the question that people are arguing over right now. However, both sides seem to agree that it is a union for life. So do all cultures in history. Apparently they all value having a union between two people for life. Why do we need to have a union for life? It provides certainty and stability. It is good for the wellbeing of individuals. And many people, past and present, have relied upon the contract of marriage (or similar partnership) to get a guarantee that they will have a union for life with the person they believe to be right for

this union. The guarantee of society to help uphold that union for life traditionally came with that contract. This is a right that had existed for millennia across the world. And it is a right that across-the-board nofault divorce takes away. Now, no matter how committed a couple is over having a lifelong relationship, society will not guarantee to help them with it. It is a right that should exist, one that has been taken away, and I believe it is now long overdue to restore this right. When Jail is not Appropriate The parents of the 'balloon boy' hoax in the US have been sentenced to jail terms - of a month and less than that, respectively. Even though it is a short sentence, it is a double punishment for the kid. This is when jail is not appropriate. It is for the same reason that although I support anti-corporal punishment laws, I do not support having substantial punishments to go with them.

Counseling is enough here. Africa, an Important Stage Right Now In the fight against conservative fundamentalists, I have always focused my attention on what's happening in the USA since early this decade. However, as the conservative fundamentalists begin to show signs of losing and retreating in the USA, they are bringing their battle to a new battleground - Africa. Recently, the Ugandan parliament is considering tough laws against gay people, including possible use of capital punishment. And there is well documented research that anti-gay US conservative fundamentalists are behind this. Yes, the very same people who, in the West, claim that they are only against gay marriage and not gay people themselves. I think we should all raise awareness of this problem, by talking to our friends, family and colleagues about what's happening here. Palin was an 'I Don't Know' Parent In a recent interview, Sarah Palin told Barbara Walters that she did not know that her daughter was sexually active until she was

pregnant. That is why parents should develop close relationships with their children, who should be unafraid to reveal all to their parents without fear of punishment. This is the only way undesirable consequences can be stemmed before they happen. And while Palin has failed to do that, her story has served to teach parents out there a lesson. Uneasy Facts We Must Face So many people out there claim to be trying to protect the family, the basis unit of society itself, from forces that will destroy it. Which sounds like a noble cause. But then, who really has been trying to do this? Politicians have been known to start movements in the name of one thing whilst serving the purpose of another. In Western countries today, one of the biggest groups who claim to be protecting the family unit are those seeking to legislate against gay rights and gay marriage. However, their arguments make no sense at all. Gay and

lesbian people comprise of about 2% of society, and any policy to do with a minority this small will not have a noticeable effect in the composition or conventions of society. The only effect gay rights will have on society is to reaffirm its commitment to tolerance and equality for all. Furthermore, the current crisis of family breakdown began long before the gay rights debate, and so far, countries that have attained full gay equality in law have not seen an impact on the health of their families. This just shows that the health of families in society as a whole are mainly the product of the 98% heterosexual population, and to scapegoat gay and lesbian people is just plain wrong. Obviously, we need to target the solution at where the problem is. In this case, since the problem is not with gay rights, being opposed to gay rights will fix nothing for the health of families. I guess measures to save relationships from divorce (for example by increasing availability of family therapy), to make cheating on a spouse socially more unacceptable (through cultural campaigns),

combined with adequate social welfare, and legislation for reasonable working hours for all, will go a much longer way. These are simple answers that have always been there - just not easy ones. Why Traditionalists Should Support Multiculturalism Too Some traditionalists think that multiculturalism, especially if practised in their own country, would destroy their way of life. Nothing can be more true. Multiculturalism does mean that society has to be tolerant towards people of different races, cultural backgrounds and lifestyle practices including your own. The opposite of multiculturalism is that dreaded A-word: assimilationism - the dangerous concept that everybody should behave and act like the rest of society. I happen to be a what I call an 'extendable traditionalist'*. Here are my some of my beliefs (which I live my life by but won't force onto anybody): I don't believe my relationship with

my life partner should carry with it the option of divorce (as most of my readers probably know), I don't believe that sex outside of that relationship at any time is an option for me at all, I don't believe that I should consume mind-altering substances for recreation or 'experimentation', I don't believe in dressing 'sexily'. That would definitely put me outside the mainstream of my generation. If a policy of assimilation were forced against me - does it mean that I need to give up these beliefs and the lifestyles associated with it? (*An 'extendable traditionalist' is somebody who supports traditions in general, for example with family values favouring stable relationships and families, but who believes that traditional institutions should be extended to accommodate for objectives such as equality between the sexes and equality for LGBTIs). No couple should require a license to get married A Justice of the Peace from Louisiana recently refused to grant a marriage license to an

interracial couple, saying that he does not believe the races should mix in this way. Besides the fact that he is clearly racist, it just goes to show how the government, run by ordinary people very capable of discrimination and evil, should not regulate marriages (as in Marriage 1.0). No couple should require a license to get married. A Union Between Couples A lot of attention has been given to gay marriage, and I for one am a strong supporter. However, I think I should suggest another kind of 'heterosexual marriage' here - between a gay couple and a lesbian couple. Obviously a 'marriage' between a monogamous, committed gay couple and a monogamous, committed lesbian couple is not going to be of a sexual relationship. But then, it can still be important to fulfill other functions, especially in pertaining to function of the family. For example, a gay man may decide to have biological children with a lesbian woman, and by being able to formalise a permanent bond

between the couple the child's biological parents are effectively kept together forever, even though they are not in a sexual relationship. This, of course, is in the child's interests. Furthermore, there is the often raised 'lack of an opposite sex role model' in samesex parent families - the 'marriage' between a gay couple and a lesbian couple can obviously solve this problem. Therefore, I suggest and support societies to recognise a new form of permanent union, as solemn as the union between two adults for life - that of a gay couple and a lesbian couple. Building the Liberal Country Music Base I think everyone out there agrees that country music, particularly the American form, needs more support from the liberals lest conservatives become able to politically control what singers can publicly say. Take the Dixie Chicks for example, first grade fine musicians, now ruined because the conservative country stations won't play them anymore. Or even take Carrie Underwood, who was criticized for supporting an

anti-hunting group, as if being kind to animals were wrong (we all know her track record of supporting kindness to animals - I certainly can' t match that myself personally). And in case you think country music isn't worth your time - just try to listen to some. It's much more worth listening to than the likes of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, I believe. Support and Criticism Go Together Okay, I do support gay marriage. I fully support equal rights for gay people. However, here is one fact that I cannot gloss over at all - that 'straight acting', masculine gay men are often unkind to feminine gay men, more so than many straight people. On the other side, there are feminists who say they are for gender liberation, yet whilst they do a lot for masculine women's freedom, they don't care about feminine men much either. The gay community is known in the mainstream for acceptance of freedom of gender

behaviour and identification, yet the behaviour of many people I have seen from that community do not hold up to this ideal at all. These people's views on gender behaviour are clearly more similar to those of the ex-gay community they so loathe than to what I'd expect from them. It is an issue we really need to address. The Scholarship from Ellen Degeneres Ellen has given a scholarship to a lesbian student from Mississippi who had been in legal tension with her school over matters relating to her sexuality. The student had been brave in standing up for herself and made the issue known around the world. Good on Ellen for supporting brave people who stand up for their own community! Putting Perspective on Historical Homophobia Historically, most cultures were homophobic. This is a fact that conservatives have used to justify their continued homophobia. However, let's put this fact in the light of the context. Until recent decades, homosexuality was assumed to be not a natural sexual orientation. As a persecuted minorities, gays often practiced their homosexuality under cover of a heterosexual marriage, further

reinforcing this idea. Homosexuality was thus seen as having additional, extramarital relationships that come from lustful desires that are unnatural. Obviously, most people do view having additional, extramarital relationships that come from lustful desires that are unnatural to be immoral. Now, we have found that homosexuality is a natural sexual orientation, and one can be a committed lifelong monogamous person even if one is homosexual. Therefore, the idea that homosexuality is having additional, extramarital relationships that come from lustful desires that are unnatural is discredited. Thus homophobia itself should have been discredited too. Multiculturalism: Towards a New Traditionalism, MultiTraditionalism Once, when all the cultures were separate, what was 'traditionalism' was very clear in each culture. However, with the advent of globalisation and the natural result of global multiculturalism, what is traditional to one

person now may not be traditional to another. When followers of one tradition decide that they should triumph over and destroy another tradition, tragedy results. This has led some to abandon tradition altogether. However, lets step back and think. The reason why we cherish tradition is because it is tried and true and brings good things into this world. Therefore, we should be able to cherish all the traditions of everyone. In fact, we may be able to learn a bit more about the ideal way this way. Therefore, I suggest that those traiditionalists amongst us who respect and are willing to learn from other traditions to enrich our own (as opposed to close-minded reactionary Big-C Conservatives) distinguish ourselves and speak up on the issue. I suggest we call ourselves multitraditionalists. The Cultural Conflict: The Most Important Issue is,

What Do You Believe In There are various cultural conflicts going on around the world as we speak. Most prominently, however, are the ones between those who believe in literal, conservative interpretations of religious dogma and ageold cultural prejudices on one side, and those who believe in exercising the liberating spirit of religious-inspired peace, harmony and interfaith goodwill and age-old traditions finding an even better expression in the newly globalised and increasingly tolerant world. It all boils down to what you believe in. There is not much middle ground really between these two beliefs, and neither can really co-exist with each other (unfortunately, tolerance can co-exist with many different cultural beliefs, but not intolerance itself). Therefore, if you believe in exercising the liberating spirit of religious-inspired peace, harmony and interfaith goodwill, then you must speak up, and help us win this very essential fight. It is essential that we win the cultural conflict once

and for all (rather than settling from something less), as such will set the standard for future generations who will hopefully live free from bigotry, wars, and interreligious conflict. The 2000s, as viewed from my seat The 2000s opened with an optimistic hope for a better future for the whole world. In 2000, new ideas were being dreamt up almost every week, and new demands from every group from environmentalists to underpaid workers to equal rights activists fuelled these changes. Globalisation had also definitely changed our society - racism and homophobia were definitely less rampant than just 2 or 3 years ago. Computers reached 1Ghz for the first time. The first part of 2001 continued the original theme of 2000. We thought we were heading towards a golden age. However, the aftermath of the dot-com crash dampened this dream for a while. Things turned for worse as 9/11 happened. By this point, a compassion revolution was starting to happen as a reaction to all the hurt and negativity. Ideas like the

welfare state gained ground once more. The end of 2001 also opened our eyes to the threat called religious fundamentalism, a threat we would take very seriously indeed for the rest of the decade and beyond. Optimism gradually returned in 2002. It was also the year that top-40 became popular again and popular culture entered our lives like never before. This brought with it a new sense of liberation, as we were exposed to people who live under a very different moral standard to our own. Our stance on this would be addressed throughout the rest of the decade, and become yet another theme of the decade. Meanwhile, the internet makes it easier for everyone to become a self-made star, and though very few people actually started doing that in 2002, I was already planning to do that. In early 2003 the twin shocks of the Iraq war and SARS happened, and the mood turned serious again. As parallels between Iraq and Vietnam were being drawn, it also became popular to

get involved in political debates and action. My alliance with the progressive side of politics began in the common cause of peace. Blogs reached the tipping point and became mainstream - I started mine in Aug 2003 and so did broadband internet. The cultural liberation continued, gay marriage gained widespread support for example. By late 2003 everyone had become much more liberated and that created many more questions for life itself. 2004 saw the beginning of a new clean living movement, which was in part in reaction to what was perceived as the danger of more people falling into intoxication with the acceleration of liberation. Right from its inception it coexisted with the ideals of cultural liberation and liberalism, which were also hot ideas that had dominated the cultural and poltical landscape shortly before. However, this coexistence was not without conflict and contradiction, not at least until around 2008. During the hotly contested and controversial US elections, everyone started to blog about their

political and cultural viewpoints, and thus popular culture and politics came together like no other time since the 1960s. The clash between fundamentalism and liberal forms of religion worldwide also made us explore the nature of religion itself and how it should apply to society, of both our own religions and other important religions throughout the world. It started a movement of interfaith goodwill. 2005 and the first half of 2006 were a continuation of the themes of 2003 and 2004 mainly. It was a relatively stable period marked by dominance of the clean living movement and active participation in culture and politics. By 2006 the internet had evolved further and the social networking revolution happened. This made it even easier for the self made star to express their ideas to the world, and I experienced this positive change first hand. Together with this explosion of virtual social networking came an explosion of first hand accounts of how different people found their own happy life. Many people woke up to the realisation that their life could be less miserable, if they tried to turn it around, but they also

found that to turn their life around may be quite hard indeed, creating waves of both hope and uncertainty. This uncertainty was compounded by things such as the perceived loss of job security for many as governments around the world from France to Australia took workers' rights away. In 2007 the arguments between different sides of the various debates reached great heights, and became much more intense than ever before. What they said of the 60s were true of 2007: the times they were changing. However, the clean living ethos remained intact, unlike in the 60s. In late 2007, Australia decisively removed from power the government that took workers' rights away. This sparked a wave of great optimism, as we headed into 2008, which became the peak change moment of the decade. That hit

song from the Hairspray movie spent 6 weeks at number 1 on the charts. Culture, politics, and the internet all came together to create a new atmosphere of change. New ideas were generated all the time, and the liberation and clean living forces finally came together as one, resolving all their differences. The mantra of 'progressive family values' dominated debate everywhere. Great leaders who created change in their countries in the last century were extensively studied and widely admired. Acitivity on the internet reached another great height, and a third wave of technology revolution focusing around web design formed. By 2009 things had settled down a bit, although the previous cultural activities and currents continued. There was a process of 'normalisation' - with ongoing acitivities from the newly formed cultural and lifestyle landscape continuing as just a normal fact of life. Calling and Supporting Bilingualists Everywhere! I am a proud bilingualist myself - I have been

using both English and Chinese from a young age. I believe that their is a certain advantage about being brought up with a bilingual language framework, and thinking in two (or more) languages adds a certain special dimension to your thoughts. Therefore, I encourage people worldwide to learn a second language and become bilingualists - or better still - for parents to educate their children in two languages from a young age. Straight Couple Fighting for Civil Partnership Whilst gay couples fighting for equal marriage right have dominated the headlines for the past few years, in the UK a straight couple is fighting for a civil partnership - which has been denied to them because they are not gay. Which is equally ridiculous. Equality is the answer to everything. Innocent Words In this world that emphasizes political correctness both left and right, people who speak their heart are often attacked and hurt, even if they speak with good intentions. I wish

this can end. You cannot expect everyone who speaks out about something to have to know all the implications of what they are about to say before they open their mouths, after all. This, is The Challenge Our Generation Must Face Many people say climatic change is the #1 issue of our time. I really have to disagree not because climate change is not important, but because there is one bigger, overarching issue that is the #1 issue of our time. The conservative fundamentalists. Over the past 50 or so years, it has been shown that racism, homophobia, sexism, and the like has no good purpose in society nor any rational basis, and only serves to create hurt and conflict. Those of us who have listened to this message, the majority of us, eventually backed away from those ideas and came to abhor them. But a small but significant minority of people continued to hold steadfastly to those beliefs. Mostly they have used their religion to

justify it, be it whatever religion. Over time they became what they self-describe as the conservative religious, but what I would call the conservative fundamentalists. Now we are on the verge of erasing the errors of racism, homophobia, sexism and the like, and the conservative fundamentalists really do not like the idea. Hence they have pushed back at our society using tactics from terrorism to opposing equal rights on legislation to prevent us from reaching our goal, once and for all. Sometimes they have succeeded, for example in the Middle East by recruiting youth who are anti-West and turning them into terrorists, or people in the West who harbour a grudge against the mainstream and turning them into foot-soldiers to oppose every bit of equality we need to legislate for. The real challenge is to put these people back in their place. The way to this is to make sure that the public knows what the real choice is between enlightened values that lead to

justice and peace for all, or archaic values that take us back to the dark old ages of warfare, abuse and unhealthy society. Justice and Equality are not Against Traditions Some people out there are blaming us, people who want to seek freedom and equality for everyone, as 'trying to destroy traditions'. I really cannot agree. What we are doing does nothing to destroy tradition as such. For example, legislating for gay marriage does next to nothing to affect the structure of families in society as a whole, because it affects only about 2% of the population anyway. Striving for progress on these things is an occupation built solely on the belief that society should be just and equal. And if you want to bring back great traditions, or more accurately promote traditional ideals that have never been quite well achieved yet (which is a more realistic thing to say of most traditional ideals, from the healthy, stable

family, to benevolent religion), then you could only do that on a society that is just and equal. Think again. If a society and the relationships in it were just and equal, I guess there is a greater opportunity for stability in families. There would be no need for mind-altering drugs. People would place greater hope in everyday life and maintaining the wellbeing of their communities then seeking satisfaction through sexual stimulation. Creating a Culture of Rapidly Developing New Ideas A culture where ideas are rapidly developed and applied and assessed is one which progress is fast. It is my wish that the internet will create an opportunity for this kind of culture to flourish. To enable this, people should be unafraid to experiment with ideas in their life that could potentially make life better. Then we should

share these experiences with others on the web. Hopefully, enough self made stars who do these will get a voice in the internet media. Websites that feature self made stars (rather than just Hollywood-promoted celebs) could perhaps facilitate this. This way, ideas could get developed, tested and disseminated quickly. Of course, with the right model must come the right use. My hope is that this model will be used to advance the causes of peace, compassion, tolerance and love. The Real Revolution for Freedom For many people in the West, the revolution began some time in the 1960s. Not the industrial revolution, democracy revolution, capitalist or socialist revolution, but the big one - the revolution for freedom. The radical idea that people should be able to determine their destiny, that historically held social roles and prejudices were restricting and should be done away with, finally started to become reality. But we need to work hard still, for this revolution

still has a long way to go, at least in some areas. Too many people have dwelled on the by-products of the revolution - that nobody can judge your sex life or personal substance use, to remember that the revolution has an important purpose - freedom for each individual ultimately to do the right thing by themselves. What we need to work on is to work hard to knock down traditional cultural stereotypes. Enforced gender roles, racism and homophobia, that all has to go. True freedom is achieved when you are really free to be anything you want to be (as long as you are not harming anybody) - and that condition can only arrive when enforced roles, views and disadvantages are removed. It really is a radical idea - just like democracy once was. Make Youself a Leader and be on the Right Side of History Recently, a Russian lesbian couple got married in Toronto, Canada and will take their marriage back to Russia demanding official recognition in their own country in the courts. Some Canadians have said that this confirms Canada as a leader in LGBT rights.

In this respect, Canada is on the right side of history, and most of the governments in the world is still on the wrong side of it. It came at a political price for the Martin government, but this will go down in history. They have a reason to be proud. Also recently an Autralian Pentacostal Christian Pastor announced his intention to welcome gay people into his church. It took a lot of courage I am sure, but he too will be on the right side of history. Do you want to be on the right side of history? Just support policies and ideas that are inclusive and make people's lives better, irrespective of religious or cultural dogma, and you will certainly be on the right side of history, as history so far has revealed on every issue. For the record: I did not support gay marriage before 2003. I did not support decriminalising euthanasia before 2008. I did not support decriminalising personal drug use until this year. I was on the wrong side of history, even though most of my (then) conservative

'neighbourhood' thought I was doing the right thing. Now I know I am on the right side of history, at least on these issues, even though I am probably seen as having loss my sanity amongst the same conservative people. Drop into Alternative Society whilst living in the Mainstream Society Back in the 1960s and 70s they said that you had to drop out of mainstream society in order to live an 'alternative' life. But in a true multiculturalist society based on freedom and mutual respect, we do not really have to do that. We should be able to live together in the so-called mainstream whilst each pursuing very different lives living out each of our different ideals. We should be able to choose to maintain networks with those who share a similar culture and lifestyle to ourselves whilst not entirely isolating ourselves. Therefore, 'to drop out' is not the best solution anymore. It is so old fashioned now that we

may start to consider it the 'old-fashioned' way. The new way is to be different, visibly different, and unafraid to live your life differently. Broadband a Legal Right Finland has recently become the second country in the world to make access to broadband internet a legal right. I applaud them for doing this, as the internet has done a lot to level the playing field for people across the world and opened up doors to many more opportunities for many individuals. The internet, I believe, is the second most effective way to combat disadvantage, after social welfare programs. Let's Optimistically Work for the Future So many people in the world seem to be pessimistic of our future. Normally, I wouldn't care if you are optimistic or pessimistic. But the pessimism of some people are worrying me a bit - since the pessimism seems to have lead to inaction in many cases. Movements to make this world a better place only work when they are supported by optimism and hope. It is hard to break through

the barriers and implement the necessary changes to bring about a better future for all. Therefore, we need every bit of determination if we need to succeed. Pessimism certainly doesn't help there. The Truth About Overpopulation and Immigration Restrictions A lot of people in the developed nations are worried about overpopulation. Some are so worried that they have decided not to have their own biological children. I totally respect their opinions, but here's my own humble opinion: I am not worried about overpopulation of humans on the planet. There is no need, at the present moment, to worry about overpopulation. No other species of animals worry about overpopulation. And they seem to do just fine. It is not in our nature to worry about overpopulation. Nor do I believe that we have an immediate responsibility to worry about that - it's not like global warming where we have done something against nature. There is, however, an actual overpopulation problem in some parts of the world. Am I not concerned about that? No, I just propose

another way to look at it and effectively deal with it. I believe that biologically there is nothing wrong with the number of humans currently on Earth. (That we may have a too-large carbon footprint is another issue though - I don't like the idea that everyone 'has' to own a car for example). The main reason why we have a problem of overpopulation socially is because of immigration borders. Some countries suffer from overpopulation and some countries suffer from underpopulation. I do, therefore, believe that immigration restrictions around the world should be reduced, and especially the countries that suffer from underpopulation should open their borders to a higher number of immigrants. Since I live in an underpopulated country at the moment, I support high levels of immigration into the country I live in. In short, xenophobia, not overpopulation, is creating havoc around the world. The Responsibility to Reproduce

**This is controversial, but important. Only read on if you have an open mind** I am going to advocate that, every couple who has the ability to reproduce, should have the responsibility to have kids, and they should have at least three kids if they can. I know this is going to step on a lot of toes, but let me say this because I have important reasons for wanting this to happen. Some politicians have advocated the same idea ('one for mom, one for dad, and one for the country') but they are saying this just out of fear of population decline. My reasons for advocating people to have kids is much more than that. In recent decades, with the availability of birth control, some populations have decided not to reproduce, or not to reproduce as much. If equal numbers of every social, cultural and temperamental group are represented in this voluntary giving up of reproduction, then there would be nothing to worry about. Sadly, for whatever reason, this has centered around people of particular convictions and ideology,

and likely to be centered around people of particular natural predispositions too. They may think they are smart to 'not let their world be hindered by children' (this is how they put it even though I fundamentally disagree), but in reality they give up their chance to contribute to the gene pool. But if somebody is voluntarily giving up their chance to contribute to the gene pool, then why am I still saying that they should have a responsibility to reproduce? It is simply that, your genes are not just yours, but what nature and past generations have given you. Therefore, you should do your best to ensure they survive. Because if certain genes that could otherwise do very well dwindle to a small number because of human decisions not to let them proliferate, then other genes get to be more dominant than they actually should be, and that may cause a problem for our world's future. NOTE: This is a general thought that I have, and I am NOT going to disrespect any child-free person because of this. This piece is intended to share and develop an idea, not to upset

child-free-by-choice individuals. We must win the disciplining battle There is now a war of how to discipline your kids. On one side are those that favour condemning corporal punishment to the wastebasket of history, and on the other side are those who are in favour of keeping it. Needless to say, I am in favour of banishing corporal punishment. However, just like with any ideological war, we need to win our case. And we can only win our case by providing real results - well adjusted, law abiding teenagers and adults. There is a problem with how teenagers are turning out in the West and we must acknowledge it and work with it. For example, there is a lack of guidance and a too-relaxed stance when it comes to drugs, alcohol, sex, and sometimes even violence. This is not because of smacking or lack thereof in little children, but rather a culture of lose discipline during the formative years of the 'tweens' and the teens, due to a fear from the parents of their children not fitting in with their peers. I, for one, will never give into this fear.

I, for one, when I do become a parent, will not allow violent video games in my house. My children will dress and present modestly and will not be allowed to watch the sex-fuelled content on TV. They will not be allowed to get into fights at school. They will not have a drop of alcohol or one single cigarette touch their mouth before they are 21 (when they will hopefully learn to avoid those things for the rest of their lives too). They will not lose their virginity before 21 - to do so is beyond shocking, and too few Westerners realise it. They will also need to study hard and develop healthy leisure habits. I will make sure they conform to this lifestyle, even if it makes them look uncool in front of their peers. And although I am not going to smack them, I am going to make sure the above happens, using other means. Obviously, no spanking does not mean no discipline. We should still be able to take away privileges and all that, and enforce them when

we need to (for example to achieve the above results), consistently and firmly. Only by doing that, and maybe more often and in a stricter way to the smackers, can we actually produce the results to win the battle. Support for Limiting the Number of Working Hours I support legislating to discourage employers from getting employees to work too many hours. Not a ridiculously low number like 35 (they do that in France) - but we don't want to live in a nation full of people who work 65 hour weeks every week. Not in the 2010s. There are two reasons to this. And it has something to do with the recent advent of female equality too. The first, obvious one is that it damages a family to have both parents work at that rate. Even with one parent working a 60-70 hour week on a long term basis and another parent working

the usual 40 hours, you have got a lot of stress. In the past people (men) were able to work that many hours because they did not have to care for the family. Now that both men and women are working, both need to take enough time to care for their families too. The other reason is that companies will usually only employ more people if there was a need to. A law limiting the number of working hours means that companies will have to employ more people to complete their work, rather than just paying overtime to a smaller number of employees. This may not cost the company more really, but it does create employment for more people. And this is very important, especially in times of economic downturn. The Compassion-First Revolution Conservatives have often taken to calling people advocating compassionate policies as 'bleeding hearts'. I rather dislike the term as it is meaningless - a bleeding heart is a medical emergency, not a political standpoint. I would

like to introduce a new term, 'Compassion first people', to mean EXACTLY what the conservatives call bleeding hearts, without the meaningless terminology. And I announce, as of today, I am a Compassion First person. I believe we need a Compassion First revolution in politics and culture. Too often the emotions of revenge and hate are allowed to affect our decision making, and it serves nobody. If, however, we decide to put compassion first when we think about what we should do, then we would likely serve the interests of more people. The 'bleeding heart', far from a negative stereotype, is just what the world needs, desperately, now. Ending the War on Drugs 1.0 - Some Suggestion The War on Drugs 1.0 (as it is being waged in the USA right now) is clearly ineffective. The US has a higher proportion of drug users than the Netherlands, and it has also caused a prison overcrowding. I believe we should look at recreational drug use as a public health issue rather than a

criminality issue. The government shouldn't be here to enforce morals (even though most of us sometimes wish it was, this is not its proper function in a society that cherishes the freedom of each individual to pursue their own moral values). Rather than criminalising the act of drug use itself, I think we should focus on rehabilitation without being judgmental. For example, I think the policy they are using in Portugal is quite good. On an additional note I have nothing, absolutely nothing, positive to say about recreational drugs. Some people once pointed out to me that drugs may have helped advanced the arts. I really, absolutely do NOT believe in this. To me, this is no more than urban myth. New Media, New Culture The old media, dominated by big corporate outlets, really did not give people much of a voice. Many people do not think politicians represent them - but at least your politicians were elected. Our big media public figures, from singers to show hosts to actors and

actresses, were not. And yet - in the (thankfully soon to be over) age of mass media, they were the heroes and legends in the lives of everyday people, shaping their worldview. Isn't this a bit dangerous in a democracy? Welcome to the age of the new media, where everyone can be a content creator. No longer will the unelected, corporate backed big few be the only voice of the people in culture. I believe a truer cultural voice and picture will hence be reflected. And this is the revolution that is going on right now. Are you part of it yet? Miley Does Not Like the Internet Miley Cyrus has told her fans that the internet is a dangerous place. "It's not fun and it wastes your life. You should be outside playing sports," she said. Maybe for you, Miley, as you don't need the internet anyway because the world hears you loud and clear even without it. But not everybody has connections to big media like you, and the internet is where they find their audience.

The PopStar Dream Re-Defined In her recent confessions about her extensive plastic surgery, Heidi Montag said that she underwent the procedures because she wanted to become a popstar. I find this a bit sad. Who said a popstar had to look a certain way? By the way, who said a popstar had to shove their face in the cameras all the time? In fact, I will endeavor to try to be a popstar by being a journalist and writing interesting stuff instead. I think that will be something new. Changing the World Starting From Subculture Building Under most circumstances, one person cannot really change the world even a small bit (except when the world is ready for it anyway and all it needed was a small push). The recent failures of Barack Obama, whom many regard as the most powerful man on Earth, to change

his country, is proof. At least not when you work to try to change many minds at one time. Even if you succeed in changing something, it will be so watered down as to look nothing like your dream. However, there is one way. Create your ideal culture amongst a smaller group first. The thriving of that group will be evidence to the people around you that your ideals do work. Gradually the culture will become larger and take on mainstream significance. Even all the world's religions started out that way.