Thanks Anon for ya thought-provoking input.
I just want to bring out two issue to the foreground:
1. The issue of Costs. As pointed out by Mangi Nating and Inmate and reiterated by you I think this is something we may have to live with. Making choices - whether hard or minor - is an inevitable and indispenable part of our existence. We make choices all the time because of the inherent individual freedom which our society permits to a large extent. It is about satisfying or recognizing the interests of certain members or groups within our society. It is also about the ability of the majority/dominant groups to accept the loss of certain privileges and 'moral' strictures.
On the other hand, if we have to introduce something foreign or alien we have to create the structure and system that should be compatible with that foreign practice or enterprise. A classic example: Look at how we practice the western model of governance and administration. To a large extent, it is way off the mark of what democracy and good governance ought to be. Election violence, corrupt leadership, mediocre public institutional performance, etc. Now we ask why? Because the white man gave us democracy and modern government but failed to have us socialized into the kind of bureaucratic and political culture that is compatible with western democracy and principles of good governance. In other words, to put the cart before the horse. As some of my peers used to theorize: Our modern PNG society has been a tanget-to-tie transition where we missed so much just in order to 'catch up' with the rest of the world. Some times I ask myself, are we pretenders? This then brings us back to the question of education and awareness.
2. Single families Vs Same-sex families. For single families, we really cannot blame individuals for their fate. It is the result of mutual interaction between the socio-economic structures of society and the individual. We have to look at other issues like racism, job discrimination and inequalities, educational opportunities, ethnicity and gender. Sometimes the absence of job opportunities tend to hurt men's pride and dignity and denies them of their manhood to look after their wives and children.
As for same-sex families, a whole new dimension of morality is being born, therefore there is a need to redefine it. What used to be 'wrong' before is suddenly becoming part of our daily routine and is thus normalized into our psyche and cultural repertoire. In other words, the moral barrier crumbles and a new outlook towards certain experiences steadily finds acceptance in places not accepted before.
I have been following this issue for some time now and, as an outsider looking in, it suddenly presented itself indrectly as a challenge if we ever have such movements in PNG. My impression (it may be a wrong one, through!) is that Americans are slowly but surely coming to terms with this painful issue because of the Rule of Law. Legal interpretations of contentious issues within a broader framework of human/individual rights and freedoms is what the American courts of Law rely on to pronounce their judgements.
One important group of people who determine the course of history are the politicians. As pointed out in a New York Times commentary (March 20 2004), politicians avoid controversial topics by shifting the onus onto the courts - especially when elections are around the corner and they dont want to lose voters.
On your quiry regarding the C-Span channel, I think has very indepth and informative news compared to other news channels. But I hardly watch it or other channels for that matter. I guess the American corporate electronic media are not so much into news quality and content as in how to make dramatic and entertaining news. I also get the impression they tend to be unnecessarily patriotic and support their dumb president and his administration like eager puppies.
But the papers are better and they say more!