Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Some issues that are bothering me...

Wednesday night is my African American History class which is a fascinating forum to hear different viewpoints from a wide range of people and I learn stuff and sometimes get frustrated by humanity.  Then I got home, jumped on my computer, and to start found these links:

I know I may seem like a misanthrope, argumentative to a fault, pig-headed, ignorantly over-opinionated drunken blaggart and in some instances I am.  However, when I see this kind of idiotic drivel I am sickened to my core by the actions and words of some people.  

Then there's the Missouri State Senator Jane Cunningham who is proposing (in MO Sentate Bill 222) to repeal certain "restrictive" child labor laws.  As I snarkily said to Moxie when I read this piece, "This is great! Now we won't have to outsource our sweatshops to Asia, we can send them to Missouri!"  A knee-jerk response of course but still (as an aside - these laws were developed as part the Fair Labors Act of 1938) I can't help but worry about the cans of worms that the passing of this bill would entail.  Certainly there will be legislation developed to prevent the exploitation of children but my concern is that children will be exploited by unscrupulous folks (whether their families or employers is another issue) and I agree (in many aspects) with Jeff Tucker's The Trouble With Child Labor Laws (he has some convincing rhetoric).  However, again this is a knee-jerk response, there suddenly seems to be some kind of insane shift in rational thought by American elected officials:  Arizona's new round of anti-immigrant bills, battles over "right to work" laws (anti-Union practices), the assault on funding for Planned Parenthood, and...

Now, as we all know I'm a strident proponent of the historical "What if?" the United States had remained British.  In fact I call myself a Royalist, yeah roll your eyes but during the American Revolution only about 20% of the Colonial population were anti-Crown.  Yet hypocritically I consider myself a patriotic person.  I love my country (I just wish that we could unfuck ourselves and truly be the shining city on the hill).  Hell, I like the fact I can write this blog and not have the Death Squads bust in at any moment.  Truth be told I don't even have a problem with someone not "Pledging Allegiance to the Flag" (because it's kind of spooky and group-thinky for me) and I don't put my hand over my heart when I hear the National Anthem.  I do however, out of respect of those around me, take off my hat, stand and act with proper solemnity.  It's Josh Howard's sentiment, "I'm black." which confuses me.  Perhaps confuse is the wrong word, I can understand his thinking but something about it seems...well, it was a stupid thing to say when a camera phone was in his face.

And finally,
I posted this yesterday on my Facebook.  I feel that I need to expand my thoughts a little.  In response to one comment I replied:
Texas is no more gun crazy than where we grew up nor any less dangerous than anywhere else (in the United States). 
I personally abhor firearms in RL (no I don't mean a hunting rifle or granny's double barrel or a .22 - I mean .45s, fucking Desert Eagles, military grade hardware). I know it's a complicated issue with many variables but I have an interesting example for you: Replace the word "firearms" with "chainsaws" and see how utterly absurd this "armed society" is.

If your home is a castle then I suggest you use boiling oil, crossbows, swords, and peasant levies to defend it.



I was being facetious but I am, at my current age and status in life, scared of guns.  I play a lot of video games with guns and watch a lot of movies that involve guns but in reality I have a deep dislike and distrust of guns.  I won't own one and I won't have one in my home.  The idea of guns on college campuses terrifies me.  People can barely manage to operate their automobiles on North Street and you want these assholes armed?  Will I feel comfortable in a classroom wondering if the person I disagree with intellectually is armed?  "An armed society is a polite society.  Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life."?  Heinlein's famous line from Beyond the Horizon  is ripe for out-of-contextualization.

I'm losing my righteous indignation steam.  I hope that some of you readers will respond because frankly these are important questions and issues that are happening today.  I'm not saying that I or we have any answers or that we can enable great change but I'd like to open the floor up to some comments and polite intellectual debate.

I close with a quote from one of my favorite authors that popped up on my google "Quote a Day" RSS:


Human Dignity has gleamed only now and then and here and there, in lonely splendor, throughout the ages, a hope of the better men, never an achievement of the majority. - James Thurber 

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