Don't Mind Me... I'm Just Ranting
A few thoughts as I get ready to go back to work for a couple of weeks before my body completely shuts down from the radiation:
1) I love college football. My beloved Nebraska Cornhuskers are probably going to a New Years Day bowl, and the arguments caused by a simple failure to set up a playoff system in the one major sport that doesn't have it enables those of us who love to argue to really enjoy this time of year. The local Boise State Broncos completed another undefeated regular season last night, and it makes me wonder -- why do the people who put together bowl games think that people would want to see two-loss Ohio State suffer another BCS embarassment rather than watch what promises to be a completely non-boring BSU team?
2) I go back and forth over who is more sanctimonious and annoying -- whiny progressives or whiny social conservatives. Today I'm leaning towards progressives, because morialekafa, the "crazy old uncle in the attic" of the Idaho lefty blogosphere, included this little nugget of "wisdom" in his daily rant in response to yesterday's tragic death of the worker in the New York Walmart:
Our profligate ways have now painfully caught up with us, as evidenced by our now virtual dependence on Wal Mart. Even people who would not have been caught dead there previously are now flocking there in droves (alas, I am one of them). When I enter a Wal Mart I feel I am entering a giant warehouse full of losers. The clerks are losers, working for small wages and few benefits, the shoppers are losers, looking for the cheapest bargains they can find.Wow... elitist much? This follows a statement where he mentioned that he bet that Brits, French, Germans, Russians, and Iranians would never trample anyone. Soccer and Iranian funeral violence notwithstanding, I'm really wondering if progressives who rail against all these horrors of American society ever really think through what their proposals would lead to. Would they outlaw sales? Is wanting to spend less really bad? Does spending more make you a "winner"? Would they outlaw concerts by The Who? Or should we just not buy anything and live off the land and love each other, like back in some earlier mythical century that has never existed in human history? It seems to me that, for now, progressives seem to want to outlaw and control more human behavior than even the most Old Testament-centered social conservatives. I'm sure that will change soon, though. (Please note that I haven't lost all perspective. I recognize that, when all is said and done, the truly most sanctimonious and annoying people are the "realists" like me who like to mock and belittle the people on the fringes.)
3) People continue to speak completely different languages, politically. Take the recent passage of Proposition 8 in California to overturn the decision of the California Supreme Court to establish the new right of homosexual marriage. Opponents of the measure say that it "takes away the civil rights" of gays and lesbians. I disagree, and here's why: both before the California Supreme Court case and after the passage of Prop 8, every adult Californian had the exact same right as every other, granted by legislative action -- the right (if not imprisoned) to marry exactly one consenting unmarried person of the opposite sex who was of age and not too closely related. Just because gays and lesbians choose not to exercise that right doesn't mean it is lost to them. It's as if one were to say that my wife had her abortion "rights" taken away from her because she chose not to get an abortion (my feelings on the subject of a "right" to abortion/privacy can be found here). The fact that she's not been given some closely-related other "right" to make up for the fact that she didn't exercise that one doesn't take away from her the original "right". The unvarnished truth is that the right to marry someone of the same sex would be a brand new right, and if some legislature wants to enact that I'd accept the result. Please just don't expect that I'll willingly accept accusations that I "hate" homosexuals just because I believe that the process for expanding our civil rights should have a legislative component. And just because us Mormons once supported polygamy (over 100 years ago) doesn't mean that we now have to support all new forms of marriage. None of us were alive back then, and at the same time Mormons supported polygamy, remember that Democrats supported Jim Crow and slavery.