Thursday, April 08, 2004

I'm Scared

April 8, 2004

I realize that I've been doing little more than ranting and raving about the evils of the Republicans for a couple of months now, and I think I've got a lot of people convinced I'm ultra-leftist, criticizing the agenda of the current administration just to rip on the religious right. I want to explicitly state, as the end of the school year draws nearer, that I don't agree with half of what the Democrats say either. I'm attacking the Republican party because they are pushing the current trends in American government I so despise; when I see the terrorism/patriotism furor being flamed over and over again by Rumsfeld, in Bush's speeches, at the 9-11 Commission hearings, news articles with titles like "Does the U.S. Need a Domestic Spy Agency?", censorship laws with loophole-generator words like "indecent" slamming down, legalized warrantless searches (now a policeman can search you, your car, your house, whatever, if "he feels threatened;" fourth amendment, anyone?), I'm watching the checks and balances built into American law be erased.

Some of these are the kinds of measures one would expect to see in the film The Siege, but that movie is about repeated terrorist attacks from an operating cell in New York City; why are we continuing to legislate these kinds of reactions years after the last (the only!) attack? Has the government announced any defeated terrorist campaigns since 9-11? It reminds me of a joke I heard as a child. Boy: "Why are you clapping?" Girl: "To keep the terrorists away." Boy: "There aren't any terrorists, silly!" Girl: "See? It works!"

My opinions grow from the basic constitutional ideas of freedom for all to do what they want with their lives, equality before the law and protection from what John Stuart Mill called the "tyranny of the majority." The freedoms of speech that we enjoy are based on the idea that ideas themselves have value, that every perspective has something to contribute to the sum total of human knowledge, and all people from all walks of life have something to say about the world we live in. The constitutional freedoms we have exist to protect experiments in living, attempts to find new ways to be happy and grow as a person in the modern world. The idea of America is freedom to live as unconstrained by government as possible while maintaining a healthy society, and the fearful fervor of the modern populace is being played by authoritarian agenda-pushers.

Our government will not be given back to the apathetic. Vote in 2004, whatever you think about the issues. Reach me at

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Random Gnarblings

April 1, 2004

Gay marriage: Why is this a question? "Separate is inherently unequal." It's already in a Supreme Court case! Brown v. Topeka Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) I saw people protesting this on the news and I felt like I was in a movie. I can't believe this is even being contested, and the fact that we're considering an amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America to ban it is simply absurd. This is not an issue the Constitution needs to be changed to accommodate, even if it does end up being federally banned.

Cloning: Human cloning research is risky ethical ground, but a complete U.N. ban is not going to accomplish anything, and refusing government grants for experiments, if the subject is legalized as an area of study, is going to spur solely commercial research. This field of biotech is so rich with possibilities that I find it ludicrous to even postpone inquiry, let alone ban it altogether. I'll be the first to oppose claiming cloned people are property or cloning of people solely for organs, but the research is the only way we're going to find techniques for growing only a heart, or synthesizing a liter of blood from a drop.

Stem cells: Hey, the kids aren't using them.

"Under God:" I'm an American, and I'm not under God. But, then again, I haven't said the pledge of allegiance since I gave up my religion habit, either. Now, years down the road, if I run for president, am I going to be tarred for stating in a public forum that I haven't pledged my allegiance to my country since I was 11? Take out the offending phrase, lest I be accused of being unpatriotic. Yet again.

Patriotism: It doesn't mean saying your government is right all the time.

Abortion: I'm adopted, so my view on this one is a bit skewed, but I do think it should be legal. There's too much controversy over too wide a range, and no way to answer the question. If you're against it, don't do it. If you're against it, help deal with overpopulation a different way and adopt one of the kids that are already waiting for a home.

Do these things piss you off too? Do I piss you off?