Saturday, April 09, 2005

Off to Find Tom

I'm doing an overnighter down by Lake Rathbun to find some gobblers. My son and I are not hunting until third season, but I'm taking the opportunity to see where they big boys are fighting, f@$&ing and roosting.

Oh (this seems to be a theme in most of my recreation...), in the evening there will be friends, food and cocktails.
State Dogma

Mikey comments on my last post:
I did find the "sacred tenet" phrase ironic. But I thought it was the Times trying to be clever in the lead in to the story.

And good point in your last comment about dogmatic states. (Is "dogmatic state" just as ironic as "sacred government tenet"?)
I'm not sure if the irony is as strong, but if the state is chronically dogmatic - meaning that it refuses to offer logical rationale for policy - then it is surely tyrannous.

A clear example of this would be the federal crusade (led by the Bush Justice Department - grrr, grrr...) against medical marijuana use. The scientific and historical evidence is clear - marijuana has medicinal uses. You can argue about side affects, the deleterious impact to society and the like, but to claim that it is not efficacious in reducing nausea and increasing appetite (I can attest to that) for chemotherapy patients is dogmatic to say the least.

On the other hand, those opposing government policy, such as the war on Islamo-Fascism, will cynically argue that the policy is dogmatic. This argument is typically a product of... wait for it... dogma. Unable to effectively construct an argument based on facts, they reach for dogmatic slogans like "War is not the answer."

So - and I'm not claiming that Mikey was suggesting this - dogma is not limited to church and state. All human institutions employ it to one extent or another. It's up to the individual to develop one's own "dogma detector" and filter it - or not - depending upon one's own personal experience, beliefs and tastes.

And on the individual level, these internal dialogues lead to the development of one's own personal... dogma.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Where the Secular is Sacred

Here's the lead sentence from a NY Times Article on the controversy in France over the government honoring the Pope in death.
PARIS, April 7 - France may be a predominantly Roman Catholic country, but it is also officially secular, with separation of church and state one of its most sacred tenets.
Hmmm... where else did the state slip right in and take the place of the church...? Amazing how a few 18th century philosophers can screw up a country for hundreds of years.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Jimmy Carter - Clueless Again

According to a Today Show piece today there's no room for Jimmy at the Pope's funeral. Gee, I wonder why Bush's State Department is cool about fitting him in?

Could it be his attempts to bless Hugo Chavez's "democracy" in Venezuela? Could it be his efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the Iraqi election... and our elections here, for that matter? How about his profound regret that we had a spat with King George III which lead to the Declaration of Independence and founding of the United States? Or was it this insult to the office?

Again - Jimmy Carter. Worst. President. of. the. 20th. Century.

Stay at home moonbat.

Monday, April 04, 2005

My Last Words (Hopefully) On Jetseta Gage

I’ve gotten an abundance of comments on this post.

When I wrote that, I was pretty steamed. Although I see their behavior as negligent and directly leading to the little girl’s death, I’m not really advocating any legal action against Jetseta's mom and grandmother.

Well - no jail time or flogging or anything, but maybe a couple of hours in a town meeting with some citizens scolding, shaming and asking them some hard questions about how they let their little girl down.

Seriously, I do have a problem with the press casting these two women into victims of the system, patriarchy, the wage gap, the Iowa Sex Offender’s registry running on it’s paltry half million dollar annual budget... oh hell - fill in the blank.

In the final analysis it was not DHS nor the Sex Offender's Registry web site's webmaster, nor anyone else who was responsible for Jetseta’s well being. It was her family. Unfortunately for Jetseta, by all appearances her "family" is a tribe of selfish, dysfunctional louts. Despite all of the media coverage, Jetseta’s death is their loss, leading to their suffering. And, if they have a whit of character, integrity and self respect, this will lead to a realization that this horror was their responsibility.

In the long term, one of the things we can do to reduce these tragedies and countless other social ills, is to heavily stigmatize behavior that puts their kids at risk. We do this all the time with relatively trivial things like bike helmet laws and the like. But on the real biggie, we stay silent. Research shows that being raised by a single mother is a prime indicator of risk to a child. By normalizing "single motherhood", we have done a great disservice to children.

As a libertarian, I'm a pretty open minded guy. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll - it’s up to the individual to enjoy and (and if they cross the line and infringe on someone else’s rights) take the consequences.

But when it comes to kids... well, I tend to draw a pretty strong line. When you have children, you geometrically increase the odds that thoughtless behavior on your part will cause tangible harm to another - in this case relatively helpless - person. Like it or not rock and rollers, when it comes to parenting nothing but personal responsibility will do. Granted, society has a role in supporting parental responsibility, but it cannot replace it.

And, however compassionate and well intentioned social de-stigmatization of illegitimate births may be, it has exacerbated the problem. Unmarried women who are utterly unprepared to meet the demands of raising a child feel empowered to demand services, sympathy and money from the rest of us.

And what about the biological fathers, you ask...? Well that's why we hairless apes came up with the whole institution of marriage thing. Sure, dad's have always walked out on their families. But, there was stigma attached to that as well.

Look, instead of me carrying on and on with this. Go read this piece (from someone much more eloquent than me). Even though Jane's piece is about gay marriage, the theme is the same.