Wednesday, November 10, 2004

CONFESSIONS OF A CULTURAL ELITIST

There's been a lot of discussion in the blogosphere about the reasons why John Kerry lost. One of the funnier memes is "blame the voters". Here's an incredibly funny Op/Ed I ran across this morning.


So our guy lost the election. Why shouldn't those of us on the coasts feel superior? We eat better, travel more, dress better, watch cooler movies, earn better salaries, meet more interesting people, listen to better music and know more about what's going on in the world. If you voted for Bush, we accept that we have to share the country with you. We're adjusting to the possibility that there may be more of you than there are of us. But don't demand our respect. You lost it on November 2.

Heh.

This 'we should be in charge because we're smarter than you' is so funny, because if 'they' are so much smarter than us here in the 'fly-over country', wouldn't they be smart enough to hide their disdain enough to get elected?

The irony kills me...

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Values Voters & the Discussion of Moral Issues

I was about to respond to a post on David Schraub's blog The Debate Link, but I'm tired of writing all my good posts on other people's blogs. David is a self proclaimed Left-Centrist who does a pretty good job presenting rational left arguments.

In his blog, David says:

All of this, I think, only reaffirms my point though. The "moral values" issues probably have the least substantive discussion of any major campaign issue. You never see a real debate about gay marriage or abortion.

David is right. There really isn't a substantive discussion about these issues. Both sides draw their lines, quote their sound bites and try to get as many people on their side as possible.

This is because I believe that America is in the midst of a moral/legal cognitive dissonance on "values issues".

What do I mean?

I mean, there are moral issues in this country where what is accepted as normal and lawful does not match professed moral beliefs.

Let me explain...

Marriage.

There are many on the right who believe that marriage should be restricted to one man and one woman. A reasonable and traditional expectation. But the cold hard truth in America is, marriage has lost all meaning as an institution except as means for distributing property. My friends on the right will get fired up to pass laws prohibiting gay marriage, but are lackluster (legally speaking) about adultery, divorce, or cohabitation. I mean, if marriage is such a big deal that it must be "protected", then why not protect it from these things that also cause it to lose meaning.

This can also be illustrated through bigamy and polygamy. It is perfectly legal (and more or less socially acceptable) for a guy to sleep with three women, keep houses for them, have children with them, share property with them. BUT, if he marries more than one of them... THEN it becomes illegal.


Abortion.

The left has been adamant about protecting a "woman's right to choose". But at the same time, people are charged with murder, if they kill an unborn fetus. That is... unless they are a doctor... performing an abortion. If a woman is on her way to the clinic to abort her child and the fetus is shot on the trip over, is it murder? Legally speaking, it is. Why isn't the left working to make sure that anytime a fetus is killed, that it is legal?


Prostitution.

I once had a blind date with a woman who told me that she was propositioned by an upper level executive. He offered to set her up with an apartment, monthly allowance, a car, all just for a few "visits" a month. Is that legal? I think something like that would be difficult to prosecute as prostitution. I mean, how is that different from a woman who moves in with a man?

What about women who use sex or the promise of sex to receive gifts?

A woman can be paid to have sex on camera. Is that prostitution? (in a legal sense)


Until both the left and the right come to terms with these moral/legal questions themselves, it is going to be exceedingly difficult for us to come to terms with them as a nation.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Chemical Weapons in Falluja?

(via Mudville Gazette)

According to the Times Online insurgents say they will use chemical weapons in Falluja.

INSURGENTS in the rebel Iraqi city of Falluja claimed yesterday that they had added chemicals to mortar rounds and missiles that they intend to fire at American forces preparing for an all-out assault.

Cell commanders said some of the weapons could cause high-temperature fireballs and others were filled with cyanide.

I am definately no expert, but I tend to think this one is a bluff. First, who would be stupid enough to handle chemical weapons in a war zone without protection. If they want to, more power to 'em. They're just as likely to kill as many of themselves with the weapons as they are Americans.

Secondly, its one thing to have chemical weapons, it is totally a different thing to deliver them effectively. I seem to recall that improvised chemical weapons in mortars are pretty ineffective.

The insurgency's days are numbered in Falluja.

If you like surveys

The University of Tennessee Knoxville is asking internet users to take this survey about Politics and the Internet.

Just another way to kill 20 minutes...