Sunday, September 30, 2007

Personal Choice In Chimeria: Don't Should On Me

There is literally no end to the number of people who are willing, even eager, to tell you how you should live your life in order to be a "better" person.

Better than what? I've heard one answer more than most: "Better than animals."

Dear, sweet Janus! We are animals! And the fact that we as a species belong to that club does not elevate the club, believe me!

No matter if you are a follower of any of the myriad religions, an agnostic, an atheist, or any other ic or ist, you have grown up with people who try to squeeze your individuality out of you by mouthing words like "sin" and "moral" and "should" and "hell" and...well, you've heard it, I'm sure.

Here's a link. Go look up your own favorite definitions for the words that are used to pummel you into a different shape by those who are not satisfied with the shape in which they currently find you. And keep in mind that all these words are completely subjective in nature. And then give some thought to the following guideline:

An It Harm None, Do What Ye Will. A slight variation on this is Do What Ye Will, Know What Ye Do.

Life in Chimeria is not going to be easy. You will, at all times, need to be careful that you're not handing control of your behaviour over to someone else to use for his own purposes.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Chimeria Family Values: Guest Post by Dez

In a previous post, Dez left a comment that I thought contained so much input, I wanted to make sure it got noticed. I asked him for permission to bring it forward, and here it is:

I like the idea of keeping laws to the minimum standard of "do as thou wilt, as long as it doesn't hurt others".

But, divorce is often a sticky issue, especially in regards to child custody. Someone is going to get hurt in some way, such is the nature of breakups. The trick is to minimize the impact on the little ones. (The adults have made their bed and should have to sleep in it; the children, however, have no choices in the matter.)

Personally, I like the idea of making such decisions on a case-by-case basis, rather than using some all-encompassing policy that tries to make everyone happy, and fails.

On the subject of abortion, I believe in everyone taking responsibility for their own actions. Here again, the trick is to minimize the hurt for all concerned.

And let me take the time here to point out (what should be) the obvious: A fetus is not a baby, but could be a potential future citizen of Chimeria, and as such deserves some consideration under the law. This is obvious to any woman who has ever had an abortion (I've known a few), in that none have ever made the decision lightly. This is a HUGE decision on the woman's part, and she always knows it. I believe her right to make that decision must be protected. If she decides to get the abortion, she should not be given any further grief from that choice.

On the other hand, if she decides to go to term, she takes full responsibility. If she can convince someone to assist with the parenting job, such as the father-to-be, that's great. I don't think it is the state's job to interfere with that.

If, for whatever reason, she is not expecting any parenting assistance, that also needs to be decided up front. Some people can handle the solo-parent thing, and some can't.

Have we talked about CPS yet? Child Protective Service is one of those controversial government agencies that you either hate or love. My opinion is that, if government has any responsibility AT ALL, it has the responsibility to protect the helpless.

I've seen it happen. A single parent is overwhelmed by the huge task of caring for an infant while holding down a job, or a couple is too busy fighting with each other to notice the little one needs to be fed. Or, sometimes, there is deliberate abuse.

The decision to remove a child from the home should never be made lightly, but sometimes it needs to be done. There are a lot of people willing and competent to raise a child - hopefully more than those who can't.

Please note: there should be no government support for raising children. No state-supported foster homes. No welfare mothers. Nobody makes money from the government by raising a child. You can either foot the bill yourself, from your own (or your family's, with their consent) pocket, or you don't get to raise a child. Period.

And that needs to be made clear before the first trimester. The ability to support a child for 18 years needs to be part of the decision to abort or not abort.

I suspect this will result in an increase of abortions. Also, eventually, an increase in adoptions.

Ah well.

This is the kind of thoughtful feedback I'm seeking. What would it take to actually fulfill the fantasy of creating your own country? What kind of structure would you want? Who would live there? And why would they want to? And why would you want them?

Money no object...thank the gods! Wouldn't it be embarassing to create a place in which you couldn't afford to live?

Turnabout Is Fair Play

Everybody getting equal time, and all that.

"...I'm a bishop. In the LDS church."

"Well...have you considered atheism?"

Thank you, Sandmonkey!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What's In The Water In Quebec?

Do you believe this crap?

Politician wants ban on religious clothing

"'We're going to have to stand up and prohibit the wearing of all religious clothing in public places,' said Bourgault, who served as MP in Argenteuil-Papineau in southwestern Quebec between 1984 and 1993."

This, she swears, is all in the cause of "equality." Levelling the playing field, so to speak. Getting rid of the differences between men and women. She nails the niqab as an example of religious clothing that should be banned.

But she wants to ban all religious clothing. She says. Doesn't she? In the interests of "equality" and all that.

Let's see how she copes with having to tell all the Hasidim that they have to lose the tzitzit, and the various styles of black hats, and women might even have to stop wearing theit sheitels. Even kippahs will be taboo.

Buddhist monks will have to stop wearing their robes.

Muslims and Sikhs will have to stop wearing their turbans.

Oh. Yeah. In the interest of equality and all that, let us not forget the Catholics. In Quebec.

I'm not making this up.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Personal Choice In Chimeria: Social Structure And Family Values

I really, really, hate social engineers who love nothing more than to trample everyone else's lives with their own interpretation of How It Should Be. In Chimeria, this intrusive kind of social engineering will not be allowed.

Those who believe that a marriage can only consist of a man and a woman are free to live their own lives by that standard. Even if they are brother and sister. But in no way will they be allowed to interfere with the marriages of two men or two women.

And while we're at it, let's get rid of that number, "two." Any number of intelligent, consenting adults have the capability of forming a marriage and raising kids in a cooperative setting. And children are not a necessary feature of the family structure, either. In another post, I'll be talking about population control and capacity.

Families, for the most part, will consist of whatever individuals decide makes them a family. A single parent with children is no less a family than two adults without kids or several adults. It will be up to the family itself to define its own membership. Those who disagree are free to disagree, but not to interfere.

Marriage will be regulated by the government. And since the government will be small, I anticipate very little interference toward those who wish to be married. But it will make little difference, since there will be no discrimination against those who simply wish to live together and avoid the hassle of meaningless paperwork. Religious marriages will be allowed, but not officially recognized.

Offspring should probably be registered at birth, listing both biological parents for the purposes of genealogical, genetic, and medical history only. Male parents of children born of an AID process will be identified by the file number at the sperm bank. Adoptees will not have access to any personal information regarding their birth parents. Parents who give up children for adoption will not be able to contact them later. For all practical purposes, adopted children will become the biological children of the adopting family.

Unwanted pregnancies will be terminated at the request of the pregnant woman. And only the woman will have both the burden and the freedom to make the final decision. I hear too much about the "rights" of fetuses and the "rights" of fathers. Forget it. Fetuses have no rights because they have no individuality. They are not persons. "Fathers" (who, until the birth process is complete, should really only be known as sperm donors) who do not have to force their bodies through the process known as gestation will have no voice in the disposition of the body that does have to endure it. Any potential father who wants to have children can bloody well find a woman who is willing to have his children for him.

And that throw-away comment above about brother and sister? That wasn't completely a throw-away. Genetics aside, what are the real objections to brother/sister relationships?

Religion. And "culture."

But there were (and maybe still are in some small corner of the world where the fucked-up missionaries haven't had a chance to demonstrate their positions) cultures in which it was necessary for certain family lines to be passed on only through brother-and-sister unions. And they were doing just fine until Christianity came along and killed them off.

I'm not saying that sibling sexuality will be the norm. Speaking from personal observation, I think there is probably nothing in this world less likely to engender a sexual interest than in growing up under the same roof with someone. The phrase, "it's like kissing your sister" had to come from somewhere! But there will be those who want to travel that path. And if you think about it, who will it hurt? Really?

Thoughts, ideas, objections...all welcome.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

How Many Legs Would A Dog Have...

...if you called his tail a leg?

No, not five. Four. Because calling his tail a leg does not make it a leg.

And calling a fetus a person does not make it a person.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Personal Choice In Chimeria: Smoking

I'm a non-smoker. Have been for awhile, now. For me, quitting was a personal, private, and completely autonomous choice. My choice. And I see no reason to explain that choice to anyone, here or anywhere else.

Being a non-smoker does not mean I'm an anti-smoker. Indeed, I have lots of sympathy for those who are smokers. Their status as first-class citizens is being denied based simply on a choice. Their choice.

In Chimeria, choice will be a matter of personal preference. Those who smoke will have access to all kinds of places where smoking is allowed. Those places -- restaurants, bars, etc. -- will naturally be staffed by other smokers. Despite what the anti-smoking control freaks are screaming about, the technology does exist to "scrub" indoor air of smoke, as well as other contaminants. Matter of fact, "scrubbed" air is probably cleaner than regular air.

Non-smokers will also be able to access these same kinds of places, and they will be smoke-free. They won't be the same places, merely the same kind. Want to go out for dinner? Choose between smoking and non-smoking establishments.

Who gets to determine which restaurants are smoking and which are non-smoking? Well, to begin with, I'd say the owner of the business decides. After a time, the marketplace itself will decide for him. That which is not profitable will die. And the government will not rush in to the rescue.

Fair enough?

Beer Bellies And Bitchtits...

...becoming the norm? Oy!

I can imagine all kinds of frantic social engineering types who are gonna line up to be first to do one of two things: (1) force men deemed to be overweight to lose that weight so as not to grow the bitchtits and offend those who need to be sheltered from the sight of bare boobs; or (2) force those men who already have bitchtits to wear one of those manssiere thingies so as not to offend those who need to be sheltered from the sight of bare boobs.

Except in Beautiful British Columbia.

Bare boobs are allowed here. Thank you Linda Meyer.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Wanna Live In Chimeria?

I have an urgent need to create my own country where I can live in relative peace without being besieged on all sides by people whose prime directive is to interfere as much as possible with my enjoyment of life.

Its creation will take some thought and some pro-ing and con-ing. I have a few ideas about it, and I invite you to help out with your own ideas...or your "yeah, buts" to someone else's ideas. Even mine. Maybe even especially mine.

Wanna play?

First of all, there should be no permanent, unrevokeable citizenship in Chimeria. Everyone will have dual citizenship with somewhere else. Because if capital punishment is not allowed, any perps of a capital crime will be deported to their other country without hesitation. Serious breaches of other laws will result in the same. Repeated and unrepentant breaches of lesser laws, ditto.

Next, freedom of choice in all "moral" matters is the norm. There may be some exceptions to this, depending on the accepted definition of "moral." Your input is definitely being sought here.

Freedom of religion. The kicker to this is that religion must be kept private and unintrusive. Those who belong to a religion in which proselytizing is key will not want to live in Chimeria. And even if they do want to live there, that dual citizenship will keep them in line.

Freedom from religion. This is essential.

Religion and politics are mutually exclusive. No exceptions.

No political parties. The size of the government will depend on the size of the population, and there will be term limits...all to be decided upon. But absolutely no party politics will be tolerated.

All politicians will be required to read and sign a statement that binds them to their promises made during an election campaign. This will be done before the election, and will be posted in a very public place. Any pol found to be in contradiction will be thrown bodily out of office and barred from ever participating again.

Elected office will be voluntary. Political representatives will be expected to have another source of income, and they will be expected not to put themselves in a conflict of interest between their income and their volunteer work.

Government will be small and limited in scope. Government will exist only for the necessities. Citizens will be expected to be responsible for themselves, for the most part, so don't look for any protectionist-type legislation.

Government by referendum sounds awkward and time-consuming. It's also the most democratic method I know. So that's how it will be done.

Voting will be mandatory. It takes a few minutes, not your entire life. Get used to taking responsibility.

Chimeria will be a partner in the environment. No oil rigs, for example. No river-blocking hydro-electric dams, although if a way is found to allow free movement up and down a river, I see little wrong with allowing a generating engine to be installed. Does anyone know of a dynamo that does not completely block a watercourse? Alternate sources of energy will be highly encouraged.

I am really, really, really tempted to follow the example of Macinac Island and disallow gasoline and diesel engines altogether.

Private's something else on which to chew. I'm of the thought that there really can't be any completely privately owned property if you can't do whatever you want with it. And since there are bound to be laws against using your property in a way that intrudes upon your neighbors, you can't really be said to have absolute and unfettered use of it, can you? about long-term leases, which can be renewed, passed along, or challenged as needed, and as the case may be? For practical purposes, this will amount to the same thing as private property. As long as you don't piss off your neighbors.

Education should be available to all children up to completion of high school. Should be. This is an ideal, and not an absolute. There will be exceptions. We need some input, here, to deal with those exceptions.

Education will also be standard throughout Chimeria. All children will have access to the same educational materials. Testing standards will be across the board. No "curves." Pass or fail. I don't particularly care if Junior's feeling will be hurt if he doesn't pass. He'd either better learn or get used to having his feelings hurt.

"Political correctness" is nothing more than a longer-winded way of saying the same thing. Be brief. Get over it.

Education and religion are mutually exclusive. No exceptions. Anyone who wants his kid to have a religious education can either ship him off to somewhere else or teach him at home.

No union shops. If you want to join a union, go right ahead, but it will not be mandatory. Chimeria will be a right-to-work country.

I don't care what religion you are. I don't care what color you are. I don't care what political stripe you are. I don't care if you have too much money or not enough (and no, I've never found anyone that has "just enough"). If you are the kind of person who can live in a multi-everything society and enjoy it, you may be the sort who wants to live in Chimeria.

Now...who's movin' in?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Marc Mayrand -- Reluctant Hero?

Anybody remember MASH? There was one (at least) episode in which the incompetent Frank Burns threw a surgical instrument at a nurse and demanded that she give him something else. She protested that she had given him exactly what he had asked for, to which he yelled, "Don't give me what I ask for! Give me what I want!"

Frank Burns has reincarnated as Stephen Harper and the hapless nurse who was being verbally abused is now Marc Mayrand.

The amendments to this document got Royal Assent less than three months ago. The wording of that document is now the law of the land. And the relevant portion is about halfway down, and begins with the words, "21. Sections 143 to 145 of the Act are replaced by the following:" Nowhere in that document does it say anything about women having to remove their veils. Matter of fact, it states rather pertinently that if the identity of any voter is in question, one of the options of two pieces of non-picture ID is acceptable proof of eligibility. There is also another option for the taking of an oath. Another option says that someone who is a registered voter in the riding may vouch for the veracity of eligibility. Nowhere does it say that a veiled woman must lift her veil.

Marc Mayrand pointed this out. Harper had a meltdown. A complete, out-of-control, hyperventilating, foaming-at-the-mouth-and-biting-sticks-type meltdown. His toadies and lickspittles in Caucus followed in lockstep. Mayrand refuses to back down, and good for him. He's the one who's actually doing his job, here.

I don't care how many illiterate, lobotomized members of fucking parliament bang on podiums and scream with impotent anger for him to change his mind -- Marc Mayrand is not the lawmaker here any more than that nurse was the surgeon! If you want the law to read that Muslim women have to remove their veils before they vote in a federal election, then you have to make sure the law says precisely that!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

God Hates Sanity

And if you really need proof that it's true, put all ingestibles aside, swallow what -- if anything -- is now in your mouth (the exception would be your chewing gum, for which you can make a quick run to the local movie theater and stick it under my seat so I have no trouble finding it...again), and read this.

You. Cannot. Make. This. Shit. Up!

(H/T CC)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sandmonkey Is Back!

Worth repeating: Sandmonkey is back!

Thanks for the heads-up, Jackp1ne.

JJ Has It

Has what?

A succinct and superbly written commentary on the event for which today is the sixth anniversary.

And she only needed three short paragraphs.

Go. Read. Leave her a nice comment.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Procreate For The State*

The expression, "Gimme a fuckin' break!" is about to take on a whole new meaning in Moscow, Russia.

"It has declared Sept. 12 the Day of Conception and for the third year running is giving couples time off from work to procreate.


"Couples who 'give birth to a patriot'' during the June 12 festivities win money, cars, refrigerators and other prizes."

Yeah, and what happens if, twenty or thirty years later, that new "patriot" decides to emigrate to somewhere else? Will the government show up on the parents' doorstep and demand their washing machine back?

All this hysteria to propagate the species at an every-increasing rate is unfathomable. Why? What's the purpose of outstripping the rest of the world in population growth? Is there, like, some kind of international contest among world governments to see who can out-litter whom? What am I missing here?

(H/T JJ, from whom I also borrowed the *title of this post)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

I Promised... get to this meme as soon as I was able. Joint pain has gone away while I wasn't looking, so I guess that defines "able." So here goes...

THINK BACK TO 4th year HS...Let's see how much you remember and how much you regret...
Oh, balls! A memory game...

What section were you? What's a section?

Who was your adviser? What's an adviser?

How many were you in one class? How many students in one class (I've only every been one person at a time, myself, although the possibility of being more than one person has an intriguing sound to it...)? That depended totally on what class I was in at the time. Some had only about ten and one class had over forty.

Who was/were your seat mates? None. Our school was able to afford individual desks for each student.

Still remember your english teacher? Absolutely. All of them, in fact.

What was your first class? We were on a six day week, so that would depend on which day it was.

Who was your best friend? That changed from year to year. Sometimes from month to month. When the military moves you around, you tend not to make friends to whom you can't emotionally afford to say goodbye.

Who did you like? Most people.

Made friends to the lower years? Not many. That was where my younger sibling lived, and we never did live comfortable with one another.

Had a boyfriend/girlfriend? A few. Nobody too special.

How was your class schedule? Full. The principal was of the opinion that if you keep busy with schoolwork, you won't have time to engage in the sort of intimate activities that tend to create future students.

Made any enemies? A few. Nobody special.

Who was your favorite teacher? Unfortunately, my favorite teacher was not one who conducted any of my classes, just the drama club, the yearbook committee, and the school paper.

What sports did you play? Sports? Sports? Next question...

Did you buy your lunch? Didn't have to. I worked in the cafeteria, so I got to eat for free. Even then, I knew on which side my bread was buttered...and where to find it.

Were you a party animal? Only if you count hibernating wolverines in that category.

Were you well known in your school? I dunno. You'd probably have to ask someone who went to the same school.

SKIP SCHOOL? Like a stone across the water, any chance I could.

Did you get suspended/expelled? Nope. Never got caught.

Can you sing the alma mater? What's the alma mater? If you can hum a few bars, maybe I can pick up the beat.

What was your favorite subject? Anything creative.

What was your school's full name? Ah, but that would identify the school. Naughty, naughty.

Did you go to the dances? Oh, yeah. Wanna know who played at my high school dances? Burton Cummings, Chad Allen, Randy Bachman...

If you could go back in time and do it all over, would you? Not a fucking chance.

What do you remember most about 4th year? Gritting my teeth and staying the course.

Favorite memory in 4th year? The end of it.

Worst memory in 4th year? The beginning of it. Anyone beginning to get the idea that I didn't like high school?

Where did you go most often for break? To what we laughingly called the Smoke Pit in the restaurant next door...out of the sight, sound, and authority of any stray teachers.

What did you do on the last day of school? Joined the Air Force.

How was your graduation? You'd have to ask someone who was there. I was in basic training at the time.

Got any honors or special awards? Didn't even stop long enough to get my diploma.

What year did you graduate? 1970.

Who posted this before you did? The Witch With The Gun. Gee, thanks, Jean. I really enjoyed (!) that trip down nightmare alley...


Custom is to tag other bloggers with the meme. But I got to it late, so I'm going to just leave it as a pick-up meme. Anyone else interested in opening their veins about their angst-ridden teenage years, feel free.

I Promise...

...I would wake up every morning in a gloriously good mood if I could wake up to this gal singing this song.

Fo' shizzle.

(Thanks CC! And welcome to my blogshelf.)