These Things I Believe…

Having just been accused of being a neoconservative social Darwinist, I thought I’d take a moment and contemplate my beliefs. Over the course of my life I’ve drifted from right to left and back again, and while I would sooner chew out my own kidneys than vote Republican, I find myself wondering vaguely if I’m still the wild-eyed liberal I once was. And there’s really no way to tell unless I run down the list of things I believe and tally it up.

So without further ado, the very long list…

I believe people have a right to freedom of speech. I also think that people oughta be polite to each other. The KKK has the right to march and be racist, but I don’t think they have the right to march through a black neighborhood with the intention of making people uncomfortable.

I believe that people of all races are potentially equal, but that economic and social factors conspire to insure that a lot of minorities don’t get the chance. This is bad, and things should be done to attempt to rectify the error, but it is not an excuse not to try. Same with being female. Yes, men run the world. This does not mean that you get a free pass to justified failure because of it. The world is full of tough people who start out low and pull themselves up by determination and hard work. There should be lots of opportunity available to people who want to succeed, but if you just want to sit around and watch TV all day, I would rather not pay for it.

If you’re insane, retarded, handicapped, or temporarily down on your luck, I have no problem with paying for that, and I think there should be plenty of care for the sick, elderly, young, crazy, generally screwed, and anyone else who can’t take care of themselves. Furthermore, even if you’re broke, there should always be health care available for you. However, I also think that under no circumstances should you be allowed to have children while on welfare. That check oughta come with a Norplant.

Come to think of it, if you can’t take care of yourself, you cannot take care of a child, and should not have one. Period.

I think that societies need art, and should set aside money for it. I also think that it’s fine if art is shocking and offends people. I also think that if ALL it does is shock and offend people and there’s no talent involved, the artist should stick to Jerry Springer and let those of us who’ve been honing our skills lo these many years get a grant, already.

The world is full of wonderful people and horrible people. No race, creed, nation, religion or anything else has a monopoly on either.

I am suspicious of organized religion, but if people want to practice it, as long as they’re not hurting anybody, they can go right ahead. I am on the fence as far as Santeria and chickens go. Then again, given that millions of chickens die yearly for my chicken sandwich, I’m not gonna say anything if your chicken dies so you can find God.

I believe that sometimes there isn’t a right answer to a problem and you just have to muddle through as best you can.

I believe the environment should be protected at all costs, but sanely. This means that while I am opposed to hunting (say) polar bears, I’m all for hunting deer, who are massively overpopulated and need a predator controlling them. (Yes, I know that we killed the wolves who were controlling them. I’m sorry our great-grandfathers screwed up, but if we fail to control the deer, we’re compounding the problem.)

I am deeply opposed to suburbs and development of wild areas. I am all for extensive urban renewal and savagely tight zoning to keep from massive urban sprawl.

I will never buy a new house, unless it is built on a lot in the middle of the city.

I believe the spotted owl is way more important than the jobs of loggers, because people can get more jobs, and I am perfectly happy to shell out part of my tax dollar to re-educate ’em and get them said jobs. I am NOT willing to allow a species to be destroyed merely because some redneck doesn’t want them thar book-larnin’, or because his daddy was a logger before him, and having lived in a logging town, believe me, I know whereof I speak. You cannot re-educate a tree or an owl, nor can the tree or the owl learn to do something new, and it falls to the intelligent, adaptable species to gracefully give way to that which cannot.

I think words fall somewhere between very important and blown way out of proportion, and I have to decide each one on a case by case basis.

I think whatever misguided feminist invented the word “herstory” ought to be beaten into unconsciousness with a dictionary.

I don’t give a rat’s ass about professional baseball, but it does piss me off that guys get millions a year to run around a field while teachers scrape by in one of the most underpaid jobs imaginable.

I believe every sane adult has the right to do whatever the hell they want to their own body. This includes abortion, body piercing, and eating fatty foods. It also includes drugs and suicide. If you want to do something stupidly self-destructive, then it is not my place to stop you. If you want to die, then provided you’ve been given a good faith amount of help, I don’t think I have a right to force you to continue living just because of my own personal morality. Likewise, provided you’ve been educated, I don’t feel I have a right to stop you from doing pretty much any drug that strikes your fancy. It’s your body, not mine. I can try to talk you out of it, but that’s as far as I go.

I think most drugs should be legalized, treated to the same standards of purity and control as any other substance, and packaged with extensive warnings (and possibly clean needles). This will gut most of the drug trade, since the money’s in the illegality. A few drugs, such as PCP, which cause violent and irrational behavior, should remain illegal. Being on drugs, however, should not be a mitigating factor in anything–if you’re using drugs, you are responsible for arranging for your actions to be controlled while doing so. Kids should be extensively educated in what drugs do, including graphic images of the inside of smoker’s lungs. Once they’re adults, it’s not my place to mother them.

If you kill someone while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you should never be allowed a license again. No three strikes you’re out–period. The minute you fail the breathalizer and they flat line, your license should be torn up, car impounded, and furthermore, every DMV in the country should be networked so that you can’t go to another state and get one.

If I give money to the homeless, I don’t care if they buy booze. Life has judged them harshly already, and if wine and cigarettes make life easier for them, then godspeed.

Guns. I was once opposed to guns, but now I am rather less so. A gun has no purpose except to hurl a chunk of metal at something at high speed, often with the intent of reducing something alive to something rather not alive. Many violent crimes that occur would not end fatally without a gun. However, the same thing could be said of swords, which have no purpose except to chop through something, generally something alive, and I like swords. And I already said that I don’t have the right to stop people from doing stupid things. Also, let’s face it, it’s hopelessly naive to think that if we make guns illegal, gangs aren’t gonna have guns. So. While I believe that guns should be strictly controlled, have extensive waiting periods, and perhaps require licenses or something, I have no problem if people wanna have guns responsibly. If their kids shoot themselves with them, however, then there’s some definite criminal negligence going on, and I think penalties for crimes involving guns should be extensive, but I may have hit a point in my life where I don’t think that banning all guns will make the world a better place. I mean, I’d get pissed if you took my sword away, and if someone breaks in, they’re getting thirty inches of steel in the face. If someone needs a gun in the house to feel safe–well, I’ve been a woman alone in the house, and I am sure as hell not gonna say “No, you can’t.”

I think people who abuse animals should be forbidden to have pets, and that there should be much stricter penalties for animal abuse and for keeping wild animals as pets. At the same time, I think people go a little too far.

I do not believe that people, or animals, should be kept alive at any cost. Make your best effort, but sometimes you gotta let go.

I think we’re gonna run out of oil soon and should be looking into alternative fuels now.

I think we should legalize marijuana. I also don’t think we should fool ourselves that we’re doing it so we can all wear hemp shoes. We’re doing it so we can smoke up, okay? And being stoned is NOT good for you, either. But it’s no worse than being drunk, and see not-my-job-to-keep-you-from-doing-drugs line above, and despite all those absurd commercials, you’re a lot more likely to be sitting around watching SNL and eating Cheetos than shooting people.

I think sex ed ought to be mandatory in schools, and that teens should have access to birth control. They’re going to have sex. Morals have nothing to do with it. Teen libidos are crazy, due to the fact that we’re entirely too well fed these days, so t’ol sex drive kicks in much earlier than in our wiry primate ancestors, and we get married a lot later than we did in the middle ages. Teens will have sex if they want to. Make an effort to stop them if you feel the need, but provide birth control as well. This is not “condoning” sex. If your kid climbs a tree and falls out and breaks their arm, you don’t say “Hey, I told you not to climb the tree, now you have to live with the broken arm for the rest of your life,” you put it in a cast. That doesn’t mean you’re condoning tree climbing, it means you have some grasp of reality.

I believe that faith is fine and good and neccessary for some people, and it should also stay the hell out of government, schools and textbooks. Science is not faith. If you are unclear on the difference, there are people who can explain it better than I can.

I believe that men and women are equal, but different, but that still doesn’t mean I should be home having babies. More women are nurturing than men, but there are still some women who are way better at going out and sticking mammoths with pointy things than they are at changing diapers.

If homosexuals want to be in the military, have fun. I’m certainly not joining, and why should we spit on the example of thousands of years of samurai, Spartans, and knights Templar?

This is longer than I expected. There are a lot more things I believe, but I will save them for another post. Flipping over the list, I have a terrible fear that I may be a moderate with a few radical leftist tendencies. Hmm.

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