Mark Rants & Raves

Digressions into a variety of topics about the world.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

We've gone waaaaay too far

How far do we bend over backwards to avoid unknown mines laid by Muslim clerics? Some mullahs believe those that are not of an extreme bent for their religion and theirs alone are nothing but animals. And of course, it is perfectly fine to slaughter animals.

There comes a time when we have to say "enough". This from the daily dish:
"More capitulation to religious hooey. Yahoo will not allow one Linda Callahan to use her own name for an email address. Why? The name Callahan has the word "Allah" in it. Yahoo will apparently accept "god, messiah, jesus, jehova, buddah, satan and both priest and pedophile," but not 'allah,' 'osama' and 'binladen.' I wish I were making this up. The world is going completely bananas over mullahs."
Of course, we've all been aware of the rioting and murdering hysteria that has been going on because of the Mohammed cartoons. An interesting fact that has gone largely unmentioned is that the most objectionable cartoons were not from the Norwegian cartoonist, but were added by Mullahs who went to Muslim countries trying to stir up trouble.

It's also not true that Mohammed cannot be shown - he has been shown in Muslim books and art for years! I guess it's only true that infidels (that's you) can't show him.

Fortunately, there are Muslims that are speaking out, trying to take back their religion from the violent extremists that are so vocal.

And for the extremists, let me make it perfectly clear: we will never accept Sharia law. We in the free world stand by our way of civilization, with a separation of church (mosque, temple) and state as well as human rights and the rule of law.

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Leaning right, whether I want to or not

I perceive myself as a balanced person, outlook-wise. I know I'm a bit conservative on fiscal issues. And I know I'm a bit liberal on social issues.

But when you have a 20-something offspring, you get a whole new view of yourself. I guess everything is relative... To her, I am a right-wing ideologue. Funny, I don't do most of the things you'd expect if she was correct. I have never listened to Rush or Dr. Laura and I imagine I would think they were way off base if I did. But maybe she perceives this about me because I perceive the left-wing fringe as more vocal and screeching than I do the right-wing fringe. If truth be told, I think most if not all things too far from the mainstream (read moderates) is problematic and worrisome.

She probably hears me rant about the latest insane things people are doing and perceives me tipping more to the right. It is true that I don't have much use for Al Franken or Michael Moore's inane statements (read lies or at least spins) or whats-her-name's war protest. So, if that makes me right of center so be it. It's worth noting that I don't have much tolerance for the insanities coming from the mouths of televangelists on the right either.

So, I guess neither camp would be happy with me as a member and that's OK with me. If she says I'm leaning right, I'll have to accept that for the sake of peace at home.

That said, here are some recent topics that at times amuse and perplex me:


I am not homophobic at all. I have some really close friends whose sexual orientation doesn't match mine...and that's totally fine with me. Always has been. And I don't really care if they get married and have all the rights therein. Here's my issue: why is there such a heavy focus on homosexuality on TV shows, movies, books, articles, magazine covers, ...? I reach a point where I want to yell "Enough!" Is it absolutely mandatory that every sitcom have a gay person in it?

Now, I know that there are good things that come out of this, such as getting people accustomed to the fact that we have people that are different than us (as wisely noted by my daughter). I guess the legacy media feels it is their job to enlighten us. Maybe we need a better feedback mechanism to let them know that we get it. I suppose that we vote with our wallets.

Affirmative Action

I am all for a level playing field, which is one reason among many that I do not believe that we need to continue preferential treatment for certain groups of people. I think 30+ years of being on the low side of the slanted field is enough. Before you start shrieking about my predjudices, I don't see it that way. I think it does people a disservice to have the attitude that they need help to compete in our free society. What kind of message is that? To aspire to, what, get a handout? Would you want to have co-workers think you got your job because of (shhh) quotas? Now, in those cases where companies do have bigotry in action, I fully support Americans' favorite pastime (not baseball - lawsuits). That's a whole different thing than affirmative action.

Now, I have never owned a slave, parked in a disabled spot, or exhibited any other behavior that in my thinking would categorize me as a bigot. So why should I be penalized for not being born a minority. Hey, when Latinos become the majority in a couple of decades, do I get special treatment then?! You know what - I wouldn't want it. Because I've always worked hard for what I want. I don't need a leg up.

The real answer is and always has been education. Get an education and work hard to be excellent at everything you do. And that should be available to everyone with few means, without skin color, disablements, or any other factor considered. This logical and fair solution is being advocated by a well-known pundit. I happen to support this position.


I find it inconceivable that a man, who has never and will never carry a fetus inside him, has the cajones to tell the women of the world what they can do with their bodies! And I understand all the religious (figurative and literal) arguments on both sides. I personally would hope I wouldn't get an abortion if I was in the situation where I was raped or couldn't support a child. If I did get an abortion, that would be my decision, not anyone else's. If you are of the mind that that would mean I would go to hell (which is just something to threaten parishioners with IMO, but that's another rant), I'd have to say that is not a very Christian (or Muslim or Jewish or Buddhist or ...) attitude.

I don't even want to get into the argument about whether the fetus is a "person" at age 5 days or 2 months or whatever. My beliefs are not your beliefs and I am not going to try to pry open your mouth and shove my beliefs down your throat.

And don't even get me going about the hypocrisy of the right to life murderers that kill abortion doctors (oh, so the fetus is worth saving, but this guy can be killed....riiiight).

This is obviously a very difficult subject. Maybe if everyone would take a more loving and welcoming attitude (again, what true religious is really about) and not attack those that have differing opinions, the world would be so much better. I mean, really, are you going to sit there and tell me that you have the answer??

Lean to the left, lean to the right, stand up, sit down, fight, fight, fight

So, by now you've got a little bit of a perception about me. Maybe you agree with my daughter; maybe you don't. I just wish we could skip the fight, fight, fight part.


P.S. I don't claim to be a maven concerning these topics (is anyone?), so please do not flame me. I am just trying to have an open and honest dialog...which gets harder every day.