Monday, July 18, 2011

Should Everyone Really Have the Right to an Opinion?

What a day.  After work, I ran a few errands.  In one store, I heard two old women talking about all the foreign countries that make the goods sold in America.  Lady One said, "It's so funny!  This shirt right here was made in Guatemala!"  Lady Two replies, "Oh, I know.  I won't buy anything made in Pakistan, though."  For real?  You don't mind supporting manufacturers that pay people, often children, shit wages in dangerous conditions, but Pakistan is a clear no-no.  Is supporting terrorists so much worse than running sweatshops?  I'd be willing to bet that more lives have been destroyed by sweatshops than terrorists.  I don't understand how someone can justify supporting one and not the other.

So then I went to buy some groceries.  I was looking for powdered Gatorade mix when the middle-aged woman in the same aisle asked if I was looking for a good fruit juice.  I told her what I was looking for and she ignored what I said and suggested Fuze juice because "it has lots of vitamins and minerals."  I so regret not shattering her sense of self-righteousness by telling her Fuze only contains 5% actual fruit juice.  I guess I'm getting soft.  I'm sick of being told what I should and should not eat.  I have every right to weigh 700 pounds if I want to.  And do your goddamned homework before you go making suggestions to people as to what to eat and drink.  By which I mean read more than a few words on the label.

So then I went home.  I checked the websites I usually check and found an article on yahoo! that caught my eye.  A man in Indiana was denied the opportunity to donate blood because he seemed gay.  And that is entirely legal!  The ban on allowing homosexuals to donate blood dates back to 1983, a time when there were no reliable ways to test blood for HIV and AIDS was believed to only affect gay people.  Despite every single blood donation being tested for HIV, just last year the decision to ban gays from donating blood was upheld by the Department of Health and Human Services.  And again, this guy, while "admittedly and noticeably effeminate", is straight.

And then the icing on the cake.  Another yahoo! article about some guy Herman Cain, apparently a "Presidential hopeful", who supports the attempt by some Murfreesboro, Tennessee residents to ban the building of a mosque in their town.  Not only does he believe this is legal, he actually said that building the mosque is an "infringement and an abuse of our freedom of religion".  It's hard to explain how ass-backwards that statement is.  It's like trying to explain why blue is not yellow.  George Orwell himself could not come up with a better example of doublespeak.  He went on to say, "Our Constitution guarantees separation of church and state. Islam combines church and state.  [We're] objecting to the fact that Islam is both a religion and a set of laws."  He is such a satire of himself that I almost suspect this to be some kind of Stephen Colbert prank.  How does someone whose reasoning power is so flawed even make it to adulthood?  Does he not see the influence Christianity has on almost every law that this country has made?  And what would he say about the poll that shows 2/3 of Americans consider this nation a Christian country?  I'd be willing to bet his stance on separation of church and state would soften a bit.  I also wonder how he would feel if a largely atheist town wanted to ban the building of a church?  By the way, this guy used to run a pizza franchise.  Quite a resume for a Presidential hopeful.

This is why I want to live on a mountain.  The problem isn't America.  It's people.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

At the Risk of Sounding Like a Hippie...

That's what I'm talking about!  According to Reuters, a hiker in Yellowstone who accidentally came across grizzly cubs was mauled to death by the mother.  It's a terrible shame that this happened; that's obviously not what I'm talking about.  While the situation is still being investigated, Yellowstone's initial response is that the bear behaved naturally and so will not be killed.  So that is what I'm talking about.

To be clear, I agree with the killing of the bear mentioned in the article that killed a man in his sleep in an "unprovoked" attack.  But if you're walking around in an area known for bear activity, you know what you're getting yourself into.  Odds are neither man deserved to be killed by a friggin' grizzly bear.  But it's nice to see that Yellowstone recognizes the fact that the bear was in its natural habitat and behaved as any bear should.  It would be even better to see them stick with that position (assuming the investigation finds that initial reports are accurate), despite possible public pressure.

It worries me that PETA probably agrees with me.  But they probably wouldn't want that other bear killed either.  So I'm not a hippie!