Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Royal Wedding

The Royal Wedding arrives shortly, and I am only moderately interested. Mainly because our own political scene in America is so abominably disgusting. We have politicians selling out constantly, and others fighting and slinging mud to arrive at a higher office, so they can sell out in turn.

Then we have the Windsor clan in England. So it is interesting to watch others and see how they do it. Have the Royal clan of Windsor always been perfect? Not hardly, yet who can we point to here and say that this person was perfect? What Political Party can we point to that way? None. The Democrats have a long history of fostering class warfare and class hatred. The same with racial problems, and generally doing things to stir the pot and promptly point the finger. The Republicans are little better with their constant cries of Unpatriotic towards anyone who objects to greater Federal power for defense or homeland security.

The Libertarian Party is doomed to be fringe on their firmly held belief that drugs should be legal and able to be used without consequence. The consequence is all around us guys, and nobody, even me, wants people stoned out of their gourds on the roads or even walking down the street.

So we have the Royals, and we are told to hate them because they are chosen by the accident of birth to rule. Yet, look at them again. William, the heir to the heir to the throne, and the Groom of this Friday's weeding, is risking life and limb to fly a helicopter and save lives. He didn't go into business consulting on how to do something, or get Grants from the Government, he is serving the people of Great Britain by risking his life. Very few of our Political Masters children ever take the route of the Military. Yet Harry is also in the Military, and has served in Afghanistan.

Perhaps it's the sense of duty, of family duty, and honor that has been shoveled into them since birth that has driven these two boys to become the men they are. You can argue that they've had it easy, and I'll argue that they've had it just as easy as Paris Hilton, and have turned out very differently.

In large part, the role of the Royal Family is more ceremonial than political, and in that, they have shown great wisdom, and even quite a bit of compassion. They all work for charities, and granted most of their visits are photo opportunities, you get the impression that they genuinely care about the issue. Prince Charles is a dedicated Environmentalist, and while I disagree with his conclusions, I admit he raises a great deal of money for the cause.

We don't have royals in America, and perhaps that is something to consider. Our Political leaders are always running around trying to be noticed for the subject, and never want to be reminded of what they said or did just a few short weeks, months, or years ago which always is contrary to what they're saying now.

President Obama for example. He said a President has no right to launch a Military attack without a direct threat, or authorization from Congress. Then when he was President decided that he had every right. I guess his opinion as a Constitutional Scholar and Professor got changed when he got the job. President Obama voted against raising the Debt ceiling when Bush was President, and now claims that the Republicans are jeopardizing the nation by even hinting that they might not vote to raise it. Does anyone see his children joining the Military when they grow up? Anyone?

The Bush twins certainly didn't join, nor did Chelsea, nor did The Reagan kids. GW Bush joined, but Dad was a Congressman at the time, not the President.

By comparison, Gore joined, and was hustled out of Viet-Nam when it looked dangerous for the son of a Senator.

Granted Harry was hustled out of Afghanistan when someone reported he was there, but that makes some sense, after all killing him would be a great Public Relations coup, and that made all his mates targets too.

So why are we supposed to hate the Royals? Because we're American, and we don't have them. But we're also supposed to respect other nations, and their traditions, customs, and laws. England has a Constitutional Monarchy, and we are supposed to respect that. The same liberals who denounced our Nation Building in Iraq, now demand that England become more like us, abandoning the tradition and rule of the Royal Family.

I'll reiterate a thing I quoted before. Douglas Adams (who was British) said this. Anyone who wants high political office, is automatically disqualified from having the power that comes with it.

William may not want it, and may not have asked for it, but he is at least as qualified as anyone we have to wield it. Further, he may be MORE qualified, since he has spent his life preparing for it, instead of chasing it.

Friday, April 08, 2011

The ERA just won't die.

The ERA, or Equal Rights Amendment. It was passed through Congress in 1972, and was part of both political parties platform in 1976. Yes, even those Republicans were fully in support of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Then came a woman called Phyllis Schlafly came along, and pointed out the truth. That women stood to lose far more than they gained. For example, and it's important to remember that this was all going on while Viet-Nam, and the draft, were still every day news stories.

The truth was that women would have to register, and be selected for the draft, along with men. That meant 18 year old girls, could, and would be drafted into the Army. That meant that 18 year old girls would have to go to war, in the infantry, and fight, be injured, or killed along with the young men. Remember that at this time, the nation was sick of it's young men going off and being wounded, maimed, or killed in the war. The idea that the nations daughters, sisters, and young women would be subjected to this was inconceivable.

Because despite the title, it wouldn't be equal treatment for the women. If they were captured in a war, especially by an enemy like the North Viet-namese, or any of the other bad people we've fought since, you could expect that the women would endure what men would not. Gang rapes would be the rule, rather than the exception. While we may consider the women equal, our enemies would certainly not treat them equally.

Additionally, if you were a housewife, and spent your entire life assisting your Husband, while he worked, and you stayed at home. You would lose his social security benefits if he pre-deceased you. In other words, if Grandpa died, Grandma would be out on the street with nothing. Hardly an equal treatment right?

So why are people still trying to get this amendment passed? Because they focus on the surface, instead of the depth. The image rather than the substance. Ratify ERA Florida is still working to push for passage of an amendment that has long since expired. The entire process would have to start again.

Now, where do I stand personally? I don't care. I don't care if you're male, female, gay, straight, white, black, brown, or bright blue. I don't care what religion you are. I don't care what music you listen to. The only thing I care about is this. If you're an American, then you're entitled to all the rights that any citizen is.

Now, there is a qualification. I really don't want to see women subjected to combat. Does that mean I think they should be banned? No. I think the choice should be left to them. I think they should be sat down, and explained in very gruesome detail the negatives that could happen. Perhaps they should talk to Lara Logan. She was rescued by other women, but only just barely. It is not unheard of for other women to be raped to death by such crowds of young hotheaded men.

So ladies, if you think you're willing to risk that, and you think that is a small price to pay, and you're willing to be the equal of any man on the line, then welcome to combat. Yet I would suggest that you should perhaps consider another line of work. And yes, that is the same advice I give you young men who are considering the military.

I would be in favor of giving women the choice. I would NOT be in favor of requiring the sacrifice of them. Given the truth that sometimes, a national draft is needed. When we are discussing life and death of our nation. Given that the draft will take unwilling recruits into the military, where they may be captured, maimed, tortured, or killed. Should we up the ante on our young ladies and potentially subject them to the most heinous act imaginable? That is why I am not in favor of the ERA, is because it removes choice from our girls.

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