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Friday Round-up

What's crackin', folks?

Some of you have emailed me to ask if we'll be continuing the "real talk about race" series that we started on my old blog a month or so ago. The answer is yes. But I'm still settling in to this blog and I'm swamped trying to wrap up a story, so no time to get to deep for a few more days.

In the meantime, let's weigh in on the headlines:

  • Gay Marriage - Whatever you think of it, get used to it. And I'm not just saying that 'cause the California Supreme Court overturned the state's ban on gay marriage. My prediction is that legal advocates for gay couples will soon argue in courtrooms nationwide that the only way to legitimately ban gay marriage is to ban being gay. The argument will be if it is "legal" to be gay and to live a gay lifestyle, then it can't be illegal to formalize a gay relationship. I'm not advocating one way or another. I'm just sayin'. I really don't care who gets married, as long as it doesn't affect my marriage.
  • Gun stuff - I've never been much of an activist on anything, except preventing stupid pet owners from allowing their dogs to crap on the swale in front of my house and then not picking it up. But I'm on the verge of joining some kind of gun-rights group to make a point. A colleague of mine was borderline weepy this morning over the fact that a federal court threw out NYC's 8-year-old lawsuit against gun manufacturers. The suit's goal was to hold gun manufacturers responsible for selling weapons to middlemen who then sell them with very loose standards. And then some of those guns end up in the hands of shady people who sell them with even looser standards to criminals and other random people in back alleys and underground gun "shows" who don't properly ID themselves. I actually applaud the intention of the suit, but we can still control gun crime, by grooming people from childhood to exercise self control and common sense. Then by the time they turn 16 or 17 or 18, or nowadays 12, it won't even cross their minds to buy a gun and shoot someone who offended them. The best way to control an inanimate object is to teach people to not want to pick them up. Same goes for drugs, etc. Take away the appetite and the market will go away. Of course, there is a difference. Guns aren't "born" illegal. Illegal drugs are. So in their case we should be trying to go after the market and the consumer's appetite. Guns though? Trying to curb their sale hasn't worked by itself for a loooooooong time. Theoretically, in order for gun control to work, they'll have to be banned outright, except for law enforcement and military. And that ain't happening in this country any time soon, likely never. So I say we try my way, which is hardly a new idea. I didn't come up with it. I think Chris Rock did.
  • The death of two party politics - This election season has done more than any scholarly arguments ever have in the past to demonstrate that two major political parties in our system is too few, because the power brokers in either party are so desperate to distance themselves from the other side that they're backing themselves into extreme corners. Meanwhile, the average American who has learned to choose his political opinions piecemeal and not necessarily tow a single party line is stuck in the middle. I had a buddy the other day lament to me "I hope you're not getting all conservative on me." Really? You're worried about that? What if I was getting "all liberal on you?" And what exactly do those two labels mean anymore? Based on my stances on crime some folks would call me conservative. My stance on abortion and the like would probably get me labeled a liberal. Maybe not. Not sure. My support for the military (not the fatheads in D.C. who tell the military what to do) probably lands me somewhere in the middle. We could go on all day. Can you really say with a straight face that you are 100% liberal or 100% conservative on every single issue that affects how you live? Even if you lean in a majority one direction or another, it must turn you off to see your "major" party urging its stars to narrow their minds further. Seriously, I think by 2016 we'll have a legitimate third major party. I think its legions should be called Burnetticans....or Burnetticrats...or better yet Burnettertarians.
  • Dating - I hope all the participants take public transportation to get here.

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GrizzBabe

2016? Do we have to wait that long?!?

James B.

Grizz, maybe it'll happen sooner if people finish this election season pissed off enough.

The CEO

OK, count me in as a Burnettetarian. I'd like to vote for GrizzBabe. Or Dave Barry and you, but I've already brought up that ticket before.

As for the gay marriage issue, with marriage, one partner can collect the others social security in the event of death. Not true now. Also, with marriage, benefits automatically accrue to the marriage partner, such as access to health benefits which are precluded now. Of course, others will see these same things as new costs. I guess it all depends on your point of view.

You covered guns better than me. I am not surprised, you write well. Good seeing you.

The Sarcasticynic

Hmmm. Gay Marriage, Guns, Politics - and green people dating. Is it any wonder people love your blog, James? One-stop shopping.

Sharon

Two-party politics certainly hasn't improved things in this country (UK). But that's also a lot to do with the 'First past the post' voting system.

For a really good comment on such things go see Gilbert & Sullivan's "Utopia Ltd".

og

"Crackin" sounds like "Cracker" just like "Niggardly" sounds like... well, you know. So I take offense!

nah, I don't. But I figured it'd be fun to yank your chain a bit.

Love the new site. I'll try to behave here. I said "try".

James B.

Monty, thanks on the gun thing and the support for my non-existent campaign ;-) I'll let you know if I decide to run though. You can be my campaign finance advisor.

Sarc, I aim to please...sort of.

Sharon, you've convinced me. I'm gonna check out Utopia Ltd.

Og, Og, Og. Thank you. I'm liking the new digs. Do try to behave. All I can ask is you try. Anyway, I like crackers. They're delicious with cheese and summer sausage. But seriously, your use of "niggardly" reminds me of when the former mayor of Washington D.C. got scolded for using it. He'd used it in proper context, during a city budget meeting as I recall. But someone on his staff complained that it sounded too much like... I can see why he was annoyed at the time. On the other hand, as my pops used to say, sometimes it's better to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Regardless, I knew it's definition. So it's all good!

og

"Avoid The Appearance of Impropriety".

Your pops is a wise man.

James B.

Damn straight!

M@

The binary (and reductive) choice of liberal and conservative is the classic false dichotomy.

I choose... neither!

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