Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Bunch of Questions

I first saw this at Calvin's Canadian Cave of Coolness. Looked interesting. Then I saw Jaquandor do it. I don't usually play, but what the heck, I'm in a mood.

1. What were doing 10 years ago?

Having a nervous breakdown. Really.

2. Five snacks that you enjoy in a perfect, non weight-gaining world?

In this perfect world diabetes has been cured: popcorn, Pop-Tarts, anything with cheese, anything with maple sugar, donuts.

3. Five things you would do if you were a billionaire:

Buy a house in the Back Bay and another in the White Mountains. Make sure my family never wanted for anything, ever. Travel a bit. Create a charitable foundation with a silly name so I could hear it on TV; “This program is made possible by the generous support of the Fartentooter Foundation.” And I could use a new pair of shoes.

4. Three of your habits:

Cracking my knuckles, singing for no reason, wasting time.

5. Five jobs that you've had:

Movie usher, video game room attendant, salesman, mortgage banker, bookseller.

6. Five places that you've lived:

Near Boston. That's about it.

7. Five things that you did yesterday:

Went to work. Bought shampoo (they were out of realpoo). Took pills. Blogged about hawks. Read some history.

8. Five people you would want to get to know more about:

Hitler, Jesus, Franklin, Poe, me.

9. Abortion: for or against it?

When it comes to matters of rights and social issues you will usually find me supporting individual liberty against the power of a coercive government. While the decision to destroy a living fetus is morally and ethically complex, I do not want legislators or bureaucrats to make these decisions for us. I am also a strong supporter of the concept of equal protection under the law. A significant restriction of individual liberty and personal choice that is placed on one sex only is necessarily unequal and unacceptable.

10. Do you think the world would fail with a female president?

The question is absurd. Did Israel fail with Golda Meir? Did the UK fail with Margaret Thatcher? Is Germany failing with Angela Merkel? Female heads of government are accepted around the world. They are no more or less prone to failure than males.

11. Do you believe in the death penalty?

I'm of two minds on this. On the one hand some crimes are so terrible that the penalty should be death. On the other hand I don't trust such a decision to human beings and I don't want to put the power of life and death in the hands of any government.

12. Do you wish marijuana would be legalized already?

Of course. See previous answers about individual liberty. I've never tried the stuff, don't want to, and disprove of it in general, but I don't think you, me, or Uncle Sam should have the right to tell people what not to do to themselves.

13. Are you for or against premarital sex?

None of my damn business.

14. Do you think same sex marriage should be legalized?

Do you remember what I said a bit ago about equal protection under the law? It's right there in the Constitution. Fourteenth Amendment in fact. You could look it up, as they say. How can you grant a right to one group of people and deny it to another and think that such an act is constitutionally acceptable?

15. Do you think it's wrong that so many Hispanics are illegally moving to the USA?

Wrong for who? Certainly not wrong for the migrants. Apparently not wrong for the people who are hiring them. Not wrong for Americans who wish to purchase the goods and services that their work provides. What is wrong is the “illegal” part. I'm told that if we could wave a magic wand and stop all illegal immigration it would cause several industries that rely on the labor to collapse. Obviously allowing people to enter the country only to take advantage of our social programs does us no good, but those who are willing and able to work or go to school should have a path to legal immigration. On the other hand I am concerned about the number of people who cross our borders without permission every year. The ability to secure borders is one of the basic security functions of government. A better job needs to be done to enforce the border laws that we have.

16. Should the alcohol age be lowered to eighteen?

Yes. Americans have a strange attitude toward alcohol. We treat it as a bad thing, something children need to be protected from. The supermarket in my town has a liquor section. If you have a bottle or a six-pack with your groceries the cashier, if he is under twenty-one, must stop and call an older supervisor to pick up the bottle, run it past the bar code scanner, and put it in a bag. He is legally enjoined from touching the package, as if it's close proximity could somehow contaminate his innocent soul. This is precisely how you create an attractive forbidden fruit and this is precisely what leads to secret and binge drinking. We need a more reasonable way to introduce young people to alcohol.

17. Should the war in Iraq be called off?

A couple of weeks ago Iraq held nationwide elections. It was another important step the people of that country took toward creating the second free and democratic nation-state in the Middle East. On that day the forces of evil (an archaic expression, yes, but appropriate nonetheless) bombed polling places, fired mortars into crowds, and shot at people waiting to vote. So the answer is yes. The people who would murder indiscriminately in order to terrify people to the point that they would surrender their freedom and bow to the will of the killers should call off the war immediately. I'm going to guess that this will not happen. It seems to me that the United States now has a responsibility to help the people of Iraq secure their country against tyranny and terror. We have promised them that we would do this thing and then leave. The president and the Joint Chiefs say that this should be accomplished by next year. I'm looking forward to it. So, I imagine, is Iraq.

18. Assisted suicide is illegal: do you agree?

Back to individual liberty again. If someone wants to die why do we feel that the government should have any power over the decision? And if that someone wants assistance so that the death is clean, painless, and dignified, then why not? If the law says no, “then the law is a ass.”

19. Do you believe in spanking children?

"Speak roughly to your little boy,
And beat him when he sneezes:
He only does it to annoy,
Because he knows it teases."

20.Do you worry that others will judge you from reading some of your answers?

Worry? No. "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”