Drive-by pontification

(1) This winter of 2009-10 seems to be heading into the record books as a particularly cold one, and that has caused people to ask (with varying degrees of snark) whatever happened to global warming. Climate scientists assured the Associated Press that the current cold snap doesn’t undermine warming theory:

“It’s part of natural variability,” said Gerald Meehl, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. With global warming, he said, “we’ll still have record cold temperatures. We’ll just have fewer of them.”

Actually, that makes sense to me. Within any long-term trend are small, temporary counter-trends. So to my progressive friends I make this offer: I’ll acknowledge that this winter doesn’t disprove global warming if you’ll acknowledge that the recent economic setback doesn’t disprove that an appropriately regulated free market is the best path to prosperity. After all, one contrary blip doesn’t prove much — right?

(2) Newsweek magazine didn’t set out three weeks ago to muddy the distinctions between conservatives and liberals, but that’s exactly what its piece on lawyer Ted Olson accomplished. Olson, who has played key roles in several Republican administrations, is now seeking to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriages. As the magazine explains:

As a conservative, [Olson] says he believes in individual liberty and freedom from government interference in the private lives of citizens. Discriminating against people because of sexual orientation is a violation of both.

Exactly. That’s a classically conservative line of thinking. In fact, I’d push that argument even further along. The government should get out of the business of certifying marriages entirely. If two people feel that their union needs a blessing, let churches provide it (or not, depending on the church’s belief). What business does government have refereeing who marries and who doesn’t?

10 Responses to “Drive-by pontification”

  1. Locomotive Breath Says:

    NAMBLA applauds.

  2. Locomotive Breath Says:

    More seriously, the government sanction of marriage has all to do with the benefits. Those benefits were established along one model of society. If you’re going to change the model of society, you need to re-examine the benefits.

    For example, I consider hetero couples who don’t bother to have children to be freeloaders. Why should my kid be taxed to pay their social security and medicare? They should be able to take of themselves quite nicely on the money they didn’t spend on raising kids. What? Spent it all running with the fancy people? Tough.

  3. RLR Says:

    Good thing that breeders get access to other peoples’ resources to educate the fruit of their loins.

  4. NotThatImportant Says:

    RLR, good point not to mention that loco should be grateful to the hetero freeloaders for paying the social security and medicare of his parents (or himself depending on what generation he’s kvetching about about). However, it won’t do much good — loco never met a counterpoint he couldn’t comfortably ignore.

  5. NotThatImportant Says:

    Oh yeah, and I guess loco doesn’t think the deductions to his income taxes for his kid through the years count for anything. Those hetero freeloaders paying the full freight of state and federal taxes are clearly taking advantage of the rest of us married with children chumps.

  6. Locomotive Breath Says:

    The tax deductions for children are trivial when it comes to the cost of raising the child.

    Social security is a pay as you go system. While you’re working, you pay taxes to support to people who are too old to work. When you’re too old to work the next generation pays taxes to support you.

    It is based on a social model where everyone gets married and has kids. At the time it was created, the unmarried and childless were pitied. That social model is now broken and so is Social Security which always was a ticking time bomb of a Ponzi scheme.

    Freeloaders without children use such derogatory terms as “breeders” and complain about having to pay taxes to educate other people’s kids. “I wanna keep it all for myself, I have a vacation coming up” I hear them whine. You better hope that other person’s kid gets a good education and becomes a high wage earner so s/he can pay you the benefits to which you think you’re entitled.

    The silver lining is that at least the freeloaders keep themselves out of the gene pool.

  7. NotThatImportant Says:

    Loco, please follow your own logic.

    “While you’re working, you pay taxes to support to people who are too old to work.”

    If one is childless, he/she pays no less than someone with children. The is no free or free loading to be had. They have already paid their share into the system. The major difference is he/she leaves behind no additional burden for the next generation to support when the non existent child gets old. And even if one agrees with your pretzel logic, having an only child (one can only assume that means you based on your reference to your offspring in the singular) means you should count yourself among the subsidized. Since your only child is not going to pay double to support both you and your wife.

  8. InTheArena Says:

    If the argument is simply one of inappropriate governmental interference, then why stop (or for that matter, start) with Gay Marriage? The list is long. However, if the argument is simply one of fairness, then the ban meets the measure since it applies equally to everyone, and is thus non-discriminatory, and thus is the polar opposite of the struggle that we, as Free Blacks, have endured.

  9. Locomotive Breath Says:

    “As a conservative, [Olson] says he believes in individual liberty and freedom from government interference in the private lives of citizens.”

    As I have demonstrated by starting the debate in this thread, once the government starts handing out benefits based on a citizen’s marital status or parental status - personal choices among many others - in an attempt to encourage some and discourage others of those personal choices according to some value judgment, then you open up an endless debate on the value of those personal choices. The true conservative principle would be to NOT hand out benefits based on personal choices but to treat everyone equally. Olson is therefore wrong.

  10. InTheArean Says:

    Loco, I agree with your viewpoint of conservatism, individual liberty, etc., but in the case of marital restrictions, everyone is being treated exactly the same. There is no discrimination. No one is allowed to marry another person of the same sex. No one. That means it applies to us all alike.