Sunday, March 22, 2009

Are you my mom? No, Then shut up!

So there has been talk as of late (at least here in California) about legalizing and taxing marijuana as a way to help the state recover lost money and on a nation scale it is mentioned as one of the ways we could fight the drug lords that are taking over Mexico.

Anyone who knows me will not be shocked to hear that I a very pro legalization of not just pot, but all drugs. As well as prostitution and all forms of gambling. I was also a supporter of the NO ON 8 (gay marriage ban). I am a pro free speech to the point of extreme. I am pro choice and pro right to die. Do you see a trend here? To me these are all the same issues. You might ask "What the hell does gay marriage have to do with drugs, gambling, prostitution, free speech or any of that other crap?"

For me it's simple. These are all personal adult decisions. Who you marry or have sex with. What you do with or put into your body, what you do with your money, what you do when you get pregnant, when you end your life. To me these are all things that only your parents can tell you what you can and can't do with. Mom and Dad even lose that right when you become a legal adult.

Now there are hundreds of arguments for all these things. Debate on abortion is well covered so I'm gonna skip that. There are pros and cons for the legalization of drugs. From making it safer for addicts to get treatment if they don't have to fear legal prosecution to the tax benefits of a new cash crop. Most of us know the sides there. But then there are the harder ones. Like prostitution, most of the pro arguments are biased around safety for the working girls. I could go on all day but once again it all seems pointless to me because the best argument I can think of for all of them is "It's my body, my life, I'm an adult, I'm not hurting anybody else so it's none of your fucking business!"

Lots of people are pro one or two of these things. It's pretty easy to be pro choice, that's mainstream. Gay marriage is in vogue for the left crowd. Legalization of drugs is a little sticky but still not that far off the mainstream. So some of the people that are pro those things read that last sentence up there and might have given an internal "hell yeah" to it . But some of these same people manage to find some issue with the harder parts of personal freedom. In my opinion this largely due to misguided moral issues. They are alright with gay marriage or legalized drugs but when you get down to pro prostitution or right to die it starts to get sticky for some.

Let me clarify what I mean by "right to die" because I'm a bit more extreme then what you might be thinking. But it is a good start point to pointing out the double standard I am talking about. I am not just talking about pulling the plug on your dying relative or the people who are sick, dying and in pain so they choose assisted suicide. I'm talking full blow RIGHT TO DIE. If you want out, get out. It's your body your choice. To me you can't use the "my body, my choice" line for abortion and not have it apply to suicide. It's not consistent.

I mentioned free speech before because to be a true advocate of free speech is one of the hardest positions to take and stick to your guns on no matter what. It means that you have to support the rights of some pretty fucked up people to stay consistent. It means that you have to support the rights of speech for your gay activist friends the same way you support the rights of speech of people like the KKK.

It means Keith Olbermann has the same right to speak his mind as Bill O'Reilly.

It's not always easy, but to me it is vital. To have a double standard on individual rights, is in my opinion one of the worst forms of hypocrisy out there, one performed everyday by otherwise good people. Individual rights is much like free speech in that to be consistent is hard work.

Lets have some fun with this! See if your convictions hold up to conflict.

Let me ask you female pro choicers who are anti legalization of prostitution. There are a whole bunch of you, don't be shy. Can you really say "My body, my choice" and not apply the same thinking to another female who chooses to sell her body?

George Carlin had a great line about prostitution. "Selling is legal, fucking is legal. Why isn't selling fucking legal?"

I know a lot of the arguments against form around the old "prostitution is exploitation" lines. I am not going to say for a second that there are people out there right now exploiting, taking advantage of, and in extreme cases making virtual slaves of desperate and often very young women. It is very much going on and is very sad. All that being said there are hundreds of thousands of women out there who very happily choose to enter the sex industry. Those are women who's rights you are trying to infringe. Not the poor girl forced into prostitution. She is a victim of the black market and needs your help. But we will get to that.

I'm going to jump here to one of the big arguments about ending the drug war for a second. Mexico is on the edge of falling because Mexican drug lords fat on the money gained by importing drugs into our country are using that money to fund an all out attack on that government. So it has been batted around (rightfully so) that ending our prohibition on drugs would cut off the funding of these drug cartels and give the government of Mexico a fighting chance again.

To sum up, our drug laws have created a thriving black market that allows bad people to do bad things and make a shit ton of money doing it. Just like our prostitution laws have created a thriving black market that allows bad people to do bad things and make a shit ton of money doing it.

If we end our laws against prostitution, then submit it to taxation and regulation we give the power back to the girls who make the decision to enter the life. We make it safer, and we effectively put the violent and abusive slavers who call themselves pimps out of business. On top of it all we provide new and much needed tax revenue.

All of this is fine and good and very long winded. So again lets apply "It's my body, my life, I'm an adult, I'm not hurting anybody else so it's none of your fucking business!"

Why would a pro choice person ever say, in effect "Well it may be her body, but she can't make THAT choice" You are acting just like the pimps who control and abuse their girls and the pro life types trying to take away a woman's right to choose. You are being a hypocrite! Sorry, I hate to be the one to break it to you.

If a adult women wants to become a sex worker who the hell are you to tell her she can't? How does it affect YOU?
You are denying the right of a person to choose what they do with their life. Plain and simple.

You are the same as the people trying to deny gay marriage. They want to tell people that they can't marry (i.e. have an emotional and sexual life) who they want. You want to tell people that they can't have sex with who they want for their own reason. You might want to change your Prop 8 vote because you clearly don't believe that people have the right to do what they want in the bed room.

It's not easy fighting for personal freedom. It means you have to take the good with the bad. Martin Luther King with David Duke. It means you have to let go of trying to use the law to impose your morals on other people and allow them do decide for themselves what to do with the life given to them.

Evelyn Beatrice Hall said "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,"

These words have meant the world to me since the first time I heard them. It is not just a clever line about free speech to me. Those are words to live and if need be die by. It is about being true to yourself and not selling out your beliefs even in the hardest and most extreme cases. It means checking yourself every now and then and making sure that you do indeed practice what you preach.

Am I over simplifying the above issues, maybe a little. But maybe these are issues that have been grossly over complicated in the first place. But if any part of "It's my body, it's my life, I'm an adult and not hurting anybody else" is used and any argument you use then you have to honestly ask yourself if you are applying it across the board. For better or for worse, the good with the bad.

An adult has the right to make their own decisions, even bad ones. If you take that away at all, even the bad ones you are opening the door to having your right to make your decisions taken away from you for your own good. That scares the shit out of me. I hope it scares you too!

Until next time...
From Parts Unknown

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bragging rights, Greed and Entitlement

My topic for this post is going to be greed. But before I get going on that I want to take a moment crow about something I wrote a while back that is being talked about more and more lately.
If you watch the news or listen to talk radio you have no doubt heard the recent “civil war” talk going around. If you watch Fox news you may have even seen Glen Beck ‘s “ War Games” The Coming Civil War. A special they ran a week or two ago. I’m not making it up, use a search engine and look it up for yourself. I, for one am not shocked that they ran this program. How not shocked am I? I am so not shocked that I wrote about it on Oct. 24th 2008. If you will indulge me for a minute I’m going to quote myself.

“This highlights to me what will really be the most frightening part of the impending Obama win and a possible Democrat majority. If you remember your recent history then you'll remember what the far right wing of the Republican Party was like those last few years of the Clinton administration. Abortion bombings, Tim McVeigh and homegrown terrorists, militia groups, and a venomous hatred that gave rise to the Rush Limbaugh's and Bill O'Reilly types. And most of that was at a point in time where the republicans DID control the Congress and a white guy was in the white house.”

For a little bit of context I was writing about Sara Palin’s comments (remember her?) that she was “un-sure if abortion clinic bombers are terrorists”. By the way Sara, Yes, they are most definitely terrorists and you are a fucking moron if you think otherwise.
So, I’m not shocked. Well, maybe a little shocked that they didn’t even wait out the first 100 days before bringing it up. I don’t really have any other point to make by mentioning any of this. I just want to state again that these people are so damn predictable it’s sad.

So anyway, lets move on to what I really wanted to talk about.


In his speech to the joint houses Obama mention personal and business responsibility. But the pink elephant in the room when talking about responsibility is Greed. No one ever seems to mention that part of being a responsible person is keeping greed in check.

What is greed?

Almost none of us are above it. It basically has been the downfall of every failed government from Rome to the U.S.S.R. It comes in many different forms. Greed for power, money, fame, material items and even love. It is the C.E.O. who lays off workers while giving himself a bonus for a “job well done”. It is also the guy who has to have the newest phone or the best car on the block. Those are the obvious ones. How about the not so obvious? Greed is buying things you can’t pay for without using credit. Greed is buying a house you “hope” you can afford and then expecting the bank or the tax payers to flip the bill when you default on your loan.

How Much is Too Much?

It is so easy to pick on the super rich. That top 2% that controls the majority of money in our country is a sick bunch. There are people out there who have more than they could spend in 2 or 3 lifetimes. They are the big believers in so called “trickle down” economics. I am going to say something that is rare for a self professed Democrat to say. At its heart it’s really not a bad idea. You give money to the guys on the top and then they use it to make sure everyone has jobs, simple right. And they would have gotten away with it to if it wasn’t for that pesky greed thing. Enough is never enough for them. Money can’t trickle down if it never leaves their pockets. Human greed wins another over human ideals. Like a dog breaking into his gigantic Sam’s Club sized bag of dog food and eating until he is sick they don’t just stop with what they need. They feel that they are entitled to every dollar they can get. They seemingly never stop to think that just because they can get it, that doesn’t mean they should get it. At its heart that is why Socialism died in childbirth and then turned into a failed Communist state. Only in that case it was greed for power more than for mere money.

A good idea takes even better people to make good on its promises.

But time after time greed gets in the way.

Like I said it is so easy to point the finger just at the super rich but like cancer, greed has spread to every limb of society’s body. We are encouraged to buy things we can’t afford. Credit score is more important than work history. We are a nation of people that, just like the evil and greedy super rich, feel that we are entitled to more than we have earned. This is what they taught us to keep us as their good little worker drones. Always buying until you are broke and thus can never get ahead and maybe one day join them at the country club. You need that new TV. You need to own every season of your favorite show on DVD. You need to buy that second house so you can flip it and make money to buy more stuff. You need to have every little thing you want. What the fuck, your worth it right. You deserve it don’t you? You are ENTITLED to it!

That sense of entitlement is something that seems out of control to me these days. The amount of people I talk to with their heads up their ass, people who really believe that they deserve the world handed to them it is amazing. I am going to throw two hard truths at you real quick. 1. Not every child is special. 2. You are not entitled to have absolutely everything you want no matter who you are or how much money you have.

Why? Because that’s the way it works, that’s why.

Life is about what we don’t have or what doesn’t happen as much as it is about what we do have or what does happen. Also, while I’m at it, getting there really is half the fun.

But seriously folk,

Take an honest look at yourself for a second. I say this knowing that it is pointless because most of the biggest offenders of this sense of entitlement that has swept our nation are in my experience incapable of looking at themselves honestly. But if somehow you can get over yourself long enough to make it thru this sentence then take a good hard look at yourself and ask yourself two questions.

Do you really need everything you have?

Do you have everything you need?

If you answer yes to question 1 while reading on one of your 2 new computers that share a room with one of your 3 TV’s before going to work in one of your 2 cars then you didn’t understand the question. I am not saying buying and having stuff is wrong but I am saying that buying everything you want just because you want it is greedy. No more or less greedy then the super rich C.E.O. just greedy on a smaller financial scale. So next time you talk about how wrong it is that “the oil companies” rake in billions or something like that be careful, because to the guy who lost his job and is living in his car YOU’RE the rich guy flaunting what he has.

If you answered yes to question 2 then I have this to say to you.

Why take any more then? If you are happy, healthy, and want for nothing then would it kill you too take some of that money and help someone else? Maybe help out the friend, family member, or co worker that is not doing so well. Not because you get a tax break. Not even because it makes you feel good. Do it just because you can, and they need it. Here is a hint to the super rich guys. Free of charge even. If you spread the wealth of your own free will then no one in the government will come after it to spread it for you. There is no need for Socialistic policies if you are already sharing the wealth.

For the record, I am not claiming to be above any of this. I am claiming that I see this in myself and that I make an effort to be responsible and control my greed. I will say that doing that makes me a better person then someone who doesn’t. If that makes me an asshole then so be it, I can live with being an asshole in the eyes of greedy mother fuckers!
Just something to think about while you are waiting for that e-bay auction to end or Amazon to finish loading up. I’m sure something good came out on DVD this week that you just have to own.

Until next time,
From Parts Unknown

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Excuses, excuses! Bring on the blog already!

So I started this blog thingy on a off day for me. I work 10 hour days Thursday's thru Sundays so from Sunday night on there is really just not that much to set me off. I avoid the news a lot on my days off, and about the only real contact I have with the outside world is band practice. So I guess what I am saying here is that since I signed up I just haven't had much to write about. But I will fall into a more normal posting schedule in the coming days.

So what I will do now is show you a bit of what I think you can expect once I get my keyboard out of my ass and start getting serious about this thing. I touched on this in my first post but I am a bit of a political junkie. For example a couple of weeks ago I wrote a 2000+ word rant called Where the Right Went Wrong a calling out of sorts to republicans about the dangers of business as usual. I thought about re-posting it but it is a little outdated now so I figure I'll throw the link up there and if anyone wants to check it out go for it.

I'm bound and determined not to just let this turn into a form for my admittedly out there political views. I hope that I can get to more fun stuff like music, movies, books, TV and maybe even a little science and philosophy here and there and even just write some stuff I find funny from time to time.

So if you happen upon this thing before I get some proper updates in then I hope you stick with me. I'll try to at least make you laugh and maybe on a good day make you think a little. Who knows, with some luck get a dialog going!

Until next time!
From Parts Unknown

Sunday, February 22, 2009

To Auspicious Beginnings!

Somehow the night I decided to start a blog called "Rantings from Parts Unknowns" I have nothing to rant about. I mean I guess I can force one. There is plenty of stuff that pisses me off as any one who ever bothers to read anything I write here will soon find out. But I think that starting off with a forced rant is just bad form so I'm not gonna do it.
I guess for lack of anything better to write about I will tell you a little about myself. I am 32 years old, I have lived in Southern California for all of my life. My "day job" is as a middle manager in an off track horse racing facility. Sound exciting? It's not. It's a state job (expect future rants about working for the state) and for the most part involves sitting in front of a large row of small TVs and turning up and down the sound for horse races all night. I do get to keep my trusty laptop with me while there, watch any TV I want, and pays well to boot so I can't complain too much.
In addition to ye old day job I have been in bands for the last 16 years or so. My current bands are a Metal band called The Kill Junkies, a horror punk band called Fangboy and the Ghouls, and have some goth/industrial songs I record under the name Lunitari.
I have also been trying my hand at writing. A couple years back I wrote a script for a Stoner/Golf Comedy called Green Fees. I am currently taking my first stab at writing something more "novel like" in the Fantasy genre.
Other stuff about myself I think you should know or will soon find out. I'm a big old geek. I'm a sarcastic mofo. I obsess over politics and political theory (I'm so very far to the left I pop up on the right sometimes and am a not so closet New World Order enthusiast) and I am quite possibly addicted to twitter.

So I think that will do it for now. Plenty of time to get to know each other later. The girlfriend is knee deep in Viva Pinata and I think I'm ready for another cigarette.

From Parts Unknown