Saturday, June 27, 2015

Why gay marriage is really nothing to set yourself on fire over.

Now that American President Barak Obama has ridden the rainbow unicorn and presided over the judicial decision to legalize gay marriage, nothing much is going to change. I don't understand the outrage, or the consternation frankly, never did, but sometimes it takes the judiciary to keep the legislature from pandering to special interests; in this case the special interest being those opposed to gay marriage, mostly fundamentalist pastors and their well financed flocks.  This is yet another case where the tyranny of the majority was ruled out of order.

The majority being everyone who's not gay.
So here's what I don't get about it:
Most of the loudest pundits, like the preacher who wants to set himself on fire are probably only marginally attractive to their heterosexual partners and likely aren't on the radar of the gay. "Me thinks he doeth protest too loudly" comes to mind.

My grandson, who is seven, and I went to a wedding of his cousin recently, on the drive down he asked me if two boys could get married, I said yes if they are in love they can.  To him this was as complex as it got, no references to Deuteronomy or concerns that they will want to adopt. Just a simple kids understanding that marriage is about affirming love.
If we think about it, that's really all it is about. Sexual orientation is no greater a mystery than being red headed, tall or left handed. Science will explain it with a hormonal predisposition of the fetus in the womb, it has complexity beyond this sentence, but the point is generally correct. While we no longer think Red Heads are witches, I'm sure that in a few years this issue too will  fade into oblivion except for those affected by it;  if it hasn't already.
The other argument is why isn't there a Straight Pride parade? That's an interesting one and I think it best summed up by this:
"I have a dream that one day a man will be judged by the depth of his character and not the color of his skin."

Same rodeo, different horses.
The parade thing is really a show  about being released from oppression and predjuice and it's long overdue.
I am a partner in a company that sells vodka; Souvenir Vodka (available at many quality retailers near you and if they don't have it, ask them to stock it) and one of our most popular bottles is the one emblazoned with the Pride Flag. Yup, I sell gay vodka, now it is exactly the same vodka as is in all our other bottles, but we were asked to sponsor a gay curling event last year and we did by developing an appealing bottle, it sells well.
I'd personally, like nothing better than for a right wing preacher to take issue with our product, and to make lots of outrageous noise in the media. Sales might skyrocket and I will make more money. I would prefer they not douse themselves in it before setting themselves on fire, but otherwise go hard.
I am being a bit flippant I know, I understand the suffering and pain that has gone on before but I can honestly say that we are beyond it. I know of no one who thinks this is a serious issue anymore, it has become ordinary.
Good luck to everyone affected by this issue; get married, enjoy your life, live your life as in the sage words of my philosopher friend Gary the deadbeat boyfriend; "after 20 years it's all same sex marriage"
Get over it people, if you can't handle that other people are different they probably feel the same about you.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I am less concerned about the quality of the NDP government than about the quality of the third party in opposition. Change is hard....

I thought I should start my new blog series on the NDP government by offering a particularly humorous anecdote offered up yesterday in response to the throne speech by Ric McIvor of the PC party: 
"Ric McIvor, interim leader of the Progressive Conservatives, was critical of Notley on the corporate tax increase and for failing to mention agriculture, forestry, tourism and culture in the throne speech.
He slammed the new government for banning corporate donations, which historically benefited the Progressive Conservatives. McIver claimed the NDP is changing the laws to benefit itself.
"It is a naked attempt to tilt the political scale in the current government's balance," he said.
McIvor said the current system is more transparent in that donations from corporations are publicly reported. He said the new system could leave itself open to loopholes where corporations and unions could still donate through private individuals.
However, McIvor wasn't able to provide any examples of how that might happen."
I copied this from Facebook but I forgot where, so if you were the journalist who wrote it, good on you.
Now if I need to explain why this is so hilariously disingenuous, then  you won't find it very funny. It  is just so deliciously blind to forty four years of doing exactly the same thing and ignoring the hue and cry of the opposition when pointing it out.
I am worried that the PC's will not make a very good opposition party. First of all they have short memories and, second,  aren't very humble. There is almost nothing to gained other than delayed extinction, by going  on the offensive about anything, it is almost as though the Randy Dawson brain trust were still offering advice, but instead of saying "kick em while they are down, it's more of a "kick em while they are up" 
A better reaction would have been for Ric to have used a scholarly posture, rubbed his chin and said:
"It is a sincere, if somewhat misguided attempt at governance, but as our colleagues opposite are still new in their roles, we shall endeavour to assist in any way possible to provide a stable platform for growth in Alberta." 
Ric would have sounded like a  good sport and people would have said:
"Wow, classy party. they get their asses handed to them and are still willing to help."

Or at the very least Ric could have said:
"Yes cutting off corporate donations is inconvenient, it is certainly not a problem"
Thereby strengthening the PC brand as truly being the brand of Albertans, I don't think PC fund raising will be a problem much longer,  they will be as least as successful as the Saskatchewan PC party are.
It will be nice to see what a government looks like that does not give sole source contracts to it's friends in the business world, if  for no other reason than it doesn't have any.
I do take umbrage with the government however on the matter of taxes:
I make more than $125,000.00 per year and object to paying more because the government does nothing for me that I cannot do  better for myself.  Government is waste, and an inefficient means of wealth distribution where those who work hard and are productive are made to subsidize everyone else.  Now that we have given these people the pin number to the provincial debit card, expect that withdrawals from your wallet via  taxation will be a favorite tool for the next two years.
But I understand "It is a sincere, if somewhat misguided attempt at governance, but as the government are still new in their roles, I shall endeavour to assist in any way possible to provide a stable platform for growth in Alberta."