Thursday, December 01, 2005

Lethal Weapon 2, we hardly knew ye

Sixteen or so years after the release of Lethal Weapon 2, one has to look around the world and wonder if Riggs and Murtaugh would recognize it.

Back in the wacky world that was 1989, South Africa was one of the evil empires of the world. The evils of the South African policies of white supremacy wrapped up in the Apartheid system made America's deep racial problems of the time pale in comparison.

Now, in the arguably wackier world that is 2005, state after state in America are moving to put up roadblocks to any attempts to expand civil rights for homosexuals, especially in the area of the benefits of marriage. As America (on balance) moves to create barriers to the civil rights of homosexuals, South Africa moves in the opposite direction. South Africa has become the fourth country in the world, and the first on the African continent, to legalize all monogamous marriage. South Africa's supreme court has moved by a 'near-unanimous ruling' to strike down a law that limits marriage to intra-sex couples.

Good on ya, South Africa.


Patrick Smyrl said...

USA! USA! Once again we lead the world.

Excellent point. I have trouble understanding how obstensebly small government, civil libertarian types can maintain their political alliance with the uber-moralist wing of the Republican party. Given that civil marriage is purly a matter of contract / property law, I don't see where the religious right has a constitutional leg to stand on with this issue.

I should be able to share communal property with whoever I darned well please without asking the state "mother may I?" (assuming the other party to the contract is competent to enter into it, i.e. not a minor, animal, or yucca plant)

I think the civil libertarians / small government Republicans are in a similar predicament to the moderate democrats. They are stuck with the fringe element of their party because they feel they have nowhere else to go. Thus we get into a predicament similar to Israel, where a closly divided electorate winds up giving more power to those on the edge as they have the swing votes.

Or I could be wrong.

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Dave-o-ramA said...

Yup, the Democrats shivering in their boots about a Permanent Republican Majority haven't noticed the deep divisions brewing within the GOP.

Patrick Smyrl said...

Should be interesting to watch, I'll make popcorn.

The thing that helps keep freedom in the country is the fact that as soon as one party gains ascendency, it tends to turn on itself.

My biggest beef today is that the entire legislative branch, Republican and Democrat, has abdicated its oversight role.

From the left.. "Wa Wa, Bush lied to us about the war and tricked us into voting for it." Yet they never bothered to do any fact checking themselves before they voted away their war powers. Couldn't afford to look "soft."

From the right "We believe in individual liberties and like to wrap ourselves in 8 1/2" x 11" glossies of Ronald Regan." Translation: until we are in power. Imagine the uproar on talk radio if Clinton had tried to pass the Patriot act. Oh, and we have to keep those dirty homos who want to legally bind themselves together in socially and financially stable pairs from peeing all over marriage.

They (congress) do like to hold hearings after the fact (good political theater), but for the last 4 years have consistently failed to do their jobs.

The choices seems to be between "Tax and spend" or "Tax cut and spend." Now I like a good tax cut (or preferably complete reform) as much as the next guy, but I'd like to see some spending reduction. Going off the top of my head, I think I heard that 75% of the budget defecit under Bush is NOT incremental cost of the never-ending-gobstopper War on Terror and Fatherland, er, I mean Homeland security.

And who the hell thought to use the name "homeland?"

I belive I am drifting to the curmodgeon (sp?) section of the political spectrum. Now if only god and Johnny Cash will hear my prays and send me a McCain / Powell ticket in '08. I love the way McCain called out the Pentagon on the Boeing tanker deal...

ARGGGH! This is why I use my blog for my escapist passtime.

Dave-o-ramA said...

Actually, it's worth noting that in the mid '90s the Democrats DID try to pass most of the provisions that ended up in the PATRIOT act. At the time they were aimed at going after money laundering and fighting the War on Drugs (which has been about as effective as the War on Terror and the War on Poverty). John Kerry was a big booster for it. John Ashcroft argued against it.

So yeah, I voted straight ticket Libertarian in '02, and for divided government in '04.