Monday, June 11, 2012

I do....

  I've never been what you would call "athletically inclined".  I did manage to make a basket once when I was on the 6th grade basketball team at Millville Grade School, when my old buddy Stinky Wilmont yelled "shoot it" at the final buzzer. Of course, that shot missed the backboard, but I did manage to hit the first of two free throws I was awarded when a fellow bench warmer from the opposing team stuck his finger in my eye while he was blocking my field goal. Even though I was able to cut the margin of our defeat that game down to 27 points, nobody asked me to play on the 7th grade team the next year, and what little interest I had in basketball faded quickly away.

  And then there was that time I hit a baseball and made it to second base, but I only hit it because I was flailing at a bee that was buzzing around my head, and I really only made it to second base because the bee had turned its attention to Arnold Dinkins, causing him to abandon the shortstop position. They say that baseball is the "national pastime". I guess it is for some people, but I don't think they ever passed law about it. Yet.

  We didn't play soccer at Millville back then. I really didn't know much of anything about the game, and I hadn't ever watched it until my granddaughters started playing it a while back. I still don't know much about it, but I heard that more people play soccer than any other game in the world. I'm guessing that's so they don't have to watch it. Anyway, I know a lot of people have a higher opinion of basketball, baseball and soccer than I have, and I'm okay with that, as long as they don't pass some law that forces me to watch or play. But that's not what I wanted to write about today. I really wanted to write about marriage.

 My wife Susan and I have been married for 36 years. I know I married up, but I'm not sure Susan can say the same thing. And I'm also pretty sure her dad agreed with me on that point. It was probably one of the few things we ever agreed on .

  We went and bought a marriage license from the State of Ohio before we got married, because somebody told us we had to. I didn't think about it much at the time, but looking back, I wonder if it was really necessary. I guess we just accepted that it had always been that way. I found out later on that government involvement in marriage is a relatively new development. It didn't actually get heavily involved in the marriage business until the 19th and 20th centuries, and then only to control or prohibit inter-racial marriages, and maintain racial purity. For the most part, that's not really a problem most people really feel needs to be controlled anymore, but like most things the government gets involved in, it tends to hang around even when most people don't see its need or usefulness anymore.

  Nowadays, a lot of politicians from President Obama on down, are scrambling to come up with the most acceptable opinion on gay marriage. I guess that's what politicians are supposed to do, but I'm not sure that's what they ought to do.

  When it comes to same sex marriage, I'll be the first to admit I don't understand the attraction. I guess we never gave it a lot of thought back at Millville.  I have several friends that are gay, and I also have several friends that are Republicans and Democrats. (I don't understand the attraction there, either.)  And while I might not understand why some people are attracted to it, neither can I understand why some people are so opposed to it. Apparently some people have religious and moral  objections, but some people who favor it cite religious and moral reasons themselves.

  Now, I'm just real happy that so many people have religious and moral convictions, but I never thought I wanted the government to define them for us. I suppose it wouldn't really be a problem as long as the good guys are elected and running things, but as about half of the population will testify at any given time, that doesn't always happen.

  The problem with getting the government involved in anything is that opinion so often becomes law, and law always involves force. In reality, government has no more business telling consenting adults what type of relationship they can have, than it has telling other adults that they have to accept a relationship they don't approve of. Or telling someone they have to play soccer. Or worse yet, watch it.

 The only involvement government should have in marriage is to make sure that contractual obligations are upheld if the need arises.

  I don't know if you agree with that or not, but I've been married for 36 years, and I do.

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Saturday, June 09, 2012

Hey, it's not my fault...

  The year I graduated from high school, there was a movie going around entitled "Love Story", starring Ryan O'Neal and Ali McGraw. I can't remember much about the plot, or who I was with when I saw it.  It doesn't really seem like it was that long ago, but I saw the other day that Ali McGraw turns 73 this year. That kind of hurts a little.

  The last line in the movie was something like "Love means never having to say you're sorry". I never quite understood what that meant. I figure just about everybody needs to issue a good old heartfelt apology in a relationship every once in a while, even if it's just for general principles.

  I also saw the other day that the city of Indianapolis  had been ordered to pay $1.55 million to the family of a man that was killed by a drunken city policeman. While the city agreed to make the payment, it opted not to make any statement or accept any blame for the killing. Now, I'm a firm believer that people are responsible for their own actions, and the guilty officer should actually be the one paying the fine along with serving his jail time. But the police department also went out of its way to make sure much of the evidence gathered at the scene couldn't be used in court , and even if the city felt no responsibility for hiring this caliber of officer, it certainly owed some sort of apology for the conduct of the department.

  Meanwhile, back at home here in Wayne County, many voters are starting to figure out that the EDC, Richmond, and the county don't always use the $30 some million that they have seized through the Economic Development Income Tax in the manner they originally agreed upon . You might think that the EDC might be just a little embarrassed  after dropping the ball so many times, but instead has pledged to carry on with "business as usual".

  Several years ago, the federal government started collecting money from taxpayers to help cover their retirement and health care. Then, instead of saving that money, they spent it on all manner of unrelated projects, to the point of driving the accounts into insolvency. You might think the government would feel a little guilty by all of this, and allow people to opt out and get out from under this huge debacle. Or at least apologize for the mess they have created.

But apparently, being the government means never having to say they're sorry.

Now that, I understand.