Book reviews, art, gaming, Objectivism and thoughts on other topics as they occur.

May 18, 2011

A Ban I'm Actually In Favor Of

Apparently (link is in the post title, as always), a measure to ban circumcision of minors (under 18, that is) is going on the ballot in San Francisco--with NO religious exemptions. Bravo. This is a ban I'd actually be in favor of. Circumcision is something that an individual needs to choose for themselves, not have forced on them by their parents in the name of hygiene or by their religious leaders or parents for some (heh) cockamamie "reason".

Now, if they want to decide that the age of consent for circumcision doesn't have to be 18 (16-year-olds can drive, after all) dandy. But NOBODY should be mutilating children for ANY reason, I don't care WHAT their religion says. This does not constitute a violation of a person's right to practice their religion. It just constitutes a limit on their nonexistant "right" to practice that religion ON OTHER PEOPLE who are not capable of giving their consent.

If the defenders of this proposed statute go about it in the right way, this could really constitute a landmark case for setting down, once again, what rights people actually have. Congress shall make no law establishing any religion--this doesn't say anywhere that Congress shall not make laws forbidding certain religious practices that may violate somebody's rights.

And Lo, the Swaggering Bully Returns

Via the Drudge Report, I read the short article linked to the post title. Honestly, how absurd can you get? "You taking defensive measures is going to force us to threaten to attack you!!" You might as well say "if you install locks on your doors, I'm going to be forced to break in and steal your stuff! It's your own fault!"

The only appropriate response to this would be "well, if you begin ramping up your ability to bomb us, then we'll just have to ACTUALLY bomb you." Granted, that's a bit juvenile, but what else can you do about this kind of behavior? Just going ahead with what you were doing in the first place as if no threat had been uttered may not be good enough. (It may, so that's definitely the first thing you should do.) I seriously doubt Russia will actually go through with this threat, too, but doubting it doesn't make it so.

I'm glad I'm not responsible for deciding what obnoxious threats, from Russia, from the Middle East, from China or India or Pakistan or North Korea, are actually credible enough that we should just go ahead and bomb them. That is a job for serious men in suits (and yes, sure, women also, I just like the mental image of serious men in suits better--I'm partial to a sharp-dressed man) who aren't reduced to anxious cowering or hysterical overreaction when somebody threatens them.

Too bad that our current government seems to be horribly short on that sort of person.