So first off, orders of business. I agree that Casey shouldn't have to complete a punishment because of blogger's glitches. Alas, the only punishment next week will be mine.
Casey: I completely agree with your soapbox. I was actually going to write about gay marriage as well, but I think you wrote about it in a much more eloquent way than I could have. And you had facts! So, I think you covered it well and it suffices to say that I completely agree.
Carlyn: Interesting challenge! Finding time to do the challenge should be pretty easy seeing as I'm living alone this summer (or at least until my absent roommate finds a subletter), it's the doing-something-I-wouldn't-normally-do that I'll have to think about some more... hmmmm.
Alexandra: I really appreciated your soapbox topic because it made me realize that, even as someone who proudly supports equal rights for all, I hadn't given much thought to the marriage rights of polygamists and polyamorists. I'm quite ashamed that I hadn't thought about it and I think you made very good points that I agree with. I'll touch on this more in my soapbox topic, but I don't think the government has any place to tell us what to do in our private lives and with our bodies. If they can't tell us where to live and where to work, then why can they tell us who we can marry?
Cassie: While reading your soapbox topic I kept being reminded of Harry Potter. Let me explain. It seems that in children's literature (Harry Potter being at the forefront of my mind) that children are much more able than in real life. However, this isn't actually the case! I don't think it's that children are able to accomplish more in fictional works than in real life, it's simply that we are not as cognizant of their abilities in real life, less willing to acknowledge their capacity to influence the world despite their young age. Great topic!
As for my topic? I debated about this for awhile. I initially was going to write about gay rights, but like I said above, I think Casey did a great job talking about it and there's not much else I would add to her argument. I was then going to talk about animal rights, specifically the fad of pets as accessories, which angers and disgusts me. I saw this picture online today, of the monkey from The Hangover at the premiere for The Hangover II, and it made me want to hurl stones and obscenities at whoever thought to do this:
What. The. Fuck. What were they thinking?? That is a monkey! A wild animal! It's not some fun toy there for your amusement, for you to put in a dress and parade around to publicize your movie! Just... Fuck you whoever thought of that and fuck you whoever OKed it!! That is NOT okay.
Okay, so I guess I actually have two soapboxes now that I think about it. The monkey-not-a-toy one being the first, and my second being governmental control of personal rights. Many people are up in arms over Ron Paul's opinion on heroin and prostitution. You see, he believes that both should be legalized. Well, I agree with him. I don't believe that the government should have the ability to tell us, first off, what we can and cannot do with our bodies. If I wanted (which, for the record, I don't) to have sex with people for money, I should be able to. It's MY BODY. I should be able to make money with it however I choose to (as long as I do not harm others), not just by using it to flip burgers or make a latte, but also by providing sexual services. Legalizing prostitution would, of course, also make it healthier for both the customers and the prostitutes themselves, but that is not my main argument at the moment. My argument here is that the government is telling us what we can and cannot do with our own bodies when they really should have no right to do so. As for Ron Paul's support for the legalization of heroin, I also agree. If a person, knowledgeable about heroin's effects and associated health risks, wants to use the drug in their own home, let them. My opinion on this is not focused solely on heroin, but on all drugs. Marijuana, cocaine, LSD... if someone wants to use these drugs without harming other people, why shouldn't they be able to? It's not the government's place to babysit its people, telling them what's good and bad for them and not letting them have their dessert until they've finished supper. If someone wants to have that cake before finishing their spaghetti, that's their decision and they can deal with the consequences of their own decision. As long as eating that cake doesn't somehow affect another person against their will, there shouldn't be a problem. As with prostitution, legalizing drugs would make the drug industry much safer. There would be health guidelines for the drugs, people would know what they were getting, drugs would be taxable (thus helping out the government), etc. However, for this soapbox I'm focusing on the "It's my life and I'll do what I want as long as I don't hurt anyone else!" side. People who know me might find this stance a bit odd seeing as I have never done any drugs and do not plan on it, but there you go. Just because I don't want to do drugs doesn't mean I shouldn't be able to, and the same goes for all of you!
Edit: Discussion in the comments has brought up some good points, so I wanted to edit some things in here. I said this in the comments, but I'm putting it here too for neatness and accessibility: "I also want to clarify some things that I didn’t state outright in my post. Legalized drugs would still have a minimum age limit (personally, I think 18 would be appropriate, but others might prefer 21). Proper licensing would be necessary in order to make and sell drugs. Drug sellers as they are now would not be able to just go about their business as usual; they would need to submit to inspection, meet guidelines, apply for the proper licenses, etc. Just as you can’t sell liquor without a liquor license, you wouldn’t be able to just go out and sell marijuana for a bit of spare cash. Use of drugs and being under the influence of drugs while in public would also be illegal (similar to public intoxication). I think it goes without saying that driving while under the influence of drugs would also be illegal (as it is now)." I will also add that the argument about the highly addictive quality of drugs is one that I go back and forth on a lot as a reason to keep hard drugs illegal. Yes, they can be harmful, but if someone is fully aware of the risks and still wants to use them, why shouldn't they be able to? Please go check out the comments for more discussion, I (personally) find it very interesting!