Monday, November 25, 2013

His Name is Bingo

June is eating her french toast sticks while I sit on the computer, when she walks up to me.

"My pet is right over there."
I look into the living room where she's pointing.  "Right over there."
"What kind of pet is it?"
"A doggie."
"What's its name?"
"Bingo" I seriously didn't even see where this was going.
"That's a good name for a dog.  What color is it?"
"It's gray."  Her hands are now stretched out as if she has her hands on a little Jack Russel.
"Oh, yeah.  How big is it."
"It's BIG." Her hands get wider and higher.  "He's very tall."
"Oh, he seems tall."  My hands go up with hers.
"Yeah.  And will you sing with me?"
"What?  What do you want me to sing?"
"Sing it with me."
"I'm sorry hon, I really don't know what you want me to sing."
"Once a farmer had a dog, and Bingo was his name-o.  B-I-N-G-O.  B-I-N-G-O.  B-I-N-G-O.  And Bingo was his name-o."  To which she ran back to her breakfast.

Punked by my two-year-old.  I've got to work on this before she gets to be a teenager.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Why I Can't Sign the Opt-In Porn Petition

I know that my posts lately have been little vignettes about June and that they've been really fun, but I have decided to do something a little more serious tonight.

Over the past few weeks I've seen this link, petitioning the White House to require porn to be an "opt in" feature with internet service providers rather than a standard feature, on my facebook feed several times, and after some thought, I've decided I can't sign it.

Now, at first (like I assume many of you were), I was really excited to see it.  I'm LDS, if you don't know our stance on porn you can look here.  I'm also someone who believes pornography as degrading to women and men, and that it contributes to the very odd way our society thinks about sex.  I'm against it.  So, I thought, "Hey, if we get enough people to sign this we won't have to worry about porn on our computers in the future."

And then I thought, what does this actually mean?  What would this petition do?  And I came to the realization that I was against it for the same reason I'm against Obamacare.  And because I have a blog and an opinion, I feel the need to share.

The reasons I don't like Obamacare isn't because I hate people, or like people to be sick, or enjoy the idea of people going bankrupt because of medical bills.  I'm against it because of how I (and, I would argue, America's Founding Fathers) think the Federal Government should run.  I don't think they should have anything more to do with the private sector than make sure they aren't poisoning us and aren't abusing their employees.  I certainly don't think they should have the power to force companies to offer services.  Them forcing companies to do so either force taxpayers to compensate the companies for this loss, or forces the companies to pass that cost onto the consumer (hey, we get to pay for it no matter what!).  Obamacare forces companies to do things that are not cost effective, and forces us as consumers to pay the difference.  The government needs to say out of it.

Now, what I find really interesting about the petition I linked is that those who are posting it are often the same people who have posted "Anti-Obamacare" memes and articles, but I really don't see a difference between the two.  Both are (allegedly) for the purpose of protecting people, especially children.  Obamacare is to protect people from crippling healthcare debt and the petition is to protect people from stumbling upon hurtful porn (again, this isn't to argue if porn does or does not hurt people, suffice it to say I believe it does).  Both of these are ideas people can get behind.  But that isn't where their similarities end.  Both would force companies to offer services without any compensation.  Both put the government's hands in one more thing (giving them the ability to screw it up).  Both hurt companies, especially start up companies (imagine trying to start an internet service company with the responsibility of making sure porn doesn't pop-up on 'opt out' computers).  Both are one more expense to try and fit into our already very unbalanced budget.

I hate porn as much as the next guy, but our Federal Government needs to get smaller, not bigger.

Now, maybe you're one of my friends that I'm talking about, but see a difference between the two that I don't.  Please let me know in the comments on here or on facebook.  Maybe there's something I'm missing.  Please let me know.

Even if you can't articulate why you think they are different, know that I don't hate you (or even think you're stupid).  I still love you and respect you; we just disagree, and that's fine.

To both groups, I'm actually kind of happy (in a way) that this petition exists.  Hopefully internet service providers see it and offer this service for a fee (assuming it works better than a filter).  I, for one, would gladly pay a little extra to keep porn off my computers, but I have to be honest and say that I hope it doesn't get any further than the petition.

If you agree with me (or are just for meaningful conversation about government's role in our lives) please share.  Thanks in advance.