My Two Cents: Opinions, opinions everywhere (mine)

There have been a lot of interesting items in the news over the past several weeks. I thought I would give my – and this will come as no surprise, considering the name of the column – two cents on a variety of issues. Agree or disagree, I hope you find my ramblings entertaining, or at least interesting.

War on Iraq: While I recognize there are genuinely differing views on this topic, I don’t understand people against such a conflict who continually say the U.S. is in a “rush to war.” Apparently 12 years constitutes a “rush,” because that’s how long Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has been violating terms of the ceasefire (read: surrender) he signed after his country was soundly defeated by America and its allies.

It seems some of our so-called allies and even politicians in our own country – Sen. Ted Kennedy for example – are under the mistaken impression the U.S. requires United Nations approval to strike Iraq. The last time I checked, America was a sovereign nation. I suggest Kennedy and others read a little document called the Constitution.

As for the argument that America is only in this for the oil, well, that’s absurd, for two reasons: 1) America could buy oil from Iraq, but chooses not to enrich Hussein, instead supporting U.N. sanctions against the regime that block most oil sales and 2) If America really wanted Iraq’s oil fields, it could have easily taken them back in 1991 after winning the Gulf War.

Affirmative Action: The absurdity of what affirmative action has evolved into is highlighted by the current challenge before the Supreme Court to the University of Michigan’s admissions policy. Out of a possible 150 points, the university gives minority students – unless you’re of Asian descent – 20 points based soley on race! (You only get 12 points for earning a perfect SAT score.) Not only is this ridiculous on the face of it – imagine how absurd it would be to give points based on other immutable characteristics like nose size or height – but it also goes against Title VII, Sec. 2000e-2(j), of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which specifically prohibits preferential treatment based on, among other things, race. I’ll never understand why some people make judging someone on merit as complicated as rocket science.

Nell Carter’s Passing: I was saddened to learn of the death last week of Nell Carter, who played the stout, sassy housekeeper on the 1980s sitcom “Gimme a Break!” She was only 54. That show was a favorite of mine when I was a kid. A talented singer – she belted out the show’s theme of the same name – no doubt she’s wowing them in heaven with her beautiful voice.

“My Two Cents” is a weekly column where the author – who has a lot more opinions on a lot more topics – gets in his two cents worth in spite of the old saying that you only get a penny for your thoughts.