Morning Report – blame the weather 2/14/14

Vital Statistics:

Last Change Percent
S&P Futures 1828.2 3.9 0.21%
Eurostoxx Index 3114.2 16.3 0.53%
Oil (WTI) 99.73 -0.6 -0.62%
LIBOR 0.236 0.000 0.00%
US Dollar Index (DXY) 80.2 -0.124 -0.15%
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 2.74% 0.01%
Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA 106 -0.2
Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA 104.3 -0.1
RPX Composite Real Estate Index 200.7 -0.2
BankRate 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage 4.27
Markets are higher in spite of some disappointing manufacturing data this morning. Bonds and MBS are flat. We are headed into a 3 day weekend, so volumes should be somewhat light.
Industrial Production and Manufacturing Production came in well below estimates, and capacity utilization dropped by 80 bps, a huge amount. Weather seems to have been the culprit so that is why the market is shrugging off the numbers.
Consumer confidence came in unch’d for February.
The spring selling season is off to a slow start, according to Redfin. FWIW, the homebuilders are reporting exactly the opposite.

125 Responses

  1. As I recall, when Bush was President, a gentleman named Bill FRIST! Was Senate Majority Leader.

    Am I misremembering?

    Heh.

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  2. Nope… Used to be the CEO of HCA

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  3. (Wipes tear from eye.)

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  4. This piece on addiction resonated with me as I have had my own struggles with John Barleycorn.

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/5-things-the-disease-model-gets-wrong-about-addiction/

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  5. Shorter AP: We’re still bouncing along the bottom.

    http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBREA1D0XW20140214?irpc=932

    But today we’re calling it “cold weather.”

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  6. Happy Valentine’s Day to all the boys here (and the girls too)! I miss y’all sometimes but not all the time………..LOL.

    The weather has definitely affected our business this year as we’re getting off to a really slow start………………works for me though. I do feel sorry for some of our Mom & Pop retailers………………they’re really complaining.

    I’m actually going to read that piece on addiction McWing. The only thing I’m really addicted to is chlorine but there have been some addiction problems in my extended family. Luckily it seems to have missed our kids.

    Hope y’all have something special planned for tonight if it’s applicable. I’m just making Walter a nice dinner. He’s been a little under the weather lately and so we’re staying home tonight but might try to catch a movie and light dinner somewhere tomorrow.

    Stay warm all of you in the deep freeze!

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  7. Hi Lms,

    I hope your husband feels better.
    Since my product is used in a tiny subset of pregnant women, I like the deep freeze! More time for spouses to, uh, enjoy eachother’s company!

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  8. I am grilling steaks for the Mrs and I in the snow…keeping it low key…

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  9. Slow cooker pot roast and ice cream for dessert.

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  10. That was an interesting piece on addiction McWing. I’ve never been able to view addiction as only a disease with no sense of choice on the individual’s part. I think there is an underlying weakness and whether it’s surmountable or not is really an individual question.

    Interesting how he brought Mercy into the equation the way he did. There’s a terrible story in the news here this week about a 21 year old girl who was driving intoxicated at 100 mph, going the wrong way on the freeway. Wiped out a family of four, her friend, and her own sister. She survived. Apparently she got her first DUI at 17 and had a couple after that. She had just gotten her license back.

    I told Walter that I felt sorry for her but not because she couldn’t help herself, I don’t believe that really, but because she’ll suffer the rest of her life for what she’s done, and it will be a miserable existence. None of us are immune from making mistakes but most of us learn from them and figure out some way to control our own demons before it’s too late.

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  11. Oh and you’ll all be impressed I’m cooking Walter a small rack of lamb for dinner. I’ll stick with the risoto and brussel sprouts though, and maybe a small salad. I bought a nice chunk of roquefort from France that has my name all over it. And the wine of course.

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  12. McWing, I imagine there will be a nice baby boom in 8 or 9 months!

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  13. Lms,

    I think you’re right that there is a level of willpower involved in addiction. I believe that addiction tends to be varying in it’s level of severity as well as willpower is varying in individuals. Addiction is a exceedingly complicated state and the author’s right that it does not fit the “disease state” model particularly well nor does it fit the “it’s all willpower” model well.

    Ultimately we are going to be responsible for our own actions. Perhaps that girl cannot, on her own, control her addiction (if she is an alcoholic.) However, she has demonstrated that she will kill without confinement and deprivation of mind altering substances.

    In my case, it was pointed out to me and then I realized that while I could “control” my drinking, in so far as I would only indulge on the weekends, I could not control my thinking, obsessing on drinking that occurred a great deal of the time. The only solution for me was to give up alcohol, to remove the substance that was seemingly controlling my mind. For months afterwords I was depressed about never being able to feel “buzzed” again and mad at myself for not being more able to control myself. The thing was, I could control myself. I could just have one drink, but I spent tremendous periods of time thinking about drinking and getting buzzed. I didn’t like the feeling of full-on drunkeness, I liked feeling buzzzed, though for me it was very difficult to achieve the buzzed state without tipping over into the drunk state.

    Ultimately I went through the stages of grief. It was a multi-year process and I fell off the wagon for one night binges a number of times. In the end abstinence has been successful for me and has freed my mind from the anxiety that thinking about drinking caused me.

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  14. I’m really happy for you McWing, that you were successful. I think it’s true that addiction doesn’t really fit either model. But I do think that watching people succeed at giving up their addictions indicates more support for the choice scenario. It’s not easy, but life is really a series of choices isn’t it? You chose getting that particular demon off your back and exerted the willpower to be successful. Too bad we can’t bottle that determination and hand it out.

    A lot of people talk about hitting rock bottom before making that kind of choice but unfortunately sometimes it’s too late really. The 21 year old, for example, may never drink again for all I know (of course she’s likely to be incarcerated for a long time anyway), but even if she chose that for herself, it’s really too late. It’s like my grandfather who quit smoking the day he was diagnosed with lung cancer…………….sheesh.

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  15. @lmsinca: “Too bad we can’t bottle that determination and hand it out.”

    We may be able to, eventually, or at least the next best thing: reshape the dopamine receptor arrangement in our brains so that the addiction that seems so attractive today becomes less attractive tomorrow. Some antidepressants, such as Wellbutrin (marketed also as Chantix for smoking cessation) already accomplishes this to some extent for some people, and we’re many, many years away from having custom treatments put together or people based on where their dopamine receptors are.

    That being said, I don’t have a problem with the disease model of addiction. At all, given that you can treat a disease, and addiction is treatable. If you are lactose intolerant, the treatment for your disease is to stop consuming lactose. If you are an addict, the cure is to find a way to stop consuming that which you are addicted to.

    Which tends to be more complicated than just saying “well, I’m not going to do X” anymore and then not doing it. In just the same way you don’t say: “Well, I’m not going to have heart disease anymore” and then just making happen through effort of will. Fighting addictions tend to require some sort of “treatment”, whether it’s a support group or just finding personal strategies that break the cycle for you.

    That being said, a lot of addiction takes place in the mind where many other disease do not. Cancer doesn’t have a direct line to your brain, and isn’t whispering about how good it would feel to just skip chemotherapy today, where as I think our addictions tend to have their own representative in the court of our minds, and are always making compelling if specious arguments for their persistence.

    One sign this is true, I have found, is the commonality of the language of unrepentant addicts. Smokers who don’t want to quit will all site that they can get hit by a truck, that someone they knew died of lung cancer but never smoked, that some relative smoked a pack of day until they were 92. None of this stuff has anything to do with the statistical likelihood of smoking negatively impacting their health . . . it’s just the addiction giving them reasons not to take action.

    Thanks for Sharing was a not terrible movie dealing with addiction (primarily sex addiction and alcohol—Mark Ruffalo as a sex addict) that I saw just recently. And it is often the case where someone gets in an accident or gets fired or has some other seriously negative impact that they finally manage to find “the will power” to say no to their addiction. What I suspect is happening is once you experience a trauma around an addictive behavior, you “wake up” to the lies the addiction is telling you about how awesome it is and how great it will be to smoke or get drunk or do some coke.

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  16. Kevin, I have some sympathy for what you’re saying and loads of sympathy for people who do suffer from harmful addictions. Most of the people I’ve known personally, with a variety of addictions, whether it’s alcohol, nicotine, other drugs or even food, are otherwise delightful and quite lovable, but ,I think our addictions tend to have their own representative in the court of our minds, and are always making compelling if specious arguments for their persistence, this is only them, or you, or me. It’s we who create those voices and at some point many people will eventually quiet them much the same way McWing did, or even my grandfather did. Sometimes it’s just too late.

    I know people who have quit drinking, my best friend for one, and she still wonders now, after 20 years of sobriety, why it took her so long.

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  17. I think your both right and I also think that There Is More To It. Addiction is so wrapped up in our personalities and, perhaps, our genes that it eventually becomes to difficult to explain fully. For every successful quitter there is a Jeff Conaway who couldn’t do it no matter how many times he tried.

    It’s an interesting subject, the cross between helplessness and willpower. It obviously varies in every person and is exceedingly difficult to quantify scientifically.

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  18. McWing

    It’s an interesting subject, the cross between helplessness and willpower. It obviously varies in every person and is exceedingly difficult to quantify scientifically.

    There are not many subjects we agree on or that I’m even interested in debating anymore, but I think this one is fascinating and we essentially agree, so that’s actually pretty awesome!

    Truth time, if you will. I enjoy the conversations here and even a little debate occasionally, but my life is just too complicated now for me to feel comfortable delving into the morass of politics. If there’s a comment or post that pertains to a subject that I’m interested in otherwise, I’d love to join in.

    It’s fascinating that even though most of you pretty much despise liberals, and I’m still one on most levels, but not all, I think we’re still friends. I just feel like, for me anyway, we need to find something to debate that I can sink my teeth into. I’m sorry to say it’s not politics right now. I’m not terribly impressed with either party, a bunch of fools IMO, and since they’re the ones setting policy, I guess we get what we pay for!

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  19. Lms, trust me, I don’t despise you! I love all sorts of subjects so please toss something out. I’ll bite in a non-dickish way. Let me provide a non-politics subject I’ve been thinking about, the fictional serial killer Hannibal Lecter.

    In the movie Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal Lecter helps Clarice Starling catch the serial Killer Jame Gumb. In the movie Red Dragon, which is a prequel to SotL there is a flashback scene in which Lecter tries to kill Will Graham when he realizes that Will has figured out that he (Lecter) is the killer he has been searching for. Later, he sends a new killer, The Red Dragon, to Graham’s house in an attempt to kill him. In the movie, Lecter appears to have it in for Graham. In SotL he promises to never come after Starlimg even though she told him that she would never stop looking for him. Why does he want to kill one person who hunts him, but not another?

    The next movie, Hannibal, occurs in the time frame after SotL, Lecter is free and Clarice continues to hunt him. Now, Lecter never goes after Will Graham, nor Jack Crawford for that matter, even though he sent another killer to murder Will Graham in the Red Dragon.

    Ok, sorry for the long set up. Here’s is my theory, Lecter does not again attempt to kill Starling, Graham or Crawford because he needs them to capture any other serial killer who may eclipse his infamy. Yes he tried to kill Graham but at the time Graham was the only person who new of his guilt, so it was a matter of avoiding capture, not malice. I think he sent the Red Dragon to Graham’s house knowing that Graham would defeat him, thereby preserving his infamy. To repeat, Lecter never tries to kill Jack Crawford or Clarice Starling, and only tried to kill Will Graham to avoid capture. He needs these three alive to keep him (Lecter) at the pinnacle of infamy.

    Whataya think?

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  20. McWing, I know you don’t despise me personally. That wasn’t really my point. What I’m saying is I’m not that interested in interjecting my political opinions or defending them in the current atmosphere here. I don’t even object to the atmosphere, it’s just not my cup of tea anymore. I don’t know if that makes sense and I doubt it really matters that much anyway.

    Regarding your theory on Hannibal Lecter, it’s been a long time since I watched those movies but it makes sense to me. I’ve never actually thought about it in those terms before.

    Those kinds of questions are interesting to me and I used to enjoy reading about and watching the dynamics and psychology behind serial killers. For some reason, I’ve been getting away from that lately. It kind of freaks me out now. I guess I’m getting soft in my old age.

    Have a nice weekend everyone. I have a swim meet this afternoon. Decision time for me.

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  21. Good luck at the swim meet!

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  22. “It’s fascinating that even though most of you pretty much despise liberals”

    I certainly don’t, but I would prefer that they have less decision making control over things that can directly affect me, such as tax rates.

    Besides, if PL is indicative of how liberals feel about conservatives, I’d argue that we come off looking better in terms of politeness and civility. I’ll take Troll, Scott and QB over Cao any day. It’s not even close.

    And as a side note for Mark, Steve Pearlstein has a new piece up on the UAW & Volkswagen.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/2011/02/24/ABPqBzI_page.html

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  23. jnc, I’m certainly not arguing that you guys are comparable to the uncivility of the PL. There’s a reason I don’t visit there any longer. All I’m saying is that while the atmosphere here is fine, and very civil btw, it’s not as enjoyable as it used to be arguing politics with any of you. It’s a pretty tough room to work, if you can understand that. Let’s just say I’m not up to the challenge any more and leave it at that. Next time I’ll choose my words more carefully.

    This is probably my last swim meet and I need to get going. I think I’ll go out in a blaze of glory because my times have improved dramatically since the first of the year.

    See y’all later!

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  24. “it’s not as enjoyable as it used to be arguing politics with any of you. It’s a pretty tough room to work, if you can understand that. ”

    Yes, as you noted previously when everyone else leaves the field and it’s just one or two progressives vs the libertarians it tends to be a recycle of the same old talking points and the viability of the forum in terms of seeing all sides of an argument properly examined and challenged diminishes.

    Edit: Steve Pearlstein also has a good piece on Fannie & Freddie that I’d be interested in Brent’s take on:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/refighting-the-mortgage-wars-could-bring-new-risks-to-the-housing-market/2014/01/17/7404c8a4-7e25-11e3-9556-4a4bf7bcbd84_story.html

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  25. What I suspect is happening is once you experience a trauma around an addictive behavior, you “wake up” to the lies the addiction is telling you about how awesome it is and how great it will be to smoke or get drunk or do some coke.

    There I would have to say that you’re dead wrong, Kevin. As someone who divorced and then buried an alcoholic husband eight months apart, and then lost an alcoholic father one year later, there will be all sorts of traumas–both your own and what you do to others–that you experience, and none of them will wake you up.

    I certainly don’t have the answer to why one addict can break the cycle and another doesn’t, but all too often the “rock bottom” is death, and there isn’t any recovery from that.

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  26. Jesus that Pearlstein piece sucked.

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  27. I think that’s true Michi. It’s the nexus between addiction and will power. Sometimes there is no nexus.

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  28. Lms, trust me, I don’t despise you!

    “Carl”, I have no doubt that this is true. But everything from your new moniker to your incessant posting of disparaging tweets and what-feel-like-gotcha questions points to the fact that Lulu’s statement about liberals in general is true.

    In fact, Lulu said nothing more than what I’ve said a couple of times–I feel very unwelcome around here a lot of the time. And I’m clearly not alone or we wouldn’t have lost essentially every other liberal who used to post here regularly.

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    • Mich:

      And I’m clearly not alone or we wouldn’t have lost essentially every other liberal who used to post here regularly.

      As I said some time ago, I suspect we lost most of the liberals here because they weren’t particularly interested in discussions/debates that involved conservative/libertarian challenges to their fundamental worldview. That’s why they hang out at a place like PL, where liberalism dominates. Hell, in a couple instances the mere expression of a non-progressive worldview was deemed insulting and unwelcoming. That sets up a standard of “welcome” that is impossible to meet for a forum such as this.

      It’s fine if some people feel more comfortable discussing and debating with others with whom they already share a world view. But it isn’t fair to blame that preference on those of us who don’t share either that preference or that world view.

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  29. Pearlstein is the Greg Sargent of business journalism.

    Basically, he is regurgitating the FCIC report which was one big partisan talking point out of Phil Angeledis. It is all Wall Street’s fault, Fan and Fred were simply the case private sector greed undermining a noble cause. Fed policy doesn’t even enter the picture.

    The thing is, the bailout money for Fan and Fred is 180 billion versus chunks of 10 billion for the Goldmans of the world. And 180 billion just gets Fan and Fred up to even. The amount all in to get them capitalized has been estimated to be closer to 400 billion. And they arguably didn’t need or want the money. Would Chase have had to be bailed out if the government hadn’t asked them to buy Bear and WaMu? I know it is more complicated than that because AIG was more or less a bailout for the investment banks, but even that was way smaller than 400 billion. The sheer percentage of the bailout money that went to Fan and Fred belies the talking point that F&F had nothing to do with the bubble and crisis.

    He asks “what caused the financial crisis, but doesn’t ask what caused the bubble?” Home prices became unmoored from their historical relationship with incomes (between 3 and 3.3x) in late 99 / early 00. Long before CDO squareds, liar loans, etc etc.

    We have real estate bubbles throughout the world right now, starting up north in Canada (their house price to income ratio is over 5 right now – ours peaked at something like 4.8 or so). No derivatives up there. Same thing in Denmark, where the bubble burst only recently. Norway has an epic bubble right now. No derivatives in those countries, either.

    To me, you have to start with the central banks, and you have to accept the fact that all over the world, interest rates are set the way the Politboro did it – by a bunch of academics sitting in a room and figuring out where they should be. Ultimately that process becomes infected with politics, and no politician likes a recession. That said, recessions are necessary things, and have the same cleansing effect that forest fires do. I would argue that if Greenspan had allowed a recession in the late 90s when the Asian Tigers blew up, we might not have had an stock market bubble, and probably not a real estate bubble. The problem is that the dual mandate directs the FOMC to control inflation and unemployment, and while that sounds like a smart and humane directive, in practice it means “keep the pedal to the metal as long as inflation (solely as measured by CPI) is behaving and we are below full employment. Which is a recipe for bubbles.

    Second, the taxpayer bears the credit risk on mortgages in this country. 90% of new origination is backed by the government. The price of that insurance is through a guarantee fee that is passed on to borrowers in their mortgage. We were way, way underpricing that insurance. Of course the left has been griping about the new regime where we pricing that risk closer to where the private sector would price it, and as soon as Ed Demarco was replaced with Mel Watt (a CRA guy) these increases were suspended.

    CRA loans did have the highest severities which is a very inconvenient fact for the left and it gets swept under the rug. The problem is that banks cannot price in that risk without a lawsuit, so those costs are now spread out non-CRA borrowers.

    The thing is, if we reduced the government’s footprint in the mortgage market to more closely mirror other countries, we would lose the 30 year fixed rate mortgage, which Americans take as their birthright.

    I guess it is a case of what caused the patient’s death? Was it kidney failure, or diabetes?

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  30. I agree with your assessment here:

    “To me, you have to start with the central banks, and you have to accept the fact that all over the world, interest rates are set the way the Politboro did it”

    But I do think that Pearstein is fairly critical of Fannie & Freddie basically buying off Congress when it came to resisting any reform efforts.

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  31. I wonder if the wages were higher if this might not be true.

    Immigration can also address labor shortages in lesser-skilled fields where there are insufficient numbers of either qualified or willing U.S. workers to fill positions.

    Many studies have concluded that the greatest percentage of job growth in the United States through 2020 is expected in low- and moderate-skilled jobs that cannot be automated or outsourced. Services like home health and nursing home care, landscaping and hospitality cannot be provided without capable staff ready to do the work.

    A better arguement would be that if we paid wages high enough to attract Americans, the price point for consumers woe be to high.

    That may or may not be true, but that’s his real argument. Why won’t he make it?

    http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/02/13/3767153/a-steady-flow-of-talented-industrious.html#storylink=cpy

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  32. Troll, you and I sound very similar… I don’t drink during the week, I take the month of January off from drinking, when I go out professionally or am driving, I can limit myself just fine and keep it to a drink or two.

    But when left to my own devices in the privacy or my own home, I drink. I have been scheduling stuff (gigs, early Sunday am races, etc) which keeps me in line, but when I don’t have anything going on, I pound hard. The funny thing is that the less opportunities I give myself to drink, the more likely I am to sit in front of my computer until 5:00 am pounding beers when I normally go to bed around 10:30 am..

    The thing is, I am diabetic, so I have to keep this under control or else I am fucked. And I do – I am largely vegetarian (almost vegan) during the week, I run 25 miles a week, so my weight and my blood sugar numbers are pretty much at non-diabetic levels, but my natural tendency would be to drink like a fish and to eat unhealthy food.

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  33. I don’t understand juries at all sometimes:

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — After four days of deliberation, the jury in the racially tinged trial of Michael Dunn, a Florida man who set off another firestorm over the state’s self-defense laws when he shot a teenager to death in a parking lot during a dispute over loud music, said it could not agree on whether Mr. Dunn had acted to protect himself or was guilty of murder.

    The jurors did find Mr. Dunn guilty of three counts of second-degree attempted murder for getting out of his car and firing several times at the Dodge Durango sport utility vehicle in which Jordan Davis, 17, was killed. Three other teenagers, the subjects of the attempted murder charges, were in the car but were not struck. Mr. Dunn continued to fire at the vehicle even as it pulled away. On the attempted murder convictions, he could be sentenced to 60 years in prison.

    How can someone be guilty of attempted murder for not killing three out of four people that you’ve shot at, but not be guilty of murder for killing the one that you did?

    Ta-Nehisi Coates on this latest:

    I wish I had something more to say about the fact that Michael Dunn was not convicted for killing a black boy. Except I said it after George Zimmerman was not convicted of killing a black boy. Except the parents of black boys already know this. Except the parents of black boys have long said this, and they have been answered with mockery.

    Jordan Davis had a mother and a father. It did not save him. Trayvon Martin had a mother and a father. They could not save him. My son has a father and mother. We cannot protect him from our country, which is our aegis and our assailant. We cannot protect our children because racism in America is not merely a belief system but a heritage, and the inability of black parents to protect their children is an ancient tradition.

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  34. Oh, and jnc: while I won’t–and don’t (which is another bone of contention that liberals on PL have with me)–defend Cao, I wouldn’t exactly hold QB up as a model of civility. He accused me of personally attacking him for saying “That’s beneath you” in response to his latest homophobic rant last night.

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    • He accused me of personally attacking him for saying “That’s beneath you” in response to his latest homophobic rant last night.

      Could you link to this rant? I find it hard to believe that he would say anything that could sensibly be characterized as “homophobic”.

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      • Hi All. Hands and fingers are somewhat good this morning. I’ve been wanting to comment on this but just couldn’t until now.

        I am a recovering addict, have been since 1993. My active addict period was a total of 3 1/2 years.

        I had a very sheltered childhood (if you could call it a childhood). My parents were alcoholics and even though they didn’t miss work because of it, they were, as my Aunt puts it, ridiculous. And when they got drunk they fought. They tore the house up. We seldom had anything on our walls or on shelves or tables… heck, most of the time we even lacked furniture. Don’t get me wrong, they did always have a roof over our heads and food on the table, even though we constantly moved and half the year I stood in line with my mother to get a needed box of welfare food. And I can’t tell you how many times the police and ambulance were at my home since my Mom had no problem bashing my Daddy’s head with something during their fights. When I was 8 my little brother was born. I remember wrapping him up in a blanket, grabbing a baby bottle and a couple diapers and hiding both of us in the back floorboard of our broken down vehicle in my attempt to protect him. I would only leave the car once the police showed up. I was never allowed to have friends. I never went to a single bday party or anything. I did take care of my baby brother and did the laundry every week by hauling it all to the laundromat in a big wagon. I started cooking at the age of 8 as well. By age 10 I was cooking full meals. I also had many chores around the house. I never had a childhood.

        Three days after HS graduation I got married to the only boyfriend I ever had. I knew nothing about life. After 12 years of a horrible marriage where my husband, like my parents, also prevented me from having friends or doing anything other than continue to be a house maid and my only purpose was to serve him. He turned out to be a horrible man and in the end I discovered he had become a pedophile, even attempting such with our own children.

        After the divorce I, for the first time, was on my own, with 3 children to raise and a deadbeat ex. I was so thankful that I had the job I did (computer programmer) so I didn’t need his support to raise our children.

        I finally met someone I really liked. We dated for a year before I discovered he was a drug user. His choice was freebasing (smoked cocaine – not to be confused with crack cocaine). I tried for 6 months to get him to stop. But, he finally convinced me it wasn’t the bad thing I thought it was because, after all, he had been doing this all along and never missed a day of work, etc. I then made a HUGE mistake and tried it. Believe me, as I tell everyone, it was a moment I will never forget. Just bend over, grab your ass and hang on. It only took once to be addicted.

        Six months later I woke up one morning and I couldn’t get out of bed. I mean I physically could not get out of bed. I felt much pain inside my body. I laid there awhile and told myself I must get up and get help. So I did. I drove myself to the ER. I was told that I had had a serious nervous breakdown and that my internal organs were beginning to shut down because of it. It made sense as I knew I had been battling this addiction internally. I hated what I was doing, I hated how I was cheating my children of many things, especially my time and love, but I couldn’t find a way to stop. When I left the ER I drove straight to my boyfriends parents house as they had known of his addiction for years. I told them what the doctor had said and told them I wanted to check myself into rehab and that I thought their son should also. They took me with them to pick him up from work and drove us both to rehab.

        When you go into rehab you are interviewed individually by a number of their staff. I was told that I really didn’t have a problem with addiction. I had a problem with co-dependency. And yea, I still struggle with that, but I’m much better today than I ever thought I would be. So anyway, while I did attend all the classes, etc. in rehab, I also had a special class just for those with co-dependency.

        Once out of rehab (28 days), we left the rehab together. To my surprise, on our way home, he took a detour and picked up cocaine which he had already scheduled to get. Here we go again. Within 3 months, I finally just got him completely out of my life. I also got a new computer programming job out of state. That’s when I was able to completely leave the drugs behind. I had the mindset to finally stay away from anything or anyone that could jeopardize my recovery. But it was a long 3 1/2 year downhill and then uphill journey. I do not regret any of it simply because in this particular case, my children did learn from my experience, as well as I learned much.

        I hope my telling my story might help some of you understand the mindset of at least some addicts. While I take full responsibility of and for my addiction, I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say that I do believe my childhood had something to do with it. I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say that my experiences with my ex didn’t have anything to do with it. I believe our past definitely has influences on our present and future, and even more so when it’s bad. But that still doesn’t excuse me from making that very first HUGE mistake. I’m just happy and proud that I am and always will be a RECOVERING addict. Never will be an active addict again.

        On Sun, Feb 16, 2014 at 8:35 AM, All Things in Moderation wrote:

        > ScottC commented: “He accused me of personally attacking him for > saying “That’s beneath you” in response to his latest homophobic rant last > night. Could you link to this rant? I find it hard to believe that he would > say anything that could sensibly be characterized ” >

        Like

  35. jnc, I know that one of the things that we agree on is the importance of playing at all levels of the field. And I’ve long thought that Democrats are taking their eyes off the balls in that aspect. What do you think of this?

    For many state parties, the party may soon be over.

    State party officials across the country say the explosion of money into super PACs, nonprofit groups and presidential campaigns has made fundraising more difficult. And some of those outside groups are starting to take over the traditional local roles state parties play, spending big on voter contact and outreach operations.

    The effect is candidates who can be more beholden to national organizations or single-issue groups rather than state party leaders. That’s leading to a change in candidates and their beliefs and the issues that come up in elections and statehouses.

    The GOP takeover of North Carolina in 2010 and 2012, for example, was bankrolled largely by the network founded by GOP megadonors Charles and David Koch and primarily directed through the nonprofit Americans For Prosperity. AFP’s former chairman, Art Pope, now serves as North Carolina budget director.

    In Texas, two Democratic outside groups have essentially built a party organization outside the official Texas Democratic Party. Several Obama campaign veterans are running the group Battleground Texas as a field and turnout operation, while the Lone Star Project is doing opposition research and tracking against Republicans.

    In New Jersey, labor groups funneled money into legislative elections through a group now called General Majority PAC, a free-spending outside group headed by former top aide of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

    In Wisconsin, it was labor money that drove recall fervor against Gov. Scott Walker and several GOP state senators in 2011. State Democratic officials were quietly hoping to negotiate with state Republicans— before ultimately backing the labor-driven recall efforts.

    State parties on both sides of the aisle are seeing a major cash crunch.

    Like

  36. Should this concept be taught in an AP science class in a public high school?

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/02/16/opinion/sunday/is-the-universe-a-simulation.html?hp&rref=opinion&_r=1&referrer=

    If so, isn’t it Intelligent Design?

    Like

  37. Geanie,

    Your story is essentially my wife’s story about her childhood and her first marriage

    She eventually changed her dynamic by moving out of state. It must have been traumatic to do but it sounds like the best thing.

    The more I read the more I realize how individualized addiction is.

    Has anybody else watched Celebrity Rehab? It’s fascinating.

    Congratulations on your success. Your strength of character is inspiring.

    Like

  38. they weren’t particularly interested in discussions/debates that involved conservative/libertarian challenges to their fundamental worldview.

    No, that is not what I’ve been told. They were tired of a lot of things (unwillingness amongst the conservatives to admit that we have a right to our viewpoint being one of them, and general disparagement of our existence being another), but that was not at all what drove them away from this blog. I, for one, am not reluctant to say that I’ve learned a lot about the Libertarian and conservative worldviews here, and while I disagree with your politics I understand your policy points better now. I’ve argued several of them on PL when correcting misconceptions and, therefore, have been branded a conservative (or worse–gasp! A Libertarian!!) on PL.

    And the folks who have left here comment less on PL than they used to, also, as that has becoming repetitive and grating a lot of the time.

    Like

    • Mich:

      They were tired of a lot of things (unwillingness amongst the conservatives to admit that we have a right to our viewpoint being one of them, and general disparagement of our existence being another)…

      The only people here who ever came remotely close to suggesting that someone else didn’t have a right to their viewpoint were those of you who routinely insisted that to express opposition to liberal views, particularly on so-called women’s issues, was somehow “insulting” or “offensive”. And no one’s existence was disparaged here. Anyone who claims they left because of that is just making up excuses.

      Like

  39. Could you link to this rant?

    I have no desire to delve back into that morass, but it was around 7:00 pm EST if you want to go look.

    I find it hard to believe that he would say anything that could sensibly be characterized as “homophobic”.

    You haven’t been reading PL since he went back there, so you haven’t seen his constant diatribes about the immorality and unnaturalness of homosexuality, and how gay marriage is going to bring America to its knees. On New Years Day, in the midst of an otherwise pleasant conversation, he announced that he wasn’t going to let his daughter watch the Rose Parade because he didn’t want her exposed to those “shenanigans”. I had no idea what he was talking about until someone told me that a gay couple was going to be married on one of the floats.

    He’s a smart man, and I suspect a great husband and father, but he’s also a homophobe.

    Like

    • Mich:

      I have no desire to delve back into that morass, but it was around 7:00 pm EST if you want to go look.

      I am in a hotel and can’t get PL to load on this wifi.

      He’s a smart man, and I suspect a great husband and father, but he’s also a homophobe.

      If by that you mean simply “someone who disagrees with me over homosexuality”, as I think most liberals use it, then that is probably right.

      Like

  40. WOW Geanie, you really deserve a lot of credit for overcoming such an explosive childhood and young adulthood as well as your addiction. I’m very close to family and friends who have also won their battles and a few who have lost, so I understand the kind of willpower it takes.

    A little news from the LMS household. I swam my last swim meet yesterday and had a pretty decent day. As usual my backstroke is harder to beat than my freestyle. I won both the 200 and 400 back but came in third in my 200 free. I think I should have tried the 400 free instead and might have done better. I’m more of a distance swimmer than a sprinter.

    Regardless, I’ve decided to give up my Master’s program now as well as my Senior Games interest. It’s just too much time away from home and it’s affecting my time with Walter. He’s having a few health issues, nothing too serious but heart related, and I feel the need to spend more of my time dedicated to his well being. He’s such a trooper and wants to come along to everything, practice and meets, and I think it’s just too much for him right now. No big deal as I doubt I would have competed all that well on a larger stage anyway.

    I’m still going to swim at the gym 4 mornings a week to keep my cardio up and prepare for some ocean swimming again this summer. I’m in much better shape than I was last summer so I think I should be able to get in a couple of miles at a time as long as the water is as warm as it was last summer. I have a couple of friends who will swim with me, plus my son, so Walter won’t have to. He tried last summer but it was really too much for him. I’m also going to keep up my circuit training with my trainer for awhile just because I love it and I’ve gotten so much stronger.

    Sooooooooooooooo, anywhoooooooooo, I’ll try to be around a little more often but don’t expect me to debate political issues too much, I’m really over it…………..LOL

    I didn’t mean to start a kerfluffle yesterday. I assumed it was pretty common knowledge how y’all feel about liberals. I was just expressing my resistance to jumping back into battle knowing how you all feel. Hopefully I’ll find something to talk about but we’ll see I guess!

    Like

  41. I won both the 200 and 400 back but came in third in my 200 free.

    Yay!!! And no “but” about coming in third! I have no doubt you’d kick my butt.

    Like

  42. A different take on the Dunn verdict.

    Thanks for that link, “Carl”. I still don’t understand why the jury didn’t return with a 2nd degree murder or manslaughter verdict, given that they agreed that it was attempted murder, even given two volleys of shots.

    Like

  43. Meh, jurries. Why’d they acquit OJ or Casey Anthoney. I suspect that the prosecutor sucks.

    Like

  44. Meh, jurries. Why’d they acquit OJ or Casey Anthoney.

    We agree.

    I’ve never made it onto one, much as I would like to be. Maybe here in Maryland. . .

    Like

  45. Should this concept be taught in an AP science class in a public high school?

    Not unless the students are sufficiently advanced to be pursuing PhDs in theoretical mathematics. Why would you even ask this question?

    And the opinion piece isn’t terribly well written, either, as it leaves out huge chunks of the arguments pro and con–it’s merely an opinion piece written by a mathematician who has delusions of being an SF author.

    Like

  46. jnc:

    “It’s got everything to so with social justice, equality of access and opportunity, fairness, decency, morality, etc. etc. ”

    Your versions of it. There are two fundamentally incompatible views of justice at play here.

    I don’t know if Aletheia doesn’t see that, or just doesn’t want to acknowledge it. At least nobody called me a Libertarian today (although I did get called an ageist for saying that I didn’t want to elect a president older than 55).

    Like

  47. I’m looking forward to Aletheia trying to put the rest of us in our “proper place”.

    The great thing about Aletheia’s posts is that they make my libertarian ones look like pragmatic, centrist ideas grounded in real world results by comparison.

    Like

  48. If by that you mean simply “someone who disagrees with me over homosexuality”, as I think most liberals use it, then that is probably right.

    Well, he disagrees with me that homosexuality is a normal aspect of humanity. That, AFAIC, makes him a homophobe. He has said many times that he doesn’t think that it’s normal. What would you call it?

    It is what it is. Nobody is perfect.

    Like

    • Mich:

      What would you call it?

      I would say he is probably right. While homosexuality may be a natural occurrence in those instances where it occurs, the fact that it’s occurrence is so rare takes it out of the realm of “normal” human tendencies. Would you describe blindness as “normal”. Would you describe albinoism as “normal”? Would you describe autism as “normal”?

      And would you accuse anyone who says these are not “normal” human conditions as suffering from a “phobia” of those conditions? I doubt it.

      Like

  49. The great thing about Aletheia’s posts is that they make my libertarian ones look like pragmatic, centrist ideas grounded in real world results by comparison.

    The “problem” is that they (pretty much) are. We (you and I) just disagree on nano-issues compared to what we disagree with Aletheia about!

    Like

  50. Scott–

    Whatever. Lulu has said, in different words, the same thing that I’ve said to you. Justify the fact that practically no liberal, who spent several months trying to, wants to discuss politics with you however lets you sleep at night.

    Like

    • Mich:

      Lulu has said, in different words, the same thing that I’ve said to you.

      I don’t think lms needs you to interpret her for me or anyone else.

      Like

  51. OK, let’s parse some words.

    Homosexuality is a rare but normal variation within the human species, as is red hair. It is abundantly clear that QB sees it as not only not normal (in either of our meanings of the word) but as an abomination.

    I don’t know why you persist in trying to defend something like that as not homophobia. And that is the last of this discussion that I’ll have.

    Like

    • Mich:

      And that is the last of this discussion that I’ll have.

      Hence my earlier point.

      Like

    • Mich:

      BTW, on this:

      I don’t know why you persist in trying to defend something like that as not homophobia.

      I think the term is used primarily to demonize opposing opinions as not worthy of serious consideration or discussion. It’s like calling someone a racist. It’s intended as a conversation stopper, not to convey information as an effort to advance the conversation.

      Like

  52. I don’t know what earlier point you’re referring to. I’m basing my belief that he is a homophobe on statements which he has made on an open forum. If he’d said that blacks were inferior I’d come to the belief that he was a racist. If he’d said that women should stay home, have babies, and not speak until spoken to I’d come to the belief that he was a misogynist. I see no reason to believe either of the latter two.

    Just because I’m a liberal doesn’t mean that I can’t read and come to a conclusion about somebody based on what they’ve said.

    Like

  53. Which part?

    I suspect we lost most of the liberals here because they weren’t particularly interested in discussions/debates that involved conservative/libertarian challenges to their fundamental worldview.

    If you’re trying to claim that “homophobia is OK” is a conservative/libertarian challenge to my fundamental worldview I don’t believe you, because I don’t believe that conservative/libertarians in general believe that homophobia is OK any more than I do.

    Hell, in a couple instances the mere expression of a non-progressive worldview was deemed insulting and unwelcoming. That sets up a standard of “welcome” that is impossible to meet for a forum such as this.

    Homophobia is insulting and unwelcoming. Again, I don’t think that you believe that homophobia is OK. But if calling someone out on their homophobia is a standard that’s impossible for you to meet then that says something about you that very much surprises me.

    It’s fine if some people feel more comfortable discussing and debating with others with whom they already share a world view.

    I’m not going to debate whether or not homophobia is OK–it’s not. BTW, several of us have called one of the really radical left posters on PL out for his blatant homophobia, so this is not a left-right issue, but a right-wrong one.

    But it isn’t fair to blame that preference on those of us who don’t share either that preference or that world view.

    If you’re going to claim that homophobia is OK, then I certainly will blame you for that.

    Like

    • Mich:

      If you’re trying to claim that “homophobia is OK” is a conservative/libertarian challenge to my fundamental worldview…

      No, I am saying that characterizing something as homophobia is just a way of avoiding substantive and thoughtful debate/discussion about that something. It is an effort to dismiss that something as not worthy of consideration or discussion. To put it in your own terms, it is an effort to make such thoughts and those who hold them “unwelcome”.

      Like

  54. I’m basing my belief that he is a homophobe on statements which he has made on an open forum.

    In other words, the epithet “homophobe” is applied to anyone who doesn’t agree with you that homosexual desire and behavior is equal, normal, good, healthy, etc. Pick whatever word you want. This name-calling is what you (plural) do since you apparently can’t sustain a substantive argument for your position. Homophobia is a nonsense word.

    When you address me, it is almost always to criticize me for saying whatever I said, not to address it substantively. It should be no mystery why I see it as a personal attack.

    Scott, PL rarely loads properly on my computer at all any more. If I comment, it is almost always from my phone. It might not just be your hotel wifi.

    PS: for a long time, I could not remember my ATiM password and never got around to finding it. I was finding old passwords because I got a new phone, so I finally logged back in here.

    Like

  55. If you’re trying to claim that “homophobia is OK” is a conservative/libertarian challenge to my fundamental worldview I don’t believe you, because I don’t believe that conservative/libertarians in general believe that homophobia is OK any more than I do

    Wow. This is why there can be no discussion, just conflict. Combined with the previously stated proposition that homophobia is not accepting that homosexuality is normal, etc., it means no one actually believes homosexuality isn’t normal, etc.

    Like

  56. Well, hello, QB!

    Yes, homophobia is exactly what you just described.

    Substitute the word racist for homophobe and black for homosexual desire and tell me that that doesn’t describe a racist.

    Is “racist” a nonsense word?

    If you don’t want to be called a homophobe, then don’t behave like one.

    Like

  57. When you address me, it is almost always to criticize me for saying whatever I said, not to address it substantively. It should be no mystery why I see it as a personal attack.

    In this case I most certainly am criticizing you for saying what you’ve said. You made homophobic comments, I don’t know what substantive aspect I could address other than that.

    Like

  58. Homophobia was always a nonsense and propoganda word. Look up yello’s old thread where I linked to the original usage of the word. Now you’ve made it truly meaningless. But hey it’s what you have to work with in the absence of reason and valid arguments. You voted for a homophobe for President in 2008, so apparently it isn’t a big deal.

    Like

  59. I’m using homophobe and homophobia in the generally accepted meaning of those words. If you want to redefine them so that you don’t fall within the meaning then you’re going to have to convince society in general that your meaning is correct and everyone else is wrong.

    You’re trying to deflect or change the subject away from yourself and your statements.

    Like

  60. Lol generally accepted by you and those in your tiny bubble.

    No, I couldn’t care less whether you think or anyone thinks I “fall within the meaning.” I have no qualms whatsoever about owning my views on homosexuality, and homophobia is nothing but a nonsense and propaganda word for which you fell. The vast weight of human experience and wisdom agrees with me, not you. Common sense itself does. You can’t defend your position, so you call names. I understand. When much of society is literally losing its mind and its ability to reason, it is all the more important for those who retain their wits to stand firm.

    Like

  61. Lol generally accepted by you and those in your tiny bubble.

    No, not at all.

    Merriam-Webster, Dictionary.com, The Oxford English Dictionary, and I’m sure many, many other references all use the word homophobia exactly as I am here.

    Again, the very fact that you’re trying to claim that only a “tiny bubble” use the word I am is your deflecting. You can call it a nonsense and propaganda word all you want, but it has been in use to generally mean dislike and hatred of homosexuals since at least the 1960s.

    You say you own your view. Fine–you’ve defined yourself as a homophobe.

    Like

  62. No, I am saying that characterizing something as homophobia is just a way of avoiding substantive and thoughtful debate/discussion about that something.

    I believe QB himself defined it quite well, but you could also look at some dictionary definitions (I’ve got more if the three I linked above aren’t enough):

    In other words, the epithet “homophobe” is applied to anyone who doesn’t agree with you that homosexual desire and behavior is equal, normal, good, healthy, etc.

    I’m not quite sure what substantive and thoughtful debate/discussion you’d want to have about dislike of homosexuals and whether or not that is homophobia any more than I can see what substantive and thoughtful debate/discussion you’d want to have about whether or not dislike of blacks/Hispanics/Asians/Jews/pick your category constitutes racism.

    Like

    • Mich:

      I’m not quite sure what substantive and thoughtful debate/discussion you’d want to have about dislike of homosexuals…

      It is notable that you say qb’s definition is fine, and then go on to reformulate it as something he didn’t actually say. Here is a challenge: Can you counter qb’s actual claims about homosexuality without first recharacterizing them into words not his own or labeling him/his thoughts with a pejorative?

      Like

  63. Your “argument” is already falling apart. Dictionaries include all sorts of words that only have limited use; most of them, in fact. Worse, you are now departing from your own definition. Before, you said homophobia is any disagreement that homosexuality is good, normal, etc. Now you say it is dislike or hatred of homosexuals. You don’t seem to have any clear idea what it means. But it is amusing that you seem to think I’m bothered by being accused of deflecting, whatever that is supposed to mean.

    Edit: corked by Scott. Just like old times.

    Like

  64. ruk didn’t call us the Bobbsey Twins for no reason. Heh.

    I’m really struck by the fact that a lot of people who now pound the table claiming that nonacceptance of gay marriage is just like being a KKK racist voted for Obama in 2008. He was the moral equivalent of a racist then. One might almost think the Michis of the world don’t really believe their own foolish rhetoric.

    Like

    • QB:

      One might almost think the Michis of the world don’t really believe their own foolish rhetoric.

      I suspect it is likely that they didn’t really believe Obama’s rhetoric in 2008. They probably assumed, correctly, that Obama’s then-opposition to SSM was just a politically convenient fiction.

      Like

  65. Yes, I’m sure they did. They all voted for a guy just pretending to be the moral equivalent of a KKK grand dragon. It was another Noble Lie.

    Like

  66. Scott/QB: You’re correct; in my last comment last night I mispoke. When I said “dislike” I should have said something like

    I’m not quite sure what substantive and thoughtful debate/discussion you’d want to have about considering homosexuals unequal, not normal, bad or unhealthy and whether or not that is homophobia any more than I can see what substantive and thoughtful debate/discussion you’d want to have about whether or not considering blacks/Hispanics/Asians/Jews/pick your category to be unequal, not normal, bad or unhealthy constitutes racism.

    I’m sorry for the confusion

    Like

  67. I’m really struck by the fact that a lot of people who now pound the table claiming that nonacceptance of gay marriage is just like being a KKK racist voted for Obama in 2008. He was the moral equivalent of a racist then.

    AND

    I suspect it is likely that they didn’t really believe Obama’s rhetoric in 2008. They probably assumed, correctly, that Obama’s then-opposition to SSM was just a politically convenient fiction.

    First, on this issue there wasn’t a whole lot of air between (then) Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain. Second, you forget (or are ignoring) the fact that Mr Obama was taken to task over that view by the Left from before he took office until his view changed. As far as I know, Sen. McCain’s view still hasn’t changed, and Gov. Romney doesn’t support gay marriage either.

    So it looks like voting for President Obama in 2008 was a pretty smart thing to do after all, for someone who believes that gays should have equal rights in marriage.

    Like

  68. One might almost think the Michis of the world don’t really believe their own foolish rhetoric.

    About what? That gay marriage is right? That it is just? That it is the right thing to support? What is foolish about those beliefs?

    Like

    • I was someone who once thought homosexual marriage was an oxymoron. I thought the two words could not be strung together and actually mean something. I am sure I was not a homophobe when I thought that but YMMV.

      Now, dividing “marriage” into meaning what a church or synagogue defines for purposes of its wedding formula and what the state defines, each for its own purposes, I would gladly vote to make SSM legal in TX.

      Same sex relationships exist and have existed, as far as we know, throughout history. The religious characterization of these relationships as “sinful” or merely “immoral” is as old as religion. That colors our thoughts and discussions. That they are “atypical” has no particular emotional or even rational weight.

      That straight men feel disgust at the possible male homosexual acts is also not “homophobic”, it seems to me. However, the fear that a homosexual act might be forced upon one, the fear of same sex rape, in a context in which no such fear is warranted, is literally homophobic.

      I have not read what QB has written at PL. I recall what he has written here. Personally, I think QB’s view is basically religious, which is what I think calling upon Natural Law ultimately relies upon. That does not, for me, denigrate the argument; it just doesn’t conclude it.

      So I can generally agree with ‘Goose’s political position on SSM but without knowing more than what QB wrote here a long time ago would not begin to call him “homophobic”, which, as Scott wrote, avoids the discussion of the issue and sheds heat, but no light.

      Also, I can understand BHO moving away from his religious based view of secular marriage, even if for him it came about 15 years later than it did for me.

      Until the mid-90s I thought the state should be defining domestic partnerships that it licensed as “civil unions” and religious organizations should have a monopoly on what they thought was marriage. In the eyes of religious communities, marriages are not between two persons, but are covenants with God and/or the church as well. But it should be apparent that we are too far along in the development of these structures to completely and totally segregate them. And that became clear to me some time during the Clinton Admin. Calling all civil unions licensed by the state “marriages” no longer seems to me like anything but splitting of hairs and angels dancing on pins, which can, as Justice Kennedy wrote, leave lots of children of SS couples without all the family law protections that other children enjoy.

      Finally, the state has an interest in not destabilizing otherwise stable and useful relationships between consenting adults. We would not say in a commercial context that persons cannot contract to do lawful business with each other. OTOH, we would say that we do not allow sibling marriage or parent child marriage because these pre-existing relationships would be destroyed by the new contract. This argument is not the end of the discussion by any means, but it may provide one useful tool for understanding the difference between the state’s interest and the religious interest.

      Like

  69. You remain confused. You remain incapable of grasping that people and their behavior are not the same things. Or perhaps you are deliberately obtuse.

    No matter how you try to excuse it, you voted for a candidate who was a homophobe. By your own words, that wa no different than voting for a KKK grand dragon who openly advocated segregation and race discrimination.Lesser of two evils doesn’t excuse that, if you really believe what you say.

    Anyone reading this can see that your only object is to attack and insult. Now you can feel wounded and unwelcome agai.

    Like

  70. Oh, I’m not confused. Not confused at all. You’ve made it abundantly clear that you’re a homophobe and you’re proud of that fact.

    Frankly, that says very little to me about your politics, but it says a world about you as a person.

    Like

  71. BTW, Brent:

    re navylady on PL; that’s ticktockky. She’s former JAG (enlisted, so paralegal[?]) and I think was in at the same time as you–may have gotten out while you were in. I get the impression that most of her time was spent in PACFLT. I don’t think she saw your question, so thought I’d pass the info on.

    Like

  72. Here is a good checklist I would like the conservative and/or libertarian members of ATiM to address:

    What ‘rights’ do gay men and lesbians have:

    Have consensual sex?
    To not be discriminated against in the workplace?
    To create marriage-like contracts such as powers of attorney or living wills?
    To jointly own property with their partner?
    To adopt children?
    To marry other gay or lesbian partners?

    What rights do transgendered people have?

    To choose the social gender they wish to be addressed as?
    To use opposite sex bathrooms different from their current biological genitalia?
    To wear the masculine and/or feminine work attire of the gender they consider themselves?
    To have legal documents identify the gender of their choosing?
    To have gender reassignment surgery paid for with insurance?
    To have gender reassignment surgery paid for by government programs?

    Like

    • yello:

      What ‘rights’ do gay men and lesbians have

      Do you mean legal rights or natural rights?

      If legal, then it would be better to consult legal documents than to ask conservatives/libertarians. If natural, then I am more than happy to provide an answer within the context of a coherent definition/understanding of what it means to have a natural right, but that probably won’t advance the discussion since I know that you do not share that definition/understanding. And I know how averse you are to discussing disagreements over first principles.

      That being said, to your list:

      Have consensual sex? – Yes

      To not be discriminated against in the workplace? – This is rather complex and depends upon the terms under which they were employed in the first place. But if you are asking do they have a right not to be discriminated against in the process of getting employed, then no. No one does.

      To create marriage-like contracts such as powers of attorney or living wills? – Yes.

      To jointly own property with their partner? – Yes.

      To adopt children? – If then can find an adoption agency willing to allow them to adopt, then yes. That is to say, there should not be a law preventing adoption agencies from working with gay couples, but nor should adoption agencies be compelled by the law to work with gay couples.

      To marry other gay or lesbian partners? – To the extent that “marriage” means a relationship sanctified by the state, then no. No one does.

      What rights do transgendered people have?

      To choose the social gender they wish to be addressed as? – No. This is an issue of custom or courtesy, not a rights issue.

      To use opposite sex bathrooms different from their current biological genitalia? – No. It is up to the owner of the bathroom to decide who can and cannot use his bathrooms.

      To wear the masculine and/or feminine work attire of the gender they consider themselves? – Again, it depends upon the terms under which employment was agreed on, but probably not. An employer has the right to determine if it wants employees to dress in a certain manner and what that manner should be.

      To have legal documents identify the gender of their choosing? – It depends, I suppose, on what the purpose of the identification is for, but probably not.

      To have gender reassignment surgery paid for with insurance? – That depends on the terms of the insurance policy.

      To have gender reassignment surgery paid for by government programs? – No.

      Like

      • Do you mean legal rights or natural rights?

        I knew we would have definitional problems with the word ‘rights’ so you were correct to interpret as you see fit.

        nor should adoption agencies be compelled by the law to work with gay couples.

        Should adoption agencies also be allowed to use racial, religous or ethnic characteristics in placing children, that is only place African-American children with African-American families or to not allow adoption by Jewish families if the adoption agency is Christian run?

        Like

  73. I think I understand the problem.

    It is a young, rudderless community that is still trying to define itself. “I’m just wondering at what point how many internships is too many,” said Lea, who received a master’s degree from Parsons, the New School for Design two years ago and aspires to work as a magazine art director. (She was allowed to use only her first name to avoid jeopardizing a current job application.) So far, her résumé has been limited to three internships — planning events for teenagers at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, compiling news clippings for a public relations agency in New York, and being the “fetch-the-coffee girl” at an art gallery.

    How is the magazine industry doing btw?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/16/fashion/millennials-internships.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-nytimes&_r=0

    Like

  74. Yello,

    1. Have consensual sex?
    Depends, are they non-related adults?

    2. To not be discriminated against in the workplace?
    Well, I think employers have rights to, they, in my opinion can hire and fire anybody
    they want for any reason.

    3. To create marriage-like contracts such as powers of attorney or living wills?
    Sure.

    4. To jointly own property with their partner?
    Sure.

    5. To adopt children?
    Sure.

    6. To marry other gay or lesbian partners?
    Well, since I don’t think the state should recognize marriage, but should recognize
    contracts I don’t care. If your looking for me to approve of state sanctioned
    marriage, I cannot. Am I a homophobe? Should I care if you think so?

    6. What rights do transgendered people have?
    The same rights as any non-felon AmeriKan.

    7. To not be discriminated against in the workplace?
    See # 2 above.

    8. To use opposite sex bathrooms different from their current biological genitalia?
    Depends, but I lean towards no unless bathroom is designated
    Male/Transgendered Male and Female/Transgendered Female.

    9. To wear the masculine and/or feminine work attire of the gender they consider
    themselves?
    See # 2 above.

    10. To have legal documents identify the gender of their choosing?
    No.

    11. To have gender reassignment surgery paid for with insurance?
    I could give a shit what kind of insurance people buy. If my insurance costs more
    because I’m paying for gender assignment surgery for someone else then no.

    12. To have gender reassignment surgery paid for by government programs?
    See above.

    Like

  75. @ Mark, nice comment. I’ve seen a lot of evolving on the issue of SSM over the years and the process isn’t always pretty.

    Like

  76. I lean towards no unless bathroom is designated
    Male/Transgendered Male and Female/Transgendered Female.

    Who enforces the restriction and how is it monitored? What level of probable cause is required for verification and then what is the level of proof needed?

    Like

  77. Who enforces the restriction and how is it monitored? What level of probable cause is required for verification and then what is the level of proof needed?

    Common sense dictates that it be voluntary. If there’s not a sign, perhaps transgendered should not use it? To be honest, I don’t care. I’ve defecated and urinated in front of women and men. I don’t enjoy either.

    Why are answers here important to you? Do you think Scott, myself, jncp, Nova, QB or mark are not homophobes?

    Like

  78. Better way to say it, who at ATiM, in your opinion is not homophobic?

    Like

  79. Why are answers here important to you?

    I’m just curious about the variety of opinions.

    Do you think Scott, myself, jncp, Nova, QB or mark are not homophobes?

    Homophobia, like racism and sexism exists on a continuum. One of my favorite Avenue Q songs, that I’ve posted several times before:

    Like

  80. So, who here is not, in your opinion, homophobic?

    Like

  81. What ‘rights’ do gay men and lesbians have:

    Have consensual sex? Yes

    To not be discriminated against in the workplace? Yes, but I generally side with the employer in these suits.

    To create marriage-like contracts such as powers of attorney or living wills? Yes

    To jointly own property with their partner? Yes

    To adopt children? Yes

    To marry other gay or lesbian partners? Yes

    What rights do transgendered people have?

    To choose the social gender they wish to be addressed as? Yes

    To use opposite sex bathrooms different from their current biological genitalia? Fine, I guess

    To wear the masculine and/or feminine work attire of the gender they consider themselves? Maybe. In some settings it may be appropriate, and in others it may not. Ultimately it is the employer’s call, not the government’s.

    To have legal documents identify the gender of their choosing? As long as it is consistent and not used as a “get out of jail free” card to weasel out of binding contracts.

    To have gender reassignment surgery paid for with insurance? As long as it doesn’t affect my rates.

    To have gender reassignment surgery paid for by government programs? No.

    Like

  82. To have gender reassignment surgery paid for with insurance? As long as it doesn’t affect my rates.

    I love this answer!

    I don’t know if NoVA is around or not, but I’ll bet he’d know if this is covered under the ACA or not.

    Like

  83. Oh, I’m not confused. Not confused at all. You’ve made it abundantly clear that you’re a homophobe and you’re proud of that fact.

    Frankly, that says very little to me about your politics, but it says a world about you as a person.

    You are regressing from 8th grade to 3d. That’s about all you are accomplishing. If I were at your level, I would just call you a religious bigot over and over. That would be true. But not very useful.

    Like

  84. QB – I always thought that Shrink had the best response in that to the extent that “marriage” is simply a set of tax & legal benefits conferred by the state, then it is simply what a majority wants it to be at any given time. This of course also thwarts any attempt to distinguish between gay marriage and say polygamy on some sort of principled grounds. Or to be more precise, it shows how false that argument is.

    “Until the mid-90s I thought the state should be defining domestic partnerships that it licensed as “civil unions” and religious organizations should have a monopoly on what they thought was marriage. In the eyes of religious communities, marriages are not between two persons, but are covenants with God and/or the church as well. But it should be apparent that we are too far along in the development of these structures to completely and totally segregate them.”

    The civil union argument is still my preference for any state involvement, but I really don’t care enough about the issue at this point.

    Edit: I dislike the whole “homophobe” construction because the term “phobe” was originally meant to convey fear, not disapproval. It’s part of a meme on the left that all dislike is caused by fear and ignorance, and that’s not true. Interestedly enough, Cao has posted in the past that he dislikes the term as well for similar reasons.

    Like

  85. Heh, I love this reference.

    Like

  86. To have gender reassignment surgery paid for with insurance? As long as it doesn’t affect my rates
    .
    I love this answer!

    Does that make me homophobic?

    Like

  87. Paging Whitaker Chambers, please report to HUAC immediately.

    Like

  88. “Michigoose, on February 16, 2014 at 7:13 pm said:

    OK, let’s parse some words.

    Homosexuality is a rare but normal variation within the human species, as is red hair. “

    Michi, I think that’s a bad argument regardless of where one stands on the issue because there are a plethora of other conditions that fit that category which are decidedly problematic, i.e. certain types of mental illness. Trying to draw a line between rare and abnormal is a losing proposition.

    I prefer the libertarian standard of consenting adults not causing harm to others should be free to do what they want. That covers homosexual behavior along with a lot of other items.

    However, this is the best argument I’ve seen for QB position that there are consequences to making these changes to marriage as an ongoing institution. If you haven’t read it, you may find it of interest.

    “A Libertarian View of Gay Marriage
    October 12, 2009”

    http://fireflydove.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/a-libertarian-view-of-gay-marriage/

    linked from:

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/a-great-conservative-point-against-gay-marriage/

    Now, if you don’t find the entire idea of marriage particularly worthwhile, then it doesn’t really matter. My observation is that no fault divorce has had a much bigger impact to the institution of marriage than gay marriage ever will.

    Like

  89. Mark,

    Same sex relationships exist and have existed, as far as we know, throughout history. The religious characterization of these relationships as “sinful” or merely “immoral” is as old as religion. That colors our thoughts and discussions. That they are “atypical” has no particular emotional or even rational weight.

    It is the “it exists” argument that has no rational value. Everything that exists exists, but the existence of behaviors, desires, or attractions does not establish their social or moral status. The corollary of this argument by homosexual normalization advocates is usually that it exists among animals. Animals are now our guide? Really?

    You can decide that you don’t care whether it is atypical, but at least we know it is in fact atypical and abnormal. To say it is normal is just to drain that word of meaning. To say “it exists,” on the other hand, is to say nothing of any moral or social importance.

    I don’t believe I have ever invoked religion in this debate as a basis for my positioin. I suppose you can say you equate natural law with religion. I disagree, but I’m not a natural law philosopher. What I do know, and what can’t be denied with any rational basis, is that hetorosexual relations have a biological purpose, and homosexual relations do not. One is consistent with biology and how the species survies, and the other isn’t. It is, in a very literal sense, disordered.

    As you might recall, I have always challenged SSM proponents to meet their own standards, to construct a defense that survives their own “logic,” starting with telling us what “marriage” is and fully disclosing the basis for their position. What is the basis for defining marriage to include SSM but not other possible variations? Is it history, social construction, morality, justice? And my challenge stands unmet. Anything the proponents say marriage is, I will show is not essential to marriage, by the same logic used to justify SSM. The one and only element that cannot be shown nonessential is the opposite-sex element. Love, commitment, permanence, mutual support, shared finances, voluntariness, limitation to two persons, etc. — marriage has existed without all of these. It has never existed without male-female complementarity.

    Like

    • QB… you stated ” Love, commitment, permanence, mutual support, shared finances, voluntariness, limitation to two persons, etc. — marriage has existed without all of these. It has never existed without male-female complementarity.”.

      Hmm, so since traditional marriages have existed WITHOUT all the things that make a marriage successful, perhaps that’s why the divorce rate of heterosexuals is over 50%. Seems to me that all marriages actually need those things to be successful and long lasting. Also, there have been very few LGBT couples that have made “marriage” commitments to each other, whether legal or not, who have divorced. Which also means you are incorrect with “marriage has never existed without male-female complementarity”. Seems you may want to either research, or, change the wordings of your statements.

      Like

  90. Some might argue that racism and misogeny are merely normal behavior since they’ve always existed and will, in all probability, always exist.

    Like

  91. jnc,

    Yes, I agree re shrink. I should have noted in my answer to Mark that shrink as far as I can recall is the only person to step up and honestly embrace the implications of the argument. He said, flatly, marriage is whatever we want it to be. I completely agree with him that that is what the argument for SSM comes down to. That’s just one example of why he is the smartest lefty by a mile. Unfortunately, he no longer speaks to conservatives, so brains don’t entail wisdom.

    Like

  92. If I were at your level, I would just call you a religious bigot over and over.

    A religious bigot uses religion to justify bigotry. An anti-religious bigot is someone bigoted against religious people. Just trying to keep the terminology straight.

    QB,
    I notice you haven’t taken my quiz yet. If it’s easier, just list the questions you’d answer ‘yes’ to.

    Like

  93. Yello, will you tell us who here is not homophobic in your opinion?

    Like

    • Yello, will you tell us who here is not homophobic in your opinion?

      I’m the one asking the questions here today. If you can’t determine my answer from the first time I answered it, I’m not going to bother repeating myself over and over again.

      Like

  94. I put up a new post. Can we move there? It’s easier to navigate, read, comment and drive all at the same time with a fresh post.

    Like

  95. Yello:

    I will respond more extensively later, but to be very brief, yes, an adoption ageny has the right to discriminate in its adoption processes. I am sure you agree, you just want to limit that right to certain kinds of discrimination that you yourself prefer.

    Like

  96. A religious bigot uses religion to justify bigotry. An anti-religious bigot is someone bigoted against religious people. Just trying to keep the terminology straight.

    Point taken.

    I notice you haven’t taken my quiz yet. If it’s easier, just list the questions you’d answer ‘yes’ to.

    I looked at it. But I’ve been through a lot of discussions with you — enough to know that it is always a one-way street. You never explain your own positions or justify them. And I am pretty sure you know my answers. But here you go, setting aside most of the ambiguities and complexities about “rights”:

    What ‘rights’ do gay men and lesbians have:
    Have consensual sex? Do whatever you want.
    To not be discriminated against in the workplace? No.
    To create marriage-like contracts such as powers of attorney or living wills? Yes.
    To jointly own property with their partner? Yes.
    To adopt children? Only as a second-best.
    To marry other gay or lesbian partners? Privately, do whatever you want. People have married trees, buildings, animals, etc. Legal recognition, certainly not.
    What rights do transgendered people have?
    To choose the social gender they wish to be addressed as? Unclear what that means.
    To use opposite sex bathrooms different from their current biological genitalia? Certainly not.
    To wear the masculine and/or feminine work attire of the gender they consider themselves? Wear what you want on your own time in your own space, not in mine.
    To have legal documents identify the gender of their choosing? No.
    To have gender reassignment surgery paid for with insurance? A preposterous notion of insurance, but do whatever you want so long as I don’t have to subsidize your “insurance.”
    To have gender reassignment surgery paid for by government programs? Certainly not.

    Like

  97. I’m the one asking the questions here today. If you can’t determine my answer from the first time I answered it, I’m not going to bother repeating myself over and over again.

    So we’re all homophobes? Does that inude Michi, Mark, Geanie and Lms?

    Like

  98. Again, I encourage a move to the new thread. It’s where all the coolest homophobes chill.

    Like

  99. @Brent:

    “To use opposite sex bathrooms different from their current biological genitalia? Fine, I guess”

    Well, I think that depends on exactly how wide their stance is. Or how much they like to tap their feet in the stall.

    Like

  100. @Troll: “Yello, will you tell us who here is not homophobic in your opinion?”

    I assume everybody is increasingly homophobic, in his opinion, based on the degree to which their answers to his questions don’t match his answers. Which is generally how people make such assessments.

    f they agree with him completely, they are either not homophobes, or are only as homophobic as is required to be truly bohemian and admit the flaws that come with the curse of white male heterosexual privilege.

    Myself,I am homeostatic. Which is different.

    Like

  101. Well, I think that depends on exactly how wide their stance is. Or how much they like to tap their feet in the stall.

    Well, there are no urinals in women’s bathrooms, so a dude is going to have to use a stall anyway. A female can’t use a urinal, so pretty much by definition everyone gets a stall so there should be no issues…

    Like

  102. @Geanie: “Hmm, so since traditional marriages have existed WITHOUT all the things that make a marriage successful, perhaps that’s why the divorce rate of heterosexuals is over 50%”

    Heterosexual divorce rates are immaterial in any case, but completely irrelevant when there’s no comparative argument to be made about the divorce rates of homosexual marriages in the exact same circumstances (and adjusted for income and education). Which we really can’t have until you’ve had about 25 years of legal homosexual marriage in all 50 states. It’s reasonable to assume homosexual divorce rates will be as high or at least near hetero rates (and also reasonable to assume they will be higher for homosexual men and lower for homosexual women) . . . but time will tell!

    Based on year-to-year divorce rates, about half as many gay couples get divorced in a give year (on a percentage basis) as heterosexual couples. Given the likely pro-marriage biases of current married homosexual couples, it would be reasonable to guess the total number will be higher when homosexual marriage is legal everywhere and accepted practice (and no longer a political issue). I don’t believe there are stats on LGBT couples who have made ambiguous commitments and their separation rates. Probably lower than heterosexuals but there are some benefits to being the same sexual preference (more likely to share sex drives and other things; more likely to understand the gender peculiarities of the other; less likely to get divorced over an argument that starts about leaving the toilet seat up or down and then spirals out of control).

    All immaterial in regards to the historical point of marriage: joining families around heirs (and protecting the genetic legacy those heirs provide). Which has always been, by necessity, a male/female dynamic. You are correct that there have been decades now of same-sex commitment ceremonies and nonofficial marriages.

    Like

  103. That Feakonomics podcast I linked to notes that divorce rates have actually been steadily declining since the late 1970s. The reason given is that only people who really want to be married bother to do so which results in more stable marriages. The rising age of first marriage (27 for women, 29 for men) has also been increasing which as a causal relationship on lowering divorce rates.

    Like

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