280 Responses

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

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  2. 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.

    Here is the questionnaire again:

    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?

    So far there have been answers by W.MF.C., ScottC, and Brent. I appreciate the responses and commentary.

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  3. Brent:

    Does that make me homophobic?

    Not in my book, just fiscally conservative.

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  4. I tried to repost my response, but that didn’t work. You will have to look back, yello.

    Now, as for who is asking the questions, here are several for you:

    Attraction to multiple persons of the opposite sex is ubiquitous, while homosexual attraction is rare. How then can gay marriage be more justifiable than multiple partners?

    Do wedding photographers and caterers have the right not to do homosexual weddings?

    Do attorneys have the right not to provide family law services to gay couples?

    Are children better off with a mother or father than with a gay couple?

    If so, do children have the right to legal protection of that interest in adoption law?

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  5. jnc:

    My observation is that no fault divorce has had a much bigger impact to the institution of marriage than gay marriage ever will.

    I agree, although I don’t know if we think it’s for the same reasons. I also think easy access to contraception has had a bigger impact than gay marriage will.

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  6. BTW, Thanks QB for proving my original premise.

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  7. @yellojkt: “What ‘rights’ do gay men and lesbians have:

    Have consensual sex? No. At least, not after gay marriage. You give up the right to have consensual sex when you get married.

    To not be discriminated against in the workplace? No. Everybody gets discriminated against in the workplace. Prevailing political trends determine how likely a lawsuit about it will be to win.

    To create marriage-like contracts such as powers of attorney or living wills? They can do that already!

    To jointly own property with their partner? They can do that already. You can own property jointly with anybody (consenting adult).

    To adopt children? Yes, but only Korean girls.

    To marry other gay or lesbian partners? Of course. You can’t tell them they don’t have the right to have sex with each other and unless you let them get married. This is common sense.

    What rights do transgendered people have:

    To choose the social gender they wish to be addressed as? If I have the right to choose not to address them that way.

    To use opposite sex bathrooms different from their current biological genitalia? If I have the right to go change in the girl’s locker room at the gym. I won’t peek. Promise.

    To wear the masculine and/or feminine work attire of the gender they consider themselves? Front line employees get told what kind of hair they can have, if they can have facial hair, what kind of piercings are acceptable, what kind of tattoos . . . globally, no, you don’t get special rights to do whatever the hell you want that nobody else gets because you’ve chosen to blur your own personal gender lines.

    To have legal documents identify the gender of their choosing? Not sure it matters. Will it cost me in money or increase my taxes in anyway? If no, then yes. If yes, then no.

    To have gender reassignment surgery paid for with insurance?
    Nope. I don’t think any elective surgery should be paid for by health insurance.

    To have gender reassignment surgery paid for by government programs?
    Good lord, no. We don’t have enough money to pay our soldiers or police or meet SS obligations without going into debt to the Chinese. No, no, no.

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  8. No fault divorce removed an aspect of marriage as it had been known. SSM guts it completely.

    I would still like to see someone try to define marriage in a way that encompasses SSM in a nonarbitrary way that cannot simply be refuted by the very same logic on which it is built.

    But I won’t be waiting, because it can’t be done.

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  9. jnc, what premise?

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  10. Yello, I don’t understand your answer. What, in light of my answers (btw, did you not see them?) makes me homophobic in your opinion?

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  11. And here are QB’s answers. Thank you very much.

    You never explain your own positions or justify them.

    I just assumed everybody would think my answers were all in the affirmative. My beliefs in freedom of marriage are pretty well known by now.

    The only questions I have qualms about are insurance and/or government coverage of gender re-assignment surgery, only under the concern that these procedures are rather permanent and not always effective at treating the underlying condition, but that just might be my latent transphobia talking.

    I would make the full addadicktomy or lopitoff procedure very difficult to obtain and only after long term hormonal treatment and extensive trans-life therapy and full gender lifestyle change. This is why the ability to have legal identification under the assumed gender is so critical. The need to undergo surgery shouldn’t be a pre-condition for this as it makes the need to go full post-op much less necessary, which would ultimately save money for either the individual, risk pool, or society in general.

    I base most of this thinking on the premise the very few people have the right to know what is between your legs as that is rarely an important factor in anything but consensual intimate relationships.

    I think much of the concern about biological vs. identified gender dressing is based on the belief that the workplace would be flooded with Bosom Buddies style cross-dresser disrupting the workplace. Most trans-people I have known prefer to be as inconspicuous as possible. But I admit that could change if social stigmas were removed. And if they did change, it would just fall under fashion where business customs would still prevail.

    I still get glares when I suggest that women no longer wearing hose under business skirts is an abomination.

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  12. “quarterback, on February 17, 2014 at 10:25 am said:

    jnc, what premise?”

    My response lmsinca’s original point last thread about conservatives despising liberals

    “jnc4p, on February 15, 2014 at 11:26 am said

    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.”

    Cao would be well on the way to wishing death threats on everyone with various lurid details by this point.

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  13. @QB: “Attraction to multiple persons of the opposite sex is ubiquitous, while homosexual attraction is rare. How then can gay marriage be more justifiable than multiple partners?”

    QB, you must not watch movies or TV. Almost everybody is gay. Or wants to be. Wake up! It’s the 21st century! Also, you need to read Penthouse Letters. The world is full of super-model quality lesbians who just need a strong man like me to set them straight.

    Gay marriage is more justifiable because polygamy has a PR problem so those agitating for gay marriage don’t want to be seen as in the same camp or as arguing for it, so they want to argue against it. Even though, in abstract principle, the argument for supporting one type of social arrangement over the other is weaker than the argument for supporting a single type of marriage arrangement over all others.

    Which is not an argument against gay marriage, which is inevitable. No fault divorce pointed the way, as does hookup culture, as does the mainstreaming of homosexuality (which I’m not saying anything bad about, it’s just objectively what’s happening), the changes in the job market, “women’s lib”, and the inevitable and unavoidable equalization effect of technology.

    One man/one woman marriage is going to become a function of choice, a choice of a multitude of options. Not especially different from gay marriage or open marriages or common law marriages. And it will continue to be chosen, because it is and will always remain the best way to have a family a raise healthy, functional kids (and weather the vicissitudes of fate).

    Once we have gay marriage, after the initial uptick in gay divorce and breakups (look! they can’t stay married!) and some upheaval, it’ll go away as an issue. Because life will continue, straight people will continue to get married and have children, and the circle of life will proceed.

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  14. Yello:

    I don’t think you have posed the question you really mean to pose. What you want to know, I think, is not what rights accrue to homosexuals, but rather what publi policies each of us might find preferable. As ever, there is a difference between what one has a right to and what one might prefe to see as policy. This is a distiliberals have a hard time making.

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  15. I still get glares when I suggest that women no longer wearing hose under business skirts is an abomination.

    As well you should. You shouldn’t be able to tell whether they’re hose or stockings.

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  16. @yellojkt: “I still get glares when I suggest that women no longer wearing hose under business skirts is an abomination.”

    … I don’t know, perhaps that’s being taken the wrong way?

    @quarterback: “I would still like to see someone try to define marriage in a way that encompasses SSM in a nonarbitrary way that cannot simply be refuted by the very same logic on which it is built.”

    It’s a redefinition of marriage based on sexual preference rather than child rearing and family-strengthening (that is, the merging of two clans in opposition to other clans, less of a marriage motivator in the 21st century).

    Anyone whose been married for any length of time knows that defining marriage based on sex is irrational. 😉

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  17. Yellow, I assume you saw the piece in the post over the weekend about the gender identity issues at the gym:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/genderqueer-at-the-gym/2014/02/14/f6f9cbe6-8de9-11e3-98ab-fe5228217bd1_story.html

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  18. Kevin–btw how weird is it that here we are again after like twenty years or something–you understate things. Everyone, not nearly everyone, is gay. So I am told. There are open gays and repressed gays, the latter comprising all those who deny being gay.

    Yello, what exactly do you mean when you refer to transgender identification in legal documents? What documents, for what purpose?

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  19. @Michigoose: “As well you should. You shouldn’t be able to tell whether they’re hose or stockings.”

    I’m afraid I must dissent. I should definitely be able to tell if it’s hose or stockings. Especially if there are boots involved!

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  20. (Brent from the last thread, in response to Kevin):

    so pretty much by definition everyone gets a stall so there should be no issues…

    I’ve never understood why they persist in putting urinals in men’s rooms. I don’t imagine that it’s all that comfortable peeing out in the open, and if they just put in all stalls in both bathrooms they could be gender neutral if needed/wanted.

    Best bathroom idea I ever saw was in one building that was a square with labs around the outside and support rooms in the middle of the square. There was one bathroom on each side of the square with a single toilet and sink inside. You went into whichever one was open, locked the door, and just left the door open when you came out.

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  21. @qb: “Everyone, not nearly everyone, is gay.”

    Well, okay, you’ve got me there. There are some straight liberals, I’m pretty sure. And atheists. All Christians and conservatives are repressed homosexuals, though, I’m pretty sure I’ve got that right. 🙂

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  22. jnc:

    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.

    I do, too, but it’s the word in general usage. What would be better? I’m open to suggestions.

    I don’t agree that all dislike is caused by fear and/or ignorance–I’m not even sure that most of it is (although it can certainly play a part).

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  23. Especially if there are boots involved!

    In which case the odds are it’s stockings.

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  24. jnc4p: From the article: “For others, transgression can be modest: the man who takes pride in being a great cook or the woman who changes the oil in her husband’s car.”

    Ugh. And whose putting who in a box now? In what fucking demented universe is a woman changing oil or a guy being a great cook (uh, how many Michelin chefs are men) “transgressing” gender roles?

    Almost everybody is a serial murderer, whether it’s kidnapping young women at the park and letting them slowly suffocate in the trunk of your car, or eating hamburger meat.

    I don’t disagree that there are “gender roles” and that we can transgress them by liking things typically associated with the other gender by majority choice, but car maintenance and cooking? Those are the examples this fluid gender person comes up with?

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  25. @Michigoose: “In which case the odds are it’s stockings.”

    I don’t play the odds. I like to know for sure.

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  26. Yello, what’s the purpose of your questionnaire?

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  27. @jnc: “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.”

    You only say that because you’re a well-known taxophobe.

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  28. @Troll: “Yello, what’s the purpose of your questionnaire?”

    He wants to know how much better he is than the rest of us! This let’s him rank himself numerically.

    No, just kidding. Seriously, he just wants to waste our time. Because this is the Internet, and that’s what people on the Internet do.

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  29. @Michigoose: “I’ve never understood why they persist in putting urinals in men’s rooms. I don’t imagine that it’s all that comfortable peeing out in the open, and if they just put in all stalls in both bathrooms they could be gender neutral if needed/wanted.”

    You pinkos are gonna take have to pry my urinal cakes out of my cold, dead, rubber-gloved fingers!

    No, but seriously, I frickin’ love urinals. I can’t be the only guy who, if I had a lot of excess cash, would have a frickin’ urinal installed in his house. In public, I prefer a nice divider between urinals to avoid sidesplash and having to see other men waggling their junk because they are less modest (or more prideful) than myself.

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  30. “Kevin S. Willis, on February 17, 2014 at 10:53 am said:

    You only say that because you’re a well-known taxophobe.”

    That reminds me. One of the other pieces of baggage from “phobe” is the premise that it’s an irrational fear. One is rarely referred to as a “Great White Sharkophobe” or a “Grizzly Bearophobe”.

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  31. @Michigoose: “I do, too, but it’s the word in general usage. What would be better? I’m open to suggestions.”

    Homo-Intolerant. Like Lactose Intolerant, only you replace “lactose” with “homo”.

    Heteropositive. I think that’s a good word.

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  32. “Michigoose, on February 17, 2014 at 10:44 am said:

    I’ve never understood why they persist in putting urinals in men’s rooms.”

    Ever notice how much faster the men’s line is at a concert or other event to the women’s? Urinals are key to that.

    The whole trans movement when it comes to bathrooms is clearly an attempt to simply cherry pick which one has the shortest line at the moment.

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  33. I’m pro-urinal.

    Since yello’s pulling his usual, anybody else care to weigh in on his intent?

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  34. jnc4p: “Arcotophobia or ursaphobia is fear of bears. You don’t hear that much in every day conversation. Selachophobia or galeophobia would be your fear of sharks. Again, everybody knows the word “claustrophobia” but nobody ever talks about their arcotophobia. “Jeff never goes camping, not even in the backyard, he’s just a terrible arcotophobe.”

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  35. @Troll:

    “Since yello’s pulling his usual, anybody else care to weigh in on his intent?”

    It’s the Internet. It’s a list. He’s interested in seeing to what degree we’re still all manifesting our paleolithic heteronormative neanderthal DNA.

    Or he’s conducting surveys for a research organization.

    Or he (along with Michigoose) are trying to take away our urinals.

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  36. Ever notice how much faster the men’s line is at a concert or other event to the women’s? Urinals are key to that.

    I’ve been known to use the men’s room if someone scopes it out first to make sure the urinals aren’t in use.

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  37. I think Yellow’s reference to his previous three part series on gay marriage pretty much covers his position on the topic. He certainly went into more detail than I ever have on the subject.

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  38. Homo-Intolerant. Like Lactose Intolerant, only you replace “lactose” with “homo”.

    You joke, but that’s not a bad idea. . .

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  39. I frickin’ love urinals.

    I had no idea! In which case, men are now forbidden to joke about women going to the bathroom in groups. Unbeknownst to us, that’s why you’ve got urinals.

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  40. You hate a person if you:

    1. Disapprove something he does.
    2. Disagree with a belief he has.
    3. Claim a right not to be forced to agree with his belief.
    4. Refuse to act in conformity with his belief.
    5. Refuse to act in ways that confer recognition or approval on his behavior.
    6. All of the above.
    7. None of the above.

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  41. Since qb answered my questions, I will gladly answer his.

    Now, as for who is asking the questions, here are several for you:

    Attraction to multiple persons of the opposite sex is ubiquitous, while homosexual attraction is rare. How then can gay marriage be more justifiable than multiple partners?

    This is currently handled by serial monogamy rather than polygamy, although I expect someday there will be some sort of legal accommodation for the polyamorous. Right now polygamy has a poor reputation largely because of the child abuse that occurs in the extreme religious sects that allow it. The legal rights of multiple partners (inheritance, child custody, tax status) are far less pressing than those for gay couples.

    Do wedding photographers and caterers have the right not to do homosexual weddings?

    If one offers services to the general public, any willing customer should be accommodated. Precedent: Walgreen’s diner counters circa 1950s.

    Do attorneys have the right not to provide family law services to gay couples?

    See above. They way to avoid this problem would be to be such an incompetent lawyer, gay couples wouldn’t want your services.

    Are children better off with a mother or father than with a gay couple?

    Children are best off in a loving household.

    If so, do children have the right to legal protection of that interest in adoption law?

    Moot point.

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  42. Yello, what’s the purpose of your questionnaire?

    To engage in conversation and recognize the variety of opinions. And to let people defend their positions if they so choose.

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  43. “Precedent: Walgreen’s diner counters circa 1950s.”

    I think you mean Woolworth’s.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F._W._Woolworth_Company#Greensboro_sit-in

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  44. Yello, what exactly do you mean when you refer to transgender identification in legal documents? What documents, for what purpose?

    Driver’s licenses, passports, etc. Which raises the question of if and why gender is ever relevant except for the assigning of prison cells. We don’t put race on photo IDs because there is no reason to.

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  45. I think you mean Woolworth’s.

    Yes, I do. Thanks. I do note that the right for businesses to discriminate on any basis has been defended by Rand Paul among others.

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  46. I frickin’ love urinals.

    So do I. I also frequently lament the strict public urination laws. There are so many trees and nobody has a problem with my dog using them.

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  47. “yellojkt, on February 17, 2014 at 11:32 am said:

    Which raises the question of if and why gender is ever relevant except for the assigning of prison cells.”

    Under your premise, why keep that exception?

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  48. One is rarely referred to as a “Great White Sharkophobe” or a “Grizzly Bearophobe”.

    The fear of sharks is irrational. I saw a recent Facebook slideshow on how few people are killed by sharks every year. Is fear of being eaten by a homosexual also a major concern?

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  49. So, to put a fine point on it, yello, you believe the law should force everyone to treat gay marriage as marriage and should deprive those who dissent of their freedom to associate with those they chose and with the social interactions and events they chose. They are not free to act on their consciences. Because you disapprove of their beliefs. I guess that qualifies you as a Christophobe, among other things.

    But you dodged my question about children’s welfare. That’s a tough one. The testimony if the girl from Wisconsin a year or two ago was quite an indictment if gay rights ideology.

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  50. All Christians and conservatives are repressed homosexuals,

    Mostly just the ones that spend an inordinate amount of time preaching on the evils of homosexuality. It’s became a cliche too common to catalog.

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  51. @Yello: ” Precedent: Walgreen’s diner counters circa 1950s.”

    Walgreens did not have diner counters. That would be cool.

    “Are children better off with a mother or father than with a gay couple?
    Children are best off in a loving household.”

    While certainly true, the question sounds like: all things being equal, are children best off in a traditional marriage arrangement or some other arrangement? Thus far, I think the answer is objective: man + woman + 2.5 children makes for the the healthiest and happiest kids.

    However, we don’t mandate marriage on pregnant women (and the biological fathers) or forbid divorce or outlaw foster care which sometimes seems to be worse than outright abandonment . . . or have neighbors narcing on married couples that argue all the time so they can go to enforce marriage and parenting counseling. And so on. All things being equal, man + woman + child is best, but one cannot mandate that all things be equal.

    So the question probably should be, would a child be better off in the foster system, as a ward of the state, or adopted by a homosexual couple? In which case the homosexual couple would be preferable.

    The problem is everybody’s competing for those pretty <1 yr old white babies.

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  52. Under your premise, why keep that exception?

    Exactly. The only common use for gender identification is to determine which TSA agent gets to grope you.

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  53. If gender serves no purpose in legal documents, the original claim seems misplaced.

    But the reality is legal documents like those list sex–not the nouveau classification if gender–because it helps identify a human being. That is, biology helps identify. So the idea of letting everyone choose their identification regardless of anatomy is a misguided one.

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  54. The testimony if the girl from Wisconsin a year or two ago was quite an indictment if gay rights ideology.

    I am unfamiliar with this particular case.

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  55. Yello, what’s the purpose of your questionnaire?
    To engage in conversation and recognize the variety of opinions. And to let people defend their positions if they so choose.

    Can there be a non-homophobic position against gay marriage?

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  56. @yellojkt: “Is fear of being eaten by a homosexual also a major concern?”

    Depends on what part of town you live in.

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  57. @Troll: “Can there be a non-homophobic position against gay marriage?”

    Obviously there can be, just as there can be non-heterophobic positions again straight marriage. Presumably one can have a position that there is only one form of marriage that is acceptable (man + woman) and that is why you don’t have any other. That’s heteronormative, perhaps, but not homophobic.

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  58. The whole trans movement when it comes to bathrooms is clearly an attempt to simply cherry pick which one has the shortest line at the moment.

    I’ve been at Melissa Etheridge concerts where the stalls on the men’s rooms have been commandeered under the premise we don’t use them anyways. The traumatic walk of fans past the backs of urinating men did not seem a concern.

    I’ve also been at figure skating events where men’s room have been field converted to ladies’ rooms making for very long walks to find the one restroom still legally available to me. I expect no sympathy from the distaff side.

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  59. @yellojkt: “So do I. I also frequently lament the strict public urination laws. There are so many trees and nobody has a problem with my dog using them.”

    I know, right? And what I do in my own front lawn should be my business. All I’m saying. Also, does it really make any difference to people in the hotel pool? No, it does not, and saves me a trip back to the room.

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  60. @yellojkt: “I expect no sympathy from the distaff side.”

    I expect no quarter, and no quarter shall be given!

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  61. Can there be a non-homophobic position against gay marriage?

    I have yet to hear one, but I’m willing to keep listening. The attempts usually fall into either tradition, procreation, and slippery slope.

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    • yello:

      I have yet to hear [a non-homophobic position against gay marriage], but I’m willing to keep listening.

      Is there any difference between a “homophobic” position and simply “a position to which yellow objects”? If so, what is the difference?

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      • If so, what is the difference?

        I’ll know it when I see it. What’s your objection to gay marriage: tradition, procreation, or slippery slope? Genuinely curious.

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        • yello:

          I’ll know it when I see it.

          But I want to know how I can know it when I see it. If it can only be known by reference to your thought process, it is pretty much a meaningless characterization in any kind of discussion.

          What’s your objection to gay marriage: tradition, procreation, or slippery slope? Genuinely curious.

          My primary objection is constitutional, ie I object to the imposition of it on unwilling states by the federal government. I also object to the imposition of it by the judiciary. It is an issue for the people to resolve via their state representatives, nothing else.

          As a cultural matter I do think that it further erodes the foundation of and value of the concept of marriage, but in that it is simply accelerating something that has been occurring, and will continue to occur, even in its absence.

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  62. I am on my phone and packing to leave town again for the week. A year or so ago a girl testified at a hearing that I believe was in Wisconsin but could have been in Minnesota about gay marriage legislation. The left vilified and ridiculed her. She said basically what about me. Why did some people get to decide I didn’t need a father?

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  63. Yellow, I assume you saw the piece in the post over the weekend about the gender identity issues at the gym:

    I missed that. Thanks for the link. All-women gyms and male-only tee times are other problematic sports and gender related issues we have yet to totally resolve. And that’s before we even bring up Renee Richards and the East German women’s weightlifting team.

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  64. So, tradition, procreation or slippery slope are all rooted in homophobia?

    If a homosexual is against gay marraige is that based in homophobia?

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  65. @yellojkt: tradition is not homophobic per se, nor is the slipper slope argument (rather, that’s a fear of ambiguous worse things if we legalize this gateway drug). Procreation . . . well, I suppose, for now, until technology changes reproduction options.

    Do you agree that homophobic people can make non-homophobic arguments against gay marriage? That is, I might not want gay people to get married because they are gay, so eeewwww. But my argument is based on statistics. Solid or flawed, the argument isn’t homophobic, because it’s about statistical outcomes. The reason may be homophobic but the argument is not; it is merely a means to an end.

    I might argue against divorce. I may be divorce-o-phobic, but my arguments would likely to be statistical: financial and child-rearing consequences of divorce.

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  66. Why did some people get to decide I didn’t need a father?Why did some people get to decide I didn’t need a father?

    Very few people get to pick their parents. I might have chosen Warren Buffet but I hear he is giving away all his money.

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  67. @Troll: “If a homosexual is against gay marraige is that based in homophobia?”

    Self-hating X has been the label for the X that doesn’t want to conform to the political agenda being foisted on him or her by other Xs and non-Xes (but X-supporters) since time immemorial. So, yeah.

    You know what I call a homosexual against gay marriage? Smart. What a sweet fucking deal. Oh my gosh. “No, baby, I totally would marry you, but it’s against the law. So, you know, we probably shouldn’t move in together. It will just make us think about how sad we are that we both want to get married so badly, only the law want let us. It’s not me. Wanting to keep my options open. It’s the man, keeping us down!”

    I think only once kind of marriage should be allowed at a time. So, if we’re going to legalize gay marriage, we should outlaw heterosexual marriage.

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  68. If a homosexual is against gay marraige is that based in homophobia?

    It could be based on the tyranny of heteronormativity which relies on homophobia. It’s turtles all the way down.

    Solid or flawed, the argument isn’t homophobic, because it’s about statistical outcomes.

    Statistics should rarely be allowed to trump individual choice. Except for helmet laws.

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  69. Repressed homophobia, troll. Sheesh. No that is not the same as repressed heterosexuality, because … because. They have internalized the marginalization and stigmatization to which society subjects them. Can’t you see that!?

    See, I can talk that lefty talk better than they can, all day long.

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  70. FWIW, here are my answers:

    What ‘rights’ do gay men and lesbians have:

    Have consensual sex? Yes

    To not be discriminated against in the workplace? Yes, insofar as anyone else 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? Yes

    To marry other gay or lesbian partners? Yes. Although I’d prefer that all couples have a state-governed union for legal/property/tax purposes and a religious ceremony that doesn’t confer those privileges/responsibilities. I don’t really care which is called a marriage and which is called a union.

    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? Yes so long as their outward appearance matches the bathroom they’re using. If we take away all of the urinals, then it won’t matter which bathroom anyone uses. And men will finally understand women’s frustration with long bathroom lines and can go back to joking about women needing to go in groups.

    To wear the masculine and/or feminine work attire of the gender they consider themselves? Yes so long as it meets company dress codes. The employer gets to make the dress codes. Why more men don’t wear kilts is another question that escapes me.

    To have legal documents identify the gender of their choosing? Yes

    To have gender reassignment surgery paid for with insurance? As long as they’ve got that rider. I’m against insurance paying for cosmetic surgery in general, but in some cases (e.g., mastectomies) it’s medically indicated.

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

    And for QB’s questions:

    Attraction to multiple persons of the opposite sex is ubiquitous, while homosexual attraction is rare. How then can gay marriage be more justifiable than multiple partners? The tax code is set up to recognize two-person marriages but not multiple partner marriages. I’m sure this is true of many other existing laws; get rid of the two-person bias and then we can talk.

    Do wedding photographers and caterers have the right not to do homosexual weddings? Sure, but they should advertise that right up front. I, myself, would probably not choose those vendors to cover my heterosexual wedding, but others might choose them for that very reason. Kind of the opposite of caveat emptor.

    Do attorneys have the right not to provide family law services to gay couples? Sure. See previous answer.

    Are children better off with a mother or father than with a gay couple? I think children are better with parents, period. Even if they’re purple.

    If so, do children have the right to legal protection of that interest in adoption law? I think it’s always better for children to have a home; my order of preference would be (1) married/union-ed couple, (2) related couple (grandmother-son, aunt-niece, etc.), (3) single parent.

    Like

  71. @yellojkt: “Very few people get to pick their parents. I might have chosen Warren Buffet but I hear he is giving away all his money.”

    I don’t think anybody gets to pick their parents, actually. However, what were her other options? Being raised by the state? Never having been born? Are these better options than being raised without a father (which is not great, but, you know what, most of us have at least one parent that sucks, so . . . things are tough all over).

    Which is not endorsement of our father-hostile culture, which is bullshit, but I won’t digress into that today.

    Like

  72. You know what I call a homosexual against gay marriage? Smart. What a sweet fucking deal.

    Yeah. Poor bastards. Gays and lesbians have had it too easy for too long.

    So, if we’re going to legalize gay marriage, we should outlaw heterosexual marriage.

    Marriage is already rather gay. Have you been to a wedding recently? It’s all flowers and lace and dancing. The photos of my gay friends’ weddings have always looked like better parties than the straight weddings I go to.

    Like

  73. @yellojkt: “Statistics should rarely be allowed to trump individual choice. Except for helmet laws.”

    Didn’t say it did, only that the argument would be homophobic, even though the arguer might be.

    Like

  74. @yellojkt: “Yeah. Poor bastards. Gays and lesbians have had it too easy for too long.”

    I know, right?

    “Marriage is already rather gay. Have you been to a wedding recently? It’s all flowers and lace and dancing.”

    More specifically, marriages are feminized. They are generally female-centric events. Otherwise, they’d feature pole-dancing and X-Box. Also, hot wings. And single malt scotch. And as we drive away in our monster truck . . .

    Like

  75. I don’t think anybody gets to pick their parents, actually.

    Tell that to the Mormon church!

    Like

  76. Otherwise, they’d feature pole-dancing and X-Box. Also, hot wings. And single malt scotch. And as we drive away in our monster truck . . .

    That is what is known as the Bachelor’s Party.

    Like

  77. @Michigoose: “That is what is known as the Bachelor’s Party.”

    Then let’s switch it around, and have the girls get a party with lace and talking about feelings, and the marriage can involve a celebration of sex, beer, blowing shit up, crass humor about bodily functions, monster trucks and more sex. Then that sets the tone for the marriage!

    Of course, then the guy would have to do something when planning the wedding. What a pain in the ass that is. No wonder it’s all flowers and seating arrangements and doilies.

    Like

  78. The straw men and dodges are flying.

    Should the government prefer adoption by married man and woman over man and man, woman and woman, or single either?

    Like

  79. The problem is everybody’s competing for those pretty <1 yr old white babies.

    We just need to ban abortions only for pretty blondes with white boyfriends. I think Pat Buchanan would approve.

    Like

  80. @quarterback: “Should the government prefer adoption by married man and woman over man and man, woman and woman, or single either?”

    Married man and woman, all things being equal.

    Like

  81. ” Otherwise, they’d feature pole-dancing and X-Box. Also, hot wings. And single malt scotch. ”

    That actually sounds a lot like Elliot Spitzer’s divorce party.

    http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2014/01/eliot-spitzer-divorce-party-bro-down

    Like

  82. On something completely different, this is perfect:

    “Group tries to slow federal government’s move away from paper to the Web
    By Lisa Rein, Published: February 16

    As the Obama administration pushes to do more business over the Internet, finally seeking to close the technology gap with the private sector, the digital makeover is running into a dogged opponent called Consumers for Paper Options.

    The group is working the halls of Congress in closed-door meetings, underwriting research favorable to its position and mounting a news media campaign in an effort to preserve Washington as the capital of paper — and slow the move away from printed checks, forms and other paper communication.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/group-tries-to-slow-federal-governments-move-away-from-paper-to-the-web/2014/02/16/42fd9aa6-8de8-11e3-833c-33098f9e5267_story.html?hpid=z1

    Like

  83. @jnc4p: “That actually sounds a lot like Elliot Spitzer’s divorce party.”

    If only they had set the right tone when they got married, perhaps it could have ended differently. By which I mean: with even more strippers!

    Like

  84. Should the government prefer adoption by married man and woman over man and man, woman and woman, or single either?

    I don’t think so. I believe the adoptive parents need to prove their ability to care for the child and to the best of our capability we need to know they are adopting for the right reasons and don’t have some ulterior motive such as slave for a lifetime or some perversion in mind.

    I think the adoption process should be rigorous and the wait time the same for everyone; single, heterosexual couple or homosexual couple. Most of us wish at one point in our lives that we had different parents……………the grass is always greener, but most of those issues get resolved within the family, if there is love and respect as the basis. There are no guarantees that one type of family will always be more successful over another. It’s a crap shoot any way you look at it.

    Like

  85. @jnc4p: “On something completely different, this is perfect:”

    The Federated Association of Buggy Whip Manufacturers has recently met with Washington politicians, pointing out how wild horses, frightened by motorcars, might stamp motorists to death in fear if automobilists aren’t required by law to purchase buggy whips and keep them at their side at all times.

    “A wild horse can be subdued and calmed with the use of a fine, American-made patent leather buggy whip,” announced Sterling Rothington, president of the FABWM. “Requiring motorists to purchase at least one buggy whip per vehicle they own, by writ of law, is a matter of life and death for motorists, and for our children, who may be stamped to death by a wild horse at any time, if passerbys lack the necessary buggy whip to subdue and direct the errant creature!”

    Like

  86. Should the government prefer adoption by married man and woman over man and man, woman and woman, or single either?

    Married couple, whatever the sex of the partners, then related couple, then singles. Like I said.

    Like

  87. The group is working the halls of Congress in closed-door meetings, underwriting research favorable to its position and mounting a news media campaign in an effort to preserve Washington as the capital of paper — and slow the move away from printed checks, forms and other paper communication.

    Tree-ophobes! Or, at the very least, Tree-intolerants!

    Like

  88. Ok, just for “kicks,” what would a reversal of AGW look like?

    Like

  89. I would like straight answers that don’t compare apples and oranges or resort generalities about love. All else being equal–same income, education, stability, etc–are a mother and father better for a girl or boy than a gay couple?

    If not, is that because you believe men and women are identical and fungible, or because their differences do not matter, or some other reason?

    Like

  90. All else being equal

    That’s the point. All things are never equal. The superiority of an opposite sex couple over a same sex couple that you are inferring would be lost in the noise, if it could be measured at all.

    Which raises the question of how you are measuring better. Educational achievement? Happiness? Suicide rate? It’s grasping at the statistical justification for a prejudged conclusion.

    Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. – Leo Tolstoy

    Like

    • yello:

      Which raises the question of how you are measuring better. Educational achievement? Happiness? Suicide rate? It’s grasping at the statistical justification for a prejudged conclusion.

      This is just an argument for eliminating any criteria whatsoever. anyone who wants to adopt a kid can, because after all, how can you possibly judge whether they will be better or worse than anyone else?

      Like

  91. Then we get to the questions about transgenders and all the other categories people claim must be recognized and approved.

    What about adoption by transgendered people?

    Like

    • What about adoption by transgendered people?

      Is there something about being transgendered that makes them inherently unfit as parents? Many of them don’t transition until their (biological) children are grown.

      Like

  92. You just dodged it again, yello. That’s all you did.

    I can only conclude that you secretly agree with me.

    Like

  93. I am asking you. You consider gays equal to straights in terms of emotional health, stability, and every other way. Same for transgender?

    Like

  94. “quarterback, on February 17, 2014 at 1:25 pm said:

    If not, is that because you believe men and women are identical and fungible, or because their differences do not matter, or some other reason?”

    QB I think you can make a good case that income level, education level and relationship stability should trump same sex when it comes to determination based on the welfare of the child.

    All things being equal, you can make a case that traditional family should trump same sex for the same reason (less BS to deal with at school).

    Like

  95. are a mother and father better for a girl or boy than a gay couple?

    I can’t see how it matters. So, no. Some parents are always going to be better (or worse) parents than others; I hardly think sexual orientation matters. What about all of those closeted parents over the years–were they better or worse as parents by lying about themselves?

    Same for transgender?

    What makes you think that they’re less emotionally healthy or stable than anyone else? They could very well be more introspective and understanding than other parents might be.

    Like

  96. @Troll: “Ok, just for “kicks,” what would a reversal of AGW look like?”

    Well, if it’s anything like AGW, it would like exactly what we are experiencing now and have for centuries, only we’d all act like it had never happened before in the history of the world and doom was nigh! And we’d believe it, too.

    I have a hard time thinking that the scientific consensus was that AGW was going to lead to numerous extreme cold events of long duration and broad coverage (like, I don’t know, the weather 30 years ago . . . it’s almost as if there are macro-seasonal cycles or something). If so, the decade-long discussion of global warming and talking about deserts and heat and how hot summer was and everything else would have been seen as counter productive in terms of explaining the concept to the lay person. It also seems like something they would have mentioned (and underlined, and emphasized) when talking about global warming, but it didn’t seem to get a lot of play until global warming didn’t turn everything into a desert in 15 years . . .

    So it can seem that every extreme weather event is being explained by AGW the way they used to be explained as being The Wrath of the Gods (TWotG), and in the way people once sacrificed animals or other people, economic sacrifices are urged on us by tribal elders. Who, if they eat the goats after they are sacrificed, well, who said being a tribal elder shouldn’t have some perks?

    Given that no policy will make extreme weather events (which have always happened) go away, broad public buy in to large scale lifestyle changes or confiscatory taxes for any length of time seems questionable. We are impatient. Two years of carbon taxes and we still have hot summers and cold winters and bad storms? Screw that shit, cut my taxes, Washington!

    Like

  97. You consider gays equal to straights in terms of emotional health, stability, and every other way. Same for transgender?

    I’m fairly certain the rate of suicide for transgendered and gays (lesbians, I’m not so sure about) is well above the average for the general population. Hence the need for screening of all potential adoptive parents. To exclude gays and transgenders solely because they were such would meet the strict definition of prejudicial.

    Like

  98. @qb: “I am asking you. You consider gays equal to straights in terms of emotional health, stability, and every other way. Same for transgender?”

    I mean, for the most part, probably. And compare two upper class homosexual men with good jobs who like travel and the out doors and come from understanding parents, and set them against two straight people who were abused as kids and now smoke meth . . . well, that kid is going to be better off with the gay dudes. Of course, it’s not an apples to apples comparison. Bringing me to yellowjkt:

    “That’s the point. All things are never equal. The superiority of an opposite sex couple over a same sex couple that you are inferring would be lost in the noise, if it could be measured at all.”

    Oh, it could be measured. A metric would need to be agreed on, but you bet your sweet bippy it could be measured.

    “Which raises the question of how you are measuring better. Educational achievement? Happiness? Suicide rate?”

    Those are all potential metrics. Why you followed it with the sentence mystifies me: “It’s grasping at the statistical justification for a prejudged conclusion.”

    How? If the statistics show different, then they show different. And stats could show that same-sex couples that were equal on a set of basic metrics (education, income, etc.) raised kids with lower suicide rates and higher levels of happiness by significant and undeniable numbers, the argument could still be made that the problem is the way society treats these children differently. So in that sense you will not build a universal consensus as to what is better. But it can certainly be measured. With a reasonable degree of certainty that the stats say something meaningful. And at some point I expect it will be.

    Like

  99. It also seems like something they would have mentioned (and underlined, and emphasized) when talking about global warming, but it didn’t seem to get a lot of play until global warming didn’t turn everything into a desert in 15 years . . .

    So your complaint is that the climate isn’t changing fast enough?

    We are in winter and as this xkcd cartoon definitively proves, this years weather is only abnormal in comparison to very recent history.

    http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/cold.pngxkcd Global Warming

    And Australia is having record-breaking summers. Does that counter any anecdotal North American evidence or are we going to be hemisphericentric?

    Like

  100. One reason I raise transgender is that it is air actually has a DSM diagnostic classification. And is treated.

    Like

  101. So yello, what would it look like if we reversed AGW and how soon would we know we’ve done it?

    Like

  102. “quarterback, on February 17, 2014 at 2:39 pm said:

    One reason I raise transgender is that it is air actually has a DSM diagnostic classification. And is treated.”

    In the new one?

    Like

  103. By the way, in relation to the title of the post, it’s George Washington’s mother fuckin’ birthday. Ain’t no goddamned President’s Day! Though technically his bday is next Saturday.

    Like

  104. @Troll: “So yello, what would it look like if we reversed AGW and how soon would we know we’ve done it?”

    And what if we went too far, and reversed it too much? Then would we suffer terrible heat waves while the planet grew cooler?

    Like

  105. In the new one?

    No.

    This spring marks the publication of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, or the DSM-V. After fifteen years of revision, the American Psychiatric Association’s board of trustees approved to changes including the removal of the term Gender Identity Disorder.

    Simultaneously, the term Gender Dysphoria will be used to diagnose the distress occurring over a “marked incongruence between one’s experienced gender and assigned gender,” Dani Haffernan reported for GLAAD.org.

    Although linguistically subtle, the difference between ‘disorder’ and dysphoria’ should have a huge impact on the outlook and treatment of transgendered individuals.

    According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), disorders are thought of as “a clinically significant behavior, psychologically syndrome, or a pattern that occurs in an individual typically associated with distress, painful symptomology, disability or impairment.”

    Dysphoria, on the other hand, is a “psychological state that causes one to experience feelings of anxiety, restlessness and depression. It is not necessarily diagnosable, or something that would be identified in the DSM, but it is more a state of being, a feeling or unpleasantness or discomfort.”

    The previous diagnosis of GID implied that the problem lie within the client, further suggesting that the client needed to be cured or somehow mentally and emotionally fixed. The pending reclassification speaks to the mental state that accompanies being transgendered within this society.

    Rather than indicating that a person needs to be fixed, the diagnosis indicates that the issues that need to be addressed lie outside the individual. Kelly Winters, from the group GID Reform Advocates, believes that the change in diagnosis signifies that “the problem to be treated is not the person’s identity, but rather the distress that is often experienced by those who need access to medical transition care.”
    Although transgender individuals are still dependent upon these institutions, the removal of GID is compared to the organization’s declassification of homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973.

    EDIT: well, yes. But it is no longer considered a disorder, any more that homosexuality is.

    Like

  106. Is it just a failure of US leadership that China and India refuse to cooperate in AGW reversal?

    Like

  107. @yellojkt: “And Australia is having record-breaking summers. Does that counter any anecdotal North American evidence or are we going to be hemisphericentric?”

    Obviously, they aren’t paying their carbon taxes.

    Does it counter our anecdotal evidence, or simply cancel it out? Do we look at both things and conclude that we are experience Global Temperature-Staying-The-Same-ing ?

    It’s interesting question to ask. Reverse global warming, and we would stop having record breaking temperatures, presumable, in either direction? But at what point might the reversal have a counter effect, and lead us to having record breaking temperatures and weather events again?

    “So your complaint is that the climate isn’t changing fast enough?”

    Yes! Faster! More obviously! This is way too subtle for me.

    And it ain’t just me. It’s a lot of joe public who pulls them there levers on election day.

    “We are in winter and as this xkcd cartoon definitively proves, this years weather is only abnormal in comparison to very recent history.”

    Reminds me of winters of almost 30 years ago. Which were reminiscent of winters . . . almost 30 years before that. Almost as if we experience macro-seasons for some reason . . .

    We might also experience macro-macro-seasons. Given that we’ve had both ice ages and evidence of much higher temperatures in northern climes, that’s also possible. Not that I’m opposed to reducing carbon emissions or anything. But not everything is the Angry Weather Gods demanding that we sacrifice our lifestyles and incomes via Carbon Taxes.

    Like

  108. And at some point I expect it will be.

    I think it has been tried a few times. One is the very divisive Regnerus study. Here is the Family Research Council‘s take on it and the opposing view from Slate and the New Yorker.

    One of the problems is that household with gay parents are also more likely to be households with divorced parents since the kids were typically conceived before the gay/lesbian parent came out of the closet. With small sample sizes it is still difficult to adjust for all variables.

    And if gay parents were statistically proven to be ‘worse’ parents, what policy would that justify? Putting them lower on the list or keeping them off the list altogether? Again it comes back to whether a kid is better off as a ward of the state or with a sub-optimal family arrangement. Florida’s policy against gay adoption given the disaster that there foster program is, is just unconscionable.

    Like

  109. Jnc, I am sitting in an airport restaurant and can’t check very easily, but I am pretty sure it has been, under names like gender dysphoria. The point being that the same (largely political) organization that removed its classification of homosexuality doesn’t treat varieties if gender confusion the same way. So it seems relevant in a discussion of who is a -phobe and in what respects.

    Like

  110. @Troll: “Is it just a failure of US leadership that China and India refuse to cooperate in AGW reversal?”

    We need to lead the way by levying an international tax on ourself where we tax our lifestyles heavily to discourage us from living them, and then give the money to the international community, as they are pure of heart and there is no corruption in them.
    … Then they will respond by setting our money on fire and shooting hot coal directly into the atmosphere. To punish the American devils. That’s my theory, anyway.

    Like

  111. Thanks Michi. Fascinating huh. As I said, a largely political organization.

    Now they say it is society’s fault that transgenders are depressed, stressed, etc. (So, when will they condemn sex change surgery and psychological treatments aimed at reconciling “gender” with sex?)

    Either way, they still say that transgender people face unique emotional and psychological issues.

    So, should adoption policy account for this?

    Like

  112. Thanks Michi. I thought I recalled the bruhaha when it came out. Shrink had something sophisticated to say about it that wasn’t really on either the left or the right, but I forgot what it was.

    Like

  113. @yellojkt: “And if gay parents were statistically proven to be ‘worse’ parents, what policy would that justify?”

    I can pretty much guarantee you that it will be some kind of tax.

    I don’t personally believe it will justify any kind of policy, because unless they can prove gross negligence or intentional harm, ain’t none of the government’s fucking business.

    Shuttling a kid between two different apartments so each bitter divorced parent can spend half a week telling the kid how horrible their other parent is is a miserable way to raise a kid and is still better than that kid being in foster care or a ward of the state. We might be hesitant to let that couple adopt a kid . . . but a stable household run by two men or two women? I just attended a party held at a lesbian couple’s insanely gorgeous house . . . I don’t think they want kids (because they have so many nice things, and kids and “nice things” don’t mix) but if they did, I think they’d be awesome parents. There’s a display including a two foot tall Hellboy figure and a Matrix Sentinel (just as big) in the kitchen. How could they not be awesome parents? If they wanted to be? Which they probably don’t because they like traveling and having sex and watching adult shows on TV and not having to constantly clean crap off of everything, or having what few nice things you have ruined. 😉

    Just kidding. Kids are awesome. Have a ton of them!

    And as I’ve noted elsewhere, two middle class gay guys are going to be better parents than the state every time. Unless they were also serial killers. And perhaps even then.

    @yellojkt: “Florida’s policy against gay adoption given the disaster that there foster program is, is just unconscionable.”

    It may be caused by the mean age level of the state. Younger states are more gay friendly. Likely this will change, we just have to go through the long and extended period of fighting about it.

    Like

  114. Wow. Is the band back together?

    Like

  115. Wow. Is the band back together?

    I missed your sunny outlook, NoVA.

    Like

  116. QB found his old password. Now we just need BannedAgain.

    Like

  117. If we can’t get China and India to cooperate, is there any benefit to the US going solo? Is so, how much of our current standard of living be sacrificed?

    Like

  118. @Troll: “If we can’t get China and India to cooperate, is there any benefit to the US going solo? Is so, how much of our current standard of living be sacrificed?”

    Moral victory. Make us more pliable when the Chinese take over?

    Like

  119. Nova, you see my post above?

    ““Group tries to slow federal government’s move away from paper to the Web
    By Lisa Rein, Published: February 16 “

    Like

  120. More xkcd:

    More xkcd

    Like

  121. @yellojkt: wish I could see it, Net Nanny blocks it!

    Like

  122. What’s the economic theory behind income inequality being bad? What I’m asking is what negative effects does it have?

    Like

  123. Student is racist for including image of Obama kicking a door open in email!

    http://ace.mu.nu/archives/347226.php

    Now including images in correspondence Obama is racist! And the student apologist for his racial insensitivity.

    Yay, America.

    Like

  124. It was and is a great band.

    Did banned/John bail out of PL, or did I pay him there under a new name. I was gone for a while and seemed to have missed something.

    Like

  125. @Troll: “What’s the economic theory behind income inequality being bad? What I’m asking is what negative effects does it have?”

    There is one pie of finite size created by The Great Goddess at the beginning of the universe. Rich people take more than their fair share of the Great Pie, which leaves less for others. If only you had gotten a bigger share of the Great Pie and Steve Jobs hadn’t stolen yours, you might have invented the iPhone.

    You want to reverse income inequality trends? Put up a wall and keep immigrant labor out of our country. That’ll do it.

    Here:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/17/income-inequality-economy_n_4460725.html

    Income inequality is bad because rich people spend less of their overall money than poor people. Which is true. So the obvious solution is take all their money and give it to poor people to spend.

    Like

  126. Mark isn’t here today. It’s missing something.

    Like

  127. Did banned/John bail out of PL

    He’s on indefinite hiatus; he said that he doesn’t have anything new to contribute there right now.

    He was commenting for a while on Wonkblog, then that started going under, too, so I don’t know where we’ll see him (if we see him) again.

    He created a great hullabaloo when he came back as “ned stark” for a while because his bannedagain login didn’t work. Turned out that neither cao nor spacebar recognized his posting style and were treating him decently; when they found out who he actually was they went into high dudgeon alert.

    Cao claimed to have ILed him again, but if you believe that. . .

    Like

  128. What I’m asking is what negative effects does it have?

    The rich have a higher net savings rate and don’t churn their income as much into consumer goods which drives down growth. I’m sure Krugman explains that somewhere. Of course he has:

    Second, there is a reasonable case for assigning at least partial blame for the economic crisis to rising inequality. The best story involves something like this: high saving by the 1 percent, with demand sustained only by rapidly rising debt further down the scale — and with this borrowing itself partly driven by inequality, which leads to expenditure cascades and so on. Is this a slam-dunk case? No — but it’s serious, and reinforces the rest of the argument.

    Like

    • yello:

      The rich have a higher net savings rate and don’t churn their income as much into consumer goods which drives down growth.

      That is just a statistic. I thought you opposed drawing conclusions or making policy based on statistics? Wouldn’t individual judgements about individual “rich” people be necessary?

      Like

  129. It seems a non-sequitur to say that a high savings rate of the 1% leads to debt fueled consumerism of the 99%. What’s one got to do with the other? In other words Teh Krugman glosses over how low spending by 1% (which can be also be said to be high investment among the 1%) leads me, a 99%, to borrow money to fuel my spending.

    Am I reading it wrong?

    Like

  130. @yellojkt: “The rich have a higher net savings rate and don’t churn their income as much into consumer goods which drives down growth.”

    I thought saving money was good. And doesn’t that put money in the banks which they can then loan out or something? The money isn’t in their mattresses. And whose going to employ the money managers, after all? Poor people?

    I hate to be cynical, but it seems like the argument is, fundamentally, that lack of wealth redistribution by the government is “bad for the economy”.

    Like

    • No Kevin, they don’t put it in their mattresses…. but that more than $21 trillion of U.S. dollars sitting in off-shore accounts isn’t helping either.

      Like

      • But that’s not a problem of income inequality or wealth inequality, that’s a problem of offshore accounts (presumably not available to American entrepreneurs in the form of loans, and not doing anything offshore that might ultimately benefit Americans or all of humanity, which is probably usually true but not always true).

        Still, that’s a very different problem, and should not be addressed the same way at all as we might address “wealth inequality” being the problem. That’s a case of providing incentives to bring that money back and disincentives to putting it in offshore accounts in the first place. That can be done through taxing certain things and providing tax breaks on others, without ever changing wealth inequality.

        Like

  131. @Troll: “In other words Teh Krugman glosses over how low spending by 1% (which can be also be said to be high investment among the 1%) leads me, a 99%, to borrow money to fuel my spending.”

    Well, if the government were taking money from rich people and giving it to me in sufficient quantities that I could pay down all my debt and buy some other stuff I wanted without incurring more debt, I would not have to borrow money to fuel my spending!

    Like

  132. Yellow, did you have an opinion on the McArdle piece I linked on unintended consequences to marriage as an institution from various policy changes?

    Like

  133. I saw that in the paper edition this morning. Oh the irony.

    What’s fascinating about is the shock that it’s an industry backed group. There are 5-6 similar groups run out of my office.

    (Back in the office tomorrow)

    Like

  134. What is “ILed”?

    Like

    • What is “ILed”?

      Ignore Listed. People at Plum Line (yours truly included) spend nearly as much time discussing which trolls they are “Ignoring” though the Ignore User feature as much as they do anything else.

      Like

  135. Yellow, did you have an opinion on the McArdle piece I linked on unintended consequences to marriage as an institution from various policy changes?

    I have read that a couple of times earlier, probably because of links here. I really don’t quite get the point she is trying to make other than that the law of unintended consequences exists.

    If anything, gay marriage which was first championed by Andrew Sullivan back when he was considered a conservative, pushes marriage as a desirable societal trait. I’m having a hard time seeing a downside. I don’t see inner city youth eschewing marriage because gay marriage has devalued it. The Welfare Society did that long before gay marriage was a twinkle in a twink’s eye.

    Speaking of McArdle, she has a new book coming out which had a long excerpt in the Atlantic.

    In the article she asserts that hard work trumps natural talent, something my father tried to instill in me to little effect.

    Like

  136. Well, does someone in the 1%, a chick who makes $5 million a year spend less than another 1%er who makes $10 million? And even if that’s true, how does it negatively impact the chick making $35 thousand a year?

    Is it that the 1% chicks are making what the 99% otherwise would have?

    Like

  137. I thought you opposed drawing conclusions or making policy based on statistics? Wouldn’t individual judgements about individual “rich” people be necessary?

    That’s exactly the kind of cheap shot non sequitur sarcasm that endears me to this place.

    Like

    • yello:

      That’s exactly the kind of cheap shot non sequitur sarcasm that endears me to this place.

      Coming from the grandmaster of non sequitur sarcasm, I guess I should take that as a compliment. But since it wasn’t actually a non sequitur at all, and was just identifying your own lack of consistency, I can’t take full credit.

      Like

  138. What is “ILed”?

    Ignore “Loser”–shrink (I believe) used that first for the “Ignore User” function on PL.

    Like

  139. That’s exactly the kind of cheap shot non sequitur sarcasm that endears me to this place.

    As opposed to the heartwarming death wishes at PL?

    Musta ate somethin’ God awful rich to make you so sick.

    Like

  140. As opposed to the heartwarming death wishes at PL?

    Nobody has ever wished death on me there. And that sort of behavior is what the Ignore List was created for. Since we are trashing PL, the signal to noise ratio there has been pretty bad and getting worse for quite some time. The Ignore List is a pretty crude single pass filter that only helps so much.

    Like

  141. it is pretty much a meaningless characterization in any kind of discussion.

    I admit there is a bit of a tautology at work there. Please note that I have not called anybody homophobic despite their strongest desires for me to do so. I’d much rather have their words and views stand for themselves.

    Like

  142. It is an issue for the people to resolve via their state representatives, nothing else.

    Maryland has passed it by referendum. California among other states have had it imposed by judicial fiat. Is a gay couple less married in California than in Maryland? What remedy would have to occur to make it pass muster for you in California? And how does any of this square with the full faith and credit clause which DOMA seems in blatant violation of?

    Like

    • yello:

      Is a gay couple less married in California than in Maryland?

      An objection to the manner in which SSM gets imposed on a community does not imply that the law somehow doesn’t count as law.

      What remedy would have to occur to make it pass muster for you in California?

      I would have no objections if Californians passed it via referendum or via the normal legislative process.

      And how does any of this square with the full faith and credit clause which DOMA seems in blatant violation of?

      Must run out but more on this bit if pseudo-constitutional interpretation later.

      Like

  143. What’s your definition of homophobic?

    Like

    • What’s your definition of homophobic?

      There are degrees of it. Aside from the dictionary definitions which everyone seems to reject, I would say that at the most basic level it is the opinion that gays and lesbians don’t merit the same legal rights as straight people. From there one can expand into individual issues on which people disagree. At this point, employment protection is probably less prevalent among the states than marriage equality, but I could be wrong. It’s just that the latter is the current hot button. But that stuff is pretty low key and most opponents of extending these rights don’t outwardly say they hate gay people. And most probably don’t, per se. It’s tough to label someone homophobic solely on that because cultural views are rapidly evolving.

      A deeper level would be the belief that homosexual conduct is inherently more sinful than say, premarital sex, and deserving of eternal damnation. But the dogma of most major religions don’t pass that bar and I’m not willing to blanketly call all people of faith homophobic.

      And then you have people who tie other people to fences and leave them to die. I’d go out on a limb and call the killers of Matthew Shepard homophobic but feel free to defend or excuse that behavior. Perhaps he had it coming to him like people who play their car stereos too loud or walk in the wrong neighborhood.

      It’s just not very productive to call people homophobes for simply holding homophobic opinions. It puts people on the defensive. If you took this video and substituted “homophobic” for “racist”, it’ would be a good starting point:

      Like

      • Opponents of SSM generally think that gays and straights merit exactly the same legal rights, ie either can marry someone of the opposite sex and neither can “marry” someone of the same sex.

        You are in good company with that thought as it is a near exact paraphrase of Michele Bachmann from 2011:

        They can get married, but they abide by the same law as everyone else. They can marry a man if they’re a woman. Or they can marry a woman if they’re a man.

        At least no one can accuse the Bachmanns of hypocrisy as they seem to practice what they preach.

        Like

        • yello:

          …exact paraphrase…

          We’ll that is certainly an interesting concept.

          Anyway, I suppose agreement with a standard liberal hate-object is supposed to embarrass me or something, but if she’s correct, the fact that she’s despised by the left doesn’t change the fact. As I mentioned earlier, there is a difference between “rights” and “outcomes that I prefer”, a difference that many liberals for some reason seem not to understand.

          Like

  144. I don’t understand the left’s constant attempt to connect Florida’s Stand Your Ground law with white on black violence there.

    What’s is the beef with the law?

    Like

  145. “What’s is the beef with the law?”

    Selective enforcement I believe is near the top.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/02/on-the-killing-of-jordan-davis-by-michael-dunn/283870/

    Like

  146. “And then you have people who tie other people to fences and leave them to die. I’d go out on a limb and call the killers of Matthew Shepard homophobic but feel free to defend or excuse that behavior. Perhaps he had it coming to him like people who play their car stereos too loud or walk in the wrong neighborhood.”

    Or it was something else entirely divorced from the popular narrative.

    http://www.npr.org/2013/10/06/226438148/book-of-matt-the-real-motive-behind-an-infamous-murder

    Like

  147. Matthew Shepard wasn’t a victim of homophobia. His murder was drug related. Another piece of the liberal mythos shattered.

    Like

  148. DOMA and FF&C: the latter was never intended to let state A impose its policies on State B. I mean, seriously…? Why doesn’t B get to impose its law on A?

    This sort of use of FFC perverts and ultimately destroys the constitutional system. Hawaii doesn’t get to make law for Kansas.

    How would you feel about compelling California to honor a Texas concealed carry permit?

    Like

  149. So to what degree are you homophobic?

    Like

  150. Well Coates’ overwrought piece essentially assigns racism to human nature. That it’s as normal as, say, homosexuality.

    But he never mentions stand your ground.

    Still confused.

    Like

  151. And as normal as homophobia. If you didn’t choose it, it can’t be wrong. Right?

    Like

  152. Maybe this previous piece will help. It’s about who gets the benefit of the doubt when there’s no actual threat to stand your ground against.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/02/in-god-we-trust-but-we-have-put-our-faith-in-our-guns/283534/

    Like

  153. Add gay people to the list. There is no homophobia here. Here you are all equally worthless.

    The bigger issue: are you truly free is you are not free to exclude?

    Like

  154. From the Dionne column:

    “One of the strange things in our society right now is that we have all these low-wage workers who are getting $7.50, $8 or $9 an hour,” Unz said, “and because they earn such small wages, the government subsidizes them with billions or tens of billions of dollars of social welfare spending that comes from the taxpayer. It’s a classic example of businesses’ privatizing the benefits of their workers while socializing the costs.”

    I’ve been saying that for a long time and I’m not even a Silicon Valley millionaire Republican.

    Like

    • yello (from Dionne):

      It’s a classic example of businesses’ privatizing the benefits of their workers while socializing the costs.

      This is an idiotic statement. There are degrees of idiocy, of course, but at its most basic level idiocy is the belief that private businesses are somehow responsible for the government’s choice to subsidize certain workers.

      To be clear, it probably isn’t very productive to call someone idiotic just for making idiotic comments, so I don’t want anyone to think I am calling Dionne, or anyone here who agrees with him, an idiot.

      Like

  155. Like those flaming Rightwingers at Facebook and Google? Or that Jesus freak at Oracle?

    I literally see no difference between Santa Clara County and Bob Jones or Liberty University! For God Sake, Palo Alto literally has statues of Jerry Falwell on every corner!

    Like

  156. Weather is not climate.

    Except when there are hear records and droughts in Australia b

    Like

  157. Omg! The You’re just Like Michelle Bachman gambit!

    If you get compared to my ‘Cuda it’s all over. There’s no coming back from that.

    Like

    • McWing:

      Omg! The You’re just Like Michelle Bachman gambit!

      It’s tough being a non-progressive, not having intellectual heavyweights like EJ Dionne to crib from.

      Like

  158. It remains incomprehensible how EJ Dionne still gets paid for his predictable rehashings of the same sorry tripe. The original concern troll in print.

    Like

  159. You are in good company with that thought as it is a near exact paraphrase of Michele Bachmann from 2011

    Come on, yello, try harder. That’s exactly the position of everyone on my side.

    Like

  160. Scott,
    So you think SSM should be a states’ rights issue but you sympathize with the argument that gay men should pair off with women if they want they want. Which is it? Do you care or don’t you?

    Also, as for the distinction between law, either through legislature or referendum, and judicial decision, what is the difference if the judge is simply ruling that existing laws allow for SSM and further legislation would be redundant and unnecessary? ‘Judicial fiat’ and ‘legislating from the bench’ sound like the whine of sour losers.

    Like

    • yello:

      Do you care or don’t you?

      I was responding to your point about equal rights under the law. As I have repeatedly pointed out (and as you have repeatedly ignored) there is a difference between the application of a right and outcomes preferred by yello or ScottC. Pointing out that the absence of legal SSM applies equally to both hetero- and homosexuals in no way whatsoever implies anything about what I “care” about.

      As for your suggestion that I think gays men should pair off with women if they “want what they want”, you are conflating marriage with sex, a common tactic among pro-SSMers, but one that I would have thought you would avoid given that you explicitly posed the question about whether gays had the right to have consensual sex, a question I clearly answered in the affirmative. There was a time, when sex outside of marriage was stigmatized, that such a conflation might have been somewhat justified. But many things (the pill, women’s equality) have de-stigmatized it, and legal marriage is now largely just a financial arrangement rather than, as you so subtlety and articulately put it one time, a “fucking license”.

      And SSM drives the wedge between marriage and sex even deeper still. After all, contrary to the implication of your question, homosexuals do not need to marry if they “want what they want”, and the state has no rational interest in putting a legal stamp of approval on gay sex. It is an entirely private act with no possible implications for anyone besides the two (or more!) consenting adults involved. That is why the legal cases pushing SSM always focus on the financial and convenience privileges which come with marriage and have nothing to do with homosexuals “wanting what they want.” It is also why the logic behind SSM leads inevitably to the conclusion that there really should be no legal barriers to literally any two – or more – people to get married to each other. Mothers and sons, brothers and sisters….once marriage is reduced to simply a financial contract, (and whether you admit it or not, that is all legal SSM is about), then there is no rational basis to prevent anyone from forming it.

      Like

    • yello:

      what is the difference if the judge is simply ruling that existing laws allow for SSM and further legislation would be redundant and unnecessary?

      Because unless the legislature has actually passed a law legalizing SSM, any such ruling would be plainly wrong/disingenuous. You obviously think that it is within a judges remit to “interpret” law however might be necessary in order to obtain a preferred outcome. I do not.

      Like

      • re the inequality discussion, the WSJ has a good op-ed today, out from behind the firewall.

        ‘Income inequality” has emerged as the issue du jour in national politics, threatening to displace the unpopular health-care law and the slow-growing economy this election year. Speeches and columns now routinely attack the banks or “the undeserving rich” and call on Washington to do something to redistribute income from the “super rich” to the poor and middle class. Democrats from President Obama to the new mayor of New York City are leading the charge on behalf of the “99%.”

        This crusade is based on three questionable claims. One is that the wealthy are mostly Wall Street bankers benefitting from rising stock and real estate prices, or executives who pay themselves extravagant salaries. Another claim is that such people unfairly benefit from a system that taxes capital gains at half the highest marginal rate paid by those who earn salaries and wages. Then there is the assertion that the “super rich” have abundant funds that can be taxed to improve the living standards of everyone else.

        All of these claims are false. By promoting them, the president and his supporters may hope to distract attention from ObamaCare and the economy. Yet they are igniting hopes they can’t possibly fulfill.

        Like

  161. That’s exactly the position of everyone on my side.

    You should be prouder of the company you keep. Michele and Marcus are two of the most prominent leaders of the group standing at the wedding chapel door with their arms crossed holding a baseball bat.

    Like

  162. Scott:

    I’m pretty sure you’ve answered this before, and forgive me for not remembering your answer (I think I do, but I want to make sure), but what do you think the purpose of marriage is?

    Like

    • Mich:

      what do you think the purpose of marriage is?

      State recognized marriage? Originally it served to protect the interests of both children and the women who had to bear and raise them. With the advent of women’s equality and easy no-fault divorce, among other cultural changes, I don’t think it serves that purpose anymore, at least to the extent that it used to.

      Like

  163. wedding chapel door with their arms crossed holding a baseball bat.

    to keep the government out?

    Like

  164. Yello, what percentage of opposition to gay marriage consists of people who think gay sex is icky?

    Like

  165. Thanks, Scott.

    Like

  166. Yello, what percentage of opposition to gay marriage consists of people who think gay sex is icky?

    I would have no idea. I have never seen surveys breaking down the reasons for opposition. Current polls have support for SSM at 55% in favor and 39% opposed. However, one researcher thinks the level of opposition is masked by a certain Bradley effect which would suggest people are unwilling to publicly say how they really feel on the issue.

    Like

  167. This week’s Freakonomics podcast is about the reasons people still get married as viewed from an economic point of view:

    http://freakonomics.com/2014/02/13/why-marry-part-1-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast/

    Next week’s will be about why people don’t get married. And they aren’t in droves.

    Like

  168. So, 39% or possibly higher?

    Like

  169. @yellojkt: “Ignore Listed. People at Plum Line (yours truly included) spend nearly as much time discussing which trolls they are “Ignoring” though the Ignore User feature as much as they do anything else.”

    My legacy, BTW (my own horn, I shall toot it!). I first came up with that feature and made it a Grease Monkey script for PL, and it worked fine until they redid the comments section and made them all AJAX-y, and post processors like Grease Monkey could no longer work. So I made a long, impassioned argument for the “Ignore User” feature to the tech folks at WP in their new AJAX comments sections, and they told me, “Yeah, well, thanks for your input, but that’s stupid and we don’t need it.”

    Now that they actually have it, I can’t bring myself to spend any time on Plum Line. It al looks so different from how it looked when I first started reading Ezra Klein and Greg Sargent on the WP.

    Like

  170. Kevin–

    It is different. I don’t know if it’s the effect of the midterms or what, but it seems like Greg’s been posting the same four or five posts in rotation, and a lot of time is spent with people simply sniping at each other, because there isn’t a whole lot to say. I find myself talking about food a lot. . .

    How’re things?

    Like

  171. Oh, and BTW Kevin–you may be gone, but you aren’t forgotten! Every once in a while your name comes up in conjunction with fond memories of TrollHunter.

    Ah, the good old days. . .

    Like

  172. @quarterback: “I would like straight answers that don’t compare apples and oranges or resort generalities about love. All else being equal–same income, education, stability, etc–are a mother and father better for a girl or boy than a gay couple?”

    All things being equal, what’s better for people? A sedentary lifestyle or one that duplicates a walk/run daily regimen of physical activity of a hunter/gatherer? What’s better: naturally occurring sugars in fruits and vegetables, or high fructose corny syrup? A modern refined/preservative rich diet or a paleo diet?

    The thing that’s going to be better is generally going to be the thing we are naturally evolved and adapted to. Reproduction requires a man and a woman, and to protect our genetic legacy, men take part in the child rearing and protection process, generally. So, all things being equal, man+woman is the better child rearing strategy. Same sex parents with strong gender roles (if one of the two men is obviously the woman and the other is obviously the man) then it is possible that the child rearing environment might be as good in the abstract (leaving out any deleterious effects of outside cultural judgements and ostracism: you have two daddies! etc).

    But we are “designed” to have a male father and a female mother, and that is the ideal arrangement. But obviously we can survive single parenthood or being reared by other members of the tribe when sickness or attack take the lives of one or both parents. If we could not, there would be no humanity today.

    I worry less about the deleterious effect of gay adoption and more about one of the clubs that sometimes seems to be used to advance the cause of normalizing single motherhood and gay adoption: dismissing fatherhood. Fathers are important and valuable. Men, masculinity, and manhood all play important roles in the lives of children. Not to mention society at large.

    I am no more worried about any of the homosexuals I know getting married or raising children (and the effect of that on their children) than I am about most of the straight people I know, many of whom now have adult children.

    I get a little irritated where it overlaps with a growing cultural bias against traditional manhood and masculinity and fatherhood. Father’s are irrelevant. Dad is always a bumbling idiot and moron. Men are basically drooling neanderthals. It’s not like we ever cured polio or went to the fucking moon or anything.

    But I digress.

    Like

  173. well this is interesting. http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2022921079_marriageconversionxml.html

    “Those being plunged into matrimony will no doubt include couples who simply hadn’t given it much thought.Or there will be those who broke up in the years since they registered as domestic partners, some of them now married — illegally — to other people.”

    Like

  174. @Michigoose: “How’re things?”

    Busy! I need get be working right now instead of lollygagging here. I survived the merger of our two school districts, but it’s going to become like 7 school districts next year, will all the municipalities forming their own school districts to “escape” the Memphis City schools. And while we should not have merged the two systems at this late date, this immediate breakup is as wasteful as the government busting up AT&T into the Baby Bells back in the day.

    But the legacy Memphis City Schools is majority black and majority poor, and the mostly majority white and majority not-as-poor municipalities are worried some of the poor might get on them, or something. It’s not like they don’t ALL have to answer to the State Board of Education and it’s not like they all aren’t adopting Common Core, and it’s not like they are going to have a different pool of teachers to draw on . . . it’s really nuts. Two wrongs don’t make a right (but two Wrights make an airplane!).

    Still, lots of uncertainty. Many people who survived the merger are jumping ship to work with one of the municipal districts. Other people were looking for options during the merger and, after the merger happened, one of those other options finally panned out, was better than working here, so they jumped ship. We lost a report analyst and a DBA, and they have not and may not be replaced (which is idiotic; which they will finally realize when something goes wrong). The DBA is crucial and when stuff goes south, everybody is going to feel it and IT is going to have a huge fucking black eye and there’s not going to be anything any of us can do about it. The report analyst is just a pain because all of her work is now split up between me and the report analyst whose still here.

    But don’t get me started on the municipalities. They are all going to have to find ways to feed students. Transport them. They need administrative offices. There’s precedent for them getting the buildings without paying any money to the school system, but there’s no precedent for them getting the computer equipment. Or text books. And back in the day we had trouble getting budgets of technology for those schools, and nothing was bought last year (or very little), so all the computer equipment at those schools is getting old. Even if they do get to keep, they will need to replace it, and where does that money come from? And there’s state mandated online testing coming up, which requires new hardware and software. Then there’s the added cost of Internet Access, which they will have to find some way to pool unless they want to pay almost as much for a three school district as we were paying for a 50 school district.

    And so on. It’s crazy. On the positive side, if I lose my job here, I’ll have plenty of other places to submit a resume to!

    Like

  175. @ScottC: “State recognized marriage? Originally it served to protect the interests of both children and the women who had to bear and raise them. With the advent of women’s equality and easy no-fault divorce, among other cultural changes, I don’t think it serves that purpose anymore, at least to the extent that it used to.”

    Also, things like palimony and child support judgements on biological fathers without the need for marriage probably erode that purpose as well.

    I think now the main purpose is to secure women (who otherwise could not afford them) live in butlers and errand boys. 😉

    Like

  176. Your work world does sound fairly chaotic, Kevin! I don’t know if you’d seen/knew, but I’ve moved to Baltimore now. Big change from Mormon country. 🙂

    Like

  177. Michi is now a Ravens fan. It’s really a shocking turn of events. You think you know somebody semi-anonymously over the internet. and then this.

    /Here we Go Stillers

    Like

  178. @yellojkt: “I don’t see inner city youth eschewing marriage because gay marriage has devalued it.”

    Good point. I’ll trade federal gay marriage for penalizing single welfare mothers for their single motherhood.

    @ScottC: “It is also why the logic behind SSM leads inevitably to the conclusion that there really should be no legal barriers to literally any two – or more – people to get married to each other. Mothers and sons, brothers and sisters….once marriage is reduced to simply a financial contract, (and whether you admit it or not, that is all legal SSM is about), then there is no rational basis to prevent anyone from forming it.”

    But the goal is to normalize homosexuality and eradicate “homophobia” and anti-gay bigotry via normalization. It’s not about getting the benefits of state sanctioned marriage (most of which are available; many of the examples of “discrimination” against same-sex couples are either antiquated or outliers; effective planning (that is no more complicated than getting married) can deal with power of attorney, visitation rights, shared property, etc.

    They have no interest in normalizing polygamy (now) or brother and sister relationships (unlikely to happen). One could argue that part of it is about deconstructing the nuclear family (a long time goal of radical leftists, and certainly some of those are in there) but I think a lot of it is just a cultural romanticism. Love will find a way, love is beautiful in all its forms, and why shouldn’t two monogamous men who truly love each other get married? Or women?

    As an aside, part of the focus on gay marriage is just interest. Most non-cult-leader polygamists are really polyamorists. They get their kicks and seem generally satisfied with open marriages, and aren’t agitating for legalized polygamous marriage. And there’s no political sense on the left that polygamists are a victimized class or subject to regular abuse and bigotry. There’s no major wrong to redress there, no major flaw in Western society to be repaired by legalizing polygamous marriage.

    Like

  179. yellojkt: “This week’s Freakonomics podcast is about the reasons people still get married as viewed from an economic point of view:”

    Haven’t listed to it yet, but I’m about to. How many people consider the economics when getting married, do you think? I didn’t. If I wanted to keep my girlfriend, I had to marry her. That was pretty much my thinking at the time.

    Like

  180. Kev,

    Same sex parents with strong gender roles (if one of the two men is obviously the woman and the other is obviously the man) then it is possible that the child rearing environment might be as good in the abstract (leaving out any deleterious effects of outside cultural judgements and ostracism: you have two daddies! etc).

    I must disagree here. Divergent “gender” and biology is still a disordered state, and children in this situation still lack parents of normal orientation. I’m not sure how what you said here is consistent with the rest of your argument. I don’t think your point about fathers and men is a digression at all. It is an essential part of this argument.

    Normal men and women have “gender” and sexual orientation corresponding to (and undeniably rooted in) their biology. [Interjection: I am sitting in a hotel room with the TV on waiting until my deposition and cleaning up email etc. Some old woman in fur just said “the queen mother of all dirty words, the f— word” on this show with Kathie Lee Gifford.] Neither the 21st century nor all the radical sex and gender activists in it can change that. Marriage is an institution inextricably entwined in and arising from that dischotomy, and children only come from that relationship of opposites. They need and deserve the proper role models and parents.

    Btw, I am not big on being “offended,” but, as that term is casually used, I find claims that gay relationships are the same as hetero marriage offensive.

    Like

  181. nova,
    My cousin and her wife got ‘married’ as a civil union in Delaware just before Delaware passed a same-sex marriage law. I had read that Delaware will be converting all civil unions to marriages. What the opt out process is, I have no idea. They just bought a house in Wilmington, so I assume they will be happy to be totally 100% really, really married and not just unioned.

    Like

  182. Michi is now a Ravens fan.

    Actually, I’m polyamorous in my fanhood. I looooooove the Seahawks (ever since my time living in WA) and am a Peyton Manning fan no matter where he’s playing–so the Super Bowl was a great (if boring) game. I will cheer for the Lions if I must–as a woman I’m not a huge fan of men who can’t perform–but I own stock in the Packers (making me an NFL owner. Does that earn me a top hat?). And now I’ve got the Ravens.

    I am, however, a one-college girl. Go, Spartans!

    Like

  183. “I’m polyamorous in my fanhood”

    sports bigamy is a no-no

    http://espn.go.com/page2/s/simmons/020226.html

    Like

  184. @qb: “I must disagree here. Divergent “gender” and biology is still a disordered state, and children in this situation still lack parents of normal orientation. I’m not sure how what you said here is consistent with the rest of your argument. I don’t think your point about fathers and men is a digression at all. It is an essential part of this argument.”

    I’m speculating. Arguably, substitution of something “fake” for something “real” will always be lacking in some sense. Sort of like formula instead of breast milk, I guess. But a lot of what is both modeled and needed for ideal parenting could potentially be exhibited by parents of the same sex: nurturing, leadership, affection, strength, emotional availability, stoicism. It seems unlikely that solely a difference in extant genitalia makes the difference.

    The most natural way for this sort of parenting to occur is to have parents of two separate genders, with their natural differences, coming together to provide a whole, fully-realized parenting experience. Let’s say that it’s not possible for same sex couples to provide the quality of parenting a heterosexual couple could provide, all things being equal, but they could potentially provide a lot of it (like vitamin fortified formula) and potentially provide a better parenting experience than, say, a single mother.

    “Btw, I am not big on being “offended,” but, as that term is casually used, I find claims that gay relationships are the same as hetero marriage offensive.”

    Not trying to offend anybody, just saying it’s possible and it makes sense. We can, after all, metabolize sugars that chemically did not exist a few hundred years ago. It makes sense that you can get a lot of what a child needs from a same sex couple with suitably divergent gender roles. More so that you would get from a single parent and perhaps even more so than you night get from a heterosexual couple with a batshit crazy mother and a completely neutered, ball-free, estrogen-rich father (despite the possession of the nominal genitalia of a man).

    Honestly, I’d be more worried in the near-term about homosexual couples raising their children as political statements (the way many hippies did, and 70s-era gay divorcees—that would be me!) rather than as children. Probably more damage to be done there.

    Caveat: I am not a social scientist, and my opinions are based on anecdote and personal experience and non-scientific observation. So I confess I may be off.

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  185. Michgoose: “Actually, I’m polyamorous in my fanhood. ”

    A polyamorous woman with a boot fetish. Tell me more. 😉

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  186. Kev,

    I wasn’t saying you offended me. As usual, I was unclear. That was more of a global, Whitmanesque “Yawp!” of offense against the SSM world in general.

    As for not being a social scientist, naturally. Why would we leave this stuff to those self-proclaimed experts. Their degrees don’t keep them from getting things wrong most of the time. We have keyboards and wifi. We shall opine.

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  187. Listening to Freakonomics episode: a lot of talk about the popularity of co-habitation in other countries (fine for them, but not good enough for gay people in America!) . . . and I’m totally down with that until they start being co-habitators with kids. Then I think: you know, if you’re going to make another human being, you know . . . say some words in front of a guy with a suit and eat some cake. Perhaps that’s my American bias showing.

    Like

  188. sports bigamy is a no-no

    Only for men.

    I follow Rule #19 for all of my teams.

    Like

  189. Tell me more.

    They’re stockings. Never, ever, ever hose.

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  190. quarterback: “We have keyboards and wifi. We shall opine.”

    I resemble that remark!

    Tend to agree with experts being sometimes the worst people to ask about subjects in which they are experts (especially as far as predictions go). Have done a lot of reading in brain science, and the data seems to indicate that if can be broken down, mathematical formulas and algorithms will routinely predict almost everything better than experts. And that if cannot be broken down, it can’t be predicted well by anything, including human beings. Basically, the conclusion is: don’t trust the experts, and don’t trust your own intuitive judgements (at least, not on a whole host of things).

    I like to point out I’m not an expert, therefor. Sort of a humblebrag. I’m suggesting my reasoning is probably more sound because my mind is not cluttered with the errata of the expert that often clouds their judgement. Though the truth is probably that I know just enough to be dangerous. Or tragically wrong.

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  191. @Michigoose: “They’re stockings. Never, ever, ever hose.”

    Well, then. If you’ll excuse me, I think I need to take a cold shower. 😉

    EDIT by Michi: *snort

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  192. I’m totally down with that until they start being co-habitators with kids. Then I think: you know, if you’re going to make another human being, you know . . . say some words in front of a guy with a suit and eat some cake.

    That’s my bias too. Raising a family is a pretty long term commitment. Gene Weingarten, humor columnist for the WaPo, feels nobody should bother getting married until they want to have kids.

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  193. Traditional gender roles explained.

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  194. I like to point out I’m not an expert, therefor. Sort of a humblebrag. I’m suggesting my reasoning is probably more sound because my mind is not cluttered with the errata of the expert that often clouds their judgement.

    Kevin, you might find this NYT piece interesting.

    “Political science Ph.D.’s often aren’t prepared to do real-world analysis,” says Ian Bremmer, a Stanford political science Ph.D. who runs the Eurasia Group, a consulting firm. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, one-fifth of articles in The American Political Science Review focused on policy prescriptions; at last count, the share was down to 0.3 percent.

    Universities have retreated from area studies, so we have specialists in international theory who know little that is practical about the world. After the Arab Spring, a study by the Stimson Center looked back at whether various sectors had foreseen the possibility of upheavals. It found that scholars were among the most oblivious — partly because they relied upon quantitative models or theoretical constructs that had been useless in predicting unrest.

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  195. Traditional gender roles explained.

    “Ward, you were a little rough on the Beaver last night.”

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  196. @Michigoose: I saw that! And that tends to be true. And scholars are not the only people who are oblivious to upheavals. CIA analysts and professional diplomats in Iran at the time seemed oblivious to the hostage crisis that was about to take place in 1979.

    Part of our inability to predict unusual events is that they are unusual, of course (easy to predict the light will come on when we flip the light switch; much harder to predict that something in the attic will explode when you flip the light switch). But it’s also that we are overconfident in our predictive powers (because we are usually right, and there’s no point in wasting mental energy constantly revising our predictions of the immediate future). So we seem stupidly slow, in retrospect, to recognize the obvious red flags (that is, obvious in retrospect) that presage such events. Eventually, radical AI will probably be able to predict all sorts of stuff that’s almost impossible to predict now, although things like the Arab Spring might only get a week or two of warning. No matter how great predictive models get, we’re never going to be able to predict the weather (except in the most general terms, and still not be right) three or four months in advance.

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  197. In answer to gay/lesbian couples adopting children, or even having them on their own via surrogates, etc.: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued a statement, after a year of research, that children raised by same-sex parents do just fine. In fact, the AAP suggests that children are more affected by the health of the relationship between the people raising them than by whether they are being raised by their own mother and father. We must all remember, there is good and bad among all “groups” of human beings. Just because one is heterosexual has nothing to do with how their children are raised..

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  198. Many of the major medical and psychological organizations, including the APA, are highly politicized, and that certainly is the case on these issues. They committed to a political position, not one based on any science.

    Platitudes about good and bad everywhere are just an evasion. The government should not be pursuing policies of normalization of homosexuality and gender confusion. It is bad for children and society. The ideal is two normal parents. Two gay parents are necessarily not ideal.

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    • The ideal is two normal parents.

      That’s a very telling choice of adjectives.

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      • yello:

        That’s a very telling choice of adjectives.

        McWing asked you about this, naturally to no avail, but I am wondering the same thing: what does it tell you? You seem to be implying that his choice of words reveals something about his thought that is otherwise hidden, but QB has been extremely plain spoken and open about his views on this subject. To me his choice of adjectives simply reinforces the same point he has made repeatedly in other ways.

        So really…what is “telling” about his choice of adjectives that isn’t apparent from all the other arguments he has made?

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  199. Many of the major medical and psychological organizations, including the APA, are highly politicized, and that certainly is the case on these issues. They committed to a political position, not one based on any science.

    I have to say, so far you’ve had this same comment about every group (that I remember, anyway) that has published a study that you’ve disagreed with. Is there a study out there by a group that you support that you could cite? I’m interested in seeing it/them.

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  200. That’s a very telling choice of adjectives.

    What does it tell us?

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  201. What does it tell us?

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  202. QB… FYI…. I have severe congenital cervical spinal stenosis, which limits my use of my arms/hands at this time. Everyone else knows and understands if I simply stop posting. Although, I try to let everyone know when I’m done for the day. So my not continuing a debate/discussion with you is not an indication I just have no idea how to continue. Please keep this in mind when I state today I am done for the day.

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  203. OH and QB… Geanie and American Mima are me… sometimes I show as Geanie, sometimes I show as American Mima. 😀

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  204. yellojkt: “The ideal is two normal parents.
    That’s a very telling choice of adjectives.”

    There cannot be any question that for the vast majority of human history, the idea that two normal parents = mother and father would not have raised an eyebrow. The idea that anybody meant anything else would not have occurred. For the whole of Western history, normal parentage would be mother + father. Anything else would have been atypical (i.e., not normal). Even now, more heterosexual couples are parents than homosexual couples by percentage (if I am not mistaken) and certainly by raw numbers, thus in both cases making mother + father parenthood the default or normal position.

    What’s telling in your reaction (which is quite common now—normal, in fact!) is that a lot of gay marriage and gay adoption is not so much about civil rights or getting something that has been denied them, but about normalizing a behavior/gender preference that has previously been classed as abnormal.

    Which, to be clear, I’m not really arguing against. I think it’s an entirely normal and inevitable process. And that not much damage is going to be done by legalizing gay marriage or the growing practice of gay adoption. Traditional mores that are artifacts of historic concerns (unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, the unsanitary nature of sodomy in a time before municipal water and the bidet) are going to lose public support over time. Then the concerns become generally more practical (Is homosexual parentage compatible with raising well-adjusted, healthy kids? Is no fault divorce? Is polygamy? If not, is there anything to be done?)

    … Anyhoo …

    We’ve moved from Will & Grace to Cameron and Mitchell on Modern Family setting the prime time example of gay couples. Which is some far distance from, say, Three’s Company, where the gay guy was pretending to be gay so he could room with some girls. Prime time television is a barometer for public opinion, both where it is and where it’s going. In the future, the folks against gay marriage are going to, in fact, be opposed to Neil Patrick Harris having a full and complete life, and hate sweet Cameron and Mitchell and will be trying to deny their love. They should probably publicly strangle a kitten to make the picture complete. 😉

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  205. I don’t understand yello, could you be more explicit? I almost never get subtle.

    Again, it’s a failing on my part. I sense you want to write something about what QB’s choice of adjectives mean but are reluctant to do so.

    First, don’t be, and second, why be reluctant?

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  206. I almost never get subtle.

    That’s a severe understatement. You don’t get obvious much either. I have noticed your masochistic desire to have me call you various mean things but I prefer to indulge my sadistic tendencies and not give you the satisfaction.

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  207. Well, on your comment about QB’s choice of adjectives you’re not writing about what it tells you about me, but about QB.

    It is I that does not often get subtle or obvious. I’ve written before, I’m not proud of my liability, I can only manage it by asking for clarity. I think that’s better than assuming something that’s wrong.

    So, what does QB’s choice of adjective tell us about him?

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  208. All, guess it’s time. I just turned my head slightly to get the straw in my drink where it needed to be and guess I shouldn’t have. I’ll try to catch up later once my neck relaxes some. Have a nice day and be kind to each other!

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  209. “The ideal is two normal parents.

    “That’s a very telling choice of adjectives.”

    It’s the right one. If you can’t admit that, you really need to consider the state of denial you inhabit.

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  210. jnc:

    I seem to remember when the story first broke you said that without a smoking gun (not those words, but that general gist) the Gov Christie/GWB story wasn’t going to go anywhere. Do you think they’re getting to critical mass yet?

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  211. I’m glad he’s got a job, but this is funny!

    A lot of folks are having fun with the news that “Joe the Plumber,” the Ohio man who famously tangled with Obama over his “spread the wealth” comment back in 2008, has now gotten himself a union job with Chrysler Group LLC. Ever since that encounter with Obama, Joe has enjoyed years of national recognition as the leading regular-guy critic of Obama’s penchant for seizing people’s hard earned money and giving it away to others.

    As the Toledo Blade reports, Joe the Plumber — a.k.a. Samuel Wurzelbacher — says he was required to join the United Auto Workers, now that he works for a union shop, and claims he’s been called a “Tea Bagger” by at least one pro-union co-worker. “I’m a Republican who was cast into the limelight for having the temerity to confront Barack Obama on the question of redistributing wealth,” Joe says. “But I’m a working man, and I’m working.”

    The union angle is fun, but it’s worth noting another interesting and amusing irony to this tale.

    It appears plausible that Joe the Plumber may not have gotten this auto job if it weren’t for the hated bailout of the auto industry, which was first championed by George W. Bush and then became a leading symbol for years of Obama’s penchant for big-footed government intervention in the private market.

    Sean McAlinden, who has studied the auto-bailout as the chief economist for the non-profit Center for Automotive Research, tells me it’s likely Joe’s new job is at one of two Chrysler plants currently operating in Toledo, Ohio, Joe’s home town. (I’ve [Greg Sargent] emailed Joe asking for more info.)

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  212. I have to say, so far you’ve had this same comment about every group (that I remember, anyway) that has published a study that you’ve disagreed with. Is there a study out there by a group that you support that you could cite? I’m interested in seeing it/them.

    I’ve actually read the handful of papers cited by the “children-do-just-as-well-with-gay-parents” crowd. They are transparently flawed, indeed a disgrace to science. Coincidentally, they tend to have been written by gay rights activists.

    I’ve read about the history of how the other APA decided homosexuality is not a disorder. It was a political movement and decision.

    And before you tell me I am incompetent to read scientific studies, I am perfectly capable. I’ve analyzed hundreds if not thousands in my work and am quite adept. I could give you the names of university professors who would confirm that.

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  213. @quarterback: “It’s the right one. If you can’t admit that, you really need to consider the state of denial you inhabit.”

    Objectively so. With no judgement about sexual choice or alternative family configurations, even if we assume all are as good for children or families or for society as every other one (not an assumption I’m willing to make, but for the sake of argument) … even with no value judgements on homosexuality or heterosexuality or adoption or anything else, the normal configuration for families and child rearing is a two parent family with one man and one woman. Certainly throughout American History and pretty much throughout Western culture, with some variation.

    Two gay people raising a child is not the normal parental configuration. One man and thirteen sister wives raising a child is not the normal parental configuration. Two straight men raising a child (My Two Dads, I’m looking at you!) is not the normal configuration.

    The normal configuration is a man and a woman. Even in adoption circles, that’s the normal configuration. Gay adoption could be the best thing for children ever discovered in the history of the universe and it would still be objectively true (at least for the time being) that man + woman + 2.5 kids is the normal configuration and anything else is not. What about “typical”? Would “typical” be a better word? If so, why?

    *Edit: (I do not think typical is really the better word in this case)

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  214. What about “typical”? Would “typical” be a better word? If so, why?

    It might be better depending on the context, but it wasn’t better in my context. I think typical has more of a statistical or quantitative connotation, although one could dispute that on the ground that normal has its own statistical meaning. But I use normal because it has a qualitative or … er … normative meaning.

    Heterosexuality and heterosexual reproduction and child rearing is the design of human beings. You can believe that design is by God or impersonal evolution or whatever. It is the pattern. It is undeniable. It is the norm. What one infers from this is another question, but I think it is foolish to deny the obvious, let alone to engage in the intellectual acrobatics people use to try to get out of it.

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  215. @qb: “I’ve actually read the handful of papers cited by the “children-do-just-as-well-with-gay-parents” crowd.”

    How much data do they have to draw from? And what are we talking about here: grades, income levels for adult children of gay parents? I mean, gay adoption by two openly gay parents is not that old a thing. And having one parent go transgender or something is not the same thing. Or one parent come out of the closet and bring in another same-sex partner for parenting really isn’t the same thing, either.

    And they were comparing parents with the same education and economic backgrounds ? I mean, I know plenty of normal parents who are doing a worse job than some better educated and wealthier homosexual couples I know would do.

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  216. @qb: “What one infers from this is another question, but I think it is foolish to deny the obvious, let alone to engage in the intellectual acrobatics people use to try to get out of it.”

    When I was in art school (and called myself a liberal) we did critiques of students work quite frequently. One guy in sculpture had done this elaborate birthday party where all the attendees were these grotesque paper mache monsters. In my critique, I noted that there were all these “ugly monsters”, and one of the Canadian feminists in the class piped in that, no, they were beautiful. The word ugly was wrong, because just because they didn’t conform to typical conceptions of beauty, they were still beautiful. Even though they were deformed monsters with razor sharp teeth and gaping wounds and demonic eyes and so on. To which I think I responded something to the effect of: if words don’t mean things, then it’s pointless to bother doing the critique. I might as well say that they are tiny, because they are tiny in comparison to, say, planets or cities or what have you. But that means nothing in the context . . .

    But there are some folks who have a deep desire, a drive (maybe a little bit OCD) to deconstruct everything. Well, except for their pet value judgements. Everything else is completely a matter of interpretation, individual opinion is the only thing that matters, and that opinion cannot in anyway seem to make a value judgement over any other opinion, or it’s a hate crime. Or something.

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  217. Coincidentally, while I don’t often listen to Bill Bennet, I listened for a while this morning while exercising, and he interviewed this Leonard Sax about his book Why Gender Matters.

    http://www.amazon.com/Why-Gender-Matters-Teachers-Differences/dp/0767916255

    He thinks it is a huge mistake for the medical/psychiatric establishment to have begun labelling gender disorders as normal, effectively to encourage children to question their gender, and to inflate the numbers involved. He says it is very important for boys to learn from good men and girls from good women. He’s no right-wing nut as far as I can see. He probably isn’t even on the right.

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  218. Kevin, re the questions you raise about studies, generally speaking, I would say the data is sparse, problematic, and biased. That is a huge generalization, and it has been a while. But I think you are asking relevant questions.

    Can you imagine what would happen if anyone published a study contradicting them? Why, yes, you can, since it happened two years ago with Regnerus. I read his paper, too. It is far and away the strongest, yet he was subjected to a national firestorm, official university persecution, and the whole gamut. There is no academic freedom in this area.

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  219. But there are some folks who have a deep desire, a drive (maybe a little bit OCD) to deconstruct everything. Well, except for their pet value judgements. Everything else is completely a matter of interpretation, individual opinion is the only thing that matters, and that opinion cannot in anyway seem to make a value judgement over any other opinion, or it’s a hate crime. Or something

    Indeed. People probably notice that I am a little obsessed myself with trying to confront the epidemic of deconstruction and related intellectual poisons. Smart people figure out that once you accept deconstruction, everything gets deconstructed, including where you are standing. But it remains an epidemic. Now we aren’t even allowed to say heterosexuality is the norm. It is an intellectual mode that is functionally (bernie would be proud) insane.

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  220. And before you tell me I am incompetent to read scientific studies

    Who has done that?!?

    Good heavens, please get that gigantic chip off your shoulder before somebody gets hurt.

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  221. Another personal attack!!!

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  222. @quarterback: “There is no academic freedom in this area.”

    Anything that diverges from the progressive agenda (well, the common progressive agenda of most university faculty) is essentially thoughtcrime.

    I don’t know if it’s a mistake to label gender disorders as normal or not. The folks I’ve known with gender disorders, it has tended to occupy a great deal of their time. Negatively impacting their lives in ways that would lead to an intervention if it was drugs or alcohol.

    I guess in the end we’re going to err on the side of freedom to be as disordered as you want.

    However, there are plenty of psychological disorders that afflict us: body dysmorphic disorder, for example. Fortunately, there’s not a great deal of adults encouraging children to explore their body dysmorphic disorders.

    Generally, accommodating every flavor of sexual fetish or gender tendency is the luxury and indulgence of a wealthy society, which we are. So it’s going to happen. Whether or not we have to embrace or encourage it is another matter. There is something to be said for traditional femininity and masculinity, and when we have to start tearing that stuff down to be more accepting of transgenders and homosexuals and whoever, that’s a mistake.

    Ultimately, I don’t want to abridge anybody’s rights or say people are lesser human beings for being gay or even transgender (although this just becomes a matter of which misfiring cylinders do we say are normal and which do we classify as a legitimate disorder), but strong traditional gender roles have value for kids, and for adults. Completely spitting on traditional conceptions of masculinity and femininity tends to lead to a lot of unhappy men and women, as far as I can tell. Telling boys and girls their natural tendencies are wrong just fucks with their minds, and does not create young adults liberated from the tyranny of artificial gender roles.

    It’s sort of like how unimaginable access to carbs and fat tends to make us fat and unhealthy. We are naturally configured for certain things, and diverging from those natural configurations can sometimes be positive, and can certainly be pleasant, but usually comes with a price tag.

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  223. QB: I honestly can’t tell if you’re being funny or not.

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  224. @Michigoose: “Who has done that?!?”

    People on Plumline. A lot, as I recall. Trauma created a flashback . . . which really makes him the victim in this scenario. 😉

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  225. @Michigoose: “I honestly can’t tell if you’re being funny or not.”

    Presumably you mean you can’t tell if he’s trying to be funny or not. You should be able to tell if something is funny or not. If you laugh: it is funny. If you cry: it is sad.

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  226. “Presumably you mean you can’t tell if he’s trying to be funny or not. You should be able to tell if something is funny or not. If you laugh: it is funny. If you cry: it is sad”

    Dangit, corked by KW, and pedantic humour is one of the best kinds.

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  227. Well, I was hoping you were joking, but lately I can’t always tell. If it helps, initially I laughed, but then went “er. . . . .”

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  228. @quarterback: “But it remains an epidemic. Now we aren’t even allowed to say heterosexuality is the norm. It is an intellectual mode that is functionally (bernie would be proud) insane.”

    But a tendency common enough that it must serve a purpose, or be based on drives that, at one point, served some sort of purpose. Can’t quite figure out what it is, unless there is some cultural advantage to deconstructing the culture and trying something new?

    Or just an outgrowth of our base drives for reproduction, always trying to find some new way to improve our reproductive opportunities? Might seem counterintuitive, but enough people have a proclivity to take a scattershot approach in attempts to improve reproductive sex (and that paid off genetically enough in the past), then you could certainly find people motivated to try all sorts of things (and justify them intellectually, despite the human intellect having very little to do with the decision making) in the possibility that it might improve the chance of reproductive success. Not so much because it will now, but ten thousand years ago the same sorts of drives ago might have.

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  229. Ultimately, I don’t want to abridge anybody’s rights or say people are lesser human beings for being gay or even transgender …

    I certainly said nothing about that. My impression of the interview was that Sax was saying that there are a very few people who have gender identity issues, it is a mistake to say those are normal conditions rather than disorders that need help, and that what is happening now is that “experts” are simply confusing a lot of children by asking them to question their gender. As he said, if you ask seven year olds whether they are aliens, a bunch will say they are.

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  230. @qb: “is that “experts” are simply confusing a lot of children by asking them to question their gender.”

    Yeah, that’s just dumb. But experts know more than God, or 100 million years of evolution, or both.

    Fortunately, Common Core education has not yet included gender questioning, but it proceeds from a similar flaw as regards encouraging cognitive reasoning: that children should be encourage to think, but given nothing to think about or with.

    Sometimes it’s like we’re trying to raise a generation of confused, unhappy kids.

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  231. But a tendency common enough that it must serve a purpose, or be based on drives that, at one point, served some sort of purpose.

    Hmmm. One could probably hypothesize a million different things. What is that book about death that shrink is always flogging? Apparently it argues that everything we do in life is about trying not to contemplate death, or contemplating death, or something. Edit: to me it is just an expression of the basic mischievous, rebellious, contrary aspect of human nature. I think, at least.

    Btw, this paper explicitly argued political reason for changing gender identity disorder to not a disorder.

    http://www.avitale.com/hbigdatalkplus2005.htm

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  232. Well, I’m outta here for the night–going to go have dinner and beer(s) with some friends. With any luck, the famous (or infamous) Fairlington Blade will be there. Last I heard from him he was working on his security clearance paperwork. His comment was “they sure want more than they used to!”

    Oy!

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  233. Tangentially related to the gender topics: Women are not Men.

    http://freakonomics.com/2013/02/24/women-are-not-men-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast/

    With the sexual revolution, women self report as being less happy than before, while men report being slightly more happy.

    Great bit on the gender gap in pay: women get paid less than men on average for the same work because they don’t ask, don’t negotiate as hard, etc. I know this is true from watching my wife in the work place. Anecdotes trump all other data. But in this case, there is statistical evidence, too.

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  234. Have a nice dinner and beer with friends! I’m going home and struggling to prevent my house from becoming a disaster. Making sure my oldest checks her sugar. And takes her antibiotic. And the youngest one does her homework. Etc. Yay for me.

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  235. @ScottC: Doesn’t that sort of thing always mean “Ah ha! You don’t think homosexuals are normal! You think, in fact, they are abnormal simply because they are different from you.” I just assumed that was the Big Revelation.

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  236. Tangentially related to the gender topics: Women are not Men.

    Glenn Reynolds regularly posts links to developments in this area. He recently linked to a NYT report of a shocking new study finding that women are more attracted to manly men than to womanly men. The 21st century is full of surprises.

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    • QB:

      Women are not men

      In Taranto’s column last week he reminded us of the classic Monty Python sketch from The Meaning of Life in which a woman gives birth and the baby is quickly whisked away by the doctors. The woman asks whether it is a boy or a girl, and the doctor replies “Now, I think it’s a little early to start imposing roles on it, don’t you?”

      A joke to us, words of wisdom to the left.

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  237. Just anecdotal but my girls and I always said we wanted our men to think like a cross between a poet and a scientist but totally look like construction workers! And we don’t mind if they’re in charge 50% of the time.

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  238. @lmsinca: “And we don’t mind if they’re in charge 50% of the time.”

    While I expect this can work, I’m not sure how well it works overall. In the traditional relationship, the Captain/First Officer model is probably ideal, but both partners need to be competent an mature and responsible and benevolent. The “Man as the King of the Castle” cliche gets a bad rap because there are, natch, plenty of guys (especially these days) that are man-boys and not grown up and not in a position to be captain of the household.

    The First Officer does not want to stand there doing her duties while the captain plays X-Box and then goes and gets a beer. But generally, men that lead and take charge while being mature and responsible are actually attractive to women (well, let;s qualify: sexually attractive). Sensitive and introspective men are not, unless that sensitivity and introspection leads to some other traditional sign of genetic fitness, such as wealth and/or power. Simply looking like a construction worker is not enough, most of the time. And if you’re going to have the heart of a poet, you better have the stock portfolio of an investment banker and the fitness level of a professional athlete. Or at least be superior on those metrics to every other beta schlub with the heart of a poet competing for a particular females attention.

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  239. @qb: “He recently linked to a NYT report of a shocking new study finding that women are more attracted to manly men than to womanly men.”

    And there’s plenty of evidence that a lot of modern marital troubles and divorce can be traced to a lack of attraction to the increasingly beta (i.e., womanly, but that’s not the right word: many husbands are not womanly, but neutered, like worker bees living to serve their wives, or in fear of them) husbands. That is, the more the man accepts popular culture’s advice for a good relationship (put her on a pedestal! bring her flowers! be sensitive! don’t go out with the boys! have no interests of your own! masculinity is stupid and unattractive and mean and bad and also means you abuse your children!) the more unhappy everybody in the relationship is, by and large.

    Certainly, unless the woman is sociopathic, women cheating on their husbands will, 9 times out of 10, be cheating with a guy who is being more alpha (manly) than their beta (womanly) husband, in ways that make the lizard brain get all hot and bothered. For some reason, the rugged cowboy is more exciting to the womanly loins than the mannered butler and man-nanny. In reality, though not on Dr. Phil.

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  240. Kev, well said re neutered versus womanly. I couldn’t improve a word.

    I find women and men are often in charge of different spheres. My wife hasn’t stopped redoing and rearranging the house in … ever. And now she has a daughter to help devise new schemes and immediate needs. I just stay out if the way and grudgingly carry the odd piece of furniture or turn the odd hard screw when needed … usually grumbling about it. She is perfectly handy with the banks, hsa, insurance, etc. But trouble happens when I let her steer big decisions without putting my own foot down.

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  241. @quarterback: ” My wife hasn’t stopped redoing and rearranging the house in … ever.”

    It’s nesting. Women nest and nurture. Men hunt and defend. It’s frickin’ hardwired into us by nature. We can adapt to other roles and adapt to changing environments and times, but what feels right and natural? My wife deciding where the couch goes and me building the deck.

    “But trouble happens when I let her steer big decisions without putting my own foot down.”

    Yup. I don’t know about you, but my wife can be very convincing. Then afterwards, if the results are bad, it’s always my fault: why did you let me do that? Why didn’t you just put your foot down and say no?

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  242. Good Morning All. This is OT, but I really need to vent.
    You all know (except QB) that I’m having a lengthy SSDI claim process and that, because you all cared, I reached out to my Congresscritter for help and my case is being expedited. You also know we are financially at the bottom now since we’ve gone through all our savings to stay afloat with my income gone for just over a year now. Well, following is what I need to vent about:

    We are all told that if you find yourself in the position of possibly not being able to make a payment, especially a mortgage payment, be proactive and reach out to your lender because they actually prefer working with you rather than take another foreclosure hit. YEA RIGHT!

    Immediately after New Years, we reached out to Chase because we knew we would not be able to make February payment. We were told to apply for a modification even though we would be denied since we modified our loan last March and you can only do 1 modification per every 12 months. But, they said to include a letter in which we state we know we don’t qualify for a modification so we are really asking for a Forbearance. If we could get a Forbearance for 6 months maximum, my SSDI should be completed and we would have no problem catching all the payments up since my SSDI is estimated to be more than $2000/month and with February (this month), my retroactive check is already more than $14,000.

    We just got our denial. The reason for the denial is that we haven’t been a Chase mortgage customer long enough; less than a year by their calculation.

    The problem with that is we have always had our mortgage with Chase. Our modification was a modification of an already existing Chase loan. And with that original loan, we never paid late and we never missed a payment. Our Chase history shows we have been excellent customers. But Chase, is all their wisdom, do not maintain your history from your old loan if you get a loan modification.

    THAT’S INSANE!!! We have years of history with Chase.

    So anyway, I found an email address for their CEO Home Lending and sent him an email explaining the situation, Chase’s decision and what it was erroneously based on and asked for help in resolving the issue. It came back undeliverable. I then sent the same email to their Chase Home Lending Executive Office Supervisor. It did not come back as undeliverable. YAY!!

    The thing Chase doesn’t know is if we end up in foreclosure and they get the house, they will be so very disappointed because of all the damage the City of BA did to our home. Then we will end up still having the debt because the home is only worth the value of the lot it sits on.

    Ever feel like you’re stuck in a giant money wrench that just keeps squeezing and squeezing until you just can’t breathe?

    I will keep you all posted as to how this goes. All I really, really need is to get this damn SSDI claim DONE!!!!

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  243. Jeez Geanie, run around city! Keep working your way up. Squeaky wheel! Then work your Congressperson and/or Senators.

    Like

  244. Kdub, my wife doesn’t go too hard on the “it’s all your fault for letting me do that,” but there is often is a rueful tone and baleful look.

    Way too late, I’ve learned, yes, she actually wants you to say, no, we are not doing that. Or yes we are.

    Deep down, she wants me on that wall.

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  245. WOW, reading how things are in some of your households I feel so very extremely lucky to have the relationship I have with my husband, Roger. I am a woman and he is a man, meaning I’m still feminine and he is still masculine, no matter what we are doing.

    I prefer yard work and he prefers doing the dishes and laundry (I deplore doing the laundry LOL). Yet, we are still feminine (me) and masculine (him),

    We also do not make any financial decision without first discussing and agreeing on it. We are truly a couple who decides what our life is going to be, together. And instead of him trying to explain why we should do this or that financially, it is I who explains to him since I’m the one with the financial background. But nonetheless, we never make any decision that may have any kind of consequence without having a full discussion together because even if he has less financial knowledge than I, he still is not ignorant.

    Isn’t that how it should be with all couples?

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  246. @American Mima: “I prefer yard work and he prefers doing the dishes and laundry (I deplore doing the laundry LOL). Yet, we are still feminine (me) and masculine (him),”

    Most housework is divided by necessity and OCD in my house, so things my wife has to do herself to feel they have been done, she does (bathroom cleaning). Most other things get split, though sometimes certain stuff that needs doing might be neglected until she points it out. She has greater awareness of such things.

    Not much I haven’t done, as far as housework goes. But I always do it in a way that bristles with manliness and testosterone.

    “Isn’t that how it should be with all couples?”

    Boy, if that isn’t a loaded question. Pass.

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  247. qb: “Way too late, I’ve learned, yes, she actually wants you to say, no, we are not doing that. Or yes we are.”

    Way too late is right. There’s so much beta-pussiness in my past that I just can’t walk it back now (or at least not all of it) . . . Problem is (a) she often doesn’t know she wants it until after the fact. This is fine when consequences are low (you’ve been dating for a month, when I did this all the time) but more difficult when you’re married and have kids and an extended battle can put real stress on the household.

    And (b) sometimes you will be wrong, and the results will be negative, and doom befalls you! “You insisted we do this and look what happened!”

    Another problem is that I was a man-boy when I was twenty, and am only approaching true manhood at age 44. But I’ve still got to pay for debts incurred in my 30s. And it doesn’t help that society gives us very bad advice for relationships: apologize, be humble, listen, be submissive, run your house like a democracy except when she disagrees then do what she says . . .

    And (of course) all big issues should be discussed. It’s one thing to be a man and lead and quite another to show up and announce you’ve bought a new car or a new house without consulting anybody.

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  248. @American Mima: Banks suck. Chase sucks. Credit unions, all the way. A little socialistic but much better rates. Of course, once you are a credit risk, it’s hard to get a loan with a credit union.

    Best of luck.

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    • Kevin… we are a member of a credit union, they don’t do VA mortgages. We are also a member of USAA, but not until after we got our mortgage. And of course now, with our home in the condition it is in, we don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell to get a new mortgage with a new lender. Like I said, a giant monkey wrench is controlling our lives.

      BTW… update on inverse condemnation case. Our pre-trial, which originally was Oct 3, 2012, then Oct 2013, then March 2014, is now April 2014. And that’s just pre-trial. x sigh x Our life is so messed up because of this and now combined with the slow pace of the SSA, we are afraid we will become one of the members of the “lost home and everything else while waiting” for a, b and c. NOT the way we intended to live out our senior years (he is 61, I am almost 59 and both disabled). X SIGH X X SIGH X S SIGH X

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  249. @American Mima: I guessed that was the case. You have my sympathies. Like myself, you apparently should have had a rich uncle that left you several millions of dollars. I’ve asked my parents why they did not have the foresight to arrange this, and they have no answers.

    I don’t see me having much cash set aside when I hit 61. Or 71. So I’m figuring I’m going to have to keep working until I die. Unless one of my kids strikes it rich. I’m doing my best to avoid getting disabled. When you take it for granted you’ll be working forever, that becomes your biggest fear.

    Like

  250. […] we did manage to set a new record in 2014 for most comments on a single post. It was McWing’s President’s Day Post which was, ironically, itself devoid of literally any content whatsoever, but managed to produce an […]

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