The Difference Between Men and Women

I copied this from another forum and although I’m not quite sure where it came from, I thought it was funny enough to share, especially since it’s Friday.  Friday was always my joke day at the PL.

Let’s say a guy named Fred is attracted to a woman named Martha. He asks her out to a movie; she accepts; they have a pretty good time. A few nights later he asks her out to dinner, and again they enjoy themselves. They continue to see each other regularly, and after a while neither one of them is seeing anybody else.

And then, one evening when they’re driving home, a thought occurs to Martha, and, without really thinking, she says it aloud: “Do you realize that, as of tonight, we’ve been seeing each other for exactly six months?”

And then, there is silence in the car.

To Martha, it seems like a very loud silence. She thinks to herself: I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he’s been feeling confined by our relationship; maybe he thinks I’m trying to push him into some kind of obligation that he doesn’t want, or isn’t sure of.

And Fred is thinking: Gosh. Six months.

And Martha is thinking: But, hey, I’m not so sure I want this kind of relationship either. Sometimes I wish I had a little more space, so I’d have time to think about whether I really want us to keep going the way we are, moving steadily towards, I mean, where are we going? Are we just going to keep seeing each other at this level of intimacy? Are we heading toward marriage? Toward children? Toward a lifetime together? Am I ready for that level of commitment? Do I really even know this person?

And Fred is thinking: …so that means it was…let’s see…February when we started going out, which was right after I had the car at the dealer’s, which means…lemme check the odometer…Whoa! I am way overdue for an oil change here.

And Martha is thinking: He’s upset. I can see it on his face. Maybe I’m reading this completely wrong. Maybe he wants more from our relationship, more intimacy, more commitment; maybe he has sensed – even before I sensed it – that I was feeling some reservations. Yes, I bet that’s it. That’s why he’s so reluctant to say anything about his own feelings. He’s afraid of being rejected.

And Fred is thinking: And I’m gonna have them look at the transmission again. I don’t care what those morons say, it’s still not shifting right. And they better not try to blame it on the cold weather this time. What cold weather? It’s 87 degrees out, and this thing is shifting like a garbage truck, and I paid those incompetent thieves $600.

And Martha is thinking: He’s angry. And I don’t blame him. I’d be angry, too. I feel so guilty, putting him through this, but I can’t help the way I feel. I’m just not sure.

And Fred is thinking: They’ll probably say it’s only a 90-day warranty…scumballs.

And Martha is thinking: Maybe I’m just too idealistic, waiting for a knight to come riding up on his white horse, when I’m sitting right next to a perfectly good person, a person I enjoy being with, a person I truly do care about, a person who seems to truly care about me. A person who is in pain because of my self-centered, schoolgirl romantic fantasy.

And Fred is thinking: Warranty? They want a warranty? I’ll give them a warranty. I’ll take their warranty and stick it right up their…

“Fred,” Martha says aloud.

“What?” says Fred, startled.

“Please don’t torture yourself like this,” she says, her eyes beginning to brim with tears. “Maybe I should never have…oh dear, I feel so…”(She breaks down, sobbing.)

“What?” says Fred.

“I’m such a fool,” Martha sobs. “I mean, I know there’s no knight. I really know that. It’s silly. There’s no knight, and there’s no horse.”

“There’s no horse?” says Fred.

“You think I’m a fool, don’t you?” Martha says.

“No!” says Fred, glad to finally know the correct answer.

“It’s just that…it’s that I…I need some time,” Martha says.

(There is a 15-second pause while Fred, thinking as fast as he can, tries to come up with a safe response. Finally he comes up with one that he thinks might work.)

“Yes,” he says. (Martha, deeply moved, touches his hand.)

“Oh, Fred, do you really feel that way?” she says.

“What way?” says Fred.

“That way about time,” says Martha.

“Oh,” says Fred. “Yes.” (Martha turns to face him and gazes deeply into his eyes, causing him to become very nervous about what she might say next, especially if it involves a horse. At last she speaks.)

“Thank you, Fred,” she says.

“Thank you,” says Fred.

Then he takes her home, and she lies on her bed, a conflicted, tortured soul, and weeps until dawn, whereas when Fred gets back to his place, he opens a bag of Doritos, turns on the TV, and immediately becomes deeply involved in a rerun of a college basketball game between two South Dakota junior colleges that he has never heard of. A tiny voice in the far recesses of his mind tells him that something major was going on back there in the car, but he is pretty sure there is no way he would ever understand what, and so he figures it’s better if he doesn’t think about it.

The next day Martha will call her closest friend, or perhaps two of them, and they will talk about this situation for six straight hours. In painstaking detail, they will analyze everything she said and everything he said, going over it time and time again, exploring every word, expression, and gesture for nuances of meaning, considering every possible ramification.

They will continue to discuss this subject, off and on, for weeks, maybe months, never reaching any definite conclusions, but never getting bored with it either.

Meanwhile, Fred, while playing racquetball one day with a mutual friend of his and Martha’s, will pause just before serving, frown, and say: “Norm, did Martha ever own a horse?”

And that’s the difference between men and women.

155 Responses

  1. A woman doesn’t come home after going out one night. Her husband wonders what is wrong, and calls her 10 best friends to see if she slept over there. Her friends all say they haven’t seen her.

    A man doesn’t come home after going out one night. His wife wonders what is wrong and calls his 10 best friends to see if he slept over there. 8 of his friends claim he did, and 2 claim he is still there.

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  2. Oh, and frist

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  3. Those were both hilarious.

    The one variable I see where lms’s story could take a turn from reality (or a fork) is that if Fred isn’t quite that oblivious he will panic at the point of that deep gaze from Martha and run for the hills. I remember that gaze from my days as a ute. Yikes. Psycho clinger time. Like, we went out once, you think we are engaged now or something?

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  4. That was funny Brent, thanks!

    I remember going through hell waiting for my husband to call me after I gave him my number. I even called a mutual friend to see if he knew what was going on…..LOL I didn’t realize he was shy around girls!

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  5. Hah, are calling me a lurker or are you lurking? Glad you liked it.

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  6. That’s cause you guys are too long winded to read the entire thread. 😉 And while I might have an opinion on some of this stuff, I don’t necessarily want to share it!

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    • lms:

      I’m still curious if you would advocate allowing a seceding state to go its own way, or if you would advocate for the feds to forcibly prevent it. (I won’t press the issue, don’t worry.)

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  7. Scott, I don’t even know what you’re talking about. I must have missed something. I personally think Secession is a bone-headed idea. As tempting as it is to let some of the states go, and I won’t mention names, it didn’t work out too well the last time it was tried. I doubt it would go much better today, although hopefully not as many lives would be lost this time around.

    I think pitting state against state and R against D is fun and games but when it becomes too serious it’s a little dangerous for the country. I remember being pretty disgusted with the direction of the country when Bush was Pres but I never seriously contemplated that the pendulum wouldn’t ever swing back my way. Inevitably each party over-reaches so that even some of their own supporters can’t really stand them and voila!

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    • lms:

      Scott, I don’t even know what you’re talking about. I must have missed something.

      I just posed this question earlier today. It’s been alluded to a couple of times here by jnc, but I think we approaching the point where there is such a polarity in values between the left and the right that co-existing within the same political framework just doesn’t make much sense anymore. It could work under an old style federalist system, but that system is mostly gone.

      Anyway, I was just thinking that if some largely liberal state or states wanted to separate off, I would be more than happy to have them go, even if it included my own state (which it probably would). And I suspect that most libertarians, and probably conservatives, would feel the same. But I have the sense that liberals would feel quite differently, and if it came down to it would vociferously object to an attempt by a group of conservatives to remove themselves from the union.

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  8. I’d also add that the Fed forcibly preventing it sounds like a match made in heaven for prepper and militia type………………….and a bit of wishful thinking if you’re into those sort of wild scenario preparations.

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  9. The difference between a man and a woman: When a man goes on a date, he wonders if he’s going to get lucky. A woman already knows.

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  10. Scott, I probably wouldn’t vociferously object, but I do think it’s probably not something that would work as well as Conservatives or Libertarians think it might. Just a hunch though on my part. I actually wouldn’t care that much personally as I think CA is a state that could actually survive on it’s own, but it would make me unhappy to think about it actually happening.

    I tend to think y’all have an exaggerated sense of the problems you believe have been created exclusively by Liberals, but I know that’s a discussion not worth having.

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    • lms:

      I do think it’s probably not something that would work as well as Conservatives or Libertarians think it might.

      To me the question isn't whether it would work out well, but whether it would work out better than the current arrangement, which is not working out very well. The values of the left and right are so different they can barely even communicate any more. Words that the left uses means something totally different than when used by the right. The left understands the constitution and law in a way that is not only alien to the right, but is in fact completely at odds with what the right sees as the purpose of the law and the constitution.

      It seems to me only a matter of time. It is not a question of the national mood swinging left and then right. It is a question of the values of the left and right becoming so incompatible regardless of which way the national mood is swinging. We increasingly do not share a core set of basic and primary values and assumptions that must exist in order to bind a people together. Personally,I increasingly find it impossible to even communicate with people on the left, and I increasingly find their values to be an assault on what I hold important. My notion of freedom is not only different from the left's, it seems to be completely at odds with leftist objectives. My idea of freedom and the left's idea of freedom cannot coexist. At some point trying to force coexistence is going to be too much to live with for a lot of people.

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  11. Will no one stop this monster!?!!?!?

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  12. Anyway, I was just thinking that if some largely liberal state or states wanted to separate off, I would be more than happy to have them go, even if it included my own state (which it probably would).

    The problem with your hypothetical is that I can’t think of the issue that a liberal state would find a high enough bar to want to secede over. Abortion rights? Same sex marriage? Teaching creationism in public schools? It just doesn’t make sense.

    Conservatives however seem to want to secede over about any silly issue. Wasn’t Rick Perry threatening to secede Texas before he decided he wanted to be president?

    And the precedent on whether it can be done is pretty well established. We literally fought a war over it.

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    • The left would never secede because their goal is to dominate those who disagree, not leave them alone.

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      • their goal is to dominate those who disagree

        That is hyperbolic to the point of being meaningless. Dominate who and how? Liberals see evangelical conservatives as the group that wants to dominate those who disagree.

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  13. The left would never secede because their goal is to dominate those who disagree, not leave them alone.

    Exactly. Corked my comment from the prior thread.

    That is hyperbolic to the point of being meaningless. Dominate who and how? Liberals see evangelical conservatives as the group that wants to dominate those who disagree.

    Except that the liberal argument is baseless. It is liberals who demand that others treat “gay marriage” as equivalent to marriage. It is liberals who want people fired, sued, fined put out of business, etc. for not doing as they demand. It is liberals who demand that others adopt their ideas and live by them. I don’t care what gays do with or to each other. But they have no right to my recognition of it as marriage.

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  14. And the precedent on whether it can be done is pretty well established. We literally fought a war over it.

    The war was fought over slavery I thought, re your comment from the previous thread?

    And technically, the problem with the previous secession attempt was that it was unilateral, not mutual.

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    • McWing:

      And technically, the problem with the previous secession attempt was that it was unilateral, not mutual.

      Don’t bother. The question I posed is neither answered nor obviated by the fact of the Civil War. Yello either already knows this or he is not equipped to understand why.

      As I suggested, anyone who can’t imagine a reason that might prompt discussion of secession apart from a desire to own slaves is either being disingenuous or is too stupid to bother with.

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  15. I’ve often noted the inversion of essentially all of our Constitution by liberalism. Free speech is a prime example. Liberal jurisprudence gives maximum protects porn and stripping. Core political speech is disfavored. Which one of these was the First Amendment to protect?

    Taranto reviews this distortion in constitutional law.

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304441304579479393186825228?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion&mg=reno64-wsj

    Edit: notice how Breyer’s bizarre reasoning pushes this idea near its ultimate conclusion, which is that freedom of speech is a right belonging to the government, the “collective.”

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  16. Lulu–this is a Dave Barry column. . . which I love!

    Now to go back and read all of the comments up till now.

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  17. See, this is the reason I don’t participate here any longer, for the most part. If you guys truly believe the doomsday political reality is only correct from your perspective, and that the liberal “base” is just too stupid to realize what’s going on, then it would be silly of me to even try to disavow you of that notion. It’s a discussion that has no end, only a middle, and it’s exhausting going around in circles that way.

    For example, the notion that gays shouldn’t be able to marry, on the one hand, because that somehow infringes on the freedom of heterosexual marriage, and yet on the other hand, women have to be subjected to some arbitrary suggestion of what stage personhood begins is a dichotomy that only exists in the mind of an advocate of one or the other.

    And so in many ways, I wouldn’t mind seeing the physical separation of the nation into left vs right hypothetically. Perhaps then both sides would realize they do actually need each other as a balance of power. Or perhaps the libertarian movement will gain more steam and then y’all can try your hand at governing instead of just imagining what you would do differently if you had the power. I’m sure power in the hands of libertarians would not be as corrupting as it is in the hands of the rest of us.

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    • lms:

      and that the liberal “base” is just too stupid to realize what’s going on

      Actually I assume that most of the left knows what it wants and is pursuing it. I give them the benefit of the doubt that they realize what is going on, and actually desire it. My point is that I do not desire it, and that the political values that drive people to desire the kind of world the left seeks is so far removed from, and indeed so diametrically opposed to, the values of others of us that a real union is increasingly difficult to maintain. At some point it can only make sense to simply agree that the values are incompatible and to split.

      BTW, just to be clear, you should not read my comments to yello as being directed at you, unless you too think that my earlier question makes sense only in the context of wanting to own slaves. Which I don’t think is the case since you already answered me forthrightly and slavery never came up.

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    • lms:

      BTW, on this:

      For example, the notion that gays shouldn’t be able to marry, on the one hand, because that somehow infringes on the freedom of heterosexual marriage…

      That is not an argument that anyone here has made.

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  18. Where is the column Michi, I’ll try to read it later?

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  19. What you posted–I can’t remember which of his books it was in, but it’s an old Dave Barry column.

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  20. Oh, I thought you were talking about the secession discussion. Now I get it, it sounds just like him now that you mention it!

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  21. Scott, your argument with yello didn’t really register with me so no I wasn’t thinking any of that was directed at me. I was actually referring to your comment in the last thread about the professional left making mindless caricatures of their political opponents that are so easily gobbled up by the base. There have been numerous comments here over the past year about the base of the left and an awful lot of assumptions have been made that if I were inclined to debate still would definitely light a fire under me.

    Perhaps I should have used the word sanctity instead of freedom. Most of you here, with the possible exception of qb, don’t seem to find much value in marriage anyway so it’s not really worth debating that point. I’ve tried to understand his views on gay marriage but they simply don’t make sense to me. It’s an expansion of rights not an infringement on straight marriages, hence my use of the word freedom in a loose way.

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    • lms:

      I was actually referring to your comment in the last thread about the professional left making mindless caricatures of their political opponents that are so easily gobbled up by the base.

      Yes, and that was reference to yello’s injection of slavery to impute racism into my question about secession, not a reference to you.

      It’s an expansion of rights not an infringement on straight marriages, hence my use of the word freedom in a loose way.

      I don’t think QB thinks it is an infringement on straight marriages. I think he argues that it renders the institution essentially meaningless, and he objects to it being imposed on unwilling people via courts. I agree with him on both counts.

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      • lms:

        BTW, it is things like this:

        I’ve tried to understand his views on gay marriage but they simply don’t make sense to me.

        …that makes me think that language has gotten so politically corrupted that the left and the right cannot even communicate any more. QB’s position on gay marriage is not particularly complex or odd. It is in fact the same position that most of humanity has held throughout human history. His failure to get you to understand, and your inability to accurately characterize it when talking about it, makes it seem almost like we speak entirely different languages at times.

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  22. Interesting.

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  23. I’ve tried to understand his views on gay marriage but they simply don’t make sense to me. It’s an expansion of rights not an infringement on straight marriages, hence my use of the word freedom in a loose way.

    No doubt it is folly to explain yet again, but this is all folly, right?

    The primary issue isn’t expansion or infringement of rights. That issue is changing the definition, the very essence of a fundamental institution of human society, indeed, the fundamental institution. For someone who believes that marriage serves no purpose and has no value anyway, then of course none of it matters in any way. But for someone who believes it does have value and purpose, it matters a lot.

    And it matters what the law calls things and how it treats them, how it equates and classifies things. The government could classify dogs as cats, and could give licenses for unassisted human flight. Those would simply be pointless and foolish exercises. Dogs would still be dogs. People still couldn’t fly. But there likely would be no reason to for anyone to care. When government, however, says that a homosexual relationship is the same as marriage, it is in reality abolishing legal recognition of the male-female marriage relationship as a special and unique social institution. It isn’t just giving other people the “right” to enter into that relationship; it is abolishing it as a legal matter and reclassifying married people as something else. It is quite literally the case that everyone already had and always had the same “right” to be married, and it is no objection to say, “but they didn’t want to marry the opposite sex.” That is like saying, I want to swim without getting wet, or I want to have a baby without being pregnant. When the law now comes along and says, marriage now merely means any two people who say they want to be married, it is teaching something that isn’t true and reengineering society in an artificial and destructive way, by removing the recognition of marriage as a special relationship with special origins and purposes.

    Moreover, when the law dictates that everyone must live by this new definition, infringement of rights does occur. People are being sued, fined, and even put out of business. The softer hand of coercion operates in workplaces, where as we saw this week you can be fired for not supporting the radical redefinition.

    This is why it is a zero-sum game. It will not be possible to coexist. That is now clear.

    Edit: children are already being indoctrinated into the “equal” homosexual ideology in schools. Government is openly hostile the traditional understanding of marriage and sexual morality that millions of parents teach their children. Again, it will not stand. Liberals are dreaming to believe the issue will go away. Think abortion squared. In 1992, 20 years after Roe, the Supremes were frustrated and angry that pro-lifers had not shut up but had in fact grown louder, and public opinion was actually turning against the Court. So they yelled at us again in Casey to shut up and accept their rule. How has that worked out in the last 22 years, again?

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  24. Scott said in three sentences what I said in about 30. As usual. Scott is the best lawyer I know and isn’t even a lawyer.

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  25. Something I can’t ever quite adequately convey to the gay marriage advocates is that my argument actually doesn’t even depend on a value judgment about homosexuality. I have a judgment about that, but, as to marriage, a belief that homosexual relationships are wonderful and not immoral in any way does not lead to the conclusion that they should be treated as marriage. Marriage in this respect isn’t something better or superior but simply different. It isn’t a relationship that gays are interested in being part of. They now simply want to appropriate the word and mandate recognition of there being no difference. But dogs and cats are still different. Marriage involves a union of difference, and complementarity compatible with procreation. Homosexual relationships simply do not.

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    • QB:

      as to marriage, a belief that homosexual relationships are wonderful and not immoral in any way does not lead to the conclusion that they should be treated as marriage. Marriage in this respect isn’t something better or superior but simply different.

      One of the things that makes it difficult to convey this is that, typical of the left on any issue it is passionate about, it’s main tactic is not to reason but to demonize. The motivations of their opposition are always questioned, with the implication that opposition can only derive from malice, an implication that exists deliberately in the language they use. Opposition to SSM derives from hostility to gays. Opposition to abortion is a war on women. Opposition to O-care is to want people to die. To consider the notion of secession is to want a return of slavery.

      The standard leftist shtick is always to demonize, rarely to reason.

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  26. Don’t forget that some states gave gays all the legal rights of marriage, just not the name.

    That did not satisfy them. They demanded that government name their relationships marriage.

    Why is it important that government called them “married”?

    Edit: in fact, this was the case in California. Domestic partnership provided all the same rights. The entire point of the lawsuit against Prop 8 was to appropriate the word “marriage.”

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  27. Here is the book that the Dave Barry essay came from:

    http://www.davebarry.com/book-page.php?isbn13=9780449910269

    His new book You Can Date Boys When You’re Forty is literally laugh out loud funny.

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  28. Scott,

    …that makes me think that language has gotten so politically corrupted that the left and the right cannot even communicate any more.

    Yes, entirely. I think it goes beyond language, though, to a loss of basic reasoning and perception capacities. Something has happened. Half the country is no longer able even to recognize as a rational thought pattern what has been obvious to the entire human race from the beginning of time. Terms like “taken leave of their senses” seem not unjustified.

    I have been in some debates on the issue recently elsewhere and in person, and it just becomes so obvious that there is a thinking deficit on the other side. It isn’t just a matter of there being a right and a wrong argument but that one side cannot even process simple logic. A good example is the difference between disapproving behavior and hating people. The gay rights people will tell you they understand the difference, but in discussion they cannot maintain the distinction and will repeatedly lapse into equating them.

    Two things occur to me about this. One is this: most people here don’t put any stock in the Bible, but Romans I, one of the passages that condemns homosexuality, associates it with confused thinking and loss of wisdom and rationality. Different translations say that people who suppress the truth they know from nature become fools while claiming to be wise and become futile and darkened in their thinking or captive to futile speculations. Interesting.

    The second is that this debate like no other illustrates the difference between conservative thought as explained by Russell Kirk, among otherss, and modern rationalistic ideologies underlying radicalism. This kind of organic consevatism is usually caricatured by the left as meaning nothing more than dumb reliance on prejudice and tradition, but anyone who genuinely wants to understand why the abstract logic games (and they are games) of the left lead to such chaos and futility should take the time to study and understand.

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    • James Taranto has good article on why forced disclosure of political donations is a bad, and perhaps unconstitutional, idea. It also makes me wonder, if political donations shouldn’t be allowed to be made anonymously, why should voting be anonymous? If the public has a right to know who supports which candidates and political movements, then disclosure of votes would seem even more fundamentally necessary than monetary donations. On the other hand, if there is are legitimate reasons to insist that voting be anonymous, don’t those reasons apply equally to monetary support?

      BTW, on this issue it seems that Justice Thomas is yet again the sole clear thinker on the court.

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    • QB:

      I think it goes beyond language, though, to a loss of basic reasoning and perception capacities.

      Indeed. You know something is amiss when defining one’s terms, or requiring others to do so, is routinely objected to as an obstacle to effective debate and communication.

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  29. Not just an obstacle but a bad-faith, obstructionist tactic! Insisting that words have some agreed and understood meaning is just another form of right-wing oppression. You want to enslave people with language.

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  30. I’m listening to a discussion between two “gay Christians,” one of whom is named Wesley Hill, who as I understand thinks he needs to be celibate. He proposes (and this is a discussion in a church aimed at Christians) that marriage should not be invested with the importance of being the only relationship where meaning and value can be found. This, I think, is entirely correct. Marriage is something unique and valuable; it isn’t the only thing, or the only aspect of life that gives it meaning.

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  31. to a loss of basic reasoning and perception capacities. Something has happened. Half the country is no longer able even to recognize as a rational thought pattern what has been obvious to the entire human race from the beginning of time. Terms like “taken leave of their senses” seem not unjustified.

    Yes, I’m sure that’s it. It would be silly of me to bother responding even to your well argued points when I would be starting at such a disadvantage……LOL

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    • lms:

      It would be silly of me to bother responding even to your well argued points when I would be starting at such a disadvantage

      That is one way of looking at it. Another would be that it is silly for him to continue to make the same arguments (whether poorly or well made) if they can’t be understood. QB is right that either he isn’t being rational, in which case it is on him that you can’t understand his position, or he is being rational in which case it is on you that you can’t understand his position. But it can’t be resolved without some basic, core, understanding that is shared in common. Increasingly it seems that such a common shared understanding does not exist between left and right. Hence my observation that even communicating with each other has become difficult. One person says X and the other hears Y.

      BTW, happy birthday.

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  32. You said my views make no sense to you, which is nothing new. Either my views aren’t rational or they are but you don’t recognize them as such. That’s where things stand.

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  33. So anyway, today is my 64th birthday and even though I don’t feel a day over 45 I’m starting to get that old lady wrinkly skin on my arms……………yikes. I hate that!

    I’m taking off for CO Monday to help our daughter get through her surgery on Tuesday and recover a little with my help. Her boyfriend is awesome but she seems to think she needs me so off I go.

    See y’all soon!

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  34. Happy Birthday, lms. Enjoy.

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  35. A couple of things guys. I wasn’t asking QB to make the same argument again, I’ve heard it before and recognize it for what it is. What I don’t understand is why he and others are so focused on the definition of marriage. It’s not as if he hasn’t accepted the fact, like it or not, that certain heterosexuals have made a mockery of marriage going back to the beginning of the institution. “Marriage” isn’t a sacrosanct union to quite a number of people. Think adulterers, bigamists, abusers, multiple divorcees and second, third and fourth marriages.

    IMO, none of these things affect me or my marriage so why should I care about gay marriages any more than the rest, not that I think they’re as mocking. That’s what I don’t understand. I know the definition of marriage but so what? If it makes people happy and doesn’t interfere with my secular marriage why should I care and why do you care so much?

    And no, I don’t buy the few examples of businesses being affected or the argument that “Government is openly hostile the traditional understanding of marriage and sexual morality that millions of parents teach their children.” It’s easy to take an outlier example and assume that it is now universal. If people dying from lack of adequate health care because of a variety of reasons, including lack of insurance coverage, is an outlier to you then so should an insignificant number of legal actions against businesses refusing to serve gay couples in their wedding arrangements be an outlier.

    To me the difference between conservative and liberal thought is more about values than defining terms. Two good people with the best of intentions can value some things more than others and that is what is reflected in their judgements, not a lack of reasoning. I would never assume that my “political enemy” has lost all ability to reason.

    And now I’m off to celebrate with a haircut! 😉

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    • lms:

      What I don’t understand is why he and others are so focused on the definition of marriage.

      Because that is the cornerstone of the controversy. The definition is being altered, thus rendering the concept meaningless. Those who are doing the altering either say or, somehow, actually believe that they are not altering the definition, but instead are applying it to a heretofore “excluded” group of people. The inability to even agree on this basic thing, that marriage has throughout history always been defined as the union of members of opposite sexes, and that to even speak of SSM is incoherent absent a redefinition of the concept, shows how serious a lack in a basic, common understanding of things we have.

      To me the difference between conservative and liberal thought is more about values…

      Agreed. As I said yesterday, increasingly we no longer have many political values in common. Much of what liberals value is completely contrary to my own political values. They cannot co-exist.

      …than defining terms.

      Defining terms is simply how we convey things like our values. The trouble comes when there is no shared understanding of the terms. For example, when SSM proponents speak of SSM, what opponents hear is total incoherence. To speak of SSM is like speaking of a square circle, or dry rain, or a short tall person. It literally makes no sense. Marriage, by definition, means members of opposite sexes. But to proponents it (seemingly) makes perfect sense. When there is no shared understanding of terms, or when one side simply redefines terms to mean something totally different to what they have always been understood to mean (and especially while asserting that they are not doing so), communication becomes extremely difficult.

      I would never assume that my “political enemy” has lost all ability to reason.

      I don’t assume that people on the left have lost all ability to reason. It is my experience, though, that many of them simply don’t reason. Whether it is because they can’t, or prefer not to, or are too lazy, I don’t know. And, to the extent that they think that I am the unreasoning one, which they probably do, again, we seem not to share a common understanding of what logic and reason means. Which makes any attempts to resolve our differences or even understand them seemingly impossible.

      Like

      • A good example of the chasm between what liberals say and what I understand the words to mean. From Mozilla’s statement on the resignation of it’s CEO over having donated money to prop 8:

        Our organizational culture reflects diversity and inclusiveness. We welcome contributions from everyone regardless of age, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender-identity, language, race, sexual orientation, geographical location and religious views. Mozilla supports equality for all.

        We have employees with a wide diversity of views. Our culture of openness extends to encouraging staff and community to share their beliefs and opinions in public. This is meant to distinguish Mozilla from most organizations and hold us to a higher standard. But this time we failed to listen, to engage, and to be guided by our community.

        I suppose this makes sense to the people who wrote it, and I imagine it probably makes sense even to some people here. But to me this statement is a senseless jumble of contradiction. To proclaim one’s commitment to “encouraging staff and community to share their beliefs and opinions in public” while at the same time forcing the resignation of the CEO – at the behest of that very same staff and community – precisely because his own beliefs and opinions have been made public is just staggering to me. Obviously they understand these words and concepts to mean something utterly alien to me.

        And this is how I routinely feel when faced with leftist justifications for the things for which they advocate. Prohibitions on free speech are protections of free speech. Forcing a shop owner to cater a gay wedding is enhancing individual freedom. Failure to buy a product is engaging in commerce. The list goes on and on. And all of these notions are, to me, totally self-refuting, and yet people on the left seem to accept them as if they make perfect sense.

        How can two people, or political movements, that obviously do not share a fundamental grasp on the nature of reality possibly even understand each other, much less agree over the part politics should play in that reality?

        Like

  36. I’m going to blame MSU’s loss last weekend to this. I mean, who can concentrate on a basketball game when non-NCAA mugs are being confiscated left and right?

    Like

  37. Marriage involves a union of difference, and complementarity compatible with procreation.

    You do realize that this argument invalidates my and several of my friends’ heterosexual marriages, don’t you?

    Lulu makes the same arguments that I do, only better.

    Many happy returns of the day, Lulu!

    Like

  38. You do realize that this argument invalidates my and several of my friends’ heterosexual marriages, don’t you?

    No, it doesn’t.

    What I don’t understand is why he and others are so focused on the definition of marriage.

    As I posed above, why are some gays so focused on it? Why have they made the critical bone of contention the demand that government and society change the definition to fit them? If it makes no difference in anyone’s life what the government recognizes as marriage, why was the Prop 8 case litigated for the sole purpose of compelling it to call gay relationships marriage?

    The argument that we shouldn’t care, because people already disrespect marriage and don’t hold it “sacrosanct,” is akin to saying that since people have vandalized a beautiful, historic building we shouldn’t care if some others come along and vandalize it some more, or burn it down. After all, no one seems to argue that it’s a good thing how so many have disrespected marriage, other than perhaps people who don’t believe in it to begin with.

    If it makes people happy and doesn’t interfere with my secular marriage why should I care and why do you care so much?

    Because I don’t think just of myself and today. I think of my children and their children’s children, and yours, and what we are doing now to their future in our haste and foolishness in thinking that burning the roots of our own civilization can’t possibly matter.

    And no, I don’t buy the few examples of businesses being affected or the argument that “Government is openly hostile the traditional understanding of marriage and sexual morality that millions of parents teach their children.”

    This is a pretty remarkable statement in today’s environment, to say nothing of the now almost monolithic hostility of the media and corporate establishment, which I promise you from first-hand experience (and from what you can easily verify for yourself) is not just hostile but viciously so. It’s surprising that this is controversial just days after Mozilla’s CEO was fired. I still have a ten-year-old in school and a college kid, and have a pretty good bead on what is happening in schools. I hear it from parents. If the government says gays are married, and it is illegal to act otherwise, that message is carried down loud and clear: your parents are prejudiced, and their religion is bigotry. This is happening now. How can you miss it? It is all over the news every day.

    Like

  39. Another publication figures out who is really running the Supreme Court.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/regwatch/other/202633-is-it-clarence-thomass-court

    Like

  40. “yellojkt, on April 4, 2014 at 4:15 pm said:

    Anyway, I was just thinking that if some largely liberal state or states wanted to separate off, I would be more than happy to have them go, even if it included my own state (which it probably would).

    The problem with your hypothetical is that I can’t think of the issue that a liberal state would find a high enough bar to want to secede over.”

    How about unrestricted campaign donations and universal concealed carry as a constitutional right?

    Like

  41. Another publication figures out who is really running the Supreme Court.

    A good column, essentially right, although I remain skeptical that many examples could be cited showing that CT’s position pulled the others farther in the direction they were already going. I admittedly have done no careful study of the question, but in a case like McCutcheon I just don’t see any evidence that his taking the stronger position changed the plurality’s opinion at all. If he had just agreed to sign the plurality opinion and make it a majority, would it have come out any differently? I doubt it. The point about his potential long-term influence is better imo.

    Like

  42. How about unrestricted campaign donations and universal concealed carry as a constitutional right?

    I don’t know about yello, but I’m pretty sure we’re headed in this direction anyway and it isn’t enough to make me want to disown you guys.

    Like

    • Mich:

      and it isn’t enough to make me want to disown you guys.

      I don’t want to disown you. I want you to leave me alone.

      Like

  43. No, it doesn’t.

    Sure it does. No procreation involved.

    Like

    • Mich:

      No procreation involved.

      He said “a complementarity compatible with procreation”, not “a complementarity requiring procreation”.

      Like

  44. This is funny, although it doesn’t really reflect many of my thoughts (other than #52 and 53). Number 17 is for NoVA. I think it totally counts.

    Like

  45. Complementarity Compatible implies ability. . . which leaves out those couples who are infertile or genetically incompatible.

    Like

    • Mich:

      …which leaves out those couples who are infertile or genetically incompatible.

      Incorrect. Men and women as classes are, by their natures, compatible with procreation. A condition that may afflict a specific individual within the class making them individually unable to procreate does not change the fact.

      Like

    • BTW, historically there always has, in fact, been a class of relationship that has been excluded from marriage precisely because it is not compatible with procreation, and that is direct relatives like brothers and sisters.

      Like

  46. Re infertility, what Scott said.

    Parsing or process of elimination is an incomplete way to define things. You see this in Plato’s Socratic dialogues, in which there is a familiar pattern. Someone asks, what is __? Someone proposes a definition, and Socrates through questioning shows that it is over- or under-inclusive. It isn’t that it is a useful exercise; clearly it is. That’s why Plato’s dialogues are great. But producing an exception does not falsify the proposed idea.

    If you define marriage by eliminating everything about it for which you can cite a false case, you have nothing left, no definition at all. Love, commitment, intimacy, sex, cohabitation, etc. Marriages exist without all of them. Unless we want to say they are not true marriages, not the ideal. We could have that discussion, a search for the ideal definition of marriage. If you don’t love your spouse, are you really married?

    But the one characteristic you could not through history have falsified by citing exceptions is male/female. Even as a nominal definition, a description of what what marriage has meant through social and political history, you wouldn’t be able to eliminate male/female opposition.

    And the truth to which this points is that marriage centers around heterosexual attraction and relations, and what in the natural course of things are the biological results of these. That those results do not always occur does not change this, nor does it matter whether we “know” they cannot occur in a given case.

    Like

  47. LMS – today is my kid sister’s 65th birthday. But you are gaining on her: when she was two, she was twice your age, and now you are 98% as old as she is.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    QB – I have never despised Scalia and often defend him and his opinions to liberal non-lawyers. I just do not think he is as bound to textualism as he says he is. As I told Scott, I thought his opinion on the Alaskan indians was just what I would have written, but it was no more textual than a penumbra.

    Y’all know what I think of secession, but I will add that as a practical matter TEXAS is the only single state that could survive severed from the USA.

    For example, imagining CT as a “nation” dependent on the interstate power grid imagines a “nation” that has pre-determined to be in a very close common market with its neighbors. And thus planting the seeds of eventual [re-]union.

    YJ – thanx for the heads up on the new Dave Barry book. If it is out on audio, we will listen to it on our next road trip, 3 weeks from now.

    Like

    • Happy birthday, lms!

      The new Dave Barry book is available on Audible which would be delightful. I was at a book signing of his last month and excerpt readings had people in stitches.

      Like

    • Mark:

      Y’all know what I think of secession

      I know that you think states do not retain the right under the constitution, and would therefore require the permission of the federal government to do so. Hence my question…under the circumstance that a group of states wanted to secede, would you advocate that they be allowed to, or would you want to force them to remain in the union against their will?

      …but I will add that as a practical matter TEXAS is the only single state that could survive severed from the USA.

      I suspect that any conceivable secession movement would involve a group of states opting to do so together rather than a single state trying to make a go of it alone.

      Like

      • …would you advocate that they be allowed to, or would you want to force them to remain in the union against their will?

        IDK. Probably would look for a negotiated settlement that left open future reconciliation – a settlement that included a free trade zone and a mutual defense treaty, probably. Something that continued to work to the mutual advantage of all the states.

        The heartland would not want to think the south Louisiana ports were in hostile territory and the nation would not want to lose the benefit of the two states that export most of the nation’s exports: Texas 1] and CA 2].

        Without the trade/defense stuff, no group of seceding states would be happy with the situation and neither would the non-seceding states.

        Trying to think of a situation where I would approve of a forcible response I come up with an attempt by a cadre within a state to subvert a republican form of government – say, by declaring a monarchy, or by denying the vote to an arbitrary group of adults. Or if negotiations for a free trade/mutual defense zone broke down.

        Like

  48. Happy Birthday lmsinca!

    Like

  49. Happy Birthday, LMS…

    Oh, and On Wisconsin!

    Like

  50. Happy birthday Lms,

    BTW, I’m pretty sure I’m the only one here that shits on marriage.

    Like

  51. This guy says something I’ve said: in the long run, the totalitarian (my word) gay movement cannot win.

    http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/04/05/hey-gay-rights-fascists-in-spite-of-your-mozilla-victory-you-will-still-lose/

    Like

  52. I’m so glad UConn made it into the final (rather than the Leaping Lizards). On Wisconsin!

    Like

  53. QB:

    FWIW, I’ve been pilloried on PL for saying that Eich was wronged. I still disagree with you about SSM, but what happened to Eich wasn’t right.

    Like

  54. Lol I think at this point Kentucky guards have the green light from the officials to just put their shoulders down and drive right through. Ridiculous officiating.

    Like

    • Lol I think at this point Kentucky guards have the green light from the officials to just put their shoulders down and drive right through. Ridiculous officiating.

      Agreed. There’s been at least 3 charges that have been called blocks.

      Like

  55. McWing

    BTW, I’m pretty sure I’m the only one here that shits on marriage.

    I don’t think so but I could be wrong. I’m still a romantic at heart which is really a lost cause, and I don’t particularly care about the sex of the partners, I actually believe in the lost art of love. I’m such a sap!!!

    Thanks for all the great birthday wishes everyone! I seriously do NOT feel my age!

    Like

  56. Michi, I thought WI would never get back in the game. I still think they won’t be able to hold, but I definitely hope they take out Kentucky.

    I have wondered what PL as been saying about Eich … well, not really. I have no doubt all but a couple of people cheered his firing. Greg probably has studiously ignored it all, because in his heart of hearts he celebrates it as well, but it’s a little much for him to say it. In truth, I question any whether any SSM supporter who equates it to civil rights doesn’t agree with the firing. If you think opposition to SSM is bigotry and hatred, the rest arguably follows.

    Coexistence is no longer going to be possible. Something will have to happen.

    Like

  57. Wow another absurd call. And another! Absolutely ridiculous.

    Every time I watch I am just reminded again how stupid basketball has become.

    Like

  58. a couple of people cheered his firing

    I find it amusing that people think I’m a conservative, or (worse!!!!) a Libertarian sometimes. But I’m disturbed that they’re 100% A-OK with Eich’s ouster.

    Wisconsin wuz robbed.

    Like

  59. I question any whether any SSM supporter who equates it to civil rights doesn’t agree with the firing.

    I do think they’re the same. . . but I don’t agree with the firing.

    Like

  60. Micahel Tomasky writing in the Daily Beast thinks he has nailed the Republican’s core prinicple:

    Three big developments—the Obamacare enrollment deadline, the Paul Ryan budget, and the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon decision—return us to first principles, so to speak; remind us of what our two parties (and the philosophical positions behind them) are really and truly about. And they remind me, at least, of why the Republican Party, on a very basic level, can’t ever be truthful with the American people about what matters to it most at the end of the day.

    So what is it that matters most to the Republican Party? A lot of things do, and for different Republicans, the answer will be different: abhorrence of abortion, disgust at social relativism, hatred of big government. These things matter. But they don’t, in my view, matter most. What matters most, especially to elected Republicans in Washington (that is, more so than the rank-and-file), is this: Protect the well-off from redistribution of their wealth to those who don’t deserve it.

    So is that it, or is there more to it?

    Like

  61. Well, he forgot how the want to enslave non whites (literally), molest children and dump mercury into mothers milk and California wine.

    Plus, they want to watch poor people die, Roman style.

    I believe and support all these things.

    Like

  62. And killing cute puppies and kittens. We hate cute things..

    Like

    • None of you guys are elected Rs. So I will take a stab at answering YJ’s question.

      What matters most to elected Rs is getting re-elected. It should go without saying that is also what matters most to elected Ds.

      If re-election means getting votes and raising money for both parties two constituencies must be satisfied, voters and donors. Tomasky would do well to ask what the R voter constituency wants and what the R donor consituency wants. The answers would differ somewhat by region. For example, the R farmer voter constituency in the midwest is unhappy with both farm policy and immigration policy as enunciated by the R Party, but the donor constituency in the midwest is apparently pleased. As with every journalistic over-simplification, or historic boiling down of human conduct to a single premise, Tomasky’s is false by reason of not being mainly true.

      Each party is an ungainly amalgamation.

      Like

  63. in the midwest is unhappy with both farm policy and immigration policy as enunciated by the R Party,

    Would t you say Midwest farmers are pissed at the R base? The Party Establishment is all for subsidies, amnesty and increased immigration.

    Confused.

    Like

    • The Party Establishment is all for subsidies, amnesty and increased immigration.

      I didn’t know that. I thought elected Rs voted against subsidies and pulled down the immigration bill.

      Confused.

      I, too.

      Like

  64. Tomasky’s merely providing red meat for the rubes.

    Does anybody disagree?

    Like

    • McWing:

      Tomasky’s merely providing red meat for the rubes.

      Yup. Of course Tomasky probably believes his own BS, too.

      Like

  65. So what?

    In what tangible way does this harm me?

    It’s hard not to laugh at the utter absurdity of the left wing obsession with wealth inequality. It’s purely coveting.

    http://m.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/03/how-you-i-and-everyone-got-the-top-1-percent-all-wrong/359862/

    Like

  66. The left doesn’t understand us and never will…

    Like

    • Brent:

      The left doesn’t understand us and never will…

      I think that is exactly correct. It is what I have been writing about over the last couple of days. The most charitable explanation I can come up with is that they hold entirely different first principles and have an entirely different reasoning process. They can’t understand us because they take the words we say to mean something entirely different to what we mean when we use them.

      Like

  67. Good Sunday morning All!

    Just one comment today and then back to sitting very still.

    Concerning secession from U.S.A.:
    Constitutionally speaking, it is unconstitutional for a state to do so. I can’t remember just where in the Constitution, but it’s there, and was written by our founding fathers.. It is considered treasonous. Our Constitution basically states that and therefore, if any citizen, or group of citizens, no longer wishes to be part of the U.S.A., they cannot take an actual physical portion of the U.S.A… they can simply leave and live elsewhere.

    So, IMHO, there is no place for debate of such an issue, there is only choosing to live elsewhere..

    Hope you all have a wonderful day and if possible (isn’t possible here today), get out and grab some sunshine.

    Like

    • Incorrect. The Constitution does not address the issue in any explicit way. Only war did.

      Like

    • Geanie:

      I can’t remember just where in the Constitution, but it’s there, and was written by our founding fathers.

      No it isn’t, and no it wasn’t. The argument that secession is not constitutionally allowed requires one to explicitly ignore what is written in the constitution. It is hard to imagine the founders actually declaring secession to be disallowed, since the natural right to secession is exactly what they based their own secession from Britain on, as written into the Declaration of Independence.

      Edit: corked by QB and McWing.

      Like

      • From the Declaration of Independence (emphasis added):

        We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

        Like

    • Hi, Geanie.

      I think the following language of the Constitution has not been amended:

      Art. I Sec. 8. The Congress shall have Power …To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
      Art. I Sec.10. No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation;
      No State shall, without the Consent of Congress,…enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State,
      Art. III Sec. 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them,…
      Art. IV. Sec. 3. …no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.
      Art. VI. This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
      —————
      It is pretty clear that no state or states can just up and leave without Congressional approval.
      But Scott’s questions presupposed consent. States do form compacts by consent of Congress.

      For example, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is an approved interstate compact.

      The annexation of Texas is widely believed to permit Texas to split into five states.

      Assume that Louisiana, Mississipi, and Alabama asked Congress to allow it to form a Compact for the purpose of exploring secession. Congress could agree and set bounds on the secession it would allow without considering it to be an insurrection or War against the Union.

      Or suppose New York City wanted to be separate from New York State. It could go to Congress and the New York State Assembly to open negotiations.

      These discussions themselves would not be insurrection or war or treason, they would be protected under the First Amendment, I think.

      If OK secedes by agreement, will you give up your American citizenship for citizenship in New Comancheria?

      Like

      • Mark:

        It is pretty clear that no state or states can just up and leave without Congressional approval.

        We’ve discussed this before, but it is actually very far from clear. From past discussions, it seems that your theory rests on the notion that states have relinquished all claims to any sovereignty by entering the union. But as I have pointed out several times, the Supreme Court has routinely recognized and made reference the individual sovereignty of the states, and of course the very uniqueness of the federalist structure of the nation rests on the understanding that states retain some degree of sovereignty. It is even explicitly written into the constitution:

        The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

        As I mentioned earlier, given the very nature of the creation of the United States, it is very difficult to believe that the Founders thought they were denying, through the constitution, the very right that they had used to justify their own withdrawal from Britain. One might reasonably say that the constitutionality of secession is questionable, but to say that it is “clearly” not constitutional is, I think, a significant overstatement.

        Like

        • The 10th does not amend any of the sections I cited because they reserve rights to the nation and deny them to the states, Scott.

          Like

        • Some of what the Supremes have recognized from time to time as the sovereignty of states has been raw judicial activism, from the end of Reconstruction. We know which badges of sovereignty the states have and which they do not, from the text. I generally agree with you and the conservative/federalist lawyers that the national government has imposed on the few text imposed badges of sovereignty the states do have [police power for intrastate crimes, education, family law, local roads, non epidemic health care, welfare]. Were the states to generally have control over their criminal laws again, and their roads, and their educational systems, and health and other aid to the indigent, and family law, they would be pretty close to maximizing their sovereignty. I cannot think of another major badge of sovereignty they have.

          It is fair to say that the expansion of the commerce clause by Congress and the acquiescence of the Supreme Court thereto changed the game outside the text, but it is also fair to say that the states were active participants in this over time.

          Like

        • Mark:

          I think it might be correct to say that both the incorporation doctrine and the expansive (actually unlimited) reading of the commerce clause have together effectively reduced the sovereignty of states to a small area of limited powers. But I don’t see how you can argue that the constitution as originally designed and understood did so. From the founding until the Civil War (and probably for quite some time afterwards) people looked to their state governments as their sovereigns. People did not refer to themselves as Americans, but rather as Virginians, New Yorkers, and Pennsylvanians, etc. Senators to the federal government weren’t even elected, but were rather appointed by state legislatures. In a very real sense, state governments were the first and primary governments of the people, and the federal government simple governed the relationships between the states. States were very much sovereign. I really can’t understand how you can deny that.

          The Civil War certainly changed things, but that is because it became clear that the federal government had both the will and the power to prevent secession, regardless of the constitutional merits. It is notable that despite the fact that secession actually had taken place, the issue was litigated on the battlefield but never in the courts. I suspect that is precisely because it was very far from clear to virtually everyone, either the seceding states or the feds, that secession was unconstitutional.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Mark:

          The 10th does not amend any of the sections I cited because they reserve rights to the nation and deny them to the states, Scott.

          None of the sections you cited say anything about secession.

          edit: Corked by qb!

          Like

        • How do you read these sections? I read them to make war against the US by its citizens treason, and I read the US as having the power to put down an insurrection, and I read the states as having no right to compact without congressional approval and certainly then no right to form a confederacy and claim some other law than the federal law is supreme.

          If I understand you, you think a state could announce it secedes, and that would then permit it to recognize law other than federal law, or fight a war against the US, because it would not be under the Constitution any more. Is that the substance of what you are saying? That the right is extra-constitutional?

          If so, my view is that you are elevating form over substance. Recall that the Articles of Confederation were entered into to form a “perpetual union” and that the Constitution was entered into to form a “more perfect union”. Does that imply the rejection of “perpetual” to you?

          Like

        • Mark:

          If I understand you, you think a state could announce it secedes, and that would then permit it to recognize law other than federal law, or fight a war against the US, because it would not be under the Constitution any more.

          Correct. If a state secedes, it no longer consents to the authority of the US government. The act of secession essentially makes both its obligations and its protections under the constitution null and void.

          Recall that the Articles of Confederation were entered into to form a “perpetual union” and that the Constitution was entered into to form a “more perfect union”. Does that imply the rejection of “perpetual” to you?

          Yes. As anyone who has ever been divorced should know, the perpetuity of a union that is no longer consented to by both (all) parties is hardly more perfect than a union that can be broken by a party that no longer wishes to be a part of it.

          Besides which, as I have pointed out before, even if one cites the Articles as somehow governing despite the fact that they were explicitly abolished in favor of something else, most states in the US (including several of the original seceding states) never signed the Articles of Confederation, so it hardly makes any sense to cite them as any kind of governing authority for them.

          Like

        • BTW, on this:

          I read them to make war against the US by its citizens treason, and I read the US as having the power to put down an insurrection…

          Secession is neither an act of war nor of insurrection.

          The South made a huge tactical mistake in firing on Sumter. Without that pretext to justify an armed response against the South, I really wonder what Lincoln would have done. As I said, it was far from clear that secession was unconstitutional, and in the absence of any hostile act, he couldn’t claim war or insurrection, either. It wasn’t for nothing that he didn’t actually do anything about the seceding states until they actually fired on Sumter.

          Like

  68. It’s hard not to laugh at the utter absurdity of the left wing obsession with wealth inequality. It’s purely coveting.”

    The increases and decreases of the to 1% is completely correlated with the chart of the S&P 500. It goes up till 1987, then falls, rises until 2000, then falls, then rebounds. You want to fix income inequality? Crash the stock market.

    Like

  69. Hi Geanie, hope you’re doing ok. I believe the Constitution addresses how territories becomes a State but leaves unaddressed the idea of secession. The States that seceded and precipitated the Civil War did so unilaterally (and therefore unconstitutionally I believe.) President Lincoln was adamant that the Union was indivisible but no Constitutional action was after taken after the war. If any State and/or territory wishes to secede, I believe it would have to be because both the rest of the Union and the State(s)/Territories mutually agree to separate.

    Based on your assertions, Puerto Rico, for example, or the US Virgin Islands could never become independent even if, say, 90% of the citizens believe they should. Do you really believe that?

    Like

  70. Dang, corked by QB.

    Like

  71. TPM blows the lid off the NRA!

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/nra-gun-rights-cases

    Wait till environmental groups figure out this tactic!

    Like

  72. I think the left starts out with the assumption that Republicans are evil and stupid. And then formulates what it thinks are our belief systems based on that assumption.

    Like

  73. Fascinating.

    Would he have upheld the Fugitive Slave Act? It was duly passed.

    Like

  74. Somebody else had this ability.

    Like no other figure in American pop and political culture (The Fix calls her a celebritician), Palin has shown a remarkable ability to stay top of mind, maintaining a role in the Beltway conversation while staying very far away.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/she-the-people/wp/2014/04/05/sarah-palins-remarkable-staying-power/

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  75. Mark, it was the Tea Party R’s. They wouldn’t go along with it.

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  76. No one believe’s you Obama.

    http://news.yahoo.com/us-defence-chief-warns-china-over-territorial-claims-051903183.html;_ylt=AwrTWf3sjUFTDWcAddrQtDMD

    I’m not going to war over a bunch of shitty islands. Considering Japan’s 20th century treatment of China…

    Still, I’m not even interested in defending Tiawan. Hagel sure is mouthy to Uncle Moneybags, ain’t he? Bet he got permission from the Chinese before saying it.

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  77. It is pretty clear that no state or states can just up and leave without Congressional approval.

    You can argue that it is an unstated assumption, but I see no language making it clear that states cannot secede. Indeed, there is nothing in the text that suggests that Congress has that power. I see no language indicating that whether or not states can leave the union depends on congresional approval. An interstate compact is a different question, presupposing staying part of the USA.

    The reality is what Scott has pointed out, as explictly stated in the Declaration. The right to throw off tyranny is unalienable. Whether you can exercise it depends on whether you can win a war, just as when the colonies declared independence.

    It reminds me of a review I read last night of a biography of John Dickinson, who declined to sign the Declaration and abstained from the vote. He didn’t oppose independence but was unwilling to vote for a plan that would leave the colonies in jeopardy of losing a war unless France intervened, which of course it later did. He left the convention and joined the Continental army. I put it on my reading list (yeah, sure, I’ll get to that).

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  78. The 10th does not amend any of the sections I cited because they reserve rights to the nation and deny them to the states, Scott.

    I don’t think this matters to the question, since the Constitution does not explicitly address the right of states to leave the union. The Constitution, rather, delegates and reserves powers to be exercised under the union. You can argue that the omission of a means to leave the union means the Constitution was intended not to permit it. The alternative view is that secession is a supra-constitutional matter and a can never be given up, as Scott points out the Declaration itself states.

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  79. I don’t read anything into perpetual versus more perfect. I believe the latter is will understood to mean generally that something better than the Articles was needed.

    If I understand you, you think a state could announce it secedes, and that would then permit it to recognize law other than federal law, or fight a war against the US, because it would not be under the Constitution any more. Is that the substance of what you are saying? That the right is extra-constitutional?

    As a practical matter, it always comes down to war, if the matter is disputed, doesn’t it? The view that the Constitution does not allow secession prevailed as a result of a war. The South lost. What if it had won? And,if states declared independence and the federal government did nothing to stop them, there would be no war and no basis to claim anyone committed treason.

    Even beyond that, however, the argument that that Confederate soldiers committed treason depends on the assumed ineffectiveness of a declaration of withdrawal and independence, so I don’t think the treason clause really answers the question as to the Constitution itself (is it permitted by the Constitution).

    One of the other oddities of this argument is that if secession isn’t permitted by the Constitution, then it would appear that dissolution by unanimous choice also isn’t, since the Constitution does not provide for it.

    I think there is a good argument that the Constitution assumes no right to secede, but I don’t think it is at all clear, and in any event I believe the principles stated in the Declaration supercede whatever the Constitution implies (not because they are stated in the Declaration but because they are universal and unalienable, as stated there). Government cannot take away my right to self-defense, and it cannot take away my right to resist and overthrow tyrrany.

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  80. Semi-corked by Scott!

    Interesting observation about Lincoln. Agreed as to Ft. Sumter, although I am no Civil War historian.

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  81. I have an off the wall question and I apologize that I don’t have time to read this thread. I’ve had a busy day and I’m leaving at noon manana for CO, but I was wondering if anyone has a book suggestion for me to download on my kindle. I’m looking for something exciting, not boring………………LOL. Something in the vein of “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, “Game of Thrones”, or “Gone Girl”…you get the drift.

    I’m also looking for a nice television series to watch that I can get from Hulu and download to my kindle. I don’t watch much TV so I really don’t know what’s good. I’d prefer drama over comedy and I love suspense.

    Thanks. I’ll probably have time to check in more often after Kasi’s surgery on Tuesday since I won’t be working, just watching her sleep, hitting the gym and probably doing some cooking. I’m going to be a “mommy” this week…………..hah, it’s been awhile!

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  82. Something in the vein of “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, “Game of Thrones”, or “Gone Girl”…you get the drift.

    I am reading Pride and Prejudice and Kristin Lavransdatter on mine right now; I am going to guess that those don’t qualify. I was just thinking about what this says about me; not sure, but maybe “loser.” I have wanted to give Kristin Lavransdatter a try for years. I got hooked on the Kindle sample, but now that I hit the part where she meets Erlend, I am hating it. Total chick book.

    Edit: for TV, I think Mad Men is the best show ever, and nothing is even close (no, Breaking Bad is really good but not close imo). I can’t get over how great Mad Men is. But Breaking Bad is more suspense-oriented. Walking Dead is hopelessly flawed in maddening ways but must watch. My mom is even hooked on it now, and she’s 82. It’s really gross, though. Deliberately, gratuitously gross.

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  83. Thanks QB, I’ve read “Pride and Prejudice” already and don’t know anything about Kristin……….. I know a lot of people were talking about Breaking Bad so maybe I’ll look into that. Mad Men…………….Maybe!

    BTW, thanks!

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  84. Thanks Yello, I’ll check that one out as I haven’t heard of it.

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  85. The Americans is an excellent suspense series–Soviet espionage set in the 60s/70s.

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  86. Great, thanks! I bought “The Goldfinch” and “The Americans” seasons 1!

    Just what I was looking for!

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    • lms:

      I started watching The Americans about a month ago…very good. BTW, contra qb, I think it is actually set in the 1980’s, during the Reagan era.

      Also, if I recall you enjoy true crime stories. I recommend “Greentown”, about the murder of Martha Moxley in the 1970’s in Greenwich, CT. I found it very interesting (although that could be because I live close by). Also, I saw a movie last week called “The Life Before Her Eyes”. It is apparently based on a book, and after watching the movie I would really like to read the book. An interesting story about two high school girls, with a twist.

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  87. Congrats, hope you like them!

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  88. Andrew Sullivan poses a very stupid question in apropos the Eich sacking and hypocrisy:

    “On what conceivable grounds can the Democratic party support a candidate who until only a year ago was, according to the latest orthodoxy, the equivalent of a segregationist, and whose administration enacted more anti-gay laws and measures than any in American history?”

    Hmm, that really stopped them from voting for Obama in 2012. He thinks principle has something to do with Democrat politics? What a maroon.

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  89. Thanks Scott! I liked “Flicker” (your last recommendation), although it was a little slow!

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  90. “BTW, contra qb, I think it is actually set in the 1980′s, during the Reagan era”

    Yeah not sure why I did that. I was thinking of the flashbacks to how the couple got started, etc.I still have not watched this season. Too busy.

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  91. I prolly shouldn’t recommend Sons of Anarchy for a TV series. That show is the most relentlessly violent series I have ever watched.

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  92. Even more violent then OZ and more nihilistic then The Sopranos. I’m pretty sure there isn’t even a moral teaching in there. It’s somewhat Hamlet, and a little Oedipus.

    All in all a wild ride.

    I do recommend the Blacklist. It’s completely preposterous and exceedingly campy but James Spader is over the top. Very Shatnerian.

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  93. I’m also open to discussing my various disappointments with The Walking Dead.

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  94. OMG, McWing, I love James Spader and have seen a couple of episodes of “Blacklist”. That’s a good idea actually!

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  95. Have not seen Sons of Anarchy other than a few scenes. I saw a bit of Blacklist at the start and just couldn’t stand it. Too much a clichefest imo, especially the lead actor. But my son likes it, or did anyway.

    I almost can’t believe I amd still hooked on Walking, it has frustrated me so much. For a long time, I just wanted all the characters to be killed. I wanted a meteor to fall on the prison, I hated that whole story line so much. Right now, I can’t believe they were dumb enough to wallk into Terminus without surveilling it.

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  96. Shameful that Rick and company did surveil it and still went in. They couldn’t spare 24 hours?

    Did admire Carol’s “help” with psycho girl however.

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  97. Am I the only one who was a little disappointed with the GoT season opener last night? I don’t know why–I can’t put my finger on the exact reason–but it just felt a little “meh” to me.

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  98. Wow. I missed an entire thread. Had no idea this was posted.

    No spoilers. Havn’t seen GoT yet. but the first episode or 2 it typically setting the stage.

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  99. Yes, Rick et al. did surveil it minimally. Like you said, any bonehead would have given it at least 24. I’d have watched for as long as I could.

    I don’t watch GoT. I saw a few bits, but I read most of the books years ago when they came out until it grew tedious and pointless, and I concluded that Martin is a self-indulgent blowhard. It is a curiously arid and amoral world he invented. I was caught up in the hoopla in the beginning, but it eventually became clear that he is little more than a hack with a poor imagination. Newest Tolkien, my eye.

    There, gauntlet thrown down!

    Edit: yes, I liked the Carol/Tyrese episode a lot, for the most part. All the plots and episodes depend on some clunky devices and dumb behavior (leaving baby, psych-girl, and little sis?), but I thought that was one of the best ever, especially Carol’s obvious torment and how the story resolved the Carol/Tyrese issue. The psychology of the admission and forgiveness made perfect sense. I will say that Lizzie’s psychology has never made sense to me, and the actress is not good, but they managed to cast her and/or make her up in a way that she always looks just slightly “off” for intangible reasons. It can’t have been a good role for a young girl to play.

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  100. Agreed. This season has been brutally plodding. The Carol episode was very different and unexpected. Well, at least the last 15 minutes. Also, it seems a little preposterous (if you can call living in a zombie apocalypse not preposterous already) for Terminus to be filled with highly intelligent and organized cannibals. Plenty of game around and probably cows as well. If they can generate power to broadcast they can hunt game. Human aversion to cannibalism is pretty strong.

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    • Totally agreed, if that is the deal at terminus. I rolled my eyes at the candle room, but all I can figure is they are a wacko cult. Probably baggers!

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  101. “Michigoose, on April 7, 2014 at 8:13 am said:

    Am I the only one who was a little disappointed with the GoT season opener last night? I don’t know why–I can’t put my finger on the exact reason–but it just felt a little “meh” to me.”

    Season opener is rarely action packed. It’s usually set up for the rest of the season and reestablishing where the characters are from the last one.

    You’ve read the books, correct?

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  102. Heh.

    I think they’re trying to establish that Zombies are not ( or at least no longer) the only enemy out there. Other people are probably a bigger threat. Now, we’ll have to endure a half season while they work out escaping from Terminus before we’ll get to the real interesting story line about how Abtaham and crew were in contact with Washington DC.

    Essentially this is another season of The Governor. The third now, by my count.

    Finally, Terminus reiterates my rock solid assertion that no perso named Garith (or Gareth) can ever be trusted.

    Ever.

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  103. Yep. Don’t have a clue about the trustworthiness of Gareths, but I’m on board with the rest.

    They are going to have to be careful not to make the science dude with the answer too much a comic figure, though. He is looking more garden-variety dim than smart nerd to me.

    But please can we just have Rick et al immediately bust out, kill everyone, and commence with some action, involving the DC angle and whatever else? Glad to see Rick back in killer mode, but let’s stick with it, writers.

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  104. The problem the writers have is that the network (AMC) want more episodes (high ratings) then they have material for. Their whole story arc was only about half as long as originally conceived. We’re seeing A LOT of filler because AMC keeps demanding MOAR. They’re a victim of their own success.

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  105. If that’s a problem, it seems like a great one to have. I don’t see how it could be a challenge to make the story arc as many seasons as they want. Good grief, the world is taken over by zombies. The future possibilities are without end. (Except at some point the zombie/living ratio and the seemingly immortal zombie life of the zombies has to be addressed.)

    Like

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