Morning Report – Eric Holder thinks Wall Street wasn’t the sole cause of the financial crisis 5/13/14

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Stocks are flattish after a dismal retail sales report for April. Bonds and MBS are rallying on the number.
Retail sales came in at +.1% vs a Street expectation of .4%. Ex-autos and gas, retail sales dropped. March was revised higher, however so the news isn’t all bad. Looks like we had a weather-related rebound in March and sales went right back to their old ways.
Import Prices fell in April, not that the Fed is worried about high inflation or anything. Emerging market economies are slowing down, and they tend to try and export their way out of problems.
Small business optimism increased in April, according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses. This is the first time the index reached 95 since October 2007. Firms added an average .07 workers in April, weaker than March, but it still continues the 7-month string of increasing hires. 57% of firms increased capital expenditures. Credit availability is not an issue.

Is Eric Holder about to finally wind up his punishment of the banks? Interesting quote from Holder: “I am impatient,” Mr. Holder said in an interview. “We’re talking about conduct that contributed to the greatest financial disaster since the Great Depression. Not the sole cause, but contributed to it, so this is a priority, and that’s why I’m dedicating so much time to it.”

“Not the sole cause, but contributed to it.” Has anyone heard any other explanations of what caused the housing bubble and the crisis from the left? The Fed? Nope. The dual mandate? Nope. Housing subsidies? Nope. Affordable Housing Targets? Nope. I would love to hear someone from this administration elucidate some of the other reasons for the crisis, because all I hear is “The Wall Street Sharpies did it.” Of course the the other causes (the dual mandate, do-gooder social engineering gussied up as housing policy) are policies near and dear to the hearts of the left. In fact lack of affordable housing targets are the reason why GSE reform is going nowhere – because the left wants mandates, not just incentives. Proving once again that nobody learned a damn thing from the crisis and that it was explained and prosecuted entirely on ideological lines. Phil Angeledis’ Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission report was a sham that should have been signed Epstein’s mother.

126 Responses

  1. ♪♫♫♪♪

    Frist

    ♪♫☺♪♪♫

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  2. I’d “like” that last sentence if WordPress had a way for me to do so.

    Like

    • Mich:

      I’d “like” that last sentence if WordPress had a way for me to do so.

      What do you think the causes of the financial crisis were?

      Like

  3. Thanks, Michi…

    BTW, Mel Watt’s prepared remarks to Brookings. The admin is launching a National Community Stabilization Trust – basically a big mortgage loan forgiveness program for the inner cities. Pilot program to be launched in Detroit.

    Like

  4. Sure, why not make the debts of localities my debts? Fuck it, it’s only monetized debt anyway.

    Like

  5. This is the truth. The left doesn’t care about bad economic news, because they don’t actually care about prosperity, unemployment, etc. It is hard to miss that if you listen carefully to what they say.

    http://townhall.com/columnists/dennisprager/2014/05/13/nis-prager-n1837137/page/full

    What they care about is expanding control over people and society, redistribution, censorship, social engineering, extreme enviornmentalism, eradicating religion (viz. bigotry) and the rest of civil society. They care about brainwashing people into believing that biology and self-evident truths are just social constructs. It is foolish of anyone to think that they care about economics as opposed to that agenda. Of course, the 1%ers who are part of it–and the 5 and 10%ers–get to exempt themselves from all the inconvenient redistribution, environmentalism, etc.

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  6. Scott, in response to the prior thread, yes, indeed, the outrage of the vote fraud deniers is selective to the point of absurdity.

    On this and just about every other issue, I am to the point where I don’t believe there is much use anymore to attempting to reason. We should just ridicule them. Assert the truth: Democrats want open borders and depend on and promote vote fraud in every possible form. They don’t represent Americans. They are lawless, a criminal class. There is no other rationale for opposing voter ID. They want illegal votes, because they know illegal votes favor them. Just keep saying it over and over, in response to every protest.

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  7. Well, the haters have won. Harvard has cancelled the black mass.

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  8. Scott, from previous post:

    BTW, if having to show ID is overly burdensome, isn’t the requirement to be registered in the first place even more burdensome? If a polling place turns someone away just because they aren’t registered, hasn’t that person been just as disenfranchised as the person who is turned away because they don’t have an ID?

    Of course registration is not that burdensome and there is ample opportunity to do so before the election date. I think the point is that for some people obtaining the proper ID from the DMV can be onerous and it “does” go beyond the Federal requirement. From my link it appears that at least one Republican and several judges seem to agree.

    From your link:

    A current and valid photo identification or
    A current utility bill, bank statement, government
    check, paycheck or government document that
    shows your name and address.

    A utility bill or bank statement is quite a bit different than a photo ID.

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    • lms:

      Of course registration is not that burdensome and there is ample opportunity to do so before the election date.

      There is exactly the same amount of time to get a photo ID as there is to get registered. In what way is needing a photo ID more burdensome than needing to go through the registration process?

      A utility bill or bank statement is quite a bit different than a photo ID.

      So you don’t object to people having to prove their identity, you just object to them having to use a picture ID to do so?

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      • lms:

        BTW…on this:

        A utility bill or bank statement is quite a bit different than a photo ID.

        Is it possible to get a bank account without having a photo ID? I’m pretty sure that I had to show a photo ID in order to open my bank accounts.

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  9. Our friends the Democrats.
    Vote fraud deniers.
    Terrorism deniers.
    Science deniers (in about 1000 ways).
    Biology deniers.
    Human nature deniers.
    Economics deniers.
    Self-defense deniers.
    Illegal immigration deniers.
    This could go on and on. I’m going to start calling the deniers deniers on every issue where they are deniers. And there are a lot.

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  10. I think the point is that for some people obtaining the proper ID from the DMV can be onerous and it “does” go beyond the Federal requirement.

    Going to DMV and getting your photo taken for free is onerous, whereas going to the polling place and signing in and voting isn’t. Riiiight.

    Why not just make things really fair and only allow people to vote if they don’t have ID or aren’t in the top 50% economically. That would be the only way to counter the entrenched power of the top half, who are controlled by the Kochs and run the government.

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  11. QB

    Why not just make things really fair and only allow people to vote if they don’t have ID or aren’t in the top 50% economically.

    I’ll just assume you’re not actually looking for a response from me here but did you happen to read the link in the previous thread?

    Like

  12. Jesus.

    “We have to break people away from the choice habit that everyone has,” said Marcus Merz, the chief executive of PreferredOne, an insurer in Golden Valley, Minn., that is owned by two health systems and a physician group. “We’re all trying to break away from this fixation on open access and broad networks.”

    Yeah, this shit sandwich is better than before.

    Oh, this time it’s different!

    Although a similar attempt to restrict choice failed in the early ‘90s, after opposition to H.M.O.s and managed care, insurers insist these efforts will not run into the same resistance because they are now working more closely with providers, and customers are more concerned about costs. “It’s a new era,” said Dr. Sam Ho, the chief medical officer for United Healthcare.

    The Orwellian nature of this article really is amazing.

    Unpossible! The regulater’s on it!

    State regulators are also contemplating action. In Washington State, Mike Kreidler, the insurance regulator, issued new rules last month that set certain minimum standards for access to a doctor and require insurers to make clear who is in the network. “I want to make sure carriers are not in a race to the bottom,” he said.

    I think I see the problem, do they?

    New Hampshire regulators are also trying to weigh in on the decision by the state’s only insurer, WellPoint, to exclude some hospitals.

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/05/13/business/more-insured-but-the-choices-are-narrowing.html?_r=1&referrer=

    Thanks 52%! This is much better!

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  13. qb wins the award for Most Ridiculous List I’ve Seen This Year.

    And given some of the posts on PL that’s saying a lot.

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  14. lms,

    No, I was not looking for any response, and I also didn’t read the link. I’ve read as much as I ever need to read on the subject to know which way the wind blows. There is no idea or argument so outlandish as to be beyond the capacity and willingness of leftists to rationalize it, and it is just as everlasting a truth that a certain number of people like Rand Paul will always cave under the din of ridiculous demands and accusations. Electoral cheating is so much a fixture of the Democrat MO that this present opposition to basic a basic voting integrity measure isn’t a surprise at all.

    Like

  15. Trannie sensitivity and language rules for athletes, but of course.

    http://cleveland.cbslocal.com/2014/05/12/ohio-college-considering-mandatory-transgender-sensitivity-training-for-athletics-department/

    Since everything is now permitted, it is time we recognize the injustice of only allowing persons of various transitional gender and sex forms to choose which teams they join. Why should the women’s tennis team be open to biological males identifying as female but not to biological males identifying as male? It is clear discrimination. Cisgender and cissexual people still must represent at least a significant minority of college students even in 2014. They are being denied equal rights and stigmatized by being denied participation in the sports of their choice.

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  16. “Why should the women’s tennis team be open to biological males identifying as female but not to biological males identifying as male?”

    Why wouldn’t some dude just put on a wig and kick ass at Wimbledon or the LPGA? There is real prize money there…

    Like

  17. qb, out of curiosity is there any political opinion that you would want to discuss or debate with me? I’m not trying to be objectionable, I’m just wondering if there’s a reason for me to be here or not in regards to our dialogue, meaning yours and mine. I’m trying to work my way back in here but if it’s pointless, it’s pointless. As a liberal I’m having trouble trying to figure out if I can fit in or not and have any meaningful discussions. I wonder if you have an opinion on that.

    Like

  18. Why wouldn’t some dude just put on a wig and kick ass at Wimbledon or the LPGA? There is real prize money there…

    Check your heteronormative, cisgender privilege! Requiring Nadal to don a wig to play in the “ladies” draw at Wimbledon is just another perpetuation of outdated prejudices and stereotypes. He should be able to shave his head and proceed to thrash his way through the “ladies” draw.

    Or wait is that transgender and homonormative prejudice underlying your offensive remark, since you are offensively assuming that indicia of transgenderism should be a qualifying trait for entry? Oh it’s so confusing.

    Like

  19. Devastating

    The authors estimate that “for approximately every 830 adults who gained insurance [under RomneyCare], there was 1 fewer death per year.” If we assume the per-person cost of covering those 830 adults is roughly the per-person premium for employer-sponsored coverage in Massachusetts in 2010 (about $5,000), then a back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that RomneyCare spent $4 million or more per life saved. The actual figure may be much higher if we include other costs incurred by that law. The World Health Organization considers a medical intervention to be “not cost-effective“ if it costs more than three times a nation’s per-capita GDP per year of life saved. This in turn suggests that RomneyCare would have to give every person it saves an average of nearly 30 additional years of life to meet the World Health Organization’s criteria for cost-effectiveness. Given that the mortality gains were concentrated in the 35-64 group, that seems like a stretch.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelcannon/2014/05/13/romneycare-study-justifies-neither-that-law-nor-obamacare-nor-universal-coverage/

    And when you add on this:

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa1212321

    There literally can be no rational reason to support Obamacare or Universal Coverage.

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    • McWing:

      There literally can be no rational reason to support Obamacare or Universal Coverage.

      There isn’t. Support for O-care and “universal” coverage derives from sentimentality and magical thinking, not reason.

      Like

  20. lms,

    It’s hard to say at this point. I see no evidence right now that any purpose is served by trying to debate or discuss issues. That doesn’t mean I don’t like your or wish to communicate. But when people not only claim that homosexual marriage makes sense but that any other view is irrational bigotry, that it is unfair to require proof that people are the legal voters they claime to be, etc., there is no reasoning with unreason.

    In fact, I think it is counterproductive much of the time. The left has not gained such ground through reason. It has gained ground through bald assertion, accusation, and intimidation. By punching, kicking, cheating, lying. The left made homosexual marriage thinkable and then “inevitable” not through reason but by slowly taking control of education and media, dumbing people down, and shouting “bigot” in their faces and “desensitizing” the public by constant propaganda. (What a surprise, NBC just bought another lesbian comedy!) Now they have taken over the corporate world through their long campaign of reeducation, intimidation, extortion, and infiltration. Judge shopping is working really well for them, too. Democrats love democracy except when people don’t vote as they are told.

    Trying to reason with leftists in this context is a loser’s game. It makes more sense to start desensitizing leftists and the public to the normalcy of normalcy, by saying all the things the left claims are offensive and off limits. It is normal to find homosexuality repulsive and immoral. Nothing wrong with that view at all, nothing bigoted. It is the normal position, and my side needs to start saying so, every day and at every opportunity. After all, normal people didn’t choose to find it repulsive and immoral, so we can’t be judged for having those feelings and beliefs and acting according to them. The bigots are the people who deny that.

    Same with voter ID. Why should I pretend there is any point to debating it with people who very clearly are making up reasons to protect illegal voting? The position of Democrats is outrageous and indefensible. It is brazen. Getting into debates about it probably does nothing but legitimize their position. It seems much more to the point, effective, and realistic to say, res ipsa loquitur: Democrats want to protect illegal voting, just as they represent not Americans but illegals.

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  21. I think the United States truly is splitting apart in what likely will be a long but no less inevitable process. We can’t coexist in the long term, and many of us are ready to split now. We really have nothing much in common, and our world views are in mortal conflict.

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  22. Qb, thanks for the response and I’d like to respond but it will have to wait until later today or tonight. We’ve been busy today and I have some things to finish up and then an appointment with my trainer. I’d also like to choose my words very carefully. Don’t know if you’re interested in any sort of response but I’ll give it a go regardless.

    Like

  23. Prolly cause a lot of Progressives cite it as a well run government program.

    Grab a clue-bat wingnut!

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  24. All we need is more regulators, right?

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  25. Sorry guys, I appreciate the responses but I’m on my way out the door again. Hopefully I’ll be able to respond manana………………I do have some ideas! Hubby isn’t feeling well and we’re on our way to the ER. I’m pretty sure he’s fine so I’m not that worried……………..I will try to check in tomorrow!

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  26. Hope your husbands ok!

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  27. Dimwit Jon Capeheart pontificates about how “tolerance” can’t be a two-way street.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/paul-bremmer/2014/05/13/msnbc-s-capehart-tolerance-should-not-be-two-way-street

    So he actually doesn’t realize that his refusal to tolerate the intolerant makes him equally intolerant and thus not to be tolerated. What a stupid bigot.

    Like

  28. I see no evidence right now that any purpose is served by trying to debate or discuss issues.

    Then, quite frankly, why are you here? I thought the name of the site was All Things etc. etc.

    But thanks for the warning, at least.

    Like

    • Well, that was interesting.

      JNC and NoVa can stand in for libertarian thought in discussions; Scott can defend and explain Wall Street, and you and LMS and YJ can hold your own on rational liberal thought. In fact, among us we can often move opinion a few degrees. So we can do that and when QB offers his best stuff – he can offer good stuff – we can definitely listen. Especially about law. A few days ago I had a question about classification of creditors in bankruptcy that I directed to JNC but which no one answered. I hoped QB could.

      But when anyone here, even QB whose legal abilities I truly respect, decides that conversation is pointless, then it is, in fact pointless. For the time being.

      FWIW, I hope QB feels comfortable engaging again, eventually. It is not as if this forum is an unsafe place. It ain’t PL.

      Kelley, you and I have backed off participating in a generally liberal forum because its left fringe drives us nuts. So we can have some sympathy for QB’s frustration.

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      • Mark, I have no lack of comfort engaging. No one intimidates me. That should be obvious.

        I didn’t see your bankruptcy question. I have done some bankruptcy litigation but am not an expert.

        I continue to be unmanageably busy with work, although I have reached the point where another big case is probably winding down (a sweeping success), so I have to keep busy finding the next one.

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    • Why are you here?

      Like

      • QB, for me, a very bright group of persons with very different opinions is hard to find. Dumb people with different opinions are easy to find and smart people who all agree are easy to find. But politics is not like mathematics, there is more than one way to answer every question. I retain the curiousity to hear the answers that do not occur to me out of the ether.

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        • Mark, I had not seen your comment when I posted. My question was back to Michi. I understand why you are here.

          Like

  29. Heh.

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  30. Why are you here?

    Because I learn things and often have interesting discussions with people who have a different political bent than I do. Although it has been an uphill struggle at times.

    Like

  31. Sorry about last night and leaving so abruptly, all is well, just a little negative reaction to some new medication. We weren’t even up there very long which was pretty unusual……..LOL. Walter has some new health issues we’re still getting used to and his doctors keep changing his medication which doesn’t always work out the way it’s intended. He’s fine though………….Thank God!

    QB

    That doesn’t mean I don’t like your or wish to communicate

    I don’t actually doubt that anyone is here, at least in part, because of the somewhat unusual friendships we’ve formed. That is probably why I keep coming back, but I don’t really need to just “communicate”, I like to explore our differences. A hardened opinion like yours is hard to break through. I’m not trying to convince you I’m right, I’m only trying to persuade you that my opinion has some value and is worthy of respect and discussion.

    But when people not only claim that homosexual marriage makes sense but that any other view is irrational bigotry, that it is unfair to require proof that people are the legal voters they claime to be, etc., there is no reasoning with unreason.

    This is where our discussion tends to break down. I don’t claim that homosexual marriage makes sense or that another view is irrational bigotry. To me that is the conclusion of people who aren’t listening to the rational opinions of others. I understand some of us treat our opponents that way but I have hopefully avoided that form of debate for the most part.

    IMO, homosexuality is a natural occurrence that affects some small part of any population. It may not seem normal to us, and perhaps it’s not, but I don’t believe that homosexuals should be denied the normalcy of a loving life together, including marriage, just because I can’t actually imagine having sex with another woman. I don’t believe my gay and lesbian friends and family members are any less equal than I am.

    Regarding voter ID’s, why in the world do people who have already passed the registration process need to go through another process to vote? To me some of these extra procedures a few states have tried to pass reek of voter suppression and that’s one thing I think should be treated with caution. The right of our citizens to vote in an open election process is one of our most basic freedoms and we should be encouraging participation not attempting to deny it.

    I believe these extra procedures are a solution in search of a problem as there have never been many instances of actual “voter fraud”. I understand there are attempts to subvert the registration process for various reasons but actual cases of voter fraud are rare as far as I know.

    Democrats want to protect illegal voting, just as they represent not Americans but illegals.

    I’m not a Democrat but I am a liberal, especially when it comes to social issues, but I don’t think this is a true statement. Calling citizens of this country “un-American” is generally a non-starter for me. How does one respond to that?

    Like

    • lms:

      It may not seem normal to us, and perhaps it’s not, but I don’t believe that homosexuals should be denied the normalcy of a loving life together, including marriage, just because I can’t actually imagine having sex with another woman. I don’t believe my gay and lesbian friends and family members are any less equal than I am.

      It is exactly this kind of statement that, while avoiding the explicit charge, implies that those who disagree with you are bigots. There is nothing about opposition to SSM that implies that gays are “any less equal” to anyone else. But by justifying your pro-SSM view by claiming that you don’t think gays are any less equal, you are implying that the anti-SSM view must think that gays are somehow “less equal”.

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    • lms:

      The right of our citizens to vote in an open election process is one of our most basic freedoms and we should be encouraging participation not attempting to deny it.

      I disagree. I think most citizens are low/no-information voters, and so I do not think it is a good idea to encourage their participation.

      Anyway, the argument against photo IDs seems to be that it is difficult for some people to get them. But if you need a photo ID to become registered in the first place, then it is already a necessity. So requiring people to show something they must already have isn’t a burden. I have no idea whether or not voter fraud is a significant problem. My only point is that the need for proof of ID is already so ubiquitous in our society, including in the voter registration process as it already exists, that it simply is not a reasonable/believable argument to oppose ID laws on the grounds that they are overly burdensome.

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  32. Scott

    It is exactly this kind of statement that, while avoiding the explicit charge, implies that those who disagree with you are bigots.

    I disagree. I think it implies that I believe the nature of their equality should extend to marriage vows and qb doesn’t believe that. I think he’s wrong but I don’t believe he is a bigot for believing what he does. I don’t find it very disconcerting to change the definition of marriage and he does.

    But if you need a photo ID to become registered in the first place, then it is already a necessity.

    Except your own link in the previous thread stated that a utility bill would suffice for registration so not everyone who registers actually has that photo ID. What seems to be such a simple requirement to us is not necessarily a simple matter to everyone.

    And

    I think most citizens are low/no-information voters, and so I do not think it is a good idea to encourage their participation.

    is exactly the kind of voter suppression that some of us fear. Who are you to judge American citizens as unworthy of exercising their right to vote? I find it more discouraging that low info voters don’t educate themselves to become actual informed voters who do vote.

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    • lms:

      I think it implies that I believe the nature of their equality should extend to marriage vows and qb doesn’t believe that, and qb doesn’t believe that.

      No, I don’t think you understand qb’s POV. From QB’s POV the issue has nothing to do with “equality” for homosexuals. It has to do with the very meaning of marriage. If marriage is defined, as it has been throughout human history, as a union between a man and a woman, then the very notion of SSM is incoherent. It is exactly like talking about a square circle. The concept makes no sense. Under the traditional and commonly understood notion of marriage, homosexuals are not treated “unequally” in any way at all. They are just as free to enter into a marriage as anyone else. The fact that they may have no interest in doing so has no bearing on whether or not they are being treated equally with regard to marriage.

      By framing the issue, as SSM proponents are wont to do, in terms of “equal” treatment, you are doing 2 things. First, you are stealing a base by presuming that marriage as originally conceived even could sensibly encompass same-sex couples, when it fact it can’t. But more relevant to this discussion, you are implying that opponents of SSM are opposed to “equality” for homosexuals. That clearly implies the existence of bigotry, whether you intend it to or not, so you should not be surprised when QB objects to this implication.

      BTW, if you think that QB wants the law to treat homosexuals “unequally” simply because they are homosexuals, how can you not think he is a bigot? If I thought QB was opposed to redefining legal marriage because he thought homosexuals should be treated “unequally” by the law, then even I’d call him a bigot.

      Like

    • lms:

      is exactly the kind of voter suppression that some of us fear.

      Then your fears are groundless, because a failure to “encourage” someone to vote is not even remotely the same as “voter suppression”. Please don’t turn what I say into something it is not.

      Who are you to judge American citizens as unworthy of exercising their right to vote?

      I said nothing about anyone being “unworthy”. I said that I don’t think it makes sense to encourage low/no-information people to vote. Do you really think it makes sense to encourage uninformed people to vote about things they know nothing about?

      Like

    • lms:

      Except your own link in the previous thread stated that a utility bill would suffice for registration so not everyone who registers actually has that photo ID. What seems to be such a simple requirement to us is not necessarily a simple matter to everyone.

      Getting some kind of proof of ID, preferably with a photo, is indeed a “simple matter” relative to the process of getting registered to vote. Again, it remains a mystery why anyone thinks that providing proof of ID at the polls is more burdensome than having to register to vote in the first place, which itself requires some kind of proof of ID.

      Like

  33. I don’t care about homosexual marriage since the institution of marriage as a whole is problematic for me. Why homosexual’s want in on it I’ll never truly understand. I suspect that the real aim of gay marriage is state/federal validation of said activity. To me, legalizing something, lets say weed, is not the same as endorsement of it. I suspect that for a homosexual, legal gay marriage is a validation of lifestyle of sorts and that’s what the ultimate goal is.

    Voter fraud is almost never investigated, and when it is there is almost always some going on. Look , we live in a country of 330 million people. I’m guessing 1-2% of the vote at any given time is fraudulent. I’m guessing most of the fraud comes from absentee and mail-in ballots. I’m with Scott, I’d make voting as inconvenient as possible. No absentee, no early or mail in votes. Unless your in the military or work at an embassy overseas, you vote on election day.

    Like

    • I too am for voter ID, but I want to make it easy enough that old people who do not drive can still get ID. Frankly, I am now for a national ID card, something I thought I would never say as recently as 1990.

      On immigration, George and I have made explicit our views which are much broader concerns than IAs and undocs. George is pretty much for open borders but I am for a rewrite and rejection of the Ted Kennedy inspired family reunification immigration code. I want need based immigration.

      I don’t recall everyone else’s position but I think when George and I discussed it many of you chimed in.

      About immigration, QB brought up a point worth repeating: Rs see Ds as wanting to turn the IAs into D voters. Frankly, I believe that D Party operatives want exactly that, and R Party operatives fear exactly that.

      It is because of that overt politicization that “a path to citizenship” is probably a path to nowhere. The restructured immigration law should have a NAFTA aspect that permits non-citizen workers from the three countries, and perhaps gives them a new, blue, card. If they are identified as having entered illegally the card would be marked as “final status”.

      I don’t think any more open path to citizenship is actually feasible. I do think that children of the new, blue carded guest workers should be presumptive citizens. They would pay for Scott’s social security under Ponzi theory.

      Like

  34. Scott

    No, I don’t think you understand qb’s POV. From QB’s POV the issue has nothing to do with “equality” for homosexuals. It has to do with the very meaning of marriage. If marriage is defined, as it has been throughout human history, as a union between a man and a woman, then the very notion of SSM is incoherent.

    Actually, I do understand that and as I said, I believe that the meaning of marriage can be changed or modified to accommodate equal treatment, as far as marriage is concerned, for homosexuals. I don’t consider people who disagree with me bigots, I just think they’re wrong to deny this right to them. It’s not really any more complicated than that in my opinion.

    Bigotry is “intolerance or hatred toward those who hold different opinions from oneself”. I think it’s possible to disagree on this issue without believing that qb, or anyone else who disagrees with me, is by that very disagreement a bigot.

    I think we’re dancing around defining terms again which never seems to end well.

    Like

    • lms:

      Actually, I do understand that and as I said, I believe that the meaning of marriage can be changed or modified to accommodate equal treatment as far as marriage is concerned for homosexuals.

      If you understand his position, then you should understand that the meaning of marriage doesn’t need to be changed or modified to accommodate “equal treatment”, and that therefore this is not a sensible argument for wanting to change it.

      Like

  35. Mark

    About immigration, QB brought up a point worth repeating: Rs see Ds as wanting to turn the IAs into D voters. Frankly, I believe that D Party operatives want exactly that, and R Party operatives fear exactly that.

    I’m sure that’s probably true to a certain extent but I think qb’s claim of Democrats want to protect illegal voting, just as they represent not Americans but illegals. paints a very broad brush of liberals as being somehow un-American. There are consequences to immigration reform, just as there are consequences to campaign finance reform, or lack of it. Perhaps Republicans should be trying to figure out a way to turn new citizens into conservatives instead. Wouldn’t that be the more rational goal? I think it could be done.

    Or, perhaps there’s a way to factor in a waiting period for voting rights as a compromise or something. I believe there’s a solution out there and I sort of doubt that your average voter who has an opinion on immigration would want illegals to vote. I don’t, and I think the path to citizenship should be rigorous. I’ve always thought some version of “The Dream Act” should be enacted nationally but after that I’m not really sure how to best handle illegals. I’m not an open border proponent per se but I recognize that we need the workers and it doesn’t seem fair to use them then throw them back across the border when we’re done with them. We treat them as criminals when in reality many of them are simply attempting to provide for their families.

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    • LMS, I have no reason to think Ds [including operatives] want IAs to actually vote, now, so I agree with you.

      It is enough for Ds to be seen as offering an accepting approach to IAs for Ds to get the [legal] Chicano vote to turn out 3-1 in their favor.

      Most IAs, themselves, are here to work, and among those who do work and are productive they themselves would gladly accept a dead ended guest worker card. The “path to citizenship” seems to me to be the purely political football. In the past, some Rs have proposed dead ended guest worker cards, or final status green cards for productive IAs, and been shot down by Ds for political gain and by other elements of the Rs for fear of the offspring as born citizens [who will vote D by 3-1 until the Rs can change position on a number of issues]. That element of Rs forgets how well GWB and McC have done with Rs and probably does not care.

      I still think this is where the compromise on undocs is a winner.

      I still think it is far more important to GET RID OF FAMILY REUNION AS THE BASIS OF THE SYSTEM. Base the system on needs: for skilled workers, for scitech, for health care professionals, for Ag workers, for baseball players, for whatever we think we need from time to time – and we will not have the cousins of cousins wave of applicants we deal with now. Hell, do what Canada did in the 90s and take in entrepreneurs with over $250K to invest. Or bring in students from around the world who have already distinguished themselves. WHATEVER WE NEED WE CAN GET FOR THE ASKING.

      This is one of those policy decisions that strikes me as a no-brainer. The Teddy Kennedy authored scheme we have now strikes me as bleeding heart nonsense.

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  36. Scott, I think it is a very sad commentary from you that you believe “most” Americans are low-no information voters and should not be encouraged to vote. You can state it as a fact but it is in fact your opinion. You’re obviously entitled to it and I apologize if you think I’ve tried to characterize what you said differently than you meant it. It does appear to me that you do indeed think “most” Americans should be denied (is that too strong) the vote though. “Un-worthy” is the word that came to my mind. Perhaps I’m wrong.

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    • lms:

      It does appear to me that you do indeed think “most” Americans should be denied (is that too strong)…

      It is not only too strong, it bears no relation to what I actually said. At no point did I say or suggest that anyone should be “denied” the right to vote.

      I think perhaps this is a function of the difference in mindset between left and right, or at least between left and the libertarian right. When people on the left describe a preference for some particular outcome, it seems to be pretty much implicit that they advocate for the government to take steps to achieve that outcome. To say, for example, that actor X should not discriminate against demographic Y is, for the left, to say that the government should take steps to prevent X from discriminating. And so it seems that when someone on the left hears a preference for a particular outcome, they seem to assume that some desire for government action lies behind the preference. I say “I prefer that certain people not vote” and you hear “The government should prevent certain people from voting”. But no, that is not even close to a correct interpretation. To say that we should not encourage low/no-information citizens to vote does not mean that government should take steps to prevent low/no-information voters from voting. It means simply that I am perfectly happy to see them choose not to vote, and I don’t think anything should be done to encourage them to choose otherwise.

      Again, I ask you….why would you want to encourage someone to vote about something that they know little or nothing about?

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  37. And honestly, if we as a Nation decide to have some sort of citizen registry where everyone needs to posses a photo ID, then that’s fine with me I suppose. We’re all being tracked very carefully already in our National Security State. I guess it’s the logical next step. But lets do it even handed and phase it in so there are not “a few” citizens who do not have proper birth certificates or whatnot that are denied voting rights. I think again there is a solution in there but we’re not able to compromise or work these issues out any longer. That’s pretty discouraging.

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  38. Scott

    If you understand his position, then you should understand that the meaning of marriage doesn’t need to be changed or modified to accommodate “equal treatment”, and that therefore this is not a sensible argument for wanting to change it.

    Again, I disagree. That is exactly what those who support SSM want and so while it may not be sensible to you, it makes perfect sense to us. We want SS couples to have the equal right to marriage that heterosexual couples have and in order to do that we need to re-define marriage. I understand the resistance to this notion but I don’t think is lacks sense.

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    • lms:

      We want SS couples to have the equal right to marriage that heterosexual couples have and in order to do that we need to re-define marriage.

      Rights belong to individuals, not to “couples”. But in any event I suspect that what most advocates of SSM actually want is for homosexual sexual relationships to be normalized such that they are culturally considered no different from, and of equal value to, heterosexual sexual relationships. And I think that desire is driven primarily by emotion and sentiment, and not a sensible consideration of what is actually good for the culture in the long run.

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  39. We want SS couples to have the equal right to marriage that heterosexual couples have and in order to do that we need to re-define marriage. I understand the resistance to this notion but I don’t think is lacks sense.

    Bingo.

    I think we’re dancing around defining terms again which never seems to end well.

    And of course we are.

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  40. why would you want to encourage someone to vote about something that they know little or nothing about?

    Because it is their right as an American citizen. There are consequences perhaps, but it is their right, and who am I to determine what they do and do not know?

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    • lms:

      Because it is their right as an American citizen.

      I don’t think the right to do something implies a net benefit from actually doing it. (And that applies for even just the person himself, much less society at large). Do you really think that everyone should do everything they have a right to do?

      …and who am I to determine what they do and do not know?

      I think if you are going to encourage someone to do something, you should probably have already made a judgement about the potential consequences of what you would have them do. You are the one proposing taking positive action (ie encourage people to vote.) I think that people who don’t take enough of an interest on their own to be compelled to vote are most likely not particularly informed voters, and so I am content to not do anything to get them to vote. I remain baffled by the notion that getting people to vote just for the sake of voting somehow has value to me or to society at large.

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  41. Scott, LOL, I’m trying to figure out when you became a proponent of “what is actually good for the culture in the long run.”

    Your suspicions are not always on the mark, fortunately.

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    • lms:

      Scott, LOL, I’m trying to figure out when you became a proponent of “what is actually good for the culture in the long run.”

      I’ve always been a proponent of what is good for the culture in the long run. That is why I am routinely opposed to leftist attempts to use government policy to alter culture, even if intended to direct the culture in directions of which I approve.

      Your suspicions are not always on the mark, fortunately.

      I suspect they are this time, though.

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  42. I’m curious, Scott: what, precisely, is actually good for the culture in the long run? And how does accepting homosexuals and their relationships negatively affect that. . . especially since they are (and always will be) a minority?

    Unless we get overrun by ancient Greeks timetraveling, of course.

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    • Mich:

      I’m curious, Scott: what, precisely, is actually good for the culture in the long run?

      Lots of things, of course. In the case at hand, I think that valuing stable family units comprised of a mother, father, and children has been a cornerstone of western culture, has contributed greatly to the historical success of that culture, and is necessary to the continued success of that culture.

      And how does accepting homosexuals and their relationships negatively affect that.

      I haven’t suggested that “accepting” homosexuals and their relationships would negatively effect culture. We have been talking about changing the meaning of marriage, not “accepting” homosexuals and their relationships. The negative impacts of changing the definition of marriage ought to be obvious to anyone who recognizes the historical value of marriage. By redefining marriage to include homosexual relationships, it is transformed from an institution that promotes stable family units comprised of a mother, father, and children, and into a way in which the state merely grants official approval of particular sexual habits and relationships. The connection between marriage and the creation/raising of children is substantially weakened. (I should say weakened further, since it has already been largely devalued in the culture.)

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  43. Scott

    They are part ofsociety at large. Everyone should vote. Ideally (a foolish notion I know), encouragement genders interest which genders knowledge. I always tell people when I go door to door or talk to people (friends even) who don’t bother voting, that they have no right to complain about policy, politicians, or the direction of the country if they don’t vote. I actually believe it’s part of our duty as citizens to vote (another foolish notion). 🙂

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  44. Scott

    I’ve always been a proponent of what is good for the culture in the long run

    I suspect this is true only if it doesn’t cost you any money.

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    • lms:

      I suspect this is true only if it doesn’t cost you any money.

      Nope. You shouldn’t conflate an objection to discriminatory taxation with an objection to things that costs money.

      Everyone should vote.

      This is just a re-statement of the premise that I am questioning. I know you think everyone should vote. And I remain baffled as to why anyone would want uninformed people to do so.

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  45. Would you encourage people to own guns?

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  46. Haha McWing, no because I think gun ownership laws should be changed but not denied. I don’t believe voting laws need to be changed much if at all.

    Speaking of which, I have very little influence in any of this, voting or guns, as my own son recently bought a shotgun and very seldom votes.

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  47. Why is voting an obligation and it’s exercise encouraged, but gun ownership should not be?

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  48. This is where our discussion tends to break down. I don’t claim that homosexual marriage makes sense or that another view is irrational bigotry. To me that is the conclusion of people who aren’t listening to the rational opinions of others. I understand some of us treat our opponents that way but I have hopefully avoided that form of debate for the most part.

    This discussion largely departs from the point I was trying to make, but this is not how SSM has advanced through the legal system or culture. The Perry decision, for example, was explicitly based on the “finding” that no rational basis exists to distinguish homosexual and heterosexual relations. That is: no one could reasonably believe there is any difference between male and female, homosexual and heterosexual, mothers and fathers. No conceivable reason exists for such distinctions except irrational animus and prejudice. Consider that this reasoning ipso facto deems the convictions of most members of our society, the faiths shared by most of them, and indeed the convictions of all human societies throughout time, to be nothing but irrational hatred and prejudice.

    I’ll leave aside here how that entire show trial and appeal was rigged from the start, engineered by corrupt and dishonest officials in conspiracy with activists who shopped their case to a closeted homosexual judge and had no business in court to begin with. Judge Vaughn’s “reasoning” is itself a rejection of the very idea of reason, an abandonment of rationality, because, if it is not a rational position that homosexuals are not “denied” the right to marry, because marriage is and has always been uniquely a heterosexual institution configured around human reproduction, then nothing is rational. Yet the judges who are striking down marriage laws every week are repeating these absurdities one after another, taking their lead from Anthony Kennedy, the judicial imperialist par excellence, whose constitutional analyses unfailingly follow his personal policy preferences and moral views.

    Every such opinion that has been written is an exercise in question-begging assumption of the desired result. They pretend to engage in reasoned analysis but are nothing but extended tautologies, casually and without examination dismissing the very rationality of distinctions that are obvious even to children. It is not an honest debate or argument.

    And that is just one aspect of the legal environment. Virtually every week we see new vicious attacks on people in the public eye for believing what you claim you recognize as a rational perspective. Possibilities for rational debate ended some time ago. We are now down to a cold civil war, an extended street fight. When homosexual “rights” are being advanced through such abandonment and rejection of reason, there is no point in trying to engage reason. Reason has nothing to do with what these judges are doing.

    IMO, homosexuality is a natural occurrence that affects some small part of any population. It may not seem normal to us, and perhaps it’s not, but I don’t believe that homosexuals should be denied the normalcy of a loving life together, including marriage, just because I can’t actually imagine having sex with another woman. I don’t believe my gay and lesbian friends and family members are any less equal than I am.

    This is a straw man and loaded with false assumptions and equivocations. Homosexuality isn’t abnormal and degrading and incompatible with marriage just because I can’t imagine it. I don’t know of anyone on the right whose views flow from that sort of subjectivism. Homosexual marriage is an oxymoron because of what marriage is and has been throughout time and across societies. Recognizing that has nothing to do with equality. Homosexuals are as free to marry as anyone else. SSM advocates deny reason itself when they deny that.

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  49. For many millennia and across many cultures, marriage is defined as being between a man and women. Does that fact, a different definition of marriage, effect your argument’s foundation?

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  50. QB, if it wasn’t abnormal and degrading to you would your opinion change? The torturous legal arguments are not exactly my forte but I would say it’s not the first time we’ve seen those types of decisions in the legal profession.

    McWing, I can’t imagine an obligation to own a gun. I understand the millennia and cultural arguments against SSM, I just don’t have an issue with changing that.

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  51. For many millennia and across many cultures, marriage is defined as being between a man and women. Does that fact, a different definition of marriage, effect your argument’s foundation?

    Not in the least. Regardless of variations like polygamy, one thing marriage has always and everywhere been is male-female. Indeed, that may be the only thing it has always and everywhere been. In our culture, there of course is a much stronger view that marriage can only be one man/one woman, and indeed that it is impossible for it to be anything else, because marriage is established by the sex act (the one Clinton didn’t do) and is not thereafter alterable but for infidelity.

    Btw, the Idaho decision was by a Magistrate Judge, that is, not an Article III District Judge nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. I am puzzled by this. Magistrate Judges are sort of like adminstrative helper judges who normally only make provisional rulings on procedural matters. I can only assume that the parties consented to her jurisdiction, which is rare and still rarer in a case like this.

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  52. I guess I’m puzzled by the idea that voting should be actively encouraged but gun ownership should not be. I’d say more harm was wrought by voting then by guns. Each is a right, and the way many Progressives read the second amendment, that the need for a well regulated militia made up of the people being the sole reason to keep and bear arms (not a reason), should require, nay, obligate that each person have a gun, no?

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  53. QB, if it wasn’t abnormal and degrading to you would your opinion change?

    No, clearly not. But for anyone to say it isn’t abnormal is to drain words of any meaning to begin with.

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  54. McWing

    the need for a well regulated militia made up of the people

    I think that was obviously the original intent, but I don’t believe it is a necessity now. We have a police force, an army and a National Guard, the last thing we need is a bunch of citizens wandering the streets bearing arms. I get the desire but necessary or obligatory it isn’t. Re voting, we’re always going to have a certain percentage of the population that will never be interested and I think a lot of them are probably the No/Low info citizens Scott refers to.

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  55. On voting and immigration, I again base my conclusions about the left not on what they say the support but what their actions show they actually support. Sadly, that evidence leads inexorably to the conclusions that I have stated. Here again, only a few years ago it would have seemed unthinkable that Democrats would vigorously and openly advocate on behalf of illegals and just as vigorously resist every possible measure to protect ballot integrity. The Obama Admin has aggressively sued states to prevent any enforcement of immigration laws or to prevent illegal voting. Res ipsa loquitur.

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  56. You guys get the last word today……………..I need to get back to work and I think we’ve worn out our arguments for now. Thanks though.

    I’m doing a very difficult swim tonight and I need to mentally prepare for that now…..LOL

    I did kind of miss you guys!

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  57. I suspect that the real aim of gay marriage is state/federal validation of said activity.

    Yes, the immediate goal very clearly is to have the government redefine marriage and declare as a matter of law that there is no difference. This was made crystal clear in the Prop 8 litigation, which was wholly and explicitly concerned with how the word “marriage” would be applied. It had nothing to do with any supposedly consequent “rights,” which were already guaranteed by state law.

    The real aim, therefore, is the destruction of marriage and of all societal distinctions between sexes or between normalcy and deviancy, between monogamous heterosexuality and perversion. It is to declare as a matter of law that the marriage relationship is no different from homosexuality. Btw, it is therefore extremely offensive.

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  58. The real aim, therefore, is the destruction of marriage

    Yes I’m sure that’s it.

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  59. Homosexuals are also using children as pawns in their crusade to destroy marriage. Read the Idaho decision, for example.

    http://media.ktvb.com/documents/Latta+v+Otter+Decision+and+Order.pdf

    Three of the four lesbian “couples” decided to “have children” through AI knowing full well that they cannot marry, then ran to court to say how terribly worried they are for “their” children’s welfare because people will think there is something wrong with their “family” if the lesbians cannot legally marry. Two “couples” went ahead and produced children through AI. A third say they want to.

    Let’s be clear. Their relationship did not produce and could never produce children. They had AI knowing they could not marry, knowing that they were bringing children into an abnormal “family” situation. Their relationship has nothing, nothing whatsoever to do with the reasons why society has recongized marriage.

    The fourth “couple” apparently are grandmother age. And one of them actually has children and grandchildren, despite never having been married. So much for the born-in immutability of homosexuality. But we knew that was a fraud as well.

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  60. Yes I’m sure that’s it.

    It is self-evident. Again, only shrink honestly answered the question “What is marriage?” at PL. The unstated premise of SSM is that marriage is whatever “we” say it is. But when it means anything it means nothing. Thus, its destruction as a legal matter is nearly a fait accompli, carried out by judges.

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    • Although I object to federal courts redefining marriage to include SSM I have no problem with state legislatures doing so and I agree completely with Shrink on that proposition: civil marriage is what the state says it is. Also religious marriage is what your denomination says it is.

      Where I most strongly disagree with you is when you assume the redefinition is so broad as to mean anything (“…when it means anything it means nothing.”)

      It meant what the state said it meant yesterday, and does today, and will tomorrow. If the state defines a marriage as whatever any number of consenting adults contract to, it would then mean anything and nothing. If it defines it as it had, but additionally includes the eligibility of two persons of the same sex to marry, it is still defined.

      OTOH:

      What the Supremes will do if they find “no rational basis” is open a Pandora’s box of litigation in unpredictable areas, that they will wish they had not done.

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      • I don’t think you actually disagree with my point on the definition, or at least not by much, Mark. To say the marriage means what the state says it means is what I take to be a positivistic position. We could debate the merits of that view in a context where a state legislature changes the definition. I think it is a disastrous, nihilistic decision even done legislatively.

        But you seem to agree with me that a Pandora’s box is opened by a court decision that the existing definition fails a rational basis test. That of course is precisely what judges like Vaughn have done, and others are doing it under the guise of intermediate scrutiny although there really is no difference in what they are doing. (They are all writing results-driven opinions that exclude any other possibility from the outset.) It is the reasoning process, not the intermediate definitional stopping point, on which I base the conclusion that marriage has no meaning in this new paradigm. If reasoning it can even be called. With the same reasoning, I can easily knock down any other definitional walls you might want to out around marriage. It is already happening in the legal system. Three-parent adoption is happening. Polygamy is moving forward. Polygamy in fact has a better historical pedigree and anthropological basis than homosexual marriage. If sex is irrelevant, quantity obviously is.

        As Troll said, there is no limiting principle. Only imagination. The advance of SSM is the advance of nihilism.

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  61. So, can marriage ever encompass definitions beyond one man / one woman and polygamy? If not, why?

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  62. I’m not sure what exactly your question means, Troll. My view of what society and law should recognize as marriage is one man one woman. Until like yesterday, historically speaking, almost everyone would have thought that obvious.

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  63. Just saying there is no limiting principal re marraige now other then one’s imagination.

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  64. When, someday, I get my law blog launched, I swear I will write about SSM and justiciability. If ever there were a poster child for dismissal of cases as nonjusticiable, it is all these SSM cases. The idea that the societal merits of ssm can be determined as adjudicative facts for the country based on the “trial evidence” a handful of lawyers decide to present is preposterous. That evidence consisting of a bunch of social science arguments.

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  65. The Idaho magistrate commits the usual fallacy:

    “If every individual enjoys a constitutional right to marry, what is the substance of that
    right for gay or lesbian individuals who cannot marry their partners of choice?
    Traditional man-woman marriage is no answer, as this would suggest that gays and
    lesbians can switch off their sexual orientation and choose to be content with the universe
    of opposite-sex partners approved by the State.9”

    She has already assumed her result here. She has assumed, that is, that marriage must be something that lets homosexuals marry “their partners of choice,” regardless of sex, rather than that it is something that is open to everyone but that does not appeal to homosexuals. If “[t]raditional man-woman marriage” is a redundancy, then her question is meaningless, literal nonsense. Or look at it this way: to say that homosexuals have the same right to enter into marriage as heterosexuals in no way “suggests” that they can (and by implication should, if they want to marry), switch off their homosexuality. It suggests only that marriage is incompatible with homosexuality, because it is intrinsically heterosexual in nature. But the magistrate has already assumed all this away, assumed that sex is irrelevant to marriage. Her reasoning is circular and question-begging in its entirety. It is not reasoning at all, just result-driven rhetoric.

    The footnote quotes the lie (perhaps strawman rationalization is better) from Perry that homosexuals cannot change. There are countless people whose lives disprove that offensive lie. It’s really beside the point, though. Someone who is attracted to the wrong sex is someone who is not attracted to marriage.

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  66. Here is another good example of the insane “reasoning” and rhetoric of the SSM advocates. Judge Gregory of the 4th Circuit in the recent argument there:

    “The essence of the right to marry is to marry the person they choose. It’s choice, individual choice. It’s autonomy. One of the most important rights in America. How can Virginia define it to a point its fundamental essence is unrecognizable?”

    Get that? Now defining marriage the way it has always been defined is to make its essence “unrecognizable.” And now there is a right to “autonomy,” which strangely requires the government to officially bless and provide benefits based on our “choice.” We are dealing with unreasoning, power-mad bullies, not reason.

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    • There is no doubt the courts that rule in favor of SSM on “no rational basis” are straining. QB and I both took either legislation or limits of judicial review as all or part of a LS course. In my LS, in the class called “Legislation”, we would deal with hypothetical and real statutes that on their face were stupid – God knows there are enough stupid statutes. I made up what comes next to try to illustrate.

      Suppose the lumber lobby in east Texas got the Lege to pass a statute prohibiting the sale of wire hangers in TX, in fact, solely because it was bad for the wood hanger business owned by one of the lumber companies.
      Suppose the wire hanger lobby filed a suit challenging the law as unconstitutional because there is no rational basis to prohibit steel wire hangers.

      Frankly, it would be enough to demonstrate a rational basis in the law to show that women have died performing abortions on themselves with steel hangers while no women died from abuse of wooden hangers.

      I made up that illustration as an example of how little a lege needs to support rational basis. Turning that upside down throws so many statutes open to attack as to be a veritable civil relief act for lawyers.

      I cannot imagine the Supremes going there.

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      • Mark:

        I cannot imagine the Supremes going there.

        Why? It seems to me that any court that is willing to claim that the absence of commerce is, nonetheless, commerce has no limits to where it will go in pursuit of its preferred results. For goodness sake, we have two justices who just a couple weeks ago claimed that a law prohibiting racial discrimination was itself racially discriminatory. How can anything the court does possibly be shocking at this stage? Given the direction the court has taken and the judicial philosophy of many of those that have been appointed to it in the last 20 years, it is far more shocking to me when the court is actually faithful to what the constitution says than I am when it is just making shit up in order to achieve a preferred result.

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        • Scott, as QB intimated, they can get to a “preferred result” of calling bans on SSM unconstitutional without actually writing that there is “no rational basis” for those bans.

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        • Mark:

          In the DOMA case the court ruled that the law served “no legitimate purpose” and that it was motivated by a “bare desire to harm”. Is that not essentially a declaration that it lacked a rational basis? I don’t know what legal rationalizations the court will ultimately use when it finally gets around to mandating that marriage be redefined across the nation. There is no telling what absurdities might flow from the minds on this court. But I don’t know how one could be surprised if it decided to follow to its inevitable conclusion the logic it has already established in the DOMA case.

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  67. Mark,

    One of the most remarkable transformations in my view has been that of rational basis analysis in these cases. As you illustrate, it used to be considered virtually self-executing. If rational basis applied, the plaintiff lost. Now, that is practically being reversed. The courts are finding that obviously rational reasons are irrational.

    I have little doubt the Supremes will go there in one form or another. But I don’t think the form will make any difference. Kennedy will vote with four other liberals and write an opinion either based on rational basis or heightened scrutiny. It will be an exercise in begging the question, avoiding the question, and peremptory imposition of elite judges’ moral and political views, supported by nothing more than their weighing of junk social science.

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  68. The footnote quotes the lie (perhaps strawman rationalization is better) from Perry that homosexuals cannot change. There are countless people whose lives disprove that offensive lie. It’s really beside the point, though. Someone who is attracted to the wrong sex is someone who is not attracted to marriage.

    This has left me speechless.

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  69. This has left me speechless.

    Good. Perhaps confrontation by the truth will start to desensitize you to it.

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  70. I believe the most likely result is this: Kennedy will write an opinion finding that at least heightened scrutiny applies to homosexuals, but that failure to recognize SSM doesn’t even pass rational-basis review. Why? Because this is the most mischievous and offensive way for Kennedy to approach the issue.

    I think Scott is right in that there is no reason at all to think that the Court’s liberals will shy away from saying that marriage laws are irrational. Kennedy has already repeatedly written that there is no possible basis for distinguishing homosexual and heterosexual except a desire to harm and irrational animus. He undoubtedly will say the same thing again. But he will also want to poke another finger in the country’s eye by saying that some form of heightened scrutiny applies to homosexuals. Hence, I predict he will say it does but is unnecessary since hatred is the only possible basis for states not to recognize SSM.

    The mode of “progress” from Lawrence to Romer to Windsor and Perry to the inevitable end point to come is a wonderful example of the pernicious, deceptive work of judicial imperialism and activism. It has been an extended dance between Kennedy and friends, radical activists chipping away at the interstices, and their law school sponsors who provide them doctrinal cover. Each step on the way is said to be only a discrete decision not leading to any further consequences, but the activists take their cue from Kennedy and immediately go to work on the next one. Soon, his logic comes back to him and he must reluctantly follow where it leads. It is all a very sober exercise in the measured, incremental, restrained dispatch of his heavy burden as a Justice.

    How ironic are his, Souter’s, and O’Connor’s words from Casey, where they told us that public resistance to the Court’s past errors was the very reason those errors had to be preserved:

    “To all those who will be so tested by following, the Court implicitly undertakes to remain steadfast, lest in the end a price be paid for nothing. The promise of constancy, once given, binds its maker for as long as the power to stand by the decision survives and the understanding of the issue has not changed so fundamentally as to render the commitment obsolete. From the obligation of this promise, this Court cannot and should not assume any exemption when duty requires it to decide a case in conformance with the Constitution. A willing breach of it would be nothing less than a breach of faith, and no Court that broke its faith with the people could sensibly expect credit for principle in the decision by which it did that.”

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  71. The idea that marriage could be a “right” that homosexuals have but don’t exercise seems to nonplus many liberals. I suspect no one would have trouble understanding that anti-gun activists who loath guns and want no part of them nevertheless have the same right to bear arms that others have. Atheists have the same right to attend church or synagogue as believers. This really isn’t hard.

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  72. Frankly, this thread should be retitled “Lets Hate On Gays”.

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    • Ah, the “hater” schtick. When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When the law is on your side, pound the law. When neither is on your side….shout “hater”.

      I guess if one points out that being able to see is both normal and preferable to being blind, one is “hating on the blind”.

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  73. So, in the end it’s admitted that only a bigot would oppose SSM?

    Can a father marry his daughter? Or son? If not, isn’t that discrimination?

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  74. If you knew my family…

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  75. This thread should be retitled, Let’s Deny But Then Prove QB’s Point.

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  76. Troll and Scott, you are way behind the times. The latest is homosexual incest. Look it up.

    It fares quite well under the radical “libertarian” ideology of SSM.

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    • QB, setting aside the judicial handstands that will accompany court recognition of SSM as a constitutional fundamental right, I don’t understand your social, as opposed to legal, objections to it.

      You have at least one homosexual in your family, if I recall correctly, and you like and respect that person, or perhaps persons. You claim no religious predisposition, but you seem to believe that homosexuality is a choice, in the face of the fact that 95% of us cannot imagine choosing it.

      I suspect from my own experience that there are some number of women who are switch-hitters, but I simply don’t know a significant % of men who can do that. Ladies and girls, pls correct my impression here with your own, btw. Whether or not it is a choice goes only to the legal argument, anyway. Socially, why shouldn’t those folks find sex-love-companionship among others who feel the same way regardless of whether it is a choice?

      At a purely social level I have no reason to treat homosexuals as bad people or their private acts of homosexuality with other consenting adults as bad acts. I have no reason to care whether or not a homosexual couple wants to be “married” any more than I do a heterosexual couple.

      As a religious construct, the argument is different, of course. But you say you are not religious. Yet you think calling SSM “marriage” is somehow a threat to western civ. Certainly it is not an economic threat. Do you think it is a threat because if it is publicly accepted more people will choose to be gay?
      I don’t think that, but what would be the harm if more people were gay? Too many hairdressers and not enough engineers?

      Is it that one more time honored assumption/value is gone and we are on a slippery slope? To hedonism?
      To fewer nuclear families?

      Again, I am assuming that while I think that you believe that homosexuality is unnatural and optional for homosexuals you do not see it, or them, as Evil. If you think it is an evil in society, say akin to choosing a life of crime, I don’t know how you get there without a religious assumption.

      I am closer to George on this – if I were reinventing the wheel the state could register couples in domestic partnerships, but “marriage” would be a religious construct. However, I don’t get to reinvent the wheel so why not let SS couples tie themselves into the same knots as two gender couples?

      Here I don’t want to discuss constitutionality b/c we basically agree. I only want to know your social objections, which I think you have stated in concert with your constitutional objections in the past. I want to winnow the separate thread here.

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      • Mark, you rather comprehensively misapprehend my view, but I will have to respond later. I have to go hit the weights, since I, like lmsinca, have taken the bull by the horns, arrested my physical decline, and am hard on the path of being in the same shape I was in 30 years ago.

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      • Mark:

        I have no reason to care whether or not a homosexual couple wants to be “married” any more than I do a heterosexual couple.

        I don’t think the issue is caring or not caring about what homosexuals or heterosexuals “want”. It is caring about the value that marriage as an institution provides to society/culture. In my view, the only reason society has any interest in promoting marriage as a cultural institution, and the only reason the government has any reason to sanction it, lies in the role it plays (or, to an increasing extent, played) in creating stable family environments for the production and raising of children. Homosexual unions do not – indeed cannot – produce children. Heterosexual unions do. So while I see societal value in heterosexuals getting married, I see no value at all in homosexuals getting married. And to the extent that SSM diminishes the central importance that child creation and rearing holds in the institution, it detracts from that value.

        You once said that it was a benefit for society to promote stable homosexual relationships through marriage, and I asked you what benefit there is. I don’t think you ever provided a reasonable answer to that question.

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  77. Mark I have a quick question. Is there any way to compromise the social views as you express them with the legal complications?

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  78. I’ll check back later as well. I’m a little tired today but still making my circuit training session this afternoon. Hopefully, she’ll take it easy on me.

    I’m working on a post I hope to put up tomorrow begging for a little business advice. I think I’m in a bit of a pickle here and need a new perspective. We’re having some issues with our tooling and I’m not sure it’s wise to invest in the repairs any longer. Anyway, if anyone wants to weigh in after I spell out the details, I’d be all ears.

    Good job on the gym QB. I love it!

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  79. Rosanne and I are back from our bike ride – our part of fighting the process.

    LMS – to me the social views I expressed are what a lot of legislatures would do, so the “compromise” is not twisting the Constitution to do what a legislature is likely to do in the future because you want it to happen NOW and you are wearing a black robe. I don’t know if that is what you meant.

    I wrote a late night rant here about how identifying one group after another as “disadvantaged” and requiring special treatment tends to work against merit for another group – my example was the Univ. of Oregon admission system in 1991, which screwed Asian-Americans in particular, and Jews as well, but less so.

    Scott – I suspect that society will benefit from stable family relationships among homosexuals as it has from stable family relationships for heterosexuals – more household formations, more kids adopted and not cared for by charity/state, more people with back-up if they are temporarily unemployed, more people with partners who will stand by them in sickness, you name it. I cannot prove this because we do not yet have a history by which to judge.

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  80. Mark,

    Here are my views.

    While not a simple matter of conscious choice, homosexuality is not immutable, as the official dogma holds. People can and do attain freedom from it. I know one, and there are many others. Homosexual ideologues dismiss them or deny their existence by claiming they are still repressed homosexuals or never were homosexual, which is insulting, offensive, presumptuous, and tautologous all at once.

    But I have never suggested that homosexual attraction is a simple choice; desires and attractions are not chosen. But actions are, and we do not judge conduct moral simply because the desire to engage in it is not volitional or chosen. All behavior would be vindicated under that logic.The defense of homosexual behavior as unchosen is fallacious, as everyone would recognize in any other context.

    I do have one homosexual relative I know about. He is [EDIT: not!] a nice or pleasant human being for reasons apart from homosexuality or at least not obviously related to it. If I were to judge all homosexuals based on him, it would not be a kind judgment, but I don’t.

    In any event, the nonchoice of “orientation” (a mischievous, ideological term) is relevant neither morally nor legally as far as I am concerned. We don’t choose our desires and aversions; we do choose our actions.

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  81. (continued)
    I have never claimed to have no religious disposition or view relevant to the issue. What I have done is left religion out of it and, as far as I can recall, never revealed much, if anything, in that regard. I have said that the case against normalization of homosexuality need not be based on religion at all. In fact, the dismissal of that case as being merely religious is puzzling to me, because the same people who dismiss it argue that religion is unnecessary to morality. If religion is unnecessary to moral judgment and standards in general, it must be unnecessary to our judgment about the moral and social status of homosexuality in particular.

    I believe that marriage and family — mother, father, children, etc. — are the the basic institutions and foundation of society. It surprises me to see you say you have no reason to care whether heterosexual couples marry, since marriage clearly is an institution intimately connected to procreation and children. Heterosexual relations tend produce children, often by intention, sometimes not; marriage bonds the parents together. Marriage promotes the stable upbringing and support of children. Without it, you as a taxpayer and member of the society would certainly be impacted.

    Homosexual behavior, on the other hand, never, ever can be procreative. Is this all there is to marriage? No, not all. Men and women are different and are complementary in many dimensions. They benefit, or should anyway. But at the center of marriage is the sex act that tends to produce children, who need a mother and father.

    It is now typically objected that homosexuals “can” have children, too. And why shouldn’t their children have married “parents,” too!? Let’s examine this. A homosexual pair again will never, ever bear a child together. Homosexuals can: adopt, use AI or surrogacy, or have children before they live as homosexuals (which is problematic for the claim of immutability). Or they can have heterosexual intercourse with someone to conceive a child (again poblematic); the founder of the Gay Games apparently had a daughter with a lesbian this way (and died of AIDs shortly afterward). In all instances, they must go outside their relationship to procure a child. Marriage thus has nothing to do with bonding two people who might produce children.

    But, the objection goes, children they procure or produce by extraordinary means should have two married parents anyway. This is where the argument starts to fall apart, though. We know what a married, heterosexual couple provides to their children: a mother and a father. Two different and complementary sexes. What do two homosexuals provide to a child that one would not provide? A second mom or dad? Why? Because two are better than one? Because two can provide better financially? Well then why not three or four?

    The truth is that male/female complementarity is the sine qua non of marriage, and it always has been. Once it is eliminated, marriage really will have no stable meaning. It will inevitably continue its ongoing decline, and almost certainly in accelerated fashion. The law is a teacher. Redefining marriage, with the law saying that it is no different from two homosexuals who want to practice sodomy, teaches that it is nothing, that it is equivalent to perversion and disorder. It is folly to think this will have no social consequences, not to mention that it forces all of us to try to explain to our children how the law and the society can endorse such obviously absurd ideas, and not to mention the intractable legal conflicts it will create.

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  82. lms,

    I have become something of a follower of Mark Rippetoe, via Glenn Reynolds, and his philosophy and instruction on old-school weight training. I relearned how to do squats, dead lifts, presses, lunges, etc. I can’t believe I wasn’t doing this before. I gave up wasting time with running, elipticals, treadmills, etc., which for years did nothing but wear me out and drag me down. Old-school weight training immediately energized me and got me feeling stronger. I have largely reshaped myself in less than three months. Our age really, really doesn’t determine the shape our bodies have to be in. Not remotely.

    If I were not a terrible swimmer, I would probably swim to supplement my strength training. But it is the one athletic activity I am really not good at–terrible, in fact. I can move through the water well enough but can’t breathe worth a darn. I’m sure it’s because I never had a chance to learn until middle age. But for now I get a good aerobic workout from strength/circuit training. Combined with my reformed diet, I am healthier and feel better than I have in … I can’t remember when. It is never too late.

    Oh, I am really working away back and joint problems, too.

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  83. I read an essay about a year ago written by the mother of a young man who unfortunately ended up being gay in the wrong family. As a 16 year old he went to his parents and told them he thought he was gay and after hours of tears and real heartache the parents accepted that he might be. They told him how much they loved him and would always love him.

    They also told him he could never act on those feelings, or urges if you will, and must never tell another soul. They would go to church and pray for him to change and he must try to change. Of course he was tormented by their demands and grew distant from them and his circle of friends. Nothing changed except he became more of a stranger each day that passed.

    Eventually he left home and simply disappeared from their lives. His mother was desperate to find him and eventually realized what a mistake they’d made by convincing him to deny who he was and never form a sexual bond with another male.

    She did find him finally after several years and begged him to come home. She told him they had accepted who he was finally and they would welcome his lovers, whomever they were into their homes proudly. About two months later he died of an overdose.

    I think it’s very cruel to expect a gay man or woman to act according to our standards of adult sexual behavior or to apparently be non-sexual because they are gay. The coupling of homosexuals is no less desirous or compelling to them than our heterosexual relationships are to us.

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  84. qb, I’m doing a lot of weight and strength training as well. I’ve just begun dead lifts and squats but started with a lot of kettlebell workouts and core strengthening exercises. I’ve never had such strong abs. I’ve always been strong and athletic (until I hurt my back but even then I swam) but tended to be under weight slightly. I’ve managed to gain 10 pounds since September and I credit the weight lifting and gradually upping my calories with extra protein and healthy fats. I still eat carbs though……………..LOL, but not much ice cream. As a matter of fact I’ve almost eliminated dairy from my diet.

    I sometimes hop on a treadmill for 10 minutes at a big incline to get my heart rate up quickly before a circuit. Other than that it’s swimming (my dad taught me when I was 3) and strength training. I feel sort of silly out there on the gym floor sometimes since I’m 64 and lifting weights but my trainer gives me courage and like you I feel great!

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  85. I do not care if any particular couple want to be married – I clearly expressed that. I do think family units are a positive force. I clearly expressed that as well. Don’t put words on my keyboard that I did not write, please.

    I now read you to clearly state that homosexual conduct is not moral behavior and that it deserves social disapproval. I read you to describe the homosexual act as perverse and disordered. These are judgments that you make that I do not share. I readily subscribe to the “ick” factor, but for me consenting private adult sex acts are just that.
    Consenting. Private. And adult. Not my business. Not the state’s business absence health concerns or mental health concerns.

    Thus like LMS, I think it is OK for the state to permit SSM as a way for otherwise productive persons whose icky sex I do not see as perverse or disordered to enter into stable family relationships, or at least to pursue happiness, whatever that means to them, as long as it does not interfere with the rights of others.

    Thank you for explaining your thoughts on the matter. I understand them. I disagree.

    Like

    • As reported in the NYT –

      Haverford College on Tuesday joined a growing list of schools to lose commencement speakers to protests from the left, when Robert J. Birgeneau, a former chancellor at the University of California, Berkeley, withdrew from this weekend’s event.

      Some students and faculty members at Haverford, a liberal arts college near Philadelphia, objected to the invitation to Mr. Birgeneau to speak and receive an honorary degree because, under him, the University of California police used batons to break up an Occupy protest in 2011. He first stated his support for the police, and then a few days later, saying that he was disturbed by videos of the confrontation, ordered an investigation.

      Those at Haverford who objected to his being honored asked Mr. Birgeneau to apologize and to meet a list of demands, including leading an effort to train campus security forces in handling protests better; he refused.

      Mr. Birgeneau bowed out a day after Smith College said that Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, had withdrawn from its commencement because of protests. Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state, said this month she would not deliver the address at Rutgers University after the invitation drew objections. Last month, Brandeis University rescinded an invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born activist, over her criticism of Islam.
      ———————————————
      I will bet that everyone here thinks this censoring conduct is offensive, wrong-headed, and downright stupid. This is what makes this group different than say, PL, or a conservative blog. At most opinion sharing fora, shouting down “Others” is considered Righteous.

      Like

  86. lms,

    I still eat carbs though……………..LOL, but not much ice cream.

    Clearly, this is the last hurdle between you and maximum health and happiness. I had a huge bowl of vanilla ice cream with fresh berries last night … okay, that was probably overboard.

    I see some of the maniacs at my gym doing kettleball and other exercises I know are part of Crossfit. I will probably try to diversify and incorporate some of that kind of training as I advance. I have to learn more and get into a little better shape first.

    Like

  87. Darn it. One stray finger slip, and my response is gone. Sigh. Will have to do over.

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  88. Mark,

    I did not intend to put words on your keyboard. I read “don’t care” to mean you are indifferent. I suppose I should have read it to mean that you see no reason to distinguish.

    I readily subscribe to the “ick” factor, but for me consenting private adult sex acts are just that.
    Consenting. Private. And adult. Not my business. Not the state’s business absence health concerns or mental health concerns.

    I think this accurately reflects that your side of this tends to approach the issue from strong libertarian assumptions under which sexual behavior in and of itself has no moral significance. I do not, however, judge behavior moral (or morally neutral) simply because it is private and consensual.

    From there, however, I think this commentary begins to conflate issues. I do not at present at least favor legal sanctions against private, consensual behavior, although this is more a judgment based on practicalities and prudence than on hard principles. Homosexuality does have public health consequences and is problematically associated with pedophilia. I find it extremely troubling that even raising those questions has become taboo under reigning dogma. That they are taboo subjects, met not with reason or evidence but with denunciations, is telling. As I said, however, I do not favor legal sanctions against private behavior.

    But the present debate really is not about private, consensual behavior. I am being asked–demanded, really–to accept, approve, recognize homosexual relationships as the same as marriage, including my own marriage. SSM very clearly is my business and the state’s business. That is the whole point of the present debate.

    I thus believe that it miscasts the issue to say that it is OK for the state to “permit SSM.” This is not a matter of permission to do anything but a question of state imprimatur and legal recognition. The associated, tangible benefits around which the debate often takes place are actually much less important than the core issue, which, as cases like Perryprove, is nothing more or less than to compel the government to call these relationships “marriage.” A libertarian principle therefore cannot resolve this dispute in favor of letting people do what they want to do. It is not a libertarian appeal, and what is being demanded is not without legal and social consequences, according to the proponents themselves. Rather, social and legal consequences are the entire object.

    This is apparent if we turn around the usual question of “How could it hurt anyone’s marriage for the government to call homosexuals married?” If what the government recognizes as marriage has no effect on anyone’s marriage, then it can have no effect on homosexual relationships whether the government recognizes them as marriage. If homosexuals consider themselves married, how could their relationship be affected by whether or not the government does? Will they feel less married? Will they split up? Clearly, the whole premise of the SSM and normalization movement is to compel society and government to equate homosexuality and heterosexuality because the proponents believe there are important social consequences. Libertarian principles neither underlie nor are able to resolve the dispute.

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  89. lms,

    Regarding the story you read, I could also point you to many examples of people who tell a different story, including people who were told that the key to their happiness and fulfillment was to accept that their identity was “gay” and live their lives that way, only to find later that this was a damaging lie. The normalization movement has no explanation for these people and no choice but simply to deny their existence and authenticity, which is a living refutation of the ideology. I don’t claim that homosexuality is easy. But I think it is cruel to tell people it is their identity and how they were designed to be, when all of the evidence of the world around us, including human biology and society, tells us the opposite. The movement today tells us that the source of internal conflict and distress is the cruel expectations of society. In reality, I contend, the conflict is inherent, a conflict between feelings and the evidence of nature and conscience. Many people who are or were same-sex attracted hold such a view.

    In any event, however, the same-sex attracted are free to engage in all the coupling they want, for which my recognition and the state’s recognition of it as “marriage” is entirely unnecessary and irrelevant. It is unnecessary and irrelevant, that is, unless what is being demanded really isn’t that I stop “expect[ing]” them change their behavior but rather my approbation of what they do as marriage. And that is something they have no right to expect. It is a fundamentally incoherent ideology, demanding my approval in the name of libertarian principles.

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  90. Those at Haverford who objected to his being honored asked Mr. Birgeneau to apologize and to meet a list of demands, including leading an effort to train campus security forces in handling protests better; he refused.

    It has all become farce. I feel conflicted, because one side of me is such a believer in liberal arts education and institutions, while the other side thinks: (1) the faculties have turned these once-great schools into cesspools of identity studies and effete postmodern theory, and (2) these spoiled, vain children need to be told to shut up and learn some history and literature, and to think. Both should be slapped silly and sent to manual labor for which they are suited, or at best to community colleges where they might learn something and shed their narcissism and ignorance.

    Like

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