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Updated: 2017-02-12T05:47:00.323-05:00

 



Jay - could you drop me an email when you get a ch...

2010-06-03T16:36:24.507-04:00

Jay - could you drop me an email when you get a chance? I have an idea I think you would be interested in.



Where have you been Jay? Yeah, I took a break from...

2009-08-12T12:45:03.800-04:00

Where have you been Jay? Yeah, I took a break from blogging for a while too.



Well, what I wanted to say...

2009-07-19T07:13:45.969-04:00

Well, what I wanted to say...



I agree!

2009-07-15T09:52:48.519-04:00

I agree!



I don't EVEN want to know how you found this.

2009-07-14T18:36:59.850-04:00

I don't EVEN want to know how you found this.



That's fantastic!

2009-07-13T21:34:02.341-04:00

That's fantastic!



What I like most about this photo: Sarkozy's ...

2009-07-09T18:55:20.631-04:00

What I like most about this photo: Sarkozy's expression.



Weird how we see what we expect and/or want to see...

2009-05-29T11:25:32.629-04:00

Weird how we see what we expect and/or want to see.

Incidentally, the very fact that such a large number of car dealership owners are Republican is interesting in itself. Putting aside the conspiracy theory x-factor (of seeing what we expect/desire to see; and of irrationally feeling epecially victimized or targeted), one could almost make the argument that the transitional shift now occurring in American politics is indeed a "Republican-to-Democrat-shift." I.e., remove the parties and look at it from a larger perspective, and the failure of (predominantly-Republican) dealerships may indeed be a targeted effect which occurs naturally with the shift, even if they were not targeted specifically because they are Republicans.



Adrian, You beat me to posting Nat's analyzes of...

2009-05-28T16:56:40.562-04:00

Adrian,

You beat me to posting Nat's analyzes of the whole partisan car dealership meme.

Soob,

Per Nate's analysis, 88% of all car dealerships that donate, give to republican, while only 12% give to democrats. Hence, since most are republican to begin with, it's not surprising that the majority of those being closed are also republican. As Nate, points out, the majority staying open are also republican.



http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/05/news-flash-...

2009-05-28T07:22:21.337-04:00

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/05/news-flash-car-dealers-are-republicans.html

Car dealership owners are Republican in general, so it's no surprise that most car dealerships being closed are owned by Republicans.



I don't get this outrage over dealers closing: a-...

2009-05-27T23:03:41.346-04:00

I don't get this outrage over dealers closing:

a- there are far too many of them in the first place

b- first they want the government to bail them out (you're bailing out Wall Street, why can't you bail out Detroit?) and now they don't like the gov't trying (however dreadfully and incompetently) to make them profitable and viable in the long run

c- hasn't Chrysler been on the ropes off and on for decades now, part of the main reason its sales have been so poor for so long even in relation to Ford and GM?

The lawyer in the article is either lying or delusional. He is playing the CEO off the task force and it falls flat because the CEO's own actions and words in the recent past belie that assertion.

Now if there really is some political machinations going on here, I hope the relevant troublemakers are dealt with swiftly via public humiliation. Yet this honestly pales in importance and significance to the massive financial giveaways Paulson and Geithner have done in recent months with their Wall Street benefactors and partners.



Don't wash your white drawers with your red T-shir...

2009-05-23T19:42:34.120-04:00

Don't wash your white drawers with your red T-shirts, 'troopers. Ya never know who is standing around with nothing better to do during a firefight than take your picture and make ya famous.



That has to be a hell of a morale boost for Specia...

2009-05-23T17:22:50.920-04:00

That has to be a hell of a morale boost for Specialist Boyd right now.



NYkrinDC is correct that the word "negotiate" is o...

2009-05-12T16:39:00.000-04:00

NYkrinDC is correct that the word "negotiate" is out of place in my comment. It should read "enforce." This is the sole significant point of his comment, and it must be noted.

Later on, NYkrinDC attempts to evade what he takes to be a reductio ad absurdum attack by simply declaring it a "red herring." This is clearly a non sequitor, and thus easily disposed with.

NYkrinDC then describes me as presenting an "example," when I have presented none, and demands details of this example. I have no idea why he does this.

His questions would seem to be irrelevent. For instance, after making up the example in his head, and demanding that I describe it, he demands details, such as

"At what age did this relationship develop? Is the other parent dead, absent?"

Would he prohibit a homosexual marriage if one of the would-be grooms first was attracted to another male at age 12? Or age 18?

Would he prohibit a homosexual marriage if one of the grooms had an absent father? Or frigid mother?

All of this, of course, is irrelevent to the broader question, of how NYkrinDC can provide a basis (other than his own biases and prejudices) for criminalizing father-daughter marriages while legalizing homosexual marriages. He has not done so. Instead, he has raised a number of distractions to avoid this question.



NYkrinDC's advocacy that the state not negotiate c...

2009-05-12T16:25:00.000-04:00

NYkrinDC's advocacy that the state not negotiate certain contracts is interesting.Actually Dan, I'm not saying the state shouldn't negotiate it, rather simply change the name of what it is negotiating or arbitrating.

Marriage, as a word is problematic because society ascribes to it certain religious connotation, hence the rabid opposition from religious groups. Using the separation of state clause then, the state cannot legally sanction marriage for one group of people (male-female unions) while denying it to the other (same-sex couples) where the underlying reasoning for that negation is religious in nature. Hearing most of our legislative leaders on this, it can pretty much be summed up as "preserving the 'sanctity' of marriage.

Given that this is the case, and the state cannot deny equal protection, rights under the law simply due to religion, then it is better for the government to not be in the business of marriage, and instead switch to recognizing solely civil unions between male-female, same-sex couples, with marriage being the purview of each's respective religious establishment. If gays find a church that recognizes their union, then more power to them.

He writes that "there's an element of abuse that would be immediately raised." I am not sure what he means here. Is his argument that there is a conclusive presumption that contracts between parents and adult children is done under durress?

Certainly, there is a "certain authority" in parent-child relationships. If by this, NYkrinDC means that the love of a child can be so great that the absense of a parent creates a lonliness, this is hardly unique. Any exposure to love poetry, romance novels, or for that matter humanity in general, would indicate such situations are widespread and often celebrated.

I get that NYkrinDC may find certain bedroom-related contractual relationships between consenting adults weird and disgusting, and cannot imagine how anyone would enter into them outside of an abusive relationship. Such feelings are widespread among at least some critics of homosexual marriage, as well.
Again, this argument is mostly a red herring meant to distract from the actual argument at hand, you are essentially using the "well, if we allow gay marriage, then what's next man-dog love" line of reasoning here.

That said, let's explore your example. Describe the conditions under which a parent-child relationship develops into romantic/sexual relationship. At what age did this relationship develop? Is the other parent dead, absent? Are you cheating on your spouse during this relationship? What is your role as a parent? Have you been absent for a long period of time? Or did you raise the child from the time he/she was an infant and then decide you had romantic/sexual feelings for them? or they for you?

Anyone else, feel free to add other queries we may need answered in order to address Dan's example.



Jay, Thanks for the reply. Yes, the reversal is...

2009-05-11T23:22:00.000-04:00

Jay,Thanks for the reply. Yes, the reversal is hard (we even fought a civil war over one) but not irreversible. Contrary to potential genetic dalliance which once done cannot be undone via legislative or judicial means. Sorry, the analogy, for me, just doesn't fit.I'm not sure I get your point here. The Civil War killed of something like 2% of the population and saw the use of Constitutionally innovative legal techniques (sending in troops to prevent quorums in state legislatures, suspending habeus corpus, etc).Allow a kill-off of 60 million Americans and a suspenion of the much of the Constitution, direct military rule in half of the country, and one-party rule, and you could be pretty successful in reversing any number of genetic dalliances.Beyond which, there exists a social bellwether for same sex marriage in the form of civil unions.Not sure what your point is here, either.My concern here is avoiding a legal standard that is merely a reflection of the biases and bigotires of the day. If you're argument that homosexual marriage is in keeping with the politically correct biases and bigotries of the moment, I could hardly disagree.So far as I know there is no law against marrying a stepchild so long as they are of age. I could be wrong.According to Wikipedia (always infallible, I know), state laws on incest range from legal in New Jersey to criminal even among non-blood relations in Hawaii. [1]The biases and bigotries of the moment vary from place to place.As far as the biological daughter bit, it's incest and incest, like cannibalism, isn't received favorably by nature.The 40 year old mother, well I'm not privy to how this damages society or to what degree those mothers birth damaged children. I suspect, were it a worrisome trend I'd have read about it.Unlikely, as older people currently enjoy the legal ability to marry, and so there is little politcal advocacy happening here. Here are some links to get you started. [3,4] Health journals at your local library have more. While the harm varies from situation to situation, in general both older parents and married first cousins inflict on their offspring 2% greater morbidity and mortality. As far as interracial relations go, that's a reach at best. If there's science out there that suggests interracial breeding results in inferior off spring I'd like to read it. I am aware of none. Rather, the argument was made that father-daughter marriage should be criminal as there exists some natural taboo against it. Banning sexual activities to which to which there is some ingrained genetic bias against seems rather stupid, if you ask me.That's a hollow argument. It would hold merit if the concept of homosexuality and the subsequent facet of homosexual relations had suddenly sprang forth last Wednesday, but they obviously didn't. That's a hollow reply.Rather, the modern conception of homosexuality is just that -- modern. It's unattested in the historical record, before the last century or so. Homosexual marriage is simply unheard of. [4]. I'm looking at real world evidence and suggesting that there is no "worst possible outcome." Aside from presenting possible social maladies that might occur via older mothers and incest I'm at a loss as to any plausible evidence (other than unknown unknowns) you've presented in contrary to gay marriage. I'm simply looking for a coherent argument for it that is not also legalizes old-old marriages but excludes father-daughter marriages. So far, all I've heard is a littany of special pleadings and innate biases.Your inability to see a black swan hardly convinces me that one does not exist.[5]If you want to advocate for freedom, do so, and exc[...]



Dan, I do not know of any large-scale social engi...

2009-05-11T21:46:00.000-04:00

Dan,

I do not know of any large-scale social engineering effort that you can point to as being easily reversed without lasting consequence, while examples of large-scale social engineering efforts that have irreversible lasting consequences are too numerous to count. Yes, the reversal is hard (we even fought a civil war over one) but not irreversible. Contrary to potential genetic dalliance which once done cannot be undone via legislative or judicial means. Sorry, the analogy, for me, just doesn't fit.

Beyond which, there exists a social bellwether for same sex marriage in the form of civil unions.

Which brings me to your next point:

Of course, it would allow marriages between stepfathers and step[daughters], even in cases where the girl has been legally adopted. Likewise, it would allow marriages between fathers and daughters, in situation were the daughter is considered a biological descendent for legal purposes (eg, child support) but not from a genetic basis.So far as I know there is no law against marrying a stepchild so long as they are of age. I could be wrong.

As far as the biological daughter bit, it's incest and incest, like cannibalism, isn't received favorably by nature.

The 40 year old mother, well I'm not privy to how this damages society or to what degree those mothers birth damaged children. I suspect, were it a worrisome trend I'd have read about it.

As far as interracial relations go, that's a reach at best. If there's science out there that suggests interracial breeding results in inferior off spring I'd like to read it.

I point out there may be consequences that are "unknown unknowns", to use Rumsfeld's phraseThat's a hollow argument. It would hold merit if the concept of homosexuality and the subsequent facet of homosexual relations had suddenly sprang forth last Wednesday, but they obviously didn't.

you appear to be arguing that because the worst possible outcome has not occured, negative outcomes will not occur.No. I'm looking at real world evidence and suggesting that there is no "worst possible outcome." Aside from presenting possible social maladies that might occur via older mothers and incest I'm at a loss as to any plausible evidence (other than unknown unknowns) you've presented in contrary to gay marriage.

Can you offer, point blank here it is, some evidence against it?



Deichmans, It is a tricky situation. The last po...

2009-05-11T17:48:00.000-04:00

Deichmans,

It is a tricky situation. The last possibility you present leaves the law as little more than the collection of whatever bigotries and biases are politically correct at the moment. Hopefully the laws we wish are more just than that!

It strikes me we can shield ourselves in tradition, or free ourselves with respect to contracts [1], but should be wary of laws based on bigotry, fear, and the legalization of the familiar (a sentiment which is widespread among both opponents and proponents of homosexual marriage.)

[1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2009/05/09/marriage.html



NYkrinDC's advocacy that the state not negotiate c...

2009-05-11T17:46:00.000-04:00

NYkrinDC's advocacy that the state not negotiate certain contracts is interesting.

He writes that "there's an element of abuse that would be immediately raised." I am not sure what he means here. Is his argument that there is a conclusive presumption that contracts between parents and adult children is done under durress?

Certainly, there is a "certain authority" in parent-child relationships. If by this, NYkrinDC means that the love of a child can be so great that the absense of a parent creates a lonliness, this is hardly unique. Any exposure to love poetry, romance novels, or for that matter humanity in general, would indicate such situations are widespread and often celebrated.

I get that NYkrinDC may find certain bedroom-related contractual relationships between consenting adults weird and disgusting, and cannot imagine how anyone would enter into them outside of an abusive relationship. Such feelings are widespread among at least some critics of homosexual marriage, as well.



I lean libertarian on social issues, so for me, th...

2009-05-11T15:46:00.000-04:00

I lean libertarian on social issues, so for me, the state has no business getting in the business of marriage. Call it a civil union for all, male-female, same-sex. If people want to marry, they can choose to find a church that caters to their specific lifestyle. The only rule of course would be, that both parties are consenting adults & human, and not related by blood or other relationship.

The state sanctions contracts, the church marriages under whatever god they choose to worship.

As for father-daughter marriages, I think there's an element of abuse that would immediately be raised in such a situation since a father by virtue of being a parent has a certain authority over a child even into adulthood that is different from say, joe on the street.



Dan, Provocative question! My first instinct was ...

2009-05-10T21:48:00.000-04:00

Dan,

Provocative question! My first instinct was similar to Jay's: morally reprehensible, and the medical record shows a propensity for genetic disorders like hemophilia.

However, that logic does present a slippery slope: should medical jurisprudence dictate the legality or permissability of a matrimonial bond? I think not.

Ibid. for polygamous unions. If the women so wish, why not allow it? (Didn't Solomon have several hundred wives?)

On one extreme, you have the preference for individual dictates: do whatever you want, because freedom of choice in an unalienable human right. Pro individual, anti-moral code.

The other extreme is rigidity of social norms, whereby nobody deviates. While I find same-sex marriages acceptable as the monogamous expression of love between two cogent and willing adults, as a father of daughters I find the notion of father-daughter marriage morally reprehensible.

Where does the middle ground lay? In forbidding such variance from established moral codes due to genetic or other arguments? That would make some unions unacceptable (father-daughter, polygamous, etc.) but others acceptable (e.g., between mentally disabled pairs or other couples where there may be a demonstrable disadvantage genetically).



Indeed! There were three references to ponies in t...

2009-05-09T23:13:00.000-04:00

Indeed! There were three references to ponies in the comments, but there clearly was one in the original post as well.

The fault is entirely mine. The criticism is retracted.

Now, sleep beckons for me, as well.. :-)



Dan, a partial (in the extreme) response for now a...

2009-05-09T23:10:00.000-04:00

Dan, a partial (in the extreme) response for now as it is late. I'll address your well thought commentary in full as soon as I can.

In regards to the "marry a pony bit," give the post another read and I think you'll find this:

"Once marriage has been redefined to include homosexual pairings, what grounds will there be to oppose futher redefinition — to encompass people who want to marry their ponies, their sisters, or their soccer team?"

The reference in the commentary was, as I remember, to a llama.

I'm not much on blatant deception when it comes to critical discourse, Dan.



Jay, Thanks for the comment(s) in reply! :-) On...

2009-05-09T22:50:00.000-04:00

Jay,Thanks for the comment(s) in reply! :-) One consideration is the matter of negative consequence and the ability to reverse course to correct that consequence. Gay marriage can be redacted through amendment where as a run away strain of pathogen X or some nefarious genetic malfunction in humans identified three generations on would require much more arduous (perhaps impossible) efforts to correct.I think this is an incredibly optimistic view of the reversibility of social engineering. I do not know of any large-scale social engineering effort that you can point to as being easily reversed without lasting consequence, while examples of large-scale social engineering efforts that have irreversible lasting consequences are too numerous to count.The analaytical: Incest invites birth defects, birth defects equate to less or non-functional humans, less or non functional humans equate to the demise of a society (within the context of today.)The eugenical argument is interesting.Of course, it would allow marriages between stepfathers and stepfathers, even in cases where the girl has been legally adopted. Likewise, it would allow marriages between fathers and daughters, in situation were the daughter is considered a biological descendent for legal purposes (eg, child support) but not from a genetic basis.Do you apply it to equally damaging situations, such as women over 40 who have children? Or should it be illegal for 40 year olds to marry, as well?I seem to recall several celebrities older than 40 who had children, and society remains intact.Further, do you believe that people with heritable diseases should be prohibited from marrying? Are you limiting 'damaging' exclusively to diseases that lead to a rise in morbidity, or other socially undesirable traits as well (such as low intelligence). If so, do you propose that blacks should be prohibited from marrying, as children of black-black unions tend to have an IQ one standard deviation below children of white-white unions?Basically, I am trying to find a basis for your beliefs here (in favor of homosexual unions, against father-daughter unions) beyond the idiosyncracies of personal bias.Hence, father/ daughter marriages (assuming they a consecrated) are a natural taboo for human kind.It is an open question, but it may be that interaction with a member of another race is a natural taboo for human kind. Very young children can distinguish members of other races, and show greater hesistancy to engage with them. If your argument for criminalizing a loving union between two people is 'natural taboo,' would you thus seek to criminalize interracial marriage.Further, what degree of innate bigotry raises to the level to trump individual rights. For instance, I do not know offhand the statistics of father-daughter incest v. exclusive homosexuality, but I would hesitate to assume that the former is rarer than the latter. If so, would you thus argue for the legalization of father-daughter marriages and the criminalization of homosexual marriages.Moving on from these questions, which I would enjoy an answer too...The only refernces to "pony" in the post are in the comment section, none of which were penned by the author. Your comment, as it was written, is deceptive. If you do right a post in reaction to SR, I hope it will be less deceptive. Your own reservations seem to suggest that the allowance of gay marriage may destroy the tradition of marriage I have no ide[...]



Heh. Agreed on the "yuck."

2009-05-09T22:22:00.000-04:00

Heh. Agreed on the "yuck."