My Photo

« Recess Appointments* | Main | San Diego Border Beating Raises Excessive Force Problems Against More than the Allegedly Illegal Immigrant »

January 14, 2014

Comments

"Once again, I am boggled at how feeble and poorly-rehearsed the anti-same-sex-marriage arguments are. For crying out loud, people, this has been going on for *years*, decades even -- why haven't you managed to come up with something better than that? It's as though they haven't even *tried*."

When you can't use your real argument[1], it's difficult to come up with arguments which make sense.

[1] 'God said 'No!'.

Welp, it was good enough for the recess appointment thread, so let me repeat:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsGWdGhYKtY

Not safe for work, freedom having been circumscribed in most workplaces.

"pre-mocked"

I like that. The United States of Pre-Mockery, is what we are, in which the mocked pre-mock themselves to make a mockery of mockery.

Like "Freedom Industries" leaking freedom into the water supply above the water treatment plant while lobbying for freedom from regulation.

Aristophanes, Paddy Chayevsky, Joseph Heller, and company wrote reality shows.

I suspect that the reason that the anti-same-sex marriage arguments are so weak is at least partially because a lot of those holding that position simply cannot believe that any sensible person would disagree with them. They know that some people do disagree, they just can't see how any sensible person would. (It's a risk that comes from living in an information bubble -- you lose track of what those outside the bubble think.)

As a result, they haven't spent time working out logical or conherent arguments. After all, if sensible people all agree with you, why waste time creating arguments to persuade rational people? You only need data to convince people who are both sensible enough to be convinced by data and who don't already agree with you. And so, if you don't grasp that such a group exists, why gather data for such an effort?

We saw this same phenomena in the Prop 9 case in California. Those defending the law were simply unable to come up with any data supporting their position. Even though the judge gave them lots of leeway to do so.

"We are not ruled by experts," the state's brief said.

QED

wj:

"They know that some people do disagree, they just can't see how any sensible person would."

I was at first going to just disagree with you on the basis of Occam's razor: They don't have good arguments because there aren't any.

Than I thought for a moment, and realized you're probably right as well. The disconnect between different sides in a debate is epic in this country (and I imagine everywhere else).

It results in thoughts of: 'It's not that intelligent people disagree; people who disagree are typically stupid, evil, or otherwise not arguing in good faith.'

It's hard to reason with someone who disagrees with you, because to do it effectively you generally have to at least try to put yourself in their shoes, understand their argument, why they consider it valid, and than work to convince them otherwise within a framework they at least understand and agree to.

But really, a decent lawyer should come up with something better than: 'the experts are all lying.'

"'But really, a decent lawyer should come up with something better than: 'the experts are all lying.'"

But he's the expert.

Though I'm quite satisfied, based on personal observation, that other types of family structures work pretty well, too,I'd be surprised if any scientific study could show that there is no advantage to being raised in the sort of family society most widely approves of. But so what?

why haven't you managed to come up with something better than that? It's as though they haven't even *tried*.

Because they feel they shouldn't have to.

If you're an authoritarian conservative, defending the status quo is something you should never have to do. After all, the great authorities, including the legal ban of SSM, are presumed right. That's what it means to be an authority: you deserve the presumption of righteousness. From that mindset, it doesn't even make sense to think about justifying why the traditional state of affairs should be preserved: it is traditional, and that is enough.

On the other hand, if you're not an authoritarian conservative, you probably don't think that the status quo reflects the best of all possible worlds. Which means that you see most of government policy as contingent, maybe good or bad, but probably not optimal, and thus a candidate for change. In that mindset, you're constantly thinking about how good or bad various government policies are and how to come up with better ones and how to justify the change. Change requires justification, and since most people are resistant to change, you're going to have to get pretty good at convincing people.

children generally fare best when reared by their two biological parents in a loving, low-conflict marriage.

Seems to me the state is loading the dice with the inclusion of "loving" and "low-conflict" here.

It also seems to me that citing studies in your favor means that "being ruled by experts" is OK as long as the experts agree with you.

"children generally fare best when reared by their two biological parents in a loving, low-conflict marriage."

James Carville and Mary Matalin have a new book out, too.

Of course, there's a study somewhere, by non-experts, showing that allowing SSM prevents biological parents from raising their children in loving, low-conflict marriages. It also shows that children raised by SS couples do even worse than kids with no parents, horrible biological parents and just about anything you can come up with that doesn't involve SSM.

I wonder, does Utah intend to outlaw adoption?

This behavior (murder) has been declared unconstitutional at the federal level and all "experts" agree that it must be halted and the perpetrators punished, but conservatives, contemptuous of expertise, do whatever they want under state's rights, and call it tradition.

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/01/08/3137621/incarcerated-death-mentally-abused-neglected-humiliated-south-carolinas-prisons/

Anything goes, except what conservatives say doesn't.

Remedies are available under the Second Amendment, where anything goes under traditional, originalist cogitation, the latter of which consists of a furrowed brow, misfiring synapses, and a jerked knee.

Just a side question, Dr. S. How did you miss the greatest thread in the State of Utah's argument: But, drawing on Supreme Court decisions endorsing the value of diversity in deciding who may attend public universities, the state now said it was pursuing “gender diversity” in marriages. “Society has long recognized that diversity in education brings a host of benefits to students,” the brief said. “If that is true in education, why not in parenting?” (From the NY Times article - http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/14/us/utahs-arguments-against-gay-marriage.html?_r=0)

Catch that? Utah is arguing for the benefits of diversity (in this case, diversity of gender in the parents). That is, they are making an argument based on the merits of affirmative action! Who'd a thunk it?

Who needs expertise when novel irony is freely available?

Rick Santorum might look askance at the "diversity in marriage" gambit, given, you know, ambiguous gender and the diversity of the barnyard.

It takes a village.

It takes a village.... of idiots to hold us back.

"A substantial body of social science research confirms," the brief said, "that children generally fare best when reared by their two biological parents in a loving, low-conflict marriage."

To which the proper response is, "So?"

Whether this is true or not seems completely irrelevant to the question at hand.

"We are not ruled by experts"

The Right's definition of "peer review" is to find the dumbest piece of vermin sh*t in the room, make him or her a peer, and then elect them.

We're just bringing popcorn to a theater gunfight, which, if you've been reading the news today, oh boy, does not work.

I thought peerage was illegal in the US ;-)

I'm not familiar with the case, but I think the Utah AG has a legal reason for citing the social science research.

The challenge to the marriage ban is probably based, among other things, on the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Laws that discriminate on the basis race, gender, age, work experience are found to violate the Equal Protection Clause (when challenged on that basis) unless they survive a certain level of "scrutiny." The court changes the level of scrutiny depending on what attribute the law uses to discriminate.

Laws that discriminate on the basis of race get "strict scrutiny," which is the most demanding kind. Basically any law that discriminates on the basis of race violates the 14th Amendment UNLESS it is affirmative action of a very narrow kind (this is not my opinion, it's just what SCOTUS has done).

Laws that discriminate on the basis of gender (and maybe sexual orientation) supposedly get a less-demanding form of scrutiny. But it's still pretty demanding--basically, laws that discriminate on the basis of gender only survive if they are (a) a certain kind of affirmative action, or (b) based on a genuine biological difference.

Laws that discriminate based on pretty much any basis besides race or gender get "rational basis review." That means that as long as there's some conceivable rational reason for the law, it doesn't violate the 14th Amendment. This is true even if the legislature didn't ACTUALLY have that rational basis in mind.

The Utah AG is almost certainly arguing that the SSM ban should receive rational basis review, which means he needs to show that there's a rational basis for the law.

The online form of the documents that the Utah AG has filed in this case don't capture the subtle watermark that is on each page:

"Not intended as a factual statement"

Meanwhile, Oklahoma's constitutional ban on same-sex marriages just got tossed on equal protection grounds. (And the ruling stayed, pending appeal -- also to the Tenth Circuit, if it happens.)

"We are not ruled by experts," the state's brief said.

russell: "QED"


They aren't even internally consistent - they assert things based on 'social science research', and then dismiss 'experts'.

I owe a response to the thread I jacked a couple of weeks ago and I have no business putting down work for this, but it's just impossible for me to stay out.

What you are seeing is pretty typical of how the adversary system works. It's also why gay marriage will ultimately be the law of the land.

To argue, as traditional advocates do, that optimally, stable, biological parents provide the best home for children, completely overlooks the fact that if there is a child in a same sex home, by definition the 'stable, biological' ideal is not present. Further, if I were arguing the gay marriage side of things, I would concede, for argument's sake, that even if the stable, biological ideal is the objectively superior environment for child-raising, how does that prove that multiple, overcrowded foster homes, orphanages and abandonment are superior and more desirable than a two parent same sex home. Going a step further, how does Utah connect the dots between child-rearing and two people wishing to be life time partners who can care for and protect one another as the need arises?

I like this case a lot. The crappy arguments for preserving the traditional model at the expense of gay people are on full public display. This is how minds are changed.

As for the expert witness thing, both sides have points when they shoot at the other side. Every spring, in Houston, our drainage ditches fill up with water. In a couple of days, tadpoles are everywhere. That doesn't mean, for the right price, I can't find an *expert* somewhere who will testify that frogs don't fornicate.

Good point, McKT.

Regarding expert witnesses for and against frog fornication, the other side could bring in Rick Santorum to testify that the real problem is that frogs are fornicating with all of the wrong people.

That episode of Perry Mason was entitled: "The Polliwog Gambit".

McKinneyTexas:

I like this case a lot. The crappy arguments for preserving the traditional model at the expense of gay people are on full public display. This is how minds are changed.

When did you change your mind, or were you always in favor of marriage equality? Do you see it happening in Texas in general, not just in the People's Republic of Austin?

When did you change your mind, or were you always in favor of marriage equality?

The process started in June, 1999. Not sure when I got to the final stage, probably '06 or thereabouts. I was on with civil union in the interim.


Do you see it happening in Texas in general, not just in the People's Republic of Austin?

Eventually, with a lot of push back in East Texas, maybe South Texas too. Our mayor (Houston) is gay and well liked. Younger economically conservatives are on board. The 'defend the family' trope grows more stale by the day.

As a side note, our mayor is well liked for two reasons. First, she is very competent. Second, while her sexuality is no secret, she doesn't make a big deal of it, which is pretty common in Houston, at least in what I can see. That is, Houston is pretty diverse and, leaving off the extremes, people pretty much work and play well together. That might not be so surprising if my experience was limited to lawyers and judges, but it isn't. I've watched jury after jury that looked like posters for the DNC pull together, socialize at lunch, make friends and stay in touch. It happens too often to be an isolated event. Third, there is a lot of discussion among the more evangelical church leaders in Houston about gay people, and the theme isn't "God hates F*gs". Over time, the tone and tenor have changed in a good way and I expect that to continue to change, and for the better. I can't speculate on the end point but given the trend, it will be much more open and tolerant than in the past.

But don't think that means we're all on the verge of joining unions, voting in a 60% marginal tax rate and waiting for the next edict from Washington. Not going to happen. :-)

P.S.--the front page of the Houston Chronicle shows Mayor Parker and her partner getting married in California.

They aren't even internally consistent - they assert things based on 'social science research', and then dismiss 'experts'.

that's desperation.

consistency and intellectual honesty are luxuries that the last band of defenders can never afford.

But don't think that means we're all on the verge of joining unions, voting in a 60% marginal tax rate and waiting for the next edict from Washington.

watch out mcK.

you all have whole foods down there (heck, whole foods CAME from TX), starbucks too no doubt.

and we all know what whole foods and starbucks mean: arugula, kale, and caramel macchiatos.

once you cross those rubicons, it's only a matter of time before you're walking down the boulevard arm in arm singing "solidarity forever" and voting in a $15 minimum wage.

don't say you weren't warned.

don't say you weren't warned

We watch those kind of folks very carefully. Very carefully.

Hey, kale boosts testosterone.

I'm going to make a salad of it tonight with apples, butternut squash, toasted walnuts and a cider vinaigrette.

Oddly enough, it's illegal to carry fresh produce (original intent and all that) into a movie theater in case you need to wave a head of kale around to fend off deadly popcorn attacks, which can kill you on account of that high cholesterol butter they slather on it.

Natch, those with smallish testosterone counts and the IQs to match may carry an AR-11 into the balcony in case the tree of liberty requires watering.

kale is good food. We grow our own, when possible.

Caramel macchiatos, not so much.

To argue, as traditional advocates do, that optimally, stable, biological parents provide the best home for children

I would say at the top of the child-rearing effectiveness heap is two-parent homes. Two because most times someone has to bring home the bacon, while the other keeps house & attends to child-rearing duties. It's hard to do both. Possible, but difficult.

Next down is single-parent homes. In general. This is strictly opinion.

Next rung down is foster parenting.

Lowest rung is orphanage. These last two might actually be swapped; like I said, this is opinion.

I would say that there's probably not much daylight between outcomes in single-sex dual-parent homes and conventional hetero marriages, as far as child-rearing goes. I would strongly suggest that there is SUBSTANTIAL advantage in same-sex household over e.g. foster parentage and likely also over single parentage.

So from my information-free world, I would tend to want to permit and even encourage same-sex relationships, recognized by law, For The Children (TM). What you call that relationship, once it's normalized, is not really something I am interested in arguing.

Also, it might be a good idea to lower the bar for public adoptions for pretty much everyone. The state of Florida makes it so difficult that it's actually easier to go to China and adopt than it is to adopt within the state. Even if you're already a parent, they require (or used to require) a detailed training course in parentage. Then you have to establish to the State's satisfaction that you have secured (as in: locked up in a safe, practically) any and all hazardous materials in the household. There's most likely more requirements that I can't recall, that are sensible-sounding in theory but don't get applied to people having children the old-fashioned way.

It's all intensely idiotic.

The best that can be said for kale is that it isn't as inedible as some of the other variations of lettuce which find their way into salads these days.

As for it being good for me, I'd rather take cod liver oil off a spoon every morning. The taste isn't wonderful (that's why God invented orange juice: to rinse the tongue afterward), but at least it's over with more quickly.

WTF do you do to kale to make it edible? whenever i've had it, it's like eating the leaves off a dusty plastic fern.

Kale boosts testosterone.

I''m going to make a salad tonight with quinoa, kale (chopped), butternut squash, toasted walnuts, and golden raisins with an apple cider vinaigrette.

I believe it is illegal to bring fresh produce into movie theaters in case you have to wave around a head of kale to ward off deadly popcorn attacks which can kill you on account of the high-cholesterol butter they slather on the stuff.

If your testosterone is too high and your IQ is below, say, 30, you may carry an AR-11 into a movie theater for those unexpected snack attacks.

cleek, after removing the tough ribs, rub the leaves with salt and let sit for a bit and then rinse thoroughly and spin dry. Chop into this strips or pieces.

My favorite way (yes, eating raw kale is pushing the limit) of preparing kale is to roast it.

Chop the leaves in potato chip sized pieces on a baking sheet, mix with olive oil, copious amounts sliced garlic, some red pepper flakes to taste and roast in a 350 degree oven until the kale is fairly crisp, but not burned.

Season with salt and pepper.

Baby kale is more tender for eating raw in salads.

yes, we roast ours as well. if you have a taste for bitter stuff, it's really good.

WTF do you do to kale to make it edible? whenever i've had it, it's like eating the leaves off a dusty plastic fern.

Here's how I do kale mosttimes:

Chop into strips. Heat some olive oil in a good-sized pot. Cut some ham up into strips and saute it in the oil. Once the ham begins to brown, throw in some crushed garlic and stir that around until it softens. Don't worry if it sticks; the remainder of the cooking process will unstick it. Throw in the kale, raw, and stir it around a bit until it starts to wilt. Put in a quarter cup of so of chicken stock and put a lid on it; you're going to want to let it steam for maybe 15-20 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

I also put kale in chicken soup. It's pretty awesome.

There are different kinds of kale that you can get. I tend to prefer lacinato because it has a more interesting flavor and it tends to be less stiff, which makes it a bit better for salads and such.

When I was a kid, my grandmom made kale soup. I don't know how she made it. I just remember liking it. She was Italian, so maybe that's the secret to making good kale soup. You have to be Italian. If you're not already Italian, find a way to become Italian. It might only work for soup, though. That's the only way she ever made kale that I know of - in soup.

I've always had it cooked - either sauteed until just wilted, or as per Count, baked as kale chips. A unifying theme between both preparation styles would be liberal quantities of salt or vege-sal.

Once you get used to it cooked, it's really quite good raw, with dressing of course. Have to make an effort, I guess, but it ends up being very worth it. It's actually really good.

wj: "Catch that? Utah is arguing for the benefits of diversity (in this case, diversity of gender in the parents). That is, they are making an argument based on the merits of affirmative action! Who'd a thunk it?"


So Utah will now ban same-race marriages?

I would say at the top of the child-rearing effectiveness heap is two-parent homes.

I am not generally a believer in Divine Providence, or the concept of Intelligent Design, but if there is anything that might cause me to believe it is the fact that it takes two adult humans to produce one infant, a ratio that clearly bespeaks a mystical understanding of the matter.

"I would say at the top of the child-rearing effectiveness heap is two-parent homes."

I'll go with that.

But I'm not sure it's the generally accepted practice, especially above a certain income level, given the prevalence of nannies.

All (I'll bet most) of the Founders had nannies for their children, but they didn't intend it literally, despite having placed it in the Constitution, one way or the other, ha ha, sort of 3/5ths solution, or maybe no solution at all, given the denial of the franchise to women, which oddly enough was a completely literal transcribing of their thoughts on that matter.

In the third world, it takes a village in the guise of an older daughter (and perhaps a grandmother) to raise the younger kids.

Yes it takes two parents, but the theme running through human history is that this is a very recent human invention in practice and there are numerous attendant women on hand to do the real work while the men are off doing whatever men do, and that doesn't bear too much attention, until the latter are needed to give someone a good talking to, and perhaps a thrashing.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Whatnot


  • visitors since 3/2/2004

July 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    
Blog powered by Typepad

QuantCast