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April 27, 2015

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I've said it before and I'll say it again: The good guys (and gals) are winning because we are right. If the Supreme Court rejects the case, the legislature will fix it.

Hi von! Come on back anytime.

If Kennedy votes for gay marriage, I expect Roberts will do as Ugh suggests. The only question in my mind is whether Alito will go the same way.

On the other hand, Kennedy doesn't, then Roberts will write an even more amazing tapdance concurring in finding against gay marriage. It will be the deciding vote, and he would absolutely hate having to do that. So I would speculate that his opinion in this circumstance would be so convoluted that nobody else will be able to make any sense of it whatever.

Open thread?

If anyone's interested in reading thoughts about what's been going on in Baltimore, David Simon, creator of The Wire (in case anyone somehow didn't know), has a blog. His post is short, but the comments thread is where the real action is.

I'd be shocked if Kennedy voted against, as I think most commentators would be. I can see Roberts voting against based on the questions presented. For example, the first one is "Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?"

Well, if we're interested in being limited to that hyper specific question I would say the answer is no. But, that's really not the issue of course. The question presented should least be "Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex, when it already issues marriage licenses to people of the opposite sex?" For that question, I would say the answer is yes. But technically that's not the question "presented," so Roberts could write an opinion saying that the 14th Amendment doesn't require this, but it doesn't require states to issue licenses to opposite sex couples either.

The second question is "Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?" Perhaps that's a privileges and immunities clause issue, but really that answer should be self-evident based on whether states are required by the 14th amendment (or some other provision of the Constitution) to recognize marriages of the opposite sex in the same circumstances. And, AFAIK, that answer has been settled as "yes."

So, if Roberts wants to put the blinders on and write an opinion about how the 14th amendment does require states to enact laws blessing same-sex marriages he can, but that would be rather short-sighted, perhaps even cowardly.

TNC has a post on Baltimore too.

TNC is pretty much dead on. As is Scott Greenfield:

http://blog.simplejustice.us/2015/04/28/four-fires-burn-in-baltimore/

The fires burning in Baltimore are symptoms of a disease that’s become pervasive in all parts of our society, from the nice law-abiding people who grasp at any excuse to support the police to those whose anger and frustration have manifested in the outrage. Eventually, with sufficient suppression, the fires will be put out, but they will not cure the disease. And the disease will continue to rage, the symptoms will be back, until we deal with the cause of the disease.

But that will require a national admission that we’ve enabled the police to get out of control.

Yes. TNC's post is linked, mentioned and quoted several times in the comments on Simon's post, enhancing the discussion. At first blush, Simon and TNC seem to be somewhat at odds in what they're saying, but I think they almost entirely agree once you break it down.

(It's far better reading than the "animals!" and "shoot them all!" crap I had to see on facebook. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother with that at all. Maybe for Gary Farber?)

Pierce, too:

On the Intertoobz, there is going to be hell to pay, and I don't envy Coates his e-mail for the next few months. The placid white reading of the Civil Rights Movement is so deeply embedded in our history that Dr. King's philosophy of non-violent resistence has become a kind of anesthetic balm running through it. Alas, in reality, this leaves us with a paradox best summed up by paraphrasing Jack Nicholson's line from Prizzi's Honor: if Dr. King was so fkin' unifying, how come he's so fking dead? The violence that attended almost every moment of those days has been elided from our history, just as the stunning report published almost a year ago in the Baltimore Sun will be elided from the history of this rioting and the inevitably unpleasant -- and inevitably idiotic -- political aftermath.

damn that completely isolated and independent culture.

What could make people so angry that they would set fire to their own neighborhood?

What could make people so angry that they would set fire to their own neighborhood?

Not to disagree, and the Sun article is well worth reading, but the phrase 'their own neighborhood' kind of sticks for me. Can they really call it their own neighborhood if they are always under the threat of violence?

What could make people so angry that they would set fire to their own neighborhood?

I don't get it. Why are you asking this? They're breaking the law. Just lock them up or, better yet, shoot them.

/end imitation of most of the people who feel the need to post their opinions on facebook

(Sorry, I'm just annoyed....)

Here is a WaPo story on the oral argument today. I'm just not that impressed with either the liberal or conservative justices for the most part (at least as reported).

E.g., "But Bonauto faced repeated questions about the historical nature of marriage as a bond between genders - which Justice Stephen G. Breyer described as 'the law everywhere for thousands of years.'

'Suddenly,' Breyer said, 'you want nine people outside the ballot box to require states to change [this].'"

I suppose he can think of this that way, but it's really irrelevant to the legal question, I would say.

Similarly, "Justice Antonin Scalia said that if the decisions on marriage continue to be made democratically by the states, those states could make religious accommodations that would not be possible if there was a decision that it same-sex marriage was a constitutional right."

WTF does that have to do anything.

Roberts, OTOH, appears to make my point (so he must be right!), "Roberts asked a question that neither side had pressed. If a woman wants to marry a man, she can. If a man wants to marry a man, he can’t. Why isn’t that sex discrimination, he wondered."

Run with it Johnny boy!

facebook is a terrible place for political discussions. you get to learn half your friends are idiots, half are assholes; and if you're lucky, those you like the best are smart enough to keep their opinions to themselves.

What excuses is he offering, Icarus? Do you have a quote? What exactly are the "white guys who own guns" standing up against, and how does it compare to events in Baltimore leading up to the protests and the riots?

Let's hear about some more of your observations.

I'm just not that impressed with either the liberal or conservative justices for the most part

I've listened to the 1st half and honestly, other then the SG (Verrilli, I think), no arguments seemed to me particularly well thought out. By either counsel or the justices.

If a woman wants to marry a man, she can. If a man wants to marry a man, he can’t. Why isn’t that sex discrimination, he wondered.

I made this exact argument years ago on another blog I used to frequent, when it still existed. Does that make me Chief Justice material? It would be a lot cooler if it did.

when TNC offers excuses for anti-government violence, if not wholeheartedly supporting it, it's cool

is something i, for one, never said.

i wish things would've stayed peaceful. but they didn't. and i can understand why they didn't, while not agreeing with the decision to get violent.

but, i'm just a white guy in a suburban office building, so i don't expect anyone in Baltimore to give a crap about how i wold've handled the situation.

When a bunch of black guys decide to respond to police harassment by open carrying, we get the first national push for gun laws.

Funny, that.

Your comment is like a diamond, Icarus, it has so many facets that we could get lost in it for days.

HSH, depends. Can you be counted upon to reliably kiss mega-corporate butt?

If so, YOU TOO could be a Supreme Court justice!

One thing that confuses me about discussions about protester violence in Baltimore (especially on facebook, cleek is so depressingly right) is that a lot of people are assuming that protesters all made a conscious decision to riot. I don't think that often happens. I think most people go out to protest for the best of reasons, because they're enraged that 4 cops basically decapitated a guy (seriously, how do you even do that?!) for no reason and will face no punishment.

But the minute you start protesting, you end up hemmed in by police. Things get tense. Maybe some idiot in the protest says or does something stupid to the cops, they react and pretty soon all the protesters think that the cops are gunning for them. Things escalate easily from there. Pretty soon the fight or flight reaction takes over.

I want to be mad at the protesters/rioters, but I'm having trouble. This country was started by people who decided to throw a revolution over having to pay too much for tea and stamps. Those guys are our national heroes. We're a violent people. And while I don't approve of the riots, cops-decapitated-this-guy-and-will-face-no-justice is a hell of a better reason than tea-is-too-expensive.

"I don't get it. Why are you asking this? They're breaking the law. Just lock them up or, better yet, shoot them.

/end imitation of most of the people who feel the need to post their opinions on facebook"

I have to admit, that is pretty much my opinion of people who set fire to buildings, loot businesses, and beat up innocent bystanders: Enough already, cap their asses.

You want me to listen to your complaints? Setting fire to buildings, and then cutting the firehoses is pretty much the worst possible way to do it. If you're the sort of person who'd do that, any problems you have with the police I'm going to assume you brought on yourself. And maybe not enough of it, if you're still on the streets.

They didn't demonstrate that they had a legitimate grievance. They demonstrated they were fing animals in need of being put down.

For anybody interested, the transcripts are up:

http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/14-556q1_7l48.pdf

http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/14-556q2_2dp3.pdf

They demonstrated they were fing animals in need of being put down.

the tree of liberty is very selective about the blood it feeds on.

"One thing that confuses me about discussions about protester violence in Baltimore (especially on facebook, cleek is so depressingly right) is that a lot of people are assuming that protesters all made a conscious decision to riot. I don't think that often happens."

That's because the riot was scheduled in advance. It wasn't spontaneous.

Not that I'd have any more respect for people who are on such a hair trigger that they can spontaneously riot.

They didn't demonstrate that they had a legitimate grievance.

Do they need to? Let's suppose all the people who rioted stayed home and read the bible. Would that change whether or not they had a legitimate grievance?

Do you prefer shooting people who riot to figuring out why they're rioting and possibly doing something about it, so they or others in similar situations don't feel the need to riot again?

"They demonstrated they were fing animals in need of being put down."

The police or the rioters?

"the tree of liberty is very selective about the blood it feeds on."

Jefferson said, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

The rioters didn't strike me as patriots, but maybe they were. Were the store owners whose businesses were looted and then burned, the bystanders beaten, tyrants? I rather doubt that.

Even if you've got a reason to be mad, if you're incapable of directing your anger at the people who made you made, you're nothing but a walking bomb. If you reliable direct it against people who have something to steal, you're not even that innocent.

A tree can't live on blood alone - it needs watered down a bit. Historically, it seems like 3 parts blood out of every 5 is an agreeable ratio.

(@cleek - grumble, grumble, forgot to refresh before posting)

There's been first hand reports, from a teacher in the school across from Mondawmin Mall, that the "kids rioting at Mondawmin Mall" was a somewhat predictable result:

Mondawmin Mall is a transportation hub, used by many high school kids using public transportation to get home after school.

Riot cops blockaded the kids converging on the Mall, and shut down the public transportation, leaving hundreds of kids with no way home.

There's a lot more details in the local news coverage than makes it onto national news.

What he's talking about is the hypocrisy of calls for non-violence from certain people. That's not the same are calling for or excusing violence. Nor is saying, "What do you expect?"

How do you interpret this?

And none of this can mean that rioting or violence is "correct" or "wise," any more than a forest fire can be "correct" or "wise."

Icarus, you quoted all of that only to demonstrate that you think TNC is cheering for violence in some subtle fashion. I think he is expressing some sympathy for the rioters myself. So what? I think the rioting is stupid and wrong and immoral and suspect that some of it is really just an excuse to be violent, but some of it might be a misplaced way of venting rage and TNC is pointing out the reasons. You don't seem very interested in those reasons, just in scoring a point against TNC.

i don't expect anyone in Baltimore to give a crap about how i wold've handled the situation

What cleek said, only altered so that it includes anyone not in Baltimore, too.

Because I'm a big-tent kind of guy.

Using the "icarus standard for interpretation", when Brett says:

Even if you've got a reason to be mad, if you're incapable of directing your anger at the people who made you made, you're nothing but a walking bomb

he is advocating violence directed at the Baltimore police.

Nom, let me repeat myself:

"Even if you've got a reason to be mad, if you're incapable of directing your anger at the people who made you mad, you're nothing but a walking bomb. If you reliably direct it against people who have something to steal, you're not even that innocent."

Maybe they had a beef with the police, and with politicians. But, that's not who they attacked, now, is it? No, they attacked their own neighbors who had something to steal.

The beef was just an excuse to go looting.

"They" and "you" seem to be doing an awful lot of work in this discussion.

"he is advocating violence directed at the Baltimore police."

I'm saying that, if somebody wrongs you, attacking them has some logical relationship to the wrong. If somebody wrongs you, and you turn around and attack somebody else, you can't point to being wronged as an excuse, you're just a mad dog.

I don't think the police are categorically immune from justified violence. It's generally not prudent, though it may frequently be justified.

But setting aside all questions of prudence, what did the rioters' actual victims do to deserve it? Nothing.

If you can't direct your violence at the people who actually wronged you, why should anyone care if you were wronged? You're a beast, not a person to be reasoned with.

I'll repeat myself.

I don't get it. Why are you asking this?

The point being that not enough people take the time to consider the broader context in which these things happen. No, it's just tough-guy moralizing about how to put the animals down and give them what they deserve.

Rioting is fncking stupid. It doesn't require the most stupid response, though. And sometimes people do stupid, wrong things when they've been fncked with day after day, year after year, hopelessly and without recourse.

It doesn't excuse it, but I would think a rational person would prefer avoiding predictable and violent reactions to simply reacting violently to them.

You're a beast, not a person to be reasoned with.

Let's take this as an assumption, for the sake of argument. How did someone born with 46 chromosomes become a beast rather than a person to be reasoned with? Is that something to be avoided?

Brett 1:54: I have to admit, that is pretty much my opinion of people who set fire to buildings, loot businesses, and beat up innocent bystanders: Enough already, cap their asses.

Brett 2:08: That's because the riot was scheduled in advance. It wasn't spontaneous.

I was around when we saw rioting in the Bay Area in the late 1960s. The same kind of burning and looting happened. And those riots were also planned -- I personally made a point of picking up the flyers each morning, so I would know which areas to avoid later in the day.

It would be fascinating to know if Brett would be quite so eager for lethal measures when the rioters were upper middle class, white, college kids. Which they surely were then. Or would he be advocating for those kids carrying guns as is their right, so they could fight back at government oppression? Hard choice.

If somebody wrongs you, and you turn around and attack somebody else, you can't point to being wronged as an excuse, you're just a mad dog.

oh, indeed

What should the politicians do? Let the city burn and tell the people that violence is OK?

No. They need to start doing something about the conditions that lead people to go effing bonkers in large numbers and destroy lots of sh1t.

They shouldn't be held to account for their actions because, like wildfire, they transcend notions of right/wrong, moral/immoral, wise/unwise.

Who's making this argument?

Chief Justice Roberts: "If a woman wants to marry a man, she can. If a man wants to marry a man, he can’t. Why isn’t that sex discrimination, he wondered."

Well, I think we can see where this is going:
On gay marriage being a right: 6-3 in favor, with Roberts concurring, rather than agreeing with the reasoning of the other justices.
On states having to recongnize gay marriages from other states: 6-3. Or even 7-2 -- depending on whether Alito (or even Scalia) decides he doesn't want to open the can of worms about when states must recognize contracts lawfully entered into in other states.

The riots still raging in Baltimore after protests against the police-custody death of Freddie Gray aren't happening in a vacuum. The violence and destruction are in no way justified but they can be partly explained by decades of failed governmental attempts to rejuvenate Charm City's fortunes. Predictably, these efforts fail, even as they squander public resources and taxpayer dollars on useless projects that benefit well-connected politicians and business interests.

Like many older American cities, Baltimore's population peaked at about 950,000 in 1950 and since then has settled into a long and virtually uninterrupted decline, even as the surrounding areas gained in people and opportunities. Currently about 622,000 people call Baltimore home and there's every reason to expect more people to move out as a result of recent events.
[...]

Baltimore's Long History of Failed Development and Urban Renewal: Police abuse might have lit the fuse, but decades of awful top-down planning helped create the explosion.

But Brett, the looters are "wildfire" personified.

Nonsentient?

Holdable to no moral standard?

I'd tend to be a bit more generous in my characterization of people.

trying to make it into a racial problem

every bit of evidence is a blaring signal that it is, in fact, a racial problem. from stops, to searches, to arrests, to conviction, to sentencing: the numbers are disproportionately weighted against blacks. same behavior, different outcome; same crime, different outcome. everywhere in the country. and worse in some places.

When quoting, please use quotation marks.

TNC and I will not be having a conversation at this time, however.

Wait a minute, it definitely happens to whites as well.

did you happen to read anything else i wrote there?

TPM Bureau Chief David Kurtz, who was reporting from inside the hearing, said a white male stood up and began shouting approximately thirty minutes into the oral argument.

Kurtz was unable to distinguish the exact words of the protester. However, in an audio clip published by WFPL producer Laura Ellis, it's clear the man yelled, "The bible teaches us that if you support gay marriage, you will burn in hell!” and that gay marriage is an "abomination to god."

fundamentalists are the worst kind of people.

What exactly are you saying?

What exactly are you saying? That there's no such thing as racial bias against blacks in policing here in the USofA? Is that really an argument you're prepared to make?

...it serves to make blacks more paranoid.

Cobain: just because you're paranoid don't mean they're not after you

Kissinger: you'd have to be crazy not to be paranoid in this town.

Here is TPM's write up of the oral arguments.

So what I'm saying is that if you normalize for these factors (and some others) then the racial disparity in abuse by law enforcement largely disappears.

I assume you've found a study that contradicts all the ones that contradict what you're saying here.

And how did you come by your anecdota about particularly resistant and mouthy blacks?

So what I'm saying is that if you normalize for these factors (and some others) then the racial disparity in abuse by law enforcement largely disappears.

and you're dead wrong.

stops: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/02/us/justice-department-report-to-fault-police-in-ferguson.html

stops: http://www.newstimes.com/local/article/Report-Some-police-departments-may-skew-6183721.php

stops and searches: http://time.com/3482859/boston-police-racial-bias-aclu/

arrests: https://www.aclu.org/news/new-aclu-report-finds-overwhelming-racial-bias-marijuana-arrests

arrests: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/11/18/ferguson-black-arrest-rates/19043207/

arrests: http://www.msn.com/en-nz/health/other/investigation-uncovers-racial-bias-in-tampa-bike-arrests/vp-AAbpgkO

prosecutions: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/09/nyregion/09race.html

jury selection: http://www.eji.org/raceandpoverty/juryselection

sentencing: https://www.law.upenn.edu/live/news/2170-new-study-by-professor-david-s-abrams-confirms

etc: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/juvenile/bench/race.html

Did someone delete the comment I just responded to?

Whoops, this conversation is going to look a little odd. Yes, it's him again, our local racist troll, I added yet another IP addy to the block list. Buh-bye, "Icarus".

I have to say, cleek, you're willing to put forth a lot more effort than I am.

And, No, I don't think mouthing-off to a cop should get you beaten, but, knowing that some cops have little tolerance for non-compliance in any form, mouthing-off is a really bad idea.

Or maybe we should weed out the cops who treat everything like a nail and give them a job as a framing carpenter instead?

fundamentalists are the worst kind of people.

Don't know. Imo pretend-fundamentalists are even worse, in particular when they try to outfanatic each other in order to impress (and deceive) the real ones.

Exhibit A: about any GOP/TP primary these days. Not to forget televangelists and quite a number of media personalities.

Kennedy: "But still, 10 years is ...­­ I don't even know how to count the decimals when we talk about millennia. This definition [of marriage being between opposite sexes] has been with us for millennia. And­­ it's very difficult for the Court to say, 'Oh, well, we ­­know better."

Grrr. It's not about "redefining marriage" - as if that's the Court's role or even the role of state legislatures. It's about states granting rights and privileges selectively. Get over the whole "redefining marriage" nonsense Tony! All of you FTM.

Maybe they have to address that because of the procedural posture of the case, but Jesus.

Thanks for the link, Ugh. It almost sounds like the question of states having to recognize gay marriages which happen in other states might even got 8-1.

Which will not quite be the same, legally, as winning on whether states are allowed to ban gay marriages or not. But the effect will be that there will be gay marriages everywhere. And it will be hard for anyone to argue that you are really accomplishing anything by refusing to allow gay couples to be married at home, if they can just fly off to Las Vegas for a long weekend and end up just as married.

"Cobain: just because you're paranoid don't mean they're not after you."

Joseph Heller

Heller used proper grammar when he wrote it.

paranoia: the destroia
-Davies

Can't get no proper grammar in rock and roll.

David Simon wrote this too:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/08/david-simon-capitalism-marx-two-americas-wire?CMP=ema_565

hat tip DKos

That's a good link there, Count.

"Rioting is fncking stupid."

No. Burning your own house, looting your own house, beating yourself up, is fncking stupid. Doing it to other people is fncking EVIL.

These people didn't loot stores because they mistook them for police stations. They looted stores because they were in the mood for a bit of robbery, and holding a riot would give them cover, and cause the people who are actually stupid to be in a mood to stupidly forgive them for it.

Don't be one of those stupid people, have the guts to recognize evil when confronted with it.

lots of things are evil.

Whatever, Brett. Your sense of moral superiority is the most important thing. Your guts and lack of stupidity, too.

Don't be one of those stupid people, have the guts to recognize evil when confronted with it.

Here is a basic timeline of Gray's arrest and subsequent death.

The injuries that caused Gray's death were three fractured vertebrae and a crushed voicebox. His spine was about 80% severed.

One medical examiner characterized the injuries as like something you would expect from a car crash.

There was no car crash. Something else happened. Nobody seems to know what.

I still think there's a real possibility that all nine justices, even Scalia, will affirm marriage equality.

They may publish four different opinions, but they will all concur.

This will be their chance to stand alongside the nine justices in the unanimous Brown v. Topeka Board of Education ruling, their probably last chance to retrieve their place in history from the gutter of Bush v. Gore and Citizens United.

I could maybe see a 9-0 vote on the question of states having to recognize gay marriages which were lawfully entered into in states where they are legal. Not likely, but at least possible. The full-faith-and-credence principle being as strong as it is, even Thomas might sign on to that one.

But I am failing to picture a scenario where there is a 9-0 vote to require states to license gay marriages. A failure of imagination on my part, no doubt.

A failure of imagination on my part, no doubt.

I can *imagine* arguments that Alito/Scalia/Thomas would sign onto. I just don't think its likely.

6-3 or 7-2 is my guess. I'm not completely discounting the possibility of 9-0, only because I'm assuming Roberts really wants consensus on this issue (for legacy reasons) and may be able to come up with a narrow reasoning that everybody signs onto.

Something else happened. Nobody seems to know what.

If it wasn't so sad, it would almost be an Onion article.

Man in custody severs spine. Police baffled.

"Your sense of moral superiority is the most important thing."

Yes, I feel morally superior to arsonists and looters. Frown on that all you like, you're frowning on a common attitude.

"There was no car crash. Something else happened. Nobody seems to know what."

I have no trouble at all believing that Gray was murdered. I don't have a high opinion of law enforcement, the profession is a bully magnet.

But I'm pretty darned sure he wasn't murdered by any of the shopkeepers or bystanders the rioters attacked, so what's the relevance of it?

So again, Brett...if the rioters had attacked the COPS, the "bully magnet" profession, the ones responsible for numerous deaths in their community, THAT would be justified.

But they didn't, so bad on them.

There are a million thoughts racing through my mind about Obergefell v. Hodges. A part of me has been waiting for this day for years. Now that it's here, all I feel is a tremendous lump in my throat. A decision either way changes my life forever.

A court decision in favor of SSM means that finally, FINALLY, I can breathe. Indiana is one concentrated, right-wing whack-job push away from rescinding the legal protections my wife and I currently share. A decision maintaining that all states must allow same-sex couples to wed means I need no longer worry about waking up in the morning to learn someone trying to score political points is introducing a bill in our Senate to repeal SSM here.

A decision on the second point is perhaps more important to me though. If states are not required to honor the marriages of couples who were married out-of-state, this places an enormous burden on people who want to change jobs, accept a new position in a different state, or even drive across state lines while on vacation. A heterosexual couple shares the same visitation rights at a hospital in all fifty states. They share the ability to make decisions for an incapacitated spouse, up to and including end-of-life decisions.

It's terrifying to consider travel to Ohio if by suddenly crossing my state's boarder, we're at the mercy of a whole different sludge of rules concerning our status as a married couple. In Ohio, I could be asked to leave my wife's bedside after visiting hours in a hospital. I could be forced to testify against her, or vice versa, in the case of a trial; no spousal privilege. Yes, THIS is the stupid crap I have to think about before we hop in the car and drive to Cincinnati to visit friends.

I want that gone. I don't want to look at maps, wondering if maybe it's worth taking a three-hour detour just to avoid a certain state on the off-chance something happens there. If the SCOTUS agrees with Obergefell, that's exactly what I get.

When gays and lesbians talk about wanting equal treatment, this is what we mean. I didn't want to get married just so I could flaunt it in my religious neighbor's face. I wanted to get married because I love my wife, and as human beings, we deserve to not even have to worry about the dumb things I worry about despite living in a state which has legalized SSM.

But I'm too scared, too worked up, to watch this all hash out in real time. I just want to wake up tomorrow morning and hear things went my way. If they don't, well, I'll still live. She and I will still be married. And I will still love her with all of my heart. I'll just be heart-broken that other people refuse to see things my way.

Yes, I feel morally superior to arsonists and looters. Frown on that all you like, you're frowning on a common attitude.

Forget what I said about your lack of stupidity. It's your sense of moral superiority - or one-upmanship, even - that you're so dissatified with the characterization of rioting as being fncking stupid that you need to respond that, "no! - it's eeevillll, and you're too much of a moral cowrard to admit it, and you're stupid for excusing it."

You really nailed it there, Brett. That, of course, is what I meant when I wrote that rioting was fncking stupid - that it must be excused, because it's not evil. That's always what people mean when they don't go far enough according to your desire for opprobrium, stupid moral-cowards that they are - compared to you, sitting on your high horse.

[...]
The stakes in the same-sex marriage cases are undeniably high, both for same-sex couples and for advocates of traditional marriage alike. But the megawatt attention over the cases should not obscure how the rights of millions of entrepreneurs and others could vanish overnight if the Supreme Court adopts the legal reasoning used by the 6th Circuit. No matter if you support traditional values or marriage equality, America does not need a decision from the High Court embracing the constitutionality of cronyism.

The Supreme Court's Same-Sex Marriage Decision Could Unintentionally Uphold Crony Capitalism

Heh. Dahlia Lithwick: Throughout the argument, Bursch [arguing against same-sex marriage] grants adoptive parents a slightly lesser bond than biological parents, which is a strange tactic before a court with two members, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas, who have adopted children, and who might not believe that their bonds are the state’s sad fallback.

Oops.

The rioting is the best thing that could happen for the Baltimore PD.

They didn't demonstrate that they had a legitimate grievance. They demonstrated they were fing animals in need of being put down

I like the standard being applied here for fing animals in need of being put down.

Irresponsible, reckless, heedless, destroyers of other people's lives, property and livelihoods.

Let's get 'em all. Not just get 'em, let's put 'em down like fing animals.

When I had my cat put down, it was a fatal dose of barbiturates delivered intravenously. We could do that, or we could just go the cowboy way, like putting down a lame horse. A bullet in the brain.

Here's my short list.

The MF'ing executives of the tobacco companies from way back when, standing up and lying to Congress about what the research said about the health impacts of smoking. One in the hat, or a fatal dose of downers via IV. They pick.

The greedy SOB's who sank the global economy in '08 to get their six and seven figure bonuses. Boris the Whale, and the @sshole that ran Countrywide, and all of their buddies. Maybe Jamie Dimon, that would make an impression. One in the hat, or a fatal dose of downers, they pick.

Don Blankenship, from Massey Energy. Nufff said. No bullet, no downers, we seal him off in a tunnel a half mile down and let nature take it's course.

Gary Southern, president of Freedom Industries, who dumped thousands of gallons of poison into the drinking water of 300,000 people in West Virginia. No bullet, no IV, he drinks the water he poisoned until he drinks 300,000 gallons or until he's dead, whichever comes first.

Dick Cheney, for personally making sure that fracking technology was exempt from every relevant law and regulatory policy. No bullet, no downers, he gets to drink a gallon of fracking fluid per day until he's dead.

This is kind of fun, I could go on for hours.

Let's all pile in. Everybody chime in with their candidates for the veterinary remedy. This thread will go over 1,000 comments in no time.

If we want to be putting people down like fing animals, I insist on equality under the law. You mess with people's lives, property, or livelihoods, down you go. Like a fing animal. Not my words, that's courtesy of our pal Brett.

They can take a bullet and go the cowboy way, or take a barbiturate IV and go like my cat. Their choice.

You want to kill somebody for throwing a chair through a window? You're raising the bar dude. Be careful what you wish for, this could get very entertaining.

When gays and lesbians talk about wanting equal treatment, this is what we mean.

Yes. Equal treatment.

Don't believe in gay marriage? Don't marry somebody of your own gender.

Problem solved.

Equality under the law is one of a very small handful of bedrock foundational principles of what makes the US the US. If anybody's left out, it ain't working.

Bursch [arguing against same-sex marriage] grants adoptive parents a slightly lesser bond than biological parents, which is a strange tactic before a court with two members, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas, who have adopted children

It's also asinine because *a lot of gay people are the biological parents of their children*.

Seriously, this is being presented as an argument in a SCOTUS case? Folks need to get out more.

If Brett thinks black Baltimoreans would have done better to attack those actually responsible for the indignities they have suffered, he should clean his private guns and take inventory of his own ammo. For it is fundamentally the knee-jerk, holier-than-thou, white-privilege mindset of people like Brett that underlies the shit black people constantly have to eat in this country.

If Brett the Bulwark-Against-Tyranny Libertarian were actually serious in his views about the 2nd Amendment, he'd be threatening to take up arms against the Baltimore Police himself.

If Brett's attitude on the previous issue is that people should defend their own damn rights, with firearms if necessary, and leave him the hell out of it -- well, that would raise the interesting question of whether Brett would encourage the "beasts" and "mad dogs" to pack heat like the red-necked and the lily-white.

If Brett is offended by any of the above, I would not condemn him for breaking his own windows and setting fire to his own furniture in response.

--TP

To have a lawyer so fail in his job as to (presumably from ignorance) stand up and make an argument which tells a judge that his family arrangements are deficient? Too bad for his clients that it is now too late to fire him for malpractice.

But maybe they can sue him after. Especially if his argument turns Thomas against them -- that will take serious effort to achieve.

Wow, russell, great job simulating one of count's rants.

Needs moar "pig-filth", but otherwise 100% pitch perfect. Bravo!

Wow, russell, great job simulating one of count's rants.

The Count occupies another plane of blog discourse. He weaves tapestries where I am happy to pull a single thread from my spindle.

I'm just a grunt.

But thanks for the kind words.

"You're a beast, not a person to be reasoned with."

Funny, isn't it, how Brett Bellmore only ever applies this sort of language to black people? You might think he'd have learned from being banned by Crooked Timber not to let his racism show quite so blatantly. I guess that good old neo-confederate itch needed some scratching.

oddly, Brett's authoritarian side only seems to come out when authority is kicking black ass. all the other times, he's like authority is the tool of the corrupt elites who assert their will through violence and the enslavement of our freedoms! give me weapons so that i may fight their tyranny!

pish and posh

Just watched a fair bit of this. 40 years ago this month.

Cleek, you are doing Brett an injustice. I don't think he is really racist. He just has blind spots you can drive a big-rig through. It really is a very different thing.

Yes, I feel morally superior to arsonists and looters. Frown on that all you like, you're frowning on a common attitude.

There is no substitute for the moral high you get from the heady gusts of rush of self righteousness, and one would willingly burn down just about anything to sustain it.

Reason itself, it would seem.

Anything can burn. You just need enough heat.

One can only be amazed by those who are comfortable asserting they know better the ways of resistance than those who are actually oppressed.

What kind of moral blindness does it take to NOT feel superior to arsonists and looters? What the heck is the point of being capable of exercising judgement, if you're determined not to do it?

Somebody refuses to bake a cake, you're willing to judge them, impose penalties. Somebody burns a store to the ground after robbing it?

We mustn't be judgmental.

"One can only be amazed by those who are comfortable asserting they know better the ways of resistance than those who are actually oppressed."

Oh, that makes a lot of sense. And I suppose you can only be amazed by those who are comfortably well off asserting that they know better than the poor how to make money, athletes asserting that they know better than couch potatoes how to stay in shape, and so forth.

Cleek, you are doing Brett an injustice. I don't think he is really racist. He just has blind spots you can drive a big-rig through.

I think that we are all racist to a certain extent, so it is a pot and kettle thing. Anyone raised in the US or, for that matter, in any place that is part of the mainstream global culture can't get away from it.

Brett's problem is that he is unrelentingly unreflective and unable to admit to reconsidering something when it is pointed out to him. This leads to folks here employing bigger and bigger cluesticks in a hopeless attempt to get him to stop and pause for a moment. However, I don't think the cluestick has been made that will get him to reflect. So why even bother?

For those of you who are open to the possibility that it might not be the fault of those who are rioting, you may want to consider this.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/how-baltimore-riots-began-mondawmin-purge


Somebody burns a store to the ground after robbing it?

What you don't seem to understand, Brett, is that there are larger questions than whether or not rioters, arsonists and looters did something wrong on a particular day. That's the point people are trying to make, or at least the point I'm trying to make.

What's driving this particular line in the discussion is that you latch onto my charactrization of rioting as being merely fnck stupid, which falls short of your characterization of it as being evil - a characterization you never used until you decided to get on your high horse and demonstrate my, and I assume others', moral blindness. It's bullshit.

Do you really think I'm going to complain if they catch someone who lit a store on fire, arrest them, try them and sentence them to prison? Guess what? I'm not. That's how judgemental I am. Put them in jail. Is that good enough?

The thing is, I'd prefer that there not be any rioting in the first place, rather than putting people in jail for rioting, so I'd like to look beyond the immediate circumstances of a single day to understand how things got so fncked up. The rioters actually are human beings, not animals, and they are exhibiting human behavior, even when roiting, looting and burning things.

It's certainly not desirable human behavior, but that many people don't just go out and do that sort of thing over nothing. Asking why they did what they did, looking for reasons, isn't looking for excuses, but you're too full of righteous fervor to think beyond how to punish the rioters.

And you have yet to address your point about their actions being misdirected at innocent people, rather than the admittedly criminal police. If they had directed all their anger and destruction at the police, would it have been okay, in your opinion? Would they be patriots then?

Somebody burns a store to the ground after robbing it?

We mustn't be judgmental.

I don't think anybody here has made the argument that looters are beyond judgement. Or if they have, I've missed it.

I wouldn't make that argument. I would say, chaos and its attendant violence are predictable and expected when a group of people are marginalized, and their government is not representative of their needs or concerns.

I think what TNC was getting at, and I agree with, was that police brutality on a population will ultimately result in the population being violent. And while its all well and good to urge nonviolence, it rings hollow when those calls are coming from the very people who are shrugging their shoulders about a severed spine.

Your point that the rage and violence could potentially be better directed...well, I suppose. But I don't think that anybody has made the argument that its properly directed, just that undirected violence is expected and predicable.

Of course, all my talk of arguments 'anybody has made' is based on my perceptions. I don't speak for anybody but myself.

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