Continuing Abasement

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

To keep our law licenses, Minnesota lawyers must take mandatory training in Eliminating Gender Bias in the Legal Profession, generally “taught” by women lawyers and judges. My most recent session was a disappointment. When a man pays good money to be insulted and humiliated by a powerful woman, she should be wearing fishnet.

Joe Doakes

Como Park

When I got divorced, law required people to take a “co-parenting” class – which amounted to a couple of very angry women telling the guys in the room they’d better not skip out on their kids.  The cherry on the sundae?  My particular session was held at a “women’s center” in Minneapolis, where the guys all got glowered at by large women in Doc Martens as we walked to the bathroom.

I only had to do that once, though.  Every couple of years?  That’d get old.

Chanting Points Memo: The Potemkin Push

With much fanfare, a few DFL figureheads are introducing a gay marriage bill:

“Minnesotans spoke so loudly during this last election refusing to adopt that proposed constitutional amendment. It was a very clear statement, and I think we’re now ready to take the next step, and it means everything to our families.”

Surrounded by supporters, Clark and Sen. Scott Dibble, who was instrumental in the anti-amendment campaign, said their side is prepared to combat the flood of national money that’s been promised against the proposal.

I’ve been saying since the opening day of the session that the DFL was going to stall on gay marriage – and they have.

And they’ll continue to; even the DFL’s house PR organs (including the MinnPost, from which I quote) note that the DFL leadership is going very slow:

Although DFL leaders have said they personally support same-sex marriage, they haven’t been overly enthusiastic in discussing legislative action with the press.

This is echoed in fundraising letters being sent to gay marriage supporters; outstate DFLers, already alarmed by the DFL’s gun grabs and a DFL tax bill that is going over outstate like a Lindsay Lohan one-woman show in Branson, are queasy about the bill; they remember (even if the media doesn’t) that the Marriage Amendment passed, often convincingly, in most of Minnesota; it was stopped by cataclysmic turnout in the Metro.

Where, unlike greater Minnesota, the issue is a winner for the DFL.

My fearless prediction:  the DFL will introduce the bill with much fanfare (ok, that’s not a prediction, that’s what happened).  It’ll quietly die in committee.  And the Alliance for a Better Minnesota will send its flying monkeys out next year to spin the death as perfidy by a GOP caucus that, in fact, controls nothing.

Final scorecard:  those who prosper from low-information voters: 1.  Gays who wish to marry:  0.

And so it shall stay.

The New Victorians

The media practices a little Pauline Kael syndrome on the gun issue in this piece, which notes the shocking conclusion that “women” – meaning in this case “wealthy liberal women from the most liberal city in the United States” – don’t like guns much.

And in so doing, we mark the rise of a new breed of victorians:

Gun violence is the kind  of issue, said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, “that has real potential to mobilize waves of women voters and waves of office-holders.”

“What’s different here is Newtown. That cut a lot of different ways to a lot of different women.”

Perhaps.

Smart women – smart guys, too – realized that the only real defense against evil with guns is good people with guns.

Dumb women?  And men…?

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., a member of the Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, is eager to get Congress on the record on gun issues. She supports tighter restrictions.

“If we can force votes on these bills on the floor of the House and the Senate, where everybody has to be on record, it’s going to make it very clear to a huge segment of the population — that being women — of where people stand. And I think that will inform the decisions people make at the ballot box,” said Speier.

Yes, Ms. Speier, by all means get those votes on the record.

Because women are the fastest growing segment in the gun-owning population.  Across racial, social, economic and political boundaries, women are buying guns and learning to shoot faster than men are (largely because guys are more likely to have already started).

And maybe in your ofay Bay Area district, a majority of women will snif and vote against the proles with the guns.

East of the Sierras?

The article does, however, cut to the heart of the anti-gun movement:

Behind the scenes, an influential network of female philanthropists based in San Francisco is working to make sure the issue remains prominent, particularly to women.

Shortly after the Newtown shooting, members of the 20-year-old San Francisco-based Women Donors Network began hearing from their 200 members, all of whom donate at least $25,000 a year to progressive causes and individuals and politicians.

Collectively, they contribute $150 million a year to various causes and politicians, the organization says.

And there’s your battle.

The Second Amendment movement is millions of Real Americans who turn out to rallies, testify at hearings, vote for Second Amendment candidates, and above all own guns without incident for their entire lives.

The Orcs?  A few obscenely wealthy crones who write big checks to astroturf groups like “Protect Minnesota” and the “Violence Policy Center”.

Did I say “Astroturf?”

Among the women’s organizations at the forefront of the issue is Moms Rising, the 1.1 million-member activist organization co-founded by Berkeley resident Joan Blades.

“Moms Rising” is a reboot of the “Million Mom March”, the group with “1.1 million members” (no doubt anyone that visits the website is counted as a “member”) that can never muster more than three “members” for an event in the Twin Cities.

Gun violence touches every neighborhood, said Moms Rising executive director Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner. Twice in the past year, her children’s private schools in Seattle have been on lockdown because of the threat of a person nearby brandishing a gun.

“We had a national awakening with the (Newtown shooting),” Rowe-Finkbeiner said. “It is something that a lot of women — and men — could relate to.”

And I love the imagery; a bunch of upper-middle-class crones who can write $25,000 checks and whose kids are snuggled into private schools trying to set the agenda for women in Chicago, on ranches in Montana, in North Minneapolis – many of whom are just starting to realize that gun bans don’t save people; people do.

The Latest Gun-Control Argument: “Women Are Too Weak”

The same day the Obama Administration moved to open up combat roles to women, Representative Carolyn McCarthy – yet another worthless New York congressorc – appeared with Piers Morgan:

PIERS MORGAN: I have an interview coming up with two young women who wrote a piece in which they said they wanted the rights of the AR-15 weapon at home because they feared they would be attacked and they wanted a gun that would guarantee they would murder or would kill their attacker. How do you respond to that particular argument, which is they believe under their second amendment right they should be allowed an AR-15?

 

Hon? You should try a lighter rifle. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (Orc – NY) says you’re too weak and ineffective.  Oh, yeah – that’s an “M16″, which is like an AR15, but fires full-automatic, like a machine gun, which is shorthand for “more testosterone than Chuckles Schumer has ever had”.

CAROLYN MCCARTHY: I will tell you, if you talk to professionals, hunters and certainly sportsmen, they’ll tell you that’s not the gun to use. A rifle is more accurate. It’s certainly easier for a woman to be able to do that.

Heyyyyy! That’s a woman! And she’s hunting! With an AR15! And she shot a buck – call Naomi Wolf, we’ve got symbolism on aisle 15!

Oops, sounds like someone mixed up her chanting points.  The 2nd Amendment isn’t about hunting.  And while an AR15 isn’t everyone’s first choice for a home defense gun – too much overpenetration for my taste, but I live in the city – it’s not a bad one, either, objectively.

Not only are those women – Israelis, in this case – but those are all M16s, too.  Six women with fully-automatic weapons.  Doesn’t Rep. McCarthy seem a bit like an Iranian Mullah in comparison?

And one wonders if Rep. McCarthy knows that not only is the AR15 a rifle, and one of the most popular hunting rifles in most states, but also one of the lightest, lowest-recoil and easiest-handling rifles anywhere in the gun business?

It’s Lyudmila Pavlichenko. And she’s carrying a “real” rifle, a Nagant M93. Which has about double the hitting power of an AR15, and is great for going after elk, but not normally ideal for inside-the-home defense. However, I wouldn’t invade Ms. Pavlichenko’s home; she had 309 confirmed kills in under a year during World War 2. The USSR, like the Israelis, used female snipers alongside the guys. Pavchenko was the top scorer.  I bet she could pick your nose with an AR15, too. Oh, yeah – and she had a masters in literature!

At any rate, Rep. McCarthy, leave the thinking to the smart women.

Women of the 101st Airborne with, you guessed it, M16s.

Many of whom are shooters.

Why Does The DFL Hate Gay People?

The legislature’s been in session for a week, now.

And after running a fierce, lavishly-funded campaign telling Minnesotans that gay people were just like them, and that we “don’t have popularity contests with civil rights”, there is still no bill to undo Minnesota’s gay marriage ban – because Tom Bakk and Paul Thissen are worried about losing a popularity contest over gay rights.

Gays are planning a Valentine’s Day rally…:

They will hold a “Freedom to Marry Day Rally ” on February 14, kicking off what is expected to be a massive effort to rescind the current law banning same-sex marriage and replace it with a law blessing same-sex unions.

The Capitol effort comes after a multi-million dollar campaign last year that successfully turned back a ballot measure that would have constitutionally banned gay marriage in Minnesota.

Opponents say Minnesota may be the first state in the nation to vote against a same-sex marriage ban but that doesn’t mean the state will accept gay marriage.

…but they’re barking up the wrong tree.

Let’s make sure we’re clear on this; from 2006 to 2010, the DFL and its’ supporters whinged that while they controlled the legislature, they didn’t own the governor’s office, so there was no point to passing the legislation, since it’d just get vetoed.  Which is a lame excuse; if most people did, in fact, favor gay marriage, the futile vote on principle would redound to the DFL’s benefit in the next election.

But that was then.  This is now. The DFL controls both chambers and the governor’s office.  There is absolutely no political reason not to push a gay marriage bill – and if there were a political reason, it should be swept aside because, remember, we don’t have popularity contests with civil rights.

Except guns.

But I digress.  Gays – why aren’t you demanding the DFL get off its ass?

Abolishing Gender

Katherine Kersten takes on a bill that will likely get fast-tracked in this unicorns-and-rainbows legislative session; “anti-bullying” legislation:

But what if the antibullying campaign now unfolding there has little to do with protecting the traditional targets of bullies: kids who are pudgy, shy or “vertically challenged”? What if it’s driven instead by a political/cultural agenda that’s not so much about stopping bad behavior as it is about using the machinery of state education to compel children to adopt politically correct attitudes on “the nature of human sexuality,” “gender identity” and alternative family structures?

What if a new antibullying law would require private religious schools — along with public schools — to enforce this agenda, so families who don’t want to subject their kids to indoctrination in state-approved views of sexuality have no educational refuge?

In the 2013 legislative session, you’ll hear lots of warm, fuzzy language from lawmakers and public officials about protecting “all kids” from bullying. You’ll read about hearings designed to break every legislator’s heart with tearful stories about bullying.

But every Minnesotan with a child in public or private school should understand that there’s more going on here than meets the eye. Antibullying legislation is coming early in the session; its final shape is unknown. But the legislative goalposts were set in August 2012 by Gov. Mark Dayton’s Task Force on the Prevention of School Bullying, whose report announced recommendations on the shape a new law should take.

What it basically means is that Minnesota’s kids – in every school, religious freedom be damned  - will be systematically taught that gender doesn’t matter.  That there’s no difference between men and women, and that having a traditional (also scientific) view of gender is, itself, a form of bullying.

And, by the way, it won’t prevent a single case of what most of us think of as “bullying”.

And since it’s “for the children”, it’ll skate through with scarcely a speedbump.

It’s Good To Know…

…even as Congress flagellates our grandchildren with debt and inflation looms around the corner, that some things never change.

Like the excitement America feels for the marriage of Hugh Hefner and Brittney Cummings Ashlee De La Tata Desirée Van Hondestijl ”Crystal Harris”:

Hefner, 86, married fiancée Crystal Harris, 26, in front of family and a few close friends at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles on Monday, the magazine publisher confirmed on Twitter.

“Crystal & I married on New Year’s Eve in the Mansion with Keith as my Best Man. Love that girl!” he Tweeted early New Year’s Day.

The bride wore a floor length strapless gown in soft pink and the groom wore a traditional black tuxedo, Playboy Enterprises said in a statement.

After the ceremony came a private reception with a champagne toast and the bride and groom cut the wedding cake.

And then the incident zone wedding was put under quarantine as the guests and all furniture were sprayed with emergency disinfectant.

Just look at the lovely couple:

The dog is the only one of the lot that should be voting, if you catch my drift.

Still, after a decade (?) of hearing about Kardashians and “Real Housewives”, Hef almost seems…wholesome, doesn’t he?  In comparison, I mean?

And the pre-nup has to be a work of engineering not unlike the Verezzano Narrows bridge.

It’s Time To Start Legalizing Gay Marriage!

Yesterday, I noticed that even some of the brighter leftybloggers are figuring out – or drifting in that direction – that the DFL majority in the Legislature isn’t going to knock itself out to legalize gay marriage.

But there’s another angle to this.

The DFL (or, more accurately, the various non-profits that control the DFL’s entire messaging effort) created an unprecedented turnout against the Marriage Amendment.

The rhetoric was crude, zoomed in on the lowest common informational denominator; “Marriage is about Love!”   “Who are we to get in the way of Love between two people?!”  ”Say no to hate!”

If you are a gay MInnesotan, who no doubt turned out in excess of 100% against the Amendment and for the DFL last month?

If you are one of the mass of Minnesotans who was inveigled into feeling warm fuzzy feelings about same-sex marriage by the parade of celebrities, washed-up ex-Republicans and model TV families?

If you’re one of those libertarians who figured “what can it hurt?”  Who believed that  the issue was truly about “no hate!”, and who didn’t wanted to be called a “bigot?”

Here’s the deal:  if the DFL doesn’t, on the first day of the session, put forth a repeal of Minnesota’s anti-gay-marriage law, and ram it through committee and to the Governor’s desk like Jared Allen chasing down a quarterback, then you were all played for suckers.   You and your vote were nothing more than pawns in the DFL’s political power grab.  And their inaction will mean that the DFL has no more use for you that for a used condom; you’ll get about the same treatment.

And if you are a DFLer – say, a DFL blogger or tweep – who doesn’t push, relentlessly, for the DFL to get the anti-gay marriage legislation repealed, and a gay marriage law enacted immedately, then you are not only aiding and abetting the DFL’s hypocrisy, but you are hypocrites yourselves.

So what’s it gonna be?

If you’re not complete hypocrites, you should have this done by March.

Continue reading

You Read It Here First

Gay marriage is worth more to the DFL as a permanent wedge than it is as policy.

I predicted right after the election: defeating the Marriage Amendment, to the DFL, was about waving a bloody shirt to get out the vote; not  a prelude to doing anything to legalize gay marriage.

Legalization would galvanize conservative opposition to the DFL on an issue where the currently-rulling party doesn’t need the friction – and, more importantly, would deprive the DFL of one of its bloodiest waving shirts.

Some on the left – Sally Jo Sorenson at BSP, Aaron Rupar at the City Pages – are finally figuring out that the new DFL majority are talking out both sides of their mouths, although neither will, or knows to, put it in those terms yet.

So mark my words (and if you don’t, no worries; I’ll mark them for you); there will be no repeal of Minnesota’s statutory ban on gay marriage. Oh, there may be a token bill; Scott Dibble and Karen Clark will submit a proposal, which will die in DFL-controlled committee (with the DFL’s noise machine doing its best to paint it as “GOP obstructionism”).  By 2014, gay marriage will be exactly as illegal as if the Amendment had passed.  And by 2016, whatever the results of the 2014 House elections, the DFL-controlled Senate will have blocked it as well.

What If They Declared A “War On Women”…

…and lost?

Women are defecting from Obama in the swing states, according to USA Today/Gallup:

And don’t sweat the non-battleground numbers, Real Americans; they include California, New York, Massachusetts and other states that are definitely not battlegrounds…

Losing a “War on Women” – and by losing, we mean “having it shown to be a febrile propaganda cookie that women shunned in droves” – may be among the best things that could happen to American society.

Follow-up quiz:  In the wake of this polling, will the Obama Administration’s attempts to scare The LIttle Ladies back into compliance with The Party be:

A:  Desperate
B: Very Very Desperate
C: Pathetically Desperate
D: Overdrive/maximum overboost/Baghdad Bob-level desperate?

(And for all you history buffs – if the Dems lose the “War on Women”, does that make the Sandra Fluke kerfuffle sort of a Gleiwitz Incident?)

The Dumbest Argument Against The Marriage Amendment Ever

As I’ve said before, I’m ambivalent about the Marriage Amendment.  I’m still not entirely sure how I’m going to vote on it.

But I did encounter the least convincing argument against the amendment of all the other day:

[Any amendment supporter] is teh heppocreet!  They are teh divorced!  How can they limit marriage for others when they don’t take their own vows seeriously?  That is sucks!

This argument drips stupidity on almost too many levels to count.  But I’ve built a bit of an unremunerated career cataloging stupidity that drips; it’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.

  1. Divorce is an awful thing – but sometimes it happens for a reason.  Even the Bible allows a couple of grounds for divorce – cheating, and being abandoned by a non-believing spouse.  I said “allows”, as opposed to “encourages”. Society has added a few more; people are only expected to give so much leeway to addicts, abusers and the like.
  2. By the way, that “hypocrite” argument only stands up if one assumes gays will have a divorce rate of zero.
  3. The fact that one has been divorced – leaving the cause aside (see 1, above) – doesn’t mean the person doesn’t believe in traditional marriage, or plan to make sure their next attempt is one.
  4. If you’ve been out drinking, and have had about six too many, and are about to head out to your car to drive home, and a friend whom you know to have had a DUI 10 years ago says “give me your keys, I’ll give you a ride home”, do you say “You are teh hipocreet!  You had a DUI!  You can’t tell me about teh rules of driving!”?   If you’re not one of those people who says “Divorced people who support the Marriage Amendment are hypocrites”, you’re probably smarter than that.
  5. A key tenet of the Christian belief that animates so many Marriage Amendment supporters (and enrages the opponents) is the idea that we are all imperfect; we all fall short of our ideals.  We are forgiven via God’s grace and the salvation He sent us via His son.  We err.  We sin.  We repent, and try to do better next time.  Christ, we believe, doesn’t tattoo sinners with scarlet letters that follow them the rest of their lives.
  6. If you’re a DFLer – your party supported, and still supports, no-fault divorce.  Careful, your leadership will spank you for being a heretic.

There is a debate to be had about the Marriage Amendment.  The Amendment’s opponents have largely done a terrible job of making that argument.

But this one is the dumbest of all.

The Democrat War On Women

A few quick facts:

  1. Women,for whatever reason, tend to vote much more reliably to the left than do men (at least until they have kids; then it levels out)
  2. Women use more healthcare services than men.  Lots more.

So who’s going to be the big loser when the Democrats take control (Control! Of womens’ health!) of healthcare, and – inevitably – need to ratchet up the rationing?

Ann Althouse:

Come on, be honest. Don’t you want the federal government to have a complete overview of health care? The potential rationality is stunning. And one thing in this emerging rationality is clear: Although women tend to love the notion of government control more than men do, it is women who will be told they’ll have to cut back. On treatments. And years. You know we’ve been taking more than our share.

Read the whole thing.

And remember the example whenever libs start yapping about people voting “against their own best interests”.

One Reason I Would Like To See Gay Marriage Pass

In the modern media consciousness, there is no more noble, pure-as-the-driven-snow construct in all of humanity than the Gay Couple.

Now, I have nothing against gay couples.  Indeed, while I believe that God or Evolution or remorseless fate or random biology or whatever you believe in did in fact create male and female parents for some very good reasons – they are different, and both bring things to the child-rearing process that the child needs and that the parent of the other gender lacks – that for example it’d be preferable to have adoptive kids raised by gay couples than, say, single parents.  If nothing else, they can play one-on-one instead of zone defense against kids.  You laugh, but it’s important.

But the debate about gay marriage has nothing to do with children (and if it did, gay couples would eschew marriage, since the divorce industry is the worst thing for children). Indeed, you can listen to gay marriage supporters for years – as I have – and hear scarcely a mention of children (which is true of way too many straight couples too).

But here’s the one reason I’d like to see gay marriage pass.

Currently, gay couples – at least, the sort of gay couples that intend to get married – are portrayed, inevitably, as saints and angels walking among us.  Kind, loving, perfect parents, in a relationship placid enough to shame a fifties sitcom family.   And go ahead and read any thread about gay marriage on Youtube; the thread will be full of teenagers saying “I’d take any gay couple over my parents” (although I suspect you’d see some of those same kids saying the same thing on video threads about the Partridge, Manson and Ganbino families.  Teenagers are like that).   And always, always, always, whether in anecdote or media report, gay couples are juxtaposed with straight couples – who fight, get divorced, get arrested, have the sorts of problems real couples have these days.

You never see the couples where one partner is flopped on a sofa in front of a TV, halfway through a twelve-pack, while the other partner is screaming at her about how she could have been something until she met her.  You never see the cop cars in front of gay couples houses, frog-walking a boxer-clad handcuffed gay guy out to the car while the other, in a tank top, bellows “I love you, Earl!” from the porch of the trailer and vows to come and bail him out.

The reason is most likely political correctness (and the fact that gay couples, having to adopt kids as they do, do have to be highly-motivated and just-about-perfect, at least for a while).

And if gay marriage were legalized, one minor fringe benefit would be that gay couples would actually “get” to be human.

Or at least the media – news, entertainment and otherwise – might start portraying them as humans.  Which is another matter altogether.

Further Evidence…

…that the Light Worker’s campaign is aimed at the one group he’s got a shot with: the not very well informed:

This is an ad, as Ed points out, that even left-leaning Politifact has rated “pants on fire”.

As this blog has been noting for quite some time now, the Democrat strategy seems to be to just toss crap in front of the electorate and hope just enough of it sticks to the dim, uninformed, adolescent, solipsistic and over-emotional to eke out a win.

It worked for Mark Dayton.

Long Past Easy Answers

So the other day on Twitter, I took the liberty of congratulating Lynn Cheney for “marrying” her partner.  I took the liberty of pointing out that Cheney, lesbian though she is, has a rare and glorious ability to shred through lefty chanting points.

A couple of  liberals on Twitter, smelling rhetorical trap, tried to turn that into an endorsement of gay marriage and/or a position on the Marriage Amendment this fall.

Naturally, I’m not falling for any of that.  The fact is, I’m personally, deeply ambivalent about gay marriage.  And about the Marriage Amendment that will be addressing the issue in Minnesota this fall.  And about marriage, regardless of the genders of the participants, for that matter.   One of the liberals accused me of “moving the goalposts”, as liberals always do when one introduces logical or moral nuance into an argument (remember – they’re the smart ones, and the only ones allowed to have nuance or observe gray area in their world views).

But notwithstanding the lefties’ attempt to back me into a rhetorical box of their making, which I brushed aside with ease and style (as always), it did start me thinking; it’s getting toward November.  I mean, it’s four months away.

And I’m still undecided about the Marriage Amendment.

As I’ve written in the past, the Marriage Amendment is…

  • On the one hand, a bad idea:  The libertarian in me bristles at the idea that the government should be telling people what to do in their personal lives.  Marriage is a contract; if two people have standing to sign a contract, why not?  Animals and children cant’ sign ‘em, after all.
  • On the other hand, the Amendment is a great idea: It should bring out social conservatives to vote.  Look, I hate using peoples’ personal lives as grist for the political mill, but it’s the coin of the realm.  And the long-term survival of this country does in fact depend on the political extinction of the current version of “progressivism” and its vessel, the Democrat party.  If this issue is a milepost on the way to the extinction of the DFL, I’m all for it (although I think the Voter ID Amendment will be much more useful in that regard).
  • And on still a third hand, a good idea: because it’ll force gay marriage proponents to learn to actually debate an issue, rather than browbeat their opponents, which seems to be just about the only “debate” tactic any of them knows.

Because on the one hand, I believe government should stay out of peoples’ personal lives.

On the other, I believe “Marriage” is mostly a religious institution.

On the third hand, I find most of the arguments for gay marriage just as illogical as some of its proponents find “because Jesus said so”.  A quick sample, off the top of my head:

“Support Gay Marriage or we’ll thow things at you”:  This video clips is making the rounds; a young Marriage Amendment opponent tossing glitter at Amendment supporters at a demonstration outside General Mills:

He tosses glitter at old people, toddlers – and then has a hissy when people get mad at him.

And reading the comments to the video are enough to make you truly afraid for this nation’s future.  If the next great cultural war is fought on the fields on logic, ethics and fact, we’re screwed blue.

I’m not going to say “this is the best argument that gay marriage supporters can muster” – notwithstanding the fact that it’s the best a lot of Amendment supporters can muster, it’s clearly not a great argument.  But much of the Minnesota gay movement has tied itself to the glitter bomb as its primary positive case.

Color me unconvinced.

Still, the better ones have challenges as well.

“Civil Rights aren’t the subject for popularity contests”: Of course they are.  The government and media spent years demonizing people who supported the Second Amendment, in order to shave those rights back as far as they could.  And ask German-Americans about the popular laws enacted during World War I, or Japanese Americans during World War II.

“But those were mistakes”.  Sure.  But that’s a separate question.  We constantly subject rights, including rights purportedly enshrined in the Constitution, to popularity contests.

“You antis are hung up on a word”.  Well, sure – the idea that “marriage” is a religious institution, while “civil unions” are not.

But let’s be honest – everyone is hung up on a word.  Try this exercise with your favorite local gay marriage proponent – and by this, I mean the reasonable one, the one that can hold a civil argument (we’ll get to the others later):

YOU:  Allowing for the fact that no major faith group (outside some dissenting congregations here and there around the US) sanctions gay marriage, and none of them do so on theological grounds, what are your reasons for wanting gays to marry?

GAY MARRIAGE SUPPORTER (GMS):  So that gays have rights to visitation, so they can visit each other in the hospital and have power of attorney, inheritance, the various tax benefits, the ability to transfer custody of children in cases of death or disability, those sorts of things.

YOU: OK.  So it’s a legal thing.

GMS: “Yep”.

YOU:  OK.  So I propose that we adopt Civil Unions.  It’s a contract between two adults of majority, conferring every single one of the rights you mentioned and a few others you (well, OK, I) forgot, just like marriage.  Only it’s called a “Civil Union”.

GMS: That’s not OK.  People would view that as a second class institution.

YOU: But you yourself said this was about rights.  You’ll get every single right that a married mixed-gender couple gets.  Exactly the same resolution to every single situation under the law.  What’s the difference?

GMS: People will think Civil Unions have a lower status.

YOU:  Hm.  So a parallel institution that is exactly legally equal to straight marriage is not acceptable because…

GMS:  Because you are hung up on a word.

YOU: Gotcha.

“Because Marriage is about love!”:  I have to clamp off my own personal cynicism about marriage to answer this one.  But even being idealistic for a moment?  No, it’s not.  Ask anyone who got married for “love”.  ”Love’ carries you through about the first two years, if you’re lucky.  After that it’s about a lot more than “love”.

Which is not to say that gay couples don’t have whatever that is.  Just that the “Marriage is love” chant is a stupid one even for straights.

Still, it’s better than this one:

“A Gay couple would be better than so many of the straight couples out there!”: Have you noticed how every gay couple that anyone ever refers to is Ozzie and Harriet these days?  And those Ozzy and, er, Ozzy couples always get compared to straight couples that are like Joan Crawford and whoever she was married to?

Gay marriage supporters have painted not so much gay marriage, but gays who want to marry, as just plain better human beings that all us nasty, angry…human straights.  It’s becoming a bit of a stereotype – the doting, impeccable, perfect gay couple, always a better option than…whatever the option was.

Which is every bit as debilitating a stereotype as some of those other gay stereotypes.

“Marriage is a right, and we don’t restrict rights”:  There are really two responses buried in there.

Of course we restrict rights.  My right to keep and bear arms, to pick one example – which is important enough to be spelled out in the Constitution, and incorporated onto the states by the  McDonald decision – is restricted in all sorts of ways; I have to show ID to buy ammo, much less a gun; felons can’t buy ‘em, and on on, and so on.

And marriage?  Yep, restricted all over the place.  You can’t marry your first cousin – not even “for love”.  You can’t have several spouses – not “for love”, or even because your religion, Mormon or Muslim or Hefnerian, allows it.  Not even if first cousins or multiple spouses make better parents than your uptight old straight parents did.

But beyond that – is marriage a “right?”

The US Constitution doesn’t say anything – except by omission, in the Tenth Amendment, which reserves everything not covered in the Constitution (and thousands of tons of case law, naturally) to the States and People, unless the Supreme Court can find a penumbra enanating something else (see: “right” to murder the unborn – which should not be viewed as a right, btw; one persons rights can not infringe another person’s rights; abortion not only infringes the “Fetus’” right to life, in many cases it destroys whatever rights may be scattered in and among the father’s many, many legal obligations).  And the state of Minnesota defines marriage as a guy and a gal.  Which is fine – laws were made to be changed, if you have the political muscle to do it.  Go for it.

For most of human history, “marriage” has been about making, raising, securing the safety and maintenance of, and protection of children.  Which, at various times, meant that the infertile, the old and the otherwise child-”free” weren’t elegible.  In some parts of the world, “marriage” doesn’t happen until there was a baby on the way (including, until not that long ago, some parts of rural Holland).

Of course, that’s not how we’ve observed things for quite some time, with senior citizens and the “child-free” marrying, and with many, many more having children without bothering with marriage (or knowing each others’ names, in some cases) at all.

And so while “…because we’ve always done it this way” isn’t an especially satisfying answer for supporting the Marriage Amendment in and of itself, either are any of the arguments I’ve heard against it.

See the conundrum?

(Lefties on Twitter needn’t answer…)

War On Women: The Breakdown

Activist sleeper in the midst of trying to provide this nation with yet another lawyer, who claims to pay at least double the market rate for contraception and wants the government to pay for it? Good.

Woman who marries guy who becomes wildly personally, politically and financially successful, and opts from her own free will to stay home and raise five boys?  While dealnig with illness and starting out without a whoooole lot of money, family wealth notwithstanding?

Apparently bad..

Glad we could get clear on that.

Male, Black And Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Let’s be clear on two things:

  1. Domestic abuse is bad.  Don’t abuse your significant other.  Physically, verbally, emotionally.  Just don’t.
  2. If you are male in Minnesota (or, pretty much, anywhere), you need to get over the idea that you have any right to self-defense.  If a kerfuffle turns into a rhubarb and thence into scuffle, even if the woman clearly starts the fight, if the police are called and she has so much as a bruise on her wrists (from pummeling the male), and the male doesn’t have a meat cleaver stuck in his forehead, it’ll be he that goes to jail, and run into a domestic abuse charge in which he may not legally be “guilty until proven innocent”, but in which guilt is designed to be incredibly easy to prove, unless you are wealthy enough to afford quite the lawyer.  (Some of our more depraved leftybloggers, and at least one idiot state legislator, will no doubt copy this paragraph and tweet “Berg Supports Domestic Abuse!”.  Far from it.  Seriously, you’ve been warned).
With that in mind, Minnesota Viking Chris Cook was acquitted yesterday on all domestic abuse charges after his girlfriend admitted to starting the fight and concocting the “strangulation” charge:

Cook was jailed and charged with domestic assault by strangulation, which can carry a prison sentence of up to three years.

But in a phone call to a police detective 20 days after the incident, Baker recanted her claim about the choking. She said she started the fight and had beaned Cook from behind with one of her shoes, cutting him behind the left ear.

The slap that knocked her into the wall was a reflex to that, she claimed.

She also acknowledged punching him and pulling out three of the shoulder-length dreadlocks he wore at the time. (She later testified she kept one of the dreadlocks.)

She also told the detective that Cook’s slap had ruptured her left eardrum. With that information, prosecutors amended the criminal complaint to add a count of third-degree assault, which accused him of causing “substantial bodily harm” by breaking her eardrum.

The injury healed by itself.

Before the case went to trial, prosecutors offered Cook a chance to plead guilty to one of the felonies in return for a three-year probated sentence. He rejected the deal.

Baker maintained her recantation when prosecutors called her as a witness. She took the blame for the fight turning physical, saying she’d been drinking that evening, didn’t handle booze well and had made up the choking allegation because she was mad at Cook and wanted to see him jailed.

So that goes to show you – the domestic abuse system works!  Provided that you’re a millionaire who can afford a top-flight lawyer and the plaintiff actually admits to having lied about the whole thing.  Oh, and here’s hoping he can recover from ten games’ suspension to make the roster and keep your exceptionally-hard-to-achieve career.

All you guys living in trailer parks in Elko or duplexes in Minneapolis or ramblers in Hugo who might run afoul a similar situation?  Without the whole “top flight lawyer” bit?  No, no – it doesn’t work that way for you.

Also On The Agenda

Joe Doakes from Como Park is also watching the legislature:

Have you seen this?

Present law presumes parents will share Legal custody (decision-making about school, health, religion, etc.) but has no presumption on sharing Physical custody (where the child actually lives). Present law says the court does whatever it decides is in “the best interests of the child” which, in practical terms, infrequently results in shared physical custody.

Very true.  Courts are under the impression that if a couple can’t get along well enough to stay married, they certainly can’t decide on something like custody.

It’s not entirely wrong – but on the other hand, the divorce process itself – especially the “winner take all” nature of the custody system, which adds a huge extra dollop of stress to an awful time in everyone’s life.

The fact is, every couple can choose joint custody; they just need to bury their differences long enough to reach an agreement on the kids’ future that’ll convince a judge that they’re acting in the kids’ best interests.

But most parents don’t do that.  Partly because of their own emotions; partly because stress and strife means billable hours for lawyers.

And those lawyers spot a threat:

Instead, one parent gets “possession” of the kid and the other parent visits occasionally. Statistically, it seems to result in physical custody awarded to women most of the time, leading to single-mother families and absent fathers.

This law would attempt to change that by creating a rebuttable presumption that divorcing parents should share their children’s lives about equally, with obvious exceptions for abusive situations.

Feminists, including the National Organization of Women, oppose these laws for some obvious reasons – a single-mother society is a feminized society – and some less obvious; child support has become the new alimony, and the industry that’s grown around it supports not a few non-profit industries.

The public policy rationale for the proposal starts in Section 7 at line 7.1.

Considering that this law might help men, the Star Trib’s take was amazingly supportive.

There is mounting opposition from divorce lawyers, battered women’s advocates and Democrats.

Joe Doakes

Como Park

This comes up every few years. It’s opposed by a range of interests – feminist DFLers and fundie evangelicals.

But the plague of single parenthood – meaning children who grow up with only one parent – is exacerbating all of our society’s pathologies (boys who grow up without fathers have a hard time processing anger; girls without fathers have vastly higher tendencies toward teen pregnancy and depression) and causing some new ones.  Teachers report a plague of children who never, ever get outdoors; single mothers, with a higher tendency toward fear of what’s going on around them on top of their normal female risk-averseness, are more likely to keep their kids indoors rather than letting them outside to play. And it’s causing all sorts of problems.  And single parents are just plain overworked; anyone who’s ever played basketball knows it’s easier to play one-on-one than zone.

(No, not every single parent every time. It’s a statistic,not an individual indictment).

This bill does need to pass.

Obama To Women: “Look, Little Ladies! A Shiny Object!”

Barack Obama thinks women are idiots.

Time will tell if he’s got a point.

Here’s the deal:  Obama’s poll numbers aren’t good.  Oh, the media is doing its best to spin it (with measures that seem desperate and slapdash), but the economy is still miserable (especially if you’re not too big to fail), the unemployment rate is “Down” to where the Administration said it wouldn’t go above if we passed Porkulus, and that’s through the grace of the fact that no Mullah in Iran has yet walked to the shore at the Strait of Hormuz and skipped a rock across the water, sending tankers scurrying for cover and pushing oil over $200 a barrel.  Yet.  And even so, this is the longest period of high unemployment since the Great Depression – largely because of Obama’s policies.

People have been cooling on “The One” pretty much since inauguration day.

And The One needs to get that enthusiasm going again.

And so what better to take peoples’ minds off their miseries and rile the (female) troops?

“Republicans want to take away your contraceptives!”

Notwithstanding the fact that, as Romney noted in December when George Stephanopoulos incongruously broached the subject in a debate, the subject has never come up in GOP circles.  Period.  It’s a non-issue to the GOP.

No matter.  The media is in lock-step behind the Administration’s meme that the GOP wants to outlaw contraception.  The theatrical “walk-out” of Democrats from Darrel Issa’s hearings was a classic bit of Goebbelsian theatre; while the useful idiots in the media (in this case, the gleefully dim Amanda Terkel at Huffpo) called the hearings “about contraception” they were in fact hearings on the constitutionality of mandating that religious groups offer contraception against their beliefs.

Catch that?  The Democrats don’t even need to hijack Republicans’ meetings themselves.  The mainstream media will do it for them, after the fact.

At any rate, that’s Obama’s message to female voters:  ”Never mind the economy; never mind the unemployment rate; never mind the fiscal catastrophe waiting for you, your kids, and their kids; and above all, don’t believe your lying ears when the GOP mentions that they’ve never said word one about taking anyone’s contraceptives away.  Look!  Boogeyman!”

Women, in Barack Obama’s world, are not just dim little dolts; they seem to think that women are intellectual slaves to their reproductive systems.

Absurd On Its A-List Face

“Men’s Health” magazine has presented its list of the “100 Hottest Women Of All Time”.

I’m going to submit it for general comment.

Observations:

  • Jennifer Aniston #1, but Scarlett Johannson #12?  I smell publicist!
  • Brigitte Bardot is #75 – behind Kim Kardashian (#26),Britney Spears (#4), and…Nicole Scherzinger? (# who cares)
  • Six words:  Sophia Loren is 47; Paris Hilton is 46.

But most importantly – there is no reference to Ingrid Bergman. Anywhere.

Discuss.

I mean, if you can find time to check it out during a busy work day, of course.

The Stench Of Revenge

I’m of many minds about  this story (the photos are at the link; it’s safe, but tasteless, for work).

Rossie Brovent wants £60,000 in damages from Ryan Fitzjerald.

Rossie, from Dayton, Ohio, US, wanted a scene from the Narnia trilogy inked on her back.

But thaaaat’s not what happened…

Instead she was left with a pile of excrement with flies buzzing around it.

Ms. Brovent’s ex-boyfriend had a reason…:

Tattoo artist Ryan turned rogue after discovering that Rossie had cheated on him with his best friend.

Thoughts:

  1. On the one hand – ick.  I mean – ick.
  2. On the other hand, it’s only in the details that it’s worse than most tattoos, especially full-back ink.  Note to people with full-back or ful-frontal tattoos; ugh.  Ugh ugh ugh.  That means you.   Ick.  I mean – yes, again – Ick.
  3. Seriously.  Call me a child of another era – one where tattoos meant that someone had been in the military (good) or prison (not good), but I think America is going to wake up someday from its fixation with tattoos the same way people woke up from hair styles they tried back in the seventies – except they won’t be able to get a hair cut and burn a bunch of photos to eliminate the evidence.  Nothing short of third-degree burns will get you out of that.
  4. Seriously, Mr. Fitzjerald – not classy.
  5. And yet I’m curiously impelled to give you at least some style points.

I see an Administration ban on drunk tattooing coming up.

UPDATE/CORRECTION:  When I wrote this, I wrote it more as a commentary on the battle of the sexes and on America’s gauche fixation with body art than as legal reporting.  I gotta confess, I also thought “reads like a hoax, and I’ll bet it’s henna”.

Which is good, since the story is…well, at least all of the names and the legal action are apparently fake, according to this story from which, I note, all mention of the existence or permanence of the tattoo itself is absent.

Same-Sex Marriage: Six Theses

As we start heading toward the next round of elections, both sides – the GOP and the DFL – are planning to make the biggest electoral hay that they can out of the Same Sex Marriage issue.

The GOP majority in the legislature put the issue of a Marriage Amendment on the ballot for next year.  The issue might just overshadow all other issues on the ballot, short of the presidency itself.

Just a couple of observations:

  1. Both Sides Need It To Be An Issue:  there’s evidence that the GOP left a lot of votes on the table in the 2010 gubernatorial election when Tom Emmer didn’t make gay marriage a key campaign issue.  Naturally, gay marriage is a bloody shirt that the DFL can wave at its constituents; they think it’ll get people to turn out.
  2. Neither side wants this issue to be resolved:  You caught the bit about this being a vote getter – or at least a perceived vote-getter – for both sides, right? It’s not just this election; however this amendment turns out next year, it’ll be an electoral carrot and stick for both parties to dangle out there for years to come…provided it’s not actually resolved, one way or the other.
  3. The GOP Has More To Gain By Keeping It As A Public Issue: While I agree with Andy Aplikowski that Minnesotans are generally a fairly socially libertarian bunch, I think that when you add up the math for the GOP, it’s a lot easier to get to “landslide win” if the evangelicans turn out for you.  And while evangelical conservatives will turn out for economic issues, throwing them some social red meat surely can’t hurt.  Can it?
  4. The DFL Has More To Lose: The Democrats nationwide are scrambling to give their base – to say nothing of independents – a reason to turn out next November.  Saddled with a turkey of a President, a Senate with approval lower than Mullah Omar, a slew of Senate seats at risk, the unions’ attempt to outsource agitation to the “Occupy” movement dissolving in a welter of filth, crime, sexual assault and counterculture dissipation, and Progressivism in the heartland rocked back on its heels by two-chamber flips in Wisconsin and Minnesota, the DFL needs to be able to wave the bloody shirt of “bigotry” at its gay and gay-sympathetic constituents.
  5. The DFL Needs It More: If the Democrats nationwide are in a public relations bind – still running against George W. Bush, looking forward to a campaign that has to answer the question “are you better off now than you were four years ago?” with “Hey! Mitt Romney has weird hair!”  - the DFL is worse.  They’re not really even a party anymore; The DFL is a shell that basically administers outsourcing contracts with “Alliance For A Better Minnesota”, “Take Action Minnesota”, “Win Minnesota”, “Common Cause”, “Draw The LIne” and other checkbook advocacy groups that do most of the “party’s” actual work; think “the Hessians”.  DFL could use something to get people to remember they exist.  (But they’ll likely subcontract this out to “Minnesotans For Marriage Equality”, a fully-owned subsidiary of “Alliance For A Better Minnesota”.  Yes, it’s fictional, but you know that’s basically how it’s going to work, don’t you?)
  6. The DFL Doesn’t Want Single-Sex Marriage Legalized: Think about it.  They’ve been nominally for gay marriage for thirty-odd years.  And from 2006, and especially 2008, through 2010 the DFL had absolute control of the Legislature; it was two chambers against Tim Pawlenty.  Now, the DFL maintains that a majority of Minnesotans support same sex marriage.  So if they actually believe that, why not push it through in the 2008 or 2010 sessions, when they had overwhelming control, were riding high on two landslide victories and the Obamascenscion?  ”Because Pawlenty would have vetoed it!  Why waste the votes?” is the usual answer.  So why not bypass Governor Pawlenty and go for an amendment?  Or use that purported majority of Minnesotans that favor the issue to either override the veto, or use it to get Republicans voted out of office back in 2010?  There really are only two reasons; one would be that there just isn’t that much of an electoral demand for same sex marriage – but we just know the DFL wouldn’t blow smoke up the state’s skirt, would it?  The other reason is that it’s not in the DFL’s interest either to push this issue (in the oh-so-unlikely even they’re lying) or, I suspect most likely, they don’t really want same sex marriage legalized; that would take it off the table as a get-out-the-vote issue.
Discuss.

And Another One’s On The Market!

A (presumably) couple had (an apparently) gnarly breakup.

Cops are called.

But that’s not the whole story…:

​”Gotcha” moments don’t come more classic than the one that happened in Montgomery County recently.

The Sheriff’s Office blotter says two officers were called to an apartment to investigate a sexual assault.

“The alleged victim stated to the deputies that her 26-year-old male friend had sexually assaulted her,” the report says.

Fair enough, and with that friend standing in the same apartment, no big manhunt needed.

And your typical womyn’s studies major would have convicted the guy and given him a lethal injection right about there.

But wait!

Not so fast: “Upon further investigation the deputies watched a video recording the male had made that showed the female telling him that she was calling the police because he was making her leave the apartment and she would tell the police he assaulted her.”

Hope it turns up on “Smoking Gun’s World’s Dumbest…” one of these days.