We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, September 15. 2014
Photo: A pal and his wife just returned from two weeks in Zambia. I had to wiki Zambia. They loved the trip. He promises some photos, but sent me just one thus far: A Lilac-Breasted Roller
Yes, I’m a Good Person. But Did You Hear About Her?
Sorry Hipsters, That Organic Kale Is a Genetically Modified Food - And those juicy red grapefruits are mutants created by radiation exposure
Can Republicans Win in a Post-Family America?
I live in a family America, and it's pretty good
Is Polygamy the Next Gay Marriage?
Prof Bob Carter warns of unpreparedness for Global Cooling
The president’s problem is that he has been wrong about virtually every major issue.
Democrats’ Push to Criminalize Dissent - Harry Reid wants to gut the only thing stopping federal authorities from suffocating free speech.
They’ll say anything - Israel's critics spotlight supposed human-rights abuses while utterly ignoring Hamas' culpability
At the Kurdistan Front - Holding the line against the Islamic State.
A Million Steps with Marines - What lessons can we learn from the 3rd Platoon’s experience in Afghanistan?
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Since Griswold v. Conn, there is no Constitutional warrant for laws regulating sexual behavior, although the courts have been reluctant to recognize their own child.
So laws agains polygamy will pass away as did laws against sodomy and as laws against homosexual marriage now are. Prostitution will also become legal.
The question of boundaries arises. Informed consent is the basic criterion, although I doubt the proposed California law requiring step-by-step written consent would not pass court muster. I should think that laws agains bestiality will survive on animal cruelty grounds, and necrophilia will remain illegal on the grounds of consent.
The age of consent is the sticking point. While it is now 18 everywhere, not so long ago the majority of States used 16, and many (like Ohio) used 13, meaning anyone post-pubescent. I think somewhere between 13 and 16 will return for most jurisdictions. Considering the growing influence of Muslims and NAMBLA, 13 is the likely default setting. But note that 9 is the age of consent for orthodox Muslim, so how a post-Christian country deals with that religious minority will be interesting.
And all sorts of other variations on a theme are possible. Recently, two heterosexual men married each other for the tax and other financial benefits of marriage. The LG…(?,whatever, who cares) crowd was predictably outraged. My response, LMAO.
I don't know about the age of consent since childhood is fetishized these days. I suspect those laws will remain due to ability to consent. The most recent trend is to assert college students lack the requisite maturity, at least outside formal contracts.
As for marriage, what needs to be done is to examine why the state offers benefits to those who formally marry. What is the benefit to secular society? It is only then, after a secular assessment, that what marriages the state should recognize can be determined.
I'm really tired of hearing the late to the game arguments marriage is about kids, given marriage is permitted to those who don't have or can't have kids. Nor is it, secularly, some profound covenant for most, given how flippantly it is broken and tossed aside. Again the question is, as marriage is practiced today, what is the secular benefits to society and why should the state privilege it? After that question is answered, then who and whom should be recognized as married by the state can be determined.
I was reminded of this Scribner's article from 1887, I read a few years ago. The author makes good points but his views on marriage were broken even as he wrote his article. If he is correct that private property, marriage and personal liberty are intertwined and stand or fall together, then the damage was done more than a century ago.
The Ethics of Democracy by F.J. Stimson. Scribner's Magazine (1887)
It may be that the present state is in the main eternal; it may be that the leap to socialism will be taken. Communism, under present evidence, need not be feared. Socialism is the greater danger of the two. And, to the mind of the writer, it is the greater evil; just as man himself is a greater thing than his possessions.
It was a great advantage when tyranny had one head and one neck; but what axe will relieve us from the tyranny of the majority? Foreign conquest was an evil; but it commonly took only our flocks and herds and left ourselves in liberty.
It seems obvious that marriage is a support structure for not only kids but also women. "Modern" society lessens some of the original values of marriage but one that hasn't been is a division of labor and pooling resources.
Personally, I don't worry about childless adult couples who are not married. In a way, it could be viewed as a bad example but people should be able to determine their own life. I am much more worried about adult couples with kids who are not married. The commitment implicit in marriage (as frayed as it is now) is not present in such couples and no divorce is required to split up leaving the children in a difficult situation.
Society has an interest in children being raised in intact families (see statistics about the economic and legal differences between such children and those raised by single mothers - few are raised by single fathers) - it depends on who is running the state and the current agenda whether it also has such an interest. So child tax credits make sense to me. I'm not up on the tax benefits or detriments of marriage but other than the bribe to get people to marry in case they have children or to perpetuate the desirability of marriage as an institution, I don't see why there should be tax advantages to being married. I do remember a story quite a few years ago about a childless couple who got married and divorced every year, I believe, for tax purposes. Our tax system is so loonytoons, it wouldn't surprise me if that might still be useful in some cases.
As for the original issue of polygamy, that's just a short stop before more radical changes in the definition of marriage. I think I already heard of a woman who married her dog and another who married a tree (or something like that). Sigh...
If marriage is for children, then there is no logical secular argument against any union in marriage that has the potential to provide a legal framework for two or more human adults to raise biological or adopted children.
If that is true, then there is no secular argument for the prohibition of same-sex (of any sexual orientation) marriages or polygamous marriages. The issue then is whether to permit marriages prior to the inclusion of children or after the children are no long dependent upon a multiple adult household for the best maturation. There are good arguments for permitting the prior formation of multiple adult households and their continuation after child maturation. Also, the acceptance of some multiple adult households that will not be fulfill the ideal of child rearing.
There is a lot more history of polygamous marriages with children than there is of same-sex marriages. I'm not aware of a systematic detriment to the development of kids from polygamous families.
At the least, same-sex families with children to not provide them an intimate relationship with both sexes that aid them in developing an understanding of them that is useful in life (obviously the social/mental health of the adults is important). Arguments for same-sex adoptions seem to center on the rights of the adults and seem less concerned about the children.
Where does your money go?
WOW. $1.29 BILLION (If the math in my head is correct) just this year in contracts from various government agencies.
Indeed. One wonders about the personal connections between Tetra Tech and government and if they really do anything productive with all that money?
GMO Food: Some quickly, some slowly, some very slowly, but everything gets modified.
Free Scotland: Star Trek changes --->
Global Cooling: Gonna need those coal-fired power plants! Or let the lefties freeze.
Anti-War Protesters: Well, those of us old enough in the '60s to remember--do you remember any protests at North Vietnamese embassies? Anywhere?