Posts Tagged ‘Gay Marriage’

Sorry kids, it’s been a busy week (out in the non-blogging world), but I found a few interesting things to share.

Lying Eyes had a nice piece on the limits of markets.

Jonah Goldberg notes that the taboos on criticizing Obama (and his manifest arrogance) are becoming the stuff of ordinary observation.  This breaking of taboos on criticizing bad politicians from “victim” groups is a healthy one.

The gang at Alt Right note the not-terribly-surprising interest of neocons in embracing gay marriage.

Larry Auster’s hippy past comes to light without shame or regret (or much explanation). Incidentally, this guy criticized John Kerry’s service record back in the day, as if he were the second coming of Audie Murphy.  It’s apparent that Larry served in the marijuana trenches of Colorado during the Vietnam War. And he banned me for noting the contradiction and absurdity of his highly judgmental grandstanding on the physical courage of a man, a man whom I do not particularly like, who at least spent some time on the Two Way Range.

Hillary Clinton suggests Serb minority in Kosovo might be oppressed (this after supporting her husband’s genocidal war of Muslim Kosovar liberation that left the Serbs to the tender mercies of the KLA terrorist regime run by head terrorist, Hacim Thaci).  For some reason, I think admitting that this was a huge mistake, the equivalent of Soviet “liberation” of the Poles in World War II, is quite unlikely, as are American promises of protection to the Serbs, who are the whipping boy of Europe.

In other news, Serbs will be Serbs:  young toughs were battling the cops this week in the street to stop a gay pride parade in Belgrade.  Honestly, I don’t support thuggish violence, but at least these people still have enough blood in their veins to know that Euro-decadence is the harbinger of national decline.  Conservatives in America react with a little venting and then a shrug at this and much else.  In a just world, no one beats up gays, and gays do not go out into the street in their bondage gear and expect to be treated as if they were anything but a dangerous, antisocial subculture.  (Sadly, Paladino in New York does not have the guts to defend his first instinct on this issue.)

I was happy to see the Chilean miners be freed  from their long ordeal.  It’s truly great news.  To his credit, their president mobilized national and international resources to help, including America’s NASA, and thereby showed a self-confidence that is often absent in the prickly, insecure Third World.  (Of course, Chile is probably the least Third World of all such countries, not least due to the stability and economic growth of the Pinochet years.)

Everyone is in a tizzy about the fraud of mortgage lenders being addressed now by BofA’s moratorium on foreclosures.  These issues, frankly, are interesting only to lawyers, and I’m one of them, and even my eyes glaze over at the details.  Mortgages and foreclosures are far too technical, as is our old-fashioned regime of property transfer and registration.  Once payments are stopped and a workout cannot be had, the rest is all details. No one has alleged anyone had their house taken when they were making timely payments; it’s all a question of whether some highly technical documents that no one reads or understands were signed by the right bureaucrat or not. The whole thing is a tempest in a teapot.  Since post-foreclosure any title is good against the world, contrary to the hype, this should all blow over.  More important, how much national wealth do we want sacrificed so that a completely outdated and overly expensive process is conducted with scrupulous regard for the defense bar.  That said, if you’re of a Machivellian bent, now is a great time to stop paying on your house; you could probably live their for four to five years with minimal efforts at defending from the bank, particularly in hard hit areas like California and Florida.

What can we make of all this news.  Well, America and the world are having a reckoning with their loose money fiat regime unleashed barely 70 years ago after World War II.  This whole system is unsustainable, and now the real gap between our perceived (i.e., paper) wealth and real wealth is more and more apparent.  The name of the game is deleveraging, which means paying back debts individually and collectively.  And that means pain, austerity, and, due to our nation of welfare addicts, instability in the transition. In such times, anything is possible, both in foreign and domestic affairs.  The best one can do is try to hedge.  And this means being prepared for uncertain times, i.e., anything from the Dust Bowl 30s to the Somalia 90s. And the best way to do that is to reduce debt, sock away some cash (literally, under the mattress), buy tangibles, adopt a minimalist personal philosophy, and be prepared for anything.  America may have sold its soul for granite countertops, but right now a few gold coins, an AR-15, and a month or two worth of stored food and some tradeable stuff like a generator will do a hell of a lot more for you than a stainless steel refrigerator or a jet ski.

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This piece in the American Spectator coupled with yesterday’s federal court decision overturning California’s ballot initiative banning gay marriage are instructive.  Our elites have contempt for the people.  They don’t merely view their role as one of leadership or education; rather, they are largely hostile to all the majority hold dear.  Thus their respect for representative government is at an all time low.  Power has been shifted to unaccountable institutions:  three letter agencies, the federal reserve, and the courts.  While this mode of judicial activism took a hiatus in the 1980s, as of late, open-ended constitutional provisions on matters like “privacy” or “equal protection” are used like crowbars to prevent the majority from governing itself on a wide range of issues, including gay marriage, illegal immigration, and the public schools.

The words of the recent decision are only relevant as historical evidence; they do not form the basis for the decision, which is rooted in liberalism, an obsession for equality, and, likely in this instance, the fact that the federal judge in question apparently was gay.   Supposedly the decision was based on the lack of evidence submitted by California of a “rational basis” for the law in question, rational basis being the lowest form of scrutiny under the 14th Amendment.  (The decision is actually a bit unclear on this, insofar as the law supposedly is discriminatory and thus faces “strict scrutiny” and in other parts of the opinion the judge suggests it’s based on “rational basis plus” insofar as Prop. 8 was motivated by “animus.” But the longest discussion is on the lack of evidence of any “rational basis.”)

Of course, the big picture question is how can millions of Californians on a ballot do something that has no “rational basis.”  It defies common sense.  Judge Vaughn is, in effect, saying half or more of the State of California is mad and bigoted.  And what evidence would have sufficed for this Judge?  If California had a shrink say homosexuality was a mental illness little different from people that want to amputate their limbs or tear our their hair, would that be a rational basis?  If California noted that gays have higher rates of pedophilia and that generally stigmatizing them was a public good, would that be a rational basis? If California had a respected philosopher describe the connection of
nature, purpose, teleology, and basic natural law thinking of 99% of the world regarding marriage, would that provide a rataional basis?  If California had a statistician note the unhealthy aspects of the gay lifestyle–AIDS, STDs, suicide–and said it’s a public good to generally dissuade and shame people away from this (the way we shame other behaviors like smoking that are not illegal per se), would that provide a rational basis?  I don’t believe any such evidence–indeed, no evidence at all–could persuade him and his peers otherwise.  It’s obvious to them, in the same way it was obvious to Medieval Christendom that ghosts and demons and the devil were all part of the moral landscape.

And I know it’s frequently mocked as an analogy, but if this law does not pass rational basis, what of laws against polygamy, polyandry, beastiality, and a great deal else.  They’re all rooted in an “ick” factor and an inchoate sense that sexual relations need to be orderly, regulated, channeled. etc.  It’s true the sexual revolution and easy divorce have made this concept a somewhat forgotten one.  Indeed, the whole society and its values on this front have started to tear apart for both moral and economic reasons, but that doesn’t mean holding the line long past where it should have been held is “irrational.”  Social forces make rules just as much as those rules can create such forces.   The dissipation of these other rules and prejudices, just means that there’s a lot of work to do to restore some normalcy to our society.  I wouldn’t necessarily want to see sodomy laws enacted and enforced.  There is something to be said for tolerance.  But tolerance is a two way street.  And the gay rights movement has shifted its focus from one of mere decent and humane treatment to transformation of society, the society’s views of gays, and the level of public acceptance to which they are entitled.

This whole rational basis thing is just a not very clever way of saying that everyone who disagrees with me is irrational. Crazy, even. And it defies common sense to think that millions of Californians are all collectively mad and irrational.  Wrong perhaps.  Mistaken.  Old fashioned.  But irrational?  Indeed, to think so is the height of the irrational, not least because California’s referendum was not some mass movement to a new fad (which might allow an inference of collective madness) but the confirmation of a centuries-old custom.  And the willingness of a single judge to say this is irrational on the basis of the flimsiest of Constitutional reasoning, shows the arrogance and hostility of the present-day elite.  We have a new elite largely made up of a certain class of high IQ, Ivy League graduates and their fellow-travellers, folks who do, read, and think mostly the same things.  And the one thing they think most emphatically is that the vast majority of Americans are mean-spirited hicks and evildoers who need to be shown how to behave by their social betters. 

This is not a stable regime.  The elites of old were warrior aristocracies, skilled in arms and noted for their courage.  Over time this dissipated perhaps, as did their moral basis to rule, but as recently as World War II the British nobility died en masse on Flanders’ Fields and in the jungles of Burma.  This physical courage allowed these elites at times to rule contrary to the interests and customs of the more docile peasantry. 

Does this new elite know how to fight? 

It doesn’t seem so, which is one of the reasons they seem so eager to disarm the peasantry.  At best, they know how to flee, moving to some other commercial republic, some place like Israel or Switzerland or Singapore.  They do not have deep loyalty to place and love of their countrymen like family.  This feeling, the root of noblesse oblige, is entirely absent, and their rule is therefore unstable in the extreme.

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Andrew Sullivan, as usual, is confused and lets himself get carried away when it comes to homosexuality. He notes, “In 1994, just 19 Fortune 500 brands advertised in the gay press. Last year, 183 did.”

He concludes solemnly, “The private sector has long led the government in recognizing the simple reality of gay America.”

Umm, no. The government has always recognized this just fine when it is relevant, and it certainly can’t be said to have ignored gays in the bygone age of criminal sodomy laws. No, the government treats us all the same, except when we’re different in a relevant way. It doesn’t need to recognize the “gay reality” more than any other. The government and its laws rightfully do not care if we have long or short hair, or if we spend our money on books or on CDs, or if we are stylish or dull. A gay person’s legal reality is no different than anyone’s else. A gay person can call 911, file a lawsuit, and apply for a student loan. And, of course, a gay person can marry a person of the opposite sex just like everyone else. What Sullivan really is saying by innuendo is the theme underlying so much of his writing: since esteemed big businesses don’t seem to get hung up on gays, and indeed make money marketing to them, why can’t I and every other gay person get my surrogate daddy’s approval through government-recognized gay marriage? I hate to be so harsh, but this theme runs through his and all other gay people’s appeals to acceptance rather than mere toleration.

Of course, the difference between the government and the market is profound. It is the differences between law and its attendant social approval on one side and voluntary, private arrangements on the other. The government does sometimes care if we’re a man or a woman, or a citizen or a foreigner, or any number of other distinctions. In these areas, the law’s otherwise one-size-fits-all rules recognize that people are not equal in all respects. But these exceptions are exactly that: exceptional. For the most part, the law treats all of us the same.

Businesses are quite different, since there is a great deal of money to be made by appealing to niche markets. Thus, instead of one movie or one book or one type of car or one type of music, there are many examples of each. Unlike the laws, the market and its participants gain a great deal by recognizing our differences in finer and finer detail. This doesn’t prove that the business world is more decent than the government, but rather that it functions differently. It appeals to our voluntary choices, does not use force against us, primarily seeks to make a profit, and does not purport to codify our moral sensibilities.

Indeed, the behavior of businessmen historically shows that they are prone to avarice and indifference to the common good and should, therefore, be appropriately regulated to prevent anti-social activity. Businesses, after all, have sold everything from radar detectors and unsafe cars to Olde English 800 and security systems for drug lords. Various businesses might appeal to gays–gay people do, after all, have money–but they also appeal to everyone else: good, bad, and indifferent. Government, with an entirely different set of tools and concerns must keep people and their businesses within certain boundaries. It must bestow its benefits parsimoniously. And this means, at times, it must operate far behind the curve of social change, lest faddishness be enshrined in law, e.g., urban renewal, prohibition.

Sullivan’s lazy, hair-brained, and easily refuted blog entries are a real disgrace to his own intellect and an insult to his numerous readers. His latest example of sophistry is, sadly, just one of many.

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