New Mexico Supreme Court Rules Photographer Cannot Refuse To Work At Same-Sex Marriage

RainbowFlag125px-Flag_of_New_Mexico.svgThe New Mexico Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a photography studio violated the the New Mexico Human Rights Act (NMHRA) by refusing to photograph a same-sex wedding. Vanessa Willock was told that Elane Photography had a moral objection to her gay wedding and sued under the act, which “prohibits a public accommodation from refusing to offer its services to a person based on that person’s sexual orientation.” The case is the latest in a growing number of such conflicts between religious beliefs and anti-discrimination laws. Because this is an expressive activity, it raises some difficult questions under the first amendment rights of the owners of Elane Photography, Jonathan and Elaine Huguenin. As one justice noted in concurrence, this is “the price of citizenship.” However, there remains the question of the right of citizens not to be forced to express ideas or values with which they disagree. That concern rests on a distinction between an expressive activity like photography and a cab or a movie theater in public accommodation.

The decision is well-written and well-conceived. I particularly like the part of the concurring opinion by Justice Richard C. Bosson, writing in concurrence, where he states that the case “teaches that at some point in our lives all of us must compromise, if only a little, to accommodate the contrasting values of others. A multicultural, pluralistic society, one of our nation’s strengths, demands no less.” I happen to agree with that sentiment. However, I remain concerned over the impact on first amendment rights.

The Court made a reasonable distinction between the Huguenin’s conduct as opposed to their beliefs. The law governs conduct in public accommodation. Thus, “in the “world of the marketplace, of commerce, of public accommodation, the Huguenins have to channel their conduct, not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different.”

The New Mexico Human Rights Council ordered Elane Photography to pay Willock $6,637.94 in attorneys fees and costs after finding a violation of the law.

The Court takes on the first amendment issues directly. The Court drew a compelling comparison to the Supreme Court decision against law schools who had refused to permit military recruiters to participate in their recruitment or placement activities:

Elane Photography’s argument here is more analogous to the claims raised by the law schools in Rumsfeld. In that case, a federal law made universities’ federal funding contingent on the universities allowing military recruiters access to university facilities and services on the same basis as other, non-military recruiters. 547 U.S. at 52-53. A group of law schools that objected to the ban on gays in the military challenged the law on a number of constitutional grounds, including that the law in question compelled them to speak the government’s message. Id. at 52, 53, 61-62. In order to assist the military recruiters, schools had to provide services that involved speech, “suchas sending e-mails and distributing flyers.” Id. at 60.The United States Supreme Court held that this requirement did not constitute compelled speech. Id. at 62. The Court observed that the federal law “neither limits what law schools may say nor requires them to say anything.” Id. at 60. Schools were compelled only to provide the type of speech-related services to military recruiters that they provided to non-military recruiters. Id. at 62. “There [was] nothing . . . approaching a Government-mandated pledge or motto that the school [had to] endorse.”

The problem is that a photographer does more than offer a facility. He uses an interpretive skill and art form to frame an event. This is more akin to a writer or painter as an expressive form. Of course, the problem is that many forms of public accommodation could claim expressive components from bakers to tailors. The Court has drawn a line at the government requiring newspapers or publications to carry opposing views. See Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo, 418 U.S. 241, 244 (1974) (invalidating Florida’s “‘right of reply’” statute);
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. v. Public Utilities Commission of California, 475 U.S. 1, 4, 20-21, 26 (1986) (plurality opinion) (holding unconstitutional an order to allow a third-party group to send out message with a utility’s billing statements). In one such case, Hurley v. Irish- Am. Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Grp. of Boston, 515 U.S. 557, 569 (1995) where it ruled that a parade could exclude a gay rights groups rather than force it to include an expressive component in its banner and advocacy.

The Court again draws a compelling distinction:

“Elane Photography does not routinely publish for or display its wedding photographs to the public. Instead, it creates an album for each customer and posts the photographs on a password-protected website for the customers and their friends and family to view. Whatever message Elane Photography’s photographs may express, they express that message only to the clients and their loved ones, not to the public.”

Yet, a photographer does not simply produce robotic or reflective images. They interact with subjects of their photos and arrange scenes to capture the essence of an event. For that reason, I was not convinced that photographs of this kind are solely the expression of the couple and not the photographer.

My concern is with the speech as opposed to the association. While the couple argued that third parties could conclude that their pictures show approval of same-sex relationships, the Court correctly notes that “They may . . . post a disclaimer on their website or in their studio advertising that they oppose same-sex marriage but that they comply with applicable antidiscrimination laws.” Yet, I wonder if such statements could be challenged next as creating a hostile environment.

In the end, I remain torn by this ruling. I see the logic and the precedent for the decision. However, I have lingering discomfort with a required expressive act like photography. It is in my view a close question and I would love to read the thoughts of our blog on the issues. There may be no way to accommodate such expressive rights in a public accommodation law. However, that would require deeply religious businesses to either shutdown or engage in ceremonies that they find morally objectionable. It is a tough call despite my long-standing support for same-sex marriage and gay rights. What do you think?

Here is the opinion: sc33687

683 thoughts on “New Mexico Supreme Court Rules Photographer Cannot Refuse To Work At Same-Sex Marriage

  1. I wouldn’t want a business that didn’t want to do a job for me to do it, and on the other hand if I got a job I didn’t care for I would charge top dollar. east is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet.

  2. This is actually an easier decision for me. The statutory law prohibits discrimination based on gender / sexual orientation in commerce. The married couple engaged in commerce in exchanging money for the photography services pursuant to a legally binding contract. The legislative intent is to protect the public generally from having to suffer discrimination when engaging in commerce.

    Because of this, the photography company was acting as an agent of the couple and the photography images and quality were the direction of the couple, and subject to the contract, the photography was at their direction primarily. If the photography company had been acting in a freelance capacity where there was no contract in force and the photographer had say been photographing the wedding in a public place in the hope of selling the pictures to someone else (such as a paparazzo) it would have been the photographer’s first amendment right to take or not to take the photos as they saw fit. But it was not the case in this example.

  3. I see the logic…. But, it still does not mean that its the correct result…. Since this is a private business of personal service as opposed to the general publics offering…. Such as a DL picture picture…. The opinion is subjecting them to potential future law suits if they mess up or misplace the photographs….. Based upon the previous refusal to service same sexist couples….I’m having difficultly in reconciling the opinion….

  4. I agree with Darren Smith. I understand that you may not be able to place limits on someone’s artistic creation, but the photographer is engaging in commerce. It may have an artistic bent in the performance of the service–so does running an inn or arranging flowers in some respects–but primarily the photog studio is holding itself out as a service provider.

    Having said that, because photos are so important to people and the wedding is a one-time event (no real opportunity for a do-over), I would be loathe to hire this photographer for a same-sex wedding. What would the quality of the photos be? Better to publicly boycott.

  5. Hence Rand Paul’s objections to one part of the federal civil rights act of 1964:

    “There are ten different titles to the Civil Rights Act and nine of ten deal with public institutions and one that deals with private institutions and had I been around I would have tried to modify that. …When you support nine of ten things in a good piece of legislation do you vote for it or against it and sometimes those are difficult situations. …I do defend and believe that the government should not be involved with institutional racism or discrimination or segregation in schools, busing, all those things. But had I been there, there would have been some discussion over one of the titles of the civil rights and I think that’s a valid point, and still a valid discussion, because the thing is, if we want to harbor in on private businesses and their policies, then you have to have the discussion about: do you want to abridge the First Amendment as well? …I really think that discrimination and racism is a horrible thing. And I don’t want any form of it in our government, in our public sphere.”

  6. I’ve got to agree with you 100% on this one, Prof. It’s a bit of briar patch. Plus, because of the private offering in contracts such as these, I’m uncomfortable with the notion of what is essentially forced acceptance. Consider the baker example. There is a big difference between a baker who runs a shop open to the public (as seen everywhere) and a specialty baker operating by contract even though they have a public face but not a public facility (like the woman hired to make my wedding cake). Public accommodation and open offer makes a difference.

    This isn’t an easy call at all.

  7. My non attorney take on this is which way do you lean. Do you lean toward the an individuals right to conduct their business as they see fit? Or do you lean toward the rights of the couple who want their wedding photographed. I lean toward the right of an individual to say, “No thanks.” Also being a non attorney, I see how this could have been handled more intelligently. The photographer could have simply said, “I’m sorry, I have a conflict on the day of your wedding. I’m scheduled for two other that day. May I give you the name of some other good photographers?” It would save a lot of attorney fees. I also lean toward smart, rather than ideological.

  8. It’s not against the law to be stupid, nick.

    What you are non-lawyer dancing around is that very legal issue I just mentioned; public accommodation and open offer. The for hire services of a photographer are considerably different in nature as a contractual proposition than say a restaurant or motel open to the public in a way that constitutes an open offer to contract for goods and/or services. Yeah, the smart thing would have been to beg off for a false reason, which ironically enough would have been the “PC” thing to do as well, but these kinds of cases do give a chance for judicial review of technical questions that even when they are only partially resolved provide a chance for a higher resolution understanding and refinement of areas of law that are either nebulous or unexplored.

  9. Would the logic and result be the same if all the facts were the same except the couple getting married were a white woman and a black man, or a black woman and black man?

    Or if the photographer was a black woman who refused to photo a white couple, man and woman?

    What about a protestant photographer refusing to do a catholic wedding?

  10. Gene, I agree w/ what you said. I know a lot about the law, but I am not an attorney. Dealing w/ litigation, I would see the facts being more important than the law many times. No matter how many cases I worked, it would confound my pragmatic brain to see so many conflicts that could have been solved prior to litigation so easily. I expect the attorneys to give their expert opinions on this because that’s what is called for on this post. I just gave my non expert opinion.

  11. This issue is admittedly ticklish. However, as the parent of a severely disabled child, I have had to sue on two occasions because of discrimination against my son. The first time, he was kicked out of his daycare a few days after he got diagnosed with autism at age two. He had been in this facility since he was ten weeks old. Nothing had changed in his behavior. The director just said, “You need to find another place for P. He needs to be with other kids like him.” Same thing happened with the YMCA’s after school program at my son’s public school, three years later. After telling me there were plenty of openings, when I mentioned my son had autism, the director said, “Oh. All special needs students are put on a waiting list.” I sued after he had been on the list for more than a year.

    Sorry. It’s the price of doing business. You don’t get to pick and choose your customers.

  12. nick,

    And I was saying your non-lawyer opinion was barking up a legally right tree.

    Relax.

    Have a Bud. :D

    Avoid the ER.

  13. In accordance with this ruling, Christian photography companies in New Mexico, such as Elane Photography, are now required to photograph Satanic rituals if they are solicited to do so because state law also forbids discrimination based on religion.

    If the legal reasoning behind this ruling were applied in Washington D.C., a Jewish or African-American photography company in the District would be required to photograph a National Socialist Movement rally if they were solicited to do so because, unlike New Mexico, D.C. law also forbids discrimination based on political affiliation.

    This is leading us down a rabbit hole.

  14. What about the backlash gays are going to get for forcing people to interact with them? Yeah, that’s tolerance, isn’t it. If I was a photographer and was forced by law to photograph some gay guys getting married, I would simply go into non-violent protest mode, (also known as passive-aggressiveness) and screw up all the photographs. Take a lot of pictures of their feet and “below the waist” shots and their rear ends. Show up in a Wal-Mart “precious moments” t-shirt, in my Daisy Dukes, with cowboy boots and hat, have a bunch of garlic and onions on my breath, and eat some chili with lots of beans about an hour before showing up. Maybe even have about 3 or 4 shots of Jack Daniels so that I would be teetering on the edge of “mean drunk” range. Instead of “cheese”, I would tell them, like Bruce Willis, “Now, say Yippee Ki Yay, Mother F_____’s!” That’s what I would do.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  15. Thus opening yourself to a lawsuit for breach of contract, Sqweakly.

    Nobody ever said bigotry leads to smart decisions.

  16. This is a difficult question, but for certain kinds of business, it does make sense to give the owner some latitude on refusing some customers.

    Here is an hypothetical: I am a painter that has a studio, clients come to me to have portraits painted and I specialize in (tasteful!) nude portraiture. Said portraits will be for the client’s homes and not public display. Because of personal reasons (could be moral, could be religious, could be legal), I refuse to paint portraits of the opposite (or same) gender.
    Does this ruling now force me to create such portraits?

    Of course, as a business owner, it behooves one to find solutions to such problems involving the business as an entity and the owner as a person.

    I agree that the handling by the business could have been better. a pretextual conflict can be an out. An easier out for the photographer is the typical “substitution” clause in most photo contract, where an alternate photographer can be used.

    If the studio had accepted the job, but subcontracted it to another photographer (assuming the appropriate clause is in the contract), then this would have been a different question for the courts.

  17. I never used the child care providers I sued, once they made their bigotry known. But I very much enjoyed taking their money and forcing them to change their policies. I even got a spot on the evening news about the YMCA. I’m betting I caused them more trouble than caring for my sweet child would caused them.

  18. I don’t understand why the photographer cannot just say ‘I don’t think I would be a good choice for a same-sex marriage. Can I recommend …’
    Obviously that is not what they said, but would that still leave one open to similar lawsuits?

  19. Like the florist case you discussed months back, I am outraged by cases like these. Some people have sound, rational reasons to consider homosexuality and homosexual marriage to be immoral. Now we pass laws making it illegal for those people to consider it immoral. All of it is based upon an unproven ideology that people are born gay, when the science proves nobody is born gay. We can predict with reasonable certainty that a person will be born with the characteristics of a black person, but we cannot predict with any certainty at all that a person will be born with homosexual characteristics. We might as well pass laws protecting adulterers from discrimination.

    Juliet says that the price of doing business is that you don’t get to pick and choose your customers. Who says? If someone tries to earn a living based upon his own labor, does he suddenly lose his right to decide who he contracts with and who he does not contract with? We lose our rights of association just because we want to offer products or services in exchange for earning money? Why would an employee maintain the right to choose where they want to work, but suddenly if he hangs out a shingle to advertise photography services, he loses the right to choose where he earns his money? Sorry, but none of this madness makes any sense to me. It penalizes the best producers in society, forcing them to behave in a particular way that is contrary to his conscience. It seems like we are heading to a cliff where a segment of society will not be allowed to buy or sell anything unless they accept and approve of the governmental dogma that happens to be popular at the time. This does not sound like a free society to me.

  20. While photography can be an expressive activity, I don’t see wedding photography being an expressive activity. Wedding photography is the objective recording of photons with some artsy-fartsy staging thrown in. I don’t see the photography of an opposite-sex marriage as expressing support for opposite-sex marriage, it’s simply recording an event.

  21. David: If your definition of a free society includes the right to discriminate against people who don’t share your religious beliefs, then you’re correct; this isn’t a “free society.” Feel free to move to a country that runs on religious bigotry. I suggest Pakistan or Somalia. They sound perfect for you.

  22. Wow squeeky your business acumen is dazzling. You really know how to punt your photography studio’s goodwil right into the hands of the competition. Where would you find the money to pay your bail bondsman for your arrest for Disorderly Conduct after your accounts receivable dried up and the judement for breach of contract the bride & groom sued you for?

  23. @PalmettoDude Yes, your hypothetical forces you to create the portraits because you are prohibited by law to discriminate based on gender as well.

    I object to the suggestion that the photographer should have lied to Willock in this case. While many of us are comfortable doing that, perhaps she wasn’t, and I don’t think the willingness to lie necessarily indicates intellectual superiority. It is more likely that the photographer, believing that she lived in a somewhat free country, could politely decline to photograph a same-sex wedding ceremony without legal ramifications, especially given the fact that same-sex marriage isn’t even legal in the State that she does business in.

  24. California has taken it too far?

    In the 1960s, the Unruh Civil Rights Act was interpreted to provide broad protection from arbitrary discrimination by business owners. Cases decided during that era held that business owners could not discriminate, for example, against hippies, police officers, homosexuals, or Republicans, solely because of who they were.”

    (Legal Zoom). Uh oh … there goes the neighborhood. ;)

  25. Gene, That Bud article has busted the balls of 5 Bud drinkers to date. I also pointed out to my black buddies, in forwarding them the article, the lethal nature of malt liquor. There can be interracial ball busting. They give it, I give it, and we have a beer.

  26. “Now we pass laws making it illegal for those people to consider it immoral.”

    Bullshit, David.

    We pass laws to forbid discrimination as a practice against protected classes of people. You’re free to believe it’s as immoral as you like. But depending upon the nature of your business, you are not allowed to discriminate based on your feelings.

    If you have a business where your business model is effectively an open offer and a public accommodation? Such as inns, hotels, motels, restaurants, cafeterias, lunchrooms, lunch counters, soda fountains, other facilities providing food for consumption, cinemas, theaters, concert halls, sports arenas, stadiums or other places of exhibition or entertainment?

    You’re damn right you don’t get to discriminate.

    See Heart of Atlanta Motel Inc. v. United States, 379 U.S. 241 (1964).

    That the law is evolving to define sexual orientation as a protected class causes you no end of consternation, but you better buckle up, buttercup.

    Equal rights for homosexuals is on the way whether you like it or not.

  27. Dredd, I love the list of protected classes. What about Republican hippies. Assuming there were/are any, they should have @ least double protection. We actually still have a stronghold of hippies in Madison. Most are pretty long in the tooth, and NONE are Republicans.

  28. @DarrenS:

    There is that possibility. Then again, with my luck, it would be sooo camp, outre’ and over-the-top that it became the rage, and all the gay guys would insist on me doing their weddings. Sometimes life is funny that way, and will sneak up on you. (egs. Spriiinggggtime, for Hitler and Germaneeee! Winter for Pollllaaaand and Fraaaance!)

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  29. Why do they cherry-pick their Bible? If they want to turn down gay couples, what about 2nd marriages? Inter-racial marriages? Couples that support optional war (Iraq, etc)? Couples that support the death penalty? Any couple that opposes any of the 3 different versions of the Ten Commandments (short version, long version, orthodox version)?

    Keep religion in church!

  30. @Neil,
    But isn’t there a “business” vs. “painter” tension in the painting hypotetical? The Business entity is prevented from discriminating.

    So, could “Studio XYZ” accept the commission, but have Artist B do the portrait if Artist A objects – assuming the commission contract does provide for such eventuality.

    I don’t believe the law requires an “individual” to not discriminate. The “business” can’t discriminate.

    A silly example: I’m own a bake shop. I have a moral objection to red-headed people (substitute your favorite protected class). The bake shop can’t turn away red-headed customers, but I can hire a cashier/counter person with no such moral objection to service the customers.

    If a read-headed walks in the shop, I’m free to flee to the back and let the cashier handle them. If the cashier is on break, I am free (as the owner) to close the shop for 15 minutes, etc…

  31. Neil Davis, Excellent point about NM not being a gay marriage state. And, I would like to amend my remarks by saying the “pragmatic” solution for the photographer would have been to say there was a scheduling conflict. I operated my own small biz for 30 years and we folks are the very pragmatic.

  32. Wow, they are going to get some really bad uninspired wedding photos out of this deal.

    I’m gay but in this case I think the photographers should be allowed their bigoted discrimination as protected by the 1st Amendment, but it should be publicized, they will lose business and this couple can go to another photographer who will do a better job and be happy for their business.

  33. Juliet, The ADA protects you and your children in your dilemma, AS IT SHOULD. This is a somewhat different dynamic.

  34. As a libertarian first, and a gay man second, I so enjoyed reading Turley’s calm and objective reasoning in this case. I work within the arena of copyright law, and a regular question within my profession is, “was it a work for hire?” Whenever a company hires an artist to do work, be it graphics for a website, or a mural in a lobby, the contract drawn up for the work carefully describes the work as a “work for hire” so that there is no question as to the ownership of the end product. It also firmly moves the labor in question from the arena of artistic impression into the arena of commerce. If the wedding photographer’s work is considered to be a “work for hire” than it is a business transaction, not an expression of his personal or artistic beliefs.

  35. As a former photographer who also studied art, there is also a distinction between “fine art” and “commercial art” among many art experts.

    Fine art is generally not done for money and not for hire. Commercial art is done for a profit motive.

  36. Platos, I agree. I know there are companies that are touted as, and receive, support for being pro-gay. I assumed there was also a blacklist of companies that are not gay friendly. Put this company on the list, and find a photographer that is friendly and put them on the good list. As I write, I would seek out Buddy the Elf to do a PSA talking about the good and naughty list, and having a website that he can tout. I love your pragmatic solution.

  37. @palmettodude You’re right, but the problem is that Elane Photography, LLC likely consisted of solely Elane and Jon Huguenin, the owners. I doubt they had any employees. In addition, many business owners see their businesses as an extension and expression of themselves, so that they don’t want their business name associated with any activity that they themselves would oppose.

  38. “they express that message only to the clients and their loved ones, not to the public.”

    ‘primary concern is that anyone observing the photos could rationally conclude that the photographer was part of the overall message’ to which he clearly chose to not be

    Those individuals who are not the direct clients are the ‘Public’ be they
    One or a Thousand – by what number then does public become private.

    Bad ruling to say the glue that binds is the glue that says
    Let Them Eat Cake

    Unless this glue covers all aspects of Loving and Committed relationships
    e.g. Polygamy then the ruling itself is but biased dribble

  39. Davidm2575 insists, “the price of doing business is that you don’t get to pick and choose your customers. Who says?”

    The law.

    He then goes on to claim, “All of it is based upon an unproven ideology that people are born gay, when the science proves nobody is born gay.”

    The huge problem with this statement is people who know they are gay and have known it all their lives have never needed science to tell them these things. It’s not an “ideology,” It is a fact of their lives. You focus on science when it is convenient, yet there is nothing in science which ends in the outcome “moral” or “immoral.”

    You make up these insults because you (allegedly) suffered trauma interacting a very tiny number of gay people. All you are doing is dishing out what you perceive you received. How is that any better than the behavior you claim gay people engage in?

    Because it sounds exceedingly petty and self-serving.

  40. I would like to see the results if they forced someone like Salvador Dali to paint a portrait of the wedding couple.

  41. Nick: We don’t often disagree, but we do here. To me, discriminating against people because of a trait or characteristic they are born with is unacceptable for a business. Individuals should be free to be jerks whenever they want.

  42. @James Knauer – Just wondering how we should determine one’s sexual orientation. Is there a lab test, or do we just ask people what their sexual orientation is, or do we determine it ourselves based on past and present behavior?

  43. Logical extension is clear
    Muslim, Jewish, and vegan deli’s shall be required to serve pork products
    to handle, cook and serve non-kosher meats for those who are dismayed at the thought of going to another shop for service.

    Sign in the Shops window
    We are unsure as to the framing
    a photo of same gender commitment . . .
    Walmart is just down the street. . .

  44. I think it infringes upon the artistic expression of the photographer. With this ruling, one must ask if what citizens have been told wouldn’t happen will now be required. I refer to the possibility of mandating that a church leader marry LGBT partners against their beliefs. Artistic expression, in my opinion, can be quite spiritual because it involves the spiritual or emotional intuitions of the artist. I would not refuse to show such prejudice for LGBT partners if I were a photographer, but I defend the right of photographers to do so.

  45. Jim Erickson:

    Interesting point but in the late 1970’s photographers were granted copyright ownership over their images unless they “sold” their ownership (in writing) to their customer. So even if a married couple pays for wedding photography, the photographer still owns the copyright.

    Maybe this has since been amended by Congress since the 1970’s but don’t think so. Photographers own the copyright similar to musicians and voice-overs for radio commercials.

  46. Juliet: If a man is born with an innate inclination toward racism and white supremacist political ideology, does that mean that he should be protected by law from being discriminated against by a business owned by African-Americans?

  47. Neil Davis asks, “Just wondering how we should determine one’s sexual orientation.”

    Why do you need to know?

  48. Neil: Not even a very interesting straw man, and your “scenario” doesn’t provide enough information.

    In response to the halal, kosher, vegan comment someone else made. Those businesses would not be allowed to discriminate against people of other religions. But just like car dealerships are not required to stock bicycles, neither can a kosher deli be required to serve non-kosher food.

  49. “neither can a kosher deli be required to serve non-kosher food.”
    deli serves religious belief

    Translates to neither can a photographer who serves
    M-F be required to serve S-S

    Court legitimises the SS by requiring public participation
    Court legitimises the M-F-F by requiring the same public participation

  50. “They may . . . post a disclaimer on their website or in their studio advertising that they oppose same-sex marriage but that they comply with applicable anti-discrimination laws.”

    Jewish Deli – – is a Speciality Shop – – name alone displays the message to not expect to get a pulled pork sandwich.

    Baker – – We Specialise in the Wedding Celebrations of Male-Female

    Message is the same as the Jewish Deli – do not expect to receive what is not on the menu

  51. This is a tough case, but I believe businesses should be required to serve all members of the public. They may not like certain segments of the public, but to allow them to draw their own line would allow them to say the same things to Blacks and Latino couples, wouldn’t it?

  52. Juliet, We may agree more than you think. I would never take the position of this photographer. I think what this photographer is doing is wrong. the question is, is it illegal? I lean toward it is.

    When I taught high school history I spoke about how MLK, Jr. and Malcolm complemented each other. King was about the laws, changing the laws and enforcing the laws. That was important. But, Malcolm knew if you want equality in a capitalist society, true equality will not be accomplished by laws or their enforcement; it will come about by education, wealth, owning your own businesses, supporting your communities businesses. People will act, vote, purchase, sell, etc. in their own self interest. If a white business was treating their black customers badly, then you boycott their business. More importantly, black people were encouraged to start their own businesses and not be beholden to white folk. With this is mind, that’s why I really like Platos Caves solution. It is very Malcolm like.

    Branch Rickey was a good man who saw that the gentleman’s agreement that no black ballplayers be allowed in MLB was morally wrong. However, his putting his butt on the line and signing Jackie Robinson wasn’t because of any change in the unwritten rule. He signed Jackie because it was righteous and because Rickey knew it would give him a competitive advantage, which it indeed did. He acted morally and in his own self interest. Rickey was paid to win ballgames, and Jackie helped him do that.

  53. This legal rationale probably derived from the Civil Rights Act. For example if an African-American family drove across country, in some regions they were denied service in restaurants, hotels and even restrooms. If they used the restroom on the side of the road or slept in their cars they were penalized for that also and the local police didn’t protect the African-Americans but the private businesses.

    The good news is this is likely a short-term issue for gay couples primarily in small towns, where they could literally not have a single business in that locality willing to serve them – forcing them to take their wedding dollars to big cities or other localities in order to have a decent wedding.

  54. Neil Davis wrote: “Just wondering how we should determine one’s sexual orientation. Is there a lab test…”

    This is an excellent question. There is no test. I suspect also, in fact, that the Huguenins did not object to sexual orientation, but rather to the related homosexual behavior and perhaps the idea of a same sex commitment ceremony. How is this prosecuted if the defense becomes that sexual orientation had nothing to do with it, but rather it was the commitment ceremony that they found objectionable. If the law does not specifically list same sex commitment ceremony as the protected class, would they still be in violation? Would love to hear from the lawyers about this question.

  55. A ceremony can’t be a protected class.

    Only people can be a protected class within the context of civil rights law.

  56. Dessert is on the menu… I’m obese… if I order it, will you serve it?
    Photography is on the services list… I’m gay… take my picture, please?

  57. A Christian woman photographer shows up at a Muslim wedding and they insist that she wear a tent head wrap. She says: “no. I am ready willing and able to film but not wear a tenthead wrap.” I side with the photographer.

  58. GuideDogsRus get hired to help out at a blind guy get together. Russo the Bassett objects to the Meow Mix commercial being shown on the screen and walks out with his leash. Violation of the law?

  59. I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me that forcing the photographer to shoot a wedding which s/he finds morally objectionable is simply wrong. I don’t care what the court says. It’s wrong. Why would a same-sex couple want a photographer like this anyways? It seems to me the couple should find a different photographer – that is the better solution here.

  60. How about I claim a religious objection to serving Christians? You know, for burning so many pagan ‘heretics’ at the stake. How’d that be, Jonathan?

  61. Interesting…. The email account has been requested to be freed from spam… I’ve asked for it to be freed or unleashed… Any reason they are still sitting in the spam filter….l

  62. As usual, I agree with you. As photography is interpretive, I wouldn’t want people photographing my wedding who thought my Union was perverse as they would not be inclined to take the pictures in the best light. however, I agree with this Court’s decision & the decision of the human beings to bring the suit in the first place. These people need a suitable kick upside the head for pretending to know the mind of God. God didn’t create religions, human beings did– any more than God or the Holy Spirit wrote the Bible. Men in the Catholic Church decided what went in the Bible and what didn’t.

    There are penguins and rats that are homosexual. Most scientists think that’s a way of population control. but you certainly are not going to convince me that they made a deliberate choice to be that way. they are as they were created.

    Love, Maggie

    P.S. thank goodness there are people like you in the world who are ethical and whose think things through to the end. And sometimes at the end there are only more questions. that is certainly the case in this instance.

  63. Dredd, you beat me to it way back in your first posting:

    “Would the logic and result be the same if all the facts were the same except the couple getting married were a white woman and a black man, or a black woman and black man?”

    The fact that this is a case decided on a basis that relies on New Mexico’s interpretation of human rights and not a clear statement of the nations view of civil rights is, as such decisions ever are, disturbing.

    A short, concise federal law would put an end to this kind of thing and a whole bunch more.

  64. Bill

    The distinction here of whether it is right or wrong is not really relevant. It is the law that matters with regard to commerce. The state law in NM and here in WA is that if an organization or person elects to engage in commerce in consideration for money, goods, or services it is required as a condition to engage in such transactions to provide non-discrimininatory practices. It is the same as that if they choose to engage in employment they must submit to workers compensantion and industrial safety laws.

    The photographer would be within their right to refuse to take anyone’s picture if they were not engaged in commerce or where shooting pictures as a hobby for example.

    You are certainly right that the wedded couple would be better off to find another photographer that might be more to their liking, but the problem comes where

  65. This couple were probably trying to make a political/legal point more than find a photographer. So, all the good pragmatic solutions don’t mean anything to them. You would think they would have focused their efforts on getting gay marriage legalized. There is a dissonance. They are making a big deal about a wedding photographer when the state does not allow them to marry.

  66. And yet how does one get traction on addressing a problem? Especially a social and legal problem?

    By attracting attention to the problem.

  67. davidm2575 1, August 23, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    > Like the florist case you discussed months back, I am outraged by
    > cases like these. Some people have sound, rational reasons to
    > consider homosexuality and homosexual marriage to be immoral.

    I have not heard a single one, perhaps you can enlighten me.

    > Now we pass laws making it illegal for those people to consider it
    > immoral. All of it is based upon an unproven ideology that people
    > are born gay, when the science proves nobody is born gay. We can
    > predict with reasonable certainty that a person will be born with the
    > characteristics of a black person, but we cannot predict with any
    > certainty at all that a person will be born with homosexual
    > characteristics.

    Black characteristics? I have no idea what this means. I will say that science has shown homosexuality existing in many types of animals, and yes, it has shown people are born gay.

    > We might as well pass laws protecting adulterers from discrimination.

    Don’t forget pedophiles, and those that like to have sex with non-human animals and lawn furniture.

  68. One aspect of this might be the location. I believe that a state has the right to establish the terms of non-discriminatory commerce within its boundaries, and rules/laws about who must be served in an establishment go back many centuries. This 1938 law school article may be of interest in viewing things outside of the current disputes.

    http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1162&context=flr

    However here, the operators must travel to a location away from their place of business, and I wonder how that will figure in should this reach the SCOTUS. If at all.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  69. This is important but OT: REAKING. CBS learns Pentagon making initial preparations for a Cruise missile attack on Syrian govt forces” (greenwald)

  70. nick:

    “He acted morally and in his own self interest. Rickey was paid to win ballgames, and Jackie helped him do that.”

    Yep, in a free society men deal with other men out of rational self interest and not from compulsion.

  71. For anyone who ever took photography seriously this isn’t a tough one at all. This is not accommodation; this is forced expression. This is the government laying claim to the mind of the photographer.

    Every photo produced by a photographer begins and ends within the mind of the photographer. The photo is merely an approximation of that which the photographer ‘had in mind’ limited by what he’s capable of getting the camera to actually capture.

    The government has no power to hijack the mind of a citizen and force it to think ‘accommodating’ thoughts and images.

  72. This is ticklish. I sympathize with Bob, Esq. You don’t want your art messed with. The reasons are irrelevant.

    And, if we want true free enterprise, then the barriers have to be lowered so that all of us feel free to participate. Regrettably, that means ‘all.’

    One thing Americans do well is compartmentalize when it comes to commerce. “It’s just business.Nothing personal.” I encounter that attitude with stunning ubiquity among the business people I’ve been privileged to serve. It greases the wheels with an efficiency surpassed only by devotion to sports. “Roll Tide.”

    In this particular case, once the photographers were hired, then different rules kick in. It’s the way things work. We all abide by it, from paying every last cent of what we are generally charged. Once you start excluding x group for y reasons, then we have a patchwork of discriminatory “rules” that no one can keep straight, and only serves as fuel on already ancient fires.

    Another example comes to mind: “state’s rights.”

  73. What a disgusting opinion. There was no discrimination here, period. There was a simple decision not to participate in a homosexual ceremony. Homosexuality remains vile, ugly, evil, narcissistic, and just plain wrong. It is my right to hold this opinion. It is an opinion founded on the entire history of the human condition, and I challenge anyone to find a single political philosopher that ever endorsed the malevolent behavior. Not John Locke, Rousseau, Des Cartes, Hobbes, Aristotle, Plato, or even the godless Nietzche believed that the good of society should be entrusted to individuals who believe that unnatural sexual impulse had any place in governance or law. Up is not down, down is not up. Not even the courts can change red to blue or blue to red. There is absolute truth, and it is always right, whether or not we are wise enough to perceive it. The Left always demands compromise, and yet where does the Left defer to the rights of God-fearing individuals to practice their faith and engage in commerce accordingly? Mike, Esq.

  74. Michael Hrnicek challenged:

    I challenge anyone to find a single political philosopher that ever endorsed the malevolent behavior. Not John Locke, Rousseau, Des Cartes, Hobbes, Aristotle, Plato, or even the godless Nietzche believed that the good of society should be entrusted to individuals who believe that unnatural sexual impulse had any place in governance or law.

    ~+~
    Ok, how about three, Plato, (who you mention), Aristophanes, and the poet Sappho. You might want to read up on Plato’s Symposium, and see that Plato did talk rather admiringly as did Aristophanes of the virtues of homosexual relationships and counter to your argument about it breaking down societies, he laments that it is often more commonplace and accepted by the upper levels (and consequently the ruling class) of their societies.

  75. Homosexuality remains vile, ugly, evil, narcissistic, and just plain wrong.

    No, no, you’re thinking of bigotry. Homosexuality is neutral, like heterosexuality. Bigotry, however, is all of the things you mention above.

  76. Gross bigotry aside, if you’re a fence builder and the Westboro Baptist Church wants to hire you to build a fence, should the government force you to build it? If you’re a caterer and a White Power organization wants to hire you to cater an event, should the government force you to do so?

  77. And your “argument” such as it was, Michael Hrnicek, begs the question that homosexuality is an “unnatural sexual impulse” when the facts of science based upon observation, quantification and analysis of data not only inform us that it is natural but fairly commonplace in Earth’s biome. Not just in a statistically significant minority of the species homo sapiens sapiens either, but in literally hundreds (into the thousands) of species. You should really keep your conclusions out of your premises. Bad logic is poor argumentation.

  78. I think it depends on how “homosexual activity” is defined. The gay lobby uses the term rather broadly and anthropomorphically. Just because animals are friends, does not make them gay. To wit:

    However, in July of 2009, an alleged homosexual penguin in a California zoo was debunked. Peter LaBarbera reported:

    “ San Francisco’s Fox affiliate KTVU reports: “The San Francisco Zoo’s popular same-sex penguin couple has broken up.

    “Male Magellan penguins Harry and Pepper have been together since 2003. The pair nested together and even incubated an egg laid by another penguin in 2008, but their relationship hit the rocks earlier this year when a female penguin, Linda, befriended Harry after her long-time companion died.

    “Zookeepers say Harry and Linda are happy and were able to successfully nest this year,” reported KTVU.

    But not everyone is celebrating Harry and Linda’s newfound love. Some believe there can be no such a thing as an “ex-gay” penguin. Upon news of Harry’s decision to fly the same-sex-coop, outspoken pro-homosexual activist and anti-ex-gay crusader Wayne Besen cried fowl:

    “Attempts to change sexual orientation are patently offensive, discriminatory by definition, theologically shaky, uniformly unsuccessful and medically unsound!” exclaimed a visibly angry Besen. “There is no ‘ex-gay’ sexual orientation. Harry is simply in denial. He’s living what I call the ‘big lie.’”[11] ,

    http://www.conservapedia.com/Homosexuality_in_animals_myth

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  79. Well put, Gene. Just as the accelerating rate of climate change is challenging the ability of ecosystems to adapt, the enormous advances in the scientific understanding of human sexuality and the origins of life during the last century is challenging the ability of certain religious sects to reexamine their theological tenets. That has produced a raging Counter Enlightenment to battle in the new century.

  80. Squeaky:

    There are several possibilities. Harry may be bisexual, or he may never have been gay to begin with and was merely enjoying the companionship of the only available member of his species. If he were truly gay, all of Linda’s considerable feminine charms would have been ineffective. In any event, Mr. Besen’s reaction is a tad overwrought.

  81. @MikeA:

    I suspect it is a like a puppy I had when I was a kid, who used to mount this stuffed skunk with a squeaky paw. My mom was constantly running it through the washer. However, when he got a little older and some pheromones drifted over the fence from Princess Leia, the golden lab next door, then he forsook Stinky forever. My parents were glad they didn’t have to put him into Doggie Reparative Therapy.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  82. As one who has been subjected to Doggie Reparative Therapy for doing simple things like humping stuffed animals I can relate to the photographers who are forced to photograph gay people kissing on the alter. In my religion no one is allowed to kiss or fornicate on the alter. The alter is sacred ground. So in my neighborhood, there is a gay couple and all I can say is that they have a lot of dog poop in their yard. If dogs could, they would give Milnot, but they can’t, so they poop instead.

  83. We at the dogpac asked Donald Trump some questions about this situation and he said that the right of religion trumps any right of a bent person to require one to photograph him and him porking or kissing on a sacred alter. In interpreting the Constitution a judge must employ the rules of five card stud. This dumb court opinion is the worst travesty of justice since
    Dredd Scott. I am surprised that it did not come out of Saint Louis but instead came from New Mexico where they should know better. Now you people of New Mexico stand right up there at the alter with the people of Old Mexico or Saint Louis and they don’t call it Mizzoura for nuthin. That court out there in New Mexico cited every thing rotten in Denmark and they sure don’t know nuthin bout birthin babies because two wrong prongs wont get that one right. If you know what I mean JellyBean.

  84. “Homosexuality remains vile, ugly, evil, narcissistic, and just plain wrong.”

    “defer to the rights of God-fearing individuals to practice their faith and engage in commerce accordingly”

    The problem here is that you are god-fearing, not god-loving. An actual loving person would not use this language. It has also been my wide experience that men who engage in this sort of talk tend to be over-fixated on an issue that does not effect them at all. This fixation is almost always driven by a certain envy, as if gay people who celebrate their sexuality are somehow having their cake and eating it, So out comes the baseless badmouthing, using “the long history of humanity where we were allowed ourselves to be vile” as the reason to keep bludgeoning gay people, often to death.

    What has changed is there are no longer any institutional reasons for this language to continue as gay people have clearly won this battle, and no one is going back into the closet. Use all the filthy words and make any baseless attack you like. Trouble is, you’ve said your vile stuff and none of us has gone anywhere, and we still have to find a way to get along. The finite geometry of a sphere really demands it.

    Now what?

  85. I think he has a right to refuse to work at a gay marriage. Has anyone stopped to think that gay marriage could be totally against his morals and religion? Gay marriage was not right 100s of years ago and it is still wrong today.

  86. rafflaw wrote: “… I believe businesses should be required to serve all members of the public. They may not like certain segments of the public, but to allow them to draw their own line would allow them to say the same things to Blacks and Latino couples, wouldn’t it?”

    No. This really is the rub, because homosexual behavior is the objection, not some genetic aspect of their birth. The entire homosexual rights argument is based on conflating sexual orientation with immoral sexual behavior.

    It is interesting that the protected class in law is always “sexual orientation,” something for which there has NEVER been a law created to criminalize. All the anti-homosexual laws ever created concerned actual sexual behavior, not how a person thought about sex in their mind. Even though the law defines “sexual orientation” as the protected special class of people, in practice the prosecution is NEVER about sexual orientation, but always about actions related to it. In this particular case, it is about a photographer who did not want to be involved in celebrating the union of a same sex couple because in their mind it was forcing them to approve of same sex behavior, something their conscience considered immoral.

    The racial issue made sense originally because blacks really were discriminated against in an evil way. People stereotyped them in a way that led to them being denied service in public restaurants, being forced to use different water fountains or to sit in the back of the bus, etc. Job discrimination was reasonably assumed as responsible for them being an economically depressed group of people. The law helped correct these injustices, mostly by putting a spotlight on the problem and causing people to agree that this kind of discrimination is wrong.

    In contrast, the issue of discrimination against homosexuality is poorly framed. There is only a partial genetic component that is not well understood. Unlike race, nobody is born gay. There are a combination of factors including environment and cognitive functions that result in human sexuality, including homosexuality. No homosexuals are being forced to sit in the back of the bus, or being forced to use different water fountains, etc. Homosexuals are not an economically depressed group of people due to job discrimination. There really is no reason for laws like this except as a way of forcing all of society to accept and approve of homosexuality as sexually moral behavior.

    Another level of complexity arises in this case, because photography involves artistic expression. Regardless of efforts to try and make this entirely about commerce, people choose a photographer for an event like this based upon other photographs they have done. In this particular case, the couple had no trouble getting another photographer to do the job. We should acknowledge that homosexuals are among the most creative and artistic class of people on the planet. I see this case as nothing but a same sex couple using the law to bludgeon someone who does not agree with their sexual choices. That is injustice, and when the law is used for unjust purposes, something is wrong with that law.

  87. Please. You indicate a lack of knowledge of the hideous behavior directed toward gay and lesbian people, including murder (just recently on the streets of NYC)’, beatings, all manner of psychological and physical violence. As for job discrimination, until recently, gays and lesbians could not serve openly in the armed services. Many homosexual persons can be fired from jobs with no legal recourse. They are the butt of so-called jokes and stereotyping as surely as other people who have suffered such harm based on racial classification. “No one is born gay?”. Do you believe that no one is born heterosexual either?

  88. DavidM: “Even though the law defines “sexual orientation” as the protected special class of people, in practice the prosecution is NEVER about sexual orientation, but always about actions related to it.”
    ___________________

    That kind of hairsplitting undermines your argument. The photographer should not have a right to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or behavior. It’s worth noting that the photographer chose to fight this battlefield on which to fight. He could have simply said he was too busy. Now, it looks like he’s going to be busy photographing a gay wedding.

  89. And why would anyone want to force by commerce into a ceremony where the natural urge to throw up continually would interfere with said event? Photographer is there, with cameras, but OOPS, SORRY, I JUST GOT SICK FOR SOME UNKNOWN REASON AND COULD NOT STOP WRETCHING……….NOW PAY ME MY APPEARANCE FEES….OR LET ME GO FROM THIS SCENARIO AND WE PART WAYS, BUT I JUST CANNOT STOP BARFING, AND WHEN I’M OUT OF BARF, THEN IT’D JUST BE DRY HEAVES UNTIL THE CEREMONY IS OVER….AND THERE IS NO WAY I CAN HOLD THE CAMERA STEADY AND FRAMED WHILE DRY HEAVING……….

  90. David continues to whine, “The entire homosexual rights argument is based on conflating sexual orientation with immoral sexual behavior.”

    More baseless attacks. Gay people are not afraid of it any longer. Deal.

  91. I see this CULTural shift as being one where the homosexuals can force the people who have a business but not want to do business with THEM, to shut it down through State Charter forfeiture, and effectively starving them out, at least in that state, from working in that trade. In essence, when ONE set of homosexuals find some business somewhere that prefers to NOT work with them, be it florist, bakery or photographer, they put up a stink about it, which alerts the whole state’s population of gays, who would then rush to put in THEIR ORDER, and when denied, sue the business, and they’d have to literally shut their business doors and move. This is how they will take over the entire nation, through Judicial Activism, Lawsuits, Public Media Bashing and State Charter Forfeiture. Next will be gays leaving their gay churches and FORCING all the rest of the churches that preach the real truth to SHUT DOWN for not performing or allowing a ceremony in their buildings, and having the IRS shut down their 501(c)(3) status, thus eliminating the financial support through donations.

  92. The crux of the problem is that “private contracting” was abolished when individual people determined to become “federal personell”. Every person with a SS number IS as a matter of law government personell (see def. of fed personell at 5 USC 552 (a) (13)) subject to congressional policy including discriminaton policy. The Court in this case concluded that because the photographer was engaged in a public accommodation they were subject to the law, ie. policy. As a member of the corporate socialist body politic the policies of Congress are binding upon you as a corporate member. As a “public” ‘accommodator, you are no longer at liberty to engage in private contracts with others as you see fit. You are given the illusion that your contracts are “private”, however, because you are acting in the capacity of a federal employee, every contract you engage in is of a public nature, and subject to public oversight. Maybe one day people will realize that socialists aren’t free.

  93. ishobo –
    The florist situation was discussed here:
    http://jonathanturley.org/2013/04/11/washington-attorney-general-sues-florist-who-refused-to-provide-flowers-for-gay-wedding/

    The sound, rational reasons for objecting to homosexuality is based upon first acknowledging the biological purpose of sexuality and the sex drive. That purpose is reproduction. While pleasure might be involved, the ultimate purpose is a drive toward reproduction. Furthermore, this reproduction does not happen instantly, but requires at least a few decades of parenting for each child. So sexuality is related to creating a family through marriage. Adding more children requires even more time. Raising five children in a monogamous relationship usually requires at least 30 years of commitment to a family unit. Sexuality is part of the glue that helps that happen. Sexuality is a very intimate thing that has tremendous psychological effects. Some people believe that if we treat sexuality with respect and help young people going through adolescence deal with it in a responsible way, it will lead to greater happiness for them and is better for society as a whole. There are clear societal ills caused by women bearing children outside of the family relationship. It is worse economically, as well as the children tend to have more problems with criminal behavior.

    A major step toward sexuality becoming immoral is separating the concept of sex from its purpose of reproduction. For example, when sex becomes about pleasure, this usually leads to sexual promiscuity. Sex is more exciting with new sex partners. This leads to serious health problems in the form of sexually transmitted diseases. There also are the psychological problems created through repeated relationships and breakups. Ultimately, sexually promiscuous people are unhappy, and they suffer higher rates of depression and suicide. They also suffer higher rates of murder. So the overall pain and harm caused by it is considered “immoral” or wrong.

    How is this related to homosexuality? Well, when talking about male homosexuality in particular, there are huge differences in the purpose of sex. Clearly there is no reproductive goal. In the language of Natural Law Theory, there is no ultimate Good as a goal, but only the immediate individual satisfaction of pleasure. When sexuality becomes about pleasure, the psychological effects are different from when the ultimate goal is reproduction. This is one reason why many homosexuals can be spotted by just meeting them without them even saying a word. It is why the word “queer” developed to describe them. They were not born with these psychological and physical differences, but rather the differences developed over the course of their developing sexuality. Some people believe that it is rational to help such individuals in the early stages of their sexual development to avoid that direction in life through education and affirmation of the rational purpose of sex.

    Clearly not everybody holds to these rational concepts about sexuality, but there is nothing inherently evil or bigoted in a person who has this perspective about sexuality. Society should not prosecute people like this. It is not criminal behavior for a person to hold to these views. Society should tolerate such people and allow them to express their views, whether they express it in speech, or artistically, or in who they choose to associate with.

  94. David,

    Do you have a god that other folks can see? Just curious…. You have a lot of anger or a god of my choosing….

  95. RTC wrote: “The photographer should not have a right to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or behavior.”

    Wrong. There are no protected classes based upon behavior. A person has the right not to facilitate criminal behavior, and in the same way, if a person is engaged in behavior that is legal but perhaps otherwise considered unethical, the same liberty should exist not to be involved with it. Unfortunately, the law has taken a wrong turn now and forces individuals to cooperate with behavior they consider unethical or immoral.

    Some people in this very thread actually argue for the photographer to commit the unethical practice of lying in order to avoid the repercussions caused by this bad New Mexico law. If this does not help someone clearly see how wrong this law is, I’m not sure what will. The moral compass of society has been completely destroyed by the homosexual agenda.

  96. I am torn on this. In some ways people should not be discriminated against and others a business should not be forced to work for people they do not want to. So how is the happy medium found? Allow privately owned businesses to serve who they want I suppose. Or limit it to offsite work maybe.

    What if the wedding is a nude wedding. Should they be forced to work it? Can of worms. Imo a private business really shouldnt be made to do what they do not want.

  97. Also is forcing a religious person to work a gay wedding when it violates their religious beliefs? That is violating THEIR rights.

  98. David Wrote:

    “Wrong. There are no protected classes based upon behavior.”
    ~+~

    And what then would be of religion? Are people born belonging to a particular faith, that is, is it genetic? How can you classify a religion as not being based upon someone’s behavior? Religion is classified the same in this statute as other protected classes.

  99. Why is this so difficult for many to wrap their heads around??

    Fact: the photographers were incorporated via LLC
    Fact: the LLC engaged in commerce by providing photo services
    Fact: 2 people who happened to be a homosexual couple desired a service provided by the the proprietors of the LLC
    Fact: the proprietors of the LLC refused to provide the service because of their religious beliefs
    Fact: the proprietors of the LLC broke the law – the NMHRA – and should be given the sanctions of that law.

    QED

  100. Marco…..

    Another part of common sense…. The Hells Angels is a registered group protected under state law in some states as well…. You wanna do business with them?

  101. Darren Smith: “Ok, how about three, Plato, (who you mention), Aristophanes, and the poet Sappho. You might want to read up on Plato’s Symposium, and see that Plato did talk rather admiringly as did Aristophanes of the virtues of homosexual relationships and counter to your argument about it breaking down societies, he laments that it is often more commonplace and accepted by the upper levels (and consequently the ruling class) of their societies.”

    Darren,

    Plato’s Symposium does not discuss “the virtues of homosexual relationships.” It discusses the virtues of love in various forms; one of which being the love between a man and a boy.

    It is a discussion on the various forms and metaphors for the spirit of love. If you’re going to cite Plato as reason to accept homosexuality in current society, then you might want to cite the Symposium as illustrative of the many different forms the spirit of love is embodied; i.e. making the sexual act nearly irrelevant. Thus the term “Platonic love.”

  102. David claims, “affirmation of the rational purpose of sex.”

    Only you get to decide this for yourself. When you try to make this decision for others, or suggest the State do it for you, that is where you have consistently run into trouble.

    That and your arguments come from some mystical fairy-tale land where the gay people are gay but don’t have all that bothersome sex, as just the thought of two men or two women, or genders there between, engaging in consensual touch, which may lead to sex, often while in love, seems to send you around the bend. I really suggest you stop engaging in these behaviors if it causes you so much trouble.

    Any other sex is simply none of your business. Try to act like it.

  103. Not for nothing, but most of the posts here are confusing the specifics with the over all general problem.

    The issue here is are people who are repulsed by homosexuality entitled to their thoughts? Is the government empowered to force a citizen to express thoughts contrary to what they actually feel?

    This is what you’re asking the photographer to do.

    Photography is expressive thought in pictures. The government cannot force the mind of an individual to be ‘accommodating.’

  104. Bob wrote, “The issue here is are people who are repulsed by homosexuality entitled to their thoughts? Is the government empowered to force a citizen to express thoughts contrary to what they actually feel?”

    No one is saying/writing that this business can’t express how they ‘feel.’ What the law says is that this is an LLC, hence it is engaging in commerce. Therefore, as it is engaging in commerce it can not discriminate against this couple.

  105. “The issue here is are people who are repulsed by homosexuality entitled to their thoughts?” It is my understanding that those who are so repulsed are born that way. Should we punish them for the way they were born?

  106. AY: As long as what the Hell’s Angels was doing was legal, then yes, the photographer would be required by law to do the photo shoot.

  107. mahtso wrote: “Should we punish them for the way they were born?” Bigots aren’t “born that way.” Bigots are bigots because they “learned” to be bigots.

  108. So according to your logic Bob, esq, the government cannot require a person engaging in commerce to not serve someone in a gay lifestyle because the merchant has a moral objection to it.

    So how do you rationalize that it is also legal for a merchant who has a moral objection against serving black customers because he views them as being vile. Back to Jim Crow is what many would say in that case.

    By your defense of this photographer as having the authority to reject these customers due to Expressive Thought in Pictures you could say that someone cutting hair, making custom paint jobs on cars, and pretty much any other service industry would be given full license to discriminate against everyone.

    And also about Symposium, you might also want to read the part where Plato suggested having an army consisting entirely of same sex loving couples. And how can you say that Plato does not discuss the virtue of homosexual relationships and then acknowledge that plato discusses the virtues of love between a man and a boy?

  109. AY: It’s the law. Period. If the quality of the photos of the Hell’s angels shoot lack the desired quality, then the Hell’s Angels can ask for its money back. Simple.

  110. You misunderstood Marco….

    It’s the Hells angels your doing business with…. They are the proprietor…. You wanna tell one of them that they did crappy work?

  111. Go for it… Tell me how that works out for you….

    I see the reasoning and rational in the opinion…. I think it’s sound…. But sometimes common sense should over rule what’s legal…..

  112. It’s legal in Arkansas to marry off an infant…. Hence, there is no age of consent on the books…. It’s legal…. What’s ethically wrong with that picture….

  113. “In general, freedom of association includes the right to be free from compelled association. In Wooley v. Maynard, 430 U.S. 705, 97 S. Ct. 1428, 51 L. Ed. 2d 752 (1977), and Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209, 97 S. Ct. 1782, 52 L. Ed. 2d 261 (1977), the Court held that freedom of association is unconstitutionally burdened where the state requires an individual to support or espouse ideals or beliefs with which he or she disagrees.”

    I’m sure that for every law that I throw out, you can find one (or a dozen) that will contradict it. And that is my point – the law is very contradictory, and just arguing the law only ends in the appeal to authority (i.e. judge/jury).

    “There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.” ― Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

    I believe you could make a case that “pay” in the above quote would also include support, such as time and materials.

    So in the end, what have you achieved by forcing the photographer to compromise his moral values by supporting an institution he finds reprehensible? He will most likely do a good job because he’s a professional, but he now realizes that the authority of the state is capricious. He becomes a libertarian.

    Maybe it’s not such a bad thing after-all?

  114. AY: Hey, its Arkansas, what else is there to say. Well, there is: I bet that there are federal laws prohibiting this.

    Look, none of us are working the bunko squad out of north Hollywood! Let’s stick to facts art hand.

  115. Actually marriage laws are a state issue….

    I would presume that they are at least in the states that they’ve filed lawsuits….

  116. Marco,

    It has nothing to do with bigotry. The acknowledgment of equal rights does not necessitate the ignoring of one’s natural inclinations.

  117. Bob, Esq: This was an LLC that refused service to a couple. An LLC is a legal entity; it does not have “feelings” or “inclinations.” Besides, they are irrelevant in the eyes of the law.

  118. Darren: “So according to your logic Bob, esq, the government cannot require a person engaging in commerce to not serve someone in a gay lifestyle because the merchant has a moral objection to it.”

    No Darren, I said the government cannot compel thought or expression.

    Darren: “o how do you rationalize that it is also legal for a merchant who has a moral objection against serving black customers because he views them as being vile. Back to Jim Crow is what many would say in that case.”

    Because serving food and drink is not expression; it’s mechanical.

    Darren: “By your defense of this photographer as having the authority to reject these customers due to Expressive Thought in Pictures you could say that someone cutting hair, making custom paint jobs on cars, and pretty much any other service industry would be given full license to discriminate against everyone.”

    Riddle me this Darren; can you compel a journalist to author a piece in contradiction to his actual beliefs?

    Darren: “And also about Symposium, you might also want to read the part where Plato suggested having an army consisting entirely of same sex loving couples. And how can you say that Plato does not discuss the virtue of homosexual relationships and then acknowledge that plato discusses the virtues of love between a man and a boy?”

    Darren,

    When I cite Plato to shut up rabid right wing Christian moralists, it’s to show that said philosopher was revered by Christian philosophers who were capable of looking past the physical and acknowledging the superiority of the spiritual message.

    Today, Plato and Socrates would be considered pedophiles. Yet, since they don’t live in the present, we don’t cast that judgment upon them and simply look towards the wisdom of (Plato’s) writings.

  119. Marco,

    I fail to see the point of your argument. Are you saying that if the photography studio was a partnership or a limited partnership the result would be different?

    And what if the LLC elected to be taxed as a partnership?

    Do you see the integrity problem your argument suffers from?

  120. Reblogged this on SiriusCoffee and commented:
    “In general, freedom of association includes the right to be free from compelled association. In Wooley v. Maynard, 430 U.S. 705, 97 S. Ct. 1428, 51 L. Ed. 2d 752 (1977), and Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209, 97 S. Ct. 1782, 52 L. Ed. 2d 261 (1977), the Court held that freedom of association is unconstitutionally burdened where the state requires an individual to support or espouse ideals or beliefs with which he or she disagrees.”

    I’m sure that for every law that I throw out, you can find one (or a dozen) that will contradict it. And that is my point – the law is very contradictory, and just arguing the law only ends in the appeal to authority (i.e. judge/jury).

    “There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.” ― Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

    I believe you could make a case that “pay” in the above quote would also include support, such as time and materials.

    So in the end, what have you achieved by forcing the photographer to compromise his moral values by supporting an institution he finds reprehensible? He will most likely do a good job because he’s a professional, but he now realizes that the authority of the state is capricious. He becomes a libertarian.

    Maybe it’s not such a bad thing after-all?

  121. Brad S.,

    Good points all; but I maintain that the government has no power to compel thought or expression out of an individual no matter what business model he happens to operate under.

  122. Marco wrote: “Why is this so difficult for many to wrap their heads around?? … Fact: the proprietors of the LLC broke the law – the NMHRA – and should be given the sanctions of that law.”

    I’m not sure this last fact is a fact. They did not break the law. The law says that they cannot discriminate based upon sexual orientation. I don’t think Elaine cares much about their sexual orientation. She just did not feel comfortable being forced to celebrate with them their commitment ceremony. The court obviously interpreted that as being discriminatory against their sexual orientation, but I think the court got it wrong. It was the sexual behavior that ceremony celebrates that probably bothered Elaine the most. I also think the law gets it wrong because it is too easy to confuse sexual orientation / sexual preference with other sexual issues that are involved.

    Here’s another problem with the law. Pedophilia is defined by psychologists as a sexual orientation. If Elaine did not want to photograph a pedophile and his young partner doing a commitment ceremony, would she likewise be prosecuted? The laws are getting self contradictory and going to cause a lot of problems.

  123. davidm2575
    The LLC (as formed by Elaine and her husband) broke the law. That was what the court found. Was the couple’s behavior – a commitment ceremony – against the law? No. Again, “feelings” do not matter in the eye of the law. This is reinforced by the fact that an LLC is a legal entity and can not, by definition, have “feelings.”

    As far as your last paragraph: why are you clouding the issue with irrelevant (to this case) statements?

  124. Uh, just a minor point, but I don’t think Plato was an advocate of homosexuality? IIRC, he didn’t like it at all. Aristophanes is a little iffy, but he was a playwright. Kinda like Tennessee Williams, sooo who cares. But, you all might want to double check Plato. FWIW.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  125. Regarding homosexuality, everyone seems to be missing the point about equality.

    It’s a two way street.

    Accordingly, when homosexuals assert their right to feel the way they do without being treated unequally, it follows that the remaining “breeders” among them are entitled to feel the way they do as well.

  126. “Pedophilia” is not a “sexual orientation.” Sexual orientation is limited to heterosexual, homosexual and bi-sexual.

    “Pedophilia” is a sexual behavior. Many peer-reviewed studies show that most pedophiles are heterosexual.

  127. Bob, Esq.

    “Feelings” one thing. Acting on those feelings is what got this LLC in trouble with the law of New Mexico.

  128. Bob Esq: I fail to see the point of your argument. Are you saying that if the photography studio was a partnership or a limited partnership the result would be different?

    And what if the LLC elected to be taxed as a partnership?

    Do you see the integrity problem your argument suffers from?

    The legal entity – LLC, partnership, incorporation – is irrelevant. My argument’s integrity is in question? Surely you jest.

  129. Marco,

    Choice of business entity does not empower the government to compel thought or expression in the individual.

  130. Bob, Esq: “Choice of business entity does not empower the government to compel thought or expression in the individual.” Absolutely right. You are free to think as you like, You are free to speak as you like, within certain well expounded limits. Actions are governed by law. In this case, the New Mexico Human Rights Act.

  131. David continues to not have his facts straight with “Pedophilia is defined by psychologists as a sexual orientation.”

    Making up facts is not going to help with your already mean-spirited argumentation.

  132. Darren wrote: ” How can you classify a religion as not being based upon someone’s behavior? Religion is classified the same in this statute as other protected classes.”

    Religion represents a belief system, not a specific behavior. Many people are indeed born into a religious system. This is the idea of infant baptism in many religious sects, or circumcision among Jewish sects. There is historical problem of discriminating against others because they belonged to a particular religious sect. Remember Queen Mary’s attack on Protestants when she ascended to the throne of England? Because the mind ought to be free to decide in matters of religion, it follows that the law must not allow for discrimination against others on the basis of religious affiliation.

    I would be curious to know the outcome of the case if the situation was one where the Westboro Baptists were the ones wanting a photographer to film their antics at a funeral of a dead American soldier. Should not the photographer have the right to decline? I think so. Technically, it might be argued that it would be discrimination against them on a religious basis, but I think the real objection concerns the specifics of the behavior taking place rather than their religious classification. Do you see what I am getting at?

  133. Bob, Esq: “Choice of business entity does not empower the government to compel thought or expression in the individual.”

    Marco: “Absolutely right.”

    Thank you. End of discussion.

  134. Davidm2575: “I would be curious to know the outcome of the case if the situation was one where the Westboro Baptists were the ones wanting a photographer to film their antics at a funeral of a dead American soldier.”

    Why cloud the case at hand with hypothetical “what if’s”? The fact is the LLC was found to have violated the NMHRA when it refused to photograph the commitment ceremony.

  135. bob, Esq.Bob, Esq: “Choice of business entity does not empower the government to compel thought or expression in the individual.”

    But it can and does govern actions of its citizens and businesses.

  136. Marco,

    Can you compel a journalist to author a piece in contradiction to his actual beliefs?

    Answer: No; because the government is not empowered to compel thought or expression in or from an individual.

  137. Bob, Esq. “Can you compel a journalist to author a piece in contradiction to his actual beliefs?

    Answer: No; because the government is not empowered to compel thought or expression in or from an individual.”

    That’s called “freedom of speech.” That, as I’m sure you are well aware, includes the actions of the press.

  138. Bob, Esq:

    You still do not get it. The expression that you so adhere to is IRRELEVANT when commerce is involved. The business engaged in providing a SERVICE (the photography) and a PRODUCT (the photographs and / or electronic files) in exchange for money under the authority of a business license within the jurisdiction of a state that codifies that businesses may as a condition of being duly licensed is required to provide products or services without discrimination against groups defined under state law and gay couples are included in that list of groups.

    Then you attempt to deflect an address to your unfounded logic by claiming that other services are “Mechanical” in nature and therefore different than this expression issue. One could argue that playing music in a band that is fore hire is performing a mechanical service as you would statebecause it is rather lockstep in playing a musical score exctly as written on a chart or they can say it is an “expression” . But you don’t realize the state law does NOT MAKE a differenciation between the two. I challenge you to find a list anywhere in state law of New Mexico which types of business may discriminate against protected groups on the basis of Expression.

    I will save you the trouble. It does NOT exist because the law is designed to protect all persons within that list of protected groups so that the may enjoy all services offered equally within the state economy.

    To allow others to do as you would suggest just opens up the door to whitttling away at other ‘s rights until it becomes a hodgepoge of exceptions and discriminations that in the end nobody will benefit from.

    And I will answer your question about a journalist. Well, last time I checkedk I didn’t see many ACME Journalist storefronts on the main drags of New Mexico towns. so I don’t see the equivalence here. But if there is then they are still required to obey state laws here.

  139. Yes Marco, the first amendment prohibits the government from compelling expression.

    See Wooley v. Maynard

    Just as you can’t compel the photographer to drive around with a license plate saying “Live Free or Die”; so to you cannot compel the photographer to express himself in other ways he objects to.

  140. David sez: “Pedophilia is defined by psychologists as a sexual orientation.”

    *****************************************

    Say what? Pedophilia is not a sexual orientation. Next time, before you claim you know what psychologists say, you might want to do some fact checking first. What was your source was for that statement?

    Here is a source for you. This site will tell you what psychologists say.

    http://www.apa.org/

  141. Bob, Esq. “Just as you can’t compel the photographer to drive around with a license plate saying “Live Free or Die”; so to you cannot compel the photographer to express himself in other ways he objects to.”

    “Express” is different from “act”: the former is protected by the 1st amendment, the later must comply with the law. The photographer could have stated, “I hate ‘fags’,” (where “fags” lesbians or gay men) or “What you do disgusts me.” That would have been protected by the 1st amendment, but it would have been irrelevant. BUT, the photographer was found to have violated the NMHRA because the photographer, doing doing business as an LLC, refused to photograph the ceremony.

  142. Darren: “You still do not get it. The expression that you so adhere to is IRRELEVANT when commerce is involved.”

    I see. So freedom of speech and freedom of the press are irrelevant once you’re paid for your expressive product? So Journalists and photographers are protected so long as they work for free?

    Darren: The business engaged in providing a SERVICE (the photography) and a PRODUCT (the photographs and / or electronic files) in exchange for money under the authority of a business license within the jurisdiction of a state that codifies that businesses may as a condition of being duly licensed is required to provide products or services without discrimination against groups defined under state law and gay couples are included in that list of groups.

    So photography is not a form of expression? Ansel Adams; just some dumb ass recording device; right?

    See above.

    Darren: Then you attempt to deflect an address to your unfounded logic by claiming that other services are “Mechanical” in nature and therefore different than this expression issue.

    So how is serving drinks, epistemically speaking, a form of expression? Do soda machines have first amendment rights too?

    Darren: To allow others to do as you would suggest just opens up the door to whitttling away at other ‘s rights until it becomes a hodgepoge of exceptions and discriminations that in the end nobody will benefit from.

    No Darren, to allow what you suggest is to invite state indoctrination. The state determines what thought is acceptable; the state determines that you will think and express the thoughts it says you should think and express. I don’t need a first amendment to tell me that’s tyranny and categorically outside the purview of the government’s specifically enumerated powers.

    Darren: And I will answer your question about a journalist. Well, last time I checkedk I didn’t see many ACME Journalist storefronts on the main drags of New Mexico towns. so I don’t see the equivalence here. But if there is then they are still required to obey state laws here.

    So the NY Times is not a corporation?

  143. Bob, Esq.: “So photography is not a form of expression?” It is a form of expression, a form of expression that was offered as a service (as you noted) by a legal entity, the LLC, that was “legalized” by the State of New Mexico.

  144. James Knauer wrote: “David continues to not have his facts straight with “Pedophilia is defined by psychologists as a sexual orientation.”

    James, my facts are correct. Perhaps you and Marcos are not well read on this issue.

    Following is a link to a scholarly article discussing pedophilia, with many references to it being a sexual orientation:

    A Profile of Pedophilia: Definition, Characteristics of Offenders, Recidivism, Treatment Outcomes, and Forensic Issues
    Ryan C. W. Hall, M.D.; Richard C. W. Hall, M.D., P.A.
    FOCUS 2009;7:522-537.
    http://focus.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=53036

    “Pedophilia, especially the exclusive type, may be best thought of as its own category of sexual orientation, not something that is superimposed on an existing heterosexual or homosexual identity.”

    “In this article, we address research that defines the various types and categories of pedophilia, review available federal data on child molestation and pornography, and briefly discuss the theories on what makes an individual develop a sexual orientation toward children.”

    “This finding does not imply that homosexuals are more likely to molest children, just that a larger percentage of pedophiles are homosexual or bisexual in orientation to children.”

    “Currently, much of the focus of pedophilic treatment is on stopping further offenses against children rather than altering the pedophile’s sexual orientation toward children.”

    “… the interventions do not change the pedophile’s basic sexual orientation toward children.”

    And following is a quote defining pedophilia as a sexual orientation.

    Treatments to Change Sexual Orientation
    FRED S. BERLIN, M.D., PH.D.
    Am J Psychiatry 2000;157:838-838. 10.1176/appi.ajp.157.5.838
    http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=174135

    “The psychiatric profession still correctly considers pedophilia to be a mental disorder. However, like heterosexuality and homosexuality (orientations that differ from one another on the basis of differences in sexual attraction), pedophilia, too, can be thought of as a sexual orientation that is different from others on the basis of age of attraction. As with other sexual orientations, irrespective of the relative contributions of genetics and environment, maturing individuals discover the nature of their own attractions; such attractions are not the consequence of a volitional decision. Historically, untold numbers of human beings have been both demonized and vilified simply because their sexual makeups differ from the norm.”

  145. davidm2575,

    Not for nothing, but the issue isn’t pedophilia.

    The issue here is whether the state can compel thought or expression.

  146. Bob, Esq.: “Your business entity argument is wholly unpersuasive.”

    The opening paragraph reads, in part, “….the owners of Elane Photography, Jonathan and Elaine Huguenin.”

    Even if Elaine was a person – not as a part of any form of incorporation – who was formally offering photo services (and not as “I do it as a hobby for friends and family”) she would be subject to the NMHRA. And, she would be required to pay the $6000+ fine.

  147. Marco,

    Under your argument, a sole proprietor would have first amendment rights that other business formations would not.

    That’s an Equal Protection violation.

  148. Bob, Esq.: “The issue here is whether the state can compel thought or expression.”

    Again, the state is not compelling (or preventing) Elaine and Jonathan or Elane Photography to (or from) think(ing) or express(ing) anything. It’s their refusal to act.

  149. So Marco, what happened to this argument:

    “It is a form of expression, a form of expression that was offered as a service (as you noted) by a legal entity, the LLC, that was “legalized” by the State of New Mexico.”

    Pick an argument and stick with it; will ya?

  150. Bob, Esq.: “Under your argument, a sole proprietor would have first amendment rights that other business formations would not.

    That’s an Equal Protection violation.”

    Any person or business can speak as s/he or it desires, that’s the 1st amendment. Bob, we are not talking about expression but about action. Please understand the difference.

  151. Marco: “Again, the state is not compelling (or preventing) Elaine and Jonathan or Elane Photography to (or from) think(ing) or express(ing) anything. It’s their refusal to act.”

    Refusal to what? Taking a picture is nothing more than an action? YOu must be a world famous photographer if you’ve found it that simple.

  152. Bob wrote: “No Darren, to allow what you suggest is to invite state indoctrination. The state determines what thought is acceptable; the state determines that you will think and express the thoughts it says you should think and express. I don’t need a first amendment to tell me that’s tyranny and categorically outside the purview of the government’s specifically enumerated powers.”

    Bingo! This is the problem.

  153. Writing is nothing more than typing out words on a keyboard.

    Gotta get me a room full of monkeys to author me a multimillion dollar screenplay.

  154. David,
    First of all, you were on a psychiatric web site. Psychiatrists are not psychologists and vice versa. Those articles represented the opinions of the writers. Those writers do not speak for either profession as a whole.

    Having said that, since you accept those writers as authoritative, did you notice the last portion of Dr. Berlin’s piece?

    “….As with other sexual orientations, irrespective of the relative contributions of genetics and environment, maturing individuals discover the nature of their own attractions; such attractions are not the consequence of a volitional decision. Historically, untold numbers of human beings have been both demonized and vilified simply because their sexual makeups differ from the norm.”

  155. Bob, Esq.: “Refusal to what? Taking a picture is nothing more than an action? YOu must be a world famous photographer if you’ve found it that simple.”

    Actually, I am a serious amateur photog. As to your point, taking a picture is not an action? Setting up photo equipment – tripods, lighting equipment, video camera, etc. – are actions. So is pressing the button on the camera that captures the scene.

  156. Bob, Esq.: “Refusal to what? Taking a picture is nothing more than an action? YOu must be a world famous photographer if you’ve found it that simple.”

    Let’s simplify this to the maximum extent possible: Elaine and Jonathan, dba “Elane Photography,” are in the business of taking photos for money. They refused to accept the couple’s money in exchange for taking photos of the ceremony. Ergo, they discriminated on the basis of the couple’s sexual orientation.

  157. Marco wrote:
    “davidm2575 @ August 24, 2013 at 4:08 pm
    It’s irrelevant to the case being discussed. Please remain on topic.”

    It is relevant because the law is about discrimination based on sexual orientation.

    You tell me:
    =====
    ““Pedophilia” is not a “sexual orientation.” Sexual orientation is limited to heterosexual, homosexual and bi-sexual.

    “Pedophilia” is a sexual behavior. Many peer-reviewed studies show that most pedophiles are heterosexual.
    =====

    Really? You do not expect me to correct your error that misled at least one person in this forum into believing something false?

  158. Let’s see …. Copyright law covers literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs.

    Gee, why can you copyright photographs?

    Wait; I think I know this one…

    Because PHOTOGRAPHY IS A FORM OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY??

    So how does one compel the production of a form of intellectual property, again, epistemically speaking, without compelling thought or expression?

    Ah the liberal imagination…

  159. Bob, Esq.: “Copyright law covers literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs.”

    Yes, but Elane Photography refused to use its photographic “artistry” or “expression” for this homosexual couple. Besides, the text does not mention that Elane Photo was going to copyright the pictures.

    Elane Photo discriminated – failing to accept the couple’s money in exchange for a service – on the basis of the couple’s sexual orientation. Hence, Elane Photo violated the law. Please don’t try to cloud the issue with things such as “intellectual property,” “copyright” and other irrelevant issues.

  160. Marco,

    They didn’t refuse to serve them drinks or let them stay at a hotel. They refused to use their minds in a way contradictory to their beliefs. See Woollard.

    The only one confusing the issue here is you.

  161. Bob, Esq.: “Because PHOTOGRAPHY IS A FORM OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY??”

    “Photography” is not a form of “intellectual property.” The results of the act of photography (a necessary action) can be declared as being intellectual property.

  162. Bob, Esq. “They didn’t refuse to serve them drinks or let them stay at a hotel. They refused to use their minds in a way contradictory to their beliefs. See Woollard.

    The only one confusing the issue here is you.”

    They refused to provide them – the homosexual couple – with a professional service. I think I have a clear understanding of the issue.

  163. Bob, Esq.: “…let them state at a hotel.”

    The hotel is providing a service. To wit, the use of the hotel’s property.

  164. Photography creates intellectual property because it necessitates use of one’s intellect.

    Accordingly, you have no right to compel the photographer to use its intellect in any way whatsoever.

  165. “The hotel is providing a service. To wit, the use of the hotel’s property.”

    Yes, in contradiction to compelling the use of one’s intellect; thus my reason for contrasting it with photography.

    Very good Marco.

  166. Bob, Esq.: “Photography creates intellectual property because it necessitates use of one’s intellect.”

    No, photography doesn’t necessarily produce “intellectual property.” I routinely post my photos to a website on which people can download the photos without charge or permission. Hence, I did not declare the photos “intellectual property.” Beside, “intellectual property” is not in question here. The offering of a service to the public, but excepting a homosexual couple, is the question.

  167. OS wrote: “First of all, you were on a psychiatric web site. Psychiatrists are not psychologists and vice versa.”

    Oh, come on. You know that a psychiatrist is a psychologist with a medical degree. Nevertheless, here are a few psychologists for you:

    Dr. Vernon Quinsey, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Queen’s University:
    “So it appears like pedophilia is a sexual orientation. Because if you think of a sexual orientation like male heterosexuality, phallometric studies will show that male heterosexuals show substantially more interest in females than males. You also can’t modify that interest; it’s stable through adulthood, just like pedophilia.”
    http://www.good.is/posts/is-pedophilia-a-sexual-orientation-a-psychologist-breaks-down-what-makes-a-jerry-sandusky

    Dr. Hubert Van Gijseghem, Psychologist and Professor (retired), University of Montreal, testifying before Canadian Parliament:
    “If we know that pedophiles are not simply people who commit a small offence from time to time but rather are grappling with what is equivalent to a sexual orientation just like another individual may be grappling with heterosexuality or even homosexuality, and if we agree on the fact that true pedophiles have an exclusive preference for children, which is the same as having a sexual orientation, everyone knows that there is no such thing as real therapy. You cannot change this person’s sexual orientation. He may however remain abstinent.”

    OS wrote: “Those articles represented the opinions of the writers. Those writers do not speak for either profession as a whole.”

    Right, but most articles I have read on pedophilia, especially those by psychologists and psychiatrists, use the term sexual orientation rather freely.

    OS wrote: “Having said that, since you accept those writers as authoritative, did you notice the last portion of Dr. Berlin’s piece?”

    Yes I did. The sexual orientation of pedophiles appears to be as ingrained as it is in homosexuals. So in like manner, there is controversy about whether there can be much success in changing it once it has become established.

  168. Bob, Esq.: “Yes, in contradiction to compelling the use of one’s intellect; thus my reason for contrasting it with photography.”

    The management of a hotel requires intellect. Or do you believe hotels are managed by robots?

  169. David, you have been debunked yet again.

    Why do you insist on denigrating perfect strangers in a public blog after every one of your arguments has been shredded?

  170. Darren Smith wrote: “… businesses may as a condition of being duly licensed is required to provide products or services without discrimination against groups defined under state law and gay couples are included in that list of groups.”

    Darren, the law actually does not list “gay couples” as the specially protected class of citizens. The closest category is “sexual orientation.” I am seriously wondering if this makes any difference at all to you?

    Keep in mind that New Mexico law does not accommodate same sex unions of any kind, whether it would be called marriage, domestic partnership, or civil union.

  171. Re: The discussion above about Plato.

    The Internet says St. Augustine was engaged to an eleven year old girl at one point.

  172. Bob, Esq.

    Your arguments are akin to someone tyring to fight his way out of a wet paper bag and failing as he usually does.

    The fact of the matter, which the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled (and they are persons who obviously have probably twenty times more legal acumen than both of us combined) is that as a BUSINESS engaging in commerce with the public CANNOT discriminate against its customers in a manner that is against state law. You can call it expression, and therefore subject to unlimited deferrence under the first amendment until you are blue in the face, and frothing at the mouth and it will NOT change the law of the land in New Mexico. Like it or not, that is the way it IS.

    Then you get wrapped up further in that wet paper bag by going around in endless circles over this issue of Well photography is expression. Anything can be regarded as expression. YOu can put designs or engravings on pistol manufacturing and then it becomes expression. And according to your thinking it should be then exempted from federal fireamrs regulations because the government cannot tell what kind of design pattern to put on the pistol or that perhaps the gunsmith decided he wanted to express himself by making a 30 mm rifled firearm and that he should be exempted from laws making that an illegal Destructive Device.

    And now this about the intellectual property. Nice try. But it still does not change the fact that even if you claimed this was intellectual property, you are ignoring the second half of that compound noun; “property” even if this was intellectual property, it is property, therefore a good. and as such it was exschanged for payment of money. Guess what that is still commerce.

    And about th NY times. Name me a time when you can go to, as a member of the public, to the New York times and hire them to write a story for you. They take it upon themselves for their own first amendment interestes. If they for some odd reason engaged in journalism for hire they would be unable to say no to a protected class just like any other merchant. But, lets look at advertising. If the times is allowed to accept advertisements that meet legal advertisement for widgets they cannot say they will not put ads for selling widgets by Jewish organizations or Catholic ones but not allow Methodist advertisments for the same product. There was a case in Seattle a couple years ago where Metro Transit got slapped for discrimination because they allowed one political organization to advertise but not another.

    And you further go by saying that if someone uses their intellect in the performance of a service or providing a product then it becomes expression and not subject to anti distrimination laws. Well last I checked ALL human jobs require intelligence to perform, from designing a computer chip to shoveling sand onto icy roads. Unless someone could be hired to sleep or lie on their backs with a stirling engine on their chest as a form of power generation, you need a brain to perform jobs.

    The fact still remains it was deemed by the state supreme court to be a violation of rights and that’s the law there. Businesses either choose to obey the law or they are subject to sanctions by the customers or the state.

  173. DAvid wrote”
    Darren, the law actually does not list “gay couples” as the specially protected class of citizens. The closest category is “sexual orientation.” I am seriously wondering if this makes any difference at all to you?
    ~+~
    I don’t know what you are talking about. What is the difference the couple was discriminated against based on their sexual orientation because the photographer said that he would not do same sex marriages.

    Also it is irrelevant that the state might or might not recognize same sex marriages. It does not recognize sock hop dances either. If the photographer was fine with taking a sock hop dance contract for a group of men and women dancers they cannot the next week refuse to take photos of a sock hop dance involving all men for hire. The state does not have to list every type of situation that any business must be engaged in in order to be subject to the anti discrimination laws.

  174. The state supreme court has ruled. It is now settled law in Arizona. The End!

    Did you know that original Woolworth’s soda fountain is a featured exhibit in the Smithsonian? I also read somewhere that the Birmingham bus Rosa Parks made famous was being restored for display.

    However, I cannot imagine any same-sex couple ever hiring this photographer for some of the reasons mentioned upthread, not to mention his bigotry. If I were a local photographer, I would take advantage of the fact this guy just created a niche market for somebody else.

  175. “Your arguments are akin to someone tyring to fight his way out of a wet paper bag and failing as he usually does.”

    The only “tyring” one here is you; as tiring as your colorful description of the temper tantrums you imagine me going through. Jonathan Turley has the same problem with the New Mexico holding as I do; is he frothing at the mouth as well?

    As Mr. Turley astutely noted in his post above, photography is a form of expression: “The problem is that a photographer does more than offer a facility. He uses an interpretive skill and art form to frame an event. This is more akin to a writer or painter as an expressive form.”

    Photography is also a form of intellectual property. Further, the property element of said compound noun does not transitively create a governmental power over the intellect from whence it comes. That is to REITERATE that the government lacks the power to compel thought or expression.

    Further, I brought up the NY Times to counter this ridiculous argument of yours:

    Darren: “And I will answer your question about a journalist. Well, last time I checkedk I didn’t see many ACME Journalist storefronts on the main drags of New Mexico towns. so I don’t see the equivalence here. But if there is then they are still required to obey state laws here.”

    So the NY Times is not a corporation?

    See how that worked?

    BTW, I was impressed by this little piece of sophistry:
    Darren: “And about th NY times. Name me a time when you can go to, as a member of the public, to the New York times and hire them to write a story for you.”

    Is that the issue Darren? No, it’s about the state compelling the use of one’s intellect to express something in particular. Again, to allow what you suggest invites state indoctrination. The state shall determine what thoughts are acceptable and the state shall determine what thoughts you will think and express. Again, that is tyranny per se as it is categorically outside the purview of the government’s specifically enumerated powers.

    Your argument about the use of intellect in the performance of any service is nonsensical reductio ad absurdum that intentionally misses the point. Everything requires intellect therefore everything we do is speech. What a load of …

    What you don’t want to acknowledge is that the photographer retains the right to keep his mind free from images he finds disturbing. If a photographer finds the sight of two men kissing to be repulsive, he’s entitled to keep his mind free of such images and he has the first amendment right to refuse to frame such an image by order of the state.

    Furthermore, it is not bigotry for the heterosexual photographer to be repelled; since it is simply the opposite natural impulse that the homosexual is born with.

    Respect and equal rights is a two way street.

  176. Bob,

    With you 100% on this one.

    I’m was a singer and I refused to sing secular pieces in a sacred setting. So, if you wanted “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” sung in church at your wedding … you found yourself another soloist. I’d sing it at the reception but not in the Sanctuary. I’m sure that violates someone’s rights somewhere but the production of the music is mine and I alone control it.

    I believe it was Item 5 in the contract.

    BTW … I once had a bride and groom who wanted me to sing “Send in the Clowns” when the mothers of the bride and groom were seated. See Item 5 in the contract.

  177. “I also read somewhere that the Birmingham bus Rosa Parks made famous was being restored for display.” (OS)

    I believe it is at the Henry Ford Museum as my grandkids have sat in it and remarked how small it is.

  178. Blouse,
    I knew some museum had acquired it but couldn’t remember which one. I remember seeing a TV news story about it. It was sitting in a field, derelict. The news story was about restoring it before it was too late.

  179. Bob, Esq:

    I plan on buying a home in New Mexico and hiring a gay interior decorator to do the design and the work but I am going to wear a shirt that says “homosexuality is an abomination”

    I wonder if they would work for me?

    Compelling the photographer is a double edges sword which cuts both ways.

    Your stance is correct and I would not expect a gay person to be forced to work for someone who held those sentiments.

  180. To Bob (and those who agree with Bob),

    Just so we’re clear about the full consequences of your argument. Please think of this in the context of a Christian minority and a Muslim majority, such as Egypt, not the reverse, such as the United States, where the actual consequences would be trivial for the Christian couple:

    “What you don’t want to acknowledge is that the Muslim wedding photographer retains the right to keep his mind free from Christian images he finds disturbing. If a Muslim photographer finds the sight of a Christian couple kissing to be repulsive, he’s entitled to keep his mind free of such images and he has the first amendment right to refuse to frame such an image by order of the state.”

    Um. No thanks. The New Mexico Supreme Court has more than adequately answered all your arguments. I could recite them here, but it seems like a time waster. I refer you back to the decision.

    Bron,

    During the whole length of my life, I’ve worked with homophobic coworkers, homophobic bosses, and homophobic customers.

    How did it work out for me? I manned up and acted like an adult by putting my personal feelings aside.

    Vestal Virgin

  181. Bob,

    With regard to your argument above that the daily buying and selling of wedding photography as a business and the photographic art of people like Ansel Adamas are somehow categorically the same, in your own sophisticated words, “What a load of..”

    Vestal Virgin

  182. Vestal Virgin,

    First of all I didn’t make a Free Exercise argument; thus making your straw man all the more irrelevant.

    Second, your argument implies a dubious double standard; i.e. that heterosexuals must respect the natural inclinations of homosexuals but that homosexuals need not respect the natural inclinations of heterosexuals.

    Finally, I never equated Ansel Adams with wedding photographers. I was merely pointing out that photography is necessarily a form of expression protected by the first amendment; just like Turley did in his post.

    Your courtesies in connection with this matter are greatly appreciated.

  183. Bob,

    It’s not a free exercise argument. It’s a compelled speech argument. It’s your own argument. Your own argument recast with different categories. The mere fact of being religious categories doesn’t suddenly transform the example into a free exercise question. Admirable (or smarmy) sophistry, but also completely transparent.

    With regard to your second point, the protected category under the New Mexico Human Rights Act is “sexual orientation”, not “homosexuality”. Thus, under the NMHRA, heterosexuals must respect the natural inclinations of homosexuals, and homosexuals must, in turn respect the natural inclinations of heterosexuals. A homosexual wedding photographer in the marketplace would be in violation of the NMHRA if he were to turn down a heterosexual couple due to his “beliefs”. A charge of inconsistency here isn’t gonna fly on the argument that a discriminatory feeling has equal worth because of its basis in human nature. Under your reasoning, protecting race under the NMHRA would also be inconsistent because racism isn’t protected at the same time. What a load of…

    I’m glad to see your concession that wedding photography as a business and photography as an art form are entirely different things, despite sharing some similar elements.

    Vestal Virgin

  184. Vestal Virgin,

    Religious intolerance and racism, as opposed to sexual preference, are a learned traits. Thus the problem with your straw man.

    The charge of inconsistency does stand because sexual preference is not a “discriminatory feeling.” It’s the product of evolution. A heterosexual should no more be compelled to ignore their feelings than a homosexual should be “re-programmed” to feel heterosexual feelings.

    Your courtesies in connection with this matter are greatly appreciated.

  185. Oh I see. I think I get it now. At first, I thought there were two Bob, Esq.s posting here. You call one form of prejudice “learned” and therefore properly subject to state disapproval. Then you shift ground and call a different form of prejudice the flip side of one’s sexual orientation, that way you can bootstrap it via the consensus regarding the immutability of sexual orientation.

    Clever gymnastics, but that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard this weekend. (It’s not even true. There’s compelling evidence that prejudice has a genetic component relating to in-group membership and outgroup membership.)

    Oh wait, no it’s not the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard all weekend! There was something even sillier on another site that I was commenting on. I’ll leave it at that, but if you’re really curious, I’ll tell what it was.

    I’m going to be away from keyboard for about 10 hours, so if you reply, I won’t be able to respond.

    I would be happy to be courteous, now that you are. :)

  186. Vestal Virgin,

    Defining the consequences of sexual preference as “a different form of prejudice” implies that sexual preference is nothing more than a preconception; i.e. a learned trait. That’s ridiculous.

    Sexual preference is a non-conceptual phenomena; i.e. it precedes judgment. Else it would not be a product of evolution.

    Your courtesies in connection with this matter are greatly appreciated.

  187. I gotta go with Bob on this one. The very notion that your rights end where others begin is by its very nature a reciprocal relationship. Equal rights doesn’t mean others have to like, respect or approve of you. It just means equal rights and equal protection under the law. If a Federal law was passed tomorrow fully recognizing equal rights based on sexual orientation, it would still only be one step on a long road to overcome the social problems LGBTQ people face in dealing with the bigotry in our society, but it would be a big step in that it would afford legal recourse and remedy for wrongs based on discrimination where there is none (or limited) recourse now. I’m all for my LGBTQ brothers and sisters having those protections, but I’m not a Pollyanna and think that things will magically get better for the gay kid living in rural Alabama who is afraid to go to school because the ignorant rednecks are going to torment him or her simply because they’re different. But if the rednecks go too far at least there would be legal recourse. To paraphrase Lao Tzu, all journeys begin with the first step. Laws shape societies and just so societies shape laws. The relationship is reciprocal. A change in one will usually result in a change in the other but it is rarely a rapid process. It goes back, legally speaking, to what our host was discussing in the column: a conflict of fundamental rights. It’s a thorny issue, but it always is when laws or fundamental rights come into conflict. Finding just parameters for resolving that conflict will take time.

  188. So if a black couple owned a photography business and White Neo Nazis want their wedding filmed they have to go do it? The only people who should be forced to do stuff is the anti-gays and racists whites. White people should not have any rights when it comes to stuff like this.

    Though Im not sure why a gay person would want to do business with anyone who doesnt like them. Photos will turn out bad.

  189. Bob,

    This is the first time I’ve heard the idea that having a se xual orientation implies disgust toward a different orientation, and that the disgust should be a protected category under nondiscrimination laws because it arises out of the same se xual biology as orientation.

    Preference for one thing does not imply disgust for another thing. Having one skin color does not imply disgust toward a different skin color. Membership in one ethnicity does not imply disgust for a different ethnicity. Membership in one religion does not imply disgust for a different religion. Likewise, having one se xual orientation does not imply disgust toward a different se xual orientation. That thing you feel, that you locate in the object of your feeling, that you call “repulsive”–that’s prejudice, and it’s immaterial whether it arose from nature or nurture. Actions in the marketplace based on feelings like that are exactly the kind of thing that the NMHRA and the Elane Photography decision were designed to eradicate.

    Forward on,

    The New Mexico Supreme Court dealt with a similar hypothetical in the decision: Would an African American photographer have to photograph a Klan rally? The answer was “no”, because political views are not a protected category under the New Mexico Human Rights Act. However, a photographer who was a member of the Klan could not refuse to photograph a wedding in which the bride, the groom, or both were African Americans, because race *is* a protected category.

    Vestal Virgin

  190. Gene,

    I respectfully disagree that this is a simple boundary question between two conflicting rights. Here’s why:

    1. Prior to Elane, same sex wedding partners have anywhere from all down to zero choices for wedding photographers, depending on the cultural climate. Members of homophobic religions have their choice of all photographers (barring other constraints, of course). A gay photographer is barred from refusing to photograph the wedding of members of a homophobic religious organization, though he finds them morally objectionable, because religion is a protected category. A homophobic photographer is free not to photograph a same sex wedding.

    2. Post-Elane, same sex wedding partners may choose any wedding photographer. Members of homophobic religions may also choose any wedding photographer. A gay photographer may not refuse to photograph a wedding he finds objectionable. A member of a homophobic religion may not refuse to photograph a wedding she finds morally objectionable.

    In other words, prior to Elane, LGBT people pay BOTH the price of citizenship (as the concurring opinion put it) AND the price of discrimination.

    Post-Elane, both ONLY pay the price of citizenship.

    Vestal Virgin

  191. Forward on,
    I agree that it might be a bad idea to hire a photographer or caterer if they might sabotage the event. I am also pretty sure that although this case has moved through the courts and is now settled, the wedding has been held and everyone has moved on.

    The photographer could have handled this differently by saying something to the effect that he is biased against same-sex marriage, is afraid it might show in the quality of the work, and, “Let me refer you to a colleague who will do a better job than I could do.”

    It appears he could use some sensitivity training, as well as a seminar on how to conduct good public relations.

  192. Wait. I left something out.

    Prior to Elane, LGBT people pay BOTH the price of citizenship AND the price of discrimination. Members of homophobic religions pay nothing. Free ride!

    Post-Elane, both LGBT people and members of homophobic religions pay ONLY the price of citizenship.

  193. V V, you are more than welcome. You were trapped in a sea of knockoff watches, handbags and cheap shoes.
    ***************************
    There is a story in the news about a Wild Wings restaurant in Charleston, SC that refused service to a group of 25 black people because a white customer complained about feeling “threatened” by the group.

    http://www.radiofacts.com/blacks-asked-leave-south-carolina-restaurant-white-customer-felt-threatened-video/

  194. Otteray Scribe,

    If David is willing, together I think we should box these things up, load them in the van, and find a place to start selling them. :)

    The news story is pretty insane. A party for a cousin that involves waiting two hours for a table only to be confronted by discrimination when the finally do get a table.

    I would agree with the guy on the video. It’s not about the free meal that was offered.

    Vestal Virgin

  195. VV,

    Legally speaking, you are way off track.

    There is the free speech argument advanced by JT above which is valid as a matter of Constitutional Law. Now that New Mexico state law says different? Doesn’t mean that translates to Federal law. The Supremacy Clause prevents that from happening. A state may provide superior protections for its citizens than Federal law, including protecting what they recognize as fundamental rights, but those laws supplement Federal law, not supplant them. There is a saying in legal circles, a kind of truism, “Federal law is the basement, state law is the ceiling.” However, in providing that superior protection, NM may be running afoul of the 1st Amendment because not only is there the Free Speech issue of expressive arts as the Prof mentions, but there is another 1st issue in the contracting matters because of Freedom of Association (which isn’t specifically mentioned in the 1st, but is held to exist as a consequence of the 1st, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Alabama, 357 U.S. 449 (1958)). Absent the supplemental protections of NM law, if Elaine isn’t engaging in providing public accommodation or interstate commerce, they are free to associate (and to contract) with whomever they please for whatever reason they please. However, for now, the superior protections afforded by state law do apply, but the potential to clash with the 1st is still there.

  196. Gene,

    I think we have a miscommunication. If religion is a protected category under NMHRA, a gay wedding photographer, in the marketplace in New Mexico, would still have to photograph the wedding of members of a homophobic religion, though he finds their beliefs objectionable, would he not?

    Vestal Virgin

  197. Vestal Virgin wrote:
    “A member of a homophobic religion may not refuse to photograph a wedding she finds morally objectionable”

    If the sexual orientation was pedophilia, would she be allowed to refuse to photograph the criminal behavior of the pedophile?

    Or is she bound by anti-discrimination law to be forced to photograph it?

  198. David,

    It’s time for church, isn’t it? Although I recommend the Temple of Vesta. It’s only the hearth of the City of Rome! Don’t desecrate it like Serena did. That’s what brings the Visigoths.

    Vestal Virgin

  199. Darren Smith wrote: “What is the difference the couple was discriminated against based on their sexual orientation because the photographer said that he would not do same sex marriages.”

    In order to prevail on a discrimination charge, the discrimination must be against a defined special class of people specified in the law. Someone might not discriminate against sexual orientation, because they consider that an internal condition of another person that does not affect them, while at the same time, they might object to gay marriage and to gay commitment ceremonies for political reasons, because it undermines the concept of the purpose of marriage being for reproduction.

  200. Vestal Virgin wrote: “It’s time for church, isn’t it?”

    Church? I don’t attend church. I keep telling people here that I am not religious, but they don’t believe me. They want to believe that the only reason I think the way that I do is because I have been brainwashed by some religion. It is unthinkable to them that applying myself to study and logic has resulted in my opinions. I think many are in a state of rebellion against God, so they have this paradigm that any sentiment favorable to God is the result of religious brainwashing.

    My studies have led me to be a theist, and I believe in religious freedom in a Jeffersonian type way, but unlike Jefferson, church attendance to me seems to be a waste of time.

  201. VV,

    Theoretically, but I haven’t read the NMHRA so I won’t go into specifics about it.

    ___________

    David,

    Once again your proclivity for false equivalences and ignorance is astounding. Pedophilia is illegal because 1) it cause harm to children and 2) it vitiates consent. It is not the same thing as homosexuality between consenting adults. Which is still none of your goddamn business.

    Also, and again, reproduction is not a legitimate state interest in marriage.

    You are as dense as neutronium.

    Seriously, you must just be a masochist at this point to keep posting your idiotic drivel here.

  202. Gene,

    All right. Well, from there, my point is straightforward, about the situation prior to Elane:

    1. Gay photographers have to photograph weddings of homophobic religions, but homophobic photographers do not have to photograph same sex weddings.

    2. Same sex marriage partners are subject to public accomodations discrimination, but members of homophobic religions are not.

    That means gays have to pay the price of citizenship and the price of discrimination, but members of homophobic religions pay neither (prior to Elane).

    So, if you can’t tell, I think Elane is good. :)

    I do believe it is “Elane”, without an “i”, although I think the woman’s actual name was “Elaine”, with an “i”.

    **********

    David,

    All right. You seem like a nice guy when you’re not talking about gay people. Just like me. :P

    I wish you the best.

    Vestal Virgin

  203. Gene H –
    In many of your posts, you direct ire toward me upon a misplaced foundation. The brevity of my recent post surely lets you read an intent or interpretation that I did not make.

    I was not making an equivalency argument. The point is that we can’t just look at one law like Vestal Virgin does and ignore the whole body of law that attempts to define right and wrong for us. If the law actually agreed with the photographer and defined the object of her moral objection as something criminal, how does that affect VV’s interpretation of the anti-discrimination law?

    Traditionally, law has recognized the concept of conscience, and laws are not suppose to violate conscience. In fact, people are expected to follow conscience even when the laws are contrary to it. If a soldier is ordered to destroy every man, woman and child in a village, he might legally disobey the order because that order is unconscionable.

    In VV’s analysis, I do not see any recognition of individual conscience. If someone finds something immoral, it seems to carry zero weight unless the civil law also clearly defines that same thing as immoral.

    In regards to the role of marriage in reproduction, it doesn’t really matter whether you agree or not in regards to discrimination. It is a political viewpoint that you disagree with, but political viewpoints are not a protected class of the anti-discrimination laws. Please try to look at the issue logically and remove yourself from your emotional investment in these issues and read my post again. Hopefully you will read it in a different way.

  204. Vestal Virgin – I have visited the Temple of Vesta in Rome that you mentioned, and I am curious about your handle used here. Is there some formal connection you have in regards to this subject, or is it just a tangential interest?

  205. “I was not making an equivalency argument.”

    Yeah, you were, David. There was no other reason to bring up pedophilia than false equivalence except for perhaps guilt by association and loaded language, other well known propaganda techniques in addition to false equivalency. You are really out of your depth trying the crap you try to sell here and how you try to sell it.

    “In regards to the role of marriage in reproduction, it doesn’t really matter whether you agree or not in regards to discrimination. It is a political viewpoint that you disagree with”

    No. It’s a legal fact. Reproduction is not a valid state interest in marriage. Infertile hetero couples can marry. Hetero couples choosing not to have children can marry. Divorce is legal even if children are present. You are not mandated to have children as a consequence of being married. There is no valid state interest in reproduction in regards to marriage. End of story and as proven time and again despite your bleating to the contrary. The legitimate state interests in marriage end at the contractual nature and ramifications of the relationship.

    And I’m sure that ire directed at lies, distortions, bigotry and ignorance is perfectly well directed.

  206. VV,

    I think you misunderstand where I’m coming from on Elaine. I don’t think it’s bad. I think it’s a mixed bag that highlights a coming conflict over two competing and equally compelling and important rights.

  207. Gene H wrote: “There was no other reason to bring up pedophilia than false equivalence except for perhaps guilt by association and loaded language, other well known propaganda techniques in addition to false equivalency.”

    It is kind of funny, because I had actually typed out a whole paragraph leading into that paragraph that explained the connection more directly regarding what the law defines as moral and what people innately know is right and wrong and how this affects our reading of the law. Remembering Otteray Scribe’s admonition for me to be brief, I deleted it, thinking it unnecessary.

    Sorry to have upset you.
    Peace be with you.

  208. Vestal Virgin wrote: “1. Gay photographers have to photograph weddings of homophobic religions, but homophobic photographers do not have to photograph same sex weddings.

    Your statement reflect total nonsense! Members of homophobic religions are not going to want a gay photographer at their wedding. And why would gays want a homophobe to photograph their wedding?

    Prior to Elane, homophobic photographers did not have to photograph same sex weddings. Was that a serious or life threatening problem for gays? Or, did they desire to rub their gay lifestyle in the face of a homophobic photographer? Supposedly these ones did because they sued to exert such a psudo legal right. Why do you suppose gay persons desire to compel homophobes to participate in their wedding ceremony?

    The fact that gays would utilize discrimination laws to prove that they hold some legal authority over homophobes is telling of their overall agenda of compelling acceptance of their lifestyle by the force of the state.

    The sad part is that the discrimination laws are being construed in a manner that operates to void the right of a homophobe to say no to contracting with persons with whom they find objectionable. This just goes to prove the essence of what I posted earlier about the illusion of private contracts. This sort of law and the decision in Elane is evidence of the eradication of private contracts. As a result of your capacity and legal status of ‘federal employee’ the government has become a ‘behind the scenes’ third party of every contract, and this is the underlying basis fo any public interest in what would otherwise be a private contract. And you thought you were free.

  209. “It is kind of funny, because I had actually typed out a whole paragraph leading into that paragraph that explained the connection more directly regarding what the law defines as moral and what people innately know is right and wrong and how this affects our reading of the law. ”

    Sure you did, David. Sure you did. And I’m sure it was just as much bullshit as your false equivalence/guilt by association/loaded language attack given that despite having the real actual law explained to you numerous times already you keep coming back to the table with your zany made up fantasy understanding of the law.

    To be clear, David, you didn’t and don’t upset me except in the generalized way bigotry and willful ignorance irritate me.

  210. Vestal Virgin,

    In regards to an earlier comment of yours, I suppose you’re right. I did shift ground just a little bit when I shifted my focus from first amendment protection to the nature of heterosexual aversion to homosexuality.

    The line in question here is the prohibition of governmental coerced thought or expression. That line should be maintained in an apriori fashion; i.e. with no regard to gender or race or anything a posteriori.

    Your ‘preference for one not implying disgust for another argument’ works for learned traits; not inherited traits.

    What I was focusing on is something the homosexual community does not want to acknowledge; i.e. the natural difference between the homosexual and the heterosexual. In their zeal for public acceptance of their status, the homosexual community confuses public acceptance of equal legal status with personal approval of said lifestyle. Consequently, the idea of anyone being ‘repulsed’ by the homosexual lifestyle seems alien to them. What many homosexuals fail to understand is that not everyone is hard wired the same way they are. Accordingly, they feel off put when a man turns away when two other men are kissing.

    And that’s where the first amendment line appears in this case. And that’s why I took the nature over nurture turn in the argument. Because heterosexuals are just as entitled to their feelings as the homosexuals. It is a birth right and the government may not re-program either one of them to fit a particular policy. Forcing a photographer to form images of two men engaged in romantic poses, when they do not want such images in their mind, runs afoul of the first amendment.

    “That thing you feel, that you locate in the object of your feeling, that you call “repulsive”–that’s prejudice, and it’s immaterial whether it arose from nature or nurture.”

    I contend the nature argument is much stronger. However, it is immaterial when it comes to the first amendment argument. The issue there is to what extent is the government permitted to take control over the mind of the individual; thus the distinction between thought & expression as opposed to simply serving drinks and making beds.

  211. David,

    It’s just a tangential interest. The sacralizing of ordinary things around which the community sustains itself is cool. It has some communitarian value. That value seems lost. Although I’m sure not into some of the inhuman specifics of the rules surrounding the vestal virgins, such as being buried alive for lack of chastity.

    Buddhism and Christianity both encountered fire worshipers and, as I think, failed to understand them. Buddhism uses fire worship as a metaphor to make its own points. Christianity just dumped it as soon as it got institutional power, with individual Christians desecrating the Temple of Vesta and persecuting its devotees with the state’s tacit encouragement.

    The heroic workers at the Fukushima nuclear power plant were modern vestal virgins, of a sort. The people who guard the hearth for the citizenry; or, in this case, the people who guard the citizenry from the hearth.

    Randy,

    That people ordinarily avoid those in the marketplace with hostile views and are sometimes successful in doing so depending on the cultural climate prevailing in the majority, does not mean that they are able to do so all the time or that they are not burdened by having to do so or that they don’t suffer loss of human dignity for having to do so. The majority need not endure such things because (1) its the majority and just by the math the de facto presence of discrimination is far rarer; and (2) it’s already reserved for itself its own anti-discrimination categories in the human rights law. When a minority seeks only to do the same, the majority, having had a free ride all along, gets incensed that it has to pay the price of citizenship, so the minority gets accused of wanting to create special legal circumstances for itself.

    Public accomodations discrimination law regarding wedding photographers doesn’t involve life threatening situations, but people have died or have had their medical conditions worsened by being refused service by hospitals, etc. Most notably African Americans and transgender people.

    Gene,

    I totally get what you’re saying. It’s very broad-minded and circumspect and doesn’t flippantly step on other people’s feet. However, I disagree.

    Bob,

    All right. I disagree, but thanks for the longer explanation. All the best.

    ************************

    Vestal Virgin

  212. VestalV:

    Glad you put up some of what The Vestal Virgins were about! Sooo much that is old, is new again. I wanted to mention certain fertility rites on the “flogging” thread when caning came up, but what the heck. The “John Bircher” joke would have fallen flat!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  213. Squeeky!

    I missed the flogging thread. What was it about?

    I think you should introduce me to new music.

    I give you Penny Tai, a Mandopop singer from Malaysia, with her famous song, “The Love You Want”. There are touching movie scenes spliced into this video, but I don’t know what movie they’re from. They recall that crazy time known as the twentieth century, when people believed in universal principles and fought bloody conflicts over them. (Was that good? ^_^)

    Vestal Virgin

  214. VestalV:

    Well, it is blocked in my country, so I grabbed another version on youtube. It was pretty, and reminded me of Bridge Over Troubled Waters. I am not sure if this is “new”, but she is who I want to be when I grow up!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  215. Squeeky,

    After I put up my last post, I realized it looked like I was contradicting you. (You don’t seem to have taken it that way.) But just to clarify in case there was any misunderstanding, I said that about the twentieth century because I often find myself having “cold war nostalgia”. Then I catch myself, realizing what a crazy thing that is to have. But,of course, I’m only human, and humans are nothing if not creatures given to irrational thoughts!

    That being said, I like old things slightly more, just ever so slightly more, than I like new things. So, I call myself a “traditionalist” or “moderate conservative”. I don’t know how to weigh these things for purposes of self-identification on a political spectrum, but that’s how I think. It just doesn’t come through on civil rights threads, although I don’t regard civil rights as an inherently liberal cause.

    I would definitely agree with you that so much of what is old is new again. Human nature has enduring characteristics. Ultimately, those will change, too, but it won’t be visible on our time scale.

    I have to go about my work for the day, instead of being on this thread. I will definitely check out your video. Thanks for introducing it to me!

    Wasn’t “Tunstall” the name of one of the guys in the Lincoln County War, with Billy the Kid?

    Vestal Virgin

  216. Forcing a photographer to take pictures for a wedding that is against their religious beliefs is a violation of the photographers 1st amendment right.

  217. Vestal V. wrote and admitted,
    ” Public accomodations discrimination law regarding wedding photographers doesn’t involve life threatening situations….”

    And until you can make a case as to how the refusal to do business by some private wedding photographer either adversely affects the life or wellbeing of anyone, then you should be able to admit that there neither is, nor can be, any existing public interest in compelling a private entrepeneur to be subject to the societal dictates of some government imposed policy. Without an existing public interest inhering in the state, private people should not be forced to contract with others they either find repugnant or possibly disagree with for religious reasons. To do otherwise is to discriminate against the beliefs of such persons and victimize them.

    Your comparison of the business of a private photographer with that of a hospital is misplaced and irrational. But if in fact, as I have pointed out , there is no actual private business, then the legal status of everyone is that of a public accommodator and subject to public regulation. Under such a situation everyone who is part of the corporate body politic is and would be subject to the statist corporate policy irregardless of whether they percieve their business activity to be private in nature.

    Cases like Elane are slowly working to expose the fact that individual private freedoms have been abrogated/eradicated without the American people even being aware of the same.

  218. Randy,

    What exactly is it that you believe in? Are you against all anti-discrimination laws in public accommodations, except where someone’s life or health is directly at stake? Are you against all anti-discrimination laws in public accommodations, except where someone’s life or health is directly or INDIRECTLY at stake? Are you against anti-discrimination laws in public accommodations ONLY where they conflict with private business owners’ religious beliefs, except where someone’s life or health is affected? Do you want some multi-tiered law in which the needs of the patron are weighed against the rights of the business owner?

    Please write me a statute. I want to read it.

    I wasn’t “comparing” hospitals to “private photographers”. You had said “public accommodations” and “life threatening” and seemed to be largely opposed to anti-discrimination laws in public accommodations (I’m still not sure what it is exactly that you think), so what immediately came to mind were Martin Luther King’s remarks regarding an African American teen-ager who couldn’t get the treatment she needed because the Georgia hospital at which it was available wouldn’t accept her because of her race. Completely inhuman.

    Vestal Virgin

  219. Vestal Virgiin wrote: “What exactly is it that you believe in? …………… Do you want some multi-tiered law in which the needs of the patron are weighed against the rights of the business owner?”

    There is no need for a multi-tiered law. The only thing required is a correct understanding of what actually constitutes a “public accommodation”. Just because a private business is located alongside a public street does not convert the nature of such business from private to public anymore so than having a public street in front of your home converts your home into public housing.. If however, such a business is subsidized by public tax monies in whole or in part such a business would be public or quasi-public. It is only where the public hold an interest in said business that it can as a matter of law be a “public accommodation”, where the public at large can be heard to complain of the existence of a right to be accommodated.

    Private businesses may have a moral duty in the eyes of some to treat everyone the same but moral duties cannot be converted to legal ones. For more on this read Bastiat, cited below.

    There is only one legitimate and rational puprpose for the creation of government. That is to protect individual rights to life, liberty, and property. Legitimate government, i.e. public, authority and power is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense. Any exercise of power beyond that is illegitimate. The compelled imposition of the morals of one group upon another is a violation of individual liberty. Such laws and the legal framework that supports them is referred to as ‘positivism’.

    So as to what I more fully believe, that can be better explained by reading Lysander Spooner’s treatise entitled Natural Law, at http://lysanderspooner.org/node/59

    Also as to what should be defined as and treated as “public” one should read Frederick Bastiat’s THE LAW . See at http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html#SECTION_G064

    Both these Treatises are short and in my opinion should be entertained by everyone able to read.

    I have looked for many years for anyone that could make a rational and meaningful argument opposing these two positions and so far i haven’t found anyone.

  220. Randy,

    All right. I’ll give these a read and get back to you. I predict that I will totally disagree with them, but I can see that you really cherish and treasure these, so I’ll try to read them with an open mind & open heart.

    All the best,
    VV

  221. David,

    “Yup. The only thing worse than religion is government.”

    That’s a strange statement coming from the “head of a household” whose government allows him the unfettered right to be a zealous bigot and pursue his stated desire for a theocracy that he will live in peace with.

  222. gbk wrote: “That’s a strange statement coming from the “head of a household” whose government allows him the unfettered right to be a zealous bigot and pursue his stated desire for a theocracy that he will live in peace with.”

    It is only strange to you because you prefer the stereotype of your embraced ideology over my actual words. Your desire to hate the stereotype and me in particular overrides your ability to hear. I have never stated any desire for a theocracy, nor am I a zealous bigot.

  223. David,

    You seem to fail to comprehend how social dynamics work. so I’ll spell it out for you – again.

    Vague and non-committal language – although a tactic used by propagandists to avoid stating expressed intent – is beyond your mastery.

    You can say you aren’t a theocrat all you like, but your insistence on a religious definition of marriage instead of the legal one that has now been explained to you many many times belies that assertion.

    You can say you aren’t a bigot, but your express endorsements for treating homosexuals as second class citizens without being able to name a specific harm officially recognizing their equal rights would cause also belies that assertion.

    You can tell people to call you a cab, but if you act like a theocratic bigot? They are going to find you to be a theocratic bigot. A=A. The Law of Identity holds. No amount of protesting will get others to think you are not that which you act like. You are what you is.

  224. Randy Lee:

    wasnt Spooner a garden variety anarchist? I would think libertarians would have given that up by now. It isnt going to work, you cant have 1000 court systems.

  225. David,

    Then someone must be impersonating you on this blog:

    “They can take away my vote today, and it would not affect me one bit. If they take away my right to vote and rule in a good way, I will dwell in peace with government and there would be no problem.”

    It’s obvious that you’re not referring to current government structure because you also say this in the same thread:

    “What is a greater problem than either of these [voting fraud and disenfranchising of voters] is the dilution of votes caused by ignorant people voting simply because it has been drilled into their heads that they are doing something good by voting. When someone mindlessly votes, putting a mark by someone’s name who they know nothing about, that person is doing something WRONG and EVIL in society.”

    I also remember you stating that intelligence tests should be required for voting. Gee, I wonder what questions you would pose:

    1. Voting is unnecessary in a small group because the head of the household can easily discern the desires of those he governs? True or false?

    2. A dictator can rule a country without any votes if he is a good and charitable ruler. True or false?

    3. “He” in questions 1 and 2 cannot be replaced with “she.” True or false?

    Sorry that I don’t give greater weight to your claims of not hating, (like me, my neighbors call me Mr. H for short), but your own writing exposes your position which you then spend much time denying.

    I think I’ll trust my reading skills more than your denials.

  226. gbk –
    So because I do not embrace equal and universal suffrage and would prefer a weighted voting scheme that is a little more aggressive than the way our Electoral College is setup, I am a zealous bigot who prefers a theocracy? That makes no sense. Would you describe Thomas Jefferson also in this way? I doubt it. What makes sense is that many here are prejudice toward their own views and cannot bear to hear someone else discuss a different perspective.

    A bigot is a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own. That sounds to me like you, Gene H, and a few others who frequent these forums and would rather present ad hominem slurs than intelligent concepts. In contrast, I enjoy hearing other viewpoints and how others express themselves. In particular, Vestal Virgin has given some very interesting thoughts in a very civil way and has provided a nice contrast to the perspective of Bob Esq. and Randy Lee. Dialogue like this motivates further study and consideration of the issues involved.

  227. David,

    I’m pretty sure I’ve already addressed your expected comment offered at 4:11 pm. Quoting myself, which is weird:

    “. . . but your own writing exposes your position which you then spend much time denying.”

    Read your own words, David. I’ve never seen such recursion of thought than what you present. If it makes you feel better to claim that I’m the one presenting hate and inflexible ideology then there’s really not much I can do about that.

    Your volume of verbiage far outstrips mine — I think you forget what you’ve said in your shrill attacks on others while claiming you present intelligent concepts.

  228. Gene H wrote: “your insistence on a religious definition of marriage instead of the legal one that has now been explained to you many many times belies that assertion.”

    I have offered you legal definition from Loving v. Virginia, Maynard v. Hill, and Skinner v. Oklahoma. I NEVER offered a religious definition. You’re repeating this lie ad nauseum, but such will not make it true.

    In contrast, YOUR definition of marriage is found nowhere in common law. It is a NEW definition which you and others are fighting to make the new legal definition.

    Furthermore, contrary to your assertions, I do not fight to treat homosexuals as second class citizens. Their same sex unions (some homosexuals still have opposite sex unions) are distinctly different than opposite sex unions, so I argue they should not be lumped in together with them. I have argued to grant them rights that pertain to the nature of their union.

    I believe that all people, regardless of labels applied to them, are created in an equal state before the law, and they each deserve the equal protections of the law. If a person is born with an IQ of 70, he is equal before the law as someone like Albert Einstein with a superior intelligence. Whether male, female, hermaphrodite, homosexual, bisexual, or heterosexual, all have equal standing before the law and the law applies equally to all. Also, all ought to have equal opportunity for advancement in society.

    You ask for harm, and I have explained many. The problem is that you keep looking for that “SPECIFIC” harm to me personally. I acknowledge none to me personally, but that means nothing. The murders in Detroit today cause no specific harm to me personally, but that does not mean they do not cause harm.

    This very thread shows a harm to society, where a photographer is found guilty of discrimination. It is not a harm to me personally, but it is a harm to the photographer being ordered to pay over $6,000. There was another harm discussed about a florist being prosecuted for not wanting to provide flowers for a wedding. The list of harms will continue to grow as sexual immorality is declared by the law to be wholesome and good for society and our children.

    Your attempt to use the law and the authority of government to force people to think the same way as you is wrong. It will lead to civil unrest.

  229. gbk wrote: “Read your own words, David. I’ve never seen such recursion of thought than what you present.”

    I read my own words again, but see nothing even resembling the way you describe them. Clearly you misunderstand what I write. You interpret something based upon your own world view rather than understanding my position. If you really want to unravel the point of difference, perhaps focus upon one statement you find to be off.

  230. David,

    “Clearly you misunderstand what I write.”

    Maybe it’s what you convey in your writing, have you considered this?

    “You interpret something based upon your own world view rather than understanding my position.”

    And you just know this through the same ability that allows you to discern other’s desires?

    I do understand your position, David. I just happen to disagree.

  231. David,

    And I’ve destroyed your “legal” arguments time and again when you play at being a lawyer, software boy. You have ONLY offered a religious definition of marriage as rebuttal when the legal definition has been pointed out time and again and your dreadful cherry picking of case law and lack of comprehension of what constitutes actually valid state interests in marriage.

    I’ll ask you again: Name a specific harm that recognizing homosexual’s equal rights and equal protection under the law causes to you or anyone else?

    That’s the threshold in the legal argument.

    Neither you nor anyone else has ever been able to successfully answer that question. And you haven’t now. Speaking of which . . .

    “This very thread shows a harm to society, where a photographer is found guilty of discrimination. It is not a harm to me personally, but it is a harm to the photographer being ordered to pay over $6,000.”

    The harm to the photographer (or the florist)? Was because they broke the law. The photographers were held to be a business that offered public accommodation and thus were subject to the law. They are free to change their business model so as not to offer public accommodation (like the bakers I described twice above in example) or they can accept that they can’t openly discriminate based on sexual orientation according to New Mexico law without suffering the consequences.

    “The list of harms will continue to grow as sexual immorality is declared by the law to be wholesome and good for society and our children.”

    1) The law is not taking a side on the morality issue. That’s a religious question and to choose a side is to seek to give one sect advantage over another and contrary to the 1st Amendment. 2) Oh noes! Think of the children! Specious appeals to emotion don’t make a argument, but they do make you look ridiculous. Statistically speaking, 1 in 10 children is born homosexual so maybe by protecting them from people who want to judge them and treat them as second class citizens simply because they are different and “immoral” by standards that are yours and you have no right to force upon them IS thinking of the children. All of them. Including the gay kids.

    “Furthermore, contrary to your assertions, I do not fight to treat homosexuals as second class citizens. Their same sex unions (some homosexuals still have opposite sex unions) are distinctly different than opposite sex unions, so I argue they should not be lumped in together with them. I have argued to grant them rights that pertain to the nature of their union.”

    Yet your “differences” hinge upon procreation and diamorphic sex – a religious definition of marriage not a legal contractual definition – so in fact you seek to deny them equal protection and equal rights on a religious definition which is discrimination based in a theological definition. If you really don’t want them to be treated like second class citizens with less rights than heterosexuals? You wouldn’t waste so much of your time arguing a case you cannot win here or in court.

    “Your attempt to use the law and the authority of government to force people to think the same way as you is wrong. It will lead to civil unrest.”

    Nice straw man you’ve got there. I don’t give a damn if you think like me or not and I don’t give a damn what you personally find immoral or not. Personally I think it’s pretty obvious at this point that thinking isn’t your strong suit. No one is forcing you to change the way you think no matter how repugnant they might find it.

    But using the law to keep you from discriminating against fellow citizens for no other reason than you think they are “immoral” – the implication being that they are less than you and don’t deserve the same rights and protections you enjoy as an ostensible heterosexual?

    You’re damn right I’m for the use of the sanction of law to prevent and discourage your holier than thou pronouncements condemning others and your efforts to deny them the same rights you enjoy.

    Seriously, your “arguments” such as they are have been turned to dust by professional and amateur alike so many times at this point in this forum you are starting to become a parody.

  232. OS,

    I did not know that about the New Mexico state constitution. Thanks for making my day complete by learning something new.

  233. David,

    “I have argued to grant them rights that pertain to the nature of their union.”

    Yes you did — you referred these rights as “roommates.”

  234. David wants to argue law, he can explain the legal reasoning to get around this. I don’t usually have trouble with the English language, but I must be missing something here.

    Section 18 of the New Mexico constitution: “Equality of rights under law shall not be denied on account of the sex of any person.”

    I don’t see partial rights, sorta-kinda rights, religious preferences or beliefs, morality, immorality, reproduction, the Kama Sutra, or a chicken sandwich.

    http://sos.state.nm.us/pdf/2007nmconst.pdf

  235. Bron asked, “wasnt Spooner a garden variety anarchist? I would think libertarians would have given that up by now. It isnt going to work, you cant have 1000 court systems.”

    Not sure in what sense you mean to characterize Spooner as an anarchist. He was what is better described as a voluntaryist. He believed in governments having delegated powers and authority limited to the defense of the rights of the individual. He didn’t believe that a government of the people, by the people, and for the people could lawfully delegate authority to an institution of government where such authority did not first naturally inhere in the individual. He did not believe that mobs could legitimately authorize institutions of law to do things that none of the individual members of society had a right to do. He did not believe that an agreement by a majority to a claim of authority could give rise to either its creation or its legitimacy.

    A simple example is that no individual has the right to create and impose their currency medium on others. Likewise then, a government of the people is without legitimate authority to create a currency medium and impose its circulation upon others (legal tender laws). Spooner believed like Bastiat that the sole duty of government was to defend individual liberty and the rights of individuals. He was against plunder of the individual by the state.

    You don’t need 1000 court systems when people are willing to make the honest admission that they neither individually nor corporately have any right to control the actions of others except where those actions either harm, endanger or threaten the rights of others. People will never admit this until they overcome the cultural, i.e. cult, programming of their youth.

    Before you try to label Spooner as an anarchist in what appears to be your attempt as an ad hominum attack upon his person, why don’t you attempt to put forth a cogent argument against his actual positions.

    When you say, “It isn’t going to work…”, just what is the ” it” that you refer to?

    If it’s some statist order that you speak of then I hope it doesn’t work because it’ has been far too long that men have attempted to organize society by force and the initiation of aggression. Can you give me just one example when it is ever proper to initiate agression against another human being? It’s time for humanity to grow up.

  236. Otteray Scribe wrote:

    “Section 18 of the New Mexico constitution: “Equality of rights under law shall not be denied on account of the sex of any person.” ”

    This section says nothing concerning the issue of sexual orientation of an individual. Rather this section explicitly, by its very language, has to do with the issue of gender.

  237. Randy Lee,

    “You don’t need 1000 court systems when people are willing to make the honest admission that they neither individually nor corporately have any right to control the actions of others except where those actions either harm, endanger or threaten the rights of others.”

    And how is the appendage of your statement, you know, the words after “except” deemed valid?

  238. Gene H. wrote, “I’ll ask you again: Name a specific harm that recognizing homosexual’s equal rights and equal protection under the law causes to you or anyone else?”

    Well, where a person has deep convictions of the wrongness of a particular activity it is impossible to force them to accept that someone has a right to engage in that activity. Even if such a persons convictions are mistaken, until they recognize for themselves that they are mistaken, attempting to force them to relinquish their free agency and recognize that someone has a right to do what they percieve to be wrong and immoral is destructive to their very psychological wellbeing. Further more where this is accomplished by forms of law, such persons are likely to lose respect for the institution of law and those in positions of authority, leading to an inevitable lack of respect for the same.

    Such actions of force will inevitably operate to create even more rebellion toward institutions of law, likely leading to additional harm to the remainder of society.

    You can’t force people to think what you think they should think. You can only attempt to reason and hopefully persuade them to change.

    The idea that a government or a culture could accomplish by force of law thought programming on a free people is draconian.

  239. GBK wrote
    “And how is the appendage of your statement, you know, the words after “except” deemed valid?”

    Take the time to read Spooner and Bastiat at the links I provided above and the statement will make sense.

    The exception of actions that “either harm, endanger or threaten the rights of others” is legitimately based upon the legal theory that individuals have a right to self defense and to join together to defend one another. Where an understanding and community conciousness of the right to self-defense is seen as the only legitimate basis for government, i.e. controlling the actions of others, and for remedy (punishment and sanction) for the violation of individual rights then there would not be 1000 different interpretations of law and the consequent systems engendered thereby. The law would be much simpler and crime would only consist of actions that in fact harmed or violated the rights of others. For many years that was the way crime was defined in this country. Without a damaged party, the state could not prosecute, and no guilt could attach.

    In a government of, by and for the people how can rights or authorities inhere to government servants that do not inherently exist in the individuals that comprise the society?

  240. Another “this is what happens when you f*#k a stranger in the ass” libertarian scholar.

    Read my links, they say, as if I’ve hadn’t years ago. Over time they all show the same trait — that of referencing information yet being incapable of synthesizing their own arguments from the tattered sources they demand I read, again, and again.

  241. gbk, first I want to say that I do understand how my earlier statement created the confusion that it did. After looking at it aain closely I understand why the term “except” would create the confusion it did. I should not have stated it that way. My oversight. I meant something entirely different as a tried to explain above, although probably not to your satisfaction. I apologize for any confusion I may have caused you.

    Now as to your last post, I have no way of knowing if you have read the sources I suggested, and I certainly feel that they do more justice to the subject than some small synthesis that I might produce by a few lines here. Since you have read them, maybe you could put together a rational synthesis of your opposition position.

    I do believe that the question I posed earlier, “In a government of, by and for the people how can rights or authorities inhere to government servants that do not inherently exist in the individuals that comprise the society?” constitutes somewhat of a synthesis of my position. Is there some reason you avoided addressing it? Or do you agree with its tacit, self-evident and logical answer and the political repercussions of said logic?

  242. RL,

    “I have no way of knowing if you have read the sources I suggested, and I certainly feel that they do more justice to the subject than some small synthesis that I might produce by a few lines here.”

    So synthesize more than a few lines for “the subject.” Concentrate on your argumentative points rather than the superlatives surrounding it. Own your argument. Don’t worry about me.

    “In a government of, by and for the people how can rights or authorities inhere to government servants that do not inherently exist in the individuals that comprise the society?”

    This is so poorly written that even after reading it many times I do not know what you mean. Let’s break it down:

    “In a government of, by and for the people . . .”

    Still with you.

    “how can rights or authorities”

    What rights, what authorities? You should elaborate on what is really your argument. Are you referring to natural rights? If so, why follow so quickly with “or” authorities?

    “inhere to government servants”

    I’m pretty sure you want a comma between “government” and “servants.” Not trying to be a jerk, but this is where your lovely question totally breaks down, and informs me that you’re mimicking ideas you thought you heard, or thought you read, but really don’t comprehend. It reads like a bad translation.

    “that do not inherently exist in the individuals that comprise the society”

    How do you know this, how do you claim that individuals that comprise a society have no existence beyond their individualism?

    “Or do you agree with its tacit, self-evident and logical answer and the political repercussions of said logic?”

    I see nothing tacit, self-evident, nor logical in your tome of a sentence.

  243. RL,

    Again, no one is forcing anyone to think any thing. Did the Civil Rights movement force people to stop being racist? Nope. And the Civil Rights movement as it regards homosexuals won’t stop you from being a bigot if that is your choice. It will, however, stop you from discriminating against them in commerce without facing legal sanction and recognize their inherent rights should be specifically protected to remedy the problem of discrimination based on sexual orientation by making sexual orientation a protected class. While your answer was only a slightly better attempt than most make in the specific harm argument, you still fail. The laws restrict action, not thought. I realize that many if not most Libertarians have a fixation with money and operate under the delusion that property rights are absolute, but at its best, the law is about protecting everyone’s rights, not just the rights of those whom you approve of. That’s the nature of an egalitarian society – liberty and justice for all – not just liberty and justice for straight white Christians to make money no matter what or who they trample in the process. Removing economic tyranny is just one step in recognizing and protecting the rights of homosexuals just as it was one step in recognizing and protecting the rights of blacks and other minorities based on race. Failing to understand that you can’t pick and choose what you want from the Constitution is a major failing with libertarians and libertarianism. The 14th Amendment and the Commerce Clause still apply whether you like it or not. Loving v. Virginia and Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States are still valid precedent and controlling law on these matters. Their logic and legal reasoning maps perfectly to the cases for recognizing the equal rights and equal protections for homosexuals.

  244. Property rights in perspective:

    Showing a guest around his ranch, the wealthy rancher waved his hand and said, “All this, as far as the eye can see, is my property.”

    The hundred million year old mountains laughed down at him.

  245. DavidM wrote: “I have argued to grant them rights that pertain to the nature of their union.”

    bgk wrote: “Yes you did — you referred these rights as ‘roommates.’ ”

    No I did NOT! See, this is an example where you are not reading what I write superficially and you see what you want or expect to see rather than what I actually said.

    I wrote about defining rights for same sex unions that would make the union something MORE than roommates. Roommates do not have the same rights as a couple bound together in a domestic partnership.

  246. ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —” An Albuquerque judge on Monday ordered the clerk of New Mexico’s most populous county to join two other counties in the state in issuing marriage licenses for gay and lesbian couples.

    State District Judge Alan Malott ruled that New Mexico’s constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

    The decision came in a case involving a lesbian couple who sought an emergency ruling because one of them is dying and they wanted to make certain the state would recognize their marriage, which happened last week in Santa Fe.

    The Bernalillo County clerk’s office in Albuquerque plans to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples at 8 a.m. Tuesday.” Reuters

  247. Randy,

    I read the Lysander Spooner page that you linked to, and the other one. Thanks for introducing him to me. I’m glad to know about him. I looked him up, too. It was really interesting that he was part of a plot to free John Brown after the Harper’s Ferry incident.

    He makes some good points, but in my opinion, he singles out and inflates the value of a few aspects of human nature. In order to agree with him, you sort of have to ignore a lot of contrary things that are probably true from anthropology, economics, psychology, literature, etc.

    He doesn’t account for the fact that majorities work in concert, outside of government, to exclude minorities from the society & economy, and the damage this causes them, beyond risks to the minority members’ lives. I think fans of Spooner have to ask themselves if they are okay with situations like these, situations that can’t reasonably be remedied by the insurance-like mutual self-help associations he proposes:

    1. A minority member on a cross country trip is condemned to sleep in his car every night, because the hotels are owned by members of the majority, and they hold an irrational prejudice toward the minority.

    2. A minority member is not able to buy groceries in his own county and is forced to drive to an adjacent county every shopping trip, incurring higher fuel costs and lost time, etc.

    3. Minority members are not able to enjoy a friendly get-together at a restaurant they want to eat at, because the restaurant won’t serve them or there is no restaurant within a reasonable distance that will serve them.

    There are lots and lots more examples like this. The damage is both financial and to the dignity of the person, and it’s the latter of these that might be the costliest of all, over the long term, to the person, the person’s family, other people around him or her, etc.

    Vestal Virgin

  248. Gene H wrote: “And I’ve destroyed your “legal” arguments time and again…”

    Only in your mind. Your arguments are unconvincing. Oxford Professor Finnis was much more convincing.

    Gene H wrote: “You have ONLY offered a religious definition of marriage as rebuttal when the legal definition has been pointed out time and again…”

    You have never offered a legal definition from common law, only your particular new favorite definition. My definition was NEVER based upon a religious definition. It was based upon what the courts have written in common law, and your stubbornness in not acknowledging that only discredits your arguments. You are confused because many religions also form a similar definition to what had been formed in common law. The fact that multiple sources have similar definitions does not make the legal definition of marriage a religious one. All you have revealed is that your attack on marriage is actually an effort to purge what you perceive to be religion codified in law. In the end, all we have is your prejudice against religion rather than good legal analysis.

    Gene H wrote: “Name a specific harm that recognizing homosexual’s equal rights and equal protection under the law causes to you or anyone else?”

    Your question is framed like the infamous “when did you stop beating your wife” question. It is sophistry and does nothing to further the conversation or dialogue. I have already told you that I agree with equal protection under the law for homosexuals, and none of my views expressed here violate that standard. Nevertheless, there are many harms caused by sexual immorality, the foremost being to the person who commits the sexual immorality. Your stubbornness to adhere to the John Stuart Mill philosophy of government makes you unable to hear or discuss any view other than your own.

    Gene H wrote: “The harm to the photographer (or the florist)? Was because they broke the law.”

    Now you commit the logical fallacy of begging the question. The question is whether the law should define a crime of discrimination based upon sexual orientation. You argue that there is no harm because the law makes a punishment for it. That would be like me arguing that the prior to the Lawrence decision, the harm to the homosexual caught in the act of sodomy is because they broke the law.

    The problem here is that you are treating a behavior which includes choice as if it were an inborn trait like gender or race. More than that, you create in law a specially protected class of people based upon sexual behavior. While the law seems to skirt this by using the term “sexual orientation,” it is clearly being used to punish people who object to the chosen behavior which is supposedly based upon their sexual orientation. In other words, the law is getting all muddled and unclear, and this will lead to civil unrest as people get more dissatisfied with the ability of law to clearly define right and wrong and the standards of morality for all of society.

    If the law could stop at simply decriminalizing sexual choices, there probably would not be much of a problem as most people today are pretty libertarian about sexual choices. However, when you criminalize those in society who choose to use speech to persuade people that what they are doing is wrong, that seriously crosses the line into tyranny and the abuse of the authority of law. When the law forces people to conduct business with those they consider to be acting in a destructive or even criminal way, there is a problem. The law now is calling evil good and good evil. The law treats morally upright people as bigots and haters. When that happens, people will perceive the law and government who creates the law as evil, and rebellion and war is the natural consequence of that. Just look at our American revolution, the French revolution, or any revolution on earth. You can pretend that the revolutionaries are wrong, but it only took about 30% of the people to wage war in this country to change the laws. You may be glad when only 30% of the people disagree with your vision of morality, but from where I sit, that is when it becomes more dangerous, not less. The safer place to be is where we are now where some 50% of the people disagree with your particular standards of morality. The further you push a bad philosophy through the color of law, the more precarious the authority of law will become.

    I remember a day when being a lawyer was somewhat prestigious, like being a doctor or teacher. Now, the legal profession is despised and ridiculed by many in the population. Lawyers are the butt of numerous jokes. Lawyers are among the most despised and hated of professions. I remember reading a Gallup poll that showed only 16% of Americans trust lawyers. They always rank lowest in terms of their moral and ethical standards. If this continues, more civil unrest concerning government is inevitable.

  249. My arguments aren’t for you, David.

    Your mind is made up. You’re a zealot. I have no illusions that anyone could change your mind.

    My arguments are for the audience.

    Which is heavily skewed against you.

    So who is unpersuaded again?

    What is the shape of victory?

    And I love lawyer jokes.

    Maybe you should go back to the kiddie pool.

  250. GBK, since you percieve my question to be poorly written, I will see if I can explain it at another level. .

    the question was: “In a government of, by and for the people how can rights or authorities inhere to government servants that do not inherently exist in the individuals that comprise the society?”

    “In a government of, by and for the people . . .”

    At this point you state, , “Still with you.”

    Then with reference to “how can rights or authorities” you query “What rights, what authorities?”

    I am speaking of all rights and authorities in general. For instance, here are a couple of examples: the right to possess and control property and the authority to defend one self and their property.

    These are rightful attributes and authorities that are considered inherent in mankind by everyone I have ever met. Maybe you are the exception. These atributes have been historically considered inalienable although oftentimes violated nevertheless.

    Then you state “You should elaborate on what is really your argument. Are you referring to natural rights? If so, why follow so quickly with “or” authorities? ”

    Because in a government of, by and for the people, the people themselves are the government, they are the actual authority, and those who SERVE in official capacity as presidents, congressmen, policemen and such are SERVANTS subject to conditions of employment, which in this country for the time being anyway include the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America.

    You then query the phrase “inhere to government servants”, suggesting that I should have a comma between government and servants. But such is not the case as government as used here is used as an adjective describing what sort of servants I am discussing.

    Now the only rights and authorities that can “inhere” to government SERVANTS are those that can be legitimately delegated. If the people, who are IN FACT the government, don’t possess a particular right or authority then they can not delegate it to one who purports to act as a SERVANT. And the fact that these servants are also human with no special rights or authorities over and above their fellowman strictly limits their authority to what is inherent.

    Then you question: “How do you know this, how do you claim that individuals that comprise a society have no existence beyond their individualism?” I never said that individuals could not have existence beyond their individuality. The can exist as a corporate body politic or as a gang of robbers if they so choose. This corporate existence however fails to bestow upon any of them any rights or authorities that they as individuals did not first lawfully possess. If as an individual they had no right or authority to steal, for instance, then acting corporately either as a body politic or as a gang of robbers does not give rise to lawful authority to steal.

    Do I still need to spell out the political repercussions of the above logic? Or if you disagree with this, then please tell me what you consider to be the legitimate Source of additional rights and authorities that are oftentimes claimed by government SERVANTS to justify their claims to non-existent right and authority? Creating monetary value and forcing its utilization upon the people is a good example.

  251. Vestal Virgin writes:

    “He [Spooner] doesn’t account for the fact that majorities work in concert, outside of government, to exclude minorities from the society & economy, and the damage this causes them, beyond risks to the minority members’ lives. ”

    “…. The damage is both financial and to the dignity of the person, and it’s the latter of these that might be the costliest of all, over the long term, to the person, the person’s family, other people around him or her, etc. ”

    I agree that damage to the dignity of humans is probably the costliest consequence to our freedom. think about it; majorities are nothing more than groups of individuals that agree upon some viewpoint. In the absence of proof that this agreement was obtained via coercion and duress, we must assume that this majority evolved as a result of the free agency of humankind. This capacity of “free agency” enjoyed by every free person should never be commandeered by any other entity. If so, then it ceases to be free.

    Just as we here on this thread work to persuade others of our position, we do not make the mistake of forcibly denying others free agency to decide or act for themselves. We leave that sinister duty to the state. Or at least those who do not vote do not make the mistake. The state then forces we free agents by threat of sanction or jail to abandon our free choice and conform to the dictatorial policies of a given age.

    But the state, the government, really doesn’t exist. It is merely a group of other men and women with guns that assume authority to compel others to forfeit their free agency. But all along they attempt to convince you that you are free.

    As a free agent the homosexual chooses to parade their gay pride for all to see. If groups of homophobes parade their repugnance for gay lifestyle they are deemed haters. Why does one group enjoy the free agency to parade their feelings for the lifestyle while the exercise of free agency of another group is seen as hate? Do we see heterosexuals parading their pride that they are straight? No.

    If as gays claim, by some accident of birth you were born gay, that is nothing to be proud of any more so than being straight. If however your homosexuality is the result of your choice then you could egotistically take pride in the same.

    What this all comes down to is that homosexuals want to utilize the power of the state to protect their free agency to engage in their lifestyle and parade their pride, while denying others the free agency to reject or shun them at any real level. Why should any of us wish to utilize the power of the gun to forcibly cause another to abandon their free agency?

    This approach does nothing to unify people. The rational and unifying approach is to engage the conversation and rationally persuade our opponent of our position. Asking the state to force others on our behalf will only result in a loss of respect for the institution we call the state and an added loss of respect for each other. People respect government when they get what they want and hold it in disdain when it fails to provide their wishes. What a sad reality!

    Finally, you speak of damage to the dignity of a person. Well the denial of free agency under fictions of law operates to guarantee damage to the dignity of persons, and not just a minority, but the majority as well, as it reduces them/all to a state of compelled performance under color of law. Wasn’t compelled performance abolished by the 13th Amendment? Unless you can force them to work under the guise of this Elane decision, right?

    Or for money you create out of basically nothing, a little paper and ink. How many lives could you appropriate if you could force them to accept your paper and ink?

    Oh I forgot, we have to pay for our egalitarian society! And let’s call it justice.

  252. Randy,

    Sorry, but, I think you have no idea: (1) what majorities and minorities are and how they come about; (2) what prejudice is and how it comes about; and (3) what a government is and why it comes about. There are whole academic fields missing from Spooner’s description of human reality. Like its counterpart Marxism, it’s appealing in its artificial simplicity, but it’s just not true.

    More later.

    Vestal Virgin

  253. Gene H wrote: “Again, no one is forcing anyone to think any thing. Did the Civil Rights movement force people to stop being racist? Nope,…..”

    I disagree, the legal force of Civil Rights legislation and the subsequent school programs have operated to force both integration and acceptance of persons of other races. Some bigots remain but there has been a shift in the degree of racism in this country. The fact that an African American president was elected is proof of my point.

    The power of law and some degree of submission to the same by the citizenry of a nation operate together to change public opinion. It might be argued by some that the end justifies the means, yet it still amounts to the initiation of force/aggression as a means to shape public opinion. This is very inappropriate as it fails to respect the free agency of humanity. It is more appropriate to be patiently willing to allow the evolution of acceptance among the races to occur as a result of education, free interaction and persuasion. A lack of such patience becomes fertile ground for blowback; and the seeds of racism are even more likely to germinate where the free agency of the individual is percieved by them to be under forced arrest or attack.

    You write: “The laws restrict action, not thought. I realize that many if not most Libertarians have a fixation with money and operate under the delusion that property rights are absolute, but at its best, the law is about protecting everyone’s rights, not just the rights of those whom you approve of. That’s the nature of an egalitarian society – liberty and justice for all – not just liberty and justice for straight white Christians to make money no matter what or who they trample in the process. Removing economic tyranny is just one step in recognizing and protecting the rights of homosexuals just as it was one step in recognizing and protecting the rights of blacks and other minorities based on race.”

    Laws should never restrict action unless that action is directly harmful to another human. Where the restricted action results in arresting the free agency of one human without being able to show a direct harm to another, such restriction is unwarranted. If we are equal, and we are, then I remain free to exercise agency of choice until my actions, not inactions, harm another. For instance, I may choose not to contribute to the welfare of a needy person, but my inaction is my choice, and neither the needy person nor those who choose to contribute have any authority to compel me to contribute. To utilize the state and the social programs and laws to compel me to participate in some egalitarian act, is to violate my free agency, ignore my human dignity and convert me into a state of compelled performance.

    Those who are serious about protecting human dignity, removing economic tyranny, fostering liberty and justice will recognize that the imposition of force on the free agency of others is not a viable method.

    If they are truly upset about economic tyranny then why are they not upset about the banking cartels and the Federal Reserve System that exercise a monopoly on the creation of credit, and the power of the state that compels the utilization of the same via legal tender laws. This fraud and injustice is too large to fully explain here.

    Gene, the 14th Amendment was never lawfully ratified and the story is set forth in a case titled Dyett v. Turner. See http://famguardian.org/Subjects/LawAndGovt/Citizenship/Dyett/dyett.htm

    The Justices of the Supreme Court of Utah recognized the fact that the 14th Amendment was never lawfully ratified.

    With these historical injustices staring us in the eyes, many persons today choose to ignore these facts in an attempt to utilize the 14th and establish precedents such as Elane. Honest men would never do such a thing. Elane is bad law, and one day it will be overturned. I doubt that the attorney for Elane argued that their private business was not a public accommodation. I explained this in an earlier post. Failure to properly do this would naturally result in this final adverse decision.

  254. Randy,
    Please stop and realize these laws would never have been passed had people treated others with respect and dignity across the board. The only reason a special interest or lobby group is formed is when a group feels they are being treated unfairly solely because of some physical characteristic they can’t change.

    Injustice and unfair treatment will eventually cause victims to react. If peaceful means don’t work, expect an escalation. This is about people wanting to get married. In an earlier time it was about being able to go to school without a police escort, or ride the bus in the seat of your choice.

  255. Randy,

    When and where was this time and place when people had “free agency” to associate only voluntarily with others and not to comply with group restrictions except where harm to another person was the consequence? Even in hunting and gathering societies, which constitute the overwhelming bulk of human history (95,000 years?), there were rules one had to comply with. Where there weren’t rules, there was social pressure, which was informal enforcement of prior agreed upon values or rules, and where there neither of those, there was immediate self interest as a strong disincentive to do as one liked. Even if Spooner is taken as a model for describing the tension between the individual and the group, isn’t its usefulness limited, given that it’s not grounded in reality, and describes no circumstances that have ever actually occurred? Human beings exist both as individuals and as members of groups, in communitarian and libertarian societies alike, not just as one, and not just as the other. They don’t exist as Robinson Crusoes who conjured themselves into existence one day and who have come together for mutual benefit only to have their voluntary self-governance usurped by bad people, as Spooner would have it.

    Did you open up Squeeky’s link, above? It says public accomodations laws for hotels are older than the United States, which one would expect, since the idea that there was some golden age of pure, free contract exists only in the figment of extreme libertarian imaginations. Innkeepers in England had a duty to lodge travelers barring some exceptions, such as the traveler was unusually filthy, or arrived with a dangerous animal or kicked down the inn door on the way in, etc. Stuff like that. Here’s a sentence from the article: “One who entered an occupation and professed to serve people indiscriminately, held himself out as ready to accommodate all, and came under judicial compulsion to abide by his undertaking.” Then, from further down in the article: “At common law no one could be excluded from a hotel solely because of his race, color, or creed. By professing to serve the public, the innkeeper invested everyone with a common right to use his inn. The essence of a common right is equality, and equality precludes discrimination.”

    Vestal Virgin

  256. Randy Lee wrote: “To utilize the state and the social programs and laws to compel me to participate in some egalitarian act, is to violate my free agency, ignore my human dignity and convert me into a state of compelled performance.”

    Very articulate and excellent point.

    It is strange how the Republicans ended slavery, and now the former slave owning Democrats have to make slaves out of all society through their socialist and anti-discrimination ideologies. Strangely, they use the very same laws that the Republicans passed, twisting them to apply them in ways that were never intended, in order to accomplish their objectives. The word “equality” means one thing to me and another thing entirely to others. They deny reality in their quest to force others through the authority of government to ignore differences in nature and give favoritism and special protections to their ever growing list of protected classes of people. Through this process they actually create the one thing they claim they want to end: a class based society. I yearn for the day that we can get rid of all these labels and all be one people to whom all the laws apply equally.

  257. rANDY LEE:

    I think what you are trying to say is that if GBK wants to get fu99ed up the a$$, it is no business of yours. But if GBK did not want to get fu**ed up the a$$ by a 300 lb lineman for the Chicago Bears, then he has a right to defend his a$$hole and that government is instituted to protect a$$holes from 300 lb lineman.

    Furthermore if he wants to pay with gold to be f**cked up the a$$, he has every right to do so.

    Do you think GBK will understand now that the synthesis is in his vernacular?

  258. David,

    “See, this is an example where you are not reading what I write superficially and you see what you want or expect to see rather than what I actually said.”

    Well then, David, let’s take the first half of the above quote and see what it says:

    “See, this is an example where you are not reading what I write superficially . . .”

    I’m pretty sure you meant to say: see, this is an example where you are superficially reading what I write . . .

    But you didn’t write that, did you, David?

    No, you didn’t; your writing accuses me of NOT reading what you write superficially. Can you discern the difference?

    Actually, if you just got rid of the “not,” and your phrase read: this is an example where you are reading what I write superficially, I could be fairly sure of your meaning. But, again, that’s not what you wrote.

    I must admit that you’re correct in that I view the bulk of your long-winded writings as superficial, but I do read them, and take them at their word.

    It is the author that assumes the obligation of clearly, concisely, and unambiguously presenting their thoughts. It is not the obligation of the reader to “discern the desires” of what the author fails to convey.

  259. V.V. wrote: “Human beings exist both as individuals and as members of groups, in communitarian and libertarian societies alike, not just as one, and not just as the other. They don’t exist as Robinson Crusoes who conjured themselves into existence one day and who have come together for mutual benefit only to have their voluntary self-governance usurped by bad people, as Spooner would have it.”

    I tend to agree with you to some extent. Spooner seems to oversimplify society almost to the point of becoming an anarchist.

    Theoretically, having a civil society should create a synergism where the individuals collectively become more than the parts. To some extent this happens in reality when societies first come into being. Villages and cities seem to bustle with economic expansion early in their development. But then something else happens along the way. Economic disparities happen. Certain individuals become marginalized in society. Some of these might become a protected class of people and called a minority. Go to the downtown of any city of America, and you usually find individuals struggling economically. A certain segment of society does quite well in the skyscrapers and government buildings, but the small businesses downtown and the residential areas usually find themselves in a struggle. The people working in the skyscrapers often start moving away from town. At lunchtime the wealthy step out of their skyscrapers to go to lunch. As they do, they pass their hungry homeless neighbors, sitting on benches or just wandering the streets, without enough money to even buy a sandwich. Why does this happen? Is this not a social injustice we should be concerned about? Ideally, if individuals took it upon themselves to care for their neighbor, there probably would not be a problem, but they don’t, so what do we do? Shouldn’t government try to fix this problem? They don’t because the same people passing by their hurting neighbors are the same people running the government. Instead they pass laws to oppress the poor even more. No more panhandling. No washing peoples car windows as they drive by. No passing out flyers trying to get business. The list of oppressive laws goes on and on. So what is the solution? I don’t think it is government, because the greedy guys running business do not care and are not about to care. Any money they raise will not resolve the problem. Sometimes they do pass laws that seem to address the problem of the marginalized, but nothing ever gets fixed because ultimately their efforts are not really sincere. It is really about creating the illusion that they are doing something about the problem.

    It would be wonderful to live in a moneyless society, where everybody applies themselves to helping solve the problems of their neighbor. Nobody pays one another, we just labor for each other out of love for each other. It sounds great, but nobody will ever do it. People are too selfish. They have to have that money that measures the differences between the hard working and prudent from the lazy and foolish. And despite Spooners objections, that system works in a rickety wagon kind of way.

  260. gbk – yeah, I messed up my edit when I reworded that sentence. My mistake for sure. I thought about posting a correction, but I thought you could figure out what I was trying to say easy enough. And you did.

  261. GBK:

    “It is the author that assumes the obligation of clearly, concisely, and unambiguously presenting their thoughts. It is not the obligation of the reader to “discern the desires” of what the author fails to convey.”

    that is really good advice.

    I guess that means that “emanations from penumbras” are out of the question?

  262. gbk wrote: “Unless you’re a photographer.”

    Good one. And unless you are Jesus, who spoke in parables so that only certain hearers would be able to understand.

  263. David,

    “So because I do not embrace equal and universal suffrage and would prefer a weighted voting scheme that is a little more aggressive than the way our Electoral College is setup, I am a zealous bigot who prefers a theocracy? That makes no sense.”

    Yes, and yes.

  264. Otteray Scribe wrote “Randy, Please stop and realize these laws would never have been passed had people treated others with respect and dignity across the board.”

    That could be said for any law. All laws are supposedly written to foster respect for others. But due to the free agrency of humans in general, almost all of them produce contempt for the lawmakers and the laws in the minds of at the very least some segment of society.

    Otteray Scribe wrote “Injustice and unfair treatment will eventually cause victims to react. If peaceful means don’t work, expect an escalation.”

    I agree, partly. I don’t see the imposition of discrimination laws as a peaceful means. The threat of sanctions or jail by armed men and women isn’t very peaceful. But injustice and unfair treatment along with a denial of the free agency will definitely cause victims of this denial to react. And the continued denial of the free agency of humankind will absolutely bring about an escalation.

    Otteray Scribe wrote “This is about people wanting to get married.”

    No, No, No, its not about that. Its about people who want to get married, who also want to compel the performance of others in their wedding who would prefer not to perform or be a part of the same. Its about one group of people wanting to deny the free agency of others.

  265. David,

    “. . . Jesus, who spoke in parables so that only certain hearers would be able to understand.”

    So your Venn diagram does not include me, nor the multitudes that jesus supposedly spoke to.

    That’s ok with me. I’ll stick with Groucho Marx.

  266. RL

    “All laws are supposedly written to foster respect for others.”

    Supposedly, foster, respect.

    Sure, Randy. That’s why laws are written, so that you can supposedly foster respect.

    There’s no other conceivable reason.

  267. “No, No, No, its not about that. Its about people who want to get married, who also want to compel the performance of others in their wedding who would prefer not to perform or be a part of the same. Its about one group of people wanting to deny the free agency of others.”

    No, No, No, it’s about equal rights. Its about people who want to get married, who also want to have the same rights and protections as heterosexual couples. You know. Just like those interracial couples in Virginia who couldn’t get married. And you know what happened after that was legally recognized as protected? For every backwards redneck bigot that didn’t want to perform a ceremony or work for an interracial wedding for an interracial couple, there was at least one or more who was more than willing to have that business. The rednecks? They simply learned to say “I’m busy that day” instead of “Piss off, nigger lover” or beating someone to death because they disapproved. Those that didn’t? Went to jail and were fined.

    And the sky did not fall.

  268. Vestal Virgin questions:

    “When and where was this time and place when people had “free agency” to associate only voluntarily with others and not to comply with group restrictions except where harm to another person was the consequence?”

    Not sure I can answer that. It appears at least in the written historical annals of history that the uncivilized nature of mankind has operated to deny free agency at every turn. That doesn’t mean that a state of free agency isn’t the best option. Controlling free agency by utilizing the initiation of force for centuries doesn’t seem to have a very good track record, if measured by whether we are any more civilized today.

    Vestal Virgin writes ” Even in hunting and gathering societies, which constitute the overwhelming bulk of human history (95,000 years?), there were rules one had to comply with.” [Really, what is your source of this revelation?] “Where there weren’t rules, there was social pressure, which was informal enforcement of prior agreed upon values or rules, and where there neither of those, there was immediate self interest as a strong disincentive to do as one liked.”

    How do we know any of that?

    V.V. continues, “Even if Spooner is taken as a model for describing the tension between the individual and the group, isn’t its usefulness limited, given that it’s not grounded in reality, and describes no circumstances that have ever actually occurred?” Not grounded in reality. Really. What constitutes reality? If you are born a member of a cult, does that establish your reality forever? If you are born in a culture, i.e. nation cult, that is organized by the initiation of aggression upon each other, should that be accepted as reality?

    V.V. continues “Human beings exist both as individuals and as members of groups, ….”

    Yes we exist as individuals and as members of groups, however the group can not lay claim to rights that the individuals do not possess. Let’s say you want to help an old lady financially, and would like others to join you. Do you have the right to go door to door and force others to contribute? So how do you and others that want to help appropriate the right to force others to contribute? Democracy? De-mob-crazy? Do you believe the might imposed by numbers makes right?

    VV questions, “Did you open up Squeeky’s link, above? [YES, I DID] It says public accomodations laws for hotels are older than the United States, which one would expect, since the idea that there was some golden age of pure, free contract exists only in the figment of extreme libertarian imaginations. [NOT SURE THAT IDEAS OF SOME GOLDEN AGE OF THE PAST EXIST IN THE MINDS OF ANY LIBERTARIANS. NOT THE ONES I KNOW ANYWAY.]

    The article is extremely enlightening. Basically it points out, in the case of innkeepers, that where a hotel owner professes to serve the public he assumes the capacity of a public servant. At footnote 98, “(1911) 24 HARv. L. RE.. 239. It is there set down that ” . . . the mere interest of the public servant should be no excuse …. Engaged in a public undertaking, the innkeeper can justify his failure to perform it only on grounds in which the public is interested.””

    The public has an interest in seeing that rights subject to protection by the first Amendment to the Constitution are protected.

    The article begins by pointing out that historically “Monopoly has been pointed. to as the parent of this public service duty. It is argued that necessity for a service brought upon those dispensing it a duty to serve the public, and that the division of business into public and private was based on economic grounds.4 This argument is attacked on the ground that the cases establishing the obligation make no allusion to monopoly.5 In fact, historical evidence shows that while common surgeons, barbers, and victuallers were under the obligation of indiscriminate service, there were numerous practitioners in these trades.6 Moreover, not the innkeeper, but the common innkeeper, was regarded as a public servant.7

    “It would seem, therefore, that it was not the nature of the service, but the extent of the undertaking that determined the public or private character of a business. The explanation finding most support is that the legal duty to serve all was the result of a voluntary assumption of the public service obligation.8″

    “One who entered an occupation and professed to serve people indiscriminately, held himself out as ready to accommodate all, and came under judicial compulsion to abide by his undertaking. As soon as a man dedicated his business to the service of the public, he waived his privilege of discrimination.”

    Now it is noteworthy that not every innkeeper, but rather the “common innkeeper, was regarded as a public servant.” The obligation to serve all was incident not only to common innkeepers but at times “common” tradesmen and servants. A tradesman or servant was “common” if he professed to serve all. It might be argued that merely having a sign in front of an establishment constitutes such a profession to serve all.

    However, if you had not already relinquished your private character by applying for Social Security, and if along side your business sign, or conspicuously placed elsewhere, there was another designating the business as a private establishment reserving the right to refuse service, the assumption of a public duty could be legally avoided. Words such as PRIVATE ESTABLISHMENT, WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE SERVICE would do the trick. In todays litigious society however such words could open one’s business to numerous lawsuits and even after sucessfully defending your rights the loss of time and finances expended would have a tendency to make most people succumb and go along to get along.

    In speaking of the right of common innkeepers to reject a guest for cause, the article also mentioned that “Any rule is reasonable which tends to prevent immorality or misconduct that may be offensive to other inmates. Thus a prohibition against women entertaining men visitors privately has been held proper.” Now determinations of morality are not the sole province of the law or the legal profession. Each of us have the inalienable right to determine for ourselves what is right and wrong and whom we will associate with either privately or publicly, where we have not assumed the character of a public accommodation, thereby waiving our private rights. Even the 1st Amendment to the Constitution guarantees that Congress shall make no law infringing these rights. So our own personal rules of what is immoral conduct would give us legitimate cause to reject doing business with persons we choose to reject.

    Just wondering Vestal Virgin, if you read Bastiat’s The Law? A reading of Spooner alone is really insufficient to gain a good understanding of the proper role of government.

  269. Jesus may be able to do many things but dictating American statutory and common law ain’t among them.

    If God is angry about a particular NM Supreme Court Ruling I haven’t seen him go Old Testament on New Mexico’s justices just yet.

    And that’s the truth (raspberry sound)

  270. rafflaw wrote: “You either have full equal rights for all, or none of us are truly free.”

    But in this case with Elane, you are not on the side of full equal rights for all. The same sex couple still had their ceremony with another photographer. There was no harm caused to them by Elaine not doing the photography for them. What you guys support here is not equal rights, but special rights for a group of people to be able to use the law to hurt those who think that their sexual behavior causes harm. Why would this particular class of people be allowed to use the law in an unequal way like this? The law here works only to the advantage of the homosexuals to enable them to cause harm to those with a different political and religious persuasion. The judgment results in loss of freedom to one party, and it gains no additional freedom for the prevailing party.

  271. David,

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

    For my own part, I understand that governmental power gets distorted, co-opted, and re-directed on behalf of smaller elements of the voting citizenry as well as particular individuals. But to say this happens whenever the law compels or restricts action outside of direct threats to life or physical harm, as Randy does, is a fundamental mistake. That puts George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King in the same box as Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, and Mussolini.

    The extreme libertarians posit this reality that has never existed, can’t exist, and won’t ever exist, and then feel aggrieved because it doesn’t currently exist. What life about and what it’s always been about is negotiating the boundary between the individual as an individual and the individual as a member of the group, not to deny wholesale the group element of human nature. What was once obviously fair and the source of reciprocally self-interested behavior in hunting and gathering societies becomes obscured on the larger scale of agricultural and industrial societies where roles are specialized, lives are compartmentalized, and reciprocal self-interest is harder to see from the individual level. So, the law steps in to compel fairness and freedom, or promote commerce that accrues to the economic benefit of everyone, such as imposing a duty on innkeepers to accept travelers where there would be no harm to the innkeeper, or the totally crazy thing that George Washington signed into law called the Coinage Act.

    These guys claim to be in favor of freedom, but they are not. Because in the name of opposing written law, they would give up minorities to the de facto tyranny of the majority. They would allow the majority, acting in concert outside of the law but with all of law’s force through unified action borne out of shared culture and shared ideology and shared prejudices, to restrict the economic freedom of disfavored groups.

    That might be the Old South, but that ain’t America.

    Vestal Virgin

  272. Randy,

    The characteristics of hunting and gathering societies prior to the agricultural age can be inferred from the characteristics of modern hunting and gathering societies which were studied by anthropologists in diverse parts of the world before they all but disappeared in the latter half of the twentieth century and in this century. Sure this suffers from the weakness of all inferences. We don’t really know. We weren’t actually there. We can’t really say for sure. Nonetheless, we’re far better positioned than Spooner was, as people living in the twenty first century, as beneficiaries of the modern science of anthropology, to make statements about the human past beyond that which was recorded in the last few millenia. Spooner died just as modern anthropology was getting its start. His writing is a sheer act of political philosophy. Interesting, useful as a model, useful as a starting point for tangential thoughts, but not actually true, not actually real, not based on anything that ever actually happened.

    With regard to your poor elderly woman hypothetical, I think it’s perfectly acceptable that a state would tax its citizens for the benefit of impoverished elderly people, in the absence of effective private action. Regardless of whether it could be mapped out mathematically or not according to some extremist idea about “rights”. I would cite this hypothetical as the perfect example of the brutal inhumanity of extreme libertarianism.

    I don’t think the morality argument helps you, because lacking a standard to determine reasonableness, the exception would end up so arbitrary and personal as to swallow the rule, and where else could a standard be derived, but from what was currently acceptable?

    I read the Bastiat, but I disagreed.

    Vestal Virgin

  273. Moderators,

    If possible, I would like the two comments where I inadvertently linked to my personal blog through my user name, to be deleted. It was my mistake. If this is not possible, it’s all good.

    Vestal Virgin

  274. Gene H wrote “They simply learned to say “I’m busy that day . . .”

    David M wrote “The judgment results in loss of freedom to one party, and it gains no additional freedom for the prevailing party.”

    David M is right. No matter what you may think of interracial marriage or gay marriage [I personally have no qualms about either being a live and let live individual] forcing a particular belief through the use of the courts is wrong.

    A person has a right to be a hateful bigot and if they want to deny service that is their right to stupidity.

    Why should a person need to learn to say I’m busy that day? Why cant they say I disagree and cannot provide service because of my beliefs? The down side in saying you disagree is the judgment of other people who may disagree with your beliefs and who will refuse to do business with you.

    These laws dont allow people to take informed decisions about who they are dealing with because they end up pushing the bigot underground. Now you can say the bigot would go underground anyway to avoid loss of business but then why do you need a law to force the bigot to do what societal opprobrium will do?

    And I guess therein lies the rub, if men were angels we would not need laws to protect other men.

    How do you maintain a free society if you are constantly making laws which force other people to tolerate that which they cant abide?

    Why is business different than choosing who to have a beer with? In each case it is individuals dealing with individuals for mutual gratification. If one party doesnt want to interact, why is it government’s obligation to force one party on the other? We become children whose parents force us to play with children we dont like. Our judgment is replaced by the collective judgment of our “superiors”, that is not freedom. Punishing someone for thinking a certain way, no matter how off base they may be, is wrong.

  275. V.V. wrote: “I read the Bastiat, but I disagreed.”

    One line of thought from Bastiat was the idea that if an individual forces someone to give them money under threat of force, we call that theft. What happens when a group of people do the same thing? Still theft. When a government does the exact same thing, now it is not theft? Why not?

    Please offer your comments V.V. to this line of thought.

  276. David,

    Because assuming lack of distortion by a smaller entity within the group, the group votes to impose a tax on itself for a cause it deems worthy. Inevitably there are some who don’t agree, but being on the losing side of self-imposed taxes is the cost of membership in the group, which presumably provides other advantages that the opposing individual finds compensating value in. Membership in the group comes with the understanding that the group will act as a corporate entity in this way and impose on individuals. Each generation could consent anew to these conditions as they come of age, but that would mean starting all over and relearning wisdom acquired by previous generations with each generation, which would be awfully burdensome, so they don’t. You sign on by being born.

    VV

  277. vestal virgin:

    the income tax is only about 100 years old. When it started, most people were exempt and the very wealthy paid less than 2% of their working income.

    “In 1909 progressives in Congress again attached a provision for an income tax to a tariff bill. Conservatives, hoping to kill the idea for good, proposed a constitutional amendment enacting such a tax; they believed an amendment would never received ratification by three-fourths of the states. Much to their surprise, the amendment was ratified by one state legislature after another, and on February 25, 1913, with the certification by Secretary of State Philander C. Knox, the 16th amendment took effect. Yet in 1913, due to generous exemptions and deductions, less than 1 percent of the population paid income taxes at the rate of only 1 percent of net income.”

    Republicans, stupid now, stupid then.

  278. Bron,

    It’s interesting information. I especially like the guy’s name. :)

    But, I respectfully disagree that the imposition of an income tax is meaningfully different than the imposition of other kinds of taxes in past eras. According to this article, taxes in Sumeria and Egypt were paid in livestock or time spent in service to the king.

    http://www.upenn.edu/almanac/v48/n28/AncientTaxes.html

    Ownership of livestock equals time and effort spent farming. Service to the king is direct contribution of time and effort. Income is merely the conversion of time and effort into money. So income taxes are not qualitatively different than the other kinds of taxes.

    Vestal Virgin

  279. V.V. wrote: “Membership in the group comes with the understanding that the group will act as a corporate entity in this way and impose on individuals. Each generation could consent anew to these conditions as they come of age, but that would mean starting all over and relearning wisdom acquired by previous generations with each generation, which would be awfully burdensome, so they don’t. You sign on by being born.”

    Another way to look at it is that successive generations get greedier and greedier until government becomes the plunderer that is no different than a Bernie Madoff or the mugger on the street. The citizenry are like the proverbial frog in hot water, not fully realizing the danger being imposed upon them.

    I’m not sure that Spooner’s metaphor of us being born into slavery today is so far off from the truth.

  280. V.V. wrote: “So income taxes are not qualitatively different than the other kinds of taxes.”

    FEDERAL income tax is exceedingly prone to corruption of our entire government system. This is what has happened to us over the last 100 years. Now States approach the Federal government with hat in hand hoping for some of the money. The love of money is the root of all evil in government.

    The 16th Amendment should be repealed and replaced with a more fair taxing system based upon commerce rather than income.

  281. David,

    All those criticisms may be perfectly valid. My only argument is that the state can validly regulate conduct outside of situations in which people cause direct physical harm to others.

    Vestal Virgin

  282. “Why should a person need to learn to say I’m busy that day?”

    Because human dignity has value.

    I think that would be obvious to a self-proclaimed individualist, Bron.

    Then again, Objectivism requires an underclass which carries with it the anti-egalitarian notion that all men are not created equal and that some – the property class in particular – are more more equal than others.

  283. Gene H:

    Actually Objectivism values all human life and heartily agrees with the philosophical proposition of the DOI. Objectivists just dont think equality of outcomes is a metaphysical requirement in a free society. You have every right to fail as you see fit but you are not owed a living by your fellow man based on that failure. Life isnt fair and the antidote is not to cripple everyone else to make it so. Only a deeply disturbed mind would want that for his fellow man.

  284. This is interesting:

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today ruled that same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes. The ruling applies regardless of whether the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage or a jurisdiction that does not recognize same-sex marriage.

    The ruling implements federal tax aspects of the June 26th Supreme Court decision invalidating a key provision of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

    “Today’s ruling provides certainty and clear, coherent tax filing guidance for all legally married same-sex couples nationwide. It provides access to benefits, responsibilities and protections under federal tax law that all Americans deserve,” said Secretary Jacob J. Lew. “This ruling also assures legally married same-sex couples that they can move freely throughout the country knowing that their federal filing status will not change.”

    Amended returns may be filed for 2010-2012 and previously denied taxpayers may apply for refunds, if due.

    Link: http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl2153.aspx

  285. “Objectivists just dont think equality of outcomes is a metaphysical requirement in a free society.”

    Way to really miss the point, Bron. How many times has the logic and legal reasoning of Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc/ been explained here? This isn’t about equality of outcomes. It’s about public accommodation in the course of an open public offer to do business in the stream of commerce. It’s about equality of opportunity, not outcomes. That outcomes argument is facile at best. The only people who think that equal outcomes are even possible are Communists or Utopians. Not a lot of them around these days. Because Communism and Utopianism, like laissez-faire Libertarianism, is an extremist pipe dream with fundamental errors about human nature as implicit and express premises. So maybe a new argument is needed instead of recycling the same old von Mises gibberish. Because this isn’t about equal outcomes. Legally speaking it’s about equal opportunity (and equal rights and equal protection).

  286. OS,

    That is interesting. It also paves the way for the pending lawsuits regarding Full Faith & Credit that are surely to arise from not having uniform recognition of homosexual civil rights clearly protected by Federal law and instead relying on the hodgepodge of state laws.

  287. Gene H:

    “Then again, Objectivism requires an underclass which carries with it the anti-egalitarian notion that all men are not created equal and that some – the property class in particular – are more more equal than others.”

    I was answering this. I didnt write it, you did.

  288. when you talk about egalitarian, who knows what you mean. If you mean equality of opportunity, I am all for that. Each person having an opportunity to do whatever it is they are capable of doing.

    But if you mean equality in outcomes, then no, I am not egalitarian. For the simple reason that not all men are born with equal abilities. Life isnt fair, if you have a problem with that take it up with “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”

  289. And you were evading the point about equal opportunity under the facile guise of equal outcomes, Bron. Plus, anyone who has read Rand knows that this “Actually Objectivism values all human life and heartily agrees with the philosophical proposition of the DOI” is a pantsload. Her social structure relies upon the Nietzschean ideal of Untermench ruled by Übermenschen. That’s about as far from “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” as you can get. Now I know you’re probably going to say something along the lines of “Jefferson should have/meant Locke’s ‘life, liberty and property'” as you have so many times before, but no, he didn’t. Jefferson, familiar with Locke’s work, instead to forgo property (and the inherent materialism that equates to) and instead used the words ‘the pursuit of Happiness”.

  290. “when you talk about egalitarian, who knows what you mean.”

    People who speak English and don’t have a propensity to make up meanings for words for one.

  291. Bron,

    You’ve never been able to distinguish between “created equal” and “equally created” very well. In fact, I’ve never met an Objectivist who didn’t have a problem differentiating the ideas. Probably because it rains on their worship of ego and greed and to Hell with the rest of society attitudes to realize equal opportunity and equal outcome are not the same thing and that just because life is hard doesn’t mean we have to allow it to be cruel to our fellow beings. Gore Vidal once described Objectivism as “nearly perfect in its immorality”. You have no idea how much I hate having to agree with Gore Vidal on anything.

  292. Bron wrote: “when you talk about egalitarian, who knows what you mean.”

    Nobody knows what he means, and he will not be tied down to some definition which will lead to meaningful dialogue. He likes to be unclear and obfuscate the issue so he can pretend to be superior to everyone else. Who on earth can understand anything he says?

    I’m with you Bron. The concept that people are created equal refers to their standing before law. A person born of nobility is not granted by his Creator rights that are not also granted to everyone else. We stand before the law on equal ground and with the same rights to pursue life, liberty, and happiness.

    Nobody is created equal in the sense of abilities and talents. Some are born with Down’s syndrome while others are as bright as Einstein. Some are born handicapped and cannot dig a ditch as easily as others who develop great physical strength and ability. The racial attributes of blacks usually make them superior athletes. Men tend to be more aggressive and risk takers causing them to excel in business and the marketplace while women excel at having a nurturing temperament essential for raising a family. We could go on and one about how nobody is equal in life if we are talking about talents and abilities. There will always be some who are better producers than others. Some will have a penchant for success while others have a penchant for laziness. Equal outcome? No way. Unfortunately, the race industry harps on how it is the evil rich white man’s fault that poverty exists in the world. Nobody accepts responsibility for making poor decisions, for being lazy, for liking alcohol, sex, and drugs. It is the evil white man, and the more we make him feel guilty for his success, the better for society as a whole. They never expect to get equality, but they sure have fun complaining about how everyone is not equal but ought to be. The word equal is one of the most misused and abused word in politics. The word equal does not mean the same thing to everyone but everyone uses it as if everyone understands what is meant by it.

  293. Vestal Virgin wrote: “My only argument is that the state can validly regulate conduct outside of situations in which people cause direct physical harm to others.”

    I agree with you on this. However, government does not have a blank check, and there is responsible government action and irresponsible government action. Laws should attempt to reflect natural law, and positivism should be approached very conservatively. Regulations should be the fewest needed to achieve objectives. People elected to the legislature usually look for what bills they can create. Nowadays, I think they should focus on looking for laws they can repeal. We have way too many laws and regulations.

  294. David,

    I provide sourced and validated definitions a great majority of the time. That they don’t comport to what you want words to mean instead of what they actually mean is a byproduct of your superficial knowledge and understanding coupled with poor argumentation. You own your own ignorance. You shouldn’t be so bitter because I won’t let you make up definitions any more than I let others like Bron get away with that kind of disingenuous style of argumentation. And it’s not just me. This can be a hostile forum if you like to make things up. Like the legal definition of marriage. That is as it should be in a marketplace of ideas: bullshit gets called on fictional and/or otherwise faulty definitions. Why? Because the obfuscation of meaning and the deliberate or inadvertent distortion of the language is a foundational element in the practice of propaganda. “War is peace” as Orwell noted.

    And what Juliet said.

  295. David,

    That could be true. Or not. I don’t know.

    Sometimes it seems true. For example, it’s possible, to tweak the old saying “hard cases make bad law”, that hard cases make unnecessary legislation as well, that something was working fine, was well regulated by the human incentives associated with it, but for that one hard case that got public attention and inspired a statute.

    But I don’t think it’s the case for having ‘sexual orientation’ as a category in public accommodations laws, and interpreting them against a business’s refusal to serve a gay couple.

    Vestal Virgin

  296. gENE h:

    “Her social structure relies upon the Nietzschean ideal of Untermench ruled by Übermenschen.”

    you have no earthy idea what Objectivism is about if you believe that. You are fundamentally and profoundly wrong.

    ““Equality,” in a human context, is a political term: it means equality before the law, the equality of fundamental, inalienable rights which every man possesses by virtue of his birth as a human being, and which may not be infringed or abrogated by man-made institutions, such as titles of nobility or the division of men into castes established by law, with special privileges granted to some and denied to others.”

    “But this is not the meaning that the altruists ascribe to the word “equality.”

    They turn the word into an anti-concept: they use it to mean, not political, but metaphysical equality—the equality of personal attributes and virtues, regardless of natural endowment or individual choice, performance and character. It is not man-made institutions, but nature, i.e., reality, that they propose to fight—by means of man-made institutions.

    Since nature does not endow all men with equal beauty or equal intelligence, and the faculty of volition leads men to make different choices, the egalitarians propose to abolish the “unfairness” of nature and of volition, and to establish universal equality in fact—in defiance of facts. Since the Law of Identity is impervious to human manipulation, it is the Law of Causality that they struggle to abrogate. Since personal attributes or virtues cannot be “redistributed,” they seek to deprive men of their consequences—of the rewards, the benefits, the achievements created by personal attributes and virtues. It is not equality before the law that they seek, but inequality: the establishment of an inverted social pyramid, with a new aristocracy on top—the aristocracy of non-value.”

    “If there were such a thing as a passion for equality (not equality de jure, but de facto), it would be obvious to its exponents that there are only two ways to achieve it: either by raising all men to the mountaintop—or by razing the mountains.”

    Ayn Rand

    Maybe that will help you.

    What I would say is most people dont want to be ruled by anyone, which is what most progressives are all about, power for the sake of power. They are authoritarians who think they are superior, and they think they have some sort of moral authority. As I have said many times before they are hauntingly similar to evangelical, holier than thou Christians. Except their warrant doesnt come from God but from their own deluded sense of their self-perceived moral superiority by virtue of their selflessness and lack of ego/self.

    May the gods save us from cretins such as them.

  297. Bron,

    You can say such things all you like, but that does not make them true. John Galt is the archetypical Übermensch, the very Nietzschean ideal of an extraordinary individual who transcends the limits of traditional morality to live purely by the will to power. He is also the exemplar of Objectivism – an allegedly “special” person unbound by society, its mores and its laws based upon those mores.

    See, unlike some, I not only read books, but I understand them. More to the point, I understand them in context to the ideas they are based upon. Rand borrowed heavily from Nietzsche. Which is only fitting. She was a sociopath and he was a syphilitic madman.

    That a crazy person has a crazy counter-factual definition of and understanding of a world like “equality” is only par for the course.

  298. On a related (and I hate to use this word in conjunction with the turgid prose of Rand) literary note, can you guess which animal Galt would be in Orwell’s “Animal Farm”?

    Homework will not be graded on a curve.

  299. This individual gave this short speech in Washington DC. If the cultists of statism could only hear with their concience and understand what this individual is saying. 15,000 hours of public school indoctrination on young tender minds appears to have worked almost flawlessly to create a state of cognitive dissonance that would have been relished by slaveholders of past eras.
    I am sure that some here following this thread are so steeped in the belief of the ‘grand government provider and protectorant’ that really listening to the following will be virtually imposible for them. Nevertheless, if just one individual concience here is freed from the shackles of statist propaganda then my passing this along will be worth it.

  300. Here is a nice article explaining why libertarianism doesn’t work:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/12/29/1049619/-Why-Libertarianism-Doesn-t-Work

    The final paragraph: “Libertarianism is a philosophical game played by those without either enough real-world experience of localized, non-state-actor tyranny, or enough awareness of history to understand the immaturity of their political worldview. Unfortunately, the harm they do to the social safety net and to governmental checks and balances is all too real, and all too damaging.”

  301. Gene H:

    “John Galt is the archetypical Übermensch”

    he was a character in a romantic novel. And John Carter of Mars wasnt a superior man? At least on Mars, and who can forget Doc Savage.

    You just make me laugh.

    You do understand the principles behind romanticism, dont you?

  302. Juliet N:

    I dont watch, read or listen to Glen Beck.

    Maybe you should lay of Marx and Engles and read some Locke and Bastiat.

  303. Vestal Virgin:

    I am pretty sure most libertarians have given up the idea of no government, that concept doesnt work. But limited government as designed by the founders worked really well when we had it.

    The failure in our society is caused by altruism/collectivism and not by capitalism and limited government. But I dont expect you to believe that, because like Gene H you have been indoctrinated with marxist principles your entire life.

  304. Randy Lee – I have enjoyed many of your posts, but this Anarchy video was a long stream of … well… I’m not sure what to call it other than blasphemy. The guy does not understand the proper role of authority. He sounds angry and full of hate and lawlessness. I felt greatly disturbed within myself, as if somebody was cussing me out with the most vile words imaginable. It was a little better toward the end, and he made some valuable points, but the delivery and ultimate implications sounded like a road leading to chaos rather than understanding.

  305. Gene H wrote: “I provide sourced and validated definitions a great majority of the time.”

    You love to quote the dictionary as an authoritative source for correct thought, yet you fail to recognize that the dictionary is meant only to explain the common usage of words. Your sources are often misused, such as when you quoted a CNN poll to prove that 78% of Americans are pro-choice. By now, Gene, we know your game. You aren’t fooling those of us who actually use our minds to entertain more than one idea at a time.

    In this case of talking about equality, Bron tried to engage you on the actual meaning and concepts, but you shifted left and right because in this case, the dictionary utterly fails to inform you. There is no way you can engage Bron on this in an intellectual way without getting your head out of the dictionary and actually discussing the concepts. Why don’t you give it a try? Why not tell him that you agree that people are not all born equal in regards to abilities? Why not tell him that you agree that not everyone should be equal contributors to society? If you don’t agree, tell us why you don’t agree. Parroting dictionaries or other writers is not going to cut it. Tell us how YOU think about it. Use sources only to provide further background of information, which is the way Bron uses them. Most of the time, you use sources as a form of authority for a gotcha moment which exists primarily in your own mind and a few other sheeple.

  306. Vestal Virgin – How often have you been refused service by a business? Any cases of this where you could not find the service you were looking for elsewhere?

  307. Vestal Virgin:

    “So income taxes are not qualitatively different than the other kinds of taxes.”

    I can choose to purchase something or not. Capital gains is not tax on labor. So there is a difference.

    The nature of a tax on labor and a tax on gains from capital investment are different. One takes time away from a person’s life, the other does not as those dollars are earned even if the person does no work.

    In any case I am not against taxation because the legitimate functions of government need to be funded. But we dont need to take nearly 50% of people’s incomes for that purpose. Most of our budget goes to social services of all types, pensions, health care, welfare, college tuitions, etc. The federal government is, at this point, a machine for wealth transfer. And not necessarily to the have not’s, many wealthy people abuse the system as well.

  308. Bron,

    You may very well be right. I was defending ONLY the government’s right to tax as an analogy for the government’s right to enact anti-discrimination laws in public accommodations. But I didn’t mean that at any given time or place the tax system was working well or not working well; or hitting the mark or not hitting the mark; or being a total freakin’ mess or not being a total freakin’ mess.

    David,

    I’m an American citizen, but I haven’t lived in the States for years & years. In the country I live currently in, which I don’t wish to mention the name of to keep my privacy, I’ve only experienced it a few times. I was able to go elsewhere when it happened.

    This isn’t specifically about gay people, but check out page four: http://transequality.org/PDFs/Executive_Summary.pdf

    Vestal Virgin

  309. Bron,

    You do understand the concept behind archetypes in literature, right?

    Apparently not.

    Let me help you with that: archetypes in literature are patterns. These patterns relate to an underlying mythology (Sir G. Frazer) or a “universal prototype” (C.G. Jung) although they can be a pattern of abstraction (Plato).

    John Galt is the mythology proper; a prototype of the abstractions underlying the pseudo-philosophy/religion of Objectivism as formulated by Rand.

    __________

    David,

    What source do you use to provide the proper meaning of words?

    Besides your rectum?

    As for the philosophical implications of the word “equality”, Bron and I have had that conversation way more than once. He knows what I mean when I say “equality” . . . except when it’s inconvenient to his stands based in Objectivism (which is often). He likes to play dumb so he can feign outrage. It’s one of his least charming qualities.

    I’ll also take argumentation advice from you when Hell freezes solid, oh cherry picker and user of made up terms. It’s no wonder you and Bron like each other so much. You both engage in the same malodorous behavior when it comes to argumentation. You both also catch the pointed end of the stick for your usually weak efforts.

  310. VV:

    Do these people dress according to norms? I know when I see a teenager with a rainbow mohawk, I am not going to hire him. I dont care if he is straight or gay or transgender. On the flip side if he is wearing appropriate office attire without nose-rings, facial piercings, etc and speaks well and is polite, I will give him a chance, gay, straight or transgender.

    Why do people seek attention by looking like a peacock? If you want attention become really good at something. And if you want to be flamboyant wear an orange ascot with an orange houndstooth jacket.

  311. Gene H:

    Oh, ok.

    But again you are wrong, he is a romantic figure in a romantic novel. He is one conception/abstraction of what a human being is capable of. The lives of Tesla and Feynman prove that men are capable of great brilliance and achievement. John Galt was nothing more than a man who happened to be brilliant and who thought for himself. Not all men can be brilliant but all men can learn to think for themselves and live to the best of their talents and ambition.

    Do you ever have a thought of your own?

    “Romanticism is the conceptual school of art. It deals, not with the random trivia of the day, but with the timeless, fundamental, universal problems and values of human existence. It does not record or photograph; it creates and projects. It is concerned—in the words of Aristotle—not with things as they are, but with things as they might be and ought to be.”

    Ayn Rand

  312. Bron, I don’t usually get into these objectivist debates, but Ayn Rand’s understanding of altruism is simply wrong. Indeed, in my opinion her views on altruism, like her “philosophy” in general, was more influenced by her family’s experience in the Russian revolution than by anything else. I have always found it ironic that objectivism was the brainchild of one of the least objective thinkers who ever lived.

  313. Bron,

    You do realize you just proved my point about Galt being an Objectivist archetype don’t you? Romanticism as a school of writing uses archetypes every bit as much as other forms of literature. I’ll even break this down using Rand’s own words:

    “Romanticism is the conceptual school of art.”

    Not “the”, but “a”. Aside from realism, all art is conceptual.

    “It deals, not with the random trivia of the day, but with the timeless, fundamental, universal problems and values of human existence.”

    Or as said above, an underlying mythology (Sir G. Frazer) or a “universal prototype” (C.G. Jung) although they can be a pattern of abstraction (Plato). Those patterns of abstractions I was referring to were the Platonic Ideals – probably the original use of archetypes.

    “It does not record or photograph; it creates and projects. It is concerned—in the words of Aristotle—not with things as they are, but with things as they might be and ought to be.”

    In other words, it creates a romanticized projection of an ideal. In this instance, Galt being the romanticized projection of the Objectivist ideal of an Übermensch.

    Oops! See what happens when you understand books and knowledge in general within the context provided by other books and other knowledge? You are less likely to make foolish mistakes like proving your opponents argument for them for one thing.

    I think for myself all the time, Bron. Unlike you, I don’t rely upon any one writer or thinker as a crutch. That’s why we are always at odds, Randian. You are a binary thinker incapable of sycretic thought and very poor with extrapolation and synthesis. You can’t help it though. You weren’t blessed with a high functioning anterior cingulate cortex. All men are created equal, but not all men are equally created. This includes being “created” as rational creatures.

  314. Gene,

    Thanks for the link. It looks good! Lots of philosophy, which I know nothing about. I don’t have any philosophy. I just go with whatever I’ve got, even if it means hurling a folding chair (figuratively speaking). I’ll give it a read, and get back to you. Although no promises on the 2,000 plus(!) comments. :)

    Bron,

    I’ve never heard that they don’t present professionally and unprofessionally in the same ratio as everyone else.

    Vestal Virgin

  315. Gene H wrote: “What source do you use to provide the proper meaning of words?”

    Always go to the primary source. First, if the author using the word is available, you ask them what they mean by the use of the word. If the author is unavailable, you look at context and consult a dictionary. However, a dictionary is never proof of what they meant by the word.

    Gene H wrote: ” It’s no wonder you and Bron like each other so much.”

    I like people like Bron, Randy, Vestal Virgin, Squeeky and others because they actually have a concept in their mind from applying their mind to the consideration of issues. You seem to hide behind your knowledge of what other people say rather than having any conviction in your heart about what is the truth.

    You have used the word “equality” quite a bit, and I still have no idea what YOU mean when you use the word.

  316. Psychic now, are you David?

    I’m perfectly aware of my own convictions. They are reflected in my words. That you fail to comprehend what words mean is your failing, not mine, and quite well evidenced by your posting history here.

  317. David,

    If you can’t figure out what I mean when I say the word “equality” based upon what I’ve already said in advocating equal rights and equal protection for homosexuals, then I’m not going to spoon feed it to you simply because you’re apparently too dumb to extrapolate that information from the statements made. The only two people here who “don’t understand” what I mean when I say “equal” or “equality” are the the two people who have a vested interest in maintaining unequal social and legal relationships: an Objectivist and a homophobic zealot. Coincidence? I think not.

    You may think you understand.

    I know I do.

  318. Vestal Virgin wrote: ” I’ve only experienced it a few times. I was able to go elsewhere when it happened.”

    From my perspective, what you describe is pretty much the experience of everyone. I do not see this as a serious discrimination problem.

    The situation against blacks was definitely a problem in the past. Whether that could have been corrected without passing anti-discrimination laws, I am not sure. I tend to think it would have corrected itself without anti-discrimination laws. It was more the shocking television footage of Southern law enforcement treating blacks worse than cattle, spraying them with fire hoses and beating them with clubs. These images awakened people to the cruel attitudes toward blacks in the South. As people began to change their view, many do-gooders made laws to go along with it, and so there no way to really tell if it was the creation of laws or just a change in generational thinking that brought relief for blacks.

    These days discrimination is pretty much within tolerable limits. Discrimination is part of human nature and we will never eradicate it because many people process information using associative thinking skills. I think the time has come to repeal all the anti-discrimination laws and to work on the other side of the issue, teaching people to have character and how to be strong when they are wrongly treated by others. Also teaching people how to expose the wrong treatment by others, and protecting free speech to a greater degree. All the hate speech laws need to be repealed because they discourage candid dialogue about important issues.

    I realize you are supportive of anti-discrimination laws, but have you ever considered that the problem is tolerable enough that free speech would be sufficient to keep wrongful discrimination in check?

  319. I’ll elaborate on that previous post since the Mind Project Fallacy is somewhat more subtle than it appears upon cursory inspection.

    The Mind Projection Fallacy is when when one considers the way one sees the world as the way the world really is. It occurs when one relies upon preconceptions and biases color how one interprets evidence and leads to a plethora of bad reasoning, not the least of which are outcome determinism, change blindness and confirmation bias. Both of you are bad about this albeit for different reasons and to different degrees. Bron tends to have his use of the scientific method backwards: he lets his theories inform how he understands facts instead of letting facts inform his theories. He also filters everything through the filter of Objectivism. You, on the other hand, ignore factual evidence and insist that the natural world isn’t as it really is based on said factual evidence when said evidence conflicts with your desired world where homosexuality isn’t natural. This is illustrated by you time and again denying the scientific evidence that homosexuality is not only natural behavior but fairly common in Earth’s biome in a variety of species (including hominids). This is because (despite your protestations to the contrary) you filter everything through your Fundamentalist Christian worldview. It has the same net effect of letting your theories inform your facts instead of the facts in forming your theories. The net effect of both is bad reasoning and counter-factual outcomes based on a poor understanding and/or implementation of empiricism as a methodology of interrogating the nature of reality; the basis of the scientific method of inquiry as well as the philosophy of Natural Law as it applies to law in general, soft rule utilitarianism as it applies to law in general and the technocratic underpinnings of law as an exercise in empirical fact finding.

    When you don’t base your theories or arguments on empirical evidence, you are projecting your mind on to the world, evidence and your arguments.

    This is a failure of logic and reasoning on a large scale.

    What you think is reality isn’t reality because it isn’t based on empirical observation but rather your internalized constructs which in both your cases are not rational and/or are based on faulty premises.

  320. I never cease to surprise myself! To me, this should be very simple. The couple asked this particular photographer to take the wedding photos and the photographer refuses to do the wedding. Where there no other photography studios available for that date? Or was the couple simply trying to create a problem? This shouldn’t be difficult at all. If this particular photographer refuses to do the wedding, fine. Go to the next photographer on the list.This would also apply to florists and bakers. If what this Court is saying is that you, as a proprietor MUST serve anyone who walks through your door whether you want to or not, then we have some REAL problems. I know that most of the regulars here thought I would come down on the side of the couple, but in this case, not so much.

  321. Mike Appleton:

    You certainly are entitled to your own opinion. Which is the one that people who do not like her hold. I have read all of the criticism and even agree with some.

    But please, a little more depth. What about her metaphysics and epistomology, her theory of knowledge, her ethics. Please, something of substance other than she was scared shirtless by commies.

  322. Kraaken,

    I suggest you read either the case or a study of it: Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. U.S., 379 U.S. 241 (1964). That discrimination case hinges upon open offer, public accommodation (that’s the really key point) and the Commerce Clause. The studio in this instant case was found to be offering public accommodation. I re-submit the baker example I offered earlier: a commercial bakery that has facilities open to the public has a duty not to discriminate based on a protected class status, but a baker engaging in private contracts with no public accommodation (like the little old lady who baked my wedding cake from a business with no public accommodation – all of her work was contract, usually be reference) is under no such constraint. She’s free to contract or not with whomever she likes. But once you enter into the realm of public commerce with an open offer for business, you can’t discriminate against protected classes. It’s roughly analogous to the ADA. If you build a private home, you are under no obligation to make the building conform with the ADA, but if you build an office building (by nature meant for public access even if it is an access restricted facility) you have to conform to the ADA. See the distinction?

  323. Gene H:

    Galt is not a universal prototype, he is an individual. He is her conception of one man in one story. He is not an arhetype of what all men should be. He is her conception of her ideal man, not in the sense of a prototype but as a distinct individual for Atlas Shrugged.

    The more you write, the farther off base you become. Objectivism is not about creating perfect men to rule others but about living a good, productive life as a man.

    When you understand Objectivism, please let me know.

    By the way when I was posting that comment, I figured you would say something along the lines you did, but I posted it anyway.

    She thought Plato was wrong about perfect types in other realms.

    Romanticism is fiction, now maybe you get lost in your science fiction and have lost your grasp on reality, I dont know. But the idea of Objectivist supermen running around ruling the world is totally at odds with Objectivist philosophy.

    “A rational mind does not work under compulsion; it does not subordinate its grasp of reality to anyone’s orders, directives, or controls; it does not sacrifice its knowledge, its view of the truth, to anyone’s opinions, threats, wishes, plans, or “welfare.” Such a mind may be hampered by others, it may be silenced, proscribed, imprisoned, or destroyed; it cannot be forced; a gun is not an argument. (An example and symbol of this attitude is Galileo.)”

    But all the socialist litterature I have read is about an elite cadre of socialists defining what is “good” for society. Except they are typically fuk ups, who fuk things up. We see the result of those “elites” in America over the last 4 years plus.

    Project much?

  324. You mean I have to rent to those people? You mean to tell me what I can or cannot do with my motel? Up in arms.

  325. Gene H wrote: “This is illustrated by you time and again denying the scientific evidence that homosexuality is not only natural behavior but fairly common in Earth’s biome in a variety of species (including hominids). ”

    I have NEVER denied such evidence. I only deny your false interpretation, that if something exists in nature, it is therefore good. I gave you the example of people born with genetic defects like Down’s Syndrome. The existence of something in nature does not mean it exists according to natural law. Natural Law Theory is based upon the idea that there are natural laws which work toward a good and are utilitarian in nature. When we identify these laws and cooperate with them, it leads to harmony, peace and happiness. Our civil laws ought to discover these natural laws and articulate them in order to lead civil society toward the highest good.

    I have NEVER denied the empirical evidence that homosexuality does indeed exist in nature. On the contrary, I affirm that homosexuality does indeed exist in nature. I have simply argued that it does not exist because of the working of natural law, nor does it work toward good the way that opposite sex attraction works. Homosexuality exists in spite of natural law, just like Down’s syndrome.

    Furthermore, I have argued that sexuality for the most part develops after birth. This is based upon the scientific evidence from twin studies. Also, I have argued that the idea of homosexuality is an extreme end of a sexuality continuum. This comes again from science, first put forward by Kinsey. This is in contrast to the ideology of a binary form of data, that people are either homosexual or heterosexual.

    The logic applied for an understanding of sexuality comes from two different paradigms, yet predict exactly the same result. Both evolutionary models and creationist models agree upon the following understanding:

    1) mankind is generally born as male or female with the occasional hermaphrodite that might generally be concluded to be not according to natural law but a mistake during development.

    2) for mankind to propagate, the male and female comes together into sexual union.

    3) the children produced require nearly two decades of intensive energy and care to raise responsible children. Toward this purpose, a stable bond between the male and female is constructive toward raising children that are responsible and function well in society. Such is called marriage.

    4) The role of civil government in recognizing this marriage bond and promoting it over teens shacking up together and producing children out of wedlock has resulted in a stronger more civilized society, societies which have outcompeted others societies which are considered primitive or barbaric because they fail to develop a system of civil laws in accordance with natural laws.

    5) sexuality is a biological function that works toward bringing together the male and female to reproduce. Whether one has an evolutionary paradigm or a creationist paradigm, the result is the same. Some evolutionists might put forward that homosexuality perhaps serves as a kind of “population control” in nature, but such assertions are speculative, not based upon empirical data. What we do know is that the sex drive is very powerful, more powerful even than the hunger drive that causes animals to eat. The natural law in play is reproduction, even though you constantly deny that government should have anything to do with reproduction.

    6) same sex attraction serves no purpose in reproduction because two people of the same sex cannot reproduce. What purpose then does same sex attraction serve? Is it a mistake of nature? If the rational mind cannot conceive of a bona fide purpose of it, then we should be very careful in formulating laws that encourage same sex activity or seek to be protective of it as an important social phenomena that is necessary to preserve. Such is especially true when all the empirical evidence indicates all manner of health problems, both physical and psychological, are associated with homosexuality. While the retort to this is that evil bigotry against homosexuality has caused such problems, this again is only speculative and not based upon actual empirical data.

    7) sexuality develops both from environmental factors and cognitive functions. The choices people make about how to think about sex and about who to have sex with affect how they ultimately develop sexually. I heard a lesbian today brag about what really excites her is turning straight girls into lesbians. She has made it her mission to convert as many straight girls into lesbians as she can.

    8) The primary purpose of sex in a homosexual relationship is pleasure. While many heterosexual relationships might also base their relationships on pleasure, there are many who base it upon having a family and raising children. Our rational mind can perceive that this is basically answering their biological call. There is a natural law at work that brings such about, even in people whose sexual orientation is homosexual. Many lesbians have reported how as teenagers it was cool to be homosexual, so they embraced it for a decade or two, until their drive to have a family started taking over and they decided to start dating men for the first time in their lives.

    9) When homosexuals follow the sexual drive toward simply pleasure rather than its biological function of reproduction, then the sex act is said to be unnatural. This does not mean that it does not exist in nature. It means that it is not following the natural law for which sexuality exists.

    10) Some argue that homosexuality leads to a better personal bonding between two people of the same sex. Such is certainly likely to be true, because sexuality has this effect between any two people who engage in it, and even with inanimate objects, animals, children, and related people for which it would be incestual. There are a variety of biological reasons for this for which we have a pretty good understanding from science. However, the question is, what good does this sexual bonding serve? From an evolutionary perspective, it is a dead end. No children in which to pass on their genes. Natural law is that the sex drive leads couples to reproduce, and so guiding the sex drive toward same sex relations is contrary to natural law. There is no utilitarian purpose served by it.

    I have only written a small smidgen of what I could write about this, never once falling back upon some religious dogma written somewhere. My opinions are based in reality, upon empirical evidence, and an understanding from a rational mind that can look at the data and interpret the utilitarian purpose of the sex drive and sexual relations.

  326. Gene H:

    Out of curiosity, what animals are gay? I have heard of cows humping other cows and dogs doing the same but that is a dominance trait. It has nothing to do with sexuality. I also think I might have heard of some species who can change sex if necessary.

    How do you even know if an animal is gay?

  327. Those Feds recognizing homosexual relations. Giving them abominations of god the same power as the devils disciples.

  328. DavidM:

    with all that said, do you think homosexuals have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

    Also wasnt Kinsey doing bad science?

  329. Misunderstand literature much, Bron?

    What Rand thought or didn’t think about Plato is irrelevant to Galt being an archetypical character.

    “Romanticism is fiction”

    No shit, Sherlock. But all art is saying something about reality even if it isn’t a form of realism. Even bad art like Rand’s turgid drivel. She wrote Atlas Shrugged as a literary expression of her “philosophical” ideals. She was deeply disappointed when the literary community greeted with a variety of responses ranging from “ho hum” to “this is crap” and the novel, despite selling well, didn’t set the world afire.

    I’m also pretty sure I understand Objectivism better than you do even though it is your religion of choice. That’s part and parcel why I can puncture it so easily and reject it being amoral and/or immoral as an operational philosophy.

    Also, there you go with your Mind Projection Fallacy again.

    What is happening here isn’t socialism. It’s not even close even though Randian dogma would like you to think that. What is going on here is corporatism/fascism usurping democratic rule of law in favor of a corporatist rule by law. Which is an inevitable outcome of Objectivism and polices based on that deeply wrong point of view. Policies that began with Reagan and people like Alan Greenspan. Policies that are at the core of neoconservatism and the Libertarian Party. Polices that look out for the few at the expense of the many. Oligarchy.

    So go ahead and try to tell everyone that socialism and fascism are the same thing.

    I’ll be glad to kick your ass over that false equivalence again, Mr. Makes Up Terms.

    It’s not like I haven’t done it before.

  330. “I only deny your false interpretation, that if something exists in nature, it is therefore good.”

    And thus projecting your personal morality on the empirical evidence observed in nature, David.

    Nature doesn’t have morals, Software Boy, but it is what it is. Your “morality” is a judgement you make. An ideological framework that may or may not be rational. That doesn’t make it real. Or does God make mistakes? Surely that is what the implication is when you disagree that approximately 10% of humans are born homosexual and that sexual orientation is determined by biological predisposition but how it is expressed is shaped by nurture and social pressures. That’s what science says. This following summary, however, does comport with the totality of the literature I’ve read on the subject.

    Homosexuality can refer to both attraction or sexual behavior between people of the same sex, or to a sexual orientation.

    When describing the latter, it refers to enduring sexual and romantic attraction towards those of the same sex, but not necessarily to sexual behavior.

    Homosexuality is contrasted with heterosexuality, bisexuality and asexuality. Lesbian denotes a homosexual woman. Most scientist today agree that sexual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors.

    Although homosexuality does not appear to be adaptive from an evolutionary standpoint, because homosexual sex does not produce children, there is evidence of its existence through human history.

    Although a number of biological factors have been considered by scientists, such as prenatal hormones, chromosomes, polygenetic effects, brain structure and viral influences, no scientific consensus exists as to how biology influences sexual orientation. Most scientists agree that it is unlikely that there is a single “gay gene” that determines something as complex as sexual orientation, and that it is more likely to be the result of an interaction of genetic, biological and environmental/cultural factors.” [emphasis added for the hard of understanding] – Science Daily

    Also, I don't have the crippling filters your mind puts on how you evaluate evidence. Your cherry picked data simply doesn't comport with the larger scientific consensus even though it does bolster your confirmation bias, but if you''re going to rely upon posturing, cherry picked data and bullshit, at least cite your source.

    _____________

    Bron,

    They engage in same sex copulation and pair bonding. Like penguins and dolphins do. You can tell if an animal is gay the same way you can tell if a human is gay: observing their behavior.

  331. Gene H:

    its all the same. You can protest all you want but bailing out big banks is socialism or fascism, take your pick.

    and as far as utilitarianism goes? That sucks too.

    “All honor to those who can abnegate for themselves the personal enjoyment of life when by such renunciation they contribute worthily to increase the amount of happiness in the world.”

    JS Mill

    how are you going to make the world better by giving up your car? You just screwed over the poor guy on the assembly line.

    My happiness is integral to the happiness of others. In a free society most men share good will by working in harmony to mutual gratification based on voluntary exchanges of goods and services without coercion. Trading value for value.

    Freedom is good, you should try it sometime.

  332. “its all the same. You can protest all you want but bailing out big banks is socialism or fascism, take your pick.”

    No. It’s not, Bron. Bailing out big banks is fascism – the public paying for private risk in the oligarchical/plutocratic/kleptocratic class. Nationalizing criminal acting banks to reform them and hold them in public trust would be socialism. Guess which didn’t happen here?

    “My happiness is integral to the happiness of others.”

    No. It isn’t. It is integral to your happiness. A better standard of living contributes to a higher level of happiness for everyone. I don’t expect that to be easy for your to discern since Objectivism is a form of ego self-ego worship.

    Freedom. Like freedom from economic tyranny? Yep. All for it.

    By the way, you can add “freedom” to the list of words you don’t properly understand.

  333. David,

    “The existence of something in nature does not mean it exists according to natural law.”

    and,

    “I have NEVER denied the empirical evidence that homosexuality does indeed exist in nature. On the contrary, I affirm that homosexuality does indeed exist in nature. I have simply argued that it does not exist because of the working of natural law . . .”

    This is the recursion of thought I spoke of earlier in this thread, David. Quite stunning in its completeness; at least there is symmetry there, however warped.

    It also seems that Bron and yourself had a grand time with many posts deriding Gene’s use of the word “equal.” Yet it’s apparent that neither of you actually read what he said because he framed his argument thusly:

    “It’s about equality of opportunity, not outcomes. That outcomes argument is facile at best. The only people who think that equal outcomes are even possible are Communists or Utopians.”

    Yet both of you expended much effort in arguing his very point.

  334. Bron,

    “how are you going to make the world better by giving up your car? You just screwed over the poor guy on the assembly line.”

    Do you mean like your friend who shops out all his engineering contracts to India?

  335. Bron,

    I also like how you conflated altruism and collectivism:

    “The failure in our society is caused by altruism/collectivism and not by capitalism and limited government.”

    I also how you claimed, in the same sentence, that, “the failure in our society is caused by . . . limited government.”

    That doesn’t sound like you, Bron. You ok?

  336. It appears that the rights of Gays are supported by the courts but the rights of Christians to a conscience decision are trampled on
    What was the judge thinking
    I video weddings myself but as a Christian would not video a gay wedding because for me the Bible is very clear about Homosexuality.. whatever a judge says would make no difference to me. .Its a clear choice between Gods laws and mans ideas
    God loves gays and invites them to come unto him but condemns the practice of homosexuality
    I don’t have all the answers but I trust in a God who does and when we turn our lives over to him amazing things take place

  337. gbk:

    I think you need to go and read what gene wrote. I was arguing against egalitarianism. You arent going to make everyone equal.

  338. gbk:

    he doesnt shop them all out but in any event are you against helping people in India make a living? I am pretty sure you love foreign aid. I guess only if it is American tax dollars.

  339. gbk:

    The failure in our society is caused by altruism/collectivism, and not by capitalism and limited government.

    Is that better? Good catch though. I always figured you were probably good at something. Now that you have mastered commas, isnt it about time you move on to other punctuation?

    Although I think you could make the case that the and after collectivism separated the two parts.

  340. Bron,

    “I think you need to go and read what gene wrote. I was arguing against egalitarianism. You arent going to make everyone equal.”

    I’ve read what everyone has written on this thread, Bron. I’ll stand by my simple-minded reading while noting your protestations.

    “Thank you, I thought you would.” [Concerning my claim of conflation of altruism/collectivism.] Need I say more, you didn’t.

    “[H]e doesnt shop them all out but in any event are you against helping people in India make a living? I am pretty sure you love foreign aid. I guess only if it is American tax dollars.”

    And how do you claim that, “I love foreign aid?” Most especially if it is tax based foreign aid. We’ve never spoken of this before.

    Your friend must be a great believer in altruism if he is helping people in India make a living, What a noble goal. But wait, isn’t that collectivism?

  341. Bron,

    It’s not better. Read it again, your error is much beyond the use of a comma and references your years of past statements, including current ramblings in this thread. If you can’t see it, I can’t help you.

    If you choose to belittle my meager, simple-minded contributions to this blog then so be it. I have always noted, though, that your writing becomes monosyllabic, much less verbose, and covered with spittle when you respond to anything I’ve written.

  342. ” I was arguing against egalitarianism. You arent going to make everyone equal.”

    Add “egalitarianism” to that list of words you don’t understand, Bron. “All men are created equal” is an example of egalitarianism. In fact, the phrase is a very concise summation of Hobbes. To be precise, the word means the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities. “All men are equally created” is not. That would a fine example of delusion that is perfectly counter to observation of the natural world. Even if you are conflating the two to argue against equal outcomes – which also is not an example of egalitarianism. It is especially so when you are not only arguing against egalitarianism but for a systemic basis which is a recipe for tyranny like Objectivism and the ideals of big “L” Libertarianism which pays great service to the word “freedom” without really understanding it. Much like Rand herself and her acolytes such as yourself. Objectivism is, in addition to being anti-democratic, is anti-egalitarian again because it requires an underclass (Untermench).

    If you truly value liberty and freedom for what the words truly mean and think it is found in Objectivism, you are sorrily mistaken.

  343. I would also like to add that David’s target audience being a flat fish explains a lot about his writing and reasoning.

  344. Gene H:

    that was a great example of what you do best. Which can be summed up simply: “when did you stop beating your wife.”

    It isnt even a very good twisting. You are off your game lately, are you well?

  345. Bron,

    Yeah, it’s like one of those Roschart drawings. It’ll be a face palm moment when you find it. It’s only two of your words, can’t be that hard.

    Anyway, till next time.

  346. Bron,

    I have twisted nothing unless you count tweaking your nose. But please, do enlighten us as to where I have mislead you about the nature of egalitarianism. Prove that it is something else other than what I have said.

    I will gladly change my mind if you can prove me wrong.

    Which would be a hoot considering you’ve been doing nothing so far but proving my points for me. I hardly need my A game to deal with kind of high quality argumentation. That was sarcasm since you’re apparently suffering from some difficulty understanding things. I wouldn’t want to be too subtle for you. :roll:

  347. Oh, and not once have I used the Groucho Model Confusion Ray on you today.

    You arrived pre-confused.

    One would think you would be accustomed to that by now.

  348. OS,

    Thanks for that delightful news story…. John Roberts getting married…. I think it’s funny that he has the same name as the Chief Judge….

  349. AY,
    Thanks. I want to see the list of invited guests, then I want to compare that with who actually showed up. Inquiring minds want to know. :mrgreen:

  350. David,

    I didn’t say I hadn’t experienced discrimination. I said I hadn’t experienced discrimination in public accommodations in a foreign country (based on sexuality, by the business owner). That’s just not how discrimination plays out here, even among the most zealous monotheists. That doesn’t mean (a) I haven’t experienced other kinds of discrimination both here and in the States; or (b) that public accommodations discrimination is not a problem in the States.

    My social experience prior to transition and after beginning transition are almost as if they came from two different universes. Prior to transition I actually also thought that complaints about discrimination by ethnic and sexual minorities in the States were exaggerated, and I looked at their complaints with a kind of skeptical disdain. Now, not only do I think they are not exaggerated, I think that minorities, if anything, understate the volume of prejudice directed at them.

    I would also note that anti-discrimination law ALREADY protects the categories to which members of the majority belong, and where it doesn’t, by definition it’s the majority that possesses the most common version of the trait at issue, so it isn’t likely to experience discrimination based on this trait. Given these circumstances, then, it’s kind of naive and simplistic for them to look around, shrug dismissively, and declare that discrimination doesn’t exist because it’s not happening to them. (But I understand why they do this; as I said, I used to be that person, too.)

    Numbers might explain better than I can: If one percent of the population holds prejudiced attitudes and is willing to act on them, that means if you encounter 100 people in a day, you’ll encounter at least one prejudiced person. Every single day. Now imagine if the percentage is something higher. Five percent. Still not a social problem, from the majority’s perspective, right? After all, 95% of the population isn’t acting on prejudiced views. But, for members of the minority, that means, in a typical day, they’ll encounter five prejudiced people. Five people. Every single day. Every week. Every month. Every year. That’s completely unreasonable. Please don’t misunderstand me to be saying that I think it’s possible ever completely to eradicate smaller and smaller levels of residual prejudice. I only mean to point out how quickly seemingly tiny percentages can accumulate in terms of negative human interaction. Which isn’t something members of the majority would ever consider because it’s outside of their experience.

    I completely agree with you that it is absolutely vital that people likely to be subject to discrimination learn mental resilience skills. One of the contradictions inherent in fighting discrimination is that the authentic stories of harm at the hands of certain members of the majority that need to be told for purposes of advocacy NOT be translated into promoting a victimhood mentality among members of the minority, nor, on the flip side, that resilience by the targets of prejudice in enduring it should be allowed to obscure its badness. Balancing these things is difficult.

    With regard to your speech-as-a-resolution question, I don’t think here that good speech is sufficient to curtail bad behavior by bad people.

    Vestal Virgin

  351. “A constitution is not the act of a government, but of a people constituting a government; and government without a constitution is power without a right. All power exercised over a nation, must have some beginning. It must be either delegated, or assumed. There are not other sources. All delegated power is trust, and all assumed power is usurpation. Time does not alter the nature and quality of either.”
    Thomas Paine, Rights of Man [1791-1792]

    A constitution of a people cannot claim authority, right or power in excess of that delegated by the sum total of its constituent members. If no one member has either authority, right, or power to act then the gang neither has such authority right or power. This is the only rational basis for limited government. Once the door is open to the slightest usurpation/assumption of authority, right, or power that none of the members individually possess the nature of the institution is no longer limited and the underlying purpose of a limiting Constitution is subverted. The very Constitution of this nation constituted a subversion to this first principle by purporting to vest Congress with authorities and powers that none of the people could have delegated, since none of these individuals possessed such authority individually.

    Sacrifices of first principles for the sustenance or maintenance of the culture, i.e. the will of the cult, are worthless excuses for the usurpation of authority, the instituting of a government, the imposition of the will of the cult, and the consequent violation of individual liberty. Why do so many on this thread, and throughout this nation, think they must assume authority over the free agency their fellowmen? Even the proponents of limited government either overlook or ignore the first principles of delegation and usurpation/assumption.

    “All greatness of character is dependant on individuality. The man who has no other existence than that which he partakes in common with all around him will never have any other than an existance of mediocracy.” James Fenimore Cooper, American Democracy.

  352. Davidm2575 wrote
    “Randy Lee – I have enjoyed many of your posts, but this Anarchy video was a long stream of … well… I’m not sure what to call it other than blasphemy. The guy does not understand the proper role of authority. He sounds angry and full of hate and lawlessness. I felt greatly disturbed within myself, as if somebody was cussing me out with the most vile words imaginable. It was a little better toward the end, and he made some valuable points, but the delivery and ultimate implications sounded like a road leading to chaos rather than understanding.”

    Blasphemy of what David? What is the proper role of authority if first principles of delegation versus assumption of power are violated. Should we begin by blaspheming these first principles?

    You should feel disturbed; it shows you have a measure of concience still living in your soul.

    And you can’t see the consequences of what the ultimate and inevitable implications of departing from the first principle of delegation of authority as this nation and every other so called limited government has done? What about the chaos we experience now? We can never enjoy freedom if we depart from first principles of delegation of authority and free agency..

    Many of the other people on this thread departed from first principles long ago as is evident by the fact they will not address this very issue that I have raised in the past concerning the delegation of rights and rightful authority. They have chosen to willfully act as if they and others have some authority to impose their political will on the remainder of society by force of law..

    I was saddened by the fact that you were the only one disturbed enough to the time to comment on the video.

  353. Randy,

    I listened to about six minutes(?) of it.

    I don’t hate prostitutes. I wish for them all the good things that life has to offer.

    That’s all I can remember. He kept saying that I hated prostitutes. I just don’t!

    Vestal Virgin

  354. There is an assumption that a business is open to the public unless the words ‘PRIVATE ESTABLISHMENT’ are also included with the words ‘WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE SERVICE’. Such a notice must be conspicously placed.

    And since it is a private establishment the owners’s reasons for refusal are also private, unless he chooses to make them known. If so, he is at liberty under such circumstances.

    There is no prohibition against the exercise of private business between two persons who consent.

  355. So Vestal Virgin, are you of the opinion that governments of the people should be founded on the principle of assumption of authority or on the principle of delegation of authority?

  356. Vestal Virgin wrote:

    “Randy, I listened to about six minutes(?) of it.

    I don’t hate prostitutes. I wish for them all the good things that life has to offer.

    That’s all I can remember. He kept saying that I hated prostitutes. I just don’t!”

    VV, Why would you resort to making claims that just aren’t true? I have listened to this video over 10 times and he doesn’t say that. Put up or shut up. Where on the video does he say that?

    If you are hearing voices maybe you need to get checked out.

  357. Randy,

    At 0:58 he says that prostitutes have “less to be ashamed of than any political whore”. Then he goes on to say that people worship “political whores” in the form of the state, and that people are just moralists who look down on thieves, street thugs, and prostitutes while doing the same thing and worse, but less honestly through the power of government.

    At 4:32 he mentions the word prostitute again. This time it’s in reference to the story about Jesus saving the woman from being stoned. He talks about how people self-identify as Christians, but are inauthentic followers of Christ because they put prostitutes in jail.

    If the word “hate” doesn’t suit you, you can replace it with “having a severely hypocritical, moralistic, and judgmental attitude toward”.

    I don’t happen to be a Christian myself. However, I know that some of the most important work in America today to stop the trafficking of girls and women is being done by Christians.

    To that, I say, well done Christians, very, well done indeed!!!

    http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=40277

    Vestal Virgin

  358. Gene H:

    “Add “egalitarianism” to that list of words you don’t understand, Bron. “All men are created equal” is an example of egalitarianism. In fact, the phrase is a very concise summation of Hobbes. To be precise, the word means the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities. “All men are equally created” is not. That would a fine example of delusion that is perfectly counter to observation of the natural world. Even if you are conflating the two to argue against equal outcomes – which also is not an example of egalitarianism. It is especially so when you are not only arguing against egalitarianism but for a systemic basis which is a recipe for tyranny like Objectivism and the ideals of big “L” Libertarianism which pays great service to the word “freedom” without really understanding it. Much like Rand herself and her acolytes such as yourself. Objectivism is, in addition to being anti-democratic, is anti-egalitarian again because it requires an underclass (Untermench).

    If you truly value liberty and freedom for what the words truly mean and think it is found in Objectivism, you are sorrily mistaken.”

    egal·i·tar·i·an/ɪˌgæləˈterijən/adjective

    [more egalitarian; most egalitarian] formal: aiming for equal wealth, status, etc., for all people

    Definition of EGALITARIANISM

    1: a belief in human equality especially with respect to social, political, and economic affairs
    2: a social philosophy advocating the removal of inequalities among people

    Yes all men are created equal, we all have the same worth as human beings and before the law, at least that is how it ought to be. But that is not egalitarianism. Equal rights and equal opportunity are not examples of egalitarianism.

    And yes I am arguing against egalitarianism in terms of the definition above which says “aiming for equal wealth, status, etc., for all people.” That is clearly not achievable unless you cripple certain members of our society. According to the above definition egalitarianism is exactly about equal outcomes.

    Equal opportunity would be 5 guys on a football field trying to get a spot in the starting lineup as quarterback, each guy gets the same football and is asked to throw the same passes. Each is graded on speed and accuracy and perception/awareness. The best player is then chosen.

    Egalitarianism would cripple the superior player so that he is competing with a disadvantage which gives the other 4 a chance at the top spot even though they may not be the best player.

    Equal opportunity is when all races are given a chance to compete.

    Egalitarianism is equality of outcomes.

    The word egalitarian didnt exist in Hobbe’s day. He would have used equality and I am pretty sure he meant in terms of people’s natural rights.

    As for freedom, you are a demi-tyrant and authoritarian, I suggest you learn what Liberty and Freedom mean. Socialism/Fascism/Communism is all about control of human beings.

    “A “right” is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context. There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man’s right to his own life. Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action; the right to life means the right to engage in self-sustaining and self-generated action—which means: the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life. (Such is the meaning of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.)”

    “The right to life means that a man has the right to support his life by his own work (on any economic level, as high as his ability will carry him); it does not mean that others must provide him with the necessities of life.”

    ““Rights” are a moral concept—the concept that provides a logical transition from the principles guiding an individual’s actions to the principles guiding his relationship with others—the concept that preserves and protects individual morality in a social context—the link between the moral code of a man and the legal code of a society, between ethics and politics. Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law.”

    “Since knowledge, thinking, and rational action are properties of the individual, since the choice to exercise his rational faculty or not depends on the individual, man’s survival requires that those who think be free of the interference of those who don’t. Since men are neither omniscient nor infallible, they must be free to agree or disagree, to cooperate or to pursue their own independent course, each according to his own rational judgment. Freedom is the fundamental requirement of man’s mind.”

    Ayn Rand

    Maybe you will learn something about freedom and liberty.

    Like I said above, your entire shtick is about asking “when did you stop beating your wife.”

  359. “The essential characteristic of socialism is the denial of individual property rights; under socialism, the right to property (which is the right of use and disposal) is vested in “society as a whole,” i.e., in the collective, with production and distribution controlled by the state, i.e., by the government.

    Socialism may be established by force, as in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics—or by vote, as in Nazi (National Socialist) Germany. The degree of socialization may be total, as in Russia—or partial, as in England. Theoretically, the differences are superficial; practically, they are only a matter of time. The basic principle, in all cases, is the same.

    The alleged goals of socialism were: the abolition of poverty, the achievement of general prosperity, progress, peace and human brotherhood. The results have been a terrifying failure—terrifying, that is, if one’s motive is men’s welfare.

    Instead of prosperity, socialism has brought economic paralysis and/or collapse to every country that tried it. The degree of socialization has been the degree of disaster. The consequences have varied accordingly.”

    Ayn Rand

    That last part is oh so true. Socialists know they cannot exist without capitalism. Otherwise you get Detroit.

  360. The only thing you know and you are very good at it, is what you have been taught in progressive school. But it isnt the truth, it is made up from the minds of corrupt little men who could not have made it in a laissez faire world.

  361. Bron,

    “What is it in itself?” –

    Have you ever wondered why I don’t use Webster’s? It’s not the best dictionary. For example, the definition of “egalitarianism” you provided is not the only kind of egalitarianism nor is it the fundamental underlying concept the Founders relied upon.

    Have you ever wondered why I use the OED? Other than it is the accepted authority on the English language?

    “The OED is one of the largest dictionaries in the world and the accepted authority on the evolution of the English language, tracing the use of more than 600,000 words over the last 1,000 years through 3 million quotations. The OED defines:

    how a word has been used
    where it came from
    when it first entered the English language
    how its meaning has changed over time and around the world

    It illustrates these definitions by quoting from more than 100,000 modern and historical texts, from classic literature such as Shakespeare’s plays to film and television scripts such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as well as wills, cookery books, blogs, and more. Subscribers to the OED can also access the Historical Thesaurus of the OED on http://www.oed.com. This unique resource allows you to explore the riches of the English language by theme, and to chart the linguistic progress over time of a chosen object, concept, or expression.

    [. . .]

    The OED is a historical dictionary, with a structure that is very different from that of a dictionary of current English. ”

    Would you like to know what the OED defines “egalitarianism” as?

    egalitarian /ɪˌgalɪˈtɛːrɪən/

    adjective

    believing in or based on the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities

    In addition, let’s look at how the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines “egalitarianism”.

    “Egalitarianism is a trend of thought in political philosophy. An egalitarian favors equality of some sort: People should get the same, or be treated the same, or be treated as equals, in some respect. An alternative view expands on this last-mentioned option: People should be treated as equals, should treat one another as equals, should relate as equals, or enjoy an equality of social status of some sort. Egalitarian doctrines tend to rest on a background idea that all human persons are equal in fundamental worth or moral status. [. . .] Egalitarianism is a protean doctrine, because there are several different types of equality, or ways in which people might be treated the same, or might relate as equals, that might be thought desirable. In modern democratic societies, the term ‘egalitarian’ is often used to refer to a position that favors, for any of a wide array of reasons, a greater degree of equality of income and wealth across persons than currently exists.

    Note that last line. It’s germane to what I’m about to explain in greater detail than you deserve considering that I presented the same idea in a more concise fashion above.

    Hobbes said, “Nature hath made men so equal in the faculties of body and mind as that, though there be found one man sometimes manifestly stronger in body or of quicker mind than another, yet when all is reckoned together the difference between man and man is not so considerable as that one man can thereupon claim to himself any benefit to which another may not pretend as well as he. For as to the strength of body, the weakest has strength enough to kill the strongest, either by secret machination or by confederacy with others that are in the same danger with himself. And as to the faculties of the mind, setting aside the arts grounded upon words, and especially that skill of proceeding upon general and infallible rules, called science, which very few have and but in few things, as being not a native faculty born with us, nor attained, as prudence, while we look after somewhat else, I find yet a greater equality amongst men than that of strength. For prudence is but experience, which equal time equally bestows on all men in those things they equally apply themselves unto.” – Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

    Which is . . . wait for it . . . political and legal egalitarianism.

    Which is the kind of egalitarianism that Thomas Jefferson spoke of.

    I’ve already stipulated this is what I mean by “egalitarian”.

    See, this is the kind of problem you run into when you don’t know the meanings of words.

    Contrast this with what came to be known long after Jefferson and Hobbes as economic egalitarianism. If you accept the economic truism that income equates to a greater ability to utilize opportunity, this holds true with the OED definition of the word “egalitarian” as well as Hobbes definition of “egalitarianism” from Leviathan as previously mentioned. Economic egalitarianism, however, is something different. It is the political and economics proposition that not only are equal outcomes possible, but that they are preferable. As stipulated previously, they are neither.

    While this notion underpins both various forms of socialism (including to a lesser extent democratic socialism as it is a form of market socialism) and Communism, the notion that equality of outcomes is either possible or preferable is made false by the attempt to put it into action under Soviet Communism. The primary reason that Communism failed is that (like laissez-faire economics) it failed to take into account human nature. In the case of Communism, it failed to take into account it dampens the drive to innovate and make discoveries.

    Where laissez-faire fails to take human nature into account is that it can only operate under a Pollyanna world view where both 1) all actors are essentially good when psychology and sociology shows us that greed breeds a greater propensity for bad acts in direct proportion to perceived personal gain and 2) that markets are a rational self-correcting mechanism that guarantee just outcomes when history shows us the exact opposite – that markets can be and will be manipulated to create unjust outcomes and are neither rational nor self-correcting.

    But please, quote some more of the crazy woman.

    It’s funny when people appeal to authority and that authority is demonstrably nuts.

    Greed is not good. Selfishness is not a virtue. They breed tyranny, distrust and social discord.

    Altruism is good. Collective action is a virtue. Without either, there would be no civilization.

    You have yet, in the years I’ve known you, to make a persuasive argument in favor of Objectivism. Even when you cheat by making up definitions. When most people lose that many arguments, they might consider that their underlying premises are faulty. Unless they’re a binary thinker, trapped in a loop of authoritarian subjugation to a set of concepts they really don’t have a firm grasp on but they like it because it appeals to ego and greed while playing lip service to concepts like “liberty” and “freedom” which they obviously don’t understand or else they wouldn’t adopt a “philosophy” that has as its inevitable outcomes economic tyranny and enslavement.

    Objectivism would be as bad or a worse disaster in full application as Communism was.

  362. By the way, if any of that confused you, it wasn’t because of the Groucho Confusion Ray being used on you.

    It’s an innate failure of reason on your part.

  363. Vestal Virgin wrote: “At 0:58 he says that prostitutes have “less to be ashamed of than any political whore”. Then he goes on to say that people worship “political whores” in the form of the state, and that people are just moralists who look down on thieves, street thugs, and prostitutes while doing the same thing and worse, but less honestly through the power of government.

    At 4:32 he mentions the word prostitute again. This time it’s in reference to the story about Jesus saving the woman from being stoned. He talks about how people self-identify as Christians, but are inauthentic followers of Christ because they put prostitutes in jail.

    If the word “hate” doesn’t suit you, you can replace it with “having a severely hypocritical, moralistic, and judgmental attitude toward”.

    I don’t happen to be a Christian myself. However, I know that some of the most important work in America today to stop the trafficking of girls and women is being done by Christians.

    To that, I say, well done Christians, very, well done indeed!!!”

    I am happy that Christians are working to stop trafficking of girls and women also, but how does that good work excuse them of some other hypocrisy?

    But you attempt to conflate and confuse the situation of women forcibly held in prostitution rings who needs protection with the prostitute that chooses of her own volition to to sell her body. The latter situation often produces shame in the woman due to the fact that she is often used by her clients in a degrading way. This is the shame to which the speaker on the video refers. However she may feel she has no other way of supporting herself and that alone may work despair and shame.

    A woman held as a sex slave against her will has nothing of which to be ashamed.. But the Christian, voter or legislator who finds the actions of the willing prostitute distasteful or immoral and seeks to correct the situation by the passage of a law that will cage said prostitute is the one that should be ashamed. The prostitute trades only with what is rightfully hers while the Christian, votor, and legislator is willing to engage in violent immorality and steal from everyone in order to fund the cost of her incarceration. Which do you believe is more hypocritical?

  364. “Ineptocracy”

    A system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or suceed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

    YIPPEE, WERE THERE!!!!!!!!!!

  365. Randy,

    Surely there are people like the citizens in Bret Harte’s story “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” that we had to read in high school, and surely there are also prostitutes who are able to carry out their trade without the ugly things that are usually associated with prostitution, but both public attitudes toward prostitution and the sex trade industry itself are far more complex than the guy in the YouTube video would have it.

    If you Google news search for the word “prostitution”, the first page of results gives you such a diversity of people and circumstances that it makes the fact scenario described by that guy look hopelessly simplistic and naive.

    Vestal Virgin

  366. Margaret Wente and all the people who agree with her arguments want to keep prostitution illegal because they’re judgmental toward prostitutes? I mean, really.

  367. Vestal Virgin, you need to listen to the video again. the prostitute he specifically referred to was the one who exchanged what was rightfully hers. Your attempt at obsfucating this issue is weak.

    And BTW, you ignored my earlier post to you where I asked:.

    Are you of the opinion that governments of the people should be founded on the principle of assumption of authority or on the principle of delegation of authority?

  368. Randy,

    I’m not obfuscating. The arguments in the first six minutes rely on a self-serving oversimplification of the facts that make the political arguments a foregone conclusion. Prostitution was just one example of it.

    I didn’t ignore your other question. I had already answered it above, when I was talking to David: People delegate authority to the government, but the delegation of authority includes their consent to be bound by its decisions, outside of a set of rights.

    Vestal Virgin

  369. Vestal Virgin writes:
    ” People delegate authority to the government, but the delegation of authority includes their consent to be bound by its decisions, outside of a set of rights.”

    Really?

    Can you authorize someone to do something you don’t have the authority to do?
    Can you authorize someone to enter a home or property that does not belong to you?
    Can you authorize another to steal as your representative?
    Did the slaveholders have any authority to delegate with respect to the consent of their slaves to be bound by their decisions?
    IF, IF, IF, the slaves were actually the property of the slaveholder then they would have no right of their own choice to refuse their consent. Therefore by operation of logic they must have consented to their enslavement. As such their consent would bind them to the decisions of the slaveholder.
    But you and I know they never consented to be bound to an authority that never existed.

    Did the American people consent to the recent bank/wallstreet bailout? Did we ever authorize anyone to bail the banks out?

    The only ‘authority ‘ an individual possesses is that that he possesses as a matter of right.
    Therefore any legitimate delegation of authority must rationally occur within the context of a “set of rights”.
    You can only authorize others to do what you have the right to do.

    So tell me VV, how does someone consent to be bound by usurpations and assumptions of authority that were never, and could have never been, legitimately delegated?
    Did the black citizens in this country consent to be bound by the Jim Crow laws? If so why did they resist?
    Did the homosexual citizens consent to be bound by the sodomy laws? Then why did they resist?
    I could go on and on with examples. Give me just one example of where someone can legitimately delegate the authority to initiate agression upon another human being?

  370. Gene, you engage Bron with your longwinded sophistries, however you fail again and again to set forth any rational dialogue. You speak of equality; but do you have any idea of what it really is?

    Tell me Gene, if we are all equal, can it ever possibly be moral for one human to initiate agression against another? If so, provide me with some examples.

    And do you believe in government of, by, and for the people that operate on the principle of delegation of authority or do you choose to live in a political fiction where assumptions and usurpations of authority are considered acceptable?

  371. Randy wrote, “Can you authorize someone to do something you don’t have the authority to do?”

    People could consent as a condition of membership to a group that the group would have certain powers not possessed by individual members.

    The famous phrase wasn’t, “No taxation”; it was, “No taxation without representation.” The objection wasn’t that groups in principle lacked authority to impose taxes over the objections of individual members; the objection was that colonists didn’t have a participatory voice in the decision to do so. Representation is one kind of consent.

    Randy also wrote, “Did the slaveholders have any authority to delegate with respect to the consent of their slaves to be bound by their decisions? IF, IF, IF, the slaves were actually the property of the slaveholder then they would have no right of their own choice to refuse their consent.”

    I’m not really sure what you are saying, but if it’s “citizens are slaves” because government “assumed” power over them without their consent, the analogy really proves nothing–other than to say, “citizens are slaves”. It’s a conclusion masquerading as analysis.

    I’m glad you brought up slaves, though. Your guy Spooner tried to help John Brown after the Harper’s Ferry raid but was against the Civil War on the grounds that it was an illegitimate attempt by the federal government to maintain power over southern states. What the Civil War demonstrated was the scale of effort required to dismantle slavery: An army in the west. The Army of the Potomac in the east. A naval blockade stretching from the Atlantic coast in Virginia all the way around to the Gulf coast in Louisiana. The entire industrial strength of the northern states. The nerve to stare down Britain and France and the wile to court Russia. The stomach to endure 300,000 dead in a population of 20 million. (Which is a about one person in 60. By comparison, the Iraq War dead per total U.S. population are about one person in 68,000. If the Civil War figure is applied to today’s U.S. population, it would be like having a war in which five million Americans died.)

    Thus, if Spooner is applied to slavery, the South secedes peacefully, no subsequent Harper’s Ferry-like insurrection succeeds, and the Confederate States of America goes into the twentieth century as a slave-holding nation.

    Randy wrote, “Did the American people consent to the recent bank/wallstreet bailout? Did we ever authorize anyone to bail the banks out?”

    Assuming for the sake of argument that the bad things people say about the bank bailout are true, I prefaced some of my comments above with phrases like, “assuming there’s no distortion or co-opting of group power by a subset of group members” (or people external to the group!), and so on.

    One might say that life is slippery. The meaning of words is slippery and won’t stand still. Culture is slippery and does an about face across a few generations. You set up a system of rules, and immediately people start trying to game them. Abuse of power isn’t a government thing. It’s a people thing. A human nature thing. They do it in government contexts. They do it in nongovernment contexts. They do it in the federal government. They do it in local governments. They do it in corporations. So, you set up a system with restraints and checks where abuse of power is likely to occur. Then, as you go along, you prune it here and you extend it there, as life evolves, circumstances change, and people game the system to their own advantage and at the expense of others.

    Randy also wrote, “Did the black citizens in this country consent to be bound by the Jim Crow laws? If so why did they resist? Did the homosexual citizens consent to be bound by the sodomy laws? Then why did they resist?”

    Why would you say this? This is my argument, not yours. You asked if people could delegate more authority than they personally possessed as individuals. I said, yes, that’s possible, via consent upon membership in the group. I never said and would never say that’s how American civic life actually played out from the start. For goodness sake, women couldn’t even vote till the twentieth century. It’s your world that’s crystalline dogma. Not mine. Mine is filled with real world problems.

    African Americans and gays didn’t consent. That was the whole problem. It took the power of the federal government to undo the state and local tyranny directed against them.

    Randy also wrote, “Give me just one example of where someone can legitimately delegate the authority to initiate aggression upon another human being?

    Since you already said that you are opposed to any law or judicial decision that doesn’t protect against immediate physical harm or death, I’ll assume that’s the real meaning of your question. I already cited to you the Coinage Act passed during George Washington’s presidency. Your criterion is so narrow, I’m sure there’s a ton of legislation and judicial decisions from every Congress and court from the eighteenth century down to today that you would disagree with. Shall I get together a list?

  372. Webster’s 1913 Ed.

    Equalitarian (Page: 504)
    E*qual`i*ta”ri*an (?), n. One who believes in equalizing the condition of men; a leveler.

    Question, who figures out what aspects of men’s lives are to be made equal/level? You? We already have our DOI which lays out the limits of equality. It doesnt say that all men can only rise so high so as not to upset their neighbors. All men are created equal but some due to hardwork and nature or nurture or both do better in life. Egalitarianism wants to do away with the “pursuit of happiness” and limit all men to a common denominator.

    Egalitarianism is nothing more than force.

    You just cant help yourself, can you.

    Equality before the law and in terms of individual human worth is just, trying to equalize the condition of all men is injustice to some and diametrically opposed to our founding documents.

    I know that individual freedom/liberty is a hard and strange concept for you to wrap your mind around.

    from OED [Oxford English Dictionary]:

    equalitarian

    Syllabification: (e·qual·i·tar·i·an)

    Pronunciation: /iˌkwäliˈterēən/

    noun

    another term for egalitarian.

    ““Equality,” in a human context, is a political term: it means equality before the law, the equality of fundamental, inalienable rights which every man possesses by virtue of his birth as a human being, and which may not be infringed or abrogated by man-made institutions, such as titles of nobility or the division of men into castes established by law, with special privileges granted to some and denied to others. The rise of capitalism swept away all castes, including the institutions of aristocracy and of slavery or serfdom.”

    Ayn Rand

  373. “Egalitarianism is nothing more than force.”

    So instead of using a lesser dictionary, you change to an outdated one.

    Brilliant strategy, Bron. :roll:

    Egalitarianism is a value.

    The values of a society are enforced by its government.

    All government is a form of force, no matter its form.

    Rules without enforcement are suggestions.

    That is part and parcel why a sociopath and her acolytes chafe at any notion of government. They can’t have any of those nasty rules and consequences stopping them from exerting their unrestrained ego upon others (especially when a profit is to be had). They whine and whine about coercion and yet want a system where they as individuals are free to be as coercive over those weaker than them without repercussion in the institutionalized form of law enforcement.

  374. Chapter XIII
    Of the Natural Condition of Mankind as Concerning Their Felicity and Misery

    “NATURE hath made men so equal in the faculties of the body and mind, as that, though there be found one man sometimes manifestly stronger in body or of quicker mind than another, yet when all is reckoned together the difference between man and man is not so considerable as that one man can thereupon claim to himself any benefit to which another may not pretend as well as he. For, as to the strength of body, the weakest has strength enough to kill the strongest, either by secret machination or by confederacy with others that are in the same danger with himself.

    And, as to the faculties of the mind, setting aside the arts grounded upon words and especially that skill of proceeding upon general and infallible rules called science, which very few have and but in few things, as being not a native faculty born with us, nor attained, as prudence, while we look after somewhat else, I find yet a greater equality amongst men than that of strength. For prudence is but experience, which equal time equally bestows on all men in those things they equally apply themselves unto. That which may perhaps make such equality incredible is but a vain conceit of one’s own wisdom, which almost all men think they have in a greater degree than the vulgar, that is, than all men but themselves, and a few others whom by fame or for concurring with themselves they approve. For such is the nature of men that, howsoever they may acknowledge many others to be more witty or more eloquent or more learned, yet they will hardly believe there be many so wise as themselves, for they see their own wit at hand and other men’s at a distance. But this proveth rather that men are in that point equal than unequal. For there is not ordinarily a greater sign of the equal distribution of anything than that every man is contented with his share.

    From this equality of ability ariseth equality of hope in the attaining of our ends. And therefore, if any two men desire the same thing which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they become enemies; and, in the way to their end, which is principally their own conservation and sometimes their delectation only, endeavour to destroy or subdue one another. And from hence it comes to pass that, where an invader hath no more to fear than another man’s single power, if one plant, sow, build, or possess, a convenient seat others may probably be expected to come prepared with forces united to dispossess and deprive him not only of the fruit of his labor but also of his life or liberty. And the invader again is in the like danger of another.”

    It helps to put the text in context. I leave it to the intelligent reader to read Hobbes for himself.

    http://www.bartleby.com/34/5/

  375. Gene H:

    yes government is force and should have the sole use [except in regard to immediate threats where people have a right to protect themselves and their property] of it in a civilized society. It should be limited to the protection of individual citizens and their property from domestic and international threats. Which includes the court system, defense and police.

    It was never meant to make all men equal in terms of outcomes, social standing, wealth, etc. Our government, currently constituted, is a massive wealth redistribution scheme.

  376. “They whine and whine about coercion and yet want a system where they as individuals are free to be as coercive over those weaker than them without repercussion in the institutionalized form of law enforcement.”

    And that is pure BS, I am about as physically weak as they come but at least I am smart enough to know that in a free market system, I have a chance at life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In a socialist/fascist system, I would be forced out onto the iceflow to die.

    Based on all I have seen, it is the socialist/fascist who is the true sociopath, probably more of a true psychopath.

    They love war and destruction, just ask them. Their actions will tell you.

  377. Randy Lee,

    “Gene, you engage Bron with your longwinded sophistries, however you fail again and again to set forth any rational dialogue.”

    Your failure to understand is not an indication of rationality but only a failure of your understanding. Long winded is two words.

    “You speak of equality; but do you have any idea of what it really is?”

    Yes, I do. If you had an attention span longer than that of a fruit fly you might have read this: http://jonathanturley.org/2013/08/23/new-mexico-supreme-court-rules-photographer-cannot-refuse-to-work-at-same-sex-marriage/#comment-644230

    “Tell me Gene, if we are all equal, can it ever possibly be moral for one human to initiate agression against another? If so, provide me with some examples.”

    Your question assumes I believe in moral universalism and moral absolutism. While Natural Law informs us that there is value in moral universalism. Some principles can be distilled to universal maxims, such as “All men are created equal” as a proposition related to legalism and law. This forms the basis of the distinction between the rule of law and the rule by law. Moral absolutism is nonsense. Good and evil are human constructs that exist in a social framework, i.e. they are socially defined. Since all societies – and indeed men – are not the same, that must mean that morality is relative. But what kind of moral relativism? Descriptive moral relativism says that some people do in fact disagree about what is moral – a true statement. Meta-ethical moral relativism says that in such disagreements, nobody is objectively right or wrong. This simply acknowledges the very real fact that good and evil are socially defined constructs without an objective basis. For example, slavery was once consider a social norm, but as society changed it came to be seen as a universal evil. Normative moral relativism says that because nobody is right or wrong, we ought to tolerate the behavior of others even when we disagree about the morality of it which is also utter nonsense. Moral universalism has utility, but that utility is still confined by the socially contextual definitions of good and evil as is recognized by moral and meta-moral relativism.

    Now, the question is what do you mean by aggression? Violence? Or feelings of anger or antipathy resulting in hostile or violent behavior or a readiness to attack or confront? Feelings of antipathy resulting in violence/hostility and a readiness to attack or confront can most certainly be justified. Read the Declaration of Independence. Or better yet, understand it. Violence can be used for good.

    Or do you mean coercion? Just so, the threat of violence or punishment can be used for good. Rules without enforcement – even rules derived from the social consensus that is a functioning democracy – are just suggestions without enforcement or the threat of enforcement. Using force to compel compliance with the law is simply an innate function of any form of government. It is the nature of the thing.

    When it comes to social control systems, and that at their heart that is what government and the law is, aggression is simply a value-neutral tool. Whether it is good or evil depends upon how it is used. Our Founders decided that aggression and violence were required to usurp tyranny from a distant and non-responsive power.

    That is ultimately the question that will again be forced by the fascism encroaching upon our government as designed by the Founders.

    Will their usurpations of our protected rights be tolerated without end?

    Or will the People rise up and kill them in their own kitchens?

    Or can we reverse track without going to that extreme position where violence becomes necessary and therefor good?

    Yeah, I do think aggression can be a moral stance.

    So did Thomas Jefferson and the 55 other signatories to the Declaration of Independence.

    I’m perfectly satisfied with keeping that company.

    “And do you believe in government of, by, and for the people that operate on the principle of delegation of authority or do you choose to live in a political fiction where assumptions and usurpations of authority are considered acceptable?”

    Sure I believe in an accountable representative democracy. Argue by non-sequitur much?

    You should stick to playing in the kiddie pool.

  378. Bron,

    In a socialist system, your basic needs would be tended to, freeing you for other pursuits . . . including happiness.

    Or to continue conflating socialism and fascism when any idiot with a minimal exposure to real studies in political science knows they are not the same thing.

    Whatever floats your boat so long as it doesn’t interfere with the rights of others or subjects them to tyranny.

  379. “It was never meant to make all men equal in terms of outcomes, social standing, wealth, etc.”

    No one is still talking about equal outcomes but you, Bron. Fixate much? Egalitarianism in any sense but the very narrow economic sense is about equal opportunity. I know the greed inherent in your value systems blinds you to most things that you cannot attached an easy monetary value to, but do try to keep up.

    “Our government, currently constituted, is a massive wealth redistribution scheme.”

    Why yes, they are. Just not how you are implying they are. They are resdistributing wealth upward to the 1% and away from the 99%. A sure fire recipe for disaster and about as anti-egalitarian as it gets. The concentration of wealth in a society is also the concentration of opportunity. Pure oligarchy. You can argue about whether that form of oligarchy is fascism, kleptocracy or plutrocracy, but it is oligarchy nonetheless.

  380. yes, some is going to the 1%, and I think that is BS. But much more is going to poor and middle class. Trillions and trillions of dollars over the last 50 years.

    Get rid of all welfare payments and assoctiated infrastructure and you probably only need about 25% of the current budget to run the legitimate functions of government.

  381. fascism is socialism with a nationalistic bent and all but a propagandist would understand the reality.

    Sidney Webb has you all confused. 1st Baron Pasfield indeed, I always laugh when I think about a rich, entitled English gentleman er gigolo making arrangements for the working man.

    “The money she brought with her enabled him to give up his clerical job and concentrate on his other activities.”

    The she is Beatrice Potter.

    Socialism from the mind of a gigolo it all makes perfect sense.

    ROTFLMAO!

    Gigoloism: the philosophy of living off of others if you cant make it yourself.
    Main practioners Marx and Webb.

    Socialism redefined.

    here is the new international:

  382. gig·o·lo

    /ˈjigəˌlō,ˈZH-/

    noun
    derogatory [why?]

    noun: gigolo; plural noun: gigolos
    1. a young man paid or financially supported by an older woman to be her escort or lover.

  383. It’s not my fault you don’t understand the differences in basic forms of governance and economic systems despite it having been explained to you numerous times by numerous people here, Bron.

    You own your own ignorance.

    Such as the ignorance you display about income inequality and how it is growing at a record rate in this country.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/frederickallen/2012/10/02/how-income-inequality-is-damaging-the-u-s/

    http://www.ibrc.indiana.edu/ibr/2012/fall/article1.html

    And better an honest gigolo than blinded by greed and ego into thinking selfishness is a virtue and that an individual exists outside of the greater context of their society/civilization.

    However, technically I’m a whore as I share my knowledge for free.

    Which is much better than being an Objectivist.

  384. Bron: “yes, some is going to the 1%, and I think that is BS. But much more is going to poor and middle class. Trillions and trillions of dollars over the last 50 years. Get rid of all welfare payments and assoctiated infrastructure and you probably only need about 25% of the current budget to run the legitimate functions of government.”

    Yes, let them eat cake! You’re a bit of dimwit. The “social safety net” is really a safety net for the wealthy. They realize it takes only the barest of crumbs to keep the hoi polloi from rising up and slitting their pampered throats. But, of course, they must continue to demonize the poor via their whores in our Krazy Kabuki Kongress. How else would they get you people to help them hoard their money?

    Witless, duped fools.

  385. doesnt a whore charge? isnt the word slut?

    whore
    /hôr/
    noun
    derogatory

    noun: whore; plural noun: whores

    1. (of a woman) work as a prostitute.

    you are a socialist pimp, not a whore.

  386. Whatever.

    I’ll stand behind a history of posting that show money is not a primary motivation or basis in my thought or ethics.

    At least I’m not a venal Objectivist sociopath that is totally distrusted, has a history of lies, distortion and literally trolling under pseudonyms (and even once getting banned for such while posing as another poster) and is mostly disliked in this forum. The regulars know your history. Still, I think it was the right thing to do when Mark and I stood up for ending your banishment. If nothing else, a marketplace of ideas needs negative examples. One cannot differentiate light without the contrast of darkness.

    I do take solace in that no matter how many times you try to sell your Objectivist gibberish which is almost perfect in its immorality that you have yet to have a single taker other than the occasional drive-by true believer who arrived already conditioned to worship money and their own ego above every other consideration.

    Consistency provides a sort of continuity even when it is the consistent foolishness of a little mind.

    There is a reason Objectivism appeals to disaffected teens and the emotionally crippled. Teens are expected to be selfish little turds as they figure out their personalities. Adults don’t have any excuse except brain malformation or simple stupidity.

    Since you apparently wanted to be explicit in your feelings.

    That Ethic of Reciprocity can be a cruel mistress.

    You may be an Objectivst troll, but you’re our Objectivist troll.

    :*

    Now . . . do you want to make some other argument (probably still based in your set of faulty premises that is Objectivism and/or your deliberate misuse of the English language) for me to destroy or would you like to simply keep calling names? I was harboring some hope that your slight improvement in argumentation over time was permanent, but I suspect some habits are simply impossible for you to break such as retreating into simple douche baggery when your arguments are cornered instead of trying a different argument.

  387. Gene H:

    That was rich, I am calling you names? You call me a sociopath as a method of argumentation and I am retreating into “douche baggery”.

    As you say, some habits are impossible to break.

    There are more than a few people, and not all of them Objectivists, who understand that Fascism and Socialism are the same thing for all intents. Certainly there are minor differences, socialism doesnt allow ownership while fascism allows ownership but government control.

    The only people who dont see it [more like refuse to see it] are socialists.

    As far as other words are concerned, I am pretty careful about how I use a word.

    Obfuscation is definitely your strong suit.

    http://xheo.com/products/code-protection/obfuscate-everything?gclid=CI6Hg_barbkCFapQOgodyiYAOg

    Obfuscate Everything
    (951) 667 7447

    I see you have your own website, now.

  388. By the way, your opinion matters to me about the way a piece of dogsh*t does on the bottom of my shoe. Something to be scraped off and discarded before you drag it into polite society.

    If you cant argue the merits, start calling the other guy a sociopath. You are good at that, I will give that to you.

  389. Juliet N:

    See above comment to Gene H.

    You arent even worth the effort at thinking to compose a response to your gibberish.

  390. Bron,

    “There are more than a few people, and not all of them Objectivists, who understand that Fascism and Socialism are the same thing for all intents.”

    Let’s take this statement of yours as an axiom. It must be, from your perspective, as you have stated it many times. Then, you say:

    “Certainly there are minor differences, socialism doesnt allow ownership while fascism allows ownership but government control.”

    Your first sentence after claiming, “that Fascism and Socialism are the same thing for all intents,” (please note your “ALL intents”) is to note “minor differences” between the two.

    As an aside, socialism does allow ownership. It’s calling card is that the means of production, distribution, and monies derived from such ownership belongs to the members of the endeavor.

    Then you say:

    “The only people who dont see it [more like refuse to see it] are socialists.”

    How can only socialists not see that fascism and socialism, according to you, are the same? Wouldn’t fascists “see” this also since they are the same?

  391. Angry? No. Why would I be angry about what an Objectivist thinks of me? I don’t really care what you think either and I’ve said numerous times your value to this forum is simply that of bad example.

    As far as anger goes, the angry defensive posts above are self-evident of who has the anger issue when their pet pseudo-philosophy is exposed for the amoral/immoral load of self-indulgent self-serving venal crap that it is. That’s not a new response from you either Just par for the course. But if you’re going to call me a prostitute and a pimp, I’m going to straight out call you a sociopath. Why? Reciprocity. That and because you espouse all the compassion and empathy for your fellow humans a sociopath does. And I got news for you, sunshine. I’m not the only one here who thinks that about you either. In fact, sociopath is one of the nicer things I’ve heard you called by some. One is defined by one’s actions and espoused beliefs, not one’s declarations of self definition. You can think you’re the Übermensch hero of your own tale all you like. Why? Because of how many Objectivists it takes to screw in a light bulb. One – to hold the light bulb while the entire universe revolves around them. Oh comedy! Truth only faster.

    Also, no one who knows what they are talking about in re political science thinks socialism and fascism are the same. The notion that you are careful in how you use words is simply belied by your very well known history in this forum for making up definitions when it suits you. That was good for a laugh though.

    But please, foam at the mouth some more.

    I do so find it amusing.

    And don’t hate me because my logic and rhetoric skills are superior to yours. It is after all what I am trained in. Hate me because I think your value system of choice sucks and I refuse to accept that some animals are more equal than others.

    Squeal, piggy! Squeal!

  392. gbk:

    this is from Joseph Goebbles:

    “Why Are We Socialists?

    We are socialists because we see in socialism, that is the union of all citizens, the only chance to maintain our racial inheritance and to regain our political freedom and renew our German state.

    Socialism is the doctrine of liberation for the working class. It promotes the rise of the fourth class and its incorporation in the political organism of our Fatherland, and is inextricably bound to breaking the present slavery and regaining German freedom. Socialism, therefore, is not merely a matter of the oppressed class, but a matter for everyone, for freeing the German people from slavery is the goal of contemporary policy. Socialism gains its true form only through a total fighting brotherhood with the forward-striving energies of a newly awakened nationalism. Without nationalism it is nothing, a phantom, a mere theory, a castle in the sky, a book. With it it is everything, the future, freedom, the fatherland!

    The sin of liberal thinking was to overlook socialism’s nation-building strengths, thereby allowing its energies to go in anti-national directions. The sin of Marxism was to degrade socialism into a question of wages and the stomach, putting it in conflict with the state and its national existence. An understanding of both these facts leads us to a new sense of socialism, which sees its nature as nationalistic, state-building, liberating and constructive.”

    http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/haken32.htm

    Those are his words, he seems to think he is a National Socialist. Which is my understanding of Fascism; socialism with a nationalistic bent.

    Control of economic activity is control of economic activity. The state should not determine the interest rate, minimum wage, or any of a number of other things having to do with the economy.

    So in my mind, for all intents, it is a very small difference. State control is state control.

    I dont agree with it, if you do then get people together and have a Constitutional Amendment to say that socialism is the economic method in the US. If you win, OK, I can accept that, I wouldnt like but it would be the law of the land approved by the majority.

    Il Duce was a socialist before he developed fascism. Dont you think he built on what he knew?

    Also what about Hegel? Marxism contains elements of Hegels philosophy and Marx was a young Hegelian. I have also read that Hegel’s philosophy can be found in Nazi Germany. From what I have read, you cannot fully understand Marx until you have read Hegel. Since I have not yet read Hegel, maybe I am mistaken. If you have some superior knowledge concerning Hegel, Marx and Nazis, please share it.

  393. The Nazis are a perfect example of function being the critical definition of form instead of self proclamation. They sold themselves to the German people as socialists, true, but in operation they were fascists and – as you keep ignoring – they had to purge the party of socialists in the Night of the Long Knives to prevent a fermenting danger of coup against Hitler.

    Just so, Obama sold himself to be an agent of reform and change when in fact he is simply another fascist like Bush before him.

    New Coke was a trick to manipulate the stock of the company and not really a serious replacement for Coke.

    Cherry picking your way through history is no way to learn anything.

    Neither is being willfully ignorant.

  394. Bron: I know you’re very uncomfortable when you’re forced to abandon your oddly-constructed political theory and enter into the way the world actually works. I would be, too, were I you.

  395. All governments are control systems.

    Who they work for and how is what defines what they are.

    We are supposed to be a democratic Federal Presidential Constitutional republic according to the designs of the Founders, but anyone paying attention knows that is not how the modern American government operates in reality. It’s well on its way to being a plutocracy/kleptocracy/fascist police state.

    And while I’m thinking about it, the only truly salient feature national socialism has with any form of actual socialism is in name.

    You can call a chicken a luxury yacht, but in the end, it’s still a chicken.

  396. By the way, interested in what the father of Italian Fascism had to say about socialism? In 1932 Mussolini wrote (with Giovanni Gentile) an entry for the Italian Encyclopedia on the definition of fascism. So here it is, straight from Il Duce’s pen . . .

    Fascism [is] the complete opposite of…Marxian Socialism, the materialist conception of history of human civilization can be explained simply through the conflict of interests among the various social groups and by the change and development in the means and instruments of production…. Fascism, now and always, believes in holiness and in heroism; that is to say, in actions influenced by no economic motive, direct or indirect. And if the economic conception of history be denied, according to which theory men are no more than puppets, carried to and fro by the waves of chance, while the real directing forces are quite out of their control, it follows that the existence of an unchangeable and unchanging class-war is also denied – the natural progeny of the economic conception of history. And above all Fascism denies that class-war can be the preponderant force in the transformation of society.”

    Emphasis added for the hard of understanding.

    Now where have I head that fascism and socialism are diametrically opposed political philosophies before? Hmmmmmm. Oh yeah!

    I’ve said that.

    About a hundred times.

    Still using all the muscles but the important one, eh Bron?

  397. Bron,

    So we went from owning the means of production, distribution, etc., to Goebbels.

    You know, Bron, I’ve tried for many years to open up a dialog between us. I admit this was not my first inclination, but I do respect your perspective as it comes from someone who is passionate about the fleecing of this country, as am I.

    I’ve just never agreed with your focal point of our country’s demise being due to poor and lazy people expecting handouts along with the other gremlins that you so casually define. I have always viewed the fleecing of this country as a product of jingoism and the disproportionate funds we spend on “defense.”

    To your own, Bron.

  398. Gene H:

    It’s well on its way to being a plutocracy/kleptocracy/socialist/fascist police state.

    It has been that way since at least 1933. Keyens ushered it in.

  399. Not a very astute student of history there, Bron.

    Actually you can trace the start of our problems to the end of WWII and the influence of the MIC as created by that war and no dismantled at its end. Our problem is primarily political and only motivated and moved by narrow economic interests. Then again, I forget (not really) that your take on economics is the fantasy version espoused by the very unscientific von Mises and the Austrian School who are in fact apologists for the greed required to create fascism/corporatism, plutocracy, and kleptocracy. In fact, those political outcomes are pretty much guaranteed by following the polemic dictates of the Austrian School.

    And way to dodge the fact that the father of fascism said it was in complete opposition to socialism.

    Not.

  400. Bron,

    “Oh, I think many people have fleeced the taxpayers in this country. There is plenty of blame to go around.”

    And this is what you just don’t get Bron. I agree with this statement as a broad brush. I just don’t agree with your solutions, nor your definitions in approaching them.

    Can you discuss those without resorting to Goebbels, Rand, etc. Can you offer solutions that do not denigrate?

  401. “I have always viewed the fleecing of this country as a product of jingoism and the disproportionate funds we spend on ‘defense.'”

    Bingo.

  402. 7. Against individualism, the Fascist conception is for the State; and it is for the individual in so far as he coincides with the State, which is the conscience and universal will of man in his historical existence. It is opposed to classical Liberalism, which arose form the necessity of reacting against absolutism, and which brought its historical purpose to an end when the State was transformed into the conscience and will of the people. Liberalism denied the State in the interests of the particular individual; Fascism reaffirms the State as the true reality of the individual. And if liberty is to be the attribute of the real man, and not of that abstract puppet envisaged by individualistic Liberalism, Fascism is for liberty. And for the only liberty which can be a real thing, the liberty of the State and of the individual within the State. Therefore, for the Fascist, everything is in the State, and nothing human or spiritual exists, much less has value, outside the State. In this sense Fascism is totalitarian, and the Fascist State, the synthesis and unity of all values, interprets, develops and gives strength to the whole life of the people.

    8. Outside the State there can be neither individuals nor groups (political parties, associations, syndicates, classes). Therefore Fascism is opposed to Socialism, which confines the movement of history within the class struggle and ignores the unity of classes established in one economic and moral reality in the State; and analogously it is opposed to class syndicalism. . .

    13. Fascism, in short, is not only the giver of laws and the founder of institutions, but the educator and promoter of spiritual life. It wants to remake, not the forms of human life, but its content, man, character, faith. And to this end it requires discipline and authority that can enter into the spirits of men and there govern unopposed. Its sign, therefore, is the Lictors’ rods, the symbol of unity, of strength and justice.

    9. . . . The theory of Fascist authority has nothing to do with the police State. A party that governs a nation in a totalitarian way is a new fact in history. References and comparisons are not possible. Fascism takes over from the ruins of Liberal Socialistic democratic doctrines those elements which still have a living value. It preserves those that can be called the established facts of history, it rejects all the rest, that is to say the idea of a doctrine which holds good for all times and all peoples. If it is admitted that the nineteenth century has been the century of Socialism, Liberalism and Democracy, it does not follow that the twentieth must also be the century of Liberalism, Socialism and Democracy. Political doctrines pass; peoples remain. It is to be expected that this century may be that of authority, a century of the “Right,” a Fascist century. If the nineteenth was the century of the individual it may be expected that this one may be the century of “collectivism” and therefore the century of the State. . . . The doctrine itself, therefore, must be, not words, but an act of life. hence, the pragmatic veins in Fascism, its will to power, its will to be, its attitude in the face of the fact of “violence” and of its own courage.

    …The Fascist State organizes the nation, but leaves a sufficient margin of liberty to the individual; the latter is deprived of all useless and possibly harmful freedom, but retains what is essential; the deciding power in this question cannot be the individual, but the State alone….

    Mussolini

    He says it isnt socialism but then you can call a yacht a sundae.

    Either way the individual is deprived of his liberty.

  403. Bron,

    “7. Against individualism, the Fascist conception is for the State; and it is for the individual in so far as he coincides with the State, which is the conscience and universal will of man in his historical existence. It is opposed to classical Liberalism, which arose form the necessity of reacting against absolutism, and which brought its historical purpose to an end when the State was transformed into the conscience and will of the people. Liberalism denied the State in the interests of the particular individual; Fascism reaffirms the State as the true reality of the individual. And if liberty is to be the attribute of the real man, and not of that abstract puppet envisaged by individualistic Liberalism, Fascism is for liberty. And for the only liberty which can be a real thing, the liberty of the State and of the individual within the State. Therefore, for the Fascist, everything is in the State, and nothing human or spiritual exists, much less has value, outside the State. In this sense Fascism is totalitarian, and the Fascist State, the synthesis and unity of all values, interprets, develops and gives strength to the whole life of the people.

    8. Outside the State there can be neither individuals nor groups (political parties, associations, syndicates, classes). Therefore Fascism is opposed to Socialism, which confines the movement of history within the class struggle and ignores the unity of classes established in one economic and moral reality in the State; and analogously it is opposed to class syndicalism. . .

    13. Fascism, in short, is not only the giver of laws and the founder of institutions, but the educator and promoter of spiritual life. It wants to remake, not the forms of human life, but its content, man, character, faith. And to this end it requires discipline and authority that can enter into the spirits of men and there govern unopposed. Its sign, therefore, is the Lictors’ rods, the symbol of unity, of strength and justice.

    9. . . . The theory of Fascist authority has nothing to do with the police State. A party that governs a nation in a totalitarian way is a new fact in history. References and comparisons are not possible. Fascism takes over from the ruins of Liberal Socialistic democratic doctrines those elements which still have a living value. It preserves those that can be called the established facts of history, it rejects all the rest, that is to say the idea of a doctrine which holds good for all times and all peoples. If it is admitted that the nineteenth century has been the century of Socialism, Liberalism and Democracy, it does not follow that the twentieth must also be the century of Liberalism, Socialism and Democracy. Political doctrines pass; peoples remain. It is to be expected that this century may be that of authority, a century of the “Right,” a Fascist century. If the nineteenth was the century of the individual it may be expected that this one may be the century of “collectivism” and therefore the century of the State. . . . The doctrine itself, therefore, must be, not words, but an act of life. hence, the pragmatic veins in Fascism, its will to power, its will to be, its attitude in the face of the fact of “violence” and of its own courage.

    …The Fascist State organizes the nation, but leaves a sufficient margin of liberty to the individual; the latter is deprived of all useless and possibly harmful freedom, but retains what is essential; the deciding power in this question cannot be the individual, but the State alone….

    Mussolini”

    And what do you think, Bron?

  404. gbk:

    sure. I would eliminate lobbying for one thing. I would let business fail or prosper on their own merits. I would stop farm subsidies and foreign aid. I would bring our troops home from every corner of the globe except where there was a defined, necessary security interest [such as North Korea].

    I would reduce the size of government by attrition and I would get out of bed with business. Just for starters.

    Next I would get rid of stupid regulations such as the one that regulates the color of margarine.

    Foremost, I would have a flat tax and do away with deductions.

    The main thing, at least in my opinion, is to remove business from government and vice versa.

    And I would eliminate the Federal Reserve and let market forces set interest rates. That way Wall St. cant screw Main St.

    For what it is worth, I truly believe the TARP was to bail out Wall St/Paulson’s buddies.

  405. Bron,

    I guess you forget that Mussolini developed fascism as a counter-proposition to socialism after being kicked out of the Socialist Party.

    As for limiting freedom? That is what all governments and laws do. Am I going to have to explain the Social Compact theory of government to you again? Societies agree to limits on absolute freedom found at the state of nature for mutually derived benefit. Too few limits and the result is anarchy, too many and the result is totalitarianism.

    But socialism? In particular democratic socialism? Is not the same thing as totalitarianism either. That is a feature that can apply to any governmental system although in some systems it is an inherent quality such as Communism (which, again, is not socialism even according to Marx) or a dictatorship (no matter its form).

    Plus, I’m sure the citizens of Sweden and Norway will be surprised to find out they are not free with their mixed markets and democratic socialist forms of government.

    Binary thinking is such a tragedy and yet a consistent feature of extremist thought.

  406. Bron,

    (Concerning the post of 9:10 pm)

    Then we agree on more than you know. But when you equate altruism with collectivism, and for years equate socialism with fascism, and for years blame the demise of this country on people caught up in geo-political scams that serve the elite I’m not sure whether to trust your current words.

    Time will tell, I guess.

  407. Bron,

    “I would eliminate lobbying for one thing.”

    You can’t do that. It would be unconstitutional restraint on the ability to petition your government according to the 1st Amendment. The right to petition is critical in a democracy. In fact, a democracy can’t exist without it.

    “I would let business fail or prosper on their own merits.”

    Sure. There are some exceptions that are rational (banking isn’t one of them).

    “I would stop farm subsidies and foreign aid.”

    Farm subsidies need to go as they no longer do their original purpose – support family farming during unstable markets – and only help Big Ag which has practically driven the family farm from existence.

    Foreign aid is a different matter. It is not inherently evil. In diplomacy, it is a value neutral tool. But it can be a useful tool if properly used. Propping up despots friendly to our policy is not a proper use. Humanitarian aid, though, is another matter. It helps people and builds good will. Good will breeds a sense of brotherhood. Brotherhood breeds cooperation.

    “I would bring our troops home from every corner of the globe except where there was a defined, necessary security interest [such as North Korea].”

    Okay. But what about the remaining standing army? Many of the Founders warned against standing a standing military except in times of war because the lessons of history show that a standing army deprived of a set goal will eventually turn to domestic mischief.

    “I would reduce the size of government by attrition”

    Again, size is not the salient judge of quality, but function is. Cutting just to cut is nonsense. Cutting the non-functional parts of government? Is simply wise.

    “and I would get out of bed with business. Just for starters.”

    Okay. Remove money from the political electoral and lobbying processes. Make giving a pol more than $1,000 by anyone or any organization a felony that carries prison time.

    “Next I would get rid of stupid regulations such as the one that regulates the color of margarine.”

    Again, the difference between good law and bad law rears its head. Laws regulating the color of margarine are indeed ridiculous. Laws regulating food safety though are necessary.

    “Foremost, I would have a flat tax and do away with deductions.”

    As I’ve said many times before, a graduated flat tax with very limited deductions is both fair and a simplification of a grossly complicated and biased tax code that favors the wealthy and the corporations.

    “The main thing, at least in my opinion, is to remove business from government and vice versa.”

    Business without regulation is a recipe for economic tyranny, however, businesses should have no say in how they are regulated.

    “And I would eliminate the Federal Reserve and let market forces set interest rates.”

    And that would plunge us into uncontrolled inflation.

    “That way Wall St. cant screw Main St.”

    Or you could take a more sensible approach and regulate banking to segregate commercial banking from financial banking like Glass-Steagall used to do and thus eliminate the ability of Wall St. banks to replay their rigged casino game that was the CDS debacle.

    “For what it is worth, I truly believe the TARP was to bail out Wall St/Paulson’s buddies.”

    Of course it was. Corporate welfare of the highest order.

    See? Wasn’t that much easier to find common ground without Rand and temper tantrums? You’re capable of having a reasonable substantive discussion, Bron. That’s why you disappoint me when you don’t (and that’s usually when you bring ideology to the table).

  408. gbk,

    I will stipulate that on those particular points, he is fairly consistent. The details may change a bit, but the main thrust of these selected reforms is substantively consistent.

  409. Bron,

    You’re so eager to disagree you don’t even read what I write.

    That’s fine. After all, it’s your decision.

    Good luck, and when your world implodes through no fault of your own expect the same that you have been so verbose in expounding.

  410. gbk:

    I guessed I missed something, I was just saying that Gene H could verify those ideas as ones I consistently hold.

    I am not, at this time, trying to be oppositional.

    What do you disagree with? and what do you mean by geopolitical scams that serve the elite? Unless you mean our endless wars, which I would agree with you about.

  411. “You can’t do that. It would be unconstitutional restraint on the ability to petition your government according to the 1st Amendment. The right to petition is critical in a democracy. In fact, a democracy can’t exist without it.”

    yes, you are right but you could limit the impact of business by making it illegal for lobbyists to write laws.

  412. Bron,

    I guess thoughts got crossed in the delay time of posting. I never claimed you weren’t consistent.

    “and what do you mean by geopolitical scams that serve the elite? Unless you mean our endless wars, which I would agree with you about.”

    That’s exactly what I mean, though there are more subtle variations running along the lines of domestic concerns which keep the rift of populace expanding.

    All is good, Bron. There does seem to be something missing from 8:32 to 9:55 though.

  413. Bron,

    That would be an additional reasonable restriction in addition to requiring Representatives and Senators draft any legislation they are primary sponsor for, but still, the money needs to go.

  414. Some homophobic businesses are beginning to learn the true cost of bigotry in the 21st Century. Sweet Cakes, the Oregon bakery that refused to bake a cake for a lesbian couple is closing. They got a lot of support from fellow bigots on their Facebook page, but that apparently didn’t translate into cash flow. As the proverb says: Talk is cheap, but money buys the whiskey. The company is moving its operation from the storefront bakery to their home. I wonder if their neighborhood is zoned for a commercial operation, and if not, what will their neighbors have to say?

    Story is here:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/02/sweet-cakes-by-melissa-closed-_n_3856184.html

  415. Otteray Scribe:

    That is good news on a number of levels. I doubt this is confirmation of my ideas but the market can [at least in this case] more effectively punish bad actors than any legislation could.

  416. Bron,
    As you know, you cannot take a sample of one and plot a graph. However, this appears to be the culmination of a chain of events, starting with the couple’s complaint to the AG’s office. Who is to say what the outcome would have been if the rules and the consumer protecton office were not there.

  417. Otteray Scribe wrote, “Some homophobic businesses are beginning to learn the true cost of bigotry in the 21st Century.”.

    They just haven’t learned yet that they can conspicously give notice that: THIS IS A PRIVATE ESTABLISHMENT, WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE SERVICE.

    Such a notice voids the assumption that they are public accommodations. This works with race issues, and with disability issues, or any other. The right to free association of contract is still alive. People will finally wake up to the tyranny of compelled performance and choose freedom.

    The evolution of the decline of prejudice will finally occur in a free community, where such prejudices are not regulated by usurpations/assumptions of law. Such usurpations only foster more animosity in the minds of bigots. Bigotry and prejudice will always exist to some degree, but its evolutionary decline will best occur in a setting of liberty and unhampered communication.

  418. Bron,

    The problem with markets and just outcomes isn’t one of impossibility, but rather one of consistency and ease of malleability by ultra vires means. In short, caprice and ease of corruptibility (essentially purchasable bias which translates to inequity).

  419. Bron wrote: “He says it isnt socialism but then you can call a yacht a sundae. Either way the individual is deprived of his liberty.”

    I thought you were doing a great job demolishing Gene H’s perspective, except when you equated socialism and fascism.

    For Mussolini, fascism was a religion. The State was god. Motivations for fascism could not be about money, so he had to frame fascism and socialism as opposites. Socialism is all about money. Fascism is not.

    I would say Mussolini used a little hyperbole and defined fascism in an extreme way. Who is really going to argue that the State is not about money? The State is entirely about money and always has been. Mussolini was trying to make fascism holy by divorcing the motives of the State from being about money.

    Fascism and socialism often have overlap, but they are not identical. Fascism is about the collective being so important that the needs of any individual become subservient to the State. If an individual needs to be harmed or even killed for the good of the State, that is good under the political philosophy of fascism.

    Socialism is simply concerned with ownership of the means of production and management of the economy for the good of all. That might designate the State, but it might also designate a cooperative or common ownership. The goal of socialism is for the workers to receive just compensation in relation to their contribution of a product.

    In fascism, the goal is the betterment of the State, and if that means the workers receive unjust compensation, that is okay. The needs of the State outweighs any need of the individual.

    If you look at this carefully, you should be able to see that in some cases, fascism and socialism attempt to work hand in hand, like in Nazi Germany, but in other cases, they might be defined as opposites, as in Italy under Mussolini.

    I hope you can work out the differences in your mind. For the most part, I thought your arguments were logical and clear. They cleaned Gene H’s clock, despite his elitist style verbiage that attempts to make sure that nobody is his equal.

    I appreciated your quotes from Ayn Rand. I have not had the opportunity to read her yet. Your quotes piqued my interest. I did see the two parts to the movie Atlas Shrugged. I really loved Part II.

  420. I didn’t know you did stand-up comedy, David.

    BTW, it’s impossible to be an elitist and an egalitarian at the same time. They are diametrically opposed concepts, oh he who would treat homosexuals as second class citizens. Project much?

  421. Gene H wrote: “it’s impossible to be an elitist and an egalitarian at the same time.”

    The irony of your professed belief and how you conduct yourself has not escaped my attention.

  422. In answer to my question: “Can you authorize someone to do something you don’t have the authority to do?”

    Vestal Virgin wrote: “People could consent as a condition of membership to a group that the group would have certain powers not possessed by individual members.”

    How old do people have to be to consent? Does an accident of birth within a locality that has previously chosen such a system create the presumption of consent of the newborn? What about the people that don’t consent?

    Government is force. The phrase in the DOI about legitimate governments being based upon the consent of the governed is ludicrous. No one consents to be forced/governed. If you are being forced, then that is proof of non-consent.

    By using the term “certain” it appears you are attempting to limit the power of the group. However, any student of history knows that the experiment of this so called Constitutional Republic was sold as just that sort of limited government; one granting “certain” powers. What went wrong? The best historical example for the cause of small limited government has resulted in the largest most powerful statist machine ever known in history. This is empirical proof that declarations of grants of certain powers do nothing to restrain governments.

    And do you really believe that governments are restrained by democratic will? Surely you are old enough to have discovered and realized that money and power rules in every form of government. Did democratic will have anything to do with the granting of personhood and rights of political speech to corporations?

    Vestal Virgin continues: “The famous phrase wasn’t, “No taxation” it was, “No taxation without representation.” The objection wasn’t that groups in principle lacked authority to impose taxes over the objections of individual members; the objection was that colonists didn’t have a participatory voice in the decision to do so. Representation is one kind of consent.”

    Do you think being accidently born a subject to the dictates of a King created legitimate membership in a group? And do you think that just because these people were so steeped in their ideology of patriotism to the king and Britain that that created some sort of obligation to accept being taxed as long as they were given the sense that they were being represented? How can representation constitute consent for those persons who reject the legitimacy of subjecton by a King? People who submitted to such ideologies in times past were brainwashed of their equality to the “noble” class.

    Vestal Virgin continues, Randy also wrote, “Did the slaveholders have any authority to delegate with respect to the consent of their slaves to be bound by their decisions? IF, IF, IF, the slaves were actually the property of the slaveholder then they would have no right of their own choice to refuse their consent.”

    “I’m not really sure what you are saying, but if it’s “citizens are slaves” because government “assumed” power over them without their consent, the analogy really proves nothing–other than to say, “citizens are slaves”. It’s a conclusion masquerading as analysis.”

    If the slaves are actually equal to their captors then how can their captors have any right or authority to confer their consent? (to be bound by their decisions). By the same token, other equals of mine have no right or authority to confer my consent where I have not explicitly conferred it myself.

    Vestal Virgin writes, ” What the Civil War demonstrated was the scale of effort required to dismantle slavery:”

    Slavery had dissappeared in nations around the world again and again, without the necessity of a civil war. The age of industrialization along with the advent of the cotton gin and the corn picker for instance, steadily worked to eradicate the need for the institution of slavery. Long before the civil war slaves were being released by many slaveholders. The institution was becoming unprofitable. Read http://www.lewrockwell.com/2011/04/thomas-dilorenzo/the-official-one-and-only-pc-cause-of-the-civil-war/

    VV writes “One might say that life is slippery. The meaning of words is slippery and won’t stand still. Culture is slippery and does an about face across a few generations. You set up a system of rules, and immediately people start trying to game them. Abuse of power isn’t a government thing. It’s a people thing. A human nature thing. They do it in government contexts. They do it in nongovernment contexts. They do it in the federal government. They do it in local governments. They do it in corporations. So, you set up a system with restraints and checks where abuse of power is likely to occur. Then, as you go along, you prune it here and you extend it there, as life evolves, circumstances change, and people game the system to their own advantage and at the expense of others. ”

    So all this proves that you can’t legislate morality. Morality must be fostered by other means.

    Vestal Virgin continues, “Randy also wrote, “Did the black citizens in this country consent to be bound by the Jim Crow laws? If so why did they resist? Did the homosexual citizens consent to be bound by the sodomy laws? Then why did they resist?”

    VV responds, “Why would you say this? This is my argument, not yours.”

    To point out that membership in a citizenry, a group, is not proof of consent. It proves nothing. And that is true whether or not membership is voluntary of imposed by some fiction of law. You aren’t going to claim that the citizenry/membership of blacks and homos was imposed on them, are you?

    Vestal Virgin writes, “You asked if people could delegate more authority than they personally possessed as individuals. I said, yes, that’s possible, via consent upon membership in the group.”

    Lets say I trust you with $100 in cash. And I grant you authority to spend $150. Explain to me how you can spend more than I actually gave you? Oh, I forgot! We are suppose to agree that this other $50 really exists and therefore we can impose this fictional existence upon a merchant who doesn’t accept its existence. But you say to the merchant, the majority of us, (you and I), agreed so you must accept. If we are all equal, and we are, then none of us have authority or right to impose our fictions on others. Democracies are two wolves and one lamb deciding what to have for dinner. Doesn’t the lamb have an equal right to life?

    I asked you also “Give me just one example of where someone can legitimately delegate the authority to initiate aggression upon another human being?”

    I didn’t understand your answer, but I will explain my question later. Running out of time for now.

  423. David,

    It’s not my fault you can’t argue your way out of a wet paper bag. That’s not elitism. That’s just you sucking at argumentation. An illustration that “created equal” and “equally created” are not the same thing. Even Bron will tell you I can argue a boulder to gravel. I’m exceedingly good at it.

  424. Living in a country with a government is not enslavement. However, there are a few such places scattered around the world. Some of them are unoccupied islands, and others are….well. let’s just say folks get to make their own rules in those places. Somalia comes to mind in that regard. Unlike the old Soviet Union, you are free to leave anytime you want if you are not happy here.

    In the meantime, this is a participatory democracy. Everyone gets to vote. The social compact is that we abide by the rules in return for living here. This month marks the 223rd anniversary of the Watauga militia’s march to Kings Mountain, culminating in the battle there on October 7, 1780. The Watauga Settlement was the first participatory democracy set up on this continent, in which the settlers entered into a social compact for self-government and self-protection. It was that democracy which threatened the English, triggering Major Ferguson’s ill-advised threatening letter to them.

    I plan to write about them on the anniversary of the start of their march.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watauga_Association

  425. gbk –

    David wrote:
    “The existence of something in nature does not mean it exists according to natural law.”

    and,

    “I have NEVER denied the empirical evidence that homosexuality does indeed exist in nature. On the contrary, I affirm that homosexuality does indeed exist in nature. I have simply argued that it does not exist because of the working of natural law . . .”
    =====
    gbk wrote:
    This is the recursion of thought I spoke of earlier in this thread, David. Quite stunning in its completeness; at least there is symmetry there, however warped.
    =====

    I’m not sure what you mean by “recursion of thought.” I was only conveying the idea that something existing in nature is not the same thing as identifying the natural laws that explain that existence. I have no idea why you have trouble understanding this, or why you apparently find some kind of problem with my words. Except for the last word “warped,” I might think you were paying me a compliment on my comments.

    gbk wrote:
    —–
    It also seems that Bron and yourself had a grand time with many posts deriding Gene’s use of the word “equal.” Yet it’s apparent that neither of you actually read what he said because he framed his argument thusly:

    “It’s about equality of opportunity, not outcomes. That outcomes argument is facile at best. The only people who think that equal outcomes are even possible are Communists or Utopians.”

    Yet both of you expended much effort in arguing his very point.”
    —-

    Unfortunately, I had not read that post from Gene. Although my post came later, I had opened a page and started it previously. I have other issues come up here that sometimes take me away from finishing a post.

    In regards to the broader subject, many people in society do use the word equality to mean that if somebody is not earning as much money or that somebody does not have as many job offers, and that person falls into a minority class based upon race, gender, or whatever, then they are being discriminated against unfairly. I don’t buy into that way of thinking.

    I like the idea that everybody should have equal opportunity to pursue their dreams, and if they can make it, more power to them. If blacks or females receive lower pay, as long as they both agreed to it, I don’t see inequality before the law in that. I see inequality in regards to talent and abilities in that particular field. Hillary Clinton makes more money than I do. I’m not yelling discrimination because of that. We both have the same kinds of opportunities in life and we made choices accordingly that were different.

  426. Randy,

    I’m not sure there’s any point in continuing the discussion. We haven’t convinced each other of anything so far, so it seems unlikely that we will be able to.

    I hope you have a great rest of the week and weekend, wherever you are in the world.

    If you see a comment of mine on this blog, stop by and say hello, k?

    Best wishes,
    VV

  427. Gene H wrote: ” “created equal” and “equally created” are not the same thing.”

    No, they are not, and you love to point out this grammatical difference. However, I don’t think you understand that mankind is both created equally and created equal. With respect to each specific gender, however, men and women are created equal, but they are not created equally. Acknowledgment of this point of fact actually goes to the heart of difference that you and I have about homosexuality and gender roles in society.

  428. I understand the distinction quite well. But while we’re talking about not understanding something, let’s talk about you and the 14th Amendment, David. The 14th Amendment reads in relevant part:

    “Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    It does neither says “[a]ll heterosexual persons [. . . ] are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside” nor “[n]o State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States unless they are a homosexual; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws unless they are a homosexual.”

    That’s the thing about equal protection and equal rights; they’re equal.

    Equal in an adjective meaning “being the same in quantity, size, degree, or value”.

    Not “I’m entitled to superior rights and protections under the law as a heterosexual”.

  429. David, as Mark Twain wrote, there are important differences between lightning and the lightning bug.

    Men and women are created equal in terms of being on this planet validly. Obviously, not everyone has equal abilities. As a culture we have decided to treat them unequally. The former is not a choice. The second is a decision.

  430. Gene,
    I am wondering how an authoritarian like David would function if he had to cope daily with someone like my late wife, or FSM forbid, my DiL whom you have met. Fierce blue eyed, red headed women with the blood of Boudicca running in their veins.

  431. Um. Yeah. You have, David. Your entire premise is contrary to the 14th Amendment. As explained numerous times and in great detail.

  432. OS,

    I’m thinking not very well. D. would – pardon the pun – set him straight so fast it’d make his head spin. :D

  433. Gene:
    I had about decided to use the story I wrote about my friend Sabrina Jackintell on another blog. After reading the above, I think I will use it here this weekend. Sib was an alpha female if there ever was one.

    Speaking of spinning, when my wife was head nurse over the oncology (cancer) unit, one of the doctors made an inappropriate comment to the nurses in the conference room. She pushed him out the door, grabbed him by the shoulder and spun him around. Then she grabbed him by the shirt collar and seat of the pants and frog marched him to the elevator, where she told him as she shoved him into the elevator, “Get off my floor and don’t come back until you learn how to talk to my nurses.”

  434. David,

    “I’m not sure what you mean by ‘recursion of thought.’”

    I thought you authored software. If you do, then you would be familiar with the word “recursion.” In computer science terms, recursion is when an algorithm instantiates itself within the limits defined by the algorithm itself.

    It is a technique typically used to find solutions to series, e.g. pi, Fibonacci, etc.

    Most people refer to self-referential argumentation as “circular logic” but this phrase assumes there is logic involved and that the logic is merely “stuck” in a circle. Upon close inspection this perspective is usually an oxymoron.

    Recursion of thought — in the context of this thread — means that you purposely restate the same argument utilizing different means while ignoring the limits offered by your prior arguments, or even supporting verbiage. Such as:

    “I have NEVER denied the empirical evidence that homosexuality does indeed exist in nature. On the contrary, I affirm that homosexuality does indeed exist in nature. I have simply argued that it does not exist because of the working of natural law . . .”

    This is recursive thought ignoring the limits of its own claim.

    So I guess I should change my phrase of “recursion of thought” to “unlimited recursion of thought.” A simpler term exists, I’m sure, but I’ll leave that to you.

  435. gbk,

    It’s been awhile since I read “Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid” (its about due to be read again with a djinn and tonic) but I think recursive systems need not be rational, only self-referential. I hadn’t put my finger on it until you just mentioned it, but you are on to something there. The structure of David’s thinking certainly qualifies as a strange loop albeit an irrational one.

  436. Gene,

    I almost used the phrase “strange loop” in my above post, but I figured this would require to much explaination without defining “strange” and “loop,” without resorting to the first couple of hundred pages of Hofstadter’s book.

    Recursive systems, by definition, are self-referential and need not be rational, unless one wants a limit on the loop — but I think this is what you said.

  437. That is indeed what I said, gbk. :D

    Amazing book. I still remember the first time I read it. I was fourteen. To say it was a life shaping event would be fair and not hyperbolic in the slightest.

  438. It is an amazing book. I also remember the first time I read it. It made me question everything, which is my wont anyway, but it was the first book I read that made me think about how I think.