Small Things

Have a bit of a bug, so only a few small things today.

Red State

A reliable, though not infallible, mark of a bad argument is the level of self-congratulation of its author. The more times a man pats himself on the back, the greater the chance he’s spouting nonsense. The braver he thinks he is, and the more he boasts of his stoutheartedness, the higher the probability of a fallacy.

Exhibit one, the intentionally provocative piece in Red State supportive of same-sex “marriage” by a gentleman who ceaselessly tells us how Christian and how courageous he is and who resorts to “sentences” like this “I. Do. Not. Care.” That one, incidentally, was his way of avoiding answering a rhetorical question he asked of himself. Yeesh.

Now whatever arguments you have in favor of same-sex “marriage” (and I’m still waiting for any reader to submit a guest post on the topic), that you dare to defy your compatriots in support is not an argument, though the author sure thinks it is. It’s only one of several fallacies.

He worries SSM debates are “tearing this country apart culturally” and concludes therefore not that the debates should be tempered, but that they should be surrendered. Brave.

Then comes ‘equality.’ Arguments for SSM which feature ‘equality’ as a premise are always circular, and are therefore invalid. Whether two (and not three, four, etc.) should be treated ‘equally’ regards to marriage is what we are seeking to show, which is why it can’t be assumed.

There’s more but I’m too tired to go on.

Planned Parenthood

This video from the Florida legislature questioning “Alisa LaPolt Snow, the lobbyist representing the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates” is amusing, if your taste in humor runs to black comedy.

Poor Snow found she could not bring herself to support saving the life of a baby born from a botched abortion. Which is to say, the baby is born alive. This small human being is alive and outside the body of the mother (whereas a few minutes previously this small human being was alive and inside the body of the mother, and therefore subject to arbitrary death). Snow figured the doctor and the mother could decide whether to perform the ‘Kermit Gosnell‘ procedure on the poor kid.


Recommended article: Aristotle, Newman, and the Cosmic Gentleman.



  1. In keeping with the “we want to be loved” mantra of the Republican/red state persons, in addition to SSM there is now a group pushing renewable energy and continuing subsidies for the worthy cause. Someone needs to make certain that there’s not a wolf under the sheep exterior, and if not, we need a third political party for those who have not lost all sense in the this new, amoral universe.

  2. cb

    I have not read the linked piece: GOP and Dem are functionally equivalent, excepting that one is a bit faster than the other. But as for your reasoning:

    Given that hippies are immune to reason, fact, logic, sanity, and deny the existence of right and wrong, answering your own rhetorical questions with “I. Do. Not. Care.” is quite sensible.

    Something that the ‘good’, ‘mature’ people do is not state the obvious: that hippies are not ‘mistaken’ – they are liars devoid of any attachment to the principle of truth (which they go so far as to deny exists!!!!).

    How do you reason with a hippie? You don’t. Because no matter how obviously right you are… It. Does. Not. Matter. Yelling at them at least feels good.
    Also, an argument ‘with’ a hippie should never be that: your efforts should be directed at the reader who wanders past. Because hippies… Do. Not. Care.

    And do not that a hippies is defined as someone who is immune to reason, fact, etc. In other words, some of the most accomplished hippies are many ‘hard-core’ Christians: hippies crawl in wherever they can find a space.

  3. Ye Olde Statistician

    Hippies? Are you sure you don’t mean beatniks?

  4. Sylvain Allard

    “Now whatever arguments you have in favor of same-sex “marriage” (and I’m still waiting for any reader to submit a guest post on the topic)”

    I should be able to answer your wish in about a month on this subject. I just have to go through the end of my session first.

    I should also be able to show how government spending do create wealth.

  5. Steve E

    You have stated that marriage pre-dates the state. That it (marriage) has occurred for millennia as a “natural” or” inalienable” right or if not a right surely as a natural occurrence that because of its long history appears to be a natural or inalienable right. (I’m surely putting words in your mouth. Sorry.)

    Is it not equally true that same sex couplings (I’ll not argue triplings or quadrupalings) have at least as long a history as one man, one woman couplings. Though, historically, social conventions have not accepted these couplings as acceptable within society, their very existence over time would seem to make them “natural” and thus “inalienable.”

    So while historical social convention would suggest it is right and just not to apply the “M” word to same sex couplings it would seem that the base case equally exists to say the “M” word could have been used all along and may be used now.

    If the argument is that Marriage is a religious convention then I’ll agree we should be prepared to abide by what religion says marriage is. If Marriage is a social convention then should we not abide by the same direction? That is if society is not prepared to recognize it; then so be it.

    If it is a natural right or inalienable right then I think we are hard pressed to deny that same sex couplings have probably existed for as long as one man, one woman couplings and as a result have an equal claim to use of the “M” term. The fact that the right has not been recognized would be immaterial if indeed it was a natural right.

    I don’t think you or anyone else has made the case that SSM is not a natural right. It would seem that all arguments to date are either religious or social, which I am prepared to concede without argument. They are that they are. But not all truths that a minority holds to be self-evident are initially accepted by the larger group as being so.

  6. VXXC

    This is about POWER. The GLEE they feel is their coming entitlements as a protected and privileged class, and the childish glee a vandal or arsonist feels. The Road to Selma which was narrow and paid for in blood is now wide and well paved, with riches and the power to intimidate and extort your neighbors.

    They’re not the first men to shall we say suckle their way to power, I think they’re the First Political movement to raise it as a Standard.

    Remember the lessons of POWER you have learned at their hands when it is our turn.

    Fey Conservatism is the Judas Goat. Let it fall, it conserved nothing.

    And Let Reaction Rise.

  7. Ye Olde Statistician

    same sex couplings … have at least as long a history as one man, one woman couplings. Though, historically, social conventions have not accepted these couplings as acceptable

    Actually, it is that no society has seen a need to control and regulate such activities. (Technically, they would not be “couplings,” since they lack the required complementarity.) Unlike the union of man and woman, there are no potential offspring to be provided for, no heirs, no clan alliances. Hence, there is no need for rules or customs governing exogamy, consanguinity, dowry or brides-price, betrothal, permanence, fidelity, etc.

    “Marriage” was a word before it was an institution. Maritas meant “a man who has been provided with a young woman” from the Proto-Indo-European word *mari, “a young woman.” So you can without much difficulty limn the physical reality which the words emerged to describe. One may as well complain that the word “fruit” does not encompass carrots. There is nothing wrong with carrots — the beta carotene is good for one’s eyesight — but they are not fruits.

    Thirdly, “natural” does not mean “something that has happened a lot/sometimes. In the context, it means “something in accordance with the nature of a thing.” That is why free fall is natural to a baseball, but a pop fly is not. The issue is not what is natural to human beings — Darwin had a bit to say about the relevant bits — but what is natural to marriage, that is, to “providing men with young women.”

    There is also a social construct, an artifact, associated with marriage that includes for example that the vows must be exchanged in public (to avoid he-said/she-said), or that an “a” man can only marry a “c” woman from moiety “B” and their child will be “b” in moiety “A.” But these are social artifacts constructed around the physical act of marriage, and for artifacts one must take into account the purpose for which they were designed. The difference between natural and artificial will be understood once you realize that a tomato is naturally a fruit, but that no sensible person would slice a tomato into a fruit salad. (This is also said to be the difference between knowledge and wisdom.)

  8. Bob Ludwick

    All this hoopla over ‘same sex marriage’ reminds me of the old saw:

    Question: “If I call his tail a leg, how many legs does my dog have?”

    Answer: “Four. It doesn’t matter what you call it, his tail is not a leg.”

    Same deal with ‘same sex marriage’. It doesn’t make any difference what you call the physical and legal relationship between two members of the same sex, or how much they love each other, and how unfair it is that they don’t enjoy the same legal and moral respect as heterosexual couples from the majority of their fellow citizens who think that their relationship is a bit ‘odd’, or how many lawmakers and judges are ‘PC’ed’ into pronouncing otherwise, their relationship is not ‘marriage’, any more than a dog’s tail is a leg just because I choose to call it one.

  9. Larry Geiger

    Agile Methodologies are hip.

  10. Larry Geiger

    “Hey dude, we’re going to have 50 drums.” That’s what the hippie said to me as I was backpacking through the Ocala National forest many years ago. What he wanted to know was, were I and my compatriots coming to the party that evening. As it was a hippie party (lots of herbs and weeds) and my compatriots were 30 Boy Scouts, I declined.

    They actually did have 50 drums and they played them ALL. NIGHT. LONG. I was eventually able to sleep.

    Do you know any hippies? Have you ever been to a Rainbow Gathering?

    Just a few weeks ago a hippie wandered into our campsite and and uttered the words, “Yo dudes, I just slipped on a purple, velvet bannana peel and fell into an alternate reality.” I think that he wanted to trade his 12 pack of Busch Bavarian Beverage, which I assumed he acquired legally, for a small, ziploc bag of “herb”. Since we don’t normally stock “herb” for our Scout campouts, we declined.

    It’s been my supposition, for many years, that regular consumption of “herb” will cause the aforementioned I. DO. NOT. CARE. syndrome.

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