Friday, February 04, 2005

le parcours des blogueurs

A new blog to watch out for, which I was convinced was started by a close friend of mine, is Zeppelin/Submarine. The guy's off to a fantastic start. Take a gander at his post comparing the new Battlestar Galactica series to Star Trek: The Next Generation.

I'm a little bit late with this, but check out the Smallholder's great Groundhog Day "100 Below" post. He also offers a beautiful takedown of Keith Burgess-Jackson's specious and bigoted arguments against gay marriage. This deserves quoting:

Traditional [conservative] arguments that marriage equality will somehow harm heterosexual unions are risible. The legal status of Joe and Bob's relationship has no impact at all on Jim and Sally's relationship. To his credit, KBJ does not make this argument, attempting to justify discrimination not to prevent harm but to maintain the purposive nature of the institution - see his "The Cost of Legal Rules" post.

He argues that the purpose of marriage is to provide a nurturing environment for children. Therefore it is reasonable to limit the institution of marriage to those who can procreate. He then dances around the issue of elderly, infertile, and/or voluntarily childless nuptials by saying that the legal costs of analyzing each marriage for its procreative potential allows the law to morally prefer infertile heterosexuals over homosexuals. He supports his argument with an analogy to drinking laws. Drinking laws want to limit alcohol consumption to those mature enough to handle their liquor responsibly. Since the legal cost of assessing the maturity of every American citizen is astronomic, the arbitrary benchmark of 21 is morally acceptable.

KBJ's legal cost analogy breaks down on several fronts.

The benchmark of 21 only temporarily denies enjoyments, experiences, and activities to those under 21. For those who are "mature" prior to 21, the law only imposes a not unreasonable wait of a handful of years. Furthermore, that limitation is not a real limitation. Alcohol, unlike marriage, is readily available to those legally barred from partaking. Mature teenagers who don't raise a ruckus or get drunk don't get arrested for underage drinking. Stupid, immature, reckless teenagers get snagged by the fuzz - the very people who ought not to be allowed to [consume] the demon drink. The arbitrary heterosexual benchmark for marriage PERMANENTLY bars gays from participation.

Additionally, the harm caused by [KBJ's] "moral" restrictions is not comparable. Not being able to drink a beer with Ruby Tuesday's Alpine Burger doesn't have nearly the impact of not being able to transfer leases, inherit without a will, issue medical directives, amicably divide property in the case of a split, receive health insurance, lead a life of dignity, avoid social stigma and discrimination, buy property, and, as the King of Siam says, "et cetera et cetera." If the cost of a legal compromise is high, perhaps the legal compromise needs to be reconsidered.

Finally, all of the above arguments are predicated on the unsupported theory which KBJ returns to again and again, that marriage's purpose is procreation.

The Party Pooper poops out a very thoughtful post on the Iraq war.

Captain Kirk has a nice roundup of Korean press reactions to Bush's State of the Union address.

Drambuie Man tackles the Iraq elections.

The Nomad marvels at the obtuseness of Unification Minister Chung Dong-young.

Daehee posts on "The Tsunami Song," a cruel satire of tsunami victims. His entry also links to a recording of a radio broadcast in which a black DJ, Miss Jones, offers a racist assessment of her Asian colleague, Miss Info. Miss Info finds The Tsunami Song offensive and refuses to take part in the airing/singing of the song. As the on-air dispute escalates, Miss Jones claims that Miss Info must feel superior because she's Asian. Yeah, I guess that was meant as a joke, right? Go listen to the recording and judge for yourself whether Miss Jones was joking.

Rory's room mirrors the drunk/sober state of his mind.

You've always wondered how Japanese fish could have enormous dicks. Justin tells the story.

The Maven links to Turdbirds. I love it.

Kilgore has excellent advice for rich people on how to deal with the poor.

Dr. Vallicella has sage advice for us, and what's more, is proud to be a human being.

Bill's Comments has a thoughtful essay on the issue of homosexuality as sin.


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