Sex, Drugs and Liberty

Last week the New York Times endorsed the legalization of marijuana. Jeffrey Miron in The Week follows that with a persuasive case for some form of legalization of all recreational drugs. The walls are coming down.

Beyond the drug war, state bans on same sex marriage are collapsing all over the country. Apart from a high profile initiative under the Bush Administration that netted only two indictments, the Justice Department has completely abandoned the prosecution of consensual obscenity. The concept of “public morality” as policy goal to be implemented by state action is disappearing. This is a breath of fresh air.

We are approaching the final collapse of the culture war. Voters under fifty have solidly abandoned the philosophy that government should dictate personal choices in matters that do not materially affect other people. At the same time, as our nation grows more solidly urban and each of us is more intimately connected to one another, we seem to be developing a greater tolerance for government interference in matters where our decisions do affect our neighbors.

Miron’s article on drug legalization sums up the philosophy behind this shift fairly well:

Perhaps the best reason to legalize hard drugs is that people who wish to consume them have the same liberty to determine their own well-being as those who consume alcohol, or marijuana, or anything else. In a free society, the presumption must always be that individuals, not government, get to decide what is in their own best interest.

This is a dramatic departure from the assumptions shaped the lives of Americans over fifty. Not so long ago it was accepted that “public morality” was a value to be cultivated and protected by state action. People could only be expected to be “good” if some external state authority, aided by the religiously devout, curbed the range of choices available to the public.

Fifty years ago contraceptives were illegal across wide swaths of the country. You couldn’t get a divorce without proving that your spouse was “at fault.”* The state was deeply involved in the regulation of nearly every aspect of sexuality and personal choices. Even today, laws banning gay sex are still on the books in Texas even after the Supreme Court declared them unenforceable. The relics of that age are still around us (sometimes holding public office).

At the same time, public policy fifty years ago had little to say about behavior that impacted those around us outside the realm of family or sexuality. Fifty years ago there was no Environmental Protection Agency. There was no OSHA for workplace safety, no ERISA to guard against pension and insurance fraud, no Voting Rights Act. Race and sex discrimination was still legal in employment and housing. There was no Medicare.

Fifty years ago your government at virtually every level let you get away with an extremely broad range of behaviors harmful to your fellow man from dumping industrial waste in your town pond to pension fraud to sexual harassment. Meanwhile it tightly regulated almost every matter related to sex under the auspices of “public morality.”

We are steadily retreating from government regulation of personal choices that affect no one else while accepting more and more government authority to limit social harm. This is a healthy development that promises to give us a smarter, less intrusive government that better serves its best aims. The faster this process can advance, the better.

 

*On an interesting side note – The country’s first no-fault divorce scheme was signed into law by California Governor Ronald Reagan in 1969.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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Posted in Drug War, Libertarian, Religious Right
369 comments on “Sex, Drugs and Liberty
  1. M Simon says:

    Drug Warrior Newt Gingrich backed the decriminalization of heroin in California. It passed. The times they are a changin.

  2. Anse says:

    I’m late to the discussion, so my apologies if I’m pointing out things already brought up. First, let me say how pleased I am to read something by Sternn that I emphatically agree with. It’s refreshing.

    I smoked marijuana for about 15 years, almost every single day. Here’s the truth about weed: as you get older, you moderate your use. You just do. I don’t know anybody who started smoking as a teen or in their 20’s who was still getting high as a kite in their late 30’s or 40’s. When you’re young, you don’t know what you’re doing, exactly, and you think the whole point is to get to the top of the mountain as quickly and as often as possible. You want to be up there in the clouds, looking down at all the people, laughing at the Weather Channel for three hours from a comfortable repose on the sofa. That’s what you think pot smoking is when you’re young.

    But as you get older, you evolve. Your tolerance goes up, for one thing, and that’s good, because it enables you to have a firmer grasp of what your limits really are. You can take a toke from a pipe from a new bag to see how it will affect you, then maybe take another one, and maybe you stop there if it’s a strong batch or you take a couple more if it’s weak. But what you don’t do is get so high you can’t carry on a conversation or perform your daily household chores. When you’ve been smoking pot for years and years, getting that high is a pain in the neck. It’s not fun to be so stupid you can’t drive to the grocery store or have a chat with your neighbor without drawing suspicion to yourself.

    It’s not to say you don’t ever go overboard. Usually it happens while you’re having a few beers. You pause to take a toke in the garage, and you step back in the house with that nice weightless buzz wrapping itself around your brain like a favorite quilt. But on those occasions, you’re drinking and you probably have no further plans for the day. And you still aren’t going to smoke so much pot that you are falling down.

    As for driving and cops, all I can say is, if the driver is obviously intoxicated, he shouldn’t be driving. It doesn’t matter what his blood alcohol level is or what his THC level is. It’s one of the things about the law that has always irked me. I’m not saying it’s perfectly fine to be over .08 with booze and drive a car, but I am saying that you shouldn’t be under suspicion until a cop has reasonable cause to believe you are intoxicated. With dash cams and the like, there ought to be a way to gather evidence of a driver’s intoxication without having to pin down a precise level of the substance in question in the blood stream. I do believe cops can charge you with DUI even if you are below .08, if you are visibly incapable of driving safely, can they not?

    I stopped smoking weed when my daughter got old enough to perceive that there was a weird odor emanating from the garage in the evenings and started asking questions. The last thing I needed was for her to innocently allude to it in front of a teacher or something. But I hope that one day she’ll be mature enough to understand the truth about pot, and while I’m not optimistic Texas will legalize it by then, maybe we will.

    As for harder drugs: I don’t have a problem with legalizing all of it. If you’re dumb enough to do heroin, go ahead and kill yourself. My kid won’t need the law to tell her it’s bad news. And if she’s anything like I was as a teenager, the law sure as heck isn’t going to be the thing that holds her back.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Plus one on the thumbs up.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Your mention of a quilt around your brain brings to my brain the memory of being prescribed a med which made me feel as if my head were full of cotton. It was such a disconcerting feeling I chose to give up the med and go back to being ill.

    • Gage Creed says:

      I smoked marijuana for about 15 years, almost every single day. Here’s the truth about weed: as you get older, you moderate your use.
      ~~~
      I can say much the same thing about alcohol. Back in the day, I consumed what one would think would be lethal amounts of liquor on a pretty regular basis. It’s like you said, when you’re young you don’t really know what you are doing. I enjoy drinking these days but I look back and just shake my head in wonder.

  3. Owl of Bellaire says:

    I ran into this article today, which (so to say) weaves into Chris’ recent thoughts about the Information Revolution and its effects on our society and economy, (It also follows Tutt’s thread about day-to-day life among what will be mundane in the future, but marvelous by today’s standards.)

    http://motherboard.vice.com/read/automated-mini-factories-will-bring-back-custom-fit-clothes

    “Technology has the potential to break the current, broken apparel manufacturing model: overproduction, outsourced cheap labor, waste and pollution. One idea is to make clothing on demand, from designs customized by consumers online. Over at Cal Poly Pomona university, they’re building automated micro-factories that can spin out a virtual order in just 30 minutes, and are small enough to fit in the back of a retail store.”

    • tuttabellamia says:

      It would be cool to be able to get custom-made and custom-fit vintage-style clothing!

    • tuttabellamia says:

      I find it interesting how certain things somehow become “quotidian” while others are just passing fancies.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      It occurs to me this revolution could be stopped in its tracks by the difficulty of learning to use 3D software.

      But I would love to have clothing that actually fits me.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Bobo, the process will be controlled by the tech-savvy, whoever can use the 3D-printer/sewing machine.

        I have a music recommendation for you: The soundtrack to the movie I WANT TO LIVE. Lots of bop, plus a couple of tunes are rather Monkish.

  4. “…government should [not] dictate personal choices in matters that do not *materially* affect other people.” (emphasis added)

    And therein lies the rub. I’m pretty darn libertarian when it comes to personal life choices, but it seems to me we have put the cart before the horse when it comes to the recent wave of marijuana legalization.

    You are free to drink in your own home until you are falling down drunk, but the same is not true for drinking and driving. Drunk drivers have the potential to “materially affect” others in harmful ways. As a result, we’ve developed strict DWI laws, and reliable methods for determining blood alcohol content. If you drive drunk, you can expect that society will exact a harsh penalty.

    With the recent spate of marijuana legalization laws scant attention has been paid to penalties for irresponsible consumption of the wildwood weed. We have no reliable methods for measuring THC intoxication; law enforcement has only subjective methods for determining whether somebody is stoned out of their gourd. This is a public safety, not to mention litigatory, nightmare.

    How many people are going to have to be killed, maimed or injured by stoned drivers before we figure out that appropriate penalties must *always* be in place for those who would exercise freedom irresponsibly and with no concern for the well being of others?

    • CaptSternn says:

      TThor, as a person that has, in the past, smoked my fair share of “the finest of grasses, the noble weed” (Steppenwolf), please allow me to shed some light on the topic for you …

      Marijuana intoxication is nothing like alcohol intoxication. It doesn’t much affect motor skills, and without overdoing it, motor skills actually improve. It takes time to end the alcohol intoxication and nothing else will work, but with marijuana intoxication, generally just get something to eat. Eating is a serious buzz kill. What about getting the munchis and scarfing down a pizza or bag of cookies? Yep, kills that buzz, so “roll another one, just like the other one” (Grateful Dead).

      Now it will impair judgement, especially in higher doses, so I am not suggesting that it is alright to drive while high. A person might not realize that feeder road is two way instead of one way, not until the back of that car sure does look like the front of a car approaching. Oh crap it’s a two way instead of one way, get this heap over to the right!

      Speaking of higher doses, a person will only get so high, smoking any more than that just wasted the herb. There is the issue of smoking and that can cause physical harm over time, but other than that there is none. Make brownies with it, no physical harm.

      Getting back to the driving bit, officers will arrest people for driving under the influence, and they can tell that with roadside tests. They will arrest people for driving while intoxicated on prescription pills that the person legally has and is taking as prescribed. It doesn’t just apply to alcohol. And, in fact, people do drive under the influence of drugs, legal and illegal, as it is now. That won’t change, nor will the enforcement of driving under the influence change.

      And the biggest issue I have with your line of reasoning is that you seem to want to keep it illegal for all because what a few might do. That is very similar to what gun control advocates say. It falls in line with an old Bill Clinton quote: “When personal freedom’s being abused, you have to move to limit it.”

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I TOLD y’all he was laid back and mild-mannered . . .

      • CaptSternn says:

        Well, that was a long time ago, Tutt. Got me a criminal history back in ’93. Thankfully those days are far behind me. Life is much too good now to even think of messing with illegal substaces. I wouldn’t have anything to do with it now even if Texas were to make it legal for recreational use.

        But if we want to have a real and honest discussion about it, why not shed some light on the facts?

        I can’t speak for other illegal substances as I was and will always be afraid of them. I have witnessed what they have done to people I knew, and it wasn’t pretty. I do believe they should be legal anyway, adults have to make their own choices and long prison sentences are not right for personal choices, for personal behavior, for vices. Vices should not be made into crimes.

    • Cap, I partook of the herb myself back in my misspent youth; the sad truth is that it was actually easier to obtain than alcohol for an underage individual. So much for the war on drugs.

      Anyway, speaking from my own personal experience, I can state unequivocally that it’s easy to get baked to point where you have no business operating a vehicle. As you point out, it’s not physical impairment, but rather judgement (attention) impairment that is the issue. And if you don’t think that has potentially deadly consequences, you are fooling yourself.

      Freedom sans responsibility is, by definition, anarchy. At it’s core, the sole responsibility of the state with respect to its own constituents is to ensure they do each other no harm whilst exercising their freedoms. Current mary jane legalization laws fail to meet this simple standard.

    • dowripple says:

      Nice Rucas! I especially like “Reagan Mail”. Conservative email AND I get to “trickle down” $40 a month? Sign me up…

      • rucasdad says:

        I honestly considered doing it for one month just so I could confuse my conservative friends with emails ending with @Reagan.com. However, as much as I appreciate a good laugh, I just can’t contribute any money to that.

      • dowripple says:

        It is borderline predatory to charge $40/month for email, when you consider the average age of the target audience here. Shameful!

        BTW, would you be interested in buying one of my “Rapture” insurance policies? Don’t be left behind!

      • GG says:

        Dow, I saw an ad “after the rapture pet care”. For your beloved pets after you’ve been whisked away to heaven, just send us a $100/per pet.

      • dowripple says:

        Wow GG, I didn’t think anyone had the gall to do that. I’ve lost a little respect for us 😦

    • GG says:

      That is funny.

    • rucasdad says:

      Oh, it’s totally predatorial in my opinion. It’s sad really. However, who am I to stand in the way of fools parting with their money. The conservative entertainment complex is such a con game.

      • dowripple says:

        Yep, if I learned anything from Mike Brady and the Bunch, it’s “caveat emptor”. I was trying to think of some “liberal” entertainment complex con-games*, but these were the only two things dancing around in my brain.

        1. Glen Beck’s gold rush (and I always picture him dressed up like a leprechaun for some reason)
        2. One of the few times I listened to Limbaugh, he had just finished spewing about how Americans borrow too much and buy things they can’t afford (yadayada), and the first commercial in the next break was his voice telling Americans that now is the time to buy a new truck with no money down. (Awesome)

        *Not to imply that they don’t exist.

    • johnofgaunt75 says:

      These sites are almost all created by former young Republican staffers. They set up these websites, get a bunch of ideologues around the country and old people who watch Fox News to join because it is “hip” and then they rake in the cash.

      Sounds like a scam I need to get into.

  5. GOPLifer says:

    why does my blog suck so bad?

  6. kabuzz61 says:

    Further below the topic of abortion came up. As is usual, The Captain states his case very consistently and opposers say the usual things. Since many pro abortionists have unquestionable loyalty to 9 men in black robes it surprises me that you quote science. The 9 robed men didn’t. To be honest on all sides, the science is not settled on this issue as much as it is lost on definitions and distinctions. I am firmly in The Captain’s camp and I said why many times. I will err on the side of life every time. That is it. Finished as far as I’m concerned.

    Now onto another matter. A while ago we discussed why we are reluctant to post personal information. The biggest reason not to is some would use it for cheap hits. Well, that day has come. Owly has denigrated The Captain using his personal info to make a cheap shot as well as throw barbs at Tutt because of her relationship to The Captain. There is only one way to some up Owly’s behavior, she acts like a piece of shit and anyone that supports her can wallow in the gutter with her. I throw barbs for sure, but I will not use personal information I have gleaned over the years.

    • rucasdad says:

      I was once doxed a few years back on the old Chron forums. It was funny, actually. I kept getting under this person’s skin so they googled my username and my info came up via twitter. They then tried to drop subtle hints that they knew my identity. Therefore, I responded with my full name and link to my fb page. This of course confused them so their correspondence dropped off shortly thereafter. I’ve never been afraid of my beliefs and opinions hence the reason why I’ve never gone out of my way to hide who I am. However, as much as we’re familiar with one another, you can never be too certain of one’s mental state (e.g DanMan) so I don’t just give that info out willingly.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Kabuzz, you’re funny. And sad.

      Sternn’s consistency lies only in his steadfast refusal to come anywhere near what is sensible, or to examine the logical consequences of his own insistent beliefs. But you, as the lapdog follower that you are, are always ready to follow anyone conservative with your mewling “Me, too!”

      No-one is “pro-abortion.” Plenty of people are pro-freedom, and pro-women, and against religious tyranny. Apparently, you disagree with those stances. The more fool you.

      And as for “unquestionable loyalty to 9 men in black robes”, well, three of them are women, in case you hadn’t noticed. Or perhaps you’re referring solely to the composition of the Court in 1973, when *Roe v. Wade* was decided. In that case, you’re still falling prey to the ridiculous over-simplification of reality that characterizes conservative cant. Why, the very next year, the same court members refused to fix Texas’ horrific school-financing system in *San Antonio Independent School DIstrict v. Rodriguez*, and you’ll hardly find “unquestionable loyalty” to that decision. So, as usual, you’re engaging in ridiculous hyperbole which results in malicious lies about your opponents. Or, in other words, you’re a Tea Party Republican.

      If you “err on the side of life every time”, then I take it you’re vegetarian. Or perhaps you need to use the somewhat clunkier description of “human life”. But then you’d actually need to open yourself to the discussion of what a human being is, and why Henrietta Lacks isn’t considered morbidly obese and a candidate for sainthood (due to her ability to be in multiple places at the same time). And dim bulbs like you simply can’t handle that sort of debate.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Silly Bird, it is not your belief I’m concerned about. It is using personal information to put down the opposing view. A cheap shitty trick which I guess I souldn’t be surprised you would use since you seem to have no shame or scruples.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        The information, freely and publicly given, seemed relevant in this case to explaining Sternn’s fervid desperation on the issue, as other posters have acknowledged below.

        If Sternn can accuse everyone with whom he disagrees of being slave-holders, murderers, Nazis, and whatnot, I don’t think he gets to whine about some rough treatment in return.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        So, Kabuzz, as I asked below, when you complained of being misrepresented:

        In your opinion, does a homosexual Christian who dies while faithfully married to a same-sex partner, with whom she or he has active sexual relations, go to Heaven? If not, where does such a person go in the afterlife?

        Those are simple questions. I hope you’ll be honest enough to offer direct answers, so that we properly understand your beliefs and views.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        First Corinthians 6:9-11 says, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners [malakoi], practicing homosexuals [arsenokoitai], thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God. Some of you once lived this way. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        That’s a quote, not an answer.

        What do you believe will be the fate of the person I described, Kabuzz?

        Why make this difficult? Just tell us what you believe.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Owl can’t face the fact that the right to life doesn’t only apply to Christian beiefs, or that the constitution applies to everybody here in this great nation. Or that the U.S. Constitution is not a religious document.

      There are those that do not believe in equal rights for all, those that look down on others as sub-human, to be treated as property, to be disposed of if found inconvenient. They call themselves “pro-choice”, the choice being to own others as property, to kill innocent people that they determine to be sub-human. Where is the choice for those they determine to be sub-human, those they would treat as property, deny them basic human rights, use them in medical experiments and slaughter them by the tens of millions? No so “pro-choice” at that point. They got there’s and to hell with everybody else.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        How do you know they’re people?

        Did the little voices tell you?

        Are human beings really no more than genes to you?

      • CaptSternn says:

        That is the question a coward asks, over and over. You don;t want to face the reality of what you support.

      • GG says:

        Give it up sternn. Arguing abortion is pointless.

      • CaptSternn says:

        People probably said the same thing about slavery at one time. That’s the company you keep, GG. I will stand with the abolitionists, the people HT likes to call “anti-choice”, people that are against treating others as sub-human property with no rights.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Arguing over abortion HERE is pointless.

      • GG says:

        No cappy.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        On the chron there were way more posters and a wider, more diverse audience. Here it’s just the same handful of posters bickering over the same topics day in and day out, and a limited audience.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Yes, Sternn really needs some new arguments, or at least the capacity to respond to what other people are actually saying rather than just repeating himself.

      • GG says:

        I still post over there on occasion but it seems as if all of the extreme hate-filled posters have taken over. Anything about immigration has comments like “dirty mongrels”, etc. Totally disgusting. According to them, all crime is committed by “dirty illegals” and anyone with a hispanic surname is illegal as if Texas didn’t have Hispanics living here for centuries.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        On the chron there is more potential for persuasion and influence, for actually making a difference.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        GG, I hadn’t seen your post when I wrote my last comment about the chron. I know how bad it can be over there, but if making a true difference is the goal, I dont think it can be accomplished here. If the goal is to engage in absract, theoretical, repetitive, circular arguments is the goal, then this is the place. I would rather be involved in something like Project Gabriel. Or maybe write a truly thought-provoking piece on abortion like the reparations article by Mr. Coates.

      • Crogged says:

        Tutt, I’m with you on this and John Galt’s observation from several blogs ago is on point. I think we know how even the semi-regular participants here feel about the issue. The chance to ‘do something’ comes every other year, vote your conscience, pocket book, whatever.

        But you don’t agree with me on the inheritance tax and hurt my feelings. We should start a thread: rather than personal attacks, we whine about the damage to our sense of self and see if that changes minds……..

        Like the REM song, rather than ‘change my religion’ I hear the singer whining, ‘You hurt my feelings’……..

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Actually, crogged, i’m not against the inheritance tax, only against your suggestion that the entire concept of inheritance as we know it be revamped. I have to admit i find the idea of RETHINKING the concept of inheritance intellectually stimulating, and looking at inheritance laws and customs over the course of history and in different cultures, so i guess that means i’m just as guilty of getting lost in the theoretical and not doing enough in practice.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        As a single person with no kids or siblings and too many relatives to count, i have had to give some thought to who will inherit my home and other possessions (aka my “estate”), and i enjoy it as an intelllectual exercise. I must admit i really dont care who gets it, since i will be dead.

  7. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    A little pew polling data to help signal the end our culture wars:

    In polling regarding whether the person is in favor of same sex marriage (or to be precise for Captain Semantic – issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples getting married).

    GOP: 39%
    Democrat: 69%

    No surprises there. However, let’s look at an age breakdown.

    GOP
    18-29 years old: 61%
    30-49 years old: 43%
    50-64 years old: 30%
    65+ years old: 22%

    Democrats
    18-29 years old: 77%
    30-49 years old: 71%
    50-64 years old: 66%
    65+ years old: 62%

    Boys and girls, that is a 39 percentage point gap between the youngest and oldest GOP members with regard to same sex marriages.

    As noted by a GOP candidate in Oregon, “I believe this is a wedge issue that forces young people into the Democratic Party’s hands”

    It has to suck to be a gay conservative and trying to support the party that believes you are an abomination.

    Sure, the old bigoted people vote more, and there are lots of them right now, but there is not enough technology in the world to keep those old GOPers alive long enough to stem the tide.

    As always, “… a child shall lead them”.

  8. GG says:

    Speaking of liberty, another restaurant owner has made decision about not allowing children in their establishment.

    http://ktla.com/2014/07/31/popular-norcal-restaurant-sparks-debate-after-bans-noisy-kids-strollers-and-high-chairs-from-dining-room/

    • tuttabellamia says:

      GG: This is an EXCELLENT example you bring up, with all the discussions we’ve had on this blog about whether a business proprietor has the right to decide who can or cannot frequent his/her establishment.

      • GG says:

        I go to a little hole in the wall in San Leon called Gilhooley’s that does not allow children and only accepts cash. I like the idea of no kids especially in an establishment that is essentially a bar serving seafood. Adults drink and sometimes the language gets a little colorful and we don’t need parents glowering and complaining about language.

      • flypusher says:

        If I were of the mind to run an eatery I’d have it split in half-one dining room adults only, the other one the family section.

    • dowripple says:

      Excellent, DINKs unite!

      • GG says:

        Frankly, I think there should be more child-free zones and, no, I don’t dislike children but there’s a time and place for them. Sometimes it’s nice to go out and enjoy dinner and not have kids screaming and running between tables which is quite dangerous and the parents seem oblivious to the danger.

      • dowripple says:

        I agree with you, and I didn’t mean to imply I dislike children. We chose not to have any, but we regularly take on nieces/nephews for the weekend.

        Overall I’m pretty excited about the trend, not just “noisy kid” bans, but also the “no-talking” movie theaters, etc. It’s almost like “rudeness” is getting pushed out of the market.

      • GG says:

        I’d love some cell phone free zones too.

      • dowripple says:

        Heck GG, I’d settle for a cell-free drive home from work! I’m constantly amazed at the number of driving zombies.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      I’ll note, for the record, that they do NOT say they are “not allowing children in their establishment.”

      Their sign specifically says, “Children crying or making loud noises are a distraction to other diners, and as such are not allowed in the dining room.” Quiet, studious, eight-year-old girls, for example, will likely encounter no trouble.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        So, I would think that anyone disturbing the peace there, like boisterous drunks, would be asked to leave.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Children are not a protected class. They can be discriminated against.

      Gay people, at least here in Texas, are not a protected class. Restaurants could refuse service to gay people and companies could refuse to hire gay people without violating CRA, they would just catch PR hell about it.

  9. tuttabellamia says:

    Public behavior like racial and gender discrimination and polluting the environment were not frowned upon in days past simply because they were considered acceptable.

    As for private morality, it seems behavior was considered ok as long as it remained private, or as long as it didn’t have to be publicly acknowledged. Appearances were everything.

    You could have a marriage rife with infidelity and abuse, but as long as the parties didn’t divorce, it was ok. Homosexual behavior was tolerated as long it remained under wraps, so society could officially deny its existence.

    Even today, there is something about acknowledging something, making it official, that some people still have a hard time with. It’s as though by simply acknowledging it, or worse, by making it official, they are somehow giving it their approval. A good example is same-sex marriage.

    Cap often talks about how important it is for Baptists to set a good example, not to behave badly in public, lest it give Baptists a bad name, even though they may not be perfect in their private lives.

    • rucasdad says:

      Do as I say and not as I do. It’s hypocrisy 101.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I don’t think it was that simple. It was more like: “Do as I say, but if you do as I do, don’t make it public.”

      • tuttabellamia says:

        My point is that private behavior was supposed to remain private.

        Immoral behavior was not frowned upon so much as making it public was.

      • objv says:

        Tutt: perhaps “sins” were covered up in the past, but I agree with rucasdad. It’s hypocritical to say one thing and do another.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Nobody is perfect, that can’t be denied. The idea is to do our best to live up to the standards, to be seen as an example.

        An example might be knowing that married couples will have disagreements, even arguments. But that don’t have arguments out in public, they don’t share the dirty laundry with the public.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        If everyone knows you behave differently in private than in public, then are you really setting an example, or just keeping up a pretense?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        That would be the case “if everyone knows how you behave privately.” We know, in general, that people have private lives and problems that they don’t show publicly. Everyone has the right to pretense, to present the image they want to the world.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I guess I’m not doing a very good job of making my point. I promise to try harder. Just know the point I’m trying to make is not about hypocrisy, even though there may be hypocrisy involved.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Is it really healthy to encourage a society in which any problems must be hidden for the sake of one’s public reputation? That’s basically just an open invitation for abuse, blackmail, and all sorts of other horrors.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I still think privacy, and keeping one’s problems private, in general, is the ideal, unless an actual crime is being committed.

        Just because crimes are committed in private doesn’t make privacy a bad thing.

        I was thinking back to that NPR link you posted, about money management techniques for low income people, and the problem I had with it is how you had to share your financial situation with others and be accountable to them.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        And I still think Americans are idiots for our ridiculous social prohibition on discussing one’s salary with others. Look at how well that custom served for Lilly Ledbetter.

      • dowripple says:

        “be accountable to them”

        I didn’t see the NPR link Tutt, but what did you mean there? I understand having to share financial info, it would be hard to help someone set a budget without it.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Owl, I think the social prohibition on discussing salaries is a good thing. What I make is not your business.

        I DO think it’s good to know what a typical wage for particular job is. The Department of Labor has a list of jobs indicating salary ranges.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        When a group of women at a past employer’s shared their salaries, we ended up as a class, as in class action suit. We all got paid damages.

        I think all salaries should be posted where everyone can see them.

        If the boss says you’re an average performer but pays a jerk-off co-worker much more than you, then the boss’s actions don’t match the boss’s words, revealing another type of hypocrisy.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Dow, yes, if someone is helping you to budget, they have to see some of your financial info, which is why I don’t like the idea of “helpful” people being involved in others’ private, financial affairs. Once you accept help, you give those people power and say over what should be a private matter.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Salaries should remain private. You agree to do a job for a certain amount of money, then that is what you should be paid. It isn’t anybody else’s business.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Bobo, if a company posts salaries for all its employees, that’s one thing. But I should not be obligated to tell my coworkers what I make, nor should I be pressured to reveal my salary in a social setting, as Owl opines

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        I have never suggested that you should be *forced* to reveal that information. That’s a deliberate misinterpretation of almost Sternnian proportions.

        You’ve made a similar logical gaffe in claiming that giving a financial assistant information gives her or him “power” over you. Nonsense. Giving away information does not give away your right to make decisions for yourself. You’re sounding almost paranoid.

        As for social pressure, well, you’ve described your issues with that in many other ways. I’m sure you’re grateful to be in this country rather than in others with different cultural mores.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        No, not paranoia. I just don’t feel the need to be soliciting advice about my personal, private life.

        And yes, I am grateful to have been born, raised, and living in this country.

    • GG says:

      But it’s what you do in private that matters. Public appearances are nothing if you are doing “bad” things in private.

    • GG says:

      And we all know the Baptist conventions are rife with alcohol and prostitutes. 🙂

    • Bart-1 says:

      Appearances/examples ARE important, but only if your private life matches up to them. Otherwise they mean nothing. Our society is quickly moving toward no standards of morality (either private or public) being universal with the exception of Hedonism, “If it feels good, do it.”

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Have things really changed that much, or is it that people are more open about it now?

      • GG says:

        People have been bemoaning about lowered morality since the dawn of civilization. I think we are more open about things now.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Could it be also that we are more open about it now because it’s less stigmatized?

      • GG says:

        It’s possible. My son was in high school with several out and open gay kids. No one bullied them or stigmatized them. The younger generation is much more open towards sexuality and other things.

      • Bart-1 says:

        yes, they have tutt. BTW, WTH is going on with the market today?!!

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Tutt…often, it is only by making it official and recognizing it that the goofy stigma is removed.

      Five years after gay marriage is recognizes across the US, no one will be talking about it other than divorce lawyers happy to have another source of income.

      Buzz will still think all these happy gay people are an abomination and going to hell, but he’ll just be viewed as the old crackpot yelling at kids to get off his lawn, and no one will mention it in a political campaign because it is a complete non-issue.

      The idiocy of the “scandal” of smoking pot for a politician has given way to:

      “You bet I did. And I enjoyed it.” – Bloomberg

      “I can’t claim a Bill Clinton and say that I never inhaled,” – Palin

      “As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol. – Obama

      Of course, Palin and Bloomberg are against legalization (do as I say, not as I did), and Obama was happily attacked by conservatives for saying it.

      Very tiny baby steps

      • tuttabellamia says:

        OR: “I did it, but it’s still wrong, and hopefully I’ll never do it again.”

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        “It was wrong the first time I did it.

        “I checked again, on several other occasions through my life, and found out it was still wrong.

        “And I must say, it was *still* wrong on the latest occasion when I performed that act. I am distressed but relieved to be able to say it is certainly still a morally tainted enterprise. I hope to continue my life confident in that opinion. With regular verification, I’m sure.”

      • kabuzz61 says:

        I never said no such thing Homer. I know you are a huge homosexual advocate but you don’t need to put words in my mouth that I did not say.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Kabuzz, in your opinion, does a homosexual Christian who dies while faithfully married to a same-sex partner, with whom she or he has active sexual relations, go to Heaven? If not, where does such a person go in the afterlife?

        Those are simple questions. I hope you’ll be honest enough to offer direct answers.

    • Crogged says:

      There’s the law and a spirit of the law, publicly speaking to the former is easier than always living the latter.

    • flypusher says:

      August 13, 1722 • Silence Dogood #10

      Corruptio optimi est pessima.
      To the Author of the New-England Courant.
      Sir,
      It has been for some Time a Question with me, Whether a Commonwealth suffers more by hypocritical Pretenders to Religion, or by the openly Profane? But some late Thoughts of this Nature, have inclined me to think, that the Hypocrite is the most dangerous Person of the Two, especially if he sustains a Post in the Government, and we consider his Conduct as it regards the Publick. The first Artifice of a State Hypocrite is, by a few savoury Expressions which cost him Nothing, to betray the best Men in his Country into an Opinion of his Goodness; and if the Country wherein he lives is noted for the Purity of Religion, he the more easily gains his End, and consequently may more justly be expos’d and detested. A notoriously profane Person in a private Capacity, ruins himself, and perhaps forwards the Destruction of a few of his Equals; but a publick Hypocrite every day deceives his betters, and makes them the Ignorant Trumpeters of his supposed Godliness: They take him for a Saint, and pass him for one, without considering that they are (as it were) the Instruments of publick Mischief out of Conscience, and ruin their Country for God’s sake.

      • Crogged says:

        I have kids, but never thought such restrictions were wrong and similar to no shirt no service restrictions within the discretion of the owner. The laws regarding alcohol restrict consumption to adults, which is why bars are off limits to minors. I know of an establishment in MidTown which requires parents with children to leave after 6 pm, even though they have food and might be be classified as a restaurant. I wonder if I could have an establishment which requires a two drink minimum for anyone registered as a Republican?

        And I LOVE Gilhooley’s!

      • GG says:

        If you like Gilhooley’s try the 18th St. Pier Bar and Grill too. Mondays and Thursdays is 5.99 shrimp night. They are big and you get between 12-15. I can barely finish it. I’ll be there tonight.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        GG: Cap and I passed through Kemah a few months back.

        Did you see us wave to you?

      • GG says:

        Must have missed you Tutt.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Missed you, too, gg. Glad you’re back.

  10. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    As our ill-fought and unwarranted culture wars die a slow death, and as the champions of the culture wars start dying at a faster rate with old age, it is worth noting that the skirmishes are still underway.

    As contraception usage increases and abortion rates fall, the good ol’ boys in the Texas gov’t, lacking forethought (or any thought for that matter), championed idiotic anti-abortion legislation last year that has closed down numerous abortion clinics in our great state.

    Folks the in the Valley have been particularly hard hit, or maybe I should say that poor folks in the valley have been hard hit. Wealthy women have always been and will always be able to get safe abortions.

    The Valley is one of the poorest regions in the country, and the clinics in the Valley closed, Now women get to travel a few hundred miles to a clinic, and do it twice because we have a lovely waiting period because those gals just are making those silly decisions all too quickly.

    We all know that making abortion more difficult stops women from having abortions. Oh wait, that has never been true. Women who want abortions find a way to have abortions, those ways just are significantly less safe.

    So, our the good ol’ boys in the Texas gov’t has created conditions for a thriving black market for misoprostol, an ulcer medication that causes abortion. While only available by prescription in Texas, it is sold over the counter in Mexico, and sold under the counter at flea markets and by unscrupulous people in Texas.

    Misoprostol accounts for about half a million abortions in Brazil and is well known and often used throughout the predominantly Catholic countries in South and Latin America. Now, the good ol’ boys in the Texas gov’t are ushering it right into Texas.

    So, these women are taking black market drugs, without instructions in order to achieve what the lovely Texas gov’t has tried to take away.

    Some, those callous of heart, might suggest that these women deserve the risks they are taking. Others lament for the blastocyst more than for the women who die from overdosing.

    Regardless of the position, these culture warriors are still losing the fetuses, they are just taking out more women as collateral damage with them.

    • flypusher says:

      Homer, did you hear the story about the Satanists planning to file suit to get rid of those restrictions, citing the HobbyLobby ruling as precedent?

      • GG says:

        Some people don’t think a blastocyte is a “person” yet. That’s the difference. Even the early church thought that.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Plenty of religions believe that a baby doesn’t have a soul until it’s taken its first breath outside the mother. Others believe a baby hasn’t demonstrated humanity until it begins to stir within the womb.

        Christian myths deserve no special privilege.

      • CaptSternn says:

        The U.S. Constitution isn’t exactly a religious document, Owl, and even atheists have the rights to life, liberty and property.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Please explain again, Sternn, what your standards are for determining the existence a human being, and why they don’t immediately render you even more of a laughingstock than your usual fate?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Owl, you still haven’t been able to prove that you are a human being.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Gotcha, Sternn. You’re still a coward and still an asshole. No surprise.

      • CaptSternn says:

        I have explained it many times over, Owl. You can’t handle the facts, so you shut them out and pretend it never happened.

        Now, are you going to prove that you are a human being, or just take the coward’s way out as you always do?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        You’ve explained nothing, Sternn; you are almost incapable of logic and good sense. Then you have the gall to accuse others of exactly the misdeeds you’ve flagrantly exhibited, in the sort of ham-handed debating maneuver that makes it sounds as if you’re still hanging from your incompetent and absent mother’s apron strings.

        You’re the one who runs away from every ridiculous misstatement (like claiming that paying county taxes is “a free and voluntary choice”). You’re the one who ducks and bobs and weaves and equivocates and distracts and dissembles until anyone here with half a brain recognizes you as the most dishonest debater on the site. You’re the one who regularly exhibits an appalling degree of scientific and historical ignorance, no doubt tied to your own utterly inadequate educational background and inability to self-educate beyond comfortable cant and partisan drivel.

        You are a coward, an idiot, and an asshole. Perhaps your only worth lies in your ability, somehow, to continue to get people here to engage with you, rather than writing you off as mere useless dross like DanMan. Maybe you derive some stark sense of pleasure from that illusory vision of self-worth. Apparently it’s just about the only creative venture of which you are capable, in your utter intellectual sterility.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Having a bad day, Owl? Still can’t prove you are a human being, so you go off on a rant.

        A person is a person from the time of conception until death, either by natural causes or unnatural causes. A person, once concieved that does not die of natural or unnatural causes only needs time and nourishment to grow into an adult. You won;t get that from a single organ or a skin cell (unless cloning happens some day, but even then the person would be a unique individual) or fingernail clippings. The person is not some other species, the person is not an inanimate object that magically springs to life and becomes a human being at the time of birth.

        Science and medicine have advanced to the point that we know a unique human life begins at the time of conception, a person comes into being. Ages ago, before the technology that allows us to know this as fact, people could only guess at what was happening. They speculated that life must begin at the time of quickening. We don’t live in the dark ages any longer. maybe time for you to catch up with the facts that science and medicine have revealed?

        Probably not, you would rather remain ignorant so you can throw out cowardly insults over the internet using foul and hateful language and a lot of name-calling.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        So you believe, Sternn. But it’s a matter of belief. It’s only your own scientific ignorance and relentless self-absorption which cause you to fail to see the grounds for uncertainty within your sloppily painted point of view.

        And, Sternn, if I could possibly say anything foul and hate-filled enough to force you to permanently leave this forum with your ears burning, I’d utter it in a heartbeat. But I suspect you actually enjoy the abuse; it lets you feel, however wretchedly and illogically, that someone cares about you and what you think.

      • CaptSternn says:

        I am sure you would, Owl. Notice I don’t use foul language here? Guess what, I don’t use it anywhere, not even in private. I am not so hate-filled and angry as you. You seem to me to be a very unhappy person, and for that and other reasons, I pity you.

        Science is not based on belief, you just really don’t want to face the reality of your position and beliefs.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Keep dreaming, sweetie. It’s just you.

      • Bart-1 says:

        GG, you didn’t bring up religion earlier? And owl, It is indeed sad that you equate pregnancy with skiing accidents and cancer. Surely, someone of your alleged education knows they are not remotely similar. Could you tell me ANYONE who WANTS to have a traumatic accident, get cancer, or cut off fingers? I mean mentally stable people of course. The bottom line which even you should understand, is people eating popcorn and getting fat is much more a symetric analogy. If you are going to participate in activities that may cause logically anticipated consequences, don’t play the liberal “Poor me, I’m a victim of Unintended Consequences”! Either don’t eat so much popcorn, exercise more, accept that you caused your state. But PLEASE QUIT whining about your situation and expecting others to pay for it.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        So why are you insisting that the obese have a 24-hour waiting period before joining the health club, and forcing personal trainers to read them a government-written statement making them aware of “post-weight-loss depression” and other fancies?

        For you, it sounds like this is less about abortion and more about getting to beat up on “takers”. Which is, maybe, even more sad a response.

      • Bart-1 says:

        Owl, If THAT reply was to me ir made absolutely NO sense (unless of course you are using your magical Liberal Logic powers). If not, never mind, but I don’t see how it applies to anyone else either. I’ll give you credit for at least breaking your addiction/obsession for obscenities, insults, and epithets but next time, try make your point will you ? they make you come off as a foul-mouthed, petulant child to me.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Fly, according to the link Owl provided, they just don;t want to be handed some types of printed material when voluntarily seeking an abortion. No similarity to the Hobby Lobby case at all.

      HT, abortions are down by 13% in Texas because of the law. Innocent lives are being saved. You see that as a bad thing.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Interestingly Stern…abortion is down across the country, without those restrictions.

        I also guess that you might have difficulty reading the above comment…it is not that folks are not getting abortions…they are using black market drugs or going to Mexico to make it happen.

        But hey, what do we care if those women have unsafe abortions? They shouldn’t have gotten themselves pregnant in the first place.

        You are losing the fetus anyway, and harming women in the process. Once again suggesting that your fascination with abortion is much more about the woman than it is about the fetus.

        Let us know about your efforts in miscarriage research and protests at fertility clinics. We’ll happily observe and cheer on those efforts.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        I guess it is good for Wendy Davis and other liberals to know they have the Satanist’s backing their stance on abortion. What a ringing endorcement.

        Also, Homer didn’t define poor and provided no links to support his screed about black market drugs.

      • GG says:

        I think abortion is down because more women are educated about birth control. Abortion whether legal or not will continue as it always has.

      • GG says:

        I read an article a few weeks ago about Misoprostol. It’s been widely used in Brazil for many years and is now making it’s way across the border.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        You folks are funny/sad…abortion rates have been falling dramatically for several years now, and thankfully, those that have abortions have been moving to have them earlier and earlier in their pregnancies.

        Texas, in all its good ol’ boy wisdom, implemented a whole slew of restrictions, that did not dramatically change the rate of reduction when compared to the rest of the country, but did manage to increase the rate of second trimester abortions.

        The safest methods of abortion, utilizing pills, is the method most impacted by the Texas rules. So, they have forced women into taking more risky (and fabulously more expensive) options for abortion, heading out of state or across the border for an abortion, or going underground and doing it at home (highly unsafe) with black market ulcer medication.

        All of this, for a procedure that is medically safe and legal in the US.

        Yeah…the GOP loves the ladies. It is astounding that more women vote for Democrats.

      • CaptSternn says:

        What is sad and not at all funny is how people here just so casually talk and discuss killing innocent people as if it isn’t a big deal.

      • dowripple says:

        @Buzz, what’s wrong with being a satanist?

      • GG says:

        This comment should have been under Sternn’s comment.

      • GG says:

        Actually Satanists don’t worship the devil as much as they are actually against the concept of “sin” as far as what Christianity judges to be sin. People who say they are satanists are looking for the shock value IMO.

      • dowripple says:

        Indeed GG. I’m just reminding buzz that all religions are equal here. (Including the ones that haven’t been invented yet, like “Wendyism”)

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        The government, in many cases of forced-birther legislation, insists that doctors tell their patients state-prescribed lies.

        The Satanists, claiming that they revere truth, insist that their religion means they shouldn’t be subject to those state-sponsored lies.

        It’s a legitimate argument, if Hobby Lobby can claim drugs are abortifacients just because they believe that they are. Once you put into the law that reality can be changed by belief, it’s a swift slippery slope to hell.

      • CaptSternn says:

        The satanists can avoid being told the facts by not voluntarily seeking an abortion. Hobby Lobby didn’t have any choice in the matter. Apples and grapes.

      • flypusher says:

        “The satanists can avoid being told the facts by not voluntarily seeking an abortion. ”

        Just like you could avoid a gun buying restrictions by never trying to purchase guns.

        The Satanists also have a gripe with the mandatory waiting periods, as that violates their religious principle of an individual’s total and unrestricted autonomy over their own body. They could probably throw in the ultrasound requirement into their objection list. This could get quite interesting.

      • CaptSternn says:

        It isn’t their own body being ripped apart nor tehir own libeing ended, Fly.

      • flypusher says:

        News flash for you Sternn, they don’t believe personhood begins at conception.

      • dowripple says:

        I found it humerous that it has to be a “religious” belief that trumps science. For example, a closely held private company that was *agnostic*, would have no argument, even if they thought life began at conception. (Why an agnostic would believe that is not the point). I can’t get past the fact that terms like “sincere belief” are even being used in courts today. Bizzare…

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Stern believes a c-section and perineal tearing is not having your body ripped open.

        33% of the women who you are forcing to give birth are going to have to undergo major surgery to have that baby. You very literally are forcing women to be cut open against their will.

        How very freedom loving of you.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Yes, Fly, and some people thought black people weren’t exactly human beings either at one time.

      • Turtles Run says:

        But it is their body carrying the fetus. It is their body that is affected by the fetus and it is their health and life that is jeopardized by carrying that fetus.

        You seem to forget that woman do have a say in their health matters and prior to viability their claim is superior to any fetus growing in the body.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Spray some silicone on that slope buddy and make it as slippery as possible.

        GOP/TP: Women who seek abortion are as bad as slave owners.

        It is baffling how you folks have a hard time attracting female voters.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Houston – what are the odds that cappy will address his desire to force women to undergo major surgery against their will?

      • CaptSternn says:

        We have already been through that one as well, Turtles. Women do not just spontaniously become pregnant and abortion to save the mother’s life was legal long before Roe vs Wade.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Sternn, you’ve never bothered to explain: why is “spontaneity” important to the woman’s right? Are you saying only The Virgin Mary had an untrammeled right to an abortion?

        I suppose it’s dangerous to ask such probing questions, given the great, steaming pile of illogical crap which you dumped further down the thread. But, really, you ought to be responsible for explaining your positions, if only so we can see just how dunderheaded they are.

      • GG says:

        I’m also puzzled at this “spontaneity” thing.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Not real complicated, Owl. The man and woman commit an act, and sometimes there are consequences. Many here think a woman should have the “right” to go and kill an innocent person to avoid the consequences of the act committed by the two people.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        What innocent person? How do you know? What are your standards for judging “personhood”?

        Oh, right. You don’t have any. That would require *thinking*. And you’re an acephalic prick.

      • CaptSternn says:

        What crimes are you accusing them of, Owl? Do they get a trial and appeals, or would you be in the group that supports assumed guilt and extend it even further?

      • GG says:

        I think everyone here knows how women get pregnant Cap.

      • CaptSternn says:

        They sure don’t act like it, GG.

      • GG says:

        How so? Most women who get pregnant know exactly how it happened. I said “most” because I’m sure there are still some really uneducated, biologically ignorant folks out there.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Ok then, GG, so it really wasn’t against her will. HT keeps claiming it was against her will, and now Turtles has come up with the same idea, it just happens.

      • GG says:

        Will has nothing to do with it. People have sex. Sometimes birth control fails. Sometimes people get drunk and careless. Some women are raped, yes, against their will and get pregnant.

        Not sure where you are trying to go with this. You aren’t really making a lot of sense.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Rape would be the exception of it being against her will, otherwise it would just be a consequence of her actions and the man’s. I do not see where anybody should have the “right” to kill an innocent human being to escape the consequences of their actions.

      • GG says:

        Sternn, I don’t know why you have such a problem with the concept that not everyone thinks life begins at conception. You are entitled to your opinion but that doesn’t make you right, just as I’m entitled and not necessarily right either.

        The Supreme Court decided for us. Is it abortion that bothers you or just that it’s legal? Are you okay with illegal abortion because it’s not acknowledged and out of sight, out of mind? Women have always been able to obtain abortion and make it illegal will not stop it. Millions of children already born live in deplorable, subhuman conditions but I don’t see you beating your chest about them. It would be more constructive of you to do something to help them. You say you are a christian, why don’t you go do some mission work in Central America or Africa? That would be much more pleasing to your god.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Just because a woman consents to sex it does not mean she consents to being forced to give birth against her will. Are you claiming that women should not be allowed to decisions regarding their body.

        Also, if it is an “innocent person” why do you support aborting it in the case of rape? After all did that “innocent person” rape the woman? Why should it suffer. According to your earlier comments it seems you believe an unborn fetus has a greater claim over another persons body. You seem to be inconsistent with your logic.

        Same thing with abortion to save the life of a woman? Couldn’t the body be kept functioning to allow the fetus to finidh developing?

      • Crogged says:

        Remember in Young Frankenstein saying “Frau Blücher” made the horses whinny?
        Every single time.

      • CaptSternn says:

        GG, some people, children, might not have the best homes or might not be as happy as you think they should be, but they are living. Are you suggesting we should go out and kill such people to “save” them? Yes, it is abortion I have a problem with. If it were illegal we would have the means to do something about it as we have when any person murders another. Laws don’t stop it, but that is no excuse to make it legal.

        Turtles, where did you see me suggest that abortion should be allowed in cases of rape? For a long time I wasn’t sure about that situation, but then I wondered why an innocent person should be killed for the crimes of another?

      • GG says:

        TR, I think there was a case recently where a brain dead woman was kept alive to incubate her fetus until it was full term and could be delivered via C-section. Creepy, creepy.

      • GG says:

        Where did I suggest killing them? I said you should do more to help them. They are living and breathing and living miserable lives. A blastocyte is not a person yet.

      • CaptSternn says:

        She didn’t make it, GG. The family had the plug pulled, didn’t care about their own offspring.

      • GG says:

        So you would force a victim of rape to have her rapist’s child? Wow, that says a lot about your opinion of women. More than you may even realize.

      • GG says:

        What do you mean they didn’t care about their offspring? Her or a fetus? Keeping a woman alive as an incubator is creepy and wrong.

      • flypusher says:

        “Keeping a woman alive as an incubator is creepy and wrong.”

        Especially when she had told her family that she never wanted to be kept on life support if she were ever to become brain dead.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Probably a lot of Sternn’s regular idiocy on this topic comes from his own inadequacy and mommy issues, and his relentless self-fixation. Every fetus must be *just like him*, and every pregnant but unsure woman must be, depending on the moment, “punished” for her misdeeds just like his own birth mother, and/or constrained to produce an offspring so that he won’t feel any more uncertain about his own existence.

        I’m not sure whether it’s more ridiculous or sad.

      • CaptSternn says:

        GG, you would have an innocent person killed for the crimes of another, and that says a lot about you. Sort of getting into that whole thing about having a daughter gang-raped because of the crimes of the father, then he can do an “honor killing” to save face for the family.

        Yes, Fly, she did express he desire not to be kept alive on life support if there was no hope. But she wasn’t alone at the end, and there was hope for the child. Tutt often comtemplates how far a parent would go to protect their offspring, even giving their own lives for their children. I guess we couldn’t expect anything like that from the two of you.

      • flypusher says:

        “Yes, Fly, she did express he desire not to be kept alive on life support if there was no hope. But she wasn’t alone at the end, and there was hope for the child. ”

        Wrong. They did ultrasound which showed that it was deformed. Both husband and wife were paramedics, which means they would understand the consequences if the oxygen deprivation that the wife suffered I.e. the fetus was doomed, and the life support was pointless.

        “Tutt often comtemplates how far a parent would go to protect their offspring, even giving their own lives for their children. I guess we couldn’t expect anything like that from the two of you.”

        That sort of sacrifice is something that an individual chooses. No one has the right to compel another to make such a sacrifice.

      • GG says:

        Sternn, a blastocyte is not a “person”. No, I would not risk my life for a blastocyte. My living, breathing, outside the womb son? Probably.

        Owl, you may have possibly hit on a psychological explanation for his near fethishizing of the fetus.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Sternn, a blastocyte is not a “person”.

        Sternn, a embyo is not a “person”.

        Sternn, a fetus is not a “person”.

        Sternn, a baby is not a “person”.

        Sternn, a toddler is not a “person”.

        Sternn, a child is not a “person”.

        Sternn, a teen is not a “person”.

        Sternn, an adult is not a “person”.

        Sternn, a senior citizen is not a “person”.

        Pardon me if I refuse to say that is utter nonsense.

      • CaptSternn says:

        That is “if I refuse to buy into such utter nonsense.”

      • GG says:

        You sound hysterical. I corrected your post for you.

        Sternn, a blastocyte is not a “person”.

        Sternn, a embyo is not a “person”.

        Sternn, a fetus is not a “person”.

        Sternn, a baby is possibly a “person”.

        Sternn, a toddler is a “person”.

        Sternn, a child is a “person”.

        Sternn, a teen is a “person”.

        Sternn, an adult is a “person”.

        Sternn, a senior citizen is a “person”.

        Pardon me if I refuse to say that is utter nonsense.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Possibly a person? Now we are getting into the realm where you will suggest that it should be legal to kill a person before they become toddlers. Geez.

        Really got to wonder about some people.

      • GG says:

        I certainly wonder about you Sternn. You fetishize something the fetus and display a horrifyingly misogynistic view of women and have a complete lack of any empathy or respect for them as people.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Your view that some innocent human beings are not actually human, to be treated as property and disposed at will for convenience is quite sad.

        Hey, you got yours and to hell with everybody else. As TThor once pointed out, the left claims to speak for the weak and thse that can’t speak for themselves. You and others constantly prove that claim wrong. You don’t care about the poor, you only want to punish success.

      • GG says:

        Sterrn, I am not on the “left” and I don’t speak for them no matter what is in that thick skull of yours. I care more about living, breathing women than blastocytes. You don’t have to like it. I find your view of women deeply disturbing and can only hope you are doing some performance art piece.

      • CaptSternn says:

        There is a major failing on your part, GG. I believe in equal rights for all, not just a select few based on this or that. You do not believe in equal rights for all. You look down on some human beings as not even being human.It used to be black people, now it is the unborn people. Same attitude, only different criteria.

        It is my support of equal rights against your support of unequal rights that grates on your nerves. It is the fact that we are talking about innocent living human beings that causes you anger because that is the real truth you don’t want to face. You can’t allow yourself to face it because you would have to face the horror of what you support.

        You and others make the excuse that it is alright because the supreme court ruled in favor of it, that it is legal. The supreme court also ruled that slavery was legal, that blacks had no legal standing, especially if they were slaves. The supreme court ruled that escaped slaves had to be returned to their owners. There wasn’t equal rights, there were unequal rights, or as in the case of slaves or the unborn, no rights at all, not even to be considered human, something less than human.

        You say you care more about people that are born than unborn people. You could be saying that you care more about white people than black people, you care more about men than women, or more about women than men. There is no real difference, any way you go about it you are supporting unequal rights, denying others their basic human rights, their very humanity.

        You and several others here, and many out in the rest of the world, get angry, you stick your fingers in your ears, stamp your feet and shout, “I can’t hear you”. You deny what the science and medical advances show because you can’t face the reality of what it is that you are defending and supporting.

      • Intrigued says:

        Agreed GG! Stern what is really scary is not your hypocritical “pro-life” anti-women argument but how you would enforce anti-abortion laws if it were to be illegal. I remember you saying that all pregnancies would have to be registered and all mis-carriages would have to be promptly reported and investigated to rule out homicide. You even pondered the idea of requiring child bearing women to report their monthly cycles.

        As a woman, I am so glad I don’t have to live in your idea of a free world!

        Owl, I have come to the same conclusion many times before.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        C’mon, Sternn. Just because you’re a literal bastard, abandoned by your trampy birth mother, then raised by a bunch of back-country hicks with no education worth naming to a life living in a rural trailer, is no reason to take out your frustrations on women in general.

      • CaptSternn says:

        “I remember you saying that all pregnancies would have to be registered and all mis-carriages would have to be promptly reported and investigated to rule out homicide. You even pondered the idea of requiring child bearing women to report their monthly cycles.”

        No, you don’t remember any such thing because I never said any such thing. Probably what you “remember” is that some have accused me of supporting or calling for such things, but I never agreed to that kind of garbage, or asking me if I would want that kind of garbage. I have always said that if there is evidence of a crime then the evidence should be investigated, and if there is legitimate evidence of a crime it should be prosecuted.

        I will grant that your memory isn’t so good rather than say you are just making things up as you go and falsely accusing people of things they never said or did.

      • Intrigued says:

        I remember the discussion very well. It was on one of Chris’s Abortion blog series. I’m not surprised you can’t remember. That’s your typical response.

      • CaptSternn says:

        I remember being accused of that sort of garbage, and I have always said it was garbage. I am quite consistent, even to the point of being told that being consistent is a bad thing. Feel free to show where I ever supported such garbage. I think Lifer’s blog is different from his Chron blog, here the discussions don’t go away. If you can show that I ever called for, supported or agreed with such garbage, I will forever leave this place.

        Owl, here is your chance. Go forth and find it if you can. You won’t even have to use insults nor profanity.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Comments on this blog go back to November 17, 2013 from what I can tell. I suspect that is when the Chron.com site changed, had to save things from the old site by December or it would be lost for good.

        Now there are a lot of comments made here during that time, and I was not commenting early on. But an accusation against me has been made, what I say is a false accusation.

        If anybody here can find and link to any comment I have ever made that convicts me of said accusation, I will leave this blog and the Chron.com and the HoustonChronicle.com comments sections forever.

        Not only that, but I will say that the person that proves such a thing has always been and will always be right and I am wrong. Provide a link to the discussion and my comments. Have fun and good night.

      • Bart-1 says:

        GG, I’m thinking you are having trouble with Sternn’s concept of a thing called “responsibility”. When you state “People have sex. People get pregnant” as though they are NOT willful actions with likely consequences. Aren’t you just inferring an absolution of responsibility for the consequences? “People get drunk, people make mistakes” just reinforces that belief. It is why you don’t “get” the spontaneity thing. Women do NOT get pregnant spontaneously. That shouldn’t be too difficult to get. Unless it is rape as captain has clarified, then there is both a willful choice and that determines both religiously and legally a responsibility (or liability in legalese). It is interesting that her “All religions are equal”. Generally, that is the claim of the atheist (or the satanist). Neither of which wants to accept responsibility to a higher being, so they are equal to me in that regard. What I find difficult to understand is why so many “self-described” Christians and Liberals agree with them. Is it that they too share a feeling of being victims of chance and circumstance more than being responsible for their conditions/situations/

      • CaptSternn says:

        Bart, thatis one thing. But now I have been accused of , “I remember you saying that all pregnancies would have to be registered and all mis-carriages would have to be promptly reported and investigated to rule out homicide. You even pondered the idea of requiring child bearing women to report their monthly cycles. ”

        I callenge anybody here to show where I have ever said such a thing, to where I have ever agreed to such a thing. It cn’t be done because it never happned. Just more made up lies about me and what I have said. Pathetic.

      • Bart-1 says:

        captain, must be GG agrees with Princeton “Ethics” Professor Peter Singer who believes in “Post-birth” “abortions up to 28 days after birth. “Keeping the Humane in Humanists” http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2354052/posts

      • Intrigued says:

        Those who saw the discussion will remember and those who didn’t can assume what was said based on your recent comment:

        “I have always said that if there is evidence of a crime then the evidence should be investigated, and if there is legitimate evidence of a crime it should be prosecuted.”

        How would you know if a crime had taken place unless you knew there was a pregnancy? How would you know to investigate unless you knew there was a loss of a pregnancy? Would you then investigate only losses where foul play was suspected or would you investigate all losses to rule out foul play? How would you prosecute the crime of abortion?

        The only reason why I remember the conversation so well is because you went way over the deep end. You seem to be so consumed with “winning” arguments on this blog that you are not even aware of the message you are sending.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Oh, Sternn. You’re always so eager to run away from the consequences of your own foolish views.

        Now, if we’re to accept this ridiculous notion of personhood for a blastocyst, we also have to accept that up to two-thirds of human beings never even make it to birth. Heaven is going to be crowded with people who have no life stories whatsoever, because they never had a life. Sounds pretty boring, no? Is your God really that ridiculous a Prat? And humanity must be defined as a bunch of simplistic, multi-cellular globs of tissue, a fraction of which mature further in order to create the environment for the short, uneventful, and unproductive life of the majority of the species. What biologist would agree with such tripe?

        Chemical abortion is available, Sternn. It’s been around since the Roman Empire, when they drove the wild herb silphium into extinction because it made such an efficient abortifacient. As others have pointed out, poor women in the Valley are already buying unapproved pills from Mexico in order to induce abortions, rather than endure the long trip and burdensome regulations which state Republicans have imposed upon them.

        So what are you going to do about it? Oh, you’ll simper, we’ll simply forbid abortifacients. Well, numbnuts, some of them are dual-purpose drugs, like the aforesaid Mexican pills. And, in the biotech future which Chris keeps describing, some pharmaceuticals may well be home-grown. Will abortifacients end up on a prohibited schedule like crystal meth? And what does that do to your constant whining about “presumption of guilt” and “prohibition”? Oh, right: hypocrisy is a Republican value, which you regularly take to an extreme.

        So a woman has a miscarriage. And some nosy neighbor, perhaps a puling Baptist like you, slides up to local law enforcement and darkly whispers that they heard her complaining about her pregnancy just a few weeks ago. Now what happens? According to your own boneheaded beliefs, you’re going to launch an investigation. If the poor woman suffered a genuine miscarriage, you’re going to compound her grief. If she deliberately aborted, how are you going to find out? Turn the whole house upside-down looking for a discarded pill wrapper? Run expensive blood tests, looking for a potential “crime” which befalls a major fraction of blastocysts anyway?

        You’re just too much of a coward to confront the logical consequences of your own childish demands. I don’t care how many mommy issues your bastard upbringing has impressed upon you. You don’t get to treat other people in society that way just to try to make yourself feel better.

      • CaptSternn says:

        You are still bearing false witness and making false accusations. How do we know you haven’t done illegal drugs in the past few days? Do we drug test every single person every day? How do we know you didn’t shoplift something yesterday? Do we take inventory of your home and vehicles every single day and require to keep reciepts for everything in your posession for your entire lifetime? How do we know you didn’t commit murder yesterday, or rape? Do we require your DNA to compare to every crime in the nation?

        No, I would never and have never made such a rediculous argument, but I have been accused of wanting such a thing, just as you are accusing me of such garbage now. How would we know? Well, if a woman shows up at a hospital after a botched abortion, there would be evidence to be investigated. If a fetus is found in your garbage can, there would be evidence that something happened.

        Do we know of every single crime? Of course not. If we do know of a crime, do we always find the guilty party? Of course not.

        You are just so wound up to “win” and argument that you are making up garbage and assuming I said something because you said it or somebody else said it to me.

      • CaptSternn says:

        You are really onde twisted person, Owl. A relative of mine had a miscarriage once, very traumatic. She went to the hospital, there was no criminal investigation. Such things only happen in imaginations like yours and Intrigued.

        I had a gerat childhood, wonderful and loving parents, great family. I would probably have been aborted if I had been concieved just a few years later. That’s what grinds your gears, I was born and I live. You can’t stand it.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Bart, when you wade into the mud with the pigs, you get dirty, and Sternn is as swinish as they come.

        Sure, people have sex, and they get pregnant. And people go skiing, and get broken legs. People try carpentry or woodcarving, and get sliced-open fingers. People eat popcorn, and get fat. People smoke, and get cancer.

        Unintended events happen: I hope this is not surprising news to you. And, as civilized human beings in a technologically advanced society, we address those events. We offer a variety of therapies and surgeries for cancer. We offer advice and programs and pharmaceuticals and even surgeries for weight loss. We have medical care for cuts and fractures. And we have abortions to handle unintended and unwanted pregnancies.

        Sex has other purposes than procreation. It improves pair-bonding, for example. And, obviously, it’s fun. But we live in a world where, thank goodness, consenting to sex does not mean consenting to pregnancy. Sex is not evil. Pregnancy is not a punishment. And abortion *is* the responsible case in many situations where a pregnancy is unintended and unwanted.

        Christian myths are irrelevant in a secular society. You can whine all you like about atheists and Satanists. So far as the law is concerned, we have NO responsibility to any imaginary “higher being”. The highest entity to which our government and laws pay attention is the Constitution. Religion is entirely beside the point, no matter your personal failings.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        So, in Sternnland, what happens when someone accuses a next-door neighbor of committing the crime of a successful home abortion rather than suffering the catastrophe of a miscarriage?

        Aren’t the police supposed to investigate when a crime is alleged? Or do you not care, as long as abortion is technically illegal and you don’t have to think about it?

        Sternn, adults think about the consequences of their beliefs. Apparently, you never got that far.

      • Intrigued says:

        Stern I realize you want to play a game of scategories and claim you never said one of the keywords but it doesn’t work that way. I’ve seen you dance around a subject such as it should be a business owners choice on who to serve. You may refuse to say the words whites shouldn’t be forced to serve blacks but anyone with half a mind knows what you mean when you reverse the argument to say blacks shouldn’t be forced to serve whites.

        Honestly, I would have never posted without refrence quotes from you if I knew you would have totally denied ever expressing such views. I remember the conversation well and it was before you had developed such a winning scategories type strategy. I could go through my archived emails and find a reply comment from you on the subject but frankly I have no desire to provoke you to self ban. Keep on scategorizing!

      • GG says:

        Bart, I understand responsibility as I am a mother but accidental, unwanted pregnancies do occur. Just people have sex doesn’t mean they want pregnancy. My mother had a surprise, unplanned one and then another scare where she actually contemplated abortion.

        Not even sure why you are bringing religion up. I sure didn’t.

      • CaptSternn says:

        You can dig all you want, Intrigued, you will never find where I have said any such thing. You will find many occasions where people accused me of wanting something like that, and my replies have always been what I have said to you here about it.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Then tell us, Sternn, under your imagined, idealistic legal code, what happens when someone accuses a next-door neighbor of committing the crime of a successful home abortion rather than suffering the catastrophe of a miscarriage?

        And should I be surprised that you’re dancing away from an answer? You always seem to do so, when confronted with the inconvenient aspects of your blithely childish beliefs.

      • CaptSternn says:

        For Intrugued and Owl, simple to answer the ravings of you two, just look up how the issue was handled in Texas between 1859 and 1973. Here is a hint, it was nothing like the scenarios you two and others have come up with.

      • Intrigued says:

        Stern, now I know you are purposely denying what was said because at the time you were suggesting stricter punishment, similiar to the punishment for murder. Even after I researched and clarified that the historical punishement for illegal abortions was fairly minimal, you insisted it should be more inline with murder. Whatever, have fun with your little game here.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Yes, Intrigued, I have said that the punishment should be on the levels of murder. The rest of your nonsense is what other people have thrown at me hoping I would bite. It has never worked, but now you take it to a new level and falsely accuse me of actually coming up with that garbage.

    • DanMan says:

      anybody ever tell you you have a bizarre fascination with government paid abortion and birth control?

      • desperado says:

        Somebody is in serious need of a hobby. And somebody didn’t get enough attention from Mommy when he was growing up. Make that in his younger years. Obviously the growing up hasn’t taken place yet.

    • objv says:

      While I agree that Texas lawmakers went overboard on making restrictions, why can’t Planned Parenthood put up a clinic meeting the new requirements? A safe center with qualified physicians who have admitting privileges at a hospital could only be a positive thing for the women who opt for an abortion. Raising money for such a clinic in the valley would be easy since there are many pro-choice donors with deep pockets.

      Why not put up a new clinic built by donations? Could it be that the pro-choice side would rather take the opportunity to blame Republicans than actually do something to correct the situation?

      • objv says:

        Note: A woman traveling over a hundred miles has a two hour waiting period instead of the usual 24 hour wait. She would not have to make two separate trips.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Why should Planned Parenthood have to endure more regulation than, say, a bariatric surgery center, or a dentist? Can you offer any rational reason for such treatment other than a relentless, religiously driven hostility to abortion?

      • flypusher says:

        If those new requirements were actually needed, then where is the data on all the deaths and injuries caused by legal abortions that could have been prevented by such standards? Also where are the new standards regarding choosing to give birth outside a hospital, which is far riskier than an abortion?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Because Planned Parenthood is in the business of killing innocent people, Owl.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Obj…the non-surgical abortions (safest and with the earliest stages of fetal development) require follow-up visits…a few hundred miles away.

        So, folks are being pushed to more risky abortions that are occurring later and later because the prices increase dramatically the later they go.

      • GG says:

        They are also in the business of birth control and family planning.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Sternn, your beliefs, despite the wishes of the conservative members of the Supreme Court, do not trump reality. And your heartfelt religious opinions, dearly as you may hold them, don’t matter shit to those of us who don’t share your faith.

        So fuck off.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Again, Owl, the U.S. Constitution isn’t a religious document. Even atheists have the rights to life, liberty and property.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        A first-trimester fetus, however, does not.

        Even the Founders shared that belief. English common law was totally open to abortions performed before “quickening”. It was only religious bastards like you (literally, in this case) who insisted on controlling women’s lives.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Science and medicine have advanced since then, Owl. But those are things you reject, you remain anti-science.

        By the way, less than 200 years ago people said the same thing about blacks and others. Great company you keep.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Sternn, someone as ignorant as you wouldn’t know the first thing about anti-scientific beliefs, much like a fish hasn’t the faintest idea about water.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Gotcha. Still a coward and still an asshole. No surprise.

    • Bart-1 says:

      Owl, If THAT reply was to me ir made absolutely NO sense (unless of course you are using your magical Liberal Logic powers). If not, never mind, but I don’t see how it applies to anyone else either. I’ll give you credit for at least breking your addiction to insults and epithets but next time, try make your point will you ?

  11. JohnGalt says:

    my guess is either cuffy or bubba

  12. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    so what

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      As though I have ever had a two-word reply to any posting anywhere at anytime.

      I like to hear myself talk much more than that.

      You’ll have to try a bit harder.

      • GG says:

        how’s this?

        “On an interesting side note – The country’s first no-fault divorce scheme was signed into law by California Governor Ronald Reagan in 1969.”

        Well Reagan was the first (and only) President who was divorced before taking the highest office.

        And then despite their right wing social politics, when Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Nancy Reagan lobbied George W. Bush HARD for embryonic stem cell research. Which Bush ignored. Wonder if he would have had a change of heart also if either of his parents had suffered from Alzheimer’s?

        And Nancy then praised Obama when he changed the government policy towards funding embryonic stem cell research.

        Funny how social conservatives have a “come to Jesus” moment ONLY when their lives and self interests are at stake? Hmmmmm.

      • GG says:

        And here is the real GG. Totally not my writing style. I’m generally much more terse.

    • objv says:

      I feel a great disturbance in the Force.

      • objv says:

        You’re prolly right. I did eat beans! 🙂

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Y’know, objv, when you coddle Dan, you just share in his shame.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Owl: OV has coddled you as well on several occasions, until you smiled.

        She is this blog’s unofficial diplomat.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Owl, I guess “coddle” is not the right word for her treatment of you. More like “soften” or “disarm.”

      • bubbabobcat says:

        tuttabellamia says:
        July 31, 2014 at 12:27 pm

        “Owl: OV…is this blog’s unofficial diplomat.”

        objv says:
        March 19, 2014 at 3:35 pm
        “I actually enjoy getting bubba all wound up.”

        ObjectiveView 11:30 AM on October 23, 2013 wrote:
        “Conservative women and women who are pro-life are often attacked. For an example look to the last lifer blog. I was told to stay in the kitchen with bare feet and get a liberal moron who posts here occasionally food – quickly.”

        objv says:
        July 10, 2014 at 5:55 pm
        Rose, you’ll love DanMan. His comments are like breath of fresh air in a stale smelling refrigerator. By no time, he’ll have a special place in your heart – as he has in all of ours.

        Objective View wrote:
        “I don’t know who DanMan is, so I’m not quite sure why bubba thinks I should be calling him out for any of his comments…”

        “Diplomat.” Bwahahahahahahah,

  13. desperado says:

    The retreat from the concept of “public morality” is also the result of a more secular and pluralistic society dominated less and less by one particular religion and set of religious beliefs (unless you live in Texas that is). In addition, the under 50’s have seen first-hand that the so-called war on drugs has been a giant waste of both monetary and human resources, as noted by Homer’s statistics.

    Things like the EPA, OSHA, and yes even the ACA, stem from the recognition that we are all in this together, and there is a role for government in doing things that are for the greater good. Not too popular with those who long for a country where we each sit by Walden Pond and contemplate our navels, but good for those who realize that ‘he ain’t heavy he’s my brother’ is much better for society as a whole than ‘I got mine, screw you.’

    • fiftyohm says:

      I have a pretty good idea where Thoreau would have stood on drug laws, Des. Life is still largely an individual event.

    • DanMan says:

      YES! I guess to make the culture war “victory” complete, we need to get rid of public decency laws, bestiality, polygamy, prostitution, gambling, obscenity/profanity, and pornography laws. Making ALL drugs “legal” would save us $110 Billion per year (1999 National Drug Control Strategy) alone.

    • johnofgaunt75 says:

      I think the distinction between private and public space is key here. The regulations from the EPA, OSHA, ACA, etc. generally touch on actions that affect the public space. The morality regulations generally affect the private space. That is the difference.

      The former are generally brought into effect based on experience (dirty air, toxic water, etc.) while the former is generally brought into effect based on religious objections (gays are icky). Experience and knowledge are ever expanding and advancing. Religious objections are not.

  14. Crogged says:

    I read, “The idea of separating judgement of a person’s behavior from their essence as a person is probably something that should be applied to all ages, but is especially important for very young people.”

    I wanted to substitute ‘those writing blog comments’ for ‘very young people’.

    I’m really sick and fucking tired of the ridiculous personal judgments made here. There is writing, judge the writing, critique the idea, but keep your goddamn, ignorant assumptions about what lies behind the curtain to yourself.

    Seriously. Stop it, don’t you think I can read and judge for myself?

    I don’t need Mr. Obvious Football Announcer to tell me, “If that last guy hadn’t tackled the runner he could have scored!” as if that wasn’t the point of the damn game. Go off topic, fine, love it, but stop it with the personal judgment.

    • fiftyohm says:

      Touchdown!

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Crogged…clearly you have some attachment issues, and I think we could spend a little time talking about your relationship with your mother, potty training, and your difficulty with fornication since reading a blog has made you too tired to partake in such activities.

  15. tuttabellamia says:

    We often ask what the point of this blog is, we talk of how much we have learned from each other, etc. One setting in which i think we can use the skills and knowledge we have picked up here is JURY DUTY.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      A lot of people advocate using “jury nullification” in any case involving drugs. Of course, such behavior makes judges quite cross.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      In general, it is frowned upon for jurors to re-write laws and jury nullification is actually quite difficult.

      I might suggest not voting for idiots at the city, state, and national levels and dissuading your friends and family from voting for idiots would also be a helpful action.

      As a middle-aged White dude who works with various local, state, and national law enforcement agencies from time to time, if I answer questions honestly during jury selection, I am highly unlikely to be picked for a criminal case.

      The defense bounces me even though I’m a flaky liberal who loves criminals (according to Buzz), they evidently recognize that I do not believe in presumed innocence or due process (according to Stern).

      • CaptSternn says:

        Doesn’t matter if legislators, judges or others “frown” on jury nullification. They answer to us, not the other way around.

        Funny that about half the time I am called for jury service I end up getting picked.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        As much as I would love to be picked, I have been either bounced with questions or they don’t make it far enough down the list.

        I’m surprised with your work with the police that you’ve not been asked that question or that they were OK with your answer.

        I say I would love to get picked…my luck would have me picked for a OJ-type trial that traps me for months.

        The closest I’ve gotten was the third to last person not selected for a case involving sexually oriented business licensing for La Bare. That might have been an interesting case.

      • CaptSternn says:

        I have only been called twice since I started working with the police, both times were for traffic court and there were no trials in the end.

        The most interesting jury I served on was a civil case, and it wasn’t real interesting. I got selected for a domestic abuse case, but the defendent changed his plea to guilty right before the trial started. The panel was asked if we thought prison should be for reform or for punishment, most selected had said it was for punishment. I don’t think he liked his prospects of the sentence we would hand down, which would have had to be 25 to life if we found him guilty.

        I was once on a panely for a capital murder trial. That’s where I learned about the three questions a jury would have to answer concerning the death penalty. I never made it to the interview on that one.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        The closest I’ve ever come to being picked was over 20 years ago, for the case of an elderly man accused of fondling a 16 year-old girl.

        I was disqualified because I said I would want to hear both sides of the story, not knowing at the time that the burden of proof was on the prosecution, and that the defendant need not testify.

        One of the people ultimately picked was a gentleman who slept through most of the selection process.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Cap wrote: “I was once on a panely for a capital murder trial. That’s where I learned about the three questions a jury would have to answer concerning the death penalty.”
        *************************************
        My reply: I had a similar experience, but I remember it was just 2 questions, not 3.

      • CaptSternn says:

        I found a link a while back on the questions, but I can’t seem to dig it up again. There are two initial questions, and if they are both answered a specific way, then the third question comes up. I will keep looking, but I don’t want to dig through Lifer’s entries to find that link again.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I’m pretty sure the first question was: Does this person pose a threat to society?

        If the answer was no, that person could NOT get the death penalty, so there was no point in going to Question 2.

        I don’t remember what Question 2 was.

        My experience goes back about 20 years, so maybe that was before life without parole became an option.

      • CaptSternn says:

        It would have been, Tutt. We didn’t get the option of life without parole until around 2003 or a little later.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Over the years I was on two criminal juries, two civil, traffic court and federal. All very interesting especially the federal.

  16. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    In the spirit of lifting prohibition, an interesting article on 538 regarding prison statistics.

    On any given day in 2010, almost one in ten black men ages 20-39 were institutionalized.

    Further, because turnover among prison populations is quite high, far more than ten percent of prime age black men will serve some time in prison or jail during a given calendar year.

    While black men experience high rates of institutionalization overall, rates among less-educated black men have reached levels that were unthinkable prior to 1980. By 2010, the institutionalization rate among black, male high school dropouts ages 25-29 was almost one third and the employment rate for this group was less than one fourth.

    ************************************
    When people talk of two Americas, they are actually on to something.

    Once in the system, it is harder and harder to find a job and thus making it easier and easier to get caught back up into the system.

    There are a dozen reasons to legalize most (if not all) drugs, but the near destruction of a couple of generations of Black men is somewhere on that list.

    • fiftyohm says:

      How easy it must be to complete school and move on with a successful life with your dad, brother, and a couple of friends in prison. And the beat goes on. The generational carnage spreads in a manner apart from the law itself.

      But to be fair, HT, sentencing laws and guidelines are to blame as well as the drug laws themselves. Fixing those is likely a faster solution to the immediate problem than getting rid of this prohibition all together.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Absolutely about sentencing guidelines. I was lumping them all together, but I suspect we could make quicker progress with changes to sentencing laws rather than legalization.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        General pardons might also be a useful tool. Sure, you’d pardon some of the genuinely guilty and unsavory, but also clear the record for many who now should be considered innocent.

  17. fiftyohm says:

    I’ve said this before, but shall again: The standard by which the government may certain activities of a free people should not be some assumption of “public harm”. Regulation of the ‘private behavior’ of a free people by government is fundamentally immoral, so-called “public consequences”, be damned. (I speak here of personal space, not that owned by all.)

    • fiftyohm says:

      “May prohibit”. Sorry…

    • Turtle73 says:

      Why do we allow people to only drive on one side of the road? Shouldn’t a free people be able to drive on whichever side of the road they please?

      Public harm.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        50 seems to be talking about the difference between personal space and public space…I’m not sure enjoying a society with traffic laws does not dictate a particular position on drug prohibition.

      • fiftyohm says:

        T73 – I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anyone miss the point by that much.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Turtle73, I love a lot of your comments, but you’ve missed the mark here. fiftyohm specifically drew a contrast between “personal space” and public areas. Roads are public areas: where you drive on them, and whether you are under the influence when you do so, are absolutely areas of potential public harm and definite public concern.

  18. bubbabobcat says:

    “On an interesting side note – The country’s first no-fault divorce scheme was signed into law by California Governor Ronald Reagan in 1969.”

    Well Reagan was the first (and only) President who was divorced before taking the highest office.

    And then despite their right wing social politics, when Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Nancy Reagan lobbied George W. Bush HARD for embryonic stem cell research. Which Bush ignored. Wonder if he would have had a change of heart also if either of his parents had suffered from Alzheimer’s?

    And Nancy then praised Obama when he changed the government policy towards funding embryonic stem cell research.

    Funny how social conservatives have a “come to Jesus” moment ONLY when their lives and self interests are at stake? Hmmmmm.

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/03/09/nancy-reagan-praises-obamas-stem-cell-policy-change/

    • kabuzz61 says:

      I supported GW but never considered him a conservative.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Banning embryonic stem cell research was not conservative? Appointing John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the SCOTUS was not conservative? Massive voodoo economics tax cuts, slashing social programs, fake wars?

        Of course to buzzy, only an extreme loony racist teabagger as Cliven Bundy qualifies as a true “conservative” for buzzy.

      • CaptSternn says:

        There were no fake wars. Bush43 approved federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, the first president to do so. He oversaw the expansion of social programs. Medicare Part D.

        But don’t let those facts get in your way, Bubba. You never have in the past, so no reason to start now.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        “Conservatism” is not some absolute state. Politicians (or voters) can be more or less conservative.

        Except, apparently, in the utterly stupid, relentlessly Manichean worldview of many of our local “conservative” brethren.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Yes Cappy I have the facts wrong when Nancy Reagan lobbied George W Bush unsuccessfully and praised Obama for reversing the ban.

        Bush only allowed embryonic stem cell research with “existing [useless] stocks” to satisfy his wingnut base but refused to allow expanded research but I have the facts wrong, riiiiiight Captain Semantics.

        “In August 2001, Bush announced that his administration would allow federal funding only for research on about 60 stem-cell lines that existed at the time. Researchers have since found that many of those lines are contaminated and unusable for research.”

        http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/07/19/stemcells.veto/

      • CaptSternn says:

        You are getting closer, Bubba. Research was “allowed” already but no federal funding at all. It was state or private funding. Bush43 changed that and was the first president to allow federal funding. Hardly a conservative move as conservatives strongly opposed the federal funding.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        You are willfully and blindly wrong again Captain Obtuse. But that impenetrable bubble of your alternate reality is quite immaturely comforting isn’t it?

        “…Bush’s repeated claims to be “the first president ever to allow funding” for human embryonic stem cell research (made, for instance, during the second nationally televised presidential debate in fall 2004) are not accurate. Here, he lays claim to a stem cell legacy that isn’t his. Truth is, Bush’s immediate predecessor, Bill Clinton, was a far greater supporter of human embryonic stem cell research.

        In January of 1999, Harriet Rabb, the top lawyer at the Department of Health and Human Services, released a legal opinion that would set the course for Clinton Administration policy. Federal funds, obviously, could not be used to derive stem cell lines (because derivation involves embryo destruction). However, she concluded that because human embryonic stem cells “are not a human embryo within the statutory definition,” the Dickey-Wicker Amendment does not apply to them. The NIH was therefore free to give federal funding to experiments involving the cells themselves.

        The NIH, with input from the National Bioethics Advisory Commission and others, went on to develop guidelines outlining the types of human embryonic stem cell research that would be eligible for federal funding. These Clinton Administration guidelines, published in August of 2000, forbid the use of federal funds to destroy human embryos to derive stem cells (because of the [Republican] Dickey-Wicker Amendment), but permitted research with stem cells that other, privately funded scientists had already derived from spare embryos slated for destruction at fertility clinics.
        President Clinton strongly endorsed the new guidelines, noting that human embryonic stem cell research promised “potentially staggering benefits.” And with the guidelines in place, the NIH began accepting grant proposals from scientists. Thus, it was the Clinton Administration that first opened the door to federal funding.

        When President Bush took office in January of 2001, by contrast, he began to shut that door. First, his HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson ordered a review of Rabb’s legal decision. Then, the Bush Administration told the NIH to cancel its plans to review grant applications—pending completion of the HHS review. If the Bush Administration had done nothing, the NIH would have proceeded to review the applications and to finance those that were successful. Instead, that process was halted, a decision that saddened, angered, and frustrated supporters of human embryonic stem cell research.

        On August 9, 2001, Bush went further. He announced that federal funding would now be restricted to a limited number of stem cell lines already created by that date—a decision that denied support to many promising avenues of biomedical research in an effort not to “sanction or encourage further destruction of human embryos.” Three months later, his administration ordered an official withdrawal of funding guidelines that Clinton had authorized. And with that withdrawal, Bush became the first president to reduce—below what his predecessor had authorized—the amount of human embryonic stem cell research eligible for federal funding. (Reports issued by Bush’s own President’s Council on Bioethics, which he established by executive order before appointing all of its members, confirm these events in detail.)

        Loosening Bush’s restrictions on stem cell research, then, would not be venturing into uncharted territory. It would simply be returning toward where we were before, under Clinton.

        http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/stem-cells-politics.html

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        This is why so much of the research moved overseas to Europe and parts of Asia after Bush entered office. That set back promising research (and thus may high paying jobs) in that sector in the US since.

        I voted for him in 2000 and that decision was the initial warning flag that I had made a serious mistake.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Interesting info, Bubba. But you left out a very important detail, the rules revised under the Cliton administration hadn’t taken effect before he left office.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Again, not true Captain Sematics. Please provide proof.

        “And with the [Clinton] guidelines in place, the NIH began accepting grant proposals from scientists.”

        Cue loony Cappy logic in…..

      • CaptSternn says:

        Yes, accepting proposals. Not funds.

    • GG says:

      Reagan was nowhere near as conservative as the far right whackadoodles are these days.

  19. CaptSternn says:

    Yes and no.

    Yes, prohibition should be repealed, period. Adults should be free to make their own choices, reap the rewards or suffer the consequences. Violent crime and murder dropped by 65% when the prohibition of alcohol was repealed. Problem came when the local and federal law enforcement agencies that had grown and gained power suddenly no longer had reason to exist, so prohibition came back, but with no constitutional amendment and based on racism.

    No, we are not moving away from legislating things that don’t affect other people, we are passing legislation that has more government control over the people and less freedom. We had a choice to buy health insurance or not, and what it would and would not cover. We no longer have that freedom, now we are all forced into it. That means what you do affects me. If you do hard drugs, if you smoke, if you consume large soft drinks, that affects me now. That means even more micromanaging the lives of the individuals.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      I know Captain. The government is telling us more about what to buy, how to behave, etc. Where is Chris getting this???

      • texan5142 says:

        Hahaha! You guys are funny! When you do not like it , government intrusion, when you do like it, silence.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Texan, maybe you can give some examples? Or maybe you know they would not hold up?

    • Turtles Run says:

      Cappy – we have always had to subsidize the health care of others through our health care insurance. It was also the most expensive way to cover those costs as well. Now people are forced to accept responsibility for their obligations.

      Every human being in this country will need health care at some time and often it is care they cannot afford or emergency care. If someone is unconscious and needs care the health care people need some reasonable way to know they will be reimbursed for their work.

      • CaptSternn says:

        I don’t believe you thought that comment through, Turtles. No, we have not always had to subsididze health care of others through health insurance. Thast was a free and voluntary choice. Many would rather pay for just the office visit once every few years for allergies or a cold than fork out hundreds per month for something they don’t want or need. Much more affordable that way.

        You go on to claim that it is the most expensive way to pay for it, so you want more of it and force it on people. Personal responsibility is a person making their own choices and reaping the rewards or suffering the consequences, and that is what you oppose.

        You assume that every single person is going tpo need and is going to demand expensive care, which is a false assumption. If it were true that all would recieve more than they pay, the insurance industry would be bankrupt.

        You end up assuming that a person cannot afford to make payments of hundreds of dollars per month for goods and services, sp your solution is to force them to make payments of hundreds of dollars per month for goods and servics.

        No, you didn’t think that through at all.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Sternn, hospitals treat the poor. That affects their operating expenses. So they add such charitable expenses to what they charge when caring for others. Insurance companies (or private individuals functioning without insurance) pay for those extra costs. Therefore your health-care insurance subsidizes the care of others.

        Q.E.D. Asshat.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Cappy – Accidents happen. People often do not plan on accidents happening or serious disease. Then you have the cost of long term care that many people need. These may or may not be needed by someone. The idea that we should just assume it will not happen is not responsible. If those costs are not able to be covered by the one in need of care there needs to be a mechanism in place to pay.

        Medical personnel and facilities deserve to be paid but how do they collect from the dead, those to hurt to earn a living, or those that simply cannot pay. Even if someone can pay a few hundred a month if medical expenses are in the hundreds of thousands then essentially you are claiming the doctor must be forced to work for nothing. The health care system could not survive such a financing system. Look at the states that did not expand medicare and their health care representatives are telling state officials that they are going broke because the high number of uninsured patients they have to see.

        I am not trying to be mean or call you out but you once said you owed $2,000 in back taxes. But because you could not pay the fines and interest drove the total to over $8,000. Now it must of taken a good amount of time for that to occur. But if you just simply paid a few hundred a month to settle your original debt you would have never owed $8,000. Obviously you could not do it, you seem to be a health fairly educated person with marketable work skills and a good work ethic. If you feel others can simply pay a few hundred a month then surely so could you. But some how you seem to excuse your inability to pay and think that others should have to do so.

        You argument fails.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Yes, Owl, we have county hospitals that are set up specifically to treat poor people. County taxes pay for them. I support such a system, it is local and can better be managed locally.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Turtles, I did end up paying monthly to settle my tax issues. The amount owed went from $2,000 to about $8,000 in a few short moths. Don’t mess around with the IRS, they ain’t nice.

        Now again, you claim that a person cannot pay a few hundred dollars a month for goods or services, so your solution is to force them to pay a few hundred dollars a month for goods and services. That makes sense to you?

        I do not advocate that a person should not have health insurance. I beieve in individual liberty and rights and support their free choice to have it or not, and if they have it, to choose what it will or will not cover. You know, freedom and personal responsibility. Things the left opposes.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        So, Sternn, in what way are county taxes “a free and voluntary choice”?

        Or did you just admit being wrong, in the only back-handed and obfuscated way in which you appear to be capable of doing so?

        Oh, and please explain why you can’t understand the trivially simple concept of government subsidies for those who genuinely can’t afford “payments of hundreds of dollars per month” for a required service?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Different levels of government have different powers and responsibilities, Owl.

        Now we get back to that other bit of “logic” from the left, have the federal governemnt pay for it so that the federal government doesn’t have to pay for it. That makes sense to you?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        When confronted with your own idiocy, Sternn, are you really incapable of anything but such feeble gabbling?

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        Capt.

        I agree that different levels of government have different levels of responsibility but what happens when one level of government is incapable (or flat out refuses) to carry out its responsibilities as required by the law? What happens then?

        If we rely on democracy in those situations, we end up with what was happening in the South prior to the Civil Rights Era. Local and state governments freely refused to enforce the civil rights of a minority of citizens in their locality. Something similar was happening in St. George, Utah. Who steps in then?

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        Colorado Ciy, Arizona. Sorry

      • CaptSternn says:

        75, there are federal laws the states have to abide by, such as civil rights. But that has to be based on some legitimate and specific power the U.S. Constitution grants to congress, like the 14th amendment.

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        Necessary and proper clause
        Commerce clause

      • CaptSternn says:

        Now we are getting back into the assumed and automatic guilt without charges, trial, lawyer, jury, evidence etc.. Sure you want to go through that discussion again?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Are you sure you want to keep hurting Tutt like that?

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        Capt,

        Was this last comment directed at me?

        My comment was merely to cite the specific powers that Congress has to regulate health care. The provision of health care is clearly an interstate commerce. Doctors are often trained out of state. The equipment used in the provision of health care is often manufactured out of state. The health insurance companies themselves are large, national conglomerates. Congress has the power to regulate this industry and set forth whatever “necessary and proper” regulations to carry out that regulation (provided that such regulations are constitutional and do not otherwise violate federal law).

      • CaptSternn says:

        Yes, 75, that last comment was directed to you. The government would have to prove that in a single act of commerce that it was specifically an act of interstate or international commerce, gather evidence, file charges, allow the person or company to hire legal representation, set a court date, take it to trial, prove beyond a reasonable doubt that said individual act was indeed interstate or international commerce, then prove something like discrimination during that single act of commerce.

        Same with prohibition, to follow the concept of innocent until proven guilty, the federal government would have to prove, in a court of law, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the single bag of marijuana was indeed transported across state or national lines in an act on interstate commerce, and after proving that the government could ten fine or jail a person for that specific act of interstate or international commerce.

        Every single, individual transaction would have to go through that process. Of course, if a person refuses to engage in commerce with another, then there is no commerce at all, much less insterstate or international commerce.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        No, no, Stern…keep going.

        Please explain to us how it would be much more keen if restaurants could refuse service to Black folks, the Holiday Inn could refuse to rent a room to Hispanics, and an apartment complex could refuse to allow Blacks to move in.

        We will all sit quietly as you explain how these would be good things for the country.

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        Capt,

        You clearly do not know how the interstate commerce clause works. Passing a regulation is not akin to proving a criminal case. They are two totally sperate and distinct thigs. One is a executive power. Passing regulation is a legislative power.

        Congress passes laws it feels fall under the interstate commerce act. They cite their reasoning within the bill. If someone wishes to challenge the legitimacy of that power, they can bring a suit in court and make an argument. That is how the interstate commerce clause works (and how ALL government regulation is challenged). Congress doesn’t have to go to court prior to passing a law.

        You need to re-take high school government.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        And while you’re at it, Sternn, please explain how paying county taxes is “a free and voluntary choice”.

        Or, I suppose, you could just admit that you’re wrong.

      • CaptSternn says:

        I understand very well how it works, 75. It works based on assumed and automatic guilt, no evidence, no charges, no lawyer, no trial, no judge, no jury, no proof beyond a reasonable doubt. That is what I oppose. That is what HT and others here support, even if it means people go to prison for years at a time.

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        Re-reading your comment, I think you are confusing challenging the factual basis of a criminal charge (such as, did a person have a bag of weed on his person, etc.) v. challenging the right of Congress to pass a law to ban weed in the first place.

        True, proving the facts of a criminal charge must be proven beyong a reasonable doubt. But if a defendant chooses to challenge the power of Congress to pass a law in the first place, this is a totally different standard. This does not have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. It is judged by the courts based on various standards depending on the act being regulated, what action it limits, etc.

        For example, despite the text of the Constition saying that “Congress shall make no law respecting…abridging the freedom of speech…”, this does not mean that Congress can’t pass laws that “adridge the freedom of speech.” Congress does it all the time. They have other powers (such as the power to pass laws dealing with national security) where they can clearly pass laws that “abridge freedom of speech.” In a time of war, for example, trying calling a foreign power and giving away secret or even just delicate information. That is illegal even thouggh such a law by its very nature “abridges freedom of speech” Despite this, Congress has wide powers to limit an individuals “freedom” in the area of national security and the courts essentially use a simple reasonable basis standard of review in this cases.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        You mean, Sternn is not only a bigotophile, but also pro-treason?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Yes, congress can pass laws, such as making it illegal to sell marijuana across state or national borders (or with Indian Tribes, leaving that out for convenience). So, to be caught in possession of marijuana, the government would have to prove that it was purchased as an act of interstate or international commerce, every single time.

        To get to HT’s point, if a person running a business decides to discriminate, the government would have to prove that said act of discrimination was an act of interstate or international commerce. That would be impossible if the person refused to engage in any act of commerce to begin with.

        That is how a system that is based on innocent until proven guilty works. We no longer have that system, guilt is assumed and automatic, people go to prison. Some don’t care about people going to prison since they believe the ends justify the means.

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        Ahh. No I see what you are getting at.

        Well, thankfully, the Interstate Commerce Clause (like all Congressional powers) is not so tightly contrained given the Necessary and Proper Clause.

        Given that the manufacture and sale of weed is interstate commerce, Congress can make it a federal crime to sell weed on the street corner. That is because passing such a law is “necessary and proper” in Congress’s legitimate aim of regulating the interstate commerce of buying and selling weed.

      • CaptSternn says:

        And what proof do you have that the weed bought at the corner was ever part of any interstate or international commerce, or that buying at the coner was an act of interstate or international commerce? Or maybe you don’t want to deal with the burden of proof and due process? Just assume the person is guilty of the crime and cart them off?

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        It is part of interstate commerce if the Courts agree with Congress’s argument that it is part of interstate commerce.

        That is a constitutional challenge to the entire ability of Congress to pass such a law. That is therefore a legal question, not a factual question. Beyond a reasonable doubt is a factual standard of review and thus does not relate to legal questions. Legal questions are reviewed with strict scrutiny, reasonable basis, etc. They are different types of standards applied by the courts.

        Go to law school and you will learn all about this.

      • CaptSternn says:

        I have studied it quite a bit, 75, as it was the very first thing I started looking at and that led me down the road of studying the constitution and court cases. Why was a constitutional amendment needed to prohibit alcohol but not other substances? Before the 1930s it was clear that congress could only regulate interstate and international commerce, and with the Indian Tribes. It had no power over intrastate commerce or things that were not commerce at all.

        If you study up on things like the Controlled Substances Act you will find where the federal government understood that it would have to prove guilt of a specific act of interstate or international commerce, recognized that it would be difficult or impossible in most cases, and decided that proof of guilt was no longer going to be required. It would be assumed and automatic.

        It gets deeper, to the point taht congress has basically rewritten the commerce clause to read something like, “Congress shall have the power to control all commerce and things which are not commerce because anything might or might not have an influence on interstate or international commerce.” Nothing like the actual text of the constitution.

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        Yes. I am very familiar with the history of the Commerce Clause and the legal precedents from Gibbons v. Ogden, through the New Deal and the Civil Rights Era, through Lopez and finally to the modern case law. I am also very familiar with the modern conservative’s attempt to gut the commerce clause, especially in the areas of Civil Rights and Congressional commercial regulation. Conservatives argue that the Commerce Clause must be strictly enforced for purely theoretical reasons (while, of course, happily seeing other portions of the Constitution interpreted loosely; such as those that deal with war powers). Some I suspect wish to single out the Commerce Clause (and especially the Commerce Clause in the areas of Civil Rights) for far more sinister reasons.

        I am also familiar with the nature of drug regulation in the United States. The Harrison Act (passed in 1914 prior to Prohibition), essentially banned the use of opiates and cocaine without a prescription. Such regulation was passed under the auspices of the Commerce Clause. Opiates and cocaine are still treated in the name manner today (and the Harrison Act is still federal law). This law was held constitutional in US v. Doremus in 1919 (prior to Prohibition) and thus a Constitutional Amendment was not required.

        Outright prohibition of alcohol was seen to require an Amendment because the Supreme Court was not consistent in its case law for or against outright prohibition of a substance. Also, the political will existed at the time to go ahead with an Amendment, for political reasons as well as to ensure the bans validity, the Amendment route was seen as the best route of action.

        Of course, none of this has anything to do with “beyond a reasonable doubt” as this is a factual standard for the proving of the elements of a crime. As I have stated, a court’s review of the legality of the law itself is a legal review and thus has nothing to do with the “reasonable doubt” standard.

      • CaptSternn says:

        The Harrison Act did somewhat rely on the commerce clause as applying to actual interstate commerce, the importing of opiates from other countries. It also relied on taxation, much like the Marijuana Tax Act that came a couple of decades later. I doubt that part would stand now since the Marijuana Tax Act was ruled unconstitutional in 1969. That led to the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 which includes opiates and many other substances based on the Wickard vs Filburn ruling.

        It is in the text of the Controlled Substances Act that brings up the issue with being able to prove whether or not it was traded in an actual act of interstate or international commerce, and since that would be difficult or impossible, guilt will simply be assumed. It goes on to the other part I was talking about, congress taking on the power to regulate anything and everything, because it might or might not affect commerce at some level, which might or might not affect insterstate or international commerce. Powers congress was never intended to have and do not legitimately have.

        That is a large part of the problem we have now, congress and courts almost completely ignoring the constitution and the intent behind it. They want to do something they cannot legally do, so they do it anyway. Even the 10th amendment has basically been rewritten without the amendment process. It now, in the eyes of congress and the courts, says, “Congress shall have the power to do anything it wants as long as the people don’t rise up and stop it.”

        Yes, people would be free to do things some do not agree with, some things others might find immoral. That’s why many work so hard to destroy our freedom. There is no vacume of power that can be drawn from, it is either with the people or with the government. The government has usrped much from the people in violation of the highest law of the land, and sadly we do nothing about it. Even worse, many want to deny freedom of the people and support the actions of the government to force their own ideas of morality on others.

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        Well, the Harrison Act also limited the power of doctors to proscribe medications. This power was carried out through the Commerce Act. The law’s author himself said “We are not attempting to collect revenue, but regulate commerce.”

        In terms of your wider political point, all I can say is that you may yern for the days when a store owner could post in his window “WE DON’T SERVE N*&&#@$!” and prevent African Americans from using his store or place of business. But I suspect that the VAST majority of people are glad to see that racisit, bigoted stage of our society thrown into the dustbin of history. I know I am.

      • CaptSternn says:

        I don’t believe a black man should be forced to serve white people if he doesn’t want to do so. That kind of goes against the 13th amendment and involuntary servitude, not to mention assumed guilt of a crime.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        But that has nothing to do with the example, Sternn.

        Your clumsy dancing merely verifies your bigotophilic credentials.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Well, anyway, that was much quicker, more interesting and less painful to get to the final point than it was with HT, many people support the idea of assumed guilt even if it means a lot of people are sento to prison. The ends justify the means. I don’t support that concept, goes against the founding priciples of this nation. So much for “Land of the Free.”

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        OK…let’s do a quick count of the people sent to prison because they were prohibited from serving Black folks in a restaurant, renting rooms to Hispanics, or letting folks with darker than beige skin move into an apartment complex.

        I’ll wait while you do the counting.

        Oh, hang on, we don’t have to wait because the number is zero.

      • CaptSternn says:

        HT, I will wait for you to do a “quick” count on how many people have been sent to prison based on that assumed guilt. It will be in the millions, tens of millions. In fact, the U.S. has the largest prison population in the world because of it, and almost the highest per capita.

        But hey, the ends justify the means, you can force a black man to serve you against his will.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Which of those tens of millions are in jail because of violations of the CRA regarding refusing service to folks of color?

        The number must be huge if it is taking you this long to count.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Stern…you seem to want to somehow place the blame for drug crime incarceration on to the application of the ICC regarding the requirement that restaurants be required to serve Black folks, hotels rent rooms to Hispanics, and apartment complexes rent to people of color.

        Why are you going to a rather innocuous piece of history (that 99% agree is a good thing with only you, Rand Paul, and the KKK disagreeing) rather than at the yahoos who did all the bad stuff in the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 00s?

        The great conservative, Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs and had pot categorized as a Schedule One narcotic.

        The evil liberal Jimmy Carter had decriminalization as part of his campaign, but then the great conservative Reagan marked the massive rise in nonviolent drug offenders placed in jail. Bush I just continued those bad ideas.

        Clinton (as he was wont to do) waffled and continued with Reagan’s nuttiness.

        Bush II, despite growing public sentiment against it, allocated more money than ever to the “drug war” with his czars hyper-focused on pot.

        Lots of folks in jail because of lots of bad politicians making some bad decisions for some bad reasons.

        However, in your head, this is all because Black people cannot be refused service in restaurants?

        I’m always worried when a CHL holder gets targets so easily mixed up.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        HT makes a great dem historian. He distorts everything.

      • CaptSternn says:

        You and I already hashed all that out, HT, through a long and torturous process. It is all based on assumed guilt, which you support. It then gets used for different things and people are sent to prison, which you said you had no problem with because the ends justfy the means, you can force a black man to serve you even if he doesn’t want to do so. Notice how much quicker and easier it was to get to that same point with 75?

        The core of it always gets back to democrats, especially during the time of FDR. Once some of their laws concerning prohibition were struck down in 1969 they wrote and passed current drug laws, Nixon signed them. There is a long list of things, bad things, that can be traced back to FDR and his democrats.

        We have already been over the fact that I didn’t like Reagan nor Bush43 very much, and in fact I voted third party in three federal elections while Bush43 was in office. The establishment republicans are not as bad as the far left extremists known as democrats, but they don’t get much support from me. Nor do they want people like me around, people of the tea party movement. Notice how much Lifer dislikes the tea party movement? There is your example (though I do think it is amusing when people like Turtles puts Lifer in with the tea party movement).

        So rather than starting from the very beginning again with you, I suggest you just go to one of Lifer’s previous entries and read through it as many times as you want until you get your fill … again.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        I’m just a bit curious…in your head, there is no way we could have had the CRA address serving Black folks in restaurants without morphing into the nuttiness of drug cases?

        Seriously, you are thinking this was somehow causal?

        Might we have a bit of post hoc ergo propter hoc and the linkage is not causal but more so due to bad politicians.

        Heck, a more accurate target for your ire would be the US Constitution that allowed for the creation of the idiocy that is the US Congress.

        Have you ever wondered why you, Rand Paul, and the KKK are the only folks who want to put a stake in the ground on this issue? You three certainly don’t have a common reason for championing this issue, but it seems as though lots and lots of really smart and decent people are perfectly OK with the Federales requiring Denny’s in Birmingham to serve pancakes to Black folks.

      • CaptSternn says:

        HT, let us say your neighbor has a garage. Let us say that your neighbor that has a garage is allowing a couple of other neighbors park their motorcycles in his garage, but he isn’t allowing you to park your car in his garage. You claim discrimination, so you set fire to his garage to burn it down and end that discrimination.

        The garage is incorporated into his home, a part of his home located under his second floor mater bedroom. His entire house burns to the ground as a result of the fire in the garage. The authorities show up and question you, and you admit setting fire to the garage, but you had nothing to do with burning the rest of the house down. It wasn’t your fault and was in no way related to the fire you set in te garage.

        The fire is the assumed and automatic guilt, the garage is discrimination, the house is the rest of the damage done by your fire. You want to separate them, but they are not separate. You and many others have proudly said you are glad, happy, that you don’t live in the world as I would have it.

        Go back and reread your statistics about people being sent to prison, how it affects blacks more than others. That is the world as you want it. That is the world you want to live in, and to have others live in, millions and millions of them in prison with ruined lives. But for you and others, the ends justify the means.

        Got to break some eggs to have an omlet. Got to send people to prison so you can force a black man to serve you against his will.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Stern…they should have sent poets and gods today because there are no words from mere mortals to describe that convoluted mess of a thought process.

        Congratulations…you win the internet today. No one will rise to that level of “huh?” on the internet today.

        Denny’s must serve pancakes to Black folks, so folks must go to prison.

        Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Wow. Sternn’s parable has to be just about the steamiest heap of unadulterated tripe I’ve ever seen on this forum.

        Tutt, what were you guys drinking last night? Cut Sternn back on the absinthe!

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        And, look: Sternn would rather run away than admit a lack of clarity, let alone that he was oafishly wrong.

  20. texan5142 says:

    🙂

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