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thejeff's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 18,645 posts (19,460 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 7 aliases.


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Am I just massively more cynical than everyone else here? Do people really think the courts work this way? Do we really think the various state, district and finally the Supreme Courts have ruled the way they have on same-sex marriage strictly based on Constitutional and scientific arguments?

And that they'll just do the same with polygamy if the right evidence and legal arguments get made?


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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

Last night at work I went through a training course about the law regarding Equality. In Britain, there are nine 'protected' categories that it is illegal to discriminate against: age, gender, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marriage, and gender reassignment.

One of the test questions was something like, 'One of your employees is undergoing gender reassignment surgery, female to male, but the process means that he has to take time off work. You decide that this shows an insufficient dedication to his job, and decide to remove him from the leadership of his team. Is your decision legal?'

Answer: it would be illegal, because this would be discrimination, and since gender reassignment is 'protected', this would be illegal.

It left me feeling good about my country. What's the situation in the US? Does it depend on the state?

It does - in a large number of states (including mine), there are no protections for sexual orientation or gender identity. (Employment-wise, I mean.)
Does this mean that even though you can now legally marry a person of the same gender, you can still get fired for being gay?

Pretty much. That's why, despite all the celebration over marriage, the work isn't done.

That said, many, but not most, states have their own laws and some cities and other localities have their own protections, though some conservative states are passing laws to override such local protections - so much for "local government knows best".


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Aelryinth wrote:

The problem is making a cr 20 engine of destruction takes a lot of time and money.

Gating in a CR 20 creature of destruction takes ONE SPELL...and you can make scrolls of that spell.

So, without something to stop the stockpiled, overpowered magical attacks, a duergar empire is going to be hard to portray.

==Aelryinth

I'm amused that we jumped from "The Drow should be extinct" to "The Duergar can't possibly survive against them."


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I'm just trying to figure out how Wind and Solar are storage facilities, not power plants.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:

More seriously, your challenge to find any reason for objecting to same sex marriage that does not come from some bigoted view based on outdated morals had me pause to consider if there is, indeed, any such reason to be found. I tried to consider ways in which other aspects of lives could be effected by allowing this freedom, I considered long term future ramifications...

Unsurprisingly there really isn't anything and the 4 points I raised are just stuff I came up with then. Still, an interesting thought exercise.

This isn't actually anything to do with religion, but the origins and actual original definitions of the word. In a nutshell, they are attempting to call a Pine tree a Mushroom, which in most entymology, wouldn't make a lot of sense.

Well, I'll give you credit; this is superficially a non-bigoted argument against gay marriage. Well done.

Of course, as you yourself recognize,

Quote:


AKA...the origins of a word, though important from a historical perspective, have really no impact upon what it means in modern usage.

What this is unimportant anyways...the US constitution doesn't take into account the entymology of words.

... it's also patently irrelevant to the point of spurious.

Just to drive that point home, this argument also suggests that:

* "ecology" is writing about architecture (oikos "house" + logos "words")
* "gynecology" is writing about women's houses (add gynos "woman")
* "hysterical" means "uterine"
* "loyal" and "legal" are synonyms
* "lesbians" are Greek islanders
* "werewolves" are exclusively men (wer is cognate with vir "male")
and
* Einstein's Theory of Relativity simply says that our beer mugs may not be the same size ("ein" + "stein")

Or to bring it back to the topic "gay marriages" are just "happy marriages" and I don't see any reason anyone would be opposed to those.


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Thymus Vulgaris wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Words, and even more so names, mean what they're used to mean, not what their roots mean.
Are you one of those people who use "literally" as a random word for emphasis with no regard to its actual meaning, so we end up with people who literally cry their eyes out, yet somehow still have eyes?

I try not to. Given a long enough time and sufficient usage in that sense, that'll be correct usage though.

OTOH, I strictly use "gay" to mean happy and am constantly confused by why people are upset about happy marriages. :)

For other linguistic things that'll get me shunned: I can't wait until the possessive "it's" takes over and becomes correct usage. In nearly every other word, the "'s" can be either a contraction of "is" or a possessive. "It" being an exception makes no sense.


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Simon Legrande wrote:
thejeff wrote:
meatrace wrote:
The weirdest outfall of all of this is hearing conservative republicans rail against judicial power and talk about overturning Marbury v. Madison (something I think might be a good idea; the power of judicial review ought to be more spelled out and a proper petition process in place) and lawmakers such as in Utah want to take their ball and go home, taking government out of the marriage game altogether. Which I also agree with. It's a personal and religious ceremony. The government has NO business saying who can and can't get married. Who enters into a civil union, on the other hand...
1) Marriage doesn't have to be a religious ceremony. Or frankly a ceremony at all. The civil union approach satisfies nobody. The bigots fought against civil unions for gays, so they wouldn't be happy. They also wouldn't be happy since some churches would happily marry gays. And plenty of non-religious people want to get married, so they wouldn't be happy with their marriages changed to civil unions. Marriage is a social & cultural thing, not just a religious one.
1. Marriage is a religious ceremony. The fact that the government has managed to insert itself into the process doesn't change that. Bigots fought against gay marriage too, and yet here we are. Government has no business in the marriage business. Marriage and civil unions should be two separate things. That way people who care to...

Well damn. You want to tell my parents they're not really married?

Seriously, it's a social and a community thing. Marriage has certainly changed over the millenia, but it's by no means just a religious thing.

And again as a practical matter, that satisfies nobody. The bigots will be unhappy because gays will still be getting married as there are plenty of churches that will marry them. Atheists will be upset because now they can't get married without going through a church. I guess the libertarians will be happy because they get government out of something, though since civil unions take on all the roles of marriage, nothing actually changes there.
In fact, it really isn't any different from the current situation, where you get a license from the government and have either a JP or a church official do the actual ceremony - except that the JP verion wouldn't officially be called a marriage. Unless you're going to ban anyone who didn't go through a church from using the terms "marriage", "wedding", "husband", "wife" or any other tradition "marriage" words they will and nothing will change at all.
Except that you'd have to mount a huge movement and pass all sorts of legislation in all 50 states and at the federal level in order to change the terminology. A huge movement that no one is interested in.

That and you'd have pedantic jerks telling people that "Technically, you're not really married".


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meatrace wrote:
The weirdest outfall of all of this is hearing conservative republicans rail against judicial power and talk about overturning Marbury v. Madison (something I think might be a good idea; the power of judicial review ought to be more spelled out and a proper petition process in place) and lawmakers such as in Utah want to take their ball and go home, taking government out of the marriage game altogether. Which I also agree with. It's a personal and religious ceremony. The government has NO business saying who can and can't get married. Who enters into a civil union, on the other hand...

1) Marriage doesn't have to be a religious ceremony. Or frankly a ceremony at all. The civil union approach satisfies nobody. The bigots fought against civil unions for gays, so they wouldn't be happy. They also wouldn't be happy since some churches would happily marry gays. And plenty of non-religious people want to get married, so they wouldn't be happy with their marriages changed to civil unions. Marriage is a social & cultural thing, not just a religious one.

2) Of course conservatives are quite fine with Marbury v. Madison when the court rules in their favor - Heller, anyone? More than that, Marbury v. Madison seems to be implicit in the constitutional system. The details of judicial review could be spelled out more clearly, but that would take an amendment and we've had 200+ years to do so. Someone has to decide what happens when a defendant argues they shouldn't be punished because of conflicting laws. The judicial system is the obvious place for that to happen and the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over the judicial system.


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Crack: The Gathering.

I never got hooked, back when it was first starting, but some of my gamer friends did.


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Lord Snow wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
I thought the math was that we were OVERpopulated, despite the fact that birth rates are down?
Low birth rates have their own set of problems, such as an aging of the population (the average age goes up if there are less young people to balance out the old people, who's lives are getting longer and longer thanks to technology), which could cause for serious strain on the economy is the ratio between pensioners and workers gets worse.

There's truth in that, but it's a problem we're going to have to deal with. Infinite population growth isn't possible. (Even colonizing doesn't really help, unless you're just exploiting the colonies to keep the motherland prosperous.)

OTOH, it's purely a social and political problem. Productivity is so incredibly high, by any historical standards, that even a smaller percentage of the population working could supply a larger retired populace. And productivity continues to grow with more automation and technology. It's a distribution problem, not a lack of workers problem. As is shown by high unemployment.


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Lord Snow wrote:

You were indeed the inspiration to the thread, although the questions have been bubbling inside me for a while. I know reading must be different for different people but one thing I can never quite wrap my head around is really fast reading.

So do movies feel super slow for you or what? :P

(I mean, when watching a movie you are seeing scenes and events unfold much more slowly than they would in a book. Does that feel slow? To me movies that have long stories often feel like they breeze through things).

Movies are fine.

Listening to/watching instructional videos or speeches or things like that is painful. I almost always would rather have text, since I process it so much faster than the audio.

I suspect the difference is that there's usually more going on in the movie - all the visual input, along with the dialog or whatever keeps me from getting bored. Also, it might not be longer than it takes to read, if the book has a decent amount of descriptive test along with spoken dialog.


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Bennybeck Wabbittracks wrote:
Just because someone does not agree with a lifestyle does not mean that they are bigots.

Just because someone doesn't like black people doesn't mean they're racist.

Same argument.

Nice one with the "lifestyle", by the way. Standard, but nicely done.

What is the "homosexual lifestyle", by the way? Seems pretty varied in my experience.


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As I said earlier in this thread, I'd rather this lead into more protections for LGBT people than to more different types of marriage. Employment discrimination. Housing discrimination. Still legal in many states. And make sure the T part of that is included.

Marriage is a good step, but it doesn't mean discrimination is over.


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Lord Snow wrote:

What I said was entirely within the realm of practicality. Making laws for polygamous marriage is not impossible (obviously) merely hard. I used my examples to illustrate this. It would probably take a lot of precious time and other resources for such laws to be passed, and there aren't really any groups that have sufficient political power to pressurize anyone into passing these laws, so other ones are going to take priority over them.

So, not saying that it shouldn't happen or even that it wouldn't eventually. Just not in the foreseeable future.

Pretty much this. It's not really that it's more complicated legally, though that will affect things.

It's that the law doesn't work that way, even if it should. This decision or the decisions and laws that originally changed state policies on gay marriage don't set up a slope where poly marriage is the next step. That's been a standard attack on marriage equality from the beginning.

If poly marriage is going to happen, it's going to happen because there's a constituency that both demands it, has the legal clout and resources to push lawmakers and courts in that direction and, more importantly, is able to change broad public opinion in it's favor. The courts will follow public opinion. Just like they did with same sex marriage.


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Grey Lensman wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Grey Lensman wrote:
Not sure whether it was Scalia or Alito who said something along the lines of 'Innocence is not, in and of itself, justification to be released from prison', but I don't expect anything decent out of anyone who can say that. Proof of innocence alone is enough reason to open the cell right away and hold anyone who objects in contempt of court.
It was Scalia and it was actually worse, since it was a death penalty case.
I was wondering who the 'Most Un-American Man in Government' was after people like McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover left....

Just to add to the Scalia bashing:

"Humanity has been around for at least some 5,000 years or so"

No young earth creationist overtones in that.


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Rynjin wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Are you really seeing demands for trigger warnings over trivial stuff that frequently? Other than as obvious jokes, anyway.

As I said earlier, I tend to see them for what you suggest as legitimate uses and not for the petty stuff. Which may be why I approve of them and you think they're a problem.

Almost every time I see it mentioned it's for petty stuff or tongue in cheek drive-by insults ("Trigger Warning: This a*%+%$! <Insert politician you hate>").

I'd file that under "obvious joke".


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Lou Diamond wrote:

Big Norse Wolf, Lets separate the legal arguments form the issues.

I don't have any problems with two men or two women civily marrying to one another or marrying in a church that welcomes them but a church that
does not accept gay marriage should not be forced or coerced by the state into dong so.

The liberals on the court + Justice Kennedy only read and Interpret the amendments that they want to to push the agenda that they wish to push.
Marriage is not mentioned in the US Construction, therefore it is covered by the 10th amendment which states anything not enumerated in the Construction is reserved for the states. Therefore States laws on marriage should be left for the states so the case in point should not have had standing to be heard in the federal courts.

Does the 14th amendment trump the 1st or 10th amendment. The liberals on the court simply do not respect the free exercise clause of the first amendment, they recoil from it like a vampire recoils from a cross.
Like the chief justice said in his dissent the case did not have a Construction leg to stand on it was decided on the agenda of the 4 liberal justices felt and their social agenda. While waiting for my internet connection to come back on. I was watching the oral arguments for the lethal injection case and you could tell how the four liberal justices were going to vote before the case was heard. None of the 4 have ever voted to uphold a method of the death penalty.

Marriage for all is the law of the land now and the gay militants should be happy and celebrate a good victory and should leave the religious people alone. Be happy with their married partners and stop triing to force the religious to accept their life style because that is not going to happen.

Now everyone can be happily married to a partner of their choosing.
Enjoy it and celebrate it with your friends and family.

Churches will not be forced to marry anyone they don't want to marry. Gay or straight. Will not happen. Hasn't happened in past ruling. Won't happen with this one. Not a thing to worry about.

The 1st amendment doesn't enter the legal question here. It does not apply to states banning same sex marriage. It's not a religious freedom question, since the states don't have the right to impose religion on their citizens.

I assume, based on your legal/Constitution argument here, that you also think Loving vs Virginia was wrongly decided? That Court had no business overriding state laws against interracial marriage?


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Rynjin wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

S*#~ I was about to say "Magic"

It all comes full circle.

So you admit you have no way to distinguish PTSD from hurt feelings?

It's kinda like porn vs nude art. Hard to define the difference between them exactly, but you know it when you see it.

There are some legitimate uses for "trigger warnings" (such as warning against subjects that actually cause trauma in otherwise normal individuals, such as rape, or murder, or child abuse et al) but you can clearly label the majority of uses of the phrase as a pitiful cry for attention.

No, I don't truly believe someone mentally breaks down every time they see a white person, or the color blue, or fan art of a show they don't like/do like but don't like the context.

And if they do, they should check themselves into a mental hospital because clearly something else is wrong with them.

Are you really seeing demands for trigger warnings over trivial stuff that frequently? Other than as obvious jokes, anyway.

As I said earlier, I tend to see them for what you suggest as legitimate uses and not for the petty stuff. Which may be why I approve of them and you think they're a problem.


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Zelda Marie Lupescu wrote:
Atticus Bleak wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
WHY IS THE DRUG WORSE THAN MOST POISONS? WHAT IS THIS STUFF? ITS WORSE THAN ARSENIC!
Because the dosage size is 8 oz? If you drank 8 oz of arsenic you would be taking 8d2 Con.

That's another thing... this is half a pint of "staggeringly strong" rum every night? Okay... so is it Kraken Rum? That's 94 proof. How about Bacardi 151 (so named cause it's 151 proof)... or are we talking Everclear which is 200 proof and not even rum by that point, it's 100% pure alcohol?

Plus, as I said on Facebook, I drink Kraken about once every other month or so (which I would say is staggeringly strong... 94 proof is nothing to sneeze at, even if it's not 151) and after half a pint I'm kinda drunk sure... but it takes the whole pint to make me pass out.

I wouldn't think my RL Con is even 10, but apparently it is, maybe even higher...

But even with a Con of 10, one ration of Rum won't make you pass out. And once every other month would give you plenty of time to recover.

In fact, if I read the rum rules and the ability score damage rules correctly, no amount of rum will make you pass out. You're conscious until your Con reaches 0, then you're dead. Which makes the "Heave" drinking game, if played as written, kill every player but one.


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Grey Lensman wrote:
Not sure whether it was Scalia or Alito who said something along the lines of 'Innocence is not, in and of itself, justification to be released from prison', but I don't expect anything decent out of anyone who can say that. Proof of innocence alone is enough reason to open the cell right away and hold anyone who objects in contempt of court.

It was Scalia and it was actually worse, since it was a death penalty case.


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But there's no logic in tying that to marriage equality.

And if there was any logic, it existed since Loving vs Virginia forced interracial marriage on the states.

This decision changes nothing and establishes no fundamental principle, other than adding another category to those who can be married.


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Rynjin wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I kind of understand trigger warnings, considering the reactions I and my fellow soldiers have to certain stimuli. Sometimes it hilarious when an entire company drops to the ground when the cannon announces the flag detail, sometimes it's really traumatizing to find yourself in your protective mask because someone honked their car horn outside.

Right, but this is an actual, diagnosable problem.

It's not the same thing as appropriating that diagnosable mental trauma for their petty "If I see the word 'kill' used in conversation I'm going to flip out because I was really traumatized by a horror movie yesterday. =(" made up problems.

And that use of "trigger warning" is silly.

And frankly I don't see it used for anything that trivial very often. Most often I see it used for things like rape or child abuse, things that are not at all petty. And not just the simple words either, but more detailed recountings or descriptions.


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Rynjin wrote:

Or some particularly stupid troll logic pieces like this.

But be careful: If you're a liberal it might make you EXPLODE!

I can't really argue with their logic. Hell, I can't even find their logic.

But seriously, if there was a precedent set there, which there isn't, it would have been set in Loving vs Virginia, not now. A decision that, btw, was equally decried as judicial overreach and an assault on state's rights and real Americans in its day.


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Claxon wrote:

The Shackles Rum Ration affects are on purpose, to keep you from trying to take over the ship to early. They added the effect for meta reasons. The party is supposed to drink it once, realize what's happening to them because of it and then try to avoid drinking it. It also adds to the air of dread and powerlessness that your supposed to have at this point. You were forcible taken onto this boat against your will, regardless of your desire to be a pirate.

Basically, this particular rum is a drug, not just normal alcohol. It's honestly much more interesting than the normal alcohol rules.

And mechanically it works just fine. The flavor is the problem.

Gets worse if you're the type of player who doesn't just think about the PCs. All the other pirates are supposedly getting the ration too. They play drinking games with it. Why does anyone survive?


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Riuk wrote:
lets just have it all be Sci-Fantasy and be done with this pointless segregation equality for all!!!

Because I like different subgenres. I don't have a problem mixing on occasion, but I don't want everything to be giant piles of kitchen sinks.


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thaX wrote:


EDIT... Psst... It has gotten cooler... by almost a whole degree, not warmer.

Data. Evidence.

Cooler since when. Over what time period. In what location.

Even if your source is lousy and biased, at least it's a starting point.

Like this: The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for 2014 was the highest among all years since record keeping began in 1880.
Or this: With 2014 in the record books, this means that 13 of the 15 hottest years on record have all occurred since 2000.<snip> In comparison, the last time we set a global record cold temperature for the year was way back in 1911.


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thaX wrote:

Whatever the science is about Climate Change/Global Warming, whether it is profisizing gloom or accurately predicting weather patterns, the main skepticism with the whole movement is this ever changing fact that it is man made.

Man had nothing to do with the previous changes to global climates and they certainly can do nothing, good or bad, about them now. It is this one "fact" that seems to be hotly debated again and again, even when Emails from one institution found faked data to skew results to other studies that actually show the folly of the others that try to make man the villain.

You keep saying this as though it's self evident and you keep refusing to back it up. It's true that there were certainly changes to prior climates without human influence. That proves the climate can change without human influence. It does not prove that humans can't change the climate. You offer no evidence. No support. You just keep repeating it.

Again, do you dispute the greenhouse effect? On what grounds?
Do you dispute that humanity has been changing the quantity of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere? Based on what data?
If the greenhouse effect is real and we are adding greenhouse gasses and the earth is warming, it's hard to avoid the conclusion.

Most of the emails that supposedly show fake didn't directly relate to it being human caused, but to warming trends happening at all.


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Yuugasa wrote:

Hmmmm one thing that has struck me as odd about this conversation the last few pages is that some posters have been referring to the law as if that should auto trump personal morality just by being the law.

Unjust laws certainly can exist and there are times when personal morality should trump them. Obviously I don't personally believe "No cake for gays" is a stance of courageous personal moral pedigree but the idea of morality over law itself isn't a meritless concept.

Noone has directly said this but I feel the tone has been hovering about here and there.

I don't really have a point in saying this, beyond "The law is the law so suck it." is kinda a myopic stance to take.

Of course, but we're discussing what the law should be.

It's certainly fine to argue that the law shouldn't protect LGBTQs, though I think it's not a moral position to take.
If the law did, it's a reasonable act to defy it. That's civil disobedience. It has a long and proud tradition. Break the law and accept the penalty in the name of principle.

I'm much less happy with the idea that we should have laws but individuals should be free to ignore them if they claim a religious conviction. That's fine for matters of actual religious practice, to an extent - Native American Church having an exemption from drug laws for peyote, for example or churches being allowed wine for Mass during prohibition. Less so for things that directly affect non-members of the religion at hand.


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Yuugasa wrote:

It's also striking me now that I doubt most of the people who see it as no big deal to discriminate against a group on something as objectively minor as say, buying a cake, have prolly never been discriminated against by a business before.

While it might not seem like a big deal from your armchair as you visit the situation in your imagination it is a deeply unpleasant experience, usually far from receiving a polite(?) "I can't sell to you because of my personally religious beliefs regarding your lifestyle."

But even if it was that nice(?) that is a damn awkward situation to be in and it makes it clear on no uncertain terms you are not welcome there, and perhaps not welcome in any business nearby, also making you wonder if you are not only unwelcome, but in danger.

It is a really unpleasant experience, like really unpleasant. I'm honestly not sure how to explain it well.

It ties directly to Justice Kennedy's opinion in the SC decision:
Quote:
No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

It's that same dignity that is lost when any bigoted idiot can refuse you service protected by the law. It's the same dignity that was lost when black people had to go the back door, if they were served at all.


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Generic Villain wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:


Granting that line of reasoning,.... why are discrimination or threats against LGBT people because God told you so more harmful than doing it for "state's rights"? Or the other way around, for that matter? The threat, the behavior, and the harm are identical.

A fair point. My only retort: I am fascinated by the way other people think. Their stated reasoning and logic are, for me, something to be analyzed and maybe even understood.

I don't expect everyone (or anyone, for that matter) to share my interest. Take it or leave it I suppose.

It's interesting, but you shouldn't rely too heavily on their stated reasoning and logic. Actual motivations are often different and even more interesting.

That's all I'm saying.

If you only pay attention to the stated reasons, you may be misled about future actions and about appropriate tactics to take. "You can't reason a man out of a position he didn't reason himself into."


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Jaelithe wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Jaelithe wrote:
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
So, a white baker who denies a wedding cake to a couple for being black should be treated with dignity and respect just because the baker says he has "deep religious beliefs"?
Is race not proven a wholly artificial distinction? Has it not been shown nonexistent by the weight of scientific evidence? Is the baker not simply acting out of dislike for a skin color, which is wholly irrational, and not at all a part of his faith's genuine tenets?

Do you think the law and the courts should be in the business of determining what a faith's genuine tenets are?

There were plenty of Christian groups in the days of slavery and Jim Crow that used the Bible and their faith to justify their bigotry. There still are some.
I'm not interested in debating what "real Christians" should believe. That's not my job. I'd think, as a Catholic, you wouldn't want the courts determining what religious beliefs qualified as "genuine" either.

No, I just want, as a Catholic and a person concerned with not forcing anyone to act against their conscience, for people to employ some judiciousness rather than cramming their perspective down others' throats.

Considering that at least three people in this discussion have made clear that such is precisely what they wish to see happen, and that they'll take obnoxiously gleeful delight in it, I hardly think any position that does not wholly conform to "current wisdom" will be left unmolested.

I've not read anything here to move me one nanometer from my position, and I have neither the time nor the inclination to answer every post (and this is one of those discussions in which the dog-pile begins immediately when someone doesn't conform to the party line), so ... suffice it to say that I see the other side's perspective, and while respecting the underlying desire of many (if not most), disagree with some of its underpinnings as specious.

1) Can we please not use the "cram down people's throats" metaphor in a discussion of gay rights. It has unfortunate connotations. It's been brought up in the past.

2) People are forced to act against their conscience in the course of their jobs all the time, particularly when their conscience compels them to discriminate against others. We have public accommodation laws for precisely this reason. To step away from the racism analogies for the moment, someone who believes for religious reasons that pre-marital sex is a sin may consider it against his conscience to rent a room or a house to an unmarried couple, even a straight one. If that's the case, he shouldn't go into the hotel or landlord business.
We require such accommodations and such "acts against conscience" all the time. It's just that this is a change and this is a particular case which you find more sympathetic.


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Jaelithe wrote:
Yuugasa wrote:

Jaelithe is right. Homosexuality is specifically called out in the catechism as inherently disordered behavior, an unnatural sin.

I'm cool with that, I just don't personally want the laws of the country I'm living in to be based on that.

And they shouldn't be. Laws should be to protect.

Quote:
I don't care if the Catholic Church wouldn't marry me or give me communion I just want to be able to go to the only pharmacy in town and be able to pick up my diabetic medication with out being refused service for being disordered!

That would not only be ridiculous, it'd be horrifying. Anyone who would deny someone their medication because they disagree with their lifestyle is a monster ... and there's a clear distinction (whether people wish to admit it or not) between denying Yuugasa her insulin and refusing to custom bake her a wedding cake, or allow her wedding on your land.

I agree it's horrific. But there's clear precedent for denying medication on religious grounds.

Now there's a distinction between denying a particular medication because you don't approve of it on religious grounds and refusing to serve a particular customer on such grounds, but it's not clear that the legal distinction is that firm.


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GreyWolfLord wrote:
Yuugasa wrote:

GreyWolfLord, how is asking for equal rights the equivalent of attacking or pushing around the religious? Because anti-discrimination laws may force your business to serve the LGBT community?

You know who else they force you to serve already? Black people. Is that tyranny? If not why?

A lot of what you've said sounds like victim blaming GreyWolfLord, people won't be discriminatory towards LGBT folks if their rights aren't perceived as being threatened?

B$*#%&@%, what about the last innumerable years where there was no perceived threat and they where discriminatory as hell?

To me much of what you've said leaves a bad taste in my mouth because it strikes me as very similar to the "If blacks would just stop being so uppity (for asking for equal rights) they wouldn't face so much discrimination and fear, what happens to them is mostly their fault really, if they would just sit down and shut up everything would be fine for them."

No. No, it really wouldn't.

That's not exactly what I'm saying. What I'm saying is there is an AWFUL LOT OF FEAR out there right now. If you look at the speeches and sermons from the SBC (and others) it is almost entirely based upon the fear people have of an aggressive LGBT movemenadvocatingt. They may say something about the Bible...but most of it...it's due to the fear that they have of the LGBT movement moving to destroy the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech.

I feel that fear is what is motivating a LARGE number of people in the past few years...and I think that's the biggest obstacle currently.

I'm with Yuugasa. It's b*@&!%*@. There may be fear out there now, but it's not fear that's driving their opposition. The opposition started long before there were any worries about bakers or florists having to violate their conscience. Or even focused on gay marriage at all.

Was that the motivation when they were passing state constitutional amendments banning civil unions? Or supported any of the other prejudice over the decades?
Even fighting gay marriage was a fall back position from worse discrimination. Because they were losing. They fought legalizing homosexual activity at all. They fought civil unions. They fought gay marriage. Now they're fighting to let florists and bakers discriminate.

Gay marriage wasn't some principled religious freedom stance, it was just latest hill to die on. For the organizers and the majority of supporters it's not about "the fear that they have of the LGBT movement moving to destroy the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech." That's nonsense. It's an excuse. It's a tactic. Some are trying to drum that fear up in followers who are starting to question, but it's not the heart of the matter. And it's not effective. We know that because the opposition to any gay rights has been unrelenting. And we know it's not working because opposition to gay marriage today is less than opposition to civil unions was a decade or so ago.

Sure, there's fear. There's a section of Christians that loves the fear. They want to be persecuted and think they're against the rest of ungodly society. There's a whole thing about the War on Christmas. It's the same thing. But giving in to them isn't going to change that. It'll just be something else that's the new persecution.


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Jaelithe wrote:
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
So, a white baker who denies a wedding cake to a couple for being black should be treated with dignity and respect just because the baker says he has "deep religious beliefs"?
Is race not proven a wholly artificial distinction? Has it not been shown nonexistent by the weight of scientific evidence? Is the baker not simply acting out of dislike for a skin color, which is wholly irrational, and not at all a part of his faith's genuine tenets?

Do you think the law and the courts should be in the business of determining what a faith's genuine tenets are?

There were plenty of Christian groups in the days of slavery and Jim Crow that used the Bible and their faith to justify their bigotry. There still are some.
I'm not interested in debating what "real Christians" should believe. That's not my job. I'd think, as a Catholic, you wouldn't want the courts determining what religious beliefs qualified as "genuine" either.


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Generic Villain wrote:
Haladir wrote:
Based on anecdotal evidence from every anti-LGBT rights person I've ever spoken with, the anti-LGBT argument seems to boil down to: "I think gay sex is icky. Here are convenient justifications for why my opinion should be imposed on everyone else."
Perhaps that's the overarching theme, but there's a lot of variety and nuance. It's easy to dismiss people who oppose same-sex marriage in one giant clump, but there really are a lot of different camps. Do any of those camps have legitimate, valid reasons to deny LGBT people their rights? Of course not. But there's value in understanding why someone believes what they do, if for no other reason than to prepare accordingly.

There's value in it, but it's also worth remembering that their stated reasons may not be their real reasons.

Which is where I think Haladir gets it right with "gay sex is icky". The vast majority of the rest of what you listed is what they say because they know that "gay sex is icky" isn't a good enough argument to persuade anyone.


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Joynt Jezebel wrote:
thaX wrote:
Does anyone remember the big scare about aresol cans that destroys the atmosphere? I had read a small blurb on page 6 in a newspaper several years ago that found that they really didn't, that the "study" was flawed. We still don't use the chemical that was the main focus anymore, but it was still interesting.

CFCs, the chemicals in aerosol cans were in fact destroying the ozone layer. Their use has been discontinued a long time ago and it did cost a lot of money. I believe that the ozone layer is slowly recovering and more UV light reaches us, making sunburn and skin cancer more likely.

I am not surprised you read of this in a newspaper and not a scientific journal. If all the money and global effort that went into eliminating the use of CFCs was really shown to be a waste of time, it would be a huge story and scandal.

It cost a lot of money, but like most such things, didn't lead to the drastic economic consequences that were threatened at the time.

And I agree. I'd want a lot more evidence than vague memories of years old short newspaper blurbs to accept that the science had been wrong.


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Scott Betts wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Scott Bentts wrote:
Oh god you're complaining about having to deal with small cars?
I crammed into the back seat of a prius once. When i shifted positions the car tried to turn.
I want to refute this, but as a Prius owner...I can't.

I own a Prius. It's the biggest car I've ever owned. :)

Never had a problem with carrying passengers, even some fairly large people. It fits a surprising amount of cargo too, if you drop the back seats.


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jakolol wrote:

Far from the "Science being in" its not even science

Well the main reason is that the so called science is based upon computer modeling that give worst case scenarios and well that's not how you do science.

A science would be backed by a theorem.
A theorem that provides accurate and verifiable predictions, Climate change based as it is on inaccurate computer models makes no such predictions.

The problem with the theory of "Man made climate change" is that it is not spoken about in the language of science but it is constantly spoken of in the language of Politics, that's because its a Political theory not a Scientific theory

The conspiracy is that some "scientists" in conjunction with politicians have discovered a way to keep their snouts in the public funding trough forever, base a case for continued funding on a unverifiable proposition, spread constant fear and panic among the voting public so that they demand political action that lines the pockets of co-conspirators and feeds the campaign of fear and panic, pushing the public to further support the conspiring politicians, getting them more power and push for further "scientific" funding and so the conspiracy continues to feed, the unverifiable proposition becomes more diverse demanding more funding so more power is required to the point that world government is required and soon after that emergency powers are required to deal with the panic and fear that the conspiracy was designed to cause, democracy gets suspended and tyranny is instituted the politicians become entrenched and their co-conspirators are voted more and more funding and on it goes.

If you want to prove it as a science you will need to provide a scientific proof that is accurate and verifiable, then we can pull the plug on all the research funding and pass the whole mess over to practical scientists and engineer a solution , ahh you can spot the problem there now cant you , if the science is done properly the funding gets stopped and that would be that all those "important...

Someone really doesn't understand how science works. You don't do all the science first, then stop research and only then let "practical scientists" (Whatever they are, since they're apparently not doing science) at the results to try to do something with them.

That would be stupid. You do some research, publish it, other scientists, both practical and theoretical read it and try to duplicate it to test it and build on it theoretically and at the same time, make use of it in practical ways.

It's not like biologists stopped doing any more basic research on plants and animals before letting anyone make use of what they'd already learned.

In the case of climate science, theoretical researchers would continue to refine our understanding of the climate and also study the results of anything the "practical scientists" did to try to fix the problems.

And of course, there is a strong theoretical foundation for climate change that makes verifiable predictions: The greenhouse effect is well known and studied.
Greenhouse gasses trap more heat, increasing the temperature.
Humanity is added such gasses to the atmosphere on an unprecedented scale.
Thus warming is expected and has been detected.

The problem is that planetary climate is fiendishly complex, full of feedback loops and chaotic elements and thus while general predictions are pretty straightforward, nailing down specific details is really hard.
And then the media grabs specific more sensational predictions, even ones with a very low level of confidence - worst case scenarios, and trumpets them, leading the public to think climate science fails again when the low probability worst case doesn't happen.


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Simon Legrande wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Riuk wrote:
I have never read Lovecraft ether I love the mythos but I just cant get into the books...
Try The Dream Quest.
Also, check out August Derleth. He picked up the mythos after Lovecraft died and wrote quite a few stories.

Now that suggestion will get you shunned. :)

I'm not really surprised people don't like Lovecraft. The prose is painful fairly often and the racism and prejudice are hard to get past. He's an idea man and a seriously screwed up one. I love it, but it's easy to see why people wouldn't. It's really easy to make fun of his ... squamous prose style.


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Masked Maiden wrote:
Just saw the news about the courts decision. Very happy about this. :) Now, hopefully this signifies a watershed, and won't be blown away once Bush 3 comes into power.

It won't be. Not in the near term and not without a significant reversal of trends of public opinion. Supreme Court decisions can't be easily changed politically and aren't lightly reversed even by later Courts.

Nothing's 100% set in stone, but this is basically as close as it gets.

Better than I was expecting too. I thought they'd punt and only rule on states having to recognize out of state marriages and we'd have to wait another couple years for another case to get a full ruling. Pleasantly surprised. :)

Now on to employment discrimination.


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I can spam links too.

It's not a helpful way to discuss this. If you want to make a point, make your case and use links to provide data to back up your argument. I could research and try to debunk each of those dozen links, but it would take a lot of effort and time, since I'd have to figure out where their errors were coming from and hunt down counter-evidence for everything. A dozen times over.
And when I'd done that, you could do a 5 minute Google search and spam another dozen links back at me. It's basically a Gish Gallop approach, designed to win by overwhelming the opposition with junk faster than it can be countered.

I'm not going to put that much effort into countering something that takes no effort at all.


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Andrew Turner wrote:
Well...at this point arguing whether or not climate change is occurring is a little like arguing whether or not water is wet. Is the change solely the result of human activity? Partially? Is it wholly natural (cyclic)? I suppose this is still largely unproved (the ultimate cause), but to logically and reasonably argue that it's simply not happening at all...hmmm.

Even arguing it's not largely due to human activity is pretty sketchy at this point. Not solely, since there are certainly other factors, though the cycles go in both directions.

Again we're adding large amounts of greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere. They are known to cause warming on a planetary level. Those gasses causing the observed warming makes sense.
If we're not causing it, then there are two other questions: Why isn't the carbon warming the planet and what is?


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Beyond psychological reasons there's a lot of money behind it and it's become embedded in the political debate, especially here in the US. Going back to earlier environmental movements, strongly opposed by some business interests because they stood to lose money from various regulations - from more controls on pollutants to protecting wilderness from logging and so many other things.

Groups owning substantial fossil fuel reserves or making money from the fossil fuel industries don't want to lose that revenue, so they work both openly and behind the scenes to sway public opinion against the science.

Think of the tobacco companies publicly denying the link between smoking and cancer long after it was proven. And, as was revealed in later lawsuits, long after they knew it to be true internally.

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