Morning Links

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011
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63 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Mario | 

    Radley, at the time of this writing, the link for the D.C. cop is the same as the one for Bill O’Reilly. You’ll need to change it.

  2. #2 |  Marty | 

    the cop has already taken action with cps- here’s the police report for the kid riding her bike to school:

    On 8/25/11 I was monitoring traffic on Cedar Avenue when I observed a young female riding her bicycle southbound on cedar avenue. I observed that vehicles had to slow and negotiate around the the bicyclist. I stopped and spoke with her at the intersection of Bradley Street and Cedar Avenue at which time I identified her as (her name) 10 years of age of (my address). She said he that she rode her bicycle back and forth to school every day. When I ashed why she did not ride the bus that stops in her neighborhood, she replied she had been kicked off the bus before and did not like it. She said she has a brother and sister that ride the bus ona daily basis. In my opinion this section of the roadway is not a safe place for a child of her to be riding unsupervised. I escorted the child to her residence at which time spoke with her mother Teresa Tryon. I informed Mrs Trying that I believed that the child should not be riding her bike to and from school unsupervised at her age. Ms Trying became became defensive and stated that (child name) had been through a bicycle riding course and she was perfectly OK with her riding her bike to school. When I told her I believed it was a safety issue for (child) she said she was OK with and believed (child) to be safe. I informed her that I would have a report and it would be filed to DCS. Once again she seemed unconcerned and stated that DCS had been there last year on the same complaint. She said that DCS told her that it was OK for (child) to ride her bike to school.

    The distance from HME to (my address) is one mile. The sidewalk ends in the area of Linden Aven approximately.3 miles from the school. At the point the child would have to ride in the roadway until reaching South Hills Drive. Cedar Avenue at this time of the day is heavily traveled with vehicles and school buses and in my opinion is unsafe for a child of her age to be riding unsupervised.

    8/25/2011 16.21
    I called CPS and spoke with Pamela Winters and advised her of the situation. She said to fax a copy of the report and they would follow up on the reoprt. I advised her of the details at which time she asked if there was bus service to the residence. I advised there was and she stated the situation would be taken care of.

  3. #3 |  B | 

    When I was that age way back in the stone age (mid 90s), 4th and 5th grade students had explicit permission from my district to ride to elementary school. The school installed bike racks.

    We’ve come a long way in 15 years.

  4. #4 |  Mike T | 

    When confronted with a potentially disloyal spouse, O’Reilly reacted by—not unlike his boss Roger Ailes—treating his local police department like a private security force and trying to damage one cop’s career for the sin of crossing Bill O’Reilly.

    And if you believe that marriage should be regulated by the state, there is an implicit duty to regulate adultery. You can’t tell a person of either sex that they can be bound to all of the deprivations of liberty (loss of income, property, access to children, etc.) that follows from divorce and then tell them that if their divorcing spouse broke their marital “contract” via adultery that they have no legal recourse.

    A lot of liberals and libertarians find it unacceptable that so long as marriage is state-licensed the state should have any hand in punishing adultery. That is ludicrous, especially since libertarians allegedly believe that contracts should not only be highly regarded legally but that penalties for breaking them should not be set aside without a damn good reason.

    If we really want to bring some honesty to back to the national debate on marriage, the fastest way is to start locking these cheating whores and cads up in jail for adultery.

  5. #5 |  PeeDub | 

    That guy should’ve been in a union!!

    (hint #1: it’s funny)
    (hint #2: Soul Asylum)
    (hint #3: no,really, it’s funny, I swear)

  6. #6 |  TomG | 

    1. While I’m not defending O’Reilly, I have reasons not to trust or like Gawker, and I refuse to give them page hits. If there are other sources for this, I will follow them and see what is going on.
    2. The police officer shouldn’t have involved CPS unless there was an imminent danger. It’s none of his business whether a child rides the bus or not.

  7. #7 |  MassHole | 

    Bill O’s getting a nice taste of karma. Making an ass of yourself by sexually harassing a co-worker and then having to pay up to settle the lawsuit might just bum your wife out enough to sleep with the local po-po.

    The settlement must have been huge. Look how well this chick lives.

    http://gawker.com/5380802/happy-bill-oreilly-loofah-day

  8. #8 |  James | 

    The article in the last link (“State of Illinois runs a dating service”) talks about a babysitting service, not a dating service. Because they did a poor job of investigating the babysitters, some ex-cons got jobs.

  9. #9 |  Kristen | 

    I need to email that cop report to my Ma – when I was 8 she practically pushed my brother and I down the driveway on our bikes to ride 5 miles to the pool in the summer (to get us the fuck outta the house, undoubtedly). And there weren’t any sidewalks at all until about mile 4.5. Hell, there wasn’t even pavement until mile 3!

  10. #10 |  Cornellian | 

    “Steven Seagal sued for driving tank into house, killing puppy and more than a hundred chickens.”

    I know 100 chickens seems like a lot, but have you seen that guy lately? The man’s got an appetite.

  11. #11 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Worst case scenario:The bicycle kid is gonna be taken away from the mom in a Elian Gonzales type raid and sent off to live with some pervy Foster parents. All in the name of “safety.”

  12. #12 |  Marty | 

    funny stuff, Cornelian!

  13. #13 |  Mario | 

    If a 10-year-old is aloud to ride her bike on the street, how are we adults supposed to drive our oversized SUV’s 10-15 mph in excess of the posted speed limit while drinking coffee and updating our Facebook status on our smartphones? Obviously, the child and the mother are at fault here.

  14. #14 |  Radley Balko | 

    The article in the last link (“State of Illinois runs a dating service”) talks about a babysitting service, not a dating service.

    I was making a joke, there.

  15. #15 |  Radley Balko | 

    A lot of liberals and libertarians find it unacceptable that so long as marriage is state-licensed the state should have any hand in punishing adultery.

    Since when are contracts enforced with criminal sanctions?

  16. #16 |  TomG | 

    James (#8), I think you don’t get Radley’s sense of humor. He was spot on here.

  17. #17 |  Mattocracy | 

    Children don’t have rights, so they surely can’t have freedom, especially when it comes to riding their bikes.

  18. #18 |  Mattocracy | 

    “If we really want to bring some honesty to back to the national debate on marriage, the fastest way is to start locking these cheating whores and cads up in jail for adultery.”

    Breaking a civil contract is not a criminal act, its a civil matter. There is no reason to send people to prison for this you draconian lunatic.

  19. #19 |  Juice | 

    Here’s a story with video about the kid on the bike.

    http://www2.tricities.com/news/2011/aug/30/epd-unsupervised-10-year-old-should-not-ride-bike–ar-1275159/

  20. #20 |  Mike T | 

    Since when are contracts enforced with criminal sanctions?

    Since the beginning of time with marriage.

  21. #21 |  Maggie McNeill | 

    I forwarded the bike-riding link to Lenore Skenazy of Free-Range Kids; if anyone can raise a stink about this she can.

    #4: “If we really want to bring some honesty to back to the national debate on marriage, the fastest way is to start locking these cheating whores and cads up in jail for adultery.”

    Unless they’re taking money for it they aren’t whores, they’re just sluts. While I do know some whores who are married, I can’t imagine being able to carry on the business very long without the consent and cooperation of one’s husband, so they aren’t “cheating”. Whoring is a profession; cheating is just a pastime.

  22. #22 |  Mike T | 

    Breaking a civil contract is not a criminal act, its a civil matter. There is no reason to send people to prison for this you draconian lunatic.

    You’re an idiot if you can’t think of many common ways in which breaking a marriage contract can quickly become a criminal offense.

    1. How about refusing to pay alimony to support a wife who cheated on you? Oh right, that’s a criminal offense.

    2. How about refusing to support kids who you find out aren’t yours? Most jurisdictions don’t allow this.

    3. What if you find that you acquired 80% of the property in the marriage and your wife wants half? Refuse and in many jurisdictions you go to prison.

    That took me no time to think up.

  23. #23 |  Mike T | 

    Since when are contracts enforced with criminal sanctions?

    Here’s one way. I say a fairly ambiguous contract means one thing, you say it means another. Judge sides with you, and I refuse to budge.

    Any educated guesses on who is going to prison for not budging on the disagreement?

  24. #24 |  MH | 

    “Breaking a civil contract is not a criminal act, its a civil matter. There is no reason to send people to prison for this you draconian lunatic.”

    No, it’s a good idea. Probably most of Congress would find themselves behind bars. Their affairs would finally stop them meddling in our affairs. And that of course explains why politicians like to pick on gays, a small minority, rather than going after divorce and adultery.

  25. #25 |  Eric | 

    In the D.C. cop story, the write-up of the earlier confrontation where the cop pulled a gun is telling: the CVS security guard -an off-duty cop himself- wrote that he determined that the guy was “an off-duty officer, and therefore no further action was necessary.”

    Maybe that language wasn’t intentional, but the explicit meaning of it is that he based his decision on what to do on the actor (a cop) rather than the action (pulling a gun on a group of people following an argument at 4 a.m.).

  26. #26 |  Mattocracy | 

    Except that those examples are not the same as cheating on someone. Cheating on a spouse is not he same as:

    Refusing to provide for your kids

    Refusing to abide by a court ruling regarding joint property

    You can go to jail for not doing this things, but these things aren’t infidelity.

    It should be said that hurting someone’s felling via infidelity does no tangible harm. Yeah, it fucking blows a lot. But you don’t lose property and it’s not he same as being physically assaulted. Sending people to jail for fucking around is so grossly disproportionate that only a crazy person would find it appropriate.

  27. #27 |  Mario | 

    Maggie McNeill @ #21

    Good call on the Free Range Kids! That woman’s writings are well worth reading. I remember when she let her young son ride the subway home by himself and all the flack she caught for that.

    My mother, born in 1940, tells me when she was a little girl she used to ride the bus by herself from the Bronx into Manhattan, and that that was no big deal. Nowadays, if the school bus doesn’t stop at the end of a kid’s driveway, it’s like the end of the world.

  28. #28 |  Aresen | 

    That Colorado grave-digger (‘headline of the day’) could probably run a service, dancing on the graves of peoples’ enemies for a fee.

  29. #29 |  Mike T | 

    Refusing to provide for your kids

    Refusing to abide by a court ruling regarding joint property

    You can go to jail for not doing this things, but these things aren’t infidelity.

    And what do those things, and infidelity, have in common? They’re all aspects of the “contractual obligations” that come with marriage.

    It should be said that hurting someone’s felling via infidelity does no tangible harm. Yeah, it fucking blows a lot. But you don’t lose property and it’s not he same as being physically assaulted.

    Bullshit. Adultery frequently does tangible harm.

    1. STDs.
    2. Diluting marital assets via child support payments.
    3. Severe emotional distress to the injured party (which is a civil offense).

    Sending people to jail for fucking around is so grossly disproportionate that only a crazy person would find it appropriate.

    Then so is sending a man to prison for refusing to support his kids if his wife leaves him and runs off with them.

  30. #30 |  Mario | 

    Me @ #13

    Of course, had I posted after first finishing my morning coffee, I would have written “allowed.”

    Shame on me!

  31. #31 |  EH | 

    Maybe that language wasn’t intentional, but the explicit meaning of it is that he based his decision on what to do on the actor (a cop) rather than the action (pulling a gun on a group of people following an argument at 4 a.m.).

    Absolutely, and the charges against the officer described in the article make it clear that he’s being undercharged. Standing on the hood of their car, shouting “I’m going to kill all of you!” while pointing a gun at the windshield? I’d guess that’s at least 5 charges of something beyond DWI and Assault with a Deadly Weapon. The guy shot at the car, for crying out loud.

  32. #32 |  Mike T | 

    Adultery can also cause things like loss of employment and imprisonment. Here are a few easy examples:

    1. Your lover is a coworker. She finds out you won’t leave your wife and then sues for sexual harassment. You’re up the creek in many jurisdictions if she’s lower than you in the office pecking order.

    2. You cheat with a hooker or escort. Look mommy, daddy’s now a sex offender who can’t find a job.

    Whatever you feel about the morality of these things, you can’t wish them away. They are laws which libertarians who actually want to modify the world as it actually is have to deal with. Saying “adultery just hurts feelings” is a mind-numbingly ignorant statement because in the real world, there are all sorts of ways it can cause real tangible harm besides driving a couple so far apart that they have to divorce (then go through the legal meat grinder that follows THAT)

  33. #33 |  CyniCAl | 

    The irony of the Tennessee child-biking kerfuffle is that, for once, the police officer’s report reads reasonable.

    In other words, take the force of law out of the equation and the CPS threat, change the officer’s report to an eyewitness opinion, and the situation sounds like a tragic accident waiting to happen. I witnessed a fatal car v. bike accident when I was a kid on a busy county road that I lived on, killing a 12-year-old girl and severely injuring another, so it does happen.

    Of course, in a perfect world, it is the mother and child who should bear the costs of poor decision-making and suffer the consequences, if any. But, at least in this one case, it doesn’t appear that there’s anything nefarious going on with the officer — increasing bus ridership just doesn’t pass the smell test.

    I guess it’s a shame that all the Andy Griffiths of the world are no more. He sure would know the right thing to do.

  34. #34 |  2nd of 3 | 

    If I take a $1 candy bar but don’t pay for it, that’s criminal and I can go to jail. If I cheat on my spouse, potentially expose her to deadly STDs, use (steal) community property (money, time, possessions, etc) because of my adultery, that’s a civil matter.

    LOL :D

  35. #35 |  Mattocracy | 

    “And what do those things, and infidelity, have in common? They’re all aspects of the “contractual obligations” that come with marriage.”

    No, those are things that deal with divorce, not marriage. People can get divorced for any reason. You asserted that breaking a tenant of civil contract should automatically send people to prison. That is crazy. If you fail to abide by a court decry when you dissolve your civil contract, that becomes criminal. But the cause of divorce shouldn’t be an automatic jail sentence unless it involves physical abuse or something else that violated anther’s rights. Cheating in of itself, doesn’t violate rights.

    “Bullshit. Adultery frequently does tangible harm.”

    Ex 1-Guess what, you hold them accountable for giving you an STD, not for cheating on you. Cause that can happen regardless of infidelity

    Ex 2-That’s a divorce, something can happen for any reason. Again, the potential for causing a divorce shouldn’t be a prison sentence. We might as well put people in prison for falling out of love then.

    3-Severe emotional distress could be caused by, I dunno, say a divorce! A divorce that doesn’t involve any infidelity at all. The Packers caused me severe emotional stress when the creamed the Falcons last year in the playoffs, but I don’t get to send Aaron Rodgers to fucking prison.

    Ex 1, that chick could falsely accuse you of sexual harassment even if you’re single and even you never had sex with her. Still not an argument to put people in prison for fucking around.

    Ex 2, consensual activity between two consenting adults is a victimless crime. Using an amoral law is not a valid reason to incarcerate cheaters.

    You can list every scenario you want to, but the bottom line is that every scenario is something that could happen regardless of infidelity. Shit, sometimes infidelity doesn’t cause any harm at all if the other spouse is willing to forgive. Which is why it is lunacy to imprison people for adultery.

  36. #36 |  Donald | 

    The kids who’s too stupid to make it to school and back without getting squished doesn’t get to have kids of their own, and we are all better off for it.

  37. #37 |  scott | 

    I’m with Mike T. on this. I think he’s using hyperbole to make a larger point; that the government’s involvement in marriage is patently unjustifiable. His isn’t a defense of O’Reilly. It’s a condemnation of the arrangement in which the state insinuates itself into and regulates a private contract between two or more consenting adults, but then leaves the “wrongly”-gendered party all but legally toothless should that contract be broken through fraud or malfeasance by the “correctly”-gendered party.

    “It should be said that hurting someone’s felling [sic] via infidelity does no tangible harm…. [Y]ou don’t lose property and it’s not he same as being physically assaulted.”

    You’re absolutely right. Except for the expenses incurred in STD testing, marital counseling and individual counseling you don’t lose any property. You also don’t lose any property in the subsequent divorce which was prompted, in large part, by your wandering spouse’s activities (you *especially* don’t lose any property if you’re the male in the equation and there are kids involved). And except for the countless lost nights of sleep, the stress, the anguish and anxiety, and all the attendant physical problems therein it’s not the same as being physically assaulted.

    Which is all beside the point as adultery is still illegal in many (most?) states; New York included. Which absolutely does make it a criminal matter even if it doesn’t make O’Reilly any less of a jacknut.

  38. #38 |  Alex | 

    “Osborne joined the ranks of more than 70,000 child care providers paid by the program — 60,000 of them unlicensed.”

    I guess that was inevitable.

  39. #39 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “I guess it’s a shame that all the Andy Griffiths of the world are no more. He sure would know the right thing to do.”

    I think he’d call NHTSA and tell them to install a Bike Lane.

  40. #40 |  Mike T | 

    You asserted that breaking a tenant of civil contract should automatically send people to prison. That is crazy.

    Within the context of the marriage laws, to make a point that people can either have the old regime (marriage strictly regulated by the state) or the libertarian one (not regulated) but nothing in between.

    You can list every scenario you want to, but the bottom line is that every scenario is something that could happen regardless of infidelity.

    Which has precisely nothing to do with scenarios where it overlaps with adultery.

    I think he’s using hyperbole to make a larger point; that the government’s involvement in marriage is patently unjustifiable.

    Bingo! The only role the government should have is in enforcing it via a civil contract.

    However, as long as the current regime exists, libertarians need to wake up and realize how it’s been modified in ways that are extremely illiberal to men.

    Guys like Mattocracy tend to willfully miss the point because they’re so concerned with their right to screw with impunity that they cannot even conceive of how that right, in certain contexts, might be destructive of liberty. When two consenting adults get married under the current regime, there is an implied rule that sex outside of marriage is unacceptable and breach of contract. Not providing a mechanism to punish the offending party is a major loophole that, in context of the other things men go through in divorce, provides men little practical legal protection.

    That is why I said that we can debate how the system should be, but you have to deal with the system as it actually is first.

  41. #41 |  marco73 | 

    Re the Seagal story: sure, he’s a big dude, but I don’t think he could eat 10 chickens, let alone 100. Must have been a cookout for the whole SWAT team.

  42. #42 |  The “Holy Shit!” Rule | Popehat | 

    [...] the amount of force typically reserved to take a Pacific atoll from Imperial Japan. And now, via Radley Balko, I see that it is getting them in (entirely predictable) trouble, along with the highly irritable [...]

  43. #43 |  Mike T | 

    One of the things holding this back is that prenups are frequently struck down as unconscionable by judges. Many states also don’t even put divorces through real courts. In order to make the system work, what would need to be done is to create something equivalent to one of the standard real estate contracts used in large metropolitan areas for normal housing purchases, but for marriage. It would have to stipulate all of the normal conditions of marriage ranging from the nature of the roles in the marriage, to duty to support one another, to breach of contract. However, the state would need to set an extremely high bar for declaring it unconscionable so that the judiciary cannot impose its own will on the contract after the fact.

    The best option would be to adopt a model similar to Israel where you would have private secular and religious courts with original jurisdiction to oversee such a personal matter. Ideally, the way it would work is a Muslim couple would submit a contract between them and their branch of Islam’s legal school to their home state. The marriage contract would be governed by Sharia, not secular law. Same for Jewish law, Roman Catholic Cannon Law, Unitarian Universalists, etc. You would declare which institution you wished to have legal standing to interpret your marriage contract and the state’s role would be to intervene if the ruling was either incompetent according to that institution’s standards or violated a criminal statute.

  44. #44 |  MattJ | 

    CyniCAl:

    I guess it’s a shame that all the Andy Griffiths of the world are no more. He sure would know the right thing to do.

    I think you mean Andy Taylor, and if so, you would be right. Andy Griffith, on the other hand, went statist on us:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20012216-503544.html

    or perhaps he always was.

  45. #45 |  plutosdad | 

    We all laugh at O’Reilly, but have we forgotten Ray Liotta in Unlawful Entry? Think of the danger O’Reilly could have been in!

  46. #46 |  CyniCAl | 

    Yes, meant Andy Taylor, damn it all to hell. Just like me to bury a good point in minutia.

  47. #47 |  pegr | 

    Dancing grave digger article:

    He is to be charged with “desecration of venerated objects”

    What? That doesn’t pass the First Amendment smell test. What the heck?

    (Stealing meme from another site: “I desecrate my venerated objects at home!”)

  48. #48 |  Al V | 

    “Colorado Grave Digger Fired For Dancing On Graves”

    I didn’t know Dick Cheney was dead….

    Is there a line?

  49. #49 |  fwb | 

    B4 U belive the feds have a legitimate case on Speaker Felony, read Three Felonies a Day, available through Amazon.

  50. #50 |  Al V | 

    @fwb

    Actually I firmly believe that our MA. politicians are getting entirely justifiable criminal actions. If anything there are not enough criminal probes going on at the Statehouse.

    If we arrested all the corrupt MA. politicians we would need a new wing on the prison.

  51. #51 |  Mike T | 

    And for the record, I hope Bill O’Reilly’s plan backfires on him. The rich and elites should not be getting special favors from the police, no matter how meritorious their claims.

  52. #52 |  c andrew | 

    From Popehat

    He listened sympathetically. Then he told me. “Ken,” he told me, “if your reaction to a proposal is “HOLY SHIT, THAT SOUNDS LIKE FUN,” then as a government lawyer and member of law enforcement, you almost certainly shouldn’t be doing it.”

    The tenor of this advice is so reasonable it almost sounds like an alternative reality US Attorney talking. How long ago was this?

  53. #53 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    “Officers found Furr standing on the hood, pointing his off-duty service weapon at the windshield. Police recovered five shell casings that matched Furr’s weapon.”

    Aggressive suspect standing on hood with gun in hand after just firing into vehicle. That would have been a “good shoot” if responding officers had elected to light him up. Another proud moment for the DC Metro Police!

    Oh yeah, ARM THE TRANSGENDERED! And anyone else in DC that wants to carry too. Its not like you can rely on your police department.

  54. #54 |  Mattocracy | 

    “Guys like Mattocracy tend to willfully miss the point because they’re so concerned with their right to screw with impunity that they cannot even conceive of how that right, in certain contexts, might be destructive of liberty.”

    Rights are never destructive to liberty. Ever. If you are knowlingly endangering lives or causing harm to people, you aren’t excersing rights. And I didn’t say anything about freedom without impunity, we have to accept consequences. I’m saying that cheating in of itself is no reason to go to prison since no one has a natural right not to be cheated on in life.

    “When two consenting adults get married under the current regime, there is an implied rule that sex outside of marriage is unacceptable and breach of contract. Not providing a mechanism to punish the offending party is a major loophole that, in context of the other things men go through in divorce, provides men little practical legal protection.”

    I’m all in favor of fixing divorce/marriage laws to create a fair system that doesn’t favor a gender. If you’re comment about prison terms was meant to be hyperbole, I’m sorry I misunderstood.

    But infidelity causes the offending party to lose position in a divorce more often than not. It’s not like wife cheats, husband divorces then loses all his shit in the process. The only payout in that scenario is if she maintains custody of the kids, but she doesn’t get half. I don’t know about every case, but of my friends who have been divorced because of the wife fooling around, that’s how it played out.

    I totally agree that divorce does not favor men and that marriage has turned into a liabilty more than an asset for both parties involved.

  55. #55 |  Random_Guy_on_the_Internet | 

    NYS Penal Code:

    Section 255.17 Adultery

    A person is guilty of adultery when he engages in sexual intercourse with another person at a time when he has a living spouse, or the other person has a living spouse.

    Adultery is a class B misdemeanor.

  56. #56 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @43 – Why should the state get involved at all? Sure, there’s a call for the state to register people as partners (although, bluntly, only two? oops, bias there….). That means legal assumptions are made very differently about issues like inheritance and so on without needing additional documents.

    But why should the state get involved with *marriage*?

    I say this as someone religious.

  57. #57 |  Tenn. woman threatened for allowing daughter to ride bike to school « David McElroy | 

    [...] This story comes via The Agitator, which ought be on your list of daily reads. [...]

  58. #58 |  EH | 

    As far as the state is concerned, marriage is an economic contract only. Sure, some states have adultery laws and whatnot, but they’re pretty clearly anachronistic.

  59. #59 |  John C. Randolph | 

    My parents made me ride my bike to school so that I’d be sure to get an adequate amount of daily exercise. That cop is an idiot.

    -jcr

  60. #60 |  Mike T | 

    If you are knowlingly endangering lives or causing harm to people, you aren’t excersing rights.

    If you open up on a home intruder with a 30.06 instead of a 9mm or .380 in an apartment, you’re using your second amendment rights. You’re also endangering everyone around you because a 30.06 will shred a hole right through most apartment walls.

  61. #61 |  Mike T | 

    If you’re comment about prison terms was meant to be hyperbole, I’m sorry I misunderstood.

    Yes and no. I’m not in favor of state-licensed marriage, but I am a firm believer that if the state is going to get that involved it must do it consistently precisely because inconsistency leaves a major loophole where many a person’s rights can be violated. The fundamental defect in our state-licensed marriage system is that adultery is either treated with kid gloves or simply not punished at all. In most cases, it has virtually no bearing on things like custody and asset distribution. Furthermore, a prenup which had a clause that said whoever cheats forfeits all rights to marital assets would likely get declared “unconscionable” by the judge.

    I think the best solution is to establish a private arbitration system where ecclesiastic courts can actually handle the arbitration for most self-professed religious Americans. The state should simply was its hands of marriage and civil unions and tell people that if they want one, they can submit to the authority of a private religious or secular institution that handles them.

    Of course, most Americans don’t want that because they want to be able to use the secular courts as a way of getting out of a marriage that their religion doesn’t recognize as invalid. But that’s a larger issue with the “I want to have my cake and eat it too” mentality that passes for individualism among most Americans today…

  62. #62 |  Mattocracy | 

    What if you’re catholic and the church won’t grant a divorce? At some point you have to tell a religious organization that they can’t force a married lifestyle onto a participant who is no longer willing.

    The idea of having different rules for different people does not sit well with me. I would prefer that a mrriage be a legal agreement where both parties agree to the terms of joint living and the process of disolving the marriage should it come to that.

    I guess technically you could say the religion sets the terms of the marriage. But allowing religious institutions, who have a poor track record of upholding people’s natural rights, to have rights to arbitrate seems scary. I suppose a judicial proceeding infront of an elected judge can be just as corruptable.

  63. #63 |  JOR | 

    Well, everyone can play the “the other people just want to avoid personal responsibility” game. For instance, people who fail to provide (or think they might fail to provide) a good sexual/emotional/financial partnership to their spouse want to evade the natural consequences of their actions by criminalizing adultery.

    It would be just as true, of course. Truth is, every human action is an attempt to impose some package of consequences on the future, and avoid all other consequences, with as little cost as possible.

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