incest

An Obvious Question (Illinois Ignominy)

D City Rock: Detail of frame from "Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt", 'Help! We Are Angels', by TeddyLoin featuring Debra Zeer.

This is … what, traditional family values?

According to a proposed bill filed last week by two Republican Illinois state lawmakers, if a father is not listed on a newborn’s birth certificate, the birth certificate will not be issued and any future financial assistance will be denied.

The proposed bill HB6064 by Representative John Cavaletto and Representative Keith Wheeler would amend the Illinois Vital Records Act to require that unwed mothers either name a father on the birth certificate or within 30 days go to court and have another family member sign the birth certificate and agree to accept financial responsibility for the child ....

.... If a single mother fails to name the father or identify another guardian, the child will not be issued a birth certificate and the family will be permanently banned from public assistance. The bill makes no exception for rape or incest victims. Under current law, an unmarried father is not named on the birth certificate unless he signs a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity.

(Tesfaye)

You know, something useful is supposed to go here, but in truth I am uncertain what that is. More specifically, I’m still stuck on the obvious question.

What the hell is wrong with these people?

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Tesfaye, Sophia. “Illinois Republicans target single mothers and their babies: GOP bill would ban birth certificates, financial aid if father is not named”. Salon. 25 February 2016.

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A Fair Point

→"I didn't 'evolve' from no monkey! I descend from two people cursed for disobeying God, and the incestuous unions of their children!" | (I never understood the 'argument from dignity'.)← ('Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal' by Zach Weiner, 21 May 2015.)Two notes:

(1) He’s got a point.

(2) Argument from Dignity? Is that what it’s called? Really?

Something about Scott Walker goes here, but something else tells me that’s not quite right.

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Weiner, Zach. “Descent”. Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. 21 May 2015.

The Countdown: Three Weeks

Jim Obergefell, left, and John Arthur, who suffered from ALS, are married by officiant Paulette Roberts, Arthur’s aunt, on a plane on the tarmac at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport on July 11, 2013. (Glenn Hartong/AP)

Three weeks.

It was not a long marriage, just three months and 11 days — the time it took his husband, John Arthur, to struggle to say, “I thee wed,” and then die from ALS. Now their union, and the 20-year relationship that preceded it, is at the center of Obergefell v. Hodges, the title case of four consolidated appeals the Supreme Court will hear this month to decide whether gay couples have a constitutional right to marry.

(Rosenwald)

Perhaps it would be helpful to understand not only the importance of Mr. Obergefell’s marriage, but also the terrible depths to which two judges in the Sixth Circuit stooped in hopes of calling it off.

The right of Ohio to decide which marriages to honor or not depends in part on whether the marriage is illegal for other reasons. And that’s part of what is going before the Supreme Court in three weeks. You know, because marrying your gay partner is the equivalent of other prohibited behaviors like incest, or incompetence. (See Sutton and Cook, pp. 40, 59.)

That is how low Judges Jeffrey Sutton and Deborah Cook reached in order to unmarry a dead man.

Yes, there is a reason even Justice Thomas knows it’s over. And in three weeks, Mary Bonauto will do us the honor of driving the nails.

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Rosenwald, Michael S. “How Jim Obergefell became the face of the Supreme Court gay marriage case”. The Washington Post. 6 April 2015.

Sutton, Jeffrey and Deborah Cook. “Opinion”. DeBoer v. Snyder. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. 6 November 2014.

Thomas, J. Clarence. “On Application for Stay”. Strange v. Searcy. Supreme Court of the United States. 9 February 2015.

Sisyphus Weiner Galt

Detail of 'Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal', by Zach Weiner, 18 November 2014.

Dystopia is burning, which ought to be a good thing except it is burning with the passions of the stage and just wants to dance! Which, of course, ought to be about as inspiring as Rush Limbaugh in a thong leotard.

Then again, one would think that at some point, prostitution would be the sort of thing only humans could do for each other, but I think society has yet to get through polygamy, incest, and bestiality before moving onto giant robot anime porn. Oh, wait. Rule Thirty-Four. Serves me right for trying to steal a line.

I don’t know, something about mechaphilia or mechasexual goes here. Still, in the Weiner dystopia at least the labor conditions for human prostitutes has improved. To the other, though, it would seem there is not so much difference between the Luddite punch line and a PG-rated future, which on this occasion means post-Galtian.

In the end, perhaps that is the point; people are what the really pointless labor exists for. Maybe that is why we must presume Sisyphus happy. Fruitless labor? Hey, it’s job security.

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Weiner, Zach. Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. 18 November 2014.

A Note on Republicans and Reality

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 28: U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House August 28, 2014 in Washington, DC. President Obama spoke on various topics including possible action against ISIL and immigration reform. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

This one is really simple, and it is also just about what you would expect. That is to say, the reason Republican politicians loathe science so much is easily enough expressed:

Conservative commentators are fond of pointing to Barack Obama’s excessive use of the word “I” as evidence of the president’s narcissism. (“For God’s sake, he talks like the emperor Napoleon,” Charles Krauthammer complained recently.) But there’s one tiny problem with this line of reasoning. If you’re counting pronouns, Obama is maybe the least narcissistic president since 1945.

BuzzFeed News analyzed more than 2,000 presidential news conferences since 1929, looking for usage of first-person singular pronouns — “I,” “me,” “my,” “mine,” and “myself.” Just 2.5 percent of Obama’s total news-conference words fell into this category. Only Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt used them less often.

That is to say, science makes it harder for conservatives to lie. Put more bluntly: Science makes it harder to justify being politically conservative.

Charles freakin' KrauthammerTrue, John Templon’s article for BuzzFeed is hardly a proper, old-school, blue-blooded monograph, but neither is it supposed to be. But this is why conservatives hate science and all things remotely scientific; reality really interferes with their agenda.

To the other, Republicans should cheer up; it can’t last forever. After all, the way things are going, society will shift again, and suddenly my side of the aisle will become conservative. Now, in that case, it will likely be a social issue that divides, like wage equality for gay, incestuous, polygamous razor-assed baboons. You know, a congress of S&M baboons playing The Brady Bunch, and while that might prove a better idea than the two reimagined movies from a decade best forgotten, well, it is true that looking forward one might have a hard time understanding how, say, gay marriage is going to usher in polygamous or incestuous marriage.α

But, yeah. This is why conservatives and Republicans hate science. Science describes reality, and reality makes the Republican swindle that much tougher to sell.

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α Polygamy is a matter of numbers. Incest would be a true redefinition of family, as it would change the relative values of, well, relatives. Beyond the nine-headed babies, or whatever, consider growing up in a household where your grandpa, father, and older brother are all competing in hopes that you’ll sleep with them upon reaching age of consent. In truth, the best thing that could happen for legalized polygamous or incestuous marriage would be that the evangelical right wing decides to pick a fight. Historically, gay rights were nowhere on the political map in 1990, when Christians in Oregon decided to pick a fight. Nor were they a pressing issue two years later when Christian supremacism went statewide in the Beaver State and also found a home in Colorado. Which, of course, reminds that as the final barriers to nationwide marriage equality collapse, we all owe a raising of the wrist to Lon Mabon, Scott Lively and the Oregon Citizens’ Alliance, Colorado for Family Values, and many others without whom marriage equality would not have happened for another fifty years at least. Nothing increases general societal pathos toward a suspect group of people like proper, self-righteous, hypocritical, faithless Christian outrage.

Templon, John. “No, Obama’s Pronouns Don’t Make Him A Narcissist”. BuzzFeed. 19 October 2014.

Follow-up … Clean-up … Something-up

The Rachel Maddow Show, 6 October 2014

Rachel Maddow’s nearly giddy segment on msnbc last night noted that when the full effect of yesterday’s Supreme Court rejection of appeals against marriage equality reaches the states, the roster will equal thirty states. And she looked forward to decisions expected from the Sixth and Ninth.

Today, the hammer dropped in the Ninth; Dale Carpenter quips:

I haven’t read the Ninth Circuit opinion yet. I have to teach now, so it would be nice if the courts would stop issuing gay-marriage decisions for an hour or so.

The estimable Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSblog explains what happened in the Ninth:

The Ninth Circuit’s ruling was made up of three parts.

First, all three judges on the panel joined in an opinion by Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt finding that the Idaho and Nevada bans violate the constitutional guarantee of same-sex couples to be treated the same legally as opposite-sex couples. Second, Judge Reinhardt issued a separate opinion, for himself only, saying he would also strike down those bans under the Constitution’s Due Process Clause, arguing that the right to marry is a fundamental guarantee and that gays and lesbians have a right to share in that right. Third, Circuit Judge Marsha S. Berzon, in a separate opinion only for herself, said she would have also struck down the bans on the premise that they discriminate on the basis of gender.

The third member, Circuit Judge Ronald M. Gould, joined only the main opinion on the equal protection principle.

This ruling was perhaps the least surprising among four federal courts of appeals decisions striking down state prohibitions on same-sex couples marrying, and already-married couples gaining official state recognition of those unions, performed elsewhere.

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Effing Apt

Right. So. Anyway. Er … ah … yeah. Right.Mug shots of Christopher Buckner (top) and Timothy Savoy (bottom), after their arrest in Effingham County, Georgia, in August, 2014.  The couple have been charged with prowling, sodomy, and incest.

Setup or punch lines? That is to say, normally the setup comes first, but it also … er … ah … right.

Is there any dignified way to do this? Or, perhaps, that isn’t our question to ask; it would have served others rather well.

So: A sheriff’s office receives a call reporting a possible prowler.

There you go. That’s the setup. Repeated reviews of the short article from WTOC television (via Tuscon News Now) have not identified a single sentence that is not … funny? … astoundingly creepy? … morbidly ironic? … very, very sad? Okay, that’s not fair; there is one sentence.

Punch line number one:

While deputies checked the area they located a male and a female walking in the area. When deputies investigated further, deputies determined the couple were brother and sister and were having sex in a Kenworth Enterprise Tractor Trailer.

Punch line number two:

“Christopher Buckner, 20, or Guyton and her brother, Timothy Savoy, 25, of Jackson, GA, were inside of the tractor trailer at the County Side Baptist Church on Highway 30 having sex prior to being stopped by deputies,” Sheriff’s Spokesman David Ehsanipoor said.

Punch line number three:

Effingham County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the area of Hester Road and Highway 30 because of a report of a prowler shortly after 4 a.m.

Yes, let us stitch that all together: In Effingham County, Georgia, a brother and sister have been charged with prowling, sodomy, and incest after allegedly getting it on in a tractor trailer at a Baptist church.

No, really. What do you do with that one?

Normally I would say they’ll hear about this one at the pub when all is said and done, except it is uncertain whether or not the razzing will be moralistically driven, or fueled by envy.

Effing Effingham County. Georgia. Really? They couldn’t have found, say, a gas station restroom (not the Baptist church) in, say, any northern state (not the South), in any other county (not called Effingham)?

The thing is that at a genuine human level, this is supposed to be something between concerning and tragic. But in terms of what comes across the newswire? Someone, please tell me the wire has been pranked. Please? Because I’m pretty sure, “God help us!” is simply inappropriate on this occasion.

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