Gay Marriage and the Joy of Living

by craig on October 13, 2012 12:15 pm in Uncategorized

I received an email from someone called Kevin accusing me of having refused to state my position on gay marriage. I have never been asked, but am in fact entirely in favour. I think human relationships are essential to human happiness, and I am not in the least concerned about the gender combinations or sexual practices in which people find happiness. Nor am I obsessed with the number two. I have no objection to polyandry or polygamy (or the gay equivalent) either. The key thing is that people enter and leave relationships entirely consensually, once of an age to consent. I do not believe in matters of tax, immigration or any other governmental sphere, any combination of family life should be favored over any other.

My own family life is “conventional” and very happy, but I do not make the mistake of believing one model fits all.

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195 Comments

  1. Sexuality is the joy of living. Perhaps sensuality is the problem?

  2. Hear, hear! I do wish we could get politicians to understand this, and to ignore the bleatings of the Daily Mail crowd.

  3. Neil Saunders

    13 Oct, 2012 - 12:43 pm

    What troubles me about this issue is the staggering intolerance shown to anyone who expresses even the mildest doubt or uncertainty about this major redefinition of the concept of marriage.

    The very fact that NomadUK uses a lazy slur like “the bleatings of the Daily Mail crowd” to encapsulate a large swathe of public opinion (by no means restricted to religious zealots or political reactionaries) does not bode well for genuinely civilised debate.

  4. Who, in OUR democracy, voted for it ?

    The more we allow the government to licence our lives, the less freedom we have to live it.

  5. “The key thing is that people enter and leave relationships entirely consensually, once of an age to consent”

    That’s a good argument for avoiding marriage altogether because with marriage the key thing is that you make a commitment. Doesn’t the Civil Partnership Act mean that all civil liberty issues are now covered? Why mess with the ancient tradition of marriage?

    I find it very odd that, a few months ago, Cameron and Obama both came out in support of gay marriage within a few a days of each other. What a coincidence. It set the alarm bells ringing in my neck of the woods.

  6. A very sensible and enlightened attitude. If only more would share it. By the way, have you seen this excellent article by Glenn Greenwald? http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/12/raddatz-debate-objectivity

  7. Civil partnership doesn’t deal with the question of same-sex partnerships. They are not open to people of opposite sexes, who may not want the tradition of marriage to affect their relationship. Moreover they are still not, I think, allowed to take place in buildings licensed for religious marriages and religious language is not permitted. While I’m not in favour of forcing any religious group to conduct same-sex partnerships or marriages, it means that members of my own religious group (the Quakers) and of several others do not have equal rights. Quaker Meetings in Britain have already celebrated same-sex marriages but these are treated differently from opposite-sex marriages celebrated in the same way. This is, of course, only one way in which the law is unequal.

    It might be worth considering why marriage is seen as the business of the state but it was, I think, a secular matter before it became a religious one – and more a matter of contract than of theology. I’m not wild about marriage for myself but I know a number of people of various sexual orientations who have happiness from relationships which look to me like good marriages, whether the law terms them “marriage” or “partnerships.” The denial of the term marriage to people on the grounds of gender/sexual orientation seems pretty offensive to me – and a democracy has to be careful to ensure the rights of minorities in order that it is not governed by violent and unthinking prejudice.

  8. Kathz wrote:

    “The denial of the term marriage to people on the grounds of gender/sexual orientation seems pretty offensive to me – and a democracy has to be careful to ensure the rights of minorities in order that it is not governed by violent and unthinking prejudice.”

    Pederasts are a minority. Shouldn’t we prevent them from having the ‘right’ to practice their perversions?

    Once they have the statute licence of marriage, they will have the automatic ‘right’ to fostering; else it would be ‘unthinking prejudice’.

  9. Michael Stephenson

    13 Oct, 2012 - 1:36 pm

    Any person with the capacity to think rationally and logically would reach this conclusion, the fact that this position does not have an overwhelming majority is frightening. The amount of people without the capacity to think rationally is frightening.

    OT – A film called “99 Percent: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film” is taking legal action against an occupy supporter who has posted videos to youtube, vimeo etc. for copyright infringement.

    http://pastebin.com/w9uPWQhA

    “Hi Jordan,

    I don’t have time for silliness. Just let me know if you’re removing our footage, or if I’m forwarding this to our attorneys. I’m not interested in your creative commons bs (which those of us who actually work in media refers to as amateur licensing) and I have told you that we do not want our work in any of your videos. Let me repeat: we want NONE of our work in ANY of your or any third party videos, and our exclusive licensing agreements exist specifically so that is enforcable.

    Again, just let me know if you’re going to respect our wishes or if I’m handing this to our lawyers.

    (Williams, please go ahead and forward this to the attorneys now, and tell them we’ll either be following up on this with them, or will let them know if our footage was removed.)

    Audrey Ewell”

    The elitist tone to her email is sickening. I hope her movie bombs and she has the mortgage riding on it, that might bring her thinking around.

  10. Neil Saunders

    13 Oct, 2012 - 1:41 pm

    To Michael Stephenson:

    Don’t you think you’re begging the question (in the old, robust sense of this generally misused expression) in asserting (i.e. stating without argument or supporting evidence) that anyone who holds an opinion different from your own must necessarily lack “the capacity to think rationally and logically”? In which case, you’re guilty yourself of the very thing of which you accuse others.

  11. Michael Stephenson

    13 Oct, 2012 - 1:49 pm

    Neil Saunders, The argument for gay marriage is simple if it causes you or anyone else no harm why would you seek to prevent it. Only the irrational do this, and they use irrational and supernatural justifications for doing so.
    Such as gay marriage causing natural disasters. Present to me a rational argument against gay marriage that doesn’t invoke God. Or some vague family values BS that is nothing more than conservatism and is not backed up with any evidence.

  12. “Any person with the capacity to think rationally and logically would reach this conclusion”

    That is a priceless opening line.

  13. O/T sorry – Occupy – 1 yr anniversary today London 2pm – 5pm plse bring a saucepan and a wooden spoon…

    http://globalnoise2012.occupylondon.org.uk/

    Thanks folks any type of support appreciated.

  14. Craig, agree 100%. The reactionary argument against samesex marriage is just a rerun of the pre-civil liberties era argument against marriage between people of different coloured skin. The reactionaries have a need to regard society as an arrangement of boxes that we get put in and from which we should not stray. Screw that.

  15. mobile site builder

    13 Oct, 2012 - 2:10 pm

    Dear Craigmurray,
    Thanks you for your post, Good thing that Canadians laugh at bigots and get great joy out of evil homophobe bigots that want to live in a Theocracy!

    People against gay marriage are sad Canada has equal rights, and Canadians are happy that those sick pathetic bigots are sad!
    Thx.

  16. Tarquin Folgate Norton

    13 Oct, 2012 - 2:57 pm

    AS JimmyGiro points out, we are being required to conform. We are out on licence.

    We are now required to have a “position” on every subject and woe betide you if you have the “wrong” position. The “Land of The Free” has gone further down that road than we in Britain but it will not be long as we are surely heading down that road.

    My stated position on gay marriage in future will be “Double egg and chips with extra mushrooms”

  17. I agree with Neil Saunders. On the one hand, I have no desire to intefere with anyone’s right to live together – whoever they may be.

    On the other hand, “marriage” is a word that has meant one thing for centuries: a formal union between one man and one woman, an important part of which is the bearing and upbringing of children.

    Why extend a clear, precise word like that to include other things that are different?

  18. Gaia Hepburn

    13 Oct, 2012 - 3:04 pm

    I believe the historical origins of Homophobia lie in colonialism, empire and militarism. The sergeant who addresses his recruits as ” ladies”, in an ironic attempt to masculinise his charges, exemplifies the idea that there must be a penalty WORSE than death with which to threaten and intimidate. The continuing anti homosexualism in western culture as expressed by the refusal to extend the umbrella of marriage, emphasises the second class, inferior status of the Civil Partnership, which I personally heard described by one ignorant Council Official as C.P.,also the abbreviation of corporal punishment. Symbols are the control mechanism of culture. Creating and maintaining marriage only for heterosexuals is clearly antediluvian and discriminatory. Craig is absolutely spot on in his views. Gaia

  19. I have no problem with any form of consensual sexual activity, having experimented with most of them, but I can’t join this argument until someone defines what ‘marriage’ means. What is distinctive about marriage, that we must not deny it to all? What privilege is being withheld? It’s a serious question, and I’m hoping for helpful answers.

    So my position on gay marriage is ‘of course, why not – but why does it matter?’

  20. For some It seem,s by taking their sole concept of marriage away, you maybe be denying them, there right to formulate their idea, of what life to them, holds most dear. That right may be that, they want to be how they instictively as feel well as religiously is to get married and partner for life.

    It is not about the `homosexuals`, it is about the `heterosexuals.`

    Forget about tolerance and all that what about the wants of most heterosexuals.

    As long as its called a gay marriage. Heterosexuals should call theres a `consumate marriage.`

  21. Many families are insular and claustrophobic. The extended family structure of the past is less common now; affluence increased mobility, pressure of employment caused many people to relocate, and extended families became dispersed. If you’re part of a good, functional, supportive family, consider yourself lucky; it is an accident of birth.

    Politicians like to advertise their “support of families”. They are considerably quieter about support for community. Community is empowering; you can choose to partake in and contribute toward community, whereas your family circumstances are mostly beyond your control.

    Aldous Huxley’s last book Island explores alternatives and improvements to family structure.

    “God”, of course, is a vengeful watcher of pornography. With His omniscience, He watches all our sexual antics, and gets very upset if we deviate from the sexual practices which He prefers.

  22. Sorry `consummate`

  23. Neil Saunders – Well said!

  24. Vronsky wrote:

    “I have no problem with any form of consensual sexual activity…”

    It’s amazing what you can train animals to do, but they may refrain from incest. People, however, are the craziest animals.

    Vronsky wrote:

    “…having experimented with most of them…”

    What stopped you from performing all? Was it your sense of disgust, or your sense of fear? And where did you get those boundaries from?

    Vronsky wrote:

    “…but I can’t join this argument until someone defines what ‘marriage’ means.”

    Interesting that not knowing your moral sexual boundaries, didn’t stop you from experimenting. Hence what use would it be to you to have a ‘standard’ definition, when you live your sexual life by disregarding moral standards?

    Vronsky wrote:

    “What is distinctive about marriage, that we must not deny it to all? What privilege is being withheld?”

    It is the privilege, and responsibility, to raise YOUR children, in a natural, heterosexual family. A cultural safety net within synthetic society, to preserve the naturally evolved order of humanity.

    Vronsky wrote:

    “It’s a serious question, and I’m hoping for helpful answers.”

    To help you for what? To help you expand your sexual perversions to beyond your fears?

    Vronsky wrote:

    “So my position on gay marriage is ‘of course, why not – but why does it matter?’”

    And here is the the heart of the project: ‘why does [marriage] matter’. The gay marriage debate is about diluting the ‘cultural’ sanctity of marriage and the family; which is one of the core themes of every totalitarian government. It is even written in the pamphlets of the Fabian society and other evil Marxist groups.

  25. I agree with Craig completely, but I think also that our proud and righteous liberal attitude has a moral blind spot, and that moral blind spot is the children that tend to pop out of heterosexual relationships.

    Children are a blind spot because in our free ‘hippie’ attitude toward relationships, we often tend to forget about them, and just expect that they are to tag along for the ride, whatever form that ride should take.

    Far be it from me to sing the praises of the nuclear family, but I do feel sorry for children caught up in the selfish and self-obsessed me-generation of our adult world, and I do feel sorry for children who grow up without the love of a mom or a dad, as a result of being brought up in same-sex households.

    While we don’t want to deny anyone the joy of having children, I don’t see why pausing to consider how children might be affected by our decisions should be so politically INcorrect.

  26. From JimmyGiro:

    ‘It is the privilege, and responsibility, to raise YOUR children, in a natural, heterosexual family. A cultural safety net within synthetic society, to preserve the naturally evolved order of humanity.’

    Ah, possession or ownership of children, marriage as an assurance that the youngsters a man raises actually do carry a portion of his genetic material. But wouldn’t such a standpoint render gay marriage irrelevant?…

    ‘To help you for what? To help you expand your sexual perversions to beyond your fears?’

    Jimmy may have been sitting in on God’s discrete DVD evenings.

  27. @Clark

    I’m strictly ‘old atheist’.

  28. So what, Jimmy? You’re still making the same mistake that God is commonly imagined to be making.

    The thing that gets me is that homophobia is wilful. People may imagine or visualise sexual acts that other people are said to perform; such fantasising is a popular kink. But to deliberately imagine or visualise other people’s sexual activities just to get upset about it goes right over from being a kink to a perversion.

  29. From ‘straw-man’ to ‘god-man’.

    Try quoting me Clark, that way you seem so much like an hysterical guardian reader.

  30. The “God sanctioned” marriage is one level of reference.
    In a secular sense some of the practical issues for legally formalising civil unions are:-
    Ownership of a home where partners lived and jointly contributed for an extended period.
    Ownership o f other types of property ( i.e. non-real estate).
    Acquired obligations during the course of the union, such as children.
    To mention just a few of the practicalities of not having a clear rule based system for addressing rights of respective partners.

  31. Michael Stephenson

    13 Oct, 2012 - 5:38 pm

    Jimmy as a supposed atheist how can you possibly define an activity between 2 consensual adults as immoral?
    As for bringing up children and the morality of being brought up in a standard family unit versus a same sex couple. Well it would be nice and convenient if the question of where and how a child should be raised was so simple.
    But in reality since 2 people of the same sex can’t procreate they will be adopting, they will be creating a family for children who have none, straight couples are put in the position where they need to adopt much less frequently due to IVF.
    So the comparison is, is it better for a child to live in a family unit with a same sex couple, or in a shelter, or passed from foster family to foster family?

  32. Neil Saunders

    13 Oct, 2012 - 5:40 pm

    To Clark:

    What gets me about “homophobia” is that it’s a recently-coined, wholly ideological word that pre-judges the issues and conclusions of any debate in which it features (other than, as in my comment here, suitably enclosed between quotation marks for objective inspection). I also suggest that we have an indefinite moratorium on the use of the word “bigot” and its close associates.

  33. Neil Saunders

    13 Oct, 2012 - 5:48 pm

    To Clark (again):

    I don’t know whether you’re genuinely mistaking the actual (as distinct from apparent) function of the possessive pronouns when applied to, say, one’s children.

    When I speak of “my” bank manager or “my” second cousin, once-removed, I can assure you that I do for one moment believe that I own the individual in question in precisely the same sense that I own my house or car.

  34. “The denial of the term marriage to people on the grounds of gender/sexual orientation seems pretty offensive to me”

    Yeah? You’ll appreciate then how offended I am that flagrant ageism and sexism preclude me from joining the Brownies.

  35. Good post.

    On another thread, someone said: “where will it end – multi-person marriages”? In fact, I added a +1 for polyamory on this site previously, but got no bites. If the purpose of marriage is to allow people to commit to one another, and optionally also to form a stable environment in which to raise a family, then we should not mind what configurations people choose.

    We’ve had this debate here quite recently, as it happens. (Hopefully no-one aside from Jimmy will attempt to confuse gay lifestyles with paedophilia again here – dealt with perfectly well on the other thread).

    @Neil Saunders – I believe there is an aggressive homophobic lobby, and NomadUK is right to point that out.

    The major source of intolerance, in my view, is the narrowly defined concept of marriage that has shut out 6% of humanity from this institution, for religious reasons. The church – in its various religions and denominations – has always needed scapegoats for social ostracism and future hellfire, and the “Fornicators and Sodomites” have always fitted that bill nicely.

    So, I see any counter-reactions to the inevitable move towards sanctioning gay marriage as defending old intolerance.

  36. @MJ

    Hehehe.

    Michael Stephenson wrote:

    “Jimmy as a supposed atheist how can you possibly define an activity between 2 consensual adults as immoral?”

    Try incest between 2 consenting adults as a test case. Then think about 2 conniving pederasts, who pretend to ‘love’ each other, so that they can become licensed to be foster parents.

  37. I should add, just out of interest, that I was brought up in a pretty homophobic and religious household, and I recall that the sight of two college-age girls holding hands prompted my mother to declare them “disgusting”. As a result of this conditioning, I exhibited classic anti-gay “reservations” until my mid-twenties, at which point I had a solid re-think of all the religious/shame tropes I’d absorbed in my early years.

    So, I’ve been on both sides of the fence. Letting go of anti-gay prejudices was the lifting of a great burden, and means I don’t need to quiz people about their sexuality before I can decide whether I wish to associate with them. Sadly, I’m quite sure I’d have been rejected by my mother, if I’d turned out to be gay.

    As it happens, I have a Banksy montage in my front room, and it features a panel of two policemen kissing passionately. It’s a splendid defanger of authoritarianism, but I also like to think it says of my house: “Tolerance proudly practiced here”.

  38. Then think about 2 conniving pederasts, who pretend to ‘love’ each other, so that they can become licensed to be foster parents.

    How would not instituting gay marriage prevent child abuse, if these “two conniving pederasts” were a man and a woman? Do you propose to ban straight marriage also?

  39. Jon quibbled:

    “We’ve had this debate here quite recently, as it happens. (Hopefully no-one aside from Jimmy will attempt to confuse gay lifestyles with paedophilia again here – dealt with perfectly well on the other thread).”

    I do not equate paedophilia with anything other than propaganda from the Social Services, the police, and all other agencies that are funded via the breakdown of heterosexual families.

    I associate gay lifestyles with the potential of pederasty.

  40. “How would not instituting gay marriage prevent child abuse, if these “two conniving pederasts” were a man and a woman? Do you propose to ban straight marriage also?”

    What is ‘straight’ about pederasts ?

  41. Ah, that old trope – gay people are more likely to be attracted to children. Not true, I am glad to say – certainly I am not aware of any reputable evidence for it. Got a link?

    I would take the view that sexual abusers of children were sexually abused themselves, or have been through a psychological crisis that has stymied their sexual development. Catholic priests who abuse(d) children were encouraged, in effect, to have an undeveloped and/or confused sense of sexuality, which is why the Church’s proscription on marriage for priests has been so harmful.

  42. Further, as Vronsky insinuated, there is no real gain for gays in gay marriage, whereas there is an increase risk of pederasty being aided and abetted by institutional means.

  43. “I would take the view that sexual abusers of children were sexually abused themselves, or have been through a psychological crisis that has stymied their sexual development. Catholic priests who abuse(d) children were encouraged, in effect, to have an undeveloped and/or confused sense of sexuality, which is why the Church’s proscription on marriage for priests has been so harmful.”

    Had you not considered that Catholicism is matriarchal, and its terms of heterosexual ‘celibacy’ for priests and nuns, would have attracted many homosexuals to their ranks, due to their social ostracism in the past. Hence they could engage in same sex communism.

    I don’t say this as a mere quibble, since I think it ties in with the comments of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who pointed out that most of those involved in perpetrating the ‘paedophilia’ scandal within the Catholic Church, were homosexuals. This is why I think we should get into the habit [in a non-sartorial sense] of calling it ‘pederasty’.

    Indeed, it would be a telling exercise for those who have the statistics, to compare the populations of Catholics to homosexual child abusers, and make a definitive deduction of which group is more prone to this activity. My suspicion is that Tarcisio Bertone is right, and that it was Catholics turning a blind eye to homosexuals that led to that particular Trojan nightmare.

  44. “NomadUK” and others can say what they like about the Daily Mail, but today’s paper carries a two-page spread under the headline “Was Mossad Behind the Alps Murders?” I can’t see many other newspapers running that.

  45. Ah, interesting! Catholicism as the natural, welcoming home to gay and lesbian people the world over. Except that bit about the church doing its best to perpetuate homophobia, and to let the 6% know that their naturally-occurring minority sexuality is “sinful in the eyes of God” (etc ad nauseum).

    I’m not au fait with the details of child abuse in the Church, but where boys have been abused, I would regard that as I indicated above: a priest whose sexual development has been deliberately stunted by the brainwashing of the church does not have a sexuality per se – he is just seeking base gratification from wherever he can get it. Perhaps, in any case, priests have been more likely to encounter boys than girls? (Not a Catholic, so don’t know the gender rules on choirs).

    In many of these cases, most of those priests wishing to marry would have married a woman, since most people are heterosexual.

    Absent the statistics you would like to find to support your theory, I stand my ground. If a wild claim linking consenting gay relationships to child abuse is made, the onus is on the speaker to prove it.

  46. Stand up Tarcisio Bertone, and prove it!

    Alas he was shouted down by the politically corrected world press.

  47. Clark: God’s evenings are probably discrete (assuming He labels time in the same way we do) but I should think His evenings involving a DVD are probably discreet too! ;)

  48. Well, Jimmy – you could always prove it. Surely there must be one publicly available thesis on the internet that supports your theory? I would expect you would already have it bookmarked, since this does appear to be rather important to you.

  49. Jon, I am not at all “anti-gay”, but I do not support gay marriage in a church or adoption of children by gay couples. Interestingly, a friend of mine who is gay doesn’t support these either. I see you’ve set yourself up on the moral high-ground by lumping together people like me with the genuinely anti-gay types who believe in hellfire and damnation for homosexuals and who probably would disown a son who turned out gay. This being the way you tend to operate, it enables you to position yourself as the nice, compassionate good guy while everyone opposing you is nasty, irrational and full of hatred. It must make you feel terribly pleased with yourself.

  50. Btw Jon, I’d lose the Banksy montage in the front room if I were you. Aside from ssounding serioiulsy naff, it’s only rebellious or anti-establishment in a phony middle-class sense, much like wearing a Che t-shirt.

  51. Jon hoped:

    “Well, Jimmy – you could always prove it. Surely there must be one publicly available thesis on the internet that supports your theory?”

    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/9548/

    And remember Jon, you were the one who started by claiming that the priest scandal was a result of religious confusion, and claimed that 6% is the fraction of gay folk, yet where are your links?

  52. My thanks to Jimmy for reacting to my question, but it’s a reaction rather than an answer. I’ll repeat: what privileges are conferred by marriage that gays should be concerned if they are denied them?

  53. I think that there are many ways of being gravely unlucky in life, and being born with an attraction to the same sex is one of them, just as being born very poor, handicapped or not good looking. That justifies compassion towards such people, but not, in my view, redefining sexual morality to suit everyone. As one sympathetic to Catholic teaching, as I see it, homosexual activity is wrong, and therefore so-called gay marriage should not be approved by the state.

  54. Vronsky wrote:

    “what privileges are conferred by marriage that gays should be concerned if they are denied them?”

    None, unless they wished to use the automatic right of fostering of other peoples children.

  55. Michael Stephenson

    13 Oct, 2012 - 8:12 pm

    Jon: The first google result for “scientific papers on same sex adoption” is actually against same sex adoption. It doesn’t seem focussed on “pederasty” but does just go to show how lazy Jimmy has been in attempting to inform his own opinion and back it up with evidence.

  56. “Jon: The first google result for “scientific papers on same sex adoption” is actually against same sex adoption. It doesn’t seem focussed on “pederasty” but does just go to show how lazy Jimmy has been in attempting to inform his own opinion and back it up with evidence.”

    Not lazy, just moderated by the pinkos as per usual.

  57. @JimmyGiro

    the automatic right of fostering of other peoples children

    You mean ‘other people’ who can no longer look after their children for whatever reason. Or do not wish to.
    Any my understanding is that there is no ‘automatic’ about any fostering process anywhere in the world.
    So what are you on about?

  58. About fostering by gay couples.

    Firstly there’s an assumption that a single parent isn’t enough to look after children.

    But leaving that issue aside, it’s evident that a couple’s gender, sexuality, religion and so on do not determine whether they are likely to be good foster parents. If they do not determine this likelihood, they are irrelevant. Other factors matter instead. A foster service examines precisely these factors. And if these factors are unconnected to gender and sexuality, then there are no logical or reasonable grounds for excluding people, single, a couple, three or more, from this process on the basis of their gender and sexuality.

    The only factor that can be said to be problematic for gay couples wanting to foster is, guess what? social prejudice against them (and thus the child and children) as a gay couple. But in a society committed to civil rights, intolerance from others cannot be used as a justification for denying a person’s equal rights, or those of a couple, or a family, whatever its makeup. This is essentially what we are talking about.

  59. David wrote:

    “You mean ‘other people’ who can no longer look after their children for whatever reason.”

    The ‘reason’ is the Social Services’ requirement of quota filling. Too many kids are falling into care homes thanks to mercenary bureaucracies.

    And how many Social Service groups do you know, which are not headed by lesbians or gays?

    The Shoesmith woman of Haringey Social Services, is a lesbian, and when she was sacked over baby Peter, the BBC came to rescue her name. Now there’s a kiss of death if ever there was.

  60. The ‘joy of living’ – bless you darling x

    http://www.livestream.com/occupylsx

  61. http://www.entertainmentwise.com/news/90862/Lady-Gaga-Says-Shell-Chain-Herself-To-The-White-House-Pushes-For-Gay-Marriage-Laws-In-The-US

    After visiting Julian Assange for 5hrs.

    What irks me is why the full left cant see
    the.big picture!

  62. Off topic I know; but a wake-up call if you support the Scttish independence referendum:

    The UK taxpayer is to pay £50m to commemorate the start of WW1. I have no doubt that Cameron will use this national tribute to the fallen (with the BBC and others doing their bit) to remind the country of, how working together as a united kingdom, we achieved success.

    This British jingoistic celebration is being held in the summer of 2014 while the Scottish Independence referendum is to be held in the autumn of the same year.

    No doubt the Scottish Labour; Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties will be out in force in the major cities flying the union jack. It has been suggested that all town halls throughout the UK should fly the union jack at half-mast.

    There is a newly formed “think tank” called BRITISH FUTURE which I suspect has been set up to try and scupper the Scottish independence referendum.

    Sunder Katwala, director of BRITISH FUTURE, told the Guardian: “The centenary of the Great War should be the next great national moment bringing us together as the jubilee and Olympics did this year.”

    Binita Mehta (the first intern of BRITISH FUTURE) says on Conservative Home:

    “I’ve always had a bit of a thing about Union Jacks. On arriving at Warwick University three years ago, I was a bit shocked when my new Union Jack laptop bag was ridiculed for being “a bit BNP”. I’ve always been proud to be British, maybe I got it from my dad who was given refuge in Britain when the Ugandan Asians were kicked out by Idi Amin. So getting accused of being “a bit BNP” sounded like the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard.
    “If I were going to university this year, I would not get the same reaction. The summer of 2012 has changed that. There’s a new sense of patriotism around.”

    Binita Mehta works at the think-tank British Future and is chair of Hertfordshire Conservative Future.

    Another member of British Future is Rachael Jolly. She talks about Danny Boyle’s ‘…uniquely British’ opening ceremony for this summer’s Olympics.”
    “He is tapping into something which we, as a nation, care about. British Future polling shows that across Britain, not just in England (as some sceptics argue), there is immense pride in our green pleasant lands – from the Lake District, to Snowdonia and the Highlands.”

    From The Irish Times (12/10/12):
    “Could the Great War centenary affect Scots independence vote?”

    “Unionist fervour in Scotland was strong in the early months of [WW1] war. However, Scots learned after the war that 26 per cent of their menfolk who had joined up died in uniform, compared with 12 per cent for the rest of the British army, leaving a bitter aftertaste.”

  63. Michael Stephenson

    13 Oct, 2012 - 10:46 pm

  64. You are entiely missing the point. ‘gay’ marriage is concerned with ‘cultural marxism’ not ‘human rights’ etc.
    homosexual relationships are already recognised by the state and that is needed or most want (check out stephen hough’s blog in the dt). you need to understand how cultural marxism is used to 1. indentify a ‘minority’ 2. proclaim an adversity suffered by the minority at the hands of evil white hterosexual males 3. ploclaim the need for laws concerning the need for ‘equal’ or greater ‘rights’ for the minority and the need for thought crime laws against the usual suspects 4. get the minority steamed up through special university depts created for that purpose 5. change the laws 6. move onto the next ‘minority’ etc.

    what is this all about: simply to undermine western culture. check it out, there’s plenty on the web. Why do you not have free speech? why can you be locked up for saying the ‘wrong’ thing? why do employers have to employ people who are not english who are completely useless such that entry requirements have to be lowered to fir them in or women who are constantly on maternity leave etc.

    what next? the archbishop of canterbury together with the rest of the establishment celebrating a ‘gay marriage’ in westminster abbey between a one legged black lesbian and a transgendered descendent of royalty with the bbc in ful gloat and shrieks of merriment emanating from n. london. it is an attack on our culture of which the established church is significant part.

  65. Jimmy, you can say you’ve been “moderated by the pinkos as usual”, but you know full well we have an auto-spam device here. You are not being deliberately censored, even if you wish you were!

    On incidence of homosexuality, WP is a good read. I think my 6% came from this:

    HM Treasury and the Department of Trade and Industry completed a survey to help the Government analyse the financial implications of the Civil Partnerships Act (such as pensions, inheritance and tax benefits). They concluded that there were 3.6 m gay people in Britain—around 6% of the total population or 1 in 16.66 people.

    On priests, I didn’t say religious confusion, I said sexual confusion; the difference is important. That it might be due to stymied sexual development due to celibacy requirements is just a theory, but I’d have thought quite a reasonable one, since something has prevented sexual attraction to adults. This is a good read for causes – several are proposed. The section on “Clerical celibacy” reflects both views.

    Although I wasn’t looking for this in particular, I found this:

    Research on pedophilia in general shows a majority of abusers identify themselves as heterosexual.

  66. @forthurst – I think it would be the right thing to do, from liberal principles, to prevent the tyranny of the majority. But, support is better than you state. In the UK, support for gay marriage is higher than opposition to it (ref).

  67. @forthurst – I should say that the legislation will not force religions to perform marriages they do not wish to. A church I used to belong to (C of E) refused plenty of heterosexual couples, usually on the grounds that they were not sufficiently devout.

  68. @Giles – I am quite sure I don’t deserve your spiteful posts.

  69. Jon wrote:

    “On priests, I didn’t say religious confusion, I said sexual confusion; the difference is important. That it might be due to stymied sexual development due to celibacy requirements is just a theory, but I’d have thought quite a reasonable one, since something has prevented sexual attraction to adults.”

    Are you suggesting a priest or nun, change their sexual proclivities as adults, in situ? If so, that would contradict the idea that homosexuals are born that way, hence would make it imperative that children be protected from such nurture.

  70. @Jimmy – your key thesis is that gays and lesbians are attracted to the Catholic priesthood and/or that there is a link between homosexuality and paedophilia. However the Spiked! article which you put forward as supportive doesn’t mention either of these – what were you trying to show by it?

  71. @Jimmy – well, I put forward no theories on nuns per se, since they were not – as far as I know – implicated in the sex abuse scandal. That said, I think it is reasonable to assert that the processes of sexual development can be harmed in women too.

    In the (abusing) priesthood, my thesis is that men are attracted to children because their sexual development was prevented from maturing normally. So, the sexual identity of the (abusing) priest is confused, and he finds himself attracted to children not adults, and possibly to boys even if that would not have been his normal developmental preference (see earlier about most paedophiles identifying as heterosexual).

    I agree it is possible that a proportion of priests were genuinely gay – I am not asserting that gay people cannot become child abusers. But I am asserting that given two well-adjusted, happy adults, one straight and one gay, there is no greater chance of either becoming an abuser of children.

  72. “I agree it is possible that a proportion of priests were genuinely gay – I am not asserting that gay people cannot become child abusers. But I am asserting that given two well-adjusted, happy adults, one straight and one gay, there is no greater chance of either becoming an abuser of children.”

    This is the crux, and why I said the stats need to be gathered regarding the sexuality of all priests, and the sexuality of all pederast priests. I noticed that the link you gave regarding what sexuality the abusers declared themselves to be, also stated that over 80% of the victims were boys.

    Now, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, its probably a duck, even if it thinks it’s a goose.

  73. It’s all so easy when you’re a traditionalist. Each person is either ‘a man’ or ‘a woman’, and on that basis you can decide whether they are allowed get married or not.

    But nature is messy and not so easily classified:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersex

    ‘Intersex, in humans and other animals, is the presence of intermediate or atypical combinations of physical features that usually distinguish female from male. This is usually understood to be congenital, involving chromosomal, morphologic, genital and/or gonadal anomalies, such as diversion from typical XX-female or XY-male presentations, e.g., sex reversal (XY female, XX male), genital ambiguity, or sex developmental differences. An intersex individual may have biological characteristics of both the male and the female sexes. Intersexuality as a term was adopted by medicine during the 20th century, and applied to human beings whose biological sex cannot be classified as clearly male or female’

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_identity

    ‘However, some individuals have a combination of these chromosomes, hormones, and genitalia that do not follow the traditional definitions of “men” and “women”. In addition, genitalia vary greatly or individuals may have more than one type of genitalia. Also, other bodily attributes related to a person’s sex (body shape, facial hair, high or deep voice, etc.) may or may not coincide with the social category, as woman or man. A survey of the research literature from 1955–2000 suggests that as many as one in every hundred individuals may have some intersex characteristic’

  74. Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version)

    14 Oct, 2012 - 12:31 am

    Every opportunity I have to ask the question; How does gays getting married adversely affect you Mr/Mrs churchgoer? I get vague and poorly thought out responses. I thought this issue was exclusively American because we are such righteously appointed Guardians of sexual morality/hypocrisy.

  75. Should we audit existing marriages, to make sure no in-betweenies have been married inadvertently?

  76. Many good people are so succeptable to the propaganda of the main stream media. Only a small percent of people know what is really going on.

    If the 38% – 46% solid base of American and European people the puppet politicians rely on to support their desperate game of terror, control and conflict, cannot be enlightened and told what to do, then the direction we turn in time will not be forward, it will be skewed into a circle of control and conflict. That circle will only be broken when our world fails to support life itself. That is a fact.

    It is not a complicated message. It is a test of your conscious now. The circle was conceived to support you. to support your children and their children. Then it will self-implode and humans eventually die out like dinasaurs, attempting to survive by killing each other. That is also fact.

    Knowledge is key. It is like a pandemic. Talk to people, communicate with each other. Educate each other. Use passion. Express emotion. Encourage involvement. Diffuse fear. Move the message forward even it the darkest of places – do not let the circle close. It is the only way.

    http://www.livestream.com/occupylsx

  77. at least the daily mail has broken the deafening silence on this one.

    includes quotes from the great judith curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. (from wikipedia: Curry is the co-author of Thermodynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans (1999), and co-editor of Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences (2002), as well as over 140 scientific papers. Among her awards is the Henry G. Houghton Research Award from the American Meteorological Society in 1992) curry has become increasingly sceptical about “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming” in recent years:

    13 Oct: Daily Mail: David Rose: Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released… and here is the chart to prove it
    The new data, compiled from more than 3,000 measuring points on land and sea, was issued quietly on the internet, without any media fanfare, and, until today, it has not been reported…
    Professor Judith Curry, who is the head of the climate science department at America’s prestigious Georgia Tech university, told The Mail on Sunday that it was clear that the computer models used to predict future warming were ‘deeply flawed’.
    Even Prof Jones admitted that he and his colleagues did not understand the impact of ‘natural variability’ – factors such as long-term ocean temperature cycles and changes in the output of the sun…
    Not that there has been any coverage in the media, which usually reports climate issues assiduously, since the figures were quietly release online with no accompanying press release – unlike six months ago when they showed a slight warming trend…
    Like Prof Curry, Prof Jones also admitted that the climate models were imperfect: ‘We don’t fully understand how to input things like changes in the oceans, and because we don’t fully understand it you could say that natural variability is now working to suppress the warming. We don’t know what natural variability is doing.’…
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2217286/Global-warming-stopped-16-years-ago-reveals-Met-Office-report-quietly-released–chart-prove-it.html

    the manmade global warming scam has discredited science for a generation.

  78. pielke jr is professor in the Environmental Studies Program and a Fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) where he served as Director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado at Boulder from 2001 to 2007. Pielke was a visiting scholar at Oxford University’s James Martin Institute for Science and Civilization, and author of The Climate Fix: What Scientists and Politicians Won’t Tell You About Global Warming):

    Oct 12: Denver Post: Roger Pielke Jr: Guest Commentary: Climate spin is rampant
    But there is one group that should be very concerned about the spreading of rampant misinformation: the scientific community. It is, of course, thrilling to appear in the media and get caught up in highly politicized debates. But leading scientists and scientific organizations that contribute to a campaign of misinformation — even in pursuit of a worthy goal like responding effectively to climate change — may find that the credibility of science itself is put at risk by supporting scientifically unsupportable claims in pursuit of a political agenda.
    http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_21752735/climate-spin-is-rampant

  79. I don’t say this as a mere quibble, since I think it ties in with the comments of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who pointed out that most of those involved in perpetrating the ‘paedophilia’ scandal within the Catholic Church, were homosexuals. This is why I think we should get into the habit [in a non-sartorial sense] of calling it ‘pederasty’.

    The predominance of same-sex child abusers in the Catholic priesthood may indeed be true.

    However, if it is true, it would nevertheless be rash to assert that homosexuals are more likely to be child abusers than heterosexuals. The historical context is important. Until quite recently, in most countries, homosexual practices were illegal, often exciting severe punishment. For men living in fear of these regimes, the Church may well have been perceived as a welcoming community, partly immune from the scrutiny of the state.

    I recall in the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the US, one of the most vulnerable groups to the disease were Catholic priests, suggesting a very large population of practising homosexuals among their number. Some of these chaps may also have been interested in boys.

    However, in the general community it is well known that the most dangerous sexual predator is your dad. And most dads molest daughters, not sons.

  80. Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version)

    14 Oct, 2012 - 2:58 am

    “Knowledge is key” Clearly, Mark. But how to motivate the passive, which are Legion. It seems like flailing at Windmills. It’s poetic and Romantic, but aside from the symbolic hard-on some get about that sensation, what is the outcome? The courage to stand alone despite the throngs who abhor you, while retaining confidence in the rightness of your stand, should be reward enough for yourself. The question is; Is that enough?

  81. http://www.christianconcern.com/our-concerns/social/marriage-colloquium-goes-ahead-despite-attempts-to-ban-it

    hristian Concern and the World Congress of Families hosted an inspiring marriage conference on Wednesday 23 May, despite extraordinary opposition to the event taking place.

    Freedon of speech.

    Do we not all worry for the future as did our parents and there parents before. We may be right.

    As we know the there is an agenda why don`t we all calm down and sort this out.

    THe un-liberal libtards amongst us are worse than the worst fascists, for pushing their leftist super diverse free too make and show and film about almost any subject and show it amongst the masses but hey its ok.

    I spoke to a old gentleman on the subject of child pornography and how its the next taboo and he said oh can`t they just use actors.

    So what is the problem you may ask?

    THe fact that the Libtards are not even open to discussion, as the link above proves.

  82. @ Katz

    Yes Katz, it is a depraved society and those dads you refer to have got it wrong. So how are we helping them get it right?

  83. While our World and Society is being destroyed round about us, the media and this blog has everybody up a cul-de-sac chewing the fat about sexual offendors and deviants.

  84. As I said …

  85. @Jay – by supplying that link, are you asserting that the society we share should be governed by your religious principles? That doesn’t sound fair to the most of us who do not share your religion – or your traditionalist reading of it.

    THe un-liberal libtards amongst us are worse than the worst fascists

    Ah, I see. People who disagree with you are retards, nice. Hopefully Neil, who wants a civilised debate, will ask you to tone it down.

    In the meantime, you’ve broken Godwin’s Law, so I’ll claim my fiver please.

  86. Jon 14 Oct, 2012 – 10:15 am
    “…you’ve broken Godwin’s Law…”

    Pedant’s corner:

    He hasn’t. Jay mentioned fascists. Godwin’s Law requires reference to Hitler or Nazi. Now I’ve gone and done it. Although I haven’t ‘broken’ anything.

  87. Is it not the nature of catholicism that holds the clue here? Its secularity, cosy internal structures of self control and repentance, fear, loathing hell fire and damnation against those sinners that has perpetuated paedophilia and same sex relations ships at the same time. For it is the environment we adapt to and we are rebellious, we always try and find a way to circumnavigate assumptions of moral and greater good, for our own private special rules and regulations, do as I say not as I do.

    Its always been nuture and nature, so if pirates dressed up as women and had same sex relationships was not down to them being gay, just as some sexual relationships in prison are not formed by homosexuals alone, that hetero sexual’s are also having their urges calmed, makes you theory somewhat flimsy Jimmy Giro. Having the same genetic make up and urges as ape’s really explains our calamity, we are not developed to accept others like we do accept our own and being potty for cute cuddly animals does not count.

    That paedophilia thrives in strictly dogmatic religious environs has shown us that religious moral veracity was wrong, that preaching of these morals, whilst going against them in such numbers, has only resulted in secreting these immoral practises and making them the realm of the fantasising psychopath, who can use their personal powers and societal standing to divert the moral outcry of their pederast actions.

    To make out that all gays are potential child abusers is wrong. But the facts show us that if you restrict natural sexual urges with false morals and doctrines, whether its a church or a social service, a private club like the BBC, or keep human physically confined, as on a ship or in prison, a submarine or for long journeys in space, we find that our apparent intelligence does not preclude us switching off our senses and act as the animals we really are.

    And should anybody ever feel the urge to come out here, feeling the need to splash their natural afflictions all over the world, then that is OK with us, isn’t it Jimmy?

    We have to face up to the fact that religions have promoted morals that were not solely concerned with our spiritual development, that their moral guidance on life sex and everything, their relations to power, aloof from the rest of us, war wrong. It has coloured societal development for hundreds of years and has now ended.

    We are living in new moral times and they are set by outrage and uncovering of past filth. Whether it will uncover all of it. I doubt that this moral cesspit we created will ever be filled in. If ever there was enough reason and the right time for a people’s Inquisition, its now.

    please lets not burn churches, just empty them of dead morals and empty hearts, lets turn them into places of speeches and debates, change all seating into rounds, turn pulpits into floral displays. If we want to ring bells for the solstice and not for remembrances of murder and maiming, so be it. If god is in all of us, then these churches are ours.

  88. Mark and Ben – Yes it’s a toughie isn’t it – how to effectively spread the message without it being counter-productive – one is either regarded as a swivel-eyed loon and treated with amused contempt or as a dangerous subversive and “dealt with”.
    But I take comfort in the parables of the mustard seed and the yeast in the bread working away unseen but producing huge results.
    So let’s keep trucking – don’t despair.

    “Here endeth the lesson” (silly face insert)

  89. Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version) 14 Oct, 2012 – 12:31 am
    “I thought this issue was exclusively American because we are such righteously appointed Guardians of sexual morality/hypocrisy.”

    In my experience this is not a hot topic on the streets of the UK. Although it apparently persists in the poorly attended churches and JimmyGiro’s home. But then again maybe I’m just a cultural marxist, pinkoe, feminist, fascist, atheist, duck loving, gullible libtard who can’t spot a pedophile from a goose.

  90. Nevermind 14 Oct, 2012 – 10:53 am
    “…or for long journeys in space…”

    Of course, gay astronaut sex! Is there a video on the internet? I mean, the money shot would be…slow.

  91. Commesick Commesark

    14 Oct, 2012 - 11:32 am

    Casting PC aside, can someone scientifically inform the forum if the so called gay accent is innate or it comes about as a physical change from being poked in the pooper or comes about as a physical change from poking the pooper or any other reason, deep throat, etc. Then the debate can move further forward on a scientific basis.

  92. Wow this thread has really managed to depress me. Numerous times I have tried to write a reply, but keep giving up half way through because there are just too many false assumptions and so much bigotry to correct. I don’t actually know what’s more worrying, the outrageous homophobia or that the homophobes are dressing up their bigotry as being free thinking truth seekers. Somehow an oppressed minority is being blamed for all the faults of heterosexual families, how does that even work? I don’t see how gay people impact on heterosexual relationships at all. If you feel that only laws and social pressure are preventing you from acting on gay impulses, I got news for you, you are living in the closet. I celebrate gay relationships, but I have never been attracted to cock, I’m just not wired that way. Why do people that claim to hate gays spend so much time thinking about the specifics of gay sex?

    I can’t fathom how people convince themselves that there is a secret gay agenda being pushed to undermine society (seriously, who even worries about Fabians anymore? do you still check for reds under the bed?), it’s just so stupid I don’t even know where to begin. Somehow fighting for the church and state to continue denying gay people equal rights is righteous and brave in the eyes of homophobes. It totally ignores the centuries of oppression that gay people have suffered through. All this teeth gnashing about the sanctity of marriage and it’s timeless nature, only speaks to a great ignorance of history and the constantly changing nature of marriage. Did you know that men can actually be charged with raping their wives now! Another outrageous government intervention into marriage.

    I don’t really think I accomplished much by writing this post, but at least I don’t feel like I am betraying family and friends by staying silent while people push this hateful shit. I was raised (liberal) Catholic and Quaker, it didn’t seem weird to me at all that my god mother is a lesbian and my god father is gay. Neither fiddled with me, and in fact I’m very confident that both would have risked their lives to stop anyone from fiddling with me.

    Katz, great post. I was thinking about the issue only a few days ago, and came to a similar conclusion. Until recently it was not possible to live an openly gay lifestyle, so many men had to hide/deny their feelings. I guess that this would make joining the priesthood and being celibate relatively appealing to gay people. Instead of being celibate only due to fear, they got a great excuse to explain the lack of women in their lives and also gain social stature. Funnily enough, denial, self hatred and a reluctance to deal with reality had very negative consequences for priests and the young boys around them, who’d have thunk it? I think there is a lot more to the issue of sexual abuse and priests than just celibacy. Buddhist monks make very similar lifestyle choices and the issue of child abuse isn’t nearly as relevant for them.

  93. They are legion Ben yet polymorphic and selfish, each seeking their own reward. Thus reward is antithetical to survival.

    Standing alone is not enough.

    One homogenous mind – Won victory

  94. Thanks CC, I enjoyed your post as it did characterise some glum tendencies in this thread.

    History and institutional arrangements will continue to have a major influence on marriage laws.

    I live in Australia, which has a written constitution. Under that constitution, the Federal Parliament has the responsibility of administering marriage. No institution, whether religious or secular could perform marriages legally without a licence from the Federal Parliament. Under the Marriage Act, there was no mention at all of the gender of the persons to be married.

    Then this amendment was passed in 2004, at the instigation of PM John Howard:

    Marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.
    Certain unions are not marriages. A union solemnised in a foreign country between: (a) a man and another man; or (b) a woman and another woman; must not be recognised as a marriage in Australia.

    Australian conservatives used to look to the British upper classes for their models of appropriate behaviour. Now they look to the US Tea Party. This is pathetic and infuriating, but also popular. Virtually no one goes to Church in Australia. Organised religion is closer to death here than virtually anywhere else on earth.

    Yet people of conservative bent are terrified of change, as if removing one brick in the edifice will bring down the entire structure. The Right makes use of this fear to instil discipline and compliance. And it works. The cultural ferment of the 1960s terrified many people. They don’t want to go through anything like that again. Better to cling to dead gods that to admit that they never existed.

  95. @Phil – fair enough, but comparing people who wish for gay oppression to end as worse than fascists nevertheless takes the biscuit. Can I get half my claim for nearly breaking that law? ;)

    CheebaCow, yes – great stuff.

  96. doug scorgie

    14 Oct, 2012 - 2:00 pm

    Oddie 1:30am
    The subject of climate change needs a thread of its own and is a bit off topic here but I feel a need to enlighten you.

    Climate change denial: constructing a counter-narrative.

    Climate change denial is rampant in the media (especially in the USA) partly because climate change or global warming as it is usually called, is controversial and feeds the minds of conspiracy theorists (sells newspapers) and also because powerful interests are threatened if global warming is real.

    And it is real as even the Daily Mail admits in the penultimate sentence of the article:
    “Yes: global warming is real, and some of it at least has been caused by the CO2 emitted by fossil fuels.”
    Also: “This ‘plateau’ in rising temperatures does not mean that global warming won’t at some point resume.”

    However it is the hyperbolic headline:
    “Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released… and here is the chart to prove it” that will be picked up and remembered by gullible readers.

    In that article is this paragraph:
    “At last week’s Conservative Party Conference, the new Energy Minister, John Hayes, promised that ‘the high-flown theories of bourgeois Left-wing academics [what?] will not override the interests of ordinary people who need fuel for heat, light and transport – energy policies, you might say, for the many, not the few’ – a pledge that has triggered fury from green activists, who fear reductions in the huge subsidies given to wind-turbine firms.”

    John Hayes is the minister at the Department for Energy and Climate Change. In his first statement at the department he said:

    “I am proud to answer the Prime Minister’s call to assume the role of Energy Minister at such a crucial time both for our energy security and for tackling climate change.”

    But in an earlier Guardian article:

    “He was quoted by the BBC in 2009 as saying, “renewable energy needs to pass the twin tests of environmental and economic sustainability and wind power fails on both counts”.

    The Daily Mail concurs:
    “Your bills are going up, at least in part, because of the array of ‘green’ subsidies being provided to the renewable energy industry, chiefly wind.”

    The Daily Mail has a long history of climate change denial.

    Oddie.
    Read and understand the science and the scientific method then you will be in a position to see through the fog that corporate vested interests produce.

  97. Katz, woo Australia represent ;) I’m a Melbournian myself, but not currently living there. Thankfully I haven’t experienced many Australians imitating tea baggers, but then I tend to avoid conservatives like the plague. I’m a big fan of Australia’s atheism, its the old school mind your own business type of atheism. Dawkins and Hitchens adopted the US hyperbolic style of atheism which definitely rubs me the wrong way.

  98. I’m in Melbourne right now. Melbourne isn’t really Australia.

    Trams go ding-ding.

    My electorate returned a Green.

    Shock jocks starve for want of an audience.

    It’s a good roost from which to watch the Rest of the world go mad.

  99. “Marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”

    You’d be hard pressed to find a clearer or more succinct definition of marriage. Note that sexuality is not an issue but gender is.

    As far as I am aware the Civil Partnership Act confers all the legal rights/duties of married couples onto same-sex couples. I would like to know why this is considered inadequate.

  100. MJ, that isn’t inadequate. What is wrong is that there is an institution called marriage, which carries a lot of respect and prestige in society, and it is only available if the participants self-proclaim the heterosexual nature of their relationship.

    Sorting people into gender definitions is no business of state or church. If I wish for the respectability that comes with marriage, I shouldn’t have to have my body examined so that a gender can be assigned to me, and I shouldn’t have to submit to any rules about what sort of sexual activity I’ll be engaging in. It is simply no business of the state’s.

    Regarding your earlier point:

    “I find it very odd that, a few months ago, Cameron and Obama both came out in support of gay marriage within a few a days of each other. What a coincidence. It set the alarm bells ringing in my neck of the woods.”

    Yes. If they’re singing from the same hymn-sheet, it would be helpful to identify the authors.

  101. Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version)

    14 Oct, 2012 - 3:32 pm

    Mark; ” Thus reward is antithetical to survival” Yes ,actively seeking the reward screws up the.dynamics of genuine virtue. It is it’s own reward.

    Mary; We do what we can without feeling guilt about what we cannot.

    Phil; Komodo recently touched on that. My theory around those who feel strongly opposed to same-sex unions have the same inclinations as those who are lower-classes but vote conservative, against their own interests because their candidate, putatively has the same social values.

    Clark; Been busy? Good to see you.

  102. I’m inclined to allow churches to define marriage any way they like. I think the state should avoid passing laws on religious/spiritual beliefs as much as possible. However I agree with Clark that the state should not make a distinction, a secular state marriage to define the rights of the couple should not label them any differently if they are hetero or not.

  103. MJ, yes; the rights in the UK are the same. But I’d say sexuality is an implied issue, since the combination of genders in a two-person arrangement specifically relates to sexuality.

    Civil partnerships were broadly welcomed when they were instituted, but nevertheless they are a “separate, other” category that still set gay people apart. As such they were always discriminatory, even though they were a net progressive gain. Allowing any two consenting adults to specifically marry, rather than to “civil partnership”, is the next step on the equality scale.

  104. Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version)

    14 Oct, 2012 - 3:41 pm

    Not a few have been broaching the nature/nurture argument. I remember years debating this issue before my first-born arrived. I was right in there with the chores as well as the fun. One morning I was changing his diaper and I looked down at that ornery face and had an epiphany. He didn’t learn it, he was born with it. A quarter-century hence and many ruminations later I have compiled sufficient anecdotal evidence to conclude the lion’s share of not only physical characteristics are genetic, but psychological/emotional as well. Although I believe some homosexuals make a cognitive choice, by far, the vast majority are genetically inclined. I have no scientific evidence for this, just my observations.

  105. Phil, unfortunately there is no gay sex in space video, but there is a hetero(?) 0 G cumshot video floating (sorry) around the net. It’s from a porno named ‘ The Uranus Experiment part 2′. If that wasn’t strange enough, the soundtrack was actually composed by Liam Howlett from The Prodigy and Robert Del Naja from Massive Attack.

  106. I found this interesting – a transgender, bisexual Tory. She claims she’s received a great deal less discrimination in the Conservative Party than she did in Labour – she complains specifically about radical feminists, who ought to be the least likely to exhibit homophobia.

    There was evidently no room in the article to point out that being a Blairite makes it much easier to cross over to the right wing, but I suppose that wasn’t the point of the piece!

  107. Does anyone know what happens when, in an existing marriage, one of the partners changes gender?

  108. Hi Clark, yes – didn’t know until today! See here.

  109. Jon:

    I remember the first time I personally saw the rad fem anti trans phenomenon (btw the rad fem was a lesbian, verbally attacking a trans lesbian for not being a woman). I was really taken aback and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. There is a certain section of radical feminists who are nasty pieces of work indeed and their visceral hatred of men definitely colours their view of transexuals. Male to female trans equals male scum in the eyes of rad feminists while female to male are traitors and self hating.

  110. Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version)

    14 Oct, 2012 - 4:07 pm

    Dissatisfaction with relationships of the opposite gender sometimes is the trigger for choosing the other path, but I think it is a minority within that gay lifestyle.

  111. Jon, I once read an interesting article on the psychology of politically Left and Right tending people, about which values each considered important. The Left and Right lists included many of the same values, but ranked in a markedly different order. I can no longer find the article.

    Privacy and respect for privacy were both higher in the Right’s list than the Left’s. So maybe your average Tory cares less about an individual’s self-proclaimed sexual orientation than your average Leftie.

    This doesn’t necessarily carry over into how the Right treats non-heterosexual orientation in society. It just means that in dealing with an individual, a Tory may be more likely to regard the individual’s sexual orientation as a private matter.

  112. CheebaCow, thanks. Never heard of such a phenomenon before, but worth being aware of it.

  113. Jon: “didn’t know until today! See here.”

    Enforced divorce! Unbelievable! People’s obsession with what other people do with their genitalia knows no bounds.

  114. Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version)

    14 Oct, 2012 - 4:17 pm

    Clark;

    Although the neutrality is in dispute, there is some interesting observations.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology_and_political_orientation

  115. Clark, interesting dilemma. So those on the right would be less likely to cast aspersions on an individual for their private life, but more likely to be in favour of legislating against them. And in view of the Pink News article, and Cheebacow’s post, perhaps vice versa for some parts of the Left?

  116. @Clark: enforced divorce; yes, that characterises it. We rarely if ever hear about such an injustice because of how unusual it is, presumably. But if the amendment for gay marriage goes through, presumably that would no longer apply.

  117. Something like 3% of the population claim to be asexual, never feeling any sexual motivation at all*. Best be on the safe side and ban them from marrying, I suppose.

    (*come to think of it, a lot of married couples seem like this.)

  118. Which leads me to ask the anti-Gay marriage lobby: are you concerned that such partners will be doing something they shouldn’t with their genitals, or not doing something they should?

  119. I wonder how relevant gay marriage will be in the future when gene therapy, applied prenatally after routine genetic profiling for disease and other “attributes”, will erode the population of homosexuals until they are either non-existent or too small to muster political influence. Is anyone naive enough to say that technology is not heading this way, or that heterosexual parents will not favour knowing and responding to information regarding the propensity of their child to be born homosexual? Would this be a kind of genocide?

    I also wonder then, whether gays would counter a decline in homosexual population by instructing willing therapists to implement or activate gay genes in their offspring thereby creating a virtual ethnic group that uses advanced technology as an essential part of their reproductive capacity. Will the law permit genetic conversion one way and not the other, or will it equate the two and outlaw changes to those genes to prevent a eugenics war?

    Personally, I think we are witnessing some of the last generations of born-homosexuals. Technology will give people options, and people will follow their true, natural, preferences.

  120. Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version)

    14 Oct, 2012 - 4:45 pm

    ” Technology will give people options, and people will follow their true, natural, preferences.”

    Or will follow the group-think of popular Media………Counter-intuitives will be persona-non-grata.

  121. Notice how the Gay mafia at the BBC are not letting on about male child abuse allegations.

  122. Jon at 14 Oct, 4:22 pm: Yes, that summarises the possible contradiction. This could be the origin of those clichés: “I’m not racist / anti-Gay, but…”

  123. Jemand – it depends on whether we think ‘gayness’ is entirely genetic, and tbh I’ve generally thought of it as such. However WP quotes that “[c]urrent knowledge suggests that sexual orientation is usually established during early childhood”, but that “there continues to be controversy and uncertainty as to the genesis of the variety of human sexual orientations” (source).

    My recent reading of WP on this topic suggests that the medical community as a group are “pro-gay” in the sense that they see this characteristic as a scientific trait, and I can’t find one of any repute who see it as a “disease”. With that in mind, genetic eradication of the gay gene will be seen in the same negative light as human cloning, and that’s even if it exists. You’re right, it would be eugenic to do so, and people’s “true, natural, preferences” – straight and gay and everything between – will continue.

  124. Why am I now a Mandelbrot blot?

  125. Jemand: “Why am I now a Mandelbrot blot?”

    You’re not; that’s me. It looks all right on my system. The avatar is above the respective name.

  126. Jemand niemand, would that be by Government decree? our little Jonnny gets a single injection of ‘anti gay serum’.

    having genes screened out before birth?

    Joseph Mengele eat your heart out, we have finally got to where you wanted mankind to be.
    We know Sweden has done it deliberately by means of abortion, deliberately interfering with people’s reproductive organs and castration of those with severe mental inabilities.

    This is just another form of it, another attempt to create blue eyed boys and genetically supreme beings. I bet some sort of insurance industries would be very interested in such regime’s.

    Maybe there is such a thing as a money making gene, to be eradicated from the lower classes and injected in extra doses to the privileged, the shitteraty and puss bag hangers on, the whole god damn establishment, hail, for their indifference to others must be perpetuated until everyone truly had enough of it. Bring on the Gin riots.

  127. Jemand, that’s the wrong question. You need to determine if you’re a male or a female Mandelbrot blot, and whether your blot is straight or gay. Then your blot might be recognised as a connected set with another similar blot.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connected_set

  128. Clark asked a question of people holding anti-gay views, and I’ve one too. If you had a child who came out as gay, would you accept their choice (and meet their partner/attend their civil partnership, etc)?

    I’ve seen solid the working class family of a friend accept their son’s bisexuality – quite a struggle for his taciturn, traditionalist, father, but love won through. I suppose this could be tinged with some sadness, as their son is currently dating a man, and so may not give them grandchildren. But, that could happen with straight offspring who choose not to, or who are unable to, have children – so is not a sexuality issue per se.

  129. @Jon

    I’m unmovable on heterosexuality being genetic. Given that our animal survival depends on it, it would be exceedingly unlikely that heterosexuality is merely arbitrary or happily accidental. In addition to the fact that we inherited sexual reproduction from hundreds of millions of years of evolution. Homosexuality is, at this stage, apparently more complex. Reading the below link (is “Wikipedia” a dirty word?), studies on identical twins are interesting (50+% concordance) but arguably inconclusive. It might be that genetic predisposition gives a nudge leading to environmental reinforcements.

    But you can see where I’m going with this thought experiment. Even if gene therapy does not eradicate homosexuality, there would be a major social and political shift resulting from a significant decline in gay population.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology_and_sexual_orientation

  130. Jemand, I don’t think homosexuality is much of a disadvantage in human reproduction. Probably human-level intelligence increases the evolutionary viability of homosexual inclination, by enabling the responsibility for reproduction to migrate from instinct to conscious decision-making.

  131. @Clark

    I’ve definitely been Mandelbrotted – just like yours. Is it a badge of prestige and power? Where’s my delete button and mod password? And it seems that something, or SOMEONE, irregularly changes the “avatar” for us. I don’t want to be a connected set, or empty set, or other abstraction of mathematical interpretation of reality. I just want a chimpanzee to be my icon.

  132. @Clark re homosexual viability

    That might be true of humans, but I don’t think stupid animals could depend on contemplation for reproductive certainty. Something must have stirred them into wanting to party with the opposite sex, almost exclusively. We see this for all things that supports survival and the survival instinct is highly discriminating, eg we prefer meat to turnips. Then again, ideas have turned people off eating meat.

  133. Jemand: “I’ve definitely been Mandelbrotted”…

    Curious. Can you send me a screen-shot? I assume it is my avatar that is getting attached to your comments. It sounds like a browser bug. If it was a bug at Gravatar.com it should be happening to others, too.

    You could try clearing your browser’s cache, in case it’s caching my avatar where it should be caching yours. If you want a chimp avatar, you need to (1) register with Word Press and (2) create a Gravatar account.

    Jon, any ideas?

  134. Jemand at 14 Oct, 5:47 pm: “And it seems that something, or SOMEONE, irregularly changes the “avatar” for us.”

    Well, my avatar was a slug until recently. Then I deleted that image from gravatar.com, so for a while I was the only contributor showing no avatar at all, not even one of the default “grey head and shoulders” ones, which is what I’m seeing on your comments. Then I uploaded my little Mandelbrot excerpt. Does this account for the changes you’ve seen?

  135. @Clark

    I could send you a screenshot but all that would prove is that i am not going insane! Take my word for it. Now your avatar is a barn in a field and Jon is a white silhouette on a grey background. I don’t want to register with anyone, all I want is a damn chimp.

    I’ll see how it looks in another browser.

  136. Jemand, lots of male animals seek to mate with a female when she smells fertile. What sexual activity those animals engage in the rest of the time won’t directly affect their reproductive viability.

  137. @Clark

    Yep. It’s Safari. Stupid Apple. First Siri, then maps, now avatars. If Steve Jobs was still alive, there’d be none of this nonsense and I’d have my goddamn chimp.

  138. Jemand, chimps can be found, but damn chimps need to be retrieved from Hell, and I’m not mounting an expedition.

    We can guess what they were sent to Hell for!

  139. Some interesting snippets from my link above:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_behavior_in_animals

    “An estimated one-quarter of all black swans pairings are of homosexual males. They steal nests, or form temporary threesomes with females to obtain eggs, driving away the female after she lays the eggs.[31][32] More of their cygnets survive to adulthood than those of different-sex pairs, possibly due to their superior ability to defend large portions of land.”

    “Penguins have been observed to engage in homosexual behaviour since at least as early as 1911. George Murray Levick, who documented this behaviour in Adélie Penguins at Cape Adare, described it as “depraved”. The report was considered too shocking for public release at the time, and was suppressed. The only copies that were made available privately to researchers were translated into Greek, to prevent this knowledge becoming more widely known.”

    “The Amazon River dolphin or boto has been reported to form up in bands of 3–5 individuals enjoying group sex. The groups usually comprise young males and sometimes one or two females. Sex is often performed in non-reproductive ways, using snout, flippers and genital rubbing, without regards to gender.[50] In captivity, they have been observed to sometimes perform homosexual and heterosexual penetration of the blowhole, a hole homologous with the nostril of other mammals, making this the only known example of nasal sex in the animal kingdom.”

    Aah, sex. Sex, sex, sex… So long as we have strong laws against nasal sex in marriage, or at least ensure it is only reported in ancient Greek, society’s morality will be safe.

  140. Clark, I’m not sure what we are discussing re animal homosexuality. Two important things stand out though. One is that heterosexual behaviour is not haphazard like homosexual occurance and second is there must be enough heterosexual activity to ensure survival of the species. Humans, unfortunately, in their arrogance assume that we are not beholden to the same cruel laws of nature as other animals and that we can just carelessly alter our animal being without consequences (eg GE). My point here is that culture and ideology will manifest itself such that we are increasingly dependent on technology for survival of our species. Homosexuality is not threatening that, at least not directly. But homosexuality is not contributing to it either, again not directly.

  141. Jemand, there are some seven billion humans. Our population has roughly quadrupled in one or two centuries, I think. That probably makes us one of the fastest growing species in the history of life on Earth; I doubt that even the rats are keeping up with us, despite all the waste food we give them.

    “Humans, unfortunately, in their arrogance assume that we are not beholden to the same cruel laws of nature as other animals and that we can just carelessly alter our animal being without consequences (eg GE)”

    But most of the population increase is occurring in populations too poor to afford that sort of technological assistance.

  142. Clark, you forgot to mention that George Murray Levick also observed necrophelia in Penguins. Jimmygiro might take that up with you at a later date. Except for that bit about Swans providing greater survivability in some circumstances, although still dependent on sexual reproduction, most of the observations of homosexual behaviour in animals simply looks anomalous – ie serving no purpose.

    What can we take from the fact that animals, including humans, do things that ultimately do nothing for our individual or collective well being. You can point to lots of things, like alcoholic behaviour, irrational violence etc. There’s a treasure trove of useless shit that people do and it seems to be getting larger – reality tv? This doesn’t mean we should attack homosexuality as if it were a disease. But should we protect or even cultivate it?

    We’re losing our way. We’re forgetting that we are complex animals symbiotically connected with other complex systems. Ideology and an aggressively feel-good culture is taking over debate and action on more important issues. So while the planet is being trashed, people are agonising over the lifestyle arrangements of gay people.

  143. Some good flow there from you Clark. Our comments are leap frogging over each other – ie not following directly.

    Last post was good. 7 billion ppl, don’t get me started. Maybe homosexuality is the solution.

    Have to get some zeds, otherwise would stay. Damned ape will have to wait.

    G’night.

  144. Jemand:

    “This doesn’t mean we should attack homosexuality as if it were a disease. But should we protect or even cultivate it?”

    It isn’t about protecting homosexuality, it’s about freedom and equality for everyone, including homosexuals.

    “George Murray Levick also observed necrophelia in Penguins. Jimmygiro might take that up with you at a later date.”

    Ah, but wouldn’t Jimmy have to show that it was the homosexual penguins that were into necrophilia?

    Goodnight, Jemand. Thanks for the chat.

  145. No idea on wonky avatars – recommend Jemand should sign up for a Gravatar, and make himself an ape. I should too, so I can be a boy lemur with a preference for boy lemurs (it’s a role, so I can play who I want).

    I am struck by how utilitarian some of the anti-gay arguments are here. We (each of us individually, or all of us collectively?) apparently have a responsibility to consider worldly reproduction. But do we? Perhaps mother nature in her Infinite Wisdom can be proud to be 6% gay, on the basis that we’re (or She is) reproducing perfectly well anyway. Does this tie in with the (rather alarmist) theories that The Powers That Be want to eradicate humanity down to a billion anyway?

    No, hang on, it opposes that theory, since the utilitarians want us to reproduce at a rate of 100% heterosexuality, so supporting gay rights must in some way be sympathetic to Bill Gates and his allegedly wanting to kill off an excess population. No, that can’t be right, since supporters of eugenicist theories would be pro-gay, since that would be a humane way to achieve population reduction without deliberately killing people. Ah, no, that can’t be right…. [mind explodes].

    I wonder if the Thou Shalt Reproduce is not really to do with sexuality anyway, and as such seems like a case of reverse-engineering an opinion to oppose homosexuality on unstated grounds. Me, I am pretty sure I don’t want children, and so I might as well cast my lot with the gays, even though I’m don’t feel gay. Did something go wrong with my genetics?

    In the meantime – and in the real world – malicious, sometimes religious, anti-gay bulling causes depression, suicide, sexual repression and all manner of genuine suffering, but this is dismissed as “ideology” and the result of “an aggressively feel-good culture”. I think we should stand up for oppressed minorities, but perhaps I should realise that They are just making it up? Meanies!

  146. Commesick Commesark

    14 Oct, 2012 - 9:08 pm

    So we are now down to 6% from the earlier 10%, the proof of the devil is in the spin !

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/23/gay-bisexual-population-uk

  147. Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version)

    14 Oct, 2012 - 9:22 pm

    ” since the utilitarians want us to reproduce at a rate of 100% heterosexuality”

    Further, they want to proscribe contraception. But I suspect the need they want to fill is cannon fodder, because those prolific breeders do so with a mission in mind, and they auger well into the military when God and Country are juxtaposed.

  148. doug scorgie

    14 Oct, 2012 - 9:46 pm

    Jon 3:47pm

    The transgender bisexual Tory you mention, Tara Hewitt, would appear to be a transvestite rather than a transgender from my research but I may be wrong. Not that it matters. She seems to have strange beliefs from what I can find about her. Thank God she is a member of the Tory Party!!

    Mythic Astrology, Night spirits, Archetypes, Evolutionary Astrology, Druidism, Egyptian Deities, Celtic Mythology, Shadow Self, Celtic Spirituality, Ancient Egypt, Heathenism, Dreams, Dark Goddess, Numerology, Goddess Poetry, Native American Ways, Asteroid Goddesses, Sacred Feminine, Numerology, Runes, Asatru, Avalon, Glastonbury, Morgan Le Fey, Paganism, Goddess, Poetry, Earth-based spirituality, Ancient sites, Ancient Civilizations, Natural healing and remedies, Glastonbury, Mists of Avalon, Faeries, Mythology, Moon Magic, Ogham, Genealogy, Celtic Shamanism, Arthurian Tradition, Faery Tradition, Astrology, Candle Magic, Herbs, Crones, Angels, Reincarnation,Mayans, Aztecs, Incas, Medicine Wheel.

    As if this isn’t weird enough she loves Mrs Thatcher which exposes the reality of Blairism.

    The following is from her website. I have highlighted grammar and spelling mistakes pedantically because this person makes much of her university education; although I have not yet discovered the subject of her degree (if she achieved one) but it was not in English.

    “I think its [should be it’s] only fair that I set out exactly what Baroness Thatcher did for us whilst she was Prime Minister:

    1. Changed the economy from one focusing on mines and dangerous industry that lead [should be led] to thousands dying and generations destined for the same career as their parents to the high end technology, financial and service sectors we have today.
    2. Defended the Falklands saving British territory and the lives of all the residents on the Islands
    3. Through transforming the British economy she kept us as a world leader in terms of both political and economic influence and kept us from becoming a bankrupt nation like Greece and Spain.
    4. Supported Transparency in Government and ensuring local government meetings were held in public
    5. Allowed people to get a step on the housing ladder and independence from state handouts [should be hand-outs] thorough[should be through] her introduction of the right to buy scheme
    6. She supported the decriminalisation of homosexuality
    7. She helped legalise abortion in the UK
    8. She Supported [should be lower case s] academic excellence in education
    9. Credited as one of the main figures that helped lead to the end of the cold war
    10. She was the first leader to seriously discuss immigration caps and looking at the impact of immigration on communities
    11. She lowered excessive income taxes leading to growth and a more progressive tax system [I think she means regressive] one we would recognise today
    12. Ended the grip trade unions had on the UK that had lead [should be led] to rubbish piling up on street corners and power cuts throughout the week.
    13. She increased the UKs income during her time in office by over 23%
    14. She strongly supported the health service with increases in health funding of over 31% during her time in office
    15. Personal wealth in the UK increased by over 80%
    16. More people than ever before began to own shares and businesses under Thatchers [should be Thatcher’s] Government
    17. Majority of UK residents believe she is the most competent Prime Minister of the Last 30 years according to recent polls.
    18. She was of course the first women Prime Minister and Leader of a Major Political party as well as being the first western female leading politician. This has lead [should be led] to her being an inspiration to many on how hard work and aspiration will help you get anywhere you want to go.”

  149. Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version)

    14 Oct, 2012 - 9:54 pm

    When you say ‘Baroness Thatcher’, I think you mean Madame Pinochet.

  150. The old witch is 87. This is proof of the truth if the old saying – ‘The good die young’.

    Here she is with the buccaneer scion and daughter-in-law no 2.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/margaret-thatcher/9607428/Margaret-Thatcher-Mitt-Romney-hails-former-PM-as-tower-of-strength.html#

    I know it’s the first wife speaking here, but doesn’t he sound an unpleasant specimen.
    {http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1529124/My-husband-Mark-is-an-arrogant-womaniser-and-a-mummys-boy.html}

  151. Ben, good to see you; sorry I didn’t say hello earlier.

    Jon: “Ah, no, that can’t be right…. [mind explodes].”

    Yes, it’s all very confusing, isn’t it? I think the basic rule is that if something has progressive, inclusive or Left-wing values, it’s a tool of the Illuminati / Freemasons / Feminazis / Marxists / [insert name of preferred mega-conspiracy here], and is being used to undermine society preparatory to the destruction of all nation states so that worldwide totalitarianism can be installed. If you disagree, you’re “a clone of Theodore, devoid of all empathy and hell bent on destroying anything of virtue in society.”

    Simple really. Serve the Right wing agenda, or you’ll end up serving the Right wing agenda; the choice is yours!

  152. MJ:

    “Marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”

    You’d be hard pressed to find a clearer or more succinct definition of marriage. Note that sexuality is not an issue but gender is.

    It’s clear and succinct, but not sensible. Australian law recognises the validity of gender reassignment. In other words, transsexuals are issued with a new passport with the amended sexual identification. If the law were consistent, this reassignment should annul any marriage ties solemnised before gender reassignment.

    Moreover, the second part of Howard’s 2004 amendment denies validity of some marriages conducted not only in Australia but in every other jurisdiction in the world! This act of jurisprudential arrogance endangers many arrangements in family and property law worldwide.

    Howard’s dumb amendment is little more than a dog whistle to the cultural right. It doesn’t clarify issues. It clouds them. Sensible jurisdictions would be well advised to resist the temptation of stumbling along Howard’s footprints.

  153. I’m glad you’re “not obsessed” with “number two”, Craig! But you probably wouldn’t want to go to one of former MP Mark Oaten’s parties anyway.

  154. @Jon – “I am struck by how utilitarian some of the anti-gay arguments are here. We (each of us individually, or all of us collectively?) apparently have a responsibility to consider worldly reproduction.”

    I’m not sure how to take your post, Jon. Am I now anti-gay because I am not pro-gay? We’re either with them or against them. Is that the argument? No room for discussion outside of the box, one’s political credentials must be presented at the door.

    You observe, i think rather sarcastically, that we might be expected to have a responsibility to consider worldly reproduction. Yes, that is true but only for intelligent people who care about worldly issues like climate change, biodiversity, pandemic diseases, intercontinental war-fare etc. You can ignore worldly reproduction in a world of seven billion people if you like, but you will be on the wrong side of history, eventually.

    Your post also conflates many different phenomena that you clearly have contempt for. Very prejudicial to assume that someone subscribes to these ideas on the basis of something completely unrelated. Isn’t that like conflating pedophilia with homosexuality? I’ve had someone here, on another thread, slyly imply that I was a Nazi based on her own prejudices and now it appears I’ve been dumped in the same bin reserved for crackpots like Scouse Billy. Where is the intellectual integrity in assigning guilt based on non-existant associations?

    The “aggressively feel-good” culture I referred to includes, but is not limited to, political correctness. It is part of the Western cultural revolution that attempts to stymie intelligent (and more importantly unintelligent) conversation because people “take offence” at the issues raised and some of the sentiments, preferences and prejudices expressed. Somehow, we are expected to arrive at the same logical/intellectual position through some hitherto unknown mysterious force without engaging in the process of discussion, argument, reevaluation and ultimately agreement. Instead, and ironically, we are to be subjected to a program of bullying indoctrination until we conform, or fake conformance, to the popular values being peddled. I think pro-gay supporters are guilty of this and their behaviour cannot be mitigated by accusations that homophobes are equally bad or even worse. Remember the “two wrongs” proverb?

  155. What strikes me about this and most other debates on homosexuality is the general assumption that the distinction between homo and hetero is binary. I don’t think it is. I think there is a continuous spectrum of sexual behaviour, deriving from(a) pack dominance structures and (b) background genetic variation. Early bonding may have something to do with it as well.

    Sex is Nature’s way of getting you to breed. But it’s also pleasurable in its own right, and there is a variety of sexual activities which bypass the breeding imperative – vaginal sex being the only one of these which absolutely requires the participation of different sexes. Anyone care to tell me that oral and anal sex are not practised – at least occasionally – by the heterosexual components of a sanctified marriage?

    That said, traditional marriage is as much as anything designed to ensure that people who produce sprogs are obliged to take responsibility for them: in a sprog-free situation, and in the current climate of acceptable promiscuity, marriage is rather irrelevant – for anyone.

    I offer these points for further discussion…

  156. Jemand, my apology. I built on Jon’s observations. I don’t think either of us were particularly referring to your comments. As I was writing my bit I wondered if I should mention that, but, well, you know; when you’ve been fighting off multiple wild conspiracy theorists who agree that everything is true apart from any statements from the person they’re trying to engulf, you jump at the chance of a bit of humorous relief. I’m sorry that your comments got dragged into it; they didn’t really deserve to be, they just provided a convenient opportunity to let off steam.

  157. (People who are wedded to their flash cars, see also, J.G. Ballard: The Atrocity Exhibition
    :-)

  158. Komodo:

    “I think there is a continuous spectrum of sexual behaviour, deriving from(a) pack dominance structures and (b) background genetic variation.”

    You left out fun and mischief! Also, confusion and imperfect senses, which is rather like that explanation for optical illusions; “sometimes it’s better to see a tiger that isn’t there than to not see one that really is”.

  159. But we’re farting into the void here. Defeated by the glorious diversity of nature all the homo-suspicious have left to return to their contemplation of sexual practices so that they can get upset about them. Perverts.

  160. Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version)

    15 Oct, 2012 - 4:52 pm

    “(People who are wedded to their flash cars,”

    Although I was very attached to my ’55 Chevy, it was always platonic.

    There was a corvette I saw once which made me lustful, though. (The smell of leather)

  161. Courgette? I thought mostly girls enjoyed courgettes.

  162. Jemand, good reply, but cheer up!

    Clark’s right – I was leavening some genuinely conspiratorial, homophobic and regressive views around this blog generally with some humour (rather than sarcasm per se) and I thought for the general amusement of my detractors, I’d have my head explode with the weight of it all. Or perhaps in this environment, it would be the head of my (much cuter and camper) lemur alter-ego. Poor thing!

    You’re right, I think I did lump you in with the UN Murdering Billions theory, and I apologise for it. It wasn’t at all done with a deliberation intended to make your position easier to knock down, and after your most recent reply I find myself newly interested in the origin of your views. Anyway, you may take a good chunk of my previous post as blowing off some steam!

    For what it’s worth, here’s the cause of my frustration, felt by those of us who think liberalism should stand against oppression and defend minority groups. We have heard how gay lifestyles may be compared with paedophilia or incest (JimmyGiro), that straight couples should enjoy the exclusivity of “religious” marriage, supporters of gay rights are [liberal retards] and are worse than the worst fascists (Jay). The BBC has a “gay mafia” that is suppressing stories about gay paedophilia (Tea Cakes), pushing for gay rights is undermining Western culture and the established church (Forthurst), and the state should reflect Catholic views (Abe Rene).

    It’s not just the views expressed here that are offensive. A former SNP leader says that gay marriage is ‘a step towards state fascism’. With this in mind I greatly share CheebaCow’s sense of depression and hopelessness at how visceral the anger against gay relationships still appears to be.

    So, I’ve re-read your posts, and will try to cover ground that I’ve not touched on already. I do think a better understanding of your and my perspectives is worthwhile.

    I felt that you were lumping homosexuality in with “disease” (a highly unpleasant religious view), but in a much later post you clarified: “[the existence of evolutionarily useless behaviour like alcoholism and irrational violence] doesn’t mean we should attack homosexuality as if it were a disease”. But, you’re not sure, since you also say “[e]ven if gene therapy does not eradicate homosexuality”, which I took to mean you would find the eradication of ‘the gay gene’ as a desirable outcome. My response was not unique, since Nevermind suggested that your posts would have given Mengele a run for his money. Perhaps some clarification would be worthwhile here?

    On the application of genetic engineering: I disagree that gay screening would be permitted in the future. As I said previously, it would be regarded by the entire medical community as unethical. Similarly I trust that, as technology makes it easier for people to choose the gender of their baby, our evolving ethics will make it harder.

    In just the same way, gay people would not (and should not) wish to produce more gay people using genetic manipulation – that is covered by my position on medical ethics above. Parents have children, and they should love them whatever their sexual orientation (gay parents are not more likely to have gay children, in any case).

    You said that “[genetic technology] will give people options, and people will follow their true, natural, preferences”. What do you believe that people’s “true, natural preferences” are, regarding sexual orientation?

    I should point out that fighting for gay rights is not intended to reflexively support “politically correct” views. It is about justice and equality of opportunity. Being gay is not selfish, even if you believe it exemplifies “feel good culture”, and protecting minorities from the genuine hatred and violence of homophobia is not “agonising over lifestyle arrangements”. Your choice of language dismisses the significance and history of this struggle for civil rights.

    I was intrigued that you believe that “there must be enough heterosexual activity to ensure survival of the species” and that in reproducing we must not forget “that we are complex animals symbiotically connected with other complex systems”. This raises many new points. Firstly no single person should be compelled to reproduce; I hope you regard that as unthinkable, which is why I made light of the idea. Clark and I both pointed out that our population growth is out of control, and so there is simply no reason to believe that gay sexuality is threatening our long-term survival.

    In any case, whilst I think humanity has great potential and has many characteristics worthy of celebration, would it matter if we died out? What significance would it have? Would it be a great moral failure if it did? Who would be around to mourn our passing?

  163. Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version)

    15 Oct, 2012 - 11:58 pm

    “In any case, whilst I think humanity has great potential and has many characteristics worthy of celebration, would it matter if we died out? What significance would it have?”

    Heh. It’s been suggested that Humans resemble a virus more so than a beneficial organism. Of course, ‘beneficial’ is a subjective term, and thinning the herd could be viewed as such.

  164. Jon glooped:

    “It’s not just the views expressed here that are offensive. A former SNP leader says that gay marriage is ‘a step towards state fascism’. With this in mind I greatly share CheebaCow’s sense of depression and hopelessness at how visceral the anger against gay relationships still appears to be.”

    Katz snarled:

    “However, in the general community it is well known that the most dangerous sexual predator is your dad. And most dads molest daughters, not sons.”

  165. And JimmyGiro drivelled:

    [nothing at all]

  166. Clark, don’t be too hard on Jimmy, it’s probably his most sensible post yet ;) He has obviously been reading Proverbs;

    “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise”

  167. Although I was very attached to my ’55 Chevy, it was always platonic.

    There was a corvette I saw once which made me lustful, though. (The smell of leather)

    Admit it, it was the bolt-on go-faster extra wide exhaust…

  168. @Jon – 15 Oct, 2012 – 11:11 pm

    WARNING – Long boring rant ahead ..

    Jon, normally every comment we make is a mini essay constrained by a tiny box. Therefore we need to compress our thoughts and ideas into few words with the hope that they will be correctly read (English=English) and interpreted (not confusing a statement of fact with an expression of intent). And wherever there is ambiguity, I would hope, but do not expect, that people will make a benign interpretation for the sake of preventing postfix discussions like this comment that drag the whole conversation out into a rambling discourse. We aren’t discussing the central topic here now, but discussing the ‘discussion’. Why are we doing that?

    Unfortunately, our comments here are often misread and deliberately misinterpreted. Can I blame the audience for failing to understand my posts, like a doctor who blames his patients for failing to get cured? Probably not, but let me try.

    “I felt that you were lumping homosexuality in with “disease”..”

    Lumping, writing, relating or otherwise inserting two words coherently into a logical text is what I try to achieve for a purpose. The problem here is you are scanning for offensive words (because you ‘take’ offence, not because I offend), especially if there is any proximity within the same sentence, and ignoring all those annoying interconnecting words that give nuanced and actual meaning to the statement. That is the sort of anti-intellectual political correctness that I rail against. Instead of reading the words, interpreting the idea correctly and evaluating its validity for a corresponding reply, you scan for offensive bits, political alarms go off, missile is launched. That’s not a discussion or a debate by any intelligent definition. I’ve launched missiles myself, so I might be admonishing from a position of weakness. Although there are some c***s here who need some dressing down every now and then.

    “.. But, you’re not sure, since you also say “[e]ven if gene therapy does not eradicate homosexuality”, which I took to mean you would find the eradication of ‘the gay gene’ as a desirable outcome.”

    Wrong again. I didn’t say eradication was a desirable outcome, at least for me. The word “eradication” implies nothing at all, especially the context in which I used it. The dictionary will give an adequate definition and I stand by its use although I admit I tried to think of a word that conveys “destruction” with an implication that it was absent of any particular cause or intent. In the context that I used the word, I meant that mom-n-pop eugenisists in the West, government (eg Iran) or some unexpected use of gene therapy in individual cases that results in a forseeable or unforseeable eradication of homosexuals. My interest is predominantly in end games. Very few people are capable of analysing end games with contemporary developments and I’m not a master analyst but this is what I like to discuss and stimulate debate on – hence my original post re the threat of collapse of homosexuals as a distinct variation and their possible transformation into a virtual ethnic group (if they were able to reproduce with offspring that were predominantly homosexual thereby necessitating gene therapy) if they realised the various possibilities.

    You touched on some issues related to ethics and laws and hopes that people would act in one way or another. But many of those points were lost in the general thrust of your reply so I won’t be canvassing them now, at least in this comment.

    “My response was not unique, since Nevermind suggested that your posts would have given Mengele a run for his money.”

    Nevermind can go fuck him/herself.. and probably does. My pseudonym has given several creeps here a good focus for their own prejudices. It’s enjoyable seeing people make fools of themselves. Otherwise, I am completely oblivious to the retarded ramblings of some of Craig’s uninvited guests.

    “You said that “[genetic technology] will give people options, and people will follow their true, natural, preferences”. What do you believe that people’s “true, natural preferences” are, regarding sexual orientation?

    True in the sense that it reveals what they really want, rather than what they tell everyone else. Natural in the sense that heterosexual couples do not hope for a homosexual baby and homosexual couples (at this stage) might feel conflicted, ie “I don’t care but then again, life would be easier for my babe if he turns out straight. And I don’t want people blaming me for him being gay”. If and when gene therapy occurs, polarisation might reinforce and homosexuals who identify as a distinct ‘people’ could see gene therapy as a countermeasure for survival – as a distinct people. This is the stuff of science fiction becoming science fact, you must understand, but the foundations are being laid here and now. Hence, again, my original post – Will eradication of homosexuality be considered genocide and will homosexual people transform into a virtual ethnic group who fight for survival????? Of course, nobody really bothered to read my post so you can ignore it too if you like.

    “.. protecting minorities from the genuine hatred and violence of homophobia is not “agonising over lifestyle arrangements”. Your choice of language dismisses the significance and history of this struggle for civil rights.”

    I didn’t dismiss anything. I simply didn’t address it and I don’t believe I should have to dredge up the ‘history of the world’ every time I allude to some minor point. See my opening paragraph above regarding mini essays and the constraints of tiny boxes. What you are really demanding Jon is that I and everyone else you converse with presents their political credentials as prefixes like “I’m not a racist, but..” or postfixes like “Having said that, I have lots of gay friends, yaaaaay!”. I refuse to submit to other people’s prior political approval as a condition of ongoing participation in this and other discussions. If I am not welcome, then either Craig or you or Clark (with Craig’s implied consent) can tell me to fuck off. What a boring, pointless blog this would be if everyone agreed with each other and an oppressive one if we must meet political preconditions.

    “I was intrigued that you believe that “there must be enough heterosexual activity to ensure survival of the species” and that in reproducing we must not forget “that we are complex animals symbiotically connected with other complex systems”.”

    I think the first point is an uncontroversial and very obvious one. It was not intended to refer exclusively to human reproduction but to all animals that evolved with sexual reproductive means. Komodo dragons are the only ones (i think) that can reproduce by themselves under conditions of stress. Komodo posts here so you can ask him/her about that. The point was simply to rebut the notion that heterosexuality is haphazard and equivalent to homosexuality in the animal kingdom. To labour the point, (hetero)sexual reproduction is at dangerously low levels in panda populations and various endangered species that are facing extinction. Survival of some of them might now depend on advanced technology. Human invasion of natural habitats has been so dramatic, that millenia old reproductive cycles are failing to meet their population security needs. Can I ask you if you care about this and do you agree if we could get these stupid pandas to fuck more often, that might be one less animal species that we have destroyed? I don’t know if there are many homosexual pandas, but could they help out?

    I didn’t say “In reproducing we must not forget “that we are complex animals symbiotically connected with other complex systems””. You’ve merged two separate statements from the same comment to mean something that, again, I did not say. The point of the second part was that we are becoming mired in artificial problems, often in our heads, and disproportionately consuming energy in dealing with them while failing to address more fundamental issues like climate change and resource depletion. I didn’t elaborate on the point, hoping that it was bleeding obvious that we seem to have forgotten that we are eating/shitting animals with eating/shitting problems first. It’s very similar to the Western delusion that the ‘economy’ is a natural system. So we have economic bubbles and boom/bust cycles that we agonise over while rain forests are being “eradicated”. Look at the first few pages of the major newspapers and count how many articles address economic and social issues versus environmental issues.

    “This raises many new points. Clark and I both pointed out that our population growth is out of control, and so there is simply no reason to believe that gay sexuality is threatening our long-term survival.”

    I didn’t raise the issue of human population, Clark did. On that topic, however, you are talking about contemporary human population which has been indirectly driven by our exploitation of fossil fuels and industrialisation of human society – a temporary anomaly I hope. Homosexuality is not now and is unlikely to ever be an issue in relation to human population security if things stay the same. Heterosexuality and fertility, however, is always relevant to the population question and not something to be contemptuously disregarded for political point scoring. The future of human well being is very much dependent on our ability to stabilise and manage populations in every region of the globe through measures that are sensitive to the unique conditions under which these people live. Homosexuality is irrelevent and unhelpful despite my facetious remark that it might be a solution.

    “Firstly no single person should be compelled to reproduce; I hope you regard that as unthinkable, which is why I made light of the idea.”

    I don’t regard it as unthinkable, I regard it as standard practice. Listen to some people who you might have met -

    Henry VIII (His Majesty) – “Why haven’t you produced for me a fucking heir? Off with your head!”

    Mother (Nagging old woman) – “When are you two having a baby? When am I getting a granddaughter?”

    Henry Umbutu (African tribal member) – “Why haven’t you got pregnant yet? Where is the son you promised me? You are a bad woman!”

    Henry Singh, (Indian farmer) – “You’ve given me three daughters and no son. I will divorce you, you useless fucking Dalit!”

    “In any case, whilst I think humanity has great potential and has many characteristics worthy of celebration, would it matter if we died out? What significance would it have? Would it be a great moral failure if it did? Who would be around to mourn our passing?”

    That’s a philosophical question. Let me answer it by asking you this. Given the FACT that we do exist, and we exist partly because we want to, what can we do to make our existence a profound one and not merely a self-destructive exercise in multiplying one stupid being into billions of stupid beings?

    Lastly, I have wasted well over an hour on this post when I have other pressing things to do. But that is my problem, like the doctor with selfish patients who refuse to be cured.

    - – - -
    What long, boring post would be complete without a link to wikipedia? For those who use the word “should” too many times -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Is%E2%80%93ought_problem
    Note: David Hume was an atheist

  169. Jemand, no, I’m not discussing the discussion; I’m asking for clarity. I haven’t deliberately misinterpreted your points at all, just seeing your points through my own filters. This is very human, and is what we all do. I have given you no reason to think you are not welcome, and I have given you no reason to be angry.

    It seems you think I am not arguing in good faith, and I am sorry to see you take that view, especially since my post was (a) apologetic to you where appropriate, and (b) written with good humour and civility. My (non-mod) view is that you should apologise to Nevermind for your deliberate rudeness towards him – the words from you on our screen sounded like open endorsement of eugenics. If you feel that you have been misread, then clarify, but there is no reason to turn to insults.

    Anyway, thanks for the discussion. You should not think that time spent posting is wasted – it all adds to the exchange of ideas, which is valuable. May add more to the discussion, but for now, work calls.

  170. Komodo dragons are the only ones (i think) that can reproduce by themselves under conditions of stress. Komodo posts here so you can ask him/her about that.

    Busted!
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/6196225.stm

    (Parthenogenetic and proud)

  171. Jon, your filters are not working, throw them away. If idiots and conspiracy theorists get you down, stop wasting time on them. Do you argue with a dog that bites you?

    Being human is never an excuse. Humans rape and murder in the millions but i’ve never heard the “i’m only human” defence before. You are an intelligent being, and you implied that you write in good faith. Therefore, I think you should read in good faith to keep some balance.

    Being welcome – it’s a certain quality, buzz, vibe or zeitgeist. It’s either here or it aint. Here, it aint.

    I don’t owe Nevermind, nor any other frothing, toxic commentator who willfully misconstrues my posts to defame me, any apology at all. I’m very disappointed that you see me as a eugenicist who needs to apologise after someone pisses in my face. I never demanded or expected an apology from you or anyone else, Jon. Although, maybe I should say that i am now sorry i bothered to reply at all.

  172. That’s all very angry, Jemand, and I don’t see the cause of it, personally. Nevermind’s a good guy – if he disagrees with you (can’t find it on this thread) – suck it up and behave yourself. If he’s misconstrued your posts it may be because English isn’t his first language, or maybe because your fury is obscuring the sense of what you want to say.
    Think on.

  173. Komodo, how do you like being called a racist Nazi (or cowardly implication thereof) after nearly getting into a fight with a skinhead in defence of some French speaking black chicks who were being harrassed by this scum? You don’t get any credit for walking the walk, but you do get a drubbing if you don’t say the “right” thing on blogs. I’ve seen others cop it in the neck here.

    Any reference to me being a German, Nazi, racist or eugenicist is a vile personal accusation (sorry Fritz!) that attacks me and not my comments which, generally, are tended as observations and analyses of what I believe to be the facts at hand, not my personal political preferences unless otherwise stated. But some people don’t get it because they live in a fantasy world where only their opinions count. These people are placed on my unsmiley face list. Nixon had one, so should I.

    However, if Nevermind was not taunting me with a skewed implication that I am German and did not intend to compare me with Mengele (reinforced by Jon’s comment) then I’ll withdraw my comments regarding him.

    Now, I’m thinking that either I’m unusually good at tearing people down or that you and Jon have exaggerated the impact of my posts. I’m inclined to believe the latter is the case.

  174. Er..Nevermind’s German. So if he was implying you were, it could well have been complimentary. But I should really let him speak for himself.

  175. Oh, and far from exaggerating the impact of your posts, I am a little perturbed by the seriousness with which you take them. But that’s just me.

  176. Jemand, I know Nevermind in real life. He’s a good chap; kind, considerate and politically active. I really think that the “Mengele” thing was just an escalating misunderstanding. I’ve re-read Nevermind’s comment, and I can’t decide if Nevermind wished to criticise you, or the possibility of modification of the population that you were suggesting could occur.

    Having read Nevermind’s comments for years, I can say that he does sometimes respond too critically, suggesting that he occasionally interprets other comments as more negative than they perhaps deserve. But this is a common Internet problem that most of us suffer from occasionally. Deprived of non-verbal communicational cues, in an adversarial environment, many of us occasionally overreact.

    We’ve had a bit of an influx of conspiracy theorists here recently (have you ventured onto any of the al-Hilli threads? I don’t dare!). Trying to keep things focused and reasonably serious is quite demanding for the moderators, and Jon has had my own ups-and-downs to cope with, with which he has been very helpful. So I personally request that you cut him some slack.

    Is there anything I can do to help? Would you like me to ask Nevermind to return to this thread and clarify his “Mengele” remark?

  177. @Clark, I will take your and Komodo’s words that Nevermind is a reasonable person and that I have misunderstood his comment. I do remember an exchange between a hyena on another thread and Nevermind in which my ‘name’ was part of a German language exchange between the two. It had a sneering ‘private’ quality about it – probably because of the antipathy my hyena friend harbours for me. I have never previously addressed Nevermind and did not intend to until Jon seemed to confirm what I had thought.

    It now appears to be a misunderstanding on my part and I apologise to Nevermind and his friends for it. A clarification by Nevermind would help but is not necessary at this point.

    I know you have batted for me before regarding this infrequent reference to me being German – thanks. In truth I have nothing personal against Germans but I don’t like the implications. It is as if implying that I am German is a euphemism for another accusation they are too cowardly to state.

    Re al-Hilli – it’s got enough delicious chunky bits for a conspiracy theory. Craig must have known that he was unleashing a monster. But as long as it is caged, it could be a good thing.

  178. Jemand:

    “…the Western delusion that the ‘economy’ is a natural system. So we have economic bubbles and boom/bust cycles that we agonise over while rain forests are being “eradicated”. Look at the first few pages of the major newspapers and count how many articles address economic and social issues versus environmental issues.”

    Yes, very true. But what can you expect from the corporate media? They will always discuss large-scale flows of money from a laissez faire “free market” perspective. The concept of using economics as a tool to address urgent and critical problems in the physical world is something that simply must not be mentioned, lest people start asking their governments to take such action. Where economic manipulation is being tried, carbon cap-and-trade, for instance, the media silence is overwhelming, but somehow, on the Internet, many people are being persuaded that it is a product of pure evil! Quite how this is achieved, I’m trying to discover from Chris Jones.

  179. @Komodo – re taking posts seriously

    Maybe I do, at least the ones that people put a lot of good research or argument into. But if our posts aren’t mostly serious, how serious would this blog be? How seriously would people take Craig if the blog descends into a casual, lazy, armchair conversation between two somewhat interested parties? Fire and brimstone, plausible conspiracy theories, regular visitors including the mysterious “Julian”, interweaved conversations all tempered with good humour, is what makes a good blog – i think. That and the occasional rant and tantrum.

  180. @Clark – re economics vs environment

    I think, ultimately, decisions are mostly made with or without our approval – ie democracy is in many ways irrelevant because good information is necessary for good democracy and too many people do not understand good information. When you take a panel discussion on climate change with a fantastic person like the late, venerable Stephen Schneider, and morons in the audience ridicule his logic (a muti-disciplinary scientist and advisor to several US presidents) I completely despair and realise that so much political power is invested in too many stupid people who can’t see the truth even when you draw a line between two dots.

    The same profound lack of comprehension is found in the population debate. I have argued tirelessly with intelligent people, one of whom thinks that Australia should take in more Chinese to relieve their population pressures. As if raising Australia’s population by 5% in one year (a drop of 0.1% of China’s pop.) would make any difference to their problems and not impact on Oz’s already overstressed water resources, urban infrastructure and relative social harmony.

    What if we were to conclude, through exhaustive analysis, that democracy is a failure and the planet is doomed to a terrible fate? What are our options?

  181. Jemand, I think you have too little trust in democracy. Whenever and wherever democracy has been strongest, there we find that common sense and good governance has best prevailed. Just as a single neuron merely pulses in a way that seems fairly arbitrary, billions of them linked in communication produces all the wonders of a thinking brain. Conversely, the least stable and shortest lived regimes are the ones under the most dictatorial control of the fewest numbers of individuals. Intelligence seems to scale well.

    I do despair at the poor quality of information and debate in the corporate media, but I think that a feedback loop is involved. If people have more stake in their society, they search out and select better sources of information. When democratic control is poor, they do not bother so much, because they could not make use of such information even if they obtained it.

  182. Jemand:

    “What if we were to conclude, through exhaustive analysis, that democracy is a failure and the planet is doomed to a terrible fate? What are our options?”

    We would not reach the conclusion that “the planet is doomed to a terrible fate”. I believe that we are indeed living through a “Great Extinction” brought about by human activity, but life on this planet has survived through much worse, several times over, in the course of its existence. The worst facing us, I think, is the fall of civilisation. I see no reason to believe that humanity could extinguish all life from Earth. Nature is not going to abandon sexual selection, so the spaces left from this great extinction will be filled quickly.

    I doubt that humanity is even capable of making itself extinct, more’s the pity. “Humanity is wily and resourceful…” See link:

    How to Destroy the Earth

    http://qntm.org/destroy

  183. @Clark

    By planet, I meant “human experience of a healthy planet”. I have no doubt that the planet will remain and the biosphere, after several millenia, will return to an animal friendly state that supports their continued evolution until biodiversity is also restored in say 20 million years. Good link you posted, oddly funny too.

    But this is of little comfort to the seemingly tiny proportion of us who prefer forests to iPods. I think we can have both, but that requires a level of patience and cooperation that is hard to find among mortal beings who are hungry for a bigger share.

    I think there is another problematic issue regarding democracy that is not discussed. Even if we were to discover or design the best possible democracy, it is still limited in what it will allow humans to achieve. To illustrate this point, think about what the Egyptians achieved in their time when compared to other civilisations at that time (over several thousands of years). Pyramids are not necessarily a useful product, but they serve to demonstrate an extraordinary ability to do fantastic things – with enough patience and cooperation. Egyptian civilisation, for better or worse, had the ability to do something that other civilisations could not or would not set out to achieve.

    My point is, if the best form of democracy achieves peace on Earth and a harmonious existence with the environment, is that good enough? When we meet our basic needs and eliminate ill effects of our existence, there must be something more that gives our species a noble purpose beyond merely existing. Many people are happy to just plod through life as a fleeting tourist. But there are others, me, and admittedly a bunch of crackpots, who seek to discover a means of enabling us to embark on a bigger journey. I don’t know exactly what that journey is. Is it into the void of space or the interior of a sub-atomic particle?

    But I doubt that democracy, as we know it, will give us the enabling means of achieving it. Then again, I can’t offer an alternative.

  184. Jemand: ‘By planet, I meant “human experience of a healthy planet”’

    Yes, I thought you probably did. But there is so much sloppy thinking and sloppy language associated with environmentalism, so many people think they’re “saving the planet”, so I like to be pedantic about this. Too many environmentalists enjoy riding their high moral horse. I like to point out that environmentalism is essentially a selfish endeavour, and I like to speak up for selfishness occasionally. Selfishness at higher levels often involves unselfishness at lower levels. Selfishness is no more a “negative” motivation than anger.

    I’m glad you liked How to Destroy the Earth. Yes, it’s a humorous piece; entertainment. If you liked that, you may like this short story:

    http://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/treks-end/

  185. Jemand, earlier I said that you placed too little trust in democracy, and now I’ll argue that you’re expecting too much of it.

    The main trick that democracy performs is to prevent too much centralisation of power and wealth. It thus supports diversity. It is from diversity that spring the various journeys of exploration that you (and I) value, not from democracy itself.

    I regard democracy as a sort of scaling mechanism of cooperation. It seems that humans spontaneously self-organise in groups of about one hundred to one thousand, this being the rough size of tribal hunter-gather groups. Beyond that, some form of hierarchy is needed.

    I can see the New Age idiots getting upset with me about this statement; they seem to hate hierarchy, and fail to recognise it in any form other than hierarchy of authority. More sloppy thinking. What they really hate, of course, is the idea that anything stands above their egos. This is why they retreat from the great reality of beautiful but challenging diversity and complexity into their own little worlds of fantasy. And this is why I don’t “respect” them; they haven’t earned respect in matters concerning reality. If any of them produce something very creative, I could respect them for that. But I don’t think that is possible. Being creative requires skill with the available materials, and such skill can only be acquired through the discipline of practice. Maybe they can be creative within their own little worlds, but without skill beyond that they could never share it, so what value does it have?

  186. Clark, I think people promised too much of democracy. And some get all gooey about it. I’m disappointed in one sense but appreciate other aspects. We have it better in our junky western world than the average Romanian under Ceausescu.

    Thanks for the link, saved it for reading later.

    New Age – boy you must have had a bad run with them. I switch off and avoid as soon as I hear the songs of dolphins CD or see crystals.

  187. Jemand, democracy has barely been given a chance yet, but even the very limited forms that we see around us seem to do a lot of good. They don’t help beyond their boundaries, though, as we can see by contrasting democratic countries’ domestic and foreign policies.

    “Songs of dolphins and crystals”: see? Plagiarism of nature.

    Actually, my major run-in with New-Agery came to a head on the Leave of Absence thread. I shall, from now on, take the following site far more seriously:

    What’s the Harm?

    368,379 people killed, 306,096 injured and over $2,815,931,000 in economic damages

    http://www.whatstheharm.net/

  188. @Jemand

    On scanning for offensive bits: “Personally, I think we are witnessing some of the last generations of born-homosexuals. Technology will give people options, and people will follow their true, natural, preferences.”

    I think this was the bit that put many people on the defensive. What people are trying to do now is to follow their true, natural preferences, in spite of prevailing homophobia in the wider world and that found online. As others have said it is your casual adoption of a homosexuality as something to be corrected idea, in utero or even earlier or ‘cure’ unchecked by ethics with modern and future medicine’s power tools, that seems studiedly cold. It was stated as an inevitablity without an opinion as to whether such more likely state mandate than individual choice was a good or as I think a bad thing. It is an unpleasant sounding future you gleefully contemplate, people would need to be taught to hate even the as yet unborn. Such conditions are unlikely to arise naturally.

    Haven’t read much of the later comments, apologies if I’m dangerously on topic.

  189. Jemand, I should mention that “democracy” is used as an excuse and a justification, as in “bringing democracy to Iraq”. But again, such examples usually concern foreign policy rather than domestic. And besides, many things can be used as false justifications.

  190. Clark, yes I was aware of that thread having a strong impact on you. I wasn’t going to, and shouldn’t, bring it up because we can’t do anything other than be aware of the truth and cautiously advise those who are receptive to it. But we live in an age where anything can be true as long as you want it to be true, and those who speak against such notions get slapped down for being “negative”.

  191. @Cryptonym

    “It is an unpleasant sounding future you gleefully contemplate, people would need to be taught to hate even the as yet unborn. Such conditions are unlikely to arise naturally.”

    Was I being gleeful? Nothing to be gleeful about when MILLIONS of unwanted, hated unborn babies are being aborted every year because they are inconvenient or have a disability that is intolerable in our new, tolerant society. You seem to be awfully confident that such conditions are unlikely to arise naturally. Can I refer you to sex-selected abortions in India?

    I am old school logic. 1 + 2 + 3 = 6. Technology + Attitudes + Opportunity = Reality.

    If you don’t get it, ask a friend.

  192. It is an indisputable fact that if you wave a pendulum made of Tasmanian celestine over your navel, peace and prosperity inevitably follow.

    For the rock shop owner.

  193. Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version)

    17 Oct, 2012 - 6:09 pm

    ” if you wave a pendulum made of Tasmanian celestine”

    Heh. ‘Democracy’ is meaningless without participation from the electorate, and I don’t mean showing up to vote.

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