Monthly Archive: April 2015

Same-sex marriage – the hysteria of the antis

I once read a discussion on the internet about debate and argument where one of the participants made a statement which I tend to apply. Paraphrased it goes something like this:
“If you want me to respect your ideas and arguments, have good ones”.
I was reminded of this while reviewing the current level of hysteria being promulgated by people who believe that same-sex marriage is a Bad Idea. Those people seem to be competing right now to see who can find the most vapid, illogical batshit crazy argument or assertion. Every time that I think that I have heard something utterly idiotic, somebody comes along and lowers the bar.
James Dobson is working hard to be the owner of the lowest bar. On a radio show, he went into overdrive.

“I would like them to think, just for a moment, about ‘LGBT,'” Dobson said. “The ‘B’ stand for bisexual! That’s orgies! Are you really going to support this?”

Dobson, you clueless bloviating twit, that is not what bisexual means, and you damn well know it.

This is one example of why I am increasingly regarding most opposition to same-sex marriage as fundamentally unserious, and unworthy of serious consideration. In fact, a lot of it is now ridiculous, and worthy only of ridicule.

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The “POTUS is a liar therefore he needs to be removed from office etc. etc.” meme

OK folks, time for an explanation. I am reading yet more of the usual nonsense about how the POTUS should be charged with treason (this idea has been popular amongst many authoritarians and nativists for a long long time).
When I inquired exactly why he should be charged with that crime, the person on Twitter who was firing off all manner of “hang him high” tweets came back with “because he told me I could keep my doctor under the ACA and now I can’t therefore he lied therefore he should be charged with treason”.
Sheesh. Where to begin.
First of all, lying is not treason. There is a specific definition of treason in most legal jurisdictions, and it requires a level of malfeasance (presenting a clear and present threat to the existence of a country) far in excess of simple lying. I don’t think that there is a cat-in-hells chance of charging a sitting president with treason on the grounds that he lied about the ACA.
Secondly, the statement by President Obama was certainly not true. However, I doubt if it meets the definition of a lie based on the evidence. A lie is a falsehood uttered by somebody who knew that it was false at the time that it was uttered. In order to prove legally that somebody lied, you have to provide proof that a person knew that they were saying something untrue when they originally said it. That is a high bar to clear.
Now if you want to start from the assumption that all politicians are liars, or that the POTUS is a liar, then you can define any mistaken utterance as a lie. However, that does not make it a lie. That is you overlaying your assumptions about behavior on other people’s statements.

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