User Profile: HappyStretchedThin


Member Since: January 09, 2011


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  • [3] December 16, 2014 at 9:27am

    Full ironic circle.
    Apple made their marketing bones with an anti-commie commercial using George Orwell’s 1984 imagery to smash the surveillance state, stand out from the crowd, and go your own direction. Standing against the evil totalitarian empire was the ultimate act of individualism, and Apple wanted to be associated with that individualism.
    Now they’re citing lyrics from a band named the Orwells to ask you to join the growing throng rejecting individual liberties by undermining their foundations and by reducing the concept of liberty itself into one limited to the pursuit of happiness, pledging allegiance only to oneself.
    Apple wants to be associated with the FEELING of revolution, not to any CONTENT of revolution that might be morally right, honorable, or praiseworthy. Just destruction of whatever status quo there is.
    Good thing a free capitalistic society has created the purchasing power for even clueless parents to put their disposable income where they choose. Maybe Smokey’s right that the spoiled brat 12-25 yo target audience will just get new toys. God bless America, and maybe they’ll use their new Mac Air to read stories on the Blaze…

  • [1] December 15, 2014 at 10:45am

    I think it’s a worthwhile speculation, but that there is insufficient evidence to support the assumption. Frankly, if you’re reading the story very closely it’s actually very hard to tell whether the scattering came first and the language drift was a natural consequence of isolation (which I’ve heard one respected linguist explain), or whether the languages were miraculously broken up and the scattering happened later. In any case, there was a commandment to multiply and replenish the earth still in effect after the flood that wasn’t being heeded, so if the Shemites were faithful in other ways, their presence all in one place with the others would have put them on the wrong side of God’s laws in at least that one respect.
    As a final note, Genesis is NOT the only text one can consult on Babel era peoples. There is an account in the Book of Mormon which elucidates the question greatly. I would advice you to inquire, and to read the 14 quick chapters of the book of Ether in the Book of Mormon.
    As to the presence of Hebrew elements in many scripts, it wouldn’t take much cultural contact from a traveling people over the last 3 millenia for a word or two, or even a structure or two to rub off. Especially since biblical language (which has made world travels with politically powerful folk) is heavily influenced by Hebrew.

  • [22] December 15, 2014 at 8:39am

    Dude. Do you even know how to read?
    I called God a TRUTH teller, and promised you the scientists will find that the truth matches up to His Word.
    Makes me wonder if you’ve understood ANYTHING you’ve read, EVEN in the Bible!
    Click the link and read it. It CONFIRMS the bible THROUGH independent, linguistic analysis.
    Stop attacking your allies!

  • [48] December 15, 2014 at 8:24am

    Oh Cons,
    Don’t get your hackles up over a scientist’s work. Scientists pursue truth through the means God has given them. And your insistence on dogma rather than inquiry demonstrates a shaky faith indeed. If you truly did believe God’s Word, you would sit back confident that eventually ALL science will square with what the Bible has already told us. There may be some wrinkles in our interpretation of it that we didn’t think of, but there’s NOTHING wrong, and in fact everything right with CONFIRMING God’s Word through science. And, frankly, falsely opposing the two like you seem to be doing is MORE dangerous than purely atheistic scientism.
    As a linguist myself, I can tell you that the bedrock story of this guy’s research is NOT wrong (although his timeline is off because it assumes a fairly constant evolution rate for the language features, which is VERY unlikely to be sustained, I hate to tell him). But don’t take my word for it, try a creationist:

    Responses (7) +
  • [3] December 4, 2014 at 7:50am

    Hi Monk,
    Good to be back for a time!
    DZ: I did notice that, but I actually know what he’s talking about, and it’s NOT a race war. He’s big on the “browning of America”. See, he’s black when it suits his ratings, but he claims solidarity with all visible minorities (as if they’re all one homogeneous bloc in opposition to the equally mythically monolithic whites). Every demographic gain in any color counts as a victory for his “side” in his own mind.
    As for the statistics comments, you’re all quite right. I was just proposing a FEW of the important basic questions that would bias statistics less. I’m not sure we can assume ALL victims of police violence are criminal a priori, but my guess is that the VAST majority of cases roll your way, Advection.
    p.s. Monk: Ghostery! Why didn’t I think of that!
    On racialized media, also this:

  • [416] December 3, 2014 at 11:49pm

    They’re both futzing around with statistics. Smiley’s still right, even with O’Reilly’s numbers, that blacks are killed at twice the rate as whites (123 deaths into 39M blacks is about 1 per 300k, 326 deaths into 224M whites is about 1 per 600k).
    But none of that even attempts a fair-minded measurement.
    You need fair questions before statistics can answer you fairly.
    Try asking: How many of those total 449 deaths happened to non criminals? How many happened in the course of criminal activity?
    How many of those 123 got how much media coverage? Is it proportional to the media coverage of the 326?
    How many of the total 449 were ruled clean shoots by a grand jury? Were the officers involved held to any standard of accountability? How many met the standard?
    Smiley’s big problem here is that he doesn’t see how mob-like his mentality is. He doesn’t NEED evidence, he just sees one piece of it (the video), applies his own personal standard of accountability (if he’s not indicted, the GJ was a fraud), claims that’s all he needs, and calls for a media “lynching” of all officers, especially the one in question.
    Look, if it’s black lives that should matter, then why focus on the end-point of these lives? Truly caring about the lives would mean giving these lives loving families, nurturing them and teaching them right from wrong, etc. all their life long. Far fewer run-ins with police that way too. No matter your race.

    Responses (12) +
  • [16] December 3, 2014 at 11:15pm

    I’m just wondering if my superego gets a veto on what my subconscious orders…

    Responses (10) +
  • [3] November 19, 2014 at 7:57pm

    “gay people do have families and do want to get married for the purpose of starting a family”
    No one said they didn’t. But that’s NOT what you & I are arguing about. Stop trying to twist this and answer squarely: the principle that enables SSM to be included in a definition of marriage is that consenting adults of ANY gender should have state-supported relationships. Yes or no?
    Look, I have NOT appealed to a religious argument at all here, because I don’t need it.
    But you’ve got to give up this insane notion that the two are morally equivalent.
    For the kids involved, for the adults involved, for the societies involved, traditional marriage has intuitive and scientifically proven benefits that make it worthy of state support. Even you haven’t contested that point. Individual SS marriages MAY go beyond the definition of their mutually consenting emotional-fulfillment focus, and produce the same benefits. I haven’t contested that point either.
    But codifying SSM into law DOES change the principle of what’s treated as equal under the law to something unquestionably new: it extends civil rights people based on behaviors and preferences, not on personhood. The principle of mutual consent is amoral and is extensible in ways that the conjugal principle isn’t. Law can’t open itself up to the principle without also allowing ANY configuration of consenting adults. Kids don’t do as well in any other configuration, so it’s not morally neutral.

  • [2] November 19, 2014 at 7:37pm

    “Allowing people the freedom to marry imposes nothing on you, and does no harm to you or anyone else”
    It imposes on many expressions of religious freedom for one.
    And you’re plugging your ears and screaming “lalala I can’t hear you” on the harm question, so I won’t belabor the point. It harms the idea of marriage, it harms the children in a marriage, and it harms the societies whose rates of children with fathers and mothers decline.
    “it’s just different, who cares?”
    I’ve demonstrated that this difference is NOT merely a morally relative neutral one. Children do best with a father and mother. Says science. Repeatedly. (And God, by the way)
    “because you think science is biases against you”
    It’s not me, it’s the scientists who criticize the studies. It’s not me “thinking”, it’s actual design flaws in the information gathering mechanisms of the studies. The truth can’t be derived from them, your objections notwithstanding.
    “Whether or not a marriage is child-focused depends on the presence of children, not the sex of the spouses”
    Again with the goal-post moving. I said marriage AS AN IDEA has a child-rearing focus at its core definition, NOT “a” marriage (as in any given one). You attack me on things you and I agree upon as if I’m being unreasonable. Be honest.
    It’s the horizon of possibilities that changes when the definition changes, not the results in individual cases.

  • [2] November 19, 2014 at 7:20pm

    “People are for it because of the effect being married has on their life (legal benefits)”
    Some are, yes. But many others openly want to destroy the idea of monogamy, of gender, of religious morality. Plus, much of the “legal benefits” argument is put to the lie quite easily: when offered civil unions with identical rights, some gays STILL refuse. It’s the NAME marriage they want to claim victory over.
    “the vast majority of people against it are really worried about God’s opinion”
    This appears to be the heart of your motives. It scares you to think that people worry about what God thinks. And in this statement your profoundly intolerant core stands revealed. There’s NOTHING wrong with people worrying about what God thinks, especially not in a free society with a First Amendment. But let’s overlook your condescending and insulting view of religious believers as somehow also automatically uninformed, bigoted homophobes, and get to the actual facts: Kurtz shows quite conclusively that the rates of children raised outside of a marital relationship are expanding everywhere SSM has been introduced. How is that “failing to show real harm” to either the children or the culture of marriage.
    On freedom: you neither understand the principle, nor the Constitution designed to uphold its exercise in our free land.
    All individuals are free to contract a marriage. What SSM advocates are seeking out, isn’t marriage. It imposes NO restrictions on anyone’s sexual behavior to defend marriage.

  • [3] November 19, 2014 at 7:01pm

    “I’ve read them”
    No one reading this has any evidence of that.
    “the decline has slowed down”
    The Kurt article debunked and contextualized that data. Ergo you haven’t read or understood.
    “What marriage is supposed to be IS personal”
    Then why are you so focused on redefining it? In forcing your open definition on anyone? If you were intellectually honest, this logic should apply to ANY word, then. Is the word “cranial” “personal” in the same way? the idea that words ONLY have personal meanings is what’s ludicrous here, not my assertion that there’s an IDEA of marriage that underlies whatever personal meaning people choose to invest into it. You’re grasping. And maliciously evading: I never suggested people can’t find their own meaning within the institution, or that people can’t have their own forms. What I DO unequivocally argue, however, is that not all the forms are equal and that the conjugal one is demonstrably superior and the only one therefore worthy of state sanction.
    But maybe you’ve just never actually been held to any rigor on this: What IS marriage, in your opinion? What ARE its essential qualities? What DOES distinguish it as an institution from cohabitation, from polyamory, from friendship, and from other kinds of human relationships.
    My guess is you either can’t distinguish, or won’t because your distinctions will reveal other logical inconsistencies in your argument.

  • [3] November 19, 2014 at 5:16pm

    To re-state: a conjugal vision of marriage INCLUDES a consensual one, but a consensual one is limited by definition to mutual emotional fulfillment between adults. If there are children in a consensus-based partnership, they CAN be responsibly raised, as they can in foster care, in adoption, in single-parent homes, in poverty-stricken households, and across races, and cultures.
    But the natural consequence of conceiving of marriage as primarily for the emotional satisfaction of two consenting adults, is that the focus of life and the partnership’s purpose tends to focus on the emotions of the adults.
    The natural consequence of conceiving of marriage as primarily for the purpose of responsible procreation, then the focus of life and the partnership’s purpose serves the children and the broader society, not merely the two individuals in partnership.
    In Ryan T Anderson’s formulation: “Redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships makes marriage primarily about emotional union, more about adults’ desires than children’s needs.”
    The insidious nature of the argument that “love is all you need” to make a family is that it’s TRUE in it’s broadest sense. But when that concept of self-sacrificing love in service of the needs of the children gets twisted into supporting primarily the desires of the adults, then the tendency to “flake out” when the going gets tough inevitably rises. It takes MORE than THAT kind of “love” to make and keep a family.

  • [3] November 19, 2014 at 5:01pm

    You cite one-sided articles (one from a site with no pretense to objectivity) with studies and reviews of studies all claiming there’s no detrimental effects to children raised in gay homes.
    Which is entirely the wrong question and not the one I suggested. I suggested that gay parents have a DIFFERENT effect on children than straight ones. And Chuck actually already settled this quite soundly: if you pretend to like science, you can’t just willy-nilly accept a study or two showing this or that comparative scores are similar for gays or not–you have to admit there is bias in the studies, and methodological problems to the conclusions they claim (not the least of which is most of the gay couples are advocates for the study results they volunteer for, which makes studies the scientific equivalent of asking a politician to show spending restraint for his/her own district). Here’s a review, well sourced, repeatedly showing the multiple ways children fare better when a low-conflict mother and father pair share active and present responsibility in caring for the kids.
    Can individuals in other pairings produce children who score as well or better? No one, least of all me, claims they can’t.
    But where they do, it’s by exceeding their own definition of marriage, NOT in following it to its fruition.
    The ideal of marriage influences tendencies of these outcomes by its inherent philosophy.

  • [4] November 19, 2014 at 4:44pm

    Here we go trying to penetrate exceptionally thick ideological blinders again…
    The facts DO support my ideas, you’ve neither read them, nor demonstrated any understanding of them. The article FULLY explains the marriage rate bumps and its consistent decline when SSM was ADDED to the ALREADY growing number of factors attacking the IDEA of conjugal marriage.
    If you had read, you’d know these are not “personal” ideas, but that there are very real social consequences to what institutional ideal states support or decline to support. In fact, I don’t see how any thinking being could HONESTLY hold the opinion that the definition of marriage is “entirely personal”. The truth is that you HAVE to argue that my opinion is only my own and has no bearing on yours because OTHERWISE you’d have to ADMIT that you haven’t been intellectually honest in searching out the truth on this, that there IS a truth on this, and that your OWN personal opinion that it has NO effect on society is in denial of all the facts. If it HAD no effect on marriage as an institution, then no one would be militating for it OR against it.
    I hope neutral parties reading this can see how much your argument hinges on projection, selective treatment of argument and fact, and misrepresentation of your opponent’s positions.
    I’m not the one trying to enforce my opinions on anyone. YOUR side is the one that wants to redefine marriage.

  • [3] November 19, 2014 at 2:31pm

    Look, there are two basic approaches to defining marriage. One, that we can call the conjugal or traditional approach, defines it as a comprehensive and exclusive and permanent union formed for the purpose of creating new life (even if that purpose is never ultimately realized). The other–which yours cannot escape being–is a consent-based approach in which the “marriage” is defined by a commitment to an emotional union. Whether or not individual families live up to the ideal of a conjugal definition, it’s at least got baked into it a principle of permanence and a principle of self-denial in the service of the other and of children that the consent-based definition doesn’t. If two consenting adults independently come to an emotional union that proves permanent and exclusive, and creates an environment of self-denial in the service of the other and of children, then I applaud it and promote it.
    But logically, they have done so IN EXCESS of their consent-based definition of marriage, NOT BECAUSE of it.
    No one’s judging other people’s sexual choices here. No one’s claiming there’s something intrinsic and immoral about gay people (if they’re immoral, it’s their CHOICES, NOT their essence). And no one’s trying to discriminate.
    It’s the IDEA baked into the definition of marriage that would sustain damage if redefining it, especially on illogical “equal protections” grounds, were allowed. The consent model is simply NOT the conjugal model in its effect on kids.

  • [3] November 19, 2014 at 2:14pm

    “So you are saying the allowing gay marriage makes people decide not to get married?”
    Not me, the facts and a scientist trained in interpreting them.
    “That makes no sense”
    It makes perfect sense, and I’m not responsible for your lack of reading skills. You show no evidence of having read or grasped the article’s arguments. Your uninformed opinion notwithstanding, erosion of the idea of marriage causes people to devalue the institution, and participate in it less and less.
    “It’s a trend that started before gay marriage”
    Exactly, which makes my point, not yours. Gay marriage, I have argued is ONE of the things that devalues the institution of marriage and causes less aggregate participation in it. Why do you have to twist my argument to try to make it sound like I think gay marriage is the ONLY threat to marriage? Because your logic fails unless you attempt to rhetorically corner me into a position I don’t hold. I certainly never said that.
    “I will reiterate that the research on gay parents shows…”
    And you will still be wrong. But I’ll repeat your error of not providing supporting evidence, just to make a point.
    “I completely disagree that…”
    Please read carefully. I didn’t say any of that. I said there are aspects of marriage not reducible to love. That’s different. (But you DO seem to like apples to oranges comparisons, don’t you…)
    Kurtz rebutted your “rebuttal” in detail here:

  • [6] November 19, 2014 at 11:22am

    The experiment has been run and the results are in. Scandinavian countries have legalized gay marriage decades ago and signs are that the culture of marriage, after about half a decade, not only began to decline, but may now be irreversible. Chuck is well informed on the dubiousness of studies attempting to support this ludicrous idea that gay marriage has no effect on children. But that’s not the only way it harms marriages. It harms the core IDEA of marriage–that individuals pair up in an exclusive child-focused, other-centered union of sexes, goals and resources–by dilution. Moving away from the exclusivity creates instability in relationships. Moving toward an adult-romance centered idea distorts the selflessness of the idea of “love”, and the self-sacrifice at the core of that ideal. Moving away from the union of opposite sexes creates a false interchangeability of parental roles for the children (and I’m sorry. but the research is actually clearly FOR better outcomes for children with a positive mother AND father). Moving toward a false idea that “love” is all you need for a family ignores and devalues the MANY other aspects of what it means to be a family (commitment, self-sacrifice, forgiveness, honesty–which may be connected, but cannot be reduced to “love”).
    Kurtz outlines the damage here:

  • [4] November 19, 2014 at 9:57am

    For a supposedly educated and “hardcore” research kinda guy, you sure do like to peddle REALLY old canards apparently without any awareness of the logical fallacies in your own arguments.
    Study of homosexuality in the animal kingdom is NOT new. In his Socratic-style dialogues published in 1920, entitled Corydon, André Gide was citing new scientific research in animal homosexuality then. It’s just as irrelevant to the true question as this dubious study aimed at reinforcing its preconceived conclusion of genetic determinism.
    If you would actually read for understanding rather than out of blind defense of your own position, you’d discover that you’ve been quite thoroughly debunked many times in this thread. For all your ability to point out the fallacies in their less artful expressions of disagreement (what do you expect, the internet is anonymous), you FAIL to notice the central fallacy in your own: the distinction between the rest of the animal kingdom and human beings is NOT nature, but moral agency. If predispositions to ANY kind of behavior exist in the nature of humans, encoded in DNA, or “normalized” in the conventions of social tradition, they STILL don’t remove the fundamental individual freedom we each have to give in to or to control those predispositions.
    Your analysis is moot.
    p.s. I don’t call lifting 2 citations of the bottom of a wikipedia entry “hardcore research”. Try again. (Hint: Alex is mostly right)

  • [25] October 11, 2014 at 11:07am

    I laid out 7 points of what defines a cult. Who or what they worship was NOT included in them, because once you begin the claim that anything that’s NOT YOUR specific brand of Christianity (or other religion) is a “cult” then you’ve completely distorted the core meaning of what a cult IS. Cults have many different forms of unverifiable belief systems as a basis. But what they SHARE is all of the points I mentioned. Since the LDS share NONE of those characteristics, classifying them as a “cult” tells more about YOU than it does about your accusation. It’s obvious you have no clue what the word means, or even care–your only agenda is to discredit anything that doesn’t conform to your narrow beliefs. Then you ADD evidence to this extreme and extremely distorting bias by citing a youtube video which consists of an endless string of context-free quotes from high profile Mormons all FRAMED as if they’re condemning you, Christianity, and all Christians through time. But in EVERY single one of those quotes, IN CONTEXT, what those leaders were ACTUALLY attacking is the same thing YOU attack: false doctrine.
    There’s no need to distort like this. Just be open and honest and come at it head on. Show me you UNDERSTAND LDS doctrine FIRST, THEN if you still disagree then we have SUBSTANCE to argue. But don’t LIE first, by misrepresenting LDS beliefs, then INSISTING you’re right. You just look foolishly partisan that way. Kinda “Wendy Davis”-ish…

  • [44] October 11, 2014 at 9:46am

    Oh Muscles and Jonny.
    You’re as ideologically blind on religion as liberals are when they talk about politics.
    Let’s be objective for a minute: a cult has defining characteristics. Which one applies to the LDS.
    1. Leaders profit personally – the LDS are all volunteer
    2. Leaders manipulate followers to maintain personal power – LDS callings to leadership rotate
    3. Leaders centralize control – LDS operates under principles of local control
    4. Leaders discourage independent thinking – missionaries open with “investigate what we’re testifying and find out for yourself”
    5. Leaders require unquestioning loyalty to their person – LDS encourage personal testimony discovery of principles, not people, with the sole exception of Jesus Christ who they worship
    6. Leaders are unaccountable to outside authorities – LDS believe God has empowered secular authorities, so citizens should uphold legal authorities
    7. Any dissent brings swift and severe punishment, breaks bring shunning – excommunications for public rebellions against beliefs do happen, but always in view of reintegration in the future should the person change their mind.
    It doesn’t walk like, talk like, smell like, feel like, or even look like the cult duck you’re claiming.

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