Dec 12, 2012
commented on Slog Poll: Horses
Sigh. I find myself growing further and further estranged from the animal rights movement, which for decades made perfect sense to me. It's starting to sound (or maybe always has sounded) like the pro-life movement. So much black-and-white moral grandstanding.
I appreciate hearing stories like mitten's (@45). The sharing of personal experience is much more effective than statements like "one does not put an animal to work for the animal's welfare," which just seem like conversation-enders.
Dec 12, 2012
commented on How to Kill Your Child and Not End Up in Prison
#38, as to why parents are not charged for accidental deaths while non-parents are...your chattel idea makes some sense, but I think perhaps it also has to do with empathy. The idea is that this guy killed his own child; his life is destroyed. No punishment could be worse than that, so why bother charging him? At least, this idea applies to white people.
This happened recently in Vermont. A young man decided to wake up his sleeping friend by pointing a gun at him and pulling the trigger. He thought it was a paintball gun; it was a rifle. Well, the friend died of course. The killer was only sentenced to a year in prison for the sort of empathetic reasoning described above.
It would be interesting to research what percent of "accidental," negligent deaths of children by parents result in criminal charges being filed, and to study the convictions and sentences. I'll bet you a thousand bucks that black parents get charged and convicted far more often than whites do. And I'm pretty sure that mothers who kill through negligence are treated far more harshly than fathers.
Nov 21, 2012
commented on Pat Robertson Warns Christians: Atheists Are Coming to Steal Christmas
I must say, I had a Jewish friend who did ruin Christmas for me, by convincing me that it was evil, all public displays of Christmas celebrations being nothing but religious persecution of non-Christians. The fact that I wasn't a Christian, and that most aspects of Christmas are secular, or at least pagan, and not Christian, meant nothing to this friend; moreover, any Jew who liked Xmas and indulged in Hanukkah bushes and the like was labeled a "self-hating Jew." Unfortunately, I was convinced for a long time. Getting back my enjoyment of the holiday has been a long, slow, deliberate process.
Nov 14, 2012
commented on Savage Love
And now it's time to stop calling straight people "breeders." I know you were using the word kind of jokingly, Dan, but to say that all straights, and only straights, are "breeders," is to fall in line with too many of the arguments of the religious right. (The arguments being that only breeding sex is okay and if you are het you are automatically having good breeding sex no matter how old you are, what time of month it is, etc.) If "breeders" are people who have biological children, that obviously includes people of every sexual orientation, and plenty of them. Please reserve the word "breeder" for discussions about overpopulation (or dogs).