Africa Is Not a Great Place to be a Mother

Comments

1
Interesting comparison, since Belgium ruled so viciously over DR Congo for so long. But DR Congo, unlike Belgium, doesn't really have a government -- only a criminal satrap of the global minerals company, whose only function is to dole out licenses to steal Congo's resources in exchange for illegal payments. The name on the door says "President Kabila" but the real ruler of DR Congo, or the scattered parts of that country that can be said to be governed at all, is Glencore, the largest company you've never heard of, bigger than Boeing or Ford, based in Switzerland.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/20…

Most of DR Congo, the part without mineral resources, is completely ungoverned and home to millions of refugees and the aid agencies that prey on them.
2
We're number three, we're number three!! :)
3
Yeah, why the hell did the US invade Iraq? We should have gone after those Belgian and Swiss cunts.
4
I didn't know the Czech Republic was so bad!
5
And almost all of the top 10 are... dun dun DUN...

Socialist!
6
I can't believe Honduras isn't on the list of the bottom 10. Because of that country, I learned that the term FEMICIDE exists. I didn't think I'd ever be disappointed to learn a new word, but I was the day I learned that one.

They're killing their female population at a rate of like 2%/year (or more...something like that. I can't remember exactly).

Some of those women have to be mothers. I would think the prospect of violent murder might put a kink in your ability to be a mom. What do I know, though?
7
Yeah, but freedom and patriot and greatest-country-on-earth and stuff...
8
As usual, those of you who hate this country are cordially invited to get the hell out.

Except scum like Mudede who can go to hell full stop.

Any old time.

Buh Bye.

Don't let the door hit your America hating asses on the way out.

See ya.

Still here? Then how about you quit your whining about the greatest nation on the planet, assholes.
9
@8, a nation cannot be considered truly great if it has you in it.
10
And Mudede? Not a living soul asked for you to come here and bitch about the place. Sure, nobody wanted you in Ethiopia or Zimbabwe or whatever shithole African 'country' you come from, but that's hardly a reason to inflict you on the good people of America. So shut up, for once in your useless commie life, m'kay dickhead?
11
@9

Back at ya.
12
@11, my point is proved. America is not the greatest country. You just admitted it.

PS, fuck your mother.
13
@12 - Don't fuck his mother, dude. She might squeeze out another one.
14
Well, racist rant aside, ahem, there are horrible problems the world over and yet people who live in squaler keep having babies. The only reasonable, cost effective solution is birth control. As for corruption, we clearly have our own problems in that regard.
15
"PS, fuck your mother."

Nah. I'll leave the disgusting sexual perversions to you libs.

But hey, kiddo, way to take the high road!

16
@15, "scum", "go to hell", "asses", "assholes", "shithole", "dickhead": that's the high road, all right. You tiny, tiny pee hole.

We agree again, though -- fucking your mother would indeed be a disgusting sexual perversion for anyone. The woman has a gunt like a frog's chin, I hear.
17
@16

Schmucky Mudede hates the politics of this country. He hates how we run our economy. He hates how we transport folks. He hates his neighbors enough to watch them being robbed and not even call the cops. His economic ideas are ridiculous. His political leanings are laughable. His notions of literature and art are inane. Why he hasn't been deported back to whatever hellhole he came from is beyond me. There are plenty of decent people who want to emigrate to the United States. He hates it. So for my money let's give his place here to a decent human being and get his worthless ass on a plane back to Africa.

And for the native born haters of this country- try travelling before you piss and moan about the place. See how those vaunted socialist medical systems work in reality for example, or how much your Euro actually buys in lifestyle compared to how folks live here. Try to take a Sunday drive with your family or girlfriend when gas is $9 a gallon and every main road is a toll road. Then get back to me with your pie in the sky bullshit about how much better we'd be if we blindly copied Europe, all right?

I'm not saying they do it all wrong, or that we do everything right. But I am saying we're a hell of a lot closer to getting it right than they are.
18
@17 - deportations for those with dissenting opinions, now THAT is the hallmark of a great country. Please tell us of your travels— all the way from the couch to peer through your blinds. I'm sure they're enlightening.

P.S. If you're doing this for satire, then, well, bravo.. but remember what Nietzsche said about staring for too long into the abyss.
19
If dissent (which I interpret not so much as 'hate' but 'expecting better') is grounds for permanent deportation then the only people left here would be the ones who don't give a shit about anything.
20
@17 Universal Healthcare vs Sunday Drive for those privileged to have cars. Not a tough choice for most, but thanks for insight into your priorities.
21
Fucking Belarus???
22
@17, going for a Sunday drive on an eight lane freeway choked with hopped-up meth heads isn't my idea of a good time. Alternately, sitting in a sidewalk cafe in Paris sure as hell beats Sbarro at the mall, and a quiet pub in York beats hell out of a shitkicking blues bar full of youse. It's all in how you look at it. And the most interesting parts of this country, the most pleasant ones to visit, are the parts filled with liberals. It's crappy living that makes one conservative.

Also, when your daughter begs me to squat over her face and shit in her mouth "just like daddy does", what should I do? I'm not into scat, but she's a cheap date. I'm asking seriously.
23
If you are born and raised in a acountry where you stand up every day and pledge allegiance to the American flag and say, "We are the chosen people, we are the best of everything; we are the saviors of the world; we have the standard of living that is worth having," you set up a certain standard of yourself which you can never live up to. And when it is proven to be impossible, then there develops a kind of gratuitous violence, because of an intellectual impotency. I tried to parallel that with this character [in the movie Petulia] who was told by his wife, "You are the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, you are the most perfect man, you are everything." He could never live up to what was expected of him, and became sexually impotent, resorting to violence and beating his wife. Through him I attempted to show the threshold of violence that occurs in America--the argument in the supermarket over a can of sardines, the sudden explosion of unnecessary violence because nobody can live up to their image.
--Richard Lester, 1968
24
Funny. SB has said he would flee to his Italian villa if marriage rights become reality. Sounds like someone whose professed "love" for the United States of America is less than sincere. Now, what's the word for that, when someone says something that isn't true? Anyone? .... Anyone?
25
@22

Sorry, am I supposed to get mad at your juvenile insults of my mother and my (10 year old) daughter? You do understand I'd have to a single damn what a moron like you thinks, don't you?

And I won't sink to your level, even supposing that this were possible without all the practice you've had. Having you as a son is punishment enough for your poor mother. God knows I hope a thing like you isn't reproducing, so hopefully you don't have a daughter.

26
Comparisons to the socialist heaven of Europe? Okay, let's do that.

An Italian makes on average $44,000, and an American $53,000, both in USD for convenience and both as of 2010. Italians work fewer hours for this salary, and have more mandatory paid vacation and maternity leave. Still, at the end of the year those are what each earns.

Rent and food are comparable in price to the US, with both costing more in urban areas, and less in rural or suburban. Far fewer Italians own a house, however, so building up that base of equity is off the table for many. But the point is that food and housing cost roughly what they do here. And a house you do own or apartment you rent is going to be much smaller and have far fewer modern conveniences than a typical American house.

Utilities are much more expensive. Not much in the way of hydroelectric or other comparitively cheap electricity and very high fuel costs mean gas and electric cost 2 to 4 times what they do here, depending on where in the US you live.

Transportation is much, much more expensive. Cars are relatively inexpensive, but road taxes, toll roads, $9 a gallon gas and train fares add up. To go by rail from Florence to Rome costs around $80 a person one way. By car it's about $40 in fuel and $30 in tolls. Living in a Roman suburb and working in Rome costs a rail commuter about $150 a month or more, depending on how you buy the fare. And most Italians still own a car, though one per family rather than 2 or more. Insurance is astronomical and worthless. And there are very few DIY repair shops and fewer places a city or suburb dweller could work on their car, so if it needs repair it's done in a shop at shop rates.

On the positive side of the ledger- it's true that universal health care paid for by about 20% of the taxpayers on the behalf of everyone else saves most citizens money. It's true that while food costs the same, it's so far better in quality it's hard to describe. It's true that eating at a restaurant off a piazza with a Roman ruin or Medieval palace to look at rather than a freeway or Banana Republic is a definite entry in the positive category. It's true that the opportunities for enjoying artistic or cultural experiences is similar to the differences in food. It's true that renting or buying a quaint apartment in an old town center or village house in a hill town gives a character to your home no mass produced apartment with 300 units ever will have. Walking the dog at night along paths laid down 1200 years ago, or seeing the way time and weather and feet shaped the steps to your door can't be compared to here in any way.

But at the end, the Italian makes less money and has to pay more for less stuff than an American. Whether the compensations make up for it or not is a personal thing, but most Americans wouldn't think so in my experience.
27
At the risk of being caught by a troll, how do you suggest we deal with the problems faced by the United States, SB, if not for constructive criticism?

Why don't you employ something other than the simple gimmicks and platitudes of children? "Love it or leave it." That's a red herring.

All the thinly veiled racism of the right. I'm sure what you meant to say is "what would a nigger know anyways?"

Incidentally, hatred of Africans and the African diaspora is a surprisingly weak troll, despite all the attention such racism draws in media. But mention how covetous jews and the Israeli lobby dominate American politics and people go bananas. Incidentally, "going bananas" is one of my favorite idioms.
28
@24: Oo! Oo! I know this one Matt! Is the answer " What is a liar?"

@25: I'm not down with talking smack about family as Fnarf knows, but I have to ask you, didn't you say you were going to stop with the name calling because it was, and I quote, "childish"?

Guess you were just tellin' more lies then, huh?
29
@@8

Frankly, given the provocation I think I was fairly moderate with the odious little man.

And your hypocrisy is showing. No claims of misogyny since the targets of the foul insults were my mother and daughter? Just 'I'm not down with that.' That pretty well tells me all I need know about you.

@27

Africa IS mostly a hell hole. While true that a fair whack of the blame is due European colonialism and national lines drawn with regard to that rather than existing tribal cultures, it's no less true. It would be true were the inhabitants white, black or a nice shade of blue.

If it were such a wonderful place to live, why the African diaspora to begin with, hmmm? Why in fact did Mudede himself flee the place?

Constructive criticism and destructive hatred aren't the same thing. The left thinks we do everything wrong. There really isn't anywhere to argue from there. They have the right to believe that way, but it just seems they'd be happier in one of the many, many places they think do it better than we.
30
Wow, Seattleblues is FURIOUS. He's even angrier about the US not being the greatest place on earth for mothers than he is about teh gays -- didn't see that one coming. Usually he's at least able to veil the anti-gay rhetoric behind his own pathetic brand of faux-intellectualism, but he's not even capable of that level of restraint when ranting about this issue. He's been reduced to swearing and name-calling like a little kid. Sad.
31
@30 That's destructive hatred for you. It's never a good look.
32
SB, you constantly insult others, demean them, tell them how worthless they are because they don't agree with you. You are a Christian, and are an excellent example of the moral bankruptcy of that religion. What possible enticement to believing in your God could you offer me? So that I can be righteously angry, like you? That I can insult people out of feeling of superiority? I can do that already, w/o having to waste my Sundays or give my money to people who don't work, like your fellow Christians do the world over.
33
@25, the li'l darling sucks cock like she's thirteen, I swear. She says you taught her.

Fuck you, Bluesmeister, and the dimwitted horse you rode in on. Get cancer.
34
@33

Sorry, other than vulgar vomit did you actually write something there, mindless?

What about this don't you understand? The words of more than one syllable? You can spit the vile debris of your vile mind all you like. It's telling of you, not anyone else, you filthy punk.

Now go grow up, will ya, scumbag?
35
@33

FYI-

With that pedophile mind of yours I hope you stay well clear of children, pervert.
36
@30

First, it isn't faux intellectualism. That would be what Mudede indulges himself in.

I've never written anti-gay rhetoric. Unless asking that adults accept the consequences of their choices is anti gay. But only someone with no sense would accept that idea.

The US isn't a bad place for mothers, if you actually look at how well they can hope their kids can do. If all you look at is maternity leave policies and whether babies can be murdered at state expense, maybe, but sane people don't see things that way. Just liberals.

And yeah, when know nothing mouth breathers like Mudede and Fnarf start mouthing off about the greatest nation on God's green earth, I do get annoyed. So sue me.
37
Seattleblues, Fnarf is doing something to you called "trolling". And you are "feeding" his "trolling" and getting "mad". If Mudede should be kicked out of America, you should be kicked off the internet.
38
I have to laugh. I was a Canadian citizen who left to come to the US and am now a US citizen. Why does SB think that only Africans leaving the "hellholes" of Africa need to be derided when there are White people who leave Europe by the thousands to come to the US as well. Ditto Asians.

39
Oh SB, dodging the question again. When I say I'm not down with talking smack about family I mean just that. I don't insult other prople's loved ones. I don't think it's fair and I've called Fnarf on it in the past.
But back to my question,, you said you'd be giving up name calling because it was "childish". Doesn't your performance here make you yet again a liar?
Well that, and that whopper you just told about not indulging in anti gay rhetoric.
40
If Ebenezer Mudede hadn't been a prominent cocksucker of Mugabe (excuse me, great "economic" advisor that helped make Zimbabwe the fantastic place it is today), Chuckie would be back home right now cutting out women's clits or whatever else passes for culture there instead of copying and pasting text of books he likes to leave open on his coffee table to try and convince people he's not a retard.
41
@40: As opposed to you who leave no doubt what so ever as to your relative cognitive abilities every time you post. And by relative I mean to some sort of invertebrate.
42
@41: Lissa, that was cruel, you really should not be insulting invertebrates.
43
I've never written anti-gay rhetoric. Unless asking that adults accept the consequences of their choices is anti gay.
The consequences you insist they accept are not natural consequences, but socially manufactured consequences--a distinction I've made for you (you're welcome!) many times, and to which you've yet to formulate a cogent rebuttal.
44
Oh, I suppose you're right, but in my comparison the invertebrates win if that's any consolation.
45
@43

There are natural physical consequences and obstacles to homosexuality. More in men than in women, given how the aberrant nature of homosexuality is expressed differently by gays and lesbians, but existent nonetheless.

But leaving that aside, your objection is meaningless. All human beings live in an artificial societal condition. And the path of sanity is to accept the prevalent conditions of our particular culture and agitate for the small changes we feel would improve the thing. But to tear the whole thing down because you find it inconvenient is the act of a toddler, not an adult. Blaming society at large for the stubborn unwillingness in a self selecting minority to adapt themselves to it is a bit silly, frankly.

You seem to posit a society where all the rules and subtleties of social interaction arise from some practical purpose rigorously lab tested to be effective at this or that objective. Sorry to burst your bubble, but whatever world that may occur in, it ain't this one.

46
@38

I don't think anything of the kind. In fact one of the great refutations to the liberal hatred of this nation is the sheer number and diversity of people trying to come here.

My problem with Mudede isn't his misfortune in being born in Africa. It isn't his emigration to the United States. It's the objection I'd have to any guest who behaved as he does. He comes into our national house and loudly disparages every aspect of it. I merely suggest that his place would be well filled by someone else who actually likes the place and wants to come here.
47
@36: "I've never written anti-gay rhetoric"

@45: "the aberrant nature of homosexuality"

@46: "My problem with Mudede [is]... he comes into our national house and loudly disparages every aspect of it."

I believe the word you are searching for is "uppity".
48
"Our" house, SB? It's his house too, you ignorant yahoo.
49
I don't understand why you want to keep arguing with it. It's not attempting to have a dialog. Its Readers Digest bromides about how terrific America is are not meant to be understood; they're meant to block out understanding.
50
@45: "There are natural physical consequences and obstacles to homosexuality."
Such as? The only one I can think of is lack of children. And hey, thanks to adoption and IVF, we can work around that.
You say we should try and change society for the better rather than tear it down and start over. I agree. (That is why I don't have much patience for the Communists who hang around the campus advocating revolution.) And so what do I advocate? I don't support abolishing marriage; I support extending it to queer people. Problem?
51
There are natural physical consequences and obstacles to homosexuality. More in men than in women, given how the aberrant nature of homosexuality is expressed differently by gays and lesbians, but existent nonetheless.
Not really. Any of the acts you could use to bolster this assertion are neither endemic nor exclusive to homosexuality.
All human beings live in an artificial societal condition.
Indeed. And our artificial societal condition guarantees free exercise of religion--which necessarily includes free exercise of irreligion (which I've pointed out before, to no cogent rebuttal; again [and again, and again], it's worth pointing out that this is invariably the point at which you leave the argument--a fact that you admit, though only in the least adult fashion, every time you fail to respond). Free exercise of [ir]religion, by definition, is a recipe for pluralism and, most importantly, moral and ethical self-determination. We can only be held to moral principles if those principles also serve an empirically demonstrable civic utility (or prevent an empirically demonstrable civic harm--that is, a harm that extends beyond the voluntary participants).
And the path of sanity is to accept the prevalent conditions of our particular culture and agitate for the small changes we feel would improve the thing.
So long as the prevalent conditions are arbitrary and subjective, beholden to metaphysical reasoning and unaccountable to empirical demonstrations of harm or utility, I submit that they are explicitly unacceptable according to our own founding documents
But to tear the whole thing down because you find it inconvenient is the act of a toddler, not an adult.
What exactly do you think anyone here (let alone I) would like to see "torn down"? My goal is only to share the joy and beauty of marriage as my wife and I experience with those whose relations are functionally indistinguishable but for the sex and/or gender composition of the participants.
Blaming society at large for the stubborn unwillingness in a self selecting minority to adapt themselves to it is a bit silly, frankly.
If society at large fails so fully and so consistently to articulate the basis for its positions, it is in fact the duty of men of my capacity to question its tenets. I'm not interested in "blame". I'd settle for an explanation from someone within shouting distance of being an equal.
You seem to posit a society where all the rules and subtleties of social interaction arise from some practical purpose rigorously lab tested to be effective at this or that objective. Sorry to burst your bubble, but whatever world that may occur in, it ain't this one.
In point of fact, I believe that the common ancestor of both law and morality was utility; the important distinction between law and morality is that law (in my view . . . and, it would appear, the views of our founders, in some measure, and certainly of Enlightenment philosophers at large, however steeped in, and therefore beholden to, anthropomorphic monotheism in general and Christianity in particular) ideally remains beholden to utility, while morality, in most high functioning organisms, transcends mere utility to steer one towards a life of genuine quality and/or service. I have literally dozens of moral views I've no interest in seeing legislated, precisely because the reasoning behind them is subjective and/or metaphysical, and I believe that the First Amendment necessitates that I pursue my moral interests through my own channels (Buddhism and theater, in my case), rather than through law, which guarantees everyone--even you--the right to make his or her own mistakes and find his or her own life of quality and/or service.

That is, of course not all social interactions boil down to the empirically demonstrable. But--and you, as a conservative, should surely understand this--the state is too blunt an instrument to be trusted with rewarding or punishing behaviors by virtue of their metaphysical or subjective implication. For you, that's good reason to limit their economic powers. But at least economics deal with real quantities and consequences. For me, government must be MOST limited in its capacity to make moral distinctions, to reward "preferable" behavior (like heterosexual cohabitation, as opposed to homosexual cohabitation) with financial perks and legal privilege.

Some say that this means the state shouldn't recognize marriage at all. I don't agree, but it's at least an equitable solution. As it stands, there are material advantages to the state honoring household building among both the fertile and infertile (the latter to include same-sex couples). I could go over that for you, but I'm not sure I want to spend the time before you make it clear that you're actually here to engage in dialogue, and possibly learn something.

Ball's in your court, Seattleblues, and it's all down to wisdom and courage, now. Do you have the wisdom to know you're bested and the courage to admit it? Or, if you think you can do better, do you have the wisdom and courage to actually articulate a counter-argument? And if neither, what exactly is it you intend to do here?
52
@51

To take it point by point-

On your claims of how this nation was founded I would respectfully disagree in part. Absolutely we have the freedom to practice a faith or leave it alone free of government coercion. And without question the right to engage our faith or politics or pens or tongues in free expression is inseparable from our liberty. Is a Christian being elected to high office such coercion though? We've thought not both socially and in jurisprudence.

Are laws that enact Christian (or Buddhist or atheist come to that) values ipso facto coercion? They can be, if they're sufficiently direct. That is, we can't enact the text of the 10 commmandments or the Quran in law, but we can outlaw murder or theft. We can't and shouldn't outlaw homosexual behavior among consenting adults because one faith or another finds homosexuality sinful. But we can establish incentives to behave in ways consistent with those values without crossing any lines. That's democracy, not a violation of the idea of separation of church and state.

As for the deeper matters of what constitutes society and how it evolves, there are grad programs built around that. I suspect that we agree on more than we disagree in general, and have our conflicts when details are introduced. The way medieval England saw things, for example, wouldn't be suitable for 21st century America. The way we see things might not work for the Chinese or the French.

And certainly, a person can be doing their duty by fighting apparent social injustice. Thoreau wrote about this kind of patriotism. But he also said that it was the citizens duty not only to point out perceived wrong, but to accept the judgement of his fellows in the end. I know, it's in the later parts of Civil Disobedience that hardly anyone reads, but it's part of his ideas nonetheless.

Fighting for the right of a gay man or lesbian to pursue their happiness in a consensual sexual relationship with another man or woman is a fight I'd join, believe it or not. Fighting for the right of 3% of the population to set social and legal terms for everyone else is one I simply can't in good conscience.

It still seems to me you're trying to create laboratory conditions for things that simply won't work in the lab. In the end nearly everything about culture is subjective. You can parse it back to ensuring social order or utility or other concepts, but even those notions are subjective. Why is utility desirable? Because some folks think it to be. Why liberty, come to that. I mean, in human history the notion of liberty as a birthright of a man is fairly recent, and subjective.

So we've chosen one set of subjective values to build this country on, and mostly they seem to have worked. We have things to work on to make it better, sure. But before we throw out the bathwater it might be worthwhile to remove the baby.

53
Absolutely we have the freedom to practice a faith or leave it alone free of government coercion. And without question the right to engage our faith or politics or pens or tongues in free expression is inseparable from our liberty. Is a Christian being elected to high office such coercion though?
Not at all where did I suggest it would be? I reached voting age in 1990; since then, all four presidential candidates for whom I have voted (Clinton, twice; Gore; Kerry; Obama) have identified as Christian. I'd say that's because I haven't been offered any alternatives, but then, I don't necessarily think I would vote for a Nichiren Buddhist candidate just because he/she happened to share my religious convictions, since he or she may not share my views on all relevant matters . . . and in any case, I'm no more interested in having you beholden to my views than in being beholden to yours.
Are laws that enact Christian (or Buddhist or atheist come to that) values ipso facto coercion? They can be, if they're sufficiently direct.
How do we determine whether they are "sufficiently direct"? The surest test, to my mind, is to determine whether such laws serve a purpose other than the satisfaction of an empirically demonstrable utility or the prevention of an empirically demonstrable harm. That is, all law should have a rational--and consequential--basis. Without such a guarantee, we have no true free exercise, since we are still beholden to the myths and metaphysics of the majority.
That is, we can't enact the text of the 10 commmandments or the Quran in law, but we can outlaw murder or theft.
Of course; murder and theft are demonstrably and materially harmful to individuals other than the the consensual participants, even to individuals other than the direct victim (there's also the matter of "foundational civic values" and "foundational rights" with regards to live and property, but I'm sticking with the simpler matters, for now).
We can't and shouldn't outlaw homosexual behavior among consenting adults because one faith or another finds homosexuality sinful. But we can establish incentives to behave in ways consistent with those values without crossing any lines.
To paraphrase you, I respectfully disagree in part. We can establish some incentives, but only if we're clear what we're establishing incentives for. What's the difference, for instance, between an elderly or infertile heterosexual couple and a same-sex couple, in terms of what they accomplish for society at large in compromising and cohabitating? Is the distinction between those two classes solely moral in basis, or can you make a consequential argument that makes the contribution to society on the part of each category materially apparent?
That's democracy, not a violation of the idea of separation of church and state.
I'm less interested in the separation of church and state than in the freedom of [ir]religion. If moral and ethical decisions can be punished and rewarded, without regard to material consequence, based on nothing but the will of the majority, where is the freedom of religion? I submit that under such a system, we have none.
And certainly, a person can be doing their duty by fighting apparent social injustice. Thoreau wrote about this kind of patriotism. But he also said that it was the citizens duty not only to point out perceived wrong, but to accept the judgement of his fellows in the end. I know, it's in the later parts of Civil Disobedience that hardly anyone reads, but it's part of his ideas nonetheless.
That's one philosophy for opposing perceived injustice. Then there is that of our own founders, which was to rise up and slaughter our oppressors over tax policy. So fervent a cheerleader for our nation as you impugns his own forebears lecturing the rest of us for failing to live up to Thoreau's notions, given that those founders failed to do so even more pointedly.
Fighting for the right of a gay man or lesbian to pursue their happiness in a consensual sexual relationship with another man or woman is a fight I'd join, believe it or not.
And yet you support the government essentially subsidizing a heterosexual couple doing the same (or at least saving the cost of various legal fees and allowing some circumnavigation standard ordinance, like, say, the 5th Amendment protections that keep you and I from having to testify against our wives, or preferential consideration in immigration matters if either of our spouses happened to be foreign nationals), while denying those same protections to those gays and lesbians you generously "allow" to pursue their own happiness.
Fighting for the right of 3% of the population to set social and legal terms for everyone else is one I simply can't in good conscience.
Socially speaking, you and I aren't even referring to the same institution when we refer to our respective marriages. Legally, the essential meaning is rather skeletal, and probably allows for arrangements neither of us is likely to support. But none of these arrangements affects the integrity of marriage as we each individually understand it one iota, and until and unless you can demonstrate, factually, how it does, I will continue to hold your views on the matter not only suspect, but in deep contempt.
It still seems to me you're trying to create laboratory conditions for things that simply won't work in the lab.
Civilization is a laboratory, in which we are both the studier and the studied.
In the end nearly everything about culture is subjective.
Indeed. But culture happens at multiple levels, in layers; it becomes more subjective the deeper you get. At the macro level--and I think we can agree that government is that--it should strive to be as objective as possible while still preserving a basic modicum of civic peace.
You can parse it back to ensuring social order or utility or other concepts, but even those notions are subjective. Why is utility desirable? Because some folks think it to be. Why liberty, come to that.
Because even those folks who don't think utility to be desirable will be protected by small "u" utilitarian principles, if only because it defends the right to moral self-determination from those whose morals might inhibit same. Being one who does not believe in [G/g]od(s), I don't believe that "values," as such, exist in nature; quantities become values only when valued by a mind. But many of those values, among social animals like ourselves, are certainly foundationally important. For instance, if value only exist when an organism can value a quantity, how is value formation possible without first valuing life? And so on. Liberty comes shortly thereafter.

Moreover, liberty is a specifically enumerated value in our system (as is property, which I don't value much, personally--I think it's a necessary evil, one to which I can propose no alternative because I quite honestly can't think of one). The question of "why liberty" is immaterial, unless we're interested in literally overthrowing the Constitution, because it's right there in print. Chastity, fertility, etc., are NOT enumerated in our political values; these are moral and social values enumerated at different levels--family, community, faith group, professional organization.

This conversation could take us far afield; the point is, most organisms would rather live than I mean, in human history the notion of liberty as a birthright of a man is fairly recent, and subjective.

So we've chosen one set of subjective values to build this country on, and mostly they seem to have worked. We have things to work on to make it better, sure. But before we throw out the bathwater it might be worthwhile to remove the baby.
54
The very last paragraph in #53 is Seattleblues's, not mine. For the sake of closure, I'll examine it here:
So we've chosen one set of subjective values to build this country on, and mostly they seem to have worked.
And what I'm suggesting is that just as some other conditions of our nation were found to actually be at odds with those values (slavery, for instance), the offering of marital privilege as a legally enforced, state-sanctioned contract to heterosexual couples and not same-sex couples is a direct violation of those principles for the reasons I have outlined.
We have things to work on to make it better, sure. But before we throw out the bathwater it might be worthwhile to remove the baby.
What "baby" do you believe we who support same-sex marriage are discarding? Please be specific.
55
@52: Seattleblues, you're framing this as gays-versus-straights and trying to make it into an affront to majority rule. The thing is, it's not the gays trying to force stuff on us; it's gays AND their straight allies, who support marriage equality because they think it's right, not because they have some personal interest in it. And we ARE in the majority.
56
@ Fnarf,

I figure you don't care a lick about my $0.02, but your comments about Seattleblues' extended family were completely out of line. Knock it off. You are a better person than that.
57
The exchange between "thelyamhound" and "Seattleblues" is the best exchange I've read on SLOG in 4 years of reading SLOG.