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    • Inequality is Unnatural
      I’ve been reading UltraSociety, by Peter Turchin. Turchin’s a biologist turned to mathematical models of human society, and he’s done interesting work, not all of which I agree with (or agree is quite as radical as he claims.) But one of the points he makes in UltraSociety, which has been made by many archeologists and […]
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What about a Duggar Rule?

Obama plans to announce an accommodation to the Catholic Beanie Boys on birth control.  He’s going to propose the Hawaii solution:

Emulating Hawaii, where the rule is in effect, would mean that employees at religious institutions that do not offer free contraception in the health insurance plan can get birth control through side benefits, which the employees nominally pay for but which often end up being free.

Hey!  Why don’t we emulate Hawaii all the way and make all employers cover every employee by offering them a few standard, reasonably priced insurance plans?  It’s like the Massachusetts plan but with different public options.  No?  *dang!*

OK, why not propose the Duggar Rule.  NO one should get any assistance in having pleasurable sexual experiences outside the matrimonial covenant.  That goes for boys and girls.  Your first kiss should be at the altar where you can swap spit, french kiss and grope your newly wedded spouse in front of all of your friends and family.

Got an ED problem and you’re not married?  No prescription.  You should be forced to carry around your marriage license at all times and pharmacists will be instructed to look your name up in a database to make sure there are no divorces pending.  You can have the prescription but you will need to submit to the oversight of two chaperones, one of which will sit between you and your intended.

It goes without saying that condom makers will be put out of business because why would you ever need one?  If you’re not married, you can’t have sex.  And if you are married, you need to let God decide the size of your family.

I’m SURE this will work.  All people need to do is exercise some self-control.  That’s the problem with kids today.  No self-control.  Why, when *I* was a child…, er…, abortion was paid for by the state if you were too poor to get one and birth control was dirt cheap at the local family planning clinic.  Nevermind.

When my MOTHER was a child, nobody had premarital sex, abortions did not exist and birth control was completely unnecessary because everyone practiced self-control.  Everyone was happy and fulfilled and there was much singing and rejoicing throughout the land as men and women, sons and daughters, children and grandparents, ran through fields of daisies after a day of joyful toil and devotion and never questioned their own freshness.  Yep, that’s the way it was back then.

Of course the most ridiculous thing about the Obama admin’s compromise is the part where they say that there would be a nominal cost for the side benefit but that it would be free in the end anyway.  This is the part that troubles me the most.  Is it still free or isn’t it?  And if it isn’t then does a woman get money back for some other service she won’t need like prostate screenings?  Do Cafeteria Catholics get ala carte choices?

Or is this all a bunch of stupid posturing and wordsmithing?  The Beanie Boys need a compromise to not lose face with the vatican.  They cook something up that doesn’t really deprive women of birth control but they have to make it look like they are upholding some moral value that even those of us who are not Catholic must submit to, like kissing some dirty, germy ring or something.

How about Obama tell them to cut the crap and treat all women like adults?  Can we expect Obama to do that?

Apparently not.

If you didn’t see this coming four years ago, you weren’t paying attention.  Are you progressives or not?  And if you are, why aren’t you mobilizing your forces to push the beanie boys back and make Obama work for YOU?  Oh, that’s right, Democrats don’t care about women when they have a chance to win big.  Isn’t it funny how the right keeps pushing this Religious Liberty thing this election year?  It forces Obama to choose to pander to the evengelicals or support some principled, enlightened position.  And the Republicans KNOW he doesn’t have a principled worldview so religious liberty is a perfect opportunity to separate him from his Democratic base who actually does.  Some Republicans really do believe in this religious agenda; others just like the prospect of the Democratic party tearing itself to pieces trying to be all things to all people while completely lacking a coherent worldview even if that worldview would be wildly popular. I can’t think of a better reason to abandon the Democratic party and vote for an emergent third party. Progressives and liberals have been rolled again and will continue to get rolled as long as the Democrats fail to shore up their foundations with a coherent worldview and value system.

Now is the time for all good women to remember what Violet Socks said about Archimedes Lever.

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Friday: It wonders me

Our Full Service Library

Stuff I find fascinating, in no particular order of importance:

Update: The NYTimes reports that the Obama administration is ready to offer a compromise to the Catholic bishops on the birth control matter.  So, some of you women will have more rights than some of you other women.  Just because we are more than half of the population does not mean we are adults that can make these decisions without our churches weighing in.

You Obama apologists who can’t imagine that Hillary would have been more progressive can bite me.

1.) Why are traffic laws considered “optional” in Philadelphia?

2.) The Duggars.  If they are trying to live debt free, why aren’t they off the grid?  Where are their solar panels?  Do they think that using them is the same as admitting that global warming exists?  They’ve got 20 fricking acres with few trees and lots of light exposure.  And the reason they aren’t generating their own electricity is…why, exactly?

3.) Speaking of farms, they don’t grow any of their own food.  Those kids look like they’ve never seen a garden and they eat canned green beans.  What’s up with that?  Shouldn’t those little rugrats be outside weeding?

4.) Why is there so much packaging on a bottle of salad dressing?  There’s an outside shrink wrap, a perforated paper seal, and one of those barriers between you and the vinegary goodness.  You know the kind?  It’s got a little tab and you’re supposed to pull it and it’s supposed to come right off?  Has anyone ever gotten that thing to come off or do you just end up grabbing a sharp knife and go at it like Anthony Perkins from Psycho?

5.) Why is it that when you get your car inspected in NJ and it fails because of some stupid short circuit in an oxygen sensor that blinks on and off but just happens to blink on the minute you drive it into the inspection garage and you take your car to get the sensor replaced that the garage can’t stick an new inspection sticker on your car if you don’t have the *original* paper work?  Yes, the garage can login to the state DMV database, look up your car’s inspection history, see exactly what needs to be done with your car, and fix it.  But if you don’t have the original report from the state inspection station in hard copy format, they can’t stick a new inspection sticker on the car.  No, you must return to one of the few inspection stations in the state and get them to print off a new copy of the old inspection report, return to the garage that replaced the sensor and present them with the hard copy before they are allowed to give you a new sticker.  Why? What is the universal guiding principle behind this procedure?

4.) Why is your favorite salad dressing so expensive?  There is no reason why oil, vinager and a secret selection of spices should cost $3.99.  It’s not like it’s going to get you high or make you more beautiful.  It’s just salad dressing.  (I’ve tried to reproduce it.  I can’t)