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Marriage

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shazam Posted: Thu, Mar 6 2008 6:36 PM

I was getting into a debate on the comment section of ThirdPartyWatch.com with respect to gay marriage. Some people on the board thought that the government should legalize gay marriage, whereas I (Hugh Jass) and others were advocating getting the government out of marriage altogether. What do you guys think?

(BTW, if you would like to see the comment section in reference, here is the link:

http://thirdpartywatch.com/2008/03/05/phillies-blasts-obama-on-gblt-issues/#comments)

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BWF89 replied on Thu, Mar 6 2008 9:34 PM

I don't believe a marriage can be anything other than one man and one woman. But it's of no business of the state to set guidelines on what and what isn't a marriage. I personally wouldn't recognise a marriage as anything other than one man and one woman. But that doesn't mean I can force my opinion on Joe Homo down the street and force him to not recognize that as a marriage if he wants to.

Maybe a man and a woman want to get married but they don't attend church or a house of worship and want to hire a lawyer to make a form stating each partners duties and obligations. If Joe Christian down the street doesn't want to recognize a marriage as anything other than one man or one woman being married in a Christian church he doesn't have to.

Marriage licenses are ridicules. Do you think Thomas and Martha Jefferson had to ask the state for permission to get married? One of the big reasons the state got involved in regulating marriage in the first place was to make sure Blacks and Whites couldn't intermarry. Also there were some health reasons I think. Today the main reason for the state to regulate marriage is for taxing purposes (mainly fedreal income tax) and things of that nature.

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shazam replied on Thu, Mar 6 2008 9:38 PM

BWF89:

I don't believe a marriage can be anything other than one man and one woman. But it's of no business of the state to set guidelines on what and what isn't a marriage. I personally wouldn't recognise a marriage as anything other than one man and one woman. But that doesn't mean I can force my opinion on Joe Homo down the street and force him to not recognize that as a marriage if he wants to.

Maybe a man and a woman want to get married but they don't attend church or a house of worship and want to hire a lawyer to make a form stating each partners duties and obligations. If Joe Christian down the street doesn't want to recognize a marriage as anything other than one man or one woman being married in a Christian church he doesn't have to.

Marriage licenses are ridicules. Do you think Thomas and Martha Jefferson had to ask the state for permission to get married? One of the big reasons the state got involved in regulating marriage in the first place was to make sure Blacks and Whites couldn't intermarry. Also there were some health reasons I think. Today the main reason for the state to regulate marriage is for taxing purposes (mainly fedreal income tax) and things of that nature.

 I agree completely.

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DBratton replied on Thu, Mar 6 2008 11:00 PM

BWF89:
Marriage licenses are ridicules. Do you think Thomas and Martha Jefferson had to ask the state for permission to get married? One of the big reasons the state got involved in regulating marriage in the first place was to make sure Blacks and Whites couldn't intermarry. Also there were some health reasons I think. Today the main reason for the state to regulate marriage is for taxing purposes (mainly fedreal income tax) and things of that nature.
 

I believe the Church of England, which was the established church in Virginia, took a very keen interest in registering marriages.

The kings originally got involved in regulating marriages mainly because they wanted to excercise some control over inheritances and titles. The church got involved because they had an interest in breaking up tribalism - hence the laws against consanguineous marriage. Marriage was a regulated institution long before racial intermarriage became an issue.

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I'm not into women, and yet I couldn't care less whether or not gay people should be allowed to get married. That is the matter of each religious institution to decide for itself based on its sacred texts. I personally have no desire for marriage, and couldn't care less which way religious institutions tend to go so long as the state is not involved.

 

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I don't think this topic is going to exactly be full of heated debate. Anyone posting to this site either thinks government should be out of marriage or is probably a troll.

Gay people can do what they want with other consenting adults, and they can call their relationships whatever they want, too. Neither I nor anyone else has to agree with the classification. I suspect that gay activists really want to force the rest of us to acknowledge homosexuality as legitimate and normal by forcing us to legally recognize gay marriage. That makes them officially normal and sane. But just as we all have a right to call our relationships whatever we wish, we also have a right to think certain behaviors perverse or deranged, and to refer to them as such. Ironically, this issue, put out as a matter of rights, is actually being used to push for further oppression.

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Byzantine:

It is easy to say government should be out of the marriage business, and I agree that it should, but there are still legal implications to marriage that have to be resolved:  descent and distribution of estates, encumbrance and sale of property, rights of support, etc. 

 

None of this was a big problem before a marriage license came along and it wouldn't be a big problem after they are gone.  You don't need a license for any of this.

Byzantine:

There are also social implications:  the marriage signals that the spouse is now off limits to seduction and as noted, if two men say they're married which people like me consider a substantive impossibility, do I have to recognize it as a marriage in my dealings with the couple?  Thus, there have to be some extant rules and a societal consensus on what constitutes a marriage.  The Church previously instructed the State on this, and the State enforced the legal consequences.  Over time and with increased secularization, the State's role increased to the point where it now licenses marriage.  With homosexual activism, marriage is completely severed from its roots as an ancient and pre-State institution and now marriage is whatever the State says it is.

Marriage is nothing more than a union and a pledge of two people to be faithful to each other and to share their lives together.  Two men can be married just as legally as a man and a woman.  There is no reason to inject religion into the argument.  You're either married or your not. That's all there is to it.  Now, I don't agree with gay marriage or the gay lifestyle but I can't and wont force my views on others.  If two men want to say they are married then what right do I have to say they aren't? 

 

"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds. " -- Samuel Adams.

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Solomon replied on Fri, Mar 7 2008 3:48 PM

Whether gay marriage is legalized or not it will remain under government monopoly.  The solution, as Phillies should realize but apparently refuses to acknowledge, is of course the same as for most other social problems involving the state: PRIVATIZE IT!

I wonder how long legalization at the national level has been a part of the LP platform.  Just another reason for genuine libertarians to disassociate from it.

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BWF89 replied on Fri, Mar 7 2008 4:28 PM

Byzantine:
Because marriage is a set of reciprocal rights and duties that run between a man and a woman, any children resulting from the marriage, and their community.  It is not just two persons living together per the terms of a contract.  Now if you want to do the latter that's fine, but it's not a marriage.

Are you saying that if a man and a women agree to live together under the terms of a contract they aren't married?

Solomon:
I wonder how long legalization at the national level has been a part of the LP platform.  Just another reason for genuine libertarians to disassociate from it.

I thought the LP supported the right of individual states to determine what marriage was.

 

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Juan replied on Fri, Mar 7 2008 5:28 PM
Tradition, and churches are no dfferent from the state in many respects, so they don't predate the state. They are the state. Theocracies and churches were/are the most ancient and despotic forms of government..

February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church.
Aquinas : "much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death."

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Solomon replied on Fri, Mar 7 2008 8:14 PM

BWF89:
I thought the LP supported the right of individual states to determine what marriage was.

From National Platform of the Libertarian Party, 1.9 Sexuality and Gender: "Repeal... state laws and amendments defining marriage."

 

 

 

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Juan:
Tradition, and churches are no dfferent from the state in many respects, so they don't predate the state. They are the state. Theocracies and churches were/are the most ancient and despotic forms of government..

Actually, tradition and spirituality are what can enable a truly stateless society, if anything can. Maybe not extant traditions, but in any society such things as tradition are part of what makes society move smoothly. The venom towards religion and tradition many people have always baffles me. I can't think but that it is because some people want there to be no standards of behavior or morality.

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Juan replied on Sat, Mar 8 2008 12:39 AM
I said nothing about religion. I mentioned traditions and churches.

February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church.
Aquinas : "much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death."

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MacFall replied on Sat, Mar 8 2008 2:27 PM

BWF89:

I don't believe a marriage can be anything other than one man and one woman. But it's of no business of the state to set guidelines on what and what isn't a marriage. I personally wouldn't recognise a marriage as anything other than one man and one woman. But that doesn't mean I can force my opinion on Joe Homo down the street and force him to not recognize that as a marriage if he wants to.

Maybe a man and a woman want to get married but they don't attend church or a house of worship and want to hire a lawyer to make a form stating each partners duties and obligations. If Joe Christian down the street doesn't want to recognize a marriage as anything other than one man or one woman being married in a Christian church he doesn't have to.

Marriage licenses are ridicules. Do you think Thomas and Martha Jefferson had to ask the state for permission to get married? One of the big reasons the state got involved in regulating marriage in the first place was to make sure Blacks and Whites couldn't intermarry. Also there were some health reasons I think. Today the main reason for the state to regulate marriage is for taxing purposes (mainly fedreal income tax) and things of that nature.

 

This.

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Juan:
I mentioned traditions and churches.
And they are an integral part of society.
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Traditions are like habits--they usually start out for good reasons (but not always), but over time, people forget what those reasons are and maintain traditions merely because they're traditions.  That's counter-productive for society, although it helps maintain conformity (i.e. blind obedience).   Sometimes we need to reassess traditions and make sure that they're still worthwhile (or at least neutral).   Unless someone wants to argue that blind obedience is a "good value."

 

 

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In my understanding, appealing to tradition (particularly for its own sake) causes the stagnation of society. All human progress has resulted from deviation from prior "norms" or "traditions". In my view, a conservative view of history (that is, one that romantisizes the past and supports tradition for its own sake) is counterproductive. There is no "turning back the clock" in the real world. Just because something is commonplace or was in the past does not necessarily mean that it is "good", and just because something was a certain way in the past or is that way now does not necessarily mean that it always has to be that way. 

On the other hand, of course, just because something is new does not necessarily mean that it is "good" either. "Change" for its own sake, divorced from context and meaning, is nonsensical. But the problem I see with traditionalism is that it does not allow room for modifications on the traditions in question. A tradition may contain some truth and "goodness" but it also may need to be flexible in the face of new information. Attempts to preserve "traditions" that have become (or perhaps always were) illogical and unecessary are ultimately futile in light of social evolution. There comes a point where authoritarianism is the only means by which a "tradition" can even be attempted to be preserved in light of the dynamic nature of society.

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Ennio45 replied on Sun, Mar 9 2008 12:22 AM

Religion is a corruption of sprituality. Where spirituality stresses the individual spirit and individual truths, religion focuses only on the 'benevolent leader'. It demands comformity, rules through fear, and serves as an always convient excuse for oppresion. Tradition, similarly, acts as a form of slavery to latter generations. Marriage is a creation of both these systems. It amounts to little more then slavery for one or all parties involved. As for it being necessary to differentiate between an 'available' woman and a 'taken' woman (my words), a woman has a right to have sex with whomever she wants, love whomever she wants, and live with whomever she wants. Men do, too, and both have the right to leave the other. I would reccomend reading 'Sex Slavery' by Voltairine De Cleyre. It presents an excellent (although somewhat dated) arguement against the institution marriage. 

"Away with every concern that is not altogether my concern? What's good, what's bad? Why, I myself am my concern and I am neither good nor bad. Neither has any meaning for me" Max Stirner
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Ennio45:

Religion is a corruption of sprituality. Where spirituality stresses the individual spirit and individual truths, religion focuses only on the 'benevolent leader'. It demands comformity, rules through fear, and serves as an always convient excuse for oppresion. Tradition, similarly, acts as a form of slavery to latter generations. Marriage is a creation of both these systems. It amounts to little more then slavery for one or all parties involved. As for it being necessary to differentiate between an 'available' woman and a 'taken' woman (my words), a woman has a right to have sex with whomever she wants, love whomever she wants, and live with whomever she wants. Men do, too, and both have the right to leave the other. I would reccomend reading 'Sex Slavery' by Voltairine De Cleyre. It presents an excellent (although somewhat dated) arguement against the institution marriage. 

My criticism of the institution or custom of marriage is a bit different. My problem with it is that it seems like little more then an illogical custom for social recognition. That is, the purpose of marriage would seem to be a way for a given couple to legitimize their relationship in the eyes of the community around them. But I think that they must feel insecure in their relationship if they truly feel a need for it to be legitimized by the community. In objective reality, once a marriage takes place, pretty much nothing really changes about the character of the relationship itself. It merely carries greater meaning in the eyes of society, and perhaps in the eyes of the couple in question. But there doesn't seem to be anything logical about this.

There should be no need for such a custom in order for one's relationships to have meaning. The people in the relationship itself determine its true meaning or significance, not some religious institution or governmental apparatus or "society" or "the community". It need not be formally recognized by such groups and abstractions in order to be legitimate. I suppose it makes sense if it is thought of as a voluntary contract (even if it's just a metaphorical one) between two (or more, yes, voluntary polygamous marriages are okay in my book, although I wouldn't personally prefer them) people in which they agree to commit themselves exlusively to eachother, but I pause at the notion that one party can stop another from opting out.  

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 I wish I had discovered Mencken's In Defense of Women (Maudlin), at least fifteen years ago. Would of saved me a lot of confusion, money, and heartache.

I would say that men are truly more emotive than women, and when women are being emotional, it is illusion. "A women needs her heart to be broken just once."

The Unattainable Ideal


But here I rather depart from the point, which is this: that the
average woman is not strategically capable of bringing down the
most tempting game within her purview, and must thus content
herself with a second, third, or nth choice. The only women who
get their first choices are those who run in almost miraculous
luck and those too stupid to formulate an ideal--two very small
classes, it must be obvious. A few women, true enough, are so
pertinacious that they prefer defeat to compromise. That is to say,
they prefer to put off marriage indefinitely rather than to marry
beneath the highest leap of their fancy. But such women may be
quickly dismissed as abnormal, and perhaps as downright diseased
in mind; the average woman is well-aware that marriage is far better
for her than celibacy, even when it falls a good deal short of her
primary hopes, and she is also well aware that the differences
between man and man, once mere money is put aside, are so slight
as to be practically almost negligible. Thus the average woman is
under none of the common masculine illusions about elective
affinities, soul mates, love at first sight, and such phantasms. She is
quite ready to fall in love, as the phrase is, with any man who is
plainly eligible, and she usually knows a good many more such men
than one. Her primary demand in marriage is not for the agonies of
romance, but for comfort and security; she is thus easier satisfied
than a man, and oftener happy. One frequently hears of
remarried widowers who continue to moon about their dead first
wives, but for a remarried widow to show any such sentimentality
would be a nine days' wonder. Once replaced, a dead husband is
expunged from the minutes. And so is a dead love.
 

 Gettin' shacked up is surely gettin' bamboozled.

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Dingus replied on Sun, Mar 9 2008 1:42 AM

One of the biggest obstacles to a fully stateless society, at least in my estimation, is how deeply ingrained the concept of a ruling body is in the human psyche. The state--from a primal tribal leader to the modern leviathan--is a long-standing tradition. Beyond even just customary tradition, it's part of our biological heritage; human beings are social creatures by nature with a tendency to organize themselves into an arbitrary hierarchical collective structure to such a degree that the average person in the street could hardly fathom a society where the traditional state apparatus is absent. Luckily for us, to argue for something solely on the appeal to tradition (or even biological heritage) is not a well-mounted argument. However, that's not to say traditions, or customs, can't be good; I'm sure many can. But there must be other criteria beyond mere tradition for deciding between the good and the bad.

On the issue of marriage, I agree with the general sentiment in this thread that to argue for legally gay marriage is to presuppose that a state should be the final arbiter in the issue of marriage. In a society organized by private contracts, marriage licenses would be issued by private firms and each firm would have their own criteria. And it would be up to other private institutions whether they wished to recognize these licenses as legitimate contracts or not. That is to say if a private insurance firm, who offered discount packages for married couples, decided not to recognize gay marriage licenses as valid, then they would be free to do so. Undoubtedly, there would be other private insurance firms who would be happy to recognize such licenses as valid, and thus gain in business. It's also theoretically possible that any private enterprise could refuse to recognize the validity of marriage licenses issued to interracial couples or polygamous unions, etc. And of course as individuals, we're all free to decide whether or not we’d grant our own personal validity to such licenses ourselves.

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MacFall replied on Sun, Mar 9 2008 2:55 PM

Ennio45:

Religion is a corruption of sprituality. Where spirituality stresses the individual spirit and individual truths, religion focuses only on the 'benevolent leader'. It demands comformity, rules through fear, and serves as an always convient excuse for oppresion.

I agree with this.

Tradition, similarly, acts as a form of slavery to latter generations. Marriage is a creation of both these systems. It amounts to little more then slavery for one or all parties involved.

Not true whatsoever. A voluntary contract is not slavery. Marriage is a voluntary contract.

As for it being necessary to differentiate between an 'available' woman and a 'taken' woman (my words), a woman has a right to have sex with whomever she wants, love whomever she wants, and live with whomever she wants. Men do, too, and both have the right to leave the other.
 

Just as both men and women have the right to take drugs until they die from it. But there are good arguments that have nothing to do with either tradition or religion that monogamous, heterosexual relationships are by far the best way to raise and care for children. Not everyone is naturally polyamorous. Those who are, let them be - but they shouldn't assume that it's for everyone.

Putting morality aside entirely, I couldn't share myself between two women without preference and the trouble that preference causes. I intend to marry a woman who is like me in that respect. So what if that's what "tradition" prescribes? Just as much as others have the right to be promiscuous, so I and my hypothetical wife have the right to be monogamous, and the fact that monogamy happens to be "traditional" doesn't make that choice any less valid. Calling it "slavery" is just being hysterical.

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wkmac replied on Sun, Mar 9 2008 8:23 PM

IMO, State sanction marriage is a tool of planned society and here's why I say that.

1) The State maintains a true marriage only  between a man and woman as it's only by this means can a future crop of taxpayers be harvested for the support of the nation state otherwise called pro-creation.     It is also by this principle economic force of the nation state that the merchantilist and it's monopolized, central industries can also obtain a work force and customers of which would consume their goods and services. 

2) The State can also use this status to grant percieved special tax status and a form of subsidization.  As birth rates declined over the last 20 years, special tax offsets like the child tax credit were inacted hoping to encourage more births.  Remove all forms of immigration in the US and the US population is flat if not in decline.  Not a good formula for a nationstate hellbent on "growing" it's way out of debt.

3) Traditonal heterosexual relationships in the traditional family model is believed by some statist planners to discourage a larger deviant sexual lifestyle among a wider population base that would have the masses throwing the 9 to 5 Monday thru Friday work ethic lifestyle aside in order to spend or I should say "not earn or spend" and instead devote a large part of their lives persuing sexual pleasures instead of pleasures of monetary gain.  They are afraid we'd spend 9 to 5 trying to get laid!  One of the same reasons we can't be left alone with what is called "illegal drugs!"  We just can't be trusted to on our own to say no!

I'm not against marriage, I'm heterosexual in a nearly 30 year marriage with 4 kids so I've added 4 batteries to the Matrix you might say! Big Smile  However, that said, marriage IMO is not and never should be in any way a part of the State at any level nor should any lifestyle ever be given special status over another.

JMO.

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macsnafu replied on Sun, Mar 9 2008 11:07 PM

MacFall:

Tradition, similarly, acts as a form of slavery to latter generations. Marriage is a creation of both these systems. It amounts to little more then slavery for one or all parties involved.

Not true whatsoever. A voluntary contract is not slavery. Marriage is a voluntary contract.

I would agree that marriage is a contract, or more properly, that it should be a contract, but the problem is that most people don't really see it that way.  And that definitely is one of the problems with marriage.

 

 

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macsnafu replied on Sun, Mar 9 2008 11:11 PM

Brainpolice:
My problem with it is that it seems like little more then an illogical custom for social recognition. That is, the purpose of marriage would seem to be a way for a given couple to legitimize their relationship in the eyes of the community around them.

That's the question:  what was the original purpose of marriage?   I was thinking it was more of a way organizing a household or family in order to raise children.  In which case, there's certainly been less need for marriage in more modern times.

 

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MacFall replied on Sun, Mar 9 2008 11:22 PM

macsnafu:

MacFall:

Tradition, similarly, acts as a form of slavery to latter generations. Marriage is a creation of both these systems. It amounts to little more then slavery for one or all parties involved.

Not true whatsoever. A voluntary contract is not slavery. Marriage is a voluntary contract.

I would agree that marriage is a contract, or more properly, that it should be a contract, but the problem is that most people don't really see it that way.  And that definitely is one of the problems with marriage.

 

Agreed. However, I think that has much more to do with the state's treatment of marriage than the nature of the institution itself. 

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Spideynw replied on Wed, Mar 12 2008 12:58 AM

In the eyes of the law, marriage should simply be a contractual agreement between two or more people that their property is shared between them and that sex between those people is consensual.

At most, I think only 5% of the adult population would need to stop cooperating to have real change.

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JCFolsom replied on Wed, Mar 12 2008 10:47 AM

Whoa, that latter bit is a little odd. It implies either that "you can't rape a wife" or that you need an official contract before having sex to prove it's consentual.

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Spideynw replied on Wed, Mar 12 2008 12:28 PM

As far as I know under current law, a wife cannot be "raped".

As to getting a contract that sex is consensual, I do not think it should be a requirement, but could be a good idea.  The pros for it would be that it would protect the involved parties from accusations of rape.  The cons would be that someone could be raped and could not do anything about it. 

 The exact opposite is true for not getting a contract.  The parties involved would have the option of accusing another of rape, but then again, they would not be protected from accusations of rape.

At most, I think only 5% of the adult population would need to stop cooperating to have real change.

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JCFolsom replied on Wed, Mar 12 2008 1:21 PM

There have been convictions of husbands who raped their wives. Any time it ain't consentual, it's rape, married or not.

The solution for the vulnerablity to accusations for rape, or any other crime in that matter, is simply that the state should have no power to act against you or convict you on the basis of testimony alone. Because of the capacity of people to lie, no one's word can be taken as contributing to "proof beyond a reasonable doubt". This creates a very unfortunate situation. Perhaps, since this is a digression, rather than writing this here and cluttering up an only peripherally related topic, I will start a new topic.

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Bank Run replied on Sun, Mar 16 2008 6:05 AM

 I wish gentlemen, and ladys, were commonplace. Seems like americans like irrational traditionalism, over rational traditionalism. Like the exessive holidays, and is there goin' to be a new one next year?

A man at work asked me who the boss in my house was. I told him we were anti-authoritarians, and even if one told the other what to do they surely wouldn't have to do it.

Gettin' bamboozled is an institution best left to antiquarians.

My moral side however is for monogomy.

At least as far as I know all the women I have met have been highly deceptive. 

Individualism Rocks

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