Dutch Civil Unions Are Hers And Hers And His

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Reader Adam Scavone sends us the news that a man and two women in the Netherlands have entered into a three-way civil union:

Victor de Bruijn (46) from Roosendaal "married" both Bianca (31) and Mirjam (35) in a ceremony before a notary who duly registered their civil union.

"I love both Bianca and Mirjam, so I am marrying them both," Victor said. He had previously been married to Bianca. Two and a half years ago they met Mirjam Geven through an internet chatbox. Eight weeks later Mirjam deserted her husband and came to live with Victor and Bianca. After Mirjam's divorce the threesome decided to marry.

Victor: "A marriage between three persons is not possible in the Netherlands, but a civil union is. We went to the notary in our marriage costume and exchanged rings. We consider this to be just an ordinary marriage."

From the Red States, from Grant's Pass, OR, and from the Great White North, gay marriage opponents say this proves the slippery slope argument, but the only slippery slope I'm worried about is the grammar in Victor's quote: A marriage is between two people, but it's among more than two people.

Even if, like me, you think the potential to undermine traditional marriage is the best reason to support gay nuptials, this slippery slope argument is upside down. First and most obviously because polygamy predates not only gay marriage but one-to-one straight marriage and is attested in both the Old Testament and the Quranβ€”bestsellers that I understand a few people are referring to when they talk about "tradition." To say that gay marriage will lead to polygamy is like saying harder drugs will lead to pot.

More to the point, Victor, Bianca, and Mirjam are specifically not entering into a marriage but into a civil union, to which gay couples already have broad access. Gay marriage proponents want access to traditional marriage, and once they get it will no doubt be just as defensive and niggardly with the privilege as their opponents are now. (Every American should spend some time in San Francisco just to understand that in an environment of general tolerance gays can be exactly as boring, uptight, and conservative as everybody else.) Dan Savage's current column makes that point with a quote from E. J. Graff, author of What Is Marriage For?: "They're assuming that we homos are making a claim to marriage under the libertarian argument that everyone should be free to do as s/he wishes. Wrong. We are arguing that we already belong to the West's contemporary marriage philosophyβ€”for capitalist and for feminist reasons." If you're upset that Victor and girls are free to set up their unusual relationship, you could just as easily argue that this shows the need to approve gay marriage and eliminate civil unions.

Strangely, Victor, who looks like the Low Countries' answer to Wallace Shawn, demonstrates another principle: Sam Spade's argument in the Parable of Flitcraft that in seeking a life change we always end up going back to our old patterns. In the wedding picture, Mirjam and Bianca seem to be almost identical in size, shape, coloring, and facial features. I thought they were twins until I read the story.

AltaVista's Babelfish translator renders "Come and knock on our door" into Dutch as "Kom en klop op onze deur."

NEXT: Sorry About That, Chief (FBI Apology Edition)

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  1. The Netherlands are becoming more and more like rural areas of Utah….

  2. In S. Utah, where polygamy is prevalent, only one of the wives is “officially” married which makes all the other women single mothers who are eligible for all kinds of welfare.

    If for no other reason, I think polygamy should be allowed just to get these people off the dole.

  3. You’ll be happy to know that Stanley Kurtz in on the case over at the Corner. I was impressed he was able to get four sets of scare quotes into the first graph.

    From what I hear, a generous sprinkling of scare quotes in each post helps innoculate you from “the gay.”

  4. What’s to stop people from marrying animals? …or corpses? Huh? Didn’t the Dutch think of that?

    …I know that’s a ridiculously stupid argument. I just figured I’d better post it before some idiot did.

    The Netherlands are becoming more and more like rural areas of Utah…

    Well, then I need to relocate to Utah.

    …except, I don’t remember there being so many cool cafes in Utah. …or them serving great stout, among other things. …and I don’t remember the women of Utah being quite so bodacious. …or friendly.

    …but both of them do seem to have similarly sized minorities given to religious extremism.

  5. Tom – The Netherlands have fewer guns, I think. And worse weather. Oh, and more taxes, IIRC.

  6. Actually, they’re not civil unionized. There’s a third option in the Netherlands, samenlevingssovereenkomst, which is basically a co-habitation contract.

  7. Looking at the guy in the wedding picture, I take it there’s a desperate man shortage in the Netherlands?

  8. Having a three-way…priceless

    Having a three-way over an extended period of time… $9.98

    Asking government to put its seal of approval on your long-term three-way… worthless.

  9. The New Testament doesn’t proscribe polygyny except in the case of deacons. So for Christians to have a per se prohibition against polygany for all is just a culturally-oriented gloss.

  10. After looking at the picture in the link, I have to wonder if he’s going to let Mini Me have any of that action.

    I mean, he’s already at the point of having freaky sex. May as well push it to freaky-deaky.

  11. All I did was click on the wedding picture. Mayor Koch is getting married to two redheads? Whoa, the news never ceases to amaze me!

  12. (Every American should spend some time in San Francisco just to understand that in an environment of general tolerance gays can be exactly as boring, uptight, and conservative as everybody else.)

    As a gay libertarian living just south of my supposed cultural Mecca, may I say, “Hear, hear!” Anyone who thinks SF is such a gay paradise should visit Mexico City–gay life there has (more) class and is (more) fun without the martyrdom or pretentiousness of SF.

  13. What’s the big deal, seen something like this a long time ago in Paint Your Wagon. And if two he-men like Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood can share a woman, hell, anyone can share.

  14. AltaVista’s Babelfish translator renders “Come and knock on our door” into Dutch as “Kom en klop op onze deur.”

    Didn’t the translator mean to say, “Oofen zee trailor bee wrocken, ixnay mit zee kloppin.”?

  15. DID YOU SAY “NIGGARDLY”?!?

  16. OT polygyny was not a case of 3-way, 4-way, or n-way marriage, but several one-man-to-one-woman marriages. The various wives were not married to each other.

    Hakluyt,

    Sola scriptura isn’t in the New Testament either…

  17. Daniel Montiel,

    SF was better in the 1970s. πŸ™‚

  18. crimethink,

    You’re going to have to argue with a Calvinist, etc. about that. Remember, I’m an atheist, I don’t buy into any of the made up crap any of your faith’s various denominations, splinter-groups, etc. believe.

  19. Hakluyt: “The New Testament doesn’t proscribe polygyny except in the case of deacons. So for Christians to have a per se prohibition against polygany for all is just a culturally-oriented gloss.”

    There’s a “Christian polygyny” web site that argues that what 1 Timothy 3:2 really meant was ‘A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of *at least* one wife”…

  20. Oops, forgot to mention that web site’s URL: http://www.christianpoly.org/p1.html

  21. crimethink,

    Of course there is nothing in the NT about ex cathedra Papal Infalibility either.

  22. David T.,

    Ha ha ha. πŸ™‚

    Yeah, I forgot about bishops.

  23. David T.,

    Much in the Bible has been translated (or simply written) in ways to hide meanings, stories, etc. which the translator found to be offensive, bad for public consumption, etc. Such dishonesty is what you would expect from a belief system where knowledge is held by elite groups so as to be disseminated to an underclass.

  24. …(or simply written out)…

  25. Probably if the juicier stories were known more generally the Bible wouldn’t be a text largely unknown to most people who call themselves Christians and they wouldn’t deify it so much. Instead you getting boring tales about the “baby Jesus” and so forth.

  26. crimethink,

    BTW, the idea that Christians concern themselves with things not found in the Bible isn’t disconcerting to me. After all, its an exclusively human written and edited text and an exclusively human created and edited belief system.

  27. Remember, I’m an atheist,

    So why are you so concerned about the particulars of Christian belief?

    there is nothing in the NT about ex cathedra Papal Infalibility either.

    …which doesn’t address my point at all. Saying that Christians shouldn’t believe X because X isn’t in the Bible (ie, sola scriptura) is self-contradictory, since such a principle is nowhere to be found in the Bible.

    Really Hak, you should consider taking the time to think through your posts, instead of trying to post before anyone else does. That might help with the five-one-sentence-posts-in-a-row business, too.

  28. Actually, there is a pretty explicit prohibition against one man marrying two women in Matthew 6:24. “No man can serve two masters…”

  29. crimethink,

    So why are you so concerned about the particulars of Christian belief?

    Because I’m an atheist. Now your enemy as it were.

    Saying that Christians shouldn’t believe X because X isn’t in the Bible (ie, sola scriptura)…

    But I didn’t say anything about what they should or should not believe. That’s some sort of gloss you are putting on my statement. I have stated that if indeed they have a problem with polygany (or polyandry for that matter), then it doesn’t come from the Bible. You’re the one not thinking through your comments I am afraid.

  30. LarryA,

    Ha ha ha. πŸ™‚

    crimethink,

    BTW, if you can show where I told you what Christians should or should not believe based on some concept of sola scriptura then I’d like to see it. πŸ™‚ And my general comments that religion is a waste of time and such won’t do.

  31. Leave it to a religionist to conflate this:

    The New Testament doesn’t proscribe polygyny except in the case of deacons. So for Christians to have a per se prohibition against polygany for all is just a culturally-oriented gloss.

    into this:

    Saying that Christians shouldn’t believe X because X isn’t in the Bible (ie, sola scriptura)…

  32. Of course the Bible itself is a culturally created and edited text so its not surprising that culturally-created glosses are slopped onto it as well. That is true of every religion, which explains the cultural differences between Thai and Tibetan Buddhists.

  33. Actually I should rephrase one statement of mine:

    Of course there is nothing in the NT about ex cathedra Papal Infalibility either.

    should read:

    Of course there is nothing that can be honestly read in the NT about ex cathedra Papal Infalibility either.

    Catholic scholars do make claims about a number of passages in the Bible to justify this claim, but they dishonest or highly distorted interpretations of the text in general.

  34. I can’t blame the guy for seeking government sanction for his 3-way. I mean, if you were lucky enough to find two women who wanted a 3-way lasting for, well, a lot longer than one night, wouldn’t you want some sort of notarized certificate confirming your bragging rights?

  35. thoreau,

    Yet another reason for the government to get out of the marraige-sanctioning business.

  36. Even if, like me, you think the potential to undermine traditional marriage is the best reason to support gay nuptials…

    Something Cavanaugh and i can agree on.

  37. Hak,

    I may be missing something, but why does your atheism lead to you being the enemy of Christians?

  38. The libertarian solution, of course, would be to offer certification of his bragging rights to anybody who pays for a subscription to his webcam site.

    But given that none of the partners look all that good in the picture, I’d be perfectly willing to accept a government document instead. Or else just be like “OK, dude, whatever” when he starts bragging.

  39. anonymous coward,

    Its the other way around. πŸ™‚

  40. Becaus Hak seems to have an innate need to jump up on the cross, and there don’t seem to be any Romans about.

  41. mediageek,

    Damn atheists like me speaking our mind. Can’t have that. πŸ™‚

  42. Hak, in spite of my better judgement, I’m actually going to respond to you.

    But I have a mug of tea, and am in a pleasant mood.

    Vindictive atheism like yours is one of the scourges of the libertarian movement. Because you have to go out and walk the earf, proselytizing your devout disbelief in anything supernatural, and hence your self-evident superiority, you end up turning off far more people than you could possibly know. Perfect example: A close friend is a libertarian in everything but affiliation. He has no qualms about gun ownership, recreational drug use, gay marriage, or pretty much any other pro-liberty concept. But because of militant atheists like you, he refuses to affiliate himself with the libertarian movement because he doesn’t like being preached at by an atheist any more than you like to be preached at by a snake-handling non-denomenationalist.

    In the end, venomous outbursts like yours drive off more people than you think.

    Comprend??

  43. mediageek,

    I’m not a vindictive atheist (who exactly am I seeking to revenge myself against and in what way?) nor are my statements particularly venomous. If by preaching you mean that I argue in favor of something, well that’s true, but so does everyone else here. You are here on this forum; if you are in an open forum expect to hear and/or see things that you might find unpleasant.

  44. mediageek,

    The difference between your friend and me is that I don’t cower away from conversations with theists whereas your friend seems predisposed to avoid conversations that might rock their worldview. Also, one of the things I can respect about crimethink is that crimethink doesn’t avoid conversations with atheists.

  45. mediageek,

    If by militant you mean someone who is bold and confident I’ll accept it; if you mean someone prone to violence, physical aggression, etc. I won’t.

  46. Persecution means that the other person says something you find too difficult to refute.

  47. speedwell,

    I always thought it had something to do with significant maltreament (esp. by government or an organized group of people) on the basis of some aspect of an individual’s identity.

  48. Threadjack:

    I just found out about this very neat website titled The University Channel where one can access popular university lectures: http://uc.princeton.edu/main/

    Kudos to the good folks at Catallarchy for pointing me to it.

  49. If it’s cool, “India did it first”.

    Brahma’s-years ago the Pandavas were all married to Draupadi. The marriage was a success.

    Scriptures are Rorschach inkblots, and God is just “me” writ large. (Sort of like the Constitution and the federal government. [nb – You can’t write “federal government” without g-o-d and m-e. And d-a-m-n-e-d. And f-r-o-g.]) Solo ego in scriptura.

    The Netherlands are becoming…

    In French “the United States” and “Pays-Bas” are plural. I’ve never seen “Netherlands” used in the plural in English before.

  50. raymond,

    If it’s cool, “India did it first”.

    Interesting idea.

  51. Let’s see how many captions we can think of for the wedding photo. Here’s one:

    The Many Loves of Donald Pleasence

  52. It’s amazing, the things you can learn from Google.

    A cut and paste from a particular Website (italicized comments are mine):

    The major behavioral characteristics of Asperger’s syndrome are:

    1. impairment in social interaction and communication (like for instance, being incapable of recognizing figurative speech, sarcasm or hyperbole; going out of one’s way to piss off everyone in sight)

    2. repetitive or obsessive behaviors (like making a habit of multi-posting, or having one standard boilerplate insult which is used in all situations; if you don’t know what I’m talking about I suggest you read the Hit and Run archives before you embarrass yourself further)

    3. preoccupation with particular subjects or interests (i.e., all religious people are stupid psychopaths; let me post five hundred pages of a legal document)

    4. good (sometimes superior) grammar and vocabulary

    5. normal cognitive development

    6. normal or above average intelligence.

  53. Jennifer,

    Ha ha ha. πŸ™‚ You’re too much.

    I think its also amazing the things you can learn in the stacks of a good university library. Spending days randomly reading books is fun. πŸ™‚

  54. Jennifer,

    I started up my own blog if you are interested; http://terpanderlyre.blogspot.com/

    Not much there yet at this time because blogspot has been down for most of the time I’ve had the blog (about eight hours at this time).

  55. Jennifer,

    …being incapable of recognizing figurative speech, sarcasm or hyperbole…

    I’m more than capable of recognizing both. I’m also capable of recognizing a bullshit artist who claims that they are being figurative after their error has been pointed out to them.

  56. I’m also capable of recognizing a bullshit artist who claims that they are being figurative after their error has been pointed out to them.

    Ah, yes, like the time you were apparently the only person on the thread who decided I meant “serf” in a literal medieval sense.

    But pray tell, how did you come to know more than Joe himself about what kind of car Joe drives?

  57. Of course, the inability to understand figures of speech and insist they are literal, even when everyone else on the board reached the opposite conclusion, could fall under another common Asperger’s symptom–“trouble following the train of thought of other people.”

  58. Of course, the inability to understand figures of speech and insist they are literal, even when everyone else on the board reached the opposite conclusion, could fall under another common Asperger’s symptom–“trouble following the train of thought of other people.”

  59. Damn, isn’t it kind of early for the Reason Daily Server Malfunction? My apologies for the double posting.

  60. Jennifer,

    Ah, yes, like the time you were apparently the only person on the thread who decided I meant “serf” in a literal medieval sense.

    Again, there is more than one historical sense to the term (how many times do I have to explain this to you English major?). Second, an argument from popularity is one of the more common logical fallacies. Anyway, you just keep on making excuses for your rampant ignorance and I’ll keep on lauging at you. Trust me, its fun to laugh at you. I have a good time doing it.

    But pray tell, how did you come to know more than Joe himself about what kind of car Joe drives?

    This has nothing to do with figurative speech on my part of course. I called joe a limousine liberal, he took that literally and claimed that he drives a Civic. He also took the term “Boston Brahmin” to mean what it literally meant over a hundred years ago back when Holmes coined the term as opposed to its more fluid meaning today. If anyone suffers from this so-called condition (apparently a lot of people consider it to be a largely bogus condition) its joe, not I.

  61. Jennifer,

    Oh, and according to you I’m not supposed to be able to differentiate joe’s behavior. πŸ™‚ But hey, if you want to continue to be a asshole and misapply a medical condition to me, so be it. You’ll continue to make yourself look like the fool that you are.

  62. A so-called medical condition that is.

  63. From a Website designed to help teachers with Asperger’s students:

    Emotional nuances, multiple levels of meaning (such as sarcasm, irony, metaphor, idioms), and relationship issues as presented in novels will often not be understood.
    ?
    People with autism are egocentric, and in some cases find it difficult to even understand that other people might have thoughts, feelings, or opinions of their own, that might differ from the individual with autism’s view. Facial expressions, “body language” and other non-verbal social cues may not work.

    Concrete ‘facts’ are easy to learn by rote, understanding is harder: Do not assume that people with Asperger’s syndrome understand something just because they ‘parrot back’ what they have heard.
    ?
    Equally, with written information, though people with Asperger’s syndrome often have excellent reading recognition skills, language comprehension is often weak. Do not assume they understand what they so fluently read.

    Another site, listing the characteristics of adults with the syndrome, had this particularly telling item: “People often say I was rude even when this was not intended.”

  64. Jennifer-

    Would you say that Larry Groznic also suffers from this syndrome? :->

  65. Jennifer,

    *yawn*

    Oh please. Armchair diagnoses from an English major bores me.

    People with autism are egocentric…/i>

    And many people without autism are egocentric.

    Facial expressions, “body language” and other non-verbal social cues may not work.

    And you’re applying this to a wholly written environment? Do you realize how stupid you look in doing that? And you say I can’t read through the lines! πŸ™‚

    BTW, you do realize that my intention is to be rude, right? I’m not being obtuse about the matter; I intentionally use abusive language to emphasize my points, etc.

  66. Thoreau–

    Most assuredly, Larry Groznic would fall into this category. An amazing ability to recit rote facts, though backed by very little original analysis. . . the “Green Lantern” piece was classic.

  67. Jennifer,

    I’ll note now that during the 1990s (according to wiki) there was a rash of self-diagnoses, etc. in the Silicon Valley area because it was apparently “hip” to have this “disease.” Color me incredulous of your diagnosis based simply on that fact.

  68. Thoreau,

    Since its unlikely that this condition even exists I doubt it. Remember, Jennifer is a school teacher.

  69. Thoreau–

    Here’s another trait which I don’t know applies to Larry or not. But damned if it doesn’t remind me of somebody I’ve read on the Internet somewhere:

    [people] with AS may show no delays in language development; they usually have good grammatical skills and an advanced vocabulary at an early age. However, they typically do exhibit a language disorder; they may be very literal, and they may have trouble using language in a social context.

    It was the extreme literalness that first made me wonder if a few wires hadn’t been crossed somewhere.

  70. Jennifer,

    It wasn’t an extreme case of literalness (i’ve already explained why).

  71. Jennifer-

    Chloe from 24 definitely has Aspberger’s. I wonder if at some point Larry Groznic will devote a column to his Chloe fanfic.

  72. Thoreau–

    Another trait Larry Groznic shares with such unfortunate individuals:

    They can develop compensatory mechanisms that range from denial and arrogance to low self-esteem and withdrawal. They may also be intolerant of their friend?s errors and quick to criticize but conversely, hate being criticized themselves.

  73. Arrogance, a quickness to criticize others combined with a lack of ability to accept criticism. . . who besides Larry Groznic does this remind me of? Who? Who? WHO?

  74. Hi Kidz!

    Trying to deflate someone by saying they have a “syndrome” (i.e. a supposed mental disorder) of some sort is just an ad hominen, and nowadays the psych majors have invented so many syndromes (follow the money) that “syndrome” doesn’t necessarily mean anything other than having certain sets of normal and quite functional personality characteristics.

    However, as an atheist I find the very widespread “claims to believe in ghosts and invisible monsters” syndrome disqualifies a person’s statements from serious consideration far more than any “is smart and can concentrate but tends to be literal” syndrome possibly could.

  75. Le Mur–

    As a fellow atheist, I find “demands to be treated with respect but refuses to respond in kind” far more damning than mere churchgoing.

  76. Mr. F. Le Mur-

    You do have a good point about the ad hominem. I’ll have to think about that. However, for the record, I’m only trying to lighten things up by discussing an Onion columnist.

    Also, whatever you might think about religion, the fact is that we theists routinely manage to think, say, and do things that even a lot of atheists find reasonable and interesting. To write us all off as mentally ill is to disregard a whole lot of interesting and intelligent people.

    And I say similar things to theists: To write of all atheists as inherently immoral is to disregard a lot of interesting, intelligent, and decent people.

  77. I’m more than capable of recognizing both [literal and figurative language]

    Yeah, you really knocked it out of the park with speedwell’s comment above:

    Persecution means that the other person says something you find too difficult to refute.

    Comment by: speedwell at October 3, 2005 12:50 AM

    speedwell,

    I always thought it had something to do with significant maltreament (esp. by government or an organized group of people) on the basis of some aspect of an individual’s identity.

    Comment by: Hakluyt at October 3, 2005 12:58 AM

    Clearly, you’re a master of comprehension. Tell me, why does Jennifer have to be held to a literal, noncolloquial use of the word serf, but you’re not required to be held to literal, noncolloquial uses of “limousine liberal” and “Boston Brahmin?”

  78. Mr. F. Le Mur,

    Well, if you ever take a gander at the DSM IV you’ll quickly discover that many so-called diseases look more like a cherry-picking of behaviors that are part of most of the population. Of course, given my “condition” I’m not supposed to be able to analyze such texts and discover that they are in many ways so much bullshit. According to Jennifer I am merely supposed to learn what they have in the text by wrote and leave it at that. πŸ™‚

    Jennifer,

    I’d have to have a reason to respect you first. πŸ™‚

  79. Phil–

    Could it be that he’s quick to criticize but reluctant to take criticsm himself?

  80. Jennifer,

    And given your stunt today I have even less reason to respect you. Dropping down into the level of school teacher psycho-babble demeans you even more.

    Phil,

    I was more than aware that speedwell was trying to make a subtle dig at me, and I responded the way I thought best.

    Tell me, why does Jennifer have to be held to a literal, noncolloquial use of the word serf…,/i>

    Because she used it in the literal sense and it was rather obvious that she did.

    …but you’re not required to be held to literal, noncolloquial uses of “limousine liberal” and “Boston Brahmin?”

    Because it was obvious that I was not using them in their literal (or formerly literal) sense. In any case you merely prove my point and defeat Jennifer’s claim.

  81. Jennifer,

    Look, I’m not the one who thinks her shit doesn’t stink, that’s you. Indeed, if anyone is unwilling to take criticism that would be tu.

  82. Because she used it in the literal sense and it was rather obvious that she did.

    Obvious only to you–every other person, without exception, understood what I meant.

    By the way, I haven’t been a teacher in over two years. I suggest you–oh, fuck it, that joke’s gotten old.

  83. From a Website designed to help teachers with Asperger’s students:

    Only a teacher would think that claims of the conditions’ existance are valid.

  84. Jennifer,

    Obvious only to you–every other person, without exception, understood what I meant.

    How do you know this? As I recall, only a few of the participants besides you and I discussed the issue and I can’t recall if all of them actually agreed with you. Yep, that’s just dumb old me, I shouldn’t be able to make such an analysis according to you. And again, this is an example of an argument from popularity. Wow, I only know that by wrote; I shouldn’t be able to apply it to real life situations.

  85. Asperger’s patients also “value repetition and sameness.” This, in turn, could explain the constant “I suggest you X before you embarrass yourself further” response, as well as this new meme concerning my presumably stink-free shit. (Where did that come from, I wonder?)

  86. I suggest you look up the meaning of the word “obvious” before you embarrass yourself further.

    By the way, for those who enjoy statistics:

    44% of all the comments in this thread are from Hakluyt. His longest run is six posts in a row.

  87. Jennifer,

    I suggest you…

    I believe I’ve actually only written that a few times. You’ve written it far more than I have. Maybe your obsession with it means that have this syndrome? πŸ™‚

  88. Phil–

    In all seriousness, the insistance on the literal “serf” first made me think “Hmm,” but what actually made the A-word pop into my head was on that thread about the Holocaust, when you made an obviously sarcastic remark about “those crafty Jews” and a certain someone took you seriously and gave a labored explanation of why Jews aren’t crafty at all.

  89. Jennifer-

    Generally you have struck me as rather skeptical of psychiatric diagnoses. No, not all diagnoses, and not a total psychiatry disbeliever, but you definitely have a skeptical take on it. I am curious what led you to conclude that Aspberger’s is, in general, a real condition. I’m not asking whether the person in question fits the criteria, I’m asking why you think the criteria are useful.

    Whatever one might think of psychiatry in general or Aspberger’s in particular, I am curious about why you reached the conclusions that you reached.

  90. Jennifer,

    Asperger’s patients also “value repetition and sameness.”

    Then you certainly fit the diagnosis. You repetitively focus on my personality and your comments can be best be described as valuing “sameness.”

  91. Jennifer,

    …when you made an obviously sarcastic remark about “those crafty Jews” and a certain someone took you seriously and gave a labored explanation of why Jews aren’t crafty at all.

    I was merely trying to avoid any thought that I am an anti-semite. If you can’t appreciate that fact in a discussion regarding the holocaust then you can’t read “between the lines” and must be afflicted with this syndrome.

  92. Thoreau–

    I may have given a false impression. I’m not inherently mistrustful of psychiatric diagnoses–I’m mistrustful of the modern idea that every personality quirk (or anything a kid does which an adult finds annoying) needs to be “cured” via mind-altering substances.

  93. Yeah, the only thing that needs cured by mind-altering substances is Washington, DC traffic and the numbing drudgery of work.

    I was merely trying to avoid any thought that I am an anti-semite.

    My Hakluyt is not an anti-semite!. He may be a liar, a pig, an idiot, an anti-semite, but he is not a porn star!

  94. Phil-

    The numbers you present would suggest that my resolve to sit on the sidelines makes sense.

    Jennifer-

    What, in your opinion, distinguishes Aspberger’s from other personality traits that people want to “cure”? I’m just curious where you draw the line between legitimate disorders and psychiatric over-reach.

  95. Honestly, Thoreau, I hadn’t thought that far. And I’m not usually in the habit of making armchair diagnoses. But that thread where he insisted I meant “serf” literally first made me think, huh? I mean, yes, he’s arrogant, but to say “I know more than you do about what you meant” goes beyond mere arrogance. Then the thread where he lectured Phil on the non-craftiness of Judaism, and the one where he insisted Joe lied about his car unless and until Joe posted his VIN online–that goes beyond arrogance and assholery.

  96. Also, Thoreau, I’m not recommending anybody “cure” themselves of anything. I just found it amusing, the way our regular seemed to fit the description so perfectly, and I thought I’d share my idea with others.

  97. Phil,

    Ha ha ha. πŸ™‚ Good episode. (Of course I realize that you are not literally calling me a porn star. I mean, who would? :))

    My Hakluyt, huh? πŸ™‚ You coming onto me? πŸ™‚ (Of course I do realize that you are not coming onto me, but the sentence can be read as an endearment and thus I am playing with that particular reading. I’ll have to have a standard disclaimer like this after everyone one of my statements apparently.)

  98. Jennifer,

    …and the one where he insisted Joe lied about his car unless and until Joe posted his VIN online…

    I was trolling joe. I mean, duh. Talk about not being able to read between the lines. The fact that neither you nor joe could figure that out must mean you have Aspbergers.

  99. Jennifer,

    …but to say “I know more than you do about what you meant” goes beyond mere arrogance.

    Yes, it borders on good old fashioned entertainment.

    …the thread where he lectured Phil on the non-craftiness of Judaism…

    I didn’t “lecture” anyone. I was simply trying to avoid any hint that I am an anti-semite (which should be obvious to anyone remotely related with debates concerning the holocaust, etc.).

  100. Jennifer,

    And I’m not usually in the habit of making armchair diagnoses.

    Except when you wish to make baseless accusations about someone concerning a disease of questionable existance.

  101. Back on topic, can someone please explain to me why this does not put these churches’ tax-exempt status at risk?

    The Rev. Walter Waldron’s homily usually earns a smattering of amens, but his latest talk from the pulpit at St. Patrick Church got him a round of applause. Waldron rallied support Sunday for a petition that calls for banning gay marriage in Massachusetts.

    At the end of Mass, he held up a copy of the petition and urged parishioners to sign it in a room at the rear of the church . . . ver the weekend, supporters of the proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage launched a signature drive at churches across the state. They must collect more than 65,000 signatures before Nov. 23 for the question to qualify for the 2008 ballot, but its sponsors hope to gather double that number to protect against a challenge.

    A political petition drive at church, during Mass? Surely that violates the rules which allow them to remain tax-exempt?

  102. Phil,

    I believe its only candidates that they can’t endorse; things like ballot measures and the like aren’t proscribed. Thus in the 1990s the Catholic Church in Oregon was very vocal (and generous) in its efforts to stop Oregon’s “death with dignity” act.

  103. Phil,

    Now, ask yourself why Scientology is tax exempt? πŸ™‚

  104. Hakluyt-

    Does the law about religious exemptions and elections also vary from state to state? And since the ballot measure is not an election for federal office, so would endorsing it even matter for the federal tax exemption?

    (I’m not arguing, hence my pledge is not violated. Indeed, if I limit myself to polite inquiries you and I will both be better off for my pledge.)

  105. Phil: It ought to, but then again, churches ought not be tax-exempt in the first place.

  106. thoreau,

    Probably.

    …so would endorsing it even matter for the federal tax exemption?

    Well, there are definately some federalism issues involved with that, and the Court has recently shied away from viewing the commerce clause as a general police power, so if they say go after them for endorsing X for “dogcatcher” (or whateever other menial local office you can think of) the fedral government might be knocked down for doing that. Anyway, I’m far from being any sort of expert in this area of tax law, so I can’t say how far the federal law reaches in this area. Plus there is simply the sovereign power to determine who one will tax; is that even subject to a federalism claim?

  107. “I’ll note now that during the 1990s (according to wiki) there was a rash of self-diagnoses, etc. in the Silicon Valley area because it was apparently “hip” to have this “disease.””

    LOL. i knew a slew of people (actually, north easterners) who came up with every friggin “60 minutes” syndrome. first they were lactose intolerant, then it was attention deficit, then it was “fear of success”, you name it. since i only saw these people every few months, getting these little snapshots was hilarious (and annoying as hell). i’d name it “boredom syndrome” or something like that. maybe they were protected from gym class or math contests, lest their “self esteem” got damaged πŸ™‚

  108. But hey, if you want to continue to be a asshole and misapply a medical condition to me, so be it.

    Since when is condescending asshole a medical condition?

  109. “as well as this new meme concerning my presumably stink-free shit. (Where did that come from, I wonder?)”

    I posit that he may be an Outkast fan. Roses really MIGHT smell like poo poo.

  110. mediageek,

    Damn straight. πŸ™‚

    drf,

    Wow. A whole world I’ve never been exposed to. They all sound like budding Voltaires. πŸ™‚

  111. Hak:

    AWESOME! If you want more exposure, go to any 5 ro 10 year reunion of a NESCAC college πŸ™‚

    (if a grad from one of those schools didn’t get therapy, they were in the “60 minutes” crowd, it seems.)

    (how about budding Tartuffes, instead, grin)

  112. The whole gay marriage debate will be an amusing hindsight once after “medium size circle of good, close friends” civil union ceremonies start taking place.

  113. M1EK,

    It was a common phrase in my house when I was growing up (you forget, I’m from Alabama). Other phrases include:

    “Colder than a witch’s tit in a brass bra.”

    “He/she couldn’t pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were written on the bottom.”

    “He/she doesn’t know me from Adam’s off oxe.”

    “Can I carry you to the store?”

  114. drf,

    Well, that too. I was just referring to Voltaire’s tendency to be an overwrought hypochondriac. His letters, etc. are filled with statements concerning his eminent death from an early age; of course he ended up living to be ~82.

  115. mediageek,

    Damn straight. πŸ™‚

    That wasn’t a compliment. I have to say, I pretty much agree with Jennifer in that you’re batshit insane.

    However, you’re not the most batshit insane dumbass I’ve encountered on the web. On a good day, you might crack the top five.

  116. mediageek,

    That wasn’t a compliment.

    No kidding. I turned it around into something positive nonetheless by adopting the statement as my own. Talk about not being able to comprehend.

    Also, she’s not saying that I am insane, unless you consider a form of autism insanity.

  117. mediageek-

    By far the worst personality that I’ve ever encountered online is a guy that I refer to as “The Insane Mathematician.” He claims to be an expert on election mathematics, but mostly he’s an expert on insulting people while confusing the hell out of them. We were on the same mailing list at one point, and he accused me of, well, I’m not entirely sure what he accused me of. It never made much sense to me. I shall refrain from naming him, lest he google his own name, discover that he’s being dissed here, and start plaguing us with his rants.

    At one point he said that there is no reason to stick to positive numbers when describing the number of voters and candidates. Maybe he was from Florida or Chicago.

  118. Gee, Hak, I didn’t understand your first statement. Could you draw a diagram and post a link to it?

    Hak, she didn’t say you were insane. She pointed out how you have symptoms that point to something of a less-than-optimum mental state.

    Me?

    I’ll call you out. You’re a goddamned nut.

  119. raymond,

    Tragically, as many as 9625 out of every 10,000 individuals may be neurotypical.

    πŸ™‚

    mediageek,

    I have to say, I pretty much agree with Jennifer in that you’re batshit insane.

    Hak, she didn’t say you were insane. She pointed out how you have symptoms that point to something of a less-than-optimum mental state.

    So, which two of these statements do you actually believe is correct?

    Also, she apparently believes I have a mental state which in many ways is more than optimum, given that individuals like Wittgenstein, Einstein, etc. are supposed to have had this condition. πŸ™‚

    You’re a goddamned nut.

    You’re probably taking my commentary far too seriously.

  120. Thoreau, there’s a guy who shows up on the gun boards pretty regularly. Generally he posts about survivalist stuff, and even as silly as those discussions tend to be, he makes them downright surreal. Generally he posts stuff that wouldn’t even work in a Mad Max film, and spouts off about his fantastic marksmanship abilities.

    The really amusing thing is, I did some research, and discovered that he’s a multiple convicted felon* who was evidently bounced through at least one psych ward in the late 80’s. His parole officer pretty much knows about his online shenanigans and I assume keeps a pretty tight leash on him.

    He’s been kicked off of at least ten gun-related forums that I know of, often many multiple times. After awhile, he took to using anonymizer, which is doubly funny because he always posts variations on the same exact themes and in the same antagonistic manner.

    *The irony being that he’s either lying about his shooting abilities, what with his being federally barred from owning firearms, or that he’s in gross violation of the law.

  121. So, which two of these statements do you actually believe is correct?

    You’ll note the qualifier phrase of “pretty much.”

    You’re probably taking my commentary far too seriously.

    Well, no, I don’t think you’re generally worth taking seriously. In which case, I assume this to be an admission that you’re nothing more than a troll.

  122. mediageek,

    The qualifier doesn’t help you I’m afraid. The statements are directly contradictory.

    Well, no, I don’t think you’re generally worth taking seriously.

    If you are making a psychological assessment of me (taking the time to do so, making a serious claim about me, etc.) you are taking my commentary seriously. Also, at this point I’m not going to take any crap about you “joking around.”

  123. Raymond:

    πŸ™‚ LOL!

    (“NTs are often intolerant of seemingly minor differences in others. When in groups NTs are socially and behaviorally rigid, and frequently insist upon the performance of dysfunctional, destructive, and even impossible rituals as a way of maintaining group identity. NTs find it difficult to communicate directly, and have a much higher incidence of lying as compared to persons on the autistic spectrum.”)

    sounds like denmark….. or: substitute “Danes” for NT. (snicker)

  124. The qualifier doesn’t help you I’m afraid. The statements are directly contradictory.

    Says you. :-p

    Also, at this point I’m not going to take any crap about you “joking around.”

    Why would I joke around? Especially with someone as humorless as you?

  125. Raymond,

    That link is making it’s way around my place of work (a mental health center). Thanks for the heads up.

  126. Too lazy to look this up right now, but I’ve seen descriptions of Aspberger’s that are somewhat different from what Jennifer posted. From what I was taught, it’s often considered a learning disability (therefore a developmental disorder) and treated with the help of speech pathologists. This is not the same thing as a “psychiatric” disorder in that psychiatry is not yet wholly in line with neurology.

    Also, if it’s true that the syndrome involves lack of humor and other linguistic subtleties, I would theorize that it has something to do with neurological (dys)function of the right hemispheric correlate to the left-hemisphere language centers.

    On the one hand, I think psychiatry is getting a little bit out of hand with the diagnoses of vague syndromes. On the other hand, we are finding neurological basis for at least some of these, such as Aspberger’s.

    (If anyone cares.)

  127. ::sigh:: I knew it was only a matter of time before Asperger’s became the new lactose intolerance, Napoleon Dynamite and all.

    Please recall that, besides being an invalid method of argument, accusing an opponent of being mentally ill/deficient/different has a shameful historical pedigree…

    “If what he has spoken is wrong, testify to the wrong; if not, why do you strike him?” — and that IS in the New Testament. πŸ˜‰

  128. Because I’m an atheist. Now your enemy as it were.

    I was kinda taken aback by this, till I realized that you meant “Know your enemy…” But what I took issue with was not your knowledge of Christianity, but that you seem concerned that Christians believe in your interpretation of Christianity, even though you yourself don’t believe in it.

    And why bother pointing out that there is no explicit prohibition of polygyny in the New Testament, unless you’re advocating a sola scriptura view of Christianity? I’m glad you respect me for something and all, but you seem to be trying to have it both ways here.

  129. What a wierd ass thread …

  130. crimethink,

    I was kinda taken aback by this, till I realized that you meant “Know your enemy…”

    Well, it was also supposed to have a πŸ™‚ after it as well. I missed that I hadn’t put it there until you actually quoted me. I am working on little sleep these days.

    …but that you seem concerned that Christians believe in your interpretation of Christianity…

    No, I’m not concerned with that. Its merely an intellectual exercise to me. I view religious behavior, mores, folkways, etc. as any anthropologist, historian, sociologist, etc. does. You’re just ants in my ant farm. πŸ™‚

    You know, I acquire knowledge about things just for the sake of it; I suppose that surprises people.

    …unless you’re advocating a sola scriptura view of Christianity?

    Well obviously to show that Christianity is a socially-constructed belief system.

  131. Jason Ligon,

    Well, armchair psychological assessments (psychobabble in other words) can do that.

  132. Guys, guys, “ad hominem” would be if I disagreed with Hak’s viewpoint here and attacked the man rather than the argument. Not the case here–I actually agree with Hak’s politics, more often than not. What I don’t agree with is how he presents them–anyone who disagrees with him is either a liar, a fool, a psychopath or some combination thereof. Sure, Crimethink, it’s easy for you to be lofty as he tries to take you down and succeeds only in making himself look like an ass. But me–as an atheist freethinker who agrees with many of his viewpoints, I end up getting tarred by the same obnoxious brush!

    And so I tossed out some speculations.

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