By Stephan Kinsella
Like everyone, my political and ethical views have evolved over time. From a somewhat racialist milieu in rural Louisiana, I consciously rejected racism when I was in my young teens. From a devout Catholic youth I became a secularist and freethinker at a fairly young age. From libertarian-conservative hawkish Reaganism at 18 I quickly became a die-hard libertarian minarchist, then an anarchist. My initial conservative and Randian pro-American exuberance has given way to a much more critical view of America’s baleful effect on world history and my rosy view of its founding has been replaced with skepticism, disdain, scorn, and regret. On abortion, initially militantly pro-choice in the Randian fashion, over the years my aversion to it has grown deeper and deeper to where I see at least late-stage abortion to be tantamount to murder (though I still don’t favor its being outlawed by states). On affirmative action, my conservative and libertarian overboard “meritism” has given way to a more contrarian view. My initial attraction to natural rights and natural law type arguments slowly shifted to a more realistic and focused transcendental type approach. On intellectual property, despite my initial–but hesitant and troubled–assumption that it was legitimate, after struggling to find a better way to defend it than arguments such as Rand’s and those of utilitarians, I finally rejected it after realizing it is indeed incompatible with property rights. And though I initially praised centralist libertarian ideas such as the Lochner-type caselaw praised by some libertarians I later came to develop a radical skepticism of the wisdom and legitimacy of trusting a central state to monitor state actions. For one more example, despite initially accepting the Hayekian knowledge arguments, I became more skeptical of their coherence in the wake of the Austrian “dehomogenization” debate.*
And so it is with gay marriage. More…
Over on io9, we posted a map of all the weirdest sex laws in the U.S.A. We didn’t have room for every weird sex law we found, and some of them we had to shorten a bit to make them fit. So here’s the complete, unedited list of sex laws!
Incestuous marriages are legal.
Moose are banned from having sex on city streets (in Fairbanks).
You may not have more than two dildos in the same house.
Flirtation and “lascivious banter” between men and women on the streets may result in a 30-day jailterm. (in Little Rock.)
It’s illegal to sell stuffed items resembling breasts (“boobie pillows”) within 1000 feet of a highway.
No man shall dress as a woman without the written permission of the sheriff. (In Walnut, CA)
By Walter Block
1. Check this out on the feminists, at least those in India responsible for this horrid video. There has been a spate of horrendous rapes in this country. Do the feminists there come out against rape? Well, of course, some of them do, quite properly, as rape is a per se violation of the libertarian non aggression principle (NAP). But, many of them also oppose “leering”: http://ca.shine.yahoo.com/blogs/shine-on/indian-ad-shows-absurdity-leering-men-212739529.html. The title of this 90 second video is: “Indian ad shows the absurdity of leering men.” At best, this video just muddies the waters; it takes time, effort, treasure, away from the only proper task, the elimination of rape. At worst, it implies that leering violates the NAP, and should be proscribed by law. But leering is just looking. People have a right to look at whatever they want. “He is looking at me,” when true, is not a rights violation. In any case, it is a perfectly legitimate action, on the part of both sexes, to look at each other. How, else, is the next generation to arise, if everyone has to keep his (or her) eyes to himself? More…
Laura Kane / Toronto Star Order this photo
Dr. James Cantor of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has spent the last decade on research suggesting that pedophilia is a deep-rooted, unchangeable predisposition.
Pedophilia has been widely viewed as a psychological disorder triggered by early childhood trauma.
Now, many experts see it as a biologically rooted condition that does not change — like a sexual orientation — thanks largely to a decade of research by Dr. James Cantor at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
Cantor’s team has found that pedophiles share a number of physical characteristics, including differences in brain wiring. It’s now thought that about 1 to 5 per cent of men are pedophiles, meaning they are primarily attracted to children.
These findings have been widely accepted among scientists, but have had little impact on social attitudes or law. However, we are left with the alarming question: if some men are born pedophiles, what should society do with them?
Twelve years ago, when Wendy Whitaker was barely 17, she performed oral sex on a high school classmate who was about to turn 16. The state of Georgia convicted her of a sex crime and she was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
As a registered sex offender, Whitaker’s freedom is severely restricted. She and her husband bought a house within 1000 feet of a unadvertised church daycare service, and a judge has decreed that she has to vacate by Thanksgiving.
In 2006, she and her husband scoped out neighborhood surrounding the Harlem, Georgia home they eventually purchased to be sure they were in compliance with Georgia’s sex offender law at the time. That law prohibited offenders from living within 1,000 feet of any area where children congregate. Despite their efforts, local authorities ordered Whitaker and her husband to vacate shortly after they moved in. They had overlooked a nearby church, which was running an unadvertised daycare service. More…
Another moralistic fad goes bust.
Sex worker in Soho, London. Photograph: Dan Chung
The following correction was printed in the Guardian’s Corrections and clarifications column, Saturday 14 November 2009
In the report below about sex trafficking we referred to the United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre as “the police Human Trafficking Centre”. The UKHTC describes itself as “a multi-agency centre” and says that it is “police led”. Its partners include two non-governmental organisations, HM Revenue & Customs, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the UK Border Agency. We referred to Grahame Maxwell as the head of the UKHTC; his title is programme director.
The UK’s biggest ever investigation of sex trafficking failed to find a single person who had forced anybody into prostitution in spite of hundreds of raids on sex workers in a six-month campaign by government departments, specialist agencies and every police force in the country.
The failure has been disclosed by a Guardian investigation which also suggests that the scale of and nature of sex trafficking into the UK has been exaggerated by politicians and media.
Current and former ministers have claimed that thousands of women have been imported into the UK and forced to work as sex slaves, but most of these statements were either based on distortions of quoted sources or fabrications without any source at all.
Most people have heard the name Ari Emanuel — the WME super agent who inspired Jeremy Piven’s Ari Gold character on HBO’s hit show, “Entourage.”
The name Mark Spiegler, a top talent agent in a different billion dollar entertainment industry, may not ring as many bells.
That’s because Spiegler represents porn stars.
While Emanuel, 51, represents talent such as Charlize Theron and Steven Spielberg; Spiegler, 54, represents top adult female stars with names like Skin Diamond, Chanel Preston and Asa Akira.
Didn’t we go through all this business of why we shouldn’t ban books fifty years ago, with Lady Chatterley? It seems that we need to revisit the issue, for the past fortnight has seen some rather disturbing suggestions that would amount to a return to literary censorship.
It turns out that Amazon.com stocks a rather wider range of books than I had imagined, despite being a regular customer of theirs. I see that the titles that I have most recently purchased from them are Alembic, Timothy d’Arch Smith’s novel of the esoteric, Heligan: A Portrait of the Lost Gardens, and the most recent Jamie Oliver cookbook (largely to see if it is any better than the last one).
An interesting article by a gay libertarian on the alleged “homophobia” of Han Hermann-Hoppe
By Ludwig Von
As a gay person who considers himself a right-wing libertarian, the “problem” of time preferences among gays (as mentioned by Hans Hermann-Hoppe) has come up a few times, enough for it to bother me enough to present some counter-arguments.
I’ll let Hoppe put it in his own words, and for the record, I fully support his right to say such things in a university setting:
“In March of 2004, during a 75-minute lecture in my Money and Banking class on time preference, interest, and capital, I presented numerous examples designed to illustrate the concept of time preference (or in the terminology of the sociologist Edward Banfield of “present- and future-orientation”). As one brief example, I referred to homosexuals as a group which, because they typically do not have children, tend to have a higher degree of time preference and are more present-oriented. I also noted–as have many other scholars–that J.M Keynes, whose economic theories were the subject of some upcoming lectures, had been a homosexual and that this might be useful to know when considering his short-run economic policy recommendation and his famous dictum “in the long run we are all dead.”
– “My Battle With The Thought Police”, Mises Daily: Tuesday, April 12, 2005
By Daniel McCarthy
The Supreme Court’s rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act (struck down) and California’s Proposition 8 (the court disclaimed jurisdiction) were about the only rulings one could expect from a court of four liberals, four conservatives, and Anthony Kennedy. It would have overturned everything we think we know about Kennedy if the court had upheld DOMA. But an expansive ruling on Prop 8 effectively legalizing same-sex-marriage nationwide would have been remarkable from a court that earlier this week curtailed affirmative action in higher ed and the Voting Rights Act. The justices in the majority on Proposition 8 might seem surprising—Roberts and Scalia joined liberals Breyer, Ginsburg, and Kagan—but if one may attribute political motives to the bench (surely not?), I’d suggest Scalia and Roberts were trying to limit the precedent while Breyer, Ginsburg, and Kagan were going for what they could get.
Cody Tubman had a dream prom night, the perfect dress and then the crown to go with it.
Cody was voted prom queen of Middleboro High School.
“I was all smiles,” Cody says laughing. “We were standing there and they announced I was prom queen. So I was like ‘oh yay, so exciting,’ But it was kind of surprising.”
It was surprising because Cody is transgender.
She was born a boy but she started dressing as a girl when she was a freshman in high school. She says she feels more confident and comfortable in her body.
A former member of the elite U.S. Navy SEALs has come out to say she’s now a woman.
Kristin Beck, formerly Chris, served 20 years as a SEAL and fought on some of the most dangerous battlefields in the world, but after she left the service she realized she wasn’t living the life she wanted.
“Chris really wanted to be a girl and felt that she was a girl and consolidated that identity very early on in childhood,” said Anne Speckhard, co-author of Beck’s biography “Warrior Princess,” which was published over the weekend. More…
A Stockholm high school is set to open a third changing room for transsexual pupils and those who don’t want to define themselves as being male or female, a move believed to be the first of its kind in the country.
“It’s for people who aren’t comfortable being divided into gender stereotypes,” Camille Trombetti, who sits on the student council at Södra Latin gymnasium, told The Local.
She said management at the central Stockholm high school at first welcomed the idea.
“They were very positive and welcoming but we had to figure out how to do it practically,” said Trombetti, who underlined that the student council has long pushed to expand the rights of LGBT students.
“We were the first student council to march in the Stockholm Pride Festival last year, and we encourage our teachers to use the pronoun ‘hen’.”
Trombetti explained that teachers now use the gender-neutral pronoun instead of the male and female “hon” and “han” in “relevant situations” rather than replacing them.
Imagine 13 and 14-year-old girls being instructed to ask one another for a lesbian kiss in a class exercise. The girls had no choice. The parents were NOT informed. But hey, if it falls under “anti-bullying,” than who are you to question it, right?
Red Hook, New York – A recent anti-bullying presentation at a middle school in New York that focused on homosexuality and gender identity has angered parents after their daughters have come home to tell them they were forced to ask another girl for a kiss.
According to reports, the session occurred last week at Linden Avenue Middle School in Red Hook, New York, near Poughkeepsie. A group of students from Bard College led two workshops for the youth, separated by gender.
During the workshop for girls, the 13 and 14-year-olds were told to ask one another for a lesbian kiss. They were also taught words such as “pansexual” and “genderqueer.”
My latest from the Inferno. I wonder: Have you caught the bug?
Thanks to a good chunk of my Facebook friendslist, I came face-to-face with the latest meme virus to infect the social conscience.
Hear those squeaky wheels, lushes and reprobates? That’s the sound of the latest bandwagon rolling into town. Its name: “marriage equality”.
By Dylan Stableford
Karl Rove, former deputy chief of staff under President George W. Bush and current Fox News contributor, says he can envision the 2016 Republican presidential nominee supporting gay marriage.
“I could,” Rove said during a roundtable discussion on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday when asked if he could imagine a same-sex marriage supporter on the top of the GOP’s next ticket.