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Comment Re:Happily married? (Score 1) 286

"To the extent that young people are deluded, tricked, or forced into a commitment of implied eternal monogamy, it's not entirely their fault, and they should be given some sympathy and charity as they try to naturally relieve or find their way out of the situation."

"Oops, my penis just accidentally fell into the lady parts of another woman. It isn't entirely my fault!"

I'm just going to focus on this one part, because your reading comprehension failed so spectacularly here. I'm talking about it not being someone's fault to be tricked or forced into a commitment that they don't understand. Forced into sex: not my claim. Forced into marriage: actually my claim.

If you go to the Brooklyn City Clerk (for example) on any given day, then you will see in the line couples who appear to be anxious teenagers from certain religious sects, literally fenced in on both sides by parents, escorting/herding them to the clerk for marriage licenses. It's painful to watch. And of course the next thing you know is that they'll have kids -- and surely you know the tens of millions of people who feel stuck in marriages for the kids' sake.

I consider this to be just one more extreme example. Contracts are not valid when consent is not freely given -- and consent is not free when obtained through duress, menace, fraud, undue influence, or mistake. This happens routinely in the case of marriage, and it seems ludicrous to hold people to commitments they didn't really have the capacity to consent to under those terms.

I agree that being fully informed, one should avoid marriage. But the majority of people are not fully informed. Hopefully the expectation for marriage, and the minority of states with adultery laws on the books (even vestigial as they currently are), will continue to be reduced, because the whole institution is so farcically unbelievable on its face.

Comment Re:Happily married? (Score 2) 286

"... MARRIAGE, which is an agreement between you and your wife. And usually pretty high on the list of terms of that agreement for most spouses is no adultery. Some may be okay with it, but that's generally something you negotiate with the spouse's consent. This is not the 'fine print' of what marriage means -- it's pretty fundamental to the agreement... You don't want that agreement? Fine. Don't take a vow to it. Or negotiate out of it."

In the past, I have argued as you do here. But:

Monogamy is not actually in the standard Catholic marriage vows or its derivatives. Even if it were implied, marriage is a civil contract, many non-religious people get married, and there is no legal requirement for monogamy. The expectation is culturally-specific, and lots of cultures have completely divergent expectations (including polygamy, as among some Mormons, Muslims, etc.)

Furthermore: Is it even feasible to promise a "forever" thing like that at a young age? I would argue "no"; people don't really have a capacity or right to make such an oath, time and variations are deeper than the young person can digest, and the demographic statistics bear that out. To the extent that young people are deluded, tricked, or forced into a commitment of implied eternal monogamy, it's not entirely their fault, and they should be given some sympathy and charity as they try to naturally relieve or find their way out of the situation. Hopefully the long arc of history will continue to degrade this unrealistic expectation and allow people to be happy and connected without being condemned on by uptight, moralizing craphats.

Comment Re:Think like a soldier in the next war for a mome (Score 1) 313

"I know that if I go to war... I am going to want the best weapons my society can make for me along with the best defenses the best training and ideally leaders that are not complete fuckwits."

The problem is that this kind of total-war thinking logically leads to a condition of spending *all* of a country's resources on nothing but war. And frankly we're pretty close to that already, the amount that the U.S. outspends the rest of the world on the military is something out of a Kubrick satire. Likewise we've got more people in prison than any country in the history of the world via the same nothing-can-be-risked thinking.

Frankly I do think that the logic of the institution is powerful enough that we will annihilate civilization in fairly short order. I guess we've managed to survive nukes for about 70 years, but whether that or something else, I'm hard-pressed to see how many more multiples of that we can go.

Comment Re:As Sen Dirksen said... (Score 1) 200

That's an absurd argument. The Dutch East India Company was a Royal Charter and a monopoly granted by the monarch Queen Elizabeth. The whole problem with the East India company was that it was totally free from any government oversight and was allowed to run roughshod in India with its own private armies, etc. Putting corporate charters back under oversight and review from democratically elected legislatures is a totally different prospect.

Comment Re:As Sen Dirksen said... (Score 4, Interesting) 200

"When the first U.S. public corporations were created in the early 1800s, corporate charters were granted by the state legislatures for very specific purposes. The charters specified that the corporations met what was considered to be a worthy public purpose and contained strict restrictions, such as the length of time the charter lasted and what, specifically, the corporation could manufacture. In the mid-nineteenth century, it wasn't unheard of for states like Ohio, Michigan, New York and Nebraska to revoke corporate charters when corporations no longer fulfilled their purpose."

We should return to enforcing and revoking corporate charters when they fail to serve the public interest.

Comment Re:Dangerous power (Score 1) 265

"We have had very ugly case in Poland recently..."

Just so you know: the problem in the USA is pretty much the exact opposite. There are practically no mental health care institutions anymore.

Instead, people with mental problems wind up in the criminal justice system and wind up in our massive prisons, locked up with violent offenders. At least this bill would give some kind of check-and-balance on the proceedings, with doctors involved (not just cops) for at least a few hours.

More generally, if you don't have a US-mindset, here in the states there is little to no public assistance or support for anything like being down on your luck or sick: no public health care, no mental health care, no maternity or family leave, no federal minimum vacation or sick days, etc., etc.

What the gods would destroy they first submit to an IEEE standards committee.