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Everything posted by smac97

  1. Free speech? How about Florida where books are being banned and you can't say gay. Which "books" are being banned? You mean the sexually explicit ones being given to elementary school kids? There will always be judgment calls needed for stuff like this. Broad tropes and caricatures don't help, regardless which side is using them. Well, nobody would try to use the Establishment Clause to get him fired, I bet. That's a maneuver that seems to be restricted to punishing Christians. I am grateful there is no "state" religion. SCOTUS just created the means whereby liberal states like California and New York can craft whatever abortion laws they like. Thanks, -Smac
  2. Oh, boy. If a word doesn't mean what you want it to mean, just have some functionary arbitrarily add a radical new definition to it. Convenient, that. Also creepily Orwellian. This is you disputing my comments about your side of the debate resorting to Orwellian tactics, is it? First off, we've been principally discussing the word "woman." And yet slipped on past citing the Merriam-Webster definition of "woman" in favor of "female" because, I suspect, it has not (yet) been re-defined to kowtow to the radical idealogues with Orwellian tendencies. Merriam-Webster defines "woman" as: No reference to "gender identity" there. Not yet, anyway. I guess it takes time for you Orwellian types to persuade dictionaries to insert inanities into basic definitions. "Woman" can trace its origins back to the 8th century or so. But here you are, relying on one dictionary that arbitrarily and radically re-defined its inherent meaning in . . . 2020. Boy, nothing bespeaks authenticity like a radical re-definition of a basic word that is, comparatively speaking, about five minutes old. See here (from September 2020) : And here (from July 2020) : And here (from September 2020) : And here: Huh. Natasha Chart seems to think that your revised definition of "female" is disrespectful. So can we expect you to be as solicitous to "politeness" toward women as you are toward biological males who "identify" as women? Or is that whole "polite" thing one of those "That's different because shut up" kind of things? A dictionary that has re-defined "female" to "erase the reality of biological sex." A dictionary that has re-defined "female" to include people who by definition cannot meet the primary definition. According to MW, a biological male can be an "adult female person," where "female" is by definition those who have "the capacity to bear young or produce eggs." Including biological males in the definitions of "woman" and "female" may well prove to be the apex of Orwellian distortion and revisionism. Let's look at a few further definitions of "woman," shall we? https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/woman If you down a brewskie, squint and hop on one leg, definition 1.7 above kinda sorta suits your needs. But not really. Now let's look at "female": https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/female Bummer. No radical, Orwellian, brand-spanking-new woke re-definitions in there. Moving on... "Woman" in https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/woman Nope. No Orwellianisms there. "Female" at that website: https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/female Nope. No Orwellianisms here either. "Woman" at https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/woman And "female" - https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/female Nothing here. "Woman" in https://www.ahdictionary.com/word/search.html?q=woman "Female" in https://www.ahdictionary.com/word/search.html?q=female No wokeness here, either. "Woman" in https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/american/woman "Female" in https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/female_1 No wokeness here. "Woman" in https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/woman?q=woman_1 "Female" in https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/woman No wokeness here. "Woman" in https://www.yourdictionary.com/woman "Female" in https://www.yourdictionary.com/female Finally! Found another Orwellian revision! "Woman" in https://www.wordsmyth.net/?ent=woman "Female" in https://www.wordsmyth.net/?level=3&ent=female "Woman" in https://www.dictionary.com/browse/woman "Female" in https://www.dictionary.com/browse/female "Woman" in https://www.etymonline.com/word/woman Nothing about "gender identity" in there. "Female" in https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=female Sense extended in Vulgar Latin from young humans to female of other animals, then to females generally. Compare Latin masculus, also a diminutive (see masculine). Spelling altered late 14c. in erroneous imitation of male. In modern use usually as an adjective (early 14c.). Reference to implements with sockets and corresponding parts is from 1660s. "Woman" in http://www.webster-dictionary.org/definition/woman "Female" in https://www.webster-dictionary.org/definition/female "Woman" in https://www.allwords.com/query.php?SearchType=3&Keyword=woman&goquery=Find+it!&Language=ENG "Female" in https://www.allwords.com/query.php?SearchType=0&Keyword=female&goquery=Find+it!&Language=ENG&v_PageSize=25 So, it looks like Orwellian revisions have made inroads as to at least two dictionaries. While we're playing around, let's take a look at definitions of "gender identity." https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gender identity https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/gender identity https://www.infoplease.com/dictionary/gender-identity https://www.dictionary.com/browse/gender-identity https://www.thefreedictionary.com/gender+identity Kinda hard to say that this is synonymous with "woman" or "female." Yes. No. No. This is Orwellian. This is nonsensical. A biological male cannot, by definition, be a "female adult human." You continue to prove my point. You are equivocating. You are conflating. Lia Thomas is a biological male. By definition he is excluded from the definition of "female adult human." Yes. Examples include "Trans women are women," and "Lia Thomas, a biological male, is a 'female adult human.'" Your cited source - Merriam-Webster - contradicts itself. It defines “woman” as “an adult female person” and “female” as “of, relating to, or being the sex that typically has the capacity to bear young or produce eggs.” This is intrinsically incoherent. A. "Lia Thomas, an adult male person, 'identifies' as a 'woman'"; and B. "A 'woman' is 'an adult female person'" and C. "'Female' means 'of, relating to, or being the sex that typically has the capacity to bear young or produce eggs'" ergo D) "Lia Thomas, an adult male person, 'identifies' as being 'an adult female person,' as 'being the sex that typically has the capacity to bear young or produce eggs.'" An adult male person can, in your view, simultaneously be an adult female person, even though he inherently lacks the characteristics that define what a "female" is ("the capacity to bear young or produce eggs." You may as well try to say that I can simultaneously be both 48 years old and 68 years old. Or that I can "identify" as a badger or a brown dwarf star or a pygmy orchid. Since we are A) tossing out defining attributes/characteristics, and B) adding inherently incoherent Orwellianisms to the dictionary, why not? "Gender Identity" is not the only "Let's dispense with factual reality and conflate Orwellian neologisms with foundational words and concepts" game in town. "Species/Otherkin identity" is likely on its way up. There is nothing "consistent" in defining "female" as including males, or in defining "women" as including "men" who "identify" as such. Lia Thomas is a biological male competing against biological females because the Powers-that-Be are conflating "biological sex" with "gender identity." Caitlyn Jenner literally altered the biological sex on her birth certificate from "male" to "female." The examples are endless. And if "woman" means "female," and if "female" means "not male," then that claim is nonsensical (even if some parts of society have elected to ratify it). Right. Equivocation. "Woman" means both "adult human female" and "anyone who identifies as a woman." We've been through this rigmarole before. Are you sure? "I'm simply going to try to understand" is worlds apart from you advocating for compulsory "peronal pronoun" laws. "I'm simply going to try to understand" is also not particularly compatible with the preceding sentence in which you state that she "is not claiming to be biologically female," and that you "know" this "from her personal history." This article, authored by Sophie Allen, is pretty good: Yep. We've seen this happen in this very thread. I feel ya, sister! Oh, amen to that. Imagine a statute that defines "woman" as "anyone who identifies as woman." Imagine a statute that defines "woman" as "an adult human female, and also anyone who at any time chooses to 'identify' as such." Yeesh. Yep. Those are the logical consequences of your reasoning, Roger. "Woman," when fundamentally severed from biological reality, becomes meaningless. It has either sieve-like parameters or no meaningful parameters at all. It can mean whatever anyone wants it to mean. If folks like you can re-define "woman" to include "gender identity," as "anyone who identifies as a woman," then the gates are wide open to it being re-defined in any of a million other ways. There are no limiting principles. As to point (1), "being a woman is essentially tied" to biology, with social constructs arising in relation thereto, both naturally and by social expectation/imposition. This is at odds, I think, with transgender sentiments, which posit that "being a woman is essentially tied to" physiological and behavioral expressions of things typically and broadly associated with womanhood (breasts, women's clothing, make-up, hair, etc.). As to point (2), she is quite right. This is not only an "unattractive" option, but an unscientific and patently inaccurate one. As to point (3), well, that's where the rubber hits the road. "Woman" loses any essential meaning. It is an infinitely malleable word, meaning only what the individual subjectively and arbitrarily decides it means, no more and no less. This article was published in 2018, and it looks like her concern has already come to pass: And here: This just seems awfully strange. The essense of this is that "in order to be legally recognized as a woman, you must be diagnosed with a mental health condition pertaining to you 'identifying' as female when you are biologically male (or vice versa), and after 2 years of acting as if that falsehood were true, fill out this paperwork and the government will go along with it." "Being a woman" is, in the UK, a matter of all three options above, none of which are correct. Yep. But such an admission is flatly incompatible with the trans movement, which wants to sever concepts like "woman" and "female" from "biological sex" and instead treat them as being anything anyone wants them to be, but typically centered around stereotypical physical expressions (clothes, hair, make-up, medical procedures, etc.). I agree that invidious discrimination, and any abuse, are inappropriate and wrong. Yep. The refusal to coherently define "woman" goes back to 2018, and likely even further back than that. This has been my understanding of these claims as well. Yep. Stereotypes, not biology. That's the purported basis. This is an important point. I have read a number of articles written by women who feel disrespected by the meaning of "woman" being reduced to crude, flamboyant, often highly sexualized, stereotpyes, as typified by "Drag Queen" excesses. Yep. I do not "become" a wolf by breaking with my homo sapiens "stereotypes" (walking upright, speaking with words and phrases and grammar, wearing clothes, etc.) and "identifying" as a wolf or mimicking lupine behaviors. And this is internally incoherent as well. External expressions and behaviors canot be the defining attribute of "woman." Yep. Excluding biology from the equation really ends up taking us to some weird and untenable places. As will be seen, I think, inwardly-held "feelings" cannot form the basis for being a "woman" any more than outward expressions of stereotypical behaviors/roles can. Fair questions, these. Yes. Yes it is. And even after ostensible "further evidence" comes in. Lia Thomas will never be a woman. It sure would be interesting to see Roger explain to Sophie how utterly wrong she is on this point, and about how "woman" can "mean different things to different individuals in virtue of private, subjective feelings." These are important, but decidedly impolitic, observations. Kinda hard to place any constraints or parameters on this when folks like Roger want to radically re-define words/categories like "woman" and "female." Yep. And yet excluding biology as the lodestar for defining "woman" and "female" necessarily allows precisely that. Yeah, good luck with that. When a "woman" is "anyone who 'identifies' as a woman," there is no coherent "gate-keeping procedure." Anyone who wants to can walk through the gate at will. Quite true. Oh, Sophie Allen, you impetuous, impolitic person, you! Thanks, -Smac
  3. I am not equivocating. I am relying on its normative definition as used in the American legal system. Glad to hear this, but then you follow it up with... Yep. I was right. Compelled speech. That is where you are going. You are on board with the government using coercive threats of fines and imprisonment in order to compel private citizens to say things they do not want to say, and/or which they do not believe to be factually true or accurate. Now that you have admitted, albeit through gritted teeth, that you are advocating for compelled speech (confirming my surmises/suspicions), we can take a look at the law. I am happy to say that the laws does not agree with you, and that people like me remain largely protected from the coercive predelictions of people like you (that is, people who are advocating for compelled speech relative to "preferred pronouns"). You're reasoning seems to be essentially that the government can and should use threats of fine and imprisonment to coerce people into using "preferred pronouns" because . . . that would be - in your view "polite." So the governmental interest in compelling speech here would be "politeness." And the government would pursue that interest by restricting speech (that is, compelling certain preferred forms of speech and simultaneously prohibiting and punishing other forms of speech). A law along the lines you propose would, I think, fall under the "Strict Scrutiny" test promulgated by the Supreme Court: A "content-based" restriction on speech is "a restriction on speech or expression that is based on the substance of the message being communicated, rather than the method or manner in which the message is being expressed. For example, a local regulation that says you can make a speech in a park if it’s merely informative or educational but not if it’s politically contentious, is a content-based restriction." A "viewpoint-based" restriction on speech is "restricting speech on a given subject matter," where the government "is singling out a particular opinion or perspective on that subject matter for treatment unlike that given to other viewpoints." In other words: "Content-based restrictions limit speech based on its subject matter, while viewpoint-based restrictions limit speech based on ideology and perspective. A law banning all political speeches in a public park would be content based; a law banning only political speeches by members of the Socialist Party would be viewpoint based." Your proposal pretty clearly falls into "viewpoint-based" territory, as you want only your viewpoint about "preferred pronouns" to be expressed. Worse, you want to use the force of law to coerce others into expressing your approved viewpoint, and to refrain from expressing any other viewpoint. However, your proposal also seems to fall into the "content-based" category as well. You want a law passed that literally regulates the "content" of speech, that compels individuals to only use words people like you want to be used ("preferred pronouns"), and fining/imprisoning people who do not use those words. All in the name of what you style as "politeness." It looks like you've managed to find a proposed law that is a twofer. My recollection is that in law school we typically discussed "Free Speech" cases involving one type or the other, as it seems pretty hard to formulate a law so radically anathema to the Constitution that it's application is both a "content-based" and "viewpoint-based" restriction on speech. Anyhoo, "{c}ontent-based laws are presumptively unconstitutional and subject to strict scrutiny, the highest form of judicial review." And as regarding viewpoint-based laws, the Supreme Court in Rosenberger v. Rectors and Visitors of the University of Virginia (1995) stated: “When the government targets not subject matter but particular views taken by speakers on a subject, the violation of the First Amendment is all the more blatant. Viewpoint discrimination is thus an egregious form of content discrimination. The government must abstain from regulating speech when the specific motivating ideology or the opinion or perspective of the speaker is the rationale for the restriction.” Put another way: "Because the government is essentially taking sides in a debate when it engages in viewpoint discrimination, the Supreme Court has held viewpoint-based restrictions to be especially offensive to the First Amendment. Such restrictions are treated as presumptively unconstitutional." As noted above, both types of government-imposed speech restrictions - which is what you are proposing and advocating for - fall under the "Strict Scrutiny" test: See also here: Let's break this down a bit: 1. The presumptive "compelling governmental interest" in the compelled speech you propose is . . . to foster what you style as "politeness" in the use of "preferred pronouns." Is "politeness" something that is "necessary or crucial?" Or is it instead "something merely preferred?" 2. As far as "narrowly tailoring" governmental regulation of speech in order to reach the foregoing "compelling governmental interest" does governmentally-mandated use of "preferred pronouns," under threat of fine and imprisonment, sound like something that is "narrowly tailored?" Are "preferred pronouns" essentially the only way to foster "politeness?" 3. As far as "least restrictive means," is governmentally-mandated use of "preferred pronouns," under threat of fine and imprisonment, the "least restrictive means" of fostering "politeness?" Is there any "less restrictive" way to get there? Let's play around a bit further. Let's apply the fundamental tenet you are espousing - "politeness" - in other contexts and see how it plays out. What happens when what you are characterizing as "polite speech" is factually untrue, or else does not reflect the viewpoint of the individual? Would you still want to use the force of law Suppose someone like you had the influence and the lung power to to railroad through the state legislature a law saying that, in the interests of being "polite" to Latter-day Saints, all citizens are obligated to refer to Joseph Smith as "The Lord's anointed prophet, Joseph Smith," in the interests of being "polite" to Muslms, all citizens must append each and every reference to Muhammad with "Peace Be Upon Him," in the interests of being "polite" to gays, all citizens must annually sign a statement saying "Boy, I sure am grateful for Harvey Milk," or in the interests of being "polite" to Trump fans, all citizens must wear a MAGA hat every day starting with the letter "T." Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that "politeness" is a sufficient "compelling governmental interest" as to people with Gender Dysphoria, or who otherwise want to compel "perferred pronouns." Would "politeness" also be a sufficient "compelling governmental interest" as to speech affecting Latter-day Saints? Muslims? Gay people generally? Trump fans? If not, why not? How do you draw a non-arbitrary distinction between A) compulsory "politeness" for people wanting "preferred pronouns" and B) compulsory "politeness" for Latter-day Saints, or Muslims, etc.? Has there ever, in the history of the United States, been a punitive law passed to compel speech in the interests of "politeness?" It seems not. And if we can't establish the first prong, it doesn't make much sense to further examine these hypotheticals under the second and third prongs. In sum, good luck with the "It's only polite" approach to trying to get your proposed governmental edicts to pass constitutional muster! See, e.g., here: See also here and here. Yes, because there is a clear and "compelling governmental interest" in ascertaining the truth in a litigated disputes. In contrast, there is no such corollary "compelling governmental interest" sufficient to warrant the government compelling, under threat of fines and imprisonment, the use of "preferred pronouns" in the interests of fostering "politeness." Again, this is not a very good example of compelled speech, as "politeness" is hugely subjective and amorphous. Moreover, lawyers are not so much obligated to be "polite" as they are constrained from being uncivil, disruptive, vulgar, etc. In any event, the "compelling governmental interest" in maintaining order and decorum in legal proceedings is, I think, self-evidence. In contrast, there is no such corollary "compelling governmental interest" sufficient to justify compulsory use of "preferred pronouns" in the interests of fostering "politeness." In a private setting, you might have a point. In a governmenta/state setting, you do not. Private actors cannot typically violate First Amendment rights, as the First Amendment is a constraing on government. I implied nothing of the sort. To the contrary, I have said (emphases added) : I am disappointed to have been vindicated in my concern about you advocating for compelled speech. Truly. You are obviously a very bright fellow, but you are advocating for compelled speech. You are advocating for the government to use its coercive authority to impose threats of fine and imprisonment as punishment for those who do not want to speak the words you and people like you want them to say and/or feel are factually untrue. Compelled speech is an ugly and dangerous thing. It will turn on you and consume you when aren't looking. Thanks, -Smac
  4. I am not persuaded by this argument. It is alarmist. It's an argument from the margins. It is an attempt to distract from the reasoned and reasoanble distinction between elective abortions and "necessary" ones. Well, if you look outside the U.S., you'll see that it is in fact happening. But it's not happening with any appreciable frequency in the United States, which was the context in which I was speaking. I would oppose laws that punish women who miscarry. I am in favor of limited exceptions to restrictions on abortion. These exceptions pertain to statistically tiny percentages of abortions overall, which brings me back to my previous point: It is an argument from the margins, an attempt to distract from the reasoned and reasoanble distinction between elective abortions and "necessary" ones. We'll see, I suppose. If and when that happens, the electorate has some options now that they did not really have before. Thanks, -Smac
  5. Well, no. "Court packing" means "to increase the number of justices on a court and especially the United States Supreme Court causing the ideological makeup of the Court to shift." That did not happen. Can't go along with this, either. It's like saying Donald Trump is "Not My President" (or, these days, "Joe Biden is 'Not My President'"). You can say that, but that doesn't alter the factual reality of the situation. And yet he was never appointed to the Supreme Court. Per Wikipedia, "There have been 37 unsuccessful nominations to the Supreme Court of the United States. Of these, 11 nominees were rejected in Senate roll-call votes, 11 were withdrawn by the president, and 15 lapsed at the end of a session of Congress." "Woulda, coulda, shoulda" doesn't work in this context. The absence of Merrick Garland on the U.S. Supreme Court no more undermines the Court's legitimacy (or the legitimacy of any of it's decisions) than does the absences of Robert Bork, Clement Haynsworth, etc. Appointments to SCOTUS require the "advice and consent" of the Senate. No senate rules were broken relative the nomination of Merrick Garland. This is simply not so. See, e.g., here, here and here. Money quotes (from the first link) : "A private meeting." No recording. No witnesses. Mightly convenient of Sen. Collins to cite such an untestable-so-you'll-just-have-to-take-my-word-for-it basis for criticizing Justice Kavanaugh, particularly given this next bit: The notion of a "super precedent" is dangerous and unconstitutionally sound. It circumvents the amendment process. I can't go along with this, either. Such after-the-fact "the rules aren't fair" arguments don't work. We work with the system we've got, not the one you want us to have. The Electoral College has on occasion yielded a result that "{did} not represent that majority of the US population." That doesn't mean those results are illegitimate. Again, from Sen. Whitehouse: “Your own words make clear you do not really believe Roe v. Wade is settled law since the court, as you said, ‘can always overrule its precedent.’” I think we can appreciate the correction of the improper taking by SCOTUS of authority from the states. There is still going to be plenty of work to do. No. SCOTUS has said that "what is legal and acceptable" regarding abortion is, in the main, a matter for the several states to determine. I don't really understand your questions. The life and personhood of the unborn child merits attention and consideration (and, often, protection). I don't think He meant "Feel free to electively kill in utero babies for any reason or no reason at all." And the significance of this is what? In the main, you are correct. That said, there have been instances of "compulsory" or coerced abortions. The "person most impacted" being the mother, yes? Is the mother more "impacted" by an abortion than the child? If so, how do you figure? Again, the life and personhood of the child should be a central (though not exclusive or definitive) consideration. There are a variety of approaches to these very difficult (and, numerically speaking, exceedingly rare) circumstances. The vast majority of abortions are elective, not due to rape or incest. Thanks, -Smac
  6. When the intended consequences of a law result in the preservation of the life of the unborn child, I can't go along with characterizing the law as categorically "bad." I am not persuaded by this argument. It is alarmist. It's an argument from the margins. It is an attempt to distract from the reasoned and reasoanble distinction between elective abortions and "necessary" ones. Thanks, -Smac
  7. You are equivocating here. I am employing "identify" in the same way above as you do below. If I am equivocating, I am doing so to demonstrate why "identifying as a 'woman'" is an exercise in equivocation. This is the equivocation I am talking about. "Woman" is being equivocated as being both (A) a reference to the individual's biological sex (an adult human female) and (B) a reference to anyone who "identifies" as a "woman." Caitlyn Jenner changed the sex on her birth certificate. That is equivocation. "Trans women are women" is equivocation. "Women can have penises" is equivocation. "Men can have vaginas, can menstruate, can get pregnant," etc. is equivocation. "Birthing people" and "people with uteruses" are equivocations (albeit somewhat attenuated). Lia Thomas is a biological male competing against biological females, and he does so by "identifying" as a "woman." That is equivocation. You and yours are deliberately trying to make "woman" an ambiguous term. You and yours are using "woman" interchangeably to reference definition (A) or (B). I think much of society is not willing to go along with your radical re-definition of "woman" to mean . . . anything anyone anwhere wants it to mean. There is no appreciable difference between me saying "I identify as a woman" and "I identify as the son of Elon Musk." Both statements are factually and empirically false. Now, I can try - as you and yours do - to equivocate by re-defining the word "woman," or by changing the meaning of "son" and fabricating some pretext to justify me claiming to have a familial relationship with Elon Musk. I can certainly do these things, but I don't think they will work in the long run, or with most people. I think most of society will say "No, you are not the son of Elon Musk. However strongly you may believe and feel that to be so, it is not. You have no familial relationship with the billionaire associated with Tesla. What you are claiming simply is not so." I think society is increasingly coming to similar grips with the current sociopolitical trend of letting people "identify" as things they are not. For example, society does not seem ready or willing to let Rachel Dolezal "identify" as African-American (or, at least, society is not willing to go along with this falsehood, to acquiesce to it, etc.). If she were to mark "African-American" on a governmental job application, or on a scholarship application, I think she would be opening herself up to a fraud claim. If she, while testifying under oath as a witness in a courtroom, were to answer "Yes" to "Are you African-American," she could be opening herself up to a perjury charge, and the opposing counsel would almost certainly use that false statement to impeach her credibility as a witness. Society does not seem to be going along with "Stefoknee Wolscht," a biological male in his 50s, call himself a perpetual six-year-old girl. I mean, he can do what he wants, but society is not really obligated to go along with it. Nobody is insisting that he be enrolled in kindergarten or first grade. Nobody has insisted that his "adopted family" go through the legal mechanisms involved in legally adopting him. There are some pretty clear indications that Wolscht is in a sexual relationship with his "adoptive parents" (see here (content warning) and here), but nobody is calling the police or treating this relationship as sexual abuse of a child. Society is is willing to tolerate/accommodate these things, but actually accepting as empirically true the claimed "identity" of this man as a perennial six-year-old girl? Nope. I think that is largely because (A) there is no society-wide push demanding that everyone affirm and celebrate and endorse Wolscht's "identity," (B) Wolscht's "identity" is so facially and obviously a manfestation of a substantial mental disorder that (C) people of good will are more inclined to view him with sympathy, and (D) do not face any concomitant social pressure to go along with his "identity," so they don't. I think a similar progressive dynamic is unfolding relative to the trans movement. The most obvious difference is that, unlike part (A) of the Wolscht situation above, there is a "society-wide push demanding that everyone affirm and celebrate and endorse" the "trans" identity of biological males as "women," even to the extent of massive equivocation ("trans women are women," Lia Thomas on the women's team at UPenn, Caitlyn Jenner changing her birth certificate to show her biological sex as "female," etc.). I think society is broadly aware of the psychological condition clinically referred to as "Gender Dysphoria," but we have also been conditioned over a course of years to go along with it in unique ways. We go along with it partly because, as I have repeatedly noited, your side of the debate resorts to coercive and bullying tactics. Nobody likes being called a "bigot." Most people want to be nice and amiable, which in this context apparently means being an "ally," which in turn means affirming/ratifying/endorsing/celebrating the manifestations associated with Gender Dysphoria. When disagreeing with people like you elicits public accusations of "Bigot!" and "Transphobe!", and when capitulating to people like you elicits effusive praise and adulation ("Ally!"), most people will go choose the path of least resistance. Most will "go along to get along." That makes sense, as few people relish the prospect of people like Roger Loomis publicly labeling them a bigot (see, e.g., here and here). Much easier to just shrug and say "Okay. Whatever." This has been years in the making, largely by hitching the "trans" movement to the "LGB" bandwagon. However, after years of a generalized drift toward these things, we are seeing signs of societal circumspection starting to re-assert itself. One way this is happening pertains to the "Bridge Too Far" tactics being used by your side of the debate. A biological male "identifying" as a women is, in the abstract, a "no harm, no foul" kind of thing. But people are starting to pay more attention because of things like: "Drag Queen Story Hour" events in libraries for children; "Drag Queen" quasi-strip shows involving children; Patently sexualized behavior at "pride" events involving children (public nudity and sexual behavior at pride parades, for example); School teachers indoctrinating small children about matters of sexuality (often without notice to or consent from parents); and Widespread efforts to normalize these things (e.g., "Yes, kink belongs at Pride. And I want my kids to see it"). The common theme here is . . . children. This stuff is veering away from "Hey, let's all just adopt a live-and-let-live, you-be-you attitude toward each other" (which, I think, might have had a chance at being stable and long-term trajectory) and is now heading into sexualization/grooming of children territory. And the gaslighting denials (a la "Hey! There's nothing remotely wrong or questionable about a drag queen teaching children how to twerk, dance/gyrate in sexually suggestive ways, imitate strippers, etc., and if you do anything other than celebrate these things then you're a bigot and transphobe") have, I think, compounded the "wake-up call" effect. These things were a bridge too far. Another factor is the near-endless coercive/bullying tactics from your side of the debate. Nonstop accusations of "Bigot!" and "Transphobe!" and have been losing their potency for some time now. This becomes more obvious when notable incidents make their way into the public consciousness and debate. Lia Thomas is a good example of that. There are reasonable questions to be asked about allowing biological males to compete in "women's sports" against biological females. And when folks like you reflexively respond with the obligatory "Bigot!" accusation, well, that starts coming across as a dodge and a distraction, as a means of evading the substantive issues. Perhaps even a form of gaslighting. Two examples of this "wake-up call" come to mind. First, this story: So much for the "No, trans males do not have any physiological advantages over the biological females against whom they are competing" line that your side has been peddling for a while. The second example is Bill Maher (!) who has managed to shake off the ideological shackles your side wants to bind us all with and is now saying some . . . pretty interesting things: A transcript of Maher's remarks: My favorite line: "That's where we are now. Gay men aren't hip enough for the gay pride parade. Compared to trans, gay is practically cis and cis is practically Mormon." We must be living in strange times when Spencer Macdonald, the ardent fan of the Latter-day Saint doctrines and belief, is quoting Bill Maher as a voice of sanity to rebut the strange and increasingly strained and untenable arguments being advanced in support of the trans movement (the equivocations about "women" being the most obvious). So yeah, I think the needle is starting to move. And in a good way. But you are yours are treating them as interchangeable things. You are conflating. Equivocating. On a grand scale. Exhibit #1: The word "woman." What is that? Is it (A) an adult human female, (B) anyone who "identifies" as a "woman," or (C) both A and B? I think that any answer other than (A) is per se equivocation. Exhibit #2: You persist in refusing to answer the above question. I think that is because you can't answer it and maintain the line about "gender identity" and "biological sex" being "two different things." And this is because, well, you are conflating those "two different things." You are equivocating, which will become more obvious once you answer that question. Stop pretending that you and yours aren't equivocating, that you are not conflating the two concepts, that you are not trading on a fabricated and forced "ambiguity" about the definition of "woman." There was a time when I was giving your comments/perspective much more consideraton than I do now. I have long admired your intellect, the breadth of your knowledge, and so on. But on this issue, I am increasingly less impressed. You are long on invective and insults and huffiness, and short on evidence and reasoned analysis and persuasive capacity. On this issue you have, for me, become a paper tiger. You will likely respond, as is your wont, with further accusations of me being stupid and/or ignorant, "mocking," "bigoted," "disrespectful," "hypocritical," and so on. As I am not allocating much credit to your comments/perspective these days, your attempts to bully and insult are not working. I nevertheless fully expect you to continue with them. Thanks, -Smac
  8. You are making an argument about why non-Mormons are extremely reluctant to follow your Church's style guide and call it "The Church of Jesus Christ." Yes, I am. I acknowledge and understand, and even respect, that reluctance. But again, the Church is not using threats, coercion, the force of law, etc. to compel anyone to use this convention. Meanwhile, your side of the debate - as I have repeatedly and extensively demonstrated - is doing all of these things. This video makes some good points about "preferred pronouns," particularly the guy at the 1:56 mark: Roger, I genuinely think that people like you are totally okay with this sort of thing. That you are okay with, and even approve and endorse and advocate for, compelled speech. Your side of the debate is pushing for governments, employers, etc. to use intimidation tactics (shouting/screaming), threats of actual violence (Zoey Tur), threats to employment, even fines and imprisonment, to coerce people into saying things they A) do not want to say and B) do not believe to be true or factually correct. You use commentary about "rudeness" as a pretext to justify these things. You use false equivancies to minimize and equivocate and distract. You falsely suggest that Latter-day Saints are using comparable means of imposing compelled speech. You try to characterize examples of the foregoing behaviors as aberrations and one-offs. Meanwhile, AFAICS, nowhere have you repudiated or disagreed with any of the above-referenced tactics/behaviors. Instead, it sure seems like you tacitly, and sometimes even expressly, support these tactics, and that you endorse the overall idea of compelled speech. Now, I sure hope I am wrong about this. I hope my surmise and generalized perception of your perspective is flat wrong, and that you are opposed to compelled speech. I hope you do not want members of society to be able to use the force of law to coerce other members of society to say things they do not want to say and do not believe to be true/factual. Oh, brother. Your side of the debate is literally making up pronouns: "Honorific titles" are regularly used in the place of normative pronouns, just like the above fabricated ones. You are correct in rejecting a request to use honorific wording in place of normative pronouns. And fortunately for you, nobody is trying to coerce you into doing this. Meanwhile, others are likewise correct in rejecting a request (or, as is increasingly common coming from your side of the debate, insisting and demanding, up to and including using threats of violence, threats to employment, threats of government-imposed fines and imprisonment, etc.) to use fabricated or grammatically incorrect "preferred" wording in place of normative pronouns. The guy in the above video was quite right. What you and yours are doing is not the evolution of language, that's the imposition of language. Coerced speech. Compelled speech. That's my point. Nobody is doing what . . . your side of the debate is doing. Your side of the debate is saying that others "must" use particular words. Your side of the debate is resorting to shouting/screaming, threats of physical violence, threats to employment, threats of government-imposed fines and imprisonment, etc. to coerce people into saying words they do not want to say and do not believe to be true/factual. And you seem to be totally on board with these things. And I find it pretty darn troubling when members of our society who are as intellectually formidable as you are okay with these things, or are even justifying and advocating for the advancement of these things. I hope I'm wrong about you. I hope you are not doing what you seem to be doing, which is endorsing compelled speech. I'm having a hard time believing you are serious here. I am drop-dead serious. I think you are so deeply in the thrall of socially popular trends that you cannot even conceptualize that people of reasonable information and intellect might legitimately have arguments and ideas that flatly contradict your worldview and its underlying presuppositions. It's your way or the highway. To disagree with you is to be stupid. To disagree with you is to be unserious. "Talk the way that teachers are required to talk." You are justifying compelled speech. "Your dishonorable piece of refuse" is not compelled speech. Surely you understand that? Meanwhile, I could refer to the judge as "the Court" or "Judge." "Compelled speech" as a broad category is impermissible, but there are some (very limited) exceptions where the government can do it. Examples include filing a tax return, requiring regulatory labels/warnings on alcohol and tobacco products, paying compulsory dues to a professional organization to fund certain political and ideological causes, and compulsory union dues used to pay for political activities. What you and yours are proposing (demanding, actually, sometimes with underlying threats) is a huge incursion into, and expansion of, compelled speech. This is not a very good example of compelled speech, as "politeness" is hugely subjective and amorphous. Moreover, lawyers are not so much obligated to be "polite" as they are constrained from being uncivil, disruptive, vulgar, etc. Judges have broad discretion to maintain order and decorum during legal proceedings. Similarly, members of the military face constraints on their "speech" as part of their military duties (active duty military cannot publicly speak against civilians in their chain of command, for example). Rules about "speech" are likely never going to be absolute. The government cannot, broadly and generally, infringe on Free Speech, but there are some exceptions. You cannot employ factually false statements in advertising and claim "Free Speech" as immunizing you from statutes prohibiting deceptive advertising. You cannot yell "Fire!" in a crowded theatre. You cannot incite to riot/insurrection. These are all examples of "speech" that are not protected by the First Amendment. Conversely, the government cannot, broadly and generally, compel speech, but there are some exceptions (see above). Again, what you and yours are proposing is a huge incursion into and expansion of compelled speech. Being "polite" seldom involves, or needs to involve, compelled speech. The government should not be in the business of fining and imprisoning people for refusing to submit to compelled speech (which you want to characterize as "be{ing} {im}polite"). And private citizens should not be going around using shouts and screams, threats of physical violence, etc. to coerce other people into compelled speech (which, again, you call "be{ing} {im}polite"). Thanks, -Smac
  9. I'm not sure what you mean. Apparently not: (Emphases added.) I can't help but notice the substantial concern in some quarters for covert "pressure" on students to conform to a teacher's opinions/expectations (that's not an unreasonable concern, BTW), but there seems to be little concern in about overt, plain-as-day "pressure" on students to conform as to LGBTQ advocacy (also not an unreasonable concern). Sure would be great if we could just have teachers stick to teaching substantive topics and skills to students, with minimal incursions into teachers using their positions to politick, ideologically indoctrinate, presume to "teach" kids about matters of sexuality (a topic which often seems rather far afield from the province of a teacher hired to teach English, history, art, etc.). I grew up in Utah County (American Fork and Highland). IIRC, 85% of the student body at my high school was enrolled in seminary. With one notable exception, none of my teachers noticeably imported their sociopolitical views into classroom instruction. My math teacher taught math. My English teacher taught us reading and writing and grammar and such. My biology teacher taught about cellular division, Punnett squares, and so on. My Ancient Civilizations teacher taught that subject. In hindsight, I can honestly say that I had no idea then, and do not now know, the sociopolitical preferences, ideologies, religious beliefs, etc. of almost all of my junior high / high school teachers. And I think my education was the better for it. The "one notable exception" was that my band teacher allowed the Marching Band to gather for a group prayer just prior to a competition. We also had an unofficial song we listened to and sang along with after the last performance each year, "Friends (are Friends Forever)," which has some plainly religious lyrics. My recollection is that the band teacher did not organize these things, nor did he seem to participate. While these are good memories for me, in retrospect I could see how they might have made some students uncomfortable. I do not, however, see them as having implicated the Establishment Clause. First, I think such hypothetical ostracism is difficult to use as an actual or preemptive basis to prohibits certain types of speech. Second, such ostracism, if it arises, would likely be a civil rights violation. Third, such actual (as opposed to merely hypothetical) ostracism could well have an impact on the legal analysis of a particular case. In this one, though, there was no such ostracism or reasonable concern about it (see above). Fourth, the Kennedy decision is as much a "Free Speech" ruling as a "Free Exercise" ruling, and perhaps even more so. The First Amendment’s protections extend to “teachers and students,” neither of whom “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School Dist., 393 U. S. 503, 506. Fifth, there are a few different analytical constructs SCOTUS uses when evaluating Establishment Clause cases where, as here, the government has curtailed or punished religious activity of its employees based on a concern that such activity will amount to governmental "establishment" of religion, preferential treatment of one religion over another, etc. Honestly, I can't really say I'm totally up to speed on this area of the law, as it is pretty specialized and not a part of my practice. However, here are some of the main beats: The Lemon Test: The foregoing test has, by way of other SCOTUS decisions, been modified quite a bit since its inception. In particular, a 1984 case, Lynch v. Donnelly, has had a big impact by adding an "Endorsement Test" to the "Effect Prong" of the Lemon Test: O’Connor’s endorsement test has, on occasion, been subsumed into the Lemon test. In the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals case Doe v. Elmbrook School District (2012) for example the Seventh Circuit, sitting en banc, decided by a vote of 7-3, that a school’s practice of holding graduation ceremonies in an evangelical church violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.[3] In this context the Seventh Circuit stated that “[t]he three-pronged test set forth by the Supreme Court in Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U. S. 602 (1971), remains the prevailing analytical tool for the analysis of Establishment Clause claims.”.[4] It then explained that the endorsement test has become “a legitimate part of Lemon’s second prong.”[5] Additionally, there appears to have been a 2014 case, Town of Greece v. Galloway, which may have replaced the Lemon test, or else modified it even further. From the Kennedy decision (link) : This case was decided long after I left law school, and I haven't had any "Establishment Clause" cases in my practice, so I haven't had occasion to familiarize myself with it (nor have I examined the Kennedy decision in detail). Alongside the foregoing framework (which, candidly, seems a bit unwieldy), the appellate courts sometimes also use a "Free Exercise" test from a 1963 case, Sherbert v. Verner, since "Establishment Clause" cases often involve or implicate the "Free Exercise" clause: As you can see, the analytical constructs used by the appellate courts are . . . complicated. And applying them to a set of facts in one case could yield a very different result as compared to applying them to a separate and distinguishable set of facts from another case. Yes, but not for the reason you think. I think the "outcome" would have been that a Muslim teacher would not have been fired or disciplined in the first place. Mr. Kennedy, though, is a Christian, who are in some quarters of society treated with a particularized disdain and animosity reserved specifically for them. I surmise that "woke" school district officials would never disclipline a Muslim employee for publicly expressing religious speech, nor would they discipline an employee for expressing speech advocating LGBTQ issues. This article sums things up well: Thanks, -Smac
  10. Is this free speech or freedom of religion? And from religion. I think the former. A football coach saying a prayer, in and of itself, does not create an "establishment" claim. There would need to be "more." Thanks, -Smac
  11. An interesting comment on Justice Roberts' standalone concurring opinion: It seems to me that the statesmanship that is called to protect the Court as an institution is the kind that would let the Democrats know that intimidation, bullying, and threats of assassination are not going to deter the Court from doing its duty. Roberts should have exercised his discretion to join the majority without further ado. He is cutting the salami too damn thin. It bugged me when Donald Trump and his supporters said things that seemed to challenge the concept of judicial review (see, e.g., here, here, here). The same goes when Pres. Obama did it, and when Pres. Biden has done it (see here). To his credit, though, Pres. Biden seems to be avoiding the corollary strategy arising from challenges to judicial review: packing the court. Thanks, -Smac
  12. When it comes to Free Speech, I'm okay with cans of worms. Thanks, -Smac
  13. "Demands" and "insults" don't compel anyone to be polite to other human beings, so I'm not sure what you're talking about there. Laws do. And even though these things do not "compel," anyone, they are not being used by Latter-day Saints relative to the title of "Elder." So there really isn't symmetry between behavior relative to "Elder" and relative to preferred pronouns, IMO. You are changing the topic. Not really. Sort of. I can think of all sorts of instances when "rudeness" is not really part of the equation. If my "preferred pronoun" substitutes for "you" and "him" and "his" are "My Master," "His Excellency" and "The Great One's," I really doubt you would go along with it. You would come up with something like "Well, he's not being serious," or "He's just saying these are his pronouns in order to score rhetorical points," etc. But you then run the risk of inviting scrutiny of "preferred pronouns" for other people, along with strained explanations as to why their "preferences" are beyond question or critique where my "preferences" are not. In short, your response would be an exercise in special pleading, ad hominem, equivocation, No True Scotsman, appeal to guilt (you're doing this one already), and probably a few more. Um, you said: "Coming from a Latter-day Saint this attitude is ironic, and maybe a bit hypocritical." (Emphasis added.) You raised the issue, dude. Not only were these various examples off topic--they aren't examples of what you claim... They are not off-topic, as they are responsive to your allegation of "hypocrisy." And they sure seem to be "examples of what {I} claim," which is that your side of the debate is big into coercion, whereas the Latter-day Saints are neither being "hypocritical" nor are they resorting to the methods your side of the debate is using. Looks like there was some revisions to it. Glad to see it. Less glad that such revisions and protections from folks like you are becoming necessary in the first instance. It's never come up. And I can't help but wonder if "hate speech laws protecting religious people" are distinguishable from the "compelled speech" issue I have raised. And I'm really impressed that you are so laser-focused on civility and avoiding "rudeness." I mean, it perfectly reflects the reality of you never having said anything that could reasonably be construed as "rude" or disparaging of the Latter-day Saints and their faith. Nope! No "hypocrisy" there. At all. Not even a smidge. Again, I question whether "protecting human rights based on religion" involves compelled speech. If so, then I oppose it. As it is, however, to my knowledge nobody has ever brought this topic up. Kinda weird to fault me for failing to respond to a topic that has never been presented. And now that I have responded, and have expressed disagreement with laws that purport to protect "human rights" by compelling/coercing other people to say things they don't want to say . . . I'm not upset. And I'm not persuaded that the "same protection" is in play. Again, I am opposed to laws compelling speech, including where such laws are intended to "protect" religious people. Golly, no deck-stacking there. The contest is between A) Free Speech - the teacher's right to not be compelled to speak things he does not want to speak - and B) "the right of a student" to coerce others to use words those others do not want to speak. One is a constitutional right, one is not. I'll let you guess which is which. Thanks, -Smac
  14. An interesting development in Utah: Judge issues temporary restraining order, banning Utah abortion law from taking effect A few notes: 1. The attorneys representing Planned Parenthood include J. Frederic Voros, described here: As you can see, he has a very impressive CV. And he appears to be an observant member of the Church. I think I would have great difficulty in advocating on behalf of Planned Parenthood. Fortunately, that's not a scenario I will likely ever face. 2. I reviewed the docket for this case (link here). I saved it at 4:00 p.m. today. It shows that an emergency hearing was scheduled for today at 3:00 p.m. (see here). Per the article, the judge "issued a temporary restraining order Monday, blocking Utah's new abortion law, SB174, from taking effect," and the order "is good for 14 days" and "will temporarily allow abortions to continue occurring as they were in Utah prior to the Supreme Court decision." However, I am not seeing an order in the docket, or a minute entry indicating that an order is forthcoming. I see that a proposed order was filed earlier today (see here), but not an order actually signed by the judge. It is possible that the journalist just got it wrong and/or jumped the gun, but it is also possible that the court clerk has not yet updated the electronic court record to reflect the entry of an order. We'll see, I suppose. 3. Utah, like many other states, passed a "trigger" law, Utah Code sec. 76-7a-101 et seq., that regulates abortion in Utah, but which was dormant and ineffective until and unless Roe was overturned. Planned Parentood calls this statute the "Criminal Abortion Ban," whereas the statute itself calls it "Abortion Prohibition." 4. A temporary restraining order ("TRO") is issued by a judge that requires a party (in this case, the State of Utah) to do, or not do, something (in this case, the order would be telling the state that the state statute that was "triggered" by the Dobbs decision from SCOTUS is not in effect, and that abortions can continue to be performed in Utah while the TRO is in place, which is typically 14 days. 5. Here is a link to the motion filed by Planned Parenthood and ACLU asking for a TRO. The main arguments are: 6. Whether or not a TRO is granted depends on whether the judge concludes that the requesting party has met the following requirements: You will note that these four elements are all reflected in the main arguments from the Planned Parenthood memo, summarized above, with one notable exception: "threatened injury." This is the second element that anyone asking for a TRO must establish in order to get one. The law firm that filed this is perhaps the premier appellate law firm in the entire state, so I'm sort of hard-pressed to characterize this omission as a rookie mistake or an inadvertent omission made during the rush to get the thing filed. The foregoing four elements are black letter law and have been around forever. So why are the lawyers representing Planned Parenthood not addressing the "threatened injury" element? The "Second Point" in their memo references as "balance of equities." Are they trying to argue that this is their version of the "threatened injury" analysis? I can't help but wonder if directly addressing it invites a comparison between "{t}he threatened injury" to Planned Parenthood versues the "damage" arising from not enforcing the Abortion Prohibition statute (that is, that unborn children will be killed). The memois also pretty weak on the fourth element (substantial likelihood of prevailing on the merits), though the alternative prong ("or the case presents serious issues on the merits which should be the subject of further litigation") may help them. Will write more later. Thanks, -Smac
  15. This piece provides a bit of proportion and perspective on the issue of abortion: Thanks, -Smac
  16. Here: If a teacher can, under the First Amendment, express personal views on issues like gay rights and abortion, it would seem reasonable that a teacher can express personal reviews on religious belief as well. From a blogger responding to Justice Sotomayor's dissent: (PDF page 55; most cites removed for readability.) Great. Can we apply this to the endless, relentless pressure on K-12 public school kids to adopt and parrot state-established views on issues race, sex, LGBTQ issues, etc.? Oh, wait, those views aren’t “religious,” so publicly funded propaganda on that is OK, but a football coach offering optional prayers on the field is not. Got it. Does anyone actually find this reasoning convincing, as opposed to convenient? More here: The decision was 6-3. In an era when religious liberty appears to be on a downward spiral in some places, I am grateful that we have instances like this where such liberty is preserved. From a 2005 New Era article: Yep. Thanks, -Smac
  17. That depends on the jurisdiction and the stage of the pregnancy. Assuming she is at a stage of pregnancy where abortion is prohibited in that jurisdiction, and assuming that there is no applicable exception (rape, incest, etc.), then yes. Also, some employers will pay for abortion-related travel expenses. Again, this depends on the jurisdiction and the stage of the pregnancy. No. The "force of law" did not make her pregnant, nor does it "force" her to remain so. Biology does that. Again, this depends on the jurisdiction and the stage of the pregnancy. I hope that states that are making abortions more difficult will increase funding to help expectant mothers and associated programs (adoptions, etc.). You will need to define "emotionally/mentally compromised." thanks, -Smac
  18. What if we call this a conclusion rather than an assumption? To "assume" something is to "to take for granted or without proof" ("take for granted," meanwhile, means to "assume that something is true without questioning it"), whereas to "conclude" something is to "to determine by reasoning; deduce; infer." By way of analogy, when I want to file a lawsuit, I do so by preparing and submitting to the court a "Complaint" that includes a factual recitation of what has happened pertaining to the dispute between the parties. I then take a copy of this document and deliver it to the defendant. The defendant's attorney reads it and can generally dispute it by A) filing a response to it (an "Answer"), or else B) by filing a "Motion to Dismiss." As to this second option, a "Motion to Dismiss" is filed when the defendant believes that the plaintiff cannot, under any circumstance, win on "the law." For example, if a complaint is for a breach of contract claim, and if the complaint states that the breach occurred 15 years ago (the statute of limitations for breach of contract claims in Utah is 6 years), then the defendant can argue that the case should be dismissed. Because a Motiont to Dismiss is filed before the parties have conducted any discovery (actions to gather evidence for/against the claims in the Complaint), the court - as well as any appellate court reviewing the trial court's decision - has to adopt a somewhat unique stance when reading the Motion to Dismiss: "In reviewing a ruling on a motion to dismiss, we '"accept the factual allegations in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences from those facts in a light most favorable to [the] plaintiff[s]."'" Nebeker v. Utah State Tax Comm'n, 2001 UT 74,¶2, 34 P.3d 180 (citations omitted). Put another way, the trial court assumes the Plaintiff's recitation of factual allegations to "be true," and also "draw{s} all reasonable inferences" in favor of the Plaintiff. The trial court gives the benefit of the doubt to the Plaintiff. But this is only for the purposes of the trial court evaluating the Motion to Dismiss. If the Motion to Dismiss is denied, the lawsuit proceeds and the assumption in favor of the Plaintiff disappears. After a lawsuit has been filed and a Motion to Dismiss has been denied, the parties investigate the dispute. At some point one side or the other will typically file a "Motion for Summary Judgment" which gets the same result as a "Motion to Dismiss" (if granted, the case is over), but the process is very different. Where the Plaintiff has a clear advantage in a "Motion to Dismiss" setting, he has no such advantage in a "Motion for Summary Judgment" context. The moving party, either the plaintiff or the defendant, can, when seeking summary judgment, present a concise "marshaling of evidence" to show what the "facts" of the case are. Each material "fact" must be separately stated in its own paragraph, and must be supported by citation to probative and admissible evidence. If the trial court is persuaded by this marshaling of facts-as-supported-by-competent-evidence, then it (the trial court) can making "findings of fact," that is, conclusions about what actually happened. So in a "Motion to Dismiss" the trial court assumes facts as being favorable to one party (the plaintiff), and does so without examining evidence. In a "Motion for Summary Judgment, the trial court makes findings/conclusions about the facts, based on examining the evidence. I think there is a huge difference between a person saying "I assume, without examination of evidence or reasoning, that life is good" and "I conclude, based on evidence and reasoning, that life is good." "Demonstrated" in what context? Legal? Sociological? Who gets to decide whether such a demonstration has been established, or not? Society is a bunch of strangers living together. Society passes laws to protect its constituent members. These laws include Safe Harbor laws, adoption laws, foster family laws, funding for various social programs associated with protecting and nurturing children, and so on. Thanks, -Smac
  19. Do you think the child should have a say in whether or not his life is worth living, even if difficult? Gestation of . . . what? As a solution for . . . what? Thanks, -Smac
  20. Would you also tell him that you don't believe biological males can become "women"? The sleight-of-hand inherent in re-defining "woman" to include anyone who "identifies" as one is a significant, perhaps even dispositive, point. Yep. If I "identify" as a ten-year-old boy, I can dress and behave like one, but that does not make me one. I cannot alter my chronological age, I cannot alter my birth certificate to reflect my "identity," and so on. If I "identify" as the ten-year-old son of Elon Musk, I can tell other people this, but it does not make it so. My mother could not sue Elon Musk for unpaid child support, if Elon Musk were to die intestate I could not make a claim for a portion of his wealth, and so on. Thanks, -Smac
  21. Unless one assumes that any life is better than no life, That's an assumption that becomes pretty disturbing when A) Party X renders it relative to the life of Party Y, and/or B) the government renders or allows it to be so rendered. In other words, this assumption is the foundational premise of eugenics. See, e.g., here: Perhaps she should used the original German phrase, “Lebensunwertes Leben.” From the last link above: And here: Alas, it is to our everlasting shame that the origins of Nazi eugenics-related actions was heavily influenced by ideas from . . . the United States: Eugenics researcher Harry H. Laughlin often bragged that his Model Eugenic Sterilization laws had been implemented in the 1935 Nuremberg racial hygiene laws.[19] In 1936, Laughlin was invited to an award ceremony at Heidelberg University in Germany (scheduled on the anniversary of Hitler's 1934 purge of Jews from the Heidelberg faculty), to receive an honorary doctorate for his work on the "science of racial cleansing". Due to financial limitations, Laughlin was unable to attend the ceremony and had to pick it up from the Rockefeller Institute. Afterwards, he proudly shared the award with his colleagues, remarking that he felt that it symbolized the "common understanding of German and American scientists of the nature of eugenics."[20] Yeesh. This seems way too reductionist for me. Is criminalizing rape or sexual abuse of children "a value judgment just as speculative as any religious position?" Can the forced sterilization and/or killing of homosexuals to be reasonably characterized in this way? "Supportive of abortion" for others, yes? Are these "scientists, biologists, and doctors" willing to let their lives be terminated based on some other person's assessment of whether their lives are "in the best interest?" Nonexistence of other people, yes? These "views" held by "many people" necessarily pertain to other people than themselves, right? And should you decide to kill yourself rather than "live just to survive," that would be your choice. But if and when you interpose your assessment onto another person, and do so without consulting them and/or against their will, then that changes things quite a bit, right? Not sure what you are saying here. "Science" has little to say about whether a child with Down Syndrome would be "better off" killed in utero. And yet I think it is a terrible thing to say that women and their children are better of dead than poor. And I think it is a terrible thing to take away that choice from another person without her/his input or consent. I don't think so. We can look at history and see the consequences of Party X getting to decide whether Party Y (without Party's input or consent) is better of dead than poor, or Jewish, or gay, or epileptic. The Germans decided this on behalf of Jews, gays, Poles, and many others. The United States decided this for centuries on behalf of slaves and Native Americans. The Constitution protects the right to, inter alia, be protected against "be{ing} deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." I don't think that is an "emotion based" argument. The Church's position seems a pretty good policy summary: Thanks, -Smac
  22. But if we keep the appellation women's sports then why are those of a different sex (i.e., males) having to alter their physiology away from what it once was? Because the regulatory/administrative agencies, both public and private, and run these things are trying to have their cake and eat it too. They want to both A) utterly ignore biology by allowing biological males to compete against biologically female contestants, while at the exact same time they also want to B) address and, to an extent, mitigate some of the substantial physical advantages biological males have over biological females by imposing on the former certain eligibility requirements, such as "testosterone suppression medication." You would think that, yes. But then we'd probably wander into the vagaries of the massive bait-and-switch equivocation game where "woman" refers to "gender identity" except when it doesn't, when it refers to "biological sex" except when it doesn't, or when it refers to both "gender identity" and "biological sex," except when it doesn't, and so on. Thanks, -Smac
  23. Laws do. And even though these things do not "compel," anyone, they are not being used by Latter-day Saints relative to the title of "Elder." So there really isn't symmetry between behavior relative to "Elder" and relative to preferred pronouns, IMO. Meanwhile, let's take a quick looksee at a few from-the-other-side examples: A transcript: More here: "You cut that out now, or you'll go home in an ambulance." Zoey Tur's ultimatum sure sounds compulsory/coercive. If a substantially large and muscular man (that is, a biological male) grabs a notably smaller person by the back of the neck and says "You stop doing X, or you'll go home in an ambulance," I think the average smaller person would reasonably feel compelled/coerced, under threat of imminent and severe physical violence, to stop doing X. Do you disagree? I have never heard of a Latter-day Saint missionary saying something like "You better call me 'elder,' or you'll go home in an ambulance" or "I approve of curb-stomping anyone who refuses to call me 'elder.'" Zoey Tur did these things. And while everyone on the panel had plenty to say about Ben Shapiro being "rude," none of them uttered a peep when Tur physically grabbed Shapiro's neck and told him "You cut that out now, or you'll go home in an ambulance," nor did they say anying when Tur told Shapiro that he (Shapiro) is "consumed with hatred" and is "a little man" and a "little boy." And while the panel got upset in a hurry when Shapiro referenced genetics, none of them had anything to say when Tur did so ("You have a thing like Klinefelter’s syndrome..."). Also, as far as I can tell, Zoey Tur totally got away with both the battery (grabbing Shapiro by the neck) and the assault (threatening to send him "home in an ambulance"). Nothing says "I'm oppressed!" like being able to commit assault and battery, have it captured on video and in front of numerous witnesses, and still get away with it. Zoey Tur, check your privilege! Another (language warning) : Again, I am not aware of Latter-day Saint missionaries behaving these ways. And another: Nobody is going to get fired for declining to call a Latter-day Saint missionary "Elder." In Scotland: And here: And in Canada: And in Norway: Nobody is trying to use the law to criminally punish Norwegians who decline to call male Latter-day Saint missionaries "Elder." And California: In New York: From Virginia: And on and on and on. AFAIK, there are no Latter-day Saints trying to use the force of law to coerce the use of "Elder," or to impose fines and/or criminal punishment for failing to use that word, or have such non-use characterized as "hate speech" or "harassment" under the law. Meanwhile, your side of the debate is trying to do all these things. Feel free to point me to incidents where Latter-day Saint missionaries have thrown hissy fits, screamed and sworn, threatened physical injury, or sought to use the force of law to punish anyone who chooses to not call them "Elder." Take your time. I'll wait. Meanwhile, I could continue the above-referenced list of "bad behavior{s}." And I reject the suggestion that this is just "cherry-picked bad behavior." Scotland. Norway. Canada. California. New York. Virginia. These are all deliberate efforts, being advanced from people on your side fo the debate, to use the force of law to coerce and punish people, well, like me. As it happens, I am fortunate enought to live in a country where I am largely protected under the law from your side's efforts to coerce and punish. Baloney. See above. Scotland. Norway. Canada. New York. Virginia. California was not a one-off. It was not "a very specific circumstance." Your side of the debate is trying to have passed such coercive/punitive laws in many jurisdictions. Your side of the debate wants to coerce speech. Your side of the debate wants to punish people for not submitting to coerced speech. And but for our wonderful Constitution, your side of the debate would be getting this result bit by bit. No doubt. But I wonder if you can understand the constitutionality of "such a thing." Or if you even care at all about the constitutionality of it. I enjoy the freedom of not being coerced to say things I do not believe are true, or that I believe are factually false. I enjoy the freedom from punishment under the law for not saying the things your side of the debate is trying to force others to say. I enjoy being protected from . . . people like you. I find it noteworthy that nowhere in your summary of California's effort to coerce speech do you actually, you know, say that you were or are opposed to it. I infer something quite the contrary, namely, that you approve of what California tried to do. That you want jurisdictions to use the force of law, likely including fines and perhaps even imprisonment, to compel other people to say things they do not want to say, to affirm things they believe to be factually false. Am I correct in that inference? Did you support the California law? Thanks, _Smac
  24. I'm not sure what you mean by "support our faith." I don't think so. I think the Word of Wisdom is a nearly purely religious issue. Although it can inform decisions relating to state regulation of alcohol, I don't think the WoW governs such things. I think this is important for us as Latter-day Saints to keep in mind. For many (most?) of our fellow Americans, there is nothing wrong, in a moral sense, with the consumption of alcohol. The constraint we face arises from covenants unique to us. Same as above. A few thoughts: 1. I think abortion is situated differently from matters of governmental regulation of the consumption of harmful/addictive substances because the consequences of abortion are A) extremely severe, and B) are inflicted on someone with no voice or say in the matter (the unborn child). In other words, I think there is a very substantial "moral" component to abortion, such that our religious views should substantially inform/influence our individual political decisions. 2. I note that the foregoing pertains to "our individual political decisions." There are times when a Latter-day Saint is functioning in representative, not individual, capacity. And that representative capacity may allow, or even require, that Latter-day Saint to do things that he or she, as an individual, would not want to do. For example, a judge who is a member of the Church may receive a petition from a concerned person - the father of an unborn child - for a temporary restraining order to prevent his girlfriend from getting an elective abortion. The judge may feel, in his individual capacity, that electively aborting a child is a terrible thing. However, the judge is not there to mete out his personal preferences, but is instead there to fairly and impartially administer the law. If the law allows for an elective abortion, then the judge is bound by his oath of office to refuse the request for a TRO. The same can be said, to some extent, for politicians and political candidates. See, e.g., the Church's regularly-published statement: 3. I have a very hard time with using abortion as a "litmus test" for a political candidate. When I consider voting a state legislator or governor, or a congressional or senatorial candidate, or a presidential candidate, I refuse to use abortion as an automatic "up" or "down" determination because politicians are called upon to do far more than enact or alter governmental regulation of abortion. There will never be a situation in which a viable political candidate has views that perfectly align with my own preferences. So I look for candidates who come as close as possible to those preferences. 4. As pertaining to political issues/topics about which reasonable minds can disagree, I'm generally not too keen to publicly declare a particular stance on a contested issue as being "faithful" or "unfaithful." I usually instead limit such pronouncements to those within my stewardship (basically, me, myself and I, along with anyone who specifically asks me for my opinion). See above. Who is it that is doing the "expecting" here? Thanks, -Smac
  25. How do you know this for sure? What if the spirit that inhabited the body moves to a better body in a family situation more capable of progressing? What if inhabiting the original body was a necessary (because of agency), but undesirable role for the spirit? I suspect Pogi was presupposing a medical/scientific/biological framework for evaluaing what is "'in the best interest' of an otherwise healthy fetus." For me, speculation about when the individual's soul/spirit enters the body is not part of the equation when examining the legalities of abortion. It is an untestable thing. Thanks, -Smac
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