Exiled from the Underworld

Name:
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma, Tonga

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Epithetically yours

Michael Bérubé reasonably proposes that we discard epithets and slurs that describe a person's capacity in favor of terms that describe performance. He's absolutely right. "Idiot," "moron," "imbecile," and other like words carry historical freight that has nothing to do with poor judgment or poor performance.

On the other hand, Bérubé follows his suggestion by arguing in favor of using words like "asshole" and "jackass"-- both of which mark a status, rather than performance.

Still, he has a good point, and his "asshole" illustration warmed my heart.

When I was very young-- probably around six years old-- I sternly denounced a playmate by describing him as a "son-of-a-bitch." In the mid-1950s, speech of this variety could stop dinner table conversation instantaneously. My parents glanced at my sister and brothers, and my father gently set his fork down on his plate, the prepared bite of food still on the tines.

"You must NEVER use that term again. It is a horrible thing to say, and I do not want to hear it from anyone here ever again.

"Likewise, you must NEVER use the word 'bastard'. That's another detestable word.

"Both 'son-of-a-bitch' and 'bastard' reflect upon someone's mother. If you are angry with someone, deal with that person-- not that person's mother. The mother is not in your disagreement.

"You may, however, call that person an asshole. Although the word is hard and angry, we all have assholes; each of us can be reduced to asshole level at times; and they are necessary. We'd die without assholes."

Well, I trusted my father completely, and never used the forbidden words again.

And when I got in deeeeep trouble at school for calling a classmate an asshole, my father stood up for me in front of the principal.


What a great example. I miss him.

Monday, October 24, 2005

That's Right--You're Not from Texas

Why Texas needs more (and better) lawyers in its state legislature:

On 8 November 2005 Texans will have the opportunity to vote on a number of ballot initiatives. Proposition 2 relates to marriage. My guess is that the two chambers of the Texas Legislature wanted preemptively to invalidate any proposed statute that might legitimize same-sex partner civil unions, marriages, or other accommodations.

Tom DeLay's TRMPAC successfully changed the political composition of the Texas legislature, however, and the current crop of statesmen have written a proposition that would, on its face, eliminate heterosexual marriage (or civil unions) as well.

The language on the initiative (from the Texas Secretary of State's website) reads

Prop. 2 HJR 6 Chisum - Staples

Ballot Language

"The constitutional amendment providing that marriage in this state consists only of the union of one man and one woman and prohibiting this state or a political subdivision of this state from creating or recognizing any legal status identical or similar to marriage."


"Enmienda constitucional que dispone que en este estado el matrimonio consiste exclusivamente en la unión de un hombre y una mujer y que desautoriza, en este estado o en alguna subdivisión política del mismo, la creación o el reconocimiento de cualquier estatus jurídico idéntico o semejante al matrimonio."


Brief Explanation

HJR 6 would provide that marriage in Texas is solely the union of a man and woman, and that the state and its political subdivisions could not create or recognize any legal status identical to or similar to marriage, including such legal status relationships created outside of Texas.


The "Brief Explanation" fails to explain the proposition at all!

Furthermore, the language of the actual Joint Resolution clearly states that neither the state nor its subdivisions "may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage."

H.J.R. No. 6

A JOINT RESOLUTION

proposing a constitutional amendment providing that marriage in this state consists only of the union of one man and one woman.

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1. Article I, Texas Constitution, is amended by adding Section 32 to read as follows:

Sec. 32. (a) Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.

(b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage."


SECTION 2. This state recognizes that through the designation of guardians, the appointment of agents, and the use of private contracts, persons may adequately and properly appoint guardians and arrange rights relating to hospital visitation, property, and the entitlement to proceeds of life insurance policies without the existence of any legal status identical or similar to marriage.

SECTION 3. This proposed constitutional amendment shall be submitted to the voters at an election to be held November 8, 2005. The ballot shall be printed to permit voting for or against the proposition: "The constitutional amendment providing that marriage in this state consists only of the union of one man and one woman and prohibiting this state or a political subdivision of this state from creating or recognizing any legal status identical or similar to marriage."



Don't you just love it when hate shows itself as truly stupid?

If the Proposition passes, Texas could revise its state motto. I anticipate license plates that read "Texas: The Lone State."

Or church signs that read "Go forth and sin. More."