Re: Only you can take this thread to 1000.

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this thread could be the Unfogged Cage Match of the year.

Transparent bullshit.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 8:38 PM
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Leave out the techniqueese there, sport. I don't know what you mean.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 8:40 PM
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1. Could too!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 8:41 PM
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Well first of all if you want to jam more than three controversial features into an issue you're talking about Pankration-style holds and I hardly think you're going to see Pankration style holds in a cage match. Pssh. Oh and maybe people will do Gi chokes, too! In the cage.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 8:43 PM
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Sometimes I like it when I say things that don't make any sense. Also all the people mentioned in the OP sound just awful. Fuck them.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 8:44 PM
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So this is more like 3:00, after school, behind the gym style fighting?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 8:44 PM
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Is this real or a bar exam question? I think all the unfogged lawyers who argue one position in comments 1-500 should argue the opposite in comments 501-1000. For practice.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 8:46 PM
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Exactly. The octagon called Homeroom.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 8:46 PM
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Our homeroom in middle school was called FAME. That stands for Finding Acceptance in the Middle school Environment.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 8:47 PM
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While few of the other kids were interested in you living forever, several of them thought to help you try to learn how to fly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 8:48 PM
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10 is just blatantly exercising 5.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 8:50 PM
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I'm the wind beneath my wings!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 8:51 PM
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Also all the people mentioned in the OP sound just awful

Also, Canada.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 8:54 PM
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9: The people who ran your school must have really hated children.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 8:55 PM
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"In three other Canadian cases, surrogates are now raising the babies after the commissioning couples got divorced and backed out."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 8:57 PM
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15: They always told me backing out isn't a good way to keep from having kids.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 9:04 PM
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There are no illegal aliens involved, so this fails by definition.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 9:05 PM
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I'm not sure what it says about me that if this had happened in the US, not Canada, as reported I would be entirely certain that the doctor was lying. A testament to how poisonous the abortion wars are here, maybe.

And I'm honestly puzzled by one part of the article. Are we supposed to think that the surrogate "reluctantly" had the abortion because the contract she signed said that she had to have one if the bio-parents wouldn't take the child? Or that she "reluctantly" did it because the contract said the bio-parents had the right to back out of financial responsibility? It reads to me like the latter, but the story is slanted to make it sound like the reluctance is moral qualms about the abortion, not about the being-able-to-afford-raising-a-kid.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 9:21 PM
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While the parents can't physically force the surrogate to get the abortion, they should be able to condition payment upon the surrogate getting an abortion. This is a contract and they're renting out her womb.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 9:24 PM
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19 -- Can the parents contract away their obligation to the kid? I don't know the law in this area, but if I was emir, I'd totally stick back-outs with child support.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 10:15 PM
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19: Yeah. This seems pretty simple. The egg is the couple's, the sperm is too, and they're just renting a nutrient delivery and storage system pod. If they had had their own ND&SSP they could have emptied the pod out with no problem.

What I wonder is, if the surrogate had refused to abort, could the kid (or more likely the kid's legal guardian if the couple refused to take the kid) have sued the surrogate for wrongful birth later on? Could the couple have sued for theft?


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 10:23 PM
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One of my best friends struggled with infertility for years and finally conceived after multiple rounds of IVF. The problem was with her eggs, not her ability to carry to term, and she's been very involved in the IF community. Wanting to give back and help other couples, she's seriously considering becoming a surrogate. When we were talking about it (before this case) she said she'd have to put a clause in saying that she refused to terminate in the case of Down's or similar, which I'd honestly never thought of.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 10:27 PM
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Becks!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 10:56 PM
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Becks!!
also why didn't the contract cover this eventually? seems like poor work on someone's part. I would not, personally, be able to have an abortion short of the "child lives brief hellish life then dies" type (I don't think this should guide other people and am pro-choice, this is just my personal experience) think the surrogate should have refused (if she wanted) and the donor family should have been on the hook for child support if they wouldnt take the child.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 11:12 PM
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It sounds from the article that the contract may have covered this situation, but people are questioning whether that provision should even be enforceable.

I dunno, I kind of think not. Once you bring in that third party she is part of the decision making process and if she wants to have that kid, then you need to find a good factory for it.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 11:30 PM
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IVF and surrogate mothership are immoral in a world in which so many already born kids are waiting to be adopted!

If you're deliberately childless and don't adopt, you're history's second greatest monster.

Cat's don't count.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 11:31 PM
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If you're deliberately childless and don't adopt, you're history's second greatest monster.

But if you simultaneously purchase a pure bred pup from a breeder, you might one day overtake Obama.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 11:34 PM
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I'm going to take this to 1000 myself. You're all a bunch of unreasonable shitheads.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 11:36 PM
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The live episode of 30 Rock was an abomination. A pox on both your houses!


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 11:38 PM
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yeah, well, fuck you, text.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 11:38 PM
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25: It sounds from the article that the contract may have covered this situation, but people are questioning whether that provision should even be enforceable.

The contract didn't cover the situation. Apo linked a much clearer article here at the Vancouver Sun:

When a British Columbia couple discovered the fetus their surrogate mother was carrying was likely to be born with Down syndrome, they wanted an abortion. The surrogate, however, was determined to take the pregnancy to term, sparking a disagreement that has raised thorny questions about the increasingly common arrangements. Under the agreement the three signed, the surrogate's choice would mean absolving the couple of any responsibility for raising the child, the treating doctor told a recent fertility medicine conference.[...]
Guichon speculated that courts likely would not honour a surrogacy contract, drawing instead on family law that would require the biological parents to support the child.[...]
He said the surrogate is always represented by her own lawyer, but the contracts usually absolve the parents of responsibility when a defect is found and the surrogate refuses an abortion. He said he knows of no disputes involving any of his clients, though he acknowledged that it is possible the courts would not recognize the contract if a legal battle did ensue.So the issue is not the abortion of Down's syndrome children, it's whether the surrogate can be forced to abort the child (nope) and following on that whether or not the parent's can be forced to support the kid. It's not a settled issue in Canadian law and the situation wasn't covered as part of the contract either.

Seems like forcing the parents to support the child is equivalent to denied the right to an abortion.

max
['I feel sorry for the kid myself.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 11:42 PM
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All ferrets should be drowned. Everyone born on a Tuesday must give blood once a month. All libraries are restricted to members of the Episcopal Church.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 11:43 PM
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also, human women are not nutrient-providing robots containing rentable spaces for the physical belongings of others. they are people. I think most of us rightly decry right-wing bullshit to the contrary when it is deployed in arguments on abortion.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 11:43 PM
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yeah, well, fuck you, text.

wha?? you liked the live 30 rock? I don't think I said anything to contradict 33. I decry all that bullshit too.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 11:45 PM
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I see. The third party I was referring to was the surrogate, not the kid. Sorry.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 11:46 PM
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What I meant to say was, under the circumstances in the article, if the surrogate wants to have the child, and has it, the parents should maybe pony up to find a place for the kid. They shouldn't be able to put that risk on the surrogate, even if they draft up a provision explicitly putting the risk on the surrogate. Because the surrogate is in a tough position.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 11:49 PM
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no apologies can be accepted if we're going to take this to 1000, text! where's your old-timey unfogged fightin' spirit?! allow me to use an analogy:
a man requires all his female sexual partners to sign a contract stating they would have an abortion in case of any pregnancy. they use the pill and condoms. she gets pregnant and changes her mind. can he force her to get an abortion? can he get a 'financial' abortion by renouncing all parental rights and never paying child support? no, and no. but the sperm was his property! but she signed a contract. bull and shit


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 11:56 PM
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Seems like forcing the parents to support the child is equivalent to denied the right to an abortion.

This, I think, is wrong. The right to an abortion is the right of a woman to decide whether or not to carry to term, it isn't the right of people, generally, to decide whether their offspring should be born. A man has no right to an abortion, for instance (and shouldn't!). Here, the surrogate has a right to an abortion. I'm not sure the parents have that right.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-14-10 11:57 PM
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It sounds to me like we agree with each other, alameida. You're going to have to pick one of my other stated positions to call me stupid about.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:00 AM
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when has that ever stopped anyone before, dude? I think we should become increasingly acrimonious about our shared position.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:03 AM
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No court is going to grant specific performance of a contract to abort. Not in my lifetime anyway. Whether it would relieve biological material parents of parental obligations is a separate question. As I said, I wouldn't do it, but then I don't have any problem at all with biological material parents knowing, going in, that they are signing up for a big helping of responsibility and unpredictability.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:06 AM
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I think we should become increasingly acrimonious about our shared position.

And I think you can take our shared position and go wind-sailing in a bucket of chum.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:08 AM
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I took that too far. Oh well, back to self-loathing.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:15 AM
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finally someone is undertaking this in the proper spirit. here, I'll go now:
OMG typical mansplaining from text about how the surrogate should feel. it's just emblematic of the amount of casual sexism you see among the guys at even the nominally left sites. say what you like about bob mcmanus, he regularly read and thought about twisty faster.

I'm with you on the library things, though, text. every once in a while I'm in line behind someone and it turns out they believe in an eternal triune god, but don't think out queer women should be bishops. it's like, what the fuck?


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:24 AM
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WTF is wrong with you Americans and your primitive unscientific views on reproduction?

Back on the veldt there were none of these issues. None! Surrogate parents back on the veldt knew they couldn't rely on financial support from the parents -- why should they be forced to pay for a product they don't want?*

* unnecessary restrictions on private property rights and the right to do what one wants with the bodies of one's employees are SO post-Pleistocene.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:34 AM
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at comment 483 I intend to leave the blog in a total snit, so reserve that for me. also while it will be mostly the fault of text and the heartless front-pagers, at a deeper level it's all going to have been due to sifu.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:39 AM
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I knew Sifu was to blame. But I didn't know he was hanging out with a bunch of guys who are all named Bruce. Next chance I get, I'm checking Sifu for Bruces.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:47 AM
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Alameida, you're always jumping down my craw, and I'm not going to take it anymore. Did you ever stop to consider to that I know how a surrogate should feel because I've been one? Like twenty five times? Care to challenge me on that, little lady?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:50 AM
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god, stanley, I swear, are you constantly monitoring the comments in real sound so you can be kobe and make awful puns? because you're pretty amazing that way, you know. it's a gift, I guess.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:50 AM
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text! I can't believe I made the heteronormative assumption that you hadn't already been a surrogate 25 times! I didn't mean to diminish your reproductive accomplishments at all. wow, really going to have to check my privilege on that one.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:54 AM
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That's right, everybody better check because if this dude says he was a surrogate, then that's what he did.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:58 AM
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49: Meh, it's a gig. From what I hear, it beats grad school and pays about the same.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:02 AM
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There's no way in hell this thread is getting to 200.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:03 AM
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The remaining 948 comments could be devoted to the inevitable novel/screenplay about the offspring of such an arrangement and their existential crisis on learning that not only were they conceived in laboratory glassware, but they were born against their parents' will thanks only to a clever contract lawyer. The movie would be directed by Werner Herzog, with Ned Beatty as the lawyer.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:04 AM
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Why can't Ned Beatty just play all the characters?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:07 AM
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Perfect! At the end, he will be the offspring, who, having laid waste to everything, lurches about with monkeys crawling all over him. This is going to be fucking great.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:12 AM
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How has this scene not already been shot? Once Ned Beatty has lurched about with monkeys crawling all over him on the big screen, what is the purpose of ever making another film?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:17 AM
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WHY COULDN'T THEY HAVE JUST GIVEN EVERYONE VICODIN? CANADIANS ARE COMMUNISTS AREN'T THEY?


Posted by: OPIATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:36 AM
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never been more with ya, opiated grandma


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:03 AM
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Assisted reproductive laws and techiniques are Stuff White People like. Otherwise, the dark-skinned eastern heathens will over populate the world.

Also, the laws are off-shoots of adoption laws, written to favor the rich and eliminate their concerns. Anti-reproductive stuff is fine and all, except when it comes to rich people.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:07 AM
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Most just solution: Surrogate wants to have the baby, surrogate can have the baby. You can't force medical procedures on unwilling patients who are both adult and mentally competent. Basic issue of autonomy.

But then the surrogate has to keep the baby and is responsible for its care. Compelling the biological mother to be responsible for it is effectively forced motherhood, which is wrong.

This is the situation under the contract the three of them signed anyway, which anticipated this might happen and laid this out as a condition. Any other solution would involve at least one of forced abortion, forced motherhood and breach of contract. The only reason this might not happen is the weird primacy given under family law to biological parents.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:19 AM
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But then the surrogate has to keep the baby and is responsible for its care.

That was their agreement, per this article in the National Post.

Under the agreement the trio signed, the surrogate's choice [to forgo abortion after the diagnosis] would mean absolving the couple of any responsibility for raising the child, the treating doctor told a recent fertility-medicine conference.

(Also according to that article, Downs was confirmed and not just possible or likely.)

The surrogate ultimately went ahead with the abortion because her own family commitments prevented her from raising another child.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 3:48 AM
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Oh, so to add to my weirdly formatted comment, the surrogate was apparently opposed to abortion for that reason, although it was in her contract. She also did not want to/feel she could raise any such potential child herself -- much like the biological parents! I know we're supposed to hate the couple, but I can't do it.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 3:55 AM
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My gut reaction to surrogacy has always been that it's probably a terrible idea -- not that I'm morally opposed, but that it makes you (where 'you' refers to both sides of the contract) too entwined in uncontrollable ways that really aren't amenable to being controlled by a contract with people who don't care about you personally. And this story is exactly the kind of thing that makes me feel that way.

Also, it makes me think that more government regulation is really necessary. I kind of agree that you can't enforce a contract requiring someone to get an abortion, and you shouldn't be able to contract away your child's right to support from its parents, so I'd have left the genetic parents on the hook for supporting the kid if the surrogate wasn't willing to abort. OTOH, I sympathize with the parents for thinking they had an agreement on those terms, and I think the surrogate's kind of a jerk for signing a contract she didn't want to abide by. The solution that makes sense to me is to regulate surrogacy contracts to make it clear that abortion or not is completely within the decision of the surrogate, and that the genetic parents are liable for support of any child born, and that no contractual provisions to the contrary have any force.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 5:33 AM
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64 gets it right, I think.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 5:50 AM
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Yeah, 64 is good.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 5:53 AM
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Since I'm against abortion, I have to say the only humane outcome here is for the surrogate to deliver the baby. If it really has Downs, then use a rock to bash in its skull.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 5:54 AM
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I'm checking Sifu for Bruces.

I googled the phrase "cruising for a Brucing," but the results were disappointing.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:03 AM
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||

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-11550619

Holy f'ing christ [if this is true]

>


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:14 AM
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69: Holy crap, let's hope not.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:18 AM
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69:holy crap indeed. 79% cut in teaching grants?


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:25 AM
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No court is going to grant specific performance of a contract to abort. Not in my lifetime anyway. Whether it would relieve biological material parents of parental obligations is a separate question

In principle, why wouldn't it (the second part)? Presumably they do so all the time when people put up their children for adoption.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:27 AM
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None if this would be happening if we didn't allow Canadians people with eugenically defective reproductive systems to attempt to rise above their natural station to begin with.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:39 AM
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Presumably they do so all the time when people put up their children for adoption.

The difference is that they've got a willing party to transfer those obligations to. I suppose the surrogate could contract to adopt the child if the genetic parents didn't want it, but that seems like a bad idea from the kid's point of view, having the only person with parental obligations toward be someone who was pressured into that role.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:51 AM
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Just doing my part:

64
Also, it makes me think that more government regulation is really necessary. I kind of agree that you can't enforce a contract requiring someone to get an abortion, and you shouldn't be able to contract away your child's right to support from its parents, so I'd have left the genetic parents on the hook for supporting the kid if the surrogate wasn't willing to abort.

I think the bolded bit is wrong and/or doesn't apply here. Sure, obviously, we don't want situations like in 37. But I'm pretty sure that there are already ways to give up or involuntarily lose the right to be a parent (that is, a child's right to support from its parents, but from the perspective of the parent). A sufficiently horrible case of abuse can theoretically result in losing all parental rights, right? (That's not precisely the same as all parental obligations and shouldn't be, but I think the analogy holds.) And the stronger example is that putting a child up for adoption is basically contracting away the child's right to support, right? So if it already is possible, why is it necessarily wrong to be able to do it in advance?

But even if I'm wrong about that, I don't think it applies here. The kid (baby, fetus, whatever) in the OP does already have a parent: the surrogate mother. DNA already doesn't correlate perfectly with parental rights and obligations. Again, adoption, and foster child programs, and I'm pretty sure sperm donors don't have parental rights, and... so no matter what, somebody is contracting away a child's right to get support from their parents, the only question is whether it's the genetic parent doing so or the one with the womb.

69: That's nothing. This is the really important news of the day in the UK.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:52 AM
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If you're deliberately childless and don't adopt, you're history's second greatest monster.

Woohoo! Another few months and we can be certifiably monstrous, I think!

Sorry; I'll mostly stay out of this, at least while I'm busy with work and my post-surgery doctor's appointment that I hope will finally put that nonsense behind me even though the surgery wasn't quite the success we'd hoped. Anyhow, Will's right that surrogacy law takes a lot from from adoption law, which is in many ways barbaric and totally slanted toward privileged adoptive parents who want to play the system.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:53 AM
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75 pwned in part by 74.

that seems like a bad idea from the kid's point of view, having the only person with parental obligations toward be someone who was pressured into that role.

And this is illegal now? What's your opinion on unplanned pregnancies?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:53 AM
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69: More fodder for taking it to 100: If this is true, set the priorities within institutions for the cuts, humanities or science/engineering?

"In our proposals, there will be scope for Government to withdraw public investment through HEFCE from many courses to contribute to wider reductions in public spending; there will remain a vital role for public investment to support priority courses and the wider benefits they create." The priority courses are listed as medicine, science and engineering.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:57 AM
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I suppose the surrogate could contract to adopt the child if the genetic parents didn't want it, but that seems like a bad idea from the kid's point of view, having the only person with parental obligations toward be someone who was pressured into that role.

Oh sure, I'm not saying it's a good thing from a child welfare perspective. I'm just saying the courts do generally speaking enforce the contracting away of parental responsibilities.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:06 AM
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77: That's a hard question -- it's really difficult to be consistent in how you treat different parties in reproductive situations, because the situations are so asymmetrical. On unplanned pregnancies, I come down on leaving both parents on the hook, even though that seems unfair to the father, who has no control over whether the pregnancy will be carried to term, on some level, because the kid's got a right to support from its parents, and didn't do anything to forfeit that right. I console myself for the unfairness, which I can't see how to avoid without screwing the kid over, by thinking that the father has a lot that he can do to protect himself from being involved in an unplanned pregnancy.

In a surrogacy situation, we've got more facts about the parties than in an unspecified unplanned pregnancy. The genetic parents chose to become parents, an activity which inherently involves risks of parenting a disabled kid (anything could happen after birth, after all). They're financially well off, in that they can afford the expense of surrogacy. The surrogate is probably poorer, and entered into the relationship with no expressed desire to parent at all. From the kid's point of view, it just seems to me to make immensely more sense to put the responsibility for parenting on the genetic parents. (I could be talked into a position that a surrogate who refuses abortion where the genetic parents want it should be liable for child support, but I doubt that's likely to happen, and given their relative economic positions probably wouldn't amount to much in almost any circumstances.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:08 AM
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79: You know, I don't know that they do enforce contingent agreements to adopt a child if something else does or doesn't happen. I don't know anything really about adoption law, I'm sure Thorn knows more. But I'd find it really surprising if courts conventionally do enforce contracts of the form "I will adopt child X if event Y occurs" against an unwilling adoptive parent.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:11 AM
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||

"I was in the middle of eating a kosher pastrami sandwich," Rabbi Levin said. "While I was eating it, they come running and they say, 'Paladino became gay!' I said, 'What?' And then they showed me the statement. I almost choked on the kosher salami."
|>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:11 AM
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Additionally to 81, I think (and I'm not pulling lawyer rank here, I don't know much of anything about family/adoption law) that it's misleading to think of adoption as 'contracting' away parental rights and obligations, or transferring them by contract. A contract is something between private parties that can be entered into without any interference from the state. The termination of parental rights and obligations, on the other hand, and the creation of a new parent/child relationship between an adoptive parent and a child, is something done by the state with (I believe, generally) consideration of the interests of the child in mind.

A contract like the one we're talking about, where the surrogate agrees to adopt the child if it's disabled and allow the genetic parents to sever their parental responsibilities, seems to me to be unlikely to be in the best interests of the child, and so I'd doubt a court would enforce it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:17 AM
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I almost choked on the kosher salami.

That's the kind where the little ring around the outside is already cut off, right?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:17 AM
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yeah, part of the reason one is inclined to say "tough" to the biological unwilling father is because there were things he could have done to not get a person pregnant. the parents in this case went to a huge amount of trouble and expense with the definite intention of creating this pregnancy. there is really no act more "on purpose" than what they did: they got her pregnant on purpose.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:18 AM
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While the parents can't physically force the surrogate to get the abortion, they should be able to condition payment upon the surrogate getting an abortion. This is a contract and they're renting out her womb

Seems simple enough. The surrogate can decide whether or not to terminate. Then the biological parents can decide whether or not to put the child up for adoption. If the surrogate chooses to become the adoptive parent, the bio parents surrender parental rights and are relieve of any support obligation.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:20 AM
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I'd be interested in hearing more from Will and Thorn about what's wrong with adoption law. I think I know what you mean, but am not quite sure.

I agree with LB's arguments in the thread and don't have much more to add. I also see a moral difference between putting a child up for adoption and demanding that your third party employee either have an unwanted abortion or bear the entire financial burden of raising a disabled kid. The latter, frankly, seems like the kind of thing that rich controlling assholes do.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:23 AM
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A contract like the one we're talking about, where the surrogate agrees to adopt the child if it's disabled and allow the genetic parents to sever their parental responsibilities, seems to me to be unlikely to be in the best interests of the child, and so I'd doubt a court would enforce it.

Except most jurisdictions have decided that it is good public policy to promote surrogacy, so the rules are made to address people's concerns.

Shockingly, most would-be parents wish to retain as much control as possible. So, the rules are made to make that happen.

Remember that these are rich, white folks in almost every occassions. The game is designed to benefit rich, white folks.



Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:25 AM
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I also see a moral difference between putting a child up for adoption and demanding that your third party employee either have an unwanted abortion or bear the entire financial burden of raising a disabled kid.

Although, in this case, where the 'unwanted' nature of the abortion came down to "I'm opposed to abortion of a disabled child you have to raise. If we're talking about a disabled child I have to raise, on the other hand, I can be reconciled to it," leaves me without a whole lot of sympathy for the surrogate. I think the responsibility should have been placed such that she could have made her decision on abortion knowing throughout that the genetic parents were responsible regardless, but knowing that she was going to make a life-changing decision for them on the basis of an opposition to abortion that she wasn't all that serious about makes me think ill of her.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:28 AM
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I also see a moral difference between putting a child up for adoption and demanding that your third party employee either have an unwanted abortion or bear the entire financial burden of raising a disabled kid. The latter, frankly, seems like the kind of thing that rich controlling assholes do.

Surrogacy, IV, and adoption are all changes in the basic concept that you remain responsible for your biological output.

If people didnt have this control, then they wouldnt enter into these arrangements.

In my opinion, this tells you a lot about people's real feelings on abortion. Abortion is fine for them or for their children, bc they NEED to be able to abort. They just want to restrict those irresponsible OTHER people.

Nobody would donate sperm if they were financially responsible for the child.

Adoption (and step-parent adoption) is also about money. Courts/society wants people with money to agree to be responsible for children. The state doesnt want to be responsible for them. We let the dead-beat parent off the hook so we can legally bind a financially responsible one.



Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:31 AM
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How about the situation discussed in this article? The parents contract for one child. The surrogate becomes pregnant with twins. The parents demand selective reduction or no money because they can't possibly raise two babies at once. And yet they can afford what is typically a 50k surrogacy.

In this situation, I think the parents have no right to make that demand. If they only wanted one child, they should have undertaken the greater financial risk of only having one embryo implanted at a time.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:33 AM
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89:

Not to pick on you, but I have a hard time feeling ill about any of the parties in these situations. I am not going to presume that they are going to know exactly how they feel until they get into the situation. Sure, we can bind them into it, but I dont feel poorly about them if they struggle/go kicking and screaming.

Reproduction and terminations of pregnancies are intensely personal issues. (Except on unfogged.)


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:34 AM
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91:

I havent read that article, but twins are a known risk. Thus, it should be addressed in the contract. Triplets or more is the doctor's fault.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:36 AM
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an opposition to abortion that she wasn't all that serious about makes me think ill of her.

that seems strange. if she thought she were capable of having an abortion at the time she signed the contract (thinking of this thing as "theirs") but then the process of being pregnant made her realize that she really, really didn't want to get an abortion, that's hardly blameworthy. I had two pregnancy scares and in both cases the father would have strongly wanted me to have an abortion. plus it would have been a terrible thing to have the kid--it would permanently fuck up my education, probably, and in the second case I was addicted to heroin and would be using during the pregnancy (unless it somehow motivated me to get clean). I would have been unwilling to have an abortion in both cases. I just couldn't do it. I could imagine someone having a serious change of mind while pregnant.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:36 AM
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89 also seems right. "I'm just enough opposed to this abortion to make you feel bad and cause a big fuss, but not quite opposed enough to actually not have the abortion" isn't really an appealing position. On the other hand, I think asking for that cost-shifting provision as a contractual term is at least prima facie evidence of rich controlling assholitude on the part of the biological parents.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:38 AM
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knowing that she was going to make a life-changing decision for them on the basis of an opposition to abortion that she wasn't all that serious about makes me think ill of her.

This seems a bit harsh to me. We all face circumstances that challenge what we genuinely believe to be our values.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:38 AM
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IVF and surrogate mothership are immoral in a world in which so many already born kids are waiting to be adopted!

If you're deliberately childless and don't adopt, you're history's second greatest monster.

Cat's don't count.

Martin Wisse is history's greatest monster!

Even Jesus Christ couldn't forgive the apostrophe in "Cat's".


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:40 AM
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Is there anything preventing the biological parents from putting the kid up for adoption? Besides their unwillingness to confront what they probably consider to be a morally uncomfortable situation?

And I agree that this demonstrates pretty clearly that people tend to want abortion to be available to themselves, because they're special snowflakes and whatnot, and are more inclined to be in favor of regulating other people's access to abortion because other people are different, I just...this is shocking? Of course this is how people feel. I'll admit I'm more inclined to judge other people. I can be bitch. I think it's actually quite normal, much as the whole "my religion is the right one and I should be free to practice it because I'm right, but I don't know about all you other heathens" thing is quite normal. I think maybe the difference btwn pro-choice and pro-life is more about a willingness to admit that basic failing.

Basically pro-life people are hypocritical, myopic denialists who'd rather condemn others than examine their own lives.

GO 1000!


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:41 AM
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(See, I try to help.)


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:44 AM
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Is there anything preventing the biological parents from putting the kid up for adoption?

The line to adopt special needs children isnt very long.

While we are on the topic, look at why people go to China to adopt:
1. they are scared that the parents will come back and want to be in the child's life.
2. they cant get a little white baby, dont want a little black/brown baby, and a baby from China is the next best thing.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:45 AM
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94, 96: It's not the 'not wanting to have an abortion despite having contracted to' that bothers me -- I don't think she should have been put in a position where she could contract to have an abortion at all, because I agree that you don't know how you feel until you're in the situation. But her revealed preference on abortion is that "I really don't want to have one, but because having a baby under these circumstances would be difficult and unpleasant for me -- it would be a real hardship -- my opposition to abortion is overriden by my sense of what a hardship it would be to me. So under these circumstances, I'm going to have an abortion." If that's how she feels -- that abortion is a bad thing, but it's acceptable where the alternative is hardship to the parents -- then it seems lousy of her to draw the line between an acceptable and an unacceptable abortion depending on whether the hardship falls on her or on someone else.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:45 AM
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I posted 95 before reading the intervening comments. Maybe 89 is wrong! I dunno. I do think the rule should be "you deliberately plan a pregnancy with a surrogate, you're entering into a situation with a lot of unknowns and are on the hook for unwanted consequences with the kid, and no you don't get to financially coerce the surrogate into having an abortion if she doesn't want to" and I kind of view parents who would see things differently as creepy control freaks.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:46 AM
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100: Right, I know it's unlikely anyone's going to adopt the kid, and the biological parents are also likely extremely aware of that fact. I just don't know what actually happens in the even they want to give the child up. Do they just give the kid up, and then it's in a state run home or something while awaiting a potential miracle adoption? And they're presumably haunted by that knowledge?


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:48 AM
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I do think the rule should be "you deliberately plan a pregnancy with a surrogate, you're entering into a situation with a lot of unknowns and are on the hook for unwanted consequences with the kid, and no you don't get to financially coerce the surrogate into having an abortion if she doesn't want to" and I kind of view parents who would see things differently as creepy control freaks.

Your rule would shut down surrogacy.

Ideally, laws are designed to insert certainty for people. The surrogacy laws (and the adoption laws) mostly do a good job of inserting certainty.



Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:48 AM
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98.2: Much as alameida's comment suggests, I personally lean the other way. That is, I want it to be an option for other people, but I would have a very difficult time with it myself. Sounds like this was where the surrogate found herself initially, and then push came to shove and she made a difficult and personal choice.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:49 AM
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100: Idly, in my moments of thinking over racist arguments about IQ, I wonder if there's an interesting natural experiment being set up there. People with racial/genetic IQ theories always rely on the fact that Asians on average test higher than whites to defend their non-racism on this front. So, over the last I'm not sure how long, fifteen-twenty years? there's a substantial cohort of Asian girls being raised in upper middle class white families; one wonders if their IQ scores run closer to those of kids raised in families like their birth families, or like their adoptive families? It's not a perfect experiment -- they're still going to be treated as 'Asian' by other people, which is going to alter the environment. But I've been sort of expecting to see IQ studies done on that cohort.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:50 AM
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103:

They are still on the hook financially.

You cannot just "give up your rights" if you are financially solvent or not a sex offender.

Courts (at least in VA) do not let one parent out unless another one is coming in. (Much like substitution of counsel!)


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:51 AM
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I have mixed feelings about the various forms of IVF and how far people will go to have children who carry their DNA, but surrogacy seems to me to be a fetishization of genetics to the point of absurdity. Let me add the following caveats: I'm not talking about what should be allowed under the law; I don't plan to have children, so I'll never confront the issue personally; and 3 of my favorite people in the world were conceived via a complicated IVF arrangement. (My other favorite person was adopted.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:51 AM
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Honestly, this seems like a cut-and-dried case. The surrogate could either have the abortion or raise the child herself, just like the contract says. I'm more intrigued by the three cases where the contracting couple got divorced before the baby was born. Your marriage is shaky enough that it doesn't survive another nine months and you're contracting with somebody to bear a child for you? Dubble ewe tee eff.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:56 AM
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Now I'm confused. The surrogacy laws say, roughly, that the biological parents have full control and responsibility for the child, and the surrogate has no rights whatsoever and has to walk away post-birth, right? And that's what provides legal certainty? I don't see a problem with that, assuming that we think surrogacy is a good thing. The problem here is that the biological parents are giving the surrogate a choice of either (a) unwanted abortion or (b) we abandon the normal rules of surrogacy and now you, not us, are on the hook for raising the child. That contract provision seems like a retreat from the default that the biological couple have full responsibility for the kid, with a creepy forced abortion component to boot.

Maybe I'm missing something.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:56 AM
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RH:

Apo spells it out clearly in 109. Since we recognize that some people dislike abortion, she can choose not to abort, but bios are off the hook.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:58 AM
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Besides, I cannot believe you monsters are so willing to ignore the obvious correlation between surrogates who abort and murder-for-hire.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:58 AM
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how far people will go to have children who carry their DNA

While surrogacy strikes me as generally a bad idea, the desire to have children who share your DNA makes perfect sense to me; I wanted to have children, but if having biological children hadn't worked out, I wouldn't have wanted to adopt. (I don't think, although of course I haven't been in that position.) Or, I guess I can't say it "makes sense" -- it's a desire, not a reasoned position -- but it's a feeling I share. I didn't want to parent a child, I wanted to parent children who were related to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:59 AM
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My other favorite person was adopted.

I should add that she was adopted by her white mother from Ethiopia, about which I also have mixed feelings -- in the abstract, that is. In practice, I am unequivocally happy she's part of my family.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:59 AM
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3 of my favorite people in the world were conceived via a complicated IVF arrangement. (My other favorite person was adopted.)

Hmmm, I was born before IVF, so, that means I must have been adopted! I knew it! Hurray!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:00 AM
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114: Oh, no!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:00 AM
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113: How far do you think you might have been willing to go, IVF-wise?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:02 AM
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116: They're 4 of my favorite people; I believe the Constitution gives me the right to have up to 10 favorite people. I've still got room for you, li'l peep!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:06 AM
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My guess is 'not far at all', but again I'm not sure. I figure I probably would have gone to a doctor to find out if there was some diagnosable and reasonably easily correctible problem, but I can't see doing the whole IVF thing at all -- before I got that far I would have decided it just wasn't meant to be, and enjoyed the DINK lifestyle.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:06 AM
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111 -- are you saying that (a) that the contractual provision will be enforced under clear current law, or (b) expressing a view that it should be, or (c) that (putting aside questions of legal enforceability) the contract provision is a good thing? I honestly can't tell.

For me, I have no idea what the answer to (a) is, I'd lean towards "provision should not be enforceable" under (b) (and I don't see why that would destroy surrogacy generally) and as for (c) I think the cost-shifting provision is probably a shitty thing to have in such a contract. But I'm open to persuasion!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:08 AM
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the DINK lifestyle

Racist.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:08 AM
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Everydink happens for a reason.

/A poor imitation of Stanley


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:08 AM
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120(a): While I don't know much about family law, I'll swear that there isn't "clear current law" on that point in all fifty states. And I'm with you on (b) and (c).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:10 AM
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106 is interesting. Those studies should definitely be carried out.

109: Having a kid to shore up ones' marriage is a tried and true approach to fixing something broken by making it much, much more complicated and difficult. A good friend of mine just dodged that bullet - she was looking to adopt a kid in order to bring her husband closer, but the plan was derailed when he knocked up the woman he'd been cheating on her with since before they got married.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:11 AM
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109: Yup. But also, I think this is not all that uncommon -- deciding to have a kid as a way of saving a marriage? I mean, no one says that's what they're doing until well after it's failed, but they do it. I also know couples who bought houses for that reason. Obvs unequivocally bad ideas, but people are sometimes sad and scared of being alone and usually very good at lying to themselves.

113: Yup. I've had enough experiences of literally seeing myself in another person I'm related to, for good or for ill, and I'd have a hard time believing similar closeness and insight would be possible with someone I had no genetic relation to. Not to say people who are genetically related necessarily have those moments, just...I'd like it to be possible? And I don't see this as denigrating adoption in any way; there is also something - quite a lot - to be said for the forceful, active decision to love someone above all others that's fucking fantastic, and that many genetic children will never have.

So.

Yeah.

My attempts at being controversial appear to have failed.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:12 AM
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Okay, only 15 minutes of waiting for the doctor, so I'll start on how adoption law should be reformed, touching on parts that are problematic now.

It wouldn't be all that hard to find people willing to adopt a child with Down syndrome, especially coming out of a surrogacy situation where the gestational mother's health would have been monitored (no drugs, alcohol, etc.) and presumably the baby's white. You could probably even place this baby through an agency and find a family willing to pay 10-20K to that agency to adopt, though it's illegal for much if any of that to get back to the gestational mother. States differ on what can be paid for and whether the mother is on or off the hook for any expenses already paid if she decides not to place the baby once the babt is born.

Will says that you can't just relinquish a child in Virginia, but in any state you can drop a child off at a social services agency and say you're refusing to raise that child. You'll be charged with abandonment and the state will eventually legally terminate your rights, but I can say from personal knowledge that this has happened at least once in VA. VA also has a Safe Haven law, so anyone can drop a newborn (I just looked this up but forget if it's in the first 14 or 30 days) at a designated location and that's the end of it.

Safe Havens are insidious. There's no evidence I know of showing they're actually preventing the baby-in-a-trashcan situation they're supposedly preventing. There's a lot of evidence that unscrupulous adoption agencies are encouraging young women to use a Safe Haven if, say, they don't want their parents or the baby's father to know about the birth or adoption. This cuts down on paperwork for the adoption agency if they're dealing with a minor.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:14 AM
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re: 78

Sure, that's clearly the plan. I can't even express my current political views anymore, so filled with rage am I. I thought the last shower of cunts were pretty fucking bad, but this lot ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:15 AM
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126: in any state you can drop a child off at a social services agency and say you're refusing to raise that child. You'll be charged with abandonment and the state will eventually legally terminate your rights, but I can say from personal knowledge that this has happened at least once in VA.

Do you know what happens child-support-wise? I'd expect, from a justice point of view, that a solvent parent who did this would get a child support bill from the state forever, but I don't know anything.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:17 AM
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126: oooooh, I remember reading about a few states where they hadn't been all that careful drafting up the Safe Haven laws and neglected to specify a freaking age limit (why am I thinking Oklahoma?), and hospitals and whatnot were suddenly confronted with a few cases of abandoned teenagers.

Whaaaaaaaaaaat.

Googling now. But that's too crazy, right? Did that really happen?


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:17 AM
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At least once, I think, and I think we talked about it here somewhere.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:18 AM
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126.last is a stunning example of unintended consequences of the most well-meant intentions.

(Thorn, sorry to hear the surgery wasn't a total success.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:18 AM
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Argh, stupid ipad deleted what I'd written! I'll break these into shorter bits since it hates length. Sorry for spelling errors, too. (still no doctor! 34 min late)

So, in infant adoption:
1. Corporate greed and racism shouldn't be the norms, and they are now. The reason you can adopt a healthy black newborn boy for 5K when a white one can be 20-40 is the markup on the latter even more than a reflection on the supposed market economics that devalue the former. Gross gross gross. There's a lot of coercion paticularly toward white women carrying white babies because they'll make the most money for the agency. Money does not trickle down in any meaningful way to mothers who place their children for adoption.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:19 AM
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Fucking Nebraska.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27643190/


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:19 AM
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Cutting off your rights to see the child is different from you having to continue to pay for that child.

As for the adoption of child with Down's, I am not so confident about that.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:20 AM
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132: Oh my God, Thorn, this is going to make me hate people, isn't it?


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:20 AM
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128: Yes, parents can be compelled to pay until termination of their rights. I get the impression that it's not as high as "regular" non-custodial child support would be and almost certainly not as much as they're paying the child's foster family. (which is also not an indicator I think foster parents are overpaid; far from it.) Not paying, though, would be another act of non-compliance and might move up the chances of TPR.

Realistically, once parents have said they won't raise a child, the state can't very well argue that it's the most appropriate thing to send the unwanted child back to that home. They'd do what they're supposed to do in foster cases, start canvassing friends and relatives to see if someone is willing to adopt.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:22 AM
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130, 133: Yeah, we did talk about that. I believe we reached comity around the need for better support services for families, including good respite care.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:22 AM
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Paying to adopt a child is illegal in VA. (That includes saying "I'll forgive your child support arrearages.")


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:22 AM
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133: "her daughter, who was adopted, suffers from several disorders, including a learning disability, and is bipolar."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:23 AM
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OMG, you guys, the doctor who was in another city at the time he was supposed to start my surgery and was 3 hours late is now finishing surgery in a much closer city and will probably be 1 to 1.5 hours late. Should I just leave? I'll have to come back someday and that will be just as bad. He's going to deny all the problems I had recovering had anything to do with the surgery, I know. Fuck.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:25 AM
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Ok, I'm still stuck on the "mark up" of white babies. Yes, GROSS.

I have stuff to do, and I will probably be refreshing this thread like a crack rat.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:25 AM
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Why leave? You have an iPad.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:26 AM
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140: Ghastly though it is, I'd stick around. If they'll guarantee that you're stuck waiting for at least an hour, though, maybe you can go do something other than sitting in the waiting room and come back.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:27 AM
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140: What the fuck, this asshole surgeon?

To be fair, asshole-ness is often a pre-existing condition. But fuck this guy. You don't have any recourse, do you? My idea in those situations is to become as difficult as possible, in order to make it more costly for them to be dicks to me in the future. It's a gamble, though, and I think terrible advice unless you're temperamentally suited to it.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:28 AM
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Not fun, but still better to be stuck waiting in a doctor's office with the internet than to be stuck waiting in a doctor's office with a 3-year-old who DOES NOT want to be there.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:29 AM
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140: I hate him on your behalf. Can you schedule your next appointment so that it's his first appt. of the day? Not that it'll help if he's elsewhere, but assuming he's in the office you don't get the chain effect of his getting behind schedule.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:29 AM
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1.5 hours late isnt unusual, is it?

Not to be a jerk, but that doesnt surprise me.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:31 AM
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Can you schedule your next appointment so that it's his first appt. of the day?

I had an admin job before law school as a receptionist in a doctor's office (inhouse at Time Inc.). He was only there in the afternoons, and always showed up late. When I figured out that he always showed up late, I started blocking out the first two appointments of the afternoon, and filled them only if all the other appointments were full. This worked great for about a month, and then the doctor noticed that at most one person was waiting for him when he got in, and started coming in later. Grr.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:32 AM
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138: I don't know if we're talking about the same thing. Paying an adoption agency is legal everywhere, right? Because you're paying for expenses of the agency and supposedly not for the child itself.

Yes, buying someone's child is illegal in all states (I should hope!) and maybe what you're saying is that money from an adoptive family couldn't, say, pay for the biological mother's hospital bills. This differs from state to state and I don't know a ton about the details.

If his hypothetical surrogate's child, assumed white and otherwise healthy, went into foster care as a newborn (say, via Safe Haven) I do believe the odds are good the baby would go to a family who takes newborns with problems and would most likely end up adopted by that family, though some families who deal with infants are foster-only and that's a specialty. I see kids with much higher medical and developmental special needs placed regularly with multiple offers of homes epecially if they're young, white, and cute. Down syndrome is much easier than, say, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in terms of finding homes, and both are probably easier than something like traumatic brain injury of a shaken baby. But that's my mostly anecdotal experience and what I've heard from workers. I don't know real data,


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:32 AM
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re: adoption

http://lenscratch.blogspot.com/2010/10/jacqueline-mccullough.html


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:34 AM
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It's not unusual. He's always late and I expected it. I'm just mad because two nurses lied and said he'd be right with me before the one said he was across town. I'm in the room now, so I'll wait. This should be my last visit with him. If I have more problems or do need to be on bcp, I'll go somewhere else.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:35 AM
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It's worth remembering that, as far as I can tell, most surgeons are fucking pricks.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:35 AM
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148 makes me dislike doctors even more than I already do. Fucking meat mechanics.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:36 AM
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152, 153: Hey, some of my favorite sisters are surgeons.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:37 AM
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as far as I can tell, most surgeons are fucking pricks

Yep. When you're God Of Life And Death (their reasoning goes), all must present as supplicants because I'M TRYING TO SAVE SOMEONE'S LIFE, DAMMIT.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:37 AM
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154 to 155. But sure, badmouth the rest of them. Just don't come crying to Dr. Oops when your pancreas blows up.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:38 AM
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Interesting. I thought US surgeons being fucking pricks was largely the result of their massive salaries and their having flourished in a prestigious hazing process, but you say it happens in the NHS as well.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:38 AM
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I've already told my story, I think, of the surgeon who fucked up my thyrectomy picking up a scalpel and re-opening my neck, without anaesthetic, while dressed in his normal work clothes?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:39 AM
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154: I'm reminding myself of how many nurses came to my grandfather's funeral because he'd been so kind and respectful to them, unlike too many of the other surgeons.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:39 AM
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Yep.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:40 AM
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Seems like the obvious solution is for the surrogate to give birth in one of those "safe harbor" states (Nebraska?) where you can abandon your child at any hospital or police station, no questions asked.

In fact, the "no pre-existing condition exclusion for children" provision of the Affordable Care Act might well have been designed to encourage the abandonment of deformed children.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:40 AM
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re: 157

What makes you think they don't have massive salaries or a hazing process in the NHS?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:40 AM
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161: The pwnage, it burns.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:41 AM
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158: I would have tried to get him for assault. And then I definitely would have sued him for whatever I could (malpractice? emotional distress? whatever), assuming I didn't actually try to stab him back at the time. That is unfuckingbelievable.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:42 AM
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154: I'm sure they are in the minority who are awesome, gentle, attentive and professional. I have had a couple of genuinely good doctors, but it runs about 80/20 in the asshole direction.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:42 AM
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Two unrelated things. People should defer to Will's take on how child support works over mine. The state deliberately doesn't make it easy for people to just dump kids (see Nebraska) but I know of many families who've had to give custody or their adopted children to the state and sometimes get a judgnent of neglect/abandonment to be able to get funding or support for things like long-term mental hospital stays for a teen who needs it. This is a weird, complicated, and not intuitive situation. And Virginia may well be a state where they won't terminate any parent's rights until the child has an adoptive family identified. Some states are definely like that. It's also possible that termination of your parental rights wouldn't cut off your requirement to pay for that child, though that's more unusual. I know some social security benefits a child receives because of a parent's status can continue after TPR, but I don't know the details.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:45 AM
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Probably I would have stabbed him, though. In the hand, so he actually cared.

I know this is making me seem psychotically violent, but I'm imagining this guy surprising you with a fucking scalpel and slicing at your neck. Is this about what happened? Because there are only a few reactions to someone surprise slashing at your neck with a scalpel, and many of them are stabby.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:45 AM
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Trying to juggle too many things, but, quickly, you can pay for hospital bills, but cannot put money in her pockets.

Va doesnt operate for adoption like other states. I cannot be paid to broker the deal bt a birth mother and an adopting couple. Other states allow such a payment. (I think it is fraught with problems...ie highest bidder)


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:46 AM
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re: 164

The conversation went like this.

[Sitting in a hospital bed, on an open ward]

Surgeon [prodding infected neck wound]: "Hmm, this doesn't seem to be getting better just with massive intravenous doses of a fucking unpleasant semi-toxic antibiotic."
Me: "No shit?"
Surgeon: "I think this probably needs reopened and drained."
Me: "Oh aye?"
Surgeon: "Yeah, I think so.... Nurse?"
Nurse: "Yeah?"
Surgeon:"Have you got a scalpel kit?"
Nurse hands surgeon kit.
Surgeon:"Hold still"

Surgeon then places his hand on my upper chest and swipes the scalpel across my throat in one motion. Fluid exits, in a gouty sort of way.

Me: "WT actual F! ..... Shouldn't I have had an anaesthetic?"
Surgeon: "Oh all the nerves in your throat are dead from the surgery already."
Me: "But I might have moved?!"
Surgeon: "You didn't."
Me: "Is this sterile?"
Surgeon: "Remember, you are plugged into massive doses of semi-toxic vein-eating antibiotic shit, so no worries."
Me: "Aye, right."


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:47 AM
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re: 167

Pretty much, yeah.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:47 AM
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168: Yes, makes sense! I think those privately brokered adoptions should be illegal. (Even though I was just offered one the other day, as mentioned elsewhere.)

I didn't write the second thing, but the nurse came in to tell me they're refunding my copay since this is a surgery followup. So yay! It's not quite finding 20 dollars if I'd already given those dollars to them. And now I forget what I was going to say.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:49 AM
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169, 170: In light of this, I consider it acceptable to hunt this particular surgeon for sport at some later, convenient date, presumably when you've fully recovered. I'm thinking of something along the lines of The Game, but with a happy ending for you more than him.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:50 AM
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re; 172

I met him in the street a year or so after. He still remembered my name. He probably has me written down in his little "People who may sue and/or kill me" notebook.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:52 AM
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Rightly so -- that's no-doubt-about-it battery, at least in the US. Damages would be tricky, if everything worked out okay medically, but I bet you could work up some PTSD over it if you wanted to.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:53 AM
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169: Doesn't this sound like something Dr. House would do? Not something I would have guessed a real-life doctor would ever do.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:55 AM
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173: Along the lines of snappy comebacks you wish you could've thought of at the time, only considerably more violent, do you kind of wished you'd "bumped" him into oncoming traffic?

"You might have moved, you know."


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:55 AM
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re: 174

He didn't even look like it was a big deal. TBH, the most unpleasant part of the whole process was the syringe-driven antibiotic IV. But yeah, I suppose I could have only recently come to realize how traumatised I was by events.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:56 AM
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Almost or maybe all states have Safe Haven laws already.
http://www.nationalsafehavenalliance.org/states/

The other thing about race and adoption is that I don't think everyone should just get in line and be handed whatever child they get, regardless of need or situation. I do think it's odd that although black children and especially black boys are seriously overrepresented in the group of children available for adoption from foster care, our two matches (Rowan and Colton) have been white (though only legally, in Colton's case, as his biological dad was black but his legal dad, mom's husband, was white) and we had just assumed we'd end up with a black child.

There are definitely some white people adopting black kids from Ethiopia and Haiti and Congo and the like who wouldn't adopt African-American kids from foster care and wouldn't adopt from foster care at all because of the problems those kids have, paying no attention to the problems endemic among the groups they're adopting from. This isn't true of everyone who adopts from there, but when it is true it's super creepy. I believe Ethiopian adoptions will shut down soon because there's so much evidence of baby-buying and of orphanages who lie about kids' ages (sometimes shaving off years) because younger is easier to place and then parents can be so proud about how precocious their child is until they learn the truth.... There's a lot of mess there.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:57 AM
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You know, if it had just happened, (and in the US) I'd almost think it'd be a public service to get a lawyer and file suit. I'd drop it after the complaint -- not worth the money and time, considering there were no real damages -- but that sounds like behavior where the hospital should know that they have reason to be terrified of what that asshole is going to do next.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:59 AM
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Last thing I'll say: this surgeon we're discussing is in dire need of the fear of God.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:00 AM
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re: 179

Yeah, I suppose at the time it was all so matter of fact that it didn't really occur to me that it was such a freaky thing to happen. I mean I was shocked at the time, and I questioned him, but when he didn't make a big deal about it I just assumed that sort of thing wasn't that crazy and I was over-reacting. It's only later when I tell the story and everyone goes "wt?!" that it seems particularly bad.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:01 AM
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180 to 179 seems to work well.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:01 AM
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I don't know if it was medically a bad idea -- the no anesthetic, no sterile environment might have been fine for the reasons he gave. But he damn well didn't get your consent to stick a knife in your neck, and that's way out of line.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:03 AM
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181 doesn't really surprise me. You're already post-surgery and with an infected neck would and weird tubes all over the place, fairly disorienting. Takes a while to get your bearings, which is partly why it's so heinous -- doctors (and/or malpractice lawyers) are really the only people with enough contextual knowledge to know what's appropriate, and it's odious when they take advantage of that fact.

Next time I need medical treatment from an asshole, I'm going to lie and say I'm a lawyer. Or that I'm related to a lawyer. I bet there's none of this slashing business with lawyers.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:05 AM
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Law degree = white collar black belt.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:06 AM
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re: 183

Yeah, possibly. I presume he could argue the consent was implied. Perhaps there was something in his preamble that should have led me to understand it was going to happen there and then, or he could probably have argued that was the case anyway. There was certainly no explicit request, though. No, "Now I'm going to do X which will involve Y and has risks a, b, and c, is that OK?".


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:06 AM
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I'll just keep writing about adoption stuff, though I'm enjoying the surgeon-trashing. (at 1.5 hours now!)

2. Biological fathers deserve a chance to parent their children if they choose to do so. Adoption agencies that counsel prospective mothers on how to get around this and/or spirit them away to Utah, the easiest state for adopting parents and thus most unjust to birthparents, are being disgusting and should be stopped. I know we've talked before and a lot of people thought if mom didn't want dad to raise the baby she probably had a good reason for it and should be trusted, but you also have to take into consideration how unethical some of the big agencies are willing to be and how much she may have been coerced or pressured by the idea that she owes her baby to someone "better" and dad can't provide better.
As in foster care, poverty alone should not be a reason to break up a family. It too often is, but it shouldn't be,


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:07 AM
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3. The revocation period after parents consent to an infant adoption needs to be longer and more standardized. Right now it varies wildly by state and I'll bet you can guess which sorts of states are favored by adoption agencies!

After my little D&C, I was told not to make any legal decisions during my recovery. Birth seems like it would be physically and emotionally much more difficult. You shouldn't be able to make a life-altering irrevocable decision while getting over that. You can agree to have the child placed, sure, I'm all pro-choice about that, but you should have the right and validation to change your mind in a reasonable amount of time if that's what's right for you as a parent.

And yes, thinking you'll be raising an adopted child you don't get to raise sucks. If I started writing about Colton, I'd end up crying. But because I love and care for him, I'm not hurt that he wants to stay nearer his sister. I do think we could have cared for him in ways that could have been better than what he'll get if he stays in foster care, even in the great group home he's in now. But if kids automatically went to the wealthiest, "best" parents then we wouldn't get to adopt at all, and that's what people imply when they say adoptive parents are more deserving or better than birth family.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:13 AM
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I bet there's none of this slashing business with lawyers.

There are downsides, though. My birth with Sally is a story I've told here a couple of times, but the shorthand is that it was supposed to be with a midwife and all-natural and so on, and things got weird in the middle of labor in a manner (she was unexpectedly discovered to be breech) that might easily have justified a C-section. I got whisked off to an OB I'd never met, who said that other than the breech thing, everything was going smoothly enough that it was up to me to decide whether I wanted a C, or wanted to go ahead with a vaginal birth. I opted for the latter, and everything turned out fine. In the aftermath, I was chatting with the nice OB who did such a good job, and he asked what I did for a living, and I told him I was a lawyer. He staggered and dropped a stainless steel basin. I'm not sure, but I think if he'd known what I did for a living, he wouldn't have given me a choice about having the C.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:14 AM
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187: 2 and 3 both sound very right to me --we've talked about stuff like this here before, and I've tried to articulate positions that I think are very like those.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:15 AM
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4. Adopted people should eventually have the right to their original birth certificates. In most states, Kansas and maybe Alaska being the exceptions, this is not the case or in some places not the case unless one or both birthparents have filed paperwork authorizing the release.

This practice is a remnant of the time when adoption was considered shameful and adoptive parents were encouraged to lie to their children and omit any mention of adoption. Right now, it's largely supported by anti-abortion groups who claim that pregnant women will choose abortion over the knowledge that in 18-plus years, their child might be able to contact them. The data from Kansas and whatever other state it is strogly refute this, but it plays into a paternalistic anti-abortion worldview those folks like and so they stick with their talking point because they don't care about reality or data.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:18 AM
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5. This one's probably not going to be controversial at all here and also probably isn't going to change, but it bothers me that my partner and I can't co-adopt in our state. Some states have gone so far in trying to keep gay couples from adopting that they have tried to disallow anyone cohabiting from adopting. Florida was the only state that specifically disallowed anyone who identifies as gay (or probably bi or trans; I doubt there are easy loopholes) from adopting, though that has finally fallen apart in the last few weeks.

Gays have histrorically adopted from foster care like we're trying to do at proportionally higher rates than have straight adopting couples, and there's a long tradition of only offering less "desirable" kids to gay parents, though that's changing as gays with money have the option to go with surrogacy or assisted reproduction or infant adoption. It's not tecnically legal for gay couples to adopt from any of the sending countries for international adoption into the US (though if South Africa reopens, it of course does) but it's fairly common to fudge this.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:25 AM
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Yay, saw the doctor and will be out of here after two hours. It's okay that my period's crazy because this one doesn't count. He wants me on birth control, but I'll talk to my normal doctor about it. I'm not a fan and haven't done well when we tried in the past. Whatevs, I guess.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:34 AM
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The surrogate ultimately went ahead with the abortion because her own family commitments prevented her from raising another child.

This is effectively a forced abortion, no? I think the key to this issue is figuring out what the abortion right is. If it's the right of an individual to decide whether or not to give birth -- not the right to decide whether your offspring is born -- then the only person who has any say in the matter is the surrogate. And maybe that's the kind of right that we shouldn't be able to give up in a contract.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:37 AM
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This is effectively a forced abortion, no?

No.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:38 AM
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193: Yay!


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:38 AM
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Law degree = white collar black belt.

White Collar, Black Belt would make a good name for a straight-to-DVD movie.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:44 AM
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192: Utah is one of the states that prohibits co-habitating couples from adopting. Assholes. This law and the recent law they passed criminalizing a willfully induced miscarriage (that is not an abortion) piss me off to no end.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:45 AM
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197: ...although White Panties, Black Belt would probably get higher viewership on basic cable.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:46 AM
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195: If it isn't economic duress, I don't know what is.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:52 AM
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199: I think that would be more in the premium package, no?

Also? All these pornstars with the HIV? and porn for free on the internet? I foresee an end to productive values and the rise of amateur porn. Good, bad? Or one of those things that might be good in theory, but in practice involves trafficking and terrible things happening in Russia?


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:52 AM
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*production values. Sigh

I need to stop with this thread, honestly


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:53 AM
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200: Would you characterize any abortion by a woman who foresaw economic difficulty in raising a child as 'forced'? I wouldn't.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:57 AM
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203: I don't think this works, LB. Unless you want to say that we should abandon the concept of economic duress, there are going to be situations where we don't allow contracting parties to threaten burdens on other parties, even though those burdens might exist purely out of circumstance for others.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:01 AM
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200: Raising a disabled child is an economic hardship on almost anybody. But she could have had the baby and given it up for adoption. She signed a contract stating explicitly that if the fetus showed signs of disability, the biological parents could walk away without penalty. If you can't hack that, you shouldn't be in the surrogate business. Her economic position doesn't make this termination a forced abortion anymore than it made her implantation a forced pregnancy.

Anyhow, I strongly suspect that her hesitancy was less about moral issues with abortion and more about losing the paycheck.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:02 AM
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I kind of view parents who would see things differently as creepy control freaks

Cf. Larkin, 1971.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:04 AM
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But she could have had the baby and given it up for adoption.

Not if the baby has Downs. There are lots of contractual provisions that courts refuse to enforce. A clause giving the surrogate no rights in the case of a healthy birth, and no responsibility in the case of a disability, is likely one of them. It seems to me a lot more unfair than a typical termination penalty clause, which courts almost uniformly refuse to enforce.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:07 AM
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A clause giving the surrogate no rights in the case of a healthy birth, and no responsibility in the case of a disability, is likely one of them.

fuck, you know what I meant.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:09 AM
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We make these contracts legal so that rich, white people can have babies genetically tied to them.

Geez, people. It isnt that difficult.

I also endorse almost everything the North Carolina ginger says in this thread. (Oh, btw, I am going to watch UNC kick their butts kicked on Sat!)


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:11 AM
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But there's a specific theory behind why penalty clauses are unenforceable -- it's not that they're unfair, it's that we think that efficient breaches are to be encouraged. I don't see a similar theory which bars putting the responsibility of raising a disabled baby on the surrogate by contract. (I think that's a bad result, and I'd bar it by regulation, but I think I'd need regulation to bar it -- I don't think standard contract law does it.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:11 AM
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Court refuse to enforce things when they are unconstitional or not authorized by statute.

Statutes are enacted to all this stuff to happen. (See rich white people control legislatures theme)


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:12 AM
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Somewhat related to this topic:
http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2010/10/14/utahs-real-family-values-cutting-support-adopted-children


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:15 AM
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Triplets or more is the doctor's fault.

Not necessarily. You can end up with more babies than implanted embryos (as was the case with the triplets I know).

While we are on the topic, look at why people go to China to adopt:
1. they are scared that the parents will come back and want to be in the child's life.
2. they cant get a little white baby, dont want a little black/brown baby, and a baby from China is the next best thing.

Again, not necessarily. Domestic adoption can be more expensive, bureaucratically frustrating and uncertain depending on where in the US you live, and especially if you've had a bad experience going through it once, it might make sense to you to go to China or elsewhere. And some people don't actually care about the color of their adopted babies—some white people even want black/brown babies. Crazy!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:16 AM
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210: it's that we think that efficient breaches are to be encouraged.

That's the law and econ justification for the rule, but the rule goes back farther than the justification. And I don't think it was originally statutory, though states may have eventually codified it.

A different example might be that I couldn't actually sell my baby to you, if I had a baby and you were in the market and it met your specifications.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:17 AM
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||

Entirely off topic: does anyone have a good restaurant recommendation (not too pricey) on the Upper West Side of evil Manhattan? Not Kefi; while awesome, we went there last time. Really, though: awesome.

||


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:17 AM
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Darn you, Jesus!

Ok, I shouldnt have made it sound so clear-cut.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:19 AM
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215: I didn't get to eat there, but I joined friends who were raving about Awash Ethiopian at 947 Amsterdamn.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:19 AM
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nobody tell DQ anything unless she agrees to make up some crazy, wild story about it.

She had such potential for stories. I feel so let down.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:22 AM
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I can dig up old stories if you like?


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:23 AM
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212: I just looked it up and the maximum amount adoptive parents can receive is at parity with foster care, $28.25 per day. Apparently in reality in Utah, the amount is usually much smaller.

And to tie in with the earlier conversation, when adopted children are returned to state care (an adoption dissolution) the former adoptive parents can indeed be charged a child support fee, though that is sometimes waived based on circumstances. Adoption dissolutions (often called "disruptions" although that legally refers to the breakdown of a pre-adoptive placement) are way too common in the special-needs world, though there are sometimes good reasons. A friend of mine wrote an article I really like about the subject.

In one adoption blog I read, the adopting parents backed away from what had been a pre-birth match when the child was born with a serious medical condition. I admit I did judge them for this, but they never really wrote about what the outcome for the baby (whose parents also didn't take custody, I gather) and then they ended up adopting a healthy baby a few months after this.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:25 AM
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I actually do feel uncomfortably domesticated, but that's at least partially a function of financial paralysis, not just the girlfirend. (Can't get too crazy until I get another source of income, after all, but then...well, I'm crazy, so. Craziness.)


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:25 AM
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214: That's the law and econ justification for the rule, but the rule goes back farther than the justification.

Sure, but that's a point where the law and econ justification makes sense to me as a statement of what the common law was thinking -- that if it's a greater burden on the breacher to complete than on the counterparty to breach, that it doesn't make sense to let the counterparty punish the breacher for breaching, beyond its own actual damages. That's not just about unfairness, it's about minimizing the total damage to the two parties considered together.

The 'no contracting to sell a baby' rule is much more applicable: I'd say that the law should (and I think generally does, although apparently not in these surrogacy cases) bar the transfer of parental rights and responsibilities by contract. But the reason that I see for that isn't about unfairness to either adult party, but that the kid's interest has to be considered as well, so the state has to govern any such transfer.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:27 AM
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Thanks, AWB!


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:27 AM
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212: Argh, Utah! I think part of the problem is there is no where else to make cuts, though. Like every other state, Utah is experiencing a budget deficit and unprecedented unemployment. The governor thinks we can remedy this problem by using eminent domain to take back federal land and use if for residential properties, thus expanding the tax base and getting the money to close the budget gap. NEVERMIND that increasing the number of people will also increase the number of services needed and defeat the purpose of having an expanded tax base. Also, lets just ignore the fact that it makes no sense for a state to sue the federal government under eminent domain.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:30 AM
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215: The Tangled Vine Wine Bar & Kitchen


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:31 AM
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LizS, Utah's not alone by any means in either cutting post-adoption subsidies or in adding the cohabitation disclaimer. We dodged a bullet here on the latter, but I expect the former to happen soon.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:31 AM
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216: That's okay, will. I remain firm in my conviction that most people suck.

||
Holy crap, check out this freaking drill.
|>


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:32 AM
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228: The cohabitation thing makes me so mad, though! Such bigots! At least headway was recently made in Florida.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:35 AM
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Mr. Blandings! Thank you.

In case it wasn't clear, to anyone who hasn't tried it, I do recommend Kefi. It was actually really cheap, and their whole Branzino made me realize why "whole Branzino" is on the menu at so many places. They just do it really well.

Aside: I love New York so much.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:36 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:39 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:41 AM
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223: I'm not sure the common law was ever thinking anything, but there is often a point where "that's unfair" and "that's inefficient" merge I guess. That merger is where law and econ makes sense; where they depart, I find it less persuasive.

I guess we would need to think about this in terms of a contract where constitutional rights are implicated, and all the risk is placed on the person whose specific rights are at issue. Let's say it was the reverse situation: the surrogate contract included a huge financial penalty if the surrogate decided that she couldn't go through with the birth. I don't think that clause would be enforced.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:41 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:48 AM
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....

Please delete this if it will only encourage them, but...

have spam-bots gotten much smarter?


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:50 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:55 AM
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I don't see any spambots in this thread. I do see a human idiot posting gibberish.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:55 AM
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Oh, my God. That's an actual person?

...

That's quite sad, actually.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:56 AM
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Let's say it was the reverse situation: the surrogate contract included a huge financial penalty if the surrogate decided that she couldn't go through with the birth. I don't think that clause would be enforced.

If it's a penalty for breach, of course it wouldn't. That's what penalty means in the context of contract law, a clause that won't be enforced.

But the expense of raising a child isn't a penalty, it's a cost that someone's going to have to bear, either the surrogate or the parents. Agreeing on which of the parties to a contract is going to bear an expense doesn't seem to me to be problematic under contract law. (And again, I'd agree with you about the desirable legal rule, I just think I need to get there by statute or regulation.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:56 AM
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have spam-bots gotten much smarter?

I think it's not spam but a troll, called ToS. Unfogged doesn't have banning software equipped and/or this troll knows how to avoid it, but either way the usual remedy is for a front-page poster to delete the comments as they appear or blank them out if later comments have already referred to anything since then by number. As for if the troll is commenting more than usual, I have no idea, I guess a front-page poster would have to tell us.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:57 AM
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237: If you've noticed people talking about the ToS, or Troll of Sorrow, that's him. It's sort of like having a low-grade poltergeist.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:57 AM
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240: Ha! Or like this.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:00 AM
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240: That made me laugh out loud. Because now I'm thinking of other low-grade poltergeist possibilities. They just always hide your keys? Or unmatch all your socks?


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:02 AM
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I dunno. Not giving up on this, but off to swim.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:05 AM
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It is kind of sad. Time was, a person whose ability to interact with others or contribute to society was completely absent because of his bizarre, paranoid obsessions with Jews, lesbians and the Stanford philosophy department would be able to receive the mental help he needs. Now we just have to wait until he commits a crime and gets warehoused in prison.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:07 AM
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Btw, Death Comes to Town is worth watching, if only for their characterization of Death.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:10 AM
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244: You know, horrid as he is, I kind of worry about him. OTOH, he can't be that badly off if he's maintaining internet access.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:12 AM
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Before I go, let's try it this way. I couldn't sell you my right to exercise religion. Even if you gave me a good price for it, no court is going to enforce that contract. Similarly, you could not sell me your right to an abortion. This situation is a little more complicated than that. But likewise, we could not enter a joint venture, where all the risk of failure is on my head unless I decide to switch over to your faith of choice, in which case, it is on your head. I would effectively still be selling you my right to free exercise in exchange for a different allotment of risk. I think this last situation is pretty similar to the surrogate clause we're talking about.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:14 AM
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We make these contracts legal so that rich, white people can have babies genetically tied to them.

But this is about a case in Canada, where it's not at all clear that these contracts are legally enforceable. In Quebec, such contracts are considered null and void. In the rest of Canada, they haven't yet been tested in the courts, but I suspect the courts would not honour them, but would hold the bioparents responsible (as per traditional family law).

Also, paid surrogacy is not legal in Canada (though of course payments go on under the table), so Apo's "more about losing the paycheck" suspicion seems unfounded to me.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:18 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:20 AM
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I couldn't sell you my right to exercise religion. Even if you gave me a good price for it, no court is going to enforce that contract.

You could enter into an employment contract with me as a clergyman of some particular sect, with apostasy as a condition of termination -- I say I'm now a Buddhist, I lose my job. I think that's enforceable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:21 AM
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white collar black belt

I don't understand why people think lawyers are more likely to sue. Personally, I'm probably less likely to file a lawsuit in any given situation than your average joe. (Despite spending a lot of time on the plaintiff's side). I have literally zero belief that a lawsuit will ever "vindicate my rights" in an emotionally satisfying way, so it's purely a financial consideration.

I think that (US) doctors' fear of lawyers and the malpractice system is almost entirely tribal voodoo, combined with a deep anger that anyone could ever question the decisions made by the godlike man in the white coat.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:25 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:29 AM
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Well, that and high malpractice insurance.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:29 AM
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251.2: Vioxx.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:29 AM
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You could enter into an employment contract with me as a clergyman of some particular sect, with apostasy as a condition of termination -- I say I'm now a Buddhist, I lose my job. I think that's enforceable.

Do you have case cites for that? What if you continued to conduct services and do pastoral care as the job description in the employment agreement required? Now maybe if you preached Buddhism from the pulpit/lectern/altar you would be in breach of contractual duties, but could you be terminated over a question of conscience? I'm not sure. IANAL.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:30 AM
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251: lawyers may or may not be more likely to sue (I'd say they are more likely, on average, probably, depending on their practice--big firm lawyers, not so much, but solos?), but they're definitely more likely to know their legal rights, and to not be afraid to assert them. Cf. lawyer (and especially law student) interactions with landlords, where this is even more applicable.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:33 AM
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I don't have cites, but I'm pretty sure. Think about your constitutional right to free speech -- that doesn't give you a right not to be fired for saying things your boss doesn't like.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:33 AM
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Lawyers a more likely to sue effectively.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:35 AM
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255/257: I don't have case cites, either (I don't even have case cites for things relevant to what I do every day), but that's definitely the law. Religious schools fire people on this basis with some regularity.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:36 AM
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Think about your constitutional right to free speech -- that doesn't give you a right not to be fired for saying things your boss doesn't like.

If I don't have an employment contract, he can fire me for pretty much any reason, and I would have a high bar to prove any injury to constitutional rights.

But an employment agreement that says "Speech the employer doesn't like shall be a condition of termination"? I dunno.

(Obviously there are lots of ways of approximating "speech the employer doesn't like" in neutral, constitutionally unobjectionable ways: non-disparagement clauses, personal conduct clauses, etc.)

Again, IANAL.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:38 AM
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260: I do know, and it'd be fine. You don't have any enforceable right not to be fired for saying something your boss finds unpleasant (outside of specific civil rights contexts). Putting it into a contract doesn't give rise to such a right.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:40 AM
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261: Isn't the bar for firing due to speech even lower for a "public face" position like a member of the clergy?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:46 AM
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I'm now thinking in a civil rights context... on the being fired for apostasy front, come to think you probably couldn't make a contract like that outside a clergy/teaching/public face of a religious organization context. Religion's a protected category, so I think it'd have to be a bonafide qualification for the job -- you couldn't just hire someone for a factory job under a contract making continued employment contingent on remaining a Baptist. But where religious affiliation is relevant to the job, you can hire and fire on that basis.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:46 AM
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256 and 258: I think the threat of lawsuits is even more effective. Lawyers are presumably able to file and respond to lawsuits at a much lower cost than, say, I am; if I'm an asshole and I mess with a lawyer, it's probably a lot harder for me to defend myself than it is for the lawyer to fuck with me. So I don't fuck with them.

Black belt.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:46 AM
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if I'm an asshole

Hypothetically?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:47 AM
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262: No, because there's no bar to lower. Your employer can fire you (in the absence of a contract to the contrary) for saying that blue is your favorite color, on or off duty. (There may be some protections to the contrary in some state somewhere, but not generally).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:48 AM
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You know, horrid as he is, I kind of worry about him.

I'd pay to have him killed.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:50 AM
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262: I suspect you're thinking of government jobs (i.e., not a member of the clergy, thankfully). A public worker in a "public face" job can be fired more easily for saying things their employer disagrees with.

In the private context, 266 is right.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:52 AM
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267: Aren't there some regulars who are looking for work?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:53 AM
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268: I think you're right, now that you mention it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:53 AM
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268, 270: Ah, that makes sense.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:55 AM
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269: Don't you read the paper? The NYT just reported that Bernanke is going to fix the economy. I'm sure that can't take long.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 11:55 AM
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||

I'm in the market for a canoe. Someone tell me which one to buy. There seem to be lots of them. My criteria: it should be the best canoe available for all possible conditions. And it goes without saying that it should be very light, durable and maintenance free. I don't want to pay much. I'm indifferent to color, as long as it's not an ugly one.

|>


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:00 PM
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Wouldn't you rather just get a wallaby?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:01 PM
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Bringing this full circle, does the law permit the Catholic Church to make adherence to Catholic teachings on abortion a condition of employment? How about contraception and divorce? (For simplicity's sake, let's say we're talking about lay employees, not priests.)

IIRC there were some cases recently that touched on this -- some employers affilliated with the Catholic church or something.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:02 PM
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I don't know anything about canoes, but these guys do: http://www.paddling.net/buyersguide/


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:02 PM
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Maybe. Are wallabies maintenance-free?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:02 PM
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273: Do you want a canoe or a kayak? Because a kayak is lighter and easier to store in most cases. And what you do you mean by 'all conditions?' Lake, river, hoping between Pacific islands? Sober, need room for a cooler?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:03 PM
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274 to 269?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:03 PM
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276: I've spent a genuinely irresponsible amount of time over the past month reading that websight.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:04 PM
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Further to 275: to clarify the issue, if a woman is a lay employee of a Catholic-affiliated charity, and she has an employment agreement that says she can only be fired for cause, can that contract define having an abortion or using birth control is cause for termination?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:05 PM
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275: My Catholic school had teachers that were Protestant, so obviously they didn't have to hold to the full doctrine. But, they did fire someone for going against Catholic teaching on divorce (i.e. Marriage 2.0).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:06 PM
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275.1: I think so, yes. I think it'd start getting sticky for them if they conditioned employment for a lay employee in a position where their Catholicism wasn't relevant to their job (a janitor, rather than a teacher), on the janitor's religion or religious expression (and when I say getting sticky, I mean I don't think they could fire on that basis). But unless getting abortions and using contraception was mandated (as opposed to permitted) by the janitor's religion, I think that'd be fair game for hiring and firing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:07 PM
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I think there was a recent case where the Church fired a nun for changing her view on abortion. yep


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:08 PM
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280: Oh. Then you're probably the best-informed person here.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:10 PM
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282: I think they could have required that Catholic school teachers be Catholic -- I'm not dead sure, that's close to the line. But just because they didn't, doesn't mean they couldn't have.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:10 PM
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DQ (Dona Quixote, not Dairy Queen): Depending how far up the West Side, I am pretty fond of Max Soha by Columbia. Italian, very reasonable.

Because of the way it was described to me, I thought Opinionated Everyone was the ToS for a long time, and I kept thinking "but...but...it's often quite funny, this troll."


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:14 PM
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285. Damn. ! I was afraid of that. I thought it was worth a try this is where I usually turn for problem-solving


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:17 PM
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I think there was a recent case where the Church fired a nun for changing her view on abortion.

I don't think anyone questions the right of the Catholic church to excommunicate a member for any reason they want. The question is whether the Catholic hospital could fire her from her job, which apparently they did not.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:17 PM
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286: I'm think they could have required being Catholic also. They didn't want to in order to keep a bigger pool of potential hires.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:19 PM
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I don't think anyone questions the right of the Catholic church to excommunicate a member for any reason they want

Not true--a number of heterodox Catholic theologians question this.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:19 PM
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Time was, a person whose ability to interact with others or contribute to society was completely absent because of his bizarre, paranoid obsessions with Jews, lesbians and the Stanford philosophy department would be able to receive the mental help he needs.

Now it occurs to me that ToS may be a self-hating Jewish lesbian Stanford philosophy student. That would put an interesting spin on things, at least.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:20 PM
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291: But they probably don't want the government stopping it either.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:20 PM
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273: Well, if you've got the money, I'd go with an Old Town. But a Coleman's probably just as good, for general use. "All possible conditions" is kind of the sticking point though. Are you really going to be seeing a lot of white water? How much portaging are you planning to do? Are you planning on taking really long trips with the kids, so that you'll need to fit several duluth packs, plus passengers?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:22 PM
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282 -- I'm not at all an expert in this area, but I did work on a related case about 10 years ago. The law goes way beyond allowing religious observance as a permissible condition for employment by a religious employer. In general, under the so-called "ministerial exemption" (which extends not only to actual ministers, but to any employee a church claims is crucial to its spiritual mission, which can include teachers) the courts are prohibited from enquiring beyond a facially-asserted religious doctrinal reason for termination. I.e., if you're a black candidate for the priesthood and are terminated for being a Monophysite, you can't go to court and claim that this was a mere pretext for the Church's refusal to employ a black priest.

In the Ninth Circuit, a sexual harrassment case can go forward if the church doesn't affirmatively state that the conduct that was allegedly harrassing was based on doctrine. In many other circuits, you can't even do that -- e.g., a case alleging sexual harrassment harrassment leading to a person's decision to resign from the ministry is not actionable so long as the Church asserts that there was a religious reason for terminating the employment relationship.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:23 PM
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The question is whether the Catholic hospital could fire her from her job, which apparently they did not.

Which do you think would have been more traumatic for the nun, to be fired or excommunicated? My bet is the latter.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:24 PM
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I think you guys are confusing things a little in referring to situations that don't actually implicate constitutional rights. Whether or not employment speech is protected (it isn't) or a member of the clergy can be required to practice that particular religion as a condition of employment (I don't know) isn't really the issue. We don't need to outline first amendment law here in order to draw the appropriate analogy. The surrogate's decision to keep or abort the fetus does implicate a constitutional right. I don't think anyone here disputes that. The question is, in any other situation that also implicates a constitutional right, would we allow parties to allocate risk in a contract based on the exercise of that right?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:24 PM
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that was me


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:25 PM
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297: But that question is much harder.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:26 PM
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As a practical matter, I think an actual court would resolve most of these hypotheticals involving the Catholic Church in exactly the opposite way if we merely substited "Islamic" and "Muslim".

Would an employment contract be enforced that specified that eating pork, paying interest, and failing to prostrate oneself in the direction of Mecca 5X daily were grounds for dismissal?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:27 PM
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Further to 294: Have you also checked around on Craigslist? I'm sure there's plenty of people looking to unload barely-used canoes right now.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:29 PM
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297: I don't understand 297 at all. Can you say it again in different words?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:29 PM
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On text's earlier point about the contract, I don't see an obvious answer in the common law of contracts for the enforceability of a contractual provision that requires either an abortion or a mandatory raising of the child. I also think text's point about a penalty provision is apt. I.e., is the penalty (18 years of raising a disabled child without outside support) reasonably related to the damages attributable to the breach (dishonoring the biological parents decision to selectively abort a kid with a disability), or should we disallow such a provision on grounds of public policy (or reach some compromise, such as making the biological parents pay some form of limited support). Regardless of the merits, I don't think that it's an easy contract law case. It might be easy under the surrogacy laws in the US, and therefore legally settled -- that's Will's domain, not mine -- but it's not at all an easy standard contract case IMO.

I don't really think that text's point in 297 advances things, though -- we allow parties to allocate risk based on the exercise of constitutional rights all the time. Every covenant not to sue and settlement agreement does that.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:29 PM
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300.2: My bank stopped paying interest about two years ago.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:30 PM
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It may be unfair to the bio parents, but by going the surrogate route they do not have the same rights that they would have if it were the bio mom carrying the child. No forced abortions, ever. I'm sorry that you didn't get the perfect baby you wanted. Shit happens.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:30 PM
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301: I'll second that recommendation. Before I decided it was one summer too early, I was looking around for a kayak or canoe. There were lots of nice looking (from the photo) boats for much less than retail.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:32 PM
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305 settles it. Now let's talk about canoes.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:33 PM
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is the penalty (18 years of raising a disabled child without outside support) reasonably related to the damages attributable to the breach (dishonoring the biological parents decision to selectively abort a kid with a disability),

Okay, this seems to me to be the easiest possible question. Yes, the it's-not-a-penalty to the surrogate, the cost of raising a disabled child, is reasonably related to the damages to the genetic parents, the cost of raising a disabled child, because they're exactly the same.

I can see a court doing almost anything with a contract like this because it's about a kid, rather than an inanimate object, so ordinary contract law might not apply. But if we leave the interests of the kid out of it completely, then I think putting the risk of raising a disabled child on the surrogate bears no resemblance to a penalty clause. (I think it's a horrible deal for the surrogate, but an unfair deal doesn't mean a penalty clause.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:33 PM
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308: I can see a court doing almost anything with a contract like this because it's about a kid

I don't Canada's law, or even specific U.S. laws, but generally speaking if there is a child that needs support and you can be defined as a 'parent,' you aren't getting off the hook very easily.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:37 PM
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302: I'll explain it, but I'm not sure it will address what Halford wrote.

The reason that an employer can fire an employee based on workplace speech is that the particular workplace speech isn't protected by the First Amendment. It isn't because the employment contract supercedes the First Amendment. The First Amendment hasn't actually been implicated.

Where the First Amendment does protect speech, I believe the law is that you can't bar that speech. It's a tricky issue though, because the parameters of the First Amendment are dependent on context. But in all those situations, courts aren't holding that the First Amendment right can be overcome, they're holding that there is no First Amendment right.

Here, it's undisputed that there is a constitutional right at issue. So I don't think arguing about the parameters of the First Amendment gets us anywhere.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:38 PM
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I should have done this earlier. The basic surrogacy law in VA:

§ 20-160. Petition and hearing for court approval of surrogacy contract; requirements; orders


A. Prior to the performance of assisted conception, the intended parents, the surrogate, and her husband shall join in a petition to the circuit court of the county or city in which at least one of the parties resides. The surrogacy contract shall be signed by all the parties and acknowledged before an officer or other person authorized by law to take acknowledgments.

A copy of the contract shall be attached to the petition. The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of any resulting child and shall appoint counsel to represent the surrogate. The court shall order a home study by a local department of social services or welfare or a licensed child-placing agency, to be completed prior to the hearing on the petition.

All hearings and proceedings conducted under this section shall be held in camera, and all court records shall be confidential and subject to inspection only under the standards applicable to adoptions as provided in § 63.2-1245. The court conducting the proceedings shall have exclusive and continuing jurisdiction of all matters arising under the surrogacy contract until all provisions of the contract are fulfilled.

B. The court shall hold a hearing on the petition. The court shall enter an order approving the surrogacy contract and authorizing the performance of assisted conception for a period of twelve months after the date of the order, and may discharge the guardian ad litem and attorney for the surrogate upon finding that:

1. The court has jurisdiction in accordance with § 20-157;

2. A local department of social services or welfare or a licensed child-placing agency has conducted a home study of the intended parents, the surrogate, and her husband, if any, and has filed a report of this home study with the court;

3. The intended parents, the surrogate, and her husband, if any, meet the standards of fitness applicable to adoptive parents;

4. All the parties have voluntarily entered into the surrogacy contract and understand its terms and the nature, meaning, and effect of the proceeding and understand that any agreement between them for payment of compensation is void and unenforceable;

5. The agreement contains adequate provisions to guarantee the payment of reasonable medical and ancillary costs either in the form of insurance, cash, escrow, bonds, or other arrangements satisfactory to the parties, including allocation of responsibility for such costs in the event of termination of the pregnancy, termination of the contract pursuant to § 20-161, or breach of the contract by any party;

6. The surrogate has had at least one pregnancy, and has experienced at least one live birth, and bearing another child does not pose an unreasonable risk to her physical or mental health or to that of any resulting child. This finding shall be supported by medical evidence;

7. Prior to signing the surrogacy contract, the intended parents, the surrogate, and her husband, if any, have submitted to physical examinations and psychological evaluations by practitioners licensed to perform such services pursuant to Title 54.1, and the court and all parties have been given access to the records of the physical examinations and psychological evaluations;

8. The intended mother is infertile, is unable to bear a child, or is unable to do so without unreasonable risk to the unborn child or to the physical or mental health of the intended mother or the child. This finding shall be supported by medical evidence;

9. At least one of the intended parents is expected to be the genetic parent of any child resulting from the agreement;

10. The husband of the surrogate, if any, is a party to the surrogacy agreement;

11. All parties have received counseling concerning the effects of the surrogacy by a qualified health care professional or social worker, and a report containing conclusions about the capacity of the parties to enter into and fulfill the agreement has been filed with the court; and

12. The agreement would not be substantially detrimental to the interests of any of the affected persons.

C. Unless otherwise provided in the surrogacy contract, all court costs, counsel fees, and other costs and expenses associated with the hearing, including the costs of the home study, shall be assessed against the intended parents.

D. Within seven days of the birth of any resulting child, the intended parents shall file a written notice with the court that the child was born to the surrogate within 300 days after the last performance of assisted conception. Upon the filing of this notice and a finding that at least one of the intended parents is the genetic parent of the resulting child as substantiated by medical evidence, the court shall enter an order directing the State Registrar of Vital Records to issue a new birth certificate naming the intended parents as the parents of the child pursuant to § 32.1-261.

If evidence cannot be produced that at least one of the intended parents is the genetic parent of the resulting child, the court shall not enter an order directing the issuance of a new birth certificate naming the intended parents as the parents of the child, and the surrogate and her husband, if any, shall be the parents of the child. The intended parents may obtain parental rights only through adoption as provided in Chapter 12 (§ 63.2-1200 et seq.) of Title 63.2.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:41 PM
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Of course, all of these wild hypotheticals about contracts that might implicate constitutionally protected rights are irrelevant to the situation at hand, because the so-called "right to abortion" was invented out of whole cloth by liberal activist judges.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:41 PM
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the particular workplace speech isn't protected by the First Amendment.

Not so. The workplace speech is protected by the First Amendment, in that the government can't stop you from saying whatever you like -- just because you're at work doesn't allow the police to arrest you for subversion. It's not that the speech isn't protected, it's that the protection the First Amendment provides isn't protection against being fired.

Similarly, the protection the Constitution gives to the right to have an abortion is protection from government action against you for having an abortion. I don't see any implicit right not to be fired or have contractual terms depend on whether or not you've had an abortion.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:43 PM
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Regarding settlement agreements, I think that's actually a pretty narrow exception to the general rule that we don't enforce contracts to exercise or not exercise constitutional rights. Because otherwise our courts would be even more bogged down than they already are.

We don't allow contracts for personal servitude or to buy and sell votes.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:44 PM
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As an aside, the law that immediately follow assisted conception is DRAINAGE, SOIL CONSERVATION, SANITATION AND PUBLIC FACILITIES DISTRICTS


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:44 PM
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189 and other comments about lawyers suing: My torts professor told a funny story during the section about informed consent. He was talking to his doctor the day before he was about to have a surgery that was minor but did require general anesthesia. That day, the doctor learned that he was being sued for malpractice.

So my professor is in the doctor's office discussing the procedure and he asks "What are the risks associated with this procedure?" The doctor looks at his chart, sees that the word "lawyer" is present for occupation, and says "You...you could DIE!"


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:44 PM
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The workplace speech is protected by the First Amendment, in that the government can't stop you from saying whatever you like -- just because you're at work doesn't allow the police to arrest you for subversion.

I think this is a little confused. Whether or not speech is protected is, it's true, dependent on context. But in every situation where we permit a regulation or limitation on speech, it's because that regulation or limitation doesn't implicate the first amendment, not because other interests trump the first amendment.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:46 PM
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contracts for personal servitude

We allow contracts for personal servitude, we just don't allow specific performance as a remedy for breach.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:46 PM
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If we allow a contractual provision but won't ever enforce it, how are we allowing it? In the same vein, the Canadian courts are allowing the specific clause at issue even though they won't enforce it.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:47 PM
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What area do you practice in, LizSpigot?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:48 PM
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What area do you practice in, LizSpigot?

Water law?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:49 PM
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317: I think you're losing track, in both the abortion issue and the First Amendment analogy, of whom the rights-bearer has a right against. First Amendment rights are rights as against the government, not as against other private citizens. Similarly, abortion rights are rights not to be prevented by the government from (or punished by the government for) getting an abortion. They're also not really rights against other private citizens.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:49 PM
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craigslist ... I'm sure there's plenty of people looking to unload barely-used canoes right now.

I've looked and looked and looked and looked, but no, even though this is what everyone says and it would be the best of all possible solutions.

And of course the "all possible conditions" was facetious. No serious ww (above c III, and honestly probably not even including c III), no extended trips (nothing over a week).

I've thought a lot about OT, and might end up with one. They're nice. I'd rather pay less, though, than their retail full-price.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:49 PM
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320: I'm a patent attorney. All of the patents involve software. I also do 5% trademark prosecution and some general IP counseling.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:49 PM
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Thanks, Smearcase! I think we're gonna try the tangled vine place, right after I do a test run on the turnpike. Because I like fearing for my life, and then drinking wine.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:50 PM
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Similarly, the protection the Constitution gives to the right to have an abortion is protection from government action against you for having an abortion.

Are you now arguing that the enforcement of private agreements can't implicate Constitutional rights? It's been awhile but I think this is where I'd talk about the 14th Amendment case law.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:50 PM
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It may be unfair to the bio parents, but by going the surrogate route they do not have the same rights that they would have if it were the bio mom carrying the child. No forced abortions, ever. I'm sorry that you didn't get the perfect baby you wanted. Shit happens

Change the rules and people wont do surrogacies. You might be in favor of that, but since most jurisdictations have decided to enact laws in favor of surrogacies, your position loses.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:50 PM
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319: We enforce it through damages -- if you make a contract for personal servitude, and can show damages from the 'servitor's' breach, you can sue the servitor for those damages. You just can't compel her to actually carry out her service duties, rather than making you whole by giving you cash.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:51 PM
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321: Funny enough, I recently obtained a patent that involves water rights.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:51 PM
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321: Pirate law, Chareth. Pirate law.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:51 PM
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326 also to 322. I think you're the one losing track here, LB.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:51 PM
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326: "Can't" and "implicate" are both awfully broad terms, that encompass a lot more than what I think we're talking about. Sure, the actions of a private citizen can violate the constitutional rights of another private citizen such that the second has a cause of action against the first. But that doesn't get you to saying that any time a constitutional right is 'implicated', that a private citizen is barred from acting in a way that affects the rights-bearer's decision to exercise it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:54 PM
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contracts for personal servitude

Isn't it more accurate to say that we don't allow contracts that define human beings as chattel? The constitutional prohibition is against involuntary servitude. (Or what LB said.)


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:55 PM
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but would hold the bioparents responsible (as per traditional family law).

Under traditional family law, the mother is the surrogate and the father is the father. The egg donor is nothing more than a donor. She is out of it.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:55 PM
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if you make a contract for personal servitude, and can show damages from the 'servitor's' breach, you can sue the servitor for those damages.

I'm not sure on this. It's true that if you pay me to paint your fence, and I don't do it, you can sue me for damages, though you can't force me to paint your fence. But if you pay me to be your slave, and you sue on that contract, I'm not sure you're getting anything but a rescission.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:56 PM
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LizSpigot,

I have a similar practice. I am only one i away from your practice.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:57 PM
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But that doesn't get you to saying that any time a constitutional right is 'implicated', that a private citizen is barred from acting in a way that affects the rights-bearer's decision to exercise it.

Maybe not, but I don't need it to get me that far, I just need it to get me to the point where a court won't enforce the private contract.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:57 PM
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334: I watched a Dateline about one of the surrogacy cases where the surrogate decided to keep the baby (although it was also her egg). The whole story had a super weird fact pattern, but the bottom line was, after the dueling law suits, she was forced to give the child up, lost custody of her other children, was divorced by her husband, and was not paid.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 12:59 PM
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Oh weird. 338=oudemia.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:01 PM
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My professional opinion is that Dateline and the Lifetime Network suck. They distort the facts so as to get the maximum shock value.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:01 PM
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340: Plus, Dateline is the largest provider of chocolate chip cookies to pedophiles.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:02 PM
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335: Depends on what "slave" means. It used to describe a legal status whereby one person owned another as chattel, and that status no longer exists -- there is no currently existing legal status of 'slavery' for someone to sell themselves into. But if the contract were written as "I agree to be your slave" with "slave" defined in the contract as "Carry out all of your orders and requests without question" and (and this is a big and) you could demonstrate damages from the "slave's" breach, I don't see why you wouldn't be able to sue for those damages. Now, in practice you wouldn't be able to show damages, and the whole contract would be too silly to sue on, but there's no particular duty of personal service (barring meritricious duties and others contrary to law) that you couldn't contract for and have the contract enforced with damages (also subject to applicable labor laws -- hours per day and so on.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:03 PM
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336: No way! I love it. I almost became a researcher and I'm so glad I dodged that bullet. Getting paid to read and write about the newest technology is fantastic. Remind me what part of the country you're in again?


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:03 PM
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The outcome was certainly true -- as in, those things in fact happened -- and were reported in various media outlets long before Dateline got their mitts on the story.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:03 PM
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308 -- One way of looking at it is to think about the law of when conditions precedent are equitably excused because they work a forfeiture. The parties contracted for a non-disabled child, which the biological parents would then have to support (and receive benefits from), and they've required the surrogate to abort in the case of a disabled child. The surrogate breached. Under standard contract law, the damages could be set as either the entire cost of raising the child (if the existence of non-disability was a condition precedent to the contract), or the difference to the couple between paying for a disabled vs. a non-disabled child (expectation damages, the Reading Pipe situation).

One way of looking at it is to say that the lack of disability is a condition precedent to the performance of the contract, and therefore the surrogate should bear the entire cost of the breach. That might have even been express in the contract (which I haven't seen). But that just raises the separate question of whether the existence of a completely healthy child is an acceptable condition precedent in that situation, or whether allowing the contract to create a condition precedent in that situation works a forfeiture by unfairly allocating the entire cost of raising the child to the surrogate, instead of just a portion of that cost. There are a lot of cases that refuse to equitably enforce conditions precedent when they are deemed to work a forfeiture. For example, even if I expressly say in an insurance contract that "failure to notify the insurer within 30 days of the events giving rise to a claim is a condition precedent for payment under the policy" courts will refuse to enforce that provision as a condition precedent, and only allow damages for the harm caused by a late failure to notify. This could very well be a similar situation. I'm not saying that's the right legal answer (and all of this depends ultimately on the weirdness of the situation and that there's a kid involved) but I don't think enforceability is at all obvious under standard contract law.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:05 PM
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337: But you haven't made that argument. You've just said 'constitutional right implicated, so the contract's unenforceable'. I don't buy your claim that there's clear distinction between a contract that affects someone's incentives to exercise their First Amendment rights (which you say doesn't 'implicate' a constitutional right) and a contract that affects someone's incentive to exercise their right to abortion (which you say does 'implicate' a constitutional right), and I don't see where you've argued for it as opposed to merely asserting it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:06 PM
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338: I still remember the surrogacy case that we studied in law school (In re Baby M, I believe) where the surrogate had the baby and decided after the parents took the baby home that she wanted to keep it. At one point she broke into their home to try and steal the baby.

The craziest part about the case, though, is that before this woman became a surrogate, the agency gave her a psych evaluation. The agency determined that she would have trouble giving up the baby. And then they decided to ignore this evaluation and use her as a surrogate anyways. So dumb!


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:07 PM
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They dont distort the outcome. They cant. They distort the facts that lead to the outcome.

It isnt really difficult to make her seem less crazy and everyone else more crazy. They omit facts and bring out stuff that wasnt considered.

I am not suggesting that there are not crazy outcomes in litigation. Quite the opposite.

But, the media's job is to sensationalize or to shock.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:07 PM
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345: Okay, that's something I'd have to think about hard before arguing with, and I'm not sure I would disagree after thinking about it. Penalty clause was the wrong way to think about it, but the condition precedent/substantial performance issue is a real solid one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:09 PM
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348: They dont distort the outcome. They cant. They distort the facts that lead to the outcome.

Obviously. That was my point.

The spin here was clearly that she was crazy, incidentally. My take as the viewer was that they were shifting a good 20% more crazy to her off the shoulders of the adoptive parents.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:11 PM
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The agency determined that she would have trouble giving up the baby. And then they decided to ignore this evaluation and use her as a surrogate anyways. So dumb!

It is really important to look for red flags in adoption work or assisted conception work.

A birth mother wants to place with your clients, but she says she doesnt know who the dad is. Either find out or run away. She knows who it is and your clients do not do themselves any favors by pretending that she doesnt. I once had to go to a local bar to find some regular who had a funky hair cut so he could sign the consent.

There was a Lifetime case where the child lived with the adopting couple for a long time. (Maybe Baby Jessica?) Everyone cried when the child was given back to the birth father, but the adopting couple knew early on that there was a problem, but decided to follow a legal strategy of holding on to the child as long as possible, hoping that possession would help them win.

They can rot in hell as far as Im concerned.



Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:13 PM
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Normal contract damages for a breach are the non-breaching party's expected benefit. That wouldn't, in theory, be difficult for LB to show when I breached the agreement she has outlined. But she's not getting the expectation damages. It isn't that they're hard to calculate, it's that the court won't enforce the contract.

On a different note, Halford is doing a much better job than I am holding up my end of this debate, so I think it's ok to excuse myself for awhile.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:13 PM
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In a normal contract, a specific law hasnt been enacted allowing for that specific provision to be included. Totally different.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:14 PM
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351: There was an awful case with a Chinese couple, and I can't remember the details exactly. But the parents were living in the US, and having trouble, and placed the kid (they thought temporarily) with a couple in their church, and signed some paper that (IIRC only very ambiguously) could be construed as terminating their parental rights. And the fostering couple refused to return the kid, and in an incredible display of chutzpah dragged things out for long enough that they were arguing that the kid was so bonded to them that it would traumatize her to go back to her parents.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:16 PM
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You know what's wrong with unfogged these days? Lawyers monopolizing the threads with their legal mumbo-jumbo. Too often they intimidate non-lawyers from taking active part in the discussions. Why, they might as well go back to writing everything in Latin.

The lurkers support me on this by email.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:16 PM
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351: Probably the Baby Richard case in Chicago in the early 90s. Never saw anything on Lifetime, but it was in the papers constantly for years.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:16 PM
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346: It's true, I only asserted that the surrogate's decision to keep or abort the fetus is protected by the Constitution, rather than setting out to prove it. Because I think that's pretty settled, and I don't think anyone wants to argue with me about that. In the cases you've described, the holding was that the constitution did not protect the speech. Which is why those cases aren't helpful.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:16 PM
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351: I'm curious, do you do that work pro bono? I'm trying to understand how patents and adoption/surrogacy stuff go together.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:17 PM
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352: I'm not really sure which of my comments this addresses.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:17 PM
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355: Right!

I think the rules for Unfogged legal arguments should be that you are only allowed to cite to TV shows not to actual statutes or case law.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:19 PM
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I really need to stop this and go back to paying legal work, but a contract for slavery wouldn't be enforced, full stop, as illegal; conceivably in some situations the slave could seek "damages," whatever they were, under the contract, but that's just based on the equitable rule that we allow parties damaged by an illegal contract the option of suing under them to preevnt wrongdoing.

To the broader conversation, I don't think it's useful at all to talk about "constitutional rights" in the abstract in this context. The 13th amendment is fairly unique in that it clearly regulates both private and public conduct. Most of the constitution doesn't do that. Free speech is its own animal, which is quite distinct from the right of privacy that's at issue in the abortion context.

Generally, we allow parties to contract away their privacy rights -- in fact, I spend a fair amount of my career thinking about precisely this issue -- but the ability to contract away privacy rights may have limits in particularly invasive contexts like abortion. For example, no court would ever enforce a contract that expressly provided for the remedy of specific performance if a party promised, but failed to, get an abortion. And that's true even if all parties agreed that this was the specific and express intent of the contract.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:20 PM
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355: Sorry. Whenever a word doesn't make sense, just substitute "horse cock" and it should all work out.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:20 PM
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355:

We could have a debate! Elitest college people v. lawyers!

You get Blume, BG, oudemia, Helpy-chalk, and whichever other elitests you can find.

I get Carp, LizSpigot, Di, and the other lawyers. I call LB and Halford even though I think they qualify for both camps.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:21 PM
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351: There's a case going on right now in front of the Ohio Supreme Court. The adoptive parents are being total jerks and doing what always seems to happen in these kinds of cases, dragging things on for years and then complaining that if they lose it will take a child away from the only family he's ever known.

So what number am I on now?
6?: Open adoption agreements should be legally enforceable for adoptive parents, though I think they should be written in such ways that the birth parents don't have to comply but have the opportunity to do so as money and psychological readiness allow. There are too many cases where placing parents are told that they'll be able to stay connected to their biological children but then the adoptive family decides (again, there are in fact documented cases of unethical agencies counseling adopting parents to lie and claim there will be contact when there won't) not to allow that to continue. Sometimes it's because their feelings are hurt or there's a culture clash or just a toddler doesn't seem comfortable or happy seeing someone who's in some sense a stranger, but there should be ways to deal with this other than unilaterally making withdrawing and being able to just break that contract because they're only binding in a few states.

I'm dealing with the hardest kind of adoption, where parents have been found legally unfit to care for their children, and yet I still strongly believe open adoptions that allow connection with healthy members of birth family are the best option for adoptees and thus for their adoptive families.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:22 PM
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359 addresses 342. Your damages would be your expected benefit, and you wouldn't get them because no court would enforce the contract.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:22 PM
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he holding was that the constitution did not protect the speech. Which is why those cases aren't helpful.

No. The holding was that the constitution's protection of the speech did not include barring an employer from firing the speaker. "I'm a Buddhist" is absolutely constitutionally protected speech. No state or federal law can punish me for saying that, no state actor can take action against me on that basis. But despite the fact that it's constitutionally protected speech, if I'm a Catholic priest, I can lose my job for saying it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:22 PM
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LizSpigot:

It was a bad joke. Add an i to patent and you get patient.

My legal career is mostly spent far away from anything with the word intellectual in it.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:23 PM
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366: We're not going to settle this without actually going to the cases, which I think would be grounds for a lifetime unfogged ban. But I think you're confused on this point. The issue in those cases is whether the first amendment protects the speech from the specific limitation at issue, not whether the limitation supercedes the first amendment.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:26 PM
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I think the rules for Unfogged legal arguments should be that you are only allowed to cite to TV shows not to actual statutes or case law.

Hey, that's my gig!


Posted by: Jonah Goldberg | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:26 PM
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354: Anna Mae He, and it was another awful case. Fucking privilege!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:26 PM
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I call LB and Halford even though I think they qualify for both camps.

I call Tweety, even though he qualifies for neither.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:26 PM
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Lawyers monopolizing the threads with their legal mumbo-jumbo.

Seriously. Let's cut to the chase: who wants me to impregnate them?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:27 PM
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367: Oh! See, I thought you meant one of my "I statements" didn't apply. Like maybe you didn't do software patents but you were a patent attorney that also does TM work. Heh, this all makes so much more sense now.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:28 PM
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372:

Given your track record, I was a little worried when you hugged BR.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:29 PM
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I declare myself on the knowitall team.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:29 PM
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363: What about plain, ordinary, salt of the earth, real Americans? Don't we have a voice on unfogged? Now that bob's gone, I think it's just me and the TOS.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:29 PM
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376: I was born in a small town with salted earth and catsup on the sidewalks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:30 PM
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361: but a contract for slavery wouldn't be enforced, full stop, as illegal

I think this is ambiguous, because 'slavery' doesn't have a legal meaning in the modern US. If you mean that you can't sell someone, including yourself, into involuntary servitude, sure. But you can contract for voluntary servitude (within the other limits of employment law). And you can enforce a contract for voluntary servitude, and get damages for breach.

365: If I contract with someone for their services, and they breach the contract by failing to perform, and I suffer quantifiable damages due to their failure to perform, I can sue them for those damages. There's nothing special about a contract for personal services that makes it unenforceable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:31 PM
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We put fertilizer on our potato chips.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:32 PM
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Canoes: Okay, wow, I have clearly not priced canoes in a LONG time. I took a break from the office and walked over to M/dwest Mounta/neer/ng, and asked at the canoe desk, and the very helpful salesman suggested either the Weenonah Prospecter 16', in Royalex, or the Weenonah Spirit II 17', also in Royalex.

I would reiterate that if it were my money, I'd just go with an Old Town, but then what little canoeing I would be likely to do would be generally low key, lakes in good weather type of stuff, nothing too taxing except for the portages.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:34 PM
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There's nothing special about a contract for personal services that makes it unenforceable.

Personal services? I'm pretty sure what I have in mind would be unenforceable.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:34 PM
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378 -- I'm pretty sure that a contract for "voluntary servitude" would just get treated like an employment contract, and you'd have to comply with whatever standard employment law would apply. So I guess you could call something "slavery" that was really just work, but you couldn't really legally contract yourself into something that looks like slavery, if that makes sense.

Anyhow, no one tell my sex slaves about that, please.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:37 PM
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372: Impregnate all the lawyers as far as I'm concerned.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:37 PM
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364: I wasn't familiar with that case. What a sad story. It's no wonder the daughter didn't want to go back to her biological parents initially. The Bakers probably spent all seven years of her life trying to poison her against her bio parents.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:37 PM
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354, 370: Ugh!

On February 21, 2007, the Bakers released videos of Anna Mae, showing what they explained as Anna Mae He's rejection of her Chinese heritage, saying she would rather live in the United States over China, would not eat Chinese food anymore, and told people that she was Mexican.[9] According to a report from USA Today dated February 21, 2007, Jerry Baker paid Anna Mae US$5 for each question she answered, such as "Where do you want to grow up United States or China?" and "What do you want your last name to be, Baker or He?" The USA Today article noted that she refused to answer the question about her last name.[10] Juvenile Court Judge Curtis Person expressed displeasure that Anna Mae was exposed to this media coverage in the Bakers' home, and threatened to issue a gag order if it continued.[11]

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:38 PM
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378: Here I think you're defining "personal servitude" in a rather tortured way. Sure, if what you mean by "personal servitude" is a regular employment contract, pursuant to which I will personally do stuff for pay, then you can get damages when I breach it. That's easy. But it's not the way I would use that word.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:39 PM
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323: I've thought a lot about OT, and might end up with one. They're nice. I'd rather pay less, though, than their retail full-price.

Well, yes, we'd all paddle Cadillacs if we could afford them.

So I'm guessing the Weenonahs, at $1300 a pop, are probably not going to work out. Oh well.

I guess the other option, depending on your location, would be to make friends with the local canoe salesmen at REI or wherever, and see if they know anyone looking to trade up. Presumably there are canoeing message boards as well.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:40 PM
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Presumably there are canoeing message boards as well.

There are probably dinosaurs-humping-canoes message boards.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:41 PM
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I took a break from the office and walked over to M/dwest Mounta/neer/ng, and asked at the canoe desk

Holy shit! See, Apo: this is the kind of personalized advisory service you can't get over at paddling.net.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:43 PM
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382: Sure, pretty much. I was just quibbling over what "you can't contract for slavery" meant. If it means "you can't contract for someone's services in a manner unconstrained by employment law and depriving them of the option to terminate the agreement", sure. But there's no particular service legal in itself and not meritricious that you can't make an enforceable contract for.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:43 PM
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How about a different (and I hope simpler) example.

Under the First Amendment you have a right to free speech, including the right to publish. So, the general rule is that the government cannot stop you from publishing a book. However, if you enter into a contract in which you promise not to disclose something, the courts (that is, the government) can order you not to publish something that violates that agreement. That is a contractual relinquishment of a constitutional right.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:43 PM
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Oh, and Thorn -- thank you for your comments, they are really interesting.

Will, if I'm reading the Virginia statute right, it doesn't expressly permit cost-shifting arrangements, it just requires review of a surrogacy contract to make sure that cost provisions in the case of a termination have been worked out in advance. Are cost-shifting provisions for failure to abort regularly approved in surrogacy contracts, and then enforced by courts?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:45 PM
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388: They're just looking for a place to pull it ashore.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:45 PM
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386: How are you using "personal servitude"? If you mean that you can't contract for involuntary servitude because it's barred by the thirteenth amendment, sure. If you mean something broader, what exactly do you mean?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:46 PM
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We put fertilizer on our potato chips.

So, that they'll grow, or does it make them taste better?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:47 PM
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393: That was quick.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:48 PM
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Would they actually enjoin you from publishing? Or merely award damages to the other party after the fact? (Question posed not rhetorically, but out of ignorant curiosity.)


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:49 PM
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397 => 391


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:50 PM
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397: That depends on how big the dino penis was in relation to the photo and the canoe.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:51 PM
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392: The VA law seems to explicitly contemplate custody remaining with the surrogate in at least some cases, because it requires a homestudy for her. That doesn't speak to whether or not the genetic parents would be able to contract out of child support if they didn't take the child, of course.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:51 PM
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If you mean that you can't contract for involuntary servitude because it's barred by the thirteenth amendment, sure.

Why did you think I meant anything else? The point is that there are constitutional rights you can't give up. Abortion is probably one of them.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:51 PM
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397: They can enjoin you from publishing. Ideal and I worked on such a case.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:53 PM
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Would they actually enjoin you from publishing? Or merely award damages to the other party after the fact?

I don't know the law, but I recall an interesting case in Britain.

In 1987 three Law Lords declared that Peter Wright's book 'Spycatcher' could not be published in Britain nor could any of it be quoted in the media. Taking his defiance to the limit, Rosselson set out to break the law. He spent two days reading it, then encapsulated it and quoted from it in a specially written song, "Ballad of a Spycatcher" which was published in the British weekly New Statesman. A single of it, with backing from Billy Bragg and the Oyster Band, was released and started to get radio play, including by Simon Bates on the BBC pop music channel Radio 1. He appeared to expect a police raid or court order. In the event, nothing happened. In Rosselson's words: "So much for subversive intentions..." It even reached number 7 in the NME indie singles charts.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:54 PM
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397 -- In a contract between private parties, you can contract to enjoin information from being published, although you have to do so very explicitly.

393 freaked me out more than Apo's usual linking. I can understand keeping a stash of bizarro sex images bookmarked to use as jokes, but why is Apo hoarding innocent dinosaur-in-canoe pictures?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:54 PM
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401: Abortion is probably one of them.

Can't argue with that. No, wait, I can. Catholic schools can fire you for getting an abortion.

Your move.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:55 PM
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Catholic schools can fire you for getting an abortion.

Are you saying that decision was correctly decided? Even so, I can distinguish it: two different constitutional rights at issue. Next.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:58 PM
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405: Practically, it would be very hard for them to learn of it if you didn't say anything.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:59 PM
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389: We aim to please.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 1:59 PM
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It's interesting. If a woman signed a contract that said "In exchange for $1000 from my boyfriend, I promise to get an abortion," the boyfriend clearly could not get specific performance and a court-mandated abortion. I doubt whether the boyfriend could even get the $1000 back -- the contract as a whole would likely be deemed illegal. That's quite different from a lot of other constitutional rights, but I'm not entirely sure why.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:00 PM
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405:

geez. save it for our debate!

The lawyers team gets anyone who roots for the Phillies or lives in Texas or Oregon. The Elitests can have New Yorkers and North Carolinians. I guess we will give you NCProsecutor since he falls in both camps too.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:01 PM
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I'm really proud of you all for still being on topic, 410 comments later. Keep up the hard work; I'll check in in a few.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:03 PM
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Do you have any positive evidence at all for your position? You can contract away all sorts of constitutional rights, so saying abortion is a constitutional right doesn't cut it. You can't irrevocably sell yourself into slavery, but you can contract to do anything a slave might do within the parameters of employment law. What concrete basis do you have for saying that a contract which includes terms that might affect a woman's decision to have an abortion is unenforceable for constitutional reasons?

Even so, I can distinguish it: two different constitutional rights at issue.

Can you identify the different rights?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:03 PM
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409: Well, not being able to get specific performance isn't really about the constitutional issue -- you generally can't get specific performance of any personal service. I'm not sure the boyfriend wouldn't get recission, although it's a hella unsympathetic case.

Certainly, I'd agree that he couldn't get damages, but that's not so much about her constitutional right to abortion or not, I think, as that his damages would be child support and a mother and father can't contract to lift the father's child support obligation (I'm pretty sure).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:08 PM
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And 412 to 406.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:09 PM
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So I guess you could call something "slavery" that was really just work,

Hey, that's a real inversion of usual practice.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:09 PM
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I doubt whether the boyfriend could even get the $1000 back -- the contract as a whole would likely be deemed illegal.

I have a different take on this. I would say that the contract is legal. However, a court would not order specific performance because there was an adequate remedy at law--the return of the $1,000 or the consequential damages or whatever.

On preview, what LB said except that I think he can get damages.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:13 PM
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you can contract to do anything a slave might do within the parameters of employment law.

This is like saying the Phillies will win every game this season, within the parameters of their ability to win games. I guess it's true, but it doesn't tell us very much about the Phillies.

I don't need evidence to support my position, I just need cases where courts have refused to enforce similar provisions. And it turns out, there are lots of them. You can't sell yourself into servitude, you can't sell your vote, and courts often refuse to enforce contingency clauses wherein an unknown risk is placed entirely on one party's shoulders.

Oh and the two rights at issue were the free exercise clause and the right to an abortion.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:14 PM
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What concrete basis do you have for saying that a contract which includes terms that might affect a woman's decision to have an abortion is unenforceable for constitutional reasons?

IANAL, but the Supreme Court did hold in Automobile Workers v. Johnson Controls that an employment policy that had the effect of coercing women into sterilization was illegal ("...it is no more important for the courts than it is for individual employers to decide whether a woman's reproductive role is more important to herself and her family than her economic role.") That said, the case did not concern abortion per se, and IFAICT the court found not an injury to a constitutional right, but a specific violation of the employment discrimination provisions of the Civil Rights Act. So who knows, really.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:17 PM
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you can't sell your vote

I'm actually curious on this one -- you've seen a case refusing to enforce a contract for vote-selling on Constitutional grounds? I mean, it's a statutorily defined crime, but that's different. On Constitutional rights you are constitutionally barred from giving up by contract, I'm not coming up with much other than that you can't sell yourself into slavery.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:18 PM
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I just need cases where courts have refused to enforce similar provisions. And it turns out, there are lots of them.

You also need an argument that the right to abortion is more similar to the right not to be a slave than to any other constitutional right.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:19 PM
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Furthermore, even calling what's implicated here 'the right to abortion' is a little hazy -- we're talking about a contract that imposes costs on the surrogate for failing to have a contracted for abortion. So what you need is a constitutional right, not to access to abortion, but to be able to make decisions respecting abortion without economic pressure? Or something like that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:22 PM
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You also need an argument that the right to abortion is more similar to the right not to be a slave than to any other constitutional right.

What if you take one of those teratogenic acne drugs where you have to take a pregnancy test and agree to go on birth control before they'll prescribe it to you. Could such an agreement specify that if the patient accidentally becomes pregnant, she is obligated to have an abortion to protect the manufacturer from liability? Would a court order specific performance in that case?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:24 PM
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you've seen a case refusing to enforce a contract for vote-selling on Constitutional grounds?

We're limited here in that neither of us is going to go back and read cases, but I do think the Constitution would bar enforcement of a vote selling contract.

You also need an argument that the right to abortion is more similar to the right not to be a slave than to any other constitutional right.

That would only be true if involuntary servitude were the only analogous situation, and it isn't. I listed three, and I don't think those are the only three.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:24 PM
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we're talking about a contract that imposes costs on the surrogate

Yes, but not just that. It attempts to shift parental rights and obligations, the definition of which is traditionally governed by public law and policy rather than contract law.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:27 PM
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You've got no evidence for your first example, and your third isn't a constitutional right. That leaves one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:27 PM
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I have just recently learned that Die Antwoord is playing Austin on Halloween night. Should I go?

(Who's Die Antwoord, you say? RWTFA!)


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:28 PM
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421: we're talking about a contract that imposes costs on the surrogate for failing to have a contracted for abortion.

The contract also strips the child of the support that would usually be legally required from whoever provided the genes involved. Without the contract, you certainly can't go to court and say that you were trying to avoid conception and therefore you don't own support for the child.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:28 PM
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424, 427: Talking about the contract/constitutional issues, we've been bracketing out the public policy/rights of the child issues that would in reality control.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:30 PM
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428: Have at it, but lawyers are strange.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:30 PM
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429: So is Die Antwoord.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:32 PM
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we've been bracketing out the public policy/rights of the child issues that would in reality control.

My example in 422 conveniently strips those out. Do you think such a contract would be enforceable? With specific performance as a remedy for breach?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:32 PM
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So what you need is a constitutional right, not to access to abortion, but to be able to make decisions respecting abortion without economic pressure? Or something like that.

That would help, but I think what I need is a little more limited: just a public policy basis not to enforce the specific clause. I think a court would be much likelier to refuse to enforce isclause than it would be to hold that there is an affirmative right, say, to public funding for an abortion.

In practice, I'd bet my money on arguing (1) Halford's forfeiture argument, and (2) that the clause violates privacy rights. My judgment probably doesn't count for much, but I'd feel good about my chances.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:33 PM
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430: I think they're doing it on purpose.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:33 PM
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no evidence for your first example

really? you're going to argue that the constitution permits vote selling?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:34 PM
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433: I think it's possible that they just can't help it.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:36 PM
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431: No on specific performance. As I've said above, that's not so much about anything constitutionally sensitive about abortion, as that you're either never or only in a very weird case going to get specific performance compelling an individual person to do something. So the corporation would get damages, which would I think mean that the woman would be liable to the corporation for any cost to the corporation resulting from her failure to get an abortion.

The way this plays out in practice (roughly, I think) is that the kid is born damaged, sues the corporation, wins, and then the mother is liable to the corporation for the amount of the judgment (which she wouldn't be able to pay). So the corporation's still stuck.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:39 PM
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you generally can't get specific performance of any personal service.

Hahahhahahhahahhaha. That is the sound of the motion picture industry laughing at you.

431: My example in 422 conveniently strips those out. Do you think such a contract would be enforceable? With specific performance as a remedy for breach?

Specific performance, definitely no. Enforceable as to waiving liability for a tort suit based on having a child born with a deformity? Sure.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:40 PM
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434: I'm going to state that I've never seen a Constitutional argument that the Constitution, rather than criminal statutes, bars vote selling. If you've got such an argument, with any textual, historical or caselaw grounding, I'm all ears.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:40 PM
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437.last: Yeah, but she wouldn't be able to contractually waive the kid's own rights to a tort claim, would she?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:41 PM
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That would help, but I think what I need is a little more limited: just a public policy basis not to enforce the specific clause. I think a court would be much likelier to refuse to enforce isclause than it would be to hold that there is an affirmative right, say, to public funding for an abortion.

What you need for what purpose? That's what you need to make your argument that such a clause would be unenforceable for Constitutional reasons.

If you want to argue that a court would come up with some other public policy reason not to enforce it, sure, that's very possible.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:43 PM
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437 was me.

I did about 10 minutes of research to see if there was any situation in which a court awarded damages for breach of something like my ("I pay you $1000 and you get an abortion") case. I found two California cases where the court refused, absolutely, to consider awarding any damages at all for: (a) promising to, and then failing to, use contraception and (b) promising that if a girlfriend got an abortion, the boyfriend would subsequently impregnate her. The reasoning in both cases was basically just "we don't enforce contracts at all with regards to these kinds of decisions." Not entirely on point, but I think it points to a general unwillingness to get contract law involved when it comes to sexual relations.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:44 PM
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437: Well, sure. That's what 'meritricious' means, isn't it? No sex-based contracts?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:48 PM
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To 440.2, I guess the question would be if the drug company could get the woman who failed to have the abortion to compensate it for the costs of the kid's tort suit. I don't have a firm answer on that, but if I were the drug company I wouldn't bet heavily on the courts enforcing such a provision.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:48 PM
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That is the sound of the motion picture industry laughing at you.

That's interesting, and I don't know about it. Do you mean there are cases where people get compelled to make movies rather than pay damages for breach? How does that work?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:49 PM
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(b) the court refused, absolutely, to consider awarding any damages at all for: (a) promising to, and then failing to, use contraception .

She had a backup defense of "frustration of purpose" lined up just in case the first one fell through.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:51 PM
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Yes, through a combination of contractual pressure in other areas, injunctions and noncompete provisions, and "unique nature of services" provisions in contracts. As a formal legal matter, of course, there's a 13th amendment issue in forcing someone to work, but as a practical matter there are zillions of ways to get someone to make a film instead of just seeking damages based on the refusal to do so.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:52 PM
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435: The lawyers or Die Antwoord?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:53 PM
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As a formal legal matter, of course, there's a 13th amendment issue in forcing someone to work,

Got it. I was thinking in formal legal terms. Of course, the possibilities for arm-twisting are endless.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:54 PM
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446: Does that explain why so many movies are so shitty? The cast was there because they couldn't leave.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:54 PM
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447: Oh, the lawyers can help it.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:56 PM
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449: Jennifer Love Hewitt doesn't want to be on TV or in the movies, but they're forcing her too!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:58 PM
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"too" s/b "to"


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 2:59 PM
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Do you mean there are cases where people get compelled to make movies rather than pay damages for breach? How does that work?


It could cost you a whole town


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 3:05 PM
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What you need for what purpose?

What I need to show that the clause at issue would likely not be enforced. Which is what we were talking about, right? Or is the whole point of this hostility?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 3:05 PM
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I was born in a small town with salted earth and catsup on the sidewalks.

I think I know the place. Was the mayor's name McCheese, by any chance?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 3:06 PM
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454: Well, I'm trying to have a legal argument. If your position is "Gosh darnitall, pressuring someone to have an abortion is just so darn icky that I betcha some court will find a way not to enforce the provision," I wouldn't be surprised at all if you were right (although Will's experience would suggest otherwise). And I think that's the best policy outcome and would support regulation to that end, as I said in my first post in the thread.

But many of the specific legal arguments you're making about why a court wouldn't enforce the clause are very weak, and you're skidding around between them to the point where I'm losing track of what's left. The "it's a penalty clause" argument is nonsense, as is the "it implicates a constitutional right" argument.

Halford's 345 gives an argument that I'd have to read some caselaw to be sure about, but looks offhand as if it might support a refusal to enforce, as I said in 349. If Halford's argument is what you're resting on, I'm not going to argue with it any further, because I'm really unsure how that comes out -- it was the remainder of your arguments that I was engaging with.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 3:17 PM
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If your position is "Gosh darnitall, pressuring someone to have an abortion is just so darn icky that I betcha some court will find a way not to enforce the provision,"

Right, this. You're asking me to go find you case law directly on point because otherwise I don't have any "evidence" in support of my admittedly hazy conceptual arguments. I'm not going to find them for you. You can say whatever you want about the strength of my legal arguments. I'm trying to figure out how to actually approach the issue while you're defining "slavery" as "not slavery" for kicks. Have fun with that.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 3:27 PM
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I'm trying to figure out how to actually approach the issue while you're defining "slavery" as "not slavery" for kicks.

What I'm reacting to is that you're being very aggressive with very weak arguments. If you're feeling your way through "admittedly hazy conceptual arguments", I'm sympathetic with that, but then you need to back off the ones that don't work, rather than getting cranky when the flaws are pointed out.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 3:34 PM
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Bah. Legal mumbo jumbo is no way to get to 1000. You need blowjobs. I know I do.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 3:37 PM
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And canoes!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 3:38 PM
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So, weak coffee?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 3:40 PM
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I don't need a canoe. I have a kayak. One of those molded plastic ones for the ocean. It spends a lot of time these days in the garage looking sad.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 3:41 PM
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Fucking close to water: pro or con?


Posted by: Cryptic neud | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 3:42 PM
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463. Don't you know you're supposed to boycott Coors?


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 3:44 PM
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462: Can't really give or get a blowjob in a kayak. Canoes are the preferred light watercraft for that.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 3:47 PM
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Tell me about it, Toggles.


Posted by: OPINIONATED ALEUT | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 3:50 PM
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Canoes are the preferred light watercraft for that.

Craigslist: Will trade one lightly used kayak for any canoe that can accommodate giving and/ or getting of blowjobs. Demonstration may be necessary.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 3:50 PM
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Looking over the local Craigslistings, it seems there is a great deal of rationalization yet to be performed in the used canoe market. Canoe arbitrage, here I come!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 3:54 PM
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Can canoe derivatives be far behind?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 3:55 PM
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106: Something like that has been done with a big cohort of Korean adoptees 1970-1980. I don't think they had data about the parents, though. Link.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 3:59 PM
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Biological parents, that is.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 4:00 PM
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463: I just had a bath and finally finished reading Riddley Walker, which was a relaxing and enjoyable time and yet very far from what you suggest.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 4:02 PM
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Minivet, thanks for the link. It looks inteteresting and I don't remember seeing it before.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 4:03 PM
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470: Neat, I think I've got two cousins in that data set (that is, I think I remember Holt as the agency, and the age range fits.) It doesn't address the ethnicity question I was wondering about, but I wouldn't be surprised if they had relevant data.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 4:04 PM
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the Supreme Court did hold in Automobile Workers v. Johnson Controls that an employment policy that had the effect of coercing women into sterilization was illegal

You needed a court case? Thank God for the independent nuclear deterrent.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 4:07 PM
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Does it sound any better if the policy was "We won't hire fertile women for jobs involving significant lead exposure"? I think the case was rightly decided under the civil rights act, but the challenged policy doesn't seem to me to be grotesquely ill-intentioned. More of a fuckup.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 4:11 PM
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474: I didn't answer before, but everyone agrees that the racist part is that Asians work harder and not that they're genetically smarter, right? Or do I need my racism recalibrated?

Anyway, I think what research you'll see is on to what extent particularly the adopted Chinese girls in upper-class educated homes overcome the intellectual deficits associated with institutionalization/orphanage time. I mean, there will be a lot of studies, but I'd guess that would be the test-related focus.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 4:15 PM
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I have just recently learned that Die Antwoord is playing Austin on Halloween night. Should I go?

YES. YES YOU SHOULD.

So should Jammies and me. Jammies said he's in.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 4:15 PM
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Automobile Workers v. Johnson Controls that an employment policy that had the effect of coercing women into sterilization was illegal

IIRC, the point of that case was actually something different -- the company had a policy that forbade fertile women from doing a certain job because it had a risk of exposure to lead, but allowed infertile women and men to do the job. The Supremes ruled that this was sex discrimination. Which is fitting, since equal opportunity to die from a miserable job is something that all wings of the Supreme Court can get behind.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 4:18 PM
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477: No, no, I mean the real IQ racists, who attribute any difference between average test scores of different ethnic groups in the US to genetic differences between the 'races'. The general idea is that "As a white guy, I say that the data shows that black and brown people are genetically less intelligent than white people. But that doesn't make me racist, because I admit that white people are genetically stupider than Asians and Jews."

I was thinking that a nice big data set of genetically Asian but culturally white American kids is available, and might provide a useful debunking for the IQ racists. It doesn't work perfectly, I admit, because adopted Asian kids are still going to be in an environment where they're stereotyped as hardworking and intelligent because of their appearance. But the results might still be interesting.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 4:21 PM
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Johnson Controls

It's at least partially automated.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 4:56 PM
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The general idea is that "As a white guy, I say that the data shows that black and brown people are genetically less intelligent than white people. But that doesn't make me racist, because I admit that white people are genetically stupider than Asians and Jews."

Except for those Muslim Asians and whites, they're as dumb as black people and should stop destroying the Volk's national gene pool by having babies.


Posted by: Opinionated German Central Banker | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 5:06 PM
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480: Presumably you could construct a control group out of white adoptees to help with the adoption part of the problem, and correct for cultural expectations by comparison with non-adopted asian kids or asian kids adopted by asian families.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 5:22 PM
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Oh good, the thread is all still talking about abortion, sort of.

You should all bookmark Lebanon, Pa. and plan to Netflix it when it comes out. I'd say it's the best movie I've seen on abortion, but that's a short and stupid list.

Let's just say it's a fairly quiet, human story with some actual other narrative threads. And the politics don't beat you over the head. And for all its flaws, it's not only the best movie I've seen on abortion, it's the best movie I've seen in quite a while.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 5:25 PM
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372: I believe I am already on record here.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 5:31 PM
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WOW SOMEONE JUST PAID A LOT OF MONEY FOR THAT DURHAM-CHICAGO FLIGHT THAT'S TAKING OFF IN AN HOUR


Posted by: OPINIONATED TRAVELOCITY | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 5:44 PM
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About the firing for religious belief stuff upthread: BYU can fire a tenured professor who fails to maintain a temple recommend. To qualify for a temple recommend, you have to give the right answers to certain questions about personal behavior as well as religious belief. ("Do you believe Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God?" etc.)

The European Court of Human Rights recently upheld a German high-court ruling that it was okay for the Mormon church to fire a spokesperson who was a lifelong Mormon but had committed adultery and thus forfeited his temple recommend.

I suspect U.S. courts are even more solicitous of religious institutions' rights in this sort of thing than the ECHR is.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:01 PM
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I haven't read this thread at all, but I'm sure you are all very wrong. Yes, even you. And especially you. I don't even have words for you.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:02 PM
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So I can become rich by raising chinchillas?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:05 PM
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Not you.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:13 PM
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Moby, you just don't have what it takes. Also, you would kill all the chinchillas.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:15 PM
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If I didn't kill them, that would be the cruelest coat ever.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:16 PM
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I am so disappointed that this thread hasn't even gotten halfway to 1000 by the time I came home from dinner.

You know what sucks? Wired internet. I want to take my laptop to a different room! But I can't!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:19 PM
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I saw an episode of "Go, Diego, Go" all about chinchillas. They live in Mexico in the cold mountains and take baths in dust. I have cold and dirt and hills. I forget what they eat, but I think we have the episode on DVD.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:20 PM
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Following up on 106, 109, 113, 125.2, without, I'm afraid, having read further discussion, much less of the surrogacy case at hand:

109: I'm more intrigued by the three cases where the contracting couple got divorced before the baby was born. Your marriage is shaky enough that it doesn't survive another nine months and you're contracting with somebody to bear a child for you?

As Togolosh notes at 124, many people do this. I'm adopted, and I suspect my parents were doing a bit of this when they decided to adopt both myself and my brother. Even had IVF and surrogacy been around at the time (1960s), they'd not have gone for that, I suspect: my mother wasn't able to bear children, and would have balked at hiring someone to bear a child for them when (as she knew quite well, as an OB nurse herself) so many children need parenting.

The preference for raising a child actually related to you does sadden, and partly grate, you know, for those of us who are adopted. Especially when it gets to the point of feeling that if the child is not related to you, you'd rather go without the experience. Speaking to 113 here.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:20 PM
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493: Oh, that's right. They don't have wifi yet in Canada. Shall I tell you my iPhone post-Canadian trip billing fiasco story now?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:24 PM
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I sort of had a pet chinchilla for a while. It was super cute. It belonged to a friend of mine who was off in college. Actually, this friend is alameida's age and was a classics major at her undergraduate institution, so they likely know each other. Weird that that just occurred to me.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:27 PM
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497: the chinchilla waves its paw and the memories fade. Sleep, says the chinchilla. Sleeeeeeeeeeeeep.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:37 PM
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Weird that that just occurred to me.

I know, because I often reminisce about rodent-related commonalities I have with people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:37 PM
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HALFWAY OH SHIT HALFWAY OH MAN WOO


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:38 PM
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My brother.


Posted by: Anhedonic Xeno | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:40 PM
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493: Oh, that's right. They don't have wifi yet in Canada.

The institute I'm visiting does, but the apartment they put me up in only has wired.

Shall I tell you my iPhone post-Canadian trip billing fiasco story now?

I guess? I've turned off data roaming, so I hope I'm safe...


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:42 PM
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501: I dunno, X. Tweety seems pretty full of ἡδονή there.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:42 PM
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495.3: I'm sure it does grate, but I really don't think most people think very deeply about questions like that unless they are faced with them. I do think the surrogacy option, is a bit [fails to find good term and decides to that is probably for the best]. Anyway, if somebody I knew said they were trying to adopt and I thought they would be good parents, I would encourage them which is something I wouldn't do if they suggested surrogacy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:48 PM
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502: Oh, well, I am sure you are. I actually arranged beforehand for a data and voice and text plan for Canada. I was told to turn it off as soon as I got home so that the cost of the plan would be pro-rated. I do as told. First bill: Hundreds of dollars over what I expected. Call to ATT -- a very long one with various transfers among departments -- bill is fixed. Confirmation of canceled plan is given again. All is well. Second bill: Even more hundreds over. I have at this point not been in Canada for two months. I call again and flip right out on them. Turns out, they don't bill all your calls and data usage with any temporal proximity to when you use them. So since one can keep being billed for up to 60 days, it is considered best (by the CSRs) to leave the extra plans in place for at least one billing cycle. So I was given bad advice and charged hundreds of dollars in overages.

But it all worked out because the CSR found hundreds of dollars (for me).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:53 PM
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CSR

Canadian Snot Rodeo?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 6:55 PM
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505: Yikes. Yeah, I decided not to bother with arranging anything (only here for two weeks), and to just use Skype for calls. But I'm leaving my phone on in case of any important incoming calls.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:03 PM
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I think I've been typing "yikes" a lot lately, and I'm not sure why. I can't remember ever having actually said it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:04 PM
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504: I'm sure it does grate, but I really don't think most people think very deeply about questions like that unless they are faced with them.

Probably true. I will say that my testiness about it derives from having been told a handful of times by friends who learned that I'm adopted, "Oh, I'm so sorry."

Seriously, anything that remotely smacks of a suggestion that parenting non-blood children is less rewarding or full-hearted than parenting blood children is likely to make me shout.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:12 PM
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I feel I should contribute to the thousanding but I have completely lost track of the tread. So

||
Watching Hands on a Hard Body which I bittorrented. The internet has everything. I haven't seen it in years and can't remember who wins. I want it to be the woman with not so many teeth.
|>


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:18 PM
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Probably true. I will say that my testiness about it derives from having been told a handful of times by friends who learned that I'm adopted, "Oh, I'm so sorry."

That's awful. How could anyone think that was a sensitive thing to say?!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:20 PM
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Probably true. I will say that my testiness about it derives from having been told a handful of times by friends who learned that I'm adopted, "Oh, I'm so sorry."

That sucks. If it makes you feel better, an anecdote: When I picked my daughter up from preschool yesterday, another dad, who adopted his daughter, was there at the same time to pick up his kid. Both my daughter and his turned and smiled and ran to their respective parents with exactly equivalent expressions and that same light in their eyes.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:26 PM
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Yep, that's pretty bad. You should ask them why their kids look like the mailman.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:26 PM
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511: I don't need to go on about this at length, since I'm more interested in that general perspective on adoption. There's actually no need to be "sensitive" about someone's being adopted, at all: you can just say, "Oh really? From birth, or later, or what?"

But the chief culprit in that kind of response in my own past thought she was being sensitive. Her explanation was that adoptive children don't receive the amount, or degree, or quality, of love from their adoptive parents that blood children do.

We had a fairly big blow-out, and I wasn't speaking to her for a few months; some other friends intervened, and we're friends again. (In fact the last time I talked to her, she's thinking of adopting.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:30 PM
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512: Of course they did. And my mom (adoptive) was my mom, and I was her daughter.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:33 PM
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Huh. Now I'm reading the lawyers' tussle above and looking at Westlaw and finding wacky shit:

Attorney filed suit against female client seeking to recover attorney fees for representation in a family law matter. Female client filed cross complaint seeking to recover damages for injuries sustained when she suffered an ectopic pregnancy after she engaged in intercourse with the attorney who made a false representation that "I can't possibly get anyone pregnant."

Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:36 PM
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There's actually no need to be "sensitive" about someone's being adopted, at all.

Oh, of course not. Didn't intend to suggest otherwise. It just struck me as the sort of thing someone says with the aim of being sensitive, which, yeah, WTF?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:40 PM
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514: Seriously? That....ugh. That is not...I'm sorry. It's obviously no surprise, and yet I keep being surprised by how dumb people can be.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:42 PM
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There's actually no need to be "sensitive" about someone's being adopted, at all.

The father in The Royal Tenenbaums was kind of a dick about it, though.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:42 PM
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A friend who was adopted used to taunt her non-adopted sister along the lines of "they picked me out of hundreds of kids, but you were an accident..."


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:51 PM
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This is my adopted daughter, Margot Tenenbaum.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:52 PM
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Hmmm. I just read back a bit. Wrt 113, I get the desire to have children that one is related to, bc I think it is one kind of experience, and I have personally benefited from being in close contact w people I'm related to, in an entirely selfish way, but I think having children one isn't related is likely another, of a different flavor, but of the same substance (if that makes any sense).

Basically I view love like a practice -- it's something you choose to do, not something you magically have or something that is given to you. (I mean, I suppose hormones fuck one up pretty decisively at various points in life, but love is really measured out in lots of little moments over longer periods of time, and hormones aren't necessarily so great at those. I think. Whatever. I'm right.) And adopting kids fits in pretty well with that.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:54 PM
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This is my adopted daughter, Margot Tenenbaum.

A friend of mine, an adoptee, visibly flinched at that line.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 7:58 PM
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I have two sisters born a month apart - one of them adopted.

I remember being asked, when I met a new friend in high school, about my adopted sister, "Is it like she's your real sister?"

I had never, before or since, been asked anything like that. I thought it was an odd question, and my response was, "Well, yeah, sure, why not?"

He said, "Well, you said right away that she was adopted."

I had been explaining that situation for as long as I could remember - after all, it's pretty unusual having two sisters almost the same age who aren't twins. Saying that my sister is adopted was, for me, no different from saying she has blue eyes, or whatever. Just a simple biographical fact.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:00 PM
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For what it's worth, to tie this in to the original topic of the thread, apparently the first child in line for my parents to adopt when their name came up was a boy child born with developmental disabilities. My mom said, "Okay, I'm ready." But the doctors in the OB ward at the hospital she worked at -- friends of hers -- said, No, we're going to bump you up to the next child. Which was me.

Of course I have no idea what happened to that boy child. And of course what might have happened for me had I gone to the next parents in line.

My point: we are all of us the products of so many contingencies. Whether you're born as a blood product of the parents who raise you is the least of them.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:01 PM
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My point: we are all of us the products of so many contingencies. Whether you're born as a blood product of the parents who raise you is the least of them.

TELL ME ABOUT IT.


Posted by: OPINIONATED SON OF MAN | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:03 PM
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I figured SON OF MAN would have something to say about different flavor, but of the same substance.

I AM DISAPPOINT.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:13 PM
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SON OF MAN HAS A LOT ON HIS PLATE. HE HAS JUST BEEN SWAMPED WITH PAPERWORK LATELY. PERFECT LOVE MAY CASTETH OUT FEAR BUT IT DOESN'T GROW ON TREES, I TELL YOU WHAT. ALSO THERE WERE ALL THESE MONEYLENDERS, AND THINGS JUST GOT AWAY FROM ME. I'D SAY I'LL CATCH UP OVER THE WEEKEND, BUT, YOU KNOW, SUNDAYS ARE KIND OF CRAZY.


Posted by: OPINIONATED SON OF MAN | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:17 PM
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520 is kind of making me laugh, but I know that's wrong.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:28 PM
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JESUS? IS THAT YOU JESUS? THANKS FOR THE MEDICARE AND THE SCOOTER AND THE VICODIN AND RAND PAUL! I'LL SEE YOU ON SUNDAY WHEN WE CAN GET IT ON!


Posted by: OPIATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:46 PM
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I've just had a brilliant insight into the topic, on that would provoke much meaningful conversation. But I'm not going to share it because I feel we are being emotionally manipulated to produce on an unreasonable number of comments for a topic that can only be described as penisless.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:48 PM
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529: In my family, we used to say "you weren't adopted". as insult. true story. [unfortunately, none of us were]


Posted by: queeracademic | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:49 PM
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Also, long threads are a pain on an iTouch.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:49 PM
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531: Moby wins.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 8:53 PM
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SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY

(For me, those ads were for the New England Speedway in Epping, New Hampshire.)


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:03 PM
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532: It's kind of silly for me to laugh anyway, since I wasn't chosen in any case; I was just next in line. Baby factories kind of work that way. Out pops the next. There's nothing very grand about it. From a miracle-of-birth perspective, it's a little different: I cried when I was the birth coach for a friend, when the baby finally came out.

It is very confusing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:23 PM
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While we are on the topic, look at why people go to China to adopt: 1. they are scared that the parents will come back and want to be in the child's life. 2. they cant get a little white baby, dont want a little black/brown baby, and a baby from China is the next best thing.

I call bullshit.

We adopted from Korea. Why? Because we wanted an infant-toddler age child. The county adoption agency wouldn't even put us on a wait-list, as their cut-off age for such an adoption was 35, their estimated wait time was 5-7 years and I was 30. I was too old; end of discussion. Nor would they let us adopt a brown or black child, of any age - that wasn't "culturally sensitive" and/or we'd have to be Catholic, in the case of an Hispanic child. Biracial child? No, because how the child "presented" was important - i.e., two white folks couldn't raise a half-black child, because, in the eyes of the agency, said child was all black.

In fact, the so-helpful county social worker informed us that, were we not willing to adopt a schizophrenic 12 year old who had been sexually molested, we "didn't really" want to be parents.

Private adoption was nearly beyond our means - and we knew of two couples who had adopted infants only to have the birth mother come back within the 6-month waiting period and take the child back. Even if we could have done it twice emotionally, we couldn't have done it twice financially. We had no objection to an open adoption; it was the birth mother changing her mind entirely that we feared.

We knew from a friend whose sister had adopted from Korea that babies were available through the Children's Home Society. We went to them, and, a year later, had our son in our arms. We didn't adopt him because he was "the next best thing" - my family, tho' predominantly Scandinavian. also includes Asian and "Scandinasian" people. We adopted from another country because doing so in the States was fraught with problems. My son's father is adopted, as were his sisters and my stepbrother. It's kind of a family tradition.

Nor did my neighbour across the street adopt from China because her daughter was "the next best thing". She's travelled the world and was well aware that Chinese girl babies were considered less desirable -and more disposable - in a country that bans more than one child.

So don't you dare indulge in facile judgements of people who adopt from Asian countries. Our children are nobody's next best thing. They're our children and we love them no less than those of you who shares genetic backgrounds love yours.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:27 PM
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It's kind of a family tradition.

Whether conscious or not, it's also a pattern in my family: my father and his brother were also adopted.

I hadn't realized that the adoption discussion had extended further earlier in this thread. Anyway, hear hear to Dom's 537.last.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 9:42 PM
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I was speaking to an elderly cousin some years ago -- she was in her 80s by then, I think. They'd adopted two kids in the early 50s, thinking they couldn't have any. Then they had a son. She definitely considered them categorically different. I was pretty shocked.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-15-10 10:37 PM
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DominEditrix:

I apologize. I wrote in a hurtful fashion. I should not have painted with such a broad brush about the reasons people go to other countries to adopt. You are absolutely correct that there are a multitude of reasons why people go to other countries.

I do not believe that I ever suggested that adopted children are loved any less than genetically connected children. That is certainly not my belief. My adoption cases are the one type of case where I have to forcefully prevent myself from becoming emotional. The adopting couples that I have represented are so utterly grateful to their core that I have a hard time remaining professional at times.

I would never want to leave the impression that adopting parents love their children any less than any other parents.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 6:02 AM
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you guys stole my comment. how am I supposed to leave the blog in a snit now?


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 7:42 AM
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you were going to apologize for writing in a hurtful fashion?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 7:47 AM
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Looking over the local Craigslistings, it seems there is a great deal of rationalization yet to be performed in the used canoe market. Canoe arbitrage, here I come!

I already posted about my recent purchase of €1300 in Bavarian hand-dyed wool in order to [help a friend] exploit arbitrage opportunities, no?


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 9:19 AM
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You know what's wrong with unfogged these days? Lawyers monopolizing the threads with their legal mumbo-jumbo. ... The lurkers support me on this by email.

Indeed. Not only does the answer often differ from state to state, many of us aren't in the US. Aside from which, there are good reasons to think "the law says X about question Y" is irreducibly ambiguous unless contextualized as something like, "a judge in a court of X sort / citizen of X jurisdiction ought to decide Y in situations like Z." (And no, I'm not espousing anything like a Holmesian Bad Man view.) Thinking of the law as a unified, univocal, and independent set of commands, empowerments, permissions, and so on is sometimes a helpful metaphor, but it's rooted in a mistaken (or at least contested) view of legal normativity.

In classical mechanics, one might find it helpful to separate out the different sorts of forces that operate on an object, in order to keep things mentally organized, but it would be silly and dangerous to approach any engineering problem thinking only of, e.g., gravity--or to think of gravitational force as a fundamentally different sort of force than that resulting from the cars pushing on the bridge, the cables holding it up, etc.

If we want to talk instead about whether a (lower? higher? which jurisdiction? - this matters!) court should order X or Y in certain surrogacy cases, or what a lawyer in such cases should argue, we can, but once put it such terms the extreme parochialism of any given argument will be clear ("in VA law, a lower court tightly bound by X Y and Z precedents ought to decide A, but a higher court ought to exercise its discretion and explicitly or explicitly overrule, on account of reason B, which stems from the particular institutional structure of VA gov't, and reason C, which is quite general.") will be clear.

If we talk instead about what rules national legislatures ought to enact, or how people in surrogacy situation X ought to act when faced with legal consequences Y, the conversation is opened up to more voices.

Of course, the misreadings and talkings-past-each-other invited by the inherent ambiguity of "the law is X" phrasing is itself productive of long comment threads, but not necessarily in a good way.

I need a drink. Good thing I'm at a bar!


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 9:47 AM
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544: To be sure, my comment was meant to be tongue-in-cheek -- a parody of the type of complaint that launches a 1,000-comment meta-thread.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 10:06 AM
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544: s/b "explicitly or implicitly overrule," obvs.

Let me try again with the engineering thing: two engineers could have a really long discussion about the likely wind forces a bridge of X or Y design would face in locations A or B, but for anyone else, this would be kind of irrelevent, except insofar as it played a small part in practically significant questions like "how much will this planned bridge cost?" or "how long will it last?" or "whose fault was it that it fell down?"

If the question is "how much pressure did the surrogate feel about aborting; how coercive was the situation?", then yes, it depends on to a certain degree on what the likely court-enforced consequences/remedies are (though probably at least as much as what she thought they were); but even here, this is only a small piece of things. Even if gene-parents would be required to pay child-support, would she have to sue (and is it loser pays, or each-pays?) to get it, or would the relevant admin department declare it after a simple application was submitted, with the gene-parents needing to sue to reverse? What would the process look like for actually getting the contractual payment, assuming it would be appealed "all the way up"?

My point is that even here, when talking about that aspect of the surrogate story where legal judgements are seemingly quite central, the sort of "what would an appellate judge say the law is?" thinking inculcated in US law schools plays (or should play) only a minor role--one that could be substituted without loss by the prediction of outcomes, and would need to be supplemented in any case by sociological knowledge of the administrative/legal institutional structure.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 10:19 AM
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545: but it was also right, damnit.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 10:20 AM
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Are 544 and 546 designed to show that you don't need to be a lawyer to drone on about something?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 10:21 AM
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or to think of gravitational force as a fundamentally different sort of force than that resulting from the cars pushing on the bridge, the cables holding it up, etc.

Poor, misunderstood gravity. It really is specially and fundamentally different from every other force, but those silly engineers are too caught up in practical things like "keeping bridges from falling down" to appreciate it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 10:23 AM
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Gravity is basically just a curvature in four dimensional space, no? Which means* that Canadian law shouldn't let surrogacy contracts contravene ordinary protections for the best interest of the child.

*Full proof omitted for lack of room in the comment box.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 10:29 AM
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I have had a 17' Michicraft aluminum for 25 years -- pix in pool. It's built for lakes, I guess, but we take it through high 2s and low 3s, and have almost never gone over. I can pick it up off the ground, but it's too heavy for me to put on the car alone -- I could if I didn't care about the paint, I suppose. Such a thing can surely be had used well under 500.

The wife has a CD Breeze sea kayak -- it's too heavy for her, and she'd like to get a carbon fiber boat that weighs half as much (she just handed me the catalog -- CD Vision 120). That's 1200, so we'll have to see how the law practice goes for the next few months.

I guess 544 is a pretty opening good shot for the contest Will and KR have been choosing sides on. Can't talk about law without addressing the laws of New York and Louisiana, Brazil and Bhutan. Well, there's an implicit 'YMMV, consult your personal attorney' disclaimer in every single U-lawyer comment. Surely even the folks on the smart people team understood this already, right?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 10:33 AM
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I thought gravity only seemed different from the other forces because it was theorized by Einstein, who was basically a geometrical thinker while the other forces were theorized by the quantum guys, who were more oriented toward highly abstract math.
In the end we want a theory that makes all the forces look the same, right? And meanwhile, the world will just keep on being what it is.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 10:36 AM
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In the end we want a theory that makes all the forces look the same, right? And meanwhile, the world will just keep on being what it is.

I should probably leave this to essear, but my understanding is that physicists look for such a theory because you can't get a grant to send people snipe hunting.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 10:38 AM
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549: Poor, misunderstood gravity. It really is specially and fundamentally different from every other force, but those silly engineers are too caught up in practical things like "keeping bridges from falling down" to appreciate it.

Sure, ok. And maybe the normative force of legal reasons is specially and fundamentally different from that of other reasons, and irreducible to the peculiarly institutionalized context. But even if the latter is an interesting question, using internal-to-the-law arguments while discussing surrogacy doesn't answer it--and in fact, what's frustrating about such arguments is precisely the usual refusal to state up front why the particular matrix of precedence from X jurisdiction has real normative bearing on the practical questions at hand (without openly acknowledging it to be a pure exercise in theory, either).

Is it that we are wondering what we'd do, as Canadian lower/higher judges? If so, then we have to also consider their discretion, which requires both a general theory about judicial discretion and specific knowledge of the Canadian institutional structure.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 10:39 AM
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And maybe the normative force of legal reasons is specially and fundamentally different from that of other reasons, and irreducible to the peculiarly institutionalized context

Nah.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 10:46 AM
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I'm really tempted to just keep making statements about gravity and see what kind of contortions x. trapnel can go through to translate them into statements about surrogacy law.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 10:54 AM
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544: Good thing I'm at a bar!

I'd rather be in front of a bar made of a black walnut tree
Than have a bar exam in front of me


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 10:54 AM
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Surely even the folks on the smart people team understood this already, right?

Sure. But apparently the lawyer side are too condescending to not misconstrue x.trapnel's entirely valid point. But do carry on.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 10:56 AM
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Off topic completely, but this is great - plot your music listening habits by how male/female and young/old each artist skews.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 10:59 AM
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The presence of gravity renders it impossible to make sharp local statements; to construct rigorously well-defined observables, we have to use asymptotic boundary conditions. In other words, precise questions formulated in quantum gravity are all from the outside, looking in.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 10:59 AM
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And now I have an Oingo Boingo song in my head.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 11:00 AM
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Without gravity, in addition to all of the other worries of parenthood, you'd have to worry about poop floating everywhere.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 11:04 AM
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I think surrogacy violates Natural Law.

Not really per my belief the concept is incoherent. However, I think I would prefer that surrogacy be illegal--it is a dehumanizing construct that solves no problem of importance. I only hesitate because of a general aversion to creating new "victimless" crimes, so maybe something like "surrogacy contracts have no legal standing, whatsoever", but that raises the specter of economically-disadvantaged surrogates being taken advantage of on a black market.

Whatever, at a minimum I view it as something that the state has no interest in promoting or legitimizing.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 11:06 AM
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556: x.trapnel violated the analogy ban, but we have to pretend it didn't happen, I think.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 11:07 AM
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106

Such studies could be done (although as mentioned in a later comment such studies benefit from having as much information as possible about the biological parents and it I don't know how easy it would be to obtain such information in these cases). However there is no reason to expect the result would be any different from the vast majority of earlier adoption studies. Namely that IQ has a substantial genetic component.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 11:07 AM
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I thought gravity only seemed different from the other forces because it was theorized by Einstein, who was basically a geometrical thinker while the other forces were theorized by the quantum guys, who were more oriented toward highly abstract math.

This is sort of right, though I'm not sure the math is any more abstract in one case than the other. Now we have a roughly equivalent language for both of them -- gravity is about geometry of spacetime and involves spin-2 fields, the other forces are about geometry on some auxiliary space and involve spin-1 fields. But this only works for cases where quantum effects of gravity aren't very important, and masks the deeper weirdness of gravity, which the other forces don't have. There are some simple thought experiments involving black holes that can convince you that we will never really put gravity on an equivalent footing with everything else, but I'm not sure I should try to go through them in this comment thread.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 11:10 AM
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I guess 544 is a pretty opening good shot for the contest Will and KR have been choosing sides on. Can't talk about law without addressing the laws of New York and Louisiana, Brazil and Bhutan. Well, there's an implicit 'YMMV, consult your personal attorney' disclaimer in every single U-lawyer comment. Surely even the folks on the smart people team understood this already, right?

I'm not being very clear here. Let's try again.

For almost all interesting questions of this general sort--"gosh, here's something weird and morally troubling that involved the law"--internal law-speak (these cases went like so, but this statute says this, &c.) can be substituted without loss by rough predictions about how cases would be decided. Even with the law-speak, any points that rely on how a case should or would be decided would need to be supplemented with legal-sociology stuff about how one would actually engage with the legal process (eg 446.mid).

About the only questions where this isn't true are where we're in fact asking what we'd decide if we were judges. But even here, as in 554.last, you need to go beyond that; discretion; democratic theory; theory of judge's role, etc.

The other broad class of questions where it might be true is where we're talking about what someone who is 'directly addressed' by law X ought to do. But here, appearances are misleading. In this case, for example: who thinks that whether the gene-parents ought to have paid the contracted-price / child support, had the surrogate not aborted, turns on the correct answer to the question a judge would take themself to be answering under the rubric 'what does the law say'?

Most here would probably say: the gene-parents should pay if the court rules against them, and maybe even pay otherwise, regardless of what the right answer to the judge's question is. In other words: what they ought to do is driven by the moral situation of having made an agreement with this woman that may or may not be enforceable by a court, and having the Downs thing come up, and of how/whether one should obey directly-addressed court demands ("you lose, pay up"). It may matter in this moral calculus that the judge's question is a difficult one; we may have more moral reason to accept reasonably-mistaken court judgements than totally-bugfuck-wrong ones--but this issue, insofar as it outweighs or entirely replaces the underlying issue of "do I pay or not?", must by definition be settled on general questions of political/legal/moral philosophy, rather than the internal legal arguments. All we need from the latter is to know whether "this is an open-and-shut case" vs "smart lawyers can disagree here" applies.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 11:13 AM
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480

No, no, I mean the real IQ racists, who attribute any difference between average test scores of different ethnic groups in the US to genetic differences between the 'races'. The general idea is that "As a white guy, I say that the data shows that black and brown people are genetically less intelligent than white people. But that doesn't make me racist, because I admit that white people are genetically stupider than Asians and Jews."

A more reasonable form of this belief is that it is likely that a substantial part of the differences in group means is genetic. And what results are you expecting from adopted Asian children which would disprove this?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 11:13 AM
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566: It's just that I really don't see what this has to do with institutional structures, essear.

(Okay, I'll stop. x.trapnel's points about institutional normativity in law stand.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 11:15 AM
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555: indeed. Why some persist in thinking otherwise is a source of deep puzzlement to me.

564: [bans self to a foreign land.]


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 11:16 AM
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563: So I am mostly only interested in this debate to the extent that it serves to highlight the fucked-upped-ness of the general practice.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 11:17 AM
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As for the the post topic, in my view it is best for society for Down's syndrome (and other severely defective) fetuses to be aborted and law and custom should encourage this. Which means sticking the surrogate with the costs of raising the the child if she chooses not to abort it. Which is not a claim about current law.

On the LB text dispute I am with LB. And I don't understand why people keep referring to the right to an abortion when what is at issue is the right not to have an abortion.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 11:21 AM
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572: see, there we go. Well done. Now we can talk about how JBS is crazy and evil, and probably wants to install spikes on steering columns to encourage safe driving, etc. No case-law needed!


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 11:28 AM
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572.1: I don't buy it. Have you tried using a trolley?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 11:39 AM
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There are some simple thought experiments involving black holes that can convince you that we will never really put gravity on an equivalent footing with everything else, but I'm not sure I should try to go through them in this comment thread.

I suggest holding them in reserve for the next time the lawyers break out the law-speak.

(Note that my disparagement of law-speak doesn't apply to, for example, bringing up exotic law/cases from Elsewhere in order to demonstrate that Not Everyone Does Things The Same, or as suggestive reasons.)


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 11:40 AM
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X Trapnel, what exactly do you think it is that lawyers do? I spend every day thinking about exactly the kinds of contingencies you mention, as does every other lawyer here. That's your job as a lawyer, and there's plenty of non-doctrinal stuff that I think about, and give advice on, all the time. Probably more than pure questions of doctrine. Of course, you still have to know doctrine, but that's just one tool in the toolbox.

Also, believe me, if there's one group of people who know the difference between a legal and a normative argument, it's lawyers -- I also think that, in this particular context, people have been keeping that quite clear.

It sounds to me like you've picked up on a particularly narrow and bad version of what's taught in law school and how law students think and have confused that with how real people who actually have to deal with the legal system every day think.

I may have just misunderstood


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 11:43 AM
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For so many reasons, 572.1 bothers me more than the usual JBS. For starters, there's the whole eugenics thing, which is pretty much inevitable when you start talking about "society" in this regard. For seconds, Downs is not that severe as far as these things go.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 11:46 AM
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In my view, it's best for society if libertarian (and other highly defective) fetuses are aborted, and custom should encourage this.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 11:52 AM
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552: If you want a nice summary of the issues with reconciling gravity with everything else, watch the first two-thirds or so of this video clip, where someone both smarter and better at communicating than I am (the two are correlated) explains it in pretty comprehensible terms.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 12:02 PM
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576: ... I also think that, in this particular context, people have been keeping that quite clear.

Quickly scanning the thread, I think you're broadly right--things started very concrete, with decided cases and doctrine used for illustrative purposes about likely consequences. LB, Will, and you were all good about this. Things got derailed around 200 when Text tried to make this a general Contract Law Theory session. Most of the verbiage that followed was in the others responding to this, so I got perhaps unreasonably irked at them, too. Also during this phase, "a court would decide X" got a bit muddled with the "my understanding of the principles involved is this, so I as a judge would do this."

Also, believe me, if there's one group of people who know the difference between a legal and a normative argument, it's lawyers --

On the other hand, I have to disagree with this more general claim. First, because it presumes something controversial: that legal arguments aren't normative.

(One contrary claim [Kelsen, Raz] would be that legal arguments are detached/hypothetical normative arguments, N.A.s from a particular, implied point of view: "[if you accept the authority of this system and these laws and blahblah,] you ought to do X/award judgement to Y/prosecute Z." Another would be that they're descriptive statements, but, as with descriptive statements about linguistic style or usage, ones deeply embedded within a context that takes for granted certain normative inferences: courts/officials/individuals should follow the rules that best explain past practice; writers/speakers should use 'good grammar'/Standard English/Hochdeutsch.)

Second, because I'm not sure how likely lawyers are to grasp this. My rough guess would be that trial lawyers, esp. defense, and small-firm types would be more likely than big-firm ones, with academic, international, & constitutional lawyers the least of all, but that's armchair sociology w/o data.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 12:15 PM
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576: if there's one group of people who know the difference between a legal and a normative argument, it's lawyers

Or, you know, philosophers. I think you're slightly misunderstanding, or that these terms are used in different senses in the legal and philosophical communities. In the latter, a legal argument is a species of normative argument; it's also not just arguments which can be normative, or have normative force.

Generally, anything supported by institutional structures -- writ large (i.e. this includes language-use, local customs, and so on) -- partakes of normativity. When x.trapnel talks about normative force and institutional structures, he's referring to the wide range of societal structures -- again, writ large -- which provide reasons for our thinking, deciding, and behaving as we do.

---

Overall, and I don't speak for x.trapnel at this point, as he can speak for himself, lawyers at least on this site seem to have a tendency to stick to arguments generated within the terms of the system in which they're schooled: legal arguments (case law, statutes, etc.). There doesn't seem to be a lot of meta-thinking that backs off from that subsystem, so one gets the impression that any answer to "what's right here?" is answered as though the law determines what is right.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 12:17 PM
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Huh. Partly pwned by 582. Go figure.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 12:19 PM
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584: only partly. I see value added. Plus, I fucked up my italics.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 12:29 PM
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585: I see I'm in, or was in, Philosophy of Language / Political Philosophy, while you are/were in Political Science / Legal Theory. It's good you're around here; I miss you guys. I understand your language! Stay away from the physics analogies, though, probably.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 12:37 PM
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586: Indeed. But you don't spend 7 years not writing a dissertation without spending some time across Wash. Pl. in the philosophy department. I have my own axes to grind with PoL/PP. :-P

As for physics, I suppose; that's what I get for stopping at Classical. I still think it holds up, modulo 554, but, right, the analogy ban. Sigh--I was trying to bridge the Two Cultures!


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 12:45 PM
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I dunno, by legal/normative, I just mean the difference between "this is what the law says you can do" and "this is the right thing to do.". I spend a fair amount of my professional time saying things like, here's what the law might let you do, here's what a judge might think, but is this really what you want to do (for x y or z non-doctrinal reasons). Not offering moral advice, but just keeping everyone clear on the difference between what's legally permissible (and with what costs) and what's an exercise of good judgment. Not to speak for Will, but I'll bet he has a similar conversation with his clients daily.

Figuring out what the law is or what a judge might do on any given topic often isn't easy and often a fun intellectual game -- hence a lot of the conversation here -- but you really have to be a pretty terrible lawyer to consistently confuse "permissible under the law" with "smart and right thing to do."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 12:51 PM
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||
Slowing down; switching to Scotch. Considering taking the 3:15am train to Bern, which, unlike HD, might see the sun sometime this week.
|>


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 12:52 PM
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||
Also, what does everyone think of the newish Indian Rupee Currency Sign (now supported out-of-the-box by Ubuntu 10.10)? I think it's pretty good, but hope in practice the top bar gets phased out; seems like it would be annoying in practice.
|>


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 12:59 PM
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588: It's okay. I kinda like the sheckel sign better, it's more computery.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 1:06 PM
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589: The shekel sign has style, definitely, but do people preserve the hard corners in practice? I'd worry about it getting too soft, as it were.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 1:10 PM
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That's because you masturbate too much. See a few threads down.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 1:19 PM
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I thought we'd established that that excuse was bullshit? No, what Israel has to worry about is a national flaccidity caused by insufficient attention to the difference between currency-sign-on-the-books and currency-sign-in-practice.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 1:21 PM
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It's really going to depend on the client. No client is going to come to me to ask if they ought to go the surrogacy route. Not only because I do disputes destruction, rather than creation, but because they'll have already gone down that road themselves. What they'll want to ask me is (a) 'will this thing work?' or (b) 'can we paper it so this thing works?' Contrary to the libertarianish inclination, the answer to question (b) is frequently 'no.' Whether or not I can engage in some sort of philosophical inquiry the points me to the answer being 'well it ought to.' We're agents. Of course we all engage in the kind of thing Halford is talking about, but real lawyers don't spend their professional time on 'if I were emir, X would result in Y' analyses. Smart people can waste their time on that (or we lawyers can waste our own time, as above).

The lawyer team may be too riven by internal dissension to put up much contest against the smart people team. For example, I don't see that LB has properly accounted for Shelley v. Kramer above: not only is a contract against public policy contract unenforceable in equity, no court will give money damages for its breach.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 1:27 PM
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Having recently been in a monarchy, and heard some unflattering things, I thought I'd look at penalties for lese majeste. (Put in the accents with your mind). Pretty steep in a number of places.


Posted by: GoogleproofCarp | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 1:36 PM
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593

... not only is a contract against public policy contract unenforceable in equity, ...

Aborting Down's syndrome babies is against public policy?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 1:39 PM
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586: I dunno, by legal/normative, I just mean the difference between "this is what the law says you can do" and "this is the right thing to do.".

You're considering the law to be descriptive (which is surely wrong), and conflating the normative with the prescriptive. Nonetheless, I understand the distinction as messily drawn, as dealt with in practice.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 1:42 PM
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595 -- It's going to depend on how the question comes up. Woman goes to doctor, has pregnancy terminated, and then won't pay the bill. Her argument that the contract to abort a fetus with Downs is unenforceable, because of Downs, isn't going to work anywhere I can practice. On the other hand, if the surrogacy contract says that the surrogate will abort if there is Downs (and the bios demand), and she refuses, I don't see a court ordering the abortion. Or making her refund the money that's been paid so far.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 1:47 PM
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(Also: this paper is, IIRC, really great on why it makes more sense to regard 'the law' as a subset of the general class of normative reasons, rather than as an alternate, independent 'point of view'.)


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 1:52 PM
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597

... Or making her refund the money that's been paid so far.

Suppose she got an abortion the bios didn't want?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 1:53 PM
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x.t, before you head off in search of sun (in Switzerland? Are you nuts?), bring me some of that hand-dyed Bavarian wool. I could make you a hat!


Posted by: Lurking other HD resident | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 1:58 PM
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Should I know what HD means?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 2:00 PM
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251

I don't understand why people think lawyers are more likely to sue. ...

It isn't necessarily that they are more likely to sue. If I am making a deal with a non-lawyer and they want to bring their lawyer into it I am likely to feel I need my own lawyer and maybe I would rather not make the deal and avoid the hassle. But if I am making a deal with a lawyer there is always a lawyer involved.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 2:04 PM
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Blueberry Hill, I think. Apparently insufficiently thrilling.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 2:04 PM
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Regarding the character of surgeons, if you are a surgeon it seems inevitable that you will ocasionally make mistakes and kill people. So people which would be bothered a lot by this probably choose other professions.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 2:07 PM
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599 -- That's going to be a breach, and she'll have to refund. I don't think specific performance is going to lie -- they can't make her get pregnant again -- nor do I think she has to pay the 'value' of their expectancy. Answer may not be valid in Bhutan.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 2:07 PM
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600: Alas, no, the wool is currently being ebayd by my co-arbitrageur in DC.

But yeah, ok, looking more carefully at forecasts, Bern-for-sunshine is kind of a stupid idea. But staying here in a hostel the next few days seems totes lame.

I'm starting to consider going to the local Indie/Britpop dance party in the hopes of being invited home by somebody, but that seems like a terrible idea.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 2:08 PM
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Oops. Link for the dance party should be this.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 2:09 PM
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Blueberry Hill

Not so much more comprehensible than "HD", but I see what you mean, after a couple of minutes of confusion. I think I changed trains there once.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 2:10 PM
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594: I recall some discussion of the technical danger of the Tower or even the headsman for the dashing cavalry officer who reputedly made time with Princess Diana before she officially divorced HRH the P of W.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 2:18 PM
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And I don't understand why people keep referring to the right to an abortion when what is at issue is the right not to have an abortion.

This is because you don't understand the nature of the right at all.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 2:24 PM
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605

That's going to be a breach, and she'll have to refund. ...

So if you get an abortion in violation of the contract you will have to refund but if you refuse to get an abortion in violation of the contract you won't have to refund?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 2:25 PM
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But staying here in a hostel the next few days seems totes lame.

I assure you it's much more interesting than where I'm staying.

Speaking of, um, places, does anyone know anything about the livability of Durham (the one in the UK)?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 2:28 PM
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I assure you it's much more interesting than where I'm staying.

Ok, but I'm talking about the lameness of staying in a hostel because I was too stupid to plan an actual trip to account for the overlap between returning to Europe and getting my subletted room back. It's really a reminder of lameness rather than being independently lame, but still.

As for Durham, I'll can ask an ex-roommate who went to uni there (not exactly the same as 'really' living there, I know)...


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 2:39 PM
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611 -- That's how I think it would work, yes.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 2:42 PM
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Pretty interesting discussion at the state bar meeting on this. We have medical marijuana. It's still a Sched I controlled substance. A contract to perform or facilitate an illegal act is not enforceable.

So, what do you do when a client who owns some retail space comes in and wants you to look at a lease for space to dispense marijuana? Does it change your answer that in this recession, the main growth industry seems to be distribution of medical marijuana?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 2:49 PM
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615: that *is* interesting--but what is the question--just whether the contract is 'good'? Is there not yet enough data to answer the question of how CA courts do, in fact, treat such leases?


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 2:54 PM
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593 last, see 440 last -- I didn't focus on the public policy issue, but I did mention it in passing. I don't think it's a slam dunk that a contract requiring a surrogate to abort or raise a disabled kid is against public policy, though. I'd agree with you that it ought to be, and of course any given judge in any given jurisdiction might agree with us, but Will's the only one with any direct experience and he seems to think contracts of that sort are enforceable where he practices.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 2:54 PM
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610

This is because you don't understand the nature of the right at all.

Some politically correct gibberish about choice?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 3:00 PM
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615, 616: A lease of space is distinguishable from a contract to sell the heathen devil weed from that space, at the very least, but Cheech and/or Chong might seek to avoid liability for future rent on the grounds of unenforceability, if their tea emporium succumbs to market or other forces.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 3:01 PM
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616 -- Right, no one knows how it's going to work. So, what are you going to do to mitigate risk, without losing out on the revenue? What about the risk of forfeiture?

617 -- I'd be still be shocked if a Virginia judge ordered an abortion. I've always thought that the public policy issue was pretty much the whole thing, and was surprised to see the disclaimer.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 3:06 PM
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I'd be still be shocked if a Virginia judge ordered an abortion.

Oh, no judge anywhere is going to order an abortion, not even because abortion's special but just on the general principle that specific performance ordering an individual to actually, in person, do something is wildly wildly unlikely. (I want to say impossible, but something I can't quite remember is nagging at me.) But a contract saying "If you don't get an abortion, you're raising the kid" might, I think, be enforceable and not against public policy. I think it should be against public policy, but I'm not the public.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 3:28 PM
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618: Well, no. The "right" as I understand Roe v. Wade, is to privacy. But rights are just legal fictions. The problem in this case would seem to be taking something which is hard to monetize reasonably (being impregnated and carrying a fetus to term), and, having monetized it, now being faced with the consequences of that reification.

In a world with absolute reproductive freedom, it seems to me that people probably wouldn't want to enter into this kind of contract, on either side. Unfortunately, that's not a world we live in, and as a result we have the fetus as commodity.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 3:32 PM
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but that seems like a terrible idea.

Are you kidding? If it even approaches your last drunken date liveblogging, it's golden.

The Shearer bat-signal in 106 has predictably paid off in thread momentum, but even his heroic efforts at robotic liberal-baiting haven't really lit the fire that'll take it to 1000. So here's a genuine moral conundrum: the new American Girl catalog has arrived in the mail, and my daughters are out with mom. How bad a person would I be if I tossed it in recycling before they even knew it was here?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 3:43 PM
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620: I suppose I don't see how this differs all that much from other sorts of default risk, except that it's harder to estimate than some. Nobody actually wants to have to go to court to enforce a lease, and almost nobody does. The threat of that possibility, obviously, is part of why that's the case, but it's hardly everything (see, e.g., the zillions of studies about commercial transactions before / outside state legal systems). A lease doesn't fully protect you from the client going bankrupt, either; it's not a magic spell. Why wouldn't the lawyer just tell the client to put some effort into seeing whether the lessee seems trustworthy, and not worry so much about the legal details?

Also, all these young lawyers need to get off of my lawn.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 3:51 PM
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623.2 Won't you just get a new one next week? Though if it's addressed to the girls, I suppose you should let them look and yearn.

Let's have a conversation about Bavarian wool! I've been all emotional and mopey this weekend. Wool would make me happier. (I fear that having my brother and a friend of my partner's over for dinner won't help, but I can't very well just disinvite people because I'd rather go cry in bed.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 3:54 PM
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So here's a genuine moral conundrum...

How is this even a close question? Unless you've made some sort of explicit promises to them, of course you get rid of it. (Note: only put it in recycling if you're going to take out the recycling; you don't want them to discover it accidentally.)

Are you kidding? If it even approaches your last drunken date liveblogging, it's golden.

Unlikely. I'm less charming auf deutsch. Anyway, I've decided to take a middle path: drop my stuff off in a hostel, then go to the club. Drunken liveblogging, while not unlikely, will be hampered by my phone's lack of a QWERTY keyboard, virtual or otherwise.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 3:59 PM
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I'm less charming auf deutsch.

"Charming" and "auf deutsch": I see a Venn d., the intersected zone of which surrounds that scene with Papageno and Papagena and maybe some Austrian commercial for Nutella.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 4:06 PM
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See, thing is, they're only on the mailing list because I sent both of their dolls to the American Girl doll hospital for limb reättachment. They probably still have last month's catalog, so it's not as though they can't still look and yearn, but I know they'd love to leaf through the new one and desire things they can't have, and dealing with that is part of life and parenting, so whatever.

On preview, x. trapnel whispers in my ear from the other shoulder.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 4:06 PM
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Let's have a conversation about Bavarian wool!

There were a bunch of sheep on Savile Row this week. They seem to come from around Teabagland, but maybe there has been some Bavarian admixture.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 4:10 PM
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Unlikely. I'm less charming auf deutsch.

But you'll provide a good opportunity to practice English.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 4:14 PM
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624 -- There are plenty of suits (and arbitrations) on commercial leases.

I'm reminded of a case I had in Florida. Cross-motions for summary judgment had been filed. As was the judge's custom, we met in his chambers, without a court reporter. As was also his custom, no briefs had been filed. After some blathering about inconsequentialities, the judge asked that we address the merits. Opposing counsel said "There's a long line of cases for [Proposition X -- a relevant but not dispositive point]." My local counsel responded with "There's an even longer line of cases for [not-X]." Note that no one had cited anything, or had ever done so, since no briefs were filed. Nonetheless, the judge interrupted with "That's enough of the legal mumbo-jumbo, I'm ready to rule. Tell the next group to come in." I guess the judge has a philosophy. Not that anyone knows what it is: his ruling was only that he granted one motion and denied the other, no explanation of any kind given.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 4:17 PM
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There are plenty of suits (and arbitrations) on commercial leases.

Yes, but not compared to the number of disputes concerning commercial leases.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 4:24 PM
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614

That's how I think it would work, yes.

Seems strange to me. So if the surrogate has an abortion because otherwise she is going to die, she has to the give the money back? Seems like this creates some bad incentives.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 4:24 PM
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"That's enough of the legal mumbo-jumbo, I'm ready to rule. Tell the next group to come in."

Sounds like Judge Dredd has really mellowed.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 4:26 PM
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631

... Not that anyone knows what it is: his ruling was only that he granted one motion and denied the other, no explanation of any kind given.

Are judges allowed to do this?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 4:30 PM
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635 -- Yep. Appeal was taken. By a 2-1 vote, affirmed. Without opinion. The dissent went on at length about how the other side was in the right. In Florida, you can't really petition for cert without a written opinion. You can file a motion for a written opinion, though. It was done. Denied on a 2-1 vote.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 4:39 PM
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633 -- You've added in a new fact. I think a medical complication that made performance too dangerous to continue would excuse the breach, and the parties would be left where they stand.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 4:42 PM
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Are judges allowed to do this?

Define "allowed." Probably won't get fired; might get reversed. For the record, I would object strenuously to ever proceeding in a manner that left no record. I yell at trial lawyers all the time for going into any significant argument without a court reporter.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 4:44 PM
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636: You are reminding me why practicing in Florida drive me nuts.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 4:50 PM
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Pretty interesting discussion at the state bar meeting on this. We have medical marijuana. It's still a Sched I controlled substance. A contract to perform or facilitate an illegal act is not enforceable.

So, what do you do when a client who owns some retail space comes in and wants you to look at a lease for space to dispense marijuana? Does it change your answer that in this recession, the main growth industry seems to be distribution of medical marijuana?

IANAL, but mightn't it depend in practice on whether the venue of possible disputes would be state or federal courts?

Also, this memo comes up a lot in MM circles.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 6:55 PM
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||
No more being hard on the Beaver to Barbara Billingsley.
|>


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 7:23 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 8:33 PM
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The problem in this case would seem to be taking something which is hard to monetize reasonably (being impregnated and carrying a fetus to term), and, having monetized it, now being faced with the consequences of that reification.

Yes, this. Exactly.

It seems worth noting once again (since the point seems to have been lost way upthread) that in Canada (that backward, Communist country where this "case" took place [the case that prompts this thread, but it is not a legal case, btw]), such monetization is strictly illegal (which is not to say that deals don't take place under the table, of course). Paid surrogacy is not legal in Canada, according to federal law (since 2004); and any sort of surrogacy seems to be illegal in the province of Quebec (or, at least, in Quebec, that formerly Catholic but now Communist jurisdiction, surrogacy contracts are considered null and void: not enforceable by law, so not valid contracts). It seems highly unlikely to me that any other provincial Canadian court would enforce the terms of a contract that involved an abort-for-"defects" (ugh) clause, though apparently this hasn't yet been tested in the Canadian courts, and I could be wrong about this.

But the hostility (or "ill will," as LB describes it) expressed (again, way upthread, with comments by LB and Apo and Will in mind) toward the surrogate in this case just seems bizarre to me, and somewhat irksome. She was very likely not motivated by financial concerns (given the illegality of paid surrogacy in Canada), and is very probably not some sort of pro-life crusader who wishes to restrict access to abortion in others or anything like that (btw, abortion is completely legal in Canada, with no governmental restrictions whatsoever since 1988; and while this absence of a law governing/regulating/restricting access to abortion is by no means uncontested, the politics surrounding the issue really are different up there). And the surrogate here has not launched a lawsuit against the bio-parents or anything like that. Indeed, the only reason we've heard anything about this case is that a fertility doctor brought it up at a conference as an example of an ethically troubling dimension of surrogacy. And all we really know is that she was initially reluctant to seek an abortion, but then did so under financial pressure.

And yet, even this initial reluctance to terminate her pregnancy is apparently enough to impugn her motives overall, which I find sort of messed up, frankly.

Also, I support Canada's 2004 outlawing of paid surrogacy, on grounds already expressed by alameida (i.e., that "human women are not nutrient-providing robots containing rentable spaces for the physical belongings of others"), and also on grounds that have to do with resisting the impulse to translate/degrade the status of human being to the level of a commodity that can be bought and sold on a market.

Also, it's assholish to sneer at would-be parents who would rather adopt an already existing child who needs a family/home (but who is of some other race/ethnicity/nationality), rather than find a surrogate who would help give them a child of their own genetic makeup, but this point has already been covered by DominEditrix.

(Just doing my best to take this thread to the magic thousand...).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 8:37 PM
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MC:

How was I hostile toward the surrogate?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 8:50 PM
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Okay, if the me-specific TOS post doesn't dissapear soon, can someone explain it to me please?

MC, I admit to participating thus far and not actually reading the original article because I'd seen several versions already, but I do think it's interesting and pertinent that surrogacy law is quite differrent in Canada and that (though comments here wouldn't suggest it) this issue seems to have already been decided in the US. Adoption is different, too, in the US and Canada, but not to the same extent as is surrogacy.

I admit I was not inclined to ascribe ill intent to the surrogate who didn't want an abortion. I guess my inclination is to believe that most women don't really know how they'd feel about making that choice until they're there and I can imagine having a contract that makes that choice for you might actually make it more fraught rather than less.

I'm also not sure how I feel about this, but a surrogate who isn't paid seems to me to be in an exploitative situation, though that may be because I'm used to visualuzing things through the lens of the US health insurance system. Is that the core difference that changes things in Canada? Because I'm willing to be an organ donor and don't think that should require cash payment or anything, but it seems that surrogates at least shouldn't end up worse off financially than when they started. And yet I'm sure I'm as skeptical of the creepy Indian surrogacy "factories" as anyone else here.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 8:52 PM
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645.1: I find it's best not to try to understand.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 8:56 PM
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645.1: Thorn, it's not worth it to try to understand why the TOS says the things he does. He's just randomly lashing out.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 8:57 PM
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Also, DomonEditrix, I want to apologize if my comments were among those that seemed insensitive to you. I was trying to make a few of my complaints about the current state of adoption clear, but that doesn't mean I'm dismissive of people who choose to be involved with these flawed systems. I didn't talk about it much in this thread, but the foster adoption system is hugely flawed, in part in the direction you experienced. It's horrible to encourage someone who isn't ready to take care of a 16-year-old schizophrenid with a history of sexual abuse (I may be mis-paraphrasing) to do so because the danger for both parties is immense. I do believe things are headed in a better direction on that front, but it's nowhere near absolute. And we've read so many files of children who've been abused in foster care that I almost take it as a given now. I'm so glad for Colton and for Rowan that as far as I know they haven't experienced that (though Rowan's abuse was in an intrafamilial adoptive home) and that they both do have positive foster placements now. They system sucks a lot, seriously.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 8:58 PM
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Quick thoughts:

1. Society has decided that surrogacy is a good thing so laws are enacted to try to encourage people to do it/eliminate their concerns.

2. Nobody is going to be forced to abort.

3. Couples seeking a child want the power to walk away if there are problems with the child. ie they want the same authority as if the fetus was in the woman's belly.

4.bc of the above stuff, laws are enacted allowing financial shifting in a way that is different from ordinary law.

5. Couples adopting are doing an amazing good and I think are much less selfish than those creating babies.

6. The laws are spelled out and contracts should be drawn out very explicitedly so that everyone goes into it with eyes wide open.

7. I mostly like VA's system bc you have to be so explicited about it. Nothing should be a surprise.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 9:01 PM
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Essear and parsi, I'll defer to your experience. Being targeted is weird. Sometimes I do get the jokes and almost miss that they dissappear. This time I only sort of do, which is in some ways frustrating but not meaningful in any lasting way.

DominEditrix, I'm also sorry I misspelled your name! I misspelled other things, too, either just from too much wine or because I'm watching my partner and brother play Wii golf while I type on the iPad, which is close enough to a normal keyboard to be tricksy.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 9:02 PM
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650.1: he is seriously mentally ill, as best anyone can tell. They don't mean anything coherent, even if it seems like they do.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 9:05 PM
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How was I hostile toward the surrogate?

Well, you seemed to be suggesting that whatever is real is rational, for any value of real/rational that turns on the preferences of rich, white people. But perhaps I misread you?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 9:06 PM
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651: I think I've said this before and not just in off-blog communication, but there was a while years and years ago when I thought the ToS might be my abusive ex, who was harassing me in other web areas at the time. I'm not sure if that's why I try to make the comments make some sort of sense or not, but I have some kind of probably PTSD-related urge nonetheless.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 9:09 PM
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643: Oh, I guess I must've skimmed way too fast, I thought we were talking about a US case. Huh. I mean, my opinions still hold true, but now I am totally confused about what everyone else was arguing for.

Re: ToS: One theory is that he gets progressively more inebriated over the course of the day, and if you catch him early enough, he actually makes sense.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 9:12 PM
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You misread me. I am sorry if I was unclear.

Rich, white people want these kinds of laws. And rich, white people get what they want.

They want to control this situation. So the laws allow them to contol it without the risk of "bad" babies.

(I am speaking generally about the laws that I am familiar with, not Canadian law.)


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 9:13 PM
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Oh, Natilo, thanks. That will help me frame things differently.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 9:13 PM
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And I think I supported the surrogate's ability to choose regarding the abortion and that there was nothing wrong with changing her mind about that once she was presented with the situation.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 9:14 PM
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From 2008, but this Newsweek article on surrogacy provides a good overview and is much better than their usual fare.

And it reinforces that
649: 1. Society has decided that surrogacy is a good thing so laws are enacted to try to encourage people to do it/eliminate their concerns. is only very selectively true.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 9:19 PM
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2008 was also the date of the Alex Kuczynski NYT Sunday Mag article about her own surrogate that many people in the related communities thought exemplified the rich, white privileged dominant narrative:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/30/magazine/30Surrogate-t.html?_r=2


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 9:26 PM
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659: Well, they could hardly have found two pictures that better reinforce that narrative than they did-- barefoot and pregnant on the front porch with the hound dog versus mom and baby at their manicured Southampton home with crisply-dressed black nurse standing at the ready.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 9:37 PM
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660: Word. A lot of people using surrogates or who are surrogates felt this articke and particukarly the photos set the movement back however many years. I've seen nothing to make me believe that was the case. But again, I mostly read from the adoption side.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 9:42 PM
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Ugh, how's this for an unenforceable contract? We had my brother (age 27, Major ADHD) over for dinner tonight. When he went up to use the bathroom, we reminded him to close the bathroom door so the dog can't get in to, say, eat a tampon or do something similarly problemstic. He left the door open. I'm 98% sure the dog did eat a tampon and thus will require surgery. My brother has no job and no money at the moment, which is why I offered to make him a vegetatian dinner (although he then was an hour late arriving)

Unrelated to that, my partner has recently restarted smoking. So she and my brother went outside while I was upstairs inventorying tampons and they both smoked. Outside an open window above the door, so all the downstairs rooms smell exactly as if someone had been smoking there, though as the only non-smoker, I'm the only one who notices and is bothered.

Given all that and that I didn't want to have anyone over tonight and I was in a touchy mood to begin with, how annoyed am I allowed to be with anyone involved with any of this? Ugh.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-16-10 10:43 PM
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662: Very annoyed. Take it out on people who are wrong on the internet!


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 3:44 AM
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JP! You are supposed tobe on my team and support my unnuanced, slightly inaccurate statements.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 4:30 AM
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662: are you certain you do not have OCD?


Posted by: Earnest O'Nest | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 4:50 AM
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Hello Mineshaft!


Posted by: The Great Beast | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 5:42 AM
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Hello Great Beast!


Posted by: Earnest O'Nest | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 5:54 AM
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662: I don't think I do anymore. I'm just easy to frustrate. So the part where he was an hour late wasn't a problem because I expected it, but hearing my partner rant about his lateness for that hour was stressful and annoying, especially because she ranted to our other guest about it despite that guest's own habitual lateness. I wasn't really feeling compulsions last night, I don't think, or not as I've understood them in the past. One of my old doctors thinks I have Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder, which I guess would explain why I am often annoyed with people.

In other news, crisis probably averted! The dog is used to eating nasty things and her system is smart enough to reject non-food stomach contents. So I think we're okay on that front. And I also shut the cat in the basement for the night so my brother couldn't leave the outside door open and let the cat escape the house again. In the future, I'll remember to empty the trash before he visits rather than rely on him to close the bathroom door.

I also


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 6:45 AM
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I also wanted to say hello to the Great Beast. I'd been hoping the thread would go on long enough to nab us a visit.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 6:47 AM
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It isn't really aimed at you, Thorn; he picks random people at which to aim his feces-smearing. He's like a brain-damaged dog that shits himself and barks every time the clock chimes.

In other news, I smashed up the front end of my car (less than 3000 miles on it!) but good yesterday when I was coming around a corner, got blinded by the sun, and ran into a %#&*@% parked car while pulling down the visor. This weekend has sucked so very bad.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 6:48 AM
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Oh, apo, I'm sorry about your accident!! Yuck.

I know I only attracted his attention because I'm a lesbian and thus on the autotarget list, but when one pops up with my name I try to puzzle it out even though I know it's a good usr of my time.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 6:52 AM
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670.2: damn, that blows.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 6:56 AM
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671.2: everybody who comments frequently is on the autotarget list.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 6:56 AM
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when I was coming around a corner, got blinded by the sun, and ran into a %#&*@% parked car dude

I did that. (He was fine. The whole thing was insane and I nearly had a heart attack. He very quickly hired private detectives and lawyers etc., which I found out because my name ended up on the witness list and they called me to come to a meeting. It later became fairly likely -- based on some allusions made by my insurance agent, a call made to me by one of the witnesses, the fact that nothing came of the pd/lawyer stuff, and that nothing ever went on my driving record -- that this guy and his family made their money by jumping in front of cars.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 6:57 AM
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671: Just echoing Tweety -- we are all on his autotarget list.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 6:58 AM
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that this guy and his family made their money by jumping in front of cars.)

It's was either that or law school.


Posted by: Opinionated Guy | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 7:17 AM
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It was either that or law school. it was probably the right choice. less stress for the money. and it's not as though you're assigned twenty hours of makework throwing yourself in front of tricycles.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 8:08 AM
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fucking html. how does it work?


Posted by: alameida, who has rather a strong opinion | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 8:09 AM
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668: I don't know whether one can shake OCD and I sure seem to stay on the neurotic side whatever I do. Anyway - nobody seems to think someone with ADHD can shake it. There is an inbalance between appreciation of kinda neurotic and kinda psychotic behaviour which is bad both ways. The former has the tendency of being seen as an indication of the type of people who are boring but otherwise OK & the latter vice versa. Whereas the reality is that it is quite possible to have boring ADHD people, and immensely interesting OCD people.

Well, I don't know, but we are still 300 something comments short.


Posted by: Earnest O'Nest | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 8:25 AM
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678: Essential Insane Clown Posse interview with Jon Ronson.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 8:28 AM
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and it's not as though you're assigned twenty hours of makework throwing yourself in front of tricycles.

You elitists just assume that something taught at community college is easy. It makes me sick.


Posted by: Opinionated Guy | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 8:28 AM
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679: By "better" I mean that in the ten-plus years, I haven't felt the need to, say, leave a place but a different route from the one by which I'd entered so that my full path will make some sort of circle, whereas in the past I never was at the point where I was debilitated if I couldn't do that but it certainly felt better and the world felt right or safe if I could. I don't get that feeling of rightness anymore, but I also don't have the need to follow patterns I used to. The specific kinds of depression I dealt with then are gone, too, and my downs are not as bad as they used to be. I don't know if there's a connection, but it's been long enough that I feel okay with believing I've changed.

I was not a good older sister to this brother who has ADHD/Tourette's syndrome when we were growing up, though I took on a sort of mentoring role once we reached our teens. Before that, I was basically embarrassed all the time by my very existence, and he was so much louder and he'd touch things and I could just barely handle it and worried all the time. As adults, I'm sure I look better on paper but even the people who find him annoying generally think he's entirely likeable. I don't think I make it easy for people to like me, or if I do I'd say it's because I'm polite or something like that rather than just for my personality..


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 9:12 AM
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we are still 300 something comments short.

Doing my part: I buried the catalog in the recycling bin. Rest of family is none the wiser.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 10:14 AM
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I buried the catalog in the recycling bin

That's one seriously obscure euphemism.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 10:34 AM
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We're all about reduce, reüse, recycle here in the PNW, apo. We don't have what you people call "junk".


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 10:38 AM
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I don't think I make it easy for people to like me, or if I do I'd say it's because I'm polite or something like that rather than just for my personality.

I shouldn't make fun of people for being self-deprecating, bu listen to yourself: "People don't like me for my personality, just because I treat them politely." If you're treating people well, that is your personality, and if they like you for it you're likable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 10:40 AM
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We don't have what you people call "junk".

Five bonus points awarded.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 10:43 AM
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682: FWIW, and bearing in mind that online presentation isn't anything like IRL presentation, you seem genuinely pleasant and likable. Maybe in real life you randomly stab people, but I bet they deserve it. Lots of people do.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 11:02 AM
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I swear I wasn't fishing for compliments! A better way to say it might be that the part of me that makes me think people like me because I'm generally kind/thoughtful/a good listener even if I think they're stab-worthy is probably an outgrowth of my guilt-driven OCD/OCPD/depressive tendendies.

I do think I'm a pretty good person based on how I treat others and so forth, but I'm also sort of weird and nerdy and would prefer to talk about a lot of things most others don't find interesting. So I'd expect to be thought well of by many but truly enjoyed by only a few, or something like that.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 11:15 AM
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You didn't sound as if you were fishing, and I recognize the thought process as a way I feel about myself as well: other people are likeable because they're authentically pleasing to other people, I'm only tolerable because I'm consciously behaving well. But it's still a goofy way to think about yourself, even if I do the same thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 11:27 AM
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682: that is so entirely reasonable that it will not be helping us to achieve a 1000.

I think it helps for us, mildly obsessive types, to be talking behind a screen. So much less variables for us to be annoyed with. That being said: I do play a very good likeable person (they say) in real life but it is so very exhausting ;-)

I rarely keep it up long enough to be actually liked.


Posted by: Earnest O'Nest | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 11:33 AM
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690: Yes, that's exactly what I think! And I know it's goofy, but it doesn't seem troublesome enough to be worth the work it would take to overcome thinking it.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 11:37 AM
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Thorn, I know you aren't feeling well, and that may well explain the mood you're in right now ... but I do hope you haven't let the TOS get to you even a little bit.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 11:37 AM
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Yeah, it's not like it's paranoid to feel personally targeted: you are being personally targeted. He reads the comments and weaves stuff from them into his nasty little spewings so that he can attack people individually. But all you need to qualify for personal targeting is to comment here enough that he notices you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 11:44 AM
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No, parsi, it's not that at all. I've never had an emotional response to anything he's said about me, or not that I can recall. I've been sort of shocked and offended by things said about others, but the ones about me are bemusing and nothing more.

I have been having a rough time emotionally and hormonally and in the area where the two get intertwined. Even though I pretty much knew our match with Colton wasn't sticking, actually hearing that officially threw me for a loop. And Rowan's testimony left me with a few nights of bad dreams about my own past and about what he's gone through. Usually I could really turn to my partner for support when I'm having a hard time, but she's also hurting about the foster-adoption stuff and stressed out by work issues, so we haven't been all that great for each other.

After my angry post here last night, I ended up sort of exploding at her and we talked through a bunch of things and I actually feel much better now. I think my health is improving and so are other things in my life, and I'll relax and enjoy things more as they do. But this has definitely not been my best month ever.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 11:50 AM
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Actually, I rather don't like golf.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 11:57 AM
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695: Ah. Here's to continued improvement. Ill health and emotional upheaval in combination are a bitch. But (here's something more for the Associations thread, from a song I kept hearing a few months ago): Don't let it take the fight [read: spirit] out of you.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 11:59 AM
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Posting political satire and/or creative gonzo writing

shame you aren't up for that, then.


Posted by: O'Really | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 2:52 PM
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Sorry guys.


Posted by: Kobe | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 8:52 PM
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Kobe provides his own booster seat if needed.


Posted by: Kobe | Link to this comment | 10-17-10 8:53 PM
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So, is 701 at least a record?


Posted by: Earnest O'Nest | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:30 AM
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So, is 701 at least a record?

Not even an 8-track cassette.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:47 AM
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I think the real problem is that heebie never came back. Let's blame her! Though getting to within 300 is good. (With your shields or on them, laydeez?)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:07 AM
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They could solve this entire problem with artificial wombs. Then women would never need to give birth again.

max
['Right laydeez?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:15 AM
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The nice thing about artificial wombs is that they're probably gonna be able to make them in different sizes. Another step closer to The Matrix.


Posted by: Earnest O'Nest | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:50 AM
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They could solve this entire problem with artificial wombs. Then women would never need to give birth again.

Personally, I found gestation to be one of the most amazing experiences ever, so no more birth-giving would be a real bummer in my world. YMMV, of course.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 5:32 AM
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On firing for religious belief, can a church refuse to hire an administrative assistant for being Jewish? I really thought (in a vague it's the only civilized thing to do kind of way) that this was governed by employment law.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:19 AM
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I'm fumbling through stuff I haven't actually had to do for professionally, but look back at my 283: I think they can't hire or fire for being non-Catholic, unless there's something about the job that makes your religious belief reasonably a part of the job. So, they could require that a teacher be Catholic, because the teacher is supposed to be instructing children in Catholic values; a priest could be required to be Catholic; some kind of public spokesperson could be required to be Catholic. It's like how you can refuse to hire women to be male models, or white actors to play Othello -- sex, race, or religion may be a protected class, but it's sometimes going to be a bonafide occupational qualification. So, an administrative assistant probably could argue that their religion isn't part of their job, and that civil rights law requires a Catholic organization to hire Jews for such jobs, where a teacher couldn't.

On the other hand, a Catholic organization could hire or fire on the basis of Catholic moral strictures (as opposed to expressed religious belief) regardless of the religious status of the employee. If the Jewish administrative assistant is known to be having non-marital sex, and the Catholic employer has a religiously grounded objection to that, they can fire for it even though the employee doesn't share the religious objection to the behavior.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:37 AM
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"Catholic moral strictures", sounds so nice.


Posted by: Earnest O'Nest | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:49 AM
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I think the real problem is that heebie never came back.

It's true. I was on Fall Break and mom was in town. But here I am! And bored at work again!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:56 AM
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And you guys are doing great! Just 289 more comments to go!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:57 AM
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712

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog's back.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:58 AM
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Surely even the folks on the smart people team understood this already, right?

Even will called it the elitist school group, which tells you very little on an individual basis about how smart someone is. We were never pretending to be smart anyway!


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:59 AM
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Even will called it the elitist school group

"Elitest", actually.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:02 AM
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714: Yeah, I know, but I couldn't stop myself from writing it with an 'i'.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:23 AM
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Is it any surprise that I didnt spell something correctly?

I didnt go to Harvard.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:00 AM
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I've never even been to Massachusetts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:01 AM
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I figured you meant the very-most-elite schools. You know, the elitest.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:04 AM
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717: And yet you spelled it right! Gold star for Moby!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:06 AM
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719: I had to look it up.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:07 AM
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Sifu:

You expect me to know what I meant!?!?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:10 AM
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Because I don't want to talk about election financing yet, I'll throw out a few links I just ran across that seem pertinent to this discussion.

A new decision by a Spanish court will allow a gay male couple (marriage legal in Spain) to register the child a California surrogate carried for them. There have been a lot of recent stories about problematic international surrogacy situations, including Israel, India, Japan, and now this just off the top of my head.

Also, when I was talking about the creepy ways babies are "marketed" and the racial biases involved there, I meant things like this site and this forum. I've seen much worse than both, but they're representative samples. Oh, and the quality of the writing there forces me to implore neb not to click through.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:04 AM
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Personally, I found gestation to be one of the most amazing experiences ever

Di's memory is impressive. I have no real recollection of gestation. I assume that it was comfortable, but cramped and somewhat dull.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:08 AM
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724

Oops, I meant this forum. And posts like this one, in which an incarcerated woman with a history of meth use (probably not pre-pregnancy or it wouldn't be mentioned) and bipolar disorder and positive hepatitis C status is giving birth to a white baby whose adoption will cost $25K, are part of what give me a feeling of certainty that the hypothetical surrogate's baby with Down syndrome could find a home.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:20 AM
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I shouldn't make fun of people for being self-deprecating

Right, that's supposed to be Megan's job. Where's Megan been, anyway? I miss Megan.

With the genders reversed and self-deprecation redacted according to local taste and custom, Thorn in 682.2 is pretty much me.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 1:11 PM
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726

Yay for persistently visible, then!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 1:24 PM
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But... that wasn't meant to be a happy admission regarding sibling issues. Or is it compensating for earlier self-deprecation? I'm confused now.

Relevant to the thread: my sister was adopted, and from Korea, around 1980. So does this mean she is part of the study Minivet linked?


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 1:37 PM
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Just yay for being like me. At least there's company. And I really didn't mean to be self-deprecating because I don't know how to express how I feel more clearly. (LB is right that it doesn't totally make sense, but that's sort of a different thing.)

Your sister would probably know if she were part of the study, but I'd say the odds are good she was adopted through the Holt agency.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 1:40 PM
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I suppose that would rule out her participation. I, being an incurious child at the time, have no idea what agency it was done through. Is the Holt agency known for any of the issues you've mentioned, beyond facilitating a lot of Korean-to-American adoptions?


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 1:52 PM
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Where's Megan been, anyway? I miss Megan.

She decided Unfogged wasn't for her after the last Bob kerfuffle. Hopefully she'll change her mind and reappear at some point, but as of now she's actively not commenting here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:00 PM
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The general take on ethical problems in South Korea are that they're more likely to occur on the ground in Korea (lack of social/familial/financial support for single mothers being key) rather than through sleazy US agencies (though there's some overlap and there are non-sleazy ethical US agencies!) but there's a history of manufactured information being given to adoptive families by orphanage workers too, too. South Korea is the only industrialized country that is a major net "sender" of babies and young children for adoption rather than a "receiver" from poorer countries. The US is a "sending" country too, largely for children of color who go to Canada or western Europe, but those numbers are dwarfed by the number of incoming international adoptions.

As I understand it, Holt is the agency that created the international adoption process as we know it today, in response to learning about post-war Korean orphanages. They have historically been the agency that has processed the most international Korean adoptions and so I'm just guessing that in 1980 they would have been the most likely conduit through which your sister could enter your family.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:02 PM
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LB, since you're answering these kinds of questions, do you know if Brock will be back anytime soon? I feel bad that I may have chased him away, but I have no way to get in touch with him. (Well, I could drive to his city and wander until I see a lawyer not-biking, I suppose.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:04 PM
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I sincerely doubt you chased Brock away.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:08 PM
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734

Also, if we actually do get this thing near 1000 or for any other reason, I'd be perfectly happy to talk about complaints I have about foster care and adoption from foster care. I figure everyone already knows it's a mess, but I'd be glad to elaborate. I don't want it to look like I'm saying that the way Lee and I have tried to create a family is better than other ways.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:08 PM
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733: That was also not self-deprecating, but the last conversation I remember having with him was one where he felt people were ganging up on him for how he said what he said about Proposition 8 and I'd feel better if I apologized. So I've been hoping he'd come back.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:09 PM
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To clarify 735, I feel bad because I started the pile. And now I can feel good because I'm leaving work, though that's unrelated.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:10 PM
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734: Go for it, Thorn!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:12 PM
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738

I violate the sanctity of off-blog communication just enough to say that you did not chase Brock away. He's living on a farm, where he has room to run and play and eat anything he finds.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:19 PM
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739

And if you need to get in touch with him, I could forward him your email address.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:20 PM
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738: One presumes a kinder, gentler farm than the one where his pet dogs used to end up.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:26 PM
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a kinder, gentler farm

Emerson's hog farm?


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:28 PM
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742

Thanks, LB. I've been enlightened and feel much better.

Peep, foster care sucks! Nobody likes us and we keep not being chosen despite being demonstrably 70000 times cooler and better in all ways than our competitors!

Seriously, one thing I'll say and have probably already said in the thread is that it's been pretty amazing that neither Rowan or Colton was abused (to my knowledge, at least) in any of their foster homes. It's frighteningly rare to see the file of a child who's had multiple placements and to have those all be at least fairly positive places. And moving in itself is traumatic to a child. But seriously, I haven't and won't run the stats, but in a large number of the files for potential matches we've been given to read, the child in question has been midtreated in foster care. And that is totally, totally unacceptable.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:46 PM
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Also controversial are the photo listing websites that give info on kids who are available for adoptive placements:
http://adoptuskids.org/Child/ChildSearch.aspx

Some states only say vague positive or neutral things (and of course you need to know the code, like that "lively" means ADHD and "would thrive in a home without younger siblings" probably means the child acts out sexually or maybe just physically) but others will give a whole history about how little Susie was molested by her mom's boyfriend but mom was too busy with drugs to care, and so now Susie has trouble fitting in at school. And, you know, everyone in Susie's seventh grade class has access to that information now.

These are sort of a necessary evil in that if we had to wait for a social worker to read our (40-page?) homestudy and get back to us if she or he had a child who might be a match, nothing would ever happen. And I realize a lot of people get into the idea of adopting because they see one particular smiling face that sticks in their minds, though having that end with placement is rare. But having all of that available seems to me to be taking advantage of kids who've already dealt with a lot of trauma and objectification and don't really need more.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:51 PM
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744

Thorn, could you send me an email?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:22 PM
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745

Ugh, the idea of adoption websites with photos and profiles is, while unsurprising, pretty creepy indeed. I can just imagine some equivalent of the okcupid blog suggesting how the profile should be worded and what types of photos are most statistically likely to lead to placement in a stable home environment.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:27 PM
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746

I am however cheered to know that Brock, at least, finally has his own stable home environment re: 738.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:32 PM
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747

I know that kids who have videos (generally made by the local tv station and then aired to try to attract families) do better at attracting attention than kids who don't. I can't watch the videos because they make the kids too real. I just read the profile, look for red flags, send our file or don't, and then wait and typically never hear anything back.

If the kid's worker considers us one of the finalists, then we get a redacted and excerpted profile, generally, that tells us something about why the kid came into care, diagnoses, etc. If we're still interested, we go into the group that gets narrowed to three families in most places and then a finalist is chosen. If we're the finalist, then we get to read the full unredacted file, make a commitment to move forward with placement, then meet the child. Every step of the way is made more difficult by inaccurate information and papers that arern't filled out properly and all sorts of bureaucratic mess. It's not easy, but we still have the easiest role.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:37 PM
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All the old commenters go to a beautiful field, where they're served banh mi by Bob, cold brewed iced tea by meekins, and can have sex with Majik Johnson or play golf with Unf, depending on preferences. Ogged is there, letting you know that we're all welcome, and that he accepts all and forgives all.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:44 PM
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749

Threads which die a couple hundred comments short of a thousand, on the other hand, are cast into the eternal lake of fire, where they are forced to labor incessantly in dark factories making cargo in preparation for ogged's return.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:10 PM
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750

Won't see 'em again 'till the fourth of July.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:13 PM
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751

I've been reading a lot of old threads, which made me very much miss Brock.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:58 PM
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752

A lake of fire containing dark factories?, So Coowl!


Posted by: Earnest O'Nest | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 2:41 AM
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753

Satanic mills, even. Haven't you got this sucker to 1000 yet? You're not trying.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 3:10 AM
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754

Hey, somebody else is as bored as I am!


Posted by: Earnest O'Nest | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 3:20 AM
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755

Hey, our worker just called and asked if we wanted a three-year-old African American girl whose case goal is adoption and it looks like we're saying yes. Did I mention this is a ridiculous rollercoaster?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 10:58 AM
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756

Thorn, I can't even imagine. Good wishes, though


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 11:30 AM
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757

Wow. That's different from what you were planning, all right. Good luck!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 12:01 PM
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758

Yay for you guys and for her, Thorn. Good luck.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 12:07 PM
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755: Wow. That sounds like a big change from what you've been hoping for. How much time do you get to think that sort of thing through? I hope it all goes well!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 12:09 PM
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755: Wow, Thorn! Good luck!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 12:10 PM
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761

755: Hooray!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 12:10 PM
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We're going to have a meeting with our worker, her worker, and the foster family early next week to discuss how we want to proceed in terms of transition. So we've at least got the weekend to prepare ourselves. The foster family has put in their two weeks' notice, but her worker thought they'd be flexible in terms of what works best for her, because they do care about her deeply.

When we started out, my partner was totally hung up on having a biracial three-year-old boy. One out of three could still work. This feels really good right now, so I'm excited, although with the understanding that a billion things could still change.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 12:15 PM
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And see, heebie, this shows my real commitment to taking this one to 1000. Clearly I am doing all I can!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 12:16 PM
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763: I bet you didn't tell the social worker your real motivation!

"Of course, we'll take her! She might be our last chance to reach 1000!"


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 12:34 PM
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764: You know me well!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 12:35 PM
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766

Congratulations!! (On your commitment to taking the thread to 1000, of course.)

Congratulations on the adoption too!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 12:37 PM
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767

Thorn, congratuations.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 12:40 PM
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768

766: The rest of you slackers get out there an adopt. Fear the Heebie.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 12:40 PM
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769

And comment about it when you do.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 12:53 PM
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770

Also when you don't.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 12:54 PM
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I'm also soliciting any stories people have about parenting three-year-olds. I'd really gotten myself into the mindset of dealing with teens and this is really making me shift my thinking. Her delays are mostly in speech and she's getting (will be getting?) some help for that. She's just going to be behind where other kids her age are because she's had a lot of disruption in her life thus far, but I'm not entirely sure I DO know what kids her age are or should be doing. (And I don't know where in age 3 she is. I'm guessing she was already 3 this summer when she came into care or they'd have told me otherwise, but who knows?)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 1:11 PM
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772

Three-year-olds are assholes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 1:14 PM
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773

Basically, if they are sweet natured all the time, they are behind. You want at least 50% asshole behavior to have a proper three year old. You can probably potty train them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 1:15 PM
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774

"Assholes" implies intention. Three-year-olds are merely wild animals. The effect of this distinction on your sanity is negligible.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 1:17 PM
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775

Further to 774:

I'm not entirely sure I DO know what kids her age are or should be doing.

Challenging you to restrain your natural homicidal instincts.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 1:22 PM
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776

I think three ia a good age to start calculus. Is that right, heebie?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 1:23 PM
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The parenting experience with a 3-year-old mostly consists of wholly unpredictable screaming tantrums over any random meaningless issue you can possibly imagine. Negotiation is utterly impossible and even giving in is not guaranteed to stop the meltdown. They can be, however, insanely cute. Many days, this will be all that's keeping you from holding them under water.

This was not the experience I had with my oldest child, so it isn't 100%, but he was (and continues to be) the easiest child to parent ever and the sneaky fucker thus tricked me into having normal children.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 1:29 PM
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Boy, I'm having a hard time remembering. It's sort of the transition from toddler to child -- they should be pretty much talking like a kid, not a baby, sometime that year, becoming more reasonable over the year... playing with blocks, riding a tricycle.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 1:45 PM
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I doubt stories about parenting three-year-olds will be all that much help, though -- by the time she's settled in, she'll be four, if you see what I mean.

Picture books. That's the picture book age.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 1:46 PM
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780

Terrible twos is misnamed, or rather it easily extends into year three. I think that is why preschool was invented.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 1:47 PM
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Yeah for picture books!

This article about the decline of picture books made me sad.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/08/us/08picture.html?scp=1&sq=%22picture%20books%22&st=cse


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 1:54 PM
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782

At three Joey was havig some minor speech delays, mostly with articulation, and he would become completely enraged when we couldn't understand what he was trying to say. We'd have converstations like this:

Joey: ay watha ookie?
Me: Oh ou want a cookie, well you have to eat something good first...
Joey: NO NOT ay watha ookie. I WATHA OOKIE!
Me: You washed the wookie?
Joey: I WATHA OOKIE [falls to floor, screaming.]
Me: I swear it sounds like you are saying "I want a cookie."
Joey: [stands up and pushes me.] OOKIE OOKIE OKIE!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 1:55 PM
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783

782: You knew perfectly well what he was saying, rob. You were torturing him for fun.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 1:58 PM
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Urple, way the fuck up there:

Re: Canoes

You want an aluminum canoe. Don't let anyone talk you into wood or fiberglass. My parents own one made by Grumman; they bought it about forty years ago and it is indestructible. If anyone is selling a Grumman aluminum canoe, buy that. I cannot imagine a situation in which it would no longer be in good condition, unless it literally had holes punched in it.

I have heard that Grumman is more in the military hardware business nowadays, but they make a hell of a canoe.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 2:02 PM
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785

Urple, way the fuck up there:

Re: Canoes

You want an aluminum canoe. Don't let anyone talk you into wood or fiberglass. My parents own one made by Grumman; they bought it about forty years ago and it is indestructible. If anyone is selling a Grumman aluminum canoe, buy that. I cannot imagine a situation in which it would no longer be in good condition, unless it literally had holes punched in it.

I have heard that Grumman is more in the military hardware business nowadays, but they make a hell of a canoe.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 2:02 PM
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Huh. I think three year olds are a blast. (Not so much in public, where they can be a nightmare.) Sure, they have monstrous tantrums, but it's understandable. Their world is probably pretty frustrating. And they're hilarious and adorable.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 2:03 PM
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782: CA's newphew Matthew couldn't say (most/many) consonants for a long time. Matthew was "aa-ew." Chips were "ips" -- and now chips are forever ips to the rest of us. Like Joey, he'd get wildly frustrated if you couldn't understand him, BUT we had a translator. His slightly older brother had zero difficulty understanding him and could always tell you what he meant. It was sort of astonishing.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 2:05 PM
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784/785: huh, the near-unanimous advice I've recieved has been to stay away from aluminum, because while they're indestructible, they're such terrible boats that their indestructibily is more of a bug than a feature. But what do I know?

I wouldn't buy wood (waaay too much work for me), but I've been considering fiberglass. Although some sort of plastic is most likely.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 2:06 PM
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788: Well, again, it depends on what you want them for. Certainly, if you're doing heavy-duty portaging, you're going to be happier with a lighter boat. But aluminum canoes are indeed very heavy-duty. I would also steer clear of wood. It's pretty, but the utility ends there.

Around here, you can actually rent canoes in the city parks, but there's probably not too many other places where that's the case. However, if you are still having questions about the material you want to go with, maybe a day trip to some river or lake where you can rent canoes would set your mind at ease. Try a few out and see what you like.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 2:16 PM
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Caroline was the best translator for Joey, mostly because she had a much better idea of what was important to him and what he might be trying to say. She would know, for instance, that there had been a monster in the cartoon last night called an 'oogie' and that Joey just wanted us to know that he had watched it.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks for the grown ups was remembering that Joey wasn't necessarily asking for something. He might just want to tell us something, often something we already knew.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 2:20 PM
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791

I still can't figure out what Joey was saying upthread, and it's going to torture me for the rest of the fucking day. See, Thorn? Little kids are dicks.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 2:30 PM
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792

791: "I watched Oogie."


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 2:31 PM
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793

My kid just turned three. It's great! Interests include duplo legos, picture books, eating flowers (this is actually kind of a problem), making sure one's socks are put on EXACTLY right, and developing insanely elaborate, almost entirely incomprehensible narratives about what various toys are doing. Dislikes include not having ice cream and not being allowed to run wild inside stores.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 2:41 PM
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794

How far do you really want to portage your canoe, though? We can get it up and off a car with two people, no problem, and we can portage it the occasional distance. Sure, it's not a *sexy* boat. However, we've tended to canoe down California rivers that in some droughty seasons toward the pebbly. We would have torn the shit out of a fiberglass canoe some thirty years ago.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 2:46 PM
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795

Man are we ever in the middle of grunting/pointing/inarticulate frustration land. Also talking-with-your-mouth-closed land, which never occured to me would be a problem I faced as a parent.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 2:50 PM
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796

My kid just turned three. It's great!

Get ready, sucker.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 2:50 PM
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797

He was saying "Try Harder, Snooki!".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 2:54 PM
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794: Well, its not so much a question of wanting to portage as having to portage. Certainly, on many river and stream trips, or around one big lake, your portage needs are hopefully going to be minimal. So two people carrying the canoe on its side is usually doable. But if you're in an environment like the BWCAW, or other multi-lake trips, you can often find yourself looking at portages of a quarter or half a mile, if not more. In those instances, you REALLY want a canoe that one (fit, adult) person can comfortably carry on their shoulders, hence, probably not aluminum, although I've seen people carry 85 pound aluminum canoes with no problem. It's just not what you'd call "fun".


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 3:02 PM
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I should say that the example was made up, but the pattern almost always went like that. There was something it really sounded like he was saying, but that wasn't what he was saying, and it really upset him that we would even think he was saying that. Also, what he was actually saying was something that could only be important to a three year old.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 3:02 PM
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800

It's just not what you'd call "fun".

Too much like the rest of canoeing?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 3:12 PM
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801

Coming up at age seven: figuring out how to say cuss words without getting in trouble for saying cuss words. This sometimes involves demonstrating an understanding of the use/mention distinction, which is a good sign. Other times it indicates a clear consideration of different meanings, such as when Siobhán, who knows that a certain word is permissible if she's referring to female dogs, spontaneously offered from the back seat yesterday, "I see bitches every day." Yeah, tell me about it.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 3:14 PM
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802

Canoe down a river instead?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 3:15 PM
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803

No, there's bitches on the river too.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 3:16 PM
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804

But seriously, if you have a nice river to canoe down, by all means, be my guest. But it's a different experience drifting past cow pastures and little towns and under bridges than being out in the wilderness, where people are scarce. (See also: How we keep out the riff-raff)


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 3:19 PM
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805

I believe that whatever that "It's Everything a Canoe Isn't" thing is (the "Poke Boat," I think) has been advertising in the New Yorker for at least 25 years.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 3:21 PM
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806

What isn't a canoe?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 3:44 PM
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807

806: 3 year olds, for one. Those are assholes. Which probably explains the affinity for bitches.

I miss being cute enough to get away with truly reprehensible behavior.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 4:05 PM
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808

Can one canoodle in a canoe?


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 5:00 PM
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809

808: A boy and a girl in a little canoe with the moon shining all around?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 5:02 PM
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810

It's a lot like Coors, I'm told.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 5:04 PM
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811

Anyhoo, yay Giants, go Rangers.

190 to go.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 5:05 PM
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812

189 bottles of beer on the wall...


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 5:11 PM
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813

NOT FOR LONG, WOO!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 5:13 PM
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814

804.--But it's a different experience drifting past cow pastures and little towns and under bridges than being out in the wilderness, where people are scarce.

Dude.

My parents have about 40 years' worth of the exact same picture: taken from the back of the (aluminum) canoe, my mother turning around to wave hello from the front, with the most magnificent fucking mountains in the far background. Most recently from Muncho Lake, between British Columbia and Yukon Territory. I know from wilderness.

Lake canoeing is great for day trips or overnight trips. I really enjoyed rivers for multi-day trips, that's all. Growing up, we used to do the Navarro or Russian Rivers, from oak forest to redwood to the coast. It's fun to travel through widely different ecosystems.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 6:08 PM
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815

(You guys may get the desired flame war yet!)


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 6:10 PM
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816

I sleep in an aluminum canoe, but it's upholstered in velvet and painted black. Very goth, but also outdoorsy, you know? I'm not sure Blume really understands it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 6:11 PM
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817

Maybe it's not the canoe she minds, but the no-canoeing-during-sunlight-hours rule.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 6:17 PM
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818

My personal style is very important to me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 6:18 PM
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819

793 making sure one's socks are put on EXACTLY right

Apparently I was extremely demanding about this, and my parents still won't let me live this down. When I complain about something minor, my mom will chant "my sock's not right! my sock's not right!"


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 6:25 PM
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Small children are wonderfully unable to be less than transparent with small complaints. They never say, "Fix my sock before you give me the cookie." But, if they don't want to do something....


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 6:34 PM
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821

I wish you and your partner the best of luck, Thorn! Three-year-olds are a blast, at least if (like me) you are a fan of silly.

Three was when Rory started at the best preschool ever. They taught her negotiation skills. (Not that those haven't been a mixed blessing... ) If the kids fought over a toy, the person who didn't have it was supposed to ask the kid in possession "how many minutes?" Then the teacher set an egg timer for that many minutes. It really was very effective conflict resolution skill building.

The other really awesome discipline trick we lucked into was the "No Whining Zone." Someone gave us a kitschy sign with "whining" in the circle with the line through it. One day mid-tantrum we told her the living room was a no-whining zone. Somehow, she bought it. For months, she was convinced to whine only in her bedroom.

It was also the age of her first marriage. One day, she and a young man in her class donned attire from the dress-up box and the teacher administered the vows. I believe she went through three husbands that year.

Finally I believe this was the year (or thereabouts) that she declared her party affiliation. One particularly cranky bedtime, I offered her a bedtime story. "I don't like books!" I offered her a lullaby. "I don't like singing!" Frustrated, I rolled my eyes and told her with that attitude toward the arts she'd make a fine Republican one day. She burst into tears: "Mama, I don"t wanna be a Republican!"


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 6:36 PM
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822

(You guys may get the desired flame war yet!)

I'm on Jackmormon's side. River canoeing is where it's at. And it's plenty easy to get river wilderness in the West - though I admit I like the populated rivers too.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 6:44 PM
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823

I for one am listening carefully to the canoe debate (sort of). My canoeing has been of the type JM describes in 794. This had been with a fiberglass canoe, and man did that thing get scraped up, then patched, then scraped up again, and began after 5 years or so of use to take on water and become extremely heavy by the end of a 5-hour river/stream trip -- this in an environment in which levels of rainfall make a big difference to how much portaging and scraping is going on. We relinquished it to a friend in pond/lake territory this summer.

I'd been thinking that plastic was the way to go in that environment, but I see the scraping issue as a problem there as well. True. Hrm. Aluminum is just so icky, though.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 6:46 PM
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824

parsimon, my understanding is that the scrapes in plastic can more or accumulate for decades and never be more than cosmetic. It's not fragile like a glass boat.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 6:52 PM
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825

I actually like the aluminum canoes.

I would argue against fiberglass, but that's just because I had a bad fiberglass injury off of our fiberglass skiff when I was little. (We went aground, a section of it was damaged, and I then fell on it or something just so, and ended up with a hand full of fiberglass. It's probably a once in a life-time event, but seriously, it scarred me.)

We have a kevlar kayak. Super sturdy.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 7:08 PM
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826

Is it bullet resistant?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 7:17 PM
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827

People say I'm Bullitt resistant, but my feeling is I've seen plenty of car chase scenes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 7:19 PM
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828

That's my quota. See you in the funny papers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 7:20 PM
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829

824: Ah. I got pretty damn sick at times of lugging that fiberglass thing around. We probably did more scraping than we should have because we became reluctant to get out and haul the thing.

Photo from -- on -- the favored canoeing "river" (stream?) posted to the flickr group in a few minutes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 7:22 PM
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830

From the "Seriously?!" files. Virginia (Mrs. Clarence) Thomas left a voicemail message for Anita Hill:

Good morning Anita Hill, it's Ginni Thomas," it said. "I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometimes and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband."
Ms. Thomas went on: "So give it some thought. And certainly pray about this and hope that one day you will help us understand why you did what you did. OK, have a good day."

Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 7:34 PM
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831

Done.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 7:37 PM
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832

830: Isn't that crazy?! I'm not surprised that Anita Hill initially suspected it might be a prank. It's just too crazy to believe.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 7:40 PM
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833

830: Holy crap.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 7:44 PM
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834

"Hi Ginni. Great hearing from you. I have preyed on it, and you are right. I want to say that I am sorry. I am sorry that you are married to that guy and I am sorry that your own self-concept as a woman doesn't allow you to fully understand the impact of sexual harassment. I did what I did because, in my personal opinion, I feared that your husband was unfit for the judgeship to which he was appointed and I wanted the Senate to have that advise before it gave its consent. You have a great day, too, Ginni!"


Posted by: Anita Hill | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 7:49 PM
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835

#830. What the hell? Has there suddenly been a massive nationwide lithium deficiency or something? Now I want to leave a message for Justice Thomas asking if he's responsible for this pubic hair on my Coke can, just for old time's sake.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 7:58 PM
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836

Well, look, they're all -- okay, a lot of them -- are crazy (not in the clinical sense!) at this point. Christine O'Donnell being stymied by the separation of church and state as part of the Constitution. It's just embarrassing at this point.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 8:04 PM
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837

835: Do it! Do it.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 8:10 PM
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838

814: Well, all of this discussion has been complicated by the fact that I'm still not sure where urple lives. Mountain west canoeing is going to be totally different from northwoods canoeing, which is in turn very different from New England canoeing.

Around here, much of the river canoeing is through fairly settled regions, whereas if you want Big Nature, you go to the BWCAW or the Apostle Islands, for multi-day lake canoeing trips. Or, as I mentioned, here in the cities it's easy enough to just stop by a park and canoe in the lake there.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 8:58 PM
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839

In the interest of Kobe M, some further fun stuff about MLB's wonderful PostseasonTV package. I mentioned earlier that it's just a static cam, rather than a broadcast feed, which makes it a less than ideal watching experience. In the forums the MLB folks said that you could watch the TV broadcast starting 90min after the game. So I figured I'd take a look at the Cliff Lee game. MLB.com kept sending me to some weird error page. I investigated further and yes, you can watch it like that, for an extra fee. I hate the MLB now. It's not even the money amount as such since in the grand scheme of things wasting ten bucks isn't a big deal, but I feel royally swindled.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 9:04 PM
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840

Ginni Thomas is clearly feeling her oats as she takes advantage of Citizens United to raise funds and label Obama a tyrant.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 11:00 PM
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841

839: It so turns out that sometimes the NHL Center Ice package will give you both feeds from the game and then you can choose which feed you prefer. So apparently 1) sometimes games are blacked out for no discernable reason and 2) you can't always get both feeds, but if you can get both feeds, it's just like home, except you can't see the pregame or postgame show.

Oh, well, beats not being able to see them at all. I'm just still trying to figure out if it's worth the 150 bucks.

max
['Otherwise though, I'm stuck watching the Capitals.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 4:30 AM
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842

... so, Utrecht is pretty neat, though the weather is less than ideal. Yesterday, my former neighbor took me on a brief tour around the city center, and then we ate Dutch pancakey-things, before closing out a great Belgian beer bar inside a former clandestine church. And today, though colder, also has sunlight peeking through the clouds (in between rainbursts). I'll be moseying around town, probably climbing up the Dom Tower. Fun times!

I also had an interesting conversation with a charming young Iranian woman seated across from me on the train, who had recently started an art/communications program in a little Dutch town somewhere. Apparently things aren't so peachy in Tehran. Who knew?

I'm glad The Mineshaft encouraged me to take this trip!


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 5:30 AM
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843

I'm sure there's been a lot of Supreme Court justices in the past who were simultaneously unapologetic operatives for a political party, but it still seems wrong.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 5:33 AM
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844

It is very good to hear that there are Belgian things in Utrecht; you never know when you are forced to go to certain places.


Posted by: Earnest O'Nest | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 5:36 AM
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845

Yay, x. trapnel!

And thanks to everyone for the advice and anecdotes. I'm kind of excited about having a little asshole of our own. I did tell my mother, who says she's very skeptical about my ability to handle that sort of life change but also that she hadn't been sure we could handle teen boys. So I guess I was overestimating the extent to which she was supportive in the past. I wasn't actually relying on her for anything, but it's annoying because I'd let myself get my hopes up that she'd changed a little. She definitely doesn't think cute little kids should go to homes like ours.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 6:11 AM
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846

Thanks, Thorn. And yay for you about your potential new asshole, boo for lack of motherly support!


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 6:41 AM
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847

Hey, best of luck Thorn!

I've hit a lot of rocks with my aluminum canoe. We went to a Salish canoe race last summer, though, and those boats looked really neat. I'll find a picture to put in the pool.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 6:50 AM
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848

To tie a few themes together: canoes and assholes—it is best not to see them being made.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 7:10 AM
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849

Canoes and assholes—both fun to paddle?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 7:50 AM
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850

Both places to find yourself up shit creek, paddle or not.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 7:54 AM
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851

You need a stern talking to, Stanley.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 7:56 AM
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852

I warn you that derauqsd owns an inflatable canoe. You may adjust your priors accordingly with regard to his other opinions.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 7:57 AM
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853

851: The hull I do!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:00 AM
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854

Is there such a thing as an inflatable canoe? Shape-wise, I can't really see how that would work.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:36 AM
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855

re: 854

http://www.kayaksandpaddles.co.uk/canoe/kayak/uk/shop/inflatables.htm

Some are quite kayak like:

http://www.kayaksandpaddles.co.uk/canoe/kayak/uk/shop/productpages/inflatable-canoes/sevylor-pointer-k2.htm


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:39 AM
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856

Apparently there are also folding canoes. Neat!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:45 AM
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857

Inflatable canoe: for the blowhard who likes to row hard.

(Doing my part here towards Kobe M, team.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:47 AM
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858

Folding boats are an old idea.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:57 AM
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859

858: they were pretty creative with their boat-making.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 9:00 AM
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860

859: After reading in that article about the spiritual significance Indo-Europeans placed on fingernails, I've decided that life used to be very boring.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 9:22 AM
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861

When we went canoeing (on a lake, to fish) when I was kid we always rented aluminum canoes. They seemed to be OK. Kinda heavy yeah, but very hardy.

max
['1/1000.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 9:28 AM
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862

We're never going to get to 100 at this rate, are we? Someone needs a clever segue from canoes to food.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 11:26 AM
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863

100, 1000, what's an order of magnitude between friends?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 11:26 AM
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864

We're never going to get back to 100, surely. We could mourn its passing.

I don't know what to say about food. If I'm making a frittata with four extra-large eggs, is that equivalent to six large eggs? I'll probably add a bit of water or something. Frittatas are not about fancy measuring anyhow.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 11:54 AM
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865

Someone needs a clever segue from canoes to food.

When I ordered lunch at the deli today, I took the unconventional (for me) route of asking for it as a wrap. When the deli guy asked what kind of wrap (uh, red or green I think?), I said surprise me. The guy said, "Oh, we'll surprise you all right."

What I'm saying is, that's not the sort of thing I'd want to hear from a stranger in a canoe. (But the wrap turned out great.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 11:59 AM
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866

You wanted to hear that from the stranger preparing your food?


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 12:01 PM
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867

I suggest cooking with coconut oil. Ground beef, peppers, mushrooms, kale, tumeric, coriander, cumin, basil, garlic, a touch of balsamic, and maybe some curry paste. And coconut oil. Lunch. I am hungry.

Has anyone ever seen the next iron chef reality show? Because I am now slightly obsessed with Maneet Chauhan. "Sometimes the tiger must come out." Also, the menu at Vermillion does look yummy.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 12:07 PM
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868

866: No, it kinda freaked me out, but not enough to skip lunch. Now, if he had offered me a canoe ride, I'd have declined forthwith.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 12:07 PM
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869

868: It wouldn't have even mattered whether it was an aluminum canoe or an inflatable one? Or do you prefer that to be a surprise too?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 12:09 PM
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870

What kind of floozy do you take me for?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 12:19 PM
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871

I figured with you, anything goes.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 12:24 PM
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872

Stanley shaved his beard bc strangers stopped asking him to ride in their canoes.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 12:31 PM
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873

I said surprise me.

Never say that about which kind of wrap! It matters! (Whole) wheat wraps can be on the stiff/dry side, and crack more easily depending on what kind of filling is involved; if there's a spread on the wrap -- guacamole or something -- okay, whole wheat works. If there's no spread or the filling doesn't involve mayonnaise in, say, a tuna salad filling or similar, you do not want a whole wheat, aka brown, wrap, but a white or a green one.

Just in case you intend to extend your investigation of wrapped sandwiches.

We could take this to 1000 if anyone wanted to fight about this.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 12:34 PM
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874

I ended up with the red wrap. I think it's supposed to be sun-dried tomato or something, but it just tastes tortilla-y.

Food-related, these cashews are awesome but hella expensive.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 12:37 PM
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875

I also just got a free flu shot, and that's food-related via the eggs, right? (Thanks, Virginia Dept. of Health!)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 12:38 PM
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876

Yet nobody even answered my question about eggs! I don't know what the hell has become of unfogged.

Congratulations on your flu shot, Stanley. What with mystery wraps and needle sticks, it sounds like you really know how to have a good time!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 12:39 PM
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877

What's the difference between a wrap and a tortilla?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 12:41 PM
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878

877: For starters, at the end of a long day of filming, the director never says, "Okay, that's a tortilla!"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 12:44 PM
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879

I keel you. But that does remind me, there's a Hollywood video drop box near here, and the words "It's a wrap" have taken on new poignancy juxtaposed with the shuttered store.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 12:54 PM
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880

877: A wrap is a flour tortilla. Plus if you say to the customer "What kind of tortilla?" they'll be all confused. Or maybe they'll say something weird, like "Corn."


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 12:54 PM
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881

Or "Hazelnut?"

Or Brazil nut?

Or Cashew nut?

That's always the one that sends them over the edge.

(I really did have a conversation about nut wraps, though.)


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:00 PM
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882

876: So how big are those extra-large eggs? Ostrich eggs?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:00 PM
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883

They should just call it a tortilla, I say. A wrap is something to wear.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:01 PM
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884

882: Nah. I was just too lazy to go to the farmers' market and get the good kind of eggs and so went to Trader Joe's instead and got XL, which is about twice the size of what I'd normally get. I'm just going to use up what I've gotten and not stop off and buy more. We're bringing it to a communal dinner, so if I don't like it I can just hope other people will eat some.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:02 PM
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885

Wait, what the hell is a nut wrap? And what are you damn kids doing on my lawn?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:03 PM
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886

All eggs are ova-sized.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:04 PM
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887

879: The Hollywood Video by me went under. Apparently, they just stopped paying rent because the landlord locked them out and sold all the videos. The space is going to become a social service agency, which is nice enough but, being as the space is so close to the liquor store, I was hoping for a Chinese takeout or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:04 PM
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888

883: It's a plot by the Mexicans. We don't even know we're eating Mexican food. Next they'll slip some Spanish words into English, and before you know it we'll be speaking Spanish, still thinking that we're speaking English.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:05 PM
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889

what the hell is a nut wrap

It's when you plead guilty but insane to whatever you're charged with.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:06 PM
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890

I just googled, and an extra large egg is 9/8 the weight of a large egg. So five XLs will be 5 5/8 Ls. I'd use five XLs and a little water.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:07 PM
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891

885.1: Srsly.

I don't know what the hell has become of unfogged.

This thread is too long, that's what.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:07 PM
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892

890: Are chickens really that precise?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:08 PM
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893

Ha. Apparently it's an attempt to make a wrap like thing out of nut flours. From what I can recall, it was not particularly successful. But what is youth for? WE LIVE ON THE EDGE.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:09 PM
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894

892: I'd always assumed so, based on that hideously stabby pecking thing they do. That's for hunting bugs, right? They dart down from above with their little bird demon beaks? Precision.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:11 PM
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895

890: Thanks, LB! Googling, how exotic! (I was mostly keeping conversation going in an unprofitable way. Maybe I'll slightly decrease the rest of the recipe to fit the eggs. Maybe I'll by more eggs. What a thrilling life! This is why I haven't made an It Gets Better video.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:14 PM
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896

free range chickens do not produce good eggs.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:16 PM
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897

What do they produce?

Also, in the interests of one thousand comments, we could all get apoplectic about this for a while:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/19/AR2010101907216.html


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:17 PM
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898

Says who?


Posted by: Opinionated Free Range Chicken | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:17 PM
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899

Look, will, people were looking for someone to say something inflammatory to push the thread to 1000, but that's over the top.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:18 PM
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900

dona, I have noticed that you are not very friendly to birds. Is there a problem? I do not think it is very funny that wild turkeys might drown because they might turn their faces up to the rain -- in a celebration of life's bounty, mind! -- and what with the particular curvature of their beaks or whatever it is, drown themselves. I in fact wonder whether that's even true.

Did a big bird peck you as a child?

I understand; I'm skittish around goats myself.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:18 PM
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901

Have I mentioned my hatred for peacocks? One attacked my daughter when she was little. Hate, hate, hate them.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:21 PM
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902

dona, I have noticed that you are not very friendly to birds. Is there a problem? I do not think it is very funny that wild turkeys might drown because they might turn their faces up to the rain -- in a celebration of life's bounty, mind! -- and what with the particular curvature of their beaks or whatever it is, drown themselves. I in fact wonder whether that's even true.

It is not true. http://www.snopes.com/critters/wild/turkey.asp


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:23 PM
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903

900.1: She seems over friendly to birds from my point of view.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:23 PM
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904

Hate peacocks? You monster. The Spanish name for peacock is pavo real ("royal turkey"), which is pretty generous to turkeys if you ask me.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:24 PM
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905

Parsimon, I'm imagining a certain scene from Arrested Development, involving Buster, a goat, and a photo booth.

Quick, jerky, skittish movements creep me out. Roaches, rats, chickens, sometimes Robin Williams.

I think owls are awesome? I know. Claiming I have owl friends doesn't exonerate me of my bird hating. But shit, that turkey thing is funny.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:24 PM
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906

883: They should just call it a tortilla, I say. A wrap is something to wear.

Amen. They should stop renaming the mexican food. Corn or flour, it's a tortilla.

897: Also, in the interests of one thousand comments, we could all get apoplectic about this for a while:

Aha! Wendy Gramm! Yeah that about sounds right for the Gramm family. The problem is, is that considering their shenanigans while Phil Gramm was in congress, that's really small potatoes.

max
['I wonder if Wendy Gramm calls them wraps?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:29 PM
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907

892: Chickens are assholes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:30 PM
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908

But they do not posess assholes. I'm not sure of their canoe status.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:34 PM
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909

Hey! Turns out our kiddo is actually two for another two weeks. So I'll actually get to deal with the full glory that is 3-year-old assholism. Awesome!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:36 PM
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910

You're getting a chicken?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:38 PM
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911

907: Well, I, for one, stand with the chickens!

Raise your hands, raise your voice,
Give the chickens another choice,
Join with me, set them free,
Brothers and sisters, let the chickens be


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:39 PM
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912

But shit, that turkey thing is funny.

Counterpoint: it's a tired old wives' tale I never thought any educated adult actually believed.

Trolling... for great Kobe!

And best of luck acquiring your asshole, Thorn.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:40 PM
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913

Excellent! Seriously, isn't younger better from the point of view of attachment, prior trauma, and so on?

And you'll be fostering her for a while, and then finding out if adoption is on the card after months? years? How does the timing work there?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:40 PM
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914

909: Is it possible you will get her before her birthday? So, that you need to be planning a b-day party too?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:41 PM
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915

Thorn, it happens this quick? I mean. Wait. Obviously you have been at this for a while, and I don't know the full history, but...they called you, like, the other day, right?

I can't imagine what the inside of your head is like right now. Do you just hug random strangers on the street? Do you see Disney animals singing everywhere?


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:41 PM
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916

Oooh, you know what the best toy in the world is at that age? Little folding stroller. It wouldn't occur to me, but kids fight over them in the playground. (Largely because it's a girl toy, so no one gets them for boys and then the boys don't have them and have to borrow. This causes undersupply and tsuris. People -- get toy strollers for your toddler boys. They will love them.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:43 PM
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917

"Believing" is not the same as "wanting to be true."


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:44 PM
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918

Let's not forget the vital importance of the chicken when bartering for health care.


Posted by: Sue Lowden | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:47 PM
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919

905.2: Quick, jerky, skittish movements creep me out. Roaches, rats, chickens, sometimes Robin Williams.

An aesthetic reaction.

I think owls are awesome? I know. Claiming I have owl friends doesn't exonerate me of my bird hating. But shit, that turkey thing is funny.

The turkey thing is untrue. I was intentionally inflammatory in 900 for the sake of the thread, but honestly, glibness about a bird hatred on the basis of an aesthetic distaste for the quickness with which some of them move is just annoying.

We all have tastes, but I don't wish death on much of any creature. That said, I love raptors as well.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:47 PM
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920

If you would like a replacement stupid animal fact, according to Douglas Adams sloths will occasionally mistake one of their limbs for a branch, adjust their grips accordingly, and plummet to their deaths.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:50 PM
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921

I stake my allegiance in these crucial matters with Team Parsimon. I presume Moby's got dona's back, though.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:55 PM
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922

909: That's great! It's a really fun age, and what's nice is that a three-year hasn't yet lost all traces of babyhood.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:55 PM
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923

Ha, LB, a foster blogging pal of mine has cited that as her foster child's favorite toy on multiple occasions. I'll definitely make sure we acquire one if not more.

As far as how this works, once Colton's adoption fell through, we went to our state worker and said we were ready to open our home as a foster home, though with a preference toward adoptive placements. Last week we turned down a 13-year-old boy in part because aggression is a problem if the kid is or soon will be bigger than either of us. (Well, we actually said that we'd take him if the other eligible family didn't because we wanted him to stay close to family, but they did have a place for him and so he's there, as far as I know.)

With this girl, Mara, she's in a local foster home but the foster home needs her to leave for reasons related to the adults in the house and not to her or her behavior. They've given their two-weeks' notice as of Monday, but because they love her they're not going to insist that she's gone in that time on the nose. However, we were the first choice for a home for her (in part because she's black, I imagine) and the more we know about her history, the better it sounds.

Right now, her mom isn't interested in regaining custody of her children and her dad isn't able to. The relatives and family friend who are raising the other children in the family seem tapped out, and it was one of them who had her placed in foster care in the first place last spring. She's only been with this one foster family.

Apparently the state is ready to push to have her parents' rights legally terminated, which usually doesn't happen until after a child has been in care for 18 months but may happen sooner if her parents decide to sign away their rights or may be forced upon them because they've lost rights to kids in the past (though I don't know whether there was protective services involvement in the other relinquishments).

Rowan is from the county next to ours, but the termination of his parents' rights was filed in July and won't happen in court until January. I don't know if there's that much of a backlog in our county, but the TPR has to happen and then we could petition to adopt. Since we're the foster home, I think they waive the requirement that she be in our home x amount of months before we file to adopt, though if Colton had moved in with us there would have been a six-month wait before filing to make sure that our family was working.

So legally we're going to be Mara's foster family, but the understanding is that if the time comes to adopt, we'll be the state's choice so that she doesn't have to move another time and we won't have to go through the elaborate selection process we've had to for adoption-only placements. Foster moves happen fast; I feel very fortunate that we'll have at least a week to prepare for her, especially since we've been ready for a teen and don't have a whole lot of little-kid stuff.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:57 PM
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924

920: I once saw some David Attenborough clip where he explained that sloths climb all the way down from the tree every time they have to crap, which would be pretty noteworthy for any animal, but for a sloth! What do they do? Start climbing down as soon as they're back up?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 1:58 PM
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925

919: We don't know each other well. I very much assume this is in the continued spirit of ONE THOUSAND, as opposed to genuine irritation about fake bird hatred, if only because the alternative is...ridiculous?


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:00 PM
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926

924: It must be a lot of work, but if you shit on a puma just once, you'll go out of your way to avoid the same mistake.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:02 PM
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927

Oh, and peep, yes, I think we'll have her for Halloween and her birthday, which coincidentally are within one day of each other. We'll probably have a party for just the three of us. When she first moves in, we're going to have to work hard on helping her learn to accept us as family and attach to us as her caretakers, which means backing off of large, hectic events for a while. But it's also possible her foster family will want to have a party for her, and that would be fine. I have no idea what's going on with them until we talk to them.

Younger is better from an attachment point of view and it sounds like she hasn't had as many moves (documented moves, at least) as I'd initially feared. She's still going to be more affected than the average child, and we know and will work with that very proactively. And yes, that may eventually mean Waldorf school despite all the wacky beliefs they have. We'll see what's best for her when the time comes.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:05 PM
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928

924: Presumably their digestive tracts work proportionally slower. That is, their bowel movements aren't.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:09 PM
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929

Thorn: that is very exciting. My kid is almost exactly the same age, so we can swap (horror?) stories.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:09 PM
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930

924: I think they have a fairly slow metabolism. There were tree sloths in Panama where I lived for a few years as a young kid, and man, yeah, they moved at such a leisurely pace and were so non-threatening that you just wanted to be aware of them, but that was about it, even though they were clearly very strong.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:10 PM
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931

929: Awesome! We can't swap children, though, or not until after the adoption goes through. That's generally frowned upon.

Also, everyone should know that I read the pertinent parts of this thread aloud to Lee last night so she'd be aware of potential assholishness ahead. She was delighted.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:11 PM
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932

You all are so close to 1000. I really appreciate the dedication everyone is showing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:12 PM
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933

The real test of will should be to see if we can get to exactly, but not more than, 999 comments.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:14 PM
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934

926: My thought was that sloths must be the most thoughtful of creatures to go to such great lengths to avoid the possibility of shitting on anyone.

What a contrast with those asshole birds!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:15 PM
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935

930: The thing is, slow metabolism or not, eating leaves would seem to require a great deal of poop plopping due to the high fiber and all.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:17 PM
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936

What a contrast with those asshole birds!

One took a crap on my bedroom window, right at the top. The only way the bird could have done that would be a flying dump while going over the house, so I have to assume it was deliberate.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:19 PM
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937

I go away for a few days and the thread turns to bird hatred! Birds are wonderful.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:20 PM
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938

Thorn -- it sounds terrific! A two-year-old youngster, almost three years. You and Lee are so lucky, it seems to me. I'm excited for you. I've mentioned here before that I lived with a Waldorf kindergarten teacher for several years, and their early education approach seems outstanding.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:21 PM
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939

938: Their salads ain't half bad, either.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:23 PM
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940

937: I love birds, too, but I can't let my feelings stand in the way of The Quest for One Thousand!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:23 PM
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941

940: I love birds so much that I have my own website about birds.

905: The website includes owl pictures.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:28 PM
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942

938: I know I've mentioned it before too, but I think the small classes and a consistent teacher could be incredibly beneficial for a child with attachment problems and that the focus on handwork would be good for helping ease developmental delays. That's a large part of what's selling us on it. With any kid coming out of foster care, I believe you have to focus on recovering from trauma before putting too much emphasis on academics.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:30 PM
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943

925: as opposed to genuine irritation about fake bird hatred

It actually was genuine irritation. You're right that we don't know each other very well, but I break out into hippie mode now and again: don't be wishing death on anybody, beast or fowl, much less laughing about it. Calling it "fake" doesn't really cut it.

This hippie mode of mine doesn't fit in very well with unfogged sometimes, so I drop it easily enough here, and will do so now.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:30 PM
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944

Tippi Hedren tells me that one should take those ominous looks seriously.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:30 PM
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945

Oh, I wish I'd seen 943 before I submitted 944.

Um. Sorry?

Dropped.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:31 PM
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946

I wish death on mosquitoes. Surely that can't be controversial.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:32 PM
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947

I will find you and give you malaria for saying that.


Posted by: Opinionated Mosquito | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:33 PM
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948

Except to say that that owl in 941 is awesomely disdainful. Is that disdain?

I really do love owls.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:33 PM
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949

Not that I'm trying to rile you, parsimon. Just wondering how far the hippie mode goes.

Mosquitoes may be a food source for other things, but they are (indirectly) responsible for the deaths of millions and the annoyance of billions.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:33 PM
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950

Huh. My comment (to clarify that I wasn't trying to intentionally provoke parsimon) seems to have gotten eaten.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:35 PM
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951

Or not. So freaking weird.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:36 PM
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952

948: Yes, I'm sure he was pissed. He was trying to sleep inside a barn but I wanted a picture so we opened the side door to make him fly into a visible area. Sorry owl!


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:36 PM
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953

Waaaaaait. Do chickens eat mosquitos? That would go far.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:37 PM
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954

Thorn, that sounds like a fucking whirlwind. I can't even imagine preparing to make that sort of life adjustment that quickly. Good luck.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:39 PM
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955

941: Yay, another birder on Unfogged! My parents were just in your state doing birding; however, they got stuck in those freak storms and didn't get to see a whole lot.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:40 PM
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956

I forgot to say congrats to Thorn.

max
['Sorry!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:41 PM
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957

Were it not for one owl in particular, I would never have learned how many licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Roll Pop.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:41 PM
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958

Would we think it was OK if DQ said what she said about hating birds about a black person or a gay person? I would certainly hope not. But when it comes to birds, even the so-called liberals of Unfogged are happy enough to live in a Jim Crow world. Listen, people: bird hatred is a civil rights issue that your smug, privileged selves haven't woken up to yet.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:42 PM
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959

957: I'm going to have to try to explain that commercial to you again, aren't I, Stanley?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:44 PM
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960

Don't get me started on the gay blackbirds.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:46 PM
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961

955: We have some really neat birds. There was a better variety in California but I like all the grouse, pheasants and chukar that you see here. I cannot wait for the grouse mating display next spring!

Are you a birder?


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:47 PM
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962

You can shoot grouse, not that I've done so. You can shoot pheasants and I have done so in the sense of shooting at them but not in the sense of hitting them with bird shot. I have no idea what a chukar is or when the season starts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:51 PM
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963

949: Insects are in a special category. I've used "hippie mode" for sake of ease, but what I mean is that the planet features a great deal of life, that no particular types of lives are more intrinsically valuable than any others, and that anything other than respect for that fact is deprecated.

Insects are in a distinct category because they're so numerous and their lifespans are so short. In other words: sure, no problem with eradicating some numbers of mosquitoes in certain areas. This is pretty obvious. There's no slippery slope to my position.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:52 PM
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964

Parsimon, the Corvallis city council is not your friend. (Seriously, they're having cops shoot the turkeys? Seems like a bad use of both cops and turkeys.)


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:52 PM
horizontal rule
965

I took the kids to the State Fair today, where they got to see all kinds of crazy, twitchy poultry. I also ate a Krispy Kreme cheeseburger, which turned out to be not nearly as weird as it sounds, and fried alligator on a stick.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:53 PM
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966

If laughing at the "Turkey Drop" episode of WKRP in Cincinnati is wrong, I don't want to be right.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:54 PM
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967

958 wins the thread.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:56 PM
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968

961: Yup; it's apparently in my genes. I got new binoculars for my birthday! And yeah, I'm in CA and am very appreciative of the diversity.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:56 PM
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969

963: Yeah. I just realized my statement could have been taken as blatantly antagonistic, which was not my intent.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:58 PM
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970

Um, I am unapologetically team human.

Call me a monster.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 2:58 PM
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971

962: Chukar are in the partridge family. They're smaller than grouse and very cute.

968: What part of Cali? The Golden Gate Park was my favorite place to bird.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:00 PM
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972

I really enjoyed The Bird Man of Telegraph Hill, if that counts. Not so much documentary-wise, but, you know. Sweet story, interesting guy.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:02 PM
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973

or wait: wild parrots of telegraph hill. Something along those lines.

One. Thousand.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:03 PM
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974

The reason that owls are good is because they are a bird that is a lot like a cat.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:03 PM
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975

||
Meg Whitman's press secretary tweeted something about Jerry Brown being soft on crime, but screwed up the link to awesome effect.
|>


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:03 PM
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976

975: That is so awesome, it has made my day.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:05 PM
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977

971: I'm in not-quite-Northern-California (if you ask a true Northern Californian) - I don't live in the Bay Area. But, I pretty much bird from the Greater Bay Area (especially Marin, Sonoma and Napa) to Redding to Auburn to Los Banos. And then I go home to San Luis Obispo County.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:06 PM
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978

974: During the trip where I saw this owl, we also broke apart some owl pellets and found the skulls of chipmunks they had eaten. Chipmunks have long yellow incisors, it turns out!


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:06 PM
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979

LizS, (), have you been to Steens Mountain/Malheur in SE Oregon? It's pretty awesome. Also, I want new binocs. What kind should I get?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:07 PM
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980

974: Yes! I did not realize this, but it is absolutely true. Catbird. On a stick.

975: Yay.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:09 PM
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981

we also broke apart some owl pellets

Aw, man. You should have poured some water on them. That's how you grow more owls.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:09 PM
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982

977: Oh, that sounds wonderful. I have fond memories of birding the Lucas Valley Preserve in Marin County. It was the first time that I saw wild turkeys!


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:10 PM
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983

978: They're adorable little predators. I'm sure the last thought of many a frog, salamander, and the occasional baby mouse was simply: aawwwww.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:11 PM
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984

975: Perhaps the only YouTube video ever in which I was excited to read the comments.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:11 PM
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985

979: I've never been to Oregon. It's on my list, though! And I don't use binoculars, but I have many many opinions on cameras.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:12 PM
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986

The reason that owls are good is because they are a bird that is a lot like a cat.

Huh. Yeah. That's probably why I like raptors in general so much.

There's a terrific raptor center in New Hampshire if anyone's into that sort of thing -- the Bostonites, for a weekend trip in the fall, maybe. It's a retreat/sanctuary for rescued birds that have been shot or otherwise wounded and are unable to return to the wild. Owls, hawks, vultures, eagles. They're so beautiful.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:14 PM
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987

979: I've not been there - looks awesome.

As for binoculars, the ones I have (and my mother and my most frequent birding partner, too) are Nikon Monarch 8x42's. To get a whole lot better you need to spend a LOT more money, and I whole-heartedly love them.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:15 PM
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988

We're just about resuming All Magpies All the Time. Well, maybe a few chickadees now and then.

Life in black and white


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:17 PM
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989

|| Yankees up 5-0 on the Rangers in the 4th. But that's OK. If the Yankees win it'll make it a 3-2 series and give us some excitement.|>

max
['Oh, why not?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:19 PM
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990

I've been thinking about one of those big scopes that you put on a tripod.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:19 PM
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991

I love magpies. LizSpigot, do you have an email address? Or should I just hit up your blog? I'd like to link you to my step-father's flickr site where he posts all his bird photos.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:19 PM
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992

988: I love magpies! We have Black-Billed Magpies and they have such a personality.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:20 PM
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993

990: Scopes are fantastic, but my god they are expensive. This is why I just contrive to bird with my parents.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:20 PM
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994

Instead of complaining about the electoral college, fantasists ought to be complaining about why it is that we can't have both the Yankees and Rangers lose, and the Giants and Phillies win.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:22 PM
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995

986 amended: It's in Vermont, the Vermont Raptor Center, which has apparently changed its name a bit.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:22 PM
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996

987:

I'm actually in the market for birding binoculars for a gift. Do you recommend the Monarch 8x42?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:24 PM
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997

Perhaps the only YouTube video ever in which I was excited to read the comments.

"why is john lennon dressed like a magical girl?"


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:24 PM
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998

992: If you email me at elizabeth at avianexplorer dot com it will go directly to my gmail account. And thanks! I always like to see pictures.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:25 PM
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999

996: Definitely.

998: Will do.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:25 PM
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1000

STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:26 PM
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1001

DEKOBE!


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:26 PM
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1002

Kobe!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:26 PM
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1003

balls.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:26 PM
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1004

Dammit.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:26 PM
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1005

Aw, I missed all the fun.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:27 PM
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1006

1000-1003 crack me up.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:27 PM
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1007

Hooray!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:27 PM
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1008

God damn it. I was trying to hit 999. Parenthetical, I blame you. It's like someone who hits on 7 with dealer showing 3 at the blackjack table.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:28 PM
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1009

So now everyone hates everyone else (and the Rangers and the Yankees) right?

max
['Make that 5-1 Yankees over the Rangers.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:28 PM
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1010

Thank God. I'm going to rest now.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:29 PM
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1011

Hey, so here's a weird thing that happened to me this afternoon in Utrecht:

I was wandering around the center city, hungry and a bit frustrated because I'd accidentally thrown out the paper on which was written my host's phone #, and I hadn't gotten data roaming to work with my cell. So I stopped by a kebab/shewarma/pizza place to get some food, open mail I'd brought with me, and figure out what to do. The guy behind the counter asked where I was from, and discovering I was American, was all, "Woo, I love America!" Ok, yeah, it's great, thanks.

So I settle down to eat my ice cream--they were out of pizza--and he comes over to ask about my ereader gadget. Then he asks if I want a free ice cream. This is setting off some kindergarten-era don't-take-candy-from-strangers alarms, but hey, he likes America, right?

Then he asks if I know computers, and if I could help him with something. Ah-ha, I think, here's what he wanted for the ice cream. But hey, maybe I can use this as a way to check email and find my host's phone number. Everyone wins!

Turns out he wants to know how to download Bollywood mp3s from the internet. Again, hey, great, I love rebelling against unjust copyright laws; I show him thepiratebay and utorrent. He's standing right behind me, but I remember learning about different cultures having different ideas about personal space, and some stylized fact about Arab cultures being more accepting of non-sexual male-male intimacy, and I still need to check the email, so no big deal.

Then he starts reaching over to grab my junk, and I'm like, "gosh, this is not quite okay." (Not that I'm categorically against people grabbing my junk, but, I mean, there's a time and a place, and, just, what the fuck?) And he's all, "what, what's wrong? Don't you want? I want!" Well, no, I don't. Sorry, but no. I just want to help you infringe copyrights and check my goddamn email.

I don't get it. I guess I give off a vibe, somehow? Is "do you want free icecream" code for something?

Anyway. Luckily another customer came in just then, allowing me to quickly check my email, and I then scurried out. An interesting experience in cross-cultural misunderstandings! Or something.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:34 PM
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1012

For the right price I'd probably take anything, but I really don't think I want aluminum.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:37 PM
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1013

I guess I give off a vibe, somehow

Nah, having someone hit on you aggressively doesn't mean you did something to invite it. Sometimes people just hit on you aggressively because they think it might work. His issue, not yours.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:39 PM
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1014

Yikes, x. trapnel, sounds like you handled it very well but, yeah, not okay!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:42 PM
horizontal rule
1015

Thorn! I forgot to say congrats!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:43 PM
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1016

Guys never hit on me in the states, because I am not very attractive I exude powerful hetrosexuality, but when I was traveling alone in SE Asia, especially Vietnam, I'd get hit on like every other day by some (usually charming and hopeful, sometimes creepily aggressive) gay man. It was kind of charming to see them sterotyping me as exotic and easy. No junk grabbing, though.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:47 PM
horizontal rule
1017

865 to 1011?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:50 PM
horizontal rule
1018

having someone hit on you aggressively

And to clarify, when I said "starts reaching over to grab my junk" I meant "grabs my junk." I was quite startled.

Anyway, thanks.

Also, though I assume anyone who cared already googled it, sloths only need to defecate about once a week, so the climbing-to-the-ground thing isn't all that ridiculous.

Owls are indeed awesome. I hope everyone already knows about Hungover Owls.

Bedtime. Doing a bike tour of Amsterdam tomorrow.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:51 PM
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1019

A guy in Turkey grabbed my junk, and yes, it was rather startling.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 4:06 PM
horizontal rule
1020

A dude grabbed my right tit in a bar in Paris and I barely had time to recoil before the bartender had the guy by the neck. That was nice. The bartender and I were tight after that.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 5:40 PM
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1021

Apparently, lots of people here like birds, but nobody else brings them into bars. Especially not more than one at a time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 6:28 PM
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1022

So how many comments do we need in one thread before the blog starts getting all creaky? It's been a while since I saw one of those.

Right now I'm trying to dissect my research statement for job applications into "research interests" and "research plans", for a fucking web form that demands that I upload separate documents for each instead of talking about them at the same time like any sane place demands. Grumble.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 6:38 PM
horizontal rule
1023

1022.2: usually 1100 or so, right?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 6:46 PM
horizontal rule
1024

Do you recommend the Monarch 8x42

We've got the 10x42's, as does my dad, and they're great. The Nikon Monarch ATB's are damn close to Swarovski level optics and are a fraction of the cost. Go over to an REI or somewhere that is likely to have both 8's and 10's to see if your eyes have a preference.

I'm tempted to get a second pair as Cabela's is offering them for $229 right now.

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Nikon-Monarch174-ATB-Binoculars/720528.uts

Cornell's Ornithology lab does good gear reviews and guides.

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/gear/binoculars/shopping

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/Publications/LivingBird/Winter2005/Age_Binos.html


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 6:56 PM
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1025

It's creaky now. We need to threadjack one of the younger threads toward the topic of junk-grabbing or something. Maybe about sloths.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 6:57 PM
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1026

And besides, what with the self-promotion this 1000-comments is cheap and tawdry. Like 60+ homeruns from the steroid boys. I feel used.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 7:00 PM
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1027

1022: If it makes you feel better you could be writing a "Perso/nal St/atement ab/out contribut/ions to div/ersity" for the one school with weird demands like I am right now. (I'm all for diversity, I'm just against writing a page about it.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 7:07 PM
horizontal rule
1028

1027: I think he already did that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 7:07 PM
horizontal rule
1029

We've discussed bird discomfort her several times. As I recall we have asilon, teo and my sister in the "an unrestrained bird near me is a bad bird" category.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 7:09 PM
horizontal rule
1030

1025: I tried.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 7:16 PM
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1031

1027: I've been bitching here throughout the application process, because I don't know where else to vent. So you can read the discussion about diversity.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 7:25 PM
horizontal rule
1032

Maybe we're applying to the same place.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 7:29 PM
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1033

Is it a school where a bunch of idiots threw a racist party recently?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 7:58 PM
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1034

I'm having trouble sorting out who the audience for this is. I mean surely no professors on the hiring committee are ever going to read these, right? But maybe there's some office that's authorized to meddle in the hiring?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:02 PM
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1035

1033: Finally got far enough in the other thread to see that the answer is clearly yes. Excuse me while I go RTFA.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:05 PM
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1036

I was wondering if it might be a requiring of all universities in the same system, but from Googling the phrase it seems to be just that one. But it's university-wide, apparently. So I could imagine that someone can meddle, or that the university demands that it be used and the departments all ask for it and then ignore it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:13 PM
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1037

I wonder if you're applying to the same job? Wouldn't that be a hilariously wacky mixup!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:15 PM
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1038

Maybe we've been commenting on Unfogged for years from neighboring offices without realizing it, or something. But as I recall, Commenter is in math, and I'm not.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:18 PM
horizontal rule
1039

essear's in Physics and I'm in Math, so it's not actually the same job.

And it's definitely not the whole system (there's another job in the system I'm applying to) just the one school that was in the news.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:19 PM
horizontal rule
1040

"A requiring" in 1036 should be "a requirement". I am drinking!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:19 PM
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1041

I'm never quite sure in these sorts of things whether and how to play the "one of my favorite little brothers is black" card.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:28 PM
horizontal rule
1042

I wish there were other jobs in the same system I could apply to. Looks like I'm more likely to end up somewhere mid-Atlantic or mid-western, if I get a faculty position anywhere. (The terrifying thing is that applying for faculty jobs feels so permanent -- can I really live in some of these places forever?)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:29 PM
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1043

1041: Play it! Though I don't know how.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:33 PM
horizontal rule
1044

Sorry, essear, but no one lives forever.

Best of luck to both of you on the job market, though!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:35 PM
horizontal rule
1045

I also find "diversity" just such a weird goal. I'd much rather write about a commitment to anti-racism or to justice, but "diversity" itself is just so milquetoast.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:36 PM
horizontal rule
1046

1044.1: Well, that's reassuring, at least.

One thing I've been struck by is just how many good universities and labs are located an hour or two outside a pleasant city to live in. What the hell, university-planning-type people? Why didn't you build it in the city?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:41 PM
horizontal rule
1047

1045: oh, they're definitely milquetoast, if you're talking about the administration there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:42 PM
horizontal rule
1048

Why didn't you build it in the city?

Expensive land?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:43 PM
horizontal rule
1049

1045: The silver lining to milquetoast is that I found that once I started typing it lent itself pretty well to vague pleasantries that could fill a page.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:43 PM
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1050

I hate writing vague pleasantries. I'd much rather actually make an argument. I can't really write unless I have something to actually say.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:47 PM
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1051

I think perhaps this may be one of the odd side-affects of homeschooling. I can't fall asleep in class and I can't produce vague pleasantries to fill a page on command.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:48 PM
horizontal rule
1052

1045: Steps toward diversity can be measured, while steps toward justice and anti-racism can't. I'm not a big fan of focusing only on those things which can be measured -- I'm a philosopher, for christ's sake -- but of course one sees the point. Institutions don't really have a choice here.

How about a diversity statement that says something just like that: that you view diversity as part and parcel of justice and equality, equal opportunity for all. To which you're fully devoted.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:50 PM
horizontal rule
1053

1048: Okay, but it just seems... shortsighted?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:51 PM
horizontal rule
1054

1052.2 Well, here's where the audience comes in. If this requirement doesn't have any actual power or force behind it then one doesn't really want to stand out and run the risk of annoying some old conservative. On the other hand, if someone with power (I guess that means a dean) actually cares about this then it makes sense to really go for it.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:52 PM
horizontal rule
1055

1053: yes, that too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:53 PM
horizontal rule
1056

1033 makes me feel a little less dim. I had never heard of the precipitating incident that was discussed in the other thread (where essear was talking about diversity), but now I Googled and I understand.

1050-51: Man after my own heart.

Steps toward diversity can be measured, while steps toward justice and anti-racism can't.

Nah, I think that's just semantics. Any of those terms can be hollow and vague, or nailed down and measurable.

(I am amused to be having this discussion as I run Census data in the background to prepare for a meeting tomorrow morning at which I plan to use it to show people that they have taken insufficient steps toward justice and anti-racism.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 8:58 PM
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1057

I mean the other obvious problem with writing this statement, is that the actual way to show a commitment to diversity would be for them to hire a woman or minority, not another white dude like me.

Though actually looking through their dept. they're doing much much better on the diversity front than most comparable depts.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 9:05 PM
horizontal rule
1058

Nah, I think that's just semantics.

I'm not sure what you mean. You can cite diversity statistics. I don't know what citing statistics for justice would look like. In a university environment, that is. (In something like the criminal justice system, it would be different.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 9:08 PM
horizontal rule
1059

||

Oh gosh, if I had any nail-biting habits I would have no nails left. Phils-Giants tied 5-5 and now our *starter* Roy Oswalt is on in relief, as we hope to push the game into extra innings.

Aiiiiii. Growing up as in the misery of the late '80s does not prepare one for actually being in contention.

||>


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 9:10 PM
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1060

1057: the university is doing quite well on diversity, except for the tiny, tiny minority of college republican dillweeds who keep doing provocative stuff because they know it will promote an outsize reaction. Well, I take that back. They're doing a terrible job of attracting black people. So, you know, write about, um, Ta-Nehisi Coates.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 9:11 PM
horizontal rule
1061

1058: Oh, never mind, we were talking at cross-purposes. I was talking about steps an individual could take. I agree that on an institutional level it's a lot easier to count up stats* for "diversity" than the other two.


*Although those can still be fudged.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 9:13 PM
horizontal rule
1062

1059: I just turned it back on (I got voted down in favor of Law and Order earlier). Down to the wire!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 9:16 PM
horizontal rule
1063

And it's over.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 9:17 PM
horizontal rule
1064

Quite the ending, though. And it's not over.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 9:21 PM
horizontal rule
1065

1061: we were talking at cross-purposes

Okay. I was beginning to wonder. Let me know some time how you count up stats for justice on an institutional level: I'm honestly not sure. You'd have to start by defining justice, I imagine.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 9:25 PM
horizontal rule
1066

Woohoo Giants! (Sorry, Witt.) I would love to have part of the Championship played on West Coast time.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 9:28 PM
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1067

Go Giants! But wait, why is Mitch Williams on my teevee?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 9:30 PM
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1068

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No more masturbating to... wait, can that posibly be the right pronoun... Bob Guccione.

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Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 9:31 PM
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1069

Jerry Brown's "union backers" are the problem, it's true.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 9:33 PM
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1070

Wow, I haven't watched tv in a long time. There are a lot of political ads running, aren't there?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 9:34 PM
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1071

1070: honorably funded by [ ]. Exercising their constitution-given right to free [ ].


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 9:40 PM
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1072

1060: I meant the math dept. particular, which has multiple women as full professors, including a bla/ck wom/an full professor (and yes it's a bad sign for the field that I feel the need to google-proof that).


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 9:40 PM
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1073

Goddamn comment box eliding omission whitespace.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 9:40 PM
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1074

1070: Perriello's ads are actually pretty funny take-downs of Robert HURT. DID WE MENTION HIS NAME HIS HURT?!

Hurt's ads are pretty boilerplate LIBERAL DEMOCRAT PELOSI claptrap.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 9:41 PM
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1068: I refrained from making the announcement because I was away from my desk for the evening and was certain someone else would have done it long ago. Anyway, I'm disappointed that he, Hef and Larry Flint never played music together under the name The Old Pornographers.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 9:42 PM
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