Re: More Than a Feeling

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There was some comment on Unfogged along these lines, in the past few years, with the effect that I now mentally substitute "uninformed" for "undecided" in any news story or conversation where it comes up.

I bet I know undecided voters, (namely students), but they wouldn't speak up on this topic until after Labor Day.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 6:10 AM
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But I've shared my story where I cautiously asked my friend, who was in grad school for neuroscience but who I knew to be totally uninformed politically, who she was voting for the weekend before the 2004 election. She answered extremely earnestly and seriously that there were good reasons to choose both W. and Kerry. She was so serious and sincere. That was one of my life's most demanding poker-face moments.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 6:13 AM
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I'm voting for Kerry Edwards.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 6:23 AM
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Chris Cillizza is trying to justify why he can spend all day every day doing lazy theater criticism and pretend that he's a serious journalist. If you want to be reductionist, go with macroeconomic determinism.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 6:23 AM
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I have some friends (online people in a less political group than this) and family (some of my mother's cousins, and relatives even more distant) who seem to lean right-wing overall but might have voted for Obama. I'm tempted to say that that doesn't prove much, because who wouldn't have voted for the Democrat in that year, but you know, McCain still got 46 percent of the vote, so there still must have been a lot of people voting (R). Sad.

As for what Cillizza said, he's not necessarily wrong, but Ezra Klein made a good point a week or two ago that the media (Klein was responding to something stupid David Brooks had written, but Brooks is hardly alone in this) focus too much on mushy, unquantifiable, unscientific things like manliness, when elections actually tend to be fairly predictable based on things like the economy. So maybe those undecided voters ascribe their preferences to things like how the candidate is a good speaker, but if so, either there's some as-yet-unexplained causal link between good speaking and the economy, or they're just wrong about their true motivations and they're actually voting on the economy.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 6:27 AM
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2: I had similar experiences. I with W in 2004, a lot of "undecideds" had this cognitive dissonance where they knew he was kind of an evil dipshit but there was a strong War-on-Terror/low-taxes pull in their gut and they couldn't quite consciously justify why they were going to have to vote for him.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 6:28 AM
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2: that right there is a persuadable voter. You have to resist the urge to go all, "Are you out of your mind? Only a total moron could vote for Bush!" Start by validating the person ("I know, neither of them is exactly what I would want in a President"), and then proceed to recount how you arrived at the decision to vote for Kerry, with emphasis on whatever issue you think will move the person, irrespective of if it's a major difference between the candidates ("So in the end, when I look at their positions on funding NIH research, it was clear that Kerry is more committed to expanding the pool of research grants.").


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 6:30 AM
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She's since drifted left, a combination of living in Europe and dating a Canadian. I don't think she follows things any more closely, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 6:38 AM
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Individual low information voters can also be swayed by random things like whether a candidates door canvasser rubbed them the wrong way. These things don't aggregate as neatly as the effects of the economy, so there isn't really anything a journalist can say about them.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 6:56 AM
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I am undecided. I am not exactly low information but will probably vote (or perhaps just rationalize my vote) based on some random issue that causes me to be particularly mad at one candidate or the other on election day.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:04 AM
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Man, 2004 was a long time ago.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:10 AM
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10: What's your problem with Romney? Seems like an obvious choice for someone with your ideological predelictions.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:11 AM
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10. My impression of Shearer's general positions is that they're way to the left of Romney, and if you don't see that you don't understand how crazy right wing Romney actually is. Also, there are other factors: if you think Romney is a "moderate conservative" and so ae you, you might still want to see Obama as President because you think the Bircher faction in the Republican Party will dominate both houses and Obama would be better placed to neutralise them.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:24 AM
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10,12,13: Yeah, Shearer is fairly reasonable about things that don't involve race and gender. Unfortunately, a lot of things involve race and gender.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:27 AM
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Spam, spam, race, spam, gender, and spam doesn't have much race and gender.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:49 AM
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...does anyone here know any real, live undecided voters?

Y'all never talk to the person cutting your hair or fixing some plumbing or carrying something heavy to the car? "Low information" and "Undecided" are out there for sure.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:53 AM
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Y'all never talk to the person cutting your hair or fixing some plumbing or carrying something heavy to the car?

Yes. If it's in the south, and they're white, they hate Obama.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:56 AM
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Bill Maher did a segment last night on how a new batch of Republican commercials are now using "moderate" as an epithet the same way they traditionally have with "liberal".


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:00 AM
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17: Not in this Southern town.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:01 AM
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Since Obama is going to wipe the floor with Romney in Shearer's state, I won't waste time trying to bring him off the fence. More interesting is his pick for Congress, if he lives in the 19th (GOP-leaning swing district)


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:02 AM
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17: There are plenty of those in the North with college degrees too. No income other than Social Security, no medical care other than Medicare, ranting about freedom, socialism, and the Illuminati running FEMA.

That's why I'm writing in "Giant Asteroid Extinction Event" on my ballot.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:03 AM
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As best as I can tell, support for Obama in PDBS has slipped. He'll be lucky to break 70% this time around.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:07 AM
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The other day the realtor who was showing me some apartments started talking about how he's working on a government degree and working part-time for some kind of nonprofit doing something related to the state legislature that I didn't quite follow. And he was listening to a radio show in the car where they were talking about filibusters. So I made some offhand comment about it and it became very clear he had no idea what the filibuster is. "If a party has a simple majority in the House and the Senate, and has the presidency, they can pass whatever legislation they want!", he explained.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:20 AM
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17:I knew this was gonna be a really terrible year.

Activists in Chicago Charged with Material Support for Terrorism Ahead of NATO Summit

But there is only one reason anybody wouldn't like Obama (and his henchman Rahm). Only one possible motive.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:24 AM
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23

... "If a party has a simple majority in the House and the Senate, and has the presidency, they can pass whatever legislation they want!", he explained.

Actually they can (if they are unified), the filibuster is a self-imposed restriction.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:27 AM
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Ah, bob, you're being unfair. We all know you would still hate Obama even if you weren't a racist.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:30 AM
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24: Holy shit, I'd never even considered the possibility that white working class voters in the south didn't like Obama because of prosecutions against left activists in Chicago, but now that you mention it, it makes perfect sense.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:30 AM
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25: Well, yes, technically. But it's clear that Senators don't think of it that way, so not really in practice.

Around here I feel under-informed about politics, but it seems pretty clear that "low-information voters" are the vast majority of the population, even among people who think they care about politics or government.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:32 AM
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In retrospect, if may have been a mistake to put the Illuminati in charge of FEMA.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:34 AM
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24: along with possessing an incendiary or explosive device. No point in listing the whole thing?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:34 AM
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Anytime I see people arrested on domestic terrorism charges these days, I generally assume that the FBI put them up to it. That seems to be correct more often than not.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:38 AM
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Bill Maher did a segment last night on how a new batch of Republican commercials are now using "moderate" as an epithet the same way they traditionally have with "liberal".

Apparently the word "statesman" was used as an epithet in a commercial against Dick Lugar (who lost to a Tea Party Republican).

My experience of low-information voters (the majority of people I know) is that it's really hard for me to predict what is salient to them, so it's better to ask and then listen.

I'm rarely attempting to change anyone's mind, but I'm often attempting to persuade people to actually go to the polls. I am not at all shy about launching into a pitch tailored to my audience ("When my grandmother was born, women couldn't vote in this country, so I think it's really important for us to vote," or "People have DIED so we have the right to vote, and it seems to me the best way to honor their memory is to make sure we exercise that right.")


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:48 AM
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re: 29

Bavaria isn't very handy for the commute.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:49 AM
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Cigarette lighter and bottle of brandy?

Way to support your local fascist, tj


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:49 AM
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I don't think there are undecided voters, at least at the Presidential level. There may be undecided individuals, but given that voting is a hassle, they probably aren't going to vote. What's their motivation?

Downballot, things may be different.

There are, after all, offices no one even wants to run for, let alone vote for. In our town, there are nine slots on the School Board come up in November. The filing deadline is 12 June. So far one person has filed the required 125 signatures.


Posted by: jim | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:51 AM
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28

25: Well, yes, technically. But it's clear that Senators don't think of it that way, so not really in practice.

The Senate is the way it is because the majority of the Senators like it that way. Even Senators in the majority party.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:51 AM
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35

I don't think there are undecided voters, at least at the Presidential level. There may be undecided individuals, but given that voting is a hassle, they probably aren't going to vote. What's their motivation?

Habit.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:53 AM
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I think in the UK there are or were lots of undecided voters - centrist Tories not sure whether to vote Lib Dem, Labour people not sure whether to vote Lib Dem because they hated IraqWar/civil-liberties-shit/whatever, etc. There are even Tory/Labour floating voters. In the 2010 election a lot of people I knew weren't sure whether to go Lib Dem or Labour. FWIW, I don't think any of them are undecided now.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:54 AM
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12

What's your problem with Romney? Seems like an obvious choice for someone with your ideological predelictions.

My problem is more with the Republican party than Romney. My views don't line up neatly with the current partisan alignment. And there are issues where I am out of step with both parties.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:58 AM
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I've voted in local primary elections when nothing where I had any opinion on was contested. I walk past the polling place twice a day, so why not?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 9:01 AM
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14

Yeah, Shearer is fairly reasonable about things that don't involve race and gender. ...

I am more pro birth control (including abortion) than the Republican party.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 9:04 AM
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20

Since Obama is going to wipe the floor with Romney in Shearer's state, I won't waste time trying to bring him off the fence. More interesting is his pick for Congress, if he lives in the 19th (GOP-leaning swing district)

I think there is some chance this election could develop like 1980 in which case Obama could easily lose New Jersey. Probably not in a close election though. I don't know who my Congressman is.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 9:12 AM
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I don't know who my Congressman is.

Low information voter.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 9:20 AM
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JBS, is there a single Romney policy you can name that you think might actually improve anything? I'm not all that pleased with the status quo either, but I can't think of any Romney position that wouldn't make matters worse.

Do you favor war with Iran? Escalating the war in Afghanistan? Greater military spending? The Ryan medicare plan?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 9:29 AM
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Having priced propane grills on Craigslist, I think maybe the low information voters are the ones who think they can leave a grill outside for five winters and sell it for 75% of what Lowe's is asking for a new one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 9:47 AM
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Having done my research, I can now buy a new one knowing I tried to recycle.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 9:48 AM
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The Senate is the way it is because the majority of the Senators like it that way.

Are there any psychologists or sociologists around? Can anyone tell me the name of the fallacy that attributes intentionality/acceptance to a situation where the more accurate diagnosis would be inertia/overwhelmedness and a poor understanding of how to bring about a change in the status quo?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 10:06 AM
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47 -- I don't think either inertia or poor understanding are the dominant factors here. More likely, imo, is the feeling that given that no matter what, any Senator could end up in the minority in 2 years time or less, the current rule is viewed as the least worst alternative. I don't agree with the phrasing 'like it that way' because it doesn't capture what I think is going on, which is 'like it better than the proposed alternative.'

It's not Harry Reid's fault, or Max Baucus' fault, that we're in a situation where a party faction can prevent even popular legislation and not only pay no price whatsoever, but be rewarded for it. Nor can they change this reality -- which I think has a lot more to do with where we are -- by changing the rules.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 10:18 AM
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Can anyone tell me the name of the fallacy that attributes intentionality/acceptance to a situation where the more accurate diagnosis would be inertia/overwhelmedness and a poor understanding of how to bring about a change in the status quo?

"Revealed preference theory".


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 10:20 AM
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47: If conditioned upon affect (i.e. you see it this way because you don't like them), it is a subtype of the Weber Grillmaster Fundamental Attribution Error.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 10:23 AM
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Totally OT nutrition ATM (feel free to post it if it is interesting to anyone):

I feel like this might start a fight of some sort that I might be interested in reading. I have been running off and on for years, and recently got a phone with GPS, which I've been using for the past few days to track runs. The app also has a nutrition log, and, thinking I have nothing better to do with my time, I filled it out for the past week.

At least the way the calorie counter works, it suggests that I get way too many calories from protein (non-meat), about the right amount from fat, and way too few from carbs. I just don't really crave or think about carbs. I don't eat sugar and most carby things give me a headache. I'm considering working a lot more fruit into my diet.

What I have noticed, and it fits patterns from memory, is that when I've eaten very few carbs during a day, I drink a lot. I mean, maybe I'm just bored or depressed or something, but I haven't particularly enjoyed the getting-drunk part. I'm thinking back to something Alameida said about craving sugar when you quit drinking. What if it works the other way? When I feel like I want to go buy a six-pack of beer and drink it, maybe what I really want is carbohydrates.

Should I not trust the app, continue my protein-heavy diet, and start employing "willpower" w/r/t alcohol? Or should I eat more pasta and fruit in the evening? Has anyone else experienced a desire to drink a lot as a side effect of a low-carb diet?


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 10:23 AM
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I should have posted 51 in a dead thread. Sorry.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 10:24 AM
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I don't watch much TV, but recently saw an independent ad against our junior senator. He's accused of being an Obama clone, helping as Obama is "ruining America." Among the 3 votes cited (along with ARRA and ACA) is his vote in favor of the deal to raise the debt ceiling. I don't know what these people think "ruin" means.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 10:24 AM
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and recently got a phone with GPS, which I've been using for the past few days to track runs.

In my experience, those work great in flat, treeless areas but it overestimates distance by about 5% in my own area.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 10:25 AM
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I wouldn't trust the app, per se, but how you're feeling means something. Experiment? Have some bread or cracker with your first beer, and see if you still want the second one?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 10:26 AM
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re: 51.last

To be honest, I felt miserable when I was on a low-carb diet, but I was also cutting out booze [or cutting out most booze], too, so I didn't experience any urge to drink more than the usual.

It doesn't sound crazy that a craving for carbs might manifest itself as a craving for beer, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 10:29 AM
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Other than, you know, being black and in charge.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 10:29 AM
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54: My routes are all pretty flat and treeless, since I'm crap at trail running. It seems about the same whether I GPS it or googlemap the same route.

55: It would explain a lot, I think. I feel like when I drink a lot, it's not because I want to sit around being drunk in my house, restraining myself from picking fights on Facebook. It's almost more like eating a whole bag of cookies, which I would never do. Hey look there's another beer left!


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 10:33 AM
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56: How does low-carb work if you're working out a lot? I'm sure Halford has some theories about how what I'm saying doesn't make any sense. Low-carb low-exercise seems fine, but with workouts, especially running, I don't see what your body is supposed to do.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 10:38 AM
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A close friend of mine is both very well informed and a swing voter. Before Bush he was a bit more likely to vote Repub when he wasn't casting his protest Libertarian vote, during the Bush years he was a de facto Democrat as far as federal voting went, now he's a Dem leaning swing voter. Upper class small business owner who really, really hates regulation, hates unions, is a genuine fiscal hawk with small government leanings - wants to slash defense by a lot, wants entitlement 'reform', other social spending cuts, and massive tax hikes (eliminate all the Bush tax cuts and treat all income the same) and has a strong dose of 'they're all the same'ism. He's also a social liberal but that doesn't seem to be a major factor in his decision making.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 10:44 AM
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re: 59

I don't really work out that much, so I wouldn't really know from personal experience. Couple of hours of kickboxing a week and a bit of very light conditioning [more physio type exercises for my knees/hips/core than anything really hard] and a bit of brief cardio. I'm increasing a bit of the conditioning work, but I certainly don't do anything you'd really describe as 'working out'. When I was doing more serious conditioning [and if I'm honest that's not been for several years] I wasn't eating low-carb.

I think quite a few people manage to combine quite hard exercise with low(ish) carb diets, though, although I don't know how it'd work if you were super-low-carb Atkins style.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 10:46 AM
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59: I think your body is supposed to be converting dietary fat to carbs for fuel? Not sure if that works, but I believe it's the idea.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 10:46 AM
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Yeah, there's no way I'm running enough that my diet really matters, but I'd like to be running a lot farther by the end of the summer, so getting more balanced (not just eggs and vegetables all the time) might be wise. I'm also starting to think that forcing myself to eat more carbs might clear up some of my drinking.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 10:54 AM
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I put these very pleasant quinoa fritters on the wiki a couple of weeks back -- they've still got eggs in them, but the quinoa's mostly carbs. You might try them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 11:00 AM
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That sounds delicious.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 11:03 AM
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63: I can't run without carbs, but I can't say that my desire to drink has been related by my carb eating except in the other direction (which I drink, I usually eat whatever they serve and that is usually carbs).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 11:03 AM
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We've been buying these excellent frozen Alexia sweet potato fries.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 11:20 AM
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64: There's an unfogged wiki?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 11:20 AM
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67: Those stuck-up bastards won't make a tater tot.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 11:21 AM
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There's a food wiki, Moby. Request permission if you'd like to join. http://ybwwwe.pbworks.com


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 11:24 AM
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70: Thanks. I had some trouble getting my address in, so apologies if I there are a bunch of requests.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 11:30 AM
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There were two, but I think one of them is someone else. I approved both of you.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 11:32 AM
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Thanks. Looks interesting.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 11:35 AM
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Semi-OT: I got a subscription offer to the Nation today and, as I always do, threw it in the recycling with a momentary feeling of disgust. Is it wrong that I still refuse to read The Nation out of a lingering bitterness over the fact that in 2000 they were pushing the line, "there are a lot of similarities between Bush and Gore" pretty hard?

On one hand, that's twelve years ago. On the other hand I still get cranky thinking about it. It's funny, in my personal life I'm not somebody to hold grudges, I generally find it easy to let go and forgive people, but apparently my grudge against The Nation is still there.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 11:39 AM
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The other request was me. Thanks.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 12:28 PM
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How does low-carb work if you're working out a lot?

I did low-carb when I was working out a ton, and it worked great for me; I ate all the fat and protein I wanted and had no problems. I did need to make sure I had *something* to eat before working out, though.

I've never been entirely sure how to do vegetarian low-carb, though. It's dead simple for me because I can eat all the meat I want, but every vegetarian protein source I know of still has a substantial amount of carbs in it.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 12:30 PM
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What counts as substantial in the low-carb world? I was on a low-carb veggie diet while pregnant (as I said before, gestational diabetes) and things like seitan have like 25g of protein per smallish serving and 10g of carbs and 4g of fiber. Maybe those numbers are terrible to Atkins people, but I could eat it without detrimental effect on my blood sugar.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 12:44 PM
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...every vegetarian protein source I know of still has a substantial amount of carbs in it.

Eggs? Egg whites? Placenta? Cheese?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 12:44 PM
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77: Good to know! I don't care about Atkins; I'm type 2 diabetic, so it's all about whatever won't spike my blood sugar. I suppose I should just try a tofu dish or something and test afterwards.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 12:50 PM
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79: Ohhhhh. Yeah, I lived on eggs, seitan, tofu, Ryvita, almond butter, broccoli, cauliflower, and bok choi. (And pappadums! I discovered I could eat pappadums!) But the numbers for gestational diabetes are much lower in general than those of non-knocked-up Type 2. Like, I was diagnosed because I had a waking glucose level of 105.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 12:56 PM
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But, like San Dimas High School football, Field Roast products rule. Celebration Roast and mashed cauliflower kept me alive.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 12:57 PM
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81: I've never heard of them! I'll have to check it out. I'm not much of a meat-replacement person, and it seems I need to be eating less protein, but I'm always interested in new developments.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 1:07 PM
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Is it wrong that I still refuse to read The Nation out of a lingering bitterness

Yes.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 1:16 PM
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Oh, I googled "Marathon + Atkins" when it first came up and found plenty of advice, including a scientific comparative study of athletes on a high-carb diet then an Inuit diet. Glycogenic vs ketogenic.

At extremes, for instance hard bodies with no fat reserve, there can be problems for endurance, including loss of electrolytes. There can also be very serious problems for people not fully adjusted to the diet.

I did not have problems with weight lifting, but I had plenty of fat for energy. They key is the fat-energy, i.e., meat etc.

But you know, drinking? As in alcohol? That would screw up your metabolism, like, instantly. I couldn't imagine.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 1:38 PM
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Josh are you watching the UEFA c'ship?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 1:40 PM
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Is it wrong that I still refuse to read The Nation out of a lingering bitterness

No, the reason doesn't matter, as long as the result is good.

Try Jacobin or Idiom instead. Next Left, New Left, or a lot of things on the Crooked Timber sidebar.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 1:42 PM
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85: Some of us are.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 1:55 PM
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My theory is lots of animal fat. I don't know about what you're supposed to do as a vegetarian, but Oudemia's ideas sound good. Also, low intensity, long time cardio activity on a consistent basis isn't great for you -- you can do better (including in developing endurance) with things like Tabata workouts than you can running an hour every day, and the nutritional requirements may be different.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 1:57 PM
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Why would I want to do high-intensity workouts? I know you and Heebie are into them, but I can't see what the appeal is. Lots of pain? Big muscles?


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 1:59 PM
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Also, I won't do classes, or anything that requires a television, so it does limit a person. I don't even like running with other people.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:01 PM
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You can develop the same amount of endurance in less time with less overall damage to your body, thus increasing overall fitness. I'm super into using weights, but you don't have to do them -- google Tabata or HIIT routines for ones that aren't weight intensive.

Really big muscles come from body building, which is very different than strength training or high intensity workouts. I've never done body building.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:03 PM
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It doesn't sound like something I would do. I like running because I like running. I can listen to music or a podcast, let my thoughts wander, reduce anxiety, etc. Plus I like how quickly I get better at it when I do it all the time. I'm not trying to change my body or survive a zombie attack or anything.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:07 PM
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85: Goddamn right I am! If Chelsea win this there is no God.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:09 PM
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Don't say that! I've no reason to suppose there's a god and I don't want Chelsea to win.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:12 PM
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94: Okay, a Chelsea win would be further evidence of the lack of a god.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:13 PM
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Oh god. PKs.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:16 PM
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94: That reminds me... are you a Villa fan?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:18 PM
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Is this a boxing thread? Good. Here's the best video ever. You're welcome.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:20 PM
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It might help if you imagine that guy training Halford.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:21 PM
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Or, better still, dsquared.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:21 PM
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I'm curious how Brad Freidel's accent would sound to a Brit. Still mostly American?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:23 PM
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Wait, Neuer was up to take a PK?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:26 PM
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are you a Villa fan?

No, not hugely engaged on any part these days - moved around too much. Wednesday over United, but neither of them are going to trouble the Champions league in my time.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:30 PM
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Not using Robben is going to be second-guesser who Although presumably he was replaced by Neuer who converted.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:31 PM
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I don't fucking believe this shoot out!


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:31 PM
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Well, at least as an Arsenal fan I can take solace in the fact that Tottenham won't be in the Champions League next season.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:31 PM
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That dark chocolate diet? Tasty but can mask the early signs of GI bleeding. The later symptoms are very unpleasant. Take breaks.

This public health announcement brought to you by Denial R Us. (I'm okay and improving rapidly. No ER needed tho' it was a near thing.)


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:32 PM
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-r +d -who -A +a


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:33 PM
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Really big muscles come from body building, which is very different than strength training or high intensity workouts. I've never done body building.

We occasionally have body building couple months in advance of a strength gaining couple months. Body building is not easy, and conscientious eating to get big muscles is really hard. Have no fear that it might happen by accident.

Yeah, I would believe that a need for carbs was expressing itself as a craving for beer.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:41 PM
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I found that when I do any kind of endurance-ish activity, my cravings for carbs go through the roof. Sweet potatoes are a source that works well for me, but making some noodles to go along with stir-fries works, too.

I haven't found personally that HIIT translates well to distance running, at least with respect to endurance. I'm a naturally uncoordinated runner who has to work to get her body to switch into aerobic mode, so it may work better for others.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:44 PM
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90: I am going to do a class this summer. It's an attempt to find something I won't stop doing after two weeks like I do with running on the elliptical. Exercising alone just feels extra easy to abandon. The summer class schedule for the branch of the "Jewish Y" up here comes out on Monday. Somebody please berate me if I don't follow through.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:46 PM
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93. That's conclusive then.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:47 PM
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I have never regularly run more than 5K every day. There was a time when I was running a bit more than that and I realized I wasn't happy with how much of my life it was consuming. I'm going to make an effort to get beyond that this summer, just because I have no money and fucking nothing going on except research and maybe a summer class that probably won't run. Having nothing to do in the summer in NYC was fun. Having nothing to do here is depressing. Might as well run a lot.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:49 PM
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AWB, the yoga place around the corner is very good -- and they're not too bad, price-wise, for a 10-class card.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:52 PM
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Maybe I'll do an ATM when I figure out what classes they have. I'm fairly certain there is no crossfit.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:55 PM
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The video in 98 is the best.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:56 PM
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48

I don't think either inertia or poor understanding are the dominant factors here. More likely, imo, is the feeling that given that no matter what, any Senator could end up in the minority in 2 years time or less, the current rule is viewed as the least worst alternative. I don't agree with the phrasing 'like it that way' because it doesn't capture what I think is going on, which is 'like it better than the proposed alternative.'

A majority of the Senate likes the fact that a single Senator can bring things to a grinding halt in a fit of pique. It makes them feel important and they don't much care that this makes it hard to get anything done.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:58 PM
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114: Alas, I do not do classes. I have a friend who goes there and likes it very much.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 2:58 PM
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116: you are a man of refined tastes.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 3:02 PM
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you are a man of refined tastes.

Surely this is a grave insult in the paleo community.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 3:05 PM
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44

JBS, is there a single Romney policy you can name that you think might actually improve anything? I'm not all that pleased with the status quo either, but I can't think of any Romney position that wouldn't make matters worse.

I am not too big on lesser evil reasoning.

There are a few issues on which I prefer Romney. Supreme Court nominees. Less money wasted on bizarre Democratic projects like solar cells, high speed trains and electric cars (probably balanced to be sure by money wasted on Republican idiocies). Different Justice department priorities (I don't like Obama's).

Actually I don't much like either side.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 3:11 PM
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Sorry JP, I was really only remembering Josh as a fan.

Neuer is amazing.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 3:12 PM
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||

Chicago terrorists implicated in a plan, with ready supplies, to make Molotov cocktails! OMG

Like I say, lighters and brandy bottles. Anybody got an electric mower? My entire remaining life could be at risk.

But what about the Palmolive? Proof of napalm, you know.

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 3:15 PM
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Which isn't to say that Cech didn't play lights out except that goal


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 3:31 PM
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121: There are a few issues on which I prefer Romney. Supreme Court nominees.

How do you square this with 41's I am more pro birth control (including abortion) than the Republican party? That is, there is a much better chance that Roe v. Wade will be overturned under a Republican-packed court.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 4:21 PM
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Related: I saw what was (to me) the most surprising bumper sticker this morning! "Republicans for Obama"

On reflection, it had the same graphic design as your standard pro-Obama bumper sticker. Something the Obama campaign is making available?

This would be it. There is a website devoted to Republicans for Obama. I just had no idea. (The sidebar to the right dubbed "Future of the GOP" lists The Daily Caller, which I don't quite understand. Still, an interesting development.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 4:43 PM
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This guy's website is amazing, and, if nothing else, seems like a really obsessive, but balanced take on training and diet. He writes mostly about people at extremes (super-lean who want to get leaner and super-obese people who can't get their metabolism going), but in a way that suggests that--surprise--different bodies have different exercise and dietary needs that are the products of metabolisms working differently with different kinds of calories. I've read a bunch there but the above link suggests that high-carb and low-carb diets have more to do with insulin sensitivity than with exercise needs. (His stuff on interval training vs. steady state is fascinating too.) I'm fairly convinced from what I've read there that even if I'm running a lot, I should probably be OK with lower carbs due to my lack of insulin sensitivity.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 4:44 PM
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122: No worries, I would certainly not expect anyone to remember (other than Halford maybe). I enjoy watching, but am not really a partisan of any of the club teams (Liverpool a bit). I did however immediately send an e-mail to a Chelsea-hating English co-worker consisting merely of the subject line: DROGBA!!!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 5:12 PM
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125

How do you square this with 41's I am more pro birth control (including abortion) than the Republican party? That is, there is a much better chance that Roe v. Wade will be overturned under a Republican-packed court.

I am not convinced Roe v. Wade was correctly decided. Being pro abortion this doesn't bother me all that much but also means I am not that invested in it. In any case on most issues that split the courts on liberal conservative lines I am on the conservative side. Like for example Arizona's immigration law. Or gay marriage.

It would bother me if the Court not only over ruled Roe vrs Wade but tried to make abortion always illegal but I don't think there is much danger of that. In fact I don't actually think Roe vrs Wade is in that much danger as it remains popular with the public.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 5:28 PM
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James, am I right in thinking that you're relatively pro-states' rights? (The Supreme Court hasn't ruled on gay marriage, as far as I can think, so I'm a little confused on what you mean there. Maybe there's something I'm not thinking of.)

On the gay marriage front, there is a significant debate about whether it should be decided by the states: Obama has said that he's not against gay marriage, in fact favors it, but is content to leave it to the states. Romney says on the one hand that he thinks it should be left to the states (he doesn't want to "federalize it"), and says on the other hand that he wants to pass a US (federal) Constitutional Amendment to ban it. That's an inconsistent position on his part, of course. I don't know where you would stand there.

Actually, I don't even know whether the Supreme Court would be able to weigh in on the constitutionality of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, were such a thing to pass in the requisite number of states. Lawyers, help me out on that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 5:48 PM
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James is, surprisingly, right. There's basically no chance of overturning Roe v. Wade. The only real issue for the conservative block of the court is power (corporate power, wealth-based power, and executive power), which I expect James is fully on board with. Roe v. Wade is a more powerful as a sop to the base.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 5:49 PM
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In keeping with my 131, the Supreme Court doesn't care about gay marriage either, especially since the states are doing just fine passing constitutional amendments.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 5:51 PM
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I did no-carbs once and went running after a few days, and it was appalling - I petered out about 1/3 of the way through. I had no juice whatsoever.

At some point, I asked Halford or someone about it, and the answer was "your body has to switch pathways and you didn't give it long enough" and yada yada yada. I think low carbs is probably fine, though. As long as there's something carb in your system from the past 24 hours.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 5:54 PM
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Why would I want to do high-intensity workouts? I know you and Heebie are into them, but I can't see what the appeal is. Lots of pain? Big muscles?

I like running and I like high-intensity workouts, both. And team sports. I just lose myself in the experience in a really pleasant way, which doesn't happen if I pedal for 20 minutes on the elliptical. And then afterwards I feel buoyant and awesome.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 5:56 PM
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I'm choosing not to have a discussion about the Roe v. Wade decision at this time, so fine. I will say that an increasing number of states are further limiting the circumstances in which a woman may have an abortion, and eventually one of those laws is going to come before the S.C., which will be a replay of Roe v. Wade in some other form, so I think it's a bit sanguine to suppose that the composition of the court will not matter in this regard.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 5:59 PM
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There's basically no chance of overturning Roe v. Wade.

Well sure, because remember, Roberts, et al. are not judicial activists. So they'll more likely just continue their work of completely hollowing it out without formally overruling it.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 6:00 PM
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If the court is ever composed of famous violinists, then maybe.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 6:02 PM
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Maybe there should be another thread for the working out topic. We don't have politics threads here very often.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 6:02 PM
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The election will come soon enough.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 6:08 PM
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And hopefully it won't last more than two or three hours, or we'll have to call our physician.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 6:09 PM
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I just lose myself in the experience in a really pleasant way, which doesn't happen if I pedal for 20 minutes on the elliptical.

Yeah, this is exactly my experience. Intense exercise occupies my mind in a way few other things do, and it's great for shutting up my brain's constant chatter.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 6:19 PM
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It's Pharma's fault, either one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 6:20 PM
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142 to 140.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 6:22 PM
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I was delighted to know that Maryland's Court of Appeals recognized gay marriages made in other states, such that a couple now residing in MD may divorce in this state.

It's such good news. I see that that link goes to the google-mediated URL. Sorry. There are many other sources available for the story.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 6:23 PM
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I completely agree with 141. It's even better when the intense exercise is filled with new sights and sounds. I.e. running on a treadmill and riding an exercise bike are sad sorry approximations of running the streets/trails and riding outdoors.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 6:25 PM
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Running on the street is much better. I was surprised at how, with a small expenditure on polyester clothing, temperatures down to freezing are not hard to run in.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 6:34 PM
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I don't go to our college gym because apparently it's not cool for faculty to shower there ever since some incident with perversion a few years ago. I don't mind being gross and running outside, but I do mind walking home from the gym all sweaty. I get much sweatier indoors.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 6:39 PM
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It's college right? You can sleep with your students as long as you don't give them good grades.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 6:46 PM
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I'm not your lawyer, so don't rely on my opinion without consulting somebody who maybe went to law school.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 6:49 PM
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The music skipped from The Smiths and Depeche Mode to the Wiggle, Wiggle, Wiggle song.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 6:52 PM
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130

James, am I right in thinking that you're relatively pro-states' rights? (The Supreme Court hasn't ruled on gay marriage, as far as I can think, so I'm a little confused on what you mean there. Maybe there's something I'm not thinking of.)

The Supreme Court hasn't ruled on Arizona's immigration law yet either although a ruling is pending. Gay marriage is likely to come before the Supreme Court at some point. Some state courts and lower level federal courts have ruled there is a constitutional right to gay marriage which I think is nonsense.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 6:56 PM
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135

I'm choosing not to have a discussion about the Roe v. Wade decision at this time, so fine. I will say that an increasing number of states are further limiting the circumstances in which a woman may have an abortion, and eventually one of those laws is going to come before the S.C., which will be a replay of Roe v. Wade in some other form, so I think it's a bit sanguine to suppose that the composition of the court will not matter in this regard.

I just don't care that much especially about restrictions that don't actually have much effect.

The Republican attacks on Planned Parenthood potentially bother me more as I am under the vague impression that Planned Parenthood is an important supplier of subsidized birth control to poor women which I favor.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:07 PM
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Some state courts and lower level federal courts have ruled there is a constitutional right to gay marriage which I think is nonsense.

This makes no sense to me.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:14 PM
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The Republican attacks on Planned Parenthood potentially bother me more as I am under the vague impression that Planned Parenthood is an important supplier of subsidized birth control to poor women which I favor.

Those attacks should bother you more than potentially, because your vague sense that Planned Parenthood provides family planning and health services to lower income women is absolutely correct.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:17 PM
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I'm sure you'll convince him to see reason this time, parsimon. I'm just sure of it.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:20 PM
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He doesn't care about their having health services, he just doesn't want brown women having babies.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:21 PM
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Those attacks should bother you more than potentially, because your vague sense that Planned Parenthood provides family planning and health services to lower income women is absolutely correct.

I'm pretty sure Shearer's use of the term "birth control" rather than "family planning and health services" is significant here.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:23 PM
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Claripwned.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:23 PM
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OT: The Avengers had surprisingly tolerable amounts of Wh/ed/on. I liked Captain America and Gwyneth Paltrow's generous choice to go shoeless to mitigate RDJr.'s lack of elevation.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:24 PM
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148: Maybe, but you're definitely not allowed to perv on them in the shower. (I actually don't think faculty/student sex is encouraged in these parts. Quite the reverse, in fact.)


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:24 PM
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146: This was the single most exciting discovery of the past winter for me. Running at or around freezing is actually kind of awesome as long as you have appropriate layers and keep your ears covered. Nearly as surprising to me as the discovery that running is actually kind of awesome.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:25 PM
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Di, I see your posts from the app I'm using, I think. It's turning the whole running/diet thing into a really disturbingly high-stakes video game.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:27 PM
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161: You've apparently been running a great deal, especially as it warmed up. I've been impressed. Anyway, it's much warmer here in the winter, so I don't have it as rough.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:27 PM
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159: I'm still not seeing any comic book movie until it hits Redbox or Netflix. I have standards.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:28 PM
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149: I encourage consulting lawyers generally. But on questions of when sex is or isn't proper? I' not sure lawyers are your most trustworthy resource.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:29 PM
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(I actually don't think faculty/student sex is encouraged in these parts. Quite the reverse, in fact.)

We had an online training, but I didn't pay attention.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:30 PM
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157: I'm pretty sure Shearer's use of the term "birth control" rather than "family planning and health services" is significant here.

I confess I did make an intentional substitution for his term there.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:31 PM
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164: TWYRHNL* and I went to the $6 matinee, which price it was well worth. I like to think that the Hulk shares my feelings about most of the office buildings of midtown Manhattan.

* The Woman You Reprobates Have Named "Lunchy."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:33 PM
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162: I have a separate nutrition app I use, and that has admittedly veered a little disturbingly toward the obsessive at times.

163: Running the race which motivated all of that in one week. (So if anyone has, say, two hours of good running music....) Will chill out thereafter, but feel like too much of a junkie now to think I'd ever quit.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:36 PM
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That $12 before snacks. That's four pints and a socially acceptable tip* at happy hour prices.

*But cheap.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:37 PM
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Flip, unless I've badly misjudged you, I believe it would be in your interest to watch the video in 98.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:38 PM
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170 to 168.

169.2: Good luck. I can't listen to headphones while running. Remember not to start too fast is my only advice. I'm sure you'll do fine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:39 PM
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172: See, the headphones are necessary so I can have a little voice telling me every couple minutes if I am going too fast or too slow. My only goal is to finish, so it shouldn't be that bad.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:46 PM
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I got beat by my little sister, but she probably won't run your race.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 7:54 PM
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153

This makes no sense to me.

Not clear what makes no sense. Here is a wikipedia article on Perry v. Brown a case that may eventually reach the Supreme Court in which lower courts have found a constitutional right to gay marriage.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:05 PM
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60: A close friend of mine is both very well informed and a swing voter. Before Bush he was a bit more likely to vote Repub when he wasn't casting his protest Libertarian vote, during the Bush years he was a de facto Democrat as far as federal voting went, now he's a Dem leaning swing voter. Upper class small business owner who really, really hates regulation, hates unions, is a genuine fiscal hawk with small government leanings - wants to slash defense by a lot, wants entitlement 'reform', other social spending cuts, and massive tax hikes (eliminate all the Bush tax cuts and treat all income the same) and has a strong dose of 'they're all the same'ism. He's also a social liberal but that doesn't seem to be a major factor in his decision making. needs a poke in the snoot.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:13 PM
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I think the language of Loving v. Virginia is pretty directly applicable to SSM. And someday we'll have 5 justices who agree with me.

I don't think RvW is safe, not at all. I think there are at least 3 votes for reversal right now; I don't know if Roberts would join. And if it is reversed, the reversal will be followed immediately by national legislation. It's never going to be left to the states, and anyone who says it is can be completely discounted.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:14 PM
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It'd be morbidly fascinating to see how a republican supreme court that overturned RvW would find a way to decide that federal legislation restricting abortion would be constitutional while legislation legalizing abortion would be unconstitutional.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: pause endlessly, then go in (9) | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:29 PM
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177: Roberts would join. Don't forget that he is a huge asshole.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:43 PM
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177

I think the language of Loving v. Virginia is pretty directly applicable to SSM ...

Which is why (in part) you aren't undecided between Romney and Obama.

I think there are at least 3 votes for reversal right now; ...

You need 5.

... And if it is reversed, the reversal will be followed immediately by national legislation. ...

Not at all clear. Certainly there would be proposals but it is not clear that there would be sufficient agreement to pass anything. Which would suit a lot of members just fine.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 8:44 PM
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171: 98 is amazing.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 9:22 PM
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181: I actually thought you'd appreciate it more than anyone, sweetie. But you weren't here, so I settled for that loser, Flip. Now I feel dirty.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 9:40 PM
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You need 5.

Right. I don't know if Roberts would be a fourth vote to overturn, but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't be a fifth vote to maintain. So it's a one vote swing.

Federal legislation banning abortion could get through the House today, I think, if Roe was gone. I don't doubt that Boehner could make that happen. The Senate is another matter, today, as there are probably 41-45 votes for choice.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 10:03 PM
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178 -- They wouldn't have to decide whether federal legislation that occupied the field and permitted abortion was constitutional.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 10:05 PM
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Just because they wouldn't have to get involved doesn't mean they wouldn't get involved.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: pause endlessly, then go in (9) | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 10:09 PM
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These statutes also deprive the Lovings of liberty without due process of law in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.

Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival. Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942). See also Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190 (1888). To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual, and cannot be infringed by the State.


Posted by: Warren, C.J. | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 10:11 PM
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185 -- No such legislation will ever pass.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 10:11 PM
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I think the guy in 98 is playing it up for the camera, not that I didn't enjoy it. The nerds seem surprised by the mockery.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 10:13 PM
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Intense exercise occupies my mind in a way few other things do, and it's great for shutting up my brain's constant chatter.

It's way easier just to balance things on top of other things, if that's what you want.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 10:51 PM
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Wait I totally took a boxing class there. But not from that guy. (I've only watched 30 seconds. It's hanging too much for some reason.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-19-12 11:09 PM
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||

NMM2 Abdelbaset al-Megrahi

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 6:51 AM
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168: Avengers was surprisingly amusing -- if it's the sort of movie you'd be at all likely to go see, it's probably worth it. The kids loved it, and they're not a universally easy audience.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 7:02 AM
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182: Thank you?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 7:13 AM
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|| For those wondering, my son's "rave" -- he put on a fundraiser dance as his senior project -- went well. Would've raised more money if 20% of patrons (high schoolers) hadn't shown up too drunk to get past security. Now let's see if I get my deposit back . . . |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 9:11 AM
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Man, I wanted to recommend a product for cold weather running but it looks like it might have been discontinued. If you find one on Ebay or something like that, consider: "Nike Women's Max Shield Full Zip Running Hoodie." It was $175 and worth every single penny. I was totally comfortable with just this jacket and a moisture wicking shirt (plus gloves, etc.) down at least to 20 degrees -- I didn't have a lot of opportunity to experience temperatures in the teens, because this past winter was a bad one to test very cold weather. But I did go out one morning when it was 0, and I wore a moisture wicking shirt, that jacket, and another cheap low tech synthetic hoodie over it, and was fine in terms of core temperature. (My legs got cold, and I think I had one patch of skin around my hips that wasn't totally reliably shielded.) Otoh, if it's as warm as 40, you'll be hot in this jacket. It's for people who want to be able to run when it's friggin' cold. Like me.

I also like these gloves for temperatures in the twenties. Below that I think I'd want something more like a ski glove on a long run -- I certainly did when it was 0.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 9:17 AM
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|| And for those following our ongoing rape story, another turn for the worse today. Hard to see how anyone in the university admin survives this. |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 9:28 AM
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191: good. Whether he was behind Lockerbie or not (and it's doubtful at best), you don't get to be a senior intelligence officer in Gaddafi's Libya if you are a sunshine person from the kingdom of butterscotch dreams.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 9:41 AM
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Shearer is probably not around, but:

175: Not clear what makes no sense.

Sorry, I wasn't clear. What made no sense to me was your view that there is no constitutional right to gay marriage (that any claim that there is is "nonsense").

But I can't tell whether you're making a legal claim or a moral one. If you're just flatly against gay marriage on moral grounds, there can be no further discussion.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 9:50 AM
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196: you might be surprised what university administrators can survive. Executives of all kinds, actually.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 11:38 AM
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I saw one go 12 minutes in a complete vacuum.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 11:46 AM
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198

But I can't tell whether you're making a legal claim or a moral one. If you're just flatly against gay marriage on moral grounds, there can be no further discussion.

Until recently marriage was defined as between a man and a woman. So a marriage between two men or two women was an impossibility. I see no reason to change the definition. And I think it is absurd to believe a change is somehow constitutionally required.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 3:05 PM
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||

Boring.

Wandering around Tor looking for the Jo Walton celebration, I came across a reread of Joanna Russ. Oh, I was so much younger then, as Nevers said in HMA

Waggish

I remember enjoying a piece of Russ's dialogue along these lines: "What's it like being a woman?" he asked. I took a rifle out from behind my chair and shot him dead. "It's like that," I said.

Have I told y'all how fucking much I loved Jeanne Dielman? Made me cry.

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 3:49 PM
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Until recently marriage was defined as between a man and a woman

I'll need some coaching on this. Where was it so defined? Forgive my ignorance.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 3:59 PM
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203

I'll need some coaching on this. Where was it so defined? ...

Dictionaries. Such as "the mutual relationship of husband and wife" from a 1983 dictionary.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 4:28 PM
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Now I'll need further coaching. Does a dictionary definition carry legal weight?

What we would need, I'm thinking, is a legal precedent somewhere along the way that explicitly defines marriage as between a man and a woman. I'm honestly not sure whether I'm being incredibly dense here, and if so, I apologize, but I'm drawing a blank as to the existence of such a thing.

Marriage is a legal concept, isn't it? A legal contract. (It's also something that religious institutions perform, but that performed ceremony is not a legal marriage in the absence of the requisite legal paperwork along with, and it's the latter that actually constitutes the marriage, so I think we can leave the religious aspect to one side.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 5:16 PM
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205

Now I'll need further coaching. Does a dictionary definition carry legal weight?

When determining the meaning of a law yes.

What we would need, I'm thinking, is a legal precedent somewhere along the way that explicitly defines marriage as between a man and a woman. ...

I am not a lawyer but I am pretty sure there are plenty of such precedents since until recently there was no substantial support for the idea that there could be a legal marriage between two men or two women.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 5:31 PM
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I think it's the dictionary definition that's standing in our way here. Not any legal definition.

Back to square one, then. It's actually pretty interesting that we'd have the Fourteenth Amendment interrogating the dictionary.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 5:35 PM
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Legally, it was only in the 60s that consensual sodomy was removed from the list of felonies in any state. Granted, there is plenty of potential for heterosexual sodomy, but I don't think that is who was being arrested.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 5:52 PM
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I suppose this is a bit like the argument between AWB and others about how you know what people were thinking at a given time in the past, except that you know what these people are thinking because they're still alive and huge numbers are still very angry.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 6:01 PM
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It's not the gender difference between the parties that gives marriage the importance we see in Loving.

Law evolves, as we grow into concepts like liberty and equality.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 6:07 PM
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I'm off now, but yes, it's stunning to be reminded that so many people are so angry, if that's the word, about the notion that two men might engage in sodomy, though it's fine if a man and a woman do.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 6:08 PM
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People get angry if the scenes don't match the description on the DVD cover.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 6:26 PM
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It's pretty sad that opponents of marriage equality are reduced to this pitiful semantic argument. Leaving aside the fact that 'marriage' has historically meant some genuinely freaky sh*t, I guess we can't go around violating the sacrosanct meanings of words, now, can we? Certainly not based on something as flimsy as a moral argument for equal treatment under the law. Jesus, what a baffling priority.


Posted by: Man Suit | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 6:26 PM
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But the 10% of the electorate that decides elections, those truly undecided voters, are low-information voters, who will almost certainly cast their ballots based on the very mushy criterion of how they feel about the candidates.

The 10% of low-information voters decide based on who has enough money to flood the airwaves with ads. Which is why Citizens United pretty much sealed the deal on corporate control of the political system...I mean, it was pretty much corporate controlled before (both parties) but we might see a whole new level now.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 7:12 PM
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James, the Ninth Amendment to the Constitution says this:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

What do you figure that means?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 7:17 PM
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212: Or in some cases if they do. "So the repairman fixed the cable TV box and went to his next service call."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 7:20 PM
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Don't be fatuous, Jeffrey.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 7:32 PM
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Hmm, the title of that video was "Logjammin'". Just saying...


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 7:37 PM
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until recently there was no substantial support for the idea that there could be a legal marriage between two men or two women.

Until recently, marriage was a property arrangement between bros.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 8:39 PM
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208 -- Laws against sodomy didn't die off because state legislatures, in their nearly infinite wisdom, decided to get rid of them. They are still on the books in a great many places, but are constitutionally invalid because they are affronts to liberty.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-20-12 9:56 PM
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Right, at least not the final ones though many legislatures did act.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 3:54 AM
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Arguing from a dictionary definition is pretty much a textbook example of confusing normative and descriptive.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 3:58 AM
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215

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

What do you figure that means?

That the people "retained" certain traditional rights that they were generally understood to have at the time even if these rights were not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 4:35 AM
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220

208 -- Laws against sodomy didn't die off because state legislatures, in their nearly infinite wisdom, decided to get rid of them. They are still on the books in a great many places, but are constitutionally invalid because they are affronts to liberty.

I am not going to defend laws against sodomy but I will ask if they are so invalid why are people still in prison (as I believe there are) for sodomy convictions?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 4:39 AM
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Arguably the law is descriptive though.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 4:40 AM
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That the people "retained" certain traditional rights that they were generally understood to have at the time even if these rights were not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.

Why rights they already had? "Retained" doesn't seem to do the work that you want it to do here.

But anyway, what rights?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 5:16 AM
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224: There really should be a federal department of Cleaning Up Things to handle shifts like that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 5:26 AM
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Arguing from a dictionary definition is pretty much a textbook example of confusing normative and descriptive.

And yet, the law does indeed look to dictionary definitions to determine the meaning of words if those words aren't otherwise defined by the law.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 5:41 AM
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Some of the more entertaining judges use the Urban Dictionary.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 5:46 AM
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For example, there is a legal definition of "company" but not of "firm", so lawmakers need to use the word "company" or else injunctions will crop up saying that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act applies to Blake Lively's breasts.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 5:51 AM
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229: Of all the adjectives I might use to describe Clarence Thomas, I never suspected "entertaining" would be on the list.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 5:51 AM
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Pepsi drinker.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 5:52 AM
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230: I'll bet Blake Lively's breasts make for excellent company.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 5:52 AM
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why are people still in prison (as I believe there are) for sodomy convictions?

Because they are actually cases of rape, but the laws in that jurisdiction at that time were all written in terms of acts that were considered perverse, rather than consent, so the prosecutors went with what they had?

Just guessing.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 5:53 AM
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224 -- Really? In which states?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 5:57 AM
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My spam folder now has a message from somebody who wants to sell me mice. I liked it better when my spam was about things of universal importance, like penises and free money.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 5:58 AM
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228: no doubt, but I would imagine that a modern dictionary would not define "marriage" as "between a man and a woman only", what with same-sex marriage existing and everything. Shearer had to go back to a 1983 dictionary to find something that backed him up.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:05 AM
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"Arguing from a dictionary definition" is actually a pretty textbook example of not understanding how word meanings work. If there were a legal institution for same sex couples exactly identical to marriage in all of the rights and privileges it carried but with a different label--"schmarriage" maybe--plenty of equality opponents would still dislike it.* And if there were some who were fine with it, it could only be because they recognize that "marriage" is a prestige term that connotes a level of seriousness and respect. That has nothing to do with its meaning; rather it's about the "halo" of the term.

But in either case, whether opponents dislike schmarriage or approve of it, they're still bigots. Disapproving of it is just a way of saying gay relationships deserve no legal recognition at all, and approving of it is a way of saying they get some consideration, but never genuine equal respect, because they can never have that special "halo".

And that's why this isn't a semantic argument--it's a moral one.

*I don't know enough about how civil unions work to know if this is the case for them or not. But assume schmarriage is marriage's exact legal twin.


Posted by: Man Suit | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:09 AM
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234 235

I was under the impression that there were cases either involving plea bargains or convictions on lesser counts in which people were still serving time for sodomy. But a quick search doesn't find anything so perhaps I was wrong or out of date.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:16 AM
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237: 1983 was the last year our precious lexical fluids were uncorrupted.


Posted by: Man Suit | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:17 AM
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodomy_laws_in_the_United_States

Wick has the dates and data.

Further to 224, a governor would have to be a special kind of asshole to keep a prisoner in jail 10 years past the invalidation of the crime for which he was convicted.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:21 AM
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238

... Disapproving of it is just a way of saying gay relationships deserve no legal recognition at all, ...

Whether or not gay relationships deserve legal recognition is a separate issue from whether such recognition is constitutionally required.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:23 AM
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222, 237, 238:

The dictionary doesn't tell us how we ought to define marriage, or what the word means to us now, in common language.

But past dictionaries give us information about the publicly understood meanings of a word at the time a law was enacted or case was decided.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:30 AM
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a governor would have to be a special kind of asshole

I'm with you on the main point (I don't think there is anybody still in jail for consensual sodomy), but I really don't think you are on very firm ground defending that point by saying there is some class of asshole where none of the members have been elected governor of at least one state.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:32 AM
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We have one of those 2004 constitutional amendments defining marriage. Our supreme court is currently deliberating a case based on equal protection calling to the state to create an exact duplicate of marriage for ss couples. The oral argument was live streamed -- you can't always guess how things are going to go, but I'm optimistic that we'll get "schmarriage" -- either directly, or, as our CJ seemed to prefer at the hearing, as a result of a remand to strike down individually each specific statute that discriminates against gay couples.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:32 AM
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244 -- Politics is full of special kinds of assholes.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:34 AM
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I suppose I was thinking of a one-dimensional asshole-ishness measure. If you can be an asshole on 12 independently varying dimensions and there are multiple levels of each dimension, you get to a point where everybody is an asshole in a different way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:36 AM
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you get to a point where everybody is an asshole in a different way.

And that, dear friends, is the meaning of life...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:42 AM
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If you can be an asshole on 12 independently varying dimensions and there are multiple levels of each dimension, you get to a point where everybody is an asshole in a different way.

Everyone is a precious poop-flake.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:44 AM
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I need to see a study with psychometric results on this.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:46 AM
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NON-ASSHOLES ARE ALL ALIKE; EVERY ASSHOLE IS AN ASSHOLE IN HIS OR HER OWN WAY.


Posted by: OPINIONATED TOLSTOY | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 7:04 AM
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I wanted to say that our governor here in Ohio is a "special kind of asshole" regardless of whether he is keeping anyone in jail for violating invalidated statutes.

Really, though, he isn't a very special kind of asshole. They have one just like him running Wisconsin.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 7:06 AM
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OT: Every week I get a reminder email that begins with the phrase "This communication is to notify you that". From now on I am starting all utterances with that phrase.


Posted by: ursyne | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 7:16 AM
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This communication is to notify you that my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 7:19 AM
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It's also something that religious institutions perform, but that performed ceremony is not a legal marriage in the absence of the requisite legal paperwork along with, and it's the latter that actually constitutes the marriage, so I think we can leave the religious aspect to one side.

My favorite aspect of religious objections to gay marriage is the argument from "Homosexuality is a sin!," as though the sacraments were made for anybody other than sinners. (I also like when American bishops make their quadrennial fuss about denying Communion to pro-choice Catholic politicians, because denying people the Eucharist is exactly what the Church is about.)


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 7:25 AM
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243: Dictionaries, newspapers, magazines, in later times movies, in earlier times wall carvings, and all that. This isn't terribly difficult, gang.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 7:33 AM
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256: "From the Venus of Willendorf to the Elgin Marbles, marriage has been defined...."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 7:36 AM
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Re 257:

of Willendorf s/b Williams
Marbles s/b Baylor


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 8:04 AM
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James my question about non-enumerated rights was one that I asked with the understanding that you'd be unable to answer it. I'd like to offer an opinion about why you can't answer it.

The myths of "originalism" and "textualism" and "strict constructionism" are built on the idea that there are straightforward answers contained in the Constitution itself - or at least in the deliberations surrounding the Constitution.

But the Ninth Amendment creates a problem that is insoluble in this way. The text doesn't say the thing you contend - but even if it did, the problem remains, hence your inability to answer my question about non-enumerated rights. The language is clear, and the original intent is unambiguous: the Founders were worried that some nitwit was going to take the list of rights and say "This is it; that's all you get."

Now it is reasonable to point out that this creates a problem for judges, and people will necessarily have different opinions about how to solve that problem. But absolutely nobody believes that strict construction is the way to go, most especially the people who claim to believe that.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 8:05 AM
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Whoops, 259 is me, of course.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 8:07 AM
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213: The problem is that advocates of gay marriage keep making bullshit arguments that conflate different senses of the word 'marriage'.

Just because the conclusion is right doesn't mean the argument is.

The law is not just a bunch of letters strung together.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 8:24 AM
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257: Far more elegant, Flip.

My point, if there is one, is simply that not having an explicit definition in law isn't the same as not having any idea at all. A quick look at the California code doesn't (perhaps I missed it?) provide a definition of "breathing" even though it's mentioned a few times.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 8:29 AM
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261: I'm not sure what the 'different senses' are here. The major division is between religious and civil marriages, but pretty clearly the argument is about the civil institution.

Anyway, it's not complicated, right? You point to a bunch of married straight people. See what they have? Gay couples should be able to have that thing too.


Posted by: Man Suit | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 8:39 AM
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263: Gay couples should only be able to have that thing only if they take it by force. There are only so many to go around.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 8:52 AM
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263.1: Between marriage as a traditionally recognized arrangement people have the legal right to engage in with an unmarried member of the opposite sex without undue encumbrance, and the contemporary cultural meaning of marriage as the way two people who are in love publicly and legally affirm their exclusive commitment to be together.

263.2: I don't think "have that thing too" has an obvious meaning at all, as a same-sex couple is e.g. obviously unable to have a heterosexual relationship with one another.

I do think that gay couples ought to be able to have a legal relationship with all the same legal properties as what has traditionally been called marriage, and that we should include that in the legal definition of marriage. I'm happy it's been done in some places, and I hope it gets done in others.

But it's just not correct to say that this is logically implied by some traditional right to marry, since the traditional right can only pertain to what was traditionally called "marriage."


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 8:57 AM
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It's interesting to see people in the media who get confused over what is supposed to be under debate in this same-sex marriage issue. A lot of both pundits and TV "journalists" are in such a bubble of tolerance that they don't realize that yes, it is simply the issue of straight people denying gay people certain legal benefits that straight people have, to discourage people from being gay. People are under the assumption that it's something to do with encroaching bureaucracy, or , or something.

You see anchorpeople introducing stories by saying "The gay marriage debate! Should the government be involved in saying who's married and who's not?" Whoa, I was not aware we were talking about abolishing marriage licenses and having marriages only be recognized by the church.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 8:57 AM
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You point to a bunch of married straight people. See what they have? Gay couples should be able to have that thing too.

Exactly so. I do not see (and have never seen) why this would be a threat to anyone nor why it would damage existing or future het marriages.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 8:57 AM
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The culture wars bring out the stupidest arguments on both sides. This is the main reason I've been hoping this election will be about economic inequality and not the culture wars.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 8:59 AM
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It occurs to me that James might not think anti-miscegenation laws are unconstitutional.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: pause endlessly, then go in (9) | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:00 AM
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s/b/ "encroaching bureaucracy, or interstate commerce, or something".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:00 AM
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264: If only it were scarce we could set up a market for it. I could make a real profit selling my never-instantiated marriage to some nice gay couple. (Not a scratch on it!)


Posted by: Man Suit | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:03 AM
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I don't think there is anything bullshit at all about saying that certain traditional views are inconsistent with liberty and equality, which are bedrock non-negotiable requirements, and must therefore fall. Nothing bullshit at all. What I do think is bullshit is people who want to use the dictionary and tradition -- without any actual rationale other than the dictionary and tradition -- to deny liberty and equality.

In other news, the Capato case was decided today. Ginsburg for a unanimous court saying that survivor's benefits only go to posthumously conceived children if state law intestacy law says so.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:06 AM
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271: the Golden Bough approach to marriage. You can only get married if you break up someone else's marriage first.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:07 AM
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survivor's benefits only go to posthumously conceived children

I don't know about benefits, but I'm guessing we'll see some nasty fights between various types of heirs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:11 AM
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Roderick Long, in a post charmingly titled "Victory">http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2012/05/victory-through-lexicography/>"Victory through Lexicography" points out that traditionally, marriage has meant the complete absorption of the wife into the husband's legal identify. In the 19th century, marriages that did not involve subjugation were sometimes ruled invalid. By those standards, no one in America is married.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:11 AM
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265: But it's just not correct to say that this is logically implied by some traditional right to marry, since the traditional right can only pertain to what was traditionally called "marriage."

Huh. This to me is kind of like saying prior to the 19th Amendment that, since the traditional meaning of "to vote" has applied only to males, that women should be granted something completely legally equivalent to voting, just called something else--"woting" maybe?

Anyway, again, my argument isn't based on whatever was "traditionally" (when?) called "marriage". I'm happy to admit that it might be an extension of the term. The point is that banning either same-sex marriage or schmarriage, or what have you, is discriminatory, since there's no morally important difference between gay and straight relationships. Although I guess from the rest of your comment that we agree on this.

(Last comment on semantics, though: jeez, is the notion of an open-texture concept news these days?)


Posted by: Man Suit | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:12 AM
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Roderick Long, in a post charmingly titled "Victory through Lexicography" , points out that traditionally, marriage has meant the complete absorption of the wife into the husband's legal identify. In the 19th century, marriages that did not involve subjugation were sometimes ruled invalid. By those standards, no one in America is married.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:13 AM
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270: "Pleasantville would still be pleasant if it weren't for the federal government*." Republicanism 2012 in a nutshell.

*Well, and Reese Witherspoon."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:13 AM
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Capato thread.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:14 AM
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Personally, I find pretty compelling argument that equal protection guarantees that as long as opposite-sex couples can get married same-sex couples can too. I had been a civil union supporter before I actually read Loving 9 years ago and realized just how similar the situations are. The only real argument that I can see against it is that traditionally the SC considers sex discrimination allowed in some situations where race discrimination is not allowed. Nonetheless I can see how people might not agree (though I think those people would not have agreed with Loving at the time).

However, I think that the argument that the federal goverment must respect state marriages (same-sex or not) is extremely compelling. Only the most hypocritical conservative could be against it. Deciding the rules of marriage, even on very controversial ones, has traditionally been the prerogative of states (so long as they are not overstepping the constitution, as in Loving).


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: pause endlessly, then go in (9) | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:15 AM
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279: that's got some great hypotheticals in it. Reminds me of Dorothy Sayers.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:27 AM
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273: And to think I've been wasting my time mate-poaching for sport all these years when I could have monetized it...


Posted by: Man Suit | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:27 AM
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||
Well, I'm in the hospital.

I just drove from DC to Missoula, and in Billings I stayed at my grandpa's house overnight. I shut my cat in a bedroom so she wouldn't mix it up with my grandpa's cat and dog, but I didn't latch the door properly and she got out and a cat fight ensued. I got bitten on the hand but drove to Missoula on Friday anyway.

By the time I got to Missoula my hand was swollen to twice its size so I went to the ER. I got IV antibiotics and other antibiotics and they said come back Sunday.

Sunday morning, more IV antibiotics. But by Sunday evening it was still much worse so I went back again and they admitted me. I've been on the IV now for 12 hours and they are keeping me til at least tomorrow morning when the hand surgeon comes back to see what's what.

So! I'm pretty bored and cranky and hurty and typing with only my left hand which is SO TEDIOUS. Also I hate all the nurses here. Please entertain me!
|>


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:31 AM
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I suppose LOL cats aren't going to be to your taste for now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:32 AM
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I am really taken aback by what a dramatic job of fucking me up such a tiny injury did.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:36 AM
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283: That's horrible. Tell us what the parasite voices are telling you to do.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:37 AM
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Game of Thrones fanfic? Stupid puns? I'm not getting any good ideas here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:37 AM
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throw tantrums about lack of accessibility, mostly, so far


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:38 AM
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288 to 286


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:39 AM
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I'm stuck running a daycare for the day. My friends are packing up their house, so I also took their kids for the day. Plus more kids are coming over, with their parents. I'm so ill-suited to this.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:40 AM
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288: That sounds promising. I like an engaged parasite.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:40 AM
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283: Ouch! That's horrible. Sending good thoughts your way.

I thought it has been established that there can't be Game of Thrones slash fic because every possible combination of characters and every possible perversity is already in it.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:46 AM
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I got bitten on the hand by a cat a few years ago, and I also got quite a nasty infection. Not as bad as that [commiserations!] -- the hand was just a bit red and swollen around the bite -- but it came with a fever and I was on fairly strong antibiotics. Little bastards.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:48 AM
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292.2: I think urple proved that was wrong.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:50 AM
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We don't have any pets. My son is now pushing for a dog and I'm arguing that a Roomba would be better.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:50 AM
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292: every possible perversity is already in it

In which case only some close textual analysis should be required to decipher urple's genuinely novel act. Surely this crowd is up to it.


Posted by: Man Suit | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:51 AM
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C'mon, fight about something! Copyright is unconstitutional! Human language is descended from dinosaur religion! Egyptian squirrels are the worst of all squirrels!


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:53 AM
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Sympathies. My wife had a 3-4 day hospital stay from a cat bite to the hand. Took them a bit to get the mix right (or the thing died down on its own). Cleared up quickly after that.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:53 AM
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296: did you miss the reveal?


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:54 AM
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296: I suspect from your comment that you missed this.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 9:55 AM
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299, 300: Holy cats. But really, that's just a minor variant on the act described in 'Me and You and Everyone We Know'. Though the naming competition is breathtaking.


Posted by: Man Suit | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 10:05 AM
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297: Fucking Egyptian squirrels with their weird-ass sideways walking. Fuck 'em all I say.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 10:05 AM
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Oh, I see mcmanus got me on that too. Well, universal pwnage. I'm out for the day.


Posted by: Man Suit | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 10:06 AM
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269: That occurred to me as well, and I decided not to ask him.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 10:14 AM
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Human language is descended from dinosaur religion!
This is an oversimplification at best.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 10:15 AM
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276: I think we agree on the moral issues here, though more important to me has been the fact that it's been tried in some places for years now, and nothing bad seems to have happened as a consequence.

As far as the "voting" thing, long before women were allowed to vote, people were talking about the idea of women voting. If you traveled back in time to 1800 and told them that in the future women could vote, they might have been surprised, some might even have been shocked, but I don't think anyone would have been confused about what you meant.

On the other hand, if someone from 2200 tried to explain to me that in the future babies and dogs could vote, I would be confused, because I wouldn't understand how it would be practically possible for them to vote in the same sense adult human beings do.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 10:20 AM
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305: It's a simplification for certain but "oversimplification" implies it somehow removes a key concept or pathway. I don't see that as the case.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 10:20 AM
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Fuck bubbles and that nasty bubble juice.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 10:21 AM
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298: My kids the veterinarians tell me I should start antibiotics immediately if one of the cats bite me, not to wait for something interesting to develop. My sympathies, Messily and all you other victims.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 10:21 AM
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307: Morphogenic fields. You could argue that that's just a theory, but without it you just have a collection of facts with no organizing principle.
308: Soap?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 10:26 AM
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||
Legal question:
I get that it takes at least a month to evict someone, and possibly more depending on why and stuff. The question is, what can you do with a place with a tenant in it?

I'm not talking about deliberately trying to push them out or anything underhanded like that, just things that we'd do anyway. Here's the story. My girlfriend and I will (probably) be buying a house soon, the big catch being that it already has a tenant. Can we move in before he's formally out, so we don't have to pay the mortgage on a place we aren't using? Likewise, can we start doing certain renovations the place needs? If it makes a difference, we're pretty sure the place had been rented out to multiple tenants at a time before so this isn't like a one-bedroom apartment or anything, and we're pretty sure the renovations in question wouldn't make the place unlivable while they're in process.
|>


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 10:33 AM
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Now I'm nil by mouth again and supposedly getting cut open tonight. Things I've learned: morphine does very little for me. Hydrocodone works beautifully on pain but makes me itch like crazy all over. I have an incredibly short temper when I have a fever. (I already knew that last one but it's been extra blatant yesterday and today).


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 10:35 AM
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Ugh, Messily, it all sounds awful.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 10:37 AM
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311: Landlord/tenant law varies a lot by jurisdiction. Is the place in D.C.? My wildly uninformed supposition is that as long as you're not kicking him out or making the place unlivable you'd be within your rights.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 10:42 AM
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Cyrus, you should talk to a housing lawyer in your jurisdiction. Some of the things you propose sound potentially dicey. Can you afford to pay off the tenant so he moves out early?


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 10:44 AM
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My sympathies, Messily.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 10:44 AM
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You should obviously listen to Bave, who IAL.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 10:46 AM
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IANAL, but I do represent tenants in eviction cases. It is killing me to refrain from giving you actual, detailed advice (which would probably be wrong because of jurisdictional differences).


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 10:47 AM
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311 seems more than potentially dicey. I don't understand how you intend to move in before he's out unless it is a two unit place or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 10:48 AM
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312: Hydrocodone works beautifully on pain but makes me itch like crazy all over.

I hear that pain can help relieve itching.


Posted by: Snake that perpetually devours itself | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 10:49 AM
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Sorry, that should be morphic fields. Also, some mention of the Babylonian Brotherhood would be good.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 10:49 AM
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On Cyrus's situation, it's not clear to me how a house can be sold when it still has an occupant. Perhaps if that was part of the settlement agreement? But then, the previously existing lease with the tenant would carry over to Cyrus and his girlfriend as landlord? Then, what does the lease say? Just thinking out loud. I speculate based on every lease I've had as a tenant that you certainly wouldn't be able to move in (unless the tenant agrees to it).

I don't really understand. Who is getting the tenant's last month's rent?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 10:51 AM
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Houses with occupants sell all the time. It's hard to show them to potential buyers if the occupant isn't the owner, but legally it isn't any different than selling an empty house.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 10:55 AM
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Even in Berkeley, which had pretty strong tenants rights, if someone buys a property and is personally moving in themselves they can still kick out the tenants. Nonetheless, the standard procedure in Berkeley seemed to be to pay the tenants to leave. I knew people who got 7 grand each to move out of an apartment. (That case was slightly sketchy in that they were subletting from the previous owner who was sketchily claiming to "live" there even though she was actually living in another state. So the new buyers really didn't want to have to get into a legal battle.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 10:59 AM
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unless it is a two unit place or something

That's what I was assuming. If it's not, then I don't get how it would work.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 10:59 AM
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Anyway, as is said above, rules on these sorts of things vary wildly by locality. Berkeley and Oakland had totally different rules, for example. You're spending a lot of money on buying a house anyway, might as well spend a little extra to talk to a real lawyer about this.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 11:01 AM
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323: Well, right, I've had a landlord sell a house we were living in, but we had to be out before the settlement date. And I'm assuming that if somehow we didn't have to be out, the new owner would become our landlord and we'd be paying rent to him/her until we did move out. Apparently the tenant in Cyrus's prospective house has not been paying rent anyway? (Hence the talk of eviction?) So the seller is selling the house with a squatter in it? That seems weird.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 11:01 AM
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318: Well, you will be AL, which counts more than any credential I have.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 11:01 AM
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325: From the original question, it sounded like a place that wasn't actually subdivided into different units.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 11:04 AM
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329: In that case, it sounds like the perfect set-up for a wacky new sit-com.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 11:05 AM
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Yes, it's DC. As for a lawyer, we've talked to two about it so far in informal contexts - one friend who's a lawyer, and one free legal information service - and will probably look for something more formal soon. And as for paying off the tenant, we're open to offering him something, but I'm not optimistic about it because we don't have the money to make it fully worth his while.

Also, my sympathies too, Messily. That sounds really bad. On the plus side, there's great potential for a pun about cat scratch fever, right? Right? OK, maybe not...


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 11:05 AM
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Further to 330: Or, I suppose, a heartfelt drama when it turns out that the tenant is a widowed Holocaust survivor with a winsome smile who has A Lot to Teach About Life.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 11:08 AM
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If I were a tenant and my new landlord came to me and said, "we're pretty sure the renovations in question won't make the place unlivable," I'm fairly certain that I'd move if I could or seek legal help to keep him out for as long as possible if I couldn't.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 11:15 AM
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Also, surely if you can afford to buy a house and make renovations, you can afford to pay the tenant to move out. Maybe you can roll it into the mortgage? Or get the current owners to pay the money as part of closing? Surely one or two months of rent is very small potatoes relative to the headline amount.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 11:20 AM
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331: I know someone in DC who bought a place with a tenant, intending to move in, she might have some useful advice. Email me if you want me to try to get you two in touch.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 11:22 AM
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No, he hasn't been paying rent. That's part of why the place was for sale in the first place - the owner is cutting his losses. Dumb of us to take the risk, we realize, but we thought for a while that the tenant would be out by the date of closing or at most a month later, but now we're told he's probably going to drag it out. Really, if I'm mad at anyone here other than ourselves, it's our realtor.

325, 329, 330: No, it's not a multi-unit dwelling, just one house with multiple bedrooms. Yes, the idea of moving in while he's still there is far from ideal, but neither is the idea of paying both mortgage on the house and rent on our current apartment.

333: We're talking about work on the basement wall. The basement is only used for storage and the laundry at the moment, and that room of the basement isn't used for anything at all. I won't be surprised if he takes the attitude you describe, and I admit that I don't know for sure the place will still be livable because we don't have anything in writing with a contractor yet (because we don't have the place yet), but what I'm picturing is the kind of thing I'd personally be willing to live with.

335: Got it. Thanks.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 11:29 AM
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335: I tried to e-mail you but couldn't find an address at your blogs. Could you leave it here, or e-mail me? My e-mail address should be linked with my name here, and if that doesn't work, it's vermont[underscore character]voyager[at]hotmail.com. Thanks.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 11:32 AM
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If he's already not paying rent, I think you can be sure you need a lawyer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 11:32 AM
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336.1: Hm. Yeah, I'd be mad at the realtor, but okay, moving on, a lawyer, sure. I'm not sure I'd try to live there with the tenant there if s/he's being an asshole to begin with; I'd look at eviction (which is complicated by the fact that there's no lease between you, so ... uhhh ...).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 11:42 AM
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Yeah, sounds like a complicated situation. Dicey actions on your part (moving in while the tenant still has possession of the premises; having construction workers coming in and out of the place) could complicate your eviction case -- potentially giving the tenant claims against you, and in some jurisdictions delaying the eviction by months. You really need a lawyer to advise you how to proceed.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 11:44 AM
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340 is what I'd be afraid of.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 11:46 AM
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340 and global warming and cat bites.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 11:46 AM
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Lawyer time -- it'll be cheaper in the long run.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 11:46 AM
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And castration, but that's probably just some neutroic thing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 11:46 AM
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Presumably (or hopefully) the situation was reflected in the price.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 11:47 AM
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Is neutroic like metrosexual?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 11:49 AM
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I didn't buy them. They've just always been there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 11:49 AM
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334
Also, surely if you can afford to buy a house and make renovations, you can afford to pay the tenant to move out. Maybe you can roll it into the mortgage? Or get the current owners to pay the money as part of closing? Surely one or two months of rent is very small potatoes relative to the headline amount.

Yeah, I might have been a bit too pessimistic about that part. We can afford to offer him something out of pocket as it is, and we could probably put down a smaller down payment than we're now planning on if we have to. Again, though, that's obviously not ideal.

Thanks for the advice to talk to a lawyer. We'll do that.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 11:50 AM
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If a small offer would have moved him, the current owner maybe would have made such an offer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 11:54 AM
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348: I'm a bit confused, you do not have a locked in loan/approval yet? Now I see your "(probably)". What are the consequences of bailing?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:01 PM
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Also if you haven't closed yet and you were previously under the impression that the tenant would be out by the time you closed, I would be trying very hard to renegotiate the price of the house. If you found out during inspection that the roof needed 10K of repairs you would renegotiate, and I don't see why thousands of dollars of legal fees and rent caused by delays should be any different. But I've never bought a house, some maybe I'm wrong here.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:03 PM
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I won't carry on about this much longer, but honestly, if there is no lease between Cyrus and the 'tenant', and the 'tenant' has never paid Cyrus rent, I wonder whether eviction is even the proper term for what needs to happen. The 'tenant' is a squatter, and has no legal standing (with respect to Cyrus) in the first place; it's not clear to me how the tenant can even claim tenant's rights. What a completely bizarre situation.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:04 PM
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What are the consequences of bailing?

More research is needed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:06 PM
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Parsimon, landlord/tenant law can be quite conterintuitive.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:07 PM
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351 makes sense. If you haven't closed yet, I'm not sure the entire burden should be on you.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:07 PM
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354: Okay. I know.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:09 PM
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The rental market in major cities is highly regulated. Thinking of renting as a simple contract between two parties is very misleading, and is getting you confused. This person is certainly a tenant, Cyrus after buying the house would certainly become the landlord, and the process of removing a tenant who is not paying rent is certainly eviction.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:12 PM
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345: Yes. Although maybe not reflected enough.

349: My girlfriend (who I sent a link to this thread to, and this is turning into a very complicated conversation by now) told me that part of the problems with the tenant are over the repairs I mentioned.

350: We do have a locked-in loan, but we haven't given them the down payment or closing costs yet. I assume there's some way we could put less down and keep more cash on hand, but I have no idea what penalties there might be for that (in addition to than having higher monthlies forever) and can't easily check until I get home tonight.

352: In theory I approve of tenants having legal protections; it protects the downtrodden more than the reverse would and all that. We've done a bit of reading up on it (it's much easier to find legal advice for tenants than for landlords) and a lot of it is common-sense stuff. Imagine all the things a landlord would try to get you to sign away in the small print of a lease otherwise. And they could, because it's hard to be homo economicus about housing. That doesn't help me at the moment, though.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:17 PM
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Cyrus, if it's not too late to back out, you might want to give that some serious consideration. I note that this is how you described the situation:

My girlfriend and I will (probably) be buying a house soon

I'm guessing you've put yourself on the hook for a deposit, but this sounds like a very bad situation.

Being non-married and buying a house with someone is also a great potential source of future strife. You like to live on the edge ...


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:17 PM
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Even in minor cities there are protections for tenants.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:18 PM
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351 -- You can renegotiate a sale price if you have a contingency that covers the subject: eg, if you have an inspection contingency, then if the inspector says you need a new roof, you can tell the seller you'll walk if she doesn't drop the price. Something that was fully disclosed -- the tenant is there and has not been given a valid notice to quit -- it's a much tougher deal.

354 cannot be emphasized enough.

We're buying a house with a tenant, and avoided the whole thing by offering to close right after the expiration of the lease. At some inconvenience to ourselves, since we have a 3 weeks gap during which we'll be homeless. But the tenant, a newly graduated law student, wrote his own lease, which the dopey landlord didn't think to have anyone look at, and ended up having a complete veto over showing the house etc. No one wants the pain of contesting anything with the guy, so we'll just have to make do.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:22 PM
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357: Thinking of renting as a simple contract between two parties is very misleading

Yeah. I've been interested in this in part because I was until recently a landlord to a deadbeat tenant, and in part because I've been a tenant for 10 years in a house for which our landlord refused to sign a lease (after initially offering us one, then backing out of signing himself, the weirdo). It is completely unclear what rights various parties have. I myself don't like going in a legal direction about it all in the first place: people should just be reasonable with one another, dammit.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:22 PM
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Even in Berkeley, which had pretty strong tenants rights, if someone buys a property and is personally moving in themselves they can still kick out the tenants

This seems totally nuts. Has Berkeley not heard of leases? Regular sales don't invalidate normal leases; the new owner bought the lease as part of the package and gets to be the landlord (Obnoxiously, though, foreclosures can terminate leases).


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:24 PM
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Being non-married and buying a house with someone is also a great potential source of future strife.

After you get married, all the strife about buying a house goes away and you can spend 1/4 of your income for the next 30 years with no fear. That's why the battle for gay marriage was so hard fought. Straight people didn't want to increase the number of strife-free couples who could bid against them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:26 PM
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My 15 seconds of bogus "research" indicates that in DC, you have to give 90 days to evict a tenant when the cause is sale of the property. You'll want to check that, certainly.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:29 PM
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I'd like to return to the original scenario I had pictured, namely that Cyrus & gf's house had an English basement with a nice, rent-paying tenant with a couple of months left on his lease. That one was better.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:33 PM
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This is scarier. Did the seller represent that he'd complied? Once again, talk to a real lawyer:

Tenants must be given notice before units are sold, and they must be given first right to purchase.

Requirements for the sale of property with one rental unit (room, basement, or entire condo/coop):

Tenants must be given 30 days notice of intent to sell
If tenants express interest in purchasing, they have 60 days to be able to arrange financing and settlement
Tenants have the right to take an additional 30 days for finance extension
If the property is not sold within 180 days, it must be re-offered to the tenant for purchase.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:33 PM
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363 -- there's often an exception to tenants rights regulations for when you personally as a landlord move into a unit you own yourself, with strict regulations designed to prevent landlords from using it as a tool to get around ordinary eviction laws, and different rules w/r/t term vs. month-to-month leases. But it's all extremely complicated and location-specific which is why Cyrus really does need a lawyer here.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:33 PM
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Cyrus's gf needs a pseud, especially if she's stopping by to read this thread.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:35 PM
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Source


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:35 PM
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I'm sure this is a location/culture/class thing, and a tangent to boot, but who does month-to-month leases? One-year term leases are absolutely the norm here. I occasionally hear about places that go month-to-month after the first year, but only second- or third-hand.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:36 PM
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Once I moved out of the student areas, all my leases would allow month-to-month extensions after the first year. It was usually more per month, but I don't recall how much more.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:38 PM
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It's largely a class thing. Most of the unsubsidized private-housing evictions I see are oral month-to-month tenancies (as is my tenancy).


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:39 PM
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364: Two friends of mine did this - both male, not in a relationship with anyone else or each other. It was a duplex-type situation. I thought they were nuts, but it all worked out well enough.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:41 PM
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I'll take one more snippet from that link:

120-Day Eviction Notice Required for: Substantial renovation or rehab which cannot be completed with an occupied unit (DC Rent Administrator must approve, relocation assistance must be provided, and tenant must be allowed to re-rent after completion.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:42 PM
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I occasionally hear about places that go month-to-month after the first year

Standard in D.C. IME; not sure about big apartment buildings, but definitely in rowhouses and basements. I only rented one place (a house) in Austin before I bought, but it also went month-to-month after the 1st year.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:44 PM
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It depends on whether the landlord can require you to sign a lease. Obviously tenants would prefer month-to-month.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:46 PM
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I occasionally hear about places that go month-to-month after the first year, but only second- or third-hand.

It's pretty standard in my experience. The parties generally know that the month-to-month actually means a full year extension, but people don't bother to sign a new annual lease.

I think it's an exercise of the honor system.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:47 PM
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Two friends of mine did this - both male, not in a relationship with anyone else or each other. It was a duplex-type situation. I thought they were nuts, but it all worked out well enough.

By brother and I own a duplex together; he lives in one unit I live in the other, and it's worked well.

It isn't perfect, of course, but it allowed us to get into the housing market (in, more or less, the middle of the boom) in an affordable way. If one of us moves out and we have to rent that space I expect it will be a pain, but it's nice to have the option.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:53 PM
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Obviously tenants would prefer month-to-month.

Not necessarily, since month-to-month means the rent can increase every month and the landlord can end the lease with 30 days' notice. If you're planning to stay in a place, yearly is usually better.

The parties generally know that the month-to-month actually means a full year extension, but people don't bother to sign a new annual lease.

This is not at all true in my experience. Month-to-month means just that.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:54 PM
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377: Obviously tenants would prefer month-to-month.

I don't think this is true. Tenants don't particularly relish the notion that a landlord could suddenly give them 30 days, or 60 days (depending on the local laws) notice to move out. Could you find a new place and move out in 30 days?

It's not clear to me why landlords might think that tenants prefer month-to-month. Certainly some sorts of tenants might, but I'm not sure that's the lot of them. Month-to-month is more in the landlord's interest.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:59 PM
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It's largely a class thing.

I suppose by "it" here I meant Nathan's sense of who gets month-to-month leases in this area. Definitely many reasons to have them in different areas, and of course real estate practices vary a lot for no good reason, too.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 12:59 PM
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380: Er, right. My experience is colored by Berkeley where the amount that rent can increase is restricted by law, and the protections against eviction are just as good whether it's by month or by year. Under that regime it really is entirely in the tenants interest to go month-to-month (because then the tenant can move out whenever they want, rather than just at the end of the lease). On the other hand, landlords desperately want to make sure all vacancies happen in the summer, so yearly leases are very important to them, and the law allows them to require that the tenants sign a substantially similar lease (possibly with increased rent) when the lease runs out.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 1:04 PM
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In every university area, they want the vacancies in the summer. I once got a very cheap apartment because it was January.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 1:07 PM
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As for 367, we were aware* of the process there, and were under the impression that the tenant had waived his right and all the other details were in order, so the sale part was taken care of and we'd have to go through the eviction procedure. I just talked to my girlfriend on the phone and said that she was just told this morning that the tenant didn't properly acknowledge receiving his notice of intent to sell. (Or something like that; we're playing telephone by now, and did I mention that I can't get into my personal e-mail at work? Most of what I'm saying here is from memory or brief e-mails) This actually makes me feel better, because if I'm understanding everything (if, if, if, yes, we'll still talk to a lawyer), it looks like the current owner's responsibility rather than ours.

369: Heh. I've called her "T." before here, just because it's her first initial. If she wants to come up with something else, she's welcome to.

* I probably wouldn't get a great grade if I were given a pop quiz about it, but I've had that explained to me at some point, more or less.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 1:11 PM
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Doesn't Tedra have a horror story about this? An ultimately failed attempt to purchase a house with very non-compliant renters in residency?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 1:36 PM
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There's a much easier solution than lawyering up.

1. Go to the attic.
2. Say "Beetlejuice!" three times.
3. Do not be alarmed by unexpected bouts of calypso music.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 1:39 PM
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off to surgery!


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 2:03 PM
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388: Good luck! Ace that surgery!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 2:05 PM
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Best of luck. Heal soon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 2:05 PM
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Good luck and best wishes.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 2:14 PM
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Doesn't somebody have to kill the cat and bury it by the light of the moon before the surgery works?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 2:24 PM
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Hope you feel better soon, Messily. In the event you're plotting your revenge against the cat, I know someone who kills animals professionally.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 2:26 PM
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I'd go with the pro. There are gifted amateurs, but it gets hard to tell them from the neophyte serial killers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 2:27 PM
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I suppose if nobody ever gives the new kids a chance, they'll never get the experience they need to turn pro.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 2:31 PM
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I'm sure Thundersnow's better at her job than that, Stanley.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 2:34 PM
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I'd drop by the hospital with a balloon animal, if people wanted to pitch in. Maybe take a picture of EM popping killing it.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 2:35 PM
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Let's do it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 3:08 PM
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Let's fall in love? halford, darling, you know the lectins will always keep us apart.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 3:12 PM
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I will not let agriculture keep me from this sublime and funky love that I crave!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 3:14 PM
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Even if the cat is domesticated, I don't think killing it counts as agriculture.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 3:22 PM
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388: Best of luck!


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 3:43 PM
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My advice is twofold: lawyer time, and be prepared to walk if you need to.

Good luck, Messily!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 3:50 PM
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I think it's an exercise of the honor system.

That's weird, I think it's an exercise in having the rights of the tenants vastly reduced.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 4:57 PM
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404: Apparently some view it as having the rights of the landlord vastly reduced; my current landlord (who declined to sign a lease with us) declared that he was taking all the risk, since we could move out on him at any moment! He is a weird guy, it's true, but it seems that Upetgi in 377 takes a similar view.

Don't get me wrong: As a tenant, I prefer having a lease, which protects against unforeseen rent increases or notices to quit the premises in 30 or 60 days. However, the month-to-month (after a year's lease) arrangement allows for flexibility on the part of both parties, which, if the honor system is in place, can be helpful.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 5:31 PM
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336

No, he hasn't been paying rent. That's part of why the place was for sale in the first place - the owner is cutting his losses. Dumb of us to take the risk, we realize, but we thought for a while that the tenant would be out by the date of closing or at most a month later, but now we're told he's probably going to drag it out. Really, if I'm mad at anyone here other than ourselves, it's our realtor.

This sounds like a very bad idea to me. If you can get out of the deal at minimal cost I would seriously consider doing so (but then I can't understand why you would enter into such a deal in the first place, there are plenty of houses that don't have deadbeat tenants).


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 5:38 PM
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So how is that you don't already have a lawyer, if you're in contract to buy a house?


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:06 PM
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Is that common? We didn't have a lawyer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:14 PM
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My brother told me to get a lawyer when I was buying a house, and I polled locally and no one had ever heard of doing such a thing, so I concluded it was a regional practice.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:17 PM
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Apparently there are places where you need a broker to find an apartment to rent, too.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:20 PM
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It's a New York specific thing.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:21 PM
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Some other states too. Not California.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:22 PM
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410: I've heard that. Bizarre. I guess everyone is frightened out of their wits.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:30 PM
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It's a New York-specific thing to want a lawyer to review the contract terms for the single largest investment most people will ever make? Remarkable.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:31 PM
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If there was no realtor, obviously you need a lawyer to file papers, make math errors, and have a closing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:32 PM
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414: I believe Halford was referring to the broker thing, not the lawyer thing, as the New York-specific thing.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:34 PM
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It's a New York-specific thing to want a lawyer to review the contract terms for the single largest investment most people will ever make?

It does seem like an un-Texan way to behave.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:34 PM
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Got one Alabama to go over the seller's paperwork when buying one of the first condos to go up. Trust, but verify.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:35 PM
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Maybe in New York they don't have realtors.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:36 PM
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The broker thing isn't required, but most landlords would prefer not to go to the trouble of advertising and showing their own apartments and screening prospective renters, and with a vacancy rate of ~1% the broker fees are entirely borne by the tenants.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:36 PM
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New York I believe mandates a lawyer for real estate closings. This is very much not legally required, and not the norm, in many other states, where things are all handled by brokers. Almost no one in California uses a lawyer for a residential real estate transaction (the only reason to do so would be if there's a particular and unusual problem, or a particularly complicated transaction).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:42 PM
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Generally the difference is between the kinds of escrow required at the closing. California uses escrow agents to do the closings; other states require title insurance companies to do it; New York requires lawyers.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:44 PM
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It's one among many reasons I'd never want to live in New York. Sorry.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:45 PM
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423 to 420.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:46 PM
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This map gives you a state-by-state breakdown. New York and Alabama are two of a tiny number of states that require lawyers to conduct real estate closings.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:47 PM
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They have good pizza and bagels.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:47 PM
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426 to 423.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:47 PM
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Plus, Fresh Salt is great from what I hear.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:52 PM
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426: It's way too expensive and seems like it suffers from some combination of paranoia, myopia and grandiosity.

That said, I have friends who live in New York and love it. I probably shouldn't make rude remarks.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 6:58 PM
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Man, I could go for a pizza-bagel right now.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 7:01 PM
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I'm totally infatuated with New York City. I haven't been there since the last NY grandparent died, however. Now that I've really locked down small town life for the forseeable future, it feels like if I were to find that other-me for some visceral living, a la nosflow's post, perhaps I would have tried to live there. But then I remember how insecure I was about moving to a new place and how hungry I was to lock down on something safe and familiar, and Austin felt amazingly safe and familiar within 15 minutes of arriving. So every me would have probably missed out on New York living.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 7:03 PM
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I'm not talking about who runs the closing, but about the advisability of having a lawyer review the transaction earlier, to ensure that in the appropriate circumstances you can not show up at the closing and still get your deposit back. (I am amused to be defending the hiring of counsel to a lawyer.)


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 7:14 PM
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425: Only one was required and he worked for the seller. We brought our own gunslinger.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 7:17 PM
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Seriously, in most places in the USA, no one does this. If a closing condition is violated, you just talk to your broker and the escrow agent pays you your money back. The broker goes over the contract and closing conditions with the buyer and the seller. I like keeping my brothers wealthy, but there's essentially zero reason other than tradition and rent-seeking why lawyers should be involved in bog-standard residential real estate transactions.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 7:18 PM
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OK. Perhaps it's the feeling that that some additional closing conditions might have been wise in the case under discussion here. And that I wouldn't necessarily trust most of the brokers I know to give useful advice about a contract.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 7:24 PM
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Well, if you have a tenant who needs to be removed to deal with, you definitely should seek a lawyer before completing the transaction, even in California -- that would go into the non-standard category. But for ordinary transactions where you are purchasing in fee or buying a condo, it's not really necessary -- the contracts are standardized forms and the conditions are usually plain english negotiated by the brokers.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 7:28 PM
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The people we bought from did a really shitty job fixing the door like they were supposed to, the Florida-going asshats, but even if we had actually fixed the door* it would have cost half what lawyer would charge to review the contract to see if they did a shitty enough job to violate it.

*Instead of just saying, "The previous owners were supposed to fix that" when anybody says anything about it."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-12 7:29 PM
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Our realtor's company has lawyers on hand and when the bank that had promised us a loan went into liquidity crisis and stopped granting loans, the lawyers called them up and smoothed things over so that eventually we got into our house. Otherwise we would never have had anything to do with a lawyer, and that seemed normal here, at least for people who aren't super wealthy.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-22-12 4:05 AM
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Admittedly, I've never bought a house, so I'm talking out of my arse, but I believe it's standard (maybe even legally required) practice in the UK to engage a solicitor. This lists the sort of things they do. I believe a lot of it falls under the remit of title insurance in the US.

And, even for tenancy, I always get one of my lawyer friends to look over the contract.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-22-12 5:22 AM
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Does "money laundering" refer to something non-criminal in the U.K. or do they get so many people laundering money through house purchases that they check every time?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-22-12 5:33 AM
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439: It's standard practice in England to have a solicitor handle the legalities of a house purchase. In Scotland, as noted on the link, the solicitors do the estate agent/realtor bit as well. I don't think it's a legal requirement, but I think you'd be a bit of an idiot to go ahead without it.

440: it's just standard practice for large transactions of any kind to check that they pass AML rules. I'm surprised it isn't the same in the US as well.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-22-12 6:23 AM
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405 is my feeling too. I was more likely to need to move on short notice (60 days or so) than the landlord was to need me out on short notice. And in fact that's how it worked out when I bought a place.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 05-22-12 7:26 AM
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441.2: Maybe they a check and never told me, but probably it would only come up if you used a bunch of cash. I know that if your downpayment showed up in your bank account all at once right before your closing, the mortgage company would be upset. I don't think they were worried about money laundering, so much as your downpayment really being an unrecorded loan from a family member.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-22-12 7:33 AM
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s/b "did a check"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-22-12 7:34 AM
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Cecily! Come tell us how you are doing!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-22-12 7:35 AM
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443 -- IME they want to see the money before they approve a loan.

Both states I've bought houses in use a standard form contract. You have to decide which contingency boxes you want to check, but that's about it. And that's about presenting a competitive proposal, if you're in a competitive market, not so much about the legality of any particular wording for the contingency. Designing your own language is a good way to get your offer rejected, if there are any other offers at all.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-22-12 7:40 AM
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446: Right, but they also wanted to see that we had the money (or most of it) for several months prior.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-22-12 7:47 AM
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Still in the hospital. Probably being sent home this evening. Tired, in pain, but nothing too overwhelming.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05-22-12 9:37 AM
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Best wishes for a speedy recover.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-22-12 9:58 AM
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thanks!


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05-22-12 10:38 AM
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448: Glad to hear you're doing better!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-22-12 10:40 AM
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Bah, poor you, poor your hand! Feel better!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-22-12 10:40 AM
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Ireland is similar to England but a bit more expensive. The title registration system is messier as the old Registry of Deeds system is only being phased out in piecemeal fashion. (I have personally drafted deeds conveying entailed property.) We don't really use title insurance unless there are missing deeds or something. Effectively your solicitor functions as insurance as we certify the title to your bank who can claim against us if we get it wrong or fail to register their mortgage properly. Estate agents here work purely for the seller.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 05-22-12 12:28 PM
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It's relevant in this context to note that North Knifecrime Island is no longer under the feudal system, as of 2000 (Abolition of Feudal Tenure (Scotland) Act). Wiki informs me that booking (in Paisley), burgage, blench holding, ward, socage and mortification have similarly been swept into the dustbin of history. My parents can now look forward to an old age untroubled by the thought that they might be ordered to turn out with pike and targe to march behind the banner of (I think) the Presbyterian Parish of St Giles.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-23-12 2:24 AM
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Month-to-month tenure is a terrible idea that only Matthew Yglesias or Fred Goodwin could love. In the UK, since the mid-1990s, we've had the brilliant invention of the assured shorthold tenancy. The "tell" here is the use of the word "assured" - advanced readers will immediately suspect that the meaning is the exact opposite. Anyway, this means that basically everyone who rents privately in the UK can be put on the road every six months for any reason or none. As a result, good luck asking for repairs!

This also had the consequence of making rental property behave like a financial product, and greatly facilitating the securitisation of mortgages taken out to speculate in it. As a result, the property bubble was waaay bigger than it otherwise might have been, all kinds of people who shouldn't have done became landlords, and half the banking sector ended up as a smoking hole in the hillside. While a lot of tenants spent years moving constantly, finding mould on their shoes, and funding their landlady's milk baths in Dubai (yes, really, she misaddressed an e-mail).

Daniel Davies, I happen to know, believes that the invention of the assured shorthold tenancy is at the root of all the UK's social and economic problems, something which unites him with Laurie Penny, Owen Hatherley, and a lot of people to the left of Bob McManus.

So yes, an idea that could only appeal to the kind of people clapping themselves on the back about their fucking frozen yogurt while strategising about how to kick the sitting tenants out of the gaff they foolishly bought.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05-23-12 3:16 AM
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it's just standard practice for large transactions of any kind to check that they pass AML rules. I'm surprised it isn't the same in the US as well.

True. On the other hand as I understand it you're allowed to give somebody up to £5,000 in used fivers and ask them to put in in an ISA (tax exempt investment account) for you with no questions asked by HM Revenue and Customs, so I suppose they have to check for laundering somewhere along the line.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-23-12 3:32 AM
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it's just standard practice for large transactions of any kind to check that they pass AML rules.

Lawyers and accountants have to verify the identity of the ultimate beneficial clients under UK money laundering rules. Which can, from personal experience, be a right old barrel of laughs, particularly when Russians are involved.

"The money is all already out of Russia and in Cayman Islands companies. You don't need to worry who provided it from Russia."

"Er, yes, we do."

Mysteriously, we never heard from then again after that conversation.


I know that if your downpayment showed up in your bank account all at once right before your closing, the mortgage company would be upset. I don't think they were worried about money laundering, so much as your downpayment really being an unrecorded loan from a family member.

From personal experience of a recent mortgage application in E&W, it's not the gift so much as the assurance that the giftor doesn't want to put a charge on the property.


Posted by: Richard J | Link to this comment | 05-23-12 4:04 AM
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True. On the other hand as I understand it you're allowed to give somebody up to £5,000 in used fivers and ask them to put in in an ISA (tax exempt investment account) for you with no questions asked by HM Revenue and Customs, so I suppose they have to check for laundering somewhere along the line.

Except if they die within 7 years, then their estate has an IHT issue, generally


Posted by: Richard J | Link to this comment | 05-23-12 4:07 AM
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Except if they die within 7 years, then their estate has an IHT issue, generally

Useful insurance against an unscrupulous hit.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-23-12 4:25 AM
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Out of the hospital (and off the IV) as of yesterday evening. Otherwise things are more or less the same. Hopefully I'm improving, but so far not at an obviously noticeable rate. Except my fever's down mostly, that's good. It's likely to be several weeks before my hand is really up and running again.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05-23-12 10:14 AM
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460: Glad to hear you are out of the hospital. I hope the recovery is fast and smooth.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-23-12 10:25 AM
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Thanks!


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05-23-12 10:34 AM
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