Redefinition of marriage - history lesson and debate

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Commenter Zimzo just submitted an excellent comment on my recent post about the marriage debate (you should read that thread first), and instead of jawing back and forth in the comments I'll make this one a new entry and respond point by point. Zimzo's essay is in the quote boxes:


The reason assault and battery is not specifically defined in the Virginia Code is that it was previously defined in English common law from which the code derives, namely the "an intentional harmful or offensive contact" or the "apprehension" thereof. Society has agreed on that definition for centuries and the only comment the Virginia code makes on that definition is to protect teachers and other school personnel from being charged for assault and battery in the reasonable prosecution of their duties. Otherwise, there is a broad consensus on the definition.

But when it comes to marriage under English Common law, the definition has undergone dignificant changes. In fact, the definition usually relied on in Great Britain and British Commonwealth countries is the one Lord Penzance formulated in Hyde v Hyde and Woodmansee in 1866, to wit that marriage is "The voluntary union for life of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others." Obviously, this definition was formulated long after English common law had any influence on Virginia code and we can see already that even this definition has undergone a significant alteration in that the legalization of divorce makes the phrase "for life" no longer necesarily true.

If you look at Commentaries on the Laws of England, by Sir William Blackstone, probably the most well-known treatise on English common law published in 1765 we also see an institution that looks far different from what marriage looks like today. The definition of marriage under English common law according to Blackstone was a union of husband and wife where "the very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended." Again, this definition has undergone extreme alteration. We no longer see marriage as the forfeiting of legal standing under the law by women.


How interesting. Most people, certainly including myself, don't know much about this history. But it sort of proves my point. While all these aspects of marriage have changed, and the majority aren't familiar with them, most people would still contend they know what "marriage" is because the one-man, one-woman part has been the central part of its definition.

When I made the comments about "redefinition" of marriage being an uphill climb for same sex marriage proponents, I wasn't referring to the legal aspect or what will be physically written into the Virginia code. I was referring to their task of changing public opinion - convincing people to vote against the Marriage Amendment. In order to get those million votes they need, they need to convince a million people that changing the one-man, one-woman part of the definition is a good idea. They do need to accomplish a redefinition.


In other words the idea that the definition of marriage has not changed in hundreds of years is a false one. In the intervening years Virginia code made quite a few chnges to the concept of marriage including outlawing interracial marriage in 1791. The age of consent, the definition of bigamy, the definition of incest have all undergone changes under Virginia code. The 1967 case Loving v. Virginia, which outlawed anti-miscegenation laws and which anti-gay marriage activists do their best to try to get people to ignore, was significant because it represented the first time a state marriage law was invalidated by the Supreme Court, which if you are going to invoke slippery slopes is clearly where this slippery slope began. In that case and subsequent cases the Supreme Court rules that marriage was a "fundamental right."

All true, I grant you.

As society has changed the notion of marriage has changed. In many states the Lord Penzance idea that marriage is by definition to the "exclusion of all others" has changed with the idea of no-fault divorce in which adultery is no longer a factor. Some states recognize cohabitation as granting certain marriage-like rights and others recognize common-law marriage. In Virginia, however, adultery and cohabitation are both illegal and can be prosecuted under law. Perhaps while you're fretting about enforcing immigration laws because of your great regard for the sanctity of law, you might want to pressure law enforcement authorities to start enforcing those laws.

The loud buzzer you just heard was Zimzo being zapped by the NOVA TownHall Stun Gun of Truth. He knows perfectly well that the arguments against illegal immigration in this particular locale are not being made on the basis of "sanctity of law" but rather on "quality of life" or "family safety."

We'll allow him to continue now that he's recovered:


And even as Virginia and a number of other states for the first time specified gender requirements for marriage, society has also shifted on that question. If we are going to invoke Webster's for definitions, you might want to check out its definition of marriage: "a (1) : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage."

Again, the "redefinition" argument as I would employ it is about social reality, not the words in a (relatively RECENT, I imagine) copy of Webster's.

The notion that "gay marriage" has "never been tried before" is also not true. Same-sex partners are already living together, owning property together and raising children and they will continue to do so whether this amendment passes or not. Whatever harm you might think would be done to society won't be stopped by this amendment and should already be occurring. All that will happen is that certain legal and financial rights will be much more difficult to obtain. If you want to put a stop to something that is already happening it seems to me you should have a rationale for doing so. And gay couples have not suddenly sprung up in the last 10 years. Gay couples have existed for millennia. They existed in ancient times, biblical times and in many cultures around the world, including the U.S. In fact, in Boulder, Colorado in 1975 a county clerk finding no law forbidding same-sex marriage issued legal marriage licences to six couples until an "activist" judge overturned them. So the idea of gay marriage is not as recent as you might think even in the U.S. So if any harm has been done it has yet to be demonstrated. Gay relationships are hardly a recent experiment.

Yeah, sure, (you sly dog), there have been lots of gay relationships throughout history but that's not the question, now is it? The question is whether you change marriage from it's current institutional definition as the union of one man and one woman. From a statistical perspective it most certainly is not "already happening" at all.

With regard to the examples you give of same sex marriage, the numbers your are referring to are piddling - absolutely ridiculous. I mean, "six couples" in Boulder?

William Meezan and Jonathan Rauch, in an article called Gay Marriage, Same-Sex Parenting and America's Children, referred to the huge problems in methodology of trying to determine the impact on kids, and the "difficulty in setting up accurate bases for comparison because of the extreme heterogenuity of the family situations of potential subjects and lack of any means for locating statistically significant numbers of potential subjects." (pgs. 99-102 - sorry no link but I have a .pdf in front of me).

From a social science perspective the jury isn't still out; the jury hasn't even begun to hear the case.

But as I said in the original post you are commenting on, the thing that interests me is how the pro-same sex marriage advocates have shifted the debate from what it obviously is - should Virginia open the door to changing the definition of marriage from one-man/one-woman to something else? - to the way you frame it in the paragraph above - that people who want marriage to continue to mean the same thing actually are trying "to put a stop to something that is already happening" and "should have a rationale for doing so." It shifts the burden of responsibility in a most ingenious manner.


And yet the real issue before us has nothing whatsoever to do with "redefining marriage." Marriage has been "redefined" many times in Virginia over the centuries.

As I noted, the fact that marriage is the union of one man and one woman is likely the principle and only part of it's "definition" that most people would point to if you asked them to define it, and it's the element of public opinion that does require a revolutionary change if same sex marriage is ever to be allowed in Virginia.

There is already a law on the books preventing recognition of gay marriage and courts around the country have resisted efforts to overturn such laws. Even the most ardent supporter of this amendment would have to agree that the Virginia court is not more likely to overturn this law than the New York court. The sole purpose of this amendment is to make it more difficult for the legislature, local governments and private businesses to grant some rights that married couples enjoy to BOTH GAY AND STRAIGHT COUPLES, such as health insurance and contract and property rights. This draconian intrusion into people's private relations is being done under the guise of defending the institution of marriage from a non-existent assault.

No, the "sole" purpose is to ensure no judge overturns the law as happened in Massachusetts. You know that perfectly well. But I have heard the arguments that the Amendment would cause immediate changes to the rights of gay couple in Virginia and I have to say I don't know about that part. I know part of what the "Equality" people have argued along these lines - that it would reduce protections for victims of domestic violence - is unadulterated horse shit because I researched the Ohio case myself. (Haven't posted on it yet, though).

I will consider the point that an "additional" or maybe even "unintended" consequence of the amendment would restrict rights some citizens already enjoy. Not this week, most likely, but definitely before I decide whether I feel like telling anyone else what to do in November on this issue.


What's more this attempt to prevent gays from securing certain rights will have the effect of punishing straight couples as well.

Honestly, I do not know what you are talking about here. It sounds like a stretch, but I'm willing to listen if you want to spell that out.

It seems to me that if one is claiming its necessary to pass an amendment to the Bill of Rights to the Virginia Constitution, which would be extremely difficult to overturn once it's passed, the proponents of this amendment must make a strong case for why such a draconian measure is necessary.

Again, very simple answer, and I imagine the exact same answer all of the people who voted for similar amendments in 20 other states would give: To ensure that existing state law does not get overturned by a liberal judge, as happened in Massachusetts. There's nothing "draconion" about it, it's simply rational people saying, "Whoa! We pass a law but one dude can overturn it. Better do something."

I'm not saying the above as an apologist but as a reporter. It's the truth so you ought to just face that part of it and make your case on other grounds which, I grant you, exist.


After all, they are the ones who want to change the status quo, which is that gays cannot marry and cohabitation of straight, unmarried people is against Virginia law.

The loud applause you hear is me clapping into a mike plugged into a massive Peavey amp set on "11" with the reverb up full tilt, to imitate a huge audience showing their appreciation for Zimzo's deft utilization of the rhetorical ju-jitso I remarked upon originally. Well done, sir.

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32 Comments

GinterParked said:

Zizmo said: "What's more this attempt to prevent gays from securing certain rights will have the effect of punishing straight couples as well."


And our host responded: "Honestly, I do not know what you are talking about here. It sounds like a stretch, but I'm willing to listen if you want to spell that out."

It's quite simple, really, and that it escapes you tells me much about whether you've actually read past the first sentence of the amendment.

The amendment, unlike the Affirmation of Marriage Act of 2004, applies equally to any unmarried couple, not just same-sex couples. So, if there are "unintended consequences," they will apply equally.

The obvious example is health care benefits, as cited by Zizmo. In 2005, the General Assembly passed legislation which removed the Bureau of Insurance regulation which made Virginia the only state in the country which prohibited employers who bought commercial health-insurance plans for their employees from offering plans which provided benefits to unmarried domestic partners. Big companies, which could self-insure, have always been able to offer these plans.

After the law passed, all Virginia employers were able to offer these plans - if they chose to do so.

In Ohio, which in 2004 passed an amendment nearly identical to one on the ballot here, a Republican legislator sued in December 2005 to overturn the ability of a public university to offer domestic partner health benefits. He argued that the new constitutional amendment prohibited offering benefits which were "intend(ed) to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effect of marriage."
Does that language sound familiar? It should.

This same legislator said during the ballot campaign that the Ohio amendment would never have these sort of "unintended consequences." It was all about marriage.

Kathy Byron, who served on the General Assembly Conference Committee in 2005 which marked up the Marshall/Newman Amendment added language to Bob Marshall's original bill which is designed to permit these same sort of challenges to existing Virginia law.

Every employer in Virginia, self- and privately-insured will be affected by this amendment because Delegate Byron is waiting for the chance to challenge existing Virginia law using the plain language of this amendment.

It amazes me that amendment proponents dismiss with a flick of the wrist language which comprises over two-thirds of this proposal. I suspect the voters of Virginia will pay better attention.

In closing, I'd simply ask this: When the Ohio amendment has already been used in this fashion by someone who supported its passage and said that it would never be used in that way, why should Virginia voters trust Virginia politicians to do differently? And, if Kathy Byron, Bob Marshall and Steve Newman *do* plan to do this if the amendment passes, why can't they be honest about it now?

Jack said:

First, since same-sex couples are permitted to marry, I find the argument irrelevant.

Second, the A.G.'s opinion, approved by both the House and Senate, say that the Marriage Amendment will not affect that law. That opinion will naturally be cited in any case to overturn the ability of a company to offer whatever benefits it want to whomever it wants.

I fully support the rights of the companies to choose to whom they give what benefits. Some give paternity leave, others do not. That's their choice.

The pro-gay-marriage side wants to FORCE companies to grant marriage benefits to same-sex couples, whether or not those companies' owners find homosexual acts immoral. We have already seen Catholic Charities FORCED to consider placing children with gay couples.

Where is THEIR freedom?

GinterParked said:

The A.G.'s opinion is nothing more than that - the opinion of one lawyer. And, I suspect you'll be hearing soon that some of his predecessors disagree.

An A.G. opinion isn't approved by the General Assembly - separation of powers and all that.

And, Virginia law specifically states that an A.G. opinion can be followed - or rejected - by any court. So, some, ummm, activist judge can easily determine that Bob McDonnell is wrong.

Finally, read the law. The Small Business Health Care Protection Act specifically states that these benefits cannot be mandated - businesses are simply able to offer them if they believe its in their business interest to do so.

Why would a business choose to do so? Pretty simple. If a Virginia business is recruiting employees from one of the other - oh - forty nine - states where this was legal before 2005, that Virginia business would be at a disadvantage in attracting the best employees. That's just what the substantial number of pro-business groups said in 2005.

On the other hand, if amendment supporters don't care about what's good for business, why don't they say so?

Jack said:

GinterParked:

I think a re-print of the actual text of the proposed amendment is in order. If the amendment passes, the following will be added to the VA Constitution:

"Section 15-A. Marriage.

"That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.

"This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage."

Since you are concerned that this will prevent companies from offering domestic-partner benefits, or benefits to same-sex couples, please explain how the language of the amendment could do that.

Today the benefits to same-sex couples cannot be mandated. But should a judge rule that the law against same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, which is what you want, then businesses WOULD be forced to provide the same benefits to ALL married couples. That IS what you want, isn't it?

"If amendment supporters don't care about what's good for business, why don't they say so?"

Because we do care. But let each comany decide what is good for its business. The Marriage Amendment will not change their ability to do that. Legalizing same-sex marriage would.

David said:

Jack:

I have already addressed the Catholic Charities issue, remember? It was the Boston Diocese that ordered Boston Catholic Charities to STOP placing children with gay households. Until they were ordered to stop, they were putting the best interest of the children first - which is the only criterion an adoption agency should ever have. If the Boston Diocese wants them to use a different criterion, they should probably get out of the adoption business, which would be a shame. They were previously very well regarded in the field.

As for the AG's opinion, a judge will give a lot more weight to the fact that the legislature had the opportunity to clarify the language of the amendment to exclude the contractual rights he is now claiming won't be affected, and they voted it down. The job of a judge is to discern the intent of the legislature, and that action speaks loud and clear.

GinterParked said:

Jack: Sure, I'll be happy to address that. You mentioned McDonnell's ballot statement, adopted by the SBE. In that statement, McDonnell says that the amendment won't affect powers of attorney, the domestic violence statutes, property ownership or wills. Fine, that's his opinion. I've practiced law as long as he has, and I have a different opinion.

Why didn't he say anything about DP health benefits? Could it be because he voted against the bill which allowed employers to make a business decision to offer those benefits if they chose to?

It's already happened in Ohio and Michigan where lawsuits have been filed challenging the validity of these benefit plans. In Kansas, the primary author of its amendment at least had the honesty to admit before the vote that it would likely have the effect of outlawing these benefits.

Again, why won't Bob McDonnell say what he really wants? Will he commit today that he will not challenge existing Virginia statutory law - on whatever topic - with the argument that the amendment invalidates those measures?

And, if he won't, why won't he be honest with Virginians about what he believes the amendment actually does?

Jack said:

David:

I do remember your addressing the Catholic Charities issue. The upshot is still that the Catholic Church no longer has an adoption agency in MA, correct? They were being forced to place children with couples who live an immoral lifestyle, so the church had to get out of the business. Do you really mean to say that the Catholic Church does not have the "best interest of the children" in mind when it makes these decisions?

GinterParked:

I was mistaken, the A.G.'s opinion does NOT mention domestic partner health benefits. However, I do not see the problem, as the amendment is written.

Since you are a lawyer, assume YOU were given the case by the State of Virginia, assume that we assembled here are the VA Supremes. Convince us that the Marriage Amendment precludes companies from providing Domestic Partner benefits?

(I cannot answer for McDonnell, but I can say that, as A.G., he can offer whatever opinions he likes. Nevertheless, what he wants is irrelevant, he must argue the cases he is given to argue. Many A.G.'s have creditably argued cases they do not agree with.)

ginterparked said:

Jack: I'll pass on your offer to brief the case. I have to admit, however, that I'm quite pleased that you seem to believe that Bob McDonnell's opinion is irrelevant. I've had that opinion for some time, although I think Victoria Cobb (and Bob, for that matter) may disagree.

Best, and good night.

Jack said:

GinterParked:

I'm sorry you won't take the case. I really don't see that there is one, based on the text, so I would appreciate someone's trying to make the case for me.

Jack said:

I also did not say the A.G.'s OPINION is irrelevant -- only that what he WANTS is irrelevant.

zimzo said:

I think the Catholic Charities situation is an excellent example of how some anti-gay activists try to deflect focus from their own extremism by falsely placing the blame on the other side for their own actions and claiming they were helpless to do anything else. Here are the facts:

Catholic Charities had been allowing gay parents to adopt without incident. When the Catholic Archdiocese learned of this they told the board of Catholic Charities to stop the practice. The board of Catholic Charities voted unanimously to continue granting adoptions to gay parents although NO GOVERNMENT AGENCY WAS FORCING THEM TO ALLOW GAY PARENTS TO ADOPT. The Catholic Archdiocese then made a great show of going to the governor and asking for Catholic Charities to be exempt from anti-discrimination laws, even though no one had charged them with violating anti-discrimination laws. When the governor told them that he had no power to grant such an examption, the Catholic Archdiocese took the draconian step of ending all adoptions although no government agency or gay activist had pressured them to do so. They apparently believed that grandstanding on the issue of homosexuality was more important than the lives of children needing parents. This story has since been falsely spread around the Internet as an example of gay extremists putting their agennda ahead of the lives of children when it was actually the Catholic Archdiocese that was putting their agenda ahead of the lives of children. Here is a story on this shameful incident:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2006/03/11/catholic_charities_stuns_state_ends_adoptions/?page=2

The parallels to the claims of the gay marriage amendment proponents are clear. They want to take the extreme step of amending the Bill of Rights of the Virginia Constitution because they claim that the courts might act in the future (although there is no evidence that will happen) and then on top of that they are falsely trying to blame gay activists for their own extreme actions. By pushing this amendment they are putting their own anti-gay agenda ahead of the interests of the children of both gay and straight unmarried couples as well as the couples themselves with their extreme intrusion into the private lives of Virginians.

Jack said:

Interesting that you sent us to page 2, since page 1 starts with the sentence, "In a stunning turn of events, Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley and leaders of Catholic Charities of Boston announced yesterday that the agency will end its adoption work, deciding to abandon its founding mission, rather than comply with state law requiring that gays be allowed to adopt children."

So the Catholic Church is complying with State Law. (That Catholic Charities of Boston was not complying with Vatican directives is another matter entirely.)

The only way to comply with both State Law and the Vatican document of 2003 that says, "children are best raised by a mother and father and described gay adoptions as 'gravely immoral.'" No religious exemption was written into the law.

Yes, in chosing to obey state law, the Catholic Church "chose" to withdraw from the adoption business, just like those two reporters "chose" to convert to Islam.

"The parallels to the claims of the gay marriage amendment proponents are clear. They want to take the extreme step of amending the Bill of Rights of the Virginia Constitution because they claim that the courts might act in the future (although there is no evidence that will happen) and then on top of that they are falsely trying to blame gay activists for their own extreme actions."

Well, it happened in MA because no prohibition on gay marriage was in the MA Constitution. That is now the legal Gold Standard, because of the suit brought by the homosexuals. We are merely complying with the standard that your side required.

"By pushing this amendment they are putting their own anti-gay agenda ahead of the interests of the children...."

Horse Hockey. It is the children, their very souls in fact, that we are concerned about. If it saves just one soul, Zimzo, it will have been worth the fight. And if you want to know the truth, we care about yours, too.

Jack, thank you for clarifying the Mass. situation. It has been the source of a lot of confusion.

zimzo said:

No one claimed state law was being vilated except for the Catholic Archdiocese. No one held a gun to the head of the Catholic Archdiocese or even a subpoena. This was a case of grandstanding on there part pure and simple using children as pawns.

Jack said:

Zimzo:

Do you ignore laws until you get a subpoena (from "under" + "penaly")?

Mass. Gen. Laws 151B
---------------------------
Sec. 4: "It shall be an unlawful practice:
"14. For any person furnishing credit or services to deny or terminate such credit or services or to adversely affect an individual’s credit standing because of such individual’s sex, marital status, age or sexual orientation...."
---------------------------

There is no exemption for religious organizations.

Do you, Zimzo, believe that the Catholic Church can deny adoptions to same-sex couples and NOT be violating this law? If you do, please explain. If you make a good case, the Catholic Church might be very interested in resuming adoption services in MA.

zimzo said:

I guess if I were a conservative I'd constantly be running to the police turning myself in for crimes I may or may not have committed and constantly writing to my congressman asking him to exempt me from laws I may or may not have violated. It sounds exhausting. Being a liberal is a lot more fun.

Jack said:

Bill did seem to have more fun than George is.

This could be a blog in itself. Oh my, how Zimzo has nailed it: Progressives have more FUN.

I'm good friends with a liberal and the end result of our deepest debates is that liberals are COOLER.

As in, who would you rather align yourself with, Bruce Springsteen or Robert Bork?

In their mindset, because Bork has so little resonance in Paris, everything Michael Moore says must be true.

And here is the grand venality of the American right: The world loves the U.S. for our art, but we screw it up by allowing the Borks and Bush's and Rumsfelds to poison the conversation.

Pardon me if the following seems overly simplistic, but I happen to think it's correct: Liberals want the United States to advocate and protect a teenage value system or a jazz audience mentality. The world will love us if we do.

Being adults just pisses them off. Adults have real conflicts that are not easily solved. Teenagers can get past just about any problem by downing some shots and torching some doobies together.

Yes, being a liberal is a lot more fun.

Thanks, Bill Clinton, for punting al Qaida, Iraq and the Taliban to the adults.

Also, thanks to Wesley Clark for the successful war from 30,000 feet on behalf of the Bosnian Muslims.

Historians are going to have an interesting task sorting that one out, I imagine.

zimzo said:

Aww, I think you're just jealous, Joe, and a little bit bitter.

And good try on blaming Clinton for all of Bush's screw-ups. It's just awful that Clinton hasn't caught Osama Bin Laden and has made such a disaster out of the War in Iraq.

Not bitter, just jealous.

Jack said:

This is not the forum to discuss the Iraq war, but I'm sure if you ask nicely, Zimzo, Joe will provide one for us.

Sorry, my fault for changing the subject last night. I don't know what got into me.

Jonathan said:

No problem Joe. Glad you changed the subject. It gave us a chance to see the real you. It's sad to see your disrespect for Jazz music, as it's America's only home grown musical art form. We'll have to analyze why you see that great American contribution to the world's art in such a negative light.

Jonathan, Yes but the analysis must take place under certain conditions, to approximate those under which the post was written. To wit: NOT during daylight, or even early evening, and certainly without the burden of complete sobriety. Meet those conditions and I will gladly submit to your analysis.

Jonathan said:

"Meet those conditions and I will gladly submit..."

Heart be still. A TownHall head honcho speaks of submission. You need a vacation Joe.

Jack said:

Back to the topic at hand....

Since you're here, Jonathan, perhaps you could take the case that GinterParked refused: Given the text of the Marriage Amendment, argue the case that companies can no longer offer benefits to same-sex partners.

I think I need to stick with yelling at the TV in the back room.

Jonathan said:

Jack,

I saw a young woman in a t-shirt that I'd like to buy for Joe. It said:

"I make stuff up!"

I don't generally enter into discussions of myth masquerading as fact. This thread qualifies for obvious reasons as does your question to me.

GinterParked said:

"Kathy Byron, who served on the General Assembly Conference Committee in 2005 which marked up the Marshall/Newman Amendment added language to Bob Marshall's original bill which is designed to permit these same sort of challenges to existing Virginia law."

Jack asked:

"take the case that GinterParked refused: Given the text of the Marriage Amendment, argue the case that companies can no longer offer benefits to same-sex partners."

Jack assigned a mythical argument to GinterParked. Some call that "putting words in his mouth". Whatever you may call it, it is a bad faith argument that will receive the response it deserves.

Jack said:

Jonathan:

I did not mean to put words in anyone's mouth. I have heard this as an argument against the Marriage Amendment. I do not see that as an issue, as the Amendment is worded.

I am simply asking for an explanation. Since GinterParked claimed to be a lawyer with as much experience as our A.G., I had hoped he would be up to the task. Since he was unable or unwilling, I asked you.

May I assume from your calling the argument "mythical" that you agree that it is not an issue?

I do make stuff up, and am proud of it. But when I'm NOT making stuff up, watch out.

Jonathan said:

Many of us know Joe, but for those who don't, can you provide a smiley face :-(] or maybe a clever acronym [Stuff Made Up (SMU)]?

p.s. - good photo of you at Glory Days behind two glasses of whine. Were you ready to submit to Eugene at that point?

'Submit' - heh, that will have to be a new code word around here for imbibing or something...

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