This blog is closed.

Unless I really think of something, which is extremely unlikely, there will be no more new posts here or any where else I blog. If you want to leave a comment, go ahead. I don’t expect you to though. Anyway, this is pretty much my good bye to the blogosphere.


Homosexual lessons in school and contrary indoctrinations.


Off the bat, yes, my inclination, although I won’t assume myself able to defend every part of the controversial curriculum on gay relationships and history that the parents of the removed children oppose, as I do not know the teaching material remotely well enough to exclude from any negative criticism, is to look on those parents as bigots, despite what most, probably all, of them surely see themselves as: protectors of their children from something which they believe not only immoral to exist but to be exposed to. Reason being, I believe their opposition to be far more toward the teaching of homosexual issues in general at primary school than toward what is specifically contained in the learning material itself. While the parents in general probably do not intend malice (so I choose to believe, perhaps too naively and forgivingly), in the sense of being knowingly motivated by hatred for gay people, their actions are still reasonably perceived as being bigotted, as they can only assist in prolonging perceptions of homosexuality as something immoral, to be shunned, with its practitioners to be kept as second or lower class citizens, all of which is undeserved and wrong to advance. For me to believe otherwise, I would have to believe in the claims of an adverse affect on society if there should be further acceptance of homosexuaity, and in religious doctrine as the arbiter of what is moral and appropriate to follow, at least when that doctrine is believed by its adherents as only being interpretable as anti-homosexuality. Addressing the latter, what I accept is that the “baby should not be thrown out with the bath water,” so the Bible, Koran, etc., might have many morally, to me, appropriate parts in them, but I do not accept that because a book says so, or the alleged author thereof, I am obliged to agree with its placement of homosexuality as something shameful, as something to be fixed. As for the obvious to make assumption that if an anti-gay lesson were being taught the parents would not remove their chilren, I am not yet willing to assume they would be inconsistent on the matter of what is appropriate for primary schools to be teaching students, so I am giving those parents the benefit of the doubt in that respect.

There is a third defense, that the parents want nothing in the way of relationships, other than perhaps familial, taught to their children. The inconsistency of that argument is, of course, that familial relationships includes that of parents, which already exposes children to the supposed absolute superiority and naturality of straight relationships, and it beggars belief to think those parents are teaching their children of the imperfections inherent in all relationships, and not placing homosexual relationships as being any more likely to have problems than straight ones. More likely, they are promoting straight relationships as the ideal, affected by the behavior of the couples in them, and homosexual relationships to be doomed by their supposed immorality and unnatural existence, making the character of the persons in them largely irrelevant. I believe this defense, though the least offensive to either side, to be the least honest and likely of the three.

But what interests me more than what exactly is being taught in the class from which the children were removed, or even the motivations of the parents, is how those parents claim to be willing to allow their children to be taught about homosexuality in secondary school (some not at all).

Not exactly.

The reality is that those parents by and large seek to indoctrinate their children to be against any attempt by the school system to persuade them of the moral acceptability of homosexuality, which, too, can, at least for lack of a better term, be called indoctrination. The parents’ hope is that they will have so cemented in their children an anti-homosexual mindset by the time homosexuality will be unavoidable a subject in school, that any level of reasoning within their children which might bring them to see homosexuality in a positive light will be suppressed by their desire to follow their parents’ long instilled counter teachings. Most of these parents simply want to build walls around their children. Walls which they hope can deflect anything contrary to what they have taught them. My hope is that the bonds of those walls are brittle and fail.


titles take too much effort.

The veracity of conclusions can often be more immediately supported by emotional agreement among people than any logical premise made for them, and the predicate for a premise is often emotional in birth.

Civil rights would be an example.

We oppose violations of them because we feel empathy for those who've been violated, imagining ourselves or loved ones in like situations. The conclusion of the inappropriateness of violating the rights of others doesn't often need to be argued to people with shared principles. But as there exists other interests which have been used to rationalize such violations, the merits of those interests must necessarily be contested. The purpose of the logical premise, or at least the attempt at it, is not then to convince some people of the moral inappropriateness of violating a given civil right, but that the violation is real and not in their interest to ignore or defend, even under circumstances which might seem to justify either. We, however, usually don't need self-persuading arguments for the conclusions we espouse, for they are often the same as the predicates for the arguments we make from them, and both are more than enough validated to us by the weight of our emotional empathies.

H/T to Alison Rosen for inspiring me to finally write this. Then again, she might curse herself for it. Sorry, Alison.



Two contrasting statements on the treatment of women during Saddam's reign

"...Women are back. Women, who enjoyed a high social status and levels of education under Saddam, saw terrible setbacks as Iraq fell into civil war..."


"...While Iraq in the 1950s was the first Arab country to name a woman minister and adopt a progressive family law, the leadership aspirations of women were mostly quashed under Saddam's macho regime..."


Also in the second article is this: "...one allows a rapist to largely escape punishment if he marries his victim..."

I don't know any specifics about the law referenced in the article.

Further information on the treatment of women prior to the fall of Saddam: http://www.iraqiwomensleague.org/human_rights_watch_briefing_pape.htm


Basic cousinship.

Cousinship between pesons is determined by their common ancestor (the person of whom both are descendants).

There are more complicated cousinal relationships that I make no claims of understanding, but I have figured out the pattern for the common most cousinships.

A shared grandparent makes two persons first cousins.

A shared great-grandparent makes them second cousins.

A shared great-great grandparent makes them third cousins.

As long as both persons are descended in the same way, the pattern holds.

In the case of one person being fewer or more generations separated from the common ancestor, the cousin relation that would exist if both persons were related as the person with fewer generations separating him from the common ancestor is used. To be removed means there is a generational difference. In other words, a grandchild and a great- grandchild of the same person, are related as first cousins, once removed, not second cousins, twice removed. Likewise, a person’s great-great-grandchild and great-great-great-great-grandchild are related as third cousins, twice removed.

When one person is a son to the common ancestor, the other person is always his nephew/niece, then grand nephew/niece, then great-grand nephew/niece, and so on.

Hopefully, if I was clear and concise enough, the pattern can be recognized, and less people will need to refer to cousin charts to understand how they are related if they all they know is who their common ancestor is.