December 10, 2010

A Columbia professor is arrested for incest — but isn't there a constitutional right to incest between consenting adults?

Here's the news about the professor, David Epstein, who is accused of having a sexual relationship with his 24-year-old daughter. Now, let's read Justice Scalia's dissenting opinion in Lawrence v. Texas (the case that found a substantive due process right to engage in sodomy). Justice Scalia quotes the majority opinion (and adds italics):
“[W]e think that our laws and traditions in the past half century are of most relevance here. These references show an emerging awareness that liberty gives substantial protection to adult persons in deciding how to conduct their private lives in matters pertaining to sex.”
Scalia then writes (and I'm adding the boldface):
Apart from the fact that such an “emerging awareness” does not establish a “fundamental right,” the statement is factually false. States continue to prosecute all sorts of crimes by adults “in matters pertaining to sex”: prostitution, adult incest, adultery, obscenity, and child pornography. Sodomy laws, too, have been enforced “in the past half century,” in which there have been 134 reported cases involving prosecutions for consensual, adult, homosexual sodomy..... In relying, for evidence of an “emerging recognition,” upon the American Law Institute’s 1955 recommendation not to criminalize “‘consensual sexual relations conducted in private,’ ” the Court ignores the fact that this recommendation was “a point of resistance in most of the states that considered adopting the Model Penal Code.”....

The Texas statute undeniably seeks to further the belief of its citizens that certain forms of sexual behavior are “immoral and unacceptable”... the same interest furthered by criminal laws against fornication, bigamy, adultery, adult incest, bestiality, and obscenity. Bowers held that this was a legitimate state interest. The Court today reaches the opposite conclusion. The Texas statute, it says, “furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual” ... The Court embraces instead Justice Stevens’ declaration in his Bowers dissent, that “the fact that the governing majority in a State has traditionally viewed a particular practice as immoral is not a sufficient reason for upholding a law prohibiting the practice.” This effectively decrees the end of all morals legislation. If, as the Court asserts, the promotion of majoritarian sexual morality is not even a legitimate state interest, none of the above-mentioned laws can survive rational-basis review.
Of course, the Court did assert that in Lawrence, so according to Justice Scalia, under the existing precedent, consensual adult incest cannot survive rational-basis review.

218 comments:

1 – 200 of 218   Newer›   Newest»
edutcher said...

Not a conlawprof (no snark), but maybe we're in for one of those clarifications the Court makes every once in a while.

Maybe even a recant.

Kevin said...

At least Epstein hates Sarah Palin. As long as that's true, all is forgiven...

Donald Douglas said...

And considering the reaction we're seeing around the 'sphere, I'd say consensual adult incest can't survive the epic ick factor either.

Roux said...

Pretty soon they'll be able to legally marry.

Belkys said...

He was " the most annoying blogger"

Quaestor said...

And its Palin who's supposed to be the hillbilly.

rcocean said...

Not only is there a constitutional right to sodomy and incest but also polygamy and bestiality.

It'll all covered by "in order to form a more perfect union" and the magical and incredibly expansive "right to privacy".

Bender said...

under the existing precedent, consensual adult incest cannot survive rational-basis review

Yeah, well the problem is that existing precendent is IRrational, so a more accurate way of saying it is that adult incest cannot survive irrational-basis review.

If one were to apply an authentically rational and reason-based analysis to any of these issues, then none of the contemporary Supreme Court precedent can withstand such scrutiny.

But if you begin with absurd premises (of which Justice Kennedy is especially fond), you will come to absurd results, e.g. incest as fundamental right or, of course, bigamy as fundamental right.

chuck said...

It's better than Greek mythology and the Bible combined. These people truly are Gods. Now where are the playwrights and poets who will do justice to these matters?

Quaestor said...

Correction: "it's"
thank you for your patience.

JAL said...

Why not?

And polygamy.

And polyandry.

Who knows, maybe NAMBLA has a point?

Why have these taboos been in place?

What does the postmodern culture use to make decisions?

wv pyqkle
postmodern spelling for pickle

Bender said...

Pretty soon they'll be able to legally marry.

And they well should be able to, especially with the reimposition of the estate tax looming on the horizon.

For people with large estates, it would be positively foolish for a child to not marry his or her parent, so as to be able to claim the 100 percent marital deduction (or even marry both of them, hell, have entire families marry each other). Indeed, it would be legal malpractice for an estate lawyer to fail to recommend that you marry your parent in order to take advantage of the marital deduction.

rcocean said...

And Epstein may have sex with his Daughter but he's still a liberal and therefore smarter than Sarah.

It's kinda like Sully. Even though he smokes pot and has unprotected AIDS sex he's still the voice of reason on national and international affairs - unlike that Snowbilly Sarah.

Quaestor said...

I think there was a case some years back that involved a man who for sexual reasons agreed in writing to allow another man, his homosexual lover, to kill him and then cannibalize his corpse. This happened in Germany, I think.

wv: buseid -- an epic poem about Obama's abandonment of political allies.

rcocean said...

Or Chris Hitchens. So what if he drank and smoked himself to death despite all the scientific evidence?

I'll take a half-drunk Ex-Trotskite over Thomas Aquinas, Tolstoy, and C.S. Lewis any day of the week.

DADvocate said...

As they say, "Vice is nice, incest is best."

How ugly is the daughter that she can't find a better looking man than her unattractive father? Is she a two bagger? Why do they make fun of hillbillies for supposedly having sex with and marrying their cousins? Is it because cousins are such distant relatives?

rcocean said...

We shouldn't write off the Columbia Professor just because of a little incest. Clinton pulled a Lewinsky, lied about it, and almost got impeached.

And look where he's wound up - he's Obama's Co-president.

I look for Epstein to get a U.S. Senate Seat from Minnesota or at least host a CNN chat show.

Bender said...

How ugly is the daughter that she can't find a better looking man than her unattractive father?

Even at 21-24 years (but I would guess it started way before that), it might not have been entirely consensual on her part.

Whenever you have one in a position of authority having sex with a subordinate, there is an element of pressure, if not coercion.

JAL said...

So how did this become known?

Fen said...

Hold your fire. Check to see if he's suffering from Cancer first.

Birkel said...

"Whenever you have one in a position of authority having sex with a subordinate, there is an element of pressure, if not coercion."

The logical extension of this "belief" is that "all sex is rape", a la Catherine "Kitty" MacKinnon. Two people never have equal "authority" unless you know some definition of that word not heretofore admitted to the rest of we, the dullards.

Examples:
One makes more money.
One has greater sexual options.
One is cooler.
One is older/younger.
One is (insert status symbol here, noting that women and men often have different status symbols)

I'm not defending the professor. But I will defend all of humanity from the charge of inevitable rape.

Chip said...

Not having followed the case, the interesting legal question would seem to be: why hasn't the daughter been arrested?

Fen said...

/via Salon

University of Akron law professor J. Dean Carro said. “Regardless of the age of the child, there’s still a theory that a parent is always a parent, a child is always a child and, as a result, there truly can’t be a consensual sexual act.”

Penny said...

"Pretty soon they'll be able to legally marry."

Bender talks about the financial advantage of the estate tax for the daughter and father to marry.

His thinking is not off base frankly. If marriage doesn't begin as a financial arrangement, it most certainly becomes just that.

While I'd like to think otherwise, in 2010, "love" seems to be a secondary consideration.

Penny said...

"How ugly is the daughter that she can't find a better looking man than her unattractive father?"

Dare I say it?

They have a lot in "common".

Penny said...

This time out, I was talking DNA!

Course, as Bender said, they also have those financial considerations in common as well.

So much going for the relationship.

George Myers said...

We might consider it a felony, like criminal tampering, the theft of services. The state protects the female citizen and protects a choice to have the yet unborn, to expand the state, not by "pater familias" but by "rules" of biological and cultural exogamy. So I just thought, I also thought incest perhaps increased in the nuclear bomb era. Don't know how I'd measure that, fear and terror in the unconscious?

Revenant said...

Incest will be banned under the same principle that allows private production and viewing of "obscene" material to be banned:

"Because it, like, totally hurts society, uh, or something. Really. We're positive about this. Gotta ban that stuff, or, uh, it'll be like... bad".

Simply put -- basically everybody thinks it is squicky. The law doesn't have to be rational when something squicks that many people.

Penny said...

"The law doesn't have to be rational when something squicks that many people."

Yet that is Althouse's point. If one is to use Justice Stevens' words as precedent. Majority matters NOT in the bedroom.

Can he have put that in writing?

While I wholey understand a "Leader" saying that, it feels dead wrong if put in writing by a Supreme Court Justice.

Penny said...

Course maybe he was just shooting the shit...as co-workers are wont to do?

Haha, sorry...serious group, the Supreme Court! Meant no disrespect, I assure you.

Penny said...

George, not so sure I understand your point exactly, but it is clear you do. Can you try to explain that further, and maybe in more detail?

Love it when someone brings FRESH to the discussion.

Palladian said...

Why is this the State's business again? Because it's grotesque and immoral to most people? Sorry, not a good enough reason. An apparently consensual, non-violent activity is reason to allow the State to destroy several people's lives and incarcerate one of them?

Of course the adult daughter suffers no legal repercussions. After all, women are equal under the law... sort of!

Bender said...

Of course the adult daughter suffers no legal repercussions.

If she is not charged, I suspect that would be an indication that it was not really consensual on her part.

And, again, this is an unequal relationship. The concept that it is at best unethical and at worst tortious and criminal for a person in a position of authority to be sexually involved with a subordinate is well established as sexual misconduct under the law, e.g. employer-employee, doctor-patient, teacher-student, jailer-prisoner, officer-enlisted, and parent-child.

Alex said...

This story has a huge EWWWWW-factor that renders our collective judgement to "fry him".

John Lynch said...

We've had this problem since John Locke. Once we have rights, where do they end?

Alex said...

I feel really bad for the daughter who is mentally destroyed and will prob wind up in a mental institution for the rest of her life.

dave in boca said...

Hilarious that this Palin-bashing prof presumably incensed that Sarah didn't abort her Down-syndrome child is banging his own kid.

I want to say typical democrat, but it's his daughter he's nailing, so it doesn't quite fit the Dem stereotype!

Penny said...

"Why is this the State's business again?"

Surely you jest, Palladian?

Um...greater good? That which we don't seem to see for ourselves?

Penny said...

"We've had this problem since John Locke. Once we have rights, where do they end?"

John Lynch, you mean to tell me that John Locke was thinking like me?

OMG!

Will have to friend him on Facebook!

Penny said...

In seriousness, there really IS no end to an "equality" discussion.

People deal with that in one of two ways...

They either get on the merry-go-round and grab for their brass ring,

Or they're the period. End of paragraph.

Phone Sex said...

The concept that it is at best unethical and at worst tortious and criminal for a person in a position of authority to be sexually involved with a subordinate is well established as sexual misconduct under the law, e.g. employer-employee, doctor-patient, teacher-student, jailer-prisoner, officer-enlisted, and parent-child.
Phone Sex

Penny said...

Of course... the current dilemma is crowd control "at the fair".

Palladian said...

"Um...greater good?"

I don't believe in the "greater good".

shoutingthomas said...

Sodomy laws, too, have been enforced “in the past half century,” in which there have been 134 reported cases involving prosecutions for consensual, adult, homosexual sodomy.....

Whew! 134 cases in 50 years! Less than 3 per year.

This is the great reign of terror that gay activists have been telling us about?

lemondog said...

Pretty soon they'll be able to legally marry.

She's my sister..**smack**.... she's my daughter.......

Faye Dunaway to Jack Nicolson Chinatown

traditionalguy said...

The Faye Dunaway China Town ending exposed a not that rare of an event in rich and powerful Big Daddy's type families...the old conniver gets the son's wife to become his lover because they both hate the son for their different reasons. Hello Tennessee Williams. But in the final analysis the ubiquitous nature of Sin is ever with man, and it takes many forms. Maybe Crack is right after all.

Saint Croix said...

Yeah, but who cares what Scalia thinks? The big question is what does Kennedy think.

Justice Kennedy: "I don't like this abortion. This other abortion is wonderful."

I would hate-hate-hate to be a judge under Kennedy. I'd be calling him up. "Hey, Tony, adult incest is a lot worse than gay people sucking cock, right?

There's a constitutional right to sodomy, unless you're in a public bathroom. Or you're paying somebody. Or it's an orgy, and your second cousin was on the other side of the room.

traditionalguy said...

And thanks Bender...That is a good reasoning on the Marital Deduction for many generations. We will have to re-name them the Forever Skipping Tax Trusts. Just calling that generational skipping has lost its meaning. So much of our laws are based on Judeo-Christian commandments, that targeting them for destruction destroys the Law that we learned. Anarchy by due process is now the rule since God's laws are forgotten.

lemondog said...

Isn't potential inbreeding with a high probability of physical malformations and other medicals problems, the traditional rational for social opprobrium of incest or marriage within blood family?

Is this no longer a concern?

Skyler said...

Does anyone really believe that nothing happened until she turned 18?

We should probably keep a few things in mind. People lie, especially in family law.

This might be completely made up by mother or even mother and daughter for spite. Or it may be only half true about when it started to protect him from pedophile charges.

But if it's true at all, it is still sick.

Saint Croix said...

The concept that it is at best unethical and at worst tortious and criminal for a person in a position of authority to be sexually involved with a subordinate is well established as sexual misconduct

Well, since I'm an authority on pretty much everything, that means I can't have sex with anybody. Great.

Note to self: strive for mediocrity.

dbp said...

Althouse: "Of course, the Court did assert that in Lawrence, so according to Justice Scalia, under the existing precedent, consensual adult incest cannot survive rational-basis review."

Also, according to Justice Scalia, the Lawrence decision was wrong. You can tell because he wrote a dissenting opinion.

Is there much history of judges using as precedent, cases they dissented in?

MarkW said...

"Why is this the State's business again?"

Surely you jest, Palladian?

Um...greater good? That which we don't seem to see for ourselves?

How does criminal prosecution promote the greater good here? What they did is disgusting, no doubt, and we should all fell free to treat them with well-deserved contempt, but why a felony prosecution besides? Are you really afraid that adult parent-child sex would become common practice if there weren't laws against it? Do you really think that are many people like this father and daughter out there who are all hot and bothered for each other but are deterred by adult incest laws?

I'll never understand the conservative impulse to criminalize all behavior they find yucky even when there are no victims.

Skyler said...

"Is there much history of judges using as precedent, cases they dissented in?"

Why yes. Yes there is. In this case, the dissent can be used to clarify what the majority's opinion could mean beyond what is addressed in the current case.

Saint Croix said...

If we were to rationally discuss why adult incest is illegal, we would talk about babies born with deformities. And then our rational brain says, but we have birth control now. And what's wrong with deformities? We can't discriminate against the handicapped.

So the rational liberal puts himself into rational conniptions trying to explain why our society's taboo against adult incest is "rational." Instead of accepting the society he is in and assuming rationality, the liberal assumes that he is surrounded by peasants. "I must lead my people to utopia through my Ivy League diploma!" So our poor rational liberal scratches his head and tries to figure out if utopia has adult incest, or not.

shoutingthomas said...

And, I repeat, 134 prosecutions in Texas for sodomy in 50 years!

The great Reign of Terror that gay activists have been screaming about.

Gays have a great PR apparatus, don't they? How in the world did they convince everybody that they had a overwhelming grievance here?

What a con game!

shoutingthomas said...

And, so, I'll really go out on a limb here.

Unless you were inclined to have sex in public in front of people who didn't want to be bothered by you, gays were extremely unlike to be arrested and prosecuted for sodomy in Texas.

And, I'll repeat. What a con game gay activists have been playing with us!

Why is everybody so determined to play into this game?

Freeman Hunt said...

Wonder how many years of indoctrination and game theory application it took to get his daughter to agree to this.

That is, of course, if the charges are true. Not seeing many details offered in the articles. Was it a daughter he raised or a woman who turned out to be his daughter from a long ago relationship?

Saint Croix said...

Mountain people: “We're all cousins anyway and we got to sleep with somebody.”

Mountain people = low status incest.

Ivy League people: “The rules don't apply to us. We're special.”

Ivy League people = aristocratic incest.

virgil xenophon said...

"I must lead my people to utopia through my Ivy League diploma."

LOL Saint Croix, that one goes in the memory banks as equal to that of a fellow Vietnam vet ex-zoomie named PersonfromPoorlock who coined the phrase "marched to virtue at bayonet-point."

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Why is this the State's business again? Because it's grotesque and immoral to most people?

According to Seven Machos, (or Seven Morals, or Seven Femmes, or whatever), most moral issues are a matter of taste.

I suppose this means that challenging a state's alleged authority to legislate morals means that sooner or later, we'll be challenging its alleged authority to legislate taste and opinions. Quelle Horreur! Every conservative knows that you can't have a good and proper opinion on something without a body of authority telling you that opinion should be!

Fen said...

Does anyone really believe that nothing happened until she turned 18?

I don't. I believe he cultivated her while she was a minor, with the understanding that they couldn't consumate their relationship until she was a legal adult.

This cultivation is such a standard MO for pedophiles that there's a term for it, but I can't recall it atm.

tim maguire said...

Ahh, another great Althouse post wherein the majority of her "conservative" commenters wholeheartedly embrace liberal nanny-state theology whenever it suits their personal preferences. (lemondog, are you really Mike Bloomberg in disguise?)

Part of being a conservative is knowing when to mind your own business, and what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedroom is none of yours unless you're one of those adults.

The constitution doesn't contain a right to incest? The constitution doesn't just spell out the rights of citizens, it spells out the powers of government. It's silence on the issue is where you'll find the right.

Unless you think the government's authority arises out of some emanation of a penumbra.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Thou shalt only eat Fritos on Tuesdays!

shoutingthomas said...

Mother/son incest is probably just as common as father/daughter. And, it's a major factor in why men become homosexual.

I've heard the same story over and over from gay male friends about the smothering mother who's still rooming in the same motel room with her middle aged son on vacation.

Yet, my gay male friends never come right out and identify the incestuous relationship for what it is.

The reason: We always try to find an excuse for female misbehavior, just as we always try to find a way to condemn male misbehavior.

We always want to believe that mothers are angelic and giving.

And, for some reason, we refuse to believe that mother/son incest is as damaging as father/daughter incest.

shoutingthomas said...

In fact, there's a famous Broadway musical about a thinly disguised mother/son incest relationship: Auntie Mame.

It's all supposed to be rollicking good fun!

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

The fact that Scaley lumps "fornication, bigamy, adultery, adult incest, bestiality, and obscenity" together shows what a fuzzy thinker he is on social issues. The only thing in common he cites between those categories is that they involve sex and have been traditionally proscribed. The fact that no one prosecutes "fornication" or adultery, and that no one can define obscenity seems not to matter to him, neither does the fact that bestiality involves the presumption of a non-consenting being (as does statutory rape - duh!).

Adult incest shouldn't be illegal but it makes sense to decline marriage licenses to possible petitioners on that basis. Same with bigamy (which I thought pertained to multiple marriages, anyway. Why Scaley focuses on a sexual element in bigamy is anyone's guess, but I'd venture that it's a disingenuous and entirely self-serving one).

The state has better things to do. No wonder you paleocons fear tyranny so much; you empower the state to concern itself with such incredibly arbitrary and worthless agendas.

Saint Croix said...

The constitution doesn't just spell out the rights of citizens, it spells out the powers of government. It's silence on the issue is where you'll find the right.

oh good Lord. It's not like we created our country out of a vacuum. There were states, in place, with laws. And these states ratified the Constitution. Which limited the federal government. Did not limit the state governments at all.

We had to fight a civil war over that one.

You won't find any mention of murder in the Constitution, either. Must be okay, then!

Freeman Hunt said...

It's a man's constitutional right to groom his child to become his lover? Since when did libertarianism become anarchy?

Fen said...

Part of being a conservative is knowing when to mind your own business, and what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedroom is none of yours unless you're one of those adults.

If you get the time, the work-up to prohibition is an interesting study.

The concept that misbehavior by consenting adults doesn't damage society is false.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

There goes shooting thomas with the "people become homosexuals" theory.

In what year did the passage of time and the advancement of knowledge stop for you? 1956?

By shooting thomas' reckoning, a mother's presence in a dressing room with her daughter as she's about to become a bride is a huge violation. Apparently he doesn't consider the lack of sexual interest between two individuals a reason for increased comfort with non-sexual intimacy between them. Two women in a dressing room together trying on clothes? LEsbianism! Call Scalia!

Dude, you need to get out more.

Fen said...

No wonder you paleocons fear tyranny so much; you empower the state to concern itself with such incredibly arbitrary and worthless agendas.

Ya, those uptight moral busybody conservatives and their worthless Abolition movement.

Jay said...

Epstein, who specializes in American politics and voting rights, has taught at Harvard and Stanford and often is quoted by news organizations. He also has blogged on The Huffington Post.

Liberal family values...

traditionalguy said...

Was it GBS who first commented that morality is only for the middle class, while the low class and the high class are unbound by those prohibitions. Mix the two extremes and you get Bill Clinton.

Jay said...

No wonder you paleocons fear tyranny so much; you empower the state to concern itself with such incredibly arbitrary and worthless agendas.

Do you mean like midnight basketball?

Or do you mean like hate crimes legislation?

Can we just agree you're a silly, ignorant dupe an move on?

shoutingthomas said...

Dude, you need to get out more.

I've been around the block quite a few times.

In the 90s, in the midst of the sex abuse hysteria, you were like to witness these two scenes within blocks of one another in New York City:

1. A political meeting in which lesbians denounced their fathers (and men in general) for father/daughter incest relationships. The lesbians would bitterly denounce men for twisting female sexuality by forcing themselves on their daughters.

2. A political meeting in which gay men insisted that homosexuality was absolutely innate and had no causes based in experience.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Ya, those uptight moral busybody conservatives and their worthless Abolition movement.

Right! It was adherence to traditional norms that defined the Republicans' 1860 platform (actually it was Lincoln's, not the Republicans' idea to emancipate, merely as a way to preserve the Union, but let's forget that entirely. Let's pretend emancipation was a moral decision, rather than an instrumental one).

Let's pretend that because something has the word "Republican" in it, that means it reflects everything the Republicans decided they were for in 1980 onward.

In a world where the passage of time doesn't occur, I suppose this would make sense.

Fen said...

"The temperance movement of the 19th and early 20th centuries was an organized effort to encourage moderation in the consumption of intoxicating liquors or press for complete abstinence. The movement's ranks were mostly filled by women who, with their children, had endured the effects of unbridled drinking by many of their menfolk. In fact, alcohol was blamed for many of society's demerits, among them severe health problems, destitution and crime. At first, they used moral suasion to address the problem."

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

So little boys who prefer to play with dolls and dresses instead of trucks are a now a "political" creation? Because of 2 (count 'em, 2) events in NYC in the 1990s? What bs.

Saint Croix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

I was not aware that in 1860, universal emancipation was a traditional value (slavery had been the norm for centuries), but who cares. Why focus on that little caveat when the opportunity to re-write history (from the past onward) awaits!

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

actually it was Lincoln's, not the Republicans' idea to emancipate, merely as a way to preserve the Union

You really should look up the Abolition Movement before you beclown yourself with such nonsense.

Let's pretend that because something has the word "Republican" in it

while we're pretending I even used the word "Repubican"

Fen said...

I was not aware that in 1860

Try 1688.

Fen said...

/wiki

"The first American movement to abolish slavery came in the spring of 1688 when German and Dutch Quakers of Mennonite descent in Germantown, Pennsylvania (now part of Philadelphia) wrote a two-page condemnation of the practice and sent it to the governing bodies of their Quaker church, the Society of Friends. Though the Quaker establishment took no immediate action, the 1688 Germantown Quaker Petition Against Slavery, was an unusually early, clear and forceful argument against slavery and initiated the process that finally led to the banning of slavery in the Society of Friends (1776) and in the state of Pennsylvania(1780)."

Saint Croix said...

I swear I do not get the connection between screwing your daughter and freeing the slaves.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

The abolition movement was not a conservative one, Fen.

In fact, you could probably analogize them to those nosy environmentalists and foodies today.

Or to those silly temperance advocates.

One movement was successful and survived, one didn't. The more progressive one.

You hate to admit it, so I'll just let you attempt to re-write history until your heart's content.

Fen said...

Saint Croix: I swear I do not get the connection between screwing your daughter and freeing the slaves.

Both the Temperance Movement and Abolition Movement were started as moral crusades.

I use them as examples against those who argue we shouldn't codify morality.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

So now, by Fen's reckoning, the abolition movement was a conservative affirmation of ancient customs and norms - because those progressive sectarian Quakers in Philadelphia thunk it up in 1688.

Keep it up. You're on a roll.

Next thing you'll be telling me that the churches who accept tolerance of gays and encourage their unions are also restating ancient, conservative, traditional norms and customs.

Or at least, you'll be telling me that 200 years from now once gay marriage is the norm.

History is not a dirty word, Fen. Neither is accuracy. Accuracy is only the enemy of obscurantism and ignorance. Choose sides and choose wisely.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

You could actually compare anti-environmentalist corporations of today with anti-abolition plantation owners from 1860. Both saw the issues of the day purely in terms of private property, and the threat of encroachment on it.

Fen said...

The abolition movement was not a conservative one, Fen.

Frederick Douglass

shoutingthomas said...

Big Gov, you're quite the all-around blowhard.

Is there anything you can think of that is outside your vast knowledge?

Did you study under Professor Irwin Corey?

http://www.irwincorey.org/

Fen said...

BigGov: So now, by Fen's reckoning, the abolition movement was a conservative affirmation of ancient customs and norms

Oh this will be fun.

When you're done trying to insult me, tell me BigGov, what does "conservative" mean to you?

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Cite me anything written by Frederick Douglass which uses the word "conservative" or "traditional" in the context defined by the 1980s "moral majority" movement that Republicans have since relied upon to inform their values.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Is there anything you can think of that is outside your vast knowledge?

You mean other than shouting thomas?

He has proclaimed himself to have transcended knowledge. So that's not my doing.

shoutingthomas said...

So, I gather that's an affirmative, Big Gov.

You're the "World's Leading Authority?"

Freeman Hunt said...

From the comments on the Slate article about this:

I'm afraid this is one of those Dukalis moments. If you really need to think about how awful it is for a grown man to have sex with his daughter of any age, you aren't connected to the real world.

I have to agree with that.

I see comments all over the place saying, "Well, they're consenting adults, so what's the problem?" Does anyone really believe that a normally raised twenty-one year old will take a romantic interest in her dad? "Gosh, all these dates with the guys at school have been flops... I wonder what dad is up to these days..." That does not happen.

The only way this happens is if the parent has groomed the child for it. So the incest law is there not just to hinder consenting adults from being gross; it's there to criminalize the sort of child raising that would lead to that kind of relationship--it criminalizes parents grooming their children to be their lovers.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

How is it an attempt to insult you, Fen, to simply show, with ample evidence and clear reasoning, that the abolitionist movement had no relevance to conservatism as defined by Americans in 2010, or even in 1860?

I did not attempt this line of argumentation. Why is my agenda now supposedly concerned with nothing other than insulting and ridiculing you personally just because I took to showing what a bunch of bunk it is?

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

ST: Put some facts and clear reasoning into your posts and then maybe the ideas you hold to might have the authority you wish for as well. Just because you happen to be wrong doesn't mean it's about you or me personally or egos. Knowledge, facts, information and logic do not exist for the sole purpose of pleasing you and making you feel important. Wherever did you get the idea that they did?

shoutingthomas said...

How is it an attempt to insult you, Fen, to simply show, with ample evidence and clear reasoning, that the abolitionist movement had no relevance to conservatism as defined by Americans in 2010, or even in 1860?

Pontificate much, Big Gov.?

Big Gov., you need to go away for a little while, un-puff your chest and see if you can come down to earth.

Your blowhard thing is off the wall.

shoutingthomas said...

Knowledge, facts, information and logic do not exist for the sole purpose of pleasing you and making you feel important. Wherever did you get the idea that they did?

You're a hilarious windbag, Big Gov.!

If you had the slightest sense of humor, you realize that your making a complete ass out of yourself with your doctoral dissertations in the comments.

Had breakfast and coffee yet?

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

ST:

I apologize for making you feel inadequate. Next time I won't dare to raise any facts that you are incapable of challenging, because I think that making you feel good is a more important and worthy task. It is all-important, and transcends every other aim, including the acknowledgment of reality itself!

shoutingthomas said...

Nice try, blowhard.

When will you finish your doctoral dissertation in the comments section?

Still studying?

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Why not try conjunctions first, ST, before pontificating on "doctoral dissertations", ST?

Yammering on about political meetings in NYC in 1990 sounds more like "doctoral dissertation" material to me than does a simple observation of kids playing with toys.

I don't need breakfast or coffee for this. I'm just warming up... ;-) But I do foresee an incredibly rich plate at the IHOP or perhaps a more effete establishment down the road. Care to join?

Saint Croix said...

So the incest law is there not just to hinder consenting adults from being gross; it's there to criminalize the sort of child raising that would lead to that kind of relationship--it criminalizes parents grooming their children to be their lovers.

Are you okay with brothers and sisters getting it on? And do we punish the parents for that one?

Big Mike said...

Let's see if I have this right. Conservative Christians, as exemplified by Sarah Palin, are despicable because they decline to abort Downs babies or babies born out of wedlock. Ivy-educated elites, as exemplified by Prof. Epstein should be allowed to have sex with whichever of their children they choose not to abort. This is because Ivy-educated elites are above petty considerations like Judeo-Christian values.

Is that about right?

I have to admit that to an atheist like me, it's a bit of a head-scratcher.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

There's no way Frederick Douglass could have been a conservative. Have you seen his afro? No right-thinking conservative would have accepted him in their club with a frizzy afro of proportions that fucking gargantuan!

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

I thought I saw Frederick Douglass walking down the streets of Philadelphia yesterday, but then I saw a large plastic comb tucked fashionably into the outer edges of the afro and wisely reconsidered the identity of the person in front of me.

That would look really cool, actually.

Freeman Hunt said...

Are you okay with brothers and sisters getting it on? And do we punish the parents for that one?

No and depends. In that order.

I didn't claim to address other forms of incest in my comment.

Saint Croix said...

Incest is bad. We outlaw it because we think it's bad. We might be wrong. But it's our view, as a society. And we don't have to defend our view to Ivy League fuckheads.

Other things we outlaw because they are bad: murder, rape, tax evasion, bigamy, having sex with farm animals, prostitution, snorting cocaine, injecting heroin, exposing your penis to nuns on the street. The list goes on and on.

jimbino said...

Incest is both natural (bonobos) and biblical (Adam's kids). What is irrational is setting the age of consent at 18.

Fen said...

Cite me anything written by Frederick Douglass which uses the word "conservative" or "traditional" in the context defined by the 1980s "moral majority" movement

First, bring me a shrubbery.

the abolitionist movement had no relevance to conservatism as defined by Americans in 2010,

Still can't define "conservative", eh?

As for Douglass:

"The Republican Party was formed in 1854, born of the desire to end the expansion of slavery. Douglass was the mouthpiece and to many, the heartbeat of the Abolitionist Movement, propelling him as a statesman within the party"

and

Douglass: "As if whips, chains, thumb-screws, paddles,
bloodhounds, overseers, drivers, patrols, were not all
indispensable to keep the slaves down, and to give protection to
their ruthless oppressors! As if, when the marriage institution is
abolished, concubinage, adultery, and incest, must not
necessarily abound; when all the rights of humanity are
annihilated, any barrier remains to protect the victim from the
fury of the spoiler
; when absolute power is assumed over life
and liberty, it will not be wielded with destructive sway!"

Saint Croix said...

Freeman, not calling you an Ivy League fuckhead. I'm always thinking of Anthony Kennedy when I aay "Ivy League fuckhead."

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Afros are for young Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix, Macy Gray and Samuel Jackson's character in pulp fiction. Everyone knows that conservative blacks wear their hair very short, like Alan Keyes does for instance.

Although his daughter's a lesbian. She doesn't wear an afro but rather light curls.

wv: cochogs. No shit. A gay equivalent to cock blocking. What will those gays think of next?

Saint Croix said...

Incest is both natural (bonobos) and biblical (Adam's kids).

Yeah, that's kinda like saying eating your mate after sex is natural.

Read the Bible much, do you?

Fen said...

I see that the proof of Frederick Douglass being both a conservative and a Republican has reduced BigGov to responding with racially charged statements and homosexual fantasy.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Whips and chains, Fen? Methinks you've been spending too much time frequenting a less "moral" website.

Anyway, Douglass's words equating slavery to other taboos of the day sound more opportunistic and like an example of successful political rhetoric than discourses on a deeply-held ideology, to me at least. Nothing wrong with that. He comes from a day when people could tell the difference.

Like they could between "Republican" and "conservative". Shit, Fen! Even in 1854 they could do that. And stopping the expansion of slavery was about limiting the political power and the economics of the South over the Union, not morality.

Look up "Whig" for me, the precursor to Republican party ideology, and then get back to me on the whose conservative-progressive conundrum.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

What party did the Free Soilers come from and by which party were they absorbed, Fen?

You know, for a conservative, you sure don't seem all that proud of or concerned with your roots. What's up with that?

Lincolntf said...

You're an idiot Big Gov.
I'm not going to bother explaining how utterly ignorant of the period you are exposing yourself as, but you can rest assured that you embarrass yourself with every weasely word.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Facts are bothersome things, huh "lincoln"?

You guys prefer your "truth" handed to you from on-high, I see. Like from the government, for instance. Or religion. Government and religion don't need no facts! Let's part the Red Sea with the power of rhetoric and keep the facts out of it!!!

shoutingthomas said...

What party did the Free Soilers come from and by which party were they absorbed, Fen?

What you're doing, Big Gov, is what's called "pissing into the wind."

Generally, people avoid it. I'll try to explain to you why, because your chest is so puffed up it's about to explode.

People don't usually piss into the wind because the urine is likely to fly back into their faces.

Cool it with the blowhard shit, Professor Corey.

Fen said...

BigGov: Whips and chains, Fen? Methinks you've been spending too much time frequenting a less "moral" website.

The quote is from his own book. But naturally, your soiled self reaches for the S&M reference.

Anyway, Douglass's words equating slavery to other taboos of the day sound more opportunistic and like an example of successful political rhetoric than discourses on a deeply-held ideology, to me at least.

Uhm, you might want to read it again. He's not "equating" slavery to other taboos. I hope ST was joking about you working on a disertation.

And stopping the expansion of slavery was about limiting the political power and the economics of the South over the Union

Yes, but thats not where it started. You seem to think it formed from thin air in 1860.

not morality.

I've already shown how wrong you are. Its obvious that you need to dismiss the moral origins of both the Abolition and Temperance movements because that would undermine your argument that moral arguments are frivolous and irrelevant concerning incest.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Since you guys hate verbosity, it's fun to watch me best you at your own game.

I never said there wasn't a moral argument to be had about incest. I said it wasn't the government's concern, except as regards marriage.

What's wrong with you crazy cons that you can't separate a moral issue from a political one? Do you need the power of the government to tell you the difference between right and wrong as you see it? Try thinking for yourselves for a change.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

I never denied any "moral" origins to abolitionism or temperance. Your reading has acquired a very creative edge to it.

ken in sc said...

The man is charged with both incest and bigamy. That means there is evidence that the pair either got married or lived as husband and wife in a common-law marriage state. Since the daughter was not married, that is why she was not charged with bigamy and probably why she was not arrested.

Birkel said...

Tim Maguire:
"Ahh, another great Althouse post wherein the majority of her "conservative" commenters wholeheartedly embrace liberal nanny-state theology whenever it suits their personal preferences."

Response:
The discussion of Constitutional Rights in the instant matter is wholly off point. This is a state matter. You'll find evidence that it's a state matter because it's NOT mentioned in the US Constitution as a power specifically reserved for the federal government. Therefore, each state is allowed to enforce criminal law w/rt such matters in the manner it determines fit.

You're welcome.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

I take it Fen is trying to say that the Bible and other "traditional" sources of moral inspiration only contributed to the argument for abolition, and not for maintaining slavery.

Of course, he would be dead wrong. I guess that's why he doesn't say this directly but obliquely implies it instead.

Saint Croix said...

I never said there wasn't a moral argument to be had about incest. I said it wasn't the government's concern, except as regards marriage.

You can't marry your daughter, but you can fuck her?

Fen said...

BigGov: Since you guys hate verbosity, it's fun to watch me best you at your own game.

On the internet, self-assertions of victory indicate you have lost the argument.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Fen, let's cut to the chase. Just because some arguments in favor of abolition were inspired by the Bible, this does not mean they resulted from a conservative reading of it. Just as there are churches which decide to recognize gay unions today, they are doing so from a progressive interpretation of scripture, NOT a conservative one. Conservative churches are reaching and promoting the opposite conclusion. Same with slavery/abolition.

How is this not obvious?

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

I have won the argument that traditional 1860s values did not end slavery in America whether you recognize it or not.

Birkel said...

Big Gov has to be a sockpuppet.

Read as such its comments are quite entertaining.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

BigGov: I have won the argument that traditional 1860s values did not end slavery in America whether you recognize it or not.

Yes, you beat yourself. Grats.

No wonder that S&M filth was still on your mind.

Fen said...

Big Gov has to be a sockpuppet.

I thought we established he was AlpahLibtard.

Sounds like him anyways.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Oh Fen. When you call S & M "filth" and repeatedly remind us of one tiny reference to it 20 comments later, I recall the phrase:

Methinks the lady doth protest too much!

Birkel said...

Perhaps you're correct Fen. But if it's a conservative mocking AlphaLiberal it's quite a bit more fun.

Re-read the comments above as parody and they're quite well done. Read them as sincere and they're very sad.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

If you take your mood stabilizers and antidepressants regularly, you'll feel less sad, "Birkel". I promise you that.

Birkel said...

Projection much?

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

So says the accuser of sock-puppetry from one who maintains an unavailable profile.

Birkel said...

I accused you of nothing save being a laughable scamp. And I would argue that's no more an insult than calling you quasi-human.

Robin said...

Yet another example of just what an atrociously bad opinion Lawrence v. Texas was. Quite separate from the result, the opinion was the worst we've seen from Kennedy and he's never a good opinion writer.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Then have your masturbatory laugh, Birkel. But if you value being human over being "quasi-human", then be reasonable for a change. Maintaining or reinforcing the economic status quo in 1860 was a conservative position. It was condoned in conventional sources of moral instruction. Progressives thought otherwise. End of story.

Marshal said...

"I'd say consensual adult incest can't survive the epic ick factor either."

It depends on how hot she is.

But seriously, two questions: 1. If she's an adult why is the press protecting her name but not his? If she's an adult why is he charged with a crime but not her?

Birkel said...

You misread me completely. I am here only to laugh at you. I wouldn't deign to waste my time debating you over substantive matters. Clearly you are altogether too intelligent to let what any other person says interfere with your vast accumulated knowledge. And you're funny!

Marshal said...

"Since the daughter was not married, that is why she was not charged with bigamy and probably why she was not arrested."

The father was charged with incest according to what I read.

Marshal said...

"Blogger Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...
What's wrong with you crazy cons"

And think, just recently we read a myriad of liberal assertions that cons are crazy because they take anything any lib says and apply it to liberalism generally. We'll have to save this comment for the time this one defends the shield.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Clearly you are altogether too intelligent to let what any other person says interfere with your vast accumulated knowledge.

Unless they have relevant facts and better reasoning at their disposal.

And by all means, continue to laugh away. But entering a thread with an obscure, inaccessible profile, for the sole purpose of antagonizing one other person alone, is precisely the aim of a sock puppet. Just so you know.

Slavery had been well accepted throughout the ages. Extinguishing it was a new idea, a recent innovation. And before a few short centuries, not even dreamt about. I will continue believing that descriptions of the movement to do so in America as conservative rather than progressive are a completely fabricated re-writing of history. Unless shown decent evidence to the contrary.

Birkel said...

The word for which you search is lineage.

Parting Question:
How much "progress" from "progressives" is enough?

Freeman Hunt said...

If "anything between consenting adults" naturally entails acceptance of incest and polygamy, perhaps it's wrong and shouldn't be the basis for acceptance of homosexuality. Perhaps there are other, better lines of argument.

Birkel said...

*GIGGLE*

Unless they have relevant facts and better reasoning at their disposal.

*GIGGLE*

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Giggle yourself with this fact, puppet guy:

Who were the Whigs and what did they believe?

You have... well, another few minutes or so to come up with the right answer.

Republicans think that history began in 1860. Oh yeah, they also think Magna Carta was signed at a date that must be important to us as Americans. But other than for those two events, no other history occurred or should be acknowledged as important to what goes on in America. All else is a liberal plot and must either be destroyed, or re-written.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

And 1776. Let's not forget the Revolution.

But everything else doesn't matter. If someone tells you it does, he's just a hoity-toity elitist intellectual who hates America and doesn't understand that we're the boss of everything, and the creator of all knowledge. If you unravel the fibers of an American flag (or a picture of Reagan), you will find the theory of relativity, the structure of DNA, and the DaVinci code all there.

Fen said...

BigGov: Republicans think that history began in 1860

Funny, because you're the one who implied that, not me.

And your working definition of "progressive" in historical terms is: any act that created progress. How convenient for you to label every evolution of our culture as "progressive".

I dub thee our very own Credentialed_Idiot. Wear it with pride, you've earned it.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

I said none of that, Fen. You just dreamt it up while you were stuck in another one of your fantasy escapade moments with me while you imagined us watching The West Wing together. I think these were things that you imagined President Bartlett saying.

Fen, the television is not actually talking to you.

Birkel said...

Unless they have relevant facts and better reasoning at their disposal.

FACT from BigGov:
But other than for those two events, no other history occurred or should be acknowledged as important to what goes on in America.

I can offer nothing you would deem relevant or better. So instead I'll just continue to laugh at you.

Bender said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bender said...

I see that the combox has been hijacked again and treated like someone's personal instant messaging system.

The only way this happens is if the parent has groomed the child for it.

"Victimless crimes" quite often are not without victims, even if our twisted society can no longer see them. "Consensual" sex crimes in particular leave a strew of broken people lying in their wake.

Does anyone really believe that this young woman's ability to have authentic loving relationships in the future has not been severely damaged, if not destroyed, and that she is not now at risk for any number of other personal problems?

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Since you consider it impossible to laugh at yourself, Birkel, I guess I'll serve as the closest substitute for your projection.

You've offered no relevant facts or reasoning. And Fen's are woefully inadequate. I think he's capable of better, but he would prefer instead to trash progressives for having any influence throughout history other than on Stalinism and better child labor laws. Those things he can live with. The rest he is not yet prepared to concede. He will fight to the death to put the stamp of "conservatism" on anything "good" over the course of history, while relegating all progressive thought to an accidental blip on the radar screen of the 20th century.

Birkel said...

Bender,
What you implicitly endorse is undoubtedly true.

However, one can still ask whether the state should involve itself in such situations. For example, should drugs be illegal because numerous people suffer debilitation?

If the harm were isolated to just the two actors involved would that be an argument against state action? And if so, isn't that eventually an empirical question and not a philosophical one?

I ask because I think the philosophical question is enough by itself. IOW, Scalia had it correct.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Here's a personal IM: That's why there's a system of torts, Bender.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

BigGov: Fen would prefer instead to trash progressives for having any influence throughout history

I haven't trashed them, I've accused you of using circular logic.

Birkel said...

BigGov:
"You've offered no relevant facts or reasoning."

Why should I bother? You've presented no evidence that you are other than a close-minded, boorish blowhard. Or a sockpuppet.

And I choose sockpuppet as the answer because it's the kinder assumption.

Saint Croix said...

That's why there's a system of torts, Bender.

Yeah, cause the tort system is not a type of government control. The Democrats love the tort system. They love lawsuits upon lawsuits, and rules upon rules upon rules.

Why on God's green earth would you legalize incest and then say, sue away! Maybe you ought to read the libertarian platform again. Cripes.

I mean, the Democrats are using the tort system to regulate smoking, foods, what you say at work. We just gave a billion dollars to black people for growing a vegetable garden.

You want to legalize something that you know is harmful and bad, that you know will cause strife and unhappiness. And you will fix all this by allowing lawsuits? And we'll just let the courts micromanage each and every incest case?

John Kindley said...

Epstein and his daughter probably were only having sex so they could establish a test case by which to challenge the constitutionality of the incest law.

jimbino said...

Ken in SC:

You will not be a bigamist if you live as husband and wife in a common-law state while married to another, since a condition of establishment of a common-law marriage is that neither partner be married to another.

Fen said...

what could possibly go wrong?

The Polaroids her father takes of her naked: "The expression on my face, flat and dispossessed, is one I see years later in a museum exhibit of pictures taken of soldiers injured during the Civil War."


"What remains inexplicable is how Ms. Harrison survived not only incest but also rejection by both her parents as a young child, which led in turn to bouts of anorexia, bulimia and suicidal depression."

Alex said...

This guy should be executed. The Bible demands it.

Alex said...

Does anyone really believe that this young woman's ability to have authentic loving relationships in the future has not been severely damaged, if not destroyed, and that she is not now at risk for any number of other personal problems?

The father destroyed her soul - which is a monstrous crimes required the harshest punishment.

Fen said...

This guy should be executed. The Bible demands it.

I wonder why the ancients advocated such strong punishment for what you would brush off?

Perhaps from direct experience?

Pogo is spot on:

It is passing strange when the ancient proscription against incest is brought to the dock and compelled to explain itself.

But because it is a truth borne of generations, its very existence is its only proof.

Once challenged, it falters, its painful lessons fated to be relearned, like the loss of herd immunity in mass vaccinations.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

The tort system as a form of heavy-handed regulation! Hahahahah!!!!!1!! That's the funniest shit I've heard you robots come up with in a long time!!!

If anything, local courts of justice and trials by jury are closer to anything that can be reined in by the vaunted "people" of whom Scalia and the other conservaturds speak than a big, bureaucratic branch of the federal government like the office of the president and Congress. But I'll leave that 'lil glaring inconsistency in your incoherent thinking to wear away at your brains, like a splinter in a bowl of mush. Like an albatross around the right-wing neck! Like a mark of Cain! Hahahahhaaa!!!!

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Now Alex speaks of the punishment required of crimes against the soul.

I wonder how long it will be until the right wing demands the return of the sort of religious courts helmed by Torquemada.

mtrobertsattorney said...

Here's the problem Ann raises with her question: As other commentators have pointed out, the "age of consent" merely a socitial notion, a fluid concept that is subject to change either up or down or disappearing entirely, depending which way the cultural winds are blowing. Absent a gun to the head or knife to the throat, who's to say an eight,ten or twelve year old did not "really" consent when they clearly say that they did? In such cases, why does the law think that it can distinguish between "true" consent and "false" consent? And to argue that it can, is an affront to the liberty and autonomy of an articulate and intelligent child.

The value of the traditional taboo against incest is this: If in a political community, incest becomes celebrated and honored by the cultural elite of that community as simply another aspect of freedom and a fundamental right to boot, what is the life expectancy of that community?

My guess is that once this celebrated practice spreads to all aspects of society, the shelf life is one or two generations.

Fen said...

BigGov: Now Alex speaks of the punishment required of crimes against the soul.

Alex is doing his Moby schtick.

He likely assumed you were too intelligent to fall prey to blowback.

Oooops.

So I guess its time again for you to remind us how smart you are.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Well, if Fredo was really smart he would have got out of the mafia and pursued a real profession.

Luckily, I can lob stones at the goofy ideas strewn about here without it affecting me personally. I require neither the respect of the ruling Althousian mafiosi nor demands from non-Althousians to abstain from stirring the kettle of rabble on these pages.

It's just a fun hobby. ;-) (But I do hope that someday you will get something out of it. Either way, speaking honestly about debateable if contentious topics is the right thing to do).

kent said...

I see comments all over the place saying, "Well, they're consenting adults, so what's the problem?" Does anyone really believe that a normally raised twenty-one year old will take a romantic interest in her dad? "Gosh, all these dates with the guys at school have been flops... I wonder what dad is up to these days..." That does not happen.

The only way this happens is if the parent has groomed the child for it.


Most sensible comment on this thread, thus far. Sorry to see so many frantically squeezing their eyes shut and pretending they can't see it.

Fen said...

This cultivation is such a standard MO for pedophiles that there's a term for it, but I can't recall it atm.

"Grooming" is the term used.

Pedophiles groom their victims, patiently, over the span of many years.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

The funniest thing about Fen's link is that is leads to a thumbnail link to this....


ROFLMAO!

C R Krieger said...

How far is this from Mia Farrow's ex and the adopted daughter?

Not very far, regarding power rleationships, I would bet, but that incident raised little concern about grooming and all that, as I recall.

I think that Professor Althouse has it right.  The relationship of the Columbia Professor and his daughter may crumble, but on appeal so will the Incest Law.

The only thing that might save it is that Democrats are as interested in controlling what goes on in the bedroom as Republicans, just with some variations.

Regards  —  Cliff

traditionalguy said...

Big Gov...I was out of pocket today, and just read your exchanges. You were brilliant as usual, like the wrestler in Ultimate Cage Fighting taking down a boxer and smashing his face in with elbows. I wanted to stop the fight to prevent a death...but I was too late. The South opened the door to a Radical Republican group of Senators by seceding and leaving the Senate to them. That meant Thaddeus Stephens and friends would do far more radical slavery abolition than Lincoln was ready for, until the GAR under McClellan finally got a victory, or not a loss anyway, at Antietam. No need to compromise with the south...they were MIA. All the Repubs needed to do was win the war. But that was very close, since in 1864 George McClellan was running against Abe with a platform of compromising with the South and ending the horrible war with slavery left intact. McClellan was up 80% to 20% in the polls, and Lincoln was a dead duck...until August 31, 1864 when Sherman's Army of the West won the 2 day battle at Jonesboro, Ga 20 miles south of Atlanta and the CSA retreated and the Atlanta Pols invited Sherman to come into town ASAP to stop the looting. If Sherman had lost that battle, then slavery would have gone on.

M. Simon said...

Of course there is no right to privacy. If the government was spying on everyone all the time these sorts of episodes would be eliminated.

M. Simon said...

Ah. Yes. God's Laws. Which God?

I like Buddhism. Tantric Buddhism.

Reliapundit said...

postmodern leftists aren't libertarians; they are libertines.

this is because they don't believe in Natural Law.

hence, to postmodern leftists there are no "unnatural" sex acts, and nothing is abnormal and there is no normal.

IOW: do what thou wilt consensually is the whole of the law.

unfortunately, that is a recipe for chaos and degradation and decline.

M. Simon said...

And, I repeat, 134 prosecutions in Texas for sodomy in 50 years!

Good thing we don't do that sort of thing to Jews. At least in America.

Then the Jew PR machine would be out in force.

cf said...

Incest even among adults is almost universally banned because of the disruptive effect it has on family life. who do you suppose blew the whistle in this case. Not long ago Epstein was married to another professor . Now he describes himself as "single". It seems a particularly monstrous betrayal of his wife and his obligations as a parent.

Scalia had a point.

toadold said...

Uhmm, how about the effects of inbreeding. Sex tends to produce babies sooner or later. There was a town that relaized they were having a rather higher than usual births of the "mentally challanged," So they called in specialists to look for an environmental factor. It turned out the problem was that they didn't have much of a population churn and had lost track of who had married who over the years. They'd inbred to much.

Vicioussss said...

The right has Faux News.

The left has the Huffickton Incest.

Sorry, Faux News is less objectionable.

Vicioussss said...

One can look at mass adoption of incest in the West as an affirmative action program for Muslims (who merely abide mass adoption of first-cousin marriage.) Inequality, you know! Can't have that!

Revenant said...

And, I repeat, 134 prosecutions in Texas for sodomy in 50 years! The great Reign of Terror that gay activists have been screaming about.

Thomas, get a real argument. Seriously.

Either there's a right to sexual autonomy or there isn't.

If there isn't then there's no rights-based complaint here whether the law is enforced three times a year or three times a second, and thus there's no reason to snark about the number of prosecutions. You should instead focus on arguing that there's no right being violated.

If, on the other hand, there IS such a right, then the number of acceptable violations of it is zero. Take the right to free religious speech, for example. Suppose California passed a law banning Catholic priests from speaking out against abortion, but "only" jailed three of them a year. What would you think if someone sneered "ooh, some anti-Christian reign of terror, three whole people a year"?

You'd think the guy was a douchebag, and you'd be right.

Revenant said...

Sex tends to produce babies sooner or later.

The law could require inferility as a precondition to the relationship. Either from a sterilization procedure, or because the couple is same-sex.

Revenant said...

hence, to postmodern leftists there are no "unnatural" sex acts, and nothing is abnormal and there is no normal.

It has little to do with politics. It is more a matter of noting that terms like "natural law" and "normal" almost always just mean "the way this particular culture has done things for the past few generations, but not prior to that and not necessarily in other cultures". E.g., the idea that "natural law" states that monogamy is normal, when the real norm has always been that rich men can have multiple women -- either officially as wives, unofficially as mistresses/concubines, or both.

If you want to learn the real natural law, study physics.

AST said...

Of course, Scalia's words point out how absurd the court's ruling was. Great bit of sophistry, though.

These references show an emerging awareness that liberty gives substantial protection to adult persons in deciding how to conduct their private lives in matters pertaining to sex.

So if the avante garde succeed in raising our awareness enough, is there anything that liberty can't give substantial protection to? Why limit it to "adult persons" or "matters pertaining to sex." Aren't all moral requirements just arbitrary when you get right down to it? Slavery was only abolished by written law. I certainly wasn't self-evident to Thomas Jefferson that it was wrong. What if the country passed an amendment eliminating the 14th and related amendments. What could go wrong? All it would take is enough rhetoric from the intelligentsia and the intellectual elite to create an "emerging awareness" that Lincoln was wrong and that white supremacy is correct.

JAL said...

What is irrational is setting the age of consent at 18.ja

Toldja.

Charlie said...

What's the idea behind the incest law? Is it to prevent sex in the Clintonian definition: the mixing of gametes possibly leading to conception and a statistical increase in the possibility of an infant with hemophilia or whatever?

Or is it the relationship that is proscribed: sexual-type intimacies between kin even if precautions are taken to keep gametes apart?

Which is the problem and why?

Revenant said...

"What is irrational is setting the age of consent at 18."

Toldja.

"Toldja" what? There isn't a historical, religious, or moral basis for picking that age. There isn't one in common law, either. We basically just picked it because that's the age at which the kids move out of the house and start fucking like bunnies whether mom and dad want them to or not. :)

I guess you could try claiming that only pedophiles want women that age, but even God saw nothing wrong with knocking up a teenager. :)

JAL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JAL said...

TradGuy If Sherman had lost that battle, then slavery would have gone on.

Off topic, but today I was behind a car with the bumper sticker:

War Is Not The Answer

And I always wish I had one with me to stick next to it which says:

Depends On The Question

JAL said...

Why is it illegal for one adult to contract with another adult to work for them for less than minimm wage?

They are consenting adults.

Are there limits on what adults can consent to?

What are those limits? Who determines them? How? Why?

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