April 11th, 2015

cognitive Hazard

Wait, not just forbidding gay marriage, but we can subjugate our wives, too? Score!

Slate tipped me off to South Carolina's amicus brief to the Supremes.

"Furthermore, the traditional family, with the husband as unquestioned head, was the foundation of the Fourteenth Amendment framers’ world. The framers deeply believed the family was the “primary unit of social and political action at the time. . . .” Farnsworth, Women Under Reconstruction: The Congressional Understanding, 94 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1229, 1236 (2000). One senator feared giving women the vote would disturb “‘. . . the family circle, which is even of higher obligation than the obligation of Government.’” Id., (quoting Cong. Globe, 42nd Cong., 2d Sess. 845 (1872)). Thus, Section Two of the Amendment eliminated women from the franchise.
Having this mindset, the Amendment’s framers certainly did not intend to dismantle, but fought to preserve, state marriage laws. Indeed, skeptical congressmen insisted that these remain unaffected by the Amendment. Many feared that state disabilities placed upon married women, such as property ownership, would be undermined by an earlier Amendment draft. However, such concerns were al- layed in the Amendment’s final wording."

I guess this is what happens when you double-down on the definition of traditional marriage -- you know, the kind where wives have no separate legal existence and cannot own property in their own name.

On the lighter side, there's the brief from the gay men married to women, who argue that they would be harmed by legal same-sex marriage: "A constitutional mandate requiring same-sex marriage sends a harmful message that it is impossible, unnatural, and dangerous for the same-sex attracted to marry members of the opposite sex."

Lotsa people want to kibbitz on this one.

A Broken Instrument, by Jason Brezinski

Jason was kind enough to send Dr. Pookie and me a real live dead tree advanced reading copy (more or less) of his book. Subtitled A Novel of Gritty Elizabethan Intrigue, it provides plenty of grit, intrigue, and Elizabethan-dom.

One of the strongest points is the realistic grit of 1590 London (and the Low Countries). Bawdy and squalid, violent and smutty.

The plot centers on the collapse of a spy network in the wake of the death of Walsingham. The remnants of the burned network try to reestablish contact, while the burners try to stamp them out.

Historical fiction of rebellious English Catholics or cleavers slicing off body parts? Yes.

Book challenge criteria:
published this year
mystery or thriller
A popular author's first book (we'll see)
recommended by a friend