Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Odds and Ends

Pluto
While I'm not terribly interested in outer space, I felt a burst of sympathetic joy for the teams of scientists working on the Pluto project.  What a great day that must have been for them when the first images arrived back on Earth!

Abdulazeez
Like a lot of other severely depressed young people, I suspect Mohammod Abdulazeez was already suicidal when he attacked the military base and recruiting station in Chattanooga.  How convenient for him that his religion offered him redemption for his "sins" (alcohol abuse and bad debts) if he took it upon himself to become a martyr!

Chelsea Manning
Yes, now that he's a lame duck, Obama is willing to take some of the political risks that terrified him before the Republicans swept the midterm elections, but I'm still not all that impressed.  It's very, very unlikely that when he issues his post-election pardons prior to leaving office he will add Chelsea Manning to his list, but it surely would lift him up in my esteem.

Polygamy
Now that same-sex marriage is the law of the land, it may be time to take a good look at arguments for polygamy.  The legalities are harder to work out due to the economic ramifications of polygyny, polyandry, and group marriage — how to figure out tax liabilities and child support responsibilities, for example — but logically, polygamy should be the next marital civil rights frontier.  Currently, many Americans practice serial polygamy — having multiple spouses, only not at the same time — and there are "traditional" polygamous (usually polygynous) households making a go of it.  Legal polygamy, at this point in our cultural evolution, deserves serious consideration.