September 29, 2003
Tim Blair points to another installment of the Sydney Morning Herald’s nigh-unreadable “Webdiary”, as usual containing misrepresentations of American life and law that would be uproariously funny if so many people didn’t take them so seriously. One thing that jumped out at me in the quote Blair published, apparently from someone named Karen Jackson: “And sodomy is still illegal in dozens of US states.”
Dozens? Heck, we only have fifty states in all — that’s, let’s see, four and one-sixth dozen — and the archived ACLU statistics from a year or two ago run down how many of them have had their ancient sodomy laws overturned or repealed. As of the time that that page was compiled, 26 states had repealed their sodomy laws by legislature, many of them in the 1970s. Another nine had had their sodomy laws overturned by courts. That leaves fifteen — or, er, one and a quarter dozen — three of which are listed as “status unclear” because of court rulings suggesting their sodomy laws also might no longer be valid. What ho, that gives us an even dozen, and even in those states the laws aren’t really enforced anyway.
The rest of Jackson’s ten reasons to be an anti-American aren’t much better. For example, number six on the list:
When other countries defy or ignore international treaties, they should be bombed. When the US ignores or abandons international treaties, they are asserting their rights as a sovereign nation.
A little intuition regarding what she’s talking about there demonstrates how she’s moving the goalposts. The U.S. is making the case for war against one country, Iraq, which has been covertly breaking treaties that it signed itself a decade ago for the Gulf War ceasefire, and has also been violating binding U.N. resolutions (unlike the nonbinding resolutions against Israel). Meanwhile, I can only assume that the U.S. must be being judged for not signing the ICC and Kyoto accords, rather than signing and then violating them, and for pulling out of the ABM Treaty strictly according to the withdrawal process that’s specified in the ABM Treaty. A country defiantly violating treaties it’s signed and ignoring binding U.N. resolutions is manifestly different from a country declining to sign treaties it does not like and lawfully withdrawing from another treaty — apples and oranges, Karen.
Of course, after spending all these months reading Blair’s blog, I’d never expect anyone in Margo Kingston’s orbit to check their facts before posting to the Webdiary anyway. This way, I know they’re not going to disappoint me the way one Phillip Knightley has disappointed Professor Bunyip.