osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,

A Few Quick Links From WashPost

Rare that I find so many things worthy of comment, but worth highlighting.

Life Imitates Simpsons
On the scary humorous side, we have this story about guards sleeping on the job at a nuclear power plant. It is scary/funny because it is rather too close to the Simpsons. Equally alarming is that NRC did nothing when notified by one conscientious guard who finally resorted to video-taping the entire guard contingent asleep in the "Ready Room" and gave the video tape to local broadcasters.

Porn Security Penetrated: At Risk For Viruses, Privacy Breach
In the "Funny Because of All the Bad Jokes It Produces" category, we have a boner from the porn industry. As a result of deep penetration, the privacy protection for porn customers was violated. As a result, customers can expect bursts of spam. Pornographers are afraid this will "compromise the relationship" between porn providers and customers. Customers rely on privacy as a necessary prophylactic. Providers fear that demand, once quite firm, may now grow flaccid as a result.

From Porn To Politics
A very good guest op ed by Charles Peters on how Obama's work in the Illinois state legislature provides good evidence of his ability to lead. While there are clearly differences between a state legislature and being President, I think Peters makes a good point that Obama's state work is relevant -- as is Edwards non-Senate and Senate work and Clinton's non-Senate and Senate work.

Because It Offends Me
Finally, I link to yesterday's article on same sex divorce. Two things offend me. First, I think the refusal of the feds to recognize same sex marriage (or civil unions) for purposes of taxes and estate planning is bogus and offensive. It is purely punitive and has no good reason beyond the usual nonsense. While I suppose solidarity with my legal colleagues should make me rejoice over anything that allows lawyers to reap more fees, it is both insulting and economically inefficient.

But what really gets my goat -- in no small part because of my older brother's unfortunate situation -- is the open recognition of the bias of Massachusetts courts to favor the birth mother with regard to custody of children. The actual law is supposed to be "best interest of the child" with deference given to the "primary care giver" for younger children. Apparently, the "problem" confronting MA courts is that they don't know how to apply this prejudice where there are two mothers. MA courts is all confuzzled because when lesbians get divorced, there is no daddy to get the shaft. The article puts it a bit more politely, but just as baldly:
For years, family court judges leaned toward a maternal preference when it came to custody disputes. But what to do when both parents are women, or neither is? Judges in Massachusetts have been grappling with that question since gay and lesbian couples began filing for divorce in 2004, seven months after the state Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage.

"Up to now, I've been lucky with the court," said the doctor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity so as not to prejudice her court case. "Giving birth to one of our children has given me leeway because judges often show a preference toward a biological mother. I've spoken to other lesbian women who were in a similar situation, except that they were not the biological mothers of their children, and, in my opinion, they were not treated as fairly by the court."

Fairly, of course, is in the eye of the beholder.

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