THE PROBLEM IS US: Bare-breasted protests, Missouri school boards!

MONDAY, JANUARY 12, 2015

Part 4—Can the problem really be us:
Can it possibly be that the problem is actually us?

For decades, we liberals have rolled our eyes at the ditto-heads, then at those we insult as “tea-baggers.” Can it possibly be the case that the problem is also us?

Plainly, yes—the problem is also us. We’re dumb and tribal and filled with loathing and pretty much nobody likes us.

We’re dumb and tribal and filled with expansive self-regard. For these reasons, nobody likes us. We can’t think why anyone should.

How dumb can we be in the liberal world? Consider the wisdom which just keeps streaming from the new Salon.

Last week, before the killings in Paris, Joan Walsh had a hernia because Chris Christie roots for the Dallas Cowboys. She even said that this troubling conduct was “frankly un-American.”

How dumb do you have to be to say that? You have to be amazingly dumb, or maybe just blindingly tribal. That said, Walsh is one of our tribe's “intellectual leaders”—and after Paris, the new Salon offered us wisdom like this:
TAYLOR (1/8/15): Hashtag activism—even the #WeAreAllCharlieHebdo campaign underway on Twitter—won’t do. To avert more deaths, we have to stand up in real—and sometimes risky—ways to noxious ideologies masquerading as salvific faiths. Pundits need to overcome their fear of being labeled “politically incorrect” and speak their minds. Politicians must come clean with their electorates and state, simply, “With Islam, we have a problem.” Better still, “We have a problem with religion. Let’s figure out how we are going to deal with it.”

Few are doing this now, but one group is—the topless protest movement Femen.
By email I reached the leader of Femen in France, Inna Shevchenko, a frequent subject of Charlie Hebdo’s (admiring) coverage, who knew and was friends with the slain, including Charb, the cartoonist who was also the magazine’s director. Femen has won notoriety for its bare-breasted protests against Islam, including this one, and countless bold demarches against Catholicism there and elsewhere.
For the record, we have no religious or cosmological beliefs. But good God!

The idea that politicians can “figure out how we are going to deal with religion” is a form of massive delusion. The notion that we should engage in “bare-breasted protests against Islam” is criminally insane as a form of political advice.

For many years, we liberals amused ourselves by laughing at the dumbness and gullibility of The Others. It’s long past time when we have to admit that the problem is also us—has been for a long time.

For how many years has the problem been us? Consider a painful letter to the editor of the Washington Post.

The letter appeared on January 3. It was one of three letters which pushed back, from a liberal perspective, against a Robert Samuelson column.

Samuelson’s column had been pretty silly. But the highlighted statement stands as a tribute to three or four decades of liberal sloth and incompetence:
LETTER TO THE WASHINGTON POST (1/3/15): Robert J. Samuelson stated that two-thirds of the federal budget went toward "payments to individuals." This covers Social Security recipients and Medicare beneficiaries. My wife and I paid Social Security taxes from every paycheck our entire working lives. We pay a Medicare premium every month for health insurance. This is money paid into a system by and for all, including the "middle class," for programs to set money aside for our retirements and the purchase of health insurance.

The fact that the federal government may have squandered the money is not the fault of the middle class but of government's ineptitude.


We are only reaping the benefits that we paid for.
Good lord! The federal government hasn’t “squandered” this gentleman’s Social Security taxes in any normal sense of the term.

But so what? Plutocrats spent several decades inserting this thought into the heads of American voters, liberal and conservative alike.

“The money isn’t there—we’ve already spent it,” voters were told again and again. All that was left of their tax payments was “a set of worthless IOUs,” they were repeatedly told.

Lazy, shiftless, inept and uncaring, our “liberal” intellectual leaders never addressed these carefully crafted misdirections. For that reason, these deceptive claims drove several decades of our political discourse.

Even today, liberal voters repeat these points, even after this propaganda campaign has largely been abandoned on the right. Has any political tribe ever been as useless and helpless as us?

Increasingly, the problem is us! Let’s recall the painful place where we started our current series.

We started our current series after reading a New York Times editorial about “the needs of black students.” One night before the editorial appeared, we had watched the bumptious Tavis Smiley pretend to discuss public schools.

It would be hard to invent an emptier speech than the one Smiley delivered on C-Span that night. The next morning, the Times’ ruminations about black students was just as empty and sad.

No, Missouri! It’s extremely unlikely that “the needs of black students” will be advanced in any serious way by the ACLU law suit the Times was praising—a law suit designed to heighten the number of blacks on the Ferguson-Florissant school board.

The fact that the Times doesn’t know that—the fact that the Times was willing to posture and boast and mislead readers in the ways it did in that editorial—is a sad example of the way the problem is us.

Is this the best we the liberals can do? Again and again, the answer seems clear: Yes! It actually is!

Starting tomorrow, we’ll look again at the way we liberals refuse to care about the needs of black, Hispanic and low-income students. To read ahead, just click this.

We liberals walked away from black students a very long time ago. Our disinterest in such kids is manifest. It's matched by our ignorance of their needs, by our refusal to discuss their apparent improved performance.

Can we talk? We liberals are an ungodly mess. Our astonishing tribal pride keeps us from noting this obvious fact, which we could change from within if we weren’t discussing Christie’s love for the Dallas Cowboys while advocating bare-breasted protests of Islam.

We’re lazy and dumb and nobody likes us! Maybe someone should organize some bare-breasted protests of us!

The death of irony: Bare-breasted protests of Islam! To prove that irony really has died, the editors of the new Salon crafted this headline for the piece which made that absurd suggestion:

We must stop deferring to religion: Laughable absurdities must be laughed at

That was the headline on the piece prescribing those bare-breasted protests!

Should we start by laughing at the absurdities which keep emanating from us? If we head down that long, winding road, the problem may, to some small extent, at long last cease to be us.

55 comments:

  1. ... bold demarches against Catholicism...

    I see nothing "bold" about criticizing Catholicism. What risk are they taking?

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    1. Exactly. The Catholic Church has no moral standing.

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    2. The Catholic Church lost moral standing with its responses to the boy touching which took place at the same rates boy touching takes place in any other walk of life in which adult males are frequently alone unsupervised with boys, such as boy scout leaders, teachers..

      But there is moral standing in Catholicism.

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    3. 5:12 I'm going to guess you've never been to any of the sh*t-hole locations around the work to risk your health, comfort, or life to help poor or sick people, like millions in the Catholic Church have done and are doing today, funded by millions of others who make up the Catholic Church.

      I'm going to guess you do a lot of bold Twittering against them though.

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    4. 5:26 pm,
      No and no.
      While you try for the Bill Kristol Award for being wrong, you want to guess my height and weight too?

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    5. "...the boy touching which took place at the same rates..."
      The rates weren't the problem. The cover-up at the highest levels of the church was the problem.
      Is it unfair to lay that on Catholicism? Maybe, but I heard lots of calls last week about Muslims not criticizing the Paris terrorism enough. (And through the media swell).

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  2. The "tea bagger" phrase was one of the clumsiest, least humorous labels ever created and that includes Hildebeast, Clintigula, and DemonRats. It signaled the end of credible liberal satire.

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    1. It's as silly as calling the Republican Party "the Tea Party".

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    2. Tea bagging is a non-standard sexual practice mostly engaged in by homosexual men. So, calling someone a "tea bagger" is sort of like calling him a "cock sucker" or even a "faggot." Liberals would blast a conservative who used a slur that could be interpreted as being homophobic, However, when liberals do it, it's OK. After all, liberals are the good guys, so they could never do anything bigoted.

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    3. Shorter Dinky: WAAAAAAAAAH!

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    4. I never what tea bagging meant until it was in one of the early Curb Your Enthusiasm episodes. In it, the protagonist, a liberal, doesn't know what it means either until a porn star tells him. I was always surprised that my liberal bruthazz and sistazz jumped all over that term insinuating it was common when it was really kind of obscure. And of course, it's employment was bad politics as all the BOBfans know.

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    5. Just call them "the Republican Party". It's easier, and has the added benefit of being the truth.

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    6. tea bagging as a phrase has been in common and frequent use since at least the late 80's by kids as a way of showing one-upmanship. very common also in the military, so revered by repubs .

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  3. Laughing at religion makes the laugher feel super intelligent since pop scientists like Neil Tyson and lots of British people and comics do it, and courageous to be navigating the world without a "crutch" like The Weak Other.

    Usually underneath the compulsion to trash religion is a resentment that one is being judged or called out for anti-social behaviors. Something "progressives" have no problem doing if the behavior is something like noticing that abortion is problematic, or noticing certain cultural practices and mindsets perpetuate -isms, and other miseries.

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    1. Tomas de TorquemadaJanuary 12, 2015 at 5:38 PM

      I couldn't have said it any better.

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    2. Agreed. The problem comes in when the pious don't even believe their religion.

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    3. As we prepare to celebrate another Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I will try to remember that "progressives" can't possibly be religious.

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    4. We should be concerned that the number of people identifying themselves as liberal has been declining, which is what Somerby is discussing when he says no one likes us. Why are we giving visibility to the oddities that will repel prospective supporters?

      I know a lot of Republicans who feel embarrassed by their party. I don't want people to feel that way about my party too.

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    5. Not all progressives detest religion but most Americans who detest religion identify as progressive and most progressives are hostile to religion. The most odiously judgmental of others are progressives and fundamentalist Christians. If measurable, it is likely religious people would be shown to do more for the poor and otherwise disadvantaged than do progressives, especially when it comes to getting their hands dirty. Being an upper middle class white liberal who donates to Democrats and forwards watch-this-midwestern-hayseed-be-a-bigot and watch-this-precocious-child-defend-gay-marriage links really doesn't count although it defines you as a "good person" in the limited mind of a self-identified progressive.

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    6. @7:20, perhaps we can be cautiously hopeful to see Gallup now shows a record proportion of 43% identifying as independent voters versus around 30% identifying with either major party. And you can be sure significant numbers are finding your party as embarrassing as the Republicans'.

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    7. Isn't it really laughing at religious stupidity that makes people feel better? And why not? Why shouldn't you feel superior to someone who believes utter nonsense without the slightest evidence? If you don't believe me, ask a religious person about the beliefs of a religion not his own.

      And by anti-social behaviors, do you mean things like covering up wide-spread child molestation, the Inquisition, church-sanctioned antisemitism, fatwas condemning heretics to death, slavery, and the disenfranchisement of women? You know, the certain practices that perpetuate miseries.

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    8. @7:23P,

      I'd say most progressives are hostile to the intrusion of religion into a secular government, rather than religion per se. Consider the folks in the various Lying-for-Jesus projects like the Intelligent Design crowd.

      I'm pretty sure that you're right that history shows that the religious people often outdo others in getting their hands dirty. Just as I'm sure that you're an "upper middle-class white liberal who donates to Democrats," 'cause most of those people think progressives are odiously judgmental.

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    9. Independent voters are mostly conservatives.

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    10. You mean, lots of conservatives call themselves 'independent voters" (they also like to call themselves "Tea Party member"). Especially after GWB made the Republican Party toxic.

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    11. Oh oh, deadrat watched a bill burr special and now thinks as deeply as any other college sophomore who tuned in. Or maybe it was an episode of bill maher.

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    12. Another troll who knows what I'm thinking and watching.

      Or is it the same troll? Hard to tell when they all hide behind "Anonymous."

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    13. Religion is the opiate of the masses; it is the heart of a heartles world.

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    14. @deadrat, you sound stupid in revealing your complete confidence that you or any living person can now or will ever be able to apprehend all that is with your senses and physical observations alone. Everyone goes through it in college but most ultimately recognize they can't know much of anything. If laughing at someone's beliefs isn't offensive to you, then you should know most who possess any reasoning capacity would laugh at your dismissal of all that is unproven because such a position is utterly and willfully ignorant not unlike the child who is taught religious stories and believes them for a lifetime without any investment of thought or reason.

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    15. Even in science, there is much that cannot be proven and people "believe" things (theories) that explain them, such as what is going on in Black Holes. Religion, however, is willing to shun, persecute, jail and even kill those who do not believe. For all the good that religious people do, it cannot undo the damage done by their leaders in their name. We have the freedom to laugh at religion (and everything else) only because we keep religion out of our civic life.

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    16. @Noon,

      I do not believe that any person can comprehend "all that is" with his senses and physical observations. There have always been things that people don't know, and I suspect there will always be. I do believe that we should restrict "knowing" to evidenced belief, and in that sense, it's not possible to know things that we can't sense or observe or measure in some way.

      That doesn't mean that people can't be convinced of things without evidence -- that's what we call faith. Or that they can't be convinced of things solely on their unconfirmed internal feelings -- that's what we call epiphany. Or that they can't be convinced by pronouncements of those they revere -- that's the power of authority. These are areas beyond anyone's ability to investigate in any measurable way.

      And I'm fine with that until those who rely on faith, personal revelation, and religious authority decide to intrude into government and make the state an instrument of enforcing their unevidenced views. For example, by making abortion illegal because at conception a soul is infused into the zygote. Or when the faith-based believe things for which there is evidence against. For example that the earth must be 6000 years old because they were told that's what's claimed in a book written in languages they can't read and edited by people they don't know. I think that the former should be stopped and that it's OK to ridicule the latter. Does that make me a bad person?

      Somehow you've got the notion that I think I know everything or that I think everything is knowable. That's not true, and nothing I've written would lead a careful reader to believe so.

      By the way, it would be churlish of me to take offense if people laugh at me for what I believe. I'd rather they were amused at what I actually believe.

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    17. Deadrat, your beliefs don't make you a bad person but ridiculing a person who decides to believe the earth is 6000 years old is obnoxious, so long as the person does not attempt to force this idea into policy. Why would you enjoy ridiculing a decent person who believes that, if his beliefs are of no consequence to you, society or himself? Of if their consequence includes behavior that benefits you, society and himself? It seems to affect very little that one might believe this bit of misinformation. It was, after all, a long time ago and we're all here now. So by ridiculing the benign idea, you really aren't accomplishing anything but hurting someone because it makes you feel intelligent, and you like the feeling of letting someone know you are better informed than they are. Do you ridicule ignorant religious blacks as much as you do ignorant white religious southerners? I notice liberals tend not to do this, and it the ultimate form of racism because inherent in it is the idea that the uneducated white southerner should be smart enough to find out the facts, but the black fundamentalist should be expected to be perpetually ignorant, like an animal, because he is also inherently stupid.

      With regard to abortion, you do know there are atheists who oppose abortion, right? There is an ethical argument to be made against it, a legitimate one. You would not say it is acceptable to kill a human being in a coma who has only the potential to emerge from it with mental faculties that you have, even if at the moment he is unable to exercise any of them. Or a small child with not much in the way of mental abilities, other than potential. A human being, before it is born, has nothing in the way of abilities but does have the same potential many other rightly protected individuals have. The fact that it is hidden from view, that its continued existence in the body of another might inconvenience the other, that there are no people who are yet attached to this human are all completely irrelevant to the question of whether it is ethical to kill him or her. One need not hold any religious view to recognize this significant ethical question mark and in fact a humanist might find the act even more offensive than would a religious person who believes the small human has a soul and will be sent to paradise for eternity once killed.

      It might occur to a humanist that the idea of exterminating people who are of no objective "use" to the society, are burdensome, or who at one stage or condition or another have nothing going for them except potential, is one that people should not get too comfortable with. Abortion helps us get comfortable with it even if it tends not to stimulate us to act, simply because its victims are hidden from sight and not yet able to contribute to the conversation.

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    18. @2:35P,

      I'll be happy to respond to your points because I love the sound of my own voice, and those sounds are particularly dulcet when they're about me. My enjoyment is undercut only slightly by the fact that your comment really isn't about me. It's about you.

      It's about your need to believe that ignorance is benign and that ignorance generally begets behavior that benefits everybody. It's about your pretense that you "notice liberals" ridiculing white religious southerners but not black fundamentalists. It's about your projection onto me of your own racist idea that black fundamentalists are "inherently stupid." And most of all, it's about your need to justify your opposition to the right of women to control their own bodies by dredging up the usual tired, false analogies, including the conflation of zygotes with "small human beings" otherwise known as babies, and then, surprise! attributing your arguments to atheists and humanists.

      What little room is left for me is dedicated to the observation that I'm obnoxious. True that. But that being obnoxious apparently doesn't make me a bad person. And what a relief it is to find that out! Let me assure you that I'm a big supporter of the 1st Amendment and as such I think that people should be free to hold any beliefs they wish and express those beliefs, but they have absolutely no right to be offended by comment on those beliefs. Believe it or not (Didja see what I did there?) I don't seek out people to insult. For instance, my quarrel with IDiots (creationists and "intelligent design" proponents) arises from their attempts to make their god part of public-school science classes.

      You say that I "like the feeling of letting someone know ... [I am] better informed than they are." What's your advice? Should I not like the feeling or not let them know? By the way, your pronoun does not agree with its antecedent in number.

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    19. I see you didn't address the consequence or non-consequence of a specific belief in the minds of those who hold it (we are all ignorant in some matters). You didn't address whether liberals disproportionately ridicule white southern fundamentalists and are silent about black fundamentalists. You specified "zygotes" were not small human beings but did not claim they were not human beings, nor did you go near the question of whether a fetus is a human being with potential who is almost certain to become an intelligent human being whom others care about. None of these were addressed because you couldn't dispute them.

      Do people have a right to be offended by your beliefs? You say no. But of course they do. And they have a right to say they are. They have a right to say you're offensive and obnoxious.

      Even the New York Times said yesterday it would not publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons designed to offend religious sensibilities because doing so is obnoxious.

      We won't concern ourselves with the fact that the Times did publish Piss Christ and Feces Covered Mary when those were controversial so we know they lied in yesterday's claim and are selective about which religions they will or won't insult (but they are standing firm on not offending the one whose members are more likely to behead them).

      If your objections are limited to public school education and including creationist theory as science I have no problem with that opposition or activism devoted to it. But you asked why you shouldn't ridicule people's beliefs, not why you shouldn't fight that specific policy.

      Sure, you can like the feeling of informing someone on a point you believe them to be uninformed about. But whether it is obnoxious for you to like it depends on whether you do it to be helpful or prove your superiority to yourself. As for my pronoun disagreement, I prefer the incorrect usage in a case like that one over the awkward he or she. I'm a maverick like that.

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    20. What a delightful smorgasbord of ignorance, stupidity, and inability to read for comprehension.

      I'm not "disputing" your nonsense because almost none of it has to do with me and my penchant for ridiculing ignorance, and religious-based ignorance in particular. Your reply to me is almost all about you, a topic that doesn't particularly interest me.

      Yes, we are all ignorant in some matters. You more so and more widely than I most, I gather. What are the consequences of ignorant belief? I don't know, and I'm sure you don't either. My guess is that those consequences are overall not good, but that's not based on any peer-reviewed studies. Feel free to revel in your ignorance and the ignorance of others.

      I did "address" your ruminations about "liberals" and their relationship to fundamentalists of different races. I said they were a product of your own projections. That's usually the case when people reify abstractions: they animate them with their own feelings.

      Human zygotes are biologically human; they're just not legal persons, the rights of which should override the rights of the women who carry them. I'm sorry that's not the answer you're looking for, but again, this has nothing to do with me and my attitudes. I'm happy to discuss my attitudes, but I'm not interested in the dishonest arguments of fetusolaters.

      Perhaps I expressed myself clumsily about the rights of the offended. I mean that no one has a right not to be offended, that there is no legal remedy for the condition that consists of hurt feelings. People certainly may choose to take offense and give voice to their offense, but they have to be satisfied with the response, "Tough shit."

      Of course, that should have been obvious had you read with any attention. I'm almost a 1st Amendment absolutist. I support the right of Nazis to march in Skokie, the right of Westboro Baptists to picket veterans' funerals, and even the right of the religio-fasicst to verbally harass women in front of abortion clinics. I judge the ethics of all three groups with the equal contempt they deserve, but I oppose silencing them.

      It escapes me what the editorial decisions of The New York Times have to do with me.

      Yes, indeed, I asked why I shouldn't ridicule people's beliefs, and your answer is apparently that it's OK as long as it's in a good cause. Thanks for the guidance.

      No, I didn't ask what makes my responses obnoxious, but I got your answer anyway. Apparently, you think obnoxiousness depends on motive. Thanks for sharing.

      As for English usage, you say you prefer the incorrect. Imagine my surprise. Here's the sentence that's the subject of my half-jest: "Sure, you can like the feeling of informing someone on a point you believe them to be uninformed about." A careful writer would say, "Sure, you can like the feeling of informing others on points you believe them to be uninformed about." Graceful enough for you?

      Now, this is informal discourse, so it's no big deal, and as I say at least half way a joke. But when I make an error in my written ramblings here, as most surely will happen, I'll simply say I made a mistake instead of offering some bullshit excuse why wrong is better or pointing at NYT.

      A small, but I think telling difference between us.

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    21. You are free to argue that I never choose an incorrect construction and I have no inclination whatsoever to disabuse you of that. I laugh, however, because the mistake I thought you referred to (oops, "to which you referred") was a different one. I made at least two but you're the one more interesting in counting them so knock yourself out.

      YOU will say you make a mistake when you make a mistake. I care so little when one is identified that I usually ignore the "gotcha" that is so gratifying to the getter (you in this case) but if it was intentional, I will say so if so inclined and if it's true. You can call it bullshit all you like but you would be wrong, something you're no doubt accustomed to being judging from the analytical skills you reveal.

      Yes, obnoxiousness can depend on motive. The Times decisions have nothing to do with you but where did you get the idea everyone comments here solely for the benefit of the person they are responding to?

      Your insistence that there is no legal remedy for offense and shouldn't be is rather perplexing. Who said there should be? You are straw-manning because you realized you erred in saying no one "has a right" to be offended, which, of course, they do. Oops, "one does."

      My observation that liberals ridicule white southern fundamentalists for their ignorance but not black fundamentalists is accurate. If you're arguing otherwise, no one will take you seriously nor should they, on that point.

      Your focus on ridiculing people who think the earth is 6000 years old is ridiculous in itself and that particular element of ignorance is almost entirely inconsequential. Are you aware that scientific knowledge of ANY kind is in short supply? Yet my guess is that there are not facts on which huge majorities are ignorant that you tend to focus on, even significantly consequential ones, that offend you as much as the incorrect facts around the origin of man that the fundamentalists believe. That's because you are hostile to religion, not hostile to mere ignorance on that particular scientific fact.

      If you are going to ridicule for a good cause, start ridiculing your moronic friends on the left obsessed with "GMO's" and vaccines starting with Robert Kennedy. Now there is scientific ignorance with a consequence. My guess, again, is that you are not nearly as offended by those idiots as you are by a person who decides to believe a certain creation story.

      You bring in another straw man saying that the rights of a fetus should not override the rights of the woman carrying it. No one in our discussion said as much, so if you're so concerned that we be talking to each other only, you failed. You did not, however, dispute the fact that a fetus is a human being with tremendous potential, just like a newborn and a comatose "legally protected" human who has a legal designation of "person." "Person" is not defined by anything other than human beings. It's merely a word. A human being does not become valuable or valueless depending on how a society decides to define "person." You know, whether a human is a whole person or 3/5 of a person and so on. So using the word in support of an argument in favor of abortion as a morally neutral concept fails. I won't be as liberal as you in calling you names like "stupid" but that was a particularly stupid attempt at arguing that you made on this point Maybe you could do better if you tried but you seem too invested in your knee-jerk tribal tendencies and vocabularies.





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    22. Yeah, you care so little when a mistake is identified that you usually ignore it. Imagine my surprise. Please don't be offended, but I'm not taking criticism from you about my analytical skills.

      I thought the inclusion of paragraphs about the NYT might have had some relevance to the topic at hand. I guess not. So much for your own analytical skills, eh?

      Nobody said there should be a legal remedy for mere offense. It's an explanation of what it means that there's no legal right to go through life unoffended. You have my apology for the original language, and that's all you get of those.

      Your observations about liberals is the error of reification based on your own prejudices. No one should take seriously that kind of projection.

      I'm sorry, but I don't find Biblical literalism to be inconsequential. I'm not surprised you do. Neither am I surprised to find you think that scientific knowledge of any kind is in short supply. That must be why we're communicating via clay tablets and styluses.

      If I could parse your sentence starting with "Yet my guess," I might have a more substantive response. I think it might be important to your claim that I'm especially hostile to religion, but I lost patience a few clauses in. In any case, you can stop telling me what I think at any time. I'm hostile to most conspiracy theories, new age fads, and chiropracty, and none of these worlds of ignorance is religious in nature.

      A person is a legal term of art. No surprise you think otherwise. I don't really understand what abortion has to do with this exchange, and as I've said, I'm uninterested in the dishonest arguments of fetusolaters. If you've decided for whatever benighted reason that your unevidenced beliefs of the sacred require you to oppose abortion, I'm fine with that. I would never require that you have an abortion. I'd just rather you and your ilk didn't inflict your beliefs on the rest of society.

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  4. Kathryn FitzpatrickJanuary 12, 2015 at 7:46 PM

    Saying good-bye to the Daily Howler and its new-found adherents, none (or few) of whom would have been his readers in the early years. I even contributed to Mr. Somerby's last fundraiser, so it's difficult to leave.

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    1. In the words of David Spade, "buh-bye"

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  5. Several founding fathers were not fond of religion. Progressives do not advocate any policy that interferes with any religion. Progressives and Christians want to eradicate poverty and spread peace and joy. You need government to accomplish these things. We have learned this over centuries of trying various ways. I've never met someone who actually followed the teachings of Jesus Christ, who was basically a communist. Christianity these days is more of a cult than a religion, and perhaps more mildly, a social club. Progressives do advocate policies to help end poverty, spread peace and joy. Republicans advocate policies that mostly concern helping the wealthy.

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  6. Bob's theme regrettably became that if/when any liberal says something dumb that it offsets the entire circus of right wing insanity and deceit. Bob may not even retain the insight to know that's true....And even if he does, he fails to see that "theme" of his is the very same as that of the crazies.

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    1. He says don't sink to their level. Hard to argue with that --and yet you are.

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    2. TDH's theme has always been that liberals shouldn't say dumb things like wingers. The offsets thing is all you.

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    3. And today, Somerby's evidence that the entire American "left" has sunk to "their level" is . . . . Joan Walsh?

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    4. TDH's claim is that Joan Walsh is representative of the left (or perhaps it's the "left"). If you wish to dispute that, fine. But the entire thing is all you.

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  7. The problem here is a wasted site. There will always be some one of the hundreds (thousands?) of liberals who go too far or err. And the pretense the one or two liberal errant soul or souls are destroying us all just buys into the false equivalence advanced by the right. Joan Walsh was wrong, so Fox and RWM constant lies are needed to counter the liberal media domination...So, should we suspend counter-RWM efforts to become absolutely perfect or try to be smart enough to know that's impossible.

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    1. Yep, we're so much better than those losers that we need no self appraisal. No need to even investigate our tactics, or even attempt to create a cogent response to the other side's rhetoric. No need. No need at all. It's self-evident. Obviously.

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    2. You acknowledge Fox's "constant lies" but seem to imply left wing networks don't constantly lie. The lying, deflection to inanities, mischaracterizations, hype, are all the problem because they obstruct emergence of facts on which to base policies, votes, etc. Liberal sources are not more truthful or responsible than Fox.

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  8. What makes it all the worse is you can be sure the "protesters" all turn out to be 60-something year old flapjack grannies.

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