SPECIES AND TOWN: High-end columnist(s) baffled!

FRIDAY, MARCH 26, 2021

Putin, Xi get their wings: Despite questions about whether he plans to run for re-election, who he thinks he'll be running against, and whether he plans to make Vice President Harris his running-mate again:

Despite those astonishing questions, President Biden made some significant statements at yesterday's press conference. 

His most striking statement involved the battle over the emerging world order. It's rare that you hear an American office holder speak as clearly as this:

BIDEN (3/25/21): I’ve known Xi Jinping for a long time. Allegedly by the time I left office as Vice President, I had spent more time with Xi Jinping than any world leader had...

I spent hours upon hours with him alone with an interpreter, my interpreter and his, going into great detail. [inaudible] very, very straightforward. He doesn’t have a democratic, with a small d, bone in his body, but he’s a smart, smart guy. 

He’s one of the guys, like Putin, who thinks that autocracy is the wave of the future and democracy can’t function in an ever-complex world.

That was an unusually straightforward account of the emerging battle for the future world order. As Biden explained, Putin and Xi are placing a bet:

They're betting that a messy system like ours can't prevail in an increasingly complex world.

"The future lies in who can, in fact, own the future as it relates to technology, quantum computing, a whole range of things, including the medical fields," Biden said a moment later. That said, the future also lies in this:

The future lies in whether a country like ours can conduct a presidential press conference, sixty days into a term, without a major journalist asking a series of astonishing questions about a presidential campaign which won't take place for four years. Less politely, the question is this:

Are we simply too stupid at this point to compete with determined autocrats?

Are we too stupid to compete? Experts say we quite possibly are. Yesterday's questions are one example. Then too, we have the endless tribal meltdowns which now consume our polarized world, even here in Our Town.

We're extremely self-impressed in Our Town, but we're also strikingly dumb. As our nation succumbs to a growing tribal divide, we engage in a  rapidly-shifting series of  performative episodes designed to display our allegiance to tribal verities.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but these episodes are very dumb. Two weeks ago, it was all about Oprah and a pair of multimillionaire royals. 

By now, that jaw-dropping foolishness has disappeared. It will never be heard from again!

According to major anthropologists, our species' repetitive descent into tribal war has always operated in this manner:

As tribal division seems to grow, members of respective tribes become more and more unsettled. These individuals keep looking for ways to affirm their membership in the tribal group and their allegiance to hard tribal verities.

In effect, these episodes are a series of "tulip crazes," each one less intelligent than the last. In an ideal world, a nation's thought leaders—its professors and its journalists—help extricate these tribal groups from their descent into polarized madness.

Here in Our Town, an awkward fact obtains. Our upper end journalists are simply too dumb to serve this essential purpose. 

They've proven this fact again and again and again over at least the past three or four decades.. According to experts, there's no clear way out of this ongoing mess.

Consider what happened last week when a 21-year-old man shot and killed eight people in Atlanta. Six of the victims were Asian-American women.

Here in Our Town, journalists quickly turned to preapproved tribal script. These killings were an expression of anti-Asian racism, a wide range of pundits said.

At the Washington Post, columnists took numbers and stood in line, awaiting the chance to give voice to this preapproved conclusion. In truth, these people just aren't very sharp. They and their colleagues have been proving this point for three or four decades by now.

How weak were the analytical skills put on display at this time? How under-endowed are these people? On Friday, March 19, Monica Hesse, the Washington Post's gender columnist, started her column with this:

HESSE (3/19/21): Here is how local law enforcement on Tuesday bafflingly explained its thinking about the Atlanta-area shooting suspect who had confessed to killing eight people, including six Asian women, at three local spas: “He apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction,” a captain from Cherokee County said at a Wednesday news conference. It was too early to tell, officers said, if the incident was a “hate crime.”

The major columnist said she was baffled by what "local law enforcement" had said. 

Within one paragraph, the major journalist had contradicted herself about the day on which the baffling comments in question were made. Were the baffling statements made on Tuesday or on Wednesday?

The columnist let you decide. That said, the baffling statement in question was this:

On the first day after these killings, "local law enforcement" had said it was too early to tell if the incident was a "hate crime."  (Comments by the head of the FBI were excluded from Hesse's column.)

In what world does a major journalist find such conduct baffling? In what world does a major journalist think that local law enforcement should voice instant judgments about technical legal matters?

Alas! The world in which journalists find that baffling is the world in which we all live. And, as she continued directly, here's what the journalist said:

HESSE (continuing directly): Here is what Christine Liwag Dixon, a Filipino American writer and musician, thought about after she heard that clip. She thought about how she was once offered money for a “happy-ending massage,” even though she is not a massage therapist and never has been. She thought about all the men who have told her they’re “into Asian women” and expected her to take it as a compliment. She thought about the time she went outside to call an Uber while her husband paid a restaurant bill and a group of men cornered her, one of them chanting “Me love you long time” while standing so close she could feel his breath on her neck.

Of course the shootings were racially motivated, she thought. Of course they were motivated by gender. They were both.

Thar is the way this journalist reasons. A writer/musician had a certain thought. And so, for some unstated reason, that thought had to be correct! 

Of course, it wasn't just any writer/musician who had the thought in question; the writer/musician was Filipino American. To the major American journalist, this seemed to mean that her thoughts on this particular matter must be accurate.

The writer/musician had quickly judged that the killings were racially motivated and motivated by gender. And of course, it was entirely possible that each of those claims—fuzzy as they were—might be true in this matter.

The claims in question might be true, and so might the claim about "hate crimes." To the journalist, it was baffling when local law enforcement didn't skip attempts at investigation and say so right away!

The journalist said she was baffled that law enforcement didn't instantly use the legal term "hate crime." Below, you see the astonishing way she argued for the first of the writer/musician's slightly different claims.

We'll start you off with this:

HESSE: Of course the Atlanta shootings represented gender-based violence. Asian Americans of all genders reported an increase in harassment in 2020—racist responses to coronavirus misinformation, which was amplified by the previous White House. But in new research from Stop AAPI Hate, Asian American women reported harassment incidents 2.3 times as often as male counterparts.

"Of course the Atlanta shootings represented gender-based violence," the confident journalist wrote. And in some ways, that statement is plainly true!

When eight people are shot and killed, we're plainly talking about violence. But was the violence "gender-based?" In all depend on what you mean by the term, and the journalist didn't stop to explain. Nor, in any rational world, did those harassment data help.

Meanwhile, were the killings based on race? Here's how the journalist nailed down that (murky) claim:

HESSE (continuing directly): And as for race-based violence: A law enforcement official said the shooter was attempting to remove the “temptation” that “these places” presented him—a victim-blaming notion on its face.

But the shooter’s route between Young’s Asian Massage—where Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Delaina Ashley Yaun and Paul Andre Michels were killed—and his second destination took him past several adult businesses.

He could have stopped at strip clubs, pornographic video stores or multiple shops lined with wall-to-wall dildoes. But he didn’t. He drove 27 miles to Gold Spa, where he allegedly killed three Asian women, and then crossed the street to Aromatherapy Spa, where he allegedly killed one more (the names of the victims at the final two establishments have not been released).

He chose businesses where the employees were not just women but Asian women, not just Asian women but lower-wage Asian women in a fetishized profession.

The journalist entered am extraneous point about "victim-blaming," then moved ahead to her proof. She said  the killer could have stopped at various sex establishments which weren't primarily run by people of Asian descent.

She chose to omit an obvious fact—the killer said he went to these particular places because he (and others) said that he had long been a customer of those establishments. As with the FBI director's remarks, these facts disappeared.

This pitiful bit of information suppression—of journalistic legerdemain—was widely performed at the Washington Post and everywhere else script is sold. Our journalists had a preferred Storyline. Discordant facts had to go.

Was did Robert Long kill those people? Were the killings driven by some sort of anti-Asian "racial" animus?

At this point, we don't know how to answer that question. Unlike the journalist, we're grateful when local police don't rush to state such conclusions.

This columnist found their professional reticence baffling. All around Our Town's upper-end press, other work was equally bad. (We wish we could work Capehart in.) 

All hints of journalistic or analytical skill were AWOL from that column. Concerning what Joseph Biden said, the moral we draw would be this:

Every time a bell rings, some angel reportedly gets his wings. And every time a columnist speaks, Vladimir Putin racks up his next win.

These columnists drive us toward tribal war through the use of approved Storyline. It's very, very dumb at Fox, but also quite dumb Over Here.

The spirit of mandated Storyline is spreading all through Our Town. Why are we sliding toward the sea, making seers of Xi and Putin?

Why are we sliding toward the sea? At long last—not that it will help—experts explain next week.

This afternoon: Those astonishing press conference questions

Tomorrow: For the sake of establishing the historical record, the text of what Maddow said


61 comments:

  1. "Are we simply too stupid at this point to compete with determined autocrats?"

    Somerby discusses the questions asked by the press at Biden's press conference, then asks this question himself. But the press is not competing with those determined autocrats (Putin & Xi), neither are we (Somerby's readers). Biden and his government are doing the competing. So, the question is whether Biden and the people he selects are up to the job.

    We, the people, elected Biden and we rejected Trump. I think that suggests some intelligence and it shows that democracy can select the better choice. Press conferences are not the test of democracy -- elections are. And now, the majority party is fighting to defend the sanctity of the vote, the most important aspect of a functioning democracy. Somerby ignores that and instead focuses on the questions asked by a press conference -- an event intended to report to the people what the leaders have been doing. Governmental work doesn't occur during a press conference -- accountability does.

    Instead of commenting on the Georgia voting laws just passed, Somerby spews his same nonsense and then changes the subject. Somerby pretends that HIS level of intelligence is the same as Biden's and ours, his readers, but I think Somerby is the one who is incapable of dealing with today's problems, and thank God he is neither in charge nor influential in determining who will lead this country. He is clearly unfit, but the rest of us are not, judging by our last election's outcome. That's why I have faith that autocracy has not yet won the day.

    ReplyDelete
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  2. We've read two reviews of the yesterday's dembot show, by Tucker Carlson and by Howie Carr.

    Both are much funnier than yours, dear Bob, we're sorry to say.

    All in all, it sounds like a re-run of Pravda interviewing Leonid Brezhnev in early 1980s. And we're big fans of retro.

    We especially enjoyed the episode in which some government-paid dembot calls a certain rapist-mafioso figurehead "a moral and decent man".

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    Replies
    1. Which comedian is Carr plagiarizing this week?

      Delete
  3. "She chose to omit an obvious fact—the killer said he went to these particular places because he (and others) said that he had long been a customer of those establishments. As with the FBI director's remarks, these facts disappeared."

    This doesn't mean that he wasn't targeting Asian women. It only means that he knew where to find them because of prior visits. He drove 27 miles from one place to another specifically to shoot those women.

    And here is Somerby's most ridiculous remark:

    "But was the violence "gender-based?" In all depend on what you mean by the term, and the journalist didn't stop to explain."

    What possible meaning for the word "gender" can there be that will turn those women from female to male or erase the fact that Long felt tempted by them? Long's problems are with sex (lust) and that is why he specifically targeted women for this crime. That makes this a gender-based crime. Somerby pretends there may be (but does not state) a sense in which this is not true.

    One problem with violence against women is that it is not taken seriously and prosecuted fully. Today, Somerby wishes to evade the FACT that these women were targeted because they are women, so that Long can escape the hate crime designation that would enable full prosecution for his crimes.

    Somerby doesn't quite dare to suggest that Long had a good reason for shooting those women, but he is working his way in that direction. Because, if he didn't shoot those women for being women, then he must have had some other motive. But Somerby doesn't quite understand that hating women as an extension of hating one's own sexual impulses, is not a good reason for killing them. It isn't even a good reason for mocking them daily on his blog (under the guise of media criticism).

    Somerby IS showing us how, whenever men control the narrative, it becomes impossible for women to obtain justice for being the victims of male malice. I doubt that Putin or Xi would have any difficulty understanding this shooting and affixing the label female to the women who were shot and male to the shooter. It doesn't depend on how you define gender at all, but it does depend on how you define justice.

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    1. “What possible meaning for the word "gender" can there be that will turn those women from female to male or erase the fact that Long felt tempted by them? Long's problems are with sex (lust) and that is why he specifically targeted women for this crime. That makes this a gender-based crime.”

      Unless sexuality is a conscious choice, Long has no control over which gender arouses his lust.

      If he were gay and felt remorse and shame over that, he might have shot the men he hired to rub him down.

      If he felt tempted by an incestuous lust for his sisters or for his brothers, he might have shot them depending upon his bent.

      If he were bisexual....

      If Long had felt lust toward Asians or women in general, he could have shot up an Asian supermarket.

      They may have found something that incriminates Long, but it won’t be the sort of argument you’ve made here.

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    2. Lust alone doesn't cause people to shoot people. It needs to be coupled with hate and it is the hate that makes that shooting a hate crime.

      It doesn't matter why men hate women. What matters is that their hate motivates violence targeted toward women.

      Your focus on his sexuality and lust prevents you from seeing the rest of his actions. That this young man wishes to blame his actions on lustful feelings doesn't make this less of a hate crime against women. Criminals say lots of self-justifying or misleading things when confronted with a crime.

      For example, "I didn't mean to kill her. She wouldn't stop crying." does not mean that the killer is guiltless because the victim in truth was crying.

      And think for a moment about the mass killings that have occurred at Jewish synagogues by non-Jewish people who were not members of the congregation. Did anyone waste a minute debating whether this was a hate crime or not? I do not see why someone who seeks out an Asian massage parlor is not equally clearly targeting Asian women. No one rational thinks he went there and just lost his temper because he got a bad massage.

      The more you and Somerby argue this, the more strongly motivated to deny racism/sexism you guys appear. That denial makes these crimes more likely to happen again (107 mass killings since the beginning of the year).

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    3. Cecelia: “If he felt tempted by an incestuous lust for his sisters or for his brothers, he might have shot them depending upon his bent.”

      Except brothers and sisters are not considered groups to which hate crimes apply.

      We don’t yet know what prosecutors will do.

      Long may be charged under Georgia’s hate crime law. But looking at the federal hate crime law, it simply says it is a hate crime if the perpetrator causes harm to someone because of their race, gender, etc. It doesn’t say you have to hate them.

      Long picked out his victims because they were Asian women, both considered groups covered by the law.

      Why doesn’t that meet the definition?

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    4. mh, I didn’t mention that scenario as an example of a gender based hate crime, but as to lust and shame that comes from involuntary sexual orientation

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    5. Sex addiction is not a real thing and it cannot be the basis for a criminal defense.

      https://www.rawstory.com/is-addiction-really-a-thing-science-is-skeptical/

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    6. Anonymous 3:14pm, it’s interesting to know that lust and shame couldn’t cause hatred. Especially in the context of seeking out your jollies in the seedy way Long did, whether there was a mutual understanding that he would be satisfied, or as a secret he managed to keep to himself.

      You and the media may immediately deem a mass shooting a hate crime, investigators not so much.

      I’m completely certain that if I shot up a synagogue or a church there would be an investigation as to whether I had any particular disputes, business or otherwise, with the congregants, individually and as a body.

      Property boundary disputes, parking issues, unpaid debts, hurt feelings — are the sort of things of interest to investigators.

      It seems every other weekend there are six or seven people who are shot by complete strangers at parties.

      No one immediately claims that to be a hate crime because the victims are all black.

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    7. "I’m completely certain that if I shot up a synagogue or a church there would be an investigation as to whether I had any particular disputes..."

      Meh. I wouldn't be so certain. They would probably leverage the threat of accusing you of a "hate crime" to make you plead guilty to murder 1. Whereas without "hate crimes" you might've been able to bargain for murder 2. It's all in the game, yo...

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    8. "Especially in the context of seeking out your jollies in the seedy way Long did, "

      It seems likely that all Long received at those massage parlors was a massage. That you assume he got more is part of the pernicious effect of stereotyping.

      He is more like the men who rub up against women on the subway. It is only sexual in their minds.

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    9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    10. Once you figure out for sure why a mass-shooter killed who they killed, then what?

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    11. Depends on the answer. If he was mentally ill, then he will get treatment in a locked psychiatric facility. If he did it out of hate, then his sentence will be more severe. If he colluded with others, they will look for his accomplices. The facts do matter.

      Those red flag laws may be informed by who is likely to commit such crimes, and for what reasons.

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    12. "He is more like the men who rub up against women on the subway. It is only sexual in their minds."

      Anonymouse 5:10pm, you don't know that any more than I do. If he wasn't explicitly paying for gratification, I assume that he had something over his genitals so that the women weren't aware of his state of arousal.

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    13. Anonymouse 3:14pm "The more you and Somerby argue this, the more strongly motivated to deny racism/sexism you guys appear. That denial makes these crimes more likely to happen again (107 mass killings since the beginning of the year)."

      Does it occur to you that the people who are arguing that there is yet no solid proof that this is a hate crime COULD be placed on the jury in Long's trial, but that you wouldn't make it on a bet?

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    14. I am responding to what you said, about him getting his jollies. They don't sell jollies at those massage parlors. So, if he was getting any jollies, it was gratuitous, like the guys on the subway.

      You seem determined to portray massage parlors as prostitution dens. You don't know that either, but the families of the women say there was no sex, and I believe them because prostitutes are not generally middle aged women working for very low wages in spas.

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    15. Anonymouse 5:54 am, it doesn't matter as to the charge, so I don't know why you're making that an issue when I said he could be getting them via an agreement or surreptitiously.

      I mean I don't know a reason other than Anonymices being permanently gorilla-glued to a high-horse.

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    16. It does matter what he is charged with. Different charges have different sentences. He has confessed to shooting the women. Your version of what happened is just as fictitious as anyone else's.

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    17. Anon 5:32 PM: "If he did it out of hate, then his sentence will be more severe."

      Georgia has the death penalty for ordinary murder. What sentence is more severe than that?

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    18. Anonymouse 6:11pm, I don't have a version of what happened. I don't know if he's guilty of a hate crime or not.

      You have a version of what happened that has left me unconvinced still.

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    19. @Gloucon: Wouldn’t prosecutors charge him with all applicable crimes? In the case that he does not receive the death penalty (because he was deemed “insane” or they can’t bring capital murder charges), then the additional charges could add to his sentence.

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    20. The insanity issue is not the main point here. Anon 5:32 PM is convinced the killer killed out of a hatred of women, Asians, or both and if he is declared sane he deserves a greater punishment than death. He needs to tell us what that punishment should be.

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    21. Loss of TV privileges while he awaits his appeals?

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    22. Worse punishment than living in a nation with Republicans in governmental power? Good luck finding something worse than that.

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  4. "And every time a columnist speaks, Vladimir Putin racks up his next win."

    This was certainly true whenever Somerby spoke, over the period between 2015 and 2020. Somerby did his best to sow dissension on the left and undermine Democratic candidates. Somerby helped put Trump into office and then became one of his apologists, excusing everything he did and attacking liberals (to Putin's benefit).

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  5. “She chose to omit an obvious fact—the killer said he went to these particular places because he (and others) said that he had long been a customer of those establishments.”

    The killer claimed he had a “sex addiction.” He fed that addiction, apparently, somehow, by associating with Asian women at spas/massage parlors.

    If he is saying that his “sex addiction” led him to kill these people, then that means he specifically targeted Asian women.

    That seems pretty clear.

    So what is Somerby arguing? That Long didn’t target Asian women? That’s laughable. That he liked Asian women,so he can’t be accused of hating them? That is ludicrous. Long viewed women as the source of the temptation that his church taught him was evil and sinful. In attempting to eradicate that source, he wasn’t killing those women out of love or compassion. He viewed them as the source of his sinful temptation and thus needing to be eliminated.

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  6. What does Somerby want from his readers? We don't write the articles he criticizes.

    1. He doesn't want Long's shooting to be considered a hate crime.

    2. He doesn't want the press to ask Biden about the 2024 campaign.

    3. He doesn't want tribal meltdowns (whatever that means).

    4. He doesn't want the experiences of a Filipino musician/writer to be taken seriously simply because she is Filipino and had those experiences.

    5. He doesn't want the fact that Long had previously sought out Asian massage therapists to influence the judgment that he sought them out this time, to shoot them.

    6. He doesn't want the police to draw conclusions from the facts they are uncovering.

    7. He thinks that journalists are helping Putin and Xi, although that seems to be a manipulative assertion intended to support his other complaints about these "columnists," because he never connects their actions to either autocrat.

    Overall, his argument seems to be "agree with me or else" under the threat of tribal war producing autocracy here.

    Others might suggest that robust discussion (e.g., tribal war) leads to greater democracy, whereas suppression of diverse points of view supports autocracy. His continuing calls to stop the kinds of opinions he disagrees with are not in keeping with democracy at all, but are typical of the right wing, the folks who have been helping Putin, if not Xi, achieve his aims of disrupting American democracy.

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  7. Somerby says: "On the first day after these killings, "local law enforcement" had said it was too early to tell if the incident was a "hate crime." (Comments by the head of the FBI were excluded from Hesse's column.)

    In what world does a major journalist find such conduct baffling? In what world does a major journalist think that local law enforcement should voice instant judgments about technical legal matters?"

    The baffling part of this is that a man can deliberately target female Asian massage therapists and have it be considered neither an Asian hate crime nor a female hate crime.

    I agree fully with Hesse. The unwillingness of police and other officials to call this hate when the crime is specifically directed and Asian women, without any explanation of why it would not be a hate crime, is baffling. I consider it not just "baffling" but an affront to women and the Asian American community.

    Long's motives for singling out women and Asians can be explored at leisure, but the FACT that these two designated groups were singled out is obvious and should not be ignored like this.

    That Somerby would call for this to be ignored suggests that Somerby too has a problem acknowledging hate crimes in our society, just as he has a problem acknowledging racism as a problem that minorities still struggle against.

    The targeting of women by angry young males with easy access to weapons (such as AR-15's), is a problem that needs to be explicitly dealt with, and that cannot happen if local police will not even acknowledge it when it happens.

    Ignoring the racial/gender aspect of Long's choice of victims gives tacit approval and permission to such crimes. It signals that our society is not prepared to punish those who commit acts of violence against women and minorities. These incel shooters are made heroes on blogs and it can be argued that the shooting in Atlanta may have inspired the shooting in Boulder, which was imitated by the shooter apprehended before he could shoot anyone, at the Publix store in Atlanta shortly afterward. These guys feed off of each other's actions and these shootings may be contagious in the same way that suicides among young people are.

    This is a serious social problem which Somerby treats as an exercise in distorted logic instead of public health.

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    1. Jake, if Long for example, had gone to mall, crowded with people of both genders and with people of diverse 'races' and selected only victims who were "Asian" women, and sparing Asian men and non-Asians of both genders, (and possibly on top of it on his social medial expressed his loathing of Asian women, or women or Asians in general), then you could plausibly conclude that he "singled out" members of these two groups, because they are members of those groups. All TDH is saying, almost the epitome of reason, is that we don't know what Long's motive, and why is it so vital to incorporate this horrible mass murder into one of the current "pre-approved tribal scripts." Your statement that "ignoring the racial/gender aspect of Long's choice gives tacit approval and permission to such crimes" is ridiculous to the extreme. God help us!

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    2. There is no evidence that any male massage therapists worked at any of those locations. Further, he clearly picked out those places to attend when he made the decision to go there for a massage. There are non-Asian massage businesses and spas.

      When someone targets Asian women, and Somerby says "we don't know what his motives were, he is not displaying the epitome of reason, any more than when he says "anything is possible" about some equally obvious fact.

      First, we have no pre-approved tribal script about Asian women being murdered by young men with AK-15's. Second, Somerby does have a pre-approved script of his own about denying racism as a phenomenon in our society. Somerby is arguing that Long should receive lesser sentencing when he says this was not necessarily a hate crime, because hate crimes come with harsher sentences. The purpose of those harsher sentences is to deter such crimes. When the law is not applied to situations involving Asian women, then the deterrence is not available to them as a group.

      Uncontrollable lust has never been a defense for rapists. Why should it be for murderers? There has long been a tendency to investigate and prosecute crimes against prostitutes (including murder) less vigorously than those against women whose families are demanding justice. Women who are poor and who work in low-paid jobs and who are members of minorities (such as Asian Americans) should not be treated as expendable or less valuable. The stereotypes about Asian women interact with beliefs that massage businesses must be fronts for prostitution or sex-trafficking. Why Somerby denies that Asian women were targeted, he is asking that crucial elements of this crime be ignored by the press and Long's excuses be accepted as if they are credible, when they are not.

      Long's crimes need to be taken as seriously as if his victims were debutantes or city council members. The hate crime designation is supposed to ensure that. That's why it is important that a hate crime be called a hate crime, and the public eye be focused on it and the efforts of investigators, when the circumstances warrant it, as they do in this case.

      Delete
    3. AC, Long claimed he had a “sex addiction” and used Asian women to satisfy it. His church taught him that his lust was a sin. He sought to eliminate the source for his lust, ie, Asian women. He clearly targeted them, singled them out. How can you say otherwise?

      Delete
    4. Uncontrollable lust isn't Long's defense against a hate crime and its doubtfult it would be even if he had actually been charged with that crime.

      As yet, he hasn't been charged and doesn't need a defense against it.

      Delete
    5. He has confessed and he said he was trying to eliminate the cause of his lust.

      Delete
    6. Could there be a reason he would act this out on particular people in particular locations or vicinities?

      You only need the possibility that this could reasonably be the case.

      Our system is funny that way.

      Delete
    7. Religion kills.

      Delete
  8. “ Somerby pretends that HIS level of intelligence is the same as Biden's and ours, his readers, but I think Somerby is the one who is incapable of dealing with today's problems, and thank God he is neither in charge nor influential in determining who will lead this country. He is clearly unfit, but the rest of us are not, judging by our last election's outcome. That's why I have faith that autocracy has not yet won the day.”

    Anonymouse 11:35am, you objectively are not equipped to understand the concept of reasonable doubt, let alone being able to realistically gauge a problem.

    The press does matter. Their questions matter. Their penchant for narrative matters. When they asked Biden if he’s running again in 2024, they were gauging the level of confidence that he has in himself right now. This was a back door way of addressing the charge that Biden isn’t physically or mentally up to the challenge.

    As soft as this approach was, it annoys Somerby. He don’t play. He finds that petty and stupid. Bob found Margaret Sullivan’s column playing into the incompetence charge as being the same. He found it annoying even though he understands that Sullivan was telling her colleagues that their test lies in their not being showy and adversarial and in framing the questions they know they’re expected to ask (competence, immigration) in the ‘right‘ context.

    Still, Somerby concluded that Sullivan had failed her test by simply mentioning gaffes. So you guys pull out what Bob said about Biden before he was the nominee, let alone the Democratic president in front of a national audience, and you dump on him.

    You act like this because it’s the job you’re here to perform and also because you’re not very bright.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cecelia, a while back, Somerby himself claimed, without being prompted, that Biden was a “gaffe machine.” One assumes that is a general assessment of Biden, not contingent upon whether he is the nominee or the President or just one of many candidates.

      If Somerby is free to offer this assessment, why does he then attack Sullivan and ignore the rest of her column when she acknowledges exactly what Somerby acknowledged about Biden and her main point was not about the supposed gaffes but rather media criticism?

      Delete
    2. mh, Somerby attacked Sullivan because she wasn’t ruminating on the potential nominees for president for the Democratic ticket on a blog board.

      Sullivan was talking about gaffes in the context of the Democrat who now sits in the Oval Office, and for whom Somerby has expressed pleasantly surprised admiration.

      As I said, what she was really doing was telling the press how to ask obligatory questions in the way that is the least pejorative toward the candidate.

      However, just saying the word gaffe at this point was too much for him. Apparently not for you.

      Me neither.

      Delete
    3. Sullivan’s mention of “gaffes” can be interpreted as media criticism as well. That Biden is a “gaffe machine” has been a press (and apparently Somerby) meme for a long time. She was actually asking the question sarcastically. And you don’t know what Somerby thought of the rest of her article, because he didn’t bother to critique it.

      Delete
    4. mh, I have stated that Sullivan mentioned gaffes only in the context of clueing her colleagues into taking soft back door approaches as to issues they’re expected to cover.

      Somerby is unhappy that she uttered the word at all.

      I believe Somerby indicated his opinion of Sullivan’s tactics by stating that simply by mentioning gaffes, she had already failed her own test.

      Delete
    5. Somerby gets to mention “gaffes” all he wants, but not Sullivan. When he does it, just a righteous blogger doin’ his thing. When she does it, even sarcastically and as a critique of the media, she fails the test. Ok. That makes no sense, but ok.

      And your characterization of her column is not correct and you cannot know what Somerby thought about it.

      Delete
    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    7. mh, I know what Somerby meant by saying that Sullivan failed her own test because I DO know the context in which the remark DOES make sense.

      Delete
    8. The capitalization doesn’t actually prove anything, you know.

      Delete
    9. TDH makes 2 points - that the media is concerned less than 3 month's into Biden's term whether he intends to run in 2024 - part of their ongoing horse race obsession, in lieu of actually engaging in intelligent coverage. And the media's obsession with gaffes, similar to their concern about how likeable or authentic a candidate is. The pundits and the press are shallow and superficial - though in their defense, that is what is palatable to the public.

      Delete
  9. "Was [sic] did Robert Long kill those people? Were the killings driven by some sort of anti-Asian "racial" animus?"

    May we suggest, dear Bob, that despite what any of your dembots say, it was, undeniably, a love-crime?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pretty much every action a Right-winger makes is due to their LOVE for White Supremacy.
      All the people charged in the Capitol insurrection, for instance committed love-crimes.

      Delete
  10. “The spirit of mandated Storyline is spreading all through Our Town. Why are we sliding toward the sea, making seers of Xi and Putin?”

    It doesn’t help when people like Somerby say things like this:

    “Just so you know—police officers are almost always said to be lying in this region of Dogmastan.”

    (CNN, resembling Fox!

    THURSDAY, MARCH 11, 2021
    http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com/2021/03/cnn-resembling-fox.html)

    This is an extreme position, not advocated by mainstream liberals. But Somerby ascribes it to almost all. Not cool. But then, in order to further debase our discourse, he takes the opposite extreme position, held by many on the right:

    “the (largely imagined) intersections of "race" and crime and punishment.”
    http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com/2020/09/how-and-why-do-unarmed-women-get-shot.html

    And: “As far as we know, no police misconduct is involved in the bulk of such cases.”
    http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com/2020/09/the-disappeared-and-dead-why-was.html

    The truth lies somewhere in the middle, but not so’s you’d know it at The Howler.

    It also doesn’t help when fonts of blogger wisdom who call themselves liberal make not a single reference to the ongoing vote suppressing authoritarianism enacted by the GOP here at home. It means he doesn’t care about it. That must pleasure Xi and Putin, especially when they watch black congresswomen arrested and dragged away from their place of work for knocking on a door, and the men and women who tried to extort votes (trump) get off scot free or those who attacked the Capitol got selfies with cops.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is from the federal hate crime statute (18 U.S. Code § 249 - Hate crime acts):

    “Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person——“ etc, gets charged.

    It doesn’t say anywhere that the person explicitly acts out of racial hatred or gender hatred. It just says the perpetrator causes harm because of the race, gender, etc of the victim.

    I still don’t see how this doesn’t apply here, since Long clearly targeted Asian women. The lack of a history of anti-Asian racism or overt misogyny doesn’t mean he didn’t target the victims because of their race/gender.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "clearly" is one of those words we use when we lack actual proof.

      Did he choose specific targets, 75% of whom turned out to be Asian women? Or, did he choose targets because they were Asian or because they were women? It's hard to get into the brain of a madman.

      IMHO the real key is that the killer was insane. I don't mean legally insane, I mean using ordinary language.

      Delete
    2. "It's hard to get into the brain of a madman."

      The NY Times tried this at rural diners from 2017 to 2020.

      Delete
  12. mh, good work looking up the statute But you are misreading it. The statute applies where the violence is directed at someone "because of" their status as a member of a protected category. That Long may have "targeted these women" and these women were "asian" does not mean that he targeted them "because" they were Asian. that's where this, in my opinion, stupid insistence on making this out as another example of hate directed at Asians (which has now been elevated, validly or not, to an approved narrative. Also undercutting your theory is that he killed two non-Asians. He's being charged with several counts of first degree murder. If some evidence that he did this "because" they were Asians, fine, add a hate crime charge to it. but he is going to get the maximum penalty regardless.

    ReplyDelete
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