IN SEARCH OF CERTAIN SKILLS: Does high-level cogency actually matter?


Especially for the young, has the die already been cast?: We strongly agree with a letter which appears in in today's New York Times.

The letter-writer lives in Nashville. In her letter, she laments the situation unfolding in Afghanistan:

To the Editor:

It makes some sort of logical sense to say we should let the Afghans control their own infighting, their own religious wars. It really does. American heroes have paid the price, extravagantly.

But, and this is the crux, women and girls are going to suffer. They are going to be under the cruel thumb of the Taliban men (and other rigid groups) who won’t let them be fully human.

This is heartbreaking, any way you look at it. In 2021, there is a country where men of the ruling class are going to completely subjugate women.

This is a tragedy of epic proportions. And the will to stop the despicable Taliban is dead. So, sadly, we’ll be reading about the ruin of Afghan women for years to come.

That's what the letter said. A link was provided to this front-page report in yesterday's hard-copy Times

(Headline: "As Taliban Capture Cities, U.S. Says Afghan Forces Must Fend for Themselves.")

In fact, many people are going to suffer under the Taliban, even including boys and men. More precisely, a whole lot of people are going to suffer, and quite a few others will die. They're being murdered every day in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal.

For these reasons, we weren't inclined to support the removal of American troops. That said, the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Afghanistan is only one part of a larger mosaic as a certain world seems to be nearing its end.

In the last two mornings, front-page reports in the Washington Post and the New York Times have described the new climate projections from the IPCC. 

For perhaps the last decade, for perhaps a bit more, it has seemed to us that the die had already been cast—that there was no conceivable way to forestall future climate disaster. 

Last Saturday, we enjoyed a drive-by visit from two great-nieces, ages 9 and 15, and from their charming parents. It seems to us that people of their generation are almost surely looking forward to a world of massive dislocation and gigantic hurt.

Then too, we have our nation's tribal disaster—our increasing division into various warring groups. 

As we've noted in the past, we see no good way out of this second mess, or out of the warfare it portends. Again, here's why we say that:

Modern technologies have made tribal division a very large, profit-based business. Thanks to "cable news" and talk radio, through the behavior of Internet sites and even in the realm of social media, it's easier than it ever has been to spread tribal narratives all around, including narratives built upon complete total screaming bullsh*t. 

It isn't just that it's easy to spread such matter around. Under current arrangements, this practice is also highly profitable. And as a wide array of individuals and institutions have pursued  such ends, we've all been exposed to a new anthropological fact:

It's amazingly easy to get us humans to believe any damn fool thing you want! It's amazingly easy to get us to truly believe, so long as you're advancing tribal narrative at a time of high tribal division. 

At times of heightened tribal division, we humans are very suggestible. In his column in today's Times, Paul Krugman explores this theme, though he does so exclusively from our own blue tribe's tribal perspective.

"It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the paranoid, anti-rational streak in American politics isn’t as bad as we thought; it’s much, much worse," Krugman writes.

We agree with that assessment, but a basic point should be added. This "anti-rational streak" isn't just as Amerikan trait. This impulse exists all over the world, and it always has. 

Still, the past dozen years have demonstrated that this anti-rational streak is stronger than we ever would have imagined. For us, the starting point would probably be the widespread acceptance of the claim that Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States. 

Your starting-point may differ.

We agree with Krugman today, except on one major point. Reading his column, a person would think that this reflexive adherence to tribal narrative is only happening Over There, among the red tribe's clans. 

Sadly, no! It's also happening within our own blue tribe. Generally, this involves our tribe's adherence to various narratives involving gender and "race." 

The journalism of the Post and the Times reflects these instincts and fluffs these narratives on a daily basis. For today, we'll link you to one horrendous example.

We encountered that remarkable news report on the Post's web site this past Sunday evening. It wasn't accompanied by this related news report. At that time, it appeared on its own.

It seemed to us that the news report defines a tribal era. Eye-catching headline included, the news report starts like this:

‘Lynchings in Mississippi never stopped'

JACKSON, Miss.—Since 2000, there have been at least eight suspected lynchings of Black men and teenagers in Mississippi, according to court records and police reports.

“The last recorded lynching in the United States was in 1981,” said Jill Collen Jefferson, a lawyer and founder of Julian, a civil rights organization named after the late civil rights leader Julian Bond. “But the thing is, lynchings never stopped in the United States. Lynchings in Mississippi never stopped. The evil bastards just stopped taking photographs and passing them around like baseball cards.”

In classic fashion, the headline is a quotation—a quotation expressing one person's stated belief. The opening paragraph in the report floated the idea around which the report was based:

There have been at least eight suspected lynchings in Mississippi just since the year 2000! Needless to say, the key word there is "suspected." 

The report proceeds to list all eight "suspected lynchings." In at least several cases, the report fails to include the impressive body of information which led to the deaths being viewed as suicides. In at least one case, this judgment was reached with as many as 30 FBI agents investigating the case.

How many of those eight deaths really were suicides? Aside from one beating death which was successfully prosecuted, were any of those "suspected lynchings" actually homicides?

We have no way of knowing. Neither did the reporter or the editors who put that report on line—and the answer, of course, could be no. (As best we can tell, these two related news reports haven't yet appeared in print editions of the Post.)

The Washington Post doesn't know! But the report is clearly designed to send a tribal narrative out into the ether. Tribal excitement was hurried along by the elimination of information which cuts against the grain of preferred belief. 

Commenters quickly fell in line, asserting their unexamined belief that all eight cases were lynchings! So it goes as an army in blue resembles an army in red.

In simpler times, the word for a report like this would have been "irresponsible." In this time of heightened tribal anger, the report is stunningly "anti-journalistic," a near relative of the term Krugman uses today.

According to major anthropologists, this is the way the human brain is wired, whether we like it or not. Throughout the course of human history, the fruit of this wiring has been the death and destruction of full-blown war, as in today's Afghanistan.

Over the past few months, we've found it harder and harder to write about this depressing tendency  within our own blue tribe. A month ago, we switched to a more high-minded topic. We began exploring a lofty question:

Have elite writers—journalists, academics, book authors—ever been able to make Einstein easy? Have such figures ever been able to make Einstein's universe understandable to general readers—to us non-specialists?

We plan to continue this investigation next week. For this week, we've decided to explain our interest in this topic—why we think it's worth discussing.

Does this question actually matter?  Probably not. As we noted above, it's our impression that the die has already been cast.

It's our impression that there may be no good way out of the various disasters we currently face. That impression could always be wrong, but it remains our best guess.

That said, there's a striking shortage of cogency / clarity skills among our culture's elites. It shows up in various fascinating ways when academics and writers try to make Einstein (and Gödel) easy for general readers.

Does it matter if non-specialists can understand Einstein's universe? No, it basically doesn't. Relativity is a point of interest, but nothing turns on such understanding among the nation's unwashed.

Meanwhile, does it matter if our academic and journalistic elites lack those cogency / clarity skills? Conceivably, yes it does!

We speak here of a type of trickle-down. If the nation's logicians chose to serve, we could imagine a possible spread of cogency into our daily assessments of topics which really do matter. 

We can imagine such trickle-down, though it's clear that it never will happen. 

Tomorrow, we'll discuss this notion a bit more. We'll start with a small, perfectly understandable misunderstanding on the part of the analysts' Uncle Drum, our long-time favorite blogger.

The Drumster described our interest in this matter in this recent post. We'd have to say that he misconstrued what it is we're after.

In the end, we do suspect that the die has been cast. As we explore these lofty concerns, it's like we're hanging around on the beach, like Gregory Peck before us.

Tomorrow: What their Uncle Drum said


  1. "In fact, many people are going to suffer under the Taliban, even including boys and men."

    This is the equivalent of the All Lives Matter response to Black Lives Matter.

    A letter writer expresses concern about the way women and girls will be treated under the Taliban, and Somerby must remind us that boys and men have problems too. Heaven forbid that a writer should worry about women's issues, which are different than those men face, without acknowledging the importance of men's problems too.

    And Somerby ignores that the Taliban is the source of religious persecution aimed specifically at women and girls, of a type that men do not face but are instead the perpetrators of, including honor killings when women disobey gender-specific religious rules imposed by men.

    Somerby cannot acknowledge any of this without shifting the concern to the men. Because men's lives matter more than women's lives do, and we cannot be allowed to forget it.

    1. Actually it's not. Here in Chicago last Saturday on "no crime day" (It didn't work out), someone finally spoke the truth when he said that if black lives matter, we need to stop shooting each other.

    2. In countries that pay everyone a minimum income, there is dramatically less crime and homelessness because no one is in poverty. Our crime rates and poverty rates both decreased with the covid relief payments and unemployment supplements last year.

      Murders are up 25% but still are about half the rate at the end of the 20th century. They are concentrated in disadvantaged inner cities that have traditionally struggled with drug-related gang violence. The current rise is attributed to greater availability of guns.

      "Homicide rates were higher during every month of 2020 – even before pandemic-related shutdowns started in March, the analysis found. But there was also a “structural break” in the data in June, indicating “a large, statistically significant increase” in the homicide rate, around the same time as the mass protests that followed the murder of George Floyd.

      So far, there’s a lot of political rhetoric, and relatively little data or hard evidence, about how substantially different factors may have contributed to the 2020 increase.

      Alongside a global pandemic, and a major protest movement against police violence and systemic racism, the US saw a historic rise in gun sales during 2020.

      A preprint study from researchers at the University of California, Davis, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, suggested that a spike in gun purchases during the early months of the pandemic was associated with a nearly 8% increase in gun violence from March through May, or 776 additional fatal and nonfatal shooting injuries nationwide. The researchers found that states that had lower levels of violent crime pre-Covid saw a stronger connection between additional gun purchases and more gun violence."

    3. Sorry 5:24. These new fascist liberals never ever, ever discuss income inequality or class issues. It's too complicated and hard for them to come to terms with. This is because class issues interfere with their cherished tribal religion of race and gender - which keep things nice and black and white, nice and tribal. Easy. Class issues cut across that which is hard so they avoid the issue completely. They prefer to stay safe and warm in their womb of tribal comfort and ignorance.

      Let's please not discuss class or income inequality ever again so we can continue to hate the others, who are all racists, in peace. Forever. Amen.

    4. Class doesn't cut across the categories of gender and race. It is correlated with them.

      Women tend to earn less than men.
      Black people tend to earn less than white people.

      But if you address only income inequality, you do not solve the problems of discrimination on the basis of race or gender. Those will remain, so all three must be addressed: race, gender, economic class.

    5. Income inequality isn't addressed or even mentioned at all in the blizzard of race and gender complaints of the new corporate fascist liberals. It doesn't exist. Such complaints would include "the Other" and the issue is complicated so it is disappeared. Which is exactly as the plutocrats planned it.

    6. You'd think Republicans would support eating the rich to "own the libs". Instead they cheered along as Trump have the rich a HUGE tax break.
      Right-wing priorities.

    7. Income disparity and class issues are not only not a priority for corporate libs, they don't even mention it all except passing mentions in campaigns that are never followed up . It's not an issue they care about at all. It's all about race. Which is exactly as the plutocrats planned it.

    8. Sorry, 11:49. You'll just have to vote for Democrats because they, at least, make life easier on the citizens than the GOP does
      BTW, we probably don't have a political party that cares about income disparity, because it's not a political winner. They aren't going to care about income disparity just because me and you care about it.

    9. Yes - that's always been my point. Both sides.

      Thanks for finally realizing.

    10. My point is the people won't vote for someone who will do something about income disparity.
      If the citizens wanted it, you know some craven politician would offer it.
      Do you realize that too?

  2. "Then too, we have our nation's tribal disaster—our increasing division into various warring groups. "

    This is a gross exaggeration. We live in a democracy that is based on conflict between divergent political parties who hash things out in order to achieve compromise that represents the interests of all concerned. Our country runs on that conflict between ideas and interests. It is not run by a top-down imposition of power, benevolent or not.

    The contention is particularly heated these days because our problems are serious and our society is diverse, not because civilization is falling apart, as Somerby claims. Even with a wannabe despot like Trump elected, our democracy has survived an attempted coup, which shows its strength, not failure.

    Somerby has never been married and that may influence his views about the value of conflict. Those who are married tend to better understand that conflict has its purposes and is a good thing in a union, not a bad one, because grievances get aired and adjustments can be made to greater increase the satisfaction of all concerned. The failure to resolve conflict is what results in war (or divorce), not the conflict itself, which is necessary to change.

    We are passing a bipartisan infrastructure bill today. That should give Somerby hope, not result in this type of doom and gloom diatribe, based on false premises about tribalism, a term invented by the right (in this political context) in order to batter the left.

    In these times, it is important for us to recognize and set aside the noise, especially that generated by folks attempting to manipulate the system for their own interests, and that includes Somerby.

    He is right about the importance of addressing climate change. He is wrong to believe that we cannot or will not do so. It is already happening, in the follow on spending bill that the Democrats will pass via reconciliation. Biden is wiselty sidestepping the culture wars that Republicans use to distract from Democratic issues, and enacting the crucial legislation we need to meet our nation's urgent problems.

    But Somerby doesn't like Biden. That's because Soemrby is no liberal.

    1. 'We are passing a bipartisan infrastructure bill today. That should give Somerby hope, not result in this type of doom and gloom diatribe,'

      Somerby is a Trumptard, so he is disappointed at the passing of the infrastructure bill since his hero Donald Trump couldn't get one passed in 4 years

  3. "This impulse exists all over the world, and it always has. "

    And yet the world has been improving on all measures. See Steven Pinker's books for a catalog of the ways our world is now better than at any previous point in history.

  4. Somerby says the Washington Post article is just an expression of one person's opinion. Yet the opening paragraph says:

    "Since 2000, there have been at least eight suspected lynchings of Black men and teenagers in Mississippi, according to court records and police reports."

    That sounds like a factual news report to me. Court and police records are not "opinion". They are evidence supporting the headline to this article.

    1. "In at least several cases, the report fails to include the impressive body of information which led to the deaths being viewed as suicides."

      Beware of adjectives such as "impressive". They signal evaluative judgment (opinion) and an attempt to manipulate the reader.

      Any slight evidence in support of calling these deaths suicides would please a bigot who wishes to ignore attacks on black men and boys in Mississippi. How impressive is it? We must take Somerby's word.

      How many people commit suicide by hanging themselves from a tree? Somerby doesn't say. How easy is it to accomplish such a thing? Somerby doesn't say. What does the coroner's report and police report say? Somerby doesn't tell us. He just suggests that if it could be suicide it must be suicide because there is no reason to believe that lynchings are still happening in a place where they have historically been a means of intimidating black people. To Somerby it makes more sense to blame the victims. Because that's the way Somerby's mind works.

      And he has the nerve to call for greater clarity, higher level thinking skills! His call would only make sense if it were applied to himself as a plea for his own self-improvement. Using such a claim to justify an attack on civil rights of black people is not what liberals do. It is what bigots do.

  5. If Drum misconstrued Somerby’s intent, it was fue to Somerby’s lack of clarity.

    Somerby reasons that if experts cannot explain relativity to everyman, then they cannot explain complexities to each other either. I see no reason why that should be true. Somerby claims everyone lacks clarity but there are many alternative explanations that make more sense, especially since some people do understand such books, which would not be true if clarity were the problem. Somerby says those who say they understand are lying, but how can he know that?

    Obviously many scientists learn from each other or we would have none of the achievements of science.

  6. "For these reasons, we weren't inclined to support the removal of American troops"

    Oh, this is so brain-dead-liberal of you, dear Bob: killing foreign people in order to save them.

    How disappointing, though not really surprising.

    In any case, you don't need to go tribal about this, dear Bob. Why don't you get a rifle and a tin-hat, and fly to Afghanistan to kill bad foreign people to help good foreign people? Go, dear Bob, go, by all means.

    Same thing, incidentally, with the horrible warming, dear Bob. Destroy your car and your house, and move into a cave. Yes, a cave in Afghanistan, dear Bob.

    See how it all works out?

    1. Bob's trolling you.
      You're playing right into his hands with your hissy fit.
      Ignore him. He gets off by making you angry with his nonsense.

    2. Mao is a troll too. He is't angry. He is earning rubles to feed his family.

  7. "It's amazingly easy to get us humans to believe any damn fool thing you want! It's amazingly easy to get us to truly believe, so long as you're advancing tribal narrative at a time of high tribal division. "

    As usual, Somerby has a low opinion of people.

    If it were that easy to get people to believe things, it would be easy to get anti-vaxxers, anti-maskers, and Trump supporters to change their views. But it obviously isn't easy to get people to set aside their beliefs or belief whatever you want them to.

    All that time reading Einstein and Somerby doesn't believe any of it.

    Somerby supposedly watches both MSNBC and CNN and Fox News, yet he chooses to belief the other tribe's message, aligning himself with right-wing memes and culture war nonsense. As a liberal, and presumably a human being, he should be following the leftist line, but he is not, making himself a counter-example to his own argument.

    Are we to think he is the only non-tribal man in our country? Not when he self-identifies as liberal and keeps talking about our town.

  8. “Aside from one beating death which was successfully prosecuted”

    What Somerby didn’t tell you: It wasn’t just a beating/homicide.

    In the case of Craig Anderson:

    ‘In March 2012, three of the teenagers — identified as Deryl Dedmon, John Rice and Dylan Butler — pleaded guilty in federal district court to charges of conspiracy and committing a hate crime.

    During a sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves connected the killing of Anderson to the state’s gruesome history of lynchings, telling the courtroom that “a toxic mix of alcohol, foolishness and unadulterated hatred caused these young people to resurrect the nightmarish specter of lynchings and lynch mobs from the Mississippi we long forget.”

    Reeves said the group of White teenagers targeted Black neighborhoods in Jackson, “for the sole purpose of harassing, terrorizing, physically assaulting and causing bodily injury to Black folk.”

    The “marauders,” the judge said, prowled the community. “They recruited and encouraged others to join in the coordinated chaos; and they boasted about their shameful activity,” Reeves said. “This was a 2011 version of the n----- hunts.”’
    (This was all in the Post report. )

    It seems that the judge in this case is describing reality, rather than sending a ‘tribal narrative out into the ether’.

    1. And by the way:
      ‘That night two carloads of White teenagers drove into a motel parking lot where they spotted Anderson, according to records. Some teens jumped out of the cars and started beating Anderson, in an attack captured on a surveillance video.’

      Two carloads.

    2. Getting together a white mob to extrajudicially kill a black person constitutes a lynching, whether you use a rope or not.

      "(of a mob) kill (someone), especially by hanging, for an alleged offense with or without a legal trial"

      The phrase "especially by hanging" implies that other methods can also be used.

  9. Came across this while researching these incidents:


    Again, this isn’t tribal narrative. It is reality.

  10. "In each case she investigated, law enforcement officials ruled the deaths suicides, but the families said the victims had been lynched."

    This is a pattern, not a single instance.

    "A year later, Roy Veal, was found hanging from a pecan tree near Woodville, Miss. Relatives said Veal was found with a hood over his head. A state police spokesman told reporters Veal’s death was “consistent with suicide.” Relatives said they believed Veal, who had returned to Mississippi to fight for his family’s land, was lynched. "

    Why would someone hang himself with a hood over his own head? Why was the motive ignored? It makes no sense to consider this a suicide.

    "Frederick Jermaine Carter was found hanging from a tree limb in a White neighborhood in Greenwood, Miss...The day before Carter was found dead, he had been working with his stepfather on a painting project. Relatives said he disappeared after his stepfather went to buy more paint."

    Why would this man hang himself in a white neighborhood? Are there no trees near his own home? Does that sound like an opportune moment to go commit suicide, in the middle of a home improvement project?

    "Phillip Carroll was found hanging from a tree in Jackson, Miss. Police called the death a suicide. Early reports said Carroll had been found with his hands tied behind his back. Police denied that account."

    Repeatedly, police and other investigators are saying they could find no evidence to prove that a homicide had occurred. That is not the same as saying that this was confirmed as suicide or that these men were not lynched. It means the police had too little evidence to prosecute anyone. This has been the case in outright murders, such as the killing of three freedom riders (Cheney, Goodman & Schwerner).

    Labeling a death suicide should require as much affirmative evidence as labeling it homicide, especially given that "suicide" tends to defame the deceased and his family and friends.

    The circumstances of all of these deaths seem suspicious to me. Somerby's willingness to believe that these are suicides, even when it makes no sense, tells me all I need to know about Somerby's own prejudices.

    The manner is which these deaths are investigated leaves a lot to be desired in terms of professionalism. The similarity in laxness is suspicious itself, suggesting a lack of interest in knowing what actually happened, despite insistence by each family that this was a lynching.

    Talk about tribal thinking and herd mentality on the part of police! They cannot conceive that there might be wrongdoing involved, even when a victim is wearing a hood or has his hands tied behind his back. Who hangs himself that way?

  11. Somerby seems to think that pointing out racial inequities and disparities is race-baiting. But how are such civil rights issues to be addressed without someone calling attention to them? And these are legitimate news reports. Like this one:

    "Sentencing disparity prompts calls for reform after Black woman sentenced for embezzling $40,000 while a white woman got probation after stealing $250,000...

    ... in this specific story, two women—one Black, one white—were convicted of the exact same crime. However, the two cases are not the same. One is worse than the other...

    ...The white woman committed more crimes, over a longer period of time. She stole more money than the Black woman. She had 21 more charges and cost taxpayers six times more money [because she pled not guilty and was tried and convicted]. She was facing 60 years in prison while the Black woman’s maximum sentence was three years. Yet the Black woman received more prison time than prosecutors wanted her to spend in jail."

    The Root article concludes:

    "Nationwide, Black people convicted of crimes received 20 percent longer sentences than similarly situated whites who commit the same offenses, according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission. In Ohio, the state’s Black residents are imprisoned at 6 times the rate of Ohio’s white residents, according to the Sentencing Project. In 1999, a report from the Commission on Racial Fairness found that Black Ohioans are sentenced to prison at grossly disproportionate rates compared to their white counterparts. The study, requested by the Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, determined that “the consensus of the available research acknowledges that minorities are more frequently sentenced to prison and generally receive harsher penalties than do whites.”

    These statistics make this article a news report, not race-baiting. The facts of these two women's cases make this evidence of inequity, not race-baiting.

    Somerby's lack of concern for civil rights makes him a conservative, not a liberal. He himself affirms that when he claims that mention of racial injustice is tribalism. He is not in the right tribe and he is on the wrong side of history on this issue.

  12. "Does high-level cogency actually matter?"

    Of course it does. But Somerby doesn't function at a high level and he has no idea whether cogency exists there or not (for others).

    1. ' Somerby doesn't function at a high level'

      You could have stopped at 'function' :)

  13. When has Bob ever defended these people? All he does is point out gross exaggerations when they happen.

    Like calling Roy Moore a "pedophile." Or as Laurence O'Donnell called him, a "serial pedophile."

    He's not. But I know it thrills the tribe to think so. That's Bob's obvious point.

  14. Somerby didn't point out 'gross exaggerations' when defending Moore. He spent a dozen odd posts before Nov 2017 suggesting that Moore's behavior was normal (it wasn't, he was likely banned from Gadsen mall) and ignoring illegalities. There were also accusations from women who were as young as 14 then of sexual assault. Perhaps 'accused pedophile' would be better.

    Furthermore, dating barely of age girls by a supposedly upright god fearing, 10 commandments supporter is certainly a news story by itself.

    Somerby's point was to defend Moore because he is a would be useful idiot (but as in this case really a useless idiot) for Trump

  15. He didn't ignore illegalities or support Trump. It is you who is the tard.

    "Because it's all anthropology now, the way we liberals stampeded in the wake of these supporting stories may tell us more about ourselves than it does about Roy Moore. With Donald J. Trump careering more and more toward his upcoming nuclear war, none of this really matters any more. But if we might borrow what Luther once said:

    If we knew Donald Trump would be ending the world today, we would continue to work in our anthropological garden.

    We think the Post showed some shaky journalistic judgment in the way it presented that first report. This helps explain why Donald J. Trump is now in a position from which he may soon end the world.

    As for our own self-impressed liberal tribe, we started our self-impressed "resistance" after Trump was elected and sworn. According to many anthropologists, we slept soundly for several decades before we started stampeding."

  16. Conservatives love to blame Dems for Trump.
    Conservatives call liberals "self-impressed". They started this business of referring to political parties as tribes. Referring to support for Dems as a "stampede" is ridiculous and partisan (in favor of conservatives).

    You left out the part where Somerby said it was OK to date barely legal or illegal young women if the mamas approved.

    Men who "date" (or stalk) very young women and girls (those accusing Moore included several 14 year olds) dislike being called pedophiles, but that is what they are in common usage of that term. In fact, even the psychiatric use of the term pedophile includes 14 year olds.

    What did Moore do? He got himself asked to leave a mall by security because he was following around and harassing several 14-16 year olds. He went to a 16 year old's school and asked the administration to call her out of class because he wanted to ask her out. He rolled around on a picnic blanket in underwear with a 14 year old. He allegedly forced himself on a 14 year old when he offered to give her a ride home in his car after meeting her at a diner. His signature appears in the yearbook of a 16 year old (traditionally only classmates sign yearbooks). He himself says that he first noticed his future wife when she was in high school. His colleagues in the DA's office noticed his behavior and thought his interest in young girls was creepy.

    But Somerby says it is too much for Democrats to call this man a pedophile. The term refers to a man's sexual interests and fantasies not solely his behavior. Moore clearly had such interests, based on his reported behavior. Somerby was wrong to defend him against media reporting and wrong to try to excuse Moore's alleged actions as part of Southern tradition.

    It is outrageous for Somerby to say that abuses of young girls do not matter because Trump might end the world. And what does "working in our anthropological garden" even mean? Nothing. Trump did not become President because of how Roy Moore's perversions were covered by the Post. And saying so is part of why Somerby is a Trumptard, working hard to elect Trump and support his administration.

  17. 'He didn't ignore illegalities or support Trump'

    He most definitely defended Trump time and again. And he defended Moore. You asked when he defended Moore, I pointed it out and you completely ignored it. A true 'Moore-on'.

  18. 'He didn't say abuses of young girls do not matter because Trump might end the world though. You can't read. No wonder you say such idiotic things.'

    I'm not anon 9:31, but unlike you, he's not such a 'Moore-on' as to post an incoherent message from Somerby and then tout it as some sort of proof. That is EXACTLY what Somerby seemed to claim, by saying the press should not cover Moore's past actions.

    Somerby most definitely defended Moore. As did other Trumptards.

  19. 'He didn't say abuses of young girls do not matter because Trump might end the world though. You can't read. No wonder you say such idiotic things.'

    I'm not anon 9:31, but unlike you, he's not such a 'Moore-on' as to post an incoherent message from Somerby and then tout it as some sort of proof. That is EXACTLY what Somerby seemed to claim, by saying the press should not cover Moore's past actions.

    Somerby most definitely defended Moore. As did other Trumptards. It seems like you're the one incapable of reading (but then defending Moore requires that, along with remarkable moral malleability).

  20. Anon 9:31, thanks for the detailed description of Moore's repellent actions. Of course, the likes of Anon 11:09 will ignore that.

  21. The question is not whether he defend Moore or not - the question is if he defended him accurately or inaccurately. You can't provide proof he defended him inaccurately so your whole line of reasoning is lost in the wind. Gone. Proof of your ignorance is cemented and on display for the rest of time.