Gallery

Tuesday Highlights

Good morning

  1. Guantanamo stats.
  2. A little more on the Fluke/Rush kerfuffle, here in which it is suggested that Mr Rush should have investigated prior to apologizing … and here where somewhat similarly some confusion over the faux outrage over the term slut is professed. I wonder if Ms Fluke has, for example, participated in the “slut walk” phenomena and if so  … why is this term problematic?
  3. And one more … Ms Althouse wonders about the liberal double standard toward apologies.
  4. Dressing dad.
  5. Same sex marriage and Mr Sullivan.
  6. Lovecraft and epistemology.
  7. Trends in modern education and demographics.
  8. Sierra Leone.
  9. Supply and demand.
  10. Our creepy Washington.
  11. Mr Obama’s putative support for Israel.
  12. Apparently liberal political leaders regularly review and disavow comments made by liberal entertainers. Who knew?

 

77 responses to “Tuesday Highlights

  1. No you’re not. You’re taking the position it’s OK to call a person a slut only in the case where the subject is a conservative female who has spoken out in the public forum.

    I gave several examples where I said I didn’t think calling someone a slut would have resulted in as much, if any, outrage:

    1. A porn star.
    2. A free love advocate
    3. Snookie

    You are free to tell me from the set of Conservative Females who have Spoken in a Public Forum which members overlap with one or more of the above sets.

    You might be interested to read the first chapter or so of Wing to Wing by Kass & Kass. The marriage/courtship practices of late 19th and early 20th century were driven by women and is described in a little detail there.

    I think we agree that even in patrichal societies, women are not quite as powerless as one would think at first glance.

    JA
    You’re still talking about it as if it’s a sterile, clinical word without the emotional wallop. It’s like saying that “Fuck you!” is equivalent of “I disapprove of you.”

    But the emotion does not come from the word but from the person who hears or uses the word. Why is it shocking to call a woman a slut but less so to call her a prude? Why would a worker take more offense at being called a suckup or scab than lazy?

    Slut-shaming is not about denying men sex. It’s about denying all men EXCEPT your husband sex. And in men-dominated societies, women have little say in who or if they marry.

    Perhaps but that’s nonetheless denying men sex or at least putting some limits on the amount of sex that is easily available to them. Maybe it doesn’t extend into the marital bedroom but it does serve as a counterbalance in a male dominated society.

    If you rape an unmarried woman, then you owe her father some money and maybe you have to marry her. (You broke it, you own it is the logic, I guess.) If a woman cheats on her husband, she should be killed (although not vice-versa, of course.)

    Notice what seems to be missing here, the willing woman who willingly sleeps with a man….neither of whom are married…or perhaps just the man is married. It’s interesting to me that in almost all eras of Christian history cheating wives could be easily punished yet nearly all major cities could not help but have brothels and red light districts. Perhaps that’s your male dominant culture for you. women were denied the right to ‘hook up’ outside their husbands but husbands and unmarried men were allowed to hook up. A response by women could very well be ‘slut shaming’ which would limit the amount of hooking up men could do by pressuring other women not to make themselves available to men. In labor union terms think of it as a work slowdown as opposed to a complete stopage. And again what’s interesting about it is that while the motivation to permit brothels might have been to the advantage of male dominated society, the Christian ideology could not disagree with women who ‘slut shamed’ other women. It was a classic case of turning the superstructure of the dominant class against itself.

  2. In addition, I think I presented a much more coherent way to think about ‘slut’ type comments in context of ‘taking off the gloves’ (or perhaps a better analogy is putting on the boxing gloves…?) Two people are in a bar, a Jets fan and a Bears fan, all night long they trash talk each other, hurling swears and other insults back and forth. A meek young lady sits at the end and when she sees the Jets have scored claps. Suddenly the Bears fan jumps up and screams that she’s a stupid twatface. He has crossed a line by throwing a punch at someone who wasn’t engaged in trash talking….but previously his banter with the Jets fan was of no interest.

    Mark’s ‘system’ here rests on the concept of a ‘free fire zone’ if someone can be classified as an ‘advocate’. What makes one an advocate? He doesn’t quite say. He seems to imply you can have an opinion and voice it publically, he even seems to think you can testify about your opinion to Congress and not be an advocate, but there’s some magical level of activity that if you go beyond it you’re an advocate and therefore subject to any abuse that someone who disagrees may want to hurl at you. Perhaps this is why Mark accused Al Gore of advocating election fraud, perhaps he feels that his advocate test immunizes him both from libel as well as violating ninth commandment….perhaps this is an Orthodoxy thing, maybe there’s some clever piece of theology I’m not aware of that holds this ‘advocate test’….being that such a huge difference in standards of acceptable behavior in Mark’s opinion hings upon whether or not a person is an ‘advocate’, he should provide us with pretty clear details as to what defines one as such and also explain to us how he derives this system of ethics.

    Personally I think he derived this ‘system’ by saying something like “ohhh shit I gotta think of how to vindicate the conservative here and bash the liberal, let me see what I can figure out….” But let’s let him explain himself if he can.

  3. But the emotion does not come from the word but from the person who hears or uses the word.

    I don’t see how that’s relevant.

    Why is it shocking to call a woman a slut but less so to call her a prude? Why would a worker take more offense at being called a suckup or scab than lazy?

    Why is a different discussion. What’s relevant is that it’s true.

    Perhaps but that’s nonetheless denying men sex or at least putting some limits on the amount of sex that is easily available to them. Maybe it doesn’t extend into the marital bedroom but it does serve as a counterbalance in a male dominated society.

    No it doesn’t! True, if no “sluts” existed then all men would have to either get married or commit rape in order to have sex. However, calling “sluts” “sluts” does not prevent women from acting that way. In every society on Earth, once women are given to control their own contraception, many (almost all) choose to become “sluts” in one way or another. In the 60s half the country was basically calling all women who had sex before marriage “sluts” and yet the sexual revolution still happened. Slut-shaming to withhold sex from men in general is simply not an effective strategy.

    Notice what seems to be missing here, the willing woman who willingly sleeps with a man….neither of whom are married…or perhaps just the man is married. It’s interesting to me that in almost all eras of Christian history cheating wives could be easily punished yet nearly all major cities could not help but have brothels and red light districts. Perhaps that’s your male dominant culture for you. women were denied the right to ‘hook up’ outside their husbands but husbands and unmarried men were allowed to hook up.

    Yes this is exactly my point. Slut-shaming is used to control women, not to prevent men from getting sex. Men have almost universally had as much sex as they wanted with “sluts” and then married “non-sluts” while using slut-shaming to maintain control over the “non-sluts” they wanted to and did marry. It’s the classic madonna-whore dichotomy.

    This is really not a new concept.

  4. Why is a different discussion. What’s relevant is that it’s true.

    If it’s relevant that its true then why its true would logically have to be pretty important to the discussion. Why toss it off onto some other hypothetical discussion. If you want, though, you can consider the flip side of the insult game. While calling a woman a prude is usually considered less insulting than calling her a slut, saying a man is a prude is usually considered more insulting than to say he is whatever might be the closest word possible to a slut (‘womanizer’? ‘oversexed’? )

    No it doesn’t! True, if no “sluts” existed then all men would have to either get married or commit rape in order to have sex. However, calling “sluts” “sluts” does not prevent women from acting that way.

    It doesn’t? That’s strange, how does it work to be ‘shaming’ if there’s not any deterrance factor at play? Certainly some woman are not deterred but certainly some women do behave differently than they might otherwise behave because they would rather not other women call them a slut. Likewise some workers will not cross a picketline because they would not want to be called a scab.

    In the 60s half the country was basically calling all women who had sex before marriage “sluts” and yet the sexual revolution still happened. Slut-shaming to withhold sex from men in general is simply not an effective strategy.

    Half the country? To be honest I suspect the previous generation had a slightly different way of viewing this. I suspect there was a tacit agreement that pre-marital and extramarital sex was tolerated provided it was made to appear like none was happening. In the pre-pill era this was tricky for women but institutions like ‘homes for unwed mothers’ did a thriving business back then.

    I’m not sure this era would be the best illustration of the ‘slut as scab’ theory. Prosperity combined with the invention of the pill was lowering the cost to women of giving men sex, hence a tension between what was previously a ‘high priced’ good becoming a ‘low priced’ one.

    Yes this is exactly my point. Slut-shaming is used to control women, not to prevent men from getting sex.

    I disagree that men ‘universally’ had as much sex as they wanted. I don’t think this was the norm thru human history, including the present era. I suspect ‘slut shaming’ did work to limit the number of women who were willing to either ‘put out’ before marriage or work in brothels/prostitution. As a result the ‘price’ of sex to men had to go up as supply was limited.

    It’s the classic madonna-whore dichotomy.

    Now you’re bringing other factors into the the mix, such as the evolutionary psychology aspect of infidelity…the male has an incentive to have as much sex as possible with as many women as possible but has a big disincentive to his partner sleeping with as many men as possible. This sets two forces agaist each other since all men can’t sleep with all women but at the same time have all women only sleep with one man. On the other side women have an incentive maybe not necessarily towards fidelity but towards more stable relationships that can accomodate childbirth and raising an infant. That doesn’t give women the same equation of exchange as men. Sex with many men isn’t valuable in itself, but infidelity maybe if it leads to a better long term match. There you got the makings of an exchange…two forces of differing strength and vectors impacting each other.

  5. Let me put it more clearly. The “slut” concept is used by men to divide women into two groups: sluts and virgins. Sluts are for fun and virgins are for marriage. That is the primary use of slut-shaming and has been forever. Women are tarnished, dirty, shameful if they have sex before marriage, while for men it’s irrelevant. That explains the dynamic you talk about.

    What you are talking about re: what women do to each other may use some of the same machinery but is not the primary dynamic in slut-shaming. I’m not sure why you assume that “non-slutty” women who are protecting their leverage are the primary drivers of slut-shaming when it’s pretty obvious to me that men are.

    Even if you disagree about which dynamic is more important, perhaps you can agree that men should never call women sluts even if you think that it’s okay for women to call each other sluts.

  6. I mean you yourself are saying that when a woman calls another woman a slut she’s saying that the woman is like a scab, giving something away that she wants to keep control of. Surely you see that when a man calls a woman a slut he’s saying something totally different?

  7. JA

    Let me put it more clearly. The “slut” concept is used by men to divide women into two groups: sluts and virgins. Sluts are for fun and virgins are for marriage. That is the primary use of slut-shaming and has been forever. Women are tarnished, dirty, shameful if they have sex before marriage, while for men it’s irrelevant. That explains the dynamic you talk about.

    But then how does this square with slut being such a negative, dirty term? If men want some subset of women to be around ‘for fun’ and another set for marriage then what does ‘slut-shaming’ do but to discourage women from filling openings for ‘fun time girls’? Why would men benefit from that? They wouldn’t but women would in that it would make it more difficult for men to easily enjoy sex on terms that are totally beneficial to themselves.

    I’m unclear what you are basing your assertion on that ‘slut’ is a term used more harshly by men. Everyday experience from my own point of view says the opposite. Since you think that the word ‘slut’ serves only male interests, what then do you think accounts for its use by women against other women? Are such women just ‘useful idiots’ of male oppression?

    Even if you disagree about which dynamic is more important, perhaps you can agree that men should never call women sluts even if you think that it’s okay for women to call each other sluts.

    I don’t think its inherently anything wrong with calling a woman a slut anymore than its wrong to call her a prude. Both are negative terms, both are ‘taking the gloves off’ so to speak but why would I agree to some blanket rule about language use here?

    I mean you yourself are saying that when a woman calls another woman a slut she’s saying that the woman is like a scab, giving something away that she wants to keep control of. Surely you see that when a man calls a woman a slut he’s saying something totally different?

    No both words mean the same thing, both the man and woman in your example is using the word ‘slut’ to denote a woman they think does not have high enough standards when it comes to sex. I’m pointing out that women have a very real incentive to be very critical of ‘sluts’ wheras men have mixed incentives. This makes me skeptical of your view that the word ‘slut’ is some creation of male power.

  8. But then how does this square with slut being such a negative, dirty term? If men want some subset of women to be around ‘for fun’ and another set for marriage then what does ‘slut-shaming’ do but to discourage women from filling openings for ‘fun time girls’?

    It’s objectification. By considering these women “sluts” men absolve themselves of concerns of treating them well in a similar way that racism was used to absolve slave masters of any concerns they might have had about treating people as slaves. The women’s concerns and feelings are irrelevant. Stereotypical frat boys who think of promiscuous women as sluts (not that all members of frats are like this of course) often feel free to lie, manipulate, demean, degrade, and then ignore them. They’re not people of substance, they’re just sluts. Bros before hos. 99 problems but a bitch ain’t one. Etc.

    Since you think that the word ‘slut’ serves only male interests, what then do you think accounts for its use by women against other women?

    I agree with you that some women use it as an attempt to maintain their own sexual power or just to feel superior in general. In a way they are allied with the men who do it, because they get to be the “virgins” who are pure and superior — literally worth more — if they go along with it.

    I don’t think its inherently anything wrong with calling a woman a slut anymore than its wrong to call her a prude.

    Again, you seem to be basing your thoughts on the idea that we are rational animals. If we could do an empirical study and measure the response of being called a slut to the response of being called a prude, do you really think they would be equivalent? Or are you just suggesting they “should” be equivalent. If it’s the latter, who cares, I’m talking about the real world.

  9. JA,
    Are you seriously base this argument on some notion that men gossip more than women?

  10. Boonton,
    You might note, in JA’s example, “Bros before hos. 99 problems but a bitch ain’t one. Etc.” apparently “slut” “ho” and “bitch” are similar terms. You however would allow bitch and c*nt as allowable terms to apply to women in the public forum, yet single out slut for as a term which is distinctively separated. Do you object to JAs equivalence in terms or not? If you do not, then how do you defend your distinction of terms as formerly argued?

    JA,
    I might add, I haven’t ignored your “WTF” response. I’m still trying to figure out if I should reply in line or push my reply as a post.

  11. Are you seriously base this argument on some notion that men gossip more than women?

    No.

    You might note, in JA’s example, “Bros before hos. 99 problems but a bitch ain’t one. Etc.” apparently “slut” “ho” and “bitch” are similar terms. You however would allow bitch and c*nt as allowable terms to apply to women in the public forum, yet single out slut for as a term which is distinctively separated. Do you object to JAs equivalence in terms or not? If you do not, then how do you defend your distinction of terms as formerly argued?

    Yeah I actually agree with those who say that Maher’s comments are at least in the same ballpark as Limbaugh’s. I often enjoy Maher because there aren’t many out there like him, but I cannot defend his calling Palin a cunt. I think the connotations are different in England, but here it’s still a very gendered (i.e. sexist) slur.

    I might add, I haven’t ignored your “WTF” response. I’m still trying to figure out if I should reply in line or push my reply as a post.

    Haha ok. It’s just kind of funny to use logic like, “You know Hitler was a vegetarian too, therefore you’re awful if you’re a vegetarian!”

  12. JA

    By considering these women “sluts” men absolve themselves of concerns of treating them well in a similar way that racism was used to absolve slave masters of any concerns they might have had about treating people as slaves.

    This would seem to fall into my thesis very nicely. Women would have all the more reason to object to ‘sluts’ as they would make it easier for men to get something they want (sex) without having to treat women as well. Notice this would tie into the racist term ‘house ni…’ which for all I know might have been used by white slave owners but was often used by blacks to object to other blacks they felt were facilitating white oppression (either intentionally or unintentionally).

    Bros before hos. 99 problems but a bitch ain’t one. Etc.

    Notice these expressions focus on gender solidarity more than about degrading women (although I won’t deny they are degrading). One might ask why the need for expressions of ‘gender solidarity? Well usually you need mottos to stop people from doing things they would otherwise be inclined to do (i.e. “don’t litter”, “loose lips sink ships” etc.) From thta perspective the expressions are the cries of an army general whose in the process of losing a way. “Bros” are sooner or later going to take a back seat to “hos”.

    On the flip side why would you not consider that women themselves would have their own expressions to encourage gender solidarity esp. if they are on average more oppressed than men? Would solidarity be of even more importance? That would lead again to my thesis that the word ‘slut’ is less about men oppressing women than about women keeping other women ‘in line’.

    Again, you seem to be basing your thoughts on the idea that we are rational animals. If we could do an empirical study and measure the response of being called a slut to the response of being called a prude, do you really think they would be equivalent?

    If people had exactly the same emotional response to every single word there would be no need to bother to choose our words at all. Some words are incendairy and some words are not. As I pointed out words that signify some type of betrayal to the group tend to be much more emotionally charged. Calling a co-worker a suckup or scab is almost certainly more likely to be taken with greater offense than calling him lazy. But just because a word elicits an emotional response doesn’t mean its wrong to use it, it clearly depends on the context. Sometimes a co-worker is a suckup and needs to be called out on it. Maybe the sorority sister whose ‘putting out’ left and right is, likewise, getting the rest of the fraternity to expect that as a standard entitlement from the rest of the sorority rather than simply one woman’s sexual preferences. Her sister might call her a slut as a type of slap in the face to get her attention. I’m unclear why this is morally wrong or why the word should be banned?

    Mark

    You however would allow bitch and c*nt as allowable terms to apply to women in the public forum, yet single out slut for as a term which is distinctively separated.

    Not at all, slut is perfectly fine as well. I think if you reread what I wrote you’ll see that it all depends on context. Rush’s failure was from choosing to ‘take the gloves off’ to engage someone who had never descended to the ‘trash talk’ level. All depends on context. If you call your college friends ‘bros and hos’ it might not be much of a big deal, if you choose to behave like that when you first meet your inlaws, though, you may not be married today. Words are tools, they should be used correctly and safely and that’s even more important for the more powerful tools. If someone isn’t able to do that, he should leave the heavy duty tools in the box and confine himself to more safe, more idiot proof tools.

    JA
    Haha ok. It’s just kind of funny to use logic like, “You know Hitler was a vegetarian too, therefore you’re awful if you’re a vegetarian!”

    Didn’t some right wing think tanked tenured chap get an entire book deal out of that very thesis! Don’t knock Mark too much for this, some day he may get discovered by the great right wing jobs program out there.

  13. Boonton,

    I think if you reread what I wrote you’ll see that it all depends on context. Rush’s failure was from choosing to ‘take the gloves off’ to engage someone who had never descended to the ‘trash talk’ level.

    So apparently then it is not appropriate to call Ms Palin or Ms Bachmann by those terms because they neither descended to that “level” of language or was an a group in which such terms were familiar. On the other hand, if you’re going to argue that by being in politics and the public square they are in that group, then alas, Ms Fluke is as well. By your own logic, if “slut” is off-bounds for Ms Fluke similar terms are out of bounds for Ms Palin (or as I contend your judgement on this is biased by party affiliation).

    JA,

    I often enjoy Maher because there aren’t many out there like him, but I cannot defend his calling Palin a cunt.

    “Not defend” … is that your characterization of Mr Limbaugh’s remarks, “you won’t defend him” or … do you accuse him? Hmmm. Are you like Mr Boonton, just a little biased in your treatment here?

  14. JA

    Again, you seem to be basing your thoughts on the idea that we are rational animals.

    Actually drop the rational word and you’re on target. More exactly, we are animals driven first by our biology, a distant second is our culture and a more distant 3rd place tie may be our free will (if it exists) and our rationality (if its different from free will).

    Mark

    So apparently then it is not appropriate to call Ms Palin or Ms Bachmann by those terms because they neither descended to that “level” of language or was an a group in which such terms were familiar.

    IMO they did ‘take the gloves off’ with comments like calling non-supporters of them unAmerican. You can quibble over wether Mahr threw a punch in response to a slap or vice versa but arguing over the acceptable strikes in a fist fight is a different argument over wehther its ok to respond to a word with a punch, so to speak.

    On the other hand, if you’re going to argue that by being in politics and the public square they are in that group, then alas, Ms Fluke is as well

    I didn’t argue that, you did. Well actually you still haven’t even tried to articulate what you were thinking. Your thoughts seem to be that it’s ok to be in the public square but if you become an ‘activist’ then everything is fair (what makes one an ‘activist’ versus someone just expressing an opinion remains unclear).

    I would say though that politicians are in a class here. I can see someone calling Palin or Bachmann a bitch. on the other hand, I wouldn’t be too upset in abstract if someother commentator called Obama ‘a dick’ even though I can’t recall him saying anything equal to Palin or Bachman in terms of ‘taking the gloves off’.

    Are you like Mr Boonton, just a little biased in your treatment here?

    My stance here is, actually, perfectly unbiased and perfectly coherent and resonable. You’ve managed to do the exact opposite in your quest to defend Rush come hell or high water.

  15. Boonton,

    I think we’ve gotten as far on this discussion as we’re going to.

    Mark,

    “Not defend” … is that your characterization of Mr Limbaugh’s remarks, “you won’t defend him” or … do you accuse him? Hmmm. Are you like Mr Boonton, just a little biased in your treatment here?

    Obviously I’m biased here. I like Maher and I hate Rush. I think Maher is mostly good with a couple of blind spots while Rush is mostly evil with no redeeming qualities that I’ve ever seen. I never pretended otherwise. That’s why I chose the words “not defend.”

  16. JA,
    You “hate” Mr Limbaugh. How much, if ever, have you listened to his show? Just curious. On what do you base this hatred? There was a post the other week about Fox in which it was pointed out those liberal echo chamber posts complaining of posts are written by people who by and large never watch the channel.

    Boonton,
    I’m not defending Mr Limbaugh or “rushing” to his defense. I’m just calling you on hypocrisy. Note, I’ve also not called for the removal of or discipline action against Mr Maher (for example).

    un-American is on a part with “Ho”? Interesting, but not very credible.

  17. I won’t hold your lack of patriotism against you Mark, just be warned than in many places calling someone unAmerican borderlines on fighting words so I’d be careful if I were you. As for hypocrisy, I never called for discipline or removal of either Rush or Maher so what are you complaining about? In fact, I find it much more productive for my side of the political debate if you spent even more time trying to articulate why Ms. Fluke is properly called a slut so please have at it!

  18. One last thought (or perhaps next to last), if “Bros before hos” is a tool for exploiting women, it doesn’t seem to work very well. Most of the time when I see people who try to take such mantras seriously, they do not seem very successful at getting much in terms of ‘hos’ whether you mean by that women to have sex with or ‘good women’ to marry or even just dates. In fact, it seems to me that those who speak like that often are speaking from a desparate desire to preserve male-male friendships in the face of the prospect of losing male friends who are much more successful with establishing real relationships with women.

  19. Boonton,
    That notion “bros/hos” is unsuccessful doesn’t match the suggested mating ritual success by those who make the one-night stand a vocation.

  20. You “hate” Mr Limbaugh. How much, if ever, have you listened to his show? Just curious. On what do you base this hatred?

    I’ve listened here and there. Recently a little more because one of my car’s preset stations just changed from music to Limbaugh. I’ve probably heard a couple dozen hours of Rush in my lifetime, more than enough to form an opinion.

    My hatred is based on his smarmy, dishonest, hateful speech. It’s just a constant pattern of making shit up about Obama and Democrats and liberals littered with obvious logical fallacies and double standards. He constantly assumes the worst possible motivations of his opponents and presents them as if they are facts, and uses name-calling and barely-veiled racism constantly.

  21. JA,
    Interesting. I’d wager my impression of Mr Maher is about equivalent, i.e., smarmy,dishonest, hateful speech … making crap up, logical fallacies and double standards, name calling and barely veiled racism bigotry could equally apply to him.

    I don’t however hate him. Why hate? I could understand you might despise him. Hate seems a lot stronger though.

  22. That notion “bros/hos” is unsuccessful doesn’t match the suggested mating ritual success by those who make the one-night stand a vocation.

    I don’t really know anyone whose made a ‘vocation’ of the one-night stand but the men I’ve known who could be said to be closer to ‘player’ status did not, as far as I can tell, seem to follow the ‘bros/hos’ mantra very much as far as I can tell. Again I think it’s less a mantra for the successful player and more of a blanket for the insecure guy who is markedly unsuccessful with women…. If true that would make it a dubious tool for female oppression as JA would have it.

    Interesting. I’d wager my impression of Mr Maher is about equivalent, i.e., smarmy,dishonest, hateful speech … making crap up, logical fallacies and double standards, name calling and barely veiled racism bigotry could equally apply to him.

    Maher will purposefully seek out those who disagree with him and give them a more or less even platform to challenge his assertions….in fact he seems to love such confrontations. Limbaugh seems the opposite, he can only tolerate dissent in the highly controlled environment of his show where callers can be screened and drastically limited.

    I don’t however hate him. Why hate? I could understand you might despise him. Hate seems a lot stronger though.

    Hate seems to be used here in a less dramatic form than, say, the way Al Qaeda hates Americans. I think its more like “I hate pecan pie”…but JA can speak for himself on either pie or Limbaugh.

  23. Interesting. I’d wager my impression of Mr Maher is about equivalent, i.e., smarmy,dishonest, hateful speech … making crap up, logical fallacies and double standards, name calling and barely veiled racism bigotry could equally apply to him.

    No, one of Maher’s primary characteristics is that he is scrupulously honest. He may be wrong, but he says what he means. If he thinks the Dems are wrong, he says so, and he often jumps in and disagrees with someone who is on his side of an argument if he thinks that person has said something untrue. I doubt Limbaugh has ever done that. Any fallacies he makes (and he does make some) seem to be honestly made. He’s not “carrying water” for anybody as Rush has admitted he does for Republicans.

    In other words, Maher is a guy who has a viewpoint and expresses it honestly, while Limbaugh is a propagandist who uses hateful techniques to manipulate his audience. Maher is sometimes wrong and sometimes bigoted, but not intentionally, if that makes sense.

    I don’t however hate him. Why hate? I could understand you might despise him. Hate seems a lot stronger though.

    *shrug* He’s a bad guy who’s making the world worse. It’s not like I devote a lot of mental energy to him, but I do feel an instinctive loathing when I hear or see them.

  24. JA,

    If he thinks the Dems are wrong, he says so, and he often jumps in and disagrees with someone who is on his side of an argument if he thinks that person has said something untrue.

    I can’t confirm, deny, or assert the latter because I rarely listen to Mr Limbaugh, but I can (and with 12 hours on your side you should be able to as well) point out that Mr Limbaugh often disagrees with what GOP candidates or people or platforms are doing or saying.

    Today Politico had a “10 facts” about Mr Maher and he apparently self-identifies as a Libertarian. It would be odd them for him to carry water for the Dems as most Libertarians tend to lean toward the GOP more than the Dems, seeing as y’all are less liberty minded.

  25. Creepy Washington? You shouldn’t believe everything you hear, especially from self-proclaimed conservatives or libertarians, especially in an election year.

    The new law makes it a crime to trespass on the White House grounds, instead of just a D.C. misdemeanor. What’s wrong with that? The new law makes it a crime to invade a protected building with intent to cause harm.

    Why is that “creepy?” Weird.

  26. Here’s the text of the bill, by the way. Still wondering what you’re concerned about:

    H.R.347 — Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011 (Enrolled Bill [Final as Passed Both House and Senate] – ENR)

    –H.R.347–

    H.R.347

    One Hundred Twelfth Congress

    of the

    United States of America

    AT THE SECOND SESSION
    Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday,
    the third day of January, two thousand and twelve

    An Act

    To correct and simplify the drafting of section 1752 (relating to restricted buildings or grounds) of title 18, United States Code.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

    SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011′.

    SEC. 2. RESTRICTED BUILDING OR GROUNDS.

    Section 1752 of title 18, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

    -`Sec. 1752. Restricted building or grounds

    `(a) Whoever–

    `(1) knowingly enters or remains in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so;

    `(2) knowingly, and with intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, engages in disorderly or disruptive conduct in, or within such proximity to, any restricted building or grounds when, or so that, such conduct, in fact, impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions;

    `(3) knowingly, and with the intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, obstructs or impedes ingress or egress to or from any restricted building or grounds; or

    `(4) knowingly engages in any act of physical violence against any person or property in any restricted building or grounds;

    or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).

    `(b) The punishment for a violation of subsection (a) is–

    `(1) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both, if–

    `(A) the person, during and in relation to the offense, uses or carries a deadly or dangerous weapon or firearm; or

    `(B) the offense results in significant bodily injury as defined by section 2118(e)(3); and

    `(2) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, in any other case.

    `(c) In this section–

    `(1) the term `restricted buildings or grounds’ means any posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area–

    `(A) of the White House or its grounds, or the Vice President’s official residence or its grounds;

    `(B) of a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting; or

    `(C) of a building or grounds so restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance; and

    `(2) the term `other person protected by the Secret Service’ means any person whom the United States Secret Service is authorized to protect under section 3056 of this title or by Presidential memorandum, when such person has not declined such protection.’.

    Speaker of the House of Representatives.

    Vice President of the United States and

    President of the Senate.

    That’s the bill the President signed. It’s better than nothing at all, which is what it replaces, and I can’t see any provision that allows arbitrary arrests, and ChicagoBoyz breathlessly fear.

  27. I can’t confirm, deny, or assert the latter because I rarely listen to Mr Limbaugh, but I can (and with 12 hours on your side you should be able to as well) point out that Mr Limbaugh often disagrees with what GOP candidates or people or platforms are doing or saying.

    That does not contradict what I said. Here is a quote from Rush that demonstrates that his mission is not to simply speak his mind but to be a propagandist: “The way I feel is this: I feel liberated, and I’m going to tell you as plainly as I can why. I no longer am going to have to carry the water for people who I don’t think deserve having their water carried. Now, you might say, ‘Well, why have you been doing it?’ Because the stakes are high! Even though the Republican Party let us down, to me they represent a far better future for my beliefs and therefore the country’s than the Democrat Party does and liberalism.”” (That was after an election.)

    Today Politico had a “10 facts” about Mr Maher and he apparently self-identifies as a Libertarian.

    Right. He has his own viewpoint, which is what he expresses honestly.

    It would be odd them for him to carry water for the Dems as most Libertarians tend to lean toward the GOP more than the Dems, seeing as y’all are less liberty minded.

    Oh please. This is the GOP that thinks it can decide who can marry, that porn should be illegal, that pot-smokers should be thrown in jail, that Guantanamo Bay is a good thing, etc etc etc? Please. The only liberties the GOP believes in are guns and lower taxes. The rest is propaganda.

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