Patterico's Pontifications

12/21/2013

Ken White on Free Speech

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:21 pm

This is a thought-provoking post. Being on a phone, I cannot easily quote it; you should read it all. I agree with many of Ken’s points, especially about the selective outrage we see on both sides of the political aisle.

Where I think I diverge from Ken is that I believe I am slightly less willing than he is, in general, to defend companies’ decisions to punish speech. I am going to go to the trouble of lifting a quote to make sure he gets his fair say:

2. The phrase “the spirit of the First Amendment” often signals approaching nonsense. So, regrettably, does the phrase “free speech” when uncoupled from constitutional free speech principles. These terms often smuggle unprincipled and internally inconsistent concepts — like the doctrine of the Preferred+ First Speaker. The doctrine of the Preferred First Speaker holds that when Person A speaks, listeners B, C, and D should refrain from their full range of constitutionally protected expression to preserve the ability of Person A to speak without fear of non-governmental consequences that Person A doesn’t like. The doctrine of the Preferred First Speaker applies different levels of scrutiny and judgment to the first person who speaks and the second person who reacts to them; it asks “why was it necessary for you to say that” or “what was your motive in saying that” or “did you consider how that would impact someone” to the second person and not the first. It’s ultimately incoherent as a theory of freedom of expression.

….

6. Companies make decisions about hiring and firing based on both money and company culture. Sometimes these decisions are “right” in the sense that the decisions accurately predict what outcome will please the most customers and advertisers and keep revenues up. Sometimes the decisions are New Coke. Often the stated reasons for the decisions are hypocritical bullshit, as in the case of A&E. That’s the way it works. Discussions about corporate decisions in the wake of controversy are dominated by (1) people who normally excoriate corporate decision-making but suddenly applaud it when the outcome suits their political beliefs, and (2) people who normally celebrate the market and promote the privilege of corporate decision-making but suddenly find it unpalatable when it produces a result that offends their politics. Some of the people applauding A&E are people who last week were furious at the concept that companies have First Amendment rights. Some of the people trying to conflate A&E and the government are people who last week were vigorously arguing that companies should not have to insure birth control if it offends their religious sensibilities.

Now, that is not all Ken says, and he calls for charity, mercy, and consistency.

I agree that companies firing people for speech is not a “First Amendment” issue — but I disagree that invoking the “spirit of the First Amendment” is a signal that bullshit is on the horizon. I worry that we are creating a culture where any provocative expression renders one subject to being disciplined or fired, such that (as Ace notes on Twitter) only those who are unemployed or self-employed (or, I would add, have tenure or employers who reliably support their speech) have freedom to speak their mind.

What to do about this is not simple. Passing laws is a bad idea, I think, because it gives companies an incentive to hire only bland personalities who are unlikely to say anything controversial. I think the solution of more speech is the best solution: those who share my concern over the blandification of America should criticize online lynch mobs and companies that bow to them.

We should be consistent about this. I, for one, try to be.

I have a lot more to say about this, but not on a damned iPhone.

257 Comments

  1. “Where I think I diverge from Ken is that I believe I am slightly less willing than he is, in general, to defend companies’ decisions to punish speech.”

    I agree with this. I mean, they have the right to, but I’m not going to salute them for it.

    It’s a strange set of affairs when alleged human rights advocates are championing efforts to get someone fired for expressing the beliefs of their religion.

    So, the Constitution says there will be no religious test of office, but if a person expresses their views informed by their religion, groups are going to rise up to get them fired (in the hypocritical name of tolerance)?

    Harvey Levin has a point:

    “I am furious at A&E for suspending Phil Robertson for his anti-gay comments, and I say that as a gay person. I am furious that they would have the audacity basically to deny this guy his freedom of religion….”

    Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/21/2013 @ 3:31 pm

  2. companies’ decisions to punish speech is speech

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/21/2013 @ 3:33 pm

  3. So is punishing companies who fire people for speaking.

    Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/21/2013 @ 3:36 pm

  4. This gets into issues of boycott and pressure.

    A&E was not acting on anyone’s true belief. And even so, you don’t want corproations imposing their beliefs.

    In fact, isn’t this close to a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – at least if they made it an open principle? (they didn’t suspend him for holding abelief, but for uttering one – but in forum that they approved of and selected, though)

    And “the spirit of the first amendment” is exactly what led to the idea of tenure and academic freedom.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (9fe80b) — 12/21/2013 @ 3:38 pm

  5. Also, is it really the case that, as I’ve said, the Constitution has no religious test of office, but companies can just fire you for saying some of the beliefs of your religion when you’re not at the job?

    Maybe that is the case. Probably is. But it’s odd.

    Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/21/2013 @ 3:38 pm

  6. So is punishing people who bite their pop tarts into gun-like shapes.

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/21/2013 @ 3:39 pm

  7. 6. So is punishing people who bite their pop tarts into gun-like shapes.

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/21/2013 @ 3:39 pm

    The kid was trying to bite his pop-tart into the shape of a mountain. The teacher came by and her mind’s eye turned it into a gun.

    Because the gun is to the teacher what racism is to an MSNBC talking head.

    They see it everywhere.

    Comment by Steve57 (be5be1) — 12/21/2013 @ 3:59 pm

  8. But if you really want see zero tolerance of guns, you’ve got to go to the TSA:

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/12/10/21849757-tsa-confiscates-sock-monkeys-toy-gun

    A woman at a checkpoint at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport said she was “appalled and shocked” after a Transportation Security Administration agent confiscated a tiny toy gun belonging to her sock monkey.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (9fe80b) — 12/21/2013 @ 4:03 pm

  9. http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/dailyrft/2013/12/missouri_state_nerf_zombie.php

    This what the education establishment considers common sense.

    Missouri State University is considering banning Nerf guns from campus after students playing a zombie role-playing game led a professor to call 911 to report an active shooter.

    …In low light, campus officials say, it’s hard to tell the difference between a Nerf gun and a real gun — especially for law enforcement.

    You’re effin’ kidding me, right?

    http://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4718160230221295&pid=1.9&m=&w=300&h=300&p=0

    We are so doomed as a society.

    Comment by Steve57 (be5be1) — 12/21/2013 @ 4:04 pm

  10. well it’s his own fault for letting the teacher go when he already had her pinned down

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/21/2013 @ 4:07 pm

  11. Sammy @8, maybe that’s a good sign.

    Based upon what I’ve seen at the airport the only guns I want to see in a TSA agent’s hand is the same kind we issue to Rooster Monkburn.

    “She said ‘This is a gun,’” May told King 5. “I said ‘No, it’s not a gun, it’s a prop for my monkey.’”

    It’s even more heart warming to know someone convinced them they’re real guns.

    Comment by Steve57 (be5be1) — 12/21/2013 @ 4:08 pm

  12. I’m giving my grandson a toy bazooka that shoots marshmallows as a Christmas present. In a tiny corner of the world there still are kids with normal thinking. He loves military toys.

    Comment by Mike K (cd7278) — 12/21/2013 @ 4:14 pm

  13. The TSA agent said she was supposed to call the police — but she didn’t.

    TSA statement to NBC News:

    “TSA officers are dedicated to keeping the nation’s transportation security systems safe and secure for the traveling public. Under longstanding aircraft security policy, and out of an abundance of caution, realistic replicas of firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags.”

    This was a two-inch long pistol.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (9fe80b) — 12/21/2013 @ 4:16 pm

  14. Trendline. Justine Sacco also just lost her job for saying something stupid.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-justine-sacco-fired-20131221,0,1716564.story

    Comment by elissa (78bee9) — 12/21/2013 @ 4:16 pm

  15. elissa,

    I saw that on Facebook without context. I thought it was just a bad joke.

    Seriously a judge said that. Jesus Christ!

    Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/21/2013 @ 4:21 pm

  16. Oh, don’t ask me where I got “judge” from. Probably misread her name.

    Still, a PR Executive? That almost makes it worse. You’ve got to be kidding me!

    Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/21/2013 @ 4:22 pm

  17. And yet, today, NYC banned electronic cigarettes because “they send the wrong message.” They might not have much speech component, but what there is, they are banned for having. Other reasons given are: it makes enforcement of other tobacco laws harder and it hasn’t been proven that the emitted steam is safe. But I am struck by the “it sends the wrong message” argument. Isn’t that surpressing speech?

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/usanow/2013/12/20/nyc-ecigarette-ban/4142945/

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/21/2013 @ 4:25 pm

  18. *suppressing

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/21/2013 @ 4:26 pm

  19. I guess the concept of “washing your mouth out with soap” to punish people for saying not nice things has kind of gone by the wayside, huh? Firing them as a result of mighty internet outrage is so much more—-dramatic.

    Comment by elissa (78bee9) — 12/21/2013 @ 4:42 pm

  20. There’s a story about a baseball strike where one or more players did not strike. When the owner heard about it, he said “Fire him/them”. He wanted team cohesiveness when the strike was over. Does anybody else know this story and who the team and owner were?

    If the prevailing ethos among A&E’s workhorse employees and bread and butter sponsors is political correctness towards gays, then it did the right thing from a corporate point of view. It’s maintaining its esprit de corps even though it’s losing its star player. It’s taking the long view for the success and survival of the company. It may even find that it can replace Duck Dynasty given time, and if it continues to run a smooth operation. But even if it cannot, it will not be any worse off than it was before Duck Dynasty came aboard.

    Is that part of the corporate culture Ken was talking about?

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/21/2013 @ 4:47 pm

  21. I guess the concept of “washing your mouth out with soap” to punish people for saying not nice things has kind of gone by the wayside, huh?

    He certainly said something that one could criticize. I’m also not shy about criticizing the religion his belief stemmed from.

    But does he deserve punishment for saying what he thought?

    Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/21/2013 @ 4:50 pm

  22. But does he deserve punishment for saying what he thought?

    No, no he absolutely does not! Unhand that poor man and put away those whips you villains!

    Who’s punishing him?

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/21/2013 @ 4:53 pm

  23. Who’s punishing him?

    He was suspended from work and faces firing.

    Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/21/2013 @ 4:54 pm

  24. See my comment 20. It’s kind of a stretch to call it a punishment. He is not filling the requirements of the position.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/21/2013 @ 4:59 pm

  25. And many have argued that A&E is punishing itself more.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/21/2013 @ 5:01 pm

  26. Man O Man–people better watch themselves at their company Hiliday Party this year.

    Comment by elissa (78bee9) — 12/21/2013 @ 5:04 pm

  27. holiday

    Comment by elissa (78bee9) — 12/21/2013 @ 5:04 pm

  28. Hopefully you and Harvey Levin are right that this will come back to bite A&E. As for not fulfilling the requirements of his position, he’s raked in fans — even Barack Obama.

    Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/21/2013 @ 5:04 pm

  29. Although that may be like Henry II submitting to a flogging after he had Becket killed. ;)

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/21/2013 @ 5:04 pm

  30. Well, I thought A+E were within their rights to say they didn’t like what he said and to separate themselves from him. I wouldn’t know if they had contractual obligations to him that they must pay even if they do not want him anymore.

    So while A+E can fire him if they want, IMO, it is interesting to see whose voice they listened to the loudest.

    What does the future hold? If/when gay marriage has become the de facto law across the US, then will negative comments about gays become a civil rights case?

    Comment by MD in Philly (f9371b) — 12/21/2013 @ 5:05 pm

  31. It seems to me that if someone is protected from discrimination on the basis of their religion, then they must also — when not at work — have the right to practice their religion including speaking about it. This doesn’t extend to actions that are criminal (slavery, human sacrifice, stoning), but speech?

    Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/21/2013 @ 5:14 pm

  32. With that, MD, it’s also interesting to note that like mindedness runs it’s course: when Martin Bashir made vile comments directed at Palin, he was allowed to offer a quasi-apology; however, when Alec Baldwin used gay references pejoratively, he was promptly let go.

    I don’t have a problem with a business doing whatever it see fits to continue a profit if it’s within their legal rights as I have the right to not watch or participate or even boycott them; however, I do object when there is a blunt double standard. At the very least it reveals to the public that their concern is disingenuous and that there are segments of the population that don’t have the same worth and value.

    It’s very dishonest.

    Comment by Dana (e1b018) — 12/21/2013 @ 5:16 pm

  33. Dana, I think it all comes back—yet again—to the central conceit of progressivism described by Thomas Sowell. If you view yourself as being “cosmically correct” and a “force for social justice,” then what can you say about those who oppose you?

    We see the answer, all around us.

    I have mentioned this before, but I believe that the only just or fair rule or law is one you do not mind in the hands of your bitterest enemy. I wish I knew if someone famous has said that; if not, I want to take credit.

    Because this current group of mouth-breathers in DC don’t seem to understand this principle, Right or Left.

    Comment by Simon Jester (c5daf0) — 12/21/2013 @ 5:25 pm

  34. Of course, there is the question of the nature of the speech that got the man fired. If you fire someone who is a Christian for basically quoting Christian Scripture to make a point that is what the bulk of Christians have believed for the better part of two millennia, haven’t you crossed into the “firing someone due to their religion” realm? And if so, how does this implicate the 1964 Civil Rights Act? http://rhymeswithright.mu.nu/archives/345906.php

    And if you are doing so because a group of employees is demanding that the other employee be fired for daring to hold and express religious beliefs that are now formally disapproved of by the company, have you not created a hostile work environment for members of the faith that is now formally declared to be grounds for firing?

    Comment by Rhymes With Right (da71f4) — 12/21/2013 @ 5:27 pm

  35. No, Simon. They take it to the next logical step. They make sure they have no enemies left to wield that power.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/21/2013 @ 5:30 pm

  36. nk, I am not saying you are wrong. I’m just saying how we should try to look at dissent. Step 1 is to not demonize opponents, but to vigorously disagree with ideas.

    There is WAAAY too much personality in politics right now.

    Comment by Simon Jester (c5daf0) — 12/21/2013 @ 5:32 pm

  37. 17. Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/21/2013 @ 4:25 pm

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/usanow/2013/12/20/nyc-ecigarette-ban/4142945/

    Totally wrong. They are not actually banned, but treated like cigarettes in restauranats and parks. One excuse was it might be difficult to tell them apart.

    The truth is the e-cigs are a good thing, even though nicotine does have bad health effects – at least they probably won’t get lung cancer, or other lung diseases, or irritate people standing next to them.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (9fe80b) — 12/21/2013 @ 5:35 pm

  38. Rhymes With Right, what would be your position be on the ethics of disciplining at work a Muslim who, outside of work, said that arranged marriages with six-year olds is tolerable provided the marriage is not consummated then, perhaps waiting until her first menses (although there is no record that Mohamed waited until her menses) when she is nine following the example of the prophet? And then the person then went on to say Mohamed (pbuh) is the most perfect man who ever lived and that they love him?

    Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/21/2013 @ 5:38 pm

  39. That’s not Alinsky Rules, Simon. ;)

    But I’d like to stay on Ken’s corporate culture.

    Here’s a story, where I do know the names, elissa. The Black Sox scandal, the throwing of the World Series by eight White Sox players, came to light in the middle of the following season. Charles Comiskey benched the accused players for the remainder of the season. They were the heart of the team. It meant that the White Sox would finish the season in the cellar and they did. Moreover, even though it was Landis who banned the players, Comiskey backed his decision, even though that meant the White Sox would take years to rebuild and become a competitive team again. The White Sox stayed in the cellar for a long time. Seven years?

    Comiskey took the long view. He knew his product was sizzle not steak. For the good of baseball, for the long term good of his team, and not to mention that White Sox fans are notoriously whiny fickle kvetches who’ll stay away if the park’s grass is not the right shade of green, he took the hit. If A&E is also taking this view, if it sees that GLAAD and not the Robertsons is the way to go, then it is doing the right thing from the corporate point of view.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/21/2013 @ 6:00 pm

  40. Sizzle not steak. A&E is not selling anything anyone needs. It is selling amusement. Appearance is not everything, it’s the only thing. That’s a paraphrase, BTW.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/21/2013 @ 6:04 pm

  41. Fer shizzle!

    Comment by Gazzer (74e832) — 12/21/2013 @ 6:24 pm

  42. If they wish to be taken seriously, Cubs fans should not attempt to tell White Sox stories and think that they can bury irrelevant insults in the middle of the narrative.

    Comment by elissa (a65140) — 12/21/2013 @ 7:01 pm

  43. Pardon. I should have specifically said “if they want to be taken seriously as historians and social observers….” They are never to be taken seriously as fans.

    Comment by elissa (a65140) — 12/21/2013 @ 7:06 pm

  44. No, it’s not mere entertainment, or else Norman Lear wouldn’t have spent a generation, from Archie Bunker on, undermining traditional values, their choice of message is the medium, reversing McLuhan,

    Ben Stein noticed this in his study of programming from the 70s, name escapes me right now, Law and Order, has been the prime offender of this, at least since ’96, when it stopped being a procedural,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/21/2013 @ 7:17 pm

  45. What did Breitbart say ‘politics is downstream from the culture’ soft news, is saturated with anti-center right messaging,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/21/2013 @ 7:21 pm

  46. It was in embryo form, back there;

    http://www.amazon.com/The-View-Sunset-Boulevard-Television/dp/046509032X

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/21/2013 @ 7:23 pm

  47. And media companies were within their legal rights to fire Marxists and CBS was definitely within their legal rights to fire the Smothers Brothers, but we’d kind of decided that those were bad things, hadn’t we?

    Are we going to have to rewrite the textbooks on McCarthyism now that economic punishment for ThoughtCrime is suddenly a good thing?

    Comment by Norman (bca611) — 12/21/2013 @ 7:27 pm

  48. Well that is what Gramsci, was all about, the march through the institutions, what Robin has described as an ongoing process, was Vietnam, worse then another conflict, say Korea, not necessarily, even though it took three times as long,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/21/2013 @ 7:33 pm

  49. I imagine the most well known nuclear family on television for years now has been the Simpsons…
    Doh!!!

    Comment by MD in Philly (f9371b) — 12/21/2013 @ 7:34 pm

  50. In the 80s, it was the Cosby show, what does that tell us, probably followed by the Keatons,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/21/2013 @ 7:37 pm

  51. oh noes!!

    fifty poasts in and NO mention of anuses…

    po’ mr feets will be having withdrawls. 8-)

    Comment by redc1c4 (abd49e) — 12/21/2013 @ 7:45 pm

  52. fifty poasts in and NO mention of anuses…

    They’re not that bad. In fact, on the right woman ….

    Comment by Former Conservative (754c76) — 12/21/2013 @ 7:53 pm

  53. It’s a peculiar formulation, because Phil didn’t offend the audience, by and large, or the sponsors, but some other aggrieved party that is always getting it’s way,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/21/2013 @ 7:55 pm

  54. It’s a peculiar formulation, because Phil didn’t offend the audience, by and large, or the sponsors, but some other aggrieved party that is always getting it’s way

    Isn’t it usually that way these days?

    Comment by Former Conservative (754c76) — 12/21/2013 @ 7:56 pm

  55. It seems to me that what is being done to Phil is similar to if a business didn’t fire a man for being homosexual, but fired him for saying that he finds people who don’t approve of homosexuals to be reprobates.

    With the caveat that the homosexual man in that example would be giving only his opinion, not his religous viewpoint (in all likelihood).

    Now, do I agree with either? Not really. Was talking to a Saudi woman for a few hours last night. When I told her that an ex had just told me she had had sex with a woman for the first time last weekend, she was horrified. And disgusted. You could hear it in her voice and words.

    But overall she’s a pretty cool, progressive woman … for a Saudi chick.

    Do I hate her for her views? Nah. I countered them and pointed out that homosexuality is all throughout nature. To which she responded that those members of those species were sick and unnatural too. lol

    But anyway, should my relatively-progressive Saudi friend, who teaches elderly women how to read, moved against her family’s wishes to her own apartment in Jeddah, doesn’t cover her face all the time even in Riyadh, is planning on getting a master’s degree next, etc., be denied a job in America should she move because of her opinion?

    I have a feeling this standard won’t be applied to Muslims — only to huge swaths of the population. Strange days.

    Comment by Former Conservative (754c76) — 12/21/2013 @ 8:14 pm

  56. Phil’s opinion is not unlike the founder of Chick a fil, which neither Menino nor Emmanuel could stomach, however they are on good terms with Quradawi, who is in favor of stoning gays, i know when in Rome, but seriously,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/21/2013 @ 8:25 pm

  57. A woman at a checkpoint at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport said she was “appalled and shocked” after a Transportation Security Administration agent confiscated a tiny toy gun belonging to her sock monkey.

    Back in 1996, I went through airport security with a one-inch novelty plastic dagger in my carry-on. The scanner picked it up, and after some discussion among the security people they peace-bonded it with a piece of duck tape so that it wouldn’t show up on the scanner, put it back in my bag and re-scanned it. No longer seeing the dagger, they let me through.

    They also took a close look at a large stapler I was carrying. After looking it up on a list of some kind, they told me it was just within the limits that were allowed to be carried on; had the staples been one size bigger it would have counted as a weapon and I would have had to check it.

    On another occasion a roll of duck tape was taken from me, apparently on the theory that I could use it to tie up hostages or something. But this was not in the USA, but in a more civilized country where they don’t steal your property just because it isn’t allowed in the cabin; they put it in a bag and sent it down to the hold, and it came out at baggage claim on the other end.

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/21/2013 @ 8:35 pm

  58. I remember going on airlines with a Spiderco tactical knife no problems circa 1997. Even pre-9/11, I was surprised that after I showed it to them, they gave it back to me. Sometimes they put it in a little box and checked it, but not always.

    Comment by Former Conservative (754c76) — 12/21/2013 @ 8:37 pm

  59. the whole internet is lousy with anuses is there nowheres an anus-weary pikachu can find a place of respite?

    it wasn’t like this when Bush was president

    we frolicked unmolested by anuses at every turn

    we had joy we had fun we had seasons more disctincter

    but now all of our days get tinged with this talk of sphincter

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/21/2013 @ 8:47 pm

  60. From Ken White’s piece:

    “You’re going to Hell, but you shouldn’t be offended when I say so, because it’s in my holy book,” is not a cunning argument.

    Now this pushes one of my buttons. I hear this often, but don’t understand it at all. What is offensive about this? Also “hate the sin but love the sinner” is supposed to be offensive, and for the life of me I can’t figure out why.

    As I understand Christian — or at least fundamentalist Protestant — doctrine, there is only one way into Heaven, and that is to accept the gift that Jesus offers. He’s already bought your ticket, but you have to pick it up and bring it with you when you die. Now I don’t believe that ever happened, I don’t believe people need saving, and I don’t believe Jesus can or does save anyone; and so, according to this doctrine, I am going to Hell. It’s sad, it’s very unfortunate, but there it is. All of humanity is born Hell-bound, and I refuse to accept the one way out. If I were born with syphilis and refused antibiotics, I would go mad and die; or if I were on a sinking ship and refused to don a life-jacket, I would drown. This is exactly the same. It’s simply a logical consequence of the doctrine.

    So why should I be offended when someone who honestly believes this story tells me about it? What else can he tell me? It’s not as if he hates me. It’s not as if he wants me to go to Hell. It’s simply that he thinks it’s going to happen.

    Better still, when I exhort a parent that by not vaccinating his children he is abusing them, exposing them (and others) to the risk of terrible diseases, am I being offensive? Should I respect his sincere belief that his children don’t need vaccines, and not talk to him about it? Then when his kids get sick, will my hands be clean? And when they infect my kids, where is my responsibility then? And yet if I see my duty as telling others to vaccinate, how can I resent it when Christians tell me to accept Jesus? They’re wrong (in my opinion), but they don’t know that. Given their premises they’re doing the right thing.

    And yet it’s not just Ken White telling me I ought to take offense, there are thousands of people indirectly telling me that, by yelling at the nice Christians who are trying to save me.

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/21/2013 @ 8:53 pm

  61. “You’re going to Hell, but you shouldn’t be offended when I say so, because it’s in my holy book,” is not a cunning argument.

    Ken has a point here, but Stephen Fry (who is homosexual, for what it’s worth) has a better one:

    “It’s now very common to hear people say, ‘I’m rather offended by that.’ As if that gives them certain rights. It’s actually nothing more… than a whine. ‘I find that offensive.’ It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. ‘I am offended by that.’ Well, so f—ing what.”

    Comment by Former Conservative (754c76) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:00 pm

  62. It seems to me that if someone is protected from discrimination on the basis of their religion, then they must also — when not at work — have the right to practice their religion including speaking about it.

    Good point. But it’s arguable that Phil Whatshisname was “at work” when he was being interviewed by a magazine, for publication.

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:03 pm

  63. So why should I be offended when someone who honestly believes this story tells me about it? What else can he tell me? It’s not as if he hates me. It’s not as if he wants me to go to Hell. It’s simply that he thinks it’s going to happen.

    Pretty much, Millhouse. As Penn Jillette (who is not only an atheist, but my kind of libertarian, freedom-loving atheist) said, paraphrasing, “How much do you have to hate someone to think they won’t go to Heaven but will go to Hell if they don’t accept your religion and not tell them about it?”

    Now I might will strongly disagree with and oft-ridicule a religious person’s views, but provided she isn’t calling for violence, I wouldn’t try to get her fired.

    Comment by Former Conservative (754c76) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:08 pm

  64. Good point. But it’s arguable that Phil Whatshisname was “at work” when he was being interviewed by a magazine, for publication.

    Pretty much the only good counterpoint. But then what A&E knew about Phil’s views and what understanding they had communicated to him about what he can express about his views becomes an issue. It isn’t fair pool, as Harvey Levin points out [video link in first comment on this thread], to hire someone knowing about their Christian views and outspoken nature, use that to build up an audience, and then discipline (and humiliate) him for it without communicating to him about what his bounds are for speaking in interviews arranged by A&E.

    Levin makes a big point about it: that A&E had to know that question would come up.

    Comment by Former Conservative (754c76) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:13 pm

  65. Nietsche said ‘God is Dead’ well he was wrong, but he wasn’t cheerful about it, because he feared a world that operated under that assumption, and the 20th Century has borne out his reservations,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:14 pm

  66. Better still, when I exhort a parent that by not vaccinating his children he is abusing them, exposing them (and others) to the risk of terrible diseases, am I being offensive?

    While I personally think vaccines are best evaluated on a case-by-case basis, a woman I vaguely know got her knickers in a knot when I (and some others) suggested to her that she would be better leaving aside homeopathy and instead following through on her dentist’s recommendations for dealing with her infant child’s crumbling baby teeth.

    She was also trying nutritional approaches, which is great, but homeopathy is fraudulent nonsense.

    Comment by Former Conservative (754c76) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:17 pm

  67. And she got offended.

    Oh well. Maybe she’ll follow through on booking the dentist’s appointment she then said she would.

    Comment by Former Conservative (754c76) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:19 pm

  68. 32. With that, MD, it’s also interesting to note that like mindedness runs it’s course: when Martin Bashir made vile comments directed at Palin, he was allowed to offer a quasi-apology; however, when Alec Baldwin used gay references pejoratively, he was promptly let go…

    Comment by Dana (e1b018) — 12/21/2013 @ 5:16 pm

    MSNBC showed Baldwin the door faster than they did Bashir. But it still did so reluctantly, and it took about two weeks. He called the reporter a “c***s*****g f****t” in early November and they didn’t let him go until the middle of the month.

    It all depends on what you consider prompt, I suppose. But MSNBC didn’t act with the alacrity of A&E. They let Baldwin go reluctantly knowing that he’s truly a man of the left. They know his politics are correct, but eventually had to fire him for wrongspeak.

    The Robertson’s are different. Phil not only said what he believes, he lives what he believes.

    As an aside, TMZ reports that A&E felt it had to let Phil go because he offended and outraged their gay employees.

    http://www.tmz.com/2013/12/21/a-and-e-duck-dynasty-gay-gq-phil-robertson/

    And the clowns in management at A&E didn’t think at least one of the duck hunting, bible toting Robertson’s wouldn’t outrage their gay employees at some point?

    It’s like hiring Andrew Dice Clay at the height of his career back in the late ’80s/early ’90s after seeing his act in a comedy club. To work your venue. Which just happens to be an all gay Caribbean cruise. And then being stunned it didn’t work out.

    If you don’t know what I’m talking about, google “old school Andrew Dice Clay.” But if you do, just don’t hold me responsible for what you hear.

    Comment by Steve57 (be5be1) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:24 pm

  69. MSNBC showed Baldwin the door faster than they did Bashir. But it still did so reluctantly, and it took about two weeks. He called the reporter a “c***s*****g f****t” in early November and they didn’t let him go until the middle of the month.

    While Baldwin was being a d-ck, no pun intended, I’m more inclined to give him a pass on one angry outburst when his family is being pressed upon like that. However, it is part of a long pattern of behavior, as we all know, so the firing wasn’t unfair.

    Comment by Former Conservative (754c76) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:26 pm

  70. And media companies were within their legal rights to fire Marxists and CBS was definitely within their legal rights to fire the Smothers Brothers, but we’d kind of decided that those were bad things, hadn’t we?

    Are we going to have to rewrite the textbooks on McCarthyism now that economic punishment for ThoughtCrime is suddenly a good thing?/blockquote> What has McCarthyism got to do with this? McCarthyism means falsely accusing innocent people of being communists. Not correctly accusing communists of being communists.

    And yes, it probably is past time to rewrite the textbooks. I haven’t spent a huge amount of time on it, but I have looked just a little into it, and it seems to me that if Joe McCarthy really did make wholesale false accusations of communism, it should be easy to find a few examples. And yet I haven’t yet found a single example of someone he falsely accused. I’ve challenged a few lefty types to name one, and so far nobody’s come up with a name that stands up to even a little scrutiny. So why exactly was he wrong? Why should he still be held up as an example of a witch-hunter?

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:26 pm

  71. And the clowns in management at A&E didn’t think at least one of the duck hunting, bible toting Robertson’s wouldn’t outrage their gay employees at some point?

    Related to Harvey Levin’s point.

    Comment by Former Conservative (754c76) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:26 pm

  72. True, but didn’t Dice, tick almost everybody off,
    at one point, how did we get to the point where all these third raters, like Maher, Stewart and Colbert, think they need to be paid attention to,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:27 pm

  73. They’e all actually funny though, narciso. Maybe you have to be on the left or center to get it, or pretty libertarian.

    Comment by Former Conservative (754c76) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:29 pm

  74. Actually, they are not, they used to be,

    This is one of the examples used against McCarthy,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annie_Lee_Moss

    as it turns out the outrage was more about perceptions then facts.

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:32 pm

  75. “What has McCarthyism got to do with this? McCarthyism means falsely accusing innocent people of being communists.”

    McCarthyism is a pretty broad term that also included media companies blacklisting people like Dash Hammett who really were Marxists/Marxists sympathizers, and whose beliefs became known and were broadly unpopular.

    Hollywood is still crying about this.

    Comment by Norman (bca611) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:33 pm

  76. I don’t watch Maher or Colbert much these days, but Stewart frequently cracks me up.

    Comment by Former Conservative (754c76) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:34 pm

  77. She was also trying nutritional approaches, which is great, but homeopathy is fraudulent nonsense.

    Well, the great thing about homeopathic remedies is that at least they can’t do any harm. Some other “alternative” or “herbal” remedies have active ingredients that can do serious harm, but homeopathic ones are just pure water or alcohol, so they can’t possibly do anything at all, good or bad.

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:34 pm

  78. Milhouse and Former Conservative,

    I understand wanting to tell people about Jesus but I have a problem with Christians who claim a specific person who doesn’t believe will go to Hell, because I think it’s God’s job to judge who will and won’t be saved.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:41 pm

  79. “Well, the great thing about homeopathic remedies is that at least they can’t do any harm.”

    Opportunity cost.

    I understand wanting to tell people about Jesus but I have a problem with Christians who claim a specific person who doesn’t believe will go to Hell, because I think it’s God’s job to judge who will and won’t be saved.

    Sure, that sounds very unbliblical. However, I don’t think Phil did that if you listen close. I think he expressed his concern about them, but didn’t claim to know absolutely who would or wouldn’t got to Heaven.

    Comment by Former Conservative (754c76) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:44 pm

  80. well it’s a tricky issue, DRJ, I would rather let them infer it, then state it, but how else to interpret John 3:16.

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:47 pm

  81. I don’t think Robertson did that either. I’m thinking about Ken’s quote “You’re going to Hell, but you shouldn’t be offended when I say so, because it’s in my holy book.”

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:48 pm

  82. Fair enough, DRJ. Many people do that.

    Comment by Former Conservative (754c76) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:49 pm

  83. narciso,

    I guess I’d rather say “I worry about your soul if you don’t believe.” But then I worry about all our souls, so what gives me the right to single someone out? Plus, we never know what’s in someone’s heart.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:51 pm

  84. I think of John 3:16 as a promise, not a threat.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:52 pm

  85. But a Godly promise, not a John Wayne-style promise.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:53 pm

  86. McCarthyism is a pretty broad term that also included media companies blacklisting people like Dash Hammett who really were Marxists/Marxists sympathizers, and whose beliefs became known and were broadly unpopular.

    Hollywood is still crying about this.

    That’s not McCarthyism, that’s not selling the communist the rope with which to hang us. Seriously, if Hammett had been exposed as a Nazi, would anyone have objected to his firing? If the Duck Dynasty guy had identified himself as a Klansman, would anyone have objected to his firing? So what’s the difference between a Nazi and a communist?

    And Annie Lee Moss was a communist, exactly as McCarthy claimed. She successfully played on her audience’s prejudices, playing the “dumb n—-r” role to the hilt, and pretending to be incapable of understanding what Marxism is, let alone to be one. But it was all an act.

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:53 pm

  87. Like I say, I wouldn’t it spell it out that way, but what is one left to conclude,

    Furthermore, we know the way the Sorosphere, represented by Media Matter, but fronted by othe parties used boycotts of sponsors to get rid of political opponents like Beck, or remove them to a smaller venue,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:54 pm

  88. I understand wanting to tell people about Jesus but I have a problem with Christians who claim a specific person who doesn’t believe will go to Hell, because I think it’s God’s job to judge who will and won’t be saved.

    I understand that that is how Catholics see things. But doesn’t the New Testament say that there is no way to the Father except through the Son? And don’t Protestants (or at least fundamentalists) believe that Scripture must be taken at its word? Isn’t it basic doctrine that everyone is born Hell-bound, and needs to be saved, and that Jesus is the only one who can do that?

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:58 pm

  89. We are all sinners, we all miss the mark, that is the nature of humanity, but even that is too controversial a sentiment, to publically expound,
    because I don’t know why,

    Hence we refuse to acknowledge evil in the world,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:58 pm

  90. We need to boycott a&e’s sponsors. That may teach them and glaad a lesson. There are more of us!

    Comment by Jim (145e10) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:01 pm

  91. I don’t think Robertson did that either. I’m thinking about Ken’s quote “You’re going to Hell, but you shouldn’t be offended when I say so, because it’s in my holy book.”

    My point is, what’s offensive about that? Either it’s going to happen or it isn’t. If you believe it’s going to happen, what’s offensive about telling people about it? What’s hateful about it?

    It seems to me that those who do think it hateful and offensive are essentially saying that the speaker doesn’t really believe what he claims to. That he doesn’t really think the listener is going to Hell, he’s just saying it to hurt them. Because really, who could believe something as ridiculous as that? In other words, it treats all Christians as liars. Which is pretty offensive.

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:02 pm

  92. Like I say, I wouldn’t it spell it out that way, but what is one left to conclude,

    This may be wishful thinking but, as the parent of a child who is so impaired that I’m not sure he understands the concept of God or Christ, I hope and pray that God gives us each a chance to fully understand what we’re deciding and giving up before he condemns us to Hell. Sometimes I think we’re all like my impaired child in God’s eyes, so I hope He will do everything He can to keep us with him.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:05 pm

  93. I prefer to do Christians the courtesy of accepting that they really believe what they say, no matter how little sense it makes to me. I assume that everything a Christian says must be understood as if Christianity were true, because that is what they think is the case. The fact that I disagree doesn’t change that.

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:06 pm

  94. Milhouse,

    It’s not hateful in a secular sense, but it would be in a religious sense if it intrudes on God’s responsibility to judge souls.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:06 pm

  95. I think children, instinctively understand what is good, it’s this culture that doesn’t seem to have a clue,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:09 pm

  96. I think of John 3:16 as a promise, not a threat.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:52 pm

    It helps to understand that His motivation is an endless love for His creation. Th a tension comes because we see thepromise through the eyes of a fallen and limited creation rather than through God’s perfect and infallible eye.

    Comment by Dana (e1b018) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:11 pm

  97. It’s not hateful in a secular sense, but it would be in a religious sense if it intrudes on God’s responsibility to judge souls.

    But the people who take offense at this often don’t believe there is a God who judges anything, so how can they take offense on His behalf?

    In any case, even if you think that only God can judge souls, and you don’t accept that the verses in the New Testament that appear to clearly consign all non-Xians to Hell should be taken at their word, the people who say these things do accept those verses, and thus don’t believe that there’s any chance of God changing His mind and letting a non-Xian into Heaven. That’s their religion, even if it isn’t yours (just as it certainly isn’t mine). So isn’t it offensive for you to say that they’re being offensive in pointing out what they see as the plain and simple truth?

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:11 pm

  98. Millhouse, the offensive part is not the hoping the person gets out of the way of the speeding truck. The offensive part is the insinuation the truck is speeding in their direction because they are bad.

    This is trebly offensive when the person is proud of themselves for loving and connecting with someone special or others plural as the case may be. When I love a woman or, as is my wont, women, would I be offended by you saying this is disgusting or sin? Sure. Because not only do I like sex, I also like the woman in question and don’t feel bad about connecting with her emotionally or otherwise.

    Would I think it wrong of you to tell me about that if you feel the consequence to me could be eternal torture by edict of your (to my mind) evil God? No.

    Anyway, I’m off for the night. Take care all.

    Comment by Former Conservative (6c0513) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:12 pm

  99. Beautifully said, Dana.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:12 pm

  100. If you want to adopt a more restricted definition of McCarthyism, that’s fine by me. I’m not going to get into a circular argument about it.

    Change my initial comment to this, then:

    “And media companies were within their legal rights to fire Marxists and CBS was definitely within their legal rights to fire the Smothers Brothers, but we’d kind of decided that those were bad things, hadn’t we?

    “Are we going to have to rewrite the textbooks on *the Blacklist* now that economic punishment for ThoughtCrime is suddenly a good thing?”

    If you think the blacklist was a good idea, fine. I take it you do: “that’s not selling the communist the rope with which to hang us.”

    But that’s not the way our culture has viewed this over the last 50 years. The left has been telling us lo these 50 years that the very principle of firing people for their beliefs is a bad, bad thing. Except now its not.

    Comment by Norman (bca611) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:12 pm

  101. as the parent of a child who is so impaired that I’m not sure he understands the concept of God or Christ, I hope and pray that God gives us each a chance to fully understand what we’re deciding and giving up before he condemns us to Hell

    Maybe, but it could also be that since he will never reject Jesus’s offer, it stands for him. Whereas I do reject that offer, because I don’t believe it exists. I know what the New Testament and Christian doctrine claims about it, I just don’t believe it’s true. So I don’t think I’m in the same boat as your son.

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:14 pm

  102. Millhouse, the offensive part is not the hoping the person gets out of the way of the speeding truck. The offensive part is the insinuation the truck is speeding in their direction because they are bad.

    But where is that insinuation? It isn’t there, it doesn’t exist except in the mind of the person who insists on being offended.

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:15 pm

  103. I don’t see it as a threat, either, but it has to mean something, and it did for nearly 2000 years;

    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:15 pm

  104. Regardless, this is a rather foolish way to look at things:

    http://hotair.com/headlines/archives/2013/12/21/bernard-goldberg-on-duck-dynasty-sometimes-conservatives-just-reflexively-defend-ignorance/

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:17 pm

  105. Milhouse:

    So isn’t it offensive for you to say that they’re being offensive in pointing out what they see as the plain and simple truth?

    I’m not saying it’s offensive for them to say this and I don’t think it is. I can’t speak for God but I think it’s God’s decision who gets eternal life. So what I’m saying is I don’t think it’s Christian for someone to say they know what’s going to happen to a specific soul.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:18 pm

  106. narciso,

    I agree it means something important. It’s a promise of eternal life that I believe in. It may also be the only path to eternal life, but I don’t know that.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:20 pm

  107. Lets say I run a prominent private corporation that is based on Christian principles which include tolerance and acceptance of homosexuals in the workplace.
    One of the gay employees who is the most productive person to the bottom line of the corporation gets interviewed by GQ and wanders off into discussing how much he prefers a mans anus and how evangelical straight males start out liking vagina and from there morph into closet glory hole queens… but he does love and respect those people and prays they choose a better path.
    I probably wouldn’t suspend the guy but we’d have to all meet and clear the air… however if I were to leave that meeting with no choice but to suspend the gay employee until he understands how hurtful the glory hole business was to some and issues a sincere apology, GLAAD would be dry humping my anus within the hour

    Comment by steveg (794291) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:21 pm

  108. If you think the blacklist was a good idea, fine. I take it you do: “that’s not selling the communist the rope with which to hang us.”

    But that’s not the way our culture has viewed this over the last 50 years.

    Only because the blacklist failed! Only because the people who should have been on it fought back, and convinced people that it was wrong. But they didn’t convince people that blacklisting is inherently wrong; I think 99% of people are just fine with blacklisting Nazis or Klansmen. If you ask someone (including those who created the opposition to the blacklist) to distinguish the two, they’d say that it’s because Nazis and Klansmen are evil, and communists are not. And that is a fallacy that the left has carefully brainwashed people with. There is no significant difference between a Nazi and a communist; and until that is widely accepted, the damage to our society will continue.

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:21 pm

  109. 69. …While Baldwin was being a d-ck, no pun intended, I’m more inclined to give him a pass on one angry outburst when his family is being pressed upon like that. However, it is part of a long pattern of behavior, as we all know, so the firing wasn’t unfair.

    Comment by Former Conservative (754c76) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:26 pm

    I honestly don’t understand this defense of an angry outburst. What, you get angry and you turn into a raving lunatic and that’s somehow excusable?

    http://nypost.com/2013/02/18/alec-fast-slur-ious/

    How do you wrap your mind around it. Someone claims to respect people who are gay, or who are black (and other minorities) yet their first impulse when they fly off the handle is to launch into tirade about their sexual orientation or race?

    I can’t see myself doing it.

    I have a gay cousin. I may have more than one gay cousin, but this is the only one I know about. I’m not about to stop being Catholic for her and she knows it. But I’m not going to gratuitously insult her either, because I love her to death.

    I served with some great guys who were different colors than my. My Captain, who is black, was the guest of honor at my wedding. Not because I was sucking up. If I was, it did me no good. But I wasn’t. I just liked and respected the guy.

    Probably my best leading Petty Officer was black.

    So I’m going to follow Alec Baldwin’s example and call someone a “coon?”

    I don’t think so.

    Instead I think I’ll just work on my vocabulary so I can effectively insult just the individual in front of me.

    I think Mr. feets has shewed us the way and it involves references to Anus. Which is common to the entire human race.

    Comment by Steve57 (be5be1) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:25 pm

  110. So what I’m saying is I don’t think it’s Christian for someone to say they know what’s going to happen to a specific soul.

    Don’t Christians take offense at being told they’re not Xian? Isn’t there some doctrine (I’m asking because I’m really not sure about this) that if someone claims to be a Xian it’s wrong to say they aren’t, even if their beliefs are heretical?

    In any case, someone’s doctrine not being sufficiently Xian is hardly something I could complain about, since mine is not Xian at all. So I’m back to my original challenge to Ken White: what is offensive about a Xian informing me, with great sadness, that unfortunately I’m going to Hell?

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:27 pm

  111. Milhouse,

    John 14:6 says Jesus is the only way to the Father so that is why Christians believe only they will be saved. My prayer is that God will give us each a chance to know and accept Jesus on Judgment Day.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:28 pm

  112. Milhouse,

    I’m not saying someone isn’t a Christian when I say they may not be acting in a Christian way. There would be no Christians if that were the rule, because no one can be a perfect Christian.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:31 pm

  113. Last comment tonight hopefully.

    Millhouse, the offensive part is being told that perhaps the thing you care about most in the world — your relationship with another person* — is sinful, is bad, separates you from God, which Itself is defined as good.

    If for whatever reason you don’t agree with that, OK, but that is how they see it, and I understand it.
     
     
    *or just their sexuality which, while it may not be the most important thing to a person, is still very important

    Comment by Former Conservative (f518a8) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:35 pm

  114. Regardless, this is a rather foolish way to look at things:

    Goldberg’s comment are interesting to me because they’re mouthed by a person who has been fairly objective about the leftist tilt of the media. But he apparently has no lack of squish in segments of his ideology, certainly if he has the audacity to say that Robertson is expressing a POV that’s very wrong or Alec-Baldwin-ish in tone.

    There’s a theory by some people that those who are overly, excessively anti-gay are perhaps guilty of “methinks he doth protest too much.” By the same token, I wonder if a person who’s really bothered by Phil Robertson’s candor are no less guilty of “methinks he doth protest [blunt criticism of male homosexuality] too much.”

    Comment by Mark (58ea35) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:36 pm

  115. 92. …This may be wishful thinking but, as the parent of a child who is so impaired that I’m not sure he understands the concept of God or Christ, I hope and pray that God gives us each a chance to fully understand what we’re deciding and giving up before he condemns us to Hell. Sometimes I think we’re all like my impaired child in God’s eyes, so I hope He will do everything He can to keep us with him.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:05 pm

    How can we not all be impaired in the eyes of God, DRJ?

    Comment by Steve57 (be5be1) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:36 pm

  116. I hope and pray that God gives us each a chance to fully understand what we’re deciding and giving up before he condemns us to Hell

    Please, please, take no offense. I’m not trying to pick a fight.

    But how can any of us fully understand what God has in store for us?

    Comment by Steve57 (be5be1) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:39 pm

  117. DRJ @111, there is only one man we know of who made it to heaven.

    Luke 23:39-43

    New International Version (NIV)

    39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

    40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

    42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[a]”

    43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

    A thief.

    Comment by Steve57 (be5be1) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:42 pm

  118. It seems to me that A&E, being a private enterprise, is subject to the discipline of creative destruction. It is not supported by the Hte Won or Uncle Ben, and thus it will be allowed to fail, whereas the follies embraced by Ben and Hussein will endure short of taking down the entire economic edifice. This being true, the best course is to let A&E stumble down this road on their own power, and then laugh at them when we see their remains in the ditch beside the road.

    If their decision is really as bad as it seems, then it is likely that someone with the means will step forward and create another alternative that is supportive of personal freedom, and that network will dominate cable. If not, well, then the loss of another phony “reality” show will be a magnitude 2 tremor in our society, and the fools will continue their march to the cliff.

    We are long past the situation of being concerned about people yelling “Fire!” in a theatre. The Left has pushed our institutions so far that the best course is to let them fail. And the sooner the better. In the larger view, our country is also subject to the forces of creative destruction. Many little catastrophes are lot easier to accomodate than a few mega-crashes. Of course, many individuals will be caught up in the destruction, so our personal responsibility will be to do what we can to assist the needy in an intelligent, charitable fashion. But I can’t see why anyone should be concerned about the success of failure of something like A&E.

    Comment by bobathome (c0c2b5) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:54 pm

  119. It all depends on what you consider prompt, I suppose. But MSNBC didn’t act with the alacrity of A&E. They let Baldwin go reluctantly knowing that he’s truly a man of the left. They know his politics are correct, but eventually had to fire him for wrongspeak.

    It’s ironic because I believe my own reactions towards Baldwin’s outburst were more negative than they were for various folks on the left. The reason, moreover, isn’t because I have disdain for Baldwin’s politics but because his comments were an example to me of pure derision and insult. So for a whole host of folks on the left to have tolerated Baldwin’s message until the bitter end, and then some, tells me just how much politicization-of-Paul-Wellstone’s-funeral bias exists among many liberals.

    Comment by Mark (58ea35) — 12/21/2013 @ 11:10 pm

  120. Jesus tells people that He is the way, the truth and the life no man comes to the Father but by me.
    What does that mean?
    The pathway of life ends with Jesus and he decides who gets in or stays out.

    In another story he speaks as a shepherd who is separating the goats from his sheep.
    Sheep who know his voice and whom he knows by name follow him.

    There is a story of farm workers hired at dawn who complain about the high pay the owner of the land decides to give the crew that starts in the afternoon…. Jesus saays that the land and the money belong to the owner and he can pay however it pleases himself. He compares this to God, basically asserting God’s sovereigny over who shall be chosen.
    And look at who Jesus first chose…. a bunch of lovable blue collar knuckleheads.

    We will be surprised to see people in heaven and notice some we thought were a sure bet are missing. Being known by God or Jesus, is a heart thing, a soul tie.
    Jesus disciples were saved from having to attend synagogue, and now we are from church.
    all we have to do is love our God with all our heart body soul and mind and love others as well as you do yourself. And do love yourself because Jesus first loved you since before you were in your mothers womb. Jesus’ voice is the one that does not condone your behavior but projects a total lack of condemnation… come home, I’ve made dinner and your inheritance is safe here with me

    Comment by steveg (794291) — 12/21/2013 @ 11:24 pm

  121. In general: A&E knew who they hired, and it was this odd (to their NE social orientation) red-neck religious, duck-shooting clan that they thought would draw an audience; if they were within one standard deviation of what A&E thought was “normal” we would never have heard of the Robertsons. Now they are taking umbrage to what they say? Please.

    Specifically, wouldn’t the contract twixt the parties address things like magazine interviews and what control A&E could exercise regarding same.

    @39, et seq- Sox-Cubs dust-up was a nice diversion.

    @60- Yeah. To paraphrase, “believe or you will go to Hell” is fair warning. Appropriate reply could be, “thanks for the warning, I’ll take it under submission.” The problem arises when the person (co-worker, neighbor, relative…) offers the advice daily, let alone when strangers continuously knock on your door to give you yet another chance to change you evil ways.

    A hypothetical: A&E is advised by GLAAD that they and all their members are offended by duck man’s comments. A&E says “thanks for the info” and does nothing more. Boycott follows. Question: do enough GLAAD members/supporters watch DD so that their discontinuing their watching will have a significant (or even visible) impact on ratings?

    Disclaimer- I have seen more of DD in news clips and blog-post videos than actual watching of the show (which is zero). No plans to change on the horizon.

    Comment by gramps, the original (64b8ca) — 12/21/2013 @ 11:48 pm

  122. It may also be the only path to eternal life, but I don’t know that.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:20 pm

    You can now.

    John 14:5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    Comment by peedoffamerican (c1890a) — 12/21/2013 @ 11:54 pm

  123. Oops, just saw that you quoted it later.

    Comment by peedoffamerican (c1890a) — 12/22/2013 @ 12:00 am

  124. Romans 2:12

    For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

    Virteous non-believers are not necessarily condemned?

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/22/2013 @ 7:11 am

  125. *virtuous* Can you have virtue if you can’t spell it?

    And on that point, do you know that “vir” is “man” and virtue is the quality of being a man?

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/22/2013 @ 7:14 am

  126. Yes, nk. Because I’m virile.

    Comment by Steve57 (be5be1) — 12/22/2013 @ 7:27 am

  127. nk, you Greek scholar you, you beat me to it with Romans 2:12 and following.

    My understanding (not mine alone) is that all people have some internal witness as to what is right and wrong, even those who never heard of the Law of God (principally the 10 Commandments).
    They will be judged according to their conscience.
    Now, that being said, what person will be able to go before God and say that their conscience is clear,that they have never acted disobediently?
    None. No one.
    The NT teaching is that Abraham and Moses and David were justified before God the same way as the Apostles Paul and Peter and John and anyone who heard their preaching, through faith by God’s grace.
    To have faith in God is to believe He exists and he rewards those who seek Him, that He is good.
    The Christian distinctive/emphasis, is that you can seek God as little or as much as you want, but you will never be good enough on your own to be worthy to stand in His presence, for “in Him there is no darkness at all”.
    So one who would seek to know God st realize that he/she is dependent upon God’s mercy. (The one who said, “Be merciful to me, a sinner” was the one who went home justified before God).
    Furthermore, the NT teaching is that while God s merciful, He is also just, and he can’t/doesn’t get to decide which one He will be today (He is as He is). So how is God’s mercy and justice both satisfied, for “The soul that sins will surely die”?
    Because in Jesus, God Himself lived a sinless life, died a death that He did not deserve, and made it possible for those who did deserve death to find God’s mercy.

    Comment by MD in Philly (f9371b) — 12/22/2013 @ 7:51 am

  128. peedoffamerican,

    My comments were confusing. My hope is that God gives those who didn’t know or accept Jesus in their earthly lives a second chance at salvation on Judgment Day. That’s what I mean by another path.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/22/2013 @ 7:51 am

  129. Steve57:

    But how can any of us fully understand what God has in store for us?

    I hope God grants us greater understanding when we stand before Him in judgment. But I admit my hope that God will grant greater understanding to my son and all humans isn’t based on Biblical teachings as much as a mother’s prayer for mercy.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/22/2013 @ 7:59 am

  130. is that all people have some internal witness as to what is right and wrong, even those who never heard of the Law of God

    That makes me think of the phrase “honor among thieves,” in which even in the morally-broken-down setting of a prison, there still will be at least a subtle regard for honesty among various inmates. Perhaps that surprising aspect of behavior is a variation or peculiar off-shoot of what’s known as “limousine liberalism.”

    Comment by Mark (58ea35) — 12/22/2013 @ 8:32 am

  131. Frankly, I think the issue here is, what the pluperfect hell did A&E expect would happen if they made stars of fundamentalist rednecks? Did they think that being media darlings would somehow magically change the beliefs of the family? Did they simply fail to consider the consequences of green lighting Duck Dynasty? Assuming they haven’t violated some contract, they have the right to fire they guy, but I think it makes them look ostentatiously stupid.

    How much sympathy would A&E be getting if they had aired a show about Jihadist Muslims and the star had done an interview in which he said that Gays should be burned at the stake? Or a show about an Environmental extremist who went on record in favor of forced abortions?

    Comment by C. S. P. Schofield (e8b801) — 12/22/2013 @ 8:33 am

  132. This is why it is called a CULTURE WAR, not a Constitutional one.

    And in terms of CULTURAL, either you believe in free speech or you don’t.

    Principle is the same, so long as you are not taking away one’s right to live in peace, be free to carry about their daily business without interference and do so without taking away someone’s else’s rights to do same ….. let it go.

    That is why his firing (and many others) is wrong in this case.

    He hurt no one. He makes money for A&E being the man he is. He is not threatening anyone else. He is not advocating taking anything away from anyone for any reason. He is not inciting violence.

    Cut and dry to me.

    Comment by Rodney King's Spirit (6e2c31) — 12/22/2013 @ 8:41 am

  133. the little gay kids what were sitting in the pews the day the white trash duck bigot preached his white trash low church hate sermon, they might’ve felt a wee lil bit threatened I think

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/22/2013 @ 8:54 am

  134. I’m not sure if the following gives me hope or is a sign of just how bad things have become or are becoming, when even certain members of the left in Euro-scelorotic Europe are sounding a warning.

    telegraph.co.uk, December 21: The Labour Party has admitted that politicians should stop feeling a “sense of embarrassment” about discussing God. Douglas Alexander, a senior frontbencher, suggested that public figures have allowed “political correctness” to prevent them talking about faith and the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.

    In a thinly-veiled attack on the Tony Blair era, when Alastair Campbell, the then communications director in Downing Street, said “we don’t do God”, Mr Alexander warned that people should have the courage to speak up for Christians without fear of causing offence. Writing in the Telegraph, he warns that the mounting persecution of Christians is a “story that goes largely untold”, describing those who have spoken out on the issue, including the Prince of Wales, as lone voices.

    “In the UK today, perhaps through a misplaced sense of political correctness, or some sense of embarrassment at ‘doing God’ in an age when secularism is more common, too many politicians seem to fear discussing any matters related to faith.”

    Last week, the Prince warned that Christianity was beginning to “disappear” from its own birthplace, as its communities are being “deliberately targeted” by Islamist militants.

    Comment by Mark (58ea35) — 12/22/2013 @ 9:00 am

  135. Just a general observation. “Reality show” is an oxymoron. There is nothing more fake than a reality show. Generally they put put attention whores in an entirely artificial situation, and then the attention whores act.

    This case was different.

    ‘Duck Dynasty’: A&E warned Phil Robertson about speaking out too much

    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-duck-dynasty-ae-warned-phil-robertson-about-speaking-out-too-much-20131220,0,7276941.story#ixzz2oDtwvefn

    A&E decided to do a reality show about the Robertson’s. And they got, reality! That shocked the hell out of them. That never happens in reality shows. So they started to do fake cuss words (bleeping out words that weren’t profanity) and lectured Phil about being too much himself.

    When Phil kept it real, they fired him. He just couldn’t be artificial enough for the A&E execs to keep him on in their reality show.

    At least that’s how I see it. When I hear the words “reality show” I think fake. Just like when I hear the words “adult entertainment” or “adult themes” I think it must be juvenile.

    Comment by Steve57 (be5be1) — 12/22/2013 @ 9:04 am

  136. There’s got to be a “second chance”, DRJ. He gave us Free Will, and some choose/chose not to believe in Him or accept salvation through His Son, but I am hard-pressed to believe that a loving God——as I believe Him to be——would condemn anyone to misery forever without that “second chance”. I’m certainly convinced that those like your son will be with Him forever. Thanks to all for a thoughtful discussion. Merry Christmas. chuck

    Comment by dhmosquito (781015) — 12/22/2013 @ 9:12 am

  137. Was talking to a Saudi woman for a few hours last night. When I told her that an ex had just told me she had had sex with a woman for the first time last weekend, she was horrified. And disgusted. You could hear it in her voice and words.

    But overall she’s a pretty cool, progressive woman … for a Saudi chick.

    Do I hate her for her views? Nah. I countered them and pointed out that homosexuality is all throughout nature. To which she responded that those members of those species were sick and unnatural too. lol

    But anyway, should my relatively-progressive Saudi friend, who teaches elderly women how to read, moved against her family’s wishes to her own apartment in Jeddah, doesn’t cover her face all the time even in Riyadh, is planning on getting a master’s degree next, etc., be denied a job in America should she move because of her opinion?

    I have a feeling this standard won’t be applied to Muslims — only to huge swaths of the population. Strange days.

    I wouldn’t let her into this country because I think S.A. breeds terrorists against the USA. Her views on homosexuality are the least of our worries.

    P.S. Why would you tell her about your ex? Seems like a strange thing to tell someone.

    Comment by Barbie girl (76671d) — 12/22/2013 @ 9:22 am

  138. Millhouse, the offensive part is being told that perhaps the thing you care about most in the world — your relationship with another person* — is sinful, is bad, separates you from God, which Itself is defined as good.

    But how can saying that be offensive, if it’s true? And the person is saying it because he thinks it is true, and he’s got good reason to think that, even if you think it’s false.

    It seems that in such a case what you’re really taking offense at is not that he’s saying it, but that he believes it, in other words at the fact that he is a Christian (or whatever he is). So your offense is really against the existence of that religion, and of all religions that agree on the point. So you will not stop being offended until those religions cease to exist. Nothing else can mollify you. And that’s the very opposite of the freedom that America stands for.

    Here’s what gets me: as a non-Christian, I recognise that Americans are a Christian nation. The corporate entity known as “the United States of America” is not, but the people are, and it’s the people who created that entity. One of the great things about Americans is their tolerance and acceptance of those who disagree with them, whether on small points of doctrine or on the entire concept of religion. That’s why they set up their governments without established religions, so they’d treat everyone equally.

    But now it seems that acceptance has bitten the Christians on the hand. It is inconceivable, or should be, that the core values of Christianity should be considered offensive in America, that Christians, who are still a majority in America, should be reduced to seeking the protection of that same tolerance that they extend to others, let alone that they be denied it! It’s a sad state when Christians in America must apologise simply for being Christian.

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/22/2013 @ 9:23 am

  139. Christians are not a monolithic homogeneous group Mr. Milhouse – broadly speaking, taxonomically, there’s the old school respectable kind where when they go to church they don’t screech about anus and the low church nondenominational trashy hateful kind like daddy duck

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/22/2013 @ 9:32 am

  140. Frankly, I think the issue here is, what the pluperfect hell did A&E expect would happen if they made stars of fundamentalist rednecks? Did they think that being media darlings would somehow magically change the beliefs of the family?

    As I wrote earlier, I think they don’t really understand that religious people really believe what they claim to. They think religion is just an elaborate LARP, and players are in character most of the time, but will surely break character when it really really matters, such as when someone’s life is in danger, or when staying in character means saying truly hateful things.

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/22/2013 @ 9:40 am

  141. the little gay kids what were sitting in the pews the day the white trash duck bigot preached his white trash low church hate sermon, they might’ve felt a wee lil bit threatened I think

    If someone feels threatened by what someone else believes, doesn’t that say more about him than about them? And what about people who feel threatened by what you believe, whatever that is?

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/22/2013 @ 9:41 am

  142. These words were written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow on Christmas Day in 1863. It was the middle of the Civil War and his son had been seriously wounded in a battle in Virginia in November. He had also just recently lost his wife in a fire. The poem with these verses was later set to music:

    I heard the bells on Christmas Day
    Their old, familiar carols play,
    and wild and sweet
    The words repeat
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
    And thought how, as the day had come,
    The belfries of all Christendom
    Had rolled along
    The unbroken song
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
    Till ringing, singing on its way,
    The world revolved from night to day,
    A voice, a chime,
    A chant sublime
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    Then in despair I bowed my head;
    “There is no peace on earth,” I said;
    “For hate is strong,
    And mocks the song
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
    Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
    “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
    The Wrong shall fail,
    The Right prevail,
    With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

    http://www.barb-coolwaters.com/e008/heardbells.html

    Comment by elissa (a65140) — 12/22/2013 @ 9:45 am

  143. Christians are not a monolithic homogeneous group Mr. Milhouse – broadly speaking, taxonomically, there’s the old school respectable kind where when they go to church they don’t screech about anus and the low church nondenominational trashy hateful kind like daddy duck

    You mean the LARP players and the true believers? High Church Anglicanism is pretty much a LARP, isn’t it? Anyone who really believed in it went Catholic a long time ago. If there are still true believers in the High Church, then surely they believe more or less what the duck guy said, even if they’re too genteel to say it in public. No?

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/22/2013 @ 9:46 am

  144. If someone feels threatened by what someone else believes, doesn’t that say more about him than about them?

    i don’t think this is some kind of universal truism, no

    You mean the LARP players and the true believers?

    No Mr. Milhouse. Respectable Christians are much less vocal about their personal religious beliefs and in fact sublimate their particular beliefs into community service, general good neighborliness, and they approach society with a refined sense of egalitarianism.

    Low church hicks tend to only socialize among themselves, are less involved in the broader community, and they wear their bigotries on their sleeve and think nothing of getting in people’s faces with their backwoods ignant half-baked pseudo-religious twaddle.

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/22/2013 @ 9:53 am

  145. What could possibly go wrong here;

    http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2013/12/popular_saudi_sheikh.php

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/22/2013 @ 9:54 am

  146. Thank you for posting that, elissa.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/22/2013 @ 9:57 am

  147. It was going so well too;

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/12/advertising_in_the_age_of_obama.html

    when you make the propaganda too obvious, your audience becomes more selective

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/22/2013 @ 9:58 am

  148. I was raised in a mainline protestant denomination (not Episcopalian). The differences in what is taught and how the Bible is interpreted/translated even within those denominations, and compared with the teachings of the Catholic Church and what are now referred to as Evangelical protestant denominations, and Black Churches, are fairly substantial. It makes discussing “Christianity” and defining Christian beliefs on the internet difficult, I think.

    Comment by elissa (a65140) — 12/22/2013 @ 10:04 am

  149. Comment by Barbie girl (76671d) — 12/22/2013 @ 9:22 am

    Because you didn’t use the quote formatting feature, and because I didn’t previously see the post (from Former Conservative) that you were quoting, I at first thought you were doing a gender-bender number on us. So I was going what?!, huh?! what?! until I figured things out. LOL.

    i don’t think this is some kind of universal truism, no

    happyfeet, people who are excessively, extremely, irrationally anti-gay understandably fall under the heading of “methinks he doth protest too much.” But people who are excessively, extremely, irrationally anti-anti-gay fall under that same heading too.

    Comment by Mark (58ea35) — 12/22/2013 @ 10:04 am

  150. I wouldn’t let her into this country because I think S.A. breeds terrorists against the USA.

    Silly person. The US kills Muslims, including civilians, all over the world at far, far greater rates than Muslims kill Americans.

    That what causes most of the “terrorism”. Although drone strikes on people’s houses with a “double tap” drone strike to rescuers sure sounds like terrorism to me.

    And the US is surveilling the world including its own citizens with enormous capabilities, has militarized police forces, and imprisons or jails five times more people per capita than it did when I was born, most of whom are there for voluntary buying or selling something the government doesn’t like.

    Whatever the US once was, it is no longer the land of the free, and it’s chilling that it still insists on coercing elementary students into saying the Pledge of Allegiance: “with liberty and justice for all”.

    Not so much with the liberty and justice, but it does help military recruitment down the road.

    Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/22/2013 @ 10:09 am

  151. “Why would you tell her about your ex? Seems like a strange thing to tell someone.”

    Why? We’re friends. We talk about things. She’s engaged. She talks about that. Also, homosexuality came up, so it was relevant. Also, I pretty much knew she’d react that way, and it was amusing. It was a chance to slip in a lesson about how widespread homosexuality is in nature and have fun with it.

    Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/22/2013 @ 10:10 am

  152. Even if she was from Jiddah, which is considered somewhat more moderate then the Nejd that wouldn’t seem a fruitful discussion;

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/366943/re-education-camp-mark-steyn

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/22/2013 @ 10:24 am

  153. People are individuals. Stereotypes can have some merit, but they’re not universal by any remote stretch of the imagination.

    Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/22/2013 @ 10:27 am

  154. Tying several of those themes together in a perhaps less emotive way is Glenn Greenwald and Noam Chomsky talking about how the failure in the rule of law over the last few decades has led to problems in both domestic and foreign policy, including the people feeling very very distant from their rulers:

    How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful

    It’s thought-provoking and worth a listen whatever your politics. Surely no one on the right can be thoroughly happy with today’s set of affairs. Of all people, Greenwald and Chomsky lay out several of the problems very well.

    These are two people I despised three yeas ago. And now I see the wisdom of much of what Chomsky had to say and Greenwald is positively being heroic in helping to expose the surveillance state. I never would have thought to live to see such days!

    Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/22/2013 @ 10:42 am

  155. whereas Phil Robertson is positively being heroic in helping to expose the nondesirability of anus relative to vagina

    two peasies in a wil podsy

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/22/2013 @ 10:45 am

  156. In Saudi Arabia, they stone you if they find out your gay, they do the same if they find out you’ve converted to Christianity;

    http://twitchy.com/2013/12/22/cracker-barrel-does-a-180-today-we-are-putting-all-our-duck-dynasty-products-back-in-our-stores/

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/22/2013 @ 10:51 am

  157. acceptance has bitten the Christians on the hand….

    Exceptionally well stated Milhouse. And standing behind the gays (leftists who want to bring down the Constitution and the (religious polis)) are the jihadists (who want to bring down the Constitution and the polis).

    Comment by red (ac28a9) — 12/22/2013 @ 10:56 am

  158. narciso, you’re generalizing. In the US, until Lawrence v. Texas, they threw you in prison in several states for homosexual activity or even having oral sex with your life. They warned athletes about that during the 1996 Olympics. At the time, there were about 40 people serving prison sentences for it. One of them was a naval captain who was dishonorably discharged for the crime of giving his wife pleasure (it came out during the divorce).

    Does that mean all Americans supported that evil insanity?

    Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/22/2013 @ 10:57 am

  159. *wife

    Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/22/2013 @ 10:57 am

  160. Oh, 40 people just in Georgia.

    Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/22/2013 @ 10:57 am

  161. I never would have thought to live to see such days!

    americanthinker.com, December 16:

    Twitchy has the pic of what appears to be a life size Obama tapestry hanging on the wall in our embassy in London.

    [...the portrait of The One We Have Been Waiting For is larger than Presidents Lincoln and Washington, who flank him, almost like apostles. The visual message declares that their significance is that they paved the way for the Lightworker.]

    What’s really creepy about it is that it reminds me of every tin pot, banana republic dictator in the world with those huge murals and propaganda paintings on the walls of buildings always showing the thug smiling benignly. Orwell knew what he was talking about.

    Comment by Mark (58ea35) — 12/22/2013 @ 11:02 am

  162. the portrait of The One We Have Been Waiting For is larger than Presidents Lincoln and Washington, who flank him

    But the portraits of Lincoln and Washington will be there long after the portrait of Obama is gone, and/or replaced by a smaller one in a less prominent place.

    I suppose there is a question of why they have one at all of the current president, but if you are going to have one, it probably should be the most prominent portrait.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (dbe090) — 12/22/2013 @ 11:10 am

  163. 150. Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/22/2013 @ 10:09 am

    That what causes most of the “terrorism”.

    No, lies cause terrorism.

    And why are they copying the tactics of terrorists with the double tap? This gets people who come to help the wounded.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (dbe090) — 12/22/2013 @ 11:12 am

  164. feets,
    I must say I remember the first time I heard the term “white trash”, from an educated colleague no less.
    I sort of thought calling any person “trash” was kind of rude,
    like using the n word.
    Of course, knowing that a good part of my family heritage wasn’t off any or much better than Mr. Phil when he was young, I kind of felt personally offended (though I did not say so).

    I don’t mind too much being called a sinner, even before I was a Christian, as I held no pretense of moral perfection.
    I do think it is rude to be called trash, though.
    I appreciate what Milhouse has to say. If a person says they believe “X”, and then acts like they believe “X” that is called logical and showing intellectual integrity.
    It is just that thinking through the logical consequences of ideas has been placed very low down on the rank of societal priorities.

    Once upon a time I thought I would have considered myself a Christian simply because I wasn’t something else.

    If ya didn’t see the link that DRJ had before, here it is (or something like it) again.
    Interesting to note that Phil went to college (?graduated?) on a football scholarship.
    FWIW, I thought he was more or less eloquent in a non-Ivy league fashion.
    http://www.iamsecond.com/seconds/the-robertsons/

    Comment by MD in Philly (f9371b) — 12/22/2013 @ 11:40 am

  165. pro-tip: if given the chance to talk to America about your views on things and your decision is to use that forum to discuss how slamming vagina is the tits whereas man anus is like totally gross, you might could be white trash

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/22/2013 @ 11:47 am

  166. And if you go around calling people white trash, you might just be what you profess to hate! A bigot!

    Comment by peedoffamerican (c1890a) — 12/22/2013 @ 11:50 am

  167. feets,
    I guess you are doubling down on the white trash talk.

    You want to know something that will blow your mind? If you watch that video, you will find Mr. Phil is ready to be kind to you and pray for you (better “duck”) even if you call him trash, white or otherwise.

    Comment by MD in Philly (f9371b) — 12/22/2013 @ 11:51 am

  168. And if you denigrate him because of his religion, that also makes you an anti-Christian bigot!

    Comment by peedoffamerican (c1890a) — 12/22/2013 @ 11:52 am

  169. I find it very unlikely i’ll every encounter Phil Robertson my whole life but if I do I will be very nice I promise and not mention anything about politics or religion

    but that is unlikely

    but if I ever do go back to Monroe it’ll be cause of I kinda want to have dinner at Cotton

    but lunch would be ok too and I could have a cocktail or two and then walk it off downtown, which is very peaceful since it’s economically moribund

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/22/2013 @ 11:59 am

  170. the biggest thing going on in downtown Monroe is the hospital

    there’s a park out front where you can watch all the fat nurses go to smoke on their breaks

    the black fat nurses have their little break area and the white fat nurses have their little break area

    it’s a tiny little park and there’s the funniest thing there – there’s this path through it diagonally and at one end it says hey you should walk down this path cause we put it here to help monroe get more exercise!

    So off I go!

    and 50 yards later the path ends. That’s it. Done.

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/22/2013 @ 12:03 pm

  171. i’ll *ever* encounter Phil Robertson I mean

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/22/2013 @ 12:19 pm

  172. “pro-tip: if given the chance to talk to America”

    pro-tip: GQ is not America, but I’ll bet a good segment of their readership love them some ANUS.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 12/22/2013 @ 1:28 pm

  173. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 12/22/2013 @ 1:28 pm

    Saying you are that they like Tail Tales, hmmmmmmm?

    Comment by Yoda (c1890a) — 12/22/2013 @ 1:32 pm

  174. This may be wishful thinking but, as the parent of a child who is so impaired that I’m not sure he understands the concept of God or Christ

    DRJ, I believe with all my heart, soul, and mind that children such as yours understand and *know* on much deeper level than the rest of us just what the Love of Christ is. In their seemingly limited way, they are actually limitless in their understanding. The key is not to ascertain understanding through our suspect eyes that doubt and fall and fail and are bound by the frailties of human nature; rather theirs is a deeper and wider grasp of love in spite of their earthly limits on them.

    Take heart, friend, your son is kissed by the angels, now and always. That’s the unique silver lining that comes with the bittersweet of having such a child; one has to focus in a different way and shake off a lot of the preconceived expectations, standards, and checkpoints to get that extra sight to be able discern this. May this Christmas season bring you that assurance.

    Comment by Dana (e1b018) — 12/22/2013 @ 2:04 pm

  175. That what causes most of the “terrorism”. Although drone strikes on people’s houses with a “double tap” drone strike to rescuers sure sounds like terrorism to me.

    I don’t think that’s the reason. It’s hatred of the infidel. They make no secret of this being the reason. They also terrorize each other and people within their own countries so it’s not just Americans who are to blame.

    Why? We’re friends. We talk about things. She’s engaged. She talks about that. Also, homosexuality came up, so it was relevant. Also, I pretty much knew she’d react that way, and it was amusing. It was a chance to slip in a lesson about how widespread homosexuality is in nature and have fun with it.

    I don’t know that your ex wanted to have her life talked about. And I don’t slip in lessons to my friends. So we’re different.

    Comment by Barbie girl (76671d) — 12/22/2013 @ 4:17 pm

  176. “And I don’t slip in lessons to my friends.”

    So if not conversations about human rights issues and widening the circle of people seen as worthy humans to be cared about, what’s your plan to improve things? War? Seems to be.

    In a contest of compassion and overall reason, you vs. her, I’d pick her in a heartbeat.

    Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/22/2013 @ 4:57 pm

  177. Speaking of free speech …

    No comments allowed ……….

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/22/us/health-care-enrollment-deadline.html?_r=0

    Comments are allowed …….

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/22/us/when-the-right-to-bear-arms-includes-the-mentally-ill.html?ref=politics

    Comment by Rodney King's Spirit (6e2c31) — 12/22/2013 @ 5:14 pm

  178. I don’t see any Comments on the second article.

    They are both news articles.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (dbe090) — 12/22/2013 @ 5:29 pm

  179. Comment by Barbie girl (76671d) — 12/22/2013 @ 4:17 pm

    I don’t think that’s the reason. It’s hatred of the infidel. They make no secret of this being the reason.

    Not true. There are always specific allegations.

    And there are lies of course too, about what their own religion says.

    They have to lie about values, and lie about the facts. Like about the polio vaccine.

    They also terrorize each other and people within their own countries so it’s not just Americans who are to blame.

    They lie about other people, and have to kill people who dispute them. Also, exert their authority.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (dbe090) — 12/22/2013 @ 5:34 pm

  180. Wahhabism is the state faith, which has tied the ruling Saud branch of the Anezi clan, and the Ikwan, however it teaches the populace to hate that same clan, and other infidels, this is how the networks that supply AQ and other militant coalitions are organized,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/22/2013 @ 5:48 pm

  181. narciso, you’re generalizing. In the US, until Lawrence v. Texas, they threw you in prison in several states for homosexual activity or even having oral sex with your life.

    There may have been very out-dated laws on the books, but I cannot find any evidence of anyone jailed or imprisoned for having oral sex. This does not strike me as being true.

    Comment by JD (5c1832) — 12/22/2013 @ 6:07 pm

  182. I somehow suspected that;

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2013/12/phil-robertson-breaks-silence-i-will-not-back-off-we-are-not-worried-about-the-repercussions/

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/22/2013 @ 6:08 pm

  183. Much less stoned, now that is the ‘ole time religion ‘ over there, which apparently has affiliates in Boston and Chicago.

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/22/2013 @ 6:09 pm

  184. It strikes me as a complete fabrication, unless you are including oral sex with minors, etc …

    Comment by JD (5c1832) — 12/22/2013 @ 6:11 pm

  185. I’ll give Ken and his co-blogger more shrift on the matter of free speech when he bothers to explain their censorship of my polite commentary regarding how Gay Marriage is only about gays, and that no one is harmed by pro-gay marriage laws except gays by its absence.

    I was polite, reasonable, and careful to speak on a completely rational, non-personal basis, directly on topic, the topic being related to the then-current North Carolina anti-gay marriage law, and their specific claim that no one was injured when it came to gay marriage. I made the case that religious rights were regularly stepped upon, and provided a specific instance of such.

    The comment was censored, as were subsequent posts asking about its absence from the site. I’d posted regularly there without issue prior to that.

    Ken & co. talk about free speech. As with most lefties, if they don’t like the position of the speaker — not its content, but its point — they don’t hesitate to silence them.

    YES — this is within their rights as site owners.

    And I stopped listening to their two-faced hypocritical posts, as is my right.

    Comment by IGotBupkis, "Not at Home for the Holidays" (155353) — 12/22/2013 @ 6:24 pm

  186. i hate when people censor comments it’s gayer than the olympics

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/22/2013 @ 6:28 pm

  187. the pendulum has certainly swung, maybe not to the extent it has in Europe, the character of the backlash is most typified by Russia, which has reverted fully back to late Czarist Orthodox authoritarianism,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/22/2013 @ 6:36 pm

  188. #178, Look again. The article on Guns allows you to link to comments. The Obama fail does not.

    When the Right to Bear Arms Includes the Mentally Ill
    By MICHAEL LUO and MIKE McINTIRE
    Published: December 21, 2013 1041 Comments

    Mixed Messages Add Anxiety as Deadline Nears in Health Act
    By ROBERT PEAR
    Published: December 21, 2013

    no comments on the second one

    Comment by Rodney King's Spirit (6e2c31) — 12/22/2013 @ 6:46 pm

  189. #185 IGot, where you trolling or discussing?

    Comment by Rodney King's Spirit (6e2c31) — 12/22/2013 @ 6:47 pm

  190. I guess I’m surprised Pear has been anywhere close to right;

    http://hotair.com/headlines/archives/2013/12/22/if-youre-a-self-loathing-washington-journalist-youre-doing-it-wrong/

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/22/2013 @ 6:56 pm

  191. I guess the concept of “washing your mouth out with soap” to punish people for saying not nice things has kind of gone by the wayside, huh? Firing them as a result of mighty internet outrage is so much more—-dramatic.
    http://graphicsmystictoolkitvolume3.com/
    http://twitterbusinessinaboxreview.com/

    Comment by Tim (15965b) — 12/22/2013 @ 7:00 pm

  192. i liked this thread more better before Tim

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/22/2013 @ 7:05 pm

  193. Spam was something conjured on Mt. Doom,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/22/2013 @ 7:11 pm

  194. Mark Steyn is a wee bit overwrought I think I should make him a pumpkin martini

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/22/2013 @ 7:48 pm

  195. Forget the fact he was along with Ezra Levant, put before a Human Rights Commission ‘kangaroo court’ in his case, for a book review about another author, Robert Ferrigno, or that he and National Review are being sued by Michael Mann for calling out their AGW scam,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/22/2013 @ 7:54 pm

  196. i didn’t know he knew the hulk guy that’s pretty cool

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/22/2013 @ 8:01 pm

  197. Some further background;

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/366954/steyn-steorts-glaad-newhart-suits-deniers-jack-fowler#comments

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/22/2013 @ 8:02 pm

  198. “Mark Steyn is a wee bit overwrought I think I should make him a pumpkin martini”

    pot/kettle?

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 12/22/2013 @ 8:42 pm

  199. you’re overthinking it mr. daley, I’m almost certain

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/22/2013 @ 8:59 pm

  200. Mr. Feets – Why are intolerant, perpetually offended, godless, commie, sodomites and people what are intolerant and perpetually offended on their behalf intolerant and perpetually offended?

    Does it have something tom do with the anus and that is why we are not supposed to speak of it?

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 12/22/2013 @ 9:30 pm

  201. Forgot – Asking for a friend.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 12/22/2013 @ 9:40 pm

  202. i… i think that is probably a question better addressed to the worldy and wise Ms. Jennifer Love Hewitt, who has vast knowledge of such things

    what i can tell you is when someone asks you ok what do you think sin is?

    And your first answer is gay sex

    that’s just

    that’s definitely a question for the worldy and wise Ms. Jennifer Love Hewitt.

    Who can turn the world on with her smile?

    Ms. Jennifer Love Hewitt.

    Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?

    Um. That would also be Ms. Jennifer Love Hewitt.

    So as you can see this is clearly a question best addressed to Ms. Jennifer Love Hewitt.

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/22/2013 @ 10:05 pm

  203. Well, that’s what you get for asking Ms. Jennifer Love Hewitt what sin is, instead of the schizophrenic lady by the 7-11 who would have told you, “those motherf****** what do they think washing their cars with Palmolive on the burrito when the bus beeps every damn time this Arab tries to kick out of here because I ask for a cigarette and somebody gives me a quarter but I never had a dog.”

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/22/2013 @ 10:34 pm

  204. 177. 178. 188.

    #178, Look again. The article on Guns allows you to link to comments. The Obama fail does not.

    I see now. Not on the bottom, although the comments will appear there, but on the left side.

    1068 comments as of now.

    The Obamacare article only has “Share Your Experience” (with the newspaper, not its readers)

    This health care article does have comments:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/22/sunday-review/health-cares-road-to-ruin.html?hpw&rref=opinion

    But it’s officially an opinion piece.

    Most news articles don’t have comments – somebody
    made an exception here.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (dbe090) — 12/22/2013 @ 11:24 pm

  205. One comment on the health care article (which doesn’t understand the problem is third party [ayers, or the consequences of fixing prices)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/22/sunday-review/health-cares-road-to-ruin.html?hpw&rref=opinion&pagewanted=all

    James Nimocks, MDCape canaveral flFlag

    ..I have been a medical doctor and anesthesiologist for 37 years. My total state/federal government sponsored medical education cost me less than $25,000. Todays graduates carry almost TEN times that in personal debt. Now my Medicare reimbursement rate is ONE THIRD what it was 25 years ago. Today’s medical graduates are simply employees of a lender, with MD behind their name, and will be for most of their careers.

    Over the years I have watched the healthcare system deteriorate, sort of like a very slow train wreck. Each little step didn’t seem so bad but when you step back to view the result and direction, you realize how amazingly awful the whole thing has become…

    Then he comes out in favor of single payer. No, that’s not the answer, either. And he thinks “end of life discussion” and “best practices” are good things. That’ could be just a reduction in care – and it won’t save money, just like reducing the number of days the average patient spends in a hospital didn’t save any money.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (dbe090) — 12/22/2013 @ 11:31 pm

  206. In the gun article many comments are predictable
    (there’s too predictable and uniform all the time except maybe in technical subjects) but you get also like this:

    W CarsBrockton MANYT PickFlag

    ..I’m not going to opine on gun rights, but this article is deeply flawed and given to fear-mongering. Statistics indicate (including those cited in this article) that substance abuser is a far better indicator of potential violence and gun violence than even severe mental health issues, yet nobody ever suggests substance abuse issues as a criterion for taking away a person’s second amendment rights.

    We focus on mental health because it is still “abnormal” and therefore scary. Without taking a stance on the proper standard for elimination of second amendment rights, let’s at least consider the demonstrably more relevant substance abuse issue with the same level of seriousness as we treat the mental health component.

    They don’t focus on substance abuse because what they also do is lock people up, and they wouldn’t do this for substance abuse, and because it would be preventive detention which they don’t do, and because it’s not seen as something inherent in the person. Substance abuse is also vague but they pretend this is not vague. What may be a somewhat real indicator is threats, but…threats are threats, and not a symptom of something else.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (dbe090) — 12/22/2013 @ 11:38 pm

  207. i hate when people censor comments it’s gayer than the olympics

    It’s surprising that you, happyfeet, use “gay” in a pejorative (or non-positive) way on a regular basis. But even if you do that to be both a wiseguy and joker, you still give away signs of knowing full well that “gay” has a mock-able quality about it. In turn, you have to know there’s something peculiar about male homosexuality, yet you still become so resentful when people express anti-gay attitudes.

    You’re like Sybil, and you’re also guilty of “methinks he doth protest too much.” I’m not being sarcastic or snide when I do wonder how much of your own lifestyle factors into all of this.

    Comment by Mark (58ea35) — 12/22/2013 @ 11:43 pm

  208. Then he comes out in favor of single payer.

    I’m not sure how he squares that with his experience through the years with Medicare and Medicare payments. I therefore wonder if he’s a typical left-leaning person who likes to think of himself as such a compassionate, sophisticated soul, yet often is no better than a smooth talker who talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk.

    Comment by Mark (58ea35) — 12/22/2013 @ 11:49 pm

  209. “And your first answer is gay sex”

    Mr. Feets – Are you actually suggesting there would have been no outrageous outrage if butt sechs had appeared elsewhere in the list of sins?

    You are smarter than to suggest that.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 12/23/2013 @ 12:13 am

  210. SF: Then he comes out in favor of single payer.

    Comment by Mark (58ea35) — 12/22/2013 @ 11:49 pm

    I’m not sure how he squares that with his experience through the years with Medicare and Medicare payments. I therefore wonder if he’s a typical left-leaning person who likes to think of himself as such a compassionate, sophisticated soul, yet often is no better than a smooth talker who talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk.

    I don’t think he cares for the monetary aspects of it at all. He’d probably prefer if all doctors were on strict salary, with nothing to worry about, maybe something like military doctors.

    He hopes to volunteer in free clinics after he retires in a few months.

    You can see his leftwingism with

    It is my opinion that capitalism has a very limited role in healthcare and single payer is probably the best answer to the many valid complaints voiced in this Comments section. Until Americans realize we very much do NOT have the best healthcare in the world and are willing to take dramatic steps to change it, the train wreck will slowly continue.

    By the way, that’s wrong for the most part about not the best health care in he world – that’s based on misleading statistics.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (dbe090) — 12/23/2013 @ 1:51 am

  211. Other articles:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/21/business/new-health-law-frustrates-many-in-middle-class.html?pagewanted=2&_r=2&ref=todayspaper&adxnnlx=1387655994-cVQALhJnXSmxV8WFX0RYOQ&&pagewanted=all

    Here’s an interesting one, from November 20, about the odds of what will happen if someone goes wiothout health insurance:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/20/your-money/weighing-the-risks-of-going-without-health-insurance.html

    A simple comparison — to insure or not to insure — makes it clear that paying the penalty may be less expensive than buying a policy for many young, middle-class people who manage to avoid serious illness or injury….Running this sort of cost-benefit analysis is by no means exhaustive and is meant only to provide an unscientific glimpse into what it might cost one person with or without insurance….There are still millions of people who are expected to pay the penalty and take their chances. “Getting struck by lightning is an insignificant risk,” said Stuart D. Rachlin, a principal and consulting actuary at Milliman, who calculated that the average American under the age of 65 had a 10 percent chance of incurring more than $30,000 in medical charges, including drugs, in a year. “To me, a 10 percent risk is a meaningful possibility.”

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (dbe090) — 12/23/2013 @ 1:56 am

  212. I came upon this late, so apologies for not reading all the comments above are in order.

    There is no First Amendment issue I see, but I do believe if an employee grants a press interview at the behest of the employer and with the employer’s representative present, and the interviewer asks detailed questions about the employees religious beliefs and the employee answers them honestly, quoting references to the religious text of 77% of Americans, and then is penalized by his employer for those religious expressions, that the employee’s rights have been violated under the Civil Rights provision against religious discrimination.

    There are “rights” which exist in principle but not in law, and there are rights specifically protected by law.

    Comment by Estragon (19fa04) — 12/23/2013 @ 2:32 am

  213. This may be wishful thinking but, as the parent of a child who is so impaired that I’m not sure he understands the concept of God or Christ, I hope and pray that God gives us each a chance to fully understand what we’re deciding and giving up before he condemns us to Hell. Sometimes I think we’re all like my impaired child in God’s eyes, so I hope He will do everything He can to keep us with him.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/21/2013 @ 10:05 pm

    If your child cannot understand God, or the concept of sin, Catholic theology would say if he were baptized he is surely in God’s arms, and if he is not baptized, we have no theology on it. In other words, we cannot rule out God’s mercy on any circumstance, but only advocate the paths we believe ensure it.

    God doesn’t have to know the Pope’s heart, but he does. The Pope needs to know God’s heart, and he is trying.

    So that’s the theology of it. The reality is that it is difficult to imagine a God who would put aside the teaching of his Law to adults just to speak with a bunch of little children as one who could do anything but welcome the innocent into his arms.

    Comment by Estragon (19fa04) — 12/23/2013 @ 2:43 am

  214. JD, thanks for challenging me on my claims regarding sodomy laws (including oral sex) in Georgia circa the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.

    I read a contemporary article about that at the time, which is where my recollection comes from. It made quite an impression.

    Some possibilities are a lot of that data was not archived (except for a few big cases that reached to the US or Georgia Supreme Court, respectively), that I misread or misremembered the data, or that I read the article pretty much as I remembered, but it came from a biased, unreliable, inflammatory source.

    There are a few relevant cases I’ve been able to find. One for example was where a man had alleged non-consensual cunnilingus with his 17-year old niece. He was acquitted on the non-consensual part of that, but convicted on the sodomy portion despite it being heterosexual.

    There were undoubtedly other cases and I’ve found references that Georgia’s laws on sodomy were considered the prime example by the ACLU on unjust sodomy laws at the time. But I haven’t been able to track down any information on the specific case I referred to that I remember reading, that of the married but separated and reconciling navy Captain who then went on to have a divorce.

    All that aside (and the factual truth of a matter is important), the US imprisons and/or ties millions of people up with criminal records unjustly for non-violent, victimless crimes such as buying or selling a plant or plant byproduct (or in some cases milk or artisan cheese, etc.). So my broader point about the US being in a glass house situation when it comes to criticizing the internal affairs of other nation has merit. Nonetheless, it is undeniably true that the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia and many other nations is also deplorable and in some cases worse.

    Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/23/2013 @ 4:10 am

  215. And media companies were within their legal rights to fire Marxists and CBS was definitely within their legal rights to fire the Smothers Brothers, but we’d kind of decided that those were bad things, hadn’t we?

    Are we going to have to rewrite the textbooks on McCarthyism now that economic punishment for ThoughtCrime is suddenly a good thing?/blockquote> What has McCarthyism got to do with this? McCarthyism means falsely accusing innocent people of being communists. Not correctly accusing communists of being communists.

    And yes, it probably is past time to rewrite the textbooks. I haven’t spent a huge amount of time on it, but I have looked just a little into it, and it seems to me that if Joe McCarthy really did make wholesale false accusations of communism, it should be easy to find a few examples. And yet I haven’t yet found a single example of someone he falsely accused. I’ve challenged a few lefty types to name one, and so far nobody’s come up with a name that stands up to even a little scrutiny. So why exactly was he wrong? Why should he still be held up as an example of a witch-hunter?

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/21/2013 @ 9:26 pm

    http://townhall.com/columnists/anncoulter/2012/08/08/liberals_secret_weapon_republicans_who_dont_read/page/full

    http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2007-11-07.html

    Comment by Amy Shulkusky (6c38af) — 12/23/2013 @ 7:51 am

  216. When you hear the phrase “America is the greatest nation on Earth” — you know there is a “wallet-ectomy” approaching

    Comment by Neo (d1c681) — 12/23/2013 @ 9:57 am

  217. Or ordinance outgoing.

    Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/23/2013 @ 10:34 am

  218. #185 IGot, where you trolling or discussing?

    What part of it struck you as anything but a statement of fact?

    I detailed exactly what Ken and/or his blog partner did, which was blatantly censorious. I don’t argue it’s within their rights as the owner(s) of the blog — It’s just rather hypocritical to rail against censorship when you practice it. I’ve found this to be quite common on the Left. If they have the power to shut you down, they will do it in a heartbeat, especially when they clearly lose, or begin to lose, a debate. As long as they think they’re winning, they’ll debate. But the moment they lose, or start to, suddenly they’ll block you and/or erase everything you’ve posted. And I’m not saying you’re in any way abusive, I’m saying if you just win entirely on facts.

    Comment by IGotBupkis, "Not Home For The Holidays" (155353) — 12/23/2013 @ 3:37 pm

  219. Well that’s unfortunate, IGotBupkis — although this part matches my experience for most on the left and many on the right as well: “But the moment they lose, or start to, suddenly they’ll block you and/or erase everything you’ve posted.”

    Speaking of Ken, some time ago I remember besting him on a debate whose topic alludes me. I was pointing out some hypocrisy or other, I believe, or in any case an error. He did, in the end, acknowledge it and I wasn’t censored. I’d give you more information if I could remember what it was all about, but I can’t.

    Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/23/2013 @ 4:30 pm

  220. The US kills Muslims, including civilians, all over the world at far, far greater rates than Muslims kill Americans.

    The killed ratio is irrelevant, what matters is how many are murdered. The USA never targets innocent people; if they are killed as collateral damage in a military strike on a legitimate target, that’s unfortunate but it’s 100% justified and is not murder. War is hell; it sucks to be an innocent bystander, but the laws of nature are what they are, and there’s nothing that can be done about it. It is not legitimate to demand that the military refrain from attacking legitimate targets, for fear that innocent bystanders will be harmed; in a war, our military goals are more important than their lives. Moslem terrorists, on the other hand, have no right to strike in the first place; every person they kill is a murder case.

    I’d also like to know how you know how many “civilians” are killed? Are you just taking the enemy’s word for it? Why? You know they lie routinely about this, so the default assumption should be that any claim they make of a civilian being killed is a lie. Either the person was not killed, or they were not a civilian, or both.

    Bear in mind that enemy soldiers, who are legitimate targets, are not just those who happen to be shooting the guns. In any army, combat troops are only a small fraction of the total, and all are legitimate targets. The person who reloads the gun is just as much an enemy as the gunner, and so is the pilot who flies the gunner, the cook who feeds him, and the quartermaster who supplies him. None of them are civilians.

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/23/2013 @ 5:56 pm

  221. The US [...] jails five times more people per capita than it did when I was born, most of whom are there for voluntary buying or selling something the government doesn’t like.

    Where did you get this information? I very much doubt it. That the US jails more people than it did is neither here nor there; maybe it used not to jail enough people, and now it’s jailing the right number. But your claim that most prisoners in the USA are in for voluntary transactions that did not harm or defraud anyone, I’d like to see some evidence for it. I don’t believe it’s anywhere close to being true.

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/23/2013 @ 5:59 pm

  222. Take a gander.

    Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/23/2013 @ 6:14 pm

  223. [link fixed (hopefully)]

    Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/23/2013 @ 6:16 pm

  224. Yes, Milhouse, the Manchester AQ manual, where the last big AQ bigwig Al Libi was found, specified all sorts of techniques to disguises their unlawful combatant status,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/23/2013 @ 7:19 pm

  225. Both collateral damage and terrorist acts are very wasteful of materiel. Take 9/11, for example. The four airplanes could have brought a minimum of $200 million, easy. Not to mention the passengers on the organ transplant black market. That’s more than $70,000.00 per casualty. Who can afford to throw away money like that?

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/23/2013 @ 7:19 pm

  226. 6. Companies make decisions about hiring and firing based on both money and company culture. 

    False, companies DID make these decisions in the past. Now the State allows companies to hire and fire at the pleasure of the State. Watch them fire someone for being a Marxist, and convince the State no civil rights were violated.

    Comment by Dave M (5b4e89) — 12/23/2013 @ 7:30 pm

  227. Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/23/2013 @ 6:16 pm

    i don’t know about anyone else, but i don’t click on links where you can’t see the actual target destination, because that’s a great way to get a virus or worse.

    http:/ /is.gd /JdK8JT isn’t going to get my traffic.

    Comment by redc1c4 (abd49e) — 12/23/2013 @ 7:35 pm

  228. Yes, I’m not going there, the goal NK was to decapitate the government, hence it was very important that the fourth plane get through,
    this is why Quahtani was sent back, and Bin Al Shibh, Essabar, et al tried to get in,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/23/2013 @ 7:41 pm

  229. redc14, it’s a safe link. I used a redirect service since WordPress stripped out the original link. I think it did that because there were commas in it. I could have tried escaping those with backslashes, but I’m not sure exactly how WordPress handles inline escapes, and I couldn’t be bothered researching it or posting multiple times as experiments.

    Google this sentence in quotes and it should bring you to it on content.time.com: “Televangelist Pat Robertson recently made a gaffe. A gaffe, as journalist Michael Kinsley defined it, occurs when a political figure accidentally tells the truth.”

    Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 12/23/2013 @ 7:43 pm

  230. It is pointless to argue with anyone who thinks US policy in general, drone strikes in particular, causes terrorism. That level of historical ignorance is insurmountable . We are simply facing the three types of jihadist blessed by Muhammad. The individual, those in small groups, and the entire ummah. And a crowd which is offended if the peoples they attack don’t surrender. That’s why their grievances include the reconquista and the crusades. How dare the infidel try to take back what was once theirs!

    Your great grandfathers who fought in the Philippines during the Spanish American War would be surprised and
    no doubt amused to find modern Americans speculating about the causes of terrorism. So would the MorosMoros who had been launching suicide judgmental attacks on their enemies since forever.

    Comment by Steve57 (b80472) — 12/23/2013 @ 8:08 pm

  231. We are simply facing the three types of jihadist blessed by Muhammad.

    I’ve been reading analysis of the Islamic religion for the past few years and I’ve yet to see any publication note that the founder of Islam, Mohammed, was a very vindictive SOB, who prodded his supplicants to go out and assassinate people for merely mocking him, much less for doing far more defiant, aggressive things towards him. In effect, supporters of 9-11 can claim they have just as much right as anyone else in saying their interpretation of the Koran is valid and authentic.

    Comment by Mark (58ea35) — 12/23/2013 @ 8:21 pm

  232. “It is pointless to argue with anyone who thinks US policy in general, drone strikes in particular, causes terrorism. That level of historical ignorance is insurmountable .”

    Steve57 – You have to remember that you are talking about a commenter who believes that human beings should imitate the sexual behavior of animals, so he’s got that going for him, which is nice, plus the whole circumcision is torture angle.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 12/23/2013 @ 9:05 pm

  233. I will try to keep that in mind, Daley. Right now now my focus is on what is foremost in my heart this blessed holiday season. My complete and utter hatred for whomever invented autocomplete. Thanks to the miracle of technology I’m reduced to a voting member. My smartphone has veto power over what I say.

    For instance, there were no MorosMoros. And they didn’t launch suicide “judgemental” attacks. It’s pronounced “who rah men tah do.” But since my android doesn’t speak Filipino it won’t let me write it. My condescending phone insists I must be talking about the judgemental Morons. Yeah, they were judgemental. But when they decided to bandage themselves up, get drugged up, and go on a suicidal rampage they had a word for it. But my android nevet head of it. So I can’t use it

    Comment by Steve57 (452148) — 12/23/2013 @ 10:43 pm

  234. FC, I looked at your link, and it provided no support at all for your claim that most of the prisoners in the USA “are there for voluntary buying or selling something the government doesn’t like”.

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/23/2013 @ 10:57 pm

  235. I suspect that you’re referring to this sentence:

    More than half of America’s federal inmates today are in prison on drug convictions.

    If so, I will do you the courtesy of assuming you didn’t notice the word “federal” in there.

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/23/2013 @ 11:01 pm

  236. what are you doing Mr. Milhouse are you defending failmerica’s incarceration rates?

    just checking

    i like to keep my finger on the pulse

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/23/2013 @ 11:02 pm

  237. And drug inmates really aren’t in there for “buying or selling something the government doesn’t like”. (and isn’t that almost always selling?)

    There are often other crimes, or the drug charge simply replaces other, more diifficult to prove, charges, and, most important:

    Selling drugs usually involves selling something to people who can only pay for it by stealing. Which sometimes involves violence.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (dbe090) — 12/23/2013 @ 11:13 pm

  238. “what are you doing Mr. Milhouse are you defending failmerica’s incarceration rates?”

    Mr. Feets – We need to incarcerate more people in Mr. Obama’s failamerica in order to manage the unemployment statistics downward. WTF!

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 12/23/2013 @ 11:19 pm

  239. that is not acceptable Mr. daley

    as a matter of POLICY

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/23/2013 @ 11:20 pm

  240. it put me in texas/arkansas/louisiana

    what’s kinda more interesting is to know that in New England, Michigan, Minnesota (where I go a lot), the Dakotas, Utah, and the Pacific NW, they’d spot me as an interloper a mile away

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/23/2013 @ 11:52 pm

  241. oops wrong thread

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/23/2013 @ 11:53 pm

  242. what are you doing Mr. Milhouse are you defending failmerica’s incarceration rates?

    I don’t know that they need defending. What’s wrong with them? You tell me. Comparing them to other countries doesn’t tell me anything, both because countries are not all the same, and because who says those other countries shouldn’t be incarcerating more people?

    Srsly, I don’t really believe in prison as a method of punishment, but on the other hand the US experience seems to show that locking criminals up prevents them from committing more crimes. It seems obvious that the high imprisonment rate is the reason the crime rate is as low as it is; Fox Butterfield is famous for his cluelessness in treating the high imprisonment rate “despite” the low crime rate as if it were a paradox rather than cause and effect.

    People who are no threat to anyone, i.e. not just peaceful drug buyers and sellers, but also most white-collar criminals, or those who have committed a violent crime but don’t seem likely to be constantly doing so, shouldn’t be locked up; doing so does nobody any good. Crimes should be punished with fines, corporal punishment, or some other method that is over and done with, and leaves both criminal and society able to get on with their lives. But if the criminal getting on with his life means committing more and more crimes, then I don’t see the alternative to locking him up. And it seems to work.

    Mostly, though, I’m just pointing out the dishonest verbal ju-jitsu involved in citing the USA’s relatively high imprisonment rate, which is almost all state and local, and then citing the fact (if it is one) that most federal prisoners are in on drug-related charges as if it referred to that same unusually high prison population. It doesn’t. If you want to refer to federal prisoners alone, then the majority may be in for drug-related crimes (including extremely violent ones, though you’re not supposed to think that), but the federal incarceration rate is low by international standards, not high.

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/24/2013 @ 7:39 am

  243. thank you i did not realize that about the federal incarceration rate – that it’s low by international standards

    but i suspect that’s mostly owing to peculiarities of the american “system of justice” and it’s the overall rate what’s more telling

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/24/2013 @ 7:46 am

  244. It shouldn’t be surprising that the federal incarceration rate is low; how many of the crimes that are committed every day, and that people are concerned about, are federal? Federal courts have no interest in burglars, thieves, muggers, rapists, murderers, etc. So it should be obvious that the number of federal prisoners per capita would be lower than the total number of prisoners in most other countries.

    But for exactly the same reason, it is dishonest to take a statement that may be true of that small and atypical population, i.e. that the majority are in for drug-related crimes, and pretend it’s true of the total prisoner population, which is what’s higher than in many comparable countries.

    As for why there are so many prisoners in the USA, I’ve already addressed that. Maybe it’s because we are the only country that actually imprisons enough people, and other countries should learn from our example. Though there’s also the fact that we naturally have higher crime rates than most western countries, because of our demographics. Without locking up so many criminals, our crime rates would be even higher.

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/24/2013 @ 8:32 am

  245. In New York State, we’ve turned the corner.

    There are fewer prisoners, in fact half empty prisons upstate, and less crime.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 12/24/2013 @ 8:43 am

  246. From the 1960′s crime went up and so did people in prison, but it lagged, so we got both peo;le in prison AND high crime.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 12/24/2013 @ 8:44 am

  247. The prisoner industry found that it could make money by not being a *prison* industry. They don’t need to build prisons and rent them to the prison system — they can build or rehab halfway houses and rent them to the court system. They don’t need to take a cut from the prison guards’ pay and training — they can make money from GPS tracking devices, alcohol monitoring bracelets, biweekly drug and alcohol tests, pychologists, social workers, probation officers, live-in house managers (themselves otherwise unemployables), art teachers, basket-weaving instructors, etc., etc., etc.. And look humane and compasssionate while raking it in. Meantime, their denizens are still doing and dealing drugs, comitting burglaries, hanging with theihttps://www.google.com/webhp?rls=igr homies, etc., etc., etc..

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/24/2013 @ 8:57 am

  248. Why did stupid Firefox auto-generate a stupid link for stupid homies without showing it on the stupid preview?

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/24/2013 @ 8:59 am

  249. 248. Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/24/2013 @ 8:59 am

    Why did stupid Firefox auto-generate a stupid link for stupid homies without showing it on the stupid preview?

    It probably wasn’t generated by Firefox, but by cutting and pasting something – at least I get links, ususally preceded by “Read more” when I cut and paste from some newspaper or magazine articles, and have to edit them out, usually because i lareday have the link.

    As for the fact that it wasn’t shown in the preview, (but it should have been in the box) I think the problem with the preview is with http://patterico.com.

    I often don’t see much of the preview when using Internet Explorer. It has something to do with editing the message.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 12/24/2013 @ 9:10 am

  250. 247. Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/24/2013 @ 8:57 am

    The prisoner industry found that it could make money by not being a *prison* industry.

    But that doesn’t help the powerful correctional worker’s unions.

    But correctional workers unions, though, are must happy with empty, but fully staffed, prisons.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 12/24/2013 @ 9:12 am

  251. Unions less than the communities that host the prisons. It’s pork. Say like a defense contractor or any other government-funded business. Provide employment, boost housing and retail, sub-contracts to the facility, things like that. But with the exception of the halfway houses, which are generally not welcome anywhere, the diversion industry also feeds a lot of mouths, like I said above and, very important, it’s urban. The compassionate liberals’ happy hunting ground. Not those shotgun-toting, tobacco-spitting crackers of Angola or Huntsville or Peoria.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/24/2013 @ 9:29 am

  252. New York City crime map:

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/crime_mapping/nyc_crime_map_introduction.shtml

    Recently made available, this has been critized as showing less information than some people wanted, and meanwhile some porecincts are releasing less.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 12/24/2013 @ 9:32 am

  253. This is the map, per se:

    http://maps.nyc.gov/crime/

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 12/24/2013 @ 9:33 am

  254. I read an obituary and learned about an very long running interview show I never knew about.

    All the shows can be browaed at

    http://www.thirteen.org/openmind/browse/

    Many famous people. Show titles in alphanumerical order.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 12/24/2013 @ 9:38 am

  255. Not just video, but transcripts.

    The alphanumerical order is the interview show title, not the guests and the dates of the shows are all mixed up but go back at least till 1990.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 12/24/2013 @ 9:40 am

  256. What’s the going prison sentence for illegally selling milk and artisan cheese?

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 12/24/2013 @ 12:23 pm

  257. Only civil fines as far as I know, daleyrocks.

    Anybody who says that dealing crack and heroin are victimless crimes likely pines for sex with hyenas too.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/24/2013 @ 12:58 pm

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