Re: The Simple Moral Of The Brendan Eich Story

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That way lies Peter Singer. (I mean, you're right, but the danger is you slide towards realizing that you should give away all your possessions and live in poverty because the world is a deeply shitty place, and who are you to enjoy your kitchen island and fancy range top. Sometimes it's a relief to use your peers as a yardstick.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 8:57 AM
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That's all well and good but it's not a useful heuristic when it comes to keeping a job. (I mostly agree with jmm on this: it's lousy to get fired for online jerkishness but CEOs have less of an off duty sphere and also are the last to get sympathy.)


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 9:12 AM
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online jerkishness

Contributing money to...wait for it...a campaign of oppression isn't exactly "online jerkishness," and really, this isn't such a hard rule to follow: try not to be a bigot!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 9:22 AM
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And yet one you violate so often! On y va. On y va.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 9:23 AM
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It's unlikely that Pakistanis, Indians, Russians, and most especially Arabs, will develop great political power in the US in my lifetime, so I think I'm safe.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 9:25 AM
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Oh shit, Preet Bharara just indicted me.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 9:26 AM
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In this country, its important to shoot a bigoted CEO from time to time, pour encourager les autres.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 9:28 AM
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Come on, could those pretentious twits at OKCupid be any more full of shit? Eric Schmidt at Google gives to guys like Sensenbrenner and Issa and Steve Ballmer has spread the cash on a shit ton of Republicans for years. But the guy no one's heard of outside Silicon Valley gave a thousand bucks to a shitty cause six years ago and now it's a call to arms.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 10:06 AM
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8: The Prop 8 thing was so much more targeted, though. At least with other political donations you can make an appeal to direct self-interest; with Prop 8 it was just straight-up bigotry.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 10:18 AM
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It's worth bearing in mind that it's not just, or entirely, Eich's contribution to the CA Prop 8 effort that did him in, but his contributions to Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul. So throw some pretty serious racism and sexism in there too.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 10:21 AM
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Eric Schmidt at Google gives to guys like Sensenbrenner and Issa and Steve Ballmer has spread the cash on a shit ton of Republicans for years.

You will never be able to get rid of all the shithead CEOs. But you should take out the ones you can. And Eich made for a much easier target than Schmidt. Its a lot easier to get people to switch browsers than it is to get them to disentangle their lives from all the various tentacles of Google.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 10:30 AM
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11: But that's the point, their brave moral stand magically only rears it's head when there's no real possibility of consequences. Mozilla is a smaller company than OKCupid and no one outside of programming circles has even heard of this goober. Everyone's a lot less strident when it might cost them some money.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 10:40 AM
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Fucking apostrophes, how do they work?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 10:41 AM
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OKCupid picks its battles. Better that than picking no battles at all.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 10:44 AM
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12: It depends on what you mean by consequences. This had consequences in a way that a campaign against Schmidt probably wouldn't. Eich resigning is a real consequence. Also, OKCupid wasn't the only place campaigning against Eich. I got the sense that a lot of people involved see Mozilla as being part of the same community they're involved in. I doubt they see Google that way. Part of the tech community, obviously, but not really part of the same open source communities, especially given that Chrome is basically the biggest threat to Firefox.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 11:02 AM
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What was the actual battle here? What was on the line? It's a six year old donation during a time when the current president who pretty much everyone here voted for got on tv and said he thought marriage was between a man and a woman. Does anyone have a single data point or anecdote that Mozilla has been anything but friendly to same sex couples and have any reason to believe that was going to change?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 11:13 AM
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Not that I really give a shit about any party involved here. One rich pretentious twat called out a rich libertarian douche and now libertarian douche has to go home and cry in his millions. I've just had an assfull lately of ginned up controversy that doesn't have an actual purpose beyond the immediate subjects involved.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 11:23 AM
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I'm not sure of my position on the Eich thing in itself, but it's kind of infuriating that there's the energy to whip this up but not enough to pass ENDA. Hooray for personality-centric politics?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 11:24 AM
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OKCupid is not at all bigger than Mozilla. OKC has less than $10m in revenue; Mozilla gets well over $200m (the vast majority from Google, for making Google the default search engine).


Posted by: X. Trapnel | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 11:28 AM
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gswift, did you read the link in 10? Eich also supported Buchanan and Ron Paul. Ron Paul who believes that the 1964 Civil Rights Act is unconstitutional, and business owners should be able to refuse to serve blacks (or gays or anyone else they dislike).

What's on the line *for Mozilla* is whether they want or need a CEO whose beliefs are contrary to the explicit philosophy of the company. Would you want to be a black or gay person working at Mozilla knowing that your chance of advancement in the company was rendered more dubious given the views of the CEO? I suppose one could just believe Eich that he leaves his social and political views at the door, but I'd be uncomfortable working there.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 11:31 AM
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19: I was thinking in terms of IAC who owns OKCupid.

20: Parsimon, I know your googlefu is strong but you might have missed that Eich is a founder of Mozilla and gays seem to have fared just fine there the entire time.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 11:37 AM
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gswift, don't be a pussy. Are you going to let consistency and principle keep you from punching a CEO in the face?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 11:40 AM
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I used the evil Google search to find that Eich wasn't exactly a unanimous pick for the job. Which I guess isn't surprising because a stronger pick might not have stepped down so quickly.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 11:42 AM
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Eich is a founder of Mozilla and gays seem to have fared just fine there the entire time

OTOH, you could read what queer employees of Mozilla have to say on the matter.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 11:46 AM
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22: Not at all! I'm just saying we can punch them both.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 11:57 AM
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And what kind of pussy activists boycott a browser? Go all the way and shun any website that uses Javascript because Brendan Eich is a shithead.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 12:04 PM
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What principle is gswift defending?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 12:12 PM
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What's the second thing he wants to punch?


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 12:19 PM
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22 is where I stand. Not everything has to be so goddamn categorical imperatitty.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 12:23 PM
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A few years ago I had an exchange with Radley Balko (libertarian) over his support of Ron Paul. I asked how it was that he could conscion that support given Paul's belief that the Civil Rights Act should be repealed. He replied that on the contrary, he felt that this was all the more reason to support Paul.

As the discussion developed with other participants, their claim was that if a business owner refused to serve blacks (say), the market would appropriately respond by refusing to patronize that business.

Well, the market has responded to Brendan Eich's appointment as CEO. His first amendment rights have not been violated. He's free to speak with his mouth or his money in any way he likes, and the rest of the world is free to reply.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 12:41 PM
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As the discussion developed with other participants, their claim was that if a business owner refused to serve blacks (say), the market would appropriately respond by refusing to patronize that business.

And you were able to resist the urge to punch one of your interlocutors in the face? Or maybe this was online so punching wasn't an option?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 1:43 PM
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their claim was that if a business owner refused to serve blacks (say), the market would appropriately respond by refusing to patronize that business.

Alternately, the market would respond inappropriately and demonstrate that racist companies can occupy a viable niche with their racist clientele. Which, of course, would be just fine with Ron Paul.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 1:53 PM
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their claim was that if a business owner refused to serve blacks (say), the market would appropriately respond by refusing to patronize that business.

Alternately, the market would respond inappropriately and demonstrate that racist companies can occupy a viable niche with their racist clientele. Which, of course, would be just fine with Ron Paul.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 1:54 PM
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D'oh!


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 1:55 PM
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31: At the time, I came over here and asked whether I should be talking to that libertarian crowd at all, because it was grieving me. I think NickS said that I should run away, run away fast.

32: Indeed. For some reason the libertarian crowd wasn't thinking of that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 1:59 PM
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That's because the market can do no wrong.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 2:05 PM
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That outcome would not be troubling in the first place. Apparently.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 2:10 PM
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Obviously the argument related in 30.2 doesn't merit a response, but it is related to the belief of some New Dealers that economic development of the South would gradually lead to desegregation, which there's an interesting new book debunking (or it seems interesting via the NYRB).


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 2:12 PM
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Anyone who argues that The Market* is going to resolve any sort in inequalities, especially a thing like racism, is demonstrating such a lack of judgment that they should not be taken seriously on any subject whatsoever. I mean any subject: if they tell you it's raining, look out the window.

(As you guys may recall, I've been developing a list of opinions that conclusively resolve whether to pay attention to their holders. It's very handy in the cacophony that is the internet. I'm still considering use of the term "thought experiment" -- is it conclusive proof that the person should be disregarded, or just a signal to look for other disqualifying opinions [which, so far, have turned up 100% of the time]. Jury is still out.)

* It's not a fucking machine made by nature! It's a human system manipulated by humans to their advantage! Jesus Fucking Christ, stop talking about it as if it's independent of power structures!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 3:19 PM
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As the discussion developed with other participants, their claim was that if a business owner refused to serve blacks (say), the market would appropriately respond by refusing to patronize that business.

Those guys rarely if ever elaborate on the role of the state (police, laws and courts to enforce contracts, zoning, licensing, etc., etc.) in enabling those hypothetical "No [Unconscionable Racial Slur]s Allowed" businesses to operate as they choose: Will the libertarians expect the state's agents to enforce the business owner's private policies? To endorse his baseball-bat-and-shotgun-accompanied self-help measures?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 4:30 PM
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I don't think I've used the term "thought experiment." I guess I didn't realize it was so douchey.... but yes, yes it is.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 5:24 PM
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Yeah that d-bag Einstein was another two or three popped collars away from a General Theory Of The Chive.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 5:27 PM
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You're not him.


Posted by: Opinionated Dreaming Robert Zimmerman | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 6:37 PM
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Cosign all of 39.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 6:59 PM
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39.2: I use several rules like this for real life interactions. My most consistently successful one is actually that anyone who vociferously defends Native American mascots is an irredeemable asshole. It comes up more than I'd expect.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 7:04 PM
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His first amendment rights have not been violated. He's free to speak with his mouth or his money in any way he likes, and the rest of the world is free to reply.

I get annoyed when these controversies arise and people immediately feel the need to clarify that the formal right to free speech only protects against government restrictions on such. People are using "free speech" loosely in these contexts to talk about something more general: the ability to live in a Millian community where you are free and even encouraged to publicly advance your political views and engage in political activity--including deeply unpopular political views and activity--without being in fear of losing your job, especially when there is no direct evidence that your views and activity have affected your ability to do your job well. In this particular case, CEOs are public figures, and they can and should be held accountable by the organizations they lead for what they do in public, including their political activity. The ultimate upshot of it is, though, that we only end up with people in power whose views are acceptable to power. Right now, power--especially in the tech industry--is drifting to siding with the angels on gay rights, but there are far more places where the dynamic stifles the left's ability to organize, advocate, lobby, and raise money for anything too adversarial to the reigning corporate status quo.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 7:13 PM
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anyone who vociferously defends Native American mascots

Is there any variation in this, by age or background, any difference in appeal or argument?

If it's relatively young men being provocative that's straightforward enough, but is there any trace of the other?


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 7:29 PM
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"People are using "free speech" loosely in these contexts to talk about something more general: the ability to live in a Millian community where you are free and even encouraged to publicly advance your political views and engage in political activity--including deeply unpopular political views and activity--without being in fear of losing your job, especially when there is no direct evidence that your views and activity have affected your ability to do your job well."


I agree with this. The loose understanding of free speech is very important. People should be able to express their political beliefs without being fired


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 7:55 PM
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47: For UIUC, it was often exactly as you're guessing (plus older alumni). Advocates of the name also push an argument appealing an NCAA decision defining Illini as residents of Illinois, rather than the tribe. For Dan Snyder's team, there is a very large African-American following that, while not unanimous, largely seems to be fine with the name. I don't totally get why they think it's OK, to be honest. For the Florida State team, defense usually comes with a running commentary about how much the school donates to the tribe being "honored." That one is the most distasteful to me - we paid good money to keep this racist mascot. Overall, I usually hear appeals to tradition. At any rate, it's been a fairly useful indicator of assholishness.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 7:57 PM
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Florida State is horrible for so many reasons.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 8:02 PM
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For the Florida State team, defense usually comes with a running commentary about how much the school donates to the tribe being "honored." That one is the most distasteful to me - we paid good money to keep this racist mascot.

I'm actually kind of surprised that the tribe would have accepted donations from the school; my impression is that they're one of the more successful gaming tribes and not in great need of money. On the other hand, there's more than one tribe representing that cultural group, and the school might donate to a less prosperous one.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 8:05 PM
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Being near to Tallahassee is a pretty good proxy for "less prosperous."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 8:15 PM
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Actually the least prosperous of the three tribes is in Oklahoma.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 8:18 PM
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I have strong football-related reasons for not liking Oklahoma, but those aren't topical.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 8:20 PM
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And, on further digging, it appears the wealthiest of the tribes (which was actually the first in the country to pioneer Indian gaming back in the 1970s) is basically fine with Florida State's use of the name and objected when the NCAA tried to put them on a list of "hostile or offensive mascots." I haven't found any statements by the other two tribes on the issue.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 8:22 PM
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A little more on the issue:

In the 1980s and 1990s, when mascots based on Native Americans became more controversial and many Native Americans and supporters protested their use, Florida State consulted with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, emphasizing that their use of the names and the Osceola mascot were not intended to be demeaning. Several representatives of the Seminole Tribe, including Chairman James E. Billie and Council Member Max Osceola, have given FSU their blessing to use Osceola and Seminole imagery. However, the matter remains controversial for other Florida Seminoles, as well as members of the Seminole Tribe of Oklahoma. In 2005, FSU was among the schools potentially facing NCAA sanctions for using "hostile and abusive" Indian mascots and names; after much deliberation, the NCAA gave FSU an exemption, citing the university's relationship with the Seminole Tribe of Florida as a major factor.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 8:37 PM
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This article implies the other Seminole tribes are not very into it:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/24/sports/ncaafootball/amid-rising-discord-over-indian-images-florida-state-has-harmony.html

The current Chief also sounds like a bit of a dick.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 8:45 PM
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I'm less interested in what contemporary tribes think than in what working-class townies in towns like Urbana think. Years ago, I remember Berube musing about this a bit.

I'm old enough to remember "Indian Lore," in Scouting for instance, which presented as respect, even awe for Native American achievement and humanity. A lot of early 20th century Americana has that quality.

The degree to which this is projection, an attempt to domesticate the significance of a still living, still very alien people is obvious to people like us. But it may not be obvious to people not like us, who may well feel whipsawed by a change within a generation in public acceptance of this projection. Such people may well resent being told what they believe they are sincere in revering is not what they think it is, that we know what they mean more than they do.

Time will heal this one, but I wish there were a better and more tactful way than that. Don't know what it is though.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 8:47 PM
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57: Interesting, thanks. The chief was apparently a key figure in the tribe's (astonishingly effective) economic development in the late twentieth century, which is of course not inconsistent with being a dick. The impression I get from that article is that a lot of the pro-FSU position of the tribe comes from him personally. I wish the article had gone into more detail about what the Oklahoma tribe (which is much larger than the Florida one) thinks.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 8:57 PM
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#cancelflorida


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 9:04 PM
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I'm old enough to remember "Indian Lore,"

Still a merit badge!


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 9:05 PM
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The anthropologist sounds pretty hilarious as well, to be honest.

There's a pro rugby team in NZ called the Chiefs, which doesn't seem to attract any opprobrium. And it's recent --- mid-nineties. Mind you, the Crusaders are probably a more offensive name for a sports team in many ways.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 10:14 PM
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The anthropologist sounds pretty hilarious as well, to be honest.

How so?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 6-14 10:17 PM
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Mind you, the Crusaders are probably a more offensive name for a sports team in many ways

Why, that's just dhimmitude. (This was my high school. No Islamic protest prompted the mascot change.)


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 12:15 AM
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What's the second thing he wants to punch?

I was thinking of Christian Rudder.

"Especially in the kind of modern hero culture, the CEO is equivalent to the company," said Christian Rudder, an OkCupid co-founder. "We have users who are trying to find other people and we wanted to point out that this browser might be in conflict with their own values."

Whew, good job you dillhole. I was worried someone was about to spread around genital warts while using an insufficiently inclusive web browser.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 12:31 AM
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58, 61 - in fact, some scout troops still do goofy "Indian" awards ceremonies.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 7:22 AM
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Still a Merit Badge!

Reading that this morning, I realize that my intention in using Scouting as an example was to indicate its normality, centrality to American life, and that no longer holds.

It's an example, not the only one, of the torn fabric of what was once a broadly-shared culture. And I have to keep reminding myself that this is no longer true, at least not in cities, and hasn't been for a long time.

And away from cities, where social institutes persist that have fallen away where I live, their meaning has changed. Even to persist in an activity under this kind of social stress is to make a kind of political or social statement utterly foreign to the world of a half-century ago.

Was in small-town Wisconsin over the weekend.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 7:29 AM
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65: OKCupid is famously more LGB-friendly than most other dating sites. Given that, his comment seems totally reasonable to me.

Also, I'm still not sure why this has gotten up your nose so badly.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 7:35 AM
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62: What does "Chief" mean in your context? Is that word used to describe a leader of an iwi or hapu, or does it (uhh) chiefly have Native American associations? Or just a strongman in any not-particularly-urbanized culture?

66: I think that was true when I was in Cub Scouts. I vaguely remember a scout leader in headdress and hides but I could be making that up. There was respect for Native American ways but in a broad, not very inspective way. I knew that the Minsi Lenape existed, and that they were different from the stereotypical teepee/buffalo/nomadism portrayal of Plains Indians, but that was about it. Something about arrowheads.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 7:56 AM
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I'm less interested in what contemporary tribes think than in what working-class townies in towns like Urbana think. Years ago, I remember Berube musing about this a bit.

I don't know about working class in Urbana, but my cousin (who was a townie before going to the university) led the campaign to get rid of Chief Illiniwek while she was an undergrad.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 9:06 AM
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Sorry, that should have been "Champaign townie".


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 9:07 AM
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I haven't seen anybody argue that Hobby Lobby would ever hire a CEO who disagrees publicly with the core values of the owners, nor I have I seen anybody argue that they should do so.

If the Firefox folks want to have a non-asshole CEO, what possible reason is there for complaint?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 9:11 AM
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69 --- chief is used as a broad translation of rangatira, kaiwhakahaere, and other somewhat hereditary (but not always) leadership roles, I think. Mostly used in a collective or adjectival sense now: the chiefly stature, or some such.

It's quite old fashioned, but it is the Treaty (chiefs of the United Tribes etc).

Definitely isn't a reference to North America.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 4:55 PM
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Dillhole/rich pretentious twat Christian Rudder is also in a damn fine band.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 5:38 PM
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46: In this particular case, CEOs are public figures, and they can and should be held accountable by the organizations they lead for what they do in public, including their political activity. The ultimate upshot of it is, though, that we only end up with people in power whose views are acceptable to power. Right now, power--especially in the tech industry--is drifting to siding with the angels on gay rights, but there are far more places where the dynamic stifles the left's ability to organize, advocate, lobby, and raise money for anything too adversarial to the reigning corporate status quo.

I'd be lying if I said this didn't concern me, yes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 5:58 PM
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73: Thanks for the clarification. For some reason I was under the impression that the Treaty referred to the Maori leaders as kings (or used a term for sovereignty derived from/calque of "kingliness"?). On second thought I'm probably just misapplying the terms of the King Movement anachronistically, and the British wouldn't have used a term that would have implied equality with their own monarch.

I looked up the rugby team in question, and it seems to be massively more respectful than the way our sports teams treat Native Americans. Although the club their logo guy is holding doesn't look like the mere you'd expect given the name; a kotiate, maybe? The dude's as white as you can get (as in, blank paper), but that might have been due to sensitivity.

And anyway, over half of their roster is visibly Polynesian, and presumably some large percentage of that Maori, which changes the dynamics a bit.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 6:41 PM
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I've just read as much of Andrew Sullivan's follow-up post reiterating his disgust with the gay mafia as I can see without a subscription to his blog.

The ability to work alongside or for people with whom we have a deep political disagreement is not a minor issue in a liberal society. It is a core foundation of toleration. We either develop the ability to tolerate those with whom we deeply disagree, or liberal society is basically impossible.
Some liberal principles, in my view, are worth defending whether they are assailed by left or right.

Sullivan is making the accusation that some professed liberals are intolerant of intolerance. He says (in another post) that this is profoundly illiberal.

Question: how can one respond to this sort of 'you're intolerant of intolerance' form of argument? It crops up again and again. One might say that there's a false equivalence going on, but that would take some spelling out, and seems insufficient.

I think the best or clearest sort of thinking about this I've encountered comes from political science people working on universal declarations of human rights. The issue is how we balance individual freedoms against the cost to others. The line changes in an ongoing way, but there are guidelines, and a lot of smart people have had things to say. But who are they? It's been a few years since I've dipped into this.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 6:52 PM
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Sullivan does all the work he needs to in the throat-clearing to that piece. The guy was a boss, not a worker. It's completely compatible with liberal conceptions of human rights and free expression to provide more protection to people in positions of less power. The kinds of protections you give to your opponents in a liberal society are things like not taking their property and their life. But moving the line -- and moving it quickly when you can -- on what's appropriate behavior for a public figure is one of the ways to cement change.

Sorry I can't point you towards any political philosophers who will say as much.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 7:02 PM
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73.first: arguably "rangatira" should be translated into (legal) English as "prince" or "sovereign" or something similar expressing rulership, and that's part of the failure of the Treaty. The Maori Treaty promises the rangatira that they will retain tino rangatiratanga, which is generally translated these days as absolute sovereignty. But the English only gives "full exclusive and undisturbed possession of estates [etc]"

The Queen of England (which gives you a clue as to the ability of the British drafters, they couldn't even name the correct sovereign) is given "sovereignty" in the English, but "kawanatanga", a transliteration of "governor" is used in the Maori.

Part of the European project in 1820-40 was the creation of a group of people in New Zealand who could be treated (collectively) as the equal (or, at least, the counterparty) of H.M. There's a bunch of interesting moves where the United Tribes are driven to assume signs of nationhood --- flags etc --- by the British. Something something James Scott legibility something something.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 7:16 PM
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74: Weezer started a dating site?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 7:30 PM
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The Queen of England (which gives you a clue as to the ability of the British drafters, they couldn't even name the correct sovereign)

Correct as far as it goes, but Queen of England is so ingrained an expression that her Majesty herself has used it and taken flack for it. If she can't help saying it, what hope for Kiwis?


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 7:31 PM
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I knew there were shenanigans in the different versions of the Treaty but didn't realize it was that bad.

Where comparing our respective colonial histories, it amazes me, even with tremendous fuckups and the occasional atrocity, how much better it turned out over your way. I guess NZ only comes out looking particularly good because everywhere else was beyond horrible.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 7:36 PM
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Is he tolerant of intolerance of intolerance? He is not.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 7:36 PM
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81: But she hasn't said it in any formal context with legal meaning, like a treaty, has she? And this was only 40ish years after the Act of Union that brought in Ireland, so perhaps that part of the style should have been more memorable.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 7:39 PM
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78: I'm actually thinking of Charles Taylor on multiculturalism. And .. a woman we've all heard of. Who wrote a lengthy piece in the NYRB explaining her work and thinking on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights probably a few years ago. I'm just having a brain freeze here, not remembering who she is.

I'm just blanking, sorry. I'll come up with it later.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 7:43 PM
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I agree it's a blunder.

And Canada has a luckier history than the US concerning what are there called First Nations. Only relatively so, but still.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 7:46 PM
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83: Heh. I know, right?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 7:49 PM
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Even given how common both names are, it's pretty remarkable how many people named Charles Taylor are famous enough for me to have heard of them. Especially given the diversity of their claims to notoriety.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 8:01 PM
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Admittedly, while I can narrow it down to a sport, I'm not actually sure why Chuck's name is on my sneakers. Player, presumably, but when and for whom are a mystery to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 8:04 PM
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The Liberia Communitarians.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 8:11 PM
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LB, I admire and share your aversion to looking things up when you've got such a beautiful mind--and I'm not kidding, but this once I recommend Wikipedia.

Guy basically invented the high top sneaker.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 8:31 PM
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Also, I'm still not sure why this has gotten up your nose so badly.

Oh, ignore me. I'm just irritable and despairing about things like how organized labor is perched on the abyss with nothing good in sight but silicon valley liberal navel gazing about how your browser is an extension of your dedication to all humans being equal is instantly all over the news and a Big Deal. And I enjoy calling people dillholes.

But I'm not letting my occasional disdain for what I perceive (perhaps unfairly) to be excessive hand wringing to dampen my enjoyment of seeing a some fucking bigoted libertarian douche get his hopes and dreams crushed. Priorities, man.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 8:57 PM
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Today, gay marriage, tomorrow, health and safety! Probably not, though; equality for the full-timers and nothing for the part-timers instead.

Thinking of which: is there anywhere that provides employer benefits proportional to hours worked? I've been wondering how we could jimmy apart the 29-hours-a-week horrible shifts. If there wasn't an explicit cutoff for requiring benefits, surely it would be easier.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 7-14 9:26 PM
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The "Queen of England" thing is mostly funny because it illustrates how much this stuff was run by the guy on the ground, who may or may or not have a good grasp on things.

82 --- yeah one of the most frustrating things about NZ race relations is the self-satisfied "not as bad as America/Australia". Which is broadly true, but also kinda like well and? It's not a reason to backpat!


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 3:12 AM
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88: what always amazes me is that there's only one Adam Smith who's even remotely famous.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 3:21 AM
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Eich spent a thousand bucks to help the proverbial "men with guns" libertarians are always on about forcibly annul a bunch of marriages - including ones friends of mine were in - and bar those people in perpetuity from remarrying or getting a fair shot at adoption and parenting rights. It took five years to get all that shit undone, with real human costs in the meantime.

Note that there is no national movement to annul the marriages of war criminals or serial killers. In the eyes of people like Eich, the prospect of George Takei or Ellen Degeneres - or my friends - getting married warrants action in a way that the same prospect for John Demjanjuk and Ted Bundy doesn't.

Fuck that noise.

Proposition 8 wasn't one of those "let's say how much we dis/like something" measures. It was all about the men with guns, all about breaking existing legal bonds and establishing perpetuals bars against future ones. It was much more directly harmful than the surveillance state is, for its targets.

Eich had every chance to say "OK, I screwed up." He didn't. Fuck him. And fuck all this blathering about abstract rights to this and that without looking at what he spent the equivalent of two months of my SSI stipend on.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 11:59 AM
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Part of what pisses me off about this category of reactionary action is the years I've listened to libertarians and conservatives quoting St. Friedrich and others about reasons a socially engaged state is so bad. One of the major themes of The Road to Serfdom is that state intervention in society makes planning harder, thanks to capricious change, and that's so anti-market and mustn't be allowed. It's better that people suffer and die than that our five-year plans go awry, basically.

I actually agree that predictability is important. Inability to plan is a major factor in poverty, and the stress that goes with it.

And then here are the fuckwits doing something hugely, catastrophically capricious and disruptive. Of course I hate it - they spent years teaching me I should!


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 12:10 PM
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94.2: From my perspective, it lets people say something like "we've done pretty okay in the past--or at least we're a little more enlightened than the brutes in the other settler colonies--let's not fuck it up now." So, when steps away from justice like the Foreshore and Seabed Act happen, it's much more likely that they get corrected. (It's not clear to me by reading Wikipedia whether the Marine and Coastal Area Act really removes all the pernicious bits of the 2004 Act, but it seems like an improvement.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 12:19 PM
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95. One William Evans played chess, a second one played jazz. Which McClintock is more famous, Barbara or Jessica? Underwood: typewriter or singer?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 12:27 PM
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Even given how common both names are, it's pretty remarkable how many people named Charles Taylor are famous enough for me to have heard of them. Especially given the diversity of their claims to notoriety.

It's up there with "Peter King".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 12:30 PM
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as much of Andrew Sullivan's follow-up post [...] as I can see without a subscription to his blog

Right click the Read On button and select "Open in Incognito Window" (or the Private Browsing equivalent in whatever browser you're using). It's really not a very effective paywall.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 1:15 PM
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99: Was there a famous chessplayer named William Evans? There was Larry Evans --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Evans


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 1:38 PM
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I haven't kept close track, but I think that simply clicking on the title of a Dish post instead of the Read On button gets around the paywall.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 1:46 PM
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The Dish is paywalled? Seriously?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 1:56 PM
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Sure enough! Good luck with that.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 2:01 PM
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104: I guess you really did take a vacation from the blogoverse.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 2:02 PM
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Note that there is no national movement to annul the marriages of war criminals or serial killers

Nor should there be.

I remember a case from Law School Marital where a marriage contracted in a Muslim country was annulled--there was abuse, they wanted to do something--on the grounds that because in that country the husband could legal wed another, and have two, that the first marriage seeking to be annulled was not valid because not based on the same premisses as one in our jurisdictions.

But under that reasoning, het marriages from the ever-increasing number of states that allow ss marriages would be invalid, and I doubt the terrorists would want that.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 2:06 PM
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Even given how common both names are, it's pretty remarkable how many people named Charles Taylor are famous enough for me to have heard of them. Especially given the diversity of their claims to notoriety.

The three Charles Taylors I know are famous for shoes, philosophy, and war crimes. But wikipedia informs me there are so many more.

The large number of Peter Singers is sometimes frustrating, too.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 2:09 PM
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102 Evans Gambit predates Larry Evans considerably.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 2:23 PM
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First NFL game I went to included Sonny J tossing the ball to Charley Taylor. (And Dandy Don to Bob Hayes.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 2:24 PM
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109: Thanks! I learned something new!

A Welsh sea captain!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 2:27 PM
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73: There's also a football team called the Kaiser Chiefs in South Africa. Chief, in that context, is the common English word for what are now legally known as traditional leaders. However, the symbol of the Kaiser Chiefs is a silhouette of a man in a Native American war bonnet. I keep meaning to find out the story behind that mascot.


Posted by: Sarabeth | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 2:31 PM
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I think colorful symbols from the past, like the warbonnet motif of the interwar Naval fighter Squadron VF2, "The Fighting Chiefs"--the pilots were all enlisted, rated as Chief Petty Officers--need not be excoriated. Just give all current uses up gracefully and treat the story as a teachable moment.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 2:40 PM
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112: Wikipedia has it: their founder and star player, Kaizer Motaung, had played in the United States for the Atlanta Chiefs, who used an almost identical logo. Somewhat unsurprisingly, the Atlanta Chiefs were formed by the owners of the Atlanta Braves.

For that matter, there's a British indie band called the Kaiser Chiefs named after the football club, making their name the result of an extended game of telephone starting with Tamanend.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 2:40 PM
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113: That's how I feel about it. If the Washington Football Team decided to change their name but kept old memorabilia in their official museum or whatever (along with a discussion on how insensitive we were in the bad old days of 2014), that's sounds like a fair solution.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 2:43 PM
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115 Yeah, but aren't you losing track of what's important here? Honoring the racist legacy of George Preston Marshall.

(Looking up the score of the game I went, I came upon this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cowboys%E2%80%93Redskins_rivalry#Cowboy_Chicken_Club One forgets how open such things were; all that's left is the Lost Cause.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 2:54 PM
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It amazing how many notable people are named George Marshall, and how few of them committed war crimes.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 3:21 PM
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The MCA is really not a substantive improvement at all. On the other hand I think the F&S Act outcome will be the underlying substantive outcome for the next 10-15 years (i.e until the government after after this one), and so symbolic improvements are probably all that can be achieved in that space.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 3:34 PM
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It amazing how many notable people are named George Marshall, and how few of them committed war crimes

The most notable of them all told his biographer how he became aware of how many war crimes had been committed in the Philippines when he arrived there as a 2nd Lieutenant just after the Insurrection was over.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 4:24 PM
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114: Thanks! I honestly hadn't thought to look at Wikipedia, mostly because I'd asked several South Africans about it and they hadn't known, so I assumed it was a more obscure history. That makes sense. There's some other shared history between Native American reservations and the South African homelands/bantustans, but I guess this doesn't link up directly.


Posted by: Sarabeth | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 4:33 PM
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101: Thanks, Apo.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 5:20 PM
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William Evans

Surely you mean Evan Williams.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 6:00 PM
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Further to my 77: I think the best or clearest sort of thinking about this I've encountered comes from political science people working on universal declarations of human rights. The issue is how we balance individual freedoms against the cost to others. The line changes in an ongoing way, but there are guidelines, and a lot of smart people have had things to say. But who are they?

Okay, this is driving me nuts. I read an article, I think surely in the NYRB, some time in the last 5 years? by a relatively well-known scholar, female: a discussion of how to address cultural and moral relativism as it applies to development of such things.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the variety of offshoots developed therefrom must necessarily address the question whether and how we can develop mutually agreed upon guidelines for basic human (and civil) rights in light of the fact that there are cultures in which those proposed rights are anathema.

The scholar in question -- in the NYRB essay which I cannot find for the life of me -- had a great many considered thoughts on how to be culturally sensitive while still maintaining, essentially, that we cannot any longer live in the wild west, in which anything, any belief, goes. This is about moral relativism and declarations of human rights. Who on earth (female scholar) works on that?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 6:09 PM
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It just bugs me that I can't remember who that was. I recall being surprised that that was what she was doing these days. I hope it's clear why and how this is related to the Eich affair.

By the way. Who's Damon Linker and what's the deal with him? I read this afternoon his view that anti-gay sentiment is nothing at all like racism:

The most common -- and laziest -- response by those leading the charge (or cheering it on from the sidelines) is to say: But these opponents of gay marriage are just like opponents of interracial marriage!
For the umpteenth time: Our response should be different because the issues are different. [...] But racism -- along with opposition to interracial marriage -- received its primary historical validation from ideas, prejudices, and economic circumstances that have nothing directly to do with the message of Judeo-Christian scripture.
The same cannot be said about Judeo-Christianity's normative teaching on sexuality, which is rooted in both the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. It is deeply intertwined with the authoritative dogmas and doctrines of churches followed by hundreds of millions of people throughout the world, and has also been repeatedly reaffirmed and elaborated on at great length and with considerable theological sophistication throughout a nearly 2,000-year tradition of thinking that runs right down to the present.

The idea is that it's really, really much harder for homophobes to let go of their homophobia than it is for racists to let go of their racism. Linker appears to be saying that it's a difference in kind, not degree. What does one make of this argument? (Note, Linker says he's in favor of same sex marriage.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 6:25 PM
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Tolerance /= liberation, thus I refute Linker.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 6:41 PM
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Sally Engle Merry? Her recent work is on translating rights into local context (Human Rights and Gender Violence is the book). Also teaching that next week!


Posted by: Sarabeth | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 7:04 PM
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123: I don't know who you are thinking if, but pretty much every philosopher of liberalism deals with the issue of what toleration is owed to illiberal, especially religious, beliefs. Recently:

T.M. Scanlon, The Difficulty of Tolereance

Martha Nussbaum, The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age

Brian Leiter, Why Tolerate Religion?


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 7:08 PM
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Typos hooray


Posted by: C.B. | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 7:10 PM
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Oh, Nussbaum is more likely to be in the NYRB.


Posted by: Sarabeth | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 7:16 PM
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Types, hoary.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 7:17 PM
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Sally Engle Merry I've never heard of, I'm afraid. But I have now - thanks.

127: Yes, thanks, CB. Whoever I'm thinking of was not one of those (though Nussbaum came to mind); oh, well, no biggie. It's pleasing that people have been addressing this matter, which is not exactly new.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 7:19 PM
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|| some time ago I asked about a YA novel that had been adapted o film. my memory was lumping it near the CD Payne in the bookoverse, and I thought it had a strong single mother portrayed by a notable actress and was set in the West.

it was Tim Sandlin, The Skipped Parts
|)


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 7:46 PM
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-r. +n


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 8:10 PM
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A bit of cursory googling suggests that Damon Linker is a twat.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 8:28 PM
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This is why I made the bigotry/belief distinction in the post. I realize this seems like a bootstrapped argument, or like you just say "bigotry!" and problem solved, but...it's bigotry when the group that claims it is has the power to make the claim stick.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 8:40 PM
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The quoted portion of 124 also suggests that Damon Linker is a twat. Did Christ himself hate on gays? No? Then fuck off with your pseudo-Christian homophobonormativity.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 8:48 PM
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The Christianity thing is really getting in people's way, isn't it?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 8:55 PM
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it's bigotry when the group that claims it is has the power to make the claim stick

Mrm. I suppose you're right. The group that calls anti-gay sentiment bigotry doesn't yet have the power to make the claim stick, as evidenced by the quantity of the pushback. The quality of the pushback as well, let's be honest: Sullivan is actually speaking well and giving some pause on this. (I'm referring to his "The Quality of Mercy, Ctd." post, which you'd have to read in full using Apo's helpful tip at 101.)

We're close, though, close.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 9:08 PM
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Whoa, so now I've read the piece linked at 124, in which Linker links approvingly to Rod Dreher calling the boycott of a homophobic libertarian's market here "Portlandia sharia." Conclusion: twat.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 9:12 PM
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I was hoping this part of the Dreher piece was made up.

This comments thread started when a stay-at-home dad in that neighborhood posted a seven-minute video (now taken down) expressing angst and hostility toward the as-yet-unopened food store. One thing he said: What about the children who have to walk past that store every day, knowing that it is owned by a woman who doesn't support gay marriage?

But googling reveals it's not. God, buddy, I'm on your side here but would it kill you to just call people out like a regular fucking human being? "Hey, the owners of this store are total bigots and I won't spend a dime of our hard earned money there." See? Not a giant puppet in sight.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 9:53 PM
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Right, but you see what Dreher is doing there. Sure, I live here, and I occasionally run into twits like that, but this is Portland, so:

a) you should shut the fuck up about your homophobia
b) you should shut the fuck up about your libertarianism
c) pace Linker, when it comes to my consumer choices there's no meaningful distinction between people who reserve the right not to serve to gays and people who reserve the right not to serve to racial minorities
d) you should be aware that a person can't swing a dead cat in this town without hitting a place that sells non-GMO organic produce, so you're not that special
e) pace the video douchebag, most people here still don't like whiners, so stop whining

Also, I'm not going to bother to find the comment, but I'm on record as defending Bread and Puppet Theater, which is a great organization. Don't like giant puppets? Don't have one.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 10:17 PM
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Sure, but it so often feels like a lot of my political allies are totally clueless about selling the cause. Maybe I'm just still bitter about the Kerry campaign.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 10:33 PM
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Maybe it just looks like a lot when people like Dreher insist on pointing to the most extreme examples. Most of my political allies seem pretty much like you and me. Then again, who knows what kinds of puppetry you do when you're off duty, so maybe I should just say me.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 10:39 PM
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The surest road to social defeat for the traditional Christian right is to get them to keep talking. More rope.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 8-14 10:58 PM
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Late to this one, but I'm with Bulger in 46. I don't see why I should have to like McCarthyism any better when it comes from the left. I wasn't in California for the Prop whatever fight, so I don't know if the campaign for it was directly marked by nasty anti-gay bigotry, but in general it seems perfectly possible to be opposed to gay marriage in a way that is not analogous to racist bigotry or hate-mongering. The religious opposition to gay marriage comes from a tradition that also opposed straight sex outside of wedlock. A ridiculous tradition IMO but we live in a pluralist society, which means being neighbors and co-workers with people you think are kind of ridiculous.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 9-14 8:35 PM
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in general it seems perfectly possible to be opposed to gay marriage in a way that is not analogous to racist bigotry or hate-mongering.

Aside from the inherent fuzziness of all analogies, no, I don't really think so.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-14 9:08 PM
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I wasn't in California for the Prop whatever fight, so I don't know if the campaign for it was directly marked by nasty anti-gay bigotry

If only there were some way to find out! Like, a website you could go to and maybe, I dunno, search for information.

in general it seems perfectly possible to be opposed to gay marriage in a way that is not analogous to racist bigotry or hate-mongering

This is not actually true.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 9-14 9:10 PM
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I don't see why I should have to like McCarthyism any better when it comes from the left.

Roy Edroso:

These employees complained publicly and -- this is big -- three members of the Mozilla board quit. One of them, former Mozilla CEO John Lilly, told the New York Times he quit "rather than appoint [Eich]." We never got our MBA, but this sure does sound like a management crisis to us, and the disposal of Eich sounds like a businesslike response. Business magazines like Inc. treated it as such. [...]

The Left? We thought Eich was pushed out by his own company, not by the Third International. Well, this was a common conflation: The actions of a corporation were, in this unique situation, generally confused with the actions of liberals everywhere (and also homosexuals -- but then, what's the difference?).


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-14 9:17 PM
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McCarthyism

Do you actually not see how stupid this is, Hitler?


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04- 9-14 10:01 PM
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145: I don't see why I should have to like McCarthyism any better when it comes from the left.

That's completely eliding and revising what was so horrible about McCarthyism. McCarthy wasn't bad because he hated Communists, he was bad because he hounded people to betray their friends and colleagues and lied about their supposed political beliefs. Nobody's shown that anyone was lying about this asshole's Prop 8 campaign work. And I don't remember him being asked to name names, either. He took a stupid, oppressive political stance, and thus undercut his ability to do his job. As Apo points out, there was a preexisting conflict within the organization before anyone made political hay out of it in public. Let's reserve the "McCarthyist" epithet for situations where it is at least vaguely analogous.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 9-14 10:09 PM
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McCarthy was also horrible because he controlled levers of power. The attacks on Eich, at least not including the attacks from the inside, were mostly bottom-up rather than top-down.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04- 9-14 10:20 PM
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146, 147: Actually, I think it is sort of possible, although it is pretty indistinguishable in practice from bigotry when seen from the viewpoint of people being denied marriage rights.

Start with a complementarian ideal of marriage - the idea that a "proper" marriage consists not of a relationship between equals, but a male role, to be occupied by the male member of the union, and a distinct female role, to be occupied by the female member of that union. In most cases, that will be coupled with a fairly heavy dose of patriarchy, in which that male role is supposed to act as head of the household, and the female role is supposed to be subservient to him, but that's not strictly necessary to the logic here.

Now an egalitarian heterosexual marriage, such as I have and many other commentators here have, is a challenge to that view, but it's not an insuperable one. People who hold that view can hand-wave us away as a misguided minority who just aren't yet doing marriage right, by not inquiring too closely into the details of our lives, and believing that we may someday come to understand the true roles we should occupy. They can still believe that their view of marriage is the one that is right and proper, not just as a matter of private practice, but supported by the authority of the state and the surrounding culture. But having same-sex marriage recognized by the state represents a direct frontal attack on that understanding. It makes it blatantly obvious that the legal system does not in fact support their view of marriage except as a matter of private belief, and that they do not have the majority support they thought they did.

Moreover, such a view of marriage also makes it possible for adherents to minimize the pain they are inflicting on LGBT folk who want to marry. In their view, they are not denying a fundamental human right, but are just denying legal recognition to a relationship that could never be a "proper" marriage anyway according to their values.

I think its possible for someone who believes along those lines to honestly believe that they are not motivated by animus towards LGBT couples. The real target here is the feminist/egalitarian view of marriage, and the effort to believe that the institutional power structure still supports their view of marriage as the sole "correct" one. The hopes of LGBT couples are just collateral damage in this struggle.

That said, such people, if they do exist (and I think they probably do) are, at the very least, running in the company of homophobic bigots and engaged in actions that are pretty indistinguishable from those of bigots who are just using the "family values" stuff as cover for their bigotry.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 1:30 AM
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Do you actually not see how stupid this is, Hitler?

Most perfect blog comment/mouseover text ever.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 3:54 AM
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152: and how does that differ from people who opposed interracial marriage? They had arguments and traditions too, and I'm sure some weren't motivated by animus. I think it's easy to forget that in the past it wasn't as easy to be on the right side of issues that are settled now.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 6:03 AM
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It should never be forgotten how much McCarthyism damaged and ultimately discredited anticommunism. It made it synonymous with anti-intellectualism in the US, in a way that even in Canada let alone elsewhere it wasn't.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 6:52 AM
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Having now seen a bunch of people use the same analogy PGD did, I guess public shaming or consumers pressuring corporations is the same as McCarthyism now. The next gambit: if only the fags and their friends would be more civil to CEOs, the market would sort out all of this unpleasantness.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 7:19 AM
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155: Anti-intellectualism is discredited in the US? News to me!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 7:22 AM
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The irony of the McCarthyism accusation is that opponents of civil rights laws (I'm looking at you Rand Paul) claim that the market would eventually have taken care of things via consumer boycotts. IOW what happened to Eich is exactly what is supposed to happen in Libertopia, only it seems like a bunch of glibertarians are getting very upset about it.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 7:24 AM
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Not to pile on (which of course means I'm about to pile on, sorry), but the last sentence of 145 doesn't seem right to me: the pluralistic take is to say that sure, you can have your weird or nasty or ridiculous beliefs, just don't legislate my beliefs/nature/lifestyle/self into illegality. Proposition 8 took away people's existing marriages. No one on the left is seriously clamoring for, yet alone funding a campaign for, a law that mandates gay and straight-and-out-of-wedlock sex for all.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 7:24 AM
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The market got us into this mess, the market will get us out of it. (See also: climate change)


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 7:29 AM
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What climate change? It was really cold here last week.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 7:47 AM
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159: Prop 8 might have taken away existing marriages on its face, but that wasn't the way it was interpreted by the state or the courts prior to being struck down. The actual legal situation in California was that same-sex marriages contracted prior to election day 2008 were still recognized by the state as valid, it just wasn't going to allow any more of them (until prop 8 got struck down).


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 7:55 AM
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162: Thanks for the clarification. Still, it took the ability to get marriages away from many other people, and even if you did get married before 8 and that marriage was recognized as valid, you were in a sort of legal limbo that does not sound very pleasant.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 7:59 AM
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If it weren't for the analogy ban, I might argue that the struggle I identified in 152 is similar to the fight over school prayer - what is at stake is not the right to engage in prayer as a matter of private belief, but the ability to use the power of the state to support your views not simply as one valid choice of many, but as the normative view that your kids (and your neighbor's kids) should adopt without question.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 8:11 AM
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Oddly, 152 is actually a better anti-gay-marriage argument than any (of which I'm aware) found in the roughly 1 billion pages of legal briefing on the topic (I can understand for more boring reasons why the pro prop 8 lawyers didn't use that argument, but still). It's kind of stunning, even for me, how hard it's been to come up with plausible reasons for opposing gay marriage that aren't based on pure anti-gay animus. I'm generally fairly sympathetic to the argument that tradition alone can be a justification, especially in legal/constitutional areas, but in this instance it's pretty clear (as was the case in Loving) that the alleged "tradition" is purely bigotry and nothing else. 152 does a better job than any other argument I've heard, however.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 8:34 AM
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165: I seem to recall well-known antigay activist Belle Waring did a pretty good job.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 8:53 AM
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It's a big country, and there's someone who believes pretty much every fool thing. I'd include in this the notion that marriage is a purely religious institution, with the state in a subordinate (and generally superfluous) role, and so that when the state extends it beyond what a religion permits (eg allowing divorced people to re-marry) the state is messing with religion.

Abortion is another issue where people are wrong about the state, and just cannot seem to get that the debate is not about when there's a "person" but how instrusive our state is designed to be into the lives of individual persons.*

It's possible to be against abortion without being a misogynist -- one can have a conception of the state's obligation to protect fetal life, without being in the 'women who have sex must be punished for it' faction.


* I'm amused by the supposed federalists on this too -- the 'leave it to the states' crowd. A state that can ban abortion can also ban guns or parochial schools.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 9:06 AM
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165:

My problem with it is in here:

They can still believe that their view of marriage is the one that is right and proper, not just as a matter of private practice, but supported by the authority of the state and the surrounding culture. But having same-sex marriage recognized by the state represents a direct frontal attack on that understanding. It makes it blatantly obvious that the legal system does not in fact support their view of marriage except as a matter of private belief, and that they do not have the majority support they thought they did.

Surely since the Married Women's Acts of the mid 19th century, giving married women the right to their own property, and with increasing momentum since, there has been no basis for people holding these views to believe the authority of the state or majority support was anywhere on their side.

My sense of them is that they've always been keenly aware of being in a minority, and it is in fact part of their core identity to be one.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 9:15 AM
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well-known antigay activist Belle Waring did a pretty good job

Link?


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 9:18 AM
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169: http://examinedlife.typepad.com/johnbelle/2005/10/anti_same_sex_m.html


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 9:20 AM
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168 -- oh, I'm not saying I agree with 152, just that it's a better argument than the maybe 5000 lawyers working on the anti-gay marriage side were able to come up with.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 9:20 AM
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170:

Thanks, homey.

Damn, that's magnificent, not just the post but the apology linked in it.

An homage to the permanent appeal and challenge of Burke's example. In his great antagonists, Hazlitt in his day and Albert Hirshmann in ours, there is always wonder at Burke and also the knowledge that it just won't wash.

And I too can't resist trying to make the better argument opponents, however vile, might be making. It's a form of wishing and hoping for a better world. Also boredom and exasperation.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 10:01 AM
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Look, being against gay marriage is bigotry if you think that peoples' sexual and romantic desires are essential to their identity and who they 'really are', and that the freedom to pursue your romantic and sexual desires is a fundamental human right. This is widely accepted in the U.S. today. But there are several major world religions, including Christianity, that have traditionally seen the policing and restriction of sexuality as central to a virtuous life and the regulation of a harmonious community. (These religious traditions were also quite vigorous in policing straight sex. The founder of the Christian religion suggested a man pluck out his eye if he ogled a woman he wasn't married to -- sure, metaphor, but still. Judaism bans masturbation in all circumstances. Traditional Buddhism bans non-reproductive sex such as oral sex even within marriage). In these traditions, sexual/romantic desire is not constitutive of identity but is a harmful temptation to be resisted outside the context of a reproductive family.

As a society we stopped actually policing and enforcing those religious beliefs a long time ago, obviously in straight life and for the most part in gay life as well (I would guess even most gay marriage opponents didn't believe in enforcing anti-sodomy laws). But marriage is a weird mixture of religious sacrament and civil ceremony. A lot of people viscerally opposed gay marriage because it runs so directly counter to the traditions of those religions, which link marriage to reproductive sex. There were plenty of people who opposed gay marriage who actually didn't seem to have a problem with gay recognition in other spheres of life -- hence the repeated poll findings that many more people supported workplace anti-discrimination laws for homosexuals or hate crimes legislation targeted at anti-gay crimes than supported gay marriage (this is changing as gay marriage gets more support, but it used to be a striking distinction). Is someone who, in 2007, supported anti-discrimination laws and hate crime laws protecting gays, and who maybe supported civil unions (a secularized position that always had much more support than gay marriage), but who opposed gay marriage, a vile hate-filled bigot? (Not saying that Brendan Eich was such a person, but if you believe the polling there were millions of such people). I would say no.

I do think they're wrong, and will come around to change their minds, but this isn't about whether you agree with Eich on gay marriage. It's about the level of political disagreement that justifies bullying and hounding someone out of a job. Eich is a rich and distinguished CEO so my heart certainly doesn't bleed for him, but it doesn't strike me as a good precedent.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 4:31 PM
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And re the arguments that 'hobby lobby does it', or whatever -- isn't the point that liberals are trying to build a different, more inclusive community than conservatives and certainly than right-wing fundamentalists? That kind of inclusion can sometimes be a more powerful weapon than confrontation. In the case of breaking apartheid in the South direct confrontation was necessary, but in the gay marriage case I think a lot more minds were changed by working with gay people in an inclusionary setting than by self-righteous lectures about being a hate-filled bigot. Segregating away people who didn't believe in gay marriage would have been rather harmful to the massive change in perspectives that has occurred around this issue.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 4:37 PM
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Where's SomeCallMeTim to make the realist argument here? This isn't about what's in people's hearts, but about the power of various groups to establish that anti-them sentiments count as bigotry. Italians, Jews, Blacks, and now gays, have managed this. (Arabs, Indians, and women, among others, haven't.) No one cares what Brendan Eich or Joe Conscientious Christian really truly thinks about gays; the point is to establish the boundaries. The hand-wringing here amounts to "should we give gays this power?" which seems to me to answer itself. If, in the future, The Gay Lobby has the distorting power as some other lobbies one might name, we can discuss it, but most states still don't allow gay marriage, so get back to me on that.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 4:54 PM
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I think people really underestimate the extent to which there were religious, traditional, and historical arguments against interracial marriage. Just read old religious writings, you can find all sorts of argument for how christianity required X right up until it didn't.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 4:54 PM
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But marriage is a weird mixture of religious sacrament and civil ceremony.

No, it's not. Religious marriage is sacramental; civil marriage is contractual. As a certain guy put it in Matthew 22:21, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's." The reason so many putative Christians don't get this is that—I say at the risk of repeating myself—they're only calling themselves Christians, and they don't really give a shit what Christ preached.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 5:15 PM
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The hand-wringing here

My hang-wringing is that I want procedural norms that protect the ability of people who openly support political campaigns that a local majority find hateful--e.g., anti-Israel or "prosecute the war criminals in the U.S. military" or "criminalize meat-eating" campaigns--to rise to positions of leadership in their organizations.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 5:53 PM
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178: Which is likelier to move us toward such norms: unilateral disarmament or mutually assured destruction?


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 6:27 PM
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178: I don't know what kind of procedural norms those would be, CB. Perhaps eliminating transparency in people's political donations?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-10-14 7:04 PM
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Further thoughts on "Burke."

The maddening thing about large-scale movements for social change, even when you support them, is the fatuity of the most commonly heard arguments in favor of them. There are never going to be any baneful results, we are assured, won't happen. The wishful thinking going on is palpable, and sometimes nauseating.

"Burke," as 170 demonstrates, knows better than this.

This doesn't mean that the movements in question shouldn't succeed; you just wish they could be defended in a grownup way.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-11-14 7:59 AM
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Win first, hand-wring later.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-11-14 8:22 AM
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I mean, ok, yes, procedural liberals gotta hand wring, but really let's not get all caught up in baby/bath water stuff.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-11-14 8:43 AM
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Argh. Motherfucker. Clicked a link without selecting "open in new tab" and lost a couple hundred words I had written. Well, to summarize what I can remember:

64: Jesus, that's nothing. Are you familiar with Randolph's mascot?

145/167
in general it seems perfectly possible to be opposed to gay marriage in a way that is not analogous to racist bigotry or hate-mongering.

In addition to the other points made about this (it's not McCarthyism, and it's not The Left), I'd also point out that while this is theoretically possible, like a great many things, it's very, very rare on the ground. There's Dreher and Douthat, who make very civil and non-bigoted arguments, but they're both such disingenuous partisan hacks (Douthat at least) that the question of whether their harmful retrograde advocacy is based on sincere beliefs seems uninteresting. Beyond people like them, and a few specific devout people in a few specific religions... it's very hard to find these hypothetical people who oppose gay marriage but have no problems with gays personally.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-11-14 9:18 AM
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My fascination with Dreher is just that, that he appears to be a sincere troll.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-11-14 9:40 AM
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it's very hard to find these hypothetical people who oppose gay marriage but have no problems with gays personally

Conor Friedersdorf says today that they're people who are, for example, for civil unions but against gay marriage.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-11-14 5:00 PM
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From the piece linked in 186:

Opposition to gay marriage can be rooted in the insidious belief that gays are inferior, but it's also commonly rooted in the much-less-problematic belief that marriage is a procreative institution, not one meant to join couples for love and companionship alone.
If Friedersdorf doesn't know that civil marriage is more than just about love and companionship (i.e., if he has somehow missed out on all the stories about gay couples being denied the rights that married heterosexuals enjoy), there's no point in reading what he has to say about it. And until he and others agitate for the revocation of marriage licenses of heterosexual couples who don't procreate, then it's fair to call his opinion what it is: bullshit.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-11-14 5:24 PM
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The guy quoted in 124 is just unbelievably, offensively, astoundingly wrong about how much religious justification for racism there was. I've never heard of the dude, so I don't know if it's willful ignorance or not, but there is no way on this green Earth that his interpretation is even kind of right.

Surely since the Married Women's Acts of the mid 19th century, giving married women the right to their own property, and with increasing momentum since, there has been no basis for people holding these views to believe the authority of the state or majority support was anywhere on their side.

Judging by the defensive fury with which the women in my family have been greeted by daring to keep their own names, this is not true.

People are very damn threatened by it, and they are absolutely convinced that they are in the majority. And they are in my experience not wrong about that.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-11-14 5:50 PM
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Also, Friedersdorf long since violated my three-strikes rule for writing in bad faith, so I'm not willing to give him even a sliver of doubt.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-11-14 5:51 PM
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187: it's fair to call his opinion what it is: bullshit

Oh, it's Friedersdorf, so, you know. Nonetheless he tries -- I believe actually in good faith -- to articulate the conservo-libertarian perspective, so he can be educational.

I don't link to or quote these things because I find them compelling.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-11-14 5:56 PM
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I think people seeking religious rationales for their prejudiced views, sometimes just adverting to tradition!, are seriously twisting in the wind these days. It's why I was so interested in Sullivan's Sunday religion posts, in which it seemed to me he was trying to address the discord between what his religious sensibilities tell him and what his rational socio-political thought tells him.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-11-14 6:05 PM
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